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Cold Coffee

Oil Slick
By Anne Martin
A short story about
a writer whose
curbside fantasies
drive her creative

Ten Marketing
By Lea Schizas

Editors Choice
Poetry and Novels Rai Aren and Tavius E. have
unearthed a mystifying novel,
Secret of the Sands.
In an exclusive interview with
Cold Coffee’s Dave Tallman,
these two dynamic writers share
their experience and the secret
of their success.

Writing A Historical Fiction
When You Can’t Get There NO. 2
by Deborah Hockenberry

What’s in Your Cup?
Cold Coffee Magazine is a quarterly publication produced by members of the Cold Coffee Writ-
ing Community. It is dedicated to the voice of promising writers everywhere, writers who might
otherwise go unheard.

Each issue features an interview with a successful author, a short story, a number of poems, a list
of twenty books found in the CC Bookstore and several helpful articles on writing. All work pub-
lished in CCM was submitted by members of the CC writing community

Those writers interested in seeing their work published in CCM need only join the CC writing
community and read the submission process. All who submit will be considered but not everyone
who submits will be published. As compensation, those writers whose work is published will
receive an invitation to the online web site where each issue of CCM is produced.

Advertisers interested in having their company or their products represented in CCM or on the
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Magazine Staff
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Rachel Brower – Poetry Submissions Editor
Shannon Morrow – Design Specialist

The Perfectionists – Proof Reading and Editing
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Page 12

Cold Coffee
6 Writing A Historical Fiction When You Can’t Get There
- Deborah Hockenberry
Deborah explains to CCM readers ways they can overcome
obstacles when writing a Historical Fiction.

8 Oil Slick - Anne Martin
A short story about a writer whose curbside fantasies drive
her creative style.

10 Ten Tips - Lea Schizas
Lea offers Ten Marketing Tips that will help draw traffic to
your websites, and by that your work.

12 The Lake - Ria Adams
A short story about a woman’s return to a place from her
childhood and the memories she’ll never forget.

15 Unforgettable Stranger - Ray “Rain” Neighbor
A heart warming short story about an unexpected

16 Self Publishing On A Shoestring - Mari Sloan
Mari Sloan offers advise on how to publish your work on a

21 Interview With Rai Aren and Tavius E
In this interview both authors describe how they were able
to blend their talents to create their thrilling novel, Secret
Of The Sands.

25 Featured Writer John Berry
Meet Cold Coffee Member John Berry and enjoy samples of this
decorated writer’s work.

28 Editors Choice Poetry
Barbara Watkins, Jen Albeck, Suzanne Ouimet, Michelle Kennedy, Debbie Berk, Dennis Flem-
ing, RJ Medak, Poppysilver, Boris, Tammy Whisman, David Brown, Phibby Venable, Emil D.
Caruthers, Shannon Morrow, Shaun Foster, Cynthia M Daley, Jacob Toms, Robert "Spindle"
Beard, D. L. Price, Ralph Piccolo,Ray “Rain” Neighbor

36 Editors Choice Books
Donald Parker, Theresa M Moore, R. Vance, Barbara Watkins, Phil DeCicco, Thomas D Cooke,
Betty Ann Harris, A.F. Stewart, David E Greske, Michael B Druxman, Dennis Fleming, Debbie
Berk, Margaret Latrella, Carolyn Strimike, Dawn Olexa, Darrell Bain, Stephanie Osborn, Ralph
Piccolo, Debi DeSantis, J.D. Holiday, Laurel-Rain Snow, Sierra Rose

backwards trying to help you or to point
So, you've had a terrific idea for a histori-
you in the right direction.
cal fiction story. The only problem is, for
some reason or another you can't get to
the place where the event happened. At your library, you can find infor-
You realize that because it's a historical mation on the geography of the area,
fiction story, you have to have all your speech in that era, how your subjects
facts but you don't have to scrap that would have dressed and traditions spe-
idea just because you can't get there. cific to that area. Be sure to take lots of
You can still write it. notes, including the books' title, author,
page numbers you found your informa-
If you don't drive, you can still travel
tion on, copyright and publisher. Also,
to where the historical event happened.
you will be able to find the address to
You can always take a plane, train or bus
that area's historical society. Not only
to your destination. There's even a bet-
that, you will find the current president of
ter way to get there. I can say this in
the historical society and their phone
two words: road trip! Ask a good friend
number. You don't want to find the his-
or a family member to take you to your
torical society that way? I have a two-
destination and make a party out of your
word answer for you: the internet. If
trip! Be sure to take a lot of pictures
you don't have a computer or don't have
while you're there. Take pictures of the
access to the internet, don't worry.
geography, take pictures of the town and
Thanks to your library card you have full
if possible, take pictures of your subject.
access to the internet.
Visit their local library and be sure to visit
the local historical society. What if you Computers
don't have the money or for some medi- Most libraries have computer banks
cal reason you can't travel? You still that are hooked up to the internet. Give
have three sources to bring your story to the librarian your card and settle in front
life. of one of the computers. Do a search on
LIBRARIES your subject and you'll be surprised at
how many websites appear! You will find
Your local library is a wealth of re-
even more information there that agrees
sources. This is always the place to start.
what you just found in the library books.
You don't have a library card? You can
Here, list the title of the internet article
get one easily plus they're free! Also,
plus the website. Always write to the
you can start using the card the same
copyright holder to ask permission to use
day. Where do you start? Ask the refer-
their work. You can usually find their
ence librarian. Librarians will bend over

email address at the bottom of the web-
Historical Societies
This is an invaluable resource. Of
course, you'll find all their contact infor-
mation either at the library or on their
website. Also, you'll find several other
things there, including a gift shop. Take
full advantage of this.

You can purchase period music, postcards
and a lot more. Many of the books for
sale there are only sold at the historical
society. If the books aren't in your li-
brary, offered for sale online or in a book-
store, email them asking if you can pur-
chase the item through the mail. I've
done this. Take full advantage of this
service! You will also find a plethora of
information on your subject there.
Historical Websites
You name it and you can find infor-
mation on these websites. I did an inter-
net search and came up with 16,800,000
historical websites!

I'd also like to share with you my
favorite research portal. It's Library Spot
and can be found at This site will take
you anywhere from historical documents,
presidential speeches, encyclopedias, dic-
tionaries (on any subject) to homework
help for kids. Take a look at it.
Thanks to libraries, computers and
historical societies we all can write our
historical fiction stories no matter what
our financial or medical conditions are.

Deborah Hockenberry

I can often be found sitting on cause that's not what I'm doing. jackets. I love writing at night,
this wall, a half a block up the It has been years since my letting my fantasies run free.
street from my apartment. It's last ... Sorry, but saying four- The reviewers get on my
the perfect height for me, so I letter words makes me blush. case about the amount of sex in
just lean on it, and soon I'm sit- Dan and I stopped when we got my books, but that's what
ting. I like to watch people walk caught by his wife, Cindy. He brings the readers back time
by, to say hello, to gossip. was my first, back in High after time. Granted, every time
There are those that say that if School, and occasionally we got has to be different and it has
something's going down on my together when I got sick of ab- developed itself as a form of ly-
street, I'm the one to ask. I see stinence, and he got sick of cantropy, a supernatural disease
it all: Mrs Jones running out of Cindy. It was a purely physical that even my main character
her house with a bloody lip and arrangement, bourne of mutual has succumbed to - Det. Elmira
skulking back a half hour later, need. Cindy was prone to use P. Wrozniak, a specialist in
Janine Harper with her two boy- the withholding of sex as a paranormal crime by day and
friends, and what they get to up weapon to get back at him, and Meera, Queen of the succubus’s
in her bedroom. She couldn't he decided early on that using at night. It's the perfect cover
have hung that mirror in a more me was better than taking the and it helps her get rid of the
useful position. It helps that I'm matter into his own hands. competition. My readers think
a little far-sighted. She knows I Aside from releasing my pent up I've sold out, as Elmira's sex
can see them, and I sometimes energy, Dan was never my true gets more and more kinky. I
wonder if she is performing just love. I just never really liked don't care, since my last novel
for me, or maybe she's just Cindy. After Dan popped my sold the most ever. The die-
gloating. She's got two and I cherry, she moved in for the kill, hards still prefer Elmira when
have none. I wouldn't want ei- and bingo ... offspring, and a she was still fully human, so I've
ther of them anyway. teen marriage. Dan and I never started a new series just for
could have married, but I would them. Riccardo Malipiero, para-
Dan Jenkins’s Buick has have appreciated a second go normal investigator and vampire
a bad oil leak. He always parks before anyone else claimed him. killer. The first book was almost
it in front of my perch over- Cindy's a barracuda, and I don't as big a seller as Fire in the Un-
night, and I can see its rainbow envy him. dergrowth, the first Elmira book.
stream of black gold oozing to-
wards the curb in the morning. I Many wonder if I'm just a Writing does strange
love the aroma of a warm en- lay-a-bout, sitting on the wall all things to me. It's almost like
gine and the reflection of fresh day long, but I've taken to having sex myself, especially
motor oil and water in the warm sleeping in the evening and when I'm in the midst of writing
sunshine. He must fill it up al- working from home after mid- a juicy sex scene for Elmira.
most every day. night. Nobody realizes that I'm That's why I can't go to sleep in
a famous author. Everyone has the morning. After a night of
Twice I have been ques- read James T. Lincoln's vampire vampires and werewolves, I
tioned by the police about solic- novels. Nobody knows that he is need the sunlight to reaffirm my
iting, but they have never me. My publisher hired a 40- humanity and cool the fire in my
caught me at it, probably be- something model for the book loins.

If my neighbors knew
how much I was worth, I would
never get any peace. My visitors
just think that I'm a big Lincoln
fan, but nobody has even no-
ticed that none of the other
books in my library are vampire
books. Not a single one! I prefer
real literature, the classics, and
modern fiction. I'd read Jane
Austen long before I read ...
what's her name ... I can't re-
member. Her followers don't like
my books - they say Elmira is a
slut - but what makes her any
different from what’s-her-
name's heroine?
If anyone is a slut, it's
me, watching every handsome
fella that walks by and orches-
trating a fantasy that they star
in. The good ones make it into
my books, the rest keep me a
deep breath away from an or-
gasm. I confess that I have
come that close, sitting anony-
mously innocent in the sun, but
the fella is usually long gone
There's Mrs. Jones back,
right on cue, and Janine is busy
pumping boyfriend no 2 dry.
She waves discreetly, thinking
that I envy her, but I'm sitting
in an oil slick of my own making
with Mr. Bearded-Blond-Runner
wrapped between my legs, his
clothes in tatters on the side-
walk, and I'm about to scream
in ecstasy. He'll probably make
his second sweaty loop around
the block in about 10 minutes.
Maybe I'll stop him when he
passes, burying my tongue in
his mouth and perhaps more.
He's hot for me, I know, I can
see it in his eyes. No, not today,
the real thing is never as good
as the fantasy.

If people only knew what
I was really thinking ...

site link out to thousands keting.
of readers. When your ar-
Looking for ticle is picked up within 6. E-Book
any of these venues, you Offer a free eBook to go
FREE ways to make sure to have a note with the theme of your
get traffic and stating that the article can published book or product
be published as long as it you are selling. If you
some extra is kept in its entirety, bio have written a children’s
money to your and all. Nothing is to be book, find a theme/thread
changed since this is, after to write an ebook. For ex-
website? all, your written article and ample, your children’s
the whole purpose is for book contains a pet, write
each venue to display a a small eBook on the care
Here are ten link back to your site for of that animal. Within your
marketing tips more traffic. eBook you will promote
your published book in-
to get you 3. Blogs cluding its website link,
started: Start your own blog, mak- purchasing links, blurbs
ing sure to include your and any other info like au-
website(s) link(s) on the thor bio. Free ebooks helps
1. Affiliate Programs sidebar. There’s Blog- to promote your other
Affiliate programs, espe- and Wordpress to books and/or products. To
cially when you have prod- start you off in your blog convert files to PDF,
ucts that match your web- search. Just a note: make download the FREE Open
site content, will help you sure each blog you begin Office program.
earn some money. If you has a purpose, a drawing
go to, pull to your target audi- 7. E-zine ence. Another suggestion Start a newsletter/ezine.
sell_products.html? is to search out other simi- Before you do, however,
hop=infoasis, you’ll see an lar blogs to link with them. make sure you have time
amble source of affiliate Their readers will become for this. The last thing you
programs to pick and your potential readers. want is to begin a new
choose from venture and not follow
4. Banner Exchange through with it. With your
2. Article Banks Exchange banners with own newsletter, you have
Writing articles and then other websites making the opportunity to promote
submitting them every- sure your link is placed your sites and books/
where, for free, is a great within your banner. products.
opportunity to get noticed.
Send them to numerous 5. Link your sites 8. Link Other Writers
article banks on the web, If you have more than one Exchanging links with
ezines and newsletters; website, make sure to add other writers will increase
offer them to other writer’s links to your other sites. exposure for both.
sites if they place articles This may sound silly but
from fellow writers. This you won’t believe how 9. Signature
marketing ploy will get many don’t follow this sim- Make sure to add a signa-
your name, bio, and web- ple and logical rule of mar- ture at the end of each

email. It’s a fact that re-
cipients need to look at the
link a few times before
they actually click on it. So
capture their attention to
make them want to link to

10. Connect
Connect with writers in
other groups. Everyone
has a helpful link that has
helped them so join a
writer’s group today.

Here are some other areas
to check out:

If you follow Tip#10 and
join a writer’s group, I am
sure you’ll be inundated
with links to last you a life-

Author’s Bio: Lea Schizas
is a multi-published, award
-winning author and edi-
tor, founder of the Muse
Online Writers Conference,
Apollo’s Lyre, The MuseI-
tUp Club, The Muse Mar-
quee, and Submissions
Editor for Red Rose Pub-
lishing. http://

Nothing moved below the sur- doned and alone. In its glory, their grown children would visit
face, water smooth as glass the dock was lovingly stained a bringing with them a scattering
made a transparent cover. I re- warm brown and sanded smooth of grandchildren. I found myself
member coming here as a girl. to protect tiny feet from splin- staying indoors, my cat Zoey in
Carefully, I would sit on the ters. I spent every summer of my lap watching them splash
very edge of the dock, my short my youth here, fishing, swim- and play from my bedroom win-
legs dangling over the side, toes ming, boating, but mostly sitting dow. Only in the evenings,
just skimming the cold water, and taking in all the beauty. The would I venture out to the dock
and watch the fish below the mountains in my mind made the and sit. Bathed in moonlight I
surface. The small silver ones perfect backdrop, protecting me would watch fireflies dance
were my favorite. Darting in and from the pain of the outside above the water and listen to
out of the rocks and dead tree world. Surrounding the lake, the sounds of the night.
limbs. Watching them I often they dared anyone to scale their The closing of our sum-
wondered, did they become rocky peaks and penetrate my merhouse marked not only the
friends as they swam in their world. end of warm weather but also
group? Small my freedom. Back
crabs would dot to the schedule of
the bottom. With school and classes,
their amusing each box I helped
sideways walking, pack was taking me
they searched for one step further
food, claws al- from the lake and
ways at the one closer to my
ready. old life. It never
The boards seemed to matter
of the old dock how many boxes
were warped and my mother and I
weathered. Years packed, my father
of harsh winters would always jok-
and neglect had ingly yell to me,
increased the “Lizzy, I have room
gaps. Carefully for one more.” With
walking to the the car packed, pil-
edge, I gently low, blanket and
lowered my old Zoey in the back-
body onto the sun seat, I would head
-warmed wood. down to the lake to
Night was quickly say my goodbye.
coming, were it Standing on the
not for the clouds dock, tears in my
I would be gazing eyes, I would try to
upon a beautiful burn the image of
sunset. Deep in the lake and moun-
the Adirondacks, tains into my mind
Saranac Lake, NY was my favor- As a child I was smaller in the hope it would carry me
ite place to be. Pulling off my than my peers and the doctors through until the next summer.
shoes and socks I hung my legs had told my parents I would In the summer of my
over the side. The cold, clear eventually catch up. What they seventeenth year the unex-
water almost reached my knees. failed to mention was that in the pected happened. My father lost
The dock still felt the same. Like meantime I would be picked on his job. Times were hard in Al-
me, it was a little older, weath- and teased to no end. The lake bany, and lay-offs were happen-
ered, and scarred, but strong became my refuge. Very few ing all around New York. Sitting
nevertheless. homes surrounded the lake- with my parents, they broke the
Funny how time changes shore, and the few inhabitants news. Our summerhouse was
things. The lake, once alive and were well into their golden being rented out to strangers.
teeming with life, now lay aban- years. Fourth of July weekend We need the money, was the

explanation. Looking back I re-
member thinking what would
the lake think when I didn’t re-
turn. Would these new people
take care of the dock, appreci-
ate the beauty and respect the
lake and all that called it home?
Year after year the summer-
house was rented and I was
forced to move on. I eventually
went to college, got married and
raised children of my own. All
the while, I never forgot the
Now years later I am
back, wishing I were anywhere
but here. My mother felt having
my father’s funeral here would
have pleased him. This morning
his ashes were spread across
the lake. He gave me my love
for it and it was only fitting that
in the end he should become
one with it. As I sit here, feet
and legs numbing from the icy
water I know this will be the last
time I enjoy it alone. The sum-
merhouse has been sold; the
new owners were nice enough
to let us spend one last week-
end here together. I ache that
my children never wanted to
spend a summer here while
growing up. Their childhoods
were so different from my own.
The simple things in life bored
them; video games and com-
puters filled their time. This
place helped mold me into the
adult I am today. It taught me
how to slow down, see things
others take for granted. I know
it would have done the same for
them had they only given it the
chance. As I leave this time I
not only say goodbye to the
lake, but my father as well. He
is resting in the place he loved
most, surrounded by the beauty
and protectiveness of the moun-
tains. I know the next time I
return it will be to join him.

this odd feeling just a little longer.
Unforgettable Stranger We sat outside on this beautiful morning,
and talked almost non-stop. There were no awk-
She was like seeing a breathtaking painting in an ward moments. I didn't feel uncomfortable, or
art gallery. I didn't need to own or possess her pressured in any way. We were two total
beauty. I was just taken by her. I found it difficult strangers who, for whatever reason, hit it off,
not to stare. She chose a seat on the bus where no and seized the moment. It was unforgettable,
one could sit between us. I smiled and said hi, and and I think she felt the same way. The time flew
in the friendliest tone she returned the hello. by.
I married a beautiful woman, so I seldom We had talked about a little of every-
found myself intimidated around nice looking thing, then she looked at her watch. "It's time. I
women, but this strange attractive young woman can't believe we had so much fun, and were so
actually caused me to be a little nervous. relaxed doing it. And, you didn't try once to
After our brief exchange, I thought that it hit on me," she laughed out loud as she slid her
would be the end of the stranger-says-hello-to- chair back.
stranger encounter, and began reading the newspa- "And finally, I didn't have to fend a
per I had just bought. woman off for a simple conversation," I said,
"Do you read a lot?" she asked with a smile. smiling.
"Only if it's news about the end of the
There life had put us; for a second, I felt a
world," I said with a grin. She laughed. Even her
laughter was magnetic with its twinge of sadness. I realized how
lightness and sincerity. rare such encounters were. I
She paused and said, "Did looked at her once more as she
you know there are bacteria on the prepared to leave.
lime they squeeze into your drink? I My God, she was striking,
love living life on the edge." I thought to myself. "Well, I
She intentionally made the
guess I won't ever see you again,
remark in an overly serious tone
that really struck me funny. It was
but I just want to tell you what a
as if we were old friends. I couldn't pleasure it's been meeting you.
believe the ease with which we You take care, and never, ever
were talking. We both laughed at change that magnetic personal-
the same things. ity," I said as she moved toward
I was surprised at how re- me.
laxed we had both become in such Without warning, she laid
a short amount of time. I was hap-
pily married, but I loved the way my heart felt,
her purse back on the table, wrapped her arms
talking with this amazingly beautiful young woman. around me and gave me the sweetest, most heart-
Finally, I asked her, "Are you a model?" felt hug.
After I asked the question, I wanted to take She then tenderly kissed my cheek. I was
it back. She looked at me with her entrancing eyes, caught off guard. She picked up her
then in an obvious and playful way she replied with purse...looked me in the eyes...leaned close to my
a sly grin, "That's so ironic, I was about to ask you ear, and whispered, "Good-bye, Dad, you were
the same thing."
everything I've dreamed you would be."
It was perfect timing, and we caught our-
selves laughing, again. With that she walked to the street, and im-
Then she said something that truly surprised mediately a cab stopped. As she pulled away she
me. "Would you think me too forward if I asked you smiled, but it
to share a cup of coffee with me? I know this nice looked like she had a tear running down her cheek.
outside cafe a few blocks from here, and I have a I stood there motionless as my mind raced
little time before I leave for the airport. I thought through summers past...
you were so friendly, and we hit it off...I won-
Without thinking of anything else, I blurted,
Ray “Rain” Neighbor
"I'd love to."
I wasn't trying to pick her up, but she was
fascinating, and I wanted to know more about her.
I wanted to hear her laugh more, talk more, feel
and are prepared to set limits on your
spending and market it carefully. If you
Self-Publishing are realistic, you can do this.
On a Shoestring The second reason for no response to
querying is that your book is not ready for
Getting your book out on your own publication. If you self-publish, it will be
requires an entirely new learning curve, your responsibility not to saddle the book
but it can be done. If you are willing to in- world with another manuscript full of er-
vest time and learn new skills, it can be rors and incongruities. You may not knock
done inexpensively, look professional, and the socks off the reading public with your
have the same distribution as many small originality, but you certainly don't want
presses. You will probably not make a lot anyone laughing at your errors. Trust me,
of money from it, but done carefully, you you will twist in agony with each one that
won't lose your life savings. Before you gets through, and if you self-publish, you
begin, you need to evaluate what you con- can't shift the blame to anyone else. First
sider "success." step, get your manuscript edited by some-
one who knows how to edit! It’s not al-
Success for you may be different than ways necessary to pay the big bucks for
success for someone else. What do you editing, possibly your former teacher, a
want? If fame and fortune is your goal, friend, but they need to have had previous
you want to keep querying. Marketing is experience in the field. Second step—find
the most difficult part of publishing and a proofreader!
without the assistance of a major house,
you are, at best, merely going to be lo- Sorry, didn't mean to yell. After editing
cally notorious. The sad truth is that most and proofing, you may want to query
books that are self-published, or published again, just in case your improved manu-
by a small press, sell to the author's script may now attract attention. When
friends and family--about one hundred you are done with that process, then you
copies, and sink like a stone. Unless your can use a trick that my husband and I use
book attracts someone's attention who just to give it one last check. We make a
has clout, it is an uphill struggle. trial PDF file and send it to and
have Lulu make us one book. We limit
But let's say you have faith in your their use of the file to us only--no market-
book and if that happens, you still feel ing, and when we receive the book in book
successful. There are people who have self form, we edit and proof again. It's embar-
-published and have made their self-pub a rassing how easy it is to see errors once
moderate success. And let's say you've your manuscript looks like a book. Write,
queried and have little or no response. right in the book. It's not sacred at that
This can happen for several reasons. point, even if you are impressed with
You can have little response because yourself.
your book is not in a popular genre and After you are satisfied that it is ready
conventional publishers see it as not read- for publication, there are a list of things to
ily and easily marketable. Or maybe it is do. First of all, before you can even get
in a marketable genre but there are al- Lulu to make you a proofing copy, you
ready many better-known authors writing have to find a decent PDF writer program
in that genre, and they don't see your that can handle text. Even the free and
book as "standing out." It may not be a inexpensive programs, and the Adobe
blockbuster, but you still want it in print
website, will handle covers and small text ful how you spend your money. I have
files. To do a full sized book, with cover, friends who have spent as much as
you are probably going to have to have $12,000 on self-publishing, and if you
late model Adobe Six or Seven software, can't master the learning curve yourself,
or know someone who does who will self-publishing may not be a viable option.
make the files for you.
You are either going to spend a lot of
Other expensive programs that you money or a lot of time. “It can be done”
may need to make your cover are Adobe does not necessarily mean that it should
Photoshop and/or one of the better Print- be done. If you beat your head against
shop programs. The cover has to be the wall and it doesn't happen, keep que-
made to exact specifications, and your rying. Your hard work may have devel-
printer will supply these specs, so you oped a better product to query.
may need to decide who you are going to
Once you have your book ready to pro-
get to print, and distribute, your book. duce and you've chosen a PDF printer,
We use Ingram's Lightning Source, which
what's next? I suggest making sure that
has all of its specs and information you copyright it. Copyrighting is not what
online. It also handles distribution for an
it used to be, and many people say it is
optional additional fee per book as part of
not necessary now, but I'd rather send my
the production cost, a very good deal
baby out to face an adult world than send
since we have no idea how to make the my book out without a copyright. Look up
connections to the major distributors.
the Library of Congress and submit it
It is a POD (print on demand) printer, online by sending them a PDF file. It
which means that books will be printed as works better and is much faster than do-
they are requested for sale, one or one ing it by mail, now.
hundred, any number required. We've Also you are going to have to get an
been very happy with them, but there are
ISBN #. Go straight to Bowker and get
other choices available. Most of these your numbers at their source. If you have
POD printers are the same ones that the
to, buy ten. Get the smallest block possi-
small presses use, whether they admit it ble, but if you buy them from a secondary
or not. (Let's face it, thirty books is a
source you are registering your ISBN with
POD print run.) the company that sold it to you instead of
Okay, say you've beat your head Bowker, because their numbers are regis-
against the wall and redesigned it a hun- tered with Bowker in that company’s
dred times, but you now have a PDF- name, not your book or your publishing
ready cover, and PDF text files, and you identity’s name. That can cause confusion
tried them out by sending them through later with distributors. Bite the bullet and
Lulu. Your colors look good, your spine buy a block. Who knows, you may publish
lines up, and there are no glaring errors another book within the next ten years.
on your front or back covers. ISBN registration is too important to be a
place to save money.
Before we go any further, I need to
extend a warning. There are many people Your book will look more professional if
out there who are selling publish- you have a name for your printing en-
ing services, from editing to designing deavor. My husband and I are It's ME! Ink
covers, designing videos, and marketing Press, which gives us much the same va-
services. You need to be very, very care- lidity as a small press, with one distinc-

tion, we will not publish anyone else. We a bookstore. You want to have a reason
do not accept submissions and It's ME! why people will buy your book at that
Ink Press is us, only us. Once you go store. You must link book placements with
through what it takes to put out a book appearances when you are a new author.
that looks right, it is doubtful you will Last, but not least, join a major organi-
want to do this for a picky stranger, or
zation that promotes authors within your
even your best friend. genre. You should do this the moment you
When you have everything ready, your even think you might publish. Sisters in
chosen POD printer will walk you through Crime/LA has been extremely helpful to
the steps to print and distribute. One hint- me and my husband, and has helped us
-give yourself two or three months before every step of the way. You need the ad-
you reach your publication date. It takes vice and help and support of other strug-
weeks for your information to be posted to gling authors to make it.
the major distributors and Amazon, and if
you don't have enough lead-time your These are the bare-bones, beginning
book will be listed as "published" before it steps to birthing your baby, yourself. It
is there. Also, you want to try to send out requires the ability to learn new skills, ex-
some advance copies, probably in pro- pand your horizons and endure more than
tected PDF form. You can order a few from a little abuse from people who have never
your printer for this in advance, to see if seen or read a word that you have writ-
you can get some pre-publication reviews. ten, but feel entitled to pass judgment
Don't rush publication just because you based entirely on the assumption that
get excited. your book cannot be worth reading if it is
keeping “bad company” with all of the
Other things you may want to create or poorly prepared self-published, vanity, im-
schedule at this point: a You Tube video prints that have clogged the market. This
(Can be done using simple programs pur- includes the many publication-for-hire
chased for less than $30 using photos as houses that cater to authors who just
still frames). Be sure that you get your want their family to have their story and
photos and music from a website that em- never intend to do any marketing to book-
ploys a "commons" license and that you stores or the general public, small presses
abide by the rules of the website in using that know that they are only going to sell
them. is an excellent a hundred copies to friends and family,
site for photos. Be sure and get permis- and other agencies that prey on a begin-
sions in e-mail or writing for any music or ning writer’s hopes and dreams.
photos that you use in ways that go be- Last year I was selling and signing at
yond the range of the commons license. the second largest book festival in the
Schedule any appearances that you can United States and was placed next to a
at bookstores in your area at least three well known author who asked me about
months before your publication date and my book, and, after I summarized it for
before you expect to begin sales. Market- her, asked me about my publisher. When I
ing is the real problem in publishing. You explained to her that It’s ME! Ink Press
have to make your books returnable by was a self-publish, she looked at me sadly
bookstores to sell to bookstores, so you and remarked, very sincerely, “That’s sad.
are going to take the risk of returns every I think your book could have made it.”
time you sell twenty, twenty-five books to You can’t take that personally. It’s a

common attitude among authors who
have “made it.” I smiled at her and sold
books to the next five people who stopped
to look while she chatted with the author
on the other side of her. A good self-
published book, well prepared, has the
same problems that any book by a new
author is going to encounter and they are
ninety percent marketing, just as they are
with even the best Imprint houses. The
difference is that you are responsible for
every step, and you will incur the losses.
It’s a harsh world--publishing. Make your
goals reasonable, then do what is best for
your book.

By Mari Sloan, author of BEAUFORT

I remember the day a girl in my 5th grade class brought in pictures from her family’s trip to Egypt. I
was fascinated with King Tut’s gold encased sarcophagus. I wondered how the tomb had gone unno-
ticed for so many years and how many other secrets lay buried beneath the sands in Egypt.
Stories about hidden treasures with mysterious origins peak everyone’s curiosity but it takes a
special kind of writer, or in this case pair of writers to create the perfect blend of factual content and
fictional imagery.
Rai Aren and Tavius E. are the dynamic duo behind the Cold Coffee Magazine featured novel, Se-
cret Of The Sands. In this exclusive interview Rai and Tavius talk about the incredible path that
brought them together and the hurdles they overcame to write this amazing story.

CCM: Rai, Tavius, welcome to Cold Coffee. It’s been a few months since we talked about doing this
feature and I’m glad to finally get a chance to speak with you about your exciting new book, Secret
Of The Sands. Anyone who’s put in the effort knows how tough it is to write a novel. The dedication,
study and time it requires can be enough to deter even the most inspired writer.
Writers by nature are avid readers and in most cases tend to write about subjects they enjoy
reading about. What were some of your favorite novels and when did you first become interested in

Rai: I was a huge Nancy Drew fan. I read every book in that series that I could get my hands on. I
think it whet my appetite for mysteries. I also read some Hardy Boys novels, but as a young girl, I
really preferred having a girl as the protagonist/mystery-solver. I was also in love with the Anne of
Green Gables series. When I got a bit older, I remember reading The Amityville Horror. I was never
so scared by a book in my life. At the time, everyone believed it was a true story, and from then on I
could only read the book during daylight. When I got to the part about the red-painted room,well, my
heart still races just thinking about it!

Tavius: I read a few books as a child, but I was not an avid reader. Bridge to Terabithia was one of
my favorite books growing up. I enjoyed creative writing in high school and college. I would always
read, watch movies and think of ways to improve the stories. It wasn’t until 2002 that I teamed up
with Rai to write Secret of the Sands. We are currently writing its sequel, Destiny of the Sands.

CCM: When most people think of Egypt they think of pyramids, King Tut and Mummies who don’t like
to be disturbed. When did you first become interested in Egypt and how long have you been re-
searching ancient civilizations?

Rai: I have been utterly fascinated ever since I was a child. I took non-credit courses in Egyptology
after college, just to keep learning and connecting with ancient Egypt. I was a member of the Society
for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities (SSEA) for many years and even have an ankh tattoo – the sym-
bol of life or everlasting life. I wouldn’t feel complete without it. I feel this ancient symbol protects me
I absolutely love learning about ancient civilizations. Ancient Egypt is my favorite, but pretty much
any ancient history fascinates me. My favorite subjects in college were anthropology and archae-

Tavius: I was 12 years old when my class learned about Ancient Egypt and it immediately caught my
interest. Since then I’ve been mesmerized by her history and mythology. To this day I continue to
learn about Ancient civilizations. Dan Brown’s books (The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons)
have inspired me more to learn.

CCM: Let’s talk about Secret of the Sands. What is the background of this story and who are the
main characters?

Tavius: The story starts with two archaeologists, Mitch Carver and Alex Logan, who discover previ-
ously unknown artifacts in present day Egypt. They decipher the hieroglyphics on the artifacts in se-

cret and discover that an unknown civilization existed. A story is revealed about an ancient civilization
and the secrets they held that could still have catastrophic results for all mankind.

CCM: The two of you co-authored this book. How did you meet and what made you decide to write a

Tavius: My co-author and I went to college and studied together for many years. In school we
teamed up on several projects and were always very successful. Once we were in the workforce, we
came to a point where we thought, “Is this all there is to life”? Books and movies with an epic story
were of great interest to us, and since we are both avid readers and love writing, we decided to cre-
ate an epic story of our own.

CCM: How has writing a novel as a team worked out for you?

Rai: Tavius and I work exceptionally well together. We are always respectful of each other’s contribu-
tions, opinions, and suggestions. I feel that together we created something that was better than ei-
ther of us could have done separately. As debut novelists, the learning curve would have been much
steeper & more intimidating on our own.

Tavius: I agree. Co-authoring has worked out great for us. Apart, we never could have created suvh
a rich, diverse and complex story. Writing together has allowed us to read, edit and critique each
other’s work, which has helped ensure the characters and plot were consistent.

CCM: Secret of the Sand is a story that unfolds in two different time periods. How did you manage
the changes between story lines?

Tavius: It was difficult keeping track of everything with parallel story lines. To help determine what
was happening in each part, we created a summary for each time period. We also used a different
style of writing for the ancient parts and made sure our characters spoke in a certain manner.

Rai: The planning that went into it made the writing a very natural, organic process. We had clear
ideas for both timelines, and they just naturally intertwined. As Tavius mentioned, the trick was to
keep track of everything, such as time jumps, how much time had passed for our characters, how
they aged and how their lives would develop as a result.
Not only were there marked differences in the language, style and formality between the present
and the past, but there is also a big difference in the readers’ level of involvement in the characters’
lives between these two timelines. This was all intentional. The story really is what happens in the
past; the present is uncovering that story.
CCM: The amount of research you needed for this book must be staggering. How many hours do you
think went into it? With two writers and two timelines how did you maintain the consistency of that
Rai: We kept a companion document that contained details of all the characters, timelines, story
ideas, a full outline, research notes ancient Egyptian history, issues to be resolved, things that gave
us ideas for the book, inspirational quotes, sections that were discarded, ideas for the sequel and
possibly a prequel. That document alone is 382 pages in length.
Tavius: We had already collected a vast amount of books and videos pertaining to Ancient Egypt. We
had to pick and choose what facts or myths to include in the story.
CCM: Developing believable characters can be tough for any writer. For this reason many writers
model their characters after people they know or have met. In developing the characters for this
story did you model them after anyone in particular?
Tavius: We did model the two archaeologists after ourselves, but just a little. The reader might be
able to pick up a few hints about our personalities after reading the story. We created the royal family

out of thin air. I don’t see them being modeled after anybody. I believe they are unique, with their
own strengths and flaws.
Rai: The female archaeologist is myself in many ways. In fact, a friend of mine commented on how
freaky it was for him to read the Alex sections because it was like having me in the room with him.
The way Mitch and Alex interact in the story, their personalities, style of talking, the way they con-
nect, challenge and tease one another is very much like Tavius and I. It was very easy and natural
to write.
CCM: How are you promoting the novel and what advice would you give to aspiring novelists who
are trying to increase awareness of their own works?
Tavius: Our novel has been promoted via The Secret of the Sands website, Amazon, MySpace and
Facebook, among others. We have personally gone to bookstores, including Chapter, to sign and
market the book.
Rai: I have actually spent the last several months working full-time promoting the novel and count-
less hours creating, maintaining, and updating our profiles on the various websites we’re affiliated
with. We also attend book festivals, conferences and fairs. I also do most of the communications
with fans and people who are interested in the business aspects of it.
CCM: What can your readers expect from you next?
Tavius: We are currently working on the sequel, Destiny of the Sands. We hope to have a rough
draft of the manuscript this year. Then we will do some major editing and hope to have a present-
able format next year. Our hope is that we’ll get a major book deal soon.
Rai: We’re also working towards a movie deal for the book. People from Hollywood have already
approached us, so there is some interest.
CCM: I know you have greater goals, but you’ve already seen more success than many writers. In
closing, what kind of advice can you offer young writers?
Rai: I think its important that aspiring novelists know that although writing a novel is a huge un-
dertaking, the marketing and promotion require an equal, or even greater amount of effort. You
have to embrace this fact early if you want to realize any measure of success.
Understand that an author is a brand. People who like your writing feel like they know you. I
think an author is an extremely important part of a book’s appeal, especially once you’ve published
more than one.
Establish an online presence. If you’re not sure how, go to our website and look under News.
You’ll find many links to places where our names and our book can be found.
Most importantly, have fun. Writing should be a labor of love.

Cold Coffee would like to thank
Tavius and Rai for taking the
time to answer our questions
and help their fellow writers.
Their experience and dedi-
cation is both admirable and in-

Featured Writer
John Berry
John Berry, from Merseyside, United Kingdom, has
stood out among many talented writers Cold Coffee.
His writing has done more than merit a
feature in this magazine; it has also served as an
inspiration to all his peers.
John’s education began in Liverpool, England
where he was born and raised. Later he took an in-
terest in electrical engineering. From 1955 - 1957
he served in Hong Kong with the Royal Engineers, a
time he describes as, “Life Changing” and provided
him with contacts he still maintains today.
Later, John continued his education and ob-
tained a BA Honors Degree in Art History and Adult
Education with the British Open University.
He began writing poetry in his fifties and attended
creative writing classes on his retirement, with the
Liverpool University Department of External Stud-
Being well traveled and one who loves the
off-the-beaten-track has afforded John with the ex-
perience and inspiration to write a
spectrum of poetry and prose. Sonnets are his spe-
cial love. He likes to write about real things that or-
dinary people will understand and
prefers writing in a less cryptic manner than some.
When asked what he’s really good at, John
claims to be pretty good at most things but an ex-
pert of none. He loves photography, music, writing,
art, travel, conversation, and his
married life.
To learn more about John or to discover
other great writers, visit or join
In the meantime, enjoy some of John’s

An Alfresco Toilette

Unpinned, the flame about your head released

Lights up the day with burnished golden tone.

Such beauty, maid to you is merely leased

In transience that can not be set in stone.

With sibling love she combs each silken tress

Beneath the spiralled form of ancient vine

Tonight maybe, some young man will caress

Your crowning glory’s sensual, sinuous line.

Enjoy the moment’s passion, may it be
To you a fond remembrance that will last,

Into your memory’s maturity

When youth’s gold’ bloom from that fair tress has passed.

For time, my dear, is never left behind,

And age has no intention to be kind.

A Writers Sonnet
A group of writers now well known to me
The circle of my friends does well expand;
Their prose and rhyme at meeting time flow
With phrasing, scansion, measured line well

Of travels, loves, philosophies we learn
As line on line, their inner voice reveals
The mysteries within their minds, which turn
On measured phrase, the psyches’ spinning

Each virgin page, as yet untouched with pen
Says to the writer “Offer up your all
Upon my purest whiteness, once again.”
And to the reader, “Reader; be in thrall.” The Fig Tree
I have a fig, not too big
But leaves like span of outsize hand
Shade fruit, abundant, plumptious


As I nestle in its arms
enjoying all its figgy
Its shiny hand rests on my head,
“a gentle touch, a fig’s,”
‘tis said,

While fleeting butterflies and bees
Gather nectar round my knees
From honeysuckle, cistus, mint
In pollenacious aquatint
Odoriferous round my feet
Frothing ’neath my garden seat,
I sit within my verdant bower,
Leaf caressed for many an hour
of respite from all worldly care,
peace that’s almost hard to bear.
Oh fulsome place of joy complete,
My fig, my flowers, my garden seat.

A Testament To Poets
Most poets will never be compared to greats as, Poe, Browning, or Frost. Nevertheless, I believe as
many do, there is a poet inside each and every one of us. For many of us poetry is therapeutic, an art
born from our undying need to express our deepest emotions, gratitude, fears, and genuine passion
for romance and love.
Some of the most prolific poets will never be recognized in the world of literature. However, many
of them don’t write for recognition. Nor do they seek wealth or prestige. For these writers, poetry is the
core of their self-understanding. It is their interpretation of the world and of all its made. For them, po-
etry is a lifetime of heart, soul, tears, and devotion.
I give credit to these unknown writers for my desire to put pen to paper. Without saying it they
echo the words of the great Robert Frost who once said, “To be a poet is a condition, not a profession.”
Barbara Watkins

Common Princess
Outside a broken window
Stands a princess robed in pain
Her hair is long
Her feet are bare
She rests in gathered rain
The moss between her toes has grown
In gusts of moist march air "Amabo Te"
The rain falls often crumbling
Her face which once was fair Wrap your words around me
The prince who lies beneath the earth Embrace me, hold me closely
Which she was set upon in your sleep, I know
Knows not the burden she must bear you see me dancing
Forever standing on… behind your lids
Jen Albeck Unfettered, it unfolds
verse, meter, free form
breathing life into us
DARK DREAM and who we are
Our souls meet
I dreamed again last night. over time and space
I dreamed I lived upon the highest hill, with the words that flow so
near heaven. gently from your mouth
Then, suddenly I found Poets are as poets write
I'd somehow traveled to the valley Your poem now incarnate
far below. has flowed effortlessly from
Looking up, I saw the hilltop your dream state into your
where once I lived, days
shrouded in the darkest cloud. finding new life
I tried, I tried from your ink and paper
to go back home. Now, when I listen closely to
But the path was overgrown your written word
and choked with weeds, I hear the universe
full of rocks and brier. unfolding in
The hill itself a cliff, "You touched my face"
impossible to climb. and "I hear what you say
It breaks my heart, sometimes, in between your words"
to realize I never can return.
Michelle Kennedy
Suzanne Ouimet

Echoes, Whispers And
Smoke Rings
It’s 8 months since you’ve been gone
4 days until your birthday
and that’s left me to think of you
Thoughts so vivid I can almost imagine you near
as I catch upon the air the scent
of your funeral flowers,
of stale cigarettes
can almost see the smoke rings form Disaster’s Child
as ghostly mists in the room
And the way that you always smelled Tired empty souls, they crawl toward
of cheep cologne, whiskey, sweat and frustration The grave behind the hospital curtain.
I turn to the magnetic frame that holds you A thousand gravities,
smiling on my fridge The weight of woe.
I smile back and invite you to stay Swallowing each obligatory step,
as your presence in death seems less He carries what she cannot.
intimidating Anguish squeezes her eyelids shut
but you insist you must go Obscuring the image of their ruin.
Standing for a moment staring at your picture They age decades in minutes
I can almost feel your arms around me, That will devour them endlessly.
a warmth I didn’t always feel
and perhaps is only imagined now but it is Dennis Fleming
enough for me
As I struggle still to make peace with the man
that you were
with the woman I am
Struggling to exist, to heal, be better than the
broken me
you left me to be so many years ago
that follows like the shadow of your memory
Lingers like a scent, like the ghosts of so much Wings
that remains
in the something that is there Buff furled sailcloth bound, ever ready.
yet cannot be seen Halcyon seas, tranquil winds, all steady.
Vanished like a whispered echo caught in the Lady Diane lingers for winds, crew ready.
smoke ring Zephyr comes, Lady Diane’s sails freed!
of existence Canvas wings splayed to catch every puff.
Briny labyrinthine seas, her flight to quay.
Debbie Berk Lady Diane takes flight like a sea gull.
Wings of canvas fill with air, lifted like a bird.
Jubilant prance, through robin’s-egg blue water.
Wings filled, whiffs, puffs,
Lady Diane’s bowsprit,
cuts a scrim in sapphire water.
Swift is Lady Diane’s flight though aquamarine
Solitary travel, toward the horizon, Lady Diane
Onward ever onward she soars to her

RJ Medak

Remembrance of Things
It is the middle of a sunny summer
I am running down the stairs
quickly and excitedly, with my
neighbors following me.
We all want to see the Sun
It just fell down in the front yard
I saw it coming down like an overripe
staining the sky with sticky,
succulent golden juices.
Inspiration has taken leave There it is,
(with words lying on the ground,
as its hostage) a giant orange, trampling the grass it
landed on,
squirting its warm essence all over
Paper, I implore you to absorb these words
our bodies.
Grant them reality
The neighborhood dogs are running
Breathe life into their scribbled structure
Give meaning to their rambling reasoning as
barking at this strange visitor.
the wind screams outside and damp walls
I approach it warily. I touch it.
surround the self with scenes of the graceful
It is warm and beautiful,
Birch caressing the warmth of the sun
glistening in the mid-noon light.
Push the boundaries
I remember well the feelings of
What is familiar must be challenged
amazement, incredulity,
The comfort zone must become distorted for
inexplicable joy overwhelming me
the pen to dance on this paper
and the comical expressions of
Do visions come without a cost, some
on the faces
Inspiration has taken leave
of my neighbors.
With words as its hostage
Soul searching beneath infuriated trees
Slumbering warriors wear scars with pride
Stripped bare, gathering senses
A honey haze
A blaze of yellow Follow Me
Momentarily blinding
With rambling reasoning words are exorcised, Follow me
their blood has marked this page as it has the to where the sun hides behind
soul a five o’clock shadow
Boundaries have been pushed in order to as fireflies dance and
breathe life into a scribbled structure cooling whispers kiss
I implore you to absorb these words crickets sing
Grant them some reality. and nighttime butterflies
banter with artificial light
Poppysilver midnight,
the beginning to an end
and the sky drinks
margarita's at dawn
Follow me toward tomorrow
like I followed you into today,

Tammy Whisman
Childhoods End
You breathe in the air of an English winter,
Laughing even as bitter cold bring tears to your
Your homework forgotten midst the miracle of a
carefree day A Seer Moon
Nothing to learn but the bonds of friendship
And the joys of life In the sweetness of a sheer moon, I
But still you hope that childhood will end believe I will live forever
Soon you grow older yet childhood continues The shine of him on my alabaster
The world forgotten midst the warmth of spring hands is a revelation of veins
And the taste of your true loves first kiss The luggage of life travels the thin
Discovering the bonds of love rails through under skin blue tunnels.
And the joy of sharing I unleash an honorary lift of arms to
But still you hope that childhood will end the lilt of mountain cats
And summers sun soon raises its head that scream memories to loosen the
A life unblemished by the world outside past in curdled calls.
You walk on beaches, listening to the ocean At night, if I watch closely, a woman
Discovering the wonder of beauty carries a basket back and forth
The wonder of laughter On the uphill climb, she carries it on
But still you hope that childhood will end her back
And autumn leaves fall, the skies darken Downhill, she evens it steady on her
The world outside is closing in head, her toes stretched, and
You part with your loved ones searching through the small rocks.
Put on your uniform Some nights I am boundless & leave
Rediscover the bonds of friendship my battlements by the river.
But still you hope that childhood will end I visit my hometown to watch the
You breathe in the frigid air of an Afghan winter, moon stretching in the town square.
Bitter reality bringing tears to your eyes I am grateful that he does not pause
Your childhood memories cast aside amidst the to peer into the childish shadows.
carnage In the yellow of the moon I have
Nothing left to learn but the stark truth of war grown golden.
And the harsh futility of reason I am not dancing but my feet
Here you stand now all hope is lost squeeze pieces of old jewels from the
At childhoods end sidewalk.
There is a friendly song rising in the
David Brown glow of star crystals
I can hear the words of a dozen lost
voices falling back to earth in solos.
I believe I will live forever and I say
Up ahead, some sojourner I had not
noticed, waves his hand in a
He molds a clay of sorrow with the
I search the moon to maintain his
opinion but he is battling a dark lane
beneath an overhang of trees.
I break a compass with my feet.

Phibby Venable

How I Met your Gramma
When I walked into that bar,
I was cocky and lean To walk in the light of love
Looking for something special, along a staircase of inspiration
if you know what I mean amongst a society of collective souls
Ordered me a cool one gathering with united thoughts of peace
no light beer for me a mission with the purpose of divinity.
Spotted me a sweet filly Spoken words unheard by ignorance
sharp as she could be
revered by benevolent heart seekers.
A little short, a lotta cute
They drink from the chalice of good fortune
wearing a tight black skirt
And those weren't exactly chest hairs as they dance in a symphony of enlightenment.
popping out of that shirt. They place their bets on destiny’s table
I stared at her adorning Cheshire grins of assurance,
and she glared right back believing in the monkeys that lay at their feet,
"What the hell," she said knowing that their ascension will bring freedom.
"are you staring at?" A choice to live life through eyes of angels,
I said something smooth to walk the path of faith in that which can’t be seen.
really trying to be polite Listening to the songs that come from inside hearts,
It really shocked me when
speaking from the innocence of ones inner child
she called me out for a fight
Laughing at her didn't help Life casts shadows of doubt and remorse.
really made her kind of mad Only we can find our sun that chases away the night.
Then she started muttering something Seek out the lessons that enable us to grow.
about my mom and my dad Embrace the beauty bestowed in its wise cause.
At first I thought to myself I chose to walk in the light of love
this lady's kind of nuts and find the staircase of inspiration
She took three steps across the floor amongst society of collective souls
and kicked me in the guts
that will gather with united thoughts of peace
I tried to grab her by the arm
with a mission of divinity so that I may ascend
to keep the brawl low key
She spun around on tiny toes to the heavens where I am surrounded in omnipotent
and took another kick at me love.
That skirt was climbing higher Shannon Morrow
some buttons left her shirt
But there was no time for looking
my belly was starting to hurt End of Days
When she jumped up and grabbed my hat
and stomped it on the floor
That's when I finally grabbed that gal
I know I have but little time
and headed out the door To make amends to thee
Now she could kick and she could bite, For everything that caused you grief
I was turning black and blue It always came from me.
I had to figure something out But through the years you held me tight
then I knew just what to do When things would go astray
I picked her up by the ankles Your loving smile then kept me strong
and turned her upside down To face another day.
Making sure so carefully
Many paths we both have trod,
her face was off the ground
At least that's the way I remember it
Through winds and stormy weather
every time I tell the tale And I never heard you once complain
About how I met their little Grandma We always were together.
in a town they call Springdale Now in my darkest hour you bring
How some guys and gals sometimes Sweet comfort to me still.
get off to a very rocky start Your love light even now shines forth
But we patched things up pretty good, Like a beacon on the hill.
now we're never very far apart So have no pain or sorrow,
So I guess the moral of the story is
Our love we both should praise.
Be careful of What you Say
Cause maybe after they've kicked your ass,
Hold me now and chase the dark,
you'll be rolling in the hay. It’s near my end of days.

Emil D. Caruthers Shaun Foster

By MeIt is of my own nature that I am bound before thee
A soul self-confined screaming to be free
Wrapped in delusions of what should have been
Allowing others to have the chance of full reign
It is my own thoughts that I am now a slave
Always helping and trying hard to save
Now I bow before the world that I see
A soul self-confined screaming to be free
Duty of mine is served with all adore
Lack of appreciation and respect, what was it all for
Honor without cause without even being earned
Always reminded, I was, of what I learned Tides of Time
A warrior in my own right bound I may be
Who I am really, screaming to be free Swollen rivers churn with rage
Words and thoughts flow through my head As timber splits to tell its age
Continuing to all that is known will soon become dead And ancient stories, page by page
With pride I do what I must Turn over, one by one.
With honor I bow down and do what is just Waters boil in hues of red.
But inside clawing and tearing at my soul The living soon become the dead.
Is a warrior that will never grow old The tides of time leave none unbled
Chained I am by who it is thought I should be As Majesty’s undone.
Who I am when all look down at me Thunder claps and hailstones crack
I bow before the ones that I give myself too As splinters pierce the tempest’s back,
Never them knowing, understanding, why I do what I do And inch by inch the waters stack
I know what is locked deep inside To carve the world away.
For the entire world I will continue to hide Lovers’ tears are swept along,
If they only knew what was my thoughts And lies all drowned to rid all wrong,
Would they see what I have always sought For when there’s nothing, all belong,
When the time comes, down on my knees And none are led astray.
I will stretch breaking chains, and then my soul will be free We’re nothing, then, forevermore
For all that I offer and all that is in me As tides embark for home once more,
No it will not go unnoticed, that of my one true deed. And all is bare but twisted shore
Where timber rocks and cries.
Cynthia M Daley By nightfall will the seas be calm
As tropics whisper salty balm
Into the fallen, mangled palm
Beneath the starlit skies.

Robert "Spindle" Beard
Camouflage Capris
Capris clad
Tightly on
The essence of those hips
From which—two children sprang,
Spell bounded by the divine-
Nature’s miracle excreted from the cosmos,
I wish I never met you.

Jacob Toms


A mystery found in lost desires
shrouded from the beholders eye
The eleventh sin we all aspire
Only the blind will cry.
D. L. Price
To touch, to feel,
to gently glide
my fingers along
the contours of your heart,
through sacristy chambers
where droplets of fresh love
christen our journey.
We dance before
the alter of our souls,
our whisper heard,
as each word lingers
through the cavern
echoing in our mind.
Our love has awakened
from the depths
of hollow ground
and now,
in the shadows of old,
are the remnants
that escape,
invading the world
with a love so true.

Ralph Piccolo

To All The Poets
Here's to all the poets
who sat with just a pen
and labored into the night
to find the poems end.
Minds with words that drift
looking for a place to fit;
that perfect little word
that seals the feel of it.
Broken-hearted human beings
who struggle to express pain
of how deep the hurt of loss is
that even words are penned in vain
To the writers whose lives are lost,
whose only friends float deep within,
simple words of gray and black
color their lives from start to end.
Here's to the countless writers
in search of that immortal line
that scream to all who read
I was someone, somewhere, sometime.
Ray “Rain” Neighbor

All the Fury of the Wind - Donald Parker
Maria Masterson and Jeremy Dillon are loving, innocent kids whose world is
about to be altered drastically. Their decision is to engage the culture they
live in and battle for truth in the debate concerning the creation of the Uni-
verse and mankind.

The Black Witch - Theresa M Moore
When the dread pirate Blackbeard kills her father and fiance', Charity
Rakham takes revenge on the scalawag by becoming the captain of the
most fearsome ship on the Caribbean Sea.

Dead Seed - R. Vance
Suicidal Aralyn Montgomery finds herself thrust into a world of domination
and torture when a Master vampire claims her as his. If she does not
obey his every command, he punishes her in ways that have been consid-
ered sick, twisted, and evil.

Behind the Red Door - Barbara Watkins
In time Nikkie would realize her most terrifying nightmares would be-
come a reality. The strange and eerie occurrences that mystified her as a
child would return to haunt her with a vengeance.

Music In My Head - Phil DeCicco
Music In My Head is the story of a musician caught in the middle of a
demonic scheme to transfer the abilities of those that have to those that
covet. It is a love story laced with sex, heartbreak & self revelation fo-
cusing on good vs. evil.

Memoirs of Bear - Thomas D Cooke
Bear Williams is an Apache half breed private eye whose simple missing
person’s case takes a turn and becomes a cruel, grisly murder laced with
Good Ole’ Texas scandal.

My Very Special Agent - Betty Ann Harris
A romance author is stalked and in danger. A very special FBI agent is
assigned to protect her.

Inside Realms - A.F. Stewart
Walk through places where magic and music intertwine, where King Ar-
thur reigns, where ghost, deities and vampires drift among us.

Night Whispers - David E Greske
Stephen Quinn has a unique ability to enter the minds of others. Now he
must probe the mind of a serial killer. The truths he finds there may kill
him and there is only one person who may be able to save him from his

Nobody Drowns in Mineral Lake - Michael B
Jay Barnett returns to the resort town of Mineral Lake with his son only
to find open hostility, Anti-Semitism, and terror. This mystery/thriller
tells of murder and kidnapping in a town lost in its prejudicial values.

She Had No Enemies - Dennis Fleming
A compelling, if quite painful, recounting of the author's personal odyssey
in the aftermath of his youngest sister's senseless murder by a serial killer.

Speak - Debbie Berk
A collection of 39 poems that is the voice of the human condition known as
existence spoken in blunt, honest and often dark detail from the depths of
raw emotion.

Take Charge - Margaret Latrella and Carolyn
This concise, easy reference book was developed to help women learn
about risks and develop a heart healthy lifestyle that will allow them to live
a longer, healthier life.

Dream Connections - Dawn Olexa
Can dreams tell the future? Can one stop the future from coming true?
Jenny, Brenda and D.J. share a common fear; that their dreams will come
true. Will Jenny die in the hotel as Brenda had dreamed?

The Y Factor - Darrell Bain & Stephanie Osborn
The Y Factor tracks the international race for Crispies & their technology.
Crispies are delicate creatures, & not all nations understand how deli-
cate. Can they even survive on Earth? What else is out there?

Chompy - Ralph Piccolo
This story is about two children who bond, and learn the true meaning
of friendship in an indirect way. Anna becomes deadly ill and Mike at-
tempts to prove his manhood by searching for the one cure that could
say Anna’s life.

The Other Side Of You - Debi DeSantis
This is a story about passion, romance, surprise, and friendships. Indi-
vidual paths cross, bringing about relationships between people that are
formed during the most unlikely circumstances, offering hope, and the
courage to make it through.

Janoose the Goose - J.D. Holiday
Janoose the Goose is visiting her cousin, Molly Duck on the farm. Ja-
noose likes the barnyard very much but she must go home. When her
flight home arrives, the fox’s has begun a crime spree and Janoose is
the only one who can stop him.

Web of Tyranny - Laurel-Rain Snow
A story that illustrates the cycle and historic sequence of abuse and be-
trayal, this literary fiction examines one woman's will to survive and the
scars that define her and ultimately set her free.

Celtic Evil - Sierra Rose
The Fitzgerald brothers were once world famous young singers until an
evil warlock killed their parents and tore them apart. Now, 15 years
later that evil has returned to finish the job.

Egyptian Photos provided
courtesy of
Glenn Gulley /