Dreaming in the Pages

Books ... where dreams are better than reality

Broken Pieces

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Survivors by Daniel Harvell

The Survivors

When seven strangers impossibly survive a horrific airplane crash, they find themselves changed in remarkable ways. The survivors are endowed with powers that defy explanation. Some are blessed. Some are cursed.

Going their separate ways, they adapt their extraordinary “gifts” to their ordinary lives. The results, however, aren’t always pretty — particularly when one of them engages in a killing spree. With little more to go on than the psychic link that they all share, the survivors seek out one another to uncover the murderer and bring him or her to justice.

The fireman, the grandmother, the psychiatric patient, the basketball player, the mute girl, the rich blonde, and the man in the wheelchair — they all have secrets worth hiding. They can’t trust each other. They can’t even trust themselves.

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Genre - Fantasy

Rating – PG

More details about the author

Connect with Daniel Harvell on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://danielharvell.com

Orangeberry Book of the Day – The Blackout by Stephanie Erickson


The next morning Molly got up and went to class, prepared to hear the groans from her Modern Poetry class for their late papers.  She usually punished them with half a letter grade for every class they were late, but she wasn’t sure what to do to compensate for her own lateness.  She thought if she could come up with a few options, like having class in the garden one day or letting them pick the next poem to discuss, and let them choose, they’d be happy. 

Her other classes held better prospects.  She was excited because the day brought discussions about Gulliver’s Travels in British Literature, and The Poisonwood Bible in Modern Fiction.  Save for the groaning from Modern Poetry, she expected it to be a pretty good day. 

It happened in the middle of Modern Fiction.  A student had asked what point Kingsolver was trying to make by sacrificing the family’s youngest child. 

“What could possibly be worth killing such an innocent character?” she asked.

“Well, what do you think?  Do you think the father is so taken by his ‘mission’ to ‘save’ the heathens in the Congo that his youngest is a fair sacrifice, as you put it?  What’s one life if it saves a handful of others?”   Molly had just said it to spur the discussion.  She often made extreme statements in class just to stir the pot and get a good discussion going.

She sat cross-legged on top of her desk looking at the rows of students as hands shot into the air.  She smiled and surveyed their faces.  Their expressions ranged from angry to mischievous.  Molly picked one that seemed undecided.  “Mia, what do you think?”

Before she could answer, the lights went out.  It wasn’t really all that dark, because the back wall had several windows on it, and for that she was thankful. 

“Um…OK.  Just a second here, let me poke my head into the hall and see if I can find out what the deal is,” Molly said as she got down off the desk.

The students whispered to each other as she walked to the door.  “Settle down.  I’m sure it’s just a power surge, and it’ll be back on before I can even find out what happened.” 

“My phone doesn’t work.  Does yours?”  A boy in the front row asked his neighbor.

It caught Molly’s attention.  “Is your battery dead?” she asked.

“No.  I left home with a full charge.” 

Other students began retrieving their phones.  The consensus was unanimous.  No one’s phone worked.  Molly took her phone out of her pocket to see, and to her surprise, it displayed nothing but a black screen. 

She frowned and continued on her journey to the door.  “I’ll find out what’s going on.  Just stay calm,” Molly assured them.  They all looked worried.

Teachers were beginning to poke their heads out of their doors, making similar inquiries about the outage.  No one seemed to know what was going on.  Normally, there would be an announcement or some sort of directive about what to do, but they’d never encountered this type of outage before. 

Molly ran to her office to grab her laptop and returned to the classroom.  By then the kids were getting a little panicky, letting their imaginations run away with them. 

“Why would the power and our phones be out?  What could possibly cause something like that?”

“How long do you think it’ll be out?”

“My mom said she thinks the apocalypse is coming.  She said the signs are all there.”

Another student burst out laughing.  “Your mom is crazy.”

Molly interrupted before a fight could break out.  “OK, enough.  The power will probably be back on soon.  The school has an emergency generator that should kick in any minute now.  Just let me get my laptop going, and I’ll see if I can get some information about it.”

“Dr. Bonham, if the power’s out, will you be able to get online?”

By then, Molly had already gotten her computer out and was trying to get it powered up.  “Oh, that’s a good point.  Probably not.” 

Then she noticed nothing was happening with her computer.  She held the power button down, with no response.  She waited a few moments and tried again.  Still nothing. 

“What on Earth…” Molly muttered.

“What’s wrong?” 

“Um…I’m not sure.  I can’t get my computer to come on.” 

“What should we do?  Can we go home?”

“I don’t know about that either.  The stairwells are dark, I don’t want there to be a stampede.  Just give me a minute to think about the options.” 

They weren’t prepared for something like this.  They knew exactly what to do for a tornado, a fire alarm, or an earthquake.  But this was new territory. 

There really was no reason not to continue with class.  The only things they were using were the lights, and it was plenty bright enough to continue the discussion without them.  However, the kids were rattled, and quite frankly so was Molly.  Continuing with the discussion seemed fruitless, but leaving right this second wasn’t a good option either. She didn’t want to put the students in an unsafe situation. 

“Let me run back to the department head’s office and see what he thinks.  You guys wait here until I get back, OK?”  Molly looked at them all, seeing the panic starting to bubble up.  “I mean it,” she said sternly.  She thought giving them a task, even if it was just sitting still, would help occupy their minds.

Molly caught up with Terry Longman in the hallway.  She looked at him and shrugged.  “Now what?” she asked.

His normally disheveled appearance looked a little more unruly in his stress.  His grey hair stood straight out and his tweed coat hung unevenly.  “I have no idea.  I’m telling the kids and teachers to stay put for now.  There are no lights in the stairwells, and I don’t want anyone getting trampled.  Let’s wait twenty minutes or so and see if it comes back.  If it doesn’t, we’ll let the classes go one room at a time to prevent a stampede.  So, since your class is at the far end of the building, they may be here a while.”

“No problem.  Just keep me posted.”

Molly stopped in Cindy’s room, knowing she had a rowdy group this time of day.  They were arguing with her about getting to leave.

“HEY!”  Molly hollered to get their attention.  They were immediately quiet.  “This is a professional environment, not a middle school.  Arguing is not tolerated.  You will stay put until Dr. Longman says you can go.  He’s making his rounds now, and he’s said if power is not restored in another twenty minutes or so, he will let everyone go home.  However, he doesn’t want any misconduct, so he’ll be letting classes go one room at a time.  Just sit tight.”

A unified groan went up.  “Hey, you’re supposed to be in this class right now anyway!  I don’t want to hear your complaints,” Molly said.

“Yeah, well I’m not sitting here any longer than I have to.  Class gets out at three, and I’m out of here at three,” declared an older student, dressed in black jeans and a black t-shirt.  It was obvious that his silver chains, piercings, and long hair were meant to intimidate.  Molly was unfazed.

“You’ll do whatever the head of the department says you’ll do.  No questions about it.  This is considered an emergency situation, and for your own safety and the safety of others, you’ll stay put for now.  We’re not keeping you here forever, so just relax.” 

Cindy had that deer-in-headlights look.  Molly turned and put her hand on Cindy’s upper arm.  “Hey, straighten up.  These kids’ll eat you alive if you let them.  Don’t.  Terry said he’ll be letting classes go one at a time if the power’s not back in twenty minutes.  The process shouldn’t take too long, since there’s about ten rooms downstairs and ten up here, so just hold the fort for maybe an hour tops, OK?”

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Adult Fiction / Contemporary

Rating – PG13 (some strong language)

More details about the author & the book

Connect with Stephanie Erickson on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://stephanieerickson.weebly.com/

Death Ain't But A Word: A Supernatural Hot Mess - Zander Marks

Death Ain’t But A Word - Zander Marks

Amazon Kindle US

Amazon Kindle UK

Genre - Urban Fantasy

Rating -  PG13

4.4 (29 reviews)

Free until 31 July 2013

Just because Wilkin's a crackhead doesn't mean the shadows aren't real.
They're real. And they've been haunting him since he was seven years old. Mostly he ignores them.
But when the ghost of his best friend from childhood shows up at the local motel, Wilkin can't ignore the call of friendship. And when his friend's killer buys the motel so he can destroy the remains, Wilkin can't ignore that, either.
Wilkin steals his friend's skull before the killer can destroy it and is plunged into a hot mess of a supernatural thrill ride.
A death-race pursuit of a child's skull. A spirit-whispering trucker hauling plush toys to Kansas. Five demonic farm-kids in a housing project. A Dodge City marshal who executes wayward ghosts. A nasty yellow jersey that takes the joy out of living. And a graveyard full of snitches.
It's enough to make you want to hit the crackpipe. All leading to a climax where staying alive is the least of Wilkin's worries.
Because when most of the people around you are spirits anyway, DEATH AIN'T BUT A WORD.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Author Interview - Julia Park Tracey



How did you come up with the title? Tongues of Angels is from a beautiful, beloved quote from the Bible that says, “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” It says that no matter how beautifully I speak, if I don’t have love in my life or in my heart, I am just making noise. This quote sums up the theme of the novel, in essence: These priests are just going through the motions and cannot be truly spiritual (e.g. they are just making noise) if they don’t have love in their hearts or in their lives. “Love” could also mean being content or spiritually satisfied – but in many cases, even companionship is denied. So the church is being led by people without love in their hearts. It is only noise.

Can you tell us about your main character? Rob Souza is a young American Catholic priest who has been in the job for six years and suddenly finds himself questioning his  calling. He wants to be a priest, but more and more, he feels like something is missing. It’s his crisis, not of faith, but in the institution of celibacy for priests. He’s lonely, and wishes he could have companionship, a wife, kids. And since this is utterly against everything he’s ever known, it’s a terrible ache and a dangerous place for him to linger. Church politics and gossip are his worst enemies – or is he his own worst enemy?

Why did you choose to write this particular book? My ex-husband was a Catholic priest before we married; he chose to leave the church, and over 15 years, we frequently had his friends over for dinner, BBQ and parties. They talked about their daily lives as priests: their worries, woes, triumphs, intense schedules, and so much gossip. I wanted to capture the flavor of that, and I did so in several scenes. I also wanted to tell the story of how a heterosexual priest has to choose marriage or the church. For the gay priests, this issue just didn’t seem as difficult, in my experience.

How did you develop your plot and characters? I truly began with simple dialogue. Suddenly all these priests were speaking in my head and I had to let them talk. The things they said were the catty, vicious, naughty, hilarious, innuendo-laden gossip that I heard at my own dining room table. So sassy! Each priest in Tongues of Angels is based on several real priests I know (so are the nuns). They are more archetypal in the novel, but if you know a lot of priests, you probably know one of these guys.

What was the hardest part about writing this book? I didn’t want it to be The Thorn Birds, which is just deliciously gratuitous priest-sex. I wanted to show spiritual longing, and how close to sexual longing it can be. Desire for oneness with G*d, for example, can be as deeply affecting as falling in love with someone. We’re discouraged from thinking of sex and spirituality together – it’s “sinful”! But Carl Jung said he’d never seen a sexual problem that was not also a religious problem, and vice versa. Those spiritual/sexual/ecstatic impulses come from the same part of the brain. So it’s no wonder they collide. And, oh, what calamity ensues!

What genre are you most comfortable writing? I do best in literary fiction vs. genre fiction. I am originally a poet, and I can’t help but think poetically. However, I’m also a journalist by trade, so I’m able to write nonfiction comprehensibly and easily; that’s where I’ve won all my awards. Creative nonfic is probably the best place for me, but I have these stories to tell. So I wander and dabble.

Tongues of Angels

A Catholic priest with questions. A penitent woman with a secret past. A jealous friend. The fourth in this lover’s knot? God.

Father Rob Souza faces the forbidden desire of his own heart when Jessica, victim of a brutal assault, comes for counseling. Rob’s best friend, Lawrence, is a priest with an artistic temperament and trials of his own. A Greek chorus of gossiping priests, and church politics riddled with suspicion and battling for souls, force Lawrence, Rob and Jessica to make choices they didn’t intend.

Tongues of Angels offers a peek behind the curtain of the priesthood, offering a funny, poignant look at Catholic angst and ambiguity. Based on a true story, Tongues of Angels is a canny, warm and surprisingly spiritual novel for our time. Now back in print for the 10th Anniversary Edition, through Indie-Visible Ink.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Contemporary Romance

Rating – PG13

More details about the author

Connect with Julia Park Tracey on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.thedorisdiaries.com/

Dogs Aren’t Men by Billi Tiner

Dog's Aren't Men

A contemporary romance.

Rebecca Miller is a gifted veterinarian with an extraordinary understanding of animal behavior. She is leading a fulfilling life as the owner and operator of the Animal Friends Veterinary Clinic. Ever since her 30th birthday, her mother has made it her mission to help Rebecca find a man, get married, and give her grandchildren. But Rebecca doesn’t see the need for a man in her life. She has her dog, Captain, and that’s all the companionship she needs. However, her world changes the day she literally runs into Derrick Peterson, a gorgeously handsome ER doctor.

Derrick’s experiences with women have taught him that they are vain, silly, and untrustworthy. He keeps his relationships with them brief and superficial. However, he finds himself being irresistibly drawn to Rebecca. She’s smart, witty, compassionate, and very different from the women he usually encounters. Will Rebecca be the one to break down the wall he’s spent a lifetime building around his heart?

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Genre - Contemporary Romance

Rating – PG13

More details about the author

Connect with Billi Tiner on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.tinerbooks.com/

Author Interview – Catherine Astolfo

When and why did you begin writing? I wrote fairy tales in Grade Three, when I was still seven years old. The kids in my class loved my stories, which inspired me to write more. A couple of years ago I met someone who’d been in my class that year. All these decades later she still remembered them!

When did you first know you could be a writer? In Grade 8, a teacher read my stories and told me I had a terrific style. He thought I was a writer already. I agree with his assessment. Anyone who has the urge to put words on paper might be a writer. It’s the follow-through that counts. Sometimes I use the word “author” to make the differentiation. For me, an author is a writer who wants his/her creation to be read by others. You have to be willing to rip apart your initial output and edit, edit, edit. It’s a lot of work. Only authors are dedicated (obsessed?) enough to put in the time.

What inspires you to write and why? The nugget of a story inspires me. For instance, a friend of mine told me about a newspaper article from his small town. A native woman committed suicide after running around a tree in concentric circles. I was fascinated. What was her motivation? Did she think something was chasing her? Was it a demon or a legend-come-to-life? Out of that nugget came my second book, Victim. For me, it’s always the germ of an idea, a piece of a plot that gets me started. I build my characters and plot all around that.

What genre are you most comfortable writing? I consider myself a mystery writer, though my books are not classic mystery or crime. They don’t follow the rules of the genre, but they do have a puzzle to solve. I really deviate from mystery in the fifth book to which I just gave birth. (It’s not out in the world yet.) I’d say it’s bordering on general fiction, since it has elements of romance, psychological thriller, historical fiction and mystery. I just go where the story takes me.

What inspired you to write your first book? One day on a long drive I noticed an operator in a red Canadian lumber jacket working the lift bridge. I imagined that people passed him by every day without registering his existence. I began to wonder: what if he is a monster who cleverly blends into the scenery? From that came a book that explores the juxtaposition of unspeakable evil with love and community. The theme runs through most of my books. I’m fascinated by why people become murderers or abusers.


If I knew what I know now, would I have searched so hard for the truth?

Anne Williams says she killed her best friend, Karoline. But did she? Or is there more to Karoline’s mysterious death than meets the eye?

Anne embarks on a compelling journey to discover her past and exposes an unusual history, horrific crimes and appalling betrayals. Through unexpected turns and revelations, Anne learns about love, family and who she really is. Can she survive the truth?

Editorial Reviews

“A deliciously vibrant portrait that realistically muddles good and evil.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Astolfo’s wonderful first sentence in Sweet Karoline explodes on the page and resonates right to the end of this twisting examination of dangerous minds. Never have I encountered a narrative voice that alternates more deftly between alienating and enticing.” —Mel Bradshaw, author of Fire On The Runway

“A deliciously twisted story about the perplexing power of adult female relationships. By turns scathingly funny and darkly insightful, Sweet Karoline is a hedonistic journey with all the right ingredients: lust, betrayal, true love and mystery. Grab a glass of wine and have the bottle handy. A compelling read from the start through to the surprising end.” —Robin Spano, author of Death’s Last Run

“In Catherine Astolfo’s chilling new novel Sweet Karoline, things aren’t always as they seem. Anne, the multifaceted anti-heroine in this noir tale takes a fateful journey into her forgotten past, uncovering the painful roots of her childhood. While furrowing for answers, a mystery unfolds, truths swirl to the surface, a heinous murder occurs. Who’s the killer? Caught in a tangled web of greed, lies and deceit Anne must come to terms with her past, present and future, and the bleak realization that those we hold close may be the last ones to trust. Compelling, visually descriptive, deftly delivered…Catherine Astolfo’s got the goods!” —Douglas Wickard, author of A Perfect Husband

“Sweet Karoline is a multi-layered mystery, where nothing is as it seems. The story grips you on page one and leads you through a maze of history, twisted relationships, and ultimately the darkness of the human mind.” —Liz Bugg, author of Oranges and Lemons

“In Sweet Karoline, Astolfo has created a daring hybrid mystery that combines elements of romance, history, and suspense in a carefully crafted story that keeps you guessing to the very end. Astolfo explores new boundaries as she extends her reach beyond the cozy mystery in this psychological exploration of the mind of a killer. A unique exploration of guilt and revenge.” —Michael J. McCann, author of The Fregoli Delusion

“The clever plot twists in Sweet Karoline will enrapture you from page one through the last paragraphs of this fast-paced modern mystery. Author Catherine Astolfo exhibits a strikingly perceptive gift for believable dialogue and rich character development. Her dry wit and colorful descriptions will have you howling in laughter at points, but in tears at others as she digs deep into the themes of guilt, race, and relationships. The powers of love and redemption are strong, but does the heart of an Ice Queen ever really melt? Enjoy the romp from Los Angeles, through Canada, to a priceless Italian rendezvous—all in the pages of Sweet Karoline, where long-buried secrets lie.” —Lisa Pell, award-winning author of Who’s Your Daddy, Baby?

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre –  Psychological Suspense

Rating – 18+

Connect with Catherine Astolfo on Facebook  & Twitter

Website http://www.catherineastolfo.com/

Summer Kindle Fire Giveaway

Kindle Summer

This is a joint AUTHOR & BLOGGER GIVEAWAY EVENT! Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HD 7".

Kindle Fire HD 7" Giveaway

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HD (US Only)

  Or $199 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)

  Or $199 in Paypal Cash (International)


Sponsoring Bloggers & Authors

  Giveaway Details 1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire 7" HD (US Only), $199 Amazon Gift Card or $199 in Paypal Cash (International). There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire. Sponsor a future Kindle Fire Giveaway by signing up HERE. Ends 8/15/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Orangeberry Book of the Day – I’d Kill For You by Alan Plessinger

Chapter 2: A Detective, pursuing a lead not likely to produce significant results, comes upon a young girl needing to solve a certain mystery of her own, and upon interrogation finds her life to be not quite an open book, if not yet a fully closed one.

After reading and memorizing the case file that’d been faxed to the office, Riley grabbed the key to his residence for the night, the apartment of a lovely blonde secretary named Karen. He also grabbed his overnight bag with a few essentials. He left the office and took a cab out to her place in Tribeca, let himself in, and crept silently to her bedroom. A light was on. He eased open the door, and found that she had fallen asleep with the lamp on and a book in her hand, waiting for him. He took off his clothes as silently as possible, but not silently enough.

She woke up and asked what took him so long, but it was plain to see she had no real interest in the answer. He smiled, crawled across the bed, and kissed her.

When they were finished making love, Riley got up and took a shower, taking a moment to flush the condom down the toilet. After the shower he dried off and took a moment to use his beard-trimmer and then brush his teeth with his toothbrush from the overnight bag, things he liked to take care of at night. When he finished, he returned to the bedroom and sat naked on the bed, finally ready to get some sleep. Karen was lying there, looking at him, smiling, her arms and legs relaxed, her body contented. Before he could lie down, she crawled across the bed and hugged him.

“I’ve got some bad news, Riley,” she said, kissing him on the shoulder. “I’m taking myself out of the harem.”

“Oh. I’m sorry to hear that, Karen. Why?”

“I’m getting married.”

“Really? That’s great! Congratulations!”

“Thanks. I’m really sorry, honey, but you can’t stay. He’ll be here in a few hours for a breakfast date. You’ve got to be gone.”

Riley was a little taken aback by being thrown out unceremoniously, considering they’d just made love. But he didn’t want to be a nuisance.

“Couldn’t I get some sleep on the couch? I can be your cousin from Schenectady.”

“Honey, I’m marrying the guy who gave jealousy lessons to Othello. You can’t be anybody’s cousin.”

Riley sighed a little and said, “OK, Karen, if that’s the way you want it. I’m sure you two will be very happy together.”

“Thanks, honey. Let’s hope so. I’m not starting things out too well, I know. I should’ve stopped you. I should’ve told you about him, but I had to have one last little taste of the Riley.”

Riley had the unpleasant reaction most men would have, hearing the word little used in any context during pillow talk, but he didn’t complain.

“I take it you never told him about us?”

“Us? There is no ‘us,’ Riley. One day a month does not an ’us’ make.”

Riley smiled. She intended to enjoy dumping him, getting some of the power and control back for the first time in a long while. She continued.

“Honey, how long do you think you can go on this way? A lot of the girls in the harem are worried about you. You’re knocking on forty, you know.”

“Please don’t call it a harem. If you call it that, I might start calling it that. I started this arrangement because I was tired of everybody hating me for having a lot of sex with a lot of different women. I’m tired of being the bad guy. I don’t like people acting like I’m a predator. This way at least there’s no lying, and everybody knows where they stand.”

“Plus you don’t have to pay rent.”

“Yeah. That’s nice.”

“And when’s the last time you told any random woman about the arrangement?”

“I’m discreet.”

“Because you know any woman who hears about it is going to hate you.”

“I wish women could be a little more understanding about this. You’ve never had any cause to complain, have you?”

“Honey, I’ve been a part of the arrangement for more than two years now, and I look forward to the twenty-fifth of every month like a high holy day. You never disappoint. But I never kidded myself for a second that this was a real relationship. Don’t you want a real relationship? Don’t you want to get married one day?”

“I’ve never understood the point of marriage, at least for me. You’re getting married; you explain it to me. What is it for?”

“Lots of things. Companionship. Not dying alone.”

“Oh, what’s the big deal about dying alone? If a couple is married for fifty years, unless they die together in a car accident, at least one of them is going to die alone. Right?”

“So you really don’t ever want to get married?”

“I really don’t. I don’t even like dating. Seduction kind of bores me. I really think I don’t have any ability to fall in love. But maybe some day I’ll meet a woman who might change my mind. I don’t want to say it’s totally impossible. It might happen.”

“Not if you never date, it won’t. Honey, I’m not kidding. A lot of the girls are worried about you.”

“Do you all get together and talk about me, or something?”

“There’s a Web site.”

“Of course. Of course there is. Please don’t tell me the name.”

She kissed him on the shoulder again and said, “Your clothes are hanging up in the usual place, Riley.”

“Thanks. Your fiancé didn’t find them?”

“If he’s checking out the clothes in my closet, we’ve got worse problems than you. Forget the dry-cleaning bill, OK? It’s on the house.”

He stood, turned, and leaned down to kiss her good-bye on the lips, but she gave him her cheek.

“Denied!” he said.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Murder / Mystery

Rating – R

More details about the book

Connect with Alan Plessinger on GoodReads

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Author Interview – Brian Francis Heffron


How much of the book is realistic? All of Colorado Mandala is based on real places and real people. But I invented all else. I took the characters I knew and put them into a place I knew best and let them just live their lives there. It seems to have worked.

Have you included a lot of your life experiences, even friends, in the plot? Yes. This book totally reflects the way of life I was leading back in the 1970s. It was a time of adventure and dramatic cultural change and I was a part of it. The plot may be an attempt to self heal as the main character has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as I do…and so it is very possible that in writing this book I was really trying to get some perspective on my own issues and to try and create a vehicle that would assist me in getting rid of the PTSD within my own heart. It sort of worked.

What are your goals as a writer? My goals as a writer are acceptance and an audience that likes my work. The goal of this book is an attepmpt to help others who may have PTSD understand that they are not alone. And that there is a way out of the scourge and pain that PTSD causes.

Who is your favorite author and why? Ernest Hemingway reinvented the novel and I think he deserves credit for his work, not for the farce of a life he lead as a hyper masculine character. His books are all beautiful and engaging. His sentences are solid and purposeful. There is no waste or extravagance: Just powerful but simple writing and storytelling.

Can we expect any more books from you in the future? Yes, I am now working on a new novel entitled LARKIN’S DAY. It is a the history of a family of Irish rebels who founded the Irish Citizen’s Army which was a key factor in the Easter Rising in 1916 that freed Ireland from British domination. The story is a family’s placed against the backdrop of the events of 70- years as Ireland went from a colony of England to a Republic. Only the north of Ireland remains in British hands and it will soon be majority in favor of uniting with the republic. I hope to have this book ready and waiting when Ireland celebrates it’s 100 year anniversary of the Eater Rising in Dublin. This book will reveal the true reason that the IRA killed Admiral Mountbatten in 1978, a secret that no spy agency in the world was ever able to discover.

With refreshing depth, distinct literary merit, and highly original poetic phrasings that spill from the pages like paint, Colorado Mandala is poet Brian Heffron’s debut work of literary fiction. It mines the complex landscape of post-Vietnam America to unearth the deep connections that bind individuals together, and also ferociously rip them asunder. Illustrative, luscious, seductive, and engaging, this rare piece of craftsmanship will stir the senses of any one who thirsts for artistic expression, or who longs for an era in our country now utterly, irretrievably gone.

In the heady, hippie backdrop of Pike’s Peak, Colorado, in the tumultuous 1970s, three souls swirl together in an explosive supernova. Michael is the flinty-eyed, volatile former Green Beret, whose tour in Vietnam has left unbridgeable chasms in his psyche and secrets that can never find light. Sarah is his fair-haired paramour, the ethereal Earth Mother widow of a fallen soldier and single mother to a ten-year-old son Stuart. Paul is a young wanderer, who is drawn in by Michael and soon bears the mantle of both minister and scourge. As they are drawn together, and torn apart, each is changed forever. And our hearts race along with them, through the rocky, raw Colorado terrain amidst the blood sport of man and beast.

Laying bare the loss and acceptance of a pioneering age, Colorado Mandala shines revelatory light on the crazy, glorious, and romantic notion that each generation conceives anew: that love can be a spiritual gift shared openly rather than coveted, or hidden, or hoarded. If you wish to go barefoot again and climb an unspoiled Colorado trail, look no further. If you long for something to wake you up in simple, clean language, a shimmering story awaits. Awaken to what you have always known: simple truths show you the way home. With his gripping and unforgettable Colorado Mandala, it is clear that Brian Heffron knows the way.

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Genre – Literary Fiction

Rating – PG

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Website http://www.brianheffron.net/brianheffron.net/Welcome.html

Orangeberry Book of the Day – Mars Rising by Mark David Major

1 At the Threshold of the Gate

The lieutenant retired to his quarters, removed his tunic, and tossed it across the arm of a chair. He threw his weary body down on the bunk. The collection of bones, ligaments, and tendons in his left knee made a cracking sound as he stretched out the lingering injury. A feeling of anxiety troubled him. He could not adopt the captain’s levity about the situation. The captain had played the role of a man on the brink of Vassalage for so long now that he was, under most circumstances, incapable of gravity. The lieutenant’s position was different. He was young, full of spirit, and most of his life was still before him. He had a lot to lose. He could not dismiss the dread he felt about an uncertain future clouded by civil war. For all he knew, Hande could make good on her boast to raise millions to oppose the Commander, whether through the utility of her foot or more practical means.
His eyes refused to embrace the serenity of sleep. He tried swallowing a sleep aid but it had no effect. His mind raced like a tornado in the lonesome prairie of his quarters. What had the prophecy about the Commander meant? The implications were disturbingly obvious. And because of this, and many other things, the lieutenant could not rest. The lights eventually rose to simulate daybreak within the artificial environment of the ship. The bright light caused the lieutenant’s eyes to momentarily water. An alarm sounded throughout the ship. The lieutenant quickly rose, threw on his tunic, and exited the quarters. He methodically proceeded through the metal corridors of the ship to the bridge. He entered and saw the captain was already there, standing erect among some of the crew gathered about him. The great armada had remained poised throughout the artificial night, holding its position just beyond the invisible boundary formed by the lunar orbit. Other soldiers soon pushed past the lieutenant onto the bridge. One could sense their eagerness, their desire for events to unfold however as they would, rather than continue to bear the strain of this static pause. A sense of anticipation afflicted every person on the bridge. It was reflective of the thoughts and emotions assaulting every member of the crew on every ship of the armada at that particular moment in the drama.


The crackling sound of an incoming transmission caused everyone to turn towards the center of the bridge. They watched as the light of a hologram slowly flickered into existence, as if arriving from some faraway place and unknown time. The hologram materialized into a shape. It was the image of a woman, larger than life and towering over everyone. It seemed apparent this image was simultaneously appearing before everyone on every ship of the armada. The woman was almost painfully beautiful. Her skin was paler than normal for a human, her eyes were a lush dark green, and her lips narrow but inviting. About her shoulders spilled a mane of curly black hair, which miraculously appeared both unkempt and meticulously groomed. There was something eternal about the vision of womanhood before them. One could easily infer by her dress that she was a Marineris priestess. The sheer garment she wore displayed the nubile shape of her lithe body without revealing any details of the concealed flesh. The woman’s appearance silenced everyone. Now, the low rumbling of the engines powering the ship was the only thing that could be heard.

She raised her right hand to her face and, with her middle and forefinger extended, gracefully touched her forehead and then lowered her right hand to her heart, which she also touched, thus completing the accepted manner of greeting in Marineris ritual; tracing the ‘path of the spear’ from head to heart.

Once completed, she opened her mouth and began to sing. The melody she sang was of pure joy. A joy unlike any of them had ever experienced or even before dreamt. It was a very old song. She sang in a dialect long forgotten to most humans. The translation of the song was:

Exultation, lovely flame of God, Sons and daughters of Mars, We enter fire empowered, Heaven our reward!

Embracing that Destiny, Share your kiss among the stars, Brothers in arms and soul, A loving Father, your true north!

Can you sense this time, brothers! Seek salvation in the valley, Above the stars, you’ll dwell.

Embracing that Destiny, Share your kiss among the stars,
Sisters in arms and soul, A loving Mother, our constant!

Can you sense this time, sisters! Seek salvation in the valley, Above the stars, you’ll dwell. The priestess continued to sing by repeating these verses but then the chattering voices of the soldiers articulated thoughts into words. Phrases like ‘the Creator is with us’ and ‘the Holy Mother blesses our path’ escaped their lips. Another voice rose above the others, “Ran’s hand will strike down our enemies with the force of God!” Several of the soldiers fell to their knees in an almost violent manner to worship before the image of the priestess. The hologram slowly began to fade. The song also began to drift away. The lieutenant continued to watch until the last moment when the image at last vanished from their view. The vision of the woman dissolved into an electronic mist as if consumed in a cloud of smoke. Once the image had completely disappeared, an echo of the song hung briefly in the air. For a moment, many believed they could reach out and capture the dying embers of that song to prevent its escape. A few even reached out their hands in contemplation of the attempt but the song then faded into oblivion. There was silence.

The captain began to bellow orders. “The order is given! Proceed into the forbidden zone! Man your stations or get wherever you’re supposed to be!”

There was a moment of quiet and then the entire bridge burst into frenzied activity. Crew members returned their attention to the stations in front of them. Ordinary soldiers exited the bridge. All had now accepted their roles in the coming drama, each according to their own talents and beliefs. After the song of the priestess, it was clear the crew and soldiers were suddenly triumphant in their demeanor and determined in their purpose. The entire weight of the mighty armada slowly edged forward in united action. So began the fateful crossing of the Moon’s orbit into the forbidden zone around the birthplace of the Sovereignty. Ran had begun his thrust into the very womb of humanity.

The captain made his way across the bridge. He stood beside the lieutenant and whispered like a conspirator with a wry grin on his face. “Some trick of the Commander’s, I suspect.”

The lieutenant merely nodded his understanding.
Was it? Or were the mystics of the Marineris Sect intervening in this great drama on behalf of the Commander? Were they blessing the path he had dared to tread in pursuit of glory and honor?


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Genre – Science Fiction

Rating – PG13

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Author Interview – Elvis Deane

What color represents your personality the most? Blue.

What movie do you love to watch? Dark City, for its mood and atmosphere. The Emperor’s New Groove for the laughs.

How do you feel about social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter? Are they a good thing? They are great if you know how to manage them and reach out to people. If you don’t, they’re a waste of time.

If you could do any job in the world what would you do? I’d be a film director or television showrunner.

Are you a city slicker or a country lover? Something in between.  If I could have a home in each, I’d be delighted.

What’s your next project? A sidequel to Pistachio the Tyrant that’s about half-done.  Cedrick and the Nest of Ages, an all-animal war story that’s probably not going to be for children.

How do you feel about self-publishing? It’s opened the doors for so many people to get their work available, but that great works will be lost in the shuffle.

Do you know your neighbors? Not well.  I’m an introvert.

How important are friends in your life? Incredibly important.  I am alive because of my very good friends. They listen to my rambling when no one should have to.

How many friends does a person need? Just one if they’re the right friend.

What social issues interest you the most? Poverty and education.

Pistachio the Tyrant

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Genre - Children’s Fantasy

Rating – PG

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Website http://impossibilia.com/

Orangeberry Free Alert - Transcender: First Time by Vicky Savage


Transcender: First Time - Vicky Savage

Amazon Kindle US

Amazon Kindle UK

Genre - Fantasy

Rating - PG

4.6 (68 reviews)

Free until 25 July 2013

When a freak lightning storm turns terrifying, seventeen-year-old Jaden Beckett leaps for her life only to be glitched into an alternate universe. The destiny police want her out. Jaden's got other plans.
Ripped away from her quiet Connecticut life and dumped into a post-apocalyptic version of earth, Jaden lands smack in the middle of a kidnapping--her own!
Agent Ralston of the Inter-Universal Guidance Agency (IUGA) rescues her and helps her to assume a new identity. And what an amazing identity it is ...
In this world, she's Princess Jaden a member of the royal family of one of the three surviving nations. Plus, her mother's alive here--a miracle she never dreamed possible. If that weren't enough, she finds herself falling hard for Ryder Blackthorn, the half-Cherokee half-Irish outlaw who kidnapped her in the first place.
So, when IUGA finally gets its act together and is ready to send her home, Jaden's not budging. She's pretty sure Agent Ralston's been lying to her, and this whole thing isn't really a cosmic accident after all.
Can the powerful IUGA force her to leave? Or is Jaden what some in this strange land believe her to be--a Transcender with the ability to travel among alternate dimensions at will?

Orangeberry Book of the Day – Redwood Violet by Robin Mahle


KATIE MADE HER way to the back of the plane. Lightheaded, heart still racing, she stood in the galley and spotted a tray of water set out for the passengers. A nagging thirst that was brought on by the intense dream from which she had just awakened consumed her. After three cupfuls, her tongue no longer felt like cotton still clinging to its boll. However, the water could not satiate the vivid images that were still swirling in her head. A dream, more like a nightmare, had been the cause of many sleepless nights of late. The best she could recall, it had been about two months since they first started.

“Excuse me,” Katie said, returning to her seat.

“You okay?” Spencer stood up to allow her to squeeze back into the middle seat.

Flying home, or at least close to it, was not something she relished or did frequently. Her current destination was as close to home as she had gotten in the last three years. However, the upcoming nuptials of her dearest friend was the reason this time. It just happened to be that Sam lived near her childhood home.

“I’m okay; I just needed some water,” Katie replied.

The flight was packed when they had boarded in Sacramento this morning. And that was after the sold-out flight from San Diego. Traveling from southern to northern California could sometimes be as difficult as a cross-country flight. Then, there was the forty-five minute drive to the suburbs outside of town, where Sam and her fiancé called home.

“Another dream?” Spencer asked.

She only nodded and shrugged her shoulders. Her post-nightmare routine—leaping out of bed, eyes, full of terror—was becoming something of a habit with which Spencer was growing accustomed. However, its occurrence during a brief nap was something new. Her fatigue was crossing into new levels of desperation.

The plane began its descent, the left wing tilting up towards the blue sky, high above the clouds to make the turn into Eureka. The jet engine groaned and a swift drop in elevation sent a shot of adrenalin through Katie’s body. Landing wasn’t as bad as the taking off; nevertheless, her tolerance for flight had decreased significantly over the past several years.

“I’m glad your parents will be at the wedding. It’s important for you to see them,” Spencer said.

Katie only tightened her seatbelt and prepared for the landing.

Rio Dell was a small town and was even smaller when Katie and Sam were growing up. Everyone knew each other, as was often the case in rural communities. So, when Sam mentioned she had sent an invitation to Katie’s parents, she was not surprised. Slightly disappointed, but not surprised. She knew it was Sam’s plan to get the three of them in the same room. A plan she might regret.

The wheels made contact with the runway in a rough fashion, forcing the plane to bounce up and down. As it slowed down, the drag pulled the plane forward. Relieved that she had touched ground, Katie opened her eyes and released the death grip she had on the arms of her seat.

“Come on, this’ll be fun!” Spencer patted her shoulder.

His sardonic wit was a quality she only mildly appreciated and this wasn’t one of those times.

“Sure! I’m looking forward to it.” She returned an equally ironic smile as they deplaned.

They were a good match for each other.

In the baggage claim area, Katie saw Sam in the distance and headed her way. Arms open and flashing her sparkling smile, Sam seemed thrilled at the sight of her old friend. Katie’s eyes brightened in response as she was both genuinely happy to see her friend and grateful the journey was over.

“How was your flight?” Sam asked. “It’s so good to see you!”

“You too, Sam; you look beautiful. The flight was all right. You know me, not much of a flyer.”

Spencer collected the bags from the conveyor and approached the two of them. “Hi, Sam, long time no see.” He leaned in for a hug from the waist up; appropriate physical contact for his girlfriend’s female friends.

“It has been a while. I’m so glad the both of you could come,” Sam said.

“Are you kidding? You know we wouldn’t miss your wedding.” Katie glanced around. “By the way, where’s Jarrod?”

“Oh, he’s driving around the airport, waiting for us to go to the curb. He didn’t want to pay for parking.”

Katie raised her eyebrows at Spencer as they followed Sam out of the terminal.


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Genre – Mystery  / Thriller / Suspense

Rating – PG

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Author Interview – Lucas Heath

Tell us a bit about your family. I love my family, though I don’t get a chance to see them often. I’m an only child and both my parents are still together. My mom’s side of the family lives on the west coast while my dad’s side lives on the east coast. I haven’t seen my dad’s side of the family in over five years, but I’ll get to see them this summer!

How do you work through self-doubts and fear? I have friends and family who encourage me. Most of the time, I try and stay away from negativity and only speak positive things. Words have power. The more you speak something negative over yourself, the more you begin to believe it.

What scares you the most? I don’t have any noticeable fears. I don’t like being in small spaces because I’m somewhat claustrophobic, though I wouldn’t say it’s a fear. It’s just something that makes me uncomfortable.

What makes you happiest? This will sound weird to some, but what makes me happiest is when I get a chance to change the lives of others. I love spending time with people and showing them how much value they have.

I think the second thing that makes me the happiest is when I suddenly get the inspiration to write and I get lost in my own world as the story unfolds.

What’s your greatest character strength? I move mountains to follow through with what I say I’ll do. My word is very important to me. If I say I’m going to do something, I’ll try my best to do it.

What’s your weakest character trait? I’m a perfectionist. It’s rare that I’m pleased with the work that I do, no matter what it is. If I write something, or I’m working on a project, I’m never satisfied until it’s perfect. The problem is that it’s hard to make something perfect, which means I spend more time on a task than I should.


How far would you go to save yourself? Would you compromise your religion, morals, or integrity to avoid death?

Twenty-seven people wake up to discover they are imprisoned in isolation cubes. They are forced to endure multiple trials in an experiment designed to test the limits of human nature.

In each cube is a pistol. During any test an individual can use the gun to end the torment and take their own life. In doing so, they believe the test would immediately end for everyone and potentially save the lives of others.

Would you lay down your life to save another? Would you pass the tests?

It’s the ultimate trial for human nature and the will to stay alive.

Would you survive the experiment?

This story is a novella, at around 100 pages, or 26000 words.

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Genre –  Thriller / SciFi

Rating – PG13

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Website http://lucasheathbooks.com/

Monday, July 22, 2013

Orangeberry Book of the Day – Eyes Behind Belligerence by KP Kollenborn

P A R T  O N E

They Will Live in Infamy

Chapter One

NO ONE turned off the radio as the sheriff and mortician carried a body down the stairs; their large feet popping the creaky steps. A sheet covered the boy’s face, hiding his lips that were frozen in a death grin. He was only seventeen. Jim watched the two strangers haul his older brother on a stretcher as if he were luggage; as if scraps. The broadcaster’s voice straggled up the staircase, pursuing a haunting image. Each whitewashed wall, with flowered borders peeling at the tips, reflected streaks of drizzle and snow from the windows. Jim stared out the window.  Away from the body.  Away from his parents. He felt like vomiting. Only five hours ago he had asked John if he could borrow one of his Count Basie records.

“Take the whole damn collection,” his brother retorted. “Ka-mai-ma-sen.” He then crumbled a Valentine’s card he made for his girlfriend, uttering, “Worthless!” and tossed it into the trash.

Jim didn’t understand his brother’s sarcastic tone. He didn’t take any records, fearing his brother would lash out, or that it was some sort of test. Because his brother had been irritable all month, Jim maintained an amicable distance. John’s bruises had remained dark after arguing with their father. And that was unusual. Normally their father showed restraint by keeping his fists relaxed; calmed. But John’s girlfriend was pregnant and dishonor had blighted the family name.

The mortician’s wide shoulder bumped into a family portrait, slanting the frame. Jim recoiled. His brother’s rigid mouth suspiciously resembled a smirk.

“Harold!” the sheriff snapped. His leather coat squeaked with his movements. “Watch yerself!”

The mortician scowled. His youthful appearance implied clumsiness like a newborn calf in the field. Glancing up, he uttered, “Sorry!”

They proceeded to step down; their knuckles grazing by the wooden rail on one side; family photos on the other. The mortician trampled to the bottom of the staircase, and balanced the stretcher to his chest.  He shifted and crimped the rug. Swinging his head back and forth, grumbling, he tried to avoid bumping into the radio that sat on an end table. The sheriff thumped down the last two steps. A dizzy odor of fried shrimp and seaweed wafted under their broad noses; the stench of an unfinished dinner lagged in the air. The sheriff and mortician never got used to the odd smell of the Japanese. Even after all those years living on the same island.

Jim’s father calmly sat on the couch with his hands over his knees. His clean, shaven face became petrified; his small frame transformed into frigidness. He had forgotten to remove his polished shoes and damp coat, not realizing he still had them binding his body. Jim’s mother cradled Bethany, Jim’s youngest sister, in her lap. Her cotton yukata, a delicate housecoat, wrinkled underneath the child’s heat. Both parents retained composure in front of the strangers as they sipped down their son’s death like a glassful of razor blades. To expose their pain to outsiders was simply not done. They felt once they cried out they would never stop bleeding.

Stroking Bethany’s hair, the mother wondered how much of John her daughter would remember. At seven, she was too young to comprehend everything. The mother was only two when her eldest brother was killed during the Russo-Japanese war. She had no memory of him. The familiarity of her brother came from an old, discolored photograph that hung with her other ancestors’ portraits.  Every week she was forced, by her parents, to pay respects to an unknown dead brother. She would not do the same to her daughter. She accepted the grief and agony she felt for her son, but would not force guilt onto her daughter as if her life bore less value than her brother’s death.

Dr. Ellis, a middle-aged man with reddish hair, stood in the living room with the family. He wiped off droplets of sweat from his forehead. “Mr. Yoshimura,” he said. “We’ll take care of the rest. Don’t you worry.”

The father shook the doctor’s hand and bowed his head. Dr. Ellis couldn’t disguise his pity. The circumstances of John’s death would torment Mr. Yoshimura for the rest of his life. Having children of his own, Dr. Ellis understood the fear of not only losing a child, but also claiming responsibility for that child’s death. He had known his friend since he stepped off the boat to work in the lumber mills. Their friendship lasted through war and Black Tuesday, never wavering under the pressures of politics. He had always perceived Mr. Yoshimura as a good man.

“We’ll get you through this,” Dr. Ellis continued, “if that’s what you want. Anything else I can do, let me know.”

Mr. Yoshimura said nothing, and only bowed his appreciation. He was grateful for his friend’s immediacy and discrepancy, declaring his son’s death as accidental. No other white doctor would have done the same. He was grateful, and yet all he felt were shards of grief and guilt; his tongue shackled by pain. No father could ever prepare himself for the death of his oldest son. Especially in that fashion. Especially when he had pushed his son to that brink. The pride he had possessed now seemed ridiculous. It wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t worth it.

The sheriff and mortician paused to listen to the radio. Reports of the Japanese Imperial Army ravaging China amplified the details of executions, beatings, and violations against women. The sheriff shuddered with a series of grunts, and glanced at the mortician.

Walking through the front door, Jim overheard one of them disdainfully utter, “These Japs don’t even cry for their dead son! Go figure!”

The doctor quickly shut the door, nervously looking at Jim, wondering if he had heard the cruel remark.

Jim bruised his tongue with his teeth until it bled. Hate began to bloat inside. These outsiders knew nothing, not a goddamn thing, about his family. About his grief. About being Japanese in America. Now the war in China began castrating horrible images, and the public winced. What Jim couldn’t believe was how these men spat out judgment on the day of his brother’s death. What goddamn right did they have?

The car door slammed. He heard their large feet sloshing over the mud. Roughly exhaling as if breathing out boiled water, Jim looked at his father. His father had not protected John, and now John was dead.

“Doc!” the mortician yelled. “Ready when you are!”

Jim turned his attention to the doctor; although avoided eye contact. He knew Dr. Ellis was observing him while he tightly folded his arms across his chest. The doctor’s worried expression only aggravated him. He hated pity. Pity meant stupidity.

The doctor gently rested his hand on the father’s shoulder, and said, “I’ll give you a call tomorrow.”  He then reached for his hat and long coat that lay on an easy chair. He browsed through the drafty house, examining the painting of Jesus on one wall, and two Japanese scrolls on the other. It was a superbly tidy home. Too tidy, in fact. Organized, dust free, and not cluttered. Unlike his home. His four children, all teenagers, managed to overrun his household. Swing music blaring. Magazines, coats, lipsticks, and jock straps crowded him out of his living room and into his tiny office. But he wouldn’t have it any other way. As frustrating as it often was, at least they were content. Glancing at the father, then the son, he opened the door and left.

Jim finally gazed out the window. He relived the image of John’s face and body as he lay beside a box of rat poison; stiff like an iron rod; lips curled over his teeth like a decomposed corpse. There Jim found his brother dead on the attic floor.

The men started the hearse. Mist outlined the black vehicle like pebbles in a pond, enforcing the unwanted change. It pulled down the dirt driveway. A soft layer of snow sunk in the dusk’s darkness.

Jim suddenly ran upstairs to his bedroom; the very room he had shared with his brother. The walls were covered in stripes, but bare of pictures except one. The portrait of their great-grandfather hung in an oval frame glared down at their beds. Dressed in traditional Japanese garments from the Meiji era, his stern expression locked an implication of customs. His deteriorating portrait seemed primitive in a modern world. Jim spat at the picture. Slamming the door, he fell on his bed, and plunged his face into the pillow, weeping. He felt like his chest had been crushed by an avalanche of rocks. Choking on his saliva, he had difficulty breathing. He wanted to die. To end this piercing pain. To escape. Jim knew once the doctor departed, John’s name would never be repeated in the house. It would be as if he had never existed.

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Genre – Historical Fiction

Rating – R (strong language)

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Connect with KP Kollenborn on Facebook & Twitter

Blog http://kpkollenborn.blogspot.com/

Author Interview – Marla Martenson

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I always loved to read. I would call myself a true bookworm. I started writing poetry at the age of 7 or 8 and then short stories. I love to express myself through writing. I used to make lists of words that I liked and then put them together in a poem.

How long have you been writing? I started writing as a kid for fun, but then stopped after a few years. I made some feeble attempts at writing in my adult years, but never really gave it a good go until I was in my 40’s.

When did you first know you could be a writer? When I started getting material together for my first book, Excuse Me, Your Soul Mate Is Waiting. I realized that I was pretty funny and that I really enjoyed writing. I started to take it seriously at that point.

What genre are you most comfortable writing? I enjoy writing self- help and chick lit style comedy.

What inspired you to write your first book? I had so many interesting stories to tell from my matchmaking job. I wanted to share my knowledge and stories. My husband also encouraged me to write.

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? The most challenging for me is to find the time. I own a business and have a lot going on. I find that if I get some writing done first thing in the morning, it works better for me as my creativity starts to deplete as the day goes on.

Do you intend to make writing a career? I would love to make writing a career, but not my only career. I am a Gemini, and there are two people in here. I have so many interests, that I will always do more than one thing.

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Genre – Memoir

Rating – PG13

More details about the author & the book

Connect with Marla Martenson on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://marlamartenson.com/

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Orangeberry Book of the Day – Chasing the Lost by Bob Mayer

Chapter Two

“What the hell is going on?” Chase demanded as he checked Chelsea once more. The bandage and seal were working; bleeding and losing air through the wound was stopped. That was good. Still no sign of an exit wound. That was bad.

“They kidnapped Cole,” Sarah said once more. She had her arms wrapped around her body, shaking. “I couldn’t stop them.”

“Who kidnapped him?”

“I don’t know.”

“Call the cops,” Chase ordered. On Sarah’s face, he could see shock setting in.

“They’ve got Cole.” She said it as if she didn’t believe it. She blinked. “We need to get your dog to a vet.”

Chase looked up from checking Chelsea’s wound and spoke distinctly, combat mode when trying to get through to someone in shock. “Call. Nine. One. One.”

She shook her head slowly. “We can’t go to the police, and we especially can’t go to Spanish Wells Security. You saw them today.”

“This is kidnapping. Not some dispute over a dog.”

She seemed adamant. “We can’t call the police.”

“The guys in the SUV have him?” Chase asked.

Sarah had not stopped shaking her head. “Two men in a boat snatched him off the dock where he was crabbing.” She nodded over her shoulder. “The house is on the other side of the street. Backs onto Broad Creek.”

Chase knew that boat was gone into the dark, up Broad Creek, into the Intracoastal and gone among the thousands of barrier islands and miles of wetlands. “I still think you should call the police and—” He stopped as Chelsea whined loudly, struggling in his arms. He grabbed some disinfectant, and gingerly poured it into Chelsea’s wound as he pulled back the bandage. She whined once more, but didn’t fight him as he pressed the bandage back on the wound.

With a shaking hand, Sarah pulled her cell phone out of her pocket. Using an ACE wrap, Chase secured the bandage and seal to Chelsea. She whined in pain, but didn’t try to pull away.

“Good girl.”

“Closest veterinarian!” Sarah shouted into the phone.

“Searching your location,” the phone replied. There was a pause, then the mechanical female voice continued. “I found three veterinarians. One of them is fairly close to you.”

Sarah did something on the screen of her phone and put it to her ear. There was a pause, then Sarah spoke rapidly. “We have a dog that’s been shot. She’s hurt badly.”

Another pause, then Sarah looked at Chase. “The vet will meet us at her office. Twelve-forty Palmetto Road. Do you know where that is?”


Once more, Chase scooped Chelsea up and carried her out to the Jeep, Sarah following. He laid the dog down in the back, then jumped in the driver’s seat as he tugged on a black pullover that had been draped over the steering wheel. As soon as Sarah slid into the passenger seat, he threw the Jeep in gear and raced down the driveway, spitting out gravel and taking the turn onto the hardtop too fast.

With the wind whistling past them and his focus on the road, there was no more conversation as Chase raced out of Brams Point and onto the Island’s main drag. He tried to remember if he’d seen a Vet’s office on his way to his new home in the morning, an event that seemed very long ago now.

“Eleven-ten,” Sarah called out, pointing to the right as she spotted an address. “It will be on that side. Soon.”

Chase saw a light go on in a window ahead and turned the wheel, skidding to a halt in front of the building. It was an old service station, painted bright green. Chase jumped out, picking up Chelsea and carrying her to the door. Sarah was ahead, opening it.

Chase came to an abrupt halt as he spotted a woman wearing jeans and a green smock waiting for him. Her red hair was fiery as he remembered, but cut short now, tight and efficient. “Erin?”

The veterinarian smiled. “Horace Chase. Been a long time. I got your message, but you didn’t leave a callback number and it just said private line.” The smile faded as she saw the blood on his and Sarah’s clothes. “Bring your dog in here.” She pointed toward a swinging door and led the way.

Chase carried Chelsea in, and gently set her down on an operating table. Erin already had a needle out, and expertly stuck it in Chelsea’s right front leg.

She looked at the ACE wrap, bandage, and seal. “You know what you’re doing. QuickClot. That’s good. And the seal.” She glanced up at him. “But that’s Army gear and Army training, isn’t it?”


“All right. West Point, and all that good stuff. Never saw you again after you left for the Academy. Tried to call you, and you never called back. Tried to write, and you never wrote back.” Erin shifted her focus back to the dog. “She’s stable. You can go back out now. I’ll take care of her.”

Chase nodded and slowly backed up.

Erin smiled. “Good to see you again, Chase.”

Chase could only nod, then his back was against the door and he almost stumbled out into the front room. Sarah had collapsed on a rumpled old bean-bag couch at one end of the room. He half-smiled, thinking the couch and the rest of the waiting area fit Erin Brannigan as he spotted a large rocking unicorn in the corner. At least the seventeen year-old Erin Brannigan he remembered with surprising clarity from his teenage years. Weeks, Chase reminded himself. He’d only known her weeks.

“You need to call nine-one-one,” he said.

Sarah was about to answer when the door to the operating room flew open, and Erin stuck her head out. Her red hair was covered with a surgical cap and her smock had a splatter of blood on it, and Chase felt a moment’s déjà vu, remembering the Evac Center in Kandahar, waiting on the doc to tell him about one of his men.

“Get in here, Chase. I need help to get the bullet out.”

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Genre – Thriller

Rating – PG

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Website http://www.bobmayer.org/

Author Interview – Lee Tidball

How important do you think villains are in a story? Great villains are essential to keep things from getting boring in a story.  This story has some real “love to hate” people in it that I think readers will enjoy.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? Not yet, but I hope to do that more in the future.  I love connecting personally with an audience.
Can we expect any more books from you in the future? Oh yes!  I have a middle-grade/YA historical fantasy coming out soon that is actually a new edition of my first-ever novel, and also the concluding chapter to a three-part graphic novel series for kids should come out sometime this summer.  Really excited about that as it completes a three-part series.

Have you started another book yet? Currently outlining several projects, not sure which I’ll really go with next, but more books are definitely coming.

What are your current writing projects now? Two book projects; a YA female superhero series, and a funny family romantic comedy that involves performing primates, and a couple screenwriting projects; a true-life story about a down-and-out woman who starts a children’s performing arts school and a YA series about a girl who has superpowers, etc.

Are you reading any interesting books at the moment?  Yes!  Dan Brown’s “Inferno” is really good, and I also enjoyed the YA novel “Divergent” a lot as well.

Are there any new authors that have sparked your interest and why? I focus more in on stories that specific authors.  There’s so many YA authors these days (and so many imitating each other) that it’s almost impossible to keep them straight.  But some at least seem very good.

What are some of the best tools available today for writers, especially those just starting out? A good outlining program can really help a new writer get a good handle on their ideas and give it structure and substance.  Also, there’s some good online courses that teach the writing process that would do the same thing, or more.


“Imagine the unimaginable.”

That was the mantra of young prodigy Hector Chevas’s mentor in architectural design, Gellini. But even Gellini couldn’t imagine the horrors that his prize student and adopted son would fill Suburbia’s new Heartland Mall with to wreak revenge on those who killed Gellini and murdered Hector’s only friends. “Black Friday” was never blacker.

But Hector couldn’t imagine that, in the middle of his deathly rampage, an “angel” from his past would re-appear into his life; wild-child Janey, whose life he’d saved years before, and who’d never forgotten her promise to “always love him…for reals.” But was that love strong enough now to learn the unimaginable truth; to call Hector’s “dead” soul back to life and resurrect him from his mad plunge into oblivion?

MALLED is a story filled with tragedy, terror, raw emotion, unspeakable horrors, and, above all, the awesome power of ferocious, undying love. Go for it. Get into it. Dare to “imagine the unimaginable.”

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Genre –  NeoGothic Horror / Thriller

Rating – R for violence & language

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