Saturday, 24 June 2017

Soul Awakening by Paul Lonardo

Paul Lonardo is a freelance writer and author. He has had both fiction and non-fiction book published, including titles that have been excerpted in Reader’s Digest and reviewed in Publisher’s Weekly.

Soul Awakening is his third romance novella. Reunion of Souls was published by Liquid Silver Press in 2105, and last summer Wild Rose Press released Enchanted Desire.

From the Ashes, a collaborative book written with a Gina Russo, is a true story of her survival from the deadly 2003 Station Nightclub fire in Rhode Island which claimed the lives of 100 people, became the basis of a 2013 documentary web series, The Station, which Paul produced.

Paul has been interviewed as part of several documentaries, including NBCUniveral’s I Survived a Serial Killer, featuring the true crime story depicted in the book Caught in the Act, A Courageous Family’s Fight to Save their Daughter from a Serial Killer.


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About the Book


Something otherworldly is happening in a small Texas town.

As a small Texas town mourns the tragic death of its high school football star, Alecia is struggling to adjust to life without the boy she has dated since sixth grade and thought she would be with forever.

When Braden comes to her as an apparition, she finds herself falling for Riley, Braden’s best friend and teammate. Has Braden returned to spy on her, or for some other reason?

Alecia’s not sure, but she soon realizes she must find a way to accept Braden’s death and welcome love back into her life, or risk losing everything.

The Power of Secret Love changes everything…

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Keep reading for an excerpt:


Alecia was amazed how fresh this memory was in her mind. She felt as if they were reliving the moment now.

“You know, Alecia, I really wanted to kiss you that day.” Riley’s face was in partial shadow, but his eyes were fixed on hers.

“I wanted you to kiss me,” Alecia admitted, and with those two statements all the romantic tension and nervous energy they’d been feeling instantly abated.

“I have to confess you’re the real reason I didn’t want to play the game. It wasn’t because of Braden.”

“Me?” Alecia had a lump in her throat.

“I couldn’t focus on anything because I was thinking about you.” Riley shifted forward slightly, his entire face illuminated in a shaft a light. His eyes looked green and were filled with intensity. “I’m in love with you. I always have been.”

It was like being on a roller coaster again; her head was spinning. “What about Beth?”

“We had a fight a few days ago. About you. We broke up.”

That would explain Luke, Alecia thought, and why Beth had been acting so strange toward her all week.

“And with you being best friends with Beth, I got to be around you more.”

Sensing motion again out of the corner of her eye, Alecia quickly turned her head in that direction.

Riley looked around briefly. “What’s the matter?”

“It’s nothing.” Alecia gazed into Riley’s eyes and was instantly distracted by the way the green and brown flecks glinted in the waning afternoon sunlight that penetrated the old barn from many shallow angles.

As Riley pressed his lips against hers and she felt his hot breath in her mouth, nothing else mattered. When he wrapped his arms around her back and pulled her tight against him, their front teeth briefly rubbed together. As if in response to this contact, their tongues came to the rescue, intertwining in a tender and comforting embrace.

Alecia closed her eyes, and in her mind she and Riley were back inside the small wooden hut in Galveston, wet and cold from the rain.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The Dream Crypt by Renee Scattergood

Renee Scattergood lives in Australia with her husband, Nathan, and daughter, Taiya. She has always been a fan of fantasy and was inspired to become a story-teller by George Lucas, but didn't start considering writing down her stories until she reached her late twenties. Now she enjoys writing dark fantasy and paranormal thrillers.

She is currently publishing her monthly Shadow Stalker serial, and she has published a prequel novella to the series called, Demon Hunt. She is also working on a new series of novels, A God's Deception.

Aside from writing, she loves reading (fantasy, of course), watching movies with her family, and doing crafts and science experiments with her daughter. Visit her site for more information and a free copy of Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6).


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About the Book


Rylee is a normal girl, living in a normal world. At least that’s what she thinks until an Onyx Warrior tells her the truth. She is trapped in a dream world by an ancient and powerful vampire, while he feeds on her blood at his leisure. Worse, her only chance for escape is likely to get her killed.

Rylee is trapped in a dream world by a sadistic vampire while he feeds on her blood. Can she escape this nightmare or will she be ensnared in her torment for the rest of her short life?

Rylee must escape the malicious vampire's dream crypt or die trying!

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Keep reading for an excerpt:


Mikayla had been waiting for her. Somehow she knew Rylee was coming, or maybe she'd been there the whole time. Rylee didn't know anymore, and her head hurt every time she thought about it.

“It's never bled before, and I thought it would never stop,” Rylee said then explained what happened with the 911 call.

Mikayla looked troubled. “It must have been him. He was checking up on you. He might even suspect someone is trying to help you.”

“Is this real? It's really happening?”

“I'm sorry, but it is," Mikayla said, resting her hand on Rylee's shoulder.

“How is it possible?” Rylee put her face in her hand hoping she'd wake and find this had all been a nightmare.

“The vampires use mind control powers to implant false memories and keep their victims in a dream-like trance where they live out their lives, oblivious to what's happened to them.”

Rylee looked up. “How exactly can you help me then?”

“You'll have to kill yourself. Jumping off a—“

“Are you insane?" Rylee took a step back. "I'm not killing myself.”

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Bread for the Table by Tara Botel Doherty

Tara Botel Doherty was born in Los Angeles. She was raised by her grandmother and mother blocks away from famed Hollywood Boulevard. It was a Bohemian upbringing filled with art, dance, and guitar lessons and movie sets where her father worked as a lighting technician. This environment helped generate her love of the arts, especially books and writing.

She wrote her first book in the first grade. Educated in both public and parochial schools where the fundamentals of perseverance and patience were drilled into her, Tara understood the work ethic. She spends her days and nights teaching English in the San Fernando Valley.

Now residing up in the Santa Clarita Valley, aka the ‘Rita with her husband and daughter, she writes regularly about her adventures in Hollywood.


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Click here or a preview of Growing Up Hollywood: the Annie and Gracie Stories!


About the Book


Bread for the Table relates a single day in the life of Sage a 30-year-old aspiring jewelry designer working as a waitress in a pseudo New York deli in Los Angeles. A postcard from her mother triggers a series of flashbacks, which bring Sage's life into focus.

She remembers her protector – dear older sister, Rose of Sharon and her untimely death; her remote father, whose only communication was reading passages from novels written by John Steinbeck; her grandmother, the only consistent figure in Sage's life; and her mother.

The last time Sage and her mother shared an intimate moment was stirring a pot of soup shortly after Rose of Sharon's death. Her mother's last instructions before she went to buy bread to complement the soup were to keep stirring the soup so it wouldn't burn. Dutifully Sage stirred, but her mother never returned. She was five years old. Now she has received a postcard from a woman she hasn't seen in twenty-five years.

Get it today on Amazon!


Keep reading for an interview with the author:


Where are you from?


I am a Hollywood girl, full of the tales of pathos in Los Angeles.


What genres do you write?


Literary Fiction

How long does it take you to write a novel?


I actually wrote this book in 12 weeks when my first thesis was rejected by my advisor in grad school.


Which authors have most influenced you?


Harper Lee, Janet Fitch, and Flannery O'Connor are all female writers who have created strong and unforgettable voices in literature.

If you could choose an author to be your mentor, who would it be?


Janet Fitch. She was not at USC teaching when I attended USC. Originally I applied to USC because Betty Friedan was on the faculty. Unfortunately, she was not active on the faculty when I arrived.

What are your goals as an author?


I want to have my short story collections out there as well as my novel. These are stories and characters of Los Angeles.


What is the best compliment you've ever received as an author?


Two of my students had questions about my novel. It is amazing when 12-year-olds are demanding answers from you.

What is the worst writing advice you've ever received?


When my advisor in grad school told me my stories about Annie and Gracie weren't very good and he refused to present them to the committee.

What made you decide to self-publish?


I had an agent twenty years ago, and my novel wasn't picked up. That was devastating. Flash forward twenty years and one of my students asked me what was I going to do in ten years when my own kid was gone and in college. That mad me think about my future.

What is the best thing about self-publishing?


I am in control. But also the worst thing, I am responsible.

Would you recommend self-publishing to other authors?


Yes, I recommend it. Take control of your future as a writer. Remember subject matter is subjective. Not everyone is going to like it.

What are you working on now?


Two short story collections, Growing Up Hollywood and Night Crawlers

How do you market/promote your work?


Every day I am working on marketing. This is actually more work than writing. Social media, reviewers, reviews, it all takes time and energy. I work full time plus a part time job, so I try to do one thing every day for my writing.

What would you like Sage to do next?


Remember it all takes place in a day...but there is always a tomorrow.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Shadow Stalker by Renee Scattergood

Renee Scattergood lives in Australia with her husband, Nathan, and daughter, Taiya. She has always been a fan of fantasy and was inspired to become a story-teller by George Lucas, but didn't start considering writing down her stories until she reached her late twenties. Now she enjoys writing dark fantasy and paranormal thrillers.

She is currently publishing her monthly Shadow Stalker serial, and she has published a prequel novella to the series called, Demon Hunt. She is also working on a new series of novels, A God's Deception.

Aside from writing, she loves reading (fantasy, of course), watching movies with her family, and doing crafts and science experiments with her daughter. Visit her site for more information and a free copy of Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6).

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About the Series


Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 - 6)


Auren learns she is destined to enslave the people of her world, and Drevin, emperor of the Galvadi Empire is determined to end her life before it happens. Her foster father, Kado, has sworn to protect her and trains her as a shadow stalker. But her training is cut short, when their people are overrun by the Galvadi Empire. Now she has to find a way to help her people without succumbing to the prophecy.


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Shadow Stalker Part 2 (Episodes 7 - 12)


Auren is captured by the Galvadi trying to rescue her friend, Jade, and tortured by the man who is supposed to love and protect her. When Makari finally realizes she's not the delohi-saqu as his father claims, he helps her escape, but their plans don't go as expected.



Shadow Stalker Part 3 (Episodes 13 - 18)


Things go from bad to worse when the Galvadi Empire develops a new technology to use against the shadow stalkers. Now Kado and Makari are more determined than ever to keep Auren away from their enemies, but Auren decides enough is enough and takes matters into her own hands. She turns herself over to the Galvadi to get close to Drevin and Makari has no choice but to play along. He is forced to either torture Auren to prove his loyalty or die knowing she will be tortured and enslaved anyway. Somehow, they must get close enough to Drevin to bring him down and put an end to the Galvadi’s tyranny once and for all.



Keep reading for an excerpt:


"Are you ready?" Kado asked me.

"Ready for what?"

He removed a wooden lid covering the well and took a rope from a hook inside the opening. "You will need to climb down into the hole."

"And then what?"

"Well, that will be up to you."

"You're not making sense again."

He tilted his head toward the well. "Go on."

I sighed. This seemed like a silly lesson. I had rappelled down many cliffs and into many caverns with Kado over the years. It was nothing new to me. Maybe he was going to start with the easy stuff. I grabbed the rope and sat on the wall of the well. Then I swung my legs over the side and started my descent.

It looked a lot deeper than it was. It was so dark I couldn’t see the bottom, and the opening became snugger as I lowered myself into the hole. By the time I reached the bottom, the walls touched me on all sides, but not enough to slow my progress. Then it opened up, and I found myself in a cavern of some sort. A little further, and my feet were on the ground.

I waited for my eyes to adjust to the darkness and then looked around the open space. The walls were obscured from view, but I heard the burbling of an underwater spring nearby. I looked up and was almost blinded by the light shining through the shaft I had just descended. I thought Kado might be coming down after me, but I didn’t see him.

"Okay I'm down here. Now what?"

"Let go of the rope."

I dropped the rope, and watched it disappear through the top of the hole.

"Kado, what are you doing?"

Without a word, he put the lid over the hole and left me in complete darkness.

Friday, 2 June 2017

The Weightless One by Anais Chartschenko



Anaïs Chartschenko hails from the Canadian wilderness. She has come to enjoy such modern things as electric tea kettles. Her published works include two collections of poetry, Bright Needles and The Whisper Collector as well as a novel in verse, The Weightless One.

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Join my magical mailer to have tea with the gnomes and me!


About the Book


Every bit of food I eat
Is turning into more thoughts
And what do I do with the thoughts
I am too afraid to say?

After a party changed everything, Miranda loses her appetite. She is placed in an eating disorder treatment program, where she must be brave enough to face the truth she was trying to bury.

A novel told in verse

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Keep reading for an excerpt:


Reasons I Have To Stay


I was signed in,
I have no choice.
They tell me
My heart is failing.
They tell me
When you starve
Long enough, your body
Starts to eat your muscles.
Your heart is a muscle. It becomes
Your unwilling dinner.
They show me charts with
Low iron, low this and low that.
They tell me I need to take this
Serious.
But it doesn't seem real.
All that is real is my sudden
Total lack of control, total
Forced surrender, it feels
So broken it can never be
Fixed-
I can't agree to any of these
Things. Not even when I
Feel my heart forget a beat.
Not even when I'm hooked
To machines.

Reasons I Should Get To Leave


I don't count calories.
I don't weigh myself.
I don't obsess over models.
I don't exercise.
I don't take laxatives or
Diuretics.
I don't make myself
Throw up.
I don't care what you think.
I think for myself.
I'm not this, I still have
My period.
Okay?

Little Fish


We lay in a tight row
Like sardines,
Wrapped tight in
Blankets and thick
Fuzzy pajamas
Getting our blood
Pressure checked
Lay down, and close
My eyes to the other
Girls' gossip, they
Try to include me,
But I have nothing
To say in the morning
This is a strange torment,
Laying so close to the others
Trapped between laughter
And the talk of having to
Drink ensures or not,
Of having to go to an
Increased nutrition plan,
Of family therapy sessions
Coming at the end of the
Week.

Doll


Kara began
Pulling out
Her hair
Extensions
Bundles of
Blonde lay
On the floor,
Her lion mane
Alopecia found
“I’m sick of
The lies!” She
Twisted her
Face up her
Hands knotted
In hair
“Where did this
Come from?
I didn’t grow it!”
We watched
In horror
We watched
Unable to
Look away
From her
Transformation
Underneath she
Was so small
Like a fragile glass
Doll,
Her features too
Large for her head
Her hair was only
A few inches long
Thin dirty dishwater
Blonde strands like
Weeds dried out
In the sun
She smiled
She laughed
She burrowed
Her face in
Borrowed hair
And
Cried.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Fear Inducer by Ellie Douglas

I’m Ellie Douglas, and like you, I love horror, everything about horror, the goriest and most gruesome of horrors is the ultimate. I can’t get enough. So much so that I write horror.

I’m fun loving, generous and very mysterious. I enjoy spending time with my family, and have four children to keep the horror writing alive. I enjoy helping others and volunteer my services to help Autistic children, I love cosplay and the chance to dress up as a monster, zombie or some other gritty character is fun, oh so much fun.

I love summer, and well…I hate winter. I live in New Zealand and feel often too far away from all the cool stuff going on in the world. I love helping people all the time. I’ve got my hands dipped in a few things, I write books, but I also make professional book covers for other authors, I also create adult coloring books and I have a gambling app that I designed on the apple store :) I’ve always got a project going, be it writing or creating, that is who I am and I love it :)

My ultimate aim is to give back, paying it forward, to constantly better myself and give the audience amazing stories. Let me scare you…

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About the Book


They believed their phobias were just nightmares...


They believed Dr Felix Bloom would cure them.


They were...SO WRONG!

Get it Today on Amazon!


Keep reading for an interview with the author:


Where are you from? Does your area have a good writing community? Tell us about it.


New Zealand and yes to some good writing communities, though not really in the 'horror' genre that I write. Mostly the writing communities here are non-fiction.

What genres do you write?


Horror and Thriller

What inspires you to write?


I love knowing that I've given someone an epic tale to read, that inspires me a lot.

How often do you write?


Every day or if that is not possible at least three to four times a week.

How long does it take you to write a novel?


It depends on the novel. Not long really.

If you could be one of your characters for a day, who would it be and why?


Lilly from my first novel ‘Hounded’ because she’s a true woman, with everyday wants and desires, to be thrown into an apocalyptic world and survive takes guts.


What is the most difficult thing you've ever researched?


Locations, in particular for my first two novels that were set in America I had to research the locations deeply, thoroughly and rigorously to get it right.

What is the best compliment you've ever received as an author?


I've been quoted this: If Stephen King and Quintin Tarantino had a love-child it would be you. That is the best compliment for me ever!

Have you ever had a particularly harsh critique? How did you handle it?


Yes I have, and I just ignored it. I didn't dwell on it, I completely ignored it.

About how many books do you read in a year?


70 to 80

Are you a pantser or outliner?


Pantser

Do you have anything specific you'd like to say to your readers?


Thank you for reading my books. I hope to give you much, much more :)

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Dishonored & Forgotten by Larry & Carolyn Watts

Larry and Carolyn are Texas authors who have teamed up as authors for the first time to write Dishonored and Forgotten. Larry’s career in law enforcement began in Houston, Texas, as a police officer. He became active in police labor issues and served on the board of directors of the Houston Police Officers’ Association and the National Association of Police Associations. He retired after 21 years and began working for a state-wide association representing law enforcement officers throughout Texas, eventually becoming the chief of staff.

Carolyn worked for Continental Airlines for 16 years. She was a flight attendant scheduler early in that career and worked in Continental's Public Relations Department before returning to school to attain a BS in Psychology and an MS in School Psychology. Her professional career has spanned positions in education, a non-profit counseling center and shelter for victims of domestic violence, and a private practice that enabled her to fulfill her desire to work with couples and their children.

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About the Book


Dishonored and Forgotten is a fictional account of a 1950's narcotics scandal that rocked the Houston, Texas Police Department. One officer was dead with two gunshots to the heart and a nasty laceration on his head. The death was ruled a suicide. Another officer was sent to prison for selling heroin back to those he arrested. A captain was fired and a police chief lost his job. Dr. Julius McBride went to prison for supplying that police chief with codeine illegally. High profile federal narcotics agent George White came to Houston and challenged the locals, including the police chief, city attorney, mayor, district attorney and every officer he thought was dirty.

This story is a fictional account of those events. Its focus is on two men. Martin Billnitzer was the detective who was killed with two shots to the heart. Within hours his death was ruled a suicide. Bill Pool was a police officer who first reported the possibility of a narcotics scandal to federal authorities. His career in Houston was ruined. Both men's careers were cut short, their service dishonored, and their lives all but forgotten in the annals of Houston's history.

Research on this book included interviews, newspaper articles about the scandal, books about some of the participants and the federal narcotics agent's personal papers from Stanford University libraries. Where gaps in the story existed after our research, we added fictional accounts of what may have happened. However, the names of most participants are real and much of the story is factual. Italicized quotes from documents were taken directly from letters, notes, or newspaper articles with the exception of the quotes reported from a recording by George White of Dr. Julius McBride and his wife, which are fictional.

The story is told by a retired officer, Buck Nichols, who is one of the few fictional characters in the book. However, the story he tells is derived from research, with missing information being created by the authors' imagination as to what might have occurred all those years ago.

Get it Today on Amazon!


Keep reading for an interview with the authors:


Why did you decide to be writers?


We have been writing all our adult lives. Carolyn for newspapers and trade journals and Larry for trade journals and monthly newsletters. Carolyn began writing parenting and children's books because of her passion for strong families and mentally healthy children. Larry had a fictional story in his head for years before trying his hand. Between us, we have now written 14 books, including our first joint effort, Dishonored and Forgotten.

Where are you from?


We live in League City, Texas, which is between Houston and Galveston.

Does your area have a good writing community?


There are a number of writing and author support groups supported by our local Helen Hall Library and other nearby city libraries. One in particular is the Helen Hall Marketing and Publishing Group. It was formed by local writers and now boasts a membership of 46 with 10 to 15 showing up at each monthly meeting. We trade ideas and report on successes and failures in marketing our work and experiences we've encountered in publishing.

What genres do you write?


Carolyn: I write professional parenting and children's books and have teamed with Larry to write our most recent historical fiction.

Larry: My books are crime, mystery, and social justice works of fiction.

What inspires you to write?


Carolyn: I hope to help parents with the difficulties of raising a family.

Larry: I started writing with the thought of leaving a legacy for my grandchildren and future generations. But now it is just the joy of putting the story together.


Do you have a daily word or page count goal?


Carolyn: I measure my work by time spent.

Larry: I set a goal of 1000 words each day.

What is the quirkiest thing you've ever done while writing?


We tried a project with two other writers in which we agreed to a broad subject to write a novel about. Then we drew numbers 1 through 4 with number 1 writing the first chapter. Each writer passed the work to the next and each of us created our next chapter totally independent except for reading the previous chapters. Unfortunately one of our partners became ill and the project remains unfinished.


What is the oddest thing you've ever researched for one of your books?


Carolyn: I researched Adam and Eve and their three children. I then applied current psychological analysis to each and to their descendants for about parents lives on their children.

Larry: I researched the effect of having a carotid artery slashed (for a death in one of my novels) just months before having a surgery which involved my own carotid artery. Chilling!

What authors/books have most influenced you?


Carolyn: Leon Uris, especially his books Exodus and Trinity. Also, Barbara Kingsolver has been an influence.

Larry: Cormac McCarthy for nearly all his work. His writing is dark, which doesn't appeal to all readers, but his stories are gripping.

When did you first consider yourself an author?


Carolyn: When I was 11 years old, I wrote a story about a female version of Paul Bunyon. I knew then I would always enjoy sharing my creativity with others.

Larry: When I received the first copy of my book 'The Missing Piece" which was my first novel.

What is your writing process?


We rarely outline except when Carolyn is writing one of her professional books. Carolyn makes lots of notes before beginning. I don't. I want to get it n paper, or more accurately on the computer screen and clean it up later.

How long does it take you to write a book?


6 months to 2 years depending on the work.

Do you write about real life experiences, or does everything come from your imagination?


It is a mixture. It would be very unusual for a fiction writer not to use some real life experiences.

What are you working on now?


Carolyn: A fictional account of a dream I had years ago that has remained vividly in my memory.

Larry: I'm finishing the fourth and final book in the series Tanner & Thibodaux.

How do you market/promote your work?


We define the most likely market to make personal appearances, but spend most of our energy promoting on social media by building a following for our work through blogs and give away promotions. Marketing is the most difficult part of being an author and if your goal in writing is to become a commercial success it will likely be disappointing.


Do you have anything specific you'd like to say to your readers?


Yes. We love feedback and really appreciate reviews on Amazon, etc.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Farkle Shark You Are Not Stupid by Rita Emmett

Rita Emmett is a best-selling author of several books including The Procrastinator's Handbook and The Clutter-Busting Handbook.

Her books are published in 32 countries and have sold over 310,000 copies world wide.

She wrote her first picture book, Farkle Shark, You Are Not Stupid because she knows tons of children who might not be smart in school but they know a lot about trains or insects or they can fix things or they have determination to stick to a hard job or they can make people laugh. Yet often --- because someone bullied them or made fun of them --- they are convinced that they are stupid. She based this book on an Einstein quote: "Everyone is a genius.But if a fish is judged by how well it climbs a tree, it will live its entire life feeling stupid".

Rita hopes that this book will ignite in children the understanding that everyone is a genius. Twice Rita rode mules to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back. This has nothing to do with her book. She just wanted you to know that.

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About the Book


“Everyone is a genius. But if a fish is judged by how well it climbs trees, it will live its entire life feeling stupid." ~This quote, attributed to Albert Einstein, is the theme of Farkle Shark, You Are Not Stupid.

Farkle Shark was feeling blue. His big sister Sparkle criticized the way he talked. But when Big Bully Boy called him stupid because he can’t climb trees, Sparkle jumped to her brother’s defense. Her advice, followed by a wild adventure, changed his attitude … and his life.

This fun and funny book will bring on laughs, cheers and an understanding of important life lessons about bullies and feeling stupid. (Haven’t we all felt that way some time in our lives?) Four to eight-year-olds and beginning readers will love Farkle’s story.

Get it Today on Amazon!


Keep reading for an interview with the author:


Why did you decide to be a writer?


For many years, I wanted to be a writer but kept telling myself I don’t have the time. “Maybe next year”.

Finally I realized I was afraid I “wasn’t good enough” so I plunged in -- joined a group, took classes, attended webinars, posted sticky notes with encouraging quotes all over my house (including the bathroom mirror)… and started to write. I didn’t know if my writing would be any good or not, but I didn’t want to go to my grave wondering “what if”.


Do you have a "day job"?


Yes.

What do you do?


I am a Professional Speaker covering the topics of my books: Procrastination, Clutter and Stress. It’s like a perfect circle – the success of the books helps me get hired to speak and when I give a talk, many people in the audience buy the book.

Sadly, that way of promoting books doesn’t work for my most recent one, Farkle Shark You Are Not Stupid (which is my first picture book). I can read it for a gathering of children, but that doesn’t compare to speaking in front of several hundred people who like my topic and buy the book.

What genres do you write?


So far, I’ve been successful in writing “self-help books” including The Procrastinator’s Handbook, The Clutter-Busting Handbook, The Procrastinating Child and Manage Your Time to Reduce Your Stress.

Farkle Shark, You Are Not Stupid is my first venture into writing for children with a picture book. This has been a whole new learning adventure. Great fun. Am still learning a lot and loving it.

What inspires you to write?


Each of my books was inspired by recognizing a problem and figuring out valid, helpful was to solve the problem.

Farkle Shark, You Are Not Stupid is inspired by a favorite quote which is attributed Einstein that says: Everyone is a genius. But if a fish is judged by how well it climbs a tree, it will live its entire life feeling stupid.

It's for those little kids we've all met who think they are stupid because they are not doing well in school, but when they talk about trains or dinosaurs or whatever they are interested in, they are brilliant. Farkle Shark helps them learn to focus on their strengths instead of weaknesses.

I wish every child and ever teacher (especially Special Ed teachers) knew that quote, so I was inspired to “spread the word” through a shark named Farkle.

What is the oddest thing you've ever researched for one of your books?


Are baby seahorses really born from their dads? Do male seahorses actually carry and deliver the babies? You might not care about this but Farkle Shark will in his next book.

What is the most difficult thing you've ever researched?


When writing the book The Procrastinating Child: A Handbook for Adults to Help Children Stop Putting Things Off, I began research by interviewing children who procrastinate. That didn’t work. They actually “put off” sticking to the subject, and had NO insights on the why or how of it all.

So I ended up interviewing over 500 adults who procrastinated as children. Not surprising – most were still putting off everything at the time of our interview. The one thing the majority had in common was the observation “Nobody taught me a different way to be.”

If you could choose an author to be your mentor, who would it be?


Emma Walton, author of The Very Fairy Princess series


When did you first consider yourself an author?


When I held my first book in my hand. And again there is that thrill and delight every time I finally see an actual book of something I’ve been writing and working for ages. It’s not quite the same overwhelming joy as holding my newborn child … but it comes mighty close.

What is the biggest obstacle you face as an author and what do you do to overcome it?


This is my first picture book and writing it was fun but learning to promote it has been slow. To promote my “adult self-help books”, I give talks, write articles and do radio interviews. None of that works for a picture book. So I am studying, reading books & taking webinars – learning all I can. But the biggest help is I’ve hired someone to promote my book on social media. Am still learning about and overcoming the challenge (no longer obstacle) of promoting a picture book.

Have you ever had a particularly harsh critique? How did you handle it?


Yes, the first week my book Farkle Shark, You Are Not Stupid was released, I sent copies to several people who were interested in it or might be influential in telling others about it.

Six members of a Mother’s Group who met by phone read it. Nobody liked it. They said it was pointless, the children were not interested in it and the names of the main characters (Farkle Shark and Sparkle Shark) were confusing.

I was crushed. It broke my heart. Before I had a chance to ask them how it could be improved, I heard from several others who loved it and had opposite opinions of it. I reminded myself that you can’t please everyone and tried to stop thinking about that first “evaluation” I’d received.

Since then, never have I received such negative, harsh comments about Farkle. But yes, once in a while the comments of that group cross my mind and bring me down for a moment or two. Then I simply shake it off.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Mail Order Mystery (Chance City Series Book One) by Robin Deeter

Writing has been a passion of mine since I was in high school. I attended Full Sail University, where I honed my craft. I live in Pennsylvania and I’m an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan. I enjoy singing and performing in theatrical endeavors when I’m not writing. I'm currently writing two series: The Chance City Series (Sensual Western Historical Romance) and The Paha Sapa Saga (Sensual Native American Romance).






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About the Book


Leigh Hawthorne, a widow and local farmer in Beckham, Massachusetts, answers an unusual letter from former Pinkerton detective, Cyrus Decker, who wants to marry a woman with ranching expertise. Cy hopes that Leigh is the answer to his prayers. Brought together by necessity, will Leigh and Cy find love or will their romance meet with disaster? Join the Chance City adventure as its citizens battle opposing forces and mayhem in their searches for love and a brighter future.

Get it Today on Amazon!


Keep reading for an interview with Cotton Lone Wolf from Mail Order Mystery:


Where were you born, and what was it like growing up there?


I was born in 1838 in a Comanche village. As a child, I was taught respect for others and Mother Earth. The adults were all very indulgent and gently guided us into growing into responsible, considerate adults. We never had to worry about having enough to eat or a warm place to live. I wish all children could be so lucky.

Do you have a close relationship with your family?


Yes. I have always been close to my family.

What is the happiest memory from your childhood?


Listening to the elders' stories about the origins of our people and their fierce battles.

Who is your enemy?


The military. Need I say more?

Who do you most admire in your world?


Wheels Ellis.

Why?


He was only a young man when he was paralyzed. He could have become bitter and angry, but he overcame great adversity and made the most of his life. He's an intelligent, kind person who is a living example of what a man should be.

Tell us a little about your world, and where you fit in?


I live outside of Chance City, Oklahoma. My family escaped going to one of the reservations when I was twenty-seven winters old. My wife and children passed away before we escaped and I've never remarried. I'm happy entertaining lonely ladies and helping my family with their various businesses. I have three nephews and one niece. I'm the fun uncle who doesn't care what other people think about me.


Where is the best place to visit in your world?


Two of my favorite places are the Chowhound Saloon and Big Benny's Saloon. Both places have dancing and gambling, but only the Chowhound has soiled doves.

What places should visitors avoid?


Avoid the church. Pastor Clem is a stubborn old fool who wouldn't know "nice" if it bit him on the...behind.

Do you have any hobbies?


Does helping my nephew Det. Cy Decker track down criminals count as a hobby? If so, that is mine.

Do you have a secret you've never told anyone?


Even though I enjoy being a "ladies man", I would rather be married again. I am just too scared to lose someone I love so much again.

What kind of clothing do you prefer to wear?


Buckskin or cotton (no pun intended).

What is your favorite food?


Roasted Bison

What do you own that would be hardest to part with?


My father's weapons.

Why?


He was a skilled hunter and brought down a lot of game with them. They have great power and losing them would be a big blow.

What was your greatest achievement?


Learning how to live in another culture that's so different than mine.

Name some of your bad habits.


I sometimes drink too much and I seduce women.

What is your greatest virtue?


Honesty.

Why do you think this is so?


I was taught by my elders to be honest no matter the cost. There is no place in our culture for lying, cheating, or stealing.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Black Lines - Dodgy Pills by Olly Cunningham

Olly Cunningham was born in Dublin, Ireland. He is the writer and illustrator of Black Lines, an adult comic book series. All the images are drawn with pen and ink, the art is dark and grungy, and the writing style is twisted and humorous, suited to its noir genre.

He currently lives in the country with his wife, three kids, two tortoises, cat and dog.

Connect with the Author on the Black Lines Website!


About the Book


A story of sex drugs and social deprivation, based in Dublin, Ireland. Drug dealers Tommo and his father-in-law Jimmy have received a new batch of pills from a very different source to their usual guy, they go about testing them out and get literally blown away. Things don’t go too well and get very strange indeed.

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Tuesday, 9 May 2017

A Rebel Among Us by J.D.R. Hawkins

J.D.R. Hawkins is an award-winning author who has written for newspapers, magazines, newsletters, e-zines, and blogs. She is one of only a few female Civil War authors, and uniquely describes the front lines from a Confederate perspective. Her Renegade Series includes A Beautiful Glittering Lie, winner of the John Esten Cooke Fiction Award and the B.R.A.G. Medallion, A Beckoning Hellfire, which is also an award winner, and A Rebel Among Us, which has just been published. These books tell the story of a family from north Alabama who experience immeasurable pain when their lives are dramatically changed by the war. Ms. Hawkins is a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the International Women’s Writing Guild, Pikes Peak Writers, and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She is also an artist and singer/songwriter. She is currently working on a nonfiction book about the War Between the States, as well as another sequel for the Renegade Series. Learn more about her.

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About the Book


David Summers never expected any of this… not in a million years. He thought for sure he was a goner.

After leaving Alabama and enlisting with the cavalry, his delusion of chivalry was suddenly quashed when he saw for himself the horrors of battle. Now, after being shot and ending up at a strange farmhouse, he’s found himself being nursed back to health by four beautiful girls, and has learned that his Confederate brethren have deserted him in Pennsylvania after fighting at Gettysburg. It’s more than he can fathom. On top of that, he’s been presented with an even bigger dilemma. He knows he’s falling in love with the older sister, Anna, and she has enticed him with an interesting proposition. However, her scheme goes against his principles, and the reasons why he enlisted in the first place – to avenge his father’s death and defend his sacred homeland.

To David’s dismay, he must make a decision. Should he stay and help Anna with her underhanded plan, deceiving everyone around him by pretending to be a Yankee? If discovered, he would be considered a traitor to the cause, and she could be in jeopardy of treason. Or should he leave the farm, say goodbye to her, and risk certain capture? Either way, his perilous situation doesn’t seem to offer an encouraging outcome. If that isn’t bad enough, Anna’s neighbor, a Union officer, is in love with her, too, and he would stop at nothing to have David arrested … or worse.

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Keep reading for an excerpt:


Within an hour’s time, Maggie returned, and Anna knew he was with her. Patrick’s jovial laughter infiltrated the air. She went downstairs to greet him. He had already dismounted his horse and was assisting Maggie down from Alphie when she reached them.

He turned to see her. “Well, there’s me bonnie lass!” he exclaimed in his melodic Irish brogue and gave her a hug. Releasing her, he said, “Your lovely sister, Maggie, has informed me there’s a party here this very morn, so I brung along some refreshment!” His green eyes twinkled with amusement. “But I’ve never known ye lasses to indulge in spirits so early in the day, and on the Sabbath, no less!”

“Don’t be silly, Patrick!” Anna laughed.

With a wink, he handed her a bottle of whiskey.

The two little girls came out of the barn. “Patrick!” they screeched, running toward him.

He picked Abigail up and twirled her around, causing her to squeal with delight before he set her back down.

“We haven’t seen you in so long, Patrick,” she said. “Where have you been?”

“Why, workin’, of course.” He gave Claudia a hug. “‘Tis a busy time with the crops right now, lass. I’m sure you’re well aware.” Turning back to Anna, he pulled the cap from his head, revealing thick, brown hair. “So, how might I be of service to ye fair maidens?” he asked.

“We have something to show you,” Anna said, “but you have to swear not to tell a soul.”

Patrick raised an eyebrow and smirked. “Well now, if I agree to it, will ye be fixin’ me a fine meal in return?”

“Of course,” she replied, taking his hand. “Come with me.”

She led him into the farmhouse’s back door, through the kitchen, and up the staircase to the second floor. Stopping at the doorway at the top of the steps, she turned to look at him.

“There’s somethin’ ye want to be showin’ me in your father’s bed chamber?” he asked, comically raising his eyebrow.

Anna bit her lower lip. She turned the knob and pushed the squeaky door open. “We found him in the barn the night before last with a bullet in his shoulder,” she explained.

The three other girls followed behind.

“He’s a Confederate soldier.”

Patrick’s jaw dropped slightly. “Saints preserve us,” he partially whispered.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Engadine Aerie by Bluette Matthey

Bluette Matthey is a 3rd generation Swiss-American and an avid lover of European cultures. She has decades of travel and writing experience. She is a keen reader of mysteries, especially those that immerse the reader in the history, inhabitants, culture, and cuisine of new places. Her passion for travel, except airports (where she keeps a mystery to pass the time), is shared by her husband, who owned a tour outfitter business in Europe.

Bluette particularly loves to explore regions that are not on the “15 days in Europe” itineraries. She also enjoys little-known discoveries, such as those in the London Walks, in well-known areas. She firmly believes that walking and hiking bring her closer to the real life of any locale. Bluette maintains a list of hikes and pilgrimages throughout Europe for future exploration. She lives in Le Locle, Switzerland, with her husband and band of loving cats. Bluette can often be seen hiking in the Jura Mountains along the Swiss-French frontier.

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About the Book


Engadine Aerie takes place at the annual Skimarathon in glitzy St. Moritz, Switzerland (imagine 13,000 skiers in one race!), where Hardy gets embroiled in a tangle of murder, falconry, weaponized drones, and arms-smuggling. Hardy agrees to help a friend launch her cross-country ski tour business in St. Moritz, and gets way more than he bargained for. His first day on the job he is smitten by an exotic from the Mideast who skis over a corpse buried in the snow. No stranger to murder and other intrigue, Hardy takes point in the following police inquiry (as a bystander, of course), but he is soon enmeshed in preventing another murder. Then comes the not-inconsequential matter of a terrorist attack on the finish line of the Skimarathon. Hardy's past relationship with the French Foreign Legion gives him an entree to working with TIGRIS, Switzerland's elite tactical police unit, to thwart an illegal arms deals he stumbles into, and his meddling puts him in the cross-hairs of a sadistic anarchist who excels at poisoning her victims.

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Keep reading for a guest post from the author:


My Life as an Author by Bluette Matthey


I’ve been hooked on mysteries since third grade, and travelling about as long. My dad was forever getting us up at two or three in the morning to start off on a trip to Florida, or Canada, or to head out West. So, I decided to merge my two passions and began writing the Hardy Durkin Travel Mystery series with Hardy Durkin as my hunky protagonist.

Instead of the London-Paris-Rome circuit (all fantastic places), I chose to use less-known locales as settings for my mysteries. My books are heavily researched for authenticity, which includes a boots-on-the-ground approach, so I get to enjoy visiting and exploring all the places I write about. I’ve had some amazing experiences, eaten wonderful regional foods, met lovely people, and taken some pretty interesting treks.

Hardy Durkin owns an outfitter business that specializes in European treks, so I’ve made a point of duplicating many of his easier hikes (I’m not as fit as he is). I hiked into the Hermitage of San Bartolomeo near Roccamorice, Abruzzo, Italy, aware I was the only human around for miles as I trekked through the Majella National Park. Animal scat along the trail reminded me there were bears, wolves, and other beasts present. I also climbed to the top of Rocca Calascio, built in the 10th century by the Romans as a watch tower and the highest fortress in the Apennines. This was for my second book, Abruzzo Intrigue.

Dalmatian Traffick took me to the Balkans, where I visited Croatia, Montenegro, and Albania. I didn’t hike to the Ostrog Monastery, but took my life, literally, in my hands and drove there. Mostly one-lane, snaking up the mountain of Ostroška Greda with the mountain wall on one side and a drop-off that increased at an alarming rate on the other, and no guard rails, anywhere. Perhaps a row of rather insignificant rocks placed beside the road, or an occasional tree, but nothing substantial to keep you from plummeting over the edge into eternity. The guide books tell you to hire a taxi, but driving in Montenegro is almost a blood sport and I opted to control my own fate, so I drove slowly and steadfastly, praying that no cars would come from the other direction.

Exploring the traboules of Old Lyon, France was part of stepping back in time with the Knights Templar in Engadine Aerie. I also was a guest at the annual Engadine Skimarathon last year, which features prominently in Engadine Aerie. Dangerous conditions at the time prevented me from hiking in to the Morteratsch Glacier; I hoping this year I’ll be able to explore the eternal ice of the glacier when I return to snowy St. Moritz, Switzerland, and the Skimarathon for a book promotion of my latest Hardy Durkin Travel Mystery, Engadine Aerie.

Sigh! Someone’s got to do it …

Friday, 28 April 2017

Centurion (The Guardian League Book Two) by T.K. Lawyer



Welcome to TK Lawyer’s world-

TK Lawyer has always had an interest in the strange and unusual and she’s a romantic by heart.

She writes passion-filled paranormal romance with Angels and Wolf Shifters- weaving tales of alpha males willing to do anything for the one feisty, curvaceous, strong-willed woman who has won their heart. Her alpha males will go to any length to please their mate, in and out of the bed.

She invites you to enter her world and be entertained. After all, she writes for you.

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About the Book


Centurion has it all. A talented charge, ladies at his disposal for a single encounter or more and access to all the coffee he wants once he lands on Earth. Plus, he’s second in command of the volunteer band of angels called the Guardian League. The one thing he never wanted was an intimate relationship with a human beyond the usual angel-charge boundaries.

So when he finds a woman as strong and hot as the human beverage that tickles his fancy, what else can he do but pursue her until he figures out what to do with her.

April loves her enticing, hunky angel but he’s a lot to handle. He’s cocky, unpredictable but most of all… incorrigible. What is she to do with a male who lives life by his own schedule?

Can April and Centurion form a compromise and allow love to bind them together? Or will Centurion’s inability to commit wedge them apart, forever?



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Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Paperback/Hardcover


Keep reading for an excerpt:


She turned to the strange male. “I’m sorry, uh–¬uh…”

“Centurion,” he said, holding some earrings up toward the overhead light.

“I’m not sure when I’ll be done.”

“Don’t worry. I’ll wait.”

He was tenacious, she’d give him that. There was some reason he kept hanging around but it wasn’t to buy jewelry and she wasn’t interested in dating. She hadn’t found the right man yet and she doubted this Greek god, this Thor among men was the one. He was probably “full of himself” expecting all women to cater to his needs because he was good-looking and desirable, just like her ex. He was in for a rude awakening.

She was finally able to break away. “Listen, mister.” She walked up and called out to him at the same time.

“Centurion.”

“Are you really interested in jewelry or are you interested in something else?” She placed her hands on her hips. He was laughing. How rude.
“I really like this one.” Centurion pointed to the first necklace he looked at. It was part of a set.

“What do you like about it?”

“The name of it is intriguing. Serenity, an Angel’s present. Tell me, do you believe in Angels?” Centurion leaned over the table.

What a strange question to ask and a personal one. She kept quite a few things private. Delving into her spirituality and her beliefs were not something she was comfortable with. Talking about them was only something she did with a select few individuals she trusted. Then again, she’d never see this man after today. It was probably safe to answer his question.

“Well, sir.”

“Centurion, please.”

“I’m sorry, Centurion. What a different name. I’ve never heard it before. I’m sure it’s hard for you to find anything with your name printed on it, huh?” She chuckled. “But, I’ve gone off the subject and you asked me about Angels. That’s not something I usually talk about out in the open but yes—yes I do believe in Angels. Do you?”

There was that stellar, one of a kind grin again. “I kind of have to.”

She extended her hand out to Centurion. “By the way, I’m April. Take one of my cards.”

“It’s very nice to meet you, April.” He pushed the card into a side pocket. He pointed across her table. “So, why jewelry?”

“It’s creative, it’s fun and I really like making beautiful things.”

“Like yourself?”

“Oh.” She shied away. “You think I’m pretty?”

“Very.”

There went her heart again but this time, it rolled instead of flip-flopped. She took a few deep breaths. “That’s kind of you but—”

“It’s the truth.”

“Wow, you’re very direct.”

“I’m honest. I’m sorry if I’m scaring you. I don’t mean to do that. I just wanted to ask you out for coffee.”

She squirmed and fiddled with her fingers. Coffee? Was he kidding? Holy cow, this guy liked her? She pinched herself, sure that she was dreaming. She wasn’t.