Congratulations to the 2017 N. N. Light Book Awards Finalists #awards #books #TuesdayBookBlog


NNLBA 2017 Finalists

 

Last weekend, MR N called a board meeting of the N. N. Light Book Awards committee (just the two of us). We gathered all of the books we read and reviewed from December 2016 – November 2017 and spend hours discussing which books deserved the honor of an award. All five star reviewed books were eligible.  We expanded the genres and are thrilled to announce the finalists:

 

Children’s Books

Halito Gianna by Becky Villareal

The Bridge of the Golden Wood by Karl Beckstrand

Bartholomew Buggins by Crystal Marcos

 

Contemporary Romance

Fat Girl Begone! By D. E. Haggerty

Just Friends by Stacy Gold

Tempted by Mr. Wrong by Jacquie Biggar

 

Erotic Romance

Tales of the Golden Mask by Alexa Lynsey and Belle DeVer

 

Fiction

Edna and Luna by Gleah Powers

The Trials of Adrian Wheeler by Steve Shear

Curva Peligosa by Lily Iona Mackenzie

 

Historical Romance

Only a Hero Will Do by Alanna Lucas

Christmas Revels IV by Hannah Meredith et al.

A Chance at Christmas by Beppie Harrison

 

Memoir

The Road to Transition by Bree Record

 

Mystery and Suspense

The Fragrance of a Violet by Lin Wilder

A Price of Genius by Lin Wilder

Angelica by Clabe Polk

 

Nonfiction

How the Brain Connects by Dr. Robert Lavine

Living in Italy by Stef Smulders

Fukushima and the Coming Tokyo Earthquake by Tony Smyth

 

Paranormal/Supernatural/Occult

The Everett Exorcism by Lincoln Cole

Reflections by Clifton Kenny

Blood Moon by Livia Quinn

 

Romantic Suspense

A Midnight Clear by Jeannie Hall

Missing: The Lady Said No by Jacquie Biggar

Snowbound in Havenport by Ruth A. Casie

 

Science Fiction and Fantasy

Tales of the Faie by Diana Wicker

Penny White and the Temptation of Dragons by Chrys Cymri

Merry Christmas, Henry by Aubrey Wynne

 

Short Stories

Eating Ice Cream by Gabriel Bacopa

Eating Ice Cream II by Gabriel Bacopa

To Cast a Cliché by Aubrey Wynne

 

Thriller

Viable Threat by Julie Rowe

Idiot’s Tale by Anthony Land

 

Middle Grade and Young Adult

Supernatural Pet Sitter: The Magic Thief by Diane Moat

Supernatural Pet Sitter: The Curse by Diane Moat

Guardian of the Way by Diane Moat

 

 

Winners will be announced on Tuesday, December 19.

 

Congratulations to all of the finalists!

 

N.N. Light

 

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South of Main Street by Robert Gately #YA #YALit #books


South of Main Street

 

Title: South of Main Street

Author: Robert Gately

Genre: Young Adult

Publisher: Entrada Publishing

 

Book Blurb:

The mother dies, the dad’s emotionally challenged, and one of the two daughters is suing her father for financial control of the multi-million dollar estate. That’s the setup of South of Main Street, a heartwarming story named for the dividing line that exists between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ in a fictitious town of Coalsville, Pennsylvania. The book is an uncommon mix of the child-like innocence of Forrest Gump (Henry – the hero of the story), Scrooge (mean-spirited money-grubbing sister), Chronicles of Narnia (state of believing in a secret door one steps thru into a pearly, magic-land) and even a nod to O Henri’s ‘Gift of the Magi’ all rolled into one. But as much as Henry has a wonderful effect on the people all around him, does he have the strength and fortitude to solve his own problem where it threatens to consume his family with guilt and shame if he doesn’t? Only in the end will we find out.

 

Excerpt:

DIXIE IS STANDING at the podium at the AA meeting already well into her testimony. “I really didn’t know Henry while growing up”, she begins again. “I’m told it was quite a treat if you did. But I got that privilege soon after his wife died last year. Our friendship really started right after he heard me say the word ‘turd’.”

 

Dixie pauses until the laughing subsides. “He asked me what I meant when I said ‘turd’, and I tried to explain whatever I was trying to say … I forget now … but he got me thinking about using the right words so I could be understood by other people. After a while he got me thinking what I wanted to do with my life. Oh, I was going places, all right, but it was nowhere any sane person wanted to go.

 

Dixie notices everyone is silent and paying attention to her. “Before I sit down,” Dixie says as she takes out a paper from her back pocket and unfolds it, “I’d like to read you something I wrote about Henry Wolff and this town. It’s not long, but it took me two weeks to write it.”

 

She takes a deep breath, then starts reading. “No one can measure the value Henry brought to the people of Coalsville. It would be too complicated to measure something like that. How can someone put a value on encouragement or inspiration or living life by good example? How can anyone correlate one man’s accomplishments this way? Impossible, of course.

 

“All that can really be said is that Coalsville is a better town because of Henry. People are better people because of him. They believe in themselves and have more hope that if they put their whole minds and souls into a dream they can do pretty much anything they want to. They might not be able to fly, but certainly they can become sober, be more mindful of the less fortunate, and maybe even be inspired to write a book, or inspire somebody else to write a book.

 

“The people of Coalsville believe the children who are born into this town have more opportunities to prosper than other places. Over time, the people will forget Henry. A boy or a girl might grow up and become president, and will tell stories to historians about where they came from. One of them might say, ‘I’m a native son or daughter born on the south side of Main Street in an obscure town in Pennsylvania called Coalsville.’

 

“And no one will ever know that embedded in that statement is a story of how one person made a difference to so many; of how his goodness spread far and wide like the ubiquitous wind; and how life for so many improved immeasurably, for his constituents and for all generations to come, not because this good Samaritan had money or status or political influence, but because he saw life through the eyes of a child.”

 

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/South-Main-Street-Robert-Gately/dp/1614334765/

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34026601-south-of-main-street

 

 

Author Biography:

Robert has written 2 novels, 2 non-fiction books, 12 screenplays and 3 stage plays since retiring early from AT&T in 1998. His body of work has been recognized as finalist or better in over 170 theatre, book and screenplay competitions around the world since 1999. His screenplays and stage plays alone have won a total of 27 contests and came in 2nd place in 19 others (e.g., Breckenridge, Telluride, Fade In Magazine, Garden State Film Festival, etc.), and he is one of the most accomplished unproduced screenwriters as noted on the moviebytes.com site. His short play was produced at the BaCCA Performing Arts Center at a One Act Festival on Long Island, and his longer stage plays won a reading series at Abingdon Theatre in NYC and Ohio State University. One of his plays (GOING SOLO), which he co-wrote with Drew Keil, won the American Movie Awards, the London Film Awards and the Chicago Screenplay Contest in their respective stage play category, and was showcased at the Venus/Adonis Festival at the Hudson Guild Theatre in NYC. He taught adult education at Northampton County Community College in screenwriting, and was Temple University screenplay judge for their Senior Project class (Freese Award).

 

 

The Rat Tunnels of Isfahan by @ADegutierre is Reminiscent of Poe! #bookreview #books #fiction


Tha Rat Tunnels of Isfahan

 

Title: The Rat Tunnels of Isfahan (Scorpions and Silk Book 1)

Author: Alejandro de Gutierre

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Short Story

 

Book Blurb:

A resourceful amnesiac, abiding in a brutal desert prison in Ancient Persia, tries to help his fellow inmates and struggles to stay alive.

 

But when an opportunity for freedom manifests, matters grow worse than ever, and he must confront his deepest fears, or lose himself forever.

 

My Review:

A riveting story, taking place in Medieval Persia, opens with a man in a small prison cell discovering a deadly scorpion inside. Stark terror consumes him as he attempts to come up with a plan of attack. Hazy memories assault him even though he doesn’t remember anything before his imprisonment. Survival in this ancient prison is paramount and as he scratches and crawls his way to freedom, his only thought is to get to his son. Will he make it or is he beyond hope?

 

The Rat Tunnels of Isfahan beautifully portrays the human struggle to survive in the direst situations. When all that you love has been stripped away, is freedom a dream or is it all you have left to cling to? The author’s unambiguous narration draws the reader in and I loved it. This story is so reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe, it’s eerie. A short story that will make you think long after you finish reading. The ending was a partial cliff-hanger but not as bad as others I’ve read. A primitive adventure story revealing the human spirit battling against all odds.

 

Favorite Character/Quote:

“Some sat unmoving for hours, staring into a darkness even the desert sun couldn’t penetrate, their eyes seeing but not seeing, ears hearing but not listening.”

 

My Rating: 4.5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Tunnels-Isfahan-Scorpions-Silk-Book-ebook/dp/B075JT4M3B

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Tunnels-Isfahan-Scorpions-Silk-Book-ebook/dp/B075JT4M3B

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tunnels-Isfahan-Scorpions-Silk-Book-ebook/dp/B075JT4M3B

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36305502-the-rat-tunnels-of-isfahan

 

alejandro de gutierre

 

Author Biography:

Alejandro de Gutierre is a writer living in California. His first book, THE RAT TUNNELS OF ISFAHAN, was published in Sept., 2017. Book One of a trilogy, RAT TUNNELS has been described by some of its early readers as “emotionally engaging,” and full of “great detail; Super nail-biting.” Book Two will be published later in 2017, and Book Three in Spring of 2018.

 

Alejandro was born and raised in Tacoma, WA, and obtained a BA in English from Salem, OR’s Willamette University after a brief flirtation with Chemistry and Theater (in that order).

 

More about Alejandro…

Alejandro decided to become a writer in July of 2014. He awoke one day that month, and realized that he LOVED music, but didn’t love MAKING music, something he had been trying to do off and on for twenty+ years. He jumped into his car and drove to the deserts of New Mexico and Arizona alone, and after an excruciating hike into the Grand Canyon, he bathed in the waters of a Colorado River tributary, and realized that what he really wanted to do was to tell stories. He has been diligently writing and / or learning about the craft of writing ever since that time.

 

Alejandro plans to use his writing to sponsor literacy efforts for 100,000,000 people around the world.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.degutierre.com/about-the-author/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/degutierre

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Alejandro-de-Gutierre/e/B075FZDV68/

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

 

#FREEBIE Alert: @AWarriorsUmbra by C. Dinsmore is a #ScienceFiction Debut Novel! #books #SFF


A Warrior's Umbra

 

Title: A Warrior’s Umbra

Author: Christopher Dinsmore

Genre: Science Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

“A Warrior’s Umbra” is told by Jester detailing his experience of going from a lost boy stranded in the tundra of a foreign planet to becoming the destined protector of the Histianites, a local tribe. In this adventure, Jester lives among the Histianites, concealing his unique abilities in accordance with his adoptive father’s wishes. During Jester’s time on the planet a Histianite nearly dies in front of the tribe. Unable to control himself, Jester reveals his abilities in an attempt to save the man. The revelation of Jester’s powers sends fear through the tribe. Under instruction from the tribe’s leader, Jester is sent to seek guidance from a legendary deity who is rumored to reside at the peak of Histian, the home mountain. Jester accepts this mission, unaware of a dark entity lurking just beyond the horizon.

 

Excerpt:

My brain started to fill with survival tactics, most of which consisted of using my senses, touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing. The voice informed me of the things I was capable of doing. The voice said I was able to absorb all information I came into contact with, down to a material’s molecular structure, and my senses had adaptations that would become useful. The voice began its run down on specific adaptations, but before it could finish the first one, the robotic voice interrupted.

 

“Estimated time until impact is currently thirty seconds.”

 

I had gotten lost in listening to the voice and didn’t realize how much time had passed by. I focused on the area around me, still too dark to see. I had no idea what I was supposed to do other than listen to the voice’s directions. The voice had told me that my only job at the moment was to stay calm, but that task became increasingly difficult with the temperature on the rise and a quiet hiss from outside.

 

The hiss I heard quickly grew into a roar making it hard to hear the voice when it delivered yet another message.

 

“Estimated impact velocity is 12,000 meters per second,” the voice said.

 

The voice’s message didn’t help my situation. I knew the measurement and the number, but my relative comparison for speed was non-existent. I was left guessing until the event actually happened.

 

“Initiating countdown sequence. Ten.”

 

I knew there were only nine more numbers before the count would strike zero and the impact would occur. In these last moments my vision began to work in a way that allowed me to see through the darkness.

 

The room appeared to my eyes in full color, and I was able to look at my body and the things around it. I assumed that this ocular ability was one of the adaptations the voice spoke of during its last talk. Most of the things I saw I had already identified, such as my hands, feet, torso, and the restraints holding them down.

 

The size of the room was also consistent with my prior estimation. The things I didn’t account for were the dark clothes tight against my body and the wires running from the chair into my arms and legs. There were ten wires that I could see. Each wire was black with a colored tag at the end nearest to my skin.

 

I jerked my head forward only slightly before feeling a quick tug in the opposite direction. Now I knew what had been keeping my head restrained. There was a thick cord, much larger than the wires in my limbs, running from behind the chair into the back of my head. My senses sharpened, and I started to feel the wide array of tiny wires running under my skin nearly surrounding my skull. I tried to determine their potential purpose, but before I could, the robot raised its volume.

 

“Five,” it said continuing its count.

 

The noise coming from outside was much louder, now blaring through the walls of the room. I prepared myself for what was about to happen, and when I did, a message shot through my head. I couldn’t tell where it had come from, but I heard it warn me of danger, then almost as if the warning had never happened, it was gone.

 

The world around me lit up just before it all happened for real.

 

The robot’s voice delivered its last message. “Brace for impact. Two. One.”

 

My eyes widened, breath sharpened, hands clenched, and body jerked as an incredible jolt of energy slammed into me. My mind flashed back to the clock inside my head. The clock had slowed down along with the world around me. I could think in real time, but everything else was moving along with the clock I held in my head.

 

After the initial shock I saw the metal wall in front of me tear away, revealing a bright light that filled the room. I became momentarily blinded before switching my vision back to normal. Once I could see again, I looked down toward my body. When I did, I felt the cord in the back of my head get ripped out, taking shreds of my skin with it. My eyes locked onto my arms, which were being launched from my seat with the rest of my body. The cushioned restraints snapped and the wires tore away, leaving deep cuts along my limbs. The world picked back up to its normal pace beyond my control, and I flew forward back into the darkness.

 

I felt lost again.

 

freebie alert

 

Buy Links:

Get this debut novel from Indie Author Christopher Dinsmore for FREE today through Thursday (11/9)!

 

https://www.amazon.com/Warriors-Umbra-Christopher-Dinsmore-ebook/dp/B0774CH9NJ

 

CJ Dinsmore

 

Author Biography:

Christopher Dinsmore is a writer from Crofton, Maryland. Mr. Dinsmore has long held an interest in fitness and the limits of strength. This interest inspired him to create something that explored the struggles one endures when growing both mentally and physically. He hopes to complete the second and final part to “The Warrior Series” soon.

 

Social Media Links:

https://twitter.com/AWarriorsUmbra

Curva Peligrosa by @lilyionamac is a Lyrical Sexy Read! #bookreview #literaryfiction #books


Curva Peligrosa

 

Title: Curva Peligrosa

Author: Lily Iona MacKenzie

Genre: Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

When Curva Peligrosa arrives in Weed, Alberta, after a twenty-year trek on the Old North Trail from southern Mexico, she stops its residents in their tracks. With a parrot on each shoulder, a glittering gold tooth, and a wicked trigger finger, she is unlike anything they have ever seen before. Curva is ready to settle down, but are the inhabitants of Weed ready for her? Possessed of an insatiable appetite for life and love, Curva’s infectious energy galvanizes the townspeople, turning their staid world upside down with her exotic elixirs and unbridled ways. Toss in an unscrupulous americano developer and a one-eyed Blackfoot chief, stir them all together in the tumult of a tempestuous tornado, and the town of Weed will never be the same again. A lyrical account of one woman’s journey and the unexpected effects it has on the people around her, Curva Peligrosa pulses with the magic at the heart and soul of life.

 

My Review:

Curva Peligrosa is a magical free-spirit who embraces life to the fullest. She’s traveled the Old North Trail for the past twenty years and when she arrives in Weed, Alberta, the townsfolk are wary at first. All she wants to do is settle down but with gold teeth, sexy curves Mae West would be envious of and a wicked trigger finger, she makes an imposing impression. Yet people are drawn to her (as was I while reading), and the magic that seems to follow her. But when slick oilman Shirley tries to buy all the land rights of the townfolk (there’s oil aplenty supposedly), Curva stands up to him with the help of the same people who once called her an outsider. Will Weed, Alberta ever be the same after Curva Peligrosa?

 

I loved Fling! and when I heard that MacKenzie had a new release, I was ecstatic! Curva Peligrosa is filled with quirky characters, lyrical narration and a strong message of embracing all that life has to offer. Blending history with the present, MacKenzie weaves an addictive tale. I loved the supernatural parts (who wouldn’t love to make flowers bloom wherever she goes?) and while it’s steeped in fantasy, it’s believable and thus the reader can suspend their belief. The main conflict between the oilman and the small town is a familiar one in Alberta and MacKenzie sheds new light on this political issue.

 

Free your inhibitions and pick up this book today. You’ll fall in love with the effervescent Curva Peligrosa, just like I did!

 

Favorite Character/Quote: Curva. I loved everything about her and soaked up her essence. We all have a little Curva buried deep in us. We just need to unleash her.

 

My Rating: 5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Publisher https://regalhousepublishing.com/product/curva-peligrosa

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Curva-Peligrosa-Lily-Iona-MacKenzie-ebook/dp/B0738XWYPM

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Curva-Peligrosa-Lily-Iona-MacKenzie-ebook/dp/B0738XWYPM

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Curva-Peligrosa-Lily-Iona-MacKenzie-ebook/dp/B0738XWYPM

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/curva-peligrosa-lily-mackenzie/1126643085?ean=9780998839806

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35111668-curva-peligrosa

 

Author Biography:

I’m devoted to following the intricacies of language and where it takes me. I’m ardent about words and what they evoke in our minds and imaginations, the worlds they create. And I’m constantly learning, a student of the writer’s craft, eager to open myself each day to the endless possibilities this calling presents. No wonder I love to write!

Writing requires exertion, the ability not to give in when we’ve received yet another rejection. Some people call this perseverance. But is that what it takes to keep writing in the face of adversity, rejection, and lack of recognition? The word sounds so duty bound, so driven. To me, a better word is discipline because at the root is disciple, though there are many lovely variations on this word that I actually prefer: student, follower, learner, devotee.

About me? 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, 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 155 American and Canadian venues. My novel Fling! was published in July 2015 by Pen-L Publishing. Curva Peligrosa, another novel, will be published in September 2017. A third novel, 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 and was vice-president of USF’s part-time faculty union. When I’m not writing, I paint and travel widely with my husband. I also blog at https://lilyionamackenzie.wordpress.com .

 

Social Media Links:

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

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

Twitter @lilyionamac

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

 

The Maxilla Trilogy by Rick Haynes Blends #Fantasy with #Mythology and #Action! #FridayReads


 Full size cover-page-0 - Copy

 

Title Evil Never Dies – 1st novel in the Maxilla trilogy

Author Rick Haynes

Genre Fantasy

 

Book Blurb

If you like David Gemmell and Game of Thrones, you’ll love Evil Never Dies.
Here’s what reviewers have posted.

 
‘In style, it’s very reminiscent of David Gemmel with an easy to slip into world and plenty of excitement, balanced with some reflection.’

 
‘Haynes has also created a world of good and evil, darkness and light and is very Gemmell-like in the way it functions, there is no grey here, we, as the reader, know whose side we are on.’

 
‘Readers of David Gemmell’s works will really enjoy this novel, the flow of action and story is very similar and does not stop to take a breath. The pace is frenetic and leads the reader to more battles and action fuelled scenes.’

 

 

Book Trailer Link

 

Excerpt  

Such was the easy living that even the talk of distant unrest had failed to worry any of the inhabitants of Lakeside. Good crops gave a plentiful supply of food, local water and strong beer the necessary liquid refreshments, whilst all combined to provide a relatively carefree existence after the hellish war. Lakeside’s population needed to forget the past even though the horror still visited the minds of many. A few newcomers had been welcomed. Having lost everything in the battle, Lord Bokin had provided them with the tools for a resettlement programme. There was more than enough land to satisfy the needs of thirty-five people from seven families without upsetting the survivors.

 

With all his heart, Tarn wished for a quiet and peaceful life for his family and friends; sometimes he even believed it would be possible.

 

The door crashed open and Wynne made his usual entrance, remembering at the last moment to duck his head under the wooden beam. Long braided hair dangled over his shoulders and a locket hung around his wide neck. Scratching his thick beard and dressed in a soft leather jacket, linen trousers and long boots, he looked like a pirate from the southern oceans that Tarn had once met on his travels. Only the wide-brimmed hat was missing. Tarn tried to imagine Wynne on a ship but no matter how hard he tried the two did not seem compatible.

 

Wynne ignored the finger on lips and sleeping child.

 

“Get up. War is coming!”

 

Buy Links

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/EVIL-NEVER-DIES-MAXILLA-TALES-ebook/dp/B011GP1LQO

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/EVIL-NEVER-DIES-MAXILLA-TALES-ebook/dp/B011GP1LQO

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/EVIL-NEVER-DIES-MAXILLA-TALES-ebook/dp/B011GP1LQO

 

Rick Haynes

 

Author Biography

Hi, my name is Rick Haynes. I am an author and award winning Drabblist.
My passion is epic fantasy but I also write short stories and Drabbles in many different genres.
This is my world.
Ever upwards, never stopping, the staircase to the heavens awaits all those wishing to dream.
And all you have to do is place one foot on the first step.
Consider the endless possibilities, as you climb higher and higher.
Boredom is unknown in my time and space. Can you not see the stars sparkling bright, ready to enlighten you?
Is your mind ready to absorb the endless possibilities of a million words?
And are you ready to join me on a magical journey?
I will embrace you with open arms.
And welcome you into the world of my imagination.
Thank you.
RICK.

 

Social Media Links

https://rickhaynesauthor.com

www.facebook.com/rickhaynesauthor

 

Heroes Never Fade

 

Title Heroes Never Fade – 2nd novel in the Maxilla trilogy

Author Rick Haynes

Genre Fantasy

 

Book Blurb

Shadows are spreading across the vast land of Cpin, as once more the gods are playing with the lives of man. Only a tidal wave of heroes’ blood stands in the way of the Tormented King, but will that be enough to prevent the slaughter?

 

If you like fantasy in the style of Game of Thrones, you’ll really love, Heroes Never Fade, the follow up to Evil Never Dies.

 

Take a peek at this from an Amazon top 500 reviewer.

 

‘I may be shot down by some of the great David Gemmell’s fans, but many times Heroes Never Fade reminded me of him as you can feel the influence. Though Mr. Haynes has his own style, I hasten to add.’
‘In my humble opinion, Rick Haynes is a fantastic epic fantasy writer (pun intended). It is not easy to create new worlds, new plots without encroaching on the established big names like JRR Tolkien, Gemmell and Brooks.’

 

And read this from another reviewer.

 

‘Prepare for a nerve-tingling ride through a fantasy world of medieval warfare, a world that springs to life under the skilled pen of an author who has thoroughly researched his subject. The characters are full-blooded, their relationships to each other clearly drawn. The warriors leap off the page, wielding their weapons with skill and courage as their battle of right against might is mirrored by a power struggle between their gods.’

 

Book Trailer Link

 

Excerpt

Sword battles raged inside the gate, initially in the small area between the burnt wood and the mound of rocks. Tarn wanted to pick his father up and hug him for suggesting the idea, for the Grey Wyots were making slow headway as they scrambled over the debris. The archers had licked their lips as the first volley flew, punching the Grey Wyots off their feet, blocking the way for those following. Notch, loose and swoosh, the last of the arrows had found their targets. The bowmen stepped back to stand behind the swordsmen for now it would be knife work at close quarters.

 

Tarn and Grona fought alongside each other, their blades running red with gore. Grona constantly blinked to keep out the blood from the gash above his left eye. Tarn fought like one possessed, charging forward against the Wyots trying desperately to avoid his mighty broadsword. Yet weight of numbers began to push them back. A Wyot fell heavily, losing his sword. Seeing Tarn’s exposed back, he slashed out with his dagger and scored through the leather jacket. Wynne cursed, rushed in and ferociously cut through the tendons and bone on the Wyot’s arm. Tarn nodded to his friend; the gash was not a mortal wound but he realised that already his strength was on the wane.

 

Individual battles broke out inside the fort. Hallvard and Svanna fought side my side, their sabres ringing the dance of death but sheer numbers bore them down. Tarn wanted to come to their aid but many fighters pushed him back. His men were fighting like demons, yet he could see the insidious malaise of despair creeping over them. Will any of us live to see our homes again? he pondered.

 

Those following the Grey Wyots had to pull bodies from under the gate to join the fight in and around the courtyard, eager to earn the bounty promised by King Jarl. For the man who brought the head of Tarn or Grona to the mad king would receive a chest of gold.

 

Now surrounded, Tarn and his men awaited the final onslaught.

 

“Good job the lunatic forgot his archers. I might live longer,” Terryn said.

 

“Another joke like that and I’ll kill you myself,” Grona retorted.

 

A Grey Wyot officer stepped forward, his expression grim. “Do you surrender?”

 

“Bollocks!” came Grona’s reply.

 

The men from Marathi licked their lips in anticipation and advanced.

 

King Jarl’s war horn blew.

 

Buy Links

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XYS1RBX

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B06XYS1RBX

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B06XYS1RBX

 

Meet Author/Poet/Dramatist @Steveshearbooks and Discover The Trials of Adrian Wheeler #books


SS photo

 

I first met Steve Shear several months ago. He introduced himself and requested a book review of his book, The Fountain of Youth. After reading it (and MR N reading The Trials of Adrian Wheeler), I knew Shear was a gifted storyteller. He’s not afraid to tell the truth and to speak about relevant topics. When I asked him for an interview, he graciously agreed. Sit down, grab your favorite beverage and enjoy! Take it away, Steve: 

 

What is your writing process?

I write every day from about 10 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon with regular breaks. I don’t make outlines and in the first draft I am never sure what’s going to happen and might materialize on front of my eyes. Apart from the time I spend at the computer, I spend often hours a day solving problems relating to the story I’m working on.

 

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

Good writers with good stories and with something to say like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Bernard Malamud, Noah Gordon, and Ken Follett.

 

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 to fit a name to a character if possible. For example in The Trials of Adrian Wheeler, I started with Wheeler because it is a strong macho name. Sergeant Major John Wheeler (Adrian’s father) is a retired Vietnam vet and a first class bully/bigot. I chose Adrian because it serves as both a masculine and feminine name and suits Adrian’s artsy and sensitive personality as contrasted with his father’s and his brother’s name, John-Mike Wheeler, who is just like his father. Otherwise, often I use the last name of someone I’ve grown up with.

 

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

I assume you are talking about in my writing endeavors. Otherwise I might say my kids since they are great parents and have excellent careers. As for my “best” writing accomplishment, that’s hard to say. I am guessing it is the yet to be published Ira Neebest Trilogy that has taken over ten years to write, dozens and dozens of drafts, and a three generation story that morphed its way into its present state without my help I sometimes think. The three books are: The First Coming, An Eye for an Eye, and Black Hearts and Hungry Bears.

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Be careful with that question. I will be 75 this February.

 

Have you always liked to write?

I wouldn’t say I did much if any writing in high school, college, or law school. It wasn’t until I began my career as a Patent Lawyer that I started writing.

 

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Love it or leave it! Writing is and must be an emotional drive that you are willing to take just about every day. For beginners who are interested in writing fiction, I would urge them to start out by writing and reading poetry, not the contemporary stuff that makes me crazy but the good stuff written by the English and American poets who’ve are long gone. Poetry forces you to deal with each and every word and to focus on imagery.

 

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

First of all, if I were writing books for a living I no doubt couldn’t afford the small and reasonable fees charged by book reviewers and the like. As it is I write books strictly for the fun of it. I also paint and sculpt for the fun of it.

 

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I haven’t the slightest idea what you’re talking about.

 

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?

Yes, I read my reviews and so far I’ve not received any bad ones, I think in part because I have enough honest readers of my material long before I’m at the review stage. And I take serious what these people say. Besides I have a pretty good idea when my stuff stinks.

 

What is your best marketing tip?

First, don’t count on your publisher to do much for you, although that isn’t true for my present publisher, The Wild Rose Press. The marketing team there is quite active. Also, put yourself out there, as much as it hurts, especially on social media.

 

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

Marketing, obviously.

 

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

Yes, my study. I think it’s important to have a single comfortable place with a good chair and ergonomic keyboard.

 

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

I have written a total of six novels (two published), five stage plays (two published), five screenplays (one under option), and over a hundred poems (a few published).

 

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

Presently I am putting the final touches on my Ira Neebest Trilogy.

 

What is the biggest fib you’ve ever told?

I don’t fib … and that is my biggest fib ever, which no doubt in itself is even a bigger fib.

 

Do you write naked?

No.

 

Have you ever been in trouble with the law?

No

 

Have you ever gotten into a fight?

No

 

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

I don’t drink (I did in college), I stopped smoking forty years ago.

 

What do you want your tombstone to say?

I don’t want a tombstone.

 

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

The power to beam myself up and down so I can avoid airplanes and California drivers.

 

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

I have no bucket list. I hate the term. And I’m doing exactly what I want to do; write, paint, exercise, and most important be close with my grandchildren.

 

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

I flunked out of law school because I never went to class and didn’t know where the exams were being given.

 

 The Trials of Adrian Wheeler

 

Title The Trials of Adrian Wheeler

Author Steve Shear

Genre Drama, Thriller, Mystery

Publisher L&L Dreamspell (originally) Catalina Sun Press (now)

 

Book Blurb

A young soldier faces a court-martial trial while dealing with PTSD, sexual inadequacy, and an unrelenting father.

 

Adrian Wheeler returns from Baghdad with a mangled knee and no left arm, ever mindful of a tormented past and even bleaker future. His brother, John Mike, didn’t return at all. One chilly morning in February both participated in a reconnaissance mission that tragically failed; a mission during which innocent women and children died along with John Mike and other combatants. As the sole survivor Adrian carries the details of that trauma deep within his subconscious and drinks excessively in hopes of hiding from the visitors that torment his dreams.

 

In his compromised mental and physical condition Adrian does everything he can to avoid seeing Rachael, his girl since the first grade. But he can’t escape his domineering father, a retired Vietnam veteran who bullied him into joining the Marines in the first place.

 

When he begins turning things around and taking control of his life, he’s charged with murdering the innocent women and children. Private Wheeler finds himself the center of the most important court-martial trial of the Iraqi war; his only hope is to move beyond his trauma and the terrible secret that lies deep within the cellar of his psyche.

 

Excerpt

Adrian arrived home from the war a broken young man. No one was there to put back the pieces. Ma would have, for sure, but she died on his twelfth birthday. Had she been there to see his new knee and armless shoulder hidden within an empty knotted sleeve, she surely would have been sad, but she would have moved past the sadness quickly.

 

“You still have your mind and it’s a good one. Remember that, boy,” Ma would have whispered from the grave, if she could have.

 

No consolation, he thought as he lumbered once again up the old cement drive cluttered with weed-filled cracks and deeply embedded oil stains. The netless hoop still hung over the garage, and still seemed an insurmountable height from the ground. It wasn’t his thing, never had been. John Mike could always jump higher and was much quicker, but that didn’t matter. Adrian had to play and he had to win. Winning wasn’t everything, Pa preached—it was the only thing. Winning meant surviving, the Master Sergeant insisted with each war story he dished out at the kitchen table.

 

Adrian limped up the ramp through a sawed-off railing onto the front porch in need of painting. The porch, like the garden in the back, brought the fondest memories of his mother. On the long, dark green bench that hung from the rafters, he and Ma cuddled each time Pa beat him down for not doing this or that the way John Mike did it. Mother and son swung to the tune of Old Man River as it flowed sweetly and softly off Ma’s tongue. All the while, the real river meandered downstream behind the houses across the street, beyond the backyards of the Clyburn’s bungalow, and the Levi’s remodeled two-story. In his mind’s eye, whenever he thought of that porch swing and Ma, Adrian could see just a hint of the moving river and that always added a nostalgic backdrop to his recollections of her.

 

When he was just over three years old, right after Pa retired from the Marine Corps, his folks moved from Georgia to Virginia and bought the house on South Willow Street. At the time, South Willow was part of a welcoming middle-class neighborhood of white Christians, according to Pa anyway, but slowly changed into more of a melting pot as the city grew, a change the Master Sergeant was not happy with—and he let everyone know.

 

Not long after they moved in, Pa constructed the front porch and a door leading from there directly into the kitchen. From that day on few people entered or left through the front door. He added the ramp much later, after the accident that forced him into a wheelchair.

 

Adrian shuffled past Ma’s green bench around nine o’clock in the evening. The porch door was open and, late as it was, he smelled dinner through the screen door, fresh catfish stew in the pot and cornbread warming in the oven. Good old Esme was outdoing herself once again.

 

He swung open the squeaking screen door. Pa sat at the kitchen table; dread instantly swirled around in Adrian’s belly.

 

“You’re late again.” Pa gripped the edge of the table in order to pull himself up from his wheelchair ever so slightly, as if to use that contorted position as the exclamation point for his accusation.

 

“You’re late again,” Adrian mimicked the old man. “How are you doing, son? I’m glad you’re home. Really son, how are you doing?” he continued, trying his best to capture his father’s tired accusatory drawl.

 

“Well Pa, thanks for asking, I’m just fine, except maybe for a lost limb, a metal knee that doesn’t seem to be working right, and a bit of self-pity—but no big deal, right, Esme?”

 

Adrian dropped his backpack and crossed the room to hug the housekeeper who’d raised him, as he had done often since his return from the war. Esme was his surrogate mother, had been ever since Ma died. Back then, she was a Negro. Today she is African American, and in excellent physical shape for someone who just turned eighty.

 

“Well at least you’re alive.” The old man pushed himself back into his wheelchair.

 

“I know. I know, and John Mike isn’t. Right, Pa? Isn’t that what you were going to say—again?” Sitting across from his father, Adrian edged forward in his chair as if to make his own exclamation point. “I was there when he died! Don’t you remember me telling you that, Pa?”

 

“Enough!” Esme cried out standing by the oven with her back to the kitchen table. Pa might have been Master Sergeant John Wheeler in the United States Marines, but Esme Charles was and had always been the master of the house. She raised Adrian’s mother Lillian and she raised Lillian’s children. She took nothing off nobody—never. “Now, I is going to serve Mr. Adrian…”

 

Private Adrian,” the old man said. “He ain’t received his discharge papers yet.”

 

“All right, I is going to serve Private Adrian his dinner and the two of you is going to sit across from one another and speak respectfully. And you will not bring Mister John Mike—excuse me, Lance Corporal John Mike—to the table.”

 

 

Buy Links

https://www.amazon.com/Steve-Shear/e/B006ACALH4

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-trials-of-adrian-wheeler-steve-shear/1103486128?ean=9780615919393

www.steveshear.net

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21125822-the-trials-of-adrian-wheeler

 

Author Biography

The Trials of Adrian Wheeler was my first published novel (L&L Dreamspell, 2011). It was awarded runner-up in the San Francisco Book Festival 2015.

 

I am happy to say that The Trials of Adrian Wheeler has been optioned as a movie by EVW Entertainment (producer of the movie Break the Stage), and the screenplay has been written by Erik Wolter and me. EVWE is now looking for partners to produce the movie. Erik and I have collaborated on a sequel to the screenplay.

 

The Wild Rose Press published The Fountain of Youth, my second published novel, in May of 2017. It has received exceptional reviews, some of which appear on Amazon and Goodreads.

 

My wife, Susan, and I collaborated on The State vs. Max Cooper and The Steele Deal (published by ArtAge Publications), courtroom plays in which the audience serves as the jury. Both are being produced around the country.

 

In addition, I have four novels that have recently been completed: The First Coming, An Eye for an Eye, Black Hearts and Hungry Bears (a trilogy) and The Click. I have written screenplays on the first three and am presently collaborating with Erik Wolter on a screenplay based on The Click.

 

I have been writing poetry for over fifteen years (some of which has been published) and am also a portrait and figure artist and sculptor, having been represented by a number of galleries in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. I am presently represented by the Delta Gallery in Brentwood, California and on line by Vango Art. My work can be seen at my website, www.steveshear.net.

 

 

Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/steve.shear.967

https://twitter.com/Steveshearbooks

https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-shear-80a03727/

http://coldcoffeecafe.com/main/search/search?q=steve+shear

 

 

The Broker by New York Times Bestseller @JohnGrisham #bookreview #thriller #books


The Broker

 

Title: The Broker

Author: John Grisham

Genre: Thriller, Mystery and Suspense

 

Book Blurb:

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

 

In his final hours in office, the outgoing President grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six years hidden away in a federal prison. What no one knows is that the President issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA. It seems that Backman, in his heyday, may have obtained secrets that compromise the world’s most sophisticated satellite surveillance system.

 

Backman is quietly smuggled out of the country in a military cargo plane, given a new name, a new identity, and a new home in Italy. Eventually, after he has settled into his new life, the CIA will leak his whereabouts to the Israelis, the Russians, the Chinese, and the Saudis. Then the CIA will do what it does best: sit back and watch. The question is not whether Backman will survive—there is no chance of that. The question the CIA needs answered is, who will kill him?

 

My Review:

My reading of the Grisham library continues in my hopes of finding a book I love.  The 2 stars I give this one means it didn’t happen again.

 

This is an unique book.  The ‘hero’ of the book is downtrodden and put upon and barely makes it out on top in the end.  The ending was not as successful as it could have been.

 

The author spent hundreds of pages working up the litany of assassin groups after the broker and then the end has one called off.  What about the Chinese hit man?

 

Not a strong finish to a book that didn’t appeal to me.  I would have liked 3 chapters of the Broker getting all the people who had treated him badly and torturing them for 6 months.  I detest bad people getting away with being bad.

 

Again, 2 stars and I am giving my hard cover copy away.

 

My Rating: 2 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Broker-John-Grisham-ebook/dp/B003B02PF4/

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Broker-John-Grisham-ebook/dp/B003B02PF4/

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Broker-John-Grisham-ebook/dp/B003B02PF4/

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1110.The_Broker

 

Author Biography:

Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, John Grisham was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby–writing his first novel.

Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of being a professional baseball player. Realizing he didn’t have the right stuff for a pro career, he shifted gears and majored in accounting at Mississippi State University. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade in Southaven, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation.

One day at the DeSoto County courthouse, Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl’s father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood Press, who gave it a modest 5,000 copy printing and published it in June 1988.

That might have put an end to Grishams hobby. However, he had already begun his next book, and it would quickly turn that hobby into a new full-time career. When he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures for $600,000, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers, and book rights were bought by Doubleday. Spending 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, The Firm became the bestselling novel of 1991.

The successes of The Pelican Brief, which hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, and The Client, which debuted at number one, confirmed Grisham’s reputation as the master of the legal thriller. Grisham’s success even renewed interest in A Time to Kill, which was republished in hardcover by Doubleday and then in paperback by Dell. This time around, it was a bestseller.

Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one book a year. His other books are The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, The Partner, The Street Lawyer, The Testament, The Brethren, A Painted House, Skipping Christmas, The Summons, The King of Torts, Bleachers, The Last Juror, The Broker, Playing for Pizza,The Appeal, The Associate, Ford County, The Confession, The Litigators, Calico Joe, The Racketeer, Sycamore Row, Gray Mountain, and Rogue Lawyer. All of them have become international bestsellers. In addition he has written six novels for Young Adult readers: Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer, Theodore Boone: The Abduction, Theodore Boone: The Accused, Theodore Boone: The Activist, Theodore Boone: The Fugitive, and Theodore Boone: The Scandal (2016). There are currently over 300 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 29 languages. The Innocent Man (October 2006) marked his first foray into non-fiction, and Ford County (November 2009) was his first short story collection. Partners (March 2016) was his first original digital short story. Nine of his novels have been turned into films (The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, A Painted House, The Runaway Jury, and Skipping Christmas), as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man.

Grisham took time off from writing for several months in 1996 to return, after a five-year hiatus, to the courtroom. He was honoring a commitment made before he had retired from the law to become a full-time writer: representing the family of a railroad brakeman killed when he was pinned between two cars. Preparing his case with the same passion and dedication as his books’ protagonists, Grisham successfully argued his clients’ case, earning them a jury award of $683,500—the biggest verdict of his career.

When he’s not writing, Grisham devotes time to charitable causes, including most recently his Rebuild The Coast Fund, which raised 8.8 million dollars for Gulf Coast relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He also keeps up with his greatest passion: baseball. The man who dreamed of being a professional baseball player now serves as the local Little League commissioner. The six ballfields he built on his property have played host to over 350 kids on 26 Little League teams.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.jgrisham.com/

Twitter https://twitter.com/JohnGrisham

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/JohnGrisham

Google+ https://plus.google.com/+JohnGrishamAuthor

Youtube https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEBE9C00C73C7E9C8

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

 

The Du Lac Princess by Award-Winning Author @MaryAnneYarde #bookreview #FridayReads #Arthurian


The Du Lac Princess UPDATED

 

Title: The Du Lac Princess (Book 3 Of The Du Lac Chronicles)

Author: Mary Anne Yarde

Genre: Historical Fantasy

 

Book Blurb:

War is coming…

 

The ink has dried on Amandine’s death warrant. Her crime? She is a du Lac.

 

All that stands in the way of a grisly death on a pyre is the King of Brittany. However, King Philippe is a fickle friend, and if her death is profitable to him, then she has no doubt that he would light the pyre himself.

 

Alan, the only man Amandine trusts, has a secret and must make an impossible choice, which could have far-reaching consequences — not only for Amandine, but for the whole of Briton.

 

My Review:

War is coming and nothing can stop the man orchestrating everyone and everything to exterminate the du Lacs from the face of Earth. But the Keeper of the Blade has just emerged and he is flesh and blood, not just a myth. He will need the help of the du Lac brothers, that is if they don’t kill him first.

 

Amandine is rescued from certain death by Alan and kept alive. She is forced into captivity while Alan is away and tortured by monks all in the name of the Roman Church. “The Devil must be purged from her body and soul.” Alan returns (along with King Philippe and Mordred) who delivers swift punishment for Amandine’s mistreatment. King Philippe makes her his ward and she is safe, for now. For surely, her death will come, as all who are du Lacs.

 

Merton aka Galahad, believing his beloved Amandine is dead, vows revenge. Even though he is a crippled, one-armed man, he won’t rest until her killer is dead. He runs away from Brother Sampson and heads back to his brother, Alden. Along the way, he gets lost and an old Celtic woman finds him. She restores him back to health and teaches him many things, things Merton never knew about his father (Lancelot), Arthur and even Guinevere (yes, Arthur’s Guinevere).

 

Alden is at his wits end trying to run his kingdom, look after Merton, determine who is his enemy and who is his ally all while trying to keep war from crossing his borders. When he sends out a search party to find Merton, shock and remorse shake Alden to the core when they return. The Keeper of the Blade seeks his council and assistance as does a woman all of Briton thought long dead. Will the du Lac brothers unite under the same banner or will they kill each other with Mordred watching from the shadows?

 

I’ve been waiting months to read this book and when it finally came out, my expectations were high. The Du Lac Princess has a lot going on, between twice as many characters as in previous books and the multiple storylines, and I found myself re-reading passages to keep everything straight. I found it a little jarring to go from one storyline to the next, especially in the middle of a scene. This pulled me out of the story on several occasions, which I don’t believe was the author’s intention.

 

The dramatic tension was well done, though. While I didn’t care for the compounding obstacles Merton had to continually face, it all tied together by the end of the book. The dramatic tension between Alden and his brothers, especially leading up to the climatic conclusion, was spot-on. Lessons learned, betrayals revealed, grace and love unite to combat evil deeds all make this a must-read. Yarde breathes life into Arthurian legends and makes history come alive.

 

If you’re a fan of historical fiction, especially 6th century Briton, this is a must-read! Fans of Game of Thrones and The Vikings will love this book and will want to read the whole series.

 

Favorite Character/Quote: Amandine. What a brave woman she is. She’s lost the one man she’s ever truly loved and King Philippe is the man responsible. She’s tortured in the name of God by the Church and yet still maintains her dignity. She’s a du Lac, after all.

 

My Rating: 4 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Du-Lac-Princess-Book-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B075XS4NZ1/

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Du-Lac-Princess-Book-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B075XS4NZ1/

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Du-Lac-Princess-Book-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B075XS4NZ1/

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36307275-the-du-lac-princess

 

Mary Anne Yarde Head Shot

 

Author Biography:

Mary Anne Yarde is an award-winning author of the International Bestselling series — The Du Lac Chronicles.

 

Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury–the fabled Isle of Avalon–was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.

 

Social Media Links:

Blog

https://maryanneyarde.blogspot.co.uk/

 

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/maryanneyarde/

 

Twitter

https://twitter.com/maryanneyarde

 

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15018472.Mary_Anne_Yarde

 

Amazon Author Page

https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Anne-Yarde/e/B01C1WFATA

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

 

“Wow! A Must Read.” Angelica by @ClabePolk #CrimeFiction #bookreview #Suspense


angelica-24

 

Title: Angelica (The Detective Mike Eiser Series Book 2)

Author: Clabe Polk

Genre: Mystery, Suspense

 

Book Blurb:

A long time ago, Angelica Vicetti did some very bad things with some very bad men. Now she’s built a new life for her family, far from Las Vegas.

Now it’s all about to come crashing down.

Angelica Vicetti of Las Vegas has become Angela Cassetta of Poplar Bluffs, just outside Atlanta, Georgia. She’s built a successful real estate agency, and the son she rescued from Vegas when he was a youngster is now a high school baseball star and destined for great things.

But the mob bosses in Vegas who forced her underground haven’t forgotten about her. A string of hit men come to town to kill her, but each time she saves herself and her son, with the help of her friends and Mike Eiser, a local Sheriff’s detective who has seen far worse.

Then things get even more complicated, when one of the hit men changes his mind and becomes strangely important to Angela in a whole new way… and a team of Federal agents come to town and ratchet up the odds. Suddenly, sleepy little Poplar Bluffs is awash in blood.

Angelica will have to take it all the way to the edge and beyond – into murder, kidnapping, and lying to the Feds – to save herself and her son. But… can she survive the fight for her family’s freedom?

 

My Review:

Wow.  A MUST READ. What a fantastic story this is.

 

I have to say that a small town like Poplar Bluffs faces the most crime a small town has seen since Jessica Fletcher lived in Cabot Cove.

 

I loved the story of Angelica and her family and just LOVED how every group of bads moved in, tried something and were dealt with in superb fashion.  The growing relationship between Danny and Angela was beautiful.

 

The best line of the book has to be, ‘What happens in the kitchen, stays in the kitchen.’

 

It became so funny how every type of bad guy/cop/etc. ended up eating at Bertie’s.

 

A fantastic book that I loved every second of and am sorry it ended because I can’t wait to read it again.

 

If you are only going to read one Detective Eiser book, make it this one. It is the greatest and a fun read.

 

I would give it 1,000,000 stars but must settle for 5+

 

My Rating: 5+ stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Angelica-Detective-Mike-Eiser-Book-ebook/dp/B072KHYQWJ/

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Angelica-Detective-Mike-Eiser-Book-ebook/dp/B072KHYQWJ/

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.com/Angelica-Detective-Mike-Eiser-Book-ebook/dp/B072KHYQWJ/

 

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/angelica-clabe-polk/1123644087;jsessionid=7C8D96533E308BFB48053085B83B35FA.prodny_store02-atgap11?ean=2940157199180

 

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/angelica-24

 

iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/angelica/id1248671492?mt=11

 

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/729888

 

Google Play https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Clabe_Polk_Angelica?id=SCspDwAAQBAJ

 

Blio https://www.blio.com/web1/actions/searchHandler.do?key=BTKEY0020982171&nextPage=booksDetails&parentNum=12848&itemNum=ITEM:2

 

Overdrive https://www.overdrive.com/media/3329230/angelica

 

Scribd https://www.scribd.com/book/351329966/Angelica

 

Author Biography:

Clabe Polk is into a second career as a fiction author.  Retiring after more than thirty-seven years of professional environmental protection, including criminal law enforcement and criminal law enforcement training, Mr. Polk has taken his professional experience, scientific background, a lifetime of practical skills from designing and building houses to music, his love of reading, research and writing and combined them into action stories about real people told in a tongue-in-cheek style all his own.

 

He currently lives in Powder Springs, Georgia with his wife, two daughters and the family’s cockerpoo named ‘Annie’.

 

Clabe’s creation, Poplar Bluffs, Georgia, hometown of Detective Mike Eiser is a community all its own. Margie over at Bertie’s Café is never without a friendly cup of coffee or a glass of sweet tea and she has her ears tuned to take in whatever you’re talking about, so y’all come see us!

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://clabepolkmysteryadve.ipage.com/index.html

Twitter https://twitter.com/ClabePolk

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Clabe-Polk/378843275625201

Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/clabep/clabe-polks-book-board/

Google+ https://plus.google.com/112644276834570344182

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

 

Amy J Hamilton @WriteNaughty Introduces @radish_fiction #books #RadishFiction #App #writing


Radish

 

Greetings, I’m here to introduce you to Radish Fiction. Radish what now? I’d never heard of it either. What, you have? Well, go and read my books then.

 

For the rest of you, here’s the background:

 

Radish Fiction is a free app available for iOS and Android. The app contains serialised fiction in bite-sized chunks or episodes. (Like radishes, get it? Bite-sized.) It’s aimed at those who like to read a bit at a time. Which, to be fair is me. We’re all busy, but we can generally manage ten minutes of reading here and there.

 

But how will I know if I like a book?

 

The first three episodes of any book will always be free.

 

This gives the reader plenty of time to determine if that book is something they might want to continue reading. If you don’t like it after three episodes, or after the first episode, don’t read it. It won’t have cost you anything other than your time. It’s a superb way of getting to know different authors without having any initial outlay.

 

From episode four there are three ways books are priced:

 

Some books are totally free. That’s it, free. Boom, no cost involved. (My free one is the Erotic Sci-Fi Modified.)

 

The next level unlocks episodes for free at a rate set by the author, for instance, one new episode every week. But, the reader can unlock an episode early by paying 3 Radish coins per episode. Those who don’t want to pay for episodes, just need to wait until the next one is released for free. (I’ve got one of those too-Nate and Day the sequel to Modified.)

 

The third option allows authors to be paid for their work. For this option, all episodes after the first three cost 3 Radish coins each. (I’ve got two of those. The Sci-Fi Murder Mystery Missing Remnants and a Paranormal Sci-Fi called Iridessian Haunts.)

 

Yes, but about those coins, they’ll cost a packet, won’t they?

 

Radish coins are like any other game coins. They work in the same way. You buy Radish coins via the app. How much each payable episode costs depends on how many coins you buy. It’s as little as 30-42 pence/cents per episode. That’s not much money for thousands of words which would have taken hours for the author to write, edit and upload. As an author, I can confirm we are very grateful for all the coins we receive.

 

How do we know we’re getting quality stories?

 

What one person thinks is a brilliant book will have someone else questioning that person’s sanity. That will never change. However, authors are invited to write for Radish, you can’t just create an account and start writing like other platforms. We have, therefore, had our work read by a content editor and been deemed fit for publication. What? How? No, seriously, I have! I don’t think they have particularly low standards either! Or maybe they had an off day when they took me on…

 

My latest two books are available exclusively on the Radish Fiction app. They have been written specifically for the Radish serial style.

 

Missing Remnants is a Sci-Fi murder mystery following a detective who is forced to take three months off just as a woman dies at his front door. Alone, except for his robot dog Banyon, he’s been followed, kidnapped, attacked and has strange messages relayed to him via the screens and the service bots around the station.

 

If that wasn’t enough I started writing a second serial recently. I am currently questioning my sanity; I haven’t finished Missing Remnants yet.

 

Iridessian Haunts is a Paranormal Sci-Fi story following two planetary scouts as they discover if the planet Iridessia is suitable for long-term habitation. The planet has all the usual stuff, solid ground, breathable atmosphere, water source, ghosts.

 

I hope I have convinced some of you to download the free Radish Fiction app and read some bite-sized serialised fiction. Preferably mine… they are some of the best stories ever written, said no-one ever.

 

https://radish.app.link/rN4eTruQCG

 

ajh

 

Author Biography

Amy J Hamilton is about 300 years old and was spawned on an alien planet. She exists mainly on coffee and chocolate, but mainly coffee.

She has been writing since she could hold a pencil in her left nostril. Amy’s books fall into various genres:

Erotic/Sci-Fi: Lunar Medical series (Modified, Nate and Day), Sci-Fi Murder Mystery: Missing Remnants. Paranormal Sci-Fi: Iridessian Haunts

She has a husband, two teenagers, tropical fish, a tortoise, a degu and a bearded dragon who can fly and breathe fire (lie). In her spare time, she bakes things, sews things and play things on the piano.

 

Social Media Links

Radish https://radishfiction.com/users/AmyJHamilton

Twitter https://twitter.com/WriteNaughty

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15275986.Amy_J_Hamilton

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/ajhworld/

Blog http://barkingmaddj.blogspot.co.uk/

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/djcooper

Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Amy-J-Hamilton/e/B01N0ZHDEC/

 

 

You Dear, Sweet Man by Thomas Neviaser is a Riveting Must-Read! #bookreview #paranormal #fantasy


You Dear Sweet Man

 

Title: You Dear, Sweet Man

Author: Thomas Neviaser

Genre: Fantasy, Magical Realism, Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

The subway ad is enticing. One might even consider it elegant as well. A beautiful woman, sitting atop a desk in a sparsely decorated office, staring directly at Bobby Fastow, a blue-collar worker, on his way to his monotonous yet physically exhausting job. The photograph has an unusual charisma, a spectacular presence. It seemingly leaps off and out of the poster.
Bobby Fastow intensely absorbs the information directed at him. BurgerBlast, his favorite fast food restaurant, famous for quick service and reliable, if not artery-choking fare, is announcing a new name and a new direction.
But, in the world of advertising, nothing is as it seems. What if the line that separates an advertisement from the real world were erased? What if an image stepped from an ad and beckoned you to follow it back, inviting you to melt into its world. Could you resist? Bobby Fastow couldn’t, and his decision would turn his world upside down.

 

 

My Review:

In the cutthroat world of fast food, owners/board of directors will do anything to stand out, even so far as to blur the lines between fantasy and reality.

 

Bobby Fastow is an ordinary guy working a dull blue-collar job. He takes the subway to and from work. Something catches his eye so he glances up to see his favorite fast food joint’s latest ad. He’s drawn to the woman in the ad and it seems like she’s staring at him, beckoning him towards her. It’s just an ad, right? Bobby thinks he’s going crazy or maybe he’s working too hard. But everything changes when the woman in the ad steps out and coaxes Bobby into her world. His one decision will alter his world forever because like that old rock song says, you can enter but you can never, ever leave.

 

What an imaginative, original story! I’ve never read anything like this before and I love that. We’re all a little bit like Bobby, living our normal life while unconsciously being manipulated by marketing and advertising. All hail the slick mad men of today… or not. While the themes are clearly presented, there’s a few underlying ones that make you think about the device-driven world we live in today.

 

You Dear, Sweet Man by Thomas Neviaser has a diverse bunch of characters and while it might be difficult to follow them all, Neviaser plunges the reader into the psyche of each character without much effort. The character arcs were intriguing plus a few twists and turns I didn’t expect make this a must read. Bobby and Charlie were opposite ends of the spectrum yet their motives behind their actions made this book all the more addictive. A terrific read and thanks to Neviaser, I will never look at ads the same way.

 

Favorite Character/Quote: Bobby. I really connected with him as a character. From his blue-collar job to how he responds to all that happens to him, it all combines for a riveting experience.

 

My Rating: 4.5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/YOU-DEAR-SWEET-THOMAS-NEVIASER-ebook/dp/B072KFQ17C/

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/YOU-DEAR-SWEET-THOMAS-NEVIASER-ebook/dp/B072KFQ17C/

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/YOU-DEAR-SWEET-THOMAS-NEVIASER-ebook/dp/B072KFQ17C/

 

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/you-dear-sweet-man-thomas-neviaser/1126599897

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35464547-you-dear-sweet-man

 

Thomas Neviaser

 

Author Biography:

Dr. Neviaser is a retired orthopaedic surgeon and author of many medical articles, papers, presentations, and contributions to medical texts.  He’s written extensively on shoulder conditions, his specialty. He is available as a speaker on most orthopaedic conditions.  His dynamic presentations involve a great deal of audience participation and personalized attention to attendees.

 

Today, Dr. Neviaser devotes his time to writing both fiction and non-fiction books. He is a columnist for the Culpeper Star-Exponent and The Culpeper Times newspapers. You can read his perspectives on family, life, and politics at starexponent.com on an every other Sunday schedule.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.thomasneviaser.com/

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

 

Circumstances of Childhood is a Brand-New Release by @HowellWave #RRBC #99cents #books


thumbnail_Circumstances of Childhood final front

 

Title Circumstances of Childhood

Author John W. Howell

Genre Family Life, Fiction

Publisher Keewaydin Lane Books

 

Book Blurb

When a former pro football star and broadcaster, now a Wall Street maven is accused of insider trading, will he be able to prove his innocence and expose those who are guilty?

 

Greg and his boyhood pal dreamed of big success in professional football and then later in business. Greg was the only one to live the dream. Now the founder of an investment fund Greg is faced with a routine audit finding by the SEC. The audit points to irregularities and all the tracks lead to Greg. The justice department hits him with an indictment of 23 counts of fraud, money laundering, and insider trading. His firm goes bust, and Greg is on his own.

 

His best friend knows he is innocent but has been ordered under penalty of eternal damnation not to help.

 

If you enjoy stories of riches to rags, redemption, brotherly love, and a little of the paranormal, Circumstance of Childhood will keep you riveted.

 

Excerpt

I look down at my drink and wonder what will happen tomorrow. My daughter Constance wants to come and visit. She lives in New York, and before all hell broke loose, we didn’t see each other often. I missed her so much, and it seemed as if I had to beg her even to talk on the phone. Now, it’s like she wants to be here every weekend. It’s only an hour’s flight by the shuttle or three by train, so she can come when she wants. I just can’t figure out why she got so clingy. I have my troubles, but it doesn’t have anything to do with her. No use in asking her husband either. Though a nice enough guy, I always wonder if he has someplace important to go when I visit. He never sits still and stays busy on the phone or at the computer. He makes a good living, but it seems a person could take an hour to sit and talk. I’d looked forward to some kind of relationship when he and Constance got married. It’ll never happen with him.

 

When I take another pull at my drink, I notice the burn feels less. It happens every time. First sip initiation, I call it. It’s like the first puff of a cigarette, hits hard then, after, nothing. I decide to let Constance pretty much have the agenda tomorrow. She and I have not had a chance to talk about anything deep for a while. It could just be that she blames me for her mother running off with that guy with the house on the Hudson. He has a title, and the old gal couldn’t resist, but I think the daughter always felt I should have done something. Her mother’s sleeping with another guy and what the hell can I do about that?

 

I’ll just go with the flow. If she wants to go out, we will. If she wants to stay in, we can do that too. I better think about getting some food in the house. Of course, we can always order take out. I need to move on to my drink and let this go. Tomorrow will be what it is. I remember the day she was born. I looked down at her in my arms and promised I would do anything for her. I love her more than life itself, and I hope we can somehow get to the root of whatever’s wrong. She sounded strange on the phone this morning, and I feel helpless to do anything about it. I hope she opens up when she gets here.

 

For some reason, I feel tired. Perhaps I’ll go ahead and finish my drink. Maybe I’ll just go home and forget the burger. First, though, I’ll just shut my eyes for a minute. My hands feel good when I put my head down.

 

“Hey, Greg,” Jerry says. I barely hear him. “What’s the matter? You taking a nap? Greg?” I can feel him shake me, but I have no interest in waking up. His voice gets further away, and I think he says, “Oh, my God, Sophie, call 911, quick.” Now the room goes silent.

 

Buy Links

Paper

https://www.amazon.com/Circumstances-Childhood-John-w-Howell/dp/0996911561/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1506974219&sr=1-1

Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075SKWHCR/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1505947371&sr=1-1&keywords=Circumstances+of+Childhood

 

john-howell-headshot

 

Author Biography

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories.  His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. The latest Circumstances of Childhood a family life story is available as of October 1st, 2017 All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

 

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

 

Social Media Links

Blog Fiction Favorites, http://johnwhowell.com/

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/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

Amazon Author’s page –https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

 

 

It’s #BannedBooksWeek and Mrs. N Shares Her Top 10 Banned #Books! #FridayReads #YA #fiction


Banned Books Week

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. This week, the book/reading community has been celebrating and promoting Banned Books Week. What is it? It’s simply a week to recognize and spotlight those books that are deemed to be inappropriate to read. According to the American Library Association, hundreds of books are removed or challenged from schools and libraries. It’s censorship at its worst and I won’t stand for it anymore. Every person, no matter the age, has the right to read. I’ve had the pleasure to read several banned books and it honestly opened my eyes to the world and to life experiences I will never have to go through. Here are my top ten banned/challenged books and why I believe they’re must-reads:

 

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Fifty years ago, Madeleine L’Engle introduced the world to A Wrinkle in Time and the wonderful and unforgettable characters Meg and Charles Wallace Murry, and their friend Calvin O’Keefe.

 

When the children learn that Mr. Murry has been captured by the Dark Thing, they time travel to Camazotz, where they must face the leader IT in the ultimate battle between good and evil―a journey that threatens their lives and our universe.

 

A Newbery Award winner, A Wrinkle in Time is an iconic novel that continues to inspire millions of fans around the world. This special edition has been redesigned and includes an introduction by Katherine Paterson, an afterword by Madeleine L’Engle’s granddaughter Charlotte Jones Voiklis that includes photographs and memorabilia, the author’s Newbery Medal acceptance speech, and other bonus materials.

 

A Wrinkle in Time is the winner of the 1963 Newbery Medal. It is the first book in The Time Quintet, which consists of A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time.

 

A Wrinkle in Time is soon to be a movie from Disney, directed by Ava DuVernay, starring Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling.

 

This title has Common Core connections.

 

Why I love it: This was one of the first fantasy books I read and while there is a “dark entity”, there’s nothing scary or offensive in this book. It’s the whole good versus evil battle to save the world and it’s still one of my favorite fantasy books of all time. The fact that Disney is releasing a movie in 2018 should plainly state that it’s just fine for kids to read and enjoy.

 

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN is a novel by Mark Twain, first published in the United Kingdom in December 1884 and in the United States in February 1885. Commonly named among the Great American Novels, the work is among the first in major American literature to be written throughout in vernacular English, characterized by local color regionalism. It is told in the first person by Huckleberry “Huck” Finn, a friend of Tom Sawyer and narrator of two other Twain novels (Tom Sawyer Abroad and Tom Sawyer, Detective). It is a direct sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

 

The book is noted for its colorful description of people and places along the Mississippi River. Set in a Southern antebellum society that had ceased to exist about twenty years before the work was published, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an often-scathing satire on entrenched attitudes, particularly racism.

 

Perennially popular with readers, ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN has also been the continued object of study by literary critics since its publication. It was criticized upon release because of its coarse language and became even more controversial in the 20th century because of its perceived use of racial stereotypes and because of its frequent use of the racial slur “nigger”, despite strong arguments that the protagonist and the tenor of the book are anti-racist. (more at wisehouse-classics.com)

 

Why I love it: Huck Finn is one of the greatest historical portrayals of 19th century South society I’ve ever read. While millions will point to the language and say it must be pulled off of library shelves and out of school curriculum, I disagree. I first read Huck Finn in the 5th grade and it opened my eyes to what life was like during those times. Yes, the racist language shouldn’t be repeated or said ever again but it is a great history lesson. Twain wrote about life he witnessed and what happens in the book really happened, to a certain extent. Middle grade children and up will find value in reading this and so will many adults. You can’t sweep history under the rug unless you want to repeat it.

 

Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck

While the powerlessness of the laboring class is a recurring theme in Steinbeck’s work of the late 1930s, he narrowed his focus when composing “Of Mice and Men” (1937), creating an intimate portrait of two men facing a world marked by petty tyranny, misunderstanding, jealousy, and callousness. But though the scope is narrow, the theme is universal; a friendship and a shared dream that makes an individual’s existence meaningful.

 

Why I love it: I first read this when I was eleven. It was a great novel of the Depression, displaying some people’s reactions and the dark side of human nature. The friendship of the two men is the main theme and it is moving. Again, another history tool to show children what life was really like during the 1930’s. I found myself sympathizing with others after reading this book.

 

To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

Harper Lee’s Pulitzer prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep south—and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred, available now for the first time as an e-book.

 

One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than thirty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father-a crusading local lawyer-risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

 

Why I love it: One of the greatest books ever written, To Kill a Mockingbird tells the story of a young girl, her father, a black man wrongly accused of a horrific crime and the racism prevalent in a small town. I can’t stress this enough: THIS IS A MUST-READ! If you want to understand how evil racism is and how prejudice is a disease that needs to be squashed, read this book. It is told from the viewpoint of an innocent young girl so it is age-appropriate. There is so much honesty and truth in this novel, it’ll change your perception on today’s society.

 

A Light in the Attic, by Shel Silverstein

From New York Times bestselling author Shel Silverstein, the creator of the beloved poetry collections Where the Sidewalk Ends, Falling Up, and Every Thing On It, comes an imaginative book of poems and drawings—a favorite of Shel Silverstein fans young and old. This special edition contains 12 never-before-published poems.

 

A Light in the Attic delights with remarkable characters and hilariously profound poems in a collection readers will return to again and again.

 

Here in the attic you will find Backward Bill, Sour Face Ann, the Meehoo with an Exactlywatt, and the Polar Bear in the Frigidaire. You will talk with Broiled Face, and find out what happens when Somebody steals your knees, you get caught by the Quick-Digesting Gink, a Mountain snores, and They Put a Brassiere on the Camel.

 

Come on up to the attic of Shel Silverstein and let the light bring you home.

 

Why I love it: Really? This is a banned book? Somewhere, Mr. Silverstein is shaking his head sadly. It’s a hilarious book of illustrations and poems. Silly poems. Its message is clear: use your imagination, laugh often and your life will be good. It promotes kindness, goodness and understanding. There’s nothing wrong with that.

 

Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

Since it was first published in 1954, William Golding’s classic debut novel has remained a stark allegory of civilization, survival, and human nature. As dystopian stories like Hunger Games and Battle Royale surge in popularity, this haunting tale of a group of young boys stranded on a desert island still captivates schoolchildren around the world, raising timeless and profound questions about how easily society can slip into chaos and savagery when rules and order have been abandoned.

 

When a plane crashes on a remote island, a small group of schoolboys are the sole survivors. From the prophetic Simon and virtuous Ralph to the lovable Piggy and brutish Jack, each of the boys attempts to establish control as the reality- and brutal savagery-of their situation sets in.

 

A teacher himself, Golding clearly understood how to interest children with a gripping story and strong, sympathetic characters. The novel serves as a catalyst for thought-provoking discussion and analysis of universal issues, not only concerning the capabilities of humans for good and evil and the fragility of moral inhibition, but beyond.

 

The boys’ struggle to find a way of existing in a community with no fixed boundaries invites readers to evaluate the concepts involved in social and political constructs and moral frameworks. Symbolism is strong throughout, revealing both the boys’ capacity for empathy and hope, as well as illuminating the darkest corners of the human spirit. Ideas of community, leadership, and the rule of law are called into question as the reader has to consider who has a right to power, why, and what the consequences of the acquisition of power may be.

 

Often compared to Catcher in the Rye, Lord of the Flies also represents a coming-of-age story of innocence lost.

 

Why I love it: I get why people/parents challenge this book. There’s a whole lot of evil and death that takes place but you have to look at the underlying message: everyone is capable of evil deeds; it all depends on your morality and societal constructs. Survival, community, power and responsibility all play out in this dystopian gem. Children find value in this and maybe if more people read this book, there would be less crime, gangs and criminals.

 

The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline Cooney

In the vein of psychological thrillers like We Were Liars, Girl on the Train, and Beware That Girl, bestselling author Caroline Cooney’s JANIE series delivers on every level. Mystery and suspense blend seamlessly with issues of family, friendship and love to offer an emotionally evocative thrill ride of a read.

 

When 15-year-old Janie Johnson sees her own face in the missing children box on a milk carton, her world begins to blur. Was she kidnapped when she was a baby? Who are her parents? And who are Mr. and Mrs. Johnson? Janie’s search for the answers will lead her back 12 years into memories of another house, another family, another life. Her questions threaten to destroy the love she feels for her parents and the security they have given her. But it is a search she cannot ignore.

 

The Face on the Milk Carton has been extremely popular ever since it was first released. An IRS-CBC Children’s Choice Book, it also has been made into a frequently-aired television special.

 

Why I love it: I was shocked to see that one of my favorite books from the 1990’s is a banned book. I guess with the subject matter, people don’t want kids reading this. Listen, I don’t want eight-year-olds reading this either. It’s geared for teens and sheds light on a very real subject matter: child abduction. Back in the late 1980’s, there was a lot of child kidnappings going on. So much so, the government came up with putting missing children’s pictures on milk cartons as a way to catch the kidnappers and bring the children home. This story is based on a real kidnapping. Filled with emotions and capturing what happens to the kids who got abducted, this is a great book. Again, this is shedding light on something American parents had to deal with and important for teens to read about.

 

Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine

Discover the original bone-chilling adventures that made Goosebumps one of the bestselling children’s book series of all time! Something scary is happening in GOOSEBUMPS HORRORLAND, the all-new, all-terrifying series by R. L. Stine. Just how scary? You’ll never know unless you crack open this classic prequel! Discover the fan-favorite thriller and chiller that first introduced the world to the wooden face of fear. The puppet who pulls all the strings. None other than Slappy the Dummy! Now with all-new bonus material revealing Slappy’s secrets and more.

 

Why I love it: Oh man, I almost fell out of my chair laughing when I saw this paranormal/horror series was banned/challenged. It’s a bunch of scary stories, like what kids hear around the campfire at summer camp. It’s mostly funny, sometimes scary, horror stories that kids love.

 

The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

Anyone who has read J.D. Salinger’s New Yorker stories ? particularly A Perfect Day for Bananafish, Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut, The Laughing Man, and For Esme ? With Love and Squalor, will not be surprised by the fact that his first novel is fully of children. The hero-narrator of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it. There are many voices in this novel: children’s voices, adult voices, underground voices-but Holden’s voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.

 

Why I love it: I know most parents shudder when you bring up this book but honestly, this is a must-read for all high-school kids. I read it when I was sixteen and I was a lonely, depressed girl. I was bullied at school and found solace and companionship with Holden. I mean, he talked about the same things I was feeling at the time. Not that I wanted to commit suicide but that life was complicated and I wanted to escape. Holden taught me it was okay to not be happy all the time. He also brought out the poet in me, which I will always be thankful. See, teens just want to know that what they’re feeling is okay, even if it is dark. The point is to not act on the feelings to the point of suicide. I will always be indebted to Salinger for crafting such a complex character.

 

The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold

My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. My murderer was a man from our neighborhood. My mother liked his border flowers, and my father talked to him once about fertilizer. This is Susie Salmon. Watching from heaven, Susie sees her happy, suburban family devastated by her death, isolated even from one another as they each try to cope with their terrible loss alone. Over the years, her friends and siblings grow up, fall in love, do all the things she never had the chance to do herself. But life is not quite finished with Susie yet …The Lovely Bones is a luminous and astonishing novel about life and death, forgiveness and vengeance, memory and forgetting – but, above all, about finding light in the darkest of places. ‘Spare, beautiful and brutal prose …The Lovely Bones is compulsive enough to read in a single sitting, brilliantly intelligent, elegantly constructed and ultimately intriguing’ The Times ‘Moving and compelling …It will put an imperceptible but stealthily insistent hold on you. I sat down in the morning to read the first couple of pages; five hours later, I was still there, book in hand, transfixed’ Maggie O’Farrell, Sunday Telegraph

 

Why I love it: I read this when it came out and I was blown away. Told from the viewpoint of a murdered little girl, she witnesses all facets of her loved ones’ lives. The themes range from grief to forgiveness, from revenge to justice, from coming out of the darkness into the light. A moving book and one that needs to stay on bookshelves, no matter if the subject matter is hard to read.

 

For more information on banned/challenged books click here: http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks

 

What’s your favorite banned book? Share in the comments below. Happy Reading!

 

MRS N, Book Addict

 

How #Writing The Great American Novel Turned Into Adrian Wheeler by @Steveshearbooks #books


The Trials of Adrian Wheeler

 

How Writing The Great American Novel Turned Into The Trials of Adrian Wheeler by Steve Shear

 

I’m too old to remember whether I did much if any writing in high school. I do remember spending four years in engineering school and three years in law school and never learning how to write … really write. For the next forty years as a patent attorney I did write … technical garbly-gook like the inner workings of an internal combustion engine, a computer interface, and the like. It paid the bills but wasn’t particularly creative. Then one day, more than fifteen years ago, I decided to move out of my comfort zone and write fiction, something that wasn’t going to pay the bills. I chose poetry thinking that would be easy, just stringing together a bunch of words on a bunch of lines. How hard could that be?

 

Needless to say I picked probably the most difficult type of fiction to master or should I say attempt to master. Few actually master the art of poetry and I’m certainly not one of them. Believe it or not, I’m still revising some of the poems I wrote as long ago as 1997. At the same time I learned something extremely valuable. If you want to write novels and short stories and other types of fictional prose, it is enormously helpful to put yourself in the mine fields of poetic discourse. Studying the old dead English poets and writing poetry including sonnets and other rhyming stuff force you to recognize the right words and phrases for a particular situation and it gives you the tools to create the appropriate images to illuminate those words and phrases. Imagery, imagery, imagery is the name of the game; metaphors, similes, sight, sound, taste, etc. And all those difficult sessions trying to make your sonnet work, ab-ab-cd-cd-ef-ef-gg, become wonderful foreplay for your first short story or novel; at least they were for mine. And by the way you may find that great short stories are more difficult to produce than great novels, so choose your poison wisely!

 

The Trials of Adrian Wheeler was actually my second attempt at writing the Great American Novel. My first attempt, Ira Neebest and The First Coming, took me two years to write. By the third draft I had pounded out nearly two hundred and fifty thousand words. At the time I didn’t know how dumb that was. Only the great ones like Dostoevsky have the right to do that.  When I gave Ira to my wife and a friend who taught creative writing at a local college they had some nice things to say like ‘it has potential’ but in truth they told me I was a bit full of myself. And so I was! Six months later I had it down to one hundred thousand words. And now, after ten years of revisions, I’ve made two novels out of it, The First Coming and An Eye for an Eye. After hundreds of agent-queries and rejections, two published novels, and two published stage plays later, they are both still my favorites and both remain unpublished thus far. Such is life.

 

 

When I started writing Adrian, the only thing I had in mind was a friend from my poetry critique group, a gentle soul with natural artistic creativity, who was ‘forced’ to join the Marines and fight in Vietnam for his country by his bombastic father. My friend had MS and other bad things after being exposed to Agent Orange. He died last year but not before he published several books of his poetry.

 

Actually I had two other things in mind when I began thinking about Adrian. I had been against America invading Iraq and I blamed it on W, our president who made the decision to invade. I had just finished reading Vincent Bugliosi’s book The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, and I wondered how many soldiers regretted their decisions to join up in the first place, like my friend. I’m not talking about those soldiers who died in battle (that’s bad enough), but those young men and women who came back (and are continuing to come back) from Iraq and Afghanistan—only to discover a battlefield far more relentless and infinitely more lonely. I am speaking about all those warriors who do battle every day in their mind’s eye, seeing, hearing, smelling, and feeling the loss of a limb, their own or a buddy’s—or who experience the last five minutes of their buddy’s life. There’s no special day just for them. There is no Veterans with PTSD day.

 

Its full name is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; at least that’s what we call it now. In the past it was battle fatigue and shell shock, but a rose by any other name is just as devastating I learned when I started the research on The Trials of Adrian Wheeler. When George W. Bush dropped his first bomb on Baghdad in March, 2003, I was so upset I produced what I still consider my best work of art, a painting I entitled The Sisters of Baghdad which can be seen on my website, www.steveshear.net. Shortly thereafter I wrote a poem, The Bombing of Baghdad which appears at the beginning of Adrian. Around that time, I remember getting a haircut and ranting to my barber, Harold, about how terrible President Bush was. My barber was ultraconservative, although I didn’t know it at the time. His bald head (wouldn’t you know it) turned red, his eyes bulged and his lips quivered. My only thought at the time was to blurt out: “HAROLD, PUT DOWN THE SCISSORS!” Fortunately, I am still alive and Harold is still cutting hair, I assume.

 

By the time I finished writing Adrian and living in the skins of the characters, George Bush became a bit more than a footnote. The characters and the family dynamics took over, Adrian, Pa, Daisy, Esme, Rachael, Rabinowitz, Benedetti, and the others. Actually, characters like these along with what they do and say tend to get under your skin and go where you go whether it’s at the computer, on a long walk, brushing your teeth, or in my case playing Pickleball. That’s what happens during nineteen drafts and before you ever think about sending out your first query.

 

 

I will end this post with one more observation which might make you think I’m smoking something even stronger than California-grown marijuana (which I don’t smoke, incidentally). I’ve discovered that by being a writer of fiction, especially novels and short stories, you are about as close to being a god as one can possibly be. Think about it. You create your own version of heaven and hell and earth (even the cosmos in some cases). Well maybe not in seven days. You create your characters, their looks, their personalities, their likes and dislikes. You give them health and wealth … or not; you even read their minds; and you kill them off … or not based on your plan, your god-given plot. If that’s not a description of the Almighty I don’t know what is.

 

So, if you’re reading this and wanting to write the great American novel … and be God, just remember you won’t be alone when you brush your teeth!

 

Title: The Trials of Adrian Wheeler

Author: Steve Shear

Genre: Fiction, Military, PTSD

 

Book Blurb:

Marine Private Adrian Wheeler, accused of murdering Iraqi women and children, arrived home to face nothing less than: An unrelenting father who cajoled him into enlisting, PTSD, sexual Inadequacy, a sensational court-martial trial, a sister with HIV. He returned from Baghdad and the Iraq war disabled and disillusioned an amputee with a bad knee. His brother, John Mike, didn’t return at all. Both participated in a reconnaissance mission seeking proof Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, WMDs, a mission that tragically failed, a mission in which innocent women and children died along with John Mike and other combatants. As the sole survivor, Adrian carried the details of that trauma deep within his subconscious, and often drank himself unconscious in hopes of hiding from the visitors who came in his sleep; his domineering father, a retired Vietnam veteran, and Rachael, the girl he left behind. In his mental state and physical condition, he did everything he could to avoid her—and the couch they first made love on before he lost his arm. Just when he began taking control of his life, Adrian was charged with the murder of all those women and children. But did he do it? Could it have been John Mike? Or possibly an insurgent? Adrian’s only hope was to get beyond his trauma and recall the terrible secret buried deep within the cellar of his psyche. That required Rabinowitz (a psychotherapist specializing in PTSD) and Angelo Benedetti (a renowned court-martial defense lawyer) to help him remember—and to convince the court he was innocent—whether he was or not.

 

The Trials of Adrian Wheeler has been optioned as a movie by a production studio in Los Angeles, Filmed Imagination and Daniel Dreifuss (producer of the Academy Award nominated movie, NO), and the screenplay has been completed.

 

Excerpt:

Private Adrian Wheeler, accused of murdering Iraqi women and children, arrived home to face nothing less than:
 
An unrelenting father who cajoled him into enlisting
PTSD
Sexual Inadequacy
A sensational Court-Martial Trial
A sister with HIV
 
            Adrian returned from Baghdad disabled and disillusioned. His brother, John Mike, didn’t return at all. Both participated in a reconnaissance mission seeking proof Saddam had WMDs, a mission that tragically failed, a mission in which innocent women and children died along with John Mike and other combatants. As the sole survivor (or so he thought), Adrian carried the details of that trauma deep within his subconscious, and often drank himself unconscious in hopes of hiding from the visitors who came in his sleep; his domineering father, a retired Vietnam veteran, and Rachael, the girl he left behind. In his mental state and physical condition, he did everything he could to avoid her—and the couch they first made love on before he lost his arm.
 
            Just when he began taking control of his life, Adrian was charged with the murder of all those women and children. But did he do it? Could it have been John Mike? Or possibly an insurgent? Adrian’s only hope was to get beyond his trauma and recall the terrible secret buried deep within the cellar of his psyche. That required Rabinowitz (a psychotherapist specializing in PTSD) and Angelo Benedetti (a renowned court-martial defense lawyer) to help him remember—and to convince the court he was innocent.
 
Throughout much of his young life, Adrian looked after John Mike—a promise he made to Ma on her deathbed even though Adrian was only twelve years old at the time. Years later, that promise compelled him to protect his brother’s good name, consciously and subconsciously, throughout most of the trial. But his devotion to Daisy, his sister, and her fight with HIV finally drove Adrian to face up to Pa and break his promise to Ma.

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Trials-Adrian-Wheeler-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B00HTP5LY4

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Trials-Adrian-Wheeler-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B00HTP5LY4

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Trials-Adrian-Wheeler-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B00HTP5LY4

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21125822-the-trials-of-adrian-wheeler

 

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Author Biography:

The Trials of Adrian Wheeler was my first published novel (L&L Dreamspell, 2011). It was awarded runner-up in the San Francisco Book Festival 2015.

 

Filmed Imagination of Los Angeles and Daniel Dreifuss (producer of the Academy Award nominated film NO) took a film option on The Trials of Adrian Wheeler. FI hired Erik Wolter, an established screenwriter, to write the screenplay and FI is now looking for partners to produce the movie. Erik and I have collaborated on a sequel to the screenplay, Justice for All.

 

My wife, Susan, and I also collaborated on The State vs. Max Cooper and The Steele Deal (published by ArtAge Publications), courtroom plays in which the audience serves as the jury. Both are being produced around the country. I have found one review of Max Cooper based on its performance at the James Downing Theatre in Chicago (http://www.chicagonow.com/count-gregulas-crypt/2013/05/theater-review-youre-the-jury-the-state-vs-max-cooper-the-james-downing-theatre/).

 

In addition to the Fountain of Youth, I have three novels that have recently been completed: The First Coming, An Eye for an Eye, and The Click. I am presently collaborating with Erik Wolter on a screenplay based on The Click.

 

I have been writing poetry for over fifteen years and am also a portrait and figure artist and sculptor, having been represented by a number of galleries in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. I am presently represented on line by Vango Art.

 

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.steveshear.net/

 

Twitter @Steveshearbooks

 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/steve.shear.967

 

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-shear-80a03727/

Wrecking Balls by @joegiambrone is a #StandUp #Comedy Must-Read! #bookreview #books


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Title: Wrecking Balls

Author: J. Giambrone

Genre: Fiction, Comedic Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

Set in the world of stand-up comedy, Charleston and Gary are on the verge of comic greatness: broke, wasted, and floundering through life. As Charleston turns 30 he faces an existential crisis. His comedy career in the gutter, he considers leaving the life. That is until Gary pilfers one of his joke ideas. Then it’s comedy Jihad to the death, and there can be only one.

 

My Review:

Ready to enter the world of stand-up comedy? Giambrone gives us an unfiltered glimpse into the world of comedy and what it takes to make it. The perfect joke may be nirvana but would you sell your soul and stab your best friend in the back for it?

 

Charleston and Gary have been friends since kids and both are fledging comedians. They take turns in the comedy club circuit, hoping to be discovered. It’s hard work, crafting a routine and going out there day after day, in pursuit of the perfect joke. When Charleston turns thirty, he’s given up hope on becoming famous and seriously considers ditching his comedy career. I mean, anything is better than this, right? Not when your supposed best friend steals one of your jokes. Charleston vows revenge and it’s an all-out war to beat his ex-best friend and be the top comedian. Will he finally be #1 or is his life one big joke?

 

I freakin’ loved this book! Caution: there’s a lot of profanity and crude language in this book but you’re dealing with comedians so it’s appropriate. Giambrone is a stud when it comes to comedic timing because I found myself laughing out loud as I read Wrecking Balls. It’s in Charleston’s POV so we get to witness how comedy is born and what it takes to be a stand-up comedian. Both Charleston and Gary play off each other and I’m still trying to figure out who the straight man is.

 

One thing that bothered me was the constant flashbacks, going back to when Charleston was a boy. A few flashbacks are okay but every other chapter was a little much for this reader.

 

Remember when Robin Williams, Billy Crystal and Whoopi would do those comedy shows together? Wrecking Balls is just like that, only better. If you like comedy and comedic fiction, this is a must-read!

 

My Rating: 4.5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Wrecking-Balls-Joe-Giambrone-ebook/dp/B073HQYKHP/

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Wrecking-Balls-Joe-Giambrone-ebook/dp/B073HQYKHP/

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wrecking-Balls-Joe-Giambrone-ebook/dp/B073HQYKHP/

 

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/reviews/wrecking-balls-joe-giambrone/1126791074?ean=2940154457665#reviews-header

 

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/wrecking-balls

 

Inktera http://www.inktera.com/store/title/2e8cd81a-8f08-4a77-b047-443ba27d9d55

 

Blio https://www.blio.com/web1/actions/searchHandler.do?key=BTKEY0021165495&nextPage=booksDetails&parentNum=12848&itemNum=ITEM:1

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35553109-wrecking-balls

 

Joe Giambrone

 

Author Biography:

Author of Wrecking Balls, Transfixion, Hell of a Deal, and more. Look for an upcoming superhero fantasy called Demigods as well as a children’s adventure tale called The Pond.

His non-fiction freelance journalism appears at International Policy Digest, WhoWhatWhy, Counterpunch, Globalresearch, Foreign Policy Journal, High Times, OpedNews and numerous other online outlets.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.joegiambrone.us/

Blog https://jgiambrone.wordpress.com/category/my-posts/

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

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/joe.giambrone.7

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

 

Eating Ice Cream in Armageddon V: Cold Fusion is a 5+ Star #Satire! #bookreview #books


Eating Ice Cream V

 

Title: Eating Ice Cream in Armageddon V: The Intermission A.K.A. Cold Fusion

Author: Gabriel Bacopa

Genre: Fiction, Satire, Humorous Fiction, Story Stories

 

Book Blurb:

Waseem, a truck driver endowed with wisdom from aliens, is given a mission that explains the details of the beginning of World War III.

 

Also featuring:

 

Fainting Girls: An epidemic of fainting girls leaves a doctor baffled.

 

Comments from Critics:

 

“Absolutely Vulgar” – Autistic high school student

 

“You should not publish this story. It is offensive. It will cost you your career. If you want your works to be taught in high schools, then absolutely do not publish this story” -Bisexual girl

 

My Review:

The author uses this story to illustrate the how in the start of the WWIIII or so and in doing so, we get another harsh light shone upon a rarely addressed topic.  Not since Amy Schumer did a skit on her show have I seen such a rip at the ‘rape culture’ that is sadly pervasive.  This story is another superb example of great writing and truly fits in with the wonderful Eating Ice Cream series.

 

Fainting Girls – If I could, I would give this 5,000,000 stars but 5+ must do.  Simply put, this is the BEST story this author has written.  There’s a great skewering of the medical and pharma professions as he tells the tale of John.  The description of the appearance of John, when read aloud to female co-workers, actually caused audible gasps. So, the fainting after washing his hair and putting on a snazzy shirt isn’t far fetched!

 

Superb story by a superb author – my fave author of the 21st century.

 

My Rating: 5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Eating-Ice-Cream-Armageddon-Intermission-ebook/dp/B0727YMFWJ/

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Eating-Ice-Cream-Armageddon-Intermission-ebook/dp/B0727YMFWJ/

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eating-Ice-Cream-Armageddon-Intermission-ebook/dp/B0727YMFWJ/

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35110006-eating-ice-cream-in-armageddon-v

 

Author Biography:

Modern Shakespearean/Wise Fool. Gabriel Bacopa has been called one of the best authors of the 21st century. “This Generation’s John Steinbeck.” “The most prescient author of the 21st century.” He was born to a Palestinian Muslim father and an Israeli Jewish mother in the Suburbs of Orange County, CA. His book topics and genres range from mental illness/health, philosophy, politics, Dark Comedy, social commentary, dystopia, sci-fi, romance and suspense.

 

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

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

 

The Fountain of Youth by @Steveshearbooks Spotlight + #MidwestBookReview #FridayReads


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Title: The Fountain of Youth

Author: Steve Shear

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Alzheimer’s, Fiction

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

 

Book Blurb:

A love affair, a teenager in deadly trouble, a possible Nazi in hiding, and a battle to escape dementia—make for high drama and unpredictable twists at the Fountain!

 

Two generations of dementia are enough!” Robert Glickman declares in his quest to die with dignity and the likelihood he will be next. To that end he uses his grandson’s sixth grade quiz book, a locked away metal box, and a secret weapon that eventually comes back to haunt him.

 

In the meantime, he is embroiled in the lives of many other residents including his neurotic sister Essie who plots to steal his secret weapon for herself; Beautiful Christina Abernathy, a retired psychotherapist, he instantly falls in love with; Hester, a young server at the Fountain who suffers from progressive mutism resulting from a horrific incident in childhood; Boyle, a man of mystery with a questionable past for good or evil (Glickman isn’t sure which); Boyle’s grandson, Santini, a troubled young man caught between the dope dealers he runs with and the FBI wanting to use him; and a runaway girl who reminds Glickman of someone in his past.

 

Will Glickman and Essie beat dementia? Can he win over Christina? And what about Hester, Boyle, and Boyle’s grandson, and the runaway girl?

 

Midwest Book Review:

Review of The Fountain of Youth by Steve Shear

for the October 2017 issue of Midwest Book Review

by D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer

 

It’s rare that romance novels include more than surface passions, and even less common that they embrace issues of dementia, moral and ethical questions, medical conundrums, or the struggles of Alzheimer’s patients. Mix all these issues with love and you have a strange blend, indeed.

 

But one of the special features of The Fountain of Youth lies in its ability to deftly weave all these seemingly-disparate threads into a unified, precise, memorable story line, making it a top recommendation for not just romance readers, but anyone interested in issues of aging, changed capabilities, and the impact a small thing (such as quiz book) can have in one’s life.

 

In this case, narrator Robert Glickman is determined to defy a family history of dementia and his seemingly-inevitable decline by using a quiz book to test his facilities so he can do something about any decline before it really takes hold. In the meantime, he also lives life in Youth Fountain Senior Living Facility (termed “The Fountain of Youth” by its residents – an aptly named old folks’ home, where he has an apartment), holds an infatuation with a retired therapist, faces a neurotic and mentally declining sister, confronts a possible hiding Nazi, and interacts with a host of characters who each struggle with their own uncertain lives.

 

The characters who inhabit The Fountain of Youth are somewhat reminiscent to those in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, minus much of the insanity. They are quirky, obstinate, sometimes defiant personalities who have their own perspectives of their pasts, presents and futures; yet are somewhat to fully cognizant of the fact that the Fountain offers anything but youth or longevity – only a relatively safe haven at the end of the long road of life.

 

As events and lives unfold, the unexpected happens: Robert’s gruff, observational voice becomes a compelling chronicler of the process of facing not only imminent mortality, but the decline of one’s connections to life itself. What opens as and seems like an observational piece about an increasingly limited world and abilities becomes a special window into the hearts, minds, and ethical issues facing the aging and those around them at the end of life.

 

Who has power and control over one’s life? What happens when circumstance limits, then takes away, not only abilities, but personalities? The psychological depth belays any possible description of The Fountain of Youth as a romance novel. While many a reader may pick up the story for this element, most will be delightfully surprised at the depth offered by the evolving story, the quirky and fun personalities revealed behind the closed doors of an elderly facility, and especially the story’s important message about the right to live – and die – on one’s own terms.

 

What begins as a seeming romance or institutional probe becomes something much more: a compelling, engrossing story fueled by the passions, perspectives, and worries of Robert as he seeks to take back power in his world, keep his promises, and exert control over his own destiny and the quandaries life and death poses. It’s very highly recommended for audiences seeking depth and insights from fictional stories.

 

 

Excerpt:

My quiz book, all three hundred pages, is older than my stay at the Fountain. It belonged to my grandson, Peter, my daughter Bonnie’s oldest. Peter and I spent many evenings in his room reading the questions and seeing who could come up with the answers first. Often I won. Sometime he did. I clearly had the advantage of age and education. Peter had the advantage of looking up the answers ahead of time so I guess we were even. When the decision was made for me to move to the Fountain, not unanimously I might add, Peter insisted I take the quiz book with me so we would have it when he visited. By the time I settled in he decided he was too old for the book. I often wonder whether that was so, or was it possibly because he couldn’t look up the answers ahead of time. Either way, whenever I open the book I think of Peter and smile. And then smile again because I know its real purpose.

 

By the time I retrieved it from the multicolored vase and returned to my apartment, I had totally forgotten about Pomerantz even though I had been asked by Ruth at the front desk to speak at his memorial service, and for her I would do anything. So, I spent several grueling days writing and memorizing the speech I planned to give. It was sitting on the kitchen table, although I hadn’t noticed it when I walked in. I normally don’t forget such things. Maybe I was just bothered by the fact that I mixed up the East and South Halls. Besides, he wasn’t my best friend. He was a Republican. He voted for George Bush twice. I’m sure Ruth thought we were best buddies because I joined his fight against the Vatican’s refusal to take Mrs. Pomerantz off life support. She took the trip to Hades on Lower Level 2 a year or so after she and Pomerantz arrived at the Fountain. Such a shame and such a surprise. She was a spry little woman with the intellect of a giant. First in bridge, always, and first in the weekly trivial pursuit night. I’m sure she didn’t study the answers ahead of time … but who knows.  From one day to the next she found herself on the River Styx without ever stopping at Lower Level One. Three months later she was on life support without a ‘valid’ living will, at least according to church officials at Christ-the-King Care Group. That brought Pomerantz and me together, at least for a while. There’s nothing like a good fight for what one believes in to bring people together.

 

When I first met him, Harry, he was racing down the hall past my front door in his supped up motorized wheelchair like James Dean and the hoodlums in Rebel without a Cause. As I stepped into the hall we practically collided head on. Fortunately I jumped back just in time, except for my big toe which throbs to this day.

 

“Christ!” he shouted, “Can’t you watch where you’re going?”

 

“Who in the hell are you,” I barked back, trying to fight off the pain in my lowest extremity by jumping up and down on my left foot like a fucking clown. “Dr. HMP MD?” I read aloud off the New York license plate wired to the back of his lethal weapon and laughed. “Well Dr. HMP Master Dick, or whatever MD stands for, just remember you’re sharing this road with the regular folks who don’t have vanity plates plastered all over their stock cars.”

 

That was a number of years ago and only the beginning of our bipolar affiliation. It went uphill and downhill from there.

 

About the time I took the puzzle book out from under my shirt, the phone rang. “Robert, where are you?” a voice at the other end hollered. I looked around.

 

“In my apartment,” I hollered back, recognizing Goldfarb’s soprano voice. He should have been a woman, I always thought, but he would have been an uglier old woman than old man. Imagine Karl Malden in The Streets of San Francisco with long hair and Tiny Tim’s voice.

 

“Well, we started without you but the Rabbi is now calling up all the speakers.”

 

“All the …” Oh, God! I looked at my speech on the table. “Okay. Don’t bury him without me.”

 

“What?” I heard him say as I hung up and grabbed my speech.

 

For a guy who thought he had lost his puzzle book and totally forgot about the memorial service, I did a pretty good job and only looked at my speech a couple of times. I told everyone how I collided with Harry that first day we met and became best friends even though he was a Republican. I lied about being best friends. Otherwise I would have had to explain why I was at the podium we borrowed from Rufus. And to be honest we were best friends during the time we fought to get Harriet off life support.

 

She wound up in the hospital with pneumonia which clearly wasn’t a good thing since she had already suffered from emphysema and had to drag an oxygen tank wherever she went. It was well past 10 o’clock one evening when I heard a knock at the door causing me to jump from my covers. I raced for the door and saw an eyeball through the peephole.

 

“Don’t slip on the newspaper,” I yelled.

 

He ignored my humor. “It’s Pomerantz. Can I talk to you Glickman?

 

I rushed for my robe and opened the door. By the time I tied it across my waist he had already made himself comfortable at the kitchen table. Surely he wasn’t there to argue about the election; was he? I made it clear his politics gave me indigestion and wanted no more to do with it than jalapeño cream cheese on a garlic bagel. At the time I didn’t know Harriet was in the hospital with pneumonia. Before learning why he was there, I offered to make us a cup of tea and he accepted.

 

“I’ve been told that you know how to make a living will?”

 

“Living will?”

 

“Brownsher next door said you were the expert.”

 

“You don’t have one?”

 

“No. But it’s not for me. It’s for my Harriet.” It figures, I thought. What do you expect from a Republican?

 

“Why all of a sudden?”

 

“She’s in the hospital with pneumonia.”

 

“Oh! I’m sorry,” I said, then reminded him I was not a lawyer but I did have some experience with living wills, although I didn’t mention why and he didn’t ask. I started for my computer and he jumped up to follow me. ….

 

Buy Links:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Fountain-Youth-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B06XXN8Q36

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Fountain-Youth-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B06XXN8Q36

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fountain-Youth-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B06XXN8Q36

 

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-fountain-of-youth-steve-shear/1126084022?ean=2940157477806

 

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-fountain-of-youth-10

 

Google Play https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Steve_Shear_The_Fountain_of_Youth?id=U2TODgAAQBAJ&PAffiliateId=1100lLzi

 

Bookstrand http://www.bookstrand.com/the-fountain-of-youth-0

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35097928-the-fountain-of-youth

 

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Author Biography:

The Trials of Adrian Wheeler was Steve’s first published novel (L&L Dreamspell, 2011). It was awarded runner-up in the San Francisco Book Festival 2015. He is happy to say that Adrian has been optioned as a movie by EVW Entertainment (producer of the movie Break the Stage), and the screenplay has been written by Erik Wolter and Steve. EVWE is now looking for partners to produce the movie. Erik and Steve have collaborated on a sequel to the screenplay.

 

The Wild Rose Press published The Fountain of Youth, Steve’s second published novel, in May of 2017. It has received exceptional reviews, some of which appear on Amazon and Goodreads.

 

He and his wife, Susan, collaborated on The State vs. Max Cooper and The Steele Deal (published by ArtAge Publications), courtroom plays in which the audience serves as the jury. Both are being produced around the country.

 

In addition, Steve has four novels that have recently been completed: The First Coming, An Eye for an Eye, and The Click. He has written screenplays on the first two and is presently collaborating with Erik Wolter on a screenplay based on The Click.

 

Steve has been writing poetry for over fifteen years (some of which has been published) and is also a portrait and figure artist and sculptor, having been represented by a number of galleries in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. He is presently represented by the Delta Gallery in Brentwood, California and on line by Vango Art. His work can be seen at his website, www.steveshear.net.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.steveshear.net/

Twitter @Steveshearbooks

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/steve.shear.967

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-shear-80a03727/

 

 

The Second Cup by @SarahMarieGraye is A Beautiful Story of Six Friends and Suicide #bookreview


 

Title: The Second Cup

Author: Sarah Marie Graye

Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

University was years ago, but Faye’s heart still belongs to her first love from her days as a student. She knows Jack might have moved on, but when she decides to try and track him down nothing prepares her for the news that he’s killed himself.

With the fragility of life staring them in the face, Abbie finds herself questioning her marriage and Faye her friendship with Ethan. And poor Olivia is questioning everything – including why Jack’s death has hit Beth the hardest. Is she about to take her own life too?

The Second Cup is the first novel by London South Bank University postgraduate scholarship holder Sarah Marie Graye.

“Emotionally challenging and highly original The Second Cup proves a powerful debut for Graye and a hard book to put down.” – Book Viral

 

My Review:

What happens to a group of university friends (or mates as the Brits say) when one of their own commits suicide? No one has heard from Jack in ages and at the same time that Faye decides to see what he’s up to, she gets the news that he killed himself. Crushed beyond belief, she goes to meet her three girlfriends at the pub. Faye, Beth, Abbie and Olivia all deal with the news in their own way and separate from the others.

 

Faye goes on a trip to find Ethan, Jack’s best friend, and her friend as well. Abbie questions her life choices, her husband and deals with a mini-crisis of her own. Olivia is wracked with grief and wonders what will happen next. Beth, it seems, is hit the hardest. She just wants to escape the pain so she takes a pill and winds up in the hospital. Each woman has to come to grips with what happened to Jack and either embrace life or walk away.

 

The Second Cup is an emotive portrait into depression, suicide and the utter despair loved ones feel after someone commits suicide. Six friends, each dealing with their own circumstances at a crossroad, trying to figure out which way to go. Four choose life, one death and one is undecided. A clear message of clinging to what’s important underlies the grief and sadness of losing someone.

 

There are five POV’s which was confusing at the beginning but I understood why Graye choose multiple views. It brings us right in and as the reader, it’s what’s needed to connect with the five friends. The last chapter is Jack’s and while I’m still a little confused about why it’s in the book, it sheds some light on what led to Jack’s suicide.

 

Brilliantly written, Graye takes an intense situation and instead of shying away from it, she strips away the bandage so we can see the raw, oozing wound. Depression is in every corner of the world and suicide rates are rising. This book sheds light on why we need to help those suffering from it in any way we can.

 

Favorite Character/Quote:

“There also seemed to be a calmness between her and the others that hadn’t been there before. Life was like one of Matt’s games and she’d made it to the next level: to adulthood.”

 

My Rating: 4 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Second-Cup-Sarah-Marie-Graye-ebook/dp/B0743LZ4XV/

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Second-Cup-Sarah-Marie-Graye-ebook/dp/B0743LZ4XV/

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Second-Cup-Sarah-Marie-Graye-ebook/dp/B0743LZ4XV/

 

Goodreads  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35806547-the-second-cup

 

Author Biography:

Sarah Marie Graye was born in Manchester, United Kingdom, in 1975, to English Catholic parents. One of five daughters, to the outside world Sarah Marie’s childhood followed a relatively typical Manchester upbringing… until aged 9, when she was diagnosed with depression. It’s a diagnosis that has stayed with Sarah Marie over three decades, and something she believes has coloured every life decision. Now in her early 40s, and with an MA Creative Writing from London South Bank University (where she was the vice-chancellor’s scholarship holder), Sarah Marie has published her debut novel – about family, friendships and mental health.

 

Social Media Links:

Website https://thedissociatedvoice.com/

 

Twitter https://twitter.com/SarahMarieGraye

 

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Sarah-Marie-Graye/e/B0744LTJPH

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

 

5 Hacks That’ll Turn Your Book Idea Into a Manuscript #MondayBlogs #amwriting #writingtips


5 Hacks That'll Turn Your Book Idea Into a Manuscript

 

Many people ask me, “I have a great idea for a book…but what do I do now?”

 

My first response is usually, “That’s great!  What’s your book idea?”

 

They’ll tell me their book idea and then ask the dreaded question, “What do you think?”

 

With a straight face I ask them, “Do you really want my honest opinion?”

 

I have learned through experience that it is essential to ask this blunt question.  Some people don’t want an honest opinion.  They want me to pat their hand and tell them it’s a great idea, even if I think it’s crap.

 

If they say yes, then I will give them my opinion on their book idea and if it will appeal to the masses.  If they say no, I will smile and politely tell them good luck.

 

 

Let’s focus on you, the writer.  You have a book idea and for this blog post, I will assume that it’s a great book idea.  You need advice on how to proceed and I’m here to help. My qualifications? I’m an author, blogger, reviewer and have been in the industry for almost thirty years.

 

 

Hack One: Google your book idea

 

There is someone in this world who has written a book on every topic.  But if you narrow your topic correctly, there will not be any books out there dealing with your book idea. Even if there are books out there dealing with your book idea, you’ll have to figure out how your idea will stand out.

 

 

Hack Two: Talk to at least 5 readers in your circle of influence (family/friends)

 

Ask them (stressing your desire for them to be absolutely honest) if they would be interested in reading a book about your book idea.  Like in everything else in this world, people have varying tastes.  But if more than three people like the idea, then you are on the right track.

 

 

Hack Three: Create a rough outline

 

I know most of you are groaning here as this step reminds you of school.  But trust me, this is an important step and is a good exercise for you as a writer.  Start with a very basic outline and work from there.  If you need help with it, please let me know and I can provide you some guidance.

 

 

Hack Four: Start Writing

 

I know this may sound simple and it really is. Writers write. Whether you use pen/paper or are typing via a device, start writing.  Write whatever comes to your mind and get it down.  You can edit it later.  Ideas will start to flow and you will get a feel for where your book is going.  By the way, you don’t have to start at the beginning.  You can start anywhere.

 

 

Hack Five: Set up a writing schedule for yourself

 

I write in the afternoon Monday through Friday.  I have a goal of at least 300 words a day.  Set an attainable goal for yourself and stick to it.  Make it a part of your to-do list for the day.

 

 

The best thing about writing and having a really great book idea is that it is all yours.  Treasure it and just let the ideas flow out of you.  You can do it!

 

Have any writing hacks you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you!

The Trials of Adrian Wheeler by @SteveShearBooks #bookreview #fiction #Military


The Trials of Adrian Wheeler

 

Title: The Trials of Adrian Wheeler

Author: Steve Shear

Genre: Fiction, Military, PTSD

 

Book Blurb:

Marine Private Adrian Wheeler, accused of murdering Iraqi women and children, arrived home to face nothing less than: An unrelenting father who cajoled him into enlisting, PTSD, sexual Inadequacy, a sensational court-martial trial, a sister with HIV. He returned from Baghdad and the Iraq war disabled and disillusioned an amputee with a bad knee. His brother, John Mike, didn’t return at all. Both participated in a reconnaissance mission seeking proof Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, WMDs, a mission that tragically failed, a mission in which innocent women and children died along with John Mike and other combatants. As the sole survivor, Adrian carried the details of that trauma deep within his subconscious, and often drank himself unconscious in hopes of hiding from the visitors who came in his sleep; his domineering father, a retired Vietnam veteran, and Rachael, the girl he left behind. In his mental state and physical condition, he did everything he could to avoid her—and the couch they first made love on before he lost his arm. Just when he began taking control of his life, Adrian was charged with the murder of all those women and children. But did he do it? Could it have been John Mike? Or possibly an insurgent? Adrian’s only hope was to get beyond his trauma and recall the terrible secret buried deep within the cellar of his psyche. That required Rabinowitz (a psychotherapist specializing in PTSD) and Angelo Benedetti (a renowned court-martial defense lawyer) to help him remember—and to convince the court he was innocent—whether he was or not.

 

The Trials of Adrian Wheeler has been optioned as a movie by a production studio in Los Angeles, Filmed Imagination and Daniel Dreifuss (producer of the Academy Award nominated movie, NO), and the screenplay has been completed.

 

My Review:

This is a tough read but one that is worthy of the time put into it.  The author tells a compelling story full of basic issues that resonate far too often in this 21st century world.  The main point is PTSD but the other key issues (oft interrelated with the main) are racism, militarism, love, self respect, dignity and living with disability.

 

I loved the characters of Rachel, Daisy and Esme but had a full on hate for Pa and John Michael.  Adrian is a character a reader must feel for on a deep level.  The story is brilliantly written and tells a story that must be told today more so than before.

 

This book shines a bright light on the crime that the U.S. has been committing for the entire 21st century.  America sends its young people to fight in a war but does nothing to take care of them when they come marching, limping or rolling home.  If you cannot find a way to pay for every single possible after care possibility, from basic health care to full health restoration to mental care to job and career help, then DO NOT send young people to fight.  You cannot deal with battalions of grievously physically and injured soldiers with a ‘we’ll deal with it later’ mentality.  Until America can get proper funding to the VA and proper staffing so that soldiers suffering with PTSD are no longer killing themselves waiting for a treatment session  – then they can no longer send soldiers to fight.

 

A powerful book that is one of the most important books any politician or American family can read.

 

My Rating: 5+ stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Trials-Adrian-Wheeler-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B00HTP5LY4

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Trials-Adrian-Wheeler-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B00HTP5LY4

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Trials-Adrian-Wheeler-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B00HTP5LY4

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21125822-the-trials-of-adrian-wheeler

 

 

Author Biography:

The Trials of Adrian Wheeler was my first published novel (L&L Dreamspell, 2011). It was awarded runner-up in the San Francisco Book Festival 2015.

 

Filmed Imagination of Los Angeles and Daniel Dreifuss (producer of the Academy Award nominated film NO) took a film option on The Trials of Adrian Wheeler. FI hired Erik Wolter, an established screenwriter, to write the screenplay and FI is now looking for partners to produce the movie. Erik and I have collaborated on a sequel to the screenplay, Justice for All.

 

My wife, Susan, and I also collaborated on The State vs. Max Cooper and The Steele Deal (published by ArtAge Publications), courtroom plays in which the audience serves as the jury. Both are being produced around the country. I have found one review of Max Cooper based on its performance at the James Downing Theatre in Chicago (http://www.chicagonow.com/count-gregulas-crypt/2013/05/theater-review-youre-the-jury-the-state-vs-max-cooper-the-james-downing-theatre/).

 

In addition to the Fountain of Youth, I have three novels that have recently been completed: The First Coming, An Eye for an Eye, and The Click. I am presently collaborating with Erik Wolter on a screenplay based on The Click.

 

I have been writing poetry for over fifteen years and am also a portrait and figure artist and sculptor, having been represented by a number of galleries in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. I am presently represented on line by Vango Art.

 

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.steveshear.net/

 

Twitter @Steveshearbooks

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

 

Preorder Now: The Soldier’s Return by @LauraLibricz #HistoricalFiction #TuesdayBookBlog #RRBC


soldiersreturn-700k

 

Title:   The Soldier’s Return

Author:   Laura Libricz

Genre:   Historical Fiction

Publisher:   Blue Heron Book Works

 

Book Blurb:

The year is 1626. A senseless war rips through parts of Germany. Ongoing animosity between the Catholics and the Protestants has turned into an excuse to destroy much of the landscape situated between France, Italy and Denmark. But religion only plays a minor role in this lucrative business of war.

 

The young Dutchman, Pieter van Diemen, returns to Amsterdam in chains after a period of imprisonment in the Spice Islands. He manages to escape but must leave Amsterdam in a hurry. Soldiers are in demand in Germany and he decides to travel with a regiment until he can desert. His hope of survival is to reach Sichardtshof, the farm in Franconia, Germany; the farm he left ten years ago. His desire to seek refuge with them lies in his fond memories of the maid Katarina and her master, the humanist patrician Herr Tucher. But ten years is a long time and the farm has changed. Franconia is not only torn by war but falling victim to a church-driven witch hunt. The Jesuit priest, Ralf, has his sights set on Sichardtshof as well. Ralf believes that ridding the area of evil will be his saving grace. Can Pieter, Katarina and Herr Tucher unite to fight against a senseless war out of control?

 

The Soldier’s Return is the second book in the Heaven’s Pond Trilogy and will be released September 15, 2017.

 

The Soldier’s Return Book Trailer:

 

 

Excerpt:

Katarina, March 1626

 

Katarina poked at the fire and threw two logs on the embers. Sparks sailed up the flue and the flames revived. Twice last night she’d been to the kitchen to keep this fire burning. Fire was the sustainer of life, the taker as well. She lit a tallow lamp, opened the door to the low-vaulted stable adjoining the kitchen and hung the lamp on a hook rammed into the sandstone. The two cows lowed and her goat yawned. Their water was empty, the troughs too. She crossed the hay-strewn stone stable floor and opened the door leading out to the paddock. Bleating sheep, more than the paddock could accommodate, threatened to break through the wooden fencing.

 

Strange rumblings groaned and swelled underground, traveling towards the Sichardtshof farm along the Aisch River. Katarina imagined some heavy, tethered beasts grumbling while pulling slow-rolling burdens. She brushed aside the memories of the last visits from the mercenaries like she was clearing sticky cobwebs from the rafters. The past was not to be relived, Herr Tucher told her. Rise above it or it will destroy you, he said.

 

She took her overcoat down from the peg on the wall, shrugged into it, grabbed a bucket and hurried back through the kitchen and up the few steps to the house’s main entrance. She pulled on one of the double doors. In the winter the wood door swelled and stuck in the frame, squealing on the stone floor as she pulled it open.

 

She rushed past the half-timbered barn and the adjoining stable that dominated the other outbuildings forming the oval farmyard. A lamp burned somewhere inside. Tanner the Elder was awake, tending the horses. Distinctive sounds rose above the rumblings now: men’s shouts and whistles, the clank of chains from animals’ harnesses. Katarina startled as a flock of waterfowl squawked into flight from the ponds that lined the lowest point of the hollow called the Edelgraben. The water reflected the eerie, pink light of the dawn. The hills that protected the farm on either side of the hollow were shrouded in mist. But the hills never stopped the soldiers from coming before. The men knew the Sichardtshof farm was here and what it had to offer.

 

It was too early in the year for soldiers to be traveling. The nights were still frozen and dark. Friert’s am 40-Ritter-Tag, so kommen noch 40 Fröste nach. Because there was frost today, March 10, the day of Forty Martyrs, the farmers said forty more days of frost would fall upon the land. But Katarina smelled a slight turn in the air, as if the emerging vegetation let off a scent to attract and entice—a lush, green smell. Buds developed on the low bushes surrounding the square stone well and when the leaves filled in, the bushes made a good hiding place for the children. After such a long, cold, dark winter, these inklings of spring should afford some comfort. But Katarina took more comfort in the fact that in the winter, the soldiers moved into winter quarters and stayed away. This past winter was peaceful and Katarina had almost forgotten the rest of the world; the troubled world beyond the farm.

 

Katarina’s trembling hand grabbed time and time again for the rope and finally pulled the bucket up out of the well, craning her neck to look over the bushes back to the crooked little workers’ house. Covered in bramble bushes, she could just make out the glow of a fire through the tiny kitchen window. A figure passed by inside. The Tanner family and the other workers must be awake too. Katarina set the full bucket down by a small surplus of buckets next to the well and ran back to the house. Brambles snagged on her trousers as she softly rapped on the door.

 

“Who is it?” a man’s voice growled.

 

“It’s me, Tanner, let me in.”

 

The door to the workers’ house creaked open. Tanner’s large frame filled out the doorway. Behind him, ceramic mugs clinked, water boiled, a baby cried, men spoke in low tones and a woman coughed. Tanner looked over Katarina’s head and sighed, running a hand through his short, dark blond hair. His cheeks were flushed with the heat of the fire.

 

“Listen,” Katarina said.

 

He nodded, understanding. “Wake the master.”

 

PREORDER NOW:

Amazon.com:  https://www.amazon.com/Soldiers-Return-Heavens-Pond-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B074RKR9R1

 

Amazon.co.uk:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Soldiers-Return-Heavens-Pond-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B074RKR9R1

 

Laura Libricz

 

Author Biography:

Laura Libricz was born and raised in Bethlehem PA and moved to Upstate New York when she was 22. After working a few years building Steinberger guitars, she received a scholarship to go to college. She tried to ‘do the right thing’ and study something useful, but spent all her time reading German literature.

 

She earned a BA in German at The College of New Paltz, NY in 1991 and moved to Germany, where she resides today. When she isn’t writing she can be found sifting through city archives, picking through castle ruins or aiding the steady flood of musical instruments into the world market.

 

Her first novel, The Master and the Maid, is the first book of the Heaven’s Pond Trilogy. The Soldier’s Return is the second.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.lauralibricz.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LauraLibricz

Google+ private page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+LauraLibricz

Google+ brand page: https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/111626375322992289353/111626375322992289353

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3c-yIyoN-UprxB15L5l8zA

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

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

Blog: https://lauralibriczblog.wordpress.com

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.de/lauralibricz/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6526953.Laura_Libricz

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laura-libricz-8980a43a

What if You Were Chosen, Would You Believe the Angel and Act? #POTL #books #paranormal


potlbanner

 

What if you woke up one morning and realized that you were the chosen Princess of the Light?

 

What would you do?  Would you quit your job and contact every religious leader in the world and announce your arrival?  Would you keep it quiet and not tell anyone?

 

Hello, my name is Mary and I am just like you.  A normal person who God happened to choose to help the world.  I was skeptical at first but you can’t deny a miracle when you witness it.

 

I don’t expect you to believe me.  But just you wait and see…

 

Princess

 

Title: Princess of the Light

 

Author: N. N. Light

 

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Supernatural, Spiritual Romance

 

Logline:

Mary’s the Princess of the Light but her only hope is to make a pact with her enemy.

 

Blurb:

Mary Miller receives a startling visitation from Gabriel, the Messenger of God. The Archangel reveals an astounding truth–Mary is the Princess of the Light and even more amazing, her destiny is to battle Lucifer’s army of demons and restore the balance of good and evil on Earth. It’s getting harder to fulfill her new role and keep her identity secret while juggling her personal life, and when Than, Lucifer’s second in command, amps up the attacks on her, she knows she needs help.

 

Joe Deacons is everything she’s ever wanted in a man. And as providence would have it, in a moment of great need, he’s the Warrior of Light–the one who can help her defeat the forces of darkness.

 

Not so simple when they confront Lisbeth, a demon hell-bent on usurping Than and Lucifer himself.  When Lisbeth wages war and several innocent people die, Mary must form an alliance with her enemy in order to destroy her.  But will this be a grave error or the choice that saves their world?

 

Excerpt:

Out of the corner of my eye I noticed my skin glowing. What on earth? Gasping and looking around, I wondered if anyone else could see the purplish glow.

 

“Princess?” Gabriel’s voice echoed in my head.

 

When I turned around and saw Gabriel behind me, I smiled. “I’m glowing,” I exclaimed happily, then asked, “Is that normal? Can others see my glow?” I added in a whisper.

 

“Princess, you’ll find that people will see you in many different ways. Most will be drawn to you—not knowing why—and you’ll help them see the Light.”

 

I nodded in understanding. Then it dawned on me that Gabriel was wearing clothes—a plain, grey hoodie and blue jeans. Where was his heavenly attire and wings?

 

Gabriel chuckled. “I can appear human when the moment arises.” Wait. He can read my thoughts?

 

I wondered what else he’d heard. So, he could appear however he wished and he could read my thoughts… Great.

 

I know this is coming at you fast, but please don’t be afraid. You’ll quickly adjust, and soon you won’t even think about it. I heard Gabriel’s words in my head, but his mouth remained in a kind smile.

 

“You met André earlier.” Gabriel said, aloud this time, getting right to the point.

 

I nodded. “Yes.”

 

“André’s story is a sad one. Let this be your first task as the Princess of the Light: Help André.”

 

“How can I help?” He seemed to shun people and any contact whatsoever.

 

“You will, because it’s His will. Do you doubt?” Gabriel paused. “I will be near you at all times,” he reassured me.

 

I shook my head. “I don’t doubt. It’s just… I don’t know how I can help.” Truthfully, there was more to it than even that. What if I failed? What if I couldn’t help André because of my own short comings?

 

I sighed.

 

Gabriel looked at me and simply smiled. “Remember you carry the Light. It is in you to do. But first you have to believe. Do you?”

 

He was asking the faith question. I certainly believed in the Lord and His magnificent power. “Yes,” I said. “I have faith and I trust in God. With you as my guide and the Lord leading me, I can do it.” Now, if only I believed that last part.

 

“Concentrate on the Light within you and imagine your Light is easing his pain,” he said. Gabriel then turned me back toward to the sidewalk and pointed down a little ways.

 

I guess we weren’t going to have a discussion first. We were just going to get started.

 

About five hundred yards away, the Walking Man—André, I corrected myself—was on the sidewalk. He appeared to be talking to himself.

 

What should I do?

 

Gabriel’s voice echoed back in my head, The Light in you can heal. It can take away darkness. It reveals Truth. Truth cannot be destroyed. Your enemy may twist it, hide it under a blanket of darkness, and even laugh at it. But he cannot destroy it.

 

I nodded, trying to create a mantra in my head: I’m the Princess of the Light. I’m the Carrier of the Light, and Light reveals Truth. I can do this. I concentrated hard on the Walking Man, lifted my arm and prayed, Let the Light enter André and ease his suffering.

 

Suddenly, what looked like purple lightning bolts shot out of my palm and seemed to enter his chest. Whoa, what was that?

 

I spun around to ask Gabriel, but he was gone.

 

Buy Links:

Free on Kindle Unlimited

 

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

 

Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

 

Amazon UK:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Princess-Light-N-ebook/dp/B00N19FDKO

 

Createspace: https://www.createspace.com/5008419

 

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23009005-princess-of-the-light

 

couple N N Light

 

Author Bio: N. N. Light is the husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N. Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

 

They’re blissfully happy and love all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.

 

Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG and Independent Author Network.

 

Sign up for their author newsletter and get exclusive content and prizes ow.ly/jWec308TabL 

 

In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.

 

50% of the proceeds of Princess of the Light go directly to food banks (US and Canada) in order to feed the hungry and help those in need. With only 7,500 books sold, N. N. Light will be able to set up a monthly endowment for the local food bank.

 

They’d love to connect with you either via email or via these various social media sites:

 

Website: http://princessofthelight.com

 

Blog: https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com

 

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/nnlight

 

Bookbub  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/n-n-light

 

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

 

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nnlight

 

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/n-n-light/90/1a7/902

 

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118060034268079734144/posts

 

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/nnlight

 

Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/n-n-light.html

 

iAuthor: http://www.iauthor.uk.com/princess-of-the-light:10294

Reconstructing Charlie by @CharJGordon Reads Like a Hallmark Movie! #bookreview #womensfiction


Reconstructing Charlie

 

Title: Reconstructing Charlie

Author: Charmaine Gordon

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

Charlie Costigan has a secret. Home life gone from bad to the worst when she protects her mother from another vicious attack by her drunken father. Midnight. Clothes thrown into an old suitcase, she races for the bus with a letter to an unknown aunt and uncle. “This is my daughter. Embrace her as if she were your own.” Determined, Charlie begins again. Alone with her secret.

 

My Review:

Charlie’s been on the run from her abusive father her whole life. In one terrifying moment, Charlie stops running and protects her mother and siblings. Blood on her hands, her mother packs a suitcase and ships Charlie off to an estranged aunt and uncle. “Don’t lose this, Charlie. It’s your passport to a new life.” With a note and suitcase, Charlie walks out on her old life and starts a brand new one.

 

So begins the story of Charlie. Her aunt and uncle are the family she’s never had and they provide everything Charlie needs to turn her life around. A good home, love, affection and opportunities galore. It’s up to Charlie to carve out a life for herself and make her lofty dreams come true. Along the way, she encounters strife, inner turmoil and guilt. She has obstacles to overcome and a past life to bury, but she does it with the support of her new-found family and friends. Spanning over a decade, Charlie grows from an insecure teenager into a confident woman of business.

 

I loved this book! It’s an inspiring story of a young woman torn between her past life and building a new one. It’s a fast-paced novel which reads like your favorite Lifetime/Hallmark Channel movie. My heart broke for Charlie, at how she had to live in such fear around her father and grown up way too fast. I loved how her new family embraced her as their own (especially Edgar and Robert). The men come and go in Charlie’s life but each of them teach Charlie something and that is real life in a nutshell.

 

If you’re looking for an empowering women’s fiction written with emotion, pick up this book today! You won’t regret it.

 

Favorite Character/Quote: Charlie. She could’ve crumbled and lived a terrible life but instead, thanks to a wonderful support system, grew into a beautiful, caring, compassion women. I loved her fiery spirit and determination to make a difference. She’s a role model to young women and women everywhere.

 

My Rating: 4.5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Reconstructing-Charlie-Charmaine-Gordon-ebook/dp/B004KKZ6WS/

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Reconstructing-Charlie-Charmaine-Gordon-ebook/dp/B004KKZ6WS/

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Reconstructing-Charlie-Charmaine-Gordon-ebook/dp/B004KKZ6WS/

 

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/38890?ref=lexcycle

 

iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/lu/book/reconstructing-charlie/id419793348?mt=11

 

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/reconstructing-charlie-charmaine-gordon/1100075654?ean=2940011188084

 

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/ww/en/ebook/reconstructing-charlie

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10364570-reconstructing-charlie

 

Charmaine Headshot for Author Central

 

Author Biography:

Charmaine Gordon writes books about women who Survive and Thrive. Her motto is take one step and then another to leave your past behind and begin again. Six books and several short stories in three years, she’s always at work on the next story. The books include To Be Continued, Starting Over, Now What?, Reconstructing Charlie, Sin of Omission and The Catch, and her series of Mature Romances, The Beginning…Not the End.

 

“I didn’t realize at the time while working as an actor in NYC, I’d become a sponge soaking up dialogue, setting, and stage directions. I learned many tools of writing during the years watching directors like Mike Nichols and actors including Harrison Ford, Anthony Hopkins, and Billy Crystal. And would you believe, I was Geraldine Ferraro’s stand– in leg model, my first job giving me entrée into all the Unions needed to work. When the sweet time ended, I began another career and creative juices flowed.”

 

You can reach Charmaine at
http://authorCharmaineGordon.wordpress.com

 

And on her FB page http://www.facebook.com/charmaine.gordon

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N

 

The Fountain of Youth by Steve Shear and @WildRosePress Moved Me! #romance #books #dementia


Fountain of Youth

 

Title: The Fountain of Youth

Author: Steve Shear

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Alzheimer’s, Fiction

 

Book Blurb:

“Two generations of dementia are enough!” Robert Glickman declares in his quest to die with dignity and the likelihood he will be next. To that end, he uses his grandson’s sixth grade quiz book, a locked away metal box, and a secret weapon that eventually comes back to haunt him.

 

In the meantime, he is embroiled in the lives of other residents: his neurotic sister, Essie who plots to steal his secret weapon for herself; beautiful Christina Abernathy, a retired psychotherapist he instantly falls in love with; Hester, a young server at the Fountain who suffers from progressive mutism; Boyle, a man of mystery with a questionable past for good or evil (Glickman isn’t sure which); and Boyle’s grandson, Santini, a troubled young man caught between the dope dealers he runs with and the FBI wanting to use him.

 

Will Glickman and Essie beat dementia? Can he win over Christina? And what about Hester, Boyle, and Boyle’s grandson?

 

My Review:

Robert Glickman is tired of seeing his friends and family struck down by dementia, cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. He refuses to go quietly and armed with his grandson’s sixth grade quiz book, he goes on the offensive. Being a resident of the Fountain is a roller coaster ride full of adventures and mishaps. There’s Essie, Glickman’s sister, who reminds me a bit of my Great Aunt Ella. There’s the beautiful psychotherapist who’s captured Glickman’s heart yet refuses his advances. Then there’s Santini, Boyle’s grandson, who’s in deep trouble due to drugs. At the enter of it all is an intelligent retired doctor (Glickman) who’s fighting for his sanity and memories.

 

This was such a moving, emotional read for me. Shear portrays accurately the plight of the elderly and those suffering from dementia. I’ve seen first-hand how a person can just slip away, not remembering memories or who someone is. It’s a scary place and like Glickman, I refuse to let this hereditary disease take me down. Shear, instead of painting a depressing story of doom, he splashes humor throughout, especially in the dialogue. The message here is clear: life is what you make it and a patient dealing with the onslaught of dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s has the right to end his/her own life. I don’t personally agree with assisted death by medical doctors but I understand and respect those who wish to die with dignity.

 

A must-read novel that makes you think and stays with you long after you finish reading it.

 

Favorite Character/Quote: “There’s nothing like a good fight for what one believes in to bring people together.”

 

My Rating: 4.5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Fountain-Youth-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B06XXN8Q36

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Fountain-Youth-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B06XXN8Q36

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fountain-Youth-Steve-Shear-ebook/dp/B06XXN8Q36

 

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-fountain-of-youth-steve-shear/1126084022?ean=2940157477806

 

Kobo https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-fountain-of-youth-10

 

Google Play https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Steve_Shear_The_Fountain_of_Youth?id=U2TODgAAQBAJ&PAffiliateId=1100lLzi

 

Bookstrand http://www.bookstrand.com/the-fountain-of-youth-0

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35097928-the-fountain-of-youth

 

Author Biography:

The Trials of Adrian Wheeler was my first published novel (L&L Dreamspell, 2011). It was awarded runner-up in the San Francisco Book Festival 2015.

Filmed Imagination of Los Angeles and Daniel Dreifuss (producer of the Academy Award nominated film NO) took a film option on The Trials of Adrian Wheeler. FI hired Erik Wolter, an established screenwriter, to write the screenplay and FI is now looking for partners to produce the movie. Erik and I have collaborated on a sequel to the screenplay, Justice for All.

My wife, Susan, and I also collaborated on The State vs. Max Cooper and The Steele Deal (published by ArtAge Publications), courtroom plays in which the audience serves as the jury. Both are being produced around the country. I have found one review of Max Cooper based on its performance at the James Downing Theatre in Chicago (http://www.chicagonow.com/count-gregulas-crypt/2013/05/theater-review-youre-the-jury-the-state-vs-max-cooper-the-james-downing-theatre/).

In addition to the Fountain of Youth, I have three novels that have recently been completed: The First Coming, An Eye for an Eye, and The Click. I am presently collaborating with Erik Wolter on a screenplay based on The Click.

I have been writing poetry for over fifteen years and am also a portrait and figure artist and sculptor, having been represented by a number of galleries in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. I am presently represented on line by Vango Art.

 

Social Media Links:

Website http://www.steveshear.net/

Twitter @Steveshearbooks

 

Reviewed by: Mrs. N