Articles for the Month of August 2014

The Surrogates by Consuella Harris

51DXifNWx7L__AA160_A brilliantly intriguing story.

The subject of surrogacy raises various emotions and views in people, depending, I suspect, on such factors as, their sex, religious viewpoint and life experiences.

Many think what a wonderful, selfless thing it must be to carry a child for another woman and bring happiness to a couple who would never have been parents without help. They ask themselves, “Who are these generous women, and why do they do it?”

The more cynical wonder who finances the companies who set up the matches between the surrogates and the adopter’s, and what is in it for them?

However, it’s never as simple as that, there are no black and white answers to be found when dealing with human lives and emotions – we are complicated beings.

Truth be known, like most things, most people, most of the time don’t think about it, and neither did Keith Brown, ex-retired police officer, now successful investigative reporter until he received a phone call from Valerie Scovall, a Superior Court Judge for Cuyahoga County.

Valerie is sure there is a connection between the deaths by natural causes, i.e. heart attack, on the same day, of two prominent public figures.

Meeting her, the next day, in her chambers, Keith agrees to take on the case, and to her requirement that the source must remain confidential. Only one person is the exception to this rule Denise Jones, one of the surrogates.

For anyone interested in people this is a compelling read, as Keith reveals the stories behind Denise, Sharon and Carolyn, three women who decided to become surrogates. However, inextricably entwined are of course, the children they gave birth to, and the people who adopted them.

And, we mustn’t forget the men who were the founders of the Lake Shore Parenting Group, the adoption agency who put them together, and their motives, after all, without them, none of it would have happened.

Or of course, Valerie…

A really enjoyable and absorbing story which I would not hesitate to recommend. It is about a controversial subject, packed with human interest, mystery, intrigue and plenty of twists and turns.

The Surrogates is available from Amazon in Paperback http://www.amazon.com/The-Surrogates-Consuella-Harris/dp/1625260849/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1409046130&sr=8-5

and Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/Surrogates-Consuella-Harris-ebook/dp/B00L4MAXYG/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-5&qid=1409046130

and Barnes &Noble in Paperback http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-surrogates-consuella-harris/1119823220?ean=9781625260840

and as a Nook book http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-surrogates-consuella-harris/1119823220?ean=2940149692927

Author’s Website:  http://consuellaharris.com/users/awp.php?ln=718894&p=intro

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/conniegh01

Twitter: https://twitter.com/conniegh01

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/conniegh01/consuella-harris/

 

The Wishing Stone (The Eve Project, book 2) by Tegon Maus

51xjs80A3dL__AA160_A great science fiction sequel.

This is the second book in the Eve Project series, and at the beginning, we go back briefly to before book one ‘Machines of the Little People’ to when Kate and Ben were children, and Kate found the wishing stone. It seemed magical, and most of the wishes they made came true, however, years later, as adults, with Kate dying, Ben, Kate and her husband Roger made the last wish they would on it, one which thousands of people through time, before, and since have made.

Book two opens with Ben, who suffers from B.C.E.D (Bio-chemical electrical discharge) which means he produces too much electricity and can’t be allowed near electrical instruments etc., discovering that the inhibitors which Roger, his impossibly brilliant scientist brother-in-law designed for him are now failing…

In desperation, Ben agrees to go with Roger to the Warwick Facility, a top secret special scientific research centre. Roger reassures him that they will be able to help him, however, once inside, the Roger Ben now sees bears no resemblance to his brother-in-law.

What would you do for love?

“Anything!” is the common response.

What has Roger done…?

This is a great science fiction story, which follows on nicely from The Eve Project: Book 1, Machines of the Little People, however could easily be read as a stand-alone.

It has it all for science fiction fans, top secret scientific projects, a great storyline, twists and turns round every corner, yet, at its very core lies, dare I say it, a love story.

It has a great finish, however, at the end, all I wanted to know from the author – is there is another book in the series coming?

I hope so…

Available from Amazon in Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/Wishing-Stone-Eve-Project-book-ebook/dp/B00MMQYLPU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409040913&sr=1-1&keywords=the+wishing+stone

and from Barnes & Noble as a Nook book http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-wishing-stone-tegon-maus/1120170996?ean=2940046102307

 

About the Author: I was raised pretty much the same as everyone else… devoted mother, strict father and all the imaginary friends I could conjure. Not that I wasn’t friendly, I just wasn’t “people orientated”. Maybe I lived in my head way more than I should have, maybe not. I liked machines more than people, at least I did until I met my wife.
The first thing I can remember writing was for her. For the life of me I can’t remember what it was about… something about dust bunnies under the bed and monsters in my closet. It must have been pretty good because she married me shortly after that. I spent a good number of years after inventing games and prototypes for a variety of ideas before I got back to writing.
It wasn’t a deliberate conscious thought, it was more of a stepping stone. My wife and I had joined a dream interpret group and we were encouraged to write down our dreams as they occurred. “Be as detailed as you can,” we were told.
I was thrilled. If there is one thing I enjoy it’s making people believe me and I like to exaggerate. Not a big exaggeration or an out right lie mine you, just a little step out of sync, just enough so you couldn’t be sure if it were true or not. If I can make people think “it could happen,” even for a moment, then I have them and nothing makes me happier. When I write, I always write with the effort of “it could happen” very much in mind and nothing, I guarantee you, nothing, makes me happier.

Author’s Website: http://www.tegonmaus.com/

A Visitor’s Guide to Paris – A travel guide for France’s romantic capital by Tim Benson

51cQwuvZ20L__AA160_I think that this is a very useful compact guide which would be invaluable if you were planning a trip to Paris. Not only does it provide excellent information regarding the various way to get there, it also gives a lot of information, and invaluable tips on how to do so once you are there.

Written as an advisory guide, the author has listed the 20 arrondissements, or districts, of Paris, with information as to what you can find in them. If you are unsure where to start, he has also suggested the best places to visit in the city and routes for each day, which will help you to make the most of your visit.

There are even general tips which include the emergency services numbers and a chapter on common French expressions.

Basically, this is a very useful and informative guide which would be an asset when visiting this beautiful city.

Available in Kindle format: http://www.amazon.com/Visitors-Guide-Paris-Frances-romantic-ebook/dp/B00GAMTHFG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408536080&sr=8-1&keywords=a+visitors+guide+to+paris

When the Drum Major Died by Anjuelle Floyd

when the drum major diedA fascinating story.

When I started reading this book, the first thoughts which came into my mind were that, it’s amazing how ignorant one can be, about events which happened in your own lifetime. Being a British child at the time these events were taking place, somehow they slipped into a hole between the history I was taught at school, from ancient up to and including WWII, and the recent history which I remember as an adult.

The main character in the story Florina, is a young colored woman who has married Dr Richmond Austin, and moved to his home town Poinsettia, in the South of America. Her new in-laws are very welcoming and her new home is to be his grandparent’s house. However, she very quickly discovers that her new neighbour Agnes, who is married to the other colored doctor in the town, Macon, used to go out with Richmond, and Florina fears that the attraction is still there. However, she has her own secret, one not even her parents know… A secret which lies buried in her heart and which she can only hint at in her very poignant poetry.

This incredibly absorbing story is set at a very turbulent time for the colored people of America. The Civil Rights movement was strong, and was led by the Baptist minister and activist Martin Luther King Jr., a man who worked tirelessly for, and who played such a strong part in the ending of the legal segregation of the African-American people.

Also all the time, in the background, and twisted inextricably throughout the plot of this story is the Vietnam War which was taking thousands of lives…

However, another element of this story, which was very interesting to me, is that I never realised that there was such color snobbery within the families of colored folk, causing so much tension, prejudices, terrible rifts, and great sadness. This was so evident in this book, where at one end of the spectrum there was immense color pride and at the other the seemingly desperate need to appear white.

This book is amazing, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. For me, it has all the essential ingredients for a good story excitement, intrigue, love triangles, lies, deceit, confessions, betrayal I could go on. However, more importantly for me, it gives a fascinating fly on the wall account of what it was really like as a colored person to live in those times, something I would never be able to experience otherwise.

Available from Amazon in Paperback http://www.amazon.com/When-Drum-Major-Anjuelle-Floyd/dp/1938070011/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1407946089&sr=8-1

and Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/When-Drum-Major-Anjuelle-Floyd-ebook/dp/B00I35FT6Y/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1407946089

and Barnes & Noble in Paperback http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/when-the-drum-major-died-anjuelle-floyd/1118401259?ean=9781938070013

 

About the Author: Anjuelle Floyd is the author of “Keeper of Secrets…Translations of an Incident”, June 15, 2007, a collection of interconnected short stories, and two novels, “The House”, October 15, 2012, and “Seasons in Purdah,” September 9, 2012.
www.anjuellefloyd.com/books/keeper-of-secrets/
www.anjuellefloyd.com/books/the-house/
http://anjuellefloyd.com/

Anjuelle is a wife of thirty years, mother of three, abstract painter and licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in mother-daughter relations and dream work.
A graduate of Duke University, she received her MA in Counseling Psychology from The California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, she has attended the Dominican Institute of Philosophy and Theology, Berkeley, California.
Anjuelle received a MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, Port Townsend, Washington. She has also received certificates of participation from The Hurston-Wright Writers’ Week and The Voices of Our Nations Writing Workshops.

A student of Process Painting from 1998-2006, Anjuelle has participated in The Art of Living Black Exhibitions 2004–2011 held at the Richmond Art Center, Richmond, California.

Listen to Anjuelle’s interviews of various authors on Book Talk, Creativity and Family Matters @
www.blogtalkradio.com/anjuellefloyd

Read Anjuelle’s blogs and more about her @ http://anjuellefloyd.com/blog/  and http://anjuellefloyd.com/about/

How to Write a Novel in 90 Days written by Conrad Jones

How to write a novel in 90 days

A useful guide.

This book is written by a successful and prolific author who has used his experiences in an invaluable way, to produce a very good guide for authors.

Whether you do write your book in 90 days or not, this book offers sound information and guidelines on many points.
The author started his career having to juggle a ‘day’ job with his writing, and so he fully understands the pressures writers are put under both personally, by others, and situations around them.

As well as the expected advice on the importance of doing your homework, building characters, word counts and targets, the book is full of good ideas to improve your writing. The author has included some really good examples of how, by making changes to your writing style, you can make the same story scene much more interesting, and how to increase the sales and marketing opportunities by adding ‘hooks,’ which link the book to specific places etc.

His repetition of the importance of rewriting may sound a bit daunting, however, anyone who has written a book knows that this becomes second nature after a while.

No-one can guarantee that you write a best seller, the original ideas have to come from you, however, the amount of advice given in this book is phenomenal, and it is given in a no nonsense style.

Available from Amazon in Paperback format here http://www.amazon.com/write-tested-system-prolific-author/dp/1482656787/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1407839056&sr=8-1

Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/Extended-tested-system-prolific-author-ebook/dp/B00BMK8NXS/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1407839056

and from Audible here http://www.audible.com/pd/Business/How-to-Write-a-Book-in-90-Days-Audiobook/B00KGIDNRI

About the Author: Conrad Jones is the bestselling author of the Soft Target series, nine thrillers, a number one horror novel and two biographies. His books have reached number one in the Kindle charts in Germany, Canada and the UK, and have had over 100,000 downloads. In 2008 he was awarded the AmazonClicks.com Readers’ Choice Award. Author Biography Conrad Jones, Biography. /Conrad Jones is a 47-year-old Author, originally from the outskirts of Liverpool. His family relocated to the Welsh port, Holyhead on the Island of Anglesey the year he left school and bought a small taxi company. Conrad moved with them and worked in a number of trades including kitchen assistant, construction of children’s adventure playgrounds before branching out to run his own business as a market trader. He spent a number of years in and around North Wales before starting his career as a trainee manger with McDonalds Restaurants in 1989. He worked in management at McDonalds Restaurants Ltd from 1989-2002, working his way up to Business Consultant (area manager) working in the corporate and franchised departments.
On March 23rd 1993 he was managing the Restaurant in Warrington`s Bridge St when two Irish Republican Army bombs exploded directly outside the store, resulting in the death of two young boys and many casualties. Along with hundreds of other people there that day Conrad was deeply affected by the attack, which led to a long-term interest in the motivation and mind set of criminal gangs. He links this experience with the early desire to write books on the subject. His early novels follow the adventures of an elite counter terrorist unit, The Terrorist Task Force, and their enigmatic leader, John Tankersley, or `Tank` although his later books follow Detective Alec Ramsey and the Major Investigation Team. His novels are set in the North West and North Wales.
In 2007, he set off on an 11-week tour of the USA. The Day before he boarded the plane, Madeleine Mcann disappeared and all through the holiday he followed the American news reports which had little information about her. He didn’t realise it at the time, but the terrible kidnap would inspire, The Child Taker years later. During the trip, he received news that his house had been burgled and his work van and equipment stolen. That summer was the year when York and Tewksbury were flooded by a deluge and insurance companies were swamped with claims. They informed him that they couldn’t do anything for weeks and that returning home would be a wasted journey. Rendered unemployed on a beach in Clearwater, Florida, he decided to begin his first book, Soft Target. He never stopped writing after that.
He has reached over 200,000 downloads of his thriller novels and has had 7 books on the top 100 kindle charts, 3 number ones and an Amazon clicks Reader’s book of the month award. Recently he has 8 stand alone novels and a horror thriller, Nine Angels and the biographies of three time world champion Russ Williams (Undisputed) and extraordinary lady, Debby Hughes (Lapping it Up)

Thriller Series
Soft Target
Soft Target II Tank
Soft Target III Jerusalem
The Rage Within/ 18th Brigade
Blister

Detective Alec Ramsay Series
The Child Taker
Criminal Revenge
Criminally Insane
Frozen Betrayal

Hunting Angels/ Dark Thrillers
A Child for the Devil
Hunting Jennifer

Non-Fiction
How to Write a Novel in 90 Days
100 Ways to Publish your own eBook and make it a best seller
Dissertations Made Manageable

Author’s website: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/j/conrad-jones/

 

Black Harvest (The Project Book 4) by Alex Lukeman

black harvestThis book has all the components of a brilliant thriller, it is action packed and keeps the reader on the edge of their seats.

We have always accepted that there are lessons to be learnt from the past, secrets buried, waiting to be discovered. Some, have been buried deeply, for a reason. They should never be found.

This is the story of what happens when one such secret is unleashed on this modern world. The plot unfortunately, is all too feasible, which is frightening really, however, everywhere we look now-a-days we see plenty of evidence of mans greed and lust for power.

Nick Carter, the main character is everything we would imagine a top agent to be, intelligent, ruthless, a trained killer, and a man able to deal with any situation. This type of job however, has its own penalties, including having to conquer the recurring demons from his past. Throughout the story, these threaten the future of a blossoming affair with one of his team mates Selena Connor, can people in jobs like theirs ever hope for love?

This is the first Alex Lukeman story I have read, but I shall certainly be looking out for more.

Black Harvest is available from Amazon in Kindle format  http://www.amazon.com/Black-Harvest-Project-Book-4-ebook/dp/B008EWZ95W/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1407499479&sr=1-1&keywords=black+harvest+by+alex+lukeman 

and in Paperback here http://www.amazon.com/Black-Harvest-Project-Book-Volume/dp/1478133279/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1407499479&sr=1-1 

it is also available as an audiobook from Audible http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Black-Harvest-The-Project-Book-Four-Audiobook/B00JU4R424

About the Author: Alex Lukeman writes action/adventure thrillers featuring a covert intelligence unit called the PROJECT and is the author of the award-winning Amazon best seller, The Tesla Secret. Alex is a former Marine and psychotherapist and uses his experience of the military and human nature to inform his work. He likes riding old, fast motorcycles and playing guitar, usually not at the same time. You can email him at alex@alexlukeman.com . He loves hearing from readers and promises he will get back to you.

 

 

Once Humans by Massimo Marino

once humansLast month I reviewed Daimones, the first in a trilogy by Massimo Marino, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and the sequel Once Humans was equally as good. It follows on nicely from book one, although it could easily be read as a stand-alone.

Now, seven years have passed and on Eridu (Earth), Dan and the other ‘selected’ are building a new life, along with other people the Moirai decided to spare. However, in this new world, Dan is finding it harder as time goes by to face the knowledge that he will never die, whilst he must watch his family age and go through other suffering as humans.

The ‘selected’ work alongside the Moirai in creating a ‘perfect’ world, however, now things are beginning to go wrong, there is unrest. Then Dan makes another discovery, there is a third race the Kritas, who are at war with the Morai.

What was the truth about the culling, what did happen to the dead? Dan learns that secrets have been kept from him about the past by the Moirai, and with events unfolding all the time, Once Humans is a very clever, action packed story which should delight science fiction fans. 

Available From: Amazon in Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/Once-Humans-Daimones-Trilogy-Vol-2-ebook/dp/B00DJL3B9O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407324996&sr=8-1&keywords=once+humans

in Paperback http://www.amazon.com/Once-Humans-Daimones-Trilogy-Volume/dp/1490395636/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1407324996&sr=8-1

and from Audible in Audiobook format http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Once-Humans-Audiobook/B00GTUBYPA

 

About the Author: Massimo Marino comes from a scientist background: He spent years at CERN and The Lawrence Berkeley Lab followed by lead positions with Apple, Inc. and the World Economic Forum. He is also co-founder of “Squares on Blue”, a Big Data Analytics service company.
Massimo currently lives in France and crosses the border with Switzerland multiple times daily, although he is no smuggler.

“Daimones” is the first volume of the homonymous “Daimones Trilogy” and is based on personal experience and facts with an added “what if” to provide an explanation to current and past events. It is his first novel. Watch the book trailer at: http://youtu.be/gqqn0YtPrrw

“Daimones” is the recipient of the 2012 PRG Award Reviewers’ Choice in Science Fiction, and the Seal of Excellence in Quality Writing from both the Awesome Indies (awesomeindies.net) and the indiePENdents.org association.
In September 2013 “Daimones” won the Hall of Fame – Best in Science Fiction Award, shortlisted by the Quality Reads UK Book Club. http://www.orangeberrybooktours.com/expo/2013/08/best-science-fiction/

With the second volume, “Once Humans”, the series is the 2013 Winner of the PRG Reviewer’s Choice Award Best in Science Fiction Series. In May 2014, the Jury of the National Indie Excellence Awards in LA, selected “Daimones” as FINALIST in Science Fiction. http://www.wireservice.ca/index.php?module=News&func=display&sid=11921

“Once Humans” starts seven years after the events narrated in “Daimones”. The Communities led by the Selected are about to thrive and peace and security reigns on Eridu…not for long.

In Vol.3 “The Rise of the Phoenix”, things change as they must. A new order and a new course will put in place the events the Moîrai have sewn and destined to rip apart the foundations of the galaxy.

He also writes short chilling, twisted, horror stories, oftentimes while having breakfast. Go figure why.
Author’s Website: http://massimomarinoauthor.com/about-me/