Saturday, August 29, 2015

Featured Book: Unthinkable by Richard Cibrano

About the book:
When detective Francis Dimaio, supervisor of the Pinkerton detective agency's Philadelphia bureau, read the telegram from Allan Pinkerton, ordering him to leave immediately for New York, he knew he would have to put off the vacation with his wife. What he couldn't have known was that he was about to open an investigation into the deaths of more than 1500 people. A few days earlier, former president Theodore Roosevelt had arrived unexpectedly at Pinkerton's Broadway office. In his possession was a letter from his former aide and adviser, Major Archibald Butt. Butt, now the aide-de-camp for President Taft, had been returning to the United States on the Titanic after a round of diplomacy with the King of Italy, when he went down with the ship. In the letter, dated the day of the sailing, Butt wrote that a representative of the Italian Prime Minister approached him with knowledge of a stratagem to incite the world to the brink of war. Most alarming, the plot would involve the sinking of a passenger liner. The source of the tip further confided Titanic would be the logical target. Determined to uncover the facts behind the portentous warning, Roosevelt persuades Pinkerton to take on the case. Dimaio, a tenacious investigator whose resume includes tracking Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid, accepts the assignment and quickly uncovers an elaborate insurance fraud involving Titanic and her sister ship Olympic. Working every angle, Dimaio discovers the fraud was double-edged, and as evidence begins to emerge that the plot is still in play, he and Pinkerton find themselves in a race against time with an ambitious financier, a ruthless agent from British Intelligence, and the cabal of powerful men working behind the scenes, hell-bent on seeing to completion their diabolical plans.

About the author:

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Featured Book: Architecture Laid Bare! by Robert Brown Butler

About the book:
Written by an architect of fifty years’ experience who has authored six previously acclaimed books on architecture, Architecture Laid Bare! steers you past all the promotional hype that confuses so much architectural thinking today, strips away the skin of current styles and questionable construction techniques, and gets to the very bones of what architecture is about: those unchangeable anatomical elements that make a building function —to give you a fundamental, practical, everyday knowledge of these shells that enclose us nearly waking and sleeping hour of our lives. When it comes to putting this knowledge to use, this portable reference employs the the “hands-off” approach. This in­volves describing each part of a building’s design and construction for those who have neither the time nor ability to do the work, yet need to make sure that any professional who performs such labor does it right —so you will be master of your architectural fate, not its slave. This book also describes what green architecture is all about. Hence its subtitle is In Shades of Green.

About the author:

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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Featured Book: The CEO by Steve Bederman

About the book:
"The CEO" is a fast paced corporate thriller of loves come and gone, innovation, resilience, corporate philanthropy, vision, and deception. Corporate business leaders are protected by their own small armies of private security whose power will surprise. The story takes the reader behind the scenes and into the back office meetings of both corporations and countries; travelling from Denver to New York to London to Bogota and to Paris. As Mitch and his team of loyalists' race against time they are faced with constant revelation of threats against the company and those involved; including the life of the woman that Mitch falls deeply in love with. The depth of the plot reveals a 200 year old secret between two of the world's most powerful countries. If the secret is revealed it could destroy the balance of power in the world. Though, if the secret stays protected it could crush all that Mitch Jacobs desires. Although Mitch Jacobs never questions his ability to conquer the current forces against him, it is a race to answer the questions: Will Mitch be able to discover who is leading the attack on him before it is too late? Is this conspiracy the result of the usual corporate competition or does it emanate from the power hungry executives in his company? What interest do certain world leaders have in this plot that will destroy all that Mitch has built? Most important Mitch has fallen in love with two women whose essence and similarities (and differences) of character lead him on his mission

About the author:

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Featured Book: Turbulent Waters by Peter Duysings

About the book:
The supply vessel was way too large to shudder from the thunderous explosion caused by the RPG rocket that had all those nearby shaking and trembling uncontrollably, while their ear drums reverberated by the shockwave of the blast. As the crew reeled from fright, the dark cloud of smoke cleared to reveal a mass of mangled and twisted steel of what just seconds ago was the ship’s bridge – its control center. As the crew fought the fear their nerves had been beset with, their minds simultaneously tried with difficulty to render some form of clarity of the dire situation that had besieged them. People had just died within the bridge compartment! This was insane! How could this catastrophic occurrence have befallen them in this modern sea-faring age by wretched men with old treacherous ways? The crew’s minds were still focused on the carnage and the disheveled thoughts that permeated their brains, when in a heartbeat, automatic weapons fired in unison and a hailstorm of bullets clanked off metalwork structures way too close for comfort. The deadly barrage instantly brought their thoughts back to the fact they were in imminent danger. Never before had the freighter crew come under armed attack after multiple voyages within the same waterways they were cruising upon. Never before had they lost power to one of their engines either, which made them a most enviable target to the bedeviled pirate group presently attempting to take the ship and crew captive for ransom. With their gun muzzles blazing, the unmistakable sound of weapon’s fire rose above the loud wind noise that was a constant aboard the large ship as she plowed through the otherwise placid waters. Besides the numbing question that rose to the forefront of what a freighter crew could possibly do to protect themselves from the armed cutthroats who were on the ship’s main deck, was a horrendous panic that virtually took over the crew’s minds. Soon the foreign devils would seize the ship and demand money for both ship and lives. That was the very least the crew knew would be the outcome of their disastrous situation. Whether it was just fortunate happenstance or providential there were several men among the crew, who were ex-military types. Nothing as fanciful as Special Forces, yet men of stout character possibly enough to make a difference whether anyone would escape this menacing ordeal. It least that was the hope to some of the crew. The ship carried but a small cache of firearms for security reasons, but would the armament in the hands of just a few crewmembers be adequate to fight off the marauders – modern-day Arab pirates? Survival became the overwhelming instinct as they resolved to go down fighting rather than capitulate. It was what one does when forced into a corner with no alternative but to succumb to unknown consequences. To submit so easily without attempting to change fate was not acceptable. It was sink or fight and to these few men there was no choice but to go down battling the scourge that had threatened their very existence. They quickly sought out the few firearms available. The grave circumstance had turned into a baleful response in hopes that enough applied measures could prevent a takeover. Was the shootout fated to be a lopsided affair in favor of the pirates and thus the crew would forcibly be taken captive? They were all about to find out. However meager the defensive attempt would be, it was their only hope.

About the author:

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Featured Book: Unmalice Curse by Gregory Nicholas Malouf

About the book:
“Any fear-based attribute is a taught response to what others for the most part unintentionally passed on to us. When our lives are based on definitive beliefs about reality, we feel we have very few choices. In this place of being unaware, we react all too easily to others. Life becomes a series of questions, doubts and reactive responses. In Unmalice Curse, we learn about how to recognize this responsive patterning that has occurred for generations as a taught response and often unintentional, and thereby find the power within us to accept it and then release it through new awareness and the lessons already available to us all,” he explained. 

In Unmalice Curse, like all books within the Thoughtless series, we will learn how to be aware, end old distorted beliefs and replace them with new ones so that we are able to live wholly and lovingly in the present. We can then begin to spread the power of love and kindness throughout the world starting right here and now. 

Some of the key focuses of Unmalice Curse include: 

Uncovering where we have felt misunderstood invalidated, defensive or less than loving, and understanding that our defense of our reactions does not reflect our true needs. 
Seeing old lessons that do not serve us or those we love, well. 
Understanding the origin and, ultimately, the real truth of an unmalice (un-malicious) curse so that we can learn from it and then leave it behind, moving to a life of greater joy and abundance. Discovering that what we learn, we believe and what we believe, we teach. 
Learning how to listen to our inner voice and act on its guidance, knowing that this is the purest guidance we will ever have. 
Viewing our childhood lessons and teachings for what they are so that we can create a stable foundation from which to springboard our lives. 
Recognizing the true beauty and strength of the greatest gift we possess…a conscious mind. 

Only when we are made aware are we able to know the best road to travel. Like the other books in the Thoughtless series, Unmalice Curse (the author’s definition of an un-malicious or unintentional curse) offers concrete ways to undo past beliefs and move forward effectively and passionately in your life.

About the author:
Gregory Nicholas Malouf, founder of Epsilon Healing Academy, a successful Australian businessman and entrepreneur, had a traumatic childhood. He became a workaholic in order to run away from his past and allow himself to live the "perfect life," or so he thought. Throwing lavish parties, and flying all over the world. Despite running numerous businesses, all of which were successful --and even leading motivational and meditation retreats and programs for his teams-- Greg knew deep down that he was still looking at things from the outside in, rather than from the inside out. It wasn't until the hollowness of his existence caused his world to fall apart that Greg ultimately found his road to wellness and healing. At the age of fifty, Greg realized for the first time that his priorities were misguided, that he was living a lie. Anxiety and obsessive control disorder were just two of many addictions he suffered in his life. Why? Because he had not yet been able to confront the truth of his past. Thanks to a genuine intent to experience true abundance in his life, Greg did face his past and discover the truth that had previously limited his life. Greg was an insatiable reader, studied neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) and Transcendental Meditation with Thom Knoles, an internationally respected thought leader and celebrated speaker. He additionally underwent rehabilitation, intensive individual therapy and group therapy, and attended the 12 step meetings to seek a wholesome and differing approach to healing. Subsequently, in 2009, Greg founded Epsilon Healing Academy, and has since been working with thousands of people throughout the world, as a natural expression of his commitment to share the lessons he himself learned on how to liberate the mind and body, live in the present with gratitude, consciously create life on one's own terms and experience the abundance one deserves. Greg has made it his mission to better the world through his passion of helping people explore their anxiety, challenge their fears, and reach their full potential. Today, through books like Silent, Shallow Love, and Tunnel Vision, programs like the University of Self, and other valuable tools, Greg and his incredible Epsilon Healing Academy team help people to live lives that in every way reflect who they are and what they most deeply desire. Gregory lives in Sydney with his children and travels abroad to share his message of healing.

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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Featured Book: Madly in Love with Me by Christine Arylo

About the book:
Most of us know that loving ourselves would be a good idea, but we have no clue what that really means. Self-love feels too vast, too esoteric, and frankly like something you should keep under wraps. This breakthrough book on self-love changes all that by taking you beyond the idea of loving, valuing, and caring for yourself into daring acts that will help you experience it. Christine Arylo provides practical, fun ways to explore and embody the ten branches of self-love every day and in every part of your life. Reading this book is like receiving permission to treat yourself as a best friend would. Imagine having the power to: * Give to yourself first, without guilt * Shower yourself with loving words instead of criticism and comparison * Go for your dreams with conviction and courage * Choose the situations and relationships that make you happiest * Discover and explore your deepest thoughts and desires — and act on them

About the author:

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Author Q&A: P.I. Alltraine author of Heartbound

P. I. Alltraine, author of Heartbound, stopped by for an interview.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I live in London, but I was born in the Philippines.  I’ve lived in London for most of my adult life, and I love the place and the people and the culture, but I’ll always be proud to be Filipino. I think living in the Philippines, a place where myths and legends are embedded in the culture, really sparked my imagination at a young age.

What do you do when you're not writing?

I’m an English teacher, so that keeps me pretty busy. In my spare time, I try to travel as much as I can, see the world with family and friends.

When did you first start writing?

Writing is something I always knew I could do. When I was at school, some of my friends could sing, some could draw… I could write. I was the editor in chief of the school paper so I edited and wrote news articles, I wrote many of the school plays I performed in, I entered poetry writing competitions and performed spoken word poetry, I wrote the speeches I delivered in oratorical competitions, declamation, debates, etc. At the time, I thought I was doing so many different things, but looking back, everything I chose to do involved writing. When I was writing Heartbound, there were times when I didn’t agree with my characters’ actions, but I couldn’t change anything because it wasn’t my decision anymore. That’s when I realised what being a writer truly means. Everyone can write a story, but to create a world with a life of its own, I think that takes a writer.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

I love writers who make me feel something I can’t explain or challenge my perspective. When I read anything by Virginia Woolf, for example, be it an essay or a novel, I feel baffled and enlightened all at once. Paradise Lost by John Milton, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and Dubliners by James Joyce are some of my favorites because these pieces pulled me into an unfamiliar world and compelled me to change my perspective. For instance, I was raised Roman Catholic so when I read Paradise Lost, I found the sublimity and the epic heroism in a figure I grew up seeing as a one-dimensional villain very enlightening. It was empowering to see how Milton took something a lot of people considered sacred, especially at the time, and manipulated it with such grace, such skill.

What inspired you to write this particular book?

The story came to me and demanded to be written. I know, I know. It’s the most clich├ęd answer ever, but writers keep saying it for a reason. It’s hard to describe the impact of a powerful idea. When it hits a writer, it’s no longer a choice. You have to write it, or it will drive you mad.  In my case, I was minding my own business, and all of a sudden, there was this image in my head. It hit me so hard that I had to stop what I was doing. I picked up a pen and paper and started to scribble. My husband walked in and found me on the floor with pieces of papers around me. At that point, the outline of Heartbound was completed—chapter by chapter, from beginning to end.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

So many–Petyr’s initial interactions with Scarlett and his attempt understand the humans and to act like one made me laugh whilst I was writing. I also loved writing the scene with Alex, the scene in Evan’s cave… so much more. This is making me realise just how much I actually loved writing the entire book. ☺

What is best writing advice you can give?

Write for yourself. It doesn’t matter if your style doesn’t fit in with the current trend or if some circles may not consider it “good writing.” Write because you want to, and write whatever the hell you want. Writing is not a way to fit in or please others. It’s one of the very few things in the world that allows the liberty to be true to yourself.

Is there anything else you'd like your readers to know about the book?

Heartbound is a fantasy so it’s littered with elements that are out of this world (literally). But at its core, it’s about questioning and finding one’s own identity, trying to find a resolution between who you’re meant to be and who you want to be. It’s about finding the bravery and courage to go against the tides, refuse to conform, and fight for something that means everything to you but means nothing to everyone else. It’s my hope that the readers will be able to identify with Petyr’s journey, and thus reflect on their own identity, their own bravery to follow their heart, and their own courage to find your place in the world.

About the book:

Petyr has never found it necessary to consider the humans as anything more than distant, inferior beings–until now. They are the cause of the fatal disease that has plagued his realm, taking the lives of too many of his kind. As a future leader of a realm in peril, Petyr must find a way to resist and cure the affliction. He must enter the unfamiliar realm, appear to be an ordinary eighteen-year-old human, observe, and learn.

However, things don't exactly go according to plan. Instead of embarking single-mindedly on his sober mission, Petyr meets an 18-year-old girl who does things to his emotions that he can't quite fathom or control. Petyr is falling in love, and he almost forgets the gravity his choices have on his entire world. Despite the risk it poses to his life and hers, he wants to know her, and he wants her to know him–and his world.

About the author:

P.I. Alltraine is an award winning poet and author. She has won several international poetry competitions, and her poems have been published in separate anthologies.

She teaches English Language and Literature in London. She earned her degree in BA English from Queen Mary University of London, a Post Graduate Certificate in Education and Master’s in Teaching at the UCL Institute of Education, University of London.

Before moving to London, she lived in the Philippines where she was ensconced in the rich culture encrusted with dark myths and enchanted tales. She draws inspiration from these in her writing. Although she has lived indifferent places and experienced different cultures, she always enjoyed the constancy of writing in her life. Her favourite authors include John Milton, Virginia Woolf and James Joyce.