Dreaming in the Pages

Books ... where dreams are better than reality

Broken Pieces

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Friday, March 7, 2014

Steps Into Darkness (A Shakertown Adventure) by Ben Woodard @benswoodard

The unknown figure’s back was to them as he connected the wires to the detonator. Will shoved Tom. Only minutes remained.

They located the last connection point where the blasting caps were wired to two sticks of dynamite. The wires to the plunger snaked up the hill. The connecting strands were twisted, tightly, as with pliers. Tom snatched a rock, but Will grabbed his hand and pointed up the hill. Tom understood. The man would hear the pounding. They each took a twisted connection and tried to pry it apart with their fingers. They would need to break only one.

The wires resisted. Tom gritted his teeth, then remembered his pocket knife. He pulled it out, flipped the blade open, and wedged the tip between two strands. He twisted and the blade snapped. The sound startled the man. He whirled around and stared directly at the boys. Tom forced the broken blade into the gap in the wires. Will put his finger on top of one and pulled as Tom twisted. Blood ran down Will’s hand as the metal bit into his finger. They strained, and watched the man. His eyes darted in all directions. Then he made his decision. He pulled the plunger up, hesitated a moment, and slammed it down.


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Genre - YA/Mystery

Rating – PG – 13

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Website http://BooksByBen.com

Nina Elaine Borum on Other Jobs She's Had @trinitygalblog #amwriting #amreading #prayer

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
Writing. To get published and have good marketing, you really just need money to hire experts to make that happen. Writing takes heart and time and persistence.
What marketing works for you?
Word of mouth is the best
Do you find it hard to share your work?
Absolutely. It’s hardest to share my work with family because I never know if they really like it or if they are being supportive. I know that as I continue to write there will be books and messages that my family may not like, but at the end of the day, I don’t write for my family, I write for the people who need to hear my message.
Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?
My family is very supportive, my mom is my biggest fan! My friends are amazing and definitely support me in more ways than I probably realize. I’m incredibly thankful for everyone around me.
Do you plan to publish more books?
Absolutely. I have another devotional book coming out in 2014 and I have a fiction and nonfiction book that are in the works.
What else do you do to make money, other than write? It is rare today for writers to be full time…
You can make money writing? I had no idea as I have yet to experience this. I serve as a Program Director full time at Preston Taylor Ministries which is an afterschool program targeted to low income children. Working full time definitely cuts into my writing time, but I make it work!
What other jobs have you had in your life?
I was a sales person at Build A Bear workshop and Victoria’s Secret in college. As a teenager, I volunteered at the library and worked as a hostess/waitress. During summers, I worked as a camp counselor and program director at Camp Walter Johnson and I have even leased apartments.
I also served with The Salvation Army a few years ago and through that I had the opportunity to lead a congregation. My work with The Salvation Army was hands down the most humbling job I’ve ever had.
If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?
After my Master’s I vowed never to go back to school again. But if I had to, and someone else paid for it, I would major in Foreign Languages.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
If I could live anywhere in the world, I would live anywhere! It’s very difficult to pick one place, I would want to live in a different place every summer!
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
I journal and write poetry with pen and paper but I type my manuscripts on a laptop on my couch in my pajamas. A part of me would love to purchase an old fashioned type writer and write a best selling novel, I love the sound of a type writer.

You didn't learn these prayers in Sunday school. Put your armor on, and get ready to see God move!
Do you ever get sick of praying? It's okay to admit. We all do. It is emotionally draining to beg God without ceasing. Christians often forget that under Christ's authority, we have the power to command God's promises to be released from heaven to earth and into our lives.
In Praying for Men of P.O.W.E.R., author Nina Elaine Borum challenges readers to stand confidently and command the promises of God for the men in your life. As someone who has struggled with prayer, Nina believes that God does not intend for his children to feel helpless in praying. His Word has instructed us in how to bring the kingdom of heaven to a world where Satan runs freely. We are all in the midst of a vicious spiritual battle, and Nina hopes this book will help you to fight on behalf of Christian men.
Buy Now @ Amazon Tate Publishing
Genre - Christian non-fiction
Rating – G
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Connect with Nina Elaine Borum on Facebook & Twitter

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Devolution by Peter Clenott @PeterClenott


Chiku couldn’t help stare at the large bulge that was Rebecca’s baby-to-be. It made her reflect upon the gynecological exam Dr. Kessel had just given her. At sixteen, she couldn’t imagine being anyone’s mother, except maybe a chimpanzee’s. Rebecca was only fourteen, an eighth grader back home, a middle schooler. How could she be a mother? Yet even in wealthy well-educated America girls in their mid-teens were getting knocked up all the time, having their babies, and changing their lives in ways unpredictable and permanent. Not Chiku. Boys could go to hell.

“When was the last time you saw him?” Chiku asked.

“Two week. Three week. He ask me how my baby doing. I tell him, fine. He give me twenty francs. He always give me money.”

“And that was it?” Chiku gazed at Tim who was still holding all of the things she had given him from her buried stash. “What about Dr. Fisher? Do you know why he’d be in my dad’s house?”

Rebecca dipped her head in thought then gave out with a startled grunt as the baby inside her gave a hefty kick. “Soon,” she said, “Any day my Abasi.” Then she staggered against Chiku.

“You okay? Maybe she’s coming out now.” Chiku was aghast.

“No. No. He. Not yet. No water.”

“Well, you can’t stand here. You have to sit, Rebecca. In the shade.”

Chiku pulled the pregnant girl into the cooler cover of the banana tree. “You want water? Something to drink?”

Rebecca leaned against the tree rather than risk getting herself into a position from which she couldn’t rise. She panted, holding a hand against her belly, Chiku watching that hand move not of its own volition but due to the child inside raring to get going with life.

Not for me, Chiku thought.

Rebecca said, “I okay.”

“You’re sure?”

“When the water break, then we know.”

“Know what?” Chiku asked.

“That the baby is coming,” Tim said. He placed his hands on his friend’s shoulders. They were trembling as if she were the one about to go into labor. “Honestly, Chiku, what do they teach you in Brookline, Massachusetts?”

“How to avoid reality.”

Chiku took Rebecca’s hand. It was cool and sweaty and on her ring finger she was wearing something that looked awfully familiar to Chiku. “Nice,” she said. “Amethyst. My color. My ring, actually. How’d you get it?”

“Your father give me.”

“Cool. It matches your dress.”

Chiku didn’t care that it was an old ring, one that she had either lost or forgotten some distant time in the past and that probably couldn’t even fit her fingers anymore. She just wondered why her father would have given this particular girl this particular ring.

“I think they kill him,” she said.

“What?” Chiku’s eyes darted from the purple colored ring to the black face of the Hutu teenager.

“They were mad mad.”


“Fisher. Your father. Dr. Kessel. They all mad. And the others.”

“What others?” Chiku asked. “Does Colonel Fundanga know?”

“Colonel Fundanga one of them,” Rebecca said. “I keep quiet. Bad enough in the camp. I don’t want to die.”

Rebecca let out a long breath, took in a deep mouthful of air, and let out her discomfort once again. Then she smiled at Chiku before saying, “They come for you next. You his daughter.”


Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords

Genre - Young Adult

Rating – PG

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Website www.peterclenott.net

Eternal Night by Jade Kerrion @JadeKerrion


Ashra pushed past the blackness at the start of his memories, expecting deeper darkness. Instead, the colors shifted into shades of ochre and gray. Memories, older than his body, resided in his soul; memories of an Earth long since lost to them—a planet surrounded and nourished by water; images of tall buildings glistening beneath a benevolent sun, and of thriving cities filled with the bustle of humans; memories of quiet and intimate conversations beneath a silver moon, the same silver moon that now graced Malum Turris with its light, though a thousand years older and viewed only from beneath the protection of the dome.

She saw herself as he must have seen her, a much-younger icrathari, still hopeful for the future, never realizing that the Earth they had all known and loved was irretrievably lost. Had she ever looked that vulnerable? Had her smile ever been so beautiful, so filled with love as she looked upon—

“Rohkeus?” Oh, blessed Creator, was that stricken whisper her voice?

Ashra pulled back and stared at the human. Her mouth dropped open. Her heart pounded in her chest, its beat erratic. It couldn’t be. It simply couldn’t be—

She looked up at Tera. The other icrathari nodded.

Rohkeus’s soul reborn…in a human.

Ashra threw her head back and laughed, a despairing sound.

Elsker stepped forward. The sole male icrathari was slightly taller than the female icrathari, and dressed in a black silk shirt and linen pants. His silver hair was cropped short, and his light blue eyes were wide. “Rohkeus reborn? That’s impossible.”

Siri shrugged, her red gown shifting around her curvaceous frame. Her silver hair, cut short, framed her face. “Stranger things have happened.” Her pale violet gaze raked over the human. “At least he had the good sense to choose a pretty body.”

Ashra shook her head, the movement jolting her out of her daze. Her prince, her love, reduced to a human? Her slender fingers coiled into fists. Her golden eyes glittering, she pushed away from him, though her body trembled from the loss of his warmth. No, the human was not Rohkeus; he could never be Rohkeus.

Steeling herself against the gasp of pain that escaped from his lips as the anesthetizing effect of her kiss faded, Ashra rose to her feet with sinuous grace. “He is not one of us. Not anymore.” Nothing had been more devastating than losing Rohkeus to a human assassin. To see his soul reborn in that contemptible and weak race was an insult to the person Rohkeus had been.

“Should we turn him into a vampire?” Tera asked.

“Kill him. Set Rohkeus’s soul free.”

Siri seized Ashra’s hand before she could turn away. Siri’s lips, painted the same provocative color as her dress, shaped an O. “You’re not serious. How many people are offered a second chance at the love of a lifetime?”

A second chance? Her traitorous pulse raced even as her lips curled with disgust. “He’s human.”

“We can make him immortal—a vampire.”

Ashra swallowed hard. “But not an icrathari.”

Siri’s gaze fell. “No, of course not.”

“Kill him.”

“You can’t.” Siri stepped forward, placing herself between Ashra and the barely conscious human. “This is amazing. It’s never happened before—a soul reborn.”

“Rohkeus is dead, and I rule Aeternae Noctis.” She turned to Tera. “I told you to kill him.”

Tera hesitated for a fraction of a second, and then she shook her head. “I won’t do it, and neither will Siri or Elsker. If you want him dead, you’ll have to do it yourself.”

E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords

Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository


Jade Kerrion developed a loyal reader base with her fan fiction series based on the MMORPG Guild Wars. She was accused of keeping her readers up at night, distracting them from work, housework, homework, and (far worse), from actually playing Guild Wars. And then she wondered why just screw up the time management skills of gamers? Why not aspire to screw everyone else up too?

So here she is, writing books that aspire to keep you from doing anything else useful with your time.

Her debut novel, Perfection Unleashed, spawned the Double Helix series which has won a total of seven science fiction awards, including first place in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2012 and the gold medal in Readers Favorites Awards 2013. She is also the author of Earth-Sim and When the Silence Ends, which placed first and second respectively in the 2013 Royal Palm Literary Awards, Young Adults category.

She lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with her wonderfully supportive husband and her two young sons, Saint and Angel, (no, those aren’t their real names, but they are like saints and angels, except when they’re not.)

Connect with Jade: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Eternal Night ebook

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Genre - Fantasy, Paranormal

Rating – PG-13

More details about the author and the book

Connect with Jade Kerrion on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.jadekerrion.com

The Wings of Dragons (The Dragoon Saga, Book #1) by @JoshVanbrakle #Excerpt #AmReading #YA

Iren’s will steeled. Minawë needed to get to Ziorsecth. He couldn’t surrender. With nothing left but a desire not to let down this woman who genuinely believed in him, Iren hauled the unconscious Kodama onto his back. He tried drawing on magic to restore some of his stamina, but he couldn’t feel it at all.
The storm crashed with more intensive fervor, as though nature itself wanted to keep him from accomplishing his goal. Nevertheless he marched on a slow, inexorable trek west.
He didn’t know if he was awake or dreaming. He wasn’t even certain he was still alive. Minawë’s body pressed against his, limp and breathless. With her on his back, her face rested on his shoulder. Even in this state, appearing as old as Rondel had, she still looked more beautiful than anyone he’d ever known. Though her eyes were shut, he recalled their emerald hue like two tiny forests, strong and frail at the same time.
He leaned his head against hers and rubbed her fine hair, undamaged despite her many ordeals. Its vibrant green, however, had vanished. All the hair he could see was white. Her lips, too, had lost their fullness and luster. Only now, staring at her lifeless visage, did he realize how much, in just a few days, he’d come to love her. He blamed himself for her misfortunes. If only he’d ridden faster, he might have saved her. If they could have stayed in Akaku just a few more hours, perhaps that would have given her the time she needed.
Her skin felt cold. It was over; he had failed. Reluctantly, he let her body fall.
As her face drifted from view, he started. He thought he’d seen a movement in her lips, or perhaps a shred of color in her cheeks. He pulled her tightly to him again, but she gave him no further sign, if indeed she’d given him one in the first place. Nevertheless, that wisp of life, real or imagined, motivated him. Despite the pouring rain, despite the dead weight of her body on his back, and despite his own exhaustion, he would continue until the end.
He tripped often, slipping in the ubiquitous mud of this vile place. Several times he stumbled not from the wet ground but from his own weakness. In desperation, he set down Minawë, then discarded his shirt, cloak, and even the sheath to the Muryozaki. His load that tiny bit lighter, he hefted Minawë onto his back and continued trudging.
As Iren became certain he could not take another step, he finally saw, at the limits of his vision, a line of trees. Hope came to him at last. It was the forest! It must be, for in a few more moments he would surely die. With the last of his strength he forced himself under the shield of its canopy. Beneath its boughs he gently set the lifeless woman he’d sacrificed himself for on the ground. His task completed, he collapsed amid the leaves and surrendered to the void.
The Wings of Dragons
From fantasy author Josh VanBrakle comes an epic new trilogy of friendship, betrayal, and explosive magic. Lefthanded teenager Iren Saitosan must uncover a forgotten history, confront monsters inspired by Japanese mythology, and master a serpentine dragon imprisoned inside a katana to stop a revenge one thousand years in the making.
Lodian culture declares lefthanded people dangerous and devil-spawned, and for Iren, the kingdom's only known Left, that's meant a life of social isolation. To pass the time and get a little attention, he plays pranks on the residents of Haldessa Castle. It's harmless fun, until one of his stunts nearly kills Lodia's charismatic heir to the throne. Now to avoid execution for his crime, Iren must join a covert team and assassinate a bandit lord. It's a suicide mission, and Iren's chances aren't helped when he learns that his new katana contains a dragon's spirit, one with a magic so powerful it can sink continents and transform Iren into a raging beast.
Adding to his problems, someone on Iren's team is plotting treason. When a former ally launches a brutal plan to avenge the Lefts, Iren finds himself trapped between competing loyalties. He needs to figure out who - and how - to trust, and the fates of two nations depend on his choice.
"A fast-paced adventure...led by a compelling cast of characters. Josh VanBrakle keeps the mysteries going." - ForeWord Reviews
Buy @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – YA epic fantasy
Rating – PG-13
Connect with Josh VanBrakle on Twitter

Monday, March 3, 2014

Gledé Browne Kabongo on John Grisham's Sycamore Road @gkabongo #suspense #tbr

How many friends does a person need? It depends on the person. I would rather have a small tight circle of true friends than a litany of people who call themselves a friend but really aren’t.
Do you find the time to read? Yes. Sometimes I joke to myself that the time I spend reading could be spent on my current WIP but the truth is, good writers read a lot.
Last book you purchased? Tell us about it.
John Grisham’s Sycamore Road. I think he’s one of the best storytellers out there. By the time this interview is published, I would have also bought Double Down. I’m a bit of a political junkie. I went into labor on the night of the 2008 Presidential Primaries and refused to go to the hospital because I couldn’t tear myself away from the commentary. By 1:30 am, I had to concede that it was time to go.
What is your favorite quality about yourself? I love learning. I soak it up like a sponge, learning about new people, things, places, and events. I love history. I used to watch the History Channel religiously, back when they had shows like Secrets of World War II, Sink the Bismarck, and Great Military Blunders (I’m sensing a war theme here). Mysteries of the Bible and great documentaries like Lucrezia Borgia Pretty Poison had me glued to the TV screen.
What made you want to be a writer? – I’ve always loved books as long as I can remember. When I was 9, my mother told me the story of the Dollanganger children from Flowers in the Attic. That book had such a profound impact on her, I just knew I wanted to be an author.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? – When you’re serious and committed to the process, and want to make a meaningful career from it, you’re always looking for ways to take the writing to another level. With every book, you open yourself up to learning and accept criticism in order to grow. The tough part is knowing the difference between valid criticism and feedback meant to challenge you, and elevate your writing, and feedback that’s essentially white noise meant to tear you down. I applied to Brown University’s MFA in Literary Arts program because I want to expand the depth and breadth of my writing, and hone my voice and technique. I wanted a program I could emerge from, knowing it is perfectly okay to push the boundaries of what publishers and readers expect because writing is art, and art is subjective.
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?
Perseverance takes an enormous amount of strength and courage. One of the best quotes I can think of to explain writing a novel is Theodore Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena.”
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error… who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Do you intend to make writing a career? Absolutely. I’ve wanted to do this since I was ten years old and feel so blessed to be in a position to make it happen. I don’t want to be confined to writing only books either. I have my eyes on film and television.
Who designed the cover?  A talented designer named Lynne Hansen of Lynne Hansen Design. She is an author herself so she totally gets how important the cover is. I actually had the cover redone last summer because the first cover just didn’t do the book justice. We all know how important a good book cover is to a book’s success and readers perception of an author. 
What was the hardest part about writing this book? Where do I start? Niggling insecurity and self-doubt, freaking out about every online article or blog post about the so-called rules of writing, and making myself nuts about all the things editors and agents hate. I would run back to the manuscript to see if I had broken any rules. At the end of the day, a lot of publishing comes down to personal preference. I don’t care how well written a book is, if an agent or editor doesn’t connect with the material, it will get rejected.

#1 Amazon Bestseller in the suspense and women's psychological fiction categories.
Boston executive Nina Kasai has been living a lie since her days as a student at Stanford University. But she's about to learn that some secrets are too big to stay buried.
Years ago, Nina fled from her life of wealth and privilege and vowed never to look back. The horrifying truth has been locked away in her hidden diary, and in the mind of a disturbed woman who will never tell, ever. However, the perfect life she's since created is about to come crashing down when Phillip Copeland --a ghost from her past with political ambition and secrets of his own, makes Nina an offer she can't refuse: her silence in exchange for his.
Soon, it all goes horribly wrong when a  shocking double-cross sends Nina reeling,  and devastating loss threatens to push her over the edge. To make matters worse, her diary, the only link to her secret past has been stolen.
To reclaim her life and bring this twisted game to its stunning conclusion, Nina must confront the past she's been running from, and find the courage to make a life-altering decision that leaves multiple casualties in its wake.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Psychological Suspense
Rating – R
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Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Last Finesse by Brian Bloom @BrianB_Aust

From Chapter 37

‘Gramps wasn’t around anymore. Successful industrialists don’t have time for their daughters. My mother had her hands full with the boys. Teenagers crave attention. That’s all I was doing. It turned out I was quite normal. I finally grew up. Sports were helpful.’

He was as intrigued with her as ever. ‘What kind of sports?’

‘Gymkhana horse riding, till I was 15, and then some board surfing, on the odd occasion, and then, more recently, board sailing. I love to be at one with nature.’ She flicked back her hair and looked up at the sun.

‘So,’ he said in response, ‘we both know how to ride a horse – that’s a start isn’t it?’

‘Yeah,’ I guess so, she replied, ‘but I’d rather play golf.’

‘I’d be delighted if you’d play with me,’ he stated enthusiastically. ‘What did you do when you were “finished” at that “finishing school” of yours?’

‘I’ve told you,’ she answered: ‘my old man wanted me “barefoot and pregnant” in the kitchen next door – he thought it was time I settled down. We had a hell of a fight, but I had Guido on my side, and my mother finally came to the party and supported me.

‘I enrolled in a journalism course at Texas U, in Austin. I did quite well. My old man finally acknowledged my existence by coming to my graduation ceremony. And then our relationship became an armed truce, when I “informed” him I’d decided to go out on my own.’ Using her index and middle fingers, she drew quotation marks in the air, around the word “informed”.

‘That wasn’t his idea of how a good Italian woman should conduct herself. I basically told him, “Go fuck yourself!”, but I used more diplomatic language – as they taught me at finishing school. He finally came to realise he’d been a failure as a father, and backed off. From time to time, he still dangles my trust fund in my face, in the hope he can make me see reason and live my life according to his paternal script.’

‘Right,’ Luke acknowledged. ‘And your mother?’

‘Mum died when I was 20, a week before my 21st-birthday party. That rug was also pulled out from under me, and it was the last straw, as far as I was concerned. That’s when I moved to San Francisco to start living my own life properly.

‘That’s also why I wanted to know your views about gay marriage. Like Sydney, San Fran’s got a large gay community, and I’m lucky enough to have a lot of gay friends.’

His ‘naughty streak’ surfaced again. ‘And if you come to live in Australia among the “large gays”?’

She smiled, but was clearly fixated on wrapping up her story. ‘Some of them might miss me.’

‘Did you struggle to get a job?’

‘No,’ she answered, ‘not really. A few doors were opened to me because I topped my class and was the daughter of Louis Marchetti.’

Luke imagined the opening doors, and indulged in a quick fantasy about banging his boys up against her open doors . . . ‘So,’ he remarked, ‘he wasn’t entirely a waste of rations . . . Hang on a second: did you just say you topped your class?’

She had a palpable air of relief that she’d finally told her story. ‘Look, Luke, he’s not really a bad guy; it’s just he’s been hanging on to his old values in the modern world. I’m convinced that somewhere deep inside him, he’s just as sad as I am that we don’t have a relationship. I’m his only daughter. Maybe, if you and I finally get together, it’ll serve as an ice breaker.’

‘You topped your class?’ he persisted.

‘Yes,’ she replied, with a trace of impatience. ‘So what?

He considered his next question. ‘Can I ask you something personal?’


The Last Finesse

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Genre - Conspiracy Thriller

Rating – MA (15+)

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