Dreaming in the Pages

Books ... where dreams are better than reality

Broken Pieces

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Orangeberry Book of the Day – Rise of the Billionaire (Book 5) by Ruth Cardello

NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author!

Rise of the Billionaire (Book 5 of the Legacy Collection)

Dreaming of Alethea gave Jeremy Kater the strength to survive a difficult childhood. Now that he has influential friends who owe him some big favors, he’s determined to become the kind of man Alethea would be interested in: rich and dangerous. Jeisa Borreto was hired to help Jeremy morph into that man. It’s a job she would enjoy, if it weren’t tearing her heart to pieces.

How can she help him change once she’s realized she’s fallen in love with the man he’s always been?

Hint: Sleeping with him doesn’t help.

The Legacy Collection:
Book 1: Maid for the Billionaire (Free)
Book 2: For Love or Legacy
Book 3: Bedding the Billionaire
Book 4: Saving the Sheikh
Book 5: Rise of the Billionaire
Book 6: Breaching the Billionaire (Coming Fall 2013!)

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Contemporary Romance

Rating – R

More details about the author

Connect with Ruth Cardello on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.ruthcardello.com/

Orangeberry Book of the Day - Style, Chic, Trendy, Cheap by Elle Campbell

How to Dress for Your Body Type

The average super model is 5’10”, perfectly proportioned, and impossibly thin. However, if you are like the other 99.99% of the population and not fortunate enough to be blessed with Gisele Bundchen’s physique, you can still look fabulous, stylish and wear the latest trends.

They key is to know your body, and know what looks great on you. With that knowledge you can take almost any style, trend, or silhouette and make it work for you. You don’t need a designer outfit to look great. Even the most expensive outfit in the world won’t look good on you if it doesn’t fit you properly. A simple t-shirt can look great on you if your body fits it right so you have to start understanding what suits your body type as every woman is unique. We all have different curves, flaws and assets. If you learn how to work with yours, the fashion world will become your personal playground and you will never have to dread the dressing room again.

How to Start

To begin your journey to understanding what will flatter you, you must first be brutally honest with yourself. The truth is that most women don’t see what’s really happening with their bodies when they look in the mirror.

Some women see only the negative aspects of themselves in their reflection. Wide hips? Tiny bust? Thick ankles? Perceived flaws such as these are often the only traits women notice when evaluating their bodies.

But there is so much more! For every flaw or imperfection we see, there are always assets we ignore. If you are full figured and curvy you might hate your tummy, but have an incredible bust. Maybe you despise your short legs, and are totally ignoring your long, lean torso.

Don’t focus on the negative! Try writing down your body flaws. For every one you write down, try to find one part of your body you find beautiful. All of those beautiful parts are assets that you will want to remember to play up when it’s time to go shopping.

On the flip side, remember that you are being brutally honest with yourself. Perhaps you have put on some weight in the last couple of years and your tummy isn’t as flat as it once was. Details like this are not something to dwell on, but they also cannot be ignored. Many women refuse to accept parts of their body as they are and try to fit into clothes for the body they want, not the body they have. This will result in ill-fitting outfits that do the opposite of flatter the wearer.

Proportion is the most important element of your body you should be paying attention to when evaluating your shape. In addition to understanding where your problem and asset areas are, look to see the width of your shoulders in comparison to your hips. Are they larger or smaller or around the same size? How much does your waist come in in the middle of the body? Are you long or short waisted? These proportional elements will come into play when you are deciding what body type categorization fits you best.

Whether you can do it by just looking at yourself in the mirror, or you need to get out a tape measure for a reality check, make sure you get a clear picture of your sizes, proportions and shape.

By being honest and observant about your body you are arming yourselves with the power to walk into any shopping environment and feel confident that you will be able to find garments that look and feel great . Knowing your body shape and buying the right clothes that fit you and compliment you will help you look classier, more fashionable and definitely more chic. So if you by the right garment for your body shape, the chances are you will look great, so you don’t need to spend a ton of money buying expensive items of clothing when a $20 tee makes you look just as great as a $80 tee.



Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – NonFiction / Beauty & Fashion

Rating – PG

More details about the book

Connect with Elle Campbell on Twitter & GoodReads

Website http://truefashiontrends.com/

Friday, June 21, 2013

Orangeberry Book of the Day – The Book of Paul by Richard Long


“My name is Rose,” she said to the air in front of her as they climbed the stairs.

Martin said nothing, his senses too occupied with analyzing the changing surroundings to respond even if he had the inclination. When she turned around suddenly to face him, he almost went for the quick kill punch to the Adam’s apple he automatically used whenever threatened in close quarters. But he pulled back before she even noticed.

“And what’s your name?” she asked in the tone you use for a shy three-year-old.

He felt angry at her patronizing tone. He wasn’t an idiot for Chrissakes. Yet he was shocked to see his anger melt away under her smiling gaze. “I’m Martin,” he replied.

I couldn’t believe it! His real name! What was going on here? I wanted to shake him and say, “Hey wake up!” But I wasn’t there, not all the way. So I kept my mouth shut.

“Hi, Martin,” said Rose, shaking his hand and smiling again. Then she turned with a toss of her short black hair and started up the stairs again.

Martin actually looked at his hand before following her.

As soon as Rose opened her door, Martin’s eyes bugged out in wonder. Had he entered some science-fiction teleporter? A time machine? A Moroccan opium den? She couldn’t have been living here more than a few months, yet every square inch of the walls was covered in exotic draperies, the intricate patterns almost causing him to hallucinate. His eyes scanned across them and down to the floor, which was layered with what looked like big, white, hairy yak-fur rugs on top of Persian carpets. Resting on the rugs and carpets were giant silk-embroidered pillows, so many he wanted to count them, but his eyes lingered on the low table they surrounded. The table was made of black teak and held over a dozen fat beige candles, all lit and dripping into the red dragon inlays carved into the surface.

Fire hazard, he thought, ever the pragmatist. How she could even think of leaving her apartment with so many candles burning? She could burn the whole building down! He would escape, of course, his acute sense of smell alerting him far in advance, but that didn’t mean he shouldn’t snuff them out right now for the risk they represented.

“The sink’s over here,” Rose said brightly, extinguishing his thoughts instead.

She was pointing at a door and he was shocked again to realize that he couldn’t match the floor layout with his own apartment. It must be the same or at least a mirror image. That was one of the things he liked most about apartment living, the predictability of the environment. But everything seemed so different.

“Over here,” she coaxed in a warm, relaxed voice. When he didn’t immediately respond, she took his hand and led him. He looked at her small hand in his and watched in disbelief as his feet started moving, skirting the pillows to follow her. On his way, he paused in front of a thick (couch? mattress? futon?) covered with the silkiest blankets he’d ever seen. Everything seemed so soft, including the translucent curtains draped from a central gathering on the ceiling. They surrounded the bed on all sides like a wispy cocoon.

Rose tugged on his hand again, pulling Martin away from the wonderful cocoon.

On their way, they passed in front of her altar. Martin stopped again, mesmerized by the candlelight illuminating all the gems and minerals. He stroked the large red gem much as Rose had done, not for luck, but for the sheer pleasure of the tactile sensation. It was so beautiful. The candles made it look like it was glowing from within, like it was alive and might respond to his touch with an even greater display of brilliance.

“Nice,” he said appreciatively, crouching down to gaze at it even more intently.

“It’s a bloodstone,” Rose bragged, elated that he was enjoying it as much as she did.

“Rhodochrosite,” Martin corrected her. “Probably from the Sweet Home mine in Alma, Colorado. It’s a fine specimen,” he added, standing up again, “best I’ve ever seen.”

“Thanks.” She beamed, his admiration erasing her frown from his previous comment.

They silently stared at each other for a moment that stretched out far too long until she couldn’t take it anymore and pulled on his hand again. Yes, Martin thought, feeling the same discomfort and needing to get back on firmer ground. The sink.

When they passed through the door, Martin landed with a whump back on the planet. It was like he was in his own apartment again—sink over here, cabinets there, just a normal kitchen—no candles, no rugs, no softness, no nothing! He wanted to run back into that other world...the world on that side of the door. But he stood there dumbly, his mouth open, his head swiveling back and forth between the two rooms.

“I’m not finished,” she said, not sure why she was acting so apologetic. “I blew all my money fixing up the other room.”

Money? All you need is money? Martin thought, not sure why he felt so angry and disappointed. Then he looked at her pretty face and turned his attention back to the sink, grateful for something to do. “It’s not broken, it’s clogged,” he said with characteristic bluntness. “Don’t you have a plunger?”

“I tried.” Rose said with a shrug, holding up the still-dripping implement. Then she added with a wince, “Macaroni and cheese.”

Cute, Martin thought, an unfamiliar warmth invading his chest.

He grabbed the plunger and pounded the drain like a pneumatic drill. The clog was obliterated in eighteen seconds and his anger had almost vanished too, when a fresh new horror caught his eyes.

“Woolite? You use this shit?”

Rose didn’t understand the appalled expression on Martin’s face, wasn’t even quite sure she heard him right. Did he really just make a disparaging remark about her fabric softener? She didn’t have time to ask. He was already out the door, grunting, “I’ll be back,” like you-know-who.

Martin flew down the stairs, unlatched the seven pick-proof locks and the cold-rolled-steel dead bolt and threw the door open so hard the frame almost splintered. He grabbed a jug from his special stock and bounded back up the stairs. Rose was waiting right where he left her. There was something about seeing her lean against that sink that made his cock inflate like a meat balloon. The hard-on was a real surprise for him. Even so, he didn’t pay any attention to it, as usual.

She did. Martin had a really big one. Figures. Why should someone who couldn’t care less if he used it or not get a really big one? The head of his cock pushed its way out the leg of his gym shorts and was still growing down his thigh. Rose knew her mouth had to be open as she watched its progress, but she couldn’t do anything about it. When she looked back at his face, she was even more shocked to see he was completely oblivious to what was happening. Instead, he turned to the sink and thumped down the big plastic jug.

“Here, use this,” he said proudly, handing her the bottle. “This is the good stuff.”

Rose couldn’t decide which was a bigger turn-on…the man standing there with his big huge cock hanging out his shorts like a fat log, or the fact that he was so blissfully unaffected by it. She reached down, grabbed the big fucker in both hands, looked him straight in the eye and said, “No. This is the good stuff.”


Buy now @ Amazon

Genre – Paranormal Thriller / Dark Fantasy

Rating – R

More details about the author & the book

Connect with Richard Long on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.thebookofpaul.com/

Redwood Violet by Robin Mahle

Katie Reid is living the quintessential Southern California life. A dream job and her college sweetheart, Spencer top it all off. However, she can’t seem to shake the terrible dreams that have been tormenting her nights these past few months.

After seeking help to find relief from the exhausting effects of these dreams, it becomes apparent that Katie is dealing with something much deeper and much more sinister. Her only solution is to delve into a past that no one wants her to remember.

With the horrific discovery of a dark secret kept hidden for years, Katie is drawn into a world mired in evil and lost innocence. And only with the help of Detective Marshall Avery will she be able to channel her pain and anger.

But, will he be able to contain Katie’s desire for vengeance that has begun to unravel her perfect life?

The first in a two-part series, Redwood Violet will keep you firmly in its grip and refuse to let go!

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Mystery  / Thriller / Suspense

Rating – PG

More details about the author

Connect with Robin Mahle on Facebook & Twitter

Review: Redwood Violet by Robin Mahle

Redwood VioletRedwood Violet by Robin Mahle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What would the main character be likely to do if s/he visited? Katie would talk and remind us to tell our children to never be alone. To not allow them to walk down to the store, ride their bike or anything by themselves. She would tell us how important it is to protect our little ones.

At the end of the book, do you feel hope for the characters? Only hope I feel is that readers will not know who kidnapped Katie. We are left to wonder who did this.

What makes a minor character memorable? How they help the main character during troubling times. Avery is the perfect example. He was helpful and even went so far as to provide Katie a book so she could learn more about investigations.

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

View all my reviews

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Review: Jack Canon's American Destiny by Greg Sandora

Jack Canon's American DestinyJack Canon's American Destiny by Greg Sandora
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Is the story plot or character driven? It was character driven for me. Jack's politcal ambitions are pretty straight forward but he (and the reader) soon becomes caught up in a series of political shenanigans that will make you wonder, what do politicans really do?

What did you think of the ending? I felt that the ending was too rushed and left many questions unanswered. Other than that, I really liked the book, the author's writing and Jack as the main character.

Overall thoughts about the book? A few of the other book club members mentioned that the book drew on some rather accurate facts about Jack Kennedy. I haven't finished looking into this but I do believe my main question would be why did the author copy so much of Jack Kennedy's life?

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book from the author via Orangeberry Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.

View all my reviews

Orangeberry Free Alert - Lionslayer’s Woman by Nhys Glover

Lionslayer’s Woman - Nhys Glover

Amazon Kindle US

Amazon Kindle UK

Genre - Historical Romance

Rating - R

5 (1 reviews)

Free until 24 June 2013

A mother and child kidnapped at Imperial command!

Only they can save them…

An Imperial Purge leaves a stoic philosopher dead and his wife and youngest child kidnapped. Galeria, the teacher’s elder daughter and Cyra , her Parthian slave girl, are the only ones who can save them. But their task seems impossible until two men arrive to aid their search.

Nexus once saved his mistress from Vesuvius. But since the death of his lover, he is only half the man he was. Sent to save the family from the emperor’s wrath, he never expected to find love and a reason to live again. But, from the first moment he meets Galeria and agrees to help her, his life has meaning again. And he will do anything to find her mother and keep his new love safe from the fiend who wants her for himself.

Decaneus the Dacian warrior, renamed Leonis after he slew a lion in the Colosseum, has no goal but regaining his freedom. That is, until he meets Cyra. Then her goals become his, as they set out to rescue the child that she loves most in all the world.

Across the Aegean, from Rhodes to Ephesus and Antioch, the couples pit themselves against the might of an emperor, a devious fiend and treacherous slavers, as they race to rescue a mother and daughter from their terrible fate.

What readers say about Nhys Glover’s Roman Historical Romances:

“This is a very good romantic adventure with well-developed characters that held my interest until early into the morning” Lorijay

“I LOVED this book (note the shouty caps). This is a beautifully written novel with strong engaging lead and secondary characters and a gripping story line that kept me in suspense right until the end.” Ereviewer

“Interesting story line full of adventure and romance. Can’t wait for more books by this author. I never thought that the Roman empire was so depraved.” Eda

Orangeberry Book of the Day - Saving Jackie K by LDC Fitzgerald

1:10 PM – EDT

Having frightened guileless Danny into compliance, Zimmerman held court with the full complement of Lehigh guards and local police outside the power plant. The colonel had toyed with the idea of a complete lockdown of buildings, but rejected it as too overt. When curious students began to congregate, he had dispersed them with random threats and vague comments about a mock drill.

He grouped the patrols according to a map of the Catacombs, dorms, and classrooms. Every single exit point would be monitored. Instead of a laborious and possibly futile search of thousands of interior locations, he would wait them out. “People, we have two escaped convicts running loose. They are being aided by a government worker and your own Professor Frank Thomas, as per the photos we issued. All four are wanted for crimes of treason against our beloved United States of America. From this moment forward, I am in charge. All orders will come directly from me and only from me. Is that clear?”

“Yes, sir,” they replied in unison.

“All vehicles must leave through the main gate and will be personally inspected by me and my assistant here, Sutherland.”

The captain bristled. Assistant, indeed.

“Remember, you must use the utmost caution. These fugitives are assumed to be armed and dangerous. You are hereby permitted to use any means to apprehend them, but I want the women alive. Dismissed.”

1:45 PM – EDT

Frank removed his bifocals and wiped the lenses with a handkerchief from his pocket. Thoroughly soiled from the Catacombs, he had repeatedly performed this action. Realizing the transparency of his behavior, he shoved the cloth back into his trousers.

Sera decided he needed a distraction. “Frank, now that we’ve been honest with you”—she caught his angry glare—“we’d like to know the real reason you left NASA. You loved that job.”

He hesitated. “Remember last year when the auxiliary oxygen tank on the Sentinel Space Fort blew?”


Iggy turned to them with interest. “It could have ended in a devastating tragedy if not for that Zeus 5 astronaut. He was a hero.”

“Right. But the general public doesn’t know all the facts. The NASA press secretary told the media that Zeus 5 was simply a reconnaissance expedition to study construction of the Russian space fort.”

“Gagarin.” Jay whispered the word with reverence. “The Soviets named it after Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space and the first to orbit the earth in 1961.”

“Correct. But Zeus 5 wasn’t directed to spy on the Gagarin Fort. Their mission was to blow it to smithereens.”

Sera raised her eyebrows.

“I know what I’m talking about because I was CAPCOM.” Frank’s gaze flitted over Iggy and Jay. “I mean capsule communicator, from Houston. Shortly after we launched Zeus 5, the accident occurred on Sentinel in a completely separate incident. When their tank exploded, not only did they lose reserve O2, but the blast punched a gaping hole in the hull. The crew sealed off that compartment; however, their breathable air diminished to a two-hour supply.”

Frank rubbed his beard. “We were ecstatic we’d just sent off another spacecraft that could effect a rescue. We couldn’t believe our luck. But then NASA ordered the commander of Zeus 5 to continue with the Gagarin destruction first. Their ship couldn’t handle the additional passengers along with the immense weight of the bomb.”

Iggy wrinkled her forehead. “That must have been one heck of a weapon.”

“It would have to be, wouldn’t it?” Jay stepped away from the window where he’d been scanning for activity. “You see, bombs within the earth’s atmosphere work mostly on overpressure. The explosion pushes air away at a high velocity. In the vacuum of space, of course, you need a much larger reaction to cause comparable damage.”

Frank stared at him. “Anyway, Commander Dylan was no fool. He knew that by the time he deployed his weapon, the Sentinel crew would be dead. So Dylan defied orders. He deactivated the bomb, released it into space and courageously went on to save eight brave men and women. The newswires picked up the story and hailed him as an American hero. And it suited him. You probably saw the coverage. A handsome rogue, he had a veritable love affair with the cameras. Naturally, NASA officials weren’t too pleased that he’d ejected a two million dollar piece of ordnance. But they could hardly discipline a national icon.” 

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Thriller

Rating – PG

More details about the author & the book

Connect with LDC Fitzgerald on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.savingjackiek.com/

Jack Canon’s American Destiny by Greg Sandora

Take a Journey for the Greater Good in this intensely gripping, loving thriller. Join Jack Canon and his insanely loyal team of friends and family as they make their all-or-nothing run for the presidency. You’ll laugh out loud and have your heart ripped in two; all while holding your breath, sitting on the edge of your chair. You’ll become emotionally committed as you find yourself standing behind your new courageous – unstoppable heroes – forced to take unimaginable steps to reach their goal. You’ll be shocked at the heart-wrenching cost.


Meghan’s Review. this reader captured the essence of the Story of Jack Canon. Both men and woman will enjoy the book.

“‘Jack Canon’s American Destiny’ is one of those intense political thrillers that simply deserve to be made into a movie for full, complete enjoyment. This is especially true right in the wake of the recent Academy Awards and movies like ‘Argo’ and ‘Lincoln’ bringing home the bacon. But on its own, this book is immersive—you can live and breathe in the world of Jack Canon—his full range of concerns, from picayune to grandiose, consists of things that are close to every American’s heart.

Jack Canon is an everyman—you can relate to his positive traits, even his minor character flaws, and mostly you can relate to his will get the presidency. Cleverly written, sprinkled with the right amount of “spice” to keep the level of interest high, ‘American Destiny’ is a tale that grips your heart and squeeze it—Jack Canon’s mission to redistribute wealth and give everybody cheap energy is not exactly acceptable in the eyes (and pockets) of those whose businesses will be affected. And from there, the plot thickens.

Finishing the book, your heart aches because you know Jack Canon isn’t real—he’s an ideal, made magically alive by the sheer talent of Greg Sandora. But that doesn’t mean we cannot aspire. As in the book’s timeline, 2016, maybe the book is telling us to be really, really wise in our choices. Meanwhile, download a copy of this book and sink your teeth in the kind of literary entertainment I’ve never seen since Alex Cross.”

Joanna’s Review. “Jack Canon is an idealist. He’s on the road to fight the good fight and the only road that will allow him to do that is the one leading to the White House. Great plan, but plans don’t always end up going the way we want. This Senior Democratic Senator from Kentucky is a kind, smart, charismatic family man. He is a man of superior intelligence who isn’t afraid to admit to a mistake. He has always been faithful, but he has a very intimate, hands off relationship with Sandy his assistant. Hopefully this won’t derail his campaign…

“Jack Canon’s American Destiny” is a sly ride on a slippery slope. This fast paced thriller is packed with political issues that mirror what we have going on today. If you notice, the villains are a conglomerate of who we have deadly problems with right now, so it echoes what we deal with on the global level at this time.

The author, Greg Sandora, manages to introduce all this well written madness in a way that will keep you glued to this book. Sandora has used well flushed out characters, timely villains, an image of our present president therefore the actions are very relatable to the reader.

Want to have some fun? Want to read something that will have you dangling over the edge of a cliff in that good way that starts your heart pumping and your adrenaline kicking in?”

Diane’s review .“I rarely choose a book about politics, but since becoming addicted to the hit show Scandal, I thought Jack Canon`s American Destiny might be an interesting read. To my amazement, I totally enjoyed this political thriller.

Allow me to congratulate the author on his impressive debut. As a writer, he has a talent that allows an immediate connection with his characters, especially Jack.

The book moves at a relaxing pace. But I must admit, I became extremely absorbed when the author reveals an unexpected twist making it a suspenseful page turner!

I can’t wait to read the highly anticipated sequel.”

Jackie’s review. “Get ready to take a ride. The suspense, the loyalty, the inside world of politics all wrapped into a thriller you will not want to put down. I am recommending this to my book club and any book club who wants a good read for a change.”

Terry’s Review. I have read this book in it’s infancy stage and was amazed. The final product riveting. Ben Affleck, you are the perfect Director, Producer and Actor to be Jack Canon. It is ready for the big screen. Read it now and you will want more of Jack. This book will inspire your next election choice. We need a real life Jack Canon for President. Move over Alex Cross, here comes a new generation hero. This is a story that can take many turns and always keep you waiting for the next chapter. It is written from the heart with passion, but with some hope for all Americans that fiction can be real if you only want it bad enough. So for you politicians out there that want to be the next President, read this book.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords

Genre – Political Thriller

Rating – PG

More details about the author

Connect with Greg Sandora on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.gregsandora.com/

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Orangeberry Free Alert - The Northern Star: The Beginning by Mike Gullickson

The Northern Star: The Beginning by Mike Gullickson

Amazon Kindle US

Amazon Kindle UK

Genre - Science Fiction

Rating - R

4.4 (10 reviews)

Free until 20 June 2013

2058. As the struggle for dwindling resources plunges the world into chaos, and "Mindlink" technology opens cyberspace to the masses, injured soldier John Raimey is transformed into a powerful bionic warrior (known as a Tank Major) to retrieve the King Sleeper: a computer hacker so devastating on-line, he can decimate government infrastructure, subliminally persuade the masses, and even kill.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Author Interview – Sarah Martinez

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? Balance, and keeping on even when I don’t have the energy for it. When I am writing the first draft, and mostly through the second as well, I am all energy, loud music, contemplation and living inside this world I have created. Then comes the time to look at what I have and start working on those places that don’t make sense, that confuse the reader, that need to come out or be reworked. I use a different sort of energy for this and it is often hard to give up the fun of starting something new to buckle down and just work.

I also tend to rework the last stage of a piece to death. I could have been stuck in editorial mode forever if we had no had to launch the book in September. So once I get in a certain mode it is hard to switch out of it, even when that is required.

Balance seems to be a challenge for me in everything.

Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it? Wow, there is so much! What didn’t it teach me? That I could finish and let the book go, that I am a perfectionist even though I never come close to perfection, that my writing process is valid and a good one, that I am on the right track.

This book taught me that putting in the hours will eventually lead to finishing. That the editorial process is frightening, painful, rewarding and can even be creative. I got one of my best scenes from discussions I was having with my editor. I learned that if I am stuck I can work on everything else and come back to what I couldn’t figure out and more than likely I will have a solution.

How did you come up with the title? Leslie Fiedler’s book, Love and Death in the American Novel is where I got the title. An editor I worked with mentioned that the topics I was working in my book reminded her of what he said in his book about what male writers are doing in literature. I read that book and was blown away. Here was someone with the book smarts to say what I wanted and back it up and he went even farther than I was even considering.

Can you tell us about your main character? Vivianna writes erotic novels, mainly for gay men. Before her father died he was a very well respected author. He disapproved of her work and her choices; she was disappointed in him as a father and a husband. When he died she was still angry with him and after he died this only got worse. Through her I was venting anger with my father and working through a lot of questions I had about myself and my need to judge what I write and what others are doing. I made her very strong and dominant to see how far I could push that as well.

She gets to be the voice of rage. I had all these thoughts to myself, about whether or not I was writing erotica or literary fiction. And she became the voice asking me, does it matter?

Vivianna blazes her own trail, but eventually has to make sure she is on the right path. Her anger has become a part of who she is and how she deals with the world. Vivi will eventually have to deal with her grief and anger with her father in order to move forward in her life, her relationships, and her work.

I wanted a female protagonist who was not centered around a romantic relationship, as if cementing that means somehow we are home free. All the way through the book she is a woman who has a career, friendships, an internal life—emotion and her work is an important part of who she is. The relationships she has with the men in her life are important and she learns a great deal from them, but they do not have the power to save her from herself.

Who designed the cover? Loretta Matson designed the cover. Mine was the first she did for Booktrope, but after mine they wanted her to do more for them. She is also my web designer and photographer. I did not want a woman on the cover as marketing suggested, but she was patient and savvy enough to play with ideas and came up with this. We were all pleased and I have gotten a lot of great feedback on it. It is exactly the type of thing that draws my attention even if I didn’t get the trees, lake and canoe I originally wanted.

Who is your publisher? Booktrope. You can find out more about them at booktrope.com. They are a small press in Seattle. They believed in me and let me keep my book the way I wanted. I am fairly sure I would not have gotten away with several things that make my book unique at a larger publisher.

I posted videos on my website at www.mywildskies.com, where I thanked them for giving me a place where a book like this could have a place, and Catherine Sears, the company’s CMO spoke about what they are doing.

Seattle is really an exciting place to be a writer and companies like Booktrope are just the beginning.

Why did you choose to write this particular book? The book just didn’t want to go away. I was plugging away on another novel, one that I was very excited about and had already worked on with an agent and some serious critique partners. When I wrote the first draft in November of 2010 as part of National Novel Writing month (I write a new novel for this every year) I fully intended to put it away and forget about it per my usual routine.

With this book, beginning in December, as I was trying to go back to the other novel, I found myself reworking scenes in my head while I was driving, or doing other activities. The conflict I had set up between Vivi and Jasper didn’t work, it just felt too contrived. I couldn’t stop thinking about what would really bring them together, and then boom, one day Tristan popped into my head. This led to me completely rewriting the book with him in there and I never looked back.

This experience taught me to follow where the energy takes me.

How do you promote this book? I do pretty much everything. I filmed my book launch and share that around at regular intervals. Same with my book trailer which is gorgeous, you can find links to both on my website, Facebook and Amazon author pages.

Two book groups have hosted me. I have appeared at local bookstores for events and speaking engagements. I speak at writer’s groups and book festivals, I sit on and moderate panels—at the moment I am about to propose a panel for AWP which will be in Seattle next year.

Commenting on blogs that cover issues close to topics I am writing about helps me feel like a part of a larger discussion. Further to this I find people on twitter who have interests similar to mine and network that way. I just took out an ad with a national women’s magazine which I am very excited about.

Recently I set up a Pinterest board that includes pictures that represent places I included in the book.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? I was a little worried when the book came out that readers would not understand what I did in the book. I wanted what I was trying to say about individualism, free thinking, responsibility for the course of one’s own life as well as the inescapable power of grief to come through. For the most part this has been the case.

I think this brings up a larger issue though. To my way of thinking the most rewarding thing that can happen is to find out that someone has read your book and created their own relationship to it, bringing out their own interpretations of events you describe. As readers we bring our own life experiences to everything we read so when I hear that readers have done the same and come away with things I intended for them to find and things I didn’t I am thrilled.

Ii is so interesting to listen to authors talk about books that have meant a lot to me and hear that what they were shooting for was quite different from the experience I had reading their book.

Now I believe my job is to put out the best version of the book I imagined that I can; the rest is up to the reader.

What books have most influenced your life? The Stoned Apocalypse by Marco Vassi has had the largest effect on me in the last few years. I wish I had read it fifteen years ago.

Blonde by Joyce Carol Oates is still rattling around in the back of my soul. I felt like I had lost a great friend when I closed that book. I am still working through the many ways she worked dialogue, structure, point of view and timing in that book, not to mention the wonderful story.

Fear of Flying by Erica Jong verified many of my suspicions about life as a woman, but I was not ready to process it until just last year. Throughout my life I had purchased and given it away two times before I actually read it!

The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub pulled me through two very tough times in my life. The power of words to provide escape should not be underestimated.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz blew the back of my head clean off. This book gave me faith in people and art in a way that I still can’t really articulate. It made me feel amazement and envy and gratitude and joy and it made me want do everything I could to improve as an artist in my own right.

The Writer’s Portable Mentor by Priscilla Long has had the greatest effect on me as a writer in terms of craft and providing hope for great works to come. It is my Bible.

Vivianna Post is the family anomaly. Daughter of a Pulitzer Prize winner and an academic, she has never quite fit her parents’ expectations as a free-spirited erotica writer.

When Vivianna encounters the award-winning author Jasper Caldwell at a nightclub, all she wants is to blame him for blowing off her brother at a writers’ conference the year before and possibly causing his suicide. But as the night—and then the weeks—wear on, Vivianna finds herself drawn to Jasper in ways she cannot understand.

When their differences—literary and sexual—threaten to pull Vivianna and Jasper apart, Jasper rediscovers Alejandro, an old friend who just might have the power to complete them both in every way.

Using quotes and references to classic erotic and literary icons, Sex and Death in the American Novel is on one level an unconventional romance and on another a discussion of the merits of erotic literature.

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Genre – Literary Erotica

Rating – X

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Connect with Sarah Martinez on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.mywildskies.com/

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Honest Sid: Memoir of a Gambling Man by Prof. Ronald Probstein

If you’re going to live outside the law, you’d better be honest. This seeming paradox was the operating principle of Sid Probstein’s life. Guileless and endlessly optimistic, he was known as Honest Sid around his stomping ground of New York’s Broadway. Sid wasn’t a tough guy, or even a bad guy. He just never had the patience for the “straight” life, grinding out a living at some monotonous desk job.

He was the quintessential American dreamer, always sure that the good life was just one big score away, a man who never stopped believing in his own good luck, even when the evidence said otherwise. He had all the tools, he was charming, good-looking, quick-witted and decent, but he had an obsession he couldn’t escape.

Honest Sid is the story of an American archetype as seen through the eyes of his son, Ronald, who loved him, and who almost lost him. It follows Sid’s adventures in the world of bookies and bettors, fighters and fixers, players and suckers set against the often-romanticized backdrop of Depression-era New York. It is also the passionate tale of the great and tempestuous love between Sid and his wife Sally, and of his son Ronald whom he idolized.

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Genre – Biographies & Memoirs

Rating – PG13

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Connect with Prof. Ronald Probstein on Facebook & Twitter

Author Interview – Julian Rosado

What is your favorite color? Grey. In all its various shades.

What is your favorite food? Sushi!

What’s your favorite place in the entire world? Florence. I love places full of history and Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance. Everything in the city has a long and colorful history.

How has your upbringing influenced your writing? I was taught never to see everything as an absolute, in my home and at school. There are always two sides to all stories and that bleeds into my writing, life is never black or white and even the best of people can have dark moments.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? It’s always been there, but I began as a kid storyteller, I was the kid in 3rd grade that turned a cops n’ robbers game into a full Sherlock Holmes–Moriarty caper! I remember that my friends seemed to like it and they would even ask me for names for their imaginary friends.

When and why did you begin writing? 6th grade, my first story was the fan-fic sequel to “The Last Starfighter”…I continued writing for me and my friends until I moved into the U.S. and then one of them, Francisco, convinced me to self-publish Guardians Inc. about a year and a half ago.

How long have you been writing? Practically forever, but I started writing in my native Spanish, English is still daunting for me and I’m sure that I’ll never get the hang of it completely and it shows. Needless to say that I consider editors angels sent directly from heaven.


A chance reading of a newspaper ad will send 16 year old Thomas Byrne into the world within our world.  Following the ad he will find Guardians Incorporated. A seven thousand year old organization charged with protecting the balance between Magic and technology.

Through their guidance technology has kept Magic at bay since the Renaissance, but the balance is shifting and soon all those creatures we’ve driven into myth and legend will come back with a vengeance. To protect the present, Guardians Incorporated needs to know the future and to unlock the future they need a cypher.

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Genre – YA Fantasy / Adventure

Rating – G

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Connect with Julian Rosado-Machain on Facebook

Website http://www.guardiansinc.com/