Saturday, March 21, 2015

LUCIFER & THE INDIGO KIDS by Lord Ra Krishna EL @Lord_Ra_Krishna #Poetry #Life #Heritage

Geronimo... (and the ones with religion)

Dear Geronimo...
My Great, Great grand Father

They took you from us
And our people were slaughtered...

They didn't break your spirit
You passed it unto me

And I will spark the movement
As soon as I get free...

They hunted and chased you
I clearly remember
They would have never caught you
They're lucky you surrendered...

They tricked you and stole your land
and we even have the audacity to celebrate Thanksgiving...

They used you for mascots
the Red Skins
and the Chiefs

Your great land was stolen
By the ones with religion...

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

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

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Poetry, Philosophy
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Lord Ra Krishna EL on Facebook & Twitter

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

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

Why did I stay? I used to yell to the women on Oprah, Why would you stay? I had options. I had a family who loved me, who would take care of me if I left. I wasn’t married to him nor did we have children together. The only tie we had was the business, and on paper we owned it fifty/fifty. Why put up with this? What is wrong with you?

I don’t have a good answer. Not a logical one, only emotional answers. When I fell in love with him, I fell too far to get out on my own. Maybe this was the “has difficulty functioning in a way society accepts as normal” part of my borderline personality. I saw the abusive Truth as an imposter, and the real Truth, the one I loved, was locked somewhere inside. If I tried hard enough, loved deeply enough, I could find him. I might even say – rescue him. 

As my self-esteem began to shatter, it became impossible to put me back together, and shattered young women do not make the best rescuers. When Truth exploded, along with the hitting, he threatened me with much worse actions if I didn’t stay in line. “I’ll kill you; I’ll kill your entire family.” The threats felt even more painful than when he laid hands on me; eventually the physical abuse came only in spurts – maybe once or twice one month then no flair ups for a few months. He had learned how to control me without it – just a look would be enough.

During the abuse, I split myself into many different parts. Time stretched and molded to fit my needs. The tiniest expression of love or moment of joy – a good night – expanded like a rubber band into a whole month. The moments of greatest fear and terror collapsed into a blink of the eye. I became author of my own fictional tale. I used my imagination to create a portrait of a livable life. If you keep your eyes closed and your mouth shut, you can exist forever in that state. If you saw me on the street and asked how I was doing. I would smile and say fine. I’m doing just fine. If you weren’t really paying attention, you would believe me.

Sometimes during our worst fights, everything seemed to happen in slow motion, and an orchestral score played in the background. The strings increased in intensity as I retreated away from him, the beating of the percussions as he followed me, the flutes as I tried to calm him, as his hands met my body, the crescendo hit with symbols clapping together at the finale of a symphony. 

I heard the music we listened to in my dreams as two cultured, mature adults in love and enjoying the arts. As I reached up to my face or back or stomach or chest to feel the damage, I heard the audience applauding, jumping to their feet with a standing ovation. Bravo! Bravo! Tears started to pour out of me, and the rest of the audience, inspired by the music. The show had ended, and as the sophisticated, art-appreciating couples walked to their cars to begin talking about how the music reminded them of this or that, Truth came to me and apologized. He didn’t mean for it to go this far. His most vulnerable expressions to me came directly after his explosions. How everything felt wrong. How he shouldn’t let stress do this to him. How it would never happen again.

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 13, 2015

THE BEAUTIFUL AMERICAN by Marilyn Holdsworth @M_Holdsworth #Excerpt #Women #Goodreads

from the novel, THE BEAUTIFUL AMERICAN, by Marilyn Holdsworth

“Oh, no,” she wailed the moment the door opened revealing the two guards. “The guillotine,” she cried. “It is to be today. Dear God, dear God, have pity on my soul.”
“Oh my dear, my dear,” Elizabeth Monroe soothed, pushing past the two guards and rushing to Madame LaFayette’s side. She stooped down, took the trembling woman’s hands in hers, and knelt down beside her. “No, no; it is nothing like that. I am Elizabeth Monroe. My husband, James, is the United States minister to France and a longtime friend of your husband. They fought together in our revolution,” she explained. “I have come to visit you, assure you how very concerned for you my husband is. We are going to do all we can to help you.” She placed her arms around the sobbing, frightened woman’s shoulders, continuing her reassuring words in soft, flowing French.
I stood watching from the doorway as Mistress Monroe calmed and comforted Adrienne LaFayette. Disregarding the filthy surroundings, Mistress Monroe continued to crouch down before the distraught woman, holding her hands as she spoke. When at last she rose, she drew Madame LaFayette to her feet and embraced her.
“Merci beaucoup, thank you for coming,” Adrienne LaFayette whispered, wiping her eyes. “I was sure they had come to take me to the guillotine. I was so very frightened. My family is all gone. I thought for sure they had come for me too,” she said, fighting back the tears.
“Of course you did, my dear, but have courage. Be assured that James will do all he can for you,” Mistress Elizabeth promised, patting her gently on the shoulder before joining me at the door. “We must go now, Jasmine, get back to the Folie as soon as possible. We must tell James of this poor woman’s deplorable state.”
She glided gracefully back down the long dingy, hall, past the guards to the prison door, where Michael was waiting to escort us safely back to the carriage.
You can read more about The Beautiful American, by Marilyn Holdsworth at:

As a novelist, I draw on many real life experiences to provide background for my books. After completing studies in Literature and History at Occidental College, I became a staff writer on a travel magazine, and throughout my career I have traveled extensively all over the world. Because I love horses, I owned and trained them. I support horse rescue and wild mustang preservation. Based on my experience with horses and my research on abuse issues, I wrote Pegasus.

As a descendant of James Monroe, I did extensive research at the James Monroe Museum in Virginia about him and his wife Elizabeth Kortright Monroe. I also visited their home, Ashlawn/Highland in Albemarle County. This resulted in my novel, The Beautiful American. Making Wishes, was based partly on my experiences as creator, owner and operator of a greeting card company.

Making Wishes

Elloree Prince is an attractive, creative young woman who marries a wealthy businessman, Tom Randall. After courting his bride with unrelenting determination, Tom moves her into old-moneyed Oak View, where generations of Randalls have lived for years. Outwardly, Elloree appears to settle into raising their two sons within Oak View's stifling social structure, but inwardly, she yearns for her artistic work. 

An unexpected phone call from Mark Williams, her former employer, offers her the career opportunity of a lifetime, and she must make a choice. She is torn between her devotion to her sons and her love for her work. Her decision to return to Wishes, Inc. brings dramatic life changes to her and the people she loves.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Women's fiction
Rating – PG-13


"Abby Long is thrilled when she offers the winning bid for an antique desk at an auction. With its intricately inlaid woods and elegant style, the desk is perfect for Abby; it is the gift she promised herself to finally celebrate her thriving antique business. She has no idea that the antique desk holds a secret that will lead her on a fascinating, life-changing journey back in time.
When Abby discovers a hidden diary stuffed inside a secret compartment in the desk, she can hardly wait to read the spidery, faded script. As she carefully turns the tattered pages, she reads the captivating story of two remarkable women from opposite backgrounds who somehow manage to form an unforgettable bond against the backdrop of a fledgling America struggling to find its place in the world. Elizabeth Kortright Monroe, the wife of James Monroe, and Jasmine, a young slave girl, develop an extraordinary relationship as they are united by pivotal historic events, political intrigues, and personal tragedies.
 From a bucolic Virginia plantation to the bloodied, starving streets of post-revolutionary Paris, this powerful tale follows the lives of two courageous women from the past as they quietly influence—and inspire—a woman of today’s world."

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Genre - Historical fiction
Rating – G


Widowed at thirty, Hannah Bradley is a successful journalist focusing on animal abuse issues. An accidental meeting introduces her to lawyer, Winston Caughfield III. Drawn to Hannah’s gentle beauty and fierce commitment to her work, Win joins her in a fight to save wild mustangs from slaughter. Together they rescue a badly injured horse with a mysterious background. Hannah’s search to discover the animal’s true identity leads them into a web of black marketeering and international intrigue. 
Action packed with crisp colorful dialogue the story propels the reader to a race against time conclusion. Marilyn Holdsworth delivers a gripping tale of mystery, adventure and romance guaranteed to hold the interest and capture the heart. She brings true-life characters together with real-life issues to create a fast-paced irresistible story.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Contemporary fiction
Rating – PG
More details about the author
 Connect with Marilyn Holdsworth on Facebook & Twitter

Craig Staufenberg on How Nice Everyone in Publishing Is @YouMakeArtDumb #SelfPub #MGLit

Pet Peeves of the Publishing Industry
I’m annoyed by how nice everyone in the publishing is. Really. I’m sure there are some rude people, but I haven’t encountered them. Only nice folks, and that makes it hard to dislike the publishing industry as a whole. It’s much easier when you see “publishing” as this monolithic beast with a stranglehold on creativity, especially your own creativity. But that’s just not the case.
Which means there are two realities you have to face about publishing.
One, that it’s not out to get you. It’s not prejudiced against you. If it rejects you there are reasons for doing so, and not because the people are mean, jealous and spiteful.
Two, the publishing industry is trying to do something very, very difficult. Namely promote art, entertainment, and creativity, all while still keeping the lights on. Anyone who has tried to support themselves via their creative output knows how difficult this is. Now multiply that difficulty—think about trying to support an entire company, or even an entire industry, on creative work. It’s insanity, and I’m surprised publishing companies have been as successful as they have.
Really, think about it for a second. We’re not talking about selling widgets here. We aren’t talking about the success of an industry that sells bathroom cleaner. There’s nothing predictable about books. As long as the bathroom cleaner works, and as long as you market it, then you’re going to do alright. The same can’t be said about books. Even if a book is good, and even if you market it, there’s no guarantee it’s going to sell enough to warrant its investment. Now consider the fact bathroom cleaner companies don’t have to reinvent their product hundreds of times a year, and publishing companies do, and you see it’s sheer madness this whole industry works at all.
OK, it’s not a perfect analogy. The way publishing company’s sell their back catalogue and the works of established authors operates a lot like selling widgets. Pretty reliable. But still, publishing is trying to do something very challenging—balancing the demands of art and commerce, which have, as Linds Redding noted in his must-read post, always been strange bedfellows. Especially since publishing companies need hits to thrive and not merely survive, and these companies are completely unable to predict what the next hit is going to be. No one predicted Twilight. No one predicted Fifty Shades of Grey. Or Harry Potter.
In fact, when it comes to the book trade, the only people who have an even harder time than publishing companies are the authors themselves. While publishing companies are able to spread their bets across a large number of different books a year, even an ultra-prolific author isn’t going to crank out more than a few. The odds a publishing company will hit a home run on any given year is much higher than the odds a single author will.
Which, I suppose, is my biggest pet peeve of the publishing companies. They survive, while many, if not most, of their authors who fail. An author can spend their whole life writing books that don’t do spectacularly well, and that author could easily live a lower compensated, less comfortable, and less protected life than the employees and owners running the publishing companies. Publishers take on much smaller risks than authors. Publishers make small financial gambles, while authors bet their lives. Yet publishers have much higher upside than authors.
Bear in mind, this is an institutional issue. No evil genius thought this up. It’s how pretty much every large creative industry operates—from books to movies to music. But we’re not powerless here. And I’d like to see a publishing industry where the authors themselves are better rewarded, or at least better protected, than the companies that publish them, as the authors, always, are putting much more on the line.

When you die, your spirit wakes in the north, in the City of the Dead. There, you wander the cold until one of your living loved ones finds you, says “Goodbye,” and Sends you to the next world. 

After her parents die, 12-year-old Sophie refuses to release their spirits. Instead, she resolves to travel to the City of the Dead to bring her mother and father’s spirits back home with her. 

Taking the long pilgrimage north with her gruff & distant grandmother—by train, by foot, by boat; over ruined mountains and plains and oceans—Sophie struggles to return what death stole from her. Yet the journey offers her many hard, unexpected lessons—what to hold on to, when to let go, and who she must truly bring back to life.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Middle Grade
Rating – PG-13
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Connect with Craig Staufenberg through Facebook and Twitter

Saturday, December 20, 2014

James Rada Jr. Shares His Thoughts on Writing His First #Historical Novel @JimRada #AmWriting #TBR

My latest novel, Lock Ready, is a historical novel set on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal during the Civil War. It is the third book in the Canawler series.

I never started to write historical fiction. However, in 2000, my wife and I were living in Cumberland, Md., where the canal ended. We decided to bike the canal towpath one summer and sightsee and camp along the way. The C&O Canal is a national park that runs from Cumberland to Georgetown.
We outfitted our bikes for the long trip and set out for what turned out to be a five-day trip. The weather was nice and the trip is a pleasant and scenic one. There are hiker-biker campsites along the way where you can camp overnight. We took advantage of those a few nights and stayed in hotels other nights.

As we traveled, I consulted the towpath guide to check out what might be nearby to see. I soon realized that a lot of history had happened along the canal. The Battle of Antietam, the Harpers Ferry revolt and James Rumsey tested a steamboat along the Potomac. There were also interesting architectural features like the Paw Paw Tunnel, aqueducts and canal houses to look over.
Being a writer, I started trying to figure out what was the best way to tell the story of the canal in a way that would interest readers.

I started playing with some ideas even while my wife and I were still biking the canal towpath.
My breakthrough came about when I decided that the most-interesting time on the canal happened during the Civil War. While the Mason-Dixon Line is credited with being the border between the North and South, the C&O Canal was the border between Union and Confederacy.

Not only did canallers have to deal with the normal issues of living and working on the canal, but armies were traveling along the towpath. Canal boats were being burned and confiscated. Saboteurs were trying to blow up the aqueducts and burn the locks. Loyalties were tested.

With my setting decided, I realized I was going to be writing my first historical novel. I started researching the canal history and canal life. As I learned more about the people who lived and working on the canal, I started to get an idea of who I wanted the characters of my books to be.
They took shape and I gave them their individual stories and personalities that seem to have resonated with readers over the past decade.

The Civil War split the United States and now it has split the Fitzgerald Family. Although George Fitzgerald has returned from the war, his sister Elizabeth Fitzgerald has chosen to remain in Washington to volunteer as a nurse. The ex-Confederate spy, David Windover, has given up on his dream of being with Alice Fitzgerald and is trying to move on with his life in Cumberland, Md. Alice and her sons continue to haul coal along the 184.5-mile-long C&O Canal. 

It is dangerous work, though, during war time because the canal runs along the Potomac River and between the North and South. Having had to endured death and loss already, Alice wonders whether remaining on the canal is worth the cost. She wants her family reunited and safe, but she can’t reconcile her feelings between David and her dead husband. Her adopted son, Tony, has his own questions that he is trying to answer. 

He wants to know who he is and if his birth mother ever loved him. As he tries to find out more about his birth mother and father, he stumbles onto a plan by Confederate sympathizers to sabotage the canal and burn dozens of canal boats. He enlists David’s help to try and disrupt the plot before it endangers his new family, but first they will have find out who is behind the plot.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Historical Fiction
Rating – PG-13
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Late Evenings, Early Mornings & Quiet Times #Writing with Mike Hartner @MHartnerAuthor #HistFic

Why Writing is a Form of Personal Therapy

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Mikey D. B. Shares An Extremely Packed Day in His Life @mikeydbii #Thriller #AmWriting #AmReading

It all begins at five in the morning.  I wake up, make a protein packed breakfast and watch parts of documentaries while I eat.  I’ve watched documentaries on Hitler, Bigfoot, social media conspiracies, economics, magic, and basically anything I can find on Netflix that interests me at the time.  Anyway, after I eat/watch I finish getting ready for my day and then make the drive to work.

Sometimes these drives to work are the best part of my day.  Anytime before six in the morning, the roads are desolate, the mornings are cool, sun is usually rising, and it is just a good time to ponder about things.  There’s something about seeing a fresh new day begin that I love.  Maybe it’s because all the angry, muckiness of the world is still asleep.  I don’t know, but early mornings, as hard as they are to get up for, are some of the best things to experience.

So, after my morning drive, I head into my day job which consists of a lot of heavy lifting and calculations of length.  I work at a labeling manufacturing business where I coat and die cut the various labels for our clients.  You’d be amazed at how heavy paper is.  In rolls of 10,000 feet and sometimes more, these things can be up to two hundred pounds.  For the most part, I like my job.  It’s a keep-to-yourself kind of job and me being the anti-social one I can be, it gives me the opportunities to listen to music and podcasts.  In fact, a lot of my research for books happens in my eight hour shifts at work.  I download a set of podcasts I think will be relevant to what I’m trying to write, and then I listen to them.  I really can’t ask for a better time because after I get off work, my day doesn’t have a lot of wiggle room.

After my shift, which ends at about two in the afternoon, I bust my way on over to the gym.  My workouts are pretty intense, two mile runs at least, three to four mile bike rides and then a half hour of heavy weights.  I’m really trying to get ready to compete in a triathlon, so my workouts have to be pretty frequent or I’ll never train my body the way it needs to be.

Now this is where it gets kind of crazy.  I’m a high school football coach as well and practice starts at 4:30.  So I have just enough time to work out, rinse off, and get a quick bite before heading over to the school to yell at kids.  I love it!  The sport, the atmosphere, the kids, the other coaches I work with.  It’s one of the best opportunities that I’ve had come across my way.  I was hesitant to take on the responsibility at first, with the craziness of my writing and work as it is, but it’s seasonal and I couldn’t pass up the chance to get back into the sport.

Practice lasts until about seven, I get home at about eight, eat, and maybe get some writing in.  Mostly though, I’ll wind down and watch an episode of the office with my wife or we’ll just talk and read together.  The evenings, like my mornings, are a chance for me to think, process what’s happened in the day.  Maybe write them in my journal if I have enough to say.  After or before the hustle and craziness of the day, it’s in these times when I’ll turn to my scriptures to get guidance, peace, and reassurance (or chastisement—it all depends on what my attitude has been that day).

After having wrote this, I realize how packed my day is.  I think the important thing, no matter how busy we are, is we need to make sure we have our priorities in the right place.  For me, it’s: God, Family, Country.  I know if I put God first, that’ll only strengthen my resolve to take care of my family, and if I know my family is taken care of, I know I can then make decisions to take care of my country and community.

Saga of the Nine

Change affects everyone and it is no different for Jackson. Living in Area 38 for as long as he can remember, he knows of no better way to exist than under the tyrannical rule of Christopher Stone, son of Stewart Stone from The Nine of The United Governmental Areas, aka The UGA. This all takes a dramatic turn when Jackson finds a red, metal box buried in his yard, filled with illegal artifacts—journals, a Bible, CDs, etc.—that are from a man of whom he has no recollection of: Mica Rouge.

 The year is 2036 and Mica, unlike Jackson, does know of a better way of life but is torn apart as he sees his country, The United States of America, crumbling from within by group known as The Political Mafia. The Mafia has infiltrated levels upon levels of governmental resources and it is up to Mica and a vigilante group known as The USA Division to stop them and their dark Utopian vision. To their demise, and at the country's expense, The Division fails and has no choice but to watch The Constitution dissolve and transform into The UGA.

In a final stand, having not given up hope, Mica and what is left of The Division, give one final fight in Colorado, or better known as Area 38. However, all is lost as The Division is betrayed by one of their own, Stewart Stone. Mica is left with no choice but to hide in exile, leaving what little history he can of himself and the great United States of America, with his wife, long time friends, and newly born son in hopes that they will one day finish what he could not.

Jackson, having found this legacy twenty-seven years later, decides to start the war that will end The Nine, and he with an outcast group known as The Raiders, begins his fight with Christopher Stone in Area 38. Filled with betrayal, unity, despair, hope, hate and love Area 38 follows both Mica and Jackson in their attempts to restore what they believe to be true freedom, and where one fails, the other rises to the seemingly impossible challenge.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Dystopian Thriller
Rating – PG13
More details about the author
Connect with Mikey D. B. on Facebook & Twitter

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