Friday, February 23, 2024

❀New Historical Fiction Book Alert❀: The Dreaming Team by Chris Wallace

Title: The Dreaming Team
Author: Chris Wallace
Publisher: Round Lake Publishing
Pages: 368
Genre: Historical Fiction

In the 1850s, Australia was a thriving colony of the British Empire, with its own sense of importance and sophistication.  But the people who had occupied this vast land for upwards of 40,000 years didn’t fit well with colonial expectations of the future.  In every way imaginable, white Australia tried to keep its “darkies” in line. It is against this backdrop in the 1860s that the amazing story of an all Aboriginal cricket team, the first Aussie team to do so, played at Lords, the home of cricket in England.  Conventional wisdom predicted that Indigenous Australians would die off by the next generation. The Dreaming Team brings those Indigenous players to life and follows them on an adventure that would appear to be unbelievable if it weren’t true.  They not only changed the minds and perceptions about Aboriginal Australians, they arguably changed the course of Australian history.  Praise for The Dreaming Team: “A beautiful story, beautifully written, about a piece of Australian history that, if you don’t know about, you probably should. Heartwarming, heartbreaking and brimming with relevance for today’s Australia. A poignant example of how far we’ve come and how far we haven’t.” “The Dreaming Team tells the true story of the all Aboriginal cricket team from Victoria who did a tour of Great Britain back in the 1860s and all the drama, setbacks, and cultural divide between the Aboriginals and white Australians involved. Considering the state of affairs for Aboriginal people in those days, the team’s accomplishments are no small feat!” “What an interesting story. It is truly an Australian story about indigenous Australians. The story grabbed me from the first chapter, and drew me further in to where I could not put it down. I don’t want to give anything away, so I will say that the twists and turns makes you want to know what happens next at the end of each chapter. To say it is a sports story is not fair, it is a people story, told from the heart, about the hearts of people who love the land, and their story. I recommend it highly, and look forward to more from the author, Chris Wallace!”

You can purchase your copy at Amazon.  

Book Excerpt

Mr. Buckingham has asked Black Johnny to come into the shearing shed.  They stand together, both uncomfortable for different reasons.  Unaarrimin wonders if he’s done something wrong.  He has always tried to be a good worker.  Never complained about anything.  Was happy just to be there on the station  What could he have done?  In the very back of his mind, he wonders if it has anything to do with Alice but dismisses the thought as soon as it comes.  Mr. Buckingham is uncomfortable because he doesn’t like confrontation.  And especially this one.  He is perfectly happy with Black Johnny, finds him easy going, cooperative and good at his job.  It’s only because of his wife that he is in this position.  After a few more awkward minutes, Buckingham clears his throat and begins.  “You know . . . Um . . . You see . . . If it was up to me . . . Well . . . Er . . . The Missus has a bit of ah . . . Oh, damn it, I’m going to have to let you go.  That’s the size of it.  You’ll have to leave the property.  I’ve arranged some provisions for you, tea and sugar, salt, a blanket, a billy, matches, a good knife.  But you’ll have to go.”  Unaarrimin can only look at this man dumbfounded; this man who has been his guardian since he was orphaned as a little boy.  “What have I done?” Unaarrimin asks.  “Well, that’s just it, you see.  It isn’t that you’ve done anything.  It’s more like . . . um . . . look, Johnny, let’s just leave it that the Missus would rather you weren’t here anymore.  Like I said, if it was up to me, we wouldn’t be having this talk.  But you’ve got to go.  Here, take this letter with you.  It’ll help you get a job somewhere else.  But she wants you off the property tomorrow.  Early.”

Alice and Unaarrimin had been inseparable when they were children.  She claimed him.  She taught him to read.  As she learned them, she taught him manners.  They hiked all over Mullagh Station together.  He taught her how to live in the bush, showing her what plants were edible; how to make bread, how to build a proper fire.  They got into all manner of mischief together, stealing honey from Mrs. Buckingham’s cupboard and tobacco from Mr. Buckingham’s pouch.  One time Unaarrimin twisted his ankle jumping from the roof of the shed because Alice dared him.  When they saw that he was alright, they rolled on the ground together in fits of laughter.  He remembers how infectious Alice’s laugh is.  It’s like a melody, like music to him.  He would always do anything to make her laugh.  And she always did.  One day he was teaching her how to throw a boomerang.  “Hold it like this,’ he says.  “Throw from the shoulder”.  Alice cranks her arm for a mighty toss and cracks Unaarrimin in the nose.  She starts laughing her magical laugh.  Even when it starts bleeding, she’s still laughing.  And by now, he is laughing  too.  Alice takes a handkerchief from her pocket and begins dabbing the blood.  Then she gives it to him so he can apply enough pressure to stop the bleeding.  All the while they are laughing uncontrollably.

But there is no laughter now.  Now, he is filled with sadness as he empties the remains of the billy onto the fire and rolls up his swag.  Where is he to go?  What is he to do?  He ambles away from the billabong, no longer conscious of freedom, but thinking of what he has lost, wondering if he’ll ever see her again.

About the Author

Chris Wallace is a creative resource.  

As an actor, he was a regular on the hit daytime drama, All My Children, created the role of The Half-Percenter in Joe Papp’s production, Mondongo, appeared in countless television programs, including The Incredible Hulk, The Mary Tyler Moore Hour and had a starring role in the holiday horror classic film, New Year’s Evil.  

As a producer, he put on New York: A Great Place to Live at Lincoln Center which kicked off New York City’s Diamond Jubilee; for Channel Five in New York, he produced the highly acclaimed Harlem Cultural Festival; at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, he produced Uptown Sunday Afternoon, which was hosted by Harry Belafonte and featured Richard Pryor, Bill Withers, and a galaxy of other performers; for the National Organization for Women, he produced A Valentine’s Day Tribute to Woman at New York’s Town Hall;  was associate producer of the first Ali-Frazier Heavyweight Championship Fight at Madison Square Garden, and produced the gigantic block party, hosted by Gwen Verdon, which named West 46th Street as Restaurant Row. .

He earned the Silver Award at the New York International Film and Television Festival for In the Balance, a film that advocated sustainability and common sense in wildlife management.  It was also singled out by the Department of the Interior as one of the best films of its kind.  Chris wrote, narrated and wrote the musical score for that film.

He performed on several children’s television programs in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Jacksonville, singing his original children’s songs.  In Hollywood, he performed them for all denominations of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America.  He created a musical, A Special Thing to Be, at the Los Angeles Children’s Museum that featured his kids’ songs and the museum’s children’s chorus.

He wrote the songs for two children’s theatre productions in Hollywood, Hooray, Here Comes the Circus and Sleeping Beauty; wrote and performed the songs on Strong Kids, Safe Kids, a video produced by Henry Winkler for Paramount that dealt with the protection of children from sexual molestation and exploitation.  He created his first musical revue, Greatest Hits, in Hollywood, which played several venues, including Carlos ‘n’ Charlie’s on Sunset Strip and The Backlot in West Hollywood.

Upon relocating to Australia, he produced A Helping Hand at the Victorian Arts Centre, a benefit for Quadriplegic Hand Foundation; wrote book, music and lyrics for Nothing to Wear, a musical based on “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” also produced at the Victorian Arts Centre.  He created a one-man show, A Thing of Shreds & Patches, for the Melbourne Fringe Festival; created another one-man show, The Mark Twain You Don’t Know, which toured Australia, then Pacific Palisades, California, and played in New York City on the 100th anniversary of Mark Twain’s death.  He created several cabaret shows for The Butterfly Club in Melbourne, most notable of which was Les Femmes which featured an all female cast.  He wrote, produced and performed in Huckleberry: A Musical Adventure which premiered in Melbourne.

Which brings us to The Dreaming Team.  This is his second book.  The first, Hollywood Mosaic is written under the pen name, Pete Joseph.

You can visit his website at 

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

❀New Romantic Action Adventure Book Alert❀: Pinball Wizard by Michael D. Meloan

Title: Pinball Wizard
Author: Michael D. Meloan
Publisher: IFSF Publishing
Pages: 136
Genre: Novella

Michael D. Meloan’s new novella PINBALL WIZARD is a story of love, sex, jets, and Bukowski. Ralph is buffeted between a controlling father, international intrigue in the US defense industry, and a friendship with the writer Charles Bukowski. A wild girlfriend also ratchets-up the action.

“Are you the Pinball Wizard or the pinball?” asks Ralph’s manager inside a nuclear hardened bunker in England. That is the question driving Michael D. Meloan’s new novella–a story of love, sex, jets, and Bukowski.

Lights flash and bells ring as Ralph is buffeted between a controlling father, international intrigue in the US defense industry, and a friendship with the writer Charles Bukowski. A wild girlfriend also ratchets-up the action.

But in the end, it is Ralph’s turn at the controls.

“My mailbox contained a surprise a week or so ago: PINBALL WIZARD, a novella by Michael Meloan. It is one of the most satisfying reading experiences I’ve had in recent years, in part because it handles a famous writer (Charles Bukowski) as one of its main characters with nonchalant deftness. Meloan’s slightly picaresque story is hard to classify, which is one of the things that makes it such a pleasure to read. He has a gift for writing unapologetically masculine prose; it’s flavorful without being exotic, and it doesn’t hurt that he has a fine ear for dialogue.”–Bill Mohr, writer, critic, and English Literature Professor at California State University, Long Beach

More information on the book PINBALL WIZARD can be found at

Book Excerpt

“You think every woman is a whore. You hate women.  Admit it!” said Linda. “You can’t look a woman in the eye and relate to her as a human being. All you see is fishnet stockings, tits, and a hole.”

“You’re starting to piss me off,” Bukowski replied. “If it wasn’t for me, I don’t know what the fuck you’d be doing. That shitty little restaurant would be out of business in a week. What would you do if you had to go out and get a real job? I guess you could make Slurpees at 7-Eleven. Or sell oranges on a freeway on-ramp.”

“You’re the kind of vile piece-of-shit that makes people jump off buildings or blow their brains out. You have a genius for sucking every ounce of hope and joy out of anyone around you.”

“At least I have a genius for something. How many even have that?”

“You’re right. I’m sure Hitler was a genius, too.”

“Why don’t you move out? Go ahead and go! Do you think you’re the only woman I can get?”

“No, I’m well aware that the lure of fame—even second-rate fame like yours—is a powerful aphrodisiac for trailer trash women.”

“That’s it!” Bukowski planted his foot underneath the wooden coffee table and kicked it over, launching glasses of wine into the air. “Get out of my house! You DON’T live here anymore! I mean it. We’re through!” Bukowski and Linda stared at each other. Linda’s jaw flexed rhythmically. Then he moved in close. “I mean it!  LEAVE!” he screamed, spewing spittle in her face. Tears streamed down her cheeks.

She stood up and looked at me. “Get me out of here,” she said.

“OK,” I replied.

About the Author

Michael Meloan traveled extensively to England, Germany, and South Korea supporting the Department of Defense as a software engineer. He met the real Top Guns at Ramstein, Germany. He also wrote short stories for Larry Flynt, Buzz, Wired Magazine, and many literary journals. With his brother, Steven, he penned a published novel called The Shroud. Also with his brother, he wrote journalism for The Huffington Post.

In the ‘80s and ‘90s, Meloan was friends with Charles Bukowski and his wife Linda. Bukowski enthusiastically encouraged his writing and invited him and his wife Cathy to many Hollywood events.

Meloan was also good friends with NPR monologue artist Joe Frank. Their regular brunches at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills were among the most fascinating encounters of his life. They discussed sexual failure, the nature of existence, godly realms, and the existential abyss. Meloan had the privilege of co-writing a number of radio shows with Frank that appeared on the NPR syndicate. The documentaries

Bukowski: Born into This and Joe Frank: Somewhere Out There both contain interviews with Meloan.

Visit the book’s website at

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

❀New Romantic Suspense Book Alert❀: Homecoming Chaos by D.W. Brooks

Title: Homecoming Chaos
Author: D.W. Brooks
Publisher: Life: The Reboot LLC
Pages: 448
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Jamie Scott’s life fell apart four years ago when she broke off her engagement, turned down a dream job, and went overseas to run away from her life. Now she’s back, but the reunion is not without problems. She arrives home just in time to attend the soiree her mother planned, but she’s not prepared for what she finds—a dead employee in the parking lot.

Detective Nick Marshall is assigned to the murder case at the forensics lab owned by Jamie’s family. He meets the headstrong Jamie, but he has a job to do. And his attraction to her… well, he’s a professional.

Jamie knows the stakes are high. She has to face the past and save her parents’ business while dealing with her family drama and an uncertain future. She also has to deal with Nick, who wants her out of the way of his investigation. But fate keeps throwing them in one another’s paths… and into chaos that they both want to avoid, but neither can seem to escape.

Buy Links:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

Book Excerpt

The sound of the flight attendant on the loudspeaker startled Jamison Jones Scott out of her light sleep. Despite having traveled frequently in her lifetime, she still couldn’t sleep comfortably on a plane. The seat location— first-class or economy—didn’t make a difference. The plane was nearing its destination, so the passengers needed to finish filling out their declaration cards. Jamie was returning to Atlanta to stay at her parents’ home with only the clothes on her back, a computer bag, the few items of clothing in her duffel, and a stethoscope. She had nothing to declare. 

Her seatmate appeared to be sleeping through the announcements. Jamie was jealous. The four-year-old in front of her turned around and started babbling excitedly in French. She must have noticed that Jamie was finally awake. With her head still fuzzy from her nap, Jamie couldn’t completely follow the child’s rapid words, but the gist was that she wanted something from Jamie. Something about a playdate? Jamie smiled at the girl and hoped the girl’s mother would intervene. No such luck; she was asleep as well. The child eyeballed Jamie expectantly. Jamie realized she and the seatmate had started this situation by playing with the dark-haired child while they were over the ocean. Now, when she didn’t agree to the latest request, the little girl scrunched up her face to cry. 

“Nous atterrissons bientôt. Elle ne peut pas aller avec vous,” Jamie’s seatmate answered, eyes still closed. “Mais vous pourriez être en mesure de visiter. Je suis sûr qu’elle tu aimerait garder les enfants.” He grinned.

Jamie gasped while the young girl clapped. This guy had just volunteered her as a babysitter! 

“Je suis désolé, mais il se trompe. Je ne serai pas disponible,” Jamie stated. “Je parie qu’il a une surprise, pour toi.” The child looked at Jamie’s seatmate for her present and clapped again. This reply made him open his eyes. 

“Qu’est-ce que c’est? Qu’est-ce que c’est?” the child asked. Startled, her pregnant mother woke up and turned around in her seat sheepishly. 

I’m sorry, she mouthed. She made her eager daughter turn around in her seat and asked her to leave the other passengers alone. The girl was disappointed, but her mother handed her a shortbread, which made her forget the people behind her. 

Her seatmate smiled, opened his eyes, and said, “I could have given her the stuffed bear I bought. I have a daughter the same age.” He stretched gingerly. “I can’t wait to get home. I’ve been traveling for too long. What about you? Looking forward to getting home?”

Jamie thought about her return to Atlanta. She hadn’t been home in a while, so she wasn’t sure how she felt. 

Revel in the chaos. 

Revel in the chaos. 

Revel in the chaos. 

Jamie tried to live by this motto for most of her life because her life seemed to invite chaos. She learned to expect—and sometimes encourage—complications. As the plane taxied to a halt, she repeated her motto to herself. This phrase, tattooed on her right hip, particularly applied now. 

The international terminal of Hartsfield-Jackson Airport had changed since she was last there. Her brother, Jonathan, would pick her up at the baggage claim—alone, she hoped, and not sporting a clingy girlfriend. Time to re-acclimate and re-establish family bonds. Dealing with an unknown woman in her face when she wanted to spend time quietly with her brother wasn’t at the top of her to-do list.

As she waited in line to get through passport control, she thought about how she got to this point—back in Atlanta after several years abroad. She had spent two of those years working with the non-profit organization Doctors Overseas. Jamie worked in several locations, including the Central African Republic. She had her reasons for joining the charitable organization; not all were altruistic, and she kept those to herself during her entrance interview. The horrors she witnessed overseas helped her put her personal chaos into perspective. She realized her issues were nothing compared to what people endured in other parts of the world. This realization allowed her to embrace her job and enjoy what she was doing, despite the frequent threats of bodily harm. To help maintain her sanity while overseas, she traveled a lot and spent six months in Italy working with a designer friend. 

The agent summoning her snapped her out of her reverie. Handing over her passport, she said, “Nothing to declare. Coming back home for my mother’s birthday and Christmas.” 

At the check-in counter, the inspector carefully examined her and her passport photo. Jamison understood the scrutiny. At the time of that picture, she had been at the height of her glamor phase with a history of modeling and a resulting, above-average concern about how she looked. In medical school, she often showed up at rounds with perfectly coiffed hair and more than a swipe of mascara and lip gloss. 

But in Africa, those concerns fell away. Right now, Jamie was makeup-free, and a baseball cap covered her hair. She was still beautiful, but now it was a girl-next-door beauty. Jamie had high cheekbones, almond-shaped dark brown eyes, a straight nose, a square jawline, and her golden-brown skin was still smooth. She wasn’t stomping down runways anymore, as in her past life, because she had shifted her priorities. 

Her mother would hate it. 

“Welcome to Atlanta,” the inspector said as she stamped her passport. “Have a pleasant stay.”

About the Author

The author lives in Texas with her husband and children. She enjoys trying to stay in shape, sporadically cooking, reading (still), writing, and working on her blog. She is eternally grateful to the woman who donated a kidney to her over 5 years ago and continues to advocate for organ donation as much as she can.

Author Links  

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