Category Archives: Breaking News

Book Spotlight: Transcendence by Johanna Kristin Ellerup

Happy New Year! We’re rolling out a new feature on our blog that spotlights writers through interviews and book announcements. Our first book feature of 2020 is A New Beginning: Transcendence by Johanna Kristin Ellerup.


Title: A New Beginning: Transcendence

Author: Johanna Kristin Ellerup

Format: Paperback / Ebook

Purchase Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble






~ Book Blurb ~

An unusual look at life, life after death, and reincarnation as told by a murder victim’s spirit as it seeks to answer the ageless question – Why are we here?

Within the soul of Transcendence is the premise that no matter how bad life gets, no matter how many mistakes one makes, there is always a chance to transcend.

A pharmacist is murdered for investigating her suspicion that the pharmacy’s owners are involved in narcotics diversion and money laundering. Upon her death, she descends into an alternate quantum dimension, where she believes that her purpose is to reunite her many pets under the ownership of a uniquely gifted old woman.

What follows is the intermingling of the lives of otherwise unrelated people, leading to the healing of old wounds and hatreds, strength in the face of overwhelming hardship and lasting friendships. Each person experiences their own personal transcendence.

When the old woman suddenly dies, the pharmacist is forced into the old woman’s body and is faced with having to continue a life that is not her own while struggling to understand the mystical forces at play in the universe.

Transcendence is an inspirational look into the transformative ability of acceptance and unconditional love enjoyed by readers both young and old.

~ About the Author ~

Johanna Kristin Ellerzup is a Doctor of Pharmacy, or PharmD, and this is her first novel. Ellerup is single and lives in a quiet NY neighborhood with her father and several rescue pets.

~ Book Review ~

Transcendence is set in a fictional American town, blends occult drama with a psychological thriller piece, and adds a touch of murder mystery via an unexpected protagonist: the murder victim’s spirit, which faces a question of purpose in its reincarnated life.

The fact that the pharmacist has been murdered in the process of investigating an international drug ring is only the beginning of a complex tale. Themes move through her revision of her goals in the afterlife, her venture into the lives of unrelated people (think Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life, but with more of a philosophical hand), and her growing realizations about unconditional love and its purpose in the world.

This lends Transcendence a much more ethereal and spiritual tone than other stories of reincarnation. What do dogs and business interests have to do with this bigger picture? Johanna Kristin Ellerup weaves a tale that incorporates many unusual facets throughout. Readers should cultivate flexibility as they pursue a mercurial story that delves into these different lives and realizations. Any such effort will be well rewarded with a story that is poignant, revealing, and filled with evocative descriptions of not just the familiar world, but other dimensions: “I was somehow lost, and that feeling alone confused me. I spent my entire known existence within a human body yet spending a few years as some form of singular energy had such a profound effect that returning to a human body left me discomfited. As energy, I envied humans the ability to feel themselves, to feel their existence and yet now it only feels like a dead weight. A huge, confining barrier to all other forms of existence and intellect. I marveled at the energy expenditure required to do the simplest of tasks, like lifting my arm, or finger.”

Those seeking a blend of mystery, reincarnation saga, and spiritual reflective piece will find Transcendence just the ticket with its occult story of psychological suspense and spiritual and philosophical growth.

Midwest Book Review, Diane Donovan Senior Reviewer 


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New Release & Giveaway: TLJ Vol. XXIII The Write Path

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Title: Torrid Literature Journal Volume XXIII The Write Path

Publisher: TL Publishing Group LLC

Contributors: Candice Louisa Daquin; Bruce McRae; Jan Ball; Joanna Tang; Ken Tomaro; George Freek; Jay Frankston; Richard Holleman; Rick Hartwell; Khadija Gure; George Kramer; Allen Forrest; DS Maolalai; Ken Simpson; Jason Kirk Bartley; Janice Canerdy; Sterling Jacobs; Sugar Tobey; Wayne F. Burke; Erren Kelly; John Grey; Paul Rondema; Marcus Benjamin Ray Bradley; Michael Blaine; Jolene Munch Cardoza; Constantin Preda; Jared Pearce; Kay Gosack; Michael T. Smith; Gonzalinho da Costa; Lila Flavin; Foster Trecost; William Huhn

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New Release & Giveaway: TLJ Vol. XX Bend, Don’t Break


Title: Torrid Literature Journal Volume XX Bend, Don’t Break

Published by TL Publishing Group LLC Continue reading

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New Release & Giveaway: TLJ Vol. XVII Layers & Levels

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Title: Torrid Literature Journal Volume XVII Layers & Levels

Published by TL Publishing Group LLC Continue reading

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TL Open Mic Recap: A Celebration of the Arts

On Saturday, August 30th TL Publishing Group hosted the 11th installment of their open mic series at The Bunker. The Bunker is a quaint coffee shop located in the heart of Ybor City. The venue’s space provided an intimate setting, which added to the overall ambiance of the night. In addition, The Bunker offers a delectable variety of menu items, free wifi, comfortable seating, and an outdoor patio.

People from around the community, youth and adults, gathered in what was a powerful night filled with talent, love, and support. Singers, musicians, bands, storytellers, comedians, poets, and spoken word artists took to the stage and blessed the audience with special performances.

R.J. Kerker, the host for the evening, opened up the show with a wonderful selection of songs with the accompaniment of his piano. R.J. is a singer, songwriter, and musician. He is also a member of the American Song Box Band.

After R.J.’s performance, the night continued as performers graced the stage to display their talent. The comedians brought laughter, the singers and musicians delivered heart-soothing songs with great beats, and the literary artists brought joy, relief, and revelation in the form of poetry, spoken word, and short stories.

Altogether, the performers represented the diversity, beauty, and originality of the arts that we know and love. Below are a few photos from the evening.


 Wally B.

Wally B. Jennings performs a powerful spoken word piece.

Wally is the founder of Heard Em’ Say Teen Poetry. Visit their page on Facebook.


R.J. Kerker plays a beautiful selection of songs on his keyboard.

R.J. is a member of the American Song Box Band.



David Bierley, a known veteran who frequently attends TL’s open mic events, plays severals songs on his guitar.



Spokenheart Shack reads some of her beautiful poetry.

Spokenheart is a member of the Black on Black Rhyme Word of Mouth Poetry Troupe.

Visit their page on Facebook.



Jason ‘Jboog’ McGriff inspires the audience with his Christian spoken word performance. Jboog is the host of Open Praise, Tampa’s premier Christian open mic show.


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A group photo of the performers and audience members taken just before the show wrapped up.

Click here to view the entire photo album from that night.

Between the performances, free raffle prizes, and the awesomeness of The Bunker, this event was a memorable one that will have the community wanting an encore experience. TL Publishing Group’s open mic show will return later this fall. Visit their website and sign up for their eNewsletter to receive updates about future events.

The aforementioned notwithstanding, you don’t have to wait that long to get to another open mic event. The community of Tampa is thriving with talent. Visit Tampa Bay Poetry’s official website for a listing of other open mic shows that are currently happening in the area. You can also join the group on Facebook for current updates. In addition to this listing, be sure to join the Tampa Bay Open Mic Meetup group for even more open mic events.

TL Publishing Group is publisher of the Torrid Literature Journal, a quarterly publication. They host open mic shows quarterly along with other programs, contests, and events that they offer to the literary and arts community. Please visit their website to learn more.

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