A Hero Dreams

IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award
– Popular Fiction (Winner of Silver)
National Indie Excellence Awards
– New Fiction (Winner) and Visionary Fiction (Finalist)
Next Generation Indie Book Awards
– First Novel (Finalist) and Inspirational Fiction (Finalist)
Best Book Awards
– Fiction: Visionary (Finalist) and Best New Fiction (Finalist)

Devastated by his father’s sudden death, eight-year-old Ricky begins to see things—a ghostly silhouette in his bedroom window, a gruesome train accident involving four local teenagers, a terrorist attack that won’t occur for another twenty-five years. After a traumatic incident at a New England summer camp, the visions become more frequent, more vivid, and more disturbing. A mysterious voice assures him everything will be okay if he crosses the “threshold.” But just what is the threshold? And what lies beyond?

A tale of hope, faith, courage, and profound self-discovery, A Hero Dreams is a work of inspirational fiction that takes the reader on an epic journey along the furthermost frontiers of human consciousness, through the very darkest of nights, and into a miraculous realm where anything is possible.

Beyond the Threshold (Hero’s Path Book 2) publication date: September 13, 2022


Meet Mark Ristau

Mark Ristau is an award-winning author whose life took a sharp turn when he was downsized from a corporate attorney job he’d held for nearly fifteen years. Instead of sending out his résumé, however, he decided it was time to pursue his dream. Selling his house and virtually all his belongings, he packed the car and migrated to a town on Florida’s Gulf Coast, setting for the prologue to the first book in the Hero’s Path series, A Hero Dreams.

A Hero Dreams has garnered the following awards:
• National Indie Excellence Awards – New Fiction (Winner) and Visionary Fiction (Finalist)
• IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards – Popular Fiction (Silver Winner)
• Next Generation Indie Book Awards – First Novel (Finalist) and Inspirational Fiction (Finalist)
• Best Book Awards – Best New Fiction (Finalist) and Visionary Fiction (Finalist)

VIKING: The Plains of Althing

Get your Viking on! The Plains of Althing will immerse you in the lives of long-ago Icelanders, a big, epic saga with an ensemble cast of characters: Kel, on the verge of betraying his brutal employer, and Aldis, the woman he loves–who loathes Kel. You’ll feel the anguish of an enslaved Moroccan father who must make an agonizing decision, and you’ll root for a lonely, fearful widow struggling to find the courage to live. They all, inexorably, are drawn by one man’s arrogance and greed towards an Althing where Kel and Aldis must do battle—and face their deepest fears. The Plains of Althing is the start of a sprawling four-book series that will take you to the edge of the world–and back to a country in mortal chaos. Read on!

Meet Katie Aiken Ritter

Two decades of working in tech ended abruptly by an…encounter?…with Viking entities, who insisted I write a story that flashed in front of my eyes. I knew little about Iceland or the Viking era, but the request felt so compelling I had to accept, and took on the task. Four books later, I feel as if I know them, in all their strengths and weaknesses: humans, just like us, who sometimes found themselves in impossible circumstances—and yet had to struggle forward. I hope their story resonates with you.

Sunflower Signs

In our darkest hour, can a deceased love offer guidance? Emily Mason has never been able to escape the grief she feels over the death of her childhood love and hero, Danny – though it’s been almost nine years since he passed away. She will sometimes even sleep on his grave for comfort. She can’t seem to do anything right in the eyes of her husband, Scott – who reprimands Emily about everything from her messy handwriting, to singing Christmas songs outside of the month of December, to her inability to bring home enough groceries in her bike basket. She depends on her reluctantly psychic older sister, Ericka, to always come to her rescue when she is in peril – which is often. Her fears are many – she’s terrified of people dressed in costumes, thunderstorms, and she refuses to drive a car. Just when Emily’s life begins to completely unravel, Danny leaves her a sign that can’t be ignored. Emily is faced with making a decision that will take her far away from the security of her sister’s care, and the comfort of being near Danny’s final resting place. Sunflowers Signs is a quirky, funny, and emotional story about love, family, and the connections we keep with those who have passed over to the other side. Previously published in three parts.


Meet T. Grace Bailey

I am a believer in the spirit carrying on after death. I probably spend more time thinking about this than the average person, and intend on writing a lot more about this subject!

Late one evening in the summer of 2017, I was sitting outside alone under a stunningly clear night sky, doused in bug spray, crying. I’d had a good bit of wine.

I had pretty much hit a wall with my stress level at my sales job – and the desire to snip myself loose so I that could dive into writing, tugged at me constantly. But I was terrified to make that leap. That night, I tilted my head back (taking care not to spill my Chardonnay), and as I often do when I’m upset, I reached out to the spirits of my dad and nana. With tears streaming down my face, I said to the sky, “You could help me you know.”

The second the words left my lips, the biggest shooting star I’ve ever seen in my life shot right over the top of me. It was so large and close, I thought at first my town was being bombed. When it disappeared as quickly as it had arrived, I laughed and cried at the same time, and could imagine my dad and nana holding back grins, turning to each other and saying, “I think we got her attention that time.”

They did. And here I am, following my dream. If a perfectly timed shooting star makes me believe in myself, so be it.

My quirky three-part book, Sunflower Signs, looks at how our deceased loved ones reach out to us. I hope it will make you laugh, cry, and consider the possibilities.

Coyote’s Road Trip

Coyote Jim, a shapeshifter, takes off in search of a new home.

In a post-climate change dystopian future, Coyote, the guardian spirit of a desert valley in Nevada, is forced out of his home by the heat, the drought, and the deaths of his friends. He hits the road on a journey through the Pacific Northwest, looking for new home. Along the way he discovers a new purpose for his existence.


Meet Laura Koerber

I live on a island in the Puget Sound with my husband and my dogs. I am a retired teacher, presently doing in-home care for disabled people while volunteering at a dog rescue

My degree is in art, and I am a painter, graphic artist, and ceramic sculptor. The writing started about five years ago, a surprise to me and everyone who knows me, since I had never written anything before.

My first book made the Kirkus Review list of one hundred best indy novels. Since then, I have earned an honorable mention in a literary award and won an additional place on the Kirkus Review list of best books. The review for my first book in Kirkus Review: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-re…
I think I learned to write by reading. I am a voracious omnivore of books

Teddy Lancaster and the Eye of Naroshi

Deep inside every dream lies a door. It waits to be opened, but most never see it.

A world exists inside the minds of all who are aware. Chances are you’ve been there before, but surely you don’t remember.

For dreams are designed to be forgotten in the morning, and you have a real life to live.

The funny thing about real life though is that sometimes the assumed trivial and discarded things can hold the most fantastic opportunities.

The Academy of Zarmore only accepts students with this type of discernment. Follow Teddy Lancaster on his journey to the land outside of time, and discover ‘that which is unseen’.


Meet Johnny Rapp

Johnny Rapp was born and raised in California. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran, has been traveling off and on nomadically since 2015, and is fluent in Spanish.

Wild Hare (Bargain Book)

Listed by Kirkus Review as one of the 100 best indy books of 2019.      “The world is coming to an end.”      I pushed the oil rags and cigarette butts off the seat of my friend Arne’s old pickup truck and climbed in. He threw the truck into gear, gunned the engine, and smirked. “What’s the point of being a fairy if you can’t wave a magic wand and get shit done?”
     Yeah, I’m a fairy. No, not that kind.
     I let a half mile of clear-cut rumble past the window while I thought about my crappy mood, contemplating the butchered landscape. Back when I was a kid, I used to enjoy the ride to town because the road wound through a mosaic of wetlands and forest and lakes.
      Mostly gone now: the forest, the marshes around the lakes, the moose.
     Yeah, I’m half-human, half-forest spirit from the wild hare clan–what anthropologists call a trickster–and I live by the wild hare code of “feed, fight, fornicate”; except that’s using the nice word for it.
       Maybe Arne had a point. Maybe I didn’t fight hard enough to better this world I so reluctantly belonged to. After all, my personal life was generally OK, so why get into a brawl about shit I couldn’t change?
       What I didn’t know, as the ruined scenery brushed past, was that my personal life would soon go tits up too, and I’d get pushed into fighting in ways I’d never fought before. Lucky me.


Meet Laura Koerber

My husband and I share our home on an island with our dogs and our cat. I am retired and volunteer daily at a sanctuary for unadoptable cats. I write books that combine the harsher aspects of reality with fantasy, set either in the near future or the near past.

Bell Hammers

PRANKS. OIL. PROTEST. JOKES BETWEEN NEWLYWEDS. AND ONE HILARIOUS SIEGE OF A MAJOR CORPORATION.

Remmy grows up with Beth in Bellhammer, Illinois as oil and coal companies rob the land of everything that made it paradise. Under his Grandad, he learns how to properly prank his neighbors, friends, and foes. Beth tries to fix Remmy by taking him to church. Under his Daddy, Remmy starts the Bell Hammer Construction Company, which depends on contracts from Texarco Oil. And Beth argues with him about how to build a better business. Together, Remmy and Beth start to build a great neighborhood of “merry men” carpenters: a paradise of s’mores, porch furniture, newborn babies, and summer trips to Branson where their boys pop the tops of off the neighborhood’s two hundred soda bottles. Their witty banter builds a kind of castle among a growing nostalgia.

Then one of Jim Johnstone’s faulty Texarco oil derricks falls down on their house and poisons their neighborhood’s well.

Poisoned wells escalate to torched dog houses. Torched dog houses escalate to stolen carpentry tools and cancelled contracts. Cancelled contracts escalate to eminent domain. Sick of the attacks from Texaco Oil on his neighborhood, Remmy assembles his merry men:

“We need the world’s greatest prank. One grand glorious jest that’ll bloody the nose of that tyrant. Besides, pranks and jokes don’t got no consequences, right?”

:: PRAISE FOR LANCELOT SCHAUBERT AND BELL HAMMERS ::

“Schaubert recounts a mischievous man’s eight decades in Illinois’s Little Egypt region in his picaresque debut. Remmy’s life of constant schemes and pranks and a lifelong feud with classmate Jim Johnstone and the local oil drilling company proves consequential. This is a hoot.” 

— Publisher’s Weekly

“BELL HAMMERS is written in a style not unworthy of John Kennedy Toole and William Faulkner – the vivid characterization of Southern ethnography commingled with stark, episodic spectacle breathes with the spirit of quintessential Americana. It is a text I would happily assign in an American Novel class and would expect it to yield satisfying discourse alongside works in the canon, whether beside the sardonic prose of Mark Twain or the energetically painful narratives of Toni Morrison.”

— Dr. Anthony Cirilla

“Schaubert’s words have an immediacy, a potency, an intimacy that grab the reader by the collar and say, ‘Listen, this is important!’ Probing the bones and gristle of humanity, Lancelot’s subjects challenge, but also offer insights into redemption if only we will stop and pay attention.”

— Erika Robuck, national bestselling author of Hemingway’s Girl

“Myth, regret, the lore of our heritage and the subtle displays of our castes — no one so accurately and imaginatively captures the joys and sorrows of life in the Midwest as Schaubert does here. BELL HAMMERS is a Tree Grows in Brooklyn as told by Gabriel Garcia Marquez if Marquez lived in rural Illinois and only told stories to his grandkids. Seriously a delight to read.”

— Colby Williams, author of the Axiom Gold Medal winning book Small Town, Big Money

“Loved BELL HAMMERS because Lancelot wrote about people who don’t get written about enough and he did it with humor, compassion, and heart.”

— Brian Slatterly, author of Lost Everything and editor of The New Haven Review

“I’m such a fan of Lancelot Schaubert’s work. His unique view and his life-wisdom enriches all he does. We’re lucky to count him among our contributors.”

— Therese Walsh, author of The Moon Sisters and Editorial Director of Writer Unboxed


Meet Lancelot Schaubert

Two excerpts of Lancelot Schaubert’s (lanceschaubert.org) debut novel BELL HAMMERS sold to The New Haven Review ( Yale’s Institute Library ) and The Misty Review, while a third excerpt was selected as a finalist for the last Glimmer Train Fiction Open in history. He has also sold poetry, fiction, and nonfiction to TOR (MacMillan), The Anglican Theological Review, McSweeney’s, Poker Pro’s World Series Edition, The Poet’s Market, Writer’s Digest, and many similar markets.

Spark + Echo chose him for their 2019 artist in residency, commissioning him to write four short stories.

He has published work in anthologies like Author in Progress, Harry Potter for Nerds, and Of Gods and Globes — the last of which he edited and featured stories by Juliet Marillier (whose story was nominated for an Aurealis award), Anne Greenwood Brown, Dr. Anthony Cirilla, LJ Cohen, FC Shultz, and Emily Munro. His work Cold Brewed reinvented the photonovel for the digital age and caught the attention of the Missouri Tourism Board who commissioned him to write and direct a second photonovel, The Joplin Undercurrent, in partnership with award-winning photographer, Mark Neuenschwander.

He remains a committed husband to the grooviest girl on earth and is a public advocate for more free range trees. You know, Ents.

Wolf Harvest

Love and friendship take a backseat to survival—especially if you’re a young male wolf on the outskirts of suburban Pittsburgh.
Coda navigates the city and forest, fascinated by these strange creatures called the two-legs and the metal beasts that transport them. He hunts game, encounters new allies, while enduring the brutality of bitter rivals. His routine of blood and stealth is interrupted when a mysterious female from another land enters his world, then turns it upside down.
Observing him is Amy—a beautiful, brilliant, but socially isolated college student—and Sam—a handsome, charming, college basketball star. Under the guidance of their zoology professor, they document the actions and movements of the coywolf species.
When they see Coda heading to northern Canada, Sam and Amy will drop everything during the blizzard of the century to follow him.
Together, these lost souls (human and animal alike) will discover that the only thing more important than knowing how to survive in this dangerous, chaotic world is knowing who you are, and what you’re surviving for.
Wolf Harvest is a tale of suspense, humor, heartbreak, bigotry, and cunning in the face of fear.

Creative and enjoyable for audiences of all ages and species, this book will keep you thrilled to the end. Buy Wolf Harvest and you won’t regret it.

Magi of Gaia – Volume One: I Told a Lie

Three young, inexperienced magicians must defend their world against a wave of increasingly difficult opponents. That’s what Magi of Gaia is essentially about, but if you’re only looking for fierce, hard-hitting action, you’ll overlook the humor, kindness, and drama that bring this world to life. Sure, you might be happy with the amazing uses of magic and the broken noses, but you’ll miss out on seeing the quick temper of the usually-composed Jorri, the softheartedness escaping from Yuna’s severe demeanor, or Eren’s courage overcoming her self-doubt.

This trio, the Magi, are the imperfect heroes—human in spite of their incredible powers—and are tasked with keeping their world from falling into darkness. When a magician enters Gaia’s realm, it’s the Magi’s job to find them, determine whether or not they are hostile, and deal with the situation appropriately. It’s a lot to ask, and things aren’t helped by the appearance of a woman claiming to be a deity whose sole joy seems to be breaking the Magi’s spirit … and their bodies. This woman shows her powers seldomly, but when she does, she breaks the very logic of their world and makes it look effortless.

Come and read more. Find out how our heroines can laugh and joke around, even under the toughest of circumstances. See if you can figure out why Eren, a girl who should be a beloved hero, is treated as though she’s diseased. Discover why 80% of Gaia’s population is … female?!

It seems Gaia is different from Earth is more ways than you might think.


Meet T.E. Holtz

T.E. Holtz is an American writer who first started drafting the original Magi of Gaia (then titled “Welcome to Gaia”) as a playful hobby online in 2014. After a year of writing for fun, Holtz saw that the story could be reworked in a meaningful way with more excitement, better characterization, and a more, fuller view of this new world called Gaia. Finally, after years of tweaking and developing, Holtz ended a nearly 10-year employment at one of the world’s largest retailers in hopes of pursuing a love grander than the universe—a love for the world of Gaia and all the beloved characters than inhabit it.

My Irish Dog

SPENCER HELD ON to the faintest of hope, but still he knew the trip to Ireland had almost no prospect of remedying his internal dilemma. Then again, he never imagined that a chance meeting with a lost and dying dog named Shandy would change his life forever. Step into the small Irish village of Galbally, where the unwitting Spencer stumbles headfirst into a parallel world that will test his will, sanity, and even physical well-being. Time and promise are running out. Will unnatural forces and events scare Spencer away before he can connect again with the mysterious dog? Will he find his way forward before Shandy meets her inevitable fate? Or will suspicious locals and a nefarious Dublin innkeeper force Spencer from the village before he completes his life-altering mission? Follow Spencer as he races to save a little Irish dog named Shandy. If he only realized that it is Shandy who is trying to save him…