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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

#AmReading – Twelve Days (The McRae Series, Book 1 - Sam and Rachel) by Teresa Hill @teresahillbooks

Twelve Days by Teresa Hill


Twelve Days before Christmas, Rachel McRae opens her front door and a social worker puts a baby in her arms—one who comes with a four-year-old boy and an eleven-year-old girl—siblings abandoned and in need of a temporary home.
But there's a catch: Rachel's family is falling apart.
Rachel and her husband, Sam, have dreamed of a house filled with children—a dream that has led them to repeated heartbreak. Sam McRae has finally decided the only thing left to do is leave his wife.
Reluctantly, Rachel and Sam take the children in, but just until after Christmas. They will do their best not to fall in love with them, not to get their hopes up that this time a miracle will happen. That these children will stay, and that their marriage can still be saved.

The Pat O’Malley Historical Steampunk Mystery Trilogy by Jim Musgrave @OMalley_Mystery

Excerpt from Forever More

* * *

     Mister John Anderson lived alone outside the city limits in Tarrytown, in a section called Sleepy Hollow, made famous by the Washington Irving story about the headless horseman.  The land out there is lush with greenery, and I could breathe much better than in the factory smoke congestion of Manhattan Island.  Many of the rich and famous had moved their lodgings out here when the banks of the Hudson become cluttered with people and businesses.  Sleepy Hollow Park held the large mansion of the tobacco millionaire.  It was three stories tall, and in the new Victorian architecture, it cast a wide shadow along the garden way as I rode my horse up to its steel-shuttered windows and doors.  I had seen the same protective enclosures when I was visiting the Federal Prison at Elmira in upstate New York.   This Mister Anderson was afraid of something, and I was going to find out what it was.

     When I knocked on the metal door to his mansion, I had to wait a good fifteen minutes before two armed guards opened it.  They wore the uniform of the Italian freedom fighter, Giuseppe Garibaldi, with the ostrich feathers in their helmets, the purple bloomers, and the field muskets in their hands.  I suppressed a snicker as I watched them walk ahead of me down the long corridor leading to the drawing room where I met with Anderson.  He had little furniture in this mansion.  It was like being in an empty museum to some ungodly hero.  The only art objects in the mansion besides the Garibaldi memorabilia were stuffed animals standing on tables.  These were common animals like dogs, birds, fish and cats.   

     Mister Anderson was a short man, but his eyes were vibrant, his gray hair was cut short, and his mustache was in the distinguished style of the robber barons like the new Tammany Hall boss, and present Congressman, Fernando Wood.  However, Mister Anderson’s actions did not show a gentleman who was in his right frame of executive mindfulness.  He skipped up to me, speaking freely to the walls around him, where were hung pictures of his dead son, Willie and this hero of his, Garibaldi.  I was afraid to really question him, dreading that my detective abilities had finally met their match against this quite eccentric gentleman.

     “Hello, Mister Anderson.  My name is O’Malley.  Patrick O’Malley.  I am living out in Mister Poe’s old cottage on Fordham Road at the behest of the Union Government and the Valentine family.  I have come to discuss your knowledge of Edgar Poe and perhaps the affair of Mary Rogers and her murder most foul.” 

     As Mister Anderson closed the steel door, he suddenly turned around, and a wild, abandoned look stood out from beneath those gray eyebrows.  “What?  Have you seen them?  Mary visits me now, you know.  She is quite the shrew.  Never lets me be.  In point of fact, I believe both Poe and she were out to get me from the start.”

     This was quite curious.  “Out to get you?  I don’t understand, sir.  What could they do to affect your life and safety?”

     “It was Poe who killed her!  That’s the truth.  He wanted money for his dying Lenore, his Annabelle Lee.  He was a ghoul and an opium addict.  His addled mind concocted the plot to sway the police away from his own activities.  My Mary was young and available, don’t you know?  Longfellow and the others wanted her, but Poe, the blackguard, wanted her for himself.  He wanted to replace his dying wife, Virginia, with this new one, this new phantasm for his wild and romantic imaginings!”

     “But, dear sir.  How can you say this?  What solid proof might you have to accuse Mister Poe of such an egregious act?” 

     “Why, it’s the best proof of all, don’t you see?  She tells me who killed her!  How can I argue with her ghost?  What more proof does a sane man require?”  Anderson began to laugh, and dance around the room, skipping like a schoolboy on holiday.

     I realized this old gentlemen was not in his right mind, so I bade him farewell.  I would look into his mental health and perhaps I could find out more legitimate facts about his relationship with Poe and Mary Rogers.

* * *

Jim Musgrave

Here are all three suspenseful mysteries in one book!

Forevermore, the first mystery, was a #2 bestseller in Amazon’s Historical Mystery category. It has received outstanding reviews from readers, and it establishes Pat O’Malley as a detective sleuth par excellence. The second mystery, Disappearance at Mount Sinai, continues the development of the characters amidst an excellent caper. The third mystery, Jane the Grabber, plunges O’Malley into the middle of the Steampunk world, and it marks a turning point in the novels to come.

Forevermore Synopsis:

“Musgrave mixes accurate history with a spell-binding plot to create an amazing who-done-it! Watch for more Pat O’Malley Mysteries.”

In post Civil War New York City, Detective Pat O’Malley is living inside Poe’s Cottage in the Bronx. O’Malley is haunted by Poe one night, and the detective finds a strange note. As a result, O’Malley decides to prove that Edgar Allan Poe did not die in Baltimore from an alcoholic binge but was, instead, murdered. O’Malley quickly becomes embroiled in a “cold case” that thrusts him into the lair of one of the most sinister and ruthless killers in 1865 New York City.

Jim Musgrave’s “Forevermore” is a quick read in four acts that will keep your mind razor sharp trying to solve the mystery of Poe’s murder. Pat O’Malley must first find out how to become intimate with females before he can discover the final clue in this puzzle of wits, murder and romance.

Disappearance at Mount Sinai Synopsis:

What if the anti-Semites, racists, and terrorists wanted the final revenge following the Civil War? How do you stop them from committing the worst atrocity?

It’s 1866 in New York City. Civil War Vet and Detective Pat O’Malley’s biggest case returns him to the deep, dark South to search for the kidnapped wealthiest inventor and entrepreneur in America. But the widening gyre of anti-Semitism and racism pulls him down into the pit of hell itself. Disguised as an Oxford England Professor, O’Malley infiltrates the anti-Semites’ group and travels with his partners, Becky Charming and his father, Robert, down to a Collierville, Tennessee mansion.

At the crux of this case are a Jewish father and his five-year-old son, Seth. They have developed a unique bond that relies on Jewish folklore and a belief that they are Mazikeen, half-angel and half-human, born from the loins of Adam’s strange female cohorts during the 130 years he was banished from the Garden. Will O’Malley find Dr. Mergenthaler before it’s too late? What does this world-wide eugenics group have planned for the mongrel races? Read Jim Musgrave’s Disappearance at Mount Sinai, the second mystery in the series of Pat O’Malley Mini-Mysteries.

Jane the Grabber Synopsis:

What was it like before women were given rights to determine their own destinies? How was abortion and birth control used in the 1860s? What happens to a society when the last sexual taboo is permitted? Find out in the third mystery in the Pat O’Malley Historical Steampunk Mystery Series, Jane the Grabber.

Buy Now @ Amazon @ Createspace

Genre – Historical Steampunk Mystery

Rating – PG13

More details about the author

Connect with  Jim Musgrave on Facebook & Twitter


$250 gift card giveaway

Michael J. Bowler – What inspired you to write this book? @BradleyWallaceM

What inspired you to write this book?
by Michael J. Bowler
People ask me all the time, “What inspired you to write this book?” The answer is both easy and sad – society. I’ve been a volunteer within the juvenile justice system of Los Angeles for almost thirty years and a high school teacher for twenty-five. The idea for this book goes back fifteen or twenty years when I got to know and understand gang members better, as well as other disenfranchised youth I met within the system or at my high school.
I saw the success of Homeboy Industries here in LA and the effect its founder, Father Greg Boyle, had over gang members, even to the point of having enemies work side by side. And I talked with lots of gang members, homeless kids, cast-off gay kids, drug addicts, high school drops outs, and many who combined more than one of these “offenses against society.” I got to know these kids – they were the ones I gravitated to, and they to me. They seemed to know instinctively that I was open to them and would not shove them away or reject them like most adults had already done and continued to do.
Over time, I began to wonder what might happen if an adult, a strong leader, came along and united a lot of these marginalized kids and turned all their collected might toward positive endeavors. As people who’d been rejected and unloved, these kids had engaged in nothing but antisocial, destructive, and criminal behaviors. That’s where all of their negative energy and feelings were being directed.
After all, since society had rejected them and who they were as human beings, they rejected society and all its conventions and phony platitudes about doing what’s right. Society had wronged them so they felt they had the right to wrong society. But if that negative energy and might could be collected, harvested almost, by making these kids feel loved and important, by convincing them that working together made them much more formidable than working alone, they could effect real change in society for the good, not the bad, and the adult world would have to pay attention.
That experience and thinking process was the genesis for Children of the Knight. It seemed to me that the time of King Arthur with all the warring, feuding groups and clans of ancient Britain seemed very much like the gangs, tagging crews, and other posses of rejected kids we have roaming our streets, especially here in LA. It wasn’t a big leap from that thinking to the idea of King Arthur himself bringing together the lost kids of today.
I dedicated this book to all of the kids I’ve worked with over the years because they are the inspiration for this story, especially those incarcerated kids who clued me into a world of almost impossible-to-believe degradations perpetrated against children in this society. Sadly, every terrible act committed against kids in my book is one I’ve heard from someone in real life. And yet these same abused, abandoned, neglected, tortured kids who likely should have given up years before, inspired me through their undaunted ability to rise above their pasts and still possess hope for a better future. They are amazing!
Children of the Knight
According to legend, King Arthur is supposed to return when Britain needs him most. So why does a man claiming to be the once and future king suddenly appear in Los Angeles?
This charismatic young Arthur creates a new Camelot within the City of Angels to lead a crusade of unwanted kids against an adult society that discards and ignores them. Under his banner of equality, every needy child is welcome, regardless of race, creed, sexual orientation, or gang affiliation.
With the help of his amazing First Knight, homeless fourteen-year-old Lance, Arthur transforms this ragtag band of rejected children and teens into a well-trained army-the Children of the Knight. Through his intervention, they win the hearts and minds of the populace at large, and gain a truer understanding of themselves and their worth to society. But seeking more rights for kids pits Arthur and the children squarely against the rich, the influential, and the self-satisfied politicians who want nothing more than to maintain the status quo.
Can right truly overcome might? Arthur’s hopeful young knights are about to find out, and the City of Angels will never be the same.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Edgy Young Adult
Rating – PG13
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Constantinopolis by James Shipman @jshipman_author

His father! Mehmet stewed when he thought of him. His father had never shown him any real affection or spent significant time with him. He was not, after all, originally the heir to the Sultanate. He was a second son and only became heir when his older brother died. Mehmet had been forced from then on to endure a frantic and often harsh tutoring process. He was just beginning to grasp his responsibilities when at the age of 12 his father had retired and named him Sultan. He had done the best he could to govern, but in short order Grand Vizier Halil had called his father back to take over the throne. The Sultan felt Halil should have helped him, should have supported him. Instead he had watched and reported Mehmet’s shortcomings to his father, betraying him and leading to his humiliation.

From then on Mehmet had bided his time. He had learned to keep his thoughts and emotions to himself, to trust no one. He had studied everything: military art, languages, administration, and the arts. He had worked tirelessly so that when he next ruled he would not only equal his father but also exceed him. He would be the greatest Sultan in the history of his people, Allah willing.

His chance came when Murad finally died only two years before, as Mehmet turned 19. Mehmet quickly took power, ordering his baby half brother strangled to assure there would be no succession disputes, and set to organizing his empire. He had learned to be cautious and measured, leaving his father’s counselors and even Halil in power to assist him. From there he had slowly built up a group of supporters. They were young and exclusively Christian converts to Islam. These followers, many of whom now held council positions, were not nearly as powerful as the old guard, but they were gaining ground. They were the future, if Halil did not interfere.

Halil. His father’s Grand Vizier and now his own. He had always treated Mehmet with condescending politeness. He was powerful, so powerful that Mehmet could not easily remove him. So powerful it was possible he could remove Mehmet in favor of a cousin or other relative. Mehmet hated him above all people in the world, but he could not simply replace him. He needed Halil, at least for now, and Halil knew it.

This dilemma was the primary reason for Mehmet’s nighttime wanderings. He needed time away from the palace. Time to think and work out a solution to the problem. How could he free himself from Halil without losing power in the process? He could simply order Halil executed, but would the order be followed or would it be his own head sitting on a pole? The elders and religious leaders all respected and listened to Halil. Only the young renegades, the Christian converts who owed their positions to Mehmet were loyal to him. If Halil was able to rally the old guard to him, Mehmet had no doubt that the result would be a life or death dispute.

Mehmet needed to find a cause that could rally the people to him. The conversations he had heard night after night told him this same thing. The people felt that his father was a great leader, and that he was not. If he could gain the people’s confidence, then he would not need Halil, and the other elders would follow his lead.

Mehmet knew the solution. He knew exactly what would bring the people to his side, and what would indeed make him the greatest Sultan in the history of the Ottoman people.

The solution however was a great gamble. His father and father’s fathers had conquered huge tracts of territory in Anatolia and then in Europe, primarily at the expense of the Greeks. Mehmet intended to propose something even more audacious, to conquer the one place that his ancestors had failed to take. If he succeeded he would win the adoration of his people and would be able to deal with Halil and any others who might oppose him. If he failed . . .

The Sultan eventually made his way back near the palace, to the home of his closest friend, Zaganos Pasha. Zaganos, the youngest brother of Mehmet’s father in law, had converted to Islam at age 13, and was Mehmet’s trusted general and friend. He was the most prominent member of the upstart Christian converts that made up the Sultan’s support base.

Zaganos was up, even at this late hour, and embraced his friend, showing him in and ordering apple tea from his servants. Zaganos was shorter and stockier than Mehmet, a powerful middle-aged man in the prime of his life. He had receding dark brown hair. A long scar cut across his forehead and down over his left eye. He looked on Mehmet with smiling eyes extending in to crow’s feet. He smiled like a proud uncle or father.


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Genre – Historical Fiction

Rating – PG

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Nobody Has to Know by Frank Nappi @FrankNappi

Nobody Has To Know, Frank Nappi’s dark and daring new thriller, tells the story of Cameron Baldridge, a popular high school teacher whose relationship with one of his students leads him down an unfortunate and self-destructive path. Stalked through text-messages, Baldridge fights for his life against a terrifying extortion plot and the forces that threaten to expose him. NHTK is a sobering look into a world of secrets, lies, and shocking revelations, and will leave the reader wondering many things, including whether or not you can ever really know the person you love.

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Genre - Thriller

Rating – PG-13

More details about the author

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Monday, October 28, 2013

In Love With My Best Friend by Sheena Binkley



How did my life get so complicated? One minute, I, Camille Anderson, was living a pretty normal life in which nothing ever happened to me, and the next I'm practically being hauled away from the premier wedding venue in Houston, The Corinthian, by security because of my sudden outburst to the groom.

I should have known I was setting myself up for disaster, but I had to do it. I had to tell my best friend that I'd been in love with him since I was thirteen.

I really didn't expect the scene to unfold the way it did, especially while Trevor was getting married, but I couldn't hold my feelings in much longer. I felt he was making a terrible mistake, because he was marrying the wrong woman. He should have been marrying me.

I guess I should backtrack to when Trevor and I first met. It was seventeen years ago, when the Williams family first moved into the house next to ours. I was outside waiting for my friend Tia Simmons to come by when I first noticed Trevor. He was absolutely gorgeous as he stepped out of his family's SUV. He had that "boy next door" look, with wavy black hair and smooth ivory skin. He looked over at me and gave me a huge grin, which I greatly returned.

After that day, not only did we become friends, but our parents became great friends as well. We always went by each other's homes for dinner or for game night (until we were too old to appreciate hanging out with our parents on a Friday night).

We were practically inseparable during our high school years, and many of our friends thought we would eventually get married and have lots of kids. When anyone mentioned that to Trevor, he would shrug it off and say, "We're just friends, and it will stay that way until the day we die." Usually those words would tug at my heartstrings, but being the shy person I am, I never let my feelings show.

As we went to college, Trevor and I went into the same major, public relations. That was when he met Chelsea Parker, who was also my roommate. At first I liked Chelsea because she was basically a sweet person, but when she set her sights on Trevor, I quickly disliked her. Not because she took Trevor away from me, but because she became a different person.

If only I could go back to four weeks ago, or even seventeen years ago, I would be with the man I loved...


Four weeks ago....

"I don't know why you dragged me to this," I said as I looked at my friend Tia. The two of us were inside the Aventine Ballroom of Hotel Icon waiting for our friend Trevor and his fiancée, Chelsea, to arrive for their engagement and welcome home party. The two had announced their engagement to everyone a while back when Trevor was visiting his parents before going back to Dallas. Not only did he announce his engagement, but he also said that he had accepted a new position at a prestigious PR firm and was moving back to Houston. Although I was happy that my best friend was moving back, I was not thrilled that he was getting married.

"For once, why can't you be happy for Tre? He and Chelsea are finally getting married."

I gave Tia an evil stare as I looked toward the revolving door to the ballroom.

"You know how I feel about Trevor and Chelsea getting married."

"Oh please, Cam, when are you going to get past the fact that Trevor found someone? I told you to admit your feelings to him, but being the person you are, you decided not to."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"You felt you would have been rejected if you told Trevor your true feelings."

"If I remember correctly, in high school when Charles asked him why we never hooked up, he said, and I quote, 'We're just friends.'"

Tia rolled her eyes at me and started to stare at the door as well. This was not the first time we'd had this conversation about my feelings for Trevor, so I'm pretty sure Tia was tired of hearing it.

Tia was my other best friend and the complete opposite of me. While I was quiet and reserved, Tia was wild and carefree. She always did what she wanted and didn't care about the consequences. People always thought we were sisters, with our caramel-colored complexion and long, dark-brown hair. But that was where the similarities ended. I looked down at my black sequin dress that went above my knees, wondering if I was dressed appropriately for the occasion; but as I looked at the hot-pink dress Tia was sporting, I figured my outfit was perfect.

"So how are things between you and Eric?"

"Finished; I broke up with him a couple of days ago."

"I'm assuming because he's not Trevor? Cam, you have got to move on."

I sighed as I noticed two figures coming through the door. I started to breathe slowly as I watched my friend walk in with his fiancée. Trevor always was attractive, but tonight he looked really handsome in a dark blue suit, white shirt, and blue and white striped tie. His black, wavy hair was cut short, bringing out his beautiful brown eyes. He walked hand in hand with Chelsea, the woman I wish I'd never met, who was positively glowing in an ivory-colored empire dress. Her reddish brown hair was pulled into a tight ponytail and her makeup was flaw- less. Although I was completely jealous of Chelsea, I had to admit the two made a stunning couple.

Tia gave me a frown.

"You OK?"

"I'm cool. Let's just get this over with."

While the crowd of family and friends were clapping and whistling for the happy couple, all I could do was just stand in my place, looking at Trevor as if he was the only person in the room. He gave me a smile that showed the deep dimples on each of his cheeks. As he went to greet a couple of his family members, I took a deep breath to control any tears from flowing.

I shouldn't have come tonight.



"Why did we plan a huge engagement party? Everyone knows we're engaged," I asked my fiancée, Chelsea, as we were walking hand in hand down the corridor inside Hotel Icon.

"Sweetie, I just wanted everyone to celebrate in our happiness and what better way than a huge party?"

I sighed as I continued to walk, not realizing how frustrated I was becoming.

Chelsea was the love of my life. I instantly knew I wanted to marry her when I first laid eyes on her in Camille's dorm room. The two were roommates their junior year at University of Houston, which was great for me, considering I was able to see my best friend and my girlfriend at the same time. Although Camille and I were really good friends, I got the sense that something had been bothering her since I'd been dating Chelsea. Call me crazy, but it seemed as if Camille was jealous of our relationship. I hope not, because Chelsea loves Camille and considers her a good friend.

As we walked into the ballroom, everyone from our family and our friends were clapping and cheering for our arrival. We started to wave at everyone as we entered. Once I turned my head toward the center of the room, I had to stop and admire the person staring straight at me. My heart jolted several beats at the beauty who was giving me a dazzling smile. Camille Anderson had always been a beautiful woman, from her caramel-colored skin to her deep chocolate eyes; she definitely stood out in a crowd.

Just looking at her long hair flowing around her face and the black dress that hugged her curves in all the right places made me feel sort of embarrassed, because I shouldn't have been looking at her in that way. I always considered her my best friend and nothing more, so why was I looking at her differently now?

Chelsea turned her attention to me, wondering what was wrong.

"Is everything OK?"

I suddenly realized I was staring a little too long as I turned to Chelsea.

"I'm fine," I said as I squeezed her hand.

I gave Camille a huge grin as I walked over to talk to a nearby guest. I snuck another peek at her; she was talking to our friend Tia near the bar. I don't know what was going on with me, but hopefully this feeling I was having about my best friend would go away soon.

That's if I want it to.

In Love With My Best Friend

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Genre - Contemporary Fiction

Rating – PG13

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Birth of an Assassin by Rik Stone @stone_rik

Otto’s mind takes him back to finding his mother at the Serbsky Institute.

Inmates had jittered and made signs at him as he made his way through the corridors. “Please help me,” he heard from some and, “They have me here because of my political beliefs,” from others. They’d reached out to him as he passed, and his insides had quaked. With the stench of piss and shit everywhere, revulsion filled him. But he’d felt no compassion for these people. He hadn’t given a fuck about them. Only his mother mattered.

“This way,” the nurse had said. “She’s through here.”

He found her in a large open room. She sat on the only piece of furniture in it. The chair was pushed back against the wall and she rocked slightly, staring blankly into nothingness. Spittle leaked from her mouth and she was barely recognizable as the woman he loved. Her long, luxurious, oily-black hair had been shaven to the skin. Her teeth had somehow been removed and her formerly full face had caved in because of it. Like a corpse, she was yellowed and sunken. Only 47 years old and she looked twice that. He’d wished he hadn’t found her and cried bitterly – in front of those sadistic bastards that called themselves nurses.

More like prison guards. And in reality, that’s what they were. Soviet dissidents ended up in places like Serbsky, out of harm’s way. In mental hospitals where they could be abused and broken. Somewhere to extinguish credibility. He’d seen those inmates beaten, teeth punched or kicked from their faces. And if they still didn’t bow to the might of the people, enforced lobotomy wasn’t unheard of as a final step.

With desperation, he’d hoped his mother hadn’t suffered such cruelty.


And now, somehow, she’d made it through to 60. Why, oh why had she lasted this long? All those years, and still she rocked on that old wooden chair and stared at nothing. How could life be this cruel?

He remembered the first time he’d visited the asylum in full Spetsnaz uniform. After calling several of the nurses together, he said, “I know you all have military connections. On that basis, I won’t explain this uniform. Each of you has some sort of responsibility to my mother. The good news is you’re about to receive an extra income. The bad news: if you don’t look after my mother properly and see she gets the kind of care and nourishment she needs, I may have to call on my KGB colleagues. I hope we all understand what that could mean.”

Memories dissolved as he entered the large open room. On his instructions, her hair had been left to grow. But now it was too long and no one had shown it a comb. Still she rocked, gazing into nothingness with the expression of a lunatic on her face.

The burly warder turned to leave but Otto grabbed his arm. “We have an agreement. Next time I come here, I expect my mother to be presentable. Look at her, her hair hasn’t had attention for who knows how long. She needs a bath and a change of clothes. She looks like she’s just puked down them.”

“I err…,” the nurse spluttered with a voice too high for his size.

“Fuck you and your errs. Why do I pay you people so much? I’ll say this once. If I’m not satisfied with the way she looks next time I come, I’ll personally see to it that you have teeth to match hers. And each time after that, I’ll take you a step further down that road. Clear enough?”

“Yes, Captain. I’ll see to it myself.”

The nurse left and Otto looked at his mother. His heart brimmed. The only woman he’d ever loved – could ever love. He got down on his honkers, and took her hand. No sign of recognition, but at least she didn’t pull away.

“Hello, Mother, how are you today?”

Birth of an Assassin

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Genre – Thriller, Crime, Suspense

Rating – R

More details about the author

Connect with Rik Stone on Facebook & Twitter


The Color Pink by Parker Paige


Can wearing the color pink attract true love?

That is the question Summer Jones intends to answer.

In her early thirties, Summer Jones thought that she had found the perfect man, the man she planned to marry until she learned that he still had feelings for his first love. Now, at age thirty-five, Summer is ready to fall in love again. After she hears that wearing the color pink can attract true love, she sets out to do just that–and finds more than just true love.

Follow Summer as she journeys into the world of color magic and find out how she uses that magic to help her choose between one man from her past and another man who is destined to become her future.

This romantic drama serves up something fun and sexy, proving that the road to love can be paved with many painful lessons and memorable moments. It’s a story about paying attention to your past so that you don’t always have to repeat it.

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Genre - Romance

Rating – PG-13

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Birth of an Assassin by Rik Stone @stone_rik

Birth of an Assassin

Set against the backdrop of Soviet, post-war Russia, Birth of an Assassin follows the transformation of Jez Kornfeld from wide-eyed recruit to avenging outlaw. Amidst a murky underworld of flesh-trafficking, prostitution and institutionalized corruption, the elite Jewish soldier is thrown into a world where nothing is what it seems, nobody can be trusted, and everything can be violently torn from him.

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Genre - Thriller, Crime, Suspense

Rating – R

More details about the author

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Friday, October 25, 2013

The Photo Traveler (The Photo Traveler Series) by Arthur J. Gonzalez


I can’t ask for a better day to be out shooting. Man, what a view. Something about how the sun’s rays press against the faint distant outline of the mountains. Sick! If it can seem so dominating from all the way over here, I can only imagine what it must feel like up close. I don’t know. It just always kind of does something to me.

I know, I know. Lame, right? But trust me, if you lived in the hellhole I live in, anytime alone is sacred. You start to appreciate all these little not-so-particular things. Yeah—even the outline of the mountains.

Carefully, I focus the lens on my Canon 7D to capture the effect of the clouds drifting across the peaks of Mt. Rose and get my shot. A few seconds later, the sunlight dims. I hadn’t realized it was so late. I glance at my watch, wondering what’s taking Melinda so long. She promised to pick me up by five, even though I knew that would mean five-thirty. It’s five-forty-five.

I call her on my cell. It rings four times, then goes to voicemail. “Come on, Mel!” I mutter. “It’s getting late!”

I’ve had a good day so far, probably because I’ve been alone for most of it, and I really don’t want another confrontation with Jet. I can still taste the faint copper tinge of blood at the corner of my mouth where he split my lip the last time around. Two days ago.

I hit redial. Straight to voicemail. “Dammit, Mel!”

I tell myself to breathe, but my anxiety is really starting to kick in. Sweat is beading on my forehead and my heart is jolting in my chest. Why does she always have to be so impossible? I don’t get it.

The moment I hear the loud thrum of an engine roaring up the dirt road, I jump up from the boulder I’ve been perched on. It’s about damn time!

She screeches up to me in her new, cherry-red Mini Cooper and slams on the brakes. I dodge around to the passenger side. Grab the door handle. It’s locked.

“Mel!” I shout. “Open up!”

But she’s sitting behind the wheel pretending not to hear me. Eyes glued to her phone, purple nails tapping out a text message. With a tiny smirk on her glossed-up lips.

I hit the window with my fist. “Stop messing around! Jet’s gonna be pissed!”

She finishes her text, sends it … and adjusts the rearview mirror so she can check out the jet-black curls at her temples. She still hasn’t given me one look. Is she really serious right now?

I pound at the window again, as hard as I can. “Open up, dammit!” My anxiety is turning into rage. And rage is something Jet’s modeled for me only too well over the years, ever since he and his first wife, Leyla, took me in as a foster kid. Mel was just six at the time, but “my sister,” which she became after they finally adopted me, was a full-fledged brat from Day One, and she’s only gotten worse.

My fist hurts. I’m afraid of what Jet will do when we get back, since he ordered me to be home by six so I can start dinner.

But as far as Mel’s concerned, I might as well not be there. I can’t control it any longer. I take a step back, lift my knee, and kick the passenger door with all my strength. The hollow metal frame vibrates against the sole of my shoe. Mel’s prized car now has a six-inch dent right in the middle of the passenger door.

I guess that got her attention. Her mouth is hanging open. For a moment, she’s so astonished that she can’t speak. She swings her door open and charges around to the passenger side.

“MY CAR!” she screams, staring at the dent. “Are you crazy?!”

“Why couldn’t you just open up?” I yell back.

“Gavin, you’re an asshole! I was just messing with you! You’re never gonna learn to use your head, are you?”

“Go to hell!”

She goes still, then raises her eyebrows with an “Oh, really?” expression. Then she hauls off and slams her fist into the right side of my face. All I can feel is the large stone of her ring jabbing into my cheek. She stalks back to the driver’s side with a wicked smirk creasing her lips and snaps, “You can walk home!”

She slides behind the wheel, slams the door, and peels off so hard and fast that the car kicks up a stinging cloud of gravel and asphalt dust all over me.

She can’t be serious. But as the Mini disappears around the first bend in the road, I realize that she is.

* * *

Photo Traveler

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Genre - Young Adult Science Fiction

Rating – PG

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

#Free–Penalty Clause by Lori Ryan @loriryanauthor

Penalty Clause by Lori Ryan

Amazon Kindle US

Genre – Romantic Suspense

Rating – R

4.5 (42 reviews)

Free until 24 October 2013

To keep her, he'll have to gamble it all!
Andrew Weston and Jill Walsh had to be the two most unlikely people to fall in love. When Jill's first husband's love for her simply fizzled and died, Jill knew she'd never trust that love could last again. After Andrew's first love betrayed him in the most brutal way possible, he knew he might fall in love again someday, but there was no way he'd ever make himself vulnerable again by confessing those feelings if he did.
Fate had a different ending in mind for these two, though, and when Andrew discovers his love for Jill, he knows the only way to get her to stay with him forever is to offer her an iron clad penalty clause in a prenuptial agreement. He stays with her forever or he loses everything he owns. The millions he's worked for, his property, his cars, everything. Now he just needs to hope that's enough to hold onto Jill forever.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

#Free - Night of the Purple Moon by Scott Cramer @cramer_scott


Abby, 13, is looking forward to watching the moon turn purple, unaware that deadly bacteria from a passing comet will soon kill off older teens and adults. She must help her brother and baby sister survive in this new world, but all the while she has a ticking time bomb inside of her--adolescence.

"Cramer creates a picture of our world that's both frightening and inspiring in this heartfelt story that both young adults and adults can enjoy.A heartwarming but not overly sentimental story of survival." KIRKUS REVIEWS

"Outrageous and completely 'out of the box'."
"Three words: Gripping. Palpable. Well-developed." WORD SPELUNKING review blog

Buy Now @ Amazon & B&N & iBooks & Kobo

Genre - Science fiction

Rating – PG-13

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Colony East (The Toucan Trilogy #2) by Scott Cramer @cramer_scott

Colony East
When the bacteria that killed most of world’s adults undergo a deadly mutation, 15-year-old Abby must make the dangerous journey to Colony East, an enclave of scientists and Navy personnel who are caring for a small group of children. Abby fears that time is running short for the victims, but she’s soon to learn that time is running out for everyone outside Colony East. (Parental discretion advised for readers 13 and under)
Colony East will be specially priced at $2.99, 60 percent off the regular price.
Night of the Purple Moon (Book 1 of the Toucan Trilogy) is free.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Science fiction
Rating – PG-13
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Monday, October 21, 2013

Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend by Cheryl Carpinello

Chapter 1

The Hunt

Guinevere stared into the shadows along the edge of the forest. She could hear Cedwyn shifting from foot to foot beside her, unable to stand still. She sighed, the bow made of sturdy pine in her hand growing heavier like her heart. Her thirteenth Birth Day was in a few days, but she wasn’t excited. Birth Days were supposed to be fun, but not this year. Not for her, not for a princess.

She frowned as Cedwyn adjusted the leather quiver of arrows on his back again. Sometimes, like today, her patience with the seven-year-old was short.



“But ...”


She stamped her boot on the ground, her displeasure clearly showing.

“Cedwyn,” she snapped. “What is so important that you can’t be quiet?”

“I’m hungry, and the bottoms of my trousers are wet. Can’t we go back to the castle?” His face showed his confusion at her tone.

Guinevere realized that she shouldn’t have directed her anger at Cedwyn. It wasn’t his fault. Glancing down at her own clothes, she saw the bottom of her green ankle-length tunic wet with the morning dew. Her stomach chose that moment to begin grumbling. It started as a low vibration but grew louder as if it hadn’t been fed in days. Cedwyn heard it and started giggling. He tried to smother the sound by covering his mouth with his small hand, but he was too late.

Trying to keep from laughing also, Guinevere shook her head. “How are we ever going to shoot a rabbit with all this noise?” She reached down and tousled his blond hair to let him know that she was not serious and to apologize for her crossness. “Let’s try for just ten minutes longer. Then if we find nothing, we’ll go back. Is that all right?”

Cedwyn shook his head, not wanting to make any further noise. She let her eyes move across the blue sky. The English summer sun had barely reached above the far hills when they had first arrived at the forest. Now, it was well on its way in its climb toward the dinner hour, and they hadn’t even had a proper breakfast yet. Cedwyn’s mum was sure to be upset that they had been gone so long.

“Come on,” he whispered. “The only creatures we’ve seen moving have been badgers and Cornish hens. We could of had five bloody hens by now.”

“I told you, it’s good luck to bag a rabbit on the eve of your thirteenth Birth Day,” Guinevere informed him.

Cedwyn studied her face, unsure if she was telling the truth or not. Then his blue eyes widened, and he grabbed her arm as she turned to continue hunting. “Wait a minute! You promised to help me bag a rabbit on the eve of my tenth Birth Day. You said that was lucky!”

She turned to him, her balled fists on her slim hips. “You need to listen closer when I talk to you. I explained the difference be- tween boys and girls. Boys have to seek luck on the eve of their tenth and fifteenth Birth Days. Since girls are naturally luckier than boys, they only have to seek luck once, on the eve of their thirteenth Birth Day.”

Cedwyn eyed her suspiciously, and then his eyes lit up.

“But I thought that the eve was the night before. Your Birth Day isn’t until the day after tomorrow.”

“That’s true, but the eve of something can also be anytime close to the day.”

“Are you sure?”


Buy Now @ Amazon @ Smashwords

Genre - Arthurian Legend

Rating – G

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Author Interview – Mark LaFlamme

What are some of the best tools available today for writers, especially those just starting out? God, the internet. Don’t you sometimes sit back and wonder how we ever got along without it? I mean, I started out with a manual typewriter and I stuffed more than my share of self-addressed stamped envelopes. That seems like the dark ages now. Email for sending out queries? Oh, and how about when you’re writing at 2 in the morning and you need to know the capital of Wyoming (it’s Cheyenne. I just saved you ten seconds of research) for a scene? Back in the day, we’d have to stop everything and scramble for an encyclopedia or worse, run to the public library. It still blows my mind how much has changed. But as tools go, there’s something new every day. With the social networks, you can reach more and more readers all the time. Sites just for readers – Goodreads, for example – are a great resource. There are services such as, which presents a huge variety of ways to promote your work for cheap. You can automate everything with and there’s all kinds of software that will physically yank your internet connection and not give it back until you’ve written for an hour or two. I used that one myself for a while. Very helpful when you need discipline, and who doesn’t from time to time? Also, Evernote. Keep track of your ideas, your editing notes, correspondence with agents and publishers … Of all the cool stuff out there, Evernote is probably the handiest of them all for a writer.

What contributes to making a writer successful? Talent first, of course. But perseverance is right up there, too. You have to wonder how many potentially great authors threw in the towel after their second, or tenth, or fiftieth rejection letter. That ego-busting hell is a fire we all must walk through. Anybody who overcomes the tidal wave of rejection earns any success he or she gets, in my view. You need a thick skin to thrive as an author, especially today when everybody and their cousin Lou is doing it. A talent for self-promotion is key, as well. Although, I like to think that if your work is up to snuff, some of that promotion will come naturally.

Do you have any advice for writers? The only advice I ever give on the matter is to keep writing. Write every day no matter what. Got the sniffles? Tough. Grab some tissues and sit down to write. There’s a “Walking Dead” marathon on AMC? Too bad. Have someone record it and go write instead. And so on. Sometimes I think the best time to write is when you really don’t feel like it, same as working out, same as anything that requires discipline. It’s important that you keep writing even if the rejection letters have been coming fast and furious. If someone tells you what a heartbreaking craft it is and tries to steer you away, write twice as much that night. It’s amazing how quickly you can get into a groove where NOT writing would feel unnatural. Write like you’re on fire through the first draft. You’ll have a chance to pretty it up later, during the many, many, many rounds of edits and revisions.

Do you have any specific last thoughts that you want to say to your readers? No. Well, yes. Maybe just this one thing. And that is that if there’s any one thing cooler than hanging out with other writers, it’s hanging out with readers. Some of the best conversations I ever have involve books, my own or those written by others. When you start talking with an avid reader, it doesn’t matter if he or she is a perfect stranger. When you start yammering on about plot twists, characters and climax, it gets lively. I love that. Every now and then, some reader writes me out of the blue to say he enjoyed one of my books. They always seem to do it timidly, as if its an intrusion. It never is. I had this woman contact me late at night once to complain about a character I’d killed off. We ended up talking it over into the wee hours and we became friends. It’s just the coolest thing when people come together to talk about books. It sounds like some sort of lame library slogan, but it’s utterly true.

What do you do to unwind and relax? I ride a dual sport motorcycle (which means I can ride on the road or in the woods) named El Mechon. Some of the best story ideas I’ve had came while I was plowing through the puckerbrush on that beast. When a plot gets knotted up and I can’t figure out how to shake it loose, I go for a long ride. It works almost every time. It’s so fun getting a “eureka!” moment while you’re rumbling down a trail at 20 mph. You get so excited, it freaks out the birds and squirrels.

What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing? You know, I spent most of my childhood writing stories and then immediately resigning them to a trunk. I mean a literal trunk that was never opened by anyone but me. For the first few years of writing, I don’t think I showed a single person one of my stories. I always wanted to, of course. When you write something that really pops, what you want more than anything is to share it. When that day comes, it’s remarkable. It’s at once exhilaration and terrifying, but mostly the former. I think the grandest moments for me came with my first published novel, “The Pink Room.” Just holding that book in my hand was amazing and sort of unreal. At my first book signing, there was a line of people winding all the way out the door of a little mom and pop bookstore. One by one, they’d come up to me and say, “I just started your book. I’m on chapter three.” In weeks to come, I’d hear from people who had finished the book. Talk about nerve wracking. They always seem to pause before revealing whether they loved it or hated it. Those silent moments are brutal, but of course, it’s also part of the fun.

Jack Carnegie has developed a head for numbers – a true savant who was just an average teenager a day before. Jack Deacon builds things, from self-propelled drones to goggles that can see through walls.

Jack Van Slyke awakes with an ability to speak a half dozen languages.Jack Gordon discovers he is a master of the martial arts, just when he needs it most.

All over the country, young men are finding that they have special skills, areas of expertise that appeared out of nowhere. They’re confused. Baffled. Maybe even dangerous.

And they’re all named Jack.

After experiencing adventures on their own, the Jacks will come together in the deserts of Arizona. There, they will set out on the quest to find out what has happened, becoming a multi-talented task force with not a single clue why.

But answers are coming – chilling revelations about their own minds and about new terrors that imperil the world. Together the Jacks will have to make a decision: drift apart and return to being careless teenagers? Or band together and fight a rising evil that threatens not just the Jacks, but the world.

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Genre – YA / Thriller

Rating – PG

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ronald Probstein – Flophouses @honestsid

Flophouses From Honest Sid

by Ronald Probstein

          During the Depression for many men in New York City the last place for getting a night’s sleep that was one step above a bus terminal or railroad station was the flophouse, which cost 50 cents for a night. The living conditions in a flophouse are described on p. 98 when as a young boy I went to find my father in one:

“I found the place, with the word “LODGING” crudely hand-lettered on a large globe hanging above the doorway.  Inside was a small lobby with bare wooden floors; a few men in threadbare clothes sat in lounge chairs worn so thin that the stuffing was coming out.  The men ignored me completely, staring forlornly into space.  A small, dust-encrusted fixture on the wall with a single bulb, and another naked bulb hanging over a small counter just inside the door, provided the only light.  A rail-thin old man sat behind the counter reading the Racing Form.  I asked for my father and through the yawning toothless chasm of his mouth he mumbled, “Second floor to de right,” and went back to scanning the Form without giving me another glance.

The air felt dank as I walked up the dimly lit stairway and I become conscious of the strong smell of urine.  Upstairs the rooms were like cubicles crowded one after the other down the long corridor.  Although the rooms had doors with latches, many of them were ajar.  Open at the top with widely spaced wire mesh for a ceiling, each had a cot-like bed, a shelf, a chair, and a bare light bulb. Finally, I spied my father.  He was sitting on the narrow bed in his cubicle.  Dressed only in his underwear, unshaven with disheveled hair, despair was etched on his face….

“Things ain’t too good.”  Then he turned and looked blankly at his pants, which were draped over the chair.  “I got cleaned out last night while I was sleepin’.  All they left was some change.”

Robbery in the flophouses was as common as the perpetual smell.”

If you’re going to live outside the law, you’d better be honest. This seeming paradox was the operating principle of Sid Probstein’s life. Guileless and endlessly optimistic, he was known as Honest Sid around his stomping ground of New York’s Broadway. Sid wasn’t a tough guy, or even a bad guy. He just never had the patience for the “straight” life, grinding out a living at some monotonous desk job.

He was the quintessential American dreamer, always sure that the good life was just one big score away, a man who never stopped believing in his own good luck, even when the evidence said otherwise. He had all the tools, he was charming, good-looking, quick-witted and decent, but he had an obsession he couldn’t escape.

Honest Sid is the story of an American archetype as seen through the eyes of his son, Ronald, who loved him, and who almost lost him. It follows Sid’s adventures in the world of bookies and bettors, fighters and fixers, players and suckers set against the often-romanticized backdrop of Depression-era New York. It is also the passionate tale of the great and tempestuous love between Sid and his wife Sally, and of his son Ronald whom he idolized.

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Genre – Biographies & Memoirs

Rating – PG13

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Monday, October 14, 2013

#Bargain – BLACK by Russell Blake @BlakeBooks

Black by Russell Blake


Artemus Black. Perennially down-on-his-luck Hollywood PI whose Bogie fixation is as dated as his wardrobe. With an assistant who mocks him relentlessly, an obese cat that loathes him, a romantic life that's deader than Elvis, money problems, booze, nicotine, and anger management issues, how much worse can it get? When he takes a case that's supposed to be easy money working for a celebrity whose colleagues and surrounding paparazzi are dropping faster than interest in the star's big comeback, the cakewalk turns ugly and Black finds himself in a web of deceit, betrayal, and murder - and bad hair days.
The first in a new series from bestselling author Russell Blake, Black is a detective mystery with a difference that fans of the genre are sure to enjoy.

Featured Author - Sarah Martinez

Tell us a bit about your familyMy husband is a complete studmuffin. If it were not for him taking the girls so I can hole up and work, I doubt I would be this far along. He is incredibly supportive. Not a big reader, but supportive in every other way. He is a great partner for physical activities like dancing and running. I have always been impressed with his ability to just jump up and go when I start something new.

My girls are beautiful and smart and remind me all the time that there is an entire world waiting for me when I come back from dreamland, or promoland, or studying or editing or whatever. My oldest is a runner and a writer (she has done Nanowrimo with me for two years) and reads everything just like I did at her age. Her younger sister is a big ball of emotion and also likes to sit and flip through books and even though she isn’t actually reading them though that doesn’t stop her from carrying the books around everywhere she goes. Just yesterday I also caught her filling up the pages of a lined notebook with very detailed scribbles. I remember doing that as well, I was trying to imitate my mother’s cursive.

Both of them are High School Musical fans, and if I play songs from that movie in the car they will both sing at the top of their lungs. That makes me really happy.

What is your favorite quality about yourself? My enthusiasm. I have gotten quite a lot done just by diving in before really considering the work involved. My close friends cite my enthusiasm as something they appreciate about me so I am glad it is rubbing off.

What is your least favorite quality about yourself? My enthusiasm. I take on too many tasks. Some eventually don’t get completed though they are just as important as the others. This causes me stress and I don’t like being disappointed in myself.

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? I have an entire page on my website dedicated to quotes I love under a tab I labeled “Inspiration.” Several people from Jonathan Franzen to Marilyn Manson have said things that I use to keep me motivated. I also included several quotes in Sex and Death in the American Novel.

A quote that crystalizes a mindset and a feeling that I am channeling for the novel I am working on now comes from Rush Limbaugh.

“Feminism was established to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream.”

I have lived with this sense of the way the world works my entire life, and grown out of it to some extent, but this quote has done the most to give me something to speak to. I was extremely grateful when I found this quote because it succinctly put into words something I am compelled to work against.

What is your favorite color? Red. I was married in a red gown. My husband even painted the living room in our last house red for me.

Most people know me for my red lips. Blood is red and symbolizes life, vitality and energy--nourishment and sustenance.

What is your favorite food? If I had to choose one I would say Chicken Biryani. This is a spicy rice and chicken dish that isn’t too hot. I told my husband that on my deathbed I don’t care what the doctors say, I want something from our favorite Indian place.

What’s your favorite place in the entire world? Montana.
My parents were both born in Montana, and I plan to end up there eventually. I spent the largest amount of my childhood there. Mountains, lakes, skies that go forever…I even named my website after those skies. Storms blow through that last only minutes and then the sky returns to blue. There is a hopeful example in that. I miss it.

How has your upbringing influenced your writing? My mother was very strong and very creative. Through the last years of her life people started calling her a “character.” She never let details stop her from doing what she wanted. Though I do not want to follow in her footsteps (she was a Pro-Life activist, and could get into a good deal of trouble at times.) I do feel like her example of spending time away from us kids to do something she thought was important probably influenced the way I began to make my writing a priority while I still had kids at home. Especially in the beginning, there was a lot of guilt for taking time away from my family to do something that was just for me. Now I remember her and believe I am showing my girls an example that will serve them when they are adults.

Both of my parents encouraged college, both by example and by letting us know they expected us to go. Our house was filled with books and they each read all the time. My father was big into science fiction and horror and that was what I grew up on.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? With Edgar Allan Poe. I would memorize stanzas from “The Raven” and loved the way those lines made me feel. His stories wrapped me up so completely and set up a very specific mood. I wanted to be able to create a world and make people feel in that specific way.

What inspired you to write your first book? My first book was all about a boy who was born in Argentina in the 1970s. Since I started dancing the Argentine Tango and reading about the country and its culture, I found out what an interesting place it was. The history is exciting and there are some awful parts as well but so much to learn from all of it. These are people have all-night bookstores and this rich literary tradition producing writers like the well-known Julio Cortazar and Jorge Luis Borges plus these fun weird ones like Roberto Arlt.

There is also a dialect they call Lunfardo which seemed very novel when I first learned about it. History is evident in everything from their architecture to their dances to the many languages that are spoken and beyond.
I used the main character to explore some of the more fascinating aspects of that culture and history and also used the setting as an excuse to rewind my life and see what I might have done differently if I had made different choices as a young person.

That was my first book, so mostly it was a big excuse to fantasize and do research!

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Literary Erotica
Rating – X
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