Jack Cannon's American Destiny

Rachel Thompson

Friday, January 31, 2014

The Soul of the World (Legends of Amun Ra #2) by Joshua Silverman @jg_silverman

*   *   *

Kem dives to the ground in desperation, covering his head and neck from the rocks raining down. I didn’t see that coming. I thought I was quiet, he thinks.

The announcement of Cadmus’ elimination booms over the intercom. Well, at least I don’t have to worry about a vengeful brother.

The dust and debris settle from the crumbled wall. Find Kesi. Kem trots towards the end of the path. Before he gets there, he sees a shadow along the wall.

Dio turns the corner and spots him. She’s already throwing blue spheres before he knows what happened.

Kem hits the floor hard, dodging the first two. Dio hurls more at him.

His heart beats like a jackhammer in his chest. He is covered in dirt and sand. Kem swerves left, then right, ducking from a shot aimed at his head. He looks back at Dio, who walks with determination, shooting at him. Will she not let up a little? Got to slow her down.


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Genre – Science fiction, Fantasy

Rating – PG-13+

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Connect with Joshua Silverman on Facebook & Twitter

Website www.legendsofamunra.com; www.joshuagsilverman.com

#Author Caroline Kennedy Shares Her Publishing Journey - #AmWriting #Scandal

My Publishing Journey
Firstly I have to admit I was extremely fortunate in my original publishing journey. It all seemed to happen so swiftly and so easily. I had heard of writers struggling to get their manuscripts noticed, receiving numerous rejections and searching desperately for an agent who would put them on their books. Not so for me.
I realized I had the makings of a sensational book, i.e. it was not the accepted story of “The Profumo Affair” but a totally new look at the case with hard evidence demonstrating government wrongdoing, police corruption, judicial abuse of power and an Establishment bent on seeking revenge. At the same time I wanted to do justice to the story and had doubts about my ability to write it so that the greatest number of people would read it and reviewers would take it seriously.
So I decided to offer the research to a writer known for his investigative books – David Yallop (author of such best-selling books as “In God’s Name”, “The Day the Laughter Stopped” and “Beyond Reasonable Doubt”). I didn’t know David. I had never met him. But I had read his books and felt he was the right person to approach. I found out the name of his agent, Jenne Casseroto, wrote to her, and asked her if I could show him my material on Stephen Ward. To whet his appetite I included some of the research. To my amazement and thrill David Yallop called me less than 24 hours later and asked me to come to his house to show him what I had discovered that was so different from the accepted story about “The Profumo Affair”.
A day later I was in David Yallop’s house in North London with tapes, papers, documents, letters, interview transcripts all spread out on his living room floor. David, his wife Anna and myself pored through the research material most of the night. And then I posed the question, “Will you write the book, David?” He replied he would have loved to but he was on a deadline to write his own book. “However,” he said, “I want to introduce you to my publisher, Tom Maschler of Jonathan Cape, he will absolutely love this story.”
David Yallop kept his word. Within two days I was sitting in Tom Maschler’s office and it took David and me no time at all to convince him that this was going to be a special book. Tom was thrilled with the subject and impressed by the research. I expressed doubts, however, that I could do the book justice and asked his advice. He immediately suggested teaming up with Phillip Knightley, the long time investigative journalist at the Insight Team on the Sunday Times and a world-renowned expert on Intelligence Services and espionage. “This book,” announced Tom, “will be a number one best seller!” And he was right!
How The English Establishment Framed

"How the English Establishment Framed Stephen Ward" is a major expose of a government cover-up that has lasted half a century. It is a powerful story of sexual compulsion, political malice and ultimate betrayal. A number-one bestseller when it came out in 1987 under its original title, "An Affair of State", the book reveals never-before-heard testimony that has been uncovered by the authors in the years since the scandal broke. 

Using startling new evidence, including Ward’s own unpublished memoirs and hundreds of interviews with many who, conscience-stricken, have now spoken out for the first time, this important account rips through a half-century cover-up in order to show exactly why the government, the police forces, the Judiciary and the security forces decided to frame Stephen Ward. Stephen Ward is now the subject of an upcoming Andrew Lloyd-Weber musical and this book offers a wider perspective on its complex, central character as well as a broader insight into one of the greatest scandals of the past 100 years. 

As the authors’ research reveals, Ward’s “trial of the century” was caused by an unprecedented corruption of justice and political malice which resulted in an innocent man becoming a scapegoat for those who could not bear to lose power. This is an epic tale of sex, lies, and governmental abuse whose aftermath almost brought down the government and shook the American, British, and Soviet espionage worlds to their core. With its surprising revelations and meticulous research, Ward’s complete story can finally be told.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Politics, Espionage, Scandal
Rating – PG-16
More details about the author
Connect with Caroline Kennedy on Facebook & Twitter
Book Trailer

Thursday, January 30, 2014

#Author David Litwack on Genres & #Literary Awards (#AmWriting)

On genres and literary awards
Recently, I travelled to Miami to receive two Readers’ Favorite awards—the bronze medal in the Young Adult – Coming of Age category for There Comes a Prophet , and another bronze for Along the Watchtower for Dramatic Fiction. (click here for a picture).
Of course, I was pleased to receive the awards, as well as have the opportunity to meet my fellow authors. But what to make of it?
I’d applied to several contests before. All are different, with various categories an author can specify. Most of the choices are classic genre—romance, mystery, paranormal, sci-fi etc. I’d previously submitted There Comes a Prophet as sci-fi and Along the Watchtower as Military Fiction with no success. So why did I finally win in these two less-than-pure-genre categories?
While my writing is speculative, it tends to defy being pigeonholed into a single genre. Prophet is sci-fi, in the sense that it takes place in an imagined but possible dystopian future. But it lacks androids or aliens with tentacles, space or time travel, or pitched battles with light sabers and ray guns. Watchtower is about a wounded Iraq war veteran suffering from PTSD, but none of it takes place in a war zone. It’s been described as cross-genre: part love story, part fantasy adventure, part family drama and chronicle of recovery and personal growth. Both books have one thing in common—main characters striving to overcome obstacles and find their way in life.
In Prophet, Nathaniel, Orah and Thomas come of age when they discover a world gone awry and seek the courage to change it. Lt. Freddie Williams of Watchtower confronts his personal demons in a fantasy dream world, similar to World of Warcraft, the video game he played with his comrades. Through that dream world and the help of those in the VA hospital, he finds a way to come to terms with his past and a reason to live.
The two winning categories—drama and coming of age—focus not on genre but on the heart of a good story:  strong characters struggling to overcome adversity and reach the goal they long for. And being recognized for a good story is the best a writer could desire.

WINNER: Readers' Favorite Book 2013 Bronze Award Winner, Drama Category -Fiction

A Tragic Warrior Lost in Two Worlds...

The war in Iraq ended for Lieutenant Freddie Williams when an IED explosion left his mind and body shattered. Once he was a skilled gamer and expert in virtual warfare. Now he's a broken warrior, emerging from a medically induced coma to discover he's inhabiting two separate realities. The first is his waking world of pain, family trials, and remorse--and slow rehabilitation through the tender care of Becky, his physical therapist. The second is a dark fantasy realm of quests, demons, and magic that Freddie enters when he sleeps.

In his dreams he is Frederick, Prince of Stormwind, who must make sense of his horrific visions in order to save his embattled kingdom from the monstrous Horde. His only solace awaits him in the royal gardens, where the gentle words of the beautiful gardener, Rebecca, calm the storms in his soul. While in the conscious world, the severely wounded vet faces a strangely similar and equally perilous mission--a journey along a dark road haunted by demons of guilt and memory--and letting patient, loving Becky into his damaged and shuttered heart may be his only way back from Hell.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with David Litwack on Facebook & Twitter

Author Interview – Karolyn James @karolynwrites

What are you most proud of in your personal life?

My family. My two boys growing up. And my ability to give back to my local community as much as I can.

What book genre of books do you adore?

Everything romance!

Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?

I came from a small town and I love in one now! I love it. I love the small communities and how everyone knows each other and helps each other. It reflects in my writing too… the guys from Chasing Cross come from a small town in Virginia and everywhere they end up (and in love!) they’re in small towns!

How did you develop your writing?

I just kept writing. I wrote anything I could think of. There are thousands – yes, THOUSANDS – of printed pages that will never see light of day because the writing isn’t good. But it led me here.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

From life! I like to look at life, read the paper, talk to people, watch people, and just imagine how romance can play into everything.

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?

Marketing. I’m not good at it. I hate talking about myself – lol. I don’t think I’m interesting… but my books are!

Buried Notes 4

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Romance

Rating – PG13

More details about the author and the book

Connect with  Karolyn James on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://karolynjames.wordpress.com/


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

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Beyond Neanderthal by Brian Bloom @BrianB_Aust

From Chapter 12 – Visit to a Blue Amber Mine

As Tara alighted from the vehicle, she found herself facing a ghostly white haze of wispy, low-lying clouds that hung as if suspended in time above the undulating hilltops. The peaks rose from the variegated emerald and olive valley below and stretched into the distance amid a virginal mixture of lush equatorial undergrowth. She drew a deep, involuntary breath.

‘Wow!’ There were no other words to describe the feeling of awe-inspired privilege that washed over her. The vista was about as far removed from Central Park as a New York city skyscraper was from the little pastel coloured huts lining the Carretera Turística.

Aurelio smiled. Intuitively, he seemed to understand that the most appropriate response to this magnificent sight was silence. It was a full two minutes before Tara gathered her thoughts.

‘Let’s get going,’ she said.

They made their way carefully—gingerly climbing over dead logs, negotiating their way around rocky outcrops, and grabbing onto available plant life to steady themselves as they walked and stumbled their way towards the valley below. On either side of the track, a mixture of tall, fronded plants grew in an array of shapes and sizes beside stunted and gnarled old trees with deep green foliage. Tara thought of the trees like friendly bystanders, their leafy branches protectively shading Aurelio and her from much of the glaring sunshine above. They came across a trickling stream, which they followed for a while; Tara ever mindful and vigilant, watching for any sign of wildlife in the undergrowth. Except for the background humming of insects, the occasional noisy squawking of a flock of parrots flying past overhead and, once, the silent imprint of a shoe sole on the muddy banks of the stream, they seemed to be alone.

Then, in a clearing, they came across a group of young men standing seemingly relaxed and chatting. A few feet away, under a lean-to made of branches and palm fronds, one of them squatted while cooking something on a small paraffin or gas stove. Aurelio and Tara had arrived at the mine.

Again, there was a short conversation in Spanish. Again, there was a wrinkling of noses followed by broad smiles of understanding and agreement. There were also some side comments and laughter amongst the men. The word ‘gringa’—foreigner from America—came up a couple of times. Tara thought she also heard the words ‘bonita’, and ‘sexual’, but she couldn’t be sure. She decided to keep a slight distance for the time being. They were in the middle of nowhere, miles from the nearest civilization.

Aurelio walked back towards her. ‘They will be happy to show you around, but we should remember our time limitations. We cannot spend more that half an hour here if we are to return to Santo Domingo before dark.’

‘Are you trying to protect me from these guys?’ she asked with a smile. Aurelio looked embarrassed.

‘What’s he cooking?’ she asked to change the subject. ‘It smells great.’

‘That is called arroz con abichuelas, a mixture of rice and beans. He is probably cooking some small pieces of beef with it, but it could be any meat.’

‘Can one buy that in a restaurant in Santo Domingo?’

‘Of course, but not exactly the same. This is a local dish for locals. To sell food like this to tourists would be like offering leftovers to your guests. It would not be right. In the restaurants it is much more carefully presented and is usually served with salads.’

The word ‘dignity’ popped into Tara’s mind. Aurelio seemed to have it, and that was what she had seen on the faces of the fruit vendor and the amber polisher and, now, even the miners as she approached them. Other than their initial jocularity, they seemed to consider her as their guest and themselves as hosts who happily welcomed visitors into their world. The men were just being men.

As they approached the entrance to the mine, a happy looking miner wearing a backward facing baseball cap sat with a short-handled pick in one hand, a lump of soft rock in the other.

Hola, señorita,’ he said, grinning broadly.

She smiled back at him, lifted her hand in greeting, but continued to follow Aurelio to the mine entrance. It was like standing at the entrance to the burrow of a large animal.

Beyond Neanderthal

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Thriller

Rating – MA (15+)

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Connect with Brian Bloom on Twitter

Monday, January 27, 2014

Invasion: A Diabolical Onslaught by Michael Dismuke #scifi #horror

An otherworldly force opens a gate in a remote mountain range in Colorado and unleashes an alien organism into the forest. Once the gate opens, a shield is placed over the entire area blocking all communications in or out of the zone. It then releases a time pulse every 30 minutes locking everything inside the shield into a checkpoint. If anything destroys the gate, everything within the shield is reset back to the previous checkpoint before the gate was destroyed.
The organism is highly infectious and anything it touches mutates and joins the invading force. They become soldiers with a darker will and help spread the infection even further. Survivors caught within the shield try to escape and stop the organism from leaving, but something keeps destroying the gate, resetting time, and changing their fates.
INVASION is the first volume in the Darkness & Daemons series, event 1-10.
Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – SciFi Horror
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with  Michael Dismuke on Facebook & Twitter

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunspots by Karen S. Bell @KarenSueBell

* * *

As I lie in bed with these thoughts, I finally notice that Marina has quietly come back into my room and is sitting in the armchair watching me. She offers me some more medicine and I shake my head, “no.” I don’t want to sleep, and I don’t want to be awake. There is no comfort in anything. She says, “Come. We’ll have a nice cup of tea.” And I follow her downstairs and into the kitchen, zombie-like. I watch her with dull eyes that do not see her movements as she opens cupboards and finds a teapot, cups, and tea bags. I listen with deaf ears to her hum a Russian tune. I sit patiently with no patience sipping the tea I cannot taste. In silence, we sit. In silence, we speak without speaking. Marina’s life force wills me to feel her love.

And then she tells me her plan. “Maybe, I’ll stay with you awhile. Nothing back in Brooklyn right now.” I answer, mouthing words that I want to feel and yet cannot feel because I have closed myself off to the emotions of life, “Oh yes, please stay, Marina. I couldn’t bear all this alone.” I’m overwhelmed by her generosity, my loss, and the hidden truths lurking under the surface waiting to be revealed. Then the cordoned off person inside me breaks through all my controls again and unwonted tears erupt in a torrent of suppressed anguish. I am enveloped in her arms and her soothing voice whispers calming words as I try to regain the safety of stoicism.

Marina and I, sisters of a sort, sit together in my huge kitchen, in my huge house, sharing the huge hole in my heart as my tears pour down my face, flowing as if someone has turned on a spigot. Two small souls in a too-big kitchen of a too-big house silently wondering about the business problems of which his lawyer spoke using carefully chosen words somberly executed while his eyes burned with deep meaning. Problems that would have to be sorted out after I finished sitting “Shivah.” How can one cope with all of this? When will I wake up from this nightmare?

Eventually, it is dawn and I must sit on the wooden bench that signifies my mourning as memories cloud the present and I relive a life that is no more.


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Genre – Contemporary romance, Magical Realism

Rating – PG-13

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How the English Establishment Framed Stephen Ward by Caroline Kennedy @StephenWardBook

FBI director, J.Edgar Hoover, was convinced that British society was riddled with whores, pimps, sex maniacs and Soviet agents. His conviction was given a boost on Sunday, 16th June, when an article by British solicitor, Michael Eddowes, appeared in the Journal-American. In it Eddowes told of his meeting with Yevgeny Ivanov during the Cuban missile crisis. Eddowes described Ivanov as highly aggressive and full of blustering threats to wipe out England and to drop an atomic bomb in the sea 60 miles off New York. According to Eddowes, Hoover immediately ‘instructed’ him to make further enquiries into the security aspects and report back to him.
Washington was now buzzing with as many rumours as had swept London during the height of the scandal, so what happened next was not entirely a surprise. The White House became involved. The most likely explanation for President Kennedy’s sudden interest in the affair is that his brother, Attorney-General Robert Kennedy, told him of the long report from Hoover.
There were then both political and personal reasons for the President’s interest. One was that the scandal could provide Kennedy’s opponents in Congress with ammunition to attack his plans for a multi-nation NATO nuclear force. If Britain was so leaky, why should the US share it’s defence secrets? Another was a call in the Washington News for Kennedy to cancel his scheduled visit to London because it would provide moral support for the foundering Government of Harold Macmillan. ‘We can think of no better time for an American President to stay as far as possible away from England.’
And a third reason, a personal one, was that given Hoover’s animosity for the Kennedy family, the President became concerned that Hoover would somehow use the scandal against him….The only feasible reason for this widespread fascination is that all these people feared that the President of the United States was about to be dragged into the scandal, not on a political level, but on a sexual one…..The reason was that Robert Kennedy was worried that Christine or Mandy, or even both girls, might have slept with the President during their recent visit to the United States and he needed to know for certain so that he could protect the President from the scandal that would follow if the girls blabbed. It would have been simpler for Robert Kennedy to ask his brother if he had slept with either of the girls. But, as we now know, John F. Kennedy’s sexual appetite was so prodigious and so indiscriminate that he would not have been able to remember.
How The English Establishment Framed
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Politics, Espionage, Scandal
Rating – PG-16
More details about the author
Connect with Caroline Kennedy on Facebook & Twitter

#Author Bryan Taylor on the Importance of Illustrations in Works of #Fiction

The Three Sisters began with two photos that a friend gave me of nuns.  After I created the first two “episodes” of the three sisters with these photos, I used an illustration for each episode that followed. For this reason, it is no mistake that illustrations are an integral part of The Three Sisters.
I think it is unfortunate that very few novels today are illustrated.  Since we assimilate visual information much more effectively than verbal information (“Picture’s worth a thousand words and all that,” as Victor Virga would say), there is no reason why novels shouldn’t be accompanied by illustrations.  Though most novels are abstract in their cover illustrations, not providing portraits of any of the protagonists, I decided to go against this trend and hire someone to provide illustrations of them both on the cover and within the text because I think this will help the reader to identify with the three sisters more strongly.
Illustrations have played an important role in novels in the past.  The Bible (in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry among others) and most “classics” were illustrated by Gustave Doré and other engravers from the inception of the printed book until in the nineteenth century. Most children’s classics, such as Alice in Wonderland or The Wizard of Oz are still illustrated today, but why limit illustrations to children’s books? Moreover, many of the anti-Catholic books of the eighteen hundreds, such as Maria Monk or Why Priests Should Wed included illustrations of the horrific deeds the Catholics were accused of committing.
So, I decided, why not continue this tradition in my own book, including illustrations from the anti-Catholic books of the past and adding new illustrations which would comment on the events within the book? For that matter, why not include illustrations in all novels to make the book more appealing to the reader?
When I originally wrote The Three Sisters between 1980 and 1983, the only way I could do this was by including illustrations from other books which would be suggestive of what was going on in the novel.  Today, I can go beyond that.  Not only can I take illustrations from other books and use them in the novel, but I can also have someone create illustrations using Photoshop and other programs, but I can also hire someone to create original illustrations for the novel.  As digital books evolve over time, there is no reason not to add music, a short film, or other interactive features to the novel as well.
At the same time, one purpose of the illustrations is to intrigue someone who picks up the book at a bookstore (assuming these still exist in the future).  Why is there a Wanted Poster?  Virgin Mary Milk? What are three nuns doing on Abbey Road?  The goal is to make the browser curious without giving away the plot of the novel.  I had originally planned on using the painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware at one key point in the novel, but did not do so because this illustration might be a spoiler rather than raise curiosity.
Another big difference between today and thirty years ago is that you can have a website for your book, and use this to both promote the book and explain the motivations behind the book to interested readers.  Consequently, not only does this website provide background information on the book, but it also includes numerous illustrations on each web page and in some of the tales and travels relating to the three sisters as well.
For The Three Sisters, illustrations fall into three categories: (1) illustrations from other books or works of art, (2) illustrations put together using Photoshop, and (3) original paintings made especially for the book.
Back in 1983, all of the illustrations were taken from other books, but the ability to put up some of the ideas on the web site and the opportunity to use Photoshop and hire someone to create original illustrations changed this.  Several of the illustrations are from old anti-Catholic books, such as I confessed to the Mother Superior and had to kiss the floor, He finally acquiesced to my delitescent desires, Coito in the Confessional, and Free the Three!, which was photoshopped into a T-shirt.  There were also a couple photos, including those of Jan Van Eyck’s Annunciation and The Warren Commission.
Photoshop allowed us to put together the Wanted Poster and Tabloid mentioned in the novel.  I had created The Cynical Cenacle as a xeroxed work of Mama art back in college, and this work now graces each page of the website. Photoshop was also used for the Virgin Mary Milk and Spanish Inquisition Toy Set commercials during the Festivities.
Finally, we hired Brent Schreiber to create original paintings of the three sisters for the novel. He was great to work with and did an excellent job.  He illustrated the cover, and created three portraits of each of the three, which were incorporated into the Wanted Poster and Tabloid Cover.  I had originally conceived the Lady Justice as the standing Lady Justice with the sword and scales as standing up, but with a habit.  This didn’t really work, so I reconceived it as a more thoughtful, Vargas-like Lady Justice which Brent illustrated wonderfully.  Finally, he did the cover for The Three Sisters’ album which parodied Abbey Road.
Should I write another novel, I will also make illustrations an integral part of that novel.  I can only hope that other authors will no longer see the written novel and the graphic novel as dichotomous alternatives, but will see illustrations as being an integral part of any written novel.
Nuns just want to have fun! But when three former Catholic nuns have too much fun and get in trouble with the law, they become nuns on the run.
Driving back to Washington D.C. where they work at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Parts, the three sisters are arrested in Tennessee. After defeating the local deputy in strip poker, they escape from jail, and are pursued by the zealous Detective Schmuck Hole, who has personally offered a $10,000 reward for their capture on The 700 Club. Little do they know that when the three sisters visit the Washington Monument, their lives will change forever.
Set in 1979, The Three Sisters is a sacrilegious satire that skewers not only organized religion, but the government, the media, intellectuals, corporate greed and every other part of the establishment. Maybe not the greatest story ever told, but possibly the funniest.
Buy @ Amazon
Genre – Humor, Satire, Catholicism, Politics
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with Bryan Taylor on Facebook

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Holy Ghost Writer's 10 Tips to Becoming a Better Writer @SultanofSalem #AmWriting #AmReading

10 Tips to Becoming a Better Writer
Most writers or would be writers fall short on various downfalls of trying to become a better writer. These helpful guidelines and tips would help you fight off your writer’s block and continue on to becoming a much better writer.
  1. Write.
Most would think it’s a cliché but this is where writer’s block starts. Most writers just are full of thinking that they forget about writing. Just… write and everything follows.
  1. Read.
A writer can only be a good writer if he accepts his weakness that he only knows so much about everything. If a writer is fond of reading, then he will have lots of ideas and topics to write on. A successful writer is never arrogant of his knowledge. In fact, he hungers for more.
  1. Love your drafts.
The best books ever written in history had ugly and erroneous drafts. Don’t be discouraged of them. It is just your blueprint to refining your article.
  1. Forget about word count. Deal with them later.
You will lose your writer’s inspiration if you start by getting all too technical. Forget about it being a 1000 word article, just create your story and deal with it later if your story will be a novel or just a short story.
  1. Go deeper.
If at the end of the day, you just end up with a 2 page short story and you think it’s not spicy or catchy enough. Then, dig deeper. Let your imagination run this time.
  1. Purge out your ugly writing.
Most writers start out poor on their words. This is good. It’s like turning on a water hose and the first thing that would come out is dirty water. So, let those “dirty water” words come out first and purge them all out.
  1. Corroborate your writing.
If you plan to make a story, everything must have a cohesive plot and should not have any vagueness, even in its slightest tone.
  1. Let it flow.
Once you have made a steady and solid flow of plot for writing, and then just let all your writing juices flow.
  1. Commit to writing.
Once it flows, make sure it you reach the end of that story. Middle writers can be a disappointment.
  1. Start with it’s a story of someone who does something. And write from there.
If you just don’t know where to start, start with a story about someone who does something.
Holy Ghost Writer
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Action, Adventure
Rating – PG-15
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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Justice Incarnate by Regan Black

Justice Incarnate

Whoever said, “You only live once” didn’t know Jaden Michaels.

The year is 2096 and evil is running rampant in Chicago. As the police chief, Brian Thomas has seen it all, until he runs into a would-be thief on her way to the museum.

In every life Jaden has chased down a predatory demon, exacting her fatal brand of justice, only to lose her own life in the process. This time, as she searches for the weapon that will banish the demon forever, she must also fight for the love that has always managed to slip through her grasp.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy

Rating – PG-13

More details about the author and the book

Connect with  Regan Black on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.reganblack.com

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Order of the Seers by Cerece Rennie Murphy @CereceRMurphy

Chapter 1: The End

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Liam was losing his patience. “Aw, come on! Are you serious? You can’t want to ride this thing again!”

Instead of answering her older brother, Lilli remained in her seat as the Ferris wheel conductor looked on expectantly, hand outstretched and waiting for another two tokens.

The way Lilli’s skinny arms hugged her book bag while she stared blankly at the pressed metal floor of their “Fairy Land Caboose” made it hard for Liam to stay angry. The sight of her looking so dejected softened him enough to give the conductor his fifth set of tokens in less than 45 minutes. Liam settled back into his seat just as the lap bar clamped down uncomfortably against his thighs.

“Lilli, say something. Why’d you drag me out here if you were just gonna sulk? I hate the carnival, you know that.”

“I know something… okay? Just… trust me. We have to stay here.” Her voice was so low he could barely hear her over the wind-up music that was blaring from the overhead speakers.

“Did Mom say something to you?”

Lilli responded to his question with silence and a barely discernable shake of her head back and forth. He tried again.

“Lilli! Did Mom…?”

“Yes,” she snapped.

They both fell silent again as Liam took in the latest weird thing of the day. Lilith Knight, or Lilli as she preferred to be called, had always been strange. Even when she was five, she could beat Liam at chess lazily, without even thinking about it. She would find things and give them to you before you asked for them. Before you, or even she, knew why. Up until recently, he thought she was just a freak. No biggie. All little sisters are like that, he told himself.

It was only in the past few months that his perception of her began to shift, after her prediction that he would catch his new girlfriend, Krista, kissing his teammate Lance in the locker room after their championship game. At the time, he’d brushed off her premonition as meddling. Krista wasn’t even his girlfriend and his team was 1-1 with the whole basketball season ahead of them.

He’d forgotten her warning completely until two months later when he ran back into the locker room after winning the championship to get the jacket he’d left behind and immediately smelled Krista’s perfume. When he found them, two thoughts overshadowed the scene unfolding in front of him. The first was that what they were doing wasn’t really “kissing,” though he could see how a sheltered thirteen-year-old would describe it that way. His second thought was that Lilli was right; she was exactly right. He was so stunned by Lilli’s accuracy that he didn’t even bother to disturb them, leaving his new ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend to their business. From that moment, Liam understood that Lilli wasn’t just a freak, or more accurately, that she wasn’t a freak at all. She was special…gifted.

The sound of Lilli’s sniffling followed by the trembling of her body as she began to cry uncontrollably broke the long silence that had fallen between them. What the…, Liam half-mumbled as his mind swung from irritation to absolute bewilderment. Slowly and deliberately, Liam moved his palms down the front of his face as he fought the urge to shake the truth right out of her and end whatever this was. But he couldn’t. She’s so brittle already, he thought, without any idea as to why. So instead, he reached out to envelop his sister in his arms, trying to soothe her and comfort her from some unknown force.

“Lilli, it’s all right. I’m sorry, okay? Don’t cry. Just… tell me what’s going on. Why are we here?”

He tried to wait patiently, to rein in the confusion and frustration that had been piercing through the calm day he had planned for himself when he woke up that morning, as cool and carefree as any sixteen-year-old boy. It was Lilli who had dragged him out of the house before he could even wolf down his second bowl of Honeycombs. “Mom said you have to take me to the carnival. NOW!” She had demanded.

He had started to head upstairs to launch his appeal when his eye caught his mother’s note on the refrigerator door. “Take Lilli to the fair. NOW.—Love, Mom,” it read. He knew that meant his mother had left the house early; there was no appeal to be made. Begrudgingly, he slipped on his sneakers and grabbed the car keys, all the while wondering if Lilli was still too young to be left at the fair by herself.

His earlier thoughts of abandonment brought him back to his sister’s form beside him. Not knowing what else to do, Liam simply held her tight as her convulsing turned to trembling, and finally, back to stillness. At the top of the Ferris wheel, she finally spoke.

“It’s over now, we can go home,” she whispered. But as impatient for answers and a reprieve from big brother duties as he was, Liam knew that it was not over. The emotionless tone in her voice scared him. It made him want to stay on the Ferris wheel he’d been begging to get off of a few short minutes ago. As the music died down and their feet got closer to the ground, he suddenly felt conflicting urges to stay where he was and to rush home to his mother. As the ride came to a stop, he suddenly realized with profound certainty that this was much more than one of Lilli’s “episodes.” Something was very, very wrong.

When Liam pulled his father’s green 2002 Saab in front of their small brick house, everything seemed as it always did—quiet and predictable in their modest yet comfortable home. They had lived in a much bigger house before his father died, but Liam never minded sharing a bathroom with his mother and sister. All the toys and trinkets that had mattered to him when he was a child were rendered insignificant the moment his mother told him that his father would never come home again. As he got out of the car and began to take the front steps two at a time, he noticed that Lilli had stopped at the tree stump his mother had cut down the week before. Sitting down, her eyes remained on the ground. Just as his mouth formed the shape of a question, she spoke.

“No, you go. I can’t see it again.”

Liam didn’t stop to ask what she meant. Whatever she meant, he was sure it was worse than he thought. He tried to hold back the swell of fear in his chest as he ran to the front door, but his emotions spun out of control the moment he tested the front door knob and found it opened—easily. They never left the front door unlocked.

When he stepped into the house, he actually felt the life, the person he had been, rush past him and out the door as his eyes took in the overturned, splintered remains of their living room. It was a feeling he’d felt only once before, when his father died. But what made it worse, what made it permanent, was lying in the middle of the floor, with its contents thrown everywhere. It was his mother’s purse, which had not been there when he left that morning.

“Mom!” he shouted as he raced up the stairs to her room. “Mom. Please!” he shouted again, but no one answered. In every room he looked, it was the same - scattered clothes, broken mirrors, and silence—a deafening silence that rang louder than the sound of his own shallow breathing.

If he took the stairs at lightning speed to make it to the second floor, an age could have passed during his descent. The entire house consisted of three bedrooms, one and a half bathrooms, a kitchen, a living room, and a small open dining area that you could see clearly from the front door. As he walked down the steps, he knew there was only one room left to check. His mind was frozen on what to hope for as his hand reached the end of the banister. If she wasn’t in the kitchen, she might have been taken, but at least there was a chance she was still alive. If she was in the kitchen, it was unthinkable.

Lilli’s words came to him just as he rounded the doorway to the kitchen.

No, you go. I can’t see it again.”

He found his mother sitting with her feet planted on the floor, shoulder width apart, bright eyes open and cast to the ceiling, with a hole blown through the middle of her chest.

Liam braced himself against the door frame as he began to sob, the sounds seemingly emanating from a place far away from where he stood. He could not look away from the horrific image before him, the last image of his mother. He stood there with wide-eyed and tear-stained pain as the last measure of his youth drained from him like blood rushing from an open vein. When it was done, his body slid to the ground.

We are alone, he thought. There’s no one left.

Ever since his father had died, Liam lived in fear that one day he would lose her. Unable to tear his eyes away from her body, he could hear her vehemently denying that there would ever be a time when she wasn’t with them. “Never,” she would say.

Never, he thought, has finally come.

Though Liam had been staring at her body since he entered the kitchen, he had not seen the gun in her hand until he noticed a fly land on it. Years of training to keep the gun out of Lilli’s sight made him jump to his feet until he remembered that Lilli was still outside. He knew the gun well; it was his mother’s. She had taught him how to use it and to keep it out of Lilli’s reach when she was small.

At first his mind could not decipher the meaning of the scene before him. Was he meant to believe that she did this to herself? Why would the people who broke into their house ransack the place and then try to make it look like a suicide? But he couldn’t think straight, couldn’t figure out the logic or the answer to any of the crazy questions running through his mind. Why would she kill herself? He was sure the answers were obvious; he just wasn’t making sense. None of this was making any sense.

His confusion caused him to draw closer to her body. Kneeling down beside his mother, Liam took the lifeless hand that dangled at her side, the one that was not holding the gun. Though his eyes were still filled with tears, they were no longer breaking through the barriers of his lower lids. This momentary fortitude allowed him to have the courage to look directly into her face and see her open smile. The sight of it knocked him down and back into the base cabinets. She was smiling. She was smiling, he thought. She had known what was coming, and she was smiling.

Suddenly, he remembered his mother’s constant warning every time they went to the shooting range. “Don’t pick up a gun unless you mean to use it. There can be no hesitation. Do you understand me?” she would ask him sternly. Liam knew Jill Knight was skilled at using a firearm. If she had a chance to draw her gun, no one could take it from her. The implications made him immediately sick and angry before their full meaning could even register.

As if retching the contents of his stomach into the kitchen sink made room for clarity, he suddenly understood the reason behind her smile. She had killed herself. She had done this to herself, on purpose. He threw up again in a wave of protest at the notion that she would abandon them, even as the resentment of her betrayal took root. When he was done, he didn’t want to turn around, didn’t want to face her.

How could she do this? She wouldn’t do this. She promised.

Holding himself up at the sink, his thoughts turned to Lilli. Is this what she saw?, he wondered, fighting a new wave of nausea. No wonder she cried like that. No wonder… Rather than try to sort out the conflict of thoughts and emotions inside him, he decided to check on Lilli and make sure that she remained outside while he tried to figure out what to do next.

As he peered over his shoulder toward the doorway, his eyes caught the folded cuff of his mother’s sweatshirt, which was turquoise save for the blood, and a little corner of white paper that was peeking out. He knew his mother hid things in the cuff of her sleeve all the time; it was one of the many old lady habits Liam enjoyed teasing her about. He stared at the white edge of paper for a long time, warring with his own feelings of anger and grief before simple curiosity forced him to bend down and retrieve it. As his fingers curved around the edge of her sleeve, he could feel something flat and hard inside. When he rolled down her sleeve to get it, the key to his gym locker at school slipped out before he could fully unroll the note. When he did, it unleashed a new avalanche of questions upon heartbreak over questions.

In his mother’s tiny cursive handwriting, the note read, ‘Go now. Protect her.’ Liam felt a new level of understanding peel back in his mind as he read her note again. He began to see the very real possibility that perhaps his mother had not wanted to do this to herself. Perhaps she was forced by the same people who came into their home. The same people who she wanted him to protect Lilli from now. Liam grabbed the key off the floor before rising to meet his mother’s eyes one last time. They looked so different from how they had even two minutes ago and held so much he couldn’t understand, couldn’t handle right now. He closed his eyes and softly kissed her on her forehead before running out of his home for what he knew would be the last time.

Liam closed the front door behind him and turned to find Lilli sitting exactly where he left her twenty minutes before. He had only two objectives at that point - making sure that she was safe, and getting the hell out of there. As Liam scanned the neighborhood for anything suspicious, he took in the studied quiet of his block. There was no one on the street at 11:23 am on a beautiful Sunday morning. Where is everyone, he wondered, suddenly wary of the neighbors with whom he had grown up. How had no one heard the gunshot? Why didn’t anyone call the police?

The tremor in his neighbors’ curtains gave credence to the sensation that they were being watched, but no one would step outside to help them. This realization came over him with a bitterness that cast itself over all the sorrow he held inside. They had all been witnesses, he guessed, but they would no longer be friends.

Watching Liam as he crossed the small front lawn to reach her, Lilli was struck by how much older her brother looked compared to just a few hours ago. Though his straight black hair hung as sloppy and heavy as it always did over his blue-green eyes, there was none of the playful nonchalance that usually characterized her brother’s disposition. His hair was slick, spiked, and jet black with sweat, and it framed the angles of his face in a way that made her easy-going brother look cold and menacing. But it wasn’t a surprise, Lilli could see everything Liam felt on his face—anger, sorrow, betrayal, and a ferocity emerging that she did not understand. Seeing her brother so unlike himself made Lilli’s face crumple in agony as she trembled under the weight of her own choices.

“I’m sorry, Liam,” she begged in between sobs. “I know you’re mad at me for not telling you. Mom told me that if I did, they would kill you. She said I had to be strong enough… strong enough to save you.”

“Shhh, Lilli. It’s all right. We’ll talk about this later. Don’t cry. Shhh.”

Lilli knew Liam meant his response to be soothing, but his words came out cold, devoid of any life or feeling behind them. When she looked up to search his face and understand the hollowness in his voice, she found him scanning the street with the same look of fierceness. Something in the clenched set of his jaw made her finally understand. He was determined, to keep her alive, to protect the only family he had left.

“We need to go,” he said, as he led her to the car.


“I don’t know, Lilli. I don’t know.”

Order of the Seers

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Genre – Science Fiction

Rating – NC-17

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Website http://www.crmurphybooks.com

The Curse, A Teleplay by London Tracy

The Curse

From HBO’s hit series, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” comes, “The Curse, a teleplay:” After Larry David quarrels with his lesbian neighbors, he finds himself under a seven-day curse of bad luck.

LONDON TRACY is an author, screenwriter and freelance writer. She lives in Los Angeles.

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Genre – Comedy

Rating – PG-13

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Website http://londontracy.wordpress.com

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Negotiation Tactics by Lori Ryan @loriryanauthor

Jennie Evan’s heart broke when she lost her high school sweetheart and husband just after college graduation. She’s found some semblance of a new life with good friends and a job she loves at Sutton Capital, but she knows she’ll never love again. That part of her died with Kyle.
Chad Thompson sees the heartache Jennie hides from the world. Despite the chemistry he and Jennie always fight against, Chad vows to keep their relationship friendly. Anything more would hurt Jennie and Chad knows he can’t cause her more pain.
When their well-meaning friends throw Jennie and Chad together in a plot designed to push their comfort zone, Jennie ends up in more danger than anyone could have foreseen. Chad knows he can protect her, but he isn’t able to protect his own heart in the process.
Fans of Sutton Capital have been waiting for Jennie and Chad’s story. Dive in and fall in love right along with them!
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Genre –  Romantic Suspense
Rating – R
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Lori Ryan is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes contemporary romance with a twist of suspense. She lives with an extremely understanding husband, two wonderful children, two mostly-behaved dogs, and a lone little cat in Austin, Texas. It’s a bit of a zoo, but she wouldn’t change a thing.

Lori published her first novel in April of 2013 and has written three more books since then. Each of Lori’s books have made their way to the Amazon bestseller list and she quickly climbed the Amazon bestselling author list, as well. In November, 2013, Lori and a group of romantic suspense authors landed on the USA Today and NY Times bestseller lists with an anthology only eight months after the release of Lori’s first book. Lori loves to connect with her readers. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter or subscribe to her blog. Oh, and if you’ve read Lori’s books and loved them, please consider leaving a review on Amazon.com. Writers live and die by their reviews and Lori promises to do a happy dance around her office every time you write one!