Jack Cannon's American Destiny

Rachel Thompson

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Anne-Rae Vasquez on Young Adult vs. New Adult? @Write2Film #AmReading #YA #Thriller

I received an honest review for my latest book Doubt, which focused on the point that the reader expected a more mature storyline and questioned why my book Doubt was categorized in the New Adult category.
It made us here at Truth Seekers’ headquarters stop and think…
  • Doubt’s main characters are former child prodigies, geeks who socialized mainly online.
  • Cristal and Harry are 22 years old, just graduated from university with their PhDs
  • They have never had a “boyfriend”, “girlfriend” relationship before.
  • Emotionally they are more like young adults.  Virgins, with little or no experience physically with anyone.
  • Doubt can appeal to young adults because the content is clean and safe. No sex scenes, no swearing (just implied swearing with censored out letters)
  • Does New Adult require the book to have “sexual scenes”?

What qualifies as New Adult?

See an excerpt from J. Sterling’s interesting article What Does New Adult Mean to You?
“I classify my books as New Adult when the main characters are either college aged, or in their early 20′s. The story may not necessarily appeal to the true YA audience because the characters are doing things they can’t relate to yet (interning, working full time, living with their bf’s, etc). It’s about a period of time in our lives when we’re not necessarily sure where we’re headed. We’re still figuring things out. It’s that in-between stage between high school and true adulthood. We’ve all been there.
Now my characters in In Dreams are in college, but I wrote that book in a younger voice, with no sex, very little swearing, etc. I classify it as YA because it reads as YA, even though the characters are no longer in high school. I felt like the situations the characters go through was appealing enough to a younger audience that they wouldn’t feel like they couldn’t relate.
I honestly think that if your main characters are in high school, then your book is Young Adult. At least that’s what i’ve always just assumed as a reader. Young Adult = high school aged stories. No matter if they’re having sex, swearing, doing drugs, etc-  high school kids have sex, swear, do drugs, etc.
But I’ve seen some high school aged books being called New Adult. So i’m wondering, are we classifying that category based on subject matter of the book, the way the book is written, or the age of the characters?!” The content is an excerpt from What Does New Adult Mean to You? article on J. Sterling’s blog.

Feedback and Comments from the article

The interesting feedback makes us more confused than ever.
Here are some comments that J. Sterling’s followers posted about her article…
I see New Adult as a mixture of both content and where the characters are in life. While these days, high school kids shouldn’t be shocked by cursing and sex in books, I think their parents do. I don’t know, I prefer the “older” context and content personally, and more often than not seek out something that says New Adult over Young Adult.
Yes, if I’m starting a New Adult book I assume that the characters will be at least in college or in their 20′s. And I also assume there will be sex. If I’m reading a book with high schoolers, and they are having sex, doing drugs, etc., I would assume it be called Mature Young Adult. I would say I could be wrong, but let’s face it, that’d be silly. Because if I am wrong, then the rating system needs to change so that I am right. Ha! Otherwise it’s way too confusing.
It’s a little contradictory for me, because I am a young adult in university, and yet I do not find myself drawn to “young adult” novels, because I always thought that they were fluffy stories that stayed away from the idea of sex or anything sexual related and language. Something too lovely-dovey that I would not be able to relate to or stomach when reading. But was my mind changed after reading “Game Changer”. I enjoyed the storyline, and given the young adult theme attached to the book, it was the right amount of sex, and language and it was a relatable story.
With that said, “young adult” for me deals with young adults, between the ages of 16 to 18. Young adult novels if applicable can have sexual scenes but nothing to the degree of erotica, because that is in a category of it’s own. But I think that there are different degrees of young adult novels, considering Twilight was considered in this category, it does cause conflict and misunderstanding. That is why there should be a difference between young adult that deals with novels between the ages of 16 to 18, and young adult for over the ages of 18 dealing with more mature subjects and content and then the full out erotica. At that point can it be said that its’ young adult NC17 while warning the reader that the subject matter might not be applicable to a certain reader?
Read the full article at: What Does New Adult Mean to You?
Your thoughts?  Please comment below. We really want to know how you feel about these two genres.

About Anne-Rae Vasquez

Anne-Rae Vasquez is a freelance journalist for Digital Journal.com, author, film maker and web design programmer.  Her latest novel, Doubt, is the the first book in the Among Us Trilogy series.  Her other works include: the novel and screenplay for the award winning feature film and web series Almost a Turkish Soap Opera, Salha’s Secrets to Middle Eastern Cooking Cookbook Volume 1, Gathering Dust – a collection of poems, and Teach Yourself Great Web Design in a Week, published by Sams.net (a division of Macmillan Publishing). Almost a Turkish Soap Opera was her feature screenplay and film directorial debut. Anne-Rae Vasquez is available for interview.

PR Contact Details

J. Suarez c/o AR Publishing 7360 137 Street #517 Surrey, BC Canada  V3W 1A3 +16046085747

Do you love shows like J.J. Abrams’ Fringe and read books like Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones?
“Doubt” mashes fringe science, corporate espionage and paranormal encounters to catapult you into an out-of-this-world experience.
At 21 years old, Harry and Cristal are fresh out of university with their PhD’s. Labeled all their lives as being ‘weird’ and ‘geeky’, they find true friendships with other outcasts by playing online virtual reality games.
Harry Doubt, a genius programmer and creator of the popular online game ‘Truth Seekers’, has a personal mission of his own; to find his mother who went mysteriously missing while volunteering on a peacekeeping mission in Palestine. His gaming friends and followers inadvertently join in helping him find her; believing that they are on missions to find out what has happened to their own missing loved ones. During Harry’s missions, Cristal and the team of ‘Truth Seekers’ stumble upon things that make them doubt the reality of their own lives. As they get closer to the truth, they realize that there are spiritual forces among them both good and evil, but in learning this, they activate a chain of events that start the beginning of the ‘end of the world’ as they know it.
Doubt is Book 1 of the Among Us Trilogy. Among Us is a book series which delves into the world of the supernatural and how it intersects with the everyday lives of seemingly ordinary young people as catastrophic events on earth lead to the end of times. Among Us weaves the theme of a young man and woman, who while not fully understanding their ‘abilities’, are drawn together in their desire to find out the truth about the world they live in which is similar to themes used in J.J. Abrams’ TV shows Fringe and Lost.
What readers have to say…
As a big fan of the show Fringe, this book appealed to me tremendously. The writing was well done, and the way the “supernatural” forces were introduced was great.
A good, clean read for any age.
It was an excellent story that I’m sure both adult and teen urban fantasy fans will enjoy. You don’t have to be a gamer or know one to identify with the characters. They’re very well developed and definitely feel like people. I would definitely recommend it to a friend and I’m really looking forward to the second book.
…the novel is written in such a languid style, it moves on effortlessly and absorbs the reader into the story completely. Although the story itself revolves around the online gaming industry, one does not have to have an in depth knowledge as it is ably explained and discussed within the plot line.
OMGosh! I just finished reading “Doubt” INCREDIBLE! I couldn’t put it down.
˃˃˃ >>> Depth and Substance mashed up with Fringe Science. Will entertain young and old alike.
This book is intended for mature young adults and new adults. Ages 16 to 45 +
˃˃˃ >>Inspired by real Truth Seekers Aaron Swartz and Harry Fear
The main character Harry Doubt was inspired by Aaron Swartz, internet prodigy and activist, co-founder of the Creative Commons and Reddit, and Harry Fear, journalist, documentary filmmaker and activist whose coverage of the conflict in the Middle East was seen on UStream by millions of viewers.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Young Adult, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Thriller
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with Anne-Rae Vasquez on Facebook & Twitter

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ICE #Excerpt by @TheobaldSprague #Memoir #Family #Climate

On August 16, at 2 a.m. Bagan officially stopped making forward progress. We were hopelessly trapped, unable to make even an inch forward, backwards, or sideways. We were locked in with a haunting and deathly en- compassing fog and had completely and decisively run out of options. Ironically, despite our array of modern day electronics and safety devices we were no better off than those who went and died before us and could do nothing about it. The ice had caught us and we had lost.
“Have I brought my family together only to lead them to their deaths?” I wondered.
While the past eighteen hours were filled with physical and navigational challenges, the mental toll was also brutal. Although fairly recent cruisers had done The Passage over several seasons with seemingly no concern or fears, I found my experience to be the complete opposite. The myriad pre-trip pressures—losing funding, the personality conflicts, my health issues, the documentary, and now the responsibility of my kids’ lives—it was almost more than I could handle. Reading other reports of previous transits, I found my experience was entirely different because few of these books or articles mentioned the deep and raging fear that could start and grow inside of you.
When we had entered the ice, I was still being plagued by the black thoughts of how the trip could potentially end. Fears and fatigue showed nolimits to their depths and, as each futile hour ticked by, the sounds and experiences became more frightening. At first I thought that the great creaks, moans, and explosions I could hear from deep inside Bagan were her hull, her structure being overcome by the icy and deadly pressures. With each deep and rumbling snap I heard, I could “see” damage being done below the water line. At one point, I called Sefton into the pilothouse and quietly asked him to go below and pull some floorboards because I feared we had compromised the hull. After a few minutes below, Sefton found that the bilges were as dry as the day we left Newport, then headed back outside into the sharp Arctic air to continue fending ice off the bow. I’d be relieved momentarily, until the next groan and explosion told me that what I’d been listening to was the massive amounts of thick ice giving way with great protestations as Bagan gained another two or three feet.
At various times during that first day, we lost power in the bow thruster, lost two push poles, several sets of gloves, and a two-way radio over the side only to watch them get swallowed up in a matter of seconds by the ice. Baganand crew became a floating, small island of survival that at any moment could be broached, and if past history had anything to do with it, could be snuffed out and ground into the bottom in a heartbeat. These were my most fearful of thoughts, not based entirely in reality but by the same token entirely possible. They didn’t rule my thinking for the next few days but did manage to lower the bar of my experience; “Who the hell were we, was I, to think we could take on a transit in a part of the Arctic which had claimed so many hundreds of lives before?”
The audacity and seeming hubris of undertaking such a project gained a loud and unrelenting voice inside of me, one that I had to constantly struggle with and try to keep in check for had the others gotten a whiff of these fears and insecurities, I felt it would be detrimental to keeping their own fears at bay. It was a constant balance of letting them know that I felt our situation to be extremely difficult but not deadly. That first night of being held captive in the Arctic ice was brutal. That night potential headlines ran through myhead: “Father Leads Family To Icy Death,” “Half-assed Explorer Loses Not Only Funding But Boat As Well.”

TO WATCH THE OFFICIAL HD TEASER FOR “The Other Side of The Ice” [book and documentary] PLEASE GO TO: VIMEO.COM/45526226) 
A sailor and his family’s harrowing and inspiring story of their attempt to sail the treacherous Northwest Passage.
Sprague Theobald, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and expert sailor with over 40,000 offshore miles under his belt, always considered the Northwest Passage–the sea route connecting the Atlantic to the Pacific–the ultimate uncharted territory. Since Roald Amundsen completed the first successful crossing of the fabled Northwest Passage in 1906, only twenty-four pleasure craft have followed in his wake. Many more people have gone into space than have traversed the Passage, and a staggering number have died trying. From his home port of Newport, Rhode Island, through the Passage and around Alaska to Seattle, it would be an 8,500-mile trek filled with constant danger from ice, polar bears, and severe weather.
What Theobald couldn’t have known was just how life-changing his journey through the Passage would be. Reuniting his children and stepchildren after a bad divorce more than fifteen years earlier, the family embarks with unanswered questions, untold hurts, and unspoken mistrusts hanging over their heads. Unrelenting cold, hungry polar bears, and a haunting landscape littered with sobering artifacts from the tragic Franklin Expedition of 1845, as well as personality clashes that threaten to tear the crew apart, make The Other Side of the Ice a harrowing story of survival, adventure, and, ultimately, redemption.

TO WATCH THE OFFICIAL HD TEASER FOR “The Other Side of The Ice” [book and documentary] PLEASE GO TO: VIMEO.COM/45526226) 

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Memoir, adventure, family, climate
Rating – PG
More details about the author
 Connect with Sprague Theobald on Facebook & Twitter

Friday, July 25, 2014

@MargaretWestlie on Writing ANNA'S SECRET #AmWriting #AmReading #Historical

I have been steeped in the stories about my ancestors since my birth.  They may have even seeped into me through the walls of the womb.  Anna’s Secret is a story I’ve heard many times from various people.  The latest version was from my Uncle Harold.  He said that one of our own people was suspected of the crime of murdering Anne Beaton with a turnip hoe.  It was said that she was no better than she should be and was doing a little marital wandering with someone in the community.  For a long time the smithy was suspected.  He was in custody for a period but was finally exonerated and left Prince Edward Island for good.  Ultimately the authorities decided that the crime was perpetrated by a woman and was in fact, a crime of passion.  This last was pronounced with great relish.  They never found the person responsible.  It seems that Anne had greatly riled a wronged wife, and probably several.
The story caught my imagination and I began to wonder: what if she wasn’t who they thought she was? What if the reason for her murder was entirely different?  What if the murderer was discovered?  Who would it be?  Her husband?  The wronged woman?  The man she was said to be involved with?  There was a lot to play with here.  In a technical sense, how close to reality could I be without offending descendents?  Not too close, I decided.  Anyway, it’s more fun to write what pops into my mind and see how it plays out.
As I wrote, the narrative opened like a flower as I examined the individuals who I decided were involved.  Who were they?  What relationship did they hold to Anna and to her family and to each other? How did Old Annie figure into it?  After all she was a daft old woman who had to be transported to gatherings in a wheelbarrow because she couldn’t be left alone.  Most of the time she didn’t know anyone and lived in her mind very far in the past with people she knew in her youth.  What did she have to do with Anna’s murder?  After all, she and Anna had been life-long friends.
And what did it do to the community?  Their sense of safety was shattered and people took to locking their doors, some even in the daytime.  This was in a community that never locked its doors even in my grandmother’s time.  I remember this from my childhood.  The only time the door was locked was if they were going to be away for an extended period because, what if someone needed something and they weren’t home to give it to them?  I remember my own mother telling me a story about an old man who peddled goods and trinkets door-to-door.  He was a little simple as they say here. They woke up one morning and discovered him asleep on the lounge with a blazing fire in the stove.  After the murder, people were afraid to walk out alone at night.
As the story progressed it took awhile for me to realize who the real perpetrator was and the denouement was almost as much a surprise to me as it will be to you.

Anna Gillis, the midwife and neighbour in Mattie’s Story, has been found killed. The close-knit community is deeply shaken by this eruption of violence, and neighbours come together to help one another and to discover the perpetrator. But the answer lies Anna’s secret, long guarded by Old Annie, the last of the original Selkirk Settlers, and the protagonist of An Irregular Marriage. Join the community! Read Anna’s Secret and other novels by Margaret A. Westlie.
Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Fiction, mystery, historical
Rating – G
More details about the author
 Connect with Margaret Westlie on Facebook & Twitter

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Conspiracy of Silence by Gledé Browne Kabongo @gkabongo #Suspense #AmReading #Fiction

McCloud moved on to a different line of questioning after he took a sip of water.
“What can you tell the court about the role the defendant played in his daughter’s wedding, if any?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, was he the doting father of the bride? Did he give her away on her wedding day?”
“She didn’t want him to know she was getting married. She said he didn’t deserve the honor of walking her down the aisle, and she didn’t want it mentioned again.”
The DA thanked Charlene for her testimony and returned to his seat.
Bosch made a spectacle of sipping a glass of water, glancing at her notepad and clearing her throat before she approached Charlene.
“You testified that you and Mrs. Kasai are best friends, but she never mentioned this alleged abuse. That leads me to conclude either your friendship is not as close as you would have us believe, or,” she paused for dramatic effect, “Mrs. Kasai is lying and this whole trial is a farce.”
“Objection, Your Honor,” a clearly annoyed McCloud shouted. “Ms. Hamilton is not on trial and defense counsel is out of line to call the plaintiff a liar before all the evidence is in.”
“Ms. Bosch, stick to the facts, please,” the judge admonished. “The jury may disregard the last statement. I will not tolerate grandstanding from either one of you.”
Defense counsel apologized to the court, but her demeanor revealed a woman who wasn’t in the least bit sorry.
“Ms. Hamilton, how well do you know my client?”
“Not very well.”
“Really?” Bosch walked to the defense table and picked up a document.
“I’d like to enter this photograph as Exhibit A, Your Honor.”
After the judge nodded his agreement, Bosch waved the photograph in front of Charlene. “Could you tell the court who the people are in this photo?”
The DA had gone over testimony regarding this particular piece of evidence with Charlene but she stalled anyway. Nina guessed she was embarrassed that her dalliance with her best friend’s father was now out for all to see. Knowing Charlene, she didn’t care what they thought. She was more worried about Nina.
Bosch was getting impatient and practically barked at Charlene to answer her question.
“It’s a picture of me and Dr. Copeland.”
“Where was it taken?”
“On vacation in St. Barts.”
McCloud voiced his displeasure at the line of questioning. “I fail to see how this photo has any bearing on this trial. This is a criminal proceeding, not some tabloid TV show Your Honor.”
Bosch eagerly responded. “This speaks directly to the credibility of this witness. She portrayed my client in a very damaging light, yet here she is, looking quite happy to be in his company on a luxury vacation.”
Unfortunately for the prosecution, the judge allowed Bosch to continue her tirade against Charlene. Everything went downhill from there. Charlene was forced to admit that she deliberately kept Nina in the dark about the affair until Merriman found proof of her duplicity. Bosch trapped Charlene into admitting that an honest person would not consistently lie to her best friend. The defense all but discredited Charlene. But it wasn’t enough for Bosch.
“Ms. Hamilton, did your best friend alert you to the fact that her husband never knew my client was her dad?”
“And you agreed to help her deceive her husband?”
“It wasn’t like that.”
“What was it like? We’d love to know.”
Charlene stuck her chin out. Nina recognized the defiant glint in her eyes that said, look bitch, you don’t scare me.
“Nina was always unhappy around her father and that went on for years. It wasn’t hard to see she was better off without him in her life. If she had told me all those years ago what he did, his sorry ass would have been in jail because I would have gone to the cops myself.”
The courtroom exploded in noisy chatter. The judge called for order and Bosch asked to have Charlene declared a hostile witness, which the judge refused to do.
“You testified that my client was controlling and overbearing. But isn’t it fair to say that my client was doing what any caring parent would do, protecting his child from bad influences such as yourself?”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
“Have you ever tried marijuana, Ms. Hamilton?”
“A few times.”
The prosecution objected.
“Your Honor, this line of questioning goes toward establishing the witness’ history of questionable choices and the plaintiff’s pattern of deceit.”
“I’ll allow this to go on but briefly. If you fail to prove relevance, you’ll have to move on.”
“Ever smoke in front of Mrs. Kasai?
“Once or twice.”
“Did she ever try it?”
“Tell the truth, Ms. Hamilton.”
“She hated the way it smelled and it gave her a headache.”
“So you and Nina Kasai have been keeping each other’s secrets for years. My client knew you were a bad influence on his daughter and tried to shield her from you, is that right, Ms. Hamilton?”
The defense knew it was time to quit.

#1 Amazon Bestseller in the suspense and women’s psychological fiction categories.
Boston executive Nina Kasai has been living a lie since her days as a student at Stanford University. But she’s about to learn that some secrets are too big to stay buried.
Years ago, Nina fled from her life of wealth and privilege and vowed never to look back. The horrifying truth has been locked away in her hidden diary, and in the mind of a disturbed woman who will never tell, ever. However, the perfect life she’s since created is about to come crashing down when Phillip Copeland –a ghost from her past with political ambition and secrets of his own, makes Nina an offer she can’t refuse: her silence in exchange for his.
Soon, it all goes horribly wrong when a  shocking double-cross sends Nina reeling,  and devastating loss threatens to push her over the edge. To make matters worse, her diary, the only link to her secret past has been stolen.
To reclaim her life and bring this twisted game to its stunning conclusion, Nina must confront the past she’s been running from, and find the courage to make a life-altering decision that leaves multiple casualties in its wake.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Psychological Suspense
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with Gledé Browne Kabongo on Facebook & Twitter

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Nina Elaine Borum Shares A Day in Her Life of #Christian #NonFiction #Prayer

Before I wake up, I have probably already slept through 2 alarms. I actually set my clock ahead about an hour because I’m convinced I get more sleep this way. After my body realizes that the alarm is going off I hit snooze at least 3 times. I start praying in my head things like “God I’m so happy to be alive…God I want to go back to sleep! Lord, I’m so thankful for another day….God, can I just stay under the covers for another hour”. After going back and forth with God, I pull myself out of bed. I rarely sleep in past 8am, when I do it’s an extreme luxury.
I go straight to the living room to have my not so quiet time with God. My devotions as of late have included upbeat gospel music and dancing. Then I read a passage either from my YouVersion app or flip to the corresponding day in my One Year Bible.
Then I make a plan for the first half of the day. It usually includes updating my blog, writing an article for a guest post, researching blogs to follow, marketing tasks, planning social media updates for followers, writing some for my new books, writing video scripts, planning podcasts, conference calls, going to networking events, returning calls, emails, and a host of others things before I have to be at work by 1:15.
I use my commute to work as a time of thanksgiving. I turn off the radio and just tell the Lord all that things that come to my mind that I am thankful for. I started this ritual months ago and I am happy that it has become a natural habit. Once at work, I supervise and train staff over several afterschool school sites, oversee programming, connect with parents, have one on one coaching sessions with children and perform various administrative tasks.
When I get home in the evening I call my family in North Carolina, connect with friends on social media and then I crash and do it all again the next day!
Every so often I manage my time well enough to be able to enjoy the gym, read a book for pleasure and spend time with friends. Balance is something that I don’t think I’ve achieved fully but I am working towards it.

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

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

NOTHING IN PARTICULAR - 'Boys Never Talk To Me' by Kate LeDonne #Drama #AmReading

I am enthralled by the experience of feeling the music while I am dancing and seeing the video. I look over at Max who has part of Siouxsie projected across his face. He smiles and we laugh. Andy and Mandy are jamming out and keeping some space open as the place begins to fill. I am being somewhat mellow so that my head doesn’t start throbbing. I feel really alive for the first time in my life. I feel like I am real. Most of the time, I feel like I am in a dream…like I am living with a transparent wall that separates me from the rest of the world. Just now I felt like I was really here, just for a split second. As I try to grasp the feeling so I can reproduce it, the moment passes and it all slips away from me like smoke on a windy day. I wonder if that is what most people feel like all the time?
There is some guy is checking me out. Wait, there is some guy checking me out?! I cast a glance around to see if there is someone else nearby who has their gaze. Nope. Definitely me. I flip my hair over my face and hide behind it. I can feel molten heat creeping into my face. The guy is walking toward me. I’m starting to panic and want to run. He’s tall, about 6 feet, with dark hair and he’s wearing a Black Flag t-shirt with ripped up black jeans. Super cute, and I don’t know how to talk to him.
“Hi,” he yells over the music which is now “Behind the Wheel.” “Hi,” I say back, from beneath a curtain of hair. I look around to my friends for help. Boys never talk to me. I am always too something. Too weird. Too ugly. Too smart. Whatever.
“I’m Chris,” he hollers and holds out his hand for me to shake. “Kiera,” I reply and reach for his hand. He takes it and kisses the back of my hand like I am a lady of old. I am very interested. A tall, very cute guy who likes punk and has nice manners? Oooooo. Très yummy. I smile and blush, while slowly withdrawing my hand from his, savoring the kiss. He has lovely lips, along with everything else.
“Hey!” Mandy steps over to us and tugs lightly on my shirt. “I’m Kiera’s friend, Mandy. How about we seek some refreshments after all this dancing?” She smiles at me and we exchange a whole conversation with one look -omigodcanyoubelievethisisfinallyhappeningandheis-SOCUTE-! She leads the way to the bar where we each order water and wander over to a vacant red velvet couch. He sits really close to me and I am squirming.
“So, what side of town are you guys from?” Chris asks, taking a long drink from his red plastic cup. “Uh, well, we’re actually from out of town,” I respond.

Fasten your seatbelts for a white-knuckled ride on the looney wagon and trip down memory lane with a band of misfit teenagers. Kiera Graves and her small posse of true blue friends plot ways to escape their cowtown; and play a game of keep away with her Machiavellian family to help her survive high school and make it to college.
Courage under fire, the closest bonds of friendship and blossoming romance keep this tale of coming of age and survival buzzing with excitement, heart, and warmth.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – General Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
 Connect with Kate LeDonne on Twitter

Along The Watchtower by @DavidLitwack #Fantasy #Fiction #AmReading

The elevator dinged and the doors slid open. In less than a minute, I found myself in physical therapy. Like the rest of the hospital, the room was green-tile sterile, but someone had made an effort to cheer it up. Porcelain clowns lined the windowsill. Stuffed circus animals—lions and elephants and a family of monkeys—surrounded the rack that held the free weights. And a variety of fresh-cut flowers had been set in mugs in the cup holder for each exercise bicycle and treadmill. Later, I’d learn from Ralph that Becky kept them fresh, paying for them out of her own pocket. He said she’d deny it, but he’d seen her sneak in on more than one Monday morning with an armful.

Fresh-cut flowers. Mom used to get them every Monday as well, to brighten up the gingerbread house. But after Dad died, she started leaving them too long, not replacing them until they’d decayed so badly they smelled. After Joey died, she stopped buying them altogether.

The girl I met in the courtyard stood over a rolling aluminum table, organizing things I didn’t much like the look of. She was sufficiently absorbed that she didn’t notice us until Ralph called out.

“Afternoon, Becky. Brought you some fresh meat.”

She turned and grinned. “Always love a new victim.”

“Great. I’ll leave you two alone. Sounds like you need some privacy.”
After he left, she went back to finishing her preparations, making me wait. Finally, she came over and extended a hand.

“We already met, but let’s make it official. You’re Lt. Williams, but I can call you Freddie. I’m your worst nightmare, but you can call me Becky.”

I reached out and shook her hand. She didn’t seem scary.

“Ralph says you’re the best, that if anybody can bring me back, you can.”

“Ralph’s wrong. I’m just the guide. You’re going to do most of the work.”

“But are you the best?”

“Let’s say I haven’t lost one yet.”

“So I’ll be back on the basketball court in no time.”

Her grin vanished. She grabbed a chair, dragged it over and sat next to me.

“We’re going to be spending a lot of time together, Freddie, so we need to be straight with each other, right from the outset. My goal is to get you back to as normal a life as possible. If you work hard, I’ll have you out of that wheelchair and on crutches in a month. A month after that, maybe a cane.
Beyond that, we’ll see. I make no promises other than to work as hard as you will.”

She stared at me. I stared back, captivated by my reflection in her gray-green eyes. She blinked first and went back to the rolling table.

. . . . . . .

She sat down again and undid the Velcro from my brace.

I winced. I hadn’t looked at my leg much since my peek the week before. The incision was less angry and the oozing had stopped. But what shocked me were the muscles. Where once I had bulges, now there were hollows. Not the leg of an athlete or soldier. Not the leg of a guy who might someday dunk. The leg of an invalid. Becky’s words rattled around in my brain. Crutches, then a cane. After that, we’ll see.

“It may not be pretty,” she said, as if she’d read my mind, “but it’s yours. Take a good look. Let it motivate you when you start making progress. And trust me, you will make progress.”
She squeezed some ointment from a tube onto her hands and rubbed them together.

“This will feel a little cold.”

She spread the ointment, swirling her fingertips over what had once been my quad. When she started the e-stim treatment, I felt the muscle spasm and contract involuntarily, a strange but not entirely unpleasant feeling. As she slid the wand around, humming along to its buzz, I noticed her touch more than the current.

She spoke out of nowhere. “I read the report. Says you have no family.”

I kept staring at her making figure-eights on my leg.

“Is that right?” she said.

I nodded.

“What happened?”

“I was born an orphan.”

She turned off the e-stim and looked up at me.

“Want to talk about it?”


“Ralph said you don’t talk much.”

“I talk when I want to. I don’t want to talk now.”

“Fine with me.” She resumed the treatment, hummed a few more bars, and then spoke without looking up. “Ralph was right about another thing.”

“What’s that?”

“You are a hard case.”

She was quiet after that, going about her job while I focused on the clowns at the windowsill. Every now and then, I’d sneak a look at her. A beautiful, happy optimist. But she’d never lived my life.
Crutches and a cane. After that, we’ll see. I was different from her—a realist. I knew what “we’ll see” meant. I’d need more than physical therapy to bring me back. I’d need a miracle.


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Genre – Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy
Rating – PG
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Eternal Night by @JadeKerrion #AmReading #Paranormal #Fantasy

Ashra pushed past the blackness at the start of his memories, expecting deeper darkness. Instead, the colors shifted into shades of ochre and gray. Memories, older than his body, resided in his soul; memories of an Earth long since lost to them—a planet surrounded and nourished by water; images of tall buildings glistening beneath a benevolent sun, and of thriving cities filled with the bustle of humans; memories of quiet and intimate conversations beneath a silver moon, the same silver moon that now graced Malum Turris with its light, though a thousand years older and viewed only from beneath the protection of the dome.

She saw herself as he must have seen her, a much-younger icrathari, still hopeful for the future, never realizing that the Earth they had all known and loved was irretrievably lost. Had she ever looked that vulnerable? Had her smile ever been so beautiful, so filled with love as she looked upon—

“Rohkeus?” Oh, blessed Creator, was that stricken whisper her voice?

Ashra pulled back and stared at the human. Her mouth dropped open. Her heart pounded in her chest, its beat erratic. It couldn’t be. It simply couldn’t be—

She looked up at Tera. The other icrathari nodded.

Rohkeus’s soul reborn…in a human.

Ashra threw her head back and laughed, a despairing sound.

Elsker stepped forward. The sole male icrathari was slightly taller than the female icrathari, and dressed in a black silk shirt and linen pants. His silver hair was cropped short, and his light blue eyes were wide. “Rohkeus reborn? That’s impossible.”

Siri shrugged, her red gown shifting around her curvaceous frame. Her silver hair, cut short, framed her face. “Stranger things have happened.” Her pale violet gaze raked over the human. “At least he had the good sense to choose a pretty body.”

Ashra shook her head, the movement jolting her out of her daze. Her prince, her love, reduced to a human? Her slender fingers coiled into fists. Her golden eyes glittering, she pushed away from him, though her body trembled from the loss of his warmth. No, the human was not Rohkeus; he could never be Rohkeus.

Steeling herself against the gasp of pain that escaped from his lips as the anesthetizing effect of her kiss faded, Ashra rose to her feet with sinuous grace. “He is not one of us. Not anymore.” Nothing had been more devastating than losing Rohkeus to a human assassin. To see his soul reborn in that contemptible and weak race was an insult to the person Rohkeus had been.

“Should we turn him into a vampire?” Tera asked.

“Kill him. Set Rohkeus’s soul free.”

Siri seized Ashra’s hand before she could turn away. Siri’s lips, painted the same provocative color as her dress, shaped an O. “You’re not serious. How many people are offered a second chance at the love of a lifetime?”

A second chance? Her traitorous pulse raced even as her lips curled with disgust. “He’s human.”

“We can make him immortal—a vampire.”

Ashra swallowed hard. “But not an icrathari.”

Siri’s gaze fell. “No, of course not.”

“Kill him.”

“You can’t.” Siri stepped forward, placing herself between Ashra and the barely conscious human.

“This is amazing. It’s never happened before—a soul reborn.”

“Rohkeus is dead, and I rule Aeternae Noctis.” She turned to Tera. “I told you to kill him.”

Tera hesitated for a fraction of a second, and then she shook her head. “I won’t do it, and neither will Siri or Elsker. If you want him dead, you’ll have to do it yourself.”

Eternal Night ebook

Genre - Fantasy, Paranormal
Rating – PG-13
E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords
Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

Jade Kerrion developed a loyal reader base with her fan fiction series based on the MMORPG Guild Wars. She was accused of keeping her readers up at night, distracting them from work, housework, homework, and (far worse), from actually playing Guild Wars. And then she wondered why just screw up the time management skills of gamers? Why not aspire to screw everyone else up too?
So here she is, writing books that aspire to keep you from doing anything else useful with your time.
Her debut novel, Perfection Unleashed, spawned the Double Helix series which has won a total of seven science fiction awards, including first place in the Reader Views Literary Awards 2012 and the gold medal in Readers Favorites Awards 2013. She is also the author of Earth-Sim and When the Silence Ends, which placed first and second respectively in the 2013 Royal Palm Literary Awards, Young Adults category.

She lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with her wonderfully supportive husband and her two young sons, Saint and Angel, (no, those aren’t their real names, but they are like saints and angels, except when they’re not.)

Connect with Jade: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Devolution by Peter Clenott @PeterClenott #AmReading #YA #BookClub

Chiku couldn’t help stare at the large bulge that was Rebecca’s baby-to-be. It made her reflect upon the gynecological exam Dr. Kessel had just given her. At sixteen, she couldn’t imagine being anyone’s mother, except maybe a chimpanzee’s. Rebecca was only fourteen, an eighth grader back home, a middle schooler. How could she be a mother? Yet even in wealthy well-educated America girls in their mid-teens were getting knocked up all the time, having their babies, and changing their lives in ways unpredictable and permanent. Not Chiku. Boys could go to hell.

“When was the last time you saw him?” Chiku asked.

“Two week. Three week. He ask me how my baby doing. I tell him, fine. He give me twenty francs. He always give me money.”

“And that was it?” Chiku gazed at Tim who was still holding all of the things she had given him from her buried stash. “What about Dr. Fisher? Do you know why he’d be in my dad’s house?”

Rebecca dipped her head in thought then gave out with a startled grunt as the baby inside her gave a hefty kick. “Soon,” she said, “Any day my Abasi.” Then she staggered against Chiku.

“You okay? Maybe she’s coming out now.” Chiku was aghast.

“No. No. He. Not yet. No water.”

“Well, you can’t stand here. You have to sit, Rebecca. In the shade.”

Chiku pulled the pregnant girl into the cooler cover of the banana tree. “You want water? Something to drink?”

Rebecca leaned against the tree rather than risk getting herself into a position from which she couldn’t rise. She panted, holding a hand against her belly, Chiku watching that hand move not of its own volition but due to the child inside raring to get going with life.

Not for me, Chiku thought.

Rebecca said, “I okay.”

“You’re sure?”

“When the water break, then we know.”

“Know what?” Chiku asked.

“That the baby is coming,” Tim said. He placed his hands on his friend’s shoulders. They were trembling as if she were the one about to go into labor. “Honestly, Chiku, what do they teach you in Brookline, Massachusetts?”

“How to avoid reality.”

Chiku took Rebecca’s hand. It was cool and sweaty and on her ring finger she was wearing something that looked awfully familiar to Chiku. “Nice,” she said. “Amethyst. My color. My ring, actually. How’d you get it?”

“Your father give me.”

“Cool. It matches your dress.”

Chiku didn’t care that it was an old ring, one that she had either lost or forgotten some distant time in the past and that probably couldn’t even fit her fingers anymore. She just wondered why her father would have given this particular girl this particular ring.

“I think they kill him,” she said.

“What?” Chiku’s eyes darted from the purple colored ring to the black face of the Hutu teenager.

“They were mad mad.”


“Fisher. Your father. Dr. Kessel. They all mad. And the others.”

“What others?” Chiku asked. “Does Colonel Fundanga know?”

“Colonel Fundanga one of them,” Rebecca said. “I keep quiet. Bad enough in the camp. I don’t want to die.”

Rebecca let out a long breath, took in a deep mouthful of air, and let out her discomfort once again. Then she smiled at Chiku before saying, “They come for you next. You his daughter.”

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Genre - Young Adult
Rating – PG
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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Cast in Blood (Morgan Blackstone) by Michelle Rabe @michrabe #AmReading #Paranormal


The Assassin’s voice boomed through the closed double doors to the study for the fifth time since he’d entered the room with Morgan’s Blood Sons, almost five hours before.  Marcus cringed as the doors were flung open, and Nicholas strode out, rage radiating from every inch of his six–foot, four–inch frame. Storm–gray eyes landed on Marcus, narrowed to slits, and he stalked past, commanding him to follow with an imperious wave of his right hand. Not wanting to piss the Assassin off more, Marcus bit back a snide comment, and followed him up the sweeping staircase to the mansion’s upper floors.

“Damn it all to hell, Old Man!” Nicholas roared as he began pacing the landing at the top of the stairs. He wanted Marcus to throw himself against his temper to take the edge off.

Ye Gods, Marcus thought, we’ve done this more times than I’d care to count in the centuries we’ve known one another, but this is different. Well, something other than the fact that we’ve barely spoken a civil word to one another in almost two hundred years.

“I take it the boys couldn’t add anything to what we already knew. In spite of the almost five hour interrogation?” Marcus asked, fighting to rein in his own temper, leaning against the banister at the top of the stairs.

“Five hours?” Nicholas stopped moving. He turned to Marcus, meeting his eyes. The other vampire nodded.  “It was really that long?”

“Yes. What’s next, Assassin?” Marcus asked, letting some of the frustration he felt give his voice a hard edge. The last thing they needed right now was for Nicholas to go soft.

“We can’t do anything before the sun sets,” he said, after giving Marcus a long, appraising look.

He’s assessed my well–being and decided I’m not fit for the field. I’ve seen that look too many times before and know better than to argue with him, Marcus thought, trying to work out a logical counter argument.

“I haven’t slept.” Nicholas sighed. “You look like death warmed over and those two are rattled.” He nodded toward the room where he’d left the younger vampires.

“Fine.” Marcus nodded. “I took the liberty of having my staff get us some SUVs. If Morgan’s alive, she’s going to need fresh blood. We’re going to need the extra room.” Marcus was almost certain that he didn’t have to mention that, but the desperate look in Nicholas’s eyes led him to believe that there was no such thing as being too careful in this situation.

“She has to be alive, Marcus.”

“We’ll find her.” Marcus answered, feeling like an ass for lying. We both know that the odds suck. This could be nothing more than trying to find her body. Gods, whoever did this is going to pay.

“I have a very bad feeling about this,” the Assassin muttered, looking through Marcus. Nicholas’s mind was turning over what he knew, making connections and searching for others.

“How so?” Marcus asked, prompting Nicholas to think aloud, knowing it helped him make connections he otherwise missed, and it gave Marcus the opportunity to make a few as well.

“The security footage Danny sent over from the club’s parking lot shows Morgan and her attackers, but never their faces.”

“The club has cameras outside?”

“Apparently one of the human staff had some trouble right after the club opened. Morgan had them installed after that.”

“They could have scoped out the cameras. Not too difficult when you know what to look for,” Marcus muttered, his brows drawn together. “Why didn’t anyone see her being attacked, if it was caught on camera? Why are we just learning about this now? Just because she somehow jacked my mind and knocked me flat on my ever–loving ass.” Marcus’s words sped up as he continued, agitation given voice.

“The footage is stored on massive hard drives but not reviewed unless an incident is reported. Since no one reported her disappearance…” Nicholas’s voice trailed off.

“I have a feeling Morgan will be revising that policy when she returns.”

“If she returns.”
Michelle Rabe
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Genre - Paranormal Urban Fantasy
Rating – PG-13
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Sunspots by @KarenSueBell #Romance #AmReading #ReviewShare

SunspotsSunspots by Karen S. Bell
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Sunspots is a heartwarming novel about love and loss from Karen Bell. At its core, Sunspots is definitely a love story, with some ghostly and paranormal elements woven in to help a young woman gain closure after the heartbreaking loss of her spouse.

What did not appeal to me was the lack of editing and long winded style of writing. Numerous spelling errors were noted which amplifies this book as a self-published book that missed a good editor. One example, draw instead of drawer.

I found Aurora to be charming, flawed, and raw; she adds comedy and tragedy throughout the story, as well as a finely tuned sense of pop culture reference that any modern reader will connect with. In the end, this book is enchanting, with a better cover and editor it would even be a worthy contender for Oprah's Book Club.

I give this book 3.5 stars.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads UK Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my book review. This book review is based on my thoughts, opinion and understanding of the book. This book review does not reflect the opinion of other book club members.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Eva Fejos on Having a "Mature" Novel @FejosEva #Women #Fiction #AmWriting

My answer is simple: maybe you shouldn’t try to sell your first book. It also might not be the one to bring your breakthrough to success. I think the first book you write is your guinea pig. Let me tell you my own example; clearly there are people who write amazing novels the first time around (those people can skip reading this part): I started writing novels when I was in my teens, but naturally I got stuck several times. I didn’t have much practice yet and if I couldn’t find a solution, I just started a new novel. I had all these unfinished manuscripts before I was able to actually finish my first book at age eighteen. Like all authors, I immediately ran happily to a Hungarian publisher.
I was lucky, because an editor read it and called me up to say that it was full of mistakes due to my lack of practice, but that a novel competition had been announced not long ago, and that I had one more month before they closed the applications. He suggested that I write a new novel during that time. Since it was summer and I had time, I got right down to it. I managed to finish by hardly sleeping at all, sitting up and writing all the time. In the end, I placed second in the competition and went home with a contract in my pocket. I was very happy. Then, a few weeks later, the publishing house went bankrupt and they didn’t publish my novel. I’m glad now that they didn’t. If I re-read today – which I won’t – what I had written then, I’d be stunned. I’m sure I would discover plenty of mistakes. I’d see that it wasn’t a mature text, and that the story was obviously undeveloped. But it was a great lesson.
Then what happened? I wrote a novel that I felt was mature enough, that the story was well written, and that it was time to send it to a publisher. This book was Till Death Do Us Part, which I really did send to a publisher in Budapest in 1999. They immediately accepted it and published it! True, they only printed limited numbers, and they also suggested that I publish under a pseudonym. While writing this book, I already felt that this novel was destined to reach many people, but this didn’t happen back in 1999. They only printed 3,000 copies, though they did sell all of them. But the story isn’t over. When I founded my own publishing company in 2013, I thought, now is the time when my long lost first book can finally reach a much wider audience. So this was the first book my own publishing house printed last summer. I gave the book a new name, a symbolic name, Starting Now, asked a new editor to work with it, had a new cover designed, and sent it out into the world, this time, under my own name.
Now, at the start of 2014, I can safely say that this book, which barely reached readers under the name of Till Death Do Us Part, is finally starting to ‘fulfill its destiny.’ I always felt that the book had this potential, but it needed 14 years (and 11 books to follow it) in order to reach so many people. So I think that patience and timing are important. Also, make sure that you write only for yourself about things you yourself would like to read about. Don’t try and please your ‘imagined audience’ or try and live up to real or imagined expectations.
The most important thing is to enjoy writing and believe that each of your novels has its own fate. This way, writing will always stay entertaining and you won’t give up hope.
Bangkok: a sizzling, all-embracing, exotic city where the past and the present intertwine. It’s a place where anything can happen… and anything really does happen. The paths of seven people cross in this metropolis. Seven seekers, for whom this city might be a final destination. Or perhaps it is only the start of a new journey? A successful businessman; a celebrated supermodel; a man who is forever the outsider; a young mother who suddenly loses everything; a talented surgeon, who could not give the woman he loved all that she desired; a brothel’s madam; and a charming young woman adopted at birth. Why these seven? Why did they come to Bangkok now, at the same time? Do chance encounters truly exist?
Bangkok Transit is a Central European best-seller. The author, Eva Fejos, a Hungarian writer and journalist, is a regular contributor to women’s magazines and is often herself a featured personality. Bangkok Transit was her first best-seller, which sold more than 100,000 copies and is still selling. Following the initial publication of this novel in 2008, she went on to write twelve other best-sellers, thus becoming a publishing phenomena in Hungary According to accounts given by her readers, the author’s books are “therapeutic journeys,” full of flesh and blood characters who never give up on their dreams. Many readers have been inspired to change the course of their own lives after reading her books. “Take your life into your own hands,” is one of the important messages the author wishes to convey.
Try it for yourself, and let Eva Fejos whisk you off on one of her whirlwind journeys… that might lead deep into your own heart.
About Eva Fejos, the author of Bangkok Transit
- Eva Fejos is a Hungarian writer and journalist.
- has had 13 best-selling novels published in Hungary so far.
Bangkok Transit is her first best-seller, published in 2008.
- has won several awards as a journalist, and thanks to one of her articles, the legislation pertaining to human egg donation was modified, allowing couples in need to acquire donor eggs more easily.  
- spends her winters in Bangkok.
- likes novels that have several storylines running parallel.
- visited all the places she’s written about. 
- spent a few days at an elephant orphanage in Thailand; and has investigated the process of how Thai children are put up for adoption while visiting several orphanages. 
- founded her own publishing company in Hungary last year, where she not only publishes her own books, but foreign books too, hand-picked by her. 
- Her books published in Hungary thus far are:
Till Death Do Us Part (Holtodiglan) | Bangkok Transit | Hotel Bali | Chicks (Csajok) | Strawberries for Breakfast (Eper reggelire) | The Mexican (A mexikói) | Cuba Libre | Dalma | Hello, London | Christmas in New York (Karácsony New Yorkban) | Caribbean Summer (Karibi nyár) | Bangkok, I Love You (Szeretlek, Bangkok) | Starting Now – the new edition ofTill Death Do Us Part (Most kezdődik) | Vacation in Naples – the English version will be published in summer, 2014 (Nápolyi vakáció)
To be published in spring of 2014: I Waited One Hundred Nights (Száz éjjel vártam)
Bangkok Transit (English version): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HDIT4UY
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Genre – Women’s Fiction, Contemporary
Rating – PG-13
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