Foreword Reviews ~ Flesh and Bone can offer Hope to Teens

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Foreword Reviews review of Flesh and Bone by William Alton

“After his parents’ divorce and a tough move to Oregon, teenage Bill turns to drugs and alcohol to calm his nerves as he struggles with his sexual identity in a prejudiced small town. Plagued by nightmares as his addictions grow and his depression deepens, Bill gets the impression from his distant parents and grandparents that “there are things in the world too big to talk about”—namely love. Told in a series of short vignettes, this raw and heart-wrenching novel illuminates how loneliness can exacerbate depression and how while compassion may not always help, it can reveal the start of the path toward healing.”

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Book Launch at Barnes and Noble for Flesh and Bone ~ May 2nd

Author William Alton read excerpts from his flash-fiction-esque YA novel to an appreciative audience!IMG_6628

A literary novel for young adults that deals with a despairing teen uncertain about his sexual preferences who turns to drugs, alcohol, and unreliable friends for solace Told in a series of images and fragments, Flesh and Bone is a raw and real portrayal of a teen struggling to find love in his life.

Learn more about Flesh and Bone at the Luminis website!

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Amazon Give-Away for Young Adult novel Along the Way!

Visit Amazon to enter to win free copies of Along the Way, by Jacqueline Kolosov!

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Three friends share the journey of a lifetime on the Camino de Santiago!

Learn more about Along the Way here.

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Excellent Review of ENTREVOIR by Foreword Reviews

“A work as conceptual as the protagonist’s art…Jacob wrestles with ideas of selfhood amidst luxurious descriptions of transcendental states. He walks the fine line of self-indulgence and conceptual enlightenment, shedding all boundaries between separate selves that he criticizes and grapples with.” ~ Natasha Gilmore, Foreword Reviews

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Visit the Luminis Books website to learn more and buy Entrevoir!

Full Review

Elements present in the protagonist’s artwork shift the focus of the story to a hallucinogenic trip as he attains enlightenment.

A work as conceptual as the protagonist’s art, Entrevoir, by Chris Katsaropoulous, tells the story of an artist who grapples with a recent decision to relocate from New York to the French countryside to make what he considers his masterwork. The book deals with issues of art and its audience, and the artist and his ego.

Jacob toggles through realities: his quotidian existence where he faces the failure of the opening of his latest piece, which was once imbued with all his hopes for artistic success; and the attainment of an unembodied wisdom that shares threads with shamanic paganism, Buddhism, and Christian mysticism (though many traditions flow together in the stream of expanded consciousness Jacob relates). Jacob, in his hallucinogenic states, undergoes a multitude of lives and deaths as he grows closer to an unencumbered sense of ego, or as he experiences a flash of insight: “The soul is just a vessel, I am not even the soul.” As he delves deeper into his new state of awareness, the alternating realities show an artist grappling also with his attachments to others, particularly in his marriage. Through an understanding of the purpose of his art, he learns that painting was an attempt to lift things higher into light.

Early in the novel, Jacob reflects on his place as an artist amidst the state of modern art making: “And this, in his view, is what has distinguished him from other less prominent artists of his day—he leaves the mystery in place, lets each viewer of the piece decide what it means to them. Most of his fellow artists weave long commentaries to be printed in pamphlets the viewers receive at the door of their exhibits … in many cases this conceptual blather is more artfully conceived and compelling than the installation itself.” In the pages that follow, Jacob wrestles with ideas of selfhood amidst luxurious descriptions of transcendental states. He walks the fine line of self-indulgence and conceptual enlightenment, shedding all boundaries between separate selves that he criticizes and grapples with.

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Interview with Chris Katsaropoulos on ANTIPHONY by Wayne G. Boulton

The Right Key by Wayne G. Boulton

Interview with Chris Katsaropoulos, author of Antiphony

View the youtube video of the interview here.

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“He knows.”

So ends Chris Katsaropoulos’s compelling second novel about the precipitous fall of Theodore Reveil – an eminent scientist whose lifelong pursuit of knowing and knowledge was tracking nicely with the Great Commandment (“You shall love the Lord your God…” Jesus said, “with all your mind”) before breaking out into the open in unprotected fashion and at exactly the wrong time.  In a meeting of his peers, Ted chooses to touch the ‘third rail’ of modern physics.

That would be God, or that would be referring to God, or that would be referring to God in a sentence that is not negative.

So the dramatic arc in Antiphony is clear from the outset.  It is the story of a descent.  But the fall of Theodore is only the springboard in this novel, not its heart.  Katsaropoulos – an accomplished writer and poet, and a long-standing member of 2nd Presbyterian Church – has other fish to fry.  He wants to draw us in to the heart and mind and emotions (“the chest,” C. S. Lewis once called it) of a top-tier particle physicist at the summit of his career.

Without dumbing down, Katsaropoulos’s aim is a kind of inner physics, i.e., to get readers to see and feel the world as Ted sees and feels it.  There is no excluding, even for a moment, the herculean drive in and of Ted’s profession to explain the universe in toto.  What if – our author asks – we looked with Ted as he looks two directions at once?  What if the astounding modern discipline of particle physics gets better, not worse, when one looks deeply enough to sense its finitude, its human limits?  What if a second Einstein and the legendary ‘Theory of Everything’ isn’t in the discipline’s future?  Rather, what if simply contributing any and all of the profession’s insights to the waiting world [“the grand theatre of God’s glory” (Calvin)] turns out to be enough?

The main part of Antiphony, though, looks with Ted in the other direction, toward everyday life with the eyes of a physicist.  This is where the title comes in.  It so happens that I’ve always liked the word.  “Antiphony” refers to voices, verses, or songs sung in response to other songs, in answer to them, even in opposition (anti-) to previous voices.  At base, antiphony is a musical term.

Ted, it so happens, loves his music.  Here he is, having just lost his position in a physics research institute, walking alone, descending slowly into what has the aura at least of madness, stumbling upon and then into a church, entering the narthex and seeing a choir – 50 feet away – practicing.

Theodore closes his eyes and lets the sound they [choir voices] emit wash over him.  The voices are filled with joy – two sets of voices it seems, the lower register singing a brief phrase followed by an answering phrase sung by the higher register.  He can feel the sound swelling up within him, the vibration bouncing off the walls and across the taut receptive surfaces of his body…he can feel the sound move back and forth across him, he feels it register in tottering delight in satisfying and shapely stronger confinement across him and through him…”

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So, yes, readers with music in their heart will have an easier time with Antiphony.  The richness of this unusual novel, however, is that with Ted’s help, all are quickly introduced to an antiphonic ‘music of the spheres’ coming virtually from every direction in which the main character happens to turn.  Using a considerable native grasp of the scientific vocation and of the regular bloodletting that marks academic culture (“arguments turn vicious quickly among professors,” an old saying has it, “because the stakes are so low”), Ted meditates throughout on the dissonances and yet surprising harmonies that appear over and over again in the dyads of daily life – between male and female, success and failure, youth and age, dreaming and waking.  Are not the signals we keep getting from accelerators and telescopes, as well as from microscopes, similar…to wit, that our universe is indeed a unity, a uni-verse?

Then there are the grander, slipperier, and usually more difficult antiphonies: energy and velocity, time and what might be beyond time, chaos over against order over against chaos once again, science and religion, sanity in its perpetual war with madness.  Antiphony has them all; and in writing it, Katsaropoulos has given us a book in just the right key.

Wayne G. Boulton ~  M.Div. from McCormick Seminary, Ph.D. in Theological Studies from Duke University,former professor and department chair of religion at Hope College in Michigan, and president of Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. Author of From Christ to the World: Introductory Readings in Christian Ethics and the forthcoming Playing Favorites.

This article appeared in The Spire monthly magazine from Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, IN

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Visit the Luminis webpage to order your copy or learn more about Antiphony.

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Great Booklist Review of FLESH AND BONE

Booklist only publishes reviews on books they recommend. Here’s what they have to say about Flesh and Bone by William Alton.F&B-Final 9781941311455

“Alton’s brief, nuanced vignettes set a steady pace… Bill is lonely, sad, shallow, and detached, but his redeeming characteristic is that he refuses to intellectualize his misery. Mature, empathetic readers will cling to the hope that Bill’s salvation might come eventually with self-acceptance.” ~ Booklist

Go to the Luminis page to purchase or learn more about Flesh and Bone.

Here’s the full review ~

Bill’s story begins with the end of his parents’ marriage and his move, with his mother, to his grandparents’ farmhouse in rural Oregon. He falls in with a group of detached and forlorn teens who live from cigarette to cigarette, devoid of purpose and motivation. Sometimes the cigarettes are interspersed with OxyContin, pot, heroin, moonshine, Vicodin, and whatever else is available. Alton’s brief, nuanced vignettes set a steady pace as Bill unemotionally explores his sexuality in a variety of raw, openly depicted trysts, one of which finds him accepting money for a consensual encounter with a friend’s uncle. “Going Nowhere,” the title of one entry, defines Bill’s existence. His only relationship of note is with his mother, who lives trapped within the confines of her own desperation. Bill is lonely, sad, shallow, and detached, but his redeeming characteristic is that he refuses to intellectualize his misery. Mature, empathetic readers will cling to the hope that Bill’s salvation might come eventually with self-acceptance.

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Spirituality is the Solution – What you can do to help the World

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From Luminis author Tracy Richardson’s Blog.

Originally posted on Tracy Richardson:

Neale Donald Walsh, author of the Conversations with God books has written a new book, God’s Message to the World – You’ve got me All Wrong. In an article he wrote about the book in Watkins MIND BODY SPIRIT magazine he concludes  “What we can’t seem to see, or are simply refusing to admit, is that the problem facing humanity today is not a political problem, it is not an economic problem, and it is not a military problem. The problem facing humanity is a spiritual problem, and it can only be solved by spiritual means.”

But what kind of spiritual means? In my novel, The Field, the main character is connecting to the collective consciousness or The Universal Energy Field, what you might envision as the thought energy of every human being, and possibly every other kind of being, in our world and in the Universe. This…

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Jacqueline Kolosov writes herself a letter in Dear Teen Me

Dear Teen Me (by Jacqueline Kolosov),

or as you are often called—String Bean, Green Bean & Monkey,

Take heart! All those sports you learned and practiced while growing up—the hundreds upon hundreds of hours you logged ice skating, swimming, pointing your toes in water ballet, running, cycling with your dad and your best friend, playing tennis, cross country and yes downhill skiing? Well, you may not believe me now, but all that time will pay off. Listen to me because I’m who you will become in the future; and try, really, really hard to forget about the popular girls who spend most weekday and weekend afternoons at the mall and by the time they are sixteen drive their chic little sports cars to school (even though they aren’t really athletic, except for one or two cheerleaders). Those girls may drive Corvettes and even jade green Land Rovers while you ride your ten speed or walk. But those girls won’t grow up and walk the Camino of Santiago all by themselves. Yes, that’s right; I’m talking to you, Monkey. Give it another decade and a half, and you’ll land in the French Pyrenees and climb down those mountains and walk across Spain. Yes, your feet will be sore, and you’ll have blisters on top of your blisters. But you’ll feel really terrific about yourself too, and you’ll never forget the sky—all that blue—the evening you sit on the cathedral steps in Santiago. No, you won’t meet the love of your life on that trip; but he’s out there, I promise. And while he may not love movement the way you do, preferring to meander instead of run, to bird watch instead of run with the dogs, he will love books as much as you do. So keep reading under the covers way past a reasonable hour so that you are agonizing near-sighted by the time you reach college. Keep reading The French Lieutenant’s Woman and Tess of the D’Urbevilles, Laurie Colwin’s heartbreakingly gorgeous novels, and every single Agatha Christie because all that reading is excellent training for a writer. And you’re a quick study.

View the entire letter at Dear Teen Me

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Buy Jacqueline’s YA novel at Luminis Books!

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Along the Way publishes today!

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Three Friends, 33 Days, One Unforgettable Journey on the Camino de Santiago!

Along the way, each young woman must learn to believe in herself as well as in her friends, as their collective journey unfolds into the experience of a lifetime.

Check out author Jacqueline Kolosov’s Blog!

Jacqueline had a great guest blog post at Supernatural Snark were she talks about her fall book Paris, Modigliani & Me, with the cover designed by Jenny of Supernatural Snark, and also has a GIVE-AWAY for a copy of Along the Way! Check it out and enter to win!

Jacqueline will be at the Texas Library Association conference signing copies of Along the Way at the IPG (Independent Publisher’s Group) booth. If you’re going, be sure to stop by to see her!

Order your copy of Along the Way!

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Booklist Review of ENTREVOIR ~ ‘readers will be richly rewarded’

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Entrevoir by Chris Katsaropoulos

Katsaropoulos’ three previous novels have been widely praised for the author’s elegant prose style and forays into rarefied metaphysical territory most fiction writers avoid. Katsaropoulos’ fanciful, mystical story line may not suit everyone’s tastes, but readers with a yen for offbeat spiritual literature will feel richly rewarded here. ~ Booklist

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