Jack Cannon's American Destiny

Rachel Thompson

Saturday, November 29, 2014

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

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

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

Why Book Covers are So Important

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ted and Catrina are led deep into Seattle’s Hi-Tech world as they stalk the killer. But the killer is also hunting them. Can Ted find the killer before the killer finds him? 
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Mystery, Thriller
Rating – R
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Friday, November 28, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Blended Science Fiction, Erotica
Rating – NC17
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Saturday, November 8, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Something of Interest for Everyone in "Glimpses of Heaven on Earth" by John E. Wade II #NonFiction

I very much enjoyed writing Glimpses of Heaven on Earth, as an inspirational read that I hope gives its readers some interesting thoughts to contemplate. The book includes quotations and essays on the following topics: peace and security, freedom, democracies, prosperity, gender harmony, racial harmony, spiritual harmony, ecological harmony, health, and moral purpose and meaning. This is a follow-up to my prior book, How to Achieve a Heaven on Earth, which is a collection of approximately one hundred essays on these same topics.

In this newest book, Glimpses of Heaven on Earth, I invited four essay contributors to my prior book to join me in collecting inspiriting quotations. Each of the five co-authors—Charlotte L. Piotrowski, Daniel Agatino, Michael Nagler, Martin Rutte, and I—wrote brief commentary to follow the quotations in each chapter. I think the group did a good job of finding quotations on all of these topics from leaders and thinkers throughout time and across the globe, which was an exhaustive by interesting project. You will find some familiar favorites, such as quotes from Mother Theresa and Mahatma Gandhi, and also some that may be unfamiliar. I can imagine starting off each day by reading a sampling of quotes from each chapter. After all, we are all seeking to make some kind of order in the chaos of life, and I find this book very helpful in that quest.

Because of the range of topics, there truly is something of interest for everyone. I enjoyed reading about net-zero buildings in Martin’s commentary on ecological harmony. And I think readers will be intrigued by my predictions of everlasting life in the chapter on health. I want to note that we did not shy away from today’s hot topics, such as racial and gender issues, making for a very timely read.
All in all, our writing styles are easy to read and the content is easy to follow, although I had to read Michael’s commentary about peace and security twice before it really sank in. As the founder for the Metta Center for Nonviolence, Michael is an expert in this field, and I found myself wanting to know more about his beliefs and practices. In addition to other books on the topic of nonviolence, Michael provides all sorts of other helpful material on his website:  http://mettacenter.org/.  I also has several comprehensive websites, one that specifically focuses on the topic of heaven on earth: www.heavenonearth.org

This book would make an excellent gift for someone experiencing change in their life, going through difficult times, changing jobs or schools, or for someone who enjoys being inspired to create a better life for herself and others. I can imagine giving this book as a graduation or retirement gift as well. Truly, anyone would benefit from reading this short, but impactful, book.

Glimpses of Heaven on Earth

Editor and author John E. Wade II has compiled a spiritual guide of invaluable insight for finding peace and meaning in life while making the world a better place for all. Along with co-authors Charlotte Livingston Piotrowski, Daniel Agatino, Michael Nagler, and Martin Rutte, this collection of enlightening essays and inspirational quotes from renowned thinkers and leaders throughout history provides the intellectual tools needed to live a more harmonious life.

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Genre - Inspirational
Rating – G
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