Author Archives: Pat Bertram

About Pat Bertram

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Great Yearning and four novels -- More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, Daughter Am I, and Light Bringer. All are available from Amazon, Smashwords, and Second Wind Publishing, LLC.

Your Truest Purpose For Existing by Pat Bertram

Once upon a time not so long ago, there was a mythical social networking site for creative types called “Gather.” I call the site mythical because it seemed uncanny and serendipitous the way so many kindred spirits migrated to the site, and also because the defunct site has disappeared into the myth of memory. Was it as special as we all seemed to think? It must have been because in its short history, it affected so many of us in a positive way. In fact, many of the people I have visited on my cross-country trip were people I met on Gather nine years ago, including fellow author Lazarus Barnhill.

Lazarus Barnhill is one of those folks who seem larger than life. Charming and charismatic, unbelievably intelligent and intuitive, and so busy he’s harder to catch hold of than a wisp of cloud. (I’m getting ridiculously eloquent here, but he tends to bring out the best — and worst — in people.)

Several years ago, I interviewed Lazarus for my blog (Pat Bertram And Lazarus Barnhill Discuss Writing as Destiny), but he, being the contrary sort of individual he is, turned the tables and interviewed me. The interview was almost embarrassingly intimate, though I don’t know why. Maybe because it was the first time we ever “talked” and he seemed interested in me at a time when my life was closing in on itself. Maybe because I was open and willing to answer his questions. Maybe because he said such insightful things about my books that I felt giddy. He seemed to see more in my works than I expected people to see, perhaps even more than I myself had seen. But that is the beauty of writing one’s truth. It has a way of making itself felt.

So what does this have to do with today’s blog post? Well, I had a chance to take a look at Barnhill’s newest book, Pastor Larsen and the Rat. The story is about Pastor Larsen, who, in the face of the drudgery, church politics and frustration that are the usual professional hazards of the ministry, is faced with a dangerous and intriguing complication — Ange. No one in Larsen’s close knit congregations knew of the existence of this woman, the daughter of a parishioner who appeared just in time for her mother’s funeral. For Larsen, Ange is more than mysterious. She is alluring, wise and astonishingly intuitive. . . . And then there is the issue of the large rat that seems to be taunting the members of his church.

This is a book that only Lazarus Barnhill could have written. A pastor turned author, Barnhill knows more than most people about what goes on behind the serene countenance of a church, but more than that, he has a talent for mixing the irreverent with the reverent, the salacious with the spiritual, the naughty with the nice.

I asked Lazarus if he were afraid people would find his book controversial. He said, “To a degree. Some will find it profane. I hope some find it insightful and hopeful. Those familiar with religious bodies — and with the way spirituality operates in human life — will not be able to deny it’s honesty — not the sex part, but the organized religion part, and the divine intervention part. Ultimately I hoped when I wrote it that non-religious people would read it for the naughty romance and gain some insight into how the holy is able to work in our midst despite all that religions do to prevent it; and that religious people would ‘force themselves’ to live with the titillation in order at last to read something truthful about their gatherings.”

A love of truth in literature seems to be something that Lazarus and I have in common. Although we want people to read our books for enjoyment, being entertaining isn’t our only reason for writing. We need to tell our truth. Lazarus goes beyond that, believing that “whatever force there is out there in creation (call it God, destiny, a Higher Power or whatever you want) actually wants you to write. When you write, you are fulfilling an essential aspect of your truest purpose for existing.”

Lucky for us, Lazarus Barnhill is fulfilling his destiny.

pastor larsen and the rat

Click here to read an Excerpt From PASTOR LARSEN AND THE RAT by Lazarus Barnhill

What are you waiting for? Click here to buy the ebook: Buy Pastor Larsen and the Rat on Kindle for $0.99 kindle.

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Interview with Velya Jancz-Urban, author of “Acquiescence”

AcquiescenceWhat is your book about?

When Pamina Campbell learns of a murder committed over two hundred years ago in her Connecticut farmhouse in order to avenge an unforgivable crime, she accepts that she has no idea how the universe works, except that it requires acquiescence at every point. Two plot threads twine in Acquiescence, as one woman calls to another across three centuries. One story, featuring Susannah Mathews, takes place in the late 1700s, while Pamina’s story is set in modern day. Pamina learns that disaster – the sort of disaster that leaves you numb on a park bench or aching for your husband to come back to you – can be a freaky thing of beauty. As Pamina and her family try to piece their lives back together in their 1770 home, little do they know that secrecy, homophobia, and a ghastly confession await.

Is there a message in your novel you want readers to grasp?

The message in Acquiescence is that even though a person may have no desire to re-live a challenging or difficult time in their life, the obstacle can play a role in shaping who you become. If you allow adversity to become an opportunity for growth, you may become a different person.

Do you have a favorite snack food or favorite beverage that you enjoy while you write?

While I don’t have any particular type of snack or drink at my side as I write, I did have a food-incentive-as-reward for when I received my first Offer of Representation for Acquiescence. Although I don’t eat them (because years ago I gave up corn syrup, GMOs, and wheat), I’m crazy about Vienna Fingers cookies. A year ago, when I started sending out query letters, I decided to buy a package of Vienna Fingers and keep them on top of an exposed hand-hewn beam in our kitchen. I promised myself that on the day I got my offer, I would welcome “corn syrup coma” and gobble down the entire twenty-four pack, along with a cold glass of raw milk. The enticing red and yellow package stared down at me every time I walked under the beam. With every rejection letter, the rounded-end finger-shaped cookies taunted me. I could almost hear them sneer, “Ha! Ha! We’re safe up here. You’re never gonna eat us!” And then, came my Offer of Representation from Second Wind Publishing. As I triumphantly dunked each crème-filled vanilla cookie, every “unfortunately, this manuscript does not fit our needs at this time” rejection drowned in the glass of milk.

What advice you would give to an aspiring author?

The best advice I would give an aspiring author is a quote by literary agent, Dan Lazar: “The best rule of thumb is always to start the story where the story starts.” This was one of the stumbling blocks in my first drafts. Where does the story start? Until you, the author, have that straight in your mind, the story’s flow won’t be right. Also, although it’s difficult, being able to summarize your book in one sentence clarifies its goal.

If you could have lunch with one person, real or fictitious, who would it be?

If I could have lunch with one person, it would probably be Alva Vanderbilt. Ever since my first trip to Newport, Rhode Island as a little kid, I have been fascinated by the Gilded Age. I was never envious of Alva’s life, just intrigued by her drive. I love the fact that she went from a seen-better-days Southern belle, to an unconventional multi-millionaire American socialite, and then became a major figure in the women’s suffrage movement. For our twentieth-fifth wedding anniversary, my husband bought me a set of her “Votes for Women” china.

Which is more important to your story, character or plot?

Character is the heart of story. Readers relate to stories through character. Plot frames the conflict and action. Why would we want to pick one over the other when we can – and should – have both?

What is a talent you have that no one knows?

– As a hands-on science teacher, I can identify any bone that comes out of a regurgitated owl pellet.
– Although I’m an atheist, I can recite the books of the Bible – Old and New Testament – in order.
– From hours of quizzing my pre-teen son, I still know all 100 answers to the 4-H Poultry Showmanship questions.

Why will readers relate to your characters?

Every family has a moment that changes everything. Things happen – things you can’t even imagine – and in a minute the world is changed. Readers will relate to my characters because, just as in real life, they’ll like some and despise others. In my novel, Acquiescence, the Campbell family finds the courage to overcome adversity, realize that love never dies, and accept that there are bigger forces out there that know no limit. They learn that it’s not what happens to you, it’s how you deal with what happens to you, and that the best revenge is living a happy life.

What famous literary character is most like you?

Although I look like Liza Minnelli, I think my personality is similar to Ma Joad’s in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. I’ve never decapitated a chicken, but, like ‘Ma,’ I’m the backbone of my family.

When we first meet Ma Joad, she is a strong woman. When we see her in the very last chapter, she is a strong woman. Her strength only grows throughout the course of the novel. In fact, her initial strength transforms into a different kind of strength – one that it is dead set on survival – the survival of her family. As her family meets obstacle after obstacle, Ma Joad keeps it together. She is the strongest supporter of family and togetherness. Ma expresses this best when she directs Rosasharn to breast-feed the starving man at the novel’s conclusion. Both Ma Joad and I know that even the most horrible circumstances can be surmounted with grace and dignity.

Did you do any research for the book?

Moving into a 1770 Connecticut farmhouse ignited my interest in the colonial era. Behind the walls of our house, surprises and secrets waited to be exposed, and this became the spark for my novel, Acquiescence. While researching my novel, I became obsessed (in a good way) with colonial women. I wanted to find out what life was really like for them – the stuff we’ve always been curious about. How did they deal with menstruation at a time when women didn’t wear underwear? How about sex and birth control, childbirth, sickness and medicine? I put together an entertainingly- informative presentation called Colonial Goodwife: The Not-So-Good Life of the Colonial Goodwife ( to help promote my novel, as well as to let today’s women see that although we have a long way to go, it’s amazing how far we’ve come.

3 words that describe your writing style

Breezy, honest, unpretentious

What’s next for you?

I have a hands-on science children’s fiction series under contract. As a hands-on science teacher, ( I know that the new importance placed on standardized testing doesn’t leave enough time in a school day for hands-on activities. Standardized tests don’t encourage a love of learning. A kid is more than a test score. I offer inquiry-based, hands-on/minds-on science activities like Dissecting Owl Pellets, Making Chicken Mummies, Grossology, Shampoo Analysis Lab and Gotta Brain/ Getta Helmet!. Not every child can participate in one of my classes, but soon they will be able to take part through my book/science kits with the summer 2015 launch of One Lucky Mealworm! and Whooo Eats What?

I’m also cooking up a follow-up to Pamina’s story titled Woman on the Rock.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your work-in-progress?

Working title: The Woman on the Rock

For forty years, Chuck Ehrismann stared at a black and white photo of an unknown stunning woman – the only clue was ‘1949 Keansberg, New Jersey’ penciled on the back, but Chuck suspected she was family and held the key to his own identity.

Where can we learn more about you and your book?

Acquiescence is available from Second Wind Publishing:!product/prd15/3391685311/acquiescence



Author Bio

Velya Jancz-UrbanVelya Jancz-Urban, and her Acquiescence protagonist Pamina Campbell, have a lot in common. Both are teachers and hoodwinked Brazilian dairy farm owners, and both share a 1770 Connecticut farmhouse with a spirit woman. Velya has been married for 32 years, and is the mother of two grown children. She has a few too many rescue dogs and cats, is happiest with a fresh stack of library books, loves thrift shops, and is passionate about alternative medicine. Velya is the creator/owner of How Cool Is That?!” (Hands-On Science) (, as well as the East Coast Facilitator for Earth Adventure’s Earth Balloon. She teaches throughout NY/NJ/CT/MA. Her entertainingly informative presentation, The Not-So-Good Life of the Colonial Goodwife is a result of the research completed for this novel.


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Interview with Valerie Campbell, hero of “Valerie’s Vow” by Ashley M. Carmichael

Who are you?

My name is Valerie Hope Campbell. I am a high school English teacher and part time Sunday School teacher at my church where I also serve on the Education committee.

Are you the hero of your own story?

I never considered myself a hero of anything. I was forced to become the protagonist when I lost my best friend, Beth. However, Beth Sizemore will always be the hero of my story. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have made the vow, and there wouldn’t be a story at all. I never would have met Cooper, that’s for sure. I probably wouldn’t have met up with Evan again, and if I had, I certainly wouldn’t have had the guts to pursue anything.

What is your problem in the story?

I guess the real question here is what isn’t a problem in my story? Somehow I had to figure out how to keep my vow while maintaining my sanity, and my job. And yet, with the luck I have, problem after problem after problem…And without Beth, I just don’t know what to do. Fortunately, there is Cooper. And Evan. And Dakota. But I guess all that is a problem in itself. So really, I guess the problem is: What do I want to live for and how do I live for it?

Do you have a goal?

I have a lot of goals and dreams. I want to travel and see the world. I did a little of this when I was younger, but not as much as I want. I want to see China, India, Japan, Australia, Egypt, and—the Holy land. Sometimes I wonder about God and His role in our lives and I wonder if seeing the world would help solidify and answer these constant questions that plague me.

What are you afraid of?

I am afraid of failure. Of being alone. Of everything falling apart. My world shattered when I lost Beth, and I didn’t know if I could ever rebuild it. These fears are intensified some days. Other days the lesson. It’s a constant roller coaster of emotion.

Do you have any hobbies?

I’ve been restoring old furniture lately and that has been eye opening, and fun. It is a new skill I never thought I’d acquire, but has been very enlightening.

What is your favorite scent? Why?

My favorite scent is honeysuckle. It reminds me of home.

What is your favorite color? Why?

My favorite color is blue. It is calming and nurturing, it envelops you.

What is your favorite food? Why?

I love spaghetti—well anything Italian. Spaghetti is easy to make and is filling. And, well, brings back some pretty great memories!

What is your favorite music? Why?

I love a good salsa mix. It has a great mix, and now that I kind of know how to dance to it. Well, kind of I guess is a bit generous. Hopefully, he and I will have a chance to do a little more dancing in the future, but that’s a bit more than I want to divulge in a simple question like this.

Name five items in your purse, briefcase, or pockets.

A movie stub from The American Sniper, a lip gloss “blushing bride”, a few loose Euros, Pacific Cool Breeze hand sanitizer, and Stress-fix body lotion

What are the last three books you read?

The Professor and the Madman, The Atonement Child, and No Longer a Slumdog,

If you were stranded on a desert island, who would you rather be stranded with, a man or a woman?

A man. Many women tend to be catty and competitive with each other. Men will help take care of you…usually. Plus, well, now there’s only one person I want to be stranded with and if you’ve read my story, you certainly know who and why!

Where can we learn more about Valerie’s Vow?

From Second Wind Publishing:!product/prd15/2506087281/valerie’s-vow and Amazon

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Interview With Chelsea Bolt, Author of “Moonshine”

What is your book about?

My book, Moonshine, is the tale of a young woman who has lost everything she loves. Having resorted to living hidden in the mountains, she is filled with many emotions and struggles to find her place in society, if it still exists. Meanwhile, two young men, Finn and his less than serious cousin, Clay, stumble upon Isis and her hideout. The novel follows the adventure that these three find themselves in. With small town tragedy encompassing them, they uncover the truths that have been hidden. Along the way, they meet much older and wiser guides that help these three young people through their own journeys. Various incidents make the relationship of these three stronger, even when the opposite appears to occur.

How long had the idea of your book been developing before you began to write the story?

I began developing the idea for Moonshine when I was sitting in Biology class in 10th grade. Eventually, I sat down with a spiral notebook and started writing about a month or so later.

Tell us a little about your main characters. Who was your favorite? Why?

Moonshine has three main characters: Isis Underwood, Finn Hazzard, and Clayton Hazzard. Isis has three primary characteristics: impulsive, brazen, and jaded. Finn can be best described as a silver-tongued fellow with a charming smile. Clayton Hazzard is simply, simple; he wanted no part in this venture he was thrown into. Of these three, my favorite character to write was Isis. She has so many layers, I haven’t even discovered them all yet. Her reactions are interesting to write, she has a whole spectrum that never land at the same place twice.

Who is your most unusual/most likeable character?

My most likeable character is Jeannie Seymour. She’s a guiding light for Isis, unaffected by Isis’s sassy tendencies. She, like Isis, has interesting past that has shaped who she has become. I wasn’t aware of how likeable she was until people asked me more about her.

What was the first story you remember writing?

The first story I remember sitting down to write was a paper I wrote in 7th grade about a group of dogs living in a junkyard. It was just a fun little short story. Our teacher wanted us to use dialogue in a paper she assigned, and I remember that as punishment for being so talkative in class, we had to write an extra two pages. At first I saw that as a punishment, but now I see that assignment as a blessing; that’s when I realized I could write an entertaining story.

Do you have mental list or a computer file or a spiral notebook with the ideas for or outlines of stories that you have not written but intend to one day?

Sitting in my desk drawers are cheap 90₵ spiral notebooks. Whenever I start to think of a storyline, I jot a few words down and doodle a few sketches of key themes I want to hit on in the piece.

What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you’d written yourself?

The one book I wish I had written would have to be Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain. It is a beautiful piece of literature and I try to read it every winter. The tale of Ada an Inman is such a wonderful love story and I wish to be able to one day write something half as moving.

Describe your writing in three words.

In three words my writing is: honest, homespun, and heartfelt.

Do you have a saying or motto for your life and/or as a writer?

My motto for life is: “You never know what’s just around the river bend.” Think about it: you never step into the same river twice.

If your book was made into a TV series or Movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?

If Moonshine was made into a movie I would like for Clare Bowen (Scarlet O’Conner on Nashville) to play Isis, Robbie Amell (Stephen Jameson on The Tomorrow People) to portray Finn, and Reid Ewing (Dylan on Modern Family) to act as Clayton.

What is something you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)?

One thing that I never leave home without is my trusty Dr Pepper Lip Smackers lip balm. If I ever do happen to forget it, my lips feel naked and severely chapped.

What is your favorite place, real or fictional? Why?

My absolute favorite place in the world is my grandparents’ house. Their home has so much character and so many stories behind it. There is a story for everything in that house.

Where can we learn more about you and your book?

It’s available from Second Wind Publishing:!chelsea-bolt/c1rby and Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords,


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Excerpt from A SPARK OF HEAVENLY FIRE by Pat Bertram

ASHFborderStraight from today’s headlines! In the novel A Spark of Heavenly Fire by Pat Bertram, hundreds of thousands of people are dying from an unstoppable disease called the red death. In an effort to stop the disease from spreading beyond the state of Colorado where the disease originated, the entire state is quarantined. In this dangerous world, Kate Cummings struggles to find the courage to live and to love. Investigative reporter Greg Pullman, is determined to discover who unleashed the deadly organism and why they did it, until the cost — Kate’s life — becomes more than he can pay.


After an uneventful day at work, Kate hurried home through the silent streets. More than half the houses she passed had fluorescent orange dots splashed on their front doors indicating that someone had died within. Beside some of those doors were small shrines or memorials—artificial flowers, crosses, dolls, teddy bears. Other houses were unlit, mute testimony that entire families had died.

A white unmarked delivery van stopped in front of a house that already had one fluorescent dot on the door. When two men jumped out of the truck and ran up the porch steps, she knew that soon another orange mark would appear next to the first.

She could hear the men lamenting the loss of the Broncos while they waited for someone to answer their knock. It seemed strange that they spoke of such a prosaic matter. Shouldn’t they be crying, “Bring out your dead. Bring out your dead,” as their counterparts during the Black Death had done?

As she neared the house, she could see the door open. An old woman with bowed head and trembling shoulders stood aside to let the two men enter.

Kate had passed the house by the time the men emerged with their burden, but she could hear the thud of the body when they threw it into the van.

She thought of Greg and how he had cradled Mrs. Robin’s body in his arms as he carried her down the alley and how he had gently laid her under a tree.

And how he had said he liked her, Kate, very much.


Until November 23, 2014, A Spark of Heavenly Fire will be available at 50% off from Smashwords, where you can download the novel in the ebook format of your choice. To get your discount, go here: A Spark of Heavenly Fire and use coupon code ST33W when purchasing the book. (After you read the book, posting a review on Smashwords would be nice, but not obligatory.)


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

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What If an Entire State Were Quarantined? by Pat Bertram

People are being quarantined in Texas today, healthy people who simply hosted someone who was ill with Ebola. What if the disease spreads? What if more cases are found? What if a whole town or maybe a whole state were quarantined to prevent a pandemic?

These what ifs formed the premise of my noveASHFbordersml, A Spark of Heavenly Fire. The disease in the story is not Ebola, the avian flu, or any known disease, but a lab-created disease that had its origins in biological warfare experimentation. This fictional disease was created to be unstoppable, to wipe out entire populations. And it fell into the wrong hands.

Because the disease began in Colorado and that is where most of the victims lived — and died — the entire state is quarantined and martial law is put into effect. The seemingly inhuman measures that take place in the story to keep the non-sick under control are all probable since they are based on executive orders Clinton signed into law. The wonderful thing about writing such a book is that I didn’t have to imagine any of the horrors. Our own president did the work for me.

We are coming up on the supposed anniversary date of the publication of A Spark of Heavenly Fire. (I say supposed because although it wasn’t published until March 25, 2009, Amazon lists the publication date as .November 23, 2008.) I hope you will check out this still relevant novel, thinking as you do so of the small quarantine in Texas (small in numbers, and perhaps even small in consequence, but huge to the people whose freedom is being denied). It happened to them. It could happen to you.

To celebrate this faux anniversary, A Spark of Heavenly Fire will be available at 50% off from Smashwords, where you can download the novel in the ebook format of your choice. To get your discount, go here: A Spark of Heavenly Fire and use coupon code ST33W when purchasing the book. (After you read the book, posting a review on Smashwords would be nice, but not obligatory.)


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.


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Coloring My New Year by Pat Bertram

I’ve never really celebrated New Year’s because it doesn’t mean much to me. It’s a relatively arbitrary date. The calendar numbers change, but that’s all. It’s not a universal new beginning. The Chinese New Year this year is on January 31, the Jewish New Year is on September 24, the Persian New Year is March 20, the Korean New Year is January 31, the Tibetan New Year begins on January 31 , and various communities in the Hindu religion have different dates — January 14, March 31, April 14, April 15.

calendar_2014January 1 is not even the beginning of a new season or of a solar cycle such as a solstice or an equinox. Nor is there any personal demarcation — no black line separates the old from the new. The world is no different today from yesterday, nor are we. We carry the old year with us because you have the same problems, sadnesses, hopes, fears.

There is a newness to January 1, though, and that is the newness of a new calendar.

Like school kids with stiff new clothes and a satchel full of crayons, unread books, and blank paper, we are ready to set out on an adventure, trembling with both trepidation and excitement. Our new calendars have 365 blank squares. How will we will those squares? With notations of appointments and special days, of course. Perhaps with reminders of bills to pay and chores to do. But many of those days will be blank. What we will do with those blank days? Will we search for happiness or a new love? Will we recommit to an old love or strive to attain a better level of health? Will we experience new things, meet new people, visit new places, sample new foods?

I do feel that particular newness today, that hope. I’ve had marvelous adventures the past past year — going to Seattle to see Shen Yun, riding in a limousine, hiking with the Sierra Club, making new friends, attending parties and performances. I’ve walked hundreds of miles in the desert, posted 500 bloggeries, learned dozens of delightful new words (my favorite is eupathy), shared many meals, laughed untold times, and exchanged thousands of smiles. It hasn’t all been wonderful, of course, but somehow I found the strength and courage to deal with the trying times. I cried when I needed to, threw my griefs into the blogosphere, talked about (or rather, talked around) a heartbreaking family situation. And I survived. Even thrived.

And now I have 365 blank days on my new calendar. I plan on getting out my box of crayons and coloring those days brightly.

I hope your days will be filled with wonder, new adventures, and much joy.

Happy New Year.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.”


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Crossword Puzzle by Pat Bertram

Yesterday was the 100th anniversary of the crossword puzzle.  To celebrate such a momentous occasion, here is a puzzle for you. Anyone who solves this puzzle will receive a coupon for a free ecopy of one of my books at Your choice of title! Send your responses to Offer expires December 31, 2013.  (If you wish to print out the puzzle, you might have to save it as a jpeg and then print it out.)


1. Name of Pat Bertram’s blog (2 words)
2. Prose that describes imaginary events and people
5. Author of A Spark of Heavenly Fire, More Deaths Than One, Light Bringer, and Daughter Am I (2 words)
8. Pat Bertram’s publisher (2 words)
10. The country where Bob Stark from More Deaths Than One lived for eighteen years
12. The treasure that Mary Stuart searched for in Daughter Am I
16. A written or printed work consisting of pages glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers

3. A formal assessment of a work
4. A person who has written a particular work
6. A fictional person
7. Death notice; the piece in the newspaper that catapulted Bob Stark onto his journey for self-discovery in More Deaths Than One
9. The interrelated sequence of events in a work of fiction
11. Category of a novel
13. The state that was quarantined in A Spark of Heavenly Fire
14. Archaic word processing instrument with delete capabilities
15. A book-length work of fiction
17. A person who uses penned or typed words to communicate ideas or tell stories
18. An electronic version of a book
19. Relationship of James Angus Stuart to Mary Stuart in Daughter Am I


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

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A Gift for a Grief-Stricken Friend by Pat Bertram

Grief: The Great Yearning by Pat BertramI haven’t really promoted my book Grief: the Great Yearning, which chronicles my thoughts and feelings during the first year after the death of my life mate/soul mate. It seemed crass and insensitive to capitalize on people’s grief, though the book has been a big help to many who have suffered a significant loss such as a husband or a parent. As one person said, “Grief: the Great Yearning is an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.”

If you need a gift (or a stocking stuffer) for someone who is grieving, please consider giving them a copy of Grief: the Great Yearning. It might help to bring them comfort knowing that someone else has felt what they are feeling.

The print version of Grief: The Great Yearning is available from Second Wind Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Noble. You can even give the ebook in any format as a gift. Just go to Smashwords and click on “Give as Gift”.

If there are people on your Christmas list who like to read, please check out my other books. I’m sure they’d like at least one of them!


More Deaths Than OneBob Stark returns to Denver after 18 years in SE Asia to discover that the mother he buried before he left is dead again. At her new funeral, he sees . . . himself. Is his other self a hoaxer, or is something more sinister going on?

Click here to read the first chapter: More Deaths Than One


A Spark of Heavenly FireIn quarantined Colorado, where hundreds of thousands of people are dying from an unstoppable, bio-engineered disease, investigative reporter Greg Pullman risks everything to discover the truth: Who unleashed the deadly organism? And why?

Click here to read the first chapter of: A Spark of Heavenly Fire


DAIWhen twenty-five-year-old Mary Stuart learns she inherited a farm from her recently murdered grandparents — grandparents her father claimed had died before she was born — she becomes obsessed with finding out who they were and why someone wanted them dead.

Click here to read the first chapter of: Daughter Am I


Thirty-seven years after being abandoned on the doorstep of a remote cabin in Colorado, Becka Johnson returns to try to discover her identity, but she only finds more questions. Who has been looking for her all those years? And why are those same people interested in fellow newcomer Philip Hansen? And what do they have to do with a secret underground laboratory?

Click here to read the first chapter of: Light Bringer


Pat Bertram is the author of Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I.All Bertram’s books are available both in print and in ebook format. You can get them online at Second Wind Publishing, Amazon, B&N and Smashwords. At Smashwords, the books are available in all ebook formats including palm reading devices, and you can download the first 20-30% free!

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Walking in the Moonlight ~~ by Pat Bertram

????????????????????Last month I went walking by the light of the moon with Sierra Club members. We strode on a trail beside a riverbed, so we didn’t have to deal with traffic, which is just as well. Even with the full moon, we would have been invisible to drivers. (I couldn’t see the couple who walked in front of my car as I drove to the rendezvous until I was almost on them. Good thing they were aware of me, though it wasn’t bright of them to be so careless.)

I don’t remember ever taking a moonlit walk before. When I was a young adult, before I got my car (the same one I have now, incidentally) I walked to work, and I often had to hike home alone in the dark. I suppose during many of those city nights there had been a visible moon, but streetlights brought the sky in close, so something as far away as the moon would not have been as impressive or as memorable as the moon last night.

I do remember one particular night walk — it had to have been almost twenty-five years ago when my now deceased life mate/soul mate was still strong and healthy and up for adventure. We were living in a small town. Snow had fallen, and no one was about. No cars were on the road. All was still. Not even a hint of a breeze. We could hear the crunch of pristine snow beneath our feet, and the almost cathedral-like silence. It was bright — we weren’t walking in pitch black — but I don’t know if the light came from a moon or from ambient light reflected off the snow. We only walked a few blocks to a small town square. We stood there for a few minutes, enjoying the magical night, and then we headed back.

I don’t recall any other night walks. We spent the last couple of decades in ranching country, and an irrigation ditch ran in front of the house. Stagnant water. Mosquitoes. Need I say more? Well, maybe I do. I’m sensitive to mosquito venom — the bites always make me sick — so as much as possible I stayed inside when evening came. Besides, I didn’t much like the thought of meeting a coyote or a fox (or even an angry dog) on that empty country road.

So that night with the Sierra Club was a treat. A cool, clear, autumn evening with a hint of a breeze. A few stars. And a moon so bright in the huge empty sky, it cast our shadows on the pathway.

A walk worth remembering. A walk worth writing about.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.


Filed under life, Pat Bertram, Travel