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Welcome to Literarily Speaking! I am a book blogger, book reviewer, author and CEO/Founder of Pump Up Your Book. Literarily Speaking is a smorgasbord of anything literary. I talk about books as well as host author interviews, guest posts and reviews. While my time is very limited running a business, I have little time to review so most of my reviews are from books I request although that might change. I am open to guest posts as long as the post pertains to anything literary - whether it be the publishing or the promoting process. If you want to be featured here with a guest post, email me at thewriterslife (at) gmail.com.
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postheadericon Interview with Lee Papa, author of ‘The Temple of All Knowing’

The Temple of All Knowing banner

We’re happy to have Lee Papa, author of the memoir, THE TEMPLE OF ALL KNOWING, here with us today at Literarily Speaking!

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Lee! Can you tell us where you are from?

Originally, Baltimore, Maryland but if you are from there you would say, “Bawlmer, Merlin, hon” Then off to Los Angeles, CA for 11 years.

The Temple of All Knowing BQ: How did you come up with your title?

It was a channel that I received during the writing of the book and I was guided to use it.

Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover. Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?

Oh yes! I have a dear dear friend who is an extraordinary graphics person. Shane Dieter. We were working together very closely at the time and I asked him to be inspired and design the cover. What I mean by “be inspired” is to get out of the way and allow the creation to flow through. It took him, I believe, 45 minutes and when he sent it to me to check it out, I cried. It was perfect.

Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?

Well, it’s different for different people. Some people are jazzed to hear about a near death experience and want to know what the “other side” is like. Other’s want guidance on how to transform their lives. Other’s need hope and inspiration. There are all of these things and more in this book.

Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?

  • With change comes transformation…be open to the possibilities.”

  • Everything we need is within us.

  • There is no death. Only Life and Life.

  • We create our realities.

  • Our thoughts, words and actions are powerful.

  • There is nothing that you are not enough of.

  • Judgment of others, stems from judgment of self.

I could keep going…LOL.

Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?

Chapter 12 is powerful – The Awakening. Because it includes a channel from a very highly vibrational guide, Joseph. The experience of receiving this channel was extraordinary and then when I read it, I was blown away. It starts with…”Love enters us from a well of existence that is streaming from the natural Source.” It is where the title comes from, so it is also very dear to me. The message is for all of humanity. I have it posted on my leepapa.com website.

Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?

There was no choice in the matter. The internal urging to get this book complete was mounting. It took me 4 years. In its original form it was about double to size. My loving and tough friend took the first pass at editing and chopped it way back. It is a book of hope and healing. It such shape or form, it’s every person’s story. It is a much needed message during these times when so many are struggling and seeking.

Q: Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?

I have always wanted to be Jane from Tarzan and Jane and in my next book that details my trip to Peru I was able to get kind of close. Next one, I would love to be Laura Croft for a day.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I adore Europe. The South of France, UmbriaItaly. Paris. Ahhhh. Let me take a moment.

Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?

Most certainly a morning person! I love when the world comes alive in the morning. The ritual of making coffee and having breakfast.

Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?

My son, who is 9 years old and I are working on a children’s book together. However, he is more of a visual writer as he likes YouTube.

Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?

It’s hard to say. After the near death experience, my childhood feels like a memory of something I read about in a book. Like I knew it happened but I have little or no connection to it at all. If I had to guess, I would say no. I don’t remember playing or imagining that much, except maybe when I wanted to be a Charlie’s Angel.

Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish. What would that be?

For the inhabitants of the world to understand the nature of Oneness. Karmic action and reaction has lead us to the place of where we are today. Our earthly experience could be more like heaven if we learned to truly love.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?

Thank you for this opportunity to share this story and the message. I am most appreciative. Shine your light bright for all to see!

About the Author

Lee PapaLee Papa’s start in the corporate world was in sales for the Hyatt Regency Hotel chain, which led to being head hunted by a NY based real estate developer. Lee spent the next 11 years as a key employee working in commercial real estate leasing and management in Baltimore, Maryland. Although, commercial real estate was now in her blood and she loved the art of the deal, a different road in the industry was presenting itself and that brought her to heading up the benchmarking division for a Los Angeles based real estate consulting firm. Her job had her traveling nationally and setting up programs to benchmark customer satisfaction. Understanding there was not a one shoe fits all approach to customer surveying, she embarked on her entrepreneurial journey and started with consulting to serve the customized needs of her clients.

Lee’s first book, The Temple of All Knowing, is a memoir of her several years journey prior to her near death experience, through the completion of the 6,000 square foot Ganesha Center in Las Vegas. The book details the roadmap from personal darkness through spiritual, emotional and physical transformation.

Since the completion of the manuscript the Las Vegas Sanctuary for the Spirit evolved by moving to a downtown Las Vegas location and now offers targeted classes and workshops while focusing on a Virtual Ganesha Center supporting individuals and corporations with programs and a Referral Network with expansive reach for optimal awareness.

For More Information

About the Book:

The Temple of All Knowing is a memoir of one woman’s passage from personal and professional turmoil to spiritual awakening. A compelling straight forward and sometimes humorous account of the most personal of journeys as this 40-something woman finds herself in Sin City with promise of a new life, new husband and elderly mother living with her. She instead is uncovered as a central character in the deepest of possible challenges only to break through to discover her authentic spiritual self through a near death experience and a personal mission in SoulCity – Las Vegas.

For More Information

  • The Temple of All Knowing is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

 

 

 

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postheadericon Writing, Caregiving and Alzheimer’s Disease by author Barry Tutor

ABOUT NEVER GIVING UP & NEVER WANTING TO

Like most, I knew about Alzheimer’s disease. It causes old people to forget. When my relationship with this disease began, it highlighted how little I knew. Following my widowed mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis, I researched this disease to gain insight about my new role as her caregiver and decision maker. What I learned and experienced during her affliction still left me somewhat unprepared for what was yet to come. Sixteen months following my mother’s diagnosis, my dear wife and best friend was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Though now I was familiar with this silent killer, my wife’s diagnosis set into motion many changes and challenges in our lives. Someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every sixty-eight seconds. Currently, Alzheimer’s is the only disease in the top-ten causes of death that is on the increase and has no means of prevention and no possible cure. Given these facts, support for those afflicted relies on increasing levels of caregiving as the disease progresses. Let me explain something about this “old folk’s disease.” Alzheimer’s affects more than just parents and grandparents. It is also the disease of siblings, spouses, and children. Alzheimer’s forces many families to decide between home versus institutional care. An estimated fifteen million caregivers provide some level of care to the Alzheimer’s victims still living at home. No matter what level of care you are providing, the importance of preparation is paramount. Arming yourself with knowledge begins that preparation process. I was unprepared for the roller-coaster ride my life became as the sole caregiver for two Alzheimer’s victims. To meet their varied challenges, I adapted and developed multiple techniques for targeted personalized care. If only I knew then what I know now. By sharing my knowledge and experience, I hope to better prepare you for your caregiving journey.

Purchase your copy:

Trafford Publishing

Writing, Caregiving and Alzheimer’s Disease

When you become a new author questions always arise from interviewers, publicists and readers: “Why did you write this book” or “What was your inspiration?” While I would have enjoyed writing about wizards, superheroes, spies or master detectives I chose instead to write Never Giving Up & Never Wanting To about the true heroes that often go unnoticed in the world of Alzheimer’s care. This is a world I know far too well as I have faced the horrors of Alzheimer’s twice; my late mother lost her battle in 2010 and my wife is currently in her fourteenth year fighting the disease. What sets my book apart from most who have authored similar books; I cared for both of them on my own and simultaneously until I was forced to put my mother into Alzheimer’s assisted living in 2007 because, even though I am talented at all things caregiving, I could not be in two places at once.

At present, there are some 5 million Alzheimer’s patients in the United States and most are cared for by approximately 15 million caregivers. What do the majority of these 20 million people have in common? When the newly diagnosed receives the bad news, they are essentially cast to the wolves with little more than a patient starter pack of medication and instruction to go to the Alzheimer’s Association website for assistance.

In Never Giving Up & Never Wanting To I assist caregivers in recognizing many aspects of caregiving and planning that are often overlooked when assuming the responsibilities of another adult’s life as the disease takes over. Along with addressing the activities of daily living I make the reader aware of facility planning, financial and legal preparation, hospice care, psychological issues, clinical trials, and evaluating institutional care facilities should home care become unrealistic or impossible. In my interactions with other caregivers, both professional and volunteer, I found that I was not alone in my “seek, and ye shall find” instructions from the diagnosing physician. While I am an experienced computer user, it dawned on me that so many of the people that receive this diagnosis and the “instructions” may not be computer savvy enough to access the necessary information for what’s next.

One of my inspirations for writing Never Giving Up & Never Wanting To came from another author. A few months after my mother was diagnosed my wife and I attended a health fair where an independent author was speaking about her husband’s diagnosis of Early Onset Alzheimer’s and his care. Being fairly new to Alzheimer’s care, like most others in my situation, I welcomed the chance to gain more information from someone who had been there before. By the fourth chapter, I realized this woman did not author a book about Alzheimer’s care but instead penned a book about Alzheimer’s care in Fantasyland. I occasionally think back to her book having spoken with hundreds of other caregivers, watched over my mother until her death and while I stand watch over my terminally ill wife of nearly 32 years and feel this woman must have had it pretty easy in caring for her Alzheimer’s patient.

I did not set out to write the next bestseller but instead an unvarnished, no holds barred look at the real world of Alzheimer’s caregiving. While I would like to sell many copies; becoming the next longtime resident of the bestseller lists; I am a realist that understands that nobody, let me repeat nobody, expects this disease to come barging into their lives until after losses begin.

When I began my “career” as an Alzheimer’s caregiver, I knew little more about the disease than it causes old people to forget things. In that regard, I feel I was as informed as the average person that has not experienced Alzheimer’s or the caregiving involved. Every 68 seconds someone receives the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. It is imperative that the potential Alzheimer’s patient, as well as his or her caregivers, understand the disease, caregiving requirements and how to plan for the future.

The purpose behind my book is to help current caregivers, especially those who are new, potential caregivers of which there are many and the Alzheimer’s patient who may not fully understand that Alzheimer’s is a progressive degenerative neurologic condition that is always fatal and there currently exists limited treatments to assist them through the course of the disease.

I have written my book with an “I have been there, so I know what I am talking about” attitude. I wish for the reader to come away with an appreciation of what my wife and I lost when Alzheimer’s invaded our lives, but also the level of care that I render everyday from a knowledge-base of observation, in-depth research and the love and respect that I have for my best friend.

ABOUT BARRY TUTOR

As a lifetime problem-solver, I faced the challenges of caring for my two AD victims by researching the disease and developing caregiving skills to assure their comfort and care.

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postheadericon A Conversation with Arielle Strauss, author of The Wraith Series

Arielle StraussArielle Strauss is a twenty-two year old author, actress, and percussionist originally from Freehold, New Jersey. She graduated with a BA in Liberal Arts from SarahLawrenceCollege, where she began to write “The Wraith Trilogy.” She’s pleased to finally share her first novel, The Wraith, and the sequel, The Huntress, with the world.

For More Information

About the Books:

The Wraith 2The Wraith – Ophelia Weller never believed in ghosts until the night she became one. But when the aftermath of a frat party on the most haunted campus in America leaves her face to face with her own naked corpse, she really has no other option. Now a wraith, Ophelia is a spirit hidden amongst the living. Forced to conceal her undead identity from the world, and struggling to remain visible to the humans around her, how will she ever manage to convince her dearest friend of the truth? Or muster the courage to tell her beautiful gym partner that she just may be in love with her? And, with no memory of her death, how will Ophelia solve the mystery of her murder?

For More Information

  • The Wrath is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

The Huntress 2The Huntress – Ophelia’s been dead for several weeks, but she’s still around. Yet other students at OhioUniversity are dropping like flies, never to return. Surely the most haunted campus in America is home to other wraiths like herself? Ophelia is determined to find them—and to discover the truth about why she continues to dwell in the world of mortals. But faced with a mysterious clan of ghost hunters closing in, threatening to end her unlife, three meddlesome (and crotchety) divine beings determined to control her new existence, and a best friend with more than friendly feelings for the love of her life, how long will Ophelia be able to hide the truth of her death—and her destiny?

For More Information

  • The Huntress is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Arielle! Can you tell us where you are from?

I’m from Freehold, which is where Bruce Springsteen is from!

Q: How did you come up with your title?

Speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover. Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?

The Killion Group designed the cover. I wanted the image to be ethereal and mysterious, inviting you to open the book.

Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?

Lesbians. I mean, if you’re into that sort of thing…

Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?

If you’re getting over a traumatic experience, like Ophelia, keep going for the things you really want out of life. Don’t hold yourself back because fate threw this massive hurdle your way. And if you miraculously find love in any form, like Ophelia, do yourself a favor and hold onto it. Cherish and nurture that love because it’s one more rare, beautiful and amazing thing to live for.

Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?

The first chapter was my favorite to write. The published version is vastly different than the original draft, but that was the freest creative experience of my life. I didn’t hold back. Of course the editing process was a long one and the finished product now suits the rest of the story.

Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?

I’d written only in bits and pieces my whole life. The one time I ever finished anything, it got lost. So I wanted to complete something and for people to see it.

Q: Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?

I have mild emetophobia.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I’d see New Zealand. It’s where Xena was filmed.

Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?

I’m an evening person. I love dinner.

Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?

My mother is a writer. My aunt is also a published author.

Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?

I still am.

Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish. What would that be?

I’d wish for ability to teleport. Ophelia can teleport short distances. I would teleport to New Zealand and avoid that 24-hour flight.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?

Battle on!

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postheadericon 5 Things You Should Know About The Hidden History of America by David Brody

 

The Oath of NimrodTitle: Oath of Nimrod
Author: David S. Brody
Publisher: Eyes That See
Pages: 283
Genre: Historical Suspense
Format: Paperback/Ebook

A mysterious race of North American giants.

An ancient Hebrew inscription in a Cherokee burial mound.

A blood oath made by blindfolded Freemasons.

Are these three historical oddities the reason the CIA is trying to brainwash historian Cameron Thorne and his fiancée Amanda Spencer-Gunn? The answer lies buried in the legends of the Knights Templar, within the rituals of the secretive Freemasons and, most significantly of all, inside the bowels of the Smithsonian Institution. The problem for Cam and Amanda? If they go rummaging around the Smithsonian, they may find themselves buried alongside the ancient giants.

For More Information

  • Oath of Nimrod is available at Amazon.

5 Things

5 Things You Should Know About The Hidden History of America:

 

  1. Ancient Stone Structures in southern New Hampshire indicate Mediterranean explorers visited America approximately 3,000 years ago.

 

  1. A round stone tower in Rhode Island was likely built by European or Scandinavian explorers at least a hundred years before Columbus.

 

  1. Carvings in stone indicate Scottish explorers traveled to inland Massachusetts in the late 1300s.

 

  1. Hundreds of newspaper accounts from the 1800s indicate a race of giant humans (7.5 to 12 feet tall) roamed North America approximately 2,000 years ago.

 

  1. A carved stone found in a Cherokee burial mound in Tennessee indicates Jewish explorers came to North America around 200 A.D.

David Brody

David S. Brody is a Boston Globe bestselling fiction writer named Boston’s “Best Local Author” by the Boston Phoenix newspaper. A graduate of Tufts University and Georgetown Law School, he is a former Director of the New England Antiquities Research Association (NEARA) and is an avid researcher in the subject of pre-Columbian exploration of America. He has appeared as a guest expert
on documentaries airing on History Channel, Travel Channel, PBS and Discovery Channel.

For More Information

Contact David.

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postheadericon A Session Director’s Guide to Commercial Acting in L.A. Book Blitz & Win $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Commercial Acting in L.A. banner

We’re happy to be hosting Shaan Sharma and his COMMERCIAL ACTING IN L.A. Book Blitz today!

About the Book

Commercial Acting in L.A. 2

Title: A Session Director’s Guide to Commercial Acting in L.A.
Author: Shaan Sharma
Publisher: Shaan Sharma
Pages: 149
Genre: Nonfiction
Format: Paper/Kindle

Purchase at Amazon

Shaan Sharma’s A SESSION DIRECTOR’S GUIDE TO COMMERCIAL ACTING IN L.A. is the commercial acting industry’s most comprehensive book ever written – – giving readers a step-by-step guide to breaking into and prospering in the commercial acting business in the world’s entertainment center, Los Angeles. Fusing his experience, wisdom, vignettes and wit – Sharma is about to change the lives of those who thought big-picture acting was nothing but a fantasy, as well as those commercial veterans who could be even more successful.

Readers of this book will learn how to become successful working actors in TV commercials in Los Angeles in this fun step-by-step guide by top Casting Session Director and Commercial Actor Shaan Sharma. “This isn’t hype – it’s tangible advice I have gained from running auditions for over 400 commercial spots,” says Sharma. “Readers will hit the ground running as they discover how the business works and what to expect, how to find good acting classes, refine their look, get headshots, get representation, get in with the top commercial casting directors, navigate the audition and call-back process, life on set and even how to stay busy between acting jobs. There’s also a bonus chapter for parents interested in getting their children into acting. The commercial acting world is so different than that of theater, TV and film that new students and veterans alike need to make the most of the time and money they invest in their careers.”

Shaan went on to say, “The kind of information in this book can only come from someone who has experience both in front of and behind the camera, who works with the top casting directors, directors, ad agencies and companies in the world. There are no other books out there like it. So, if you want to get into commercial acting in L.A. – this is your guidebook.”

Having directed audition sessions for over four hundred national commercial spots for dozens of L.A.’s top casting directors, Shaan Sharma is a well-known veteran of his industry. Now expanding his reach through a powerful new book, Shaan is looking to help thousands of actors better navigate their way through the commercial acting business by putting into practice the tips and information he has spent fifteen years discovering. Regardless of experience level, A SESSION DIRECTOR’S GUIDE TO COMMERCIAL ACTING IN L.A. contains insider knowledge that will help actors better understand the process and in turn be more successful. Shaan’s book features compelling illustrations by Paul Loudon.

203 pages

E-book, $19.99; ISBN: 9780990408024

Softback, $29.99; ISBN: 9780990408000

Publication date: September 22, 2014

Published by CreateSpace; Available at: Apple iBooks: http://bit.ly/VGv766; Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/1vFnTtK; Barnes and Noble Nook: http://bit.ly/1xjHmTv; Kobo: http://bit.ly/1magu4h

Book Excerpt:

In the end, training to be the best actor you can be, creating your own work, getting in front of casting directors whenever possible through workshops and showcases, submitting yourself for work on and offline, getting great representation and working with them to expand your opportunities for mutual success, being knowledgeable about the business and casting process, giving as much as you can of yourself to other actors, and being awesome to, and interested in, the people that make it all happen day-in and day-out is the best way to maximize your chances of success, not only as a commercial actor but as a professional actor, period.

I hope that this information has been a helpful starting point in knowing what to do. Almost all of us move here from somewhere else with no good information as to how things actually work, and it can be so hap-hazard where you end up training and how you end up finding out the right information. It’s my hope that this insider look into the world of commercial acting and casting helps you sidestep the mistakes I and others naturally made when we started out. A better-informed and trained acting community will only make my life easier in the casting studio. In fact, this material is actually all a selfish effort for my own benefit. But hey, if good is achieved with it also, well then that’s extra karma for me.

About the Author

Shaan Sharma

In the end, training to be the best actor you can be, creating your own work, getting in front of casting directors whenever possible through workshops and showcases, submitting yourself for work on and offline, getting great representation and working with them to expand your opportunities for mutual success, being knowledgeable about the business and casting process, giving as much as you can of yourself to other actors, and being awesome to, and interested in, the people that make it all happen day-in and day-out is the best way to maximize your chances of success, not only as a commercial actor but as a professional actor, period.

I hope that this information has been a helpful starting point in knowing what to do. Almost all of us move here from somewhere else with no good information as to how things actually work, and it can be so hap-hazard where you end up training and how you end up finding out the right information. It’s my hope that this insider look into the world of commercial acting and casting helps you sidestep the mistakes I and others naturally made when we started out. A better-informed and trained acting community will only make my life easier in the casting studio. In fact, this material is actually all a selfish effort for my own benefit. But hey, if good is achieved with it also, well then that’s extra karma for me.

GIVEAWAY

Shaan Sharma is giving away one $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
  • This giveaway begins November 3 and ends November 29.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on Monday, December 1.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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postheadericon Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card: Climbing for Roots Book Blitz!

Title: Climbing for Roots
Author: Alan Noble
Genre: Religion/Spiritual Growth/Christian Life
Publisher: Axiom

Climbing for Roots will explain fully the sin that so completely corrupted creation, and the plan of God for our salvation. We learn that Jesus is not only our Savior, but is also the Lord of our lives. What does that mean? That obedience will never earn us God’s love but it will always produce blessing. We learn that our salvation is secure, but we must strive for obedience because we are created to do good works.
 
When we trust Jesus for salvation, we become members of a new family—the family of God, also known as the church. Imagine! God is now our Father. As members of this incredible family, certain changes take place within us. We get learn about worship and praise, and have a relationship with Him. Climbing for Roots will teach us about ourselves as new creations, about this church, and about Jesus, the Son of God! We learn about the two ordinances or rites Jesus has given His church that will help us to remember who we are as Christians—baptism, and communion. As a member of God’s church, we learn that we are to serve each other in unity. We must consider others more important than ourselves. We learn that we need to persevere together, so that when Jesus returns, He will find us doing what He has left us here to do—serving Him by serving others.
 
Purchase at:
 
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Climbing-Roots-Christian-Foundations-Believers/dp/1581694970
 

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/climbing-for-roots-alan-noble/1118630853


Alan R. Noble is a born-again Christian, schooled in the Word since childhood. He was fortunate to sit under capable preaching and teaching throughout his life. His passion for the spiritual welfare of young people grew out of his years of work experience, and his understanding of the Scriptures. He realizes that young Christians need instruction in the meat as well as the milk of the Word (Hebrews 5:12-14).

Mr. Noble was educated at William Paterson University, a liberal arts institute in Northern New Jersey, and received a B.A. in education, with a certificate to teach elementary school. Later, he received an M.A. in Communication Arts, and a certificate in supervision. He worked as an educator for 31 years.

After his retirement from public education Mr. Noble enjoyed teaching in Christian Schools in New Jersey and Texas.

These days find Alan and his wife Kathie enjoying their travels between Kansas City and northern New Jersey as they visit their daughters’ families that include six beautiful grandchildren.

Pump Up Your Book and Alan are teaming up to give away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:

• By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
• One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive the prize.
• This giveaway begins November 3 and ends on November 28, 2014.
• Winner will be contacted via email on December 1, 2014.
• Winner has 72 hours to reply.
• VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Climbing for Roots Book Blitz Schedule
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postheadericon Interview with ‘Welcome to Nursing HELLo’ Joel Craig

Joel CraigJOEL CRAIG is a nurse who works at a busy hospital in Los Angeles and lives with his husband, Donovan. They have been married twice with the second time finally being legal. In addition to writing about nursing, Joel is also an actor, having appeared in the films, Sideshow and Sordid Lives. Currently he is acting in the web series, What’s My Intention? He’s working on his next graphic novel, Vampire Nurse in Hollywood.

His latest book is the graphic memoir/nonfiction, Welcome to Nursing HELLo: A Graphic Memoir.

For More Information

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Joel! Can you tell us where you are from?

Thanks for having me. I was born in Nashville, Tennessee, the home of country music. I did not want to be a country music singer or star but I wanted to be a movie star so I moved to Los Angeles but lived in Indianapolis and Chicago along the way.

Welcome to Nursing HELLo 2Q: How did you come up with your title?

I had seen this movie as a kid called Motel Hell, this horror movie where bad things happen when people stay at this certain motel. The sign at the motel is supposed to say “Motel, Hello” but the O is burnt out. I thought that was funny. I named my book Welcome To Nursing Hello but, on the cover the O is burnt out so it looks like Nursing Hell.

Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover. Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?

I designed the cover myself. I guess I’m summing up nursing in two ways. Cleaning up bodily fluids and giving pain medication. There’s more to nursing than that but, when I worked in med/surg nursing it felt like that.

Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?

 I make fun of nursing in a way no one else ever has. You’ll laugh your ass off.

Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?

You mean like subliminal? No, I know that’s not what you meant. It doesn’t really matter the reason why you do something like becoming a nurse. What matters is that you do the best job you can possibly do. Learn from my mistakes.  You know those videos where you watch the “right way” customer service and then you watch the “wrong way” customer service. My book is the “wrong way” a lot of times and it’s hilarious.      Also, most of the time creative people can’t make money at what they love to do. This is what my book is about and, how I try to process the whole journey.

Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?

One of the dream sequences where I find out Madonna is playing in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest  on Broadway, co-staring with her ex-husband Sean Penn and, on top of that, being directed by her other ex-husband, Guy Ritchie. The lesson there is never work with more than one ex-husband at a time.

Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?

 I showed some of my pages to another RN named Loretta (who is in my book)  and she fell out of her chair laughing.  I didn’t expect that sort of reaction. And she wasn’t just laughing at me. Not 100% anyway.  I thought sure some of my stuff is fun but maybe other people might react like her so I kept writing. This is the end product.

Q: Now some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?

I liked to play as a child. I would go into my parents’ attic and explore. I found my sister’s old Barbie dolls from the 1960s and I was in heaven. I even built the dolls this giant cardboard house. I wish I had a picture of that. But I was afraid the kids in my class at school would find out after I showed a buddy of mine the dolls. If I knew what I know now how sometimes it really doesn’t matter what people say, I would have taken the dolls to show and tell.

Q:  If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I would go to Walt Disney World in Florida because you can go to EPCOT center and all the countries are within walking distance. People really can see Russia from their backyard. Or I guess China since they don’t have Russia there.

Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?

Definitely a morning person. If I sleep in late I feel like I’m sleeping the day away.

Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?

I can really only think of my sister, Belinda who writes short stories about our family. She doesn’t want to write about the dirt of our family which there really isn’t much of anyway. But she’s a good writer. I keep telling her she needs to write a book and self publish. After all, she is the Czarina of Mt. Juliet. (Mt. Juliet is where she lives.) But I could kill her for later selling those Barbie dolls. And she sold them cheap too. I was mad.

Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?

Oh, yes. I wanted to go and live in outer space with the cast from Star Wars (especially Han Solo) accompanied by my sister’s Barbie dolls of course.

Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish. What would that be?

I want my book, Welcome To Nursing HELLo, a Graphic Memoir adapted into a cartoon series for the Comedy Network.

Q:  Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?

I want more questions! This Q & A was kind of fun. Final words? Hmm, oh yea watch this web series I co-wrote with Stephen Foster that I am also acting in. It’s at:

www.Youtube.com/whatsmyinention  I play the character of Josh.  I also have a link to one of my scenes at my website at: www.WelcomeToNursingHELLo.com

 

 

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postheadericon Interview with Dr. John & Elizabeth McIntosh, authors of ‘Mastering Negative Impulsive Thoughts’

John McIntoshDoctor H. John McIntosh is known as the “Medical Guru” through his columns and media presence.  Hewas educated as a medical doctor in Scotland. He received a general medical degree from DundeeUniversityMedicalSchool in 1984 and moved to Australia in 1993. He received his Specialist Physicianqualification in 1988 from the Royal College of Physicians (UK) and specialist Family Physician qualifications in 1990 from the Royal College of General Practitioners. Other certifications include: Approved Trainer of medical students, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners; James Cook University Medical School, Central Queensland University; Trainer of Cognitive Institute programs, Cognitive Institute of Australia; Approved Trainer of sports medicine first aid courses, Sports Medicine, Australia; and Approved Allergan Cosmetic Injector training and trainer of injectors (doctors and nurses). Dr. McIntosh was the driving force in the building of the Mackay GP Superclinic. In 2013,his medical clinics were awarded the national AGPAL Community Engagement Award for outstanding level of commitment and involvement of the community and won a finalist award in the 2014 Telstra Australian Business Awards.

Elizabeth McIntoshRev. Elizabeth McIntosh is known as the “Positivity Expert” from her life’s work and research in the field. She trained as a life and wellness coach; certified personal fitness trainer under Ken Ware, Mr. Universe of 1994; counselor, hypnotherapist, meditation and yoga teacher; and spa trainer. She is a Reiki master Levels 1, 2 and 3, and a Reiki Master Trainer. She holds a BMSc in Metaphysics from the University of Sedona and the University of Metaphysics, and is an ordained minister through the University of Metaphysics. She runs retreats at her resort in Bali andhas produced a series of CDs on health, relaxation, and success, and a TV documentary series,as well as being a magazine columnist and radio talkback presenter.

Their latest book is the nonfiction/self-help, Mastering Negative Impulsive Thoughts.

Visit the authors’ website at www.positivityexpert.com.

About the Book:

Mastering Negative Impulsive Thoughts 3Doctor John McIntosh and Rev. Elizabeth McIntosh, authors of an important new book, MASTERING NEGATIVE IMPULSIVE THOUGHTS, use “nits” as both an acronym for their book’s title and as an analogy for the clearly unhealthy effects of negative thinking.

“Negative thoughts occur impulsively, so that is why they are Negative Impulsive Thoughts, or NITs, for short,” the authors say. “The nice analogy is that nits are also head lice and both (nits and NITs) are irritating, contagious, hard to recognize, hard to eliminate, breed fast, and spread like an epidemic.”

Unlike other, similar books that claim to have a magic route to happiness and health, MASTERING NEGATIVE IMPULSIVE THOUGHTS is based on solid clinical research, say the authors, who together have extensive experience in general medicine, medical research, and holistic health/wellness practices.

For More Information

  • Mastering Negative Impulse Thoughts is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview. Can you tell us where you are from?

Yes, the bright side of the road, but I was borne in a gorgeous coastal city in sunny Queensland Australia. John was borne in South Africa moved to the U.K. then finally settled in Australia

Q: How did you come up with your title?

The Title and the concept were borne together – we were crystalizing negative thoughts and brain storming about using an analogy that people could relate to as creatures, animals, bugs or a virus. I was throwing words around to John like negative, thinking, thoughts, impulse, impulsive, and John was catching them an organizing them into some sense of order, as he does well – actually that is how we generally work, so it was a team effort and together, the concept NITs concept was borne. Negative Impulsive Thoughts.

Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover. Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?

We designed the cover, John and I wanted the cover to convey the personality of the book. It needed to look Fresh, crisp, uplifting, professional, fun, intriguing and show our positive approach to life. The cover of the book, like all our projects was given careful consideration, appealing to the Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic readers.

Obviously, the visual people are satisfied by the overall look , the Auditory people listen to how the title sounds, when they say the title in their head or they might even read the title allowed so they can hear how it sounds. For the Kinesthetic people, they need to be able to get a feeling for the book when they look at the cover.

Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?

We are not just trying to sell a book – we are encouraging people to embrace a concept that will improve their life. This book was also written with many secret techniques that people in general are not aware of. These guide the reader on a journey through the book, learning the message through metaphors and real stories of NITs, Negative Impulsive Thoughts. Adding to that, the stories have been told, with what is call an open loop, which is a very subtle technique to satisfy the conscious mind by bringing the stories to a close but not concluding until the epilog at the end – this keeps the sub-conscious mind intrigued until the end of the book.   So that, may also appeal to you, now you know it is not just another book, and you may if want to see if you can detect those subtleties that we have used, often without the readers knowledge.

Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?

Wow where do I start ? How much time do we have? This book is full of messages. The main message here is that we are bombarded with NITs every day of our lives and we need to control them to be happy, teach our children how to control and to achieve success in any field.

We present the NITs concept to the reader by showing them how to recognize   what everyone is thinking has dramatic effects on every aspect of their life, including their health and longevity. And now science is backing us up on that. Other messages are, how to raise your children using these simple strategies that will have a positive domino effect on their lives.

How to build an ultimate relationship using this concept . How to create a positive work environment supportive, productive and with no dramas.     People are looking for answers, ready to make changes , not only in their own head space but new ways to deal with other people that are uplifting and empowering and with integrity.

Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?

It is a toss up between religion and the next generation, both topics I am very passionate about. When you consider babies are borne as a blank canvas and we, the adults, parents, teachers and coaches all have the power to determine how the next generation turn out! We have the ability to set them on a NIT free path to happiness everyday by leading a NIT free life and leading them by example and we have the poser to create the next generation into an amazing species .

Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?

Separately, John and myself have both been in the business of helping people to improve their health. We have known for many years the link between one’s mental state and the effects it has on the physical body. 70% of complaint presented to doctors resulted from people’s own mental attitude. We have done our own research combined with ground breaking studies that prove that negative thoughts do impact on the physical body. There are many book written on thinking positively, but none have shown an easy way of recognizing negative thoughts, or strategies to deal with them effectively.

Here it is – no longer do you have to be controlled by your own negative mind chatter nor be a victim of negative attitudes from other people.

Q: Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?

O.K. but as long as it is just between us. Sometimes   on weekends we were so inspired to write the book, when we awoke we would both would sit up in bed typing away on our laptops for hours, wearing nothing but our reading glasses, and often this is when we produced our best chapters.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

John and I have travelled extensively, our aid work has take us to the remote areas of the planet, where I was the first white women the villagers had ever seen. John has worked in a Leprosy hospital in Nepal, we have business’s on exotic island in the Indonesian archipelago. We have sailed on vast ocean crossing where there is nothing but ocean as far as the eye could see, except for our little yacht, and underneath us the ocean so deep the depth log doesn’t even register. So travelling the world is already part of what we do and we view this as normal life, just adding to the rich tapestry of experiences we can write about in the future.

Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?

Definitely, morning, it is the best time to meditate the world is still slow and sleepy, I love the freshness of early mornings, and there is something magical when you whiteness the birth of a new day. In saying that we very rarely get to bed before 11pm – there is just too many exciting things to do.

Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?

Yes one of our sons is writing a novel as we speak, he has a great way with descriptive words and when I read his work I see in my mind what he is describing clearly. Another son is a musician and composer of music and lyrics which is writing with melody and of course we are very proud of his talent also.

Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?

Definitely and proud to say, we both still are. Some of the most brilliant people that have ever walked the planet have been dreamers. Albert Eisenstein was said to have admitted that he did not come across any of his discoveries by the process of rational thinking. And what is a dreamer by definition? It is a person able to enter a form of a meditative state, slowing down their brain cycles or Hertz to be able to tap into the artistic, creative part of their mind – where intuition, insight, brain storms and magic is borne. Power to the dreamers.

Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish. What would that be?

I want his job!   I want to be the Genie!

To be able to bring happiness to people and make it all better. And really in some small way that is what we are doing, with our book, by sharing our knowledge by lifting the veil on ignorance we are helping people find their own inner genie.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?

I like that, a person that knows that women like to have the final say.

 

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postheadericon First Chapter Reveal: K-9 Cop by Erna Mueller & Win Audiobook!

K-9 Cop 2Title: K-9 Cop: Case #1 The Dreck Report
Author: Erna Mueller
Publisher: Erna Mueller
Pages: 220
Genre: YA
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

No one thought as highly of Lieutenant Spencer Watley as he did himself. This selfish cop met 14 year-old Justin Andrews during an important stakeout. Determined to nab a group of cyber killers, he wasn’t going to let anything get in his way, especially a smart mouthed teenager like Justin.

After Spencer bids him good riddance, he is killed by the hackers and stands before the gates of heaven. But – what’s this? After a life of putting dangerous criminals behind bars, he’s locked out?

He yells at the angel blocking his entrance, only to find out he needs to go through the J.R.P. program before he can enter. That’s the Jerk Redemption program, otherwise known as sensitivity training boot camp, which to his horror consists of non-stop Oprah and Dr. Phil reruns. Or he can go back to earth and help Justin’s dysfunctional family. Spencer opts for the lesser of two evils, to help Justin.

But the Angel pulls a fast one on Spencer. He can only go back to earth in the body of his K9-Partner. Spencer refuses, but like it or not, Spencer becomes a dog. He falls back to earth and is slowly morphed into a dog that closely resembles a mop.

And if being a dog wasn’t bad enough, Spencer also swallowed an important microchip his killers need to hack into PC’s and steal millions. Now the criminals are hot on his trail for the only existing microchip that’s logged in his belly.

Justin and Spencer butt heads constantly; both are stubborn and willful, neither one wanting to give an inch. Spencer needs to find out what the killers are up to, so he swallows his pride and forms a bond with the boy. Spencer relays to Justin his past and together with the help of Justin’s girlfriend, Shahla; they discover the hacker’s plans. Spencer has broken down Justin’s reserve and he finally learns the meaning of unselfish love.

But it’s too late, the hackers have captured them.

Can Spencer maul the shins (and other choice areas) of his kidnappers and stop them from their evil plan?

Can a selfish man find a heart?

You bet. He just has to become a dog first.

First Chapter:

Justin Andrews’ heart pounded so hard he thought it would punch out his throat. He trudged across St. Ignatius High School’s elm tree shadowed lawn, trying to keep up with his father who strode briskly. The half hour spent in the principal’s office sent ruts of adrenaline coursing through Justin’s veins. Even the balmy Seattle afternoon didn’t lighten the day’s heavy mood. The skin peeking out the back of Mr. Andrews sport coat collar was already flushed red. It wasn’t sunburn.

A spring wind blew through the private school’s grand hall window. Solitude and long shadows contrasted with another day of classes and activities. The daily exodus of uniformed schoolboys took place an hour ago, without Justin.

He opened the computer lab door and politely stepped aside as his father entered the flower-scented room. Baskets of bright, freshly cut bouquets covered every flat surface, including half the floor. Condolence tags hung on most.

“You were lucky to get a scholarship to this school,” muttered his father, Eugene Andrews, as he steepled his hands and assumed a confident expression.

Mr. Andrews was thin as a rule, which even his hair obeyed, and his business suit hung on his spare frame in straight-ironed lines.

“We can barely afford their activity fees, and how do you show your appreciation? By spending valuable time in Principal Hammersmith’s office because of your usual antics!

I hope you were as embarrassed as I was.” Mr. Andrews’ red face had grown haggard, but he returned to his normal tone. “I’m trying my best to understand you, but it’s difficult when you act before you think.”

Justin stopped tapping the keys of one of the classroom computers. He brushed back his sandy colored hair and tried hard to look unruffled by his father’s venting. Tall for his thirteen years, his even features were dappled with impish freckles, and his deep blue eyes sparkled. He frowned, recollecting that Principal Hammersmith had accused him of having “an understated confidence that bordered on impudence.”

Vicky Andrews, Justin’s sixteen-year-old sister, lounged in a computer lab chair, black backpack on the floor, waiting to go. She plucked a daisy from one of the bouquets, broke off the stem and stuck the blossom in her hair. She casually twisted the hem of her black T-shirt and listened to the scolding, ready to spring in as mediator if needed. Her eyebrow ring and bright pink hair screamed independence; an attitude she freely cultivated in her public high school.

“Chill out, Dad,” Vicky said, as she chewed away on a sizable wad of gum. “You’re making such a big deal out of this.”

“Big deal? It’s a disgrace. Your brother pasted Principal Hammersmith’s face on a picture of a mountain goat.”

Vicky tried to muffle her giggle with little success.

Her father glared at her. “So you think it’s funny, do you?” he asked as he continued to pace the floor.

“Sorry.”

“Not how your mother and I raised you. Did you see his screensaver?”

Justin had photoshopped Sister Constance’s face on a female goat in a very compromising position with the Mr. Hammersmith goat. Eugene glared at the twenty- nine monitors of goat love, floating red chubby hearts and Cupid with a compound bow and lots of arrows, then he and Vicky high-fived one another behind their father’s back while he gazed once more at Justin’s computer animation.

Justin’s fingers tap-danced across keyboards. He deleted another goat screensaver and set it back to the original portrait of Principal Hammersmith’s stony face sternly guarding the entrance of St. Ignatius. More clicks, another computer, another step closer to undoing his creation. His father walked over to the window and his voice rose as he spoke to Vicky.

“It would be one thing if his disrespect was limited to the school, but . . .” He yanked the curtains wide open and pointed at the athletic field. The computer lab famous goat love played on the new billboard-sized screen looming over the football stadium. And at Main Street’s busy intersection. And on Interstate Five.

“This is an offense punishable by a year of kitchen duty.”

Justin’s father bobbed his head back and forth in that parental duck-neck way.

“I’m not even going to ask how you accomplished that.”

“It helps to know the operator.”

“You mean an adult helped you do that?”

“Yeah. A guy who works here at the school who operates the billboard liked it too. He downloaded The Love Hammer’s-”

“Justin!”

“It’s the file name! Okay, Hammersmith. He had him as a teacher when he was in school, before Mr. Hammersmith became principal. Anyway, he wanted to pay me for the file of the screen saver image he saw in the lab.”

“You received money for that?” his father asked outraged. “No. I gave it to him for free.”

The veins in Mr. Andrews’ thin neck stood out in vivid ridges.

“Ah, come on, Dad, you know The Hammer, I mean Mr. Hammersmith had it in for me. It’s just not fair what he did to me.”

“You still need to have some respect for authority, Justin. Do you really believe your revenge was justified? That any revenge is justified? What if someone had done that to your mom’s picture?”

“No fair.” The words sank into a dark place within Justin’s mind where rationality always triumphed over emotion, and his breath caught. “Yeah, no, I was wrong, I’m sorry.”

“You’d better be sorry, though that’s not a big help now!” Mr. Andrews stopped pacing, leaned in and whispered, “I have to pay to have the whole newsletter reprinted and I still need to buy groceries. Do you want to know where the cash is coming from? Remember that allowance you had?”

Vicky’s slouch perked straight up. “Newsletter? What newsletter?”

“Justin put an obituary of Principal Hammersmith in the school’s newsletter.”

“Those weren’t supposed to get mailed. Besides, I’m writing a letter of apology, and you’ve got to admit,” he gestured to the bouquets, “the school did receive a lot of flowers. Aren’t they beautiful?” Justin smiled nervously then returned to de-goating the computer lab.

“You’re lucky they’re not going to expel you!”

Vicky raised a challenging pierced eyebrow. “The reason Justin wasn’t expelled was because of the special grants this school receives. His high test scores sure bumped up the school average. They’re not going to get rid of him.”

Mr. Andrews sighed and rubbed his face. “Maybe your Mom and I shouldn’t have let them put Justin two Grades ahead.”

“But he still gets straight A’s, Dad. Academics aren’t the issue. It’s Mom.”

“He still needs to learn discipline.”

“Come on now, it’s tough for Justin. Put yourself in his place. He’s only thirteen. Most of the other guys are already sixteen. They give him a hard time.”

“I’m almost fourteen, and I can take care of myself.” Justin puffed up as one more pair of amorous goats disappeared.

“He misses Mom,” Vicky sighed. “We all miss Mom. Don’t be so hard on him.”

Mr. Andrews’ cell phone played a disco jingle. He sighed before answering, “Eugene Andrews. Yes Ma’am. Sales projections ready by tonight. Fine.”

Vicky winced and gave a pained expression as the call ended.

“Look, I have to get back to work before I get fired,” Mr. Andrews said to Vicky and blew a heavy sigh. He straightened his tie, and picked lint off his sleeve as he crossed the room.

“As for you, young man,” Mr. Andrews said looking back at Justin, “you’ll receive your punishment tonight after dinner.” Dad slammed the classroom door behind him.

A vision of stacks of dirty dishes and a lonely soapy sink hovered in Justin’s mind. “I know Dad’s going to ground me until I’m eligible for Medicare. After I finish changing these screen savers I’m going to the park. I need to be alone.”

Vicky patted him on the shoulder. “If I want to find you, you’ll be in your tree, right?”

Justin’s mind drifted again. He gazed through an unseen window in the fabric of space and time. Sister Constance and The Hammer – how dare they attack his family? Especially his mother!

Memories of her replayed so high-res in his mind, he almost smelled her favorite lilies-of-the-valley scent perfuming the room’s air. He remembered when he had run into snags building a model airplane. His mother had drilled into him how one can do anything if one only sets their mind to it. He built the plane. Quick to punish Justin when he blew up the plane, she was just as quick to forgive him as he stood before her with his guilt-ridden face. She knew he hadn’t thought through the danger and that he really was sorry. She loved him unconditionally.

Mom had been a devout Catholic all her life, and she never lost that all-important cool factor, making the Andrews home an extremely popular sleepover spot with young people in the neighborhood. Once, Dad had pulled over to help change a mini-van’s flat tire. By the time Mom had finished chatting up the family, everyone was laughing. The guy said, “I’m almost glad I had the flat.” They got a Christmas card from them last season.

And music, she had loved music. One could find her strumming her guitar in church with the priest (who sported dreadlocks) and grooving with the choir to the newest rock music. She sang her heart out. If she hadn’t met Justin’s dad, she most certainly would have become a great nun, probably one of those wisecracking ones whom the parishioners loved to be around.

She even invited strangers to her sing-alongs, Jews, Protestants, Muslims and even an Atheist or two “for good measure,” she would say, “God made us all and we all need to feel loved. It’s the meaning of life.” Then her eyes sparked like Justin’s.

Mother’s belief in giving people a second chance sat with the older traditionalist members of the church, such as Sister Constance, like Jack Sprat on a candlestick. The anti-guitar crowd, she called them. So it started with the lecture in Sister Con’s Middle Age church history class. Justin scribbled notes.

The nun’s stone-cold face never cracked a smile, and her fire and brimstone passion for the subject gave Justin the impression that her eyes swelled when describing torture or suffering and that she relished the horrible punishments imposed upon anyone called heretic.

He would have loved to shout out, “Why don’t you get Freddy Krueger, or better yet, Jason, armed with his trademark hockey mask and chainsaw; to finish off those nasty Atheists and Muslims, Sister Con?” If only.

Justin knew all the answers when Sister Constance drilled the class on historical dates, and the saints, but he spat them out with cynicism. The Sister’s face pruned in disapproval and venom dripped from her tone.

“I know your problem, Justin Andrews. Your mother was in my class when she was your age. What a disgraceful student! Oh, the trouble she stirred. How she questioned the tried and true values of the church was shameful. It is because of people like your mother that the church has turned into the liberal wasteland it is today and lost its rich history of traditions and disciplines.”

“You mean like the Spanish Inquisition?” Justin asked with a righteous passion.

So there he stood in front of Principal Hammersmith’s office, searching for a seat, fighting the queasiness in the pit of his stomach. He would never forgive Hammersmith for not hearing him out; for taking Sister Con’s side.

“I hunt troublemakers, young man. Some spirits need breaking.” He sat in his desk chair, stoic. “You are wasting your God-given talents in technology for mischief and scandalous behavior.”

Justin survived this hour-long lecture on obedience and reverence, and even prevailed against The Hammer’s angry looping finger, which was famous for “going off” once he started shifting foot to foot. That was when you knew that whatever you had done was not worth it.

At a pause in that scolding sermon, Justin attempted to wedge in an explanation, “But–”

“Don’t you interrupt me, young man. This is another example of your impudence.” The Hammer’s finger wagged higher and looped with greater fury.

“Hey Justin, you awake?” Vicky snapped her fingers in front of Justin’s face.

He blinked and stammered.

Vicky looked scared. “Justin, are you okay? You’re always drifting off into never never land.”

“Sorry, I was just thinking about Mom again.”

“They say as time goes by it doesn’t hurt as much. But time has gone by, and we still miss her,” sighed Vicky.

One thing about Vicky, Justin thought as he continued to destroy another example of his digital artwork, was that she understood him, which was more than he could say for his father.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

Erna is giving away one audiobook of K-9 COP!

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
  • This giveaway begins October 6 and ends Dec 19.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on Monday, Dec 22.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

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postheadericon Interview with Randall Boleyn, author of Wave Links

Randall Boleyn When those first few novels transported Randall into the intrigue of other cultures and the complexity of foreign lands, his life changed forever. He wanted to experience those kinds of adventures and ended up traveling the world doing international business while living his own bizarre experiences. Realizing he wanted to create the same kind of stories he loved to read, Randall coaxed the Muse by writing, studying and learning the craft. After years of toiling with the words, the stories suddenly just seemed to happen. It was startling! It was the same joy and surprise he had relished as a reader in guessing how a plot might unfold affecting the characters’ lives. He now writes with the eye and passion of creating that next great story like he would want to read. Randall now lives in the hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and is focused on completing the Powers Meant for Gods trilogy to publish by December 2014. Read excerpts and more at RandallBoleyn.com and sign-up for Randall’s mailing list for publishing details.  His latest book is the Young Adult Fantasy, Wave Links.



For More Information

Could you please tell us
a little about your book?
Llad Fleck fights for his life against an unknown
enemy as he searches for clues about his cryptic lineage of berserkers while
being haunted by a mysterious girl trying to help him master the bizarre
psychic talents he will need to survive. Trying to sum up the 100,000 word
story you wrote in one sentence is really difficult. But that is the essentials
of the story. I have always loved reading the fantasy genre, but wanted to
create a story where these talents could be real— within the realm of the
practical. Wave Links is an action
adventure tale set in an urban fantasy background within a coming of age theme.
It is book number one of the Powers
Meant for Gods
series and starts the story of Lladnar Fleck learning to
come-to-grips with his extraordinary talents and stay alive long enough to
defend himself from malevolent force intent of his death. Book number two, Soul Links will be released late
December 2014 and book three Rune Links
should be out March 2015
.
Who or what is the
inspiration behind this book?

Every day, all around the world, ordinary folks
accomplish feats, mental and physical which are astounding to those of us
lacking those unique gifts and traits. Many of the top Universities in the USA
and Europe now have paranormal studies departments trying to somehow quantify
the mysteries of the humankind that science has yet to breakdown and expose
with scientific reason.
 
For most of the time on this earth since humans have
been able to record their thoughts and deeds, anything people couldn’t
understand was attributed to the gods, or to the occult. Regardless of each of
our individual belief systems, we love to read and contemplate the ‘what ifs’
of our universe. And that is why I needed to create the Powers Meant for Gods
series with the premise that some people actually do have talents that are
god-like― some used for good, some used for evil. That age old battle still
continues even today.
 
Having known people gifted with such marvelous
talents that they almost seem mystical, I needed to further explore the
paranormal aspect of our human condition. I have been involved in playing
sports my entire life. Experiencing players with remarkable talents in any
sport that places them beyond the norm is to feel a sense of awe as you witness
their greatness. And where does that talent, those gifts come from?
My character Llad Fleck has these extraordinary
gifts in rugby and basketball. At fifteen, he embarrassed the men he played
against in these very demanding, physical sports. From there, his gifts kept
expanding to include a genetic traits of his ancestors from who legends were
created. As I am not a plotter in my stories, all the characters surrounding
Llad’s life just showed up ready for their roles. Thank the Muse!
Who is your biggest
supporter?
My wife Kay. But her support isn’t  necessarily about the writing specifically,
but to use my talents best where I feel fulfilled and satisfied with my
efforts.
 
Your biggest critic?
Myself! It takes a good amount of time and word count before most
writers lose the pretention and the need to be perfect. My favorite authors
write so simply. The words just flow into paragraphs and you never pay any
attention to the author. That is the quality of prose I am striving towards and
the more I write, the closer I think I am getting to succeed.
 
Do you have any advice
for writers or readers?
Reading has been such a big part of my life ever
since I wasn’t required to read, that it was the seed for my writing. Read
everything in the genres that inspire you, and sooner or later, you will find
yourself lacking for a story that stills fills that need. Then you’ll say,
“I can write it myself.” And you’ll be right, and your stories will
start to unfold.
What is your favorite
past-time?
  
My wife Kay and I hike many of the wonderful
trails throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.  I still read a lot, although when I am deep
into writing a story, I can’t find the proper concentration to read other
authors. And I design and build funky contemporary furniture.
 
Is there anything else
you would like to share with us?
Only that I hope some readers will give Wave Links a try and that they enjoy reading this story as much as
I did writing it. Thank you!

Wave Link cover 9-16 copy  They feared how the truth might alter Llad Fleck. No one ever told him about his talented ancestors, their extraordinary heritage, or how they died. He never learned that a powerful research institute in England considered him a lethal threat. Other than the need to move on to the safety of a different city every few months, the only thing Llad knew for sure was that the men he played ball against said he had “mad skills not suitable for a fifteen-year-old.”

When Llad meets an eccentric parapsychologist, Dr. Jemma Rask, she explains that she has waited decades just to teach him how to expand his mind and utilize the unique traits which she believes he has inherited. Even though Dr. Rask and her stories come across as way too weird for Llad, he begins studying her techniques. He quickly realizes that just because the link might be there, it doesn’t mean he actually has the talent or the patience to develop his abilities.

After multiple killings shatter Llad’s life, he still doesn’t know who is behind the brutal murders or why he’s involved. But he knows now that he’s fighting for his life against a unknown enemy. He must discover more about his family tree and learn how to control his psychic gifts―if he has any. Alone with his grief, Llad searches for clues about his cryptic lineage while being haunted by reoccurring dreams of a mysterious girl trying to help him master the bizarre talents he will need to survive.

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postheadericon The Last Places on Earth by Gary Mancuso

TLPoE CoverTitle: The Last Places on Earth

Author: Gary Mancuso

Publisher: Great Lands Publishing

Pages: 375

Genre: Travelogue/Essays

Format: Hardcopy/Ebook

Gary Mancuso has seen how fast the world’s biological and cultural diversity is being obliterated by rapid globalization. In 2005, He saw the earth reaching a major turning point, when the last remnants of primal humanity and nature would soon be gone. So, in a life-changing gamble, he set off on a six-year journey to see the earth’s remaining wildernesses.

This intensely personal account of Gary’s journey includes feasting with New Guinea’s former cannibals, hunting with Pygmies in the Congo Basin, and attending a Madagascan highland death ritual with an exhumed corpse as the guest of honor.

Gary paid a price for his journey: lost his wife to divorce, half his net worth to financial malfeasance, and a dear friend to suicide. He fell sick several times, got electrocuted, and struggled with the inevitable disorientation borne of long rootlessness. But he overcame each hurdle and even found romance in some unlikely places. By dumb luck, some smart luck, and an instinct for improvisation, he pressed on and somehow staggered home.

The Last Places on Earth: Journeys in Our Disappearing World is a timely and powerful reminder that the wonderment and mystery that we humans naively assumed would always be there is dying fast.

For More Information

 

Gary Mancuso yearned to travel ever since he was a boy. Then, the summer before his senior year in high school, he left his family home in Ohio and drove to California. Arriving in Los Angeles with four dollars in his pocket, he slept on the beach for a spell until he got his footing. When he wasn’t off wandering somewhere, he studied economics, communications, and political science and got a master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California. Before setting off on the journey that became the subject of this book, Gary headed business development in the trading room of a large regional bank. Along with his passion for travel, he is an avid trekker, swimmer, scuba diver, environmentalist, and private pilot.

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postheadericon Interview with C.H. MacLean, author of ‘Two Empty Thrones’

C.H. MacLeanTo young C. H. MacLean, books were everything: mind-food, friends, and fun. They gave the shy middle child’s life color and energy. Amazingly, not everyone saw them that way. Seeing a laundry hamper full of books approach her, the librarian scolded C. H. for trying to check them all out. “You’ll never read that many before they expire!” C. H. was surprised, having shown great restraint only by keeping a list of books to check out next time. Thoroughly abashed, C. H. waited three whole days after finishing that lot before going back for more.

With an internal world more vivid than the real one, C. H. was chastised for reading in the library instead of going to class. “Neurotic, needs medical help,” the teacher diagnosed. C. H.’s father, a psychologist, just laughed when he heard. “She’s just upset because those books are more challenging than her class.” C. H. realized making up stories was just as fun as reading, and harder to get caught doing. So for a while, C. H. crafted stories and characters out of wisps and trinkets, with every toy growing an elaborate personality.

But toys were not mature, and stories weren’t respectable for a family of doctors. So C. H. grew up and learned to read serious books and study hard, shelving foolish fantasies for serious work.

Years passed in a black and white blur. Then, unpredictably falling in love all the way to a magical marriage rattled C. H.’s orderly world. A crazy idea slipped in a resulting crack and wouldn’t leave. “Write the book you want to read,” it said. “Write? As in, a fantasy novel? But I’m not creative,” C. H. protested. The idea, and C. H.’s spouse, rolled their eyes.

So one day, C. H. started writing. Just to try it, not that it would go anywhere. Big mistake. Decades of pent-up passion started pouring out, making a mess of an orderly life. It only got worse. Soon, stories popped up everywhere- in dreams, while exercising, or out of spite, in the middle of a work meeting. “But it’s not important work,” C. H. pleaded weakly. “They are not food, or friends, or…” But it was too late. C. H. had re-discovered that, like books, life should be fun too. Now, writing is a compulsion, and a calling.

C. H. lives in a Pacific Northwest forest with five cats, two kids, one spouse, and absolutely no dragons or elves, faeries, or demons… that are willing to be named, at least.

His latest book is the YA fantasy, Two Empty Thrones.

For More Information

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, C. H.! Can you tell us where you are from?

Born in deepest (coldest) Minnesota, I flew to Hawai’i for a spell, but then went back to Minnesota. I fled to Colorado for a short time, then Minnesota dragged me back. I leaped to California, and third time’s the charm, haven’t gone back. Minnesota’s wonderful, some of the nicest people in the world, but it’s just not for me. I now live in Washington State in an evergreen Two Empty Thrones 2forest.

Q: How did you come up with your title?

The title came wrapped in the story. When the tale exploded in my head, little bits of the title scattered all over and came together as the story played in my mind.

Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover. Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?

Heidi Sutherlin designed it. She was great, really taking some time to get to know me and the book before starting. She and I went back and forth as we tried a couple of drafts. When I saw this one, it was perfect. The dragon eyes watching from hiding, the two thrones mirrored as through time, darkness surrounding the whole scene, it really captures a sense of the book.

Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?

Snippets of reviews speak better than me:

“Can’t wait for the next book in the series. I highly recommend this book and series for all ages. Enjoy a little magic in your life.” – Amazon review

“Wish I could give this 5 more stars! I am in love with this series! [C.H. MacLean] is a masterful weaver of tales!” – Amazon Review

“Lots of unexpected twists and turns and an explosive magic battle had me on the edge of my seat right to the end.” – Amazon Review

Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?

I didn’t intend to have any messages, and just wanted to have readers enjoy the book. But Haylwen would disagree that there aren’t any. She likely would want you to believe in yourself and not believe all the negative voices in your head. She’d likely say with that, you can not only overcome but be an example to others.

Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?

My favorite chapter to write was Fight Fire with Fire (chapter 13 as it happened to be). While every scene played vividly in my mind while I wrote them, this one really sent tingles down my spine, and still keeps doing so. Haylwen gets her first real insight into the nature of the universe, or one side of it at least, and she’ll never be the same person again.

Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?

Haylwen reminded me how much I liked books and reading, and giving that to someone else would be such a gift. Knowing others out there love stories as much as I did, I had to share.

Q: Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?

I’ve never seen the movie E.T. When it first came out, I went with my brothers to see it in the theater. But I got scared and ran out of the theater. Haven’t been able to watch it since then.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Australia’s barrier reef. I don’t want to disrupt the ecosystem there, but the vibrant life there would be such an inspiration.

Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?

I’m such a morning person it’s almost unhealthy! I so completely relish being up well before the first traces of light trickle in and let you know a new day is coming. Watching the sun rise is like an epiphany every time.

Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?

My father and both brothers, at some time in their lives, liked to write. My nephews are showing some great talent, too.

Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?

Absolutely! I was a complete and utter dreamer, to the detriment of my psychological profile in school. I have no idea how I managed to focus through all the schooling I went through.

Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish. What would that be?

Thank you, magic genie! I love the universal adoption of zero-point photovoltaic cells! With unlimited clean power, we can really make this planet a better place.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?

Hold onto your dreams regardless of what others tell you. Life doesn’t have to be serious, and being happy is of great value to the world. I would love to hear from you, and you can visit me anytime on my blog, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

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postheadericon Book Spotlight: Hooked by Bobbi JG Weiss

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We are happy to host author Bobbi JG Weiss and feature her dark fantasy / horror novel, Hooked!

About The Book

Hooked 2

TitleHooked

Author: Bobbi JG Weiss

Publisher: Independent Self Publishing

Publication Date: July 21, 2014

Pages: 518

ISBN: 978-0990360001

Genre: Dark Fantasy / Horror

Format: Paperback, eBook, ePub, PDF

He is not Captain Hook.

His name is Jonathan Stuart, and he’s just an ornery post-alcoholic bookstore owner from Pasadena with a mania for fencing and a bad habit of disappointing his girlfriend. He doesn’t want to be in the Neverland, impossibly trapped aboard the Jolly Roger with a horde of greedy stinking pirates. He was tricked there by Peter Pan.

Pan happily invites children to come to his wondrous magical island, but he has to trick adults. No adult in their right mind would go willingly. Adults, you see, don’t have a very good time in the Neverland. The fairies and mermaids are against them. The island itself is against them. Most of all, Peter Pan is against them.

In particular, Peter Pan is against Jonathan Stuart. Why? Jonathan had better figure that out, and he’d better do it fast before his mutating memories insist that, not only does he indeed belong in this nightmarish hell of bloodthirsty children, ticking crocodiles and vengeful boy gods, but he’s never existed anyplace else.

So you see, he’s definitely not Captain Hook.

Well, not yet.

 

Purchase The Book:

AMAZON 

BARNES & NOBLE

SMASHWORDS

GOODREADS

 

Book Excerpt

Stuart didn’t laugh when he saw himself in the mirror this time. At first he wasn’t sure why, because he certainly looked like a lunatic who had just escaped out of a billboard for Captain Morgan rum. And then it hit him. “Everything fits.”

“ ‘Course it fits,” Smee said with exasperation. “It’s yers, ain’t it? An’ here, sar, the final touch.” Smee held it out.

Stuart wasn’t surprised to see his grandfather’s saber laying across those callused palms, tucked into a beautiful silver scabbard. “Of all things,” he said with a mixture of wonder and dread, “this makes the most sense.” His hand gravitated toward the hilt.

“Sense, sar?” Smee asked.

Stuart drew his hand back, slowly, with effort. The air grew heavier. “Oh, yes,” he replied as Smee, ever the dutiful valet, settled a red baldric across his charge’s left shoulder, the wide and heavily ornamented belt holding the scabbard at Stuart’s right hip. Stuart fought down panic. His flesh was tingling with a sudden black energy, the same energy he had felt during his ghostly saber battle that night at home. How long ago had that been?

Guided once more by its own objectives, his left hand reached to his right hip and this time succeeded in drawing the saber out. He gripped it, feeling the same marvelous balance between blade and hilt, the same eerie sense of sentience. It had him. He was on its home turf now, and he couldn’t run from it, not here. Something dark closed around him like great black jaws.

“Ah, yeh cut a fine figure, sar. The boys’ll be glad to see yeh.” All smiles and bounce, Smee plucked the saber from his hand and slid it back into its scabbard. He pulled out a rag hanging from his pocket, flapped it over Stuart’s clothes like a butler giving his master a final dusting, then propelled Stuart towards the door. “Come on, sar!”

The doorway was small. Stuart had to stoop to avoid bashing his head. The heels of the jack boots boosted him three inches beyond his own six foot height, and the wig and the hat added another three or four inches easy. He had to remain stooped as Smee led him along a short passageway, and then he went blind as sunlight — not from one sun but two — smacked him full in the face.

His eyes may have been useless, but his nostrils flared at the intense smell of salt and sea. His ears heard vast expanses of heavy canvas flap overhead while waves rippled below. The clamor of many gruff male voices all chattering at once was interrupted as Smee cried out, “All right, ya scurvy scugs! All hands fall in abaft the mizz’n!” Then Smee conducted him up the starboard ladder.

Stuart could do nothing but stumble along, shading his eyes with his hands and blinking, trying to adjust to the brilliance. As he did, he took in more sounds from below — the pounding of bare feet running every whichway, the creak of ropes, the deep grunts and moans of the vast wooden hull. When he could finally see, he found himself standing on the quarterdeck of a three-masted ship, looking down into the faces of forty or so swarthy pirates who stared back up at him, most of their mouths hanging open to reveal an alarming absence of teeth. Eight or nine more men up in the rigging hung like monkeys, gaping down at him.

Stuart gaped back. It had been much easier to deal with Smee. One man. One apparition. One entity to deny as a dream. But try as he might, Stuart couldn’t simply dismiss this motley and very real crowd before him. If nothing else, the overwhelming stench of the men couldn’t be explained away as a dream. A pig farm smelled better than this. He thought he could actually feel the hairs inside his nostrils cower down and try to flatten out rather than conduct such nauseating information to his brain.

Smee nudged him. “Say somethin’!” he whispered.

Stuart couldn’t move. Say something?

“Call all hands from below!” came a bellow from the main deck.

Smee nodded down at the man who had spoken, a handsome Italian pirate with a long black ponytail. “Cecco,” he informed Stuart. “Yer first mate an’ a fine feller.”

“I can’t take this…”

“Aw, c’mon, compose yerself, sar. Fer Chrissake, this here’s yer crew!”

Stuart clutched the edge of the rail hard enough to make his fingers cramp. “This is not my crew.”

“Sar—”

“This is not my crew! I don’t have a crew!” He glared down at Smee, noticing how the layers of heavy clothing restricted his movements. In order to tilt his head — Smee wasn’t short so much as Stuart was tall, especially in the jack boots — he had to strain against his cravat. He wasn’t used to anything around his neck, and it contributed to the trapped animal feeling he already had. He struggled for control. “This isn’t real. I refuse to believe this is real, and I am most certainly not—”

“Captain Hook!”

The exclamation came from a young boy no more than eight years old, dressed in a filthy white shirt and black knickers. Stuart turned toward the voice, squinting to see its owner against the dazzling suns. He saw that the boy had climbed up out of the hatch, his expression a strange mixture of relief and trepidation. Come to think of it, all the pirates wore that expression.

“’Course yeh remember Lil’ Lad Jack,” Smee told Stuart. “Hard worker, he is. Good learner.”

“Captain Hook,” Jack repeated, quieter this time. He almost sounded reverent.

“Hook?” Stuart spat out before he knew what his mouth was doing. “Hook?” He held up his hands. “I’ve got two hands, you stupid little brat! I haven’t got a hook! How can I be Captain Hook if I haven’t got a hook? Anybody in this looney bin got an answer for that one?”

“He’s a bleedin’ ghost!” someone in the crowd muttered.

At that, Cecco turned on a tall, lean pirate whose every inch of visible flesh was covered with tattoos, including his hands and bare feet. Even his face was tattooed, although it was half-hidden by a hat bespangled with coins, jewels and a potpourri of shiny baubles. “What’s that you say about the Captain, Mister Jukes?” Cecco asked sharply.

Feet shuffled. Someone coughed. Jukes tried to duck behind one of his fellows, who roughly pushed him away. “Nothin’,” Jukes squeaked. “I didn’t say nothin’.”

“Aye, nothing,” Cecco repeated with satisfaction. “That man up there is no ghost, ya slackjawed jackanapes!” he boomed, and the men jumped. Stuart jumped, too — Cecco might as well have been using a bullhorn, he was so loud. “That’s the only man the Sea-Cook fears! He’s the only man who ever snared a siren, ate of her flesh and lived! He’s the only man who outsmarted Pan, outsmarted the croc, outsmarted death itself, to come back and beat Pan at his own game! Now act like his crew, by thunder, or you’ll feel the kiss o’ the cat!”

A roar went up the likes of which Stuart hadn’t heard since the last time he went to a Lakers game. They were cheering him! And not one of them, Smee included, seemed to care about his obvious lack of a hook.

 

About The Author

Bobbi JG Weiss

Bobbi JG Weiss made her world debut one Christmas morning (cough-mutter-mutter) years ago, and as long as she can remember, she’s wanted to be a writer. Why? She has no idea. Probably a birth defect.

After several boring “normal” jobs, her writing wishes came true — she and her husband/partner David Cody Weiss began to make their living as full-time freelance writers, focusing on Hollywood tie-in merchandise like movie/TV novel adaptations, comics, and other related and often ridiculous products. After 20+ years of this, the “WeissGuys” decided to enter the wild world of self-publishing.

You can find more information about Bobbi, her books, her life, and her weird husband at http://www.weisswriters.com/. She also posts on Twitter, tumblr, Pinterest and Facebook unless her passwords mysteriously stop working and she can’t get on, which seems to happen a lot. Why? She has no idea. Probably computer voodoo.

 

Connect with Bobbi:

Author Website

Hooked Website

Facebook

Twitter

Google+

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Goodreads

 

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postheadericon The Murders at Astaire Castle Book Blitz – Giveaway!!!

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We’re happy to be hosting Lauren Carr and her THE MURDERS AT ASTAIRE CASTLE Book Blitz today!

The Murders at Astaire Castle

Title: The Murders at Astaire Castle
Author: Lauren Carr
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Pages: 286
Genre: Mystery
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

Mac Faraday Meets the Wolf Man!

Never tell Mac Faraday not to do something.

In The Murders at Astaire Castle, Spencer’s police chief, David O’Callaghan, learns this lesson the hard way when he orders Mac Faraday to stay away from the south end of Spencer’s mountaintop—even though he owns the property. It doesn’t take long for Mac to find out what lies on the other side of the stone wall and locked gate, on which hangs a sign warning visitors to Keep Out!

Topping the list of the ten most haunted places in America, Astaire Castle is associated with two suicides, three mysterious disappearances, and four murders since it was built almost a century ago—and Mac Faraday owns it!

In spite of David’s warning, Mac can’t resist unlocking the gate to see the castle that supposedly hasn’t seen a living soul since his late mother had ordered it closed up after the double homicide and disappearance of Damian Wagner, a world-famous master of horror novels.

“Halloween has always been a fun time,” best-selling author Lauren Carr explains in a note at the beginning of her fifth Mac Faraday mystery. “It’s the time to break out and be someone else. As a child, I would pretend to be one of the Bobbsey Twins searching for clues to lead me to a secret treasure. If I was lucky, it was made up of chocolate. As a teenager, I was Nancy Drew. Always, when October rolled around, I craved mysteries with something extra added—something beyond the normal—something supernatural. As an author, I couldn’t resist taking this one Mac Faraday Mystery on a scary Halloween adventure.”

In this latest installment of Carr’s hit series, what starts out as a quick tour of a dusty old castle turns into another Mac Faraday adventure when Astaire Castle becomes the scene of even more murders. Mac is going to need to put all of his investigative talents to work to sort out this case that involves the strangest characters he has run into yet—including a wolf man. No, we’re not talking about Gnarly.

Book Excerpt:

Prologue

November 2002 – Astaire Castle, top of Spencer Mountain, Deep Creek Lake, Maryland

Shivering, Rafaela turned up the fan for the heater in her old Plymouth. The weather channel was calling for snow. With an eye on the storm clouds heading straight for Spencer Mountain, she picked up the speed a notch. Her car bumped along the worn road cut through the trees and rock to take her to Astaire Castle.

The notion of being trapped at the castle by a winter storm made her curse the day she had accepted the job as housekeeper at the Astaire estate. The young illegal immigrant thought her prayers had been answered by landing the job at the luxurious estate. Not only was it prestigious to work in a castle, but lucrative since Damian Wagner was paying almost twice her normal hourly wage.

What a gem to put on my housekeeping resume! To be hire by only one of the world’s most famous authors of horror books—even more famous than Robin Spencer—to clean an honest-to-goodness castle. So what if the Astaire Castle has a reputation of being haunted? I’ll be making a bundle for cleaning five days a week in the daylight. Besides, I don’t believe in no ghosts.

Rafaela regretted her decision the first time she walked into Astaire Castle.

At first, she dismissed her cleaning supplies moving from where she had left them as forgetfulness.  Then there was the time she kept hearing someone whispering her name. She had looked around, but never saw anyone. Same with doors closing or opening or footsteps coming up behind her, and the old-time music and party noises in empty rooms when no one was there—she tried to tell herself that it was all her imagination.

None of that was anything compared to the Wolf Man who she had seen in the dining room mirror while she was cleaning it.

She had heard all about the Wolf Man who lived in the woods surrounding Astaire Castle. The woman with two teenagers who lived in the apartment next to hers was quick to tell her about him. Rafaela had dismissed it all as ghost stories made up by her neighbor’s kids to scare her—until she had seen him with her own two eyes.

That day she ran out of the castle. She returned only after Genevieve, Damian Wagner’s daughter, had promised that her father finish his book and be moving out of the castle by the end of the year—at which time he would pay her a handsome bonus that would give her enough money to visit her family in Brazil for Christmas.

Rafaela caught her breath when her Plymouth entered through the gate at the end of the road to pull into the front courtyard and fountain.

The fountain was off. Damian Wagner had never bothered to turn it on. He wouldn’t notice if it was. He spent his time banging away on his computer in the study on the top floor. He wouldn’t eat if it weren’t for his daughter bringing food to him.

Then there was the editor—Mr. Jansen.

He reminded Rafaela of a bird with his bony frame, high cheekbones over a pointy chin, and thick eyeglasses with his blinking eyes magnified behind them. He sounded like a squawking bird with his high-pitched voice no matter what his mood or what he was saying. Ready to pounce in anticipation of any need from Damian Wagner, he was always lurking nearby.

Damian’s daughter, Genevieve, was as charming as beautiful. She often asked Rafaela about her family in Brazil and about her life in Deep Creek Lake.  For the new immigrant to America, Rafaela felt as if she was making a friend who would give her good references for more housekeeping jobs in the resort town of Spencer—more millionaire estates to clean—estates that weren’t haunted.

Rafaela pulled her car around the circular drive and parked at the bottom of the steep steps that led to the front door. When she got out of her car, the wind howled and whipped her long dark hair around her head. The wind actually seemed to want to rip her thin coat off her body. Grabbing her box of cleaning supplies, she squared her shoulders, and sucked up her nerve to go inside.

Need to make this quick. They don’t have enough money to make me stay here during that storm.

The wind yanked the heavy wooden door from her grasp to slam it against the side of the house.

“Stupid door!” Rafaela set the box inside the foyer and went outside to grab the door and pull it shut. “Mr. Wagner! Mr. Jansen! Genevieve! It’s me, Rafaela! Hope I’m not disturbing you.” She picked up the box and made her way through the foyer.

“Raf-aela …”

She stopped. With wide eyes, she peered up the staircase to the second floor balcony. “Is that you, Mr. Wagner?” She paused to listen. “Genevieve?”

“Get out. Now.”

Has to be my imagination. She reassured herself. “There’s no such thing as ghosts. There’s no such thing as ghosts,” she muttered over and over to herself while hurrying to the back of the castle.

“I don’t suppose you had any trick-or-treaters last night, did you?” she called out to ease her nerves with the sound of her own voice. “Not up here I suppose.”

She waited for an answer. She heard footsteps on the floor up above.

The smell of burnt meat came to her nose. It smelled like steak that had been left on the grill for too long.

They must have grilled steaks last night.

“Lots of little children stopped by my apartment.” Feeling braver as she rattled on, Rafaela set the box of cleaning supplies on the kitchen table and gathered together her duster and furniture polish.

Best to start in the living room. The antiques, wood, and silver takes the longest.

Admiring the decades-old priceless china encased in the china closet, she went through the dining room. With her cleaning lady’s eye, she gauged what needed to be addressed on this visit that she may have missed before. She stopped when the blotch of red on the doorframe through the kitchen caught her eye.

What’s that? Catsup?

It wasn’t until she spotted a spot on the floor that she first considered that it wasn’t a condiment, but something much more sinister.  She spotted another. Bigger this time … and another.

There was a red pool in front of the kitchen door that opened out onto the back patio and deck that projected out over the rocks to provide a massive view of the valley down below. All of the drops and splatters and pools led to the common source—the fire pit outside.

She saw the flames and smoke wafting in the wind whipping around her where she stood in the open doorway. She stared at the blackened objects in the pit. What at first appeared to be a burnt log projecting out of the flames took shape.

The hand and fingers reached out to her.

The index finger was pointing at her.

Through the rapid beating of her heart, Rafaela could hear the footsteps behind her coming closer.

“Get out!”

His image was reflected in the glass pane of the door. The wild hair. The crazed eyes.

It’s the Wolf Man!

Watch the Trailer!

About the Author:

Lauren Carr

Lauren Carr is the best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. Twelve to Murder is the seventh installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series.

In addition to her series set on DeepCreekLake, Lauren Carr has also written the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates, who were introduced in Shades of Murder, the third book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. They also make an appearance in The Lady Who Cried Murder.

Lauren launched the Lovers in Crime (first introduced in Shades of Murder) mystery series in September 2012 with Dead on Ice.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

For More Information

Giveaway!

Lauren Carr is giving away one paperback copy, two ebook copies and three audiobooks of THE MURDERS AT ASTAIRE CASTLE!

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Six winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
  • This giveaway begins October 6 and ends October 31.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, November 3.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

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postheadericon Interview with David Lundgren, author of ‘Rhapsody’

David LundgrenDavid Lundgren was born in “a pokey town in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia)” and spent the first 18 years of his life there. He grew up in an environment “that seemed to combine the best elements of both an American and English heritage with a hybrid African lifestyle.” Lundgren is also a musician, which gave him the creative spark to create the Melforger series. He spends his time in San Francisco “teaching, enjoying frequent – and often frustrating – games of tennis, trying to learn the blues on piano, attacking Sudoku puzzles with relish, and attempting to make some headway with the ever-increasing pile of books that is waiting patiently at my bedside, developing its own gravity.”

His latest book is the fantasy/science fiction, Rhapsody.

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Q: Thank you so much for this interview, David! Can you tell us where you are from?

I was born in Zimbabwe, Africa (it used to be called Rhodesia), and since leaving decades ago, have lived in the UK, the Caribbean, and most recently the States. Some might call me a drifter, I like to think of myself as an international nomad Rhapsody 2(which obviously sounds more sophisticated).

Q: How did you come up with your title?

I think rhapsody is a beautiful word, and the third book is quite dark and intense; I liked the contrast. Melforger, however, comes from the root for music, ‘mel’. All three titles have a deliberate musical association.

Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover. Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?

The title fonts and logos for all three books in the trilogy were designed by a super-talented English artist called George Watson. I also wanted to be involved in them and helped design the three different ‘journey’ aspects they depicted.

Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?

It’s unique – completely original – and is set in what I think are gorgeous and extreme environments, with the adventure unfolding at breakneck pace.

(Also, it has humongous trees that people live inside – walking on a natural platform hundreds of yards above the ground. How cool is that?!)

Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?

I’ve tried not to be preachy in the book and wanted more to draw on the reader’s love for adventure, for magic, for nature and forests, for the personal journey that young adults experience, and above all for music. I hope that there is plenty of room for readers to draw their own conclusions and ‘messages’ from it.

Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?

There’s a scene in Rhapsody which I enjoyed writing immensely as it contains one of my greatest fears in life (no spoilers). It’s terrifying and dark, but at the same time has, as a counterpoint, one of my favorite characters in it who never fails to make me chuckle at his antics.

Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?

Firstly, Rhapsody is the final book in The Melforger Chronicles trilogy, so there’s the first reason: to complete it. As for why I wrote the entire trilogy, I suppose if you look at my love of reading sci-fi and fantasy as a boy (an only child), my upbringing in Africa with its jaw-dropping wilderness, and how I was surrounded my music my entire life (and indeed played many different instruments and sang myself), it seemed an obvious for me to find a way to string them all together and create my own original story.

Q: Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?

I’m terrified of spiders, hippos, crocs, sharks and heights – in that order. (which I can’t help but feel makes me a candidate for Worst African Ever)

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

The Himalayas. I have a hunger for extreme climates and vistas and have just completed a hike in Iceland which was astounding. Always looking to one-up myself, the next unticked box on my list is the base camp hike to Everest.

Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?

Absolutely a night person. I enjoy mornings once I’m up, but getting over the initial hump is a messy affair.

Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?

My step-grandfather was a respected historian in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), but I’m the only one who’s ventured into the creative waters of fiction.

Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?

I was an only child and a stereotypical dreamer (bearing in mind we had very little TV in Africa when I was young). In classes at school I would forever be designing spaceships and hovercrafts, or coming up with ideas for stories, or just drawing aimless doodles as my mind wandered around landscapes of its own choosing.

Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish. What would that be?

Well, on a selfish note, I would love for the trilogy to be made into a movie – I think it would be phenomenal to have it on the big screen with all its epic settings and colors and action sequences.

On a less indulgent, more health-related angle, I’d rather like us to finally conquer the big ‘C’ which has preyed on too many people in my life.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?

Happy reading! I hope you find the books as enjoyable to read as I did to write.

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postheadericon Interview with Kat Flannery, co-author of DEADLY DOZEN

Deadly Dozen banner

Kat FlanneryKat Flannery has loved writing ever since she was a girl. She is often seen jotting her ideas down in a little black book. When not writing or researching, Kat enjoys snuggling on her couch with a hot chocolate and a great book.

Her first novel, CHASING CLOVERS became an Amazon’s bestseller in Historical and Western romance. LAKOTA HONOR, Kat’s second book and book 1 in the Branded Trilogy became an instant success in Paranormal Historical Mystery/Romance. This was followed by book 2, BLOOD CURSE, which will be released October 1, 2014. Kat is now working on the final book in the trilogy.

When not focusing on her creative passions, Kat is busy with her three boys and doting husband.

www.katscratch.blogspot.com

About the Book:

Deadly Dozen 2The DEADLY DOZEN Book Bundle contains 12 complete mystery/thriller novels by award-winning and international bestselling authors: Cheryl Kaye Tardif, Catherine Astolfo, Alison Bruce, Melodie Campbell/Cynthia St-Pierre, Gloria Ferris, Donna Galanti, Kat Flannery, Jesse Giles Christiansen, Rosemary McCracken, Susan J. McLeod, C. S. Lakin and Linda Merlino.

THE BRIDGEMAN by Catherine Astolfo

DEADLY LEGACY by Alison Bruce

A PURSE TO DIE FOR by Melodie Campbell & Cynthia St-Pierre

CHEAT THE HANGMAN by Gloria Ferris

A HUMAN ELEMENT by Donna Galanti

LAKOTA HONOR by Kat Flannery

PELICANBAY by Jesse Giles Christiansen

SAFEHARBOR by Rosemary McCracken

SOUL AND SHADOW by Susan J. McLeod

INNOCENT LITTLE CRIMES by C. S. Lakin

ROOM OF TEARS by Linda Merlino

DIVINE INTERVENTION by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

With an individual list price total of more than $45.00 and over 640 reviews collectively on Amazon.com, the DEADLY DOZEN Book Bundle is a value-packed, rollercoaster thrill ride that takes you from amateur sleuth to detective to paranormal to ancient mysteries set in intriguing worlds and so much more.

For More Information

  • Deadly Dozen is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Kat! Can you tell us where you are from?

Hi there! Sure, I am from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Q: How did you come up with your title?

The DEADLY DOZEN was titled by my publisher Imajin Books, and I’m pleased with the selection. It gives the reader an idea of the 12 books inside the bundle.

Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover. Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?

The cover for the bundle was designed by Ryan Thomas Doan Digital Design and Photography. He designs all the covers for Imajin Books and is extremely talented.

Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?

The bundle features 12 titles, with 12 of Imajin Books authors. My book, LAKOTA HONOR is a historical paranormal suspense with a hint of romance.

In the small town of Willow Creek, Colorado, Nora Rushton spends most of her days locked up in her home with a father who resents her and fighting off unwanted marriage proposals from the wealthy Elwood Calhoun. Marked as a witch, Nora must hide her healing powers from those who wish to destroy all the witkowin–crazy women. What she doesn’t know is that a bounty hunter is hot on her trail.

Lakota native Otakatay has an obligation to fulfill. He has been hired to kill the witkowin. In a time when race and difference are a threat and innocence holds no ground, courage, love and honor will bring Nora and Otakatay together as they fight for their freedom. Will the desire to fulfill his promise drive Otakatay to kill Nora? Or will the kindness he sees in her blue eyes push him to be the man he once was?

Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?

Yes. Times have not changed so much that people don’t look at someone who is different and judge them. I created a world in the 1800’s where this happens and how two very different people deal with being outcasts.

Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?

I’d have to say the flashbacks were my favorite parts to write, because I was able to give the reader bit by bit information on my characters background. I was able to make them feel what his life was like and what caused such hatred to fester inside of him.

Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?

To remind people that just because you are different doesn’t mean you do not deserve to love and be loved.

Q: Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?

Hmmmm. I love to eat chocolate while soaking in the tub.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I’d love to go to Italy. I don’t have a particular place in the country I’d go, but I’ve always wanted to see the landscape and the historic buildings. Being Italian, I feel an extra pull to visit with the people as well.

Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?

Night!! I do not like mornings. However, with children I suffer through them.

Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?

No, not in my immediate family. I do have a cousin who writes phenomenal poetry. In fact her poem is featured in my new release Blood Curse coming Oct. 1, 2014.

Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?

Yes. I loved to make up stories and write them down.

Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish. What would that be?

I only get one? Okay…I’d wish for peace. I know that sounds cliché, but I’d really want there to be peace in this world.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?

Thank you for having me! I love hearing from readers they can message me through my website www.katflannerybooks.com or via my author facebook page. Kat Flannery, author.

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postheadericon A Conversation with ‘The Scent of Humanity’ Margay Leah Justice

The Scent of Humanity banner

Descended from the same bloodline that spawned the likes of James Russell, Amy and Robert Lowell, Margay Leah Justice was fated to be a writer herself from a young age. But even before she knew that there was a name for what she was doing, she knew one thing: She had a deep and unconditional love for the written word. A love that would challenge her in times of need, abandon her in times of distress, and rediscover her in times of hope. Through her writing, Margay has learned to cope with every curve ball life has thrown her, including the challenges of single parenting, the harsh realities of living in a shelter, coping with the diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, and the roller coaster ride of dealing with a child who suffers from bipolar disorder. But along the way she has rediscovered the amazing power of words.

Margay currently lives in Massachusetts with her two daughters, two cats, and a myriad of characters who vie for her attention and demand that their own stories be told. In her spare time, she is an avid knitter, knitting her way through a stash of yarn that almost rivals her tbr pile!

Her latest book is the romantic suspense/women’s fiction, The Scent of Humanity.

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Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Margay! Can you tell us where you are from?

I’m from Massachusetts, born and raised.

The Scent of Humanity 2Q: How did you come up with your title?

It was one of those phrases that just popped into my head and I thought, ‘wow, that’s a good title for a book.’ It just seemed to fit with the plot of this book.

Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover. Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?

Yes! The cover was designed by Donna Collier and I think she captured beautifully the core theme of this book, which is the terrified girl who was nearly kidnapped. But is the girl on the cover the niece – or Silvie, who still feels like frightened little girl inside?

Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?

Nick Fahey. He is a delicious character that I had so much fun writing about! And if you like your romance with a good dose of suspense, family angst, and tense situations, then this might be for you!

Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?

I think the most important one is to just protect yourself when you’re out there – always be aware of your surroundings, it’s safer to travel in pairs/packs rather than alone, and if someone tries to take you, do your best not to let it happen. Unfortunately, too many times, if they get you to another location, it ends up bad for you.

Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?

I don’t think I had a specific one that I liked above all the others; I liked writing them all. If I did, it would probably be the one where Nick is shot during an ambush from a suspect he was tracking. There was just so much happening during the hospital scene, the most significant being that this is when Silvie admits that she’s in love with him, but not to him (she confesses to his sister), and has to come to terms with the fact that it might be too late to tell him – that she might lose him before she has the chance to. I also love the chapter where they are mourning the loss of one of their own (it happened during the ambush) and they’re all at his widow’s house; just the way the women take care of their men in that scene really gets to me every time I think about it.

Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?

After what happened to my niece, it was like I was compelled to write it. Something just drove me to it – the book practically wrote itself; I was just the transcriber!

Q: Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?

Deep, dark secrets should remain deep dark secrets! I don’t really have any – sorry I’m so boring!

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I’d love to go to the UK to trace my roots.

Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?

I don’t think I’m specifically one – I’m cranky morning and night!

Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?

I have a nephew who likes to write and one of my daughters used to do a lot of fan fiction. Also, my older sister writes songs.

Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?

Oh, definitely! Where do you think all my ideas came from then?

Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish. What would that be?

If I’m being totally frivolous, a trip to Pairs. Otherwise, good health.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?

I just want to thank you so much for having me here today. I really enjoyed our time together.

 

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postheadericon Interview with Cindy McDonald, author of ‘To the Breaking Pointe’

Cindy McDonaldFor twenty-six years Cindy’s life whirled around a song and a dance: she was a professional dancer/choreographer for most of her adult life and never gave much thought to a writing career until 2005. She often notes: Don’t ask me what happened, but suddenly I felt drawn to my computer to write about things I have experienced (greatly exaggerated upon of course—I’ve never been murdered!) with my husband’s Thoroughbreds and happenings at the racetrack. Viola! Cindy’s first book series, Unbridled, was born—there are four books to that series so far.

Cindy is a huge fan of romantic suspense series, and although she isn’t one to make New Year’s resolutions, on New Year’s Day 2013 she made a commitment to write one, Into the Crossfire is the first book for her new series, First Force.

People are always asking Cindy: do you miss dance? With a bitter sweet smile on her lips she tells them: Sometimes I do. I miss my students. I miss choreographing musicals, but I love my books, and I love sharing them with you.

Her latest book is the romantic suspense, To the Breaking Pointe.

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About the Book:

To the Breaking Pointe 2Pushed to the breaking pointe!

Five years ago First Force operative, Grant Ketchum, let the ballerina of his dreams dance right of his life. Silja Ramsay returned to her birthplace, Russia, to take the position of principal dancer for the Novikov Ballet Company.

The owner and director of the ballet company, Natalia Novikov, has a dark secret: her beloved ballet company is almost broke. Natalia forces her dancers to prostitute themselves to financial contributors at exclusive after-show parties. Silja has been exempt and kept in the dark about the parties—until an American financier offers to bail the failing ballet company out. His prerequisite: Silja must become his personal companion, live in his home, and fulfill his every desire. Against her will, Silja is taken to the American’s mansion, but before she goes she manages to send a text to the only man who can save her, Grant: HELP!

Now Grant is on a mission to find his lost ballerina and rescue her from this powerful man’s subjugation. He will do anything to get her out alive. If they survive, will he let her chasse out of his life again?

For More Information

  • To the Breaking Pointe is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Cindy! Can you tell us where you are from?

I am from Pittsburgh, PA

Q: How did you come up with your title?

I was a professional dancer for twenty-six years. The title just seemed perfect for the storyline.

Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover. Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?

My cover was designed by Todd Aune of Projeto Communications. That said, I personally seek out the very handsome men that you see on the First Force covers. The man on To the Breaking Pointe is Stuart Tomlinson. I am friends with many photographers on FB—I keep a very close eye out for photos of extremely handsome hunks that fit my storylines, and then I buy the photos from the photographers. The men are usually athletes turned model and they are thrilled to be on the covers.

Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?

The story is about a hot marine special operative who must travel to Russia to save his former lover—a gorgeous ballerina—need I say more?

Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?

No—I’m afraid the story is pretty straight-forward. I just want everyone to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.

Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?

Chapter 23–I am very pleased with the ending of this story. Very pleased, and I think the characters are too!

Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?

To the Breaking Pointe was not set to be book #2 of the First Force Series—Into the Dark was supposed to be in that position. But this story simply wouldn’t let me write Into the Dark. It niggled at me—as did the characters. Well, I just had to put Into the Dark aside and write To the Breaking Pointe. It was what the characters wanted, and I think you’ll agree once you read it that they were absolutely right.

Q: Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?

LOL—I drink cabernet when I’m writing hot love scenes.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

This is a great question because I’m getting to travel there in April—France! I will be cruising through the Bordeaux country, stopping at all the little towns and wineries—I’m very excited, and then its two days in Paris. April in Paris!

Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?

Unfortunately, I suffer from insomnia; therefore, I am a night person. I do a lot of writing at 3am.

Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?

No, I believe that I am the first.

Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?

Absolutely. Only I didn’t dream about becoming a writer—I wanted to be a movie star! Well, I became a professional dancer that became a writer—I guess its close enough!

Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish. What would that be?

I would wish that we could find a peaceful end to the problems in our world and that no more of our boys would die or be maimed—I would wish for peace among all nations.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?

I hope everyone enjoys To the Breaking Pointe—I have dedicated this book to the cast of my 2005 production of Coppelia—when you read the book, you will see the relevance. Thanks so much for interviewing me today.

 

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postheadericon Warriors at the Helm by Juan Carlos Marcos Book Feature


Warriors at the HelmTitle:
 Warriors at the Helm
Author: Juan Carlos Marcos
Publisher: Elie Press
Pages: 174
Genre: Business
Format: Hardcopy/Ebook

In Warriors At The Helm: A Leader’s Guide To Success in Business, Juan Carlos Marcos shares his almost four decades of experience regarding people dynamics in the corporate World. Whether you’re just getting started in business, or you are a thirty-year warrior, nothing is as valuable to your growth, and in preparing you for success, as learning through trial and error. However, modern-day corporate America can be very unforgiving or impatient through your learning process. This book represents the next best thing to being there, which is learning from others’ experience. Juan provides the reader with a practical tool that offers valuable insights into the distinctive and real differences between effective leaders (those that people eagerly follow) and those who lack the self-awareness to understand that they may be barriers to progress versus a catalyst. To further add texture to his insights, Juan elicits and shares thoughts from veteran executives who share personal experiences and perspectives derived from years of trench warfare. In Warriors At The Helm you will learn about the traits that make Leaders and Individual Contributors successful in business and how to manage the Dumb Asses and Egomaniacs (AKA Barbarians) that roam the corporate landscape. The book will provide you with the awareness and knowledge of the life “on the inside” that will help you emulate and demonstrate the behaviors that will keep your career on a positive and productive track.

Purchase Your Copy At:

Juan Carlos Marcos was born in Cuba and immigrated to the United States in 1962. He spent almost four decades in leadership roles in human resources in the corporate world, including experience in multiple industries. Among the companies he worked at included Saint Mary’s Hospital Medical Center, in Madison Wisconsin, Graber Industries Inc., Boston Market and McDonald’s Corporation. Now retired and working as a consultant, he took the time to fulfill his dream of writing his first book. Juan holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Northern Illinois University and a master’s degree in business from the University of Wisconsin. Juan lives in Evergreen, Colorado, with his wife Randi.

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postheadericon 5 Things You Should Know About Barcelona by Mary Carter #Barcelona

Mary CarterMary Carter is a freelance writer and novelist. Meet Me in Barcelona is her eighth novel. Her other works include: Three Months in Florence, The Things I Do For You, The Pub Across the Pond, My Sister’s Voice, Sunnyside Blues, She’ll Take It, and Accidentally Engaged. In addition to her novels she has written six novellas: Return to Hampton Beach in the anthology, Summer Days, A Southern Christmas in the upcoming 2014 anthology Our First Christmas, A Kiss Before Midnight in the anthology, You’re Still the One, A Very Maui Christmas in the New York Times best selling anthology Holiday Magic, and The Honeymoon House in the New York Times best selling anthology Almost Home. Mary currently lives in Chicago, IL with a demanding labradoodle. She wishes she could thank her gorgeous husband, but she doesn’t have one. In addition to writing she leads writing workshops.

For More Information

Five Things You Should Know About Barcelona

  1. Even the red wine on the plane on your way there is divine
  2. The street performers in La Rambla are electric
  3. If you wander down cobblestone alleys you might just find a jazz club
  4. Jamon and cheese sandwiches sound too simple to be that good
  5. Everything Guadi is great

About the Book:

A surprise trip to Barcelona with her boyfriend, Jake, seems like the perfect antidote to Grace Sawyer’s current woes. The city is dazzling and unpredictable, but the biggest surprise for Grace is discovering who arranged and paid for the vacation.

Meet Me in Barcelona 2Carrie Ann wasn’t just Grace’s foster sister. Clever, pretty, and mercurial, she was her best friend—until everything went terribly wrong. Now, as she flees an abusive marriage, Carrie Ann has turned to the one person she hopes will come through for her. Despite her initial misgivings, Grace wants to help. But then Carrie Ann and Jake both go missing. Stunned and confused, Grace begins to realize how much of herself she’s kept from Jake—and how much of Carrie Ann she never understood. Soon Grace is baited into following a trail of scant clues across Spain, determined to find the truth, even if she must revisit her troubled past to do it.

Mary Carter’s intriguing novel delves into the complexities of childhood bonds, the corrosive weight of guilt and blame, and all the ways we try—and often fail—to truly know the ones we love.

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