Rachel Thompson

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Orangeberry Free Alert - Awaken - RM Daigle



Awaken - RM Daigle

Amazon Kindle US

Amazon Kindle UK

Genre - Contemporary Fantasy

Rating - PG

4.4 (88 reviews)

Free until 12 July 2013
Book One in the Fated Saga, A Contemporary Young Adult + Fantasy Series, fueled by Action, Adventure and the Eternal Desire for Truth...
While summering in a New England campground, mind reading thirteen-year-old twins, Meghan and Colin Jacoby, discover they have until the rising of the Blue Moon to help save the life of a young man, whose caravan is forced to flee through a magical portal to another world, without him.
In the process, they have a dark awakening when their own simple, normal world, begins to collide with the complexities of the magical world. The twins face unimaginable dangers, which thrust them into an unexpected choice: to live as they always have or to learn the truth about their past and enter a world that is equally thrilling and terrifying.
More importantly, however, is whether they even have a choice, or will destiny not only force this new magical reality upon them, but require them to sacrifice everyone they love in doing so?
Fated Saga Book List:
Book One, Awaken
Book Two, Shifting
Book Three, Embrace
Book Four, Broken
Book Five TBA
Book Six TBA

Orangeberry Blast Off - Osteoblasts to the Rescue by Dr. Heather Manley


Merrin and Pearl are at it again! This time these two young Human Body Detectives are exploring the skeletal system. With the ability to jump in and examine the various systems in the body, Merrin and Pearl’s adventures are fun stories and helpful tools to educate children.

In Osteoblasts to the Rescue, curiosity on how a bone can fix itself, takes Pearl and her sister on another wild adventure through the skeletal system where they brave high heights, ambitious climbs, and a mass of osteoblasts coming their way.

As the fourth in the Human Body Detectives series, Osteoblasts to the Rescue can also stand alone as a book that’s sure to inform, engage, and inspire readers of all ages.

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Genre – Children’s Book

Rating – PG

More details about the author

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Orangeberry Book of the Day - Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves by Dianne Ascroft


Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves is a collection of half a dozen short stories. Tales of outsiders who discover they belong, a humorous slice of life yarn, heartwarming love stories and a tale of taming fear. The shadows are on the wall, in the heart and clouding a woman’s memories while tangible foes tramp through the physical landscape.

The stories were previously printed individually in a variety of publications, including Ireland’s Own magazine, Dead Ink Books’ website, and the writing collections, Fermanagh Miscellany and Tuesdays At Charlie’s.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Amazon UK

Genre – Women’s Fiction / Irish Fiction

Rating – PG

More details about the author

Connect with Dianne Ascroft on Facebook & Twitter

Blog http://dianneascroft.wordpress.com/

Orangeberry Book of the Day - Amidst Traffic by Michel Sauret

Three Straws

The same dream kept coming for Eli, and it was terrible. The worst part about it was the faces of children who chased him through cobbled streets beneath dilapidated, stone-faced buildings of a foreign country. In the dream, he kept looking back over his shoulder as he ran. Their faces looked as if someone had taken a box cutter and carved at their lips, noses and eyelids. Tiny monstrous faces. Eyes wide and nostrils flared. Their cut-up lips revealed small, gnashing teeth.

They looked so much like his father’s drawings.

Eli couldn’t take another night of those faces. So he stood outside behind his trailer because he didn’t know what else to do. He didn’t want to go to sleep.

He stared at the dark forest for a while, but then he imagined those children hiding among the trees. So he looked up at the sky and stared a while longer at the stars. Time simply passed, but eventually even in the sky he could connect the dots and see those carved-up stares.

“Oh my God,” he said, covering his face with his hands. “Let it stop.”

Impulsively, he hurried to the shed. He needed to put his hands on something. The first thing he saw was a shovel, so he grabbed it. He walked a few hundred feet into the open stretch of land behind his trailer and stabbed the dull blade into the earth.

It felt good.

The blade went in. The ground was soft. So he pulled out a chunk of dirt and stabbed the earth again. The soil was moist and easy to dig. A few more of these, he thought, and he would be okay. He just needed to work it out. He just needed to release whatever demons plagued his mind. If any alcohol had been in the house he might have washed those demons away with booze, but he rarely drank and there were no liquor stores open this late for miles. Living out in the countryside of Oklahoma relaxed him, but even out here he couldn’t hide.

Don’t think of it. Keep digging. Keep working.

He dug and flung chunks of dirt across his body and over his shoulder. He thought that after a few shovelfuls, the labor would make him exhausted. Then it would be okay to sleep. Maybe if his body ached, he would pass out from exhaustion and there would be no dreams. He didn’t know how this worked, but that seemed right.

After an hour, he had only built up momentum. Now he was consumed in his digging. Sweat formed a paste with the dirt and glued to his skin from the neck down. It wasn’t until three in the morning that the pains finally caught up to him. In a few hours he had to start his morning shift at the diner. He finally paused, looked around and realized he had dug a hole as wide as a kiddy pool four feet into the ground.

“Good,” he said, although it wasn’t.

What would he do next; fill it back up?

“No,” he said, “Leave it.” He said this as though he needed to answer the question. Maybe I’ll fill it later. It will give me something to do.

He slept for two hours that morning and dreamed nothing.

The diner was a few miles from the Texas border. When he showed up for his shift, his muscles felt like knotted ropes of twine. He grabbed an apron, tied it around his waist and stood at the grill in the kitchen. Food orders came immediately. He didn’t realize how many muscles he used to simply grill breakfast orders until that moment. Pouring pancake mix with a ladle made his arm feel twisted against his will. Every step he took shot a flare of pain from his heels up.

He washed down a mix of pain pills he found in the first-aid kit and fueled his mind with coffee as the morning wore on. He regretted sleeping only two hours. In the midst of a breakfast rush, it became harder for him to focus on orders. Cynthia, one of the waitresses, had to send two plates back to him because the sausage was burnt on one and he forgot to include cheese in the omelet on the other.

“What in the hell’s wrong with you this morning, Eli?” she asked him. “This ain’t the time to be messin’ up orders. It is too damn busy right now, okay? I ain’t made tips since you came in, and haven’t stopped apologizing to customers since.”

After a week of this—mindless digging, no sleep, then coming to work half-dazed, feeling broken and sore—the diner’s manager still had no heart to fire him. He was a good kid. Didn’t talk much, but up until now had always been a good worker.

Instead she asked him, “Would it help to put you on night shift, honey? You’ll have to work the counter, too, and you won’t get no sleep until the morning risers come in, but it’s ‘tween that and lettin’ you go.”

“I’ll switch,” he said, and although his voice was a whisper, his eyes were desperate with relief. Anything to work through the night, he thought. Anything to avoid the faces.

Eli wasn’t good with people. He could never get a hang of the small talk the other waitresses mastered so effortlessly. Most of the truckers who came through told stories of drunken hitchhikers, cross dressers and visitor centers no one should ever visit after dark. Eli listened, nodded on and served their midnight breakfast orders.

“Y’ain’t gonna make no tips if all you do is bob that noggin’ of yours. Gotta converse with the fellas,” Rosie, the manager, whispered in Eli’s ear as he grilled some hash.

“Not worried about tips all the much. ‘Need just enough to get through.”

It was true. He didn’t need much. The land he lived on was paid for. So was the trailer. He had no girlfriend. No hobbies. No other desires. Wasn’t a boy with many complexities. Just lived by himself in a single-wide big enough to feel like he was sleeping inside a box. The land was his after his father passed on.

At one point he had wanted to go to Bible college and become a preacher just like his daddy. But those felt like boyish thoughts now. He was twenty-two, and somehow that made him feel very old.

“Alright then,” she said.

But then a man walked in with a strange aura about him. There was a tenderness to the man’s walk. A careful step, as if he didn’t want to disturb the air around him. He was an older gentleman with a glow to his face that provoked a feeling of friendliness in Eli. It was a strange, strange sensation.

“How are you doing young man?” he asked, but sounded as though he actually expected an answer.

“I’m quite fine, sir.”

The old man’s face held lines, but his eyes didn’t sag.

“I’ll take your finest roast. Straight black,” he said.

Eli rushed to fill him a cup, wondering if this oil-resembling crud would satisfy the man. He brought over the mug, felt the need to introduce himself, but instead found the man joking around with Rosie, asking about the kids, complimenting her new hairdo.

Eli waited a while to see if the opportunity came up to interject. What in the hell’s wrong with you, man? He’s just some guy old enough to be your daddy’s father. Just some customer with stories as any other.

The man might have been seventy, but he made gestures with his hands and spoke like he had the energy of a man half his age. He had a gentleman’s face, that of someone who might never utter an insult at anyone. He wore a small red rose was pinned to his vest, like a corsage.

“Will there be anything else, Sir?” Eli asked after refilling his third coffee.

“Sure is. Could I kindly have three straws?”

“I’m sorry?”

“Straws. Three of them, please.”


The man nodded.


Nodded again.

“What for?”

“Just three straws, and I’ll be on my way.”

So he grabbed the straws and handed them to the man.

The man nodded, smiled and went on his way.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Short Stories / Literary Fiction

Rating – PG13

More details about the author & the book

Connect with Michel Sauret on Facebook & Twitter

Marc Schiller – What inspired me to write this book?

What inspired me to write this book?

by Marc Schiller

I started to write the book almost 17 years ago when after my ordeal had ended I wrote 200 pages of detailed notes. Soon afterward I made a halfhearted effort to see if anyone would be interested in publishing it. With no visible interest I put my notes away.

In 2008 I did a television program about my ordeal and once again did a halfhearted effort to find someone that would be interested in publishing the book. I saw no interest in my story and once again desisted from the idea. In 2012 a friend informed me that Paramount Pictures and Michael Bay were making a movie based on an interview I did in 1997.

My friend and I were going to collaborate and write a book since we both were the prime subjects of the movie. He insistently made calls and try to reach out to anyone interested in our book. At first it appeared promising, but eventually there were no takers again. During Thanksgiving I flew to New York to film a segment for 48 HRS. As I was leaving for the airport I received an article from another acquaintance of mine through the mail.

The article was about the self-publishing industry and how it had grown and thrived. That instant, a light went of in my head and I decided that I was going to self-publish my book. No more obstacles and no more excuses, no more looking back. When I returned home I immediately went to work on my manuscript that was ninety percent finished, I hired and editor and called my daughter about designing my book cover. The next month was devoted to putting all the pieces together to publish it. On January 25, 2013 the project I had started in January 1995 had finally been realized.

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Genre – True Crime

Rating – PG

More details about the author & the book

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Mark LaFlamme – Curing Writer’s Block With Strawberry Shortcake

Curing Writer’s Block With Strawberry Shortcake

by Mark LaFlamme

The evening was a disaster from the start.

It was midnight and I’d just sat down to write the final chapters in my novel “The Pink Room.” I was writing in my usual spot, but the snow globe was nowhere in sight. It wasn’t on the shelf where I’d left it, it wasn’t on the desk next to my keyboard.


Panic rising, I searched the house, eventually turning to ridiculous spots like the refrigerator and the toaster oven. Astoundingly, the snow globe wasn’t there.

I woke my wife, desperate like a junkie looking for his stash.

“Code red! The snow globe is missing! I repeat …”

These are the household emergencies wives solve without waking all the way up. There was no problem here. A niece had been playing with the snow globe, a little pink number featuring Strawberry Shortcake smiling atop a piece of fruit. I was directed to the living room where I found it on the floor.

Crisis averted. Back to work.

A good therapist would have a field day with my writing ritual. I surround myself with trinkets, simple items that have come to represent various works of fiction over the years.

There’s the heavy metal cog I turned to while writing “Worumbo.” There’s the fabric flower with the demented smiling face that served as avatar for “Vegetation.” There’s a baseball, a bottle, a box shaped like a book, and a stuffed chickadee that makes realistic bird noises when you squeeze its belly.

Trinkets and treasures – stuff that would fetch a combined five dollars at a flea market and yet to me they’re priceless. Without those items, I’d freeze at the keyboard, my hands hovering over the letters, the page blank white, until someone comes to cart me away.

It’s superstition, no different than a baseball player pulling on the same crusty pair of socks before game time. I sit down to write, touch the item that represents the book du jour, and I get rolling.

And yet, it’s more than that. When I touch that slightly rusted cog – or the stuffed bird or the tiny plastic shovel that represents my fourth novel – it’s like pressing the “on” button. Once that simple act is behind me, I know it’s time to write. Permission has been granted, a few thousand words are demanded before I can leave my desk again.

As a cure for writer’s block, it’s unbeatable. “Well, I don’t feel like writing today, but I already touched the (your item here) so I better get to it. It would be bad juju not to.”

When other writers ask me how to fight back against dry spells, I advise them to get a trinket. It doesn’t have to be much – a little something out of the 99 cent bin will do. Keep it nearby, touch it when the words won’t come and bam! It’s go time.

By the time you have a few books under your belt, you’ll have an impressive collection of souvenirs to mark your time. Your writing room will look like the “win these prizes!” booth at the carnival. It’s a beautiful thing.

Get rid of the crusty socks, though. Those things are starting to reek.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – YA / Thriller

Rating – PG

More details about the author & the book

Connect with Mark LaFlamme on Facebook

Website http://marklaflamme.com/