November 2013


Shelf Life: The Publicist, Book Two by Christina George @publicistgal

Posted on Saturday, November 30, 2013


Publishing: An industry of out-of-control of egos, unrealistic expectations, and books with the shelf life of milk. This is Kate’s world, but for how long? When one of Kate Mitchell’s star authors is carted away in handcuffs, she thinks it’s only the beginning of her troubles. As her world crumbles around her, Kate desperately looks for anyone to hold onto but finds that happy endings are truly works of fiction. When her career and love affair hit their expiration date, Kate sets off on a new adventure….
Starting over in California is easy, but Kate soon learns that leaving her old life behind isn’t. Nicholas Lavigne is eager to help her forget, but two things still own her heart, the dream of discovering the next great American novel, and MacDermott Ellis. As Kate tries to rebuild her life she finds a surprising gift that reboots her career in a new and unexpected direction. Suddenly her name becomes synonymous with one of the biggest bestsellers publishing has seen in ages and she’s welcomed back with open arms. At the height of her success the ghosts of her past come back to remind her of the world she’d been trying to forget and the man who never let go of her heart. Behind the book, there’s always more to the story. Welcome to Publishing, the ego has landed.
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Genre – Contemporary Romance
Rating – R
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Quality Reads UK Book Club Disclosure: Author interview / guest post has been submitted by the author and previously used on other sites.


Peter Simmons and the Vessel of Time by Ramz Artso @RamzArtso


Chapter 4

Portland, Oregon

October 22nd

Afternoon Hours

I sauntered out of the school building with my friends in tow and pulled on a thickly woven hat to cover my fluffy flaxen hair, which was bound to be frolic even in the mildest of breezes. I took a deep breath and scrutinized my immediate surroundings, noticing an armada of clouds scudding across the sky. It was a rather blustery day. The shrewd, trilling wind had all but divested the converging trees off their multicolored leaves, pasting them on the glossy asphalt and graffiti adorned walls across the road. My spirits were quickly heightened by this observation, and I suddenly felt rejuvenated after a long and taxing day at school. I didn’t know why, but the afternoon’s indolent weather appealed to me very much. I found it to be a congenial environment. For unexplainable reasons, I felt like I was caught amidst a fairytale. It was this eerie feeling which came and went on a whim. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Perhaps it was triggered by the subconscious mind brushing against a collage of subliminal memories, which stopped resurfacing partway through the process.

Anyhow, there I was, enjoying the warm and soporific touch of the autumn sun on my face, engaging in introspective thoughts of adolescent nature when Max Cornwell, a close, meddlesome friend of mine, called me from my rhapsodic dream with a sharp nudge in the ribs.

‘Hey, man! You daydreaming?’

I closed my eyes; feeling a little peeved, took a long drag of the wakening fresh air and gave him a negative response by shaking my head.

‘Feel sick or something?’ he persisted.

I wished he would stop harping on me, but it looked like Max had no intention of letting me enjoy my moment of glee, so I withdrew by tartly saying, ‘No, I’m all right.’

‘Hey, check this out,’ said George Whitmore,–who was another pal of mine–wedging himself between me and Max. He held a folded twenty dollar bill in his hand, and his ecstatic facial expression suggested that he had just chanced upon the find by sheer luck.

‘Is that yours?’ I asked, knowing very well that it wasn’t.

‘No, I found it on the floor of the auditorium. Just seconds before the last period ended.’

‘Then perhaps you should report your discovery to the lost and found. I’m sure they’ll know what to do with it there.’

‘Yeah, right. That’s exactly what I’m going to do,’ he said, snorting derisively. He then added in a somewhat defensive tone, as if trying to convince himself more than anyone else, ‘I found it, so it’s mine–right?’

I considered pointing out that his intentions were tantamount to theft, but shrugged it off instead, and followed the wrought-iron fence verging the school grounds before exiting by the small postern. I was in no mood for an argument, feeling too tired to do anything other than run a bath and soak in it. Therefore, I expunged the matter from my mind, bid goodbye to both George and Max and plunged into the small gathering of trees and brush which we, the kids, had dubbed the Mini Forest. It was seldom traveled by anyone, but we called it that because of its size, which was way too small to be an actual forest, and a trifle too large to be called otherwise.

I was whistling a merry tune, and wending my way home with a spring in my step, when my ears abruptly pulled back in fright. All of a sudden, I couldn’t help but feel as if I was being watched. But that wasn’t all. I felt like someone was trying to look inside of me. Right into me. As if they were rummaging in my soul, searching its every nook and cranny, trying to fish up my deepest fears and darkest secrets. It was equivalent to being stripped naked in front of a large audience. Steeling myself for something ugly, I felt the first stirrings of unease.


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Genre – Young-adult, Action and Adventure, Coming of Age, Sci-fi

Rating – PG-13

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Isabella: Braveheart of France by Colin Falconer @colin_falconer

Posted on Friday, November 29, 2013

* * * * *

The coronation banquet is held at Westminster Hall. The food arrives late and is cold, the grease settled. Her uncle Lancaster stands up with a mouthful of goose and shows the assembly that the meat is raw before hurling a haunch of seared and bleeding beef at an usher.

There is no shortage of wine and the several of the guests become bawdy. Her brother Charles approaches her with her uncles and indicates that it is time to leave. Edward has his arm around Gaveston, and their fingers are intertwined. They have no eyes for anyone else. Gaveston kisses his cheek.

“Have you not a care?” the Earl of Lincoln shouts at him and has to be restrained. The King hardly notices.

They retire to an antechamber. Valois has a servant fetch him wine.

“I was once on crusade in Outremer,” Evreux says. “I was lost in the desert among some brute Germans who could do no more than grunt at each other and because we starved we ate one of the camels raw. Even so, the company and the food was better than it was tonight.”

Valois props himself in a window seat and stares at the river, in a sulk.

She hears it described how the king allowed Gaveston to prepare both the coronation and the feast. They all count both a disaster. “Did you see the tapestry he prepared for the occasion?” Charles says to Valois. “It had Gaveston’s arms beside the king’s. It should have been my sister’s arms placed there. He has insulted our entire family!”

The door bursts open and Lancaster stamps in. “He couldn’t organize a fuck in a barrel full of whores.” Valois nods towards Isabella and Lancaster’s face turns pink. “Your grace,” he says and bows. “I did not see you.” But he is only off his stride for a moment. “Did you see what he wore?”

Isabella stares at the floor. She has never heard language as ripe as this. This has been altogether an interesting day. “I need to get out of this damned country.” Evreux mutters.

“Why is everyone so angry?” Isabel asks him.

“No one is allowed to wear purple but the king!” Lancaster shouts at her before remembering himself and lowering his voice. “Look at me! Is gold not good enough for him as well? And he dares hold the Confessor’s crown! Is he high born? Is he noble? The privilege should have been mine or Warwick’s!”

“We sympathize with your plight,” Charles says. “But let us desist. We are upsetting my sister.”

“He has insulted her as well.”

“I agree.”

“Are you not vexed?”

“Vexed? I am ready to do murder. But one wonders if that would be a wise course. This is not our realm.”

Lancaster stamps across the room and pounds a fist against the wainscoting. It causes it to dent and splinter. “Did you see them sitting there, staring at each other?”

“Will you all please explain to me what is happening?” Isabella says.

They all look at her. The child can speak. But how can she understand? There is a long and difficult silence. They all wait for one of the others to do the talking.

Finally Charles sits down beside her and picks up her hand. “We are shamed that he pays his favourite more attention that you”

“Who is this Gaveston, where he is from?”

“He is a Gascon, a squire in the former king’s household. They grew up together. They became close friends.”

“Close!” Lancaster snorted.

“I heard his mother was burned as a witch,” Valois said, still looking out of the window.

“There is no truth in that rumour,” Evreux says. “The plain facts about him are bad enough without making up falsehoods.”

“Why does he favour him above anyone else?” Isabella asks them.

More looks. Charles waits for Valois to help him but he joins Evreux by the window. Lancaster shrugs and turns away. “Do not fret, Isabella. This shall not stand. He shall give you the respect that is your due.”

“I shall go to my knees tonight and ask the Virgin for guidance in this,” Isabella says.

“Then you shall not be the only one on your knees when the candles are out,” Lancaster says and walks out, leaving behind an embarrassed silence.


Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Historical Fiction

Rating – PG-13

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Icarus Rising by Rob Manary @robmanary


Rachel: A rock star. Her albums go multi-platinum overnight. She was sixteen when she had her first hit, more than ten years ago. She grew up under the scrutiny of the media. It is time for her to break out from under the shadow of her infamous Svengali ex-boyfriend/manager. She tires of the good girl image and wants to change, get dirtier, sexier. Enter Brandon.

Brandon: A playboy artist. His paintings demand almost unheard of prices at auction, but it’s his escapades away from the easel that garner the biggest headlines. He is a favorite of the tabloids and the paparazzi. A manipulator, he has used the publicity to drive up the prices of his work. If the tabloids are to be believed, he has slept his way through Hollywood’s A-list. The very definition of bad boy. He tires of the game.

Both incredibly damaged, can they heal each other or will they part lonelier and more broken than when they first came together?

This is a rock star erotic romance written by a man with a male point of view. This is how the guy is really thinking and feeling.

Icarus Rising is the first of a trilogy, but it stands as a novel by itself.

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Genre – Erotic Romance

Rating – R

More details about the author and the book

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Arthur J. Gonzalez @arthurjgonzalez

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Arthur J. Gonzalez

Here are some quirky/funny/nerdy facts about little ol’ me.

1. I spoke at both my high school and college graduation

2. I’m extremely clumsy and goofy (Friends call me to Phil Dunphy – from Modern Family) -__-

3. I was on MTV’s Say What Karaoke my senior year of high school – I would post it if I could

find the video, I promise.)

4. Volunteered in Haiti a month after the 2010 earthquake (Life-Changing Experience!)

5. Owned a Health Care company

6. I don’t like roller coasters

7. I’m obsessed with Aladdin

8. I get all the words to every song wrong (literally, EVERY song)

9. I’m uncoordinated and horrendous at sports (I’m warning you, if I’m ever on the sidelines to

be chosen to play for a team, choose me last!)

10. I went to school to be a doctor (I know, right?!)

To find out even more, and/or sign up to my mailing list for up-to-date information, exclusive reads and cover reveals, and special giveaways, go here:

Photo Traveler

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Genre - Young Adult Science Fiction

Rating – PG

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#Bargain Sand Dollar: A Story of Undying Love by Sebastian Cole @sebastiancole3

Posted on Thursday, November 28, 2013

Beverly Hills Book Award winner, USA Best Book Award finalist, ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award bronze winner, International Book Award finalist, ForeWord Firsts debut literary competition finalist.
The story opens with Noah Hartman, eighty years old, lying on his deathbed recounting his life of love and loss to Josh, a compassionate orderly at the hospital. As Noah’s loved ones arrive one by one, they listen in on his story, and we’re transported back in time to Noah’s younger years.
Though outwardly seeming to have it all, Noah, now thirty-five, is actually an empty, lost, and broken man running on automatic pilot. He has no true identity due to having allowed his powerful, wealthy parents to manipulate, control, and brainwash him from a young age. With the threat of disinheritance and withholding love and approval if he doesn’t comply with the plan they have for his life, Noah is lured in by the reward of great wealth and the illusion of running the family business empire some day.
Enter Robin, twenty-five years old, who — in direct contrast to Noah — is a vivacious, free spirit. Full of life and always living in the moment, Robin’s love saves Noah by inspiring him to stand up to his parents and live his own life at all costs, reclaiming his true self.
They get married, and while snorkeling in the Caribbean, the captain of the boat warns them not to disturb anything in the sea. Ignoring the exhortation, Noah dives down and snags a sand dollar from the ocean floor, whereupon it explodes in his hand. With the fragile sand dollar taking on new significance, Robin inexplicably leaves Noah shortly after returning from their honeymoon. Like a passing breeze, she disappears out of his life without a trace, seemingly forever.
Years pass, and Noah still can’t get Robin out of his mind and out of his heart. After all, the one he loved the most would forever be the one who got away. That’s when he finds out about her hidden secret, the underlying condition responsible for her leaving. Noah has no choice but to move on with his life without her, meeting Sarah at the premiere of SAND DOLLAR, the movie he wrote about his time with Robin.
Years later, it’s Noah and Sarah’s wedding day, and Robin discovers a clue that Noah had surreptitiously inserted into the movie, inspiring her to race to the wedding to try to stop it. With the wedding in shambles, the scene jumps back to present day, with both Robin and Sarah placed in Noah’s hospital room. But which one did he choose?
As Noah wraps up his story, he discovers a far greater truth about the past, present, and future. Things are definitely not as they appear as the pieces of a shattered love are put back together in the remarkable final chapter of Noah’s life.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Romance
Rating – PG 13
More details about the author
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Birth of an Assassin by Rik Stone @stone_rik


Jez was already fit, an excellent shot, and he could fight – or at least that’s what he’d thought. But after more than six months of intensive training with Spetsnaz, he realized he’d only been scratching the surface.

He’d not long been back from an exercise in Northern Siberia and he was tired, dirty. They’d given him a tent, a knife, no food, and enough clothes to keep out the brutal weather conditions – barely. When they dropped him off in the middle of nowhere, the unit sergeant shouted, “Let’s see if you can find your way out of this,” and drove off laughing – all part of the process.

He’d lived off the land for three weeks before he got back to base, and the first thing on his list was to shower. He soaked up the tepid water until his skin wrinkled, and then he dressed. No sooner was that done than a soldier pushed the tent flap back. “The sergeant wants you,” he said, and left without another word.

“You want to see me, Sergeant?” Jez said, going into the unit commander’s tent.

“Yes, come in, Kornfeld. Colonel Petrichova has looked at feedback on your performance since you’ve been with us.”

“Yes, Sergeant,” Jez said.

His time had come and he’d be on his way again, he was sure. He only wished he could tell Anna, and wondered where she would be now. Perhaps she’d already set out plans for world domination. He smiled inwardly.

“I don’t know what world affairs you keep up with, Kornfeld, but the Greek communist party, the KooKooEh, is at civil war with the conservatives.”

“Yes, Sergeant, I know about as much of the situation as is made public.”

“Good, because that was about as much as I was going to tell you. Pack your kit, soldier, you’ll be flying out to join your new unit in about four hours.”



Birth of an Assassin

Set against the backdrop of Soviet, post-war Russia, Birth of an Assassin follows the transformation of Jez Kornfeld from wide-eyed recruit to avenging outlaw. Amidst a murky underworld of flesh-trafficking, prostitution and institutionalized corruption, the elite Jewish soldier is thrown into a world where nothing is what it seems, nobody can be trusted, and everything can be violently torn from him.

Buy Now @ Amazon, B&N, Kobo & Waterstones

Genre - Thriller, Crime, Suspense

Rating – R

More details about the author

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Gringa – A Love Story (Complete Series books 1-4) by Eve Rabi @EveRabi1

Posted on Wednesday, November 27, 2013

It’s almost dinner time so I get ready. My dress is scarlet, short, strappy and figure-hugging, my heels are sling-back stilettos, my lipstick is porn-star red. I look in the mirror and smile. Then I kiss the mirror and say, ‘You’re smoking, Delilah!’ Finally I’m confident enough to face everyone at the dinner table.

Five minutes later, I yank off my dress, kick off my heels and hurriedly wipe off my lipstick. ‘You look like a tart!’ I say to myself, my confidence shaky again.

In just my bra and panties I sit on my bed and ruin a good manicure with my teeth. This is so not me. But then I remember the FBI, the freedom of the villagers, my grandchildren and its back to my slutty dress, my hooker heels and my porn-star lip gloss.

I’m late for dinner so I hurry along. They better notice. Diablo better notice – these stilettos are pinching my toes. How the hell does Paris walk in six inch heels with such ease?

The moment I enter the dining room, conversation ceases. Diablo slowly rises to his feet, mouth agape.

Easier than I thought. Suppressing a smile, I take my seat.

Everyone is staring. I’m somewhat pleased. Embarrassed, but secretly thrilled. I’ve never been able to bring conversation to a halt before.

Christa eyes me, a fixed smile to her garnet lips. ‘Gringa is looking very … different today,’ she scoffs, her eyes sweeping over me.

Bitchface is talking to me? I didn’t know we are on speaking terms again after she whipped my ass and incapacitated me for three weeks. And how come Diablo has just forgiven her like that? I got a good mind to break her other leg with my stilettos.

‘Why? You going to a ball or something, eh gringa?’

Lots of laughter around the table. Santana’s laugh dominates.

Suddenly, I feel like an idiot and I resist the urge to run back to my room.

Using my middle finger (A move I learnt from Paris) I slowly move my hair aside from my heavily made up face and smile sweetly. Usually, I’d use my middle finger differently.

‘I sure am,’ I say, in what I hope is a Marilyn Monroe voice – you know – soft, breathy. ‘And …’ I look at Diablo from under my lashes, ‘I’m taking Diablo with me, so don’t wait up, ’cos we may be late.’

‘Oooooh!’ the men chorus, while Christa slams back in her chair, a granite look in her eyes. Bet that’s not the response she expected?

Santana picks at the table with her steak knife.

Diablo raises both his bushy eyebrows but does not smile or join in the chorus.

I hold his gaze and tilt my head to one side. He gives me the slightest of nods and spends the rest of the evening ogling me, pissing off Santana and Christa.

I ignore their barbs and focus on my target.

Link to Gringa:\



I was twenty-one, a sassy college student who took crap from no one. While holidaying in Mexico, I was accosted by The Devil of Mexico called Diablo and shot, because the s.o.b. mistook me for a spy.
I survived, only to encounter him again months later. How’s that for luck?
Furious and sick of all that I’d been through because of him, I slapped him, told him to go to hell and braced myself for the bullet. He could shoot me – I no longer cared.
But, to my surprise, he became fascinated with me and blackmailed me into becoming his woman. He’d slay the entire village that sheltered me, if I rejected his proposal.
He was Kong, hairy, tattooed from fingertips to face, with scary ass piercings, blood-shot snake eyes, a ruthless killer and above all, he was my murderer – how could anyone expect me to say yes?
To save the village I had to.
He took me by force, terrorized me into submission and made me his. To make matters worse, I had to put up with his ruthless, backstabbing family who hated me and wanted to kill me.
I despised the bastard and I told him that. Spark flew. Fists too.
But, the more I rejected Diablo, the more he wanted me.
At times he wanted to kill me because of my insolence, but other times he just wanted me to love him.
I was his Gringa and in an attempt to get my love, he began to change for me. Drastic changes that made me laugh at him at first, then made me curious.
As the days went by, I found myself drawn to him and I began seeing him differently. When I found out about his past, everything changed.



Where to find Eve Rabi online








Deception – A Palace Full of Liars – Book 1

Deception – A Palace Full of Liars – Book 2

Burn’s World – Book 1

Burn’s World – Book 2

Burn’s World – Book 3

Burn’s World – Book 4

CAPTURED – My Sworn Enemy, My Secret Lover – Book 1

CAPTURED – My Sworn Enemy, My Secret Lover – Book 2

Gringa – A Love Story Book 1

Gringa – A Love Story Book 2

Gringa – A Love Story Book 3

Gringa – A Love Story Book 4

THE CHEAT – A Tale of Lies and Infidelity – Book 1

THE CHEAT – A Tale of Lies and Infidelity – Book 2

You Will Pay – For Leaving Me (This book is free to Eve Rabi Fans)

Obsessed with me –Book 1

Obsessed with me –Book 2

Betrayed – He’d get his Girl at Any Cost

My Brother, My Rival (Book 1)

My Brother, My Rival (Book 2)


Indiestructible: Inspiring Stories from the Publishing Jungle @MsBessieBell

Tackling the Time Factor

by Jessica Bell

The biggest problem I had with deciding to go indie was the time factor.

With a stressful full-time job as a project manager for the Academic Research & Development department at Education First, it was difficult for me to see how I could possibly work, write, blog, edit, publish, market, run a literary journal, direct a writer’s retreat, and live my life all at once. It doesn’t help that I’m a bit of a stickler. I like to get everything done myself because I have a hard time waiting on others to do things I know I can get done more quickly and efficiently. I outsource if I really have to, but I do enjoy doing the work, such as designing covers, learning new skills and navigating social media. So when I say, DIY, I really mean DIY. Where on Earth, I wondered, would I find the time to be an editor for an educational publisher and literary magazine, an author, a typesetter, a designer, and a marketer? And what about walking the dog? Making dinner? Sleeping? (Forget the laundry. I have months of unfolded washed clothes in a heap on the couch that will soon need to go straight back into the machine from the dog rubbing herself all over them.)

The time factor is a logical fear. But once I finally made the decision to do this on my own, I realized that it wasn’t as daunting as it seemed. Do you know how much more you actually get done when you think something is impossible?

I don’t want to tell you how to schedule your day, but I’m going to give you a run down on how to approach this time management malarkey mentally. The key for me is not to focus on one thing all day. When you do this, you burn out. Your brain starts to lag from the monotony of the same information. You need to mix it up. If you mix it up, you get more done, because your mind is consistently stimulated with fresh information.

Let’s start with the actual writing of your books. Because this is what it all boils down to, yes? But first, I have to say, everyone is different. Everyone writes at different speeds, deals with stress in different ways, has different expectations of themselves. So you need to figure out what you want and works for you.

1. Stop thinking about what other people will think of your work. And write honestly. The first version of my debut novel was written for an audience. It was rejected again and again—for five years. And then, I found a small press who saw something in me and made an effort to get to know me. (Unfortunately that publisher liquidated only six months after its release, but that’s another story which you can read about here.) The publisher said my book was good, but that it felt like she was watching the characters through a window. She said: “Go deeper.” So I dug deeper and dragged the truth from my heart and soul. A truth I was afraid to admit was there. But it resulted in an honest book—a book I didn’t know I had in me. And one I hope women will be able to relate to. It’s glory-less, but real. And real steals hearts. What does this have to do with time management you ask? A lot. When you believe in your work, when you love your work, the words get written faster.

2. Focus on one paragraph at a time. I will never forget Anne Lamott’s advice from Bird by Bird (most accessible and nonsense-less book on writing I’ve ever read): write what you can see through a one-inch frame.

The reason I say this, is because knowing how much you have to revise can sometimes be daunting and overwhelming, and you might try to get through as much as possible and forget to focus your attention on the quality of your work. If you make each paragraph the best it can be before you move on, you won’t have to do any major rewrites (unless there’s a snag in your plot that you’ve overlooked and it’s related to a pertinent turning point). I’m talking revision here, not first draft.

3. Divide your writing time into short bursts. I find that if I give myself only one hour to write every morning before work, sometimes even shorter periods of time (especially when I accidentally sleep in), I’m forced to come up with things I wouldn’t normally think of.

The brain works in mysterious ways when it’s under pressure, and sometimes a little self-inflicted pressure can push you to great heights. Can you believe I wrote the first draft of The Book over a three-day long weekend? I did this because I experimented with the self-inflicted pressure idea. It worked. But be careful not to expect too much from yourself. There is nothing worse than becoming unmotivated due to not reaching personal goals. Which brings me to my fourth point ...

4. To start with, set your goals low. Set goals you know for a fact you can reach. If you set them too high, and continuously fail to meet them, you are going to feel really bad about yourself. This may result in neglecting your goals altogether. I know this from personal experience. If you later realize that you are meeting your goals with ease, gradually make them more challenging. But I strongly urge you to start small. It’s better for you, psychologically, to meet easy goals, than to struggle meeting difficult goals. Not achieving goals is a major hazard for self-esteem, motivation, and creativity.

So what about the rest?

Let’s see. These are the things I continuously have on the go that are not part of my day job or writing books, and I still find time to walk the dog and make dinner (sorry, the washing is still on the couch):

—Vine Leaves Literary Journal (reading submissions, sending rejection/acceptance letters, designing the magazine, promoting the magazine)

Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop (organizing the event and handling finances)

Typesetting, designing, and marketing my books (which includes, what seems, a never-ending thread of guest posts and interviews)

Blogging (including keeping up to speed with my weekly guest feature, The Artist Unleashed)

Maintaining my online presence (Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, etc.)

I do all this stuff on top of the day job. On top of my writing. Because I do it all in scheduled, short bursts. I get up early to make sure I have one hour to write and one hour to do something else from the list above. I pick and choose depending on priority. During my lunch break, I blog and spend about half an hour to an hour (depends on how long I can take from work) on social media. After work, I walk the dog, make dinner, maybe go to yoga. Once that’s done, I’ll spend another hour or so doing something else from the list above. Then I have a shower, relax in front of the TV, or do something else away from the computer before I go to bed. Then in bed, I’ll read a chapter or two of the book on my bedside table. Reading to me is relaxing and not a chore.

So what have I accomplished in this average day of mine?

Here’s an example:

My job (at least 7 hours worth)

500-1000 words on my WIP

I read 30 Vine Leaves submissions and sent a few responses, maybe even set up a classified ad on

I wrote/scheduled a blog post, commented on other blogs.

I connected with everyone I wanted to online. I may have worked on my latest book cover for a bit.

I made dinner.

I walked the dog.

I relaxed.

Look ... I’ll deal with those clothes tomorrow, okay?

I know people with kids who have just as much, and more, on their plate, and they’re still finding the time to self-publish. You can too.

My point is, it can all be done. And it doesn’t have to freak you out, or overwhelm you. Just pace yourself. And if you don’t have a full-time job like me, imagine how much more you can get done.

Nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it.

Nothing is impossible if you truly want it.

Nothing is impossible. Full stop.


If Jessica Bell could choose only one creative mentor, she’d give the role to Euterpe, the Greek muse of music and lyrics. This is not only because she currently resides in Athens, Greece, but because of her life as a thirty-something Australian-native contemporary fiction author, poet and singer/songwriter/guitarist, whose literary inspiration often stems from songs she’s written.

In addition to her novels, poetry collections, (one of which was nominated for the Goodreads Choice Awards in 2012), and her Writing in a Nutshell series, she has published a variety of works in online and print literary journals and anthologies, including Australia’s Cordite Review, and the anthologies 100 STORIES FOR QUEENSLAND and FROM STAGE DOOR SHADOWS, both released through Australia’s, eMergent Publishing.

Jessica is the Co-Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal and annually runs the Homeric Writers’ Retreat & Workshop on the Greek island of Ithaca. She makes a living as a writer/editor for English Language Teaching Publishers worldwide, such as Pearson Education, HarperCollins, MacMillan Education, Education First and Cengage Learning.

Keep an eye out for her forthcoming novel, BITTER LIKE ORANGE PEEL, slated for release, November 1, 2013.


Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre –  Non-fiction

Rating – G

More details about the author

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#AmReading - Breakthrough by Michael C. Grumley @michaelcgrumley

Posted on Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Breakthrough by Michael C. Grumley


Deep in the Caribbean Sea, a nuclear submarine is forced to suddenly abort its mission under mysterious circumstances. Strange facts begin to emerge that lead naval investigator John Clay to a small group of marine biologists who are quietly on the verge of making history.
Alison Shaw and her team are preparing to translate the first two-way conversation with another animal species, but they are about to discover much more than they ever expected.
When a mysterious object is found on the ocean floor and an unknown group suddenly becomes interested in her work, Alison learns that Clay may be the only person she can really trust. Together they find themselves embroiled in a desperate attempt to stop a catastrophe that spans the Atlantic Ocean and reaches all the way to Antarctica.


Thirty Scary Tales by Rayne Hall @RayneHall


Fig Moon gave way to Olive Moon, yet the heat did not feel any less intense. The sun sucked the moisture from Turgan's pores.

When he splashed water into his face to cool down, he saw that his palms had a grey tinge. A cold fist clenched in his guts. Had the time come?

It might be a trick of the light, because colours always paled at noon.

He waited until the sun stood three finger breadths above the horizon, then stepped into the shade as if to relieve himself. He studied his arms, turned them over, found what seemed to be the beginnings of grey. The grey of his feet probably came from dust, but the knees...

A whip cracked. “Back to work,” the overseer bellowed.

“Yes, sir.” If there was grey in his arms and legs, was his face turning grey as well? Just in case, he pulled the broad-brimmed straw hat deeper into his face.

He returned to the row of shadufs, found the one he was supposed to operate, and resumed work. If the greyness had started, how long before his body and mind began to decay?

If the time had come to end his existence, this might be his last day. The palm fronds waved their rich green, and the water in the buckets glistened. Cicadas rasped, birds chirped, and a child gurgled with laughter.

Life was beautiful. Every fibre of his awareness wanted to live.

He tested his body's strength once more and found it unimpaired, so there was still some time.


Thirty Scary Tales

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Genre – Horror

Rating – PG-13

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Quality Reads UK Book Club Disclosure: Author interview / guest post has been submitted by the author and previously used on other sites.


Finding Claire Fletcher by Lisa Regan @Lisalregan


Three days later, Connor pulled up in front of the address Claire had left for him. He’d wanted to see her right away, but he’d been out of the dating game for eight years and didn’t want to look desperate.

Yesterday, thoughts of her had led him into Denise’s formal dining room. He wanted to throw out all the dust-covered cherry furniture, but the impractical writing desk was all he could carry out alone. He carried it outside and threw it on its side with a clatter. He stood looking at it next to the rest of his trash with a half-grin of satisfaction. He felt more liberated than he had since Denise left.

1201 Archer Street was a two-story single home set on a tiny piece of land. It looked as if it had been beautiful at one time, but now paint peeled in uneasy strips from the siding and the front yard was overgrown with weeds. The two concrete steps leading to the front door were cracked and crumbling.

Connor paused a moment before knocking. Maybe he should have called her first. He could have easily found her number using her name and address. No, he decided quickly. He opened the screen door and knocked three times on the storm door. Claire left only the address. If she meant for him to call, she would have left a number.

The door was answered by a tall, wiry woman with short, black hair cut in a shapeless style. Her face bore a striking resemblance to Claire’s though she was certainly older—not old enough to be Claire’s mother; perhaps a sister. Her eyes were shaped similarly, although their blue shade was lighter than Claire’s. She had the same narrow, delicate nose, the same chin.

“Can I help you?” asked the woman.

Connor shifted his weight from foot to foot. “Hi,” he said. “I’m here to see Claire Fletcher.”

The woman’s face paled. She hesitated before opening the door wide with one trembling hand. “Come in,” she said.

Connor stepped inside the foyer. The woman turned to the flight of stairs opposite them and yelled, “Tom!”

Connor felt a prickling sensation in his arms and legs. Unconsciously, almost of its own volition, his right hand slipped inside his jacket to rest on the butt of his pistol. “Is something wrong?” he asked.

The woman ignored him, her eyes fixed on the steps. Waves of raw, scarcely contained energy rolled off her. A disembodied male voice barked back from somewhere above them. “What?”

“Tom! Get down here right now.” The woman’s voice rose an octave and realizing it, she covered her mouth with one hand. She did not look at Connor.

His palm was dry and steady, resting on his weapon, though the logical part of his mind could divine no possible danger at hand.

Tom came trotting down the steps in blue jeans and a long-sleeved, button-down shirt. He looked to be in his thirties, about Connor’s age, although his brown hair was thinning at the top. His eyebrows rose quizzically at the woman, but the rest of his face smiled kindly at her. Connor eased his hand out of his jacket.

“Brianna?” Tom said, taking her elbows.

She nodded her head toward Connor but did not look at him. Tom turned his bright smile on Connor and extended a hand. “Hi,” he said. “Tom Fletcher.”

Connor blinked but shook hands with the man. “Connor Parks,” he replied.

Tom clapped his hands together. “What can I do for you, Connor?”

Before Connor could answer, Brianna said, “He’s here to see Claire.”

Tom was obviously someone whose face lacked the ability to hide emotion. Whereas Brianna’s face had paled, Tom’s flushed a deep red at the mention of Claire’s name. Shock and confusion played havoc with the man’s features. He wouldn’t make a very good criminal, Connor thought.

Tom stared at Connor as though he’d shown up holding Claire’s decapitated head in one hand. “Claire,” Tom gasped.

Finally Brianna’s eyes were on Connor, but he did not like the look of them at all. “Yeah,” Connor said. “Claire Fletcher. She gave me this address.”

Tom’s hands flew to his chest. “When?”

Connor shrugged. “Um, jeez, a few days ago. Wednesday, I think.”

“That’s not possible,” Brianna said icily.

“What?” Connor said.

Tom stepped toward him, a look of wounded pity on his open face. “Connor—Mr. Parks, our sister disappeared ten years ago. She’s never been found.”

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Genre – Psychological Thriller / Crime Fiction

Rating – R

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Making Wishes by Marilyn Holdsworth

Chapter 3

Across town from where Elloree sat listening to the chatter in the Art League meeting, Mark Williams replaced his phone receiver and stared at it. He had picked it up only to put it down again several times during the last few minutes. It was Saturday morning, and his empty offices were coldly deserted, the heavy silence at once a relief and oppression to him. His old, walnut desk was strewn with unopened mail and unanswered memos, but he sat drumming his fingers impatiently on the work-worn wood.

“Oh hell,” he muttered to himself. “I promised I’d leave her alone and let her make her own decision, but damn it, it’s a crime for her to even think of passing up this chance.”

At forty-five, Mark Williams had a rugged rather than handsome appearance. Even in an expensive, perfectly tailored suit he managed to look slightly disheveled. Thick but already graying hair framed a keenly intelligent face lined and hardened by years of fighting for his business survival. Although only of average height, his broad shoulders and determined air made him appear much taller. Mark Williams had never wasted much time worrying over his appearance or his appeal to women. He had always been singularly driven by his fierce desire to build his company, Wishes Inc., into a respected, international competitor, and everything else in his life had come second.

He whirled his well-worn, burgundy, leather office chair around and faced the window. It wasn’t a pretty view, but to Mark, the sprawling gray industrial area below was the real city, and he loved it. He had turned down several opportunities to move his company from this dreary, unsophisticated end of town. His wife, Sylvia, had urged him to move uptown as soon as Wishes Inc. had begun to grow, but he had stubbornly refused. To him, this was where his life was, and the real pulse of the city could be felt only here. He sat staring out on the foggy, damp cityscape lost in his thoughts of Elloree. Just as he heard the outer office door open and then click shut, he made a silent promise to himself. Somehow, he would get her to accept his offer.

“Good morning, Mr. Williams,” came the somewhat formal but pleasant interruption.

“Oh yes, Miss Mills, I forgot I asked you to come in this morning.” His thoughts came back to the present.

Joan Mills looked slightly rebuffed by his casual, forgetful tone. She had been his dedicated secretary for many years, and she was what Mark called good people, the kind it was hard to find these days—loyal, hardworking, and unattractive. Long ago, he had decided unattractiveness in a secretary was a definite virtue. Too many of his business acquaintances insisted on window-dressing their offices with voluptuous young secretaries. Their images might flatter male egos, but Mark had heard more than one story of steamy office romance gone sour. Too often, the pretty corporate playmate turned into a bitter adversary, claiming sexual harassment or crying fraudulent tax evasion to the government auditors. For Mark Williams, such entanglements brought risks that would never be worth taking. Hard work and dedication to Wishes were all that mattered in an employee. And although he insisted on total loyalty to him and to Wishes, he rewarded those around him generously when they worked hard to accomplish company goals.

This morning, Mark really looked at Miss Mills for perhaps the first time in five years. She was wearing a charcoal, pinstriped suit with flat, serviceable shoes. The drab color she wore seemed to reflect her personality. Quiet and never prone to giggles or emotional outbursts, Miss Mills was consistently efficient and paid strict attention to detail. Her monotonous wardrobe of gray skirts with matching sweaters or blouses was only occasionally varied by black or dark blue accents. Summer or winter, her shoes were the same sensible, low-heeled black leather and her hair, now streaked with silver, still hung loosely to her shoulders, as it had when she had walked through the door of Wishes on her first day.

It struck Mark this morning that Joan Mills had been unobtrusively growing older with him and Wishes, Inc. It startled him to see just how much she had aged since he’d last looked at her. Although no one could accuse Miss Mills of ever having been pretty, she had an honest, sincere character that reflected itself in her quiet, peaceful expression. Mark couldn’t help but think how funny it was that he still called her Miss Mills after all these years, but somehow it would seem almost blasphemous to even think of such an individual as simply Joan.

Miss Mills was busily preparing coffee in the adjoining room. Presently, she reappeared, cheerfully placing a steaming mug before him. The coffee and her quiet smile warmed him as always. Theirs was a special relationship, built on years of trust and mutual respect.


Making Wishes

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Genre - Women’s fiction

Rating – PG-13

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The author is giving away 1 soft cover books and 3 kindle books in this tour.


Breathing for Two by Wolf Pascoe @WolfPascoe

IN the freshman year of my anesthesia residency, I was given a lesson in breathing by a patient whom I’ll call Otto. Anesthesia residencies come replete with breathing lessons, but Otto was also teaching humility that day, a subject absent from the formal anesthesia curriculum.
A doctor gets humility not from curricula but from his patients. I acquired a truckload of humility the day I met Otto, and the truck has only gotten larger since.
Otto was undergoing a cystoscopy, a look inside the bladder performed by passing a thin viewing scope through the urethra. There is no incision in such a procedure.
Generally, you don’t need anything fancy to support a patient’s breathing while giving anesthesia during a cystoscopy. As the patient passes from wakefulness into unconsciousness you can let him continue to breathe for himself.
In Otto’s case, I strapped a rubber anesthesia mask over his mouth and nose to make an airtight seal against his skin, and delivered through the mask an appropriate combination of oxygen and anesthetic gas. In principle, what I did was essentially what the Boston dentist, William Thomas Green Morton, had done during the first public demonstration of ether anesthesia in 1846.
The modern anesthesia face mask is a hollow cone of rubber or plastic. It’s like the oxygen mask that drops down from above a passenger’s head on an airplane, though it’s more substantially built. The base is malleable and cushioned by a ring of air, a sort of inner tube. The mask is shaped to fit around the nose and mouth; with a bit of pressure, it seals against the skin. The top of the mask connects to a source of anesthetic vapor and oxygen.
Readers of a certain age may remember the TV series, Marcus Welby, M.D., which began each week with Dr. Welby lowering a black anesthesia mask down over the camera lens. In those days, apparently, the family doctor did everything.
The anesthesia machine—the “cascade of glass columns, porcelain knobs and metal conduits” I described previously—is the gas delivery system. The machine connects to an oxygen tank and directs the flow of oxygen from the tank through a vaporizer where the oxygen mixes with anesthesia gas. The mixture passes out of the machine through plastic tubing (“anesthesia hose”) that connects to the face mask.
The patient breathes the mixture.
Gas leaving the anesthesia machine actually flows through the anesthesia tubing in a circle—in fact it’s called the circle system. One limb of the circle travels from the machine to the anesthesia mask, where the patient inhales it. The other limb, carrying exhaled gas, travels from the mask back to the machine, where excess carbon dioxide from the patient is filtered out. The filtered gas is mixed with fresh gas and travels back to the patient.
The same gases, minus the carbon dioxide, keep going round and round. The system is airtight, except for a pop-off valve that relieves excess pressure.
Otto was a large man with a thickly muscled neck, but by extending his head I could keep his airway clear, allowing him to continue breathing while the urologist worked. Instead of using an anesthesia mask to deliver my mix of gases, I could have assured Otto’s airway by using an endotracheal tube. This is a long breathing tube (about a centimeter in diameter) inserted through the mouth all the way into the trachea.
But getting an endotracheal tube in isn’t always easy, and it’s usually not necessary during a cystoscopy. Most often an anesthesia mask will do.
One side effect of anesthesia is the loss of normal muscle tone. This happened to Otto. A few minutes into the case, his flaccid tongue fell back in his throat. His diaphragm continued to contract, but air couldn’t get through to the lungs—his airway was obstructed. Otto was, of course, completely unconscious at this point.
Everyone loses some muscle tone during sleep—this is the cause of snoring, and of the more serious condition of sleep apnea. But the loss of tone is even greater under anesthesia, and the anesthetized patient cannot rouse herself to find a better breathing position.
I managed the problem by putting a short plastic tube called an airway into Otto’s mouth. The airway depressed the tongue and cleared a passage for air. It wasn’t as good as an endotracheal tube, which would have extended all the way into Otto’s trachea, but it seemed to do the trick.

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Genre – Non-fiction / Memoir
Rating – G
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The Latecomers Fan Club by Diane V. Mulligan @Mulligan_writes

Posted on Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Latecomers Fan Club

What is it about guys with guitars in their hands that makes them so irresistible, even when they are obviously self-centered jerks? If Abby and Maggie could answer that question, maybe they could finally get over Nathaniel. There’s just something about him when he picks up his guitar and gets behind the microphone, something that makes sensible women act like teenyboppers instead of rational, self-respecting adults.

Abby was first sucked in by Nathaniel’s rock ‘n roll swagger four years ago when a drunken fling turned into a series of drunken hook-ups that became something like a relationship. Now, as New Year’s Eve promises a fresh start, she wants to believe he’s finally going to grow up and take their relationship seriously.

What does Nathaniel hope the New Year will bring? An escape from the disappointing realities of his life. He’s thirty-four years old and he’s barely making ends meet as an adjunct philosophy professor, which was always only a backup plan anyway. Nathaniel’s real goal was always to make his living as a musician, but his band, The Latecomers, broke up a couple of years ago, and he hasn’t picked up his guitar in months.

When he decides to spend the holiday with some high school friends instead of hanging out at the bar where Abby works, he gets the happy surprise of reuniting with his long-lost friend Maggie. Newly divorced, Maggie has just moved back to her mother’s house to regroup. Nathaniel and Maggie were supposed to be the ones who left Worcester forever to conquer the world. He was going to be a rock star. She was going to take the world of art by storm. He’s never gotten farther than Boston, and her best efforts only left her broke and heartbroken.

As they ring in the New Year together, Nathaniel decides it’s time to take control of his life and to start making his dreams come true. He thinks the first step will be easy. All he needs to do is break up with Abby and finally admit his feelings for Maggie. But the New Year has more surprises in store, and nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

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Genre – Women’s Literature

Rating – PG-13

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What Lies Inside by J.L. Myers @BloodBoundJLM


My mind screamed for me to move. To fight the monster who trapped me with its arms. But my body remained paralyzed, a prisoner of flesh and bone. It wasn’t fear. I knew that much. Inside I was striking out with limbs, nails, and teeth. But any connection to actual movement was lost. My whole body felt like it was filled with cement.

Parted lips closed in on my neck. My eyes darted around, desperate to find a way out of this. Darkness stretched beyond the waning light of a naked bulb. There was a single door, then nothing but damp stone and shadow. The stink of death and decay hung thick in the air. Horror seeped through my veins.

There was nothing I could do. No way to stop this. No way to save my life.

The sound of labored breath rasped. Not my own. Not this monster’s. In the shadows it was impossible to see where it came from. Was someone watching? Fear snaked through my soul. The fear wasn’t for my own life, not really. I was afraid for someone else. But who?

Any thoughts vanished as fangs punctured my flesh. A gasp escaped my lips.

Flames bloomed from the punctures, swarming across my skin. The monster clutched my body tighter and tighter with every sickening gulp.

As the flames began to dull, my internal screams and my drive to fight faded. Without the current of blood filling my veins, violent shivers took hold of my entire body.

My body was giving up.

With shallow contractions, my heart slowed. My mind wavered as my body began to fail. The crushing pain of imminent death faded. As my eyes fluttered shut, a memory of the boy I loved floated across the backs of my eyelids. I saw his dejected expression. I felt the moment he had crushed me against his body, covering my lips with his. Then I heard the words he had spoken for the very first time. “Amelia, I love you.”

An icy tear escaped my eye. Now he would never know the truth. Never know that my feelings for him were still as irrefutable and irrevocable as ever. Never know that I would give anything just to be in his arms and feel the warmth of his kiss one last time. The realization was more agonizing than knowing my fate now, more agonizing than any lingering pain.

I love you too. The memory faded, dissipating like a cloud of smoke.

The room began to blur and spin. Unable to blink, my eyes stared up at the dusty light bulb. Blood loss pressed in on me. I was so deathly cold. The edge of my vision turned black, light being eaten away by a stain like blotted ink. Then empty darkness took hold.

This is it, I thought. I’m dying.

What Lies Inside

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Genre – YA Paranormal Romance

Rating – PG-13+

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Quality Reads UK Book Club Disclosure: Author interview / guest post has been submitted by the author and previously used on other sites.


The Howling Heart by April Bostic

* * * *

Three days after my father’s funeral, I landed at the airport in Denver. I rented a Jeep Wrangler, because I needed a four-wheel-drive vehicle to get up the mountain. The July weather was mild, so I wore khaki shorts, a plain white tee, and beige Vans sneakers.

One of the odd things about finding our cabin was you had to find the nearby town first. I remembered we got lost during our vacation, which caused an argument between my parents. Finding the road that led to the town was tricky, because there was only one accessible by vehicle, and there was no road sign. My father knew how to get there, because the person who sold him the cabin gave him a landmark. Luckily, he passed that information onto me during one of our conversations. Once you found the road, the town was so small that if you blinked, you’d drive right by it. When my mother said it was remote, she wasn’t being facetious.

I drove on the interstate for over an hour before I realized I missed my turn. I had to find a tree shaped like a wishbone—it was struck by lightning — but all the trees looked alike to me. It took another half-hour for me to turn around and make another attempt.

I found my landmark, but a tangle of fallen branches blocked the entrance. My hands gripped the steering wheel. I knew I was in for a bumpy ride. I floored the accelerator, and the Jeep broke through the roadblock. The road was narrow, and the terrain was rough. Whoever constructed it didn’t want people to travel on it. I screamed when tree branches appeared out of nowhere and banged against the windshield. The forest surrounded me on both sides, and I wondered if I’d ever reach the town.


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Genre – Paranormal Romance

Rating – Adult

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Floats The Dark Shadow by Yves Fey @YvesFey

Posted on Saturday, November 23, 2013


Young American painter Theodora Faraday struggles to become an artist in Belle Époque Paris. She’s tasted the champagne of success, illustrating poems for the Revenants, a group of poets led by her adored cousin, Averill. When children she knows vanish mysteriously, Theo confronts Inspecteur Michel Devaux who suspects the Revenants are involved. Theo refuses to believe the killer could be a friend—could be the man she loves. Classic detection and occult revelation lead Michel and Theo through the dark underbelly of Paris, from catacombs to asylums, to the obscene ritual of a Black Mass. Following the maze of clues they discover the murderer believes he is the reincarnation of the most evil serial killer in the history of France—Gilles de Rais. Once Joan of Arc’s lieutenant, after her death he plunged into an orgy of evil. The Church burned him at the stake for heresy, sorcery, and the depraved murder of hundreds of peasant children. Whether deranged mind or demonic passion incite him, the killer must be found before he strikes again.

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Genre – Historical Mystery

Rating – R

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Ghost, Razer 8 by P.T. Macias @pt_macias

Chapter Two

Hell, yes, I’m home and I have a few days off. I’m heading straight to my apartment. I’ll get my bike and ride over to see Loco, he thinks. He stops for a moment and contemplates his surroundings. Yeah, this is another world and it’s my world now.

He takes a taxi to his small one bedroom apartment. Yeah, my apartment is small because I live alone. No need in living with a roommate and especially a woman. I’m hardly ever home. I love it here on the west coast, close to every type of entertainment.

I love living in Huntington Beach and near the ocean. I love the ocean. Loco lives near the ocean, but down a few cities. Yeah, this is awesome! The day is beautiful and I’m going to ride my sweet bike, he thinks.

He grabs his keys, locks up his apartment, and jumps down the side rail. He lands on the ground floor. Nathan quickly strides to the garage and directly to his bike. He throws his duffle bag in the saddle bag.

Ok, now I’m forgetting the last 48 hours and enjoying my time off, he thinks.


Roberto Daniel De Leon has been striving to be the best in every aspect that involves his dream. He stands tall and proud at six feet two with a very hard, developed, muscular body. There’s no way that you’ll not notice his physical assets.

He walks out of his apartment and to the parking garage. He stops and looks towards the ocean. Roberto takes a deep breath, closing his beautiful smoky quartz brown eyes fringed with long black eyelashes. Yeah, now it’s time to have fun, he thinks.

Roberto walks up to his bike, smiling. Oh, damn yes, I love riding my bike.

He hears a soft tap, only one sound. He stops, slowly turns around, pulling out his Glock.

“Damn, guey (asshole)!! I almost shot you,” yells Loco. “What the hell are you doing here?”

“Yeah, asshole, glad that you’re not slacking off,” replies Ghost.

Roberto walks over to his buddy Jackson. His name is Nathan Jackson. He is called the Ghost because you hardly ever know he’s around, muses Roberto.

Ghost walks so silently, and it seems that he hardly breathes. I find it kind of amusing when I see him in action. I would never believe that such a huge man can move so silently, quickly and barely breathes, thinks Loco, amused.

Ghost is six feet five inches. He’s a huge son of a bitch. He can be as mean as a man can get when dealing with the scum of the earth. Ghost has a very light skin tone and has incredible pale blue eyes. So I think Ghost fits him in so many areas, muses Loco.

Roberto walks up to Ghost and gives him a huge bear hug. He slaps his back with joy. “Damn, I missed you, guey!” yells Roberto, grinning.

“Yeah, Loco, that’s why I’m here. Why not hang out and enjoy our few days off,” replies Ghost, in a soft low tone. 

Ghost is wearing black leather pants and a black leather jacket with black t-shirt. He has a black scarf wrapped on his short blond locks. He wears black biker boots. You know he’s carrying.

He slowly grins, flashing his dimples. That’s the only feature that Ghost has that’s soft.

“So, you’re game to cause some hell tonight,” whispers Ghost. His pale blue eyes sparkle with amusement.

“Oh, damn, hell yes!” yells Roberto. He walks towards Ghost’s new bike to check it out. “Sweet, real sweet, it’s awesome.”

“I love the black metallic with the silver sparkles,” says Ghost. He speaks low and softly, almost like a whisper. He has a soft southern drawl. “Loco, your people’s suggestions and the investments that I made paid off. Those investments are awesome.”

“Yeah, they’re great and I’m set,” replies Loco, nodding.

“Loco, let’s go get some food, beer, and some warm comfort,” says Nathan.

“Let’s go, that’s exactly what I planned,” replies Roberto, grinning.


Roberto and Nathan walk into the club after having dinner down the street. They look hot and swagger into the club with a confident stride. They’re a pair of hot, sexy, bad boys walking into the club to have some fun.

“Oh, yeah,” says Nathan, looking around. Yes, this is hot. I always wanted to check out a Latino club. Oh yeah, he thinks.

“Let’s get some tequila shots!” says Roberto. He strolls to the bar. He reaches it and turns to look at Nathan.

Nathan is following Roberto, turning to look at the band. “Wow, sorry,” says Nathan, to the cute Latina that he just bumped into.

His voice is low and sexy. He gazes into the cute chica’s amazing huge brown eyes. He quickly grasps her waist with his hands to prevent her from falling. He unconsciously pulls her a little closer.

Andréa runs into Ghost, she quickly grasps his arms to stop her fall. She stares up into Ghost’s beautiful, pale blue eyes. Her eyes open wide with surprise and amazement. Oh, dios mio (oh my god), this is one huge white boy, she thinks. She holds onto his huge muscled arms.

“Please, excuse me! I wasn’t looking,” says Ghost. Damn! I’m scaring this beautiful girl, he thinks. I better let her go.

Andréa breaks into a huge warm smile. She gazes up at him, not releasing her hold. “Hi, I’m ok. No worries,” replies Andréa.

Ghost gazes into her beautiful eyes and starts to smile. Wow, she’s not scared, he thinks. She’s really beautiful.

Oh wow, he’s so guapo (handsome), huge, and has awesome dimples. I think I like everything about this white boy, thinks Andréa. Oh yeah, I especially love his southern drawl.

She tilts her head slightly, to inspect his side view. Oh, yes, he’s totally what I like. I love his beautiful pale blue eyes, thinks Andréa.

She steps a little closer to slide her hands up to his shoulders. “I would love to dance,” says Andréa. She gazes into his beautiful blue eyes, reaching his soul.

Ghost gazes into her eyes. I can see her beautiful soul. Yes, I can feel her soul connect to mine. Oh damn, hell yes. I’m dancing this slow dance with this girl, he thinks. “Ah, you would like to dance?” asks Nathan. He leans down a little to whisper in her ear. He feels her tremble.

“Yes,” replies Andréa. She gazes into his beautiful face.

Ghost releases her and takes one of her hands. He leads the way to the dance floor. Oh, damn yes, I love this slow song, he thinks.

He pulls her into his arms. He encircles her waist, pulling her close to him. He inhales her incredible scent. Oh, she smells amazing, he thinks. 

Andréa puts her hands on his strong wide shoulders. She gazes up into his eyes. She smiles, slowly moving her arms up his shoulders. “I’m Andréa Martinez,” says Andréa.

“It’s nice to meet you, Andréa. I’m Nathan Jackson,” he replies, softly near her ear. Oh yeah, she’s sweet, sexy, and hot, he thinks.

Damn it! Now what? I know that he likes her. I think that I’m on my own now, thinks Roberto.

He sucks the lemon and salt. He then throws back his head, drinking the tequila shot.


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Genre – Romantic Suspense

Rating – PG13

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Joyfully Yours by Amy Lamont @Amy_Lamont

Posted on Friday, November 22, 2013

Joyfully Yours

A fun and heartwarming holiday romance.

When fate keeps throwing a handsome good Samaritan in her path, musician Faith Leary needs a little holiday magic to help her see he’s perfect for her.

A musician and a priest walk into a grocery store—singer Faith Leary thinks this is a better opening for an off-color joke than a recipe for romance, until she finds herself ogling Father Michael in the checkout line the day before Thanksgiving.

When Father Michael first steps in to bail Faith out of her financial jam, Faith thinks she’s being picked up at the grocery store. Right up until she catches sight of the black shirt and tab collar. Since not much in her life is going her way lately, it doesn’t come as much of a shock when Michael turns up at her mother’s Thanksgiving dinner. What does come as a surprise is the attraction that springs up between them. If only he weren't a priest, he would be perfect for her.

Faith’s sister finds Father Michael attractive, too, and she’s making no bones about it. Scenes from the Thorn Birds flitting through her head, it comes as a relief to Faith to find out Michael is not exactly what he seems. It’s good news until she realizes her sister is a far better match for him than her screw-up self could ever be. But if that’s true, why does Michael insist on seeing only the good in Faith, no matter how often she falls short of her too perfect sister?

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Genre - Contemporary Holiday Romance

Rating – PG

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Goodnight, Gustav Klein by Elliot C. Mason @ArthurRay44

A stark dystopian world of insatiable greed and ceaseless distraction is that of young Gustav Klein, a German twenty-three-year-old who has just sold his hotel in Munich. He is looking for nothing more than escape. The modern gadgets which flash their endless advertisements are locking society inside brick houses, allowing them to be dumbed-down further by the money-hungry gremlins in the high towers. Gustav Klein, meanwhile, begins a journey over the myriad terrains of Europe, through countless bottles on the corner of morbid winter streets, coloured by the peculiar characters he encounters, some who bestow upon him their wisdom, some who fuel his disdain, some who ignite his desires, and some who merely drink with him until they hit the floor in a merry temperament. But the hedonistic, aimless rambling must come to end, for life calls. And Gustav lands on a mountain in Scotland, searching for release, for total nature, untouched by the destructive hand of man. But, it seems, it is too late… In this harrowing tale of youthful rebellion, dark nihilism on the road, heavy drinking beatniks, political adversity and the capricious desires of the gluttonous modern man, the reader is taken by the hand firmly and hauled into a bleak world where every man lives for himself. Close your eyes if you are scared, but you cannot escape.

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Genre – Travel, Political, Dystopia, Romance

Rating – PG15

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Excerpt: The Titan Drowns by Nhys Glover

Chapter Three



12 March 1912, London ENGLAND

Maxwell Ingham stared out of his office window at busy Fleet Street below. He loved the cacophony of noise that modern man in his industry could create – the mechanical hum of the automobiles, as they rumbled down the street honking their horns at horse and wagons that might delay or block their passage. Many a flighty horse took exception to this noise and would rear and buck in complaint. People of all classes hurried along the pathways and crossed the thoroughfares at random, often inadvertently walking in front of the speeding vehicles. Yelling and shaking fists would accompany those near misses. It was organised chaos, and he loved it.

His eye was drawn from the general to the specific, as he caught a glimpse of a young woman dressed fashionably in a navy skirt and jacket with a white blouse adorned with a large, floppy bow at its high neckline. A hat, a monstrous navy affair that was utterly impractical for the busy streets, shielded her face. However, when she paused to look up at the second and third stories of the buildings on his side of the road, he gained a much better impression of her appearance.

Her face was pale, milky white with huge eyes and small, upturned nose. Red lips were bowed in a delighted smile as her elegant, gloved hands crossed over heart, as if to keep the organ from jumping out of her chest. She looked to be in her mid-to-late twenties, but there was an air of child-like enthusiasm that belied that age. What little hair was visible beneath the hat was black and wavy, framing her oval face and softening the sharp lines of the outrageous creation on her head.

For the full time he stared at her, he couldn’t seem to draw breath. It wasn’t until she dropped her head, hurried across the road, dodging horse-drawn and horseless carriages alike, and disappeared somewhere beneath him that he felt his breathing return to normal.

‘Maxwell, Darling, what do you think?’ A strident voice jarred him from his strange reaction and drew his eye. Coming across the room toward him was his wife, Agnes, dressed in a sunshine yellow day-dress that quite blinded him with its brightness. It was a wrap-around affair, somewhat oriental in design, with a wide, darkly patterned border that crossed over her bird-like figure.

‘About what, my dear?’ he inquired, knowing exactly what, but wanting to give himself a moment to come up with a suitably diplomatic comment.

‘Why, my dress, silly. Do you like it? My couturier tells me it is the latest thing from the continent, and I plan to wear it to the Royal International Horticultural Exhibition in May. I am taking a risk that no one of any influence will see me in it today. Nevertheless, I just had to show you immediately.’

The small woman pivoted to display her gown and large floral hat. Her mouse-like features broke into a winsome smile.

‘You will turn many an eye, my dear. The flowers will pale into insignificance beside you.’ He spoke the truth, as was his way, but he disguised his thoughts within the effusion of his words, as only a man of the law could do. In truth, she looked hideous, but he had learned early on in their relationship that Agnes did not want to hear the truth. She wanted to mould it to suit herself, and that was what he allowed her to do with his words now.

She blushed coquettishly and giggled. ‘Oh Maxwell, I knew you would love it. Matilda Robson was not so complimentary. But then she is not up with the latest haute de couture, so I dismissed her opinion immediately. You, on the other hand, dear husband, are a man of taste and refinement. I knew you would see its value.’

‘My tastes run to more simplistic and conservative designs, but I do value the unconventional when it is aesthetically pleasing to the eye.’

Agnes smiled sweetly, bowing her head as if accepting another compliment. Then she sighed deeply and waited for him to ask what was wrong.

Obediently, he asked on cue, ‘My dear, what troubles you?’

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Genre – Romance

Rating – Between PG13 and R (sensual but not erotic)

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