I have to warn this post contains lots of gorgeous book pics. Holiday Gift Ideas, (because I’m not the only person that panics, right?)

​It’s holiday season. What better than to hark back to some old reviews & outstanding reads & give you some gift inspiration. 


POETRY 


Life, Sex, & Death A Poetry Collection (Volume 1) David Ellis

I described this book as a treat,  others have said his poetry is captivating, inspirational, and be wowed! said one reader. It’s available on KU and only 0.99 to buy. 

David Ellis’ site hosts an array of author interviews, which have introduced me to many different writers. 

Amazon

This book is an International Award winning volume, having won an award in the Readers’ Favorite 2016 Book Award Contest for Inspirational Poetry Books. 
It is a collection of poetry spanning a variety of themes, with the dominant ones being Love & Romance, Inspiration and Philosophical musings. 
Life, Sex & Death represents David’s first full length collection of emotional contemporary poetry that celebrates time honored themes and finds new and interesting ways to present them. 
His work is uplifting, sensual and at times tries to connect on some base instinct level with the reader. 
His style is distinctly his own yet in these pieces David evokes and echoes the playful spirit of his poetic heroes such as Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe, Leonard Cohen, Cecil Day-Lewis and modern musical contemporaries such as Nick Cave, The Kills, Chris Cornell, Katy Perry and even Weird Al Yankovic (yes, really!) to name but a few all feed the elective vision and vibes of his work. 
He aims for Life, Sex & Death to be a trilogy and a triumph for modern poetry, accessible to a large number of age groups and one worthy of taking pride of place on any bookshelf. 
Find your favourite poem today, be it filled with seriousness or off-beat humour.


THRILLER


Nest Terry Goodkind 

While I didn’t enjoy this book, it had some passages of note, & other people have said it is chilling, thrilling, and gripping. 

Amazon

#1 New York Times bestselling author Terry Goodkind reinvents the paranormal thriller with a provocative, page-turning confrontation with true evil.
In the wake of her brother’s brutal murder, Kate Bishop has a lot of questions. Why was her brother keeping a man chained in his cellar? What was his relationship with the detective now leading the investigation into his death? Could his murder be connected to the death of their reclusive uncle two weeks earlier?
One man, the enigmatic author of a book called A Brief History of Evil contacts Kate saying he has the answers to her questions – answers that will expose her to the nature of true evil. Kate, he says, has a hidden talent, a talent that has marked her for death at the hands of humanity’s super-predators…
An explosive mix of action and suspense, Nest is a dangerous journey to the back alleys of the darknet, to the darkest corners of our minds, and to the very origins of what it is to be human – a place few have ventured and fewer still have survived.


HISTORICAL FICTION


A Still Small Voice John Reed

Highly recommendable, I gave it five stars, taking us back to 1859 & the time of the Civil War, of simple days, of countryside life , & romance. John Reed has written a number of excellent books: poetry, stories, Shakespeare, etc.

Amazon

A spellbinding novel of love and war from “a young writer of great promise.”

— Paul Auster
Written with a storyteller’s grace and a poet’s touch, John Reed’s powerful first novel is a true adventure of the heart — at once a passionate love story and a sweeping historical saga set against a vivid backdrop of the Civil War….
The year is 1859 as seven-year-old Alma Flynt arrives in the Kentucky town of Cotterpin Creek to begin a new life. There, Alma will have as friends, neighbors, and benefactors the magnificent Cleveland family.
With their sprawling mansion and gleaming thoroughbred horses, the Clevelands are a wonder. But from the beginning, one Cleveland draws all of Alma’s attention: the youngest son, John Warren.
Alma knew they were meant for each other from their first meeting. But everything changes as war descends on Cotterpin Creek, taking John Warren to battle and sweeping his family into the chaos.
Against this turbulent backdrop, Alma will come of age. And when the fighting is over, the story of a brave young man riding off to battle becomes a haunting journey of vengeance and redemption. And for Alma, yet another journey begins on the day a tormented young soldier staggers back into her life.


CHILDREN’S 


Jorie and the Magic Stones A. H. Richardson

This book in many ways reminded me of Narnia, or Harry Potter, & is as just as good. I was enthralled by the story of Jorie, & her quest to find the missing stones that takes her into a magical world of dragons & villains. A joy to read. 

Amazon

When Marjorie went to live with her frosty maiden aunt, she couldn’t imagine the adventures she would have with dragons — good and bad — and all the strange creatures that live in a mysterious land beneath the Tarn. The spunky 9-year-old redhead forges an unlikely friendship with an insecure young boy named Rufus who lives with his crusty grandfather next door. When Jorie — for that is what she prefers to be called — finds a dusty ancient book about dragons, she learns four strange words that will send the two of them into a mysterious land beneath the Tarn, riddled with enchantment and danger. Hungry for adventure, the children take the plunge, quite literally, and find themselves in the magic land of Cabrynthius. 
Upon meeting the good dragon, the Great Grootmonya, Jorie and Rufus are given a quest to find the three Stones of Maalog — stones of enormous power — and return them to their rightful place in Cabrynthius. Their mission is neither easy nor safe, and is peppered with perils in the form of the evil black half-dragon who rules the shadowy side of the land. They have to deal with a wicked and greedy professor, the tragic daughter of the bad dragon, caves of fire, rocky mountainous climbs, and a deadly poisonous butterfly.
Jorie must rely on her wits and courage to win the day. Can she do this? Can she find all three Stones? Can she save Rufus when disaster befalls him? Can she emerge victorious? She and Rufus have some hair-raising challenges, in which they learn valuable lessons about loyalty, bravery, and friendship.

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#GIVEAWAY Choosing Hope. Holly Kammier @hkammier


Choosing Hope
Holly Kammier
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: October 31st 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Thriller

Choosing Hope is a harrowing story of passion and deceit, the things we do for love and the rabbit holes we tumble into chasing elusive fairy-tale endings. Dark around the edges with a shocking twist I didn’t see coming, this is the kind of book you’ll be passing around to your friends so you can talk about it. Holly Kammier delivers romance, suspense, and a strong, smart heroine who turns out to be nobody’s victim. Don’t miss this one! – Kat Ross, best-selling author of The Midnight Sea

A broken marriage.

A love affair.

A lie that changes it all…

Hope Rains Sullivan is living the dream—a successful husband, two beautiful young boys, and a charming home in Northern California. She should be happy. She almost convinced herself she was, until Adrian came along.

Adrian, appears to be everything her husband isn’t. He works with his hands, and is even willing to use them in a fight. He’s sexy, strong and fit, with warm brown skin that alludes to his Spanish background. Best of all, he lives for spending time with his kids. Feeling alone in her marriage, Adrian offers her a way out

Hope’s affair is just the beginning. Her journey inward will require untangling her complicated past and surviving an astonishing revelation. Her lover is not who he pretends to be.

She’s searching for her happily-ever-after, and no matter how painful the journey, she’ll find what she’s been looking for all along—the chance to choose Hope.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

I held my breath for a beat and tilted my head to press my lips against his. Our mouths parted, fitting softly together at first, until he kissed me harder.

He tasted so good, my body pushed closer. Our lips knew each other. I moved on top of his lap, my legs on either side. His warmth, his crisp citrus scent. This was what kissing someone should feel like.

Hormones, pheromones, love, whatever it was, washed over me. I needed this man. I wanted to feel this way every hour of every single day.

My hand found its way up the back of his shirt. His skin ran hot. The ocean roared. I heard voices talking low, a couple walking by us.

His hand pressed into the small of my back. His other hand grabbed at the nape of my neck. He whispered, “I love you, Hope.”

I froze. He tried to kiss to me again. He couldn’t, not with my lower lip firmly entrenched in my teeth. I bit down with such force, I worried I’d draw blood. Why was he doing this to me? Why was I allowing it to happen?

His amber-green eyes looked into mine.

Tears pooled against my lashes.

“I wish you could feel what I’m feeling,” he said, “so you’d know it’s true.”


Author Bio:

Co-owner of Acorn Publishing, Holly Kammier is a UCLA honors graduate and an accomplished content editor. With a background in journalism, she has worked everywhere from CNN in Washington, D.C. and KCOP-TV in Los Angeles, to the NBC affiliate in small-town Medford, Oregon.

Holly is the best-selling author of the novel, Kingston Court, and Could Have Been Hollywood, a memoir. She recently completed her third book, Choosing Hope, a spin-off from Kingston Court. Choosing Hope is a harrowing story of passion and deceit, and the things we do for love.

Holly resides in her hometown of San Diego, California, close to family and friends. A world traveler in her younger years, these days when she isn’t writing or working with new authors, she spends much of her time hanging out with her two boys, Josh and Alex. Holly is an avid reader with a passion for timeless books and beautiful writing. She also enjoys long walks with her Jack Russell Terrier, romantic movies, and making her mischievous sons smile wider.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


GIVEAWAY!
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@danecobain is in The SUNDAY SPOTLIGHT. He tells us all about life as a MUSICIAN & FREELANCE WRITER. 

Something about your writing:



I started writing when I was a teenager, beginning with songs and poetry and moving into journals, fiction and non-fiction. I write because I’m compelled to – I feel uncomfortable when I’m not writing and try to do it as much as possible. In terms of influences, I generally try to write books that I’d want to read myself, so I suppose I’m influenced by my favourite writers (like Graham Greene, Charles Bukowski, Terry Pratchett, etc.). I’ve just released an anthology called Subject Verb Object, which brings together contributions from eighteen different authors – you can find that at http://www.danecobain.com/svo. My next release will be a detective novel called Driven, which is currently going through edits. It’s a sort of 21st century take on the old school cosy detective novel.

Something about you:



I love reading, writing, making music and learning stuff. I play guitar and sing and find it to be a great way to unwind after a long day of writing. I live in High Wycombe, UK, with my girlfriend Becca and my cat, Biggie. He’s on Instagram and Facebook, you should follow him. I recently quit my day job to start up as a full-time freelance writer, mostly writing blog posts, ebooks and other stuff for marketers. 

I currently have six books on the market:


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#ThrowbackThursday @Danecobain Former.ly. 

Renee heads up this weekly feature at https://itsbooktalk.com/ 

I want to revert back to some months ago when I read Former.ly. 

Former.ly was a roller coaster read from start to finish! You can read my review here https://katiecreativewriterblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/03/book-review-former-ly-dane-cobain/

Dane Cobain has a bunch of other great books available too on Amazon  – poetry, nonfiction etc.

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The SUNDAY SPOTLIGHT. MICHAEL AMPERSANT, author of GREEN EYES & an EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT of THIS IS HEAVEN. 

When did you start writing?




When a friend of my mother got a typewriter. I was eight years old then and would spend hours sitting there just typing. Then I got a typewriter myself and moved into poetry, writing 20 poems per day. That was in the tradition of automatic writing, the idea was not to think at all while typing (side remark: Truman Capote about Jack Kérouac: “He doesn’t write, he types.”). I wrote scientific books during my academic career, and I started my non-academic writing with a feature script, FREEDOM FRIES, which tells the alternative history of George W. Bush’s retirement (Bush, the 43rd president, has a change of heart). I couldn’t get it produced, of course, and then tried to turn the script into a novel, getting about half-way…I lost faith because of libel-concerns—Dick Cheney, Bush’s vice-president, orders the murder of Bush at one point in the story. 

I then started a blog, and wrote a lot of blog posts, rashly, quickly, which gave me some confidence. My first novel, the GREEN EYES, the prequel to my new book, evolved from an unprintable piece of porn I wrote around a picture by Joe Phillips, Latino Boy, but said piece of porn ended on a cliff-hanger, so I had to write another piece (which also ended on a cliff-hanger, and so on), and after a few pieces I knew I had the material for a book. So, in some sense, the GREEN EYES were written by accident. My new book, THIS IS HEAVEN, is a sequel to the Green Eyes.

Why do you write?




Good Question. I asked this myself already at the age of eight sitting behind the typewriter of mother’s friend. I enjoy it.

What influences your writing?


As to authors, the major influence would be Mark Twain. As a boy, I must have read TOM SAWYER twenty times. I shouldn’t compare myself to Twain of course, but the way he pokes fun at the world, that’s what I’m trying to do.

Other writers? Let’s mention just one, David Foster Wallace, the author of INFINITE JEST. He’s so good, he’s somehow beyond style. I started reading Infinite Jest while already writing the Green Eyes and discovered that he was using lots of tricks I had just invented for myself. Very encouraging.  

Which genres do you write in?




The Freedom Fries is alternative contemporary history. The Green Eyes is erotic romance, and the sequel, This Is Heaven, is an erotic thriller. I started a YA novel, THE SENATOR AND I, which is sci-fi (in some sense). But regardless what I’m doing, it usually turns into a Fast Action Comedy. 

What themes are in your writing? 




The two fiction books I’ve finished are fairly erotic, and fairly explicit in places. So, sex would be a theme. But it’s not the principle message. There’s this aphorism by Mark Twain: It’s easier to fool people than convince them that they get fooled.  That’s what I’m writing about. Highly topical in the age of Trump, I’d say. I’m interested in language, and lots of my writing is about language and how it’s used and misused. I’m also interested in politics. Here’s one little fragment from This Is Heaven (with Nick, the owner of Nick’s Restaurant, speaking):

“People have a right to forget,” he says. “Think of slavery. That wasn’t ‘slavery’ at all—that was ‘our peculiar institution.’ ‘Suffragette’—that was our term of derision for a bunch of uppity bitches. ‘Miscegenation’—that was miss, you understand, and illegal to boot. ‘Separate but equal’—my God, we swore by it until fucking Truman put them all in the same bunkbeds. And Brown versus Schoolboard—have you seen the clips, Brown emanating from a court hearing, and the entire American press stalking him with sneers and laughter ‘cuz he’s black and wannabe white? And now you guys, with your rainbow marriage. There’s only one solution for real Americans, who have never, ever, been racist, or misogynists, or segregationist, or anti-Semitic, or homophobic, or whatever was wrong with us in the past—or will be wrong with us in the future—and that’s forgetfulness.”




Where do you write?




In bed, behind my desk, and, since I got a new computer with a better battery, outside on the balcony. 

What’s next for you in writing?



I have plans for a play, a comedy of manners, Oscar Wilde style, set mildly in the future, about an aging psychoanalyst, Sarah. Her household robot, Robbie, is 25 years old, and gradually falling apart. It’s a piece about emotions—why we love our dogs, or our robots. Okay, a little bit more: it’s Sarah’s 50th birthday, and when she and her then-boyfriend David broke up 25 years ago, he promised to show up at her 50th birthday, regardless. David moved on to found the company RobotsAreUs, now the world’s leading robot maker. Robbie was his first, experimental creation…

 

At the moment, I’m writing—well at the moment I’m writing this interview—but otherwise I’m taking notes about a piece about Donald Trump (of course), titled “Trump Is a Symptom, Not the Cause,” which will try to explain his phenomenon as a consequence of modern information technology (shortening attentions spans, outsourcing of memory, etc). I’m also thinking about a third book of the GREEN EYES series, titled “The Yellow Parrot” in which the green-eyed lead character Alex has to solve the puzzle of the disappearance of said parrot, the pet of a famous, NYC-based art critic. Spoiler alert: the parrot is rumored to have a sixth sense for the art market, and got itself abducted by a vicious hedge fund manager dealing in contemporary art.

Something about you


Interests: I’m interested in too many different things. And I’m obsessed with the Trump phenomenon, of course.

Hobbies: Not so many, fortunately. I like hiking and chess, and movies. Reading (haha). 

Passions: Sex, of course. 

Country of Residence: France, Cote d’Azur. I was born in Berlin, Germany, and spent most of my active life in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I’m thinking about moving to Portugal.

Pets: Dogs and cats. 

Favorite writers: I’ve mentioned Mark Twain and David Foster Wallace already. A few more: Vladimir Nabokov, John Updike, Thomas Mann, Donna Tartt (especially her first novel, “The Secret History”), Hemingway, Flaubert, Annie Proulx, Oscar Wilde… 

Artists: Yes, artists. Ernest Hemingway mentioned in an interview in The New Yorker back in 1950 that his writing was influenced by (the painter) Paul Cézanne and (the composer) Johann Sebastian Bach. Occasionally I’m thinking about this. It’s never too late to try, so I’ll hazard that my writing is influenced by (the painters) Paul Klee and Joan Miró and (the composers) Ludwig v. Beethoven and Johann Sebastian Bach. So, I’m even more influenced than Hemingway was. 

PREVIOUS PUBLICATIONS



Novels

Green Eyes—an erotic novel, (sort-of). Lustspiel Books, 2015.

This Is Heaven—Green Eyes, Part II. Lustspiel Books, 2017.




Novellas/Short stories:

Active Duty. 2013 EtherBooks.

Astral Engineering. A retelling of Jules Verne’s “Voyage to the Moon” from the (gay) point of view of Michel Ardan. 2014. Unpublished.

La Corniche d’Or. 2014. Temptation Magazine.

The Fountain of Geneva. 2014. The Bear Review.

Jamie 1.0. 2015. Gay Flash Fiction.

Jennifer. 2016. Gay Flash Fiction.

There Is so much Sex Going on in the World. 2016. Lustspiel Books. 

Rilke’s Ghost. The author and his partner Chang vanquish the ghost of Rainer-Maria Rilke. 2016. Unpublished.

Le Trayas Station. The author meets a sluggish, pretty, Arab youth, whose brother is a terrorist. 2016. Unpublished.

Florence. 2017. Gay Flash Fiction.

It’s Immoral. 2017. Bunbury.

John Is a Great Guy. 2017, forthcoming. Gay Flash Fiction.




Feature Script: 
Freedom Fries. Alternative History: George W. Bush has a change of heart after his retirement. 2009. Unproduced.


BLURB This Is Heaven:




Alpha males, delicate souls, and the Undead hit it off in a new scramble for the last happy ending. 

A billionaire dies a suspicious darkroom death in Georgia Beach’s only gay haunt. The Vampire Festival is about to start. A professor of quantitative metaphysics predicts Armageddon for Thursday. Her sister, Juliette, falls in love with street-smart Romeo. Elsa, author of heat-level romance, meets ravishing Ben, progenitor of erotic techniques. Shakespeare, Albert Camus, Enid Blyton, Mark Twain, and many other writers appear in cameo. Corpses pile up. Alpha-hunk Alex recovers from a suicidal overdose—with amnesia—and can’t remember his sexual orientation. John, his oversexed lover, is losing it. Is Alex still gay? Is John is still trolling? (Yes.) Will their partnership survive the End-of-the-World?

Explanation: 

This Is Heaven is a satirical combination of sex (gay and straight), crime, politics, and culture (both high and low). Set in the (fictional) town of Georgia Beach, GA, the book relates how John and Alex, the anti-heroes of the Green Eyes, manage to hijack the resort’s Summer Festival despite overwhelming adversity from many quarters, including metaphysical ones.

The title is a sequel to Ampersant’s first work, Green Eyes, which was a finalist of the prestigious Lambda Literary Awards of 2015.  

Links 

Michael Ampersant website / Facebook / Twitter 

Green Eyes Buy Link / This is Heaven Buy Link 


And to Finish here is This is Heaven Excerpt 


42 JOHN IS A GREAT GUY

Alex is at his home; that’s where he’ll be, in his single bed, which is exactly the size of Ben’s. 

In cases like this the second time is the real thing, the first time is spilled booze and confusion and pent-up petting and laughter, and cum, eventually. The second time, they’ve had seas of time, they spent the whole day together, Alex on his mysterious errands, Ben riding shotgun, or taking the wheel because he’s never driven a hybrid car. They won’t talk about sex of course (not theirs, at least), and they won’t talk about Alex taking pictures of Ben (or Romeo, for that matter), but they will talk about Alex’s amnesia, and about engineering. Ben, you’re at Georgia Tech, right? Good school, isn’t it, one of the best in the country; Ben is proud, and Alex is proud because Ben is proud. They talk about the harp bridges that Ben is going to build, and about girls and women—Alex half-apologizing for the ‘practical joke’ of the first outcall with Greta and Jane, and Ben cracking up (“practical joke”). 

Alex might raise the subject of Ben’s other outcalls, but he won’t talk about the Knights, and they wouldn’t talk about John, except that John is a great guy, a great guy—Ben finishing Alex’s sentence (“a great guy”). A few days down the road they might share a joke about me, perhaps, when the dust has settled; this after Alex having talked about his soul again, how Ben, (you, Ben) found his (Alex’s) soul—yes, it could go that deep, both of them commanding an emotional depth that John sadly lacks. Terrible sentence.

So, a few days later they’ll have a serious conversation in simple terms, like ‘life,’ and ‘future,’ and ‘help,’ (Alex asking for help), and ‘love.’ There would be no need for mixed metaphors or spurious allusions to popular culture, the way John always gets it wrong, and then there is this innocent joke about me, so innocent that they kiss another French kiss as the punch line. And there would be no need for French words like ‘orientation,’ or ‘preference,’ or ‘bisexual.’ The joke, yes, the joke would be that they need a larger bed, the way John always needs a larger bed. 

This joke seals their relationship, they realize, both smiling their sheepish smile at each other. Alex knows about the smile, and Ben has an inkling as well. Alex may reach for a little alpha-moment, like saying ‘ambiguity is a strength, not a weakness,’ and Ben answering, ‘unless one is writing code,’ and both dudes will love it. But we are not there yet.
We are still in the Prius, Alex giving directions. They both realize all too well that this is their second time, both reasonably sober still, honestly trying to kick bad habits and talking about Luke since the fridge is empty and they are on their way to his store. Ben’s cell goes off (speaking of the devil), but Ben’s concentrating on the traffic until the ring tone dies. They burst into Luke’s ice room (the coldest convenience store in the world), Luke himself behind the counter (the undead never sleep), Alex asking for a six pack and grinning with duplicitous conviction—Alex knows that Luke knows that they know that he knows and so forth. So, Luke doesn’t grin at all since he’s jealous, terribly jealous—almost as jealous as I am at this moment—and because he doesn’t dare to ask why Ben doesn’t answer his phone.

There’s still an off-chance they didn’t really do it on Tuesday night, too drunk, or spent, and this is their first time indeed. There’s a sense of absentmindedness as they scale the stairs to Alex’s pad. The stupid door’s jammed and kicked open, the A/C’s repaired, we know, Alex is off to the bathroom. Ben won’t sit down until Alex returns, he’s fussing with the nibbles they also bought from Luke. Dude is back from the john, and now we’re into quantum tunneling—it’s a matter of nanometers how much daylight will be left between them as they plop down on the mini couch. Serious conversation resumes. Alex is keen to talk about his problems with an engineer, somebody intelligent who can think things through, and Ben is keen to forget about the A-level shit and to please the smartest, handsomest, least-expected person of his life. Ben is smart, too, he’s minoring in philosophy, he’s much better than John at posing the right questions and helping Alex to find answers as to the relationship between introspection and soul—e.g., whether the term ‘soul’ makes sense here—until he cracks up with a solid ebony laugh, reminding Alex of his (Alex’s) perennial talk of Heaven—a place where body and soul come together like never before. He has this on good authority from Dr. Martin Luther Fletcher, his father, by coincidence. 
We’ve reached a branching point even though the next iteration is the same. Ben cups Alex’s ears with both hands and applies a big smooch to dude’s lips. 

Now the branching: 

(1) If this is their first time, there will be uninhibited petting and groping until they reach Alex’s single bed about which Ben will briefly comment (“exactly like mine”), and then they make love. 

(2) If this is their second time—more likely, alas—there wouldn’t be anything immediate, the kiss would be deeper, the lips wetter, but that’s all. They disengage and look at each other. 

It’s real this time, Ben lost in admiration of Alex’s beauty—beauty here in the widest sense of the word, full Plato—and so it’s about Alex’s inner assets, his entire α-being. Alex reciprocates—not quite as platonic as we’d like (Ben’s body, skin, lips, cheerful profile pass his mind)—but soon we return to the truer issues, Ben’s own charisma for example, or his effortless formality (not that we’ve seen much of his effortless formality during this episode, but I assure you), or Ben’s bearing, accentuated and tender (somehow letting others know how important they are—his secret weapon during A-level assignments and a key ingredient of his alchemy with Alex, I guess). And the nostrils, OMG, I failed to mention Ben’s breathing nostrils.

The longer this lasts the more it means. Now what? Alex will put his big hand on Ben’s thigh (Ben, as always, not wearing shorts but snug simple jeans). There won’t be any petting, it was a bit awkward last time. They get up. They embrace. Alex is obliged to make the first step because he’s the host. Or Ben, how about Ben taking the initiative by the graces of his effortless formality, e.g., unbuttoning Alex’s shorts. Alex reciprocates, outer legwear drops. They both wear Ben’s MuchachoMalos—we really had enough, never-ever will we mention this brand again—the unmentionables drop by sheer force of will. Ben wears white socks, which he’ll keep on during the proceedings (at Alex’s instigation, haha). Ben’s half-open Hawaii shirt, that’s a task for Alex, the three buttons left. Now Alex raises his arms, and Ben peels the green tank shirt from his lover’s torso. For the next eternity, they will undress like that, each other, each night, up there on their own, private cloud bank.

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The Quiet Child. John Burley. Blurb Blitz & Giveaway.

EXCERPT

Michael had hesitated a moment longer, the memory of the carnival still fresh in his mind. He could almost taste the hint of cotton candy on her lips, the shudder of her body against his, the dip of his stomach as the Ferris wheel lifted them high into the night air, the noise of the world falling away below. He’d wanted the feeling to last forever, not yet realizing how things would change for them how they always do for young people in love.
Sitting now in the still of the parking lot, the car noiseless except for the soft knock of the engine block as it cooled, he draped his right arm over the seat back and turned to study his two boys, one a constant source of chatter and energy and the other an enigma, silent and indecipherable.
Michael glanced at his wristwatch: still ten minutes before the market closed for the evening.
‘Sean, you come with me,’ he said. ‘Danny,’ he waited for the boy to make eye contact, the only confirmation that he was listening ‘I want you to stay here. We shouldn’t be more than a few minutes.’
There was no dissent from Danny. Would there ever be? and so Michael turned in his seat, grasped the door handle, and swung it wide, stepping out into the parking lot, the gravel loose and shifting beneath the soles of his wingtips. Standing beside the open door of the Mercury, he hesitated, considered not going into the market after all, folding himself back into the car and driving away. He could return home, stop long enough to collect his wife but leave everything else behind. There were other places for them to live besides Cottonwood. The town pulled at them, greedy and unrelenting, demanding more from his family than it had any right to take. Somewhere else, things could be better. Somewhere else, there might be another way.

 

 

 

About the Author 

John Burley is the award-winning author of The Absence of Mercy, honored with the National Black Ribbon Award, and The Forgetting Place. He attended medical school in Chicago and completed his emergency medicine residency at University of Maryland Medical Center and Shock Trauma in Baltimore. He continues to serve as an emergency medicine physician in Northern California.

Website / Amazon Author Page / Facebook

 

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WIN a signed copy of SEVEN THREADS: a book of Short Stories by Jason Atkinson. 

Book Details:

Book Title: Seven Threads: A Book of Short Stories

Author: Jason Atkinson

Category: Adult Fiction, 151 pages

Genre: Thriller and Suspense

Publisher: Mascot Books

Release date: July 4 , 2017

Tour dates: July 10 to 28, 2017

Content Rating: PG

Book Description:

In this collection of seven short stories from Jason Atkinson, follow a man accused of murder, a runaway girl on a train, a scientist at the heart of a government conspiracy, and more! Full of twists and turns, Seven Threads offers a selection of fast-paced stories full of heart and excitement.

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Meet the Author:


Jason Atkinson lives in the Midwest with his wife and son. With a love of writing, this is his 3rd book, but first book in the fiction category. Short stories are easy to digest, and yet, this book still provides all the joys for the long haul reader. Jason write for everyone in mind when creating this piece and hopes you will enjoy it as much as he did when writing it.

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RELEASE BLAST. Digital Velocity.  Reily Garrett. 

The deadliest weapons are the ones we never see.

DIGITAL VELOCITY

McAllister Justice #1

Reily Garrett

Releasing July 10, 2017

The deadliest weapons are the ones we never see.


Keyboard prodigy, Lexi Donovan has risen from teenage orphan
of the streets to complete independence with little help along the way. When a
pervert threatens her friend, she sends an anonymous message to police, leading
to a firefight that leaves a cop wounded.


Detective Ethan McAllister’s well-ordered life turned upside
down the day an obscure text message led to a sexual predator’s identity and
arrest. Since then, Callouston PD’s finest can’t trace the elusive hacker. The
latest tip leads him to a brutal mutilation and a riddle  indicating the identity of the next murder
victim.


The dark net houses a playground for the morally depleted
and criminally insane. When Lexi discovers the killer’s digital betting arena,
she finds herself centered in a cyber stalker’s crosshairs, a psychopath
bearing equal talent.


Street life strengthened Lexi while toughening her
protective shell, but nothing could shield her from the shrewd detective
forging a path to her heart.

Digital
Velocity
 is a fast-paced
romantic suspense thriller that sophisticatedly weaves drama, excitement,
grit, raw emotions and mystery. Garrett takes her readers on a journey
where suspense and romance are taken up several notches as she unfolds and
reveals the identity of a murderer that is on the loose. With her vivid prose,
Garrett entices readers to see the bond that is brewing between Detective
Ethan McAllister and his unlikely informant.
” – RT
Book Reviews



Reily is a West Coast girl transplanted to the opposite shore. When she’s not working with her dogs, you can find her curled up with a book or writing her next story.
Past employment as an ICU nurse, private investigator, and work in the military police has given her countless experiences in a host of different environments to add a real world feel to her fiction. 
Over time, and several careers, many incidents have flavored the plots of her stories. Man’s cruelty and ingenuity for torment and torture is boundless, not contained by an infinite imagination. 

Witnessing the after-effects of a teenager mugged at knifepoint for a pair of tennis shoes, or an elderly woman stabbed repeatedly with a screwdriver for no apparent reason, left an indelible impression that will forever haunt her subconscious. In counterpoint, she has observed a woman stop her vehicle in severe, snowy weather to offer her own winter coat to a stranger, a teenager wearing a threadbare hoodie. Life’s diversities are endless.

Though her kids are her life, writing is Reily’s life after. The one enjoyed after the kids are in bed or after they’re in school and the house is quiet. This is the time she kicks back with laptop and lapdog to give her imagination free rein.

In reading, take pleasure in a mental pause as you root for your favorite hero/heroine and bask in their accomplishments, then share your opinions of them over a coffee with your best friend (even if he’s four-legged). Life is short. Cherish your time.


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CREEPZ. BOOK BLAST. RUTH BAINBRIDGE.

EXCERPT



The summer started like a hellion on crack.
No one was expecting it … no one was prepared. The mild spring weather had lulled the denizens of the Big Apple into thinking it would always be that way. But before they knew it, the fantasy was swallowed by a rapacious heat that burrowed its way into the concrete and wouldn’t let go. And now? Now there was heat. Overbearing, suffocating heat that came up from the bowels of hell and melted the hardest of hearts, reducing them to sweat and then steam. 
For two weeks, the people suffered under the sun’s merciless rule, and the weather forecasters oral fandango only promised more of the same. A burst of a turbulent red sky at sunset turned that threat into a reality as New Yorkers braced for another brutal repeat of today. 
The day dwindled into twilight as the light was snuffed out by a phantom’s hand. A strong ocean breeze pushed the mugginess aside long enough to breathe. The beleaguered New Yorkers were grateful to have survived and sought solace in the blackness of the oasis offered. Apartment dwellers oozed into the streets in droves- all to enjoy the cooler evening temperature crowned by a silver moon tinged by the color of blood. 
Da da dum dum da da doo doo hey …
In the horde of people, the strange little man humming a tune went unnoticed. The crowd at 34th Street was enjoying itself too much to care about one more drifter … one more oddball that New York seemed to attract. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ruth Bainbridge was born in the idyllic, sleepy town of Ithaca, NY, and has been a lover of mysteries for her entire life. Ever since a child, she’s consumed detective stories at regular intervals, becoming enamored with all the superstars of crime. She loved matching wits with Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Thomas Pitt, Lord Peter Wimsey, Richard Jury and Edward X Delaney. In fact, she was so inspired by their brilliance that she began trying to emulate her writing idol’s achievements by composing her own short stories. However, life interfered with her plans of becoming the next hopeful to try a life of crime–on paper at least. But the empty nest syndrome happened and gave her the impetus to return to her first love–murder. 
Her works include: THE CURT SAVAGE MYSTERIES (a four-part series that should be read in order); DEADSPEAK, a detective Twin Peaks; and ONLY ONE WILL FALL, the first in THE NICK CROSS MYSTERIES. CREEPZ is her eighth published work. The most intense read of the season, it’s a complex adrenaline rush that’s filled with suspense. 

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Website

http://ruthbainbridgemysteries.blogspot.com  

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