Jack Canon's American Destiny

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The King of Sunday Morning by J.B. McCauley @MccauleyJay #Crime #Thriller #Action

The Mile End Mambo - 1990

He held him in his arms and looked into the glassy eyes. Yellow flecks dotted the cornea. This boy was dead a long time before Roger had run him through. He knew the look. Too much top shelf and not enough down time.

The body from which life dramatically seeped away began to convulse. It would not be a Hollywood death. It would be a harsh demise for this gangster. Unexpected but unavoidable. He had stepped on the wrong toes and nobody touched Roger’s patch.

The big screen had always glamorised death but there was nothing glamorous about having a gaping 12-inch gash where your stomach had once been. Roger’s white shirt was splattered with blood and sputum. He noted to himself with an air of cold detachment that he would have to dispose of it later. The boy soldier’s back arched in agony. A gurgling noise rushed from his throat and then he was gone.

Roger put his arm underneath the boy’s knees and slowly lifted him from the red morass that had filled the doorway. He cradled him in his arms and walked slowly along the pavement. A young couple averted their gaze as he struggled with the limp body. They knew not to look. This was after all the witching hour in the East End. What you don’t see, you can’t tell. He turned the corner and moved into another shop doorway. It was a Dixon’s electrical shop exalting the latest stereos and TV’s.

Roger placed the body carefully on the ground. He took one final look at what 10 minutes ago had been the epitome of arrogance, bravery and youth, then left. He walked quickly to the edge of Walters Street, turned into Burden and darted through a now deserted car park and onto Rially. He saw a red telephone box just up from Dunston Road. He opened the door and tried to ignore the stench of piss and shit. He dialled the number and waited patiently for the connection.


His rich baritone West-Indian voice caressed the receiver.

“Yeah, he’s in Dixon’s shopfront on Walters Street.” He paused, digesting the question on the other end of the line.

“Yeah he’s dead. Dead as a door nail. See you at home.”

With that, he hung up the phone and disappeared into the night. His red Rasta beanie swaying as he loped through the shadows. The victim wouldn’t be missed. Roger had nothing to fear. The status quo had been maintained and an example had been made.
Most of all, Rudi would be pleased.

King of Sunday Morning

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Genre – Thriller, Action, Suspense, Gangster, Crime, Music
Rating – PG-18
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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

RISING TIDE: Dark Innocence by Claudette Melanson @Bella623 #YA #Paranormal #AmReading

And today, of course, the sun was shining miserably on my head, as I quickly headed for the oak-tree shaded bus stop.  In my rush to get out of the house, I’d forgotten to put on my dark sunglasses, but I dug them out of my pack now, twisting around awkwardly as I made my way into the comforting shadows.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Katie Parker coming out of her house across the street.
“Great,” I muttered under my breath.  Placed beside Katie’s blonde, tanned perfection, I looked all the more irregular.  I tried to put on a happy face anyway and be sociable, a definite struggle for me.
“Hi Katie,” I said with as much enthusiasm as I could muster.  I refused to ever say ‘good morning,’ as I hated mornings and saw nothing good about them whatsoever.  I didn’t expect much in the way of a reply.  Katie, annoyingly perky in her cheerleading uniform, was miles away from my end of the social spectrum.  So, I was shocked when she turned her bright blue eyes on me dazzlingly, and spoke to me in a way she never had before this day.
“Hi Maura!”  She was so chipper, it was stifling.  “Beautiful morning isn’t it?”
I wondered briefly what she would say if I shot back:  “Actually, I like the rain,” like I was thinking.  I thought better of it and replied, “Sure is.”
“Aren’t you excited about prom?” she bubbled.
Oh, so that was it.  She was overexcited about prom and probably just needed an outlet for venting all her pent up enthusiasm.  Prom was in a few weeks and no one had asked me, not that I really wanted to go.  The thought of my pale shoulders exposed in some fancy dress made me cringe.  I tugged at the edge of one of my long sleeves unconsciously in response.

Rising Tide will sink it’s teeth into you, keeping you awake into the wee hours of the night
Maura’s life just can’t get any worse…or can it?
Isolated and sheltered by her lonely mother, Maura’s never been the best at making friends. Unusually pale with a disease-like aversion to the sun, she seems to drive her classmates away, but why?
Even her own father deserted her, and her mother, before Maura was born. Bizarre physical changes her mother seems hell bent on ignoring, drive Maura to fear for her own life. And her luck just seems to get worse.
Life is about to become even more bewildering when her mother’s abrupt…and unexplained…decision to move a country away sets off a chain of events that will change Maura forever. A cruel prank turned deadly, the discovery of love and friendship….and its loss, as well as a web of her own mother’s lies, become obstacles in Maura’s desperate search for a truth she was never prepared to uncover.
Featured on one of the most popular health blogs on the internet as a giveaway!
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Genre – YA Paranormal Romance
Rating – PG
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Friday, May 9, 2014

Lichgates: Book One of the Grimoire Saga by @TheSMBoyce #Fantasy #GoodReads #Fiction

Kara rubbed her temples and leaned on the submerged library’s stone desk, her eyes unfocused as she stared at the letter she could now magically read. She didn’t try to tell herself to calm down, to chill out, or to breathe. Her only thought was of how royally she’d screwed herself over by walking through that gazebo or lichgate or whatever it was.

She had walked through a door in a mountain. A ten-by-ten dirt closet had swallowed her phone. Her pack and stun gun had probably already been eaten by a bear. She had heard whispers while alone in a massive, underground library and opened a secret book called the Grimoire, which was apparently pretty important. She’d discovered a hidden pocket of Earth called Ourea.

In an effort to stay calm, she took deep breaths. It didn’t work. Each breath became a panicked gasp as she tried to figure out what was going on. Only, she couldn’t figure out what was going on. That’s why she was panicking.

It was a vicious cycle.

The flick, flick, flick of the Grimoire’s turning pages stole her focus. The last page lingered in the air as it fell to reveal a small block of red text on the otherwise empty beige paper.

I wish I could have caused no pain or fear, but such isn’t a reality of life. A treasure has been awoken within you—you are now a vagabond of Ourea.

She groaned. “Yeah, thanks, I gathered that much. So what happens now?”

The pages flipped to another image of the hooded figure, but this time he wore a thick leather band wrapped around his wrist. Spidery red text adorned the paper beside him. Something was off about the drawing, and she leaned in for a closer look. It took her a second to realize the clover pendant in her hand was also drawn into his wrist guard.

The last blood-red rays of the day poured through the skylight. She sighed. Her dad’s search party would head out any minute, scanning the ditches for her body. Oh, he was going to love this story.
She resigned herself to the impending lecture and leaned in to read the red text besides the drawing.

This is the Vagabond as he was in life. He wrote the observations of his travels here, creating me over his lifetime. The trials he faced were treacherous, and you will fare the same. The life of a vagabond isn’t an easy one.

I was made to open only for the gifted and the strong. Be patient in the times to come and trust yourself, for you are worthy of the power here.

Though it may sometimes seem as if life is decided for us, remember that in all actions before this, you made the choices which brought you here. You alone decide where to go next. There is always choice.

“Freaking awesome.” She rubbed her eyes. Apparently, it was her fault she’d been dragged by a root down a dirt closet.

She fiddled with her locket and looked down once again at the tiny clover amulet. Its diamond wasn’t blue anymore, though it did shimmer. She slid it over her head with a quiet sigh, and the clover dangled just above her collarbone.

“Look, I just want to get home. How do I get out of here?”

The pages flipped toward the back, where a sketch of the library consumed the page and more spidery red text described how to open a secret door in one of the shelves. She lifted the book and carried it with her as she looked for the way out. At least using the Grimoire was easy enough. That had to be some small compensation for the unrestrained hell it had already brought upon her.

Kara scanned the shelves for a few minutes, browsing through titles like The History of Isen Guilds, Earaks are Evil, and even such treasures as All Anyone Will Ever Need to Know about Beer before she finally found The Ways of Peace, the green cover mentioned in the Grimoire’s instructions. It was the last on its shelf to survive the gale from earlier, as the rest of its neighbors littered the floor. She took care not to step on them as she reached for the green book and pulled, rolling it back on a hinge. The crack of splitting rock broke across the room.

A rumble quaked through the library. More books fell. Two shelves pulled inward on the opposite wall, opening like doors and missing the edges of the desk by inches. Beyond the confines of her book-lined prison was a dark cavern, its roof riddled with holes that leaked in the twilight and dripping lines of rainwater. The broken remnants of a white castle tower lay against the side of the cave, most of its bricks crushed to dust.

But Kara had a visitor.

A brunette looked up from where she knelt on the floor. The fading light caught the glint of a golden cross in her hand as flowing curls coursed over her loose white tunic. The stranger paused, watching the library with narrow eyes, but quickly stood and sneered.

Kara forced herself to swallow the rising sting of fear in her throat. She should’ve just stayed in the stupid library.


"The writing is flawless. The kingdoms and surrounding landscapes breathtaking. The Grimoire is a piece of imaginative genius that bedazzles from the moment Kara falls into the land of Ourea. - Nikki Jefford, author of the Spellbound Trilogy

Spring 2013 Rankings
#6 Kindle Store | #1 Science Fiction & Fantasy | #1 Epic Fantasy | #1 Sword & Sorcery | #1 Teens
Now an international Amazon bestseller. Fans of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and Eragon will enjoy this contemporary remix of the classic epic fantasy genre.

Kara Magari is about to discover a beautiful world full of terrifying things: Ourea.
Kara, a college student still reeling from her mother's recent death, has no idea the hidden world of Ourea even exists until a freak storm traps her in a sunken library. With nothing to do, she opens an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire and unwittingly becomes its master, which means Kara now wields the cursed book's untamed power. 

Discovered by Ourea's royalty, she becomes an unwilling pawn in a generations-old conflict - a war intensified by her arrival. In this world of chilling creatures and betrayal, Kara shouldn't trust anyone... but she's being hunted and can't survive on her own. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn't know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.

For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this human girl, there is something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.

Welcome to Ourea, where only the cunning survive.

Novels in the Grimoire Saga:
Lichgates (#1)
Treason (#2)
Heritage (#3) - Available Fall 2013
Illusion (#4) - Available Fall 2014

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre - Fantasy
Rating – PG13
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High Maga by Karin Rita Gastreich @EolynChronicles #AmReading #Fantasy #BookClub

Eolyn paced the room, fingering the jewel around her neck, a finely woven net of silver encrusted with crystal and hung on a long chain, a gift given her long ago by the King. She stopped and looked at her friend, dark eyes haunted with regret. “What have I done, Adiana? I turned away the man I love, and for what? I keep telling myself there were so many reasons, and they all seemed so important at the time, but now I can’t recall any of them. Not a one.”
“You refused him because you are one of the few women in the kingdom with the wisdom and courage to say ‘no’ to a king,” Adiana replied. “You’re a maga, Eolyn. You’re not meant to walk in the shadow of any man. Did you not see the Queen when they arrived in Moehn? She’s pretty enough, but drawn tight around the edges, with those stiff shoulders and that peaked face and tense eyes. Not even twenty, and already she’s growing old. Is that the life you wanted for yourself? To follow him like a well-dressed mouse, your worth measured by the sons you bear?”
“Akmael would have never—”
“It doesn’t matter what he would have done. It’s the nature of nobility. Even he can’t change that.” Adiana nodded at the tea. “You’d better drink that before it gets cold. I don’t want to spend what’s left of my morning mixing potions.”
Eolyn stared at the cup and shook her head.
Foreboding crept into Adiana’s heart. “Oh, no. Don’t you dare even consider it.”
“I can’t drink this. The thought of rejecting his seed is repulsive to me.”
“Why?” Adiana threw up her hands, perplexed. “You’ve used this potion a hundred times, when you were with the King after your brother’s defeat, and prior to that, with your lover Tahmir—”
“It doesn’t matter. It was right then. It feels wrong now.” Eolyn rested one hand protectively over her abdomen, as if a child of the Mage King had already taken root there.
With an audible groan, Adiana pulled her friend to a stool and sat her down. She took a place in front of the maga and looked hard into her eyes.
“Eolyn, let me tell you something about nobility, speaking as a dear friend who has watched those vipers from the time she was very young. They are just like merchants, only more ruthless and arrogant, convinced the Gods have given them license to do whatever they please. If a child of the King should grow in your womb, all the nobles of the realm will set their eyes on Moehn, to see what meat they can take from this situation, what marrow they can suck from its bones.”
“No one need know who the father is.”
“How will they not know? The King himself will claim this child. It’s not as if you’re some village wench in whom he has taken a passing fancy. You are a High Maga, the only one left in the kingdom. You are also his first love, and everyone knows it, though no one speaks of it.”
Eolyn bit her lip and glanced away, fingers clutched tight around the silver pendant. “I must have some part of him, Adiana, something that can stay with me, someone I can love and protect. I would not ask for anything from the King. Nothing. You know that.”
Adiana extricated Eolyn’s fingers from the jewel and held the maga’s hands in hers, tone gentle yet resolute. “But the King would ask much of you.”

Lands Ravaged. Dreams destroyed. Demons set loose upon the earth.
War strikes at the heart of women’s magic in Moisehén. Eolyn’s fledgling community of magas is destroyed; its members killed, captured or scattered.
Devastated yet undaunted, Eolyn seeks to escape the occupied province and deliver to King Akmael a weapon that might secure their victory. But even a High Maga cannot survive this enemy alone. Aided by the enigmatic Mage Corey, Eolyn battles the darkest forces of the Underworld, only to discover she is a mere path to the magic that most ignites their hunger.
What can stop this tide of terror and vengeance? The answer lies in Eolyn’s forgotten love, and in its power to engender seeds of renewed hope.
HIGH MAGA is the companion novel to EOLYN, also available from Hadley Rille Books.
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Genre – Epic Fantasy
Rating – PG-13
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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Living in Paris with Jennie Goutet @ALadyInFrance #AmReading #Memoir #BookClub

If you know that I live in France, you might expect that a day in my life is . . . well . . . if not exotic, then at least interesting. Sometimes it is.
When I go for my semi-annual checkup at the dentist, I exit the train where the Arc de Triomphe is and watch the cars zip by in the roundabout there. I stare down the massive Champs Elysées, teeming with people and shops on both sides of the avenue, before turning on to the slightly smaller avenue that will take me to my destination. The dentist’s office is located behind heavy, wooden doors that lead to a private stone courtyard with a tended garden on either side of the pathway. The waiting room has moulding around the light fixture hanging from the ceiling, and it has tall windows that extend to the ceiling and open from the middle.
And when I go to church in Paris, which is a mixed crowd but with services in French, I find that I am able to translate simultaneously for English-speaking visitors. I mean that as fast as the minister can say the words, I can translate them for the guests so they don’t miss anything. I don’t mean to brag – really, I’m nothing much to look at. But I’m really surprised I can do that!
And when I stop at the local boulangerie/patisserie to pick up pain au chocolat or croissants for my children’s four o’clock snack, that’s pretty remarkable. Of course, I can only inhale the buttery scent. I can’t actually eat it, since I’m gluten intolerant. (Pity). But even the magnificent creations – the opéras, millefeuilles, the éclaires – they are a feast for the eyes every time I go.
But those are the exceptional moments. On any given day, I wake up as late as I can get away with, and feed my kids something quick and easy for breakfast before my husband brings them to the bus station. Then I walk my dog on the untended path that borders the river Seine in the suburbs. Sometimes he rolls in poop and I have to try and choke back my vomit until I can get him home and wash him. After that, I head to the private bilingual school in a nearby town where I tutor high school students in English. (I have to read Medea or War Poems or Gabriel Garcia Marquez to keep up with their program).
There isn’t much time in between tutoring and picking the kids up from school, so sometimes I write or blog, and sometimes I nap. (shh). Rarely am I inspired to clean my floors. When I pick the kids up from school, I drive so we don’t have to carry the backpacks home, and I get there early so I can chat with my friends. When it’s warm and sunny, and there is the sound of children laughing and playing everywhere, the future looks bright.
If I don’t have an English class in the home to teach after school, or if I don’t have to bring one of my kids to an activity, I might take the dog for another walk. Or I might start dinner – roast chicken, rice and ratatouille is pretty standard. I encourage the kids to do their homework and practice their instruments. I try to get them to play outside if it’s nice, and fight against the losing battle of the siren’s call of electronics. When did people stop liking to read?
We eat late – around seven or so. If I’m lucky and my husband is home instead of traveling, he’ll put the kids to bed while I tidy up the dishes. And then we watch an American television series and read before going to sleep. You see? An ordinary life. But so happily mine.

At seventeen, Jennie Goutet has a dream that she will one day marry a French man and sets off to Avignon in search of him. Though her dream eludes her, she lives boldly—teaching in Asia, studying in Paris, working and traveling for an advertising firm in New York.
When God calls her, she answers reluctantly, and must first come to grips with depression, crippling loss, and addiction before being restored. Serendipity takes her by the hand as she marries her French husband, works with him in a humanitarian effort in East Africa, before settling down in France and building a family.
Told with honesty and strength, A Lady in France is a brave, heart- stopping story of love, grief, faith, depression, sunshine piercing the gray clouds—and hope that stays in your heart long after it’s finished.
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Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG-13
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Friday, May 2, 2014

Twelve Houses by Olga Soaje #BookClub #Literary #Fiction

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.
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Genre – Contemporary Fiction, Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction
Rating – PG-13
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Billi Tiner's Tips for New Authors @TinerBooks #AmWriting #PubTip #BookMarketing

I self-publish my books through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. One of the hardest things for me as a new author was discovering how to market my book once it was published. I had no idea where to even begin. So, I started doing on-line research. I read every article/blog post I could find related to self-publishing and marketing. I soon realized that one of the biggest keys was to develop a solid social media foundation. I did not have any experience with social media, so this was all new to me. I set up accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. 

I also became a member of Goodreads and LibraryThing. In addition, I set up a web page to display all of my books. Finally, I started a blog. Okay, so now I was “hooked into” the social media world, now what? I had no idea what to write. I knew that if all I did was write about my book over and over, I would soon lose the interest of my followers. So, I decided to offer my services as a book reviewer. This worked out to be a win-win as I discovered that many fellow authors are more than willing to exchange book reviews. In addition, it gave me fodder for my social media platforms. 

All right, so now I have some followers, but how do I get that to translate into book sales? Well, I have discovered that the best marketing tool out there is to offer your book for free. If you sign up for Amazon’s Lending Library, then they will allow you to make your book free for five days every ninety days you are in the program. The down side is that you cannot offer your book through any other venues, such as Smashwords. However, I have found know that if it wasn’t for the free promotion campaigns that I run on my books, I would not be seeing book sales anywhere close to what I am getting. 

The free book promotions are by far the best method I have found to market my books. I have tried many other avenues, such as, giveaways, advertisements, etc. Each of these has yielded increases in sales. However, they do not generate nearly as many sales as the free promotion.
So, my advice to new authors is to put a lot of effort into building your social media platforms. Then use those platforms to help spread the word about any promotions, offers, new book releases, etc. that you have. In addition, utilize Amazon’s free promotion offer. It really does work.

From the author of “Dogs Aren’t Men” comes “To Love a Cat”, a contemporary romance novel.
Catherine “Cat” James’ life is simple and orderly, and she likes it that way. She loves her job as an accountant. Working with numbers is safe and routine, no surprises. Her childhood had been very abusive and unstable. She vowed not to live that way as an adult. She also made a promise to herself to become a foster parent. She wished someone had been there for her as a teenager, to let her know she wasn’t alone.
Cat agrees to foster Ethan Summers, a troubled teenage boy whose childhood closely resembles her own. Suddenly, her nice and orderly life is filled with chaos and uncertainty. Things really start to spin out of control when circumstances bring police detective Mitch Holt into the picture. He’s handsome, charming, and definitely not what Cat needs right now, or so she thinks.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Romance
Rating – PG
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Connect with Billi Tiner on Facebook & Twitter