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Now available in hardcover as an ebook, Hillwilla was one of only two literary novels chosen for this year's National Press Club Book Fair in Washington, D.C., an event that featured more than 100 authors
Beatrice Desmond, 55, lives on a remote farm nestled in a deep hollow in southern West Virginia. Her troubled past—an alcoholic father, growing up borderline poor, a suicidal husband—along with her loyalty to a deceased friend, drove her to this lonely existence. She soldiers on, accompanied by her wry sense of humor, a faithful setter named Ralph, and an inherited herd of six llamas, one of whom hurls a wad of chewed-up hay in her face on New Year’s Day, a most unwelcome omen.
A native of Boston and a graduate of an Ivy League college, Beatrice is a fish out of water in fictional Seneca County. She has constant difficulty dealing with the locals, many of whom she finds interesting but unfathomable. And although she maintains contact with certain friends and family—lively and irreverent Evie, sturdy brother Bart—they remain distant geographically and sometimes emotionally. As a result, and too often, Beatrice retreats into her work as a translator and editor, or into the bottle of Jack Daniel’s she maintains nearby.
Fate finally intervenes, requiring Beatrice to befriend and shelter Clara, an abused teenager, and accept the job of ghostwriting the memoir of her dashing but enigmatic neighbor, Tanner Fordyce. Gradually, Beatrice finds the harsh Appalachian winter of her life easing and signs of a hopeful spring appearing. Her resolute independence and crusty reserve soften, her carefully constructed barriers fall, and her guarded and self-protective nature moderates, as she explores the renewed pleasures of emotional involvement.
At times sad, at times hilarious, and always quirky, Hillwilla is a life-affirming read. It celebrates the glories of nature, the resilience of the human spirit, the healing power derived from genuine connections with others, and the potential for reinventing ourselves—at any age. Come, explore the unforgettable world of Hillwilla.
"A great, heartwarming story! I loved the scenes; I could feel myself right there in the pages. You can’t help getting sucked into the story and keep reading into the late hours wanting to know what is going to happen next. This is a stand alone book but I could see other adventures for [Beatrice] in the future. I can’t wait to read what Melanie Forde comes up with next." --JBronder Book Reviews
"Forde's writing is insightful, funny, and thought-provoking from start to finish. [Her] poetic delivery of life's spit, sprinkled with the virtues of tolerance, empathy, and humor ... delighted me and gave me pause to reflect. I am not talking sappy, just good writing; writing that connects the reader with the human spirit."
--Charlie Hackbarth, author, Tales of the Trail
"Hillwilla beautifully shows that animals are amazingly human in their love for those they value."
--Ronald Hart, syndicated libertarian humorist
“Melanie Forde has given us a 21st-century Back-to-the-Land novel with a troubled protagonist, but also with a preternaturally responsible English setter, an assurance that the ending will be a happy one.” —Sue Hubbell
Now available in hardcover and as an ebook A must-read!’
“[Global Security Consulting] is not only a must-read for operating your own business but a testimonial to managing any business with integrity and fairness.”
—William J. Esposito, former Deputy Director of the FBI
“A must-read that can save you tons of anxiety, time and money.”
—Michael Heimbach, VP of Global Security, ESPN
“A must-read for anyone who calls him/herself a global consultant.”
—Peter Davis, original associate, Bain & Company
“A must-read for anyone interested in this lucrative field.”
—Gary M. Citrenbaum, President/Chief Scientist, System of Systems Analytics, Inc.
“A must-read for all aspirants to this field and enjoyable reading for anyone interested in how international affairs, foreign policy and good business management are conducted.”
—Richard L. Holm, former senior intelligence officer and author of The Craft We Chose: My Life in the CIA
“A must-read for anyone contemplating a profitable career as a Security Consultant and even for those of us who have been doing it for a while.”
—David Nicastro, President, Secure Source International LLC
“A must-read if you are serious about building a world-class security consultancy in the 21st century. It is a tell-all from the front lines and is both entertaining and informative.
—Vincent Volpi, CEO, PICA Corporation
“Experience is key in this line of business, but you must survive long enough to use what you have learned, and this book is a must-read to study and profit.”
—Erik Lawrence, founder of Blackheart International/current owner Vigilant Security Services
Available in hardcover and as an ebook
"Thanks for writing and publishing Among Enemies! My VP discovered it at an airport bookstore and handed off to me. Once in my hands, I couldn’t put it down. Your book has made a great addition to the information protection awareness tools we’ve developed internally. Plus you’ve validated years of what I’ve been telling execs about how to travel more safe and secure."
--Bruce D. Cristofferson, CISSP, CISA, CISM
OpSec Officer for a Fortune 500 Telecommunications Company
"A marvelous book! ...The most handy, the most accessible 'how-to' book to be aware of the threats that we're facing."
--Frank Gaffney, Secure Freedom Radio
"A must-read if you travel overseas."
--William J. Esposito, former Deputy Director of the FBI
"Packed with advice and information ... [Bencie] does not sugarcoat the human weaknesses that cause people to compromise themselves in the worst ways possible ... Electronic threats are covered in detail ... Readers who pay attention could thwart foreign [espionage] efforts and protect vital trade secrets ... Among Enemies is a must-read for international travelers and those who deliver foreign travel briefings and debriefings."
--G. Ernest Govea, Security Management magazine
"Great reading for spies and businessmen alike."
--Remy Mauduit, former FLN Member, Intelligence Operative, and U.S. Special Forces Counterinsurgency Instructor
"The author really knows [his] stuff ... He covers all aspects of locking down your business information ... I have a new appreciation of the 'leakiness' of my electronic devices ... [An] easy read -- this one is immediately useful."
--Reg Nordman, RocketBuilders.com
"Indispensable and authoritative ... for every business traveler engaging in overseas business activities."
--Dr. Joshua Sinai, The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International
"Required reading for the American business traveler."
--Jack Lee, Vice President, Florida Satellite Chapter, Association of Former Intelligence Officers
"The most updated account [of] the threats our American business travelers face when abroad with their intellectual property and trade secrets. [He] reveals, despite friend or foe, encrypted or hidden, your sensitive business information is at grave risk; but, this expert shows many ways to significantly reduce your vulnerabilities." --S. Eugene Poteat, President, Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO)
Read Luke Bencie's interview with Jay Campbell of Business Travel News.
To learn more about Luke Bencie and the book, please visit his site, Among-Enemies.com
Available in hardcover, as an ebook, and as an unabridged downloadable audio narration
"A rare and masterful glimpse into the inner workings of the clandestine service ... But more than that, his story is an account of extraordinary personal courage that sets a standard for those who would call themselves intelligence officers." --Porter Goss, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
"Arguably the best book I have ever read on the agency ... and I've read practically all of them." --Larry Cosgriff, Maritime Lens
"The stuff of great spy fiction ... a must-read." --David Pitt, Booklist Online
"The memoir of a true patriot ... a fascinating look into the motivations and everyday life of a highly decorated CIA operative ... who gave his life--almost literally--to serve our country in ambiguous and dangerous circumstances that we everyday people cannot truly appreciate." --Gregory Herbert
"Remarkable! Thank you for all the work Mountain Lake Press did in bringing this inspiring CIA Officer's autobiography into print in the manner it long deserved." --Elizabeth Bancroft, Executive Director, Association of Former Intelligence Officers
"Clear and engaging ... Holm corrects the media's portrayal of spying operations as car chases punctuated by martinis shaken-not-stirred and disregard for American laws and values." --André Le Gallo, former senior CIA officer and author of Satan's Spy, The Caliphateand The Red Cell
"A terrific book--required reading! His story magnifies the importance of human intelligence in warfare, and is demonstrable of the valor of our clandestine services." --Frank Gaffney, Secure Freedom Radio
"Something worth being grateful for--both the book itself and the actual decades of service detailed in its pages." --Ronnie Rittenberry, Security Products magazine
"A terrific blend of detailed memory, emotional involvement, and fascinating subject matter. Richard Holm put me on his shoulder and walked me through his life, through a variety of cultures in Asia and Europe, and through the twisting corridors of the CIA."
--Nelson Antonio Denis
"Well worth reading, not just for the details of the CIA's inner workings but as a chronicle of how one American dealt with adversity to continue serving in the line of work he had, indeed, chosen."
--Cmdr. Peter B. Mersky, USN (Ret.), U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings
"Thanks for allowing Dick Holm to tell his powerful story of clandestine service to our country.It humbles me to know we have men and women like him and his colleagues keeping us safe at night." --Doc Kirby, WTBF-AM/FM, Troy, Alabama
"An absorbing trip through the mind of a gifted operative who for 35 years did his difficult and sometimes dangerous job to heroic effect ... America was lucky to have him." --Charles McCarry, The Wall Street Journal
Read Howard Altman's interview with Richard Holm in the Tampa Tribune.
Available in hardcover, as an ebook, and as a downloadable audio narration by the author
"Long's book surprised me by its earthiness and honesty ... He spares no one in his narrative, least of all himself ... [His] tone is downright irreverent, but it's beautifully written and easy to read; even the musical terminology is transparent."
--Tom Glenn, Washington Independent Review of Books
"This delightful insider view of the world of opera is much like some of the glimpses we get from rock-and-roll tell-alls. Opera singer Charles Long is a skilled wordsmith, and his narration adds verve and energy to his story. The result is a fun and enlightening listening experience. His elegant foreign accents add authenticity, with his best creation being, of course, himself. Particularly amusing is his colorful and frank description about being a straight guy in a world abounding with gay men. Also, his spirited account of the time he and his boss, an Italian restaurant owner, retreated to a back alley to settle a dispute over a microphone is amusing. Adding to the listening pleasure are gorgeous snippets of opera music."
"Wickedly and delightfully atypical. He knows where the bodies are buried and he spells out locales, proclivities and locations. Long says what people know and dare not spill ... There are delightful scenes ... Buy the book. It's a delight."
"Companionably written in a bemused tone. It’s full of stories like the time an aging tenor lost his voice in the middle of Pagliacci, and his “cover” (understudy) tried to sing the role from the pit while the older singer’s wife urged her husband to try to belt it out anyway."
"Music fans of all genres will identify with his trials, tribulations, and successes in the scream trade. Any reader who has ever screamed due to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune will take heart in knowing that in Charles Long they've found a fellow traveler."
"In the present day there is a dearth of singers of Charles Long’s physical stature and vocal strength for the great Italian baritone roles, particularly in Verdi. This state of affairs has become even more acute over the period since his enforced retirement. One can only regret that his premature departure deprived him and opera lovers of the benefit of many more of his stage performances. [His] book can be gainfully read by opera-lovers and would-be singers alike. It is well written and contains much wisdom along with the anecdotes and stories."
"A revealing account of what might be called the engine-room of opera performance, with a no less interesting confessional of his often bumpy relationships and the health problems that led to his regrettably early retirement after some glorious years sharing the stage, on evidently equal terms, with many of the greatest singers of our time."
--Bernard Jacobson, independent music critic, Seattle, Washington
Available exclusively as ebooks in all popular formats
"André Le Gallo [has done] it again! [The Red Cell] is the third in a trilogy of action-packed, 'round-the-world adventure. The real James Bond would only wish to have Le Gallo's real-life experiences. I know André, and he is the real deal; grace, guts and gallantry--a true American hero!"
--Dr. Barry Austin Goodfield, International Criminal Profiler
"I cannot think of any more crucial topic and anyone more qualified to discuss the Iranian situation than Mr. André Le Gallo, who witnessed the Iranian revolution firsthand and [observed] how the radical Islamists took the government apart. Will Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia and others follow?”
--Farhad Mansourian, former military intelligence officer, Iranian Army
Read about André, his CIA career and his books in an online issue of Living in the West magazine.
Also available: Inexpensive and indispensable -- and now in a newly updated edition -- an ebook for movie lovers, with links to hundreds of clips, featurettes and full-length titles
Available as quality paperbacks, as ebooks, and now as beautifully recorded audio books: the complete Safehaven Chronicles by R.A. Comunale, M.D.
Comunale's first novel, a deeply affecting tale of loss and redemption
The sequel both broadens and deepens the story and its characters
The bittersweet conclusion to the trilogy
And a trio of essential tools to master the art of safe driving at any age!
In print for 17 years, one of the finest texts ever written about driving instruction
The updated edition of a powerful blueprint for changing driving behavior
A unique and extremely valuable resource for sustaining safe-driving skills
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