Articles for the Month of February 2015

Service Before Self by Tegon Maus

51PNa60YMiL__AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-46,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_When Toby Grant starts his first day as a service technician at Handy Dandy Services, in San Bernardino he has no idea what his first week will be like, but full of expectation that first day he is partnered with very experienced Ryan Burnell. 

Ryan makes no bones about his reluctance in having to wet nurse Toby and refuses to use his name, calling him ‘Newbie’ instead, and continually reminds him of the company slogan ‘Service Before Self.

However, his partner’s reluctance is nothing compared to the colorful characters Toby meets on the job, so to speak.

From eccentric waste billionaires and very flirtatious women, to unbelievable roach problems and ghosts in the attic, Toby’s numerous adventures in this book will make you laugh repeatedly, however, be aware some will also make your skin crawl. And, all the while poor Toby has to follow the deadpan instructions both gestures and verbal of the reluctant Ryan and do his bidding at a flick of a coin.

However, Toby soon discovers that the Ryan he knows today is a very different character from the man he was a few years before. Back then he was involved in the dangerous worlds of drugs and murder, and, his previous partner was stabbed 27 times.

Ryan certainly has some dark secrets and soon his past is about resurface….

This story is not only a very funny, if cringe worthy insight into the working day of company representatives, and what sometimes they see when entering other people’s homes; but also an extremely gripping thriller in parts as Ryan is pulled back, yet again, into the world of drugs he left behind five years previously.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading every page of this story and would happily recommend it as a brilliantly entertaining book.

 

About the Author61BlSSkFAwL__UX250_: 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.

 About the book: A recent transplant to Southern California, Toby Grant has landed his dream job. He’s a service tech for Handy Dandy Services—the premier handyman service in the southland.

Things don’t go well for Toby on the first day when he is teamed up with Ryan Burnell, a twenty year veteran of Handy Dandy. Toby quickly learns the hardships of being Ryan’s partner, and finds himself in one uncomfortable situation after another.

In an effort to understand his new partner, Toby accidentally uncovers Ryan’s past involvement with drugs, burglary, and murder. He also learns about Ryan’s last partner of five years—Delsin Honaw—who had been murdered…stabbed twenty-seven times.

Haunted by one misunderstanding after another, Toby learns the true meaning of the company’s motto—“Service before Self.”

Service Before Self is available in Kindle format from:
and

Ruby ShinesBright and the Birthday Cake by RosaBella Bloom

RubyshinesRuby ShinesBright is a very special little girl. She lives in a place called Flooperville and has a red stone on her tummy which shines bright when she is happy and well.

She is very excited because tomorrow is going to be a special day for her, it’s her fifth birthday.

Her granny Ruth has made her a beautiful cake and it’s sitting in the kitchen ready, however, Ruby can’t wait until her party, and so naughtily she sneaks down in the night and accompanied by her little black kitten Dotty, she eats it all!

The next morning her granny is very unhappy with her, and poor little Ruby’s stone on her tummy is very dull. She feels very unwell and deeply regrets eating all that cake. What’s more, her granny wants to know what they are going to give her friends to eat when they arrive for her party later.

Then, Ruby has a great idea, and with help from her granny she makes a delicious cake of fruits which all her family and friends love.

And when the time comes for her to blow out her candles, can you guess what she wishes for?

To find out, you’ll have to read the book!

This is a wonderful story for children and is beautifully illustrated by the talented artist Jackie Atkin.

 

Genre: children’s (from ages 3 and up)

 

About the Book: Fun New Book Invites Kids to Take a Slice of Vital Lessons in Sharing, Healthy Eating & Consequences! 

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

 Available from:

Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1505282837/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1419984474&sr=8-1  

Amazon.ca http://www.amazon.ca/gp/aw/d/1505282837/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1420160673&sr=8-1&pi=SY200_QL40 

Amazon.co.uk http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/1505282837/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1420042703&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX110_SY165  

Botanicaust, Book 1 – Written by Tam Linsey

519CjoYfIHL__AA160_Refreshingly different are the words which came to mind as soon as I thought about reviewing this book. It is set in a very different post apocalypse world to any other story I have read or listened to. 

There are two main characters in this book, Dr. Tula Macoby who is a plant person or Halvainiens who has been genetically changed, their skin is green and they rely largely on photosynthesis. And, then there is Levi, a member of the deeply religious Christian ‘Old Order,’ who live at the Hideout behind secure fences and gates to protect them from the cannibals who roam the earth freely outside.

When Levi leaves the safety of the Holdout on a mission to find a cure for his son who has cystic fibrosis, little does he to know what adventures lay in store for him.

After he is captured by the Halvainiens, he meets Tula who realises he is special and, when she finds he is sent to be euthanized risks everything to save him. From that moment on both their worlds are turned upside down as the hunted fugitives face the dangers of the cannibals in the wastelands in the search for the Fossilites, immortal people who live deep in the mountains, who Levi believes can save his son.

Will they find the Fossilites, and if they do, have they the answers Levi seeks?

What is the future for these two being, where can they call home when they are so different, or are they?

This is a great post apocalypse story which I would not hesitate to recommend.

About the Author: Born and raised in Alaska, I use the long dark winters to nurture my love for reading and learning. Science has always been especially interesting to me. Senior year of high school, I took AP Chemistry and AP Biology, won a scholarship to a DOE camp at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, toured the superconducting supercollider, and karyotyped DNA from the HIV virus. Then I realized if I pursued biomedical engineering like I planned, I might never see the outside of a lab again. So I attended Willamette University and earned a Bachelor of Science in English. (I still think that’s funny.) I began writing my first novel as my senior thesis. Maybe someday I’ll rewrite that ugly thing and publish it. After college graduation, I convinced my husband to move back to Alaska, had two children, bought a house, became a Certified Master Gardener, and began the challenge of gardening and farming in the High North. Thus began my obsession with self-sufficiency. Newly attuned to the land and our food supply, my mind created futuristic scenarios of a world without plants. A world without food. A world where bio-engineering might be the only thing that could save humanity. I drew on my previous grounding in science, plus the things I’d learned about plants and animals while farming to create the Botanicaust world. When I’m not writing, you can find me either outside, weeding the garden, fishing the river for salmon, stalking the woods for moose, or inside canning or cooking while listening to my favorite audio books. I currently live in Chugiak, Alaska with my husband, two children, and our house bunny, Abigail.

About the Book: After genetically altered weeds devastate Earth’s croplands, Dr. Tula Macoby believes photosynthetic skin can save the human race. Her people single-mindedly embark on a mission to convert the cannibals roaming what’s left of Earth. But when Levi, a peaceful stranger, refuses alteration, Tula doesn’t think the only options should be conversion or death.

Levi Kraybill, a devout member of the Old Order, left his Holdout farmland to seek a cure for his terminally ill son. Genetic manipulation is a sin, but Levi will do almost anything for the life of his child. When he’s captured, he’s sure he’s damned, and his only escape will be death.

Tula’s superiors schedule Levi’s euthanization, and she risks everything to set the innocent man free. Now she and Levi are outlaws with her people, and she’s an abomination with his. Can they find sanctuary in a cannibal wasteland?

Botanicaust is available from Amazon in Kindle http://www.amazon.com/Botanicaust-Post-apocalyptic-Fiction-Tam-Linsey-ebook/dp/B008VEUMQ4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424438245&sr=8-1&keywords=botanicaust

and Paperback http://www.amazon.com/Botanicaust-Tam-Linsey/dp/0985901314/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1424438245&sr=8-1

It is also available from Audible. The narrator, Meghan Kelly has one of the most enjoyable voices I have listened to and she also has the abililty to bring alive the characters wonderfully with her wide vocal range, making this audiobook a very enjoyable story to listen to.

Audible http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Botanicaust-Audiobook/B00OSN4B1O/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srImg?qid=1424438821&sr=1-1

 

Adventures of Sammy the Dalmatian and Friends by D.C. Rush

51IgsSff3TL__AA160_A wonderful story for children.

This is an enchanting story about three dogs who live in Sun City a retirement community. Sammy is a Dalmatian, who is a Fire Department retired Lead Fire Dog, Mason is a great big Rottweiler who’s really a big softie, and then there’s Jewel a beautiful Golden Retriever who when she’s not playing dutifully protects her family’s house.

The dogs are great friends and meet up regularly, so when Mason doesn’t arrive one day, the others go round to his house to see where he is.

But he’s not there! Eventually, he arrives, panting and very tired. He tells his friends he has been through a terrible ordeal, he has been dognapped, but he managed to escape. After Mason reveals that in the big barn he was taken to there were other dogs in cages, Sammy and Jewel leave him to recover and set out see if they can discover where he was held.

When they find the place they report back to Mason and together the three friends hatch a clever plan. However, for it to succeed they need some help from Sammy’s son, Siren, the new Lead Fire Dog, and one of Sammy’s oldest and dearest friend a calico cat called Peaches.

Will their plan succeed?

Will the terrible dognappers be caught?

To discover the plan and find out what happens, you will have to read the book.

Many children love animals and for me an added bonus to the books by this author is the way the characters of the animals and birds involved shine through. The distinctive personalities of the different dog breeds are so good in this book, as are the bird types in the Robby’s Quest series, and the cats in Hershey Learns a Lesson. 

Yet again D. C. Rush has written a wonderful, gentle story for children which teaches them the difference between right and wrong in an easily understood way, and it is beautifully illustrated by the very talented Daniela Frongia.

 

About the Authors: We actually began writing our first children’s book about 2 years ago. Cathy and I would often sit outside watching the birds. We fed the birds daily. They were very clever and fun to watch, especially when the little birds kicked seed to the ground for the larger birds. It seemed the birds had some group structure and displayed very effective teamwork. We thought it would be interesting to write a book about birds flying south for the winter.

The finished book sat on our computer hard drive for over a year before my brother and sister-in-law convinced us to self-publishing. I never thought we would actually publish our work. However, the birth of our grandson Rylie gave us some added incentive to get the book out there, and we decided to dedicate the book to him. We thought it would be nice to leave something behind for our children and their children. So we had the book proofed, edited, illustrated then self-published it ourselves at Amazon.com.

Cathy and Don currently live in Arizona with their cats, Nomi and Hershey. Cathy is a homemaker and Don is a retired Manufacturing Manager and former Elementary School Governing Board Member.

Follow our progress by joining our social networking sites.
Website: www.dcrushbooks.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/dcrushbooks
Twitter: www.twitter.com/dcrushbooks
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/dcrushbooks/
Robby’s Blog: http://dcrushbooks.blogspot.com/

About the Book: Sammy the Dalmatian is a retired, highly decorated Fire Dog. Sammy and his two best friends; Jewel a Golden Retriever and Mason a Rottweiler, live close together in Sun City, a retirement community in beautiful Arizona. Every day, like clockwork, the three dogs get together to have some fun and reminisce about the old times.

When Mason fails to show up one day, Sammy and Jewel go on an adventure that will take them on a hunt for two very bad men living near their community. It will take a great deal of courage to bring down these Dognappers, but all three dogs, along with their loyal friends and family, are willing to risk everything.

Enjoy the Adventures of Sammy the Dalmatian and Friends, written by D.C. Rush and illustrated by Daniela Frongia.

Adventures of Sammy the Dalmatian and Friends is available from Amazon

in Kindle format http://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Sammy-Dalmatian-Friends-D-C-ebook/dp/B00T71QSOA/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423574922&sr=8-1-fkmr1&keywords=adventures+of+sammy+the+dalmation+and+friends #

and Paperback http://www.amazon.com/Adventures-Sammy-Dalmatian-Friends-D-C/dp/1507861230/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1423574922&sr=8-1-fkmr1

Lone Jack Kid: The Return: A Western Adventure – Book 2 by Joe Corso

51SMBqqZDKL__AA160_An action packed western adventure.

In The Adventures of The Lone Jack Kid we learnt how Charles Longstreet earns the name of The Lone Jack Kid and follow his adventures in an era where lawlessness was at its peak. This was the time of cowboys and Indians, when Sheriffs tried to keep the law, gunslingers were on every corner and life was cheap.

The year is 1868, and this book opens as Charles Longstreet, or The Lone Jack Kid finishes a year on the stage in New York giving shooting demonstrations following the outstanding success of Ned Buntlines books about his previous adventures.

In her luxury apartment in the Broadway Central Hotel, the actress Sarah Bernhart receives a surprise, a beautiful diamond ring as a gift from Charles in thanks for her friendship and help.

Whilst Charles is on a train heading for Kansas City. On board, he discovers that he has an unexpected presents too, from Boss Tweed in thanks for his shooting performances, a beautiful horse, fancy saddle and a new Winchester rifle.

Arriving at Kansas he is looking forward to spending some time there, however, he soon finds that tongues are wagging and his reputation has followed him closely. So, there, as in every place, despite trying to remain anonymous, his real identity is discovered, and he is challenged by gunslingers, each one intent on proving they can draw faster, and ultimately paying with their lives.

Then, one night he is ambushed and left for dead, but he isn’t! Thus begins his search for the perpetrators and revenge.

As he travels the trails from one place to another, he has many adventures and finds himself helping lawmen, Indians and the white man alike.

His sense of justice earns him the respect of many, and he is even called to the Whitehouse for a meeting with President Ulysses S. Grant. Once there, he discovers that the president is in need of his help with the Indians, and offers him a very important job…

If you are fans of cowboys and Indian’s and the Wild West then you are going to love this book. Although it does mention some of the characters from the previous book The Adventures of the Lone Jack Kid, it is just as enjoyable to read as a stand-alone.

 

About th71SQzfskV0L__UX250_e Author: I grew up in Queens, New York. I started writing late in life hoping to help my grandchildren pay for their college education. I found to my surprise that I could tell a good story which resulted in my writing 21 books (so far), which includes my LONE JACK KID and FLAMES OF FURY trilogies.
Go figure. If I would have known that I could tell a good story. I would have started writing a half century ago.

 

AWARDS
The STARLIGHT CLUB
1 Won the SILVER in the 2012 eLit contest in the ‘TRUE CRIME’ category’.
2 Won HONORABLE MENTION in the 2013 Reader’s Favorite ‘HISTORICAL FICTION’ category’.
3 IPPY award FINALIST in 2014.
4 Awarded the Gold Seal in 2014 as a Eric Hoffer MONTAINGE MEDAL FINALIST.
5 Won FINALIST in the 2014 (NIEA) National Indie Excellence Awards in the CRIME-FICTION CATEGORY
6 Won the BRONZE on August 25, 2014 in the CIPA (Colorado Independant Publishers Association) in the HISTORICAL FICTION category.
THE LONE JACK KID won ‘FINALIST’ in the 2013 Readers Favorite in the ‘WESTERN’ category.
My short story ‘FIRE: BOX 598’ won the BRONZE in the 2013 Readers Favorite contest in the ‘HISTORICAL NON FICTION category’.

About the Book:

Charles Longstreet’s Broadway show ended after a year’s run and he wanted to give the actress something to remember him by. After receiving his gift the famous actress looked at her friend. “You know, Olga, some men have greatness thrust upon them and Charles Longstreet, even though he is not aware of it, is one of them.”
Charlie is bushwhacked on the trail by three hombres who after shooting him leave him for dead. Upon recovering he follows the old abandoned Butterfield Overland Stage Route where Charlie tracks the men to El Paso.

Cora who almost got Charlie killed with her curiosity stood on the wooden sidewalk in front of her store. He passed her as if she wasn’t there. Because of her immaturity she might have lost the man she always dreamed of meeting. Now it was too late to do anything but wave as he passed slowly by and think of what could have been.

Ned blew smoke from the barrel of his gun, then turned to the bartender. “He’s the Lone Jack Kid, and if these jerks would have left us alone, they’d still be alive now.”

Why is a wounded indian riding with Charles Longstreet, and why is Charlie wearing a marshal’s badge? And why does President Grant order him to the White House? These tantalizing questions are answered as the reader follows the Lone Jack Kid in his latest adventure when he rides the trail west to California.