Jack Canon's American Destiny

Broken Pieces

Friday, January 31, 2014

The Soul of the World (Legends of Amun Ra #2) by Joshua Silverman @jg_silverman

*   *   *

Kem dives to the ground in desperation, covering his head and neck from the rocks raining down. I didn’t see that coming. I thought I was quiet, he thinks.

The announcement of Cadmus’ elimination booms over the intercom. Well, at least I don’t have to worry about a vengeful brother.

The dust and debris settle from the crumbled wall. Find Kesi. Kem trots towards the end of the path. Before he gets there, he sees a shadow along the wall.

Dio turns the corner and spots him. She’s already throwing blue spheres before he knows what happened.

Kem hits the floor hard, dodging the first two. Dio hurls more at him.

His heart beats like a jackhammer in his chest. He is covered in dirt and sand. Kem swerves left, then right, ducking from a shot aimed at his head. He looks back at Dio, who walks with determination, shooting at him. Will she not let up a little? Got to slow her down.


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Genre – Science fiction, Fantasy

Rating – PG-13+

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Connect with Joshua Silverman on Facebook & Twitter

Website www.legendsofamunra.com; www.joshuagsilverman.com

H. Peter Alesso – Lessons Learned

Thank you for allowing me to discuss some of my ideas about writing my book, Midshipman Henry Gallant In Space.

I’ve learned some interesting lessons through writing a novel.

My favorite scifi author is Robert Heinlein. He was able to span the emotional range from rage to laughter in developing his characters. He used humor and romance as intrinsic elements of the human spirit. Each displays a vital aspect of a character in a story. The problem is that both humor and romance are difficult to include in a complex story because they require significant personality development to express and that may distract from the central arc of the story. A strong writer should be able to engage both of these essential human characteristic within the context of his main story line.

I think finding an author you admire and would like to emulate, provides the stimulus to develop your own writing style as an author. By examining just what it is that you find so compelling about that author gives you a start to developing your own skills. It may be that you can develop similar abilities with practice. Always remember that whatever criticism you get, that any feedback, complimentary, or critical, can be useful in learning more your ability to improve your skill.

I approach writing science fiction based upon using actual scientific principles. I researched the technology included for my story and tried to project the technology’s development path into the next century. Genetic engineering is current an important topic in our society and humanity faced difficult choices as it develops over the course of the next century. In Midshipman Henry Gallant, genetic engineering plays an influential role in the background, but it is cast against another important innovation that also may prove a future threat: Artificial Intelligence.

I find that there is beauty in expressing your thoughts. So find your words, tell your story.

In Midshipman Henry Gallant, I present a young man’s heroic epic journey. He doesn’t travel it along however; he has friends, mentors, rivals, and enemies, and one more essential element, romance. I hope you enjoy this story.


H. Peter Alesso



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Genre – Science Fiction

Rating – G

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Connect with H. Peter Alesso on Facebook

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

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

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Strange Year of Vanessa M. by Filipa Fonseca Silva #ReviewShare #Women @poshpipa

The Strange Year of Vanessa M.The Strange Year of Vanessa M. by Filipa Fonseca Silva
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The theme is well thought out, draws interest and is consistent from start to finish of the novel. The idea by itself is not fantastically original. A woman who thinks she has it all embarks on a journey to discover her true self.

Many a book and movie have already covered a similar idea. What makes this book stand out is the writing style of the author, Filipa. The tone of the characters are almost whimsical and sometimes akin to a giggling schoolgirl. Then there are the serious moments which capture your heart and allow you to relive events in your personal life.

Filipa tells a perfect story with imperfect characters in the most unlikely of situations. Her character development is flawless and she reaches out to her audience in a way some writers find it difficult - with firm gentleness.

This is definitely a book I will recommend to anyone who is looking for a fictional character he or she can relate to. The Strange Year of Vanessa M isn't so strange after all as many readers will find that they are looking into a mirror.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.

View all my reviews

Carla Woody's #WriteTip to Make Journaling Your Writing Ally @carlawoody1 #amreading #amwriting

Seven Tips to Make Journaling Your Writing Ally
By: Carla Woody
Once you consider a writing project, you embark on a journey of sorts. This is particularly true if the idea won’t leave you alone, and you’re compelled to pursue it. You become involved in a process, not unlike the
Hero’s Journey that mythologist Joseph Campbell documented in his many books.
For most of us, it takes courage to face the blank page to even get started. Then there’s writer’s block which can raise its ugly head…and…ugh…the rewrite and editing. In those times, don’t you wonder why you ever considered writing to begin with?
What I’ve found over the years is that journaling can be your ally and get you through—if you really use it that way. Here are tips on seven areas that are rich to dig into. By focusing on them, you’ll not only gain increased understanding of yourself but added material for your writing—and inspiration.
1. Thoughts and feelings. A lot of authors would say that writing is a form of therapy. Depending on your subject matter, it can reignite hopes, bring up unresolved personal areas, create nostalgia or instill dreams. You may find yourself having old or new thoughts and feelings in the process. By journaling about what comes up, you can create: greater mental clarity, direction and stress release.
2. Resistance. If you find yourself dragging your feet on getting started, staying with it or even a particular character’s voice, look deeper. Is it something to do with an old personal pattern? Is your heart in the subject matter? Find out if it’s an authentic area of discomfort or how you get in your own way. Undoubtedly it’s emerged for a reason: resolution.
3. Creativity. New ideas and possibilities will crowd your mind as you leave an opening for them to emerge. Document and explore them. As you continue the process you can discover which ones are a right fit.
4. Dreams. By undertaking the writing journey, you’ve given a signal to your mind. You may dream vividly—and remember your dreams even if that’s normally not the case. You may find yourself working through personal things or storylines during sleeping hours. It’s particularly important to record your dreams at such times. Don’t think you’ll remember them. You won’t. They’re elusive. I’d encourage you to take the content of your dreams not so much literally as metaphorically. Look for symbolism. What could something represent? Then explore those elements.
5. Synchronicities. For me, when I’m immersed in a creative venture, it’s like living in some altered plane. Many folks report it that way. You may begin to notice great and small coincidences, more frequently, in your life. These aren’t coincidences at all, but a phenomenon called
synchronicity. Carl Jung first introduced the occurrences as simultaneous, unrelated happenings that aren’t so much grouped by cause but by the meaning they produce. Some may offer real guidance. Be alert! Journaling about them will help you notice.
6. Overall differences. Real transformation takes place at an unconscious level. When change occurs at that level, it lasts. There’s nothing you have to remind yourself to do or say, it just becomes part of who you are. It’s often a challenge to recognize the change going on inside because it seems so natural and can be subtle. In your journal, note what you find different in your life. Use the differences as markers of your progress, telling you where you’ve been and where you may yet want to go.
7. Acknowledgement. It is so important to acknowledge yourself at each step of the way. When any significant part of your project is complete…celebrate! How does it make you feel? What are your thoughts about having taken this journey? Don’t scrimp on this important part. It will provide inspiration for the next trip.
Of course, you can use what I’ve written here as guidelines for any aspect of your life, not just writing. I’ve adapted the content of this post from my mentoring program
Navigating Your Lifepath, which guides folks on how to live through their deeply held values—and thrive.
What is your experience with journaling? I’d love to see your comments below.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Nonfiction, Spirituality
Rating – PG
More details about the author and the book
Connect with Carla Woody on Facebook and Twitter

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

#Author Tami Urbanek On What Inspired Her To #Write Her #Book @tamiurbanek

What Inspired Me to Write My Book
My book is a memoir and I never really thought I would write my story. It especially was not on my mind when I was experiencing the pain of my first marriage and then later my daughter’s adolescence! During that distressing period, all I was trying to do was survive.
As I began making my way out of my hurt and fear and I was seeing results in my own healing process, a few friends wanted to know how I did it: How I helped my daughter start moving past her anger at her father and to begin embracing her life. I had to think what did I do to start that process?
My change was my inspiration. If I could move past my own fear and help my daughter heal her male abandonment issues-her anger at her biological father and embrace her son, then I could write a book showing those steps. My difficulty became in how do I share my story?
I was able to quickly write out my abusive year-long first marriage that occurred at age eighteen, my experience as a financially struggling single mother, my second husband who became my rock, my advancement in education and becoming an award winning teacher, changing professions to medium/clairvoyant work, my daughter’s painful adolescence, and her son who came into our lives. That was easy. What wasn’t easy was refining it, fine-tuning it, making it GOOD! No, not good. Excellent! I needed help, so I sought out an editor.
My editor made me dig into my own emotions to pry out those painful years as a teenage bride in an abusive marriage. She made me dig into the fear and frustration around my own teenage daughter’s choices that mimicked mine from years before. I had to recall old memories and feelings and be able to translate that on paper for anyone to feel and understand too.
As the editing process took on a life of its own, my book did so too. I felt inspired to share about why bonding with our children is of the utmost importance as a parent. I wanted to share with the world how important our children are and how much love can be passed between parent and child. My daughter’s growth and my grandson became my inspiration.
Broke, with a month-old baby, nineteen-year old Tami Urbanek walks away from an abusive marriage only to find herself wallowing in anxiety and confusion, wondering how she will survive. At the time, she had no idea that the journey in front of her would guide her so far away from fear of financial survival and instead would push her into the realm of healing and spirituality. 
As the daughter of internationally renowned medium, Hossca Harrison, Tami seeks the assistance of her loving parents and a spiritual teacher named Jonah. With their help, she begins to understand herself and her daughter, whose adolescent path of destruction threatens to tear apart their relationship. As Tami's own clairvoyant abilities surface, she is challenged with the task of helping not just her daughter, but the child that her sixteen-year old daughter is carrying: a child whose painful past life still haunts him and which must be resolved before his birth. Told with humor, insight and honesty, Tami's story challenges readers' minds as it touches their hearts, and when the last page is turned, it is a story not easily forgotten.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Memoir
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Tami Urbanek on Facebook & Twitter

#Free #AmReading - Defying Age with Food by Freda Mooncotch @Kindleexpert

Reclaim Your Health, Energy & Vitality! 
It's What You Eat, Not How Much You Exercise 

In a society that spends billions of dollars annually in seeking better health and appearance through pills, powders, drinks, hormones, exercise obsession, gym memberships, and medical drugs, Freda Mooncotch is making a very bold proclamation with the title of her new book Defying Age With Food: Reclaim Your Health, Energy & Vitality. It’s What You Eat, Not How Much You Exercise! Can we really defy the aging process with what most of us take for granted each day — our food? Freda says we most certainly can in fact dramatically slow our inevitable passage of life while attaining superior health and vitality.

The pages of her new release are not filled with theories, conjecture or speculations; they tell the riveting tale of a woman’s plight to regain her health. In describing her story, Freda literally runs the gauntlet of healing protocols from both the orthodox medical and alternative health fields. What the author accomplished in her success not only gave back her health and beauty, but fired a few heavy artillery rounds across the bows of a good number of our “sacred cows” such as excessive exercise, fad dieting, mega-dosing on supplements, and a pharmaceutical drug reliance that has forged the industrialized world.

This is a must read for anyone wishing to seriously upgrade their nutritional knowledge.

Media celebrity, Kathy Hart said:
“What an eye-opener! I learned more about the effects of food on our body from Freda and her book, Defying Age, than I’ve learned in months of interviewing health experts! Her passion, knowledge and energy are a true inspiration … and those pictures of her in the book are absolute proof of how the right diet can give you a rockin’ body”.

Randy Roach of Muscle, Smoke & Mirrors wrote:
“This is a story of tenacity where a strong determination saw Freda through a fight to reclaim a healthy mind and body while ridding herself of a number of addictions plaguing so much of our society.”

Along with her amazing story and nutritional revelations and tastefully done photos of Freda, this resourceful book also contains recipes that she promises will nourish one back to health, strength, and vitality.

Defying Age with Food by Freda Mooncotch
Rating – PG
Genre – Non-Fiction
4.7 (25 reviews)
Free until 28 January 2014

Beyond Neanderthal by Brian Bloom @BrianB_Aust

From Chapter 12 – Visit to a Blue Amber Mine

As Tara alighted from the vehicle, she found herself facing a ghostly white haze of wispy, low-lying clouds that hung as if suspended in time above the undulating hilltops. The peaks rose from the variegated emerald and olive valley below and stretched into the distance amid a virginal mixture of lush equatorial undergrowth. She drew a deep, involuntary breath.

‘Wow!’ There were no other words to describe the feeling of awe-inspired privilege that washed over her. The vista was about as far removed from Central Park as a New York city skyscraper was from the little pastel coloured huts lining the Carretera Turística.

Aurelio smiled. Intuitively, he seemed to understand that the most appropriate response to this magnificent sight was silence. It was a full two minutes before Tara gathered her thoughts.

‘Let’s get going,’ she said.

They made their way carefully—gingerly climbing over dead logs, negotiating their way around rocky outcrops, and grabbing onto available plant life to steady themselves as they walked and stumbled their way towards the valley below. On either side of the track, a mixture of tall, fronded plants grew in an array of shapes and sizes beside stunted and gnarled old trees with deep green foliage. Tara thought of the trees like friendly bystanders, their leafy branches protectively shading Aurelio and her from much of the glaring sunshine above. They came across a trickling stream, which they followed for a while; Tara ever mindful and vigilant, watching for any sign of wildlife in the undergrowth. Except for the background humming of insects, the occasional noisy squawking of a flock of parrots flying past overhead and, once, the silent imprint of a shoe sole on the muddy banks of the stream, they seemed to be alone.

Then, in a clearing, they came across a group of young men standing seemingly relaxed and chatting. A few feet away, under a lean-to made of branches and palm fronds, one of them squatted while cooking something on a small paraffin or gas stove. Aurelio and Tara had arrived at the mine.

Again, there was a short conversation in Spanish. Again, there was a wrinkling of noses followed by broad smiles of understanding and agreement. There were also some side comments and laughter amongst the men. The word ‘gringa’—foreigner from America—came up a couple of times. Tara thought she also heard the words ‘bonita’, and ‘sexual’, but she couldn’t be sure. She decided to keep a slight distance for the time being. They were in the middle of nowhere, miles from the nearest civilization.

Aurelio walked back towards her. ‘They will be happy to show you around, but we should remember our time limitations. We cannot spend more that half an hour here if we are to return to Santo Domingo before dark.’

‘Are you trying to protect me from these guys?’ she asked with a smile. Aurelio looked embarrassed.

‘What’s he cooking?’ she asked to change the subject. ‘It smells great.’

‘That is called arroz con abichuelas, a mixture of rice and beans. He is probably cooking some small pieces of beef with it, but it could be any meat.’

‘Can one buy that in a restaurant in Santo Domingo?’

‘Of course, but not exactly the same. This is a local dish for locals. To sell food like this to tourists would be like offering leftovers to your guests. It would not be right. In the restaurants it is much more carefully presented and is usually served with salads.’

The word ‘dignity’ popped into Tara’s mind. Aurelio seemed to have it, and that was what she had seen on the faces of the fruit vendor and the amber polisher and, now, even the miners as she approached them. Other than their initial jocularity, they seemed to consider her as their guest and themselves as hosts who happily welcomed visitors into their world. The men were just being men.

As they approached the entrance to the mine, a happy looking miner wearing a backward facing baseball cap sat with a short-handled pick in one hand, a lump of soft rock in the other.

Hola, señorita,’ he said, grinning broadly.

She smiled back at him, lifted her hand in greeting, but continued to follow Aurelio to the mine entrance. It was like standing at the entrance to the burrow of a large animal.

Beyond Neanderthal

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Genre – Thriller

Rating – MA (15+)

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Connect with Brian Bloom on Twitter

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Forgotten Child by Lorhainne Eckhart @LEckhart

“Please sit down, Emily.” He extended out the flat of his hand, very much in control.
“Ah, thank you.” She perched on the edge of the soft leather seat across from a man who was too damn good to look at—a man obviously comfortable in his own skin.
Hardness set his jaw as he studied her. The tick of the wall clock seemed to echo in the silence, and Emily squirmed in her seat. Why was he looking at her like that? Maybe it was her outrageous entrance and he was wondering what kind of kook she was, whether he could entrust her with his child. Yes, that had to be it.
She swallowed hard. “I’m Emily Nelson; I talked to you yesterday on the phone about the job.”
He blinked before closing those exquisite eyes, as if he’d forgotten the reason she was here. When he opened them again, his hard judgmental expression seemed to have softened a bit.
Again he extended his large hand, taking hers in a firm grip. Just the touch of his solid calloused hand and the secure squeeze was enough to teeter her nerves back to that awkward woman at the door. She wondered what it would be like to have a man like this run his hands over you. She snatched her hand back before her face burned any brighter. Finally, he introduced himself. “The name’s Brad Friessen.” Emily kept quiet. He didn’t run on with his words. He must be a deep thinker, a doer. She could relate to that… but not to him. Her sly eyes glanced down at his left hand: no gold band, no white line, no wife or significant other. Or maybe he was one of those arrogant guys who wouldn’t wear a ring, a lady’s man. He had the looks and the attitude. Now was the time to ask about the woman who answered the phone when she called. Who was she?
“This is a working ranch I run, and I need a woman to look after my son. I’m old fashioned in my values. Children should be at home, not stuck in daycare. I’m looking for someone who’s comfortable in a kitchen and looking after children: a role that should come natural to a woman. I don’t want someone who’s got the phone stuck to their ear half the day. It’s a decent job and good pay; $500 a week, room and board, and includes all your meals.”
Her heart sank about the same time the bottom dropped out of her stomach. It was too good to be true. She wanted to cry. “But I… I have a little girl, I didn’t realize–”
His face hardened and he looked away. For some reason he was angry with her… no, furious. Emily didn’t know what to say when he let out a heavy sigh. He closed his eyes, rubbing his hand over the light brown shadow that appeared over his jaw. Then he faced her again, with those deep brown eyes now turned to steel. Emily saw that he could be a hard man.
Lorhainne Eckhart
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Western Romance
Rating – PG
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Sunday, January 26, 2014

How the English Establishment Framed Stephen Ward by Caroline Kennedy @StephenWardBook

FBI director, J.Edgar Hoover, was convinced that British society was riddled with whores, pimps, sex maniacs and Soviet agents. His conviction was given a boost on Sunday, 16th June, when an article by British solicitor, Michael Eddowes, appeared in the Journal-American. In it Eddowes told of his meeting with Yevgeny Ivanov during the Cuban missile crisis. Eddowes described Ivanov as highly aggressive and full of blustering threats to wipe out England and to drop an atomic bomb in the sea 60 miles off New York. According to Eddowes, Hoover immediately ‘instructed’ him to make further enquiries into the security aspects and report back to him.
Washington was now buzzing with as many rumours as had swept London during the height of the scandal, so what happened next was not entirely a surprise. The White House became involved. The most likely explanation for President Kennedy’s sudden interest in the affair is that his brother, Attorney-General Robert Kennedy, told him of the long report from Hoover.
There were then both political and personal reasons for the President’s interest. One was that the scandal could provide Kennedy’s opponents in Congress with ammunition to attack his plans for a multi-nation NATO nuclear force. If Britain was so leaky, why should the US share it’s defence secrets? Another was a call in the Washington News for Kennedy to cancel his scheduled visit to London because it would provide moral support for the foundering Government of Harold Macmillan. ‘We can think of no better time for an American President to stay as far as possible away from England.’
And a third reason, a personal one, was that given Hoover’s animosity for the Kennedy family, the President became concerned that Hoover would somehow use the scandal against him….The only feasible reason for this widespread fascination is that all these people feared that the President of the United States was about to be dragged into the scandal, not on a political level, but on a sexual one…..The reason was that Robert Kennedy was worried that Christine or Mandy, or even both girls, might have slept with the President during their recent visit to the United States and he needed to know for certain so that he could protect the President from the scandal that would follow if the girls blabbed. It would have been simpler for Robert Kennedy to ask his brother if he had slept with either of the girls. But, as we now know, John F. Kennedy’s sexual appetite was so prodigious and so indiscriminate that he would not have been able to remember.
How The English Establishment Framed
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Genre – Politics, Espionage, Scandal
Rating – PG-16
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Connect with Caroline Kennedy on Facebook & Twitter

Quick Chat with #Author Joshua Silverman @jg_silverman #scifi #fantasy

Image of Joshua Silverman

When you wish to end your career, stop writing, and look back on your life, what thoughts would you like to have? In terms of writing, I’d like to think someone learned something from my series, whether it’s something historical, mythological, or just about humanity. I want people to continue growing and challenging themselves.

The genre is epic fantasy and science fiction –which is an uncommon mix. Share us your thoughts about these subgenres.
Well I think we who grow up in the SFF world have this notion that you can either be SF or F. You can’t be both. If you’re fantasy, well, you’re either paranormal, urban, epic, sword and sorcery, or mythology. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of crossover. I wanted to break that barrier. I wanted to do a futuristic society which still had many religious elements of fantasy which are most of the foundations of magical systems. Energy. Why can’t people of science believe in something bigger than them?

The Priests are interesting, yet they seem overpowered. Did you have to set limitations for power or magic in your story?
The Priests rely on mental focus to be able to use their powers. Therefore, they are limited by their own imagination, but also the incredible discipline and work it takes to maintain a high degree of focus for a given period of time. The Emerald Tablet goes into the training of the Priests, but also, their limitations.

The writing process sounds overwhelming. How did you plot this novel of this scale?
I have a spreadsheet where I chronicle major events throughout the series. The spreadsheet doesn’t give scene by scene descriptions, but it is more general, along the lines of “Book 4 XYZ happens.” Most of it is just trying to keep accurate tracking of events and sub-plots. It’s an administrative burden.

Tell us about an interesting character or group of characters in your novel.
The Amun Priests are gifted individuals. They wield the energies of the universe almost like magic or a force of will by combining faith, magic, science, and emotion into a power source.


The ancient powers lost to Potara have returned. The Brotherhood of the Black Rose rises to bring Thoth into disorder. And, while the Brotherhood reclaims their power, chaos reigns among the survivors. Six individuals have emerged from the aftermath struggling for control over their lives and a divided land. Kem and Shirin, who abolished the five thousand year reign of the Amun Priests, rule from the golden throne of the Oracle’s Chair in the Hall of the Nine. 

Dio and Axios struggle to piece together a resistance worthy to challenge the ancient magic which resides in the Great Temple of Amun, and Leoros and Atlantia try to remain true to their hearts and their cause despite tragedy.

But when the Book of Breathings is discovered, the path to immortality is revealed. Leoros and Kem race to capture the Soul of the World unaware of the challenges awaiting them. This time, the gods themselves will intervene.

In a tale where boys become men and girls become women, where treachery and deception are around every corner, and where primeval mysticism finds its way back from the grave, victory is reserved for neither the good nor the evil, but the powerful.

Buy Here
Genre – Science fiction, Fantasy
Rating – PG-13+
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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Along The Watchtower by David Litwack @DavidLitwack

The elevator dinged and the doors slid open. In less than a minute, I found myself in physical therapy. Like the rest of the hospital, the room was green-tile sterile, but someone had made an effort to cheer it up. Porcelain clowns lined the windowsill. Stuffed circus animals—lions and elephants and a family of monkeys—surrounded the rack that held the free weights. And a variety of fresh-cut flowers had been set in mugs in the cup holder for each exercise bicycle and treadmill. Later, I’d learn from Ralph that Becky kept them fresh, paying for them out of her own pocket. He said she’d deny it, but he’d seen her sneak in on more than one Monday morning with an armful.

Fresh-cut flowers. Mom used to get them every Monday as well, to brighten up the gingerbread house. But after Dad died, she started leaving them too long, not replacing them until they’d decayed so badly they smelled. After Joey died, she stopped buying them altogether.

The girl I met in the courtyard stood over a rolling aluminum table, organizing things I didn’t much like the look of. She was sufficiently absorbed that she didn’t notice us until Ralph called out.

“Afternoon, Becky. Brought you some fresh meat.”

She turned and grinned. “Always love a new victim.”

“Great. I’ll leave you two alone. Sounds like you need some privacy.”

After he left, she went back to finishing her preparations, making me wait. Finally, she came over and extended a hand.

“We already met, but let’s make it official. You’re Lt. Williams, but I can call you Freddie. I’m your worst nightmare, but you can call me Becky.”

I reached out and shook her hand. She didn’t seem scary.

“Ralph says you’re the best, that if anybody can bring me back, you can.”

“Ralph’s wrong. I’m just the guide. You’re going to do most of the work.”

“But are you the best?”

“Let’s say I haven’t lost one yet.”

“So I’ll be back on the basketball court in no time.”

Her grin vanished. She grabbed a chair, dragged it over and sat next to me.

“We’re going to be spending a lot of time together, Freddie, so we need to be straight with each other, right from the outset. My goal is to get you back to as normal a life as possible. If you work hard, I’ll have you out of that wheelchair and on crutches in a month. A month after that, maybe a cane. Beyond that, we’ll see. I make no promises other than to work as hard as you will.”

She stared at me. I stared back, captivated by my reflection in her gray-green eyes. She blinked first and went back to the rolling table.

. . . . . . .

She sat down again and undid the Velcro from my brace.

I winced. I hadn’t looked at my leg much since my peek the week before. The incision was less angry and the oozing had stopped. But what shocked me were the muscles. Where once I had bulges, now there were hollows. Not the leg of an athlete or soldier. Not the leg of a guy who might someday dunk. The leg of an invalid. Becky’s words rattled around in my brain. Crutches, then a cane. After that, we’ll see.

“It may not be pretty,” she said, as if she’d read my mind, “but it’s yours. Take a good look. Let it motivate you when you start making progress. And trust me, you will make progress.”

She squeezed some ointment from a tube onto her hands and rubbed them together.

“This will feel a little cold.”

She spread the ointment, swirling her fingertips over what had once been my quad. When she started the e-stim treatment, I felt the muscle spasm and contract involuntarily, a strange but not entirely unpleasant feeling. As she slid the wand around, humming along to its buzz, I noticed her touch more than the current.

She spoke out of nowhere. “I read the report. Says you have no family.”

I kept staring at her making figure-eights on my leg.

“Is that right?” she said.

I nodded.

“What happened?”

“I was born an orphan.”

She turned off the e-stim and looked up at me.

“Want to talk about it?”


“Ralph said you don’t talk much.”

“I talk when I want to. I don’t want to talk now.”

“Fine with me.” She resumed the treatment, hummed a few more bars, and then spoke without looking up. “Ralph was right about another thing.”

“What’s that?”

“You are a hard case.”

She was quiet after that, going about her job while I focused on the clowns at the windowsill. Every now and then, I’d sneak a look at her. A beautiful, happy optimist. But she’d never lived my life.

Crutches and a cane. After that, we’ll see. I was different from her—a realist. I knew what “we’ll see” meant. I’d need more than physical therapy to bring me back. I’d need a miracle.


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Genre – Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy

Rating – PG

More details about the author and the book

Connect with David Litwack on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.davidlitwack.com

Friday, January 24, 2014

#Author Brian Bloom Shares His Goals as a #Writer @BrianB_Aust #AmWriting

Have you included a lot of your life experiences, even friends, in the plot?
Only indirectly. One or two scenes of the story are really just descriptions of similar things that have happened in my life, but the characters are not based on any particular individual/s.

How important do you think villains are in a story?
If you ask any agent or publisher, I suspect the answer will be: “Critically important”. I fundamentally disagree. I believe it has been counterproductive in modern fictional literature to pay such close attention to the villains. The various media have become so realistic in their ability to depict villains that impressionable minds have come to regard villains as “normal”, even perversely heroic. The view of the world that emphasises “Super Heroes” in battle with “Super Villains” is, I think, yesterday’s paradigm that needs to be jettisoned as a matter of priority. Of course, tens of millions of youngsters readily embrace that paradigm in all media including comics, movies, TV, electronic games, books and they will not be happy if such a turn of events were to manifest.

Nevertheless, in my view this paradigm has diverged so far away from ethical reality that it has contributed to generally impaired mental health across society. The youngsters of today are unable to tell the difference between a genuine problem and a fictional one. Villains have become part of everyday life. We invite them into our homes. Many young people now even have problems in differentiating right from wrong. By way of example, the latest “fad” in Australia is “King Hitting” total strangers. The equivalent in the US is known as the “Knockout Game” where teenagers – just for the fun of it – try to knock a complete stranger (innocent) clean out with a single blow.

What are your goals as a writer?
I see my two books together as a single, small pebble. I see the worries that hang over global society as being akin to deep snowdrifts that have accumulated on the slopes of a range of tall mountains following years of cold winters and heavy snowfalls. I see the possibility of the mother of all avalanches if something constructive is not done.

My goal is to cast the pebble in such a way that it starts to get people to focus more intently on the depth of these snowdrifts of worries – so that people in general (across the planet) are galvanised into action rather than continue to let other (untrustworthy) people solve their problems for them. Of course, no single pebble can hope to achieve such an outcome, but I think of it this way: If the timing and the conditions are just right, and the pebble causes sufficient disturbance of just one single unstable snow drift, the result might be perceived as the threat of a terrifyingly destructive avalanche; and, in turn, this high profile threat will cause sufficient people to get up off their butts.

Hopefully, increasing numbers of people will start to take prophylactic action of a type that we cannot rely on self-centred, vote hungry politicians to take. What will be this prophylactic action? Well, my novels propose some answers but they don’t seek to be prescriptive. Their objective is to get people thinking and talking amongst themselves. Out of those thoughts and discussions – guided by my novels’ definitions of the seven “core” problems – some sensible plans will emerge and the parasitic politicians will either follow now informed public opinion or be voted out of office. Up to now, it has been in the interests of the media and the politicians and the lobby groups to keep the public confused, dumb and docile. My carefully researched books seek to enlighten readers.

Do you have to travel much concerning your books?
I assume you are talking about promoting the books. To date, the answer is “no”, I have been relying on the internet and “virtual” promotion. To do book signings and speaking appearances will require an organisational infrastructure which I don’t have – and which is usually provided by a mainstream publisher. Perhaps that day will come, but not in the foreseeable future. For the foreseeable future I will have to rely on a concept called “viral marketing” which is easier to say than to do.

Have you ever considered anyone as a mentor?
Many people have mentored me. It is my style that, when I need guidance on a subject in which I have limited expertise, I actively seek out a mentor who is also a world class expert in his/her field.

One problem that I have had in the book industry is that many people consider themselves experts who are only too willing to experiment with my hard-earned capital, or try to force me into mindless compliance with their ideas of what will become a commercial success. Unfortunately whilst many talk the talk, few walk the walk. When I hear the words “Don’t expect immediate results” I know that I’m very probably listening to someone who doesn’t really understand how to get results at all.

If there is really anyone out there who believes that they have the ability to act as my mentor in the book marketing business, I will be happy to hear from them – provided their advice doesn’t require me to fund grandiose ideas. If they are willing to structure their reward on a success basis, then I will happily talk to them. Eight years of researching and writing these books has been a capital draining exercise. Marketing is supposed to be the domain of a publisher.

Beyond Neanderthal

There is an energy force in the world—known to the Ancients—that has largely escaped the interest of the modern day world. Why? There are allusions to this energy in the Chinese I-Ching, in the Hebrew Torah, in the Christian Bible, in the Hindu Sanskrit Ramayana and in the Muslim Holy Qur’an. Its force is strongest within the Earth’s magnetic triangles. 

Near one of these–the Bermuda Triangle–circumstances bring together four very different people. Patrick Gallagher is a mining engineer searching for a viable alternative to fossil fuels; Tara Geoffrey, an airline pilot on holidays in the Caribbean; Yehuda Rosenberg, a physicist preoccupied with ancient history; and Mehmet Kuhl, a minerals broker, a Sufi Muslim with an unusual past. Can they unravel the secrets of the Ancients that may also hold the answer to the future of civilization? 

About the Author:

In 1987, Brian and his young family migrated from South Africa to Australia where he was employed in Citicorp’s Venture Capital division. He was expecting that Natural Gas would become the world’s next energy paradigm but, surprisingly, it was slow in coming. He then became conscious of the raw power of self-serving vested interests to trump what – from an ethical perspective – should have been society’s greater interests. 

Eventually, in 2005, with encouragement from his long suffering wife, Denise, he decided to do something about what he was witnessing: Beyond Neanderthal was the result; The Last Finesse is the prequel. 

The Last Finesse is Brian’s second factional novel. Both were written for the simultaneous entertainment and invigoration of the thinking element of society. It is a prequel to Beyond Neanderthal, which takes a visionary view of humanity’s future, provided we can sublimate our Neanderthal drive to entrench pecking orders in society. 

The Last Finesse is more “now” oriented. Together, these two books reflect a holistic, right brain/left brain view of the challenges faced by humanity; and how we might meet them. All our problems – including the mountain of debt that casts its shadow over the world’s wallowing economy – are soluble. 

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Thriller
Rating – MA (15+)
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Why Blogging Is Important? – Christoph Paul @christophPaul_

Why Blogging Is Important?

Why is it not important? That would be a better question. If you are not blogging I would recommend you stop reading this and go start blogging…ok, maybe you should finish this first.

Blogging was my salvation and way to get my swag back as a writer. I know writers who talk all this stuff about branding and business stuff, and yeah that is important but that is not what bogging is about for me. Blogging is really important for me to improve my craft of writing; I know that will make a lot of literary writers cringe but it is a way to always be writing.  If you write a failed novel (which I have) the best way to get your confidence back is by blogging. It is like the minor league of writing but hey there is nothing wrong with training camp.

Blogging is also a way to have fun and experiment, what you might not be able to do for a publication. You can just say what is on your mind and not worry. It is your word playground.

I have a weird view of writing; it is very sacred almost spiritual to me yet I see it like a muscle and know I must do all types of ‘exercises’ to be a strong writer. It is very much like going to the gym and feeling good after a good work out.

Blogging is for you; forget about an audience. It is your territory, you can write whatever you want. You can’t be indulgent when writing your book, but you can when blogging. It is not about publishing or marketing, and any of that crap it is about having a place test things out. It’s an open mic for writers.

Blogging should be like a punk rock show, it shouldn’t be or doesn’t have to perfect but it should fun. Blogging is practice for the big game, it is a way to keep you sharp and it is one of the few ways to procrastinate while being productive. There have been times I have not wanted to work on a project so I blogged instead. It got me in a groove and I went back to that project and took care of business.

I have three books out and two on there way, but I still blog a lot, hell my first book was really a bunch of blog posts that got revised into a solid comedy collection. Blogging feeds my writing and vice versa and it is a place to put rejected work that should have a home. I had a short that I thought was pretty good but it got rejected. So I put up on my blog.

I think in the end writers shy away from the blogging because of the freedom of it. It can be an overwhelming thing, to get all Dostoevsky ‘all can be permitted’. It is true you can do whatever you want but if you embrace that freedom and harness it you can end up not just writing blog posts but creating art.

Great White House NEW COVER

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Fiction, Humor

Rating – PG-13

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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.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

#Free (until 24/1) Showtime at the Apollo by Ted Fox @Kindleexpert #AmReading

Showtime at the Apollo is the definitive history of Harlem’s world-famous showplace. Home to nearly every great black star including: James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Richard Pryor, Gladys Knight, Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Redd Foxx, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Sarah Vaughn and “Bojangles” Robinson, – the theater still hosts contemporary luminaries like The Roots, Mary J. Blige, Chris Rock, Wynton Marsalis and Whoopi Goldberg. Numerous performers relate their own poignant, exciting and sometimes hilarious stories. Some 150 photographs – many never before published – are interspersed throughout.

For African-Americans, the Apollo was the greatest black theater, and a special place to come of age. For whites – including Elvis Presley and the Beatles – the Apollo was as close as they could come to the reality of the black experience.

Still thriving, the Apollo has exerted an unprecedented influence upon popular culture. Since 1934, the Apollo has been at the forefront of African-American music, dance and comedy. It’s legendary Amateur Night spawned countless stars. Renowned for having the world’s toughest and most appreciative audience, it is the place where, as Dionne Warwick says in the book,

“Everyone gave their best performance".

"The essential book, mandatory for the most casual student as well as the most ardent fan." – David Hinckley, Daily News

"Ted Fox made the Apollo come alive for me again."– Jerry Wexler, co-founder of Atlantic Records

"Ted Fox mows through the 20th century's mind blowing cavalcade of segregation byproduct, inhumanity producing creative transcendence. The survivors of the era provide Fox with a front-line document." - Raoul Hernandez, Austin Chronicle

"A wonderful book." – Tavis Smiley, National Public Radio

"I could almost feel and taste the Apollo again." – Doc Pomus, classic songwriter

"The definitive history of Harlem’s (and black America’s) essential theater." – New York Magazine

"Showtime at the Apollo is not only a history of that wonderful theatre, but also a fascinating insider’s view of the Harlem music scene." – John Hammond, legendary producer and talent scout

TED FOX is also the author of In The Groove a collection of interviews with men who have shaped the music industry. He produces and manages Grammy-winner Buckwheat Zydeco and lives in upstate New York.

Showtime at the Apollo by Ted Fox
Rating – PG
Genre – Music History & Criticism
4.8 (7 reviews)
Free until 24 January 2014

#Author Lorhainne Eckhart on why she writes + #Excerpt @LEckhart #AmReading

Image of Lorhainne Eckhart

What made you want to be a writer?
I had always dreamed of being a writer, but it was after my daughter was born that I realized the need to write and it wasn’t long after that I sat down and wrote my first novel, which was later published by a romance publisher.

Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?
I always do research when I write a book, whether it’s the town, the city,the characters, what they do for a living. I research all of it to get my facts straight. So everytime I write a book I am learning something.

Do you intend to make writing a career?
Well writing is a career for me, and has been for a while. This is my sole income and I have done very well at it.

What is your greatest strength as a writer?
The ability to tell a story.

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I have heard people talk of writer’s block. I’ve never had it. Although there are days where I struggle with a scene. But quite often that has more to do with personal demands put on me by outside influences. That’s why it’s important to set very clear boundaries, every morning from this time to this time to this time, I’m writing, so don’t bug me.


Every woman, at one time in her life, will experience the phrase, I had an epiphany. Well that’s exactly what happened this particular spring morning, when Emily Nelson’s eyes popped open just as the sliver of light at the break of dawn crept up the horizon and, for a moment, there was peace. Until she blinked a couple of times and reality set in. She glimpsed the lump beside her in their king-size bed—her husband, Bob. Emily pushed back her thick, dark hair and slid to the side of the bed. She was hit by irritating turmoil, an unwelcome friend, twisting up her insides as if wringing out a wet rag. Not even a shred of interest remained for the man she once loved. She’d more empathy for the crotchety old geezer at the end of the street.
So what made this morning different? She didn’t know how to explain this awakening, this unfolding from deep inside some place she thought had long since closed and sealed off. Find some courage. Believe enough in herself, and then she’d soon be living a life that was hers, for the first time, filled with an amazing peace and hope. And that’s what compelled Emily to shake off her 10-year funk, throw her thin, pale legs over the side of the bed, and get up.
Emily, a 35-year-old, average-looking mother and wife, slipped into the ugly brown bathrobe her husband bought her this past Christmas. The one he meant to give his mother but got confused after he wrapped them, since the boxes were identical. His mother got the old lady polyester pants with the elastic waistband meant for Emily, so she supposed she got the better of the deal.
She held her breath when she chanced a glance at Bob, who lay softly snoring on his side of the big bed; the fact he was still asleep eased her anxiety. Emily suppressed a sigh of relief. She had no interest in spending time in a room with this man, any more than the grumpy old geezer up the street. Maybe that was why the knot in her tummy loosened when she left the room and stood outside their daughter’s door. Katy, her blonde two-year-old beauty, was sleeping like an angel in the bedroom across the hall, in their average, very plain, box-style rented bungalow. Emily tiptoed across the cheap neutral-colored carpeting, the same quality you see in most rental homes, which showed every stain imaginable, even after shampooing year after year. She pressed her hand on the doorframe and pulled Katy’s door closed so she wouldn’t hear Emily at this early hour. Five a.m. was her personal time, when her head was clear, when her creative juices flowed, when she faced reality and could make the tough decisions with absolute clarity.

 Lorhainne Eckhart
How do you tell a man there is something wrong with his child?
This is by far one of the best books I have read. Lorhainne Eckhart proved herself yet again  by pulling you in with a heartfelt story and keeping your attention with the passion that fills   the pages. ROMANCE JUNKIES
A Real Tear Jerker: Omg, I loved this book. I stayed up all night trying to finish it. I cried,  My heart broke, I have an 18 year old with autism. This would make a fabulous movie...  Tammy
He wasn't looking to love again. But what he got was a woman who shook his lonely bitter world upside down, and touched him in a way no other woman could.
Emily Nelson, a courageous young mother, ends a loveless, bitter marriage and strikes out on her own. She answers an ad as a cook and live-in caregiver to a three-year-old boy on a local ranch. Ranch owner Brad Friessen hires and moves in Emily and her daughter. But Emily soon discovers something's seriously wrong with the boy, and the reclusive, difficult man who hired her can't see the behavior and how delayed his son is. So Emily researches until she stumbles across what she suspects are the soft signs of autism. Now she must tell him, give him hope, and help him come to terms with this neurological disorder--to take the necessary steps to get his child the help he needs.
As their lives become intertwined, their attraction is unavoidable--a connection sparks between them. But just as they're getting close, Brad's estranged wife, Crystal, returns after abandoning the family two years earlier. Among the shock and confusion is one disturbing question Brad can't shake: How does Crystal know so much of his personal business, the inner working of the ranch, and Emily's relationship with his son?
Crystal must've had a plan, as she somehow gains the upper hand, driving a wedge in the emotional bond forged between Brad, Emily, and the children. The primary focus for care and therapy of three-year-old Trevor is diverted. The lengths to which Crystal will go, the lies, the greed, just to keep what's hers, are nothing short of cold and calculating. Emily's forced out of the house. Brad fights to save his boy, to protect what's his, and struggles over his greatest sacrifice--Emily, and the haunting question: Has he lost her forever?
More Praise for THE FORGOTTEN CHILD...
"Brilliant, there is no other word for it, heart grabbing, heart warming, gut wrenching, well written well researched, wanted to read it over & over again." Amazon Reviewer – Maureen
BLACK RAVEN'S REVIEWS - Ms. Eckhart has crafted a delightful story with engaging  characters, enough drama for a Hallmark movie, and enough unconditional love to last a lifetime.  ~Rated 5 Ravens and a Recommended Read by AJ!~ 
READERS FAVORITE *5 Star Review A real page turner ~ fast moving plot ~ a must read!
Reviewed by Brenda C. For Readers Favorite
I didn't expect I'd fall for the four main characters as hard as I did, but The Forgotten Child is an amazing book, not just for a romance fan like myself, but for single parents who may or  may not have a child with autism. ~ Reviewer ~ Adria
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Western Romance
Rating – PG
More details about the author & the book
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