Jack Cannon's American Destiny

Rachel Thompson

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Madi Brown's Thoughts on the Visual Reader & a Good Book Designer @Madithe1brown #Wwed #ChickLit

Why Book Covers Are So Important

Unless you don't have eyes, people are visual. If there's a handsome guy sitting  across  from me during my daily commute on the train, I'm going to look. If I'm away on vacation, I'm going to appreciate the beautiful sights around me, because I know that I'm there to relax. If my mom bakes one of her yummy peach cobblers, I'm going to feast on it with my eyes first, and then I'm going to devour it. In the world of books, book covers work in the same way. There are probably millions of them out there, but most readers are only looking for one title. Just think, your book cover is going to be the very first thing that a buyer will see. If you're suddenly feeling the pressure of of just  how important a book cover really might be, then continue to read on.

“I've penned a stellar novel. People are going to love me once they read what I've written.” Plenty of authors are probably thinking the exact same thing. But how are you going to let people know about this stellar body of work that you've just created? I'll tell you how.  You're going to  have a fabulous book cover that will make your book stand out from the rest. And don’t worry, I get it. Writers aren't book designers, but here's where you bring in someone to help with bringing your vision to life. Outsourcing can be your new best friend.

How to  Find a Book Cover Designer That Fits Your Needs

I'm pretty infatuated with the book cover for my debut novel, The Truth About Emily, but it wasn't a one step process of knowing what I wanted straight away. It started with me doing research. Think about your storyline or nonfiction topic. Jot down some ideas so that you have a place of reference to pull from. Do you have a title already? Great. If you do, then keep that in mind too, because it's another source. Now go online and begin looking at other people's book covers.  Are they popular authors? Ask yourself what it is, if anything, that's drawing your eyes to it. How do you feel about the colors, the images, the font style, and the font size? Also, check out some of the books that you've previously purchased; specifically on the strength of its book cover. What caused you to click on buying it? Next up, what you want to do, is take all of that information and keep it somewhere safe. We'll come back to it.

Now you'll need to find yourself a competent book cover designer. Fiverr (an online company that will do almost any task for you for $5.00) has loads of  people on there who can assist you for a bargain, but just remember that most of those people specialize in quantity over quality. By this, I mean that you might end up with a book cover identical to someone else or it may have an appearance that looks manufactured. This isn’t to say that there aren’t  some gems on there, but you'll have to diligently seek them out.  As for myself, I chose to go with a freelancer. I was drawn to the element of selection in having access to a host of talented designers with exceptional portfolios  and being able to make a choice based on a price that I’ve set. My final winning pick was Gavin Pledger, Creative Soutions King).

By now ,you’ve found yourself a book cover designer (as far as the work contract is concerned, make sure that you add in how many times they’re willing to revise. Negotiate a flat fee). The first thing that they’ll want to know is what creative direction you’d like them to go in. This is when you whip out the notes that you’ve been compiling for your project. It’s your starting point. Don't be afraid to let them know what works for you, and what doesn’t. A really good book cover designer will be as excited as you are in getting right!


"If you LOVE New York, if you’re a name-dropping, fashion fiend careerist; fed up with serial dating, plagued with a thirst for sex, then you’ll totally stalk me for what I've penned.” - Author, Madi Brown


29-year-old Emily Greene looks the part, but she’s still working on becoming a modern-day woman. Not that she’s one to back down from a challenge, but living as an eternal work-in-progress wasn't exactly the goal that she had in mind. It’s a harsh but true realization---the idea that that time isn't on her side, and the notion that wanting to have it all, doesn't mean getting it. The verdict is in; with zero prospects for a relationship and a stalled blogging career, Emily has every reason to believe that she’s been living a life too humdrum for her own good.

Making the change won’t be easy. She’ll have to do whatever it takes; start dating like a man, become more selective about which RSVP's she accepts, and work even harder at getting her dream job.The payoff’s huge; a modern twist on a storybook ending, but gains don’t often come without risks. In the here and now Emily just may be forced to choose...It’s got to be one or the other----the profession that she’s always wanted, or the love that she’s never had.

˃˃˃ Praise for Madi Brown &

her debut novel, The Truth About Emily

"The added depth of character promises complexity but wraps everything in the saucy cloak of Emily's evolving personality and newfound beliefs about life, love, and the real nature of happiness. And this is where The Truth About Emily outshines many competitors, making it a recommended read for those seeking more than a standard romance novel." - D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Reviews

"This book has just about anything a girl would love to read about. If there's anything Emily Greene has is ISH and lots of it, oh the ending... This book is a total keeper, just anything about fashion to relationships to friends and family." - Y. Sanchez, Goodreads

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Women's Fiction
Rating – PG18
More details about the author
Connect with Madi Brown on Facebook & Twitter

Friday, December 26, 2014

TOUCHING MADNESS #Excerpt (River Madden #Series) by K S Ferguson #Fantasy #AmReading

I cowered at the hooves of the eight-foot tall demon, wallowing in the soot and debris of the apocalyptic cityscape. He frowned at me, and his mouth formed words, but I couldn't understand him. Hoards of translucent black cloud nightmares rose and fell through cracks in the scarred ground, widening the fissures with each pass. They roiled around us, cutting off light coming from a source that I couldn't identify. I opened my mouth to scream, and one of the nightmare clouds poured in, clogging my throat, filling my lungs with ash, and shooting burning cinders up through my brain. I thrashed, trying to get to my feet so I could run, but I no longer had legs.

I jerked awake, thoroughly tangled in the space blanket, my legs numb, and looked into a pair of amber eyes that stared back at me along the blade of a big, scary military-type knife pointed at my throat. I swallowed hard. Boy, had I screwed up.

"Hi," I said.

She didn't blink. My God, she was beautiful in the pre-dawn light glowing through the windows. No human looked that perfect. Was she real? I freed my right hand and ever so slowly raised my index finger to the tip of the blade while she watched. When I pressed lightly against the point, it pricked my skin. I pulled my hand back. Blood welled from the tiny cut. Yep, real. Shit. She'd taken me prisoner.

"We're surrounded by cops," I said. "If you stick me, I'll scream like a girl."

Ah, crap, why'd I used that expression? She probably screamed like an Amazon warrior. How'd she even lift a knife that big? She was such a tiny thing. All the cops I'd met were big louts. But she had the drop on me, and the knife was a lot more threatening than her wand thingy.

"Who are you? Where are we? How'd I get here?" she asked. The taut muscles around her eyes telegraphed fear, and the knife trembled in her hand.

I rubbed my prickling wrist tattoos against my jeans and caught a whiff of something burnt. I glanced around the kiosk. Up near the ceiling, a trace of shapeless sooty cloud leaked out through the crack around the door. My mouth opened, closed.

"Do you smoke?" I asked, hoping she'd tell me she did. The cloud could have been cigarette smoke even if it didn't smell like tobacco… purposeful cigarette smoke, on the dark side. A hallucination. Not real.

A frown joined her stare. Oops. I'd wandered off topic. What had she asked? Who are you? But her team had that tracking device that reacted to me. How could she be looking for me but not recognize me?

"I brought you here so they wouldn't shoot you. I had to hide you while I led him away." I gave her a tentative smile and waited for her to gush her thanks for saving her life. Maybe she'd be so grateful, she'd tell me about the tracking device—and point that big knife some other direction. Then I could get away before she figured out who I was.

She added narrowed eyes to the stare and the frown. I chewed my lower lip. Maybe I wasn't communicating as well as I'd hoped. I felt woefully inadequate talking to someone as lovely as her, especially someone carrying a dangerous weapon. It could have been worse—at least I hadn't degenerated into word salad or spoken in rhymes.

Touching Madness

Light bulbs talk to River Madden; God doesn't. When the homeless schizophrenic unintentionally fractures a dimensional barrier and accidentally steals a gym bag containing a million dollars, everyone from the multiverse police to the local crime boss—and an eight-foot tall demon—are after him. Can he dodge them long enough to correct his mistakes and prevent the destruction of three separate dimensions? If he succeeds, will the light bulbs stop singing off-key?

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary, Urban fantasy
Rating – R
More details about the author

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Erin Sands on How #Writers Become Better Through Exposure & Feedback @TheDunesBook #AmWriting


We have all heard someone throw out the, “I should write a book” line. Heck, I’ve even jokingly said it myself whenever a friend asked me about a subject I felt pretty well versed in. I should write a book, five little words that are easy to say, but those of us who have dared to plunge into the deep and surfaced with book in hand have learned that the journey from idea to author is no small feat.

The most important aspect of any book is good writing. Whether you are an indie writer or a best selling author, the litmus test remains the same; is the book well written? The answer will be found on page one of your manuscript, which is why every author must get comfortable with a very simple truth. A first draft is merely that, a “first” draft. Excellence comes from writing, re-writing, re-writing again and then re-writing some more after that. There were many times while writing The Dunes that I would give a draft to my husband and he would shake his head indicating that it was not good enough yet. As infuriating as that was, he was absolutely right. It made me go deeper, search for better words and a clearer vision of how to share my ideas with readers. Writers become better through exposure and feedback from editors and people we trust. It is a part of the process that should never be avoided. http://bit.ly/1pwryZK

The aesthetic design of your book is also essential. The cover of your book is your first “hello” to the reader. It is your 3-second commercial and it needs to give readers insight into your story at a glance. Finding someone who is able to graphically illustrate the heart of your book is key. I worked with my cover designer for months before we finally settled on a cover that I believed masterfully articulated the beauty and the transformative nature of The Dunes. Getting the interior design of my book just right was also an integral aspect in my publishing journey. The choice of font, the font size, the layout and page color are all things that can make your book flow seamlessly in the readers mind or be disruptive and jarring. It is important to take the time to make sure that those choices compliment your book and allow for the experience you want your readers to have. http://bit.ly/1pwryZK

Another important aspect of publishing is one that I am still learning, the necessity of marketing. Finding unique ways to spread the word about your book requires creativity and tenacity. These days, utilizing social media is paramount, but a “following” isn’t born over night. It is important to be consistent and patient. This process is indeed a marathon. Also, never discount the grass roots approach. Networking with other authors and good old-fashioned word-of-mouth are still priceless tools for any author.


Born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised in the Bay Area of Northern California, Erin grew up with an innate love for dance, theatre and the written word. A graduate of Loyola Marymount University, Erin began her career in the arts as an actress and choreographer. After booking several notable roles in television and film, Erin began to use her gift of writing in blogs featuring political and social commentary, as well as developing content for theatrical use.

Although The Dunes, is a divine departure from Erin’s previous writings it is by far her most cherished work to date. “I wrote The Dunes initially as self therapy because I needed to release some painful experiences and disappointments from my past. I had this thirst to walk in the complete fullness of life with joy as my constant companion. I had no idea what effect it would have on other people. But when I saw people read it and be released from fears that had held them back for years…when I saw people forgive and be able to walk in the freedom forgiveness brings…when I saw people commit and serve and how those things opened up new opportunities in their life, I was just humbled. Humbled by the awesome power of God and humbled that I had been allowed to go along for the ride”.

When asked why she writes, Erin pauses and reflects on the truth of her heart. “I write because although I am only now beginning to truly love the process, I have always loved the outcome. Like a composer, words become my notes. I string them together in song eliciting the response of my reader, grafting a picture of my soul. Where besides the written word can you effect change so utterly and so succinctly? What besides the written word can pierce the universal collective mind? Everything begins with a thought, but it isn’t until that thought is articulated in written word and those words passed down can life changing movement happen. It must be written, it must be expressed on tablet, and when it is, we all become greater, whether the writing be genius or fatuity, it has evoked thought and debate. Why wouldn’t I want to be apart of that phenomenon? Why wouldn’t I want to share my story, give my testimony…add my paradigm to the mix? Whether it is a novel, a poem, an essay or an article, it is humanity visited. An insight into a new or sometimes shared truth. In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God. And with that I live my life”.


If there was a journey that could masterfully change your life in seven revelations...would you take it? 

In life, sometimes the kernels of wisdom and the richness of revelation can be found in the most innocent of stories; and so it is with The Dunes. Join one man and one woman in an exquisitely simple yet remarkably profound journey as you discover with them that the mountain you must climb in order to live the abundant life of your dreams is located squarely within your heart. 

Illuminated in seven revelations; The Dunes carries the reader on a journey to not only examine the obstacles that are holding them back in life but to conquer and over come them as well. With each revelation The Dunes intimately calls on the reader as the journey companion to face a challenge…a dare if you will that requires an uncompromising commitment to change. In the family of faith-based self help books, The Dunes stands alone, simultaneously taking the reader from fiction to life and back again, equipped with a tailor made journal for the readers inner most secrets and reflections. The Dunes is part allegory, part testimony and part journal, but the best part is the healing it offers your heart. When you’re ready to step out of your comfort zone and step into the miracle of your life…The Dunes awaits. 

CAUTION: Readers of this book are subject to significant changes for the better. Side effects may include frequent smiling and enjoying life in every season.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Non-fiction
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with Erin Sands on Facebook & Twitter

#Excerpt from SAGA OF THE NINE : Area 38 by Mikey D.B. @mikeydbii #Dystopian #Thriller #MustRead

Normally the same few people get put on stage; the same citizens who don’t abide by The Government’s law, but occasionally there’s the exception of others who have strayed from the path.  Tonight, the exception is a boy and girl who both can’t be over the age of ten.  The two lines face their audience and as the Area Leader approaches to mount the stage, the gathering claps for him.

Christopher Stone, son of Stewart and Bethany Stone, the barbaric founders of the PPA.  Rumors and assumptions are all anyone has of that family.  Nobody even knows if he has siblings.  The only member of the Stone family that anybody in Area 38 has seen is Christopher himself.  From a distance you can’t tell how pale his skin truly is.  On the giant screens flanking the stage, you see that he’s whiter than the average citizen, but until you stand next to him you won’t know how close his complexion resembles a ghost.  Jackson’s stood that close once and he’ll never forget that night.

“Welcome to the Gathering my brothers and sisters.”  Christopher’s voice is projected throughout the room of City Hall as he extends his skeletal arms out.

“That’s new,” Joe whispers.  Usually he just says “Welcome” without the whole brother and sister thing.

“He doesn’t believe that we are his brothers and sisters,” Jackson whispers.

“Nah, he’s just sayin’ that ‘cause he’s ‘bout to do somethin’ horrible.  Get on our good side and all.”  And Joe’s right.

“Do you think--?” Joe cuts him off, but nods his head, to answer the unfinished question.  They both know who will be punished the worst.

“Tonight,” Christopher continues, “I have the heartbreaking responsibility of reminding you all of the law.  There are your typical drunks that infringe on the law by attacking PPA members,” he says walking in front of two middle-aged men and pushing them each with his bony finger.  As he does, four of the PPA privates on stage beat the two men senseless with their fists, elbows, knees, and feet.  They’re both unconscious within a few short moments.

He continues down the line of citizens.  “There is the individual who tries to seduce the members of PPA.”  He now touches a young lady with the same white finger and two more PPA privates, one of them being a woman, beat her.  “There are the citizens who complain about being too frail to work.”  He doesn’t attempt to lay his finger on the crippled and injured couple, but four PPA privates take their turn beating the aged citizens.

He finally stops his waltz and stands in front of the little boy and girl.  “And then there are the thieves of the community.”  A long moment passes as if he wants everyone to take in the cruelty of what’s going to happen next.  He pulls out a 13-inch metal rod from within his coat, and his long thin fingers wind around the handle.  There are no more PPA privates on the stage to beat these children.  That doesn’t matter to Christopher.  He planned it that way, he personally wants to punish these two; and he does.

Not being able to watch, Jackson shifts his focus to the dark, wooden floor in order to save his eyes from the awful sight.  However, there’s nothing to save his ears from the children’s screams and cries for help.  If he covers his ears, they’ll see him and then he’ll be up on stage instantaneously for not learning of the consequences in a proper manner.  He would even walk out, but the guard at the exit would shoot him if he did.

The cries abruptly stop, but the sound of the rod bluntly hitting flesh doesn’t.

This whole thing is wrong.  Everybody in this room knows it but nobody does anything about it.  What can they do?  They can’t prove that what the PPA is doing is evil and barbaric.  They only feel it.  Jackson can feel it, and it makes him sick to his stomach.

Finally, it ceases.

“What is the law?”  Christopher demands.  Jackson looks up to see him wiping his bare knuckles and rod clean with a black handkerchief.

In unison, the gathering says, “The law states: one, no disrespectful acts towards The Government or the members who uphold it.  Two, praise The Government by our actions and with our words.  Lastly, live, work, and if needs be die, so that The Government may continue to prosper and bless.”

Saga of the Nine

Change affects everyone and it is no different for Jackson. Living in Area 38 for as long as he can remember, he knows of no better way to exist than under the tyrannical rule of Christopher Stone, son of Stewart Stone from The Nine of The United Governmental Areas, aka The UGA. This all takes a dramatic turn when Jackson finds a red, metal box buried in his yard, filled with illegal artifacts—journals, a Bible, CDs, etc.—that are from a man of whom he has no recollection of: Mica Rouge.

 The year is 2036 and Mica, unlike Jackson, does know of a better way of life but is torn apart as he sees his country, The United States of America, crumbling from within by group known as The Political Mafia. The Mafia has infiltrated levels upon levels of governmental resources and it is up to Mica and a vigilante group known as The USA Division to stop them and their dark Utopian vision. To their demise, and at the country's expense, The Division fails and has no choice but to watch The Constitution dissolve and transform into The UGA.

In a final stand, having not given up hope, Mica and what is left of The Division, give one final fight in Colorado, or better known as Area 38. However, all is lost as The Division is betrayed by one of their own, Stewart Stone. Mica is left with no choice but to hide in exile, leaving what little history he can of himself and the great United States of America, with his wife, long time friends, and newly born son in hopes that they will one day finish what he could not.

Jackson, having found this legacy twenty-seven years later, decides to start the war that will end The Nine, and he with an outcast group known as The Raiders, begins his fight with Christopher Stone in Area 38. Filled with betrayal, unity, despair, hope, hate and love Area 38 follows both Mica and Jackson in their attempts to restore what they believe to be true freedom, and where one fails, the other rises to the seemingly impossible challenge.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Dystopian Thriller
Rating – PG13
More details about the author
Connect with Mikey D. B. on Facebook & Twitter
Website www.mikeydb.com

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Cleavage & Legs from A LIFE LESS ORDINARY by Victoria Bernadine @VicBernadine #ChickLit #Women

Manny laid in bed, staring up at the ceiling and waiting for sleep. She plucked restlessly at the blanket and wished she could relax. Tomorrow was Steph’s first staff meeting. Today she’d reacquainted herself with everyone in the office then spent the rest of the day with Manny being briefed on the details of the work of the branch and any current issues she’d need to resolve within the next few days. That meant Manny’s own work had been delayed, and tomorrow it would be delayed again–and Manny would have to leave early in order to meet Rebecca and Daisy at the lounge for drinks before heading to the club.
Manny took a deep breath and slowly let it out. It wouldn’t be too bad, she staunchly told herself. Steph was young, energetic, and had a shrewd intelligence almost obscured by the cleavage-revealing shirts, short skirts and a figure that could stop traffic–and probably did. Manny wondered if Craig truly understood what he’d gotten himself in for by promoting Steph rather than Manny.
Cleavage and legs.
She mentally rolled her eyes at Harvey’s dry, cynical tones.
Maybe–but that’s not really fair to him, is it? He’s not a bad guy.
But he is just a guy.
She does bring a new perspective–a new way of thinking about things. She’s not a bad choice–and I can’t argue with Craig’s idea that shaking things up could make things better.
And where does that leave you?
No worse off than I was before.
And no better.
If you’re not going to be helpful…
Harvey glanced down at his suddenly ruffled shirt opened to the middle of his muscled chest and skin-tight breeches. He glanced back at her with a ruefully amused smile.
Watched the Ice Pirates again, did you?
Oh, shut up–it’s a classic no matter what anybody else thinks!
I’m just sayin’–if I was real and regularly wore pants this tight, I’m not sure I’d be of any use to you. If you know what I mean.
Manny groaned and shook her head, and Harvey blinked out of existence. She wondered when she’d managed to lose control of a figment of her imagination–one she’d eventually felt compelled to name after an invisible rabbit.
She groaned again, rolled over and pulled the covers over her head. It was going to be another long day tomorrow.
Complete with dancing.

For the last fifteen years, Rose “Manny” Mankowski has been a very good girl. She turned her back on her youthful fancies and focused on her career. But now, at the age of 45, she’s questioning her choices and feeling more and more disconnected from her own life. When she’s passed over for promotion and her much younger new boss implies Manny’s life will never change, something snaps. In the blink of an eye, she’s quit her job, sold her house and cashed in her pension, and she’s leaving town on a six month road trip.
After placing a personal ad for a travelling companion, she’s joined in her mid-life crisis by Zeke Powell, the cynical, satirical, most-read – and most controversial – blogger for the e-magazine, What Women Want. Zeke’s true goal is to expose Manny’s journey as a pitiful and desperate attempt to reclaim her lost youth – and increase his readership at the same time. Leaving it all behind for six months is just an added bonus.
Now, armed with a bagful of destinations, a fistful of maps, and an out-spoken imaginary friend named Harvey, Manny’s on a quest to rediscover herself – and taking Zeke along for the ride.
Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – ChickLit, Contemporary Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
 Connect with Victoria Bernadine on Twitter

Pendelton Wallace (HACKER FOR HIRE) on Book Covers that Represent the Story #WriteTip #AmWriting

Why Book Covers are So Important

All my life, I have heard that you can’t judge a book by its cover. Yet, that is what we do. I’m as guilty as anyone else.
I go into the bookstore, or the on-line web site, and look at the covers. If the cover grabs my attention, then I read the back jacket or the description. That may lead me to look inside the book and maybe even buy the book.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t base my buying decision on the cover, but the cover is what first attracts my eye and gets me to look at the book.
I don’t think I am A-typical in this respect. Your cover needs to tell the story in such a way that the reader will want to look further. I am currently reading a book about a young man in Narobi, Kenya. The cover has a picture of a beautiful woman with an automatic pistol on the floor. The story that I’m reading has nothing to do with the cover picture.
If I had bought the book because I thought it was a good thriller/mystery, I would be terribly disappointed.
My point is that the cover must represent what the story is about. In The Inside Passage, I used a picture of a cruise ship on the Inside Passage with cross-hairs over it. What does that tell you about the story?
The story is about a group of al-Qaeda terrorist that are plotting to blow up a cruise ship on the Inside Passage of Canada. I’m hoping that the cover of the book conveys that message and grabs a shopper’s interest.
The Inside Passage is the first in a series of novels about computer security analyst Ted Higuera’s adventures. I want the covers to tie the books together so that when a reader sees the cover they will instantly know that this is another Ted Higuera thriller.
To this end, all of his stories will have cross hairs on the cover. The second book in the series, Hacker for Hire, is about corporate greed and industrial espionage at a major computer manufacturer in Seattle. So, for the cover, I took a picture of the Seattle skyline and imposed the cross hairs on it. I really like this cover.
The third book in the series, The Mexican Connection, is about the Mexican drug wars. For this cover I will probably use a picture of the Zocalo in Mexico City with the cross hairs on it.
In this way, all of the books have a common “look and feel” to their covers and readers will be able to recognize that they are part of a series.
Back to what to put on your cover. What is your genre? There seems to be a common theme in covers in each genre. For instance, romance novels. You can tell immediately by looking at the cover that it is a genre novel. Is that Fabio, holding a beautiful woman with one hand while fighting off the pirates with the other?
Don’t copy others, but look for good ideas. I’m not above stealing good ideas from anybody. Do you have a favorite author in your genre? What do they do about a cover? Take their ideas, tweak them and make them your own.
And, for goodness sake, make your covers readable. I have seen some covers with such convoluted type fonts that I can’t read the title of the book. Or the title is twisted around the art work and is difficult to decipher. I’m sure it’s all very arty, but I don’t like it. I want to be able to read the title and author name in the thumbnail on Amazon.com.
I had a boss one time that used to say “it’s all about marketing.” We were selling custom computer services to mid-size companies and she was all about the sizzle. She convinced the customer that we could do the job by presenting a bold, professional image.
You need to do the same thing with your covers. SIZZLE. Be different. Do something that jumps off the shelf. Don’t hide in the stack of books; figure out you own way to grab a customer’s attention.
Remember, we all judge a book by its cover.

If Clive Cussler had written Ugly Betty, it would be Hacker for Hire. 

Hacker for Hire, a suspense novel about corporate greed and industrial espionage, is the second book in a series about Latino computer security analyst Ted Higuera and his best friend, para-legal Chris Hardwick. 

The goofy, off-beat Ted Higuera, son of Mexican immigrants, grew up in East LA. An unlikely football scholarship brought him to Seattle. 

Chris, Ted’s college roommate, grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth. His father is the head of one of Seattle’s most prestigious law firms. 

Ted’s first job out of college leads him into the world of organized crime where he faces a brutal beating. After being rescued by beautiful private investigator Catrina Flaherty, Ted decides to go to work for her. 

Catrina is hired by a large computer corporation to find a leak in their corporate boardroom when the previous consultant is found floating in Elliot Bay. 

Ted discovers that Chris’s firm has been retained by their prime suspect. Now he and Chris are working opposite sides of the same case. 

Ted and Catrina are led deep into Seattle’s Hi-Tech world as they stalk the killer. But the killer is also hunting them. Can Ted find the killer before the killer finds him? 
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Mystery, Thriller
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with Pendelton Wallace on Facebook

Friday, November 28, 2014

#Excerpt from ACROSS WORLDS: Collision by S. A. Snow @BooksbySnow #AmReading #SciFi #Erotica

Jane slowed and stopped, her heart pounding in her chest. She lifted her water bottle to her lips and drank deeply, droplets running down the line of her throat. Her body was slick with sweat, and it pooled between her breasts and at the small of her back.

The sun was coming up, and she placed her hands on her hips, leaning back, both to stretch her back muscles and to marvel at the colors piercing the sky. She glanced at her watch. Six-forty-two. Time to head home and get ready for work. There was no telling when she would get to watch the sun rise again—probably never.
Jane’s eyes widened and she gasped when the ground began to shake. She grabbed a tree for stability and looked around wildly. Earthquakes weren’t commonplace in Washington, D.C. The wind picked up, smacking leaves her in the face and swirling dust around her just as a roar filled the air. The sound of engines was deafening.

She craned her neck to look through the branches of the tree she held onto, and her hand went to her mouth as she took several steps away from her safety net. Her head fell back, and she stared in awe. It was the most amazing thing she’d ever seen.

Chrome and metal melded together to make a hull that was almost matte and looked like liquid all at once. It was dotted with windows, and she could barely make out the lines of the doors. The engines were bigger than the largest plane she had ever seen.

With one shudder, the roar died down and the engines stopped spinning. Three holes in the bottom of the ship opened up and great metal poles descended. Jane couldn’t help her curiosity as she stepped closer. One metal pole crashed into the ground a hundred yards from where she stood. It broke soil, and claw-like structures folded down, creating an anchor, presumably to keep the ship in place.

She approached it carefully. A small crowd gathered as other people made their way over to see what was happening. Jane wound her way through the people and reached out slowly, her hand making contact with the pole. She jumped back before relaxing. It was cool and smooth to the touch.


Jane expected six months undercover to be hard; she expected it to be lonely and bleak. She didn’t expect to find love. 

Jane Butler, a CIA operative, is assigned the task of infiltrating the Xanthians and determining if they’re a threat to humanity. Going undercover as a Xanthian mate, she boards the transport ship and meets Usnavi—her new mate. After spending six days traveling through space, Jane is ecstatic to explore the Xanthian station and soon sets out to complete her mission. The only problem? Usnavi—and the feelings she is quickly developing. 

Fumbling their way through varying sexual expectations, cooking catastrophes, and cultural differences, they soon discover life together is never boring. As Jane and Usnavi careen into a relationship neither of them expected, Jane uncovers dark secrets about the Xanthians and realizes she may no longer be safe. When it becomes clear she’s on her own, Jane is forced to trust and rely on Usnavi. Simultaneously struggling with her mission, her feelings for Usnavi, and homesickness, Jane faces questions she never imagined she would have to answer.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Blended Science Fiction, Erotica
Rating – NC17
More details about the author
Connect with S. A. Snow on Facebook

Saturday, November 8, 2014

#Excerpt from LOCK READY by James Rada Jr. @JimRada #Historical #Fiction #AmReading

This excerpt comes at the start of the book as David Windover, a former Confederate spy, ponders his future with the Fitzgerald family.
As David stood looking at all he had in the world, the hatch on the other side of the hay house opened. George Fitzgerald, Alice’s oldest child, stood in the opening looking in at him. He was a slim young man with light brown hair. He was frowning, which was a mirror image of Alice’s frown, but unlike his mother, George rarely smiled since returning from the war.
“So it is true then,” George said. “You’re leaving.”
“This makes you the man in charge,” David said. George had recently turned nineteen years old, though he seemed older now. It was more than simply him living additional year. George had seen things and experienced things that a nineteen-year-old man should not have to see and experience. The sparkle of life that Thomas still had in his eyes was missing in George’s. David hoped that the young man would find a way to get it back, but then David had never been able to after what he had seen during the waar.
“I suppose it does,” George said flatly.
The two men looked at each other without saying anything. They had both fought in the war, though on different sides. David had never gone back to the fighting after being wounded while George had lost his arm and couldn’t return. It always seemed to David that George had lost something more than his arm in the war. He had lost the ability to be happy.
“Mama’s in her cabin crying,” George said finally.
David closed his eyes and took a deep breath. What did she expect him to do? He couldn’t stay, not with the way things were between then.
“She’ll get over it,” David said.
“Maybe.” He didn’t sound so certain.
“I’m just a hand around here, George. You know that. You’re the one who’s told me it enough times.”
George snorted. “Since when did you listen to me? If you think that you’re just a hand, then maybe you should leave.”
David slapped the wall with the flat of his hand and then bowed his head.
“What? You want me to stay?”
“It’s not my decision, but I would think that after all my family has risked for you, you would want to stay,” George told him.
The Fitzgeralds could be arrested for hiding a former Confederate spy. When David had been arrested two years ago, they had risked their own freedom to free him from the Union soldiers who had arrested him.
David drew himself up straighter. “I risked my life for your family, too.”
George nodded slowly. “I guess you have me at that.” He was quiet. David thought George had said all he meant to say, but then he added, “You’re doing this because of a woman. I know that, but I’ll tell you something. If you do something for the wrong reason, you will regret it. It cost me my arm.”
George had run off to join the army about a year and half ago because he thought it would impress a girl he was sweet on. He wound up losing his arm and returning home to find out he really didn’t care what the girl thought about him anymore.
David glanced at his pack. He was ready to go. Not much need to stay around anymore. He’d said his goodbye. Anything more would just give people a reason to cry and try to convince him otherwise. He was afraid they might succeed.
David grabbed the pack and pushed open the hatch above his bed.
“So you’re just going to leave things like this?” George said.
David didn’t reply. He just walked away.
It was time to leave.

The Civil War split the United States and now it has split the Fitzgerald Family. Although George Fitzgerald has returned from the war, his sister Elizabeth Fitzgerald has chosen to remain in Washington to volunteer as a nurse. The ex-Confederate spy, David Windover, has given up on his dream of being with Alice Fitzgerald and is trying to move on with his life in Cumberland, Md. Alice and her sons continue to haul coal along the 184.5-mile-long C&O Canal. 

It is dangerous work, though, during war time because the canal runs along the Potomac River and between the North and South. Having had to endured death and loss already, Alice wonders whether remaining on the canal is worth the cost. She wants her family reunited and safe, but she can’t reconcile her feelings between David and her dead husband. Her adopted son, Tony, has his own questions that he is trying to answer. 

He wants to know who he is and if his birth mother ever loved him. As he tries to find out more about his birth mother and father, he stumbles onto a plan by Confederate sympathizers to sabotage the canal and burn dozens of canal boats. He enlists David’s help to try and disrupt the plot before it endangers his new family, but first they will have find out who is behind the plot.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Historical Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with James Rada Jr. on Facebook & Twitter
Website jamesrada.com