Dreaming in the Pages

Books ... where dreams are better than reality

Broken Pieces

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Across Worlds: Collision #Excerpt by S. A. Snow @BooksbySnow #AmReading #Erotica #SciFi

Jane slowed and stopped, her heart pounding in her chest. She lifted her water bottle to her lips and drank deeply, droplets running down the line of her throat. Her body was slick with sweat, and it pooled between her breasts and at the small of her back.

The sun was coming up, and she placed her hands on her hips, leaning back, both to stretch her back muscles and to marvel at the colors piercing the sky. She glanced at her watch. Six-forty-two. Time to head home and get ready for work. There was no telling when she would get to watch the sun rise again—probably never.
Jane’s eyes widened and she gasped when the ground began to shake. She grabbed a tree for stability and looked around wildly. Earthquakes weren’t commonplace in Washington, D.C. The wind picked up, smacking leaves her in the face and swirling dust around her just as a roar filled the air. The sound of engines was deafening.

She craned her neck to look through the branches of the tree she held onto, and her hand went to her mouth as she took several steps away from her safety net. Her head fell back, and she stared in awe. It was the most amazing thing she’d ever seen.

Chrome and metal melded together to make a hull that was almost matte and looked like liquid all at once. It was dotted with windows, and she could barely make out the lines of the doors. The engines were bigger than the largest plane she had ever seen.

With one shudder, the roar died down and the engines stopped spinning. Three holes in the bottom of the ship opened up and great metal poles descended. Jane couldn’t help her curiosity as she stepped closer. One metal pole crashed into the ground a hundred yards from where she stood. It broke soil, and claw-like structures folded down, creating an anchor, presumably to keep the ship in place.

She approached it carefully. A small crowd gathered as other people made their way over to see what was happening. Jane wound her way through the people and reached out slowly, her hand making contact with the pole. She jumped back before relaxing. It was cool and smooth to the touch.


Jane expected six months undercover to be hard; she expected it to be lonely and bleak. She didn’t expect to find love. 

Jane Butler, a CIA operative, is assigned the task of infiltrating the Xanthians and determining if they’re a threat to humanity. Going undercover as a Xanthian mate, she boards the transport ship and meets Usnavi—her new mate. After spending six days traveling through space, Jane is ecstatic to explore the Xanthian station and soon sets out to complete her mission. The only problem? Usnavi—and the feelings she is quickly developing. 

Fumbling their way through varying sexual expectations, cooking catastrophes, and cultural differences, they soon discover life together is never boring. As Jane and Usnavi careen into a relationship neither of them expected, Jane uncovers dark secrets about the Xanthians and realizes she may no longer be safe. When it becomes clear she’s on her own, Jane is forced to trust and rely on Usnavi. Simultaneously struggling with her mission, her feelings for Usnavi, and homesickness, Jane faces questions she never imagined she would have to answer.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Blended Science Fiction, Erotica
Rating – NC17
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@GaryTroia's Thoughts on Writing & Publishing #IndieAuthors #AmWriting #SelfPub

So, you’ve written your book, found an agent, your agent has matched your book with a publisher. What next?
  1. It can take one year before your book is in print. Throughout the year you will receive two or three rounds of edits, then copyedits, then line edits. You’ll be asked to proof the cover copy of your book. A bio and a professional headshot will be created. Blurbs need to be written. At least 3 months before publication your book will be sent to reviews and the press for pre-publication reviews and to bookshops. 
  2. You may or may not be lucky enough to have a publicist, either way you still have to market your own book. If you are fortunate enough, you might have a book tour. But touring Authors around the country is expensive, don’t expect any-more travelling by coach! You need to market yourself in any way possible, talk to local papers, radio shows, apply to be a guest at local conferences or speak at libraries, book clubs or schools. And don’t forget social media twitter, Facebook etc… 
  3. You get to select your book cover. This is very unlikely, the book cover is usually the work of an art department, with the opinions of everyone from the editor, publisher, marketing and PR departments. Everyone has their say but you!
  4. You still get rejections. It’s true. Just because you have a publisher doesn’t mean that your new manuscripts or proposals won’t be rejected. 
  5. You will still be poor. If you are extremely lucky your book will make enough money so you can quit your job, the average book advance is a mere £3,000-£5,000 then you have to wait a year until it is in print-then if you’re fortunate enough to sell tens of thousands of copies you may be in a position to quit your day job.

For the first time ever, this collection of short stories by Gary Troia brings together, in chronological order stories and memoirs from Spanish Yarns and Beyond, English Yarns and Beyond and A Bricklayer’s Tales into one complete volume.
“Excellent! A collection of short stories about depression, alcoholism and drug use. Very compelling reading. I read this short story collection all in one go.” (Maria, Goodreads.)
A Bricklayer’s Tales is the ultimate “I hate this job” story, written as a collection of short stories and memoirs, each one revealing a snapshot in the life of Ray. Troia captures the tedium of working in a low paid, menial job and living hand to mouth. This book of short stories is sad and questions the reader to ask questions about their own life. This book achieves clarity without trying.
Ray has three expensive hobbies: drinking, drugs, and running away. Without the income that Bricklaying provides, he would not be able to maintain his chosen lifestyle, so he compromises his principles and continues with his trade.
A collection of short stories and memoirs that include:
The Cuckoo’s Egg. Boyhood antics lead to tragedy.
My Grandfather’s Shed. The making of an English key
No Comb on the Cock. Gypsies, champion fighting cocks, and career choices.
What I Did In My Summer Holidays In 1000 Words. Could having an idea ever be considered a criminal act?
My Best Mate’s Head. Did a weekend of boozing save Ray from certain death?
The Shetland Isles. A trip to sunny Benidorm, a chance meeting with some Glaswegians, and a cold, miserable job in Lerwick.
Pointing a House in Islington. Too much alcohol and cocaine don’t mix well on building sites!
Angel Dust. The peculiar story of a man whose new life in America leads to conversations with Ancient Greek philosophers
Peyote. Hippies, LSD and an idyllic refuge
Return Ticket. Handcuffed and ready for deportation. A sad departure from the States
When I Joined a Cult. Sober dating as Ray discovers religion.
Bilbao. How very, very English!
Teaching Other People. The grass is always greener-the escape from bricklaying.
A Week in the Life of Ray Dennis. With the prospect of no money for food or alcohol this Christmas, Ray has to find work quickly.
Catania. A meeting with a Sicilian fox, some Neapolitans, and a man with a camel haired coat.
Advert In The Art Shop Window. Will a new building job in Spain be the start of a new life?
Gaudi. A flight to Barcelona for a kebab, and a look at the Sagrada Familia.
The Day My Soul Left Me. “To be or not to be? That is the question”
How Not to Travel to The AlhambraHung-over, the wrong fuel, the car breaks down. Will they ever make it to Granada?
The Road To Ronda. A terrifying drive to Ronda, was it worth it?
Poking A Carob Tree. A new home and new neighbours, just in time for Christmas.
Spain Reborn.No more commuting to London. Lets celebrate!
Home From HomeA parallel world where the Spanish have taken over Weymouth.
Three Common Carp.An epic battle with a whale and marlin it is not.
Mrs. McClintock. An absurd farce in which a Glaswegian couple retire to Spain
Steak, Egg and Intensive Care. A harmless dinner leads to hospitalisation.
The Unchangeable Chameleon. Can a leopard change it’s spots?
A Bricklayer’s Tale. The story of a disillusioned, alcoholic bricklayer
A collection short stories and memoirs of British dark humour.
 Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Fiction, Short Stories
Rating - PG-16
More details about the author
Connect with Gary Troia on Facebook & Twitter

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Erin Sands Says, "Most Important Aspect of Any Good #Book is Good #Writing" @TheDunesBook


We have all heard someone throw out the, “I should write a book” line. Heck, I’ve even jokingly said it myself whenever a friend asked me about a subject I felt pretty well versed in. I should write a book, five little words that are easy to say, but those of us who have dared to plunge into the deep and surfaced with book in hand have learned that the journey from idea to author is no small feat.

The most important aspect of any book is good writing. Whether you are an indie writer or a best selling author, the litmus test remains the same; is the book well written? The answer will be found on page one of your manuscript, which is why every author must get comfortable with a very simple truth. A first draft is merely that, a “first” draft. Excellence comes from writing, re-writing, re-writing again and then re-writing some more after that. There were many times while writing The Dunes that I would give a draft to my husband and he would shake his head indicating that it was not good enough yet. As infuriating as that was, he was absolutely right. It made me go deeper, search for better words and a clearer vision of how to share my ideas with readers. Writers become better through exposure and feedback from editors and people we trust. It is a part of the process that should never be avoided. http://bit.ly/1pwryZK

The aesthetic design of your book is also essential. The cover of your book is your first “hello” to the reader. It is your 3-second commercial and it needs to give readers insight into your story at a glance. Finding someone who is able to graphically illustrate the heart of your book is key. I worked with my cover designer for months before we finally settled on a cover that I believed masterfully articulated the beauty and the transformative nature of The Dunes. Getting the interior design of my book just right was also an integral aspect in my publishing journey. The choice of font, the font size, the layout and page color are all things that can make your book flow seamlessly in the readers mind or be disruptive and jarring. It is important to take the time to make sure that those choices compliment your book and allow for the experience you want your readers to have. http://bit.ly/1pwryZK

Another important aspect of publishing is one that I am still learning, the necessity of marketing. Finding unique ways to spread the word about your book requires creativity and tenacity. These days, utilizing social media is paramount, but a “following” isn’t born over night. It is important to be consistent and patient. This process is indeed a marathon. Also, never discount the grass roots approach. Networking with other authors and good old-fashioned word-of-mouth are still priceless tools for any author.


Born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised in the Bay Area of Northern California, Erin grew up with an innate love for dance, theatre and the written word. A graduate of Loyola Marymount University, Erin began her career in the arts as an actress and choreographer. After booking several notable roles in television and film, Erin began to use her gift of writing in blogs featuring political and social commentary, as well as developing content for theatrical use.

Although The Dunes, is a divine departure from Erin’s previous writings it is by far her most cherished work to date. “I wrote The Dunes initially as self therapy because I needed to release some painful experiences and disappointments from my past. I had this thirst to walk in the complete fullness of life with joy as my constant companion. I had no idea what effect it would have on other people. But when I saw people read it and be released from fears that had held them back for years…when I saw people forgive and be able to walk in the freedom forgiveness brings…when I saw people commit and serve and how those things opened up new opportunities in their life, I was just humbled. Humbled by the awesome power of God and humbled that I had been allowed to go along for the ride”.

When asked why she writes, Erin pauses and reflects on the truth of her heart. “I write because although I am only now beginning to truly love the process, I have always loved the outcome. Like a composer, words become my notes. I string them together in song eliciting the response of my reader, grafting a picture of my soul. Where besides the written word can you effect change so utterly and so succinctly? What besides the written word can pierce the universal collective mind? Everything begins with a thought, but it isn’t until that thought is articulated in written word and those words passed down can life changing movement happen. It must be written, it must be expressed on tablet, and when it is, we all become greater, whether the writing be genius or fatuity, it has evoked thought and debate. Why wouldn’t I want to be apart of that phenomenon? Why wouldn’t I want to share my story, give my testimony…add my paradigm to the mix? Whether it is a novel, a poem, an essay or an article, it is humanity visited. An insight into a new or sometimes shared truth. In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God. And with that I live my life”.


If there was a journey that could masterfully change your life in seven revelations...would you take it? 

In life, sometimes the kernels of wisdom and the richness of revelation can be found in the most innocent of stories; and so it is with The Dunes. Join one man and one woman in an exquisitely simple yet remarkably profound journey as you discover with them that the mountain you must climb in order to live the abundant life of your dreams is located squarely within your heart. 

Illuminated in seven revelations; The Dunes carries the reader on a journey to not only examine the obstacles that are holding them back in life but to conquer and over come them as well. With each revelation The Dunes intimately calls on the reader as the journey companion to face a challenge…a dare if you will that requires an uncompromising commitment to change. In the family of faith-based self help books, The Dunes stands alone, simultaneously taking the reader from fiction to life and back again, equipped with a tailor made journal for the readers inner most secrets and reflections. The Dunes is part allegory, part testimony and part journal, but the best part is the healing it offers your heart. When you’re ready to step out of your comfort zone and step into the miracle of your life…The Dunes awaits. 

CAUTION: Readers of this book are subject to significant changes for the better. Side effects may include frequent smiling and enjoying life in every season.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Non-fiction
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with Erin Sands on Facebook & Twitter

Brandon Overall on Social Issues, Friends & #SelfPub - #SciFi #Authors

What are you most passionate about? What gets you fired up?
-I am passionate about lifting weights and science/physics.  I can talk about those two things forever.
What makes you angry?
-I don’t get angry very often, but when I do it’s because of something I did that I regret doing.
What would you love to produce in your life?
-A best-selling book series!
What’s the reason for your life? Have you figured out your reason for being here yet?
-I don’t think people have reasons for living.  Life is an empty canvas for you to fill up however you want.  Some people just have an easier time acquiring paint supplies.
How do you feel about self-publishing?
-It has worked well for me!  I got really lucky and sold 711 copies of my book in my second month.  I don’t think most people have that kind of success.
How important are friends in your life?
-I wish I could say they were extremely important, but right now my life is too fast paced to keep in touch with my friends very well.  People come and go in my life just about every day.  It’s hard to get attached to any of them.
What social issues interest you the most?
-I am very interested in religion’s role in society.  I enjoy watching religious debates and seeing the trend shift in the acceptance of other religions besides Christianity or no religion at all.
Do you find the time to read?
-Not as much as I probably should!  I tend to spend most of my free time playing games and watching movies rather than reading.  I enjoy reading when those things aren’t available, though.
Last book you purchased? Tell us about it.
The Shining by Stephen King.  Believe it or not, it’s the first Stephen King novel I have read!
What is your favorite quality about yourself?
-When I set my mind on something, I usually put in the time and effort to excel at it.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself?
-I take failure extremely hard, and it usually bothers me for quite a while.
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?
-Achieving my goal of joining the Army, and also writing a book!  Not many people can say they have done both.

Superhuman Nature is Brandon Overall's first novel. It was written and published during his first deployment to Afghanistan as a 2nd Lieutenant in late 2013.

Neil Hitchens was a senior ROTC Cadet in college. He was just weeks away from graduating and becoming an Officer in the United States Army, until a strange dream set off a chain of events that would twist his life into something he could have never prepared for.

In the days following his dream, several strange happenings occurred that he began to suspect were the result of his own actions. Before long, he discovered that he had the ability to control the world around him with his mind.

What started out as an unpredictable ability quickly evolved into an extraordinary power that had the capacity to change the world. It didn't take long for the government to find out what Neil could do.
They knew having such limitless potential on the side of the US Military could give them limitless political influence, and they would stop at nothing to get Neil to do their bidding. They would find out what happens when you back a dangerous animal into a corner.

Neil spent his whole life believing he would amount to greatness, but he never expected how greatness could corrupt even the most innocent of minds.

Buy @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Science Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Brandon Overall on Facebook

Twelve Houses #Excerpt by Olga Soaje #AmReading #LitFic #Women

Since You’ve Been Gone

Stay with me.
Don’t fall asleep too soon.
The angels can wait for a moment.
—Westlife, “Written in the Stars”
You promised you would never leave me. Thirty-five years ago, I looked you directly in the eye and heard, “I will never leave you,” as we stood next to the ocean. And now, like a thief in the night, you go. No last words, no promises, no tears.
As I look back at that moment, I can still feel your hand intertwined with mine, each finger between mine, like an oyster shut tight against the sea, protecting the treasure it carries inside. But the treasure was in my belly, full of love and expectations.
We walked like tourists along Pier 59, a place we came to think of as home. Wind in our faces and a carefree spirit in our hearts. Gently you stopped and pulled my hand so I would follow suit as you turned; I could see your eyes full of love and complete devotion. I felt I could stay in that moment forever. It was this feeling, this sublime happiness, that I did not want changed or challenged. That’s when I turned to you and looked into those blue eyes as I said aloud, “I don’t want this to change.”
Your face distorted into a concerned expression as you tried to reassure me. “It will be different when the baby arrives; it will be even better.”
“It’s not that. I’m excited about meeting the baby and having it with us.”
So you poked at the subject with concern on your face, as you asked, “Then what is it? What don’t you want to change?”
“Us,” I answered blithely, taking in a large whiff of air through my nose as a source of strength for what I was about to request of you. As I looked out to the sea right in front of us, I said, “I don’t want to forget this feeling. I want to always feel this love and peace between us.”
You gave me that dimply smile. “We will always have it. And when we don’t, we will have the direction in which we want to go.”
As a sea gull passed close to us, landing in the water with a tiny splash, I looked at you and finally said what had been on my mind, the deep seed of this conversation. “I don’t want to lose you.” Once again, your easy laugh, followed by an enveloping hug, while you gave me the grin I’d come to realize meant, You’re hormonal. “I’m serious. Just promise me…”

Can anything good follow the best thing that ever happened to you?
Amelia Weiss loved her husband of thirty-five years very much, but now he’s left her a widow. Without him, she is unable to work in her sculpture studio without crying. She no longer has a bridge to her estranged daughter. And she can’t seem to keep her mind in the present.
But when her daughter reaches out asking for her help and her agent threatens a lawsuit if Amelia doesn’t deliver for an upcoming exhibit, she’s forced to make a choice. Will she reengage with her life and the people in it—allowing room for things to be different than they were before? Or, will she remain stuck in the past, choosing her memories over real-life relationships?
Thrust fully into the present, Amelia stumbles into a surprising journey of self-discovery.
Buy @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Fiction, Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Olga Soaje on Facebook

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

LOCK READY @JimRada #Excerpt #HistFic #AmReading

This excerpt gives a picture of the daily life on a canal boat and it features two of the favorite characters in the series, Tony and Thomas Fitzgerald.

Tony rolled off of the bottom bunk in the family cabin before the dawn and stoked the fire in the small pot-belly stove. It was difficult to cook a family meal on its flat top, but space was at a premium in the cabin and a full-size stove would have put out too much heat in the small room. Tony had to admit, though, on cold nights, this stove didn’t put out enough heat to keep his toes and nose from freezing while he slept.
He stepped quietly past the door to Mrs. Fitzgerald’s cabin. It wasn’t really a door, but a curtain made of a piece of blue fabric with white stripes. He didn’t hear her moving around on the other side. Hopefully, she was asleep. She had been crying late into the night and he had had to pretend that he hadn’t been able to hear her.
Tony could feel the cold of the floor boards through his thick socks. He only wore his socks when he slept specifically so he wouldn’t have to worry about his feet freezing on the floor in the winter.
Lucky for everyone Tony needed to make water. They would get to wake up in a warm cabin because Tony had decided to drink a cup of water before going to bed. He wrapped his wool blanket around himself and crept outside to empty his bladder into the empty canal basin. As he did, he wondered how many canallers would have to be doing the same thing at the same time to fill up the canal and float the hundreds of boats now stranded along its length. Just thinking about it made him feel like he had more water in him to get rid of.
By the time Tony went back inside, Mrs. Fitzgerald had come out of her small cabin. It was really just a smaller room partitioned off from the family cabin and just barely large enough for a small bed. Even Tony and his birth mother had never stayed in a room that small no matter how little money they had had. At least the partition gave the captain some privacy. She and Mr. Fitzgerald had shared the cabin before he had been killed in Shanty Town. Then she and Elizabeth had shared it until Elizabeth had decided to stay in Washington to learn how to act like a lady. Now Mrs. Fitzgerald slept in there alone.
It struck Tony as sad. He wasn’t sure why. She certainly had more room now that she wasn’t sharing the same small bed with someone.
Mrs. Fitzgerald began pulling out breakfast ingredients from the pantry tucked away under the Freeman’squarterdeck…canned fruit, flour, eggs. It was a storage area that you could enter through doors in one wall of the cabin. Though the pantry was nearly as large as the family cabin, it was only half as tall since it was under the quarterdeck. Some larger canalling families used it as another cabin. Tony had discovered that the Fitzgeralds had used it not only as a pantry but also as a place to hide slaves they had helped on their way to freedom along the Underground Railroad.
“Good morning, Tony,” Mrs. Fitzgerald said. She sounded too happy in the mornings, especially a morning after she had been crying half of the night.
“Good morning,” he mumbled. He, on the other hand, was still half asleep and wishing he was fully asleep.
“I thought I would make pancakes for breakfast.”
“Thomas’s favorite.” Tony liked them, too, but doughnuts were his favorite breakfast.
Mrs. Fitzgerald grinned. “It will probably be the only way to get him up this morning. On cold mornings, it’s like he’s frozen to the bed.”
“I’ll throw a coal from the fire in bed with him if you want,” Tony said with mock seriousness. “That ought to thaw him out and get him up pretty quick.”
Mrs. Fitzgerald rubbed her chin as if she were considering the idea. “I think the pancakes will work fine. If I’m wrong, we can try your idea.” Then she grinned at Tony.
As she poured batter into the frying pan a few minutes later, the small cabin quickly filled with the scent of pancakes frying. Sure enough, Thomas began stirring in his bunk. He sat up and rubbed his eyes. Then he took a deep breath and smiled.
“You two need to feed the mules,” Alice said. “By the time you finish, breakfast should be ready. Oh, and make sure that George and Da…” She stopped and the smile slipped from her face. “Make sure George is awake when you come back.”
“Flapjacks, yea!” Thomas said.
“Then you can get ready for school,” Mrs. Fitzgerald said.
“School, no!” Thomas said and he flopped back in his bunk and pulled the blanket over his head.

The Civil War split the United States and now it has split the Fitzgerald Family. Although George Fitzgerald has returned from the war, his sister Elizabeth Fitzgerald has chosen to remain in Washington to volunteer as a nurse. 

The ex-Confederate spy, David Windover, has given up on his dream of being with Alice Fitzgerald and is trying to move on with his life in Cumberland, Md. Alice and her sons continue to haul coal along the 184.5-mile-long C&O Canal. It is dangerous work, though, during war time because the canal runs along the Potomac River and between the North and South. Having had to endured death and loss already, Alice wonders whether remaining on the canal is worth the cost. She wants her family reunited and safe, but she can’t reconcile her feelings between David and her dead husband. 

Her adopted son, Tony, has his own questions that he is trying to answer. He wants to know who he is and if his birth mother ever loved him. As he tries to find out more about his birth mother and father, he stumbles onto a plan by Confederate sympathizers to sabotage the canal and burn dozens of canal boats. He enlists David’s help to try and disrupt the plot before it endangers his new family, but first they will have find out who is behind the plot.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Historical Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with James Rada Jr. on Facebook & Twitter
Website jamesrada.com