Monday, December 30, 2013

#AmReading - Kane by Steve Gannon @SGannonAuthor

Kane by Steve Gannon

Amazon

"From Amazon bestselling author Steve Gannon, a thriller that will keep you up all night . . . but make sure to lock your doors and windows first."

Los Angeles is terrorized by a series of murders. One man can stop the killer: Detective Daniel Kane. But for Kane--devastated by personal tragedy and haunted by a secret that could destroy his family--to do so may cost him everything, even his life . . . 

At times chilling, funny, and occasionally brutal, Kane is a nonstop thriller filled with complex characters, surprising twists, and unforgettable scenes. From a political firestorm that sends the investigation spinning out of control to an unexpected, breathtaking climax, Kane will keep you in suspense until the turn of the final heart-pounding page.

Michael Dismuke – 10 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer @MTDismuke

Inside the Mind of the Author

“The only freedom you truly have is in your mind, so use it.” This is a quote I have been using for quite some time now. I have it on my biography and most of my websites. Others have used it for inspiration, as have I. By keeping my thoughts free, it allows me to envision stories long before I ever write them, but never do I force them upon myself. I keep an open channel to the world around me, allowing it to motivate my work. I’m constantly bombarded with ideas whether they come from a passing storm outside, a dinner conversation, or an article I’ve read online. The ideas can come from anywhere, anything, and at any time. Sometimes these ideas connect with a story I’ve been working on for years, and if the right connections are made, I add them to a long list of notes and build on the story. Sometimes these ideas open doorways I hadn’t discovered before and the entire story changes, taking me in an entirely new direction. I keep writing these notes down, one at a time, until the story takes on a life of its own. This is when the story begins to build upon itself.

Most of my work is technology based with darker themes and motives. I try to imagine what others would do if somehow, someway, they were able to tip the scales in their favor by abusing a certain power. This concept is the center of most of my work. I look around and see the things we have and use in our daily lives and then take it to the next level and beyond. My debut novel, The Necro Device, is based on a machine that raises the dead, but the story is not about the machine itself, it’s about the power it yields and how that power is abused. In Darkness & Daemons, Invasion I show how an advanced bioengineered, alien organism has the power to infect and destroy all forms of life, and in Cult of Tattoo, I use the gadgets and tools we use in today’s society to fast forward time, evolving them over several decades to create this bizarre, unimaginable world. It is these basic concepts that inspire me to write darker tales of destruction and abuse of power.

The principles and ideas behind my work alone are not enough. I realize it is people, the characters, who make the story important, so I inject a wide range of emotions, back stories, and personalities into the mix. Everybody inside my stories have their own stake in it. In my mind, it is everything combined that makes it a rich, dynamic and exciting experience.

MichaelDismuke

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Genre – SciFi Horror

Rating – PG-13

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

#AmReading - Song for Sophia by Moriah Densley @MoriahDensley

Song for Sophia by Moriah Densley

Amazon

To win a man's heart, a woman must have the mind of a diplomat, a general, and Cleopatra, all in one.
Desperation has led Anne-Sophia Duncombe to a life of exile. Still, she is always just one mistake away from capture and a marriage she would rather die than endure. As a last resort to remain hidden from her former life, Sophia attempts a radical scheme; a life of humility and disguise.
Rumor has it Wilhelm Montegue, the Earl of Devon, is insane. A tormented war hero haunted by scandal, he is only tolerated because of his brilliant mind and swarthy good looks. His unmentionable "condition," which keeps him confined to his country home, is also the source of his talent for composing music.
When a new housemaid is hired at Rougemont, Lord Devon is perplexed to find himself fascinated by her. He knows the exquisite beauty is keeping secrets but her siren's voice draws him ever closer, and he can't resist the intoxicating scent of danger surrounding her.

Living The Testimony by Deidre Havrelock @deidrehavrelock

My Personal Testimony

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“It’s evil,” he said.

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

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

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

Living the testimony

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Genre – Christian Living

Rating – G

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Connect with Deidre Havrelock on Twitter

Website www.deidrehavrelock.com

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

Moving On

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

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

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

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

Colors of Friendship

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Genre – New Adult, Contemporary

Rating – R

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Connect with K R Raye on Facebook and Twitter

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

Friday, December 27, 2013

Midshipman Henry Gallant in Space by H. Peter Alesso

CHAPTER 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

midshipman

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Genre – Science Fiction

Rating – G

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

Thursday, December 26, 2013

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

Chapter Two:
Beyond Words

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

StandingStark

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Genre – Nonfiction, Spirituality

Rating – PG

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Connect with Carla Woody on Facebook & Twitter

 

 

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

Inside The Mind of Regan Black – Regan Black

Inside The Mind of Regan Black

It’s a pleasure to be here courtesy of Orangeberry Book Tours. If you’re still here after reading that rather daunting headline, clearly you’re a person of rare courage and I thank you for sticking around. J

As a paranormal romantic suspense author, my mind can often be a dark and bizarre place. Some days there are rainbows and unicorns – well, elves anyway – but usually I have a great deal more fun writing dark and edgy tales.

It so happens I was born with an imagination far more vivid than necessary, which is great for my career, but it means a few challenges in real life. I’ve avoided horror films because my dreams after viewing anything in that genre are always ten times worse than the real presentation. When weird things happen in the real world, my imagination fills in blanks that probably aren’t really there.

Like the day my son and I spotted a shirtless man with a military haircut in our neighborhood walking in circles around a tree while carrying a big kitchen knife. Was he planning a little target practice? Could it be he was talking himself in to or out of a murderous rage? I didn’t think it was smart to stop and ask. Civic responsibility had me calling the police to check on him and even now, I’m  not sure if I would have felt better or worse if he’d been carrying a military-issue knife.

Another example would be the day I spotted a solitary teenage girl in a fairy costume all by herself on the side of the road, crouching under a tree. I still can’t get the picture out of my head. How and why had she stopped right there? It seemed as if she’d simply materialized and yet logically, there had to be more to it.

What can I say, it’s rarely dull inside my head.

More than once I’ve woken myself up laughing out loud at a silly dream. The most recent event was a strange dreamscape thing, of course, but what made the whole thing even funnier was when I ‘heard’ myself (in my dream) composing a Facebook post about it – it was one of the few things I knew I couldn’t condense to 140 twitter characters.

Day in and day out, I just try to embrace my weird imagination and dark humor. That unique combination led to Justice Incarnate after all, and the various regulations, gadgets, and tech advances that populate the entire Shadows of Justice series.

After reading my books a friend once called me a ‘nice girl with a dark psyche’. I guess that’s as good a phrase as any to describe the strange landscape inside my head.

What does it take to set your imagination rushing to fill in the blanks?

Live the adventure,

Regan

Justice Incarnate

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Genre – Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy

Rating – PG-13

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Connect with  Regan Black on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.reganblack.com

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

#AmReading - Everflame by Dylan Peters @EverflameBook

Everflame by Dylan Peters

Amazon

Long ago, when the earth was young... Four ancient beings created man to be the bastion of the earth and its creatures. But when The Great Tyrant came and chased The Ancients away, the world was transformed into a place of fear and isolation. Over time humans lost the connection they had with a world they had been created to protect. Now, deep in the forests that surround Gray Mountain, two bears find a small child that is abandoned and left for dead. They name him Evercloud, and raise him as a member of their kingdom. Teaching him the secrets of the elders, they tell him of the ancient beings that created man and the rumors of their return. Evercloud must now go on a quest to return The Ancients to power. However, in another corner of the land, a man known only as The Messenger travels the land under a white hood, on a mission to prevent the return of The Ancients. We follow the paths each of these men take until their stories collide in an epic battle of good versus evil.

Author Interview – A.M. Griffin @AMGriffinbooks #LovingDangerously

http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/6c/e5/81e9a09206ed0ac1d188f5.L._V394954781_SX200_.jpg

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? My mother writes so it was something that I grew up seeing and being around. I remember growing up and she’d always be at her desk on her typewriter. It was a normal thing in my house, something that I grew up around. I’m surprised that out of 6 children that I’m the only one of her kids that was struck with the writing bug.

How long have you been writing? I’m a newbie writer. I started my first book in 2011 and it was published in 2012. But I’ve been on a mission ever since that first book was published. In 2013, I wrote 3 novels. I’m striving for 4 in 2014.

What genre are you most comfortable writing? I love science fiction and paranormal. I think for me those would be easiest to write as I am able to use my creativity. I’m writing a superhuman story now and it requires a lot of research on my part. I don’t mind doing the research but I like making up things better.

What inspired you to write your first book? My mother writes so it was something that I grew up seeing and being around. I remember growing up and she’d always be at her desk on her typewriter. I didn’t know then that’s what I wanted to do, but as the stories in my head began to take shape and my characters became louder and louder I knew what I had to do. Eva from Dangerously Mine (Loving Dangerously #1) was the first character that I wanted to complete. She’s so strong that it was no way that I couldn’t have ignored her any longer.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? Dangerously Hers is the 3rd book in the science fiction, erotic, romance Loving Dangerously Series. I love the characters in this book so much! Jess has a razor tongue but underneath it all she’s an abused woman who is learning that she is worthy of being loved. Rasha, my alien hero wants Jess so bad, but he’s having a hard time figuring out human women, especially one with a past like Jess.

I’m in edits with the fourth book in the Loving Dangerously series titled Dangerously His and I’m one week from submitting the fifth book titled Dangerously Forever. Dangerously His is about two people who want to be together but are being separated by forces they can’t control. Dangerously Forever is the story where Eva (from Dangerously Mine) and her best friend Allysan finally reunite. It’s definitely not the end of the series. There are still so many worlds and characters to explore.

Can you tell us about your main character? Before Jess was taken from Earth, she was a big shot in her father’s infomercial company. Jess didn’t rise to the top because she was given any favors, she worked hard for it. She was used to being in control of her life and had a linear plan on how her life would work out. Being taken from Earth and sold to an alien brothel changed a lot for her. She’s having a hard time getting over how much her life has changed and getting back on track, even after she escaped the brothel. She’s mad at everything. She’s been given a chance to start a new life and we see her really trying to let something’s go (her ill feelings for all things aliens). She thinks she has it under control until she begins to develop feelings for Rasha, her new boss. It’s funny at times to see how she says one thing but is really thinking another. Through this book we see Jess grow as a person and learn to love again.

Who is your publisher? I have a wonderful publisher, Ellora’s Cave. They are small enough to know my name and big enough to draw the readers. They have a conference every year, Romanticon, and if you’ve ever been to one you’ll understand what I mean. It’s a very family oriented publishing house. Everyone seems to love their jobs and it shows.

Why did you choose to write this particular book? I didn’t set out to write Jess’ story. The next book was going to be about J.B. but from the first scene it became Jess’ book. It starts off with her taking that first step off the transporter and being overwhelmed with emotions that she is trying to stay in control of. Her voice was so powerful that it was hard to override it. I tried for over a month to keep it as J.B.’s story, but in the end I had to give up on that idea and go with the flow. Characters have a funny way of telling you that it’s their turn for their story to be told. I’m glad that I relented and wrote her story. I think it needed to be told especially after she was the hard-headed bitch in Dangerously Yours. I’ve found a new appreciation for Jess and I like her now.

How much of the book is realistic? None at all. My books are science fiction and futuristic so unless hostile aliens invade Earth, my books are way off from being realistic and I think that’s a good thing for all of us Earth bound people.

Have you included a lot of your life experiences, even friends, in the plot? None of the characters are based off of anyone I know but their names are. Many of my characters share a name with my loved ones. It’s like a secret present to them. I have my sisters’ name in a few of my books. They get a kick out of finding it. It’s not easy to spot because I spell it backwards which works for alien sounding names and places. My husband and children are littered throughout my books. When I’m long gone I’d like to picture them reading one of my books and spotting their name and thinking, “My mommy loved me.”

Dangerously Hers

Jess hates aliens. After the invasion that destroyed Earth, the extraterrestrial bastards sold her to a brothel as a sex slave. She may have escaped but the old memories and fears still linger in the dark corners of her mind. Supposedly Sonis is just the place for her—somewhere safe, where she can heal and start fresh. She’s almost hopeful…until she meets Rasha, her new boss.

Rasha, captain of the Sonis Royal Guard, is a warrior through and through. He’s huge, sinfully sexy and could have any woman on Sonis—but the woman he wants is Jess. He’s very much an alien and Jess knows she should hate him or at least be wary, but whenever he’s around, she loses control. She tells herself it’s only sex—amazing, mind-blowing sex like nothing else she’s ever experienced—but there’s something about Rasha that shakes her soul. The feel of his skin against hers, the look in his eyes as he touches her—they make her want to believe it’s possible to find love and begin again.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Science fiction

Rating – R

More details about the author

Connect with A.M. Griffin on Twitter

The Making of a Sensational Best Seller – London Tracy

The Making of a Sensational Best Seller

It should warm every writer’s heart knowing that even if he or she does not obtain an agent, or find a publisher to publish their work, that they can self-publish for FREE and set the world on fire with their sensational work of fiction.

Since “50 Shades of Grey,” there have been other authors trying to copy the style and flavor, by attempting to write even more intriguing porn, but the boom has yet to happen, and the reason is simple. No one really knows what the secret is to sensational success. Even if there was such a formula, every book published would be a sensation, and we know that is not going to happen.

Even if there was a formula, it would probably only work the first time because if it were duplicated, it would no longer translate into a sensation. Case in point: Several years ago, a founder of a nonprofit organization wanted to get the attention of Oprah Winfrey so he paid for a billboard sign a block from where Oprah worked, thinking that she might see it. He was right. She did see it, and he was invited on the show. A month later, another person tried it, paid for a billboard sign and absolutely nothing came of it. You have one time to make your mark.

Back to the subject at hand, based on a book such as “50 Shades of Grey,” I theorize that there are three characteristics of a sensation.

(1) Dynamic lead character. When I say, dynamic, I mean original and eccentric. This is a character like no one we have met before. Think Christian Grey. How many men do you know who requires that his female partner sign a contract before they engage in the sexual act. Like I said, original.

(2) Intriguing story that resonates with millions. Think “Eat, Pray, Love.” How many women identified with the premise of a woman taking a year off to find herself.

(3) Memorable scenes that demand to be shared with the world. Think “The Help.” How could you not tell people what Minnie did to her ex-employer’s pie.

A sensational story is like interviewing for a job by millions of people and having at least one-half of them love and adore you. How hard is that? How do you get that many people to love and adore you? Two words: New and different.

I think about books that come out every day. Most books are seldom read by millions of readers and have a very limited audience, even some best sellers. It takes a very special kind of book to attract millions of readers. And the reason is simple.

Most books are similar to all the others on the market. The stories and characters are basically the same. However, “50 Shades of Grey” gave us something new and different, a character we never met before and water-cooler scenes galore.

If a book cannot deliver new and different, then there is no sensation.

London Tracy is an author, screenwriter and freelance writer. She is the author of “Your Life Story Could Be a Best Seller” and “The Curse.”

The Curse

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Genre – Comedy

Rating – PG-13

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Connect with  London Tracy on Twitter

Website http://londontracy.wordpress.com

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

#AmReading - Blood Harvest by Michael Louis Weinberger @Mike_Weinberger

Blood Harvest by Michael Louis Weinberger

Amazon

Steve Jacobs isn’t a Vampire…not really…then again…
It doesn’t really matter what he is or was anymore because Steve abandoned the darkness of his former life over a decade ago when he left the only people he ever considered to be family and ran to California. There he joined the Los Angeles Police Department, graduated first in his class at the Academy and now works as a Detective in the Homicide division. Respected by his fellow officers and enjoying a special bond with his Captain, whom he considers to be his mentor, Steve feels that he has finally found a place where the world makes sense and he can leave his dark past behind. So when his Captain calls in the middle of the night and instructs him to come to a highly unusual crime scene, Steve does so without question.
Arriving on the scene Steve discovers that the entire staff and patronage of nearly one thousand people at a popular and hedonistic Los Angeles nightclub have suddenly and mysteriously collapsed where they stood and appear to be dead. Rumors of a biological or chemical terrorist attack are doubted by the large number of LAPD and emergency personnel on the scene, but there seems to be no other explanation for the unnerving occurrence.
Then, before Steve can even fully begin his investigation, the case goes from unusual to absolutely bizarre with the appearance of an exotically beautiful and seductive woman in the company of a large, incredibly powerful white haired man. Both individuals are people that Steve thought he had left behind over a decade ago, but he now finds his past and his present are interwoven together in a mystery that threatens to destroy everything that he holds dear. Steve quickly learns that what happened at the nightclub was only the tip of the iceberg in a much larger conspiracy of greed that, if he is unable to stop, will enslave an entire society of people, the existence of whom the rest of the world isn’t even aware, and are the people that Steve used to call his family.

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

Chapter Three: Surviving Life

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

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

“Where are you?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Have no idea.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Why did you pawn your ring?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I guess…”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LovingConor

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Genre - Memoir

Rating – PG-13

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Lori Ryan – Self-Publishing: Lessons Learned @loriryanauthor

Self-Publishing: Lessons Learned
I’ve been doing an awful lot of guest blog posts lately so I decided to pull a few of my author friends into this one and make it a ‘round-table’ post. I asked my friends what lessons they’ve learned along the way as a self-published author. Here’s my answer along with a few from my friends:
Lori Ryan: I’ve learned the importance of being sure your cover matches your heat level. My books are pretty steamy, but the cover I designed gives the impression of the book being a sweetheart romance. I am currently having the covers redesigned to reflect the heat level of the story. I can’t wait to see what my designer comes up with! www.Loriryanromance.com
Kaylea Cross: To maintain momentum, an author needs to keep releasing new books using a consistent timeframe between each release. Go too long between books, and you risk losing traction with the readership you’re building. http://kayleacross.com
Debra Burroughs: I’ve learned that it is hard to write a great book, but once you’ve finished and produced your fabulous novel, now the really hard work begins – marketing and selling your work.  You might have written the best book the world has ever read, but if no one knows about it, how will they ever buy it? http://www.debraburroughsbooks.com
Sharon Hamilton gave me a list of three great tips:
1. Keep writing every day. Start something new as soon as you finish one thing. Try to have something up every 3-4 months.
2. Write in series. Now I would say to put them up every 30 days when you have 3 written and edited/formatted properly. Give yourself a big boost right at the get-go.
3. Make sure your covers are killer. Don’t try to do it yourself. You can get unique later, but at first make sure you are delivering a picture that will make them want to buy you. Later they’ll follow you no matter what the picture looks like. Make sure your content is professionally edited, too. http://sharonhamiltonauthor.com/
So, take all the tips you can from authors who have paved the way for you and get on out there and write. Thanks for coming by the blog today. Oh, and if you’re an author who has a lesson or tip to teach, leave a comment!
Lori Ryan is an award winning, bestselling author. She lives and writes in Austin, Texas with her husband, two children, three dogs, and a cat who is very outnumbered.
NegotiationTactics
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Genre –  Romantic Suspense
Rating – R
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Bio:

Lori Ryan is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes contemporary romance with a twist of suspense. She lives with an extremely understanding husband, two wonderful children, two mostly-behaved dogs, and a lone little cat in Austin, Texas. It’s a bit of a zoo, but she wouldn’t change a thing.

Lori published her first novel in April of 2013 and has written three more books since then. Each of Lori’s books have made their way to the Amazon bestseller list and she quickly climbed the Amazon bestselling author list, as well. In November, 2013, Lori and a group of romantic suspense authors landed on the USA Today and NY Times bestseller lists with an anthology only eight months after the release of Lori’s first book. Lori loves to connect with her readers. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter or subscribe to her blog. Oh, and if you’ve read Lori’s books and loved them, please consider leaving a review on Amazon.com. Writers live and die by their reviews and Lori promises to do a happy dance around her office every time you write one!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

#AmReading - Sempre Redemption by J.M. Darhower @JMDarhower

Sempre Redemption by J.M. Darhower

Amazon

In this thrilling and sexy follow-up to Sempre, two young lovers struggle to keep their relationship intact after they become deeply enmeshed in the dangerous mafia-run crime ring they once tried to overthrow.
Haven Antonelli and Carmine DeMarco have been through a lot. Haven was taken in by Carmine’s father, and with his family’s help, she escaped a gruesome fate. However, saving Haven from the dark intentions of a mafia family cost Carmine a steep price: he was forced to swear loyalty to them.
Now, still passionately in love, Carmine and Haven must face the fall-out of Carmine’s forced service, as Haven discovers terrifying secrets about the family that enslaved both her and her mother—and why she matters so much in this intricate web of lies.

Friday, December 20, 2013

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

Eliza Green

Two Worlds. Two Species. One Terrifying Secret.

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

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

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

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

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

˃˃˃ Excellent Use of ForeShadowing – Masquerade Crew

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

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

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

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Genre – Science Fiction

Rating – PG13

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Website http://www.elizagreenbooks.com

Great White House by Christoph Paul @ChristophPaul_

Prologue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Senator McCaskill gave him a nice Missouri smile.

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

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

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

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

Great White House NEW COVER

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Genre – Fiction, Humor

Rating – PG-13

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Arthur J. Gonzalez – Things I Wish I Knew About Being an Author I Didn’t Know Before @arthurjgonzalez

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Arthur J. Gonzalez

Here are some quirky/funny/nerdy facts about little ol’ me.

1. I spoke at both my high school and college graduation

2. I’m extremely clumsy and goofy (Friends call me to Phil Dunphy – from Modern Family) -__-

3. I was on MTV’s Say What Karaoke my senior year of high school – I would post it if I could

find the video, I promise.)

4. Volunteered in Haiti a month after the 2010 earthquake (Life-Changing Experience!)

5. Owned a Health Care company

6. I don’t like roller coasters

7. I’m obsessed with Aladdin

8. I get all the words to every song wrong (literally, EVERY song)

9. I’m uncoordinated and horrendous at sports (I’m warning you, if I’m ever on the sidelines to

be chosen to play for a team, choose me last!)

10. I went to school to be a doctor (I know, right?!)

To find out even more, and/or sign up to my mailing list for up-to-date information, exclusive reads and cover reveals, and special giveaways, go here: www.arthurjgonzalez.com/contact

Photo Traveler

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Genre - Young Adult Science Fiction

Rating – PG

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Website http://www.arthurjgonzalez.com/

Author Interview – Sonja Hegman @ChiefWordsmith

*What’s your next project?

My next book is called, “Moving at the Speed of Twitter: How Authors Can Build an Online Platform to Sell More Books.” Marketing took over my life after writing “Trials,” so this book gives tips on how to use every social media platform imaginable.

*How do you feel about self-publishing?

It’s great. It’s about time authors were able to take control of not only their publishing futures, but also their financial futures. With all the hard work we put into our writing, it’s only fair that we get the profits, not an outside publisher.

*What social issues interest you the most?

I’m a bit of a political news junkie. Nothing in particular really, but I like knowing what’s going on in world and how it will affect me. If I had to pick one thing, it would be equality.

*Last book you purchased? Tell us about it.

Silver Linings Playbook. I wasn’t impressed.

*What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?

“A true friend stabs you in the front.” Oscar Wilde

I only want people in my life who are truthful and tell me exactly what they think. I don’t have time for passive-aggressiveness. I have more respect for people who are brutally honest.

*What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?

Surviving. I had a rough adolescence so it’s almost a miracle that I’ve gotten this far.

*What is your favorite color?

Teal.

*Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Yes, I was assigned to write a “love” story in eighth grade for the Valentine’s Day Edition of school newsletter. It was a hit. My English teacher went so far as to ask if I wrote it. I was confused by her question and responded, “Of course I wrote it. Why? Is it bad?” She said she was “surprised” by it. I was quite introverted and reserved back then. Writing changed that.

Trials

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Genre – Non-fiction

Rating – PG

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Website http://www.writerschatstew.com/

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

#AmReading - Papoosed by Patricia Rockwell @par2323

Papoosed by Patricia Rockwell

Amazon

The Happy Haven Assisted Living Facility is a home for senior citizens--not newborn babies. So, when one of the kitchen workers asks ninety-year-old resident Essie Cobb to secretly care for his missing co-worker's infant, she is flabbergasted but determined. Along with her intrepid friends--Marjorie, Opal, and Fay--amateur sleuth Essie sets out to hide and protect the baby--and find his missing mother. Unfortunately, Essie is expecting to deal with exterminators, suspicious neighbors, virus outbreaks, and the snowstorm of the century. Luckily, Essie is one smart cookie, and if anyone can manage to reunite a mother and child right before Christmas--it's Essie.

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

New-Eden-Plague-Kindle-Size-187x300-1

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

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

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

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

Also from David VanDyke:

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

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

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

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Genre – SciFi, Adventure

Rating – PG13

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Blog https://davidvandyke.wordpress.com/

Author Interview – Claire Charlins @ClaireCharlins

What else do you do to make money, other than write? It is rare today for writers to be full time…

I am so lucky to say that right now I write full time. It’s not easy! I put in about 12-15 hours per day. And I work 7 days a week. But it’s a dream come true right now.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

In a small cabin near a lake in Maine. My dream. J

How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?

laptop at my desk. I’m in a basement that overlooks a mountain. It’s beautiful… every morning I watch the sun rise while I write.

How much sleep do you need to be your best?

I get about 5-6 hours a night. That’s perfect for me.

Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support?

My readers. Honestly. I know every author does that… but without them, where am I? From the second I started Brothers of Rock, the readers took it and ran with it. It was supposed to be five books and nothing more. BUT now it’s going to 10 books and maybe more! Because of the readers, I brought the western romance series to life. It’s just so heart warming and filling.

West for Love

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Genre – Western / Christian Romance

Rating – PG

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Connect with  Claire Charlins on Twitter

Website http://clairecharlins.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Love Unbroken (Love, Life, & Happiness) by Sheena Binkley @ChevonBink

LoveUnbroken

Riana:

I wasn’t expecting to meet anyone when I arrived at Shaw University. After my last stint at love, the only thing I wanted to focus on is getting through my first semester of college without any drama. That was my intentions, until I met Shawn Walker. At first I didn’t like him. He was arrogant and cocky; someone that I could easily despised, if he wasn’t so damn sexy. But one night changed my thoughts about him. I was able to let down my guard and be myself. Now, I have a second chance at love. Will I let myself love again, or will I continue to live in the past?

Shawn:

After my last girlfriend cheated on me, love was not on my agenda. I tried to escape it at all costs, until I met Riana Robertson. After thinking she was like every other girl, I easily avoided being around her, but that night, when I saw what happened to her, I had to help her. I had to protect her. That night changed the way I felt about her and I realized I could fall hard for her. But will our relationship survive once she finds out the truth about me. Or will I lose her forever…

This story is intended for readers 17+ (adult content/language, sexual content/language).

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Genre - New Adult Romance

Rating – R

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Date with the Dead by Chris Myers @CMyersFiction

Chapter 5

After the Caldwells give us our licenses back, Reese and I head out.

“Do you want a ride home?” he asks.

“That’s okay. It’s only a couple miles,” I say. “Let’s talk about the evidence tomorrow.”

“I’ll go over it tonight,” he says, grinning at me.

I’m glad he’s into the techie side of the business. Going through hours of video and voice recordings bore me. Drew and I climb onto my bike. Dark clouds cover the moon, so I pedal fast to beat the rain. I should’ve accepted the ride.

We aren’t even a quarter of the way home when fat droplets splatter my arms. “Shoot.”

Drew squeezes my waist. “Get over. This SUV’s going to clip us.”

Bike reflectors are hard to see at night, so I don’t look behind me but get off the road as far as I can. The headlights shine on me and light up the road in front of me. I’m right against the curb. Surely, he sees me. The SUV slows. The engine breathes on me. I don’t look back. Why isn’t he going around? The vehicle camps on my rear fender for a minute.

“What’s he doing?” Drew asks.

“I don’t know.”

The SUV slowly comes beside me. I look into the tinted windows. I can’t see inside, but the thought of someone staring back at me sends chills along my arms.

The SUV speeds up and brushes against my left pedal. My body jumps as if I’ve been struck by a live wire. The bicycle swerves. I hit the curb and flip, which would’ve seemed graceful if it had been on purpose. My body slides against the sidewalk then onto someone’s lawn.

“Jerk,” Drew yells, pumping his fist in the air.

“I don’t think he can hear you.” I gather myself while rain droplets plunk down on my head, matting my hair.

“Are you okay?” Drew asks, helping me to my feet.

“I’ll survive,” I say, assessing the damage. My right knee is banged up. Shin and palm road rash. I’m shaking hard like I’m holding onto the wing of an airplane flying through a storm.

Computer? I yank it from my back pack. It’s okay. I sigh with relief.

My front handlebars are askew. Great. I’ll have to walk my bike home in the rain. Another drop hits my nose. I tighten my thin jacket and shiver from the sudden wet cold. I pick up the bike and push it while wincing with each step I take. 

A blue FJ Cruiser drives onto the curb behind me. Add embarrassment now to my list of injuries. The rain patters my head.

The driver gets out. It’s Hayden, Mr. Terminator. My knees buckle, not that they needed much encouragement. Why couldn’t it be a teacher, someone I don’t care if he sees me looking my worst? Hayden’s in jeans and a snug polo shirt and looks fabulous whereas I probably look like road kill.

“Jesus,” he says. “I saw that guy run you off the road. He was probably chatting on his cell phone.”

That could be true, but the way he slowed down still has me trembling. “Did you get his license plate?” I ask.

“Sorry. I was too far back.” Hayden walks over to me. “Are you okay? Do you want me to call an ambulance?”

That would cost money. “No. I’ll be fine.” I hobble another few steps forward, because the rain is picking up its tempo.

Date with the Dead

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Genre - YA Paranormal Mystery, Romance

Rating – PG-13

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Website http://www.chrismyersfiction.com

5 Essentials of Memoir Writing – Bobbie Cole @cole_bobbie

5 Essentials of Memoir Writing
One of the hardest things when you’re writing about yourself is to know what to include and what to leave out, so my first secret has to be:
1.     Don’t tell your whole life story.
There has to be a point. Your memoir has to add up to something. If you want to write about your interesting life, I would suggest that you plan a series of interesting stories, each with its own point.
Whether a single theme or a series, you will need to formulate a premise for each story. A premise is one or two sentences that sum up your whole plot.
Here are the elements: main character / their problem / resolution
Every story needs conflict, or it’s nothing but an anecdote. .
The premise for the movie ‘The Godfather’ was: Son is reluctant to go into family business but eventually agrees to do so.
2.     Create an ideal reader profile
Do this before you begin writing. Optimally, make that person understand nothing about your subject.
Note down details about your ideal reader’s age, sex, tastes, marital status, means and hobbies. You can even give them a name.
Then write your story for that one person.
3.     Assume Nothing
You have a whole vocabulary and history, things that are obvious to you but potentially foggy to your readers.
For example, my own memoir begins with me travelling in Israel with a friend from half way across the world. People naturally want to know how the two of us became friends.
A sentence or two covered it.
Questions like that left unanswered would leave your readers wondering, i.e. distracted.
4.     Write scenes
It is very tempting, when memoir writing, to set down what happened first and what happened next.
When you show, rather than tell, you’re writing in scenes. A scene is action set in a place and time.
Here’s a short example of part of a scene from She Does Not Fear the Snow:
A couple of weeks before I was due to leave, the phone rang early one morning.
‘Terry’s disappeared!’ Butch announced.
‘Disappeared?’
His voice sounded strained. It was still night where he was. ‘She hadn’t been to the house in more than a week, so Don used his key and went inside.’
She had been living in their home, Don just across the yard in his parents’ former home.
I saw scenarios of big rows ending in violence, Don furious with the court’s decision to let Terry live in the log cabin he built, while he was demoted to the little, old house. 
I saw my friend’s poor, broken body languishing in some forgotten gully, for the wolves and coyotes to feast on.
‘Everything was packed up, like she was moving out,’ he went on.
Ah, that put a different complexion on things. I couldn’t see him waiting to vent his passion while she packed everything away first.
This is how it might have looked, written as an account:
One morning, a couple of weeks before I was due to leave, Butch phoned early to tell me that Terry had disappeared. I worried that Don, who had been forced to move out of the log cabin he had built them, might have become violent with her.
However, Butch told me she’d packed everything, which reassured me.
Which do you prefer?
5.     Bring your story to life with telling details
Telling details allow your reader to ‘see’ what you’re saying and feeling. There are a few examples from the passage above:
  • His voice sounded strained. Adds an atmosphere of anxiety.
  • So Don used his key and went inside. We picture Don opening the door.
  • I saw my friend’s poor, broken body languishing in some forgotten gully, for the wolves and coyotes to feast on. We picture my wild imaginings of violence on my friend.
  • ‘Everything was packed up, like she was moving out,’ he went on. We picture what Don saw when he went inside.
Question: Do you have tips of your own you’d like to add?
(Note to blogger – I will participate in comments, if advised of their existence: bobbie@testimonytrain.com.)
Biog:
Bobbie Ann Cole is author of her faith memoir, She Does Not Fear the Snow. A trail of miracles led her from a Jerusalem church, where she wasn’t supposed to be, to meet and marry her Boaz in Atlantic Canada. Free sample chapter and promo video: www.shedoesnotfearthesnow.com. Bobbie, AKA The Testimony Lady, will help you write your testimony, too.  Download her free workbook, Start Writing Your Christian Testimony: http://testimonytrain.com.
She Does Not Fear the Snow
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Genre –  Faith Memoir
Rating – PG
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