Spotlight & Giveaway: Don’t Write a Crappy Book by James M. Ranson

Book Title: Don’t Write a Crappy Book by James M. Ranson
Category: Adult Non- Fiction, 210 pages
Genre: Business, Authorpreneurship
Publisher: Master Wordsmith Media, in association with Thanet House Books
Release date: Oct 1, 2018
Tour dates: Oct 8 to 31, 2018
Content Rating: PG for occasional mild swearing (hell and damn, mostly, one instance of “shitty”)

 

Book Description:

A great book can launch your business into the stratosphere. Unfortunately, most self-published business books rank somewhere between “meh” and “flaming pile of crap.” But your book doesn’t have to suck!

In “Don’t Write a Crappy Book,” editor and entrepreneur James Ranson unpacks the most common–and toxic–mistakes that first-time nonfiction authors make. Peppered with wisdom from a panel of industry experts, this book debunks the dangerous myths that can torpedo your text and offers clear, practical guidance for writing a book you’re proud of. This is the resource for the aspiring authorpreneur who wants to write and publish a book with minimum hassle and maximum results.

This book will teach you:

– How a self-published book can make or break your business (and the THREE factors that determine which it does)
– The biggest blind spots no one tells authors about (and how to look for them BEFORE it’s too late)
– How to write a first book that will get positive reviews on Amazon (and why that’s a better goal than becoming a bestseller)
– When writing a business book is the right move for you (and when you should NEVER write one)
– How to self-publish on Amazon to actually get good results for your business (a lot of it happens before you even start writing!)
– What NOT to do when you’re looking for an editor (and how to find a great one)
– Why trying to write and publish a book in 90 days or less is a recipe for disaster (and why no one tells you that!)
– How to avoid do-overs, sunk costs, and other self-publishing headaches (and how to get out of them if they sneak up on you)

Stay out of the crap pile! Discover the secrets to creating a highly valuable book that will expand your influence and grow your business for years to come.

To read interviews and guest posts, please visit James M. Ranson’s page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the Book:

 

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Meet the Author:

James Ranson, The Master Wordsmith(TM), is a Wall-Street-Journal-bestselling editor, ghostwriter and book coach who has helped over 200 consultants, coaches, speakers and other thought leaders create high-quality books. Clients of his have gone on to sell thousands of books, receive book deals from publishing houses, and be featured in regional and national media outlets. In addition to his own clients, James is a writer and book doctor for Thanet House Books, and is on recommended professional lists for Scribe Media(formerly Book in a Box), My Word Publishing, BrightFlame Books and Authors Unite. His second book, Don’t Write A Crappy Book!, will be published on October 1, 2018. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, James lives in Atlanta, GA, with his fiancée and a very needy cat.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

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Ends Nov 7, 2018

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Spotlight & Giveaway: Alycat and the Friendship Friday by Alysson Foti Bourque

Book Title: Alycat and the Friendship Friday by Alysson Foti Bourque
Illustrated by: Chiara Civati
Category: Children’s Fiction, 32 pages
Genre: Picture Book, Friendship
Publisher: Mascot Books
Release date: Oct 23, 2018
Tour dates: Oct 1 to 27, 2018
Content Rating: G

 

Description

It’s finally Friday, and Alycat is excited to go on a field trip with her friends. But when she doesn’t have anyone to sit with on the bus, Alycat feels left out. Can she use her creativity and imagination to help everyone feel included?

Alycat and the Friendship Friday will teach readers that making new friends isn’t as scary as you might think.

Buy the Book:

 

 

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Meet the Author

Alysson Foti Bourque earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a Juris Doctor degree from the Southern University Law Center. After practicing law for six years, she traded in writing trial briefs for writing children’s books. She enjoys public speaking opportunities at schools, conferences, and festivals nationwide. She hopes to inspire people of all ages to follow their dreams and believe in themselves. Currently, she resides in Sunset, Louisiana with her husband and two children.

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Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram

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Ends Nov 3, 2018

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Spotlight: Where the Wind Heals by Ari Schneider

I sat at the desk in my Boston apartment, staring at the work I had out in front of me.

Frustrated. Restless and heartbroken.

So much was going on.

I couldn’t help but think, “Where’s the furthest place I could drive to from here?”

Turns out, the North Coast of Alaska…

Sleeping on a wooden platform jammed into the trunk of my Subaru, my closest friend and I drove west, then north, and we didn’t stop until we couldn’t drive any more. Along the way we found many beautiful mountains to climb and discovered how the wilderness and our emotions push and pull our experiences.

The result: an amazing adventure and a tug of war between the rawness and the romanticism of the wilderness.

Amazon

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About the Author

Ari Schneider is an alpine climber, backcountry skier, outdoor educator and author. Ari has been teaching and coaching for outdoor/experiential education programs since 2013. Some of his favorite outdoor adventures have been solo wilderness trips in Iceland and the Alps, mountaineering trips in the Canadian Rockies, backcountry skiing in Japan and developing new climbing routes in the Utah desert.

 

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Excerpt

The summits don’t understand humility. The idea of con­quering mountains is nearsighted. Even if you make it to the top, you can’t stay there forever; you must come down, else the mountain will kill you. Climbing requires an intense focus on the environment and requires you to respect your place within the world.

The mountains are the one place where I can keep that kind of focus and let things be as they are, without feeling the frustration of knowing that I lack control. When I’m up high, I feel grateful for the right to survive.

There’s a kind of romanticism to that, I guess. To the in­terplay of my perception and that of the natural elements that surround me. We remain aware, fighting contrary to one another in our desire for an advantage, while respect­ing each other’s presence.

I know only that I return. No matter how humbling of an experience I leave with, I return to climb, to summit, to descend, and to connect. Sometimes this connection is to nature, sometimes to myself, and sometimes to the others with whom I am navigating the terrain. Though, really, they’re all one in the same.

Something attracts me, magnetic in its approach. Some­thing so familiar as the way the earth feels underneath my feet. Something transient, truthful, and trenchant.

 

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After Canmore we drove to the Bugaboos in Brit­ish Columbia.

In the parking lot leading up to the Bugaboos, everyone wraps chicken wire around their cars to prevent porcu­pines from chewing through the brake lines. Apparently it’s a large problem. We did the best we could by propping up sections of wire with sticks we picked up along the sidelines.

Arriving there was so worth the waiting, the driving, the fighting…all of it. The Bugs is pretty much my favorite place on earth now. It’s truly wild…out there.

Beautiful granite spires pierce the sky from spectacular glaciers. Classic rock climbs are abundant, unusual in such an alpine landscape. Usually an alpine environment like the Bugaboos would require lots of ice and snow climbing (like in Patagonia, for example), but the granite up there is clean and solid. Crack systems link together marvelously, and there are endless world-class ascents.

The hut that we stayed in was technically closed because it was still shoulder season. You know, the season between too snowy to climb (winter) and prime time climb (summer). It was still pretty early for climbers to make their way up into those mountains. The windows were boarded up, but the door was unlocked so it was available for shelter, free of charge.

But the hut wasn’t the ultimate destination. Zephyr and I were there to climb the West Ridge of Pigeon Spire. That particular route is known as the best 5.4 in the world. It’s more of a scramble than a climb, but it requires quick movement over a lot of exposed terrain to make it to the summit and back in good time.

That kind of climb is sought for the adventure and scenery more than the technical difficulty, but the actual climb­ing on this route was expressly fun too. The brisk expo­sure and astounding landscape took our breaths away.

Imagine miles of snow-covered glaciers winding around massive stone peaks. The landscape was so beautiful, shaped by immense cliffs standing tall with rigid ele­gance, providing just enough weaknesses among the crack systems for hair-raising, choreographed ascents of their faces. The scenery was a natural work of art that could not be replicated. Nor could the great panorama of the scene be given justice in words. It embodied the ideal and the real.

When both these paradigms are aligned, harmony is cre­ated.

There is risk in mistakenly creating an imaginary “ideal” in order to please oneself. In this case, emotion may beat out rationality, and awareness of this insecure position is crucial to maintaining well-being. In these moments one must be patient and stand still. Naturally, this causes one to be aware.

Sometimes I take moments to stay as still as I can when I’m out on a climb. Absolutely frozen in form, letting the body become one with elements. The wind does this to me most.

I feel a powerful gust, and I can’t help but freeze, listening to it heal me with the stories that it carries.

 

*** Continue reading

Spotlight & Giveaway: Joy to You and Me (at Work) by Amy Thornton

Book Title: Joy to You and Me (at Work!) by Amy Thornton
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 179 pages
Genre: Self-help, Business
Publisher: Tell-Tale Publishing Group, LLC
Release date: June 5, 2018
Tour dates: Oct 1 to 19, 2018
Content Rating: PG (This book is for ages 16+, so there is the occasional “damn”, “hell”, and “ass” thrown in as far as language, but nothing worse than that.)

 

Book Description:

Are you one of the 48% of employees worldwide who doesn’t like their jobs? Do you feel constantly stressed at the office? Or maybe you’re just feeling “blah” about your job and want to bring some life back into your workplace. If you talk to anyone about their careers or jobs these days, most of the time you won’t hear positive stories or excitement. You’ll probably hear words like “busy”, “stressed”, “exhausting”, and “mind-numbing.” And with the good old 40-hour workweek becoming a distant memory for many of us, this reality is just plain sad.

Joy to You and Me (At Work!) helps turn these situations around by giving the reader easy tips they can implement quickly to start making a positive difference in the workplace. Being joyful isn’t just a “fluffy-cutesy-nice” thing to do each day – it actually increases productivity and is good for any company or organization. The book helps anyone learn how to:

– Be a more joyful person
– Bring joy to co-workers
– Bring joy to customers
– Bring joy to networking

This fun, easy-to-read guide shows people of all ages and personalities how to make a difference immediately to make not only themselves happier, but to spread that happiness throughout the workplace – and beyond!

By sharing stories from the author’s 25+ years of making a joyful difference in the workplace and examples from truly kick-ass companies, Joy to You and Me (At Work!) is a life-changing, fun read for anyone who wants to improve their work life.

Buy the Book:

 

 

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Meet the Author

Amy Thornton Shankland, GPC, has been bringing joy to her workplaces for over 25 years thanks to her innate enthusiasm. She is a former Dale Carnegie instructor, has been a grant professional for 17 years, is a former columnist for the Noblesville Daily Times, and is a current board member of Noblesville Main Street.Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook
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Ends Oct 27, 2018
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Spotlight: Silverhorn by Marri Champié

Silverhorn explores themes of magic/mysticism, history and Celtic and Native American traditions and heritage, family dynamics, love, friendship and music. It follows Willa – a young, beautiful rising rock n’ roll star who is also a cowgirl whose family ranch is the Silverhorn, a wild area that has long been off-limits to outsiders. Willa becomes obsessed with finding the truth behind a mysterious legend about what is on the other side of Silverhorn Canyon – is it a Native American legend or something far more ancient?  She risks it all to find out. Readers who enjoy cross-genre novels in which science and magic coexist, and those drawn to the Wild West will find it doubly appealing. 

Silverhorn weaves myth into truth and truth into myth. For centuries, archeologists contended Mongolians who crossed the land bridge were the first Native Americans. But were they? In 1996 the controversial discovery of nine-thousand-year-old non-mongoloid remains in Kennewick, Washington changed that theory. When the tribes reclaimed the bones and buried the original site of the find, testing of Kennewick man’s identity ended. But the puzzle and speculation over America’s first people continues. Blending Native American myth and Celtic legend, Champié suggests an extraordinary possibility regarding America’s first inhabitants.

“(Marie Champié’s) depiction of the relationship between the mundane and magical worlds is full of good humor and is low-key mythic in its own right….Readers who enjoy a modern fairy tale may find this appealing.” 

– Publishers Weekly

Goodreads

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Q&A with Marri Champié 

In light of the idea that you should write what you know, why do you write about shape changers?

We live with shape changers, people and things that aren’t who or what they seem, so shape changers are all around us. Speculative fiction uses settings and futuristic or paranormal scenes to explore things about human nature that are universal—death, love, loyalty, hate, war, family—the things that never change no matter where we are or what the circumstances.

You like to write about things that are connected, either stories, or events or characters. Why?

Because everything is connected. Time is circular. We don’t know if we are later than the terraforming of the Cosmos, or prior to it. We don’t know anything because we only see from our single point in time. If we could step outside of the small point of time we are in, we could see the connections of everything. All stories, all history, all events are connected. We can only imagine it because we can’t see it. I try to help people see it.

What ideas or recurring thoughts do you want your readers to take away from your stories?

Awe of mystery. Doubt about traditional beliefs. Questions about the subjugation of women. Questions about everything, from the world around them, to the very foundations of the Cosmos.

What is one response to your writing that you would hope every reader would have? To Cry. To Laugh. To Cry. If the audience doesn’t cry, I haven’t done my job well enough. It’s the Greek Muse thing… Melpomene & Thalia—the Sock & Buskin. If you don’t achieve that response in your audience, you have failed as a writer.

What famous person/persons do you admire or would you like to meet?

Thomas Jefferson, Atilla the Hun, & Hypatia of Alexandria.

 

What issue are you passionate about?

Gender bias. The millennial-old suppression, disrespect, and intimidation of women. They are 50% of the human race. It’s the most egregious, and foul human travesty, far more terrible than racism.

Are there any “messages” that you are trying to convey? These are important to our efforts with the media and extremely helpful in the preparation of effective press materials.

I want people to entertain the idea that, really, nothing we have been taught to believe is reality. Emerson said, “Reality is a sliding door.” I want them to question everything. Nothing is what we think it is. There are many messages in what I write, small ones, but they all point to the big one. Nothing is what it seems. And I want people to be kind. It’s never wrong to be kind. Lean in. Be kind. Resistance is futile.

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About the Author

Marri Champié has been nominated for the Pushcart for poetry. She has won the Boise State University President’s Writing Award for fiction & poetry & the Oregon State Poetry Award. Champié works as a wildfire support driver, and lives on a small ranch overlooking the Idaho Prairie. However, she was raised in Hollywood and says her childhood was “filled with fantasy and the creation of unreality.”Silverhorn is her debut novel.

Spotlight & Giveaway: A Life by Design by Lucy Appadoo

Book Title: A Life By Design (The Italian Family Series) by Lucy Appadoo
Category: Adult Fiction, 211 pages
Genre: 20th Century Historical Romance, coming of age story set in Milan, Italy
Publisher: Self-published
Release date: Aug 24, 2018
Format available for review: ebook (mobi, PDF, ePub)
Tour dates: Sept 24 to Oct 12, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 + M

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Book Description

When 20-year-old Elena Allegro leaves the Italian village of Laurino to study Fashion Design in Milan, she’s certain her dreams are about to come true. Despite her father’s warnings that risk comes with her newfound freedom, she loves her studies and develops a love interest with Francesco, the handsome young entrepreneur who offers her a part-time job in a Milan clothing store.

It seems like an idyllic situation—until a stalker targets Elena, tormenting her with mind games and threatening her safety. In the face of escalating danger to herself and to Francesco, Elena must fight for her freedom, her love, and her survival.

 

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Meet the Author

Lucy is an author of romantic suspense, historical fiction/coming of age, short story thrillers, and non-fiction books. She is also a Registered Counsellor/Wellness Coach, and works as a Rehabilitation Counsellor for the Australian Government.

Lucy enjoys reading romantic suspense, romance, thrillers, crime novels, family/historical drama, and sagas. She has enjoyed travelling to exotic places such as Madrid, Mauritius, and Italy, and draws on these experiences in her creative writing.

Lucy’s favourite authors include Kendra Elliot, Christiane Heggan, Theresa Ragan, Tara Moss, Nicholas Sparks, Adriana Trigiani, Erica Spindler, and James Patterson (to name a few).

Lucy’s interests include meditation, exercising, journal writing, reading fiction and nonfiction texts about writing, coaching, and counselling, ongoing professional development, spending time with her husband and two daughters, and socialising with friends and family.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

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Ends Oct 19, 2018

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Spotlight: Alone Against Gravity by Thomas De Padova

Alone Against Gravity – Einstein in Berlin: The Turbulent Birth of the Theory of Relativity, 1914-1918 by Thomas de Padova will  be published by Bunim & Bannigan on September 15, 2018 to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI. This informative and suspenseful book depicts Albert Einstein in a new light and illustrates the emergence of his general theory of relativity in the midst of the First World War. It shows how far Einstein as a single researcher could reach, and how he transformed from being a ‘pure’ scientist and an apolitical man into a politically engaged person and a pacifist by conviction. Alone Against Gravity explores why Einstein became a pacifist and how he began to devote himself to political issues. 

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A Conversation with Thomas de Padova

There are so many books on Einstein and his revolutionary physics. Why did you want to write another one?

When I started to focus on Einstein, the upcoming anniversary of World War I was already looming. Christopher Clark’s “The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914” was only one of many remarkable books and studies on this subject. Science and technology did not play a major role in these works. However, they formed a background to think anew about how scientists and especially Einstein acted in this period from 1914 to 1918.

 

How did the war change Einstein’s life?

Einstein during the war transformed from being a “pure” scientist into a politically engaged person. It was the violent nationalism of his colleagues that lead him to pacifism.

 

On the other hand Einstein has often been referred to as “naïve” related to his political thinking.

This is exactly, how some of his colleagues, for example the physicist Lise Meitner, spoke about him during World War I., referring to his pacifist views. But was his pacifism really “naïve”? When he became member of the “Bund Neues Vaterland” in 1915, the fronts were already immobilized and the terrible consequences of continuing with the war foreseeable. The organization wanted to influence on German foreign policy, because there was still a little chance for diplomacy to end the slaughter in Europe.

 

Being a pacifist, how could Einstein remain a friend of the chemist Fritz Haber, the scientific head of the German chemical warfare in World War 1?

One of the most difficult parts of my research was to get an idea of Einstein’s relationship to the Fritz Haber. In literature, Einstein generally shows up as “Haber’s best friend”. Especially Haber’s biographers – some of them former institute members or children of former colleagues – tended towards this view. Unfortunately, till this day there is no exhaustive and reliable Haber biography. In the archives I found poems regarding his chemical warfare activities, poems Haber had written to German industrialists that have never been published.

Archive material shows, that in 1914 Haber did everything to make life comfortable for his new Berlin colleague and his family. Einstein had his office in Haber’s institute, his apartment nearby and was very thankful to Haber. To give an example: The great scientist gave private lessons in mathematics to Haber’s twelve-year-old son Hermann for three months until Easter in 1915.

However, Einstein moved away from Berlin-Dahlem and gave up his office in Haber’s institute as soon as the director’s preparations for the chemical warfare started. Their correspondence, lively before, almost stopped. From 1915 to 1918 the two scientists did not meet anymore in the German Physical Society, the Prussian Academy of Science or any other scientific institution, because Haber did not participate in such proceedings and conferences during the war. They frequented completely different social and political circles. Einstein’s correspondence shows, that his view on Haber was much more critical than often asserted.

 

Didn’t he live rather isolated during the war?

In the first month of war Einstein generally shut himself in. He said, that he felt “alone, like a drop of oil on water, isolated by attitude and cast of mind”. Nevertheless, he was looking for like-minded people and started to frequent the meetings of pacifist organizations. In the meanwhile, Berlins leading scientists still liked his company. Einstein enjoyed the reputation of being the most significant physicist of his time. Philosophers and politicians, artists and journalists were among the growing circle of acquaintances of the physicist, who was surrounded by the aura of a genius. He himself registered with some wonder how rapidly news of his revolutionary worldview spread in Berlin.

 

And beyond Berlin? Didn’t he become famous only in 1919, when the results of the first empirical test of his theory of general relativity were announced?

When British astronomers a few months after the end of World War I proved that light is bended near the sun as he had predicted, Einstein became the most famous scientist in the world. But in Germany he had already acquired a high degree of fame. His popularity relied not just on his outstanding scientific performances, but also on his persistent advocacy of peace and democratic ideals. When in fall 1918 new democratic parties were founded in Germany, Einstein’s name was expected to provide a strong political backing. He could do little against the misuse of his name in newspaper advertisements by the “Deutsche Demokratische Partei” or the “Demokratischer Volksbund”.  Einstein demnaded opposing accounts but theese were printed only in the back pages of the newspapers and didn’t attract attention. Therefore, some of Einstein’s biographers used his supposed partisanship for the “Deutsche Demokratische Partei” and the “Demokratischer Volksbund” to underline again his naivety regarding political questions.

 

Einstein, the pacifist, has also often been accused for signing the famous letter to President Roosevelt in August 1939, in which he warned, that Germany might build atomic bombs. Two years later the US government launched the Manhattan Project.

Einstein later often repeated, that signing this letter was the biggest mistake of his life. But in 1939, when Hitler was preparing the invasion in Poland, he did not see any other way out. As many other scientists, Einstein feared, that German physicist could build nuclear weapons. Einstein even more, because from his experience in World War I he knew about the organizational power of German military and all the scientific minds involved in it. He knew what Fritz Haber as the head of the chemical warfare had been capable of doing: transforming a modest institute into a mayor research facility for new weapons of mass destruction. After World War II Einstein started again to fight for peace and nuclear disarmament.

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About the Author

Thomas de Padova is a physicist and science writer who lives in Berlin. He is the author of award-winning history of science books. In 2014 he was given a journalist-in-residence-fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, where he deepened his studies on Einstein and WWI to write this book. The author researched the correspondence, public speeches, newspaper articles and scientific papers of Albert Einstein, Max Planck, Fritz Haber, Walther Nernst, Max Born and other German scientists during 1910 to 1920.

Spotlight: Heaven Shining Through by Joe Siccardi

This book was conceived as a social media experiment. Way back when– five and a half years ago, actually — he floated the idea of a community novel by inviting readers on his blog, wisdomfromafather.com, and in his newspaper to contribute to an ongoing story. As long as there was interest, he promised to continue to advance the storyline.

He had no expectations about where the story would go. In fact, he didn’t even have a storyboard or outline. He trusted in his readers’ imagination and direction. Would it end up being a mystery? A romance? A comedy? A drama? A slice of life? Inspiration?

“The plan was to get them started and have them submit continuing paragraph(s) each week,” said Siccardi.” Together, I thought, we would flesh out the storyline, develop characters, possibly throw in some curves or red herrings. In the end I hoped we would be able to come up with a readable piece we all could be proud to share with family and friends.”

He added, “Well. That was the plan. I did have interest — somewhere around 100 likes – but I didn’t get much input.”

He started with the first open ended paragraph …

 

I was driving alone on the dark black asphalt, seemingly darker because of ominous clouds on the horizon ranging from steel gray to puffs of white. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of white as the sun tried to peek out from behind the clouds. It didn’t succeed, but first a ray rained into the picture, followed by a halo of rays.

 My name is …

He did receive a suggestion the lead character should be named Samantha — “my first challenge since I suddenly had to think as a woman and, as any man knows, that could be problematic. But I was sure I would get some help from my female readers. Guess what? It never came.”

Another follower added a paragraph, more of a reinforcement and continuation of the first paragraph. But that was the extent of any help.

“With steely resolve, however, I revisited the story weekly, adding a few paragraphs at a time to advance the tale,” said Siccardi. “I was pretty much left on my own. Although I continued to get likes, I just didn’t get much in the way of comments. It became a Wednesday fixture for the next 24 weeks on my blog.”

The end result was a story within a story. The underlining theme was the restoration of a relationship between Sam and her mother. It was told through the prism of a flashback to Sam’s life — her early home experiences, her wilder side, meeting the love of her life, Chad, her growth as a wife and mother through sorrow and blessings, and the presence of God in an ordinary life.

“I tried to keep it real with appropriate language and activities,” said Siccardi. “I purposely stayed away from being ‘preachy’ but rather told a story that showed the presence of God in everyday, sometimes messy lives. The hope is readers will be able to see that.”

A lot of the activity takes place in the greater Paterson, NJ, area, which is where he called home as a youth. Some of the backdrops will be familiar to fellow Patersonians who grew up in the mid 60s.

 Amazon

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About the Author

Joe Siccardi has been an editorial writer, editor and publisher for 52 years and posts a blog at https://wisdomfromafather.com/. As he states, “I’m the ordinary Joe walking along this journey called life and sharing it with you!” He is the proud father of five children, 18 grandchildren and three great-granddaughters. He currently lives in Dover-Foxcroft, after life experiences in Paterson, Totowa, Ogdensburg and Newton, NJ; Belvidere, IL;  Toledo, OH;  Washington, DC; Laurel, MD; and Seneca Falls and Willard (Romulus), NY.

 

Spotlight: The Torch Betrayal by Glenn Dyer

THE TORCH BETRAYAL, Synopsis

 In 1942, OSS agent CONOR THORN is sent back to London from North Africa after nearly blowing a critical mission. When he arrives, he learns that a top-secret page from General EISENHOWER’S wartime diary with all the details of the impending invasion of North Africa—Operation Torch—has been stolen. His superior, BILL DONOVAN, assigns Thorn to locate it before the Nazis discover the plans for the invasion.

MI6 agent KIM PHILBY, a longtime Soviet spy, learns of the missing diary page. Philby, aware that Stalin thinks Torch will do little to draw off Nazi forces from the Eastern Front, orders his co-conspirator, MILES STOKER, also a MI6 agent, to track down the document so Philby can get the document into the hands of the Nazis, forcing the Allies to cancel the invasion. Philby plans to hand it off to War Cabinet member HENRY LONGWORTH, Abwehr spy and a staunch anti-Communist who would love to have the Germans continue to slaughter the Red Army.

WILHELM CANARIS, Abwehr chief, meets with HITLER and SS head HEINRICH HIMMLER, who ridicules Canaris for the Abwehr’s failure in providing intel about an Allied second front. Canaris decides to reach out to his highest ranking spy—Longworth.

Thorn, working alongside MI6 agent EMILY BRIGHT, follows multiple leads, unaware that Stoker has met the thief that stole the top-secret document and purchased it. Thorn learns that one suspect in the theft—RAF Warrant Officer QUINN MONTGOMERY—has a family connection to Longworth. Yet another suspect—CAPTAIN REMY TOULOUSE, assigned to the Free French Intelligence—becomes a suspect given his professed hatred for the English. Thorn and Bright are attacked one evening, and Thorn is convinced that they are getting somewhere.        Thorn and Bright question Longworth, who is incensed at their line of questioning and complains to WINSTON CHURCHILL. Feeling threatened, Longworth orders Montgomery to kidnap Thorn’s sister MAGGIE THORN, who is a radio correspondent. Thorn, distressed at the disappearance of his sister, and Bright learn Longworth attends Westminster Cathedral, where a Thorn family friend, Father SEAN SULLIVAN, is assigned. Sullivan reveals that Longworth, once assigned to the British legation to the Vatican, still communicates through its diplomatic pouch with Bishop HEINZ, a known Nazi sympathizer.

Thorn observes Longworth being approached by someone he does not recognize. It is Stoker, and he tells Longworth that in exchange for not immediately reporting him as a spy, he must deliver the diary page to the Abwehr. Longworth, resigned to his fate, composes two letters for the diplomatic pouch. One to Heinz with his need to seek refuge in the Vatican. The second he addresses to himself in care of the British Ambassador to the Vatican, and it includes the diary page. Longworth then sets a meeting with Thorn and Bright. As they enter, Montgomery and Toulouse attack Bright while, gun in hand, Longworth keeps Thorn at bay. Thorn and Bright are tied up and stuffed into the trunk of a car.

Hours later, in a wooded area, Thorn sees that Longworth has also taken Maggie. Toulouse learns that Longworth has the missing document. He confronts Longworth, who kills him. Thorn struggles free, kills Montgomery, but is shot by Longworth. Longworth turns his attention to Bright, but his gun jams. He panics and flees. A distraught Bright examines Thorn and sees that the shot went clean through.

In Rome, Abwehr MAJOR KAPPLER arranges for an Abwehr unit to meet Longworth’s plane in Lisbon and then transport him to Rome. In Lisbon, confusion on the tarmac helps NKVD agents foil MI6 efforts to grab Longworth. Word of their failure reaches Thorn and Bright, and in Lisbon they learn that they will be traveling to Rome as members of the clergy with Myron Taylor, FDR’s representative to the Pope. On the flight to Rome, Thorn theorizes that Longworth sent the diary page to the Vatican via the diplomatic pouch.

In Rome, Kappler presses Longworth for the intel. Longworth says he doesn’t have it but that the document is safe inside the Vatican. Kappler knows that they need Heinz to gain Vatican access. Longworth, Heinz, Kappler, and Canaris, Abwehr chief, arrive at Osborne’s office and retrieve the document. Canaris studies it and says he doubts its veracity.

Thorn, Bright and Sullivan see Longworth getting into a limousine followed by Canaris, Heinz, and another man toting a gun. Thorn gives chase in the pope’s limousine. A showdown plays out on a bridge over the Tiber River. Bright shoots the escaping Heinz, then Thorn puts a round in Longworth’s skull. Bright retrieves the document from Kappler. Thorn dumps Longworth’s body over the railing into the Tiber. He tells Bright to grab Canaris. She stuns Thorn by saying that she can’t on orders from the head of MI6. Canaris looks as if he was in on the secret from the beginning.

Purchase links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2xCzYKT
Barnes & Noble:  https://bit.ly/2oj6oF4
Draft2Digital: https://www.draft2digital.com/book/324221

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About the Author

Long captivated by the events of World War II, Glenn Dyer couples this fascination with his passion for historical thrillers with the publication of “The Torch Betrayal”, the first in the Conor Thorn Series. He resides in Park City, Utah with his wife Chris. They have three children, all of whom live too far away.

I’d love to hear from you!

Email: glenndyerauthor@gmail.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/GlennDyerAuthor
Twitter: @duffy_dyer
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/glennduffydyer/
Website: www.glenndyer.net

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Continue reading

Spotlight: The Knight’s Secret by Jeffrey Bardwell

TITLE: The Knight’s Secret
SERIES: The Mage Conspiracy, Book 1
GENRE: fantasy / adventure / romance
FORMATS: epub, mobi
WORDCOUNT: 72,000
PUBLISHER: Twigboat Press

 

SYNOPSIS

A terrible secret. A vengeful empress. An unstable empire.

Sir Corbin, retired Hero of Jerkum Pass, dies on the eve of an urgent mission. His granddaughter Kelsa dons the old man’s armor and his wrinkles and sets out to complete his last quest. She ventures to the capital of the Iron Empire. The city is in an uproar. The emperor has been slain by rogue mages. The new empress is livid. Now, every mage is suspect, including Kelsa’s mother.

Hidden behind a magic ring, Kelsa infiltrates her grandfather’s old regiment. As the mission leads her down a path of dark suspicions and lustful adventures, Kelsa struggles to live up to her grandfather’s legacy. Yet the more she examines it, the more holes she discovers, until Sir Corbin’s secret past threatens to expose her.

Unravel The Knight’s Secret, the first fantasy adventure of The Mage Conspiracy series. Discover a world of romantic entanglements and political intrigue where lies cut deeper than any sword.

GOODREADS | BOOKBUB | SALES DISTRIBUTORS

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About the Author

Jeffrey Bardwell writes epic fantasy with elements of darkness, steampunk, and romance set in the Metal vs. Magic Universe. His character-driven books are guaranteed to include gritty realism, political intrigue, lurid entanglements, dry wit, and dragons in differing proportions. He devours fantasy and science fiction novels and is most comfortable basking near a warm wood stove. When not writing, Jeffrey enjoys cooking, gardening, and shooing baby dragons from the compost bin.

The author lives on a farm and in a prior life worked as a community ecologist. He is overfond of puns and alliterations. He is also an unabashed history and mythology enthusiast and would love to hear from you.

Email: jhbardwell@gmail.com

Bookbub Author Profile:

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jeffrey-bardwell

Blog: http://twigboatpress.com/blog

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Excerpt

I tried to scrimp when I found an inn outside a small town for the night. Saddlebags slung over one shoulder, I nodded to the short man behind the counter in the homespun apron and examined the premises. The innkeeper appeared to keep the building trim and clean. Unlike so many roadside establishments, the plaster on these walls had a fresh coat of lime, the wooden floorboards had been recently swept, and sprigs of dried herbs hung from the rafters, giving the place a pleasant aroma of thyme and rosemary.

I sniffed the air and smiled. Then I coughed and made my face smooth. Surely, a doughty old soldier would not derive pleasure from a room scented with anything but beer and beef? I smacked one of the dried bouquets aside and approached the counter.

The man startled, then gave my face a second, discerning glance as I stepped into the lamp light.

The Hero of Jerkum Pass at my little inn,” the little man bubbled. “Welcome, sir. A thousand welcomes! Will you be staying long?”

At last! A proper hero’s welcome. Only one night, my good man.” I set my saddlebags down and slid a handful of coppers across the polished, wooden counter.

A warm, metal color gleaming in the wood gave me pause. A large brass edifice sat on one end of the counter with its odd-shaped singular backwards spiraling dial pointing up. I leaned forward to examine my reflection in the mirror surface as the innkeeper pocketed most of my coins and slid two back across the counter.

Will you be wanting fresh fodder for your horse this evening, sir?” the man asked, his fingers still on the coins.

I nodded. The man slid the coins into his hand with a happy little sigh.

The ring clanged against my curiass and the brass box hummed at me and the dial dropped. A magic detector, then, which I had assumed presented no danger of detecting me. Miranda had explained that the machines responded best and absorbed fresh cast, direct attack spells. Passive magic wrapped in a talisman in close contact with the spell’s recipient should not trigger much of an effect.

Still, the stupid thing hummed. Did the innkeeper look nervous? I rapped my knuckles on the brass and moved the dial to its original position. “Old model here,” I said. “Seems in want of some repair.”

They’re heavy to move, sir, and repair costs dear.”

An old story flashed through my mind. In the days of my youth, I had strapped one of these infernal contraptions to my back once. Then I lugged the thing into battle and saved the day. I reached over and patted the brass edifice, keeping the ring at a distance. “Heavy indeed. I know from personal experience.” Continue reading