Tag Archives: books

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



Leave a comment

Filed under Book Spotlight, Breaking News, Writing

New Release: Torrid Literature Journal – Vol. XV Untamed Creative Voices

Title: Torrid Literature Journal – Vol. XV Untamed Creative Voices

Price: $6.00

Purchase Link: http://amzn.com/0692482636

TLJ Cover V15


“Each rock is mute with the secrets of a lifetime…” – Michael Jerry Tupa

“You once said you saw my soul and found it beautiful…” – Justin Rose

“Love while you can—before you, too, are gone…” – James Sutton


TL Publishing Group starts off Volume XIV Untamed Creative Voices with a special interview that reveals the interior scope of a writer’s mind. Jim Landwehr, a writer from Waukesha, Wisconsin and author of Written Life, takes readers behind the scenes of his work as he discusses the sources of his inspiration, writing tips, and much more. This interview sets the atmosphere for the rest of the publication, which contains pages of vibrant and thought provoking literature written by writers from around the world.

Literature is about stylistic expression. The contributing writers in Volume XIV use their words to carefully construct beautiful images that tell unforgettable stories that imprint upon the senses. The readers will see, touch, and experience life through someone else’s eyes. Overall, Volume XIV will leave readers in awe of the artistic power that writers yield.

The Torrid Literature Journal also continues its creative regimen of providing readers with literary works that ponder, discuss, and refute interesting aspects of life. This publication has an aesthetic appeal that roars with artistic freedom. Lovers of literature and creative expression will come to appreciate the way this ongoing publication continues to find a place into the hearts and minds of its readers.

Contributors: Nathaniel Osborne; Barry Yeoman; Liza Marshtein; Kristiane Weeks; Paul Smith; Tom Montag; Mark Antony Rosi; Michael Jerry Tupa; Jeanne M Kachnij; Philip C. Kolin; Amber Allen; Holly Wells; Laura Berstein-Machlay; Sharon (TJ) Parks; Ryan Murphy; Richard Spilman; James Stoner; Phillip Farris; Robin Peroldo; Christina Mengis; Collen Farrelly; James Sutton; Justin Rose; Barbara McGaw; Roy Bentley; Jim Landwehr; Erren Geraud Kelly; Allison Grayhurst; Philip Goldberg; Douglas Cole; Brandon Madden; Victoria Griffin; Daniel Ruefman

Leave a comment

Filed under Journal

Flashback Friday: Bernard Berenson Groping for Limits

Today we’re going to take a look at James Sutton’s poem, “Bernard Berenson Groping for Limits”. This poem first appeared in the Torrid Literature Journal Vol. XI – The Butterfly Effect.

Bernard Berenson Groping for Limits

By James Sutton

“My life’s the poem I would have writ,

but I could not both live and utter it.” – Thoreau

When those who follow wonder how it felt

to live in times as turbulent as these,

forgetting that each time has ice that melts

& fire that heats beyond where things should be,

they’ll seek out poets of that time to say

what fluttered in the feeling heart back when,

and what they hear will vibrate in their day

in sympathy to what was suffered then.

A picture’s worth a thousand words, and one

is known to truncate starkly in a scream;

but in the main, when pain & grief are done,

it’s poets who declare where hearts have been.

So poetry has purpose, after all,

provided poets answer to its call.

Volume XI was published on July 1, 2014. Click here to purchase your copy today.

If you’re interested in submitting your unpublished poem or short story to the Torrid Literature Journal, please click here.

Leave a comment

Filed under flashback friday

Readers Are Counting On You

“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” -E. L. Doctorow

You have a story inside of you. However, if you’re like most emerging writers you may feel a bit of fear when it comes to creating your first draft. Many people feel inundated by the entire literary process, which spans from writing and editing to publishing and marketing. However, before you can worry about the future steps, you have to get past phase one: writing your story.

Write one word and then another. Repeat this process. Before you know it, you will have a sentence, a paragraph, a chapter, and eventually an entire story. You can do this. You can write a story. More importantly, you can tell your story in your own way.  Move past your inhibitions and tell your story the way you were always meant to.  Readers are counting on you.

I’m not saying writing is easy, but it is worth it. Our editor, Aisha McFadden, said it best: writing is like taking a trip to somewhere you’ve never been before.  There are a lot of curves and turns, but you end up exactly where you want to be.

Write. Write. Write.

Alice Saunders, Editor

Follow me on Twitter: @LyricalTempest

www.torridliterature.com | Facebook | Twitter

www.tlpublishing.org | Facebook | Twitter

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing, Writing Tips

Flash Giveaway: TLJ Vol. XI The Butterfly Effect

Limited Time Offer!

We are giving away free digital copies of the Torrid Literature Journal Vol. XI – The Butterfly Effect.

* * To request your free digital copy, please click here.* *

TLJ Cover V11 v6web

Torrid Literature Journal (Vol. XI)


Synopsis: TL Publishing Group kicks off the second half of their year with the release of the Torrid Literature Journal – Volume XI The Butterfly Effect. This volume highlights the timeless power of art as voices from around the world come together in this single issue. The literature inside of Volume XI is as relevant today as it will be in the future. If you’re curious as to how writers can capture and memorialize a moment of time then this issue is a must read. Artists have the ability to hold people’s emotions and their psyche captive to their imagination and will as they create works of art that seem impossible until it’s been done.

One of the significant features worth mentioning is the new interview with A.J. Huffman, owner of Kind of a Hurricane Press. As someone who has experience as both a writer and an editor, Huffman has some great words of wisdom to impart upon anyone looking to step into the literary field.

True to its nature, TL Publishing Group doesn’t fall short of its goal to provide readers with literary content that will leave them inspired and motivated. Their poetry and fiction section, which makes up the bulk of the issue, is filled with over 30 poems and short stories that cover a multitude of topics from love and loss to dreams, identity, and faith.

Overall, these writers will astonish readers with their phenomenal and unique writing style. It’s not just what they say but how they say what needs to be said. Whether they’re making a repeat appearance or it’s their first time gracing the pages, readers will quickly become attached the literary content that can only be found within the pages of the Torrid Literature Journal.

What’s more, TL Publishing Group always announces their latest literary project and/or event. You don’t want to miss out on the exciting events and publications they have in store for the literary community.

Contributors: Brandon Berman; Changming Yuan ; Jedidaiah Joy Herrera; Gwendylyn Martin; Marcelo Muianga; Richard O’Brien; Kay Gosack; Levi Archer; Joanna Kurowska; Mariel Arriola; James Sutton; Kayla Pumphrey; Tanya Dickinson; Michelle Bayha; Gerald Bergeron; Rebecca Stapley; Rachael Stanford; Erren Geraud Kelly; Thomas Piekarski; Alexandra Cannon; Michael Wakefield; Peycho Kanev; Brittany Gilbert; Amy S. Pacini; Anne Marie Bise; Lauren McCall; Jules A. Riley; Barbara Brockway; G.L. Snodgrass; Frank Scozzari; Stacy Stepanovich

* * To request your free digital copy, please click here. * *

The Torrid Literature Journal is a quarterly publication that features interviews, book reviews, articles, poems, and short stories. If you would like to submit your unpublished work for consideration, please click here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing