Friday, January 16, 2015

Anna's Secret, A Turnip Hoe & A #Crime of Passion by Margaret Westlie @MargaretWestlie #HistFic #MustRead

I have been steeped in the stories about my ancestors since my birth.  They may have even seeped into me through the walls of the womb.  Anna’s Secret is a story I’ve heard many times from various people.  The latest version was from my Uncle Harold.  He said that one of our own people was suspected of the crime of murdering Anne Beaton with a turnip hoe.  It was said that she was no better than she should be and was doing a little marital wandering with someone in the community.  For a long time the smithy was suspected.  He was in custody for a period but was finally exonerated and left Prince Edward Island for good.  Ultimately the authorities decided that the crime was perpetrated by a woman and was in fact, a crime of passion.  This last was pronounced with great relish.  They never found the person responsible.  It seems that Anne had greatly riled a wronged wife, and probably several.
The story caught my imagination and I began to wonder: what if she wasn’t who they thought she was? What if the reason for her murder was entirely different?  What if the murderer was discovered?  Who would it be?  Her husband?  The wronged woman?  The man she was said to be involved with?  There was a lot to play with here.  In a technical sense, how close to reality could I be without offending descendents?  Not too close, I decided.  Anyway, it’s more fun to write what pops into my mind and see how it plays out.
As I wrote, the narrative opened like a flower as I examined the individuals who I decided were involved.  Who were they?  What relationship did they hold to Anna and to her family and to each other? How did Old Annie figure into it?  After all she was a daft old woman who had to be transported to gatherings in a wheelbarrow because she couldn’t be left alone.  Most of the time she didn’t know anyone and lived in her mind very far in the past with people she knew in her youth.  What did she have to do with Anna’s murder?  After all, she and Anna had been life-long friends.
And what did it do to the community?  Their sense of safety was shattered and people took to locking their doors, some even in the daytime.  This was in a community that never locked its doors even in my grandmother’s time.  I remember this from my childhood.  The only time the door was locked was if they were going to be away for an extended period because, what if someone needed something and they weren’t home to give it to them?  I remember my own mother telling me a story about an old man who peddled goods and trinkets door-to-door.  He was a little simple as they say here. They woke up one morning and discovered him asleep on the lounge with a blazing fire in the stove.  After the murder, people were afraid to walk out alone at night.
As the story progressed it took awhile for me to realize who the real perpetrator was and the denouement was almost as much a surprise to me as it will be to you.

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

Thursday, January 15, 2015

#Excerpt from SAGA OF THE NINE : AREA 38 by Mikey D. B. @mikeydbii #SagaoftheNine #Dystopian #Thriller

The rusty metal box is as tempting as it is frightening and the taunting dilemma puts Joe and Jackson on the edge of their seats.  Tentatively, Jackson flips the latches and carefully unpicks the lock.  Rust particles tumble to the table top to yield a euphoric mystery.  It was buried for a reason--a reason good enough to kill for.  Books will at the very least put them on stage with Christopher; it’s conspiracy against The Government.  Audio is labeled as disturbing the peace, therefore you’ll be on stage.  Pictures disturb the mind, and ideas the heart.  The two friends are all too aware that the box most likely contains something that will eventually lead to their demise.

“Should we?”  Jackson’s hands rest on either side of the lid hoping Joe says “no” but secretly wanting him to say “hell yeah!”.

Hesitantly Joe masks his anticipation.  “Yeah.  Why not?”

That’s not confirmation filled with enthusiasm, but Jackson pries the rusty box open without delving into the endless reasons as to why or why not.

“A book!”  Joe instantly shouts, the memories flooding back to him.

All fear is gone.  Joe yanks it out and begins flapping dust in every direction as he flips through the delicate paper pages.  Jackson counts it and every artifact carefully to create a mental inventory: a black fat book, three dark blue books, an ancient audio device, a series of discs and a chain necklace.
Immediately Jackson reaches for the only object that won’t get him killed and begins to examine the tiny metal links of the necklace.  He slips it over his head and dangles the relic from his neck, watching the ancient key swing from left to right until his jacket stops the momentum.  Next he reaches for the audio device, surprised technology like this can still be found.

“Holy Bible?  Odd word, bible.”  Wonder why it’s holy, he thinks before slamming the black book down, creating a wave of dust in the process.  Frantically, he then reaches for one of the discs and asks, “What’s a CD?”

“And what’s an iPod?”  Jackson mumbles to himself, reading the metallic lettering.  He flips the device over and notices a small red button.  Pressing it, the screen illuminates.  A small white apple appears for a short while until a bright menu takes its place.

“Wow!”  Joe proclaims.  “It still works!”

“Yeah, I think it has one of those solar, nuclear, forever lasting batteries.”

“Where the hell did yuh hear that?”

“A friend.”  Jackson thinks of Conner and the tidbits of random knowledge he’s accumulated from him.

Joe is about to delve in and interrogate Jackson as to which friend he is talking about, but becomes distracted by the shimmering of the CD object.  “What do you make of these?”  Joe hands him a small stack of plastic square casings.  Inside each casing sits a shiny, compact disc.  Joe picks up one labeled John Mayer and is quick to discover the glare that can be created when angling them just right.  Without hesitating he blinds Jackson.

“These things are awesome!”  He giggles with joy.  He can’t believe he found it, and in all places Grandma Lisa’s old yard.

“Yeah, super cool.”  Jackson places the small stack down and goes back to the iPod device.  He scrolls through the various menus until finding a series of foreign words.  “American Backstory, The USA: a founding?”

“Hey Jackson!  This one has yer name on it.  Well kind of.”  Joe hands him one of the shiny encased discs labeled: The Rouge Family: DIA BBQ USA HQ Oct 14, 2037.  Jackson shivers at reading the words, and as Joe continues to reflect light throughout the room, Jackson makes one more discovery Picking up a petite tan envelope found in between one of the blue books labeled Journal, he compresses the contents to feel a number of different pieces of papers.  He spins it around to reveal one last spooky sight.

“To Jackson from Mom and Dad.”  He reads it reverently and in seconds, a rush of adrenalin floods through his veins.  “Joe.  Put everything back in the box.  Now!”

Saga of the Nine

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

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

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

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

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Dystopian Thriller
Rating – PG13
More details about the author
Connect with Mikey D. B. on Facebook & Twitter
Website www.mikeydb.com

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A LIFE LESS ORDINARY #Excerpt by Victoria Bernadine @VicBernadine #Goodreads #ChickLit #Women

Manny laid in bed, staring up at the ceiling and waiting for sleep. She plucked restlessly at the blanket and wished she could relax. Tomorrow was Steph’s first staff meeting. Today she’d reacquainted herself with everyone in the office then spent the rest of the day with Manny being briefed on the details of the work of the branch and any current issues she’d need to resolve within the next few days. That meant Manny’s own work had been delayed, and tomorrow it would be delayed again–and Manny would have to leave early in order to meet Rebecca and Daisy at the lounge for drinks before heading to the club.
Manny took a deep breath and slowly let it out. It wouldn’t be too bad, she staunchly told herself. Steph was young, energetic, and had a shrewd intelligence almost obscured by the cleavage-revealing shirts, short skirts and a figure that could stop traffic–and probably did. Manny wondered if Craig truly understood what he’d gotten himself in for by promoting Steph rather than Manny.
Cleavage and legs.
She mentally rolled her eyes at Harvey’s dry, cynical tones.
Maybe–but that’s not really fair to him, is it? He’s not a bad guy.
But he is just a guy.
She does bring a new perspective–a new way of thinking about things. She’s not a bad choice–and I can’t argue with Craig’s idea that shaking things up could make things better.
And where does that leave you?
No worse off than I was before.
And no better.
If you’re not going to be helpful…
Harvey glanced down at his suddenly ruffled shirt opened to the middle of his muscled chest and skin-tight breeches. He glanced back at her with a ruefully amused smile.
Watched the Ice Pirates again, did you?
Oh, shut up–it’s a classic no matter what anybody else thinks!
I’m just sayin’–if I was real and regularly wore pants this tight, I’m not sure I’d be of any use to you. If you know what I mean.
Manny groaned and shook her head, and Harvey blinked out of existence. She wondered when she’d managed to lose control of a figment of her imagination–one she’d eventually felt compelled to name after an invisible rabbit.
She groaned again, rolled over and pulled the covers over her head. It was going to be another long day tomorrow.
Complete with dancing.

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

Thursday, January 1, 2015

John E. Wade II Shares Topics & Inspiration for "Glimpses of Heaven on Earth" #AmReading #Motivation #SelfHelp

I very much enjoyed writing Glimpses of Heaven on Earth, as an inspirational read that I hope gives its readers some interesting thoughts to contemplate. The book includes quotations and essays on the following topics: peace and security, freedom, democracies, prosperity, gender harmony, racial harmony, spiritual harmony, ecological harmony, health, and moral purpose and meaning. This is a follow-up to my prior book, How to Achieve a Heaven on Earth, which is a collection of approximately one hundred essays on these same topics.

In this newest book, Glimpses of Heaven on Earth, I invited four essay contributors to my prior book to join me in collecting inspiriting quotations. Each of the five co-authors—Charlotte L. Piotrowski, Daniel Agatino, Michael Nagler, Martin Rutte, and I—wrote brief commentary to follow the quotations in each chapter. I think the group did a good job of finding quotations on all of these topics from leaders and thinkers throughout time and across the globe, which was an exhaustive by interesting project. You will find some familiar favorites, such as quotes from Mother Theresa and Mahatma Gandhi, and also some that may be unfamiliar. I can imagine starting off each day by reading a sampling of quotes from each chapter. After all, we are all seeking to make some kind of order in the chaos of life, and I find this book very helpful in that quest.

Because of the range of topics, there truly is something of interest for everyone. I enjoyed reading about net-zero buildings in Martin’s commentary on ecological harmony. And I think readers will be intrigued by my predictions of everlasting life in the chapter on health. I want to note that we did not shy away from today’s hot topics, such as racial and gender issues, making for a very timely read.
All in all, our writing styles are easy to read and the content is easy to follow, although I had to read Michael’s commentary about peace and security twice before it really sank in. As the founder for the Metta Center for Nonviolence, Michael is an expert in this field, and I found myself wanting to know more about his beliefs and practices. In addition to other books on the topic of nonviolence, Michael provides all sorts of other helpful material on his website:  http://mettacenter.org/.  I also has several comprehensive websites, one that specifically focuses on the topic of heaven on earth: www.heavenonearth.org

This book would make an excellent gift for someone experiencing change in their life, going through difficult times, changing jobs or schools, or for someone who enjoys being inspired to create a better life for herself and others. I can imagine giving this book as a graduation or retirement gift as well. Truly, anyone would benefit from reading this short, but impactful, book.

Glimpses of Heaven on Earth

Editor and author John E. Wade II has compiled a spiritual guide of invaluable insight for finding peace and meaning in life while making the world a better place for all. Along with co-authors Charlotte Livingston Piotrowski, Daniel Agatino, Michael Nagler, and Martin Rutte, this collection of enlightening essays and inspirational quotes from renowned thinkers and leaders throughout history provides the intellectual tools needed to live a more harmonious life.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Inspirational
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with John E. Wade II on Facebook