Rachel Thompson

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Friday, August 2, 2013

Blurred Lines by Breena Wilde

Blurred Lines

Hooking has four important rules.

1.  Cash only.
2.  Use protection.
3.  Carry mace.
4.  Don’t fall in love.

Twenty-year-old Cadence is a prostitute and she lives by the rules. They keep her alive, and they keep her heart protected. But when she agrees to take one last job to get out from under her pimp, she discovers some of the rules might be worth breaking.

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Genre - Erotic New Adult

Rating – NC-17

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Website http://www.breenawilde.blogspot.com

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The Druid Legacy by Mark Miller

Chapter 1                            Footprints

It was a warm day, and sweat ran down the small of my back as I walked the familiar game trail.  I crinkled my nose and smelled my own armpits.  Admittedly, I have not been as good about bathing since my parents were taken, but I wasn’t sure if the smell was me or the bag of dead rabbits I was carrying.  I was really good at laying traps and usually came home with a full load.  The last time out, I carried home so many I had enough to smoke and store three rabbits for the winter.  It was easy to catch rabbits now, but I would need enough food to make it through the winter when there would be no vegetables from the garden and game would become scarce.  Any animals I would catch then would be leaner with less meat on their bones.  I didn’t think I would have too much of a problem though, since game was always plentiful and I seemed to have a gift for trapping.  I don’t know why, but I seemed to know where the animals would go.  My dad said it was uncanny how I could trap.  He use to hunt deer and an occasional boar, but at 12 years old I knew I couldn’t pull his bow or hold the boar spear.  I wasn’t a large boy, so I focused instead on what I could do: pull carrots and trap small game.  Some days I would go down to the creek and fish, but I really didn’t like the taste of fish.  Since no one made me eat it any more, I didn’t do it often.

As I walked along the trail, I stared down at my boots and I thought about what my mother would say about my appearance.  My big toe stuck out of the top of my right boot and the sock had given out before the boot.  I grinned to myself as I thought about my mother chastising me for my dirty toenails and my long hair. She would put her hands on her hips or point a finger at me and say, “Wesslayn Grace, just because we live in the woods now, doesn’t mean we live like animals!”  I knew my mother was mad when she called me by my full name.  Everyone else called me Wess.  I hated it, as I knew it meant I was likely to be punished for something I had done, but now I missed it and would give anything to hear her call me by my full name.

I had done a good job keeping the cabin repaired, chopping wood, and keeping up with the garden, but I naturally leaned towards the work my father use to do.  Staring at the hole in my boot, I knew I was going to have to learn how to do something or I was going to have a really miserable winter.  My feet were growing and my pants were a bit short as well.  The idea of me trying to sew my own pants out of dead rabbit fur had me giggling to myself as I came to my last trap.  I stared down at it more than a little confused.  The bait was gone, and the trap had been destroyed. 

As I tried to puzzle out what had happened, I noticed that there were strange footprints all around the area.  I crouched down next to one to study it closer.  The track was about the size of my foot, but there were three toes that each ended in a point.  My stomach sank; I had seen these tracks before.  They were all around our cabin the day my parents disappeared. As I crouched there, I thought back to that day. I had come home from trading with the Millen’s farm.  The Millen’s live about a half day’s walk to the west of our cabin, so when I go to trade there I normally sleep over.  I liked going there because I got to play with my friend Myka.  We had been friends since we moved here and built the cabin almost six years ago.  She is almost as good outdoors as I am, even though she is just a girl.  Working on the farm long hours has made her strong and tougher than most girls.  Whenever I went to visit, her dad would let her take off from her chores so we could go play. If she had too much to do I would jump in and help. Her mom died when she was young, so Myka is an only child like me.  With no brothers around to help with the chores, her dad counted on her to work on the farm, so I wasn’t allowed to stay more than one day.

That particular day I was carrying my pack full of hard cheese, eggs, and flour when I returned home.  At first I didn’t think anything was wrong, it was a pretty spring day and the door was open.  My mom often aired out the cabin as she cleaned or cooked if the weather was mild.  As I slipped my pack off my shoulders, the first thing I noticed was there was no fire in the hearth.  This was a rare thing as there was usually water to boil, food to cook, clothes to clean, or something else requiring a fire.  If a fire wasn’t burning, there were usually coals still present.  On that day the hearth was cold and the coals weren’t banked, so I knew right away the fire had burned out on its own the night before. 

PI looked around the cabin.  The blankets were gone, as well as the food crates and jarred vegetables.  I climbed up to the loft were I slept and my blankets were gone too.  I looked down from the ladder and froze, with a lump in my throat.  I hadn’t noticed before that my father’s great sword was gone from the mantle.  My dad hadn’t touched that sword since we came here.  Whenever I asked him about it I would get a cryptic answer like, “Maybe one day you will need to know how to use that thing.  When you are ready I will teach you, but hopefully that day will never come.” 

I climbed down and walked back out the door and really looked around the clearing in front of our home.  The three-toed footprints were everywhere.  I had never seen these before and I didn’t know what could have made them.  I walked around the back of the cabin towards the garden and there was blood splattered on most of the trees.  As I turned around, I noticed the walls were stained with dark red streaks.  I had gutted and cleaned plenty of animals out here so I knew how much blood could come from one animal, but this was more blood than I had ever seen.  This might be an odd thing to say, but the huge amounts of blood gave me hope. My dad was the toughest guy I knew and I pictured him swinging his sword in massive circles to protect my mother, killing evil goblin things by the dozens.  Despite the blood, there was no sign of them anywhere.  I searched the woods, but I am no tracker.  After searching every day for months, I gave up hope that I would ever find my parents or the creatures that took them from me.

Looking down at that track now I had a dreadful feeling.  Whatever these creatures were, they were still here.  I looked up from the track and knew I had to try to follow them.  I glanced up at the sky to check the time.  It was about two hours until sun down.  I would definitely not be able to track them in the dark.  I dropped my hand to my belt and tested the edge on my small hatchet.  It was a little duller than I would have liked, and I cursed myself for not sharpening it this morning.  My skinning knife was razor sharp, but the blade was short and would barely help as a weapon.  With grim determination, I dropped the dead rabbits and set out down the path to follow the prints.

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Genre – Young Adult Fantasy

Rating – PG

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Website http://www.thedruidlegacy.com/

Author Interview – Lee Tidball

What book should everybody read at least once? Relevant books of the Bible.

Is there any books you really don’t enjoy? Non-fiction books on subjects that I don’t care about like cooking, business, finance, psychology, crafts, DIY, and others.

What do you hope your obituary will day about you? That I was a good and simple man who tried hard to make a good difference in the lives of those around me, especially kids.

Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live? I grew up in Iowa and Minnesota in small, suburban areas bounded by endless farmland.  Because of this, I longed for the adventure of the road trips west that my family would go on when I was young to scenic and historical places there, like the mountains, various national parks and monuments, and historical sites.  Now I live in California, which I enjoy tremendously because of the wonderful climate and the endless variety of things that can be seen and done here, but I also detest the overcrowding, the traffic, and the bad air.  It’s hard to know sometimes if the former is worth the latter.

How did you develop your writing? I am mostly self-taught (just reading and imitating good writing, using my own voice), though I took an online course in screenwriting from Screenwriting U (Professional Screenwriting Series) that gave me a great foundation in that area.


“Imagine the unimaginable.”

That was the mantra of young prodigy Hector Chevas’s mentor in architectural design, Gellini. But even Gellini couldn’t imagine the horrors that his prize student and adopted son would fill Suburbia’s new Heartland Mall with to wreak revenge on those who killed Gellini and murdered Hector’s only friends. “Black Friday” was never blacker.

But Hector couldn’t imagine that, in the middle of his deathly rampage, an “angel” from his past would re-appear into his life; wild-child Janey, whose life he’d saved years before, and who’d never forgotten her promise to “always love him…for reals.” But was that love strong enough now to learn the unimaginable truth; to call Hector’s “dead” soul back to life and resurrect him from his mad plunge into oblivion?

MALLED is a story filled with tragedy, terror, raw emotion, unspeakable horrors, and, above all, the awesome power of ferocious, undying love. Go for it. Get into it. Dare to “imagine the unimaginable.”

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Genre –  NeoGothic Horror / Thriller

Rating – R for violence & language

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George A Bernstein – What Inspired Me To Write This Book

What Inspired Me To Write This Book

by George A Bernstein

I had finished my first novel, Trapped, and was trying to find an agent, while I kept editing and revising the manuscript, using feedback and what I learned at writers’ conferences to improve the novel.

One of the things I learned at the conferences was, a first novel seldom made it into print. It usually required a second, third and even fourth before a writer was polished enough to get published… at least conventionally. And at that time, in the middle 1990’s, e-books and the rush to self-publish weren’t even an option. So, as I continued polishing Trapped and seeking an agent, I decided it was time to start a second novel.

While I was mulling story lines, I read Dr. Brian Weiss’  intriguing non-fiction book about his stumbling into Past Life Regression with one of his patients. Soon after, he was featured on the Ophra Show with one of his subjects, and I thought Past Lives might make an interesting novel. My wife, Dolores, and I began brainstorming plot lines, looking for something that I could plug my own experiences into, and we settled on horses and open jumping.

This was actually Dolores’ forte, as she owned and jumped a champion horse, Redman. We had boxes full of her trophies. Plus both my sisters had owned horses, so while I wasn’t a horseman, I knew a lot about the sport from my contact with the women in my life.

So I envisioned two lovers, their souls fatefully connected, being brutally murdered in two earlier lifetimes, back again, slowly discovering their ancient connection, and the terror of their deaths in those lives. Of course, their killer(s) must be here, too, in this lifetime, again seeking their destruction.

But I needed to know how this worked… the mechanics of regression, and what the experience was really like. It is one thing to research and read about it, and another to actually live it. So I decided I needed to go through regression, to better understand the process. How else could I bring that to my readers in a realistic manner?

Whom better to do this with than the expert, Dr. Weiss, who, luckily, was in Miami, only sixty miles away. Unfortunately, I discovered he had waiting list over a year long, but I did get a recommendation of an associate, Dr. John Cleveland, in Ft Lauderdale (much closer) who was available.  So I embarked on journeys into the past… a very long-ago past…with John, and it was life-changing. Working together, I visited nine past lives.

I have to admit, I was skeptical at first, filled with understandable doubt. But that changed. Of course, I learned the techniques and mantra of regression, things I could now bring to my novel in a realistic manner. But I not only learned the mechanics of taking one down that path, but also what it was like to flow back to those long-ago times, when both you and your very existence were so different form today. I was confident I could make this work in my new novel, A 3rd Time to Die.

In the process, I became a believer. Not only had Dr. Cleveland related numerous events of regression that can’t be explained away by doubters, but I found at least two past lives where the people and event of those times had direct influences on who I am, and personal skills I exhibit in this life, with no previous training.

Here’s an interesting personal antidote. When I was twelve, my dad brought home a target bow and a big straw bull’s-eye target. My only experience with a bow was from watching Western movies, but I set up the target in the back yard, strung the bow (how did I even know how to do that?), walked off about 100 feet… and started shooting bull’s-eyes! I seldom missed that center black circle. A few days later, while practicing, a big crow flew over, probably 60 feet high. I instinctively drew down and put an arrow in him. A week later, while “hunting” in a nearby forest preserve, I flushed a ringneck pheasant, and knocked him down with a quick shot. Then I dropped a rabbit, dodging through the brush. I don’t know how I did it, I just did, without thinking. They were all “snap shots,” quick and without hesitation.

The point of this little tale is, during one of my regressions, I found myself in Lincolnshire Forest, shooting game for a 16th Century English duke…a regular Robin Hood. An interesting and provoking side-light to doing research for a novel.

Going through my own regression was all the inspiration I needed to go on to write A 3rd Time to Die. I incorporated all I learned into making it what I believe, is a pretty unique novel. I hope those of you who read it will agree.


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Genre – Romantic Suspense

Rating – PG13

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Bad Traffick by D.V. Berkom

Bad Traffick (Leine Basso #2)Bad Traffick by D.V. Berkom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Who do you think the author intended to read this book and why? Think this book could be for anyone to read. Not really geared towards a certain group of people although those who want to know more human trafficking might find this book interesting.

What are the most important relationships in the book? The relationship Leine had with Miles and the one with Santa. Each are different in some ways and almost the same in other ways.

What makes a minor character memorable? If it contributes necessary facts that enhance the story and in this case, the author plays on this quite a bit which makes the main character especially interesting.

What are the most revealing scenes? When Eric sends so many guys to kill Leine. Quite violent and an eye-opener.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author.

View all my reviews

Jack Templar Monster Hunter: The Templar Chronicles: Book One by Jeff Gunhus

Finalist for 2012 Book of the Year Award Foreword Reviews

Orphan Jack Templar has no memory of his parents and only the smallest details from his Aunt Sophie about how they died. The day before Jack’s fourteenth birthday, things start to change for him. At first it’s great: A sudden new strength helps him defend his nose-picking friend “T-Rex” from the school bully, and even his crush, Cindy Adams, takes notice. But then a mysterious girl named Eva arrives and tells him two facts that will change his life forever. First, that he’s the descendent of a long line of monster hunters and he’s destined to be in the family business. Second, that there’s a truce between man and monster that children are off-limits…until their fourteenth birthday! Jack has only one day before hundreds of monsters will descend on his little town of Sunnyvale and try to kill him.

As if that weren’t enough, things get even more complicated when Jack discovers that the Lord of the Creach (as the monsters are collectively known) holds a personal grudge against him and will do anything to see that Jack has a slow and painful death. To stay alive and save his friends, Jack will have to battle werewolves, vampires, harpies, trolls, zombies and more. But perhaps the most dangerous thing he must face is the truth about his past. Why do the other hunters call him the last Templar? Why do they whisper that he may be the “One?” Why do the monsters want him dead so badly?  Even as these questions plague him, he quickly discovers survival is his new full-time job and that in the world of monster hunters, nothing is really what it seems.

For Middle Grade readers and higher

Fans of: Percy Jackson Series, Harry Potter and The Goosebumps Series by R.L. Stine

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Genre – Middle Grade / YA Fantasy

Rating – PG

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Website http://www.jacktemplar.com/

The Newbie Author’s Survival Guide by AK Taylor

The Author Platform

You may or may have not heard this term before. It is essentially your fan base, brand, and network all rolled into one. In our survival scenario, your platform is how you draw people to your location or base: it's like flashing your mirrors, building signal fires, blowing a whistle, shouting, or anything else you would do to call for help.

One problem with this term is that it sounds as though you have a building phase and then you're done. Actually, you’ll be constructing your platform as long as you are a published author. It should always grow in size or refinement. Many pieces to this puzzle will be sorted out, but the goal is to reach the readers who are your customers.

You accomplish this by using all tools available to you. We will need a social media presence, a blog that is search engine and social media optimized, and a subscription or permission-based network. Launching and updating each of these things takes time. So the best point to start building these are before you publish your book. Many authors, however, have been so engaged in writing, editing, typesetting, and proofing that don’t know about this until they publish. Truth be told, I was one of them.

Remember that the product is you, not your book. You need to become either the expert (nonfiction) or the dependable good read (fiction). To do this, you need to build a public image, a reputation, and a trust with the public. Only then will they start looking at what you’ve got.

So let's get started by examining the pieces of a platform, what each does, what to do to get the best performance, and what not to do when constructing them. Remember: This is not an overnight project. This is how you start getting people’s attention.

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Genre – NonFiction

Rating – G

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Connect with Amanda Taylor on Facebook & Twitter & GoodReads