Jack Canon's American Destiny

Broken Pieces

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

#Excerpt from WITNESS TO MY HEART by Loni Flowers @LoniFlowers #Romance #MustRead #TBR

Choosing to dress in my own clothes for dinner, I slipped on a soft, baby blue blouse with short, capped sleeves, a pair of slim-fit, jean capris, and my brown, strappy sandals. Twisting my long dark strands into a loose knot, it felt good to wear my own clothes and I headed downstairs to the kitchen.

David, who was only slightly taller than Caroline, was physically the polar opposite of Max. Max was tall and broad with obviously well-defined muscles, and David was much thinner. Also well toned, but not as obviously as Max, David was pale with short, wavy, blonde hair. He was an absolute perfect match for Caroline. Together, David and Max sat at the dining room table, drinking their beers as I eased through the foyer.

“David, can you get this bowl down for me?” Caroline asked. He stood, without noticing me as I stopped outside the threshold to the kitchen. Max’s eyes found me instantly and he assessed me in his iron chair with one ankle crossed over the other. He changed into khakis and a navy collared shirt. It was a pleasant surprise to see him dressing up a bit for dinner. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. His pose, so casual, yet confident, was appealing in so many ways.

“Join the party,” Max finally said with a smile.

I stepped into the doorway and Caroline turned. “Oh, Abi, how are you feeling? I hope you were able to get some rest?”

“It was enough I guess,” I smiled, peering at Max, while remembering his unexpected charge into my room earlier.

“What?” Max asked. “Sorry I woke you. Next time, I’ll let the cleaners leave your clothes hanging on the front porch… including your sexy lingerie.”

Caroline and I gasped. “You went through my clothes?”

He picked up his beer with a chuckle and walked to the patio door. “Of course not, what do you think I am… a pervert?”

“Yes!” Caroline answered sarcastically.

“Well, I’m not, but I know my instincts were right,” he grinned. “Now I’m curious if it’s the black or red you prefer? I already had you pegged as a red girl, but I’m sure you have some naughty black mixed up somewhere in there too.”

My mouth gaped open, and I was unable to think of a comeback. Max stared at me, his eyes penetrating my body as if he could clearly see the black lace bra and panty set I wore beneath my clothes. I wanted to run away and change so he wouldn’t be right. And I was sure my silence and shocked expression confirmed his suspicions. David snickered, trying to snuff out a laugh as he peeked at me from behind Caroline.

“C’mon David, let’s sit outside.”

David walked past and patted me on the back. “Sorry, Abi, but if you could see your face right now…” He chuckled again and grabbed his beer from the table before opening the patio door.

Max caught my eye and winked as he followed David. That man is going to drive me nuts! I faced Caroline and she stared back with her hand on her hip.

“I can’t believe him… both of them!” she chided.

I waved the whole conversation off and walked around the bar beside her. After all the other exchanges Max and I had these last two days, this one was fairly tame, even if it pissed me off. “It doesn’t make a difference. What’s bad about the whole thing is: Max was right. I do have a lot of red… and I’m kind of wearing black right now.”

Caroline gave me the once-over and smirked. “Cotton?”


“You are a naughty girl,” she teased. “I didn’t think you had it in you.”

“Oh hush! There’s a lot about me you don’t know, my lingerie being just one of a number of choices.”

“Oh no…. let me stop you right there. I don’t need any mental pictures. How about you chop up the vegetables and just keep that dirty talk to yourself?”

I laughed. “I think I can handle that.” I had all kinds of dirty flashing through my mind lately.

Witness to my Heart

Keep a low profile. That's what Abigale Peterson was supposed to do, especially when the person she was being protected from was one of the world's worst crime lords. After seven years in the Witness Protection Program, she felt no safer now than she did when she was seventeen. Revenge was rarely forgotten when it came to a professional criminal like Zerilli.

Low profiles meant no social life and definitely no love life.

Paranoia and lies became daily habits, going against everything Abigale believed in, but they kept her safe. They kept everyone safe.

Until a house fire puts her out of that safety and into the arms of a stranger. Max Smith is sexy, smart, and has major attitude. He’s the only one who seems to get her. He calms her fears and comforts her from her nightmares. But he also sees right through her lies.

Before Abigale can stop, she’s in too deep; confiding too much and breaking the one rule she promised herself to uphold: Never fall in love.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Romance
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with Loni Flowers through Facebook & Twitter

Friday, December 26, 2014

Cheryl Rice on Writing "Where Have I Been All My Life" @RiceonLife #AmReading #Memoir #Women

What Inspired Me to Write"Where Have I Been All My Life"

One life changing event and three simultaneous inner urgings inspired me to write my book, Where Have I Been All My Life? A Journey Toward Love and Wholeness.

The life altering event was the swift, merciless death of my mother – who happened to also be my best friend – when she was an otherwise robust and healthy 68 years old and I was 45. I was completely unprepared for life without her. Her death broke me open in unprecedented, yet ultimately life-affirming, ways.

While I was mired in grief, and playing all sorts of grief games in an effort to stay connected with her, I also felt compelled to live more boldly, authentically and vibrantly than I ever had before. Even though I had always prided myself on living with intention and enjoyed setting and reaching challenging goals, there were a few dreams, like writing a book, that I had been too scared and overwhelmed to tackle. But in the wake of my mom’s death there was no time for just thinking about “tomorrow” or relegating my long buried dream to “someday.” My someday was now.

The second thing that inspired me to write my book was a deep, intrinsic desire to produce something that would outlive me. While I had two wonderful stepchildren and a puppy I treated as my baby, I hadn’t yet truly offered the world something tangible that would endure. And now I had a fierce longing to give creative birth to something that would speak for me when I was gone – something that would be part of my legacy.

The third thread of inspiration for my book came from a yearning to find and validate my own voice. Ironically, as a professional leadership and life coach I was comfortable and competent helping others, especially women, claim and cultivate their own voice yet I had been remiss in doing the same for myself. Coming from a family of writers (but never identifying as one myself), I always knew that writing was a wonderful way of clarifying and cleansing one’s thoughts, but beyond penning some bad adolescent poetry and keeping journals episodically throughout my life, I never took myself or my writing seriously. That changed once my mother died, my heart broke, and my time and need for self-inquiry and validation burst forth.

Lastly, I had a strong desire to reach out and connect with other people, women in particular, who were struggling with similar issues. Issues like self-acceptance, using longing as a substitute for loving, and overcoming the loss of a loved one. Reading books, especially stories of personal resilience written by women, had always been a comfort and balm to me. Through the brave and honest stories of other women I found strength, companionship and validation. My loneliness or isolation would lift, even for a bit, and my fortitude and hopefulness would be reignited. Also, since I adore championing women, writing a book felt like a natural and necessary vehicle to connect with them on both a deeper and broader level and to inspire those who are on a similar journey toward love and self-acceptance.

Where Have I Been All My Life

Where Have I Been All My Life? is a compelling memoir recounting one woman’s journey through grief and a profound feeling of unworthiness to wholeness and healing. It begins with the chillingly sudden death of Rice’s mother, and is followed by her foray into the center of mourning.

With wisdom, grace, and humor, Rice recounts the grief games she plays in an effort to resurrect her mother; her efforts to get her therapist, who she falls desperately in love with, to run away with her; and the transformation of her husband from fantasy man to ordinary guy to superhero. In the process, she experiences aching revelations about her family and her past—and realizes what she must leave behind, and what she can carry forward with her.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Cheryl Rice through Facebook & Twitter

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

#Excerpt from A LIFE LESS ORDINARY by Victoria Bernadine @VicBernadine #AmReading #ChickLit

Manny glanced up as her assistant energetically bounced in.
“Morning, Manny.”
“Morning, Roxie. How was your evening?”
“Great–went to that new Robert Downey Jr. movie–rrrooowwwrrrr! Phil wasn’t too impressed with my drooling though.”
Manny laughed. “I’d expect not. I guess I need to go see it then.”
“Yeah, sure. When was the last time you actually went to a movie in the theatre?”
Manny paused, considering the question then shrugged carelessly. “Can’t remember, actually.”
Roxie shook her head in exasperated fondness and sat down in front of Manny’s desk. She leaned forward and lowered her voice. “So, the new boss starts today?”
“Yep,” Manny replied absently, reviewing the e-mails in her inbox.
“Are you going to be okay with this? I mean, you–”
“Of course I’m okay with it. Steph’s a nice person, bright, energetic, competent, levelheaded, full of new ideas. She may have a bit of a learning curve ahead of her, but she’ll do just fine. She may be just what we need around here. Perk us up a bit.”
“Yeah, but you–”
Manny took her hands off the keyboard and turned to face Roxie directly. She gave her a reassuring smile and calmly held her gaze.
“I’m okay with it,” she said. “Really. I didn’t want to be the boss anyway.” She paused then continued. “Everything’s going to be fine. You’ll see. A new boss will be fun!”
Roxie grimaced cynically and Manny shook her head in mock disapproval.
“We should get to work,” she urged gently.
Roxie nodded and stood. “Yeah, that at least never changes. But Manny…”
Manny raised a quizzical eyebrow.
“It should’ve been you.”

For the last fifteen years, Rose “Manny” Mankowski has been a very good girl. She turned her back on her youthful fancies and focused on her career. But now, at the age of 45, she’s questioning her choices and feeling more and more disconnected from her own life. When she’s passed over for promotion and her much younger new boss implies Manny’s life will never change, something snaps. In the blink of an eye, she’s quit her job, sold her house and cashed in her pension, and she’s leaving town on a six month road trip.
After placing a personal ad for a travelling companion, she’s joined in her mid-life crisis by Zeke Powell, the cynical, satirical, most-read – and most controversial – blogger for the e-magazine, What Women Want. Zeke’s true goal is to expose Manny’s journey as a pitiful and desperate attempt to reclaim her lost youth – and increase his readership at the same time. Leaving it all behind for six months is just an added bonus.
Now, armed with a bagful of destinations, a fistful of maps, and an out-spoken imaginary friend named Harvey, Manny’s on a quest to rediscover herself – and taking Zeke along for the ride.
Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – ChickLit, Contemporary Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
 Connect with Victoria Bernadine on Twitter

Madi Brown on Finding the Right Book Cover Designer @Madithe1brown #AmWriting #SelfPub #ChickLit

Why Book Covers Are So Important

Unless you don't have eyes, people are visual. If there's a handsome guy sitting  across  from me during my daily commute on the train, I'm going to look. If I'm away on vacation, I'm going to appreciate the beautiful sights around me, because I know that I'm there to relax. If my mom bakes one of her yummy peach cobblers, I'm going to feast on it with my eyes first, and then I'm going to devour it. In the world of books, book covers work in the same way. There are probably millions of them out there, but most readers are only looking for one title. Just think, your book cover is going to be the very first thing that a buyer will see. If you're suddenly feeling the pressure of of just  how important a book cover really might be, then continue to read on.

“I've penned a stellar novel. People are going to love me once they read what I've written.” Plenty of authors are probably thinking the exact same thing. But how are you going to let people know about this stellar body of work that you've just created? I'll tell you how.  You're going to  have a fabulous book cover that will make your book stand out from the rest. And don’t worry, I get it. Writers aren't book designers, but here's where you bring in someone to help with bringing your vision to life. Outsourcing can be your new best friend.

How to  Find a Book Cover Designer That Fits Your Needs

I'm pretty infatuated with the book cover for my debut novel, The Truth About Emily, but it wasn't a one step process of knowing what I wanted straight away. It started with me doing research. Think about your storyline or nonfiction topic. Jot down some ideas so that you have a place of reference to pull from. Do you have a title already? Great. If you do, then keep that in mind too, because it's another source. Now go online and begin looking at other people's book covers.  Are they popular authors? Ask yourself what it is, if anything, that's drawing your eyes to it. How do you feel about the colors, the images, the font style, and the font size? Also, check out some of the books that you've previously purchased; specifically on the strength of its book cover. What caused you to click on buying it? Next up, what you want to do, is take all of that information and keep it somewhere safe. We'll come back to it.

Now you'll need to find yourself a competent book cover designer. Fiverr (an online company that will do almost any task for you for $5.00) has loads of  people on there who can assist you for a bargain, but just remember that most of those people specialize in quantity over quality. By this, I mean that you might end up with a book cover identical to someone else or it may have an appearance that looks manufactured. This isn’t to say that there aren’t  some gems on there, but you'll have to diligently seek them out.  As for myself, I chose to go with a freelancer. I was drawn to the element of selection in having access to a host of talented designers with exceptional portfolios  and being able to make a choice based on a price that I’ve set. My final winning pick was Gavin Pledger, Creative Soutions King).

By now ,you’ve found yourself a book cover designer (as far as the work contract is concerned, make sure that you add in how many times they’re willing to revise. Negotiate a flat fee). The first thing that they’ll want to know is what creative direction you’d like them to go in. This is when you whip out the notes that you’ve been compiling for your project. It’s your starting point. Don't be afraid to let them know what works for you, and what doesn’t. A really good book cover designer will be as excited as you are in getting right!


"If you LOVE New York, if you’re a name-dropping, fashion fiend careerist; fed up with serial dating, plagued with a thirst for sex, then you’ll totally stalk me for what I've penned.” - Author, Madi Brown


29-year-old Emily Greene looks the part, but she’s still working on becoming a modern-day woman. Not that she’s one to back down from a challenge, but living as an eternal work-in-progress wasn't exactly the goal that she had in mind. It’s a harsh but true realization---the idea that that time isn't on her side, and the notion that wanting to have it all, doesn't mean getting it. The verdict is in; with zero prospects for a relationship and a stalled blogging career, Emily has every reason to believe that she’s been living a life too humdrum for her own good.

Making the change won’t be easy. She’ll have to do whatever it takes; start dating like a man, become more selective about which RSVP's she accepts, and work even harder at getting her dream job.The payoff’s huge; a modern twist on a storybook ending, but gains don’t often come without risks. In the here and now Emily just may be forced to choose...It’s got to be one or the other----the profession that she’s always wanted, or the love that she’s never had.

˃˃˃ Praise for Madi Brown & 

her debut novel, The Truth About Emily

"The added depth of character promises complexity but wraps everything in the saucy cloak of Emily's evolving personality and newfound beliefs about life, love, and the real nature of happiness. And this is where The Truth About Emily outshines many competitors, making it a recommended read for those seeking more than a standard romance novel." - D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Reviews

"This book has just about anything a girl would love to read about. If there's anything Emily Greene has is ISH and lots of it, oh the ending... This book is a total keeper, just anything about fashion to relationships to friends and family." - Y. Sanchez, Goodreads

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Women's Fiction
Rating – PG18
More details about the author
Connect with Madi Brown on Facebook & Twitter

Friday, December 19, 2014

KS Ferguson Says Sub-Genres Multiply Faster Than Rabbits, Agree? #AmWriting #Fantasy #SelfPub

Do you read fantasy? Which kind? Back when I started reading fantasy—just before the invention of the printing press—fantasy was all wizards with staffs and cloaks, kids with magical objects that allowed them to fly to the moon, or crazy professors making trips to the center of the Earth. I don't recall there being separate sub-genres. If there were, the librarian didn't tell me about them.

Now days, sub-genres seem to multiply faster than rabbits. You've got your epic fantasy, your sword-and-sorcery fantasy, steam-punk, dark, superheroes, and urban, just to mention a few.

I just have to ask—why urban? I mean, isn't that a tad discriminatory? Is an urban setting somehow superior to a suburban setting? No witchcraft going on behind those perfectly trimmed hedges? No summoning of demons from the sinkhole that's just opened in the back yard?

Don't get me started on rural settings! No one thinks it would be amusing if the shape-shifter hero morphed into a dairy cow to blend into the herd or gored the baddie to death? No possessed pocket gophers taking over the town? If pocket gophers aren't a creation of the Devil, I don't know what is!

When I wrote Touching Madness and published it, retail sites insisted I classify it according to their prescribed list of genres. Because it involves traveling to alternate realities, it might fit the fantasy alternate histories category. But it's not about a single alternate reality.

Touching Madness isn't epic, sword-and-sorcery, or steampunk. It's sort of urban fantasy. But it isn't strictly confined to an urban environment. While River spends most of the book in Centerville, Kansas, important chapters see him in a Raptor military camp, snowy winter woods, and an underground compound of unknown origins.

So in keeping with current trends, I'm proposing a new category: contemporary, alternate-dimension-hopping-magic-advanced-technology-and-demons fantasy. What do you think? Will it catch on at Amazon?

Touching Madness

Light bulbs talk to River Madden; God doesn't. When the homeless schizophrenic unintentionally fractures a dimensional barrier and accidentally steals a gym bag containing a million dollars, everyone from the multiverse police to the local crime boss—and an eight-foot tall demon—are after him. Can he dodge them long enough to correct his mistakes and prevent the destruction of three separate dimensions? If he succeeds, will the light bulbs stop singing off-key?

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary, Urban fantasy
Rating – R
More details about the author

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hank Quense Shares Key Writing Tips to Create Believable Characters @Hanque99 #SciFi #WriteTip

To make a believable character, you have to develop the character in four separate areas: physical (outer) attributes, mental (inner) attributes, a biography and a dominant reader emotion.

Physical attributes:  

These attributes are the obvious ones. They tell the reader what the character looks like. Many beginning or inexperienced fiction writers stop the character development at this point. What they have created is a cardboard cutout of a real character. No reader wants to spend time with characters like this because they aren’t human. In fact, these attributes are the least important of the four areas. I’ve written and had published short stories in which I never described the characters. I left that job to the reader’s imagination. The only important attribute here is dialog; how does the character speak?. Does the character talk like a banker or a thug? Does the character’s dialog use gonna, inna and other words of this ilk? It’s important to differentiate the characters through their dialog. If every character sounds the same as all the other character, it won’t be an interesting story.

Mental attributes:  

These attributes are much more important than the physical ones. These are what turn the cardboard character into a “human.” These are the attributes you have to assign to your character. Every one has a personal philosophy and your character needs one also. Is the character an optimist? A pessimist? Is she an individualist or a pragmatist? Once you assign a philosophy, the character has to act in that fashion. You can’t have a optimist acting like a pessimist. If you do, the reader will call you out on it. Other important traits include the character’s personality. Is he charming, despotic, murderous, friendly? And don’t forget to give the character a few quirks. Does he avoid making eye contact with others? Does he overeat? How about picking at her finger nails, or her nail polish?

All this attributes are essential to defining a well-rounded character.


Most new writers don’t understand the need for a character bio. After all, most of the material will never make it into the story, so why bother. Writing a bio allows the writer to understand the character and learn what makes him tick. If you don’t have a bio, you don’t know how the character will react in different situations. Suppose you didn’t wrote a bio and someone walks up to your character and punches him in the mouth. How doe he react? Does you character punch back? Turn around and walk away? You don’t know what the character will do, because you don’t understand the character. What if a beautiful woman grabs him and kisses him. Does you character turn red and develop a stammer? Does he ask for her phone number? Does he kiss her back? Without a bio, you’re guessing what the character will do. Guess will ensure the character inconsistency.

Dominant reader emotion: 

This attribute isn’t discussed much in fiction writing books. It’s the emotion you want the reader to experience when the character is in a scene. All the main characters need one or more of this attribute. Typical reader emotions are: sympathy, annoyance, pity, amusement, empathy and affection. Don’t give the story’s hero a dominant reader emotion like annoyance or hatred. These are reserved for the bad guy in the story.

Moxie's Problem

Do you enjoy untypical coming-of-age stories? Well, you won’t find one more untypical that Moxie’s Problem. Moxie is an obnoxious, teen-age princess who has never been outsider her father’s castle. Until now. The real world is quite different and she struggles to come to grips with reality. The story take space against a backdrop of Camelot. But it isn’t the Camelot of legends. It’s Camelot in a parallel universe. So, all bets are off!

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Fantasy, Sci-fi
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with Hank Quense through Facebook & Twitter

Friday, December 5, 2014

S.A. Snow on Procrastination - The Jaws That Bite, The Claws That Catch @BooksbySnow #Scifi

Beware the Procrastination Demons

Have you ever heard that poem the Jabberwocky? It’s one of my favorites. I even wrote a short story around it once, to an extent. “Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws the bite, the claws that catch!”

The Jabberwock is procrastination.

I honestly do not believe in writer’s block. I simply think it’s a form of procrastination and people just don’t know to get around it. They become so good at it that they can’t figure out which way to even start. Well, the news flash is in!

Put your fingers on the keyboard, pick up that pen and just start going! You can’t edit a blank page, you can’t share a story that hasn’t been written. Procrastination is that little voice in your head telling you that you can’t do it, and the fact of the matter is, you are the only person in the way of yourself.

Stop putting the blame on someone else, stop finding excuses (there’s a saying I’m going to share...excuses are like armpits; everyone has two and they both stink!), and get your butt in gear and write that story! It’s important. It matters! It’ll make you feel good!

Everyone struggles with procrastination. Know you are NOT alone. I have issues with it, and so does the next person. The trick to avoiding it is finding out how to motivate yourself. Sometimes I use websites like Write or Die by Dr Wicked in order to motivate me (and yes, I use the Kamikaze level where it deletes your writing if you don’t write fast enough), I use accountability partners, friends who are allowed to yell at me, and sometimes it’s as simple as just scheduling the time to write at the same place/same time during the day every day.

Find what works for you. And sometimes, when the Jabberwock is really after you, you might need to try something new. Sit in the bathtub with pillows and lock the door. Go outside to the park and only bring a notebook, pen and the last two lines you have written. Go to Starbucks with a writer friend, put in headphones and stare at the computer vowing not to talk to your friend. Hide under the covers on your bed with the laptop on your lap and type away. Take your laptop to your car, park in a lot where there is no wifi and pretend you ran out of gas and are waiting on AAA to come to your rescue in their big white truck.

Be creative in your ways to avoid procrastination, and you’ll find your creativity won’t stop flowing. You’ll have slain the Jabberwock with the very bite and catch it dealt you.


Jane expected six months undercover to be hard; she expected it to be lonely and bleak. She didn’t expect to find love. 

Jane Butler, a CIA operative, is assigned the task of infiltrating the Xanthians and determining if they’re a threat to humanity. Going undercover as a Xanthian mate, she boards the transport ship and meets Usnavi—her new mate. After spending six days traveling through space, Jane is ecstatic to explore the Xanthian station and soon sets out to complete her mission. The only problem? Usnavi—and the feelings she is quickly developing. 

Fumbling their way through varying sexual expectations, cooking catastrophes, and cultural differences, they soon discover life together is never boring. As Jane and Usnavi careen into a relationship neither of them expected, Jane uncovers dark secrets about the Xanthians and realizes she may no longer be safe. When it becomes clear she’s on her own, Jane is forced to trust and rely on Usnavi. Simultaneously struggling with her mission, her feelings for Usnavi, and homesickness, Jane faces questions she never imagined she would have to answer.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Blended Science Fiction, Erotica
Rating – NC17
More details about the author
Connect with S. A. Snow on Facebook

Friday, November 28, 2014

Margaret Westlie Shares an #Excerpt from Anna's Secret @MargaretWestlie #HistFic #Mystery #TBR

Ian surveyed the expanse of red fields linked one to the other by the rail fences and the wild blueberry bushes, remembering that day, and Anna’s sturdy figure hurrying away over the crest of the hill, her auburn hair in its neat bun, shining in the sunlight, her back straight in its grey drugget dress.
He strode on. The night air against his skin was as warm as milk. He thought again of the tiny daughter lying beside Anna in the churchyard. We should have had another, and another after that.
He had said as much to her after she had recovered from their daughter’s birth, but she had only smiled at him and nodded. She never conceived again, he thought. …
Old Annie had attended Belle’s delivery, but there was not much she could do except give her wormwood against the pain. The baby was turned, she said. She had tried to turn it but Belle had only screamed in pain and had begged her to stop. Belle had laboured for a day and half and finally died from exhaustion. “The baby was likely dead long before that for the same reason,” said Old Annie.
Old Annie knew things. She had the second sight. She also knew about plants and seeds and weeds. She attended Donald’s birth too, Ian remembered, and the birth of the nameless little one. Anna seemed to take great comfort in Old Annie’s presence after that. She spent many hours visiting her. At least that’s where I thought she was, he thought. They say Old Annie knew how to help a woman get with child. I wonder if she knew how to prevent it too? He shivered at the idea. Would Anna have done such a thing? Old Annie’s senile now so I guess I’ll never know.
His thoughts took him past Murdoch’s ruined house, doorless now in the bright moonlight. Old Annie was right about this, too. Murdoch’s door was smeared with blood, the blood of the just. My Anna’s blood. Though I don’t know anymore how just she was. Oh, Anna.
He followed the path that took him across the field to where Anna had lain so few weeks ago. The little pillow of straw, still dark with her blood, lay a few feet into the field, Ian stopped and stared at it. This is all that’s left of her, he thought. Rage filled him. Why, Anna? He kicked the straw pillow to bits and began to run, a great lumbering run. It felt good to run again. The soft wind blew past his face and whistled across his ears.
Suddenly he was in James’ dooryard. The house was dark and silent now, the windows jagged where Donald had broken them. The rage, which had abated somewhat in his run, returned to a hot boiling fury. “I will burn this house of sin!” he shouted, and ran to the barn to gather some straw. He returned in a few moments with a great armful and stuffed it through the gaping windows, then went back for another. Armload after armload of straw he carried and stuffed through the windows, far more than he needed to start a fire.
“My father helped build this house,” he raged, “and I will destroy it!” He stood and surveyed the dark silent house before lighting the match that would burn it to ashes. His father’s face seemed to hang in the air before his own, its expression sorrowful. He remembered that expression from his childhood, and hesitated before striking the match. The rage drained away. “Oh, Poppa, what am I to do?” He fell to his knees and wailed like a tiny child, the tears finally coming, awkward, hot and wrenching. He buried his face in his hands and wept, the tears dripping between his work-roughened hands onto his grey homespun shirt. At last, his sorrow and his anger spent, he rose and stumbled away across the moonlit fields to his own place, the match still clutched in his fingers.

Anna Gillis, the midwife and neighbour in Mattie’s Story, has been found killed. The close-knit community is deeply shaken by this eruption of violence, and neighbours come together to help one another and to discover the perpetrator. But the answer lies Anna’s secret, long guarded by Old Annie, the last of the original Selkirk Settlers, and the protagonist of An Irregular Marriage. Join the community! Read Anna’s Secret and other novels by Margaret A. Westlie.
Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Fiction, mystery, historical
Rating – G
More details about the author
 Connect with Margaret Westlie on Facebook & Twitter

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Mikey D.B. on the Musical Inspiration that Led to His Book @mikeydbii #MustRead #TBR #Dystopian

What inspired me to write my book?

This is War by 30 Seconds to Mars.  I got that album for Christmas in 2009, and the second I heard the first song, Escape, my mind went crazy.  Youtube it!  It’s the only way to properly visualize what I’m about to tell you.  

As that first song played, I imagined a man, tortured and beaten, sitting in a chair in the middle of an abandoned football stadium.  The war drums built and built and as they did, another man, a rebel, stepped into the scene and began to circle the one in the chair.  As the lyrics then played, I pictured that it’s what the rebel would be saying to the man in the chair.

Time to escape the clutches of a name,
No this is not a game,
It’s just the beginning.

I don’t believe in fate but the bottom line,
It’s time to pay,
You know you’ve got it coming.

The way Jared Leto says these words, it’s as if he’s seeking revenge for the destitute and war torn lifestyle the man in the chair caused.  Just then, he and a crowd of people shouts:

This is war!

I was listening to that song on a major sound system, taking in the details of all the instruments and voices, and when this declaration of war sounded out, the bass shook and goose bumps shot all up and down my arms.  The rest is history really.  I wanted to write about a revolution, and that album became a major player in my writing process.  I did end up getting stuck at one point.  The plot became a poor version of The Hunger Games that had a lot to do with some drama I was dealing with in the dating world.  That whole sad realization put the project on hold and I started a second one that ended up becoming the missing half to Area 38. 

I do have to say, that the ending though, it was my favorite part to write and is my favorite part to ask people about.  I came up with it while sitting on my bed.  No music this time, just was pondering and it came.  I won’t give any spoilers, but it leaves the reader asking “How--what just happened?”  It makes them mad because it seems so contradicting to the nature of a character, but that’s what I love about it.  

This book, Saga of the Nine: Area 38 leaves the reader asking these questions, and more, in utter confusion, while the rest of the three books in the saga are meant to answer those concerns.  The ending seems random to some, but that’s only because the reader is missing a huge middle chunk.  They’ve read ABC and then X.  They don’t know the rest of the alphabet, and that’s where books two, three and four come in.
Saga of the Nine

Change affects everyone and it is no different for Jackson. Living in Area 38 for as long as he can remember, he knows of no better way to exist than under the tyrannical rule of Christopher Stone, son of Stewart Stone from The Nine of The United Governmental Areas, aka The UGA. This all takes a dramatic turn when Jackson finds a red, metal box buried in his yard, filled with illegal artifacts—journals, a Bible, CDs, etc.—that are from a man of whom he has no recollection of: Mica Rouge.

 The year is 2036 and Mica, unlike Jackson, does know of a better way of life but is torn apart as he sees his country, The United States of America, crumbling from within by group known as The Political Mafia. The Mafia has infiltrated levels upon levels of governmental resources and it is up to Mica and a vigilante group known as The USA Division to stop them and their dark Utopian vision. To their demise, and at the country's expense, The Division fails and has no choice but to watch The Constitution dissolve and transform into The UGA.

In a final stand, having not given up hope, Mica and what is left of The Division, give one final fight in Colorado, or better known as Area 38. However, all is lost as The Division is betrayed by one of their own, Stewart Stone. Mica is left with no choice but to hide in exile, leaving what little history he can of himself and the great United States of America, with his wife, long time friends, and newly born son in hopes that they will one day finish what he could not.

Jackson, having found this legacy twenty-seven years later, decides to start the war that will end The Nine, and he with an outcast group known as The Raiders, begins his fight with Christopher Stone in Area 38. Filled with betrayal, unity, despair, hope, hate and love Area 38 follows both Mica and Jackson in their attempts to restore what they believe to be true freedom, and where one fails, the other rises to the seemingly impossible challenge.

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Genre – Dystopian Thriller
Rating – PG13
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Website www.mikeydb.com

Saturday, November 22, 2014

ENEMY OF MAN (Chronicles of Kin Roland) #Excerpt by @ScottMoonWriter #Goodreads #SciFi

Excerpt from Enemy of Man, Chapter One 

Earth Fleet assaults the lost planet .... 

….He knew she kept them all alive. She was a force of nature. He needed to meet a nice girl, someone like Becca.
The wormhole convulsed. Kin let go of the rail and stood straight. His hand went to the pistol hanging on his leg. Objects burst from the hazy opening high in the atmosphere. Most ships that crashed on this huge planet came alone—pioneers, explorers, or pilgrims fleeing persecution. Meteors were more common, but during the last three days, a variety of space junk and wreckage had splashed into the ocean and smashed against the mountains east of Crater Town. Somewhere in the universe, an epic battle raged and the debris drifted through the wormhole.
Pacing, Kin watched the sky until the wormhole began to puke earnestly. Small pops sounded in the distance, but he suspected they were explosive thunderclaps.
Objects burst into the air close together, sounding like the chatter of machine gun fire. Pop-pop-pop. Pop-pop. Pop-pop-pop-pop-pop.
That’s a planetary assault force.
Each cluster of fast-moving smoke trails were troopers in Fleet Single Person Assault Armor units. He had worn an FSPAA unit during his enlistment and recognized the formation. Several larger objects followed, flanked by more troopers in airborne assault mode.
Laura emerged from the doorway, paused to stare at the sky, and hastily buttoned up her shirt. “I’m going to the meeting hall.”
“Go to a bunker,” Kin said, but she was already running.
“Damn!” Kin estimated a division of Fleet troopers were plummeting toward Crater Town. He jumped off the side of the deck and ran to the lighthouse, sprinting up the spiral staircase. When he reached the top, he doused the light and picked up a horn.
A large ship emerged from the mouth of the wormhole, bow elevated twenty degrees too high and drifting sideways. The ship was still under power, laboriously righting itself as the atmosphere burned it. Kin watched pieces break off. He didn’t recognize the ship’s class or if it were built for entry into the atmosphere, but it was shaped like a Fleet vessel.
An armada of broken ships, huge things never meant to enter the atmosphere even if in one piece, were the last through. Kin sounded the alarm. Horns answered from every corner of Crater Town. Men, women, and children rushed from their homes with survival kits. He saw many running to the well to form a bucket line and parents rushing their children to crude fallout bunkers.
Two companies of assault troopers splashed into the water off shore. Two additional companies veered right while another two veered left of Crater Town as flanking elements. Four came straight at him. The command ship and heavy vehicles—Tanks, Strykers, and reconnaissance vehicles—fought for altitude. They soared over the town, landing near the Goliath half buried in the sand between the coast and mountains.
Kin picked up binoculars from the railing and tracked the progress of each assault force and the efforts of Crater Town’s people. About the time young men surrendered to Fleet troopers in seven-foot-tall armor, the space debris hit. The noise of the plummeting ship parts had been minimal from a distance, but as they neared, they ripped through the air, vibrating the tower where Kin stood. Troopers and townspeople ran for shelters, threw themselves on the ground, or gaped at the destruction. Earth exploded. Water erupted into steaming clouds of death. Fires rampaged like demons.
Kin risked a final glance toward the wormhole before descending the tower.
That’s not a Fleet ship.
He jerked the binoculars up.
No military emblems. No weapons. And it’s shaped like a blockade runner.
He watched the small craft drift away from the others, seeming to sneak free of the chaos. Kin didn’t like the feeling in his gut. Dread hollowed him out. He thought of Reapers and stolen technology.
The faster Fleet vessels and plummeting debris posed the immediate threat. Kin knew it. He needed to ignore the small civilian ship, but understood Reapers hijacked anything that would take them from their home world. The creatures didn’t build ships and were notoriously bad pilots, but when they left Hellsbreach, they were on a mission of murder.
Kin forced his gaze toward the ships and troops already on the ground.
Don’t think of Reapers. Don’t think of Hellsbreach. Captivity. Death. I should have died. Kin steadied his breathing, unsure if it calmed him or merely suffocated his panic. Should have killed them all.
Sweat beaded on his forehead. He waited for Fleet ships to spot the stranger and destroy it, but nothing happened. The craft disappeared beyond the mountain pass. He wanted to go after it, but Crater Town took priority.
He left the tower and ran down the unpaved street twisting around ramshackle huts near the bay. Laura hurried from a building up the street, wearing a firefighting coat. She paused to tie up her hair, then pulled on heavy gloves. People carrying tools rushed from their shelters to follow her. She accosted a group of men held at gunpoint by Fleet troopers and ordered them to follow her.
The squad leader pointed at Laura and gave an order. Get back. This is Fleet business.
Laura elevated her chin and put both hands on her hips. She said something. I’m sleeping with Kin Roland, a murdering deserter and traitor to the Fleet. He’ll cut your balls off if I even nod your direction. Fleet business my ass. This is my business. These are my people. Kindly mind your manners, you faceless killer.
The Fleet trooper spread his hands in frustration and surprise. He yelled and thrust his gauntleted finger near her face. Listen you stupid bitch. You’re lucky I don’t blow your head off.
Kin couldn’t hear the conversation, but he could imagine it. He wasn’t surprised when the troopers released the people of Crater Town to Laura. The guards followed, seeming a bit dazed.
What the fuck just happen?
Don’t ask me. You’re the squad leader. Take charge.
I’ll take charge of your face with my boot. Stay sharp. Watch the work crew. I’ll watch the councilwoman.
Kin ran up the steep hill, knowing planetary assault forces demanded immediate compliance when they made planetfall. They were paid to shoot people. He feared Laura would push too hard. Inflexible and harsh standard operating procedures placed the interests of the Fleet before the welfare of local populations. He needed to warn her about what happened when people resisted. She won this scrimmage and freed her work crew, but needed to consider a softer touch when dealing with officers.
Then he realized she had a trump card. He believed he knew Laura. He believed she had been toying with him when she said she would expose him to the Fleet. Being wrong would cost him his life.
“You there, halt and identify,” a Fleet trooper shouted. His amplified voice echoed from the helmet speaker. He held a rifle and a plasma thrower, each connected to the armor by woven metal tubes. Kin ignored the trooper, who moved forward, weapons ready.
He slipped around the corner and ducked through a cloud of smoke, then circled the area until he was behind the trooper who continued in the wrong direction.
“Identify yourself,” Kin said, under his breath.

Lost Hero

Changed by captivity and torture, hunted by the Reapers of Hellsbreach and wanted by Earth Fleet, Kin Roland hides on a lost planet near an unstable wormhole.

When a distant space battle propels a ravaged Earth Fleet Armada through the same wormhole, a Reaper follows, hunting for the man who burned his home world. Kin fights to save a mysterious native of Crashdown from the Reaper and learns there are worse things in the galaxy than the nightmare hunting him. The end is coming and he is about to pay for a sin that will change the galaxy forever. 


Enemy of Man: Book One in the Chronicles of Kin Roland was written for fans of military science fiction and science fiction adventure. Readers who enjoyed Starship Troopers or Space Marines will appreciate this genre variation. Powered armor only gets a soldier so far. Battlefield experience, guts, and loyal friends make Armageddon fun. 


If you love movies like Aliens, Predator, The Chronicles of Riddick, or Serenity, then you might find the heroes and creatures in Enemy of Man dangerous, determined, and ready to risk it all. It’s all about action and suspense, with a dash of romance—or perhaps flash romance. 

From the Author

Thanks for your interest in my novel, Enemy of Man. I hope you chose to read the book and enjoy every page. 

If you have already read Enemy of Man, how was it? Reviews are appreciated! 

Have a great day and be safe.
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Genre – Science Fiction
Rating – R
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