Thursday, April 25, 2019

VBT Mamma's Moon by Jerome Mark Antil

Mamma's Moon
by Jerome Mark Antil


GENRE:   Literary Fiction



A bond that can only happen on a dance floor happened in a cafe off Frenchman Street among four unlikely characters: a man who was about to die; his friend, an illiterate Cajun French yardman; and two of the most successful women in New Orleans.

Aging Captain Gabriel Jordan, retired, was given two months to live, three months before he met "Peck"--Boudreau Clemont Finch--a groundskeeper on the back lawn of his hospice on Bayou Carencro, Louisiana. It was at the hospice that Gabe told Peck his dream of seeing the Newport Jazz Festival before he died. They became friends, and Peck offered to help grant his wish by taking him there.

And they began their journey.

It quickly became a journey with complications and setbacks. They saved each other many times, but they were in turn saved by two extraordinary women: Sasha (Michelle Lissette), a real estate agent in New Orleans's posh Garden District, and her best friend, Lily Cup (Lily Cup Lorelei Tarleton), a criminal attorney.

Less than a year before the events in Mamma's Moon, Gabe and Peck wandered into Charlie's Blue Note, a small jazz bar in a side alley just off Frenchman Street, where the music was live and mellow and the dancing warm and sensual.

Here they encountered Sasha and Lily Cup, and amid the music, the dancing, the food, the flirting, and the cigar smoke, the four formed an unusual and lasting friendship that would see them each through a series of crises, disappointments, life-threatening situations, and moments of great joy and satisfaction.


Excerpt Two:
She rolled her eyes and turned to the other chair.

“The only reason they haven’t busted down your door and you’re not behind bars is you’re a decorated veteran, and I’m your attorney, and I promised you’ll show up in the morning. Sasha warned me about you. I should have listened. You’re an ornery, stubborn old coot when you have a mind to.”

She sat down.

“I’m never ornery,” Gabe said. “But that’s enough.”

He leaned and poured coffee.

“You’re lucky we have Magistrate Judge Fontenot tomorrow. I heard her dad was killed in Vietnam. She’s been pretty fair to me in the past. A new school gal, tough on the letter of the law, but she’ll listen to reason if it solves a case. She hates red tape with a passion, and seldom lets the DA or the defense use the system for delays. She doesn’t get hung up on tradition.”

“Have you heard?” Gabe said. “Our Sasha has asked me to give her away. How about them apples?”

“Gabe, like she’s been my best friend since kindergarten, she tells me everything,” Lily Cup said. “It’s sweet.”

“I’m thinking Peck and I might throw a party,” Gabe said. “Something she’ll remember—commemorate their engagement Mardi Gras style. Lots of pictures; close friends.”

“Will you print invitations, like a formal do?” Lily Cup asked.

“But of course,” Gabe said. “Maybe costumes?”

“It’s party time! She would flip over a costume party, all our friends would,” Lily Cup said. “You and Peck celebrating her engagement will mean a lot to her.”

“Should we do it here or over at Charlie’s Blue Note with the live jazz?”

“Gabe, you’ve got one picture on the mantle, two chairs, and a cardboard box in the living room. This isn’t exactly what I’d call a Commander’s Palace party room.”

“I was thinking a streetcar day pass in the invite if we do it here at the house,” Gabe said.

“That’s a nice idea—parking sucks on this street. When are you going to buy some furniture?”

“I’m too old to impose furniture on Peck. Peck would only feel obligated to keep it after I’m gone. I’ll let him and Millie pick out the furniture doodads, curtains, and the dishes when they play house. There’s time.”

“How’s your stomach with what happened today? Were you hurt?” Lily Cup said.

“What stomach? They removed it.”

“I meant how’ve you been since the operation?”

“I’m a hospice survivor with some time left in me, hopefully. At least enough time to plan a party.”

“You might be partying in Angola if the DA pushes this to a grand jury,” Lily Cup said.

Gabe stood, got the coffee urn again and brought it into the living room.

“Warm your coffee?”

“Do you two at least have beds?” Lily Cup asked.

“Of course we have beds,” Gabe said. “Peck thinks he’s a prince— a mattress with sheets after sleeping on a canvas cot most of his life.”

“This must be a new world for him,” Lily Cup said.

“For fifteen years he slept in an unheated shed at a wood mill,” Gabe said. “Saw blades hanging over him like Macy’s parade balloons. It took him weeks getting used to sleeping on a bed. I’d find him curled on the floor with his window wide open.”

“Peck and Millie,” Lily Cup said. “They do seem like a good fit, don’t they?”

“She’s loved the boy with a passion since the day he made the Greyhound bus stop so he could jump off just to give her the baby doll she left on her seat,” Gabe said.

“Her baby doll, Charlie. Sasha told me about the doll. Hell, I had my Teddy bear all through Harvard. I still have it,” Lily Cup said.

“Millie does love her Charlie,” Gabe said.

“Does she like the house?”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

JEROME MARK ANTIL writes in several genres. He has been called a “greatest generation’s Mark Twain,” a “write what you know Ernest Hemingway,” and “a sensitive Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.” It’s been said his work reads like a Norman Rockwell painting. Among his writing accomplishments, several titles in his The Pompey Hollow Book Club historical fiction series about growing up in the shadows of WWII have been honored. An ‘Authors and Writers’ Book of the Year Award and ‘Writer of the Year’ at Syracuse University for The Pompey Hollow Book Club novel; Hemingway, Three Angels, and Me, won SILVER in the UK as second-best novel.

Foreword’s Book of the Year Finalist for The Book of Charlie – historical fiction and The Long Stem is in the Lobby – nonfiction humor. Library Journal selected Hemingway, Three Angels and Me for best reads during Black History Month.

Before picking up the pen, Antil spent his professional career writing and marketing for the business world. In this role, he lectured at universities - Cornell, St. Edward’s, and Southern Methodist. His inspirations have been John Steinbeck, Mark Twain, and Ernest Hemingway.


Interview with Jerome Mark Antil

1. Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reins of the story?
If my characters don’t hijack the story, something is wrong. My character development is the story – once developed they do their thing, which makes it believable.  They help me with ventures I would imagine they’d be in. If their ‘voice’ (I have selected for them) would say something in real life my character would say it. If their ‘voice’ would not say something in real life, my character wouldn’t say it. Reins? I start a book by sketching out exactly how it is going to end. Then I pick a place, a spot in time and I begin walking towards the end, getting closer to the end every day as I write.

2. Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
Mamma’s Moon is alive, and it is relevant to today. Today’s cultures, today’s balance of values.  The historical backdrops are breathtaking with their eye-opening accuracy – sometimes shocking. The legal system I portray in New Orleans is as real as it gets (their Criminal Court helped me) and the sex is good.

3. Have you written any other books that are not published?
No. I’ve written ten. I have another coming out on Thanksgiving Day in 2019.

4. Pen or type writer or computer?
Computer – but beware of spell check – it can do you in.

5. Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?"
Thank you for giving me a try. I make every attempt to be an easy read.  If you like my writing voice – you will like all of my books. One of my passions is researching before I write. Hemingway teaches me – ‘Write what you know’ and ‘Write like people talk’.  I spent 6 months studying the Louisiana culture and history. I created my own dictionary of ‘Creole or Cajun’ dialects. My research was so thorough I found out that my name on my father’s ancestors’ side was Anctil – which is Acadian. (Normandy to St. Jean Por Jolie, Quebec in Canada.) They moved into Minnesota. At the turn of the 20th century.


Jerome Mark Antil will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour and comment; the more they comment, the better their chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 

Cut Reality by Zack Hacker

Zack Hacker

Psychological Thriller, Suspense

the specter of death comes to reality TV, who's to blame?

a reality television competitor dies during filming, it sends the
cast reeling. Follow Jason Debord as he takes on the role of amateur
detective to gain clarity into the death of a reality TV co-star and
ends up uncovering criminal conspiracy.
Jason returned home from competing on Beached, he'd lost weight,
couldn't sleep, and felt more alone than ever. But he expected those
changes. Jason had no way to predict that one of his fellow
competitors would fling himself from a cliff. Unless he didn't. Jason
can't believe it, but the network presents coverage of the alleged
suicide to the world.
motive in every crew member's movements, Jason compiles evidence of
conspiracy, only to be met with resistance from the cast and network
alike. He persists only through the support of his developing
relationship with Blake, a psychologist who observes alarming
similarities between her patient and her partner. Events in Cut
Reality have a variety of interpretations. Ultimately, Jason has to
decide while under the watchful eye of the public: is his
understanding too coincidental to be believed, or so shocking because
it's his new reality.
Hacker's debut novel will please fans of reality television and
psychological thrillers alike. If you enjoy Survivor, Big Brother,
The Amazing Race, MTV's The Challenge, or other works of
character-driven suspense, don't miss this highly anticipated

Hacker was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he currently teaches
English and Creative Writing. He is a graduate of Mount Saint Joseph
University and received his M.A. in English from Case Western Reserve
University. He lives with his wife and three cats, watches too much
reality TV, and plans travel experiences. Cut Reality is his debut

the tour HERE
for exclusive content and a giveaway!

Anomaly by Derra Nicole Sabo

Derra Nicole Sabo


3am...While most minds are in a blissful state of slumber, mine is
wide awake conjuring and pondering endless thoughts. Eyes are fixated
on the dark popcorn ceiling above and ears are soaking in blue tunes
as my autopilot mind becomes overwhelmed with the past, future and
every cherry topped dream in between.

thoughts range from warm and fuzzy to dark and slightly crippling.
Sometimes I wish that my mind had an off switch so that I could power
down at night. No such luck. So, wakie wakie! Grab yourself a coffee
and a snack because it's 3am and I have so many thoughts to share
with you.

someone with anxiety, writing is my way of speaking. When my verbal
skills fail, my pen excels. I have always had something to say to the
world and to the humans residing in it, I just could never get my
mind and mouth to be on the same level. So, I picked up a pen and
haven't looked back. I have a message for you. A message for my
family, my friends and to all the beating hearts. Dear You is a
letter personally written, from me to you.

the tour HERE
for exclusive content and a giveaway!

Skater Boy by Mary Catherine Gebhard

Title: Skater Boy
Series: Patchwork House #1
Author: Mary Catherine Gebhard
Genre: Young Adult/Sport Romance
Release Date: April 25, 2019


Misfits. Bad boys who rule the streets. Everyone’s welcome at the worst kept
secret in town, just as long as you don’t mind getting your reputation—and your
heart—a little dirty.

Welcome to
Patchwork House…

House is a boy’s club—a mean boy’s club. They made an exception for Tweetie
once, and they’re going to make another, because she’s coming home. After two
years away and one too many broken hearts, Tweetie swore off skaters—but she
never expected Flip.

Flip was
the most famous skater in the world until he traded his place at Patchwork with
the little girl whose life he ruined. Now Tweetie’s all grown up, and one
chance encounter brings them together. He knows the right thing to do is
disappear before things get ugly, but he never was very good at being good.

She’s back,
and so is he—all bets are off. Nothing will stop this bad boy from finally
getting his lost girl. They're written in the stars, and it's time she knows

The first
lesson Flip taught Tweetie was how to fall.
It was also
the last thing she remembered when they met again, because she didn’t just fall
for him.

Purchase Links

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Free in Kindle Unlimited


“I’m so bad for you. If I was a good guy, I’d stop. I’d let
you be happy.”
I didn’t understand any of what he was saying, but the pain
I felt. Deep. In his rocky, strangled voice and his desperate, cracking eyes.
“Whatever it is I’ll understand. If you did something…if
something happened…I’ll understand.”
Tell me. Please.
Let me in.
His stare dug into me, and again I was certain he was
searching for something. I desperately wanted him to find it.
He exhaled, resigned.
“I’m not a good guy. I’m the fucking worst.” He captured my
face in his palms, grip sure and almost painful in its desperation. The way he
looked at me, I was sure he would kiss me. The way I felt, I was certain I
would let him.
But then, with slow and almost agonizing determination, his
lips came to my forehead. 
I was frozen. Mute. Struck dumb. Everything stopped working
all I knew was his lips on my skin. Soft and so tender, a complete contrast to
his grip digging into my skull.
He pulled back, pressed his forehead to mine, and looked at
me from beneath hooded lids.
“I’m going to put the awe back in your eyes,” he said, and
my breath caught. “You looked at me like I was a god once, and you’ll do it

Author Bio

Catherine Gebhard bites off more than she can chew. She's lived in Salt Lake
City, Utah her entire life, but occasionally goes on vacation from reality.
Don't worry, she sends postcards.

Author Links

Home Fires by Jana Richards

Author: Jana Richards

Narrator: Steve Wojtas

Length: 2 hours and 34 minutes

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Released: Aug. 1, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

Anne Wakefield travels halfway around the world for love. But when she arrives in Canada from England at the end of World War II, she discovers the handsome Canadian pilot she'd fallen in love with has married someone else. Heartbroken, she prepares to return to London, though she has nothing left there to return to. Her former fiance's mother makes a suggestion: marriage to her other son.

Badly wounded and scarred during the war, Erik Gustafson thinks he's a poor substitute for his brother. Although he loves Anne almost from the first time he sees her, he cannot believe she would ever be able to love him as he is - especially as he might be after another operation on his bad leg.

Anne sees the beauty of his heart. The cold prairie winter may test her courage, but can she prove to Erik that her love for him is real?

When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist, and in 2018 “Lies and Solace” won Best Contemporary romance in the I Heart Indie contest.

In her life away from writing, Jana is an admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada with their geriatric Pug/Terrier cross Lou. Jana loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at


Narrator Bio

For over ten years, Steve Wojtas has voiced everything from audiobooks in the genres of non-fiction, horror, and romance, national television campaigns for Disney and Quicken Loans, to corporate narration for Google, Adobe, Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft.

He obtained and MFA in Acting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he studied speech through Shakespeare. He has appeared at numerous Shakespeare festivals as well as Chicago PD & Chicago Fire on NBC, and Proven Innocent on FOX. He lives in Chelsea, MI with his wife, Shannon, one year old daughter, Lily, and their retired greyhound, Boondocks.

He can be contacted through his website at


Guest Post
From Author Jana Richards
My novella, HOME FIRES, tells the story of Anne Wakefield, a young British woman who travels to Canada after World War Two to marry her fiancé. Though Anne and her story are fictional, the phenomena of War Brides is not. Some 48,000 women married Canadian servicemen during the war. The majority of war brides were British, but some came from France, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Italy, the Netherlands, and Germany. Between 1942 and 1947, these women, along with their 22,000 children, traveled to Canada to begin their new lives.

Some were married after quick, whirlwind romances. Others had the luxury of getting to know each other before they tied the knot. But for all these couples, marriage was the only answer. The customs of the day demanded that if they wanted to sleep together, they had to be married. And so they did. The times were perilous with no guarantee of a tomorrow. A sense of urgency compelled them to grab all the happiness they could.

In my story, Anne is not married before she comes to Canada because a wedding couldn’t be arranged before her fiancé was shipped home. Though the majority of war brides were married in England, some were not, and married in Canada instead. These women would have had to pay for their own passage on the war bride ships.

The war brides traveled on special ships, usually former luxury liners like the Queen Mary that had been converted to carrying troops during the war. Depending on the weather during the crossing, and the young woman’s constitution, she either had a wonderful adventure or a miserable, seasick trip. Some made new friends with the other war brides and enjoyed the abundance and quality of the food onboard. Almost every account I read talked about how thrilled they were to be able to eat foods that had been scarce in Britain since the beginning of the war. Simple things like white bread, butter, fruit and eggs were mentioned.

Once they arrived in Halifax, the war brides were directed to special trains that took them to their new homes. For brides whose destination was one of the Maritime Provinces, the train ride was short. But for those who were on their way to the Prairies or the west coast, the train ride took several days. In my story, Anne is destined for Saskatchewan on the Canadian prairies, so her train ride would have been at least five days.

Finally, the war bride would reach her final destination. Her husband or her husband’s family would be there to greet her. In most cases, it was a happy reunion. But not always. I read stories of husbands who told their British wives to go home because they didn’t want them anymore. A friend of mine in her eighties told me of a war bride she knew who was rejected by her husband when she arrived. This is Anne’s experience. By the time she arrives, her fiancé has married someone else.

Despite the often fast courtships and hastily arranged weddings between people from different backgrounds and cultures, the majority of these marriages endured. These marriages and the families that were created helped to build post-war Canada, and are a testament to the strength of character of the war brides.

Character Interview with Erik Gustafson from HOME FIRES
Anne Wakefield travels halfway around the world for love. But when she arrives in Canada from England at the end of World War Two, she discovers the handsome Canadian pilot she’d fallen in love with has married someone else. Heartbroken, she prepares to return to London, though she has nothing left there to return to. Her former fiancé’s mother makes a suggestion: marriage to her other son.

Badly wounded and scarred during the war, Erik Gustafson thinks he’s a poor substitute for his brother. Although he loves Anne almost from the first time he sees her, he cannot believe she would ever be able to love him as he is – especially as he might be after another operation on his bad leg. Anne sees the beauty of his heart. The cold prairie winter may test her courage, but can she prove to Erik that her love for him is real?

Jana Richards: I’m pleased to interview Erik Gustafson from HOME FIRES today. Erik, tell us a little about yourself.

Erik Gustafson: There’s not much to tell. I’m a simple farmer. I work the land and look after my cattle, just like my father before me. I live here on the farm with my mother and sister. We don’t have a lot of money, but we get by.

JR: What about your service in World War Two? What can you tell me about that?

EG: I’d rather not talk about it. It’s over and done.

JR: I can understand why you’re bitter. You were badly injured at Dieppe.

EG: Bitter? No, what I am is angry. Dieppe was an unmitigated disaster. We crossed the English Channel with the mission of raiding the city of Dieppe on the coast of France. They said a successful raid would show the Germans we could walk in anytime we wanted to. We were going to take the city, destroy the harbor, and then withdraw by sea. It was going to be a cake-walk, they said. Too bad they didn’t tell the Germans that. Everything went wrong. Over nine hundred Canadians were killed, and nearly two thousand were taken prisoner. Another couple of thousand were wounded. Like me.

JR: You were nearly killed. You almost lost your leg.

EG: (Looks away) I still could. But at least I’m alive. A lot of men didn’t make it.

JR: Are you angry about the scars on your face too?

EG: I wasn’t much to look at before, but now…

JR: A lot of women still find you handsome.

EG: (laughs) I find that hard to believe. My brother Anders, he’s the one who got all the looks in the family. He got through the war without a scratch.

JR: It’s because of Anders that Anne is here, isn’t it? She was going to marry him.

EG: Yes, she was. (Clenches jaw) He had no business getting involved with her in England when he already had a fiancée at home. He’s put Anne in a terrible position.

JR: Anne is very beautiful, isn’t she?

EG: (Regards Jana warily) Yes, she is. What of it?

JR: Your mother Astrid suggested that rather than go home to England, she stay here and marry you. And she agreed.

EG: She had nothing to go home to. Her family had been killed in the blitz.

JR: Do you think that’s the only reason she’s agreed to stay in Canada? Because she’s lonely?

EG: (Shrugs) She misses her family. She’s become close to my mother and my sister Ingrid in a very short time.

JR: And have you become close to her in the short time she’s been at your farm?

EG: (Averts his gaze) Like you said, Anne is a very beautiful woman. She’s probably the strongest woman I’ve ever known. Did you know she was a nurse during the war?

JR: Yes.

EG: She looked after people hurt during the blitz in London, people with terrible injuries.

JR: People like you.

EG: Yes, like me. What can I possibly offer her? A life of work on a farm with no modern conveniences, no running water, no electricity, no telephone. And me? I’m no prize as a husband. I have a scarred face and a leg that barely lets me do the farm work. What if I lose my leg? How could I provide for her then?

JR: But she said yes. She said she wants to marry you. She’s seen exactly what life on the farm is like. She knows about your injuries and she knows what could happen, but she said yes anyway. Doesn’t that tell you something?

EG: (shakes his head) I can’t believe…

JR: What can’t you believe?

EG: That she could want me.

JR: What does she have to do to make you believe she loves you and wants to be with you?

EG: (looks away) I don’t know.

JR: Erik, thank you for letting me interview you today. I wish you much love and happiness.
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