Friday, April 20, 2018

christian fantasy and allegory from RA Denny

Refugees (Mud, Rocks, and Trees Book 1) by [Denny, R.A.]


Refugees, book 1 of 6
RA Denny

Young Adult Inspirational fantasy
2017
Free ebook
 Buy on Amazon


About The Book
"An epic journey of a lifetime." That's what three young individuals from three different corners of the world have dreamed about. They were destined for greatness since the moment they were born. But what if they don't want it? What if they're not ready? What if their desires no longer align with the prophecy?

The problem is, they have no choice. The star has appeared. Their destiny has already begun to unfold. 

It's not the send-off that they've been dreaming of. Forced out. Banished. Raided. This wasn't how it was supposed to be. Now they must discover who they really are while embarking on the most exciting journey of their lives. One star. One impossible task. One chance to save the world they love.


My review
Denny’s inspirational fantasy is quite intriguing. Four unique sentient species, one of them predator, make up Denny’s world, which is full of rumor and suspicion. One special cult of wise men who worship one true God must draw these clans together when the prophetic star of destiny appears.

Working for generations behind the scenes, non-webbed humanoids and others of varying species, the webbed-footed, armor-plated, and extraneous-skinned gliders, have been secretly teaching them each other’s languages, besides the lessons of the Creator. At the sign of the star, the predator humans begin the backlash by slaughtering as many of the others unlike themselves as they can in surprise gruesome attacks. They even convince some of armor-plated beings to turn on each other.

Of the three sentient species, one young adult of each has been groomed to fulfill the prophecy. Each is given a talisman and instructed to find each other in the capital city, to which they travel under great peril. Barely able to escape, let alone understand the other races are sentient, let alone exist, the three must travel in great faith to complete their mysterious mission.

Readers familiar with the Bible will recognize frequent references to Scripture and its use. Fill with song and poetry similar to the classics the author admits influenced her, readers of epic questing stories and fantasy will be intrigued.

The copy I received had text that was bolded and centered. I’m not sure if all of the copies are set up that way, but while unique, was somewhat distracting. Giving the three heroes first person voices was also interesting, but until the reader gets a good feel for what is going on, this introduction to the story, mostly because of the rapid switching of viewpoints, often scene by scene and no evenly dispersed, can be confusing. A good summary would be more helpful than a character list, because after the first couple of chapters, the character list isn’t very useful anymore.

This free book is the first of six which are all available at $2.99 each.
R.A. Denny 
About the Author

R.A. Denny started writing epic fantasy novels when, after watching the first Hobbit movie, she began excitedly spouting off information about C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien’s writer’s group called the Inklings and how their greatest fantasy novels were created. For several years, she continued her day job as a criminal prosecutor and escaped by night to the world of the Tzoladian Empire. Then, she decided to just do what she loved. She completed writing her six-book epic fantasy series: Mud, Rocks, and Trees. The series should be read in this order: Refugees, Seekers, Captives, Warriors, Visionaries, and then Deliverers. 

R.A. enjoys ancient history, board games, and LEGO. She rides horses, raised flying squirrels and lives with two cats. Learn more about R.A. on her website or you can find her on Facebook@R.A. Denny author




Tuesday, April 17, 2018

New from Keely Brooke Keith and the Uncharted series


38594124

All Things Beautiful
Uncharted Beginnings book 3
Keely Brooke Keith
Historical fiction with fantasy elements

April 2018
Edenbrooke Press, Nashville, TN

Buy on Amazon 
$3.99
$12.99

 About the Book
It’s 1868 in the settlement of Good Springs, and Hannah Vestal is passionate about writing fiction and keeping her stories to herself. By lantern light she slips into her story world and dreams the adventures she’ll never experience. When her father asks to read her work, she decides to have it printed secretly for his 50th birthday. Hannah tries to arrange the printing with the settlement’s pressman, but the witty and dapper Henry Roberts won’t make it easy for her to prove her writing is worthy of his ink.

If Henry Roberts did nothing else for the rest of his life but print and bind books, he would die a satisfied man. In order to secure settlement support for his printing press, the elder council says Henry must print an error-free copy of the New Testament before the settlement’s 8th anniversary celebration. He is determined to meet their challenge, but when the enigmatic Hannah proves to be a beguiling distraction, Henry longs for something more than a life at the letterpress.


My review
In this third stand-along novel in the Uncharted series, Keith’s marooned but making the best of it culture at long last has time to invest in events not directly tied to survival—reading for knowledge and pleasure, finishing a library building, developing new material to read, perhaps a way to share news and information. The year is 1868, seven years after Landing. Five and a half years earlier, Hannah Vestal promised her dying mother to put the family first. The oldest in a family which includes two brothers and three sisters, Hannah’s time is controlled by running a busy household. The villagers have sorted themselves into their mutual trades, so each family isn’t responsible for self-sustenance. Hannah makes candles which she can trade for things like paper on which to write her story. Since losing her mother’s encouragement, Hannah shares her story with her friend, the village teacher, Olivia. Olivia helps her find the strength to complete her story and have it printed.

Meanwhile, the printer, Henry Roberts, has exchanged his birthright farming with his younger brother Simon who is more suited to caring for the animals and crops. Their father, who ran the printing press, invested Henry with the press, but Henry had been hurt years earlier while helping build the family barn. Now, with pain in both damaged hand and pride, and two unsuccessful passing love interests behind, he decides bachelorhood is his fate. His almost obsessive-compulsive need for order and realism doesn’t translate to the finest of courtly personalities, and when Hannah, courage screwed on, approaches him for a book publishing deal, his business-like response causes both of them to review their lifestyle choices. With the aid of loving family and friends, Hannah and Henry meet their challenges and come out stronger on the other side. Keith ends this story with a lovely tie-in to the contemporary Uncharted series.

Told through alternating perspectives, All Things Beautiful is a revelation of what matters in life. The story is an exploration of the depth of heart and soul and the willingness to see and grown beyond our capabilities. Well-done. Recommended for those who enjoy historical drama with a faint twist of unusual circumstances. This is a stand-alone story with good set-up of the situation, so readers can jump in anywhere and enjoy any story of The Uncharted stories.

About the Author
Keely Brooke KeithKeely Brooke Keith writes inspirational frontier-style fiction with a twist, including The Land Uncharted (Shelf Unbound Notable Romance 2015) and Aboard Providence (2017 INSPY Awards Longlist). Keely also creates resources for writers such as The Writer’s Book Launch Guide and The Writer’s Character Journal. Born in St. Joseph, Missouri, Keely grew up in a family that frequently relocated. By graduation, she lived in 8 states and attended 14 schools. When she isn’t writing, Keely enjoys playing bass guitar, preparing homeschool lessons, and collecting antique textbooks. Keely, her husband, and their daughter live on a hilltop south of Nashville, Tennessee.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Two weeks left to enter the April giveaway



With so many wonderful authors and books available, it's imperative to have a reliable and trustworthy place that can help you choose what to read.

Visit the PORTAL to participate in this new multi-author giveaway.
 It's even better when you get a chance to win free books through a giveaway! Every month, enter to win free books from multiple authors via N. N. Light's Book Heaven. Several authors are offering their books throughout the upcoming year in this innovative and collaborative approach to building a new and immersive online reading community. Authors, bloggers and book reviewers are partnering to share fantastic reads, quality reviews and powerful connections all in one place. 



Monday, April 9, 2018

New Sci Fi epic series


The Foundry by Frank Dravis

The Foundry
Frank Dravis

c. Jan 2018
$3.49 ebook
$12.89 print

Buy on Amazon

About the Book
A storm of greed and lust for global domination is rolling through the forests of Mount Mars, on the planet Dianis. The assault crashes against the walls of an idyllic town called Wedgewood. Over the walls Paleowright soldiers and their troglodyte allies climb and meet the human defenders sword against teeth, and shield against claws. In a staggering retreat, the defenders fight the first battle to save their planet from tyranny and galactic exploitation. Outnumbered, the citizens and mercenaries of Wedgewood stand shoulder to shoulder and send the rally call to their brethren. 

For IDB Chief Inspector Achelous, if Wedgewood falls the plans to protect the planet from Nordarken Mining fail as well. Those plans rest on the forge in Wedgewood's foundry. Ruthless in its insatiable demand for a rare mineral, Nordarken ignores the federation law – ULUP -- that protects the isolated, primitive planet. Destroying whole cultures to satisfy their avarice is just the cost of doing business, but for Achelous, a ULUP enforcer, it's his job to protect the defenseless. 

The politics authorizing ULUP are complex, and Nordarken is a master of manipulation. Ordered to leave Dianis, Achelous and his team face an excruciating dilemma. In a surprise, as the story of Dianis unfolds, Achelous learns he is not alone against both the global and galactic powers. Marisa, a trader princess, and Christina, an Ascalon Defender, respond to Wedgewood's rally call, but as provincials, they are unaccustomed to stellar intrigue. 

The defense of liberty for Dianis starts here, in The Foundry. 

My Review
Epic in length and subject, Dravis’s sci-fi fantasy far distant future world is at heart a passionate treatise on environmental protection.

When a valuable mineral is found on a distant planet that also features beings with untapped powers that could affect the tide of galactic war, the race is on to plunder Dianis’s resources no matter the law.

The Foundry features Archelous, a man living a mysterious double life as an embedded native on an undeveloped world while also trying to defend that world from intergalactic turmoil. Dravis’s world-building skills are finely developed, as are his very real complex characters. While I love sci-fi fantasy, I occasionally found the details overblown and admit to skipping through some parts to pick up the threads of what, at first, was a story within a story. But unlike other lengthy books I had to put down for a time due to other projects, I found I was able to pick up the story again within a page of reading.

My caveat to readers is that you will want to set aside goodly chunks of time to immerse yourself in this complicated and challenging story. Characters from a number of different environments and philosophies unite to protect not only one world, but ethics in general. Told in numerous points of view throughout, readers may occasionally need to backtrack to determine the new speaker as there is little attempt to separate these viewpoints and introspection can be muddled. The characters are unique and fresh, however, and quite engaging as they battle for justice against their own kind as well as all manner of sentient beings. Archelous is heroic, but I found myself rooting for Outish. And to learn who those folks are, you’ll just have to read.

About the Author
Frank DravisLiving along the Mississippi River, Frank Dravis has leveraged his many life experiences to write The Foundry, the first book in the Dianis, A World In Turmoil series. He was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan where he and his father cruised the Great Lakes. His father often chose to go out on the lake when it was empty, on the roughest days. Frank spent six years in the US Navy chasing Soviet submarines during the Cold War. His love of the sea is reflected in The Foundry, a love he has shared with his wife and two girls. Frank's care for Earth and the stewardship of their land in Wisconsin are reflected in the culture and ethos of the Timberkeeps. 
He has two degrees, a Bachelor of Computer Science and a Master of Business Administration. Those degrees have been integral to his professional life where he has worked in a variety of roles from software engineer, to marketing executive, to chief information officer, at such prominent firms as SAP and Organic Valley. The technical and scientific acumen he gained through those endeavors is demonstrated in the series in the effort to make the Dianis brand of science practically possible somewhere in the galaxy today. Follow the Turmoil series on Facebook


Friday, April 6, 2018

Enter and Win Spring Giveaway



Want to find a new writer, learn what novels some of your favorite authors are reading, or find new book reviewer and blogger recommendations?

Visit the PORTAL to participate in this new multi-author giveaway.
All genres are included whether it’s novels from debuting authors to award-winning/bestselling authors with multiple books and/or series. The best part -- it's all free for readers to enter, as authors are generously donating copies of their books as well as other prizes each month to help find new fans and build up their reading communities. Be part of this wonderful new group right now! I’m excited to participate in this month’s giveaway and can’t wait to share with you all that will be offered in the coming months. You never know which surprising authors might just show up on the list this year!



Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Unbreakable by Ruth Buchanan great clean chick romance

36987099

Unbreakable
Ruth Buchanan

2018 Harbourlight, Pelican Ventures
contemporary romance

$4.99  eBook
Buy on Amazon

About the book
With her leg finally back at full strength and her emotional life taking on a whole new shape, Rachel Cooper feels fit to handle the confluence of four major events: the end of another school year, the beginning of a new relationship, the stress of helping to plan a wedding, and Coach's insistence that Rachel overcome a mental block and master the flying teep kick.

Meanwhile, Rachel draws the focus of some strong male attention. While she isn't sure what it all means, she's determined not to write an alternate story in her head by pitting herself as the main character in yet another imagined thriller.  But in her determination not to make the same mistake a third time, Rachel ignores danger signs. Will Rachel manage to separate fact from fiction before it's too late?

My  review
This is one of those stories that encompasses all the fun of chick lit, light romance, good clean stalking, and a couple of good laughs.
New Year’s resolutions are made to be broken—unless you’re Rachel, and have been taking yourself way too seriously for the past couple of years. A high school teacher (and thank you from ALL of my heart for not villainizing teachers!), Rachel is a rare good woman who has the loving support of friends and sister on her quest to learn to take care of herself and find a good man—someone who can handle a little blood now and then and appreciates all of her friends, especially the pal who asks her to stand up with him at his wedding.
Unbreakable is the third book in a group of stories featuring Rachel Cooper and her antics. While it was obvious there were previous tales, it wasn’t necessary to have read them first. Instead, the mention of the other stories did what they were supposed to, which was make me curious to read them.
Readers who enjoy quirky and spunky female characters who manage to find themselves in predicaments, and love some clean wholesome romance, will enjoy Ruth’s stories.

About the author

Ruth Buchanan is a Christian freelance writer who holds degrees in ministry and theology. She writes fiction, non-fiction, plays, and sacred scripts. She’s an eager reader, an enthusiastic traveler, and the world’s most reluctant runner. Ruth loves Jesus, family, church, friends, and coffee. She lives and works in South Florida. Find her on Twitter: @Ruthette

Friday, March 30, 2018

New from Robin Fuson A Sparkle of Silver

A sparkle of Silver by [Fuson, Robin Densmore]


A Sparkle of Silver
Robin Fuson
Inspirational Contemporary Romance Novella
155 pp
Winged Publications
March 2018

$2.99 eBook
$6.74 Print
Buy on Amazon


About the Book:
Beautiful, creative Amber Warren and handsome, dependable Jesse Nelson have been best friends since grade school. Jesse’s strength and reliable spirit draws Amber, but can she trust a man with her heart after being jilted by her fiancé? A strong and self-reliant woman, Amber discovers she will need someone to help her after unexpected news from her parents upends her world. Will Jesse meet the demands of his work and still step up to be the rock she can lean on? An unlikely source will help Amber conquer the menacing and paralyzing fear gripping her heart. In the midst of a devastating disaster she pulls from deep within her being the courage to look fear in the eye to save the one she loves.

My Review:
This charming, sweet novella is a perfect addition to Fuson’s growing repertoire of both contemporary and historical tales set generally in her stomping grounds of the western US and Colorado. Amber’s fiancé wanted more of the world than he was willing to share and ditched her for the opportunity to work in Paris. I might have wondered why Amber wouldn’t jump at Paris until I realized Mr. Wrong didn’t bother to spend much time discussing it, and neither was Amber’s heartstrings too firmly attached to the cad. Better opportunities were right under her nose, and it took only a little persuading to open her eyes to the good thing waiting just for her. I loved it when she realized just how interwoven Jesse’s life was with hers when he knew his way around the family kitchen.

Conquering challenges and rising above the hurt others put on them show Amber and Jesse how strong they are together. Add in Miss Purrfect, the darling antique store cat, and we’ve got a very fun read. Highly recommended for those who like their clean romance in bite-size chunks.

A brief Interview with the Author:
In A Sparkle of Silver, Purrfect is the sweet store cat. The antique store where she reigns supreme is named Preowned Perfection. So, Purrfect got her name. She is a pure white cat with green eyes. For the most part she doesn’t interact with patrons but occasionally she can’t help herself. She might follow a customer through the store but not in a typical fashion. She loves to roam the mock or staged rooms along the top of the partial walls that are a whopping ten feet tall with a span of another six feet above that. The cat is a great mouser and yet doesn’t displace breakables off the shelves. Purrfect is a good judge of character which we find out in the pages of the story.

Tell us about your motivation to write the story, Robin. What do you love about it?
This book was fun to write for a variety of reasons. I love antique stores. Finding the right wedding ring set was tons of fun. Writing a story where Colorado is the backdrop is a delight because It’s my home. I identify with the character, Amber. She dresses nicely even to go to the grocery store which is what I typically do. She loves antiques and working with her hands. She is strong but doesn’t always give herself credit for being so. Amber has a deep fear that she has to work through. Don’t we all struggle at some point in our lives with fear? Her handsome sweetheart, Jesse, is a good fit for her. Attentive to her needs and strong both emotionally and physically he helps her through encouragement and lending a hand when she asks. He is purposeful and yet can be spontaneous.

Nice! I agree! Can you share a couple of things you learned while working on this book?
I spent hours delving into research on antiques that still pop up on the ads on my computer. For instance, Amber bids on and purchases an antique cuckoo clock. I pulled up a picture of the clock to make the description in the book. I’ve been to auctions in the area, so I could write that into my story through my experience. The store where she works is similar to ones I walked through on Broadway in Denver. I added a warehouse and attached a house for her to live. Something that I had not known before was, for a price, you can have a new piece of furniture or knickknack made that appears like the original antique.

I also learned that help to overcome fear can come from an unsuspecting place and love will be the necessary strength it will take to conquer that fear.

What’s next for you, Robin?
Right now, I’m writing a historical mystery novella, Gamble on Fate, set in Colorado Territory of 1886 in Colorado City near present day Colorado Springs with a Pinkerton investigator. Also, for a few years, I’ve been working on a contemporary cozy mystery novel, The Race of Her Heart, that is set in Durango, Colorado. In this story, a ski Olympian has an accident, dashing her hopes and dreams. The tumble down the mountain was caused by someone tampering with the bindings of her skis. The saboteur is not satisfied with only the limp caused from the fall and the threats keep coming.

Robin Densmore FusonOh my goodness! I can’t wait to read them. Thank you, Robin

About Robin:

Robin lives in Rifle, Colorado with her husband Jimmy. Together, they celebrate with seventeen grandchildren. An award winner for romance and flash fiction, Robin is multi-published and writes stories on her blog for children. Robin is a member of ACFW, Vice President of ACFW Colorado Western Slope, and member of John316 Marketing Network. She enjoys leading a Bible study group and singing in two community choirs. Robin loves company and challenging her young guests to discover the many giraffes in the obvious and hidden nooks and crannies of their home.


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Writing advice




Seat of the Pants writers (pantsers) tend to shudder at the idea of plotting a novel. Plotter writers (plotters) can’t imagine staring a blank sheet of paper to start a novel, short story, biography, self-help book, or even an article.

It doesn’t have to be an either/or approach. Honestly.

So, why plot?

Don’t! Don’t think of it as plotting. Think of it as strategy. Even pantsers have an inkling of story arc even if they sometimes refuse to admit it. You might have a character’s name in mind, maybe a title, probably even a very basic idea of story, even if you don’t know where you want to go. I have let my characters direct certain scenes, too. That’s why flexibility is key.

Just because you make notes, or even have an idea of how this story will work it, you don’t have to follow it exactly. And maybe that’s why it’s hard to think of spending time on developing ideas you won’t use. Hey—it’s a whole lot easier not using some scenes or dialog bits than unraveling a whole book when you realize one of the threads is implausible or you’re missing elements of a subplot or character traits, or a mixed up timeline screws the denouement, which you don’t see until you think you’ve completed the initial manuscript. Here are five points in favor of planning your book first. This concept applies to non-fiction and short articles or fiction as well.

Pencil, Logos, Icon, Single, Pixel

       1. Efficiency
Secret—there are really only two reasons why planning a story first is helpful. Return on Investment. Artists can never charge billable hours like certain professionals. Yes, hand-sewn quilts or Navajo rug weaving is on par with brain surgery, but try selling your quilt for $100,000, let alone charge money for five years of your life invested in publishing your book. You only make that kind of cash after you’re dead, unless you chance into the golden opportunity of meeting the right person looking for your work at the right moment in time. Most advances even for major authors are much less, and they have to be earned out before you make any more money. That’s selling a lot of books at 8 percent net cost, out of which your agent gets a cut. So, how can you up the return (sale of finished book) on the investment (time writing and marketing)? By writing and publishing smart.

2. Rewriting is not the same as revision
Another riff on writing efficiently: sure, there are times when the story just changes; it just does and you toss what you’ve done. But let’s come up with a good plan to begin with, one that works but allows for some meandering of the character development or storyline. You write it once, then spend time on quality revision and editing, and then drop it in the mail instead of wasting time trying to follow and rewrite threads that went against the weave when you forgot that Christmas is in summer in South America, or that ocean currents don’t flow that direction, or you didn’t figure in leap year and thus your storyline is moot. Rewriting hardly ever involves “just that section,” but ends up cascading into a giant wreck.

3. Easily tweakable
Surprise! When you have something written on the page like an outline or a synopsis to look at, it is much easier to return to the scene of the kidnapped loop you didn’t see coming. It’s totally okay if your people zigged instead of zagged, but now you can see the effects and find the places to adjust to meet the storyline adaption. So, your protag or number one sidekick is pregnant? Wow, missed that one in the synopsis. That means that over the course of the pregnancy certain things happen that will probably affect the story, no matter where this little bump figures into the plot. Go back to your outline and plug it in, then find and adjust the areas that need to be tweaked.

4. Business vs Hobby
You probably don’t want to hear this, but if you’re a professional, maybe even file as a business or plan to, being an author is your JOB. It’s work. Yes, it’s work that involves a lot of daydreaming, but daydreaming with a purpose. You may not be able to go to work from 9:00 to 4:00 every day. Instead you have to give that talk, prepare for a workshop, or field trip research. You end up working at midnight or dawn. It’s still your job, and you do it whether you feel the muse or not. Do it well. Your boss is your audience and your bank account.

5.  Grasp of story elements
If you don’t believe in plot, then this point is not going to mean much to you. But if you’re a professional, you have studied why classics are classics, and the difference between the author who might have published 80 books, 30 of them on the New York Times bestseller list, but 90% of them are out of print—including the one that’s about to be made into a major motion picture. There are no new stories—only fresh new ways of telling them. Get over it.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Sweet Romance with Parker Cole and Time to Say Goodbye




Hello! This is one of my tour stops during my one month book tour for Time to Say Goodbye by Parker J. Cole. This virtual book tour is organized by Write Now Literary Book Tours. This tour runs March 5-30, 2018.  Follow the tour here.  Book your own tour here WNL.         
ISBN-10: 1973224151
ISBN-13: 978-1973224150
Genre: Sweet Inspirational Romance

About The Author
I am an author, speaker, and radio show host with a fanatical obsession with the Lord, Star Trek, K-dramas, anime, romance books, old movies, speculative fiction, and knitting. An off and on addict to Mountain Dew and marshmallows who writes to fill the void the sugar left behind.












About The Book

Gargi Kapoor is the only one convinced her brother, Dev, is innocent of the crime he was convicted of. When he is sent to the hospital with an unexplained paralyzing disease she finds herself having to lean on the last person she'd ever want to depend on -- a man who wants her brother to pay for stealing his mother's life savings.


Leon Reckley is extremely satisfied to find the man who ripped his mother off suffering from an unknown disease that leaves him paralyzed and in need of rehabilitation therapeutic services. He's even happier when he is given the opportunity to be the therapist that makes him fit enough to return to prison to finish his sentence. No one will work harder to make sure Dev Kapoor serves every minute of his prison sentence.

Gargi never dreamed the man who has utter contempt for her brother would be the man she slowly begins to trust. Leon never thought he'd be convinced Dev might be innocent, let alone be drawn to his enemy's little sister. Together, will they find the truth? Or when Leon's job is over, will it simply be time to say goodbye?

Connect Socially
Purchase Links: Amazon ebook: http://amzn.to/2BJrB2O
Tour hosted by WNL Book Tours www.wnlbooktours.com


An Interview with the Author:

·         Tell us about yourself.
It's really a shock to me that I would write Christian fiction. Really it is.  I didn't know Christian fiction existed until about 2000 or so when I happened across a store called Family Christian Stores. I went in there and saw all of these lovely books and was hooked.
My earliest memories are of books and writing. I always knew this is what I would do. I just never thought I'd be a Christian writer or a writer who is Christian.  I grew up reading Stephen King and then when I was fourteen, I discovered my first Harlequin book under my cousin's bed that summer and got hooked onto romance. So my first loves are horror and romance. Go figure.

When I began to take my writing seriously, I had been let go at my job back in 2010.  Now I had time on my hands. I saw the computer with my manuscript I'd let linger for ten years from the time I was 18 years old and I decided to get in published no matter what. My first book, Dark Cherub, can be classified as Christian horror. (Thanks Stevie!)  It changed everything for me. I mean, everything. I worked on my first romance series, called Sins of the Flesh and that also changed things for me. I started to do podcasting, and now I am the owner of the new PJC Media, an online broadcasting company.  Yet the love of the written word is still in my veins.
I host Christian authors worldwide on my shows.  Been doing it for three years. Over the years, I've become something of  diplomat. The body of Christ is already so divided by denominations and the like. I don't want to add to that unnecessarily. I don't mind standing up for core biblical truths but when it comes to secondary, non-essentials, I don't get too worked up over it. 

I love helping Christian authors get the word out about their works. If you want to be showcased on my show, simply email me at writestuffradio at gmail dot com. I'd be glad to have you.
·         What type of jobs or careers have you worked in the past?
The majority of my working career has been in the financial industry working in a clerical or administrative capacity. When I first started working, I worked at a bank in the Clerical department. We supported three other departments by taking care of the general correspondence, assigning work to the different representatives, collating the loan packages, and handling routine calls. I used an device called a typewriter. (hahahaha) I remember feeling old one day when one of the kids at my church asked, “What’s a typewriter?”
                Moving on.
My next job I worked a clerical position in a different department at the same financial institution. Here, I worked with new construction homes and vendors. As I grew in the position, I interacted more with our vendors and handled correspondence. After my stint here, I worked as a administrative support for three officers. In this capacity, the work became more sensitive as I dealt with a lot of confidential information.
                Then this weird looking guy grabbed my heart and ran with it. He put a ring on my finger in front of God and everyone else at church. We jumped the broom.
                After the honeymoon…
                I worked in insurance and securities. Also, in a clerical capacity but dealing data entry. It was the most stressful position I’d been in relating but I connected with really interesting people there. I learned a lot about insurance, why it was necessary. I learned about saving money for retirement and all of that.
                When I left that job, I started my own business as a virtual assistant. I’d realize that over the years, I had accumulated a lot of administrative knowledge that I could take to other small businesses. Blew my mind. However, I ended up giving this business to my mom. She’s done wonders with it. I realized that although I’d been in administrative and clerical capacity for so long, it was not my passion.
                Where I work at now, I’m work with managing accounts. When I first started there, I did more clerical work at first. I was the receptionist too. But when I received a promotion, I found myself managing accounts and working with clients and vendors. I am learning to delegate and take ownership of problems. It’s not sales but relationship management. I find myself pretty good at it, too. Maybe it’s because while I had worked all those clerical jobs, over time, I learned how to work with all sorts of people – from easygoing co-workers to insensitive managers to irritated customers.  Plus, I’d been in the financial industry for a long while and those other skills and experiences have come in handy.
·         Who are your favorite authors?
                I have too many to be honest. I couldn’t do justice and try to name them all.

·         What are your favorite books?
                My favorite books vary as well but I loved Battlefield: Earth by L. Ron. Hubbard; Rose Madder by Stephen King, The Muslim by Callen Clarke, The Chadesh Chronicles by David G. Johnson; Windfollower by Carole McDonnell; The Good Atheist by M. J. Manto; The Preacher’s Promise by Piper Huguley; Undraland by Mary E. Twomey; and a few hundred more
·         When did you begin to realize you wanted to write?
I’ve always wanted to write since I was a young child. It’s been my constant friend  and my teddy bear!
·         Tell us about your journey to publication.
I met my agent Vanessa Grossett through a friend of mine. She accepted my work which is a big deal as most agents do not take on unpublished authors. We submitted by book, Many Strange Women, to dozens of publishers. Each rejection hurt like a knife but then my publisher eLectio bought my book and the rest is history!
·         Are you a full-time writer? If so, describe your day?
I’m not a full time writer but I write all the time. At work, after work, during work, on break. I do my best to make time to write. I try to set my goal for 500 words a day.


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Write Now Literary Tour with Cedric Nelms


Hello! This is one of my tour stops during my one month book tour for Get Me Through by Cedric Nelms. This virtual book tour is organized by Write Now Literary Book Tours. This tour runs March 5-30, 2018. Follow the tour here.  Book your own tour here WNL.
ISBN-10: 1979321361
ISBN-13: 978-1979321365
Genre: Non Fiction

About The Author


Cedric Nelms was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. He graduated from St. Bernard High in Playa Del Rey, CA. He attended Morehouse College, where he majored in Biology, with a minor in Psychology. Cedric has been in the ministry for 18 years and has been working in different areas of ministry, from youth ministry, men’s ministry, teaching, community development, social justice, and civic engagement. He was also the radio host of the Chosen Generation Ministry Radio Show, an internet program/podcast that deals with the intersection of culture, life, and faith. He is the lead pastor of Chosen Generation Fellowship Church, in Long Beach. In addition to that, he is the newly appointed Los Angeles City Director for World Impact, where he is actively working on being a bridge builder between Los Angeles and the Faith Based community. Cedric has been married to Karen, for 18 years and they have been together for 20 years. They have 5 beautiful children, Erika, Jonathan, and a set of triplets, Isaiah, Khalid, and Courtney. He loves to spend time with his family, reading, watching sports, traveling, going out to eat, writing, and just having a good time!

About The Book


Get Me Through....The Makeover of My Life is a book for all seasons of life. It will lead you through getting out of the places that you are stuck, picking up the pieces after disruption, and releasing yourself to dream again my the future. Get Me Through is path through life's most questionable moments.
The title of the book is purposely open-ended and ambiguous because most people are trying to get through. From Kindergarten to College, people are trying to get through school. Whether you are a high paid executive, entrepreneur, or occupying a cubicle, the daily grind of work and handling life issues is a reality. Still others are trying to get through the seasons of a relationship; the harsh winter or the warm summertime feel that relationships bring. 

On the other hand, the death of a loved one or the death of one’s self-esteem may seem like, to some, as trying to wade through a cloud of never-ending darkness. Ultimately, getting through is a part of the human experience. At some point, trying to get through is a part of everyone’s process, the only difference is each person’s process is tailor made. Even so, no matter what you are struggling to figure out, you are just trying to get through it with your character and sanity intact.

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Purchase Link

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Emily Conrad and Justice



Justice by Emily Conrad

Christian romance
Pelican Ventures
March 2018

Ebook $4.99

Buy on Amazon 

About the Book
Jake thought he was meant to marry Brooklyn, but now she's pregnant, and he had nothing to do with it. As Brooklyn wrestles with questions about what her pregnancy means and how it will affect her relationship with Jake, she can't bring herself to tell him the truth. To make matters worse, if the man who owns the bookstore across from Jake's coffee shop has anything to do with it, the baby will ruin them both. Can Jake and Brooklyn overcome the obstacles thrown in their path, and finally find the truth in God's love and in each other?

My review
At the core, this story’s title is the one-word bare truth of each character’s reality. Revenge, payback, responsibility, love, forgiveness, and loss all expose the depth of faith and steer the course toward Justice.

Friends from childhood, Jake and Brooklyn can’t seem to figure out what being in love with each other might look like. Their buddies and parents all expected them to marry long since, but Jake and Brooklyn explore relationships with others while they learn to navigate the scary world of responsible adulthood. When the time is finally right for them to move toward each other, crisis inflamed with outside jealousy steps between them. It takes ever-maturing belief to weather the storms, and a lot of help from their friends in an attempt to step back and find the bigger picture.

Jake is a driven young man, full of life and faith, overcoming the devastating death of his father and rising above to operate a popular business while making a difference, or trying to, in the lives of young people at church. Jake tries to follow in the footsteps of his bigger-than-life father, as well as fight the good fight of faith and hormones in the teenagers he wants to influence. He just can’t seem to work up the courage to show his longtime female buddy how he feels. Brooklyn is a naïve young woman who tortures herself by living in the shadow of her dysfunctional and cruel mother. She tries to convince herself that she’s not good enough for anyone, especially God, but has the sense to reach out to a wonderful group of women role models and finally, the person she’s leaned on for most of her life, Jake. When everything goes south, it’s grow up or shut up time. Jake falls back on his deep-seated anger while Brooklyn begins to understand the meaning and sacrifice of forgiveness. Watching their journeys crisscross and wander is a delight. Well-done.

Most of the side stories are woven beautifully into the thread of the story; the biggest one, that of the business competitor, feels a little like a shiny thread that is rough against the grain. While it’s more realistic to be on the side of the victim and not truly understand the hows of the vengeance-seeking little demagogue, I am left feeling a little puzzled. It’s like the scratchy tag on the inside of your shirt. Jake has some growing-up to do, and his business rival helps him learn, on a lesser scale, the lesson in forgiveness that Brooklyn is teaching him through her own faith expedition.

Told through multiple viewpoints, this debut novel is rich in Christian faith portrayal, and not shy about the depth and realities of sin. The characters have great dialog and emotional depth which spoke to me. Those who read deeply inspirational romantic fiction will find much to love about Justice.

About the Author
Emily Conrad writes Christian fiction. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and two 60+ pound rescue dogs. Some of her favorite things (other than Jesus and writing, of course) are coffee, walks, and road trips to the mountains. She also blogs and offers free short stories at EmilyConradAuthor.com.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Twist on Sleeping Beauty from CS Johnson

Beauty's Curse (Once Upon a Princess, #1)

Beauty’s Curse
Once Upon A Princes, book one

CS Johnson

January 2016
Dire Wolf Books

Buy on Amazon

Currently, the first book of the 4-book serial story is free.

About the Book

For four years, Princess Aurora of Rhone—Rose to her friends—has searched the world for a way to break the curse placed on her by Magdalina, the wicked ruler of the fairies at war with her kingdom. Under the curse, Rose is doomed to die on her eighteenth birthday after pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel. And time is running out.

On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Rose makes the journey home with her friends—Theo, a priest with a penchant for revenge; Mary, a young and talented fairy; and Ethan and Sophia, siblings with a troubled past–as pressure from her father, King Stefanos, leaves her with two equally unsatisfying options: Abdicate the throne, or get married.

Enjoy this novella series retelling of the Sleeping Beauty, with new characters, new plot twists, and plenty of action and adventure. Perfect for teen and young adult historical fantasy readers, and check out Part II, "Beauty's Quest," as the story continues!


My review

A caveat: this is not a stand-alone book, but the first of four. It’s a questing story, and this book sets up the search. If you don’t like investing in characters only to fall off a cliff when you turn the last page, the good news is that all the books in the series are available at reasonable prices, at the time of this writing.

Johnson’s twist on the tale of the Grimm’s fairy tale of the Sleeping Beauty, or Briar Rose, is both familiar and new. It’s a hodgepodge of some Disney copycats and a smattering of other tales set in Germanic and Greek-named places. A teenaged lost little cursed princess flees home under the watchful eye of her mother’s guard and her faithful friend knight, Theo, among others. She picks up other lost souls along the way, becomes a self-assured warrior, but reaches the end of her rope when her seventeenth birthday signaling her last year of wakeful life, approaches. Journeying home to meet her father’s challenge of produce an heir before she succumbs to the curse, or formally give up her birthright, spunky Rose chooses her own way—fight the curse, and keep her life her own. The end of book one finds the reader waving farewell to the company of faithful friends off the find a secret weapon.

I enjoyed this story. The characters were finely developed, though I struggled a little with keeping like names apart, such as Theo and Thad, the brothers, and their role. I cheered for all of them, but had to remind myself this is still a new adult story with teenagers who have plenty of growing up to do. Johnson’s blurry line between nice guys and bad guys makes an interesting twist in the old tale. Those who like fun riffs on a familiar romantic tale will enjoy these stories. Mature writing. I read a review copy for Voracious Readers Only.

About the Author
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C. S. Johnson is the author of several young adult novels, including sci-fi and fantasy adventures suchas the Starlight Chronicles series, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

March GIveaway!




Grab your lucky pair of socks, your rabbit’s foot and/or your go-to lucky charm because N. N. Light’s Book Heaven has an incredible giveaway this month. I don’t know if they kidnapped a leprechaun or what, but they’ve got a potful of goodies to give away. You can win an Amazon gift card, a beautiful St. Patrick’s Day mug, books galore and more. You don’t need to kiss the blarney stone, just have a valid email address. 

With so many wonderful authors and books available, it's imperative to have a reliable and trustworthy place that can help you choose what to read. It's even better when you get a chance to win free books through a giveaway! Every month, enter to win free books from multiple authors via N. N. Light's Book Heaven. Several authors are offering their books throughout the upcoming year in this innovative and collaborative approach to building a new and immersive online reading community. Authors, bloggers and book reviewers are partnering to share fantastic reads, quality reviews and powerful connections all in one place.

This Giveaway runs all month long from now until March 31.

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Friday, March 2, 2018

Science Thriller Reversion by Amy Rogers

Reversion

Buy on Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Ebook $2.99
Print $14.95

Kindle .99
Print $14.95


About the Book
Rabies kills. Can it also cure?

Tessa Price, PhD, knows what it’s like to lose a child to an inherited genetic disease. To spare another mother this pain, she invents a radical new gene therapy that might save the life of seven-year-old Gunnar Sigrunsson. Unable to get regulatory approval to treat Gunnar in the US, she takes her clinical trial to the Palacio Centro Medico, a resort-like hospital on a Mexican peninsula where rich medical tourists get experimental treatments that aren’t available anywhere else.

When the hospital is taken over by a brutal drug cartel, Tessa hides with a remarkable trio of Palacio clients—rich Texan Lyle Simmons, his much-younger Brazilian girlfriend, and his protection dog, a German shepherd named Dixie, only to learn that gangsters aren’t the only deadly threat they face. A rabies-like infection that began in the Palacio’s research chimpanzees has spread to humans. Tessa investigates and finds a shocking connection to her gene therapy experiment. In the wake of this discovery, Tessa must weigh the value of one human life against another—including her own.

My Review
Medical thriller describes well this somewhat gruesome novel. Without overwhelming the reader, Rogers spins a tale of discovery, greed on so many levels, and absolutely corrupt power.

Opening with a nightmare scene of a bat attack on a tech on a drug run and in deep trouble, the story spirals out of control from the first page and breathlessly leads readers on a terrifying journey of terror and healing.

Harsh as it sounded, Dr. Tessa Price is what Administrator Vargas accuses—a medical school washout—one with a needle phobia that nearly costs her life. Refusing the required blood test upon entry to the luxurious Mexican medical resort, the doctor secretly in love with her, Sameer, resolves the matter by falsifying her record.

At first Tessa’s visit to the spa to make sure her experimental treatment continues even when the specialized tech is out sick seems like an idyllic break in her messy life. That idyll quickly turns into a nightmare when she is caught up in war between powerful gangs.

Tessa must come to several self-actualizing truths during her ordeal. Among many of her issues, needle phobia is the least is the least of them when she learns exactly what has happened with her research. She shows her true mettle when she learns how to operate on the fly, and what the depths of true, selfless love can do.

I give this book four stars instead of five because of the author’s habit of annoying switching around internal and external thoughts, and unnecessary sentences fragments attempting to ramp tension when there is plenty without it. Otherwise I thoroughly enjoyed the story and obvious excellent research. I did question whether a femoral arterial bleed can be halted with paper towels and pressure, but as the author has a medical degree, I accepted it. Recommended for those who like rapid action and don’t mind lots of blood and guts.
Amy Rogers 
About the Author

Amy Rogers, MD, PhD, is a Harvard-educated writer, scientist, educator, and critic. Through her book review website ScienceThrillers.com, her publishing company ScienceThrillers Media, and her own writing, Amy advocates for literate entertainment in the form of great stories with real science.

Amy writes thrilling science-themed novels in the style of Michael Crichton (PETROPLAGUE, REVERSION). She also composes a monthly column "Science in the Neighborhood" for Inside Publications. She is a member of International Thriller Writers.

Amy loves dim sum, Ted Drewes, redwood forests, lakes with loons, Hawaiian beaches, and cats. She lives in Northern California with her husband and two exceptional children who believe she has an unreasonable tolerance for mysterious things growing in her refrigerator.




Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Research the Unfamiliar



Good Research Tips
When you're not writing what you know

There were certain lines I never planned to cross when I started thinking of myself as a professional writer. One of them was to keep the genres I loved separate from attempting to make them my work. My theory was based on keeping my play time safe and respected. I am a historian but don’t spend a lot of time writing fictional history. I broke that line for a very good reason early in my career for the sake of my love of local history and to keep stories in the forefront that might otherwise be lost. I’d also planned to support local societies with the earnings, but that means one has to earn something first. The idealism was long gone by the time the children’s books came out. I stuck a toe over the historical fiction line one other time for a novella in my "protest the prairie cover" days—again, mostly for fun and to help my fellow writers, which was the result of that project.

My secret passion is fantasy…not going there! My not-so-secret reading passion has always been science fiction, ala Robert Heinlein who got me through the traumas of middle school and Ray Bradbury who I still think is the most brilliant writer of the twentieth century. It’s basically stories of the human condition put on trial in the most brutal ways. I have been heavily influenced by a movie called The Abyss and a newer one called Arrival. The first story has nothing to do with the aliens who abide deep in Earth’s oceans and use water like we use elements of the Earth’s crust; likewise the second has not much to do with why they are here at this time and in those places. The films have everything to do with relationships and how we treat each other.



When I started thinking about the third story in my Forces of Nature series which began firmly planted on the planet with exploring a younger man-older woman relationship and what marriage is all about in Meander Scar, and moved next to study lost love found and life secrets that color everything about a mother and daughter who reach out to both repel and cling to a man who betrayed them unwittingly in Centrifugal Force, it was a series title that flung me toward the sun. Outer space is not a place I wanted to take my characters but they will not stay grounded. My characters even forced me to meet and describe a race of people from a different solar system and test my world-building skills, which I thought were fairly well grounded (worksheet here).

These off-worlders keep secrets from me, like how they got here, but so far I’m okay with that. After all, the story isn’t really about them. It’s about making choices based on who we are and how we practice our humanity, no matter what heavenly body we call home. At some point in each of the films I mentioned earlier, the main characters realize they don’t have to know everything. Too many details and technicalities can mess with story, depending on your audience.

Image result for argonThe off-worlders showed up in a scene that technically took place before this story starts—something I didn’t realize when my male protagonist, Harry, meets them. How am I going to figure out what’s happening? I approach research with the same exactly detail I put into all of my work. Most of the facts of how something works aren’t going into the narrative, but I need to understand them to give my readers a reason to accept their disbelief for a short time. Harry got a whiff of chlorine when he met Tarlig, who at first glance doesn’t look all that different from any other odd-looking scientist. The chlorine odor was explained by his perception that it was associated with cleaning solutions. In reality, Tarlig’s world and make-up use more chlorine than humans use other elements of Earth’s crust and atmosphere. I kept trying to exchange argon, the third most abundant gas that makes up part of our atmosphere after nitrogen and oxygen, but argon is a noble gas, an element that stabilizes, and chlorine is not. What kind of a creature that essentially exists much like a human would be like if it respirated a different atmospheric and planetary element than argon? As I studied the atmosphere and the elemental properties of the noble gases further, I attempted to replace chlorine with a noble gas like xenon or radon, but they don’t have an odor. Come on…it’s so early in the book, I can set this character up any way I want without having to reweave story elements. Besides, it’s fiction! Who’s going to care?

I am. And so should my readers who I want to trust me. It’s not so much a matter of making copper-based hemoglobin so a Vulcan bleeds green or an Andorian whose skin is blue from cobalt. We didn’t care back then how science fiction worked. But now we have space stations where people can live for years, and reusable rocket boosters and all kinds of science that was once fiction but no longer. (They can bury my flip phone with me.)

Tarlig and Verdun’s existence is important to my story only so much as they add to my story arc in a way nothing else can, and move my people to prove their quality…their worth, and why they act and react the way they do. I’m the only one who will care that Tarlig and Verdun will need to have extra heavy lungs to expel what on Earth is an extra heavy element that will burn the lungs of a human. I only care that they smell vaguely like chlorine and want to sell you, the reader, on this tiny little thing that will make them believably different.

There’s plenty of other stuff in the background which involved research—little things like DNA, military stuff, and a pesky little detail about how to put a colony on the moon, but you only need to read the finished project.

Sun%20dog%201-7-15%20photo%20from%20Chris%20Detrick%20Feehan%20via%20WQAD%20FacebookOh, the title? Parhelion sundogs, you might know them – those beautiful columns of light on either side of the sun, glittering with ice crystals. (Photo from Iowa, 2015, Dave Chesling)