Friday, November 1, 2013
This is Young Neti-Kerty‘s dream: To follow in her father’s footsteps and become the first femalemummifier in Thebes.
Shabaka, the secretive Prefect, the Pharaoh’s special envoy charged with
combating crime in the capital of the Pharaoh’s empire, also often makes use of Neti Kerty’s special talents. With her powers of
deduction and knowledge of the dead, she has already helped solve many crimes.
But then the unimaginable happens. Her parents are cruelly murdered, and Neti-Kerty’s small, idyllic world shatters. Together
with Shabaka the Prefect, she embarks on the search for her parents‘ murderer. Surviving
many shared adventures, they stumble upon a monstrous conspiracy...
The Mummifier's Daughter carries us back to a land steeped in gods, god-kings, ritual and magic. It paints for the reader a
detailed picture of Pharaonic Egypt in all its shadowed glory. Faithfully recreating one of
the most remarkable eras in Egypt’s history, bestselling author Nathaniel Burns weaves a shudderingly ominous tale of ancient
Egypt’s mysteries with a cast of characters the modern reader will recognize even
though millenia have passed.
So light up the incense, sit close to the light and draw back the curtains on the shadowed past with this
gripping tale of
love and intrigue among the living and the dead in one of history’s most intriguing civilizations.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Where do you get your inspiration from? Anything in life can serve as an inspiration: from the smallest facial expression, to an overheard conversation, to a remembered smell.
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing? The marketing and publishing are actually harder and more time-intensive than the writing process. If I had to choose something about the writing process, it’s always finding or making the time to write, but you have to make it a priority if you’re serious.
What marketing works for you? Unfortunately, there’s no magic marketing bullet. What I’ve found is that the more people know about your book, the better your reach because the word of mouth syndrome starts to occur. So, however many different ways and times you can get your name in front of readers, the better.
Do you find it hard to share your work? No, I send my writing to people all the time. I’m constantly asking for feedback from readers to see what characters and scenes they liked and hated, and why. Every reaction helps you grow as a writer.
Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you? 100% yes! My family shares our valuable time together so that I can attend writers’ group meetings, book festivals, and conferences. My mother had a hand in selling a large chunk of my first week’s sales. And my friends have purchased, read, and generated a large word of mouth following.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? Leaving some good parts on the cutting room floor in order to slim the book to commercial length.
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it? The expanded knowledge makes me feel more complete. I am better able to annunciate on the political and economic issues facing us today.
Do you intend to make writing a career? A second career, yes.
Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? Never had writer block…I have stull piled up in drawers just waiting to speak.
Tell us a bit about your family. My father Frank emigrated from Italy when he was 16, becoming a barber who ended up owning the hotel in which his shop was situated. Also a commercial fisherman in San Diego, he at one time had part ownership of a tuna boat. Hard working with a heart of gold, he was the finest man I have ever known: never complained, never told a lie, he never even exaggerated. The old timers agree that he was as respected and honest as any human could ever hope to be.
My mother Josephine was also born in Italy and immigrated here when she was 7. She helped her mother raise a big family, which included her four brothers who each served in the U, S. military in World War II. Most were eventually either wounded in action or were picked up in life rafts from torpedoed navy ships. My fighter-pilot uncle Peter, my favorite, was killed flying his P-47 out of England. After my mother Jo and dad married, she was trained as an electronics tech and worked in the aircraft plants during the war. An expert at reading electronic blueprints, she ended up putting together astronaut Alan Shepard’s instrument panel for his historic first flight into space. Jo is now 98, very sharp and proud of her 14 great grandchildren whom she delights in showing off. She is no doubt the finest women I have ever known.
We have a warm, close family of siblings and cousins, many of whom have become quite accomplished, especially for being first generation Americans. They include my brother John Asaro, a famous artist, cousin Frank Asaro, Ph.D., a nuclear chemist at Berkley; Catherin Asaro, Ph. D., a physicist and well-known author, Marialynn Sardo, M.D. a plastic surgeon, Sal Ferrantelli Ph.D. A noted coral director in the Monterey, California, and a host of others, all originally from the Little Italy section of San Diego, and stemming from the idyllic port of Mazarra Del Vallo, Sicily, near the birthplace of Archimedes..
What is your favorite quality about yourself? If I get the time, I love to muse, cogitate and create stuff.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself? I put off things for which I have developed an aversion.
Off the coast of Southern California, the Sea Diva, a tuna boat, sinks. Members of the crew are missing and what happened remains a mystery. Anthony Darren, a renowned and wealthy lawyer at the top of his game, knows the boat’s owner and soon becomes involved in the case. As the case goes to trial, a missing crew member is believed to be at fault, but new evidence comes to light and the finger of guilt points in a completely unanticipated direction.
Now Anthony must pull together all his resources to find the truth in what has happened and free a wrongly accused man—as well as untangle himself. Fighting despair, he finds that the recent events have called much larger issues into question. As he struggles to right this terrible wrong, Anthony makes new and enlightening discoveries in his own life-long battle for personal and global justice.
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Genre – Legal Drama
Rating – PG13
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Do you find it hard to share your work?
Not at all. Comments and suggestions from early reviewers can help heal problem areas in your story. It is rewarding to find others who appreciate your thoughts and ideas. If they can develop and extend them, then all the better.
If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?
I have a self-study program that is a hold-over from my days at MIT. I still enjoy advanced math, physics and engineering subjects and I constantly visit Amazon for the latest additions.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I lived in Hawaii for several years when I was young. Why I’m not there now is a question I am constantly asking myself.
Where do you get support from? Do you have friends in the industry?
I have friends who are writers who offer criticism and suggestions. I have learned to listen and value their comments.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
I am a voracious reader. I read several books a weeks in a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction subjects. I also do word (or math) puzzles and manage to program Android apps.
Genre – Science Fiction
Rating – G
Connect with H. Peter Alesso on Facebook
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Tess Snow has everything she ever wanted: one more semester before a career in property development, a loving boyfriend, and a future dazzling bright with possibility.
For their two year anniversary, Brax surprises Tess with a romantic trip to Mexico. Sandy beaches, delicious cocktails, and soul-connecting sex set the mood for a wonderful holiday. With a full heart, and looking forward to a passion filled week, Tess is on top of the world.
But lusty paradise is shattered.
Kidnapped. Drugged. Stolen. Tess is forced into a world full of darkness and terror.
Captive and alone with no savior, no lover, no faith, no future, Tess evolves from terrified girl to fierce fighter. But no matter her strength, it can’t save her from the horror of being sold.
Can Brax find Tess before she’s broken and ruined, or will Tess’s new owner change her life forever?
Genre – Dark New Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating – PG-18
More details about the author
His father! Mehmet stewed when he thought of him. His father had never shown him any real affection or spent significant time with him. He was not, after all, originally the heir to the Sultanate. He was a second son and only became heir when his older brother died. Mehmet had been forced from then on to endure a frantic and often harsh tutoring process. He was just beginning to grasp his responsibilities when at the age of 12 his father had retired and named him Sultan. He had done the best he could to govern, but in short order Grand Vizier Halil had called his father back to take over the throne. The Sultan felt Halil should have helped him, should have supported him. Instead he had watched and reported Mehmet’s shortcomings to his father, betraying him and leading to his humiliation.
From then on Mehmet had bided his time. He had learned to keep his thoughts and emotions to himself, to trust no one. He had studied everything: military art, languages, administration, and the arts. He had worked tirelessly so that when he next ruled he would not only equal his father but also exceed him. He would be the greatest Sultan in the history of his people, Allah willing.
His chance came when Murad finally died only two years before, as Mehmet turned 19. Mehmet quickly took power, ordering his baby half brother strangled to assure there would be no succession disputes, and set to organizing his empire. He had learned to be cautious and measured, leaving his father’s counselors and even Halil in power to assist him. From there he had slowly built up a group of supporters. They were young and exclusively Christian converts to Islam. These followers, many of whom now held council positions, were not nearly as powerful as the old guard, but they were gaining ground. They were the future, if Halil did not interfere.
Halil. His father’s Grand Vizier and now his own. He had always treated Mehmet with condescending politeness. He was powerful, so powerful that Mehmet could not easily remove him. So powerful it was possible he could remove Mehmet in favor of a cousin or other relative. Mehmet hated him above all people in the world, but he could not simply replace him. He needed Halil, at least for now, and Halil knew it.
This dilemma was the primary reason for Mehmet’s nighttime wanderings. He needed time away from the palace. Time to think and work out a solution to the problem. How could he free himself from Halil without losing power in the process? He could simply order Halil executed, but would the order be followed or would it be his own head sitting on a pole? The elders and religious leaders all respected and listened to Halil. Only the young renegades, the Christian converts who owed their positions to Mehmet were loyal to him. If Halil was able to rally the old guard to him, Mehmet had no doubt that the result would be a life or death dispute.
Mehmet needed to find a cause that could rally the people to him. The conversations he had heard night after night told him this same thing. The people felt that his father was a great leader, and that he was not. If he could gain the people’s confidence, then he would not need Halil, and the other elders would follow his lead.
Mehmet knew the solution. He knew exactly what would bring the people to his side, and what would indeed make him the greatest Sultan in the history of the Ottoman people.
The solution however was a great gamble. His father and father’s fathers had conquered huge tracts of territory in Anatolia and then in Europe, primarily at the expense of the Greeks. Mehmet intended to propose something even more audacious, to conquer the one place that his ancestors had failed to take. If he succeeded he would win the adoration of his people and would be able to deal with Halil and any others who might oppose him. If he failed . . .
The Sultan eventually made his way back near the palace, to the home of his closest friend, Zaganos Pasha. Zaganos, the youngest brother of Mehmet’s father in law, had converted to Islam at age 13, and was Mehmet’s trusted general and friend. He was the most prominent member of the upstart Christian converts that made up the Sultan’s support base.
Zaganos was up, even at this late hour, and embraced his friend, showing him in and ordering apple tea from his servants. Zaganos was shorter and stockier than Mehmet, a powerful middle-aged man in the prime of his life. He had receding dark brown hair. A long scar cut across his forehead and down over his left eye. He looked on Mehmet with smiling eyes extending in to crow’s feet. He smiled like a proud uncle or father.
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Genre – Historical Fiction
Rating – PG
In Calling Our Spirits Home, I laid out the phases of the evolutionary process people tend to go through in their spiritual awakening and continuing travels, illustrating it with ordinary people’s stories as examples. It’s a model through which I now work with others and call The Re-membering Process. The hyphen in Re-membering is intended. My sense is that it’s the soul’s journey in this life to forget almost immediately who we are, become encrusted with society’s and our family’s of origin programming and then, at some point, to spend the rest of our lives rediscovering our own true nature. This is the universal way of the soul’s learning.
To explicitly recount the phases, we must first wake up, or experience a Sparking. This arousal state may take place because we realize that we’re feeling out of sorts. Something doesn’t quite fit. But more often, we’re so soundly asleep that the Universe pushes us into wakefulness through such crises as loss of various sorts, or health challenges.
Once we’re past the rubbing-our-eyes stage and can look around, we wonder how much of ourselves we had been giving away. In other words, what kind of false life had we been living while being untrue to who we are? We then go through Separation. This is a process of detaching from the old self, the one who had been lured into, or opted for, forgetting. At this point, if we are savvy enough, we will begin to question life beliefs we unconsciously ingested. If we truly make it through this stage, we will find ourselves making moves. These changes can be dramatic or subtle. They can cover the gamut from moving geographically to terminating jobs to severing relationships. At the same time, none of these things may happen. The Separation may possibly have little outward manifestation and go unnoticed by others. However, an intense discomfort may be experienced inside, enough so that a crack in consciousness begins to occur.
Separation is often a very challenging phase to transition through because everything within ourselves and around us is fighting to keep us where we have been. It’s the robust energy of the status quo.
If the core desire to be true to ourselves and live an authentic life is profound enough, it will override homeostasis and propel us into the Search. Here we are bent on discovering who we really are and what seems right. In the Search, we may move through communities of people and places, a plethora of spiritual traditions, sample various careers and partake of diverse healing modalities. It’s a sorting process that begins to give us grounding after the destabilization of Separation.
If we perform the tasking well, eventually we will find what rings true for who we are at a core level. When that happens the deepening process of Initiation occurs. This is a blessing that we unconsciously or consciously perform for ourselves, recognizing we have found home base. As who we are and what we are about in the world settles in, an integration transpires inside that gives us strength for the next part of the journey.
The Re-entry segment is often equally as challenging as Separation was. This is the point where we are ultimately aware that we have been through a deepening process, and to complete the circle we must return to the world with our new and more authentic identities. We have gifts to share with others, even if only indirectly through role modeling what is possible. Here we find that most people are too sleepy to notice, or actively turn their backs and refuse our gifts. But once in a while, someone gives a glimmer of interest and perhaps awareness. And we realize that we are sliding back into the world, even if only piecemeal, until we one day find ourselves firmly in place.
The ultimate joke of the journey is that, after a while, we begin to yawn and slip once more into a kind of oblivion. However, the sleep this time isn’t so deep and we increasingly arouse from the slumber more easily. Having been over similar ground before, we now carry much more alertness and vigor for what lays ahead in the landscape.
The Re-membering Process is not necessarily linear, but within the confines of a model is most easily presented thus. In reality, there is little that is truly linear about human beings. Therefore, we may find ourselves going back and forth between two or three phases, usually only dealing with one or two contexts of life at a time, and we may unfortunately get stuck in the process. But as we are able to complete the journey, even in just one aspect of our lives, it creates an infusion to the Core Self. It transmits a strength and wisdom that allows the peeling away of the layers to become much more fluid than any previous stop/start irregularity. And deep down we know this is the path we are meant to take over and over again.
As we choose to plumb the depths of the layering, we sometimes enter an even darker forest. Just because it’s darker doesn’t mean it’s frightening, although it can sometimes be quite unsettling. It’s just that the ways through are more hidden, sometimes shrouded intentionally in mystery by the Universe, meant solely for those who persevere toward finding the guidance that will light the way. That’s part of the test identifying intent and durability.
We don’t meet as many fellow travelers who have opted for this little-worn path. Discernment toward the helping hands proffered may be confusing. Indeed, assistance may even seem invisible or nonexistent. We then know we are traveling the way that leads toward a mystic’s life. We must now learn an entirely new form of relating to find the signposts that have been there all along.
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Genre – Nonfiction, Spirituality
Rating – PG
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Nobody Has To Know, Frank Nappi’s dark and daring new thriller, tells the story of Cameron Baldridge, a popular high school teacher whose relationship with one of his students leads him down an unfortunate and self-destructive path. Stalked through text-messages, Baldridge fights for his life against a terrifying extortion plot and the forces that threaten to expose him. NHTK is a sobering look into a world of secrets, lies, and shocking revelations, and will leave the reader wondering many things, including whether or not you can ever really know the person you love.
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Genre - Thriller
Rating – PG-13
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Monday, October 28, 2013
How did my life get so complicated? One minute, I, Camille Anderson, was living a pretty normal life in which nothing ever happened to me, and the next I'm practically being hauled away from the premier wedding venue in Houston, The Corinthian, by security because of my sudden outburst to the groom.
I should have known I was setting myself up for disaster, but I had to do it. I had to tell my best friend that I'd been in love with him since I was thirteen.
I really didn't expect the scene to unfold the way it did, especially while Trevor was getting married, but I couldn't hold my feelings in much longer. I felt he was making a terrible mistake, because he was marrying the wrong woman. He should have been marrying me.
I guess I should backtrack to when Trevor and I first met. It was seventeen years ago, when the Williams family first moved into the house next to ours. I was outside waiting for my friend Tia Simmons to come by when I first noticed Trevor. He was absolutely gorgeous as he stepped out of his family's SUV. He had that "boy next door" look, with wavy black hair and smooth ivory skin. He looked over at me and gave me a huge grin, which I greatly returned.
After that day, not only did we become friends, but our parents became great friends as well. We always went by each other's homes for dinner or for game night (until we were too old to appreciate hanging out with our parents on a Friday night).
We were practically inseparable during our high school years, and many of our friends thought we would eventually get married and have lots of kids. When anyone mentioned that to Trevor, he would shrug it off and say, "We're just friends, and it will stay that way until the day we die." Usually those words would tug at my heartstrings, but being the shy person I am, I never let my feelings show.
As we went to college, Trevor and I went into the same major, public relations. That was when he met Chelsea Parker, who was also my roommate. At first I liked Chelsea because she was basically a sweet person, but when she set her sights on Trevor, I quickly disliked her. Not because she took Trevor away from me, but because she became a different person.
If only I could go back to four weeks ago, or even seventeen years ago, I would be with the man I loved...
Four weeks ago....
"I don't know why you dragged me to this," I said as I looked at my friend Tia. The two of us were inside the Aventine Ballroom of Hotel Icon waiting for our friend Trevor and his fiancée, Chelsea, to arrive for their engagement and welcome home party. The two had announced their engagement to everyone a while back when Trevor was visiting his parents before going back to Dallas. Not only did he announce his engagement, but he also said that he had accepted a new position at a prestigious PR firm and was moving back to Houston. Although I was happy that my best friend was moving back, I was not thrilled that he was getting married.
"For once, why can't you be happy for Tre? He and Chelsea are finally getting married."
I gave Tia an evil stare as I looked toward the revolving door to the ballroom.
"You know how I feel about Trevor and Chelsea getting married."
"Oh please, Cam, when are you going to get past the fact that Trevor found someone? I told you to admit your feelings to him, but being the person you are, you decided not to."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"You felt you would have been rejected if you told Trevor your true feelings."
"If I remember correctly, in high school when Charles asked him why we never hooked up, he said, and I quote, 'We're just friends.'"
Tia rolled her eyes at me and started to stare at the door as well. This was not the first time we'd had this conversation about my feelings for Trevor, so I'm pretty sure Tia was tired of hearing it.
Tia was my other best friend and the complete opposite of me. While I was quiet and reserved, Tia was wild and carefree. She always did what she wanted and didn't care about the consequences. People always thought we were sisters, with our caramel-colored complexion and long, dark-brown hair. But that was where the similarities ended. I looked down at my black sequin dress that went above my knees, wondering if I was dressed appropriately for the occasion; but as I looked at the hot-pink dress Tia was sporting, I figured my outfit was perfect.
"So how are things between you and Eric?"
"Finished; I broke up with him a couple of days ago."
"I'm assuming because he's not Trevor? Cam, you have got to move on."
I sighed as I noticed two figures coming through the door. I started to breathe slowly as I watched my friend walk in with his fiancée. Trevor always was attractive, but tonight he looked really handsome in a dark blue suit, white shirt, and blue and white striped tie. His black, wavy hair was cut short, bringing out his beautiful brown eyes. He walked hand in hand with Chelsea, the woman I wish I'd never met, who was positively glowing in an ivory-colored empire dress. Her reddish brown hair was pulled into a tight ponytail and her makeup was flaw- less. Although I was completely jealous of Chelsea, I had to admit the two made a stunning couple.
Tia gave me a frown.
"I'm cool. Let's just get this over with."
While the crowd of family and friends were clapping and whistling for the happy couple, all I could do was just stand in my place, looking at Trevor as if he was the only person in the room. He gave me a smile that showed the deep dimples on each of his cheeks. As he went to greet a couple of his family members, I took a deep breath to control any tears from flowing.
I shouldn't have come tonight.
"Why did we plan a huge engagement party? Everyone knows we're engaged," I asked my fiancée, Chelsea, as we were walking hand in hand down the corridor inside Hotel Icon.
"Sweetie, I just wanted everyone to celebrate in our happiness and what better way than a huge party?"
I sighed as I continued to walk, not realizing how frustrated I was becoming.
Chelsea was the love of my life. I instantly knew I wanted to marry her when I first laid eyes on her in Camille's dorm room. The two were roommates their junior year at University of Houston, which was great for me, considering I was able to see my best friend and my girlfriend at the same time. Although Camille and I were really good friends, I got the sense that something had been bothering her since I'd been dating Chelsea. Call me crazy, but it seemed as if Camille was jealous of our relationship. I hope not, because Chelsea loves Camille and considers her a good friend.
As we walked into the ballroom, everyone from our family and our friends were clapping and cheering for our arrival. We started to wave at everyone as we entered. Once I turned my head toward the center of the room, I had to stop and admire the person staring straight at me. My heart jolted several beats at the beauty who was giving me a dazzling smile. Camille Anderson had always been a beautiful woman, from her caramel-colored skin to her deep chocolate eyes; she definitely stood out in a crowd.
Just looking at her long hair flowing around her face and the black dress that hugged her curves in all the right places made me feel sort of embarrassed, because I shouldn't have been looking at her in that way. I always considered her my best friend and nothing more, so why was I looking at her differently now?
Chelsea turned her attention to me, wondering what was wrong.
"Is everything OK?"
I suddenly realized I was staring a little too long as I turned to Chelsea.
"I'm fine," I said as I squeezed her hand.
I gave Camille a huge grin as I walked over to talk to a nearby guest. I snuck another peek at her; she was talking to our friend Tia near the bar. I don't know what was going on with me, but hopefully this feeling I was having about my best friend would go away soon.
That's if I want it to.
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Genre - Contemporary Fiction
Rating – PG13
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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Becoming a Published Author
by David Jester
1. I didn’t know how hard it was going to be. There’s so much work involved that I never accounted for. Endless amounts of editing, rewriting, publishing, marketing and designing, and that’s before I do any actual writing. I want to keep on publishing as many books as I can and ideally want to average 1 per month for the first year. I know I can write enough to fulfill that quota, but it’s not easy to find the time to write.
2. The reviews are hard to take in the beginning. I understand that nothing can be to everyone’s taste, but it’s still hard when those first bad reviews come. The pain eases over time, but as writing is a very solitary job and you’re very temperamental when you start out, they’re hard to accept.
The worst ones are the nonsensical ones. One of my first bad reviews (under my other alias) was from a woman who read another review which mentioned that my book had a lot of swearing in it. She then decided to write a review which ‘warned’ everyone else that the book had ‘foul language’ and told them that was the reason she wouldn’t buy it, let alone read it.
3. It’s lonely and stressful. There is a lot of work and a lot of long hours with only you to shoulder the burden. There’s also a great deal of doubt involved. If you’re not worried that your next book won’t sell, then you’re worried that your current book will stop selling.
4. No one cares.
When I first published my memoir I was worried that people who knew me would want to ask questions about it. There was a lot of stuff in there that I never told anyone, so the thought of them hounding me was the main reason I decided to use an alias in the first place. I shifted 400 copies of that book and expected the topic to be raised not only by my family, but by strangers.
The truth is: no one gives a shit. I have since sold another 30k copies of that book and the questions never came.
When I was a struggling writer, lapping up rejection slips like a melancholic dog, it seemed everyone wanted to talk about it. They all wanted to know how the writing was going, was I any nearer to getting published? Blah blah blah. I hated talking about it. Now that I’m finally published; now that I’m doing well; now that I’m finally happy with them talking about it and asking questions about it, no one mentions it.
5. It’s fun. Despite everything that I’ve just said, despite the long hours, the solitude and the endless doubt and worry, I really love what I do.
Evergreen is the peaceful, idyllic home for a bustling traveler community. It is home to Patrick Ryan, the figurehead of the community; home to Aidan McCleary, Patrick’s mentor and friend; home to scores of youngsters and generations of families. But now Evergreen is also home to a sadistic serial killer, someone who is targeting the youngsters of this once peaceful community.
They know the killer lives among them, know that one of their own is tearing this small community apart. They want to deal with it themselves, to track down the killer and deliver their own justice, but can they find him before he rips their home apart?
Evergreen is a serial killer thriller/whodunnit with a macabre and sinister slant. A book not for the faint hearted.
Novella length. Approximately 23.000 words (100 pages)
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Genre – Horror
Rating – PG13
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Connect with David Jester on Twitter
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Chapter Two: Losing Patience
Nyle slurred in my face, “You are so ugly. Look at you.”
His breath reeked of beer. Cringing, I turned away and looked at the wall.
He shoved a photograph in my face. “Look at the picture, Tami! Look at how you looked then. You were thin. Now, look at you, you’re fat.” His gaze moved from my head to my feet.
I knew the photograph; it had been taken in a park before we were married. In it, I was about 125 pounds at 5’5. What was I supposed to say? I knew I had gained 80 pounds during my pregnancy. I could see it daily.
With a drunken sway, Nyle walked down the hallway and around the family room while holding the side of the walls to keep his balance. My anger seethed at the way he was treating me, and though I knew my words would fuel his anger, I began to yell too.
“You’re an ASS!”
It was as if the energy of the room exploded. His anger erupted as he picked up and threw the magazines and ashtray across the room. He kicked over the coffee table and kicked it again, slamming it against the couch.
“I fucking hate it here! We’re stuck here and we have no fucking money! I HATE MY LIFE!” Nyle yelled.
In that moment, I didn’t know what to do and his anger seemed uncontrollable as he picked up books that were on the shelf next to the television and threw them across the room. He pulled the pillows off the couch and threw those across the room, too. He seemed to be looking for things to throw and not seeing anything in his immediate reach, he kicked the side of the couch and started to fall backwards and grabbed the wall for support.
Ignoring me, he went back to the kitchen and pulled out another beer. He drank it with an insatiable thirst. I left him and went to the bedroom to be near Bethany, only to hear him hit something before he passed out on the couch.
Later, lying in bed and feeling depressed and upset, I recalled my elementary and junior high school years when I was taunted for being overweight.
The bullying for me began in fourth grade, which is when I began to develop breasts far earlier than most girls. Up until about sixth grade most of the things I remember are of being ridiculed and shunned, of feeling humiliated and ashamed. But things began to get more intense as we all entered the latter elementary school age and one of my most painful memories is of an incident that occurred in sixth grade.
Prior to and into the sixth grade, both boys and girls would come up behind me and snap my bra when teachers weren’t looking, and most of the time I ignored this. But one day, three girls cornered me in the bathroom and demanded that I remove my shirt to prove that I needed to wear a bra. As they made fun of me and continued to corner me, I wasn’t sure what to do, so I just kept saying no and kept my hands up to fend them off. One of the girls lifted her shirt to show that she wasn’t wearing a bra. I quickly looked away and I felt ashamed for how I looked…my large body compared to their petite and small-boned ones. Pushing my way through their wall of unity, I stormed out of the bathroom.
It wasn’t until seventh grade that I became reactive; prior to then I was quiet, docile, and certainly I never let anyone see me cry. But one day all my rage and stuffed-away frustration exploded when a boy who had been incessantly taunting me about my weight started in on me when the teacher left the room.
“Look at Tami, she’s fat,” he said laughing, getting the other students to laugh along with him.
“Hahaha, look at Tami. How much do you weigh? A ton?” he and the others continued with their laughter.
After what seemed like an eternity with no one defending me, all of my rage exploded, and I got up from the desk, quickly walked over to him, grabbed his shirt with both hands, and threw him across the room. Tripping over his own feet and attempting to catch his balance, he just looked at me in shock.
The teasing and taunting let up after that—nobody was about to mess with me after seeing just how strong I actually was—but the damage had been done. As the years passed, my body slimmed down and other girls caught up to my level of development, but I remained sensitive to how other people perceived my appearance. And Nyle’s drunken insults added to the damage still unhealed from my youth.
Sighing and wiping the tears from my face, I turned over in bed wondering if we would ever be happy.
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Genre - Memoir
Rating – PG-13
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Adrik waited in the guard’s room a couple of corridors along from Kornfeld’s cell. There was only one way out, so the Jew had to pass this room. He spun a Makarov on his finger, aimed at imaginary targets and thrilled at the thought of using it. The gun was standard issue, but he would’ve chosen it anyway. Totally reliable, pull the trigger and out pop the bullets. The blowback design expels the spent case to the right and loads the next cartridge into the chamber – easy. And fully armed with eight rounds, he would use them all.
This wouldn’t be his first killing and sure as hell wouldn’t be his last. Kornfeld was a pain, and it was Otto who mattered. He would do anything for him. Why should he care about some Jew who got in the way?
But time dragged, and Kornfeld hadn’t yet made a show. For one horrible minute he thought there might be another way out – but no, that isn’t even possible. Calm down, be patient... Try as he might, he couldn’t, and the idea ran around his head, irritating him beyond measure.
He left the guardroom and paced the corridor outside. At first a short distance and then a bit further into the next passageway. No good – he had to find out what had happened. With gun in hand and footsteps stealthy he reached the cell door – it was slightly open. Oh shit, did that mean there was another way out? Or maybe Kornfeld had gone deeper into the prison block. Or maybe he was in the cell hoping the element of surprise would be with him.
Possibilities ganged up. Kornfeld knew Lubyanka well. What if there was another way out and that little bastard knew it? If so, Otto would kill him, never mind the Jew. He kicked the door fully open, slammed it against the cell wall, stood back and then moved in, pointing the gun around to make sure Kornfeld wasn’t hidden on either side of the opening. The cell was dimly lit and he found it difficult to see. He would stay put until his eyes got accustomed to the light. A body, he saw a body. It was covered with a greatcoat, on the bunk facing the wall.
He was clearly supposed to think it was Kornfeld. In that case he’d be under the bunk waiting... But then that’s obvious too, so he might be on top with the guard pushed underneath. That made more sense – it would be easier for him to make an attack from on top – but, shit, wouldn’t that be what he wanted him to think?
To be sure of the kill, Adrik wanted to shoot above and below – but he couldn’t. How would he explain the soldier’s death? Oh, Otto, if only Otto was there to tell him what to do. But he wasn’t, he had to make up his own mind. The Jew was on top – yes, definitely on top.
Cautiously, he edged forward, pointed the pistol to the back of the person’s head and pulled the body towards him with gun steady and ready to fire. As quickly as his huge form allowed, he pulled the greatcoat away.
Fuck! The guard! No time to react. A leg came from under the bunk with incredible speed and wrapped around the back of his. At the same time, the Jew’s other foot came against his knees and pushed. Adrik had brought his legs together when he tore the coat away and Kornfeld used the imbalance to his advantage. Adrik’s arms went out. He hovered awkwardly, then almost regained control, but Kornfeld pushed harder and Adrik went flying backwards with his legs in the air. A sense of suspension ended and he fell heavily, striking the hard stone floor. His head bounced, shudders chased through his brain and he found himself staring at the ceiling, wavering between conscious and unconscious.
The pain pierced his skull and he noticed his head had rested in a pool of warm liquid. He hadn’t seen that when he came in. Numbness consumed his body; he couldn’t move. But then his blurred vision saw the bleary outline of the Jew. Awareness came that his body was being rolled over. He was paralyzed, but it didn’t stop the surge of fear that ran through every fibre of his being.
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Genre – Thriller, Crime, Suspense
Rating – R
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Can wearing the color pink attract true love?
That is the question Summer Jones intends to answer.
In her early thirties, Summer Jones thought that she had found the perfect man, the man she planned to marry until she learned that he still had feelings for his first love. Now, at age thirty-five, Summer is ready to fall in love again. After she hears that wearing the color pink can attract true love, she sets out to do just that–and finds more than just true love.
Follow Summer as she journeys into the world of color magic and find out how she uses that magic to help her choose between one man from her past and another man who is destined to become her future.
This romantic drama serves up something fun and sexy, proving that the road to love can be paved with many painful lessons and memorable moments. It’s a story about paying attention to your past so that you don’t always have to repeat it.
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Genre - Romance
Rating – PG-13
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