Thursday, December 26, 2013

Book Blast! Faces Behind the Dust by Cora L. Hairston - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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ABOUT FACES BEHIND THE DUST

Book Cover copy
Title: Faces Behind the Dust
Genre: General
Author: Cora L. Hairston
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 212
Language: English
ISBN - 978-1-47595-829-4

This book begins about a precocious, nosey little girl, who has eavesdropping down to a science. The stories surrounding this coal mining community are about family, neighbors and friends. ClaraBy loves her Daddy. The drama of this book will have you laughing and crying, as she grows into womanhood along this journey. She is struck with sorrow at the loss of her best friend, and worries about her father and brothers when tragedy struck. Also sees her father growing weary over the years as his health deteriorates. Her sister is a fast “breeder”, who seems to be caught by the “BIG BIRD” every year or so with cute little gremlins. There are racial issues that took place in the early 1950’s and 60’s during the period of integration. ClaraBy begins to grow into a lovely young lady who is trying hard not to let her hormones get the best of her. This book is the beginning of her life and she has a lot of living to do. “HELLO WORLD!!” HER COMES CLARABY ROSE!! (book 2).

Purchase your copy:

iuniverse

ABOUT CORA L. HAIRSTON

CORA HAIRSTON is retired from Logan General Hospital, as the radiology co-coordinator after 30 years of service. She has written numerous poems and 20 or more gospel songs. Her love is singing, playing the piano, going to church, and preaching life lessons to her grandchildren. Leading up to her retirement so that she would have something to occupy her mind outside of home, she was encouraged by her daughter Amanda, to return to school to become a "nail technician," which she did. This led her to be owner/operator of her own salon and eventually a "ladies boutique." Cora and her husband, Fred, are the proud parents of four children, seven grandchildren, (one deceased) and four great-grandchildren. They reside in Omar, West Virginia.

Pump Up Your Book and Cora L. Hairston are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon 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 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins December 19 and ends on January 2.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Friday, January 3 2014.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

Book Blast! Retirement: A New Adventure by Christopher Borman - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!


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ABOUT RETIREMENT: A NEW ADVENTURE

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Title: Retirement: A New Adventure
Genre: How-to Guide
Author: Christopher Borman
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 108
Language: English
ISBN - 978-1-44016-804-8

Research indicates that there is a definite connection between life style and longevity. Personal characteristics that support longevity are optimism, adaptability, resilience, healthy self-esteem, a sense of humor, and the ability to reach out to others. Read what others have learned and experienced about retirement. Just as students need a plan for starting a career, everyone needs a plan for retirement. After a lifetime of work, it is fitting that your later years will be fulfilling and enjoyable. Even if you are already retired, you can still develop a plan. As you read the book, you will find information about how others went from careers to retirement to positive adventures. A portion of the book relates the author’s experiences as he planned for retirement; in addition to the experiences of eighteen retirees who completed a questionnaire about their retirement experiences. Also, in-depth case studies of four retirees are included in the book to illustrate how each person approached their own retirement. Hopefully, as you read through the case studies, you will find a similarity to your own career and life situation. You will see how others have made decisions and plans that may be beneficial to you in making your retirement plans.

Purchase your copy:

iuniverse

ABOUT CHRISTOPHER BORMAN

Christopher Borman lives in Houston with his wife, Ruth. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Texas-San Antonio. Chris was also on the faculty in Counseling Psychology at Texas A&M University (College Station) for twenty-one years. He enjoys spending time with his three daughters and their families including three granddaughters and one grandson.

Pump Up Your Book and Christopher Borman are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon 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 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins December 19 and ends on January 2.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Friday, January 3 2014.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Book Blast! Zierath: Lord of the Alliance by M. David Loyal - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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ABOUT ZIERATH LORD OF THE ALLIANCE

  109276_front-coverTitle: Zierath Lord of the Alliance Genre: Fantasy Author: M. David Loyal Publisher: iUniverse Pages: 284 Language: English ISBN - 978-0-59569-622-2 Welcome to the Achar, a huge rotating mobius strip encircling a yellow sun. The Achar is home to hundreds of sentient races, bizarre monsters, thousands of countries, and the Imrhys, a race of immortal humans with great magical abilities who believe it is their responsibility to save the world. More than three thousand years have passed since the last great Gnarrhys War, but Lord Zierath and his fellow Imrhys still remember it. More than half of all the sentients on the Achar died in that war. Now, rumors of a darkness forming off in the west set Zierath out on a quest to gather allies, armies, and information before the darkness envelops them all. Of course, the first trick is to get out of the tedious administrative duties of ruling a large confederation of countries. Zierath’s solution is simple. Sneak out of the castle, city, and country before the regent can stop him. However, if the regent can see into the future, things can get complicated very quickly.

Purchase your copy:

iuniverse

ABOUT M. DAVID LOYAL

M. David Loyal is a jack-of-all-trades. He is an author, an artist, cartoonist, an animator, a web designer, a musician, an actor, and a director. He has worked as a cashier, a waiter, a factory worker, a teacher, and a TRIO professional. He lives in the Driftless area of Iowa with his wife, Kathleen.

Pump Up Your Book and M. David Loyal are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon 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 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins December 19 and ends on January 2.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Friday, January 3 2014.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

Book Blast! Ghost Sanctuary by Becky J - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

ABOUT GHOST SANCTUARY


  Title: Ghost Sanctuary
  Genre: Non-fiction paranormal/occult
  Author: Becky J
  Publisher: AuthorHouse
  Pages: 166
  Language: English
  ISBN - 978-1-49180-336-3

 Ghost Sanctuary is a factual accounting of a family’s struggle with ghosts living in their home. The book explains in detail the happenings faced by the family and their reaction to the invasion of the spirit realm into their own. The book contains fascinating photo and video evidence of what the family has and continues to experience. The author identifies how her own belief in God and the afterlife has helped her to overcome and understand the trials and tribulations of her family’s ordeal.

Purchase your copy:

authorhouse

ABOUT BECKY J

Becky J. is an equestrian lover and spends her days in Western activities, teaching, riding, training, and breeding horses. For more information about her unusual nonfiction tale, please visit www.GhostSanctuary.com.

Pump Up Your Book and Becky J are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon 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 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins December 11 and ends on December 25.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Thursday, December 26, 2013.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Holidays from The Writer's Life!


Monday, December 23, 2013

Book Blast: XGeneration: You Don't Know Me by Brad Magnarella & Win $25 Amazon Gift Card!




Title: XGeneration: You Don’t Know Me
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Coming of Age
Author: Brad Magnarella
Publisher: Brad Magnarella
Language: English
In the fall of 1984, Cold War tensions between Washington and Moscow are close to breaking.
But in sleepy Gainesville, Florida, fourteen-year-old Janis Graystone is mainly worried about starting high school, earning a spot on the varsity soccer team, and keeping her older sister from running her life. And then there are her nighttime experiences. Experiences where she awakens in her backyard—out of her body—with the disturbing sense that someone is watching her.
For Scott Spruel, the start of high school means the chance to start over. And he’s willing to ditch everything—computer hacking, Dungeons & Dragons marathons, even his comic book collection (well, except for his X-Men)—if it means getting closer to Janis, the secret love of his life. But will Scott’s past be so easy to shed. And what about the eerie delay on his telephone, a delay he senses through powers he is only beginning to understand?
Welcome to the gripping new series, XGeneration: part The X-Files, part Freaks and Geeks, and totally '80s.
Rated 16+ for language.

Purchase your copy at AMAZON for 99 cents during his book blast!

About the Author


Brad Magnarella grew up in North Central Florida. As a boy he discovered Marvel Comics, text-based gaming, Bruce Springsteen, and Stephen King, roughly in that order. The prize, however, was a creek that wound through his neighborhood, providing him and his friends a wooded sanctuary in which to lose themselves, while discovering natural Florida.
A graduate of the University of Florida and American University, Brad has long aspired to write the kind of fiction that colored his childhood. His books include The Prisoner and the Sun trilogy and the first in his new young adult series, XGeneration.
Brad lives in Washington, D.C. When he's not writing, he's somewhat hard to find.
His latest book is XGeneration 1: You Don’t Know Me.
Sign up to Brad's mailing list for new releases: http://bit.ly/bdmlist.
Connect & Socialize with Brad!
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Pump Up Your Book and Brad Magnarella are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Two winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins December 2 and ends December 27.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, December 30, 2013.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Interview with Joe Sinclair, author of 'Putting Life on the Finish Line'

Joe Sinclair has had an education career that spanned more than forty-five years. He served as superintendent of schools in various North Carolina districts for more than twenty years. In 1992, he was selected as North Carolina’s Superintendent of the Year. He and his wife, Claryce, live in Statesville, North Carolina.

Thank you for your time in answering our questions Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to write a book? 

I believed that I had something to contribute to individuals who wanted to improve their health and to those who were into fitness and running.

Is this your first book? 

This is my first book, although I have written many articles for newspapers and magazines.

Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey? 

It took six months to write and publish my book. Prior to beginning the writing process, I accumulated much of the written background information that was used in the process.

What lessons do you feel you learned about the publishing industry? 

I had to develop a lot of patience and understanding of the publication process.

If you had the chance to change something regarding how you got published, what would you change?

I would talk with more writers of published books to learn from their combined experiences before beginning the writing process.

Did you credit any person or organization with helping you get published? 

Wayne Triplett has published several books and was a great help to me in getting my book published.

What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors? 

Aspiring authors should have a definite goal in mind before beginning the publication process. They should have a lot of collected materials available for inclusion in their book.

Friday, December 20, 2013

In the Spotlight: Kirby Puckernut and the Christmas Surprise & Win Prizes!

Kirby Tour 

kirby puckernutKirby Puckernut and the Christmas Surprise Kirby Puckernut is Santa’s cleverest little elf. While dreaming up marvelous toys for good girls and boys, Kirby has his best idea yet – a real elf in every home, all through the holidays, spreading Christmas Magic Santa finds the perfect family and allows Kirby to serve as the test elf for the first momentous visit. Fun and adventure are at every turn, but not everything goes as planned… Will Kirby’s idea be a success.  






Peek Inside

Book Trailer

     

About the Author 

Author Alicia Richardson has created a new Christmas classic with her children’s book, Kirby Puckernut and the Christmas Surprise. Alicia Richardson resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and four children. She has always had a flair for storytelling, and has given life to a special little elf named Kirby Puckernut.


  Tour Giveaways Giveaway#1
 

5 winners will each recieve a copy of Kirby Puckernut and the Christmas Suprise + Kirby Elf
Open to US Only 
 Ends 12/31/13  

Giveaway #2 
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash 
 Ends 12/31/13   
 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Book Blast! A Tragedy of a Broken Heart by Willie Pilgrim - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card

ABOUT A TRAGEDY OF A BROKEN HEART

Title: A Tragedy of a Broken Heart
Genre: Memoir
Author: Willie Pilgrim, aka 'Woody'
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 108
Language: English
ISBN - 978-1-46201-009-7

Mainstream society has its share of tragedy, violence, heartbreak, and greed. And then there are the dark shadows beyond society, where criminals and the incarcerated dwell, where a hard life can be twisted into something far worse—or where a man can rediscover himself. In A Tragedy of a Broken Heart, author Willie Pilgrim (aka “Woody”) retraces his path from the depths of his life’s tragic beginnings to the mending of his heart and finding God. The youngest of eight children, Woody was only one when his father left their family’s home in rural South Carolina, never to return. A harsh winter storm arrived the next day, and Woody’s large family narrowly escaped starvation. As Woody grew older, he became the target of his older siblings’ aggression and had to become a survivor. His vivid, passionate narration recalls his adolescent experiences with drugs, women, and the working life, as well as his young adulthood, where he faced the enormous challenges of raising children and keeping a family together while surrounded by the devils of depression, isolation, rage, drugs, and addiction. In the darkness of his cell and prison life, where Woody found himself after snapping from years of confusion and betrayal, Woody realized he had a choice. He could choose to go insane like those around him, or he could choose to live for the love of his children and carry forgiveness in his heart for his life’s burden and pain.

Purchase your copy:

iuniverse

ABOUT WILLIE PILGRIM, AKA 'WOODY'

Willie Pilgrim, also known as Woody, is a native of Spartanburg, South Carolina. He is the youngest of eight children and the father of four, and he is once again a bachelor. Pilgrim still works and resides in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and he likes to work on cars in his free time.

Pump Up Your Book and Willie Pilgrim are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon 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 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins December 11 and ends on December 25.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Thursday, December 26, 2013.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

Interview with Allen Malnak, author of ‘Hitler’s Silver Box’


ATT00001After completing his medical residency and liver disease fellowship, Dr. Malnak practiced as a board certified internist. He served as Chief of Internal Medicine at the US Army Hospital, Fort Sill, OK., and was medical director of several organizations. Dr. Malnak was also a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Stritch School of Medicine of Loyola University.
Dr. Malnak’s father emigrated to the US from Lithuania when he was sixteen, leaving behind a large family. They were all subsequently sent to a Nazi death camp during World War II and were exterminated. As a result of that tragic familial history, Dr. Malnak developed a keen interest in the Holocaust and has read widely on the subject. He and his wife, Patricia, live in Florida with their whippet, Paige, and parakeet, Kiwi. Hitler’s Silver Box is his first novel.
Purchase the book on Amazon and B&N.
Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, Hitler’s Silver Box. What was your inspiration for it?
A: After retiring as an internist, I took a fiction writing class taught by a well known writer. Perhaps because my father’s entire Lithuanian family had been murdered by the Nazis during the Holocaust, I wrote a short story about a young silversmith captured during the Second World War and forced to make a silver box for Hitler’s birthday. The teacher suggested I expand the story into a novel.
Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist.
A: Bruce Starkman is a young chief emergency room resident at Chicago’s Cook County Hospital where he’s totally devoted to his profession. He’s tall and athletic and has a casual love interest. When his uncle, a Holocaust survivor, dies under mysterious circumstances, he’s forced to risk everything to keep himself and others alive and to protect the world against a Nazi resurgence. Much of Bruce’s ER experience is based on my experience working in an ER and being a medical director of a large ER.
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: I didn’t exactly outline the book, but I kept detailed notes on the characters as well as a list of chapters and planned carefully scenes for each chapter. Then each morning I’d write furiously pushing my censor aside until I finished a scene. When I next wrote, I’d carefully edit the last scene before beginning the next one. Just couldn’t wait until the book was finished. Too compulsive, I guess. Unfortunately, I suffer from a number of serious illnesses and because of various operations and complications, had to put the book aside for long periods. Thus, the novel required some nine years to complete.
Q: How do you keep your narrative exciting throughout the creation of a novel?
A: I always look for conflicts to keep the major characters off balance. I also try to put the reader into the story, so she or he will hear the rustling sounds and smell the noxious odors or the sweet perfume.
Q: Do you experience anxiety before sitting down to write? If yes, how do you handle it?
A: This seldom happens to me, but since like Bruce, I also suffer from claustrophobia, the section where Bruce was stuck in a dark tunnel was difficult to write. I literally pushed myself through it and didn’t even proofread the part for almost a week.
Q: What is your writing schedule like and how do you balance it with your other work and family time?
A: I’m a morning person. Up early. Set the coffee up the night before. Get in an hour or two before breakfast. Since I’m retired, don’t have much to interfere with my writing. My wife is very cooperative. When the door to the computer room is closed, I’m literally left alone with my writing.
Q: How do you define success?
A: Success is holding the finished, printed copy of a book in my hand. Of course, positive reviews and being asked to autograph copies make it even better.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers whose spouses or partners don’t support their dreams of becoming an author?
A: Never let them discourage you. Find a time and place to write, whatever that takes and write, write, write. Please yourself. Join writing groups to get support that you can’t get at home.
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: Pretty much so. It’s like an itch that you must scratch. Cliche or not, it does become an obsession.
Q: Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?
A: All the stress and aggravation is worth it in the end. Also, follow this advice: write, rewrite, get it right!

Book Blast! The Absorption of the Christ by Dr. Patricia Sadler Moore - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!


ABOUT THE ABSORPTION OF THE CHRIST

   
Title: The Absorption of the Christ
Genre: Personal Memoir
Author: Dr. Patricia Sadler Moore
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 212
Language: English
ISBN - 978-1-47594-763-2

  The Absorption of the Christ is an autobiographical sketch of a narcoleptic in search of her true identity via the process of metaphysical and supernatural experiences which she submits to through mind control and the interpretation of her numerous dreams and narcoleptic journeys. These journeys lead to her discovering that the spiritual and the physical are one united process that she labels the seat of God in expression. Utilizing the power of what she believes to be her holy mind, she finds herself adrift and absorbed in the Christ consciousness which is not estranged or separated from God but is God, the Truth of life itself, the Truth of her personal being . This nonfictional account of her life from early childhood to the present also depicts many scenarios in her life which serve as a backdrop for many of her experiences.

Purchase your copy:

iuniverse


ABOUT DR. PATRICIA SADLER MOORE

Dr. Patricia Sadler Moore was born in and educated in the public school system in Natchez, Mississippi. She received the Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate degrees from several universities in NE and N Florida. In addition, she studied French at the University of Strasbourg in Strasbourg, France. The majority of her career was spent as a teacher of French and English and as an administrative assistant in Miami- Dade County, Florida public schools from which she recently retired . She spends her leisure studying the influence of the metaphysical and supernatural on her personal life.

Pump Up Your Book and Dr. Patricia Sadler Moore are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon 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 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins December 19 and ends on January 2.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Friday, January 3 2014.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

Book Blast! Vengeance is Mine by Elizabeth Baroody - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card


ABOUT VENGEANCE IS MINE

 
Title: Vengeance is Mine
Genre: Suspense
Author: Elizabeth Baroody
Publisher: Trafford
Pages: 336
Language: English
ISBN - 978-1-46692-914-2

Nora Costain, a widow, half owner of a successful real estate company, is on vacation on a small island off the North Carolina coast, where she meets two elderly neighbors and finds a sawdust hill infested with rattlesnakes. She also finds that she likes to be around the captain of the mail boat that takes passengers to the different islands out in the bay. While she is away, her thirteen-year-old granddaughter, Holly, is caught and raped by two high school boys after a school dance. These two boys are from another nearby school. Holly refuses to allow her mother to go to the authorities about the rape, and two months later, she unexpectedly dies of an ectopic pregnancy. Nora is finally told of the rape and realizes that at this late date, nothing can be done to the unknown perpetrators. Nora comes across Holly’s diary after the funeral and reads about the rape. Holly names the boys Guy and Bill, and from the details in the diary, Nora is able to identify them. She tries to blow them up in their car, but no one is injured. Guy and Bill find out who blew up their car and decide to kidnap Nora’s grandson, Todd, to get even. The plan is thwarted by the school Todd attends, and Nora, afraid for Todd, decides to take him to the island to get him far away from the area. Guy and Bill learn of her plans, follow them to the island, and that night, attempt to dispose of them. As it happens, Nora and Todd were not in the cottage and ran to one of the neighbor’s house. For protection, the neighbor lets his wild boar loose, and the next morning, one of the boys is found gored to death by the boar. Nora manages to contact the captain and notifies the authorities. Although a search is made, the other boy could not be found.

Purchase your copy:

Trafford Publishing


9781466929142_C_QA.inddABOUT ELIZABETH BAROODY

Elizabeth was an independent photojournalist from 1970 to her death and has written, sold, and has had published approximately 115 articles, short stories, and a book. The following publications have used her work; Early American Life, Writer’s Digest, The Antique Trader, Numismatic Scrapbook, Marriage and Family, Horse Illustrated, Spinning Wheel, Country Magazine, Hobbies, Antique Week, Post Card Collector, Cricket Magazine. Under the name of Christy Demaine, she wrote one book, A Matter of Revenge, published by Playboy Press in 1978. Following is a list of books previously published and available now. Nicole Laurent That Summer at Windermere The Search for Sheherazade (e-book only) A Matter of Revenge (softcover only) Available in hard and soft cover and as e-books.

Pump Up Your Book and Elizabeth Baroody are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon 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 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins December 19 and ends on January 2.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Friday, January 3 2014.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

How do you come up with your stories? Guest post by YA sci-fi author Deborah Rix

It is a pleasure to have as our guest today Deborah Rix, author of the young adult science fiction novel, EXTERNAL FORCES.  Deborah explains to us that it's perfectly normal to hear voices in our heads.  It makes for good writing.

* * *



I have heard other authors say that they 'hear voices in their head' and that is how they write their books: the characters are telling their stories. Not being a writer myself, that concept has always intrigued me. 

When some people hear voices, we get them medical attention, others end up becoming writers. Does this happen to you? How do you come up with your stories?

Well, Susan, sometimes there are voices in my head. Just a moment ago it was my own, wondering how you can possibly follow hundreds of blogs about books and still have time to read any actual books. Do library associates in South Dakota have some secret powers around the reading of books? Hmm.
I started writing in an attempt to gain control over some part of my life, because most of it was wrapped up in red tape from the building department at City Hall. You can’t tell building permit issuers what to do, they won’t listen. I needed my characters so that I could tell someone exactly what to do, and they’d do it. While I pretended at control in a delusional act of self-preservation, my characters ended up telling me exactly what they were going to do and I’d better not try to stop them.
I’ve heard other writers describe this, but I was still completely astonished when my fingers seemed to be typing of their own volition. My daughter heard me gasp as I stared at something I’d just written and wanted to know what was wrong. “You won’t believe what Charlie just did!” was my answer. True story. I found that dialogue became easier as I went along, because what came out was them “talking in my head.”  Not as if they were beaming in from outer space and I needed to wear a tin foil helmet to stop the mind control, that would be crazy. I would imagine the character, as though I was in conversation with them, and watch their face and body language. And then they would speak and I would write down what they said. That’s not mind control, not at all.
----------------------------
Deborah Rix’s favourite position for reading a book is head almost hanging off the couch and feet up in the air with legs against the back of the couch. She’s been reading too much from Scientific American for research and ideas and needs to get back to some fiction. She has a long standing love of science fiction, some of her favourite authors include William Gibson, Philip K Dick, Kurt Vonnegut Jr, Douglas Adams, Iain M Banks. A bit old school.

Deborah enjoyed a successful career in entertainment publicity, live music promotion and event management. Which means she slogged through muddy fields for music festivals, was crammed into concert halls with too many sweaty teenage boys and got to go to Tuktoyaktuk (that’s in the Arctic Circle) for a Metallica concert. She lives with her family in Toronto, Canada, where she is the proprietor of The Lucky Penny, a neighborhood joint in Trinity-Bellwoods.
External Forces is her first novel.

Visit her website at www.DeborahRix.com.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Book Blast! The Rat Chronicles by G.W. Rennie - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

ABOUT THE RAT CHRONICLES

Title: The Rat Chronicles
Genre: Science Fiction
Author: G.W. Rennie
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 204
Language: English
ISBN - 978-1-47599-934-1

 An alien race known as the Xzebuliens that exists in an alternate universe has developed the technology to create a rift in our own, that appears on the blind side of the moon. They send asteroids through the rift and deflect them to land on all the major continents of Earth, containing a virus engineered to wipe out the human race, so they can leave their dying world behind after we are gone. There will however, be limitations to the virus, like how far and fast it spreads from the epicenters of the land masses that they strike making our environment toxic to humans, but not to most any other forms of life on the planet. The virus, also designed to turn the environment against humans, including the plant and animal life. What the aliens did not count on is that the rats of Earth are affected by the virus in a way that mutates them, rendering the virus inert so as not to be dangerous to us through them, but giving them an ability to become telepathic with people through their Meta cognitive abilities that they share with human beings which is evidently lacking in other animal species. They eventually become our allies using their superior senses and intellect that work through us because of their mutated telepathic abilities and the Meta cognitive powers that both our species have in common in thwarting the alien attempts to invade. An ancient secret the rats discover in an otherworldly alien AI database that they reveal to us through their enhanced mental abilities is so shocking it will change the way people look at rats and our world forever. The human race becomes subservient to the rats because of their accidental alien viral metamorphosis as we depend on each other for the survival of both our species....

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ABOUT G.W. RENNIE

Gerald Rennie, currently working in Port Coquitlam in beer distribution, graduated High School in 1981, has a life long interest in the subject of rats. Previously published a short auto biography about experiences with them in The Rat Worshiper. Lives alone with his five rats in Maple Ridge, British Columbia.

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  • 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
  • This giveaway begins December 11 and ends on December 25.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, December 26, 2013.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
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Book Blast! Values in Conflict: Reflections of an Animal Advocate by Georges R. Dupras - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card

ABOUT VALUES IN CONFLICT

Title: Values in Conflict
Genre: Animal Advocate
Author: Georges Dupras
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 324
Language: English
ISBN - 978-1-46205-385-8

Values in Conflict: Reflections of an Animal Advocate offers an account of changing and conflicting social values regarding man’s role in the natural world. Author Georges Dupras compels us to think about man’s role in animal suffering and leads us to the inescapable conclusion that we must speak and act for those who have no voice. Dupras presents a pragmatic approach to peaceful coexistence with nonhuman species, without sacrificing idealism. The humane field has developed from a nonprofit mission to a profession over the past forty years addressing questions, comments, and issues that are foremost in the minds of the general public. While highlighting opposing social values, Dupras encourages those who feel marginalized due to their lack of professional training and offers advice to help them find their right path. Dupras also chronicles the evolution of the animal rights movement, one that uniquely transcends differences among species. This thorough review and reflection on both Dupras’s personal experiences and of animal advocacy in general seeks to address questions, comments, and issues that are foremost in the minds of the general public, in hopes that future generations will recognize animals for their intrinsic value, equal in their own rights.

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ABOUT GEORGE DUPRAS

For over forty-five years, Georges R. Dupras has worked in many areas of the animal protection field. He is a member of the International Association for Bear Research and Management (IBA), Director of the Animal Alliance of Canada, and past member of the Board of the Canadian SPCA. He currently lives in Quebec, Canada.

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  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins December 11 and ends on December 25.
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Book Blast! Really, A Worst-Case Scenario by Robert Davis - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!



ABOUT REALLY, A WORST-CASE SCENARIO

   
Title:  Really, a Worst-Case Scenario
Genre: Suspense/Thriller
Author: B.P. Noland
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 300
Language: English
ISBN - 978-1-47590-111-5

Mayor Ron Steadman of Centerville, New Mexico, is ready for reelection. The campaign has been running smoothly, no question. No opponent stands a chance against this powerful community leader. The election is only a month away, and the desert skies couldn’t be bluer—that is until there’s a murder, and Ron’s wife, Val, becomes the prime suspect. Valarie Steadman is a scientist and university laboratory director for stem cell research, but she’s not a murderer. Someone has set her up, but she wonders whether the perpetrator is out to ruin her—or her husband. She enlists the help of lab assistant Steve Janson to help her solve the crime and clear her name. Meanwhile, the mayor—who happens to be an ex-FBI agent—joins forces with the local homicide detective, Joe Maxwell, to do a little investigation of his own. Soon, Ron and Joe find themselves near the border of Mexico, where a drug cartel that might be tied to the murder gets involved. When the FBI and DEA join the fray, things get even more complicated. It’s a good thing Ron is a politician; he knows how to change complicated into simple. Still, his time is running out. If he’s lucky, he can get reelected and save the life of the woman he loves.

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ABOUT B.P. NOLAND

B. P. Noland is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Both had extensive professional careers before turning to creative writing. In scientific research, Billie published over forty papers. Paul published over twenty reports on local and state government. In their free time, they focus on sports, concerts, museums, travel, and family. They currently live in New Mexico.
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  • This giveaway begins December 11 and ends on December 25.
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Book Blast! Dear Friend by Cheri DeGroot - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

ABOUT DEAR FRIEND

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Title: Dear Friend
Genre: Non-fiction humanities
Author: Cheri DeGroot
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 60
Language: English
ISBN - 978-1-44016-146-9

Are you looking for a way to meet new people from all over the world, make new friends, and help others? The solution is simple and affordable—become a pen pal. In Dear Friend, author Cheri DeGroot shares the joys and rewards of becoming a pen pal and provides tips on sharing friendships through handwritten letters. Based on fifty-three years of personal experience as a pen pal, DeGroot details how her lifelong passion for pen palling began and how her friendships with people from all over the United States have helped her through life’s good and bad times. This guide demonstrates the positive aspects of pen palling—from sharing news of family, hobbies and emotions to expanding their knowledge by learning about different cultures and different people. Stressing the importance of communication, Dear Friend reveals how becoming a pen pal can help those who are lonely to find friendship, love, and happiness through the power of the written word.

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ABOUT CHERI DEGROOT

Cheri DeGroot loves writing letters and journals of her life. Pen palling helps her make new friendships by reaching out through written letters and by computer. DeGroot has initiated several pen pal clubs. She has three grown children and seven grandchildren and lives in Milverton, Ontario, with her husband, Joe.

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  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
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  • This giveaway begins December 11 and ends on December 25.
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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Book Blast! The Key by Peter Cassels-Brown - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

ABOUT THE KEY

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Title: The Key
Genre: Inspirational
Author: Peter Cassels-Brown
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 80
Language: English
ISBN - 978-1-47593-797-8

“So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains, and we never even know we have the key” -Eagles THE KEY is about finding that key, and freeing youself of your chains. It is about the alchemy of changing tension, anxiety, and stress into happiness, health, and prosperity. It is a compact manual for the human spirit, containing wisdom to help you realize your dreams. To discover one’s own true nature as a creator is to know the joy of an expanding universe in one’s heart. THE KEY is a compilation of nearly a half century of reading, thinking, conversations, reflections and experience, boiled down into a book that is eloquent in it’s simplicity, clarity, directness, and honesty. It contains essential wisdom that was at times hard won, but in the end, helps one to move toward a happier, healthier, richer life. We need a critical mass of people to reach this place of creativity and positive responsibility if we are to live in a world where creativity is the name of the game, and we are working together on a global scale instead of against each other.

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ABOUT PETER CASSELS-BROWN

Peter Cassels-Brown is currently owner of Mountain Woodworks/Green Mountain Renewable Energy, A custom design building renewable energy company in Bristol, Vermont. He studied solar design at the University of Vermont and went to Woodbury College for graduate studies in mediation. He currently lives in Bristol with his two children.

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  • 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
  • This giveaway begins December 11 and ends on December 25.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Thursday, December 26, 2013.
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Interview with Daisy McCarty, author of 'Make Freelancing REALLY Pay'



Daisy McCarty is a self-educated writer and co-founder of Freelance Text, a professional services firm that specializes in web content creation. Since transitioning out of a seven year career in Corporate Procurement in 2008, Daisy has been using her negotiating skills to navigate to the higher levels of the online writing industry. Today, she mentors informally at Professional Freelancers Network, and offers formal one-on-one consulting services to freelancers who are ready to increase their income.


Her latest book is Make Freelancing REALLY Pay: Communication and Negotiation Strategies That Take You to the Top.

You can read Daisy’s blog and get more great freelancing advice at http://makefreelancingpay.com.


Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?


It was March of 2013. I had been freelancing for about five years and my career was quite successful. I didn’t have to go looking for work since my repeat and referral business was thriving. I had plenty of high paying clients and was still increasing my rates. My active income was going strong. I knew the next step in building my business would be to develop some kind of informational product to generate recurring income. So, I went to hear a local author speak to a job seeker group about her experience as a freelancer. I figured I could pick her brain about tips for self-publishing.

Instead, I was treated to a tale of woe. This freelance writer told her audience that she was really struggling to make enough money to survive. She talked about how difficult it is to find clients who pay professional prices and the challenges of competing with low-cost providers. She said she was a couple of months away from losing her house. Talk about a de-motivational speaker!

As I listened to her recount these challenges, I realized that her story is actually pretty common in the freelancing business. There’s a very specific skillset that separates successful freelance professionals from those who find freelancing a constant struggle. It’s not talent, hard work, or customer satisfaction that determines success (although these factors form an important foundation). What freelancers must have to thrive in this business is the ability to communicate and negotiate effectively. Without that skill, it’s easy to get stuck working long hours for low pay until you burn out.

After the talk was over, I pulled the group’s organizer aside. I told her that I would be happy to give a talk about how to really make money freelancing. She thought that was a fantastic idea and we set a date for the next month. As I sat down to create my presentation, I realized that I couldn’t just talk about freelance writing. The audience for my presentation would be made up of creative professionals in a wide variety of fields, and they all needed helpful advice.

That ended up being the unique angle for my book. I wouldn’t write about how to be a successful freelance writer. There are plenty of books on that topic already available. Instead, I would write a book of strategies that all freelancers can use to create success in their business. It’s been a fantastic experience writing Make Freelancing Really Pay. I’m thrilled that the lessons I’ve learned in my own career can now help other freelancers overcome similar challenges.



Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?


I’d say the book was moderately challenging to write—mostly because I had so much information I wanted to put in. It took a lot of self-discipline to cut and cut until the content was as concise and perfectly targeted as possible.

My advice is this: if there’s stuff in your (non-fiction) book that you just can’t bear to part with, use it for blog fodder instead. Most of the posts on my freelancing blog are based on sections I cut from my book because they weren’t an ideal fit for what I was trying to achieve in that context. Good ideas don’t have to go to waste!


Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?


I self-published my ebook. I have a niece who is a published author, so I got to hear all about what it’s like to go through the editing, publishing, and marketing process with a small publisher. It didn’t sound like the right plan for my book.

I did hire an amazing editor to ensure my readers get to enjoy a properly prepared book. But I didn’t want a publisher telling me to change some of the more controversial sections of my book. Plus, I knew I would have to handle most of the promotion myself if I wanted it done right. I have no issue with taking responsibility for my own success, so self-publishing was a perfect fit.


Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?


The whole process took less time than I thought it would. From the initial concept to the publication date took less than seven months. Of course, it took five years of experience to know what to write about!


Q: Can you describe the feeling when you saw your published book for the first time?


I felt a little exhausted, but very pleased. There may have been some dancing involved…


Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?


I’m always in the process of observing and experimenting to discover additional freelance success strategies. I anticipate writing another book with a fresh collection of strategies or a workbook for new freelancers. There’s no timeline for publication yet.


Q: Fun question: How does your book contribute to making this world a better place?


I like to think it serves as a happy inspiration as well as a resource that’s full of useful advice. It provides a concrete example of what a motivated person can do even if they start with nothing. I began my freelance career with no formal education, no professional experience working as a writer, no industry contacts, and no portfolio. If I can build a thriving business from the ground up, other freelancers can definitely do the same.


Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?


My book is very practical and focuses on specific strategies the reader can implement in their business. However, it is also embedded with empowering messages about acting with authenticity, valuing yourself and your work, and gaining the freedom to live the life you truly desire. It’s designed to change the way you think about freelancing forever.


  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?


Freelancing can feel like a risky choice. But this lifestyle gets a lot easier once you figure out how to ask for the money you deserve. As I say in my book, “When you learn to do what others are afraid to do, your opportunities for career development are virtually unlimited.”