Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Excerpt: A Spy for Christmas Kristen James @writerkristenj

A Spy for Christmas

Kristen James
What’s more dangerous? The Oregon wilderness? Hit men? Or the heat in Grayson’s arms?
Robin is flying back into the misty Pacific Northwest for Christmas, which is a bit fitting after her last so-so relationship ended. Alex just wasn’t the right man for her. Things look up when Grayson sits next to her on the plane—he’s hot, charming, witty and very into her. Unfortunately their chance meeting puts her in danger, and suddenly Robin is trapped into spending the holiday with this charming, mysterious man at a secluded mountain cabin.
He vows to protect her with his own life if needed, but the danger isn’t just from the men tracking them down. Robin isn’t sure she can trust Grayson, and yet she’s pulled to his magnetism. Safety is quickly losing the battle to desire…

http://amzn.com/B00A8AMIGQ

Chapter One

Robin Holliday watched the pristine blue Pacific Ocean fade away under the clouds through the plane window as they flew out of Honolulu. She was flying home to Portland, Oregon, for a cold and snowy Christmas. To tell the truth, the chilly, foggy weather in the Pacific Northwest seemed better suited for the holiday. At least this year.
Spending a week in the sun, sand, and ocean had taken her mind off her recent breakup, and even cleared her head until takeoff today. Actually, it had been fun to visit with people from all over the world, sip fruity drinks, and eat shrimp to her heart’s content. Her ex, Alex, was allergic to any and all seafood, so she’d given up her favorite fare for the last four years. Not anymore!
Her seatmate, a petite woman who looked twenty or younger with multicolored hair, leaned toward the window and sighed. “I miss it already. I just spent two weeks at the Kahala Resort for my honeymoon.”
The girl—Arianna, now Mrs. Berkley—kept talking while Robin peered past her, looking for the new husband, only to find a balding, sixty-something man across the aisle. Did Arianna return from her honeymoon alone? Robin wanted to ask, but she really didn’t want to discuss anything wedding-related. Just a month ago, she was buying wedding magazines and dreaming about big, white cakes, but things sure changed. Robin was the one who sighed this time.
“I know, right?” Arianna almost giggled.
“Excuse me.” A man—an extremely sexy man—leaned down toward the girl with a dashing smile on his strong face. “Your husband told me you were back here by yourself, so… I said I would trade seats. I can’t let you two be apart on Christmas.”
For a second, both women stared up at him in silence. The radiance in his eyes drew Robin in, even more than his rugged, strong features. Well, okay, she could definitely stare a while at those brown eyes and that mouth…
“Oh, thank you! And Merry Christmas!” Arianna gushed, then threw her arms right around his neck, but quickly released him to grab her small carryon bag from the floor.  She hurried off with a little finger-wiggle wave and grin.
The man offered Robin a tentative smile and yet still appeared confident. “I hope you don’t mind.” His voice was deep, but not too deep, and very soothing.
She shook her head. “Of course not.” She didn’t mind at all, and wouldn’t mind having a few fantasies about his full lips, either. The problem would arise if he figured out what she was thinking. Duh, every woman watching right now was thinking the same thing!
He sat down and smiled at her, extending a hand. “Grayson.”
“I like your name.” She shook his hand, pleasantly surprised at his manners. “I’m Robin. That really was nice of you.” He was leaning toward her so she could see specks of hazel, yellow, and russet in his dark brown eyes.
“It wasn’t much…but can you imagine not getting to sit with your new husband? On Christmas Day no less?” He settled in and added, “I bet you get a ton of compliments on your hair.”
She glanced over to find his eyes tracing down her red locks. For some reason, it made her blush like a school girl. “I bet the same is true for your eyes.”
Oh. My. Word. Was she flirting? The heat in her cheeks intensified as his smile grew broader. The direct flight from Honolulu to Portland was at least five hours. How was she going to handle sitting next to him all that time?
“So, Robin,” he started, leaning even closer as if they were discussing juicy gossip. “Do you have a boyfriend, fiancé, or significant other somewhere on this plane too?”
The blatant question took her off guard. She willed herself to breathe and raised a shoulder while giving a playful shake of her head.
His eyebrows rose in what she took for surprised pleasure. His smile tilted up on one side. “So, you’re the teasing type.”
“Well, I could use some practice,” she admitted. Luckily, the words came out sounding a little bit daring instead of embarrassing, as she had feared.
His eyes narrowed a bit in curiosity, but they also held a knowing look. “Hmm, you were on one of those get-your-mojo-back kind of trips.”
Robin halfway expected him to nod and lean back in his seat, ready to ignore her, but he didn’t. Grayson tilted his head and kept his gaze on her face, waiting for her answer. “Yeah, I guess you could say that.”
“So Mr. All Wrong was either incredibly stupid, a jerk—”
She shook her head sadly. “He wasn’t a bad boyfriend, for the most part. I’ll give him that, but he wasn’t interested in moving our relationship forward, either. When he said he was happy with the way things were, I realized I wasn’t.” That had been the wake up call. After waiting for him to propose for a year, she learned he “wasn’t into marriage.”
“You wanted more,” Grayson said.
“Yes!” Like passion, excitement, shared dreams. Suddenly, Robin wondered why she was sharing all this with a stranger. It was as if her thoughts wanted to pour out on their own accord. Grayson put her completely at ease with his smile, charm, and thoughtfulness.
She felt so comfortable, in fact, that she openly asked, “What about you? Are you hiding from someone?”
That made him laugh, and she immediately liked the dimple in his right cheek. “Hiding from someone? Hmm, that’s a telling comment about relationships.”
“Oh, you’re secretive, are you?” she prodded, trying not to smile but failing. “Maybe you have a girlfriend who is now stuck sitting with the newlyweds.”
He laughed too and then rested his elbow on the armrest so he could lean on it, bringing him even closer. “I’ve been traveling all over for work, but this is my last trip. Last work trip, that is.” He spoke slowly, considering his words. Instinctively, Robin knew there had to be quite a bit more behind that story.
“Downsizing?” she asked.
“Oh, no. I put in my resignation so I can move on to something else.” After a pause he smiled and added, “And now I can figure out what that something else is.”
He let his gaze fall over her face, the way water slides down a naked body in the rain. Robin really had to fight her smile now. “You must be a risk taker.”
“Aren’t we all?” Excitement warmed his voice. “Here we are in a big, metal bin a few miles up in the air. We take risks every day. I just pick my risks and decide what I want.”
His gaze did that thing again as he said what I want. Her body temperature was quickly reaching dangerous levels, both from her attraction and his contagious fervor for life.
Get the book at http://amzn.com/B00A8AMIGQ
Kristen James
www.writerkristenjames.com
Also by Kristen James:
Point Hope
More Than Memories
A Cowboy for Christmas
Embers of Hope, Bk 1, Second Gift Series
More Than a Promise, Bk 2, Second Gift Series
The Cowboy Kiss – novella
A Special Ops Christmas – novella
A Spy for Christmas – novella

Point Hope Cover
After his Navy career came to an end, Trey became an EMT in his hometown of Coos Bay, Oregon. He struggles with PTSD, which affects his ability to do his job and connect with his family. His wife seems to be living life without him.
Rosette can’t figure out what happened to her marriage, or to Trey—the man she once loved so desperately. It feels like she’ll lose everything along with him. Meanwhile, he’s enclosed in his own world without her.
Their marriage is on its last legs when their family is faced with two deaths and an orphan. They’re already raising two young children and Trey’s teenage brother, Alex. Trey and Rosette make a shaky agreement to play “family” for now so they can take care of Trey’s recently orphaned niece. But can faking it ever be enough?
It’s make-it or break-it time. If they split apart, who will raise Hope?
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Genre - Romance (women’s fiction/ family drama)
Rating – PG13
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Mark David Major – 10 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer @markdmajor

10 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer
By Mark David Major, Co-author of An Infinitesimal Abundance of Color

10.       Read in diverse abundance.
9.         Always edit out your favorite sentence, part, or passage.
8.         Editing is not about achieving perfection but diminishing imperfections.
7.         Getting feedback is important but it’s more crucial to learn when you should listen to feedback and when you should ignore it.
6.         Shakespeare was always revising his writing. Don’t be afraid to put it out there and revise later. But don’t be sloppy about it either.
5.         Write character profiles for yourself to better understand the characters you want to create.
4.         It can be incredibly helpful to ‘cast the film’ to better understand your characters. Bonus: because you are a writer, you’re not limited to today’s actors but can cast anyone living or dead, famous or not.
3.         Anything can be a source of inspiration: the key is to observe, not ignore.
2.         Stop talking about it, just do it already.
1.         Write what you love, love what you write, and the rest will take care of itself.

Infinitesimal Abundance of Color
An Infinitesimal Abundance of Color, written by Mark David Major and beautifully illustrated by Layce Boswell, tells the simple story of a father answering his daughter’s questions at bedtime.
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Genre – Juvenile Fiction/Bedtime and Dreams
Rating – G
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Excerpt: Isabella: Braveheart of France by Colin Falconer @colin_falconer

* * * * *
One face stands out from the others as they leave the church; he is one of Edward’s men, a bleak man with a black beard and dark eyes. Even a girl as young as Isabella knows when a man is looking at her in a manner that he should not. He scares her, in that first glimpse, there is a savagery to his face that is unmistakeable even in a crowded and candlelight church. He does not belong among the purple, she decides; his real trade is written plainly on his face.
Later, at the feast, she asks one of her ladies who he is. They do not know; enquiries are made of the English party. Someone whispers to her that his name is Roger Mortimer, and he is one of Edward’s barons. Once she catches him staring at her across the hall. She looks quickly away and never turns back in that direction again.
Isabella
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Genre – Historical Fiction
Rating – PG-13
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Constantinopolis by James Shipman @jshipman_author

His father! Mehmet stewed when he thought of him. His father had never shown him any real affection or spent significant time with him. He was not, after all, originally the heir to the Sultanate. He was a second son and only became heir when his older brother died. Mehmet had been forced from then on to endure a frantic and often harsh tutoring process. He was just beginning to grasp his responsibilities when at the age of 12 his father had retired and named him Sultan. He had done the best he could to govern, but in short order Grand Vizier Halil had called his father back to take over the throne. The Sultan felt Halil should have helped him, should have supported him. Instead he had watched and reported Mehmet’s shortcomings to his father, betraying him and leading to his humiliation.

From then on Mehmet had bided his time. He had learned to keep his thoughts and emotions to himself, to trust no one. He had studied everything: military art, languages, administration, and the arts. He had worked tirelessly so that when he next ruled he would not only equal his father but also exceed him. He would be the greatest Sultan in the history of his people, Allah willing.

His chance came when Murad finally died only two years before, as Mehmet turned 19. Mehmet quickly took power, ordering his baby half brother strangled to assure there would be no succession disputes, and set to organizing his empire. He had learned to be cautious and measured, leaving his father’s counselors and even Halil in power to assist him. From there he had slowly built up a group of supporters. They were young and exclusively Christian converts to Islam. These followers, many of whom now held council positions, were not nearly as powerful as the old guard, but they were gaining ground. They were the future, if Halil did not interfere.

Halil. His father’s Grand Vizier and now his own. He had always treated Mehmet with condescending politeness. He was powerful, so powerful that Mehmet could not easily remove him. So powerful it was possible he could remove Mehmet in favor of a cousin or other relative. Mehmet hated him above all people in the world, but he could not simply replace him. He needed Halil, at least for now, and Halil knew it.

This dilemma was the primary reason for Mehmet’s nighttime wanderings. He needed time away from the palace. Time to think and work out a solution to the problem. How could he free himself from Halil without losing power in the process? He could simply order Halil executed, but would the order be followed or would it be his own head sitting on a pole? The elders and religious leaders all respected and listened to Halil. Only the young renegades, the Christian converts who owed their positions to Mehmet were loyal to him. If Halil was able to rally the old guard to him, Mehmet had no doubt that the result would be a life or death dispute.

Mehmet needed to find a cause that could rally the people to him. The conversations he had heard night after night told him this same thing. The people felt that his father was a great leader, and that he was not. If he could gain the people’s confidence, then he would not need Halil, and the other elders would follow his lead.

Mehmet knew the solution. He knew exactly what would bring the people to his side, and what would indeed make him the greatest Sultan in the history of the Ottoman people.

The solution however was a great gamble. His father and father’s fathers had conquered huge tracts of territory in Anatolia and then in Europe, primarily at the expense of the Greeks. Mehmet intended to propose something even more audacious, to conquer the one place that his ancestors had failed to take. If he succeeded he would win the adoration of his people and would be able to deal with Halil and any others who might oppose him. If he failed . . .

The Sultan eventually made his way back near the palace, to the home of his closest friend, Zaganos Pasha. Zaganos, the youngest brother of Mehmet’s father in law, had converted to Islam at age 13, and was Mehmet’s trusted general and friend. He was the most prominent member of the upstart Christian converts that made up the Sultan’s support base.

Zaganos was up, even at this late hour, and embraced his friend, showing him in and ordering apple tea from his servants. Zaganos was shorter and stockier than Mehmet, a powerful middle-aged man in the prime of his life. He had receding dark brown hair. A long scar cut across his forehead and down over his left eye. He looked on Mehmet with smiling eyes extending in to crow’s feet. He smiled like a proud uncle or father.

Constantinopolis

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Genre – Historical Fiction

Rating – PG

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Website http://james-shipman.com

Nobody Has to Know by Frank Nappi @FrankNappi

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Nobody Has To Know, Frank Nappi’s dark and daring new thriller, tells the story of Cameron Baldridge, a popular high school teacher whose relationship with one of his students leads him down an unfortunate and self-destructive path. Stalked through text-messages, Baldridge fights for his life against a terrifying extortion plot and the forces that threaten to expose him. NHTK is a sobering look into a world of secrets, lies, and shocking revelations, and will leave the reader wondering many things, including whether or not you can ever really know the person you love.

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Genre - Thriller

Rating – PG-13

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Website http://www.franknappi.com

Monday, October 28, 2013

In Love With My Best Friend by Sheena Binkley

1

Camille

How did my life get so complicated? One minute, I, Camille Anderson, was living a pretty normal life in which nothing ever happened to me, and the next I'm practically being hauled away from the premier wedding venue in Houston, The Corinthian, by security because of my sudden outburst to the groom.

I should have known I was setting myself up for disaster, but I had to do it. I had to tell my best friend that I'd been in love with him since I was thirteen.

I really didn't expect the scene to unfold the way it did, especially while Trevor was getting married, but I couldn't hold my feelings in much longer. I felt he was making a terrible mistake, because he was marrying the wrong woman. He should have been marrying me.

I guess I should backtrack to when Trevor and I first met. It was seventeen years ago, when the Williams family first moved into the house next to ours. I was outside waiting for my friend Tia Simmons to come by when I first noticed Trevor. He was absolutely gorgeous as he stepped out of his family's SUV. He had that "boy next door" look, with wavy black hair and smooth ivory skin. He looked over at me and gave me a huge grin, which I greatly returned.

After that day, not only did we become friends, but our parents became great friends as well. We always went by each other's homes for dinner or for game night (until we were too old to appreciate hanging out with our parents on a Friday night).

We were practically inseparable during our high school years, and many of our friends thought we would eventually get married and have lots of kids. When anyone mentioned that to Trevor, he would shrug it off and say, "We're just friends, and it will stay that way until the day we die." Usually those words would tug at my heartstrings, but being the shy person I am, I never let my feelings show.

As we went to college, Trevor and I went into the same major, public relations. That was when he met Chelsea Parker, who was also my roommate. At first I liked Chelsea because she was basically a sweet person, but when she set her sights on Trevor, I quickly disliked her. Not because she took Trevor away from me, but because she became a different person.

If only I could go back to four weeks ago, or even seventeen years ago, I would be with the man I loved...

~

Four weeks ago....

"I don't know why you dragged me to this," I said as I looked at my friend Tia. The two of us were inside the Aventine Ballroom of Hotel Icon waiting for our friend Trevor and his fiancée, Chelsea, to arrive for their engagement and welcome home party. The two had announced their engagement to everyone a while back when Trevor was visiting his parents before going back to Dallas. Not only did he announce his engagement, but he also said that he had accepted a new position at a prestigious PR firm and was moving back to Houston. Although I was happy that my best friend was moving back, I was not thrilled that he was getting married.

"For once, why can't you be happy for Tre? He and Chelsea are finally getting married."

I gave Tia an evil stare as I looked toward the revolving door to the ballroom.

"You know how I feel about Trevor and Chelsea getting married."

"Oh please, Cam, when are you going to get past the fact that Trevor found someone? I told you to admit your feelings to him, but being the person you are, you decided not to."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"You felt you would have been rejected if you told Trevor your true feelings."

"If I remember correctly, in high school when Charles asked him why we never hooked up, he said, and I quote, 'We're just friends.'"

Tia rolled her eyes at me and started to stare at the door as well. This was not the first time we'd had this conversation about my feelings for Trevor, so I'm pretty sure Tia was tired of hearing it.

Tia was my other best friend and the complete opposite of me. While I was quiet and reserved, Tia was wild and carefree. She always did what she wanted and didn't care about the consequences. People always thought we were sisters, with our caramel-colored complexion and long, dark-brown hair. But that was where the similarities ended. I looked down at my black sequin dress that went above my knees, wondering if I was dressed appropriately for the occasion; but as I looked at the hot-pink dress Tia was sporting, I figured my outfit was perfect.

"So how are things between you and Eric?"

"Finished; I broke up with him a couple of days ago."

"I'm assuming because he's not Trevor? Cam, you have got to move on."

I sighed as I noticed two figures coming through the door. I started to breathe slowly as I watched my friend walk in with his fiancée. Trevor always was attractive, but tonight he looked really handsome in a dark blue suit, white shirt, and blue and white striped tie. His black, wavy hair was cut short, bringing out his beautiful brown eyes. He walked hand in hand with Chelsea, the woman I wish I'd never met, who was positively glowing in an ivory-colored empire dress. Her reddish brown hair was pulled into a tight ponytail and her makeup was flaw- less. Although I was completely jealous of Chelsea, I had to admit the two made a stunning couple.

Tia gave me a frown.

"You OK?"

"I'm cool. Let's just get this over with."

While the crowd of family and friends were clapping and whistling for the happy couple, all I could do was just stand in my place, looking at Trevor as if he was the only person in the room. He gave me a smile that showed the deep dimples on each of his cheeks. As he went to greet a couple of his family members, I took a deep breath to control any tears from flowing.

I shouldn't have come tonight.

~

Trevor

"Why did we plan a huge engagement party? Everyone knows we're engaged," I asked my fiancée, Chelsea, as we were walking hand in hand down the corridor inside Hotel Icon.

"Sweetie, I just wanted everyone to celebrate in our happiness and what better way than a huge party?"

I sighed as I continued to walk, not realizing how frustrated I was becoming.

Chelsea was the love of my life. I instantly knew I wanted to marry her when I first laid eyes on her in Camille's dorm room. The two were roommates their junior year at University of Houston, which was great for me, considering I was able to see my best friend and my girlfriend at the same time. Although Camille and I were really good friends, I got the sense that something had been bothering her since I'd been dating Chelsea. Call me crazy, but it seemed as if Camille was jealous of our relationship. I hope not, because Chelsea loves Camille and considers her a good friend.

As we walked into the ballroom, everyone from our family and our friends were clapping and cheering for our arrival. We started to wave at everyone as we entered. Once I turned my head toward the center of the room, I had to stop and admire the person staring straight at me. My heart jolted several beats at the beauty who was giving me a dazzling smile. Camille Anderson had always been a beautiful woman, from her caramel-colored skin to her deep chocolate eyes; she definitely stood out in a crowd.

Just looking at her long hair flowing around her face and the black dress that hugged her curves in all the right places made me feel sort of embarrassed, because I shouldn't have been looking at her in that way. I always considered her my best friend and nothing more, so why was I looking at her differently now?

Chelsea turned her attention to me, wondering what was wrong.

"Is everything OK?"

I suddenly realized I was staring a little too long as I turned to Chelsea.

"I'm fine," I said as I squeezed her hand.

I gave Camille a huge grin as I walked over to talk to a nearby guest. I snuck another peek at her; she was talking to our friend Tia near the bar. I don't know what was going on with me, but hopefully this feeling I was having about my best friend would go away soon.

That's if I want it to.

In Love With My Best Friend

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Genre - Contemporary Fiction

Rating – PG13

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Connect with Sheena Binkley on Twitter

Website http://sheenabinkley.wordpress.com/

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Thirty Scary Tales by Rayne Hall @RayneHall

*

After riding for days past scorched land and ruined settlements, the sight of Ain-Elnour greeted Turgan like a mirage. The ochre walls stood amidst plantations of shadowed green, palm fronds waved in the evening breeze, and the air was scented with oranges. His blood prickled with excitement, and his heart sang. Laina was safe, and his purpose was about to come true.

He made for the east gate, traditionally the entrance for merchants and caravans. A squat building of yellow limestone under a reddening sky, the gatehouse stood solid as always, but instead of local guardsmen, curl-bearded soldiers with leather helmets and bronze-tipped spears blocked his way.

“All horses are Darrian property,” their leader barked. “Get off.”

Turgan complied. Having reached his destination, he had no more need for a mount.

“Who are you? Whereto bound?”

“I'm Turgan, a native of this town.”

“Search him!”

Hard hands prodded and probed. They found his money and his knife, and confiscated both. “Natives are not permitted weapons. You have evidence of who you are? Where do you live?”

Shadows lengthened, and the air chilled. Turgan had planned to approach Laina gently, not shocking her with his sudden appearance, but the interrogation left him no choice.

“My wife lives in the house behind the caravansary. At least, that's where she used to live. I've been away for a long time. Her name's Laina - do you know her?”

The leader snapped a command. “Take him there.”

Two men grabbed him by the arm, a third walked behind him, spear pointing. Turgan could feel the sharp tip in the small of his back.

Daylight slipped away fast. Where once chickens clucked, children squealed and vendors sang the praise of their wares there was now a heavy silence, punctuated by the clap-clap-clap of soldier's sandals on the dirt-packed road.

But the house with its whitewashed walls and jutting balcony still stood.

One of the soldiers pulled at the door curtain. Beads rattled. “Laina!” he bellowed. “You're in there? Come out!”

“Please,” Turgan requested. “May I greet my wife in private?”

The soldier on his right did not loosen the grip on his arm. “If she says you are who you claim, you shall live.”

Cold drops tingled down Turgan's spine.

Laina slipped out, a slight figure, with her arms held close to her body and one hand near her throat.

Joy shot through Turgan's chest, and immediately gave way to concern. She looked frightened, like a gazelle cornered by predators.

The soldiers pushed Turgan forward. “Do you know this man?”

She stared, and her mouth opened as if to scream. Then she backed away.

His stomach knotted. The sight of him scared her more than the soldiers did. Thinking he had come back to hurt her again, she would deny knowing him.

He fell to his knees and pressed his head in the dust. Her toes were small, brown and bare. “Forgive me, Laina. I beg you.”

The soldiers jerked him up.

Laina stood, eyes wide, cheeks pale. “Yes,” she croaked. Then, in a firmer voice, “Yes, I know him. This is Turgan. He's my husband.”

The knot of tension in his stomach loosened.

Laina reached for his hand. “Husband. Welcome home.”

*

Thirty Scary Tales

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Genre – Horror

Rating – PG-13

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Birth of an Assassin by Rik Stone @stone_rik

Otto’s mind takes him back to finding his mother at the Serbsky Institute.

Inmates had jittered and made signs at him as he made his way through the corridors. “Please help me,” he heard from some and, “They have me here because of my political beliefs,” from others. They’d reached out to him as he passed, and his insides had quaked. With the stench of piss and shit everywhere, revulsion filled him. But he’d felt no compassion for these people. He hadn’t given a fuck about them. Only his mother mattered.

“This way,” the nurse had said. “She’s through here.”

He found her in a large open room. She sat on the only piece of furniture in it. The chair was pushed back against the wall and she rocked slightly, staring blankly into nothingness. Spittle leaked from her mouth and she was barely recognizable as the woman he loved. Her long, luxurious, oily-black hair had been shaven to the skin. Her teeth had somehow been removed and her formerly full face had caved in because of it. Like a corpse, she was yellowed and sunken. Only 47 years old and she looked twice that. He’d wished he hadn’t found her and cried bitterly – in front of those sadistic bastards that called themselves nurses.

More like prison guards. And in reality, that’s what they were. Soviet dissidents ended up in places like Serbsky, out of harm’s way. In mental hospitals where they could be abused and broken. Somewhere to extinguish credibility. He’d seen those inmates beaten, teeth punched or kicked from their faces. And if they still didn’t bow to the might of the people, enforced lobotomy wasn’t unheard of as a final step.

With desperation, he’d hoped his mother hadn’t suffered such cruelty.

*

And now, somehow, she’d made it through to 60. Why, oh why had she lasted this long? All those years, and still she rocked on that old wooden chair and stared at nothing. How could life be this cruel?

He remembered the first time he’d visited the asylum in full Spetsnaz uniform. After calling several of the nurses together, he said, “I know you all have military connections. On that basis, I won’t explain this uniform. Each of you has some sort of responsibility to my mother. The good news is you’re about to receive an extra income. The bad news: if you don’t look after my mother properly and see she gets the kind of care and nourishment she needs, I may have to call on my KGB colleagues. I hope we all understand what that could mean.”

Memories dissolved as he entered the large open room. On his instructions, her hair had been left to grow. But now it was too long and no one had shown it a comb. Still she rocked, gazing into nothingness with the expression of a lunatic on her face.

The burly warder turned to leave but Otto grabbed his arm. “We have an agreement. Next time I come here, I expect my mother to be presentable. Look at her, her hair hasn’t had attention for who knows how long. She needs a bath and a change of clothes. She looks like she’s just puked down them.”

“I err…,” the nurse spluttered with a voice too high for his size.

“Fuck you and your errs. Why do I pay you people so much? I’ll say this once. If I’m not satisfied with the way she looks next time I come, I’ll personally see to it that you have teeth to match hers. And each time after that, I’ll take you a step further down that road. Clear enough?”

“Yes, Captain. I’ll see to it myself.”

The nurse left and Otto looked at his mother. His heart brimmed. The only woman he’d ever loved – could ever love. He got down on his honkers, and took her hand. No sign of recognition, but at least she didn’t pull away.

“Hello, Mother, how are you today?”

Birth of an Assassin

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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

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Color Pink by Parker Paige

The_Color_Pink_Cover_for_Kindle

Can wearing the color pink attract true love?

That is the question Summer Jones intends to answer.

In her early thirties, Summer Jones thought that she had found the perfect man, the man she planned to marry until she learned that he still had feelings for his first love. Now, at age thirty-five, Summer is ready to fall in love again. After she hears that wearing the color pink can attract true love, she sets out to do just that–and finds more than just true love.

Follow Summer as she journeys into the world of color magic and find out how she uses that magic to help her choose between one man from her past and another man who is destined to become her future.

This romantic drama serves up something fun and sexy, proving that the road to love can be paved with many painful lessons and memorable moments. It’s a story about paying attention to your past so that you don’t always have to repeat it.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Romance

Rating – PG-13

More details about the author

Connect with Parker Paige on Twitter

Website parkerpaige.wordpress.com

The Colors of Friendship by K R Raye @KRRaye

The Alpha Party Continued– January 2000

Right on time, the bartender set their drinks down and left with a wink.
Grateful, Imani took a big gulp of the amaretto sour and let its sweetness smooth out her rough edges.
“I wish I could get a guy that easily.”  Melody released a wistful sigh.
Satisfied for the moment, Imani pushed her drink away.  “No, you don’t want Lance’s shallow, short-term sluts.  You want to be swept away by your one, true love.”
“You insinuating there’s something wrong with that?  My parents met as sophomores and they had the perfect, fairytale relationship.”
‘And you’re not your damn parents,’ she wanted to say, but she held her tongue.  “No, just telling you why you won’t find anyone here tonight.”  Imani swallowed more amaretto sour.
“Not acceptable.  I’m finding someone now.”  Melody chugged her drink, hopped off the stool, and approached the nearest cute guy.  “Would you like to dance?”
The cute brunette eyed Melody, decided he liked what he saw, and escorted her onto the dance floor.
“And that just leaves me.”  Imani sighed, emptied her cup, and picked up Lance’s.  Wondering why she even bothered to come, she crunched on an ice cube until it shattered.
“This seat taken?” asked a man as he sat down uninvited on Melody’s barstool.
“Yes, it is taken,” she snarled, eyes closed, willing herself not to go off on the intruder.
“Damn, Imani.  The physics test wasn’t so bad that you dis’ your friends like that,” a familiar voice complained.
Imani opened her eyes to find her homeboy from the Bronx, Trevor Mathis.
“Oh my God, I’m so sorry, Trev,” she replied, giving her tall, lanky, dark chocolate friend a relieved hug.  “Guess I’m too tired tonight to deal with the whole party scene.”  She smiled and poked his side.  “Besides you know I’d never dis’ my boy like that.”
“That’s a relief,” he said pretending to wipe his forehead.  Trev laughed then hesitated and Imani could tell that he toyed with what to say next. “Hey, do you want to dance or just chill?”
Knowing she’d reached her alcohol limit, Imani tapped her toes.  Trev put most video dancers to shame with his moves and it elevated her game whenever she partnered with him.  “After you.”
Trev shot her his big, toothy grin, took her hand, and led her onto the dance floor.  Soon enough he had her feeling as comfortable as they did when they studied together for hours.  The easy way they knew each other’s moves and thoughts.
As the beat invaded Imani’s body, she surrendered to the music and her tension melted away like cotton candy on the tongue.  Maybe parties weren’t so bad after all…
Then someone pinched her ass.

Colors of Friendship
True friendship endures all obstacles…right?
Three college friends search for true love, NFL fame, and a successful engineering career. Will one friend’s quest for happiness endanger all three of their lives?
Naïve, romantic Melody Wilkins aims to find true love at college just like her parents. But will she sacrifice her soul to obtain it?
No-nonsense Imani Jordan strives for good grades and a chemical engineering degree. When a friendship offers more, will she follow her head or her heart?
Lance Dunn is only serious about two things: football and protecting his girls, Melody and Imani. When a threat enters their lives and tests their friendship, can he stop it before it kills them?
After the torrents of jealousy, sex, and abuse subside, will their friendship survive…The Colors of Friendship?
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – New Adult, Contemporary
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with K R Raye on Facebook and Twitter

Birth of an Assassin by Rik Stone @stone_rik

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.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Thriller, Crime, Suspense

Rating – R

More details about the author

Connect with Rik Stone on Facebook & Twitter

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

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Photo Traveler (The Photo Traveler Series) by Arthur J. Gonzalez

CHAPTER ONE

I can’t ask for a better day to be out shooting. Man, what a view. Something about how the sun’s rays press against the faint distant outline of the mountains. Sick! If it can seem so dominating from all the way over here, I can only imagine what it must feel like up close. I don’t know. It just always kind of does something to me.

I know, I know. Lame, right? But trust me, if you lived in the hellhole I live in, anytime alone is sacred. You start to appreciate all these little not-so-particular things. Yeah—even the outline of the mountains.

Carefully, I focus the lens on my Canon 7D to capture the effect of the clouds drifting across the peaks of Mt. Rose and get my shot. A few seconds later, the sunlight dims. I hadn’t realized it was so late. I glance at my watch, wondering what’s taking Melinda so long. She promised to pick me up by five, even though I knew that would mean five-thirty. It’s five-forty-five.

I call her on my cell. It rings four times, then goes to voicemail. “Come on, Mel!” I mutter. “It’s getting late!”

I’ve had a good day so far, probably because I’ve been alone for most of it, and I really don’t want another confrontation with Jet. I can still taste the faint copper tinge of blood at the corner of my mouth where he split my lip the last time around. Two days ago.

I hit redial. Straight to voicemail. “Dammit, Mel!”

I tell myself to breathe, but my anxiety is really starting to kick in. Sweat is beading on my forehead and my heart is jolting in my chest. Why does she always have to be so impossible? I don’t get it.

The moment I hear the loud thrum of an engine roaring up the dirt road, I jump up from the boulder I’ve been perched on. It’s about damn time!

She screeches up to me in her new, cherry-red Mini Cooper and slams on the brakes. I dodge around to the passenger side. Grab the door handle. It’s locked.

“Mel!” I shout. “Open up!”

But she’s sitting behind the wheel pretending not to hear me. Eyes glued to her phone, purple nails tapping out a text message. With a tiny smirk on her glossed-up lips.

I hit the window with my fist. “Stop messing around! Jet’s gonna be pissed!”

She finishes her text, sends it … and adjusts the rearview mirror so she can check out the jet-black curls at her temples. She still hasn’t given me one look. Is she really serious right now?

I pound at the window again, as hard as I can. “Open up, dammit!” My anxiety is turning into rage. And rage is something Jet’s modeled for me only too well over the years, ever since he and his first wife, Leyla, took me in as a foster kid. Mel was just six at the time, but “my sister,” which she became after they finally adopted me, was a full-fledged brat from Day One, and she’s only gotten worse.

My fist hurts. I’m afraid of what Jet will do when we get back, since he ordered me to be home by six so I can start dinner.

But as far as Mel’s concerned, I might as well not be there. I can’t control it any longer. I take a step back, lift my knee, and kick the passenger door with all my strength. The hollow metal frame vibrates against the sole of my shoe. Mel’s prized car now has a six-inch dent right in the middle of the passenger door.

I guess that got her attention. Her mouth is hanging open. For a moment, she’s so astonished that she can’t speak. She swings her door open and charges around to the passenger side.

“MY CAR!” she screams, staring at the dent. “Are you crazy?!”

“Why couldn’t you just open up?” I yell back.

“Gavin, you’re an asshole! I was just messing with you! You’re never gonna learn to use your head, are you?”

“Go to hell!”

She goes still, then raises her eyebrows with an “Oh, really?” expression. Then she hauls off and slams her fist into the right side of my face. All I can feel is the large stone of her ring jabbing into my cheek. She stalks back to the driver’s side with a wicked smirk creasing her lips and snaps, “You can walk home!”

She slides behind the wheel, slams the door, and peels off so hard and fast that the car kicks up a stinging cloud of gravel and asphalt dust all over me.

She can’t be serious. But as the Mini disappears around the first bend in the road, I realize that she is.

* * *

Photo Traveler

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Young Adult Science Fiction

Rating – PG

More details about the author and the book

Connect with Arthur J. Gonzalez on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.arthurjgonzalez.com/

H. Peter Alesso – Lessons Learned

Midshipman Henry Gallant In Space

Guest Blog#3

Thank you for allowing me to discuss some of my ideas about writing my book, Midshipman Henry Gallant In Space.

I’ve learned some interesting lessons through writing a novel.

My favorite scifi author is Robert Heinlein. He was able to span the emotional range from rage to laughter in developing his characters. He used humor and romance as intrinsic elements of the human spirit. Each displays a vital aspect of a character in a story. The problem is that both humor and romance are difficult to include in a complex story because they require significant personality development to express and that may distract from the central arc of the story. A strong writer should be able to engage both of these essential human characteristic within the context of his main story line.

I think finding an author you admire and would like to emulate, provides the stimulus to develop your own writing style as an author. By examining just what it is that you find so compelling about that author gives you a start to developing your own skills. It may be that you can develop similar abilities with practice. Always remember that whatever criticism you get, that any feedback, complimentary, or critical, can be useful in learning more your ability to improve your skill.

I approach writing science fiction based upon using actual scientific principles. I researched the technology included for my story and tried to project the technology’s development path into the next century. Genetic engineering is current an important topic in our society and humanity faced difficult choices as it develops over the course of the next century. In Midshipman Henry Gallant, genetic engineering plays an influential role in the background, but it is cast against another important innovation that also may prove a future threat: Artificial Intelligence.

I find that there is beauty in expressing your thoughts. So find your words, tell your story.

In Midshipman Henry Gallant, I present a young man’s heroic epic journey. He doesn’t travel it along however; he has friends, mentors, rivals, and enemies, and one more essential element, romance. I hope you enjoy this story.

Regards,

H. Peter Alesso

www.hpeteralesso.com

midshipman

As the last star fighter in squadron 111, Midshipman Henry Gallant is on his way from Jupiter to Mars. With the United Planets’ fleet on the verge of annihilation, he can expect no help as he passes through the asteroid belt and threatening aliens. With so much uncertainty about the aliens’ capabilities and intentions, analyzing the captured computer equipment in Gallant’s possession could prove crucial. The fate of Earth could rest on the abilities of Midshipman Henry Gallant. Unfortunately, it is his abilities that have been much in doubt during his tour of duty.

In an era of genetic engineering, he is the only Natural (non-genetically enhanced) officer left in the fleet. His classmates and superior officers have all expressed their concern that he will not be up to the demands of the space service.

Only bright and attractive junior officer Kelsey Mitchel has shown any sympathy for him. Now as his navigator on the last fighter in squadron 111, her life as well as a good many others, depends of Henry Gallant.

Buy Now @ Amazon and Smashwords

Genre – Science Fiction

Rating – G

More details about the author and the book

Connect with H. Peter Alesso on Facebook

Website http://www.hpeteralesso.com/Default.aspx

What Lies Inside by J.L. Myers @BloodBoundJLM

A guy’s strong cologne hit me even before he spoke. But it wasn’t Kendrick. It was Joel Nickel, a senior and, as star quarterback, the king of our school. “Hey, hot stuff,” he began with slurred speech then paused. “Hey, I know you. You’re a sophomore, Amily or something?” He smiled and winked. “Fake ID huh? Planning to get messy and have some fun tonight?”

Part of me was thrilled that the superstar of our school was even acknowledging my existence. The other part just wanted him to leave so I could scope out Kendrick. “Amelia,” I said, and turned to the bar, hoping he’d get a clue and leave me the hell alone. He didn’t.

Instead, he took a step closer. “Come on babe, how’s about a drink?”

He was too close, standing only an inch from me. I could smell his blood under the astringent cologne, and worse than that, I could hear his quickening pulse.

“No!” I snapped, muscles twitching, aching with thirst. “Go away.”

Joel chuckled, amused. “Playing hard to get?” He inclined his lips to graze my ear. “I like a challenge.”

His alcohol-drenched breath beat against my neck, sending a ripple down my spine. I could hear the blood pumping faster and louder through his body. Too close. Too freaking close!

That already too-familiar tingle danced across my gums. My mouth salivated. I went to move, to force myself away from him before I became the monster from my favorite Skillet song. His hand caught my shoulder, and it was more than I could take. His scent was now stronger, moving with arousal through his veins.

No longer in controlno longer even myselfI spun on the spot and whispered, “Dark and secluded...”

A victorious smile tugged at Joel’s lips. He curled an arm around my waist, pulling me from the bar. We passed the partygoers and slipped out the back door and into the dark alley. Urine and wafting smells of garbage from a nearby dumpster coupled the scent of his blood.

Joel turned to face me. But I was faster. My hands shot up to his shoulders, nails digging in as I drove him back against the brick wall.

He chuckled, amused. “A fiery one... I knew it.”

His complete lack of awareness to the threat before him angered and excited me. The option to stop, to walk away, was long gone. The thirst had taken over. His hands found my waist and traveled up, forcing their way beneath the fabric of my t-shirt.

Disgusted by his touch, I jerked his back off the wall then slammed him back against the bricks. “Don’t move!”

Joel’s hands dropped obediently and he smiled. “You’re the boss.”

His words evoked a broad smile across my face. Too broad, I realized, as his own smile fell. His eyes widened in shocked disbelief. “What the fuck?”

Moving at lightning speed, I clamped a hand over his mouth and forced his face to the side. I pressed my other hand against his chest, pinning him to the wall. His arms flailed, but it was no use. I was stronger. My eyes zeroed in on a fat vein pulsing along his neck. Then instinct took over. My teeth plunged into his flesh. The warm, metallic taste of his blood filled my mouth. It was an entrancing flavor coupled by the sound of his racing pulse.

A moan of pleasure escaped his lips and his muscles relaxed. His resistance had ceased. That’s when I noticed it. His heart was slowing. The blood loss… I’m killing him. Part of me cried to release him, to not be the monster my uncle and mom had claimed me to be. But I couldn’t stop. I didn’t want to.

When his body slumped against me, my strength somehow kept him pinned. Death was close. Still, I couldn’t stop. Not now. Not yet. Not when something buried so deep within me was awakening.

The smells of the alley soared, muddling together in their intensity to become indiscernible. And I could hear…everything: stray drops of rain hitting puddles, rats gnawing on discarded rubbish. Then something else reached my ears, something quieter. Footsteps?

A blur shot from the shadows. Something as hard as concrete connected with my arm, ripping me from my victim. Then I was flying backwards through the air as Joel crumpled to the ground. I connected with a thud against the adjacent wall before falling in a heap on the uneven asphalt. Instantly, the spell of Joel’s blood was broken. The reality of what I had just done spun like a maelstrom through my mind. I'd killed him!

Tears plagued my eyes, spilling down my face and tinting my sight rose-colored. I swiped at them, but stalled. Blood was smeared across the back of my hands. Crying blood?

I barely had time to wonder how that was possible when the intruder’s towering shadow closed in on me. He clutched something in his hand that glinted silver with the escaping moonlight. A weapon? I blinked up through tear-filled eyes, knowing my life was about to end. With heavy clouds blocking the moonlight again, and through my distorted vision, I could barely make out his dark features. “Kill me,” I sniffed, letting my bloody tears stream down my face like a waterfall. “I’m a fucking monster!”

The boy with hair black as night faltered, pausing right before me. The hand holding the weapon stalled. “You want to die?”

What Lies Inside

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – YA Paranormal Romance

Rating – PG-13+

More details about the author

Connect with  Jessica Myers on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://bloodboundnovels.com

After Alex Died by Dakota Madison

After Alex Died

This NEW ADULT ROMANCE contains MATURE LANGUAGE and SUBJECT MATTER and is intended for readers ages 17+.

"Don't be someone who defines her life by someone else's death."

Dee Dee DeMarco's brother, Alex, was funny, free-spirited and creative. He was also gay. Tormented by bullies, Alex killed himself on his 15th birthday.

Two years later, and now in college, Dee Dee believes getting a summer job working with a college-prep program for disadvantaged high school students is a stroke of luck, until she discovers that the guy assigned to co-lead her group is Cameron Connelly, a star basketball player and one of the bullies who tormented her brother to death. How can Dee Dee possibly spend the entire summer working so closely with one of the boys she blames for her brother's death?

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I think this is a little story with a lot of heart. I hope you think so, too!

Buy Now @ Amazon @ Smashwords
Genre - Contemporary/New Adult Romance 
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with  Dakota Madison on Facebook

Thursday, October 24, 2013

#Free–Penalty Clause by Lori Ryan @loriryanauthor

Penalty Clause by Lori Ryan

Amazon Kindle US

Genre – Romantic Suspense

Rating – R

4.5 (42 reviews)

Free until 24 October 2013

To keep her, he'll have to gamble it all!
Andrew Weston and Jill Walsh had to be the two most unlikely people to fall in love. When Jill's first husband's love for her simply fizzled and died, Jill knew she'd never trust that love could last again. After Andrew's first love betrayed him in the most brutal way possible, he knew he might fall in love again someday, but there was no way he'd ever make himself vulnerable again by confessing those feelings if he did.
Fate had a different ending in mind for these two, though, and when Andrew discovers his love for Jill, he knows the only way to get her to stay with him forever is to offer her an iron clad penalty clause in a prenuptial agreement. He stays with her forever or he loses everything he owns. The millions he's worked for, his property, his cars, everything. Now he just needs to hope that's enough to hold onto Jill forever.

Carla Woody – Seven Tips to Make Journaling Your Writing Ally @CarlaWoody1

Seven Tips to Make Journaling Your Writing Ally

Author: Carla Woody

Once you consider a writing project, you embark on a journey of sorts. This is particularly true if the idea won’t leave you alone, and you’re compelled to pursue it. You become involved in a process, not unlike the
Hero’s Journey that mythologist Joseph Campbell documented in his many books.

For most of us, it takes courage to face the blank page to even get started. Then there’s writer’s block which can raise its ugly head…and…ugh…the rewrite and editing. In those times, don’t you wonder why you ever considered writing to begin with?

What I’ve found over the years is that journaling can be your ally and get you through—if you really use it that way. Here are tips on seven areas that are rich to dig into. By focusing on them, you’ll not only gain increased understanding of yourself but added material for your writing—and inspiration.

1. Thoughts and feelings. A lot of authors would say that writing is a form of therapy. Depending on your subject matter, it can reignite hopes, bring up unresolved personal areas, create nostalgia or instill dreams. You may find yourself having old or new thoughts and feelings in the process. By journaling about what comes up, you can create: greater mental clarity, direction and stress release.

2. Resistance. If you find yourself dragging your feet on getting started, staying with it or even a particular character’s voice, look deeper. Is it something to do with an old personal pattern? Is your heart in the subject matter? Find out if it’s an authentic area of discomfort or how you get in your own way. Undoubtedly it’s emerged for a reason: resolution.

3. Creativity. New ideas and possibilities will crowd your mind as you leave an opening for them to emerge. Document and explore them. As you continue the process you can discover which ones are a right fit.

4. Dreams. By undertaking the writing journey, you’ve given a signal to your mind. You may dream vividly—and remember your dreams even if that’s normally not the case. You may find yourself working through personal things or storylines during sleeping hours. It’s particularly important to record your dreams at such times. Don’t think you’ll remember them. You won’t. They’re elusive. I’d encourage you to take the content of your dreams not so much literally as metaphorically. Look for symbolism. What could something represent? Then explore those elements.

5. Synchronicities. For me, when I’m immersed in a creative venture, it’s like living in some altered plane. Many folks report it that way. You may begin to notice great and small coincidences, more frequently, in your life. These aren’t coincidences at all, but a phenomenon called
synchronicity. Carl Jung first introduced the occurrences as simultaneous, unrelated happenings that aren’t so much grouped by cause but by the meaning they produce. Some may offer real guidance. Be alert! Journaling about them will help you notice.

6. Overall differences. Real transformation takes place at an unconscious level. When change occurs at that level, it lasts. There’s nothing you have to remind yourself to do or say, it just becomes part of who you are. It’s often a challenge to recognize the change going on inside because it seems so natural and can be subtle. In your journal, note what you find different in your life. Use the differences as markers of your progress, telling you where you’ve been and where you may yet want to go.

7. Acknowledgement. It is so important to acknowledge yourself at each step of the way. When any significant part of your project is complete…celebrate! How does it make you feel? What are your thoughts about having taken this journey? Don’t scrimp on this important part. It will provide inspiration for the next trip.

Of course, you can use what I’ve written here as guidelines for any aspect of your life, not just writing. I’ve adapted the content of this post from my mentoring program
Navigating Your Lifepath, which guides folks on how to live through their deeply held values—and thrive.

What is your experience with journaling? I’d love to see your comments below.

StandingStark

“The gift we have been given is the one called possibility, whose intent offers to tie all together, creating strands of a whole life rather than a disintegrated one.”

With these words, Carla Woody sets the stage in this groundbreaking guide toward leading a rich, authentic life. This remarkable book not only offers means to engage the paradoxical nature of spirituality, it suggests pointed questions that accelerate transformation and inner peace.

Through poetic stories and teachings, Woody incorporates her many years of esoteric adventures with Peruvian mystic Don Américo Yábar and shamanism, her intensive work with others incorporating NLP, and learning gained by balancing community and solitude.

Navigating through such diverse geography as healing with energy, bliss states, dark nights and the challenges of personal growth, she presents ways to integrate the compassion of the heart with the clarity of a mind made wise. In this honest, explicit accounting, the committed traveler of the Hero’s Journey is empowered to develop their own capabilities toward nurturing a direct relationship with the Core Self⎯and the mysticism that permeates everything.

The author donates 10% of profits from book sales to Kenosis Spirit Keepers, a 501(c)3 nonprofit she founded whose mission is to help preserve Native traditions in danger of decimation.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Nonfiction, Spirituality

Rating – PG

More details about the author and the book

Connect with Carla Woody on Facebook and Twitter

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What Inspired Me to Write My Book – Tami Urbanek @tamiurbanek

What Inspired Me to Write My Book

My book is a memoir and I never really thought I would write my story. It especially was not on my mind when I was experiencing the pain of my first marriage and then later my daughter’s adolescence! During that distressing period, all I was trying to do was survive.

As I began making my way out of my hurt and fear and I was seeing results in my own healing process, a few friends wanted to know how I did it: How I helped my daughter start moving past her anger at her father and to begin embracing her life. I had to think what did I do to start that process?

My change was my inspiration. If I could move past my own fear and help my daughter heal her male abandonment issues-her anger at her biological father and embrace her son, then I could write a book showing those steps. My difficulty became in how do I share my story?

I was able to quickly write out my abusive year-long first marriage that occurred at age eighteen, my experience as a financially struggling single mother, my second husband who became my rock, my advancement in education and becoming an award winning teacher, changing professions to medium/clairvoyant work, my daughter’s painful adolescence, and her son who came into our lives. That was easy. What wasn’t easy was refining it, fine-tuning it, making it GOOD! No, not good. Excellent! I needed help, so I sought out an editor.

My editor made me dig into my own emotions to pry out those painful years as a teenage bride in an abusive marriage. She made me dig into the fear and frustration around my own teenage daughter’s choices that mimicked mine from years before. I had to recall old memories and feelings and be able to translate that on paper for anyone to feel and understand too.

As the editing process took on a life of its own, my book did so too. I felt inspired to share about why bonding with our children is of the utmost importance as a parent. I wanted to share with the world how important our children are and how much love can be passed between parent and child. My daughter’s growth and my grandson became my inspiration.

LovingConor

Broke, with a month-old baby, nineteen-year old Tami Urbanek walks away from an abusive marriage only to find herself wallowing in anxiety and confusion, wondering how she will survive. At the time, she had no idea that the journey in front of her would guide her so far away from fear of financial survival and instead would push her into the realm of healing and spirituality. As the daughter of internationally renowned medium, Hossca Harrison, Tami seeks the assistance of her loving parents and a spiritual teacher named Jonah. With their help, she begins to understand herself and her daughter, whose adolescent path of destruction threatens to tear apart their relationship. As Tami’s own clairvoyant abilities surface, she is challenged with the task of helping not just her daughter, but the child that her sixteen-year old daughter is carrying: a child whose painful past life still haunts him and which must be resolved before his birth. Told with humor, insight and honesty, Tami’s story challenges readers’ minds as it touches their hearts, and when the last page is turned, it is a story not easily forgotten.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Memoir

Rating – PG-13

More details about the author and the book

Connect with Tami Urbanek on Facebook & Twitter

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

#Free - Night of the Purple Moon by Scott Cramer @cramer_scott

image

Abby, 13, is looking forward to watching the moon turn purple, unaware that deadly bacteria from a passing comet will soon kill off older teens and adults. She must help her brother and baby sister survive in this new world, but all the while she has a ticking time bomb inside of her--adolescence.

"Cramer creates a picture of our world that's both frightening and inspiring in this heartfelt story that both young adults and adults can enjoy.A heartwarming but not overly sentimental story of survival." KIRKUS REVIEWS

"Outrageous and completely 'out of the box'."
MY HOME AWAY FROM HOME review blog
"Three words: Gripping. Palpable. Well-developed." WORD SPELUNKING review blog

Buy Now @ Amazon & B&N & iBooks & Kobo

Genre - Science fiction

Rating – PG-13

More details about the author

Connect with Scott Cramer on Facebook & Twitter

Colony East (The Toucan Trilogy #2) by Scott Cramer @cramer_scott

Colony East
When the bacteria that killed most of world’s adults undergo a deadly mutation, 15-year-old Abby must make the dangerous journey to Colony East, an enclave of scientists and Navy personnel who are caring for a small group of children. Abby fears that time is running short for the victims, but she’s soon to learn that time is running out for everyone outside Colony East. (Parental discretion advised for readers 13 and under)
Colony East will be specially priced at $2.99, 60 percent off the regular price.
Night of the Purple Moon (Book 1 of the Toucan Trilogy) is free.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Science fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Scott Cramer on Facebook & Twitter

Monday, October 21, 2013

Invasion: A Diabolical Onslaught by Michael Dismuke @MTDismuke

Event 1

Meet Jennifer

-

“Hey there. I’m Jennifer Ceirra Wolff. I may seem like your typical college girl – mostly A’s, marketing major and good looking. Well, at least I think I am. Actually I’m a no bullshit kind of girl. I was raised in the farmlands of eastern Ohio, and I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty or to let my hair down when the times right. I was never in a sorority either, if that’s what you’re thinking. I’m 23 and more laid back than most girls my age. I guess I was just your average girl dating average guys and trying to get through college in hopes to someday land a career.

One of those average guys was my boyfriend Mark who I met my freshmen year. If you want to upset him just call him Lewis - that’s his middle name and he hates it. He’s into football and likes to party a bit too much for my taste, but he’s still young so who really cares, right? He’s handsome and took care of me, so all was good.

Now Rachel, she’s a bit different. She’s been my best friend ever since high school and I love her to death. She’s more daring than I am, but she has a really good heart. She means well. It was awesome that she and I both went to CSU together. She keeps me in check for the most part, and I do the same for her. As for her boyfriend, David, that’s an entirely different story. Sure he could be funny at times, you know like those home-made cat and dog videos. Yeah they’re cute the first time around, but after that, they become pretty damn annoying. Now that I think about it, that slap-stick humor is probably why she liked him so much. Like I said, she has a good heart.

Her brother, Jeff, he’s a bit more like me, but he’s really quiet and keeps to himself. He’s that guy where people are like yeah I’ve seen him around… I just don’t remember his name. When we do go to parties with him, he’s the one downstairs watching reruns of Friends while everyone else is having a good time with real ones. Anyhow, my friends and I were on our way up to the campgrounds in Shadow Pines to meet up with the rest of our classmates. It’s a yearly event the Greeks hold the weekend before homecoming. Usually Adam and the rest of the jocks get drunk and jump over the fire pit while the rest of us chill out and listen to music. We planned on staying the night and heading back the following afternoon. Adam, he’s the QB for the football team. He’s also my ex from high school. He can be a prick sometimes, but we’ll talk about that later.

Anyhow, one thing about me that most people don’t know is that I’m a second degree black belt in Taekwondo. I took 4th place in the nationals when I was only 16. I’m a bit rustier now since I haven’t practiced for a few years, but I can still hold my own if needed. I’m more of a self-defense fighter rather than an aggressor, but hey, that’s why they teach it, right? Well before I go, I just wanted to let you know that I’m the kind of girl that would do whatever it takes to protect my friends.”

MichaelDismuke

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Genre – SciFi Horror

Rating – PG-13

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