Friday Book Round-Up Rustles Up 12 Deals on #Books! #FridayReads #amreading #99cents


Friday Book Round Up

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. Spring is here and I’m itching for some good books to read. We just paid our taxes so money is tight. So, off I went to Amazon see what I could find in their deals section. Everything from Fiction to Romance to Mystery were on sale so here are the ones I recommend (and downloaded):

 

 

The Things We Wish Were True by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen ($1.50)

In an idyllic small-town neighborhood, a near tragedy triggers a series of dark revelations.

 

From the outside, Sycamore Glen, North Carolina, might look like the perfect all-American neighborhood. But behind the white picket fences lies a web of secrets that reach from house to house.

 

Up and down the streets, neighbors quietly bear the weight of their own pasts—until an accident at the community pool upsets the delicate equilibrium. And when tragic circumstances compel a woman to return to Sycamore Glen after years of self-imposed banishment, the tangle of the neighbors’ intertwined lives begins to unravel.

 

During the course of a sweltering summer, long-buried secrets are revealed, and the neighbors learn that it’s impossible to really know those closest to us. But is it impossible to love and forgive them?

 

 

Heirs of Grace by Tim Pratt ($1.50)

Recent art school graduate Bekah thought she’d hit the jackpot: an unknown relative died, and she inherited a small fortune and a huge house in the mountains of North Carolina.

 

Trey Howard, the lawyer who handled the estate, is a handsome man in his twenties and they hit it off right away—and soon become more than friends. Bekah expected a pleasant year to get her head together and have a romantic fling. Problem is, the house is full of junk…and siblings she didn’t know she had are willing to kill her for it.

 

More important, the junk in her new house is magical, she’s surrounded by monsters, and her life seems to be in mortal peril every time she ventures into a new room. As Bekah discovers more about her mysterious benefactor and the magical world he inhabited, she’s realizes that as tough and resourceful as she is, she might just be in over her head…

 

Heirs of Grace is a tale of family and magic, action and wonder, blending the strong heroine, cheeky humor, and dark fantasy that have become the hallmarks of Tim Pratt’s writing.

 

 

Only The Innocent by Rachel Abbott ($1.50)

Every moment of Sir Hugo Fletcher’s life has been chronicled in the British press: his privileged upbringing, his high-profile charity work to end human trafficking—even his two marriages. But when the billionaire philanthropist is discovered murdered in his London home, tied naked to a bed, the scandal is only a shadow of the darkness lurking off-camera.

 

Laura Fletcher returns from an Italian vacation to find her husband dead and her home under siege by paparazzi. Is she shocked? Yes. But is she distraught? Not exactly. Especially when Chief Inspector Tom Douglas reveals his suspicions that Hugo’s killer is female. Laura always knew she wasn’t the only woman in Hugo’s life. And she knows she wasn’t the only one with a motive to kill.

 

The deeper Douglas digs, the more sordid details about Hugo Fletcher he uncovers. And yet nothing compares to the secret Laura guards, a secret that could bring the guilty to justice—or destroy an innocent life forever.

 

 

The Woman on the Orient Express by Lindsay Jayne Ashford ($1.50)

Hoping to make a clean break from a fractured marriage, Agatha Christie boards the Orient Express in disguise. But unlike her famous detective Hercule Poirot, she can’t neatly unravel the mysteries she encounters on this fateful journey.

 

Agatha isn’t the only passenger on board with secrets. Her cabinmate Katharine Keeling’s first marriage ended in tragedy, propelling her toward a second relationship mired in deceit. Nancy Nelson—newly married but carrying another man’s child—is desperate to conceal the pregnancy and teeters on the brink of utter despair. Each woman hides her past from the others, ferociously guarding her secrets. But as the train bound for the Middle East speeds down the track, the parallel courses of their lives shift to intersect—with lasting repercussions.

 

Filled with evocative imagery, suspense, and emotional complexity, The Woman on the Orient Express explores the bonds of sisterhood forged by shared pain and the power of secrets.

 

 

Treasured by Thursday (Weekday Brides Series Book 7) by Catherine Bybee ($1.50)

The seventh and final tale in the dazzling, heartwarming, and pulse-racing Weekday Brides series.

 

Gabriella Masini: She’s a woman haunted by her past, with the scars to prove it. She believes that fairy tales are for other people. An elite matchmaker at Alliance, she’s great at crunching numbers, but something doesn’t add up with her latest prospective client: a billionaire bad boy with his own secrets. When Gabi refuses to be his temporary wife, Hunter forces her hand with an offer she can’t refuse. But marriage to a man like that could never last…or could it?

 

Hunter Blackwell: Only his bank account is bigger than his ruthless ability to obtain anything he wants. These days, he has a secret reason to settle down, at least for a while—and he thinks the sensual and sassy Gabi will fit the bill perfectly. But when their marriage of convenience becomes downright dangerous, Hunter must decide how far to take his vow to honor and protect Gabi forever.

 

 

How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain by Gregory Berns ($1.50)

The powerful bond between humans and dogs is one that’s uniquely cherished. Loyal, obedient, and affectionate, they are truly “man’s best friend.” But do dogs love us the way we love them? Emory University neuroscientist Gregory Berns had spent decades using MRI imaging technology to study how the human brain works, but a different question still nagged at him: What is my dog thinking?

 

After his family adopted Callie, a shy, skinny terrier mix, Berns decided that there was only one way to answer that question—use an MRI machine to scan the dog’s brain. His colleagues dismissed the idea. Everyone knew that dogs needed to be restrained or sedated for MRI scans. But if the military could train dogs to operate calmly in some of the most challenging environments, surely there must be a way to train dogs to sit in an MRI scanner.

 

With this radical conviction, Berns and his dog would embark on a remarkable journey and be the first to glimpse the inner workings of the canine brain. Painstakingly, the two worked together to overcome the many technical, legal, and behavioral hurdles. Berns’s research offers surprising results on how dogs empathize with human emotions, how they love us, and why dogs and humans share one of the most remarkable friendships in the animal kingdom.

 

How Dogs Love Us answers the age-old question of dog lovers everywhere and offers profound new evidence that dogs should be treated as we would treat our best human friends: with love, respect, and appreciation for their social and emotional intelligence.

 

 

The Language of Hoofbeats by Catherine Ryan Hyde ($1.50)

From the bestselling author of Pay It Forward comes a story of the heartbreak and healing power of family. New to a small town, Jackie and Paula envision a quiet life for their kids: a young adopted son and two teenage foster children, including the troubled Star. However, they quickly butt heads with their neighbor, Clementine, who disapproves of their lifestyle and is incensed when Star befriends her spirited horse, Comet. Haunted by past tragedy and unable to properly care for Comet, Clem nevertheless resents the bond Star soon shares with the horse. When Star disappears with Comet, the neighbors are thrown together—far too close together. But as the search for the pair wears on, both families must learn to put aside their animosity and confront the choices they’ve made and the scars they carry. Plumbing the depths of regret and forgiveness, The Language of Hoofbeats explores the strange alchemy that transforms a group of people into a family.

 

Winner of a Rainbow Award

 

 

The One I Was by Eliza Graham ($1.50)

Restless, troubled Rosamond Hunter has spent most of her life running away from the past, filled with guilt about her involuntary role in her mother’s death. When her nursing job brings her back to Fairfleet, her childhood home, to care for an elderly refugee, she is forced to confront the ghosts that have haunted her for so long.

 

Her patient, Benny Gault, first came to Fairfleet, England, in 1939, having fled Nazi Germany on a Kindertransport train.

 

As his health fails, he and Rosamond begin to confide in each other. At first their tentative friendship revolves around the love they both shared for Rosamond’s glamorous grandmother, Harriet, but as their trust in each other grows, guilty secrets are exposed and history is turned on its head.

 

From the acclaimed author of Playing with the Moon and Restitution comes a beautiful and haunting tale of friendship, redemption and forgiveness across generations.

 

Revised edition: This edition of The One I Was includes editorial revisions.

 

 

Royal Date (The Royals of Monterra Book 1) by Sariah Wilson ($.99)

This Cinderella didn’t plan on a prince . . .

 

Kat MacTaggart is a girl who has a plan for everything—including her holiday ski trip to Monterra with her best friend. Everything is going according to plan until she finds herself careening out of control down a mountainside and being rescued by a guy who looks like Superman’s hotter Italian cousin.

 

HRH Prince Nico is intrigued by the woman he saved on the slopes and her refusal to date him. He offers Kat a deal—let him show her his country and he’ll pay her to write articles that will help Monterra’s tourism industry. Kat agrees, but given her past and lingering distrust of men, she has one condition—absolutely no kissing.

 

Thanks to the claims of a jealous British noblewoman and the schemes of a meddling paparazzo, Kat’s rule doesn’t seem to be a problem at first. But the more Kat gets to know Nico and the people around him, the harder it is to remember her keep-your-distance plan. Should she stick to it or risk everything for a chance at happily ever after?

 

 

Crazy Little Thing (A Bell Harbor Novel) by Tracy Brogan ($.99)

Bell Harbor is a one-million copy bestselling series.

 

If Sadie Turner is good at anything, it’s putting stuff in order. So when she finds her “perfect” life in disarray, she hopes a summer vacation at her aunt’s lake house will help her piece it back together. She wants to relax, reboot, and heal the wounds left by her cheating ex-husband. And that requires time away from men. All men.

 

Or so she thinks.

 

With two slobbering dogs and two cousins living there—one a flamboyant decorator intent on making over Sadie—it’s hard to get a moment’s peace at eccentric Aunt Dody’s house, especially with everyone so determined to set her up with Desmond, the sexy new neighbor.

 

Desmond is Sadie’s worst nightmare. Tall, tanned, muscular…and to top it off, he’s great with her kids. But he must have a flaw—he’s a man—so Sadie vows to keep her distance.

 

As summer blazes on, the life Sadie is trying so hard to simplify only becomes more complicated—a new career presents itself, her evil ex haunts her, and Aunt Dody reveals a tragic secret—but maybe a little chaos is just what Sadie needs to get her life back in order.

 

 

Planting the Seeds of Love: A Novella by N. N. Light ($.99)

Torn between two men, Sally must follow her heart and decide if love will lead her to the city or the countryside.

 

Twenty-Two-year-old Sally Rayton returns to the family farm she deserted four years ago to bury her grandfather. Her plan: to settle her grandfather’s estate and return to her life in the city with her boyfriend, Trevor Mattson.

 

Her childhood friend, Jack Smith, has other ideas.

 

Jack convinces Sally to transform the farm into a brewery and fulfill her grandfather’s dream while keeping the Rayton Farm in the family. Sally works side-by-side with Jack while Trevor is hundreds of miles away in the city. The more time she spends with Jack, the stronger her feelings are for him.

 

When Trevor shows up to propose to Sally right before Christmas and finds her in Jack’s embrace, she must make the biggest choice of her life: true love.

 

 

Highland Surrender by Tracy Brogan ($.99)

To seal a fragile truce, Fiona Sinclair’s brothers trade her in marriage to their sworn enemy. Though devastated by their betrayal, she has little choice in the matter, for if she refuses, her innocent young sister must take her place. The spirited Fiona is willing to sacrifice her freedom to protect her kin, but she vows never to surrender her heart.

 

As the eldest son of a clan chief, Myles Campbell is accustomed to having his own way. But when the king of Scotland commands he wed a defiant Highland lass instead of a French mademoiselle, Myles must obey his royal duty. Meeting his bride for the first time on their wedding day, he is pleased to discover the lass is a beauty, but she quickly proves she’d just as soon kill him as kiss him.

 

When two such warrior spirits collide, sparks fly, igniting a fiery passion that strains against the bonds of family honor, clan loyalty— and the ultimate surrender—love.

 

 

Have a book on sale to recommend? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

 

If You’re a #Tarantino Fan, You’ll Love Chasing Bedlam by @cyallowitz #bookreview #IARTG


Chasing Bedlam

 

Title: Chasing Bedlam

Author: Charles E. Yallowitz

Genre: Black Humor, Satire, Dystopia

 

Book Blurb:

Lloyd and Cassidy’s last adventure was to honor a life. This time they are out to end one.

It was a normal, violent mission to Texas that should have had nothing more than beer-induced hiccups. That is until an old enemy makes off with Cassidy’s jeep and most of their gear. Needless to say, she’s pissed off and challenging Lloyd for the psychopath of the month award. With the mouthy serial killer by her side, she is going on the warpath from Dallas to Miami even if it means declaring war on the drug cartels.

So strap in for another wild ride through the Shattered States and learn why you never mess with Cassidy’s jeep.

 

My Review:

Readers of Patrick deWitt and Joe Abercrombie, not to mention Tarantino: take a ride with me through the Shattered States.

 

Lloyd and Cassidy are back and in this adventure, all bets are off. An old rival has stolen Cassidy’s jeep and now she’s out for blood. It doesn’t matter to her who she has to kill or how many, she’s going to make everyone pay.

 

In the same vein as filmmaker Quintin Tarantino, Yallowitz brilliantly creates a hoard of death, blood and violence all with humorous banter between the characters. Strictly speaking, this is more than dystopian fiction; it’s black humor with bloodshed.

 

The action is swift and the dialogue is nicely peppered throughout so as to not distract too much from the violence. Lloyd and Cassidy are hilarious while the drug gangs are blissfully stupid. All in all, a fun read.

 

I found the bloodbath a bit excessive, at times, but that’s just me.

 

I’m a sucker for a good chapter title and Yallowitz nails these:

Back with a Bang

Child of the Battle Zone

First Sex . . .

. . . Then Violence

Malice on the Mississippi

The City of Beads & Blood

The Cats, The Mouse, & The Monster

Belles of the Homecoming Harvest

Don’t Feed that Puppy!

Nuts!

Attack of the Pricks

Worst Sightseeing Tour Ever

Return of the Old Friend

A Lawsuit Waiting to Happen

Told You I Know a Guy

Debauchery & Dented Skulls

Vengeance with a Side of Chocolate

 

If you like dystopia, action, lots of gunplay, and/or a killer female main character, 1-click Chasing Bedlam today. Your future self will thank you!

 

Disclaimer: I received a copy from the author in the hopes I’d review it.

 

Favorite Character/Quote:

“Now, the distraction’s job is to keep you looking in one direction while a mischievous maiden of mayhem prepares her new toy somewhere else. Don’t bother running, boys, because she’ll take that as an insult.”

 

My Rating:  4 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Bedlam-Shattered-States-Book-ebook/dp/B06X8ZCGG5

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Chasing-Bedlam-Shattered-States-Book-ebook/dp/B06X8ZCGG5

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chasing-Bedlam-Shattered-States-Book-ebook/dp/B06X8ZCGG5

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34236934-chasing-bedlam

 

Author Biography:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

 

Social Media Links:

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

Meet @RobShackleford and his New Release, Traveller Inceptio #books #SFF #amreading


 Rob_Shackleford_1

 

As many of you know, I love reading historical fiction. The reason? I love learning about history through the eyes of people who experienced it.  History comes alive, if well-researched and well-written. I first met Rob Shackleford a few months ago and was instantly intrigued. I convinced him to sit down with me for an honest interview. I’d ask some pretty tough questions and he’d have to answer them. It’s my great pleasure to introduce Rob Shackleford to the POTL Blog. Please give him a warm welcome. Take it away, Rob:

 

What is your writing process?

Perhaps the most important part of my process is research. My story involves detailed descriptions of the English Saxon world of around 11th Century. It also involves the Special Forces troops who are sent there. This has meant intensive research into both areas, ie History and the military. When it came to the 11th Century Saxon community, I had to learn what they ate, what were their attitudes to religion, what their homes were like, how they dressed, even their attitudes towards sex. Everything had to be researched to make the story stand up to any sort of scrutiny, especially scholarly scrutiny. Only then can the story be told with any degree of reliability.

 

Once the research was completed in the areas I targeted, the story could unfold. Many times I discovered I was writing the narrative in a direction I didn’t realise it would take. That then required more research. In my attempt to make the story as realistic as possible, the story involved some surprising developments, that is, it was surprising to me.

 

Once the story was told, I went back to rewrite, to improve grammar, description, and then develop speaking parts, which allowed for more character development and fine tuning of the events in the story.

 

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?

I have always enjoyed the mind-broadening aspects of great science fiction works, so some of the classic authors such as H. G. Wells, Arthur Clarke, Robert Heinlein and Frank Herbert are just a few of the many who allowed me to submerge into bold new worlds and ideas. I have grown to better appreciate the difference between great storytelling from authors such as Stephen king, to true wordsmiths who paint a portrait with their breathtaking language, one who comes to mind is Yann Martel for the Life of Pi.

 

Other inspirations are found in islands of Robert Louis Stevenson, the humour of Mark Train, the insight of George Orwell, the razor-sharp social commentary of Jack Kerouac, to name but a few authors who changed the world.

 

I would be remiss not to mention J. K. Rolling and her epic Harry Potter tales, a legend in market adaptation and commercial success.

 

While I feebly aspire to develop my own creative writing skills, I opt to be a story teller, hopefully a great one. One day, I hope the two will merge.

 

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Being an author is a tough gig. It takes time and lots of dedication. Most of all it takes belief in yourself, which can be the most challenging task of all. Think of it as a professional sportsperson. Sometimes one is discovered and shoots to the top of the charts, but most of the time any success is through the good, old fashioned hard slog. Even then, luck, or shall I say good fortune, is a part of being discovered.

 

Like most of the arts today, such as the music industry, or art, the process is so much tougher, so much longer. The days of million-dollar first book contracts are long gone.

 

With today’s technology we are so very fortunate to see the emergence of great authors, whether they are best sellers or not. The biggest challenge is to get your work out there, make it shine, and then do the marketing and get exposure. But don’t despair. Write your novel or your poetry. Give birth to your dream, and then learn and go through the process that the world requires of you. Even if you bring delight and inspiration to only one other, it will be worth it.

 

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

It seems I am a bit of both. I have the book’s broad structure in my head and then I develop the characters and chapters one step at a time. I need the broad structure so as to not ramble, but sometimes the story heads in a direction that surprises me. I don’t think it’s ghost writing. At least I hope it isn’t. It’s just describing the responses of humans placed in challenging situations.

 

What are you working on now? What is your next project?

Traveller Inceptio – which means “Beginning” in Latin, as spoken by the clergy in 11th Century England, lends itself to a sequel.

 

I have almost completed the first draft for Traveller Probo, which means ‘to inquire or prove’. All I can suggest is that the success of the English Traveller missions receives intense international attention and envy, causing nations to compete to engage in their own missions to send their own Travellers 1000 years into the past. It’s like a space-race, only a lot cheaper and easier.

 

But is this a wise course of action?  Who can say?

 

Traveller Probo examines the social and political consequences of the English Saxon mission, and how more missions are planned to send more Special Forces historical researchers to the world of 1000 years ago.

 

 

What is the biggest fib you’ve ever told?

Once when working for the media they wanted someone who had driven racing cars to participate in a media race event. Though I was never any kind of media star, I fibbed and said I had the experience and was given the gig. On race-day, I couldn’t even change the gears, but once I was shown I did quite well, as none of the other media participants dared drive fast. I did bounce off the walls a few times and won the race, though the car owner wasn’t pleased as there were bold, new scratches down the side of his nicely painted yellow race-car.

 

It was, I must say, a worthwhile fib.

 

Or

 

Didn’t hurt a bit – after having my teeth ground without anesthetic for caps by a dentist in India. I aged 5 years and dropped 2 kilos from sweat.

 

Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

Crystallized Ginger, and Licorice (the British type). If you bring that stuff around, don’t expect me to share.

 

What literary character is most like you?

As a kid I was a bit like Tom Sawyer in that I managed to get things … done. When I was about 8 years old I recall being picked on by a kid, so I enlisted the abilities of a big, not too bright kid I barely knew to go into battle for me. They both got into trouble for fighting on the parade ground just as school parade was about to start. I was never picked on again.
My Teacher saw what had happened and, without me knowing, had a chat to my parents. Years later they told me about it. My dad thought it was the funniest thing ever.

 

If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

A cat owned by my partner. She spoils that creature rotten. All I would have to do is avoid being gelded at the vet.

 

What’s on your bucket list (things to do before you die)?

Here’s a few: See a tornado, Scuba dive with sharks – me in a shark cage that is, climb a live volcano, hike a glacier.

 

 Traveller-Inceptio-5x8

 

Title: Traveller Inceptio

Author: Rob Shackleford

Genre: Science Fiction, Historical, Action

Publisher: Book Baby – E Publishing only.

 

Book Blurb:

If you were sent a thousand years into the past, would you survive?

 

With the accidental development of the Transporter, university researchers determine that the device sends any subject one thousand years into the past.

 

Or is it to a possible past?

 

The enigmatic Transporter soon becomes known as a Time Machine, but with limitations.

 

An audacious research project is devised to use the Transporter to investigate Medieval Saxon England, when a crack international team of Special Services soldiers undergo intensive training for their role as historical researchers.

 

The special researchers, called Travellers, are to be sent into what is a very dangerous period in England’s turbulent past.

 

From the beaches of Australia to the forests of Saxon England, Traveller – Inceptio reveals how Travellers soon learn that they need more than combat skills and modern technology to survive the trails of early 11th Century life.

 

 

Excerpt:

Michael makes a chance meeting upon a lonely monk in the depths of the English forest.

The monk stood before Michael and wept in an open-mouthed cry that looked unlike grief or fear but looked more like … joy? He didn’t appear to be as afraid for his life as one would have thought when confronted by an armed man in the depths of the forest.

 

To make matters even more disconcerting, he moved forward until his face was but a hand’s breadth away from Michael. There was an impression of rotten teeth and bad breath, an almost a physical assault from which he immediately recoiled. Many of the monk’s teeth were missing. Obviously, he rarely shaved as his face was covered with stubble that could have been blonde or grey, so the man’s age was almost impossible to determine. Thick, grey hairs and pocked blackheads decorated the end of his bulbous nose as pale grey eyes gazed adoringly up at the newcomer. As the monk wept, Michael froze uncomfortably.

 

Without warning, the monk moved as if to give Michael a hug and it was all he could do to fend the smaller man off with raised hands. Thankfully the small man stopped at the last moment. There was no desire for any close contact with the damp wool that stank heavily. Quickly Michael scanned his surrounds as he realised this monk would be a perfect distraction for brigands, for he was completely immobilised by the man’s emotional reaction. As he watched aghast, the sobbing monk sank slowly to his knees while his tearful eyes never left Michael’s face. Tears poured down his weathered, whiskered cheeks and soon the childlike weeping began to distress. Michael had seen weeping in many places; weeping of mothers for sons, of fathers for children, but nothing quite as mysterious as this. He crouched in front of the monk and reached to touch the man’s grubby hands, his other hand still on his short-sword, just in case.

 

As he reached out, his hand was grasped and held by the monk’s hard, heavily veined hands with swollen arthritic knuckles, hands obviously aggravated by a life of hard physical labour. Before he could react, the monk kissed his hand passionately. He felt the bristly face and a damp slobber of snot and his initial reaction to pull away. He uncomfortably patted the monk’s shoulder and made soothing noises before he retrieved his hand and stood as he encouraged the other to rise. More kisses were threatened, so he hurriedly addressed the monk in Latin, supposing he could speak the lingua franca of clergy throughout Christendom. “Peace be unto you brother,” he said as he gave his slobbered hand a tactful wipe on the seat of his breaches.

 

“And to you” was the automatic sobbed response. There was an accent and the words were understood though, at first, difficult to decipher.

 

“What is your name?” asked Michael.

 

“My name?” the monk asked in a daze as if stunned at such a question. “Oeric, Lord, Brother Oeric,” he replied quietly as he briefly averted his eyes.

 

“Oeric. Greetings Brother Oeric my name is ..” and he paused. He knew it was best to provide his name in a format best suited to the local language. “My name is Michael.” He pronounced it ‘Meekal’ to give the pronunciation that he assumed would suit.

 

At the name, Brother Oeric wailed loudly and again placed his trembling, worn hands over his face. Before Michael could react, the man again fell to his knees and bent to place his face on the leaf litter. Michael again scanned the surrounding forest uncomfortably.

 

Indeed, they were alone.

 

He knelt and awkwardly patted the prostrate Brother Oeric on the shoulder. “Oeric, Brother Oeric, is something wrong? Why do you weep? Come now, stand and tell me, what is the matter?”

 

After a titanic struggle, Brother Oeric managed to retain some control. Rising to his knees he wiped his freely running nose and eyes on the cloth that hung over his chest, a simple square of wool with a head hole that was his scapula, designed to protect his long brown tunic. Michael noted the silver line of snot and decided that if another hug was attempted, that was good enough reason to keep the monk at arm’s-length. Brother Oeric wore a simple, one-piece robe of rough, raw, dark-brown wool that enabled him to blend effectively with the forest. Attached to his scapula was a cowl or large hood to offer protection from snow or rain in a fashion similar to the hood Michael wore on his own cloak. Michael watched the small man clutch his shaking hands together in a moment of muttered prayer before he looked up again. “Lord I give thanks that you are here”, he said with eyes that were again downcast. He paused and gazed adoringly at Michael, a look that was supposed to be a quick glance but which ended in a stare akin to wonder.

 

 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=traveller+Inceptio

Book Baby Bookshop

https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Traveller—Inceptio

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/traveller-inceptio

Ciando

http://www.ciando.com/ebook/bid-2275297-traveller-inceptio.html?CFID=79ddd9b3-b737-4881-bf49-ea01a6cc5540&CFTOKEN=0&jsessionid=BA4D06F95BB7D448581D807B0D38E62D

 

Author Biography:

An English-born Australian, Rob Shackleford has lived in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, with a varied career that has included Customs Officer, Scuba Instructor, College Teacher and management roles in too many places.

With degrees in the Arts and Business, he is mad keen on travel, Scuba diving, Family History, martial arts, astronomy, and playing Djembe and Congas.

Rob is father of two and lives on the Gold Coast.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/Rob-Shackleford-631222523675665/

Twitter

https://twitter.com/robshackleford

Pinterest

https://au.pinterest.com/robshackl/

Linked In

https://www.linkedin.com/in/robshackleford/

Google +

https://plus.google.com/102561844150525059395

 

 

 

Edna and Luna by Gleah Powers @GPWriterArtist #fiction #womensfiction #giveaway


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Title—EDNA AND LUNA

Author —Gleah Powers

Genre—Fiction

Publisher—Vine Leaves Press

 

Book Blurb

Set in the American Southwest, Edna and Luna is the story of two women: a lonely, recently widowed eccentric and a much younger new age healer. Facing old age and a hysterectomy, Edna, at 70, reminisces and ruminates about her losses as she makes unsuccessful attempts to start a new life. She tries to befriend her hairdresser, her gardener and a man she meets at a senior dance who makes sexual advances in the swimming pool. Luna, at 35, ridiculed since childhood for her unorthodox gift of healing, has left a violent husband before moving to a local trailer park. Despite Edna’s initial suspicions that Luna is both out of her mind and after her money, their relationship becomes an odyssey filled with unpredictable depths and discoveries for both women.

 

 

Giveaway—

Enter to win one of two copies of EDNA AND LUNA

Open Internationally and runs April 5 through May 5

Click here to enter: http://gvwy.io/n8lctns

 

 

Excerpt—

Edna wheeled her cart over to the chicken cooler and after scrutinizing the size, weight, date and price, put a three pack of breasts in her cart. She made her way to lemons. She’d had a craving all week for the lemon cake she used to make for Hank on Sundays. As she sniffed one lemon after another testing for sweetness, an unkempt woman appeared beside her and began moving her hands through the air over the pink grapefruits. Her nails were dirty and the joints of her fingers were knobby. Edna had read that that came from too much knuckle cracking. The woman wore a big silver ring with a milky white stone held in place with star-shaped prongs. Edna had seen her in the market before but not this close. Suddenly she felt another twinge in her pelvis and dropped her bag of lemons. She tried the breathing exercise again, but this time it didn’t work. Edna put her hand over her belly and said to the cramp, “Knock it off.”

 

“Were you talking to me?” The tall wiry woman had stringy blonde hair that hung over the sides of her face and Edna could see her nipples through her flimsy top.

 

“No, I wasn’t.”

 

“Am I in your way? I was just checking to see which of these grapefruits wanted to go home with me.” The woman told Edna she’d just moved to town and was scouting the markets in Phoenix to see where she best resonated with the food.

“Are you okay? I noticed you were holding your stomach.”
“I’m fine.”  Edna snapped a plastic bag off the roll above her head.

 

“Are you sure you don’t need some help? I could at least pick out some lemons for you. I just need to touch your arm so I can feel your energy.”

 

“No, thank you.” Edna pulled her shoulders back.

 

“I love that you’re wearing a Christmas tree in the summertime. I do that. Leave my tree up all year long.”

 

“If you must know, it has nothing to do with Christmas. It just so happens December 25th is my birthday. This is a birthday pin.” Edna was tired of feeling obligated to speak and exchange smiles with strangers. Even when she was young, men she didn’t know would come right up to her on a street corner and say, “Smile, honey. It can’t be all that bad.” Now that she was older and a widow, she realized she could get away with things like bumping into people who were in her way or stepping on their feet and then pretending she’d lost her balance, which she decided to do with the barefooted woman now.

 

“Oh, I’m so sorry. Did I hurt you?”

 

“It’s okay.” The woman picked up her foot and began massaging her big toe. “I understand where you’re coming from.”

 

“What? It was an accident.” Edna spun her cart around and headed for the liquor aisle to get her usual half-gallon of Ancient Age. Before checking out, she picked up some frozen dinners and a Sara Lee Fudge cake.  Thank God two people came up behind her in line before the grapefruit woman got there.

 

 

Buy Links—

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository
Chapters Indigo

 

Kindle AUS
Kindle US
Kindle UK
Kindle CA
iBooks | Kobo | Nook

 

 

Gleah Powers

Author Biography—

Born in Chicago and raised and educated in the American Southwest, Gleah Powers has led a life by turns grounded and nomadic—a perfect preparation for discovering in herself the voices of Edna and Luna. In her early teens, she lived with her grandmother in Phoenix. At 18, she traveled with the production of Michelangelo Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point. (Antonioni, suffering from insomnia, liked that Gleah was a worthy opponent at cards. She even taught him to play gin rummy.) Thereafter she studied art in Mexico City and at Cal Arts in Los Angeles; moved to New York where she worked as an actor, model, bartender and administrative assistant to a wealthy philanthropist; and became an explorer and teacher of alternative therapies. These adventures will be detailed in the memoir she is currently writing. Edna and Luna is her first novel. Visit her website at: www.gleahpowers.com

 

Social Media Links—

https://www.facebook.com/gleahpowersauthor/

https://twitter.com/GPwriterartist

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15429014.Gleah_Powers

https://www.linkedin.com/in/gleahpowers

http://www.gleahpowers.com/media_kit.html

 

 

Friday Book Round-Up Celebrates All Things #Irish and #Ireland! #FridayReads #Books


Friday Book Round Up

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We hope you’re channeling your inner Irish nature. Today, we’re highlighting some terrific books (children to adult) celebrating all things Ireland. Enjoy!

 

THE LITTLE LEPRECHAUN WHO LOVED YELLOW! (Absolutely Delightful Bedtime Story/Picture Book About Following Your Heart, for Beginner Readers, ages 2-8) by Sally Huss

Patrick, a young leprechaun, liked the red

of the beach ball in his basket of balls and the roses outside his window. He liked the blue of the sky and the boat he sailed in the bathtub. He liked oranges to eat and the orange of his schoolbooks. He liked purple grapes and purple snakes and purple fish. Yes, he liked all the colors of the rainbow, but most of all he loved YELLOW! This love causes him to follow the rainbow to its end in hopes of finding the pot of gold — the finest yellow of all. What he found was far better than gold.

 

*Over 25 delightful illustrations.

 

*Wonderful message for every child.

 

*If you like the books of Dr. Seuss, Mo Willems, Sandra Boynton, the Berenstains, Suzy Spafford, Felicia Bond, Laura Numeroff, and P.D. Eastman, you will love THE LITTLE LEPRECHAUN WHO LOVED YELLOW!

 

 

How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace (Author), Andy Elkerton (Illustrator)

A New York Times Bestseller!

 

You’ve been planning night and day, and finally you’ve created the perfect trap! Now all you need to do is wait. Is this the year you’ll finally catch the leprechaun? Start a St. Patrick’s Day tradition with this fun and lively children’s book.

 

How to catch a leprechaun?

It’s tougher than you think!

He’ll turn your whole house upside down.

He’s quicker than a wink!

 

 

St. Patrick’s Day by Gail Gibbons (Author)

The story of Patrick’s life and how the day is celebrated.

 

 

Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie dePaola (Author)

This beautifully illustrated book from the award-winning author of Strega Nona tells the story behind St. Patrick’s Day.

 

The story of Patrick’s life, from his noble birth in Britain, to his being captured and taken to Ireland by a group of bandits, to the “dreams” that led him to convert the Irish people to the Christian faith. DePaola also retells several well-known legends, including the story of how Patrick got rid of all the snakes in Ireland. Full color.

 

This fixed-layout ebook preserves the design and layout of the original print book.

 

 

The New Irish Table: Recipes from Ireland’s Top Chefs by Leslie Conron Carola (Compiler), Neven MaGuire (Contributor), Darina Allen (Contributor)

Ten award-winning chefs dismantle the stereotype of Irish cuisine being a boil, a fry, or soda bread. Highlighting fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients from provinces across the Emerald Isle, this beautiful, photo-illustrated collection offers inspirational Irish recipes.

An Irish meal must nourish the soul as well as the body, teasing each of the senses. Home cooks are invited into each featured chef’s restaurant and/ or home to experience recipes that utilize fresh fish, lamb, beef, pork, fruits, and vegetables, and of course, Ireland’s renowned cheeses.

 

Starred-studded contributors include Kevin Dundon (host of PBS’s Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Table), Darina Allen (founder of the Ballymaloe Cookery School), and Neven Maguire (celebrity chef and TV personality).

 

Celebrating the new Irish food culture, this compilation emphasizes local resources, simple fare, and the highest standards, proving that Ireland is a modern food destination.

 

Mrs. N’s Review: https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com/2017/03/02/the-new-irish-table-recipes-from-irelands-top-chefs-by-imagine_cb-bookreview-irish/

 

 

Ireland: A Novel by Frank Delaney (Author)

In the winter of 1951, a storyteller, the last practitioner of an honored, centuries-old tradition, arrives at the home of nine-year-old Ronan O’Mara in the Irish countryside. For three wonderful evenings, the old gentleman enthralls his assembled local audience with narratives of foolish kings, fabled saints, and Ireland’s enduring accomplishments before moving on. But these nights change young Ronan forever, setting him on a years-long pursuit of the elusive, itinerant storyteller and the glorious tales that are no less than the saga of his tenacious and extraordinary isle.

 

 

101 Things You Didn’t Know About Irish History: The People, Places, Culture, and Tradition of the Emerald Isle by Ryan Hackney (Author), Amy Hackney Blackwell (Author), Garland Kimmer (Author)

Discover the truth behind the myths of the Emerald Isle

 

Forget about shamrocks, leprechans, and all that blarney; 101 Things You Didn’t Know about Irish History dispels the myths and tells the true story of the Irish.

 

Inside, you’ll learn about:

 

Lives of the ancient Celts before the British invasions

Famous Irish including Michael Collins, Charles Parnell—and Bono!

The potato famine and emigration (were there really gangs of New York?)

Irish music and dance

 

 

Complete with an Irish language primer and pronunciation guide, 101 Things You Didn’t Know about Irish History is an informative reference for anyone who loves the Irish.

 

 

How the Irish Saved Civilization (Hinges of History Book 1) by Thomas Cahill (Author)

The perfect St. Patrick’s Day gift, and a book in the best tradition of popular history — the untold story of Ireland’s role in maintaining Western culture while the Dark Ages settled on Europe.

 

Every year millions of Americans celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but they may not be aware of how great an influence St. Patrick was on the subsequent history of civilization. Not only did he bring Christianity to Ireland, he instilled a sense of literacy and learning that would create the conditions that allowed Ireland to become “the isle of saints and scholars” — and thus preserve Western culture while Europe was being overrun by barbarians.

 

In this entertaining and compelling narrative, Thomas Cahill tells the story of how Europe evolved from the classical age of Rome to the medieval era. Without Ireland, the transition could not have taken place. Not only did Irish monks and scribes maintain the very record of Western civilization — copying manuscripts of Greek and Latin writers, both pagan and Christian, while libraries and learning on the continent were forever lost — they brought their uniquely Irish world-view to the task.

 

As Cahill delightfully illustrates, so much of the liveliness we associate with medieval culture has its roots in Ireland. When the seeds of culture were replanted on the European continent, it was from Ireland that they were germinated.

 

In the tradition of Barbara Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror, How The Irish Saved Civilization reconstructs an era that few know about but which is central to understanding our past and our cultural heritage. But it conveys its knowledge with a winking wit that aptly captures the sensibility of the unsung Irish who relaunched civilization.

 

 

A Slanting of the Sun: Stories by Donal Ryan (Author)

An old man looks into the fearful eyes of a burglar left to guard him while his brother is beaten; an Irish priest in a war-torn Syrian town teaches its young men the art of hurling; the driver of a car which crashed, killing a teenage girl, forges a connection with the girl’s mother; a squad of broken friends assemble to take revenge on a rapist; a young man sets off on his morning run, reflecting on the ruins of his relationship, but all is not as it seems.

 

Donal Ryan’s short stories pick up where his acclaimed novels The Spinning Heart and The Thing About December left off, dealing with the human cost of loneliness, isolation and displacement. Sometimes this is present in the ordinary, the mundane; sometimes it is triggered by a fateful encounter or a tragic decision. At the heart of these stories, crucially, is how people are drawn to each other and cling on to love, often in desperate circumstances.

 

In haunting and often startling prose, Donal Ryan has captured the brutal beauty of the human heart in all its hopes and failings.

 

 

Band of Sisters by Cathy Gohlke (Author)

Maureen O’Reilly and her younger sister flee Ireland in hope of claiming the life promised to their father over twenty years before. After surviving the rigors of Ellis Island, Maureen learns that their benefactor, Colonel Wakefield, has died. His family, refusing to own his Civil War debt, casts her out. Alone, impoverished, and in danger of deportation, Maureen connives to obtain employment in a prominent department store. But she soon discovers that the elegant facade hides a secret that threatens every vulnerable woman in the city.Despite her family’s disapproval, Olivia Wakefield determines to honor her father’s debt but can’t find Maureen. Unexpected help comes from a local businessman, whom Olivia begins to see as more than an ally, even as she fears the secrets he’s hiding. As women begin disappearing from the store, Olivia rallies influential ladies in her circle to help Maureen take a stand against injustice and fight for the lives of their growing band of sisters. But can either woman open her heart to divine leading or the love it might bring?

 

 

The Woman Who Upped and Left: A laugh-out-loud read that will put a spring in your step! by Fiona Gibson (Author)

The laugh-out-loud Sunday Times bestseller is back. Perfect for fans of ‘Outnumbered’ and Carole Matthews, Fiona writes about life as it really is.

 

Forget about having it all. Sometimes you just want to leave it all behind.

 

Audrey is often seized by the urge to walk out of her house without looking back – but she can’t possibly do that.

 

She is a single parent. She is needed. She has a job, a home, responsibilities…and a slothful teenage son’s pants to pick up.

 

But no one likes being taken for granted – Audrey least of all – so the time has come for drastic action. And no one’s going to stand in her way…

 

Have a favorite Irish writer, St. Patrick’s Day book and/or celebrating Ireland books to recommend? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

 

Meet Gabriel Bocapa and His Humorous Eating Ice Cream in Armageddon #books #FridayReads


Love Dark Comedic Fiction? We do, too, and when we first met Gabriel Bocapa, we knew we were in for a treat. His Eating Ice Cream in Armageddon series is hilarious and we highly recommend it (book one is only $.97). Anyway, Mrs. N sat down with Gabriel for an interview and discovered interesting tidbits about him. So, please give Gabriel a warm POTL Blog welcome. Take it away, Gabriel:

 

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?

Franza Kafka, Edgar Allan Poe.

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

Jake Gyllenhal as Michael and Priyanka Chopra as Halima

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

 

I think the name for the titles of the books are very important. I chose the name Eating Ice Cream in Armageddon as a commentary on the idea that we live in a global world: We can see wars going on, destruction and suffering at the touch of a fingertip (internet, television) yet at the same we can be sitting in a mall eating ice cream. There is more to the title for this book than this, and if you read it and read carefully you might get more of the picture.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

It’d either have to be Conspiracy Theories Unveiled or Eating Ice Cream in Armageddon.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In Hollywood making Eating Ice Cream in Armageddon into a movie.

Have you always liked to write?

Yes.

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Don’t be afraid to write what you want. If someone doesn’t like your writing, who cares. They might just not get it.

If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?

I would be a scientist.

Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?

I would say any sex scene would be difficult for me to write. Since I’ve never really done it myself.

Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)

I’ve written several books including “The Mansion” which is a collection of dark dystopian stories, and Love and Paranoia which is about a man with schizophrenia who goes on a journey to find love.

What are you working on now? What is your next project?

I’m currently working on a book about a schizophrenic superhero.

What is the biggest fib you’ve ever told?

Telling my mom I was sick but in reality I wanted to play Mega Man X on Super Nintendo.

Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

No drugs. Just Drinking Milk Teas and Eating Ice Cream.

What secret talents do you have?

Breakdancing.

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

Europe.

What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?

I was a shy child, yet considered very bright. I taught myself to read at the age of 4. I liked to play puzzles while others were watching t.v.  On the other hand, I was never good with my hands. I was never good at sports, tools, or crafts. My skills were always more on an abstract plane.

Eating Ice Cream

         

Title Eating Ice Cream in Armageddon: with Letters from the Fourth Reich

Author  Gabriel Bacopa

Genre  Dark Comedy, Comedic Fiction, Short Stories

 

Book Blurb

Have a laugh and cry with these three 21st century stories:

A Day with the Professor: Yale’s most prestigious and brilliant philosophy professor must take a day off work, and an eccentric yet possibly insanely brilliant man takes his place.

Eating Ice cream in Armageddon: A tale of sadness, adventure, and despair, when a man and a teenage girl he is fond of must survive World War 3 Together.

“Quite possibly the only teenage romance set during World War 3”

Letters from the Fourth Reich: A man sends letters to his love in Germany while trying to survive the tyrannical rule of the new Dictator-President Pump.

Excerpt

 

Buy Links

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Eating-Ice-Cream-Armageddon-Letters-ebook/dp/B01MYUYEBM

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33225045-eating-ice-cream-in-armageddon

 

Author Biography

Gabriel Bacopa grew up in Southern California to a Palestinian Father and Israeli mother. He is the author of The Mansion and Love and Paranoia.

 

Social Media Links

Website/Blog: https://gabrielbacopa.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gabrielbacopa/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Gabriel-Bacopa/e/B01M1N7L45

The Beauty of the Fall by @marcellor is Profound #bookreview #books #TuesdayBookBlog


the-beauty-of-the-fall

Title: The Beauty of the Fall: A Novel

Author: Rich Marcello

Genre: Literary Fiction, Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

A TECHNOLOGY EXECUTIVE CHARTS A HIGH-RISK, UNCONVENTIONAL PATH WHILE GRIEVING THE LOSS OF HIS SON

 

Dan Underlight, a divorced, workaholic technology executive, suffers lingering grief over the death of his ten-year-old son, Zack. When Dan’s longtime friend and boss fires Dan from RadioRadio, the company that he helped create, he crashes and isolates himself.

 

Willow, a poet and domestic violence survivor, helps Dan regain his footing. With her support, Dan ventures on a pilgrimage of sorts, visiting Fortune 500 companies to flesh out a software start-up idea. He then recruits three former RadioRadio colleagues and starts Conversationworks, a company he believes will be at the vanguard of social change.

 

Guided by Dan’s leadership, Conversationworks enjoys some early successes, but its existence is soon threatened on multiple fronts. Will Dan survive the ensuing corporate battles and realize the potential of his company? Or will he be defeated by his enemies and consumed by his grief?

 

My Review:

A book that resonated with me on a personal level a number of times.  For what was the first 25% I simply loved the book. It was wonderful and I thought it was just going to be a smooth sailing book about a guy who got knocked down but ended up happy back on his feet.  There is much more to this book than meets the eye.

 

The author weaves a lengthy tale about a troubled soul named Dan.  The character suffers loss after loss after loss after loss and gets about as far down as Job could before finding his path.  But I also believe there is a deeper message in this book.

 

This is an incredibly well written book that teaches people the desperate need for the passing of the ERA and focuses a bright spotlight on the horror that is domestic violence.  This book shows a fictional way that both of these critical issues can be helped.  if only this book could be taken as a guide for modern day America then we could have positive movement in passing the ERA and ending the blight of cowardly men who are so gutless that they raise their hand against a woman.

 

Personally, this book struck home with two passages.  The first trifecta of loss that Dan suffers – his divorce, the death of his son and his loss of work…When I was a very young man I lost my Father, the loss of my school year and the loss of my love.  This kind of loss isn’t easily conceived if someone hasn’t faced it personally.

 

Further, there was a scene where Dan defended a woman being beaten by beating the coward who beat her and at that time the woman then defended her coward boyfriend.  The same thing happened to me last century when I witnessed a man punch his girlfriend and I decked him and was then struck with a purse for ‘hurting her boyfriend’.  This gave me quite a kinship to Dan.

 

This is a hard read but it carries a deep and powerful message and should be read by everyone, everywhere.

 

My Rating:  4 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Beauty-Fall-Novel-Rich-Marcello-ebook/dp/B01MFCTYYW/

 

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-beauty-of-the-fall-rich-marcello/1125005129?ean=2940157107680

 

iBooks https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1169546426

 

Buy Direct from Author https://secure.mybookorders.com/order/rich-marcello

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32711997-the-beauty-of-the-fall

 

Author Biography:

Rich is a poet, a songwriter and musician, a creative writing teacher at Seven Bridges’ Writer Collaborative, and the author of three novels, The Color of Home, The Big Wide Calm, and The Beauty of the Fall. Previously, he enjoyed a successful career as a technology executive, managing several multi-billion dollar businesses for Fortune 500 companies.

 

The Color of Home was published in 2013 by Langdon Street Press, and melds together honest generative dialogue, poetic sensory detail, and “unforgettable characters who seem to know the complete song catalog of Lennon or Cohen.” The Big Wide Calm was published in 2014, also by Langdon Street Press. The US Review of Books stated, “Marcello’s novel has a lot going for it. Well-written, thought-provoking, and filled with flawed characters, it meets all of the basic requirements of best-of-show in the literary fiction category.” The Beauty of the Fall will be published in 2016. Faulkner Award Winner Mark Spencer commented, “Few novels are as intelligent and relevant as The Beauty of the Fall. Almost none is as eloquent, compelling, heartbreaking, and ultimately, uplifting.”

 

As anyone who has read Rich’s work can tell you, his books deal with life’s big questions: love, loss, creativity, community, aging, self-discovery. His novels are rich with characters and ideas, crafted by a natural storyteller, with the eye and the ear of a poet.

 

For Rich, writing and art making is about connection, or as he says, about making a difference to a least one other person in the world, something he has clearly achieved many times over, both as an artist, a mentor, and a teacher.

 

Rich lives in Massachusetts on a lake with his family and two Newfoundlands, Ani and Shaman. He is currently working on his fourth novel, The Latecomers.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.richmarcello.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/rich.marcello.3

Twitter http://www.twitter.com/marcellor

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/rich-marcello-4198739

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/rich.marcello/

Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/marcellorich

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

Edna and Luna by @GPwriterartist Celebrates Women with Humor and Grace #bookreview


edna-luna-ebook-cov_1

 

Title: Edna and Luna

Author: Gleah Powers

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Metaphysical Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

Set in the American Southwest, ‘Edna & Luna’ is the story of two women: a lonely, recently widowed eccentric, and a much younger new age healer. Facing old age and a hysterectomy, Edna, at 70, reminisces and ruminates about her losses as she makes unsuccessful attempts to start a new life. She tries to befriend her hairdresser, her gardener, and a man she meets at a senior dance who makes sexual advances in the swimming pool. Luna, at 35, ridiculed since childhood for her unorthodox gift of healing, has left a violent husband before moving to a local trailer park. Despite Edna’s initial suspicions that Luna is both out of her mind and after her money, their relationship becomes an odyssey filled with unpredictable depths and discoveries for both women.

 

My Review:

Two women, Edna and Luna, forge an unlikely friendship and traverse through life’s ups and downs. Edna is dealing with life in the Southwest as a widow and it’s much more difficult than even her country club friends realize. Luna is a mid-thirties new age healer dealing with her own form of isolation. A chance meeting at the grocery store changes their lives forever.

 

Two strong, independent women are front and center in Edna and Luna, which delights me. No hair-pulling, no back-stabbing, just two women trying to figure out this crazy thing called life. Told in dual POV, each chapter unveils a snapshot of Edna’s or Luna’s life. From the mundane (grocery shopping for one) to the poignant (miscarriage), the reader befriends both women at the same time. The metaphysical sub-plot added a mystique to the story which gave it an almost ethereal backdrop.

 

Women’s Fiction is not just about dating and romance, it’s about women and journeying through life. Edna and Luna made me laugh, cry, nod my head in agreement and form a bond with the characters. Powers is truly gifted in sharing the female experience (pregnancy to miscarriage to menopause) with humor and grace.

 

A must read!

 

Disclaimer: I received a copy from the author in the hopes I’d review it.

 

Favorite Character: Edna. She’s a quirky character with definite beliefs and morals. Upon first meeting Luna, she thinks Luna’s a nutcase but as time goes on and the Universe keeps putting them together, Edna realizes Luna may just be the friend she’s always needed. Dealing with living as a widow is a challenge for Edna and I loved her shock when her handyman tries to kiss her. She’s one in a million and I wanted to reach into the book and hug her.

 

My Rating:  5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Edna-Luna-Gleah-Powers-ebook/dp/B01L2KOAF2

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30847563-edna-and-luna

 

Author Biography:

Born in Chicago and raised and educated in the American Southwest, Gleah Powers has led a life by turns grounded and nomadic-a perfect preparation for discovering in herself the voices of Edna and Luna. In her early teens, she lived with her grandmother in Phoenix. At 18, she traveled with the production of Michelangelo Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point. (Antonioni, suffering from insomnia, liked that Gleah was a worthy opponent at cards. She even taught him to play gin rummy.) Thereafter she studied art in Mexico City and at Cal Arts in Los Angeles; moved to New York where she worked as an actor, model, bartender and administrative assistant to a wealthy philanthropist; and became an explorer and teacher of alternative therapies. These adventures will be detailed in the memoir she is currently writing. Edna and Luna is her first novel. Visit her website at: www.gleahpowers.com

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/gleah.powers

Twitter https://twitter.com/GPwriterartist

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/gleahpowers

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

Announcing the N. N. Light Book Awards Finalists #books #bookreview #amreading


n-n-light-book-awards

 

Announcing the 1st Annual N. N. Light Book Awards, courtesy of N. N. Light Author Promotions.

 

We, Mr. N and Mrs. N, have read some incredible books this year and we thought it would be fun to have our own book awards. We gathered together the book reviews of every book we’ve read this year (over 200) and put together a ballot. Then Mr. N and Mrs. N sat down and discussed each entrant. After much consideration, we have narrowed it down to five finalists in the following categories:

 

Fiction

Childrens/Young Adult

Mystery/Suspense

Romance

Nonfiction

 

So, without further ado… drum roll please… here are the finalists…

 

Fiction:

Go Fast by Rod Humphris

Exordium of Tears by Andrew Weston

Pete’s Mighty Purty Privies by Aubrey Wynne

Raven’s Peak by Lincoln Cole

Dead Ground by Rod Humphris

 

Childrens/Young Adult:

Barking Madness by Ryan Hill

Lions in the Garden by Chelsea Luna

Withering Rose by Kaitlyn Davis

You, the Magician by Josh and Jodi Carothers

 

Mystery/Suspense:

Bring Your Own Baker by D. E. Haggerty

A Taste of Tragedy by Kim McMahill

Cries in the Wind by Judy Bruce

Anonymous by Christine Benedict

From a Poison Pen by B. P. Smythe

 

Romance:

The Guardian’s Witch by Ruth A. Casie

The Du Lac Chronicles by Mary Anne Yarde

Blame it on the Moon by Livia Quinn

The Guardian by Jacquie Biggar

Waltzing with the Earl by Alanna Lucas

 

Nonfiction:

The Power of Faith: When Tragedy Strikes by Chris and Terry Norton

Everything and a Happy Ending by Tia Shurina

A Long Walk with Sally by David Clark Jr.

Unearthing Venus: My Search for the Woman Within by Cate Montana

Notes from a Very Small Island by Anthony Stancomb

 

The winner in each category will receive a promotional package worth $50, courtesy of N. N. Light Author Promotions.

 

Congratulations to all of the finalists and the winners will be announced via email and on the POTL blog on Friday, December 23rd.

“They don’t write books like this any more” Go Fast by Rod Humphris @Rats_Tales #bookreview


go-fast

 

Title: Go Fast (Simon Ellice Book 2)

Author: Rod Humphris

Genre: Fiction, Adventure

 

Book Blurb:

Nador, has been a smugglers’ port since the Barbary pirates were raiding Europe from there in the sixteenth century, and it still is today. Si is minding his own business, which is running hash into Spain, when unexpected people start trying to kill him and steal his boat. It’s time to go.

 

Except that he’d really like to know what’s going on, and then there’s this girl who’s just turned up, and surely one more load wouldn’t hurt…

 

The truth is that it was already too late for him to leave before he got there and he’s a small piece in a much bigger game. Luckily for Si, those who’re using him don’t really know him any better than he knows them. There’s more to him than the easy going young man they take him to be.

 

On the calm Alboran Sea at the dark of the moon, through the lush kif terraces of the Rif mountains and in the dunes of the Great Western Erg in the Sahara they hunt him down. But who is hunting whom? And why? And who the hell is that girl really?

 

The answers to those questions lie in the dark interiors of the men and women involved, and, of course, in Si himself. In the end, it’s personal.

 

My Review:

Having previously been blown away by the prequel novella (Dead Ground), this second book of the series is one of the best books I have ever read.  I so enjoy the life and times of Simon Ellice. This author captures my sense of humor and it has been times innumerable that my reading of this book had me laughing so loud it disturbed people around me!

 

I am usually massively opposed to drug smuggling (and it as a topic) but this didn’t dissuade me here.  If I had been fighting in Afghanistan in my early twenties who knows what kind of s**t I would have been involved in two years later.

 

Simon was fantastic.  The flawed character of Sam reminds me of the character Bullseye in Daredevil.  Gripping, action filled, brilliantly staged, surprises, suspense, humor that made me laugh anyway and now I cannot wait for the next book.

 

Buy this book, read this book, love this book.  They don’t write books like this any more.  One of the best books of all time and something I can add to my classic re-read pile.  Brilliant.  1000 stars but I can only give it 5+ stars.

 

My Rating:  5+ stars

 

Buy it now: 

Direct from the Publisher  https://ratstales.co.uk/collections/frontpage/products/go-fast

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Go-Fast-Simon-Ellice-Book-ebook/dp/B01N63SRB2

 

Rats Tales single Spine Logo

Author Biography:

I have no special qualifications to be a writer except that I want to be. I live where I’m from in the West Country in the UK and work in a small room above a pub in Bath, which is possibly the nicest city in the world. I spend my days thinking about, learning about and writing about whatever is interesting to me, which is possibly the best job in the world.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: https://ratstales.co.uk/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rats_Tales

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rats-Tales/1620114421577662

Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/ratstales/

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

Oh, what a tangled web… The Lies They Tell by @athrhopedestiny #Books #FridayReads


the-lies-they-tell

Title The Lies They Tell

Author Tisha

Genre Women Fiction

Publisher   PenPoint Publications

 

Book Blurb

Text PENPOINT to 22828 to join our mailing list

Oh, what a tangled web we weave being pretty little liars.

Tashia has been selfish and spoiled her entire short life on earth until Malik comes along and changes her entire outlook on life. He sets her on the path to adulthood and responsibility. Before him she was lacking in both.

Malik is a handsome, successful smooth talking player who wants what he wants. Once he gets it; he plays with it and throws it away. Be it you, your heart or your feelings. He could care less until he realizes he can’t always have what he wants and he can’t play the player.

Tashia and Malik change each other lives for the better but there are always outside forces threatening to tear love and peace apart; with jealousy, hate and envy. But, what about them deceiving each other first?

Everybody that smiles in your face is not your friend and those who pat you on the back could be the same ones stabbing you in the back. Malik and Tashia have their own dirty little secret and the ones who they thought were their friends use that secret to drive them apart; because any relationship based on lies is sure to fall.

Being deceitful gets you nowhere!

Will Malik and Tashia’s so called friends tear them apart? Or will their own secret that they are hiding from each other? Or will they care enough about each other to not let anything tear them apart?


You decide!

 

Excerpt

Sorry about the mess. We’re still learning here.

I am awakened to Amari yelling directly in my face, “Mommy? Mommy? Mommy?”

I sit up quickly and said, “Oh my gawd! Are you serious lil boy?”

He just looks at me because he probably doesn’t know what to say. He is only two years old and I talk to him like he completely understands me.

I am not ‘mommy material’ and I knew that and this is why I left it up to the ones who can take care of him like a mother and father should and that’s my parents and his father so he should thank his lucky stars.

I slide out the bed and go out into the hallway and yell, “MOMMA!!?”

No answer.

Then I yell, “DADDY!!?”

No answer.

I said to no one in particular, “I know good and hell well that they didn’t leave me with this damn kid today of all days.”

My head was still swimming like it was from last night.

I just didn’t feel good at all and watching Amari today was not good but I guess I was stuck.

I looked down at him.

He was a cute kid. He looked just like a mixture of myself and his daddy. I just didn’t feel that attached to him as a mother should be to her child.

I didn’t know what the hell people meant when they said that when you have a child that your maternal instincts kick in.

They couldn’t have been talking about me because I was nobody’s momma.

Not even to this kid that I actually gave birth to.

I went back into my room and straight into the bathroom and slammed the door closed.

I hear crying and realized that I had forgot all about the kid and had shut the door in the in his face and when I opened it and looked at him, I said, “Do you wanna watch cartoons?”

He nodded his head up and down so I think he understood what I said so I went to the living room and turned the TV on and searched until I see Rugrats coming on.

That was the perfect cartoon for him.

I looked at him and he seemed to know what it was because he was jumping up and down happy and laughing.

Normally my momma or daddy is off of work to keep him and when they are not, they usually take him to his dad’s house or his dad’s parents’ house.

I didn’t know what they were thinking today.

I leave the kid watching the TVand head back to the bathroom to finish taking care of my personal hygiene.

Once I finished up in the bathroom, I look for my cell phone and find it dead.

I plug it up and go into the kitchen to fix me a bowl of Fruit Loops.

When I go into the living room to sit with the kid, he wants some too of course so I feed him out of my bowl because I didn’t feel like getting back up to fix him some.

In between each bite, he turned up dancing all around.

I probably shouldn’t be giving him sugar because it’s probably making him hyper but then again he is just two years old.

Once he finished off the bowl, I went and put the bowl in the sink and went to see if my phone had some kinda charge on it.

It had about 20% which was enough to power it on.

Once I turned it on, I had a slew of text messages and voicemail messages between Shanice and Meeka and one from a number I didn’t recognize.

I looked at the time and realized I had slept in today.

It was almost 11am and I had been up for like maybe an hour or so.

I read the text message from 4072137600 hello beautiful. Hope you are not too wasted to not text or call me back today. Waiting for your call…impatiently!!

Oh I knew who it was now and I’ll hit him up later because one…I didn’t feel like being bothered and for two…he thinks he slicker than dog crap on wet grass.

He tryna run game.

Game recognize game.

He better know it.

 

Buy Links

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Lies-They-Tell-Tisha-Destiny-ebook/dp/B01MXJ36X3/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1478867884&sr=8-3&keywords=the+lies+they+tell

 

hope-d

 

Author Biography

Latisha (Tisha) is my name. I write under the pseudonym Hope Destiny. I was born and still reside in Orlando, Florida . I have 12 plus books on Amazon.

 

Social Media Links

 Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AuthorHopeDestiny

Facebook reading group for giveaways Tisha (Hope Destiny) Hang Out Spot https://www.facebook.com/groups/1449283102045841/

Twitter https://twitter.com/athrhopedestiny

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/penpointpub/

 

Fling! by @lilyionamac is Available in #Audio! #literaryfiction #womensfiction #giveaway


Fling_Frontcover_4-13-15 copy

 

Title:  Fling!

Author: Lily Iona MacKenzie

Genre: Literary/Women’s Fiction/Humor

Publisher: Pen-L Publishing

 

Book Blurb:  

Fling! features 57-year-old Feather and her 90-year-old mother Bubbles. They travel from Canada to Mexico, making stops in San Francisco and the Isle of Skye, seeking answers to family mysteries during their odyssey. What they find instead is a whole new view of life that they hadn’t considered before.

Lewis Buzbee, who teaches creative writing in the University of San Francisco’s MFA in writing program and has published several volumes of fiction and non-fiction, says, “Fling is both hilarious and touching, the madcap journey of an aging mother and her adult daughter from cold Protestant Canada into the hallucinogenic heart of Mexico’s magic, where the past literally comes to life.  Every page is a surprise, and ‘Bubbles’ is one of the most endearing mothers in recent fiction.  A scintillating read.”

 

Excerpt:

Waiting for Bubbles to answer the door, Feather dangles her straw tote bag from one shoulder. She’s wearing an ankle-length red peasant skirt with matching top and scuffed brown leather hiking boots. A yellow cotton triangle partly conceals her long dark auburn hair, now streaked with gray.

The door opens, and before Feather can speak, words rush out of Bubbles’ mouth: “Mother’s ashes, they’re in the dead letter office. Mexico City.” Feather sighs and steps inside, sets down her bag, and gives her mum a tentative hug. The corset she’s wearing prevents Feather from feeling her generous curves, and she can smell urine. The scent is mixed with cheap Evening in Paris perfume. As usual, she feels overwhelmed by this woman who gave birth to her.

Bubbles pulls away and pats her hair. “I’m telling you, we need to make plane reservations right away.”

“Cool it, Mum. You’ll have a heart attack!”

Pure white hair a frizzed halo, scalp pink as a baby’s, she checks out Feather from head to foot and shakes her head. “I thought you’d be dressed up for my party.”

“I am dressed up!” Feather should be used to her mother’s scrutiny by now and her disapproval of anything that isn’t the latest in fashion. But she isn’t. It still stings when she doesn’t accept her as she is, a leftover hippie from the ’60s.

Bubbles swerves away from Feather and lurches toward the coffee table, snatching a creased, brown manila envelope from among the clutter there. “I’m serious! Mother’s ashes—” She hands her the letter. “Look: it says Mexico City. But I can’t make out these words: Oficina de cartas perdidas. What do they mean?”

“I think it’s the office of lost packages.”

Feather flops onto the love seat, sending up a cloud of dust, and reads the letter aloud: “Dear Madam: There big box dead letter office address you name. Come get box. Mrs. Heather MacDonald ashes. Nun found box and note for family. Have box many years. No send ashes by mail for health reasons. When you pick up?”

“Granny’s ashes? She popped off years ago.”

Bubbles paces, the bunny ears on her slippers flopping back and forth, almost tripping her. “You’ve got to take me to Mexico City. It’ll be like old times. Traveling together.”

Feather throws up her hands. “Mexico City? No way. They kill tourists there. Anyway, I already have plans for the summer. I’m doing research in Puerto Vallarta and San Miguel de Allende on matriarchal cultures.” She’s been interested in spending more time in Mexico since doing her earth goddess series of sculptures. The matriarchy still lives there, hidden under the layers of modern life. There’s something very primitive hovering in that country.

Bubbles scowls. “I can’t just leave her in a foreign country. I could get killed here, too. Gangs are attacking old people all the time. Never mind, I’ll get Buddy to take me.”

“Buddy! Jesus, Mum, he can’t handle a trip like that.”

Fling_postcard_front_5-7-15[2] copy

Giveaway:

Enter to win one of two audio copies of Fling!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Buy Links:

Now available in Audio

 

Audio Sample: http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Fling-Audiobook/B01JSXZ5QI/ref=a_search_c4_1_2_srImg?qid=1473362040&sr=1-2

 

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Fling/dp/B01JSXXL8C/

Publisher http://www.pen-l.com/Fling.html

 

LilyMac_3-12-15hires

 

Author Biography:

 A Canadian by birth, a high school dropout, and a mother at 17, in my early years, I supported myself as a stock girl in the Hudson’s Bay Company, as a long distance operator for the former Alberta Government Telephones, and as a secretary (Bechtel Corp sponsored me into the States). I also was a cocktail waitress at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, briefly broke into the male-dominated world of the docks as a longshoreman (I was the first woman to work on the SF docks and almost got my legs broken), founded and managed a homeless shelter in Marin County, co-created THE STORY SHOPPE, a weekly radio program for children that aired on KTIM in Marin County, CA, and eventually earned two Master’s degrees (one in Creative writing and one in the Humanities). I have published reviews, interviews, short fiction, poetry, travel pieces, essays, and memoir in over 150 American and Canadian venues. Bone Songs, another novel, will be published in 2017. Freefall: A Divine Comedy will be released in 2018. My poetry collection All This was published in 2011. I also taught writing at the University of San Francisco for over 30 years, and I blog at https://lilyionamackenzie.wordpress.com .

 

Social Media Links:

Website/Blog http://lilyionamackenzie.wordpress.com

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25818399-fling

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lilyionamackenzieauthor/

Twitter @lilyionamac

Sara Reeder from Asunder by @CurtLock Sits Down With N. N. Light #interview #books


asunder-cover-from-outskirts

 

Sara Reeder – 17 years old, lives on a dairy farm south of Springfield, Missouri, near Wilson Creek

 

My name is Sara Reeder. I’m the only daughter of Lucas Reeder. My three poor brothers are all dead and buried in a little plot near our home. I pray for them each day. The oldest two died when I was six when they went to tussling and fell in a pit of rattlesnakes. We could not save ‘em. My other brother died a few weeks later of a bilious fever of some sort. My ma died when I was about two, so I have no recollection of her. Our slave, my dearest Abram, cared for me and played with me and taught me to read. I have lived with my pa and Abram all these years. He’s a retired army major and mostly deaf because a cannon exploded in the War with Mexico. War is all around us now. It is horrid and fills me with dread. I wish the Yanks would just go home and leave us alone.

 

Which living person do you admire the most?

I so admire my pa with his strong arms and advisement. He’s as strong as an ox. He hates the Yankee president. That Lincoln cheated his friend out of justice usin’ his lawyer wiles and slippery tongue.  My pa loves the Yanks and our Southern boys and wants no more war, and desires to have a comeuppance for Lincoln for bringin’ this war upon the land. His best friend is our slave, Abram.

 Which talent would you most like to have?

Though folks tell me I’ve got a gladsome singin’ voice, I wish for all the world I could play an instrument like our dear Abram does when he plays his banja. He brings such joy to us all, includin’ the soldier boys. He’s gray-headed now and his old hands get some pained, but he’s brave, and I love him so.

What is your most marked characteristic?

You mean my unbecoming attribute? Well, my pa would say it’s my bullheadedness. I see a path that needs followin’ and I do it. I ain’t as a’feared as I oughta be. I guess you’d say I need to let others’ calumny just abide. But I can’t. Pa worries that I have too much fight in me.

Who are your favorite writers?

Well, my pa has a slew of books on botany and the sciences, but I prefer the great novelists, Alexander Dumas and Cervantes.  Of an occasion, I’ll read a tract of some minor author, but my books are my treasures. And, of course, I dwell often on God’s holy word in the Bible.

 

Which living person do you most despise?

There’s none to compare with that foul snake, Frank Richards. He’s bent on stealin’ our livestock and craves to rape me. He’s out there, runnin’ with them marauders, bringin’ devastation to the land.

 

 Who is the greatest love of your life?

I’ll admit I was often smitten with a handsome face and a beguiling singin’ voice, but my heart belongs now entirely to Joseph Favor. I believe God’s hand brought us together, and though he went off with the cavalry, I will find him and be a good wife to him.

 What is your greatest fear?

I have two fears. One is that this loathsome war will go on forever. The fightin’ and the dyin’.  My second fear is that Joseph will not have me. He’s so conflicted, what with his memory thwarted. I know he loves me but he’s in a powerful lonely place.

 

 

Title:  Asunder, A Novel of the Civil War

Author: Curt Locklear

Genre:  Historical Fiction/ Romance

Publisher: Outskirts Press

Book Cover Credit:  Karen Phillips

Author Picture Credit:  Sandra Timm

 

Book Blurb:

“I’M TRAPPED!” Sara Reeder, a headstrong, beguiling, Southern sympathizer is caught between charging armies!

“AWAKEN, SPIRITS”… “Tell me where my husband, Joseph, fell in battle.” Cyntha Favor, an ardent abolitionist and believer in Spiritualism, seeks to free her dead husband’s tormented soul.

EXCEPT… Joseph, a Union soldier, is not dead! Knocked unconscious in battle, he has lost all memory. Nursed to health by Sara and her father, Lucas, a disabled veteran, Joseph feels drawn to Sara, yet compelled to find his past.

WAR SURROUNDS the Reeder home. Transformed into a field hospital, their only support is Dred Workman, a Union traitor.

FORMER SLAVE, Josiah Reynolds, is protector and confidant of Cyntha. Deep in slave territory, he knows the danger he faces.

THE FOX SISTERS –President Lincoln’s wife invited spiritualists to invoke séances in the White House. These most famous of all Spiritualists become Cyntha’s hope.

MARAUDERS terrorize, kill and move ever closer to the Reeders’ farm.

With RIVER PIRATES, INTENSE BATTLES, and CAPTIVATING ROMANCE,

from Texas to New York, Missouri to Minnesota, the WAR rages. Can love triumph? Who will survive? ASUNDER is a GRIPPING EPIC.

 

Excerpt:

Sara looked down at the embers and then at the white smoke that rose between her and Joseph. “These embers are your love for an unknown woman, and this smoke is hiding me from you.”

“My whole life is clouded with smoke,” Joseph responded. “I need your patience and time.”

Sara lowered her eyes.

Joseph looked admiringly at her, then began to pull the wet clothes out of the caldron and loaded them into a handcart. His sleeves were rolled up, but he still got his shirt wet. Sara, too, gathered the bulky clothing, soaking her blouse. She wiped a wisp of hair from her forehead with her wrist. Joseph watched her. Though he felt confusion about the woman in his flashes of memories, he felt an overpowering attraction to this petite, tough-minded girl. He was grateful for her benevolence towards him. He would miss her singing and her smiles. He felt conflicted, bound both to the woman of his dream and to Sara.

He grabbed the handles of the barrow and forced it forward. Not speaking, they cut to the south through the trees on a meandering path, Sara walking a few feet behind him. The hot sun bore down on them, riffling in and out of wisps of clouds. At length, they reached the clear creek, flowing steadily, the bed filled with large, round, smooth rocks protruding above the waterline. The sunlight danced and shimmered on the water. Yellow, curled, elm tree leaves floated on the water like tiny golden boats. More leaves tumbled from the trees with each breeze gust. Turtles basked on the sun-drenched rocks.

Sara picked a daisy by the water’s edge. She twirled it, ran it briefly under her nose, kissed the petals, then handed the flower to Joseph. He took it, smelled it, and placed it on a shelf rock near the stream. Sara pulled her skirt hem up and tucked the front and back into the waistband, revealing her strong legs from halfway up her thigh, down to her ankles. “I know no other way to do this without ruining my skirt,” she said, blushing. “I hope you don’t find me untoward.”

Joseph rolled his pants legs up to his knees. “Not at all. We’ve got to get these clothes done for the soldiers. I hope the glare of the sun off my white legs doesn’t blind you.”

Sara giggled.

They removed their footwear and socks and rolled up their sleeves to the shoulder. Sara tied her hair back with a pink ribbon from her skirt pocket.

Together, they unloaded the soapy clothes on the rocks, then taking a piece at a time, they dragged the clothes through the flowing stream until the suds were washed free. After that, they wrung the water out and spread each garment and bandage cloth on a sun-blanched rock to dry. Whenever Sara was bent, rinsing a piece, Joseph watched her. When she raised up, he ducked his head, working with his own shirt or cloth, at which time, he noticed out of the corner of his eye Sara sneaking a look at him. Neither said anything to the other. Joseph struggled to think of a clever or uplifting thing to say, but his mind was crisscrossed.  I wish she’d sing, he thought. Occasionally, Sara splashed some of the cool water on her sunburned cheeks.

The water was cold despite the late summer heat. Goosebumps rose on their legs and arms. By the time they were finishing, the fronts of their own clothes were again soaked.  Sara’s white shirt pressed against the corset of her full breasts, following their contour. A ribbon of water trickled down her neck.

When she laid out the last pair of trousers, she turned to Joseph. He had quit his awkward glances, and now stared at her with complete admiration. He walked carefully to her, for the flat rock bottom of the stream was smooth and slippery with algae. He placed one hand around her waist and pulled her to him, their feet sliding on the glass-like surface of the stream bed. With his other hand, he traced the outline of her chin, then softly touched her cheek.

Her heart racing, Sara raised her arms, placing one about his waist, the other at his shoulder. She glided that hand up and down his neck in a slow, deliberate, affectionate manner.

He stroked her wet arms, feeling the suppleness and the tightness of her muscles. Her skin shivered with pleasure under his touch. With his forefinger he brushed her full lips. She closed her eyes, and ran her fingers into his blond locks and gently tilted his head towards hers till their foreheads touched. They held each other in that manner, her with eyes closed, deep in his embrace while he gazed at the loveliest face he knew.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon    Asunder, hardback

https://www.amazon.com/Asunder-Novel-Civil-Curt-Locklear/dp/1478770546/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1476898448&sr=1-1

 

Amazon   Asunder, Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Asunder-Novel-Civil-Curt-Locklear-ebook/dp/B01FINGN9U/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1476898448&sr=1-1

Amazon    Asunder paperback

https://www.amazon.com/Asunder-Novel-Civil-Curt-Locklear/dp/1478769548/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1476898448&sr=1-1

 

Barnes and Noble paperback

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/asunder-curt-locklear/1123745873?ean=9781478769545

 

Barnes and Noble hardcover

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/asunder-curt-locklear/1123745873?ean=9781478770541

 

Outskirts Press

http://outskirtspress.net/bookstore/details/9781478769545

http://outskirtspress.com/webpage?isbn=9781478769545

 

Wordery Online books

https://wordery.com/asunder-curt-locklear-9781478769545

 

curt-playing-guitar

 

Author Biography:

CURT LOCKLEAR – award-winning author, history teacher, musician, composer, and positive education consultant.  In my career, I have delivered presentations to thousands, small and large groups. My talks are always sprinkled with jokes and intriguing stories. If asked, I can play a few Civil War era tunes on my banjo and/or guitar.

My father trained a race-horse in the Kentucky Derby. My mother was a librarian. I’m related to the first wing-walker. My heritage is Southern and Northern. My Rebel forbearer once cleverly hid from a Yankee squad in corn crib. My Yankee forbearer was a bugler.

 

Social Media Links:

Website https://curtlocklearauthor.com

Email curt@curtlocklearauthor.com

Twitter @CurtLock

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/curtlocklearauthor/

 

 

 

#NewRelease — Pieces of Me by Tisha @athrhopedestiny #FridayReads #books #POTLReads


pieces-of-me

 

Title:  Pieces of Me

Author: Tisha

Genre: Dysfunctional Family and Relationships

Publisher:  PenPoint Publications

 

Book Blurb:

All Audrey’s life there has been disappointments. No parents to love her. No one but her grandmother who she loses as soon as she becomes an adult.

All that glitters ain’t gold and all that looks good to you ain’t always good for you.

Bram comes into Audrey’s life and she is still unsure about him and life but Bram forces his way in.

To Audrey, Bram is her knight in shining armor who she soon finds out is really a nightmare.

A good man is hard to find but a bad one always finds you.

Will Audrey run for the hills? Or will this be the final straw that broke the camels back?

Find out this and more!

 

Excerpt:

Today is my birthday and since it is a Tuesday, I decide to treat myself to a nice lunch at La Madeleine Country French Café.

This would be my first time eating here.

I want to try something different than the usual restaurants I visited.

I want to live a little today.

After all, you only turn 25 once.

As I am enjoying my soup and salad, in walks in the most handsome man that I have ever seen.

Well at least in my eyes he is and that is probably because I am a single, lonely, plain Jane with no life and only one friend.

My auntie Joyce always used to say to me, “Guhl you look jus like dat gal from Traffic that Viole Davis.”

I always corrected her country, uneducated ass and always said sarcastically, “the gal’s name is Viola Davis”.

I think Viola Davis is ugly so I still don’t know if she actually believed I looked like the woman or she was just calling me ugly to my face, and I never asked her about it once I got grown.

I just didn’t go around her once I became old enough not to have to.

My grandmother raised me and made me the old plain jane that I am today and I always thought she was too old to take care of a child, but she did what she had to do once my mother ran off continuously to be with whatever man who would take care of her and when she did, she always promised to come back to get me when she got settled but that day never came.

She would always end up back at my grandmother’s house and stayed there until she found another man to run off with.

She did it for her last time after the fight with my grandmother and once I left for college, I didn’t care anymore and I stopped taking her phone calls all together when my grandmother died.

I silently always wished it was her that died and I don’t know if she is currently dead and I really don’t care.

I must have been in a trance too long because I don’t notice Mr. Tall, dark and handsome saying to me, “Hellooooo??” while waving his hand in my face to get my attention.

I look at him strangely because he has pulled me out of my walk down nightmare lane, and I don’t recognize him immediately.

I guess my brain had to catch up to my eyes.

He says to me, “I’m sorry. Are you ok?”

I turn back to my food before saying, “I’m fine.”

No man has ever approached me or has said anything to me or if they did, I would brush them off just like I am doing to him.

That is the reason why I am still a virgin at 25 years old.

That is so sad.

My whole existence is sad.

He isn’t moving away from my table.

I can see his shadow as I stare at my food and not him then I see his hand on the back of the chair and then he pushes it back to sit.

He says to me, “Do you mind?”

I don’t look at him before I say, “No.”

I then continue to eat my food while he asks me my name and gives me his then we continue to chat while I barely look up from my food.

The waitress sits his food down in front of him.

I am really in shock now that I have daydreamed that long.

He ate his food and I ate my food.

He did the talking and I just mostly listened until my lunch was over and I had to get back to the office but not before we exchange numbers.

I am still in disbelief that he actually is interested in me, but I am happy that I met someone on my birthday.

Happy birthday to me.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M7V9RTB/

 

hope-destiny

 

Author Biography:

Latisha (Tisha) is my name. I write under the pseudonym Hope Destiny. I was born and still reside in Orlando, Florida . I have 11 plus books on Amazon.

 

Social Media Links:

 Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AuthorHopeDestiny

Facebook reading group for giveaways Tisha (Hope Destiny) Hang Out Spot https://www.facebook.com/groups/1449283102045841/

Twitter athrhopedestiny

Instagram penpointpub

 

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We’re celebrating books and authors all October on the POTL Blog. Follow #POTLReads on Twitter to not miss our recommendations and to offer your own! Spread the Word! 

 

So Mote It Be: Friday Book Round-Up Celebrates Witches in Literature #FridayReads #POTLReads


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Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round Up. Halloween is seventeen days away and I feel magick in the air. Oh wait, that’s just my Kindle overflowing with all the paranormal romance, urban fantasy and magical realism books. From the time I first saw the television show, Bewitched, I’ve loved stories that feature witches. So here are ten of my favorite magical books featuring witches:

 

Conjuring Quantico (The Federal Witch Book 1) by T S Paul

How do you cope with magic that goes its own way?

 

As a second year FBI academy witch, Agatha Blackmore has a curtain reputation. After nearly blowing up the school, an untended mid-air incident involving the FBI Director, and declaring war with the US Marines, she has to wonder if she will even see graduation.

 

But when a rash of mysterious disappearances catches the attention of local authorities Agatha finds herself asked to lend a hand to the investigation. Determined to offer protection where it is needed the most, Agatha and her quirky roommate Cat along with her mini- unicorn familiar Fergus, attempt to unravel the mysteries of the four distinctly magical disappearances before time runs out.

 

Does Agatha have what it takes to be an agent? Or will everyone that crosses her end up eating chicken feed for the rest of their lives?

 

Conjuring Quantico is the first book in a brand new Urban Fantasy by T. S. Paul.

As a direct sequel to Born a Witch… Drafted by the FBI, T. S. Paul returns with the first book of the Federal Witch Series!

 

Spellbound: A magical sequel to Bewitched by Daisy Prescott

If you don’t carve a pumpkin, it will appear ripe and perfect for months while it slowly rots from the inside out before imploding. The act of transforming a simple, ordinary gourd into something magical accelerates its downfall.

 

The same could be said for my life.

 

For twenty-one years I’ve lived quietly in the shadows, avoiding attention, and escaping notice.

 

I hide in plain sight.

 

With glasses and average brown eyes below the same dark hair sported by the majority of humans on the planet, there’s nothing extraordinary about me.

 

Except nothing about me is ordinary.

 

Not with the last name Wildes in Salem, Massachusetts.

 

My mother believed she could escape my fate by marrying a normal man.

 

My father thought he could change me by removing me from Salem and my mother’s history.

 

Both of them are wrong.

 

My fate has been sealed since the first time I laid eyes on Madison Bradbury.

 

She thinks she’s average, but she’s extraordinary to me.

 

A new love. A curse. Everything can go wrong.

 

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the Forest, Xan, is kind. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Xan rescues the children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.

 

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. As Luna’s thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge–with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions flock nearby. A volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles just beneath the earth’s surface. And the woman with the Tiger’s heart is on the prowl . . .

 

The author of the highly acclaimed, award-winning novel The Witch’s Boy has written an epic coming-of-age fairy tale destined to be a modern classic.

 

Witch’s Bell Book One by Odette. C. Bell

Can this witch survive in a world of magic, possibilities, danger, and love?

 

Ebony Bell owns a cantankerous magical bookstore with a personality like a battering ram. Her best friend is a detective who drives like a bat out of hell. And a tall, dark, handsome, but seriously irritating stranger by the name of Nathan Wall has just walked into her life.

 

Oh, and she’s a witch. A consultant witch, to be precise. She spends her mornings selling books and her evenings investigating magical crimes for the local police department.

 

While her life is messy, she manages, until one investigation ends in a costly mistake. She reveals her powers to a normal human, and in punishment is severed from her magic for one lunar cycle. If that was her only problem, she would cope, but very soon darkness surrounds her.

 

Something is after Ebony Bell. A curse. She must fight it, or die. And if that wasn’t bad enough, she has to rely on the help, and kisses, of that darn Nathan Wall.

 

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How to Date Dead Guys (The Witch’s Handbook Book 1) by Ann M. Noser

College sophomore Emma Roberts remembers her mother’s sage advice: “don’t sleep around, don’t burp in public, and don’t tell anyone you see ghosts”. But when charming Mike Carlson drowns in the campus river under her watch, Emma’s sheltered life shatters.

 

Blamed for Mike’s death and haunted by nightmares, Emma turns to witchcraft and a mysterious Book of Shadows to bring him back. Under a Blood Moon, she lights candles, draws a pentacle on the campus bridge, and casts a spell. The invoked river rages up against her, but she escapes its fury. As she stumbles back to the dorm, a stranger drags himself from the water and follows her home. And he isn’t the only one.

 

Instead of raising Mike, Emma assists the others she stole back from the dead—a pre-med student who jumped off the bridge, a desperate victim determined to solve his own murder, and a frat boy Emma can’t stand… at first.

 

More comfortable with the dead than the living, Emma delves deeper into the seductive Book of Shadows. Her powers grow, but witchcraft may not be enough to protect her against the vengeful river and the killers that feed it their victims.

 

Inspired by the controversial Smiley Face Murders, HOW TO DATE DEAD GUYS will ignite the secret powers hidden deep within each of us.

 

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

BONUS: This edition contains excerpts from Sarah Addison Allen’s First Frost and The Girl Who Chased the Moon.

 

In a garden surrounded by a tall fence, tucked away behind a small, quiet house in an even smaller town, is an apple tree that is rumored to bear a very special sort of fruit. In this luminous debut novel, Sarah Addison Allen tells the story of that enchanted tree, and the extraordinary people who tend it.…

 

The Waverleys have always been a curious family, endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders even in their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina. Even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers. Generations of Waverleys tended this garden. Their history was in the soil. But so were their futures.

 

A successful caterer, Claire Waverley prepares dishes made with her mystical plants—from the nasturtiums that aid in keeping secrets and the pansies that make children thoughtful, to the snapdragons intended to discourage the attentions of her amorous neighbor. Meanwhile, her elderly cousin, Evanelle, is known for distributing unexpected gifts whose uses become uncannily clear. They are the last of the Waverleys—except for Claire’s rebellious sister, Sydney, who fled Bascom the moment she could, abandoning Claire, as their own mother had years before.

 

When Sydney suddenly returns home with a young daughter of her own, Claire’s quiet life is turned upside down—along with the protective boundary she has so carefully constructed around her heart. Together again in the house they grew up in, Sydney takes stock of all she left behind, as Claire struggles to heal the wounds of the past. And soon the sisters realize they must deal with their common legacy—if they are ever to feel at home in Bascom—or with each other.

 

Enchanting and heartfelt, this captivating novel is sure to cast a spell with a style all its own….

 

The Cupcake Witch (The Chancellor Fairy Tales Book 2) by Poppy Lawless

They say the course of true love never runs smooth.

That’s nothing a magical cupcake can’t solve.

 

Julie

 

Buttercream. Vanilla. Fondant. Dark chocolate. Brown sugar. Molasses. Baking has always been my true love, but it wasn’t until my mother’s death, and the unexpected inheritance of Serendipity Gardens, that my bliss called me. Bittersweet. But Serendipity Gardens has more to offer than just a potential shopfront. An unusual recipe box left to me by a distant relative might be the key to unlocking my dreams.

 

Too bad the most powerful family in Chancellor has plans that could turn those dreams to ruins—literally.

 

Too bad the son of that powerful family is just the kind of guy I’ve been looking for.

 

Horatio

I suppose being heir to the Hunter family’s Blushing Grape Winery should make me happy, but nothing could be further from the truth. With my mother gone, my father has taken me under his wing, and I despise everything about the way he does business. Sour grapes, indeed. Instead of raising money for charitable causes, my true passion, I’m chasing my father’s manifest destiny.

 

Too bad his dream includes paving paradise.

 

Too bad the property owner is the sweetest woman I’ve ever met.

 

The Cupcake Witch is a stand-alone sweet romance and book 2 of The Chancellor Fairy Tales series.

 

Broommates: Two Witches are Better Than One! (Kentucky Witches Book 2) by Rebecca Patrick-Howard

Kudzu Valley was just starting to adjust to having one witch…what’s it going to do with TWO?

 

When Bryar Rose, Liza Jane’s feisty sister, has a breakdown in front of millions of people on live TV, she decides she needs a break from the glamorous life. Moving in with her sister to the small mountain town in Eastern Kentucky will hopefully give her some time to meditate, reflect on the past, and drown her embarrassment in copious amounts of bourbon.

 

Life in the ‘Kudz isn’t as uneventful as she’d hoped, though.

 

As the sisters struggle to coordinate the deep-fried food vendors and knock-off designer purse booths for the annual Mushroom Festival, they soon find themselves at the center of an investigation–half the town has been poisoned and Bryar Rose is the accused!

 

Of course, that’s not stopping the townspeople from continuing to come to Liza for everything from love spells to money charms (everyone needs a bigger tax refund).

 

Can Liza Jane Higginbotham clear her sister, put on a fabulous festival, and take care of everyone before the sisters are chased out of town with pitchforks?

 

A Little Night Magic by Angie Fox

New York Times bestselling author Angie Fox is back with an enchanting collection of six sweet, quirky, laugh-out-loud tales of paranormal mischief. Enter a world of magic with the ever-popular and always rowdy biker witches; take off on a spine tingling adventure with a Southern good girl turned reluctant ghost hunter; and sizzle in the sultry heat of New Orleans as a voodoo mambo makes one very big mistake when casting a love spell. These charming tales of love, friendship, and laughter are a pure delight.

 

Features six short stories (also available individually on Kindle):

A Ghostly Gift

Ghost of a Chance

Gentlemen Prefer Voodoo

I Brake for Biker Witches

Date with a Demon Slayer

Some Like It Hexed

 

“Fabulously fun”

—The Chicago Tribune

 

“Angie Fox has a genuine gift for creating dangerously hilarious drama.”

—RT Book Reviews

 

“A funny paranormal romp with a little heat and lots of action.”

—Fresh Fiction

 

Cursed (The Thorne Trilogy Book 1) by R.K. Ryals

The Thorne Trilogy Book 1

 

He is cocky, evil, and dangerous with one motto: sometimes being bad is better …

 

Ellie Elizabeth Jacobs, often known as Monroe due to her fascination with vintage attire and old movies, is an 18 year-old witch and a darned good one! But there is also something very wrong with her. Demonic energy makes her powers stronger, she has the ability to ward off Demons, and Lucifer wants her.

 

The hybrid Demon son of the cursed Cain and the Demon Lilith, Luther “Thorne” Craig is reluctantly sent to New Orleans, Louisiana by his brother, the hybrid Demon ruler of the Outer Levels of Hell, to protect Monroe from Lucifer’s searching Hellhounds.

 

But what happens when things go wrong?

 

In this riveting spin off from R.K. Ryals’ Redemption series, Monroe is faced with an old grimoire, an ancient curse, a magnetic Demon, and a journey to discover a family secret that may surprise them all.

 

What books starring a witch or spellcaster do you love? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

The Dragon of Alsace Farm by @laurielclewis is a Touching Book #bookreview #RRBC #books


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Title: The Dragons of Alsace Farm

Author: Laurie Lewis

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Dementia

 

Book Blurb:

In need of his own redemption, Noah Carter finally confronts his childhood hero, the once-beloved uncle who betrayed him. Instead of vengeance, he offers forgiveness, also granting Uncle John a most curious request—for Noah to work on the ramshackle farm of Agnes Deveraux Keller, a French WWII survivor with dementia.

 

Despite all Agnes has lost, she still has much to teach Noah. But the pair’s unique friendship is threatened when Tayte, Agnes’s estranged granddaughter, arrives to claim a woman whose circumstances and abilities are far different from those of the grandmother she once knew.

 

Items hidden in Agnes’s attic raise painful questions about Tayte’s dead parents, steeling Tayte’s determination to save Agnes, even if it requires her to betray the very woman she came to save, and the secret her proud grandmother has guarded for seventy years.

 

The issue strains the fragile trust between Tayte and Noah, who now realizes Tayte is fighting her own secrets, her own dragons. Weighed down by past guilt and failures, he feels ill-equipped to help either woman, until he remembers Agnes’s lessons about courage and love. In order to save Agnes, the student must now become the teacher, helping Tayte heal—for Agnes’s sake, and for his.

 

Trailer:

 

My Review:

Everyone has their own dragons to slay yet many don’t realize love is the only weapon to defeat the dragons.

 

The Dragons of Alsace Farm by Laurie Lewis is a heart-wrenching story of love, loss, overcoming family secrets, dementia and forgiveness. Noah, Agnes and Tayte are the main characters in this moving story and I was instantly drawn to each of them. I related to them on a very personal level, which only added to the realism of the book.

 

Lewis grabs the reader with a smooth plot, complex characters and conflict, emotional tension, WWII historical background, a touching romance and a strong message. What really hit home for me was how Lewis so accurately portrayed how dementia strips away a person’s life, moment by moment.

 

If you’re a fan of Nicholas Sparks and looking for a poignant story, go right now and pick up The Dragons of Alsace Farm.

 

My Rating:  5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Dragons-Alsace-Farm-Laurie-Lewis-ebook/dp/B01HKMU014

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30761293-the-dragons-of-alsace-farm

 

Author Biography:

Laurie (L.C.) Lewis began her career under contract with Covenant Communications in 2004, moving to Walnut Springs Press in 2010, during which time she published seven books. “The Dragons of Alsace Farm,” her most recent release, which debuted in July 2016, was inspired by her family’s experiences supporting a loved one with dementia. She calls this book a four-year love project.

 

While Laurie Lewis is best known for her much celebrated historical fiction series, “Free Men and Dreamers,” she writes different genres under several pen names–general fiction as Laurie Lewis, historical fiction and suspense as L.C. Lewis, and she will be assuming another pen name for a pending romance novel she’s contracted for Gelato Books’ “Destination Billionaire’s Series.”

 

Laurie Lewis love to hear from her readers. “Thank you so much for visiting my author page and looking over my titles. Reviews are the best way to acknowledge a book you enjoy, so if you’re so inclined, please let others know how you felt about my books via Amazon, Goodreads, or shout out about my book on Facebook or Twitter. Feel free to mail me at laurielclewis@laurielclewis.com . I love to chat! My official web site can be found at www.laurielclewis.com , and I hope you’ll stop by the newsletter link and sign up for news on projects and free books!

 

“Always remember love.”

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

“Original Storyline” – A Sibling in Always by Ernest Gordon Taulbee #IARTG #fiction @gordtaul


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Title: A Sibling in Always

Author: Ernest Gordon Taulbee

Genre: Literary Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

When a severely deformed corpse lands on his embalming table, skilled mortician, Horace Carver is forced to confront his apathy towards life and the dark secrets hidden within himself, his family, and his hometown of Always, Indiana.

This engaging novel finds a depth that is often missing in many of today’s books. Laden with literary devices and allusions, including themes borrowed from ancient mythology, this book immerses itself into the broadened and modernizing Mid-Western culture of the late 1970’s to 2008, highlighting the prose with delicate harmonic overtones of the Near South.

The prose has the classic sensibilities with the poetic nuances and timing. It also uses tightly metered poetry that often serves as the reader’s guide while experiencing the novel.

 

Excerpt:

What am I to make of you?

The one to whom I will speak

The nature of your design

I am beside of myself

I ask, do you have a name?

Tell me how you want to look

This chance is perfect for me.

 

It is perfect for you too.

We must have a way to go.

How shall we proceed, my friend?

What will I turn you into?

Someone is hiding in there.

I want to know your true name.

These years you waited to die.

 

Could there have been anything,

Only madness in the dark.

Darkness is in this light too,

And there are things you may lose.

 

Did you ever hold something?

You have ever felt possessed,

Since those who are never do.

(Madness is on this side too.)

 

I keep saying it is not routine. Dying that is. But neither is living in most cases. People have such a thing as an average life. There is a median income for American families. People have two kids on average. They buy cars and go to movies. They get their teeth pulled when they get old and they buy their grandkids Christmas presents. I know all this. I have seen the family pictures adorning the funeral home. Plucked from mantels and tables from around homes and placed around the coffin in the viewing room. Smiling faces. Cooked turkeys and full bellies. Happy people. I have never had that life, but I know it to be real. I see it time and time again throughout the years. A couple funerals a week: that is what we average. More than enough to keep the home afloat.

 

My uncle doesn’t live at the funeral home like I do — me in an efficiency apartment in the back of the home. Now our new employee is living in the apartment above the garage. I don’t know if he is paying rent or if it was just something he and Seth agreed to, that way Seth could pay him less money. I have no idea. I don’t get into the business. I know my skill and I do it well. I like the challenge of it sometimes. But as violent and dismembering as it is, I am rarely shocked at what I see. I know that people die in violent ways, and that is where I make my mark. It eases people to see the violence removed.

 

But no violence tonight. None.

 

Sometimes I like to think my uncle and I have come to a place of forced mutual respect. We have never operated on a familial level. It is a façade and it took until I was at least thirty to develop, but it is in place now. It is necessary for us to work together as we do. One of the points is we respect each other’s privacy. I never invite him into my home. He does not invite me to his, though I have seen if from the outside; a few miles from the funeral home. Not flashy, but elaborate. He makes the money in the place. He has been married for years, but I have only met his wife a few times. She doesn’t consider me family.

 

Nonetheless, we respect our mutual privacy. That is our way now. I began living in my apartment when I was young, almost immediately after my mother was committed (we stayed in the apartment above the garage when we lived together). In my twenties it was nothing for Seth to barge in unannounced and uninvited as if he owned the place. In actuality he did own the place, but it was mine in my head. We fought and argued. I threatened to quit the business dozens of times. Now I have my privacy, but tonight my uncle broke it.

 

I had never bothered to have the locks changed, so the key that sat unused on his chain still worked after years of idleness. I was in a deep sleep when he entered, so I did not hear him come into my apartment. He came into my small bedroom, and he turned on the lights.
“Horace, wake up! I need you!” he says loudly, but not yelling.

 

I sprang to my feet: scared and disoriented.

 

“What the hell are you doing in here?”

 

“I need your help,” he says.

 

“Get the f**k out!” I demand, but he doesn’t move. That is odd for me. I rarely use profanity. I did when I was younger, but I accidentally used foul language in front of a customer, and Seth berated me for it. Since then, I have removed it from my language, only letting it out in moments of intense frustration, like now, with my uncle standing in my room unannounced in the middle of the night.

 

“It’s business, Horace, get dressed. We have to go to a house on Ingersoll Street. It’s urgent.”

 

“What happened?” I ask.

 

“There has been a death,” he answers.

 

“What’s urgent about that?”

 

“The benefactor. The one from the other day with the old man. He has a death in the family and he called me to say it is urgent. He said for me attend to it, and he said to bring you.”

 

“Why me?”

 

“I have no idea, Horace. I don’t even know how he is aware you exist. Now get dressed and meet me at the hearse.”

 

“Should I get Mason to drive us?”

 

“The man didn’t ask me to bring Mason, he asked me to bring you. You’re wasting time. Get dressed and meet me at the car. Five minutes.”

 

With that, he leaves and I go to my closet. This may be my first middle-of-the-night call, but I know jeans and t-shirt won’t be the appropriate attire. Thankfully, my time spent in the business has afforded me the ability to collect some black suits. I hurriedly dress and make my way to the hearse, still adjusting my tie as I approach.

 

 

Buy Links:

https://www.amazon.com/Sibling-Always-Taulbee-Ernest-Gordon-ebook/dp/B01J1LG8T0

 

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Author Biography:

Ernest Gordon Taulbee grew up in a small town in Eastern Kentucky called Salyersville. He received both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University. Upon completing his MA he moved to Louisville — where he has lived most of his adult life.

Love of reading and writing has been a theme in his life. Through the decade and a half since he finished his MA, Mr. Taulbee has worked a variety of jobs, from populating a cubicle in a large corporation to making and selling mead. Throughout his whole life, writing has remained his singular professional and artistic passion.

He enjoys writing that is both entertaining as well as writing that borders on high art.

The thesis for his MA was the first 100 pages of a novel. He would complete that novel in the months after finishing his graduate degree. After additional months spent proofreading and editing, he submitted the manuscript to small publishing houses and select agents who considered literary fiction. The stacks of rejections letters became less painful, when he received an email from a small, art house, stating they would like to publish this novel. That joy was squashed about a month or so later, when the publishing company informed him an unexpected financial situation would cause the publishing house to close.

He would continue to write short stories and outline for longer works over the next few years, until he was struck with the idea for what would become his novel, A Sibling in Always, while waiting for the bus.

Once the manuscript was complete, he continued to write prose and to submit the novel for consideration by small houses and publications.

After a year and a half, he decided to join the do-it-yourself culture that had influenced much of the books, music, and art he had come to admire.
He believes that art, including fiction, is a vital part of society, so — if you are not going to produce it — appreciate it and try to improve it.

He currently (as was stated previously) lives in Louisville, Kentucky with his wife, Tina, and their two daughter.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ernestgordontaulbee/

Twitter https://twitter.com/gordtaul

IAN http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/ernest-gordon-taulbee.html

 

Inventive Classic #Literature Re-Imagined #Books on Friday Book Round-Up #FridayReads


Friday Book Round Up

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round Up. I’ve just finished up reading a re-imagined of the Arabian Nights tales and it’s piqued my interest at other re-imagined classic literature. So, I popped over to Amazon and found these fascinating retellings. Are they any good? We’ll see. Check these out and let me know your thoughts on retelling classic literature:

 

Classics Reimagined, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (Author), Sophia Martineck (Illustrator)

The Classics Reimagined series is a library of stunning collector’s editions of classic novels illustrated by contemporary artists from around the world. Each artist offers his or her own unique, visual interpretation of the most well-loved, widely read, and avidly collected literature from renowned authors. From Grimm’s Fairy Tales to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and from Edgar Allen Poe to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, art lovers and book collectors alike will not be able to resist owning the whole collection.

 

Award-winning artist Sophia Martineck takes readers on a journey to 221B Baker St. and the compelling stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, through her luscious imagery. The stories take on a whole new meaning when accompanied by Martineck’s mystical, colorful interpretations. With this edition of the Classics Reimagined series, you’ll always solve the mystery of what to read!

 

Fraulein Frankenstein by Stephen Woodworth

Her fate has become lost in legends. Some say her creator destroyed her; others believe fearful villagers burned her alive. Now, the mate that Victor Frankenstein created for his monster reveals her true story, from her awakening on the slab in the scientist’s laboratory, through her tortured initiation into human society, to her desperate quest for a love of her own…even if she has to manufacture the lover she wants.

 

Oz Reimagined: New Tales from the Emerald City and Beyond by Galen Dara (Illustrator), John Joseph Adams

FOREWORD BY GREGORY MAGUIRE, NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF WICKED.

When L. Frank Baum introduced Dorothy and friends to the American public in 1900, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz became an instant, bestselling hit. Today the whimsical tale remains a cultural phenomenon that continues to spawn wildly popular books, movies, and musicals. Now, editors John Joseph Adams and Douglas Cohen have brought together leading fantasy writers such as Orson Scott Card and Seanan McGuire to create the ultimate anthology for Oz fans – and, really, any reader with an appetite for richly imagined worlds. Stories include:

 

Frank Baum’s son has the real experiences that his father later fictionalized in Orson Scott Card’s “Off to See the Emperor.”

Seanan McGuire’s “Emeralds to Emeralds, Dust to Dust” finds Dorothy grown up, bitter, and still living in Oz. And she has a murder to solve – assuming Ozma will stop interfering with her life long enough to let her do her job.

In “Blown Away,” Jane Yolen asks: What if Toto was dead and stuffed, Ozma was a circus freak, and everything you thought you knew as Oz was

really right here in Kansas?

“The Cobbler of Oz” by Jonathan Maberry explores a Winged Monkey with wings too small to let her fly. Her only chance to change that rests with

the Silver Slippers.

In Tad Williams’s futuristic “The Boy Detective of Oz,” Orlando investigates the corrupt Oz simulation of the Otherland network.

And more…

Some stories are dystopian…Some are dreamlike…All are undeniably Oz.

 

Includes stories by these authors:

Dale Bailey, Orson Scott Card, Rae Carson, David Farland, C.C. Finlay, Jeffrey Ford, Theodora Goss, Simon R. Green, Kat Howard, Ken Liu, Seanan McGuire, Jonathan Maberry, Rachel Swirsky, Robin Wasserman, Tad Williams, Jane Yolen

 

A Note On Suggested Reading Age: L. Frank Baum’s original Oz books were works of children’s fiction–albeit ones that have been known and loved by “children of all ages” throughout their existence. Though many of the stories contained in this anthology are also suitable for the aforementioned children of all ages, Oz Reimagined is intended for ages 13 and up, and as such, some of the stories deal with mature themes, so parental guidance is suggested.

 

Second Chances: An Amish Retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion (The Amish Classics) by Sarah Price

At twenty-five years of age, Anna Eicher has never married. When she was seventeen, her parents convinced her to break off her courtship with Freman Whittmore, the youngest son in the Whittmore family and her best friend. Afterward, a distraught Freman moved away from Lancaster County.

 

Eight years later Freman has returned to visit his sister, who is renting the Eichers’ house for the winter. Now the owner of the largest dairy farm in his church district, Freman has neither married—nor forgiven Anna.

 

Although he begins courting someone else, Anna hopes to convince him that she has never stopped loving him. Will Freman be persuaded to forgive Anna and open his heart again?

 

Darcy Swipes Left (OMG Classics) by Jane Austen (Author), Courtney Carbone  (Author)

Pride and Prejudice, one of the greatest love stories ever told . . . in texts?!

 

Imagine: What if Lizzy Bennet and Mr. Darcy had smartphones and dated IRL (in real life)? A classic is reborn in this clever adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice!

 

A truth universally acknowledged: a rich guy must want a wife.

A terrible first impression.

A couple that’s meant to be . . . if they can just get over themselves. #hatersgonnadate

 

Don’t miss: Lydia taking selfies with soldiers, Mrs. Bennet’s humble-brag status updates, Lizzy texting from her long walks, and Darcy swiping left on a dance card app.

 

Jane Austen’s most famous novel told through its characters texting with emojis, posting photos, checking in at locations, and updating their relationship statuses. The perfect gift for any teen (or any reader with a sense of humor)!

 

A glossary and cast of characters are included for those who need it. For example: tl;dr means too long; didn’t read.

 

Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

Dealing With Aliens? @maaarmstrang Offers Assistance #books #PerseidPress #fiction


Top 10 Things to Remember When Dealing With Aliens

-They really hate the smell of Aqua Net hairspray or anything with chlorofluorocarbons.

-Wolfhounds can smell an alien a mile away. Travel with wolfhounds.

-How to recognize Grays: They almost always wear big hats to cover their tiny ears. Female Grays don’t like to alter their ear flaps. They’re really weird that way: they think those vestigial flaps are the sexiest thing. For all I know, that’s how they screw. Go figure. Aliens are really strange.

-Another way to recognize Grays: They have short, stumpy legs and can’t stand Earth’s higher gravity. They have to wear special prosthetics to make their legs longer, with servo motors to turn their legs and hips. If you hear the sound of little motors, they’re probably Grays.

-When you get sucked up into a Gray mother ship, just the ride up the glitter tube can screw up your brain chemistry. The Grays don’t quite understand human anatomy and as a result have really messed up some people.

-If you think you might get abducted by aliens, carry KY Jelly. The Grays don’t have to offer you lubricants if they do an anal probe, but if you bring your own, they have to let you use it.

-One bonus to being abducted by Grays: you get great teeth. They smear this stuff on your enamel that’s better than fluoride.

-Grays have totally messed up modern fashion, like pant suits. There’s no other way to explain modern fashion, unless you buy into the idea that it’s a conspiracy by misogynists to humiliate women.

-Also, Grays have screwed up modern art.

-Grays hate religion. If you want to scare away a Gray, invoke the name of Jesus, Allah, Buddha, the Goddess — anything.

 

truckstop_EBOOK

 

Title: Truck Stop Earth

Author:  Michael A. Armstrong

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Aliens, UFO

Publisher: Perseid Press

 

Book Blurb:

The mother of all alien bases. The big one, the megabase, the center of the Alien Occupation Government, the headquarters, the brain, the nerve center, the absolute pinpoint big base, right there, right in the hills above Della. Forget Roswell. Forget Machu Picchu. Forget Stonehenge and Tikal and all those alleged alien bases, abandoned every one of them. This was the big one, right now, the source of all my troubles, the world’s troubles, the whole solar system’s troubles. Right there.

 

Out there across the valley, shining across it like a beacon, was a big flat mountain. “Oly’s Mountain” I later heard it called, or Table Top, some said. I could feel it, feel the humming and the disruption of the ether right down to my bones. I didn’t even have to take out my little pocket detector that’s disguised as a Swiss Army knife. I knew, I just knew. And my butt chip burned like an exploded capsule of sulfuric acid. God damn, right there in the mountain — not on it, in it.

 

Book Trailer:

 

Excerpt:

The guys in the black jumpsuits wanted to give me a ride.

I was walking along the side of the road six miles out of Beaver Creek, real peaceful like, digging the wildflowers and the beer cans and the little shreds of filter fabric sticking out of the edges, when I turned at the sound of a car coming from down the road. Not even thinking, I stuck my thumb out, but before I had a chance to pull it back in, the white Jeep Cherokee stopped. At first I thought they were camo dudes, like the ones who patrol around Area 51 at Groom Lake. Man, I hate those rent-a-grunts, but I guess they made it personal after that little incident when I blew their cover and listed their names and home addresses on the Web. ’Nother story.

I didn’t even have to look at their plates — Alaska blue ’n’ gold NRG lettered plates, and in Alaska they only go up to the J’s — to know who they were: AOGs, Agents of the Grays, Alien Occupation Government. They looked like batfags, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms goons, right down to the thin Kevlar vests. Two of ’em, though, in the slick black jumpsuits.

“Need a ride, son?” asked the guy in the passenger’s side as he rolled down the window. Tinted windows, thick windows: armored, I knew.

“Just hiking, sir,” I said. Old habit from when I was in Delta Force. Any guy calls you “son,” you call them “sir.” I’d of saluted, but when Delta kicked me upstairs on special assignment as a deep cover agent in the Foreign Service, I swore off saluting. With my dreadlocks tucked up into my baseball cap, and the hair buzzed on the side of my head, that guy might of thought I was military with a high and tight, in civvies.

“We can give you a ride up to the border, son,” the guy went on.

“Only a couple of miles. I’ll walk the rest of the way.”

Then they got out. Right then I knew they were Grays because they had the mirrored sunglasses and the jerky legs. The Grays on bottom duty get face surgery so they look normal — real noses, mouths, and ears — but the big triangular eyes are hard to fake. Takes a lot of bone surgery, so most of them just wear big sunglasses. And the Grays have long torsos but stumpy legs, kind of like that Frog painter Hangin’ Too Loose Lowtrec, so to look human, they walk on these like stilts. Our high gravity really messes them up, though, so they never get good at it. You learn these things when you become an enemy of the bigheads like me.

The driver was a wymmin, I mean, I knew the type, feminazis: big broad shoulders and almost no boobs, and fat hips. She had short hair just over her ear flaps and long bangs. Female Grays don’t like to alter their ear flaps. They’re really weird that way: they think those vestigial flaps are the sexiest thing. For all I know, that’s how they screw. Go figure. Aliens are really strange.

So the wymmin Gray got out, same klutzy walk, and they both gimped over to me, looking real tall, but I knew I could kick their legs out from under them. ’Course, iffen I did that, they’d blast me to cinders, but it’s nice to know I had the option to damage them before I died. They leaned up against that white Jeep Cherokee with the funny windows, hooking their thumbs in their belts. Those Grays watch too many of our Western movies, if you ask me. Someone ought to tell them, or at least turn ‘em on to some Mel Gibson thrillers so they can learn a new attitude . . .

“You’re kind of out here in the middle of nowhere,” the wymmin says. She had one of those squeaky high voices their females have. It always flips me out. You see a big momma like that, and then she has this high voice.

“Yes ma’am,” I said. “I’m used to walking.”

“So we’ll give you a ride to the border,” she said. “Across the border, make it easy on you. Into Tok. You must be going that way.”

“Might take a right at Tositna and go up to Chicken,” I said. “Do some gold mining.”

“Yeah.” The guy scratched his balls, in that sympathetic gesture guys make to each other, sort of like saying, Balls, what a pain, huh? Only I knew he was re-adjusting the servos on his stilts.

“So you sure you don’t want a lift?” The wymmin Gray glared at me through her glasses. I knew she was scanning me. Hell, I knew they had me pegged already. They’d put a chip in my butt after my first abduction near Cedar Key (see Chapter 16), so they could track me like that, you bet.

“Don’t wanna trouble you,” I said.

“No trouble,” the guy said.

“Still . . . “ I stared off into the distance, thinking of Hannah. I figured if they were scanning me, they’d pick up the increase in blood pressure and the little woody I was working up. “I’m sort of hoping for a ride with this babe I met in Beaver Creek.” I grinned, and the guy Gray grinned back, showing me his stumpy little tongue.

“Gotcha,” he said, winking and making a little gun with his fingers and shooting it at me. Really. They ought to watch some old Bond movies if they wanted some better clichés.

“Dude,” I said.

The wymmin nodded and the guy nodded and they got back in the white Cherokee and drove over the hill and probably to one of their shuttle crafts. A few minutes later, the Coasties who had given me a ride 500 miles down the road picked me up again.

When the Coasties dropped me off just before the border, I saw the black helicopters.

Welcome to Alaska, I thought. Now go home.

 

Buy Links:

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30650517-truck-stop-earth

 

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HN3JAJS

 

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/truck-stop-earth-michael-a-armstrong/1123961595?ean=9780997531008

 

Michael and Leia bw

 

Author Biography:

Michael Armstrong was born in Virginia in 1956, grew up in Tampa, Florida, and moved to Anchorage, Alaska in 1979. He has lived in Homer, Alaska, since 1994. He attended the Clarion Science Fiction Writers Workshop and received a bachelor of arts from New College of Florida and a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of Alaska Anchorage. His first novel is After the Zap. Michael’s short fiction has been published in Asimov’s, The Magazine of Science Fiction, Fiction Quarterly, and various anthologies, including Not of Woman Born, a Philip K. Dick award nominee, and several Heroes In Hell anthologies. His other novels include Agviq, The Hidden War, and Bridge Over Hell, part of the Perseid Press Heroes in Hell universe.

 

Michael has taught creative writing composition, and dog mushing. He is a reporter and photographer for the Homer News. He and his wife, Jenny Stroyeck, live in small house they built themselves on Diamond Ridge above Homer, which they share with an incredibly adorable labradoodle.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/michael.a.armstrong.writer/

Twitter https://twitter.com/maaarmstrang

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4100550.Michael_A_Armstrong

Publisher http://www.theperseidpress.com/

 

15 Books Mrs. N Can’t Wait to Read This Fall #FridayBookRoundUp #books #FridayReads


 

Friday Book Round Up

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round Up. There’s so many books I want to read and this Fall, many of my favorite authors have new releases. So, I thought I’d share with you fifteen books coming out soon that I can’t wait to read. They range in genre from fiction to nonfiction, in no particular order and I hope you will check them out.

 

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: The Illustrated Edition (Harry Potter, Book 2) by J.K. Rowling  (Author), Jim Kay (Illustrator)

The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he’s packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

 

And strike it does. For in Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockhart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls’ bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley’s younger sister, Ginny.

 

But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone — or something — starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects… Harry Potter himself?

 

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen

“Writing about yourself is a funny business…But in a project like this, the writer has made one promise, to show the reader his mind. In these pages, I’ve tried to do this.” —Bruce Springsteen, from the pages of Born to Run

 

In 2009, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at the Super Bowl’s halftime show. The experience was so exhilarating that Bruce decided to write about it. That’s how this extraordinary autobiography began.

 

Over the past seven years, Bruce Springsteen has privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to these pages the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs.

 

He describes growing up Catholic in Freehold, New Jersey, amid the poetry, danger, and darkness that fueled his imagination, leading up to the moment he refers to as “The Big Bang”: seeing Elvis Presley’s debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. He vividly recounts his relentless drive to become a musician, his early days as a bar band king in Asbury Park, and the rise of the E Street Band. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work, and shows us why the song “Born to Run” reveals more than we previously realized.

 

Born to Run will be revelatory for anyone who has ever enjoyed Bruce Springsteen, but this book is much more than a legendary rock star’s memoir. This is a book for workers and dreamers, parents and children, lovers and loners, artists, freaks, or anyone who has ever wanted to be baptized in the holy river of rock and roll.

 

Rarely has a performer told his own story with such force and sweep. Like many of his songs (“Thunder Road,” “Badlands,” “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” “The River,” “Born in the U.S.A.,” “The Rising,” and “The Ghost of Tom Joad,” to name just a few), Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography is written with the lyricism of a singular songwriter and the wisdom of a man who has thought deeply about his experiences.

 

Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten

For America’s bestselling cookbook author Ina Garten there is no greater pleasure than cooking for the people she loves—and particularly for her husband, Jeffrey. She has been cooking for him ever since they were married forty-eight years ago, and the comforting, delicious meals they shared became the basis for her extraordinary career in food.

 

Ina’s most personal cookbook yet, Cooking for Jeffrey is filled with the recipes Jeffrey and their friends request most often as well as charming stories from Ina and Jeffrey’s many years together. There are traditional dishes that she’s updated, such as Brisket with Onions and Leeks, and Tsimmes, a vegetable stew with carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and prunes, and new favorites, like Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken and Roasted Salmon Tacos. You’ll also find wonderful new salads, including Maple-Roasted Carrot Salad and Kale Salad with Pancetta and Pecorino. Desserts range from simple Apple Pie Bars to showstoppers like Vanilla Rum Panna Cotta with Salted Caramel. For the first time, Ina has included a chapter devoted to bread and cheese, with recipes and tips for creating the perfect cheese course. With options like Fig and Goat Cheese Bruschettas and Challah with Saffron, there’s something everyone will enjoy.

 

From satisfying lunches to elegant dinners, here are the recipes Ina has tested over and over again, so you too can serve them with confidence to the people you love.

 

The Whistler by John Grisham

From John Grisham, America’s #1 bestselling author, comes the most electrifying novel of the year, a high-stakes thrill ride through the darkest corners of the Sunshine State.

 

We expect our judges to be honest and wise. Their integrity and impartiality are the bedrock of the entire judicial system. We trust them to ensure fair trials, to protect the rights of all litigants, to punish those who do wrong, and to oversee the orderly and efficient flow of justice.

 

But what happens when a judge bends the law or takes a bribe? It’s rare, but it happens.

 

Lacy Stoltz is an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct. She is a lawyer, not a cop, and it is her job to respond to complaints dealing with judicial misconduct. After nine years with the Board, she knows that most problems are caused by incompetence, not corruption.

 

But a corruption case eventually crosses her desk. A previously disbarred lawyer is back in business with a new identity. He now goes by the name Greg Myers, and he claims to know of a Florida judge who has stolen more money than all other crooked judges combined. And not just crooked judges in Florida. All judges, from all states, and throughout U.S. history.

 

What’s the source of the ill-gotten gains? It seems the judge was secretly involved with the construction of a large casino on Native American land. The Coast Mafia financed the casino and is now helping itself to a sizable skim of each month’s cash. The judge is getting a cut and looking the other way. It’s a sweet deal: Everyone is making money.

 

But now Greg wants to put a stop to it. His only client is a person who knows the truth and wants to blow the whistle and collect millions under Florida law. Greg files a complaint with the Board on Judicial Conduct, and the case is assigned to Lacy Stoltz, who immediately suspects that this one could be dangerous.

 

Dangerous is one thing. Deadly is something else.

 

 

Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks

#1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks returns with an emotionally powerful story of unconditional love, its challenges, its risks and most of all, its rewards.

 

At 32, Russell Green has it all: a stunning wife, a lovable six year-old daughter, a successful career as an advertising executive and an expansive home in Charlotte. He is living the dream, and his marriage to the bewitching Vivian is the center of that. But underneath the shiny surface of this perfect existence, fault lines are beginning to appear…and no one is more surprised than Russ when he finds every aspect of the life he took for granted turned upside down. In a matter of months, Russ finds himself without a job or wife, caring for his young daughter while struggling to adapt to a new and baffling reality.

 

Throwing himself into the wilderness of single parenting, Russ embarks on a journey at once terrifying and rewarding-one that will test his abilities and his emotional resources beyond anything he ever imagined.

 

Night School: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child

Discover the thriller series that The New York Times calls “utterly addictive.” After eleven straight global #1 bestsellers, Lee Child sends readers back to school with the most explosive Jack Reacher novel yet.

 

It’s 1996, and Reacher is still in the army. In the morning they give him a medal, and in the afternoon they send him back to school. That night he’s off the grid. Out of sight, out of mind.

 

Two other men are in the classroom—an FBI agent and a CIA analyst. Each is a first-rate operator, each is fresh off a big win, and each is wondering what the hell they are doing there.

 

Then they find out: A Jihadist sleeper cell in Hamburg, Germany, has received an unexpected visitor—a Saudi courier, seeking safe haven while waiting to rendezvous with persons unknown. A CIA asset, undercover inside the cell, has overheard the courier whisper a chilling message: “The American wants a hundred million dollars.”

 

For what? And who from? Reacher and his two new friends are told to find the American. Reacher recruits the best soldier he has ever worked with: Sergeant Frances Neagley. Their mission heats up in more ways than one, while always keeping their eyes on the prize: If they don’t get their man, the world will suffer an epic act of terrorism.

 

From Langley to Hamburg, Jalalabad to Kiev, Night School moves like a bullet through a treacherous landscape of double crosses, faked identities, and new and terrible enemies, as Reacher maneuvers inside the game and outside the law.

 

Praise for #1 bestselling author Lee Child and his Jack Reacher series

 

“Reacher [is] one of this century’s most original, tantalizing pop-fiction heroes.”—The Washington Post

 

books

 

Home by Harlan Coben

Ten years after the high-profile kidnapping of two young boys, only one returns home in Harlan Coben’s gripping thriller.

 

A decade ago, kidnappers grabbed two boys from wealthy families and demanded ransom, then went silent. No trace of the boys ever surfaced. For ten years their families have been left with nothing but painful memories and a quiet desperation for the day that has finally, miraculously arrived: Myron Bolitar and his friend Win believe they have located one of the boys, now a teenager. Where has he been for ten years, and what does he know about the day, more than half a life ago, when he was taken? And most critically: What can he tell Myron and Win about the fate of his missing friend? Drawing on his singular talent, Harlan Coben delivers an explosive and deeply moving thriller about friendship, family, and the meaning of home.

 

Metallica: Back to the Front: A Fully Authorized Visual History of the Master of Puppets Album and Tour by Matt Taylor (Author), Ray Burton (Afterword), James Hetfield (Foreword)

Metallica: Back to the Front tells the amazing, fully authorized story of the band’s seminal Master of Puppets album and tour.

 

Released on March 3, 1986, Metallica’s Master of Puppets album became an instant classic and announced the band as the most electrifying new voice in rock. Thirty years later, this six-time platinum album is considered to be the high-water mark of Metallica’s incredible career, with songs like “Battery,” “Welcome Home (Sanitarium),” and the title track, “Master of Puppets,” still a staple of their sell-out live shows. Sadly, this hugely successful period for Metallica was marred by a tragedy that shook the band to its foundation: the death of bassist Cliff Burton in a tour bus accident on September 27, 1986.

 

For the first time, Metallica: Back to the Front tells the fully authorized story of the creation of the Master of Puppets album and the subsequent tour. Featuring new and exclusive interviews with band members James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, and Kirk Hammett, this is the definitive account of the most venerated period of Metallica’s history, from the incredible highs of touring in support of Ozzy Osbourne to the lows of losing a key member of the band and crucial part of the Metallica sound. Metallica: Back to the Front will also feature interviews with other important figures in the band’s history, including managers Cliff Burnstein and Peter Mensch, Faith No More guitarist Jim Martin, Anthrax band members Scott Ian and Charlie Benante, and many, many more.

 

Filled with hundreds of never-before-seen images from the band’s personal archives, this deluxe volume will combine an in-depth narrative with stunning visuals, taking fans further into this defining period of the band’s career than ever before. Released to coincide with the thirtieth anniversary of the Master of Puppets album and tour, Metallica: Back to the Front is created with the full cooperation and support of the band. The result is a treasure trove of stories, anecdotes, and never-before-seen photographs that legions of Metallica fans will cherish for generations to come.

 

Six Scary Stories by Stephen King

Number 1 bestselling writer Stephen King introduces and presents six gripping and chilling stories in this captivating anthology:

 

Stephen King discovered these stories when he judged a competition run by Hodder & Stoughton and the Guardian to celebrate publication of his own collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams. He was so impressed with the entries that he recommended they were published together in one book.

 

Reader beware: the stories will make you think twice before cuddling up to your old soft toy, dipping your toe into the water or counting the spots on a leopard…

 

Dog Man: From the Creator of Captain Underpants (Dog Man #1) (Captain Underpants: Dog Man) by Dav Pilkey

New from the creator of Captain Underpants, it’s Dog Man, the crime-biting canine who is part dog, part man, and ALL HERO!

 

George and Harold have created a new hero who digs into deception, claws after crooks, and rolls over robbers. When Greg the police dog and his cop companion are injured on the job, a life-saving surgery changes the course of history, and Dog Man is born. With the head of a dog and the body of a human, this heroic hound has a real nose for justice. But can he resist the call of the wild to answer the call of duty?

 

 

Advance Praise for Dog Man:

 

  • “Pilkey… has once again fired an arrow of joy straight at the fevered childhood psyche of millions of readers. An utter, unfettered delight.” — Booklist, starred review

 

  • “A riotously funny and original addition for all elementary school collections.” — School Library Journal, starred review

 

  • “Readers (of any age) will be giggling from start to finish.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

 

A Lowcountry Heart: Reflections on a Writing Life by Pat Conroy

Final words and heartfelt remembrances from bestselling author Pat Conroy take center stage in this winning nonfiction collection, supplemented by touching pieces from Conroy’s many friends.

 

This new volume of Pat Conroy’s nonfiction brings together some of the most charming interviews, magazine articles, speeches, and letters from his long literary career, many of them addressed directly to his readers with his habitual greeting, “Hey, out there.” Ranging across diverse subjects, such as favorite recent reads, the challenge of staying motivated to exercise, and processing the loss of dear friends, Conroy’s eminently memorable pieces offer a unique window into the life of a true titan of Southern writing.

 

With a beautiful introduction from his widow, novelist Cassandra King, A Lowcountry Heart also honors Conroy’s legacy and the innumerable lives he touched. Finally, the collection turns to remembrances of “The Great Conroy,” as he is lovingly titled by friends, and concludes with a eulogy. The inarguable power of Conroy’s work resonates throughout A Lowcountry Heart, and his influence promises to endure.

 

This moving tribute is sure to be a cherished keepsake for any true Conroy fan and remain a lasting monument to one of the best-loved masters of contemporary American letters.

 

Bloom County Episode XI: A New Hope by Berkeley Breathed

OPUS AWAKENS!

 

In 2015, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Berkeley Breathed began (without warning!) producing ALL-NEW Bloom County strips―for the first time in more than 25 years! Breathed released the new Bloom County strips exclusively through his Facebook page, to the cheers of devoted and delighted fans everywhere. These brand new strips have NEVER before been available in print―until now! All the wit, charm and biting satire that are trademarks of Bloom County and Berkeley Breathed are clearly on display and evident in this handsome new volume. Featuring all your favorite characters: Opus, Milo, Bill the Cat, Steve Dallas, Cutter John, and many more. Bloom County has come home… and it’s about time!

 

Woman of God by James Patterson

St. Peter’s Square, Rome.

 

White smoke signals that a new Pope has been chosen.

 

Is it possible that the new Pope…is a woman?

 

The world is watching as massive crowds gather in Rome, waiting for news of a new pope, one who promises to be unlike any other in history. It’s a turning point that may change the Church forever. Some followers are ecstatic that the movement reinvigorating the Church is about to reach the Vatican, but the leading candidate has made a legion of powerful enemies who aren’t afraid to kill for their cause.

 

Faith has never come easy for Brigid Fitzgerald. From her difficult childhood with drug-addled parents to her career as a doctor healing the wounded in Sudan to a series of trials that test her beliefs at every turn, Brigid’s convictions and callings have made her the target of all those who fear that the Church has lost its way–dangerous adversaries who abhor challenges to tradition. Locked in a deadly, high-stakes battle with forces determined to undermine everything she believes in, Brigid must convert her enemies to her cause before she loses her faith…and her life.

 

Spanning the globe–from the drug dens, high-powered law firms, and churches of Boston to the horrific brutality of a civil war in the Sudanese desert to the beauty, violence, and spiritual enlightenment of the Holy Land–Woman of God is an epic, thrilling tale of perseverance, love, trust and nothing less than what it means to live in a fallen world.

 

Twelve Days of Christmas: A Christmas Novel by Debbie Macomber

Continuing in a festive annual tradition, #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber returns with a new original holiday novel full of romance and cheer—and the magical prospect of finding love in even the most guarded hearts.

 

Friendly and bubbly, Julia Padden likes nearly everyone, but her standoffish neighbor, Cain Maddox, presents a particular challenge. No matter how hard she’s tried to be nice, Cain rudely rebuffs her at every turn, preferring to keep to himself. But when Julia catches Cain stealing her newspaper from the lobby of their apartment building, that’s the last straw. She’s going to break through Cain’s Scrooge-like exterior the only way she knows how: by killing him with kindness.

 

To track her progress, Julia starts a blog called The Twelve Days of Christmas. Her first attempts to humanize Cain are far from successful. Julia brings him homemade Christmas treats and the disagreeable grinch won’t even accept them. Meanwhile, Julie’s blog becomes an online sensation, as an astonishing number of people start following her adventures. Julia continues to find ways to express kindness and, little by little, chips away at Cain’s gruff façade to reveal the caring man underneath. Unbelievably, Julia feels herself falling for Cain—and she suspects that he may be falling for her as well. But as the popularity of her blog continues to grow, Julia must decide if telling Cain the truth about having chronicled their relationship to the rest of the world is worth risking their chance at love.

 

Goldenhand (Old Kingdom) by Garth Nix

The long-awaited fifth installment in Garth Nix’s New York Times bestselling Old Kingdom series, for readers who enjoy series by Rae Carson, Kristin Cashore, Scott Westerfeld, and Cassandra Clare.

 

Goldenhand takes place six months after the events of Abhorsen and follows the novella Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case, which is featured in Across the Wall.

 

Lirael lost one of her hands in the binding of Orannis, but now she has a new hand, one of gilded steel and Charter Magic. On a dangerous journey, Lirael returns to her childhood home, the Clayr’s Glacier, where she was once a Second Assistant Librarian. There, a young woman from the distant North brings her a message from her long-dead mother, Arielle. It is a warning about the Witch with No Face. But who is the Witch, and what is she planning? Lirael must use her new powers to save the Old Kingdom from this great danger—and it must be forestalled not only in the living world but also in the cold, remorseless river of Death.

 

Have any book(s) you’re looking forward to reading? Share in the comments below.

 

Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

Meet @Rats_Tales and Discover Why We Think Rod is the Best Author in Years #books #fiction


It’s our extreme pleasure to welcome Rod Humphris to the POTL blog today. He is the author of Dead Ground and Mr. N. claims, “he’s my new favorite author and I can’t wait to read more of his works.” We asked Rod if he’d like to be interviewed (because frankly, we’d love to get to know him better) and he agreed. We think you’ll find his answers insightful and witty. So, without further ado, please give a warm welcome to Rod Humphris. Take it away, Rod:

 

What is your writing process?

I invariable start with a sense of place and hopefully a feeling for the arc of the story. After that I start developing characters and then I disappear into the alternate reality of it and re-emerge, blinking into the light, a year later. I like to start early in the day and I’ll write anywhere; on the train, in a café. The greenhouse is good.

Do you have any odd writing habits?

When I’m stuck and confused, not unusual, I walk round the woods with the dogs talking to my phone. I lay out to myself where I’ve got to and where I think I’m going and what the problems are and record it. I’ve never actually used the recordings. I try not to go anywhere where I’m likely to meet another human.

What book do you wish you could have written?

A million. Often what I’ve just read. Recently Kim by Rudyard Kipling. A few notables would be: Kidnapped! by Robert Louis Stevenson just for the character of Alan Breck, The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler for the final scene in the bar where Marlow realises who he’s sitting next to, almost anything by P.G. Wodehouse for his amazing use of our language – “I have here in this sack a few simple rats.”, etc.

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?

John Buchan has an abiding place in my heart. Not just for the well known books but also for Prince of the Captivity and Sick Heart River. I rather like unreliable characters; Ian Flemming, Lawrence Van De Post and Axel Munthe. I admire the much missed Ian Banks for his courage and originality. Countless others.

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

I’m not sure who should play Si, Tom Hiddleston perhaps? I think Bill Nighy would make a great Guy Wealden. Kaya Scodelario would make a great Sam and Georgina Campbell could play Soumy. Benedict Cumberbach would do Bill brilliantly.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

I try hard to choose good names but I don’t think I’m good at it. The trouble is that I sometimes just use the first one that comes to me to get going and then get very confused when I realise I have to change it later. Names, like all words, have resonances and layers of meaning and definitely matter.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

If I can’t write anything good then I just write something bad and then throw it away later. I persist.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In a beautiful villa on the Mediterranean shore – well, I didn’t take to this line of work to engage with reality, did I?

Have you always liked to write?

No, but I’ve always liked to read and I’ve always liked to make things; now those two things have come together.

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Forget any idea that writing is an occupation for nice people. To write well you write your own words against all the other possible words there could be. Be a ruthless egomaniac and exclude the voices of everyone else that may be lurking in your head – and then when you’ve written it, find a good editor and listen to them.

If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?

Do I have to? I’d quite like to own a game park in the Kalahari, or sail a beautiful yacht around the world delivering… well, something or other, or perhaps try running the country. I’ve often found taxi-driving very useful so that’s possibly more likely.

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I alternate and sometime get myself into trouble with it. I like to have a feeling for where I’m going but I also believe in the phrase, ‘there’s no such thing as plot, only character’. The characters often develop in unhelpful ways. Sometimes I throw away the character and start again. Sometimes I recognise that they are right and I just misunderstood what I was doing. Sometime I just go and bang my head against a tree until it all starts to make sense.

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I do but I’ve never responded to one. I also read all my rejections from publishers (to my agent). It worries me though; I go up with the good and down with the bad. One day I will be float serenely above it all like a cloud. Advice – take the bad and swallow them down; if you want to be a writer it’ll make you want it more.

What is your best marketing tip?

Find someone who’s brilliant at marketing and lay your sword at their feet.

What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

I struggle with the conflict between publishing and writing. I get pulled into the publishing side of things when I really want to be writing. I’m hoping this will improve in time.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

I give myself permission to write about anything whatsoever if I find it interesting. If I found something interesting and didn’t write about it because I thought someone else wouldn’t like it I’d be disappointed in myself.

Do you have a favorite spot to write? What is it?

I like my own writing room a lot but my favourite place to write is a small cottage in the French Pyrenees. I sometimes go there with my dog when I really need to concentrate.

Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?

I find the hardest scenes to write are the ones where I haven’t invested enough in one of the characters in it. They end up sounding wrong. If I have to, I get up and walk about being that person, trying to think their thoughts and feel their feelings. It can be quite hard work.

Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)

The first book I wrote lives in the proverbial drawer and can stay there. I’m currently re-writing my second full-length novel and I’ll be very, very glad if I ever manage to present something half decent to my editor.

What are you working on now? What is your next project?

After I’ve finished the one I’m struggling with I want to spend time (probably just in my head) in the South of France. I’m having a bit of a love affair with the area at the moment; it has a romance for me and so much history and confluence of people.

Do you write naked?

Yes, but not in the café.

What is your biggest failure?

In writing? At the moment the book I’m working on. Failure is the means to success.

What is the biggest fib you’ve ever told?

“No, I don’t really mind that you didn’t get round to reading my book.”

Have you ever been in trouble with the law?

Yes, but I think they’ve forgotten about it.

Have you ever gotten into a fight?

A few times but only through being young or stupid (I think I mean drunk). I’m no fighter and I’m perfectly comfortable with standing behind someone else who’s bigger than me if necessary.

Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?

Every time I try to write a book. My main character has always found a way out so far but I know that sometime I’m going to have to write something where he doesn’t. I’m not looking forward to it. When there’s no way out all you can do is endure and wait. I had a job in once IT that was a bit like that.

Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

I like alcohol but I’m not a big drinker. Good wine seems to me to be one of the great things in life. Never smoked. The marzipan filled chocolate that you can get in some supermarkets can be a problem for me. I’ve also had some trouble with Jaffa Cakes. I have to be strict with myself to work and not go fishing.

What is your biggest fear?

Possibly success. I’m working on that one.

What do you want your tombstone to say?

Rod Humphris, 1966 – 2200. Let it be smooth and worn and lying flat in mown grass in a sunny, mossy churchard and do please sit on me and eat your sandwiches.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

All the time I need to do all the interesting things in life and to know all the amazing people there are to know.

If you were a super hero, what would your name be? What costume would you wear?

My name would be my own name and my clothes would be my own clothes – and no one would ever know.

What literary character is most like you?

Hannibal Lecter.

What secret talents do you have?

I can do a pretty good eye-splice.

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

The Nikka plateau in Malawi.

If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

I’d be my cat. It’s a lifestyle thing: no deadlines, mice to catch and someone to rub my belly at any given point.

What’s on your bucket list (things to do before you die)?

Finish writing this damn book! Be at the helm of a 25 metre Van Heok (sailing yacht) on a fast reach with full canvas spread somewhere beyond the horizon.

If you could have any name in the world, what would you choose?

Well, I suppose I could if I wanted to. What’s to stop me? I’m okay with this one.

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

Not that you can see. Didn’t we talk about reviews earlier?

What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?

When I was pretty small I used to sleep with an old carburetor, but I’m not sure why. I think relevant adjectives for me as a boy would be, free-range and organic. I’m still more comfortable with most animals than I am with most people.

What do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?

I often dream about the characters I’m writing about. There are days when I go to sleep thinking about a part of a book and wake up still thinking about it, almost as if there was no intervening time. Not that I’m obsessive at all.

 

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Title – Dead Ground

Author – Rod Humphris

Genre – Historical Fiction, War & Military, Thriller

Publisher – Rat’s Tales

 

Book Blurb –

In the mountains and passes of Nuristan the men of patrol base Azun grind through their days and nights of constant vigilance. They hunt the Taliban and try to win hearts and minds. Trouble is coming, that is certain. How or when, where and in what form, they do not know. They fear it and also long for it.

Only Lieutenant Simon Ellice, with a clarity born of grief and anger, can see the shape of it. Only he, being beyond care, will do what has to be done and pay the price. Not that he will be the only one to pay.

Dead Ground is a story of the impossibility of the task assigned to British forces in Afghanistan and the heroism of some of those who attempted it.

“[Dead Ground]… unfolds with stealth, careful observation and close detail combining to produce an explosive ending.  The battle narrative is superb, understated and economical, it’s an immersive, terrifying and moving experience.”

 

Excerpt –

The world was going on and I couldn’t stop it. I didn’t want to feel anything except my anger.

I left my pack at the door and went into the busy, cluttered, low-ceilinged ops room of the patrol base Azun. Major James Snowhall was at his usual place in conference with Dan Granger, the 2IC. I stood to attention in front of them and said, “Sir.”

“You’re back, are you?” he said, looking up from his laptop.

“Yes, sir.”

“I see. Well, you’d better get to work then.”

“Yes, sir.”

I hadn’t expected much of a welcome. I turned and went to the exit.

“Wait.”

I stopped, turned round and waited.

“Your men will be glad to see you. Gerald will get you up to speed. Come and find me at nineteen thirty.”

“Sir.”

I went out into the hard light. The mountains hanging over us had a dusting of snow now and I knew that it would be cold later. I heft my pack onto one shoulder and walked the long way through the omnipresent dust to the bases’ living area. This took me past the mortar pit, the southern Javelin station and the main sangar from where we kept watch. There were a group of men in full kit on QRF duty lounging about at the foot of the raised platform. They called rough greetings to me which I returned with their name, or nickname. The unremitting tension seemed to have etched itself a little deeper into their faces. Mostly they turned back to their card games or play-stations, but some followed me with their eyes as I went on.

At the fifty cal I stood with Spicer and Deaks for a few minutes and looked at the terrain. It hadn’t got any better. There were children playing tag in the dust in front of the mosque and women moving about carrying their burdens.

“You’re back then, Lieutenant Ellice, sir,” Spicer said, giving me an exaggeratedly proper salute undercover of the Hesco wall.

“Yes, Spicer, I’m still a lieutenant. They haven’t promoted me yet,” I said.

That made them laugh.

“Good to have you back, sir,” Deaks said.

“Good to be back, Deaks,” I said.

“Really, sir?” he said.

“Actually, yes, Deaks,” I said.

“Fucking hell, sir,” he said.

“Quite,” I said.

I left them to it and went to look for Gerald. I found him in the tent that served us both as home.

“Fuck me. You’re back,” he said.

“Apparently,” I said, pushing a pile of papers off an empty missile crate that was doing duty as a chair and sitting down.

 

Buy Links –

Website: https://ratstales.co.uk/

 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/28OjSmb

 

B&N (Nook Press): http://bit.ly/29MzR4Y

 

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/28MC68L

 

Kobo: http://bit.ly/29Jcg45

 

Rats Tales single Spine Logo

 

Author Biography –

I have no special qualifications to be a writer except that I want to be. I live where I’m from in the West Country in the UK and work in a small room above a pub in Bath, which is possibly the nicest city in the world. I spend my days thinking about, learning about and writing about whatever is interesting to me, which is possibly the best job in the world.

I’ve been working away quietly for many years, learning my trade and starting to build up a body of work. Now, at last, it’s all starting to happen. The first full-length novel of my Simon Ellice series goes to print shortly and will be available in all the usual places.

To introduce the series and the main character I’ve released a short story called Dead Ground in the digital formats. Set in Nuristan, Afghanistan, it tells of how a young man begins to deal with his personal grief amid the chaos of war and is launched on a course that will get him into a lot of trouble in Morocco a year later…

 

Social Media Links –

Rat’s Tales:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ratstalespublishing/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Rats_Tales

Pinterest – https://uk.pinterest.com/ratstales/

 

Simon Ellice

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/simonelliceuk/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/simon_ellice

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/simon_ellice/

Personal Interview with Jimmo from Truck Stop Earth @Perseid_Press #darkhumor #UFO #SFF


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I’m not gonna give you all the ins and outs of old Jimmo’s life. I’ve sat in too many cracked plastic chairs before nosy-butt social workers doing that. You want deep psychological analysis of James Ignatius Malachi Obadiah Osborne’s life? Let me give you the name of my current shrink. I think Penelope has it on a thumb drive somewhere.

But in a nut shell — joke! — I’m just your average ex-vet wandering traveler who has been sucked up into a Gray mothership and been given the classic intimate biological examination. I’ve seen it all and been there, from Key West, Fla., to the ass-end of the road here in Della, Alaska. I like long walks on the beach, Norwegian aquavit, Irish wolfhounds, tough women (preferably redheads), and people who won’t give ya bullshit. Oh, and the smell of White Shoulders and AquaNet hairspray, but only because AquaNet has been proven to deter aliens. I don’t know why. You think Jimmo has all the answers?

 

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

You know that moment when you’ve had one too many beers and your bladder is bursting and you take a nice, long pee? Remember that little tickle of pleasure you get? That’s about as close as it comes to perfect happiness. Too strange?

OK, how about this. You take on some huge challenge, like fighting a kick-ass wildfire that’s roaring down at you and it’s just you and your crew, a few Pulaskis, and maybe a DC-3 dropping retardant. Everything else doesn’t exist. It’s just this moment and something you have to do or you die, that’s what it is. And you don’t die. You stop the fire or come out alive in a firefight or maybe kick cancer’s butt. That’s perfect happiness, because you thought you might die and you didn’t.

But also, having close and intimate sex with someone who understands you and you understand them, and you satisfy each other almost perfectly, yeah, that’s not bad, either.

 

What is your greatest fear?

When you’ve looked into the Big Black of death and come out the other end, there is no fear. But the idea that the Alien Occupation Government might eventually take over this planet, and the Grays would use us for whatever evil they have in mind, that scares me. It should scare you, too, oh dear reader, if only you knew the truth.

 

What is your current state of mind?

Highly under the influence of very effective psychoactive drugs. OK, not really. I realized long ago all I got was sexy pharmaceuticals that no one really knew how they worked, but they did. My current state of mind is bliss.

 

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

You should read my co-author’s account of that in Truck Stop Earth. Basically, we kicked alien butt and sent those asshole Grays screaming. We won a big battle. I’m hoping we win the war.

 

How would you like to die?

Quick and painless. Once you get past the pain and into the Big Black, there’s not much else. If I can’t die fighting, I’d be OK dying loving.

 

What is your motto?

Life is what happens when really good psychoactive drugs quit working.

 

truckstop_EBOOK

 

Title: Truck Stop Earth

Author:  Michael A. Armstrong

Genre: Dark Humor, Aliens, Science Fiction

Publisher: Perseid Press

Release Date: August 1, 2016 (E-book available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble now)

 

Book Blurb:

The mother of all alien bases. The big one, the megabase, the center of the Alien Occupation Government, the headquarters, the brain, the nerve center, the absolute pinpoint big base, right there, right in the hills above Della. Forget Roswell. Forget Machu Picchu. Forget Stonehenge and Tikal and all those alleged alien bases, abandoned every one of them. This was the big one, right now, the source of all my troubles, the world’s troubles, the whole solar system’s troubles. Right there.

 

Out there across the valley, shining across it like a beacon, was a big flat mountain. “Oly’s Mountain” I later heard it called, or Table Top, some said. I could feel it, feel the humming and the disruption of the ether right down to my bones. I didn’t even have to take out my little pocket detector that’s disguised as a Swiss Army knife. I knew, I just knew. And my butt chip burned like an exploded capsule of sulfuric acid. God damn, right there in the mountain — not on it, in it.

 

Book Trailer:

 

Extended Excerpt:

We hauled butt up East Road and might have had to pass a few trucks at the speed Samm put the crew-cab to, except that everyone else was hauling butt, too: cops, fire trucks, volunteer firefighters. It was as if that fire were a big drain hole and we were rubber duckies getting sucked down into the tub, that’s how it pulled all of us to the fire. The smoke got thicker the closer we got, a nice stiff breeze out of the north whupping upon us, the day breeze. As we got closer, I began to think that maybe I should be going the other direction. Had no choice, though. I was in that damn truck.

We scarfed down our burgers as we trucked out there, Samm eating one-handed and driving with the other hand, a sort of frightening sight. I understood, though. It might be a while until we ate again. Soon enough we got to the logging camp. Samm didn’t even close his door or yank out the keys to the truck — in fact, he left it running. The only thing he did was turn it around so it faced out, toward the road. I understood. That was our lifeboat.

“Grace, you take Freddy and Jimmo,” Samm shouted. “Work on keeping the fire from jumping the road.”

“And if it jumps the road?” she asked.

“That won’t happen. Hold the line,” Samm said.

“Hold the line,” Grace mumbled. “Right.” She pointed at me and Freddy. “Freddy, you’ve got a red card. Jimmo, grab a chainsaw and a Pulaski and do what Freddy tells you. Come with me.” Grace had picked up a Pulaski, this ax-like thing that was also a pick, and we rushed up to the road side of that big clearing.

Someone had started up one of those feller-bunchers and slowly — it’s not like they moved all that fast anyway — moved toward a line of dead trees up the road. Thick smoke rolled downhill toward us, but in all the smoke I couldn’t see any flames. Maybe that was good, maybe that was bad, I just fucking didn’t know.

“Might as well attack that line of trees,” Grace said, pointing across the road from the camp. A standing clump of red, almost needleless trees lined the road across the way. It seemed kind of stupid, a logging camp surrounded by a dead forest. Later, Samm told me that it was a land dispute, this land owned by someone from Outside who hadn’t seen the land in twenty years and didn’t understand that the whole fucking forest had died and the trees had to come down. This was war. You did what you did to stop the fire and to hell with property rights.

The little forest narrowed down into a V as it came to the road. Grace explained that I should break up the grass and other ground flammables on either side of the V as she and Freddy felled trees. They began lopping off trees so they fell uphill, into the fire and a big slash pile. Even though the trees had died, they still had branches and witches’ brooms and shit that could catch fire. A lot of the dead trees had punky middles, which made them harder to burn. If you could fell ’em the middle wouldn’t catch fire and it would slow the burn down. Mainly, Grace explained in all the chaos, in a calm voice that made me listen closer, “Mainly we don’t want a crown fire, where the tops burn.” A crown fire was like a whole new level of shit.

With all the smoke and the heat I couldn’t tell if we fought back the fire or just wasted a lot of good burger fuel for nothing. I’d cut trenches in the dry underbrush, exposing dirt, so that if the fire burned out of the slash piles we made it wouldn’t go further. Grace said we were making a back burn, creating our own little Dresden there so that the big Tokyo of a fire wouldn’t have anything else to burn. You understand? Of course not, you assholes don’t know history. Dresden was like this quaint little city the Allies firebombed in Double-Ya-Double-Ya Two, and Tokyo another example of 20th Century martial urban renewal.

Get into the flow of something like that, where you’re not quite sure you’ll live but hope to fuck you don’t die, and after a while, time is nothing. Time doesn’t slow down, it doesn’t stop, it just no longer becomes a marker by which the universe gets measured. It isn’t when it once was. What mattered to me was the dirt I exposed, the flames that didn’t cross the road, and the fire that burned itself out.

You just fought. My uncle who was in the war said that once: You just fought. First came chaos and then an organization of chaos and then chaos became your local reality, and you understood it. It developed its own rules and everything and quit being chaos. I focused entirely on one task, one general series of movements: lift Pulaski, dig into ground, turn over dirt, lift Pulaski again, repeat as necessary.

Eventually, though, this new reality came into being, a new form of chaos which I realized with a start was the way the world had been some time ago. The smoke seemed thinner, the heat less. Between Grace and Freddy and that guy on the feller buncher (which I still thought was a rocket launcher), the forest in front of us turned into a big bonfire, controlled and orderly and consuming itself and not more forest. I saw around me that other workers scrambled with wet rugs or sheets stamping out fires from falling ashes that had fallen on the wind. Other than that, the fire had not crossed the road.

“We held the line,” Grace said, but with a tone of voice that said she didn’t believe it.

“Held the line,” Freddy said.

“Did it,” I said.

“Did it. Damn it, we did it!” Grace raised her chainsaw in triumph.

“Shoulda done it faster,” Kyle said from behind us. “It almost got away from us. It got one of the fuel trucks.”

Grace glared at him, bandana long ago fallen away, but her hair still in perfect shape, only with so much smoke and ash that it looked like a black helmet. “We held the line, Kyle.”

“I really need you to listen to me closer, Grace,” Kyle said. “I’m only offering criticism for your own good.”

“Oh, fuck —”

She didn’t get the next words out. Freddy shoved her aside and they both rolled toward me, almost knocking me down. I stepped aside and let them fall, then looked up to see why Freddy had tackled Grace. The guy with the feller buncher held a burning tree in the claws of his machine. Smoke obscured his vision and he couldn’t quite see where he was going. The machine stopped and the guy let down that log, branches still on it, the crown roaring.

We later figured out that he must have seen a tree on our side of the road that caught fire, just one tree, and in our complacency we missed it. He didn’t, though. Guy saved the day, he did, and what did it matter what happened next?

He dropped the tree. Just like I’ll always remember that shred of metal whirling at me when the Zapata cannery blew up, I’ll remember that tree falling. It came down, right on an open part of the airstrip, which was what the feller-buncher dude was aiming for, a nice open spot. All would have been well and this story might have turned out different, if not that the tree in its falling, a branch of the tree in its falling, nicked Kyle.

“I need you to step aside,” I wanted to say, but couldn’t. I’ll feel a little guilty forever after that I didn’t.

The tree came down. The branch nicked Kyle. The tip was sharp. As it fell, it knocked off his helmet, and sliced right through his left ear, your basic Van Gogh chop job. Kyle reached up with his left hand, held it to his ear, and then looked down at a glob of blood in his palm. He didn’t scream, I’ll give him credit for that, but he did look mildly uncomfortable.

When Kyle’s helmet came off, this amazing pouf of silver-blond hair sprung straight up, kind of a Disco Do, just whisping over his ears and falling boyishly over Kyle’s forehead — over his squinty little eyes. But then a spark or a little flame from the burning tree hit his hair, and kawoosh, it went up like a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol, and inside of two seconds, Kyle went totally bald, nothing more than ashes on his scalp.

He rolled forward, over and over like you got taught in grade school to put out a fire if for some chance, hey, a burning tree fell on top of you and lit your precious little Disco ’Do on fire. Kyle slapped at his head and his ears, or what was left of the left one. His right leg stuck out kinda funny, and for a moment I thought it was broken. It was broken, I swear. Kyle reached down and twisted and turned it, then stood up.

His right ear dangled by a little thread of cartilage, only it didn’t bleed. At least, I thought his right ear had been ripped off, too. Kyle turned away from us for a second, did something to the side of his head, and turned back. He did this kind of dancing jig thing, took a deep breath, and smiled.

“Kyle, man, your ear got ripped off,” Samm said. “Are you OK?”

He reached up, felt for the bloody patch, reached down to the ground and picked up something that looked like a shriveled up mushroom. Kyle smeared that thing against the stump of his left ear, then smiled.

“What ear?” he asked.

Samm looked at Kyle, over at us, back at Kyle. He started to say something, then shook his head.

“Good as new,” Grace said.

Ayup, I thought.

Except he put the ear back on backwards.

 

 

Buy Links:

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30650517-truck-stop-earth

 

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HN3JAJS

 

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/truck-stop-earth-michael-a-armstrong/1123961595?ean=9780997531008

 

Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/truck-stop-earth-1

 

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Author Biography:

Michael Armstrong was born in Virginia in 1956, grew up in Tampa, Florida, and moved to Anchorage, Alaska in 1979. He has lived in Homer, Alaska, since 1994. He attended the Clarion Science Fiction Writers Workshop and received a bachelor of arts from New College of Florida and a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of Alaska Anchorage. His first novel is After the Zap. Michael’s short fiction has been published in Asimov’s, The Magazine of Science Fiction, Fiction Quarterly, and various anthologies, including Not of Woman Born, a Philip K. Dick award nominee, and several Heroes In Hell anthologies. His other novels include Agviq, The Hidden War, and Bridge Over Hell, part of the Perseid Press Heroes in Hell universe.

 

Michael has taught creative writing composition, and dog mushing. He is a reporter and photographer for the Homer News. He and his wife, Jenny Stroyeck, live in small house they built themselves on Diamond Ridge above Homer, which they share with an incredibly adorable labradoodle.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/michael.a.armstrong.writer/

Twitter https://twitter.com/maaarmstrang

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4100550.Michael_A_Armstrong

Publisher http://www.theperseidpress.com/

A Fearful Madness by Julius Falconer + @readandsoar #books #mystery #bookpromo


A Fearful Madness

 

Title: A Fearful Madness

Author: Julius Falconer

Genre: Fiction/ Detective Murder Mystery

Publisher: Pneuma Springs Publishing

 

 

Book Blurb:

If you think that religion, sex, the aristocracy and mystery might make a good crime novel, TRY THIS ONE!

A police investigation into the violent death of a part-time cathedral verger stalls for lack of incriminating evidence. However, three people have a close interest in clearing the matter up where the police have failed: the dead man’s sister, anxious to see justice done, and two of the police suspects, both released without charge but keen to clear their names.

Striking out on their own, each approaches the murder from a different perspective: book-trafficking on the black market; revenge by an extremist religious organisation for the dead man’s betrayal of them; and retaliation in a case of blackmail. The police continue to maintain that the murder was committed out of sexual anger, even though they have no proof apart from the circumstances of the verger’s death.

Eventually DI Moat and his assistant DS Stockwell, from the North Yorkshire Force, take a hand. Moat pays his predecessors in the investigation, both professional and amateur, the compliment of taking their findings seriously – but comes up with an idea of his own.

 

Excerpt:

‘Right, Max,’ Alex Carter began when all were seated. ‘This is the story. And you’re to tell no one, not even yourself: it’s a deadly secret.’ The boy’s eyes widened. ‘First of all, Alex Carter isn’t my real name, and Lorna and I aren’t really married. We’re under cover.’

‘What, like in the movies?’

‘Well, yes, I suppose so, but this is for real. Two years ago, I was wrongly accused of a crime, and my name’s never been cleared. I had to leave where I lived because I couldn’t bear all the suspicion. Because the real murderer – ’

‘Murderer?’

‘Yes, I was accused of murder. As I say, because the real murderer wasn’t found – and still hasn’t been – people still suspect me, and I can tell you life was impossible. I lost my friends – the few I had – gave up my job and moved away. It was so bad, I ended up in a psychiatric ward – you know, a mental hospital, loony-bin, whatever you want to call it.’

‘What, you did?’

‘Yes, I did. Well, while there I was seen by a really fantastic psychiatrist who recommended me to consult a woman called Mrs Tukes, who specialised in childhood traumas – you know, people who’d suffered as children and couldn’t get their lives on track. This Mrs Tukes was a wizard. She turned me right round, from a shy, awkward bloke with few friends and few interests to the self-confident, dynamic and fully rounded individual you see before you today – ahem. Mrs Tukes encouraged me to talk to her about how I’d suffered as a child and what I felt about things – everything, really. She was really patient, as she must have been bored stiff listening to all my ramblings. I told her the story of the murder as well, and she was very sympathetic. She helped me see that, although the police had apparently given up, there was no need for me to. I had to keep asserting my innocence to myself and defying the world to do its worst.’

‘So who are you, Mrs Carter: are you Mrs Tukes?’

‘No, Max, my name’s Rita, and I’m Alex’ cousin. Because I’m widowed, I’m free to join Alex in his hunt for James Thwaites’ killer.’

‘And what’s your real name, Mr Carter?’

‘You mustn’t tell anyone, Max: Jonas; but nobody’s to know that.’ The boy stared at the two adults, but whether in incomprehension, admiration or sheer wonder was not apparent.

‘So why are we watching the Becketts, Mr Carter?’ Max asked, gulping down whatever emotion had seized him.

‘Well, it’s like this. After the murder, I was in some state, I can tell you, largely for other reasons, but the way the police treated me was awful, just awful, and I couldn’t get myself together. I spent eight months in custody – you know, in prison – while the police tried to get evidence against me, and if it hadn’t been for a clever lawyer, I might still be …

 

Buy Links:

Kobo ePub

Google Play

Amazon Kindle

Apple iBook

NOOK

Julius Falconer

Author Biography:

Julius Falconer completed six enjoyable years of university studies abroad before working as a translator back in the UK. Thinking that he could earn more as a teacher, to fund his lavish life-style, he took a PGCE at Leeds University and duly turned to teaching. He slaved away at the chalk-face for twenty-six long years in both Cornwall and Scotland before retiring to grow cabbages in Yorkshire, where he still lives. His wife of thirty-three years died in 2000. He has one daughter, married. In 2008, looking to fill his new-found leisure profitably, he started to write detective novels and is still happily scribbling away eighteen books later. He is a member of the Crime Writers’ Association. Go to www.juliusfalconer.com  for further exciting details.

 

 

Truck Stop Earth New #Excerpt + Jim Morris #BookReview @Perseid_Press #books #UFO


 truckstop_EBOOK

 

Title: Truck Stop Earth

Author:  Michael A. Armstrong

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Aliens, UFO

Publisher: Perseid Press

Release Date: August 1, 2016

 

Book Blurb:

The mother of all alien bases. The big one, the megabase, the center of the Alien Occupation Government, the headquarters, the brain, the nerve center, the absolute pinpoint big base, right there, right in the hills above Della. Forget Roswell. Forget Machu Picchu. Forget Stonehenge and Tikal and all those alleged alien bases, abandoned every one of them. This was the big one, right now, the source of all my troubles, the world’s troubles, the whole solar system’s troubles. Right there.

 

Out there across the valley, shining across it like a beacon, was a big flat mountain. “Oly’s Mountain” I later heard it called, or Table Top, some said. I could feel it, feel the humming and the disruption of the ether right down to my bones. I didn’t even have to take out my little pocket detector that’s disguised as a Swiss Army knife. I knew, I just knew. And my butt chip burned like an exploded capsule of sulfuric acid. God damn, right there in the mountain — not on it, in it.

 

Book Trailer:

 

Excerpt:

The guy was really skinny, now that I looked at him, with long arms and long legs, only a short little torso. His arm seemed to bend where arms usually didn’t bend, high up toward the shoulder, so his lower arms flopped around like eels. He had a pointed chin covered with a thick red beard, only the hair sticking out of his floppy black pile beret was coal black streaked with gray.  Either the hair covered his ears or he didn’t have ears. He had long narrow feet and wore purple tennis shoes. I walked lightly on the sand, my usual stealth walk that an old Indian had taught me, but even then, at five yards the guy swiveled his face around to look at me. The way he moved his head, and that he could turn his head 135 degrees, clinched it for me.

 

Yup, he was a Gray all right.

 

OK, plus my butt chip seared like a hot poker. I can spot aliens easily, or spot people who look like aliens easily. The thing is, after nearly 500 years of occupation, people look more and more like the aliens, or maybe the aliens look more and more like us. It’s not that we interbreed or anything — that would be like a platypus breeding with a duck — but that over time the aliens have corrupted our body memes and we’ve corrupted theirs.

 

“Rat Hole’s closed to camping,” he said to me as I came up to him.

 

“Got a chit,” I said. I showed him the little piece of stamped metal.

 

“‘Kay.” He had that little click some of the aliens have, not quite a lisp, just a click. “I’m Tom. I run the Rat Hole.”

 

“Name?” Tom asked me. I gave him my cover name, and that’s all he cared about. No address or city or any of that shit. Maybe Tom knew I’d lie or maybe it didn’t matter to him. He handed me a flimsy, a sheet of paper his tablet spat out.

 

I took the flimsy and saw that Tom even used the alien font they like so much, the funny one that makes all our Roman letters slanted backwards, and puts serifs on some letters and not on others. That really pissed me off. You’d think that an alien occupation government that had secretly controlled the world for half a millennium would at least be coy. Assholes.

 

“Read it,” Tom said, “Them’s the rules. Break any rule and you’re out on your butt. Understand?”

 

I nodded. The only rule that really mattered was “Don’t get caught.”

 

“Say it.”

 

I squinted at that. That meant he was recording and didn’t want to waste the storage space on recording a nod. “I understand.”

 

“Cool.” He pointed his finger at me in that stupid little cocked gun gesture. Shit, I really hate that. Aliens are like pit bulls gnawing on a good bone: once they find something they like, they stick with it. Tom waved at the camping area, logs and stuff around it and maybe a few spots left. “Camp anywhere inside the logs and don’t rip up any vegetation.”

 

“Cool,” I said, and pointed my finger back at him, same gesture. I even put a little click at the end. He turned his head at that, smiled that pointy-toothed grin the long Grays have, and walked away.

 

So, I thought. Already a day in Della and I’d found my first alien.

 

I couldn’t wait to toast the fucker.

 

Amazon Review:

“The most important thing to know about this book is that it’s fun. It is, in fact the most fun I’ve had reading a book in a long time. Other books have perhaps explored more profound emotions but if you want to spend a few hours alternating between a grin, a rolling chuckle, and laughing out loud you probably won’t do better with anything contemporary.

 

What we have here is the memoir of a screaming nutjob, as told to author Michael A. Armstrong. The nutjob in question, James Ignatius Malachi Obediah Osborn is a multiple alien abductee, fierce fighter in the Resistance movement against the Alien Occupying Government. He can spot ‘em among the general population, because he knows their disguise tricks. Or maybe he’s just nuts, hard to say.

 

That’s where a lot of the tension in the story comes from. Some of what he believes is pretty convincing. Some of it just seems loony tunes.

 

After a scary encounter with the grays in Florida Jimmo heads for Alaska where the adventure continues. Aside from maybe being nuts Jimmo is a pretty competent fellow who can find work and do it well, fighting fires while fending off alien attacks.

 

He purports to be a spec ops veteran of Desert Storm, although while others were defeating Saddam he was further out in the desert, hunting grays with Delta Force. Thing is, he still talks the talk right. The guy has definitely been somewhere and done something.

 

Another thing this books does well is present the society of adventurous spirits who have absconded to Alaska as the last frontier where you can get a decent latte. A more brave and gaudy collection of tatted, pierced and bizarrely coifed expats can hardly be imagined. And, to paraphrase Ronnie Hawkins, Jimmo gets more trim than Frank Sinatra.

 

Warning: if you have a problem with people who unabashedly talk nasty, well, maybe you should read Jane Austen instead.” – Jim Morris, Vine Voice

 

Buy Links:

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30650517-truck-stop-earth

 

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HN3JAJS

 

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/truck-stop-earth-michael-a-armstrong/1123961595?ean=9780997531008

 

Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/truck-stop-earth-1

 

Michael and Leia bw

 

Author Biography:

Michael Armstrong was born in Virginia in 1956, grew up in Tampa, Florida, and moved to Anchorage, Alaska in 1979. He has lived in Homer, Alaska, since 1994. He attended the Clarion Science Fiction Writers Workshop and received a bachelor of arts from New College of Florida and a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of Alaska Anchorage. His first novel is After the Zap. Michael’s short fiction has been published in Asimov’s, The Magazine of Science Fiction, Fiction Quarterly, and various anthologies, including Not of Woman Born, a Philip K. Dick award nominee, and several Heroes In Hell anthologies. His other novels include Agviq, The Hidden War, and Bridge Over Hell, part of the Perseid Press Heroes in Hell universe.

 

Michael has taught creative writing composition, and dog mushing. He is a reporter and photographer for the Homer News. He and his wife, Jenny Stroyeck, live in small house they built themselves on Diamond Ridge above Homer, which they share with an incredibly adorable labradoodle.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/michael.a.armstrong.writer/

Twitter https://twitter.com/maaarmstrang

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4100550.Michael_A_Armstrong

Publisher http://www.theperseidpress.com/

His Revenge by John W. Howell @HowellWave #thriller #ASMSG #RRBC


His Revenge front final

 

Title: His Revenge

Author: John W. Howell

Genre: Thriller

 

Blurb:

The second John J Cannon story continues John’s wish to bring the terrorist Matt Jacobs to justice. In the first book, My GRL, John was able to thwart the plot to destroy the Annapolis midshipmen on their summer cruise. Of course, terrorists being what they are not content with just one try to embarrass America. In His Revenge, Matt Jacobs takes his hatred for America and John Cannon to another level.

 

The action moves from a barrier Island off the coast of Texas to Washington DC, then to Northern California, and finally to Ecuador. John is on the receiving end of an offer he cannot, refuse. His avowed enemy Matt Jacobs now wants John to help him shake the reputation of the US in the world political arena. If John refuses, Matt plans to murder innocent Americans including John’s current relationship. John’s only way out is to pretend to go along with the plan and hope for a miracle.

 

John can only use his wits to stay ahead of his enemies plans.

 

 

Excerpt:

The water rushes over my head. I’m sinking and don’t know why. With my breath held, I have trouble stopping the air from escaping since the pressure drives the air up and out. I try to keep my mouth closed, but the water pressure pushes the air out more and more. Will I pass out? In the distance, the light is dim. To rise to the surface in time might not be possible─ I need to breathe right now. Toward ending the pain in my chest, my rambling mind rationalizes taking a deep breath—even knowing it will end my life. In conflict with the irrational thought of ending it, my body won’t let me suck in the water, as it fights to retain the little bit of oxygen left to fuel my brain.

 

The despair is nearly overwhelming, and my mind considers other ways to battle the feeling. What more could I have done with my life? The pressure becomes more intense, and I’m about to lose it all, and I decide I’ve lived the way I wanted and have no regrets. I close my eyes and hear only the roar of the sea. I’m so tired. Exhausted. Sleep will fix everything, and I want to give in.

 

Buy Link:

http://www.amazon.com/John-W.-Howell/e/B00HMRWO6C/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1401973977&sr=1-2-ent

 

Photo by Tim Burdick

 

Author Biography:

John’s main interests are reading and writing. He turned to writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive career in business. John writes fictional short stories and novels as well as his blog Fiction Favorites.

 

John lives on a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of south Texas with his wife and spoiled rescue pets.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Twitter – https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave

Authors db – http://www.authorsdb.com/authors-directory/6604-john-w-howell

LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/pub/john-w-howell/48/b59/462/

Google + https://plus.google.com/+JohnHowellAuthor/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/johnwhowell/

Shelfari – http://www.shelfari.com/johnwhowell

Amazon Author’s page – https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell