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Now available as an ebook and coming soon in hardcover
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.
"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
Available as an ebook
In their latest assignment, Steve Church and Kella Hastings, members of a CIA out-of-the-box unit called the Red Cell, find themselves in the crosshairs of the Quds Force, Iran’s elite commando group, as payback for a recent operation against the Tehran regime. In a series of thrusts and counter-thrusts, Steve and Kella battle General Ghassem Yosemani, the Quds Force commander, in operations and escapes that take them across Brussels, Paris, New York, and finally San Francisco, as Yosemani becomes ever more determined to kill Steve and Kella and wreak chaos and devastation on the U.S. economy. The Red Cell is the last book in the trilogy including The Caliphate and Satan’s Spy, all written by former master spy and master storyteller André Le Gallo, and all painting a vivid, fictionalized picture of the intense but covert war that has been going on between Iran and the United States since the Tehran hostage crisis.
“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
Available in hardcover and as an ebook
"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
"You should consider Among Enemies a must-read if you travel overseas."
--William J. Esposito, former Deputy Director of the FBI
"The ... book is 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
"An indispensable and authoritative companion for every business traveler engaging in overseas business activities."
--Dr. Joshua Sinai, The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International
"Should be required reading for the American business traveler."
--Jack Lee, Vice President, Florida Satellite Chapter, Association of Former Intelligence Officers
"Luke Bencie has produced the most updated account on 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 and the forthcoming 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
"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."
"Singers' memoirs are generally '....and then I sang...' 'I starred in...' 'this conductor is an idiot... and' 'I married this idiot and that idiot.' They often go on for hundreds of pages in this vein. Charles Long's book is wickedly and delightfully atypical. He knows where the bodies are buried and he spells out locales, proclivities and locations. [He] says what people know and dare not spill ... There are delightful scenes ... Buy the book. It's a delight."
"Adventures in the Scream Trade is 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."
"Each story/chapter informs and inspires. Collectively, they form an amalgam of experiences as readers follow the personal growth and professional accomplishments of a man who took advantage of opportunity to achieve what few have been able to achieve ... 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 self-portrait of more than average polychromatic richness, Long’s well-written story juxtaposes his 'scenes from operatic life,' which provide 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
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