Category Archives: Host


Please welcome Michael Lynes, Spotlight Author!

Hello Followers: TODAY begins the month of November showcasing another SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR. It’s also a holiday month giving thanks for all our blessings here in the United States. So let’s celebrate while Michael is sharing with us “The Publishing Process”.


The publishing process

There is a Reaper is our first published work.

Both Margaret and I have been actively writing for many years, Margaret’s efforts mainly consist of revelatory and philosophical essays. She has also written about alternative medical practices, using energy flows and ‘chi’ as well as holistic healing techniques and meditation.

My essays have mostly been technical, including many white-papers and internally published papers for research and more academic audiences. I have always had a consuming interest in story craft, being both a voracious reader as well as a provider of critical writing advice to others. I possess a good command of the mechanics of writing, able to use the written word to convey my ideas and concepts succinctly and clearly.

These skills were important, and both our experiences stood us in good stead thru the process of writing Christopher’s story, but they were hardly equal to the scale of the effort.

There is a Reaper was more than 135,000 words in manuscript…over 500 pages. It is a substantial work, especially for a first time author. Once written, we were faced with the daunting challenge of actually forming the text into an actual book, a container that would honor the content within and give pleasure to the potential reader.

Barry Sheinkoph of BookShapers was our godsend.

Margaret had met Barry and his wife Eugenia years before. I had met them also, once or twice, and frankly though Margaret had told me that Barry was in the publishing business I initially did not even think of bringing the project to him.

When I had ‘finished’ with my MS, (so I thought), I started to cast around and do some online research to find out how to get a book published. I spent a lot of time on many different ‘author’ sites, reading blog posts on the correct way(s) to get a work published; each new set of sure-fire rules promptly contradicting the last. After wading thru this morass for a few nights it became clear that there were three main options:

The first general approach was to contact a series of publishers, in essence ‘pitching’ the MS to them in the hope that they would be willing to publish the work of an unknown author based on the strength of the story alone.

The second was to submit the work to various book agents and agencies, looking to acquire their support. The idea was to find an agent or agency that would become an advocate for me and for There is a Reaper – connecting us with editors, a publisher and possibly even assisting with the marketing of our work.

The third avenue, and to my mind the least desirable, was self-publishing. In essence this would mean contracting with a printer and having your work put into book form on your own dime. There were many ‘vanity’ print houses that would take your MS and basically have it printed and bound for a fee. This seemed to me then to be one step above having a few copies run off at Staples. I was sure that this was not the correct way to go.

So I began the process to try and get a publisher interested in the work. Together, Margaret and I wrote a ‘pitch’ letter describing ‘There is a Reaper’ in brief. Along with this we selected a couple of example chapters from the finished MS; some publishers wanted to see the work, others only wanted a short synopsis to begin. I searched for publishers who I thought would be right for the special type of memoir we had created. With high hopes we sent out emails, and submitted letters and copies of excerpts of the MS.

The response was, to say the least, underwhelming….

Undaunted – we pivoted to our second potential venue, securing an Agent to represent us. I spent a few more hours/days working up and researching a list of potential literary agents. Each agent or agency had different specialties, and sub-specialties. Some were interested in mysteries, some in dramas, still others in fiction etc. I sifted thru the list, looking for agents who would consider non-fiction memoirs, an encouragingly long list. Again I went to each agency website, they all had different requirements on how to submit, one wanted PDF’s another excerpts directly in the body of an email (making the except look horrendous by the way), still another wanted physical media (!) – needless to say we skipped that one.

All of them had variations of the evaluation process. Some said they would look at the work and get back with in a few days. Others said that they needed a month or more, still others gave no fixed time with the stern admonition to “under no circumstances contact us directly to enquire about the status of your evaluation” – lest we incur instant disqualification. So we submitted, first to five agents, then ten and I think in the end almost 30 different agencies. With each submission we had high hopes, and with each new response we received these hopes dimmed. All of the replies were uniformly polite, and almost all praised the quality of our writing and the significance of the work as a whole, BUT….none of them were willing to take any risk with an unknown author and a large work. We were stumped.

After receiving several weeks’ worth of rejection letters I thought that perhaps I was just not engaging the ‘right’ sort of agency. After all I was basically picking these targets at random, doing internet searches and ‘cold’ submissions. One evening it came to my mind that one of Margaret’s friends, Barry something-or-other, had some connections to the publishing world. We talked about it, “Oh…you mean Barry Sheinkoph… Eugenia’s husband…”, she replied, “Barry teaches creative writing and I think he does some publishing work. You should contact him and see if he knows a good literary agent or agency that we can send your book to…”

So I asked her for his contact info and drafted a short email. I described There is a Reaper in brief and told him we had been looking for an agent to take us on. I ended my note with a request. Did he know of any literary agents who might be willing to help?

I really did not expect too much. After all of the rejection letters I figured that Barry’s reply might be just another reject…Polite, encouraging and yadda-yadda-yadda.

Boy, was I ever wrong.

Barry turned our whole process upside down. He asked me one key question – “Why?…Why do think you need an agent? What you need is an editor…”

So…Barry became our editor and the published book, There is a Reaper, which will be released to the world in just a few short weeks, is in large part due to his skill and dedication in working with us on its creation.

Thru judicious cutting, Barry helped us focus our prose and crystalize our vision. The MS we started with was a gem in the rough, and his was the master touch that brought its clear and sparkling facets to view. I am very proud of the writing that both Margaret and I did, but I am grateful and not at all ashamed to say that without him, publishing Christopher’s story might never have been more than a dream.

Thank you Barry…

Author Bio:

Mr Lynes is a serial entrepreneur who enjoys dry red wine and single malt scotch. When not occupied with arcane engineering projects he spends his time playing with his two grandchildren, baking bread, feeding seasoned hardwood into his ancient Timberline woodstove, working on his various cars, bird watching and taking amateur photographs. His current menagerie includes one short-haired turtle shell cat and a pair of actual turtles.


His last book, There Is A Reaper: Losing a Child to Cancer, was an Indie B.R.A.G. Gold Medallion Honoree in January 2017, a silver-medal winner of the 2016 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards for Memoir, a medalist in the 2015 New Apple Book Awards for Memoir, a winner of the 2015 TISBA (The Indie Spiritual Bookk Awards), and a finalist in both the Independent Author Network 2015 Book of the Year award and the Beverly Hills Book Awards for 2015.


Mr Lynes was awarded a BSEE degree in Electrical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology and currently works as an embedded software engineer. He has a consuming interest in the science of emotion as promulgated by Dr. Paul Ekman and has made a comprehensive study of his Face and Emotion courses.


Mr Lynes has four sons, has been married for over thirty years and currently lives with his wife and youngest son in the beautiful secluded hills of Sussex County, NJ.


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Thank you so much for your support today of Michael. Please go to the RRBC Website for the rest of his tour. I know he will appreciate it.




Legend of the Walking Dead: Igbo Mythologies

Author Photo 2

Blog Tour by Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko

It is my honor and privilege to welcome Joy on her 4WillsPublishing Tour. Joy, I was so excited when I got the word that I would be hosting you today. I am a big fan of your work, Mirror of Our Lives: Voices of Four Igbo Women. Your issues are about disrupting the status quo and that makes you a super woman. At least that’s how I feel about you. You have to be politically incorrect to write about customs and norms in your world that target and demean women. I think it happens all over the world. I can appreciate you for shedding some light on this delicate subject. And now, on to a supernatural thriller!! Well let me tell you – I got my copy of Legend of the Walking Dead: Igbo Mythologies so I guess I better start reading it. Let’s give Joy a big welcome and support her all the way on this leg of her tour!


Two months ago, I succeeded in getting my publishing house to, not only lower the cost of the Kindle edition of my book: Legend of the Walking Dead: Igbo Mythologies, but this was possible because I had to re-do the line edit, the copy edit, the proof, and the format all over again. In other words, I had to redo the whole book all over again. What you are seeing in this new edition, is a completely new book. This is why I decided to re-introduce it again to you. You can also see that there is a big improvement on the cover. Here is your new, fully re-mastered, and price friendly:

Legend of the Walking Dead: Igbo Mythologies

Excerpt from Part IV
Osondu Returns to Akajiana

Joy's Book CoverFinally, Osondu could travel without going through the pain of fire, snow, or water. Now he could sit in a safe place, and his spirit could leave his body and travel. At the destination he could remain in the spirit or borrow a body. If the place was populated by humans, he landed in a human body; if animals inhabited it, he landed in an animal body. Just as he assumed the appearance of the beings in the worlds he visited, his spirit left that appearance the moment he moved away from those worlds.

Before he finally went to Akajiana, he returned to his father’s house to wish him his final farewell. He wanted him to have closure. After he arrived, he waited until night fell so he could talk to them in their dreams.

“Papa, you were right about me,” he said over his father’s sleeping body. “The power of prayers brought me back and put me in my old body. It wasn’t really me and yet, it was me … hard to understand … I want you to know that I’ll always take care of you and my siblings. If you believe in prayer, pray. If you believe in divination, divine. I am gone, but my spirit lives. You’ll never want again.” He spoke to his sister and brother also in their dreams, and after that, he touched their foreheads with two fingers and said, “Remember me always.” With that, he left them.
The next morning, Papa Osondu told the story of how Osondu visited him in his dream.
“Did I not say it?” he said, calling his other children. “Did I not tell you all that the person who came here claiming to be my son was not my son? I knew it.”

“But, Papa, he looked like him. He spoke to me also in my dream,” Osondu’s sister said.
“And me, too,” her brother said.

“The person we saw was a Walking Dead,” Osondu’s father said. “I know them, they never age. They never change their appearance. My son died many years ago,” he added emphatically as if to end any further discussion about Osondu.

Osondu landed in Akajiana, in Oke Offia, and went straight to look for Sister Aug at her cave. She should be able to tell him where his mother was. His mother sat at the entrance to the cave. She looked up and her eyes widened.

“What?” she exclaimed, rushing over to him. “Ossy, is that really you? What are you doing back here?” She embraced her son and held on to him, unable to contain her surprise. She pushed him away and looked at him, then hugged him again. “So, tell me everything,” she said, at last letting him go. “I am listening.” She sat and waited.

“Mama … it is a long story. I have been journeying for days. But first, you must let me know what happened, why did you not return?”

Gloria spread her hands in resignation. “Do you go first or do I go first?”
“Do you have anything I can eat? First, let me eat, then you can tell me your own story and after that, I’ll tell you mine. Where is Sister Aug, Ma?”

“Oh … she’ll be here soon. She’ll be shocked to see you.” She led her son into the cave and brought him some food.

He ate and rested, and when he woke, his mother and Sister Aug were preparing legumes for their evening meal. “Aunty,” he cried in excitement, then raced over to Sister Aug and greeted her with a hug.

Sister Aug pushed him away and looked at him. “You’ve changed. What have you been up to?”
“Like I told my mother, it is a long story. Do you really think I’m changed?” He directed the question to both women and they nodded.

“Mom, what happened? Why didn’t you return?”

“Son,” his mother replied, “if you didn’t understand it before, I hope that now you will.”

“Understand what, Mom?”

“Come and sit here.” His mother pointed him to a chair. “You and I … let me start from the beginning. When you left that day, I was told in confidence that if I returned, if I went after you, I would be considered a Walking Dead by our people. In short, Son, we are dead to our world. I know what a walking dead is, I saw them when I was alive, and I didn’t want to become a roaming spirit. So I realized the futility of making such a journey, and I refused to make it.”

Author Photo

Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko
About the Author

On her return to Nigeria in 1972, Joy was appointed to the position of Producer of Music Programs at the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), Lagos. She occupied this position until her appointment as Music Lecturer at the Department of Music, University of Lagos, on April 15, 1975. In 1977, Joy Nwosu married Abubakar Lo-Bamijoko (now separated) in Lagos. She is blessed with three wonderful children–Amanda Onwuka, Edochie Samuel Nwosu, and Hana Lo-Bamijoko. Her youngest daughter writes poems and lyrics to songs and she also sings beautifully. Her career activities in Nigeria included recitals, full stage performances and concerts, radio and television broadcasting, radio and television performances and concert tours. She also attended national and international conferences and workshops. Joy was Head of the Music Department at the University of Lagos from 1986 to 1987 and was later Head of the Music Unit of the Center for Cultural Studies, University of Lagos, from 1989 to 1992. As a music faculty at the University of Lagos, Joy taught several courses including voice, beginning piano, fundamentals for music literacy, African music, choral music, stage production and movement (dance). She enjoyed teaching voice the most, her major instrument. Some of her former students who are still very active today in the Nigerian music career are Funmilayo Boamah (soprano, music educator, music entrepreneur, and choral conductor) and Ayo Bankole jr. (pianist, organist, composer, and music entrepreneur), son of the famous late Ayo Bankole sr. Joy held several academic and administrative positions in Nigeria and all around the globe.

This research was the work of Professor Godwin Sadoh.

Buy the Kindle version at Amazon:-
Legend of the Walking Dead: Igbo Mythologies

Buy the B&N e-Pub version at:-
Legend of the Walking Dead:Igbo Mythologies

Link to my Author’s Website

YouTube Link the Book’s Trailer

My Blog Address

Links to my FB Pages

Link to my “Who Is Who On The Shelf”

My Interveiew on UTube (Italian Book)

Amazon.Con Link to Mirror of Our Lives……

Barnes & Noble Link to Mirror of Our Lives

Twitter Handle:@Jinlobify


“This tour sponsored by”


Hello My Friends!


This blog tour is basically about me introducing myself to all of you and what motivated me to write.




My name is Shirley Harris-Slaughter.  I was born in the great state of Michigan and raised in the Charter Township of Royal Oak. I spent most of my time dreaming of the day when I could get out and start my life elsewhere. Then I discovered we were a historical community founded by a runaway slave on the “underground railroad.” I began to appreciate my roots. I discovered all this history way before ever thinking about writing.

My mother was a gifted poet and writer of children’s stories. She also was a great speaker. So what in the world could I contribute to this family? My parents were activists in the community and I watched them not realizing they were shaping me. I became a community activist before I started to write and I developed an appreciation for historical places and buildings which led me to try and save our local train station. I wrote a thesis on The Implementation of the Most Comprehensive Approach to Restoring the Michigan Central Depot. This project brought lots of attention and publicity to this neglected historical site.

All of this led me to try and capture the history of our Catholic Community which is now gone. So I wrote about my experience growing up in this environment. I titled the book, Our Lady of Victory, the Saga of an African-American Catholic Community. The title kind of stuck although my intention was to change it. This book had been gathering steam in my head for a long time before I actually set down to write. I felt that our history was gone because the church has merged and the school was razed after sitting empty for years and becoming an eyesore. I was invited to speak about this to the Fred Hart Williams Geneological Society affiliated with the Detroit Public Library’s Burton Historical Collections. Mark Bowden tagged the book a Narrative History. They asked me to speak to them because they never had history told in narrative form before. Geneology is normally written in a chronological order.

This history is who I am.

I’m going to stop right here and allow you to get the rest of the story.


About The Book…

Severing ties with publisher iUniverse left me with some leftover hardcover limited edition copies. Once they are gone, that is it.

Contact me at:

Here are some additional links:






For each comment left (1 per day) on each day of my tour, your name will be entered into a drawing.  ONE (1) lucky winner will receive an autographed copy of my book “OUR LADY OF VICTORY:  THE SAGA OF AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN CATHOLIC COMMUNITY” and a $5 Amazon Gift Card. 1 daily comment = 1 entry into my giveaway.  Thanks again for the support and good luck in winning!!!