Jack Canon's American Destiny

Friday, February 28, 2014

#Romance #Fiction #AmReading Julia (The Good Life series) by Sarah Krisch


Juggling her laptop bag and purse, she somehow managed to unlock the three deadbolts to her walk-up apartment. As Julia kicked the door closed behind her, Nora came bursting into the entryway. Never short of energy, Nora was even more over-the-top than usual as she squealed with excitement.

"What? What is it?" Julia said, setting her things down on the kitchen counter.

"Didn't you get my message on your cell?

"No, I was just in to see Gloria. I didn't even check my messages." Julia pulled out her cell phone and noticed that she had indeed missed a call. She must've been under the hair dryer when it rang. She felt the urge to listen to the message, but thought Nora would kill her if Julia didn't let her pass on the earth-shattering news.

"So what is it? Did I finally win the lottery?"

"No, even better!" Nora took hold of Julia's hand and practically dragged her into their small living room.

"What? What is it?" Julia asked.

Nora made Julia sit on the loveseat before she leaned against the desk crammed into the corner of the room. With her eyes shining and a smile wide across her olive-toned skin, she was about to start speaking but couldn't help herself. Her hands shook in front of her and she let out another squeal. Julia hadn't seen her this excited since she received her acceptance letter to the Chicago Veterinary School of Medicine.

"Nora, you're starting to scare me. Who called?"


Julia's agent only called when he had good news to share; otherwise he preferred to dispense disappointment via email.

"Darius called… and what? Did he sell my book?"

"Even better!"

"Don't tell me it's a multi-book offer!" Julia's heart raced at the possibilities. If she landed a multi-book deal, she might actually be able to pay her bills on time. She might actually start to feel like an adult instead of existing in the muddled land of the almost-grown-up. Darius had been shopping a book-length compendium of her syndicated column for a few months, but had only received nibbles from book publishers. Julia had doubted Darius when he originally contacted her to offer his representation. After all, if the Herald didn't want the rights to her blog, why would a book publisher?

"Not just a book offer. A book and TV deal! Can you believe it?"

"Wait…" Julia leaned back on the old couch they'd had since their college days. If she'd been standing, she would've probably been wobbly on her newly pedicured feet. "Are you sure you heard him right? Book… and TV? What do you mean TV? Like an appearance on Live With Kelly and Michael? Oh, don't tell me, he got me a spot on Ellen!"

"No, silly. A TV deal, as in a deal for your own TV show. He said something about Randal Publishing and its subsidiary—"

"GreenTV? He landed me a show on GreenTV?"

"Actually… yeah."

Julia felt short of breath. She had to stand, had to walk. If she didn't move around she would explode. After pacing the small living room two, three, and four times, she realized she was holding her breath.

"You… you aren't playing the worst ever practical joke, are you?" Julia finally said.

"This is me you're talking to, your best friend. I wouldn't do that to you."

"I know you wouldn't, it's just…" Julia said, and then her pacing led her into the kitchen. She looked at the clock on the microwave: 3:17 p.m. She figured it was close enough to happy hour, especially when she had something to be happy about. She grabbed a bottle of elderberry wine, a vintage from a valley farm not more than a mile from her grandparents' home. She exited the kitchen while carrying the wine bottle and two mismatched glasses, decidedly not of the wine variety. "Want a glass?" she asked, but before Nora could answer, she continued. "It's just… I can't wrap my mind around it. How can this be happening to me?"

"Yes, I'll have a glass," Nora said. "Here, let me open that. Your hands are shaking." Nora hurried to the kitchen for the corkscrew. When she returned, she took the bottle from Julia and uncorked it.
Julia held up the glasses as Nora poured. As she poured, Julia saw her gorgeous manicure, and that her hands were indeed shaking terribly.

"This is happening to you because you deserve it. You're talented, beautiful, and hard-working. No one deserves it more than you."

Julia couldn't say anything for fear she would start crying. And if she started crying, then Nora would start crying. Julia could tell that Nora knew what she was thinking; she took a sip of wine and stepped away, casting her gaze out the window over the desk. The view was of the pitted, crumbling brick wall of the building across the narrow alley. That view was reason alone for Julia to justify spending so much of her time at Gloria's salon.

And to think, all of those mani/pedis helped her to land the deal of a lifetime.
Julia drank half of her wine and felt the tightness in her chest easing. Her breathing was steadying.

"So Darius... what else did he say?"

"Not much. I'm not his client, you are. And I suggest you call him back, especially before that wine starts kicking in."

"Okay. I'll call." Julia took her cell phone from her pocket. "But one thing."

"Sure, anything."

"Stay here when I talk to him. I don't think I'll remember how to speak if I make this call by myself."

"I wouldn't miss it for the world. Just make sure you put it on speakerphone."

As Julia punched in Darius' number, Nora gasped, "I can't believe I took a phone message for a future TV star!"


Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Romance
Rating – PG-13
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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bryan Taylor & The Three Sisters #Excerpt #Humor #Politics

Like everyone else, I endured the Catholic Trinity of Confession, Communion, and Catechism during elementary school. I always referred to the Catechism as Everything You Needed to Know about Catholicism without Getting Your Knuckles Rapped. As luck would have it, just as soon as we started to learn those Latin phrases, the Vatican changed the rules and we had to relearn everything in the vernacular. It seemed as if the Vatican was just waiting until I had learned those Latin phrases so they could switch to using the vernacular just to spite me.
At confession, the two safest sins were disobeying my parents, the priest never doubt that one, and telling a lie. You could never lie about lying during confession. If I had lied during the past week, I was telling the truth, but if I hadn’t lied and I said I had lied, I had just lied and therefore was telling the truth about lying. We kids would compare our confessions each week to expand our repertoire because if we confessed to the same sins every week, the priests might think we weren’t taking confession seriously. We would also compare penances to see what each sin was worth and plan accordingly. When the priest would say, “Go and sin no more,” I wondered whether he was serious because if we really listened to him, he would be out of a job.
Nuns just want to have fun! But when three former Catholic nuns have too much fun and get in trouble with the law, they become nuns on the run.
Driving back to Washington D.C. where they work at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Parts, the three sisters are arrested in Tennessee. After defeating the local deputy in strip poker, they escape from jail, and are pursued by the zealous Detective Schmuck Hole, who has personally offered a $10,000 reward for their capture on The 700 Club. Little do they know that when the three sisters visit the Washington Monument, their lives will change forever.
Set in 1979, The Three Sisters is a sacrilegious satire that skewers not only organized religion, but the government, the media, intellectuals, corporate greed and every other part of the establishment. Maybe not the greatest story ever told, but possibly the funniest.
Buy @ Amazon
Genre – Humor, Satire, Catholicism, Politics
Rating – R
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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fool for Love by Merry Farmer @MerryFarmer20


Chapter Four

The Majestic rose up out of the water in its Liverpool dock with all the glory of its name.  Amelia held one hand to her hat and stared at its iron sides, its two dun-colored funnels and three tall masts.  The ship was a strange thing to her, a mixture of old and new, progress with hints of the past.  It had sails that could be unfurled in a pinch, but with its powerful new engines, the ship could cross the ocean in a week.

Seven days to a new world.  It was an exact description of everything her life had become.  It was every bit as daunting.

“What am I doing?” Amelia whispered, staring at the hopeful monstrosity in front of her.  It was one thing to accept an offer for a new life.  It was another thing entirely to go through with it.

She turned away from the ship, swallowing the nausea that had plagued her since she’d left her mother’s house.  This time it wasn’t morning sickness.  That was long past.  At the moment, the baby was the least of her worries.  Her stomach rolled over the idea that she was about to board a ship heading for a new life at the mercy of a stranger, a man, no less.  The last time she had trusted her life and her future to a man had been a disaster.

She paced, purse clutched to her chest, scanning the busy dock in search of her American savior.  Men, women, and children crowded the gangplanks, eager to start their journeys, excited and hopeful.  Many of the third-class passengers carried bundles that indicated theirs was a one-way trip as much as hers was.  Eric had left her there to go buy her ticket, but there was nothing stopping him from running off and leaving her stranded.  Like her father.  Like Nick.  She was a fool to agree to this.  She pivoted and marched away from the ship.

No, she stopped herself after a handful of steps, this was the best decision she could have made.  She may have felt small and lonely standing by herself, waiting, heart and stomach fluttering, but she was as much a part of the intrepid adventurers seeking a new life in America as any of her fellow passengers.  This was right.


“Well, we got a minor problem on our hands.”

The twang of Eric’s accent shocked Amelia from her worries.  She spun to face him as he approached her with wide strides, scratching his head and looking as guilty as a schoolboy.

“A problem?” she asked, voice fluttering.

“Yeah.  I went to buy you a ticket, but they’re plumb sold out.”

Amelia’s chest tightened and her tender stomach lurched.  “Oh.  Oh dear.  Well I suppose….”

She lowered her eyes, heart aquiver.  As quickly as it started, her chance for a new life was over.  All that worrying for nothing.

She squared her shoulders to face her fate.  “I … I thank you for your efforts on my behalf regardless, Mr. Quinlan.”

Eric’s brow crinkled into a curious frown.  “Regardless?”

“I suppose I could find work here in Liverpool,” she explained.  “Surely there must be a shop somewhere that would look the other way from….”  She lowered her hand to the mound of her stomach.

Eric’s lips twitched.  The morning sunlight caught in his eyes.  “I didn’t want to have to put you in third-class, so I told them you were my wife.”

Amelia blinked.  “You what?”

“I told them we’re newlyweds.  I reserved my stateroom in first class last year when I came over.  Good thing I paid for it then too, ‘cuz after this fiasco of a trip I’ll never ride first-class again.  Anyhow, when they said they didn’t have any more rooms, I told them you were my wife and that we would be staying in the same stateroom.  They sold me a ticket for that.”  He handed her a fresh, clean ticket with her name written as ‘Mrs. Amelia Quinlan’.  “Sorry.”

Amelia held perfectly still on the outside, but on the inside her heart pounded and her stomach rolled with guilt for questioning him.  He wasn’t abandoning her.  He had gone out of his way to help her.  Her heart squeezed as it never had before.  She took the ticket from him with a trembling hand, hardly noticing when her fingers brushed his.  She was rescued after all.

“Thank you, Mr. Quinlan.  You have no idea how much this kindness means to me.”  She had to concentrate on breathing, standing straight, and looking up into his handsome eyes with a smile to keep her tears at bay.

“You don’t mind sharing then?” he asked her.


Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Western Historical Romance

Rating – R

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Website http://merryfarmer.net

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Alex Mueck on What Motivates Him to Write #amwriting #amreading #humor


What scares you the most?
Being boring.
What makes you happiest?
Helping others and making them laugh.
What’s your weakest character trait?
He is flawed in thinking life is one big joke.  When he takes his mission too far, there are ramifications, things back-fire and tragedy strikes.
Why do you write?
I know this sounds cliché, but I love it.
Have you always enjoyed writing?
Yes, I used to write stories, and then quit, but was encouraged by a friend to try again, and three books later, I am working on number four and five.
What motivates you to write?
I need to have something to do, and when I write it consumes me.  I rarely need any motivation to get lost in creating a story.
What writing are you most proud of?
Not sure, I have one particular piece, perhaps the more touching scenes that come in the second half, but feel there are too many spoilers in them, so I provided a few samples that is indicative of the humor style employed in this book.
What books did you love growing up?
Depends on the age.  When I was young Loved stuff from Ronald Dahl, Greek mythology stories,  to that three investigator series with Jupiter Jones, and even Encyclopedia Brown.  So I suppose the latter books led Agatha Christie and other mystery writers.  Later I branched out to several genres.
Who is your favorite author?
I honestly do not have one.  I like so many authors it is like picking the most beautiful girl.
What book genre of books do you adore?
Mysteries, thrillers, fantasy, horror, humorous fiction, biographies and historical accounts.

"“A historical fiction comedy that packs
as much heart as humor.”
—Michael Dadich, award-winning author of The Silver Sphere
When a Harvard history professor receives a thesis paper titled Jesse James and the Secret Legend of Captain Coytus, from Ulysses Hercules Baxter—an underwhelming student—he assumes the paper must be a prank. He has never read such maniacal balderdash in his life. But after he calls a meeting with the student, Professor Gladstone is dismayed when Baxter declares the work is his own. As he takes a very unwilling Professor Gladstone back in time via his thesis, Baxter’s grade hangs in the balance as he attempts to prove his theory.
It is 1864 as philanderer and crusader Captain Coytus embarks on a mission to avenge his father’s death and infiltrates the Confederate Bushwacker posse looking for the man responsible, Jesse Woodson James. Accompanied by the woman of his dreams, Coytus soon finds himself temporarily appointed to be the sheriff of Booneville and commissions his less-than-loyal deputy to help him carry out his plan.
But when tragedy strikes, the Captain is forced to change his immature ways and redefine his lofty mission—more or less."
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Humor, Historical Fiction
Rating – R
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Friday, February 21, 2014

Greg Sandora on Family, Life & Favourites @gregsandora #Thriller #MustRead


First, tell us about yourself – where  you live, your family, and those sorts of details.
I’m originally from Portland, Maine, now living in Fort Myers, Florida with my wife of 28 years and Boston Bull dog Sophie. My daughter Casie and son Canon, have both graduated from FGCU, and we are empty nesters.  Casie is a nurse, and Canon is a Civil Engineer.
Who designed the cover? 
Carol Itoh designed the cover.
How long have you been writing?
I started writing in earnest in 2011, to help me cope with my mother’s illness and passing. She loved to write poetry and would have loved to read my book.
What is your favorite drink? 
I love Ice Tea, especially with lemonade in it.
Do you have a favorite place to write?
I most always write in a comfortable chair in the living room. Usually before anyone wakes, it’s really quiet.
Who is your publisher? 
Itoh Press is my publisher
Are you reading any interesting books at the moment? 
The untethered soul.
Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
My favorite character is Sandy Collins, Jack’s gorgeous assistant. I can’t wait until she enters a seen, and miss her when she leaves the room. Sandy is so pretty, her existence makes all women more beautiful.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself? 
I tend towards impatience.
Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
My wife did the first read and helped to shape the story, it was a lot of work. After that my publisher hired a professional editor who did the final edit.
When is your favorite time of day to write? 
I love to write early in the morning. Usually after I have dreamt something or had a thought that must be added.
Tell us what you’re working on at the moment.
I recently released Gabby, Angel of God, a Supernatural Romantic Thriller about an angel that comes to Earth for a two week adventure.  It’s a fun story of mystery, unrequited love, romance and of course thrills. Gabby is pretty amazing! Here’s an excerpt -
“I’ve got to go to Brunswick, Bo, would you take me? We could borrow the motorcycle; Wesley won’t need it anymore.”
I didn’t want to admit that I’ve never driven a Harley before. I’d driven a few motorbikes when I was a kid, but I didn’t think I could handle a full-size Harley the first time out.
“Who said anything about you driving?” Gabby teased me. She was reading my thoughts again. “You’ll do fine,” she added.
“I’ll give it a try.” She had wounded my masculine pride so I was determined to rise to the challenge. I jumped onto the bike, propped it upright, and steadied it off the kickstand. Instinctively, I reached for the handgrip, rolled it to quarter throttle and pushed my thumb on the starter button. The bike roared to a deep-throated rumble. I pulled back racing the engine, “Hop on!”
Gabby climbed on the back and sat really close to me on the small seat. She reached her arms around my waist and hugged, laying her head sideways, her cheek to my back. I kicked the gear lever down and heard the tranny knock into place. I operated on instinct and figured it was one down and five up on the gears. Things were coming easier to me. I became convinced that I could drive this hog.
“Hold on,” I hollered back, even though she was already holding tight. I gave it some gas, released the clutch, and gave her a half throttle twist as we roared into the street. Barely four seconds into the ride and I had already been through three of the gears. “This is a blast!” I shouted.
“You don’t need to yell, Bo.” Gabby switched to talking in my head because of the noise from the motorcycle.
“Oh, sorry.” I felt a little bad about yelling. Presumably angels have really great hearing.
“You’ll get used to me. Do you really think I’m the prettiest girl you’ve ever seen, Bo?” I could feel her cheek move against my back as she smiled.
“You’re so beautiful my heart is shivering. Even in my dreams I’ve never seen anything so amazing. In all my life I never imagined anyone or anything could be as beautiful as you.”
“You’re very certain Bo. Tell me, how many angels have you seen?’
“Just you, but I know beautiful when I see it.” My absolute conviction about that came through in my voice.
“Is that so?” Gabby sounded amused.
I was feeling curious. “Gabby, I’ve been thinking about what you’ve said, it’s hard to believe there are angels guarding the outer edges of the earth.”
“Didn’t you pay attention in science class – you remember the earth is spinning at a thousand miles an hour and traveling through space at eighteen miles per second, but angels protecting it is the part you find too amazing to believe?”
‘‘Well, when you put it like that.”
“Every morning you wake to a glowing red fireball in the sky and it doesn’t make you think, who put it there?” Gabby seemed to be in full instructional-angel mode.
“It seems ridiculous when you put it like that. The idea that there could be such powerful and awe-inspiring phenomenon in the universe with no Creator behind them seems absurd. Here I am riding down route one, on a Harley I didn’t even know how to drive – having the deepest metaphysical conversation of my life – with the most gorgeous woman ever – and it’s a telepathic conversation at that! I better not wake up and realize this is a dream!”
A few silky strands of Gabby’s hair were blown by the wind to caress my cheek. “Don’t worry, you’re not dreaming – in fact this is probably the most real experience you’ve ever had.”
I realized she was right. “That’s true! I feel more awake and alive than I’ve ever been. I feel stronger than I’ve ever felt. I love being with you.”
“Don’t get too attached.” Gabby warned me. “I’m only here for two weeks in Earth time, Bo. That’s all the time I have and then I have to leave.”
“You’re my dream come true Gabby. Isn’t there any way that you can stay longer?”
“That’s not up to me Bo. That decision was made long before you were born. Let’s just enjoy each other while I’m here, okay?” Gabby sounded a little sad.
“Okay, I want to spend every moment I can with you.”
“There is one thing that you could do for me if we are going to spend this time together.” Gabby sounded cautious.
“I want to be a girl, you know, in between our assignments. I want to have some fun.”
I was a little confused. “You said you were a girl. What do you mean, Gabby?”
“I said I’m a female angel. There is a difference. I want to live as a girl, a human girl, try it out – to see what it’s like, okay? Will you treat me like a girl, Bo?” Now she sounded a bit wistful.
I was excited by the chance to do this for her. “You got it! It will be my pleasure.”
We stopped at a red light. Neither of us was wearing a helmet. A motorist next to us took exception and yelled over, “Hey fuck head, it’s one thing for you not to wear a helmet but your girl should be protected.”
Gaby’s long hair was flying all over the place and obviously had been trailing behind the bike. We weren’t driving too fast, Route One is known for winding one-lane roads. It passes through all the quaint, little seaside towns of Maine. It’s the most picturesque route with one porch lined Main Street after the other.
Gabby looked over at the driver, a middle-aged tough guy in a truck, exhibiting signs of road rage, and gave him a beatific smile. I was getting pissed. I fixed a hostile gaze on him. That upset him even more.
He fumed, “What are you looking at asshole?”
Gabby murmured to me, “Wait for it.”
Four loud explosive pops sounded like gunshots as all four tires blew out in unison. The truck was sitting on flat tires and rims. The light changed, I hit the throttle, and we were off, laughing as the guy jumped out of the truck screaming, kicking the ground. Our muffler made it impossible to hear Gabby aloud. We had to go back to communicating telepathically.
“You have to be more careful, Bo, you did that.” Gabby was chiding me but she did sound faintly amused as well.
“No way! The tires? I did that? I thought it was you, Gabby. How could I do that?”
“Your faith can move mountains. Don’t try it though, please! You’re going to have to learn to control yourself around me so things aren’t just chaotic around you.”
“That might be true but, Gabby, you could’ve made a helmet if you wanted.”
“I don’t need one, and I like the wind running through my hair, it feels wonderful!” Gabby took one arm from around my waist and ran her fingers through her hair.
“Speaking of making things, how did you manage to make so many outfits, it was like ten in a row in less than two minutes?” I was trying to think practically about how all these amazing things were happening.
“I was in each outfit only long enough to see your reaction. Your pupils don’t lie, Bo. They dilate when you like something.” She sounded amused by my human reactions to her.
“You’re right, I love what you’re wearing and you look really pretty, but how did you do it? And, how did I pop those tires?”
“Energy and vibration controlled by the power of your mind. You only use ten percent of your brain. If you tap into the part that humans don’t usually use you can use it to control part of the common energy that binds creation. You’re able to access it when you’re with me, most likely because, as an angel, I am so attuned to that energy.”
I considered that. “Haven’t you ever been with a human before? Did it happen with them?”
“Only once, and just for a few minutes. Not long enough for anything to happen.”
“So, I’m the second human you’ve spent time with?”
“Well if it’s any consolation, I’m scheduled for earth again in a thousand years.” Gabby said that gently, clearly trying to placate me.
“Who was the first?”
What books have influenced you in the past? 
The Course in Miracles, Seat of the Soul. I love books on spirituality.
Two months have passed since the long awaited inauguration of the New President of the United States - Jack Canon. Now he must live up to his promises. The World is wounded, people are hurting, the new President must keep the country afloat. Jack leads a very full life - The first couple's relationship is hot with passion, but he can never admit that to Sandy, his best friend who is also head over heels in love with him. The Women of the House provide a welcome distraction while helping with the arduous task of running the country.
As President Jack must make tough decisions: Global Terrorism, Human Trafficking, Korea on the brink of war, all while thwarting International Greed. Women of the House is a story of noble sacrifice at extremely high cost. Who's going to be the first to be strong enough and willing to pay? It's not all work in Women of the House - Think the Wedding of the Decade meets the Crime of the Century.
Jack Canon's Women of the House, is a story filled with Love, Lust, and Loyalty where passions can run wild! In Sandora's monumental sequel, patriotism and valor mingle with an undying love that refuses to quit. Ride along as Jack Canon fights back against the most evil people on the planet. Readers are sure to embrace this unforgettable tale which will appeal to fans of political adventure, suspense and romance alike. Jack Canon's Women of the House is a story of kindness, passion and courage that can't be separated.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Romantic Thriller
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
 Connect with Greg Sandora on Facebook & Twitter

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

#Romance #Excerpt #AmReading - Ever Hopeful by Lori Ryan


Laura smiled but Cade’s comment sent her thoughts in a completely different direction. She was suddenly painfully aware that she wanted him to see her as a woman. How totally inappropriate was that? She was pregnant with her dead husband’s child and running from his family. She might be a grown woman but the fact was, she’d never been independent. She’d always been tied to a man—first her father and then her husband. This was the time in her life when she needed to take charge, learn to support herself, and be independent. Yet, here she was thinking about how gorgeous the man sitting across from her was and wondering if he liked what he saw when he looked at her.

Cade frowned at her. “What are you thinking? You seem like you took a little trip in your head for a minute.”

If only you knew.

Laura shook her head. She needed to figure out how she was going to take care of her baby when it came, how she would support them both. How she was going to get away from the Kensingtons and their powerful, seemingly endless reach. How she’d fight them if they tracked her down and tried to take the baby from her. The last thing she should be thinking was what it would be like to be in Cade’s arms, to touch him and feel his mouth on her skin....

“I was just thinking that I need to find a way to support myself and the baby. I can’t live off you guys forever.”

“Try telling that to Mama. I think she’s planning to adopt you,” said Cade.

Laura felt a sharp pain at his joke and had a feeling she probably grimaced. What would it have been like to be born to May Bishop? To have been raised in a place like this by someone who loved her? To receive the unconditional love that a parent is supposed to have for their child?

Fairy tales…. She’d given up on things like that a long time ago. It wasn’t useful to sit and pity herself and cry about her circumstances. But, being so close to a family like the Bishops...made her want to go back in time and rewrite her story. If not rewrite who she was born to, at least change her decision to marry Patrick.

“Well, I’ll have to come up with something,” Laura said, but in all honesty waiting tables was about the only thing she was qualified to do.

She forced a smile. She may not have ever had a mother like May Bishop, but she’d make damn sure her child did. Her baby would know she was loved no matter what. That nothing could ever take her mother’s love away. If Laura was sure of one thing in her life, she was sure of that. She would love this child with all her heart and all that she was.

Combining heart-soaring contemporary romance with heart-pounding suspense is a trademark of New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Lori Ryan—and in her novel Ever Hopeful she delivers spectacularly on both counts.  Two-months pregnant and trapped in a violent marriage, Laura Kensington realizes that her ruthless and powerful in-laws will never let her go, even after the strange sudden death of her abusive husband.  Fleeing far away to the Texas ranch of Cade Bishop, a strong yet tender man who believes in second chances, Laura finds herself irresistibly drawn to Cade’s gentle passion and giving heart. But there is no escaping the shadows of her past and soon danger re-enters her world, pulling Laura into a deadly web of lies, betrayals, and murder.  And only Cade Bishop’s quiet strength and unwavering love can set her free.
Buy Now @ Amazon US | Amazon UK | Print | Barnes&Noble | Goodreads
Genre - Romance
Rating –  R
More details about the author
 Connect with Lori Ryan on Facebook & Twitter
Contest for readers, authors, bloggers (open to all)
Lori says - am giving away one Kindle Paperwhite (or gift card of equivalent amount if outside the US or UK) to one entrant in the two week long contest.
The In the Biz Contest
Lori says - am giving away one Kindle Paperwhite to one blogger or author who helps promote her book during the first two weeks through blogging, Facebook, Twitter or your newsletter (whether through a tour or on your own): To enter this contest, please email her at loriryanauthor@gmail.com and she will send you a link to let you enter. You’ll be able to enter multiple times!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

#Author Joshua Silverman on Writing Conferences @jg_silverman #amwriting #amreading

How to put your best foot forward at Conferences 
Last year, I attended about five or six science-fiction, fantasy, horror, or pop culture conventions as an exhibitor. This year, I’ll probably double that number. Some of these are remarkably fun, some not so much. A lot of authors go to these shows, particularly if you write science-fiction or fantasy novels. But, how you prepare yourself and your booth makes a huge difference in sales.
At one show I was at, there was an author in the table next to me selling his fantasy book. On one Saturday (the most popular day typically), I sold over 100 books and he sold 9. He had a descent story too. There are many factors that lead to this dramatic difference in sales. First, his booth was empty. He stacked his books in a pile on the table and wrote $10 on a blank sheet of white paper. I told he needs what I call, “curb appeal.” The same basic concept as in real estate. People walking by want to stop by your booth because it’s interesting.
But I’m an author; all I have is my books. How can I make that interesting?
First, you need to think of yourself as more than an author, you’re in business. Conferences and conventions are typically not free and can cost up to $800 to attend (depending on distance and conference fees). If you’re spending that kind of money, you don’t want to go bankrupt supporting your art. You need to invest a bit more time, thought, and a bit of money into it (but not much).
Second, hire an artist/illustrator to do some drawings of your characters and get them printed on a pull up banner. This should cost no more than $200 and will attract attention to your table. Third, don’t just use the standard white cloth blanket that comes with the booth (or sometimes, shows don’t even provide any cloth). Get a few pieces of cloth of different colors. Get flyers printed to distribute, preferably ones with color and nice art that attracts attention. Do not make it boring. Lastly, do not just stack your books on your table. Prop them up and bring enough of them so that your table looks busy. I also vary the heights of the books by putting an old shoebox under the blanket to raise some and lower others. Anything you can do to make it more interesting and compete with more visual tables, you should be doing.
Finally, you have to actually stand up and talk to people. I know that’s a crazy concept because us authors just want to be left alone to write. But when you’re new, you’re a nobody and it’s rare that people will come to you. So uncross your arms, act like you want to be there, stand up and introduce yourself.
The ancient powers lost to Potara have returned. The Brotherhood of the Black Rose rises to bring Thoth into disorder. And, while the Brotherhood reclaims their power, chaos reigns among the survivors. Six individuals have emerged from the aftermath struggling for control over their lives and a divided land. Kem and Shirin, who abolished the five thousand year reign of the Amun Priests, rule from the golden throne of the Oracle’s Chair in the Hall of the Nine. Dio and Axios struggle to piece together a resistance worthy to challenge the ancient magic which resides in the Great Temple of Amun, and Leoros and Atlantia try to remain true to their hearts and their cause despite tragedy.
But when the Book of Breathings is discovered, the path to immortality is revealed. Leoros and Kem race to capture the Soul of the World unaware of the challenges awaiting them. This time, the gods themselves will intervene.
In a tale where boys become men and girls become women, where treachery and deception are around every corner, and where primeval mysticism finds its way back from the grave, victory is reserved for neither the good nor the evil, but the powerful.
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Genre – Science fiction, Fantasy
Rating – PG-13+
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Birth of an Assassin by Rik Stone @stone_rik


Chapter 42

Jez let his mind dwell on the ceiling’s dull paint rather than think about his recent nightmares. But those thoughts wouldn’t stay down: whatever happened, he would achieve justice for Viktor.

Anna came out of the bathroom, hair wrapped in a towel, turban style. “We still have time to travel south,” she said. He sighed. She looked desperate again. “Please think about it. I promise this isn’t a test. No tricks. I’m telling you what’s in my heart, and I think we should run.”

Vertical tracks forged between his eyebrows. “We’ve already been through this, Anna. I do trust you, but I’ve made my decision.”

“But I don’t think you’ve thought it out properly. From what I can see, Mitrokhin has high-ranking contacts everywhere and I don’t think even Petrichova can save you. The captain has the guile of a fox and his cunning outwits us all. Please, Jez,” she implored, “go with me now.”

He got off the bed and embraced her. “I don’t know why you’ve become so worried. I’d never imagined you like this, but whether what you say is true or not, I won’t run. I must win justice for Viktor – and for me, come to that. Viktor has been murdered and I’ve been set up to look like his killer.”

Anna wept against his chest, and he couldn’t figure why. Of what he knew about her, it was totally out of character.

“I want you to remember this,” she sobbed. “And I’m speaking from the heart. No matter what happens, this is what is real and this is the memory I want you to hold onto. I love you, Jez, I love you.”

Baffled, he realized that having a real relationship with a woman was an enigma. Her declaration seemed distressed rather than tender. The only way he could think of handling this was to let it go straight over his head.

“And I love you, Anna, but I must go back.”


Outside the hotel the snow lay thick, and despite the best efforts of a heavy blanket of cloud, the cold had worked its way through.

“I’m glad I packed the ski jacket. Cold or not, this suitcase has me overheating. I know you’ve put my stuff in with yours, but what a weight.”

“Just girl things,” she smiled, and stepped out ahead.

“That’s right, don’t wait for me. Oh…” he said, almost stopping, “I forgot to pay for my lodgings at the hotel.”

She turned and raised an eyebrow. He grinned.

“You’re right, all the troubles I’ve got and I should worry about paying for a room. I’ll let the state sort it out.”

She laughed.

They trudged through the snow until they came to Railway Station Square – part of Stalin’s rebuild of the city. Anna wore the same azure coat with fur trimmings and fur hat as on the second day of their reunion, and he wondered how such a beautiful woman could really be interested in him.

“You look like a film star dressed like that, but aren’t you worried someone might be following?”

She tutted. “You seem to be worrying enough for both of us.”

She was so avant-garde, maybe she hadn’t carried out as many missions as she’d suggested. “Oh well, nearly there,” he said.

She smiled sadly.

He stopped to cross an avenue near a trolley rank. Six or seven people queued closely together, ankle-deep in snow, exhaling frosted breath as they waited for their ride. At last, a lull in the traffic. Anna went ahead. Jez kept a half metre behind, but something jarred his senses. Above the din of the city an explosion rang out. He turned to the direction of the noise and then looked at Anna. A hole had opened and blossomed in the back of her coat. His heart seemed to stop beating. She’d been shot and he couldn’t move. The force of the bullet had arched her back. She spun to face him, stumbled, eyes widened in shock.

The crowd at the trolley rank scattered in panic and shrill screams pierced his ears. But still, he couldn’t move – Anna.

Birth of an Assassin

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Genre - Thriller, Crime, Suspense

Rating – R

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Lethal Journey by Kim Cresswell @kimcresswell


Chapter Three

Detective Eric Brennan sat at his usual table and sipped the night’s beverage of choice—a cola. In Chunkers Bar and Grill loud pointless chatter overpowered the ‘80s rock and roll band on stage.

The last week was a blur. Every waking hour he pounded the streets in search of his father’s killer.

Eric knew every detail of the shooters face, but not the kid’s name. He’d heard from one of his informant’s, the kid was a young tough-guy looking to be made—a “cugine” ready to make his mark into New York’s most influential crime network, the Valdina family. As part of his induction into the mob family, the asshole had already killed a low-life rival family member and Eric and his father were working the homicide case when they got a tip.

That steamy June evening had started like any typical bust. Within minutes after Eric and his father arrived at the warehouse, dozens of DEA agents secured the perimeter. Eric entered the warehouse first, his father followed. Amid the stench of mildew and dust, the first pop of an automatic echoed within the barren walls.

They were ambushed.

His father, a veteran with twenty-three years on the force never saw the shots coming. Eric threw his body against his father in hopes of shielding him. It was too late. Instead Eric witnessed his father’s face, the sickening whitish blue tint that came with death...

While Pete checked in with the precinct, Eric shifted in the chair. His left knee still burned where the bullet had grazed his leg. He rubbed the scar, a permanent reminder of a drug bust gone bad. Very bad.

“Hey, Brennan.” Pete threw a twenty-dollar bill on the table and downed the last swallow of his beer. “Come on. I think we got a lead.”

Outside on West 35th Street, a full moon peeked through the clouds. Jagged streaks of lightning ignited the sky as rain sprinkled against Eric’s leather jacket. He lit a cigarette and leaned against his white pick-up truck parked in front of Chunkers.

Pete smirked. “Man, I thought you quit.”

Lethal Journey333x500

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Genre – Thriller

Rating – PG-18

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Website http://kimberleycresswell.wordpress.com/

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

Friday, February 14, 2014

Beyond Neanderthal by Brian Bloom @BrianB_Aust #Excerpt #Thriller #BookClub

Chapter 3 – Skiathos Story
‘Which reminds me,’ Patrick said as the waiter left, ‘of a Greek holiday I had on Skiathos.’
Samantha knew he was trying to lighten her mood. She also knew she was in for one of his long, drawn out but usually entertaining stories and leant back in her chair.
‘I was on this little island swimming and sun-baking in the late summer. It was September and everywhere you went there were swarms of wasps across the island.’
‘Sounds like hell,’ Samantha said. ‘I can’t imagine what you and your girlfriend were doing on a wasp infested lump of rock.’
‘Who said I was with a girlfriend?’ Patrick feigned indignation. ‘And my God, you bankers are a breed apart. I say the word “hot”. You hear the word “hell”. I say the word “island”. You hear the word “rock”.’ He paused, momentarily lost for words. ‘Let me try again.’ He picked up a spoon and held it in front of his mouth like a microphone, cleared his throat, then continued in a melodramatically hushed voice. ‘The island was ablaze with bougainvillea, contrasting magnificently with the muted tones of the verdant olive trees.’ His hand swept panoramically through the air.
‘The sun shimmered off the roughly plastered white walls of the sleepy villas. And below them, the sea sparkled like a rippled mirror. On the hilltop, the domed roof of the little church was a blue so bright that it seemed the whole sky had been squeezed from it to form the background of God’s canvas. There was music in the air ... a sense of magic was interrupted only by … the buzz of wasps.’ Then, Humphrey Bogart style, he said, ‘Got the picture sweetheart?’
Samantha could not help but smile back at him with. How could she not help but like him so much. ‘Okay’ she said leaning towards him. ‘But wasps? What should I be thinking when I hear the word “wasp”? White Anglo Saxon Protestant?’
‘Aarrgh!’ Patrick struck his forehead with the flat of his hand. ‘I’m not going to answer that.’
‘What’s the matter darling? Wasp get you?’
‘Okay. You asked for it. The barefaced, unadulterated version …’
Patrick gave her a wicked look as he took a swig from the glass of wine the waiter had poured for him to taste.
Samantha looked at him in mock disgust. ‘You cretin. You’re supposed to discreetly swirl that around in your mouth and taste it like a sophisticated gentleman of the world. I can’t take you anywhere. Give you a billycan of tea, a loaf of damper bread and a lump of meat and you’d be as happy as Larry.’
He ignored her outburst and winked at the waiter. ‘It’s great,’ he said. ‘The lady doesn’t drink, so you can just fill my glass.’
‘Ignore him,’ Samantha said quickly before the waiter had time to respond. ‘He hasn’t been allowed out for a while. And yes, I will have some wine, thank you.’
Patrick fixed his green-eyed gaze on her as though he was about to pin a butterfly to a corkboard. ‘Get you Gertrude,’ he said. ‘This is my story, and I’m on a roll here. And like I said, the bare facts ma’am, nothing but the facts.’
‘Okay,’ she said. ‘I’m having fun. Keep going.’
He took her hand that had been lying innocently on the table near the stem of her wine glass and squeezed it playfully.
‘Here’s where it gets interesting,’ he said. ‘The island is so small that tourists hire these Vespa scooters for a few bucks a day to travel from one end of the island to the other. You know, the Italian scooters with the splashboard in front where you put your feet. It’s like driving around on a slow armchair with one wheel front and back.’
‘Uh Oh.’ Samantha laughed, her hand flying to her mouth. ‘I’m starting to see where this is headed. Tell me, what were you wearing after your swim?’
‘You got it in one, sister,’ Patrick said with a laugh. ‘The answer is that I was wearing a pair of wide legged shorts with nothing on underneath, and this bloody wasp flies straight up my pants leg.’
‘No way!’
‘Wait! There’s more.
Beyond Neanderthal
There is an energy force in the world—known to the Ancients—that has largely escaped the interest of the modern day world. Why? There are allusions to this energy in the Chinese I-Ching, in the Hebrew Torah, in the Christian Bible, in the Hindu Sanskrit Ramayana and in the Muslim Holy Qur'an. Its force is strongest within the Earth's magnetic triangles.
Near one of these--the Bermuda Triangle--circumstances bring together four very different people. Patrick Gallagher is a mining engineer searching for a viable alternative to fossil fuels; Tara Geoffrey, an airline pilot on holidays in the Caribbean; Yehuda Rosenberg, a physicist preoccupied with ancient history; and Mehmet Kuhl, a minerals broker, a Sufi Muslim with an unusual past. Can they unravel the secrets of the Ancients that may also hold the answer to the future of civilization?
About the Author:
In 1987, Brian and his young family migrated from South Africa to Australia where he was employed in Citicorp’s Venture Capital division. He was expecting that Natural Gas would become the world’s next energy paradigm but, surprisingly, it was slow in coming. He then became conscious of the raw power of self-serving vested interests to trump what – from an ethical perspective – should have been society’s greater interests.
Eventually, in 2005, with encouragement from his long suffering wife, Denise, he decided to do something about what he was witnessing: Beyond Neanderthal was the result; The Last Finesse is the prequel.
The Last Finesse is Brian’s second factional novel. Both were written for the simultaneous entertainment and invigoration of the thinking element of society. It is a prequel to Beyond Neanderthal, which takes a visionary view of humanity’s future, provided we can sublimate our Neanderthal drive to entrench pecking orders in society. The Last Finesse is more “now” oriented. Together, these two books reflect a holistic, right brain/left brain view of the challenges faced by humanity; and how we might meet them. All our problems – including the mountain of debt that casts its shadow over the world’s wallowing economy – are soluble.
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Genre – Thriller
Rating – MA (15+)
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