Saturday, November 30, 2013

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


Chapter 4

Portland, Oregon

October 22nd

Afternoon Hours

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

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

‘Hey, man! You daydreaming?’

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

‘Feel sick or something?’ he persisted.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Rating – PG-13

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Friday, November 29, 2013

Author Interview – J B McCauley @MccauleyJay

Image of J B McCauley

How did you develop your writing?

I have my own style. Originally it was very perfunctory but now I have developed my own contemporary place.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

From the world around me. From my experiences. From my aspirations.

What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?

Getting Published. Followed by Marketing. Writing is the easiest part of the equation.

What marketing works for you?

Face to Face

Do you find it hard to share your work?

No. Too old to care about that any more. Used to be terrified of giving my work to editors but have accepted that the right people do know what they are doing.

King of Sunday Morning

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Genre – Thriller, Action, Suspense, Gangster, Crime, Music

Rating – PG-18

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AFN Clarke – Things They Never Tell You @AFNClarke

Things They Never Tell You About Becoming A Published Author
by AFN Clarke
When someone asks “what do you do?” and I say “I’m an author”, invariably the response is “wow, it must be great to just sit and write all day”.  And of course I nod, but I secretly think “if only you really knew!”
Am I happy to be a writer?  Of course I am.  Am I bursting with creative energy that’s ready to flow onto the page effortlessly giving life to what is sure be the next best seller every day? In my dreams!  So I got to thinking, what are the 10 things that I didn’t know about becoming a published author that I’ve learned the hard way?
1.    Published authors have the privilege of developing really thick skulls.
Who else would work long hours with little sleep, no money, get rejected a million times and drag loved ones through hell and back to just hear that one precious word “yes”.  Our bubble of denial and refusal to see reason actually cultivates miracles – how cool is that?
2.    When people like what you write, they’ll only sometimes tell you so.
We are insecure, sensitive creatures who though we staunchly deny it, measure our own self-worth through someone else’s eyes.  Positive feedback is like life support – so if you like my work put me out of my misery and tell me, so I don’t end up a blabbering mess of insecurity.
3.    When people don’t like what you write, there’s no stopping them telling you so.
My big “aha” is that the moment a writer commits words to paper he/she becomes public property – a target to be criticized, loved, praised, or condemned a hundred times over. Live with it! I wrote my thriller An Unquiet American with a very politically provocative premise that dramatically escalates tension in the book  - and also some people’s blood pressure!  So be it, at least it’s generating heated discussions for them as much with those who love it – isn’t that the point?  It’s all a matter of attitude.
4.    Fame and success erase your battle scars but also common sense.
My first book CONTACT was a best seller. I was on TV, in the newspaper, and felt invincible. When the limelight faded my publisher asked “where’s your next book?” “What book?” Oops, wrong answer!  That rookie mistake took years to correct – so while the fans are still cheering take a bow, stick your ego in a box and quietly get back to work.
5.    You will take your partner to the brink of madness.
After all these years, my wife deserves a medal. As with most authors I can be a self-indulgent hermit who’s rarely truly “present”.  When writing I live in a parallel universe that only intersects hers at mealtimes at best. When I’m not writing I’m grumpy, as I’m upset I’m not writing. So authors – if anyone puts up with you, cherish adore and love them, because they’re a rare species.
6.    Those pesky 140 characters will take you to the brink of madness.
Here’s the deal Twitter – my latest thriller The Orange Moon Affair has 479,180 characters and you want me to do what?  Be meaningful in 140?  You’ve got to be kidding right?
And of course I’m running out of characters already – so here are learnings 7, 8, 9, and 10:
7.    You’ll become best friends with loads of people that you never even get to meet.
8.    You’ll learn to see the silly side of everything life throws at you.
9.    You’ll get to face your greatest fears, reveal the inner depths of your soul, open your heart and mind, become totally vulnerable, learn about things you never heard of and chase your wildest dreams.
10.  And if you learn to get over yourself, you’ll live through it all to celebrate the most wonderfully satisfying and richly rewarding times of your life.
Being an author rocks!
AFN CLARKE is the son of a British MI6 operative, pilot, sailor, screenwriter, father of four who’s lived all over the world, served in the British Army and recovered from the physical/emotional traumas of war.  His bestselling memoir CONTACT was serialized in a British newspaper and made into an award winning BBCTV film.  He’s insatiably curious, loves heated discussions and has a rascally sense of humor. He now writes fiction of various genres – thrillers (The Orange Moon Affair and An Unquiet American); human drama (Dry Tortugas), humor/satire (Dreams from the Death Age; Armageddon), horror (Collisions) with more coming soon.  For more information visit, connect on Facebook or Twitter (@AFN Clarke).
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Genre – Thriller
Rating – PG-13
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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thirty Scary Tales by Rayne Hall @RayneHall #Excerpt #AmReading #Horror


Lucie clutched the pole by the exit, willing the train to go faster, urging it to take her further away from Jake.

“May I see your tickets?” singsonged a male voice. “Tickets, please.”

While the seated passengers dug into pockets and rummaged through bags, Lucie reckoned she had about two minutes before she was found out.

She was in luck: The train slowed and hummed to a halt. She pushed the “open” button and jumped out.

The place was dark and deserted, one of those small unstaffed stations. Behind her, the doors beeped and whooshed shut. The train accelerated with a growl and vanished into the night.

A rust-streaked sign proclaimed that she had reached Seelsden: merely five villages from where she had left. Her heart was still thudding from her escape, her mind reeling from the confrontation with Jake, and her thoughts churning in a jumbled mess, but she knew she had to hop onto the next train and this time try to get further.

In the sickly light of a wall lamp, she scanned the time-table poster. Only one train served Seelsden at night: the 11.36pm that had just rumbled away. After that, no trains stopped here until 6.42am.

The small station building was unlit, the door to the waiting room locked. At the contact point - “For Information And Enquiries, Press Here” - a cardboard sign said “out of order.”

She hugged herself against the chill and rubbed her bare arms. Now what?

An empty coke can rattled across the concrete, a crisp wrapper rustled along the track, and somewhere in the distance, a motor whined.

The hamlet of Seelsden was a mile away on that gloomy hill. A lone female trudging up there would put herself at risk from motorised predators, and even if she got there, where would she go? She had no money for a hotel – assuming that the village had one, which was unlikely. Other doors would remain locked. People around here did not open the door to strangers after 8pm, and those who did had unsavoury intentions.

It was safer to stay on the platform, a semi-public place where she could see anyone approaching.

Overhead lamps soaked the station platform in their sulphurous light. The station clock ticked 11.50.
Claws of tiredness spiked at her brain. A warm bed, a cosy duvet, a safe place to spend the night... but there were only the benches along the single platform, with their hard white metal and curving backs. One of them would have to do for the few hours until dawn. She did not need to be comfortable, she just needed sleep.

Lucie picked the one least soiled by pigeon droppings and grime. The metal was cold, and the chill seeped through the thin fabric of her dress into her flesh.

It had been stupid to run away unprepared. She should have kept a bag packed, saved some money, identified places to stay. Instead, she had clung to her denial and her hopes that Jake would mend his ways, until she had no choice and she had to flee without even the chance to grab a jacket.

The jaundiced lamp glowed its disapproval.

If she had had any sense, she would have seen the danger signs as soon as she moved in with Jake – the satisfied pleasure with which he crushed that moth, the way he kept the spider trapped in a glass for weeks before he squashed it, the way his blue eyes gleamed when rough bedroom games escalated in violence – but she had clung to her denial, had shut out the truth even when it banged on her mind and demanded entry. Until tonight, when he had tried to...

No. She would not think about that.

She wanted to curl into a ball with her knees against her chest to keep warm, but the bench was too narrow for that. Cigarette stubs crammed into the gaps still stank of nicotine.

Denial followed by panic - this had always been her mistake. She could see the pattern now. When the lycée discriminated against girls, she meekly accepted it – and then one day she dropped out. When her father's new wife made her life hell, she suffered in silence – and then ran away. When the father of the family where she worked as an au pair made lascivious remarks, she ignored them, but when he tried to paw her, she freaked out, packed and left.

Each time, she could have made a formal complaint, given notice, taken her time to find a better way out. But each time she had denied, then panicked, and each time she had landed in a worse mess.
Midnight. Clouds flitted like pale ghosts across the sliver of moon. In the thicket that flanked the platform, rodent feet scurried.

She had to get some sleep. Dawn would bring warmth, light and clarity of thought.

Not far away, an animal howled. There were no wolves in England, she reminded herself. It had to be a dog. She turned to find a position of acceptable discomfort, one arm under her head and the other across her eyes, blocking out the light.

She woke, shivering. After a moment's disorientation, she realised where she was, and why. What a stupid situation to get into! At least it was over. But wait: the station clock said 2.13 - still four and a half hours before she could get into a train.

A pair of yellow eyes stared, flickered, vanished. There, again. Did England really have no wolves? Hadn't she read somewhere about wolves and foxes spreading into towns? And then there were exotic illegal pets, and big cats escaped from zoos.

Her pulse pounded in her throat. What if it was a hungry panther in search of easy prey? A thousand ants seemed to crawl over her skin.

Why hadn't she stayed on that train? Why hadn't she stayed at home?

Silence. Wind swished through the treetops.

She needed to go to the loo, really bad. But the railway companies had closed station toilets. Cost saving, budget cuts.

Another four hours before the train would take her away. And then, what? She still had no money, still had nowhere to go.

At least, the train would have a toilet. Probably. But could she hold out until then? The pressure on her bladder increased. Sleep wouldn't come back until she had a pee.

She squatted by the metal fence at the edge of the thicket, releasing a hot stream. Nothing stirred in the undergrowth. No eyes, no animal. She had imagined things because of her overwrought nerves.
Already, she felt better. Even her panic about Jake subsided, and her thinking grew rational.

Running away like this had been stupid. If she had held out just a few more hours, she could have left in the morning with her clothes, with some money, with a proper plan.

Had she submitted until his violent lust was spent, she would have some bruises, but she would be lying in her own bed, cosy and warm.

Silly panic. How could she have thought Jake would kill her? He had different erotic tastes and sometimes he got carried away, that was all. She should have talked with him about her concerns and explained that they were not compatible. They could have had a rational discussion and broken up civilly. No need to panic, no need to run like a madwoman, no need to spend the night on a platform bench.

Those eyes again. And a second pair. Lucie's breath stalled, and fear clenched like a tight fist around her chest.

If only she had a weapon! That empty coke can over there – but it wouldn't help much even if she could reach it.

She lowered her lids, hoping this made her own eyes less visible to the beasts. But they had probably already taken her scent and were waiting to pounce. Would the metal fence keep them out? The bars were a handspan apart; too narrow for a big animal to squeeze through, she hoped. Another five minutes ticked by. Six.

She tried to hold absolutely still, so the predators would not see her move. How ironic: by fleeing from Jake, she had put herself in real danger. Instead of beaten by an intemperate lover, her flesh would be ripped by wild beasts.

If Jake were here, she would not be frightened. He would chase away the beasts, real or imagined.
A motor vroomed down the road. Twigs cracked, and when she opened her eyes a crack, the four gleaming pupils had vanished as if they had read her thoughts.

Where were the eyes now? Did she dare hope they had left? She breathed into her abdomen to still her racing heart. If she could get through the night, she would be more sensible in the future. She would talk things through with the persons concerned. No more rash running.

The night grew colder still, and the station clock seemed paralysed, taking an eternity to advance by even one minute.

Wind rustled the leaves in the thicket, and the bushes seemed filled with flickering eyes - a trick of the moonlight glinting of pale leaves. As usual, she had overreacted, worked herself into a pointless panic. She had to get a grip on herself and stop indulging in silly fears.

Tiredness gritted her eyes and blocked her thought, and she must have slept, because when she looked again, the clock stood at 3.04. The bench had grown harder still, and the temperature had dropped beyond what any human would willingly endure. She rubbed her feet, trying to massage life into her icy toes.

Faint nausea rose from her stomach, and a headache threatened to split her skull. She remembered the week when she was ill, too sick to leave the bed. Jake had taken care of her, feeding her dry toast and sips of water, washing her limbs, emptying the vomit bowls, all with an angel's patience and a lover's tenderness.

A motor stuttered to a halt, a car door slammed.

Her mind raced through scenarios in which someone would drive to a deserted railway station where no train stopped at night. None of them was reassuring.

Heavy steps thudded on the tarmac, came closer.

It was best if the person did not see her here. She squeezed tighter against the curved back of the bench, the icy metal pressing into her cheek.

Thud, thud, thud.

Bunched keys jingled with every harsh step.


Jake! A warm wave of relief swept through her.

“Thank heaven, I've found you. I've searched everywhere.” The familiarity of his firm, gentle voice enveloped her.

His shirt was unevenly buttoned, and stubble shadowed his jaw. He slipped off his leather jacket and draped it over her shoulders. “I've been worried sick. In the car, I have a thermos with hot tea.”

She followed him out of the station gate to the car park. “I'm sorry I overreacted. When I saw that rope... I thought.. I panicked....”

“It's my fault, Lucie,” he said gently. “I should have explained what I was doing. Of course you were frightened. We need to talk. But first, I'll take you home. You look like you could do with some sleep.”

He held the passenger door open and waited until she had sunk into the seat. The familiar smells – pine air freshener, fish & chips, milky tea - hugged her with their familiarity. Her mind sank into drowsy warmth.

Their relationship was doomed, she would tell Jake that. But she appreciated the trouble he had gone to to find her, and she would tell him that too. In her own time. No rush.

He got in on the driver's side, pulled his door shut, and snapped the central locking.

“Look at me, Lucie.” His blue eyes gleamed, and his smile bared teeth. “See what I've brought.”

His hands held the thumb-thick rope.

Thirty Scary Tales

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Genre – Horror
Rating – PG-13
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#Bargain Sand Dollar: A Story of Undying Love by Sebastian Cole @sebastiancole3

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

Image of Dora Machado
When did you start writing and what got you into fantasy?
I think I’ve been writing novels in my head since as far back as I can remember. But it wasn’t until about ten years ago, after my kids were old enough to fend for themselves and I could carve out a little time that I decided to give writing a serious go. I was torn between writing historical fiction and fantasy, so I tinkered with both. In my mind, these two genres have a lot in common. I started reading fantasy in college, when I was smitten by a boy who loved reading fantasy. I fell in love with the genre and married the boy. Or wait; was it the other way around?

Is The Curse Giver your first book?
The Curse Giver is actually my fourth book. I’m known for the Stonewiser series, an award-winning epic fantasy trilogy that includes Stonewiser: The Heart of the Stone (2009), Stonewiser: The Call of the Stone (2010) and Stonewiser: The Lament of the Stone (2012). The Curse Giver is my newest release and my first standalone novel. It’s a fast, plot-twisting fantasy romance about an innocent woman condemned to die for a crime she didn’t commit, who must ally with the cursed lord pledged to kill her in order to defeat the curse giver who has already conjured their ends. It’s a grand, epic story with brawn, brains and lots of heart, something that I think your fantasy romance readers might enjoy.

How did your interest in writing originate?
I recall being interested in writing since as far back as I can remember. I also recall being fascinated by books as a child and making up stories in my mind all the time. It helped that I came from a family of avid readers who loved books and that my grandfather was a poet.

What do you consider the most challenging part about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
For me, the biggest challenge comes after the novel is written. I mean, I love to talk about my books, and I absolutely relish the pleasure of getting to know my readers; but self-promotion? Yikes. It doesn’t come naturally to me.

What made you decide to write fantasy?
I’ve always been intrigued by the fantasy genre. I love the genre’s creative freedom, the opportunity to rethink, redesign and reinterpret the human experience, the creative challenges that arise from world building, and the mysteries that magic brings to the human equation. I grew up in the Dominican Republic and my life always felt kind of magical in many ways. I’ve always straddled different worlds. Fantasy is a perfect fit for me.

Describe your creative/writing process.
I tend to fixate on an idea and think on it subconsciously for a while, until it transforms into a specific concept, scene, or character, which usually comes out pretty well formed. At that point, I might make some notes, which might include a loose outline and maybe a few scribbled paragraphs that wouldn’t make sense to anyone but me. Typically I know the beginning and the end of a story before I start writing and I have a general idea of where the story needs to go. Writing is always a process of discovery for me, which might be one of the reasons why it’s so enjoyable to me. 

Your book is set in an imaginary world. Can you tell us why you chose this setting in particular?
At the heart of every great fantasy, there is a rich and complex world. I like to create fantasy worlds that feel “real,” interesting geographies with diverse and unique populations that have their own cultures and beliefs, and worlds riddled with conflict, discord and controversy. Sound familiar?

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
It takes me about four months, give or take. Keep in mind that the time invested is not always consecutive when you are working on a novel. Sometimes I’ll advance one project and then shift to another novel, before going back to complete the first one.

Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?
Sure! My publishing journey began somewhere around 2008, when a very new, very small independent press decided to publish the Stonewiser series as a test run. I love working with independent publishers. I like working closely with the team putting together the book and having frequent opportunities to influence the outcome. I guess I like the personal connection too. The Curse Giver was published by Twilight Times Books,, a dynamic, top-of-the-line, quality-oriented independent publisher based out Kingsport, Tennessee, that specializes in critically acclaimed mystery, science fiction and fantasy novels.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?
You know, I kind of like having different choices to stay in touch with my readers, but I’ll admit that keeping all of the social networks active and current takes a lot of time. For that reason, I rely on my website, blog and newsletter to communicate directly with my readers. I also like Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter, although I have been known to neglect a post or two in favor of writing.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love to travel and I do so whenever I can. I also love walking and hiking. I’m slow on the uphill, but I enjoy it. I like stories and therefore I love movies, books and any other medium that tells stories. I really like theater and in particular, I love Broadway productions, the more lyrical and epic, the better.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received that you’d like to pass to other authors?
Write like the wind, write often, diligently and continuously, write for yourself and my favorite, write all the way to The End.

Is there anything else you would like to share?
If you haven’t given fantasy romance a chance, go ahead, try it now. Whether you pick up The Curse Giver or another one of the epic stories that the genre has to offer, you are bound to be surprised and satisfied by the heart-warming combination of romance, adventure and passion. 

What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
To learn more about me and my novels, visit my website at or contact me at You can also subscribe to my blog at, sign up for my newsletter at, or find me on Facebook and Twitter. For a free excerpt of The Curse Giver, visit

Curse Giver

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Genre – Fantasy/Dark Fantasy

Rating – PG-18

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Birth of an Assassin by Rik Stone @stone_rik


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

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

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

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

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

“Yes, Sergeant,” Jez said.

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

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

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

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



Birth of an Assassin

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

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Genre - Thriller, Crime, Suspense

Rating – R

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

#AmReading - Officer Jones by Derek Ciccone @DCicconeBooks

Officer Jones by Derek Ciccone


As the fearless international correspondent for GNZ News, JP Warner has always risked his life to beat the competition to the story, and received all the notoriety and riches that comes with it. But an event makes him realize that there's no end to the chase, and the further he runs, the more he loses himself. So he decides to leave the jaded industry, and returns to the idyllic Connecticut town he grew up in, hoping to rediscover the person he once was.
But any chance to find peace shatters when he looks into the eyes of local policeman Kyle Jones. JP sees the same look he's seen in the many fanatics he's covered over the years. And soon finds himself on a collision course with Officer Jones, while also battling the forces within himself, as he races to cover the biggest story of his life.

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

If I knew an asshole was going to murder me that warm, summer’s day in Mexico, I’d have done things differently that morning. I would have had pizza for breakfast, skipped the sun screen and written my family a farewell letter.

The letter would be poignant and heart-rending. I would have thanked them for the precious memories, told them how much I love them, wished them …

Nah. I would have told them to go fuck themselves!

Yep, my letter would read something like this:

Dad or Father – Never had the guts to tell you this, but I always craved your love. Growing up, I felt unwanted, alone, fatherless. Because of you, I’m screwed up. I date older men, borderline fucking paedophiles, because I’m constantly searching for a father-figure.

Elaine, you came into my life and said, “Call me Mommy”. You should have added “Dearest”. You eroded every bit of self-confidence I had with your constant belittling. You called me fat, unattractive, slow, and I am what I am today because of you – angry, aggressive, defensive.

You really are a Wicked Stepmother. In fact, you make Cinderella’s stepmother look like the Tooth Fairy on fucking weed. I think God has issues with me. She must have, if she took away my wonderful mother when I was just six and sent me you.

Paris, my stepsister, or Miss Los Angeles Diva 1999, as you like to be called. So beautiful, so striking, so nasty. Meaner than a Nevada rattlesnake, meaner than a scorpion and meaner than, well, a mean girl in high school. Spent my childhood living in your shadow. You took everything – my Barbies, my books, my best friends, ’cause you could. Then we grew up and you took my boyfriend. You stole Austin and married him. Quickly. Then you had his baby. Very quickly.

You had so many fans, but you had to have him, because I had him. I told you I was cool with the two of you hooking up – I lied. I told you I was happy for you both – I was faking it. I hurt like hell. I still do.

So, Adiós family. Now, go fuck yourselves!

Link to Gringa:\



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



Where to find Eve Rabi online








Deception – A Palace Full of Liars – Book 1

Deception – A Palace Full of Liars – Book 2

Burn’s World – Book 1

Burn’s World – Book 2

Burn’s World – Book 3

Burn’s World – Book 4

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

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

Gringa – A Love Story Book 1

Gringa – A Love Story Book 2

Gringa – A Love Story Book 3

Gringa – A Love Story Book 4

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

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

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

Obsessed with me –Book 1

Obsessed with me –Book 2

Betrayed – He’d get his Girl at Any Cost

My Brother, My Rival (Book 1)

My Brother, My Rival (Book 2)

Indiestructible: Inspiring Stories from the Publishing Jungle @MsBessieBell

Tackling the Time Factor

by Jessica Bell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So what about the rest?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s an example:

My job (at least 7 hours worth)

500-1000 words on my WIP

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

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

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

I made dinner.

I walked the dog.

I relaxed.

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

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

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

Nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it.

Nothing is impossible if you truly want it.

Nothing is impossible. Full stop.


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

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

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

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


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Genre –  Non-fiction

Rating – G

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Connect with Jessica Bell on FacebookTwitter


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Matchplay Series (Three Book Boxed Set) by Dakota Madison @shortontimebook



MATCHPLAY (Book One of the Series)

A Girl, a Guy, a Tournament and a Challenge

The Girl: At a time when most girls obsess about homecoming and high school prom, Rainy Dey spent her senior year caring for her dying mother. So when her father drops her off at college to start her freshman year, his words of advice to his bookish daughter are to start acting like a young person and finally have some fun.

The Guy: College senior, Aaron Donovan, aka Mr. Hot-and-Knows-It, is President of The Clubhouse, a social club for the college’s most wealthy and popular guys. Aaron can have any girl on campus except the one who challenges and excites him the most–Rainy Dey.

The Tournament: Every year, the senior members of The Clubhouse engage in a golf-inspired tournament to see who can sleep with the most freshman girls. When Rainy finds out about The Tournament, she believes Aaron’s only interest in her is to score points by taking her V-Card.

The Challenge: Can Aaron convince Rainy that his feelings for her are true and that she won’t be just another notch on his tournament scorecard?

FAIR PLAY (Book Two of the Series)

The Good-Girl, the Bad-Girl and the Boy They Both Want…FAIR PLAY begins where the New Adult romance MATCHPLAY left off.

Bad girls need love, too…

Keira Whitley is used to getting what she wants and what she wants is the sexy-and-smart, Aaron Donovan. They’re both from extremely wealthy and prominent families and their parents have talked about getting the two of them together since they were kids.

The only problem is that Aaron recently got engaged to the girl of his dreams, Rainy Dey.

But Keira knows she and Aaron are supposed to be together and she’s not about to let a little thing like Aaron’s declaration of true love for Rainy get in her way.

But is all really fair in love and war?

FINAL PLAY (Book Three of the Series)

A Guy, a Girl and the Deviled Egg they both want…

Straight-laced newbie engineer Lucas Young wasn’t looking for love when he attended his friend, Rainy Dey’s wedding reception. But what he did want was one of the delicious looking deviled eggs that were prominently displayed on the hors d’oeuvres table.

Unfortunately, the delectable treat was practically stolen out of his hand by…

Ella Warner, groomsman Evan Warner’s “crazy” younger sister and the black sheep of their well-to-do family. Ella does everything on her own terms, including snatching a yummy deviled egg from Lucas’s rather hungry clutches.

But it’s going to take a lot more than the perfect deviled egg to keep this completely mismatched couple from going completely off the rails as they negotiate an increasingly complicated relationship.

Opposites may attract but can they actually find true love with each other?

This NEW ADULT ROMANCE SERIES contains language and content indented for adult readers (18+).

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – New Adult Romance

Rating – R

More details about the author and the book

Connect with  Dakota Madison on Facebook & Twitter


Sunspots by Karen S. Bell @KarenSueBell

Jake asked my mother to dance and I watched lovingly as they formally held each other amid the couples of all ages that packed the dance floor. The stern faced women wore their hair stiffly coiffed and shoes dyed to match dresses made of silk and taffeta. Their rough and stocky men seemed caged in their suits of fine wool all the while handling their women with great deference as they circled around and through the limited space. These older couples danced their own distinct interpretation of a jaunty foxtrot or fast-paced free dance that was out-of-step with the modern beat but not out of touch with each other.

The teenaged girls wiggled and grinded sensually to the strange rhythms with their feet precariously wedged into spiked heals and their youthful hips squeezed into tiny black rubber skirts that accentuated their long, elegant legs. They tossed their long, blonde hair seductively and laughed rambunctiously while their coolly sophisticated boyfriends pretended not to notice. We were all of us, Jews, different and yet the same, sharing a comradeship of history and tradition that enabled a Texan and a New Yorker to feel connected as they danced in the soft lights among immigrants who brought Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Odessa to Brooklyn.

Under the influence of the several shots from the bottle of Stolichnaya, my mother and Jake laughed easily as they made their way around the crowded dance floor. My mother’s high spirits shined through her eyes and I caught a glimpse of her youthful self emerge as she swayed and twirled. I watched with loving eyes as Jake tossed back his head in mirth in his awkward attempt to feel comfortable dancing to unfamiliar music sung in a foreign tongue. I could see the broad wide smile that charmed me from the first and I knew that my mother had also succumbed. I thanked Jake silently for bringing such happiness to all of us on this magical night.

As I watched bathed in the warm glow of my emotions, I suddenly sensed a shift in pace and timing. The music’s cadence became distorted and too slow, like a recording played at the wrong speed. The lighting dimmed and flickered and long shadows formed along the walls. I squinted and noticed that my mother’s demeanor had changed and she was no longer smiling. I could see her black, crocheted gloved hand with exposed fingertips whip a fan up and down so rapidly that it looked like a butterfly. This gesture emphasized her displeasure.

A fan? That’s very odd.

With her other hand my mother held Jake’s arm as they twirled in place. Jake’s starched shirt collar stood upwards around his neck and sported some type of tied scarf. His long and fitted suit jacket gave him an aristocratic air and his hair curled down his back in a tied-back ponytail.

Why is he dressed like that?

Suddenly, a heavy weight on my chest made it hard to breathe. A familiar state of anxiety borne from many years of stress surged through me. I was simultaneously the observer and the observed and with this power I knew with certainty there was a bad finish to this scene. But where was this scene happening? And more importantly, when?


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Genre – Contemporary romance, Magical Realism

Rating – PG-13

More details about the author



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

Author Interview – A.M. Griffin @AMGriffinbooks #LovingDangerously
If you could study any subject at university what would you pick? Auto detailing. I keep looking at the pamphlets that they keep sending me. One day when my life settles down a bit I think I’ll take up classes. I think I’d look sexy in my overalls and goggles with paint in my hand, screaming, “Next!”

How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk? Laptop. Sometimes I’m forced to write with pen and paper—only when I don’t have my laptop handy. But other than that I have my laptop propped on my lap or pillows and I’m clicking away.

Where do you get support from? Do you have friends in the industry? I have a group of wonderful author friends. Whenever we have issues, whether it is business or personal, we know that we are only an email away. We done judge and we often have a *cone of silence* that is invoked for various reasons. It’s good to be able to vent to a group of women that understand the business and have probably been in the same situation once or twice before. Plus writing can be a very solitary profession. It’s nice to talk to friends every now and then, to if nothing else, keep me sane.

How much sleep do you need to be your best? 8-10 hours. I can’t survive on anything less. If I don’t get a full 8 hours of sleep everyone knows about it. I’ll spend the entire day counting down to my bed time and I’m telling everyone about it. “I get to sleep in 6 more hours.” “Man, I can’t wait to go to bed.” “Is it bedtime yet?” LOL. I’m worse than the kids.

Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you? Having readers that enjoy what I write. I like readers who ask me about my characters as if they are real people and readers who follow my story line. To me that’s success. To me, I’m writing to THAT person.

If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask? My grandfather. I know a lot of people would say Jesus or something like that. I’d love to have a talk with Jesus, and that time will come. But I miss and think about my grandfather a lot. If I was given a dinner with him, I’d make it a seven course meal and talk. I’d talk to him about my kids—about his kids too (LOL because they are a handful) and I’d tell him everything that’s been going on in my life. I have a supportive family and I would expect the same from him. He would’ve been proud of me and of what I’ve become.

When you are not writing, how do you like to relax? On my bed with pillows propped up behind my head. I usually have the television on, but the volume is low and I’m tuning it out anyway. The house is clean and the kids are taken care of. That makes for a very good writing atmosphere. I need to take it a step further and turn off my phone so I won’t be tempted to take a peek on the goings on of FaceBook, but I haven’t gotten that far yet.
Dangerously Hers
Jess hates aliens. After the invasion that destroyed Earth, the extraterrestrial bastards sold her to a brothel as a sex slave. She may have escaped but the old memories and fears still linger in the dark corners of her mind. Supposedly Sonis is just the place for her—somewhere safe, where she can heal and start fresh. She’s almost hopeful…until she meets Rasha, her new boss.
Rasha, captain of the Sonis Royal Guard, is a warrior through and through. He’s huge, sinfully sexy and could have any woman on Sonis—but the woman he wants is Jess. He’s very much an alien and Jess knows she should hate him or at least be wary, but whenever he’s around, she loses control. She tells herself it’s only sex—amazing, mind-blowing sex like nothing else she’s ever experienced—but there’s something about Rasha that shakes her soul. The feel of his skin against hers, the look in his eyes as he touches her—they make her want to believe it’s possible to find love and begin again.
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Genre - Science fiction
Rating – R
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Connect with A.M. Griffin on Twitter

Breathing for Two by Wolf Pascoe @WolfPascoe

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

Monday, November 25, 2013

#AmReading - Love Does by Bob Goff @bobgoff

Love Does by Bob Goff


As a college student he spent 16 days in the Pacific Ocean with five guys and a crate of canned meat. As a father he took his kids on a world tour to eat ice cream with heads of state. He made friends in Uganda, and they liked him so much he became the Ugandan consul. He pursued his wife for three years before she agreed to date him. His grades weren't good enough to get into law school, so he sat on a bench outside the Dean’s office for seven days until they finally let him enroll.

Bob Goff has become something of a legend, and his friends consider him the world's best-kept secret. Those same friends have long insisted he write a book. What follows are paradigm shifts, musings, and stories from one of the world’s most delightfully engaging and winsome people. What fuels his impact? Love. But it's not the kind of love that stops at thoughts and feelings. Bob's love takes action. Bob believes Love Does.

When Love Does, life gets interesting. Each day turns into a hilarious, whimsical, meaningful chance that makes faith simple and real. Each chapter is a story that forms a book, a life. And this is one life you don't want to miss.

Light and fun, unique and profound, the lessons drawn from Bob's life and attitude just might inspire you to be secretly incredible, too.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Author Interview – Sarah Krisch inspired you to write your first book?

My husband has been writing since high school.  He’s been a published author for over a decade and over the years I’ve always been his first reader.  I guess you could say I’ve become a writer out of osmosis.  After giving my input for so long, I finally decided I wanted to tackle my own stories.  While Glen mostly writes horror stories, I much prefer HEA (happily ever afters).

Write now I write because I enjoy it.  Even with indie publishing, I think selling the amount of books it would take to make writing a career is still a lot like winning the lottery.  Sure, some people win, but the odds are against it.

Have you developed a specific writing style?

My goal is to try to establish the characters’ emotions.  You can’t have a romance without an emphasis on emotions.  I figure, emotions + conflict = a recipe for a successful romance novel.

How much of the book is realistic?

Julia is set, as are all the books in the Good Life series, in Harmony Grove, Iowa.  These are stories about small town charm and hard-working people.  I don’t sugarcoat these aspects, even if some of the narrative is on the nostalgic end of the spectrum.

What are your goals as a writer?

I want to tell stories that I would like to read.  I figure if I can accomplish that, then readers will eventually find my work.

What contributes to making a writer successful?

Having a thick skin is important.  If you shy away at the slightest criticism, either in the critiquing phase or after your work is published, then writing might not be in the cards for you.  Writing is a hard and oftentimes lonely business.  One day a reader might call your book an all-favorite, while the next day someone might question your ability to string together coherent sentences.  Hard work and a thick skin will take you far.


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Genre – Contemporary Romance

Rating – PG-13

More details about the author

Connect with Sarah Krisch on Facebook


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



From the time I entered first grade in school, I have been fascinated by history. Especially history that occurred in areas such as my hometown. A Revolutionary War Battle took place near where I grew up. From a very early age, I visited the National Park occasionally, where I could walk the trails, see the monuments and grave sites, and let my imagination run wild. As I got a little older, my fascination with the Revolutionary War only increased. When I was taught in school about the Civil War, I quickly developed the same fascination. I would converse with anyone who would listen to my ramblings, and it didn’t matter to me which war we talked about.

At the age of fourteen, I met a man, a teacher, who seemed to have the same inherent interest and I guess you would say obsession with the Revolutionary War. I would sit and talk with Richard, for hours, to the point that his wife would become agitated. We had to curb our daily chats. Since we both also had a love for history, we used the school library to organize a history club. We also picked up another neighbor and luckily his wife, was also interested in our discussions. So, now we had a group established. During one of our discussions, my friends wife stated she could not believe the extensive knowledge of the Battle of Kings Mountain, that I possessed. Well, why not? I had read every page I could find, viewed every filmstrip, slideshow, movie, talked to anyone and everyone who had knowledge, and spent hours at the National Park learning about something I loved…History. Richard spoke up and said I needed to write a book. The seed was planted. It took another fifty years for the seed to sprout, grow, and come to fruition, but better late than never. I fulfilled a life-long dream of writing a book.

The seed had been planted, but remained dormant for so many years. Being a teen, some things got pushed aside. I didn’t abandon my passion for history, just let it fall aside. Even though I began to replace some of the activities, with typical youth activities, I was still received an award from the Daughters of the American Revolution, for involvement in history, and promoting the historical facts of the Battle of Kings Mountain.

After finishing my education, I did as most everyone does, and entered the workforce. I was married to my lovely wife and we were blessed with three children. I was working a public job, struggling to get along. We moved away from Kings Mountain. I never lost my fascination for the Revolutionary War or the history of the United States. Always in the back of my mind, I could still hear Richard say, “you need to write a book.” In December of 2012, illness forced me to take some time off work. As I sat at home, recovering, I thought, maybe this would be a good time to make my dream come true. I began to write my first book, writing about things I knew and loved. “King of the Mountain” was released September 16, 2013

High Cotton

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Genre – Historical fiction

Rating – PG

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