Lori Ryan

Rachel Thompson

Aicha Zoubair

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Peter Simmons and the Vessel of Time by Ramz Artso @RamzArtso


Chapter 4

Portland, Oregon

October 22nd

Afternoon Hours

I sauntered out of the school building with my friends in tow and pulled on a thickly woven hat to cover my fluffy flaxen hair, which was bound to be frolic even in the mildest of breezes. I took a deep breath and scrutinized my immediate surroundings, noticing an armada of clouds scudding across the sky. It was a rather blustery day. The shrewd, trilling wind had all but divested the converging trees off their multicolored leaves, pasting them on the glossy asphalt and graffiti adorned walls across the road. My spirits were quickly heightened by this observation, and I suddenly felt rejuvenated after a long and taxing day at school. I didn’t know why, but the afternoon’s indolent weather appealed to me very much. I found it to be a congenial environment. For unexplainable reasons, I felt like I was caught amidst a fairytale. It was this eerie feeling which came and went on a whim. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Perhaps it was triggered by the subconscious mind brushing against a collage of subliminal memories, which stopped resurfacing partway through the process.

Anyhow, there I was, enjoying the warm and soporific touch of the autumn sun on my face, engaging in introspective thoughts of adolescent nature when Max Cornwell, a close, meddlesome friend of mine, called me from my rhapsodic dream with a sharp nudge in the ribs.

‘Hey, man! You daydreaming?’

I closed my eyes; feeling a little peeved, took a long drag of the wakening fresh air and gave him a negative response by shaking my head.

‘Feel sick or something?’ he persisted.

I wished he would stop harping on me, but it looked like Max had no intention of letting me enjoy my moment of glee, so I withdrew by tartly saying, ‘No, I’m all right.’

‘Hey, check this out,’ said George Whitmore,–who was another pal of mine–wedging himself between me and Max. He held a folded twenty dollar bill in his hand, and his ecstatic facial expression suggested that he had just chanced upon the find by sheer luck.

‘Is that yours?’ I asked, knowing very well that it wasn’t.

‘No, I found it on the floor of the auditorium. Just seconds before the last period ended.’

‘Then perhaps you should report your discovery to the lost and found. I’m sure they’ll know what to do with it there.’

‘Yeah, right. That’s exactly what I’m going to do,’ he said, snorting derisively. He then added in a somewhat defensive tone, as if trying to convince himself more than anyone else, ‘I found it, so it’s mine–right?’

I considered pointing out that his intentions were tantamount to theft, but shrugged it off instead, and followed the wrought-iron fence verging the school grounds before exiting by the small postern. I was in no mood for an argument, feeling too tired to do anything other than run a bath and soak in it. Therefore, I expunged the matter from my mind, bid goodbye to both George and Max and plunged into the small gathering of trees and brush which we, the kids, had dubbed the Mini Forest. It was seldom traveled by anyone, but we called it that because of its size, which was way too small to be an actual forest, and a trifle too large to be called otherwise.

I was whistling a merry tune, and wending my way home with a spring in my step, when my ears abruptly pulled back in fright. All of a sudden, I couldn’t help but feel as if I was being watched. But that wasn’t all. I felt like someone was trying to look inside of me. Right into me. As if they were rummaging in my soul, searching its every nook and cranny, trying to fish up my deepest fears and darkest secrets. It was equivalent to being stripped naked in front of a large audience. Steeling myself for something ugly, I felt the first stirrings of unease.


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Genre – Young-adult, Action and Adventure, Coming of Age, Sci-fi

Rating – PG-13

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Connect with  Ramz Artso on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://ramzartso.blogspot.com/

Emma Right – 8 Things You Didn’t Know About Keeper of Reign @emmbeliever

8 Things You Didn’t Know About Keeper of Reign

By: Emma Right

1. That I started the story in 2008 and it had taken me six long years to get it onto Kindle and about 17 edits later, and two of these are with professional editors.

2. That my children inspired me to write the book. Also, one of the first things that got me going about the book was the song from Switchfoot,  titled, “Meant to Live” (for so much more). It got me thinking about how far short each of us fall from our true potential. I really believe each human being has been created to overcome troubles and problems, and live above all that life throws at us. Yet the trials and troubles of this world reduce us, and it feels that our troubled world is so big. This is just like how it was for the Elfies who lived in Reign. Also I’d read Destined to Reign, and it inspired me to think of possibilities.

3. I came up with over a dozen titles: Elfie Epic, Kingdom of Keepers, Kingdom of Reign, The Overcomers, …but finally, I decided that it really was about just one Keeper: Jules Blaze, a boy who minimized his heritage, and didn’t realize he could make an impact in his world, and that his family needed him.

4. That the names in Keeper of Reign has great significance.

5. That while I started writing Keeper of Reign Book 1 in the USA, some parts of it was written in Asia, while we were there for a bit, and also some parts, in New Zealand, and still, some of the edits were done while I was in Europe.

6.That Keeper of Reign had another cover, then I decided to hire a professional cover designer, Lisa Hainline. I told her some of the elements in the story, and that the dragonfly lantern was an important component, and that i wanted it to have a magical, fairy-tale like feel, for that’s what Keeper of Reign is–something of a fairy-tale. And, it’s Elfies, not elves. The Elfies are a cross between elves, (the more robust, physical beings) and fairies (think ethereal, flighty.)

7. That yes, Keeper of Reign has a Book 2, and the reason I stopped it where I did was because there was too much to tell in one book. Did you know for instance that JRR Tolkien had the three books in his Lord of the Rings series as one big book? But the publisher said it was too voluminous, and so he had to split it into three? Next time you pick it up, take a peek at the end of the first book and you will see that it ends with the readers not knowing what will happen to Frodo on his trip.

8. That the first Keeper of Reign was over 230,000 words long and I had to cut out the history, back-stories, their local customs, food habits, etc because these just bogged down on the plot. Also, i was advices that readers 11-16 are not going to be too interested in these things. So i have been toying with the idea of putting all that information either on my site, or write a short prequel and history of the Elfies type of book. For instance did you know that the Elfies only ate natural foods culled form the forest. If I had time i would compile a book of recipes from Reign. How about Food Reigns as a title!

Keeper of Reign

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Genre - Young Adult Adventure Fantasy  

Rating – G

More details about the author

Connect with Emma Right on Facebook & Facebook (Keeper of Reign)

Website http://www.emmaright.com/Home.aspx

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Birth of an Assassin by Rik Stone @stone_rik

Chapter 6

The trapdoor opened out onto a flat roof that was a little higher than most of its neighbors. Up top, Jez crouched by Viktor’s side and surveyed the other rooftops for signs of life. He took off his sandals and slung the AK over his shoulder. Viktor went ahead and he followed.

Swiftly, they crossed from one building to the next, jumped over narrow alleys, and occasionally used the apex of a slant roof to get a broader view. On the streets below, the bluster of the working day had calmed. But closer to the town centre a man stood on a rooftop, smoking. A big man with too thick a black moustache, incongruous under a baldhead. He stared blankly into the twilight sky as he drew long on a dark cigarette, maybe a cheroot. A Levant kaftan cloak hung open, revealing a collar and tie from earlier toils.

“Shit,” Viktor exclaimed. “He would have to be on one of the roofs we have to go over.”

“Do we take him down?” Jez asked, and, hearing a voice that sounded a little tinny, was disappointed to recognize it as his own.

Birth of an Assassin

Set against the backdrop of Soviet, post-war Russia, Birth of an Assassin follows the transformation of Jez Kornfeld from wide-eyed recruit to avenging outlaw. Amidst a murky underworld of flesh-trafficking, prostitution and institutionalized corruption, the elite Jewish soldier is thrown into a world where nothing is what it seems, nobody can be trusted, and everything can be violently torn from him.

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Genre - Thriller, Crime, Suspense

Rating – R

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Connect with Rik Stone on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://rik-stone.simdif.com

Dangerously Hers by A.M. Griffin @AMGriffinbooks #LovingDangerously

Dangerously Hers

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

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

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Genre - Science fiction

Rating – R

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Connect with A.M. Griffin on Twitter

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A Study in Sin by August Wainwright @acwainwright

We had only driven a few blocks when Sam piped up.

“You can't be pissed at me if you don't like her,” he said.

“If I don't like her or she's some sort of psycho control freak, then there's nothing forcing me to live with her. I'll just tell her that I'll think about it and we can go our separate ways. Don't worry about it.”

“I'm just saying, you're the one who wanted to meet her. So you can't hold it against me if things don't go well.”

“What the hell is wrong with you?”

“You don't understand. Remy is – I don't even know. She's brilliant, I can promise you that, and sometimes it's amazing to be around her. But it's like she wasn't raised by humans. She just says whatever she's thinking, and a lot of the time, her thoughts don't even make sense. It can be off-putting to people. I don't know. I just can't give you much because I don't know anything about her other than what's said at the lab, which isn't much.”

“Give me an example of something she's done,” I said, challenging him.

“Last week, she had been consuming medical journals one after the other. There were four of us in the lab that day and she interrupts everyone and announces 'Half of all Americans will die of heart disease.' then she looked around the room and stared at this guy named Tiny and I; like she wanted us to know she was talking about us. Then she just goes back to what she was reading.”

I almost burst out laughing.

“It's fine, Sam. I can handle myself.”

“Alright, but don't say I didn't warn you. We're here by the way,” he said as we turned down an alley behind a row of buildings. We parked at the end of the row and I followed him down the steel staircase on the side of the building that led to the lower level. When we entered through the outer door, I was immediately hit by the stale smell of old air. Sam turned and opened the first door on his right.

“The Lab” as he called it was more like a basement hideout for an unclean, villainous comic mastermind. There were computers and parts and equipment everywhere. Wires hung from the ceiling and plastic soda and water bottles were littered over the desktops that ran along the outer walls of the room. In the middle of the mess was a high-topped laboratory table that stretched the full length of the room. I assumed that's what gave the place its name.

As I looked around the room, I noticed that I had drawn the attention of a man that had been staring at his computer screen, which was full of lined code. His stare made me uncomfortable, mostly because he was the largest human being I'd ever seen.

“That's Tiny,” Sam whispered. I remembered his story and laughed to myself before nodding in Tiny's direction. He looked at me for a few more seconds and then turned back to his monitor without saying a word.

Then my eyes caught sight of a little woman working on a laptop at the far end of the lab table. She was surrounded by papers full of charts and scribbles. The glow of the screen lit her features and I wondered to myself why Sam hadn't mentioned that his friend was so good looking. She stared at her laptop with large, bright eyes. I couldn't look away.

Sam walked towards her.

“What are you working on Remy?”

“Why would the heiress of a vast energy empire, chosen amongst nine children to take over the family business, disappear on the very day she was to be named the benefactor?” she asked without ever looking up from her computer.

“I don't know. What do you think?” Sam said back.

At first Remy didn't answer, then she said “Capulet”, mumbling under her breath as she turned to look up at Sam. He ignored the comment.

“Remy Moreau, I'd like you to meet Jacob Watts.”

“Nice to meet you, Jacob,” she said from her stool.

“The pleasure's all mine. She disappeared for love, right? The heiress, I mean.”

A look of amusement ran across Remy's face as she looked at me.

“I suspect that's the case. Tell me how you guessed.”

“Capulets, Montagues, old story,” I said.

“One made easier to unravel when you photograph the fiancé of a rival owner's son and she looks oddly like the missing girl.”

“I can image it would. Sounds like an interesting story.”

“If you only knew. Maybe I'll tell you one day.”

Sam coughed as he plopped himself down into an adjacent chair. We both looked over at him. His cheeks flushed red for having interrupted us.

“Jay and I are actually here on business, Remy. He's looking for a new place to stay and I remembered you complaining about not being able to find a roommate to split expenses with.”

An anomalous, interested look appeared in Remy's eyes as she studied me over. She perked up and seemed excited at the mention of living with me.

“I helped a woman with a break-in last week. A not-too-smart gentleman had pegged her an easy target and robbed her bakery. After I set things right, she offered me the apartment above her shop at a great rate. There's more than enough space for two, but I can make a bit of a mess when I'm focused on something else. Will that bother you?”

“I think I can manage.”

“You won't mind if I spread my papers out all over the floor?”

“No, that's fine,” I said, smiling back.

She continued, “I go through these bouts of depression. I'll go silent, sometimes for days at a time. Just leave me alone and try not to bother me and I'll find my way out. And don't take anything I say personally, especially when I’m dejected. What about you? It's best we know what we're getting into with each other before making any commitments.” She spoke like an engineer I knew in the Air Force.

“Well, I don't care for petty arguments and I'm admittedly lazy, so your messes won't bother me. I don't sleep much, I'm up at random times because of my nerves, hopefully that won't be an issue.”

“Would you consider persistent piano playing a reason for petty arguments?”

“Not if you play like Miles Davis. Now if you play more like my niece, then we might have some issues.”

Remy ignored the attempt at humor and slid from her stool. “I think we'll be great together,” she said as she made her way around the end of the lab table, her hand outstretched to shake mine. Remy took my hand and held it firmly, shaking it as she moved in close. “So which was it, Iraq or Afghanistan?”

I stared down at her for a moment. Her question took me by surprise.

“Afghanistan, how the hell did you – ”

She slowly rose onto her toes and tugged at my shirt, pulling me down towards her. Her big eyes looked up into mine. And very deliberately, she kissed me. Not a peck on the lips, but a kiss that sent shock waves through my entire frame. She lingered, pressing her soft wet lips against mine as her hand trailed up my left arm. I felt the heat of her body against me. Then suddenly, she pulled away, taking a step back.

“I'll text you the address and we can go look at the apartment together tomorrow,” she said. She grabbed her bag and walked out of the room, leaving me to stand alone in silence.

I turned and faced Sam who was staring at me with an annoying smile on his chubby face.

“What the hell was that?”

“I warned you she was odd.”

“Did you tell her I was in Afghanistan?”

“Nope. That's just what she does.”

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Genre – Mystery / Thriller / Suspense

Rating – PG13

More details about the author & the book

Connect with August Wainwright on Google Plus & Twitter

Website http://augustwainwright.com/

Living The Testimony by Deidre Havrelock @deidrehavrelock

Living the testimony

We testify in accordance with what we know and have experienced.

…It’s time to learn and experience more!

The first book in this thought-provoking series explained how testimony relates to the Bible; this book will help you understand how testimony relates to living. Living…The Testimony will not only encourage Christians to reflect on who they believe Jesus to be (and why they choose to believe this), but it will also correct current misconstrued ideas as to what the Christian testimony is all about.

- a testimony is not about church;

- a testimony is not about God;

- a testimony is not about faith in general terms;

- this book contains numerous testimonies that will strengthen your faith in Jesus.

A strong Christian testimony is one that continually grows in the knowledge of Jesus, continually shares that knowledge boldly, while at the same time performs good works based on Jesus’ teaching of love—all while abstaining from works of darkness.

Because a biblical testimony deals not only with our belief system, but also with the way we conduct our whole lives, our Christian testimony becomes our most valuable asset. It is life itself.

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Genre – Christian Living

Rating – G

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Connect with Deidre Havrelock on Twitter

Website www.deidrehavrelock.com

#Bargain Sand Dollar: A Story of Undying Love by Sebastian Cole @sebastiancole3

Beverly Hills Book Award winner, USA Best Book Award finalist, ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award bronze winner, International Book Award finalist, ForeWord Firsts debut literary competition finalist.
The story opens with Noah Hartman, eighty years old, lying on his deathbed recounting his life of love and loss to Josh, a compassionate orderly at the hospital. As Noah’s loved ones arrive one by one, they listen in on his story, and we’re transported back in time to Noah’s younger years.
Though outwardly seeming to have it all, Noah, now thirty-five, is actually an empty, lost, and broken man running on automatic pilot. He has no true identity due to having allowed his powerful, wealthy parents to manipulate, control, and brainwash him from a young age. With the threat of disinheritance and withholding love and approval if he doesn’t comply with the plan they have for his life, Noah is lured in by the reward of great wealth and the illusion of running the family business empire some day.
Enter Robin, twenty-five years old, who — in direct contrast to Noah — is a vivacious, free spirit. Full of life and always living in the moment, Robin’s love saves Noah by inspiring him to stand up to his parents and live his own life at all costs, reclaiming his true self.
They get married, and while snorkeling in the Caribbean, the captain of the boat warns them not to disturb anything in the sea. Ignoring the exhortation, Noah dives down and snags a sand dollar from the ocean floor, whereupon it explodes in his hand. With the fragile sand dollar taking on new significance, Robin inexplicably leaves Noah shortly after returning from their honeymoon. Like a passing breeze, she disappears out of his life without a trace, seemingly forever.
Years pass, and Noah still can’t get Robin out of his mind and out of his heart. After all, the one he loved the most would forever be the one who got away. That’s when he finds out about her hidden secret, the underlying condition responsible for her leaving. Noah has no choice but to move on with his life without her, meeting Sarah at the premiere of SAND DOLLAR, the movie he wrote about his time with Robin.
Years later, it’s Noah and Sarah’s wedding day, and Robin discovers a clue that Noah had surreptitiously inserted into the movie, inspiring her to race to the wedding to try to stop it. With the wedding in shambles, the scene jumps back to present day, with both Robin and Sarah placed in Noah’s hospital room. But which one did he choose?
As Noah wraps up his story, he discovers a far greater truth about the past, present, and future. Things are definitely not as they appear as the pieces of a shattered love are put back together in the remarkable final chapter of Noah’s life.
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Genre – Contemporary Romance
Rating – PG 13
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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

#AmReading - Cold Days by Jim Butcher @longshotauthor

Cold Days by Jim Butcher


After being murdered and then brought back to life, Harry Dresden soon realizes that maybe death wasn’t all that bad. Because he is no longer Chicago’s only professional wizard.
He is now Winter Knight to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness. Her word is his command. And her first command is the seemingly impossible: kill an immortal. Worse still, there is a growing threat to an unfathomable source of magic that could mean the deaths of millions.
Beset by enemies new and old, Harry must gather his friends and allies, prevent an apocalypse, and find a way out of his eternal subservience before his newfound infinite powers claim the only thing he has left to call his own…
His soul.

Indiestructible: Inspiring Stories from the Publishing Jungle @MsBessieBell

Tackling the Time Factor

by Jessica Bell

The biggest problem I had with deciding to go indie was the time factor.

With a stressful full-time job as a project manager for the Academic Research & Development department at Education First, it was difficult for me to see how I could possibly work, write, blog, edit, publish, market, run a literary journal, direct a writer’s retreat, and live my life all at once. It doesn’t help that I’m a bit of a stickler. I like to get everything done myself because I have a hard time waiting on others to do things I know I can get done more quickly and efficiently. I outsource if I really have to, but I do enjoy doing the work, such as designing covers, learning new skills and navigating social media. So when I say, DIY, I really mean DIY. Where on Earth, I wondered, would I find the time to be an editor for an educational publisher and literary magazine, an author, a typesetter, a designer, and a marketer? And what about walking the dog? Making dinner? Sleeping? (Forget the laundry. I have months of unfolded washed clothes in a heap on the couch that will soon need to go straight back into the machine from the dog rubbing herself all over them.)

The time factor is a logical fear. But once I finally made the decision to do this on my own, I realized that it wasn’t as daunting as it seemed. Do you know how much more you actually get done when you think something is impossible?

I don’t want to tell you how to schedule your day, but I’m going to give you a run down on how to approach this time management malarkey mentally. The key for me is not to focus on one thing all day. When you do this, you burn out. Your brain starts to lag from the monotony of the same information. You need to mix it up. If you mix it up, you get more done, because your mind is consistently stimulated with fresh information.

Let’s start with the actual writing of your books. Because this is what it all boils down to, yes? But first, I have to say, everyone is different. Everyone writes at different speeds, deals with stress in different ways, has different expectations of themselves. So you need to figure out what you want and works for you.

1. Stop thinking about what other people will think of your work. And write honestly. The first version of my debut novel was written for an audience. It was rejected again and again—for five years. And then, I found a small press who saw something in me and made an effort to get to know me. (Unfortunately that publisher liquidated only six months after its release, but that’s another story which you can read about here.) The publisher said my book was good, but that it felt like she was watching the characters through a window. She said: “Go deeper.” So I dug deeper and dragged the truth from my heart and soul. A truth I was afraid to admit was there. But it resulted in an honest book—a book I didn’t know I had in me. And one I hope women will be able to relate to. It’s glory-less, but real. And real steals hearts. What does this have to do with time management you ask? A lot. When you believe in your work, when you love your work, the words get written faster.

2. Focus on one paragraph at a time. I will never forget Anne Lamott’s advice from Bird by Bird (most accessible and nonsense-less book on writing I’ve ever read): write what you can see through a one-inch frame.

The reason I say this, is because knowing how much you have to revise can sometimes be daunting and overwhelming, and you might try to get through as much as possible and forget to focus your attention on the quality of your work. If you make each paragraph the best it can be before you move on, you won’t have to do any major rewrites (unless there’s a snag in your plot that you’ve overlooked and it’s related to a pertinent turning point). I’m talking revision here, not first draft.

3. Divide your writing time into short bursts. I find that if I give myself only one hour to write every morning before work, sometimes even shorter periods of time (especially when I accidentally sleep in), I’m forced to come up with things I wouldn’t normally think of.

The brain works in mysterious ways when it’s under pressure, and sometimes a little self-inflicted pressure can push you to great heights. Can you believe I wrote the first draft of The Book over a three-day long weekend? I did this because I experimented with the self-inflicted pressure idea. It worked. But be careful not to expect too much from yourself. There is nothing worse than becoming unmotivated due to not reaching personal goals. Which brings me to my fourth point ...

4. To start with, set your goals low. Set goals you know for a fact you can reach. If you set them too high, and continuously fail to meet them, you are going to feel really bad about yourself. This may result in neglecting your goals altogether. I know this from personal experience. If you later realize that you are meeting your goals with ease, gradually make them more challenging. But I strongly urge you to start small. It’s better for you, psychologically, to meet easy goals, than to struggle meeting difficult goals. Not achieving goals is a major hazard for self-esteem, motivation, and creativity.

So what about the rest?

Let’s see. These are the things I continuously have on the go that are not part of my day job or writing books, and I still find time to walk the dog and make dinner (sorry, the washing is still on the couch):

—Vine Leaves Literary Journal (reading submissions, sending rejection/acceptance letters, designing the magazine, promoting the magazine)

Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop (organizing the event and handling finances)

Typesetting, designing, and marketing my books (which includes, what seems, a never-ending thread of guest posts and interviews)

Blogging (including keeping up to speed with my weekly guest feature, The Artist Unleashed)

Maintaining my online presence (Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.)

I do all this stuff on top of the day job. On top of my writing. Because I do it all in scheduled, short bursts. I get up early to make sure I have one hour to write and one hour to do something else from the list above. I pick and choose depending on priority. During my lunch break, I blog and spend about half an hour to an hour (depends on how long I can take from work) on social media. After work, I walk the dog, make dinner, maybe go to yoga. Once that’s done, I’ll spend another hour or so doing something else from the list above. Then I have a shower, relax in front of the TV, or do something else away from the computer before I go to bed. Then in bed, I’ll read a chapter or two of the book on my bedside table. Reading to me is relaxing and not a chore.

So what have I accomplished in this average day of mine?

Here’s an example:

My job (at least 7 hours worth)

500-1000 words on my WIP

I read 30 Vine Leaves submissions and sent a few responses, maybe even set up a classified ad on NewPages.com.

I wrote/scheduled a blog post, commented on other blogs.

I connected with everyone I wanted to online. I may have worked on my latest book cover for a bit.

I made dinner.

I walked the dog.

I relaxed.

Look ... I’ll deal with those clothes tomorrow, okay?

I know people with kids who have just as much, and more, on their plate, and they’re still finding the time to self-publish. You can too.

My point is, it can all be done. And it doesn’t have to freak you out, or overwhelm you. Just pace yourself. And if you don’t have a full-time job like me, imagine how much more you can get done.

Nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it.

Nothing is impossible if you truly want it.

Nothing is impossible. Full stop.


If Jessica Bell could choose only one creative mentor, she’d give the role to Euterpe, the Greek muse of music and lyrics. This is not only because she currently resides in Athens, Greece, but because of her life as a thirty-something Australian-native contemporary fiction author, poet and singer/songwriter/guitarist, whose literary inspiration often stems from songs she’s written.

In addition to her novels, poetry collections, (one of which was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Awards in 2012), and her Writing in a Nutshell series, she has published a variety of works in online and print literary journals and anthologies, including Australia’s Cordite Review, and the anthologies 100 STORIES FOR QUEENSLAND and FROM STAGE DOOR SHADOWS, both released through Australia’s, eMergent Publishing.

Jessica is the Co-Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal and annually runs the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop on the Greek island of Ithaca. She makes a living as a writer/editor for English Language Teaching Publishers worldwide, such as Pearson Education, HarperCollins, MacMillan Education, Education First and Cengage Learning.

Keep an eye out for her forthcoming novel, BITTER LIKE ORANGE PEEL, slated for release, November 1, 2013.


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Genre –  Non-fiction

Rating – G

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Connect with Jessica Bell on FacebookTwitter

Blog http://thealliterativeallomorph.blogspot.com/

Gringa – A Love Story (Complete Series books 1-4) by Eve Rabi @EveRabi1

Who is your favorite author?

Eve Rabi. She is simply amazing. I love her books. She is smart. She is …okay fine, John Grisham.

What book genre of books do you adore?

I like courtroom with romance. Gritty, earthy stories.

What book should everybody read at least once?

You Will Pay for Leaving Me, by Eve Rabi. Seriously, it’s a great book and it’s free.

It’s sad in the beginning, but it’s about a woman’s strength and her ability to make things happen. I guarantee, you will laugh and you will remember this book .


Is there any books you really don’t enjoy?

I dislike, girl meets guy, they fall in love on first sight because they are ‘hot’. Not my cup of tea.


This is the complete Gringa Series, books 1-4 being offered at a discounted price.


I was twenty-one, a sassy college student who took crap from no one. While holidaying in Mexico, I was accosted by Diablo and shot, because the motherfucker mistook me for a spy.

I survived, only to encounter him again months later. How’s that for luck?
Furious and sick of all that I’d been through because of him, I slapped him, told him to go fuck himself and braced myself for the bullet. He could shoot me – I no longer cared.
But, to my surprise, the fucker became fascinated with me and blackmailed me into becoming his woman. He’d slay the entire village that sheltered me, if I rejected his proposal.
He was Kong, hairy, tattooed from fingertips to face, with scary ass piercings, blood-shot snake eyes, a ruthless killer and above all, he was my murderer – how could anyone expect me to say yes?
To save the village I had to.
He took me by force, terrorized me into submission and made me his. To make matters worse, I had to put up with his ruthless, backstabbing family who hated me and wanted to kill me.
I despised the bastard and I told him that. Spark flew. Fists too.
When the FBI came on the scene and secretly recruited me to help put Diablo behind bars, I was thrilled. I wanted them to throw his ass behind bars, then torment him for the rest of his life like he was doing to me. I was willing to do whatever it took to get him there.
But, the more I rejected Diablo, the more he wanted me.
At times he wanted to kill me because of my insolence, but other times he just wanted me to love him.
I was his Gringa and in an attempt to get my love, he began to change for me. Drastic changes that made me laugh at him at first, then made me curious and even intrigued me.
After all, I was an ignored child and as an adult, nobody gave a rat’s ass about me. Here was a man who actually wanted me and was willing to do whatever it took to get me – how the hell could I not be flattered?
As the days went by, I found myself drawn to him and I began seeing him differently. When I found out about his past, everything changed.
I now wanted to protect my murderer, my tormentor, The Devil of Mexico from the FBI and I was prepared to lie to the Feds, if it meant saving him from them.
I was even prepared to go to jail for him.
And I did.
My days in Mexico were filled with violence, hate, lust and sorrow.
It was also filled with laughter, love and passion and most importantly, it taught me that love conquers all.

Gringa – a modern–day, love story that will have you laughing, crying and wanting more!

WARNING: This book contains sexual violence, sex scenes, graphic language, drug references, violence and is suitable for mature readers


“A crude rendition of Beauty and the beast”

“IMO, It is one of the best romance books ive read in some time. I read it all in one sitting. I couldnt peel my eyes away even for a minute. The story had it all from action to romance.”

“Some scenes had me giggling out loud, but there was one scene that had me laughing out loud for a couple minutes.”

“This book is not for the faint of heart. It’s horrible, dirty, raw, passionate, hilarious, sweet, sad, addictive, and so much more.”

‘One thing that I like from this author now that I have read all her books is that she takes time to develop her characters as well as develop the romance. There is no zero to 60 in 3 seconds here. Her characters are flawed and multi-dimentional. They also experience growth throughout the book. There are plenty of twists and turns in ths book to keep you guessing.’

“A college student, an alpha male. Nuff said. The author has woven such intricate characters in this tale and I will be hard pressed to find another book which was so well rounded and beautifully written.”

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Genre – Fiction

Rating – PG 13

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Blog http://everabi.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Breathing for Two by Wolf Pascoe @WolfPascoe

IN the freshman year of my anesthesia residency, I was given a lesson in breathing by a patient whom I’ll call Otto. Anesthesia residencies come replete with breathing lessons, but Otto was also teaching humility that day, a subject absent from the formal anesthesia curriculum.
A doctor gets humility not from curricula but from his patients. I acquired a truckload of humility the day I met Otto, and the truck has only gotten larger since.
Otto was undergoing a cystoscopy, a look inside the bladder performed by passing a thin viewing scope through the urethra. There is no incision in such a procedure.
Generally, you don’t need anything fancy to support a patient’s breathing while giving anesthesia during a cystoscopy. As the patient passes from wakefulness into unconsciousness you can let him continue to breathe for himself.
In Otto’s case, I strapped a rubber anesthesia mask over his mouth and nose to make an airtight seal against his skin, and delivered through the mask an appropriate combination of oxygen and anesthetic gas. In principle, what I did was essentially what the Boston dentist, William Thomas Green Morton, had done during the first public demonstration of ether anesthesia in 1846.
The modern anesthesia face mask is a hollow cone of rubber or plastic. It’s like the oxygen mask that drops down from above a passenger’s head on an airplane, though it’s more substantially built. The base is malleable and cushioned by a ring of air, a sort of inner tube. The mask is shaped to fit around the nose and mouth; with a bit of pressure, it seals against the skin. The top of the mask connects to a source of anesthetic vapor and oxygen.
Readers of a certain age may remember the TV series, Marcus Welby, M.D., which began each week with Dr. Welby lowering a black anesthesia mask down over the camera lens. In those days, apparently, the family doctor did everything.
The anesthesia machine—the “cascade of glass columns, porcelain knobs and metal conduits” I described previously—is the gas delivery system. The machine connects to an oxygen tank and directs the flow of oxygen from the tank through a vaporizer where the oxygen mixes with anesthesia gas. The mixture passes out of the machine through plastic tubing (“anesthesia hose”) that connects to the face mask.
The patient breathes the mixture.
Gas leaving the anesthesia machine actually flows through the anesthesia tubing in a circle—in fact it’s called the circle system. One limb of the circle travels from the machine to the anesthesia mask, where the patient inhales it. The other limb, carrying exhaled gas, travels from the mask back to the machine, where excess carbon dioxide from the patient is filtered out. The filtered gas is mixed with fresh gas and travels back to the patient.
The same gases, minus the carbon dioxide, keep going round and round. The system is airtight, except for a pop-off valve that relieves excess pressure.
Otto was a large man with a thickly muscled neck, but by extending his head I could keep his airway clear, allowing him to continue breathing while the urologist worked. Instead of using an anesthesia mask to deliver my mix of gases, I could have assured Otto’s airway by using an endotracheal tube. This is a long breathing tube (about a centimeter in diameter) inserted through the mouth all the way into the trachea.
But getting an endotracheal tube in isn’t always easy, and it’s usually not necessary during a cystoscopy. Most often an anesthesia mask will do.
One side effect of anesthesia is the loss of normal muscle tone. This happened to Otto. A few minutes into the case, his flaccid tongue fell back in his throat. His diaphragm continued to contract, but air couldn’t get through to the lungs—his airway was obstructed. Otto was, of course, completely unconscious at this point.
Everyone loses some muscle tone during sleep—this is the cause of snoring, and of the more serious condition of sleep apnea. But the loss of tone is even greater under anesthesia, and the anesthetized patient cannot rouse herself to find a better breathing position.
I managed the problem by putting a short plastic tube called an airway into Otto’s mouth. The airway depressed the tongue and cleared a passage for air. It wasn’t as good as an endotracheal tube, which would have extended all the way into Otto’s trachea, but it seemed to do the trick.

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Genre – Non-fiction / Memoir
Rating – G
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Monday, November 25, 2013

#AmReading - The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert @GilbertLiz

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert


A glorious, sweeping novel of desire, ambition, and the thirst for knowledge, from the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love and Committed
In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker—a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia. Born in 1800, Henry’s brilliant daughter, Alma (who inherits both her father’s money and his mind), ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself. As Alma’s research takes her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, she falls in love with a man named Ambrose Pike who makes incomparable paintings of orchids and who draws her in the exact opposite direction—into the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical. Alma is a clear-minded scientist; Ambrose a utopian artist—but what unites this unlikely couple is a desperate need to understand the workings of this world and the mechanisms behind all life.
Exquisitely researched and told at a galloping pace, The Signature of All Things soars across the globe—from London to Peru to Philadelphia to Tahiti to Amsterdam, and beyond. Along the way, the story is peopled with unforgettable characters: missionaries, abolitionists, adventurers, astronomers, sea captains, geniuses, and the quite mad. But most memorable of all, it is the story of Alma Whittaker, who—born in the Age of Enlightenment, but living well into the Industrial Revolution—bears witness to that extraordinary moment in human history when all the old assumptions about science, religion, commerce, and class were exploding into dangerous new ideas. Written in the bold, questing spirit of that singular time, Gilbert’s wise, deep, and spellbinding tale is certain to capture the hearts and minds of readers.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Howling Heart by April Bostic

* * * *

Three days after my father’s funeral, I landed at the airport in Denver. I rented a Jeep Wrangler, because I needed a four-wheel-drive vehicle to get up the mountain. The July weather was mild, so I wore khaki shorts, a plain white tee, and beige Vans sneakers.

One of the odd things about finding our cabin was you had to find the nearby town first. I remembered we got lost during our vacation, which caused an argument between my parents. Finding the road that led to the town was tricky, because there was only one accessible by vehicle, and there was no road sign. My father knew how to get there, because the person who sold him the cabin gave him a landmark. Luckily, he passed that information onto me during one of our conversations. Once you found the road, the town was so small that if you blinked, you’d drive right by it. When my mother said it was remote, she wasn’t being facetious.

I drove on the interstate for over an hour before I realized I missed my turn. I had to find a tree shaped like a wishbone—it was struck by lightning — but all the trees looked alike to me. It took another half-hour for me to turn around and make another attempt.

I found my landmark, but a tangle of fallen branches blocked the entrance. My hands gripped the steering wheel. I knew I was in for a bumpy ride. I floored the accelerator, and the Jeep broke through the roadblock. The road was narrow, and the terrain was rough. Whoever constructed it didn’t want people to travel on it. I screamed when tree branches appeared out of nowhere and banged against the windshield. The forest surrounded me on both sides, and I wondered if I’d ever reach the town.


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Genre – Paranormal Romance

Rating – Adult

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Website http://www.aprilbostic.com/

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Excerpt: Blood Moon (The Huntress/FBI Thrillers) by Alexandra Sokoloff

Chapter Three

The house lies on the outskirts of the desert community, lone and isolated. A strong wind blows over the surrounding land, swirling dust demons across the darkness of the fields. In the black of sky, a million stars tremble around the full moon. In the split rail fence encircling the large yard the front gate stands open; as the wind moves it, the wood seems to be alive, shivering.

He passes through the opening and moves up the dirt road, through the small grove of eucalyptus and olive trees. The spicy scent surrounds him, the leaves whisper above, a dry rattle. The house comes into sight through the trees, and he sees the front door standing open as well.

The wind gusts around him and the feeling of doom closes in as he moves up the pavers toward the triangular arched front entrance and stops on the porch, listening…

Nothing but silence from the darkness within.

He steps through the open doorway, past the carved wooden door, into the entry hall with its white painted brick walls and tiled floor.

And then he sees the blood.

The horror comes rushing over him. He has been here a hundred times before. Every detail is as it always is, the tiled floor, the white stucco walls, cold moonlight through the tall arched windows. He can feel the presence of madness, hear the harsh breath of the unimaginable thing that is waiting for him at the end of the hallway.

He is no longer a man, but a boy, just a boy, no match for whatever lies behind that door. The terror has turned every cell in his body to ice; his feet can barely move him forward. On the floor around him is a pool of dark, he is up to his ankles in it, and it is not cold, like water, but warm, like…

Smells like

Copper. Stink. Death.

And those crumpled shapes on the floor around him, the sleeping mounds… but not sleeping, no, the eyes are open, staring. An entire family, slashed, stabbed... slaughtered.

He turns to run.

In front of him a shadow looms... he can feel it reaching for him… feel the scream rising in his throat—

It is not a monster, but a woman who steps out of the shadows. Her face is beautiful, luminous in the pale moonlight.

The gash in her throat drips blood.

And when she reaches for him, he does not know if it is to embrace him — or kill him —

Roarke jarred awake with the queasy feeling that he had spoken or shouted aloud. He lay in the motel bed, and forced himself to breathe, to slow his racing heart.

The dream was his past and his present, merged. An old nightmare from his childhood, that he’d had periodically since the Reaper had disappeared, never to be caught, never to be found. There was a new presence now: the adult Cara.

As he lay still in the motel bed, he listened to the unaccustomed silence, broken at last by the distant roar of a big rig, somewhere on the freeway. He reached for his phone on the bed stand to check the time. It was just past noon, and he was somewhere in the desert off Interstate 10, east of Los Angeles.

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Genre – Mystery / Thriller

Rating – PG13

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Website http://alexandrasokoloff.com/

Friday, November 22, 2013

Joyfully Yours by Amy Lamont @Amy_Lamont

Chapter Two

Faith trudged up the walkway of her mother’s duplex clutching her two cans of cranberries to her chest. Looking up at the house, her steps slowed. The faded brick and white awnings were exactly the same as when she was a kid. Warmth seeped slowly into her chest, but she couldn’t help but shake her head. 

Distance-wise she was only a few miles or so from her own apartment. But her neighborhood, with its mixture of industrial buildings, artists’ studios, and funky little shops, was a long way from the tree-lined streets and neat rows of duplexes that marked the Brooklyn neighborhood she’d grown up in. 

She clutched the wrought iron railing separating her mother’s stoop from the neighbor’s, ready to navigate the too-steep concrete steps in order to get to the welcoming warmth of her family home. 

Definitely too steep. Faith tottered up on her slim heels, wishing her feet were snug inside a toasty pair of Uggs instead of the heels that were sure to be the death of her. But there was no way she could arrive at her mother’s house for a holiday in comfortable clothing. Her mother would have her head if she showed up in the jeans and boots she wanted to wear. She’d opted instead for a little black dress and the silver heels of death. She might still catch hell for not being more festive, but for some reason she had no sweater sets featuring pumpkins and fall leaves. She rolled her eyes as she remembered the outfit her sister Maddie wore to Thanksgiving last year.

Faith raised a hand to knock, but the door burst open. She tripped over the threshold and fell into her brother’s arms. 

He snatched her into the house and shoved her into the powder room just inside the front door before she could so much as blink. “Faith, thank God you’re here.”

She gave him the stink eye. “What the heck, Frank?”

He took her by the shoulders. “Just wait. Wait until you see the yummy morsel Mom invited to dinner.” 

She scrunched her nose at him. Frank didn’t usually have such a flare for the dramatic, but they did seem to share the same taste in men. A fact their mother tried to ignore, often inviting a “nice girl” over for dinner in an attempt to convince Frank that being gay was just a phase. His excitement over his mother’s guest definitely raised her curiosity. 

Frank slid her coat off her shoulders and opened the bathroom door enough to slip an arm out and hang it on the hall coat rack. He cracked the door a bit wider and poked his head out, ensuring the coast was clear before tugging her by the hand to the living room doorway. With a finger to his lips, he motioned for her to take a peek around the corner while he moved stealthily to the other side to get his own gander at their guest. 

Faith’s gaze immediately fell on the man standing in front of the fireplace admiring the considerable display of family photos. With only a view of his back, she scrutinized what she could make out—dark hair falling just over his collar, starched blue oxford shirt tucked into khaki pants. 

The outfit was a little conservative for her taste, but those broad shoulders, long legs, and tight buns could make up for a plethora of fashion faux pas. A thought began to tickle at the back of her mind and she narrowed her eyes. The tickle became a smack upside the head as the man turned from the mantle. They jumped back, each hiding on their respective sides of the doorframe.

“Dibs,” Frank whispered. 

Faith smirked and shook her head. She didn’t need to see full frontal, so to speak, to know who her mother’s guest was. “He’s taken.” 

“What? By who?” 



“He’s taken by God.” She kept her voice low to ensure the room’s occupant couldn’t hear her. “He’s a priest.”

“No way!” Frank mouthed at her, his mouth dropping open. 

“What are you two doing skulking around out here?” 

They jumped as if on cue. Faith rolled her eyes. Talk about skulking. Of course they hadn’t heard their mother come down the hall from the kitchen. Stealth was one of their mother’s greatest gifts. Right up there with giving guilt and matching her shoes and purse to her lipstick.

“Faith, don’t roll your eyes. Come in and greet our guest.” 

Great. Back home for less than five minutes and already feeling like a ten-year-old. She leaned over and pecked her mother’s powdered cheek. “Happy Thanksgiving, Mom.” 

Her mother gave her an affectionate, if absent-minded, pat on the shoulder and immediately homed in on Faith’s hands. Faith’s empty hands. “You forgot the cranberries.” 

Faith knew she made the right decision forgoing her paycheck in favor of getting those cranberries. The horror in her mother’s voice made it sound like forgetting the cranberries was a sin akin to selling herself on the street. Now if only she could remember where she left those cans. 

“Oh!” She scooted back into the powder room. There were the cranberries, perched exactly where she left them on the edge of the sink. She emerged from the bathroom holding a can up high in each hand just as their guest appeared from the living room. Their gazes met and a slow grin spread across his face. 

Joyfully Yours

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Genre - Contemporary Holiday Romance

Rating – PG

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Connect with Amy Lamont on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://amylamont.com

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#AmReading - Whiskey Sour by J.A. Konrath @jakonrath

Whiskey Sour by J.A. Konrath


Lieutenant Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels is having a bad week. Her live-in boyfriend has left her for his personal trainer, chronic insomnia has caused her to max out her credit cards with late-night home shopping purchases, and a frightening killer who calls himself 'The Gingerbread Man' is dumping mutilated bodies in her district.
While avoiding the FBI and its moronic profiling computer, joining a dating service, mixing it up with street thugs, and parrying the advances of an uncouth PI, Jack and her binge-eating partner, Herb, must catch the maniac before he kills again...and Jack is next on his murder list.
Whiskey Sour is the first book in the bestselling Jack Daniels series, full of laugh-out-loud humor and edge-of-your-seat suspense.

Onio by Linell Jeppsen @nelj8

Chapter 4

For four days, Mel drifted in and out of consciousness. When she was able to swim up from the tendrils of death that held her, she dreamed vivid and horrifying dreams.

Once, she sat up with a start and saw a scene from Dante’s Inferno. She saw a huge hairy man being flogged by a branchless tree trunk. The tree was very large and the branches on it had been cut crudely so that long splinters sprouted from its surface like jagged teeth. The man was held in place by long ropes of vine that were hung from stalactites so that his feet barely touched the floor. He was screaming while others of his kind either cheered in triumph or wept with sympathy.

Another time Mel awoke in a hospital room with nurses all around her. She felt like she was in familiar territory, but wondered how she had changed places with her mother. Her mom held her wrist in one large hand and peered into her eyes with concern.

“Mama…,” she croaked, and drew back in alarm when her mother’s face disappeared. Now she was surrounded by monsters. Their giant hairy faces leered down at her. Their mouths sang an eerie chorus Mel couldn’t hear, but understood. The hospital room dissolved into a small cave and her crisp, white sheets were replaced by a scruffy fur blanket. She shrugged it off, screaming, before succumbing to the healing darkness once again.

Finally Mel awoke to voices. She felt a little better and her head no longer felt like it might explode. She looked over to the far side of the cave and saw Onio being tended to by the old sasquatch female. He looked pale and shaken. The old one, whose name was Rain, rubbed some sort of ointment on Onio’s back. Although their lips didn’t move, they were talking. Mel closed her eyes and listened.

“Onio, what he did was just,” she murmured.

“Just!” Onio snarled. “The test is designed to punish the worst criminals…murderers, and rapines! What I did was not even a crime! Why did he bring his grandson, who would be king, to his knees?”

Mel peeked at the two sasquatches through her eyelashes. She saw that Onio’s head was bowed and that his shoulders heaved with sobs. Rain stood some distance away and wiped her hands clean with a rag. She regarded her grandson with an eyebrow raised in equal parts exasperation and love.

She brought Onio a mug of something to drink and Mel’s throat ached with thirst. She watched as he set the mug down, staring at the floor in anger. Rain sat next to him on the shelf of rock that served as a bed.

“Onio, what you did was akin to murder. I know you know this, because I have taught you these things myself!” She placed a hand on the male’s thigh. “I will teach it again, Grandson,” she continued. “Maybe this time you will listen and truly understand.”

Rain slapped the young sasquatch sharply and stood up. Onio hunched his shoulders at the reprimand, glaring at his own toes.

“The small humans have small brains, Grandson. Also, their brains work differently than ours. We are intuitive, telepathic and sensitive to the ways of nature and the planet around us. They are none of these things, but they are creatures of intellect. Look at the marvelous machines they construct, the technology they have invented! In many ways their workings are like magic to us. Just as, I think, our ways are magical to them.” Rain sighed.

“That is why we hide from them, Onio. They are a covetous race, and would take from us, by any means necessary, that which they desire. For many generations the humans have tried to unlock the mysteries of our brains. They want to know how to use the soul song, and would steal it from us if they could. Many times they have tried…this you know, first-hand!”

Tears were dripping out of Onio’s eyes and falling to the floor. He murmured, “I am sorry, Grandmother. I wasn’t thinking properly.”

Mel saw the old female smile as she fussed with some things in a bag, then walked over to cook something on a fire set in the middle of the floor.

“Now, finally, First Son admits to not thinking before acting.” Although the sasquatches lips didn’t move, Mel could hear the sarcasm dripping from Rain’s voice, as the smell of meat cooking filled the air.

“Onio, listen and hear my words.” Rain’s voice was urgent. “There are as many reasons as birds in the sky why we do not co-mingle with the little humans. Most importantly, they will hunt us down and kill us for the gifts we possess. They would experiment on us and dissect our brains, and all for nothing! Even if they knew how to extract our abilities, their brains do not have the means, or the capacity, for soul song. It is called neural pathways…or some such. I have forgotten the exact words.” Now she glared at her grandson again. “We think that this little human will survive what you did to her, Onio.”

Mel slammed her eyes shut as she saw the big male glance her way. Guilt was written all over his face.

“You were lucky, I think, that this creature survived at all. Your gift opened pathways in her brain…neural connections most humans are not equipped to deal with, or understand. We believe that the only reason the girl hasn’t died is because her ear canals are damaged. Our gifts are sense, rather than thought, oriented. Hearing is a sense, so her brain was able to withstand the new impulses. She is very ill, though, and will be frail for a long while to come. She may not survive the change…someday her brain might break from the strain you yourself put on it!”

Mel saw Onio put his hands over his face and shudder. “Oh Grandmother,” he moaned. “Truly, I did not think to kill this little human…I did not think at all!”

Rain nodded, filled a wooden bowl with meat, and handed it to him. She glanced over at Mel and sat down next to Onio again.

“You are young yet, Onio, and perhaps foolish, but you will be a fine leader someday. To lead well, though, you must learn to listen to the world around you. Drak, your uncle, is also a fine man, but he suffers from jealousy. He never thought that you would be declared king after Bouldar is gone…not with the small human blood that flows in your veins. That he himself told you this only serves to prove that he hasn’t the wisdom to lead the tribe.”

She chuckled. “There is a thing the small humans call irony. It took me many, many years of study to understand this concept, but I find it ironic that the very thing Drak used to wound you with actually ensures your ascension to the seat of leadership.”

She stood again and moved around behind Onio to apply more salve to his wounded back. “My husband believes that the human soldiers are renewing their efforts to find us, and hunt us down. He believes that these soldiers want to use the soul song as some sort of weapon. They are a warrior species who will use even the most benign gift as a tool for destruction!” The old female apparently forgot to be gentle in her application of the medicine on his wounds. Onio winced with pain.

“He thinks that the tribe needs a leader who can both sympathize with and out-maneuver the humans who want to conquer us. The blood in your veins has made you smarter than the rest of us…especially Drak. You still possess the tribe’s gifts, like telepathy and camouflage, but your intellect will be the thing that can save the tribe from the small humans’ greed.” She gave her grandson’s shoulders a shake, not caring that he cried out in pain.

“That leader will be you, Grandson!” she shouted. “But only if this little human woman survives and you learn to think before you act!”

Rain’s voice was pensive when she spoke again. “Before Bouldar became my husband he was much like you; curious and compelled to seek out the small humans’ company, despite the risks.” She threw her arms up with a growl of rage.

Onio revised (2)

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Genre – Fantasy/Romance

Rating – PG13

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Connect with Linell Jeppsen on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://neljeppsen.weebly.com/

Author Interview – Alana Cash

What genre are you most comfortable writing? Stories.  Fiction or nonfiction, I like to write stories.  If you look at my blog, that’s all there is – stories of my adventures – stories of my friends’ adventures.

The genre I have difficulty with is the one I’m dealing with write now – writing nonfiction in a linear fashion – nonfiction in which I do not see a story in my mind.

Have you developed a specific writing style? Yes.  Rather than describe someone in prose, I prefer to do it in dialogue.

Sometimes I do not write in complete sentences.  I write a phrase.  I write a word.  Because that is how we actually think.  We don’t think in complete sentences.  However, more often I do use complete sentences.  I had an editor try to remove those incomplete sentences/phrases, making them into sentences.  But that wouldn’t have been my storytelling.

In “Dam Broke,” I didn’t give the narrator a name because the story is told in first-person and she and her friend had known each other for seven years and they wouldn’t be using names.  However, an editor decided to insert a name and call her “Linda.”  What!  So, I used her name, Annabelle, once in the story (and removed “Linda”).

Will I write other books in this same genre? Sort of.  HOW YOU LEAVE TEXAS is four separate stories about four young women who live in different Texas cities and leave Texas for different reasons.  What I am writing currently is a series of short stories about a girl growing up as a military brat.  The stories are sequential and they will read more like a novel when I get them finished.

Have you started another book yet? Yes, I have started the book about a girl growing up as a military brat.  I have two stories that have already been published – one of them won and award.  I have drafts of about seven other stories.  I need to edit those stories and write a few more.  Sounds simple, but just putting that down in writing that made me want to take a nap.

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Genre –  Women’s Fiction

Rating – PG13

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Connect with Alana Cash on her

Blog http://howyoulovetexas.blogspot.com/

The King of Sunday Morning by J.B. McCauley @MccauleyJay


King of Sunday Morning

The King of Sunday Morning is a geezer. Not in the traditional sense of the word as in old man. This geezer is a face, a wannabe, a top notch bloke. He is the greatest DJ that never was. He should have been. Could have been. Would have been. Now becoming a has-been.

Tray McCarthy was born into privilege but with the genetic coding of London’s violent East End. Having broken the underworld’s sacred honour code, it is only his family’s gangland connections that save him. But in return for his life, he must deny that which he has ever known or ever will be and runs to Australia where he is forced to live an inconsequential life.

But trouble never strays far from Tray McCarthy and eventually his past and present collide to put everyone he has ever loved in danger. He must now make a stand and fight against those that are set to destroy him and play their game according to his rules.

Set against the subterfuge and violence of the international drugs trade, The King of Sunday Morning is the tale of what can go wrong when you make bad decisions. Tray McCarthy has made some of the worst. He must now save those he holds dear but in the process gets trapped deeper and deeper into a world where he doesn’t belong.

“I want three pump-action shotguns, about twelve sticks of dynamite and a blowtorch”


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Genre – Thriller, Action, Suspense, Gangster, Crime, Music

Rating – PG-18

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

#Bargain Human Plus by David Simpson @PostHuman09


PROMOTION: Now you can switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible audiobook. Add the professional narration of Sub-Human (Book 1) for a reduced price of $2.99 after you buy the Kindle book of Sub-Human. Listen to Sub-Human Chapter 3's sample here goo.gl/kdxS8i. Also, Post-Human (Book 2), Trans-Human (Book 3) and Human Plus(Book 4) are all $0.99 each for a LIMITED TIME as well!
And their audiobooks are coming soon!

Age Range: 14 years and up

The Post-Human Trilogy is done, but the Post-Human series is just heating up! Human Plus is Book 4 in the smash hit science fiction series. Not exactly a sequel, not exactly a prequel, Human Plus will defy expectations. No matter what you thought was coming next, you're in for a surprise!
JUST ONE CAUTION: When you're finished, you're going to want to share the surprises with everyone online...Please don't! Please respect future readers and let them enjoy the surprises just as much as you did!

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Genre - Science Fiction

Rating – PG

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Boundless by Brad Cotton @BradCott0n

Chapter 6

NOT TWENTY MINUTES after leaving the motel, young Ruby fell asleep upon her bag in the back seat. As the BMW crossed the border into Colorado just before lunch, Ruby had still not awoken.

“When did you know?” Ray asked Duncan. He put down his book and looked over to the driver.

“Know what?”

“Did you just decide it one day or did you always think it?”

“This again?”

“Maybe it’s just a feeling,” Ray surmised. “Like people who think that everything happens for a reason. But you don’t think that, do you?”

“I think some things happen for a reason, sure,” Duncan said.


“Why would there be a word for fate if it didn’t exist?”

“There’s a word for unicorns, isn’t there?”

“I think there has to be some kind of plan,” Duncan said. “You can fall off the path or change direction, but you can’t run from who you are.”

“What’re you guys talking about?” a voice said from the back seat.

Ray curled his head around the over-sized headrest.

“Oh, nothing,” he said. “Just something we started a long time ago.”


“No. Not unicorns.”

“It sounds like you’re talking about unicorns.”

“Ray’s been trying to understand how I can believe in God,” Duncan said.

Duncan looked in the rear view mirror to see if he could catch Ruby’s reaction. He couldn’t even see the top of her head. Though awake, Ruby had slouched down even further and curled across the entire back seat. She rested her head on her bag and shut her eyes once more.

“Arguing whether there is or isn’t a God is like arguing whether or not a song is good,” she said. “You can never be right and you can never be wrong.”

“You believe in God?” Ray asked.

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t know?”

“I’m assuming you don’t?”

“Not for a second.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“The evidence against it is overwhelming.”

“So then what happens to you when you die?” Ruby asked.

“You die,” Ray said. “You’re dead. End. Over. Bye bye.”

“I think I believe in reincarnation,” Ruby said, her eyes still closed. “Haven’t you ever met someone that you feel you’ve met before, or that you know from somewhere else? And what about all those people that just seem so new?”

“Well, if there is such a thing as reincarnation, I’d come back as a cat,” Ray said.

“A cat?” Duncan said. “You hate cats.”

“For the same reasons I’d want to be one.”

“A cat?”

“A housecat, yeah. I’d lie around all day. Someone else would get my food, rub me down, and no one would give a shit if I ever paid any attention to them.”

“Pray on it,” Duncan said.

“Don’t you want to be in heaven?” Ruby asked. “Don’t you want to think that once you die you’ll get to be with the people you love? The people you’ve lost?”

“I think it sounds like a pretty crowded place,” Ray said. “And no, I don’t think I’d want to be anywhere where I had no purpose.”

Duncan shook his head.

“Can we stop?” Ruby asked.

“Yes, please,” Duncan said. “We’ve been talking about it forever and we never get anywhere.”

“No, can we stop. I’m a girl, small bladder.”

“Oh, yeah, sure,” Duncan answered. “I’m hungry, anyway.”

“Yeah, a cat.” Ray said. “That’s the life.” He nodded as he looked out the window at the grass whizzing by.

Duncan pulled off Interstate 70 at the outskirts of Grand Junction, Colorado. He screeched into a gas station and Ruby sprung from the car and scurried to the washroom. Ray got out to stretch his legs; Duncan began refueling.


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Genre – Contemporary Fiction/Literary Fiction

Rating – R

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Website http://www.bradcotton.com/

The Curse Giver by Dora Machado @DoraMachado #TheCurseGiver

Curse Giver
Lusielle’s bleak but orderly life as a remedy mixer is shattered when she is sentenced to die for a crime she didn’t commit. She’s on the pyre, about to be burned, when a stranger breaks through the crowd and rescues her from the flames. Brennus, Lord of Laonia is the last of his line. He is caught in the grip of a mysterious curse that has murdered his kin, doomed his people and embittered his life. To defeat the curse, he must hunt a birthmark and kill the woman who bears it in the foulest of ways. Lusielle bears such a mark. Stalked by intrigue and confounded by the forbidden passion flaring between them, predator and prey must come together to defeat not only the vile curse, but also the curse giver who has already conjured their demise.
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Genre – Fantasy/Dark Fantasy
Rating – PG-18
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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Birth of an Assassin by Rik Stone @stone_rik

Chapter 4

Colonel Michel Petrichova read the dossier as Jez stood to attention in front of his desk.

“At ease, Kornfeld… You said you were as fit as anyone here and it appears you weren’t far wrong.” He looked up over half-framed glasses. “And according to the man I had at the camp, you’re a natural rifleman, and your ability to deal with military strategy and leadership, as far as it went, is excellent. I commend you… but he also said you broke your NCO’s arm in response to a bit of bullying.”

He turned back to the report and Jez was sure it was to hide a grin. When the colonel’s words had sunk in, he realized who the man in the shadows had been.

The colonel lifted his gaze but his face had soured. “Of course, you realize you could be in a prison cell right now?”

“Yes, sir, but…”

He held up a stilling hand. “No buts. If my man hadn’t been there to stop any further action, that is where you would be. Watch your temper.”

“Yes, sir,” he said, but felt cheated.

Petrichova sifted through the paperwork. “It says here that you became cozy with one of the girls in the unit.” He sounded foreboding.

“We were friendly, sir, but now we’ve gone our separate ways,” Jez replied, but hoped he was wrong.

“Good. I’m about to have you assigned to a special unit and I don’t want my time wasted by you messing around with girls. Understand?”

“Yes, Colonel. And I look forward to the opportunity you’re giving me, sir.”

And he did. He wanted to jump up and punch the air. But more than that, he wanted to run from the office and find Anna. He’d love to hear one of her blunt responses.


Birth of an Assassin

Set against the backdrop of Soviet, post-war Russia, Birth of an Assassin follows the transformation of Jez Kornfeld from wide-eyed recruit to avenging outlaw. Amidst a murky underworld of flesh-trafficking, prostitution and institutionalized corruption, the elite Jewish soldier is thrown into a world where nothing is what it seems, nobody can be trusted, and everything can be violently torn from him.

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Genre - Thriller, Crime, Suspense

Rating – R

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Website http://rik-stone.simdif.com