Rachel Thompson

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Friday, February 6, 2015

#Excerpt from ANNA'S SECRET by Margaret Westlie @MargaretWestlie #AmReading #Historical #Murder

“Someone’s gone to great pains to leave her comfortable.” Angus stared down at Anna. He was a church elder, and because of his wisdom, the unspoken head of the community. The ten minutes since Neil had arrived with his news had seemed an hour.
“Aye, they have indeed.” Duncan regarded the neatness of Anna’s grey drugget dress arranged modestly around her ankles, her folded hands lying across her abdomen. “It’s more than she deserved.”
“Hush now, Duncan, it’s bad luck to speak ill of the dead.”
“Yes, Duncan, she might come back and haunt you,” said Hector, his pale blue eyes quite serious.
“Och, Hector, you’re always thinking of ghosts.” Angus shook his grey head. “The poor thing probably has more to do than come back and haunt the likes of you.”
“She’s likely dancing in the hot place wishing for a bigger fan,” said Duncan.
A giggle erupted from Neil who had been hovering at the periphery of the small group of men. Angus looked hard at Duncan. “No more of that talk now, in front of children.” He squatted down beside Anna. “Is this the way you found her, Neil?”
“Yes, sir.”
“You didn’t touch her?”
“No, sir, only to shake her arm to see if she had just fallen asleep. She was stiff with the cold.”
Angus regarded Anna for another moment. “Help me turn her over, then.”
The three men knelt and turned her onto her left side. A small swarm of flies rose from their feast of sticky blood left on the pillow of yellow straw that had supported her head.
“It must have been someone who cared about her to take such trouble with her remains,” said Hector.
“Aye, it’s as if she was being put to bed,” agreed Angus.
“One more time,” said Duncan.
“Who’s going to tell Ian?” asked Hector.
“I will,” said Angus. “He’s my own cousin and we’ve known each other since we were schoolboys.”
“But we’re his cousins, too,” said Duncan.
“Nevertheless, I will tell him. You two will follow with Anna’s remains.”
“We need something to carry her on,” said Hector.
“There’s the door to Murdoch’s house that’s fallen in,” said Neil.
“Run, then, and be quick about it. Go with him, Hector, he’ll not be able to carry it by himself.”
Hector and Neil set out across the field where they had worked side by side with Ian only a few days before. The oats had been thick that summer and the straw had been plentiful, its shadowy roots home to field mice and grass snakes and crickets. Murdoch’s house had long stood vacant, its windows broken and its door fallen off its leather hinges. The roof had blown off in a winter gale three years ago and now the whole structure sat at a crazy angle not quite ready to fall into its cellar.
“You’re lighter than I am,” said Hector. “Go in and get the other end of the door, but mind where you step, it’s none of it very stable.”
The floor creaked and moved even under Neil’s slight weight. A few moments of careful manoeuvring freed the door from its bed of fallen rafters. In a few minutes Hector and Neil returned to the others.
Neil watched as Hector, Duncan and Angus loaded Anna’s remains onto the grey planks of the door. A smear of blood darkened the wood as they positioned her head for the journey home.
Hector shuddered. “Old Annie said this door would be smeared with the blood of the just.”
“Will you stop it, Hector,” said Duncan. “When did she say that?”
“The winter before Murdoch left for the Boston States.”
“That’s years ago, and Annie’s senile.”
“Not then she wasn’t. She said it as plain as day. I was there and I heard her.”
“And what did Murdoch think of all that?”
“There’s some say that’s the reason he left the Island.”

Anna Gillis, the midwife and neighbour in Mattie’s Story, has been found killed. The close-knit community is deeply shaken by this eruption of violence, and neighbours come together to help one another and to discover the perpetrator. But the answer lies Anna’s secret, long guarded by Old Annie, the last of the original Selkirk Settlers, and the protagonist of An Irregular Marriage. Join the community! Read Anna’s Secret and other novels by Margaret A. Westlie.
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Genre – Fiction, mystery, historical
Rating – G
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 Connect with Margaret Westlie on Facebook & Twitter

Thursday, February 5, 2015

#Gender Harmony by Charlotte L. Piotrowski - GLIMPSES OF HEAVEN ON EARTH - #Women #NonFiction

From the chapter on gender harmony, by co-author Charlotte L. Piotrowski:

“In heaven on earth, women will have the same access to education as men, and the same job opportunities. They will enjoy the same right to voice their opinions. They will not be fearful of the violence most often perpetrated against women, such as: rape (including gang rape), acid throwing, honor killing, and domestic violence (which is perpetrated much more frequently against women). These evil gender-based acts will not occur in a heaven on earth. Men must, and will, view women as their equals.”

From the chapter on gender harmony, by co-author Charlotte L. Piotrowski:

“Getting to the point where men and women live in harmony will take time and commitment. Gender apartheid, which is the practice of discriminating against women economically and socially through the use of physical or legal force, is most associated with Islamic cultures in the Middle East and Northern Africa. However, it occurs worldwide and has been found to exist in the context of all of the major religions of the world. This may range from women’s struggles to gain leadership roles in certain religions to the requirement of women to cover themselves (veiling), when men have no such mandate. Removing these obstacles is necessary. Where men and women are treated fairly, harmony can exist.”

Glimpses of Heaven on Earth

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

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Genre - Inspirational
Rating – G
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Victoria Bernadine Shares an #Excerpt from A LIFE LESS ORDINARY @VicBernadine #ChickLit #Women

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

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

Saturday, January 17, 2015

#Excerpt from LUCIFER & THE INDIGO KIDS by @Lord_Ra_Krishna #Poetry #NonFiction #Relationships


Butterflies and Blunts
Surfboarding in outer space

Amber and crystals
on my fingers
Beautiful tattoos on my face...

Cocaine nights
And track shoe days...

Inspired me to live my music...
I won't forget the way we slept

Like two snakes on Hermes Scepter
Entangled in a warm embrace...

The name... the same...
Backwards or forwards...
H-A-N-N-A and H

Yellow diamonds on a butterfly ring
Her name is tattooed on my neck

Now we're married / then divorced
In strawberry fields is where we met...

Krishna... Buddha... Jesus... Loki...
Achilles.... Alexander and me
Interracial... and taboo...
I won't forget the way we slept

Was it love? Or just a fling?
Do you still have that butterfly ring

I think I took it back from you...
You hurt my feelings in the club...

Like somebody else I know?
And we are kinda married still

A god no monster can defeat...
But love is my Achilles heel

1000 leagues beneath the ocean
Further than the deepest depths...

Like 2 snakes on Hermes Scepter
I won't forget the way we slept

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

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

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Genre - Poetry, Philosophy
Rating – PG-13
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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

WHAT FREEDOM SMELLS LIKE #Excerpt by Amy Lewis @AmyLewisAuthor #Marriage #Women #Memoir

They have a special room on the ICU for people like me, so you don’t bother the other patients and visitors. Isolating the freshly widowed makes sense; I wouldn’t want to be around me either at that moment in time. You wouldn’t even know the room exists unless you need it. About a hundred square feet, a love seat sat on one side and two chairs on the other. There were two corner tables one holding a phone and on the other a small digital clock. The room had no magazines or TV as this wasn’t a waiting room. It was a mourning room, a breakdown room, a scream out to heaven because clearly God didn’t hear your prayers room. It was a break the news to the others room. It was a room for everything that everyone else didn’t want to witness – a parents losing child room, a children loosing parents room and in my case, it was a widow’s room.

I sat down onto the loveseat and tried to breathe. In and out. Innnn and Outttt. Innnn and Outttt. My head had a constant low level buzzing preventing me from holding a thought. Dad sat down next to me and held my hand tightly.

“Sweetheart” he whispered, “we need to make some calls.”

Calls. Calls. Calls. The word calls starting buzzing along with the noise in my head.

“Do it for me. Please. I just wanna sit here.”

He started by phoning Barbara. I had the awareness of him talking to her, but I don’t remember hearing the words. He hung up the phone. Decisions needed to be made. A young nurse walked into the room shutting the door behind her. I had never seen her before. She sat down next to me and put her arm around me.

“You know honey, in my experience with these things, it’s important for you to go in and see the body.”

The hair on my arm stood up as I heard her say the body. He was no longer a he. He was now just the body.


Diagnosed with Borderline Personality disorder, Amy struggled with depression and an addiction to sharp objects. Even hospitalization didn't help to heal her destructive tendencies. It took a tumultuous relationship with a man named Truth to bring her back from the depths of her own self-made hell.Amy's marriage to dark, intriguing Truth was both passionate and stormy. She was a fair-skinned southern girl from New Orleans. He was a charming black man with tribal tattoos, piercings, and a mysterious past. They made an unlikely pair, but something clicked. During their early marriage, they pulled themselves out of abject poverty into wealth and financial security practically overnight. Then things began to fall apart.
 Passionate and protective, Truth also proved violent and abusive. Amy’s own self-destructive tendencies created a powerful symmetry. His sudden death left Amy with an intense and warring set of emotions: grief for the loss of the man she loved, relief she was no longer a target for his aggression.

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

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

An amazing true story, What Freedom Smells Like is told with courage, honesty, and a devilishly dark sense of humor.
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Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG-13
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Connect with Amy Lewis through Twitter

JOHN SMITH : #Microsoft Wars (#Excerpt) by Roland Hughes #AmReading #Fiction #Dystopian

SK:      Can we talk about the Microsoft Wars now?
JS:       Orwell was right.  Everyone was forced to read his book and yet, it still happened.  In reality, that is all anybody needs to know.
SK:      Orwell?
JS:       <sighs> Back in 1949, an author by the name of George Orwell published a novel titled 1984.  It was a look into the future and basically created the concept in society of Big Brother.  This Big Brother was a government, any government really, which would watch over you like a child.  Your life would be monitored and controlled 24 hours per day.  The dictionary would not grow in size, but shrink, as words and thoughts were continually restricted.  Anyone who possessed a thought against the government, system or the way things were being run would be turned in by friends/family/neighbors as a thought criminal.
One by one, various ministries were set up to control every aspect of life, all for the betterment of society, and most had some plausible excuse bringing them into existence.  There would be monitors installed everywhere, so you were continually watched and controlled.  It was one of the best- selling and most widely talked-about books of all time.  Many movies were created showing various flavors of the book.
SK:      Well, if everybody knew about it, then it surely didn’t happen.
JS:       Not in 1984, no.  The final vehicle for control wasn’t  chosen until the early 1990s and it took a while to roll out globally.  Sometime during 2010, the governments around the world achieved 95 percent of what they wanted.  The vast majority of citizens carried with them a 24-hour monitoring device, which could be accessed remotely and would, via GPS, give a complete picture of their travels.  Each one had a unique ID.  Best of all, the devices were marketed in such a way as to make people think they were nothing unless they had one and kept it with them at all times.
When it became apparent that some portions of society simply couldn’t afford the devices—yes, each citizen paid for their own, and gladly…they even paid to customize them—most governments came up with some kind of ministry or program to ensure each and every person falling into the “cannot afford” category was issued one under some plausible story as “medical need” or “neighborhood watch.”  This removed the poor-person-rejection-of-charity problem.  Nobody felt insulted to receive the devices, since the devices allowed them to communicate with anyone at any time, as long as they knew the other person’s unique ID.
SK:      Do you honestly expect me to believe that everybody stood in line to get a unique ID for the government to monitor them 24 hours per day, seven days per week?
JS:       No. They didn’t see it like that. They stood in line to get the latest and greatest cellphone with video camera, GPS, speaker phone, Internet access, and every other buzz phrase marketing could think of.  If you don’t know what any of that is, it doesn’t matter.  All you need to know is the more applications, called apps, it had, the more people wanted it.
Each phone had to have a phone number, which was globally unique so anyone in the world could call anybody else in the world, no matter where they were at the time. It was that “anywhere, anytime” communications capability that was a major selling point. A system of assigning phone numbers to allow for international calling had been in place for many years due to the older land line system, so it was simply leveraged.
Everyone proudly carried and used their government monitoring device.  There were even crime shows on television showing how law enforcement agencies could track a cellphone as long as it was turned on.  What they didn’t tell you was that the phone would periodically report in even when turned off, and if certain instructions were waiting, it would turn itself back on, silently, so full monitoring could continue without the owner being aware.
The only thing that could truly stop monitoring was to remove the battery, then turn the cellphone on to drain the hidden reserve.  When you did that, however, the phone was of no use.
SK: So let me get this straight—you’re saying that there was a communications network that could monitor every person in the country?
JS: No.  Before the middle of 2011, thanks to some production cost reductions, it was every person on the planet living in any civilized country and even many third world countries.  A basic cellphone could be manufactured and sold for under $20 retail, which put the actual production cost at about $6.  Those countries too poor or with terrain too rough used the satellite phones, which cost a bit more, but leveraged cellphone components to reduce costs.  Both networks were monitored by government agencies, even though commercial companies were providing the services to the cellphone owners.  Even children in third world countries who didn’t have food to eat or a bank account in their name had a phone so they could be tracked.

“John Smith: Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars” is one big interview. It is a transcript of a dialogue between “John Smith” (who, as the title of the book implies is the last known survivor of the Microsoft wars) and the interviewer for a prominent news organization.
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Genre – Dystopian Fiction
Rating – PG
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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Mike Hartner on The Eternity #Series - An Epic Saga of Good vs. Evil @MHartnerAuthor #HistFic #AmReading

What Inspired Me to Write This Book

This book is the second in a series of books called The Eternity Series.

The Eternity Series has several inspirations.

The first inspiration is to show that each life, each person, is different. We all have our crosses to bear, and how we overcome them determines who we are as a person. Whether we blame everyone else and fester in the crap that we are given by fate, or overcome the challenges and have a good life is up to us.

The second inspiration is to show that nobody’s life is perfect. Everyone has challenges. And appearances are not always what they seem.

More than that though, The Eternity Series is an epic saga of good vs evil, of man’s desire to survive and thrive, and of what we can be if we come together.


James Crofter was ripped from his family at age 11. 
Within a year the prince was a pauper in a foreign land. 
Is nature stronger than nurture? And even if it is, can James find the happiness he so richly desires? 

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Genre - Historical Fiction, Romance
Rating – PG
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