Dreaming in the Pages

Books ... where dreams are better than reality

Broken Pieces

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Curse Giver by Dora Machado @DoraMachado

Chapter Five

THE NEXT FEW DAYS WERE LOST to Lusielle. Her life was a jumbled sequence of snippets, blurry images breaking up long periods of dense darkness, triggered by a sudden jostle or a twinge of pain, cold, heat or thirst. She spotted glimpses of a gray sky, spitting out rain, and campfires burning deep in the woods. There was more rain, and a face—his face—hovering just beyond reach.

Occasionally, sound trickled into her muffled world from a distant place. The wind rustled through the trees. The horses’ hooves pounded on dirt, gravel, and mud. Men spoke, snorted, muttered and snored. A low, measured voice—his voice—echoed very near, urging her to drink, eat or sleep, accompanied by the pervasive masculine scent that was her constant companion.

There were times when she came to just enough to realize that she existed in the world in-between, where gods and mortals met in dreams, where dreams and reality were one and the same. In those moments, she realized that she survived only because of someone else’s will, that if she wanted a future, she had to wake up and seize it. She kept trying, even though it required great effort, like swimming against a colossal tide.

“This way,” the voice said.

She felt listless as a corpse, but she grabbed on to that voice and followed it to a semblance of consciousness. Fighting her heavy eyelids, she managed to glimpse the man’s stern face, outlined against a background of pewter clouds.


She rode with him on his horse, wrapped in an oiled mantle, mostly protected from the rain. His strong arms kept her from slipping off the massive beast. His armored chest offered a hard but steady pillow. The beat of his heart echoed through the copper plates, strong, vibrant, and enthralling.

He must have realized that she was awake, because his stare swooped down on her like a hawk on the prowl, even though his voice was gentle. “Hush,” he said. “We won’t be too much longer on the road today.”

His eyes were lined with worry and exhaustion. So were the faces of the other men who rode with him. All of them were wet, tired and miserable, picking their way up a steep mountain track as the relentless rain continued to pelt them. That same rain was dripping from Brennus’s face, drenching his hair and trickling down his neck.

“The rain,” she whispered. “It’s making you wet.” She reached out to dry the water from his face, but the wound on her back protested with a pang of pain.

He caught her hand and tucked it back into the blanket. “It’s no use,” he said. “You can’t keep me dry.”

“One can try,” she said.

And he actually smiled.

“Where are we?” she asked.

“South of nowhere and north of wherever,” he said. “Far from the usual routes. We’re seven days out.”

Seven days was an awful long time to be senseless among strangers.

“Don’t worry,” he said. “Riva’s not going to find us.”

She winced when the horse missed a step.

“Hato!” Brennus called.

Why was he barking like that?

There was splashing, the sound of hooves clattering and then, “My lord?”

“We’ve got to stop. The fever’s back and she’s hurting again.”

“No place to stop around here, my lord,” the other man said.

“Send Severo and Cirillo ahead,” he said. “Tell them to find a decent camp and get a fire going. She’s got to rest.”

“My lord,” he said, “we have pressing business. We can’t slow down to accommodate her comfort—”

“Do you want her alive or not?”

The other man sighed. “As you wish, my lord.” He rode away.

She tried to tell him that she was fine, but ended up whimpering instead.

“Shush,” he whispered in her ear. “You need to sleep.”

And by the Thousand Gods, off she went, at his command, into the darkness again, following his heart’s steady rhythm as it sang a lullaby to her heart.

Curse Giver

Award-Winning Finalist in the fantasy category of The 2013 USA Best Book Awards, sponsored by USA Book News

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Genre – Fantasy/Dark Fantasy

Rating – PG-18

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Connect with Dora Machado on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.doramachado.com/

Living The Testimony by Deidre Havrelock @deidrehavrelock

My Personal Testimony

I grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, as a Cree/Irish borderline Catholic girl, meaning this half-breed rarely went to Mass. However, I did pray every night. I absolutely loved God and believed in Him deeply. Being Catholic, I had heard about Jesus. In fact, my favorite song was “Away in a Manger.” Whenever I was scared, which was often, I would sing this song. But I imagined Jesus to be a fairytale—a fantasy about a perfect God coming to save people. He was just for good thoughts. He was in no way a reality.

Despite my vague belief in Jesus, my relationship with God seemed deep. I would have conversations with my invisible God; I would tell God I loved Him. And I certainly did love Him. Although, I was becoming a bit frustrated with Him because of my dreary life circumstance. You see, my dad drank—a lot. And this stress, along with the stress of my quickly emerging spiritual life, was simply too overwhelming.

As a child I lived with a strange secret. I sensed an ominous yet deeply intriguing spiritual force in my home. I simply assumed a ghost lived in my house. To convolute matters even more, when I was just seven, a man with fire for hair appeared to me in a dream, forcing me to marry him in front of an upside-down cross. He told me in the dream, “Don’t worry, you have been chosen.” From this point on, I completely believed I was married to the devil—irrevocably dark and aligned with evil.

Fortunately, this dream did motivate me to dig my heels in and search for God. I figured only God could get me divorced from the devil. But instead my search led me to Fred, a kind spirit I met in grade four through a Ouija board. Being Cree, spirits were nothing new to me. My mom’s family always talked about spirits. Most of my aunts and uncles were scared of the spirits or ghosts they saw in their dreams and in their houses, but my grandmother told me the spirits were there to help and protect us. I wasn’t quite sure what to believe. I was confused. After all, the spirits I sensed around me and the ones I saw in my dreams scared me, too. But then again, Fred seemed different. This spirit was nice. He was funny. Fred told me through the Ouija board that his job was to protect and watch over me. Eventually, I began telling myself that spirits just felt creepy, but once you got to know them they could be nice. Especially, if you were nice to them.

Fred became my constant companion. But one day, in grade six, after my best friend’s dad tried to molest me and just after my uncle Glen (who had sexually molested me as a small child) came to live with us in our home, I had a nervous breakdown. While left home alone with Glen, I grabbed a butcher knife and ran to my room to hide. Once in my bedroom, instead of picking up my Ouija board to call on Fred, I cried out to God, telling Him I wanted to kill myself. Suddenly I heard a voice speak out loud: “When you are big everything will be okay.” It was God; He spoke to me. He was real.3 I told God I’d hang on until I was big, which obviously, to a twelve-year-old mind, meant eighteen.

By age sixteen, things seemed to have miraculously changed for the better. First of all, my dad was now inexplicably healed from alcoholism. Second, I was introduced by my high school teacher to a New Age transcendental meditation and channeling group that met weekly in the back room of a small bookstore.4 I was so excited. I thought for sure—in this extremely spiritual group—I would find God and get my divorce from Satan.

This group also told me spirits were good and helpful. However, a few sessions later, I found myself strangely altered after my spirit guide Fred, along with another extremely violent spirit, entered my body during group meditation and refused to leave. A member of the group did attempt to help me force these spirits from my body, but the endeavor failed. Consequently, I was kicked out of my New Age group for having bad karma. This meant I was the one attracting these evil spirits to the group—because I was evil. I left the group feeling deeply hurt, misunderstood, and very aware of being “chosen” by the devil.5

A school friend of mine named Doug, who had joined the channeling group with me, then suggested, without knowing anything about my spiritual past, that I study Satanism. His brother had a Satanic Bible.6 After flatly declining, I began dreaming I was killing people. I also dreamed of horrible evil creatures. Rats invading my house was a common dream, and the devil with fire for hair began reappearing in my dreams, growing angrier every time I refused to follow him. When I turned eighteen, I gave up on spirituality. I simply wouldn’t choose Satan and God had failed to show up and save me.

When I was twenty-two years old, now bulimic/anorexic, depressed, and suffering from intense back pain, my life took an unexpected turn when at work God surprisingly spoke to me again saying, “This is the man whom you shall marry.” That man was DJ, a young man who worked in the same office as I did. Eventually DJ and I began dating, and even though we seemed to have nothing in common—because I was convinced that God had sent him to help me—on our third date, I opened up to him, describing to him my nightmares and my spirit guide, Fred. Of course, I worried DJ might consider me crazy, but instead he said, “I’m here to help.”7

It was a few weeks later that DJ opened up to me, explaining how he believed in Jesus. He told me he believed Jesus was alive. He told me Jesus could heal me and save me; and because he was God’s actual Son, he was the gateway to knowing and experiencing God. DJ asked me to simply trust Jesus.8

But I was more than a little doubtful. In fact, his Christian beliefs made me furious. It seemed idiotic for anyone to believe that a childhood fairytale could be true, and it seemed positively arrogant that DJ thought he knew and understood God. After all, why couldn’t God just save me Himself? What did He need Jesus for? Why was Jesus so important? I argued with DJ about the relevance of Jesus many times. Then one night, after arguing about Jesus yet again, my back flared up with pain. DJ asked if he could pray for me. I was uncomfortable with this but thought, What will it hurt?

As DJ prayed for me, particularly when he asked me to be healed “in the name of Jesus,” my back pain sharply escalated—then the voices began. It was just like during my channeling days. Spirits stirred inside me wanting to speak. Except this time they were enraged. As DJ continued praying, my body contorted as my muscles tightened; a low growl came from my lips. Within seconds, a thick black mass pulled out from my back and hovered above us. I remember huddling against DJ, whispering, “What is that?”

“It’s evil,” he said.

I was terrified. DJ, however, immediately told the evil spirits to “leave, in the name of Jesus.” Surprisingly, the blackness retreated back down inside me. I was horrified and confused, crying and shaking. I didn’t understand I was possessed. All I knew was that Fred and another spirit were living inside me; they were angry, extremely strong, and they absolutely hated the name Jesus.

DJ, now with clear confirmation that my problem was actually demonic possession, had to find help, but where was he to go? He wasn’t sure if his church leadership would believe him. DJ then met with a Christian girl, Audrey, who also worked in our office.9 She and DJ decided to bring me to her church. They hoped her pastor could pray for me and expel the evil spirits.10

DJ convinced me to attend a service. However, shortly after arriving at the church, I found myself running from the service after voices in my head told me to kill the pastor. I remember this pastor was preaching about Jesus being able to heal. The whole service felt strange and uncomfortable to me, but DJ convinced me to go back to this church two more times. Each time I returned, the strength and rage of the voices grew and my strange back pain returned. Finally, much too terrorized and confused to go on, I refused to go back. I told DJ talking about Jesus aggravated my problems, so the solution was obviously not to talk about him.

Living the testimony

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Genre – Christian Living

Rating – G

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Connect with Deidre Havrelock on Twitter

Website www.deidrehavrelock.com

The Colors of Friendship by K. R. Raye @KRRaye

Moving On

Lance flicked his wrist and checked his watch.  Yes, 5:00 p.m. on the dot.  With a smile he knocked on the girls’ dorm room door ready to tackle their English study session.  Even though they each pursued different majors: Melody, Communications; Imani, Chemical Engineering; and he studied Business; they all made a vow at orientation to align their core Freshmen classes and liberal arts electives whenever possible. 

He heard movement behind the door as one of the girls checked through the peephole and then Imani threw open the door.

Lance smiled and landed a peck on her cheek before he strolled inside. 

The phone rang and Imani shoved him towards it.  “Could you get that? It’s my mom,” she said heading towards the bathroom she shared with Melody and the two girls in the connecting room. 

Colors of Friendship

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Genre – New Adult, Contemporary

Rating – R

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Connect with K R Raye on Facebook and Twitter

Website http://krraye.com/events.html

Author Interview – Merry Farmer @merryfarmer20

Image of Merry Farmer

What do you hope your obituary will say about you?  “Merry Farmer: She was a nice person, beloved by all, who wrote engaging and imaginative stories”.

Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?  I grew up in a little suburb of Philadelphia called Bryn Athyn.  It’s a unique community built around the Swedenborgian church, which is a highly intellectual, philosophical Protestant church.  There’s a big focus on education and deeper thought there, not to mention a lot of retro-medieval architecture and artwork!  It definitely influenced my love of history and deep though.  I live nearby now, although not in Bryn Athyn, but my family is still there.  We had a great arts program at the schools I went to, and that’s been a huge influence.

How did you develop your writing?  My writing has developed mostly through practice.  I’ve been writing for 30+ years now and I’ve learned through a lot of trial and error.  If there’s one piece of advice I could give to aspiring writers, it’s write all the time, whether you think it’s good or not.  You only get better if you practice.

Where do you get your inspiration from?  Honestly, the history of the time periods that I write in is what inspires me.  As they say, the truth is stranger than fiction.  Even my Sci-Fi novels are based on history.  So much has happened on this planet!  So many lives had been lived.

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?  You know, if you’d asked me five years ago, I would have said getting published.  If you’d asked me a year and a half ago, I’d have said writing.  But these days I say marketing.  At least that’s the hardest for me to do at the level I need to grow my readership.  It’s hard for me because my personality type would so much rather just hide in my writer cave and write instead of going out and telling people about my writing.  Marketing is absolutely necessary though, especially in today’s publishing climate.


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Genre - Western Historical Romance

Rating – R

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Connect with Merry Farmer on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://merryfarmer.net

Friday, December 27, 2013

Midshipman Henry Gallant in Space by H. Peter Alesso


The hours in a day were never enough. Each watch, report, and exam seemed like an organized disruption to Gallant’s desire for food and sleep. Each irreverent “Attention Midshipman Gallant” that blared over his head, called him away to some new obligation. A week after re-qualifying, Gallant joined the other midshipmen in an advanced flight training session conducted by Lieutenant Mather.

Mather was going to review the ship’s computer systems in detail in preparation for a mock combat session. While many of the midshipmen were already up to date on the ship’s AI systems, it was an opportunity for Gallant to catch-up.

Mather stood at the head of the compartment at a lectern facing several rows of chairs. He began describing the Repulse’s computer system, “It’s a marvel of Twenty-second Century technology. It provides three levels of operation for each and every important department on board including: navigation, engineering, weapons, environmental, and communications. The first level is the centralized Artificial Intelligence (AI) system. It performs what we call ‘strong-AI.’ Then, the second level includes system operations of individual departments with their own ‘weak-AI.’ They require more human interaction in order to coordinate systems. Finally, the last level is direct human manual control.”

“Officers, this is the strong-AI system nicknamed GridScape.” A three dimensional humanoid holograph form appeared before Mather. ““The avatar image is changeable,” he flipped through a few before settling on a base form. “I prefer this nondescript image for my lectures. GridScape is a wireless grid computer network consisting of over one million parallel central processors performing a billion-billion operations per second. It helps to control operations throughout the ship and its fighter support within a limited range. It coordinates overall control with our technically trained crew. Of course, it has redundant connectivity for reliability; both direct wiring, as well as wireless connections. GridScape is fully capable of independent automatic operation for most routine operations and many emergency responses that the ship may be required to perform.”

Sandy Barrington stood up and asked, “What happens when there’s battle damage, sir?”

“In the event the strong-AI system is damaged, the weak-AI computer systems take over local functional operation. Of course, every device can be switched to manual operation as required. Also, all crew members have their comm pins. They can connect to local resources that in turn can connect to the centralized AI,” said Mather.


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Genre – Science Fiction

Rating – G

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Connect with H. Peter Alesso on Facebook

Website http://www.hpeteralesso.com/Default.aspx

Author Interview – Vicky Savage

Do you find it hard to share your work? I never share my first draft with anyone. I mean NEVER. My first drafts are total crap. Once I’ve done my rewrites and polished the MS a bit, I share it with my alpha readers, so I still have time for adjustments. Then my sister reads it again. I trust her the most. After it’s been edited and deemed ready for publication, I share with everyone. I’m always passing out books to anyone who even feigns an interest in my work.

How do you work through self-doubts and fear? I love this quote from Robert Hughes: “The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.” I wrote a whole blog post on how self-doubt is like a common cold—you can’t cure it, but there are ways to soothe it, and eventually it goes away by itself. When I’m ready to throw my whole manuscript on the trash heap and light it on fire, the first thing I do is call my fantastic sister. She always talks me down off the ledge. The second thing I do is take a break from work and read some really good writing for inspiration. If that doesn’t work, I do some editing on what I’ve already written so I feel better about it. The thing is, the doubt always passes, and when I go back and re-read my writing with fresh eyes, it’s never as bad as I thought it was.

Do you have any advice for writers? My advice for new writers is: Just get it down on paper, from start to finish, whether poem, story, novel, whatever. Don’t worry about how ugly it is. You can always fix it later. My advice for indie authors, in particular: Don’t publish your book until it’s been professionally edited. Good editing is critical to your success.

Do you have time to read? Stephen King once said: “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time to write.” I didn’t really understand that quote until I started writing. I believe it’s vital to read often, first to keep up with the latest in your genre, second to be reminded what good writing vs. bad writing really is, and third because it’s relaxing!

How did you come up with the idea for this trilogy? I’ve always loved stories that take place in medieval times, with swords and horses and knights in shining armor. I had two problems, though. The first was that I didn’t want my protagonist to be a helpless damsel in distress. Rather, I wanted to her be strong, athletic, courageous, and a completely modern girl. The second was that I didn’t want all the messiness that goes along with having no electricity or indoor plumbing. So I created an alternate world that combined all the fun medieval stuff with nice bathrooms and great clothes. Then I ruthlessly plucked my unsuspecting protagonist from her quiet Connecticut life and dropped her right in the middle of it.

  Transcender First-Timer

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Genre - Science Fiction/Fantasy/Paranormal/YA

Rating – PG13

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Connect with Vicky Savage on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.vickysavage.com

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Standing Stark: The Willingness to Engage by Carla Woody @CarlaWoody1

Chapter Two:
Beyond Words

I was leading a very mainstream life. While I had some sense of purpose, I additionally had an underlying feeling that something was seriously lacking. Even though there was a recognition of incompletion, I can’t say that it was a conscious realization, more of a sense of things not expressed, blocked or segregated.

The previous year I’d left the large government agency where I’d worked nearly my entire career up to that point. Being out from under bureaucratic constraints lent a certain kind of freedom that I craved, but a large part of my livelihood was still generated through that environment where I returned as a consultant. I felt the rigidity of the organization to the point that it triggered an aversion in me.

What I now know is that whenever we have an unreasonably strong response to something external, something is lurking internally of the same nature. At the time, I recognized what I can only describe as flatness, a lack of real engagement to anything in which I was involved. It’s unlikely that this fact was apparent to anyone but me. I was known for my mind and abilities for pulling people and projects together. To others, my guess is that I appeared actively engaged in my life. After all, I was busy doing what needed to be done, just like most with whom I came in contact.

But I knew something was omitted. Fourteen years earlier, I’d had a major signal identifying my disconnection. Because of a viral infection that attacked my thyroid, I became extremely ill. I was likely within a hair’s breadth of death before I’d had any inkling of the seriousness of the illness. It probably was only through my mother’s mother-bear-like, protective attention and demands to the physician I finally visited that I am even alive today.

A major crisis such as this one is often the impetus that will kick start a revelation—or revolution. After my recovery, I finally comprehended the level of absurdity and danger that the lack of awareness of my own condition brought. I was able to discern that I wasn’t practicing denial in the sense of not wanting to face something. But more so, I was disconnected from my body to the degree that I had been unable to recognize my lack of health. How could I? My life and level of consciousness was weighted in my head, cut off from my physicality and any real experience or attunement other than mental observation.

I heeded a cry from my Core Self, not even knowing of her existence, and sought out meditation. That was an unlikely avenue back then, only because where I was living at the time offered very few opportunities to explore anything even somewhat resembling consciousness studies. With the help of a couple of books, I put together a practice to which I remained faithful.

Over the years, I found myself becoming increasingly calmer and healthier. I knew that the change was due directly to my dedicated focus on meditation. Indeed, I became much more in tune with my body and its messages to me. I began to trust those messages implicitly, telling me when things were right, or not, in my world.

But I knew something was still missing. I remained an observer to a large degree, not a participant. While I’d read of spirituality and various states that told of that realm, I’d had no direct experience. I intellectually knew that Spirit was an aspect of my makeup, but couldn’t quite grasp even the concept of such a reality. And yet there was something underpinning my entire existence that called out for this wholeness. Some part of me deeply desired integration.

When strong intent is present, the means to fulfill it will automatically appear. But I didn’t know this truth at that point in my journey. I only knew that I felt somewhat fragmented, and one day noticed an ad in a professional journal for a retreat with a Peruvian shaman to be held in the Southern Utah desert. Ignoring the fact that my sole idea of camping then was in pensions in large European cities, or that I didn’t even know what the term “shaman” meant, I felt a strong draw in my body to call and register. So, I did.

Four months later, I flew cross-country to Salt Lake City where I was picked up with some other retreat goers and driven some hours south to a remote canyon in the San Rafael Swell. The beauty of the area was incredible and helped to overwhelm my uneasiness of being with people with whom I wasn’t acquainted, and an upcoming event about which I knew absolutely nothing.

When we finally rolled into the makeshift camp, I climbed out of the truck feeling a mixture of excitement and apprehension, the two being closely linked anyway. While in this state, I noticed a brown-skinned man making his way toward me. He had dark, wavy hair, a mustachioed, handsome face, and wore a woven poncho. His eyes sparkled. He smiled broadly and wrapped his arms around me in greeting. As he did so, any fear I felt dissipated immediately and was replaced by great warmth swelling from some place inside me, unlike any I’d ever felt. This was the man the sponsors had advertised as a shaman, the person who, in the years ahead, I would come to know not only as a mystic and teacher of the heart, but a cherished friend—Don Américo Yábar. My meeting him was to change the fabric of my entire life. And I had asked for it unknowingly.

Around the campfire that evening, Don Américo introduced the subject of intent through his translator. He encouraged each of us to set our intent that evening for the week that was to follow. I went off on my own to think about what he’d said, the whole idea of intent being a slippery one, at best, that I had a challenge grasping. However, I decided that I must have set my intent, at some level, before I even came. That was what pulled me to the retreat not even knowing what it entailed. I wanted to be joined. I wanted direct engagement. I wanted integration of my mind, body and spirit. I told no one.

The next morning held the usual gorgeous, blue desert sky. The group had hiked some distance from our camp and found a natural rock amphitheatre. We made ourselves comfortable in the shadows of the boulders, out from under the Utah sun which was already getting quite warm. Don Américo began to speak. I don’t remember now exactly what he said. I was being lulled by the lilting rhythms of his and his translator’s vocal patterns that took the meaning of the words to some unconscious level.

Suddenly, he stopped and gazed intensely at me. He motioned for me to come to the middle of the circle where he stood. Under normal circumstances, I would have done so reluctantly, if at all, not being comfortable “exposing” myself to others in that way. In that case, however, I felt completely at ease.

I approached him. He stood directly in front of me only about eighteen inches away, his liquid brown eyes locking onto mine. It was as though he was channeling pure love directly into my being. Both of his hands hovered right outside my body at the chest level.

Making a motion of pulling apart outside the heart center, he said, “The way to see is with the body’s eye.”

I felt what I could only describe as a sweet welling in that energy center that began to undulate, creating a rippling effect.

He moved one hand up to my forehead. Making a wiping motion in my subtle energy field, he proclaimed, “Not the mind’s eye!”

I felt something shut at that level, all the while the heart energy continued to reverberate. I was unaware of anything other than large waves of effervescent warmth that seemed to echo silently, returning from the stones surrounding us, further intensifying the awakening. People seated around us gasped and murmured. I have no idea how long I stood that way. I do not know how I found my feet to return to my seat. I do not recall what occurred the rest of the day.

I was opened. I was filled. I’d had my first direct experience—beyond words.


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Genre – Nonfiction, Spirituality

Rating – PG

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

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

#AmReading - Silver Bells by Sadie Hart @sadeyhart

Silver Bells by Sadie Hart


Every year, the Christmas Carousel in South Howle takes a beating, and every year, Dash Bartholomew tenderly brings it back to life. It’s a job he started fifteen years ago, when Dash became Dasher, one of Santa’s reindeer, and accepted the worn leather harness now hanging on the hooks at the back of the carousel barn. The one with its beautiful, silver bells that once made the most wondrous sound in the world, and now lay quiet.
That is, until Merry, a young, homeless woman wanders in looking for a place out of the cold. Unlike Dash, she can hear the sweet chimes of the bells, proving to him that it’s not the harness that’s broken. As Christmas draws near, Dash finds himself drawn to Merry and her quiet, stubborn pride. However, unable to hear the sleigh bells Dash isn’t sure what Christmas this year will bring, only that the magic in that harness is far less important than the woman he’s come to love.

Author Interview – Colleen Connally

What motivates you to write?  Life. Life experiences affect my writing. I’m also a history buff. I get inspired by others’ lives. With Broken Legacy, I drew from an inspirational woman, Irena Sendler. I write about strong women. Irena Sendler saved thousands of lives during WWII. Even though Broken Legacy is set during the French Revolution, I drew from Ms Sendler’s courage and strength to create Eloise.

What writing are you most proud of? This is a hard question to answer. I love all my books for different reasons. But if I have to pin-point one book at this moment in time, it would be Seductive Secrets. I feel the story is original and heartfelt. Seductive Secrets is a free ebook and the response has been amazing. Seductive Secrets has given me confidence in my writing.


What books did you grow up loving? One of my favorites was To Kill a Mockingbird. It still is. I also loved all the classics, including Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. When I was younger, my favorite was The Hardy Boy Mysteries and Nancy Drew.

Who is your favorite author? I love J K Rowlings, Suzanne Collins, Steven King (his early books), Kathleen Woodiwiss, Mary Higgins Clark, and Margaret Mitchell. But if I had to choose my one favorite author—Victoria Holt. Absolutely love all her work under all her pen names, Jean Plaidy and Phillipa Carr.

Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you live now. I’m a Southern girl at heart. I was born in the deep South. My roots are Southern. I always say you can take the girl out of the country, but not the country out of the girl. But I have lived the last twenty-eight years in New England. My husband is Boston bred. It’s my home now. You can’t get much different from the conservative South to the liberal Northeast. I do believe that my experiences have influenced my writing. It’s given me a better understanding of other people’s views.

How did you did you develop your writing?  I had always dreamed of writing, but once the decision was made to write, I didn’t have a clue on what it entailed. I graduated college with a science degree. I never took creative writing. I had to teach myself. I took every bit of criticism, praise…basically any feedback until I gained confidence in my writing. I believe everyone has their own style of writing. It’s your voice. I believe you need to keep that voice. Don’t try to imitate someone else.

Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you? My husband is the best. He has always supported me in my dream. I will never forget my first Mother’s Day. He surprised me with a typewriter. (I am dating myself. It was before computers.) Though, it was a few years before I got serious with my writing that gesture touched me greatly. It does help beyond words to have someone who believes in you in that way.

I am fortunate with my family and friends. The only thing that gets confusing is my pen names. I write under three names. I will admit one of my daughters questioned who Colleen Connally was when I first released Seductive Secrets.

Broken Legacy

Buy Now @ Amazon @Smashwords

Genre - Historical Romance

Rating – R

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

#AmReading - Welcome to Las Vegas by Stacy Green @stacygreen26

Welcome to Las Vegas by Stacy Green


Dark, dirty, and terrifying, the storm drains below Las Vegas stretch hundreds of miles and house the city's homeless and criminal element. Walking into the underground abyss is the last thing Tate wants to do, but his junkie sister has disappeared into the drains. Armed with only his flashlight, Tate wades into the gritty depths beneath Sin City to rescue his sister from her demons.
Every step into the smothering darkness challenges Tate’s resolve. With his sister’s life and his own sanity at stake, Tate must face his fears or risk becoming another victim of the Las Vegas tunnels.

Loving Conor: A Clairvoyant’s Memoir on Loving, Bonding and Healing by Tami Urbanek @tamiurbanek

Chapter Three: Surviving Life

I woke up to the phone ringing in the middle of the night.

“Tami, you need to pick me up,” I heard Nyle say.

“Where are you?”

“I’m at 7-11,” he said, slurring his words.

He told me the street and packing Bethany into the car, I drove through a light snowstorm to find him.

I located the correct 7-11 and I walked in looking around for Nyle.

“Hey, are you looking for that drunk?” The 7-11 clerk asked as he nodded at me.

“Was a guy here waiting for someone?” I asked.

“Yeah, he wanted booze, I told him to leave.”

“Do you know which way he went?” I asked.

“Have no idea.”

Leaving the store and getting back in my car, my hands clenched the steering wheel. I drove around looking for Nyle, scolding myself for coming out in the snow with Bethany in a car that didn’t have snow tires, to look for a drunken soon-to-be ex-husband.

I found Nyle wandering the sidewalk. Pulling over, I rolled down the passenger window.

“Nyle, what are you doing? Get in the car.”

He just looked at me, obviously drunk, confused, and swaying as he tried to keep his balance.

He crawled into the front passenger seat, laid his head back, and closed his eyes. I drove him back to my apartment. Once I parked the car, I realized I had no idea how to get him from there to inside my apartment. It was too cold to leave him in the car overnight, though I did consider it. I looked over at Nyle, and I wondered what the hell I was doing and how I was going to get him to wake up.

After continually pushing on his arm to wake him up, he finally roused awake enough to stumble into my apartment. He immediately staggered over to the couch and collapsed on it. I gently placed Bethany in her crib, gazing at her as she slept. In that moment, I was grateful I was divorcing Nyle and knowing my daughter was safe and asleep, I immediately fell asleep too.

I was still on maternity leave, so I was home the next morning when someone came to get Nyle for work.

“Hey, you need to wake him up,” Nyle’s friend said. He had figured out that Nyle was here when he didn’t show up at the barracks last night.

“I tried, I can’t get him up. I think he’s still drunk.”

“He’s going be in trouble if he doesn’t show up to formation.” Giving up, the guy left.

Walking over to Nyle and pushing on him hard, I said, “Nyle, wake up! GET UP! You have to get up for work!” I felt like I was yelling at a deaf person.

He finally opened his eyes and looked at me with a confused expression. He seemed to be trying to remember how he got to my apartment. He slowly sat up, keeping his hands on the couch for balance. He mumbled something, but it sounded as if his mouth was full of cotton. He stood up and with a shaky walk he made his way to the phone as I watched him call a friend to come get him.

Later that day, as I sat on the couch, in my apartment, I looked at my bills and felt my ongoing fear starting to rise. I began looking at my past choices. At eighteen, I had made the choice to marry and by nineteen, I had made a choice to be a mother. I had stayed with Nyle for fifteen months even though he was drinking and would be violent when he was drunk. I wasn’t proud that I was working at McDonald’s to meet basic financial needs, and I was fearful on a daily basis.

How was I going to fix this? How was I going to survive? Would things ever change? Would I ever be happy? Would I ever earn more than slightly above minimum wage? I didn’t know.

I walked around the apartment while Bethany was napping in her crib. Without Nyle there, the apartment was cleaner and I didn’t fear the weekends anymore. I still had to deal with the holes in the doors and walls at some point.

Out of desperation, the next day, I took my wedding ring to the pawnshop and I was grateful for the cash. It had a couple of diamonds, so they offered me a decent sum of money.

When my mom called to see how I was doing, I told her I had pawned my wedding ring.

“Why did you pawn your ring?”

“I needed the money,” I said, feeling depressed.

“Well, we’ll give you the money to go and buy it back. You don’t want to pawn your ring.” With my parents’ financial assistance, I bought back my ring before it was sold to someone else. But what about next month, when money would once again be tight?

That week, the manager at McDonald’s called to make sure I was still coming back to work when my maternity leave ended.

I told him I couldn’t wait to get back to work and I meant it. I was looking forward to having at least a few dollars in my wallet.

I spent the next couple of weeks getting on a schedule with Bethany and looking for home daycares. I found one near my apartment.

I returned to work, and I happily started earning money again. I was receiving child support, and life began to take on a more routine state, but I was experiencing a lot of anxieties. I still wanted a man to make me feel better about myself. I didn’t understand that I was not giving myself the credit I deserved in being able to love and take care of myself. As a result, I drew in the same types of people and relationships as before.

Not long after returning to work, I ran into Josh, a guy I had briefly dated when I was seventeen years old. We easily picked up where we left off and we quickly became exclusive in our dating.

Initially, Josh was attentive toward Bethany, and we had fun getting to know each other again, but it didn’t take long before we began to fight. We would get into yelling matches that were reminiscent of my relationship with Nyle, always fighting about something that wasn’t even important. We were young, immature and neither one of us knew how to communicate. Still, I was thankful he was in my life when one day out of the blue, I found Nyle knocking on my door.

“Tami, can we talk?” Nyle asked. Standing there waiting for me to say it was okay for him to come into the apartment. His hands were in his pockets and I noticed the tension he held in his shoulders.

“I guess…”

He walked into my apartment and sat down on the couch.

“Tami, I’m sorry. I screwed up.” He paused and then said, “I know I messed up with you….” Nyle’s voice trailed off and I waited for him to continue, not really knowing where this was heading.

He finally continued, “What do you think. Could we try again?”

I looked at him wondering what to say. Despite our fighting, I had strong feelings for Josh and now, here was Nyle apologizing and proposing we try again. As I paused, not sure what to say to him, I looked around my apartment. It was cleaner, and I immediately noticed the still unpatched holes in the wall and doors. I wasn’t sure I wanted to start again and have the same old result of drunken weekends.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea…” I said.

He left without much hesitation. That was my clue that he wasn’t invested in starting over, but maybe just looking for convenience. I knew he never liked living in the barracks on base. Also, I always wondered if his mother had talked him into trying to get back together or if it was all his idea. I knew she wanted me to take care of him.

I had begun to understand that it was never my job to take care of Nyle. That was his job. Although it took me a few years to fully realize that I needed keep my focus on caring for Bethany and myself. Even then I had begun to understand this and that I didn’t need to feel guilty for leaving Nyle.


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Genre - Memoir

Rating – PG-13

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Author Interview – Angelina Rose @RoseRomanceBook

How much sleep do you need to be your best? I’m hopeless with less than 8 hours sleep.

Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support? There are many people who help authors … there’s the graphic artist, the proof-reader and editor, and the person who formats the copy. I would like to thank them… they go over and above to help me.

Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you? A successful writing career for me starts with inner peace from doing what I’m meant to do, plus my dreams coming true… which means I would be earning a reasonable amount from book sales, plus spending time touring and meeting my readers.

Finaling for or winning an award is gratifying because it tells me that I must have done something right.

It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign? Learning how to master the art of online networking (which I am working hard at) is enabling me to reach out to a vast audience of readers who are constantly on the look out for new books. I started with Facebook and Twitter promotions, plus free days on Amazon Kindle promoted by various platforms. I have recently connected with Book Blog Touring and I’m sure there is much more for me to learn.

Tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it? “The Eyes of Love” is my newest release.

When Sally started high school, she was immediately shunned. She was the new girl and nerdy on top of that. Not a good combination.

There was a group of girls who constantly harassed her, and they continued throughout high school. Aside from gluing her locker shut, they called her names, stole her books, tripped her in the hall and locked her in the bathroom from time to time, even stole her clothes while she was in the shower. Still, Sally told no one. Not even her mother. She didn’t want to be the center of attention, and she knew that getting a group of snobby girls in trouble would only result in worse bullying later.

At the end of senior year, Sally finally got up the courage to ask a guy she had a crush on, Colin, to sign her yearbook… fully expecting him to say no. Instead, he patted for her to sit down on the grass in the courtyard next to him and signed it. When he was done, he smiled at her and said “Good luck in college.” She never forgot that moment for the rest of her life, and even now it made her stomach flutter a bit.

Sally pulled that yearbook from her desk drawer and re-lived the moment by reading what he wrote: “To a girl with a fabulous smile who always brightens my day when she says hello to me in the hall. Have a great summer and do well in college!”

“Fabulous smile. Brightens my day. Ahhh….”  Colin

Bullying is rife through our schools. That was the trigger for writing about Sally. She gets through this terrible time and goes on to become an Attorney and, just like the ugly duckling, she turned into a beautiful swan. She left all her tormentors for “dead” … outshining them all.

This was not revealed until she attended the 15 Year School Reunion where no-one recognized her, not even Colin. Guess whose heart she won?

I like people to be happy, to laugh, to feel good about themselves… to take away from my romance stories the knowing they too can conquer being dumped, being abused, or whatever life has presented to them.

If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask? Wayne Dyer, Oprah Winfrey, Dr Phil, Teresa Medeiros (author), Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (Relationship expert), Eckhart Tolle, Clint Eastwood, Sean Connery, Hugh Jackman, President Obama, President and Hilliary Clinton, Elvis Presley, President John F Kennedy and Jacqueline, Sheldon from the Bing Bang Theory and Buddha.

When you are not writing, how do you like to relax? Read a Bella Andre romance novel or watch a good comedy. And I love live shows…

The Eyes of Love

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Genre - Romance Contemporary

Rating – PG

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Blog http://angelinaroseromance.com/

Malpractice! The Novel by William Louis Harvey @sexandlawnovel


Malpractice! the Novel is an electrifying work of realistic fiction written by an anonymous insider who worked the frontlines of the clash between the medical and legal professions during the California medical malpractice insurance crisis, which began in the 1960s. William Louis Harvey, a nom de plume, takes readers on a steamy adventure involving power, sex, lies and money in this candid courtroom suspense thriller. While Malpractice! The Novel, is a work of fiction, it is rooted in the personal experiences and firsthand knowledge the author acquired during his decades of working inside the medical industry. California in the 1960s and first half of the 1970s had already seen a dramatic increase in medical malpractice lawsuits as juries awarded progressively higher sums for “pain and suffering,” a category that had no concrete limits and caused physicians’ insurance premiums for malpractice to skyrocket. Harvey chaired a committee that reviewed all malpractice claims involving a major California hospital during the crisis. Details of some of the cases he experienced are engraved in his memory, and small portions of these tidbits find their way into Malpractice! the Novel, his first novel. Roused by a recent New York Times article about the American male novelist’s fear of addressing sexuality, Harvey interleaved honest sex histories for his novel’s characters, adding a titillating sensuality to the suspenseful novel.

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Genre – Steamy Courtroom Drama

Rating – R

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Monday, December 23, 2013

#Mystery - Stark Warning by James Raven @JamesRaven9

Stark Warning by James Raven

Amazon Kindle US

Genre – Thriller

Rating – PG13

4.5 (26 reviews)

“Every time you appear on screen someone will die.”
That’s the stark warning given to Jessica Lee, host of a confessional talk show on network television with millions of fans. But one deranged viewer is out to destroy her career. He demands that her programme be scrapped and tells her to stop appearing on TV. To prove he means business he claims his first victim – a young woman who is found dead with her throat cut. Jessica and her bosses face an agonizing dilemma: take the show off the air or risk more murders. They decide to defy the killer, for fear of setting a dangerous precedent. But there are dire consequences.
James Raven, author of Stark Warning, has worked for over thirty years in the television industry and drew on his experience when writing this novel. He’s also the author of Malicious, After the Execution, Rollover, Urban Myth, Red Blitz, Brutal Revenge and Arctic Blood.


Check out the Video trailer for MALICIOUS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btPmqY2NOV4

Dance For A Dead Princess by Deborah Hawkins @DeborahHawk3


In January 1997, Princess Diana received a phone call telling her she would be assassinated. She recorded the information on a secret video tape, naming her killer and gave it to a trusted friend in America for safekeeping. It has never been found.

Diana’s close friend, Nicholas Carey, the 18th Duke of Burnham and second richest man in England, has vowed to find the tape and expose her killer. After years of searching, he discovers Diana gave the tape to British socialite Mari Cuniff, who died in New York under mysterious circumstances. He believes Wall Street attorney Taylor Collins, the executor of Mari’s estate, has possession of it. He lures Taylor to England by promising to sell his ancestral home in Kent, Burnham Abbey, to one of her clients, a boarding school for American girls. Nicholas has dated actresses and models since the death of his wife, ten years earlier, and has no interest in falling in love again. But he is immediately and unexpectedly overwhelmed with feelings for Taylor at their first meeting.

Taylor, unaware that Diana’s tape is in her long-time friend and client’s estate and nursing her hurt over her broken engagement to a fellow attorney in her firm, brands Nicholas supremely spoiled and selfish. She is in a hurry to finish the sale of the Abbey and return to New York. But while working in the Abbey’s library, Taylor uncovers the diary of Thomas Carey, a knight at the court of Henry VIII and the first Duke of Burnham. As she reads Thomas’ agonizing struggle to save the love of his life and the mother of his child from being forced to become Henry’s mistress, she begins to see Nicholas in a new light as he battles to save his sixteen-year-old ward Lucy, who is desperately unhappy and addicted to cocaine. But just as Taylor’s feelings for Nicholas become clear and at the moment she realizes she is in possession of Diana’s voice from the grave, she learns that Nicholas may be Lucy’s father and responsible for his wife’s death at the Abbey at the time of Lucy’s birth. When Nicholas is arrested for Lucy’s murder and taken to Wandsworth Prison, Taylor sets out to learn the truth about Nicholas, his late wife, and the death of the Princess of Wales.

Dance for A Dead Princess is a the story of two great loves that created and preserved a family that has lasted for five hundred years.

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Genre – Contemporary Romance,Mystery

Rating – G

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

The King of Sunday Morning by J.B. McCauley @MccauleyJay

The Mile End Mambo
He held him in his arms and looked into the glassy eyes. Yellow flecks dotted the cornea. This boy was dead a long time before Roger had run him through. He knew the look. Too much top shelf and not enough down time.
The body from which life dramatically seeped away began to convulse. It would not be a Hollywood death. It would be a harsh demise for this gangster. Unexpected but unavoidable. He had stepped on the wrong toes and nobody touched Roger’s patch.
The big screen had always glamorised death but there was nothing glamorous about having a gaping 12-inch gash where your stomach had once been. Roger’s white shirt was splattered with blood and sputum. He noted to himself with an air of cold detachment that he would have to dispose of it later. The boy soldier’s back arched in agony. A gurgling noise rushed from his throat and then he was gone.
Roger put his arm underneath the boy’s knees and slowly lifted him from the red morass that had filled the doorway. He cradled him in his arms and walked slowly along the pavement. A young couple averted their gaze as he struggled with the limp body. They knew not to look. This was after all the witching hour in the East End. What you don’t see, you can’t tell. He turned the corner and moved into another shop doorway. It was a Dixon’s electrical shop exalting the latest stereos and TV’s.
Roger placed the body carefully on the ground. He took one final look at what 10 minutes ago had been the epitome of arrogance, bravery and youth, then left. He walked quickly to the edge of Walters Street, turned into Burden and darted through a now deserted car park and onto Rially. He saw a red telephone box just up from Dunston Road. He opened the door and tried to ignore the stench of piss and shit. He dialled the number and waited patiently for the connection.
His rich baritone West-Indian voice caressed the receiver.
“Yeah, he’s in Dixon’s shopfront on Walters Street.” He paused, digesting the question on the other end of the line.
“Yeah he’s dead. Dead as a door nail. See you at home.”
With that, he hung up the phone and disappeared into the night. His red Rasta beanie swaying as he loped through the shadows. The victim wouldn’t be missed. Roger had nothing to fear. The status quo had been maintained and an example had been made.
Most of all, Rudi would be pleased.
King of Sunday Morning
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Genre – Thriller, Action, Suspense, Gangster, Crime, Music
Rating – PG-18
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Razer 8 series by P.T.Macias @pt_macias


The hard driven, ambitious delta force operative is immune to women. His heart has been destroyed by a treacherous woman and the unexpected loss of his family. These events have driven him nearly into insanity. The hard knocks in life propel him into grasping his emotions, his thoughts, and his physical condition. He focused on his goal. Loco doesn’t allow any type of distractions or obstacles to stop him. His actions and recklessness have earned him his nickname, Loco.

The Infinite power, Razer 8 operatives, are united and linked for infinity. His team mates recognize his pain, anger, and strength is derived from the intense impotency he feels from his loss.

The unexpected mission and unexpected encounter with his soul mate, tests his strength. His mind, heart, and soul recognize his love even before the actual encounter. The ruthless criminals threaten to harm his soul mate, pushing and transforming him into a fearless warrior.

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Ghost is an old-fashioned Southern boy fighting hard to forget his pain. He’s forced to protect his Mama and sister from their abusive Pa. Ghost is strong, silent, and soft spoken. He works hard against all obstacles and hurt.

Ghost grows up to become a Delta Force. He meets and falls for a hot Latina who sets him on fire! She captures his soul and brightens his world. He would do anything to protect her.

Duty calls and he’s forced to leave her unprotected. The unspeakable happens! Ghost calls on Infinity. Infinity aids to extract his woman from the clutches of a soulless prostitution mob. Time is running out!

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Bulldog is the youngest of the Razer 8 Delta Force Operatives. He enjoys life. He’s called upon to help out one of his team operative. Infinity is there.

He runs into Katherine Morgan, a sweet young victim. In the the process of extraction he gets caught by the prostitution gang. They mistake him with being her boyfriend.

Bulldog grabs onto that line and poses as her boyfriend. In the process of rescuing Katherine from the mob he becomes entangled in her web. Will Bulldog’s skills and training save him from falling under her spell? Will he be able to outrun the mob and his soul?

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Redfox, Razer 8 10-13-13

Redfox, Razer 8 operative mission is to infiltrate the Police Commissioner’s office and home. He has 72 hours to gather the intel on the Commissioner’s dirty business.

Redfox charms his way into the Commissioner’s home, throwing him into the arms of his soul mate. The unexpected love rocks his world and the success his mission.

The Commissioner’s daughter, Marsha Diane Bryant is a lovely sweet young girl. She falls under Redfox spell and unconditionally bestows her soul.

Redfox fears losing his soul mate in the process of completing his mission. Can their love survive the storm?

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Genre – Romantic Suspense

Rating – PG 13

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Website http://ptmacias.com/