Dreaming in the Pages

Books ... where dreams are better than reality

Broken Pieces

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Saturday, December 21, 2013

#AmReading - Only the Innocent by Rachel Abbot @Rachel__Abbott

Only the Innocent by Rachel Abbot


Every moment of Sir Hugo Fletcher’s life has been chronicled in the British press: his privileged upbringing, his high-profile charity work to end human trafficking—even his two marriages. But when the billionaire philanthropist is discovered murdered in his London home, tied naked to a bed, the scandal is only a shadow of the darkness lurking off-camera.

Laura Fletcher returns from an Italian vacation to find her husband dead and her home under siege by paparazzi. Is she shocked? Yes. But is she distraught? Not exactly. Especially when Chief Inspector Tom Douglas reveals his suspicions that Hugo’s killer is female. Laura always knew she wasn’t the only woman in Hugo’s life. And she knows she wasn’t the only one with a motive to kill.

The deeper Douglas digs, the more sordid details about Hugo Fletcher he uncovers. And yet nothing compares to the secret Laura guards, a secret that could bring the guilty to justice—or destroy an innocent life forever.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Becoming Human (The Exilon 5 Trilogy, Book 1) by Eliza Green @elizagreenbooks

Eliza Green

Two Worlds. Two Species. One Terrifying Secret.

In 2163, a polluted and overcrowded Earth forces humans to search for a new home. But the exoplanet they target, Exilon 5, is occupied. Having already begun a massive relocation programme, Bill Taggart is sent to monitor the Indigenes, the race that lives there. He is a man on the edge. He believes the Indigenes killed his wife, but he doesn’t know why. His surveillance focuses on the Indigene Stephen, who has risked his life to surface during the daytime.

Stephen has every reason to despise the humans and their attempts to colonise his planet. To protect his species from further harm, he must go against his very nature and become human. But one woman holds a secret that threatens Bill’s and Stephen’s plans, an untruth that could rip apart the lives of those on both worlds.

BECOMING HUMAN, part one in the Exilon 5 trilogy, is a science fiction dystopian adventure that you won’t want to put down.

˃˃˃ Thought Provoking SciFi, Dystopian Tale – Compulsion Reads

I would happily recommend this book to fans of dystopia, science fiction and conspiracy lovers. You will be in for an exciting ride.

˃˃˃ Excellent Use of ForeShadowing – Masquerade Crew

This book demonstrates why I read Indie books and have enjoyed doing so immensely. Yes, some self-published books don’t deserve to see the light of day, but this isn’t one of those. Far from it. It was exciting and it had mystery. It sets up the next book while still giving you closure in this one–a difficult task for a book in a series.

˃˃˃”Becoming Human”… a promising first book… 4 1/2 Stars – Top 1000 Amazon Reviewer

A well written and deftly told Sci-Fi tale that got better and better.

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Genre – Science Fiction

Rating – PG13

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Connect withEliza Green on FacebookTwitter

Website http://www.elizagreenbooks.com

Great White House by Christoph Paul @ChristophPaul_


Most stories should not start with “it was a dark and stormy night” but this evening in Washington, DC could be described no other way. A great storm was raging, as were key members of Congress and other important figures. The politicians waited in silence staring at a blank satellite screen for the eccentric Chinese President Xi Jinping to appear and discuss the massive debt America owed China.

The group was in the East Room of the White House above the library, where a small window reflected the faces of those who had enough ‘klout’ to sit at the round table with President Obama and Vice President Biden.

It would be any news reporter's dream to sit alongside these political heavyweights, but the “China Task Force” or C.T.F. had made this a closed conference, top-secret event. So secret, even Snowden didn’t know about it.

Even if the White House let the press in, the reporters would not have made it through the heavy downpour in Washington, DC. Visibility in the city was close to zero. Normal traffic ended hours earlier as young and old government employees hunkered down in their favorite bars to weather the storm.

Now, rain poured so hard the echoes of the downpour shot through the White House, giving attention to the awkward silence in the East Room.

As the large teleprompter screen remained blank, an animated Michele Bachmann broke the silence. “I just don’t trust these Chinese, even with their food. My husband ends up having problems with his rectal area after he eats it when I’m away. You should see the fees I pay his proctologist. Thank the good Lord we don’t have ObamaCare or he wouldn’t be able to walk.”

The other members of the C.T.F. remained silent, as most believed Mr. Bachmann to be a closeted homosexual. Being the peacemaker, President Obama wanted to avoid any divisive issues. “Yes. I understand. Chinese food, though delicious, bothers my stomach and Michelle’s as well Congresswoman Bachmann.”

Joe Biden rose from his chair and headed toward the decanter on a table at the side of the room. “Hey, Barry, I thought it was only black guys that were late, not the Chinese. Ha. That's good one.”

The oft-amused Biden smiled and gave a self-satisfactory laugh. President Obama shook his head, grateful the press wasn’t here to catch another ‘JoeGaffee.’ Biden poured himself a glass of scotch as Obama popped a piece of Nicorette in his mouth.

“Since this meeting is 'not official,' I suppose it's all right to have a drink.” Biden cheered the room. He brought another cup over to Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan and sat back down; the two had become close since their 2012 Vice Presidential debate and would drink over the ‘malarkey’ of the day.

Eric Cantor, next to his also-tanned counterpart Majority Leader Boehner, was fed up with the jokes. “In all seriousness, what the Chinese President is doing is a power move. It’s a psychological display of dominance. You can’t trust a communist.”

Senator Ted Cruz slammed his fist on the table. “Those commies will play mind games. I agree.”

Congresswoman Pelosi raised her hand. “Excuse me, but I’m more worried about this storm. We might be stuck here.” She gestured at the window. “This storm has gotten dangerous. I'm telling you, it's global warming. Only global warming could cause a downpour of this magnitude! My constituents are very worried about this issue and so am I.”

Democrat Senator Harry Reid and Socialist Bernie Sanders agreed but Congresswoman Bachmann and Congressman Tim Scott shook their heads in annoyance and said a silent prayer for the socialists in the room.

Other Republicans rolled their eyes at Pelosi’s statement. Libertarian-leaning Senator Rand Paul responded, “If global warming even exists, the market will fix it. What we need to worry about is the debt. The Chinese have every right to call this emergency meeting and to want their money.”

Ben Bernanke and Tim Geithner (who was called out of retirement to help out the C.T.F.) nodded in approval of Senator Paul’s market solution.

President Obama took a deep breath and offered a fake but serene glance to acknowledge Paul's statement. He put his hand up and quieted the room. “Now, now, let's not have the global warming debate right now, folks. There is talk that the Chinese are very upset about our debt and want us to pay now, which is a surprise to us all. But that is not the only reason for this emergency meeting. The NSA has heard some terrorist chatter about an attack on Annapolis that could dismantle many of our Navy’s resources. They say the Chinese might know about it. We might be in for a long night. Look, if the storm gets worse, you can sleep here; it’s a big house. We can sell to it to the press as a political sleepover. They’ll find that cute and bipartisan.”

New York Senator Schumer rubbed his temples in frustration. “Oi vey, I don’t have my Ambien.”

Senator McCaskill gave him a nice Missouri smile.

“It’s okay, Chuck. You can have some of mine. Senator Rubio, I have some bottled water if you need it, too.”

The group laughed and Senator Rubio inwardly grimaced at the overused joke but mustered a smile that only a man running for President in 2016 could pull off.

Senator McCain put down his unfinished poker game. “You pansies and your sleeping pills. When I was in Vietnam I slept on pure steel and spider shit… President Obama, sir, I’m sick of waiting for these communists. Either you call them or I will.”

President Obama saw an annoyed crowd and felt the temperature in the room rising. On days like this he was sick of being President but he knew this was not a time for self-pity. He looked out at the storm and thought of his Kenyan father herding goats in this type of downpour. His father would not have been deterred by hardships like this. The President sighed with finality. “All right, John, enough is enough. Let’s get President Xi Jinping on screen. We’ve waited long enough.”  

Great White House NEW COVER

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Genre – Fiction, Humor

Rating – PG-13

More details about the author and the book

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Author Interview – Rik Stone @stone_rik

Image of Rik Stone

What other jobs have you had in life?

I worked in shipyards before going into the merchant Navy. When I came ashore, I worked in a quarry. Redundancy took me to Ford Motor Co. and that was when my life went through a change: I began studying. Working my way through the lower level stuff, I moved on to study for a bachelor’s degree in mathematics-and-computing and moved into the IT sector of the company.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

I love living in England, but I’m sure I’d be as happy to settle anywhere else. I probably am, but I don’t care to believe I’m held down by roots.

How do you write laptop pen and paper in bed at a desk?

All of those things plus iPad and when out walking I might use a Dictaphone.

Where do you get support from do you have friends in the industry?

No, I receive all the support I need from my wife.

How much sleep do you need to be your best?

Probably eight hours, but I manage on about five.

Birth of an Assassin

Buy Now @ Amazon, B&N, Kobo & Waterstones

Genre - Thriller, Crime, Suspense

Rating – R

More details about the author

Connect with Rik Stone on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://rik-stone.simdif.com

ABC: A Mini Monster Alphabet Book for Young & Old by Tom Skinner @PictureBookTom


Mini Monsters love bold names,

like Barb Dwyer

or Bill Board

or Bathos Ball,

with his brash claws,

but NOT…

Mary or James!


Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Children’s Picture Book

Rating – G

More details about the author

Connect with Tom Skinner on Twitter & Goodreads


Quality Reads UK Book Club Disclosure: Author interview / guest post has been submitted by the author and previously used on other sites.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Author Interview – Kim Cresswell @kimcresswell

Image of Kim CresswellWhat is your favorite dessert/food?
Oh, God! I love food! I am such a foodie! Cheesecake, chocolate, and seafood are on the top of my list…and French fries and…stop me please! 
Who has inspired you the most in your life?
My mom. She was inspirational, a beautiful, intelligent, and strong woman who was always there for me, supported me in every way, and pushed me to be whatever I wanted to be. After a brief and courageous fight, sadly, she passed away from cancer in 1989. I know she’d be very proud. 
What is the worst part about writing for you? What is your favorite?
The most challenging aspect of writing for me is finishing the first draft. My internal editor will not shut off which makes me the slowest writer on earth but saves time when it comes to editing. In the end, it all probably balances out. My favorite—when I’ve written the words, “The End”.
Did any music inspire your book? Do you have a playlist?
Yes! I have to have some sort of music playing. For LETHAL JOURNEY, I listened to; Barry White, Bon Jovi, David Bowie, Eagles, Guns N Roses and Eminem. God, I’m showing my age. <grin>
Describe your writing space.
My writing space if very simple and uncluttered. The walls are painted the color of a caramel latte. I have an eight foot long black desk, printer, and a zillion highlighters in a rainbow of colors.  I also have two plants on my desk which I have managed not to kill.
Lethal Journey333x500
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Thriller
Rating – PG-18
More details about the author
Connect with Kim Cresswell on Facebook and Twitter
Quality Reads UK Book Club Disclosure: Author interview / guest post has been submitted by the author and previously used on other sites.

Author Interview – Tanya Karen Gough

Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live? I was born in Montreal, but I grew up in New England, near Boston. I think New England has had the largest influence on my writing over all; it’s really impossible to live there and not be affected by the power of nature and colourful history. It’s no coincidence that so much literature from the area is steeped in nature, from Washington Irving’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow to the creepy New England settings in Stephen King’s novels. There’s a very real sense that nature is still wild, wonderful and full of magic. When I began writing ROOT BOUND, I wanted to find a way to bring that same feral magic into a modern urban environment, and while I’m a big fan of urban paranormal, I was looking to do something more overtly organic.

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing? I think they’re all challenging at first, but they all do get better over time. If you’re looking to get published traditionally, then it’s a very hard slog to find an agent, and then a lot of work to support that agent until your book is sold. But when you’ve done it once, it’s much easier to keep going, assuming your work is good. On the other hand, if you’re self-publishing, the first time out can be very daunting – there’s all that technical stuff you need to know, plus all the costs to get things done if you’re not able to do it yourself. But again, once you’ve gone through the process once, it gets easier. With writing, I think it’s harder when you’re just getting started, especially if you’re still working out your style and your craft, but again, as you gain technical confidence, it’s easier to enjoy the process. Marketing is the one thing I enjoy the least, so I suppose that’s the hardest aspect for me, but again, it’s really just a question of trying different things and keeping track of what works and what doesn’t. I expect that my marketing plan for my second book will be quite different, hopefully cheaper and more efficient, because I’ll already know what to do.

What other jobs have you had in your life? Gosh, what haven’t I done? Let’s see, in order, I’ve been: a baby sitter, a newspaper delivery girl, data clerk and page at the local library, a camp counsellor, Chuck E. Cheese (yes, I was *the* Chuck), a retail clerk, a bookseller, an office admin, an ESL teacher overseas, an editor and online researcher, a store owner, a content manager and a social media strategist. I think that’s all, but I might be missing a few. I never got to be a cowgirl, though. That would have been fun.

Tell us about your new book. What’s it about and why did you write it? ROOT BOUND is the story of Emma and her father, who are always on the move, travelling from place to place as her father’s work demands. Their new home, however, is different. There’s a frightening woman who lives down the hall: she bears an uncanny resemblance to a witch. A mysterious light comes from her apartment, and a small boy seems to be trapped inside. A group of odd creatures called basement brownies appear in the air vent in her bedroom, and she follows them underground in an attempt to restore magic to both the brownie burrow and the human world above.

The story started as a writing fragment that I wrote nearly 10 years earlier.  There was an old cold water flat with a piano in the corner. A girl was curled up under the piano, crying. The wind was blowing, making the curtains dance, and there was something – I didn’t know what – watching her. For some reason, the image stuck with me, and when I found the time to sit down to write many years later, I found myself back in that room, wondering what was going on. I wrote ROOT BOUND to find out.

How do you feel about self-publishing? I’m still a bit torn when it comes to self-publishing, even though that is the route I chose for ROOT BOUND.  As a writer, I’m grateful that it’s possible to publish my own work, especially at a time when traditional publishing is shrinking and so afraid to publish anything that isn’t standard blockbuster material. On the other hand, the rapid growth of self-publishing and eBooks are part of the reason this situation exists in the first place.  From a marketing perspective, self-publishing is tough. Really, really tough. I think it was still possible to strike it big like Amanda Hawking or E.L. James when there were fewer people fighting for a growing number of readers, but now, the number of readers has tapered off, but more people are self-publishing than ever. It gets very difficult to cut through all that noise. But again, getting a traditional book deal is no guarantee that your book will sell either, and you have to put in the time no matter which way you go.

Finally, as an avid reader, I am painfully aware of the way the changing publishing industry has affected bookstores, especially all those great indie shops who are currently struggling or already gone. I might also feel the loss more than most people, since I’ve already been through this process when I closed down my own CD and video store in Stratford, Ontario. And self-published authors rarely get into bookstores in the first place. I don’t think that print-on-demand services will ever compensate for that.

Root Bound

How far will you go to find your way home?

Emma and her father are always on the move, travelling from place to place as her father’s work demands. Their new home, however, is different. There’s a frightening woman who lives down the hall: she bears an uncanny resemblance to a witch. A mysterious light comes from her apartment, and a small boy seems to be trapped inside. School in this town is no happy place either, with an odd principal and a gang of girls who make tormenting Emma their special project. And strangest of all is the fact that there seem to be brownies – basement brownies, in the air vent in her bedroom.

Haunted by visions of her mother, Emma travels through the brownie burrow to the valley of Hades to visit with the goddess Ceres, following a series of clues that lead her across the sea of memory to the centre of the world. There, on an inhospitable rock floating in a sea of steaming lava, Emma must find a way to release her mother from the sea of memory and restore magic to both the brownie burrow and the human world above.

Buy Now @ Amazon @Smashwords

Genre - Middle Grade Fantasy Adventure

Rating – G (ages 10+)

More details about the author

Connect with Tanya Karen Gough on Facebook & Twitter

Blog http://emmaseries.blogspot.com

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

#AmReading - The Conduit by Stacey Rourke @Rourkewrites

The Conduit by Stacey Rourke


All 18-year-old Celeste Garrett wants is to head off to college and make those fun, yet ill-advised, choices college kids are known for. And maybe to spend some time with the hot cameraman she just met. Instead, because of a pact her ancestors made in the 17th century with a mythical creature, she has to save the world.
While normal kids are slamming energy drinks and cramming for exams, Celeste will get her adrenaline rush fighting a fire breathing dragon. She wants to meet friends in the quad to exchange lecture notes, but first she must exchange blows with a shapeshifting demon on the rooftop. Life isn’t always fair for a superhero, but at least she doesn’t have to do it alone. With her brother and sister as sidekicks, they alternate between saving lives and getting on each others’ nerves. Together the trio encounters unspeakable odds, mystical forces and comes face-to-face with an image that will haunt them forever—their grandmother in a leopard print bikini.

The Eden Plague (Plague Wars) by David VanDyke @DVanDykeAuthor


A hard-hitting military technothriller, ON SALE for a limited time. Pick it up today before it’s back to its normal $3.98 price.

A Kindle Book Review 2013 Best Indie Award Winner semi-finalist. thekindlebookreview.net/2013-book-awards/ 

Rule #1: Try not to shoot your future wife. When special operations veteran Daniel Markis finds armed invaders in his home and it all goes sideways, he soon finds himself on the run from the shadowy Company and in possession of a genetic engineering breakthrough that might throw nations into chaos. Out of options, Daniel turns to his brothers in arms to fight back and get the answers he needs. Soon he takes possession of a secret that threatens the stability of the world, as he leads a conspiracy to change everything.

Eden Plague leads readers into the exciting and engrossing Plague Wars apocalyptic-thriller series. It borrows from the traditions of Michael Crichton, Dean Koontz, with shades of David Drake, Jerry Pournelle, S. M. Stirling, Vaughn Heppner and B.V. Larson.

Also from David VanDyke:

The Plague Wars Series:
- The Eden Plague
- Reaper’s Run
- The Demon Plagues
- The Reaper Plague
- The Orion Plague
- Cyborg Strike
- Comes the Destroyer

Stellar Conquest Series:
- Planetary Assault – contains First Conquest: Stellar Conquest Book 1
- Desolator: Book 2
- Tactics of Conquest: Book 3 (Winter 2013)

PG-13 for language, violence and adult situations (non-explicit)

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – SciFi, Adventure

Rating – PG13

More details about the author

Connect withDavid Van Dyke on FacebookTwitter

Blog https://davidvandyke.wordpress.com/

Author Interview – Kachina Riley

Who is your publisher? CHB Media from New Smyrna, Fla.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? The most difficult part of writing Tattered Phoenix was emotionally charged re-experiencing a very troubled childhood.  Because of this I had periods where I did not write because it was too painful to go back to that current subject.  As I coped with this over time, I was able ultimately to get the book finished.

How much of the book is realistic? Since the book is my memoirs, the writing comes from my own childhood memories.

Have you included, in Tattered Phoenix, a lot of your life experiences including friends in the plot? Yes, I included my childhood friends, teachers and family and noted them by first names.

Do you have to travel much concerning your books? I travelled extensively in writing Tattered Phoenix, and I continue to travel gathering writing material for my current book.

When do you wish to end your current career? Never.


Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Memoir

Rating – PG13

Connect with Kachina Riley on her website


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

#Free - The Adventures of Crog and Zog by Emily A. Cabot

The Adventures of Crog and Zog by Emily A. Cabot

Amazon Kindle US

Frog Toad adventures will keep your child delighted as this precious frog tale unfolds. In The Adventures of Crog And Zog In The Land Of Frogs And Toads, frog and toad are friends, teaching your children important lessons about getting along with those who are different from them. This story features the frog prince Crog and his friend, Zog, who decide that when frog and toad are friends, everyone's life is better off.
In this delightful book, your child will stay on the edge of his seat while learning of the trouble that frog and toad get into throughout the pages of this book. Your young child will meet the friendly ducks who can make frogs fly,and learn about the thrills of adventure while our young stars visit the place where frog and toad all year live together. Because of the exciting nature of this children's book, like the other book in the frog and toad series, your children will learn that being brave enough to face the unknown can take them to marvelous places that they had only before dreamed of visiting.
Emily A. Cabot goes all out in this frog tale, giving children the opportunity to learn important lessons while remaining safely within the realm of comfort for a children's frog prince story. Since frog and toad are friends in this book, your children are introduced to the always challenging concept that just because you are different from someone else doesn't mean that you can't be friends.
Within this second book featuring the frog prince Crog, your child will be delighted with colorful drawings and playful illustrations that bring the frog and toad drama to life in your hands. Your child will want to read about frog and toad all year long, quickly becoming one of their favorite tales to be told at the bedtime setting
As frog and toad together gives the story a feeling of unity and delight, your child will fall in love with these playful characters from the frog and toad series all over again in this newest adventure.
The time spent with your child reading these tales will create fond bedtime memories that your child will cherish for the rest of their lives. Don't delay, get your copy of this tale of frog toad today, and open your child's mind to the delights and wonders of the imaginative world of Emily A. Cabot's delightful story.

Love Unbroken (Love, Life, & Happiness) by Sheena Binkley @ChevonBink



I wasn’t expecting to meet anyone when I arrived at Shaw University. After my last stint at love, the only thing I wanted to focus on is getting through my first semester of college without any drama. That was my intentions, until I met Shawn Walker. At first I didn’t like him. He was arrogant and cocky; someone that I could easily despised, if he wasn’t so damn sexy. But one night changed my thoughts about him. I was able to let down my guard and be myself. Now, I have a second chance at love. Will I let myself love again, or will I continue to live in the past?


After my last girlfriend cheated on me, love was not on my agenda. I tried to escape it at all costs, until I met Riana Robertson. After thinking she was like every other girl, I easily avoided being around her, but that night, when I saw what happened to her, I had to help her. I had to protect her. That night changed the way I felt about her and I realized I could fall hard for her. But will our relationship survive once she finds out the truth about me. Or will I lose her forever…

This story is intended for readers 17+ (adult content/language, sexual content/language).

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - New Adult Romance

Rating – R

More details about the author

Connect with Sheena Binkley on Twitter

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Date with the Dead by Chris Myers @CMyersFiction

Chapter 5

After the Caldwells give us our licenses back, Reese and I head out.

“Do you want a ride home?” he asks.

“That’s okay. It’s only a couple miles,” I say. “Let’s talk about the evidence tomorrow.”

“I’ll go over it tonight,” he says, grinning at me.

I’m glad he’s into the techie side of the business. Going through hours of video and voice recordings bore me. Drew and I climb onto my bike. Dark clouds cover the moon, so I pedal fast to beat the rain. I should’ve accepted the ride.

We aren’t even a quarter of the way home when fat droplets splatter my arms. “Shoot.”

Drew squeezes my waist. “Get over. This SUV’s going to clip us.”

Bike reflectors are hard to see at night, so I don’t look behind me but get off the road as far as I can. The headlights shine on me and light up the road in front of me. I’m right against the curb. Surely, he sees me. The SUV slows. The engine breathes on me. I don’t look back. Why isn’t he going around? The vehicle camps on my rear fender for a minute.

“What’s he doing?” Drew asks.

“I don’t know.”

The SUV slowly comes beside me. I look into the tinted windows. I can’t see inside, but the thought of someone staring back at me sends chills along my arms.

The SUV speeds up and brushes against my left pedal. My body jumps as if I’ve been struck by a live wire. The bicycle swerves. I hit the curb and flip, which would’ve seemed graceful if it had been on purpose. My body slides against the sidewalk then onto someone’s lawn.

“Jerk,” Drew yells, pumping his fist in the air.

“I don’t think he can hear you.” I gather myself while rain droplets plunk down on my head, matting my hair.

“Are you okay?” Drew asks, helping me to my feet.

“I’ll survive,” I say, assessing the damage. My right knee is banged up. Shin and palm road rash. I’m shaking hard like I’m holding onto the wing of an airplane flying through a storm.

Computer? I yank it from my back pack. It’s okay. I sigh with relief.

My front handlebars are askew. Great. I’ll have to walk my bike home in the rain. Another drop hits my nose. I tighten my thin jacket and shiver from the sudden wet cold. I pick up the bike and push it while wincing with each step I take. 

A blue FJ Cruiser drives onto the curb behind me. Add embarrassment now to my list of injuries. The rain patters my head.

The driver gets out. It’s Hayden, Mr. Terminator. My knees buckle, not that they needed much encouragement. Why couldn’t it be a teacher, someone I don’t care if he sees me looking my worst? Hayden’s in jeans and a snug polo shirt and looks fabulous whereas I probably look like road kill.

“Jesus,” he says. “I saw that guy run you off the road. He was probably chatting on his cell phone.”

That could be true, but the way he slowed down still has me trembling. “Did you get his license plate?” I ask.

“Sorry. I was too far back.” Hayden walks over to me. “Are you okay? Do you want me to call an ambulance?”

That would cost money. “No. I’ll be fine.” I hobble another few steps forward, because the rain is picking up its tempo.

Date with the Dead

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - YA Paranormal Mystery, Romance

Rating – PG-13

More details about the author and the book

Connect with Chris Myers on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.chrismyersfiction.com

Julia (The Good Life series) by Sarah Krisch


The Good Life Book One

Chapter 1


...and looking out on the two acres of newly planted seedlings, I feel a sense of satisfaction that only working your own land can bring. Although my back is sore and dirt cakes my fingernails, I know that the land gives back so much more than the effort I put into it. Inhaling the fragrant spring air, feeling the sun's gentle warmth, I am at peace. For tonight, my family will feast on cream of asparagus soup, an early season tossed green salad, and a crusty home-baked bread that melts on your tongue. Pair this with a bottle of local elderberry wine, and you're living the good life.

Julia closed her eyes, her fingers a hair's width from striking the laptop's keyboard. She could almost feel the sun on her cheeks, smell the freshly turned soil. It was a comfort she would often recall whenever she needed a reminder of some of the happiest moments of her life. As a child she'd spent her summer months living at her grandparents' farm in Harmony Grove, Iowa. In retrospect, those quaint, stuck-in-time summer vacations were a great way to grow up, but she couldn't be happier having moved to Chicago—or living with Nora, her best friend since they'd been paired as college roommates eight years ago.

The click of high heels brought her out of her reverie. Julia looked up to see the overly made-up face of the nail tech as she glanced at the timer and whispered, "Five more minutes." Julia nodded and looked back at her laptop screen.

She sighed, happy to have finished another weekly column. Not only was it finished, it was actually pretty darned good. Nine months of weekly columns… she never imagined it would last so long, or that she would even have enough to write about to keep it fresh and interesting. When she'd started the column as a simple blog she never thought anyone would read it. But somehow, in the mysterious workings of the internet, her little Wordpress blog had garnered a following, a following that soon outgrew the free domain world of Wordpress. Her blog, The Good Life, had been syndicated by the Chicago Herald website for six months. Her thousand loyal readers had now become ten times that amount, and growing.

She saved the file to her laptop, careful not to smudge her manicure, and then emailed a copy to her editor at the Herald.

When the timer went off, Gloria, the owner of the salon, approached with a smile and lifted the hairdryer. "How was your day of beauty?"

Julia stood up from the pedicure drying station and glanced down at her toes. "I finally look worthy of the gorgeous Jimmy Choos I bought last week. They only cost me a month's worth of columns."

"I don't know how you get any work done here with all of this racket going on."

"When I'm working on my column, I'm not really here," Julia said as she closed her computer and stowed it in her laptop bag. "I'm at the farm."

"You sure don't look like a farm girl to me."

"And thanks to all of your fabulous skills, I never will." Julia wiggled her fingernails, gleaming with fresh polish. She hadn't had her hands in freshly turned soil in many years.

"None of your readers suspect that you're really just a city girl with an active imagination?"

"No, ma'am. That's one of the reasons I keep coming back to you. Beautician-to-client confidentiality," Julia said with a wink.

"Your secrets are safe with me, girl," Gloria said as she walked Julia to the cash register. "Same time next week?"

Julia handed over her well-used Visa. "You know I can't resist."


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Genre – Contemporary Romance

Rating – PG-13

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

#AmReading - Broken At Love by Lyla Payne @Lyla_Payne

Broken At Love by Lyla Payne


When a knee injury ends twenty-year-old Quinn Rowland’s pro tennis career, he’s not only dumped by his hot Russian girlfriend but ordered to attend college by his disinterested billionaire father. A rich kid who’s not used to being disappointed by life, Quinn and his sociopathic half-brother Sebastian create a frat house game intended to treat girls how they see them—as simple game pieces to be manipulated for their pleasure.
College sophomore Emilie Swanson knows Quinn’s reputation—after all, he did send one of her sorority sisters into therapy earlier in the semester—but the game and his charm bring them closer together and soon she starts to believe there’s more to Quinn than people think.
But what if the more is something darker than a game of toying with emotions and breaking hearts?
Quinn and Emilie might be falling for each other, but there are secrets he’s not ready to tell—and lifestyle changes he’s reluctant to make. She willingly stepped on the court, but if Emilie finds out she started out as nothing as a pawn in Quinn and Sebastian’s twisted game, she might never forgive him.
To his surprise, Quinn finds that he might finally care about someone more than he cares about himself…even if that means letting Emilie walk away for good.

The Beautiful American by Marilyn Holdsworth @m_holdsworth

Chapter 4

Mildred and Max were waiting for her when Abby walked back through the shop to the front window. The three of them put the finishing touches on the display and then stepped back to admire the affect. Max had washed the glass so it sparkled, and Mildred had added two more porcelains and a few pieces of antique silver and propped a pair of burgundy velvet pillows in one corner. The overall look was stunning, and Abby nodded her approval.

“Window dressing is an art form in itself and you two could make a business out of it, I’m sure. But I certainly hope you won’t. I don’t know what I’d do without you,” she added hurriedly.

“Blimey, that’d be the day,” Max scoffed.

“Well, I’m really grateful for your help today. The window looks terrific, and I was glad you were here to help load that desk, Max.”

“Quickest sale I ever seen.” Max scratched his head, and Mildred gave him a knowing look.

“Nice-looking bloke. Not seen ’im around before,” she said, studying Abby carefully.

“I just met him this morning actually, at the auction. He sort of helped me out of a difficult situation.”

“Knows ’is mind,” Max said.

“Knows what he wants; that’s for sure,” Mildred sniffed. “Wonder if that desk is all he wants.”

“Now, Mildred, don’t go making more out of this than there is. He wanted a desk; I had one for sale. Simple as that. Done deal,” Abby said firmly, locking the shop’s door and heading toward her van.

“Mmhmm” Mildred mused. “We’ll just see about that.”

*  *  *

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Genre - Biographies & Memoirs

Rating – PG-13

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Blog http://MarilynHoldsworth.wordpress.com/

Living The Testimony by Deidre Havrelock @deidrehavrelock

Living the testimony

We testify in accordance with what we know and have experienced.

…It’s time to learn and experience more!

The first book in this thought-provoking series explained how testimony relates to the Bible; this book will help you understand how testimony relates to living. Living…The Testimony will not only encourage Christians to reflect on who they believe Jesus to be (and why they choose to believe this), but it will also correct current misconstrued ideas as to what the Christian testimony is all about.

- a testimony is not about church;

- a testimony is not about God;

- a testimony is not about faith in general terms;

- this book contains numerous testimonies that will strengthen your faith in Jesus.

A strong Christian testimony is one that continually grows in the knowledge of Jesus, continually shares that knowledge boldly, while at the same time performs good works based on Jesus’ teaching of love—all while abstaining from works of darkness.

Because a biblical testimony deals not only with our belief system, but also with the way we conduct our whole lives, our Christian testimony becomes our most valuable asset. It is life itself.

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Genre – Christian Living

Rating – G

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Website www.deidrehavrelock.com

Author Interview – Paula Boyd

Which voice do you prefer to write in, first person or third? The first three novels I wrote were in third person. I liked it and it worked for me. And furthermore, I swore I would never ever write a book in first person—never. Well, you know where this is going. Turns out when I write in first person I have a very distinctive voice and a natural flowing style. And, I’m funny—quirkily and “catch you off guard, choke on a cracker” funny. Who knew? So, you ask, why did I decide to switch? I didn’t—the character decided for me. Yes, I heard her voice in my head—loudly. Perhaps psychological types would have concerns about such things, but it is my process and I just didn’t have a choice on how the story unfolded. The very first word that came into my head and went onto the paper was “I.” And I loved it! It was freeing in a way I’d never imagined and I started having so much fun I could hardly stand it. I’m working on my fourth novel, Killer Moves, now and I have a few scenes written in third person when Jolene isn’t onstage, but it’s her story—and Lucille’s—and it is told from a very personal viewpoint.

When and how did you become a published author? In 1999, my first mystery, Hot Enough to Kill, had been under serious consideration by a major New York publishing house for about a year. During that time, we had communicated quite a bit, including two lengthy phone conversations and I truly believed they were ready to make an offer. Instead, I got a brief letter from the VP saying they changed their mind because it would compete with another series they already published. I was not disappointed. I was not angry. I was freakin’ livid! I’d wasted a whole year waiting and had even turned down another offer from a small publisher. I’d gone from “almost published” back to square one, which was a big problem since I was on the executive boards of two large professional writers’ groups and speaking on their behalf as an author. I was the only board member who didn’t have a book in print and I felt like a fraud. So, I announced to the world that I was not going to do another event without a book in hand. The next event was only six weeks away and there were no print on demand or digital options, not to mention that I was clueless on where to even start. Nevertheless. I did it and Hot Enough to Kill went with me to that event.

What are some milestones on your journey as a writer? I have had some really cool stuff happen with my books along the way. Hot Enough to Kill was featured in Redbook, Colorado Homes and Living, Romantic Times and a lot of magazines and newspapers and I had personal features in Mountain Living, San Antonio Woman and others. A few years ago, an excerpt from the book was included in the University of Texas Press’ Lone Star Sleuths: An Anthology of Texas Crime Fiction. To be included along with big names such as Kinky Friedman, Mary Willis Walker, Walter Mosley, Joe Lansdale and many others was a pretty fantastic thrill. And, I admit to being a little star struck at the group book signing event. The second book in the series, Dead Man Falls, won a literary award and getting Turkey Ranch Road Rage into print after a long stretch of “life happening” was a big deal for me too. After I revised and re-released the books as ebooks in 2012, Hot Enough to Kill wound up as the number one book in the entire free Kindle store with almost 50,000 downloads in November. And, along the way, I also became a seven-time award-winning author of self-help nonfiction as well. Yeah, milestones!

Is writing a form of personal therapy for you? Yes and no. Because I also write self-help, most people assume that Living the Life You Love by Paula Renaye is my own personal therapy book. It isn’t. Not at all! My personal therapy occurs in my fictional world. I mean really, how cool is it that you can go back and rewrite your story so that it turns out the way you really wanted it to. And, as a special bonus, anybody who ever pissed you off can die a slow and appropriately painful death! That’s pretty therapeutic! Of course, it usually doesn’t work out that way for me. Several of the characters I’ve intended to deliberately and deliciously murder, not to mention metaphorically mutilate, did not die. Once I’d worked through what I need to, it just didn’t matter anymore and the story went however it needed to.

Do you put experiences from your life in your books? I’m working on Killer Moves now, and while I have way fewer axes to grind these days, I am surprised to find that I certainly have an adequate supply t to entertain myself. And, on my recent trip back to Texas, I gathered a few more. I stopped in a little town along the way—yes, I went to the Dairy Queen just like Jolene—to get a mega-unhealthy, grease-coated and gravy-laden chicken basket. I was sitting in a booth, minding my own business, and this man came up to me and spontaneously said some wildly inappropriate things. Now, Jolene would have punched him and Lucille would have shot him. Paula, however, responded quite calmly with only two little words—and they weren’t even bad ones—“That’s inappropriate.” His face turned deep red and he literally ran out the door. Oh, yeah, he’ll be in a book somewhere!

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Genre – Mystery & Thriller / Women Sleuth

Rating – PG13

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Website http://paulaboyd.com/