Jack Canon's American Destiny

Broken Pieces

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Orangeberry Free Alert - £6.19 per Witching Hour by Joanna Mazurkiewicz

£6.19 per Witching Hour - Joanna Mazurkiewicz

Amazon Kindle US

Amazon Kindle UK

Genre - Paranormal Romance

Rating - PG13

4.4 (7 reviews)

Free until 30 June 2013

Julia Taylor works as a recruitment consultant for Paranormal Personnel in London. Her days at work seem normal. She sees clients that regularly are looking for work; she searches for new vacancies, updates CVs and visits employers.
Everything is pretty ordinary for her, apart from the fact that Julia is half elf and Paranormal Personnel is not an ordinary recruitment agency at all because all jobless supernatural creatures come to the agency to look for work. Fairies, vampires, witches, hags, wizards, mermaids, elves, giants and trolls, they all need to find employment, and during this economic climate, this seems pretty challenging.
Julia doesn’t want her life to be complicated, but when her day is interrupted by the shapeshifter with the chain saw, she just has to deal with him as she always does. She is normally calm, confident and is not afraid to stand up for herself, but when the meeting with Nathaniel’s Corporation goes not as well as she had hoped, she wants to bury herself under the ground and die.
Then, to make matters worse, Mr. La Caz gets under her skin, lighting up a fire inside her. She accidentally reads his thoughts and learns that he craves her; he wants to suck her dry, but she is convinced that he is not even a vampire.

Orangeberry Book of the Day – 100 Powerful & Proven Money Making Ideas by Craig Randall

Over 100 Money Making Ideas!

Want To Make Extra Money? Work For Yourself? Get Control Of Your Financial Life?

It all starts with one idea. That is all you need to get started today with changing the rest of your life.

In “Powerful and Proven Money Making Ideas” you will learn what Craig Randall took months to learn when he set out on this same quest of his own.

Change Your Finances Forever and for the Better

Being able to work for yourself, being an entrepreneur, or just needing to earn some extra part-time income can be a life changer for many people. But where do you begin?

The simple truth is that you need to start somewhere. Take that first step. And for most, the first step is discovering what are the opportunities available.

This book is a compilation of over 100 different ideas that can help you find the path for changing your financial future.

Real Ideas for Real People That Require Little to No Money

This is an idea book and as you read it, you will see that the author tried to get as many ideas out to you as possible. In fact, most of these do not require any money to start with, often they do not require any special knowledge or skill, and every one of them is a proven concept. That is, real people actually make a living out of each of them. Most importantly, they are occupations where you can be your own boss, if that is what you want. The author does not promise the world, and does not tell you how to start or run a business, but he does deliver over 100 ideas for less than a cup of coffee.

With over 100 ideas this book is for:
- Stay-at-home parents looking for part-time extra income
- Someone who is unemployed and needs quick income
- Anyone who wants to be in business for themselves
- People with big dreams but have little to no money
- Do-it-yourselfers who do not want to be held back
- Anyone unhappy in their current job
- Someone who wants control over their income and future

…And basically anyone who wants to have financial security in the current economy.

Discover Over 100 Ideas for Making Money

Inside this guide you’ll discover:

- Unique ideas for making money such as being an “Hauntrepreneur” or a “Marriage Officiant”

- Self-employed occupations that can pay a lot more than you think such as gardeners who make more than $60,000 a year

- Ways to make money by working outside, working in the kitchen, working with animals, using your phone, using your car, helping others, writing, and dozens of other ideas

- Examples of real people who had creative ideas and made a fortune out of them such as the candle maker who started in his garage and ended up selling his candle making business for $500 million!

- Ideas that normal people can do without requiring special education, degrees, skills, or money. These are income ideas that anyone can take advantage of!

Tips to get started
Brainstorming ideas about how one idea leads to another
The author also provides thought provoking ideas as to how to get started for some of the proven concepts.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – NonFiction / Business

Rating – PG

More details about the author

Orangeberry Free Alert - Artful Dodger - Nageeba Davis

Artful Dodger - Nageeba Davis

Amazon Kindle US

Amazon Kindle UK

Genre - Romantic Suspense

Rating - PG13

4.8 (14 reviews)

Free until 30 June 2013

Romantic Suspense trilogy with the irrepressible, irreverent Maggie Kean!

Take one funny, wise-cracking artist, one gorgeous, sexy detective, throw in a grizzly murder, a little amateur sleuthing, and you have the makings of a wild, romantic, mis-adventure.

Art teacher and sculptor, Maggie Kean, thought she was having a rotten day--burning her toast, stubbing her toe, all before eight in the morning. Things just couldn't get any worse. At least, not until she discovers her neighbor's dead body in her front yard. And it didn't stop there. Before she can claim her innocence, Maggie becomes the primes suspect in the investigation. Now all she has to do is evade the police, clear her name, trap a killer...and deal with one mouth-watering, hunky detective who drives her crazy while making her hormones do the happy dance!

Review: Semmant by Vadim Babenko

Vadim Babenko – Stories behind my books: Spanish Jail

by Vadim Babenko

I met a girl – the year my life reached an impasse. I rushed about and felt only despair, a total lack of strength. The concept of SEMMANT had been elaborated to the smallest details, but I couldn’t write a single line.

And here I met a girl – I saw her first in a photo. Then we skied in the Alps together. Later we became lovers, and I decided she had not come into my life by happenstance. I told myself: Now, she’s a source of inspiration, a long-awaited sign. I compelled myself to believe this – almost by force – just because it was high time.

I began to write without giving in to any indulgences. The further the book moved ahead, the closer the girl and I got – I even moved to her country, and we started living together. Her presence in the novel was not significant; it was almost imperceptible, except for some details. But her presence in my life was necessary for the novel to be born. And, in turn, the book that was created, its authenticity, its scale, were necessary for our love story to continue, for our relationship to grow stronger.

At some point it became uncomfortable for me. The book and our life together began to depend too much on each other. They fed on mutual energy, and it wasn’t clear where this energy originated. After all, no one had repealed the physical laws of preservation, and I knew their rigor well.

This was the energy of love, my girlfriend told me, and I believed her – having no other theories. And then an event occurred that again turned my life upside down. I was slandered by my former family – out of jealousy and greed, and a desire for revenge. The Spanish authorities brought a criminal case against me. Suspecting nothing, I flew to Madrid to collect my things; they arrested me as I got off the plane. The next several days I spent in a Spanish jail.

This was a new – and utterly negative – experience. I learned that the monstrous state machine could roll over you and crush you even if you were absolutely innocent. Against it you can do nothing – only grit your teeth and endure it until they give you a chance to somehow justify yourself. It took a year and a half for me to completely clear my name. The opposing party was persistent, inventive, and did not want to relent. Nevertheless, I won – after spending an unbelievable amount of money, time, and energy.

However: in that same year and a half I finished my novel! Furthermore, its plot, its whole conceit grew deeper and better structured. And, in addition, the book and the story with the girl became independent from each other right after prison. They had lost their internal link and parted on different trajectories. I no longer felt that one was pledged to the other, and vice versa.

The trajectories, incidentally, were successful. We married, and the book turned out just as it had been conceived. The robot named SEMMANT came to life.




SemmantSemmant by Vadim Babenko
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What did you think of the style of the writer? The style was fine.

Was the story credible? The characters credible? The story and characters were credible and I can definitely see something like this happening in the future, if it hasn't happened already.

What are the most important relationships in the book? Bogdan - Lidia; Bogdan - Anna; Bogdan - Semmant

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author.

View all my reviews

Friday, June 28, 2013

Orangeberry Book of the Day – For Love or Legacy (Book 2) (Legacy Collection) by Ruth Cardello

New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author!

Book 2: For Love or Legacy (Legacy Collection)

Nicole Corisi will lose her inheritance if she doesn’t find a way around the terms of her father’s will, but she will have to partner up with her estranged brother’s rival to do it. As pretense becomes painfully real, Nicole will have to choose between Stephan and the family he is driven to destroy.

Stephan Andrade has been planning his revenge ever since Dominic Corisi unscrupulously took over his father’s company. With Corisi Enterprises gambling its reputation on the success of a new software network for China, Stephan finally has his chance to take back his legacy. Dominic’s younger sister, Nicole, asks Stephan for his help and provides him with an opportunity to exact his revenge on a personal level.

It all goes smoothly until he falls in love.

Book 1: Maid for the Billionaire (Free Download)
Book 2: For Love or Legacy
Book 3: Bedding the Billionaire
Book 4: Saving the Sheikh
Book 5: Rise of the Billionaire

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Contemporary Romance

Rating – R

More details about the author

Connect with Ruth Cardello on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.ruthcardello.com/

Orangeberry Free Alert - The King's Witch: A Short Story Introducing The World of Pangaea by Sondra Allan Carr

The King’s Witch - Sondra Allan Carr

Amazon Kindle US

Amazon Kindle UK

Genre - Paranormal Fantasy

Rating - R

Release Date 20 June 2013

Free until 30 June 2013

Welcome to The World of Pangaea
Sondra Allan Carr introduces her new fantasy romance series, The World of Pangaea, with a 17,000-word short story, The King's Witch. It is followed by the full-length novel, The Beast. All stories and novels in the series may be read as stand-alones. This is a series and not a serialization.
The King's Witch
The Knowledge. It shows her what has been, what will be, and--even more fearful--what may be. Some call it a gift, but Koreen knows better. The Knowledge is a curse.
Her story is a tragic one; The Knowledge has revealed as much. Though she cannot save herself, she may yet save others. Then her sacrifices were not in vain.
An unspeakable evil is about to overrun the earth, while the only man able to defeat the demon hordes remains ignorant of his destiny. The future depends on her ability to convince him of the truth. But will the young king listen? Especially since he has sworn death or exile to all who practice the black arts.
King Armander finds it difficult to believe the vile creature standing before him was the dead king's consort. She seems more demented than evil, and unaware her life hangs in the balance. His sense of justice demands he allow her to plead for herself.
"Can you tell me, Witch, any reason why I should spare your life?"
As soon as she speaks, he regrets his question. She reveals his past, and the dark deed no one else could know he committed. Her knowledge of his secret adds weight to her dire prophecy: that with her execution, he will lose his only ally in defeating the dark forces loosed on his kingdom. His own life, in fact, will be forfeit.
Does he dare defy his own edict to save himself and his people? Can he trust the woman known to all simply as The King's Witch?
Reader's caveat: This story contains a single sex scene that is fairly graphic and may be disturbing to some. Those who prefer to avoid such content and those under 18 please be advised, this story may be inappropriate for you.
Armander's story continues in The Beast.
As he strives to restore his kingdom to its former glory, the witch's prophecies come true in ways Armander never imagined. The years of abuse under the old king have taken their toll on his people--even more so on Armander. His barely contained rage, unleashed at the slightest provocation, has earned him a name whispered behind his back: The Beast.
When Armander learns a neighboring king has plotted his assassination, he demands the king's daughter as reparation. Immediately captivated by the beautiful princess, Armander discovers it is he, in fact, who has become hostage to her charms. As his love for her grows increasingly apparent to those around him, Armander fails to realize Princess E'laiahna has powerful enemies within the palace, men who will stop at nothing to keep her from becoming Queen. Yet only one man can drive her away forever--the one people call The Beast.

Orangeberry Free Alert - Free Alert - For Love And Vengeance by Johnny Ray

for Love and Vengeance – Johnny Ray

Amazon Kindle US

Amazon Kindle UK

Genre – Romantic Thriller

Rating – PG13

4.0 (25 reviews)

Free until 2 July 2013

An International romantic thriller that you will never forget.


When everyone lies to you—trust your gut instinct

If that fails—start over

For your love deserves the best

And murderous terrorist your vengeance

May God have mercy on their soul

Both the Americans and the Russians think Victoria works for them exclusively. In truth; the Pack, an International Crime Syndicate, brutally controls her while they launder money in America by buying distressed houses for terrorist sleepers. While she executes the perfect escape, staging her death during a shark attack, she makes one mistake—she meets Royce, who worked as a special operative several years earlier, the night before disappearing.

Royce, on the other hand, wants nothing to do with any American led special operations after he had been lied to in order to keep him focus on his prior mission. His girlfriend had been abducted and brutally murdered earlier while they had kept him in the dark. The last thing he had ever expected was another woman in his life, especially a Russian spy. Furthermore, he never would have believed that she would be the one thing that would encourage him to finish a mission that he should have taken care of the first time.

Royce is well trained on how to discover the truth, so although Victoria’s apparent shark attack was well conceived he knows better. He had used the life of a surfer bum for years as his cover. The more lies he uncovers, the more suspicious he becomes until finally he feels like he has little choice. His prior operation was so top secret even the CIA were told nothing He didn’t need them then, and he sure the hell didn’t need them this time either. The last time it was for country—this time it was going to be personal.

Author Interview – Robin Mahle

Can you tell us about your main character? Katie Reid.  She’s in her late twenties and just beginning to build her life and her career.  She has a boyfriend, a good job and lives near the beach.  Not a bad life at all.  She’s still naïve but is learning the ways of the world.  And it isn’t until she discovers a very dark secret that she begins to transform.  We see Katie become desperate, hardened by the harsh realities of her past.  That desperation turns to obsession until the girl she thought she was is replaced by someone neither her boyfriend nor her family recognize.

Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it? Personally, I learned a great deal about myself and my perseverance.  But not only that, this book required a fair bit of research, which I must admit, I thoroughly enjoyed.  A friend of mine, whose husband was a high-ranking police officer for twenty years, read the story, just to confirm that my references to police procedure were accurate, or at least, mostly accurate.  I’m sure I took creative license on a few things.  That part was very exciting for me.

How do you promote this book? Ahh, the million dollar question.  This is something I do struggle with.  It is increasingly difficult to get noticed amongst the thousands of other books available either online or in brick and mortar stores.  I suppose I don’t promote the book insomuch as I try to develop relationships through social media to let people get to know who I am.  If they like me, maybe they’ll read my book.  I’m pretty active on Goodreads, which I truly enjoy.  Of course, there’s Twitter, but I rarely promote my book there.  Again, I try to put myself out there so people can get to me as an author.  I suppose my next step is getting involved in blogging a little more and following some of the other bloggers out there.  It’s something that’s constantly evolving and I hope to gain a better grasp of as I publish more novels.

Will you write others in this same genre? Oh, most definitely.  I’m working on the sequel to Redwood Violet at the moment.  Then, I have a partial work in progress that I will likely tackle after that.  All of which are in the suspense/thriller genre.  Intrigue mixed with a little fear is what I love about writing in this genre.

How much of the book is realistic? Sadly, a great deal of this storyline is realistic, I believe.  As a parent, parts of it were actually very difficult to write.  But, I do feel that I stayed true to the process that take place in these situations.

How important do you think villains are in a story? For me and the stories I like to write, villains are crucial elements to the plot.  The ones I write about are disturbing and very frightening individuals.   Something about that just appeals to me.  That’s not to say, however, that I can relate to my villains on a personal level.  They scare me too.

What are your goals as a writer? Honestly, I just want to write stories that people enjoy.  I don’t expect great fame and fortune; of course, that would be awesome, but I am realistic and if I am able to contribute enough to help support my family with my writing, then I have accomplished my goal.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Mystery  / Thriller / Suspense

Rating – PG

More details about the author & the book

Connect with Robin Mahle on Facebook & Twitter

Orangeberry Book of the Day - Evergreen by David Jester

Sheila Haynes woke that morning to a feeling of dread in the pit of her stomach, the place where butterflies and insecurities wander. She hadn’t drunk the night before, hadn’t eaten anything that might have given her a suspect stomach.
She walked to the bathroom on high alert, tried to recollect her dreams as she showered -- hoping for a memory of something that could have put her in such a state of anxiety. It didn’t occur to her until later, after she’d dried, dressed and prepared for breakfast, that the root of her unease was her daughter, Siobhan.
She usually woke to the sound of the fifteen year olds music, or the chatter of her teenage prattle on her phone as she kept her friends up to date on how little each of them were doing. The bass of the music or the sound of her voice penetrated through the two-bedroom mobile home like rain on a tin roof. Sheila was often forced to listen to the latest trending tune or to her daughter’s newest celebrity crush. That morning she hadn’t heard a whimper.
She made herself some toast, trying to enjoy a breakfast in silence but feeling incredibly uneasy about it. Her daughter was a pain, most teenagers were, but she loved her. She was a loving child, showing more compassion, empathy and respect than many girls her age. Yes, they had their rows and yes they had their fall outs, but they loved each other. They’d been each other’s rock ever since her father, the bastard with the unfaithful eyes and wandering penis, walked out six years ago.
She made Siobhan a slice of toast and a cup of tea, took it to her bedroom with a smile on her face.
Siobhan wasn’t there and their home was small, there was nowhere else for her to be.
The bedsheets were ruffled, disturbed, but it wouldn’t be the first time she hadn’t made her bed. Her clothes from the previous day were still strewn across the floor.
She put the plate and the cup down, held a hand to her uneasy stomach. She checked for Siobhan’s mobile phone, she would never leave home without it -- she would feel like she’d lost an arm if she didn’t have it stuffed in her back pocket or clasped firmly in her hand.
The phone was under the bed, dropped to the floor and kicked underneath. Sheila took it out, checked the messages for a clue, a sign. There was nothing of note.
She began to feel worried. Her heart was thumped in her chest, she could feel her pulse in her neck as her blood threatened to leave her body. She mumbled a small prayer, made the sign of the rosary and left the house, deciding to quiz the neighbours.
She stopped on the doorstep, her heart caught in her throat.
Siobhan was on the ground, twisted like a discarded doll at the foot of the steps. Sheila made a noise, a half-scream, half-shout. She toppled forward, her legs giving way. She bounced and rolled down the three metal stairs that led to her door, stopped on the dewy grass beneath, managed to remain upright on wobbly legs.
Neighbours heard the noise and began to filter out from the surrounding caravans, swarming out of the densely populated park where everyone’s garden was everyone else's. They stopped when they saw the body, some shuffled forward, others moved back. Some beckoned people to the scene; others wanted, tried and failed to make it to Sheila to comfort her.
Sheila screamed until her throat ripped raw; until her lungs expelled their last, exhausted breath; until the blood of those watching ran cold. The noise would be her last, torn by grief she would never utter another word, wouldn’t be able to summon the emotion, the enthusiasm, to offer anything more for anyone else. Her screams would live on in the nightmares of those that had heard.
She dropped to her knees. The pale flesh on her pointed kneecaps dug into the soft mud, the sucking sound of the impact audible in the aftermath of the faded torment. She reached for her daughter’s head, held it in the crook of her arm like she had done so many times before.
She was cold, colder than she’d ever been. Her face was hers -- the same face that had grinned many a cheeky grin; smiled many loving smiles and kept her proud mother happy -- but it was colder, whiter, emptier. A small trickle of blood seeped out of her blue lips; Sheila wiped it away with a thumb, kissed her cold lips and then dragged her head close, burying her silent sobs into the withering, blood-stained locks.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Horror
Rating – PG13
More details about the author & the book
Connect with David Jester on Twitter

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Orangeberry Book of the Day – Killer Work from Home Websites by Lee Evans

What’s in This Book?
Killer Work from Home Websites: Blogging, Website Design, Website Business, Website Building with SBI! Site Build It! Make Money Online details my journey, and the journey of everyday SBI!ers, who have found a way to build a successful website, and sustainable business, that allows us to fulfill our dream of working from home.
SBI! is a phenomenal online website builder, and worldwide community of users, who have discovered the business and site building capabilities of this awesome technology. For those who follow me through my Killer Work from Home Jobs series of books, this book details the path I took, and the web building technology I chose, in my effort to accomplish my goal of making money online – for life! Thousands of people have chosen SBI! Site Build It! website builder to host their blogs, websites, ecommerce sites, info sites, travel sites and more.
What is This Book About?
Killer Work from Home Websites: Blogging, Website Design, Website Business, Website Building with SBI! Site Build It! documents the specific research I conducted, and the astoundingly simple SBIer stories that influenced my decision, to become part of this global community of business owners, who have chosen SBI! to host and build their blogs, websites, and their dreams.
Do you want to work from home?
Do you want to make money online?

Do you want a website designed according to your terms?

Do you want to build a business that could finance your life?
Killer Work from Home Websites can help you build a website and a business that can change your life.  It changed mine.
Who Needs to Read this Book?
Killer Work from Home Websites: Blogging, Website Design, Website Business, Website Building with SBI! Site Build It! is for people who are passionate about working from home. SBI! is a website design and website building technology that can just about support anyone’s dreams. Looking for a get rich quick scheme? This is not for you.
SBI! is for everyday people, who have everyday goals. Like administrative assistants, typists, travel lovers, realtors, accountants, or others, who want to offer their services online. It’s for creative crafters, artists, jewelry makers, and more, who want to sell their wares. It’s for writers, app developers, and others who create digital e-products. Have a band to promote? Are you a salesman, a doctor, a lawyer? SBI! is the technology for you.
Site Build It! is for entrepreneurs, moms, retirees or students. My months of research can help your life look the way you imagined.
You can contact me at Free-Job-Search-Websites.com to get notice of new Killer Work from Home books on Amazon.
You’re not just buying a book, you’re buying my promise I’ll tirelessly provide you with the most up to date info at my disposal. I want to help you make your dream come true!
Learn how to create Killer Work from Home Websites
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre –  NonFiction / Business
Rating – G
More details about the author  
Connect with Lee Evans on Facebook & Twitter

Jack Canon’s American Destiny (Excerpt) by Greg Sandora

“Hold on, Sandy,” I warned as we slowed quickly to negotiate the first turn.

“Please be careful,” Sandy pleaded as we tore through it. The thick rear of  the car fishtailing, tires screeching, turn by turn we made it to the ground  level. We tested the acceleration, racing full throttle the entire length of the  floor. I hit the brakes hard, skidding right through the exit booth. The attendant raised the traffic arm just in  time.

Ceramic Brake Pads, built to withstand enormous heat, allowed the car to stop  faster than it accelerated. Sixty to zero in a mere 2.3 seconds…on this stop, I  could’ve used another tenth of a second for Sandy’s sake.

“Oh my God, Jack, you almost hit the bar. You’re the last guy on earth that  should own a car that goes this fast.”

“Oh Honey, I knew we weren’t gonna hit the bar. This car was made for this  type of handling.”

I really did know it as fact. In practice this morning, me and the kid worked  it out. I slipped him a twenty.

“You think that was fast, you haven’t seen nothing yet!”

“No, I really have,” Sandy grabbed tight to the armrests.

Looking only to my left I hit the gas and we flew out into the street.

“Jack, are you sure…?”

I answered by putting the pedal to the floor, “We’ll just take her around the  block.”

We could feel only mild vibration as we tested the claim of zero to sixty in  2.5 seconds. We were momentarily pinned back in our seats.

“Wow!” I said. Driving as fast as I could, barely stopping at one corner before speeding up to the next, each time announcing to Sandy how fast we’d  gotten up to.

“She just kept saying “You’re gonna get us killed.”

Take a Journey for the Greater Good in this intensely gripping, loving thriller. Join Jack Canon and his insanely loyal team of friends and family as they make their all-or-nothing run for the presidency. You’ll laugh out loud and have your heart ripped in two; all while holding your breath, sitting on the edge of your chair. You’ll become emotionally committed as you find yourself standing behind your new courageous – unstoppable heroes – forced to take unimaginable steps to reach their goal. You’ll be shocked at the heart-wrenching cost.


Meghan’s Review. this reader captured the essence of the Story of Jack Canon. Both men and woman will enjoy the book.

“‘Jack Canon’s American Destiny’ is one of those intense political thrillers that simply deserve to be made into a movie for full, complete enjoyment. This is especially true right in the wake of the recent Academy Awards and movies like ‘Argo’ and ‘Lincoln’ bringing home the bacon. But on its own, this book is immersive—you can live and breathe in the world of Jack Canon—his full range of concerns, from picayune to grandiose, consists of things that are close to every American’s heart.

Jack Canon is an everyman—you can relate to his positive traits, even his minor character flaws, and mostly you can relate to his will get the presidency. Cleverly written, sprinkled with the right amount of “spice” to keep the level of interest high, ‘American Destiny’ is a tale that grips your heart and squeeze it—Jack Canon’s mission to redistribute wealth and give everybody cheap energy is not exactly acceptable in the eyes (and pockets) of those whose businesses will be affected. And from there, the plot thickens.

Finishing the book, your heart aches because you know Jack Canon isn’t real—he’s an ideal, made magically alive by the sheer talent of Greg Sandora. But that doesn’t mean we cannot aspire. As in the book’s timeline, 2016, maybe the book is telling us to be really, really wise in our choices. Meanwhile, download a copy of this book and sink your teeth in the kind of literary entertainment I’ve never seen since Alex Cross.”

Joanna’s Review. “Jack Canon is an idealist. He’s on the road to fight the good fight and the only road that will allow him to do that is the one leading to the White House. Great plan, but plans don’t always end up going the way we want. This Senior Democratic Senator from Kentucky is a kind, smart, charismatic family man. He is a man of superior intelligence who isn’t afraid to admit to a mistake. He has always been faithful, but he has a very intimate, hands off relationship with Sandy his assistant. Hopefully this won’t derail his campaign…

“Jack Canon’s American Destiny” is a sly ride on a slippery slope. This fast paced thriller is packed with political issues that mirror what we have going on today. If you notice, the villains are a conglomerate of who we have deadly problems with right now, so it echoes what we deal with on the global level at this time.

The author, Greg Sandora, manages to introduce all this well written madness in a way that will keep you glued to this book. Sandora has used well flushed out characters, timely villains, an image of our present president therefore the actions are very relatable to the reader.

Want to have some fun? Want to read something that will have you dangling over the edge of a cliff in that good way that starts your heart pumping and your adrenaline kicking in?”

Diane’s review .“I rarely choose a book about politics, but since becoming addicted to the hit show Scandal, I thought Jack Canon`s American Destiny might be an interesting read. To my amazement, I totally enjoyed this political thriller.

Allow me to congratulate the author on his impressive debut. As a writer, he has a talent that allows an immediate connection with his characters, especially Jack.

The book moves at a relaxing pace. But I must admit, I became extremely absorbed when the author reveals an unexpected twist making it a suspenseful page turner!

I can’t wait to read the highly anticipated sequel.”

Jackie’s review. “Get ready to take a ride. The suspense, the loyalty, the inside world of politics all wrapped into a thriller you will not want to put down. I am recommending this to my book club and any book club who wants a good read for a change.”

Terry’s Review. I have read this book in it’s infancy stage and was amazed. The final product riveting. Ben Affleck, you are the perfect Director, Producer and Actor to be Jack Canon. It is ready for the big screen. Read it now and you will want more of Jack. This book will inspire your next election choice. We need a real life Jack Canon for President. Move over Alex Cross, here comes a new generation hero. This is a story that can take many turns and always keep you waiting for the next chapter. It is written from the heart with passion, but with some hope for all Americans that fiction can be real if you only want it bad enough. So for you politicians out there that want to be the next President, read this book.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords

Genre – Political Thriller

Rating – PG

More details about the author

Connect with Greg Sandora on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.gregsandora.com/

Orangeberry Book of the Day - Semmant by Vadim Babenko

Chapter 1

I’m writing this in dark-blue ink, sitting by the wall where my shadow moves. It crawls like the hand on a numberless sundial, keeping track of time that only I can follow. My days are scheduled right down to the hour, to the very minute, and yet I’m not in a hurry. The shadow changes ever so slowly, gradually blurring and fading toward the fringes.

The treatments have just been completed, and Sara has left my room. That’s not her real name; she borrowed it from some porn star. All our nurses have such names by choice, taken from forgotten DVDs left behind in patients’ chambers. This is their favorite game; there’s also Esther, Laura, Veronica. None of them has had sex with me yet.

Sara is usually cheerful and giggly. Just today I told her a joke about a parrot, and she laughed so hard she almost cried. She has olive skin, full lips, and a pink tongue. And she has breast implants that she’s really proud of. They are large and hard – at least that’s how they seem. Her body probably promises more than it can give.

Nevertheless, I like Sara, though not as much as Veronica. Veronica was born in Rio; her narrow hips remind me of samba; her gaze pierces deep inside. She has knees that emanate immodesty. And she has long, thin, strong fingers… I imagine them to be very skillful. I like to fix my eyes on her with a squint, but her look is omniscient – it is impossible to confuse Veronica. I think she is overly cold toward me.

She doesn’t use perfume, and sometimes I can detect her natural scent. It is very faint, almost imperceptible, but it penetrates as deeply as her gaze. Then it seems all the objects in the room smell of her – and the sheets, and even my clothing. And I regret I’m no longer that young – I could spend hours in dreamy masturbation, scanning the air with my sensitive nostrils. But to do that now would be somewhat awkward.

Anyway, Esther arouses me even more than Veronica, perhaps because she is “bi,” as Sara once confided to me. Esther moves like a panther and looks like an expensive whore. Her nipples burn like hot coals, even through her starched white blouse. Her hair shimmers purple black, and her skin is tender like silk, though it looks more like velvet. The moment she comes close I seethe with the desire to touch her. I’ve done so a few times and even apparently got somewhere – she once slapped me in response. Surely it was a game, but I doubt we’ll go much further. Here’s why: now I like Laura from Santo Domingo best of all.

Yesterday, on her evening rounds, she was really hot. Yes, her legs are not so slender and her butt looks too large and heavy, but her whole body radiates passion, a natural lust too difficult to conceal. Cats scatter when they hear her walking, and gawkers turn their heads to stare. Even paralytics and defunct oldsters get horny when they feel her vibes – and I’m no paralytic or by any means too old. She leaned over me as if to arrange the sheet, flashed her huge brown eyes, licked her lips – and I knew I would have her now or very soon. I ran the palm of my hand up her thigh to the narrow moist strip of her thong. And I’m not even sure she was wearing a thong!

Then she teased me with her slim bare foot, gazing at my face with a come-hither look. Too bad she had to leave so quickly – but this is just the beginning, no doubt!

I whispered after her, “Where are you going?” when she reached the door.

“Wait,” I murmured. “Now I won’t be able to fall asleep.”

“Yes, you will,” Laura assured me. “I gave you a good sedative.” Then she added, “Think of me!” And these words held a lot of promise.

I did think about her, and then, in my dream I copulated wildly with a busty mulata. She smelled like Laura – the rainforest, the sea, the sweetest of sour smokes. Likely, from now on I’ll need this mix like a junkie.

It’s two days until Laura’s next shift. Two long days of eager anticipation. I now have another goal for myself.

Thinking about this, I face the window and view the distant mountains. The sun has moved down to the side. Turning my head, I see my shadow again; it’s the only thing marring the perfectly white wall. Soon the sun will shift farther to the south, and the wall will regain pure whiteness, announcing lunchtime.

Then the mountains will change as their colors fade, the contours sharpen and stand out against the sky. The peaks will loom jagged; indifferent and cold. A guard will bring me the newspapers, and I will leaf through them vacantly, scanning the pictures and trying not to get newsprint on my fingers.

Then I’ll do the usual set: some hatha poses, stretching my back and leg muscles; a tantra workout, keeping my balance with my eyes closed; and finally, bandha yama drills so my erection would be harder than a steel spring. I’ll think about Laura – already calling her “Lora” in the northern style. She’ll like that; it may bring us closer. Or, perhaps, we’ll even choose a new name for her.

The peaks will finally grow indistinct in the twilight. Everything will fall silent as dusk turns to night. I’ll draw the curtains, leaving only a crack so the fresh air from the mountains filters into the room. Then I’ll have dinner, drink a half bottle of wine, and begin to compose another letter to Semmant…

Listen! My confinement might last years and years, but I’ll give it to you straight: I am not afraid and have nothing to hide. Let them think I’ve lost my mind, but I know, if anyone has – it’s not me! I’ll tell them something else too: don’t count on it. I’ll say, “Semmant!” It will be like a shout, and yet the softest, the most quiet of words. Only the quietest words work for confessions – confessions of hatred, and even more so, of love.

The white walls surround me for a reason, but I will not crack up here, and he – he is my protector, my healer. Yes, at times I may lose control, and it would seem I’ve exhausted my strength, but I won’t succumb – as I can’t betray him, cannot leave him alone. Neither Esther nor Laura can help me in this – and not Sara, not Veronica. Their minds are somewhere else, I’m on my own, and I’m not that mighty. Take these notes – they reveal my weakness. But it’s still no excuse to abandon them.

I don’t look for excuses – even here, behind these walls, despite the treatments and the constant spying. Oh, I know, very attentive eyes are keeping watch over my writing. I feel them with my back, my skin, and even with my shadow on the wall. But I don’t care; I pay them no heed. I am not posturing or putting on an act. I could simply discard the paper – ball it up, chuck it aside. Even burn it – or I could keep quiet and just stare out at the mountains, which are impervious to any words. But I can’t do it; I have to write, even though it’s so unbearably difficult to get through. It’s so hard to be heard by others who are lost in broad daylight, who are blinded by their inability to see, who suffocate in their own waste. They are all arrogant and infinitely naïve. And me – I’m not so different. I, too, am blind and naïve, and arrogant in my own way. That’s why we speak the same language, saying almost the same thing.

So, day in and day out, watchful eyes see a familiar picture. The papers are scattered across my table; it’s night, darkness, dead silence. I write to him; then I get distracted and write to all of you. My fingers grow numb; at times I shiver with cold. Then the opposite: I’m drenched in sweat – and compose with delirious haste, or sometimes a mere word per hour.

It takes enormous effort, though the story is flawless, its plot coherent and logical. I drew it up myself, right up to the final scene; I started with nothing and ended up with more than I could possibly handle. It’s a great experience, no matter what; it would be foolish to keep it to myself. You may object and laugh behind my back, but I have an answer: I’ll say, “Semmant!” This may raise anger, provoke envy. But time will pass, and you’ll see that I’m right.

He will not become anybody’s hero – he’s not a hero at all. He is not a conqueror, though he knows no fear. You may be tempted to laugh at him as well – yes, his naivety surpasses mine, and yet oddly enough he is wise and discreet. No one’s mockery can change that.

It’s not easy to become his friend. And who would dream of competing with him, feeling overconfident for no reason? Who would dare to take his place? That would be reckless and dangerous. His armor shines with a genuine gleam and yet it cannot save him from any arrow. Yes, one should not expect too much from his shield. And then, I realize, it’s more important for everyone to know: what lies beneath that shield?

I could give a concise answer, but I’ll put it differently: shed your own layers one by one. Shed your clothing, your masks. Wash off the makeup. Take a long, hard look at what you see – can you make sense of it? Do this alone, since it’s embarrassing, indeed. The covers have been thrown on the floor, and the labels have even been cut out of them. All that remains is to look deeper inside, brushing away small details, with or without regret. The trick is to get down to what’s most vital, even if it’s concealed and hidden, locked away. One may grow tired and miserable along the way; and once there, may be left speechless. The unexpected may be found – some strange, unfamiliar things. Who will be able to name them properly? I guess no one, as is always the case. Everybody will be looking around: where is the hint, the subtlest of signs? And then again I’ll say, “Semmant.”

Listen – I admit my idea was different. I had a less ambitious plan. Everything was supposed to turn out simpler. Some may even blame me: I was following the footsteps of evil. And yes, I relied on the blindness of the crowd. I indulged others’ greed, but my intentions were pure; they were good. At least I was unselfish; perhaps that vindicates me somehow, though I seek no vindication whatsoever.

I don’t seek it because I feel no guilt; I’m even proud of myself, pleased. I might have done many things wrong, but now I know where I erred. I recognize the most horrible delusion, which could confound anybody.

Others can learn it too, if they have the patience to hear me out. Which is not likely. But I continue.

Because the only thing that matters is to keep moving forward.


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Genre – Literary Fiction

Rating – NC17

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Website http://www.vadimbabenko.com/

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Book of the Day – Books Aren’t Just for Reading by Laina Turner

Trixie and her friends, Berklie and Sophie, are excited about the opening of Read/Wine their new business venture of a bookstore/wine bar. All is going well until they happen to find a dead body in the shop and that wasn’t part of the business plan. All signs pointed to Berklie since it was her ex-husbands lover who was murdered. Trixie knew Berklie hadn’t murdered Sylvia so who did?

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Genre –  Romantic Suspense

Rating – PG

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Website http://www.lainaturner.com/

Author Interview – Adele Park

You have engaged in some very non-traditional forms of marketing for your audio books.  What are some of the tactics you’ve tried? I try to remember that publicity and word of mouth are far more effective than advertising.  I donate tons of free audio books to libraries and non-profit organizations.  My hope is that if people like one of my audio books, they’ll be more inclined to buy my other products.

I also developed some wacky YouTube videos to promote Jitters-A Quirky Little Audio Book http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGGbatmaDeM and Yikes! Another Quirky Audio Book http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPotQyyPsuo&feature=g-upl.

You say that now is the best time ever for indie artists such as writers, film makers and audio book producers.  What do you mean by that? The internet provides endless opportunities to share or sell your work.  Writers can publish their novels as e-books and skip all the headaches and rejection letters from publishers.  Film makers can post their “shorts” on YouTube.  Independent audio book producers can sell their projects on Amazon.com and Audible.com.  Artists can photograph their work and sell it on their own websites.

Who are there some business gurus who you follow?  Russell Simmons – Do You:  12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success

Simmons advocates using a spiritual element in the workplace to create an inspired sense of purpose.

Michael Hyatt – Platform:  Get Noticed in a Noisy World

This book talks about the importance of social media and how to stand out in a media form where everyone is trying to get their message spread at the same time!

David Schwartz – The Magic of Thinking Big

Schwartz offers a lot of practical ideas for anyone in business.  Schwartz covers a combination of good business practices along with advice on how to adjust your attitude to affect a positive outcome.

Have you ever had writer’s block?  If so, what do you do about it? The last time I got a bad bout of writer’s block I wrote about a character with the same problem.  In this case it was Blue McKenna, the protagonist in Yikes! Another Quirky Audio Book.  While I wouldn’t recommend pulling any of the crazy stunts that Blue McKenna is fond of, solving her problem helped me move past my own.

Can you tell us about your main character? Yikes! Another Quirky Audio Book is about a marijuana enthusiast name Blue McKenna who uses reality TV as a way to cure an apocalyptic case of writer’s block.  Although Blue is prone to extreme behaviors, I think a lot of women can relate to her trouble with men.  Why is it that guys who can’t commit are so alluring?

How important do you think villains are in a story? Humans are very complex.  Most people aren’t “all good” or “all bad.”  What I try to do with villains is give some background as to why they perform certain acts.  I don’t justify the bad behavior of my characters, but I do like to provide some context.

What books have most influenced your life? My favorite books in elementary school were The Great Brain Series by John D. Fitzgerald.  These stories had everything I liked – humor and unique adventures, all beautifully illustrated by Mercer Mayer.   I was so intrigued  by The Great Brain Series it made me want to visit Utah – now I live here!

One of the books I’ve read as an adult that I try to think about every day is The Four Agreements by Don Miquel Ruiz.  Using Toltec beliefs, this book explains how to live a life filled with love and peace.  The best part is, I only have to remember four things!

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Genre – Comedy / Satire

Rating – R (language & theme)

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Blog http://adeleparkquirkyaudiobooks.blogspot.com/

Website http://www.yikesaudiobook.com/

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Orangeberry Book of the Day - Family Magic by Patti Larsen

Chapter One

I batted at the curl of smoke drifting off the tip of my candle and tried not to sneeze. My heavy velvet cloak fell in oppressive, suffocating folds in the closed space of the ceremony chamber, the cowl trapping the annoying bits of puff I missed. I hated the way my eyes burned and teared, an almost constant distraction. Not that I didn’t welcome the distraction, to be honest. Anything to take my mind from what went on around me.

Being part of a demon raising is way less exciting than it sounds.

The bodies of the gathered coven pressed close, shrouded in the same black velvet, the physical weight of their presence making it hard to breathe. I struggled to censor my clichéd thoughts and focus on the task at hand. The glow of other candle flames floated around me, barely lighting faces, enough for a serious case of the creepies. A low hum sounded from every throat, filling the room with an almost physical presence.  I participated half-heartedly, wishing I was anywhere but here, knowing despite my personal preferences I had no choice whatsoever.

The group swayed as one as the hum grew in volume. The first hint of power made its way around the half-circle. I felt my own power being drawn away, connected and shared despite my reflexive attempt to pull free. As much as I suppressed my magic from day to day and refused to use it at all, the draw of the coven and my attachment to it made it impossible to deny.

Totally crappy. Especially since anything to do with magic always made me feel slightly nauseated and off balance.

I wiped a smoke-laced tear from the corner of my eye and blinked at the pentagram etched in the stone at my feet. The lines of the star began to glow faintly blue, the candles at each point flaring as though with the heartbeat of the whole, the breath and life of each and every soul in the room. I wondered if anyone ever checked to see if our hearts really did beat in sync. Wouldn’t that be special?

I stifled a sigh as a tall, elegant form flowed forward from the circle to the center of the pentagram. She swept back the hood of her cloak, her long, thick and perfect black hair a flawless halo around her gorgeous face. Her eyes glowed with joy, cheeks flushed from the rush of energy coming from the coven, her coven. Miriam Hayle was everything every woman wanted to be. Beautiful, graceful, commanding, the perfect witch, the perfect leader, the perfect everything.

My luck? She was my mother.

I blew on the smoke from my candle as subtly as possible while barely managing to still the jiggle starting in my left knee. Somehow I always ended up in exactly the spot where a tiny little breeze pushed the white vapor the wrong way. A part of me was sure it was somehow contrived that way as an extra level of punishment piled on to my particular little corner of hell. And forget the sacrilege of blowing the candle out.  It’s not a whole lot of fun being the center of the displeasure of fifty-odd witches of varying power, so I suffered.

Oh believe me, I suffered. Every day, every moment, every breath. I, Sydlynn Hayle, sixteen-year-old all-American girl, was a witch. My mom was a witch. My grandmother was a witch, if a crazy one. My sister, my mom’s best friend and every single other person in my life, much to my disappointment, fell in that category, with a couple of exceptions. Lucky me. Except I spent my entire life wanting nothing more than to be normal, average, ordinary and just like everyone else.

Hard to do in a family like mine.

So there I was, another Saturday night, no friends, no social life, just the stupid coven and another stupid coven ritual. Could one girl’s life really suck that much?

I glanced down at my little sister as she stared at our Mom, rapt in attention, beaming a smile. Meira glanced up at me, red-tinted skin and amber gaze aglow as the power in the room built, triggering her demon blood. In the ‘real world,’ Meira had to disguise her unusual coloring, her overlarge eyes and cute little horns peeking out of her silky black curls. Within the safety of the family she was free to be herself and I know she loved it.

I always envied my eight-year-old sister her eagerness to embrace her birthright while I simply did everything I could to ignore it. Easier for me, I suppose, with my plain, dark brown hair and ordinary blue eyes, my white skin and handful of freckles. I did what I could not to look the part, to forget our dad was a demon.

Meira grinned at me, her candle’s trail curling perfectly upward toward the ceiling in an endless swirl. I waved at my smoke again, the tickle in the back of my throat and nose getting worse. Meira watched me struggle like she always did. With laughter wrinkling her upturned nose, she waggled her fingers at my candle. I felt her power reach out, the thin film of it forming a delicate tube around the wick. My smoke immediately behaved. She winked before turning back to Mom.

I felt stupid. So that’s how they did it…! Sixteen years of this crap, and it took my little sister taking pity on me to finally get the joke. Of course, if I ever paid attention or agreed to do magic, maybe I’d have known about it a long time ago. But the fact my suspicions were so dead on, that Mom obviously instructed the others to let me figure it out on my own or continue to suffer, made me grind my teeth in frustration. She would do anything to get me to use my talent, short of putting me in danger, and I even wondered about that.

I tried to focus on the stupid ceremony and not my urge to throw the dumb candle in her flawless face.

Yeah, that would go over well.

Mom, either unaware or not caring about my present state of mind, raised her arms, robe falling into a perfect puddle at her feet, revealing her model’s figure in a black satin gown, polished silver jewelry at wrists and throat. She positively glowed with power, vivid blue eyes in rapture. How pathetically stereotypical. I wanted to throw up.

I felt the strength flow out of me in a rush and struggled as I always did to control the weakness in my knees and the slow roll in my stomach. I tried to catch my breath as secretly as possible, furious this always left me on the verge of passing out. Of course, no one else showed any discomfort, just little old me. I guess knowing how to use your magic and being willing to share made the whole transfer easier. That’s me, fight tooth and nail, even to the point of pain.

Sometimes I wondered why I was even invited.

At least I had the diversion of being responsible for my grandmother. She stood next to me, as usual, about as into the whole thing as me, but for different reasons. She hummed softly under her breath, her watery blue eyes crossing and recrossing as she studied the tip of her protruding tongue. She turned to me, wisps of white hair escaping from the edges of her black cloak, fanning back and forth with a life of their own. Her powder white skin fell in crumpled folds, but her expression was pure childishness. She cackled, winning me a silent warning from my mother. I rolled my eyes at Mom before sneaking a caramel out of my pocket and slipping it to Gram. She made a face. Chocolate was her favorite, but I hadn’t time to track some down. Okay, honestly, I forgot and raided the candy dish on the way. I prayed the offering would be sufficient.

Ethpeal Hayle had once been an influential witch. When I was just a baby, an evil coven challenged our family. She stood against them alone, cutting herself off to protect the rest of us. The Purity coven fell thanks to her, but the fight scrambled her sanity. So, I waited for the old woman to make up her mind about the candy and tried to be patient. It wasn’t her fault she was nuts.

I saw the flicker of rejection as her wrinkled old mouth puckered and knew if I didn’t act right then the scene she could create would probably level the house. The fight with the Purities may have left her one fortune cookie short of a combo plate but it did nothing to reduce her power. Knowing I only had one chance, I curled my fingers and started to pull away.

Her hand shot out, dagger-like nails brushing my palm as she snatched the sweet and stuffed it into her face. She grinned at me, nose wrinkling, eyes full of mischief. I tried not to react, knowing yet again we were saved by careful manipulation of my crazy grandmother.

I returned my attention to Mom with some relief as, oblivious to the disaster I averted, she turned slowly, pivoting on manicured toes. I made a face at her fuchsia piggies, just in time to catch her disapproving frown. I could practically hear her whole body screaming at me to pay attention, the little hairs on my arms vibrating from it. I flashed her a half-grimace, half-smile so she would stop. Her expression softened. She turned away. Thankfully. I wasn’t sure how long I could keep up the whole fake happy thing without bursting into flames.

She faced the altar at the back of the room and the life-sized stone effigy of an impossibly perfect and handsome man with large muscles and tiny horns on his smooth forehead. She pushed magical force toward it.

“Haralthazar,” she glided closer to the statue, “we summon you this third night of Power, nine days and nine nights from Samhain Eve, to tighten our bond with you and your realm.” She knelt at the foot of the altar, the picture of the submissive handmaiden. Could she be any more ridiculous? Seriously. “My love, come and be welcome.”

The blinding flash leaping from her to the statue continued to pour out of her in a deep blue rush of light. I turned my head slightly to the side, squinting against the glare, grateful for the edge of the cowl and the shadow it made. The whole room started to thrum, the floor vibrating with condensed magic as Mom used the energy we gave her to make the doorway permitting my father through to this plane.

When it happened we all felt it rather than seeing it. The power swirled around us, drawing us all closer, forming us into one entity, one spirit, a seamless conduit to the other dimension. I always hated this part, the total and utter lack of self that came with the opening of the door. Every time I went through it I tried to pull back, but my own demon blood wouldn’t allow it. Even more so than the other witches in the room, my being was tied completely and without choice to what was happening at the altar. I was always helpless, tapped into, taken, and ended up on my knees behind my mother, Meira at my side, as the effigy of my father came to life.

The blue flared to gold and Haralthazar, Demon Lord of the Seventh Plane of Demonicon, flushed and filled out. Still with the properties of stone but the appearance of flesh, he materialized from a burst of light as the gateway to his plane slammed open. For a heartbeat he stood there, haloed in the back glow of his dimension before the power propelled him the rest of the way forward and he stepped through and into his statue.


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Genre – YA Urban Fantasy

Rating – PG

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Website http://www.pattilarsen.com/

Monday, June 24, 2013

Orangeberry Book of the Day - Characters In Search of a Novel by Molly D. Campbell

Dottie Mulcher


Her children adore her. As a matter of fact, all children adore her. My Lord, she’s an Earth Mother! You know those fertility idols that are imported from Africa that they sell in posh gift catalogs? That is what Dottie looks like: big breasts, wide, childbearing hips, and low slung—just right for dropping the babies in the field and continuing to toil.

Dottie sets an example for the rest of us that we simply can’t live up to. For instance, she makes these delicious molasses cookies with raisins in them that are to die for, and even though she has given all of us the recipe, none of us can make them to our children’s satisfaction, so they just bring fistfuls home from Dottie’s house.

Oh yes. Speaking of perfection: Dottie sews. Who does this, nowadays? She runs up Halloween costumes that are the wonder of the neighborhood. Last year, her twins were Tweedledee and Tweedledum, and I swear, they looked just like the ones in the Tim Burton movie! While I struggle filling garbage sacks with leaves and attaching a string and a label, praying my children will love the “teabag” idea, Dottie makes her daughter a “Big Bird” costume, complete with real yellow feathers.

Dottie’s husband is really good looking. I know; it’s catty of me, but really—how does a woman with big hips and peasant thighs attract a man with a six pack and silver hair? Is it those cookies, for Pete’s sake? Ron Mulcher, despite his name, looks at home in a bomber jacket and moccasins with no socks. Dottie wears her nightgown to drive the kids to school, and I don’t think she knows what mascara is. This is not fair.

I asked my husband if he thinks Dottie is attractive. And guess what? He said, “Well, she looks kind of edible.” Good God. I go to Pilates three times a week, shave virtually every hair that isn’t on my head, I dye my roots regularly, and look pretty good in jeggings, but Dottie is edible? I give up.

If I could, I would hate her. But here’s another thing: Dottie is wonderful to everyone. She makes delish casseroles and brings them over whenever one of the kids gets strep, because “I know no one is getting much sleep over here.” She grows beautiful roses, and distributes little bouquets around the neighborhood. For Christmas, we all get little bags of rosemary-roasted cashews. She buys full size Hershey bars and saves them to hand out to the kids in the neighborhood, rather than the “fun sized” ones she gives to all the other children. She never gossips.

I really don’t know how she manages this. And did I mention that she has buck teeth?

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Genre - Fiction / Short Stories

Rating – PG13

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Website http://mollydcampbell.com/

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cathy Dixon - Trivia

Cathy Dixon - Trivia


Updated 23rd May 2013

Please choose one answer and submit via Rafflecopter.

All answers for these trivia questions can be found in Frequent Traveller by Pandora Poikilos.

Cathy Dixon - Whodunit?

Cathy Dixon - Whodunit?


Solve the whodunit below and stand a chance to win a $50 Amazon.com gift card.

Updated 23rd June 2013


It's 9.00am on a Sunday morning. Adam, the pool attendant at MoonStar Rio De Janeiro, Brazil has just started work.

He is hung over and not at all looking forward to another day of handing out towels and serving cocktails.
As he opens the glass doors, a strange smell hits him in the face and he almost throws up. A bloated male figure dressed in a grey suit is floating face down in the pool.


Talk about a wake-up call. The Front Office Manager is called, security is informed and the pool is closed.
When the police arrive they find nothing but his room key card and a faded picture of a young woman in his pockets.
Inside his guest room, his one travel bag remains unpacked. He had paid cash for his room and given his identity as Mark Walker.
The Housekeeping Manager, Julia comes forward to say that she saw him arguing with a woman by the pool side and he appeared to be drunk.


Walker's old friend approaches MoonStar and says he had been looking for his first wife. They had married young, he had lost his job and started drinking. Things got worse and one night had almost pushed his pregnant wife out the window.

She had taken their two kids and never looked back. Walker wanted nothing more than to see his kids one more time. He had sobered up and started looking for them. He knew she had family in Brazil and the last clue he received led him to MoonStar Rio De Janeiro.


Who killed Mark Walker?

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Orangeberry Book of the Day - The Kings of Charleston (Vol. 1) by Kat H. Clayton

Chapter One

THE SMELL OF FRESH HAY filled my nose as I walked into the dark barn. I stood still in the darkness for a moment before turning on the overhead lights. I flipped the switch and the bright halogen lights illuminated the rows of stalls on either side of the barn’s long hallway. A couple of horse heads appeared from behind their stall doors, curious as to who had just walked in. A smile formed across my face. It had been such a long day, and all I wanted to do was take a midnight ride on the back of my favorite thoroughbred.

I walked toward the back of the barn, several horses neighing as I passed by. “Hey, guys,” I said, stopping to pat one of the horse’s foreheads. “How’s it going, Little Ghost?” I whispered, as I put my face against the white colt’s cheek.

As I came to another stall, I placed my hand on the wreath of red roses that was slung across the stall door. The roses were still fresh and soft under my touch. “How does it feel to be a celebrity, Casper?” It always felt weird to say his name since it was my name, too.

Casper the Friendly Ghost was just the latest Kentucky Derby winner for my parents’ prestigious farm, Ghost Hill Farms, and who better, I guess they figured, to name their only daughter after than a line of horses? Casper blew air out of his nostrils and bobbed his graceful head.

“So you liked all the attention, huh? I know you liked the winner’s circle more than I did.” I put my hand on his forehead and rubbed his dark coat.

It was tradition for me to appear with my dad in the winner’s circle. I felt awkward in front of the cameras and hated seeing my photo appear in the newspapers and on the news channels. Not to mention, I couldn’t see straight for at least a couple hours afterward.

I gave Casper a final pat and walked to the farthest stall, where Wendy waited patiently for me. Her big brown eyes were trained on me. Wendy was my favorite. When she looked at me, it was as if she understood me better than any person could. After a long day at school or a fight with my mother, I would run to the barn as fast as I could and curl up in Wendy’s stall. Wendy would almost always lie down near me and I would stroke her beautiful chestnut coat. And when the day had been beyond unbearable, Wendy and I would hit the trails.

“Ready for a run?” I asked her, kissing her black muzzle.

The wind whipped through my loose hair as I guided Wendy over the narrow path near the farm’s border fence. The moonlight was bright, casting a shadow of us barreling through the dark green grass. The air was cold and my ears and nose were numb, but I didn’t care. My heart was racing and all I could feel was freedom. I buried my face into her long brown mane and pushed her as fast as she would go. Everything disappeared and all I could hear was the pounding of her hooves and my own fast beating heart.

After several minutes of going full speed, I slowed Wendy to a trot, gave her thick neck a pat, and turned her toward the barn. Once we were back, I pulled her saddle off and gave her a quick brushing before putting her in her stall. I returned the saddle to its place in the center room of the barn, switched off the lights, and closed the heavy doors.

I sat down on the damp grass, leaning against the barn wall, and stared at the back of my parents’ massive house, which was just far away enough for me to not be seen. The giant patio and pool area were lit up with lanterns brought in especially for their victory party. The clinking of champagne glasses and muffled laughter infiltrated the night air. I hated the parties and my parents’ snobby friends, with their Botoxed lips and Cartier diamonds. I had snuck away to the barn as soon as possible, which hadn’t taken too long, since my mother was too busy impressing the reporter from The Lexington Herald to notice me walk out the back door.

I loved the horses, but the lifestyle was something I could do without. I couldn’t care less about trendy Louis Vuitton purses or Louboutin heels. If it weren’t for my mother’s insistence, I wouldn’t own a dress or a stupid pantsuit. What seventeen-year-old wears a pantsuit anyway? I preferred to live in worn jeans and a T-shirt. The dressiest I cared to be was my riding gear for a show jumping competition.

I looked down at the grass and plucked a couple of blades, twisting them between my fingers. It had been almost a year since my accident at the Adequan Select World Championship. I was lucky to walk away with only a broken arm, but I didn’t want to think about that now. I shook my head, trying to shake the thought out of my head, and looked back at the house.

I had to find a way to sneak back in and up to my bedroom without Mother seeing me. I had never had a curfew, so I couldn’t be in trouble for being out so late, but I could definitely get grounded for walking into the party in dirty jeans and a sweaty T-shirt.

A couple of camera flashes went off at the far end of the patio. I was sure my mother was posing for pictures to be featured in the paper tomorrow. That meant she was distracted. I got up and walked slowly down the sloping hill, toward several large oak trees near the white split-rail fence that separated the pool from the rest of the farmland. After pausing to look again, I sprinted to the side door and opened it as fast as I could.

I could instantly smell garlic and pepper as I walked into the kitchen. A couple of waiters stopped and looked at me curiously, but most of the kitchen staff didn’t pay me any attention. My mother always hired the same company for her parties and they were pretty used to me sneaking in through the kitchen and up the servants’ stairs. A waiter walked by with a tray of melon wrapped in prosciutto. I plucked one from the tray.

“Thanks,” I said with a smile and whirled around to the stairs.

I ran up the steps, down the hall and into the safety of my room. I pulled off my muddy jeans and T-shirt and threw them at the laundry basket in the corner, barely missing the basket. I ran into the bathroom and turned on the hot water. I pulled off my underwear and bra and tossed them on top of the long marble countertop, where they landed on the gold faucet.

I stepped into the warm water and sighed in relief as I laid my head back against the Jacuzzi tub. I searched for the stereo remote along the tub ledge, picked it up in my soapy fingers, and turned on my iPod. Adele’s jazzy voice filled the air as I closed my eyes and relaxed for a while, soaking up the warmth from the bubbly water.

The air had been frigid this weekend, and being out today at the Derby had been unbearable. Especially since I was required to wear a skirt suit and a flimsy hat that refused to stay on my head. I couldn’t remember a Derby day in the past being so cold. Usually it was warm and pretty by the beginning of May, but not today. At least it had been exciting to watch Casper run around the track in record time, leaving all the other horses in the dust. I had cheered so loudly that my throat was sore.

I grabbed the fancy, hot pink bottle of shampoo my aunt had brought me from New York, and scrubbed my hair until it tingled and smelled like white ginger. I shut my eyes, took a deep breath and bobbed my head under the lukewarm water. When I popped back up to the surface, a thick swath of black hair was entangled around my neck. A slight chill settled on my shoulders, sending goose bumps up my arms. I grabbed a towel from the nearby rack and pulled it tightly across my body.

As I stepped out of the tub onto the glassy marble floor, my foot slid halfway across the marble. I grabbed the tub with both hands to keep from tripping the rest of the way out of the tub and landing face-first on the solid surface. What had my parents been thinking? I knew for a fact they were more concerned with the prestige found in having floors covered in ornate marble than the fact that it’s as slippery as an ice rink. Who needs a floor that requires ice skating skills to walk on? I did have some fluffy blue bath mats, but my mother confiscated them. They didn’t “match” and “they look like something a little kid would have” according to her.

I just liked them because it meant fewer bruises and head traumas.

After a few excruciating tip-toe steps, I reached the back of the bathroom door where my white bathrobe hung. I slipped it on and instantly felt some warmth under my skin. I walked across my room and into my large walk-in closet, put on my favorite plaid pajama pants and Lexington Prep T-shirt, and collapsed on my bed. As I fell backward onto the fluffy, king-size mattress there was a loud knock on the door. Before I had time to move, the door was flung wide open, and thudded dramatically against the wall. Without looking up, I knew my mother was there. I let out a groan as I propped myself up on my elbows.

“Why do you even bother knocking?” I asked.

I looked at my mother’s demure figure standing in the doorway. Her red lips were pursed and her bony white arms were crossed against her chest. She still had on her little black dress and string of pearls.

“You didn’t answer,” she quipped, and before I had a chance to argue, she spoke again. “What are you doing in bed already?” One delicate eyebrow flew up and creased her perfect forehead. She moved fluidly toward me, uncrossing her arms and laying one hand on the foot of the bed.

I looked over at the alarm clock on my nightstand. It read three a.m. in bright red digital numbers. “I’m tired and I have a ton of homework due Monday that I need to work on tomorrow,” I replied, scowling at her.

She laughed, throwing back her graceful chin. “Honey, your family’s thoroughbred just won the Kentucky Derby, don’t you think you can forget about that for a little while? I’m sure I can talk to your teachers. They’ll understand.”

“I don’t want any special privileges. I want to turn everything in on time like everyone else,” I said, half whispering the second part.

She shook her head at me. “Schoolwork can wait. We have something important to talk to you about, and there are some very important people who were expecting to see you tonight. I had to tell them I didn’t know where you were. How silly do you think that made me look?” she said, her deep red lips curling into a frown.

Mother’s face was always a study in expressive emotions. Every word, every movement, carried a sense of dramatic weight. She could have been a mime in another life.

“What do you need to talk to me about?” I sat up in the bed, my interest piqued.

“Something important, so come back downstairs so your father and I can talk to you,” she said, grabbing my forearm.

This was just another one of her ploys to get me downstairs to talk to her annoying friends. They didn’t have anything important to talk to me about, except for showing me off and making sure I made a good impression to all the “important people.”

“Sorry, but I’m tired and I have a headache,” I said, pulling my arm from her grasp and throwing a pillow over my head.

She huffed loudly. “Fine, if you’re going to behave like a toddler, I’ll leave you to your pouting.” She turned off the overhead light and slammed my bedroom door shut, causing the picture frames on the walls to shake. I didn’t even flinch. Instead, I let out a sigh of relief and uncovered my head.

I crawled under the covers and reached over to turn off my horse figurine lamp. The room became engulfed in a comforting sea of black.

~ * * * ~

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Genre – YA / Mystery / Suspense

Rating – PG13 (No sex scenes, some violence)

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