Rachel Thompson

Thursday, December 4, 2014

LUCIFER & THE INDIGO KIDS #Excerpt by @Lord_Ra_Krishna #AmReading #Philosophy #NonFiction

Me vs. God…

Dread Locs on my head
Like snakes on Medusa

Get to close
and you turn into stone

If I were a girl
Then I would be Medusa

Tell Jay-Z and Kanye
Get the f#ck out of my throne

It's the clash of the Titans
It's me vs. God

They're just mad
Because I stole back the fire
Like Prometheus

You see,
Prometheus stole the fire
From the Gods and gave it to mankind…

That's a metaphor for knowledge
Now I'm giving it to you…

It's the same as the apple
In the Garden of Eden

Just take one bite
And you will know that you are God…

"This “new age” book of poetry reflects the diverse views and philosophies of it’s author Ra Krishna EL. It’s an intimate, humorous and thought provoking group of poems intended to evoke strong emotion. To quote the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, this style of poetry can be called “Zukunfts poesie“ which translates into “Poetry of the future”, where truly original ideas are presented thru poetry. Also known as post Nietzschean poetry.

It’s subjects include society, pop culture, love, religious dogma, God and the new age of Aquarius. This book was written and published during the false incarceration of its author in Chicago’s notorious Cook County Jail, the largest jail in the country."

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Poetry, Philosophy
Rating – PG-13
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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Lori Lesko Supportive Twitter Friends, Writing & Beta Readers @LeskoLori #AmWriting #Thriller

If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?
I would take every English and Creative Writing course they offered.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
That’s easy, Paris, France.
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
At a desk, always and with the door closed, I play music also.
Where do you get support from? Do you have friends in the industry?
Believe it or not, my twitter followers cheer me on quite a bit and yes, I do have other friends who write too. They are very supportive.
How much sleep do you need to be your best?
I need at least six hours, eight is perfect though.
Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?
That people connect to the story on some emotional level, I don’t care which one. It’s the connection I’m aiming for.
Tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it?
With all the indie writers using beta readers and giving away their books for free, not worrying if their idea or novel got stolen, this sparked the idea for my novel Copyright I kept thinking, what if it was a famous author whose book got stolen? And it came to me very quickly, all hell would break lose.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
Reading or going to the movies, I don’t ever watch the news and very little TV.
Do you have any tips on how writers can relax?
Besides reading, I would say exercise and be outside as much as possible.
How often do you write? And when do you write?
I try to write every day. If I am not working on my novel, I usually blog.
Do you have an organized process or tips for writing well? Do you have a writing schedule?
I’m not a morning person, so I get to writing in the afternoons, Monday through Saturday.

Amber Tyler is living every author’s dream: her books are all best sellers and she writes full time. She has worked hard and is well-accomplished in her career, and she has the support and love of her beautiful children and girlfriend. 

But the dream soon turns into a terrible nightmare when her latest manuscript is stolen. She decides to fight for what is rightfully hers, only to find that the harder she tries, the easier it all slips through her fingers, putting her career, her family, and her life in jeopardy.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Thriller
Rating – PG-13
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Connect with Lori Lesko on Facebook & Twitter

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

John W. Mefford's #WriteTip on Coping With the Dreaded Blank Screen @JWMefford #Suspense

A blank screen morphs into a visual version of white noise. You begin to hear your heartbeat thumping, wondering if it will match the cadence of the blinking cursor. Before you know it, thirty minutes have drifted by, then an hour. You awake from your mental stupor and ponder how you can ever re-capture time wasted, your mind grasping for a coherent thought. Not just any coherent thought, but the next great sentence of the greatest novel in the twenty first century.
We’ve all been there. So, how do you cope with it?
Writer’s block. Okay, I said it. The elephant in the room. Honestly, I rarely use the term. Because I just don’t give in to suffering from it. Ever.
Why? For the most part—this is my own personal way of addressing life’s ups and downs—I think it’s more of a crutch. If I allowed myself to go there, I could find many excuses to not write. We’re not robots or a manufacturing plant. We’re eating, breathing, mind-straying humans, who, at times, can lose our focus, or our groove. That’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t pound your fist in frustration, or dig a trench in the floor from pacing yourself to death. It’s counter-productive.
For starters, I’m a believer that we’re all as unique as snowflakes. Many of us are writers in some form or fashion, while a few of us create in other ways, music, painting, sculpture. But we’re all going to respond to bumps in our journey to share our creative endeavors in different manners.
Back in the day, I cranked out story after story as a newspaper reporter. At times, I’d have no more than thirty minutes to whip out a twenty-inch story. Early on in my journalism career, I’d let the pressure get to me. Finally, in an attempt to free myself from the mental torture and inevitable stress, I thought through the deadline scenario while I was jogging one day. There was a correlation, I could see, to my running workouts. If I was tense, my breath was shortened, I’d have a miserable run, my time would suck and I simply wasn’t going to get better.
I learned to prepare myself for those deadline stories. I quickly understood that you perform your best when your mind is calm, free of clutter, and your body relaxed. Focused, yes, tense, not so much.
I realized I didn’t want to be my own worst enemy. Countless other things in life either purposely or coincidentally create hurdles for us to overcome. I was determined—and still am—to not let my mental psyche be on the enemy side of the ledger. In other words, I want my stride over the hurdle to be as smooth as I can make it. And I will make it. Every time.
Expressing your creative self is one of life’s greatest gifts. You deserve an honest, but encouraging signal from within your own mind. Be real, be productive. Be true to yourself. But if you have a brief period of time when you’re not feeling the mojo, don’t sweat it. Let confidence flow through your bloodstream, cut yourself a break and come back to it refreshed and ready to establish yourself as the greatest author of this decade. Just don’t blame…you know, it.

Behind the façade of every corporate takeover executives pull levers this way and that, squeezing the last profitable nickel out of the deal. But no one knows the true intent of every so-called merger. 

No one knows the secret bonds that exist. 

An Indian technology giant swallows up another private company that has deep roots in North Texas. For one unassuming man the thought of layoffs, of losing his own job to a bunch of arrogant assholes feels like a kick to the jewels. 

Until the day Michael’s life changes forever.   

Perverse alliances. An affair of the heart. A grisly murder. A spiraling string of events thrusts Michael into a life-or-death fight to save a tortured soul and hunt down a brutal killer…one who lurks closer than he ever imagined. 

Greed knows no boundaries.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Suspense, Thriller
Rating – R
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Connect with John W. Mefford on Facebook & Twitter
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mike Hartner on #Writing is Resting & More on His Writing Process @MHartnerAuthor #Historical

Why Writing is a Form of Personal Therapy

Every day has stresses. The kid’s not feeling well, the bills need paid, the doctor’s appointments need taken, yada, yada, yada,… Every life has its stressors.

For me, sitting in my office, or on my bed, and pouring out my innermost thoughts onto a Word document is Therapy.

I get to concentrate on things that are not my normal life. In the case of The Eternity Series, I was able to start by concentrating on Walter Crofter and his life. Walter was the inspiration for I,Walter and would pour out his life a little at a time so that I could write it down.

Toward the end, James Crofter jumped up and started to instruct me on his life adventure.

Both of these books have been written during late evenings, early mornings, and quiet times during the day. As a parent, many people know that quiet times are few and far between. These are the times when the house is quiet, and when the to-do list can be put off for a few more hours. These are the quiet times when sitting in the hot tub, or the recreation room, or the meeting room with the lights off and nobody else around, can lead to new cha[ters and more research on the life of the next main character.

Writing is resting. It’s the chance to envelop myself in a world where my role is transcription, and I’m listening to the life and death decisions, rather than making them. Writing is the therapy that lowers the blood pressure that stimulates the mind, and brings a smile to the face.


James Crofter was ripped from his family at age 11. 
Within a year the prince was a pauper in a foreign land. 
Is nature stronger than nurture? And even if it is, can James find the happiness he so richly desires? 

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Historical Fiction, Romance
Rating – PG
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Connect with Mike Hartner on Facebook & Twitter

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Kirsten Mortensen on Her Greatest Strength as a Writer @KirstenWriter #AmWriting #Suspense

Kirsten Mortensen has been writing fiction ever since she picked up her first crayon. And no, her illustrated picture book "Mic and Mac the Bunnies" will never be a best seller, but it hinted at two of her future lifelong loves: writing and animals.

Today, Mortensen's plots are a bit more involved than the adventures of Mic and Mac. And her novels also span a number of categories including comedy ("Can Job" and the novella "BJs on the Roof"), light literary romance ("Loose Dogs" and "When Libby Met the Fairies"), and, with her latest title, romantic suspense ("Dark Chemistry").

Her non-fiction books include "Dog of Your Dreams: How to Pick a Companion Dog Who Will Fit Into Your Home and Your Life" (a Kindle book), "Outwitting Dogs" (co-written with professional dog trainer Terry Ryan; Lyons Press), and "101 Dog Training Tips" (Lyons Press).
Do you find the time to read?
Absolutely. I read topical material on a daily basis, during the daylight hours: blog posts, news pieces both online and in print, and magazine articles on culture, pop culture, media, and politics. Evenings, I read books. I almost always read from either an ebook or a print book for an hour or so before bedtime. It’s not a huge amount of time, but I manage to finish a fair number of books every year.

Last book you purchased? Tell us about it.
It’s a non-fiction book titled Dreamways of the Iroquois by Robert Moss. Moss was born in Australia, and has always had intense, vivid dreams (as I do). Then, in one dream, he “met” a native American woman who began speaking to him in a language he didn’t understand. He did some research afterward and learned it was an archaic form of Mohawk (one of the tribes of the Haudenosaunee [Iroquois]). The book is about what this dream woman taught Moss, and relates many other extraordinary experiences he’s had as he works to teach people how to use their dreams to connect with spirit and find healing.

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel?
By far, it’s building a world and holding it in your head—as an intact, coherent world—for as long as it takes to complete the novel. The effort this requires is extraordinary. And you can’t mess it up. You can’t have a character’s eyes be blue in one spot and then brown in another, to cite a simple example. You have to somehow imagine a character with blue eyes, and those blue eyes have to remain real to you from the day you first start to write until the day you put your novel into the hands of your readers. And eye color is only one element: it has to be everything, from the layout of buildings and streets, to characters’ speech patterns and histories and quirks and motivations.

Have you developed a specific writing style?
I think I have. People tell me my writing has something of a noir feel. That’s not something I set out to do, but I greatly admired Hemingway when I was a teenager, and I’ve retained an admiration for what I guess you’d call “stripped down” writing. Hemingway intentionally left things out: he communicated as much by what he left out as what he said. I like that as a reader, because I enjoy the process of discovery. It’s like real life.

Do you ever play a game, say in a restaurant, where you try to figure out peoples’ stories? I love to do this. I was in a restaurant the other day, and I watched a family: an older couple, a middle-aged couple, and two kids. And I don’t think the middle-aged couple was married. The kids were her kids, but I’m not sure he was their father. He might have been her brother. He might have been her boyfriend. And of course it’s all speculation on my part. But there were little clues. So if these people were characters in a novel I wrote, I wouldn’t come right out and tell you the middle-aged couple wasn’t married. But I might find a way to let you know there was no wedding ring on the woman’s finger. Or that she asked the man, twice, if he wanted to sit next to her—something that suggested that they didn’t have established habits about who would sit where. I’d drop clues, and let you slowly figure out that the man was a boyfriend, not a husband. Like with life.

What is your greatest strength as a writer?
My insight into the human heart. Like a lot of writers, I’m a great “reader” of people. Sometimes, it feels like I can meet someone, and in a very short time know an awful lot about them. I have a great deal of agility when it comes to using words, and that’s a strength as well, but knowing people and being able to tell my characters stories is what I think means the most for me as a writer.

Have you always enjoyed writing?
Absolutely, and it’s always been a central part of my life. I’ve kept journals my entire life—by the time I hit my early 20s, I started keeping them in 5-subject, college ruled spiral notebooks, and I now have a huge box of them (someday I will go through them for material for a memoir!) For many years, now, I’ve earned money by writing articles for corporate clients, and even within the constraints you have to deal with for those types of projects—you’re writing to satisfy the needs of marketing programs, not your Muse—I enjoy the challenge of articulating complex ideas simply and clearly. And when I’m writing for myself—my novels, short stories, and essays—it’s pure heaven.

What do you hope your obituary will say about you?

That my novels were read and enjoyed by millions—and that I died peacefully, and surrounded by my family and loved ones. If my obit includes those comments, I’ll know that I lived the life I was born to live.

How did you develop your writing?
Like a lot of writers, I did it by reading a lot, and writing a lot. There’s really no substitute for practicing, even though when you first start working within a given form—whether it’s a novel, an essay, a press release or a non-fiction article—it’s sometimes really hard to know how awful you are. It’s a matter, I think, of “you don’t know what you don’t know.” I’ll illustrate with a story. Back in the early 2000s, I submitted a novel to an agent I’d met at a conference. She was my dream agent, and I was so excited she was interested in my book. To my deep disappointment, however, she rejected it with a note saying that she didn’t think my plotting was up to snuff. And—this makes me smile, today—I had NO idea what she was talking about. The story had a beginning, a middle, and an end. Stuff happened in it. My characters did things. Wasn’t that plot? Objects moving around in imaginary space—wasn’t that plot?

But once I’d recovered from my disappointment, I set my jaw and began teaching myself about plotting novels. I read books, I read articles, and today, one of the things you’ll see people praise about my novels is the plotting.

I was a lousy plotter. I didn’t know how to plot. But I didn’t know that I didn’t know how to plot. It took writing and showing my writing to people with experience in the industry for me to learn what I didn’t know, so that I could fix it.

Do you find it hard to share your work?
Not when it’s done. But I never show partially-finished work to anyone—not ever. And frankly, I think that’s some advice all writers should consider. There’s a period, when you’re writing, when it’s really important to keep the “judger” side of your brain cordoned off. When you’re drafting a piece, you don’t want to interrupt the process by wondering whether what you’re writing is “any good.” You just want to keep the words flowing. If you show your work to someone too soon, and he or she makes comments about it, the judger steps in, and that can torpedo the entire project. You end up second-guessing yourself and that’s simply not appropriate when you’re in the early draft stage.

Mind you, it’s always hard to expose your writing to others, in some respects, because all writing is personal. It’s your words, your thoughts. We’re all vulnerable when we share our writing with other people. But generally speaking, when I’ve finished working on a piece, I’m confident that readers—at least, most readers—will like it. So in that respect, I don’t find sharing my work difficult.

Do you plan to publish more books?

I sure do. I plan to keep writing and publishing until I drop dead. Right now, I’m working on my next project, which will be a paranormal series. I have two other novels that are partially written that I’ll finish at some point, and one day I’ll publish a memoir. I also have outlines of a half dozen non-fiction books in the works.

Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?
For me, there is an inward success and an outward success. Inward success means that I’ve written the best possible piece—no matter what it is, a novel, an essay, a non-fiction article—that I can possibly write. The more I learn about the craft of novel-writing, for example, the better I become as a novelist. When I finish a novel and feel that I’ve brought the best of what I know, as a writer, to that book, then to me I’ve succeeded at that piece of my career.

Outward success is measurable by the effect my writing has on others. When I get positive feedback and reviews by readers, for example, that definitely represents success to me.

Reach is another measure that’s important to me. I hope my novels get read by a lot of people. This has to do with how I view myself. I think of myself as a novelist—it’s my place in the world. Being read by large numbers of people is therefore important to me.


A woman's worst nightmare

Drugged by something...that makes her think she's fallen in love.

All Haley Dubose has ever known is beaches and malls, clubs and cocktail dresses.

But now her father is dead.

And if she wants to inherit her father's fortune, she has to leave sunny Southern California
for a backwater little town near Syracuse, New York. She has to run RMB, the multimillion dollar
chemical company her father founded. And she has to run it well.

Keep RMB on track, and she'll be rich. Grow it, and she'll be even richer. But mess it up, and her inheritance will shrink away before she gets a chance to spend a dime.

Donavon Todde is her true love. But is it too late?

He's RMB's head of sales – and the more Donavon sees of Haley, the more he's smitten.
Sure, she comes across at first as naïve and superficial. But Donavon knew Haley's father. He can see the man's better qualities stirring to life in her eyes. And Donavon senses something else: Haley's father left her a legacy more important than money. He left her the chance to discover her true self.

Donavon has demons of his own.
He's reeling from a heartbreak that's taking far too long to heal. But he's captivated by this blond Californian, and not only because of her beauty. It's chemistry. They're right for each other. But has Donavon waited too long to woo this woman of his dreams? Because to his horror, his beautiful Haley falls under another spell. Gerad's spell.

A web of evil.

Gerad Picket was second-in-command at RMB when Haley's father was alive. And with Haley on the scene, he's in charge of her training. But there are things about RMB that Gerad doesn't want Haley to know.

And he must control her. Any way he can.

Romantic suspense for your Kindle

Will Haley realize that her feelings are not her TRUE feelings?
Does Donavon have the strength left to fight for the woman he loves?
Will the two of them uncover Gerad's plot to use RMB pheromones to enslave the world?
And even if they do – can they stop it?

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Romantic suspense
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Kirsten Mortensen through Facebook Twitter

Saturday, November 1, 2014

#Excerpt from INSIDE/OUTSIDE by Jenny Hayworth (#Memoir) @JennyHayworth1 #AmReading

The breathing is what I remember noticing first. Heavy, rapid, and sharp intakes of breath increasing in volume as whoever it was came closer. It struck me as odd in the library setting I was in, sitting at a computer. I looked up from processing my Internet banking and hesitated.
Then I heard a female voice speaking rapidly and heard fear and panic intermingled in her words. “Someone tried to abduct her. He had her by the arm and on the ground.” The voice rose in volume. I stood up as the breathing became louder and laced with sobs, and a stab of pain went through my chest and caught there within a block of fear as I recognised the sobs were coming from my eleven-year-old daughter, Rose. She suddenly materialised, walking out from an aisle to the right of me, with a lady alongside her, holding on to her.
Everything then erupted.
Rose, the instant she saw me, became hysterical, screaming out, “Mum, Mum.” She took great gulps of breath, and the only clear words I could hear as she forced them out of her lungs, which were constricted by a lack of oxygen and panic as she hyperventilated and collapsed on the ground in front of me, were, “Man….He was touching me, Mum….I couldn’t get away.” I was holding on to one side of her, with the lady I didn’t know on the other side, trying to pull her up.
“Mum, my legs don’t work,” Rose said. She was heavy in my arms. A chair appeared in front of us by the information desk, and we half dragged and half carried Rose the last few feet to sit on it. I stood up and kept my hand on her shoulder.
People were moving around, appearing in front of me and disappearing. I could hear voices around me, but wasn’t aware of their meaning. It must have been only a couple seconds, but it felt like minutes until a lady tapped me on my shoulder. She had two policemen by her side. Suddenly all the sounds and voices became louder and clearer to me, and I was conscious of all the people looking at us. I felt like we had to get away.
“Please, can we move somewhere more private?” I asked, and this time all the held-back emotion came through me and sounded in my voice. I nodded to the doorway I thought led to the sorting room.
“Yes,” said the lady.
I remembered my handbag with everything in it next to the computer about ten feet away. I said, “I just have to get my bag,” and I ran back and grabbed it.
I was conscious of about four other people at each side of me and behind me, staring at their screens and typing. As much as I was grateful that they didn’t meet my eyes or speak to me, as I wanted to rush as quickly as I could, I was also silently asking myself, What are they thinking? Why aren’t they talking to me? Do they blame me? And the huge question, What happened? I could feel my face burning and my heart pounding as I turned and ran back to Rose.
We walked through the door into the back room, and I felt the relief of not being on public view. I could feel that Rose was starting to shake all over. I wanted to pull her onto my knee and hold her and ask her what had happened, but I didn’t.
We sat down at someone’s desk, and papers and items were moved from in front of us. I put my bag on the floor, under the legs of the chair, and suddenly a librarian appeared and said, “Sorry, but we need to ask you these questions quickly so we can try to catch him. What was he wearing? What did he look like?”
Rose said, “His hands were dirty and felt rough on my legs.” She started crying. “He was kissing me all over and on my neck, and I kept telling him to stop, and he wouldn’t.”
The minute she said his hands were rough, I went cold all through me. When I had been assaulted as a child, one of the main things I remembered at the time was how sharp his fingernails had felt and how dirty his hands had been.
It was all swirling around in my head, emotions from past and present. My own emotions and awareness of them and my awareness of my daughter’s emotions and how I needed to keep mine in check for her. The heaviness and weight in my chest tightened, and my head felt light and dizzy.
Someone called out that a librarian had chased him, and they had the registration number of his car. I immediately felt so relieved and grateful for whoever had done this, as I knew it could make a big difference in catching him. Two other women came over with the police and sat down next to us. One of them was about seventeen years old and was crying. They introduced themselves as Julia and Candice, and the older lady said, “Candice saw what happened. She called out to me, and when I came around the corner the man started pulling on Rose’s arm and trying to drag her with him. Then he dropped her and ran out the door.”
Then one of the police said, “We need to speak to Rose on her own and take a statement.” The librarian showed them the kitchen next to us, and they went in there with Rose. It didn’t feel right letting her go in with them on her own, but when she hesitated and looked nervous, one said to her, “It’s all right. Your Mum is right next door, and you can go back to her as soon as we have finished speaking with you.” I gave Rose a quick kiss and hug, and she went with them through the door.
When the door shut, and I was left with Candice and Julia, I asked them, “What did you see happen?”
Candice said, “I came around the corner and looked up, and I saw Rose crouching on the floor with her arms over her head. The man was leaning over her, and she was saying, ‘Leave me alone, leave me alone.’ I first of all thought he was her Dad, the way he had hold of her, but something didn’t feel right or look right about it. He said to me, ‘What are you looking at?’ and I looked away, but Rose was crying. I just called out, ‘Mum’ as she was in the next aisle. Mum came around the corner, and I started to cry and point. The man was dragging Rose by the arm toward the door. He looked up and saw my Mum, and both of us called out, ‘Hey,’ and he dropped Rose’s arm and started to run out the door. A librarian heard us both call out and saw the man run and Rose on the ground, and she chased him out the door.”
I thanked Candice and her Mum repeatedly for what they had done and for helping Rose. I said to Candice that if she hadn’t come around the corner when she did and taken notice of her gut feeling that something wasn’t right, who knew what might have happened.
When Rose at last came out of the staff kitchen after having given her statement to the police, I was so relieved to see her again. She seemed calmer. She sat next to me and smiled, and laid her head on my shoulder.
Candice said, “Are you all right, love?”
Rose said yes and smiled at them and me.
She told me he kept kissing her neck and face, and his hands were all over her breasts and legs and up her skirt. He kept saying something under his breath like, “So beautiful, so beautiful….” Then she started crying again. I felt like crying, but nothing would happen.
I just held on to her. I felt sick and upset and angry and in shock. I couldn’t believe this had happened to my girl, and even more, going through my head was the question, “Why Rose?” Why, out of all the people in the library, did he have to pick on Rose?
She was the only one out of my three eldest children who had not been sexually abused, and now she had. It seemed unbelievable, especially as it was ten o’clock in the morning, and we were in a public place. We had to keep waiting in the library until police took all the statements from everybody concerned. Rose had to walk the police through the library and show them exactly where everything had happened. They took her books, which the man had held on to, for fingerprinting reasons, and that upset Rose again as she had been looking forward to reading the ones she had chosen. The police surveyed the closed-circuit television camera footage and identified the man walking directly behind Rose and me as we had entered the library, and following her as she went to the young-adult section.
We both were hungry, and the police let us walk over to the shopping centre, which was five minutes away, to buy something to eat and come straight back. Once we were in the mall, I noticed Rose’s head moving around, looking everywhere, and she clung to my hand tightly.
“What happens if we see him, Mum?” she whispered to me with tears running down her face.
I held her hand tightly and said, “He can’t hurt you anymore. I am here, and he would run a mile if he saw you now, as he would know he is in trouble.”
When we were standing in line, people were walking past behind her and bumping into her. She kept grabbing me; she was terrified. I was so upset and angry that this man, a stranger, had in one instant taken away her sense of safety in the world. Her ability to stand in a public place and feel safe and not worry about whether someone would grab her or touch her inappropriately had disappeared.
After we walked back to the library, we had to go down to the police beat for Rose to describe the man to a sketch artist, who would do a “wanted” poster from it. After we had done that, we were allowed to go home. By that time it was nearly three in the afternoon. We had been at the library since ten that morning. Both of us were exhausted. I had rung Rose’s Dad and arranged for him to go pick Thomas from school, and to let him know what had happened. It was a boiling-hot day. We had parked just down the road from the library, and as we got back into the car to start it, I couldn’t help but think how much had changed from when we had parked it there that morning.
Then the car wouldn’t start.
I turned the key in the ignition for half an hour. Both of us sat in the car with sweat pouring down our faces and backs as the sun poured in the windows and I tried to start it. I felt like bursting into tears. I wanted a cold drink, and I knew Rose did too, but I had no money left to buy one. I desperately wanted friends and family around for support.
Eventually the car started, and we drove home.

***Award winning book (finalist) in 2014 Beverley Hills International Book Awards***
Jenny Hayworth grew up within the construct of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, which she describes as a fundamentalist cult-like religion. She devoted her life to it for over thirty years. Then she left it. The church “unfellowshipped” her-rendering her dead to those family and friends still committed to the church.Hayworth is a sexual abuse survivor. The trauma changed her self-perception, emotional development, trust, and every interaction with the world.
Inside/Outside is her exploration of sexual abuse, religious fundamentalism, and recovery. Her childhood circumstances and tragedies forced her to live “inside.” This memoir chronicles her journey from experiencing comfort and emotional satisfaction only within her fantasy world to developing the ability to feel and express real life emotion on the “outside.”
It is a story that begins with tragic multigenerational abuse, within an oppressive society, and ends with hope and rebirth into a life where she experiences real connections and satisfaction with the outside world.
Those who have ever felt trapped by trauma or circumstances will find Inside/Outside a dramatic reassurance that they are not alone in the world, and they have the ability to have a fulfilling life, both inside and out.
Foreward Clarion Review – “What keeps the pages of Hayworth’s life story turning is her honesty, tenacity, and sheer will to survive through an astounding number of setbacks. Inside/Outside proves the resilience of the human spirit and shows that the cycle of abuse can indeed be broken”
Kirkus Review – “A harrowing memoir of one woman’s struggle to cope with sexual abuse and depression while living in – and eventually leaving – the Jehovah’s Witnesses”
Readers Favourite 5 Star Review – “The book is an inspiring story for those who are going through traumatic times…”
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Jenny Hayworth on Facebook & Twitter

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

#Excerpt from A LIFE LESS ORDINARY by Victoria Bernadine @VicBernadine #AmReading #ChickLit

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

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

Friday, October 24, 2014

WHAT FREEDOM SMELLS LIKE by Amy Lewis @AmyLewisAuthor #AmReading #Memoir

They have a special room on the ICU for people like me, so you don’t bother the other patients and visitors. Isolating the freshly widowed makes sense; I wouldn’t want to be around me either at that moment in time. You wouldn’t even know the room exists unless you need it. About a hundred square feet, a love seat sat on one side and two chairs on the other. There were two corner tables one holding a phone and on the other a small digital clock. The room had no magazines or TV as this wasn’t a waiting room. It was a mourning room, a breakdown room, a scream out to heaven because clearly God didn’t hear your prayers room. It was a break the news to the others room. It was a room for everything that everyone else didn’t want to witness – a parents losing child room, a children loosing parents room and in my case, it was a widow’s room.

I sat down onto the loveseat and tried to breathe. In and out. Innnn and Outttt. Innnn and Outttt. My head had a constant low level buzzing preventing me from holding a thought. Dad sat down next to me and held my hand tightly.

“Sweetheart” he whispered, “we need to make some calls.”

Calls. Calls. Calls. The word calls starting buzzing along with the noise in my head.

“Do it for me. Please. I just wanna sit here.”

He started by phoning Barbara. I had the awareness of him talking to her, but I don’t remember hearing the words. He hung up the phone. Decisions needed to be made. A young nurse walked into the room shutting the door behind her. I had never seen her before. She sat down next to me and put her arm around me.

“You know honey, in my experience with these things, it’s important for you to go in and see the body.”

The hair on my arm stood up as I heard her say the body. He was no longer a he. He was now just the body.


Diagnosed with Borderline Personality disorder, Amy struggled with depression and an addiction to sharp objects. Even hospitalization didn't help to heal her destructive tendencies. It took a tumultuous relationship with a man named Truth to bring her back from the depths of her own self-made hell.Amy's marriage to dark, intriguing Truth was both passionate and stormy. She was a fair-skinned southern girl from New Orleans. He was a charming black man with tribal tattoos, piercings, and a mysterious past. They made an unlikely pair, but something clicked. During their early marriage, they pulled themselves out of abject poverty into wealth and financial security practically overnight. Then things began to fall apart.
 Passionate and protective, Truth also proved violent and abusive. Amy’s own self-destructive tendencies created a powerful symmetry. His sudden death left Amy with an intense and warring set of emotions: grief for the loss of the man she loved, relief she was no longer a target for his aggression.

Conflicted and grieving, Amy found herself at a spiritual and emotional crossroads, only to receive help from an unlikely source: Truth himself. Feeling his otherworldly presence in her dreams, Amy seeks help from a famous medium.

Her spiritual encounters change Amy forever. Through Truth, she learns her soul is eternal and indestructible, a knowledge that gives Amy the courage to pursue her own dreams and transform herself both physically and emotionally. Her supernatural encounters help Amy resolve the internal anger and self-destructive tendencies standing between her and happiness, culminating in a sense of spiritual fulfillment she never dreamed possible.

An amazing true story, What Freedom Smells Like is told with courage, honesty, and a devilishly dark sense of humor.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Amy Lewis through Twitter

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Implementing Realistic Style for Your Content & Branding by @KimberlyShursen #BookMarketing

Branding? What’s that have to do with me?
By Kimberly Shursen - Author of Itsy Bitsy Spider, Hush
If you’re familiar with branding, most of us relate this to logos or a clichés such as “Have it your way,” or Coke’s “It’s the real thing,” or State Farm’s “Like a good neighbor.” So, what does that have to do with writing? In my opinion it has a lot to do with retaining and capturing the right reader base.

Now I’ve heard from time to time that authors should write several genres. I’m not a believer. I’m sure it has been done and done successfully, but most of us focus on one genre. Why? Because we know it’s where we will achieve our best writing.

If you take a look at my covers, you will notice that this is where I begin the branding process. I hope that one day readers will look at my covers, and without noticing my name, will say “That’s a Shursen book.” Now this may never happen, or may happen after I’m six feet under, but this is my hope. I use the same somewhat dark colors, and eerie fonts that are always in a blood red.. So, this is the beginning of branding my products. Okay, I don’t like to use the name “product” to describe my writing, but we’re working with the “other” side of the brain when we talk business here.

Now we move to the content of the book. Ya gotta have a style. Find it; implement it; and hang onto it. Don’t let editors tell that you have to use a complete sentence. How often do we greet someone with “Hello. How are you? I haven’t seen you in a very long time.” Really? Real, live people say, “Hey. How’s it goin’?” Characters need to be real. After a character murders someone would we say; “He ran down the street and through an alley. His heart was beating so fast, he thought he was going to pass out.” My words would be; “Racing between houses … through back yards … into a dark alley … his heart beating out of control, Caleb could taste the bile that rushed into his throat.”

There are three things readers will get to know about me; 1) no flowery, continual, ongoing verbiage about centerpieces, hairdos, or designer clothing, and 2) each chapter will be a cliff hanger, and lastly 3) there will be an unpredictable ending. There will always be those who claim they already knew the ending, but it would be highly unusual. Most readers say they read my novels in either one or two sittings, in spite of the fact they range anywhere from an 80,000 to a 92,000 word count. It makes me tingle all over when I know someone couldn’t put my novels down.

Many of the “greats” write in different genres, with book covers that don’t use the same font or types of images. For me, I don’t feel I would do well writing other genres as I need the constant tension that writing thrillers offers. I leave that up to my peers, and enjoy reading their romance, cozy mysteries, historical, literary fiction, or biographies.

We all have a unique niche, and it’s up each of us to find it. With branding, you won’t lose readers; you’ll find readers who are interested in your style and genre who will become fans.


Soon after Ann Ferguson and Ben Grable marry, and Ben unseals his adoption papers, their perfect life together is torn apart, sending the couple to opposite sides of the courtroom.

Representing Ann, lawyer Michael J. McConaughey (Mac) feels this is the case that could have far-reaching, judicial effects -- the one he's been waiting for.

Opposing counsel knows this high profile case happens just once in a lifetime.

And when the silent protest known as HUSH sweeps the nation, making international news, the CEO of one of the top ten pharmaceutical companies in the world plots to derail the trial that could cost his company billions.

Critically acclaimed literary thriller HUSH not only questions one of the most controversial laws that has divided the nation for over four decades, but captures a story of the far-reaching ties of family that surpasses time and distance.

*** Hush does not have political or religious content. The story is built around the emotions and thoughts of two people who differ in their beliefs.

 EDITORIAL REVIEW: "Suspenseful and well-researched, this action-packed legal thriller will take readers on a journey through the trials and tribulations of one of the most controversial subjects in society today." - Katie French author of "The Breeders," "The Believer's," and "Eyes Ever To The Sky."

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Thriller
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Kimberly Shursen through Facebook and Twitter