Jack Canon's American Destiny

Broken Pieces

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

#AmReading - Elephant Girl by Jane Devin @janedevin

Elephant Girl by Jane Devin


Written in three distinct voices -- child, teen and adult -- Jane Devin takes readers on an intimate, imaginative and often harrowing life journey. Born unwanted and raised without love, the child-author invents a rich inner life to see her through years of trauma. Leaving home at 16, the teen-author struggles to find happiness and a sense of place in a world that feels confusing and unfamiliar. Then, years after stumbling into an adulthood mired in tragedy and broken dreams, the woman-author finds herself at a crossroads. The choice she ultimately makes is as stunning as it is brave.Told in unflinching and often lyrical prose, Elephant Girl goes beyond a singular life story to speak of powerful, universal truths and the ability of the human spirit to redeem itself.

In a culture of bootstraps and bromides, it has become unfashionable to talk about the long-term effects of child abuse and being raised without love or nurture. Unlike psychologist Harry Harlowe's infamous experiments with monkeys and maternal deprivation -- where all his subjects ended up abnormal or dead from what has been termed "emotional anorexia" -- abused children are supposed to be more resilient. In fact, it's a common belief that child abuse isn't really that big of a deal and that abused children will eventually enter into adulthood with the same knowledge and tools as those who were not abused, or at least be able to gain them quickly and easily. Less acknowledged is the fact that there can be long-term and even lifelong physical, social and emotional consequences of child abuse. Oftentimes, the one affected doesn't even realize what those consequences are until well into adulthood. High anxiety, hyper-vigilance, thwarted sexuality and brain damage that went undiagnosed until the age of 46 were just some of the after-effects experienced by the author of Elephant Girl: A Human Story.
The story of Precious ends with her teenage years. Jeannette Walls concludes Glass Castles as a college student. In A Child Called It, Dave Pelzer is removed from his abusive home by age 12 and eventually finds a loving foster family. In contrast, Elephant Girl: A Human Story is about what happens when there is no clear path to follow, no outside guidance and no dramatic rescue--when the only life-saving graces are imagination, self-determination and, ultimately, an undefeatable sense of hope.
This is not an easy story to read. Those who enjoy reading about miracles or quick solutions will surely be disappointed. Those looking to cast blame or buoy their belief that they could have survived better will find plenty of ammunition. However, those who are willing to see beyond the convenience and labels of bootstraps and bromides -- who believe that human experiences are as diverse and complex as those who have them -- will find much to relate to in this insightful and rarely told and ultimately hope-filled story.

Author Interview – P.T. Macias @pt_macias

What movie do you love to watch?

I love to watch Ghost, Fools Rush In, and Pretty Women.

How do you feel about social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter? Are they a good thing?

I do participate in these social media because I feel it’s necessary. I think it helps.

If you could do any job in the world what would you do?

I would love to be an official retired person enjoying my family, traveling, and writing.

What are you most passionate about? What gets you fired up?

My children and grandchildren are my passion.

What makes you angry?

Mean and stupid people make me angry.


The hard driven, ambitious delta force operative is immune to women. His heart has been destroyed by a treacherous woman and the unexpected loss of his family. These events have driven him nearly into insanity. The hard knocks in life propel him into grasping his emotions, his thoughts, and his physical condition. He focused on his goal. Loco doesn’t allow any type of distractions or obstacles to stop him. His actions and recklessness have earned him his nickname, Loco.

The Infinite power, Razer 8 operatives, are united and linked for infinity. His team mates recognize his pain, anger, and strength is derived from the intense impotency he feels from his loss.

The unexpected mission and unexpected encounter with his soul mate, tests his strength. His mind, heart, and soul recognize his love even before the actual encounter. The ruthless criminals threaten to harm his soul mate, pushing and transforming him into a fearless warrior.

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Ghost is an old-fashioned Southern boy fighting hard to forget his pain. He’s forced to protect his Mama and sister from their abusive Pa. Ghost is strong, silent, and soft spoken. He works hard against all obstacles and hurt.

Ghost grows up to become a Delta Force. He meets and falls for a hot Latina who sets him on fire! She captures his soul and brightens his world. He would do anything to protect her.

Duty calls and he’s forced to leave her unprotected. The unspeakable happens! Ghost calls on Infinity. Infinity aids to extract his woman from the clutches of a soulless prostitution mob. Time is running out!

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Bulldog is the youngest of the Razer 8 Delta Force Operatives. He enjoys life. He’s called upon to help out one of his team operative. Infinity is there.

He runs into Katherine Morgan, a sweet young victim. In the the process of extraction he gets caught by the prostitution gang. They mistake him with being her boyfriend.

Bulldog grabs onto that line and poses as her boyfriend. In the process of rescuing Katherine from the mob he becomes entangled in her web. Will Bulldog’s skills and training save him from falling under her spell? Will he be able to outrun the mob and his soul?

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Redfox, Razer 8 10-13-13

Redfox, Razer 8 operative mission is to infiltrate the Police Commissioner’s office and home. He has 72 hours to gather the intel on the Commissioner’s dirty business.

Redfox charms his way into the Commissioner’s home, throwing him into the arms of his soul mate. The unexpected love rocks his world and the success his mission.

The Commissioner’s daughter, Marsha Diane Bryant is a lovely sweet young girl. She falls under Redfox spell and unconditionally bestows her soul.

Redfox fears losing his soul mate in the process of completing his mission. Can their love survive the storm?

Buy @ Amazon

Genre – Romantic Suspense

Rating – PG 13

More details about the author

Connect with P.T. Macias on Facebook and Twitter

Website http://ptmacias.com/

Sunday, December 29, 2013

#Free - Hannah’s Dream by Lenore Butler @ALJambor

Hannah’s Dream by Lenore Butler

Amazon Kindle US

Genre – Historical Romance

Rating – PG

5 (6 reviews)

Free until 30 December 2013

A sweet historical set in 1895
Hannah Dawes is an enchanting strawberry blond who is betrothed to the boy next door.  When his father sends him a hundred miles away to become a doctor, Hannah vows to wait for him.  When he marries another, she's hurt, but she's not down for long.  Hannah has a dream, and the gumption to see it through.  Drawn to the colors in the church's stained glass windows, she abandons the sandcastle sculptures she shared with her former beau and embraces painting with color.  She draws inspiration from the wild Atlantic ocean and when the family fortune is lost and she is forced to move to Colorado, Hannah is heartbroken - until she sees the Rocky Mountains and a cowboy named Adam.
Adam is a shy man who loves horses and thinks he'll spend his life on the range.  But when he
sets eyes on the saucy, red-haired Hannah, he's smitten.  He hasn't known many women, and that Hannah is a strange one.  At first, he retreats when she gets riled up, which seems to be all the time, and she doesn't think he likes her, and when he tries to talk to her, his lack of sophistication frustrates her.  But there is something about the sweet cowboy that stays with her, and even when she meets a handsome and rich doctor, she can't get Adam out of her mind.
While they try to find common ground, Hannah and Adam grow to love one another, but someone from Hannah's past has come to Colorado to steal her away and won't let anyone stand in his way.  Will he keep Hannah and Adam apart?
Settle into an sweet, old-fashioned romance and get lost in Hannah's Dream.

The Howling Heart by April Bostic


Paige Donovan is an ambitious college graduate who aspires to reach the top of the corporate ladder. She’s climbing fast when she’s given the promotion of a lifetime at a prestigious fashion magazine in New York City. Her bright future comes to an unexpected halt after news of her father’s death. She inherits his old cabin in the Colorado Rockies, and just when she thinks her luck couldn’t get any worse, she has a car accident in the mountains and awakens in the small, remote community of Black River.

Soon, she’s engulfed in the mystical world of Varulv–wolves descended from 13th century Scandinavia and blessed by Norse gods with the ability to appear human. Paige is desperate to return home, but she never expects to fall for her rescuer, Riley Gray, a charming young werewolf from England who offers her an alternate future with his pack.

Now, she must choose between the career she’s always wanted and the love she’s always dreamed.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Paranormal Romance

Rating – Adult

More details about the author

Connect with April Bostic on Goodreads

Website http://www.aprilbostic.com/

Saturday, December 28, 2013

#AmReading - Private Air by Billie Bates @BillieBates1

Private Air by Billie Bates


When Sienna Harris joined the Australian Air Force as a flight attendant for the Prime Minister, she thought she’d hit the glam-job jackpot. But three years of weapons training, outback destinations, and a cheating fighter pilot fiancé, and she’s realized it’s not so fabulous after all. Time to embark on a new adventure, this time to the prestigious world of international VIP aviation.
Sienna and her best friend leave behind their small-town lives for a glitzy career flight attending on a Saudi prince’s private jet. Money, parties, designer clothes, and exotic locations fill the job description, while the sexy pilot, Ted, makes it hard for Sienna to obey the “no fraternizing” rule.
But even the most opulent of journeys can hit turbulence. Sienna’s boss, the appearance-obsessed chief stewardess, issues diuretics and Botox with the uniforms and catering orders, and the prince is a man who’s never told no. Underneath its lush appearance, could this desert oasis be more of a muddy puddle?
The Devil Wears Prada meets Pan Am in this fun frolic to the glamorous side of air travel, inspired by the author’s own experience as a VIP flight attendant in Saudi Arabia and Europe.

The Curse Giver by Dora Machado @DoraMachado

Chapter Five

THE NEXT FEW DAYS WERE LOST to Lusielle. Her life was a jumbled sequence of snippets, blurry images breaking up long periods of dense darkness, triggered by a sudden jostle or a twinge of pain, cold, heat or thirst. She spotted glimpses of a gray sky, spitting out rain, and campfires burning deep in the woods. There was more rain, and a face—his face—hovering just beyond reach.

Occasionally, sound trickled into her muffled world from a distant place. The wind rustled through the trees. The horses’ hooves pounded on dirt, gravel, and mud. Men spoke, snorted, muttered and snored. A low, measured voice—his voice—echoed very near, urging her to drink, eat or sleep, accompanied by the pervasive masculine scent that was her constant companion.

There were times when she came to just enough to realize that she existed in the world in-between, where gods and mortals met in dreams, where dreams and reality were one and the same. In those moments, she realized that she survived only because of someone else’s will, that if she wanted a future, she had to wake up and seize it. She kept trying, even though it required great effort, like swimming against a colossal tide.

“This way,” the voice said.

She felt listless as a corpse, but she grabbed on to that voice and followed it to a semblance of consciousness. Fighting her heavy eyelids, she managed to glimpse the man’s stern face, outlined against a background of pewter clouds.


She rode with him on his horse, wrapped in an oiled mantle, mostly protected from the rain. His strong arms kept her from slipping off the massive beast. His armored chest offered a hard but steady pillow. The beat of his heart echoed through the copper plates, strong, vibrant, and enthralling.

He must have realized that she was awake, because his stare swooped down on her like a hawk on the prowl, even though his voice was gentle. “Hush,” he said. “We won’t be too much longer on the road today.”

His eyes were lined with worry and exhaustion. So were the faces of the other men who rode with him. All of them were wet, tired and miserable, picking their way up a steep mountain track as the relentless rain continued to pelt them. That same rain was dripping from Brennus’s face, drenching his hair and trickling down his neck.

“The rain,” she whispered. “It’s making you wet.” She reached out to dry the water from his face, but the wound on her back protested with a pang of pain.

He caught her hand and tucked it back into the blanket. “It’s no use,” he said. “You can’t keep me dry.”

“One can try,” she said.

And he actually smiled.

“Where are we?” she asked.

“South of nowhere and north of wherever,” he said. “Far from the usual routes. We’re seven days out.”

Seven days was an awful long time to be senseless among strangers.

“Don’t worry,” he said. “Riva’s not going to find us.”

She winced when the horse missed a step.

“Hato!” Brennus called.

Why was he barking like that?

There was splashing, the sound of hooves clattering and then, “My lord?”

“We’ve got to stop. The fever’s back and she’s hurting again.”

“No place to stop around here, my lord,” the other man said.

“Send Severo and Cirillo ahead,” he said. “Tell them to find a decent camp and get a fire going. She’s got to rest.”

“My lord,” he said, “we have pressing business. We can’t slow down to accommodate her comfort—”

“Do you want her alive or not?”

The other man sighed. “As you wish, my lord.” He rode away.

She tried to tell him that she was fine, but ended up whimpering instead.

“Shush,” he whispered in her ear. “You need to sleep.”

And by the Thousand Gods, off she went, at his command, into the darkness again, following his heart’s steady rhythm as it sang a lullaby to her heart.

Curse Giver

Award-Winning Finalist in the fantasy category of The 2013 USA Best Book Awards, sponsored by USA Book News

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Fantasy/Dark Fantasy

Rating – PG-18

More details about the author and the book

Connect with Dora Machado on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.doramachado.com/

Living The Testimony by Deidre Havrelock @deidrehavrelock

My Personal Testimony

I grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, as a Cree/Irish borderline Catholic girl, meaning this half-breed rarely went to Mass. However, I did pray every night. I absolutely loved God and believed in Him deeply. Being Catholic, I had heard about Jesus. In fact, my favorite song was “Away in a Manger.” Whenever I was scared, which was often, I would sing this song. But I imagined Jesus to be a fairytale—a fantasy about a perfect God coming to save people. He was just for good thoughts. He was in no way a reality.

Despite my vague belief in Jesus, my relationship with God seemed deep. I would have conversations with my invisible God; I would tell God I loved Him. And I certainly did love Him. Although, I was becoming a bit frustrated with Him because of my dreary life circumstance. You see, my dad drank—a lot. And this stress, along with the stress of my quickly emerging spiritual life, was simply too overwhelming.

As a child I lived with a strange secret. I sensed an ominous yet deeply intriguing spiritual force in my home. I simply assumed a ghost lived in my house. To convolute matters even more, when I was just seven, a man with fire for hair appeared to me in a dream, forcing me to marry him in front of an upside-down cross. He told me in the dream, “Don’t worry, you have been chosen.” From this point on, I completely believed I was married to the devil—irrevocably dark and aligned with evil.

Fortunately, this dream did motivate me to dig my heels in and search for God. I figured only God could get me divorced from the devil. But instead my search led me to Fred, a kind spirit I met in grade four through a Ouija board. Being Cree, spirits were nothing new to me. My mom’s family always talked about spirits. Most of my aunts and uncles were scared of the spirits or ghosts they saw in their dreams and in their houses, but my grandmother told me the spirits were there to help and protect us. I wasn’t quite sure what to believe. I was confused. After all, the spirits I sensed around me and the ones I saw in my dreams scared me, too. But then again, Fred seemed different. This spirit was nice. He was funny. Fred told me through the Ouija board that his job was to protect and watch over me. Eventually, I began telling myself that spirits just felt creepy, but once you got to know them they could be nice. Especially, if you were nice to them.

Fred became my constant companion. But one day, in grade six, after my best friend’s dad tried to molest me and just after my uncle Glen (who had sexually molested me as a small child) came to live with us in our home, I had a nervous breakdown. While left home alone with Glen, I grabbed a butcher knife and ran to my room to hide. Once in my bedroom, instead of picking up my Ouija board to call on Fred, I cried out to God, telling Him I wanted to kill myself. Suddenly I heard a voice speak out loud: “When you are big everything will be okay.” It was God; He spoke to me. He was real.3 I told God I’d hang on until I was big, which obviously, to a twelve-year-old mind, meant eighteen.

By age sixteen, things seemed to have miraculously changed for the better. First of all, my dad was now inexplicably healed from alcoholism. Second, I was introduced by my high school teacher to a New Age transcendental meditation and channeling group that met weekly in the back room of a small bookstore.4 I was so excited. I thought for sure—in this extremely spiritual group—I would find God and get my divorce from Satan.

This group also told me spirits were good and helpful. However, a few sessions later, I found myself strangely altered after my spirit guide Fred, along with another extremely violent spirit, entered my body during group meditation and refused to leave. A member of the group did attempt to help me force these spirits from my body, but the endeavor failed. Consequently, I was kicked out of my New Age group for having bad karma. This meant I was the one attracting these evil spirits to the group—because I was evil. I left the group feeling deeply hurt, misunderstood, and very aware of being “chosen” by the devil.5

A school friend of mine named Doug, who had joined the channeling group with me, then suggested, without knowing anything about my spiritual past, that I study Satanism. His brother had a Satanic Bible.6 After flatly declining, I began dreaming I was killing people. I also dreamed of horrible evil creatures. Rats invading my house was a common dream, and the devil with fire for hair began reappearing in my dreams, growing angrier every time I refused to follow him. When I turned eighteen, I gave up on spirituality. I simply wouldn’t choose Satan and God had failed to show up and save me.

When I was twenty-two years old, now bulimic/anorexic, depressed, and suffering from intense back pain, my life took an unexpected turn when at work God surprisingly spoke to me again saying, “This is the man whom you shall marry.” That man was DJ, a young man who worked in the same office as I did. Eventually DJ and I began dating, and even though we seemed to have nothing in common—because I was convinced that God had sent him to help me—on our third date, I opened up to him, describing to him my nightmares and my spirit guide, Fred. Of course, I worried DJ might consider me crazy, but instead he said, “I’m here to help.”7

It was a few weeks later that DJ opened up to me, explaining how he believed in Jesus. He told me he believed Jesus was alive. He told me Jesus could heal me and save me; and because he was God’s actual Son, he was the gateway to knowing and experiencing God. DJ asked me to simply trust Jesus.8

But I was more than a little doubtful. In fact, his Christian beliefs made me furious. It seemed idiotic for anyone to believe that a childhood fairytale could be true, and it seemed positively arrogant that DJ thought he knew and understood God. After all, why couldn’t God just save me Himself? What did He need Jesus for? Why was Jesus so important? I argued with DJ about the relevance of Jesus many times. Then one night, after arguing about Jesus yet again, my back flared up with pain. DJ asked if he could pray for me. I was uncomfortable with this but thought, What will it hurt?

As DJ prayed for me, particularly when he asked me to be healed “in the name of Jesus,” my back pain sharply escalated—then the voices began. It was just like during my channeling days. Spirits stirred inside me wanting to speak. Except this time they were enraged. As DJ continued praying, my body contorted as my muscles tightened; a low growl came from my lips. Within seconds, a thick black mass pulled out from my back and hovered above us. I remember huddling against DJ, whispering, “What is that?”

“It’s evil,” he said.

I was terrified. DJ, however, immediately told the evil spirits to “leave, in the name of Jesus.” Surprisingly, the blackness retreated back down inside me. I was horrified and confused, crying and shaking. I didn’t understand I was possessed. All I knew was that Fred and another spirit were living inside me; they were angry, extremely strong, and they absolutely hated the name Jesus.

DJ, now with clear confirmation that my problem was actually demonic possession, had to find help, but where was he to go? He wasn’t sure if his church leadership would believe him. DJ then met with a Christian girl, Audrey, who also worked in our office.9 She and DJ decided to bring me to her church. They hoped her pastor could pray for me and expel the evil spirits.10

DJ convinced me to attend a service. However, shortly after arriving at the church, I found myself running from the service after voices in my head told me to kill the pastor. I remember this pastor was preaching about Jesus being able to heal. The whole service felt strange and uncomfortable to me, but DJ convinced me to go back to this church two more times. Each time I returned, the strength and rage of the voices grew and my strange back pain returned. Finally, much too terrorized and confused to go on, I refused to go back. I told DJ talking about Jesus aggravated my problems, so the solution was obviously not to talk about him.

Living the testimony

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Genre – Christian Living

Rating – G

More details about the author

Connect with Deidre Havrelock on Twitter

Website www.deidrehavrelock.com

The Colors of Friendship by K. R. Raye @KRRaye

Moving On

Lance flicked his wrist and checked his watch.  Yes, 5:00 p.m. on the dot.  With a smile he knocked on the girls’ dorm room door ready to tackle their English study session.  Even though they each pursued different majors: Melody, Communications; Imani, Chemical Engineering; and he studied Business; they all made a vow at orientation to align their core Freshmen classes and liberal arts electives whenever possible. 

He heard movement behind the door as one of the girls checked through the peephole and then Imani threw open the door.

Lance smiled and landed a peck on her cheek before he strolled inside. 

The phone rang and Imani shoved him towards it.  “Could you get that? It’s my mom,” she said heading towards the bathroom she shared with Melody and the two girls in the connecting room. 

Colors of Friendship

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Genre – New Adult, Contemporary

Rating – R

More details about the author

Connect with K R Raye on Facebook and Twitter

Website http://krraye.com/events.html

Friday, December 27, 2013

Midshipman Henry Gallant in Space by H. Peter Alesso


The hours in a day were never enough. Each watch, report, and exam seemed like an organized disruption to Gallant’s desire for food and sleep. Each irreverent “Attention Midshipman Gallant” that blared over his head, called him away to some new obligation. A week after re-qualifying, Gallant joined the other midshipmen in an advanced flight training session conducted by Lieutenant Mather.

Mather was going to review the ship’s computer systems in detail in preparation for a mock combat session. While many of the midshipmen were already up to date on the ship’s AI systems, it was an opportunity for Gallant to catch-up.

Mather stood at the head of the compartment at a lectern facing several rows of chairs. He began describing the Repulse’s computer system, “It’s a marvel of Twenty-second Century technology. It provides three levels of operation for each and every important department on board including: navigation, engineering, weapons, environmental, and communications. The first level is the centralized Artificial Intelligence (AI) system. It performs what we call ‘strong-AI.’ Then, the second level includes system operations of individual departments with their own ‘weak-AI.’ They require more human interaction in order to coordinate systems. Finally, the last level is direct human manual control.”

“Officers, this is the strong-AI system nicknamed GridScape.” A three dimensional humanoid holograph form appeared before Mather. ““The avatar image is changeable,” he flipped through a few before settling on a base form. “I prefer this nondescript image for my lectures. GridScape is a wireless grid computer network consisting of over one million parallel central processors performing a billion-billion operations per second. It helps to control operations throughout the ship and its fighter support within a limited range. It coordinates overall control with our technically trained crew. Of course, it has redundant connectivity for reliability; both direct wiring, as well as wireless connections. GridScape is fully capable of independent automatic operation for most routine operations and many emergency responses that the ship may be required to perform.”

Sandy Barrington stood up and asked, “What happens when there’s battle damage, sir?”

“In the event the strong-AI system is damaged, the weak-AI computer systems take over local functional operation. Of course, every device can be switched to manual operation as required. Also, all crew members have their comm pins. They can connect to local resources that in turn can connect to the centralized AI,” said Mather.


Buy Now @ Amazon and Smashwords

Genre – Science Fiction

Rating – G

More details about the author and the book

Connect with H. Peter Alesso on Facebook

Website http://www.hpeteralesso.com/Default.aspx

The Right Way and the Wrong Way To Promote Your Book Online by Linell Jepsen @nelj8

There are people out there who are masters of promotion; unfortunately, I am not one of them! I have learned a few things about product recognition, however, since I was first published in 2011.

There is SO much competition in the marketplace that both you and your product must become recognizable. This means that you need to interact with your readership. Be friendly, helpful, and supportive to them, even as you are promoting your services.

Join as many web sites as you can- and be sure to choose your sites wisely. There are places on Amazon where a writer is allowed to promote, but there are also places that will rip you to pieces if you dare advertise! Join in chat groups with like- minded people. You might not be able to promote- I mean, how would you like it if your good friend lifted his trumpet every morning and blasted it in YOUR face? You can make friends online, however, and they will do everything in their power to help you get ahead.

I have a thread on the MOA forum (Amazon) called the SS Wordsmyth. It is one of the most vibrant threads there and is home to many writers of science fiction and fantasy. We cross-promote one another, and give one another a shoulder to cry on when that occasional bad review comes in, or we feel rejected.

I also belong to a number of groups on Goodreads and Facebook. Another important thing to do is open an author page on Facebook, and get a good picture of yourself. Readers want to know who you are and what you look like! They want to identify with you as a person!

Most of all, and I mentioned this before, you need to grow a very thick skin. Book promoting is a microcosm of life itself… no matter how hard you try, or how friendly you try to be, not everyone will like you (or your writing style)! Having a lot on on-line friends will help insulate you from the occasional attack, or horrible review!

Most important of all is having product recognition for your own name. I am gratified to see that more and more people are starting to hit on the name Linell Jeppsen for fantasy and science fiction. With a little good planning and hard work, your name will become a marketable as well!

Onio revised (2)

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Fantasy/Romance

Rating – PG13

More details about the author & the book

Connect with Linell Jeppsen on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://neljeppsen.weebly.com/

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Standing Stark: The Willingness to Engage by Carla Woody @CarlaWoody1

Chapter Two:
Beyond Words

I was leading a very mainstream life. While I had some sense of purpose, I additionally had an underlying feeling that something was seriously lacking. Even though there was a recognition of incompletion, I can’t say that it was a conscious realization, more of a sense of things not expressed, blocked or segregated.

The previous year I’d left the large government agency where I’d worked nearly my entire career up to that point. Being out from under bureaucratic constraints lent a certain kind of freedom that I craved, but a large part of my livelihood was still generated through that environment where I returned as a consultant. I felt the rigidity of the organization to the point that it triggered an aversion in me.

What I now know is that whenever we have an unreasonably strong response to something external, something is lurking internally of the same nature. At the time, I recognized what I can only describe as flatness, a lack of real engagement to anything in which I was involved. It’s unlikely that this fact was apparent to anyone but me. I was known for my mind and abilities for pulling people and projects together. To others, my guess is that I appeared actively engaged in my life. After all, I was busy doing what needed to be done, just like most with whom I came in contact.

But I knew something was omitted. Fourteen years earlier, I’d had a major signal identifying my disconnection. Because of a viral infection that attacked my thyroid, I became extremely ill. I was likely within a hair’s breadth of death before I’d had any inkling of the seriousness of the illness. It probably was only through my mother’s mother-bear-like, protective attention and demands to the physician I finally visited that I am even alive today.

A major crisis such as this one is often the impetus that will kick start a revelation—or revolution. After my recovery, I finally comprehended the level of absurdity and danger that the lack of awareness of my own condition brought. I was able to discern that I wasn’t practicing denial in the sense of not wanting to face something. But more so, I was disconnected from my body to the degree that I had been unable to recognize my lack of health. How could I? My life and level of consciousness was weighted in my head, cut off from my physicality and any real experience or attunement other than mental observation.

I heeded a cry from my Core Self, not even knowing of her existence, and sought out meditation. That was an unlikely avenue back then, only because where I was living at the time offered very few opportunities to explore anything even somewhat resembling consciousness studies. With the help of a couple of books, I put together a practice to which I remained faithful.

Over the years, I found myself becoming increasingly calmer and healthier. I knew that the change was due directly to my dedicated focus on meditation. Indeed, I became much more in tune with my body and its messages to me. I began to trust those messages implicitly, telling me when things were right, or not, in my world.

But I knew something was still missing. I remained an observer to a large degree, not a participant. While I’d read of spirituality and various states that told of that realm, I’d had no direct experience. I intellectually knew that Spirit was an aspect of my makeup, but couldn’t quite grasp even the concept of such a reality. And yet there was something underpinning my entire existence that called out for this wholeness. Some part of me deeply desired integration.

When strong intent is present, the means to fulfill it will automatically appear. But I didn’t know this truth at that point in my journey. I only knew that I felt somewhat fragmented, and one day noticed an ad in a professional journal for a retreat with a Peruvian shaman to be held in the Southern Utah desert. Ignoring the fact that my sole idea of camping then was in pensions in large European cities, or that I didn’t even know what the term “shaman” meant, I felt a strong draw in my body to call and register. So, I did.

Four months later, I flew cross-country to Salt Lake City where I was picked up with some other retreat goers and driven some hours south to a remote canyon in the San Rafael Swell. The beauty of the area was incredible and helped to overwhelm my uneasiness of being with people with whom I wasn’t acquainted, and an upcoming event about which I knew absolutely nothing.

When we finally rolled into the makeshift camp, I climbed out of the truck feeling a mixture of excitement and apprehension, the two being closely linked anyway. While in this state, I noticed a brown-skinned man making his way toward me. He had dark, wavy hair, a mustachioed, handsome face, and wore a woven poncho. His eyes sparkled. He smiled broadly and wrapped his arms around me in greeting. As he did so, any fear I felt dissipated immediately and was replaced by great warmth swelling from some place inside me, unlike any I’d ever felt. This was the man the sponsors had advertised as a shaman, the person who, in the years ahead, I would come to know not only as a mystic and teacher of the heart, but a cherished friend—Don Américo Yábar. My meeting him was to change the fabric of my entire life. And I had asked for it unknowingly.

Around the campfire that evening, Don Américo introduced the subject of intent through his translator. He encouraged each of us to set our intent that evening for the week that was to follow. I went off on my own to think about what he’d said, the whole idea of intent being a slippery one, at best, that I had a challenge grasping. However, I decided that I must have set my intent, at some level, before I even came. That was what pulled me to the retreat not even knowing what it entailed. I wanted to be joined. I wanted direct engagement. I wanted integration of my mind, body and spirit. I told no one.

The next morning held the usual gorgeous, blue desert sky. The group had hiked some distance from our camp and found a natural rock amphitheatre. We made ourselves comfortable in the shadows of the boulders, out from under the Utah sun which was already getting quite warm. Don Américo began to speak. I don’t remember now exactly what he said. I was being lulled by the lilting rhythms of his and his translator’s vocal patterns that took the meaning of the words to some unconscious level.

Suddenly, he stopped and gazed intensely at me. He motioned for me to come to the middle of the circle where he stood. Under normal circumstances, I would have done so reluctantly, if at all, not being comfortable “exposing” myself to others in that way. In that case, however, I felt completely at ease.

I approached him. He stood directly in front of me only about eighteen inches away, his liquid brown eyes locking onto mine. It was as though he was channeling pure love directly into my being. Both of his hands hovered right outside my body at the chest level.

Making a motion of pulling apart outside the heart center, he said, “The way to see is with the body’s eye.”

I felt what I could only describe as a sweet welling in that energy center that began to undulate, creating a rippling effect.

He moved one hand up to my forehead. Making a wiping motion in my subtle energy field, he proclaimed, “Not the mind’s eye!”

I felt something shut at that level, all the while the heart energy continued to reverberate. I was unaware of anything other than large waves of effervescent warmth that seemed to echo silently, returning from the stones surrounding us, further intensifying the awakening. People seated around us gasped and murmured. I have no idea how long I stood that way. I do not know how I found my feet to return to my seat. I do not recall what occurred the rest of the day.

I was opened. I was filled. I’d had my first direct experience—beyond words.


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Genre – Nonfiction, Spirituality

Rating – PG

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Quality Reads UK Book Club Disclosure: Author interview / guest post has been submitted by the author and previously used on other sites.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

#AmReading - My Cheeky Angel by Mimi Barbour @MimiBarbour

My Cheeky Angel by Mimi Barbour


Woman-hater, tomboy and a Cheeky Angel! Sparks fly when the tomboy grows
up and decides to make drastic changes to her boring life, and thanks to her
helpful angel she's goes all out. Instead of being a playmate for her bachelor
buddy, she's turned into a real dazzler. Now what's a guy to do?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

#AmReading - A Hint of Magic by Claire Chilton @ClaireChilton1

A Hint of Magic by Claire Chilton


Dora Carridine is fed up with her life as a preacher’s daughter and sets out to explore the darker side of life instead. If she can find some magic in the world, then maybe she will find a place she belongs.
When she comes across a coven of witches, she takes on their trials to try and join them. But the witches aren’t all they appear to be, and Dora finds herself slipping into a darker world than she imagined.
She has to make a choice to do the right thing, but Dora’s never been very good at doing anything right…
*This is a Demon Diaries Origins Story

Loving Conor: A Clairvoyant’s Memoir on Loving, Bonding and Healing by Tami Urbanek @tamiurbanek

Chapter Three: Surviving Life

I woke up to the phone ringing in the middle of the night.

“Tami, you need to pick me up,” I heard Nyle say.

“Where are you?”

“I’m at 7-11,” he said, slurring his words.

He told me the street and packing Bethany into the car, I drove through a light snowstorm to find him.

I located the correct 7-11 and I walked in looking around for Nyle.

“Hey, are you looking for that drunk?” The 7-11 clerk asked as he nodded at me.

“Was a guy here waiting for someone?” I asked.

“Yeah, he wanted booze, I told him to leave.”

“Do you know which way he went?” I asked.

“Have no idea.”

Leaving the store and getting back in my car, my hands clenched the steering wheel. I drove around looking for Nyle, scolding myself for coming out in the snow with Bethany in a car that didn’t have snow tires, to look for a drunken soon-to-be ex-husband.

I found Nyle wandering the sidewalk. Pulling over, I rolled down the passenger window.

“Nyle, what are you doing? Get in the car.”

He just looked at me, obviously drunk, confused, and swaying as he tried to keep his balance.

He crawled into the front passenger seat, laid his head back, and closed his eyes. I drove him back to my apartment. Once I parked the car, I realized I had no idea how to get him from there to inside my apartment. It was too cold to leave him in the car overnight, though I did consider it. I looked over at Nyle, and I wondered what the hell I was doing and how I was going to get him to wake up.

After continually pushing on his arm to wake him up, he finally roused awake enough to stumble into my apartment. He immediately staggered over to the couch and collapsed on it. I gently placed Bethany in her crib, gazing at her as she slept. In that moment, I was grateful I was divorcing Nyle and knowing my daughter was safe and asleep, I immediately fell asleep too.

I was still on maternity leave, so I was home the next morning when someone came to get Nyle for work.

“Hey, you need to wake him up,” Nyle’s friend said. He had figured out that Nyle was here when he didn’t show up at the barracks last night.

“I tried, I can’t get him up. I think he’s still drunk.”

“He’s going be in trouble if he doesn’t show up to formation.” Giving up, the guy left.

Walking over to Nyle and pushing on him hard, I said, “Nyle, wake up! GET UP! You have to get up for work!” I felt like I was yelling at a deaf person.

He finally opened his eyes and looked at me with a confused expression. He seemed to be trying to remember how he got to my apartment. He slowly sat up, keeping his hands on the couch for balance. He mumbled something, but it sounded as if his mouth was full of cotton. He stood up and with a shaky walk he made his way to the phone as I watched him call a friend to come get him.

Later that day, as I sat on the couch, in my apartment, I looked at my bills and felt my ongoing fear starting to rise. I began looking at my past choices. At eighteen, I had made the choice to marry and by nineteen, I had made a choice to be a mother. I had stayed with Nyle for fifteen months even though he was drinking and would be violent when he was drunk. I wasn’t proud that I was working at McDonald’s to meet basic financial needs, and I was fearful on a daily basis.

How was I going to fix this? How was I going to survive? Would things ever change? Would I ever be happy? Would I ever earn more than slightly above minimum wage? I didn’t know.

I walked around the apartment while Bethany was napping in her crib. Without Nyle there, the apartment was cleaner and I didn’t fear the weekends anymore. I still had to deal with the holes in the doors and walls at some point.

Out of desperation, the next day, I took my wedding ring to the pawnshop and I was grateful for the cash. It had a couple of diamonds, so they offered me a decent sum of money.

When my mom called to see how I was doing, I told her I had pawned my wedding ring.

“Why did you pawn your ring?”

“I needed the money,” I said, feeling depressed.

“Well, we’ll give you the money to go and buy it back. You don’t want to pawn your ring.” With my parents’ financial assistance, I bought back my ring before it was sold to someone else. But what about next month, when money would once again be tight?

That week, the manager at McDonald’s called to make sure I was still coming back to work when my maternity leave ended.

I told him I couldn’t wait to get back to work and I meant it. I was looking forward to having at least a few dollars in my wallet.

I spent the next couple of weeks getting on a schedule with Bethany and looking for home daycares. I found one near my apartment.

I returned to work, and I happily started earning money again. I was receiving child support, and life began to take on a more routine state, but I was experiencing a lot of anxieties. I still wanted a man to make me feel better about myself. I didn’t understand that I was not giving myself the credit I deserved in being able to love and take care of myself. As a result, I drew in the same types of people and relationships as before.

Not long after returning to work, I ran into Josh, a guy I had briefly dated when I was seventeen years old. We easily picked up where we left off and we quickly became exclusive in our dating.

Initially, Josh was attentive toward Bethany, and we had fun getting to know each other again, but it didn’t take long before we began to fight. We would get into yelling matches that were reminiscent of my relationship with Nyle, always fighting about something that wasn’t even important. We were young, immature and neither one of us knew how to communicate. Still, I was thankful he was in my life when one day out of the blue, I found Nyle knocking on my door.

“Tami, can we talk?” Nyle asked. Standing there waiting for me to say it was okay for him to come into the apartment. His hands were in his pockets and I noticed the tension he held in his shoulders.

“I guess…”

He walked into my apartment and sat down on the couch.

“Tami, I’m sorry. I screwed up.” He paused and then said, “I know I messed up with you….” Nyle’s voice trailed off and I waited for him to continue, not really knowing where this was heading.

He finally continued, “What do you think. Could we try again?”

I looked at him wondering what to say. Despite our fighting, I had strong feelings for Josh and now, here was Nyle apologizing and proposing we try again. As I paused, not sure what to say to him, I looked around my apartment. It was cleaner, and I immediately noticed the still unpatched holes in the wall and doors. I wasn’t sure I wanted to start again and have the same old result of drunken weekends.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea…” I said.

He left without much hesitation. That was my clue that he wasn’t invested in starting over, but maybe just looking for convenience. I knew he never liked living in the barracks on base. Also, I always wondered if his mother had talked him into trying to get back together or if it was all his idea. I knew she wanted me to take care of him.

I had begun to understand that it was never my job to take care of Nyle. That was his job. Although it took me a few years to fully realize that I needed keep my focus on caring for Bethany and myself. Even then I had begun to understand this and that I didn’t need to feel guilty for leaving Nyle.


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Genre - Memoir

Rating – PG-13

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Author Interview – Deidre D Havrelock @deidrehavrelock

Image of Deidre Havrelock

Who or what inspired you to become an author?

So many people: teachers, a few family members, friends, and of course the Holy Spirit.

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?

I forgot to do that. I’ll do that next week.

What is your guilty pleasure?

I really like movies. I like to watch three at a time and then I dream about writing a screenplay. My dad and I can watch movies like nobodies’ business…we’re not lazy—we’re studying the structure.

What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you’d be embarrassed to admit?

Cupcake Wars. I don’t know why I like this show…they’re just stupid cupcakes! It really makes me mad when they screw up the little fondant decorations that go on top of the cupcakes—you have to go big or go home!

Finish the sentence- one book I wish I had written is….

The Lord of The Rings, of course!

Living the testimony

We testify in accordance with what we know and have experienced.

…It’s time to learn and experience more!

The first book in this thought-provoking series explained how testimony relates to the Bible; this book will help you understand how testimony relates to living. Living…The Testimony will not only encourage Christians to reflect on who they believe Jesus to be (and why they choose to believe this), but it will also correct current misconstrued ideas as to what the Christian testimony is all about.

- a testimony is not about church;

- a testimony is not about God;

- a testimony is not about faith in general terms;

- this book contains numerous testimonies that will strengthen your faith in Jesus.

A strong Christian testimony is one that continually grows in the knowledge of Jesus, continually shares that knowledge boldly, while at the same time performs good works based on Jesus’ teaching of love—all while abstaining from works of darkness.

Because a biblical testimony deals not only with our belief system, but also with the way we conduct our whole lives, our Christian testimony becomes our most valuable asset. It is life itself.

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Genre – Christian Living

Rating – G

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Connect with Deidre Havrelock on Twitter

Website www.deidrehavrelock.com

Sunday, December 22, 2013

#Thriller - Stark Warning by James Raven @JamesRaven9

Stark Warning by James Raven

Amazon Kindle US

Genre – Thriller

Rating – PG13

4.5 (26 reviews)

“Every time you appear on screen someone will die.”
That’s the stark warning given to Jessica Lee, host of a confessional talk show on network television with millions of fans. But one deranged viewer is out to destroy her career. He demands that her programme be scrapped and tells her to stop appearing on TV. To prove he means business he claims his first victim – a young woman who is found dead with her throat cut. Jessica and her bosses face an agonizing dilemma: take the show off the air or risk more murders. They decide to defy the killer, for fear of setting a dangerous precedent. But there are dire consequences.
James Raven, author of Stark Warning, has worked for over thirty years in the television industry and drew on his experience when writing this novel. He’s also the author of Malicious, After the Execution, Rollover, Urban Myth, Red Blitz, Brutal Revenge and Arctic Blood.


Check out the Video trailer for MALICIOUS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btPmqY2NOV4

A Day in the Life of Peter Cunningham @PCTheAuthor

A Day in the Life of Peter Cunningham

I like my days carefully planned. I remember as a child making a list before I went to bed of the things I would do the next day, like pick the laden  gooseberry bushes in my mother’s garden and sell them to a greengrocer down the town. I wasn’t given pocket-money, but my parents approved of entrepreneurship and the gooseberry trade came under this heading. My mother played golf for Ireland. I borrowed her golf gloves to avoid getting scratched during the picking.

For five years in a boarding school run by Benedictine monks in a rambling castle in the remote hills of County Limerick we were awoken each morning at seven-ten in order to be at Mass by seven-thirty. Ever since, I have never managed to sleep late. In fact, other than when I’m sleeping or making love, I try to avoid bed. Breakfast in bed annoys me; too many crumbs. The Ancient Romans ate sprawled on settees or lying face down and look what happened to them.

The first person I meet when I come downstairs at six-thirty is Charlie, our terrier. I say person because that’s what he thinks he is. I let him out and put the kettle on. Lucy the cat then goes out—she and Charlie sleep together. It’s a Platonic relationship. I pour boiling water into a mug into which I’ve already squeezed a good lemon chunk. Then I go into my desk and turn on my pc.

At this point, I want to do almost anything but write. Email, Facebook, the Internet are all there masquerading as work-related tasks; to get stuck into any one of them will tie me up for over an hour. I generally succeed in resisting such diversions and get stuck into the novel.

The day before I’ve left myself a little portion of unfinished writing to make it easier for me to resume, like a little slice of cake left as a reward for a diligent student who shows up on time. But once I’m in—and I mean, within a few minutes—my sense of time vanishes. I love this part of writing, the total immersion, the absolute engagement with the text and the story.

Suddenly it’s 8.15. I stop at this point and make my way back upstairs and begin my work-out. This takes between ten and twenty minutes, depending on my level of commitment. I take a bath or shower and try to be downstairs for breakfast no later than nine o’clock.

Since I lead such a solitary existence, whether or not I have breakfast at 9.00 or 11.30 will affect no one. But it affects me. Without my routine, I flounder.

Charlie and I take a stroll outside after breakfast, then I’m back at my desk around 9.30.  Carol, my wife, a Jungian analyst, has her own career and interests; but we’re up to date with one another’s schedules.

I’m finished writing by 11.30. Six or seven hundred words of passable quality please me. I’ve advanced. It may not seem much, but even five hundred words a day amounts over a year to a lot of words. This is the coal face of writing.

Most days, Carol, Charlie and I go for a long, brisk walk together. This part of Kildare has lovely wooded ways and we make the best of them. I have a light lunch at 12.30, usually followed by a fifteen minutes nap. On many afternoons I get a call from a newspaper or a magazine for a piece of writing, or a call from my editor, or from someone involved in the books industry. Ebooks have added an entirely new layer of business activity to publishing. Ebook publishing has given writers a whole new way of life.

Sometimes I have a meeting, which usually means going to Dublin. Or I’m doing a reading somewhere, or going to a book festival, or promoting my books in places like the US, France or England.

Carol and I meet for a drink around six and have our supper together. Afterwards, we read—we both have Kindles—or play Scrabble or watch TV. We often talk to the kids by Skype. We’ve become big into box sets and spent most of last winter watching Mad Men. Sometime between 10.00 and 10.30, it’s time for bed. Charlie and Lucy go first. We don’t have a TV in our bedroom. I try to read a little every night, but when I turn out the light, I’m asleep in two minutes.


A book for your head and your heart. Winner of the Prix de l’Europe 2013.

A powerful novel from one of Ireland’s best writers on the turbulent birth of a nation, and the lovers it divides

Ireland 1945. Young and beautiful, Iz begins a life on the south-east coast with her new husband. As she settles in to try and make her life by the ever restless sea, circumstances that have brought Iz to the town of Monument are shrouded in mystery. However, history, like the sea cannot stay silent for long. The war in Europe is over, and change is about to brush away the old order. Soaring across the decades that follow Ireland’s newly won independence, sweeping across the fierce class issues and battles over land ownership that once defined Irish society, The Sea and the Silence is an epic love story set inside the fading grandeur of the Anglo-Irish class.

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Genre –  Historical Fiction/Historical Romance

Rating – G

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Website http://petercunninghambooks.com/

The King of Sunday Morning by J.B. McCauley @MccauleyJay

The Mile End Mambo
He held him in his arms and looked into the glassy eyes. Yellow flecks dotted the cornea. This boy was dead a long time before Roger had run him through. He knew the look. Too much top shelf and not enough down time.
The body from which life dramatically seeped away began to convulse. It would not be a Hollywood death. It would be a harsh demise for this gangster. Unexpected but unavoidable. He had stepped on the wrong toes and nobody touched Roger’s patch.
The big screen had always glamorised death but there was nothing glamorous about having a gaping 12-inch gash where your stomach had once been. Roger’s white shirt was splattered with blood and sputum. He noted to himself with an air of cold detachment that he would have to dispose of it later. The boy soldier’s back arched in agony. A gurgling noise rushed from his throat and then he was gone.
Roger put his arm underneath the boy’s knees and slowly lifted him from the red morass that had filled the doorway. He cradled him in his arms and walked slowly along the pavement. A young couple averted their gaze as he struggled with the limp body. They knew not to look. This was after all the witching hour in the East End. What you don’t see, you can’t tell. He turned the corner and moved into another shop doorway. It was a Dixon’s electrical shop exalting the latest stereos and TV’s.
Roger placed the body carefully on the ground. He took one final look at what 10 minutes ago had been the epitome of arrogance, bravery and youth, then left. He walked quickly to the edge of Walters Street, turned into Burden and darted through a now deserted car park and onto Rially. He saw a red telephone box just up from Dunston Road. He opened the door and tried to ignore the stench of piss and shit. He dialled the number and waited patiently for the connection.
His rich baritone West-Indian voice caressed the receiver.
“Yeah, he’s in Dixon’s shopfront on Walters Street.” He paused, digesting the question on the other end of the line.
“Yeah he’s dead. Dead as a door nail. See you at home.”
With that, he hung up the phone and disappeared into the night. His red Rasta beanie swaying as he loped through the shadows. The victim wouldn’t be missed. Roger had nothing to fear. The status quo had been maintained and an example had been made.
Most of all, Rudi would be pleased.
King of Sunday Morning
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Thriller, Action, Suspense, Gangster, Crime, Music
Rating – PG-18
More details about the author and the book
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Saturday, December 21, 2013

#AmReading - Interrupt by Jeff Carlson @authorjcarlson

Interrupt by Jeff Carlson


In the distant past, the leader of a Neanderthal tribe confronts the end of his kind.

Today, a computational biologist, a Navy pilot, and an autistic boy are drawn together by the ancient mystery that gave rise to Homo sapiens.

Planes are falling from the sky. Global communications have ceased. America stands on the brink of war with China—but war is the least of humankind’s concerns. As solar storms destroy Earth’s electronics and plunge the world into another Ice Age, our civilization finds itself overrun by a powerful new species of man...

This brilliant thriller takes readers to an all-too-plausible tomorrow that’s as scientifically rigorous as it is wildly imaginative.

Jeff Carlson is the internationally bestselling author of Plague Year and The Frozen Sky. With Interrupt, he brings his forward-thinking fiction to a contemporary setting with this edge-of-your-seat thriller.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Becoming Human (The Exilon 5 Trilogy, Book 1) by Eliza Green @elizagreenbooks

Eliza Green

Two Worlds. Two Species. One Terrifying Secret.

In 2163, a polluted and overcrowded Earth forces humans to search for a new home. But the exoplanet they target, Exilon 5, is occupied. Having already begun a massive relocation programme, Bill Taggart is sent to monitor the Indigenes, the race that lives there. He is a man on the edge. He believes the Indigenes killed his wife, but he doesn’t know why. His surveillance focuses on the Indigene Stephen, who has risked his life to surface during the daytime.

Stephen has every reason to despise the humans and their attempts to colonise his planet. To protect his species from further harm, he must go against his very nature and become human. But one woman holds a secret that threatens Bill’s and Stephen’s plans, an untruth that could rip apart the lives of those on both worlds.

BECOMING HUMAN, part one in the Exilon 5 trilogy, is a science fiction dystopian adventure that you won’t want to put down.

˃˃˃ Thought Provoking SciFi, Dystopian Tale – Compulsion Reads

I would happily recommend this book to fans of dystopia, science fiction and conspiracy lovers. You will be in for an exciting ride.

˃˃˃ Excellent Use of ForeShadowing – Masquerade Crew

This book demonstrates why I read Indie books and have enjoyed doing so immensely. Yes, some self-published books don’t deserve to see the light of day, but this isn’t one of those. Far from it. It was exciting and it had mystery. It sets up the next book while still giving you closure in this one–a difficult task for a book in a series.

˃˃˃”Becoming Human”… a promising first book… 4 1/2 Stars – Top 1000 Amazon Reviewer

A well written and deftly told Sci-Fi tale that got better and better.

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Genre – Science Fiction

Rating – PG13

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Connect withEliza Green on FacebookTwitter

Website http://www.elizagreenbooks.com

Great White House by Christoph Paul @ChristophPaul_


Most stories should not start with “it was a dark and stormy night” but this evening in Washington, DC could be described no other way. A great storm was raging, as were key members of Congress and other important figures. The politicians waited in silence staring at a blank satellite screen for the eccentric Chinese President Xi Jinping to appear and discuss the massive debt America owed China.

The group was in the East Room of the White House above the library, where a small window reflected the faces of those who had enough ‘klout’ to sit at the round table with President Obama and Vice President Biden.

It would be any news reporter's dream to sit alongside these political heavyweights, but the “China Task Force” or C.T.F. had made this a closed conference, top-secret event. So secret, even Snowden didn’t know about it.

Even if the White House let the press in, the reporters would not have made it through the heavy downpour in Washington, DC. Visibility in the city was close to zero. Normal traffic ended hours earlier as young and old government employees hunkered down in their favorite bars to weather the storm.

Now, rain poured so hard the echoes of the downpour shot through the White House, giving attention to the awkward silence in the East Room.

As the large teleprompter screen remained blank, an animated Michele Bachmann broke the silence. “I just don’t trust these Chinese, even with their food. My husband ends up having problems with his rectal area after he eats it when I’m away. You should see the fees I pay his proctologist. Thank the good Lord we don’t have ObamaCare or he wouldn’t be able to walk.”

The other members of the C.T.F. remained silent, as most believed Mr. Bachmann to be a closeted homosexual. Being the peacemaker, President Obama wanted to avoid any divisive issues. “Yes. I understand. Chinese food, though delicious, bothers my stomach and Michelle’s as well Congresswoman Bachmann.”

Joe Biden rose from his chair and headed toward the decanter on a table at the side of the room. “Hey, Barry, I thought it was only black guys that were late, not the Chinese. Ha. That's good one.”

The oft-amused Biden smiled and gave a self-satisfactory laugh. President Obama shook his head, grateful the press wasn’t here to catch another ‘JoeGaffee.’ Biden poured himself a glass of scotch as Obama popped a piece of Nicorette in his mouth.

“Since this meeting is 'not official,' I suppose it's all right to have a drink.” Biden cheered the room. He brought another cup over to Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan and sat back down; the two had become close since their 2012 Vice Presidential debate and would drink over the ‘malarkey’ of the day.

Eric Cantor, next to his also-tanned counterpart Majority Leader Boehner, was fed up with the jokes. “In all seriousness, what the Chinese President is doing is a power move. It’s a psychological display of dominance. You can’t trust a communist.”

Senator Ted Cruz slammed his fist on the table. “Those commies will play mind games. I agree.”

Congresswoman Pelosi raised her hand. “Excuse me, but I’m more worried about this storm. We might be stuck here.” She gestured at the window. “This storm has gotten dangerous. I'm telling you, it's global warming. Only global warming could cause a downpour of this magnitude! My constituents are very worried about this issue and so am I.”

Democrat Senator Harry Reid and Socialist Bernie Sanders agreed but Congresswoman Bachmann and Congressman Tim Scott shook their heads in annoyance and said a silent prayer for the socialists in the room.

Other Republicans rolled their eyes at Pelosi’s statement. Libertarian-leaning Senator Rand Paul responded, “If global warming even exists, the market will fix it. What we need to worry about is the debt. The Chinese have every right to call this emergency meeting and to want their money.”

Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner (who was called out of retirement to help out the C.T.F.) nodded in approval of Senator Paul’s market solution.

President Obama took a deep breath and offered a fake but serene glance to acknowledge Paul's statement. He put his hand up and quieted the room. “Now, now, let's not have the global warming debate right now, folks. There is talk that the Chinese are very upset about our debt and want us to pay now, which is a surprise to us all. But that is not the only reason for this emergency meeting. The NSA has heard some terrorist chatter about an attack on Annapolis that could dismantle many of our Navy’s resources. They say the Chinese might know about it. We might be in for a long night. Look, if the storm gets worse, you can sleep here; it’s a big house. We can sell to it to the press as a political sleepover. They’ll find that cute and bipartisan.”

New York Senator Schumer rubbed his temples in frustration. “Oi vey, I don’t have my Ambien.”

Senator McCaskill gave him a nice Missouri smile.

“It’s okay, Chuck. You can have some of mine. Senator Rubio, I have some bottled water if you need it, too.”

The group laughed and Senator Rubio inwardly grimaced at the overused joke but mustered a smile that only a man running for President in 2016 could pull off.

Senator McCain put down his unfinished poker game. “You pansies and your sleeping pills. When I was in Vietnam I slept on pure steel and spider shit… President Obama, sir, I’m sick of waiting for these communists. Either you call them or I will.”

President Obama saw an annoyed crowd and felt the temperature in the room rising. On days like this he was sick of being President but he knew this was not a time for self-pity. He looked out at the storm and thought of his Kenyan father herding goats in this type of downpour. His father would not have been deterred by hardships like this. The President sighed with finality. “All right, John, enough is enough. Let’s get President Xi Jinping on screen. We’ve waited long enough.”  

Great White House NEW COVER

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Genre – Fiction, Humor

Rating – PG-13

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Nadine Ducca – Improving Your Writing Skills @NadineDucca

Improving Your Writing Skills

by Nadine Ducca

If I knew then what I know now…

Back when I was a teen, fiction writing meant mixing some words together and finito, another completed scene! Writing meant giving my imagination a free pass and seeing where it would take me (the result usually ended up drenched in purple prose). I thought that my writing would improve if I simply practiced more. I guess my logic was on the right track, but something was missing. How can you improve by yourself if you don’t have anyone to guide you? Constant practice is essential in becoming a successful author, but it’s not the only thing you should rely on. After a couple years of serious writing, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are four basic pieces of advice every aspiring author should know:

1) Read everything: Good books, bad books. If you can discern between good and bad literature, great! Don’t plagiarize other authors, but pay attention to how they show a scene, how they express the story on the page. See where and how they end their chapters. What moves you? Why? Go back and revise the scene and find the parts that especially caught your attention. What about the dialogue? And the nuances hidden in the action?

2) Study: We use textbooks when studying languages, chemistry and mathematics, so why not use textbooks to study how to write? Why not sign up for a course? If you are an aspiring author but have trouble finding where to start, enrolling in a writing course can help boost your confidence and keep you motivated—as well as guide you in the right direction! An added bonus of taking a course is that you might meet other people who share your passion, and there’s nothing better than that! You can also find oodles (don’t you just love that word?) of writing tips and information on the Internet. There are hundreds of blogs run by authors who do everything they can to help anyone with an itch for writing. The Twitter hashtag #writetip can also help you find links to interesting writing advice. If you would like some recommendations on books for honing your craft, there are several posts on my blog:

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers

Beginnings, Middles, and Ends

The Emotion Thesaurus

Characters, Emotion, and Viewpoint

Starve Better (guest review by Steven Young)

3) Share: Friends and family can feel like either a blessing or a curse. Some will indiscriminately love everything you do, while others will be critical down to the final period. Neither situation will help you grow much as an author. In my opinion, the only people who can offer you real support are those who have no direct relationship with you or the story—but a great desire to help. “Where can I find these glorious people you speak of?” you might ask. Shed your shyness and join a writing group. Critique Circle is a fabulous one (you can find me there). Put your work in front of CC’s critical eye and get ready for a whirlpool of constructive feedback. But beware! You have to be prepared to accept criticism. Not everybody is going to like what you submit, and you have to understand that. However, every critique is done with the best intentions, so don’t immediately disregard a comment because it makes you uncomfortable. If you join a writing group, you also have to be ready to give critiques. I’ve learned as much giving critiques as receiving them, which leads me to my final point.

4) Help others: Don’t keep it all for yourself! Giving back is part of the beauty of sharing your writing. Give critiques, read other authors’ work, and be kind and helpful. You won’t just be helping your peers; you’ll also grow as a writer.You wouldn’t imagine how much you can learn from critiquing other people’s work. It’s usually easier to catch mistakes in someone else’s writing. Let’s face it: you know your own story so well that you actually have greater chances of letting things slip by you. It happens to all of us: we read what we think is there—not what’s really there. By critiquing, you become more aware of possible issues that might appear in your writing. For example, as a critiquer, I’ve encountered submissions where the point of view shifts drastically mid-scene, or where the verb tenses hop back and forth between past and present. Because I’ve seen these issues in other people’s work, and because I’ve pointed them out and offered suggestions to improve them, I’ve become more aware of them, and never let them slip into my own text. The best part of this is that you help out another writer. You forge a relationship; a friendship. And that, folks, is priceless.

What do you think? What else can authors do to improve their writing? I’d love to read your suggestions!

Serving Time

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Genre –  Science Fiction/Fantasy

Rating – Adult

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Website http://nadineonwriting.blogspot.com/

Thursday, December 19, 2013

#AmReading - Poison Princess by Kresley Cole @kresleycole

Poison Princess by Kresley Cole


She could save the world—or destroy it.
Sixteen year old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life—until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, killing everyone she loves, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.
But she can’t do either alone.
With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally trust Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?
Who can Evie trust?
As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side…

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Eden Plague (Plague Wars) by David VanDyke @DVanDykeAuthor


A hard-hitting military technothriller, ON SALE for a limited time. Pick it up today before it’s back to its normal $3.98 price.

A Kindle Book Review 2013 Best Indie Award Winner semi-finalist. thekindlebookreview.net/2013-book-awards/ 

Rule #1: Try not to shoot your future wife. When special operations veteran Daniel Markis finds armed invaders in his home and it all goes sideways, he soon finds himself on the run from the shadowy Company and in possession of a genetic engineering breakthrough that might throw nations into chaos. Out of options, Daniel turns to his brothers in arms to fight back and get the answers he needs. Soon he takes possession of a secret that threatens the stability of the world, as he leads a conspiracy to change everything.

Eden Plague leads readers into the exciting and engrossing Plague Wars apocalyptic-thriller series. It borrows from the traditions of Michael Crichton, Dean Koontz, with shades of David Drake, Jerry Pournelle, S. M. Stirling, Vaughn Heppner and B.V. Larson.

Also from David VanDyke:

The Plague Wars Series:
- The Eden Plague
- Reaper’s Run
- The Demon Plagues
- The Reaper Plague
- The Orion Plague
- Cyborg Strike
- Comes the Destroyer

Stellar Conquest Series:
- Planetary Assault – contains First Conquest: Stellar Conquest Book 1
- Desolator: Book 2
- Tactics of Conquest: Book 3 (Winter 2013)

PG-13 for language, violence and adult situations (non-explicit)

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Genre – SciFi, Adventure

Rating – PG13

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Blog https://davidvandyke.wordpress.com/

#AmReading - Sanctum by Sarah Fine @finesarah

Sanctum by Sarah Fine


"My plan: Get into the city. Get Nadia. Find a way out. Simple."

A week ago, seventeen-year-old Lela Santos’s best friend, Nadia, killed herself. Today, thanks to a farewell ritual gone awry, Lela is standing in paradise, looking upon a vast gated city in the distance – hell. No one willingly walks through the Suicide Gates, into a place smothered in darkness and infested with depraved creatures. But Lela isn’t just anyone – she’s determined to save her best friend’s soul, even if it means sacrificing her eternal afterlife.

As Lela struggles to find Nadia, she’s captured by the Guards, enormous, not-quite-human creatures that patrol the dark city’s endless streets. Their all-too human leader, Malachi, is unlike them in every way except one: his deadly efficiency. When he meets Lela, Malachi forms his own plan: get her out of the city, even if it means she must leave Nadia behind. Malachi knows something Lela doesn’t – the dark city isn’t the worst place Lela could end up, and he will stop at nothing to keep her from that fate.