Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Courage to Stand


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Non-Fiction / Law
Published: May 21st, 2019

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Success Through Passion and Endurance

As a leading expert in trial law, Sandra Spurgeon masterfully outlines the art and science of case-winning strategies inside and outside the courtroom.  Having successfully litigated thousands of cases, with over 120 of them litigated to verdict in both state and federal jurisdictions, she reveals the secrets of successful litigation techniques.

You will learn her highly effective strategies for:

Case Selection

Discovery Process

Trial Preparation

Execution in the Courtroom

Spurgeon not only clearly describes these methods, but also demonstrates how to apply them - through real examples of courtroom “war” stories.  Based on her vast experience spanning nearly two decades, Courage to Stand – Mastering Your Trial Strategy, is designed to not only help the beginning attorney, but to also sharpen the skills of veteran lawyers.

This work goes far beyond theory and reaches into the trenches to reveal how some of the most difficult cases can be won by utilizing a proven synthesized plaintiff and defense litigation practice which has collected millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for her clients.  Having successfully litigated 1000s of cases with 120+ litigated to verdict in both state and federal jurisdictions, she reveals the secrets of successful litigation techniques.



About the Author


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Sandra Spurgeon has been a practicing trial lawyer since 1990. In that time, she has successfully litigated in excess of 120 cases through verdict in both state and federal jurisdictions.

Throughout her career, Sandra has synthesized a plaintiff and defense litigation practice that has afforded her great insight and a unique perspective in "getting to the heart" of the case from the beginning stages thru trial. Thru experience, she has achieved trial excellence in the courtroom.

From a defense perspective, ┼×andra's includes not only the handling of commercial litigation but also, the defense of insurance claims, healthcare professional liability claims, coverage and extra-contractual issues and fire & casualty claims.

In Kinney vs. Butcher, 131 S.W.3d 357 (Ky. App. 2004), her successful argument presented to the Kentucky Court of Appeals resulted in the decision delineating the standard for an award of punitive damages. In Pike vs. GEICO, 174 Fed. Appx. 311 (6th Circ. 2006), she successfully litigated the prescribed time period for filing an underinsured motorist claim in KY.

Sandra's practice also includes the representation of victims and families who have suffered catastrophic losses and has collected settlements and judgments in excess of $50,000,000. In 2016 & 2017, she collected in excess of $16,000,000 in settlements and/or judgments. In 2017, Sandra litigated a Federal Tort Claim to judgment with the verdict in excess of $2,000,000. Chrispen vs. United States of America, 7:16-132. Although she has always allowed her verdicts and results to speak for themselves, she considers the verdict in Dotson vs. Sony Electronics, 7:02-CV-35 among one of her biggest accomplishments. Sandra successfully litigated this res ipsa loquitor products liability claim to a multi-million-dollar judgment unanimous verdict in federal court on behalf of a burn victim.

Through experience Sandra has developed a systematic approach for handling of complex litigation matters beginning at case selection, through the discovery process, trial preparation and execution in the courtroom. Additionally, she serves as an expert witness and lectures before various organizations and clients on trial practice, evidence and Kentucky law. Sandra is adept at handling complex legal issues and is a skilled legal writer. Sandra is active in her community where she currently serves on the Board of Directors for Foster Council and Women Leading Kentucky. She has also served as parent representative for the Fayette County School Systems. She is an advocate for children and families in her community and was instrumental in the drafting of the Michelle P. Waiver program for children in KY. She is the proud mother of two adult daughters, Victoria and Elizabeth.



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Thursday, 9 May 2019

Along the Waterways


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Historical/Fantasy Fiction
Published: October 2018
Publisher: Xlibris

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Along the Waterways is book two of the Dreamtime Mysteries trilogy. Anthropology student, Rex Graham, is presented with a second set of ancestral paintings encoded with clues about the forgotten legends that formed the Dreamtime legends of his people. Rex revisits a sacred tree in his native territory: the resting place of his deceased grandmother, where the atmosphere of the bush has a hypnotic effect on his mind.  After falling asleep, the bush springs to life and ‘Gran Yan’ shares more history with the Australian bush about a bygone era of indigenous peoples: their journeys, adventures, social gatherings and way of life.

The Booran people, territorial owners of the region, returned to their homeland many generations after journeying to the desert in the wake of catastrophic wild-fires, guided by their migrating bird totem, the pelican.

Following their return to Yaraan Grove, the first-born child was named after the great eagle, Mullawaa that guided them home. The boy proved gifted beyond the people's understanding, and his innovative projects proved unacceptable to their tradition-bound culture. Fearing the youth would anger their earth-mother and punish them with more droughts, they called upon Mullawanda to utilise inventive gifts to rediscover lost skills due to their time spent in the desert, and concentrate on practical needs such as boat-building.  Defying the elders, the youthful adventurer landed himself in unexpected situations and encounters with some unique communities.    Some unsolved mysteries that were raised in book one unfold, as Gran Yan shares the stories. Action, suspense, intrigue and a dabble of romance add flavour to the story, along with the unique inclusion of illustrations created by the author, together with her front and back cover paintings.

The book is divided into seven parts and includes a glossary of indigenous languages, index of characters and their tribal groups, plus a bibliography of cultural research.



Other Books in the Dreamtime Mysteries series:


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Native Companions: Dreamtime Mysteries
Publisher: Xlibris
Published: August 2018

Rex Graham, a part-Aboriginal student of anthropology, is searching for his own indigenous ancestral history: customs, language and dreamtime legends. Due to a lifetime bond to his Aboriginal grandmother, he is enlightened after her passing, when he discoverers the key to his lost people’s history and traditional history: preserved in artwork bequeathed to him on her deathbed. Driven by a passion to learn the truth about the simplistic drawings, the legends unfold as epic mythology: filled with adventure, drama and a wealth of traditional Aboriginal survival and culture.

Barnett captures the strong bond the Booran people have with nature—how they lived off and with the land, communicating with it, respecting it, learning from it. Like any good collection of myths, there is also the educational aspect of these tales. Readers will learn about the spirits the Booran people believe in, manhood initiation ceremonies, and other cultural practices such as communication rules and skin signs with other tribes. Blending a fictional premise with well-researched legends, this book is a great starter read for those interesting in learning more about Aboriginal stories, and includes a glossary of mixed aboriginal language, index of communities and bibliography at the end of the story.




About the Author

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Jenni Barnett was born and raised in South Australia. During her college education at Glenelg, the author developed an interest in archaeology and indigenous societies. Further to an extensive nursing career, Jennifer embarked on studies in traditional medicine with which she is still involved.

As a registered Traditional Western and Chinese Medicine practitioner, the author has done considerable research into early indigenous cultures. While enjoying creative writing and drawing, she decided to combine the two art forms and incorporate them in a traditional, pre-European setting.

During her youth, Jenni spent considerable time working in remote regions of Central Australia, where she learned about many aspects of Aboriginal culture. She developed a respect for certain Aboriginal people of the time, whom were still practising certain traditional ways of living, including bush foods and medicines as well as arts and crafts.  The author is particularly fascinated by the ability of Australian indigenous bush-men to access a higher sense, or instinct. Their survival skills in remote regions of Australia where early pioneers often perished are emphasized in her writing.

As a semi-retired traditional medicine practitioner, Jenni resides with her husband in Queensland Coastal region, dividing her time between writing, sketching and her health practice. Along with her husband she has spent countless hours establishing a bird friendly environment by cultivating native plants and an eco-friendly environment.


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Wednesday, 8 May 2019

A Bitter Wind


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Mystical Fantasy/Sci-fi, Occult, Supernatural
Publisher: FriesenPress

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Can time become stuck at NOW or does it just seem that way?

Can the past be changed without creating a paradox?

Does history repeat or is that something we tell ourselves to cover our poor choices?

When Alexander ‘Ramses’ Smith is assigned to decipher the odd hieroglyphs of the Temple of Khnum—all heka (magic) breaks loose. As a teen, his interest was in metaphysical and sharing psychic experiences with a beloved grandmother. When she died, things turned dark when an Ouija Board freed a terrifying entity with red eyes. He thought he was free of it when he shut his psychic gifts down and began a study of Egyptology—But Shezmu was waiting for him in Esna. Lex found others trapped by the time loop: afret (djinni), the ghost of a former archeologist, Dr. Broderick S. Gillwood, the Neteru (Egyptian gods/goddesses) all conspiring against his scientific training and logical mind.

Lex soon realizes there is no choice but to obey the voices in his head and the mysterious ones of an outer sort. He must rely on the intuitive gifts he fought so hard to quash. Realizing he can see and sense what others cannot, Lex runs headlong into a past life that puts him dangerously susceptible to the hidden secrets infused in the stone ruins. He must quickly re-define his understanding of the lines between imagination and reality or lose the battle for his mind with the darkness created by blood sorcery and a destiny (shay) he never expected.


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About the Author

As a Mystical Author, Anita Merrick is a 3rd generation psychic, retired and living in a wooded area of Erin, NY with her husband, Timothy, and furry children—two West Highland White Terriers and a half-Westie/Cavalier King Charles spaniel. As Crystal Wind (DBA), she is a Psychic Intuitive, Tarot Reader and Medium, an ordained priestess in the Order of Melchizedek. She holds certification as a Tarot Master from the Tarot Certification Board of America. Prior to 1991, she performed as Nehebka, a semi-professional Oriental (belly) dancer; at the same time raised, trained and showed Appaloosa horses. A Bitter Wind, a first novel, comes from a life-long love of Egypt that probably really began in 1988 as a belly dancer and a first trip to Egypt and a performance at the Winter Palace of Luxor. Starting about 1991, her focus went to the paranormal, supernatural and metaphysical, as well as the tarot. That led to the next trip to Egypt (1997) with a group of like-minded friends then a synchronistic connection with Nicky Scully/Shamanic Journeys, Mary K. Greer and Normandi Ellis, Anita returned to deepen an understanding of the mystical. The last trip in 2011 (Shamanic Journeys) most powerfully connected her to the mysteries of Egypt—Like a portal opened into the ancient past, the spirits spoke and their stories became this book.



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Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Digit: Robot Dog Stops Bullying At School




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Children's Book
Publisher: Xlibris

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The story is about a Robot dog named Digit. Digit the  Robot dog who helps to stop bullying at the Zipper Elementary School. Digit is a large robot dog that rolls down the hallways at the Zipper Elementary School. Digit is a special dog because he teaches children not to bully each other in school. Digit carries a red toolbox kit that teaches children about positive behavior, positive role models, positive rules, being kind to one another, being helpful to each other, and teaches children how to deal with problems about bullying in school. Digit teaches the children how to be friendly, to share, to say please and thank you but most of all he teaches them to have positive behavior. Digit lets the children program the computer. Digit has a special red toolbox kit with special positive reward for those children who are well behaved in and out of school.  Digit says, “Bullying Hurts! It hurts us all. Stop Bullying now!




Other Books by Sophia Z. Domogala:

Buzzin’ with Kindness
Publisher: Xlibris


The story is about ten bees bullying one another while flying around in Mrs. Busys classroom. The ten bees are buzzing very loud, shouting at one another, crashing into one another, pushing, shoving, trying to sting the children, and flying around the classroom while Mrs. Busy is teaching. These are not acceptable behaviors. The bees are being rude and are trying to bully one another. All of a sudden, the bees decide being bullies is wrong. Being bullies to one another is not the correct thing to do. The bees decide to be kind, use kind language to one another, use good manners, be polite, and set a good example for the children. Being bullies set a bad example for the children. Mrs. Busy tells the children to behave nicely to one another. She tells the children they should not push, hurt, shove, or bully one another. They need to be thoughtful, kind, and say Excuse me or Im sorry. Being a bully is not the correct behavior either in school or outside of school or anywhere. Mrs. Busy tells the children to do their best in school and play together nicely as bullying hurts the feelings of others. Mrs. Busy lets the children know they should use only kind words and their indoor voices, they should be good listeners, and they should not punch, kick, shove, hit, spit, and grab one another. Bullying hurts others. The ten bees were wrong to hurt one another. No bullying! Bullying others is not an acceptable behavior. Bullying hurts!







About the Author

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Dr. Sophia Z.  Domogala,  (Doctorate in Education) , grew up on Long Island, attended Uniondale High school,  New York and a  resident of Eatontown, New Jersey for over 40 years.  Dr Sophia  Z.  Domogala. Earned a Master’s of Arts degree, and Bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University, New York, and received Doctorate degree from Nova Southeastern University, Florida, in Educational Leadership. In addition, did post-graduate work at Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey, and course work in School Law, St. Peters University, and Georgian Court University in New Jersey. Served as a banking business consultant and pursued a career in the public education field for over twenty years as a special education teacher, elementary school teacher, middle school teacher, principal, curriculum coordinator, and Director of Pre-School.  Enjoys challenging and engaging students in creative school and community projects, the arts, music, theater, traveling, cooking, and enjoys drawing, oil painting, and sketching. A member of the Stanford Who's Who, Black Book, and Manchester Who's who book, the Executives Professional Women's Book and was nominated for Presidential Award. Member of the NJPSA and the National Association of Elementary/ Secondary Schools Principals.



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Friday, 3 May 2019

Drakon's Knight



Today N.J. Walters, Entangled Publishing, and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover and an excerpt from her Romantic Fantasy Book which releases on June 24, 2019! Check out the awesome cover and enter the giveaway!

On to the reveal! 


Title: DRAKON’S KNIGHT (Blood of the Drakon Book #7)
Author: N.J. Walters
Pub. Date: June 24, 2019
Publisher: Entangled Publishing. LLC (Amara)
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 400

Drakon Jericho Drake, the child of a pure-blood dragon and human, has a simple plan: Kill the leader of the Knights of the Dragon and start a war. Except, when he meets his target, Karina Azarov, she can’t remember who she is. Worst of all––he can’t kill her. His dragon side has just claimed the dangerous woman as his mate.

Karina has no idea why these Drakon’s have taken her to their home. And she most certainly does not understand why she’s so drawn to her captor. Maybe because he’s strong, intelligent, and caring, in his enigmatic sort of way. One thing she knows, he’s not going to hurt her. If only she could remember something from her past that would explain why these Drakon’s hate her so much.

But if her memory returns, mated or not, he may get his war.. And one of them will die.

Read all the books in this amazing companion series!


Excerpt:
He caught her chin in his hand. Surprised by his action, she allowed him to lift her face until their gaze met.

“I had no plans to kidnap you.” His voice was so impossibly deep it seemed to vibrate in her very bones.

“No?” She reached up and wrapped her hand around his wrist. Or tried to. It was too thick for her fingers to reach all the way around.

“No.” He shook his head, making his hair flow around his shoulders. At some point, he’d lost the tie that had held it back. It was thick and lush, and she wanted to run her fingers through it, which was crazy, considering her circumstances.

The air practically cracked and snapped with tension until she wasn’t sure she could bear it for one more second.

“Well?” she demanded.

“I didn’t plan to take you.” He leaned inward until their noses were almost touching, his breath puffing against her skin. His nostrils flared. “No, I didn’t plan to take you,” he repeated as he rubbed this thumb over the curve of her jaw. “I’d planned to kill you.”

About NJ: 
N.J. Walters is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, werewolves, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.



Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a $5 Amazon Gift Card, International.
Giveaway ends May 13th, midnight EST.




Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Bobby Ether and the Jade Academy


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YA Fantasy
Date Published: April 24, 2019
Publisher: Koehler Books

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When sixteen-year-old Bobby Ether is abducted and brought to the secluded Jade Academy in Tibet, monks teach him and other special students how to tap into their Anima—the universal energy that connects all living things. But the headmistress of the academy is secretly exploiting the students, looking for genetic triggers to create a new breed of humans with metaphysical abilities. As his powers increase, Bobby is thrust into a cesspool of conspiracy, lies, and betrayal. A jade amulet left by his clairvoyant grandfather may provide answers, but what exactly is his family's connection to this mysterious place?

Can Bobby master his talents in time to uncover the truth? If not, his fate—and the fate of the entire Jade Academy—may be sealed.



Praise for Bobby Ether and the Jade Academy:

"Tragedy, mystery, and suspense make this scientific coming-of-age story a fascinating read." --Clarion 5-star review


"Bobby Ether and the Jade Academy is a thrilling action-packed adventure you never want to end." --IndieReader 4.5 stars

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About the Author

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R. Scott Boyer graduated from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley in 1996. In 2008, he became fascinated with the idea of blending young adult fantasy with new-age fiction and thus began his journey as a writer. While maintaining a full-time job, he couldn't help but envision the kind of book he wanted to read. This exploration led to the creation of the Bobby Ether YA fantasy series, which combines spiritual elements with ancient myths and legends to create fun, fast-paced stories tailored for young adults but suited for adventure lovers of all ages.

Through his writing, Scott likes to explore various spiritual and metaphysical themes, including karma, serendipity, communion with nature, and the interconnectedness of all living things. In his free time, Scott likes to play basketball and tennis, as well as bike with his rescue dog, Patch. Over the years, Scott has been involved with a number of volunteer youth organizations, including United In Harmony, YMCA summer and winter camps, various basketball programs, and C5LA.

Raised in Santa Monica, California, Scott still resides in the Los Angeles area close to his family.


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Saturday, 13 April 2019

Tick Cooper



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YA & Adult Historical Fiction
Publisher: Black Opal Books

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“I swear by everything I ever owned that my adventure will be the honest truth—even if I had to tell a few lies along the way to get to the meaning of that truth.” So promises Tick Cooper, a twelve year old Ohio boy who’s about to accompany his Uncle Ned down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans. It’s the autumn of 1860, right before the election that will send Abraham Lincoln to the White House. With his mother deceased and his father having deserted him for the chance of gold in California, Tick has been most fortunate to receive the care and love of his father’s older brother and his wife—Aunt Clara. Although she has recently passed away, she and Uncle Ned have educated the boy about living a good and proper life. But Tick hasn’t had much of a chance to put what he’s learned into practice—nor to face the moral challenges every young person will face as he or she grows up. But the river journey will provide plenty of those experiences and tests of character. Yet, reaching New Orleans does not conclude the lessons and challenges, for there Tick witnesses a slave auction, and on the block is a thirteen-year-old freed black girl named Clarissa, whom Tick had briefly met in Ohio. Now Tick faces his most significant challenge. Can he help get Clarissa back to Ohio all the way from New Orleans?




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Excerpt



There I was jumping from the top of one tree to another. It wasn’t exactly as if I was flying, because I had to land on the top branch of each tree, but it sure felt like flying. Geese were following me and honking away like they were trying to warn me about something. But when I decided to forget about the tree tops and just fly, I fell hard to the ground thirty feet below and started rolling down the side of a hill while I was hiding my face in a pillow. I kept feeling the feathers from the goose down pillow sticking out and poking my cheeks and the side of my neck. Try as I might, I couldn’t pull that pillow off my face and it got to be stained with the blood coming out of me. But I kept rolling and rolling until I was stopped by something firm but soft. But by the time I finally pulled the pillow away from my face to see what or who had stopped me, I woke up and I never found out. That happens to me in dreams a lot. Wish it didn’t, though. What woke me up was my Uncle Ned telling me it was time to leave our house and get on the train to Cincinnati where we would get aboard the steamboat the St. Paul and head down to New Orleans. I was about to leave on the greatest adventure of my life. I swear by everything I ever owned that it will be the honest truth—even if I had to tell a few lies along the way to get to the meaning of that truth. Uncle Ned shouted from the front porch of our house in Oxford, Ohio, “Time to catch the train, Tick.” That’s my name—Tick—Tick Cooper. Or what they’ve always called me anyways. Uncle Ned said I’d always remember this day as long as I lived, but I still wrote it down when we got on the train in Hamilton so I’d be sure never to forget— “November the 1st, 1860.” We would ride some thirty-five miles to Cincinnati, the 2 largest city in the whole state. I’d a been on the train only once before—when the railway first opened, when I was six. But what gets a boy excited when he’s six and what gets him excited at twelve are quite different things—so this time I acted all grown up like I’d ridden the railroad every week. I didn’t jump around and bother Uncle Ned the way I did the first time. Even so, it was still pretty special chugging along in such high style. Nothing much happened on the train for the first twenty miles or so, but two more passengers got on and right afterward I heard some commotion going on in front of where we were sitting. “I say that’s my seat you’re sitting in. Get out of it now.” The man who said that was an elderly gent who looked like he had gotten into many tough scrapes in his life. He had long white hair and side whiskers, but what I grabbed my attention most was his scarred-up face. It looked like someone had dug trenches on his cheeks and above his right eye. And he seemed much bigger and stronger than men as old as he was. He was talking to a boy who looked younger than me—maybe nine or ten. The boy was in the seat by himself and was just too scared to say anything back. “You had better come up with a good reason why you took my seat or I’ll rip your nose right off your face, boy.” Because Uncle Ned had fallen asleep, it was up to me to do something. I just had to be sure that boy kept his nose on where it was, so I ran up to the man. “Excuse me, mister. My brother here is in the wrong seat. Come on, Ben. Your seat is back with us.” That boy almost flew out of the seat and headed to the back of the train car. “Excuse my brother, mister. He doesn’t hear well and sometimes I have to tell him things twice.” I turned and walked back to my seat, expecting that that white-haired old devil would 3 grab me and try to take my nose off. But he didn’t say or do anything. He just grunted and sat in the seat I guess he always sat in when he rode on that train. I found out that Ben’s real name was Peter Butler and that he was put on the train by his grandpap so he could take a steamboat from Cincinnati to Pittsburgh, where his mother, father, and baby sister had just settled in a house. I told him I’d look out for him until we reached Cincinnati, where his grandpap’s brother lived and would take him in for the night. We talked about the man with the scars on his face—I mean we talked softly so we wouldn’t wake Uncle Ned or let that old buzzard hear us. I told Peter that some folks believe they really own whatever they use often—cups, chairs, and such--and that it’s easy for someone big to get what they want from someone smaller, who can’t do anything about it. And if that big someone is also real ugly, it’s all the easier. When I told Peter my name, he wanted to know if I was born with it. I told him that when I was born my father named me John Polk Cooper, but those first two names never really suited me much. It was Aunt Clara who first called me “Tick” because when I was a baby I used to burrow into the blanket like a tick into a dog’s back. But the name really stuck when I started running around and hiding in bushes, old dead trees, and holes in the ground. I also like the sound of Tick Cooper better than John Cooper or John Polk Cooper any day of the week. One of my teachers said that Tick Cooper wasn’t as easy to pronounce as John or John Polk Cooper, because the first name ended with a “k” sound and the second name began with the same sound. But she was educated and I guess those things matter to those kinds of folks. Ben said that Polk was a funny name to be stuck with—and it was, but from what Uncle Ned told me I got my middle name because of the then president of the United States, James Polk, who they say kicked the Mexicans out of Texas and took it for the 4 United States. Uncle Ned said that my father thought Polk did the right thing, but from what Uncle Ned also told me, my father once shot a man in the leg who claimed that the twelve feet at the very back of my father’s land rightfully belonged to him. They say the man showed my father the papers, but my father shot him anyways, saying that it was the law that those who live on the land and cultivate it have all right to it. I guess old President Polk never heard of that law when he took Texas. So since I was born on March 3, 1848, I got stuck with a Polk between my first and last names. If I was born three years ago my name would have been John Buchanan Cooper, which was wore then the name I had. As Aunt Clara used to say, “Thank heaven for small favors.” When the train stopped in Cincinnati, we waited until the foul-looking man left the train car before we did. Uncle Ned woke up and finally met Peter, who thanked me for helping him and waited until he saw his grandpap’s brother before getting off the train. I wished he was going to New Orleans instead of Pittsburgh, because I knew I’d never see him again, but my Aunt Clara used to say that the older you get the more often folks would come in and then out of your life—sometimes on the very same day. Aunt Clara. I guess I forgot to say that she was Uncle Ned’s wife and was always like a mother to me, since my own mother died when I wasn’t yet two years old. I’m still very sad that Aunt Clara got real sick and died a few months back. The day before we left Oxford, we went to see her grave at the Old Yard Cemetery. Uncle Ned had been going there every week since she died, but he never made me go with him. I just did it on my own every few weeks or so, but it was more to be with Uncle Ned because I really wanted to go. Not that I’m afraid to visit the graves of all those dead people. I’ve been there after the sun went down with three of my friends and was the very last to run out of there, which won me the wool cap we found snagged on a tree limb the day before. 5 Anyway--at her grave, Uncle Ned told Aunt Clara that he’d be going away for a spell and he’d be thinking of her all the time. He also told her that he’d be taking me with him. She was so good to me—she really was. As soon as we got off the train, we heard a noise on the wooden platform—a kind of “ker-thump” every several second or so, so we looked around and saw a man who looked like he hadn’t shaved his whiskers in a hundred years limping along with a wooden crutch under his arm, which he dragged as he took a step with his good leg. Good leg? I should have said only leg! Uncle Ned reached in his pocket for a coin or two, which he liked to do whenever he saw someone who couldn’t walk or see too well. So I reached in mine and pulled out one of my two new Indian head pennies. My other one was back in my room at home, but I always carried one of them with me for good luck. But when I looked at the coin, I wanted to think that Uncle Ned’s contribution would be enough that the one-legged old soul wouldn’t hold it against me if I jammed my lucky coin back in my pocket. I sure didn’t want to be without luck on my grand adventure to New Orleans. But I didn’t think or act fast enough because the next thing I knew I had put my Indian head penny in the man’s hand. He closed his old fist around it, and I felt like I dropped my hunting rifle down a well. My stomach became as heavy as a cannon ball, and my throat felt as dry as if I had swallowed a campfire. Being charitable isn’t always “its own reward,” as Aunt Clara used to say. The poor man had only limped about ten feet away when two men in fancy clothes, with new top hats and walking sticks came up behind him and started laughing and pointing at his crutch. I guess these were men because they were dressed in all high fancy, but they acted like boys not much older than me. The one in the striped pants took his walking stick and swung it like he was chopping at a low limb and knocked the 6 crutch out from under the old man, who fell to the platform before I could take get close enough to break his fall. Those two dandified gents both burst out laughing as the old man let out one of them painful old man’s screeches, with a whistling sound—probably because he lacked some front teeth. The coins he had gotten from me, Uncle Ned, and some other kindly folks were scattered all over the platform. And then you know what those two popinjays did? They threw down several coins themselves! I couldn’t believe it. I guess they paid for the right to hurt the old man. Or maybe they did it to make sure their consciences wouldn’t bother them none. Uncle Ned told me once that some folks believe they can make up for their being cruel and thoughtless by giving money. And these two gents were nothing compared to what I’d see later on my adventure. But I’m running ahead of myself. When I went over to help up the old man, I saw my Indian head penny about six feet away, picking up the bright sunshine, which made it sparkle. When I got the crutch situated under the old man’s arm, I walked over and picked up the coin. I was afraid someone else would take it and use it to buy something useless. No. Now wait. That’s not all of it. I better come clean or this tale isn’t going to be worth you’re taking the time to read it if I don’t. To tell the honest truth, I picked up the coin mostly because I wanted to think more about his need for it, since four other folks gave the old man more money. I picked up my coin as the lame old man was walking away with the rest of the money that someone had picked up from the platform, along with the new coins just placed in his hand. I knew he wouldn’t miss my Indian head penny—not one bit--and seeing that it and the other penny back home were gifts from my Uncle Ned, I decided to put the penny back in my pocket. For about a second. I caught up with the old man and gave him my good-luck penny for a second time. Maybe I was wrong, but I just felt he needed the good luck 7 much more than I did. Then I heard Uncle Ned calling me, and that was the last I saw of my penny and the old man. But not the last I’d see of those two high-hatted, dandypants scoundrels who knocked the old man down.





About the Author

 photo Tick Cooper Author John Vance_zpsnkmizxpe.jpg
During his career as Professor of English at the University of Georgia, John Vance was the author of six books and numerous articles devoted to literary biography and criticism. He also began indulging his love of theater as actor, director, and playwright, with thirty-five of his plays staged. Now he has turned exclusively to fiction, and is the author of fourteen novels, including the humorous memoir Setting Sail for Golden Harbor and the recently BookBub featured In Mind of the Vampire. He lives in Athens, Georgia with his wife Susan.


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