Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Conspiracy of Silence

#Book Release Announcement

Sex Scandals in high places ... an exposé on the murky world of high-stakes politics.

The conscience of a town steeped in sexism, vanity and hypocrisy is pricked by the brutal murder of a mysterious woman in a park in Los Angeles. But the shock is transformed into a steamy, seductive scandal when the body turns out to be that of Susan Whitaker, the flamboyant wife of the governor of California.

Soon, a dazzlingly intricate shuffle of volatile links leads the police to the delicate theory of secret lover / blackmailer, and to the indictment of Benjamin Carlton, Hollywood's most influential black celebrity.

Then curious things begin to happen when Carlton's ambitious girlfriend, Rita Spencer suddenly unearths the shocking secret that Susan Whitaker did not, in fact, exist. She little realizes however that her discovery of this colossal fraud is a mere curtain raiser to a chilling world of ugly skeletons dating back to the assassination of a U.S. Senator in a Washington hotel sauna, skeletons connected to riveting sex scandals in high places, skeletons the FBI and political kingmakers will kill for ...



...  is a depiction of the life-and-death struggle of a young female lawyer who goes to great lengths to outwit a diabolical trio with a very dark secret, in order to save her lover from a murder rap.

Genre:               Mystery/thriller

ISBN:                978-1517190316

Page N°:           207 pages

Release date:   30th September 2015

        Read Excerpt

Thursday, September 17, 2015

A blogger's visual perception of a character

Character Profile

Paige Lyman is a gorgeous redhead. Over fifty and now in semi-retirement, she is still an object of fascination to her daughter, Diane. She still possesses the loveliest pair of legs on Riverside Drive, and when she wears skirts, which she does often, even young men from the nearby Columbia University turn to stare. Diane is amazed that her mother's wonderful head of hair still causes whispers in elevators.

But Paige had a troubled childhood and is only coming to terms with it now ...


"Psychological suspense at its best"

Trang Tran | Book Blogger@Bookidote

"The story is about Paige, a famous psychiatrist who turns to a psychologist to seek help and identify the source of her trauma. The novel is spiced with a lot of Freud's notion of psychoanalysis including how events in childhood can determine someone's behavior, sexual desire and so on. This is very interesting to me as I am involved with psychology. It is an absolute gift to read an author who smartly inserts some psychology notions at the right moment into the story. Awesome read, great writing and the "coup" at the end is absolutely genius!"                 


                       "Like the cheery whisper of an admirer after a heartbreak" 

By Grady Harp

Amazon Top "100" Reviewer | Hall of Fame 

"Author, poet, journalist Augustine Sam lives in Venice, Italy - that most romantic of all cities - and in his personal hours he writes poemsThis poetic background is evident in the manner in which he approaches prose - words so eloquently phrased that each page gives the reader the sense that resetting the words would create one of his unique poems. 

Often in the prologues of fine novels, the author introduces not only pertinent subject matter but also offers an aperitif of writing style that acts as an overture to the music that will follow. Such is the case with Augustine's Prologue - pay attention to the language:" 

`Diane was dreaming about her husband, John, when suddenly, a strange sound woke her. A sensation of foreboding followed by a shower of gooseflesh, gripped her as a loud, familiar voice came to her from the direction of the living room. "Okay folks," the voice said, "today we won't dwell on the notion that women are biologically castrated men because that has already been rejected as scientifically unsatisfying." Diane's jaw dropped. "Oh, no," she muttered; she inclined her head, and listened, scowling and gaping. A shudder followed. 

It was nearly half past seven in the morning. Thin rays of daylight trickled into the room through the window, illuminating her face. "Aw," she croaked, and struggled to a sitting position, her hand instinctively caressing her slightly protruding belly. Stifling a yawn, she swung her feet from the bed, and carefully placed them on the Persian rug. "Stay safe, John," she said, as her thoughts embraced him, alone in Detroit, a determined courtroom brawler, steeling himself for his first real legal battle. She hoped he would win his case. She rose from the bed and pulled a chiffon robe over her shoulders. Fluffing her hair, she walked to the window of the small, all-white room in her mother's cottage. In silence, she parted the blind, squinting. A late September sun rose over the Manhattan skyline. The delicate cast of its rays captured the cloudless sky in a halo of naked beauty. Intrigued by the sight, Diane patted her baby bump and gazed, fascinated, at the rising sun, perched on the horizon like a giant ball of fire. She pulled the window ajar, and leaned against the pane, gazing animatedly at the people on the sidewalks.'

"As with composers, some themes have been set in motion in this brief passage that will gradually become the story. The author's synopsis offers what follows."

`What would you do if you found out that the man you married is not who you thought he was? What would you do if you suddenly discovered that you have indeed had the one thing you had yearned for all your life without realizing it? Now, imagine a woman transformed from psychiatrist to patient, and lured into a compelling backward journey through her own life on a psychotherapist's couch. Imagine skeletons from the past pulling her back into the vortex of darkness from which she thought she had escaped. Paige Lyman is a woman conned by fate, and plagued by damning memories she must decipher in order to be free. `Take Back the Memory' is a psychological exposé on love, betrayal, vengeance, and a heart-wrenching secret.'

"And that is all you need to know to embrace this new writer whose talent is immense. Poet and storyteller blend seamlessly in a drama that explores the human psyche and that thin line between living and experiencing life. Highly recommended."                                                          

What others say: 

"This book is well written. The plot-line is easy to follow and the characters are well developed. While there are parts of the story that are sad and /or troubling, there is also happiness within. I loved the surprising twist at the end."  
                                                    -    Stephanie Lasley    

Norm Goldman
“What makes this erotically charged tale an outstanding debut is readers can actually feel the protagonist leaping off the page and sitting in their living rooms describing the messy complications of her life. In addition, Sam's superb storytelling talent runs the spectrum from crafting a candid psychological exposé with tantalizing illicit sex scenes to a grim depiction of a scorned troubled woman who has suffered from long-term hurt. Another plus about this novel which makes it a pleasure to read is the ease, fluidity, the economy and tight structure, as well as the precision of Sam's prose which has a deft accuracy in its tone and execution. I would surmise that his outstanding poetic skills had a great deal to do with his ability to effortlessly spin quite a yarn.” 
                                                                                -         Norm Goldman [Vine Voice]     

Top 1000 Reviewer
"This was an absolutely fascinating story. The writing is excellent and filled with wonderful imagery from Paige's memories. The story opens with Paige's daughter concerned for her mother's mental state. She convinces her to see someone and the complicated, beautiful story is unraveled for the reader. This book is suspenseful, heart-wrenching and an emotional roller coaster."
                                                   -         P. Benson  [Top 1000 Reviewer]                                   


Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Bone Church

A bone candelabrum


Inside the Ossuary
It is almost like being in a room full of ghosts that you can actually see. A short flight of stairs leads down to a candle-lit ossuary and the visitor is immediately taken aback by garlands of human skull, bone chandeliers, and chalices with which this small Gothic chapel is decorated. Images of skulls in various forms, including skull buntings that are artfully draped between beams present the visitor with an amazing sight. Here, skulls are everywhere, lining the walls, hanging overhead, perching on the side, in front and beside the visitor. And as the visitor stares in awe, the skulls seem to stare back humorlessly, generating goose bumps and a strange, indescribable sensation.

Outside the cemetery church
Welcome to the Cemetery Church of All Saints renowned in Czech Republic for its ossuary featuring two large chalices, four baroque candelabras, six pyramids, and candle holders, all made with bones.

For 600 years in the capital city of Prague, the 30 statues of Christian saints that line the famous Charles Bridge have watched excited and weary tourists, fictional spies, and even pilgrims walk, camera in hand, from Malà Strana to the Old Town while nearby the city’s baroque castle looms over a cityscape like something straight out of a fairytale.

Garlands of skulls
Side wall inside the ossuary
But for many tourists, the main spectacle is the awe-inspiring church 70 kilometers east of the capital, in Sedlec, a suburb of Kutnà Hora, which, in fact, is one of the twelve World Heritage Sites in the Czech Republic. This Cemetery Church was a part of the oldest Cistercian monastery in Bohemia founded in 1142. Architecturally, it is a Gothic charnel house with an upper chapel and an underground ossuary.
A major tourist attraction

Legend has it that one of the local abbots was sent by the Czech king to Jerusalem around the year 1278. The Abbot brought back a handful of soil from Golgotha and scattered it over the Sedlec cemetery, which was used for consecrating and healing. During great epidemics in the 14th century, the cemetery was considerably extended, hosting 30,000 corpses. But, with the capture of Kutnà Hora in the spring of 1421 by Hussite troops, Sedlec was attacked and the cathedral plundered and burnt. Consequently, the cemetery was partially reduced at the end of the 15th century and bones from the discarded graves were moved to the ossuary. 
Part of the Sedlec cemetery

Side view of the Bone church
Bone pyramid
A half-blind monk who arranged the bones and skulls to the pyramids, according to legend, got his eyesight back after his work. But the Sedlec monstaery was abolished by Joseph II. in 1783. The property of the abbey was purchased by the Schwarzenberg family from Orlik and thanks to their patronage the Sedlec Ossuary was maintained. Interestingly, the baroque bone decoration was renewed and extended by Frankišek Rint from Českà Skalice in 1870 with the bones disinfected and bleached with chlorinated lime and placed in original patterns – a chandelier in the middle of the chapel and a coat of arms of the Schwarzenbergs
Spectacular bone chandelier
Front view of the bone church

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

2015 Book Award



 Book Review
Readers\' Favorite Book Contest Award WinnerReviewed by  for Readers' Favorite

Augustine Sam's Flashes of Emotion: A Collections of Poems is romantic poetry that looks into a vast array of subjects: love, pain, death and other life matters that evoke our sentiments. Having read his previous work, Take Back the Memory, a contemporary women’s fiction, I was curious to get to know him as a poet. I wasn't disappointed. His poems are written in a vivid and refreshing style. This makes the collection easy to relate to even by the casual readers of poetry like me. Sam's compilation is pleasurable to read and to reread. 

The book opens with the thought-provoking poems under the segment Lips and Wits. My favorite, however, is A Solitary Observer under the segment Musings. 

I stand in pensive solitude and watch
As life, in its omnipotence, swirls around me
Sucking me into a kaleidoscope of its timeless grace
Dazzling me with contrasting colors

Sam knows how to put across emotions and thoughts, and they resonate from every poem. Personally, the collection as a whole seems to be mostly tinged with a certain somberness or, if I may say, a metaphoric darkness for me. Other readers, however, might have different interpretations. 
In Sam’s own words, this book is definitely “a little anthem to celebrate the human spirit.” For poetry lovers, Flashes of Emotion is certainly a collection of poems that they want to sink their teeth into. The depth of sentiment and reflection explored in each poem is more than enough for anyone to contemplate in a long time.

See more reviews:

Flashes of Emotion


Flashes of Emotion is a book of romantic poetry, a selection that allows the reader to tap into the poet's insights into a wide variety of topics from life and love to death and drudgery - a collection that showcases Augustine Sam's lively, refreshing and innovative style. A 'must have' for anyone who has ever experienced love, pain, defeat, or joy.