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So, I Read This Book Today

Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff

Month

April 2014

Things To Think About Today

I will be working on editing all day today, but I wanted to give you something to think about while I am gone for a bit. The Pinterest posts below touched me, heart and soul. I hope they will also garner your interest, and give you something to think about. Women are pretty darn wonderful – and they get no respect. . . and Native Tribes? Well, we know what happened there.

irena
I am not sure where the original post came from. This was found on the Pinterest site as posted by Doug Gray (http://www.pinterest.com/scarface90156/) If someone can point out the original, I would appreciate it.
rita
This was posted on Pinterest by Corriera Mattina. Click the photo to go to Corriera’s site. It is amazing what women do, and yet are so often overlooked. Good for the Nobel Prize committee for awarding Ms. Levi-Montalcini the Nobel for Medicine!

 

12million
And two final photos regarding subjects even more dear to my heart. My tribe, the Quapaw (my mother was Quapaw, my sperm donor white), were once a peaceful, numerous tribe. In the late 1600s, the Quapaw were estimated to have a population greater than 5,000. Over a period of 80 years, their population had dropped to 700 due to a smallpox epidemic in 1699. Sadly, because of this massive population drop, much of early Quapaw history and lore, which was passed on orally, died with its storytellers. Even today the Quapaw Tribe doesn’t have as many members as it did in the early 1600s. By 1720, the Quapaw had abandoned one of their villages because there simply were not enough people to maintain all four of their original villages. 1918: The last Hereditary Chief, Tall Chief, died.
handcuffs
These are actual tiny child handcuffs used by the U.S. government to restrain captured Native American children and drag them away from their families to send them to the Indian boarding schools where their identities, cultures and their rights to speak their Native languages were forcefully stripped away from them. Think the US is a bit hypocritical when they talk about other countries and how they handle human rights?

 

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My Friend SM Reine Has New Work Out!

73f03533d4ea15c2d63d8bd1eafd555cddb93582
Beautiful cover! click to go to the Goodreads page for the Ascension Series!

I just received the following from Sara and just HAD to share it with you!

Well, rats. I found this in my Drafts file, apparently I wrote it up, but didn’t post it! What a dope I can be sometimes. Ah, well, better late than never, right?

The following information is from an email. All materials are the property of SM Reine and are not my personal creation.

And is that a great cover or what?

New Release from SM Reine!

Lost in prophecy – ASCENSION #5

Lost in Prophecy
Available now!

Amazon Kindle USUKCADE

Barnes & Noble Nook

Apple iBookstore (iPhone/iPad)

Kobo Books

Elise Kavanagh is too busy liberating slaves in the City of Dis to worry about what’s happening on Earth. She hasn’t even noticed that more than three thousand people have gone missing—not until an anonymous client hires her organization, The Hunting Club, to rescue them. The man asking for help doesn’t seem to exist. But the trail of clues is too strange to ignore, and she finds herself caught in the investigation.

Werewolf Alpha Rylie Gresham is absorbed in troubles of her own. The pack is disobeying her, and the cult camped out in Northgate seems to be the source of the problem. Her mate, Abel, has resolved to fix it one way or another—even if it means going over Rylie’s head and killing their enemies.

Through secrets, lies, and assassination attempts, Elise and Rylie find that they have a new enemy in common. And what it takes to prevail might mean shattering the universe…

A Note from Sara:

Dear readers,

Many of you have been asking me how long The Ascension Series is going to run. Right now, it’s looking like it’s going to wrap up at seven books, just like The Descent Series. I’m expecting book #6 (Torn by Fury) to be ready in the summer, and the final book will be out before November.

Although this will be the end of The Ascension Series, it won’t be the end of this crazy world filled with angels, demons, werewolves, and cats named Sir Lumpy! I have a lot more planned. I think you’ll understand why as you read the final books. 🙂

Thanks for joining me on this crazy journey! Your support means the world to me!

– Sara (SM Reine)

http://authorsmreine.com/

Coming Soon!

alphas
Click to go to the Facebook page for Alphas After Dark!

I have a brand new book called “Caged Wolf” coming out in the Alphas After Dark boxed set on April 1st. I’ll send an email once it’s out, or you can follow the Alphas Facebook group here! We’re posting giveaways and excerpts. You don’t want to miss out on this, trust me!

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© SM Reine

 

Mark Your Calendar! Thursday Is Cupcake Day!

dowserbanner
Check out the first two. Like chocolate, you won’t be able to resist the third!

I can hardly wait! going to go back and give the first two a quick read so that I am prepared for the next!!

And don’t forget Meghan’s other wonderful books! These are new covers for the Dowser series, but her other works have great covers as well, and you can even see the old-style cover for Cupcakes below.

doidge
Click for Meghan’s Goodreads page!

Review: The Slayer and the Sphinx: Book One by Adam Bolander

slayer
Click for the Goodreads page!

When I was approached by Adam Bolander to review his book, The Slayer and the Sphinx: Book 1 I wasn’t sure what I was going to find. There are quite a wide range of books in print today by Indie Authors who write within the realms of Fantasy, Mythology, and Urban Fantasy. As well, there are wide ranging demographics of age, character development, and world building. When each requirement is met, and well developed, there can be a really great story – or something not so good.

Bolander has done a ‘fair-to-good’ job with his first in this new series. Definitely a book for a younger set, you shouldn’t hesitate to hand it over to your younger child who would enjoy a book with a good, solid quest theme. Porter belongs to a secret Order of Slayers, who track down and kill “Mythics,” mythological creatures with well developed cultures and mythologies of their own. Hated and persecuted by humans, especially the Order, the Mythics are races besieged by xenophobia.

When Porter, the teenaged slayer, attacks the home of the young sphinx Sarah, there is an accident, leaving Porter with no idea of what his mission was, why he was doing it, or even who he is. Forced to work together, they must overcome problems, and learn to trust and depend upon one another. This is, in my opinion, one of the better developments within the story line, as it encourages young readers to embrace the idea of personal growth.

There are drawbacks to the story. I felt that it was limited, in some ways, by the lack of world building that would have pulled me more into the story. There were also some bothersome contradictions in the storyline. For example, right at the beginning of Sarah’s story she is left at home by her parents when they go off to what is supposedly one of the safest spots for Mythics to be – and they travel by “transport beam” so it just didn’t make sense to me. Of course, if she wasn’t left alone at home with the Banshee housekeeper then there wouldn’t be a story – but the reasoning could have been handled better. Other issues of “Now why in the world would that person do that?” were a bit of an issue, but not something that the target audience should be bothered by.

All in all, I really liked that Bolander didn’t fall into the over utilized werewolf, vampire, elf, fairy habit. I have been looking around for more gargoyle, sphinx, barghest sort of creatures in stories based upon more Northern and African prototypes. This is quite a positive in my opinion.

I would have liked to give this a higher rating than three stars. Maybe by the next volume Bolander will be able to loosen up his writing, filling in more of the world building requirements, backstorying more carefully, and generally giving us a broader view of his characters and his world. If that happens, I will be more than happy to kick in another star. Oh, and of course, a better editor would be nice.

Fine for children, preteens and teens. There is some violence – Porter cuts the head off of a Kitsune in the first chapter of the book, which I personally found distasteful for a children oriented book, but then I always root for the “Mythic” creatures! Possibly not of interest to readers who are not fans of high fantasy.

Review: The Janus Effect by Jan Coffey – Brilliant!

janus
Click to order from Amazon. You won’t be sorry you did.

Having endorsed the covert policy of supporting a Kurdish revolt in northern Iraq between 1974 and 1975, with ‘deniable’ assistance also provided by Israel and the Shah of Iran, Kissinger made it plain to his subordinates that the Kurds were not to be allowed to win, but were to be employed for their nuisance value alone. They were not to be told that this was the case, but soon found out when the Shah and Saddam Hussein composed their differences, and American aid to Kurdistan was cut off. Hardened CIA hands went to Kissinger … for an aid programme for the many thousands of Kurdish refugees who were thus abruptly created…. The apercu of the day was: ‘foreign policy should not he confused with missionary work.’ Saddam Hussein heartily concurred. – Christopher Hitchens

They’d lived in a country that was run by a butcher. That did not make them butchers. In fact, they were just the opposite. – Jan Coffey, The Janus Effect

 The whole course of human history may depend on a change of heart in one solitary and even humble individual – for it is in the solitary mind and soul of the individual that the battle between good and evil is waged and ultimately won or lost. – M. Scott Peck

Halabja-Iran-2
No one was exempt from the slaughter as nerve gas, biological and chemical weapons slaughtered even the youngest amongst the population.

In 1988, with the full might of the US Government and the force of the Regan White House behind him, Saddam Hussain facilitated what was known as “The Anfal Campaign.” Named for the eighth sura, or chapter, of the Qur’an, Saddam’s Anfal was a mammoth campaign of civic annihilation, displacement and mass killing. Saddam tapped his cousin, Ali Hassan al–Majid, a man well–known for his brutality, to take charge of northern Iraq. Al–Majid quickly deployed military resources to, in his words, “solve the Kurdish problem and slaughter the saboteurs.” He ordered Iraqi aircraft to drop poison gas on PUK and KDP targets and civilian villages, killing thousands indiscriminately. The Iraqi regime had become the first in history to attack its own civilian population with chemical weapons. Al–Majid came to be known as “Chemical Ali.”

nowarning
No warning. No pity.

There were eight Anfal attacks in all, each following a similar pattern. First, air attacks dropped chemical weapons on both civilian and peshmerga targets. Next, ground troops surrounded the villages, looting and setting fire to homes. Then townspeople were herded into army trucks and taken to holding facilities, the largest being Topzawa, an army camp near Kirkuk. At these camps, men and boys deemed old enough to carry a weapon were separated from women, the elderly and young children. Routinely and uniformly, these men and boys were taken to remote sites, executed in groups, and dumped into pre–dug mass graves. Many women and children were also executed, especially those from areas that supported the Kurdish resistance. – Dave Johns, The Crimes of Saddam Hussein, 1988: The Anfal Campaign

 When the dust, chemicals, and biological weapons had settled, 90 percent of Kurdish villages had essentially been wiped off the map, and the countryside was strewn with mass graves, and with land mines to discourage resettlement. The response from the international community was muted, as many nations, including the United States, had supported Hussein with money and arms during the Iran–Iraq war.

halabja_tragedy
They fell where they stood – women, children, men, pets. Those who didn’t die right away are still suffering the effects of the poisonings. . .

 

“Half of writing history is hiding the truth.”― Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy

One of the worst of these attacks was against the city of Halabja, a peaceful, working class Kurdish city. Al-Majid ordered the destruction of the city with chemical and biological weapons, including mustard gas, nerve gasses such as sarin, VX and hydrogen cyanide, and a new, unidentified gas “that made people crazy (they tore off their clothes, laughed for a while and then dropped dead). Around 8000 died immediately. Overall, hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Kurdistan were slaughtered, without pity. And yet, what do we, the American People, know of the atrocities committed by our government in our insane quest for cheap oil?

massgrave
One of hundreds of mass graves that have been uncovered, with others still unfound.

 

Out of this wasteland of indiscriminate death and destruction begins The Janus Effect, one of the strongest novels I have ever read. Utilizing strong research, close ties with the people of Kurdistan, and a depth of personal compassion that is unmatched, Nikoo & Jim McGoldrick, writing as Jan Coffey, have written a novel that deserves to be on every person’s reading list. And yes, you really should read it, not just let it sit there and look pretty on the shelf. This is an amazing and horrifying story that will send chills up your back, and make you think, long and hard, about the meaning and reality of true evil.

In the middle of nowhere Maine, something has happened. Something horrific; unbelievable; and frightening beyond words. Two families have arrived on a small coastal island for a summer vacation. Within a matter of hours, they are all dead and rotting with unimaginable speed. Soon, those that find the bodies are also dead. Ten fatalities, within hours rotted beyond recognition. Only one aspect is possibly familiar. A strand of bacteria found in a bombed out lab in Iraq in 1988 shows many of the same constituents of this new, deadly killer. And to learn about that bacteria, what it is, and how it is developed, Austyn Newman is traveling to Afghanistan, to the infamous Brickyard Prison, there to question the one person who may have answers – the scientist who developed the bacteria in Sadaam’s laboratories. Traded between various “black” prisons for the past five years, Dr. Rahaf Banaz has been lost in a system of total isolation, a ghost, with no record, no rights, and having never been charged with, or convicted of, a crime. Questioned, tortured, and finally left to rot, Newman finds his quarry in a hole in the Brickyard, cramped into a cell so small she cannot even stand. Starved, shaved bald, and with only a filthy blanket, she is, indeed, a ghost of a human being. And she is, he believes upon meeting her, something else as well. She may not even be Dr. Banaz.

As the story unfolds, Newman and Dr. Banaz, Dr. Fahimah Banaz, Rahaf’s sister who has taken Rahaf’s place in prison in order to allow Rahaf to continue her medical relief work, travel from the Brickyard at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan through the ruins of cities and the beauty of the stark mountain landscape to the city of Kermanshah, Iran, in search of Rahaf, in search of answers. And during their travels, we learn too of the atrocities of sadistic politicians, both Eastern and Western, the horrors of the victims of war, and the lengths humans will go to in order to destroy one another for power, money and glory. And also? Also, the lengths that humans will go to in order to save and protect those they love. And even those they do not know.

This is a powerful story. Thriller, suspense, medical thriller, history, it’s all there, wrapped up in a story to break any thinking person’s heart. Lies and deception; truth and brutal honesty; and above all the agony of a people forgotten, written off by a culture that cares not for those who are crushed under the weight of a brutal, sadistic war machine. With heartbreaking twists at the end, this story written from the outlook of someone who loves the country and its people should be honored for both it’s excellence and heart.

“Lies and secrets, Tessa, they are like a cancer in the soul. They eat away what is good and leave only destruction behind.” ― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince

th
“There’s no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were.” – Dwight David Eisenhower

________________________
I received this book from StoryCartel.com in return for a realistic review. I highly recommend that you read it. I got a nice note from the authors, it was indeed a proof copy I received. It has been professionally edited.

 

Enter To Win! The Light Who Shines (Bluebell Kildare #1) by Lilo Abernathy

lilo
Click to go to Lilo’s Goodreads page for The Light Who Shines to enter to win an autographed copy!

Win an autographed copy of Lilo Abernathy’s The Light Who Shines.

When Paranormal Investigation Bureau agent Bluebell Kildare (a.k.a. Blue) arrives at the scene of the crime it’s obvious the grotesquely damaged body of the deceased teenage boy was caused by far more than a simple hit and run. Using her innate sixth sense, she uncovers a powerful magical artifact nearby. She soon discovers it acts as a key to an ancient Grimiore that was instrumental in the creation of the Vampire breed and still holds the power to unravel the boundaries between Earth and the Plane of Fire.

Blue and her clever wolf Varg follow a trail that starts at the Cock and Bull Tap and leads all through the town of Crimson Hollow. Between being sidelined by a stalker who sticks to the shadows, and chasing a suspect who vanishes in thin air, the case is getting complicated. If that isn’t enough, Dark Vampire activity hits a record high and hate crimes are increasing. However, it’s her growing feelings for Jack Tanner, her magnetic Daylight Vampire boss, that just might undo her.

While Blue searches for clues to nail the perpetrator, it seems someone else is conducting a search of their own. Who will find whom first?

Danger lurks in every corner and Blue needs all her focus in this increasingly dangerous game or she risks ending up the next victim.

NOTE FROM LILO:

Between Friday May 16 – Thursday May 22 I will donate 50% of my royalties to the Leukemia and Lymphoma foundation. That is for ebook and print versions.

Later on in the year I will do the same for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Maybe in October to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

My daughter has been in remission for 3 years. Crossing our fingers for another 2 which will put her risk on par with the average citizen.

We wish Lilo’s daughter the very best in her recovery and remission!!!

_________________

liloabI’m currently forty-two, but that could differ depending on what year you read this. Unless some fundamental laws of nature change, I expect that number to only get higher. I am half Italian and half Irish. Well, the Irish side is sort of an Irish/German/English/French/Scottish mix, but since I believed I was truly half Irish until my mother’s foray into genealogy, I’m sticking to that story.

I live amidst the Smoky Mountains and can sometimes see the shadows of clouds lying on the mountains from my front porch. I am not yet snobbish enough to call it a veranda, but time will tell. I’m a great believer in the proof being in the pudding. Sometimes my young adult daughter joins me on the veranda… err, porch to admire the view. Often my Australian Shepherd runs around the veranda looking for things to shepherd in the yard. Because we are decidedly lacking in livestock, he frequently presents me with slobbery balls to throw. I, in turn, do my best to ignore them. I feel justified in this neglect because I am planning on adopting a girlfriend for him soon so they can wrestle over the slobbery ball together to wagging tails’ content.

I started working full time while in high school and haven’t stopped since. My illustrious career began with a smattering of service experiences at various fast food and restaurant chains, went on to fine jewelry, slipped into property management for housing projects, morphed into corporate real estate, then ended up in mergers and acquisitions. Please don’t ask me how that happened as I would have to kill you if I told you.

My home is a modestly sized ranch, recently purchased and still not completely unpacked. The walls are a boring light beige, but they make the perfect backdrop for my brightly colored Gustav Klimt canvas prints. Van Gogh hopes to join Klimt on my walls soon, but right now the brakes on my Cube need to be fixed, and the washer overflows if I place the water level on super-duper high. Priorities, priorities.

More importantly than all of the above, you absolutely must know that my favorite color is purple. Not Barney purple, no offense to Barney, but more of a medium eggplant purple. I like to think of it as a “mature” purple, but deep down I know it is really just purple.

Amazon Link: http://tinyurl.com/kq8yoro

B&N Link: http://tinyurl.com/ldaa6oe

Lilo on Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/meldy2p

Lilo on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Lilo_Abernathy

 

Release Launch! UNBREAKABLE by Gigi Aceves


RELEASES: MAY 22, 2014
 
 
SYNOPSIS:
 
Jake Oliver,
a typical guy, never expected to fall in love with his best friend’s girl. Jake
learned to love her from a far, he watched her constantly and supported her
endlessly.
Trish Wilson
thought she found the love of her life in Dylan, until tragedy struck and fate
decided for her when Dylan died in Afghanistan. Will she survive and get over
her fear to love again? Will she find her one? Will her heart ever truly heal?
 
The tragedy
that caused them great sadness also brought them together. Jake’s love for
Trish gave her the strength to overcome her fear to love again, while Trish’s
love pushed Jake past his guilt. However, when your soul mate’s life is at
stake, will they fold in fear or stand their ground? Will they fight to live or
prepare to give up? Will they allow fear to break them or will they let love
make them UNBREAKABLE.
 
“Though one may be overpowered by another, two
can withstand him.
And a
threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12
 
Add to your TBR List:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21622846-unbreakable?from_search=true
 
 
 

 

 
I’m a middle child, and no, I don’t suffer from the middle
child syndrome. According to my parents, I’m the craziest, and I think, my
husband and children agree with them.
 
Besides the births of my two children, my husband’s
successful transplant is one of the most memorable moments of my crazy life!
After dealing with two bouts of cancer, my husband served as an inspiration to
me and my children. I’m privileged to be married and go on this crazy ride, we
call life, with a man who doesn’t know the meaning of giving up.
 
I’m known as The Crazy Cat Lady, in the Wanted World. Am I
crazy? Well, the jury is still out on that one, but I’d like to think I can
make one person smile with my craziness.
 
 
 
 
 

 

Release Launch: Finding Us by Megan Smith

Front Cover
Finding Us The Newest novel by Megan Smith USA Today Bestselling Author!

I owe Ms. Smith an apology. She had expected this to be posted on the 22nd, but personal issues kept me away from home, so it is just being posted today. Sorry, Ms. Smith! Your cover is beautiful!
SYNOPSIS:
Jasmine Jennings is running from her past, something she never wants to deal with again. Starting out fresh in a new city, life is finally looking up.

That is until she meets him — Knox Mitchell. She tries to elude him, but he’s everywhere. When she finally gives in, he begins to avoid her.

One tragic night, Knox’s future was ripped away. His body and soul crave revenge from the man who took everything away from him, but when Jasmine crashes into Knox’s muddled life, he’s torn. What is he supposed to do about falling for the girl who was to be part of his plan for retaliation?

When all secrets are revealed can they move forward without the past destroying any hopes of having a future?

Add to your TBR List:
Goodreads ~ Finding Us

AUTHOR BIO:
USA TODAY bestselling author Megan Smith is a New Jersey native managing purchasing for an award-winning business IT and softwaredevelopment firm – and by night creating the memorable characters her fans have grown to adore. Smith’s The Love Series introduces readers to MacKenzie Cahill – a hopeful young woman who experiences adversity, challenges and the bittersweet triumph of true, authentic love.
Smith is a wife and mother, who makes time for her family, professional life and the creation of the Cahill’s world. Fans of The Love Series – Trying Not To Love You, Easy To Love You, Hard To Love You – are captivated by relationships, special bonds and family ties pervasive in Smith’s emotional, energized and engaging work. Smith is also the author of the 2014 releases, Let Me Love You – continuations of The Love Series, Finding Us (Finding Series) and a few top secret projects.

Pic of Megan
Megan Smith USA Today Bestselling Author!

STAY CONNECTED WITH MEGAN SMITH:
Website: http://www.authormegansmith.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authormegansmith
Twitter @AuthorMSmith
Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/kyx5x7y

 

 

Dowser Series Cover Reveals

If you haven’t read The first two books, pick them up today and prepare yourself! The cover reveal will be on my site on MAY 1 and I would love for you to drop by and see it.
These new covers are beautiful!

Made by Meghan

I’d been thinking about rebranding the Dowser series for awhile, and knowing I was about to publish the third book in the series this seemed like the perfect timing. I adore Irene Langholm, who has done ALL of my book covers up to this point, but together we thought another cover designer might bring some lightness or playfulness to the covers.

And so entered Elizabeth Mackey.

We went with simple, strong branding – chocolate hues, of course – and I really, really love them.

Cupcakes _2nd book cover          Trinkets_2ndbook cover

I know, I know you want to see the third book!! How about a teaser and a cover reveal date to tide you over?

treasures_coverreveal_taste

Please feel feel to share, share, share!!

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