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Archive for February, 2018

Title: A Thousand Points of Truth
Author: V.P. Hughes
Publisher: XLibrisUS
Genre: History
Format: Ebook

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My interest in Colonel John Singleton Mosby began in 1950 However it wasn t until 2002 that it led to extensive research on the subject centered upon newspaper reports on the man begun during the Civil War and continued throughout and even after his life And while I rejected Virgil Carrington Jones s observation on Mosby contained in the preface of this work I did not contemplate writing this book until an even more disparaging observation came to my attention during my research The comment was contained in an article in the Ponchatoula Times of May 26 1963 as part of a six article series written by Bernard Vincent McMahon entitled The Gray Ghost of the Confederacy Mr McMahon in turn based his comment upon General Omar Bradley s judgment of what might have been the postwar life of General George Patton Now substitute Mosby for General Patton in the book A General s Life by Omar Bradley I believe it was better for General Patton Mosby and his professional reputation that he died when he did He would have gone into retirement hungering for the old limelight beyond doubt indiscreetly sounding off on any subject anytime any place In time he would have become a boring parody of himself a decrepit bitter pitiful figure unwittingly debasing the legend emphasis mine McMahon however only proffered in his writings the widely accepted view of John Mosby held by many if not most However like General Ulysses S Grant I have come to know Colonel Mosby rather more intimately through the testimony of countless witnesses over a span of 150 years and I believe that it is time for those who deeply respect John Mosby the soldier to now also respect John Mosby the man A century ago the book of John Singleton Mosby s life closed It is my hope that this book will validate the claim he made during that life that he would be vindicated by time V P Hughes,

For many years, V. P. Hughes has been drawn to certain historical figures whom she researched at great length and in considerable depth regarding not only the person of interest but the period in which that individual lived and his influence upon it. Over the years, she has studied such heroes as Sir William Marshal (1147-1219), Sir Harry (Hotspur) Percy (1364-1403), Admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805), John Churchill, First Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722), Sir William Wallace (1270-1305), Francis Marion (1732-1795) and the legendary figures William Tell and Robin Hood. The last three were of especial interest because they, with their few followers, engaged the most powerful armies of the time-and prevailed. Of course, John Singleton Mosby was another such champion-a man who defeated his adversaries with cunning and courage rather than brute military force.Yet Mosby became an even greater curiosity when during her research the author discovered that he had died twenty-five years to the day and hour of her own birth-May 30th, 9 a.m, 1916 and 1941 respectively. Although acknowledged as a mere coincidence, however curious, Mosby’s unique style of warfare and his astonishing success under the circumstances extant, made him of especial interest. Early on, her knowledge of the man centered around the Civil War, but then, copious written works as well as the opinions of past and present day Mosby sages brought to light his post-war life in a manner that seemingly disparaged and negated all the glories that had gone before. Finding this both troubling and unacceptable, when the opportunity arose to refute these calumnies and slanders, the author felt obligated to undertake what is, in essence, a posthumous defense of the man. It is hoped that this unique work will achieve the goal of undoing a great injustice and restoring to a noble American hero the respect and admiration he so richly deserves.

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Title: SURVIVORS’ DAWN
Author: Ashley Warren
Publisher: Chaparral Press LLC
Pages: 316
Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Women’s Fiction / New Adult Fiction
BOOK BLURB:

A heroic story of three college women’s fight for justice

At first glance, Brooke Flanagan, Lauren Le, and Nikki Towers have little in common: a churchgoing virgin, a party girl, and a resident advisor. But they all have their own dreams, dreams that can be shattered in a single night.

When freshman Brooke Flanagan first arrives at the university, she’s excited to escape her sheltered life in a Southern town. Lauren Le, a scholarship student, likes to have a good time, but she never disappoints her hardworking, single mom. Nikki Towers always goes her own way. Confident, poised, and wealthy, Nikki’s biggest problem is what to do with her future.

Into these girls’ lives walks Colin Jordan. Colin is the son of a private equity titan, captain of his club basketball team, and a brilliant pre-law student. He is also a sexual predator.

Survivors’ Dawn relates a journey of heroes: the strength, courage, and determination of the victims as they fight to survive; the obstacles they face in their pursuit of justice; and finally, with its conclusion, hope for a future where students can pursue their dreams without fear of being attacked.

A contemporary novel, Survivor’s Dawn wrestles with issues of privilege, sexual assault, and the responsibility of academic institutions to protect their students.

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First Chapter:

At nine o’clock on a Saturday evening in September, Colin Jordan, a senior, sat at an outdoor table at Jolene’s, a sandwich place in the Triangle. A popular pedestrian plaza, the Triangle was lined with shops, bars, and restaurants. The open-air center was paved with brick and dotted with mature trees. As Colin ate a Rueben with chips and sipped a Diet Coke, he thought through his evening plans. He would have opted for an IPA, but he needed to keep his mind sharp.

Colin believed, due largely to the brilliant example his father provided, that life’s endeavors could and should be assessed in terms of investment and return; for example, Colin had invested several hundred hours to raise his LSAT score. As a result, on his second attempt his score climbed from 170 to 176, an improvement that assured his acceptance into an Ivy League school instead of one of the second-tier programs. This differentiation in pedigree would afford him a valuable advantage for the rest of his life, so the investment in preparing for the test, while painful to endure, yielded an attractive return.

Investment and return. Colin had applied the paradigm successfully in many areas of his life: sports (basketball and boxing), Greek society, and what he considered a uniquely laudable achievement: his efficient approach to sexual gratification.

Colin realized that in terms of opportunity he was living in an enchanted age created by the combination of promiscuity (supercharged by social media) and the propensity of newly liberated young people to consume excessive amounts of alcohol.

But here again, investment and return played a role; after considerable thought Colin had developed a framework for partitioning his sexual partners into three distinct categories.

The first category, casual hookups, required almost no investment; they satisfied his physical need but provided little intrinsic reward.

The second category, which Colin had dubbed “this evening’s entertainment,” required an investment of several hours to find and compel a girl (by needs both promiscuous and intoxicated) to return with him to his condo. This last step, no matter how inebriated the girl, sometimes required an extra nudge. Colin found that the more investment required to secure these conquests, the greater his return in terms of psychological satisfaction.

But the third category offered the greatest prize. Colin first had to find the right candidate, in and of itself a challenge, for the girl had to be exquisitely beautiful and innocent. Once he had identified his quarry, Colin was prepared to invest considerable time and ingenuity in her seduction, and to that point in his life, he knew of no greater joy than the moment of consummation. To date Colin had succeeded in the third category only twice.

Nevertheless, to achieve an acceptable return he had to closely manage how much time he invested on each girl, and this discipline demanded that Colin, on occasion, take shortcuts. He knew lesser elements of society would view these shortcuts with a skeptical eye. He did not share their view. The girls would without question acquiesce to their natural instincts and his desires, given sufficient time.

But still, there was an aspect of the enterprise that felt like stealing, like pocketing a candy bar in a convenience store, and the mere recollection of that sensation made his heart beat faster.

In between bites of the sandwich Colin watched girls stroll past, mostly in groups. He mentally catalogued his prospects: queen bees, athletes, sorority sisters, free spirits, and the party girls. The girls dressed to attract attention, with low necklines stretched tight across breasts, or short, tight skirts. Some wore skinny jeans with manufactured tears in the fabric. Many wore high heels.

Some of the girls had pre-gamed to manage their budget for the evening. They talked constantly as they walked, excited to be young and embarking on an evening of possibility.

He searched for a particular type of girl, someone who might be persuaded by his looks, stature, and generosity. He sought a girl who fit his second category, for he had the full evening to invest; but he absolutely had to have his desire fulfilled that night and would settle, if compelled, for a casual hookup.

One girl walked on the edge of a group of seven, tall, with high heels. She had big hips and wore a tight black skirt with a fuchsia top. What was that? She had a round face and black hair, distinctly Asian. She had a sexy walk, not fake sexy like the girls who learned everything from the Internet, but naturally sexy, like an animal in search of a mate.

He checked his watch. Nine fifteen. How long would they stay in the Triangle? Four or five hours. They’d have dinner at the Italian place or the gourmet burger spot, a trendy restaurant that wasn’t expensive. They would split the check. After dinner they would try one of the bars in the Triangle, buy a cocktail, and hope to find boys who would treat them to more drinks.

He spied a second group of girls with potential and found three of them exciting. One in particular wore a top with navy and white stripes. She, too, walked with a sexy sway. As Colin watched her, his penis grew semi-erect.

“How was the sandwich?” asked his waitress.

He hadn’t noticed her approach. She wore a black skirt and a white collared button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled past her thin wrists.

“Excellent. The sauce and sauerkraut were just as you described…awesome. Great recommendation. Thank you.”

She smiled, which illuminated her eyes, brown eyes so big he could stare at them for minutes at a time.

“Is there anything else I can get you?” she said.

What a peculiar question. Yes, oh yes. There was something else. He imagined her wearing a black spaghetti-strap top and nothing else. She faced away from him, bent over, her hands on a table. She was skinny, with bony hips. He loved that, too.

“No, thanks. Just the check when you get a chance.”

He left a 30 percent tip. He always left a big tip, because hardworking people like the waitress deserved to earn a living wage.

Colin was perfectly sober. He would spend two hours studying at the library before returning to the Triangle.

 

* * *

 

At eleven thirty Lauren Le stood with her new friends at the Homestead, a lively bar in the Triangle. Everyone talked at once, shouting to be heard above the music. The Homestead had space for a couple hundred people, with a large square bar in the middle, dozens of stand-up tables, and two dance floors. The constant beat and the bass notes coursed through Lauren’s veins.

She took a slug of the vodka soda.

Pace yourself, Lauren.

It had taken her a month to get comfortable on campus. She had grown up in Irving, Texas, outside of Dallas, and had never traveled this far to the east before starting school here. Some of her high school friends had gone to college, but none as far away as Lauren. They fell short when it came to grades and test scores and ambition.

Lauren was the result of a short-lived and reckless affair between a Vietnamese immigrant, Kim Le, who worked in a nail salon, and a tall Texan who lit out for the oil rigs as soon as Kim missed her first period. Kim had never heard from him again, and she seldom mentioned him to Lauren. As Lauren grew older she became curious and would sometimes ask about her father.

“I was stupid,” Kim had said. “I tried for a big dream with a big white man. But he was no good.”

When Lauren pressed for more information, Kim would grow adamant.

“You forget about him. You need to study.”

If Kim wasn’t working at the salon, a short distance from their apartment, she was doing piecework for a local tailor. Kim never paid Lauren an allowance, but she let her work a part-time job so long as she kept her grades near perfect.

With a tired mother and an absent father, Lauren was forced to learn how to have a good time on her own, and at that she had excelled. As a senior with a full figure, a fun nature—her hobbies were cosplay, online gaming, and organizing flash mobs—and a curious mind about partying and sex, Lauren had always attracted guys.

She had drunk one cocktail at the Italian restaurant and started with a shot of tequila at the Homestead. When they had first arrived, the girls danced as a group for nearly an hour, not allowing the dearth of boys to deter them from getting the party started.

Lauren took a break, her head buzzing slightly from the alcohol and the dancing. Cool air from the duct above her whisked away the perspiration.

God, college is fun.

The bar began to fill, and boys drifted by their group in ones and twos. A sophomore from New Jersey bought her another drink. He was her height, with red hair, and talked fast in a northern accent. He was almost cute, except for a big pimple and his lack of coordination. They tried dancing but couldn’t make it work. Afterward, he told her his dream of becoming a veterinarian. Snore.

Lauren spied one of the resident advisors from Roxbury Hall, Nikki Towers, watching her from the other side of the bar. The girls had approached Nikki when they first entered the Homestead, nervous because they had used fake IDs to get past the bouncer. They needn’t have worried. Nikki’s nickname was Cool RA. She had a reputation for doing her own thing in her own way and never traveling in a crowd. Cool RA had wished them a good time but advised them not to get wasted. (“I’m your RA, not your babysitter.”) Nevertheless, when Lauren caught Nikki’s eye, she could tell Cool RA was not impressed with the New Jersey kid.

“So…,” he said, “do you want to come over to the frat house and listen to music? I’ve got some killer weed.”

“Oh…well…like…”

His eyes were glazed and his shoulders swayed, like a five-year-old on a bicycle. Lauren wasn’t a fan of just-met sex. If he had been gorgeous, like Liam Hemsworth, then maybe. Wait, maybe? Not maybe. Definitely! But she would not have sex with New Jersey, at least not tonight. “You know, I’m gonna hang with my friends a while longer. Thanks, though.”

“Not a problem. Catch you later.”

He leaned toward her as if expecting something. She hesitated, unsure, and then offered to shake hands. He only got about ten steps before he stopped to chat up another girl.

“What did he want?” said Caitlyn, her roommate. Caitlyn’s face turned sour as Lauren told her of the invite to smoke pot. “Eewww! That guy?”

They laughed. Lauren was light as a feather. She could party all night.

 

* * *

 

Nikki Towers sat at the bar and sipped her second glass of Sauvignon Blanc, wanting to make it last. She’d budgeted only three drinks, and the buzz from the one-hitter she’d smoked on the way over had dissipated. She would have liked to drink more, but she couldn’t afford the hangover.

She watched the girls from Roxbury Hall, laughing, talking fast, and dancing. Boys started to arrive and wandered through the bar searching for girls they knew, or new girls to meet. One of them tried to buy Nikki a drink. She politely declined and then ignored him until he vacated the stool at her side. She hadn’t come to the Homestead to find a boyfriend. Sure, she liked the feel of the wooden bar, sanded smooth with a semi-gloss finish, and she liked to watch the bartenders, a man and a woman, as they hustled drinks, swiped credit cards, and matched the rhythm of the crowd. But Nikki had primarily come out on the off chance she would stumble into a solid hookup with someone she already knew.

The lingering stress of a long week of classes and countless bullshit RA duties had worn her down. She didn’t want a boyfriend—too many time constraints—but she craved the physical closeness of a naked man, the thrill that lovemaking brought, and the intimate cuddling that came after. Good sex relaxed her. She glanced at her phone. She could try Tinder, but usually the guys were drunk, or less attractive than their profile, or just plain rude. And sex with a stranger carried certain risks. Much better to go with someone she knew.

She looked back at the Roxbury group. Lauren Le, the girl in the pink top, laughed and tipped her glass back. They all had to learn their own way, to suffer through some hangovers before figuring out their style. Most of the freshmen went through the same pattern, but not Nikki. She had arrived at college fully mature, her hard partying days behind her, her virginity surrendered in a neighbor’s basement in tenth grade.

Nikki was self-aware, a solid B student with a high street IQ, the daughter of a successful interracial couple in St. Louis. Her father had begun his career as a plumber in the western suburbs but soon started a plumbing supply company, which he grew rapidly until it earned a major share of the market in four states. He’d eventually sold out to a conglomerate for over a hundred million dollars, which meant they were rich, but that didn’t stop him from insisting that Nikki get a part-time job at school, hence the RA gig. He said it would build leadership qualities. Right.

Her mother, unquestionably the life of the party, was a white blues singer who sang with several local bands around St. Louis. She had met Nikki’s father through a drummer she performed with on occasion.

Neither of her parents had allowed the business windfall to change how they lived: her father worked for the conglomerate as a regional manager, and her mother sang three nights a week. They both seemed solidly comfortable with their lives, which made Nikki a bit nervous, because she had no idea what she wanted to do.

Eventually, she had chosen economics because she liked the courses, particularly the macro stuff, but the major provided no easy career choices. Some econ grads became bankers. Others became baristas. She still had a year to work it out, but uncertainty bothered Nikki. She liked to have a plan.

 

* * *

 

Colin logged a couple of hours at the library and then briefly stopped by his condo to freshen up. After that, he tried Raven’s Way, a popular bar in the Triangle. It was almost midnight, and the energy of the crowd had begun to climb. Students crammed the dance floor, enticed by the pop music. They moved constantly, as if they were a single many-limbed entity.

Colin scanned the bar and spotted the girl in the navy and white top. The stripes ran horizontally, about two inches thick. The sleeves were three-quarter length and carried the stripes with them. Tight brunette curls sprang from her head and ended before they touched her shoulders. She stood at a cocktail table with two other girls and talked in an animated fashion, her arms moving constantly. He walked straight to her.

“Can I buy you a drink?” He stood erect with his shoulders back, wearing an open-collared white shirt and designer jeans. He looked right at her, his gaze unwavering, not acknowledging the other women, his attention reserved solely for her.

Navy stood dumbstruck, her eyes wide, unblinking, and took a moment to scan his upper body, strong neck, and face. “Uh…sure.”

From that point, the action unfolded as he expected. He helped her decide what to drink and then extended the offer to the other women. They declined, perhaps hesitant to interfere with Navy’s good fortune. He went to the bar for the drinks, giving the girls some time to confer, and by the time he returned the other two had gone to dance.

It was obvious to Colin when they introduced themselves that she didn’t recognize his name. No matter. He’d work that into the conversation at the right time.

She was too sober. He’d suspected as much when they first spoke, so he had asked the bartender for a double Manhattan. She nibbled on the cherry and took a big sip. Another couple of those and she’d be ready.

He asked about her intended major. Education. He inquired about her other interests. Movies. Politics. He laughed at the right moments and touched her elbow where the navy met the white. She hoped to study abroad her junior year.

“What country?” he said.

“Italy.”

“A beautiful place. I once sat on a balcony in Sorrento overlooking the Gulf of Naples; no place on earth should be so beautiful. I couldn’t speak.”

“Sorrento.”

“Have you been?”

“No…never.”

“You’ll love it. Like another drink?”

“Um.” She looked at her glass, which had less than half an inch left. “Sure.”

He hustled to the bar again, but by the time he returned, her friends were back from the dance floor. Both of them, the tall one and the blond girl in glasses, were texting madly.

“We’re thinking of going to a party at Holcombe,” said Navy.

“It’s supposed to be a rager,” said the tall girl.

“You could join us,” said Navy, her face lifted toward him, her lips slightly parted.

The tall one raised her eyebrows, still texting; the blonde studied Colin closely, as if trying to figure something out.

Colin said, “I’m not into freshman dorm parties.” He glanced at the blonde; she listened closely. “But you could stay here. We’ll talk more about Italy, have another drink, and then I’ll drive you back to the dorm.”

Navy considered his proposal, leaning toward acceptance, her face framed by impossible curls, so cute, but then the chick in glasses touched her elbow.

“You need to stick with us,” she said. “That was the plan, remember? You two exchange digits and meet for coffee sometime.”

After they left, Colin trolled the bar but found no other prospects, so he went to the Homestead.

 

* * *

 

He gave his eyes a minute to adjust to the darkness. It was nearing one o’clock, and the crowd had begun to crest, both of the dance floors jammed with sweating bodies. Tropical house music bumped from the speakers. He spotted Nikki Towers sitting alone at the bar; it was the first time he’d seen her all year.

He had slept with Nikki four or five times, the first when she was a freshman, but Nikki was no rookie in the bedroom, not even then, her talents honed before she arrived at the university. He considered her a near equal in that regard.

His fingers had thrilled to skim her light brown skin, the surface unblemished. Her figure enhanced her beauty even further; the top of her head came to his chin, and her arms and legs were strong from yoga, her breasts and ass firm.

She came from wealth, not big money like him, but enough to live well; however, at the insistence of her father she drove a mid-size Nissan SUV and worked as an RA at Roxbury Hall. Colin had asked his own father about the plumbing company her family had owned. Francis had heard of it, said they’d tried to get in but had been priced out of the deal.

“Yo, stranger,” she said as he came to her side. He kissed her on the lips and slipped his hand to her back, strong, as always. In addition to yoga, Nikki favored the odd sports: mountain biking, rock climbing, and snowboarding.

“You look great,” he said.

“Thanks.”

He ordered a light beer for himself, pacing his consumption, and another wine for Nikki. They talked a while about nothing much: the forthcoming elections, their summers, and their respective plans for the year. Between sentences he searched the room.

“Here to check out the newbies?” she said.

He gave her a you-caught-me-in-the-act smile. “Well, you know, it’s my last year.”

“Okay, but if you crash and burn, I’ll be here a while longer. We could go to your place and…listen to jazz.”

Nikki would be a hell of a consolation prize; it was tempting. He recalled the lighter color of her breasts, which contrasted with her tanned arms and shoulders. But he had principles, objectives, and he hadn’t given the night enough of a chance, so he kissed Nikki again and then toured the room. That’s when he met Lauren Le. She was alone at a stand-up table.

The black skirt looked even better up close, pulled tight across her gorgeous ass, and the fuchsia top glowed in the black light. Her face—framed with fine black hair, her lips full and her skin like porcelain—made his heart jump.

He used the same approach as with Navy, and it worked just as well, only Lauren had had more to drink. She talked loudly, laughed a lot, and soon asked if he wanted to dance.

She came alive on the dance floor, whipping her hair and twisting her hips and shoulders. He watched from all angles as she spun around. She used the crowded floor as an excuse to dance close, and flashed him a smile whenever their bodies came into contact. They danced enough to perspire, a thin film appearing on her upper lip that he found exciting.

Back at the table, she finished her drink and asked if he could get some water. As he returned from the bar he saw her texting. Her fingers flew until he reached her side.

He ran through his standard questions about academics, hobbies, and dreams. He asked about her home, and she lamented the boredom of Irving, Texas. Many of her friends had remained in the Dallas area to attend local schools or work in retail or construction. When he mentioned his summer internship in London, her eyes grew big.

He was about to suggest another drink when two of her friends returned with two boys in tow, guys they knew. The boys had offered to walk them back to Roxbury Hall, and they were ready to leave.

“I thought we could have a nightcap,” said Colin. “I can drive you to Roxbury after.”

Her words came more slowly now, enunciated with great care. She pulled him to one side and leaned softly against him, holding his arm.

“Just so we’re clear,” she said, “I’m not going to have sex with you tonight.”

“Of course not.”

“You know…maybe someday, but not tonight.”

She turned back to her friends and announced that she already had a ride. The three girls huddled in a tight circle. Colin asked the boys where they were from and smiled politely at their answers, his ear tuned to the women. They giggled. Lauren said, “No,” and one of the others said, “Whatever.” And then they were gone, leaving Colin with Lauren.

The Homestead crowd had thinned considerably although a few stubborn dancers remained on the floor. Colin and Lauren moved to the bar itself, taking two stools. Nikki had already left.

Colin ordered Negronis in tall glasses, and Lauren got up to visit the restroom. When she had gone he gulped a third of her drink and then glanced around the room. No one was watching. He took a small flask from his back pocket and poured three ounces of Everclear into Lauren’s drink. The liquid was ninety percent alcohol, the equivalent of four regular cocktails. The strong flavors of Campari and sweet vermouth would disguise the extra booze. Lauren was close to hammered already. It wouldn’t take much to put her over the edge.

On her way back from the restroom he found her even more attractive than when he’d first spotted her six hours earlier. Her hips and breasts hinted of licentious potential. The bartender had turned off the black light so her fuchsia top no longer glowed, but when she arrived at his side and turned into the stool, his breath caught at the sight of her tight skirt.

“Now,” she said, a little too loudly, “where were we?”

 

* * *

 

Colin’s condo wasn’t that big, less than a thousand square feet, but it was more than he needed. He had been content to stay in the frat house, but his mother had lambasted the place on her last visit—called it a roach haven—and insisted he move out his senior year. Over the summer she had overseen the complete remodeling of the condo. They’d torn down the walls to create one large room with an upgraded kitchen (Sub-Zero refrigerator, Wolf range, and green granite countertops), a high-end sound system, classic but comfortable furniture, and a platform bed. They’d expanded the bathroom to create space for a giant walk-in shower and a freestanding tub. Honestly, it was too ostentatious for Colin, and was more his mother’s style, but he had to admit that living alone had its advantages.

Colin sat naked in a plush armchair, temporarily sated, and considered Lauren. She lay nude across the bed, on her side, sleeping, one knee pulled up toward her chest, the other leg almost straight, a sheet draped over her torso. Her hair covered most of her face. Gravity pulled her heavy breasts; one rested on the mattress and the second nestled against its twin.

Colin relished Lauren, admiring her dark-brown nipples. He replayed in his mind everything he’d done to her, the various positions he’d tried. Was he done for the night? He looked at his penis, flaccid now with a light pink tinge.

It was three thirty in the morning. She’d floundered in his car, almost completely out. In the garage, he patted her face to wake her enough to walk in. He’d once had to take a girl to the emergency room, so he knew to watch her carefully.

With experience he’d learned what a girl could take, how to read their subtle noises and the movements they made if they were about to vomit. Lauren’s size helped her process the extra alcohol, and she hadn’t thrown up—much better that way, far less messy.

He liked it best when they were semiconscious, like Lauren, generally not aware of what was happening but still reacting. She had moaned a few times. At one point he could swear she moaned in pleasure.

Lauren had experience with sex. He knew that. He’d had no trouble and, of course, he’d used a condom. He kept a drawer full of condoms.

He was a thief in the night, a modern-day cat burglar pursuing jewels of a different sort, and his nerves burned with the thrill of his success. Few women, he knew, would acquiesce to his wishes after a single conversation. (“Just so we’re clear, I’m not going to have sex with you tonight.”) It took time—dinners, movies, concerts—but he always got there. And after a couple of carnal encounters they would urge him to make a commitment. In essence, they wanted him to lie to them, and to what end? If he made any kind of commitment, exclusivity, for example, they would fall in love with him. Soon they’d angle for a longer-term proposal—“Let’s go public”—and if he succumbed to that demand, they’d fantasize about him asking the even more preposterous question, “Will you marry me?” It was absurd. He’d endured that torture already, once in high school and twice in college, during his freshman and sophomore years. To make matters worse, the girls suffered when he broke up with them. A long-term commitment? Why did they even want that? It was stupid.

The express route was a better approach for all concerned. Lauren got laid. She may not have realized it at the time, but she still got laid. And he got laid. Fuck, did he ever get laid.

Of course, the mainstream would judge him harshly, but what about his family? What would his mother say? The materially gluttonous Sharon Jordan, a blue-blooded debutante from Northern Virginia, had hit the jackpot when she met Francis. She would avert her eyes and say, “What a mess! Clean up, Colin, and escort this young woman home.” On the other hand, his father, with a knowing smirk, would nod and say, “Enjoy it, Colin. A young man should sow his oats before settling down to make money and build a legacy.”

Colin chuckled. Enjoy it.

 

 

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Title: Chubby Wubbles: A Ferret’s Tale
Author: M.J. Abrams
Publisher: Trafford
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Format: Ebook

 

A delightful story about the adventures of a young man and a mischievous ferret awaits in Chubby Wubbles!

This vibrant picture book tells a compelling story about the bond that develops between them. As the story unfolds, their loneliness leads to a fateful meeting and a growing friendship. Together they embark on an exciting journey that progresses with lots of humor, fun, and unexpected drama along the way. Chubby Wubbles will warm the hearts of children everywhere!

After being an observer and non-pet owner, I was thrown into the mix because my son was leaving and I couldn’t bear the thought of him having to give up his pet ferret to someone else. Since I’ve grown so attached to this lovable critter, I agreed to take care of him while he was away. Because of the many experiences my son has had with this adorably sweet animal, I decided to write a children’s book based on a true story about their adventures and misadventures.

GIVEAWAY

M.J. IS GIVING AWAY A $25 GIFT CARD!

  
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Pamela Samuels Young has always abided by the philosophy that you create the change you want to see. She set giant-sized goals and used her talent, tenacity and positive outlook to accomplish them. Pamela consequently achieved success in both the corporate arena and literary world simultaneously.

An author, attorney and motivational speaker, Pamela spent fifteen years as Managing Counsel for Toyota, specializing in labor and employment law. While still practicing law, Pamela began moonlighting as a mystery writer because of the absence of women and people of color depicted in the legal thrillers she read. She is now an award-winning author of multiple legal thrillers, including Anybody’s Daughter, which won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction, and her new release, Abuse of Discretion, a shocking look at the juvenile justice system in the context of a troubling teen sexting case.

Prior to her legal career, spent several years as a television news writer and associate producer. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from USC and earned a master’s degree in broadcasting from Northwestern University and a law degree from UC Berkeley School of Law. She is a frequent speaker on the topics of teen sexting, child sex trafficking, self-empowerment and fiction writing.

Would you call yourself a born writer?

A born writer, but not a born fiction writer. I was a journalism major in college and worked as a TV news writer before becoming a lawyer. I published my first book, Every Reasonable Doubt, a month before my 48th birthday. So I was definitely a late bloomer when it came to becoming a novelist.

What was your inspiration for Abuse of Discretion?

I was talking to a law school classmate who was lamenting the fact that he had yet another teenage client facing life-altering consequences as a result of sexting. He’s a criminal defense attorney and he explained to me that children as young as 13 and 14 were being prosecuted for distributing child pornography after taking naked selfies and sending them to a classmates. I was floored when he told me that these children faced the possibility of having to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives if convicted. I immediately knew this was a topic I wanted to address in a legal thriller and Abuse of Discretion was the result.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

I don’t explore themes as much as social issues. My books have discussed sexual harassment in the workplace (In Firm Pursuit), gender discrimination (Attorney-Client Privilege), the HIV epidemic among women (Murder on the Down Low), paternity issues (Lawful Deception) and child-sex trafficking (Anybody’s Daughter).

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

It took me about a year to complete Abuse of Discretion, which is typical for me for a full-length novel. I just released my first erotic romance novella, Unlawful Desires, under the pen name Sassy Sinclair, which took me three months to write.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

I’m pretty disciplined in the home stretch of the novel. Once I have a first draft and I’m three months or so away from my publication date, I’m pretty consistent.  The real writing is in the rewriting and I need about three months to tinker with the book. I’m a morning writer, so I like to get to the computer by 7 a.m. I typically write until about noon, then break for lunch. If the writing vibe is strong, I’ll start up again around 2 p.m. and write until about six or seven.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

The research for sure. I’m a lawyer, but I’ve never practiced in juvenile court. It’s a totally different world from civil court and employment law, which is my expertise. Luckily, I had several juvenile criminal attorneys and a juvenile judge who helped me out quite a bit.

What do you love most about being an author?

The freedom to educate as well as entertain through my books. After reading Abuse of Discretion, I hope parents sit down and talk to their teens about sexting. Education and frank conversation are key to saving our children from very devastating legal consequences.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

My first two books were traditionally published. My third book, Murder on the Down Low, was rejected by nine publishing houses, which forced me to self-publish. I’m now a successful indie author with ten books to my credit. When two major publishers who rejected my earlier books later solicited me, it truly validated my decision to take charge of my own writing career. It was also quite validating when Anybody’s Daughter won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction against four traditionally published authors, including New York Times bestselling authors Walter Mosley and Terry McMillan. In the words of Tyler Perry, “We don’t have to wait for someone to green light our projects. We can create our own intersections.”

Where can we find you on the web?

Website: www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pamelasamuelsyoung and

Twitter: www.twitter.com/pamsamuelsyoung

 

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Kathleen Shaputis lives in the glorious Pacific Northwest with her husband, Bob, a clowder of cats and three pompously protective Pomeranians with little social aptitude: Brugh, Bouncer and Miss Jazzy. If not writing, she’s busy reading and watching romantic comedies, her ultimate paradise.

Her latest book is Their Witch Wears Plaid.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

Would you call yourself a born writer?  

Absolutely, my DNA is actually colourful scribbles and characters. I wrote plays and stories in the second and third grade which became productions in the backyard using the clothesline for the stage curtain. Dialogue then and now is my favorite part. My imagination knew no bounds in creating invisible people, animals and ideas. I would scare myself plotting out a dramatic scene when I should have been working on multiplication tables.

What was your inspiration for Their Witch Wears Plaid

I have been fascinated with psychics and palm readers most of my life. And being of Scottish descent, I’ve dreamed of living in the moors of Scotland. What better fun than to blend these two fantasies together in a magical realism storyline. Years ago I discovered a talented and incredible acquaintance who is a palm reader here in Olympia, Washington and she became the inspiration for Lady Nell.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing? 

Strong, independent women characters are a staple in my books. Despite what happens around them or to them, they struggle to remember who they are. Lightness, laughter, looking at the world with rose-tinted glasses are also important. Though I have written darker stories, I most enjoy romantic comedies.

How long did it take you to complete the novel? 

This one took about nine months to complete as I suffer from Meniere’s Disease and find it difficult to stare at a computer screen for more than an hour or so without feeling seasick and dizzy. I take a notebook with me wherever I go and can write scenes or dialogue passages whenever I get the chance.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day. 

Um, somewhat. I am up before the dawn usually and those first quiet hours of the morning are my ideal time to write. The windows near my computer face west, unfortunately, so I don’t get the excitement of sun rises, but the general lightening of the world outside. However, I also use this time for social media and reading the headlines of the news.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book? 

Actually, giving the male lead enough script time – he probably could have used more. I see my novels as a movie playing out in my mind and many times during the early drafts I found myself asking, “What happened to Galen? Where is he?”

What do you love most about being an author? 

Creating characters, they can be much more rewarding and pliable than real people. Listening to their lives play out, knowing their dreams and wishes, is quite powerful. As an author you wear many hats: creator, director, producer and casting supervisor.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision? 

I’ve done all three throughout the list of my books. However, for Their Witch Wears Plaid, I first offered it to the Simon & Schuster imprint Crimson Romance who published the first two books in the series: Her Ghost Wears Kilts and His Lass Wears Tartan. They passed on the story and I ended up self-publishing. There are pros and cons to both traditionally publishing (whether a big sister house or small press) versus doing it yourself. And each attribute of the process has pros and cons: Cover design, editing, marketing. With DIY, you have control with the cover design. This is fulfilling but can be expensive, as you shouldn’t do the design yourself. It’s like your book is wearing a dress to the top awards ceremonies, would you rather it wear a professional designer gown or something you made from home?

Where can we find you on the web?

Blog Address: http://kathleenshaputis.com

Twitter Address: https://twitter.com/NWAuthor

Facebook Address:  https://www.facebook.com/KathleenShaputisAuthor/

 

 

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Title: Fragments of Life
Author: Anita R. Gibbons
Publisher: XlibrisAU
Genre: Fiction
Format: Ebook

This story is in a sense a complex tale that commences at the end. It relates the tale of a developing “rocky” love affair between its two major characters as they each discover their capacity to fall in love with another woman, the charting of which is seen through the eyes of the survivor.

Maggie Cameron is a thirty-something single mother who has already established a moderately successful publishing business in Vancouver, Canada. She is also struggling to cope with the strain of a failing marriage and the needs of her growing daughter. Then into her life enters Carla Green as her young personal assistant.

Carla quickly becomes an invaluable player in Maggie’s business and family life. Then everything moves smoothly for a number of years until the confluence of two major events brings their developing relationship to a climax.

Carla is forced to confront the reemergence of her childhood demons on two fronts when a previous illness brings her mortality into question again. Maggie undertakes to publish a lesbian-focused story by a well-respected novelist under an assumed name. Maggie is deeply worried about the latter, even after Carla offers to play a role in addressing her major concerns. However, it is of even greater concern to both Maggie and her daughter, Stephanie, now in her teens, that Carla’s shattering prognosis will have severe repercussions on their developing comfortable family relationship.

By way of devising a coping strategy, Maggie and Stephanie begin plotting a way to make Carla’s impending death as happy as possible for all concerned. However, Carla seems to be rejecting all their efforts until an opportunity emerges for Stephanie to spend part of her upcoming school holiday in France. After considerable persuasion, Carla finally agrees to accompany them on their planned grand tour of Europe. Hence, although the story is set primarily in Vancouver, Canada, it also incorporates their travels across Europe.

As they all set about arranging for and planning their holiday itinerary, Carla is also trying to address her long-held concerns about her own sexuality. She eventually discloses her fears to Maggie, whose initial reaction is less than positive, particularly as Carla also soon expresses her deep feelings for her boss.

This unexpected development causes Maggie to also attempt an analysis her own deepening feelings for Carla, but before she is able to draw any conclusions, an event immediately preceding their departure seemingly dooms whatever future their relationship might hold.

The saga then proceeds as a mini travelogue covering their adventures in France. Indeed, it is only when Maggie and Carla, having deposited Stephanie with her troublesome father, set off on their own adventure to Italy that they begin to address the changing nature of their relationship.

It is only when they reach the idyllic setting of the small coastal village of Positano that Maggie finally gives in to the perceived pressure from Carla and finally admits to herself that she has irrevocably fallen totally ‘in love’ with Carla. However, more problems emerge as they grapple with the issue of Maggie’s willingness to share her newfound knowledge with Stephanie and the outside world in general.

PURCHASE HERE

 

MY THOUGHTS:
This book runs through all emotions that you might have while reading. The plot and characters are both extremely well developed, and even though there are hard topics addressed the author flows through these with ease as the relationships are forged and hold strong.
A very good book that I would recommend.
After she was born in the United Kingdom, Anitaís family moved to Australia when she was still quite young. She studied her BA (sociology/politics) and MA (womenís studies) at Victoriaís Monash University. She met her life partner at age twenty, and they spent thirty-seven years together in their small home in the inner suburbs of Melbourne. They both enjoyed traveling, sailing, and sharing their time with an array of pet cats. Her writing has consisted of short stories, poetry, and articles for professional journals. Following her partnerís death in 2007, this novel finally burst out of its shackles. Her other major pastimes include presenting a weekly program for Melbourne community radio and still traveling whenever possible.

 

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Owen L. Sypher is a devoted servant of the Lord. At eleven years old, he started a spiritual journey to discover and understand God and his word.

In 1979, he received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Since then, he has had fellowships with the same group. Song of Solomon is his first book.

You can visit his website at http://www.sypherbooks.com.   

What’s inside the mind of a Bible book author?

My mind is full of a love of the word of God. I like to meditate and think about God’s word most of the day. I like to try and see how does the word of God work in my life.

What is so great about being an author?

People is impressed when you say you are an author, that is nice but the greatest thing is knowing that what I wrote can potentially help a lot of people get a closer walk with the Lord.

When do you hate it?

When I am tired and have writer’s block, and when I have a self imposed deadline or goal to reach.

What is a regular writing day like for you?

When I am thinking about a verse, I take the verse and just think about that one verse or setting from morning to night, sometimes for a few days and just let the Lord stir up scriptures. I try to always have a pen and paper with me so that when an idea comes I can write it down even if I discard the idea later. If I don’t write it down I tend to forget the idea. Then I transfer it to my rough draft that I am doing which I go over several times later on in the process.

How do you handle negative reviews?

I realize not everyone is going to like my books, I look at the star rating and read what they have to say about it. I try to see if there is anything positive said about my book and dwell on that. The negative part I try to use to see if I could have improve my book anyway, or my writing style so when I write another book it will be better.

How do you handle positive reviews?

I get real excited about positive reviews, they are like a pat on the back for a job well done.

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?

First response is usually surprise, you wrote a book? And then it gives me an opportunity to discuss my book with them, and to explain the wonderful things that are found in the word of God.

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?

I usually take a break from writing, sometimes I waste my time playing a game on the computer. I had to force myself to write at the end because I had my own deadline of when I wanted the book done and published by, but this was in the finishing process.

What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?

It is ok if they don’t take it seriously; I had to do it because it is what I felt like God wanted me to do. I did not get much encouragement or discouragement while writing my book people were just neutral on it until after it was written.

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate?

Yes I can the most beautiful thing about writing this book is that I feel like I have imparted some words of wisdom to this world that will help people.

The worst part about writing is that it can be very time consuming especially if you have a full time job also.

Do you think success as an author must be linked to money?

No the true success is if you impart something of value into your readers lives to where they can improve or have a better life. Money is just a small part of the equation.

What has writing taught you?

The most important thing it has taught me is that I can start a long term project and finish it. This is important to me on a personal level; I grew out of writing this book.

It also taught me that I do have knowledge that I can pass on to future generations in the form of this book. Also that people wanted to hear what I had to say.

Leave us with some words of wisdom.

That is a tall order to leave words of wisdom, but I will try.

Write about things you are passionate about, and describe it in your own way. Speak from the heart. Do your homework so you can be more detailed about what you are writing about.

Enjoy the process it will have it’s ups and downs but stay focus on your goal of finishing.

I have enjoyed writing this book.

God Bless

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