Why I Founded Story Merchant Books

Ken Atchity

My representation company, Story Merchant had reached a point, about four years ago, when I knew something was wrong. I’d founded Story Merchant, a literary management company, to find books I could set up as films or television. But the flow of movie properties was slowing drastically because we were selling fewer and fewer books to the traditional publishers.

 

Assessing the situation, we realized that traditional publishing had officially changed from the visionary entrepreneurial world it once was. Now nearly all major imprints were part of one or another of five big conglomerates. Hachette, CBS Viacom, Penguin Putnam Random House, Harper, and Holtzbrinck were all different, but they had one thing in common: the new international corporate owners cared primarily for the bottom line. They were allowing editors to take fewer and fewer chances on unknown new voices. It was breaking my heart to see outstanding books get kicked to the curb because they couldn’t prove they would sell, and because their authors didn’t have a national or international “platform”—that word that suddenly became as much a buzzword as “sustainable” is today.

Then I got an invitation from a friend at Amazon, to attend a meeting of select literary reps—agents and managers—in New York. I was introduced to the prospect of working closely with Amazon, to pass along worthy books for direct publishing. Worthy books meant well-written, well-edited, well-designed, and well-launched books.

I instantly decided to form my own imprint, Story Merchant Books, to have books I could hand across the breakfast, lunch, and dinner tables I frequented in my Hollywood producing world. And it worked. Since the imprint began we’ve assisted nearly 200 titles in being direct-published, and have set up nearly twenty of them already as feature films, television films, or series.

Every setback is an opportunity in the new frontier of the story marketplace.

 

 

Writer/editor/manager/producer Dr. Ken Atchity (PhD Yale) has managed nearly twenty New York Times bestsellers and produced over thirty films for theater and television including Amityville: The Evil Escapes, The Lost Valentine, Hysteria, and Angels in the Snow. His own books include The Messiah Matrix and Sell Your Story to Hollywood: Writer’s Pocket Guide to the Business of Show Business

Banned Books Week!

Hannah Jenkins

 

Banned Books Week, is the annual celebration of the freedom to read and will be held the week of September 24th in 2017.

Did you know that the following famous books were banned at some point?

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain, Twain’s book is one of the most-challenged of all time and is frequently challenged even today because of its frequent use of the word “nigger.”

Catch-22 – Joseph Heller – In 1972, a school board in refused to allow the book to be taught in high school English classrooms.

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee, some have called it a degrading, profane and racist work that “promotes white supremacy.”

 

There are many others to add to the list, such as Gone With The Wind, The Catcher in the Rye, The Grapes of Wrath and more, but continue reading below to pick a new book that has yet to be challenged.


Thrillers

Gabrielle: An Erotic Thriller, by Randy T. Lane

Michael Wesson decides to drop out of college and head to New York to pursue show business. Sure, his parents are a little worried. His sister and best pal think he’s making a mistake. Still, Michael is ready to follow his dream of becoming an actor, even if he can barely afford rent and knows nothing about the city, including news of the Silk Stocking Killer. Turns out, Michael arrives in the Big Apple in the midst of the biggest manhunt in thirty years. A psychotic murderer is hunting the rich women of the Upper West Side. The victims are found bound by silk stockings with the name “Gabrielle” written in red across their chests. As the fresh-faced New York newbie struggles to find his way, the media can’t get enough of the horrors happening to the rich and beautiful. Why does the Silk Stocking Killer target such high-class women, and who is Gabrielle? Soon, Michael gets sucked into the investigation as he plays the role of his life, trying to stop a vicious psychopath before more women end up dead.

Still, Michael is ready to follow his dream of becoming an actor, even if he can barely afford rent and knows nothing about the city, including news of the Silk Stocking Killer. Turns out, Michael arrives in the Big Apple in the midst of the biggest manhunt in thirty years. A psychotic murderer is hunting the rich women of the Upper West Side. The victims are found bound by silk stockings with the name “Gabrielle” written in red across their chests. As the fresh-faced New York newbie struggles to find his way, the media can’t get enough of the horrors happening to the rich and beautiful. Why does the Silk Stocking Killer target such high-class women, and who is Gabrielle? Soon, Michael gets sucked into the investigation as he plays the role of his life, trying to stop a vicious psychopath before more women end up dead.

The victims are found bound by silk stockings with the name “Gabrielle” written in red across their chests. As the fresh-faced New York newbie struggles to find his way, the media can’t get enough of the horrors happening to the rich and beautiful. Why does the Silk Stocking Killer target such high-class women, and who is Gabrielle? Soon, Michael gets sucked into the investigation as he plays the role of his life, trying to stop a vicious psychopath before more women end up dead.

Why does the Silk Stocking Killer target such high-class women, and who is Gabrielle? Soon, Michael gets sucked into the investigation as he plays the role of his life, trying to stop a vicious psychopath before more women end up dead.

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Dangerous Journeys Vols. 1- 4, by Virginia Winters

Anne McPhail, a doctor and amateur genealogist, arrives in the small Vermont town of Culver’s Mills, searching for her roots. What she finds, in Murderous Roots, is a body in the town library. She investigates, using her genealogical knowledge, and helps bring an unlikely killer to justice. Along the way, she makes dear friends and meets Thomas Beauchamp, a man who may become something more than a friend to her.

On her return to Culver’s Mills, some months later, she stumbles across the body of a naked man who lies in a ditch behind her B&B. In The Facepainter Murders, her own life is threatened before she and investigator Adam Davidson solve the case and unearth a national treasure. Her relationship with Thomas Beauchamp deepens.

Anne travels to Bermuda to visit her sister in No Motive for Murder, witnesses a murder, and is suspected of the murder by a single-minded investigator. In trying to right an ancient wrong and save herself, she foils a plot that threatens the life of the Secretary of State of the United States, earning her the enmity of Colette, a woman who handles killers for an arms cartel. Her life is saved by a mysterious man. Anne also discovers that her new love, Thomas, is or was a CIA agent.

Shattered by her experiences in Bermuda and upset by Thomas’s admission, Anne flees to Spain in The Child on the Terrace, in search of peace and reflection, only to be recruited by the man who saved her life in Bermuda to rescue a kidnapped Israeli child. Thomas flies to her aid when she is again in Colette’s crosshairs, with two killers on her trail.

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Splintered Lives (The Lives Trilogy Book 3), by Joseph Lewis

It began on the Navajo Indian Reservation when a fourteen-year-old boy, George Tokay, witnessed and reported the murder of a Caucasian boy his own age. Kelliher and his team of FBI agents solved that crime, which led to the freedom of thirty boys who were abducted off safe suburban streets and held in captivity, some for more than two years. The FBI thought the boys were safe and so did their parents. After all, arrest warrants were served and members of the human trafficking ring were arrested. That is, except for three dangerous men with absolutely nothing to lose.

These three men arrange for a handsome reward if fourteen-year-old Brett, one of the boys who had been held captive, is killed. Brett has no idea that he, his younger brother, and his friend, another former captive, are targets. But more than anyone else, these three men vow revenge on George, whom they blame for forcing them to run and go into hiding. What was to be a fun-filled vacation with his newly adopted family, turns into a nightmare and ends where it started, back on the Navajo Indian Reservation high up on a mesa held sacred by George and his grandfather.

Outnumbered and outgunned, George is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, but can he protect his father and his brothers from these dangerous men before that happens? Can he save them without knowing who these men are or where they might be? Or when they might attack? Can George trust his friends whom he reaches out to for help? Is he prepared for a betrayal that leads to his heartbreak and possible death?

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Sci-Fi

Tribe of the Tiger, by Joe Dacy

The streets. The ghetto. The inner city. By whatever name one applies, the urban jungle has its own set of rules, rules that make suburban folk shiver.

But what if – over the course of one long, hot summer – those rules supplanted the laws of society? What if our overburdened legal system finally ground to a halt? What would replace “justice?” Would it be – as in this satirical work of fiction: the tribe of the tiger?

Told in a series of intricately woven vignettes, this dark comedy tracks the days of one summer in a large American city. It tells of the rise of Clarence William Tieg, aka, the Tiger, a street-wise gang leader who acquires power by guile… and by default. Through surreal “philosophy” and biting humor, the story entertains the reader by disturbing one of his deepest fears: the terror of uncertainty, of disorder, of chaos.

Given the choice, the novel asks, would you fall under the power of the Tiger if it meant security, survival?

A debt-ridden city mayor, an aging judge, an embattled police detective, a money-grubbing lawyer, a frightened shopkeeper, a disillusioned suburbanite, even a prehistoric cave-dweller, must all make that crucial decision.

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Horror

 

Presence, by Forrest Harper

Hidden in the dense woods of Wayne County are the remains of a once-booming logging town called Mystic.

A place rife with depression, alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence….. And Deputy Vince Russo. A place, where a young man by the name of Micah, has no choice but to reluctantly return to a town he despises.

While an unsuspecting murder rocks the small town and the line between life and death narrows for everyone involved, it leaves Vince, with the help of his trusted ally Zeke, no choice but to persist with his quest to become Wayne County’s new Sheriff.

Frankie White doesn’t think she could ever be in a situation worse than the one Mystic has to offer. She’s wrong.

A stroke of luck sees D.E.A agent Michael Leonhart seemingly stumble upon the solution to a thorn in his side. But will he be able to see it through?

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Romance

Love Cuffs, by Ashlynn Chase

At thirty-eight, Faith Daniels is a New Jersey cop with superhuman hearing, a controlling mother, and she’s about to marry any sane woman’s last choice of a groom. Right before she walks down the aisle, she hears distant screams. Figuring someone should be rescued, she bolts from her mother’s vision of a royal wedding. But when she busts down the door of a BDSM club, who’ll wind up in handcuffs?

Right before she walks down the aisle, she hears distant screams.

Figuring someone should be rescued, she bolts from her mother’s vision of a royal wedding. But when she busts down the door of a BDSM club, who’ll wind up in handcuffs?

Dorian Markoff is intent on using a hypnotist to wipe the beautiful cop’s mind of his—and his club’s—existence. But the hypnotist is in Vegas so a mad romp ensues, involving lots of hot vanilla-ish sex that turns his BDSM lifestyle upside down.

Neither guesses what an adventure it will be to find the hypnotist, avoid one unintentionally snubbed Dominatrix, and explain it all to Faith’s mother. All while falling in love.

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Sex Happens

Dr. Alexandra Rose has everything a woman could want. She’s the wife of a renowned cardiologist, the mother of three adorable sons, and a successful chiropractor. But on their twentieth anniversary, her husband shocks her with his affair. Her life spins out of control, and she faces the other side of marriage where dreams implode and people are not who they seem.

Alexandra wants custody of her children, but so does her husband, and he’ll stop at nothing. Thrust into a nightmare spawned by chilling deception, a custody battle erupts that’s so poisonous it threatens to become murderous.

In this stay-up-all-night portrait of a contemporary family, Alexandra’s bittersweet journey of love, loss, and sexuality leads her to a miraculous discovery of self and power. Sex Happens explores the very essence of all we value as women—marriage, motherhood, sex—and what we’ll do for each.

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Short Stories

Insane-O-Tron, by Nick Alverson

Imagine getting a haircut so good that it comes to life! What if your favorite family drama, turned into a raunchy, R rated comedy? Imagine you’re a young earwig, about to spend an awesome summer day at the gutter. What if your daughter was dating a duck? Insane-O-Tron will take you on a wild ride through the absurd and surreal, with six of the craziest short stories you’ll ever read.

The title story, Insane-O-Tron, is about two best friends, one a man, the other his haircut, thrown into the middle of a plot to stop humans from ever existing. As they battle a lunatic scientist and his fast-food employees, they attempt to travel back in time seventy-two million years in order to save their future.

In The Family Family the former golden boy of TV comedy, Scott Scotterson, is tasked with reviving a failing TV show, by turning it’s family-themed plots, from wholesome and boring, into crude, over-the-top insanity.

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Memoirs

Unmitigated Gaul, by Suzanne White

This is Suzanne White’s outrageously funny, delightful, audacious autobiography. This is the first volume of her multi-book, autobiographical series. After university, she escapes from one-horse Buffalo, New York and moves to elegant, sexy Paris.Throughout, Suzanne White treats the reader to tales of her personal childhood sexuality, explores the intricacies of doomed love and skillfully shares the sudden freedoms of 1960s Paris. You will thrill to Suzanne’s wild escapades. She barrels through Ibiza’s hippie era then bounces back to swanky parties on the artsy Left Bank of Paris.

Throughout, Suzanne White treats the reader to tales of her personal childhood sexuality, explores the intricacies of doomed love and skillfully shares the sudden freedoms of 1960s Paris. You will thrill to Suzanne’s wild escapades. She barrels through Ibiza’s hippie era then bounces back to swanky parties on the artsy Left Bank of Paris.

This first volume follows Ms. White from age 4 till 26 through many rambunctious shenanigans, amorous capers, and inevitable disappointments.

It’s simple. Suzanne White’s jaunty new book offers her readers a generous slice of pure joy. Thank goodness volume 2 is coming soon. Pick up this brave book. You won’t be able to put it down – a true page-turner!

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Spiritual

Common Angels, Little Town: A Front Porch View of Heaven, by Dick Dedrick

Donald Brown Miller has a year to live. At least that’s what his guardian angel has told him. He’d like to shrug it off as a strange dream but he can’t, it seems much too real.

If he does have a guardian angel, why would she want him to know?

Couldn’t she do something about it?

There’ll be other angels. Old friends and acquaintances, even complete strangers. All have one thing in mind; they want him to die a happy man. They’re here to help.

This won’t be easy, he has issues. So do they.

 

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Self Help

Earthgame: Hints for Mastering the Greatest Game in the Universe, by Rochelle Bartholemew

Fellow members of the human race, have you forgotten how incredibly powerful and badass you are? To live IS an awfully big adventure, perhaps the biggest adventure in the entire universe. But this adventure, like all great adventures, is challenging, somewhat painful, and at times terrifying! Instead of running out to meet the challenge, many of us find ourselves stuck in a constant state of low-grade fear and anxiety. Great sages and teachers throughout time have had one message to humanity: “fear not.” You were built for this! Earthgame will show you why there is no need to feel afraid. It will uplift you and inspire you to live your days more carefree, childlike, open, and courageously. We’re going to talk fundamentals, theory, and technique. A straight-up ‘how-to’ section on meditation will get you started if you are a beginner and if you are more experienced, help you go deeper than ever thought possible.

We’re going to talk fundamentals, theory, and technique. A straight-up ‘how-to’ section on meditation will get you started if you are a beginner and if you are more experienced, help you go deeper than ever thought possible.

To everyone in the middle of living a life right now, Earthgame is the mid-game pep talk you may be needing!

Let’s go out there balls swinging, like the warriors we are and let come what may.

…I’ll see you on the field.

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The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Life: 100+ Ways to Hack Your Look, Love, and Work By Doing (Almost) Nothing!, by Jennifer Byrne

This collection of humorous life hacks features 100 easy, low-commitment solutions to the everyday problems of the twenty-something woman.

Do you have a lot to do but can’t seem to bring yourself to do it? The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Life can teach you how to get things done with as little effort as possible. Learn to simplify your beauty routine, keep up with your friendships, hack the dating game, and get by in the corporate world with these easy, low-commitment suggestions. You’ll find over 100 solutions to your most common problems, including:

-Smoothing out frosting on store-bought cupcakes so they look homemade
-Hiding dirty dishes in a soapy sink before company arrives
-Washing and styling bangs (only) to avoid the limp hair look
-Faking it as a food blogger to snag a dinner reservation
-Reading the plot summary online before a book club meeting

With lazy girl–approved hacks that range from humorous advice to quick fixes, you’ll be able to find a temporary solution to simplify your life in no time!

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Political

The Fog of Democracy: anti-war fiction in a post-truth world, by James Porteous

Battle-lines have been drawn.

The war is being fought in the rarified air of The Freedom Bunkers, with its deep-state propaganda, internet memes and endless supply of meals, ready-to-eat.

It is also being waged on the barren fields and plains, hidden from TV cameras, op-ed pages and the bluescreens that sometimes still glow in the dark.

The Fog of Democracy is a heartfelt homage to those struggling to survive this absurd world of internet trolls, fake news and climate breakdown.

The Fog of Democracy is anti-war fiction in a post-truth world.

Read it before it is banned. Or tossed in the bonfire.

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Fantasy

There Be Demons, by M.K. Theodoratus

After her father remarries, Britt Kelly’s life becomes a cesspit. She lives in her sister’s two-bedroom tenement apartment with her mother, two brothers, and two young nephews. She starts a new high school where she knows no one. And, even when Britt thinks she’s making friends, the church where she studies in is torn down.

And, even when Britt thinks she’s making friends, the church where she studies in is torn down.

Then, the field commanders of The Demon Wars draft her and her friends to aid the four Gargoyle Guardians who fight the demons invading the city of Trebridge. The fate of the city hangs on Britt’s ability to lead and learn enough self-control to manipulate the natural magic of Grace. Meanwhile, she also needs to decide what to do about Cahal, her chemistry lab partner who is as strong as her and may have interests more than just protecting Trebridge.

“There Be Demons” is a continuation of M. K. Theodoratus’ urban fantasy, “Night for the Gargoyles”. It tells the tale of Gillen and his team of Gargoyle Guardians as they defend Trebridge while teaching Britt and her friends – the untrained “reinforcements. Along the way, Gillen and Britt learn things about each other to make them stronger both together and alone.

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American Drama

A Consequence of Greed: 30th Anniversary–5th Edition (E Version), by Jack Eadon

When Marcus Ramsay is promoted to fix an ailing company division, he uncovers the details of a decade-old murder. Driven by the spirit of murdered James Post, he uncovers the plot and identifies the co-conspirators. In particular, the sculptress of James Post’s murder, Sheila Hickman, recalls orchestrating the crime in psychedelic dreams induced by shock treatments and drug abuse. She is the greediest of them all!

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HEAD TRIP: One case of super twins (The American Drama Series Book 1), by Jack Eadon

When two brothers were conceived a month apart –called Superfetation–then were born as twins eight months later, one of them was a full term baby and one of them was a preemie. That anomaly affected their whole lives as one twin struggled to succeed and the other struggled to keep up. Their journey would turn out to be a real head trip, both literally and figuratively, and challenge them to understand themselves and their “twin.” This is the first book—about ENVY—in Jack Eadon’s American Drama Series.

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30th Century: Escape, an Interview with the Author Mark Kingston Levin

BooksGoSocial

In 1989, Dr. Levin invented the biomimetic CO sensor. His company, developed, manufactured and sold over 31 million CO sensors in the USA before he retired in 2014 to write science fiction his true calling.

 

Tell us something unexpected about yourself!

 

I am a scientist first fiction next

 

How did you get into writing?

 

My mother was a poet and my grandmother a journalist and editor of Vermont Life Magazine

 

What are your top 3 books of all time?

 

The Prince of Nantucket, The Martian, 20 thousand Leagues Under the Sea

 

How long did it take you to write this book?

 

2 years

 

Have you got any writing rituals?

 

No

 

How important is marketing and social media for you?

 

Top priority for most writers including me

 

Do you read your book reviews?

 

After breakfast

 

What advice would you have for other writers?

 

Follow you heart

 

What are you reading now?

 

The Prince of Nantucket by Jan Goldstein

 

What’s your next step?

 

Find a publicist

 

Celebrate the Start of Summer with our Sci-fi Selection

Hannah Jenkins

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

Our murderousness

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.

 

Available Now!

 

 

 

Tourists of the Apocalypse by C.F. Waller

 

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.”

 

Available Now!

 

 

 

Awakening by KM Fortune

 

 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.

 

Available Now!

 

Raptor: Operation: Grindshot by C. E. Foy

 

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.

 

 

.

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Available Now!

 

 

Strain of Resistance by Michelle Bryan

 

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.

 

This is the story of our resistance.

Available Now!

 

The Coal Elf by Maria DeVivo

 

 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!

Available Now!

World Book Day – Historical Fiction, Memoirs and More!

Hannah Jenkins

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

 

Available Now!

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.

Available Now!

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.

Available Now!

SEDAHLIA by Cynthia D.Toliver

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.

Available Now!

The Other Two-Fifths by Joan Early

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.

 

 

Available Now!

The Horseman by Kristina O’Donnelly

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?

Available Now!

Shanty Gold by Jeanne Charters

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.

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Fall of the House of Queens by Shelly Talcott

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?

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The Eden Legacy by Harold Gershowitz

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.

 

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The Depth of Beauty by A.B. Michaels

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.

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The Road Ahead by Olivia Zikora

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Amazing Women by Charles Margerison

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.

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World Book Day – Our Romance and Spiritual suggestions for you…

Hannah Jenkins

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.

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Destiny’s Choice by Victoria Saccenti

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.

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Destiny’s Plan  by Victoria Saccenti

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…

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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.

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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

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The Highest Bidder: A Billionaire Fantasy Novel by Stella Andrews

The moment I saw him I knew. Tall, dark & dangerous, with a body inked to perfection, that could bring a woman to her knees.
He won me in an auction and paid a heavy price. Two weeks to live out his fantasy to the letter. He will control me, use me and make me submit to his every wish.
At the end of it I can walk away with Ten Million Dollars.
Love doesn’t come into it – it’s a business deal, a transaction, no emotion involved. What could possibly go wrong?
As it turns out – everything.

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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!

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The Last Valentine by Felix Alexander

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.

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Rage (The Marcy series Book 1) by Linda Burson

Marcy finds herself angry, frustrated, and confused because of nightmares that won’t stop. The love of her life gives her an ultimatum: seek help or lose him.

When held up at gunpoint during a robbery, Marcy is pushed over the edge. That night, she meets Liam, with whom she agrees to join on his quest to find those responsible for the murder of his family.

Delving further into the dark world of revenge, Marcy and Liam fall in love and instead of darkness, light envelops them.
Hearts are torn, jealousy ensues, and more uncertainty arises.

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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.

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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.

Heat level: sweet to sensual

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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.

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First Rodeo: A Novel by Judith Hennessey

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.

 

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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.”

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The Spirit of Love by Glen Bowyer

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.

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Messages by Hooshi Khan

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.

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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.

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