Friday, May 31, 2013

Orangeberry Free Alert - HORSES AND HEROIN by Bev Pettersen

Horses and Heroin - Bev Pettersen

Amazon Kindle US

Amazon Kindle UK

Genre - Romantic Suspense

Rating - PG

4.6 (153 reviews)

Free until 4th June 2013

JOCKEY SCHOOL IS NOT WHAT IT SEEMS.
A talented rider disappears without a trace.
His frantic sister poses as a student.
A private investigator's plans for quiet recuperation are shattered.

Megan is determined to find her missing brother even though no one else at the illustrious California Jockey School seems to care. Her only ally is a recuperating PI who unfortunately is the owner's best friend. Soon she is caught between a blossoming romance and a far-reaching conspiracy...where misplaced trust can be deadly.

Orangeberry Book of the Day – Trouble in Paradise by Deborah Brown

A Brand-New Madison Westin Novel, with More Craziness in Tarpon Cove…

Remember Madison? What she had to go through… inheriting her aunt’s cottages was peanuts compared to what awaits her in TROUBLE IN PARADISE, the latest addition to the Paradise Series.

What is big news in small town Tarpon Cove? An accidental drowning or maybe even a ruthless murder? When a dead fisherman rolls up on the shore of Tarpon Cove, Madison cannot resist but to jump into her new role as Private Investigator, with only one goal in mind: to solve this intriguing mystery of the dead guy. But things do not go as Madison wants as she discovers that people in small towns are usually tight lipped, and that is certainly the case for the residents of Tarpon Cove. Although a hot bed for gossip, in a town where everyone knows everyone’s business, what is safer than keeping your mouth shut?

But that is not all…

With Madison’s tenant assessment skills not shaping up, her cottages are still full of riffraff, and it has become Tarpon Cove’s hotbed for illegal affairs. Madison teams up with her best friend and Glock-carrying Fabiana… Together they take on cases no other investigators would ever dare to touch in Tarpon Cove or anywhere else. Sometimes a girl needs a bubble bath and a fun book. So draw your bath and dive into Madison’s adventures!

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Mystery

Rating – PG13

More details about the author

Connect with Deborah Brown on Facebook & Twitter

Maggie Thom – Reading… a Personal Journey

Reading… a Personal Journey

by Maggie Thom

There are people who love reading and people who hate reading. I am one of those people that loves to read. Put words in front of me and I will read them. Recently, I got asked what I like to read. I’ve been asked this many times before but for some reason this was enough for me to really look at what it is that I do read. Probably, like most avid readers I started reading at a young age. I was a teenager though, before I was really hooked – I had found Harlequin Romances.

I thought they were great, until someone said to me, ‘you read those?’ Of course, not wanting to be ‘that kind of person’, I still read them but didn’t tell anyone and then I searched for other types of books. That comment bothered me for a while until I realized that it actually opened doors for me. Or books, as it were. I expanded my horizons and found other wonderful stories. I still enjoy a romance but now I love a wide variety of stories, which might not have happened if someone hadn’t said that to me. I found the Diary of Anne Frank, Helter Skelter and other real life stories. Then I got into Science Fiction/Fantasy – The Hobbit, Lord of the Ring Series, Thomas Covenant – White Gold Wielder (still one of my favorite series). Robert Ludlum though, became one of my true great authors to read. Loved everything he wrote and have read all of his books. And of course from following his writings, I found Ken Follet, Clive Cussler, John Grisham and many others. Along the way, I also read Nora Roberts, Jayne Anne Krentz and Sandra Brown (another of my favorite authors). I’m not even going to mention all the nonfiction I read.

I have gone through phases where I read a lot of one author or one type of book (i.e. fantasy, espionage, etc) and then I seem to move onto another type of genre for a while. I always seem to keep suspense as my backup though but I will read almost anything else.

What I’ve discovered is that my taste is very eclectic. I just love to read. If the story and/or the message is good, I’m hooked. I thought all readers were like me and read almost anything they could get their hands on but I have learned that isn’t true. There are several readers who do not stray far from the one or two genres or areas of interest they’ve chosen.

Reading is something that is very personal. Everybody reads for different reasons and are looking to get something different out of each story. Which is one of the things that makes reading so exciting. Read to escape. Read for the love of it. Read for knowledge. Just read!

What do you like to read? What do you like to see in a story?

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Suspense

Rating – PG13

More details about the book

Connect with Maggie Thom on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.maggiethom.com/

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Orangeberry Book of the Day – Killer Work from Home Jobs: 460 Jobs SUPER BOOK by Lee Evans

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What’s in This Book?

Killer Work from Home Jobs: 460 Jobs SUPER BOOK, has 160 NEW jobs, 200 jobs from Killer Work from Home Jobs 1, and 100 jobs from Killer Work from Home Jobs 2. There’s no story. No lessons. Just jobs! Economical too – it’s three books in one. SUPER BOOK identifies Fortune 500 & Legitimate Work at Home Jobs from global, national, mid-sized and start-ups with wings.

Why You Need This Book!

Killer Work from Home Jobs: 460 Jobs SUPER BOOK will help you accomplish your dream.

  • Is it finally time to find a job so that you can work from home?
  • Do you really want to trudge hours to work every day?
  • Are you looking for an honest work from home opportunity?

The idea for the Killer Work from Home Jobs Series came from the fact that I trudged to my job, as manager of someone else’s business, wondering why I wasn’t happy. I was good at what I did, achieved the company’s goals, made good money, received accolades, but something wasn’t right, there was no sense of fulfillment.

I can’t convey the melancholy I felt, I worked hard to achieve success, earned every academic credential, had a resume to swoon over. But I wasn’t a happy camper. Was this all there was?

Once I decided to work at home, it was amazing, I jumped in the air and clicked my feet! Killer Work from Home Jobs: 460 Jobs SUPER BOOK is dedicated to all those who just can’t go back to work. In addition to the “I can’t take it any mores” of the world, this book will help many who have other compelling reasons, as well. The need to work from home runs deep. Taking the first step to working at home will make you jump for joy.

How is This Book Different?

How is Killer Work from Home Jobs: 460 Jobs SUPER BOOK different from other work from home books? It is the largest compilation of home-based jobs available on Amazon today.

  • Is the company financially healthy?
  • Has the company been around for awhile?
  • Does the company have a global footprint?
  • Does the company have “money in the bank?”

My months of research answered these questions, to provide you with key company data.

My Promise to You

I verified all links in Killer Work from Home Jobs: 460 Jobs SUPER BOOK at publication. Since companies change web pages, and job needs, if any of the links don’t work, simply contact me at Free-Job-Search-Websites.com, I’ll provide you with revised link info & you can get notice of new books, too.

You’re not just buying a book, you’re buying my promise that I’ll tirelessly provide you with the most up to date info at my disposal. I want to help you make your dream come true!

Learn how to find Killer Work from Home Jobs

Genre – NonFiction / Business / Job Hunting

Buy Now @ Amazon

Rating – G

More details about the author

Connect with Lee Evans on her

Website http://www.free-job-search-websites.com/

Orangeberry Free Alert - Still Fine at Forty - Dakota Madison

Still Fine at Forty - Dakota Madison

Amazon Kindle US

Amazon Kindle UK

Genre - Contemporary Romance

Rating - R

4.6 (7 reviews)

Free until 1st June 2013

It all started with a Girl's Getaway Weekend in Sedona, Arizona...
It's been a year since Jennifer Ellis's ex-husband left her for a much younger woman and Jennifer still hasn't dated. Now turning 40, Jennifer wonders if she'll ever find love again. So Jennifer's best-friend, Melanie Malone, books them on a Girl's Getaway in picturesque Sedona, Arizona in hopes of inspiring Jennifer to have a vacation fling.
Jennifer gets more than she bargained for when she meets the ruggedly handsome 29-year old tour Jeep guide, Cody Miller, and the two begin a passionate romance. What Jennifer doesn't know is that Cody has a secret past that not only threatens to destroy their new love but also expose a tragic event from Jennifer's past that she has tried desperately to forget.

Author Interview – Christoph Paul

Who or what influenced your writing over the years? I am a total literary novel snob and really love the classics and wanted to write power novels that affect people but I just went a different route with humor.

What made you want to be a writer? It was the one thing besides playing live music that truly felt right in every way.

Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it? Yes, I really had a a way with comedy and humor. I was trying so hard to be a literary novelist and I have made peace that I am more of the class clown than the philosopher.

Do you intend to make writing a career? Absolutely, I am in this for the long haul. I love writing and it look at it as a labor of love.

What are your goals as a writer? To entertain and/or enlighten the reader and grow a fan base who appreciate my brand of writing.

What books have most influenced your life? “Little Children” taught me you can be funny and write about screwed up things and still make us learn about the human condition

Can we expect any more books from you in the future? A ton, I just finished a collection of poetry called ‘Buy This Poetry Book So I Can Afford Therapy’ which should be out this summer and I am finishing the rough draft of my first YA book.

Are you reading any interesting books at the moment?

Yes ‘Horns’ by Joe Hill it is really devilishly fun.

Are there any new authors that have sparked your interest and why? Jason Najum is a new indie writer I like for his voice and showing that indie can be a way for new interesting voices to be heard.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Humor / NonFiction

Rating – NC17

More details about the book

Connect with Christoph Paul on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://christophpaulauthor.com/

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Orangeberry Free Alert - How I Wrote 2 eBooks in 21 Days by Glen Stanford

 

How I Wrote 2 eBooks in 21 Days - Glen Stanford

Amazon Kindle US

Amazon Kindle UK

Genre - Non Fiction

Rating - PG

4.6 (55 reviews)

Free until 2 June 2013

Ride a hilarious roller coaster with Glen Stanford as he follows Steve
Scott's plan in "How to Write a Nonfiction e-Book in 21 Days!"
Not one to let the writing process cramp his style, this ukulele-playing,
bluegrass-singing YouTube sensation (32 views and counting) juggles his
new-found fame with astonishing persistence to produce not one, but two
works of genius. This is the true story.
FIVE CRITICAL Reasons you MUST read this book
1. America's Funniest Recipes want you to read this book
The (secret) recipe for success:
Writer's buzz - 1 oz
Sleepless nights - 2 oz
Tenacity (and beer) - 7 (units left deliberately vague)
Irreverence and political incorrectness - to taste
Espresso - administered intravenously - 55 gal
Pizza (1/2 pepperoni, 1/2 mushroom) - 37 slices
Humility - a whole bunch
Blend and enjoy.
2. Chuck Noris wants you to read this book
You gonna argue with Chuck? I'm not! He is a huge believer in the power of
laughter because it leads to the lowering of stress hormones. This is
the carrot AND the stick - lower your stress by laughing and you won't
have to worry about Chuck getting angry with you at the same time.
P.S.
Chuck Noris is from Dubuque, Iowa and is in no way related to Chuck
Norris, the consummate actor karate-guy who would probably kick my ass
if I used his name without permission.
3. The Bible wants you to read this book
The Good Book says "A joyful heart is good medicine" (Proverbs 17:22).
Then again, it also says "Judas hanged himself" (Matthew 27:5) and "Go
and do likewise" (Luke 10:37) so you gotta be kind of selective when you
pick your quotes from this 1700-year-old classic.
4. It's flipping funny and Rated PG, too
While I might dance around some edgy subjects, I never want my readers to squirm. I leave that to the Ben Stilers of the world.
P.S.
Ben Stiler is in no way related to the incredibly funny Ben Stiller,
whose masturbatory comedic genius (when he's not meeting some Fokker)
always leaves you with a chuckle.
All of my books are swear-word-free. I tire of today's "comics" who resort to f-bombing
their material as if dirty words are the main ingredient instead of an
occasional spice.
The worst word you'll ever hear from me is "crap." Feel free to substitute something stinkier if it makes you feel
better, but honest humor shouldn't have to rely on shock jock laziness.
Then again, Howard Stearn made $100 million with his lesbian obsession and I
sell my books for the price of a cup of coffee, so what do I know?
When you see the word "flipping," you are also free to substitute something
racier, like "freaking." It's your theater of the mind, and you are the
only one taking the tickets.
That is, unless you object to me using the word "Damn" in the subtitle. That's just too funny to pass up,
and I'm #%$#&! using it.
P.S. Howard Stearn is in no way related to the radio professional Howard Stern, for whom I have only the
greatest respect. Baba Booey. Oh, and "lesbian" isn't a dirty word
anyway, nana.
5. For Writers only
You will uncover nuggets of resources that will be incredibly helpful on your journey to write
and publish your own book. You'll just have to suffer through the fun
stuff to uncover them. Think of it as a treasure hunt.
IN SUMMARY
God,
Chuck, America's Funniest Recipes and the movie Rating Board all want
you to read this book (and probably Ben and Howard, too). I wouldn't
mess with any of them. So it's no coffee for you today -  you have a
hormone level to lower.

Orangeberry Book of the Day – Surrender by Melody Anne

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Raffaello (Rafe) Palazzo takes what he wants with no regrets. Arianna (Ari) Lynn Harlow has led a charmed life until tragedy strikes her family. He’s looking for a no-emotions attached mistress, she’s looking for redemption.

They are not a pair that should ever work, but undeniable attraction and devastating tragedies bring them together in the city by the bay where he fights to keep their relationship nothing more than an enjoyable way to meet his needs, and she battles to not lose herself in him. Spending time with Ari starts cracking the hard shell that Rafe has built around his heart, but he denies the affect she has on him until it’s too late to stop the inevitable conclusion that their relationship is headed for.

Rafe once believed in happily ever after, coming from a large Italian family. He’s got the Midas touch, since every endeavor he tries turns to gold. That all ends when his wife walks out the door and leaves him blindsided. His devastation quickly turns to steel when he decides no woman will fool him again. From that point on he treats relationships as nothing more than business transactions where both party’s come out mutually benefited.

Just when Ari has sunk to the lowest she’s ever been she finds an ad in the paper announcing a job that’s too good to be true. It turns out she’s right. She makes it through the intense rounds of interviews only to find out the job is for a mistress to the powerful Rafe Palazzo, owner of Palazzo Enterprises. Rafe gives her a day to think about whether she wants the position or not, and she’s sent on her way, only to find out her mother’s near-terminal position has taken a turn for the worse. Her mom’s only in the hospital because Ari messed up, and her mother’s the one who paid the price. Is Rafe her savior, or will he take her with him straight to the depths of hell?

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Contemporary Romance

Rating – 18+

More details about the author

Connect with Melody Anne on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.melodyanne.com/

Orangeberry Book of the Day - Too Many Secrets (Cleo Sims Mysteries) by Lynn Osterkamp

Chapter 1

December 11

Waves of nausea overwhelmed me as I rushed into Turley’s Restaurant at noon that icy December day. A blast of hot air smelling of fish, burgers, onions and such sent me careening to the ladies room to avoid puking on the dining room floor. Amazingly, once I was inside the safety of the stall, I managed to avert the worst, containing my sickness to dry heaves. I hurried out to the sinks to make myself presentable for my lunch meeting with Bruce, the local dot-com millionaire who funds an experimental project that is a major part of my grief-therapy practice. I was a wreck. I'd had a miserable morning, I was late to a meeting with Bruce who prizes promptness, and my shaky queasiness exacerbated my anxiety about why Bruce had summoned me.

As I calmed my breathing and dabbed at my face with a wet paper towel, the ladies room door flew open, letting in a tall blond woman wearing designer jeans and a red ribbed turtleneck, topped with a necklace of multicolored glass beads. My best friend Elisa, looking stunning as always. We both jumped in surprise, then she darted over and enveloped me in a welcome hug. “Cleo? Honey, you look under the weather. Is the morning sickness getting worse?”

“Shhh,” I said. “Let’s not spread the news all over Boulder.” I wasn't ready to tell the world about my pregnancy, since I was only three months along, and Pablo and I aren’t married. So far Elisa and Pablo are the only ones who know.

Elisa pulled back, looking up and down the room. “Sorry for the blabbing, but you know me. Sometimes my mouth works faster than my brain. The good news is it looks like we’re alone in here. Now let’s fix you up a little,” she said, straightening my sweater. She grabbed a comb out of her bag and worked some magic on my hair.

I felt better right away. Elisa is like a big sister to me. The kind of sister who knows how to do stuff you don't, but never makes fun of you. She just helps.

“You’re a lifesaver,” I said, “but I have to run. I’m already late for my lunch meeting with Bruce.” I headed for the door.

Elisa waved me on. “Oh—you’re meeting Bruce! Well hang in there, honey, and call me later with the scoop.”

Back in the dining area, I scanned the room a couple of times. Didn’t see Bruce. Deep breath. Maybe I’m not as late as I thought? But no, there he is sitting with a petite dark-haired woman in a booth next to a brick wall. Unexpected. Bruce is a brilliant guy who works all the time. Divorced. No social life. Who is this woman and why did he bring her?

I hustled over to their table and slid into the booth across from them, my mind on autopilot running through possible menu choices that my gut would be willing to tolerate. “Sorry to be late,” I muttered, hoping my winning smile would distract from my tardiness. “Good to see you, Bruce.”

“Hi, Cleo, I thought you forgot. This is my sister, Gayle. She needs your help.”

Whew! A relief on that score. Good to know he hadn’t summoned me to talk about problems with the funding for my Contact Project.

Gayle gave Bruce a poke. “Whoa, Bruce. This isn’t a computer-programming job. It’s personal. Let’s take a few minutes before we dive in.”

“Okay, let’s order first, then talk,” he said, burying his face in the menu.

As we perused our menus, Gayle’s cell phone rang. She answered, and jumped up. “No,” she said sharply into the phone. “That’s not acceptable.” She turned to us. “I have to take this,” she said. “Be right back.” She dashed toward the door, talking intently into the phone with her hand over her other ear to block the restaurant noise.

“Gayle’s a real estate agent,” Bruce explained. “Her phone is her life.”

We sat quietly looking at our menus. Bruce isn’t much of a talker. He’s a techie. Brainy, but basically shy. Even though he’s forty-five and a self-made multi-millionaire, his social skills aren’t well developed. He’s one of those guys who goes around looking at the floor or off into the distance so he doesn’t have to make eye contact. Small talk is definitely not his forte.

Gayle darted back across the room to our booth. “Sorry,” she said. “I’m ready to order if you two are.”

I took a last look at the menu. Turley’s trademark is its healthy food, and in addition to more traditional lunch and dinner entrees, they serve breakfast all day. Knowing I needed protein for the baby, I decided on a garden omelet with mushrooms, spinach, and tomato with toast on the side. Hoped I could get it down with the help of a ginger ale. Bruce ordered a buffalo burger with a side of fresh fruit, and Gayle ordered the sesame spinach salad with the dressing on the side.

“So like I was saying,” Bruce began as the waitress left to turn our orders in, “Gayle needs some help from you.”

I turned to her. “Would you like to tell me about it?”

She took a deep breath and launched in to her story. “You’ve probably heard about the woman who went missing from the Rainbow Lakes Campground in the Indian Peaks Wilderness area a few weeks ago.”

“I did,” I said. “Do you know her?”

Gayle looked down at the table silently for a couple of minutes, her shoulders slumped as if the weight of her problem was a burden too heavy to lift. When she finally looked up, tears streamed down her face. “She’s my best friend, Sabrina—or maybe I should say she was my best friend. She’s probably dead. But they can’t find her and we don’t know what happened to her and that’s even worse.” She wiped her face with a tissue, but her tears continued to flow.

Bruce put his arm around Gayle’s shoulders and hugged her. More empathy than I would have expected from him, but then again until today I didn’t even know he had a sister. All I know about Bruce is what he told me in his grief therapy sessions after his eighteen-year-old daughter died from a drug overdose. He’s such a private person, he would have never come for grief counseling except that his business partner—who saw how paralyzed Bruce was after his daughter’s death—insisted. Bruce’s relationship with his daughter had been stormy for several years before she died, and his deep regrets that they hadn’t made peace had intensified his grief.

Gayle continued wiping her face as she struggled to regain her composure. But I could see grief winning out. "Take your time," I said gently. "I know it's hard to talk about."

Her face crumpled. “I’ve cried so much in the past few weeks that I’ve made myself sick,” she sobbed. “I’m totally devastated about Sabrina.”

She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and collected herself. “Okay. I’m ready to tell you the story,” she said quietly. “I was part of the group at the campground—there were six of us who’ve been friends for years. We each went off separately on our personal journeys and Sabrina never came back. We searched, the rescue groups searched, the dogs searched, the helicopter searched. But no one has found her. And now they’re calling off the search.” She closed her eyes and leaned back in her seat.

The waitress showed up with our lunch. I took a quick bite, which actually tasted good. Bruce spread mustard on his burger and bit in.

Gayle picked at her salad. “I was blown away when Bruce told me about your Contact Project—that he actually talked to his daughter Charlene after she died and how he resolved things with her,” she said, her voice perking up a little. “At first I didn’t believe him when he said you put him in your apparition chamber. It’s so unlike Bruce to have anything to do with the paranormal. He debunks everything. When he told me he reached Charlene, and they forgave each other and said goodbye, I knew it was real for him.”

Bruce put his burger down. “I don’t debunk everything,” he said.

“Ha!” Gayle said. “Remember when I played the DVD of that movie, What the Bleep Do We Know? for you last year? You went on and on about how it misrepresented science, that it was pseudoscience, and quantum mysticism. You weren’t open to it at all, even though so many people liked it that it’s made over $16 million.”

Bruce scowled. “Gayle, the science was unsupported and incorrect. New Age hogwash. One of their so-called experts turned out to be a 35,000 year-old spirit from Atlantis.” Bruce gave her a self-satisfied grin as he speared a chunk of pineapple with his fork and returned to eating.

She laughed and gave him another poke. “Bruce, I’ve told you before, you totally missed the point. The movie is supposed to blow your mind, not engage it in an analysis. It’s about learning to become the creative force in your own life, instead of being a victim of circumstances. My friends and I have watched it over and over. We know group consciousness can change reality. If you looked up from your computer now and then, you’d see.”

They were off the track here, but I hesitated to break into habitual brother-sister banter. Also, I figured Gayle needed a few minutes to relax before we talked more about her missing friend. I focused on my lunch, thankful I could eat without gagging.

Bruce ignored Gayle’s jeers and turned to me. “Here’s the thing, Cleo,” he said. “Gayle needs to go into your apparition chamber and try to contact Sabrina to find out if she’s dead or alive. She needs to know and the sooner the better.”

Uh oh. As soon as Gayle said they didn't know whether or not Sabrina was dead, I should have guessed this was what Bruce wanted. But my apparition chamber is for grief-therapy clients who want to reach a loved one to resolve an issue, not for solving missing-person cases. I didn't want to refuse Bruce's request, but I had concerns about Gayle. “I understand that it’s hard not knowing what happened to your friend,” I said. “But the contact process may not make you feel any better.”

Gayle looked straight into my eyes. “It’s not about how I feel,” she said intensely. “It’s about how Sabrina’s sister Brandi has taken over Sabrina’s house and her son Ian. Sabrina would be furious. She expressly didn’t want that to ever happen. If she’s dead, everything is in trust for Ian, and I’m Ian’s guardian. But Brandi jumped in as soon as Sabrina went missing, and right now she has control. So I need to know if Sabrina is dead or alive.”

“I’m not sure the contact process can answer that question,” I said. “You could try to reach her, but if you do, it wouldn't constitute legal proof of her death, and if you don’t, that doesn’t mean she’s alive.”

Bruce broke in. “Actually I’d already thought of that,” he said. “I want you to do a thorough job. If Gayle can’t reach Sabrina, then the other women who were up there should try. In fact, why not start by meeting with all of them and telling them about the process. Get some of that group consciousness going. I’ll pay for your time—whatever it takes.”

Before I had a chance to think about how else to voice my reservations, Bruce slid out of the booth, stood up, and picked up his coat. “I have to go. You two can go on from here. Gayle can keep me updated.” He nodded at us and headed for the door.

“Oof!” Gayle said. “That’s my brother. Makes his point, and ducks out before the discussion gets complicated. But I suppose you’re used to his tactics.”

I shrugged. I'd have to go along, at least for a while. Not only had Bruce been very generous in funding my Contact Project, all he’d asked of me was that I operate professionally and that he remain anonymous as a funder. So even though the timing wasn’t ideal for me to get involved in a situation that smelled like trouble, I didn’t see any other options. “No problem,” I said. “Here’s my card. Call me and we can set up a time to talk more.”

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords

Genre - Mystery

Rating – PG

More details about the author & the book

Connect with Lynn Osterkamp on Twitter

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Orangeberry Blast Off – Sam’s Top Secret Journal: We Spy (Book 1)

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Sam’s Top Secret Journal – Book 1: Sam Spies by Sean Adelman. Join Sam as she embarks on her first big adventure in this middle-grade mystery full of fun, suspense…and just the right amount of spying! Sam is a middle school girl living a normal life-except when she is occasionally bullied for the differences kids perceive in her. Sam has Down syndrome. See how she and her brother John work together to find some stolen money, help a new friend and escape real danger in this exciting adventure!

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Middle Grade Mystery

Rating – G

More details about the author

Connect with Sean Adelman on Facebook

Website http://www.raiseexpectations.com/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Orangeberry Free Alert - Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter Academy: The Templar Chronicles: Book 2 by Jeff Gunhus

Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter Academy: The Templar chronicles: Book 2 - Jeff Gunhus

Amazon Kindle US

Amazon Kindle UK

Genre - YA, Fantasy

Rating - PG

4.6 (14 reviews)

Free until 30 May 2013

After barely surviving the onslaught of monsters that tried to kill him the day before his fourteenth birthday, Jack Templar leaves his hometown on a quest to rescue his father and discover the truth about his past. Joined by his friends Will and T-Rex, and led by Eva, the mysterious one-handed monster hunter, Jack sets out for the Monster Hunter Academy where he hopes to find answers to his questions. Little does he suspect that the Academy is filled with dangers of its own, many of them more terrifying than anything he’s faced so far.

Orangeberry Book of the Day - Intoxicated by Alicia Renee Kline (Excerpt)

Prologue

“So you are really going ahead with the roommate thing?”  Matthew’s voice crackled over the telephone.

Blake wasn’t sure if her brother’s words were garbled due to her faulty cell reception or if they were laced with emotion.  She had, of course, announced with a flourish approximately six months ago that it had been the appropriate time in her life to purchase her own place.  Up until then, they had been roommates themselves.  But her wildly independent streak as well as a buyer’s market had persuaded her to take the leap into homeownership.  That and the fact that Matthew was still best friends with her ex.

She just never expected to feel so alone.

“Yes, I guess I am,” she replied as she paced her floor.

“And you’re sure about this?” he pressed.

Blake sighed.  No, not really.  But posting a room for rent online and actually having someone sign a lease for it were two entirely different things.  So what if someone was coming to look at the place tomorrow morning?  If things didn’t feel right, she could always lie and say that she had been fielding a lot of calls and that, unfortunately, she had chosen someone else.

“You’re not having money problems, are you?” he continued.

“No,” she responded quickly.  Now that had upset her a little bit.

“Just be careful.” Matthew warned.

Despite herself, Blake chuckled.  If anyone should be giving that advice, it should be the other way around.  Matthew’s indiscretions had been the whole reason that they themselves had been roommates.  Although it had been a terrible, uncomfortable time in both their lives, it had been the beginning of their beautiful friendship.  There was no one else that she trusted as wholly and completely as her brother.  Their past had forced them to lean on each other in a way she never would have imagined when she was younger, and they had ended up on the other side as better people for it.

Matthew either chose to ignore the giggle or he found the irony in the situation.  There was silence on the other end of the line until Blake whispered her response.

“Always am.”

image

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords

Genre – Romance / Chick Lit

Rating – PG13

More details about the book

Connect with Alicia Renee Kline on Twitter

Website http://aliciareneekline.com/

Monday, May 27, 2013

KP Kollenborn – What I learned from the first year of marketing

What I learned from the first year of marketing

by KP Kollenborn

Prior to publication, I had already established one blog, www.KPKollenborn.blogspot.com, one Facebook fanpage and Twitter just two years before marketing my book, but once I had something worth marketing, my followers dramatically increased during November 2011- June 2012.  Because I understood the difficulties of reaching out to an audience I still had yet to find, (especially with historical fiction where the premise is about friendship between two Japanese American boys rather than a romance or a thriller,) I set my goal to sell a 1,000 copies. I did hire an editor; unfortunately there still are problems I know I need to address. Yes folks, this is all part of the learning experiences of indie authors!  And although I managed to format my ebook, I broke down to hire someone to help format my soft bound book because I struggled with Microsoft Word to segment my novel into five parts with 9-10 chapters inside.  I found GoPublished  which is the most cost effective formatting without loosing efficiency and professionalism.

Along the way, through trail and error as I experimented, I’ve gathered a list of what I used, what worked best and what didn’t.  Below is a list of strategies I  had used as a means to market my first novel. To simplify things, I’ve decided to rate the list as it seems fitting as to how authors’ books are rated:

Kirkus Reviews

2 out of 5 stars

For the price of $425 to stamp a name brand in order to acquire credentials for your book, I would say use your money elsewhere to benefit your marketing budget. It doesn’t provide the exposure as it claims in their statements, and you’re playing Russian roulette when assigned to a reviewer who may not even finish reading your book and then leaves a compromised review.  I’m not the only one with this complaint, as you can read here: Writers Beware the Kirkus Indie Review

Publishers Weekly

1 out of 5 star

They only select 25 DIY out of 200ish to review and feature your book. If your genre is very selective, the odds of PW selecting your work is very slim; otherwise your book becomes lost in the slush pile PW establishes on their quarterly DIY section. If the price were only $50 or less, it might be worth the gamble, but not for $149.  Writers Beware of Publishers Weekly.

The Bookplex

5 out of 5 stars

Highly recommend! Amazon accepts their paid reviews, and the affordable pricing is well worth the 5-10 reviews you will receive on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and even the reviewers’ blogs if they have blogs.  Their reviewers are bona fide readers who enjoy reading a good book, not critics who feel superior.  They do provide fair and thoughtful reviews, so don’t expect all 5 star reviews because we live in the real world. TheBookPlex.com

Self-Publishing Review

4 out of 5 stars

If you’re looking for an extremely affordable credential, this is the spot.  They are a medium size format.  Their reviewers are also self published writers, editors, and bloggers whose background compliments the indie author industry. SelfPublishingReview.com.

Blogger Book Reviews

5 out of 5 stars

I am so grateful for the support of bloggers who support indie authors. To read about how to acquire book reviews, check out my article: The Low Down of Book Reviews for Indie Authors. To see the list I’ve collected, click here and scroll down to the bottom for book reviewers.

GoodReads

3 out of 5 stars

A wonderful place to set up your author’s page and load up your book(s).  It’s a great resource for exchanging ideas and thoughts.  No spamming.  The best feature is the book give-away.  You have up to 6 months to give-away a physical book as a means to generate a buzz and accumulate reviews about your newest release.  When I mailed off the winners copies, I included a letter thanking them for entering and congratulating them for winning.  I also asked them to leave a review if they would like to do so (which all did.)  How many books you want to give away is up to you, but the more you send out, the more reviews you collect. Author Program. And this is an excellent article: 5 Ways Writers Can Get the Most Out of GoodReads.

Smashwords

2 out of 5 stars

I’m still not sure about Smashwords.  I do love what it has to offer: It offers different outlets- Apple, Kobo, Diesel, Sony, Baker & Taylor, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, (although with Amazon and B&N it’s better to directly upload it yourself because you’ll upload immediately and will receive a higher royalty percentage.)  I do like that you can download epubs and mobi conversions that are ideal for submitting to reviewers  that way you don’t need to find and download programs to perform those tasks. I also like that Smashwords will assign a free ISBN for ebooks needed for libraries, Apple store, and Baker and Taylor.  Here are the problems I have with Smashwords: First, it took anywhere from a month to three months to upload the files, and my book never made it on Apple or Baker & Taylor.  Second, my sales are 1/5th compared to that of Amazon.  I have read, however, Smashwords does well with authors OUTSIDE of the U.S., and for those in the U.S., certain genres like romances, paranormal romances, and erotica have done well.

Amazon Selects

3.0 out of 5 stars

Now to be fair, I recently joined Select and only have one book.  Other authors who have multiple books have done fairly well with this program.  I can understand that.  Once you gain a fan base, readers want to read more of your writings.  Despite having only one place to sell my ebook, (which sounds like jail,) I have to admit that when I offered my book for free for the Christmas holiday, I sold A LOT OF BOOKS.  I like this feature for available exposure.  Now, in order for this program to work, you need to list it on sites where they advertise your free ebook. If you would like to read more about this feature, check out my “Articles on Marketing”” at the top.  And for 99 cents, here’s the largest list I found: Kindle Ebook Marketing Directory

Barnes & Noble

1 out of 5 stars

As dismal as my sales appeared with Smashwords, they are even worse on B&N.  But the listing is free, and it’s at least another outlet.  Some authors have claimed to have fared well, and again, it’s all genre based- which seems to be dominated by romance. And if you want to offer your book for free as a promo gimmick for a few days like Amazon, you would need to do so via Smashwords, and there is a little bit of a delay before it shows.

Createspace

5 out of 5 stars

Createspace has the most affordable POD to date- comparable to Lulu, Blurb, Bublish, Wordclay, The Book Patch, etc. If you are on a tight budget, Createspace will provide a FREE ISNB and the most cost-effective printing when you need to buy your own books for promos.  Also, with a cheaper wholesale, you can competitively compare your book within your genre.  I started with Lulu, and although they have excellent customer services and products, I had to pay twice as much for my book.  And for $25, Createspace offers an extended distribution to other online bookstores to include Barnes & Noble, Alibis, Books A Million, and many smaller distributors. Plus with Amazon offering free shipping on their Prime program, it encourages readers to purchase via Amazon instead of other stores.  Although 90% of my sales have been ebooks, to offer physical copies has been helpful with give-aways, (especially on GoodReads,) and for those who do prefer soft bound to that of ebooks. CreateSpace.com

Blogging

4 out of 5 stars

I have four blogs; the two I use mostly are about my passion of history and sharing what I have learned about writing and publishing-this blog.  The other two blogs focus on my published book, Eyes Behind Belligerence, and my next book, How the Water Falls to be published by 2014.  It’s difficult to calculate direct sales from my blogs, but the hundreds of hits I get on a monthly basis has helped expand the exposure of my name and themed interests.  Not to mention I love sharing and have a strong belief in paying it forward. Tips for blogging

Author Interviews & Guest Blogging

5 out of 5 stars

Finding other bloggers who not only provide book reviews but allow interviews and guest blogger is a fantastic way to grow your marketing.  If you can coordinate at least several within the same month, you will see increased traffic toward your social media outlets and will help keep your sales steady.  It can be time consuming, so pace yourself, and I wouldn’t recommend doing so every month because you will burn out.  Either every other month or quarterly intervals, depending on your stamina level. The best results I got were from these guys to start off with:

Devils Review
Kindle Mojo
Dan O’Brien Project
EPN News

Facebook and Facebook Writers Groups

4 out of 5 stars

Depending on the month, I got an average of about 10% of referrals to my blogs and website via Facebook.  I use both my personal page and business pages, ( pages to include author and book pages.)  But since Facebook had changed it’s system- again- the last few months of the year I had noticed a decrease, so 2013 very well may have different results. The events page invitation is a great way to invite your friends, however.  Although most groups have authors post their books for sale, but every once in a while either a blogger, another writer, or some other promo person will post a request seeking other authors for interviews or offer free resources to help market your name or book.  I think of it as classifieds, therefore several times a week I’ll scroll through to see what’s going on.  In the meantime, sometimes I am able to answer a question or share some advice to others. You can find a short list at the very bottom of my page here.
Twitter

3 out of 5 stars

Again depending on the month, I get an average of about 5% of referrals, but what I like about Twitter is that it establishes these 3 elements: 1.) Connecting to other indie authors and see how they are communicating on Twitter to grow their audience; 2.) Finding more book reviewers to connect to; 3.) Finding indie book stores to connect to.  I have collected a list of hashtags for authors to use for Twitter: Twitter Hashtags

Hootsuite

5 out of 5 stars

This was awesome force to utilize a way to schedule my posts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can login on any computer and do not have to worry about downloading a program to use it.  I usually set up my posts on Sunday, and allow them to go out for the rest of the week.Hootsuite.com

LinkedIn

3 out of 5 stars

Much like Facebook and GoodReads, it’s a good place to share comments and interact with fellow writers. LinkedIn.com

Newsletter

2 out of 5 stars

I haven’t had much success with my newsletter thus far. I’ve noticed that unless you’re constantly providing freebies, people won’t sign up or hardly will read your emails.  About 3% of people who had signed up will check out my newsletter.  I know the ultimate goal is to announce your next event and release of new books; however, with one book right now it’s a hard sell.  I will need continue to improve my content and database. I use MailChimp because it’s super easy to use and it’s FREE up to 2,500 followers. Mailchimp.com

Press Releases

1 out of 5 star

THEY DO NOT WORK.  Authors who specialize in self-help, advice, how to, etc. have claimed that press releases work for them.  For the fiction sector, it’s a bit more challenging.  Unless you’re well known, the unknowns rarely get a second glance.  Even John Locke of Donavon Creek series, not the 15th Century philosopher, admitted that press releases didn’t work for him, either.

Website and Book Trailer

3 out of 5 stars

Although I only get a handful of hits, nevertheless, by having a website establishes professionalism as a published author. Book trailers will not necessarily increase your exposure, however it a cool feature to compliment your website.  If you can’t afford one, then don’t worry about it. Websites for Indie Authors

Book Club Reading List

1 out of 5 stars

For $39.95 you list your book with them, they send out a newsletter and press release to their audience.  I was intrigued by the idea, and the cost was worth the gamble.  Sadly, I had a few people look at my book, and no buys. They are fairly new and in order for them to grow they want you to back-link their site.

Indie Author Land

3 out of 5 stars

A free place that supports indie authors and I have noticed some sales that it came from that week of publication.  IndieAuthorLand.com

Indies Unlimited

3 out of 5 stars

Another free place that supports indie authors.  I didn’t get much traffic, but I believe the main reason is due to my genre.  They focus more adventure, romance, mystery, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and biography.  I do appreciate having an opportunity to market my book at any rate.IndiesUnlimitied.com

Hand out Cards

3 out of 5 stars

Hand out business cards and postcards, (postcards to include your book, book reviews, where to buy your book, and website.)  Keep these with you in your purse or wallet.  If you strike up a friendly conversation with a stranger, just hand them a card.  ”In case you may be interested.”  The most cost effective printing I’ve found is this one, (and yes, cheaper than Vista Print.)  http://www.overnightprints.com/

Conclusion:

Persistence pays.  Even with bad reviews and low downloads during slow times. My first year I’ve sold 3,248 copies, and gave away 40.  Very, very rarely will an author hit it big on their first round. Many authors, whether indie or traditional, have often stated it was either their third or fourth book before they started gaining recognition.  And sometimes it wasn’t until their seventh or eighth book before raising brows. The best part about being an indie author is the absolute control you have in managing your book(s); and you don’t have to worry about either a publisher or agent dropping you due to the amount of sales you have accumulated.  Ask, politely and without stalking or begging, to acquire book reviews and to also buy your books.  If you don’t ask, you won’t know.  And don’t forget to read “Self Publishing Info” and “Articles on Marketing” to get you started with promoting yourself and your book(s).

Things I plan to try for 2013:

*Book Signing

*Virtual Book Tours

*AmazonEncore

*Comment more on other blogger’s sites

*Fine-tune my newsletter, Pinterest, & LinkedIn

*Finish my next book

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Historical Fiction

Rating – R (strong language)

More details about the author & the book

Connect with KP Kollenborn on Facebook & Twitter

Blog http://kpkollenborn.blogspot.com/

Saturday, May 25, 2013

LDC Fitzgerald – Jackie Kennedy

Jackie Kennedy

by L.D.C. Fitzgerald

Welcome! Please allow me to introduce myself. I’m author L.D.C. Fitzgerald, and I’m delighted to be your guest blogger today. My novel, SAVING JACKIE K, is a thrilling adventure to rescue the First Lady!

The story begins in present day, in a world where fifty years ago Soviet assassins missed President Kennedy, killing his wife Jackie by mistake. The death of Jackie K engenders a chronic devastating war with Russia, the country purportedly responsible for the attack. In 2013, a team of renegades accidentally discovers time travel and decides to return to 1963 to save the First Lady.

Jacqueline Kennedy was admired as First Lady fifty years ago, and continues to be revered today. As a fashion icon, Jackie is the yardstick by which modern First Ladies are measured, including the current president’s wife, Michelle Obama.

Born on July 28, 1929 to a wealthy Southampton NY family, Jacqueline Lee Bouvier was an accomplished equestrian who maintained a lifelong interest in horsemanship. After her society debut in 1947, Miss Bouvier attended three different universities—and studied in France—before earning a BA in French Literature from George Washington University.

In September 1953, Jackie married then-US Representative, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, after sixteen months of courtship. When JFK triumphed in the 1960 presidential election, America’s First Family brought a toddler and an infant—Caroline and John Junior—to the White House.

A First Lady of class and grace, Jackie was beautiful, refined, and highly regarded as a fashion icon. An educated woman fluent in French, Spanish, and Italian, Mrs. Kennedy dazzled the French by speaking in their native tongue during a diplomatic visit. JFK later joked, “I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris, and I have enjoyed it.”

Believing that the White House lacked the majesty befitting the epicenter of government, Mrs. Kennedy committed herself to introducing culture and history to the home of the president. She planned numerous social events to which—alongside politicians, dignitaries, and diplomats—she invited scientists, musicians, artists, writers, and poets. Jackie also initiated the first full-scale renovation of the White House in over a hundred years. In 1962, the First Lady made herself and the White House accessible to all when she took Americans on a televised tour through the famed building. A savvy political move that impressed not just the US, but ultimately the world.

On the fateful day of her husband’s assassination, Mrs. Kennedy wore a custom-made, vibrant pink Chanel suit with matching pillbox hat. Although her elegant ensemble became splattered with his blood, she refused to change. Jackie declared, “Let them see what they have done.”

In 1968, the young widow married Greek tycoon, Aristotle Onassis, in a union which would forever bestow upon her the nickname, Jackie O. Sadly, seven years later, she became a widow for the second time, when Onassis died of respiratory failure.

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis enjoyed a long and successful career in publishing until her death in 1994, just two months shy of her sixty-fifth birthday. The East Garden of the White House is named the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden in her honor.

In my book, Saving Jackie K, I endeavored to portray Jackie Kennedy as a woman worthy of admiration. At the beginning of the story, she is referred to as Jackie K, since the alternate reality didn’t permit her to become Jackie O. I invite you to check out my novel for a thrilling fictional account of Jackie K and the JFK conspiracy.

Thanks for joining me today!

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Thriller

Rating – PG

More details about the author & the book

Connect with LDC Fitzgerald on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.savingjackiek.com/

AFN Clarke – Things They Never Tell You About Becoming A Published Author

Things They Never Tell You About Becoming A Published Author

by AFN Clarke

When someone asks “what do you do?” and I say “I’m an author”, invariably the response is “wow, it must be great to just sit and write all day”.  And of course I nod, but I secretly think “if only you really knew!”

Am I happy to be a writer?  Of course I am.  Am I bursting with creative energy that’s ready to flow onto the page effortlessly giving life to what is sure be the next best seller every day? In my dreams!  So I got to thinking, what are the 10 things that I didn’t know about becoming a published author that I’ve learned the hard way?

1.    Published authors have the privilege of developing really thick skulls.

Who else would work long hours with little sleep, no money, get rejected a million times and drag loved ones through hell and back to just hear that one precious word “yes”.  Our bubble of denial and refusal to see reason actually cultivates miracles – how cool is that?

2.    When people like what you write, they’ll only sometimes tell you so.

We are insecure, sensitive creatures who though we staunchly deny it, measure our own self-worth through someone else’s eyes.  Positive feedback is like life support – so if you like my work put me out of my misery and tell me, so I don’t end up a blabbering mess of insecurity.

3.    When people don’t like what you write, there’s no stopping them telling you so.

My big “aha” is that the moment a writer commits words to paper he/she becomes public property – a target to be criticized, loved, praised, or condemned a hundred times over. Live with it! I wrote my thriller An Unquiet American with a very politically provocative premise that dramatically escalates tension in the book  - and also some people’s blood pressure!  So be it, at least it’s generating heated discussions with them as much with those who love it – isn’t that the point?  It’s all a matter of attitude.

4.    Fame and success erase your battle scars but also common sense.

My first book CONTACT was a best seller. I was on TV, in the newspaper, and felt invincible. When the limelight faded my publisher asked “where’s your next book?” “What book?” Oops, wrong answer!  That rookie mistake took years to correct – so while the fans are still cheering take a bow, stick your ego in a box and quietly get back to work.

5.    You will take your partner to the brink of madness.

After all these years, my wife deserves a medal. As with most authors I can be a self-indulgent hermit who’s rarely truly “present”.  When writing I live in a parallel universe that only intersects hers at mealtimes at best. When I’m not writing I’m grumpy, as I’m upset I’m not writing. So authors – if anyone puts up with you, cherish adore and love them, because they’re a rare species.

6.    Those pesky 140 characters will take you to the brink of madness.

Here’s the deal Twitter – my political thriller An Unquiet American has 698,523 characters.  My latest book The Orange Moon Affair has a “mere” 479,180 characters and you want me to do what?  Be meaningful in 140?  You’ve got to be kidding right?

And of course I’m running out of characters already–  so here are learnings 7, 8, 9, and 10:

7.    You’ll become best friends with loads of people that you never even get to meet.
8.    You’ll learn to see the silly side of everything life throws at you.
9.    You’ll get to face your greatest fears, reveal the inner depths of your soul, open your heart and mind, become totally vulnerable, learn about things you never heard of and chase your wildest dreams.
10.  And if you learn to get over yourself, you’ll live through it all to celebrate the most wonderfully satisfying and richly rewarding times of your life.

Being an author rocks

AFN CLARKE is the son of a British MI6 operative, pilot, sailor, screenwriter, father of four who’s lived all over the world, served in the British Army and recovered from the physical/emotional traumas of war.  His bestselling memoir CONTACT was serialized in a British newspaper and made into an award winning BBCTV film.  He’s insatiably curious, loves heated discussions and has a rascally sense of humor. He now writes fiction of various genres – thrillers (An Unquiet American and The Orange Moon Affair), human drama (Dry Tortugas), humor/satire (Dreams from the Death Age; Armageddon), horror (Collisions) with more coming soon.  For more information visit http://www.afnclarke.com, connect on Facebook or Twitter (@AFN Clarke)

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Rating – PG

More details about the author & the book

Connect with AFN Clarke on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.afnclarke.com/

Orangeberry Book of the Day – Killer Abs: A Body (Pump) Horror Comedy by DR O’Brien

Twenty-something accountant Matt Warner enrols at an exclusive weight loss resort with his career on the line should he fail to shed the pounds from his paunchy frame.

Before long the accountant realises that his girth is the least of his problems as there is something deeply wrong with the Phoenix Resort where it’s no gain and all pain.

It’s a serving of full fat fear for the guests who must fight for their lives to survive the week.

Matt Warner is going to lose weight, or die trying.

Killer Abs is an 11,403 word short body (pump) horror comedy, with content for mature audiences.

Previous praise for the Author’s work:

“I think that you will enjoy the way Mr. O’Brien ties everything together and pits some of, if not the most famous characters in literature against each other. The story is fast paced with lots of action and adventure: a very enjoyable read and I wholeheartedly recommend it”
FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND

“Luckily for is it seems that D R O’Brien is tainted with just enough craziness to pull this task off. O’Brien has breathed new life into these well known and well loved characters. Thrilling, horrific, and funny at the same time which is no mean feat… O’Brien is a talented writer.”
GINGERNUTS OF HORROR BLOG

“Shakespeare’s characters duking it out with Lovecraft’s creatures? Sign us up immediately!
DREAD CENTRAL

“All very inventive, clever and ghoulishly entertaining… Bizarre, baroque and amusing…”
CONTAINS MODERATE PERIL

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Horror

Rating – 18+

Connect with DR O’Brien on Facebook & Twitter

Orangeberry Book of the Day - For the Future Generations (For a Generation) by Anastasia Faith (Excerpt)

For the Future Generations

[Book 1 of the "For a Generation" series]
3.4.2113

Alamogordo, New Mexico

The sun set over Alamogordo, New Mexico and night fell in the desert. Thick black clouds shifted over the horizon, contrasting the orange sky above, and casting shadows on the barren landscape.

In one mound of sand and rock sat an underground house with a tan roof protruding from the top of the hill. The residents had built a door in the side of the roof. This remained locked during daylight hours. Inside this house, the Channing family had just finished their evening meal. The women in the family cleaned the last of the dishes, the father worked in his office, and a ten-year-old boy grew restless. The boy had a head of strawberry curls, a round face, and deep blue eyes.

He scampered down the hall and pounded on his father’s office chamber door. His father, Kelvin Channing, a college professor, would be grading the day’s homework or preparing assignments for the next school day.

“It’s Declan,” he called.

“Yes, Declan?” Kelvin answered through the door. “What do you want?”

“Laken, Chaslyn, and I want to go outside.” Declan said. “Is it safe?”

“It’s 8:00,” Kelvin said. “I don’t see why not. Remember to wear your coat.”

Declan glanced at the clock on his touch screen music device. He and his two sisters had to stay indoors until after dark because his sisters, being conjoined twins, were frowned upon in the eyes of the culture.

In Declan’s day, “handicapped” individuals were those who could not contribute financially. They required government assistance and were considered a burden to society. These handicaps could be something as simple as inseparable conjoined twins, or as severe as major cerebral palsy or quadriplegia. Benevolent medical professionals would simply deny them healthcare, while the majority would euthanize them, with or without a caretaker’s permission. At their doctor’s warning seven years before, Kelvin and Ayla Channing had relocated with their three-year-old triplets—Declan, Laken, and Chaslyn—from Kansas City, Missouri to a desert in New Mexico, hoping it would be safer. Several families who were close friends with the Channings had also come to ease the adjustment. They had scheduled their days so the triplets would be able to spend time with their friends at night.

Removing his coat from a hook near the front door, Declan slipped into it. His sisters came into the living room after they had finished cleaning the kitchen. They too were becoming restless, and the Alamogordo evening beckoned them.

“Did Dad give us permission?” Chaslyn asked.

Declan nodded and assisted Laken and Chaslyn into a special joining coat tailored for them, since they joined at one of their forearms. They piled into an elevator that led to the roof. The elevator opened, and Declan unlocked the door. They stepped out onto the sand and raced down the side of the hill to their “fort”, a crude structure constructed of logs stacked so they overlapped each other. As the evening progressed, the children’s friends arrived and joined in the imagination games.

Over their playing and laughter, Declan could hear a transporter door slam shut and then footsteps approaching. As they grew louder and came closer, Declan became increasingly concerned. All of their friends were with them, and others rarely visited the deserted area.

“Wait here,” he cautioned his sisters. “I’m going to see where that noise is coming from. Guys, keep your guard over them for just a minute.”

Fearing the worst, he left them in the fort and stole away to track the source of the footsteps. He scampered a few feet down the path behind their house. He saw a silhouette several feet in front of him, standing in the glow of a transporter’s headlights. As it came closer, he perceived a middle-aged man holding a flat nylon case.

“Who are you?” Declan demanded. “Don’t come any closer.”

“Declan, I can’t tell you much,” the man replied hurriedly, as if in a rush. “You need to trust me. My name is Mr. Wilcox; I’m a time traveler.”

Mr. Wilcox handed Declan the case. He unzipped it and found an electronic notepad. Opening a side compartment, he pulled out an automatically recharging payment card or ARPC for short. Declan searched his face for an explanation, both of the contents and of the fact this stranger knew his name.

“Keep this book a secret.” Wilcox instructed. “When the time comes, you’ll know who it’s for.”

“What about the ARPC?” He questioned. “Dad opened an account for my sisters and me, but only because he has a job; they’re linked to his. This card’s number isn’t the one on mine.”

“It will be in about thirteen years.” Mr. Wilcox said, “Remember, I’m a time traveler.”

Declan powered up the book so he could read the content, only to find it blank. He flipped it over in his hands and toyed with it, trying to discern why it would not grant him access. He pressed the bottom of the device. It squawked and a negating red light flashed.

“What happened?” He asked the man.

“I set the privacy so only the future recipient can open it. Underneath the electronic device is a fingerprint reader. It’s programmed for only my fingerprints and the person who will receive it.” Mr. Wilcox explained. “There’s an unlocked note at the beginning that I addressed to you.”

With these words, Mr. Wilcox vanished into the night and Declan focused his attention on the unlocked message.

“Declan Channing,” it instructed, “return to the place where you met me at 7 in the morning on May 1st, 2130, when you are twenty-seven. Bring this book with you. On June 30th of 2130, leave the ARPC I gave you—and your FBI badge—at the Indianapolis, Indiana branch of the bank where your account is.”

image

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Christian YA Fiction

Rating – PG

More details about the author & the book

Connect with Anastasia Faith on Facebook & Twitter

AFN Clarke – Things They Never Tell You About Becoming A Published Author

Things They Never Tell You About Becoming A Published Author

by AFN Clarke

When someone asks “what do you do?” and I say “I’m an author”, invariably the response is “wow, it must be great to just sit and write all day”.  And of course I nod, but I secretly think “if only you really knew!”

Am I happy to be a writer?  Of course I am.  Am I bursting with creative energy that’s ready to flow onto the page effortlessly giving life to what is sure be the next best seller every day? In my dreams!  So I got to thinking, what are the 10 things that I didn’t know about becoming a published author that I’ve learned the hard way?

1.    Published authors have the privilege of developing really thick skulls.

Who else would work long hours with little sleep, no money, get rejected a million times and drag loved ones through hell and back to just hear that one precious word “yes”.  Our bubble of denial and refusal to see reason actually cultivates miracles – how cool is that?

2.    When people like what you write, they’ll only sometimes tell you so.

We are insecure, sensitive creatures who though we staunchly deny it, measure our own self-worth through someone else’s eyes.  Positive feedback is like life support – so if you like my work put me out of my misery and tell me, so I don’t end up a blabbering mess of insecurity.

3.    When people don’t like what you write, there’s no stopping them telling you so.

My big “aha” is that the moment a writer commits words to paper he/she becomes public property – a target to be criticized, loved, praised, or condemned a hundred times over. Live with it! I wrote my thriller An Unquiet American with a very politically provocative premise that dramatically escalates tension in the book  - and also some people’s blood pressure!  So be it, at least it’s generating heated discussions with them as much with those who love it – isn’t that the point?  It’s all a matter of attitude.

4.    Fame and success erase your battle scars but also common sense.

My first book CONTACT was a best seller. I was on TV, in the newspaper, and felt invincible. When the limelight faded my publisher asked “where’s your next book?” “What book?” Oops, wrong answer!  That rookie mistake took years to correct – so while the fans are still cheering take a bow, stick your ego in a box and quietly get back to work.

5.    You will take your partner to the brink of madness.

After all these years, my wife deserves a medal. As with most authors I can be a self-indulgent hermit who’s rarely truly “present”.  When writing I live in a parallel universe that only intersects hers at mealtimes at best. When I’m not writing I’m grumpy, as I’m upset I’m not writing. So authors – if anyone puts up with you, cherish adore and love them, because they’re a rare species.

6.    Those pesky 140 characters will take you to the brink of madness.

Here’s the deal Twitter – my political thriller An Unquiet American has 698,523 characters.  My latest book The Orange Moon Affair has a “mere” 479,180 characters and you want me to do what?  Be meaningful in 140?  You’ve got to be kidding right?

And of course I’m running out of characters already–  so here are learnings 7, 8, 9, and 10:

7.    You’ll become best friends with loads of people that you never even get to meet.
8.    You’ll learn to see the silly side of everything life throws at you.
9.    You’ll get to face your greatest fears, reveal the inner depths of your soul, open your heart and mind, become totally vulnerable, learn about things you never heard of and chase your wildest dreams.
10.  And if you learn to get over yourself, you’ll live through it all to celebrate the most wonderfully satisfying and richly rewarding times of your life.

Being an author rocks

AFN CLARKE is the son of a British MI6 operative, pilot, sailor, screenwriter, father of four who’s lived all over the world, served in the British Army and recovered from the physical/emotional traumas of war.  His bestselling memoir CONTACT was serialized in a British newspaper and made into an award winning BBCTV film.  He’s insatiably curious, loves heated discussions and has a rascally sense of humor. He now writes fiction of various genres – thrillers (An Unquiet American and The Orange Moon Affair), human drama (Dry Tortugas), humor/satire (Dreams from the Death Age; Armageddon), horror (Collisions) with more coming soon.  For more information visit http://www.afnclarke.com, connect on Facebook or Twitter (@AFN Clarke)

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Rating – PG

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Connect with AFN Clarke on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.afnclarke.com/

Friday, May 24, 2013

Orangeberry Book of the Day – Betty’s Child by Donald Dempsey

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“Heartrending and humorous.” Kirkus Reviews

“Highly recommended.” Dr. Alan Gettis, Ph.D., author of The Happiness Solution

“An unforgettable memoir.” San Francisco Book Review

In the tradition of Frank McCourt and Angela’s Ashes, Don Dempsey uses Betty’s Child to tell the story of life with his cruel and neglectful mother, his mother’s abusive boyfriends, and hypocritical church leaders who want to save twelve-year-old Donny’s soul but ignore threats to his physical well-being. Meanwhile, Donny’s best friend is trying to recruit Donny to do petty theft and deal drugs for a dangerous local thug.

Young Donny is a real-life cross between Huckleberry Finn and Holden Caulfield as he tells his story, with only his street smarts and sense of humor to guide him. Donny does everything he can to take care of himself and his younger brothers, but with each new development, the present becomes more fraught with peril–and the future more uncertain.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Memoir

Rating – PG13

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Orangeberry Free Alert - Artful Dodger (Maggie Kean Mis-Adventures) by Nageeba Davis

Artful Dodger - Nageeba Davis

Amazon Kindle US

Amazon Kindle UK

Genre - Romantic Suspense

Rating - PG13

5 (4 reviews)

Free until 26 May 2013

Take one funny, wise-cracking artist, one gorgeous, sexy detective, throw in a grizzly murder, a little amateur sleuthing, and you have the makings of a wild, romantic, mis-adventure.
Art teacher and sculptor Maggie Kean thought she was having a rotten day, burning her toast, stubbing her toe, and all before eight in the morning. Things just couldn't get any worse. At least, until the dead body clogs up her toilet. To make matters worse, Maggie becomes the prime suspect. Now all she has to do is evade the police, clear her name, trap a killer...and deal with one mouth-watering, hunky detective who drives her crazy while making her hormones do the happy dance.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Orangeberry Free Alert - American Ghoul by Walt Morton

American Ghoul - Walt Morton

Amazon Kindle US

Amazon Kindle UK

Genre - Horror

Rating - PG13

5 (12 reviews)

Free until 24 May 2013

AMERICAN GHOUL tells the story of seventeen-year-old Howard Pickman, a boy with odd problems. He just got dumped into the worst high school in the state of New Jersey, but that's nothing compared to his secret family history of digging up corpses for dinner. This is a novel filled with the creepy funkiness of the 1970s, a bygone age of punk rock, bad disco and muscle cars roaring through hot summer nights. AMERICAN GHOUL explores the good times of teenage friendships and the darkness at the heart of American youth. It's a fun, scary, and zany look at a time when being a teenager was so dangerous you just might have to be a monster in order to survive.

AMERICAN GHOUL is recommended for readers from age 13+ on up. If you lived through the 1970s, a few flashbacks are guaranteed, both pleasant and shocking.

Katie Hayoz – Untethered: A Novel Started on My Basement Stairs

Untethered –A Novel Started on My Basement Stairs

by Katie Hayoz

I left my body when I was young.  I don’t remember how old I was – six? seven? – but I’ll never forget the incident.  I was standing at the top of the basement stairs, my hands stretched out to touch the smooth walls on either side of the stairwell.  The door at the bottom was open, the piercing sound of a circular saw blasting out along with the sweet scent of wood shavings.  My dad was down there working on some project, and I was to tell him it was time to eat.

It wasn’t the first step, or even the second.  But three or four steps down, I managed to trip on nothing and my body catapulted  forward.  Without me in it.

I saw myself — eyes wide, mouth open, hands out.  I saw my body fall down the stairs, but I, myself, felt like I was flying.  Like I had taken a dizzying jump that sent me to the ceiling of the stairwell where I watched from above.  It lasted maybe a second .  But the memory has stayed with me since.

Suddenly I was on the basement floor, my palms and forearms and elbows stinging.  I had apparently made enough noise falling that my dad even heard me from behind his saw.

That was my first and only real out-of-body experience.  It was so quick and so strange, I never shared it with anyone.  At least not for another ten years.

As a teenager, I read the book Stranger With My Face by Lois Duncan.  In the novel, the main character learns to astral project – to send her soul, her essence, out of her body to travel around and watch things from above.  It fascinated me.  It floored me.  And it tugged at my memory, bringing back the feeling of flying over the basement stairs.  When I told my mom about it she nodded.

“It happened to me once,” she said.  She was making meatloaf, leaning her weight into a shiny, silver bowl of ground beef, ketchup, onions, mustard, and bread crumbs.  She squeezed the mixture through her fingers over and over as she talked.  “When I gave birth to Stephen.  I was floating near the ceiling like a balloon, watching myself, watching the doctors.”  She shook the excess mess off of her hands and looked me in the eye.  “Ever since then, I’m not afraid to die.”

That same week, I went out and bought books on out-of-body experiences, on astral projection.  I devoured them – both intrigued and completely freaked out.   The books documented all sorts of incidents – the good, the bad, and the really bad.  And that’s where my imagination got going.  In my head, a story began.  A story about a girl who wanted nothing more than to be loved by a boy who didn’t care.  A story about a girl who could leave her body and spy on the object of her obsession.  A story about a girl who let the dark side of herself take over, only to find herself in a situation beyond her control.

I wrote the story when I was seventeen.  More than twenty years later, the characters and the idea of astral projected still haunted me.  I turned the story into a novel, and finally gave voice to Sylvie – an anti-heroine who thinks she knows what she wants, but who gets more than she ever bargained for.  That novel is Untethered.   A novel that started from a quick fall down my basement stairs.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords

Genre – YA Paranormal / Coming of Age

Rating – PG13

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Website http://www.katiehayoz.com/