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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

PM Pillon's Thoughts on Writing Style, Life Stories & Perception @PMPillon #WriteTip #AmWriting #SciFi

Our writing relies on our perceptions, leading us down a bright or dark path if that’s how we see the world but and are infinite in variety. For instance in Dostoyevsky’s case appreciating and writing about appalling privation because he himself experienced it as a starving writer and Solzhenitsyn also as a state prisoner. Who can fail to be moved by the young man’s utter destitution in Crime And Punishment, or the Gulag convict fussing over his boots without which he would be a dead man walking?

However, there are also cases of a writer’s life being a stark contrast from her or his writing, such as Guy de Maupassant who wrote beautifully and auspiciously even as he lived a life of depression and ultimately wrote as his epitaph: “I have coveted everything and taken pleasure in nothing.” 

We are a sum of our parts and at the same time we are a continuum, experiencing myriad states of life most often without even realizing it, with all aspects such as memories morphing into differing levels of appreciation. We forget most events and remember only a fraction, and we sometimes wish the two would transpose and we could forget that pedestrian remark dad made and instead remember something he said about mom when she was ill. If every single memory is still somewhere in our brain, until and unless a method for total recall is discovered we are forced to play with the cards we’re dealt; trudging through life with limited recollections that we can mine for our writing. A week ago I had a dream that I recognized as being a basis for a entire book as my previous books have been, but within seconds I forgot it and it’s clearly gone for good.

If we’re writing about a man whose girl friend has left him or vice versa, it helps to have some memories under our belt about amorous relationships. Writing blind about events with which we have no experience can still work if we have learned about them from observation or stories we heard from others, but it’s more problematic because more care must be taken to attain plausibility.

And ultimately our writing style will likely be the decider, such as the case of William Faulkner who gave up trying to mimic or emulate others and just wrote in his own consciousness stream and prose based on his experiences that eventually earned him universal praise and a Nobel Prize for Literature.

His celestial companion was waiting for him
Precariously climbing a sea-side cliff near Big Sur, ten-year-old Joey Blake was as yet unaware that near his grasp was an object, so odd, mysterious and alien to earth that it would change his life forever and the lives of countless others in the next few astonishing days. Reaching up as far as he could for a handhold it was just there; it had subconsciously lured him, occupied his mind, and made him find it. It was like he was meant to see and discover this object of unimaginable power … the power to change reality.
Time travel and more

This young adult series of sci-fi fantasy novels begins with The Reality Master and continues through four other exciting and amazing stories about time travel and mysterious alien devices. Joey and the reader will face dangerous shadowy criminal organizations, agents of the NSA, bizarre travelers from other times and even renegade California bikers and scar-faced walking dead.
- Vol 1 The Reality Master
- Vol 2 Threat To The World
- Vol 3 Travel Beyond
- Vol 4 Missions Through Time
- Vol 5 The Return Home
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Science fiction, Fantasy, Young adult
Rating – G
More details about the author
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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

John E. Wade II on How "Glimpses of Heaven on Earth" is a Timely Read #Gender #Inspiration #TBR

I very much enjoyed writing Glimpses of Heaven on Earth, as an inspirational read that I hope gives its readers some interesting thoughts to contemplate. The book includes quotations and essays on the following topics: peace and security, freedom, democracies, prosperity, gender harmony, racial harmony, spiritual harmony, ecological harmony, health, and moral purpose and meaning. This is a follow-up to my prior book, How to Achieve a Heaven on Earth, which is a collection of approximately one hundred essays on these same topics.

In this newest book, Glimpses of Heaven on Earth, I invited four essay contributors to my prior book to join me in collecting inspiriting quotations. Each of the five co-authors—Charlotte L. Piotrowski, Daniel Agatino, Michael Nagler, Martin Rutte, and I—wrote brief commentary to follow the quotations in each chapter. I think the group did a good job of finding quotations on all of these topics from leaders and thinkers throughout time and across the globe, which was an exhaustive by interesting project. You will find some familiar favorites, such as quotes from Mother Theresa and Mahatma Gandhi, and also some that may be unfamiliar. I can imagine starting off each day by reading a sampling of quotes from each chapter. After all, we are all seeking to make some kind of order in the chaos of life, and I find this book very helpful in that quest.

Because of the range of topics, there truly is something of interest for everyone. I enjoyed reading about net-zero buildings in Martin’s commentary on ecological harmony. And I think readers will be intrigued by my predictions of everlasting life in the chapter on health. I want to note that we did not shy away from today’s hot topics, such as racial and gender issues, making for a very timely read.
All in all, our writing styles are easy to read and the content is easy to follow, although I had to read Michael’s commentary about peace and security twice before it really sank in. As the founder for the Metta Center for Nonviolence, Michael is an expert in this field, and I found myself wanting to know more about his beliefs and practices. In addition to other books on the topic of nonviolence, Michael provides all sorts of other helpful material on his website:  I also has several comprehensive websites, one that specifically focuses on the topic of heaven on earth:

This book would make an excellent gift for someone experiencing change in their life, going through difficult times, changing jobs or schools, or for someone who enjoys being inspired to create a better life for herself and others. I can imagine giving this book as a graduation or retirement gift as well. Truly, anyone would benefit from reading this short, but impactful, book.

Glimpses of Heaven on Earth

Editor and author John E. Wade II has compiled a spiritual guide of invaluable insight for finding peace and meaning in life while making the world a better place for all. Along with co-authors Charlotte Livingston Piotrowski, Daniel Agatino, Michael Nagler, and Martin Rutte, this collection of enlightening essays and inspirational quotes from renowned thinkers and leaders throughout history provides the intellectual tools needed to live a more harmonious life.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Inspirational
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with John E. Wade II on Facebook

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Rik Stone Shares Practical Writing Advice Writers @Stone_Rik #AmWriting #Authors #WriteTip

The truth of the matter is a full length manuscript is nothing more than an expanded short story. And a short story is a blown up account of something that interested you over coffee, or in a pub, or a musing on the way to work, a joke, an anecdote, a newspaper article, an idea of what you might have done if you’d won the latest lottery (we’ve all been there). The source is endless. But whatever it is you come up with, it should have a beginning, middle and an ending. Obvious maybe, but having a complete idea of what you want before putting pen to paper is important.
The Story: A writer formulates a tale from a basic idea and helps it grow; no one sees every word, line, or chapter of their text in the preamble of thought. At some point it might take on a life of its own where you feel your hand is merely being guided, but that can’t happen until you’ve made a start. Write your idea down in its simplest form. As I said, it needs a beginning, middle and an ending. Beginning; Tom falls for Mary and she likes him too. But Mary is seeing a boy called Harry. Middle: Harry is a bully and Mary has been afraid to break up with him for as long as she can remember. Tom is no hero but feels compelled to be with Mary. Ending: Tom is forced to stand up to Harry. Things go wrong; Harry gives Tom a good thrashing. But this gives Mary the strength to dump Harry and go off into the sunset with Tom… Not a blockbuster in the making, I’m sure, but you can see where I’m going. Those few short sentences provide a skeleton to put flesh on. Now you have your own idea written down, think about it before going further. It’s better to rearrange the bare bones before you have to start pulling flesh out the way to get at them.
Research: Okay, the words flowed, your ideas were brilliant – but were they accurate? Unless you’re writing something like Sci-fi or fantasy there is a high probability that your narrative will incorporate real events – make sure what you write is correct else the reader will lose belief in your ability: try to use more than one source to verify your work.
Patience equals quality: You finish your tale, great, you’re excited, the world of readers must see it, and they must see it now. Nope! From my own standing, you must complete at least 4 drafts – up to you, but that’s my unwritten rule. Done it, good, but you’re not finished. The work should be edited by a pro, and that even goes for the pro editor who writes; it is too easy to overlook your own mistakes. You’ve got it back from your editor – rewrite. Do not look at it and say they were wrong. They might be, but their interpretation is how they understood your written word, so if they didn’t get what you meant then you probably didn’t make it clear. Accept the criticism, that’s what you paid for.
Finished: Not yet, you’ve rewritten the book and you love it. It couldn’t be better. So how come it isn’t finished? Well, it might be, but you’ve just messed about with work that has been professionally edited and the quality might have taken a dip. Pay out to have it copy-edited/proof read. The few extra pennies you spend will be worth it.
Done it all? Great, you’re finished – good luck with the next steps.

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.
Buy Now @ AmazonB&NKobo & Waterstones
Genre - Thriller, Crime, Suspense
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with Rik Stone on Facebook & Twitter

Thursday, November 27, 2014

LUCIFER & THE INDIGO KIDS by Lord Ra Krishna EL @Lord_Ra_Krishna #Excerpt #Poetry #TBR

Geronimo... (and the ones with religion)

Dear Geronimo...
My Great, Great grand Father

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

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

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

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

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

They used you for mascots
the Red Skins
and the Chiefs

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

#Excerpt from WITNESS TO MY HEART by Loni Flowers @LoniFlowers #AmReading #Romance #TBR

“Do you know how great that bathing suit fits you?” he commented.

I was surprised by the unexpected compliment. “Thanks. It’s definitely not the bikini I should have been wearing, according to Caroline.”

“You can see just as much in a bra and panties, which I’ve already seen.”

“Only the bra,” I corrected him.

“Personally, I’ve always preferred a woman in a one-piece. The way it molds to the skin… perfectly outlining every delectable curve on her body. There’s only one thing sexier than that.”

“Oh yeah? And what is that?”


When I didn’t respond to his answer, Max plucked my empty bottle from my hand and set both bottles on the on top ledge of the pool behind my shoulder as he moved in closer. “Shall I get you another?”

I shifted back a bit. “No, I’m good. I hope you’re not trying to get me drunk so you can have your way with me?”

He took another step closer. “You accepted the beers. I didn’t make you drink them, or ask you to get in the pool. And I would never force myself on a woman just to get what I want.”

“Is that because alcohol makes it so much easier for you?” I retreated another step and my back reached the tiled side, indicating I had nowhere else to go.

“The alcohol means nothing; and the fact that you brought it up tells me you’re trying to find an excuse. What I’m trying to figure out is: do you want me more right now? Or that day I pushed you against the wall? Or was it when you came out of the bathroom last night, dressed in a tight, little tank top and shorts?”

My heart started racing at his sudden forwardness, but I couldn’t let him get to me. “I see the decent conversation we enjoyed tonight has ended. Now you’re full of delusional assumptions.”

“Your eyes give you away.”

As soon as he said that, I stared into the water. There was only about an inch of space between us.

“And so does your breathing. I affect you more than you realize, or will admit.”

“You’re so full of yourself. I just met you. I don’t even know you.”

“I’m only stating the facts. You want me and you can’t even admit you do.”

“I do not! I’m not sure what gave you that idea.”

“The gaze in your eyes, your increased breathing, your mouth, hell your whole body reacts to me when I’m around. I can even smell it on you!” Max raised his arms and put them on each side of my head as he gripped the ledge with each hand. Water trickled down his arms and dripped back into the pool. “When I’m this close, your body sends out pheromones and signals, like it is calling me. Your hands find their way to my skin… like now.”

My hands were pressed against his chest. Like a magnet, they were drawn to him over and over again without any forethought on my part. Closing the gap between us, Max pressed his body against mine and I found it hard to resist the moan that nearly escaped my mouth.

Leaning down, his lips barely brushed mine when he spoke. “And right now, you’re wondering what it would feel like to have my lips tasting yours. Possessing you. But I won’t take what I want, Abi. So, tell me… what do you want?”

Witness to my Heart

Keep a low profile. That's what Abigale Peterson was supposed to do, especially when the person she was being protected from was one of the world's worst crime lords. After seven years in the Witness Protection Program, she felt no safer now than she did when she was seventeen. Revenge was rarely forgotten when it came to a professional criminal like Zerilli.

Low profiles meant no social life and definitely no love life.

Paranoia and lies became daily habits, going against everything Abigale believed in, but they kept her safe. They kept everyone safe.

Until a house fire puts her out of that safety and into the arms of a stranger. Max Smith is sexy, smart, and has major attitude. He’s the only one who seems to get her. He calms her fears and comforts her from her nightmares. But he also sees right through her lies.

Before Abigale can stop, she’s in too deep; confiding too much and breaking the one rule she promised herself to uphold: Never fall in love.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Romance
Rating – R
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Connect with Loni Flowers through Facebook & Twitter

Hank Quense on Using Scene Settings to Develop the Rest of the Story @hanque99 #AmWriting

Why choosing your setting is important

A setting for a new story is one of the earliest attributes I assign. I need the setting on order to develop the rest of the story design elements. More about the story design elements later. There are two separate types of setting in a story. One is the overall setting such as a Medieval kingdom or Victorian London or an alien planet. The second type of setting is a subset of the overall setting and this second tip is used in scenes. Thus, scenes set in Victorian London could include a private men’s club, a private home, the docks on the Thames, and the London Bridge. All of these are readily identified as part of the London overall setting. It is an essential requirement of the story that the scene settings be consistent with the overall setting. For instance, if the scene on London Bridge includes modern automobiles, the reader will have a difficult time suspending belief.

In other words, choosing a setting limits what the writer can do and it also limits the characters. Likewise, a character in the Medieval kingdom setting can’t use Kung Fu to disarm an opponent. Using Victorian London as the story setting will require research in order to write convincingly about it. However, since no one is alive who lived during that era, the author has a bit of leeway in describing the setting. That’s not true if the writer uses a modern setting. If the writer gets the details wrong, some readers will call him on the mistakes.

I live outside New York City and I love to visit Central Park. I’ve used the Park as a scene setting in a few stories. In one story, the climax took place in the Park at a spot that includes Cleopatria’s Needle, an Egyptian obelisk. The story called for characters to be dropped off on the east side of the Park (5th Avenue) and go through the Park to get to the obelisk. To ensure accuracy, I went to the Park and walked the route my characters would take. I also took pictures to ensure I wrote the details correctly.

If you haven’t been to Central Park, don’t try to use it in a scene, it’s unique. In similar fashion, don’t write about San Francisco’s Chinatown unless you’ve been there and are familiar with the area.

I’ve written a number of scenes in a fantasy city called Dun Hythe. I picture the seaport as resembling Quebec City. This city has two parts called the Lower and Upper towns. The Lower Town is along the St. Laurence River and extends back a few hundred yards. The Upper Town is atop a rock palisade a hundred feet or more high. My Dun Hythe is constructed similarly and I have photos to took while in Quebec so I get the details correct.

Moxie's Problem

Do you enjoy untypical coming-of-age stories? Well, you won’t find one more untypical than Moxie’s Problem. Moxie is an obnoxious, teen-age princess who has never been outside her father’s castle. Until now. The real world is quite different and she struggles to come to grips with reality. The story takes place against a backdrop of Camelot. But it isn’t the Camelot of legends. It’s Camelot in a parallel universe. So, all bets are off!

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Fantasy, Sci-fi
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with Hank Quense through Facebook & Twitter

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A LIFE LESS ORDINARY #Excerpt by Victoria Bernadine @VicBernadine #AmReading #ChickLit

Manny laid in bed, staring up at the ceiling and waiting for sleep. She plucked restlessly at the blanket and wished she could relax. Tomorrow was Steph’s first staff meeting. Today she’d reacquainted herself with everyone in the office then spent the rest of the day with Manny being briefed on the details of the work of the branch and any current issues she’d need to resolve within the next few days. That meant Manny’s own work had been delayed, and tomorrow it would be delayed again–and Manny would have to leave early in order to meet Rebecca and Daisy at the lounge for drinks before heading to the club.
Manny took a deep breath and slowly let it out. It wouldn’t be too bad, she staunchly told herself. Steph was young, energetic, and had a shrewd intelligence almost obscured by the cleavage-revealing shirts, short skirts and a figure that could stop traffic–and probably did. Manny wondered if Craig truly understood what he’d gotten himself in for by promoting Steph rather than Manny.
Cleavage and legs.
She mentally rolled her eyes at Harvey’s dry, cynical tones.
Maybe–but that’s not really fair to him, is it? He’s not a bad guy.
But he is just a guy.
She does bring a new perspective–a new way of thinking about things. She’s not a bad choice–and I can’t argue with Craig’s idea that shaking things up could make things better.
And where does that leave you?
No worse off than I was before.
And no better.
If you’re not going to be helpful…
Harvey glanced down at his suddenly ruffled shirt opened to the middle of his muscled chest and skin-tight breeches. He glanced back at her with a ruefully amused smile.
Watched the Ice Pirates again, did you?
Oh, shut up–it’s a classic no matter what anybody else thinks!
I’m just sayin’–if I was real and regularly wore pants this tight, I’m not sure I’d be of any use to you. If you know what I mean.
Manny groaned and shook her head, and Harvey blinked out of existence. She wondered when she’d managed to lose control of a figment of her imagination–one she’d eventually felt compelled to name after an invisible rabbit.
She groaned again, rolled over and pulled the covers over her head. It was going to be another long day tomorrow.
Complete with dancing.

For the last fifteen years, Rose “Manny” Mankowski has been a very good girl. She turned her back on her youthful fancies and focused on her career. But now, at the age of 45, she’s questioning her choices and feeling more and more disconnected from her own life. When she’s passed over for promotion and her much younger new boss implies Manny’s life will never change, something snaps. In the blink of an eye, she’s quit her job, sold her house and cashed in her pension, and she’s leaving town on a six month road trip.
After placing a personal ad for a travelling companion, she’s joined in her mid-life crisis by Zeke Powell, the cynical, satirical, most-read – and most controversial – blogger for the e-magazine, What Women Want. Zeke’s true goal is to expose Manny’s journey as a pitiful and desperate attempt to reclaim her lost youth – and increase his readership at the same time. Leaving it all behind for six months is just an added bonus.
Now, armed with a bagful of destinations, a fistful of maps, and an out-spoken imaginary friend named Harvey, Manny’s on a quest to rediscover herself – and taking Zeke along for the ride.
Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – ChickLit, Contemporary Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
 Connect with Victoria Bernadine on Twitter

Friday, November 7, 2014

Cheryl Rice Shares How #Poetry Was an Outlet for Sorrow @RiceonLife #AmReading #Women

Why Writing is a Form of Personal Therapy

If someone asked me what three things I’d take if I were stranded on a desert island I would say, my dog Gracie for love and companionship, dark chocolate as my drug of choice, and a very large, spiral bound, unlined journal with an attached Paper Mate InkJoy pen for therapy.

Writing has always been a safe haven for me. Through it I have found a sanctuary of comfort, clarity and sanity. I remember writing my first poem, which I spelled “pome,” in Mrs. Hilderman’s second grade class. It was about a mouse with tickly prickly whiskers. Mrs. Hilderman chuckled when she read it and gave me the ultimate compliment when she hung it with a clothespin on a strand of twine that stretched the length of her classroom supply closet.

It didn’t take long for my poetry to grow in depth and drama as I grew into my awkward adolescence. Most of it was fairly melodramatic and maudlin but it provided a needed outlet for the loneliness and longing that suffused my days. My grandfather used to take fistfuls of poems that I had written into the bathroom with him and emerge with tears in his eyes and arms wide open. “Sherry,” he would say (my grandfather was the only person in the world I let call me anything other than Cheryl), “Please don’t tell me you’re as sad as these poems. I can’t bear it. Come here. Let me give you a hug.”

While my poetry served as an adequate outlet for my sorrows at the time, it was the daily journals I kept throughout most of my life that served as my gateway to self-knowledge and eventually self-compassion. In my late twenties I kept a journal addressed to my imagined future husband. It was a way for me to feel a hopeful connection to my eventual life partner and also to clarify for myself who and what I wanted in a partner. It’s amazing how many of the qualities and even characteristics – like being a lawyer and having two sisters – my real-life husband shares with the imaginary man I wrote to all those years ago.

Writing became most therapeutic for me in the wake of losing my mother. When I was mired in unprecedented grief I could bring my sorrow and anguish to the page without worrying I was burdening anybody else. I would write my feelings of course, but I also would write letters both to my mom and from my mom to me. I even wrote a letter from me to my unborn child. I cried as I wrote many of these letters but that cascade of words and tears provided tender comfort and healing to my wounded heart.

Another powerful writing experience was when I gave myself permission to write in an unlined journal. At first I was reticent and kept trying to write in straight imagined lines – as if someone would strike my hand with a ruler if my words weren’t straight. But once I got over that I found the experience quite liberating. I could write in circles, I could turn the page on its side or upside down, I could add drawings if I liked. The freedom was indeed therapeutic as it lessened my self-imposed rigidity and broke me free from rules I didn’t even know I had been following – ultimately allowing for a catharsis and clarity I hadn’t even known I was seeking.

Writing was even therapeutic for me when I was actually in therapy and wanted to take what I was learning in sessions deeper. I wish I could say my journal didn’t talk back but the amazing thing is it did! It would offer a fresh realization – like maybe it wasn’t my fault that I couldn’t heal my father – or some much needed self-compassion when I was grieving my mother.

So, yes – I’m sure that if I was indeed stranded on a desert island I’d find meaning and a therapeutic sanctuary in my journal. I may even discover a way off the island.

Where Have I Been All My Life

Where Have I Been All My Life? is a compelling memoir recounting one woman’s journey through grief and a profound feeling of unworthiness to wholeness and healing. It begins with the chillingly sudden death of Rice’s mother, and is followed by her foray into the center of mourning.

With wisdom, grace, and humor, Rice recounts the grief games she plays in an effort to resurrect her mother; her efforts to get her therapist, who she falls desperately in love with, to run away with her; and the transformation of her husband from fantasy man to ordinary guy to superhero. In the process, she experiences aching revelations about her family and her past—and realizes what she must leave behind, and what she can carry forward with her.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Cheryl Rice through Facebook & Twitter

Thursday, November 6, 2014

@KirstenWriter on the Ingredients for a Satisfying Reading Experience #AmReading #TBR #Suspense

Eeek! She’s Gonna Crash! The Joys and Perils of a Towering TBR Pile
By Kirsten Mortensen

The leaning tower of Pisa? Ha. That’s nothing. You should see my To Be Read pile!

I can’t help it, I guess. I love books so much, and I’m interested in so many different types of books and so many authors, that I always end up buying more books than I could possibly read.

And, to make it worse, I’m one of those people who reads multiple books at once. At any given moment, I’ve got a half dozen books piled up next to my bed with bookmarks stuck in them. I’ve got another half dozen in my Kindle that I’ve started, then set aside.

But you know what? I’ve made peace with it. I know that some of the books in my TBR pile will remain unread on the day I breathe my last.

And is there anything wrong with that!

No, I say!

Oh, sure, it’s satisfying to finish a book. It’s like finishing any project. You close the cover—or click past the last page on the e-reader—and sit back, and you get this marvelous feeling of accomplishment. Even aside from the pleasure of a well-realized plot, there’s a sense that you did it. You completed the journey. You crossed something important off your to-do list.

But I’m also of the opinion that guilt is never a very helpful emotion. So why torture yourself needlessly if you have books you don’t get to? Or books you start but don’t finish?

They still serve a purpose. Maybe that indie title you bought helped push a book onto a best seller list. Maybe the classic sitting on your shelf will one day spark the interest of a young family member, and start him or her on a reading journey.

And in the meantime, having a generous TBR pile is a bit like having a well-stocked pantry.

No matter what you’re in the mood for, chances are you’ll find the exact book you need at that moment. You have all the ingredients on hand for a satisfying reading experience: your own personal library, there for the sampling.

So to me, my leaning pile of to-be-reads is never a burden. It’s a blessing—it’s a towering stack of  riches.

How about you? Do you ever feel anxious or stressed about your TBR pile? Or does the pleasure of knowing you have plenty of books in your reading queue make you feel good?


A woman's worst nightmare

Drugged by something...that makes her think she's fallen in love.

All Haley Dubose has ever known is beaches and malls, clubs and cocktail dresses.

But now her father is dead.

And if she wants to inherit her father's fortune, she has to leave sunny Southern California
for a backwater little town near Syracuse, New York. She has to run RMB, the multimillion dollar
chemical company her father founded. And she has to run it well.

Keep RMB on track, and she'll be rich. Grow it, and she'll be even richer. But mess it up, and her inheritance will shrink away before she gets a chance to spend a dime.

Donavon Todde is her true love. But is it too late?

He's RMB's head of sales – and the more Donavon sees of Haley, the more he's smitten.
Sure, she comes across at first as naïve and superficial. But Donavon knew Haley's father. He can see the man's better qualities stirring to life in her eyes. And Donavon senses something else: Haley's father left her a legacy more important than money. He left her the chance to discover her true self.

Donavon has demons of his own.
He's reeling from a heartbreak that's taking far too long to heal. But he's captivated by this blond Californian, and not only because of her beauty. It's chemistry. They're right for each other. But has Donavon waited too long to woo this woman of his dreams? Because to his horror, his beautiful Haley falls under another spell. Gerad's spell.

A web of evil.

Gerad Picket was second-in-command at RMB when Haley's father was alive. And with Haley on the scene, he's in charge of her training. But there are things about RMB that Gerad doesn't want Haley to know.

And he must control her. Any way he can.

Romantic suspense for your Kindle

Will Haley realize that her feelings are not her TRUE feelings?
Does Donavon have the strength left to fight for the woman he loves?
Will the two of them uncover Gerad's plot to use RMB pheromones to enslave the world?
And even if they do – can they stop it?

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Romantic suspense
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Kirsten Mortensen through Facebook Twitter

Friday, October 31, 2014

K S Ferguson on What Readers Want From a Hero #Fantasy #WriteTip #AmReading

What makes a hero? According to bestselling thriller author John Sanford, a hero has to be handsome (or beautiful if female), intelligent, and successful. Think about your favorite books. Does that description apply to the characters you liked most, the ones you were thinking about weeks, months, or even years after you put the book down?

Writers are warned to stay away from clichés. If all main characters meet Sanford's description, won't they begin to seem like boring, cookie-cutter characters? How do writers address the diversity of problems characters encounter if the main characters are all alike?

River Madden, the main character in Touching Madness, has schizophrenia. Because of his homelessness, he's not under the care of a doctor or receiving medications that miraculously make him 'normal.' He's small, thin, and a dedicated pacifist. While he's able to keep himself fed by selling sketches on the street, he's not what society would consider a success story. He's the antithesis of what Sanford says readers require in their heroes.

But readers love River. He's frequently described as 'vulnerable.' His mental illness is not the whole of who he is. It's a complicating factor. He's able to cope with it because he has high intelligence and a self-deprecating sense of humor about the difficulties the schizophrenia causes.

If readers require handsome heroes and writers want to sell books, then shouldn't writers eliminate gay characters, minorities, the handicapped, the mentally ill from their lists of potential heroes? A literature professor once told me that it was the writer's job to hold the mirror up to society. Is a world peopled by nothing but handsome heroes an accurate reflection? What about you? Do you enjoy stories about characters who aren't beautiful people?

Touching Madness

Light bulbs talk to River Madden; God doesn't. When the homeless schizophrenic unintentionally fractures a dimensional barrier and accidentally steals a gym bag containing a million dollars, everyone from the multiverse police to the local crime boss—and an eight-foot tall demon—are after him. Can he dodge them long enough to correct his mistakes and prevent the destruction of three separate dimensions? If he succeeds, will the light bulbs stop singing off-key?

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Genre – Contemporary, Urban fantasy
Rating – R
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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ultimately, People Will Think What They Think, Says @AmyLewisAuthor #Life #Grief #Memoir

Integration: Inviting all parts of yourself to the dinner table

I am a chameleon; I’ve known for a long time. I sit across from someone, even a stranger, and within 60 seconds I can unconsciously read them and magically transform myself into what they want/expect/need me to be. This can make dating a nightmare when the day comes that they realize I am not that person. But otherwise, I don’t see this quality of mine as a problem. It’s allowed me to have a wide range of life experiences that have added flavor, texture and profound wisdom to my life. I no longer get confused about who I am, nor do I feel victim to my experiences. In a mystical way, I know I am none of these things and at the same time all of them. Being so open with my identity has led me down a lot of different winding paths – some open and expansive, some muddy and full of holes and some complete dead ends. I have been an athlete, a mental patient, a porn producer, a scholar, a self-mutilator, an abused wife, an actress, a widow, a divorcee and a single mom; I’ve made enough money to put me in the 1% club at times, and I’ve also lived in poverty.

Inside It’s taken me a long while, but I’ve gotten to a place where I don’t judge my past or the more socially unacceptable experiences I’ve had.  But I feared others would judge me, so I did a lot of hiding publically, keeping too many secrets, separating my life and friends into compartments. Social media became a bitch; I needed too many profiles to encompass my whole life, so I rarely participated. The truth, of course, was no one really cared; I wasn’t a celebrity and most people were probably too caught up in their own self-contained dramas. Still, it takes courage for quiet girls like me to say to all of your contacts – this is who I am. This has been my life. Having just published a memoir I am very in touch with the courage it takes to share your story that at times may be raw and puzzling to those you know.

Ultimately people will think what they think, the only judgments that matter are my own.  And I’ve had a lot of judgments about myself, about the dark moments of my life. I’m learning to let those go. It takes a lot of time. I want to sit at a giant dining table and feast with all parts of me – the parts that look so gorgeous and the parts that look desperate, ugly and afraid. All parts of me are invited to this luscious, colorful feast that I call my life.


Diagnosed with Borderline Personality disorder, Amy struggled with depression and an addiction to sharp objects. Even hospitalization didn't help to heal her destructive tendencies. It took a tumultuous relationship with a man named Truth to bring her back from the depths of her own self-made hell.Amy's marriage to dark, intriguing Truth was both passionate and stormy. She was a fair-skinned southern girl from New Orleans. He was a charming black man with tribal tattoos, piercings, and a mysterious past. They made an unlikely pair, but something clicked. During their early marriage, they pulled themselves out of abject poverty into wealth and financial security practically overnight. Then things began to fall apart.

 Passionate and protective, Truth also proved violent and abusive. Amy’s own self-destructive tendencies created a powerful symmetry. His sudden death left Amy with an intense and warring set of emotions: grief for the loss of the man she loved, relief she was no longer a target for his aggression.

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

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

An amazing true story, What Freedom Smells Like is told with courage, honesty, and a devilishly dark sense of humor.

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Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Amy Lewis through Twitter