Summer is here and we are helping you start your summer reading lists with some great reads.
Can’t decide? Why not try our Matchmaker video to choose your next book for you, simply play the video and hit pause.
Decline by Jared Kane
A whirlpool of crows
Swirls above, justifying
The world is a quiet place now. The streets are choked with dust and the ruins of civilization; the horizon is bleak in every direction. There are only a few survivors left. Occasionally, the silence is broken with cries of violence as the corrupted remains of humanity feed off the living. There is no longer any distinction between suffering and survival.
The end came suddenly, followed by the agony of slow deterioration that now defines the existence of Kane’s nameless narrator. Along his way, he will meet other survivors with whom he will experience moments of joy, grief, cruelty, and love, all of which merge into greater discoveries about the value of life.
Through beautiful and disturbing imagery and characters who will haunt the reader with their passionate, tortured personas, Kane tells a story of the post-apocalyptic world as it has never been seen before. There is terror and slaughter, and there is stillness and peace that can transcend all pain. From its gripping introduction, Decline is a stunning contemplation of the capacities of the human spirit to endure and make meaning when surrounded by death.
Dylan Townsend stands on the beach watching commercial jets fall out of the sky like oak leaves twirling in the wind. A wing shears off the one closest to the shore just before it splashes down in the sea. Why was she telling him this outlandish story? What sort of Tourist Agency would offer people a front row seat to the end of the world? More importantly, why would anyone book such a vacation if there wasn’t any way home afterward?
“Why would anyone buy a ticket on the Titanic if they knew it was doomed?”
“Relax Dylan,” she assures him. “If you know it’s going to sink, you could bring a raft.”
As she paces in the sand watching the sky, he realizes that however wild her story may be, he loves her. Maybe Izzy is a time travel tour guide after all. In truth, he is more likely to be harmed by her boyfriend than the imminent apocalypse. What’s he going to about that sticky situation?
“Come on,” she orders, pulling on his arm. “We need to see a man about a raft.”
Book I: Awakening is the first installment of the serial novel “The Forever Winter Chronicles”.
The world is an empty wasteland where only the strongest and most cunning survive.
A woman’s body is pulled from the ice, preserved for generations. Believing she may have lived before the great plague, a scientist pleads with the council within his colony for permission to revive her. If the woman can be reanimated, the genetic treasure she carries within her could save humanity.
But not everyone believes humans are worth saving.
Raptor: Operation: Grindshot is the story of three cadets in the military being selected for a special assignment to infiltrate the ranks of a general who has gone rogue and has begun waging war with the Milky Way Galaxy interwoven with their family and friends trying to make sense of a galaxy at war. His motives seem like galactic domination at first but turn out to be quite the contrary, with the looming threat of a dark menace in the shadows waiting to emerge. As the mission progresses, nothing begins to be so clear-cut and so black-and-white, with many choices and decisions being ambiguous and having lasting repercussions for the galaxy.
My name is Bixby. I was 12 years old when the world ended. A mysterious mist had blanketed our world, turning most of the population into blood-sucking predators. The few of us left uninfected…well, we were the prey. Vanquished to the bottom of the food chain.
For eight years we’ve fought this alien war. Barely surviving. Not knowing which day would be our last. But now we face a new threat. The parasite that took us down is evolving. Becoming smarter. Stronger. Deadlier.
The infected took everything from me. My home. My family. The man that I loved. No more.
Ember Skye is a fed up teenage Coal Elf with a big ashy chip on her shoulder. Having been torn away from a carefree life and forced into a world of dirt and darkness has started to get the best of her. And being the only girl-elf working as a coal miner at the North Pole doesn’t help much either!
Then there’s Sturd: a power-hungry, twisted elf with a checkered past and a serious grudge against Ember. Slowly but surely, his maniacal tendencies are revealed, leaving Ember with the sacred “Naughty List” literally in her lap.
When a mysterious illness threatens to decimate elves both Above and Underground, Ember is thrust into a journey that will see her confront the literal and figurative demons of her past and lead her to the head of the North Pole himself.
Yes! Santa is real. But this isn’t your childhood Christmas tale!
To celebrate World Book Day we thought we would share some great memoirs and historical fiction books that you might enjoy!
Not sure what you want to read? Why not try clicking pause on the video to choose your next read?
Uncle Otto: A Novel by Winfred Cook
In weaving fiction and family history alongside historical events, Winfred Cook offers a brilliant literary debut in Uncle Otto. The novel is complex in plot and character development, displaying one of the most sophisticated analyses of black migration from southern rural settings to those of the urban north during the early 20th century in the United States. The joy, struggle, and tragedy that pervades Uncle Otto is the best that contemporary novelists have to offer.
The novel is an important account of one family’s story. While the events my not all be true in fact, they are true to life, and represent a period of time and a perspective that is underrepresented in literature
Dirty Mines: Coal Mining in Pennsylvania by John Fitzgerald
DIRTY MINES is a story about coal mining in Pennsylvania. For the first time many of the jobs performed by boys, as young as 8 years old, are described in detail. Cesar D’Angelo was 10 when his father was killed in the mines. Cesar, the oldest boy in his family, had to take his father’s place working for the coal company. His first job was working high up in the dangerous coal breakers. At the age of 12 he went down into the blackish, coal dusted mines to begin his long mining career. His first job was sitting in the dark alone for 10 to 12 hours a day as a door keeper. Later he became a spragger, mule driver, and had various other jobs until becoming a lifetime coal miner.
DIRTY MINES also addresses the rich history of this era; including the miscarriage of justice towards the Molly Maguires in their fight for union rights and the environmental disaster at the Knox Coal company that ended coal mining in North Eastern Pennsylvania.
The Posse: 8 Historical Western Romances by Lyn Hormer
“One Way or Another” By Frank Kelso
A bitter water dispute twists two Texas cattle ranches one way or another after the son of one rancher takes a shine to the other rancher’s daughter, new from the east.
“The Schoolmarm’s Hero” By Lyn Horner
The Sheriff leads a posse after two drunken cowboys who kidnapped the spinster schoolmarm. The chase forces him to realize how much he loves her.
“Bad Day at Round Rock” By cj petterson
The pursuit of stolen gold culminates in a “Bad Day at Round Rock”–a story of greed, death, and love torn from pages of West Texas history.
“The Reckoning” by Charlene Raddon
A half-breed boy seeks his place in the world—with the Shoshone who raised him, or his white aunt and uncle where he has been sent for an education.
After fleeing post-Civil War Georgia, John Masters, Sr., his wife Virginia Masters, and their rebellious servant Jessie Lindsey have built new lives in Texas ranch country. Now their offspring, Johnny Masters and Rachel Lindsey, are in love. On the isolated, sprawling Sedahlia ranch, their youthful dalliances are largely overlooked until Rachel becomes pregnant, forcing Rachel to leave Texas for a freedman’s school in Georgia.
From the insulated Sedahlia ranch to the Jim Crow south, the rails both separate and unite – parting lovers, reuniting family, pushing out the old, bringing in the new. It is in these settings that the Masters and Lindseys live and love, and their personal needs and mores collide. The repercussions rumble through this family and the surrounding community, tearing them asunder and bringing them together as only love and tragedy will.
Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, THREE FIFTH of all other Persons.
The Other Two-Fifths, historic novel detailing the fight for racial equality and its human toll on black Americans, follows the turbulent lives of the Carter, Amos, Oliver, Sturgis, and LeBlanc families through two centuries in their struggle for civil rights.
As Ariadne, the American, Burhan, the Turk, and Mehmet Ali, the Kurd, emerge from the mists of 8,000 BC and reunite in 20th Century Turkey, they play out their star-crossed destinies upon an explosive stage of upheavals and changes.
A fiery love triangle with its roots in Prehistory …
Only a strong woman like Ariadne, the American, can tame a powerful firebrand like Burhan, the quintessential Turk!
… For A Love That Defies Time, Would You Pledge Your Soul to Eternity?
In 1849’s famine-ravaged Ireland, thirteen-year-old Mary Boland is found lying mostly dead on the side of the road to Cork Harbor, Queenstown, Ireland. She just buried her mother and baby sister after they both died of starvation. Now she is headed for Boston to find her father— no matter what. Raped and beaten by the evil crew of The Pilgrim’s Dandy, she is rescued by a fifteen-year-old Negro slave who had been used in like manner for some time and had vowed to throw himself to the sharks that very night. Together they survive the harrowing two and a half month trip, helping others as well. Their friendship is the key to the new world for both of them, carrying them through hardships and trials, and eventually to happiness.
From the moment William Somers first set foot in Henry VIII’s palace his heart belonged to a beautiful kitchen maid and his loyalty to a great king. But fools are destined to witness history, not make it, and so William must watch and jest as Henry pushes aside a loyal wife for a woman capable of bringing a kingdom to its knees. But when William’s dearest friend Mabel is forced to bend to an equally cruel fate in the forgotten depths of the kitchens will he find the strength to defend her?
June 4, 1967, was supposed to be a high point in Noah Greenspan’s year. It’s the night before the grand opening of Potomac Centre, the urban development project he spearheaded in the heart of Washington, DC. But the outbreak of the Six-Day War in the Middle East eclipses the event.
In the aftermath of the short, bloody war, Noah’s fiancée, Palestinian American journalist Alexandra Salaman is assigned to Israel to cover the political implications for Israelis and Palestinians alike. It’s a dangerous task, partly because Alexandra was, years earlier, instrumental in preventing a terrorist attack and partly because she’s a Christian Arab engaged to Noah, a Jew. Such a marriage is certain to arouse anger from either side of the Israeli-Palestinian divide.
As Noah deals with legal and financial challenges to Potomac Centre, he and Alexandra find their relationship challenged by her insistence on staying in Israel to do her job—and by reunions with old lovers.
In 1903, San Francisco’s Chinatown is teeming with vice just blocks away from the city’s aristocrats, but wealthy Will Firestone sees the district as a potential market for his shipping enterprise. Dazzled by an exotic young widow from Canton, he is drawn into the immigrant enclave, a decision that will rock his foundation, change his attitude, and lead him down a treacherous path.
Country girl Mandy Culpepper is only fifteen when she’s orphaned and brought under the protection of the Firestone name. Grateful for her privileged status, she’s determined to give back by helping Chinese immigrant girls in jeopardy, even if it means facing dangers that put her at odds with both her guardian and those in power.
Following their own divergent paths, Mandy and Will are caught up in the rising tension between city power brokers and the reviled foreigners. But an intruder no one bargained for will bring them together in a fight against a horrifying disease – a scourge that cares nothing for race or social standing or the love one person feels for another.
Young Nneka Uchendu never listens to anyone but herself, and her inquisitiveness and bravery worry her grandmother, Ogonna. It is 1967, and Ogonna’s home in Onitsha, Nigeria, is getting dangerous. The Biafran War has just begun, and Hausa fighters are out in full force. Ogonna dreads Nneka running into the brutal soldiers. Even her ordinary, unassuming neighbors could be spies for the other side.
When Ogonna realizes that Onitsha will soon completely fall, she comes up with a daring plan to spirit her beloved granddaughter away from the violence. Her plan succeeds, but the war follows them out into the country. Ogonna can sell her jewels one by one to help the family, but they won’t last forever.
Olivia Zikora’s powerful novel is about what happens when the only thing left is hope. Ogonna does whatever she can to protect her granddaughter, and the old woman’s strength in the worst of circumstances inspires and bolsters Nneka during her own ordeals.
Living Past Being a Victim by Dannielle Gallant Simms
Someone living in an abusive situation has to endure not only fear and physical pain but also feelings of isolation, shame, and hopelessness. Why is this happening? Why doesn’t he just leave? I can’t let anyone know what’s really going on.
Danielle Gallant Simms, author of Living Past Being a Victim, has had these same thoughts. She was sexually abused by her own father for the first time when she was just four years old. That abuse continued for years as she suffered in silence, afraid to tell anyone. Simms wrote this book to share her own horrific story, and how she finally managed to escape the cycle of abuse and find peace and happiness. Her wish is to let others who have been victims of abuse know that they are not alone and that it is possible to escape, to forgive, and to move on.
The Longfellah’s Son: An Almost True Irish Story by Michael Cassidy
This is an almost true story. Murphy was a child of the newly emerging 1950’s Irish middle class. He was raised in the environment of a conflicted marriage that never should have happened. While his privileged upbringing seemed idyllic to the outside world, his reality was starkly different. Life at home was always turbulent. Apart from constant beatings, he never knew what daily chaos would erupt. His thirteen year Jesuit education was academically excellent. But it also resulted in a childhood love of God being beaten out of him while confirming his condemnation to burn forever in hell. Murphy was unsettled by the rigid Irish class system where social status predetermined one’s future thereby condemning innocent children and adults to the inevitability of an impoverished life. Signs of his destruction from alcohol were evident in his early teens. He became a meteor raging through the lives of those who loved him and many who didn’t. At first successful in business, he became penniless, deserted his wife and son, then became homeless before finally sobering up. Murphy eventually left Ireland for an uncertain future as a penniless illegal immigrant in America. But it was there he successfully resurrected himself. Many years later, he returned briefly to Ireland for his mother’s funeral.
Musings of a Blogger: Inspirational Thoughts for Your Life’s Journey by Ruth Anne Caukwell
Musings of a Blogger: Inspirational Thoughts for Your Life’s Journey speaks with a voice of courage and a spirit of discovery as it reveals the musings of a woman who has devoted her life to personal improvement through education, reflection, and transformation. The author, Ruth Anne Caukwell, entwines a collection of inspirational thoughts with a sequence of workbook entries. By spending time sharing the musings and then reviewing one’s own life, the reader of this guide for life’s journey can set out with determination to discover life’s deep truths.
Musings of a Blogger shares the story of a boy who sees a butterfly struggling to emerge from its chrysalis. Desiring to help it, he releases the butterfly, only to discover that the struggle to break free is what gives strength to the butterfly’s wings. Absent the struggle, the butterfly is too weak to fl y. The workbook gives shape to one’s struggle, serving to build strength so that one may fl y gloriously like a healthy butterfly.
Buddha, Christ, and the Eagle: Finding Happiness by Frances Rinaldi
They used to tell stories about Shangri-La, a land of peace and prosperity hidden in the heights of the Himalayas. In the adventure that lies ahead, Janet Locke doesn’t find the mythical city, but she does find a new, joyous existence up on the roof of the world.
It starts with phone call. An old friend wants to know if Janet wants to join her on a bicycling trip through Bhutan. Janet knows absolutely nothing about the small, central-Asian country. When she looks it up on the Internet, she learns that its gross national product is happiness. Janet, frustrated with life’s challenging moments, decides that this sounds delightful.
After a quick stop in Thailand, Janet is on to Bhutan. She falls in love with the charming country. As Janet ventures out into the wilderness surrounding the awe-inspiring Himalayas, she learns lessons about the many worries she carries. Like so many others, this journey will change her life.
Who was the first woman to qualify as a doctor? Who is the only woman to have won two Nobel Prizes? Explore these and other great stories in Amazing Women’. In this unique story collection from Amazing People Worldwide, the real lives of iconic women including Coco Chanel, Sojourner Truth, Edith Piaf, Marie Curie and Helen Keller, come to life. Understand their real lives and challenges and be inspired by what they did and how they achieved it. This is a must-read for every woman seeking motivation. The women in this title were trailblazers. Their stories are a source of inspiration and offer an interesting and easy way to learn from those who have made major contributions to our world. Discover how these amazing women lived, loved and worked in their own distinct ways. We can learn key lessons from each one of them. In particular, their achievements were a result of their determination to continue on, regardless of how difficult the journey. They believed in what they had to offer, and used their time well. Meet these amazing women through BioViews, a short biographical story, similar to an interview. These unique stories provide an easy way of learning about amazing people who made major contributions to our world and can help you achieve your ambitions in your journey through life.
We thought we would celebrate World Book Day with some good reads!
Below is a list of romance and spiritual reads that might be of interest to you..
Not sure what you want to read? Why not try clicking pause on the video to choose your next book?
Honourable Lies by Fran Connor
Set in Victorian England, this Romantic Thriller takes the reader on a roller coaster ride through the mores of the times. A young orphan finds herself propelled into High Society as a reward when she saves the Queen’s life. There she falls in love with a wealthy and handsome young man. She can have it all, wealth, love and happiness. It all comes crashing down when he tells a lie for a honourable reason. She misunderstands. The green worm of jealousy eats into her while her pride overwhelms her chances of a life with him. To add to her woes, an evil aristocrat and enemies she has made in her young life conspire to bring about her downfall and death.
No one evades Fate. Especially when the escape route is cracked and full of holes.
As a naïve young woman, Marité Muro nearly drowned in a maelstrom of confusing emotions stirred by two very different men. One whose tortured soul tugged at her heart, another whose scorching touch made her innocent body want…more.
Four years in a Spanish prep school gave her time to gain perspective, and now she’s come home to Florida knowing what she wants. The one man she’s never been able to forget, and she’s ready to prove their age difference is no obstacle.
Viet Nam left scars on Brian MacKay, some visible, some invisible—and infinitely more dangerous. His war buddy’s little sister has ripened into a tempting, irresistible woman, but she is forbidden fruit. Yet she challenges his resolve until, in a moment of weakness, his demons slip free.
Marité isn’t sure why the man who held her closer than skin is suddenly holding her at arm’s length, but she isn’t afraid to fight for what she wants. Even when someone returns from the past who could destroy everything. Her home. Her family. And Brian’s love.
One empty bus seat. Two aching hearts. A future written by Fate…
When Raquelita Muro’s overbearing mother rips her and her little sister away from their beloved Papa, one tiny, rebellious corner of Raquelita’s heart is grateful that the bus is crowded, and the only seat left is out of Mama’s sight. Next to a handsome young man.
Michael Buchanan’s beautiful traveling companion is more than something pretty to look at before he ships out for Viet Nam. Deep in her sad, whisky-colored eyes he glimpses a new dream to replace the ones he’s leaving behind. It breaks his heart to leave Raquelita in her tyrannical mother’s hands, but she gifts him with a token of love and a tender promise to exchange letters in secret.
But their first, shy “hello” has reached the ears of Fate. Fate is in the mood to see how far it can push two lonely hearts—to the brink of temptation, desperation, and despair—before they break. Perhaps beyond any hope of healing…
Big Bad Boys Bundle, Bad Boys of SEAL Team 3 by Sharon Hamilton
You’ve loved these Bad Boys before, now you can enjoy them all together. This exclusive Sharon Hamilton bundled set is three books in one: SEAL’s Promise, SEAL My Home and SEAL’s Code. Enjoy your encounter with T.J. Talbot, Rory Kennedy and Danny Begay.
SEAL’s Promise: Special Operator T.J. Talbot had watched from afar as his best friend married the love of his life. Raised in and out of the foster care system and nearly ruining his chance to become a SEAL, he figured his Happily Ever After would never be. But Dr. Death plays a heartbreaking trick on him and he winds up being the man’s father confessor, where he makes a promise to the dying SEAL to look after his friend’s wife and baby.
Back in the states, Shannon Moore is grateful for the baby she is carrying, though she is a constant reminder of the man who no longer lives at her side. She is not ready for the attention from the community she receives, especially from T.J. She’s decided to honor her fallen husband by giving her whole life to the child he left behind.
Ultimate SEAL Collection, Volume 1: SEAL Brotherhood by Sharon Hamilton
Ultimate boxed set of 4 full length and award-winning books and two prequel/novellas by NYT and USA/Today Bestselling Author, Sharon Hamilton. Boxed set includes: SEAL Encounter (prequel to Accidental SEAL), Accidental SEAL Book 1, SEAL Endeavor (prequel to Fallen SEAL Legacy), Fallen SEAL Legacy Book 2, SEAL Under Covers Book 3, SEAL The Deal Book 4. Over 900 pages of reads, with a value of over $22.00. For a limited time only
A New Life: The Chronicles of the Reverie, Novella 1 by Natomi Karkael
Curiosity. A Journey. Misfortune.
Anastari had always wondered what lay beyond the borders of Sorsani. She yearned to see the places her new husband Blorzen told her about for herself and wanted to explore the other regions. Blorzen is just as eager to explore Rendal but was unsure about its people. With their prearranged lives as land owners set to start as soon as the celebration was over, they plan their trip and leave the farm.
As expected they encounter predators and exhaustion along the way, but see amazing landscapes and machines more advanced than anything in Sorsani. Soon frigid temperatures and elusive shelter hinder their journey. They continue north into the next region, headed towards a city that could hold treasures or tragedy. Will they survive and make it back home?
A New Life is the first novella in the Chronicles of the Reverie. If you like discovering new worlds, clean romances and action packed journeys then you’ll love this sci-fi adventure by Natomi Karkael.
Buy A New Life and start the journey today!
When Olivia Villalobos finds a bloodstained love letter she endeavors to deliver it before Chief Inspector Sedeño finds it in her possession.
A city along the southern coast of Puerto Rico emerges in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War. Olivia, daughter of a drunkard police investigator who never knew the truth behind her mother’s disappearance, finds a bloodstained love letter in the hidden compartment of her father’s coat. Convinced it belonged to the man recently found dead she sets out to deliver it to the Labyrinth of Love Letters. A mysterious place believed to be an urban legend where the transients of forbidden love leave missives for one another. She enlists the help of Isaac Quintero to find the Labyrinth and they soon realize their quest has opened the door into Old Sienna’s darkest secrets—the perils, madness and depth of tragic love.
All the Broken Places: The Healing Edge by Anise Eden
Cate Duncan is a promising young therapist, dedicated to her work. But after her mother’s suicide, she is seized by a paralyzing depression. To save her job, Cate agrees to enter a program with Dr. Angeline MacGregor, run by her stern son, Ben, and housed in a repurposed church. Cate doesn’t quite understand what the program entails, but she soon learns that the skills she will develop there may not only help her learn how to cope with her own problems, but will also lead her to a much greater purpose.
The MacGregor Group is a collection of alternative healers whose unconventional approaches include crystals, aura reading, and psychics. They know that their life’s work invites skepticism, and welcome the chance to prove naysayers wrong. But they need the unique abilities that Cate can bring, and as she slides ever closer to her own abyss, they will do everything in their power to protect Cate from those who wish her harm—including herself.
Wedding Dreams: 20 Delicious Nuptial Romances by Maggie Way
Twenty award-winning, USA Today and International best-selling authors have come together to bring you over 3,000 pages of love, lust, and lusciously sexy men.
From sweet second chance romances to bad boys, BBWs, and brides looking for revenge, this is a perfect read for anyone who enjoys Romance or Women’s Fiction. These pages are packed with cozy romances, thrilling international and holiday adventures, and sweet heart-melting stories. Our authors bring you everything from hot cowboys to rockstar romances, elegant weddings to nuptial disasters, and blushing brides to bold women, all in a delightful celebration of love. You’re in for a wild, passionate ride on a breathtaking voyage to make your heart soar. This box set will leave you craving all things marital and wishing the honeymoon would never end.
The Band 4: The Air We Breathe by Marguerite Nardone Gruen
Marguerite is on holiday in London, finally free after 27 years of feeling like a hostage to her strict and overbearing parents. Also in London, and struggling with his thoughts of freedom, is Chase Martin―one fourth of the most successful band on the planet―who knows that freedom can only come at the expense of his band-mates. They come from completely different worlds, but when those worlds collide―on a rainy night in a small coffee shop―nothing will ever be the same again. Before ever laying eyes on him, his pain and anxiety somehow reaches her, and she feels moved to alleviate it… to offer comfort, which he desperately needs. After years of performing with his band-mates, they are closer than brothers. They are a part of one another, and the compulsion he is feeling to separate from them, is tearing him apart. The strange bond Marguerite and Chase discover goes beyond attraction or desire. It goes beyond love or lust or anything either of them have ever experienced. It is absolutely terrifying, but to walk away from its pull would be like choosing not to breathe. This is a story of love, loss and heart-break… of family and friendship. This is their story.
Kate, an attractive, thirty-something, workaholic, single mother, is in the business of pleasing others. At the top of her “yes” list is her sometimes surly and controlling boss: her father. But when a crisis at work spurs Kate to examine her life, she surprises everyone by taking her young son and heading where few high heels have ever gone: Wyoming, home to more cows than humans. There, at the Prickly Pear Ranch, she meets a young, sexy, bull rider, who’s lived a lifetime in just over two decades. He’s full of big dreams of training horses, and his passion fuels Kate’s dormant dreams of becoming an artist, and sparks fly—and once again, Kate shocks everyone, even herself, and jumps on for the romantic ride of her life.
Fast-paced and wildly entertaining, First Rodeo is filled with humorous scenes of city girl gone country, encounters with handsome cowboys, the struggles of the creative process, and a powerful message: the greatest love of all is the love you have for yourself.
“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.”
The Spirit of Love is a collection of short writings, poems and phrases written by a man, who took himself into some of the darkest and most destructive depths that one can go with drug and alcohol addictions back in his early twenty’s.
The collection of writings contained within The Spirit of Love is a reflection of one man’s healing journey within himself and the deep questioning that has arisen from within it.
With the love, support and guidance of his dear friend Edwina, in helping to bring these writings from the handwritten scribbles on paper to how they are presented today, The Spirit of Love is a reminder that no matter how dark, desperate, alone, helpless or trapped one believes they may be, the sheer beauty of the perfection of life in its totality is silently and patiently living within us all, and its love is so powerful that it can heal anything that has come to pass.
Messages is a collection of mystic poems by Hooshi Khan for those seeking inspiration and a closeness to God. This book contains 162 poems reminiscent of Rumi or Meister Eckhart. The inspiration for these messages first came to her while living in Singapore in 1987 and will offer positive words of guidance and inspiration.
What the Hand: A Novel About the End of the World and Beyond by Todd Stockwell
What the Hand is the first and only black comedy based on the Book of Revelation. As the title, pulled from William Blake’s brilliant poem, “The Tyger”, suggests, the story involves the big questions of religion, just as Blake questions the apparent dichotomy of a creator of both good and evil. What the Hand follows the narrative of George Somerset, the reluctant Christian, who finds himself in paradise, having qualified for entrance by a “spider hair”. The book chronicles his life on the “Old Earth” as well as his experiences in the earthly heaven God has established for a thousand years. The disappearance in mass of believers in the event known to Christians as the Rapture begins George’s awakening as he meets up with a group of other “runners” while hiding in a cave from the minions of the Antichrist and the horrors of the Tribulation, a period of devastation predicted in the Bible.Together they face demons literal and figurative, hunger, thirst, persecution, natural and man-made disasters, and the question of martyrdom, as George comes to terms with his mortality and immortality. But What the Hand is not merely an adventure story or hardly one at all. It is cultural and historical commentary, a satire about the life and thoughts of a failed man, and weird and pressingly current novel unlike anything ever written.
What makes a good Sci-Fi or Fantasy novel? The world building, diverse and fleshed out characters, the plausibility, the gripping plot? Well, the answer depends from person to person. So while I can’t answer this question I can answer another: what are some good Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels and series? Here are some much recommended novels you just might enjoy.
Each book is different and all are very enjoyable. Cashore’s writing manages to bring me to laughter and tears and sometimes both at the same time. These three companion novels are not only a fun read but provide different viewpoints on relationships, both romantic and platonic, loyalty to country and people, living through wars, and torn families. The world building is shown well and through beautiful prose. Each protagonist is a dynamic and unique woman with her own stories to tell. None of the books feel like a repetition of each other and can be read in any order though some suggest that you read them in order of their release. I have reread Graceling and Bitterblue three times and reread Fire countless more.
This seven-part series is a wonderful blend of sci-fi, fantasy, humour, and adventure. Nix introduces us to an unwilling hero, Arthur, in Mister Monday and we see him grow and learn throughout the series. His friends are all individuals with interesting personalities and motives. The betrayals and problems Arthur faces can be dark at times so I don’t recommend it solely for preteens, I think older age groups will enjoy them just as much and understand the subtext better. Having each of the seven ‘Trustees’ controlled by one of the seven deadly sins is another fun aspect. The religious features within the series provide new things to ponder about, as well as the historical figures such as the Pied Piper and the Ancient Mariner. It can be very reminiscent of old legends and fables, just look at the name of our protagonist.
Brown’s novel is an interesting take on the whole apocalyptic/mutant scenario. Children, now vampires, battle with other great monsters such as giants and behemoth-like creatures, and so enjoyable fight scenes play out within the novel. Characters are interesting in how they use their gifts, for good or for bad, and Brown does bring to life some interesting characters (pun intended). The dialogue is entertaining and sometimes even inspirational. The political aspect is very readable. Shatterbones is a horror so I recommend this to young adults and older.
This beautiful fantasy is set in the underground world of Caverna where people are born with faces ‘as blank as untouched snow’. The very premise of having skilled mastercrafts people teach others for a price to convey emotions on their face is incredibly intriguing. Hardinge’s cast of characters is so diverse and interesting that one can fall in love with it based on them alone. Our protagonist Neverfell, named so because she fell into a vat of Neverfell cheese, goes on a dangerous journey through courts and murder and mystery and takes us along so we don’t get lost. After all, it is very easy to get lost in the caves of Caverna. The world building is captivating and the plot is gripping. This book is a truly wonderful read and I constantly recommend it to the people around me. As a general rule I would say to always pick up a Hardinge book, I have yet to read one that disappointed me.
For the younger readers I recommend the four part series that bewitched me as a pre-teen. The story of a young orphan, alchemy, and magic in the streets of a British town is a delightful tale with mystery and fantasy. The details behind magic are not too intricate and complicated which makes them all the more enjoyable for that age. Rose and the ensemble of magic and non magic people captured my attention; it’s always helpful to have a likeable protagonist and some interesting villains, which this series does. The mystery of who Rose is is a question that stays with you throughout the series and the answer is not a disappointment. They are quick reads and, depending on your speed and time availability, can be read within a week though I drew it out so I could savour the books for longer.
This clever retelling of ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ by Jules Verne provides a backstory to Captain Nemo is ‘his very own words’! The lost journal idea has been done before but it was fresh here in Windham’s book. The steampunk vibe paired with the jungle setting captures the attention and makes the book a fast read. The descriptions of the seas and the battles are well written and very vivid. The characters are well thought out with our protagonist having fun personality traits and an ambiguous morality. It’s a novel for so many people; adventure lovers, sci-fi lovers, steampunk lovers. This is definitely on my recommended list!
This heartwrenching story of a teen who dreams of an apocalyptic future and finds himself institutionalised for suicidal thoughts as a result will pull you in and keep it’s hold on you after. Max and the friends he makes are fleshed out and well written characters who give you all the feels. Their dialogue is realistic, something that can be hard to find in many novels centered around teenagers. What separates this sci-fi from others published at the moment are the identity issues, morality issues, and the survival issues. It showcases real life but with aliens on the side. It also opens up the discussion on teenage suicide and abuse. Burn has a rich imagination and brings something fresh to the genre which I think many people would enjoy and should read.
I loved family stories about overcoming adversity, and stories that took me back to a previous time. I read ‘Gone with the Wind’ as a teen and loved it. Jean Plaidy was the author that hooked me into historical fiction.
Where did the idea for your current book come from?
The story of Brigid is loosely based on the true story of early immigrants to New Zealand, itself a new country in the 19th century.
Do you think there’s any way you could ever run out of ideas for books?
Not while there is history to tap into.
What is your routine for writing and has this method changed over the span of your career?
I write one book at a time – and it can take me months to write it. I research before hand and then do additional research as I’m writing. Some days I can write for hours, others I can barely write a paragraph. I’m a ‘pantser’, making the connections as I go along, and I’m a ‘fiddler’ and will work on the book until it’s as near perfect as I can make it. I hate errors. I haven’t changed my style, but I have tightened the way I go about the process.
How important is marketing and social media for you?
I use social media: Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Goodreads etc, to tell people what I’m doing, but I can’t Tweet. And marketing might as well be a foreign language. I know it’s important, terribly important, but I always put off doing what I know I should do. It’s an area I need help with.
What advice would you have for other writers?
Editing is the most important part of writing, in my opinion. Get beta-readers to help in the first place, use computer programmes to help pick up the errors, edit again and again until you think it’s perfect, and then pay for skilled services in editing, layout and cover design. The finished product has to be the best you can produce.
What are you reading now?
I read a lot of New Zealand authors, especially those who write historical fiction. I’ve just finished reading Kirsten McKenzie’s ‘The Last Letter’, and am currently reading ‘The Bell Curve’ by Keitha Smith. On my list is Jenny Patrick’s latest novel, “Leap of Faith”.
What’s your next step?
I’m in the finishing stages of my next novel, “Gwenna”. Set in 1899, in New Zealand, Gwenna’s life has changed. Her Pa is dead and Gwenna has no idea how to bring his dreams for the family confectionery business to life – not while living with her abusive stepbrother. A romance and hasty marriage offers a way out, but tragedy strikes and she returns home, pregnant, to pick up the pieces.
Today we are chatting with Amber Belmont the author of Running Bear: A BBW Paranormal Shape Shifter Romance
Tell us something unexpected about yourself!
I love bellydancing, particularly with swords!
What novels affected you the most growing up?
Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay had a profound impact on me. I admire how he makes every single character in the book so multi-layered, even the most minor. I also adored Wuthering Heights – I guess I’m a sucker for tragic love stories!
Where did the idea for your current book come from?
It’s a combination of real life, wishful thinking and pure fantasy.
Do you think there’s any way you could ever run out of ideas for books?
Are you kidding?? I’ve already got the next few books in my series mapped out, as well as two or three other spin off series planned. My problem isn’t finding new ideas – it’s finding the time to write them!
What is your routine for writing and has this method changed over the span of your career?
I’m a night owl, so I get my best work done in the evening, which is good because it means I can work around my other commitments. I also tend to find that the words flow most freely on a Sunday, so I usually block out all day to write. That’s been my routine for a few years now and it works for me.
How important is marketing and social media for you?
Very. I’ve been involved in various creative industries over the years and the one thing I’ve come to realize is that it doesn’t matter how talented you are, if nobody knows about you, they’re not going to come across your work just because it’s amazing.
What advice would you have for other writers?
Writing’s the easy part. It’s the promotion that gets tricky because it doesn’t seem to come as naturally. Make sure you devote time everyday to marketing, whether that’s being active on social media or taking time to do some training to learn more about how to market yourself effectively. Don’t be afraid to invest in your career – it will pay off in the long term.
What are you reading now?
River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay. I was so excited to see that he had more books out that I hadn’t read and I’m loving this as much as I have his others.
What’s your next step?
I’ve got covers designed for the next couple of books in my Love Laid Bear series, so I’m working on getting the fourth book out soon. I’m also doing a big push on the marketing side – I’m really hoping to take things to the next level this year, which means building my mailing list and audience and reaching out to new readers.