Rachel Thompson

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Friday, July 12, 2013

Orangeberry Book of the Day - Swimming Upstream by Jack Thompson

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Sometimes justice needs a hand.

When a young lawyer for the number one environmental law firm in Seattle is found dead on Mount Rainier, the police declare it a tragic accident. A desperate mother turns to Raja Williams, a private investigator always willing to help.

Neither the dark, tragic anti-hero nor the James Bond super-hero type, Raja is a wealthy Oxford-educated PI of mixed Caribbean descent who possesses a strong empathic power and a sixth sense for evil that gives him headaches and steers him straight into trouble. His partner Vinny Moore is a gorgeous hipster geek who prefers hacking computers to haute couture.

The discovery of a sinister scorched-earth plot to hide the truth leads Raja and Vinny to the Arctic wilds of Canada and lands them in the middle of a battle over the riches of the pristine wilderness. If assassins don’t kill them, the sub-zero weather just might.

Swimming Upstream is the third intriguing mystery thriller in the Raja Williams Series. The colorful cast of characters and timely topics make it a fun, entertaining story that can be read as a stand-alone novel.

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Genre – Mystery & Thriller / Suspense

Rating – NC17

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Website http://jackwrites.com/

Orangeberry Book of the Day – The Way Life Is by Rick Johnson


Peace and innocence

The peace and solitude of the small prairie town that Patty and I had lived in during the early years of our marriage reflected our life before children – ordered, secure, and repetitive. My job in the provincial government civil service fit right into the mold, also secure, predictable and repetitiv

Neepawa, located in south central Manitoba, just a few miles from Riding Mountain National Park to the north, in the mid 1970s was a town of about 3,000 people, about half of whom were retired farmers.

On any half decent day, most of them were out walking along the perfectly squared-off streets, in front of well-manicured lawns and flower gardens surrounding impeccably-kept little homes, all exactly the same distance apart and the same distance from the street. Throughout the town, those streets were canopied by huge Dutch Elm trees lined up on the boulevards like so many soldiers on parade.

It often amazed me how the fire engine-red hydrants were always particularly shiny clean and bright in Neepawa, as if they were somehow resistant to splashing water from the gutters, and to the dogs in town, which it seemed, must have been trained to avoid them for some other, less conspicuous facility. Perhaps a civil servant, not unlike myself, with scrub brush and Windex in hand, had the job of maintaining clean fire hydrants.

I remember how most days the westerly prairie breeze seemed to come to town with the same predictability as everything else, bringing with it the rich smell of freshly cultivated fields in spring; the sweet odor of wild roses and fresh cut hay in summer and the dusty, dry scent of harvest in the fall. The growling combines in the distance always reminded us it was time to take the annual drive through the park to see the reds, yellows and oranges of autumn, and time to plan the ritual trip to the in-laws for Thanksgiving.

Life was as predictable as the seasons. Each day was a copy of the one previous. I would head to the office at the same time each morning to the backdrop of a blue jay squawking at the neighbour’s cat and then, further down the street, a dozen chattering sparrows would take their turn. In late summer, trees full of blackbirds, tired of the slough and the cattails on the edge of town, would come in to enjoy the vantage point the elms offered them as they screeched at me passing belo

Winters were silent, odorless and colourless for the most part, and after a few years in Neepawa, we began to wonder if that was what our life was becoming. There was comfort and security in it all for certain, but we began to grow weary of predictability, security and comfort.

We decided it was time to start a family, but getting pregnant did not happen the minute Patty quit taking the pill, as we had thought it would. So, for about nine months, a calendar and a thermometer dictated our love-life. Frustrating and disconcerting, to be sure. Fears of infertility, or something being wrong with one of us, were the biggest challenges our relationship had faced in five peaceful years of marriage and two similar ones before the wedding.

We were, in fact, quite distraught about the situation for a time, partly because, although I was just 27 and Patty 25, in those days, going so long into marriage without kids was not nearly as acceptable as it is today, and our respective parents were none too subtle about reminding us that it was time to give them grandchildren.

On one visit to our home, my mother, a quiet personality reluctant to enter any conversation that was not absolutely necessary, which usually meant it had to be about her children, was sitting in the living room knitting something for a child of one of my older, more productive siblings. Patty, unlike her mother-in-law, enjoyed a lot of conversation, so she took the initiative.

“That’s going to be nice. I hope you will knit something like that for our kids somed

To that, mother, who was a healthy 62 at the time, replied without hesitation or the slightest glance from her work, “Well, I hope I still have my eyesight then

For children of the 60s, Patty and I were not very radical in any way. Although Patty was a mild feminist, she never went without a bra, let alone burn one. But she did do all the required reading for her generation of females: The Descent of Women, Mother Was Not a Person, Women’s Fate, some Germaine Greer and Gloria Steinem stuff, and a subscription to Ms Magazine when it was in its heyda

We were as influenced by our 1950s early childhood upbringing as we were by the radical 60s, sometimes caught in the middle of changing value systems, one day living with the old and traditional, the next day with the new and radical.

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Genre – Self-Help / Mental Health

Rating – PG

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Delia Colvin – The One Thing

The One Thing

by Delia Colvin

Two years ago I had a freak reaction to minor surgery when my blood began to coagulate at an abnormal rate creating numerous blood clots that raced through my veins, into my heart—nearly stopping it and then splattered onto the wall of my lungs in what the technician said was more blood clots than they had ever seen in a living person’s lungs.

Remember that great line from City Slickers:

Curly: Do you know what the secret of life is? One thing. Just one thing.

Mitch: But, what is the “one thing”?

Curly: That’s what you have to find out.

In that moment with my heart pounding wildly, knowing I had only moments left of consciousness, to be honest there was more than one thing. There were three things.

First, believe it or not, I had run into the bathroom for some odd reason and I immediately thought of Elvis and realized that I did not want to die in a bathroom. Yes, really. I returned to the living room.

Then I looked at my husband, Randy. It had been a very difficult couple years for him and I worried about how he would deal with this.

Randy and I have this amazing communication. Later, when they carried me to the back of the ambulance he was instructed to follow us.

As the doors to the ambulance were closed I thought, I don’t believe Randy knows that he will never see me again. A moment later the back of the ambulance opened and he smiled and said, “See? You thought you wouldn’t see me again.” He doesn’t remember saying that to me.

The third thing that I thought was that I was a storyteller yet nobody had ever read any of my stories. I had files and files of unfinished novels and screenplays. But I had never had the courage to allow anyone to read them and I had come to doubt my ability to complete a novel.

One year later I was still thinking about previous novels and how I would finish them “one day” when suddenly a new concept for a story flashed into my head in a matter of seconds. It was a storyline so odd to me in a genre I would never have considered and yet I was absolutely compelled to write.

I was working twelve hour days in D.C. in an intense job and truly no time to write. So I pulled out my iPhone and wrote on the notepad while walking the mile to and from my car, during lunch and other breaks and then in the evening when I got home.

In three weeks I had completed my first novel.

Seeing me writing on my computer was not an oddity at our home.  What was odd, was when I took my laptop over to my husband’s desk and in a very small voice said, “I’ve just finished my first novel. Do you think you could take a look at it?”

Randy is not a fiction reader and it was absolutely terrifying for me to open my story to him. After reading for a few hours Randy turned to me and shook his head. I thought he didn’t like it. Then he said the words that forged our lives in a whole new direction:

“Forget air traffic control. This is what you were born to do!”

What an extraordinary gift! Followed by another…the story was a trilogy. Within 10 weeks I had completed the first draft of a paranormal romance, The Sibylline Trilogy. This was followed by the arduous task of rewriting, editing and learning the book business in a world that is changing rapidly.

For the past year and three months I’ve been a full-time novelist and I now spend a glorious 10-14 hours a day mostly writing but also learning and working the book business. I’ve been blessed to have stumbled upon the most extraordinary of teachers—first and foremost the amazing Melissa Foster, bestselling author and best friend to authors around the world with her various author groups—primarily Fostering Success.

I’ve seen the first two novels of the trilogy, The Sibylline Oracle and The Symbolon hit Amazon’s bestsellers lists with extraordinary reception. I’ve made money (yes, it is possible). But mostly I am living a life that reflects my one thing—okay two things, my passions, my husband and my writing and it is a beautiful life!

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Genre – Paranormal

Rating – PG

More details about the author & the book

Connect with Delia Colvin on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.deliacolvin.com/