Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Man from the Sky by Danny Wynn #Literary #AmReading #Excerpt

They entered Palma from the west and drove along the wide seafront boulevard, a low concrete divider down the middle, palm trees lining the way and the immense harbor on their right. A stunning number of boats, thousands—big, very big, small, almost all of them white—docked at one marina after another. A forest of masts and antennas. They drove past enormous piers with towering cranes rising above them, freighters alongside. Jumbo ferries were at dock as well. On the city side of the curving boulevard were mostly nondescript modern buildings, streets and avenues leading like spokes into the city. A cathedral rose prominently in front of them, farther along the enormous bay. Not a beautiful city, but bustling and fairly clean. With sunshine and sea, too.
- from Man from the Sky
How far would you go to add excitement to a life you felt was boring and meaningless?
For seventy-three-year-old Jaime, the answer takes him by surprise. Accustomed to a lonely life high up in the mountains on the western coast of Mallorca, his dull routine is suddenly shattered when a man parachutes from a plane and lands nearby. The plane crashes; the man lives.
It’s a drug smuggling operation gone bad. But Stefan, the man from the sky, has escaped with eight kilos of cocaine in a gym bag. Jaime brings Stefan home and is soon entangled in Stefan’s attempts to sell the cocaine and start a new life.
As they dodge Parisian drug dealers and corrupt Mallorcan police, Jaime’s search for excitement and Stefan’s resolve to find stability lead them both down dangerous paths.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Literary Fiction, Adventure
Rating – PG-13
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Crossroads Between to Self-Publish or Not to Self-Publish @AlinkaRutkowska #WriteTip #Book

To self-publish or not to self-publish?
To self-publish or not to self-publish? This is the question. In this post I will try to sum up everything that I know about both worlds.
Do It Yourself.
Like a bed you just brought from IKEA, if you self-publish, you will have to build your book yourself. This means that you have full control and full responsibility. This also means that you will get better with each subsequent book you publish. If you just have that one book - we will call it your first book. If you could write one, you can write another one. Maybe not today or tomorrow but believe me when I tell you, another idea will come to you if such is your desire.
OK, not yourself, you need a team.
You don’t really do all of it yourself but you do need a team. Let’s cover the basics for a children’s book author.
You wrote the book.
Now it would be great to got it critiqued. You can find some information about this on my blog. You can choose to skip this step but you can’t skip any of the next ones.
You MUST get an editor. It’s a book you’re publishing - your name will be on it. The writing must be of the highest quality, so get a copy-editor.
You will need an illustrator. The great thing about self-publishing is that you can choose him or her (you can’t if you publish traditionally).
You need someone to put your book together for you (do the layout and design).
You can purchase all of these services from your publisher (CreateSpace offers excellent services, which I’ve used before) but it will cost you much less if you set up a team yourself.
Now to the benefits of self-publishing:
It’s fast - once you have the team in place - it only takes a few months to get your book out there (as opposed to years with traditional publishing - and that’s after your manuscript has been accepted!).
You’re in control - the book is yours, so is the copyright, you may do with it as you please, you can sell foreign rights or you can retire your title whenever you want.
Higher royalties. Of course royalties depend on how you price your book but in general you make more dollars per copy sold than traditionally published authors.
You can call yourself a published author and get to the other side.
The other side is book promotion. You now have a product of your own and you can start learning the tricks of the marketing trade. This will help you to write books that people want to read, to optimize titles and key words. You can start submitting your book for awards and if you get one - you can use it for other book-marketing and self-marketing purposes.
It gives you confidence. You’re a published author now and if you desire to become a traditionally published author as well, you will have plenty of material to show to your agent. Who do you think they will choose (if both manuscripts are of equal value)? A first time author with no platform or marketing skills? Or a published author who has received media exposure, awards and already has a group of fans? Traditional publishing houses aren’t stupid. They want to make money too and if they see that you can help them do that - they will chose your manuscript, because you’re already a pro.
So yeah, self-publish.
Alinka Rutkowska has created a tale that will appeal to children, which teaches about choices, and encourages communication and sharing. Rating: 5.0 stars from Readers’ Favorite Reviews.
Embark on a one-of-a-kind, unprecedented, breathtaking adventure with Maya and Filippo as they travel around the globe on board the “Fun Princess” — a cruise ship full of surprises. Discover their fascinating ports of call, find out what the local customs and traditions are, join the kids in activities at sea, and explore the remarkable world they create through the power of their positive outlook.
This time the kids spend a day on board the Fun Princess. They become junior chefs at sea and learn how to bake a cake. Maya and Filippo discover how trying out different recipes gets them closer to creating the perfect dessert. They also discover the power of sharing.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Children's Picture Book
Rating – G
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Connect with Alinka Rutkowska on Facebook & Twitter

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Conspiracy of Silence by Gledé Browne Kabongo @GKabongo #Excerpt #Suspense #MustRead

Two years later, Nina found herself taking an hour-long to a state-of-the-art corrections facility, one of the most secure in the nation and the only one to sit on a major highway. She arrived at one of the eight modules used to house prisoners and went through the usual security checkpoints. She was ushered into the visitors’ room. She took a seat and nervously awaited his arrival.
She was jolted from her thoughts when he walked into the visiting area. A slight man to begin with, he had aged, his head now completely grey. His face was gaunt, his cheeks sunken from massive weight loss. She bit down hard on her lips to stop the tears from forming. As she expected, he was less than pleased to see her.
“What are you doing here?”
She didn’t respond.
“If you’re looking for forgiveness, you’re in the wrong place. But the prison chapel isn’t too far from here.”
She finally found her voice. “Forgiveness for what?”
“Sending you own father to prison is unforgivable.”
“Then why did you do it?”
Sadness crept into his face, but it was quickly replaced by the familiar stubbornness and lack of empathy that had defined their relationship.
“I was a good daughter. You didn’t deserve me.”
Nina opened her pocketbook and took out her wallet. She removed a photo and pushed it across the table toward him. He glanced at it then looked back at her. He wanted to ask her something but was too proud.
“Grace and Faith Kasai. A year old today,” she explained.
“Why did you come to see me? You’ve destroyed what was left of my life.”
“No dad. You did that all on your own. All I wanted was a stinking apology, some acknowledgement that I wasn’t some piece of property you could use and dispose of when you felt like it. You weren’t sorry at all. I was living in a hell you sent me to. This was the only way I knew to get out. You had to answer to someone you couldn’t bully or buy off or manipulate.”
“I gave you everything.”
“You gave me the best of what money could buy. What I needed from you was priceless.”
Maybe she was right Phillip thought. There were some things his money couldn’t buy, like Constance Buckwell’s silence. The security he thought it would bring him failed to materialize and he had to take care of her himself by slipping something in her drink when they had dinner. That induced the heart attack that killed her. That should have been the end of his troubles combined with the diary he stole but it was all for naught. Now, he could honestly say it wasn’t worth it. None of it was.
“Congratulations on the twins Nina. I know you’ll make an outstanding mother. You’re excellent at everything you do. I have no doubt that will extend to motherhood.”
With that, Phillip Copeland signaled to be taken back to his cell.
As Nina made her way back to her car, she realized how lucky she was. A big, happy contented smile spread across her face. She had a life beyond anything she could have imagined. And this time, she knew she deserved it.
#1 Amazon Bestseller in the suspense and women's psychological fiction categories.
Boston executive Nina Kasai has been living a lie since her days as a student at Stanford University. But she's about to learn that some secrets are too big to stay buried.
Years ago, Nina fled from her life of wealth and privilege and vowed never to look back. The horrifying truth has been locked away in her hidden diary, and in the mind of a disturbed woman who will never tell, ever. However, the perfect life she's since created is about to come crashing down when Phillip Copeland --a ghost from her past with political ambition and secrets of his own, makes Nina an offer she can't refuse: her silence in exchange for his.
Soon, it all goes horribly wrong when a  shocking double-cross sends Nina reeling,  and devastating loss threatens to push her over the edge. To make matters worse, her diary, the only link to her secret past has been stolen.
To reclaim her life and bring this twisted game to its stunning conclusion, Nina must confront the past she's been running from, and find the courage to make a life-altering decision that leaves multiple casualties in its wake.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Psychological Suspense
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with Gledé Browne Kabongo on Facebook & Twitter

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Praying for Men of P.O.W.E.R. - Purity #Prayer - by Nina Elaine Borum @TrinityGalBlog #Christian #TBR

Father, I thank you today that ____________________ is keeping his way pure. I release a hunger for your word into his heart that he may desire to live according to it. May he seek you with every fiber of his being and thirst for you daily. I rebuke any plans of Satan that would deceive him to stray from your commands. Hide your word in his heart that he may not sin against you. Lord, be slow to anger concerning any idols in his life. Convict him with the areas of his life that he has broken his covenant with you. Open his eyes to see the things, people, opinions, ideas, organizations, etc. that he has put before you. May he be pure in his covenant with you.

You didn't learn these prayers in Sunday school. Put your armor on, and get ready to see God move!
Do you ever get sick of praying? It's okay to admit. We all do. It is emotionally draining to beg God without ceasing. Christians often forget that under Christ's authority, we have the power to command God's promises to be released from heaven to earth and into our lives.
In Praying for Men of P.O.W.E.R., author Nina Elaine Borum challenges readers to stand confidently and command the promises of God for the men in your life. As someone who has struggled with prayer, Nina believes that God does not intend for his children to feel helpless in praying. His Word has instructed us in how to bring the kingdom of heaven to a world where Satan runs freely. We are all in the midst of a vicious spiritual battle, and Nina hopes this book will help you to fight on behalf of Christian men.
Buy Now @ Amazon Tate Publishing
Genre - Christian non-fiction
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with Nina Elaine Borum on Facebook & Twitter

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Bangkok Transit by Eva Fejos @fejoseva #excerpt #women #bookclub

Budapest, 1980
“I’ll be here to pick you up for dance class. You have English in the afternoon and rhythmic gymnastics in the evening, don’t forget,” said the woman with the teased, reddish-blond hair as she parted from the little girl; she was attractively dressed, though slightly provocative. “Then, afterwards, we’ll celebrate your Dad’s birthday. There’s a snack in your book bag,” she called.
The girl nodded, waved to her from the gate, and entered the three-story elementary school in the Óbuda district of Budapest. She had math first period. She hated mathematics; this semester they were learning sets and numeral systems, and she wouldn’t have understood a word of it if weren’t for Rose, her private teacher, who helped her with math assignments twice a week. She started yawning halfway through the period.
“Don’t fall asleep or she’ll pick on you again,” whispered Enikő, her deskmate, nudging her.
Enikő always dressed like a tomboy and had made it clear several times that she would have rather been born a boy.
Teri heeded the warning. She decided to prop her eyelids open with her fingers. Maybe that way she wouldn’t fall asleep.
Last night’s training had lasted longer than usual, and though she had changed back into her street clothes quickly, her mother had spent a long time discussing something with her coach. In the meantime, Teri sat on the bench waiting for them. She hadn’t gotten enough sleep because they’d stayed so long.
Next period was true horror: Russian class. Teri mostly hated this class because of the teacher. Otherwise, she had a good ear for languages and didn’t need extracurricular help with her homework.
“Zrastvuytye,” said the teacher, as she stepped into classroom 5B, and the kids chimed their greeting in unison:
“Ztrastvuytye, tovarish uchityelnitsa!”
Teri forgot to join in the greeting, and the teacher noticed immediately, turning to her jeeringly:
“Guten morgen, Fräulein Schmidt. I suppose German comes easier to you than Russian.”
Teri blushed. She was sick of Mrs. Piros constantly encouraging certain boys to taunt her by calling German shepherd, Heike, and Fräulein Schmidt. When she told her mother about what went on in school, she just waved it away dismissively and said:
“Just ignore them, honey. You can already speak German and soon you’ll be fluent in Russian and English too. Just think how jealous they’ll be when they see you on TV and in the papers!”
Teri had recently found an article in her mother’s favorite weekly magazine about the lives of female factory workers in Csepel. She’d read it and didn’t understand why her mother wanted someone to write such things about her. She didn’t want to be in the papers or on TV. All she wanted was for Mrs. Piros to leave her alone, along with the idiot boys led by Zoli Kiss, whose front tooth still hadn’t grown in, even though he’d lost all of his baby teeth last year.
“You should eat more. Your growth spurt has made you incredibly thin,” said her gym teacher, patting Teri’s head during recess. “And you’re pale. Are you getting enough rest?”
Teri didn’t answer. She looked at herself in the locker room mirror before gym class. Her mother had braided her flaxen-colored hair into a ponytail, and she saw dark circles under her blue eyes. She wasn’t hungry, but she thought that maybe her gym teacher was right. She took out her snack. It consisted of two crackers, a slice of ham, and thinly cut peppers. She ate a few bites, and then started changing. She liked gym class because she felt successful. She was always asked to demonstrate exercises which seemed too complex for the others.
That afternoon, before training, when her mother drove off in their yellow Wartburg car and Teri had finished waving her goodbye, the coach called the girl into her office.
“One day you will grow up to be a very beautiful girl. The boys will go nuts over you,” she began.
Teri looked at her, puzzled. Why was Mrs. Varga telling her this? The same Mrs. Varga whom the others called “Killer” behind her back.
“I’m sure you know that boys are especially keen on tall girls. You’ve got a pretty face: pouty lips, big, blue eyes, long lashes… And you’ll be tall. You’ve grown a lot over the past year. Did you notice how much taller you are than the others?” she said, gesturing towards the locker room.
Teri nodded. This was the second time in one day that someone had pointed out her height. She didn’t understand why. Her coach fell silent, arranged some training supplies on the shelf, and then continued:
“Well. You can excel in several branches of sports and in many things. You are among the best of your age group in rhythmic gymnastics. You won the Budapest Cup last year. But it won’t always be this way. You’re too tall, and this will hinder you from staying among the best,” the coach finally blurted out, without meeting the girl’s gaze. “I told the same thing to your mother, who asked me to give you time to prove yourself again. And I would gladly give you all the time in the world, but I don’t see the point in deluding you. You know too that you’re still growing, and in a few years you won’t be able to join the top ranks in rhythmic gymnastics anymore. The reason I’m telling you this is because I know you and your parents have your hearts set on you joining the national team, and I don’t want you to be disappointed. Right now, you’re free to choose another activity, like athletics, maybe high-jumping. Or ball sports. Anything. You’re only ten; you can still be part of the best. But not in rhythmic gymnastics. Or artistic gymnastics either. I find it pointless to torment you at training, or to see you suffering by constantly dieting and calorie-counting. Choose something else instead. Or take a little break,” she said, looking into the girl’s eyes now. “In a few years, you’ll be happy things turned out this way, happy to be a grown up, willowy girl not hurting so much from sports injuries.”
Teri dashed into the locker room. She didn’t know what to do; she struggled to hold back her tears. But a powerful feeling of responsibility triumphed. She changed into her leotard along with the others. That day, she performed better than ever during training.
The birthday celebration that evening didn’t go too well. Teri was tired and in a bad mood. After she helped her father blow out the candles on the cake, she burst into tears. Her father lifted her onto his lap.
“Let’s eat the cake together!” he said in German.
Teri turned her head away when her father jabbed the fork into a piece of cake and offered her the morsel.
“I told you not to force sweets on her. She has to maintain her weight.”
“But I’ll never be a champion!” the little girl exclaimed. “Coach said so. I grew too much.”
Her mother’s eyes flashed angrily.
“Just ignore what your coach says. You’re the best, and that’s how it always will be!”
“We can talk later, sweetheart, and you can tell me all about what’s making you sad,” her father said, hugging her. “But now you have to go to bed. You’ve got school tomorrow.”
Bangkok: a sizzling, all-embracing, exotic city where the past and the present intertwine. It’s a place where anything can happen… and anything really does happen. The paths of seven people cross in this metropolis. Seven seekers, for whom this city might be a final destination. Or perhaps it is only the start of a new journey? A successful businessman; a celebrated supermodel; a man who is forever the outsider; a young mother who suddenly loses everything; a talented surgeon, who could not give the woman he loved all that she desired; a brothel’s madam; and a charming young woman adopted at birth. Why these seven? Why did they come to Bangkok now, at the same time? Do chance encounters truly exist?
Bangkok Transit is a Central European best-seller. The author, Eva Fejos, a Hungarian writer and journalist, is a regular contributor to women’s magazines and is often herself a featured personality. Bangkok Transit was her first best-seller, which sold more than 100,000 copies and is still selling. Following the initial publication of this novel in 2008, she went on to write twelve other best-sellers, thus becoming a publishing phenomena in Hungary According to accounts given by her readers, the author’s books are “therapeutic journeys,” full of flesh and blood characters who never give up on their dreams. Many readers have been inspired to change the course of their own lives after reading her books. “Take your life into your own hands,” is one of the important messages the author wishes to convey.
Try it for yourself, and let Eva Fejos whisk you off on one of her whirlwind journeys... that might lead deep into your own heart.
About Eva Fejos, the author of Bangkok Transit
- Eva Fejos is a Hungarian writer and journalist.
- has had 13 best-selling novels published in Hungary so far.
- Bangkok Transit is her first best-seller, published in 2008.
- has won several awards as a journalist, and thanks to one of her articles, the legislation pertaining to human egg donation was modified, allowing couples in need to acquire donor eggs more easily.  
- spends her winters in Bangkok.
- likes novels that have several storylines running parallel.
- visited all the places she’s written about. 
- spent a few days at an elephant orphanage in Thailand; and has investigated the process of how Thai children are put up for adoption while visiting several orphanages. 
- founded her own publishing company in Hungary last year, where she not only publishes her own books, but foreign books too, hand-picked by her. 
- Her books published in Hungary thus far are:
Till Death Do Us Part (Holtodiglan) | Bangkok Transit | Hotel Bali | Chicks (Csajok) | Strawberries for Breakfast (Eper reggelire) | The Mexican (A mexikói) | Cuba Libre | Dalma | Hello, London | Christmas in New York (Karácsony New Yorkban) | Caribbean Summer (Karibi nyár) | Bangkok, I Love You (Szeretlek, Bangkok) | Starting Now – the new edition of Till Death Do Us Part (Most kezdődik) | Vacation in Naples – the English version will be published in summer, 2014 (Nápolyi vakáció)
To be published in spring of 2014: I Waited One Hundred Nights (Száz éjjel vártam)
Bangkok Transit (English version):
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Women's Fiction, Contemporary
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Eva Fejos on Facebook & Twitter

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Order of Earth (Elements of Ink) by Jennifer Cornet @J_Cornet

Book Excerpt: (Chapter 2)

The brass doors opened behind her bringing with it an unexpected guest.

“I knew you’d come home.”

Onyx’ heart sank hearing him speak in that gentle voice. He always used that voice when he knew he was wrong; when he was trying to make her forgive him. It felt repulsively sweet now.

“She was just leaving,” Jade said in a firm tone as she turned to face him.

“Nicky, you brought a bodyguard with you? That hurts,” he sounded genuinely insulted.

“Goodbye, Philip.” Onyx said softly, suddenly lacking the confidence she just had.

Philip reached out for her arm, but Jade intercepted the action, grabbing him by the wrist and twisting it until he let out an almost inaudible yelp.

“You will not lay a hand on her. Not now, not ever again. If you so much as brush against her in a way I don’t like, I will break every bone in your body, starting with your pinky toe and ending with your skull.” She twisted just a little further.

But he didn’t lose his composure. He looked Onyx dead in the eye, “Quite a lot of bark for your little Chihuahua of a friend here, huh? Nicky, we don’t need all of this. This running away, the muscle, the hiding out, we are better than this. You know I love you more than anything in the world. Just come home, baby. I need you. It’ll be different, I promise. I’ll start going to therapy like you always wanted. You can even hang out with that crayon haired one. No questions asked. Just come home. What do you say? Come on, I need you.”

“Onyx, don’t you listen to him. Put the bags in the elevator, we’re leaving.”

Onyx hesitated, switching her gaze back and forth between the two. He looked so hurt, so broken up, she just wanted to leap into his arms and console him. For a moment, she could feel her heart ripping in her chest; she believed him. She believed he meant he would change and things would be different. She believed it and she hated herself for it.

Onyx rolled her bags into the elevator before she lost her nerve.

“Goodbye, Philip.” She said again.

“If you love her even half as much as you say, you’ll let us leave here. You’ll leave her alone and move on with your life. But keep the therapy bit, you need it.” Jade winked at him before joining Onyx.

As Jade released his wrist, he noticed a small green marking on her arm; a very familiar mark that he knew all too well.

The girls disappeared down to the ground floor, leaving Philip alone in his flower filled living room. He pulled out his phone and hit speed dial.

“She’s with the Order of Earth. Find out what family, find out who their Protector is, and find out now.”


Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Urban Fantasy

Rating – PG – 13

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Friday, March 7, 2014

Steps Into Darkness (A Shakertown Adventure) by Ben Woodard @benswoodard

The unknown figure’s back was to them as he connected the wires to the detonator. Will shoved Tom. Only minutes remained.

They located the last connection point where the blasting caps were wired to two sticks of dynamite. The wires to the plunger snaked up the hill. The connecting strands were twisted, tightly, as with pliers. Tom snatched a rock, but Will grabbed his hand and pointed up the hill. Tom understood. The man would hear the pounding. They each took a twisted connection and tried to pry it apart with their fingers. They would need to break only one.

The wires resisted. Tom gritted his teeth, then remembered his pocket knife. He pulled it out, flipped the blade open, and wedged the tip between two strands. He twisted and the blade snapped. The sound startled the man. He whirled around and stared directly at the boys. Tom forced the broken blade into the gap in the wires. Will put his finger on top of one and pulled as Tom twisted. Blood ran down Will’s hand as the metal bit into his finger. They strained, and watched the man. His eyes darted in all directions. Then he made his decision. He pulled the plunger up, hesitated a moment, and slammed it down.


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Genre - YA/Mystery

Rating – PG – 13

More details about the author and the book

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