Patrick L Halliwell – Spying in the 21st Century

Title: Spying in the 21st Century: secret memorandum of the Central Intelligence Committee, Republic of [censored]

Author: Patrick L. Halliwell

ISBN: none

Page count: none-digital only

Genre: short fiction/satire

Price: $2.99


Author Bio:

Patrick L. Halliwell is a Canadian author, composer and musicologist. His publications include fiction, humor, essays, practical items, and scholarly articles on traditional Japanese koto music. He is also creator and producer of “Phonobites,” a unique set of exercises for English pronunciation. His original music combines musical principles and elements from a variety of the world’s great traditions. A long-time resident of Tokyo, he now lives in Canada with his wife, Kayoko. His official website is

Patrick has never worked for a spy organization.

Tell us about your book:

A secret memo, washed up in the pocket of an unidentifiable corpse on a distant shore in a far-off country, outlines all the new methods of spying in the 21st century. Methods and projects include: the Internet Search Engine Project; the Free Mail Service Project; the Social Networking Project; the Short-Texting “Snitcher” Project; the Operating System Project; the Video Brainwashing Project; and others. This memo also shows how spying in the 21st century can be a very profitable enterprise.

How long did it take to write the book?

A few days, once it started coming out. My mind worked on it for a long time before I began to write.

What inspired you to write the book?

I have long been suspicious of things in the digital world. Modern technology is great in many ways, including the freedom that digital publishing brings to both me and the reader, but it is also terrible in many ways. It is so easy to steal and transmit information these days.

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?

For this item, as with most of my works, my “research” consists mainly of long-term observation of society, culture, and everyday events. I usually let the thing develop in my mind for a long time, until I get the urge to write. Then, I get down to the gritty stuff, and don’t stop until it is finished.

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?

The enjoyment of a good read, and more insight into our world of today.

Where can we go to buy your book?

Amazon’s Kindle Store

Any other links or info you’d like to share?
My Author page on Amazon:

My website:

My original music on CBC Radio3 in Canada (Warning! The music you hear at first will not be my music, probably some noisy rock! Turn it off as quickly as possible, then select my music and play!)

Excerpt from book:

Our new internet search engine project has great potential, not only for information-gathering, but also for profit. The latter is one of the major themes of spying in the 21st century. Gone are the days of allocating considerable amounts of public and government funds to espionage. Instead, we can now make bundles of money out of spying. Indeed, as you will see in this memo, commercial enterprise is the gateway to information, as well as profit.


Dick Stanley – Knoxville 1863

Title: Knoxville 1863

Author: Dick Stanley

ISBN-10: 1451580312, ISBN-13: 978-1451580310, ASIN: B003IWYEHM

Page count: 230

Genre: Historical Fiction

Price: $7.98 for paperback, $1.99 on Kindle.

Author Bio:

I’ve been a professional writer and editor for more years than I care to remember. I retired in 2006, after thirty-five years in the daily newspaper biz, most of it in Texas. Since then I’ve finished an Indie-published collection of short stories, “Leaving the Alamo: Texas Stories After Vietnam,” and the historical novel “Knoxville 1863.” I’m now working on a non-fiction history of the Texas origins of weather radar. I live in Austin, with my newspaper-editor wife and our 10-year-old son who is a point guard in youth basketball.

Tell us about your book:

People who know their Civil War history gape when they hear that Knoxville, Tennessee, a Southern city, was besieged by a Confederate army trying to drive out a Union one. The siege culminated in one, short, bloody battle in ice and snow.  Ragged and starving Rebel veterans of Gettysburg fought to take away the red-clay Fort Sanders from its Scots immigrant New York defenders. The New Yorkers, who were on short-rations and had never won a battle, were led by a young lieutenant fresh out of West Point.

Claude Cooper, a former professor of military science at Appalachian State University says “Other writers and historians have touched on this battle, but I’m not aware of any who have addressed it in this depth. For that reason, and because it is well written, I believe that this is an important novel that will be appreciated by civil war buffs and enjoyed by anyone.”

How long did it take to write the book?

About three years, after more than a decade of searching out and reading the few histories, and the published memoirs, diaries and letters of survivors on both sides. I submitted an excerpt of the first draft to the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest in 2009. It made the first cut before going down in flames. That gave me two reader criticisms which I put to use in rewriting, especially after their remarks were seconded by my own Austin editor. I finished the second (or was it the third?) draft last fall and published it via Lulu. A few months later I decided it needed more work, and republished it with CreateSpace, with a new Afterword and additions to the bibliography. The CreateSpace edition is the one to buy. It’s also the one available for Kindle and at Smashwords.

What inspired you to write the book?

I’m a native of Sumter, South Carolina, and a descendent of a long line of Southerners, including two combat veterans of the American Revolution. For Americans like us, knowing the details of the Civil War is a parlor trick. We grew up hearing our adult kin passionately arguing it. I always wanted to write about it, especially because my paternal great grandfather fought as a private in the Thirteenth Mississippi Infantry Regiment. In the attack on Fort Sanders, the Thirteenth, as part of Barksdale’s Mississippi Brigade, was in the vanguard. The battle seemed a perfect story to tell because so little has been written about it. In fact, as far as I know, mine is the first historical novel to focus on it.

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?

My erratic writing routine continued with this one, on again, off again. I did extensive research in the Mississippi state archives, the University of Texas’ Civil War collections and on the Internet. My numerous sources are in the bibliography at the back of the book. I tried to stick as close to the historical record as possible. But there has never been a professional historian’s analysis of the battle, and the record is scattered and often contradictory, so I had to plow a lot of new ground. The fort was long ago destroyed by the elements and the battlefield was covered by urban development. So I relied on old maps and period photographs.

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?

For Civil War neophytes, an entertaining read that might tempt them to explore the war further. There are thousands of books about it. I hope any scholars who read it will be tempted to do their own professional analysis of the battle. And I want the buffs to come away with a renewed appreciation for the disaster the war was, and that the Confederacy, at least in East Tennessee, was never the solid south the Lost Cause romantics portrayed decades after Richmond fell and Lee surrendered.

Where can we go to buy your book?

Amazon for the $7.98 paperback or $1.99 Kindle edition. Smashwords for other e-book editions.

Excerpt from book:

Clayton’s old bay, Warrior, was skittish again, a riding horse so disliking pulling a carriage that, from time to time, he would shake his head, up and down, and from side to side, trying to free himself from the confines of the harness.

But we were close enough to the fort now that I could get down and carry the boxes the last few yards if I had to.

“Ma’am, you shouldna be out here,” said a young soldier rushing up to meet us. “It’s too dangerous. You’ll have to turn back.”

He had a pleasant Scotch burr to his voice and the two stripes of a corporal, in light blue on his dark blue woolen overcoat. The color marked him as infantry, as did the brass bugle clipped to his cap. Despite the coat, his teeth were chattering.

The corporal pulled Warrior’s head down, and the old horse instantly gentled under a man’s familiar control. He might have been acting up because he had smelt the sour odor of gunpowder on all sides as we proceeded through the interior of the defensive lines. The corporal began to walk the bay and the carriage around to turn me back to town.

“I’m here to see First Lieutenant Samuel Nicoll Benjamin,” I said, as forcefully as I could, pushing my long veil back away from my face. “I’ve brought him a good dinner.”

That stopped the soldier for a moment, and I got down quickly and picked up the two paper boxes from the seat. I tried to hold them in one arm so I could lift my poor old skirts out of the mud. Mercifully, the sleet that had been falling all morning had stopped.

Seeing that he was now going to have to get me back into the carriage before he could turn me back to town, the corporal wisely gave up. He tied Warrior to a splintered stump in the midst of a big patch of dirty snow, and came around to take the boxes from me.

“Much obliged,” I said.

“Is the lieutenant expecting you ma’am?”

I didn’t want to tell the truth, which was that the lieutenant was not expecting me, and give the corporal another reason to turn me away, but I didn’t want to lie, so I didn’t reply.

He was a respectful young man, as you might imagine a soldier to be when confronted by a determined (but I hoped still charming) young widow in full mourning black, so he didn’t press for an answer.

I wasn’t supposed to be out and about but staying shut up at home, as was proper. But that was not for me. A few months of stay-at-home were plenty for me.

The corporal led me to a little hut beside the red clay wall, the fort’s bombproof shelter, where I had heard that General Edward Ferrero kept his division headquarters and telegraph. I knew the former New York City dancing master was in town, drinking at the Lamarr Hotel as he often did during the day. How he had found whiskey under siege and short rations I’m sure I do not know. But Lieutenant Benjamin commanded the artillery in the fort, and the fort itself, of course, and he would surely be about somewhere.


Stacey Wallace Benefiel – Glimpse

Title: Glimpse

Author: Stacey Wallace Benefiel

ISBN: 978-1-4523-9240-0

Page count: 262

Genre: YA paranormal romance

Price: $3.99

Author Bio:

I’m originally from the Midwest, but have lived on the West coast since 1993, mostly in Oregon.  When I’m not writing, I take care of my two young children, direct/stage manage community theatre productions, transcribe medical reports, and work on publishing and marketing both mine and my husbands’ books.

Tell us about your book:

Zellie Wells has a devastating crush on Avery Adams, the son of her mom’s high school sweetheart. At her sixteenth birthday party, held in the basement of her dad’s church, she finally finds the courage to talk to him. Turns out, the devastating crush is mutual.

As Avery takes her hand and leads her out onto the makeshift dance floor, Zellie is overwhelmed by her first vision of his death; shocking because not only are they both covered in his blood, but they’re old, like 35, and she is pregnant.

Afraid to tell anyone about the vision, (she’d just be labeled a freaky black magic witch, right?) Zellie keeps the knowledge of Avery’s future to herself and tries to act like any other teenager in love.  When they get caught on their way to a secret rendezvous by her mom and his dad, they are forbidden to see each other.

Convinced that their parents are freaking out unnecessarily, Avery and Zellie vow to be together no matter what.  They continue their relationship in secret until Zellie learns that their parents are just trying to prevent her and Avery from suffering like they did. The visions are hereditary, they’re dangerous, and if they stay together the visions will come true.

Now Zellie must choose between severing all ties with Avery, like her mom did to prevent his father’s death, and finding a way to change Avery’s future.

How long did it take to write the book?

Glimpse started out as a novella that I wrote for a Delacorte writing contest in 2005.  I pulled it out again in April 2009 and added to it and revised it for a year before I self-published it.

What inspired you to write the book?

Honestly, my sister and I were into the TV show Roswell and when it ended she challenged me to write something like it.  Up until then I had mostly written plays, poetry, and essays.

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?

My writing process is heavily rooted in playwriting.  I write dialogue and scenes and then tie them all together.  It’s the only way I know how.  For a while there I was trying to plot and write chronologically because I thought that was how I was “supposed” to do it.  I didn’t do a lot of research on Glimpse because I based the town of Rosedell on a place I’m very familiar with and I grew up strict Lutheran, going to church three times a week, so I felt I knew what I was talking about.  I’m doing a lot more research for the next book in the Zellie Wells series, Glimmer, because I’m in new territory.  I’ve had to learn a lot about GED’s!

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?

I hope they feel entertained.

Where can we go to buy your book?



It will be available at the Apple Bookstore, Barnes and Noble, and the Sony store by July 2010.

The print version will also be available on Amazon by June 2010.

Any other links or info you’d like to share?
My website:

My blog:

Excerpt from book:

“Happy Birthday, honey!  We’ll be back around eleven to pick you girls up.  Have fun and behave.”  Mom leaned down and gave both me and Mel a kiss on the cheek. “Call us on the phone in your dad’s office if anything happens and you need us, okay?”

“Everything will be fine Mom, get out of here!”  I waved goodbye to my well-intentioned parents from my seat at a long wooden table.

With that, all of the adult energy was sucked out of the room.  Cell phones were flipped open, ties hung on the backs of folding chairs, and twin sets lost their cardigan components.  The room full of teenagers relaxed and gave a concerted sigh of relief.

Claire went to the stereo and put on the compilation, a fast song began playing. “The fun portion of the party will begin now,” she announced.  Walking over to Jason, she took his cell phone from his hands, flipped it shut and slipped it deep into his pants pockets.  “Care for a dance, sailor?”

I laughed, but remained glued to my metal folding chair. Claire’s capacity for saving me through her own personal embarrassment was limitless, thank God.

People began pairing off to dance in the middle of the concrete basement floor. That left me and Melody sitting at one end of the table and Avery and Ricky Sykes at the other.  The dancing couples were oblivious to us four awkward people inspecting our cuticles at the table.

I poked Melody in the arm. She totally owed me for being allowed at my party.  I could have banned her with enough whining to Dad.  “Mel, go ask Ricky to dance.”

Melody continued picking the nail polish from her fingers. She gave a sideways glance at the short and zitty Ricky Sykes. “Ick.  He’s like three years older than me and four inches shorter.  Why would I want to dance with him?”

I got to my feet. She was never going to change, what did I expect? “Fine, be that way.  I’m going to dance.”  Out of the corner of my eye I could see that when I stood up, Avery had too. Crap! I needed to ask him to dance before he could flee, which is what I was now sure he wanted to do.  Instead, he walked over to me.

I turned toward him, trying not to pass out or throw up.

“Hey, Zellie, uh, happy birthday.” He ran his fingers through his hair. I could never get tired of watching him do that.

His deep brown eyes looked into mine. Passing out was becoming more and more of a realistic possibility by the minute.

“Thanks, Avery,” I managed to say, balancing myself with one hand on the edge of the table.

He mimed his hands on a steering wheel, motioning like he was driving a car. “Sixteen. Cool.” His face went red and he stuck his hands into his pockets.

I put my hands on the invisible steering wheel too. “Yeah! Driving. I’m taking Driver’s Ed this summer.  Should be pretty awesome.” Oh, my God.  Because waking up at six in the morning and sweating in a car full of other nervous kids is pretty awesome? I grabbed onto the table again.  I didn’t have pockets. “Your birthday’s in July if I remember, right?” His birthday was July third.  I’d practically been born knowing that, but I didn’t want to seem like a stalker.

“Yeah, July third, it’s pretty cool…y’know with the 4th and all.  There’s usually a rodeo.”

“That’s a great birthday!  Fun. I like the rodeo. Horses…in the corral? The clowns?  Funny.” I had not been to the rodeo since I was like eight.  What the hell was I talking about?

“So, um, cool party, Miss Zellie…who is sixteen.” He reached out and gave me a playful punch on the arm.

“Oh, no, it’s not, but thanks for saying so.”  I shrugged my shoulders, relaxing my death grip on the edge of the table and attempting to slyly graze my hand up my arm to the spot where he had touched me.

“My dad made me wear a suit.”  He jammed his hands back into his pockets.

He seemed a little nervous too.  That made me feel better. Avery Adams gets nervous talking to me. “Yeah, I see that.  You look really hot though.  Like good, nice, not…the opposite of cold.” I felt a sudden tingle of warmth throughout my body.  I crossed my arms across my breasts as the tingle obviously passed through them.  Yikes, for once I’d rather blush.

Avery glanced down at my chest, breaking eye contact for the first time since we started talking. He was totally looking at my nipples! “You look really pretty.” Avery’s eyes locked back on mine.

Aw, screw it. I lowered my arms back down to my sides, speechless. I kinda didn’t care if the whole room was scoping my nips at this point; I was filled with reckless sixteen-year-old abandon.

“Jesus H. Christ, Avery,” Claire shouted from the “dance floor” that was now more of an open space for the couples to rhythmically grope one another, “ask the girl to dance already!  She’s going to be a virgin until she’s twenty at this rate!”

“Thanks, Claire!” I called back to her, a crimson blush overtaking my whole face.

“Well,” Avery said, taking my sweaty palm in his, “we wouldn’t want that to happen.” His eyes got wide and he started to backpedal. “Not that…virginity is good.  I’m good with it…too?” He took a deep breath in and then blew it out slowly. “Let’s just dance.  This song is really good. Jason’s band Fresh and Fruity covers it.”

As Avery’s fingers intertwined with mine, a jolt of electricity shot through me. I could feel my blood circulating through my body, whooshing in and out of my heart. All of my senses became hyperaware. The smell of pine overwhelmed me. A million flashes of Avery went through my mind.  His mouth, his hair, his hand now in mine and then a vision of the future played out behind my eyes.