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Archive for December, 2014

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Welcome guest blogger, author Caldric Blackwell!

Thank you very much for having me!

Today I want to write about access to children’s books. We live in an age where most people understand the importance of reading in a child’s development. It seems like everyone, from schools to publishers to parents, acknowledges the importance of reading.

For some children, accessing a book that interests them is as simple as going with their parents to the bookstore. Unfortunately, for other children, there are barriers that prevent them from accessing books that interest them.

Some people may think that donating books to libraries is the answer to this problem, but many libraries, for a variety of reasons, do not accept donations.

Fortunately, there are better ways to put books in the hands of children than donating to libraries. There are organizations, such as Sheltering Books, Inc., that specialize in getting books to children who wouldn’t otherwise have access to them.

Even larger organizations are becoming more aware of the barriers that prevent some children from accessing books. For instance, from Nov. 29 – Dec. 25, Penguin Random House ran a campaign in which they donated a book to Save the Children every time the hashtag #GiveaBook appeared on Twitter or Facebook.

If you’re interested in improving access to books for children who need them, contact your local library, and they’ll likely be able to put you in touch with an organization that accepts money or book donations.

CALDRIC’S NEW RELEASE!

THE BOY WHO COULDN’T CRY WOLF

 The Boy Who Couldn't Cry Wolf coverSix-year-old Byron Woodward is a werewolf who can’t howl. Determined not to embarrass himself after being chosen to lead a full-moon ceremony, he embarks on a mission to learn how to howl. He learns a lot about howling during his journey, but more importantly, he learns a valuable lesson about believing in himself.

 

 

 

 

 

 Purchase The Boy Who Couldn’t Cry Wolf

Amazon – Kindle

Amazon – Paperback
Barnes & Noble

*Borrow free with Kindle Unlimited & Amazon Prime*

 

 

THE AUTHOR

Caldric’s Website /  Twitter Goodreads / Facebook caldric

Caldric Blackwell realized he loved reading when he read about a bunch of people (with single-syllable names) and their pets (also with single-syllable names) in kindergarten.

Exposure to a host of great authors while studying at the University of California, Santa Barbara inspired him to begin writing fiction. Although he began writing short stories for adults, he eventually migrated to writing children’s books. His debut work is an early chapter book titled The Enchanted River Race. His next release is a picture book, The Boy Who Couldn’t Cry Wolf.

Outside of writing, Caldric enjoys hiking, gardening, and playing a variety of string instruments. Caldric currently resides in California.

 

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unnamed copyJonathan L. Ferrara was born in San Pedro, California to an Italian fisherman and a mother from New York. Growing up with one older brother, Jonathan had several hobbies: finding the best hiding spots to jump out and scare his mother, discovering new fantasy book series, and imagining outrageous, whimsical worlds full of magic. He is now happily married, residing in California in the City of Angels. He has two wonderful children-his dog Koda and cat Merlin. 

Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, The Blackwell Family Secret: The Guardians of Sin. What was your inspiration for it?

A: I’ve always had a love for fantasy stories and I always knew I wanted to write my own. Growing up as catholic I went to church like a good catholic boy, and was even an alter boy. I loved the history of the religion and I began to see a connection between Catholicism and fantasy, which led to the birth of this story. The Seven Deadly Sins fit perfectly with the two.

Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist.

A: Nicholas Blackwell is only sixteen-years-old and is somehow connected to the City of Demons, he just doesn’t know why. His family’s secret is hidden there and he has to challenge each of the Guardians of the Seven Deadly Sins to discover it.

Q: How was your creative process like during the writing of this book and how long did it take you to complete it? Did you face any bumps along the way?

A: The best way to describe my experience when writing this story was that I felt like I was Alice in Wonderland, discovering this world as it unfolded around me. This story truly had a mind of its own and took me for a ride. I was just as surprised as the readers when I discovered Nicholas’s family’s secret. before and after work, including my days off, I spent writing this story. I made my coffee, listened to some inspiring music to get my creative juices going, and wrote until my fingers were sore. It took me three months to write the first draft of the story. My personal editing took months after, but the main story took three months.

Q: How do you keep your narrative exciting throughout the creation of a novel?

A: The main setting for The Blackwell Family Secret takes place in the City of Demons. It would be hard to write anything but exciting in a fun, whimsical world filled with outrageous creatures.

blackwell2Q: Do you experience anxiety before sitting down to write? If yes, how do you handle it?

A: I don’t actually. I think writing has become such a part of me and my everyday. Sometimes I do get anxiety when I’m thinking about the story when I’m not actually writing yet. There are times when plots and characters are working out the way you want them to. In that case, it’s easy to get a little overwhelmed.

Q: What is your writing schedule like and how do you balance it with your other work and family time?

A: When I’m not at work I’m writing. I usually give myself a few hours at night to eat dinner and relax with a show or book, but other than that I’m on the computer writing. My significant other is an artist so usually we’re both being creative at the same time. We do make sure that Friday nights are date nights though.

Q: How do you define success?

A: Doing what you love and being proud of it. Even if a writer wrote a book, perfected it completely, and decided to keep it just for themselves I would call that success.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers whose spouses or partners don’t support their dreams of becoming an author?

A: I couldn’t even imagine that. Personally, I couldn’t see myself with anyone who didn’t understand my passion and didn’t support it. I would say find someone who believes in you, if not, fight for your dreams regardless to what others say.

Q: George Orwell once wrote: “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” Do you agree?

A: I do agree to a certain extent. I wouldn’t say writing is horrible, but I would say it was exhausting. There needs to be a drive. Something inside you forces you to write until it’s complete.

Q:  Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?

A: Only that the Guardians of Sin are waiting to be unleashed!

ABOUT THE BOOK

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The Blackwell Family Secret:
THE GUARDIANS OF SINS
by Jonathan L. Ferrara
URBAN FANTASY, Young Adult
5.5×8.5, 224 pages
Publication date: December 5, 2014
$15.95 trade paperback, ISBN 978-1-940076-19-5
$5.95 E-book, ISBN 978-1-940076-20-1
Publisher: Dragonwell Publishing
Distribution: Ingram Book Company
www.dragonwellpublishing.com / AMAZON

Nicholas Blackwell has no idea he is supposed to fulfill a destiny. All he knows is that he draws trouble like a magnet. Orphaned at eleven when two demonic men killed his parents, he copes with the strict rules of his new home, St. Christopher’s academy, unaware that he has been the real target for the killers and that his guardian angel has saved him in the nick of time. And now, his problems are only beginning when a mysterious serpent lures him into the woods and tricks him into a demonic ritual that will unleash the Seven Deadly Sins to destroy the humankind. Nicholas has no choice but to correct his mistake–or die trying. Aided by Amy, a shy but determined girl who seems to know more about his task than she should, Nicholas’s quest is to travel into the City of Demonio and defeat the Seven Guardians of Sin. To succeed, he must confront demons, monsters, and lost souls, learn the mysteries of the Chapel of Dreams, discover the true meaning of friendship and love, and face the darkest secret of all: the Blackwell Family Secret.

“The Blackwell Family Secret: the Guardians of Sin” is a debut young adult urban fantasy adventure with a Christian theme.

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Title: A Dangerous Marriage

Author: William Blunt

Publisher: iUniverse

Pages: 332

Genre: Fiction

Format: Ebook/Paperback

Purchase at AMAZON

In A Dangerous Marriage, Julia Davenport’s social life has drifted into a backwater. Then she meets Peter Medea at a business reception in New York City. She is drawn by his aura of power and erotic magnetism and is lured into a hasty marriage. By indulging her compelling emotional and physical needs she finds immediate gratification, but at a devastating cost. Her romantic adventure turns out to be fraught with conflict and betrayal. And she becomes unwittingly involved in her husband’s shady business transactions, forcing her into unwanted intimacy with the sinister man who masterminds these schemes. She finds support in friendships with a victim of his fraudulent machinations, and others. She is nurtured and encouraged by a man who emerges from her past. But Julia alone must overcome the threats to her self-esteem, happiness, and well-being, which are the destructive consequences of her earlier surrender to passion.

Readers say this about A Dangerous Marriage –
Wow, what a page turner! Compelling and sexy, with the added intrigue of the nasty part of the financial world. Great story. —Constance Fulenwider

A Dangerous Marriage is extremely well written. The characterization is great – the reader comes to know the characters really well. I didn’t want it to end. —Natalie Lee

I loved A Dangerous Marriage. I really was glued to the plot and felt totally involved with the characters. It is written with great sensitivity and the story line moves along compellingly. This is a terrific novel! —Judy Bross

In A Dangerous Marriage, twenty-six-year-old Julia Davenport’s social life has drifted into a backwater. Then she meets Peter Medea at a business reception in New York City that she’s attending as a favor for a friend.

She is drawn by Peter Medea’s aura of power, apparent financial success, and erotic magnetism and is lured into a hasty marriage. By indulging her compelling emotional and physical needs she finds immediate gratification, but at a devastating cost. Her romantic adventure turns out to be fraught with conflict and betrayal. And she becomes unwittingly involved in her husband’s shady business transactions, forcing her into unwanted intimacy with Marco “Denny” DiNiro, the sinister man who masterminds these schemes. She finds support in friendships with a victim of DiNiro’s fraudulent machinations, and others. She is nurtured and encouraged by Danny Johnson, who has emerged from her past. But it is Julia alone who must overcome the threats to her self-esteem, happiness, and well-being, which are the destructive consequences of her earlier surrender to passion.

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William W. Blunt graduated from Yale University and Harvard Law School. He interrupted his corporate legal practice in New York City to serve in Washington, D.C., as Assistant Secretary of Commerce. Today he lives with his wife, Balirm in Irving, Texas. This is his first novel.

William is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins December 8 and ends on December 19.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, December 22.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

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Title: The Actor

Author: Douglas Gardham

Publisher: iUniverse

Pages: 352

Genre: Fiction

Format: Ebook

Purchase at AMAZON

It is 1991 when Ethan Jones finally wins the role of his dreams in an upcoming, big screen movie. With the envelope holding the script clutched in his hand, he arrives at his California apartment where he can hardly wait to tell his girlfriend the exciting news. But when he finds the door unexpectedly ajar, he has no idea that in just a few seconds, the life he has fought so hard to obtain will be shattered.

Eight years earlier, Ethan is attending university in Ottawa, Canada. One evening after seriously contemplating suicide, he finds his way into a club where he meets Mila Monahan, a beautiful acting student who saves him from himself. After he watches Mila rehearse a university play, Ethan catches the acting bug and decides to pursue his own creative passions, causing a collision with his more secure ideals. But when Mila suddenly disappears, Ethan vows he will never stop chasing the dream she inspired in him, believing in a world entirely different from the one he is living in.

The Actor is a gripping tale of a young man’s unforgettable journey of self-discovery in overcoming the trauma of a personal tragedy. It is a story of love, hardship, persistence and overwhelming joy where The Actor learns he can portray anything he can imagine.

Douglas Gardham is a writer who loves music, movies, and books. He lives near Toronto, Canada, with his wife and dog. This is his first published novel.

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Make a Stand
Title:
 Make a Stand

Author: Agnew Smith

Publisher: iUniverse

Pages: 260

Genre: Fiction

Format: Ebook/Paperback

Purchase at AMAZON

Terry Freeman is a disgruntled computer salesman and talented musician and songwriter who, along with his best friend, Damon King, is attempting to fulfill his musical dreams through their popular band, Infinite Noise.  It appears the sky is the limit for Infinite Noise until tragedy strikes, derailing Terry’s and his band members’ dreams of fame and success.

Nearly two years later, Terry tries to put the tragedy behind him and rekindle the magic that propelled the band into one of the most well-known and hottest bands in Atlanta and the surrounding area.

When Infinite Noise receives an offer to sign with a major record label, Terry thinks things are finally going his way until he discovers that success in the music industry sometimes comes with a very high price.  He is confronted with an agonizing decision that will affect not only his music career, but also his life.

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Agnew is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins December 8 and ends on December 19.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, December 22.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist.
 

AUTHOR READING!!!

 
Synopsis
For Agent Josh Metcalf, memories are ghosts. They are blood-soaked backpacks and the smell of strawberry Chap Stick. Josh is haunted by a little girl who went missing his first summer on the force. Decades later his search has become an obsession, and he’s pinned the photos of hundreds of missing children to his wall of tears. All the children had psychic abilities. All the cases went cold — with no witnesses, no useful tips, and no children ever recovered. Until a woman gets injured trying to stop an abduction, and Josh comes face to face with his personal ghost.
For Rowan Wilson, a meteorite hunter for NASA’s Spaceguard program, memories are lies. The childhood she thought she knew has been erased, leaving a black hole in its place. New recollections are flaring to life: men dressed like priests, a ranch in the mountains, mind control, and rape. Each new memory draws her closer to one of the other missing children, Sumner Macey; and to I Fidele, the underground organization for whom kidnapping is just the beginning.
For Sumner, memories have become weapons. He’s sharpened each of his with surgical precision: the ranch, the
doctrine, the mind-wash, and the murders. He’s eager to slice at the black sludge pumping through I Fidele’s heart, desperate to cripple those who stole his childhood.
To I Fidele, non-psychics are cockroaches in need of extermination, an inferior species destroying the earth. They’re ready to enforce eugenics on a global scale. If they succeed, only those faithful to their doctrine will survive. Crossing several genres, The Faithful will appeal to anyone who enjoys supernatural mysteries; high-tech, edge-of-your-seat suspense flavored with paranormal elements; thrillers involving psychics, occult and high stakes action/adventure; tied up with a depth and humor usually reserved for works of literary fiction.
Where to Purchase The Faithful

The Author

S.M.’s Website / Blog / Twitter / Goodreads / Facebook Author Page / YouTubeS.M. Freedman

S.M. Freedman is a top-ranked Amazon author in the Mystery, Thriller and Suspense categories, and a member of the WorldWiseWriters group. She lives in Vancouver with her husband, two children and a giant orange cat.

Inspired by authors of many different genres (favorites include Sue Grafton, Diana Gabaldon, Jodi Picoult, Stephen King, Justin Cronin, Suzanne Collins and Lawrence Hill, to name a few) she eventually turned back to her first love: writing.

The Faithful, a paperback and kindle Amazon Bestseller in both the US and the UK, and a Quarter Finalist in the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, is her debut novel. She’s currently working on the sequel.

 

Follow the entire The Faithful tour HERE


 


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Sagacious TeensTitle:
Sagacious Teens
Author: J. Thompson
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 208
Genre: Fiction
Format: Ebook/Paperback

Purchase at AMAZON

Adolescents are wiser than we believe. Today’s youth face multiple challenges—many of which are portrayed in the adolescent drama, Sagacious Teens, that shares a multicultural glimpse into the lives of more than a dozen teenagers from diverse backgrounds.

From Carlos who shares a far-fetched story of a weekend gone awry with his friend Ernesto to Richard who is having trouble balancing his girlfriend’s demands with his own needs. Seasoned teacher J. Thompson provides eye-opening insight into how teenagers face problems and learn to deal with them, either on their own or with the help of friends. Carmelita loves two boys – one who is a compulsive liar and another who connects with her soul. Aretha is frustrated with the police and her community’s lack of involvement. Artie and Rich are concerned about a school administrator who claims the students are his responsibility. Rob is upset when a well-liked teacher picks on him for wearing a hoody.

Sagacious Teens offers a look into the compelling experiences of a group of teenagers that helps bring awareness to parents, other adolescents, and teachers about the lives, interests, and challenges of today’s youth.

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J is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins December 8 and ends on December 19.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, December 22.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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