Rod Raglin

This blog will touch on the experiences I have as a writer (not to be mistaken for my experience as a writer, i.e. how many books I've written, etc); the pleasure and the pain, the joy and the grief, the satisfaction and the frustration, the magic and the reality - have I left anything out, oh yeah, the rejection, rejection and more rejection,  the humiliation and the embarrassment, the jealousy and the resentment - that pretty much covers it, except for why I do it which perhaps I'll realize along the way. Are you totally confused? Good, let's begin.

The BIRD WITCH

The Mattie Saunders Series - Book 4

 

FREE TIL SEPT. 30, 2020

 

Download your FREE digital edition now from Amazon at

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

WATCH THE VIDEO

https://animoto.com/play/36WC0WhfkTD87GpioV6wSA

 

 

When cultures collide...is love enough?

 

Can you love someone whose worldview is different from yours? Who is committed to a cause that excludes you because of your race? Simon is an Indigenous person dedicated to the struggle for justice for First Nations people. Mattie loves him but is love enough?

 

Birds are dying. At the Saunders Bird Rescue and Sanctuary where rescued parrots abandoned by their owners are rehabilitated and re-homed, a deadly virus has them dying in Mattie's hands. In the midst of this outbreak, she's called to investigate a mortality event where dozens of starlings fly into the pavement as if committing suicide.

 

Mattie needs Simon's support, but after spending weeks at a remote protest site, as soon as he returns home he begins working with Wendy Walters, the attractive, ambitious Indigenous politician on her re-election campaign. Mattie's just about had enough.

 

When Simon proposes a vacation on the Mexican Riviera, Mattie sees it as an opportunity to recover from the death of her beloved birds. She's also hopeful it's an indication Simon's reconsidering his priorities.

 

She didn't realize while on vacation he'd want to attend the Conference of Indigenous Peoples in Chiapas. Mattie's annoyed but decides to indulge her passion and do some tropical bird watching rather than attend a boring conference.

 

But Simon's conference turns out to be anything but boring when a deadly firefight erupts between the Mexican Army trying to arrest suspected terrorists and revolutionary Zapatista's.

 

Now Simon is missing, and Mattie is determined to find him, but to do so she must first escape being kidnapped by corrupt Mexican police and avoid abduction by vicious cartel members.

 

The fourth book in The Mattie Saunders Series, The Bird Witch combines romance and action with environmental themes for an entertaining and thoughtful exploration of contemporary culture. 

 

Quite unexpectedly, and without warning...

The Local Rag - Rod Raglin

I write because I love to. Ask me what I’d like to do today and I’d say write. Sit down, by myself, and write. Sure, I like to do other things as well, but it’s one of my top three.

 

Still, some time’s it’s lonely being an indie author. It’s also frustrating – a lot. But every once in awhile, quite unexpectedly and without warning, something remarkable happens.

 

For example, this review by Thomas Dalcolle of my novel Local Rag. When I read it, I thought, is he describing something I wrote? Yes. He is. I wrote this! Though I must admit, I don’t remember it being quite as good he indicates.

 

What makes this most satisfying is, Thomas Dalcolle got it. In fact, he read more into my story than I intended, but that’s the thing about fiction, it can mean different things to different readers.

 

Here’s Thomas Dalcolle’s take on my novel, Local Rag. REVIEW OF LOCAL RAG by Thomas Dalcolle

 

HEADLINE; A local rag challenges the powerful; corpses start piling. Five well deserved stars.

 

After the index, the book displays a famous quote about truth and opinions from Marcus Aurelius—stoic philosopher and Roman emperor of the second century AD—, not quite a John Doe. But Jim Mitchell, journalist owner of a local rag in Vancouver, carries a very different creed. He believes in the presence and relevance of truth and is fully committed to the deontology of news journalism. Check the facts before publishing, then tell the truth without warping it anyhow.

 

The existence of a unique, accessible truth is here an unquestionable axiom. Moreover, “Jim considered unbiased, in-depth news coverage essential in a functioning democracy.” Which, depending on the definition of democracy, may contradict the premises. To his bad luck, Jim must soon realize that the mission of bringing all that irksome theory to reality seriously conflicts with the laws of profit, and with the legitimate aspiration to an ordinary, happy life.

 

In a particular way if this comprises a marriage with a sexy, rich, vain woman, daughter to a billionaire—owner of a giant multimedia company—and an interiors decorator driving a Porsche Boxster. But this is nothing, just a detail in the indecipherable, garbled puzzle of Jim’s life.

 

Jim is part of a trio of close friends, a sort of childhood soulmates club. The other two members are Frances, daughter to Chinese immigrants, and Tony from an Italian family. Jim, on his turn, though a native Canadian, had to bear another even bitter stigma, as the son of an alcohol-addicted father, and grown-up in dire poverty. The three friends, marginal individuals in the community of schoolboys, almost outcasts, help each other to overcome their condition of social seclusion.

 

Growing up, they conceive the dream of reforming the society into a more accessible and inclusive one. In their ideal society, everybody, not only the natives and the millionaires, may aspire to a political career and even become a leader.

 

At the time of the facts, Frances, the inspirational soul and moral guide to the group, is a successful lawyer and is supporting Tony—already a town’s counselor—in his electoral campaign for the post of Mayor.

 

The story goes that Frances, despite the friendship and loyalty to Tony has turned to a secret intimate relationship—Tony is already married—investigates his campaign supporters and discovers wrongdoing. Frances collects evidence and calls on Jim, in the hope he may pressure Tony to take distance from his principal supporter, a notable member of the local Indian community. The man, called Brar, behind the mask of a successful entrepreneur, is a real thug involved in fraudulent real estate projects, international drug smuggling, as well as human trafficking.

 

In a confrontation that goes physical, Tony tells Jim plainly that Brar is the only one who can grant him enough preferences to win the Mayoralty race, and that he doesn’t mean to drop his dream of a life. He’s ready to prosecute it whatever it may cost, with genuine Machiavelli's tactics. The premises for the frontal clash are set up. Jim, covertly sustained by Frances, threatens Tony to publish the evidence of Brar’s wrongdoings on his local magazine and to expose the advantages that the thug plans to gather from Tony’s election to Mayor.

 

After that, the killing begins. First, a witness of Brar’s drug smuggling disappears and is then found dead on the city river’s banks. Then the same Frances, who holds an affidavit from the murdered witness, disappears from her flat, which appears as the theater of a butchery. Jim is sure that Tony has personally killed Fran. There are clues and circumstantial evidence in that direction, even though no conclusive proof. To make things worse, Frances’ body, as well as the incriminating affidavit, are nowhere to be found.

 

Jim swears he won’t let Tony go away with what he’s done. He’ll use his only weapon, his local rag, putting himself on the line of fire. I won't say more to avoid spoilers. I only add that, in the end, Local Rag should appear to the careful reader much more than a well-designed, masterly written, and realistic murder mystery.

 

Local Rag is, in my opinion, a philosophical parable on the ultimate meaning of truth in our earthly lives. The last pages will clarify the individual relevance of the initial Aurelian quote in this story. By the way, the closing image of the book is a powerful visual allegory about where humanity as a whole is heading fast, if not for a sharp change of route. Just don't jump to the end of the book to decipher these allusions. You'd remain baffled. The only way is to follow the characters all along their troubling adventure.


 

LOCAL RAG is available from Amazon. Visit

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

FREE E-BOOKS - BACKLIST BLOW-OUT IS BACK!

FREE EBOOKS.

Summer Backlist Blowout.

 

#Romance #mystery #adventure #Drama #paranormalromance

#political #literaryfiction #shortstories #plays

 

Free 'til Aug. 6, 2020.

 

Download yours now at

https://amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

#WritingCommunity #readers #books #fiction #FreeBookAlert

 

WATCH THE VIDEO

https://animoto.com/play/noj5gui1xDMDf3emRw56ZQ

Identity politics, “lived experiences” and an end to moderation

 

By 2045, a majority of the US population will be people of color. This will change the electoral makeup and enable people of color to have a transformative political impact.

 

In Zerlina Maxwell’s, The End of White Politics - How to Heal Our Liberal Divide, the former staffer for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign explains this is not a movement, it’s not a theory, it’s a demographic fact. To take advantage of this shift, the Democratic Party has to listen to the people of color and diverse groups, promote them to positions of power within the party, and let them lead the way.

 

According to Maxwell, when you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression, and that applies to all white males including those in the Democratic Party. Maxwell takes aim at the Bernie Bros, calling them “a manifestation of white male privilege”, and the “same as Trump supporters responding to the same perceived loss of privileges.” She claims whitelash increased racial solidarity among white people with the shared perception that they were losing status, rights, and privileges they had traditionally enjoyed was the reason for the Trump win.

 

She endorses identity-based politics explaining, in reality, it is politics saying there is more than one experience to consider. That means embracing identities other than those that are white, male, and heteronormative and accordingly running political campaigns based on the needs and experiences of those African Americans, Latinx, and the LGBTQ+ communities and women. Though women currently are a majority of the US population, their numbers don’t reflect that in elected officials.

 

Critical of Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, she suggests he has a “long history of telling the black constituency he can be trusted, while simultaneously authoring and implementing policies that would hurt them.” This includes supporting Bill Clinton’s 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act that has resulted in the current crisis of mass incarceration.

 

Maxwell identifies with The Squad, four young women of color recently elected to Congress saying, “there is no group more representative of how the next generation of leadership will look than The Squad.” She’s a supporter of their outspoken candor on public policy saying that lived experiences make better-informed policymaking. To Maxwell, the impulse of most Democrats to be moderate “feels like a manifestation of the white privilege that has plagued us for so long. Being a moderate is not a virtue. Moderation does not pull us toward progress.”

 

The book is dense with facts and then some since Maxwell has a tendency to repeat the same arguments in different context. She’s also fond of political jargon and memes, ostensibly to enhance her insider credibility, but which frequently sent me on an internet search to understand.

 

As an analysis of the current state of America’s political system, The End of White Politics reads like the future, like an awakening, like common sense.

 

Written with passion and commitment, Zerlina Maxwell presents her argument persuasively and unapologetically, and with enough anecdotes to lift it above the political thesis. She reminds us when she quotes feminist Laura Duca, “At any given moment, you’re either actively fighting for equality, or you’re complicit in the system of oppression that prevents it.”

Running out of things to read? Join my beta-reading team.

Amazon won’t deliver my books to Canada or within the USA.

 

Part of my process of self-publishing is to send my new work to beta readers. The payback, I’d like to believe, is their contribution enhances an original work of art. Too grandiose? Okay, how about they get to be one of the first people to read a soon-to-be bestseller? Wishful thinking? At the very least, they get a free book once it’s published with their name listed on the Acknowledgement Page. And, of course, my undying gratitude.

 

But alas! Due to COVID19 Amazon is not shipping books to Canada, saying, “...due to the current Prevention measure taken by the US and due to increased demand for essential goods, we have been forced to reduce product selection available for delivery to Canada and also within the US as well.”

 

Some of my beta readers prefer ebooks, but others want paperback proof copies, and so do I. For me, the typos and dropped words I’ve missed in my Word manuscript jump out from a hard copy. And there are a lot of them.

 

So that means, The Bird Witch - Book 4 in The Mattie Saunders Series, will have to wait for what I’m not sure. A vaccine?

 

Until then, if you’re running out of things to read, contact me at rod_raglin@yahoo.com and I’ll send you the ebook ARC of The Bird Witch along with some beta-reading tips.

 

Just think, not only will you be one of the first people to read a soon-to-be bestseller, your contribution will have enhanced this an original work of art.

 

 

 

 

FREE E-BOOK of The Triumvirate 'til midnight July 1, 2020

Triumvirate - Love for Power. Love of Power. The Power of Love. - Rod Raglin

 

Wow!

The free launch of The Triumvirate - Love for Power. Love of Power. The Power of Love, topped out on the Amazon free ebook category at 12,340 on June 29.

That's with a homemade cover, self-edited, and your help.

Now if that converts into reviews I may even make some money. The free ebook is still available until midnight July 1, 2020.

Oh yeah, Happy Canada Day, eh?

 

 

FREE E-BOOK of The Triumvirate - Love for Power. Love of Power. The Power of Love.

Triumvirate - Love for Power. Love of Power. The Power of Love. - Rod Raglin

 

FREE E-BOOK

 

My New Novel

The Triumvirate - Love for Power. Love of Power. The Power of Love.

Only 'til July 1, 2020, at

 

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

 

 

How long do you wait?

For me, it used to be six months, but time's running out.

I don’t care how many thousands of manuscripts they receive, they’ve had 100 days. You’d think that would be long enough to at least take a look and tell me it’s crap? I’m talking about traditional publishers. You knew that, right?

I started writing The Triumvirate - Love for Power. Love of Power. The Power of Love, in response to climate change. I had this idea there were solutions. Sure, we'd need to make tough choices and sacrifices, but in the end, a better world would emerge. I’d write that story.

I was wrong.

The Triumvirate turned out to be dystopian fiction rather than the opposite. I saw the future, or at least I researched it and, as Leonard Cohen said, “it is murder”.

Redemption in The Triumvirate doesn’t come by way of technology, or by adopting a vegan lifestyle, it comes in the form of the indomitable human spirit. Believe me, I didn’t see this coming, but it’s a story about love.

Considering the protagonist is asexual, it’s not your usual love story. It’s brutal, it’s frightening, and in the end, tragic, but never the less, it’s about love.

The Triumvirate has a lot of contemporary themes, even a pandemic scene written and researched two years prior to COVID-19. It’s life imitating art - in this case, life imitating my new novel. I’m thinking timing is important.

So, I self-publish on Amazon. Again. That makes eleven novels, two plays, and a collection of short stories.

Will it sell?

You can read it free until July 1, 2020, and let me know, or better still, write an honest review.

Download your free e-book at https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

A poem for Summer Solstice 2020

We’re all captives of our personal and collective history.

 

 

It’s 1968, the year following the Summer of Love. “There’s a whole generation with a new explanation.” Anna Rossi is one of them, a twenty-three-year-old woman from a middle-class family who describes her life as “a set of random chromosomes adrift in a meaningless life. Useless, weak, a creature of clashing impulses.”

 

Anna is also conflicted. She’s Jewish, though loath to reveal or accept it, the anti-Semitic incidences in her life leaving her feeling “isolated, insecure, and vulnerable.”

After college, her parents pay for a summer in Europe. She heads for the continent with a friend, but when her friend bails on her in Greece, Anna has a decision to make: head home or continue on by herself.

 

A young man suggests they hitchhike together and her decision is made. A few days later, when they’re offered a ride by Max, a charming, attractive German with obviously more means than her backpacking partner, she decides he would make a more suitable traveling companion. Besides, Max is heading to Yugoslavia, and the Balkans have always intrigued Anna.

 

Though affable and unthreatening, Max has an agenda other than playing guide to an American tourist. He reveals he’s a smuggler and that his contraband is the Mercedes he’s driving. Anna will make a good foil when dealing with suspicious border officials if she’s willing. Without hesitation, or consideration of the consequences, Anna agrees. Traveling with Max through Yugoslavia, she’s introduced to Spiro and a cabal of associates and soon finds herself seduced by the rich culture and passionate people of this chaotic region of Europe.

 

As she tries to reconcile her own identity and understand that of Spiro's, her lover, she becomes embroiled in the intrigue and violence spawned by ethnicity, politics, personal jealousy, and centuries of tortured history.

 

Despite the author Michele Levy, digging deep into the dark machinations of the land and its people, I was not able to understand why Anna was so interested, especially considering the anti-Semitic undertones and her anxiety about being Jewish. Characters in the novel are well-drawn through dialogue and action. In the case of the protagonist, it isn’t flattering. The reader comes to know a young woman who lacks initiative and is passive, impressionable, irresponsible, and incredibly naïve for her age. Living in the countryside with Spiro, Anna readily takes on the subservient role of his peasant wife doing domestic chores and gardening, but I got the impression once she tired of it, which she no doubt would, she’d simply buy a ticket and fly back to her privileged life in America. Unfortunately, events overtake her before boredom does.

 

Anna’s Dance: A Balkan Odyssey is an ambitious undertaking. It’s part tragic love story, part history lesson, and part travelogue with well-written descriptive passages evoking a simple people living in rustic villages amidst brooding mountains. Rich with drama and passion, it’s a poignant story of love and misadventure, the clash of culture and attitudes, and how, as much as we’d like to think otherwise, we’re all captives of our personal and collective history.

 

- Review for City Book Review

FREE E-BOOKS - BACKLIST BLOW-OUT - HELD-OVER

 

 

FREE -EBOOKS

 

Backlist Blowout HELD-OVER

Selected titles FREE 'til June 18, 2020.


Download your free copy now at
https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

Watch the Video

https://animoto.com/play/noj5gui1xDMDf3emRw56ZQ

 

 

 

 

FREE E-BOOKS - BACKLIST BLOW-OUT HELD-OVER

Free E-books

Backlist Blowout HELD-OVER

Selected titles FREE 'til June 18, 2020.


Download your free copy now at
https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

Watch the Video

https://animoto.com/play/noj5gui1xDMDf3emRw56ZQ

 

Tightly plotted murder mystery provides insights in Tokyo and it’s criminal element

 

When violent intruders interrupt a film shoot in a Tokyo pornography studio, they brutally murder three people but overlook a young actress hiding in the cavernous building.

 

Sukanya is an illegal Thai immigrant who was smuggled into Japan and lured into the business with the promise of big money and transit to the United States. She makes her escape with cash from the dead director’s wallet and a leather bag containing a computer and iPad. Penniless and friendless, she wanders aimlessly through the streets of the megalopolis; though she’s lost, she’s not undetected. Unknown to her, the digital devices she’s taken contain sensitive information as well as trackers that reveal her location.

 

Kenta, a shady businessman and loan shark wants those devices back. The information they hold could compromise him and his relationship with Yoshitaka Kirino, the ruthless mastermind of the criminal enterprise he’s involved in. Kenta assigns three street punks the task of recovering the priceless data as well as the only person who witnessed the crime.

 

Detective Hiroshi Shimizu was trained as an accountant in America. Now he’s a Tokyo detective specializing in deciphering the finances of criminal activities by examining bank records, statements, spreadsheets, and cryptocurrency. Money trails extend “like spokes from every murder,” and Shimizu has the expertise to grasp their implications.

 

As Sukanya tries to elude the men sent by Kenta, she’s assisted by Chiho, a young Japanese woman who empathizes with her predicament. Together they manage to stay one step ahead of their pursuers. But for how long? It’s a race to see if Hiroshi and his colleagues can unravel the motive and identify the murderer(s) before they catch up with Sukanya and the evidence in her possession.

 

While being a tightly plotted, well-structured murder mystery, Tokyo Traffic, provides insights into criminal activity surrounding pornography, the sex trade, human trafficking, and to some extent how organized crime uses cryptocurrencies to transfer and conceal profits from illegal activities.

 

Equally engaging is author Michael Pronko’s knowledge of contemporary Japanese culture including food, fashion, entertainment, and the environs of the world’s largest city.

 

Pronko’s characters are fully developed, his dialogue is authentic, and his writing is clear and concise. An ambitious novel, Tokyo Traffic at times feels bogged down with the excessive Tokyo travelogue, a confusion of characters, and plot minutiae; however, realistic detective work, action, romance, and even humor make for an overall entertaining and enlightening story.

FREE E-BOOK - Cold-Blooded - The Mattie Saunders Series Book 2

To help you cope with COVID-19

 

THIS WEEK'S FREE E-BOOK

 

 

 Cold-Blooded

(Adjective): without emotion or pity, deliberately cruel or callous.

Book 2 in the Mattie Saunders Series

 

Cold-Blooded, Book 2 in The Mattie Saunders Series has Mattie navigating

personal relationships, the challenges of education and career all the while

addressing the issues of the exploitation of reptiles as exotic pets

and the devastating opioid crisis sweeping North America.

Romance, drama, action, and exotic pets combine for an entertaining thriller.

 

Download your free copy 

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU 

til midnight May 18, 2020

 

TO WATCH THE PROMO VIDEO CUT AND PASTE

https://animoto.com/play/f47RaoUk1jTUET0w3Epyrw

 

 

 

 

 

Time is running out. Free offer ends at midnight, May 9, 2020

FREE E-BOOK - The Rocker and the BIRD GIRL

Reblogged from Rod Raglin:

To help you cope with COVID-19

 

THIS WEEK'S FREE E-BOO

 

 The Rocker and the Bird Girl,

Book 1 in the Mattie Saunders Series

 

“...a seriously non-traditional love story”.

 

Download your copy ‘til midnight May 9 at

 

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU 

 

TO WATCH THE PROMO VIDEO CUT AND PASTE

https://animoto.com/play/9yqiZt2DGNr1hq2SYRT7SA

 

FREE E-BOOK - The Rocker and the BIRD GIRL

To help you cope with COVID-19

 

THIS WEEK'S FREE E-BOO

 

 The Rocker and the Bird Girl,

Book 1 in the Mattie Saunders Series

 

“...a seriously non-traditional love story”.

 

Download your copy ‘til midnight May 9 at

 

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU 

 

TO WATCH THE PROMO VIDEO CUT AND PASTE

https://animoto.com/play/9yqiZt2DGNr1hq2SYRT7SA

 

FREE E-BOOK - Abandoned Dreams

Abandoned Dreams - Rod Raglin

This week's FREE E-BOOK

to help you cope with COVID is

 

ABANDONED DREAMS

 

Download your free copy til Midnight May 4, 2020 at

 

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

Watch the video or read the blurb

 

https://animoto.com/play/V5Yvza9cf8kHiiGlTPCHxA

 

 

At twenty-seven years-old, George Fairweather is “the voice of his generation”, a poet whose talent has garnered him accolades from the literary establishment and homage from the disenfranchised “hippie” youth of the late 1960’s.

 

George is the embodiment of the times with his long hair, rebellious attitude and regular use of mind-expanding psychedelic drugs.

 

Then the sudden and tragic death of Fallon, his friend, his muse and his lover shatters his world, his sanity and nearly ends his life.

 

Katherine is the one person who stands between George and destruction. A hanger-on, a groupie, a go-for, she’s a woman George never considered – for anything.  Katherine idolizes George and makes it her personal mission to keep him alive, doing whatever it takes, twenty-four seven. 

 

Because of Katherine’s sacrifice and devotion George slowly begins to mend his soul and rebuild a life. But guilt and gratitude make it a much different life then he’d previously led.

 

Thirty-seven years later, George Fairweather is a husband, father and grandfather and a successful copywriter at an advertising agency. Another death, his wife Katherine’s, is about to change his life again.

 

Can dreams be resurrected?

 

Can a life you’ve abandoned be taken up again?

 

Is it worth it?

 

Will they let you?