DUSK AND SUMMER, by Joseph Pinto

I met Joe through friends of writer friends. He is a contributor to the esteemed Pen of the Damned writing collective, a friendly commentor on my blog, and has the sweet charm and humor found most purely in horror authors. He asked if I would host him as part of a blog tour to announce and celebrate the publication of his newest book, DUSK AND SUMMER, and I agreed because I like Joe, and I enjoy his work with Pen of the Damned. I didn’t know what to expect of DUSK AND SUMMER, but what I got was a new perspective on aging, life, and learning how to live with the specter of mortality.

If you haven’t read Joe’s guest post, please do! If you haven’t read DUSK AND SUMMER, you can puchase it here:

Amazon: US |UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | India | Brazil

CreateSpace | Smashwords

Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes (Apple)

Joe is donating a portion of the proceeds to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

Pancreatic Cancer

Please leave a review for Joe on Amazon or Goodreads!



DuskAndSummerThere are two types of coming of age stories. The common one, with which we are all familiar, examines the psychological and emotional landscape of a boy becoming a man. The less common concerns the next great leap, a transition for which we have no name, but which happens when our parents pass away and we are left to understand a world in which we are the elders, the guardians, the guides. DUSK AND SUMMER, a novella by Joseph Pinto, is of the latter type.

In the forward, Pinto reveals that he lost his father to the ravages of pancreatic cancer. DUSK AND SUMMER is Pinto’s tribute to the man who loved, raised, and inspired him. It is a beautiful elegy that transcends the personal nature of the content to reveal something essential about life: DUSK AND SUMMER shows us the unselfish nature of love. Love, in Pinto’s narrative, is about shared moments as much as it is about knowing when to let go, and intuiting the wholeness that only death can restore. Eons ago, Epictetus advised  “never say about anything, I have lost it, but say I have restored it.” People of faith have ritual and community to guide them to acceptance. If there is a hereafter, then Omega is Alpha, and the only reason we cannot recognize that in the same dry, factual way in which we recognize the elements in the periodic table is because we are limited – locked into – our Now, our Here. The challenge of discovering faith in a “beyond” is the hallmark of this second, nameless coming of age. DUSK AND SUMMER is the story of moving to the acceptance that what is lost, who is lost, is restored to wholeness in a way we cannot rationalize, touch, or mentally conceive.

***Spoiler Alert! Some plot points are revealed in the next paragraph, but the true magic of the myth is preserved. You’ll love the way Pinto brings it all together, so get the book!***

Pinto presents his theory of this transition as a myth. Myth is the most natural means humans have to absorb ideas that exist outside of reason. DUSK AND SUMMER leads the protagonist, an intentionally unnamed Everyman, on a mystical  journey from the symbolically laden memories of the Tolten, a sunken ship, to the concrete locale of 141 Sea Cargo Drive. His dying father sent him there, with instructions to do what must be done. A woman of otherworldly beauty meets him on the beach. The protagonist understands, with a soul-shock, that he is tasked with helping her guide his father’s soul to the other side. Initially, he fights the idea of his father’s departure. This is the vestige of the child in him, crying and gripping his father’s trouser leg. It is this sentimental attachment that must give way to unselfish acceptance in the second coming of age. His father gave him everything he needs to enter the second stage of adulthood, and to honor all his father gave, the son must let go. The son fully takes on the strength which was in the father, and uses it to carry his father across the threshold to a new life. The end of a life, and of DUSK AND SUMMER, is bittersweet. The myth is completed, and the narrator arrives in the next phase of his maturity. DUSK AND SUMMER is a beautiful tribute, and a salve for all psyches battered by the loss of a beloved parent.

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The Writer’s Doldrums: A Guest Post by Joseph Pinto


Joseph Pinto, author.

Joseph Pinto, author.

Joseph Pinto is a speculative fiction author, a member of Pen of the Damned, and author of the modern myth, DUSK AND SUMMER. I’m pleased to have the opportunity to introduce you to Joe. His post, about curing the writer’s doldrums, is followed by cover blurb and purchase information for DUSK AND SUMMER. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of DUSK AND SUMMER are donated to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. 


Cleansing a Writer’s Drain

A writer’s doldrums – we all get them.  They’re sneaky little critters, too, coming in all sorts of guises.  Latching on to normal everyday life, they sink their grubby claws into you just when you least expect it – and even if you did, it’s always at the worst possible time.  You know what I’m talking about, right?  A hectic schedule, stress from your job; even if you’re lucky enough to be a fulltime writer, the panic of meeting a deadline.  Responsibilities as a parent or spouse; the list is endless.  With life happening at the speed of…life, how does a writer keep their brain sharp, focused and uncluttered?  Is it even possible?  There may never be a reasonable or foolproof answer, but I’ll share something that’s worked for me: I turn into a plumber.

Say what?

Yes, a plumber.  Now please, don’t tell my wife because I can barely unclog our kitchen sink if need be, but there alone I’ve revealed my trick – I view my mind as though it were a drain.  I need to keep it filtered and free-flowing.  At the first sign of a clog, I’m all over it.  But trust me, it took a long time to figure out how to use my ‘mental plunger,’ and it’s not always the easiest thing to do.

It starts with an escape.  I’m fortunate to work from home, and my office serves as my sanctuary.  Those sneaky little critters (yes, those critters, oh how they love to cause a back-up!) detest any sign of routine cleansing.  I shake them off at the door, but it never comes without a fight.  As I said, once they sink their claws in, they’ll do all they can to distract; to detract.  If you suffer from critters as I sometimes do, shake them off, pull them off; hell, snap them off at the knuckles if need be.  If you can’t find salvation in your office or writing nook, then go for a walk, a drive, maybe even exercise.  Anything to step away from what might be attracting those critters in the first place.  You’ve got to get that proverbial water in your sink and flowing through your pipes; if it’s still going down slowly, then it’s time to figure out the true size of your clog.

Some clogs are an easy fix.  Once I rid myself of those critters, a few deep breaths while sitting in my office are all I need to get myself focused.  Yours might just be that walk or that drive.  But what if it’s not?  Critters can be awfully persistent.  Some have even evolved to survive beyond a ‘mental plungering.’  Those are the worst of the lot; attracted not to your daily trials and tribulations, but born from within, feeding and gnawing from deep inside your gut.  Those sneaky little critters are now something much worse; they’ve become parasites, infecting every ounce of you, downright malicious and destructive.  Sneaky little critters?  Oh no, not anymore…now full-fledged monsters of self-doubt.  A writer’s worst nightmare, believe you me.  A horribly slow, cruel death of your prose awaits if you don’t act.

Ahh, that’s when I employ my spiritual jetting.

Tiger’s eye is a protective stone, one that heals issues of self-worth and self-criticism.  It encourages creativity and positive energy.  I have two such stones carved and shaped as skulls atop my desk.  Actually, they rest just below my computer monitor.  Cheekbone to cheekbone they touch, infusing one with the other’s energy, staring out at me.  Before I write, I make sure to touch them.  Sometimes, I even place them against my chest for a minute before positioning them carefully back to their guardian positions.  My tiger’s eye skulls have helped cleanse those monsters from inside me, and from the moment I owned them, my drain has flowed smoothly since.  You can believe me or not, that’s up to you.  But sometimes you need to bring in the big guns.

I know that not everyone can get their hands on something created from tiger’s eye, and not everyone will be affected the same way I am by it, if at all.  I’m very open to it, and so for me, it’s worked.  But self-doubt is a terrible thing.  I suffered from it for a very long time and have no one but myself to blame for allowing it to hold me back.  There comes a point, however, when you need to learn and practice various little tricks to eliminate it – to take back your own power.  Those sneaky little critters are exactly that for a reason – they’re clever.  You need to outsmart them.

Me, I turned into a plumber.  It’s all about cleansing a writer’s drain.

Thank you for having me on your blog, Aniko, I greatly appreciate the opportunity!

You’re welcome, Joe! It was my pleasure!



Does Heaven await beneath the waves? One man needs to know.

When his dying father whispers a cryptic message to him, he has no choice but to summon his courage and begin the quest of a lifetime. It’s a race against time to realize his father’s wish and fulfill his own destiny; it’s a discovery of the unbreakable bond between father and son. It’s a journey of the heart that unfolds where only the Chosen exist – in the moments between Dusk and Summer.

“A poignant, metaphoric conversation between son and father. A story that will warm your heart.”
–Yvonne S. Thornton, M.D., bestselling author of The Ditchdigger’s Daughters

The author will be donating a portion of the proceeds from this book to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

Pancreatic Cancer

Dusk and Summer is available at:

Amazon: US |UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | India | Brazil
CreateSpace | Smashwords
Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes (Apple)