5 Rules For Balancing A Full-Time Day Job With Being A Successful Writer

Having the best of both worlds is possible!

While it can be exhausting at times, it can also be extremely rewarding. A day job only lasts 30 to 40 years and some a lot less. Writing, however, is a lifelong enterprise with the potential for your words to be read and reread forever.

Many a well-known author have held down a day job and written award winning novels, such as Ann Rice, Bram Stoker, Harper Lee, J.K. Rowling, Lewis Carroll, Philip Larkin, T.S. Eliot, and Virginia Woolf, just to name a few.

 

 

 

1. Master Discipline & Consistency

You must dedicate time every day or every other day to writing and research. Make a schedule and stick to it! That means giving up or cutting back on some of the other things you enjoy doing, like an extensive social life, binge watching Netflix, or outdoor activities/sports. However, you do need some downtime. If you don’t schedule in time to relax, you, your writing, and your day job will suffer. Just remember, it is all about finding a balance that works for you and your life.

 

 

2. Love Your Day Job

Having a decent day job in the first place is something to be grateful for, not to mention the steady source of income and benefits. However, the real upside to having a day job and writing is that when one is down, the other is usually up. Essentially, you can use writing as a way to relax after a stressful day at the office. Alternatively, when the solitary life of a writer has got you down, a day at the office is just what you need. A little human interaction and the latest water cooler gossip will get those creative juices flowing. You will always feel like you have accomplished something when you have multiple irons in the fire.

 

 

3. Make A Writing Sanctuary

Make sure you have a space that is designated for writing. If at all possible, make sure this area is used only for writing, as this will help you get into the right mind set and stay focused. Additionally, while making sure the space is comfy and relaxing, ensure it is clutter fee. The essentials include: writing materials, like a pen and paper or your laptop, and a mug of your favorite coffee or tea. Some people even like to have picture or knickknack of some kind that keeps them motivated. Clutter can be distracting. You need a space that helps to cultivate your creativity, not overpower it.

 

 

4. Believe In Yourself

You are in control of your life, never forget that. If you want something, then you must make it happen. Work hard and make the investment in yourself. Don’t get me wrong, external validation and encouragement is great, but not something to be relied upon. Only you can decide if you will aim for the stars, and only you can decide whether or not you get there. Don’t let someone else dictate your success or happiness in life. Write down your goals, then revisit and rewrite them regularly. This will help you to visualize what you have accomplished, and is one proven way to stay on track. If you believe you can’t, then you never will. However, with a positive attitude and true dedication, anything is possible. Never give up on your dreams!

 

5. Prepare For Publishing

Don’t forget to prepare for what happens when you finish writing your amazing book. Whether self-publishing or pitching to a big-name publisher, do your research! Make sure that you spend a little time every week or every other week studying up on the basics. Then, when you are done writing, you will know how to take the next step. You don’t need to become a master of the publishing world overnight, just get your feet wet. You will have more time when you are done writing to really dive into the nitty-gritty details. Keep your stress levels to a minimum….it will all come together in no time.

 

Father’s Day Book Mania

Natashia Thewes

While celebrated on a variety of dates around the world, Father’s Day is celebrated worldwide to recognize the contribution that fathers and father figures make to the lives of their children. Whether looking for something to read this weekend or a gift for your book-loving dad, we have the must read book list for your Father’s Day weekend. Enjoy!

 

Not sure which book to pick? Why not leave it up to our Matchmaker to decide for you. Simply press play on the video below, and pause it at any point.

 

 

 

Sci Fi

 

The Rogue (Planets Shaken Book 1) by Lee Brainard

“Men’s hearts shall fail from fear…for the planets of the heavens shall be shaken” (Luke 21:26).

When rookie astronomer Irina Kirilenko discovers a planet-size comet in the Kuiper Belt on a collision course for Mars, she first faces stonewalling from the Minor Planet Center, then coercion and stricture from NASA. They press her to embrace an ingenious reinterpretation of her discovery and ban her from talking about it.

It slowly dawns on her that the government is fostering a massive conspiracy to keep the public oblivious to the truth—Earth is facing an existential threat. Unwilling to be silenced, she recruits fellow astronomer Ariele Serrafe to evaluate her discovery, placing both in the crosshairs of government agents.

 

Tapper: A Novel by S.A. Combs

TAPPER—a projecting empath—is the product of a corrupted government. Nurtured from birth and ruthlessly trained, Tapper learns the art of manipulation and persuasion—becoming an elite operative with a gift of immense power. He’s the government’s prized spy until he does the unthinkable. Horrified by his actions, branded as a monster, he goes into self exile on Mitta-4—a colony planet on the fringe of the known universe—to settle down and lose himself in a new life. There, he finds danger comes in many guises.

A dark and deeply moving story filled with amoral behavior and one man’s quest to atone from his darkest impulses.

 

Humor

 

The Extraterrestrials! in an Adventure with the American Army: The True Story of What Happened at Roswell, New Mexico by Ken Patterson

Bored with the usual cattle mutilations and earthling abductions, The Alien Captain and his daring, gray explorers head to Kansas to participate in a crop circle contest. Unfortunately, due in part to a gray navigator’s poor self-esteem and hereditary earwax problems, another crewmate’s random Tourette’s-driven outbursts, and The Alien Captain’s obsession with meeting William Shatner at an upcoming Star Trek convention, the grays unintentionally pilot their flying saucer into The Shite Black Hole. Transported back in time the hapless travelers crash in a remote spot in America’s southwest. Having no other options, the grays accept an offer from the Roswell Airfield intelligence officer, Major Marcel, to stay in the base’s plush, underground quarters. It soon becomes apparent, however, that Marcel’s seemingly generous offer comes with a condition: the U.S. Army wants the grays to build a working flying saucer. Initially, they accept this offer, but soon find they are not up to the task of constructing an interstellar spacecraft. The grays also quickly discover they are not actually guests, but prisoners. Their host’s promise of free room and board and all the bowling they can handle is not everything it is cracked up to be.

 

Mystery

 

Last Seen: A Dr. Pepper Hunt Mystery by J.L. Doucette

Psychologist and police consultant Dr. Pepper Hunt, struggling to deal with the murder of her husband, leaves the private practice they shared and relocates to Wyoming. There, in the stark landscape of the high desert, there is nothing to remind her of everything she lost and left behind. Then her new patient, Kimi Benally, goes missing in a Wyoming blizzard after her last therapy session―making Pepper the last person to see her. She knows the secrets Kimi shared in therapy hold clues to her mysterious disappearance, and she joins forces with Detective Beau Antelope to try to discover what’s happened to her. But as she follows the trail of Kimi’s obsession with the past, Pepper begins to fear the worst for her missing patient―and her own haunted memories surface.

 

 

Isabel Murrow is precariously balancing her career and her family. Hard-working and caring, worried but supportive, all Isobel wants, in a perilous world of bullies and temptations, is to keep her daughter Phoebe safe.

Phoebe has just attempted suicide. She says it is Isabel’s fault.

Saving Phoebe Murrow is a timely tale about an age-old problem – how best to raise our children, and how far to go in keeping them from harm. Set amidst the complicated web of relationships at the school gate, it tells a story of miscommunication and malice, drugs and Facebook, prejudice and revenge.

 

Action/Thriller

 

Fantasy

 

Black Dragon by Adam Boustead

 

“Taste of me and know the dark desire.
I am the mirror whose reflection you dare not look upon…”

Black Dragon is the third collection in The Dragon Chronicles, a series of dark fantasy tales.

 

 

 

 

 

“Who or what anchored her to that palace?” Chandra Kenderley is the crown princess of the world’s mightiest empire. She has successfully foiled two conspirators, each with different visions of what her empire should be. In the truest testament to her power, Derek, her greatest and most dangerous enemy, has become a loyal personal guard. Sorcery may be nothing more than a people’s superstition with little basis in fact, but in the face of such feats their beliefs only grow stronger. Peace in Kensrik will be short-lived. The people still demand more drastic changes to the way they are governed, and even a prime minister sympathetic to Chandra’s plight can’t do better than suggest that Chandra flee for her own safety. How wonderfully convenient that an invitation should arrive from a land not even marked on the world maps of the day, suggesting one place where Chandra might be not only welcome but respected. That’s what the sender is counting on; the same puppet master who hoped that Lords Merton and Belheff would get the job done. Alathea has plans to reshape the entire world, and they encompass a dangerous obsession with Derek and Chandra. She knows Chandra must accept that invitation. She knows Chandra will have nowhere else to go, and she expects poor bewitched Derek to follow Chandra until Alathea can save him from humiliating servitude…

 

Biography

 

A young woman without prospects at a ball in Gilded Age Newport, Rhode Island is a target for a certain kind of “suitor.” At the Memorial Day Ball during the Panic of 1893, impoverished but feisty Penelope Stanton draws the unwanted advances of a villainous millionaire banker who preys on distressed women–the incorrigible Edgar Daggers. Over a series of encounters, he promises Penelope the financial security she craves, but at what cost? Skilled in the art of flirtation, Edgar is not without his charms, and Penelope is attracted to him against her better judgment. Initially, as Penelope grows into her own in the burgeoning early Women’s Suffrage Movement, Edgar exerts pressure, promising to use his power and access to help her advance. But can he be trusted, or are his words part of an elaborate mind game played between him and his wife? During a glittering age where a woman’s reputation is her most valuable possession, Penelope must decide whether to compromise her principles for love, lust, and the allure of an easier life.

 

Cooking

 

Coming of Age/Children’s

 

The Fire Escape Stories by Chuck Cascio

The Fire Escape Stories, Volume I, is comprised of nine episodes that make up Mike Burns’s strongest childhood memories of living in Brooklyn, New York, in the 1950s.

Mike and his cousin, Salvatore “Sally-Boy” Boccanera are born one minute apart, in the same hospital, and it seems like they’ll never be more than a minute apart the rest of their lives. Their experiences knocking around the city are challenging, funny, touching, and at times disturbing—all of the ingredients that define growing up. Life lessons happen in the Italian bakery Sally-Boy’s father owns, where the boys loll and play, with ears and eyes wide open. But maybe the biggest lesson of all looms over Mike’s father, who’s determined to make drastic changes in pursuit of a better life.

Hanging in the balance, at the center of the boys’ tumultuous lives, is the fire escape. It’s a place that is uniquely theirs, and Mike best describes its spell, recalling how it reeks in the rain, blisters in the sun, and ices over in the snow. It’s where he and Sally-Boy talk and think and philosophize and plot and try to understand all they can about themselves and the world.

 

Mr. Picaso & Birtie: Explore the Louvre by Victoria James

 

With a little creativity and a modified convertible, Mr. Picaso and Birtie explore international museums and discover a world full of art!

 

 

 

 

Spiritual

 

Spirituality 103, the Forgiveness Code: Finding the Light in Our Shadows by Iván Figueroa-Otero

A battle between the light of your knowledge and the shadows of your ignorance is happening as you read this cover. Your warrior of light is receiving wounds that cause your life’s suffering.

Do you want to give your internal warrior the best weapons to reach victory?

In this book, the third in the School of Life trilogy, Dr. Figueroa-Otero helps us discover our mind’s magical mirror, where this epic battle determines where we are in the road to return to our light source. You will learn about your spiritual DNA, emotions, and where to find the healing code for our emotional scars—forgiveness.

 

When Will We Ever Learn by Robert Newbrook

“The author relates to the thought processes and deeds of an average person who constantly seeks improvement in the way the human mind and the world works.
Moving through philosophy, belief, and relationship phenomena, the book also describes the author’s personal experiences of such events as took place in Libya during the six-day war in 1967 between Egypt and Israel, plus a historical incident in Canada involving the American Indian Movement and the FBI in the 1970s.”

 

Second Half Thinking: The Need for Elders / Sages, Not Just Leaders by Dennis Trimboli

A society that improves its citizen’s lives is “progressive.” America is proficient in producing individuals with knowledge, vision, and a focus on achieving success however, societal issues remain. This is because America is focused on producing “leaders.” The continued perception and classification of social issues as liberal / conservative, democratic / republican, etc., reflect ego driven, divisive, and First Half (FH) of life thinking. Society can only progress and resolve its problems when it develops people who have a different focus about life. Society must develop elders. Second Half (SH) of life or elder thinking eliminates labeling and ego thereby making long term resolutions possible. Elder thinking is not automatically obtained upon reaching a certain age or retirement status. Rather, it is developed either naturally within established structures or individually elected and sought after. Currently, our leaders have stifled the natural development process and it will take at least a generation for this method to be revitalized. The second method can begin immediately. It is individualistic. As unlikely as it may seem, the second way is only possible after an individual is humbled by experiencing life’s devastating events and, thereafter, elects to undertake a new but unclear, perhaps mystical or spiritual, journey to evolve into an elder. In doing so, the developing individual assimilates the concepts of suffering, love, empathy, good character, gratitude, trust, and hope with an outward focus towards others. Additionally, the individual becomes part of something bigger than their self. As the individual’s life improves, so does the lives of others. Society then progresses.

 

Romance

 

My Wounded Soldier: Fight for Glory…Fight for Love by Diane Munier

This is a special edition, formerly Book One and Two of the My Wounded Soldier series and the complete saga of Tom Tanner.

Tom musters out of the Twenty-Seventh after the Civil War. Battle-weary and broken-hearted, Tom plans to go west when his father prevails on him to come home. It’s there that his future takes a turn. Soldiers roam the country, some bent on mischief. When a drifter kills the neighbor, it’s Tom the widow sends her son to find. Tom arrives at a gruesome scene, and the widow is ready to birth.

 

 

 

Discover the Top 5 Sci Fi Gems of the Summer

Both break out novelists and well established writers alike will agree that the books below stand apart from the crowd in the best way possible! While not being a huge Sci Fi fan myself, I must say that these five novels have caught and kept my attention. Not every title is newly published, so you may be surprised to find a previously undiscovered gem.

 

Corrosion: The Corroding Empire: Book 1  by Johan Kalsi

Johan Kalsi is Finland’s hottest science fiction author. An accomplished geneticist as well as a 6’3″ ex-Finnish Marine, in CORROSION, Kalsi shows himself to be more Asimovian than Asimov himself. CORROSION marks his English-language debut.

Galactic society is ruled by algorithms. From interstellar travel and planetary terraforming to artificial intelligence and agriculture, every human endeavor has become completely dependent upon the hypercomplex equations that optimize the activities making life possible across hundreds of inhabited worlds. Throughout the galaxy, Man has become dependent upon the reliable operation of ten million different automated systems.

And when things begin to go wrong and mysterious accidents begin to happen no one has any idea what is happening, except for a sentient medical drone and the First Technocrat of Continox. But their ability to even begin to try fixing the unthinkably complicated problem of galaxy-wide algorithmic decay is made considerably more difficult by the fact the former is an outlaw and the latter is facing a death sentence.

“Scalzi is one of the slickest writers that SF has ever produced.” ―The Wall Street Journal on The Human Division

“Fans of Game of Thrones and Dune will enjoy this bawdy, brutal, and brilliant political adventure” ―Booklist on The Collapsing Empire

 

 

 

The Enemy Within by Scott Burn

Scott Burn, a former lawyer turned writer, creator of the science fiction comic book series AGON, and writer of several successful feature screenplays is now dominating the Sci Fi writing scene with his debut novel, THE ENEMY WITHIN.

Seventeen-year-old Max has always felt like an outsider. When the agonizing apocalyptic visions begin, he decides suicide is his only escape. Instead, he soon finds himself in an institution under the guidance of a therapist who sees something exceptional in him. Just as he begins to leave the hallucinations behind, Max discovers the visions aren’t just in his head.

There are three others who have shared those same thoughts, and they’ve been searching for Max. Like him, they are something more than human. Each of them possesses certain abilities, which they’re going to need as a covert military group begins hunting them down. As the danger escalates, Max doesn’t know which side to trust. In the end, his choice will decide the fate of both species.

“This is a fine Sci-Fi story anchored to firm thematic material… A great combination of suspenseful action and empathetic characterization based on relevant ideas, which can be enjoyed on several levels. Highly recommended for all Sci-Fi and general novel fans.” ―Airborn Press

“A riveting read that will keep you on the edge of your seat even after you’ve finished it. I was extremely impressed with this author’s debut novel and cannot wait to see what else is in store for us from him!” Urban Book Reviews

 

 

 

Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor

The thrilling sequel to the Hugo and Nebula-winning Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

It’s been a year since Binti and Okwu enrolled at Oomza University. A year since Binti was declared a hero for uniting two warring planets. A year since she found friendship in the unlikeliest of places.

And now she must return home to her people, with her friend Okwu by her side, to face her family and face her elders.

But Okwu will be the first of his race to set foot on Earth in over a hundred years, and the first ever to come in peace.

After generations of conflict can human and Meduse ever learn to truly live in harmony?

“There’s more vivid imagination in a page of Nnedi Okorafor’s work than in whole volumes of ordinary fantasy epics.” ―Ursula Le Guin

“A perfect dove-tailing of tribal and futuristic, of sentient space ships and ancient cultural traditions, Binti was a beautiful story to read.” ―Little Red Reviewer

 

 

 

Liquid Gambit by Bonnie Milani

Bonnie Milani is soon to be a household name. Her short story ‘A Hot Day on Titan’ has been nominated for the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, her novel ‘Home World’ won the 2016 EVVY awards’ 1st place in the science fiction category, and most recently, her novel ‘Home World’ has been awarded the BooksGoSocial Gold Quality Mark.

Death is never more than an airlock away for the denizens of Hell, the last deck before the Void on the last station in human space.

It’s a place where justice is for sale and slavers hawk their human merchandise to the highest bidder. But to Rick, a scarred, bitter Lupan warrior, it’s home – or at least the one place in the known universe where he can ignore all the death warrants on him throughout the rest of the Commonwealth. It’s also the place where a few drops of the most precious liquid in all of human space can buy him a berth on the last ship back to his birth world. Until a mysterious, vaguely familiar woman walks into the dive Rick runs. And brings his deadly, ugly past in with her.

Somehow Rick must unlock the secrets she carries. Because if he fails, he will lose far more than just his life.

“Liquid Gambit is a futuristic thrilling adventure; with suspense so strong, I wasn’t sure what was coming next.” ―Boundless Book Reviews.

“I Want more. Milani is the next powerhouse of sci-fi.” ―Marion Pagano.

 

 

 

Smartbrain (Penchant Series Book 1) by G. F. Smith

Smartbrain, a two-part novel and the first in the Penchant Series, introduces the Reader to a burgeoning, future universe where new, uber-immersive consumer technology creates the potential for worlds of augmented realism that exceeds ordinary, high-definition reality by inestimable measures. A 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards “Finalist” 

New Consumer Tech: SMARTPHONE STREAMS DIRECTLY INTO HUMAN BRAIN

Part 1: Mind
Sarah Whiting, young, attractive, tech-savvy homebody, accepts a potentially lucrative offer to join a product/market analysis team that is performing the final evaluation of the believed technological breakthrough of the century before its release to the public. As the incredible opportunity unfolds, Sarah finds herself smitten with the technology, as well as with the project’s lead engineer. Even with the contrast of taking care of her Alzheimer’s-ridden father, it all seems like a dream-come-true for Sarah. That is, until she abruptly learns that she may now be unwittingly mired in a dangerous ruse of international deception, and that the man she’s fallen for, as well as this new, highly transformative technology may originate from somewhere else, other than Earth.

Part 2: Matter
Sarah’s world is further thrown into chaos and confusion when she wakes up with little memory of her recent past and is told that she is a victim of severe brain injury brought on by the very technology she had been working with. Sarah is lost in the revelation, loath to accept the reality being told her, and soon falls into a downward spiral fueled by a husband she doesn’t remember, along with the abysmal fear that she may actually be losing her mind. What Sarah doesn’t realize is that as she fights to gain a hold on what is real, others are in the process of risking their lives in a desperate attempt to free her from her perceptual prison. Filled with guilt, the very man who blames himself for Sarah’s cerebral incarceration begins to work with a group of highly trained professionals who might just be Sarah’s only hope of ever returning to her real life.

“G. F. Smith’s “Smartbrain” novel is a well written, intriguing look at our own civilization and our technology, from the viewpoint of our own society, and from the viewpoint of envious aliens…I was fascinated by the new technology, and drawn-into the story by the likeable characters and the fully-engaging plot…I look forward to the next book in the series.” ―John C. Meyer

Make it a year of curiosity!  ―G. F. Smith

5 Great Conspiracy Thrillers

Natashia Thewes

I don’t often give a book 5 stars. That honor is reserved for the few books that truly have it all; the ones you can’t forget. A 5-star book transports you to another world, another place or time, and always leaves you craving more. Below are the five 5-star conspiracy thrillers I can’t stop thinking about.

 

 

The Girl Before: A Novel by J.P. Delaney

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In the tradition of The Girl on the Train, The Silent Wife, and Gone Girl comes an enthralling psychological thriller that spins one woman’s seemingly good fortune, and another woman’s mysterious fate, through a kaleidoscope of duplicity, death, and deception.

Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.

The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.

EMMA
Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.

JANE
After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.

The Girl Before is deservedly anointed the ‘top girl’ of this season’s suspense novels.”—The Washington Post 

 

CypherGhost by DS Kane

The seventh book in the gripping technothriller series, Spies Lie, perfect for fans who love Robert Ludlum, Lee Child, and Barry Eisler.

She is a CypherGhost: An untraceable hacker, someone who can be anywhere and do anything using a computer. Can an aircraft be hacked? Can a human being be hacked? Don’t be so sure…

When Ann Silbey Sashakovich enters Stanford University to study computer forensics, she gets far more than she expected. During the Thanksgiving holiday of her freshman year, Ann finds that the aircraft she is a passenger on has been hacked. Its engines have stopped and everyone aboard is screaming.

When Charlette De Spain’s boyfriend is falsely accused of stealing secrets from the FBI and dies in prison under mysterious circumstance, it changes her life. Once an Art History major, now a budding computer hacker, Charlette gathers the proof that her boyfriend was innocent. When no one pays attention, she decides to become jury and executioner for all those responsible.

However, the aircraft carrying one of Charlette’s primary targets also carries Ann.

In an America whose government is silently at war with its hackers, who prevails and who fails isn’t limited to the two young battling women, but might also involve the fate of the entire nation.

“DS Kane, without a doubt, is a great storyteller… a highly recommended read for the lovers of popular thrillers”. —Mystery Tribune

 

Into The Water by Paula Hawkins

 #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER – An addictive new novel of psychological suspense from the author of #1 New York Times bestseller and global phenomenon The Girl on the Train.
A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.

With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.

Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.

“Hawkins is at the forefront of a group of female authors – think Gillian Flynn and Megan Abbott – who have reinvigorated the literary suspense novel by tapping a rich vein of psychological menace and social unease… there’s a certain solace to a dark escape, in the promise of submerged truths coming to light.” —Vogue

 

Beyond the Red Carpet by Debbra Lynn

A Masterful Hollywood Mystery that is sure to grip any reader and keep them thoroughly guessing until the end.

Sophia Donovan has it all: a beautiful home in the Hollywood Hills, a successful career at a high-profile celebrity magazine, amazing friends, and she is married to one of the hottest Hollywood Directors of the time. Things between her and her husband Marcus aren’t perfect, but after 11 years what marriage is? But, if the secrets that lay behind the walls of the Donovan home were ever exposed, life would never be the same for anyone.

When an unexpected visitor from Sophia’s past shows up, she is forced to come to terms with her suspicions. As Sophia unravels the truth about the people closest to her, it quickly becomes clear that fighting to save her marriage won’t be nearly as important as fighting to save her life.

“Beyond the Red Carpet is an action-packed, well-written Hollywood mystery, a modern story reminiscent of Harold Robbins’ and Jacqueline Susann’s classics.” —Book Addict

 

The Nuremberg Puzzle by Laurence O’Bryan

This well paced thriller has a mix of history dating back to the Hitler years in Nuremberg, suspense, and a shocking ending. If you like action, history, and a real sense of place and time, you will love this book!

Sean Ryan discovers a terrifying conspiracy to rid Germany of its refugees. After flying to Nuremberg, he sees blood on its streets, and anger boiling over.

An old friend in the city, Eleni Kibre, tells him about the anti-refugee groups spreading fast across Germany. An hour after he leaves her she is murdered. The police arrive at Sean’s hotel to question him. He was the last person to see her alive. Then Eleni’s partner goes missing.

Can Sean stop a new genocide, or will he too become a victim?

Hatred of foreigners has been buried for decades in Europe, but not deep enough. Long lost letters from Pope Pius XII to Adolf Hitler, which the Vatican is willing to do anything to retrieve, are the final pieces of this truly shocking puzzle, which Sean must solve before a modern genocide is released on the world.

“Another great book by a up and coming superstar — I have read all of the Laurence O’Bryan Puzzle” books…I love the way he weaves factual history into current fictional situations.” —Gloria Antypowich

To receive a free ebook copy of The Nuremberg Puzzle please click here.

Changing a Book Cover: The Thought Process

Charles Carfagno Jr

Changing a book cover is often a big decision for an author.  They may have spent a lot of time thinking about the design process, and letting go of something you’ve worked hard on can be difficult.  However, the importance of a good cover can not be underestimated, and sometimes it may be the thing that’s holding back your sales. 

 

Charles Carfagno Jr takes here about his thought process when changing his book cover for A Demon’s Quest:  The Beginning of the End

 

Changing the cover was something that I’ve toiled with for some time. I picked Katara as a character to feature, because I wanted the readers to know there was a strong female character coming in the next book and she was the perfect candidate.

 

A little background about Katara’s story. She was sent to the town of Mirkin on a training mission and while there strange things began happening and it involved her mentor. During her investigation, she has a random encounter with another main character named, Torhan. Together, they begin to unravel the strange occurrences, and what they discovered leads them into an adventure on all on its own.

 

The original cover depicted a very intense battle, between a band of adventures, led by their leader Gilex, and a giant bug called an Earwig. I designed the cover for a few reasons. First and foremost, I wanted to pique the reader’s interest by showing them a fight scene that was actually in the book. The other reason was because the story of Gilex, was the first chapter I had ever written, so it was an homage to my labor. And lastly, the bug is cool.

 

Katara officially enters the Demon’s Quest series in volume 2 and is one of my favorite characters throughout the story. She is strong willed yet vulnerable, determined, curious, resourceful, and not afraid to oppose injustice. In addition to those traits; she’s proficient with weapons, a master healer, and has the ability to conjure a Tirip to fight by her side (Tirips are spirts from another dimension.)

 

 

Ultimately Charles decided that it was more important for him to showcase this main character than the fight scene, and I think you can agree that the result is more emotionally gripping. Something to think about when trying to figure out how to represent your story in the best possible way.

Holiday Weekend Reads

Hannah Jenkins

Looking for a new book this holiday weekend? We have come up with a list of good reads for you!

 

Not sure which book to pick? Why not leave it up to our Matchmaker to decide for you. Simply press play on the video below, and pause it at any point.

 

 

 

 

 

The Rising: Dark Fae Hollow 3 by Eileen Cruz Coleman

 

Twenty-one-year-old fae, Isabel, is kidnapped and tortured by a half-vampire, half-fae hybrid who is part of an army raised with one goal: the enslavement and killing of all good fae and humans. During her captivity, she vows not only to escape but also to lead a rebellion against the dark army.

 

But when her rebellion is ambushed, she is recaptured and imprisoned until she can be brought to the treacherous Hollow Council for trial and punishment.

 

Isabel is sure she is going to die, until Adriel, the hybrid soldier assigned to her charge, helps her escape. Now on the run with Adriel at her side, Isabel must stay alive long enough to reach a secret camp of hybrids who wish to stay hidden and somehow convince them to join her rebellion

 

Genre: SciFi

 

 

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Love Lost in Time Relativity by George G. Nyman

 

 The night was clear and moonless. Paul was gazing out the window of the spacecraft, his work completed, and resigning himself to passenger mode for the next twenty-two minutes, allowing the 747 to carry Relativity 1 to the lower limits of the stratosphere, where it would be launched into space. Visibility was unrestricted and the stars were lit over the desert sky, almost teasing Relativity 1 to chase them. Paul felt the acceleration as the massive jumbo jet began to rumble down the runway, slowly at first, but picking up speed as the stars beckoned above.

 

 

 

Genre: SciFi

 

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Mother’s Nature: A Novel of Life and Death by Steven Ira

 

 A brilliant young pharmaceutical research scientist, Dr. Sarah Mathews, is personally offended at the very idea of death, believing it to be totally “unnatural” and therefore unnecessary.

 

Making certain adjustments to the orthodox Biblical world view of her missionary father, Sarah sees in Nature more than a mere abstraction; she sees an “Ascendant Consciousness” which intended man, Nature’s crowning achievement, to live indefinitely in his wondrously crafted body. Death for man results from a mistake, a single flawed genetic sequence, and Sarah is convinced that flaw can be eradicated.

 

Sarah also believes Nature has provided defenses against the whole panoply of afflictions which arise from man’s primary genetic misfortune in the form of naturally occurring plant medicines. In fact, from Sarah’s perspective, rain forest plants are a veritable pharmacopeia just waiting to be discovered and refined. Her life’s work is to find plants from which to extract a wide range of medicines while she searches ultimately for the one which will provide the cure for mankind’s genetic death sentence.

 

Genre: SciFi

 

 

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Strain of Resistance by Michelle Bryan

 

 I was 12 years old when the world ended. For eight years I’ve survived in this shithole once known as earth. Fighting the alien parasite that mutated most of the population into blood-thirsty freaks, while the rest of us became the lunch special on their alien menu.

 

Now things are changing, and not for the better. The parasite is evolving. Becoming smarter, stronger and deadlier.

 

They’ve already stolen everything from me. My home. My family. Even the man I loved. It’s time for this bullshit to end once and for all.

My name is Bixby and I’m the resistance.

 

Genre: Fantasy

 

 

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Dark Experiments by Lana Campbell

 

 

 Christian is the exception to Tiffany’s rule that all males are louses. For years Tiffany has lusted after Christian and of late she can’t help but wonder what it might be like to have a brief fling with him. The opportunity to explore her secret fantasy appears when Christian offers her a job as the IT person for his practice, the V clinic. She knows if he gives her the green light, she’s going to have a romp with her sexy vampire. When the night finally arrives and she and Christian have sex, the experience is so overwhelmingly powerful, Tiffany backpedals and tries to turn down the heat between them. She’s human. He’s a vampire. She can’t afford to fall in love with him.

 

Christian has other ideas. During their sexual encounter, he discovers Tiffany is his life mate and he vows to change her thinking. His intentions are put on hold when he gets caught up in an angel of death’s vicious plan to chemically terminate V clinic patients’ pregnancies. Tiffany herself falls victim to a lethal dose of arsenic and Christian can only save her by turning her into a vampire. She’s furious when she wakes from her turning and discovers what Christian has done. She wants nothing to do with him ever again, but when she’s kidnapped by this angel of death and used as a guinea pig for deadly experiments she only has Christian to turn to save her life.

 

Genre: Paranormal

 

 

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The Sound of Sirens by David Carter

 

The ancient city of Chester, Friday night, and the weekend starts here. High summer, skimpy fashions, short skirts, tight jeans, it’s a hot night, and the town’s relaxed.

It’s 11pm and the pubs are beginning to close. The band has just finished playing; packing their instruments away, but the night is young.

A young man enters the still crowded pub. Walks up to the small stage. Pulls out a handgun and empties four shots into the lead singer. One, two, three four.

Waves the gun at the stunned and shocked crowd. Yelling, hollering and screaming, they part like the Red Sea, and he walks through the valley of death and out into the night, laughing as he goes.

The sound of sirens floats across the humid city. Inspector Walter Darriteau is soon on the scene. He lives locally, and truth is, he’d much rather be at work than lying in bed. The local crime reporter turns up too, Gardenia Floem, nice woman, nice teeth.

‘Is this drugs related?’ she asks.

How the hell do I know? Get her out of here!

 

Genre: Mystery

 

 

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Her Other Family by Edward A. Dreyfus

 

 HER OTHER FAMILY tells the story of Marianna Bolton, a young, married, LA woman who, after learning that she was adopted by the man she thought to be her father, sets out to find her birth father. She discovers that he is the son of a mafia capo and has a large family on the east coast.

 

She is caught in a moral and psychological dilemma: should she leave her husband of five years and the comfortable life they created, to become a part of the exciting, though immoral life of la famiglia? Why after living a law-and-order life, would she even consider giving it all up to become a member of an organized crime family?

 

The novel explores the dualities of all human personality as the protagonist struggles between the light and dark sides of her own. No one is all light or all dark, all good or evil. It is the struggle between them that creates who we become.

 

Genre: Mystery

 

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The Nomad’s Premonition by Georges Benay

 

Eric Martin is desperate to forget his past, one that almost cost him his future. Three years ago, he discovered that the investment firm he worked for was run by a terrorist organization determined to get its hands on a predictive algorithm that promised unsurpassed success in global financial markets. Although he was able to stop the terrorists from getting the algorithm, he nearly sacrificed his life to do so.

 

Now working in Paris as deputy head of a bank’s internal security department, Eric notices a high-speed trader’s uncanny ability to predict extremely profitable trades. Even though there’s nothing overtly illegal about the activity, Eric can’t help but feel the trader’s success is more than just luck. Yet, no one believes him. Armed with just a handful of data and a powerful instinct, Eric searches for the mysterious trader on his own. He soon suspects that the same predictive algorithm he fought so hard to protect has fallen into the wrong hands.

 

Genre: Mystery

 

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Jurisdiction Terminated by Marc Debbaudt

 

 An original crime novel involving the juvenile justice delinquency system from a true insider’s viewpoint. The honest private thoughts of an experienced juvenile court judge are revealed, the various participants are exposed, and you’ll witness what occurs in actual juvenile court proceedings that are closed to public scrutiny. When the Head of a major Los Angeles County official dies from a methamphetamine overdose, the curiosity of the judge lures him deeper into the maze of intrigue only to discover an insidious North Korean drug cartel’s plot to distribute drugs to the young troubled children confined in probation camps and juvenile halls. Along the way the judge and his deputy district attorney, with the help of a tech savvy DEA agent, kidnap and torture a Korean gang member, spy on the cartel, and ultimately discover betrayal at the highest level of our justice system. You’re sure to find this book action-packed, eye-opening, thought-provoking, well-written and an enjoyable read while you enter into an arena, juvenile justice, rarely explored in fiction today.

 

Genre: Mystery

 

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Red Zone by Kelli Hughett

 

When Marcy Farris comes face to face with a murder victim at a high school football game, she’s plunged into a game no one wants to play. Despite police assurances, she knows this wasn’t a random murder. But to prove otherwise she’ll have to tackle the painful memories of her husband’s suicide.

 

Struck down by an injury in his prime, former NFL linebacker, Jack Briggs, wonders if there’s life after football. His perspective changes when he meets Marcy. Though she’s out of his league, Jack finds himself drawn to Marcy’s “go-for-it” demeanor. Now, as the killer stalks Marcy, Jack has to prove he still has moves before the killer has a chance to exact his revenge on Marcy.

 

There is no overtime in the game of murder — only sudden death

 

Genre: Mystery

 

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High Alert by Alex Lukeman

 

 

 When an American missile submarine is sunk in the Sea of Japan, it’s the opening move in a madman’s plan to plunge the world into war. A day later the Chinese ambassador to Washington is assassinated. Meanwhile, the unstable leader of North Korea prepares to attack America with a terrible weapon.

 

The U.S. President calls in the Project, a deep black ops unit that goes places and does things others can’t or won’t do. They’ve had tough assignments before: but this time they’re up against an unknown enemy, a man bent on vengeance against all of humanity. He won’t rest until the world is turned into a radioactive hell… and when it comes to the Project, it’s personal.

 

Can the Project team find him before he unleashes nuclear Armageddon?

 

Genre: Mystery

 

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Heads Will Roll by Joanie Chevalier

 

 What if, in the near future, we could choose the body we wanted? We could visit a store front, much like a neighborhood mom-and-pop shop, and we’d see all the available bodies lined up in a glass-enclosed case. We’d be able to choose the body we wanted, purchase it, have an operation, and wham bam! wake up with our new body.

 

Dr. Farkis begins his head transplant operations in secret in Oakland, California and Tokyo, Japan. When news filters out about his revolutionary surgery, individuals from all walks of life come forward, desperate for a new body and an improved life that only Dr. Farkis can offer. We meet: Barry, so frantic for a new body, he stalks the doctor and bargains with a menacing ultimatum; Aiko, father of 19-year-old Kaneko, who demands that she undergo the operation to become more attractive to snag a husband; and finally, Baby, who finds out the hard way that demanding a new body may end up being fatal.

 

Choosing the perfect physique from a smorgasbord of available bodies seems like a dream . . . or is it a nightmare?

 

Genre: Thriller

 

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Gretel by Christopher Coleman

 

 Alone. Frightened. Captive. If you hear someone approaching, RUN. She is not there to help you.

There is an ancient evil in the Back Country, dormant for centuries but now hungry and lurking. When it sets its sights on an unsuspecting mother one routine morning along an isolated stretch of highway, a quiet farming family is suddenly thrust into a world of unspeakable terror, and a young girl must learn to be a hero.

 

 

 

Genre: Horror

 

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Back from 44: The Sacrifice and Courage of a Few – A Story of Heroism in the Skies Over Western Europe by Nick Cressy

 

 Back from 44 – The Sacrifice and Courage of a Few. A B-26 crew struggle to return back to base in a severely crippled plane. The story is fiction based on a real person and events. The main character’s 44th mission is described with flashbacks to his enlistment in the U.S. Army Air Force to joining the 320th Bomb Group at their Sardinia, Italy air base. He recalls the memories of basic training, advanced flight engineer training, gunnery school, saying goodbye to a new wife, and travel across the Atlantic to Sardinia. Mission experiences are highlighted in the Mediterranean and European Theaters of Operations. Missions were not always “Milk Runs”; they included enemy flak, German fighter attacks and the emotional impact of losing close friends.

 

 

Genre: Military

 

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Brought To You By The Color Drab: (Teen & Young Adult Action & Adventure) by Norma Jean Lutz

 

It takes a blind man to show Race the way…

 

The moment Race heard the gunshots explode, he knew it was Vince. Somehow he just knew.

Throwing the remote across the room, he leaped over the back of the ratty couch and flew down the dimly-lit stairs out into the hot August night.

 

In this riveting teen novel, Race Paloma’s world violently turns upside-down after his older brother, Vince, is murdered in a drive-by. Without Vince’s strong leadership, their once-powerful, hood-ruling pack unravels at the speed of light. The Deuce Dragons threaten takeover in their Cincinnati Over-The-Rhine hood.

 

As life closes in, Race has nowhere to turn. Vince’s tight homie and joint-leader of their pack, Wynn, is sent off to juvie; the Deuce Dragons pressure Race to be jumped in; his mother drowns her grief over Vince’s death in extended drunken bouts; then Race is caught shoplifting and comes face-to-face with the slammer. Could his world get any worse?

 

Genre: Action

 

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Reign of the Marionettes by Sheena MacLeod

 

 Mass hysteria sweeps through the country with deadly consequences.

Beneath the wit and laughter of Charles II’s Restoration Court, political and religious tensions mount, and Countess Elizabeth Herbert tries to keep her family safe.

When Titus Oates, a minister begging on the streets, claims to have uncovered a plot to kill the King and replace him with his Catholic heir, no one is safe from accusation. When suspicion falls on her husband, Elizabeth’s life is thrown into turmoil.

As a tangled web of lies and deceit unfolds, Elizabeth realises her husband is a pawn in a much larger game. Caught up in the mass hysteria sweeping the country she’s forced to fight back to stop his execution for high treason. But, how can a woman take on the most powerful men in England?

Set at a time of religious and political turmoil, when the fate of English rule is at stake, and it’s impossible to know who to trust ‘Reign of the Marionettes’ brims with historical detail and intrigue.

 

Genre: Historical Fiction

 

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Echo in the Wind by Regan Walker

 

 England and France 1784

Cast out by his noble father for marrying the woman he loved, Jean Donet took to the sea, becoming a smuggler, delivering French brandy and tea to the south coast of England. When his young wife died, he nearly lost his sanity. In time, he became a pirate and then a privateer, vowing to never again risk his heart.

As Donet’s wealth grew, so grew his fame as a daring ship’s captain, the terror of the English Channel in the American War. When his father and older brother die in a carriage accident in France, Jean becomes the comte de Saintonge, a title he never wanted.

Lady Joanna West cares little for London Society, which considers her its darling. Marriage in the ton is either dull or disastrous. She wants no part of it. To help the poor in Sussex, she joins in their smuggling. Now she is the master of the beach, risking her reputation and her life. One night off the coast of Bognor, Joanna encounters the menacing captain of a smuggling ship, never realizing he is the mysterious comte de Saintonge.

Can Donet resist the English vixen who entices him as no other woman? Will Lady Joanna risk all for an uncertain chance at love in the arms of the dashing Jean Donet?

 

Genre: Historical Romance

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Love, Lust, and Betrayal: The Erotic Adventures with My First Love and the Custody Battles that Followed by Ray Ross Reynolds

 

Part I: Love and Lust. Having met as virgins, a young couple’s innocent and romantic first love evolves into highly lustful desires. Their awakening sexuality leads them on several erotic adventures as they explore life together during their marriage, and eventually puts the marriage in jeopardy. Together they experience ménages trois, her latent bisexuality, group sex, and sexual seductions. Follow their sensual journey from their first meeting on a college campus through college sex games to a highly wanton sailing on the Atlantic Ocean. Watch as they take this titillating journey through life together, experiencing new situations and new people.

 

Part II: The Betrayal. After the husband discovers his wife is having a secret affair with her boss, his world is shattered. Gone is their marital openness and honesty. Having become their children’s primary caretaker, he then turns his attention to obtaining custody of them, and a five-year interstate custody battle begins. He has to fight a biased legal system in which mothers are almost always given custody of young children. There are three kidnappings of his son, a jury trial, a near encounter with Pinkerton detectives, and six courtroom dramas. The Uniform Child Custody Act is called into question. He acts as his own attorney in one trial and prevails. He helps pioneer one of the first fathers’ rights groups. His courtroom successes pave the way for many fathers seeking custody of their children in the years to come.

 

Genre: Erotic

 

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Poetry and Ponderings: A Journey of Abuse and Healing Through Poetry by Diamante Lavendar

 

 

In this rare collection of nonfiction Christian poetry and prose based on real life experiences, Diamante Lavendar, a victim of abuse, shows the reader the raw emotions of pain, hate, and denial that occur before a victim of abuse can find a way to heal from the pains of assault. Knowing herself the very difficult journey of being a victim, Diamante was abused as a child, and turned to alcohol and drugs to numb the pain. Many years later, she started to heal under God’s watchful eyes and was able to find love in her life again. She shares these truly inspiring, religious poems in the hopes that it may help other victims heal their hurts, as she did while writing the poetry collection.

 

 

 

Genre: Poetry

 

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Twelve Stories for Spring by Linda Mansfield

 

Take a break!

 

“Twelve Stories for Spring” offers a baker’s dozen of fictional but realistic short stories set at spring, that glorious season of rebirth.

 

If you’re between the ages of teen through senior citizen and you could use a few minutes of relaxation, you’ll love it! Short stories take far less time to read than a novel, and you can resume the book easily if you’re interrupted.

 

Some of the stories take place during spring holidays like Easter and Mother’s Day. Others occur during traditional spring events like a prom, a wedding, the start of fishing season, the Kentucky Derby, and the Indy 500. One depicts an international traveler dealing with delays due to a spring snowstorm. Another features an autistic boy at a therapeutic riding facility.

 

Genre: Holidays

 

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The Long Way Home by Edward Duffy

 

Edward Duffy overcame poverty in the Arkansas Delta and institutional racism in the military to have a successful career as an educator and counselor. Despite a traumatic experience on the frontlines in Vietnam and false accusations that landed him in the brig, he overcame his experiences and set an example for generations to come.

 

 

 

 

Genre: Memoir

 

 

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Dear Mr DJ by Maggie Fogarty

 

 A radio phone in, a teenage diary and an old recipe book. Suddenly the summer of 1975 comes crashing into the 21st century, with vivid memories stirred and secrets uncovered.

 

Revisiting her earlier years means that Debbie McKay faces a big decision. Starting with a letter to her very first and much older boyfriend, Mr DJ.

 

Actions have consequences and in Debbie’s case the stakes are high. So is she brave enough to reveal her previously hidden past?

 

Genre: Family

 

 

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The Fire Escape Stories by Chuck Cascio

 

 Mike and his cousin, Salvatore “Sally-Boy” Boccanera are born one minute apart, in the same hospital, and it seems like they’ll never be more than a minute apart the rest of their lives.

 

Their experiences knocking around the city are challenging, funny, touching, and at times disturbing—all of the ingredients that define growing up.

 

Life lessons happen in the Italian bakery Sally-Boy’s father owns, where the boys loll and play, with ears and eyes wide open. But maybe the biggest lesson of all looms over Mike’s father, who’s determined to make drastic changes in pursuit of a better life.

 

Hanging in the balance, at the center of the boys’ tumultuous lives, is the fire escape. It’s a place that is uniquely theirs, and Mike best describes its spell, recalling how it reeks in the rain, blisters in the sun, and ices over in the snow. It’s where he and Sally-Boy talk and think and philosophize and plot and try to understand all they can about themselves and the world.

 

 

Genre: Coming of Age

 

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A Pardon For Tommy by Paricia Nmukoso Enyi

 

On Thanksgiving weekend, the last thing Chelsea wants to do is to return home to New Orleans. It holds all of her memories of Hurricane Katrina, memories which she would rather forget. There is one thing that makes her change her mind –Tommy, her beloved pet turkey who watched the destruction of her city from Chelsea’s backpack. It’s Tommy who represents hope and life, and all the good things that a Thanksgiving can bring.

 

A Pardon for Tommy is a story with twists, turns and turkeys. It’s about family, friends and food.

 

Genre: Childrens

 

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Self-Publishing and Libraries: What Librarians and Self-Publishers Need to Know by Denise Weldon – Siviy

 

 Are you a self-published author ignoring the billion $$$ library market? Or a librarian missing almost half the new bestsellers because of outdated policies on self-published works?

 

While over 4 out of 10 bestselling books are now self-published, many libraries still relegate self-published books to a few shelves of local authors. And Indie authors frequently ignore a billion $$$ library market that accounts for up to 50% of sales in some genres. It’s time for librarians and self-published authors to come together.

 

This book covers the issues involved in getting self-published books into libraries from every angle – technology, cataloging issues, platforms, vendor access, librarian bias – and from the perspectives of BOTH self-published authors and librarians. Heavily researched (as part of a graduate level MLS course), this book also reflects the author’s personal experience as a self-published author and her six years’ experience in library acquisitions and collection development.

 

Genre: Self Help

 

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The Warrior by Joyce Swann

 

James is sitting at a Ft. Worth intersection waiting for the light to change when he hears the roar of a truck speeding toward him. Before he can react, his motorcycle is crushed, and he is thrown fifty feet onto the median.

 

At that precise moment in Dallas, Elizabeth’s sleep is interrupted by a vivid dream in which she witnesses James’ accident. As she watches him begin to pass from life to death, she extends her hand and cries, “Don’t die if you don’t know Jesus!”

 

Although neither James nor Elizabeth is aware of the other’s existence, they begin a ten-year odyssey in which their lives are inexorably intertwined, changing their futures and the futures of those they love most.

 

“The Warrior” is a moving testimony to the power of prayer and God’s desire to redeem every life.

 

Genre: Spiritual

 

 

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