Title: The Blue Book

Author: Andrew Barbour

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Pages: 776

Genre: Science Fiction

Format: Ebook 

The Blue Book; The Ultimate Project is the Terrestrial Non Human Project to introduce us to their existence alongside us on this Planet. With unique photographs of interaction between a variety of Craft, also including arrivals and departures. It’s time to know!


The Blue Book is available for purchase at  


Andrew is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

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 Gift Certificate to Amazon
  • This giveaway begins August 10 and ends on August 21.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on August 8.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Drowning God

The Drowning GodTitle: The Drowning God

Author: James Kendley

Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse

Genre: Supernatural Thriller

Format: Kindle/Paperback

The Drowning God, a paranormal thriller by James Kendley, is one of 30 projects selected out of 4,563 submissions for Harper Voyager’s new digital-first expansion — release date July 28, 2015!
Detective Tohru Takuda faces his own tragic past to uncover modern Japan’s darkest secret–The Drowning God.
Few villagers are happy when Takuda comes home to investigate a foiled abduction, and local police enlist powerful forces to shut him out. Takuda sacrifices his career and family honor to solve the string of disappearances in the dark and backward valley of his youth, but more than a job is at stake. Behind the conspiracy lurks the Kappa, a monstrous living relic of Japan’s pagan prehistory. Protected long ago by a horrible pact with local farmers and now by coldly calculated corporate interests, the Kappa drains the valley’s lifeblood, one villager at a time.
Takuda and his wife, Yumi, are among the few who have escaped the valley, but no one gets away unscarred. When Takuda digs into the valley’s mysteries, Yumi’s heart breaks all over again. She wants justice for her murdered son, but she needs an end to grief. Even if Takuda survives the Kappa, the ordeal may end his marriage.
With Yumi’s tortured blessing, Takuda dedicates his life to ending the Drowning God’s centuries-long reign of terror. He can’t do it alone. A laconic junior officer and a disarmingly cheerful Buddhist priest convince Takuda to let them join in the final battle, where failure means death–or worse. The journey of these three unlikely warriors from uneasy alliance to efficient team turns THE DROWNING GOD’s mystery into an adventure in friendship, sacrifice and courage.


The Drowning God is available for order at  

google play
I rested easy in the long, lonesome place between completing The Drowning God and making the sale,
all thanks to a forum troll.
It wasn’t fun, mind you. Agent after agent passed on it.
Contests and direct submissions didn’t pan out. But I rested easy because a
troll fulfilled his role. I was inoculated. If my own dear mother had called to
say I should give up this writing business, I would have smiled and nodded and
kept right on doing what I do.
But let me just tell you the story:
In 2009, I took several months away from my favorite online
community to complete the first draft of The Drowning God. This community,
music fans of all ages from Scandinavia to the Antipodes, is by far the
wittiest, most knowledgeable and kindest online family it’s ever been my
pleasure to meet. I count several of them as “actual” friends, not
just online friends. It was a pretty tight group.
Except for one spiteful and maladjusted unit who called himself
H0neyc0mb Jack. Jack trolled the “official” forum, but he lurked on the
“friends” forum, which he had chosen not to join.
When I rejoined after my hiatus, I announced on the “friends”
forum what I’d been up to. Jack responded the next day on the
“official” forum, an entirely different entity:

Good to be back! I’ve been away researching my new novel and its a
spinecrackler! At least three (Count’em, losers) internet publisher ibook
download companies have picked up on the idea and guess what?! I’ve actually
written it and people are telling me it IS good! I cannot believe I am this close to the Booker Prize at age

laugh.gif. My first novel!!!
Based on black and white films catapulted into a Die Hard present mixed with
Sopranos vava voom and tossed off with words written in another style, I cannot
BELIEVE the hum it is stirring


blink.gif. If you had asked me
at age seventeen when the sap was still rising if I could have written anything
so erudite and funny and musical and in touch; well, I would have said…NO WAY




Thanks for the support guys, because without you all,there is no way I would
have written this





Juvenile mockery, but it was good enough. The troll fulfilled
his role.
Familiar and not-very-interesting troll strategies here:

• posting on a different forum for deniability (“Dear boy, my post had
nothing to do with you! Just trumpeting my successes and whatnot. But what is
this? Do you scribble as well? What a coincidence!”)

• exaggerating the target’s claims (“But of course you’re shooting
for the Booker Prize, old sock. What young Turk like yourself would not?”)

• and the troll’s best game, playing on my perceived weaknesses: academia’s
scorn of genre writing, the rapidly changing publishing market, my advanced
years (I was 47 at the time, not 50), my lack of contacts, and my wide-eyed

I kept on writing and submitting. Several friends PM’d to
commiserate about Jack’s unwarranted cross-forum cruelty, but I held my tongue.
That in itself was unusual. At the time, I loved an occasional wee online
dust-up, and I’ve never been one to let a bully have the last word, online or
off. But this was different because there was something to be learned here.
I kept on writing and submitting. I looked up the Booker Prize
to see how hard he was mocking me.
And I kept on writing and submitting. With a full-time job, a
new baby, three moves, and an overlong sojourn in the barren gulag archipelago
of for-the-love online litmags, I kept on writing and submitting. I joined a
professional writing organization, The Horror Writers Association, and a couple
of local writers’ clubs. I put out 80,000 words of short stories, essays, and
reviews, and I polished The Drowning God to within an inch of its life.
That was the lesson. I kept on writing and submitting. Over
time, the truth in the action dispelled the troll’s lies.
Think of it this way: every environment has a scavenger, a
bottom-feeder that turns dead matter and excreta into energy. In the process,
it removes toxins and debris to make room for new life.
Trolls and haters can be good for the writer’s mental
environment. They uncover the fears, thus helping to turn toxins and debris
into new energy and new work.
Thank you, bottom-feeding scavengers.
Thank you, H0neyc0mb Jack, wherever you are.
H0neyc0mb Jack pissed off into the ether on Jan. 31, 2011, the
date of his last post. I assumed at the time that he tired of trolling
well-adjusted adults or forum admins finally booted him. However, astute forum
members correlated Jack’s disappearance with the suicide of a music fan with a
similarly troubled online history. H0neyc0mb Jack seems to have taken his own
life. Weirder still: at one point, the troubled fellow in question, the man who
was probably H0neyc0mb Jack, friended me on Facebook.
As for me, there’s no joy in outliving my detractors. It’s just
sad. And I will meet meaner, stronger, smarter trolls. That’s part of the deal.
But the lesson has been learned:
I write.

I submit.

I am rejected.

I am disappointed.

I write.

I submit.

I am rejected.

I am disappointed.

Oh, the future:

Every dog has his day.

Kendleyness is next to dogliness.

Therefore, I will have my day.

Quod erat demonstrandum.

James FendleyJames Kendley has written and edited professionally for more than 30 years, first as a newspaper reporter and editor, then as a copy editor and translator in Japan (where he taught for eight years at private colleges and universities), and currently as an educational publishing content wrangler living in northern Virginia. He has a taste for the macabre, and he hopes you do, too!

For More Information

Visit James’ website.

Connect with James



619150_Personalized Banner Ad with ebook_L1

The Red BookTitle: The Red Book

Author: Andrew Barbour

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Pages: 252

Genre: Science Fiction

Format: Ebook 

This is the culmination of what began on October 6, 2013, at 8:12 a.m.

It was to be The Blue Book: The Ultimate Project.

In increasing clarity, these books show first the preparation and then the arrival in the first book—which, I freely admit, is not easy to read. But any change that I made, made it nearly impossible to continue until I reversed the change that I had made.

It was realised that things had to be effectively translated. This is what led to the creation of The Red Book. So using what I had learned and figured out, I applied the same technique to a digital camera, and the results speak for themselves.


The Red Book is available for purchase at  


Andrew is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

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 Gift Certificate to Amazon
  • This giveaway begins August 10 and ends on August 21.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on August 8.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

arnaldo 3I enjoy a good murder. Oh, not necessarily an actual murder, but the kind of murders that occur between the pages of a good book. People ask me all the time, “What made you write about such gruesome stuff?”  I rarely have a good enough answer for them and the person asking usually leaves somewhat disappointed. How do you explain to the casual observer, reader, or even fan that you are possessed of a mind filled with all sorts of criminality?

Writers of thrillers, crime fiction, mysteries, etc. dwell in worlds bathed in foggy nights and overcast days. Peaceful ponds and lakes are actually places where bodies rise to the surface, pristine winter snows hide the corpses of hitch-hikers, runaways, or promising college students. We who write about crime must lurk in these dark places, it is who we are. And as a consequence we must also rise squinting into the sun and seek justice for those who have been so wronged. We create doctors, lawyers, detectives, housewives, writers, and even vampires who are willing to use their knowledge, skills, instinct and need to bring the bad guy to justice; to solve the very crime or crimes that we previously have so painstakingly committed on paper. It’s like knitting a wonderfully intricate afghan and then carefully pulling it apart as soon as it’s done.

But, alas, it’s what we do. Oh, and don’t get it wrong. Sure we create great antagonists. Some are evil geniuses, some are sociopaths and some are complete pychopaths! We use words like unsub, perp, the suspect, and so on to describe them, but isn’t the blood actually dripping from our hands?

It takes a very special mindset to just be a writer in the first place: to tackle

head on that blank page and build a world in which you hope to immerse your reader. And it’s even more special when it’s a criminal mind.


Title: Chickenhawk

Genre: Thriller

Author: Arnaldo Lopez Jr.

Publisher: Koehler Books/Café Con Leche books

Purchase on Amazon

About the Book:

Chickenhawk is an urban crime fiction novel that showcases New York City’s diversity, as well as the dark side of race relations, politics, sexuality, illness, madness, and infidelity. Eddie Ramos and Tommy Cucitti are Manhattan North Homicide detectives after a serial killer that manages to stay below their radar while the body count keeps climbing in a city that’s turning into a powder keg.


About the Author:

Arnaldo Lopez Jr. has been employed by New York City Transit for twenty-eight years and was formerly employed as a dispatcher with the NYPD.  Mr. Lopez is also a speaker and trainer, speaking on subjects as diverse as terrorism and customer service.  He created the civilian counter-terrorism training program currently in use by New York City Transit and many other major public transportation agencies around the country.

As well as writing, Mr. Lopez is an artist and photographer, having sold several of his works over the years.  As a writer he’s sold articles to Railway Age magazine, The Daily News magazine, Homeland Defense Journal, and Reptile & Amphibian magazine; scripts to Little Archie and Personality Comics; and short stories to Neo-Opsis magazine, Lost Souls e-zine, Nth Online magazine, Blood Moon magazine, and various other Sci-Fi and/or horror newsletters and fanzines.  He was also editor of Offworld, a small science fiction magazine that was once chosen as a “Best Bet” by Sci-Fi television.  Chickenhawk is his first novel.

Connect with Arnaldo Lopez Jr. on Facebook and Twitter.


From the bestselling author of Riversong…

Playboy Ciaran Lanigan was the party. Executive Bliss Heywood was the library. When they meet, sparks fly and so begins an uncontrollable attraction that neither is strong enough to escape, regardless that it’s fraught with lies, secrets and family complexities.

But ‘party boy’ Ciaran isn’t everything he appears. Lurking beneath the surface of his charming grin is a man haunted by fears. Are they real or imagined? As he slowly reveals his past, Bliss becomes less and less sure if the man she’s involved with is unstable or truly in danger. Will she learn the truth in time to save him?

Set in the fictional town of Peregrine, Idaho, Blue Moon, the second book in the Blue Mountain Collection features the youngest Lanigan brother, Ciaran. It is both a love story and mystery, with Tess Thompson’s quirky and complex but lovable characters.


Temperatures had dropped the day before to below freezing, icing over highways, streets and sidewalks. This might have been an indication that something dramatic was about to shift in the trajectory of my life, but I couldn’t see clearly back then. Like a racehorse with blinders, shiny and groomed, muscles primed for speed, mind focused and ready, I had no view other than what was right in front of me, striding without hesitation the five blocks from my condominium building to my office. With my figurative blinders on I paid little attention to the weather or anything around me except for the need and subsequent retrieval of my leather gloves that normally spooned happily with my business cards in the side pocket of a Kate Spade purse, both waiting for their usefulness.

After tugging the gloves over my manicured hands, I tucked the cards back into the side pocket. I’d need them later for a cocktail networking event where I would meet hundreds of people I didn’t know and didn’t especially want to know, dressed in various-hued business suits, all the while trying not to cringe when I said my name. Bliss Heywood. Bliss does not sound like the name of a CEO, a shark, a mover and shaker. Bliss is the name of an unfortunate soul born in the early seventies to a hippie mother and spineless father. Like Johnny Cash’s Boy Named Sue, I’ve spent most of my life fighting to prove I am no Bliss.

A gust of cold wind stung my ears and travelled up my skirt, the warmth of the hot yoga class I’d taken before work a distant memory. The streets of downtown Portland were narrow and congested. Buildings made of brick and concrete hinted at a simpler era when this river town was the home of rugged longshoremen working the swift waters of the Willamette. Statues of Portland’s own Beverly Cleary’s characters peppered the sidewalks: Henry and Ramona and Beezuz—all friends from my youth, when I spent a majority of time with my nose in a book. Today, despite the cold, sidewalks bustled with business people in suits and shiny shoes; young adults with piercings, tattoos and unwashed hair waiting for public transit; and mothers pushing strollers while wearing those horribly ugly comfortable leather shoes the women in the Pacific Northwest are so fond of.

I reached my office building and stopped at the foot of the stairs, searching for Sam and Sweetheart. They weren’t in their usual spot. My chest tightened as I scanned the street, suddenly feeling the cold. Had the weather driven them away? Where would they go? Were they hurt? But I needn’t have worried. They were tucked under a blanket just inside the space between the buildings, seeking shelter from the wind, no doubt. I walked toward them, reaching into my purse and pulling out a five-dollar bill from the inner zipper pocket where I kept my “Sam money.” At the beginning of every month I walked into my local bank and asked for enough cash for every business day of the month in five-dollar bills. Not knowing if it would be safe to give it to him all at once, I gave him only five dollars at a time, except for Friday when I gave him enough to carry him through the weekend.

Sam, bearded and dirty, dressed in layers and layers of clothes regardless of the season, lived on the streets with Sweetheart, his three-legged border collie. He carried a tin coffee can with a simple note attached to it: “Sam and Sweetheart.” I wasn’t sure where he went at night, but every morning he was at the steps of my office building with Sweetheart and his can. I wanted to ask him where he slept and how he ate and so many other questions, but it was futile. Sam was mute.

I caught his gaze and smiled before leaning over to pet Sweetheart. And that dog! She never let me down. At the first sight of me, the little black and white furry love machine always ambled onto her three legs and wagged her tail so fiercely it might have knocked over a small child. Today was no different. I scratched behind her ears, taking off one of my gloves so she could lick my fingers, before reaching into my coat pocket for a doggie treat. I had no idea what Sam did with the money I gave him—booze or food. I hoped it was food, of course, for Sweetheart and himself. He certainly never appeared intoxicated or drugged. Sweetheart, when I felt the space near her ribs, seemed perfectly fit.

I know what people would say about this small and perhaps foolish gesture of kindness. I did it to assuage my guilt because I had so much and he had so little. I understand this sentiment, but it wasn’t exactly true. I know some might say, too, that there are better ways to give back, through charity donations and foundations. I understood this to be true, of course, and having come from poverty I gave generously every year to several charities for underprivileged youth and battered women. But this was different. This was personal.

There was Sweetheart, of course. She was special. Anyone could see that. Animals, especially dogs, were much easier for me to be around than people. They seemed to understand what I needed without having to ask. It had been on my list for years to get a dog of my own, but I knew it wouldn’t be fair to them because I traveled frequently. I couldn’t bear thinking of a dog alone for half the month, or worse, stuck in a kennel.

And Sam? Well, the truth is, he reminded me of my late father. Mostly it was his eyes, faded blue and unfocused like he wasn’t sure whether he knew you for a second or two, until several rapid blinks brought recognition.

I leaned over and dropped the money in his can. He put his hand over his heart; the corners of his mouth twitched. This was his way of expressing gratitude. I understood.


The Author


Tess’s  Website / Twitter Facebook Goodreads / Pinterest

Tess Thompson is a novelist and playwright. She has a BFA in Drama from the University of Southern California.

After some success as a playwright she decided to write a novel, a dream she’d held since childhood. She began working on her first novel, RIVERSONG while her second daughter was eight months old, writing during naptimes and weekends. She considers it a small miracle and the good-nature of her second child (read: a good napper) that it was ever finished. RIVERSONG was released in April 2011 by Booktrope, a Seattle publisher and subsequently became a #1 Nook book and Kindle best seller. Since then she’s released five additional novels: RIVERBEND, RIVERSTAR, CARAMEL AND MAGNOLIAS, TEA AND PRIMROSES AND BLUE MIDNIGHT.

Like her characters in the RIVER VALLEY COLLECTION, Tess is from a small town in Southern Oregon. She currently lives in Snoqualmie, Washington with her two small daughters where she is inspired daily by the view of the Cascade Mountains from her home office window.

A voracious reader, Tess’s favorite thing to do is to curl up on a rainy afternoon and read a novel. She also enjoys movies, theatre, wine and food. She is fed emotionally by her friends and family and cherishes relationships above all else.

She’s currently in the editing process for her first historical romance called DUET FOR THREE HANDS, which will be released in late February and followed shortly thereafter with the second in the BLUE MOUNTAIN COLLECTION, Blue Moon.

Follow the entire BLUE MOON TOUR here

Author PhotoA native of Massachusetts, Sophia Bar-Lev divides her time between the Fort Worth, Texas area and Israel.  A former school teacher and adult education lecturer, Bar-Lev now devotes the majority of her time to writing.  Sophia Bar-Lev is also the author of Pasta, Poppy Fields, and Pearls and Pizza and Promises. The Silver Locket is her latest novel.

Connect with the author on the web:




Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, THE SILVER LOCKET. To begin with, can you gives us a brief summary of what the story is about and what compelled you to write it?   

A: This novel is celebrates the triumph of the human spirit over tragedy and heartache.  It chronicles the lives of two women whose lives are linked by a child that belongs to both of them but in different ways.  Their common devotion to motherhood and family ultimately leads to a powerful and fulfilling reunion. The power of a sensitive and difficult decision years earlier is realized as two families join their hearts and lives because of one special daughter they share. My inspiration came from the true story of a friend who wanted her story told and was delighted that I would write it for her.

Q: What do you think makes a good contemporary novel? Could you narrow it down to the three most important elements? Is it even possible to narrow it down?

A: A novel doesn’t deny reality; it interprets reality.  The novels I appreciate and enjoy reading relates to the contemporary reader in a way that adds value to his/her life. This what I endeavor to do in my writing.  The importance of character development cannot be overstated.  Imagination must blend seamlessly with realism to produce for the reader a sense of connection or identification with the personalities in the book.

Q: How did you go about plotting your story? Or did you discover it as you worked on the book?

A: In the case of THE SILVER LOCKET, I knew the basic story ahead of time so my primary task was to follow the real life plot as told to me by my friend.  However, in my other novels, I start with an idea which morphs into an overview but as I write, very often the characters pull me into directions I didn’t anticipate when I started the project.  Personally, I’ve never outlined a book ahead of time.  I tend to write more spontaneously and, as they say, ‘go with the flow’.

Book Cover - The SIlver LocketQ: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist and how you developed him or her. Did you do any character interviews or sketches prior to the actual writing?

A:  For this novel I invested considerable time in learning everything I could about the two women who are the primary characters throughout the novel.  My friend’s descriptions and insights into her birth mother and adopted mother were very helpful and gave me a solid basis for building the narrative.  Yes, I did write up two character interviews while I was writing the book and later revised them after the book was finished.  I found the practice very helpful not only for this novel but for my other novels as well.

Q: In the same light, how did you create your antagonist or villain? What steps did you take to make him or her realistic?

A: This took a bit more imagination than the development of the protagonists.  Actual information about this person was sketchy so I did some research into the general traits of the kind of person he needed to be in the story and received some advice from a local police officer as well, not only regarding the criminal but also about the types of laws applicable at the time.

Q: How did you keep your narrative exciting throughout the novel? Could you offer some practical, specific tips?

A: To keep a reader turning the pages requires enough mystery or suspense to create continual curiosity.  As a writer moves through the chapters, unexpected twists to the story act like bait to ‘hook’ the reader to keep going.  In this novel, I inserted events and conversations at strategic intervals to create or increase the suspense and add depth to the story.

Q: Setting is also quite important and in many cases it becomes like a character itself. What tools of the trade did you use in your writing to bring the setting to life?

A: Descriptions must be written in such a way that the reader can paint a picture in his/her mind of the various settings in the course of the novel.  Carefully chosen words, similies, analogies and references will all contribute to dynamic settings so that – in a manner of speaking – the book becomes a movie in the mind of the reader.

Q: Did you know the theme(s) of your novel from the start or is this something you discovered after completing the first draft? Is this theme(s) recurrent in your other work?

A: In this case, yes I knew the theme from the beginning.  In my other novels, I had a general idea but the themes developed as I wrote so that by the time I completed each novel, the theme was clear and distinct.

Q: Where does craft end and art begin? Do you think editing can destroy the initial creative thrust of an author?

A: Craft and art – art and craft: which comes first? Hard to say. I think the most successful novel is the result of free-flowing ‘art’ or creativity, which is later reviewed, revised and edited so that the level of the craft enhances the art contained within the novel itself.

Q: What three things, in your opinion, make a successful novelist?

A: Persistence, diligence and a passion for excellence are imperative for any writer to become a successful novelist.  Actually, I think these three qualities are essential for success in any area of life but as we’re discussing authors, I would add that every author has to be willing to throw away as much or more than they actually publish.  Writing is a ‘practice’ as well as an art.  I write every day and much of it ends up in the dust bin but it’s not wasted time; it’s practice and practice makes perfect.

Q: A famous writer once wrote that being an author is like having to do homework for the rest of your life. What do you think about that?

A:  I love writing so if this is homework for the rest of my life, bring it on!  I’m a firm believer in the maxim that if you love what you do, you won’t ‘work’ for the rest of your life.  Your ‘work’ becomes your joy.

Q: Are there any resources, books, workshops or sites about craft that you’ve found helpful during your writing career?

A:  Yes I regularly read postings from Writers’ Digest and subscribe to their magazine as well. I attend writers’ workshops as often as I can and read books about writing.  I found Stephen King’s book, ON WRITING and BIRD BY BIRD by Anne Lamott helpful and inspiring.  I’m also a great fan of the series of books for writers by Julia Cameron.  Her works continue to be a resource I go back to frequently.

Q:  Is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers about the craft of writing?

A: I have a small book on my desk which a friend recently sent me.  It’s entitled, YOU’RE A WRITER SO ACT LIKE IT.  I haven’t read the book yet but I love the title.  Anyone who aspires to be a writer needs to put in the time to develop the skills that a creative imagination requires in order to marry ideas to effective expression.  I daresay there are many potential writers who are not lacking in ideas but in the will and persistence to do the work required to turn their imaginations into printed material.  Great ideas are not enough; the mechanical skills for producing a winning manuscript are essential.  And that, my friends, takes work.



Genre:  Women’s Fiction

Author:  Sophia Bar-Lev

Website:  www.sophiabarlev.com

Purchase on Amazon

About the Book:

When The Silver Locket opens, it’s July 1941 in Boston, Massachusetts. War is raging in Europe and the Pacific. But for two young women in a small town in New England waging their own personal battles, the struggle is way too close to home.

When extraordinary circumstances bring these two women together, one decision will alter the course of their lives.  And with that one decision, their lives will be forever changed…and forever intertwined.

Were these two women thrust together by happenstance—or fate?   A tragedy. A decision. A pact. Lives irretrievably changed. A baby girl will grow up in the shadow of a secret that must be kept at all costs. But will this secret ever see the light of day?  And what happens when—or if—a promise made must be broken?

Adopting a child is not for the feint of heart—but neither is being adopted…

A sweeping and suspenseful story that unfolds in a different time and a different place, The Silver Locket explores universal themes that ring true even today. Secrets. Unbreakable bonds. The healing power of love.  Deception. Anguish.  Redemption.

In this touching and tender tale, novelist Sophia Bar-Lev weaves a confident, quietly moving story about adoption, finding hope in the face of hopelessness, and how true love can overcome any obstacle. With its brilliant juxtaposition of the wars fought both on the battlefield and internally, The Silver Locket is a poignant novel, resplendent with drama.  Featuring an exceedingly real and relatable plot, and characters that will stay with readers long after the final page is turned, The Silver Locket is a sterling new read.



Title: Tug-Of-War
Author: Judith Somborac
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 148
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Kindle/Paperback

In 1942, in the midst of World War II, three factions struggle for power and control over Serbia: the Royalists, the Partisans, and the Nazis. For those living there, life was put on hold indefinitely while they coped daily with the terrorization of war—an especially disheartening situation for the country’s young people.

Fifteen-year-old Miriana, an only child, lives in a small, two-bedroom house in Bela Palanka, Serbia, with her parents, who farm and run a saw and gristmill. Their tiny home now accommodates her mother’s sister and nephew, who have been forced to evacuate from German-occupied Belgrade. Miriana’s aunt is frequently called upon by the Germans to translate for them—a task made more stressful by the fact that the family is also hiding a Partisan soldier in the cellar of the house. Being caught means certain death. Meanwhile, Miriana’s best friend, Stefan, supports his widowed mother and aging grandparents on a nearby farm; he resents having to abandon his aspirations for an education and his passion for the violin to run the farm.

Their existence is fraught with the angst of evening curfews, blackout curtains at night, unforeseen air raids, and conflict with the Nazis, but family, friends, and small pleasures propel them through a war that threatens their happiness and their lives on a daily basis.

Judith Somborac is an occasional teacher and a ski instructor who works in both capacities with children and teenagers. Judith has a BA in English and French from the University of Guelph. She currently lives in Collingwood, Ontario.


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