Tim Stark of ‘Tiger King’ Found in Contempt in Missing Animals Case

Tim Stark — known as one of the players in the exotic animal world on ‘Tiger King’ — has been found in contempt of a court order in a strange case involving … you guessed it, zoo animals. According to legal docs … the court ordered all of the…

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MTV’s ’16 and Recovering’ is stark look at young addiction

Northshore Recovery High School is not your average learning institution by any means.


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Immortal Vegas Series Box Set Volume 1: Books 0-3 – Jenn Stark

Jenn Stark - Immortal Vegas Series Box Set Volume 1: Books 0-3  artwork

Immortal Vegas Series Box Set Volume 1: Books 0-3

Jenn Stark

Genre: Fantasy

Publish Date: November 19, 2017

Publisher: Elewyn Publishing

Seller: Jennifer Stark


The first three full-length novels of the Immortal Vegas Series in one box set, plus an introductory novella. One Wilde Night Tarot-reading artifact hunter Sara Wilde has had her share of tough assignments, but this one just might take the cake. When her newest client hires her to steal a fertility idol from an Amazonian sex-and-death cult, she finds herself south of the equator and shoulder deep in true believers, while Rio de Janeiro gears up for the closing celebrations of Carnival. Stealing the idol is one thing, however. Keeping it is another. The arcane black market has drawn a host of cutthroat operatives and Sara's now in their sights. In a race across one of the most colorful cities in South America on its most famed night of the year, Sara must navigate cunning enemies, backstabbing allies, a fifty-foot wedding cake float and a new, sensually mysterious contact who may be friend or foe…and whose name she'll never know if she doesn't survive  One Wilde Night. Getting Wilde Using her well-worn Tarot deck, magical-artifacts hunter Sara Wilde can find anything–for a price. And the price had better be right, since she needs to finance her own personal mission to rescue several young psychics recently sold on the paranormal black market. Enter Sara's most mysterious client, the wickedly sexy Magician, with a job that could yield the ultimate payday. All she'll have to do is get behind Vatican walls… and steal the Devil himself. But play with the Devil and you're bound to get burned. From the twisting catacombs of Rome to the neon streets of Vegas, Sara confronts ancient enemies, powerful demigods, a roiling magical underworld about to explode… and immortal passions that might require the ultimate sacrifice. But oh, what a way to go. No matter how the cards play out, things are about to get  Wilde . Wilde Card All that glitters may not be gold. When an antique gold show comes to Vegas, artifact-hunter Sara Wilde's job is simple: to locate and liberate a set of relics rumored to give their bearers access to an ancient, incredible power. Yet within the Connected community, whispers of a war against magic draw every psychic, mystic, warlock, and witch to Sin City. The most powerful Connected also covet the infamous relics, but no one wants them more than Sara's client–the insufferably arrogant, criminally sensual, and endlessly evasive Magician. Sara's heist takes a turn for the trickier as the smoky-eyed specter from her past, Detective Brody Rooks, is assigned to investigate a break-in at the gold show, forcing her to confront the one man in Vegas she can't bluff. Worse, as the game changes anew, Sara is forced to turn to the one person she knows will manipulate, obfuscate and beguile to get whatever he craves. Only now, it seems, the Magician wants her. Sometimes, when the deck is stacked against you… you've got to play the  Wilde Card. Born To Be Wilde The past has a way of catching up with you. If there's one thing that Tarot-reading magical artifacts hunter Sara Wilde has never been able to track down, it's the truth about her own past. But now a powerful new threat to the psychic community will take Sara back to where it all began: the last job she worked with Officer Brody Rooks as "Psychic Teen Sariah," the job that destroyed her life and sent her on the run. Because the enemy she fled all those years ago has returned… with a posse of demons as his personal entourage. From the glittering chaos of Las Vegas to the Lost City of Atlantis, Sara must risk everything in a quest for vengeance that grows darker and more twisted with every step. To succeed she'll have to face the truth about her past, her abilities…and the impossible, unstoppable attraction she has to the Magician. A truth that will reveal her ultimate role in the war on magic. Life is full of surprises when you are  Born to Be Wilde.

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Release Me: The Stark Series #1 (Unabridged) – J. Kenner

J. Kenner - Release Me: The Stark Series #1 (Unabridged)  artwork

Release Me: The Stark Series #1 (Unabridged)

J. Kenner

Genre: Romance

Price: $ 4.99

Publish Date: January 1, 2013

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Trump’s ‘Orange Face’ Photo Appears Edited to Show Stark Contrast

President Trump has weighed in on a black and white version of the so-called #Orangeface photo … calling the pic “fake news” and obviously altered. DT took to Twitter Saturday, writing … “More Fake News. This was photoshopped, obviously, but…

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Shadow Magic – Aimee Easterling, Pippa DaCosta, Annie Bellet, Jenn Stark, C. Gockel & Dale Ivan Smith

Aimee Easterling, Pippa DaCosta, Annie Bellet, Jenn Stark, C. Gockel & Dale Ivan Smith - Shadow Magic  artwork

Shadow Magic

Six Strong Heroines of Urban Fantasy

Aimee Easterling, Pippa DaCosta, Annie Bellet, Jenn Stark, C. Gockel & Dale Ivan Smith

Genre: Paranormal

Publish Date: February 12, 2020

Publisher: Wetknee Books

Seller: Aimee Easterling


Dive into six full-length urban fantasy novels by USA Today and national bestselling authors! Escape into tales of shifters and sorceresses, gamers and bakers, demons and artifact hunters, plus one very mischievous Norse god. Full of adventure, mystery, romance, and plenty of snark, these novels will immerse you in magical worlds while you turn pages far into the night. Huntress Born by Aimee Easterling – Werewolf and baker Ember leaves her pack to hunt for her missing half brother. But with danger growing on all sides, it’s only a matter of time before she gets burned. By an author described as a "good choice for Patricia Briggs fans." Beyond the Veil by Pippa DaCosta – Half-demon and half-human, Muse tried to lead an ordinary life. But when an underworld assassin comes after her, she must embrace her powers—and make a formidable deal with the Prince of Greed. Justice Calling by Annie Bellet – Between hiding out from her evil ex-boyfriend who wants to steal her power and keeping her friends safe from dangerous magics, Jade Crow has all the problems. For fans of The Dresden Files and the Iron Druid, this is a nerdy urban fantasy full of snark and fireballs. Getting Wilde by Jenn Stark – Tarot-reading artifact hunter Sara Wilde can find anything, for a price. Then a wickedly sexy magician offers her the ultimate challenge: Sneak behind Vatican walls…and steal the Devil himself. Globe-trotting, fast-paced, high-stakes adventure perfect for fans of Darynda Jones, Faith Hunter, and Ilona Andrews! Wolves by C. Gockel – When Amy prays for help, Loki the Norse God of mischief and Chaos isn't the savior she has in mind. Loki can't resist Amy's summons, but he can insist that she help him outwit Odin, ruler of the Nine Realms. The start of an epic urban fantasy with myth, magic, and mayhem! Empowered: Agent by Dale Ivan Smith – The world says those possessing superpowers are either heroes or villains. But what if you’re both? Former rogue empowered Mathilda Brandt must return to villainy in order to save her family and thousands of others from a psychotic criminal mastermind.

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Tony Stark reunites with adult daughter in ‘Avengers: Endgame’ deleted scene. Prepare to cry

The launch of Disney+ has come with some special treats for those still not over “Avengers: Endgame.” (Warning: spoilers ahead.)


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Getting Wilde – Jenn Stark

Jenn Stark - Getting Wilde  artwork

Getting Wilde

A Novel of Immortal Vegas

Jenn Stark

Genre: Action & Adventure

Publish Date: August 18, 2015

Publisher: Elewyn Press

Seller: Jennifer Stark


Using her well-worn Tarot deck, magical-artifacts hunter Sara Wilde can find anything—for a price. And the price had better be right, since she needs to finance her own personal mission to rescue several young psychics recently sold on the paranormal black market.  Enter Sara’s most mysterious client, the wickedly sexy Magician, with a job that could yield the ultimate payday. All she’ll have to do is get behind Vatican walls… and steal the Devil himself. But play with the Devil and you’re bound to get burned. Pressure mounts for Sara to join the Magician’s ancient and mysterious Arcana Council, as militant forces unleashed by even darker powers seek to destroy all magic—including the young psychics Sara is desperate to keep safe. The Council may be their only hope. . . but it could also expose Sara’s own dark past.  From the twisting catacombs of Rome to the neon streets of Vegas, Sara confronts ancient enemies, powerful demigods, a roiling magical underworld about to explode… and immortal passions that might require the ultimate sacrifice. But oh, what a way to go.   No matter how the cards play out, things are about to get Wilde .

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It Happened in a Flash: An Anthology of 64 Bite-Sized Stories – Katharina Gerlach, Ava Fairhall, K.V. Moffet, Peg Fisher, Ruth Sard, Tom Vetter, Holly Lisle, Joyce Sully, Troy Pennie, Tuff Gartin, Lexy Stanton, Moira K. Brennan, Barbara Lund, Raven O’Fiernan, Marya Miller, Nika Cantabile, Hannetjie Joubert, Ken Bristow, Rebecca W. Hansen, Alex F. Fayle, Connie Cockrell, Elizabeth McCleary, S.R. Olson, Rachel Kovaciny, Angela Wooldridge, Dwayne Allemao, Storm Weaver, Oren Litwin, Nina Hobson, Laura Wilson-Anderson, chaitali gawade, Devlyn Dunne, Sylvie Granville, Annais Ryder, Timothy Couch, R.C. Blatter, Charles Hoge, Amberlyn Pryor, Dana Fischer, Samantha Hulatt, Sarah Neuen, VS Stark, J. L. Perry, Mike Lucas, Eileen Mueller, Nicky Penttila, Kirsten Bolda, Ernesto I. Ramirez, Charlotte Henley Babb, Elaine S. Milner, James Roecourt, James Husum, Kent Pollard, Heidi Ferguson, Lauren M. Catherine, Janna Willard, Kami Bataya, Marie Dowd, Julia Mozingo, Eliza K. Gillham, Arlo Sharp, Rachel Hobbs, Shana Bloom & Michael Eldridge

Katharina Gerlach, Ava Fairhall, K.V. Moffet, Peg Fisher, Ruth Sard, Tom Vetter, Holly Lisle, Joyce Sully, Troy Pennie, Tuff Gartin, Lexy Stanton, Moira K. Brennan, Barbara Lund, Raven O’Fiernan, Marya Miller, Nika Cantabile, Hannetjie Joubert, Ken Bristow, Rebecca W. Hansen, Alex F. Fayle, Connie Cockrell, Elizabeth McCleary, S.R. Olson, Rachel Kovaciny, Angela Wooldridge, Dwayne Allemao, Storm Weaver, Oren Litwin, Nina Hobson, Laura Wilson-Anderson, chaitali gawade, Devlyn Dunne, Sylvie Granville, Annais Ryder, Timothy Couch, R.C. Blatter, Charles Hoge, Amberlyn Pryor, Dana Fischer, Samantha Hulatt, Sarah Neuen, VS Stark, J. L. Perry, Mike Lucas, Eileen Mueller, Nicky Penttila, Kirsten Bolda, Ernesto I. Ramirez, Charlotte Henley Babb, Elaine S. Milner, James Roecourt, James Husum, Kent Pollard, Heidi Ferguson, Lauren M. Catherine, Janna Willard, Kami Bataya, Marie Dowd, Julia Mozingo, Eliza K. Gillham, Arlo Sharp, Rachel Hobbs, Shana Bloom & Michael Eldridge - It Happened in a Flash: An Anthology of 64 Bite-Sized Stories  artwork

It Happened in a Flash: An Anthology of 64 Bite-Sized Stories

Katharina Gerlach, Ava Fairhall, K.V. Moffet, Peg Fisher, Ruth Sard, Tom Vetter, Holly Lisle, Joyce Sully, Troy Pennie, Tuff Gartin, Lexy Stanton, Moira K. Brennan, Barbara Lund, Raven O’Fiernan, Marya Miller, Nika Cantabile, Hannetjie Joubert, Ken Bristow, Rebecca W. Hansen, Alex F. Fayle, Connie Cockrell, Elizabeth McCleary, S.R. Olson, Rachel Kovaciny, Angela Wooldridge, Dwayne Allemao, Storm Weaver, Oren Litwin, Nina Hobson, Laura Wilson-Anderson, chaitali gawade, Devlyn Dunne, Sylvie Granville, Annais Ryder, Timothy Couch, R.C. Blatter, Charles Hoge, Amberlyn Pryor, Dana Fischer, Samantha Hulatt, Sarah Neuen, VS Stark, J. L. Perry, Mike Lucas, Eileen Mueller, Nicky Penttila, Kirsten Bolda, Ernesto I. Ramirez, Charlotte Henley Babb, Elaine S. Milner, James Roecourt, James Husum, Kent Pollard, Heidi Ferguson, Lauren M. Catherine, Janna Willard, Kami Bataya, Marie Dowd, Julia Mozingo, Eliza K. Gillham, Arlo Sharp, Rachel Hobbs, Shana Bloom & Michael Eldridge

Genre: Fiction & Literature

Publish Date: December 6, 2018

Publisher: Independent Bookworm

Seller: Draft2Digital, LLC


Solve a mermaid's problem… Step off the edge of a roof… Dig up a grave at midnight… Take advice from a fortune cookie… Visit the last library… Meet a bridge troll… And more… In one instant, like a bolt of lightning, a single impossible event changes a person's life. And like the trace of lighting in the sky, each is unique and interesting. These wildly different flash stories delight, astonish, scare, and inspire. Enjoy 64 delightfully eclectic tales. Like your flash fiction intriguing with a twist? Discover the diversity and check out It Happened in a Flash . These stories are included: Don't Stop Believing Joyce Sully A Fresh Start Troy Pennie Nonsense Katharina Gerlach Fist-bump Tuff Gartin The Dare Lexy Stanton Unicorn Ruth Sard Queen of Swords Moira K. Brennan Liar, Liar Barbara Lund 0—The Fool Raven O'Fiernan And Music Will Set You Free Marya Miller The Wisteria Princess Nika Cantabile Fair Folk Hannetjie Joubert D-A-V-E Ken Bristow Desperate Times Rebecca W. Hansen Nothing New Alex F. Fayle Art for the Cure Connie Cockrell Meltdown at Markin Four Elizabeth McCleary Touching the Edge Ava Fairhall Cowboy Heroes S.R. Olson Knighthood Rachel Kovaciny The Book Thief Angela Wooldridge Vengeance Never Undone Dwayne Allemao Home Storm Weaver Stronger Oren Litwin The Trouble With Aunt Flo… Nina Hobson Boxcar Revolution Laura Wilson-Anderson The Touch Chaitali Gawade The Last Library Ky Moffet Corrected Vision Devlyn Dunne Weather Report Sylvie Granville Awakening Annais Ryder Tacky Timothy Couch The Long, Concrete Ditch R.C. Blatter Write & Wrong Charles Hoge Magic Trick Amberlyn Pryor A Clean Home is a Happy Home Dana Fischer Waystation Samantha Hulatt Bad Day Sarah Neuen Reaching Consensus VS Stark The Hunted J.L. Perry The Wyrm Turns Peg Fisher Saveyour Mike Lucas Hunted Eileen Mueller The Rescue Nicky Penttila The Magic Threads Kirsten Bolda Girls Can't be Knights Ernesto I. Ramirez Stilettos Charlotte Henley Babb The Proud Aide Elaine S. Milner Bloody Lucky James Roecourt Will the Real Captain Amazo Please Stand Up? James Husum Frozen in Time Kent Pollard Homebound Heidi Ferguson The One that Got Away Lauren M. Catherine A New Adventure Janna Willard Shattered Kami Bataya Twin Opportunities Marie Dowd Aimee Meets the Bridge Troll Julia Mozingo 11th Hour Eliza K. Gillham The Return Arlo Sharp Into the Light Rachel Hobbs Spacebullies Shana Bloom Confucius Say Michael Eldridge Freebie Holly Lisle Now What? Tom Vetter

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Take Me: A Stark Ever After Novella (Unabridged) – J. Kenner

J. Kenner - Take Me: A Stark Ever After Novella (Unabridged)  artwork

Take Me: A Stark Ever After Novella (Unabridged)

J. Kenner

Genre: Romance

Price: $ 1.99

Publish Date: December 3, 2013

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Joe Jonas Dressed Up As Sansa Stark For Halloween – But Got Confused For ‘Shrek’s’ Princess Fiona!

Joe Jonas’ Halloween tribute to his fiancée wasn’t as on the nose as he’d hoped!


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Logic’s ‘One Day’ Music Video Is A Stark Portrayal Of Families Separated At The Border

Logic’s “One Day” music video featuring Ryan Tedder shows the story of immigrant families separated at the border.
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Immortal Vegas Series Box Set Volume 1: Books 0-3 – Jenn Stark

Jenn Stark - Immortal Vegas Series Box Set Volume 1: Books 0-3  artwork

Immortal Vegas Series Box Set Volume 1: Books 0-3

Jenn Stark

Genre: Fantasy

Publish Date: November 19, 2017

Publisher: Elewyn Publishing

Seller: Jennifer Stark


The first three full-length novels of the Immortal Vegas Series in one box set, plus an introductory novella. One Wilde Night Tarot-reading artifact hunter Sara Wilde has had her share of tough assignments, but this one just might take the cake. When her newest client hires her to steal a fertility idol from an Amazonian sex-and-death cult, she finds herself south of the equator and shoulder deep in true believers, while Rio de Janeiro gears up for the closing celebrations of Carnival. Stealing the idol is one thing, however. Keeping it is another. The arcane black market has drawn a host of cutthroat operatives and Sara's now in their sights. In a race across one of the most colorful cities in South America on its most famed night of the year, Sara must navigate cunning enemies, backstabbing allies, a fifty-foot wedding cake float and a new, sensually mysterious contact who may be friend or foe…and whose name she'll never know if she doesn't survive  One Wilde Night. Getting Wilde Using her well-worn Tarot deck, magical-artifacts hunter Sara Wilde can find anything–for a price. And the price had better be right, since she needs to finance her own personal mission to rescue several young psychics recently sold on the paranormal black market. Enter Sara's most mysterious client, the wickedly sexy Magician, with a job that could yield the ultimate payday. All she'll have to do is get behind Vatican walls… and steal the Devil himself. But play with the Devil and you're bound to get burned. From the twisting catacombs of Rome to the neon streets of Vegas, Sara confronts ancient enemies, powerful demigods, a roiling magical underworld about to explode… and immortal passions that might require the ultimate sacrifice. But oh, what a way to go. No matter how the cards play out, things are about to get  Wilde . Wilde Card All that glitters may not be gold. When an antique gold show comes to Vegas, artifact-hunter Sara Wilde's job is simple: to locate and liberate a set of relics rumored to give their bearers access to an ancient, incredible power. Yet within the Connected community, whispers of a war against magic draw every psychic, mystic, warlock, and witch to Sin City. The most powerful Connected also covet the infamous relics, but no one wants them more than Sara's client–the insufferably arrogant, criminally sensual, and endlessly evasive Magician. Sara's heist takes a turn for the trickier as the smoky-eyed specter from her past, Detective Brody Rooks, is assigned to investigate a break-in at the gold show, forcing her to confront the one man in Vegas she can't bluff. Worse, as the game changes anew, Sara is forced to turn to the one person she knows will manipulate, obfuscate and beguile to get whatever he craves. Only now, it seems, the Magician wants her. Sometimes, when the deck is stacked against you… you've got to play the  Wilde Card. Born To Be Wilde The past has a way of catching up with you. If there's one thing that Tarot-reading magical artifacts hunter Sara Wilde has never been able to track down, it's the truth about her own past. But now a powerful new threat to the psychic community will take Sara back to where it all began: the last job she worked with Officer Brody Rooks as "Psychic Teen Sariah," the job that destroyed her life and sent her on the run. Because the enemy she fled all those years ago has returned… with a posse of demons as his personal entourage. From the glittering chaos of Las Vegas to the Lost City of Atlantis, Sara must risk everything in a quest for vengeance that grows darker and more twisted with every step. To succeed she'll have to face the truth about her past, her abilities…and the impossible, unstoppable attraction she has to the Magician. A truth that will reveal her ultimate role in the war on magic. Life is full of surprises when you are  Born to Be Wilde.

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Under My Skin: A Stark Novel, Book 3 (Unabridged) – J. Kenner

J. Kenner - Under My Skin: A Stark Novel, Book 3 (Unabridged)  artwork

Under My Skin: A Stark Novel, Book 3 (Unabridged)

J. Kenner

Genre: Romance

Price: $ 23.95

Publish Date: September 1, 2015

© ℗ © 2015 Random House Audio

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Say My Name: A Stark Novel (Unabridged) – J. Kenner

J. Kenner - Say My Name: A Stark Novel (Unabridged)  artwork

Say My Name: A Stark Novel (Unabridged)

J. Kenner

Genre: Romance

Price: $ 23.95

Publish Date: April 7, 2015

© ℗ © 2015 Random House Audio

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The Runner – Austin Stark

Austin Stark - The Runner  artwork

The Runner

Austin Stark

Genre: Action & Adventure

Price: $ 14.99

Rental Price: $ 6.99

Release Date: August 7, 2015


In the aftermath of the BP oil spill, a New Orleans politician (Nicolas Cage) finds his idealistic plans of restoration unraveling as his own life becomes enigmatically contaminated with corruption, scandal and deceit. Also stars Sarah Paulson, Peter Fonda and Connie Nielsen.

© © 2015 The Runner, LLC

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The Island – Part 3 – Michael Stark

Michael Stark - The Island - Part 3  artwork

The Island – Part 3

Michael Stark

Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Publish Date: July 13, 2012

Publisher: Michael Stark

Seller: Smashwords


Day by day The Fever grew stronger, surging across boundaries in its relentless assault on humanity. The news pouring out across the airwaves turned more shocking by the hour. Hospitals had started closing their doors. The dead and dying littered the landscape. The tiny group stranded on Portsmouth Island listened as the horror unfolded. They had no where to run, and no where to hide. The struggle to survive had taken on a new meaning. The Fever promised an eventual death. Something else had come to The Island though, something wicked and hungry. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, a stranger arrived in an odd little boat and brought with him, both hope and fear. No one knew the man was sick. No one knew he had a fever. To save him, William Hill would have to violate the travel ban. To save himself, he would have to face down an indescribable evil.

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The Island – Part 2 – Michael Stark

Michael Stark - The Island - Part  2  artwork

The Island – Part 2

Michael Stark

Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Publish Date: July 1, 2012

Publisher: Michael Stark

Seller: Smashwords


The Fever exploded across the U.S. and the world. Hour by hour the news grew worse. The virus was spreading at a bewildering pace, killing so fast that estimates had to be constantly revised. Even worse, it appeared to be mutating to an even deadlier form.Stranded on Portsmouth Island after the President instituted martial law, William Hill found himself fighting to survive even though he had come to the island to die. The old village offered shelter against the storms and the coming winter. The sea offered food. Life should have been simple. It wasn’t. He hadn’t counted on the old woman, or the odd little boy she brought with her. He hadn’t expected to provide for nearly a dozen people. He wasn’t prepared for the evil that came to the island. William Hill had never been afraid of the dark. He never had reason to.He did now. Not only had the evil come.It knew his name.

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The Island – Part 1 – Michael Stark

Michael Stark - The Island - Part 1  artwork

The Island – Part 1

Michael Stark

Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Publish Date: June 25, 2012

Publisher: Michael Stark

Seller: Smashwords


The Fever struck hard and fast, rising out of the slums and claiming victim after victim. At first, reports trickled across the wire in small segments relegated to the final seconds of the broadcast news. Lost among stories of failing economies and political bickering, few noticed what proved to be the birth pangs of a monster. Within months, the disease dominated the news as thousands died and infection rates soared.William Hill knew his chances of avoiding the virus sat squarely between slim and none. With experts predicting a global pandemic, his choices boiled down to not if, but where he would die. While the rest of the world built barricades and set up distribution points for food, he chose a simpler end. The island had been one of the last and best times with his father. He couldn’t think of a better place to spend his final days.He wanted sun and sand, fresh fish on the grill and cool nights by the campfire. He wanted feel-good days filled with oldies on the radio, days when he could hoist the sails and run before the wind. He didn’t set out to make enemies, but he did. He didn’t plan on becoming humanity’s last hope for survival, or watching over an old woman and an eerie little boy either.To William Hill, the island seemed as good a place as any to die.He just didn’t realize how good.

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Find Out Who Maisie Williams Wants Arya Stark To Kill Next On ‘Game Of Thrones’

Maisie Williams talks about Arya’s to-kill list and explains why she refused to kill The Hound.
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Designer and Founder of J. Stark Chats About His American-Made, Timeless Pieces

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Those with an affinity for classic movies might immediately recognize the name Jim Stark and associate it with James Dean’s emotionally-charged character in Rebel Without A Cause, but for those who didn’t grow up in that era (or didn’t have parents who had a healthy addiction to TCM) it might just be the name of a cool new accessory brand. J. Stark is a new, American company that offers quality, hand-made leather and wool accessories that inspire everyone to connect with their inner rebel. Sitting down to chat with the founder and designer Erik Holmberg, we discussed trends in men’s fashion, the quality of American-made goods and his hometown of Cleveland.

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Holding a degree in computer science, Holmberg had a career in technology for over ten years, working for tech companies and designing ephemeral programs that were forgotten the moment they served their purpose. “I’d work on projects for a month or two at a time and then I’d show people, and they would enjoy it and really appreciate what I’d done, but you could tell that because of the medium of it that it sort of left their consciousness, and didn’t really have as much of an impact on people as I thought it would,” Holmberg explains. “And it sort of troubled me that when electricity wasn’t available that all the work that’d been doing wouldn’t be available either, so I wanted to create something with my hands, something tactile that lived on in the world in a non-digital sense.”

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Leaving behind his tech-heavy background, he began J. Stark a little less than a year ago and was almost immediately rewarded with some of the most meaningful work in his life. Using good, old-fashioned hard work and quality materials, Holmberg began working with his hands again and creating things that people could cherish for years to come–with or without the use of electricity. “I don’t have formal experience or training when working with leather, but I did take a sewing class when I was in eighth grade so I knew I was capable of doing that and capable of working with my hands from doing some other things growing up–like building a bike from spare parts and working on my car,” he explains. “I’ve been teaching myself and learning along the way through each generation of the products I’ve been creating.” And while a shop class in junior high might not be the best way to start a business, we can definitely admire the impression it made on him.

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And with such a die-hard love of the American work ethic, it’s no surprise that his inspiration comes from none other than his mom and pop. “My parents are a huge inspiration to me, I don’t know if everyone feels that way about their parents, but they really gave a lot of themselves so that me and my two older sisters could have a better life than they had,” Holmberg explains. Realizing that his parents were once the same rebellious teenagers that he once was (and that James Dean’s character was), allowed him to feel a connection with them and his hometown. “I’m from Cleveland which is kind of an old, dying-out, steel town that not many people know about, so they don’t really speak highly of it, but it’s a beautiful place and a lot of what made me who I am today. It’s sort of a tribute to my parents and the city of Cleveland, and [the products are] all named after streets that are in downtown Cleveland that my parents grew up on, that I went to as a kid when my grandparents lived there, and that I still go back to when I visit Cleveland.”

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So was the brand named to capture the rebellious spirit of it’s namesake character? Actually, when asking about the meaning behind the name, Holmberg had a surprising answer. “I think the best way to connect with people is through shared experience and being vulnerable, and I think that a good time period when we were vulnerable and also had the experiences is during young adulthood and those late teenage years when we’re trying to become an individual,” he explains. “I think everyone’s gone through that so I picked out a movie and a character of a person who goes through those things that we’ve all gone through, and that’s sort of the thread that runs through all our lives that maybe we can connect on.” We’ve heard of some pretty fun and creative names in the fashion industry, but this might be the one with the most heartfelt meaning.

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The pieces in the collection don’t scream angst-ridden, teenage rebellion with metal studs, safety pins and hanging chains, but are rather the opposite with simple lines and minimal detailing. “The design in general, of everything I try to create, I want to be timeless and sort of authentic,” Holmberg says. “If you picked up my product 10 years from now or 20 years from now you wouldn’t be able to tell the date that it was made, and I think that that happens when you try to capture sort of the essence or the need that the product’s serving in the best manner possible.” And it’s this idea of being able to hold onto, and actually utilize, a piece without impressing upon each man’s individual style that Holmberg is striving for. They are simple pieces that can be passed down from father to son.

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While some men prefer bits, baubles and logos of every manner covering their accessories, Holmberg is following the trends–resurgences in classic shapes, vintage designs and nondescript facades are among some of his favorites. “[Men] don’t want to wear something with a huge logo on it that you can tell ‘oh that’s Gap or that’s Louis Vuitton or whatever,'” he assures us. Nor does he want customers to feel concerned about wearing in or scuffing up the leather, so he distresses every piece beforehand. “I want people essentially to use the product, so I think if it already has a couple scratches on it then they won’t feel bad scratching it up, or using it, or beating it up, because I think that actually is really what makes it your own,” he explains. “When you have a wallet and it starts to get dented or scratched by the way it carries in your pocket, that’s how you make it your own. I don’t want people to feel bad about it; I don’t want people to buy something and set it in the corner just to look at it because it’s pretty.”

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And that’s some fancy leather he’s breaking in. J. Stark is comprised exclusively of Horween leather, an American family brand that has been in business for over 100 years, and has a very specific process on curating and tanning their pieces–something that Holmberg appreciates. For his wools he draws from Abraham Moon & Sons in the United Kingdom–the same wool that one of our favorites, J. Crew, uses. For Holmberg, using top quality materials while still trying to be eco-conscious (it is leather after all, there’s only so much one can do), is one of his biggest priorities. “If using leather contributed to the killing of more animals then I’d probably stop using it,” he says. “What I’m really trying to do is–I know that those animals are being killed for their meat, and I really just want to make sure that all pieces of the animal are used down to the skin and the leather.” And he uses every piece of leather in-shop as well, keeping leftover remnants for smaller straps, pulls or parts. Plus he couldn’t imagine throwing away such high-quality fabrics–it’s all about quality over quantity. “I think the modern man is more interested in buying one item that lasts a really long time, [rather] than two or three items that break down easily that you have to keep replacing,” he explains.

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With so much work, research and sourcing that goes into the J. Stark brand, we had to wonder if the switch in careers gave him the deeper emotional connection he was looking for–turns out it was. He speaks softly, “the reaction when you give something that you’ve made with your hands, that can be touched and felt and passed around to people, I think is a much deeper, much more visceral reaction than I think will ever be able to be achieved digitally.”

J. Stark is available online and priced from $ 24-$ 100.

By Marissa Stempien
(Photos Courtesy of J. Stark)

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