Dreaming in the Pages

Books ... where dreams are better than reality

Broken Pieces

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Orangeberry Free Alert - Change in Management by R.J. Johnson

Change in Management by R.J. Johnson

Amazon Kindle US

Amazon Kindle UK

Genre - Science Fiction

Rating - PG13

5 (4 reviews)

Free until 3rd June 2013

Murder, betrayal, the fate of humanity... it's all in a day's work for Jim Meade, Martian P.I.
In 2097 humanity is ruled by two major powers: The Consortium and Coalition. But Jim Meade is a Runabout - someone who doesn't care who’s running the show so long as he can earn his keep peacefully in the deadly Zero-G fights that keep the Martian colonists entertained on a nightly basis.
After one of his fights goes horribly wrong, Meade finds himself deep in debt to one of the most dangerous warlords on Mars. When a beautiful Coalition officer asks to help clear her father’s name, he seizes the opportunity to make some easy money.
However, Meade quickly finds out that he's entangled within a dark conspiracy that gets stranger at every turn and if he wants to survive the change in management, he'll need every ounce of wit, whiskey and guts he's got.

Orangeberry Book of the Day - The Tortoise Shell Code by V Frank Asaro (Excerpt)


Rip Tide

“The Verdict is in! Anthony, the court just called; the jury’s reached a verdict!”

Laura’s words broke across Anthony Darren’s desk and crashed through his fugue. He had been staring out his office window, which offered a rather meager view of San Diego Bay five stories below—the waterfront a couple of blocks away. It was nothing like the dizzy perspective he’d had a few months ago from a different office, A much larger, much higher office, in every possible sense. He realized he’d been staring at the bay in deep distraction, not really seeing the tuna boats dragging white wakes through the etched waters, the aircraft carriers rising like steel islands along the Coronado Island shore. He glanced at his desk calendar: Thursday, February 10, 1980. So this is the day. Finally he turned and smiled at Laura. “Thanks. How do I look?”

“Great. But here’s your jacket.” She took it off the hook on the back of the door. “And I’ll let Andrea know you’re on your way to the courthouse.”

“Thank you.” He muscled smoothly into the well-tailored coat, but fumbled flipping back the collar. Laura was on it immediately, straightening the fabric out, squinting through her black-framed glasses. He caught her by the shoulders. “Laura, I need you there, too. Just switch on the answering machine and lock up the office.”

“Of course.” She smiled and then frowned. “Don’t say it like you’re uncertain.” He walked out between the shelves of law books lining each side.

Two blocks away and thirty stories higher, a mob of executives haggled around an enormous conference table in the Southern California Empire Bank Building. The only man not participating sat at the head of the table behind the only gold nameplate in the room. He wore the expression of a spectator about to win big money at a dog fight. He tugged a gray-flecked handkerchief from his pocket and blotted his forehead and drooping nose, then lifted a cup of coffee toward his lips.

A sharp double rap at the door made him halt the movement of the cup. The bickering among the executives instantly halted.

“Yes?” the man with the gold nameplate said.

An efficient-looking woman in her early thirties popped her head through the doorway. “Mr. Hooks, sorry to interrupt, but I just received a message from the Deputy DA. The jury is in.”

Hooks looked around at the assembled men, all of them now focused on him. He stood. “Excuse me,” he said, “while I go find out if I saved this bank or not.” Imperceptible to all but him, his hand trembled as he set down the cup.

* *

In a red tile-roofed house resting high on Point Loma, a hill overlooking the other side of San Diego Bay, a man sat on the couch in his darkened living room. His trim, muscular arms, tanned bronze, lay limp at his sides while he stared up at an imaginary spot on the ceiling.

He heard the kitchen phone ring. Heard his wife answer in a soft voice. “Yes, Joe Cruz is my husband. I’m sorry, he’s…oh! Oh, it is? Yes, I’ll tell him…I understand. Right away. We’ll be there right away.”

Joe continued to stare at the ceiling.

* *

Anthony Darren crossed a busy street and double-stepped toward the courthouse portico. Along the way he passed a newspaper stand prominently displaying the headline JURY STILL OUT IN CONSPIRACY MURDER TRIAL. A few pigeons fluttered out of Anthony’s path and settled atop the Doric columns framing the courthouse entrance. At least they give me some respect, Anthony thought as he stepped into the building.

He strode down the long marble hall along almost empty corridors. The sense of vacancy was, he knew, ephemeral; the courtrooms and juries were still in session as the noon hour approached. That would soon change. The echo of his footsteps evoked images of gavels pounding ominously behind each closed door.

When Anthony pulled on the brass handles of the double doors to Courtroom 12, they didn’t budge. He knocked. Through the crack between the doors he saw Jennifer Jackson, the judge’s clerk, fumbling with the latch.

“Hello, Jenny,” he said as she opened the door.

Her smile struck him like a sunbeam through a blizzard. “Hello, Mr. Darren. Sorry, I called you back, but Laura said you’d already left. The judge just decided it’s so close to noon he’s sending the jury to lunch. They won’t be back until about 1:30.”

“Oh. I see.” Anthony shuddered with the impact of a violent internal clash between disappointment and temporary relief.

“Why don’t you get yourself some lunch?” Jenny asked.

“Thanks, but do you mind if I just sit here and wait?”

“No, make yourself at home. I’ll be right around the corner. If anyone else comes in, would you let them know about the recess too?”


She adjusted the latch so the door could be opened only from the inside, then turned. “Mr. Darren, good luck.”

He sat on an upholstered swivel chair at the defendant’s table, in the position farthest from the jury box. Silence closed in. Not even the clock mounted above the witness box made a sound. How come he had never noticed that before? He’d appeared in these courtrooms innumerable times over the past ten years. At first he’d found the dark oak paneling dignified, the high ceilings with their carved crown moldings majestic. In those days the room had inspired in him—a young lawyer, rising fast—feelings of reverence. But now he found the space oppressive, threatening, portentous .When the doors rattled, he got up and walked over to them. Through the crack saw the tall form and hungry face of Deputy District Attorney Egan James. Anthony hesitated, took a deep, steadying breath, and unlocked the door. When it swung open he wasn’t surprised to find Herbert Hooks right behind Egan, peering over the younger man’s shoulder. Beside Hooks stood a third man, the weasel-eyed witness, with dark hair pulled back into a tiny pigtail.

At the sight of Anthony all three hesitated a bit.

Anthony exposed his teeth in what might have objectively been called a smile. “Come on in, guys. Sorry to say the judge sent everyone to lunch. They won’t be back until one-thirty.” He twisted the latch so the door would no longer lock, then turned and headed back to the defense table.

The three men took seats in the gallery to the far right, near the jury box.

Anthony focused his attention on the door nearest the judge’s bench. No Christian waiting for lions to appear on the floor of the Coliseum had ever watched a door so avidly. The jury would eventually re-enter the courtroom through this portal. .

Usually when a jury came in to read their verdict he had a yellow legal pad in front of him and a pen in his hand so he could give his eyes something to do while his ears received the kiss or the blow. But today no pad lay before him, and he wasn’t sure what he should do when the jury returned. Stare at the tabletop? At the wall? Or directly at the foreman?

Not that it mattered.

A few minutes later the main door to the courtroom opened and Laura stepped in, accompanied by a girl of sixteen, petite yet blossoming into an auburn-haired conversation-stopper. As always, Laura had tried, and failed, to make herself look plain in her sensible suit and horn-rimmed glasses.

Egan called across the gallery: “We’re on recess until one-thirty.”

The women did not respond, and took seats as far from him as possible. Egan watched with the habitual sneer Anthony remembered from long ago.

All at once Anthony wished Laura and Andrea hadn’t come after all. He was afraid they would suffer even more than he while sitting here waiting for the verdict. They would spend the time dwelling on facts only they and he knew; facts the jury had never heard. So go over and sit with them, he told himself. Hug them. Comfort them. But an invisible public curtain hung in his way. At moments like this he wanted to be alone, like a performer waiting to go on stage. Besides, he didn’t want a show in front of Egan.

Once again the door opened, and this time Anthony watched Sylvia Cruz—frail, her eyes tragic—lead Joe in by the arm. The blankness on Joe’s face seemed to blend his features—all but the charcoal-black eyes—into the featureless wall behind him. The couple moved toward Laura, who whispered to them, undoubtedly informing them of the delay. They took seats in the row behind Laura and Andrea.

Again Anthony felt the urge to go back there and dispense comfort, but he knew Sylvia would ask him to predict what the verdict would be. He felt the reticence as he waited for the curtain to rise.

As he turned away, his gaze crossed briefly with that of Egan James, a square-jawed and slightly pug-nosed man, his once-athletic body growing thick in an expensive suit. But in that second, Anthony was sure he saw Egan’s sneer expand.

I’d like to think he’s just overzealous at his job, Anthony thought. I’d like to think that what’s happening now, has nothing to do with the past. Nineteen sixty-two was so long ago.

Nineteen sixty-two. The year an American astronaut orbited the earth for the first time. The year the number of American soldiers sent to an obscure Southeast Asian country called Vietnam first exceeded fifteen thousand. The year the United States and the Soviet Union almost swapped nuclear missiles across the Gulf of Mexico between Florida and Cuba.

The year Anthony Darren graduated from college.

Whoever knows, at the moment of occurrence, how one event might lead to another? What the consequences of even the most innocuous decision might be? The most reflexive choice? Even the most noble one?

Who could pinpoint the precise moment that this day in court, this twenty minute arc stretching between the known past and the unknown future, became…inevitable?

I can, Anthony thought. I can pinpoint the moment.

It happened in 1962, yes. On the warm white sands of La Jolla.

That was when and where it began. For him, for Joe Cruz, for Egan James, and by extension, for many others.

That was where and when it began, on the last perfect afternoon.


Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Legal Drama

Rating – PG13

More details about the author & the book

Connect with V Frank Asaro on GoodReads & Twitter

Friday, May 31, 2013

Orangeberry Free Alert - HORSES AND HEROIN by Bev Pettersen

Horses and Heroin - Bev Pettersen

Amazon Kindle US

Amazon Kindle UK

Genre - Romantic Suspense

Rating - PG

4.6 (153 reviews)

Free until 4th June 2013

A talented rider disappears without a trace.
His frantic sister poses as a student.
A private investigator's plans for quiet recuperation are shattered.

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

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

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

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

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

But that is not all…

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

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Mystery

Rating – PG13

More details about the author

Connect with Deborah Brown on Facebook & Twitter

Thursday, May 30, 2013

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


What’s in This Book?

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

Why You Need This Book!

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

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

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

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

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

How is This Book Different?

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

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

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

My Promise to You

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

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

Learn how to find Killer Work from Home Jobs

Genre – NonFiction / Business / Job Hunting

Buy Now @ Amazon

Rating – G

More details about the author

Connect with Lee Evans on her

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

Orangeberry Free Alert - Still Fine at Forty - Dakota Madison

Still Fine at Forty - Dakota Madison

Amazon Kindle US

Amazon Kindle UK

Genre - Contemporary Romance

Rating - R

4.6 (7 reviews)

Free until 1st June 2013

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

Author Interview – Lori Stevic-Rust

clip_image002What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? Raising two amazing daughters

What is your favorite color? Yellow

What is your favorite food? Dark chocolate

What’s your favorite place in the entire world? Hawaii

How long have you been writing? wrote clinical books in the past. This is my first memoir.

What inspires you to write and why? As a psychologist I believe in the power of good stories to connect us to each other. I am inspired to continue writing and speaking particularly when I hear the impact that the words and messages have on others.

What inspired you to write your first book? I was inspired to write my first memoir when began to reflect on the aging process as I was turning 50 years old and my grandmother was turning 100 years old. Hers has been the voice in my head guiding me down my life’s path over my first 50 years.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? The Best Gifts Comes from Flops

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”—Winston Churchill

One day when my daughter Katie was a little girl, she asked my grandmother why her arms flopped. She gently grabbed the skin under my grandmother’s arm and said, “If you push this, it flops.” She went on to ask, “Why doesn’t mine do that?” Why indeed. These “flops” can best be described as the area on a woman’s arm that appears to be a bicep that became deflated like a balloon and fell to the underneath side of the arm. As the wind blows, so do the “flops.” Nana swears at times she even feels them slapping against her ribs. This motivates her all the more to continue to lift weights, as she is convinced that she can tighten up those flops. Each of us women who share her genetic makeup quietly sits on the couch and cheers her on in the hopes that our fate of the flops can be altered.

“Flops” are another surprising gift of aging. Or maybe to some degree or another, we all have them throughout our life, but only as we age do we recognize them as hidden gifts.

There is no question that life is easier to view in the rearview mirror with the passage of time. We can more clearly see how things that seemed painful and disappointing in the moment may have led to incredible blessings further down our life path. How the loss of a job may have led to a great career opportunity, or running late in the morning may have saved us from a deadly accident on the freeway. Some of our greatest experiences of flops, disappointments, and pain when examined closely usually turn out to be life changing.

One of my great flops had to do with a pot roast.

How did you come up with the title? Greedy for life is my grandmother’s philosophy of life. She lives life with purpose and passion. She never settles but rather absorbs moments in life like a sponge. As her 101 year old birthday approaches, she still claims that she want to see more, do more, love more and live more.

What was the hardest part about writing this book? Everything about writing this book was different and often difficult for me given that my other books were clinical in nature. First, writing in the first person was uncomfortable. But the trade- off was there was no research, footnotes, or reference sections to be concerned about which allowed me to concentrate more on the story and the message.

What was the most difficult? The most difficult part of writing this book was revealing my personal life stories.  I felt exposed and vulnerable but Nana reminded me that it is through the sharing of our stories that we inspire each other.  That said, I found myself awake at 2:00am the day before this book was to be released thinking—- —oh my God my dad is going to read chapter 7.

Will you write others in this same genre? The response to this book has been overwhelming. I had no idea what to expect going into this. I often thought who will care about my life stories? Surprisingly, it seems that we are all walking down similar paths in our lives and many of the stories resonate with readers.

Since the book was released last month, I have been offered many speaking opportunities to talk about the themes in the book—not only from the perspective as a psychologist but as a middle aged woman of a five generational family. It appears that the topics are of importance to many. So, I am “polling the audience” during my speaking engagement for topics that readers want to hear more about….stay tuned.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Memoir

Rating – PG13

More details about the book

Connect with Lori Stevic-Rust  on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.doctorlori.net/

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

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

Chapter 1

December 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I did,” I said. “Do you know her?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Genre - Mystery

Rating – PG

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Orangeberry Book Tours – The Titan Drowns by Nhys Glover


Three loves are discovered as the clock counts down to 11.40 pm April 14, 1912. Karl Ontario is a medical researcher not an adventurer but when an audacious mission is proposed to go back in time to save doomed children on the ill-fated Atlantic liner, RMS Titanic, he makes sure he’s included on the team. Little does he realise that his own future happiness depends on saving the life of just one passenger: Lizzie Faulkner, an unwed mother-to-be.

Eilish Cork is a time travelling Retriever and this mission is like any other to her until she falls in love with her handsome Target, London barrister Maxwell Ingham, and is asked to risk everything to save him from his fate on the maiden voyage of that tragic ship.
And sweet Pia Rogaland, whose only goal is to rescue the children on board the Titanic until she meets Marco Lorenza, a man she’s not permitted to save.

With time running out, is it possible to rescue those victims history determined went down with the unsinkable Ship of Dreams or will more lives be forfeited trying to carry out this dangerous mission?

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Genre – Romance

Rating – Between PG13 and R (sensual but not erotic)

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Connect with Nhys Glover on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://nhysglover.com/

Review: Titans Drown by Nhys Glover

The Titan DrownsThe Titan Drowns by Nhys Glover
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What were the main relationships explored in this book? I think there were many layers to this story. You had the relationships of the people onboard the Titanic and you had the main characters who were trying to deal with their own situations.

3 things I liked about the book … The overall setting, the research on Titanic and the way all the characters blend in together between different eras. I also liked that although this book was part of a series, it was easy to read as a stand alone story.

Favourite character(s) …I'll pick Marco and Karl. They were so enigmatic and I enjoyed reading the sections on them.

Disclosure - I received a complimentary copy from the author which did not affect my honest opinion.

View all my reviews

Orangeberry Book of the Day – Surrender by Melody Anne


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

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

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

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

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Genre – Contemporary Romance

Rating – 18+

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Website http://www.melodyanne.com/

The Passion of the Christoph by Christoph Paul (Excerpt)

The Infinite Jest of Picking Porn Titles

While getting my MA in creative writing I managed a porn store in northeast DC where the most important job was picking out which new releases we would carry. To do this job well I had to make picks based on our clientele, who was 80% older African-American/African, 10% Hispanic, 7% slumming gays from DuPont Circle, and a few old white guys who thought the Internet had spies and/or communist rogues. To make this important decision all I had was a fax paper listing the brand, theme, and title of the movie, with no pictures of the covers.

Yet each week I would pick videos that ended up selling, leaving my boss very impressed. So along with recommending we give out free watermelon gum (yes, we really did), he said he wanted me to create a report for a new employee on why I chose or did not choose a new release video so the uninitiated employee could learn the ropes.

As an aspiring writer, I took great pride in the assignment to show this new employee that we were not just picking videos, but engaging in the all-important subjects of the humanities. To finish the report I left the new employee a bibliography to back up my choices and educate him on The Infinite Jest of Picking Porn Titles


I will have to get at least one shemale video. Though this is a good title; one of our most popular tranny series is Transsexual Prostitutes10. I once received a call from a concerned customer’s wife worried that her husband might actually be seeing transsexual prostitutes. I calmed her down and said that this is a fad and men only watch these videos but do not act on them. She cried a little and said something in Spanish11. I felt bad for her and tried to comfort her saying, “It is very popular in the Hispanic community, but I don’t know why.” She then said she married a maracone12, and hung up.

I am not sure why but the predominant customers who rent tranny movies are Hispanic men, who I assume to be in the closet. I asked this hot Hispanic girl13 who cooks hamburgers at my favorite establishment, The Korzo Haus14 why this was, and she said it was because no one is thought to be gay in the Hispanic community and if anyone asks he could say it wasn’t that “Maraconeish” because she had boobs. That aside, a big penis on big breasts is always a good transsexual movie. I will select this one unless Tranny Prostitutes is available.


The actress London Keyes15 is a quite possible lock; she is a special combination of an Orientalist Fetish16, an hour-glass figure, and a generous backside. She is also a fan of anallingus17 which can be appreciated in the porn renting community. Though these are all positive attributes, the African-American majority does not care for lesbian videos18 and she does not fit the Caucasian Orientalist Fetish; I would have to pass on Mrs. Keyes. (Though I appreciate her style and sexual proclivity; it is not about the writer–it is about the customer.) Also the brand Abigail sounds artsy and like art films, art porn is not appreciated by the general porn public. In the end, people want to see Transformers over The Tree of Life.19


Cuckold movies20 do very well. There is a surprising amount of white men that come in and buy these videos. They usually look like accountants or the managers you would see at Bennigans who never excelled in sports like Dodgeball. There are some interesting theories about why many men would be into watching or getting cuckold: Evolutionary, male-to-male competition or what Dr. Robin Baker coined as “Sperm Wars”21 has played a role in reproductive strategy. The theory is that we could be programmed to be turned on by infidelity to make sure to produce other fighter sperm. This also plays into the idea of concealed ovulation and women liking certain types of men when ovulating22. Or it could just be the decadent times we live in. There are no easy answers to this phenomenon but until it gets figured out the writer would look for covers of dorky guys looking upset while their wife is being banged by a big penis stud.


This would be the second shemale pick unless Tranny Prostitutes 74 is available. The Shemale Superstars Series has very much tricked the writer. Every time the writer looked down at the face on the cover and found the woman very attractive, then looked lower and enjoyed the breasts, and then went lower to check out the vaginal area the writer saw a very large penis23, being tricked every time. These men have such attractive feminine faces that it fools everyone who looks. Another popular title is Tranny Surprise, if that or Tranny Prostitutes are not available then I will select these two tranny films and will continue to look too low when it comes to tranny covers; it is very much porn store Groundhog Day.24


Now the owner suggested we get one blow job film but we officially call them facials. Our customers would refer to them as “head joints.”25 If you look on the back cover you will usually see a young girl with what looks like Elmer’s glue falling off her face. The philosophy and symbolism of the facial is quite a novelty and could appeal to the sense of power, as if to say, “I have so many sexual options. Instead of leaving my semen in your vagina for reproductive purposes I will leave it on your face.” On a side note, the image I’ve seen for this certain sexual practice will always be a girl at a beauty salon getting ready for a facial (the one for beautification purposes) looking in a mirror and seeing a large cock with sperm coming out toward her face. Not sure if it’s a lack of creativity or if this is the best way to advertise for the genre26?


Now this would be a good pick for gay men of all colors. The title would suggest the men would be rather buff, have good-sized penises, and I noticed gay men want a minor story they can watch after eating a good meal or after they have watched a design show on Bravo27. Another definite yes.

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Genre – Humor / NonFiction

Rating – NC17

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Connect with Christoph Paul on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://christophpaulauthor.com/

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

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


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

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Genre – Middle Grade Mystery

Rating – G

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Connect with Sean Adelman on Facebook

Website http://www.raiseexpectations.com/

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

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

Amazon Kindle US

Amazon Kindle UK

Genre - YA, Fantasy

Rating - PG

4.6 (14 reviews)

Free until 30 May 2013

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

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


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

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

She just never expected to feel so alone.

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

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

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

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

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

“Just be careful.” Matthew warned.

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

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

“Always am.”


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Genre – Romance / Chick Lit

Rating – PG13

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Website http://aliciareneekline.com/

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Review: Be Good by Dakota Madison

Be GoodBe Good by Dakota Madison
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Did you like the way the story ended? Yes, loved the ending. So glad Brett made the right decision.

What do you think is the climax of the book and why. Anna finding Brett and Rebecca together. Shows how much a real guy Brett is.

Compare two of the characters in this book. Anna – party girl, always out for a good time, barely squeaking by in life. More interesting in her drug of choice (sex) than being an adult.

Rebecca – supposedly has it all together, works in Washington DC, what some would classify as miss goody, goody too-shoes.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author.

View all my reviews

Dakota Madison – Pet Peeve of the Publishing Industry: Reviews

Pet Peeve of the Publishing Industry: Reviews

by Dakota Madison

When I first started publishing my novels, I realized there would be readers who didn’t like my work. I certainly don’t like everything I read, so it’s only natural, my work would have detractors. What I wasn’t prepared for were readers who were mean and cruel (sometimes bordering on sadistic) in their criticism of me (as an author) and my work. I’d always been taught the Golden Rule: If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Apparently that works everywhere but in book reviews!

I’m not talking about rational and honest criticism. Some of the reviews I appreciated the most were ones that helped to improve my work because they were constructive and fair. I’m talking about people being mean-spirited and nasty just because they can.

Imagine if you walked up to a co-worker in your employment setting and said, “I can’t believe you wore that outfit. It’s the most disgusting thing I’ve even seen anyone wear in my life and I gag whenever I look at you. Maybe if you didn’t buy all of your clothes at big box stores, people wouldn’t want to puke every time they looked at you.” Your co-workers would think you were mean, cruel and inappropriate. It’s possible that you’d even be reported to Human Resources and maybe reprimanded (or even fired). Why? Because it’s not okay to treat people that way. Yet, no one bats an eye about treating authors that way. I’ve had readers post absolutely horrible things about me and my books—things that were so mean and cruel, if they were said in another context, they probably could have been labeled harassment. But cruelty is considered acceptable when it’s a book review. Anything goes and authors are supposed to take it and not be offended or take it personally.

Authors are people, too. We have feelings and they can be hurt. Please remember that before you post your next book review.


This NEW ADULT ROMANCE contains language and content indented for adult readers (18+).

The Bad-Girl and the Boy-Next-Door…
After getting completely wasted at a wedding reception, bridesmaid Anna Hart wakes up in a strange bed and can’t remember what she did or who she did it with. The stranger in bed with Anna is Brett Conner, a nerdy guy who she vaguely remembers from college, but only because everyone called him Clown Hair. Only Brett isn’t quite as nerdy as Anna remembers. His clown hair is long gone and Brett is almost cute–and kind of sexy.
Over the course of four weddings, in four cities, in one crazy summer, Brett and Anna start a mismatched relationship. But is there a future for the bad-girl and the boy-next-door?


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Genre – Contemporary Romance

Rating – R

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Website http://12novels12months.tumblr.com/