Author Spotlight: George Pestana

George Pestana is a poet with a career in computer science and a penchant for penning thoughts (which he calls poems) and pinning them to his non-existent lapels (for, after 50 years, he still wears t-shirts). In his mind he owns a wishing well, into which he will sometimes toss a few of those poems, in the hope that roaming strangers will occasionally fish therefrom a tasty meal; and, in turn, toss a few coins into his wishing well, to wish him well. Such a friendly exchange, he believes, is food for thought. George can be found by himself in Austin, Texas, sharing love with the neighborhood stray cats.
The following is an interview conducted by George Pestana on himself; for indeed, who does not talk to himself from time to time ?
What’s the most memorable thing (to you) that you have written?

Between the ages of 11 and 12 (i.e. 5th – 6th grades), I wrote my own encyclopedia of “animals, letters of the alphabet, and bones of the human body”. It was exactly 500 pages long, on three spiral notebooks, complete with index and cross references. I wrote one page every day for 500 days, and each page was hand written with a different colored marker (7 different colors). My mom drove me to the library after school every day so I could do research for that day’s entry.

Have you ever gotten into an argument with a child?

Yes, when I myself was a child. At age 8 (i.e. in the 2nd grade) I got into an argument with a girl at school about what it meant to “read the bible”. She had said she had read the bible, but I had seen my mom’s bible – it was 1300 pages – and to me, “reading the bible” meant “reading it from cover to cover” – so I called her a liar and told her “no you haven’t. No way.” of course for her “reading the bible” meant “reading selections out of the bible”. So we argued back and forth until we realized we had different definitions. But when I got home, I felt bad about having argued with her. So I thought to myself “if I read 4 pages of my mom’s bible every day, I’ll finish in roughly a year.” So that’s what I did. I read the old testament first, and then the new testament. Now at that time, I had the idea in my head that after you died you would naturally be graded on a test of some sort to see if you could enter heaven – and I realized “hey if I continue this pattern, then by the time I die I will probably have read this thing like I don’t know 60 times, and SURELY by that point I will totally ace that test.” So after the year was up I started over and kept going. I’m not sure anymore how long I did that. At some point I started to suspect that maybe getting into heaven had nothing to do with knowledge, and that, together with actually having to do homework, caused me to stop that particular project.

Do you have any extra muscles in your head?

Why, yes, I do. fancy you should ask that. It indirectly connects my eyelids to my jawbones (I’m not sure exactly how), so that if I chew vigorously my eyelids automatically go up and down with each chew. Roughly 300 people have this anomaly in the United States. My dad told me that when I was born one of the doctors realized it and was more or less ecstatic that he had witnessed that in a newborn.

What is your most valuable skill?

At age 8 (again, the 2nd grade) I was perpetually getting into trouble at school. The punishment at our elementary school was to ‘stand on the sidewalk’ during recess instead of playing with the other kids. I think maybe during the 2nd grade there were perhaps 4 days total when I did not spend recess standing on the sidewalk. I kind of liked it actually. I didn’t have to talk to anyone, and I learned how to fart with my hands while standing there. i can still fart with my hands to this day. this is a GREAT skill to have when you are in elementary school. I also write computer programs and poetry and play the drums, but farting with my hands was clearly the most useful – at that time, anyways. I think that time matters more than my time as an adult, which increases the value of my skills in those days.

Have you ever had an experiment go awry?

When I was in the 5th grade we used to have spelling exercises where we would have 10 words and we would need to use each word in one sentence. One time I thought it would be funny to incorporate each sentence into the next sentence. so the first word was ‘baroque’ (like the type of painting) and I wrote ‘the baroque broke.’ Then the next word was ‘lightning’ and I wrote ‘the baroque broke because lightning struck it’. Around sentence 8 or 9, I realized that this was a very bad idea. But I finished it, and turned that whole mess in. I guess that was sort of an experiment. And I guess it sort of went awry.

Have you ever had any run-ins with the IRS ?

Not exactly. Actually, this fits with the previous question as well, because it was an experiment. The first year that I paid taxes, I realized that the fine print said that if you had overpaid anything “a dollar or less” the IRS wouldn’t bother sending you a check for the difference. (I’ve always liked reading the fine print on the tax stuff). Ithought ‘that means that if I overpay by one dollar and one cent, they should send me a check’. so I did it. And sure enough, they sent me a check for one dollar and one cent, “void within a year.” The next year I paid my taxes correctly, and was overjoyed to discover that they sent me ANOTHER check for one dollar and one cent, “void within a year.” apApparently if you didn’t claim the check it would automatically wrap around to the next year. I gleefully envisioned having a collection of 50-some-odd checks from the IRS, each for one dollar and one cent, by the time I was an old fogey. but after three or four years they apparently changed their software, and the cycle was broken. I received mail from the IRS saying that they had noticed that I had consistently overpayed, and that they would do me a “favor” (my quotes) by automatically deducting that amount from my next year’s taxes. damnit!

What intellectual accomplishment has made you feel the most guilty?

Ah, a common question. I made a 101 average for the year in my high school algebra class. That means I made a 100 on every single quiz, test, and homework, plus some extra credit problems here and there. my algebra teacher met my mom years later at a function of some sort and told her I was the best student she had ever had in 25 years. (This is according to my mom). The year before a decision had been made to ‘demote’ me from the gifted & talented math program back to ‘regular’ (skipping the ‘honors’ category altogether) because of some personality “issues” between myself and my geometry teacher. Apparently I belonged in some sort of limbo state between regular and honors. I don’t even remember that teacher’s name – the teacher who praised me I mean – and I’ve never felt the need to find out her name, though I do remember what she looked like. That lack of interest on my part makes me feel a little guilty. Actually, I suppose a ‘lack of interest’ is not an ‘intellectual accomplishment,’ so I haven’t actually answered your question.

Have you ever personally identified with an interviewer?

Yes, with you! why? Because you ignored what I said at the end of the last question, which makes me feel, oh, I don’t know, a sort of affinity with you. In middle school I almost always lost interest in whatever it was someone was saying to me, and would tune them out and think of something else. Eventually my friends caught onto this and they would start off talking to me coherently and then start saying nonsense things in the same tone of voice, and I would continue to say ‘uh-huh’ and ‘yeah’ absent mindedly from time to time. They told me afterwards about this joke they would play on me, and I actually thought it was kind of funny and laughed with them about it.

Have you ever believed that you had supernatural powers?

Yes. I used to play softball for a church group (late elementary school? middle school? not sure) and I would feel absolutely terrified before each game. I didn’t really want to play, I  just ended up signing up for it because the charlie brown characters i used to read were always playing baseball. We had a streak of about 5 or 6 games that were all rained out, and during that time I actually convinced myself that I could control the weather by wishing hard enough that the game would be cancelled. This was because ‘being cancelled by rain’ was exactly what I would wish and wish and wish for before every game, so when we had that streak, I thought I had actually caught onto something. Then it finally rained one time, and I was rudely disabused of my notion.

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

Well… In college I used to like to go to the life sciences library and read Scientific American magazines from the late 1800s, which were buried deep in the stacks. At that time, Scientific American used to be a weekly magazine. When the first gulf war broke out (1991), I decided to write a poem on a sheet of paper and stick the paper into the corresponding week from exactly 100 years earlier (1891). So i did it. I plan to creak back to the library when I am 70 and see if the poem is still in there. Unfortunately I can’t remember which week of 1991 it was, so i guess I’ll have to look through the whole year. If it’s gone, that’ll suck.

What activities did you engage in during your years at university?

In college (when i was a sophomore) during finals week there were a few times when, after I was done with my last exam, I would pick a large introductory freshman class that I didn’t belong to, which would require the use of a ‘blue book’ (so it would be a large English class or a large history class) and look up the time for their final exam. Then I would go to the exam as if I were a student for that class and start to write an essay in the blue book answering the question. But after a few sentences, i would write that “actually, the subject of X is much more interesting than this, so let’s discuss that instead.” X would be something from one of my actual classes that I had studied up on. Then I would write gobs and gobs on that subject X and finish the exam that way. I would make up a name, sign it with that name, and then walk out. I always wondered what the TA (teaching assistant) thought when she opened it up and started reading. I imagined her going ‘whaaatt???’ then looking at the name and realizing that name was not on the list of students. I only did that two or three times ( I think maybe twice ). They didn’t check for IDs at that time, probably because of the size of the classes – checking the ids of hundreds of students would take forever – and this was at a time when i still looked like a freshman.

My books can be found at Smashwords.

Author Spotlight: Kayla Krantz

Kayla Krantz is a proud author, responsible for a number of fantasy novels, and is fascinated by the dark and macabre. Stephen King is her all-time inspiration, mixed in with some faint remnants of the works of Edgar Allen Poe. When she began writing, she started in horror, but somehow drifted into thriller and fantasy. She loves the 1988 movie, “Heathers.” Kayla was born and raised in Michigan, but traveled across the country to where she currently resides, in Texas.

Author Spotlight: Rob Alex

This month I am spotlighting Rob Alex, PhD on Cassandra Parker Books

Rob has been helping couples in 2008 In 2009, he started writing Sexy Challenges, which are sacred and sensual scenarios for lovers. After his spiritual awakening in 2010, which happened due to transcendent lovemaking experiences he brought more spiritual perspectives into his work. He teaches men and couples how to use ancient wisdom to deepen their intimacy, create more sexual energy and direct that sexual energy to develop amazing relationships, manifest more income and live the life of their dreams.

He is also the founder of  Book Promotion Library

Book Promotion Library is a group of authors that banded together to help market their books. We are a book marketing co-op where all authors help each other share their books. Helping each other reach new and excited readers. You will also get some great tips and lessons on how to be a better and more powerful writer.

Rob Alex as a former host of Authors Talk About It Podcast, and the creator of Authors Talk About It Book Contest. Running 10 book blogs, has created many classes for authors and one of the top promoters of books. Here is a listing a few of his book blogs! t


Author Spotlight: Rowan Staeffler

This month I am spotlighting Rowan Staeffler, the author of the Black Eyed Witch on Cassandra Parker Books

Rowan was originally born in Australia but moved to Switzerland when he was 5. After 14 years completing school and an apprenticeship as a fitter and turner, he moved back to Australia. Eventually, he moved to Hong Kong for 3 years and got married. they currently live in Darwin.

As a child he wondered if there could be a different kind of witch who do not fly on a broom, has a pointy hat and a crooked nose. Now he likes to sharing his different perspective.

“I had this vision for some time now but never had the courage to tell the story, especially since I have mild dyslexia and English is my second language. Even though I was born in Australia, I moved to Switzerland at a very young age and grew up with their language.

The inspiration for this story was partly from the Manga and Anime series “Claymore” that is about silver-eyed witches who are part monster and part human and the only ones who can fight off monsters plaguing the humans.

While English is not my main language, I insisted on telling my story in the language. Even before the series, I had different views about witches. Many will think automatically of them wearing a black pointy hat, flying on brooms, having a long pointy nose and using magic. I tried to avoid these and make them look human but with abilities. The black eyes are one of their unique features.”

Author Spotlight: Lynn Miclea

This month I am spotlighting Lynn Miclea on Cassandra Parker Books

LYNN MICLEA is a writer, author, musician, Reiki practitioner, and dog lover. Although she worked many different jobs throughout her life, she has always loved reading and writing, and one of her dreams was to become a professional writer.

Wow is she prolific from romance, memoirs to children’s books you will find something to read and enjoy.

After retiring, Lynn further pursued her passion for writing, and she is now a successful author with many books published and more on the way. She has published books of fiction (thrillers, suspense, science fiction, romance, paranormal, and mystery), nonfiction (memoirs and self-help guided imagery), and children’s stories (fun animal stories about kindness, believing in yourself, helping others, and being more than you ever thought possible).

She hopes that through her writing she can help empower others, stimulate people’s imagination, and open new worlds as she entertains with powerful and heartfelt stories.

Originally from New York, Lynn currently lives in southern California with her loving and supportive husband.

Please visit Lynn’s website at for more information about her books.


wishfish 1 author pic lynn

Author Spotlight: Melissa E. Costa

Today, I am spotlighting Melissa E. Costa on Cassandra Parker Books

Melissa is the author of the delightfully sinful Cat Escort available in ebook and paperback.

Melissa writes character-driven fiction, and any genre is fair game! When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, anime, manga and gaming.

She loves adventure. Living by the motto of trying all things twice, Melissa has jumped out of a perfectly good plane, swam with manatees, dove headfirst into Alice’s rabbit hole, and seduced classy ladies in 6-inch heels.

A free-spirited bohemian, she currently lives in artsy St. Petersburg, Florida with her soulmate and their two, adorably needy cats.

Jump in and give her book a read. I guarantee you will love it.

Cat EscortMelissa Costa

Everest Update 04/19/2020

Please pray for Everest.

Everest Update from his mother.

I’m here right now because his nurses informed me he’s been having trouble with bowels and tummy bleeding again. This time there was blood in his NG tube (the tube that goes through his nose to his belly that he gets breastmilk through). They said they’re afraid he’s developing something called Necrotizing Enterocolitis. He does have some blood in his stomach and bowels. They’ve decided not to feed him anything until he receives a transplant. He will only ever get TPN & Lipids (IV nutrition and fats).

They’ve started antibiotics to reduce the infection risks because she said he’s the highest of high at risk. He just got a blood transfusion and she said the bleeding should stop with the feedings being stopped. Basically what Nec can do is it’ll start causing parts of the bowels to die or it’ll cause a lot of scar tissue to build up. We don’t want that because he would need surgery to remove those parts. Which would kick him off of the Heart Transplant list again. As of right now they’ve caught it and treated it so aggressively that they expect it to be just fine within a few days and for the bleeding to stop!

However, the downside with stopping the breastmilk completely and going to full IV nutrition is that he’s at risk for liver and gallbladder complications to arise again. She’s not sure that it will, because his levels look fine now, but it’s a good possibility. So instead of being on regular bloodwork schedule, he’s having it drawn every single morning
sometimes twice a day. They’re watching his liver enzymes and other factors very closely.

He’s a very sicky boy though, he’s sedated pretty heavily because he’s just not been comfortable today without it.

Update on Everest

Good news! Baby Everest was able to be put back on the heart transplant list.

He had been on tpn/lipids feed which is hard on the liver and gallbladder. He was switched to breastmilk which was hard on his bowels and resulted in bleeding.

The doctors decided to try him on 50% tp and 50% breastmilk and hoped to minimize further damage.

It worked! He is back on the transplant list and is top priority.

Please pray for this little fighter. The family has a GoFundMe account called Conquering Everest. If you can donate even a little bit it will go a long way to help pay his medical costs.Everest & Dad 03-25-2020

Please Pray For Baby Everest Update

Sad News about baby Everest. His liver is failing. Both Everest and the family need urgent prayers.

From his mother:


Just had a visit with Everest. I was shocked to see he was very yellow/orange when I came in. The nurse said she was about to call me and let me know he’s having some issues being jaundiced today all of a sudden. She said it started last night/early morning and has progressively gotten worse with increasing bilirubin levels. They’re
repeating his ultrasounds, bloods tests & EKG to find out what’s going on and causing his liver to be so sick.
Obviously his heart function decreasing is causing his liver to struggle, they said it’s not super uncommon with really sick heart babies but concerning since he’s on the transplant list.
As of right now Dr. Garcia said it’s not bad enough she had to pull him from the transplant list. But he is throwing up all the feeds he’s being given in his NG tube (he gets breastmilk in a feeding tube that goes through his nose and into his stomach directly). They’re repeating his level testing a few times daily instead of weekly now and watching him VERY closely & if they aren’t able to get his liver function increased we may be in some trouble. If the liver function continues to make decreases, he will have to be pulled from the transplant list and that’s the end of the road for him. Can’t get a liver transplant with a failing heart & you can’t get a heart transplant with a failing liver.

Unfortunately there’s no cure or way to live without either of those. Please continue to pray for his liver function. We desperately need more time for him. If he can just hold on until a new heart comes
If you are able to donate, this is the link to securely do so, if not please just pray and share with others so they can pray and share as well. Having a medical savings for Everest is SO important and everyone who has helped has given us peace of mind and blessed us so much more than we could ever explain.

Go Fund Me