Tuesday, September 2, 2014

RELEASE DAY: S.E. Campbell "The Mechanics of Being Human"


 

Blurb:

When Fawn awakens in the middle of a burning house, her memories are completely gone. She doesn't know who or where she is. She doesn't even know her own name. Though two people come to her rescue who claim to be her parents, she doesn't recognize them. They don't look like her either. Yet she doesn't have any place to go, so she finds herself following them.

As Fawn grows accustomed to her life, though she still has no idea who she is, she meets her neighbor, Gavin. Gavin is tall and sweet with bright blue eyes. Unlike the rest of the world, he appears to understand her. He too has had a troubling past. The two of them form a tight alliance. It's them against the world. Soon Fawn comes to realize she has feelings for Gavin.

Unfortunately, that's when trouble rekindles in her home life. A strange man named Ark hunts after her, calling her Model 29. Soon she comes to realize she isn't what she appears. She's a robot, a robot hidden from society so her abilities wouldn't be used for evil. Now not only does Fawn have to be scared of Ark, but she has to worry about what this means for her and Gavin.

 

 

Author:

Stephanie Campbell had her first book published at the age of seventeen. Now, at twenty, she is still wacking away at her computer, one day at a time. When she isn’t reading or writing, she likes to dance, take karate lessons, and run. After all, you never know when you’re about to be sucked into another world.

 

 

Now available on
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Excerpt:

Chapter One

When she opened her eyes, glowing orange danced along the nearby walls, making it near impossible to see her surroundings. Heat pressed in at all sides, entrapping her within its painful grasp. Black smog billowed around her, filling the dark room. Standing, she attempted to see through the hot madness that surrounded her. She should run, but she couldn't remember where the door was. She couldn't remember where anything was. When she searched her memory, she couldn't even remember her name.

Stumbling forward, she avoided a smoldering couch. As she passed the couch, she squinted through the inferno and spotted a once white wall was now painted by the fire and became black. Somewhere the wall had to have a door, she just had to follow it until she found it. She tripped over something on the floor but kept moving. She didn’t search long. A door, her ticket out, was just a few feet from her, partially ajar.

The opening made her heart lift and tingle. Hope. Yes, that was the word she was searching for. She rushed outside as relief exploded in her heart. She wanted to get away from the heat, which still reached through the door with wanting, hungry hands. As she teetered down the front steps, cold enveloped her feet for the first time. When she looked at herself, she realized something was wrong.

She was naked. Her skin pebbled with goose bumps. The tingling sensation disappeared like the smoke lifting into the night. Relief was replaced by angry needy monsters that grasped at the center of her chest and tightened. A painful ache filled her insides. Sadness and fear. She recognized the sensations, could feel them.

She looked around. Why was she outside naked? And why had she been in the house when it was on fire?

Shakily, she turned her gaze away from the rough wilds of the forest in front of her to stare at the inflamed house again. The house was small and stood grey and lifeless. Though she could recognize how the house must have once appeared, she didn’t have any sense of nostalgia toward it. The terrain—the thick trees in the distance and the old car sitting out in front of the ruins—was foreign. This was all new to her.

As she gazed at the house, fire burst through the window, causing the pane to shatter. She cried out for the first time as a rush of adrenaline and an urge to run filled her. She turned away from the house and toward the dark forest. Should I try to run through it? Her palms grew sweaty, and she found it hard to even inhale she was so tense. No. She didn’t want to go through there. Her gut warned her against it. So she stayed for uncountable minutes that oozed by in front of the fire until she heard a new sound. It was the sound of shrill, high-pitched wailing which caused her to cover her ears with her hands. Where was it coming from?

The noise. I don't like the noise. She gazed at the dark forest, her fists clenched at her sides. She would rather face the darkness of the forest than the noise. She stumbled toward the woods. As she walked, she stared at everything around her. Every crackle of the leaves distracted her. She saw a small, strange, furry animal. She wracked her brain until the word came. Squirrel.

All she could do was slowly name her surroundings, which was like seeing a picture of a distant relative she'd never been introduced to.

As she teetered, her brain abuzz, she tried to figure out where she was and who she was. Why had she woken up entrapped in an orange glowing jail? Why was she in the middle of a dark wood with thick trees that touched the sky? Who was she? Was it normal to feel such nasty, pressing feelings inside of her heart?

RELEASE DAY: K.V. Flynn "On The Move"


 
Blurb:
Callum Vicente and his four best middle school buddies live in a Southern California beach town, and narrowly miss being grounded for life after they sneak out of town on the bus for a great skateboard day just before promotion from 8th grade. Their pal Justice ends up with a wicked broken leg, but their parents soon forget about it because weird, tense things are happening in the news. So Callum, Levi and his bff Apollo are soon deep into their best summer ever at PEAK skateboard camp where they learn tricks from the pros, grind on endless street courses, and careen off one awesome ramp straight into the lake. It is mad fun until the War breaks out: the teens watch major cities blown up on TV, have no idea what’s happened to their parents, and then lose virtually all communication with the outside world.
Stranded, the boarder buddies strike out on their own to find their families, travelling north through all of California and Oregon, following a network of underground message boards and savvy riders who they find holed up in skate parks along the way. They pick up their school buddy Mateo Beltran and hitch a ride with their Native friend Obbie, on his way to safety on his dad’s reservation in Washington state, and even get some surprising help as they try to figure out a world gone crazy while they are On the Move.
 
 
Author:
 
K.V. Flynn is a writer who lives in Southern California, kind of near Manhattan-Huntington-Malibu Beach. His action-adventure book ON THE MOVE about 14-year-old skater friends who are stranded at skate camp when a War breaks out comes out on Sept.2. Follow the news about it at www.OnTheMoveBooks.com. His favorite ride is an 8.25" Krooked deck, Indy trucks, and 53 mm Spitfire wheels. He is half Spanish and half Irish. K.V. has a dog, and has been watching "Pretty Sweet" by Chocolate Skateboards, "Stay Gold" by Emerica, and "The Deathwish Video" by Deathwish Skateboards. What about you!? He and his bros regularly cruise Venice, Stoner, Skatelab, and Van’s. Talk back: KVFlynnOntheMove@gmail.com.
 
 
 
Now available on
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Excerpt:
 
Chapter One

We were all up at PEAK Skate Camp when it happened. Well, okay, not all of us. Some of the crew, we hooked up with them later. But all of us guys had dreamt about spending our summer up at PEAK together for the entire year. Skateboarder’s paradise. High up in the woodsy mountains. Maybe a six-hour drive from home.
On that shocking Tuesday morning, it was mid-July. Breakfast time. Everybody chowing down in the Commons. Usual pulpy OJ. Soggy toast. Halfway-decent eggs. Martin was yapping about where’s the French toast, when all of a sudden my buddy Levi told us all to shut up.
“Wait — Sal! — turn that up.” He waved to the big guy who manned the snack-shack.
The odd snack shack guy always had the radio on inside the Commons. Nonstop rock oldies during mealtime. But that morning, it was not playing music.
“…Air Force jets have been scrambled out of Langley Air Base and Fort Bragg,” broke in to the Led Zeppelin set. It was a man’s newsy voice — static-y, though. Kind of in and out. “… enemy planes…” he blurted, “…Atlanta and Chicago airspace.”
Then we heard a second voice jump in. A woman’s, but also like a bulletin, sharp and straight-talking.
“Massive destruction, Carl,” we heard, as she suddenly came in more clearly. “Severe damage reported from sporadic sources in target cities. Major broadcasters and transponders are critically damaged, as well.”
Carl came on again. Gave some call numbers, said he was from a SoCal radio station.
“He’s near us.” Levi gulped. “I hear that guy all the time. Driving around with my mom.”
I honestly thought we were listening to a play or something. Everybody sounded frantic.
Snack shack Sal banged on the AM box, twisting its wires. The “Carl” voice still came in scratchy.
“…hear from NBC affiliates, Jana… six black aircraft over New York City… explosions… train stations — Penn, Grand Central. And black clouds over Wall Street…”
We knew all those places, too. That’s when I guessed this had to be something real.
Sal flew across the dining hall to the television. Yanked out the DVD wires. Jammed a spikey cable into the back of the machine. The whole week-and-a-half we’d been at PEAK, we’d all assumed the set didn’t work. That the TV was just there to watch skate videos at night. But it roared to life.
“C’mon.” I pulled my best buddy, Apollo, and his little brother, Kaspar, closer to the snowy screen. Levi perched on a torn sofa. Other camper kids folded cross-legged on the floor, staring at the fuzzy-sounding box.
“Is that National News Network?” Levi asked.
Sal fiddled until the image was halfway decent. We could just barely make out a woman’s face. The words, Katie Solis, NNN Los Angeles, were typed below it, along with a flashing red band that said Breaking News. Next to her sat an African-American announcer in dark-framed glasses. Jon Karz, his card said.
“Whoa!” some kid blurted. A parade of big black planes flew across the screen. Five jets wide, dozens of rows deep. Like out of a Roger Waters concert. “Where is that?”
“…this dramatic footage just in from NNN Atlanta…”

Saturday, August 30, 2014

My Town in Three Photos - Jacksonville

by Lucie Ulrich
 
At 885 sq miles, Jacksonville, Fl, is the largest city in land area in the contiguous Unites States. It boasts a population of 821,784, according to the 2012 census.
 




Situated along the St. Johns River, Jacksonville is known for its many bridges. It is a major port city, and proud military town. Naval Air Station Jacksonville is located four miles from the city’s business district, while Naval Station Mayport is located at the mouth of the St. Johns River.  




In the early 20th century, when Hollywood hadn’t quite come into the picture, Jacksonville was known as the Winter Filmmaking Capital of the world. Movies are still made here, though not to the degree they had been years earlier. Every year since 2003, the Jax Film Fest is held either downtown, or in one of the surrounding historical areas.
 
 




 
 
 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

AP Author Spotlight: Andy Lewter

 
Andy Lewter

 
 
Website: https://www.facebook.com/AndyLewterAuthor
Twitter ID: https://www.twitter.com/AndyLewter
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/AndyLewter
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AndyLewterAuthor
 
Describe yourself in three words:
happy and unconditionally loving
 
Tell us a little about your latest release:
Gifted: A Valens Series
Blurb:
The last thing Abigail Everett thought would happen over spring break was having her world shift into an entirely new perspective.
Unfortunately for her, that’s exactly what happened.
Between struggling to master her newly-formed abilities, coming face-to-face with dark, deceiving mind tricks by those that seek her leadership, and learning of a mythical world that she never deemed possible, Abigail risks everything with the future of mankind and the safety of its people in her hands.
 
What is your earliest memory?
The earliest memory I can recall is when I was potty training (maybe 2 or 3?) and thinking about all the M&M's I would get if I used the toilet after my nap. And you bet I got those M&M's.
 
What would you consider the greatest moment in your life?
It's hard to pin one moment down as the greatest moment as more beautiful things happen. But if I were to narrow it down, I would say the day my husband and I were married, and then each child born that became our family after that.
 
What’s the hardest thing in in life you’ve done?
The hardest thing I've ever done was learning what true selflessness really meant for the sake of love. Love is the most powerful emotion, and in order to understand the true meaning of love, selflessness is essential.
 
What have you learned in life so far?
If you're angry, find a way to not be. Always forgive others - it's exhausting and far too much work to hold a grudge. And most importantly, that people can indeed change.
 
Everyone’s favourite question: if you could invite five people for dinner, who would it be?
I have dinner with them most every night, but I choose my two beautiful children and my husband. Maybe that's boring, but they're my world! And the two additional people would be my dad who has passed and my grandma. I believe a meal with those people would be a good one (:
 
 
Chance for our readers - what else would you like to know about Andy Lewter?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

RELEASE DAY: Sandy Bruney "A Question of Boundaries"


Blurb:
 
By 1895, the United States is in the 80th year of the isolation imposed by King Thomas I and upheld by his successors. But, some are chafing under the shortages and restrictions, and when inventor Dr. Featherstone declares he has found a way to override all borders, there are those who applaud the discovery and those who fear it.
When Dr. Featherstone fails to return home for an important scientific gathering, his daughter Caroline enlists the help of the Member of Parliament from Charlotte, Nathan Llewellen. As the two search for the kidnappers, Caroline is plunged into a world where travel to other realities is possible in the blink of an eye, and people can assume the forms of fearsome as well as familiar animals…and where love comes at the most unexpected times and places.
Nathan’s peculiar gift might cost Caroline her life, but she has already lost her heart.
 
 
Author:
Originally from New York State, Sandy Bruney lives in North Carolina with her husband. They have three grandchildren who are growing up much too quickly. When not writing, she enjoys reading books of every genre and avoids housework as much as possible.
 
 
Now available on
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Excerpt:
Chapter One
 
“I believe this invention will eclipse them all.”
Father was a man who collected prizes and accolades as his just due. So when he did not appear at the annual dinner of the Charlotte Society of Inventors and Scientists, Caroline Featherstone knew something was wrong. Father would never miss an opportunity to listen to admiring speeches on his behalf, which meant more to him than any gold medal.
“I’m going out,” she told her housekeeper, Tabby.
“And just where, Miss, if I may ask?” The woman, not much taller than a twelve-year-old, tilted her head back as she waited for an answer.
Caroline’s glare was impressive, but Tabby refused to be intimidated. “In case you disappear as well I’ll need a place to start looking.”
“I’m going to see Mister Jennings. I’m hoping he may have had some word.” Jamming a straw hat on her head and tying the ribbons under a determined chin, Caroline went out the door and headed for the trolley stop three blocks away.
Leaving the trolley at Elizabeth Street, she found Mr. Jennings’ office without difficulty. At the last minute, Caroline wondered if she should have ascertained if the solicitor were in before coming all the way downtown. Her concern seemed justified when she saw the office was locked, but she knocked just the same, and attempted to peer in the window.
“Is something wrong, Miss?”
Caroline swerved to see a rather large policeman standing not two feet from her. Startled, she backed up a step and put a hand to her breast. “I came to see Mister Jennings, but he doesn’t appear to be in. I’ll have to come back another day.” She tried to maneuver around the bulky man, but he didn’t move.
“What’s your business with Mister Jennings then?” he asked. His tone, mildly curious up to now, hardened and his genial smile disappeared.
Caroline debated answering. It wasn’t his affair, after all, but then again, he was an officer of the law. “He is my father’s solicitor. I had some questions to put to him.”
The officer’s stiff posture relaxed, although his face remained grim. “I’m sorry to tell you this, but Mister Jennings has met with a misfortune. You won’t be able to talk to him.”
“Oh. I’m sorry. Well then, as I said, I will just have to come back. Maybe next week, if he has recovered by then.”
The man shook his head. “No chance of that. He was shot in the heart and is dead.”
Caroline let out a gasp. “Murdered?”
“Hard to shoot your own self in the heart, although it has been done. We’re investigating, but yes, it’s safe to say he was killed by an unknown assailant.” He nodded as if he had much more he could share if he were so inclined. “You’d best run along home, Miss.”
Caroline nodded and this time the officer stepped aside to let her pass. Only a passerby’s warning shout kept her from stepping in front of one of the steamcabs that were gradually replacing horse-drawn carriages on downtown Charlotte’s busy streets. Her attention had been diverted by an urchin, no older than eight or nine, who was selling newspapers. “Murder most foul!” the boy yelled. “Read all about it!”
Caroline exchanged a coin for the newspaper and, flipping it open, found the article about poor Mr. Jennings. With dread, she read his office had been ransacked and an untold number of files had been taken. A witness described seeing two men, one a larger than normal person, walking past the building scant minutes before shots were heard. The witness also said the taller man wore a green or brown suit in a checkered pattern. The other had no jacket, but wore a red kerchief. They were being sought for questioning, but were not suspects. Caroline filled in the missing words — as yet.
The mention of the stolen files made her blood chill in her veins. What files? Were some of them Father’s? If so, were these men responsible for his disappearance?


 

Monday, August 25, 2014

RELEASE DAY: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy "Gray's Good Samaritan"


Blurb:

On an ordinary Saturday morning, Robin Cavanaugh’s life takes a wild turn.  A wounded man leaps into her car at a traffic light.  He refuses to go to the hospital and after he reveals his real name, she realizes she knows him from church.  When he swears he’s one of the good guys, Robin abandons common sense to help him.  As his condition worsens, she soon learns he’s not really Spike Mc Gee, a criminal but an undercover agent whose life is in danger.  His brother, Jack, a doctor, pulls Gray through and soon, Robin is part of the action too.  Their love grows under the unlikely conditions and when Gray heads home to visit his mother, Robin comes too.  While there, Gray proposes and she accepts but a family tragedy brings them back to Tulsa.  Everything hangs in the balance as Gray goes undercover as Spike on last time…if he survives, they can find their happily ever after.

 

Author:

Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy is a native of historic St. Joseph, Missouri and now makes her home in the beautiful Ozark Mountains.  As a wife and mother to three children, she spends her days penning her stories, substitute teaching, gardening, cooking, and all the other daily duties.  She has a BA degree in English and History from Missouri Southern State University and an AA degree from Crowder College.  She has worked in broadcasting, education, and retail. Lee Ann is a member of Romance Writers of America, Missouri Writers Guild, and the Ozark Writers League.  Her multiple works include full length nov-els, novellas, and short stories.  Lee Ann has also contributed to more than two dozen an-thologies including the popular Chicken Soup For The Soul series.  She writes a weekly col-umn for the local newspaper and writes several romance genres and subgenres.

 

 

Now available on
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Excerpt:

Chapter One
On a morning as ordinary as faded blue jeans, no different from dozens of other Saturdays, everything changed. As she slowed for a traffic signal behind a long string of vehicles, Robin spotted the man. Whoever he was, he ran at furious speed, racing across the open spaces between the electric substations as if his life might be in peril. Robin couldn’t imagine anything else powerful enough to inspire anyone to run so fast, so hard. Curious, she kept an eye on him to see where he went as she came to a stop at the highway interchange. Already ten minutes late for her hair appointment, midway through her weekly errands, she craned her head backward and over the dirty laundry stacked in the back seat. Just as the light went green, the runner changed course. His diagonal path would take him in front of her car so she hesitated, a car length behind the other vehicles, afraid she might hit him. At the last moment, he veered, switched course, and snatched open the passenger door. He climbed inside before she could scream or protest and spat out two words: “Hit it!”

Robin froze, uncertain what to do until the truck behind her blared its horn. After a brief hesitation, she drove forward, heart beating with a rock-and-roll rhythm. Every bone in her law-abiding body screamed to stop. Her passenger’s face shimmered with perspiration and his eyes glittered with pain. Although he had been running hard, he gasped for breath as if he had been hurt. When she sneaked a closer glance, she noticed blood dripping in staccato rhythm from beneath his leather jacket. “Hey, you’re hurt,” she said, shocked. In her comfortable world, people didn’t run or bleed from anything but a minor mishap. “What happened?”

“I got shot,” he said. Each word required a harsh-drawn breath. “Just drive, okay?”

“Shot?” she echoed. Maybe she had heard him wrong. “You were shot?”

He shot her a look from half-closed eyes and she noticed how pale he had become. “Yeah.”

Robin clamped her fingers tighter around the steering wheel as she stiffened. Whatever trouble he’d found, it wasn’t hers but she couldn’t abandon him on the side of the road either. She made a sudden, swift decision.

“I can take you to the hospital,” she said. “I’m sorry, but that’s it. Just hang on and we’ll get there as soon as I figure out if we’re closer to Hillcrest, OSU, or St. Francis.”

He’d closed his eyes, shuttered tight against the pain, but at her suggestion, he opened them and glared at her. “No hospital,” he choked. “Can’t. They report gunshot wounds.”

Disbelief cut through her anxiety so that she spoke without thinking. “Are you telling me you don’t want me to take you to the hospital?” He needed immediate medical attention. Those drops of blood she had noticed had become a stream flowing down the seat and puddling onto the floorboard. “You need to get help — you’re bleeding all over the place.”

His eyes narrowed as he glared at her. “I know, but I can’t go to the hospital. The law requires them to report any gunshot wounds. If they do, I’m a dead man. Can you drive any faster? I don’t think they saw what car I got into but they might have. If so, we’re both in trouble.”

He appeared about to collapse but he’d managed to speak up. And what he said scared her. “Who might’ve seen you?” Robin asked, afraid to hear the answer. The way he had been running, she figured it must have been the police, drug dealers, a gang, or maybe organized crime.

Her passenger slumped down in the seat. “I think maybe the cops did.”

Robin almost slammed on the brakes and her attention strayed from the road. She faced him and got a good look for the first time. He wore black leather pants, a leather jacket, and a black T-shirt. On his hands, he wore leather half-gloves and studded bracelets encircled both wrists. Although his hair was close-cropped in front, he had let it grow out in back. After his crazy run, his hair had wilted but she would bet he had had it spiked with gel before. Robin couldn’t determine if his style screamed biker, punk, Goth, or gang, but whatever his fashion statement might be, it stretched far outside her comfort zone. He had to be a criminal and she struggled to stay calm. Who knew what he might do if she provoked him?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

My Town in Three Photos - Possum Trot

by J.L. Salter
 
Taken with a phone camera, this slightly grainy shot features a full moon over my house up on what I call “Fossil Hill”.  That hill, in prehistory, was the bank of a significant river and we’ve found hundreds of fossils — both aquatic type and some unknown form of (land-grown) fruit.
 
 
A westerly autumn view from the bottom (currently dry) bed of “Disappearing Creek” which was – in prehistory – a raging river.
 
 
 The five acres of woods directly behind our house , the widest of the logging roads … during winter.