Thursday, July 31, 2014

Giveaway: Best Supporting Role by Sue Margolis

When her gambling addict husband died, Sarah Green was left penniless—and with two children to raise. Since then, she’s been desperate to keep her professional and personal lives on firm financial footing. And what could be safer than dating an accountant and working at a non-emergency crime help line?

But then Sarah’s aunt dies, leaving Sarah her once famous—now flailing—lingerie shop. With her fashion background, Sarah reluctantly decides to make a go of it, even if that means breaking up with her too-prudent boyfriend over the risk.


Suddenly Sarah finds herself falling for Hugh, the handsome struggling actor she hired to renovate her new boutique, and entering a prestigious lingerie competition. Taking chances has never been her forte, but the built-in support of family and friends could give her the boost she’s been looking for....




Thanks to the publisher I have one copy to give away!

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Book: Extraordinary Experiences of Jake Van York by Claude Peterson Jr.



About the book:

This is the story of one young man’s rise through adolescence, austerity, and obscurity, to become one highly decorated, senior-ranking enlisted military member and operative in the defense of our nation. It tells of his struggles and victories in the fight against cold-war communism and present-day global terrorism and also provides us with insight into his contributions involving numerous and continuous global military combat operations. Most important of all, this book reveals the existence of one tiny but highly sophisticated acoustical device, heretofore virtually unknown to humankind, and its unique role in defending our great nation.

Extraordinary Experiences of Jake Van York weaves elements of love, compassion, and intrigue into a fascinating story of patriotism and personal courage.



About the author:

Claude Peterson Jr. served professionally for 28 years in the U.S. Air Force, reaching senior non-commissioned officer grade. He received numerous awards and decorations, including the Air Force Commendation Medal (for valor); Air Force Commendation Medal (for valor—first oak leaf cluster); Air Force Commendation Medal (for valor—second oak leaf cluster); Air Force Commendation Medal (for valor—third oak leaf cluster); Air Force Meritorious Service Medal; and the Air Force Achievement Medal. He was also nominated for the Air Force Bronze Star Medal for heroism. After his military retirement, Mr. Peterson was a member of the U.S. Department of Defense for more than 14 years.


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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Book Excerpt: Expecting by Ann Hamilton

Ann Hamilton, author of the book Expecting, stopped by to share with us an excerpt from her book.






About the book:

A mom, a dad, a baby...and another dad.

Laurie and Alan are expecting, again. After two miscarriages, Laurie was afraid they'd never be able to have a child. Now she's cautiously optimistic — the fertility treatment worked, and things seem to be different this time around. But she doesn't yet know how different.

Jack can't seem to catch a break — his parents are on his case about graduating from college, he's somehow dating two girls at once, and he has to find a way to pay back the money he borrowed from his fraternity's party fund. The only jobs he is qualified for barely pay enough to keep him in beer money, but an ad for the local sperm bank gives Jack an idea.

Laurie and Alan's joy is shattered when their doctor reveals that Laurie was accidentally impregnated by sperm from a donor rather than her husband. Who is Donor 296. And how will their family change now that Donor 296 is inarguably part of it?



About the author:

Award-winning writer and producer Ann Lewis Hamilton has written for TV and film. Her TV credits include, among others, "Haven," "The Dead Zone, "Grey’s Anatomy," "Saved," "Providence," "Party of Five," and "thirtysomething." She was twice nominated for an Emmy award, and was the winner of a WGA Award and the Humanitas Prize.




Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Book: Cloning Around by Dee Rose



About the book:

Special Agent Robert Bassett is an action junkie. He constantly tries to live up to the name of his legendary father, Reed Bassett, who was also an FBI agent. However, it is Reed’s last case that finds Robert trapped in a violent mission of blood, terror, revenge and clones. A scientist, Dr. Richard VanHellman, has finally uncovered the way to create clones. He intends to rule the world by murdering, and then cloning it’s most powerful people. Dr. VanHellman has the unique gift of reading people’s minds, of which he also uses to control his clones. Once Robert realizes the buried link between himself and Dr. VanHellman, the mission becomes personal. Robert then finds himself, not only fighting for his life and the lives of others, but also fighting for the Bassett’s family honor. With subplots galore, ranging from missing journal pages containing the cloning process and the way to stop VanHellman; Robert’s mistrust of his own department in the FBI; and flashbacks of Robert’s connection to VanHellman; It all leads to a highly anticipated showdown in the place where it all started over twenty years ago.



About the author:

Dee Rose was born on July 5th and resides in Aurora, CO. He is the father of two daughters. "They are my life." He says. He attended Metro State University of Denver, where he majored in Political Science. Cloning Around is his second published novel and the first of what he hopes will be a series involving the main character, Special Agent Robert Bassett. He wrote Cloning Around over ten years ago. Having finally published it, he says, "It has been an unbelievable journey from just an idea to the ending. I'm extremely proud to see it in print and ready to share it with others. Enjoy the ride."

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Review: Denali's Howl by Andy Hall

Denali’s Howl is the white-knuckle account of one of the most deadly climbing disasters of all time. 

In 1967, twelve young men attempted to climb Alaska’s Mount McKinley—known to the locals as Denali—one of the most popular and deadly mountaineering destinations in the world. Only five survived. 

Journalist Andy Hall, son of the park superintendent at the time, investigates the tragedy. He spent years tracking down survivors, lost documents, and recordings of radio communications. In Denali’s Howl, Hall reveals the full story of an expedition facing conditions conclusively established here for the first time: At an elevation of nearly 20,000 feet, these young men endured an “arctic super blizzard,” with howling winds of up to 300 miles an hour and wind chill that freezes flesh solid in minutes. All this without the high-tech gear and equipment climbers use today. 

As well as the story of the men caught inside the storm, Denali’s Howl is the story of those caught outside it trying to save them—Hall’s father among them. The book gives readers a detailed look at the culture of climbing then and now and raises uncomfortable questions about each player in this tragedy. Was enough done to rescue the climbers, or were their fates sealed when they ascended into the path of this unprecedented storm?



Received for review.

Frankly, if I didn't know better, I would really have thought that this was a beautifully written suspense story instead of non-fiction.  It has everything a great adventure novel calls for but it's all real.  

From the illness and minor and major accidents on the climb to the penultimate storm this is a fascinating read about a group of brave men who risked everything for their dreams and those who would never return home.  The author did a brilliant job of following the expedition step by step so you experienced everything as the climbers experienced it.  You were there for all the small choices that led to such devastating consequences and it was really quite difficult to read at times, knowing what was coming.

The author clearly covered all the reasons for the expedition's failure and his research is impeccable.  There's also an emotional aspect to the rescue attempts that is especially heartbreaking since the author's father was among those who tried to save the lost climbers.

The author leaves us to draw our own conclusions about just what happened on that mountain and why not all the bodies of the lost men were found.  I thought that was a very respectful route to take and it made the book even more enjoyable to read.

Whether you're a mountain climbing fan or just in search of a fantastic suspense story this is an excellent read and I highly recommend it.

★★★★ = Really Liked It


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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Review: The Artificial Intelligence Revolution by Louis A. Del Monte

The Artificial Intelligence Revolution by Louis A. Del Monte is a warning regarding the threat new artificial intelligence (AI) technology poses to the survival of humankind. Will the future come down to man versus machine, when the singularity is near? Will an artificial intelligence robot be your friend or foe?

Scientists are working relentlessly at improving AI technology for the benefit of man. Evolved technology is everywhere-smart TVs, smart phones, and even smart houses. One day the artificial intelligence of these machines will match our own intelligence-and one day it will exceed the "singularity." 

Then what? 

Will machines continue to serve us as the balance tips in their favor? These questions are addressed rigorously, their potentialities extrapolated for one reason-the survival of humankind. 
  • Are "strong" AI machines (SAMs) a new form of life? 
  • Should SAMs have rights?
  • Do SAMs pose a threat to humankind? 
Del Monte and other AI experts predict that AI capabilities will develop into SAMs with abilities far beyond what human beings can even fathom. Will they serve us, or will SAMs take an entirely different viewpoint? That question and many more are tackled by Del Monte in this sobering look at the The Artificial Intelligence Revolution.



Received for review.

As an Almost Human fan I was prepared to be a bit put off by this since it has a distinct anti-AI bent to it but I found myself alternately intrigued and horrified by its conclusions.

The author does a brilliant job of clearly and concisely laying out the subject for everyday people like me.  He covers subjects such as cyborgs and implants and at what point a human is no longer a human.

The part I found most fascinating was the discussion of whether AIs should have rights at all, let alone rights equal to humans.  It was an extremely eye opening and disturbing discussion of a topic I really hadn't thought about much at all.

Although I do mostly agree with the author's assertions I'm not entirely sure I like that he left us with a set of unsettling conclusions and no way to really resolve or prevent the issues.  It's all incredibly disturbing and not happy and bright like the movie A.I. led us to normally think of AIs.  They're not innocuous little boys, they can be scary, scary things and can actually replace us as a species.

Overall, this was truly a well written, fascinating look into the different topics and I definitely recommend it to those interested in the subject.

★★★★ = Really Liked It


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Friday, July 25, 2014

Author Q&A: Katherine Svoi Symthe author of Unbreakable

Katherine Svoi Symthe, author of Unbreakable: The Unrelenting Spirit of Katherine Svoi Symthe, stopped by for a Q&A.



Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am a writer, owner of House of SVOI Inc. and Healing Survivors, Creating Thrivers. I am now a thriver helping others who have been victims of human trafficking and abuse. The goal is to raise awareness, and education into the epidemic.


What do you do when you're not writing?

I help others and spend time with people. I love to be around others that are authentic and are deeply caring.


When did your first start writing?

I started at 7 years of age. I had to hide my writing from the human traffickers that were my so called “family”. Writing frees my soul and really brings me back to me.


What inspired you to write this particular book?

In 2012, I was in a relationship that broke my heart. I finally hit a point in my life that I was done with life and wanted to give up. After the fire in my apartment, I was given perspective. I decided to write the book so that others know that they are not alone in their trials and challenges. In the process, the book took a life of its own as I began to heal from my horrible, torturous past. I quickly discovered that when I began sharing my story that other survivors began to come forward sharing their stories. In many ways this book helps others and me.


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

The end because its really a new beginning for me as I help others become thrivers. Knowing that I can impact other lives and that there is hope is just amazing to me. I never thought I would live to see the age of 41 let alone become a leader of a movement.


What is best writing advice you can give?

Have divine faith and never give up no matter what the odds are.


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

Yes, visit our site www.creatingthrivers.com or follow us at www.facebook.com/healingsurvivors

You can purchase my book directly from me for $20 and I will personally autograph it for you.
If you only want the book as is you can buy it here.



About the book:

Katherine Svoi Symthe is the granddaughter of Lester Brown, whose cruelty to animals made the cover of Life Magazine in February 1966. Brown’s horrific cruelty to animals enraged Congress to pass the animal rights law. Lester Brown moved to California where the family went into human trafficking. Symthe was bought in 1972 from San Antonio, Texas and sold to the Brown’s family. Symthe endured 17 years of abuse, pain, torture, and even witnessed her sister’s death by the one referred to as her “mother”. 

Today Symthe’s memoir provides an exclusive look into her life, and how she utilizes her talents to overcome the traumatic trials in her life creating a passion within her to form, “Healing Survivors, Creating Thrivers.” 

Follow Symthe as she tells her phenomenal story in hopes of saving other children and inspiring strength in others.



About the author:

Katherine is the owner of Healing Survivors, Creating Thrivers.

You can reach her at Katherine.symthe@gmail.com
or info@creatingthrivers.com



Giveaway: The Magician's Land by Lev Grossman

The stunning conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Magicians trilogy

Quentin Coldwater has lost everything. He has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical land of his childhood dreams that he once ruled. Everything he had fought so hard for, not to mention his closest friends, is sealed away in a land Quentin may never again visit. With nothing left to lose he returns to where his story began, the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic. But he can’t hide from his past, and it’s not long before it comes looking for him. Meanwhile, the magical barriers that keep Fillory safe are failing, and barbarians from the north have invaded. Eliot and Janet, the rulers of Fillory, embark on a final quest to save their beloved world, only to discover a situation far more complex—and far more dire—than anyone had envisioned.


Along with Plum, a brilliant young magician with a dark secret of her own, Quentin sets out on a crooked path through a magical demimonde of gray magic and desperate characters. His new life takes him back to old haunts, like Antarctica and the Neitherlands, and old friends he thought were lost forever. He uncovers buried secrets and hidden evils and ultimately the key to a sorcerous masterwork, a spell that could create a magical utopia. But all roads lead back to Fillory, where Quentin must face his fears and put things right or die trying.

The Magician’s Land is an intricate and fantastical thriller, and an epic of love and redemption that brings the Magicians trilogy to a magnificent conclusion, confirming it as one of the great achievements in modern fantasy. It’s the story of a boy becoming a man, an apprentice becoming a master, and a broken land finally becoming whole.



Thanks to the publisher I have one copy to give away!

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Author Q&A: Lev Grossman author of The Magician's Land

Lev Grossman, author of the book The Magician's Land, stopped by for a Q&A.



A Conversation with Lev Grossman, 
author of The Magician’s Land

People considered The Magicians to be Harry Potter for grown-ups and an homage to writers like C.S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling. But in THE MAGICIAN’S LAND, Quentin is nearly thirty years-old. Can we expect any new allusions to those books? How has the series grown up over the years?

On some level all the Magicians books are written as a conversation with Lewis and Rowling. It’s a complicated conversation – sometimes it’s affectionate, occasionally it’s rather heated – and it continues in The Magician’s Land. I thought Rowling let Harry off a little easy by never showing him to us at 30. We never really saw him having to deal with his traumatic past – his abusive childhood, his experience of violence and death, his massive world-saving celebrity as a teenager – and struggling to figure out what the rest of his life is about. Those are things Quentin has to do in The Magician’s Land. When you’re a magician, and there’s no ultimate evil to defeat, when you’re not a kid anymore, what is magic for?


As for Lewis, Narnia fans will pick up echoes of The Magician’s Nephew and The Last Battle, the stories of Narnia’s creation and of its destruction. Lewis made a bit of fetish of childhood and innocence: Narnia was a place for children, and when you grow up and get interested in adult things, you lose that special magic. You see that in Peter Pan too – it’s one of the dominant tropes of 20th century fantasy. In The Magician’s Land I wanted to think not just about what you lose when you grow up, but what you might gain. You lose the magic of innocence and wonder, but do you gain a richer, more complex kind of magic?



You come from a family of serious academics. What was their reaction when you chose to write genre fiction rather than something more “literary”?

It sounds funny to say it, but writing The Magicians was a serious act of rebellion for me. Coming from the family I do, it was an act of calculated treason. I had to nerve myself up to do it. But I had to – it was the only way I could say what I wanted to say. I couldn’t do anything else.
I think it’s fair to say that reactions were mixed. My mom was cautiously enthusiastic, and my brother and sister have been hugely helpful with the books. But I don’t think my father ever read any of The Magicians books. 



The Magicians books have stirred up a lot of controversy among readers. They attack or invert the most sacred conventions of fantasy, and as a result, have divided the fantasy world. Can you speak a bit about this diverse reader response?

No question, the Magicians books are polarizing. They’re supposed to be. The same way Neuromancer did with science fiction, and Watchmen did with superhero comics, the Magicians books ask hard questions about fantasy. What kinds of people would really do magic, if it were really, and what would the practice of magic do to them? What would really go on in a school for magic, with a bunch of teenagers in a fairy castle being given supernatural powers? What would happen if you put in all the depression and the violence and the blowjobs and the drinking that Rowling leaves out? What would happen to those kids after they graduated? What would happen if you sent these kids through the looking glass, into a magical land that was in the grip of a civil war? 


These aren’t the kinds of questions everybody wants asked, but that’s how genres evolve. Watchmen was a brutal interrogation of the superhero genre – and it was also the greatest superhero story ever written. You couldn’t write a comic book the same way after Watchmen was published. I’m not saying the Magicians books are the greatest fantasy novels ever written, but they’re asking the same kinds of questions. 



What were your major influences from science fiction or fantasy genres? What about more mainstream, literary works? How do you see these manifesting themselves in THE MAGICIAN’S LAND?

What got me started writing The Magicians was reading Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell in 2004. There were several novels around that time that did things with fantasy that had never been done before, used it to say things that had never been said before. George R.R. Martin’s books were like that, and so were Neil Gaiman’s, especially American Gods. So were Kelly Link’s. When I read those books, I knew that I had to be a part of whatever they were doing. 


I also have a bit of an academic background – I spent a few years in graduate school, and I studied the literary canon, particularly the history of the novel, pretty intensely – and that comes out in the Magicians books too. You can find bits of Proust in them, and Fitzgerald, Woolf, Donne, Joyce, Chaucer, T.S. Eliot. You can find a lot of Evelyn Waugh – Brakebills owes a lot to Hogwarts, but it owes a lot more to the Oxford of Brideshead Revisited. I wanted to see what happens when you take techniques and tropes from literary fiction and transport them, illegally, across genre lines. 



As a literary critic, you’ve worked to promote the value and respectability of genre fiction – one year you put George R.R. Martin at the top of Time’s list of books of the year. You did the same with Susanna Clarke and John Green. Does that fit in with what you do as a writer of fiction?

In my own nerdy way I’m trying to start a revolution, or maybe I’m just trying to join one that got started without me. It’s a literary revolution, but not the usual kind, where people who are writing difficult, avant garde literature figure out a way to make it even more difficult and avant garde. I’m talking about a revolution of pleasure, where the question of a book’s worth is de-coupled from the question of whether or not it’s hard or unpleasant to read. 



If The Magicians, The Magician King, and THE MAGICIAN’S LAND were made into movies or a television series, who would you envision playing Quentin and his friends?

The challenge with the Magicians characters is to convey a lot of intelligence, and also to not be overly good-looking. They’re a clever lot, and they’re also very real – they look like real people. Ben Whishaw has probably aged out of the Quentin role, but people mention him to me a lot, and that seems right. Sometimes I pictured specific actors while I was writing – Eliot, for example, I imagine as something like Richard E. Grant in Withnail and I. I often imagine Alice as Thora Birch from Ghost World.



There are a lot of tech references in The Magicians books that would seem more at home in science fiction than fantasy, ie. the origin of magic is described in hacker language. Why did you choose to juxtapose so much tech with magic?

I’m very committed to the project of making the Magicians books feel real, and to that end I made a deal with myself: everything that’s real in our world would be real in Quentin’s. And that means including contemporary technology, cell phones and the Internet and so on. 


But beyond that, I think the same people who are interested in technology in our world would be drawn to magic if it were real, as much as the Wiccan crowd. Magic is interesting and complicated and powerful the same way technology is, and it requires some of the same mental discipline.


Also, I’m a science fiction writer manqué. I like the way SF writers look at the world. I like to think I write about magic the way good SF writers write about technology. 



You have a degree in comparative literature from Harvard but dropped out before getting your Ph.D. from Yale. What made you decide not to become an academic yourself?

I can’t even remember what made me decide I wanted to be one in the first place, except that I was unemployed and wanted to read books and talk about them as much as possible. Which I did get to do, and I loved it. But I knew from watching my parents that the life of an academic is not a glamorous one. It is frequently an underpaid and inglorious one, except for the superstars, and it quickly became apparent that I wasn’t going to be one of those. Fortunately I married one instead.



You have an identical twin brother, Austin Grossman, who is also a Harvard grad and successful fantasy novelist. Why do you think you’ve traveled such similar paths professionally? How do you think growing up as twins shaped your writing, respectively?

It’s a mystery. I don’t know if twins have much more insight into it than regular people have. Austin was a very successful video game designer in his 20s, whereas I spent most of that decade looking for a career of any kind. But then somehow, for some reason, we re-converged. It happens all the time, not just with our writing. We live on opposite coasts, and only see each other a few times a year, but there’s always some uncanny coincidence in what we’re doing, or wearing, or listening to, or reading.


Though I’m very conscious of the differences in our work too. We’ve read the same things, seen the same movies, and watched the same shows, so our cultural points of reference are all the same. We know all the same words. But he writes only in the first person, and I only write in the third person. We use the same raw materials to construct very different stories.



Over the past decade, fantasy has become more accepted in mainstream and literary circles. What do you think has changed and where do you see the genre going? Does fantasy get the respect it deserves among scholars?

A lot has changed for fantasy in the last decade or so. The 1990's were all about science fiction—Star Wars, Star Trek, the Matrix—but something changed around the turn of the millennium. After 2001 the popular imagination became focused on fantasy -- Harry Potter and Twilight and The Lord of the Rings. En masse, we turned to fantasy for something we needed and weren't finding elsewhere. What that is, it’s hard to say, but it’s led to a glorious resurgence of the genre. Fantasy is evolving and maturing. It’s definitely not just for kids anymore. Writers like Neil Gaiman, Susanna Clarke, China Mieville, George RR Martin and Kelly Link are making it more complex and interesting and sophisticated and powerful than it ever was before. 


But no, as far as I can tell, it still gets very little respect from the academy.



What’s your favorite part of writing outside of reality?

What makes fantasy interesting to me is what it can’t do. Magic doesn’t solve everybody’s problems. You have characters who are capable of drawing energy from invisible sources, making it crackle from their fingers, performing miracles. But when they’re done, they’re still who they are. Life is still life. Magic doesn't change relationships. It doesn’t fix your neuroses. Those basic problems are still what they were, and they have to be solved the old-fashioned way, just like in any other novel.




About the book:

The stunning conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Magicians trilogy

Quentin Coldwater has lost everything. He has been cast out of Fillory, the secret magical land of his childhood dreams that he once ruled. Everything he had fought so hard for, not to mention his closest friends, is sealed away in a land Quentin may never again visit. With nothing left to lose he returns to where his story began, the Brakebills Preparatory College of Magic. But he can’t hide from his past, and it’s not long before it comes looking for him. Meanwhile, the magical barriers that keep Fillory safe are failing, and barbarians from the north have invaded. Eliot and Janet, the rulers of Fillory, embark on a final quest to save their beloved world, only to discover a situation far more complex—and far more dire—than anyone had envisioned.


Along with Plum, a brilliant young magician with a dark secret of her own, Quentin sets out on a crooked path through a magical demimonde of gray magic and desperate characters. His new life takes him back to old haunts, like Antarctica and the Neitherlands, and old friends he thought were lost forever. He uncovers buried secrets and hidden evils and ultimately the key to a sorcerous masterwork, a spell that could create a magical utopia. But all roads lead back to Fillory, where Quentin must face his fears and put things right or die trying.

The Magician’s Land is an intricate and fantastical thriller, and an epic of love and redemption that brings the Magicians trilogy to a magnificent conclusion, confirming it as one of the great achievements in modern fantasy. It’s the story of a boy becoming a man, an apprentice becoming a master, and a broken land finally becoming whole.



About the author:

Lev Grossman is the book critic for Time magazine and the author of five novels, including the international bestseller Codex and the New York Times bestselling Magicians trilogy. A graduate of Harvard and Yale, he lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three children.


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Featured Book: A Winding Road by Paulette R. Johnson



About the book:

Brian Duncan, a twelve- year- old boy, dreams of coming to America.

On his arrival in New York, his expectations are dashed by his experiences and that of his family. He becomes despondent, depressed, and homesick and dreads going to school.

Brian, in this vulnerable state, is befriended by a kid who introduces him to street-wise activities which could have serious consequences. During one of these ‘errands’, an unsuspecting Brian becomes part of a police investigation, resulting in his parents threatening to send him back to his home country. He is scared to lose his freedom on the one hand, and his family on the other.

He chooses to stay in school, and work hard at improving his grades if he is to achieve the American Dream. He makes new friends, studies hard, and throws his energy into playing basketball. However, when his family falls on hard times, Brian thinks that he can be of some financial assistance by returning temporarily to that way of life that got him in trouble in the first place. The consequences of that decision are devastating. He is finally convinced after his traumatic experience that to go down that winding road can not only be dangerous but also deadly.



About the author:

Paulette R. Johnson holds an LLB degree in law. She also holds a Master’s degree in Accounting and a Master’s in Urban Ministry with emphasis on the urban family. She is involved in programs that foster reading in children and young adults. She has contributed to Boys’ Life Magazine, which is a publication of The Boys Scouts of America. Paulette was born and raised in Guyana, South America. She and her husband once lived in London, England. Paulette, her husband and three adult children currently live in New York. This is her first novel.


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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Review: Scared Scriptless by Alison Sweeney

Maddy Carson is a mass of contradictions. She loves her job as Script Supervisor on a hit TV show, but hates "Hollywood." Super-organized and down-to-earth, Maddy is clearly one of the best at her job, and her strict dating rule - "No Actors!" - helps her keep focused on her career. However, a budding relationship with Craig, one of the executives at her company, may even propel her into the big leagues. Could Wolf County, her beloved hometown in the mountains, be saved from a financial crisis by creating a reality show featuring the eccentrics in the small ski village? Maddy is determined to try, even when she learns that Craig's agenda doesn't exactly line up with her altruistic goal. 

Meanwhile, Maddy still has a full-time job to manage, her family to deal with, and a gorgeous new actor, Adam Devin, determined to wear down her resistance. Eventually Maddy must learn to break all her self-imposed rules and simply follow her heart. 

Scared Scriptless offers an engagingly relatable heroine, laugh-out-loud humor, and a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how television is made.



Received for review.

During the hot summer months I tend to lean towards fun, light books so I was very excited to discover that the very talented Alison Sweeney had written another book!

Despite the nearly three hundred pages and rather small font used I gobbled this right up.  It was the book equivalent of bon bons.  It was absolutely delicious and I couldn't help but read chapter after chapter.

Maddy was fun, likable, and someone I'd want to be friends with in real life.  Adam was quite fun as well and I thoroughly enjoyed their interactions.

The entire book was a delight from start to finish.  It was funny, sweet, and had wonderful heart.  I highly, highly recommend this to anyone who wants an excellent beach read this summer!

★★★★ = Really Liked It


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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Book: The Fading American Dream by K. Edwin Brandon



About the book:

These poems are short, clever, and informative—a fun read for those who are strapped for time, yet concerned about America’s future.

By ignoring the principles that our country was founded on and by distorting our constitution, Americans have allowed the destruction of fair competition in private markets and the growth of central government far beyond the necessary services it was originally charged with.

Human greed has perverted our political system and culminated in debt that will only be passed on to our grandchildren.

The Fading American Dream tackles the subject of our country’s economic and political dilemma in a fresh and amusing venue—poems that are light and entertaining, with a serious undercurrent.



About the author:

K. Edwin Brandon, “Geezil,” is an 82-year-old retired businessman who spent the last 20 years of his working life operating a successful tool design and manufacturing business, which he started with a homemade drawing board and a $500 limit credit card. Mr. Brandon served in the National Guard and in the US Army, including an 18-month stint in the Korean War. He attended business school at night on the GI bill while working as an assembly line laborer at several companies to support a family. His experiences with labor unions convinced him that union leaders have played a major role in bankrupting our nation.


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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Author Q&A: Tiana Nicole author of Deceitful Temptations

Tiana Nicole, author of the book Deceitful Temptations, stopped by to for a Q&A.



Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I was born in Chicago, Illinois where I was raised by my great grandmother the late Lillian E. Hudson. I attended the College of Technology where I earned my degree in Computer System Technology.After discovering that I had the talents of a jack of all trades I went on to earn a Bachelors degree in Psychology, and also a Masters degree in Business Management. I quickly discovered that writing was something that I could do, and I could do it well. I managed my craft by attending creative writing classes, to avidly consuming the works of her favorite authors. With my creative writing and skills, I began to shape and mold a writing career of my own. I intend to create fiction for the imagination for many years to come because I’ve developed a talent that is built to last.


What do you do when you're not writing?

When I’m not writing I’m taking on the duties of a full time mother and a wife. In addition to my home life duties I also make time to ensure that I stay current with my genre by reading other novels.


When did your first start writing?

I’ve always been inspired to write since I was around or about the age of 13. I would write short stories that were intended to be full novels, however somehow I would tell the entire store the first five pages. I was discouraged by that particular short coming, and because of that I stopped writing as much. I officially started to develop a writing career in 2010. At the time I was employed as a Call Center Response Coordinator, and at the time when I was least expecting it to happen I started writing full time.


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

Absolutely there is. The list is extremely long and almost impossible to narrow down. The very first novel that I read inspired me so much that I re-read the book five times. I loved the story just that much. That novel was titled Disappearing Acts by Terry McMillian. After reading that title I went on to read each and every word that she’d ever written, and because of her style of literature I was influenced to put my best foot forward.


What inspired you to write this particular book?

I felt like I needed to shed light on the fact that regardless of who we are in life, and what we’ve set out to accomplish that we all have our flaws and our faults, and that no one person has perfected the craft of life.


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

My favorite part to write was the ending due to my loving the idea of Charmaine coming into her own identity and finally saying enough is enough, and I can no longer mask my pain in exchange for the price of fame and notoriety.


What is best writing advice you can give?

I would definitely tell an inspiring writer to never give up on their dreams. There is absolutely no rush in becoming published. I understand that we all want to have the privilege to say that we are published Authors, however at what price do we pay if it’s not coming naturally. Always trust your gut. If a deal doesn’t feel right then more than likely it may not be.


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

I’d first like for my readers to know that I thank them for their support and I’m forever indebted to them all because without them there would be no me. I also want to inform my readers that the second part of the Deceitful Series has in fact gone into production, and they’ll be shocked with its outcome.



About the book:

Pastor Maurice,

Smart, handsome, and a man of the cloth his appearance was delectable enough to tempt even the holliest of saints. He worked hard to lead his city into the next millennium by running to be the next Mayor. With his wife Charmaine right by his side he makes moves to put everyone in the city on notice.

In public they have a love that is picture perfect. Her pristine and well educated background has many in envy, that they were too perfect. His opponent Jessie Dixon out on his dirt digging mission found this not so perfect couple in fact were as deceitful as they come.

Just how far will Pastor Maurice and his wife Charmaine go to cover up the lies that they have told to the congregation, the city, and each other?



About the author:

Author Tiana Nicole was  born in Chicago, Illinois where She was raised by her great grandmother Lillian E. Hudson. She attended the College of Technology where she earned her degree in Computer System Technology.


After discovering that she had the talents of a jack of all trades she went on to earn a Bachelors degree in Psychology, and also a Masters degree in Business Management.

Tiana Nicole quickly discovered that writing was something that she could do, and she could do it well. She managed her craft by attending creative writing classes, to avidly consuming the works of her favorite authors. With her genius creative writing and skills, she began to shape and mold a writing career of her own.

Tiana Nicole continues to reside in the city of Chicago, where she shares her life with her loving and supportive husband of three years, and their three children. She intends to create fiction for the imagination for many years to come because she has developed a talent that is built to last.




Monday, July 21, 2014

Featured Book: Universal Animism by Donald E. Crowell



About the book:

Our society has become saturated with propaganda that proclaims selfish competition as natural and reasonable. This apocalyptic view comes from viewing nature as a heartless foe rather than the divine instrument of life. It is a belief system that turns great profit for the merchants of exploitation and war who promote it. The belief that nature is “evil” also drives the violent xenophobia that has plagued society throughout history. Even evolutionary biologists and social scientists often adhere to this negativity as they see suffering in nature. But suffering and death describe little of the entirety of life. People are profoundly interdependent with nature and each other, but the shock experienced when violence occurs makes many think that horror is the higher truth. Criminality within the social group makes many people blind to the requisite group itself. Universal Animism is a reexamination of the core essence of nature. It is a definitive spiritual doctrine because it follows the rules of reason while recognizing spiritualism as open and infinite. It contains the truth about fundamentalism’s impossible contradiction, the truth about the psychological wars between spiritualists, dogmatists, and humanists, the truth about the shamanist roots of established religion, the truth about the scourge of Social Darwinism, and the truth about Deism and the very nature of God. Universal Animism is a thought-provoking book that calls for a complete reassessment of spiritual consciousness and civic responsibility.



About the author:

Donald E. Crowell is a graduate of UCLA and California Lutheran University. He is a high school instructor of physics and chemistry.


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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Featured Book: The Big Wide Calm by Rich Marcello



About the book:

A young woman’s journey to find herself and create the perfect album

Paige is a rock star. The world just doesn’t know it yet. With a name like Paige Plant, how could she be anything but the future frontwoman of the next Led Zeppelin? She’s got the charisma, the drive, and, of course, the mega-musical skills. All she needs is to make her debut album, one that will change the world, inspire revolutions—and make her galactically famous along the way.

When John Bustin, a rich, reclusive, former semi-famous singer/songwriter offers to record Paige’s album for free, it feels like destiny, like the next step on her way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, like some strange attractor is pulling her in. Guitar in hand, Paige sets off to John’s recording compound, ready to unfold her future.

But the ever-elusive John, with his mysterious history, and Paige, a big dreamer but naïve about her footing in life, clash as much as they coalesce. Before they can change the world through Paige’s music, the improbable duo must learn to work together, and in the process, discover their authenticity.

One part coming-of-age story and retrospective, one part rock and roll epic, The Big Wide Calm focuses a lens on human nature and the complexities of love through the eyes of young and old on the journey of creating the perfect album.



About the author:

If Rich Marcello could choose only one creative mentor, he'd give the role to Jonathan Richmond and the Modern Lovers. This is not only because he currently resides in New England, where Jonathan started, but because of his life as a contemporary fiction author, poet and songwriter, whose literary inspiration often stems from songs he's written. Rich grew up in New Jersey surrounded by song and word.


For a while it seemed right to travel the musician's path, especially during his stint in his college folk group, at The University of Notre Dame, where he wrote and recorded his first original songs. But, as is true for many musicians, graduation led him down a different road, one on which he found his love for high technology. There, he enjoyed a successful career as a technology executive, managing several multi-billion dollar businesses for Fortune 500 companies.

During his time in technology he never stopped creating art, and eventually his love for song and the written word grew to the point where he walked away from his first career to pursue poetry, song, and fiction with the same enthusiasm and discipline he demonstrated in business. In The Color Of Home, his literary voice melds all three together with honest generative dialogue, poetic sensory detail, and “unforgettable characters who seem to know the complete song catalog of Lennon or Cohen.”




Review: Terminal City by Linda Fairstein

With her newest Alexandra Cooper novel, Terminal City, New York Times bestselling author Linda Fairstein delivers another breakneck thriller that captures the essence of New York City—its glamour, its possibilities, and its endless capacity for darkness. 

Linda Fairstein is well-known for illuminating the dark histories in many of New York’s forgotten corners—and sometimes in the city’s most popular landmarks. In Terminal City, Fairstein turns her attention to one of New York's most iconic structures—Grand Central Terminal. 

From the world’s largest Tiffany clock decorating the 42nd Street entrance to its spectacular main concourse, Grand Central has been a symbol of beauty and innovation in New York City for more than one hundred years. But “the world’s loveliest station” is hiding more than just an underground train system. When the body of a young woman is found in the tower suite of the Waldorf Astoria—one of the most prestigious hotels in Manhattan—Assistant DA Alex Cooper and Detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace find themselves hunting for an elusive killer whose only signature is carving a carefully drawn symbol into his victims’ bodies, a symbol that bears a striking resemblance to train tracks.

When a second body bearing the same bloody symbol is discovered in a deserted alleyway right next to the terminal building, all attention shifts to the iconic transportation hub, where the potential for a bigger attack weighs heavily on everyone’s minds. With the President of the United States set to arrive for a United Nations meeting at the week’s end, Alex and Mike must contend with Grand Central’s expansive underground tunnels and century-old dark secrets—as well as their own changing relationship—to find a killer who appears to be cutting a deadly path straight to the heart of the city.



Received for review.

I haven't really kept up on the Alexandra Cooper series but I do catch a book once in a while and I was excited to pick up this latest novel as it is set in New York's Grand Central Terminal.  Having visited it a few times as a tourist it was fun to read about it, seeing it from a completely different angle.

It was nice to visit with Alex and the other characters again.  There's such an easy flow to the writing that it just sucked me in and kept me flipping pages as fast as I could read them.  The mystery was thought provoking and the behind the scenes interactions were entertaining.

Whether you are a diehard fan of the series or this is your first experience with it you will be very impressed.  I highly, highly recommend this.

★★★★ = Really Liked It


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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Review: Freud's Mistress by Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufman

In fin-de-siècle Vienna, it was not easy for a woman to find fulfillment both intellectually and sexually. 

But many believe that Minna Bernays was able to find both with one man—her brother-in-law, Sigmund Freud. 

At once a portrait of two sisters—the rebellious, independent Minna and her inhibited sister, Martha—and of the compelling and controversial doctor who would be revered as one of the twentieth century’s greatest thinkers, Freud’s Mistress is a novel rich with passion and historical detail and “a portrait of forbidden desire [with] a thought-provoking central question: How far are you willing to go to be happy?”




Received for review.

I've been reading quite a bit about Freud lately and I must say that the more I read about him the more I dislike him.

I gather that this was supposed to be a romance but I frankly found Freud and Minna's behavior completely distasteful.  On Freud's part to be carrying on with his wife's sister is just disgusting, but for Minna to betray her sister like that left me speechless.  I suppose as a reader I was supposed to sympathize with Minna and Freud and their "forbidden love" but seriously, they were both behaving like children and completely betraying the sister and wife who loved them both.  I don't understand how I was supposed to feel any sympathy for Minna at all, let alone Freud.  Minna was just a disgusting human being.  I actually took quite a bit of pleasure discovering that Martha outlived both her despicable husband and her scum of a sister.

The complete lack of morality in those two aside this was a beautifully written book.  It fully immersed you in the time period, the affair, and the household politics.  Every scene was told in such lovely detail that you could imagine every illicit action - whether you wanted to or not.  

If you can ignore the fact that these were actual people who went around hurting other real people then it may make for a nice, borderline romantic read.

★★★★ = Really Liked It


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Friday, July 18, 2014

Featured Book: The Cost of Freedom by Michael Skeen



About the book:

Mississippi Congressman T J Samuels is dissatisfied with the direction in which the federal government is moving, so he runs for President. His goal? To shrink the size of government and bring the national debt under control.

As President, T J works to advance his radical new ideas, but soon discovers that other radicals have ideas as well. A smallpox epidemic is launched by undocumented immigrants, while Russian ICBMs are placed in Venezuela.

And that is only the beginning as T J soon is faced with foreclosure by the Chinese and with military actions all over the globe. TJ is challenged by secret organizations, naval blockades, laser weapons, and new uses of nuclear weapons—all in the first six months of his presidency.

With support dwindling quickly and even his friends becoming involved in assassination plots, T J realizes that his noble quest to improve the status of the government is spiraling out of control. Who is the real enemy behind this steady stream of crises? And will the United States survive?



About the author:

Mike Skeen worked in government service for over 30 years and wrote hundreds of fact-based reports. After retirement he took this writing experience and, using the fears currently expressed by many, began writing fictional stories of the future of government in the United States. Mike and his wife Beth have been married for 20 years and have five children/stepchildren and nine grandchildren.


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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Review: The Major's Daughter by J.P. Francis

Like Snow Falling on Cedars, a stirring tale of wartime love 

April, 1944. The quiet rural village of Stark, New Hampshire is irrevocably changed by the arrival of 150 German prisoners of war. And one family, unexpectedly divided, must choose between love and country. 

Camp Stark is under the command of Major John Brennan, whose beautiful daughter, Collie, will serve as translator. Educated at Smith and devoted to her widowed father, Collie is immediately drawn to Private August Wahrlich, a peaceful poet jaded by war. As international conflict looms on the home front, their passion blinds them to the inevitable dangers ahead.

Inspired by the little-known existence of a real World War II POW camp, The Major’s Daughter is a fresh take on the timeless theme of forbidden love.



Received for review.

I wanted to like this more than I actually did.  It was a lovely concept and story but the characters were just lacking that little bit of something to make them truly sympathetic to the reader.

Collie was an interesting character, but I didn't really like her and I certainly wouldn't want to be friends with her in real life.  She just felt very snotty and spoiled to me.  And her friend, Estelle, was really no better.  I'm not sure if they were products of their time or their class, but they just did nothing for me.

As for Collie's romance with August, it was rather predictable and not particularly exciting.  Since I really couldn't empathize with Collie I frankly didn't care whether her relationship worked out or not.  It was almost boring.  The ending, which should have left me with at least a stirring of emotion just found me almost rushing to just get it all over with.

Overall, if you enjoy historical fiction this is a solid option which you should find entertaining.

★★★☆☆ = Liked It


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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Featured Book: I Am That Fool by Rick Cornell



About the book:

Ryan Browne, the most successful trial lawyer in his state (purposely unnamed), celebrates a big win at a notorious strip club, The Proud Stallion. There he meets a stripper, Celeste L’Hoir. On his way with Celeste to have sex, while driving drunk, he crashes his car. He is charged with felony d.u.i., which carries 2–20 years in the penitentiary. His wife, Tania, is so angry at his stupidity and attempted adultery that she refuses to post bail for him. Thus, Ryan can’t get out of the putrid county jail. He decides to represent himself, believing that the useless public defender would only sell him down the river. But then, the great unrequited love of Ryan’s life, investigator Jessie Parker, agrees to help Ryan. As Jessie and Ryan investigate the case, they discover a wealth of corruption fueled by an incredible degree of prosecutorial misconduct and malfeasance by Ryan’s personal enemy, prosecutor David Schlegel, and his boss, the District Attorney. But luck is with Ryan, most notably in the form of Judge Laurie Linton, a brilliant, quirky judge who uses her “thinking chair” to figure out the legal solutions to the case. With a confluence of a number of forces – Jessie, Judge Linton, Ryan’s son, Beau, and Ryan’s jail-house friends, Buddy McCall, Rodney, and Unit Sergeant Mullen – Ryan reaches a form of redemption. In the genre of legal thrillers, this one vividly depicts what actually happens in a trial.



About the author:

This is the first novel of Rick Cornell. He is a 61-year-old attorney who lives in Reno, Nevada, with his wife, Denise, and specializes in criminal appeals and writs. From his 34 years of experience, he has a vast knowledge of “crazy true stories,” some high profile for Nevada. But this is fiction – or so he claims.


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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Review: The Compact eBay Sales Guide by Michael J. Schaefer

Increase your earnings through excellence in eBay methods.

eBay selling is a modern life skill that you will quickly master!
The Compact eBay Sales Guide is designed to teach everyone, from newcomers to seasoned experts, the best practices for making sales and increasing earnings. This handbook is for real people who often just want to clean out the closet by selling used electronics like phones and cameras. For those who decide to go pro, this simple manual acts as a coach, offering examples and methods to save time and earn more money.

You'll Learn:

  • The one true secret of the best auctions 
  • The best times and days to sell 
  • How to add free value to your products 
  • The keys to perfect feedback ratings 
  • To design a fast, simple shipping policy 
  • How to take great photos 
  • Pricing for Auctions and Buy It Now listings 
  • Honest and effective customer relations 
  • How to manage problems 
  • To save time through efficiency 
  • Why people want to buy eBay items 
  • To sell the same products at higher prices, through excellence in practice
These are just a few of the powerful insights built in to this book.

Based on almost two decades of selling experience on eBay, you'll learn all of my easy selling tips to seduce buyers while avoiding the rat race to the lowest price that many inexperienced sellers get caught in.

Stop competing against low-end sellers!

A few simple techniques will instead market your sales to people who are willing to spend more money on products with stellar presentations. How you design a listing determines its selling price, and the smarter you are about the decisions you make in your listing designs, the more people will desire your products. After all, no one wants to buy from the ALL CAPS seller with blurry pictures!

Start aiming for the high-end! Buy your copy of The Compact eBay Sales Guide today.



Received for review.

Even though I've been selling here and there on eBay for a number of years there is always something new to learn. This book provided a wonderful refresher of the best seller practices and introduced me to a few new developments I wasn't yet aware of.

If you're new to selling on eBay this is an invaluable guide that gives you exactly the information you need to get up and running with an excellent head start.

The author does a brilliant job of delivering a wealth of information in clear, concise way that makes this not only an informative read but an entertaining one as well.

Whether you are new to eBay or have been selling for years this is the best 99 cents you'll ever spend if you're interested in making eBay the best possible experience for you. I highly, highly recommend it.

★★★★★ = Loved It



Book Excerpt: High as the Horses' Bridles by Scott Cheshire

Scott Cheshire, author of the book High as the Horses' Bridles, stopped by to share with us an excerpt from his book.









About the book:

An urgent, electric debut novel about inheritance, belief, and a father and son divided by a dangerous prophecy

It’s 1980 at a crowded amphitheater in Queens, New York and a nervous Josiah Laudermilk, age 12, is about to step to the stage while thousands of believers wait to hear him, the boy preaching prodigy, pour forth. Suddenly, as if a switch had been flipped, Josiah’s nerves shake away and his words come rushing out, his whole body fills to the brim with the certainty of a strange apocalyptic vision. But is it true prophecy or just a young believer’s imagination running wild? Decades later when Josiah (now Josie) is grown and has long since left the church, he returns to Queens to care for his father who, day by day, is losing his grip on reality. Barreling through the old neighborhood, memories of the past—of his childhood friend Issy, of his first love, of the mother he has yet to properly mourn—overwhelm him at every turn. When he arrives at his family’s old house, he’s completely unprepared for what he finds. How far back must one man journey to heal a broken bond between father and son?



About the author:

Scott Cheshire earned his MFA from Hunter College. He is the interview editor at the Tottenville Review and teaches writing at the Sackett Street Writers' Workshop. His work has been published in Slice, AGNI, Guernica and the Picador anthology The Book of Men. He lives in New York City.




Featured Book: Lost Secrets of the Gods by Michael Pye and Kirsten Dalley



About the book:

Are there 10,000-year-old secret societies that still exist today?

Was there a race of giants that once inhabited the Americas?


Did ancient Egypt and ancient China have heretofore undiscovered ties?


Lost Secrets of the Gods delves into these ancient mysteries and many more in articles by some of the world's most intrepid and knowledgeable researchers. The old paradigms of history are being radically transformed as we discover more evidence of little-known cultures and what they achieved.


Many ancient cultures spoke and wrote of visitors that gave them knowledge and helped shape their societies. Who were they, and where did they come from?


We now know that many ancient cultures had advanced knowledge of science, agriculture, and astronomy, only some of which has been rediscovered in the last 100 years.


  • Were The Iliad and The Odyssey really about an epic struggle in pre-Celtic Europe?
  • What happened to the Persian army that completely disappeared from Egypt 2,500 years ago?
  • Did the ancients know how to create psychic guard dogs to protect sacred sites?
There is much more to history than what has officially been recorded.

Lost Secrets of the Gods reveals startling truths and asks fascinating questions traditional historians have long ignored.



About the authors:

Michael Pye has acquired hundreds of books as acquisitions editor for New Page Books since 2003. He developed a healthy appetite for the unexplained by watching far too many episodes of In Search Of hosted by Leonard Nimoy, which turned him into a reader of books on the strange and unexplained. He earned a BA in English from Southern Connecticut State University.

Kirsten Dalley graduated with honors from Columbia University in 1999 with a BA in comparative literature. Coauthor of The Nightmare Encyclopedia, she has been with Career Press/New Page Books since 2004. Together Michael and Kirsten have edited the anthology series Exposed, Uncovered, and Declassified, which includes separate volumes covering UFOs, Ghosts, and Lost Civilizations.



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Monday, July 14, 2014

Featured Book: The Compact eBay Sales Guide by Michael J. Schaefer



About the book:

Increase your earnings through excellence in eBay methods.

eBay selling is a modern life skill that you will quickly master!
The Compact eBay Sales Guide is designed to teach everyone, from newcomers to seasoned experts, the best practices for making sales and increasing earnings. This handbook is for real people who often just want to clean out the closet by selling used electronics like phones and cameras. For those who decide to go pro, this simple manual acts as a coach, offering examples and methods to save time and earn more money.

You'll Learn:

  • The one true secret of the best auctions 
  • The best times and days to sell 
  • How to add free value to your products 
  • The keys to perfect feedback ratings 
  • To design a fast, simple shipping policy 
  • How to take great photos 
  • Pricing for Auctions and Buy It Now listings 
  • Honest and effective customer relations 
  • How to manage problems 
  • To save time through efficiency 
  • Why people want to buy eBay items 
  • To sell the same products at higher prices, through excellence in practice
These are just a few of the powerful insights built in to this book.

Based on almost two decades of selling experience on eBay, you'll learn all of my easy selling tips to seduce buyers while avoiding the rat race to the lowest price that many inexperienced sellers get caught in.

Stop competing against low-end sellers!

A few simple techniques will instead market your sales to people who are willing to spend more money on products with stellar presentations. How you design a listing determines its selling price, and the smarter you are about the decisions you make in your listing designs, the more people will desire your products. After all, no one wants to buy from the ALL CAPS seller with blurry pictures!

Start aiming for the high-end! Buy your copy of The Compact eBay Sales Guide today.



About the author:

Michael J. Schaefer is a Fulbright Fellow and holds a Masters Degree in Anthropology & Archaeology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is the owner of Soulshadow Press: press.soulshadow.com. He earned his BS in Anthropology from Illinois State University, and has an Associate in Arts Degree.

Schaefer has almost twenty years of selling experience on eBay, which is shared in his latest book release "The Compact eBay Sales Guide: Easy Real-World Strategies and Tips to Sell and Make Money - A Handbook for New and Seasoned Sellers"



Featured Book: Riddlin Rising by Jeff Judkins and Roy Ashcraft



About the book:

Larry Riddlin has been told he was insane all his life, but that never stopped him. He has always believed in magic, so each and every Halloween he and his friends in the Fellowship of the Elders tried to summon the Great Old One, Cthulhu, to bring excitement to their boring world. On that fateful Halloween night of 2138, they finally succeeded. That night, now called the Emergence, dragons hatched from the moon, magic itself came back into the world, and tens of thousands scientists threw up their hands and quit in despair. It was all quite distracting. Riddlin was forced to summon Cthulhu AGAIN because not enough people saw it the first time. Now Riddlin’s a popular cult hero, literally a cult hero. But fame only goes so far. Some people blame him for the chaos of the Emergence. Others desperately want the power he demonstrates so casually for their own. And the oppressive Confederacy that rules them all? They can’t decide if they need him or want him dead! Fast-paced, imaginative, and hilarious, Riddlin Rising is an entertaining new spin on the idea of what happens when man meets monster. Join Riddlin in his quest to change the world…and look forward to the upcoming second book in the Emergence series.


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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Featured Book: Hidden Doors, Secret Rooms by Jamie Eubanks



About the book:

HIDDEN DOORS, SECRET ROOMS - a paranormal suspense novel. 

Jillian Braedon possesses a secret so explosive that she must be silenced. 


On the run with her five-year-old daughter, stranded in the middle of a blizzard and critically injured, Jill sends little Valerie off into the raging storm alone.  

The child stumbles onto the property of retired musician-turned-recluse, John Mills, begging for help.

John soon finds himself caught up in their torment, and face-to-face with the pursuing covert agents, who will do anything to destroy the secret, and silence everyone involved.



About the author:

When I was a child, the family would go on these long cross-country drives. And believe me when I say it can get very boring, in a maddening kind of way, for a young child to share the backseat of a car with two other children for 8 hours or more, every day, for a couple of weeks. To keep the boredom away, as we drove down the road, I'd stare out through the car window and pick out a house. As I continued to stare at the passing scenery, I'd make up scenarios in my head, invent an entire family to reside in that house, and let my imagination conjure up personalities, conflicts, giving the characters not only a present, but a history, and try to picture what they did with their days, how they lived their lives.

"Writing, to me, is a natural progression of those childhood daydreams that kept me sane on those long trips across country."