Aicha Zoubair

Jessica Bell

Friday, May 31, 2013

Orangeberry Free Alert - HORSES AND HEROIN by Bev Pettersen

Horses and Heroin - Bev Pettersen

Amazon Kindle US

Amazon Kindle UK

Genre - Romantic Suspense

Rating - PG

4.6 (153 reviews)

Free until 4th June 2013

A talented rider disappears without a trace.
His frantic sister poses as a student.
A private investigator's plans for quiet recuperation are shattered.

Megan is determined to find her missing brother even though no one else at the illustrious California Jockey School seems to care. Her only ally is a recuperating PI who unfortunately is the owner's best friend. Soon she is caught between a blossoming romance and a far-reaching conspiracy...where misplaced trust can be deadly.

Orangeberry Book Tours – The Passion of the Christoph by Christoph Paul


With a biting sense of humor, sarcasm, and a unique worldview, Christoph Paul’s “The Passion of the Christoph” exposes readers to an unprecedented commentary on every topic. Paul’s take on sex, religion, politics, sports, to name a few, will leave you transformed as you absorb this insightful compilation of satiric and hysterical essays.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Humor / NonFiction

Rating – NC17

More details about the book

Connect with Christoph Paul on Facebook & Twitter


Orangeberry Book of the Day – Trouble in Paradise by Deborah Brown

A Brand-New Madison Westin Novel, with More Craziness in Tarpon Cove…

Remember Madison? What she had to go through… inheriting her aunt’s cottages was peanuts compared to what awaits her in TROUBLE IN PARADISE, the latest addition to the Paradise Series.

What is big news in small town Tarpon Cove? An accidental drowning or maybe even a ruthless murder? When a dead fisherman rolls up on the shore of Tarpon Cove, Madison cannot resist but to jump into her new role as Private Investigator, with only one goal in mind: to solve this intriguing mystery of the dead guy. But things do not go as Madison wants as she discovers that people in small towns are usually tight lipped, and that is certainly the case for the residents of Tarpon Cove. Although a hot bed for gossip, in a town where everyone knows everyone’s business, what is safer than keeping your mouth shut?

But that is not all…

With Madison’s tenant assessment skills not shaping up, her cottages are still full of riffraff, and it has become Tarpon Cove’s hotbed for illegal affairs. Madison teams up with her best friend and Glock-carrying Fabiana… Together they take on cases no other investigators would ever dare to touch in Tarpon Cove or anywhere else. Sometimes a girl needs a bubble bath and a fun book. So draw your bath and dive into Madison’s adventures!

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Mystery

Rating – PG13

More details about the author

Connect with Deborah Brown on Facebook & Twitter

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Orangeberry Book of the Day – Killer Work from Home Jobs: 460 Jobs SUPER BOOK by Lee Evans


What’s in This Book?

Killer Work from Home Jobs: 460 Jobs SUPER BOOK, has 160 NEW jobs, 200 jobs from Killer Work from Home Jobs 1, and 100 jobs from Killer Work from Home Jobs 2. There’s no story. No lessons. Just jobs! Economical too – it’s three books in one. SUPER BOOK identifies Fortune 500 & Legitimate Work at Home Jobs from global, national, mid-sized and start-ups with wings.

Why You Need This Book!

Killer Work from Home Jobs: 460 Jobs SUPER BOOK will help you accomplish your dream.

  • Is it finally time to find a job so that you can work from home?
  • Do you really want to trudge hours to work every day?
  • Are you looking for an honest work from home opportunity?

The idea for the Killer Work from Home Jobs Series came from the fact that I trudged to my job, as manager of someone else’s business, wondering why I wasn’t happy. I was good at what I did, achieved the company’s goals, made good money, received accolades, but something wasn’t right, there was no sense of fulfillment.

I can’t convey the melancholy I felt, I worked hard to achieve success, earned every academic credential, had a resume to swoon over. But I wasn’t a happy camper. Was this all there was?

Once I decided to work at home, it was amazing, I jumped in the air and clicked my feet! Killer Work from Home Jobs: 460 Jobs SUPER BOOK is dedicated to all those who just can’t go back to work. In addition to the “I can’t take it any mores” of the world, this book will help many who have other compelling reasons, as well. The need to work from home runs deep. Taking the first step to working at home will make you jump for joy.

How is This Book Different?

How is Killer Work from Home Jobs: 460 Jobs SUPER BOOK different from other work from home books? It is the largest compilation of home-based jobs available on Amazon today.

  • Is the company financially healthy?
  • Has the company been around for awhile?
  • Does the company have a global footprint?
  • Does the company have “money in the bank?”

My months of research answered these questions, to provide you with key company data.

My Promise to You

I verified all links in Killer Work from Home Jobs: 460 Jobs SUPER BOOK at publication. Since companies change web pages, and job needs, if any of the links don’t work, simply contact me at, I’ll provide you with revised link info & you can get notice of new books, too.

You’re not just buying a book, you’re buying my promise that I’ll tirelessly provide you with the most up to date info at my disposal. I want to help you make your dream come true!

Learn how to find Killer Work from Home Jobs

Genre – NonFiction / Business / Job Hunting

Buy Now @ Amazon

Rating – G

More details about the author

Connect with Lee Evans on her


Orangeberry Free Alert - Still Fine at Forty - Dakota Madison

Still Fine at Forty - Dakota Madison

Amazon Kindle US

Amazon Kindle UK

Genre - Contemporary Romance

Rating - R

4.6 (7 reviews)

Free until 1st June 2013

It all started with a Girl's Getaway Weekend in Sedona, Arizona...
It's been a year since Jennifer Ellis's ex-husband left her for a much younger woman and Jennifer still hasn't dated. Now turning 40, Jennifer wonders if she'll ever find love again. So Jennifer's best-friend, Melanie Malone, books them on a Girl's Getaway in picturesque Sedona, Arizona in hopes of inspiring Jennifer to have a vacation fling.
Jennifer gets more than she bargained for when she meets the ruggedly handsome 29-year old tour Jeep guide, Cody Miller, and the two begin a passionate romance. What Jennifer doesn't know is that Cody has a secret past that not only threatens to destroy their new love but also expose a tragic event from Jennifer's past that she has tried desperately to forget.

Violent Season – Maj. Ray Gleason Ph.D. (Excerpt)

Chapter Two: “Soldiers of Christ”

By that spring Sunday morning, they were at the top of their game. They were eighth graders, the biggest kids in the school yard. School would be over in a couple of months and they would graduate and escape.

They all had made it into Catholic high schools. Not being known for their scholarship, they had not been accepted into the new, elite diocesan high school in Astoria, Mater Dei. But, they avoided shaming themselves, and their families, by being judged irrevocably stupid by the Catholic education system and being relegated to that anteroom of hell, the local public high school, PS 125. So, next fall, the three musketeers would split up as they travelled into the city to three separate Catholic high schools that thought the souls of these barely C-level scholars were worth saving.

As they got ready to file into the church with the rest of their class, the line of girls drew parallel with the line of boys. Mickey knew he shouldn’t be looking around—the nuns might catch him, or even worse, Joey—but he couldn’t help but look for Lori among the girls.

Lori, or Loretta Margaret McShea, as she was known to the good sisters of Our Lady of Lourdes parochial school, and her family had moved into the ground floor of a row house on Mickey’s block on Crescent Street about four years ago. The family came over from a place in Ireland called Cavan. Lori was the oldest of six McShea children, four girls and two boys, by Irish standards a modest-sized family. When they first moved into the neighborhood, they all sounded like they were auditioning for bit parts with Barry Fitzgerald in The Quiet Man. But, after a while in Our Lady of Lourdes’ school yard, they all were perfectly fluent in New York English. Lori was a year behind Mickey in school, a seventh grader this year.

Mickey had never had any interest in girls. But, for the last few months, something seemed to be changing. Gradually, he began to realize that he thought he might think otherwise. He wasn’t interested in what girls did; that was all pretty silly and useless stuff as far as he was concerned. But, he was becoming interested in girls… well… because they were girls. Why? He didn’t have a clue. He never gave it much thought. But, whatever was going on, it was probably sinful and should be suppressed, because it felt so… so… strangely delightful and alluring.

So, Mickey didn’t want to suppress it, especially with Lori, even if it did endanger the salvation of his immortal soul. For him, Lori was a blond-haired, blue-eyed ray of sunshine in his shadowy world of predators and power in the school yard, the playgrounds and the streets of the neighborhood. She was smart, friendly, and Mickey even found himself hanging out with her on her stoop, but only when Joey and Johnny weren’t around.

Now, when he saw her, something seemed to happen inside him, something he didn’t quite understand. But, he knew he was fascinated by it, and strangely saddened, attracted by it, and frightened by it, too. He felt happy and strangely excited by just seeing her.

This made absolutely no sense to Mickey, but here he was on a Sunday morning trying to catch a glimpse of Lori on his way into mass. Mickey suspected that somehow this was not the best way to prepare himself to receive Holy Communion, the spotless white body of the sacrificial lamb, but he didn’t want to miss the chance of catching a glimpse of her. He just couldn’t.

Then he saw her. She was a few yards behind him in the girls’ line. How could he have missed her? She was wearing a bright, pink ribbon in her short blonde hair. Not exactly part of the required school uniform, but Lori was a good student and a respectful girl, so the nuns cut her a break on the ribbon… bright pink… un cordon rose… floating in a sea of white and navy blue… the rose of an Easter dawn… la rose du monde[5]… the rose of her smiling lips.

Suddenly the words of a poem that his Pop used to read to him came flooding back. Apollinaire following a beautiful woman through Amsterdam, a woman he had seen on the street. He stood outside her house hoping for another glimpse of her… mes doigts jetèrent des baisers[6]…

“It took you long enough,” whispered Joey in his ear, “How the nuns didn’t spot you I’ll never know.”

“What are you talking about,” Mickey hissed back, jerking his head forward.

“What am I talking about?” Joey whispered, “If that girl back there with the ribbon were cream, you’d be a cat the way you’re lapping it up. You were looking so hard you almost walked into a wall. Who is that? Isn’t that one of the McShea girls from the block? You got a thing for Lori McShea?”

“No… no… I don’t…”

“Michael Dywer! Joseph Simon!” their teacher, Sister Agnes Immaculata, hissed at them, “Talking in line, being disrespectful, right before you enter into the presence of the Blessed Sacrament! I’ll talk to you two right after mass!”

After they passed Sister Agnes, Joey hissed into Mickey’s ear, “So, Mickey Dwyer’s got a thing for Lori McShea! Will miracles never cease, Lord, will miracles never cease?”

THE VIOLENT SEASON is an epic, expansive collection of heroic short stories centered on the gripping experiences of three young men and their families during the Vietnam War. The book presents a ‘coming-of-age’ narrative that begins in the lush river valleys of upstate New York and on the streets of New York City and provides an insightful perspective of youth and innocence plunged into the crucible of war.

As well, it transcends the “good guys, bad guys” portrayal of human conflict by presenting its readers with a depiction of good people, Americans and Vietnamese, caught up in unthinkably grim and difficult circumstances. THE VIOLENT SEASON celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and its ability to triumph over the horror and tragedy of war.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Literary / Historical Fiction

Rating – PG13

More details about the author

Connect with Raymond Gleason on Facebook & Twitter & Linked In

Author Interview – Madeleine McLaughlin

Do you intend to make writing a career? Yes.

Have you developed a specific writing style? I never want to get into a rut. I always want to try things. Right now I’m experimenting with putting my story on cards. One card, one scene. And I store them in a little office box.

What is your greatest strength as a writer? Every writer needs to develop stick-to-itness. It’s the greatest strength of every writer.

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? No.

How did you come up with the title? My editor didn’t like the title I had so since my contract was in front of me, I came up with something that would tell you something without giving anything away.

Can you tell us about your main character? Kevin is a ten year old boy who worships his father. He’s extremely curious about what he comes across in his father’s jail. Ahh…you’ll have to read the rest.

How did you develop your plot and characters? They developed in stride with one another, these were the characters that worked with this story.

Who designed the cover? Mike Zambrano. And he’s really good.

Who is your publisher? MuseItUp Publishing.

When Kevin learns of his mountain town’s evil past, he must struggle to understand his father’s part in it and how it affects himself.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords

Genre – Horror

Rating – PG

More details about the author

Connect with Madeleine McLaughlin on Facebook & Twitter

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Orangeberry Free Alert - How I Wrote 2 eBooks in 21 Days by Glen Stanford


How I Wrote 2 eBooks in 21 Days - Glen Stanford

Amazon Kindle US

Amazon Kindle UK

Genre - Non Fiction

Rating - PG

4.6 (55 reviews)

Free until 2 June 2013

Ride a hilarious roller coaster with Glen Stanford as he follows Steve
Scott's plan in "How to Write a Nonfiction e-Book in 21 Days!"
Not one to let the writing process cramp his style, this ukulele-playing,
bluegrass-singing YouTube sensation (32 views and counting) juggles his
new-found fame with astonishing persistence to produce not one, but two
works of genius. This is the true story.
FIVE CRITICAL Reasons you MUST read this book
1. America's Funniest Recipes want you to read this book
The (secret) recipe for success:
Writer's buzz - 1 oz
Sleepless nights - 2 oz
Tenacity (and beer) - 7 (units left deliberately vague)
Irreverence and political incorrectness - to taste
Espresso - administered intravenously - 55 gal
Pizza (1/2 pepperoni, 1/2 mushroom) - 37 slices
Humility - a whole bunch
Blend and enjoy.
2. Chuck Noris wants you to read this book
You gonna argue with Chuck? I'm not! He is a huge believer in the power of
laughter because it leads to the lowering of stress hormones. This is
the carrot AND the stick - lower your stress by laughing and you won't
have to worry about Chuck getting angry with you at the same time.
Chuck Noris is from Dubuque, Iowa and is in no way related to Chuck
Norris, the consummate actor karate-guy who would probably kick my ass
if I used his name without permission.
3. The Bible wants you to read this book
The Good Book says "A joyful heart is good medicine" (Proverbs 17:22).
Then again, it also says "Judas hanged himself" (Matthew 27:5) and "Go
and do likewise" (Luke 10:37) so you gotta be kind of selective when you
pick your quotes from this 1700-year-old classic.
4. It's flipping funny and Rated PG, too
While I might dance around some edgy subjects, I never want my readers to squirm. I leave that to the Ben Stilers of the world.
Ben Stiler is in no way related to the incredibly funny Ben Stiller,
whose masturbatory comedic genius (when he's not meeting some Fokker)
always leaves you with a chuckle.
All of my books are swear-word-free. I tire of today's "comics" who resort to f-bombing
their material as if dirty words are the main ingredient instead of an
occasional spice.
The worst word you'll ever hear from me is "crap." Feel free to substitute something stinkier if it makes you feel
better, but honest humor shouldn't have to rely on shock jock laziness.
Then again, Howard Stearn made $100 million with his lesbian obsession and I
sell my books for the price of a cup of coffee, so what do I know?
When you see the word "flipping," you are also free to substitute something
racier, like "freaking." It's your theater of the mind, and you are the
only one taking the tickets.
That is, unless you object to me using the word "Damn" in the subtitle. That's just too funny to pass up,
and I'm #%$#&! using it.
P.S. Howard Stearn is in no way related to the radio professional Howard Stern, for whom I have only the
greatest respect. Baba Booey. Oh, and "lesbian" isn't a dirty word
anyway, nana.
5. For Writers only
You will uncover nuggets of resources that will be incredibly helpful on your journey to write
and publish your own book. You'll just have to suffer through the fun
stuff to uncover them. Think of it as a treasure hunt.
Chuck, America's Funniest Recipes and the movie Rating Board all want
you to read this book (and probably Ben and Howard, too). I wouldn't
mess with any of them. So it's no coffee for you today -  you have a
hormone level to lower.

Orangeberry Book of the Day – Surrender by Melody Anne


Raffaello (Rafe) Palazzo takes what he wants with no regrets. Arianna (Ari) Lynn Harlow has led a charmed life until tragedy strikes her family. He’s looking for a no-emotions attached mistress, she’s looking for redemption.

They are not a pair that should ever work, but undeniable attraction and devastating tragedies bring them together in the city by the bay where he fights to keep their relationship nothing more than an enjoyable way to meet his needs, and she battles to not lose herself in him. Spending time with Ari starts cracking the hard shell that Rafe has built around his heart, but he denies the affect she has on him until it’s too late to stop the inevitable conclusion that their relationship is headed for.

Rafe once believed in happily ever after, coming from a large Italian family. He’s got the Midas touch, since every endeavor he tries turns to gold. That all ends when his wife walks out the door and leaves him blindsided. His devastation quickly turns to steel when he decides no woman will fool him again. From that point on he treats relationships as nothing more than business transactions where both party’s come out mutually benefited.

Just when Ari has sunk to the lowest she’s ever been she finds an ad in the paper announcing a job that’s too good to be true. It turns out she’s right. She makes it through the intense rounds of interviews only to find out the job is for a mistress to the powerful Rafe Palazzo, owner of Palazzo Enterprises. Rafe gives her a day to think about whether she wants the position or not, and she’s sent on her way, only to find out her mother’s near-terminal position has taken a turn for the worse. Her mom’s only in the hospital because Ari messed up, and her mother’s the one who paid the price. Is Rafe her savior, or will he take her with him straight to the depths of hell?

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Contemporary Romance

Rating – 18+

More details about the author

Connect with Melody Anne on Facebook & Twitter


Orangeberry Book of the Day - Too Many Secrets (Cleo Sims Mysteries) by Lynn Osterkamp

Chapter 1

December 11

Waves of nausea overwhelmed me as I rushed into Turley’s Restaurant at noon that icy December day. A blast of hot air smelling of fish, burgers, onions and such sent me careening to the ladies room to avoid puking on the dining room floor. Amazingly, once I was inside the safety of the stall, I managed to avert the worst, containing my sickness to dry heaves. I hurried out to the sinks to make myself presentable for my lunch meeting with Bruce, the local dot-com millionaire who funds an experimental project that is a major part of my grief-therapy practice. I was a wreck. I'd had a miserable morning, I was late to a meeting with Bruce who prizes promptness, and my shaky queasiness exacerbated my anxiety about why Bruce had summoned me.

As I calmed my breathing and dabbed at my face with a wet paper towel, the ladies room door flew open, letting in a tall blond woman wearing designer jeans and a red ribbed turtleneck, topped with a necklace of multicolored glass beads. My best friend Elisa, looking stunning as always. We both jumped in surprise, then she darted over and enveloped me in a welcome hug. “Cleo? Honey, you look under the weather. Is the morning sickness getting worse?”

“Shhh,” I said. “Let’s not spread the news all over Boulder.” I wasn't ready to tell the world about my pregnancy, since I was only three months along, and Pablo and I aren’t married. So far Elisa and Pablo are the only ones who know.

Elisa pulled back, looking up and down the room. “Sorry for the blabbing, but you know me. Sometimes my mouth works faster than my brain. The good news is it looks like we’re alone in here. Now let’s fix you up a little,” she said, straightening my sweater. She grabbed a comb out of her bag and worked some magic on my hair.

I felt better right away. Elisa is like a big sister to me. The kind of sister who knows how to do stuff you don't, but never makes fun of you. She just helps.

“You’re a lifesaver,” I said, “but I have to run. I’m already late for my lunch meeting with Bruce.” I headed for the door.

Elisa waved me on. “Oh—you’re meeting Bruce! Well hang in there, honey, and call me later with the scoop.”

Back in the dining area, I scanned the room a couple of times. Didn’t see Bruce. Deep breath. Maybe I’m not as late as I thought? But no, there he is sitting with a petite dark-haired woman in a booth next to a brick wall. Unexpected. Bruce is a brilliant guy who works all the time. Divorced. No social life. Who is this woman and why did he bring her?

I hustled over to their table and slid into the booth across from them, my mind on autopilot running through possible menu choices that my gut would be willing to tolerate. “Sorry to be late,” I muttered, hoping my winning smile would distract from my tardiness. “Good to see you, Bruce.”

“Hi, Cleo, I thought you forgot. This is my sister, Gayle. She needs your help.”

Whew! A relief on that score. Good to know he hadn’t summoned me to talk about problems with the funding for my Contact Project.

Gayle gave Bruce a poke. “Whoa, Bruce. This isn’t a computer-programming job. It’s personal. Let’s take a few minutes before we dive in.”

“Okay, let’s order first, then talk,” he said, burying his face in the menu.

As we perused our menus, Gayle’s cell phone rang. She answered, and jumped up. “No,” she said sharply into the phone. “That’s not acceptable.” She turned to us. “I have to take this,” she said. “Be right back.” She dashed toward the door, talking intently into the phone with her hand over her other ear to block the restaurant noise.

“Gayle’s a real estate agent,” Bruce explained. “Her phone is her life.”

We sat quietly looking at our menus. Bruce isn’t much of a talker. He’s a techie. Brainy, but basically shy. Even though he’s forty-five and a self-made multi-millionaire, his social skills aren’t well developed. He’s one of those guys who goes around looking at the floor or off into the distance so he doesn’t have to make eye contact. Small talk is definitely not his forte.

Gayle darted back across the room to our booth. “Sorry,” she said. “I’m ready to order if you two are.”

I took a last look at the menu. Turley’s trademark is its healthy food, and in addition to more traditional lunch and dinner entrees, they serve breakfast all day. Knowing I needed protein for the baby, I decided on a garden omelet with mushrooms, spinach, and tomato with toast on the side. Hoped I could get it down with the help of a ginger ale. Bruce ordered a buffalo burger with a side of fresh fruit, and Gayle ordered the sesame spinach salad with the dressing on the side.

“So like I was saying,” Bruce began as the waitress left to turn our orders in, “Gayle needs some help from you.”

I turned to her. “Would you like to tell me about it?”

She took a deep breath and launched in to her story. “You’ve probably heard about the woman who went missing from the Rainbow Lakes Campground in the Indian Peaks Wilderness area a few weeks ago.”

“I did,” I said. “Do you know her?”

Gayle looked down at the table silently for a couple of minutes, her shoulders slumped as if the weight of her problem was a burden too heavy to lift. When she finally looked up, tears streamed down her face. “She’s my best friend, Sabrina—or maybe I should say she was my best friend. She’s probably dead. But they can’t find her and we don’t know what happened to her and that’s even worse.” She wiped her face with a tissue, but her tears continued to flow.

Bruce put his arm around Gayle’s shoulders and hugged her. More empathy than I would have expected from him, but then again until today I didn’t even know he had a sister. All I know about Bruce is what he told me in his grief therapy sessions after his eighteen-year-old daughter died from a drug overdose. He’s such a private person, he would have never come for grief counseling except that his business partner—who saw how paralyzed Bruce was after his daughter’s death—insisted. Bruce’s relationship with his daughter had been stormy for several years before she died, and his deep regrets that they hadn’t made peace had intensified his grief.

Gayle continued wiping her face as she struggled to regain her composure. But I could see grief winning out. "Take your time," I said gently. "I know it's hard to talk about."

Her face crumpled. “I’ve cried so much in the past few weeks that I’ve made myself sick,” she sobbed. “I’m totally devastated about Sabrina.”

She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and collected herself. “Okay. I’m ready to tell you the story,” she said quietly. “I was part of the group at the campground—there were six of us who’ve been friends for years. We each went off separately on our personal journeys and Sabrina never came back. We searched, the rescue groups searched, the dogs searched, the helicopter searched. But no one has found her. And now they’re calling off the search.” She closed her eyes and leaned back in her seat.

The waitress showed up with our lunch. I took a quick bite, which actually tasted good. Bruce spread mustard on his burger and bit in.

Gayle picked at her salad. “I was blown away when Bruce told me about your Contact Project—that he actually talked to his daughter Charlene after she died and how he resolved things with her,” she said, her voice perking up a little. “At first I didn’t believe him when he said you put him in your apparition chamber. It’s so unlike Bruce to have anything to do with the paranormal. He debunks everything. When he told me he reached Charlene, and they forgave each other and said goodbye, I knew it was real for him.”

Bruce put his burger down. “I don’t debunk everything,” he said.

“Ha!” Gayle said. “Remember when I played the DVD of that movie, What the Bleep Do We Know? for you last year? You went on and on about how it misrepresented science, that it was pseudoscience, and quantum mysticism. You weren’t open to it at all, even though so many people liked it that it’s made over $16 million.”

Bruce scowled. “Gayle, the science was unsupported and incorrect. New Age hogwash. One of their so-called experts turned out to be a 35,000 year-old spirit from Atlantis.” Bruce gave her a self-satisfied grin as he speared a chunk of pineapple with his fork and returned to eating.

She laughed and gave him another poke. “Bruce, I’ve told you before, you totally missed the point. The movie is supposed to blow your mind, not engage it in an analysis. It’s about learning to become the creative force in your own life, instead of being a victim of circumstances. My friends and I have watched it over and over. We know group consciousness can change reality. If you looked up from your computer now and then, you’d see.”

They were off the track here, but I hesitated to break into habitual brother-sister banter. Also, I figured Gayle needed a few minutes to relax before we talked more about her missing friend. I focused on my lunch, thankful I could eat without gagging.

Bruce ignored Gayle’s jeers and turned to me. “Here’s the thing, Cleo,” he said. “Gayle needs to go into your apparition chamber and try to contact Sabrina to find out if she’s dead or alive. She needs to know and the sooner the better.”

Uh oh. As soon as Gayle said they didn't know whether or not Sabrina was dead, I should have guessed this was what Bruce wanted. But my apparition chamber is for grief-therapy clients who want to reach a loved one to resolve an issue, not for solving missing-person cases. I didn't want to refuse Bruce's request, but I had concerns about Gayle. “I understand that it’s hard not knowing what happened to your friend,” I said. “But the contact process may not make you feel any better.”

Gayle looked straight into my eyes. “It’s not about how I feel,” she said intensely. “It’s about how Sabrina’s sister Brandi has taken over Sabrina’s house and her son Ian. Sabrina would be furious. She expressly didn’t want that to ever happen. If she’s dead, everything is in trust for Ian, and I’m Ian’s guardian. But Brandi jumped in as soon as Sabrina went missing, and right now she has control. So I need to know if Sabrina is dead or alive.”

“I’m not sure the contact process can answer that question,” I said. “You could try to reach her, but if you do, it wouldn't constitute legal proof of her death, and if you don’t, that doesn’t mean she’s alive.”

Bruce broke in. “Actually I’d already thought of that,” he said. “I want you to do a thorough job. If Gayle can’t reach Sabrina, then the other women who were up there should try. In fact, why not start by meeting with all of them and telling them about the process. Get some of that group consciousness going. I’ll pay for your time—whatever it takes.”

Before I had a chance to think about how else to voice my reservations, Bruce slid out of the booth, stood up, and picked up his coat. “I have to go. You two can go on from here. Gayle can keep me updated.” He nodded at us and headed for the door.

“Oof!” Gayle said. “That’s my brother. Makes his point, and ducks out before the discussion gets complicated. But I suppose you’re used to his tactics.”

I shrugged. I'd have to go along, at least for a while. Not only had Bruce been very generous in funding my Contact Project, all he’d asked of me was that I operate professionally and that he remain anonymous as a funder. So even though the timing wasn’t ideal for me to get involved in a situation that smelled like trouble, I didn’t see any other options. “No problem,” I said. “Here’s my card. Call me and we can set up a time to talk more.”

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords

Genre - Mystery

Rating – PG

More details about the author & the book

Connect with Lynn Osterkamp on Twitter

Orangeberry Book Tours – Amidst Traffic by Michel Sauret

“Amidst Traffic” is a collection of high-caliber, interconnected short stories with a literary flair:

A short-order cook digs a hole in his back yard to escape nightmares of mutilated children; A woman covers her body in tattoos to hold on to emotions that continue to slip away; A soldier who returns home from Iraq struggles with the idea of gratitude, which, if resolved, may save his marriage; A man begins a game of watching strangers to see what it feels like to play God.

All of these stories, and others, are linked somehow. With each tale, more lines and connections begin to form. What initially feels like chaos, gradually begins to take order. A purpose exists that is unveiled by the end.

Every story is crafted with a sense of compassion for the human spirit, while seeking answers about the conflicts we live through in everyday life. The characters in these stories will make you care about their struggles and hope for their redemption.

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Genre – Short Stories / Literary Fiction

Rating – PG13

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Review: Amidst Traffic by Michel Sauret

Amidst TrafficAmidst Traffic by Michel Sauret
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Did the plot pull you in or did you feel you had to force yourself to read the book? This was not a forced read, but I was not fully drawn into the plot. Great book that provided some very interesting discussions. It just did not provide me with the 100% escape I enjoy when reading a book.

How realistic was the characterization? All of the characters acted like someone we all might have meet in our life. There were a few that I questioned. These were the ones that thought they had supernatural powers. I took this as the author showing readers there is another being besides God that tried to control our lives.

What were the main relationships explored in this book? I am agreeing with another book club member. The author is showing readers that God allows us a choice in our actions. He has portrayed people that questions Gods existence, but shows Him as someone that is always there through all troubled times.

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

View all my reviews

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Orangeberry Blast Off – Sam’s Top Secret Journal: We Spy (Book 1)


Sam’s Top Secret Journal – Book 1: Sam Spies by Sean Adelman. Join Sam as she embarks on her first big adventure in this middle-grade mystery full of fun, suspense…and just the right amount of spying! Sam is a middle school girl living a normal life-except when she is occasionally bullied for the differences kids perceive in her. Sam has Down syndrome. See how she and her brother John work together to find some stolen money, help a new friend and escape real danger in this exciting adventure!

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Genre – Middle Grade Mystery

Rating – G

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Orangeberry Free Alert - Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter Academy: The Templar Chronicles: Book 2 by Jeff Gunhus

Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter Academy: The Templar chronicles: Book 2 - Jeff Gunhus

Amazon Kindle US

Amazon Kindle UK

Genre - YA, Fantasy

Rating - PG

4.6 (14 reviews)

Free until 30 May 2013

After barely surviving the onslaught of monsters that tried to kill him the day before his fourteenth birthday, Jack Templar leaves his hometown on a quest to rescue his father and discover the truth about his past. Joined by his friends Will and T-Rex, and led by Eva, the mysterious one-handed monster hunter, Jack sets out for the Monster Hunter Academy where he hopes to find answers to his questions. Little does he suspect that the Academy is filled with dangers of its own, many of them more terrifying than anything he’s faced so far.

Author Interview – Katie Hayoz

Who is your favorite character in Untethered? Nelson –  which is funny because he wasn’t even in the early drafts of the novel.  But it was kind of hard to show how likeable Sylvie could be if no one liked her.  So Nelson went from not being in, to just making appearances, to being one of the main characters.

Have you included your life experiences in the plot? Yes.  While the novel is fiction from A-Z, I plunged into my experiences, emotions, and memories to make the story come as alive as possible.  Some of the things I pulled from my own life and/or others’ lives are: Like Cassie, my best friend when I was young had the most awesome head of hair and, like Sylvie and Cassie, we almost drown in Lake Michigan.  My mom had an out-of-body experience when giving birth to my oldest brother.  I swear I astral projected once when falling down a flight of stairs.  Someone really pulled that “Will you hook up with me?” cruel prank on a girl when I was in high school. I don’t have the exact same issues as Sylvie does, but, like her, I have always struggled to be comfortable in my own body.

Will you write other YA paranormal novels? Despite publishers saying the paranormal bubble has burst, or that people want realistic fiction now, weirdness tends to creep into my novels.  It’s what I like to read, so it’s what I like to write.  I’m writing a novel at the moment that involves the devil.

How has your upbringing influenced your writing? I am the youngest of six children.  I don’t know how my parents did it.  My mom worked non-stop around the house all day.  But in the evenings, my mom would sit in her recliner with a bowl of popcorn and a book.  No matter how much noise was around her, no matter what kind of chaos we’d create, she was lost to the world in her novel.  She always looked so interested – enraptured even – that I needed to try out reading novels for myself.  The reading right away took me into writing.  Authors were (and still are) my rock stars.

What is your favorite quality about yourself? My sense of humor is probably what I like best about myself.  I’m not a comedian, but I love to laugh and I don’t take offense too easily.

What is your least favorite quality about yourself? I know this kind of goes against what I said was my best quality, but hate how fully and deeply I can hold a grudge.  It takes a lot to get me so hurt and angry that I do hold a grudge, but if I get there, watch out – it’ll last years.

What is your favorite place in the entire world? In front of a book.  Preferably, in the corner of my couch with a bowl of popcorn on my knees.  As a distant second, it’s Chamonix, France sitting in the grass with a view of the Mount Blanc before me.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer? I don’t know the exact moment when I knew I wanted to be a writer, but I remember going to the career counselor in high school and saying that’s what I wanted to do.  She discouraged me and said, “You’d do wonderfully as a psychologist.  Why don’t you think about that?”  Good advice.  All writers should spend their first year of college studying psychiatry.  It shows you how insane you are to still want to be a writer.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords

Genre – YA Paranormal / Coming of Age

Rating – PG13

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Jack Remick – How to Develop Characters & their Objects in a Novel

How to Develop Characters and their Objects in a Novel

by Jack Remick

To write this story, I started with the idea that one character, Gabriela, was thin, while the other, The Widow, was thick. I use “objects” in this novel to build both emotional attachments between characters and to push the story line along to its conclusion. I want to emphasize that this is a preliminary working of the topic which developed more in the course of writing the novel. By focusing on the objects in a story and their relationship to character, you can go deeper into the emotional reality associated with objects. In this, fictional characters share an aspect of the sentimental life of people and that helps to make them whole.

Step One: Emotional Attachment to objects.

The main object in Gabriela and The Widow is the List that Gabriela has to keep for La Viuda.

Boxes: carved, painted, decorated, engraved, different kinds of wood, metal. Each box comes and goes in the story: some days, La Viuda wants to examine the painted box with photos, other days the walnut box decorated with silver and gold hammered flowers, still others the engraved rosewood box.

Gold coins—The irony in Gabriela and The Widow is that the objects of betrayal—the coins—are eternal while the objects of fidelity—the flowers—are transient and fragile..

Photographs—are an index to La Viuda’s journey through time. There are two kinds of photographs—dated and titled and undated and untitled. As Gabriel straightens out the List, the photos play a big part in fixing the dates and times of events in La Viuda’s life.

Step Two: Physical associations to objects.

Toe nail/fingernail clippings—are an index to La Viuda’s obsession with her body. She has Gabriela catalog and store her toe nail and finger nail clippings which are color coded.

Hidden panels in large boxes—the hidden panels are an index to the layers in the story. There are two life stories in this novel: Gabriela’s journey to El Norte, and La Viuda’s life journey and all her trials.

Flowers—are an index to El Señor’s character and his guilt.

Jewelry—these are an index to the secrets of stones and gems. Using the history of jewelry, La Viuda initiates Gabriela into the mystery of pearls, rings, earrings, rubies.

Sable coat—this object is an index to La Viuda’s deepest secret. We learn that all the sables used to make the coat are female. In that all-female relationship echoed in that of La Viuda and Gabriela.

Each object moves through the story to reveal deeper secrets that lead to the climax when Gabriela puts on the sable coat.

Step Three: Secrets of the Boxes

The Boxes: There are six boxes in  La Viuda’s house. One is in her bedroom. It is an elaborate carved and inlaid box about one meter tall. It folds open in half. In each half there are jewels. It opens when she presses an in laid butterfly in the top. Necklaces, earrings, rings, pearls, rubies, wrist watches.

Each half holds another hidden panel that is released by a hidden pressure lock in one of the intricate designs one of which is the eye spot on a butterfly’s wings. In the secret panels, the jewels are more expensive and each object has its own history.

There are several smaller boxes, all carved from exotic woods from exotic jungles and each box has a history.

One box about thirty by thirty cms contains the photographs of La Viuda all taken on her “travels’ as she calls them.

One box is made of tawa—a hard black wood from the Ecuadorian rain forest. It is inlaid with the stylized face of a jaguar whose eyes are made of rubies and whose fangs are made of piranha bones. This box contains the articles of her body that La Viuda saves-all her toenail and fingernail clippings held in an inside box of silver filigree. In the box she has placed her teeth—all from childhood as well as the ones she has replaced through time—wisdom teeth extracted, gold caps and crowns replaced. There are tresses of her hair clipped at different times in her life, each tress in an envelope dated and noted with time and place of its cutting to give another layer to the chronology.

Another box contains all her letters and links to the List of Places. La Viuda tries to remember all the places she has lived—her memory is fading—and she uses Gabriela to create the List of Places and they use the letters and the hair tresses to build the list with dates.

Yet another box contains other photographs—these without dates—so one element is the Subtext of Time. Another element is place. As La Viuda recreates the chronology of her life we see pictures of her in exotic places—some in color, some black and white—from Yucatan to Catal Huyuk the ruins of the oldest city in the world in Turkey.

After the boxes which reveal secrets, we turn to the physical transformation.

Gabriela has her own objects, but they are few and very simple:

A necklace made of Oaxacan black ware beads. This necklace open Gabriela’s backstory. Another object is a vergonzosa (prayer plant) pressed and dried.  The third object is a pair of gold-wire earrings that Gabriela wears.

Step Four: The Story Line Connected to Objects

As the two story lines intertwine and alternate we see or hear about Gabriela’s remembered objects—her hair, the gold earrings are physical—and we see the village she came from, her bare feet. This all indexes the polarity of Wealth/Poverty or Complex/Simple that runs through the story.

The Gold Coins:

These gold coins hide the deepest secret. After one year, Gabriela has La Viuda’s confidence. She instructs Gabriela to go to a secret compartment in the house and in that compartment there is another box—it is a plain metal box made of silver. It contains 25 gold coins. Each coin has a story but all the stories are about the affairs El Señor carried on all the time he was married to La Viuda. Each time he was unfaithful, he brought La Viuda a gold coin. The crown jewel of the collection is a gold commemorative struck with the profile of Maximilian. Each coin has a value far greater than its actual gold content.


The husband never came home without a bouquet of flowers. La Viuda read him—she tells this to Gabriela—by his gifts. Flowers were gifts of love for her, coins were atonement. Neither of them had to say a thing. The code was clear.

The Sable Coat:

The sable coat appears in a photo of La Viuda in Red Square. We see her wearing the coat and high leather boots. She has her arm in that of a man. Gabriela asks if that is El Señor and La Viuda says no—there are no photos of him This is the father of Liah, her daughter. The sable coat enters the story again as an object in time when Liah herself the widow of a rich man, brings it to La Viuda one day. La Viuda instructs Gabriela to put on the coat.

We see Gabriela in the coat. She is a tall, thin exotic woman with almond eyes and a slanted forehead and high cheek bones. La Viuda tells her she is exactly the kind of woman El Señora found exciting.

Step Five : Objects and their Relationship to Lost Memory

As La Viuda completes her List of Places, her memory fades until she can only with difficulty remember who she is talking to.

The last object in the story is the Will.

In the will, La Viuda has left all her jewels, the sable coat, and her gold coins to Gabriela.

The house and the rest of her estate she has left to her dying daughter Liah.

La Viuda dies in her bed with Gabriela beside her. The List is Complete. All the Secrets revealed.

The final image is of Gabriela as she stands beside La Viuda’s coffin at the funeral. Her hair shines, she wears a black silk dress, high heels, a pearl necklace. Bright red lips.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Women’s Fiction

Rating – PG

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Orangeberry Book of the Day - Intoxicated by Alicia Renee Kline (Excerpt)


“So you are really going ahead with the roommate thing?”  Matthew’s voice crackled over the telephone.

Blake wasn’t sure if her brother’s words were garbled due to her faulty cell reception or if they were laced with emotion.  She had, of course, announced with a flourish approximately six months ago that it had been the appropriate time in her life to purchase her own place.  Up until then, they had been roommates themselves.  But her wildly independent streak as well as a buyer’s market had persuaded her to take the leap into homeownership.  That and the fact that Matthew was still best friends with her ex.

She just never expected to feel so alone.

“Yes, I guess I am,” she replied as she paced her floor.

“And you’re sure about this?” he pressed.

Blake sighed.  No, not really.  But posting a room for rent online and actually having someone sign a lease for it were two entirely different things.  So what if someone was coming to look at the place tomorrow morning?  If things didn’t feel right, she could always lie and say that she had been fielding a lot of calls and that, unfortunately, she had chosen someone else.

“You’re not having money problems, are you?” he continued.

“No,” she responded quickly.  Now that had upset her a little bit.

“Just be careful.” Matthew warned.

Despite herself, Blake chuckled.  If anyone should be giving that advice, it should be the other way around.  Matthew’s indiscretions had been the whole reason that they themselves had been roommates.  Although it had been a terrible, uncomfortable time in both their lives, it had been the beginning of their beautiful friendship.  There was no one else that she trusted as wholly and completely as her brother.  Their past had forced them to lean on each other in a way she never would have imagined when she was younger, and they had ended up on the other side as better people for it.

Matthew either chose to ignore the giggle or he found the irony in the situation.  There was silence on the other end of the line until Blake whispered her response.

“Always am.”


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Genre – Romance / Chick Lit

Rating – PG13

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Monday, May 27, 2013

Author Interview – Anastasia Faith

How did you come up with the title? The main story of For the Future Generations is my protagonist traveling time to eight hundred years in her past, when America was destroyed after having aborted an entire generation of children. She hopes to stop America’s downfall, but instead learns that some things in the past can’t be changed because they were meant as lessons for future generations.

Can you tell us about your main character? Matthia Hefner is an outgoing teenager that is coming of age in a thirty-first century dictatorship. She has been assigned work in an abortion clinic, and thinks nothing of it, like most in her society. Then she meets a strange man named Keegan Wilcox…

Who is your publisher? I am. I hope to get a deal with a traditional publisher one day, because I want to adopt children and I think the advance checks would be nice. But for now, self-publishing is a fast, easy way to make my work public and fulfill my dream of becoming an author.

Will you write others in this same genre? Yes

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? Not yet, but I hope to one day!

Who is your favorite author and why? Sigmund Brouwer. His books are

Can we expect any more books from you in the future? Oh, yes! For the Future Generations is the first in a trilogy. I am in the process of rewriting the second, so I am going to publish another book in the meantime, titled A Novella Called “Launch Day”. I have about six more lined up that I hope to publish in the next year or two.

What are your current writing projects now? I am currently finishing A Novella Called “Launch Day” . Once I’ve submitted that for editing, I am going to write a short story for Asimov’s Science Fiction.

Are you reading any interesting books at the moment? Right now, I’m reading some books on creative writing and for writing science fiction and fantasy. My friend bought me C.S. Lewis’ Out of the Silent Planet, and my mom’s coworker wrote a book called No Heroes. I haven’t had a lot of time for reading recently, but I hope to finish them soon.

How do you promote this book? Until now, I’ve been using social media. I’ve bought some author business cards and bookmarks, and I’m going to start using those soon.

What was the hardest part about writing this book? Not coming off as judgmental or cheesy.

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? Yes, I’ve had writer’s block. When it happens, I take a walk outside, star gaze, read the writing prompt bootcamp I downloaded from, or just wait for inspiration from things that happen during the course of my week.

In a thirty-first century dictatorship where population control is enforced and knowledge of truth is prohibited, a teenager discovers secrets about America’s past and her own nation’s future.

In the first book of the “For a Generation” series, fourteen-year-old Matthia Hefner has discovered the grim truth about abortion and its effects on society. She embarks on a time travel mission to the past with a plan to save a nation destroyed by abortion, as well as to glean knowledge to save her own country. Can she save the nation and its people in time, or will it be forced to suffer the consequences for its actions?

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre - Christian YA Fiction

Rating – PG

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Author Interview – ME Lorde

Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it? That I can write romance.  I don’t read that much romance, and had no idea I would enjoy writing it so much, but I have, and I’m working on others as well.

What is your greatest strength as a writer? While I am pretty self-critical and have no answer for that question, my beta readers tell me they love the strength of my characters and that my descriptions grab them.  I can only hope all of my readers feel that way.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? While you can find a sneak peak of my first couple of chapters of my newest release ‘Tolomay’s World and The Pool of Light’ at, here is an excerpt of another book.  I’m working on final edits for it now, so be forewarned, you WILL find errors in it.  I’m pretty sure of that.  This novel is due for release in a few months.

My head ached.  Without pulling too hard at the leg iron, my foot raised ankle-high against the metal cuff and chain.  I balanced my weight on my other foot, clung to the ribbed metal wall, and pressed my eye up to the slit at the edge of the wide door.  The box danced along the rails.  I could just reach my desired view through the opening.  The sky bragged its false greeting as a million lights, disguised as stars, floated unwillingly in the atmosphere. They were just as bound as I was, forced to watch over all, sparkling their satellite reds and greens and whites, each in turn.  It was subtle blinking that none would notice, unless they bothered to look closer, to know the truth of the sky and those who ruled over it.

When we entered the mountain tunnel, the air fell to pitch black, leaving me with nothing left to watch.  I sat back down in the crowded spot.  The horrific wailing had long since ceased and the silence ate the space, swallowing all within the boxcar that stunk of feces and urine and the sweat of men.  Not even snores could be heard, though most must surely be asleep, those who were not yet dead.  How many hot bodies filled this thirsty box, Forty?  Fifty?  A hundred or more?  Who could say?  It had been dark when I’d been forced inside by cattle prods, hours ago, nearly unconscious, tripping over others.

A dim slit of light bled through the side of the door where I had just peered out.  After a long deafening pitch of brakes, the cart jostled to a halt.  Voices could be heard.  All at once the wide doors slid open.  People wrestled themselves to wake.  I had to squint to see in the brightness.  A figure stood before the door, dwarfed by the height of the steps.  He would be taller than me, were we face to face, and twice my weight.

How did you come up with the title ‘Tolomay’s World and The Pool of Light’? This series was named after the book’s main character, Tolomay, who remains the main character throughout the entire series, so it stuck.

How did you develop your plot and characters? When the plot for Tolomay’s World and The Pool of Light came to me, I was really excited about the possibilities of this series.  For one thing, I love the outdoors.  I mean, I really love the outdoors.  Let me explain further.  When I garden or landscape I don’t use gloves, because I love the feel of the dirt.  I started planting yearly vegetable gardens at the age of seven.  (They sold seeds at the back of magazines back then, and you could earn money selling them for that company.  I sold seeds so that I could earn back what I’d spent on them… so I could plant my garden.)  When we lived in Virginia, we shared our vegetable garden with our yard rabbit, which my daughter named Serephina.  The rabbit lived beneath our shed, drank from our backyard pond, and ate whatever she wanted to from our garden.  I let her.  I even let the grass grow tall on one side of the shed during the hot months so she’d have green grass to eat.  I’ve always loved wildlife so there is a very real connection between me and the Tolomay’s World series.  I guess I can thank my Native American blood for that.  This book is full of nature, though it also contains modern technology in certain sections of it.

Tolomay and her ‘community’ come from a time set five hundred years in the future of earth.  By then, of course man has nearly completely destroyed this planet and we are all on our way out.  The first entire species to go were the birds- after the insects started dying off, then one by one other whole species followed.  In this novel, part of humanity’s situation arises from pollution and neglect of the earth.  Another part of it is caused by the deliberate killing off of millions of people, over control of the remaining sections of the livable earth by the wealthiest of the world.  Along with all of that came wars and poisonings.  This group has many names, but to the communities on earth at that time, they are simply called GoldHoarders.

Even with modern equipment at the Pods, there is nothing that can be done to save humanity from going extinct, along with all the other forms of life that are dying off.  But, when least expected, a discovery is made that could potentially change everything.  It brings hope back to civilization.

A machine is built.  It can fold time in a manner that it can be manipulated to some degree.  The machine is called ‘The Pool of Light’, and the project called ‘Vision Fold’.  The head scientists can view the future.  Soon enough though, tests prove that living things can be sent into the future through these time points, or ‘light points’.  The Pod community decides to send people ahead, a thousand years into the future, to a time when the earth has healed itself from the ills of men and is once again liveable.  What other choice do they have?

The complex situation the characters have to deal with in this series is their adjustment to a ‘Garden of Eden’ if you will, but along with it there is a lot of work and learning involved.  It’s different than their very modern environment at the Pod community, so that was interesting to write about.  These characters are young adults and so they are adjusting to many things all at once, but I won’t spoil it by saying more.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords

Genre – Fantasy / Romance

Rating – NC17

More details about the author & the book

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Orangeberry Book of the Day – Killer Abs: A Body (Pump) Horror Comedy by DR O’Brien

Twenty-something accountant Matt Warner enrols at an exclusive weight loss resort with his career on the line should he fail to shed the pounds from his paunchy frame.

Before long the accountant realises that his girth is the least of his problems as there is something deeply wrong with the Phoenix Resort where it’s no gain and all pain.

It’s a serving of full fat fear for the guests who must fight for their lives to survive the week.

Matt Warner is going to lose weight, or die trying.

Killer Abs is an 11,403 word short body (pump) horror comedy, with content for mature audiences.

Previous praise for the Author’s work:

“I think that you will enjoy the way Mr. O’Brien ties everything together and pits some of, if not the most famous characters in literature against each other. The story is fast paced with lots of action and adventure: a very enjoyable read and I wholeheartedly recommend it”

“Luckily for is it seems that D R O’Brien is tainted with just enough craziness to pull this task off. O’Brien has breathed new life into these well known and well loved characters. Thrilling, horrific, and funny at the same time which is no mean feat… O’Brien is a talented writer.”

“Shakespeare’s characters duking it out with Lovecraft’s creatures? Sign us up immediately!

“All very inventive, clever and ghoulishly entertaining… Bizarre, baroque and amusing…”

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Horror

Rating – 18+

Connect with DR O’Brien on Facebook & Twitter

Intoxicated by Alicia Renee Kline (Excerpt)

Chapter Four

The next few days passed in a blur.  I was overwhelmed with last minute arrangements in regards to the move.  Address changes, calling the utility companies, packing away more odds and ends until nothing remained but the clothes I needed and my toiletries.  I had conceded defeat and boxed up the remaining kitchen supplies, opting for carry out once the fridge had been emptied of its contents.

Blake had been in contact with me several times.  The first couple times had been strictly business.  Her lawyer had drawn up the lease.  She emailed it over to me and I signed and returned it.  Once formalities were out of the way, we chatted more like I imagined future college roommates would have.  I listed my inventory of household items; she checked off what she already had and what we could use.  From her responses I guessed that she wasn’t much of a chef.

I didn’t want to rent a storage unit, so anything that I wasn’t taking with me I needed to get rid of.  Gracie had first dibs.  After she had rifled through my unwanted stuff, I donated the rest.  My tiny apartment had never seemed so spacious.

Now that it was moving day, my excitement had grown to fever pitch.  Gracie and my father had insisted on coming over to help me load the Honda.  I suspected they wanted to see me off more than anything else.  I could cram the few boxes and bags I was keeping with me into my car with little effort, but the free labor was always appreciated.

When the doorbell buzzed, I pressed the intercom button and announced that whoever was there should come on up.  My visitor did not respond, but I heard footsteps in the hallway a short time after.  I truly expected it to be my dad since Gracie was rarely the first person to show up anywhere.

Instead, Eric stood before me.  We hadn’t really spoken since the argument.  He had caved and sent me a few brief texts, excusing his distance by explaining that he was swamped at work and when he got home he was exhausted.  Even though I sympathized with his plight, I felt slighted by his lack of consideration.  He could deny that the move was happening all he wanted to, but it still didn’t change the fact that our time in the same city was coming to a close.

“Hi,” he said simply, bringing out two steaming cups of coffee from behind his back, “I would have brought flowers, but they don’t travel well.”

I accepted his peace offering eagerly.  Taking a sip of the drink, I appraised him from head to toe.  Instead of his usual suit and tie he was dressed in khakis and a polo shirt.  For him, that was slumming.  Just once I wished he’d loosen up a bit.  His brown hair was cut very short; perfect for traveling and being nondescript.  His green eyes looked dull and tired.

Maybe he had been really busy.  I prayed that he was telling the truth.  It wouldn’t make sense for him to purposefully ignore me all week just to show up at my door to send me off.  Not when I hadn’t expected him to even make an appearance.  No, this was an apology in disguise.  He was truly sorry.

“I’m glad you came.”

“You really think I would miss my chance to give you a proper send-off?  I mean, look at you.”

I giggled, staring down at my baggy sweats and t-shirt.  Today was about comfort.  Even though I would have plenty of help loading the car here, unloading was a different story.  Blake didn’t appear as though she was used to manual labor.  She would just have to excuse my appearance; I was on a mission today.  There was no time like the present for her to get used to me in my natural state.

I ran my fingers through my tousled hair and pretended to strike a pose.  “Beautiful, right?”

“You are always beautiful, Lauren Marie Jefferies.”

The words brought color to my cheeks.  I set my coffee down on the empty kitchen counter, tears blurring my vision.  Eric did the same, taking me into his arms.  He brushed the moisture off my cheeks with his thumbs then pulled me closer to him.  I buried my face in the smooth cotton of his shirt.

“I’m going to miss you so much,” I whispered, my words muffled against his chest.

Somehow he still understood.  “I’ll miss you too.”

We stood in the middle of my apartment silently embracing each other.  Even though our history was filled of times spent apart, being the one doing the leaving didn’t make it any easier.  I wanted to commit every part of this moment to memory: his strong arms around me, his fingers stroking my hair, the smell of his aftershave, his warm breath against my neck, the steady beat of his heart.  This would be what I thought of when things seemed too difficult to bear.

“I am so proud of you, sweetheart,” he continued.  The sound of his voice echoed in his chest, under my ear.  “and I am so sorry for being selfish and wanting you to stay.  You were right.  This is your turn to shine.  We can make this work.  We’ll figure out the details as we go.”

I doubted he’d have had the courage to say those things if I had been looking him in the eye.  He was not one to admit fault, ever.  It was the best going away gift he could possibly have given me.

We stood there for either seconds or an eternity until the buzzer sounded again.  I couldn’t tell.  Wiping my eyes, I pulled away and turned to the intercom.  “Come on up; door’s open.”

Both my dad and Gracie entered the apartment shortly thereafter.  They must have met in the parking lot.  They attempted to hide their shock that Eric had shown up, my dad being far more successful than my best friend.  Dad obviously was used to the hot and cold nature of our relationship; Gracie not as much.  Dad also tolerated Eric’s outbursts far better.  I was convinced it was because I didn’t share the details of our arguments.  Since Gracie got only my side of the story, usually right after the heat of the moment, her opinion of Eric was not the best.

“Hi, Eric,” my dad greeted.

“Doug, Gracie,” Eric responded, turning on the salesman voice.

“Eric,” Gracie said, barely hiding her disgust.  She shot me a dirty look.  My response was a shrug.  She shook her head.

“So,” I said, rubbing together my hands, “who’s ready to move some boxes?”

Quick work was made of the task, and before I knew it my car had been loaded and the apartment was empty of my belongings.  Even Eric had made the comment that he likely hadn’t dressed for the job.  My father had laughed heartily; Gracie snorted.

We regrouped in the now totally depersonalized space, perching on the tiny sofa and the kitchen counter.  To be honest, four people was about all this square footage could handle comfortably.  Gracie had stopped at her car to grab a grocery bag and she now produced its contents.  She pulled out a fancy bottle of white grape juice and three red plastic cups.  She set to work uncorking the champagne style bottle and pouring glasses of juice.  She passed the cups out to me and my father, keeping the last one for herself.  Eric’s exclusion made the whole thing rather awkward.  Thankfully, he pretended not to care.

“I would like to propose a toast,” Gracie announced, raising her cup, “to the best mortgage underwriter the state of Indiana has ever seen.  May she follow her dreams and help others achieve the goal of homeownership.”

“Cheers,” we all said in unison, the three of us with cups touching them together.

I dissolved into a fit of giggles.

“Hey,” Gracie said with mock anger, “I worked really hard on that toast last night.  No, in all seriousness, I don’t think they could have picked a better lady for the job.  You have been one of the best coworkers and friends I could ever have met.  I already miss you terribly, and you haven’t even left yet.”

“Thanks, hon,” I said, blushing again.

“Gracie’s right,” my father confirmed.  “Your hard work and determination got you exactly what you wanted.  You’ve been groomed for that job, and no matter how much you think it is a surprise, everyone here saw it coming.  And to be here to see that my daughter has achieved her goals is probably one of the best moments of my life.  Your mother would be so happy for you.”

He brushed a tear from his eye, and the room got uncomfortably quiet.  My father didn’t bring up the subject of my mother often; it pained him too much.  And to mention her in front of other people was something I had never seen him do.  The gravity of the moment hit me hard, and I blinked back my own fresh tears.

Beside me, Eric fidgeted uncomfortably.  He kept checking his watch, and I knew he was concocting an excuse to leave.  Gracie also noticed, and her look could have shot daggers in his direction.  He cleared his throat before speaking.

“I have a plane to catch.”

Was that the truth, or just the best he could come up with?

“Oh, okay.  Let me walk you out.”  I set down my cup and excused myself, trailing behind Eric.

He stopped once we got into the hallway to allow me to catch up.  The visible tension in his body disappeared, and he reached over to take my hand.  We walked down the stairs and out to the parking lot in silence.  His BMW was parked beside the now overflowing Honda.  He stared at my car for a moment, a slow smile spreading across his features.

“You know,” he drawled, “you could always take your car over to my place and unload your stuff there.”

“Eric, I don’t want to fight about this anymore.”

“I know.  Just figured I would give it one last shot.  You know I’m serious, right?”

I nodded, my heart sinking.  After ten years of dating, the only way I would know he was serious was if he produced a diamond ring out of his pocket.  As often as he mentioned giving me the world, buying me a new car and letting me shack up in his high rise, he wasn’t yet willing to make it official.  He wouldn’t give me his commitment.

“Are you really leaving?”

“You mean was the plane an excuse to get out of there before Gracie bit my head off?  Only partially.  I can tell where I’m not wanted.  But I do have to be on a flight in about three hours.  Heading down to Atlanta for a conference.  Thought I might get a few hours of entertainment in before it starts bright and early Monday morning.”


“So, I guess this is it then.  Be careful driving.  I’ll call you sometime tomorrow after we both get settled in.”

He turned away from me to open his car door, effectively putting the glass and metal between us.  Awkwardly, he gave me a small kiss while leaning over the door frame.  The gesture would have been sufficient if I was his grandmother, but not for a departing girlfriend.  Satisfied with his attempt at showing me affection, he lowered himself into the leather seat.  The door closed with a solid, well- engineered thud.  Eric started the ignition and the engine purred to life.  The power window lowered and I bent down to hear him better over the music that played over his premium sound system.

“Goodbye, Lauren.”

“Bye, Eric.”

He put the car into reverse and backed out of the space.  I watched his taillights disappear from my vision as the words I wanted him to say formed on my lips.

“I love you,”  I whispered to no one in particular.

Back upstairs, Gracie and my father were deep in conversation about what my new bedroom would look like.  I had shared with them that Blake would be decorating it especially for me, but that she had been very secretive about what modifications she had made.  In fact, even though we had been in contact nearly every day since I originally saw the place, she had refused to even give me a hint.  She only promised that I would be extremely happy.

“Unicorns?” my dad suggested.

“I think it will be rainbows,” Gracie said.

“You guys are silly,” I said, hoping I sounded lighthearted.

Truth be told, Eric’s abrupt departure had been a definite mood killer.  I knew that Gracie hadn’t anticipated him being here, but I really wished that she had brought a handful of cups instead of just bringing the exact number she thought had been needed.  That couldn’t have helped things.

“You okay?” Gracie asked.

“Yeah,” I lied.  “I just better get this show on the road.  I need to take the keys back to the leasing office, and they close at noon.  No time like the present.”

Gracie and my father exchanged a knowing glance, but didn’t press the issue.  Instead, they got busy cleaning up the small mess that they had created with the toast.  The trash was collected in the grocery bag, and everything was good to go.

“Just give me a moment,” I said.

“No problem,” my dad responded, “we’ll just take this out to the dumpster and wait for you at your car.  You can drop off your keys and then meet us in the parking lot.”

“Take your time,” Gracie said, squeezing my shoulder as my dad ushered her out the door.

I took a final lap around the space, knowing that I would never be back.  Within these walls, my adulthood had begun.  Even though it was small, rundown and in a less than savory neighborhood, it had still been my first place.  A small taste of freedom and success.  A tiny sanctuary.

My hand ran over the back of the tattered loveseat, remembering long discussions with Gracie.  Usually over something Eric had done to upset me.  Sometimes, though, we discussed her non-existent love life or her career aspirations.  Since she was a few years younger than me, I had stepped into the role of big sister and friend, able to dispense advice from my own experiences.

I moved to the kitchen area, pausing at the counter to remember my daily coffee routine.  I would perch on the counter with a freshly brewed cup and mentally prepare myself for the day ahead.  Since I also liked to cook, I had made many dishes here.  I typically packaged them up when done and transported them over to someone else’s place, my apartment not as suitable as some for entertaining.  Cooking for one had never really appealed to me.

The trundle bed had been closed up into the wall.  Of all the features here, this would be the one I would miss the least.  When I first moved in, I thought it was an interesting novelty item.  I quickly began to realize it was horribly impractical.  At the end of an exhausting day, the last thing I had ever wanted to do was fold out my bed and ready it for the night.  Occasionally, I had even fallen asleep on the couch and just stayed there.

The only room with an interior door was the bathroom, a tiny three piece with a shower designed only for someone my size.  Nothing special here.

I grasped the keys in my hand and shut the door softly behind me.  Part of me wanted to turn back and stay living in the safety that I had created here.  I kept walking, eyes firmly fixed ahead of me.  I dropped off the keys to the less than friendly lady at the leasing office then exited to the parking lot.

Hugs were exchanged all the way around.  Over the past year or so that Gracie and I had worked together, she had been a constant presence in my life.  Since I was so close with my dad, that relationship had also carried over to her.  I knew he considered Gracie to be his second daughter, and I doubted that would change just because I moved two hours away.

Knowing that they wouldn’t leave prior to me pulling away, I slid behind the wheel of the Honda.  As I turned the key in the ignition, I smiled in earnest.  I rolled down the window and said my goodbyes.  Ironically, neither my dad nor Gracie had an issue with telling me they loved me, a sentiment that I easily returned.  I wondered why Eric found it so hard.

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Genre – Romance / Chick Lit

Rating – PG13

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Orangeberry Book of the Day - For the Future Generations (For a Generation) by Anastasia Faith (Excerpt)

For the Future Generations

[Book 1 of the "For a Generation" series]

Alamogordo, New Mexico

The sun set over Alamogordo, New Mexico and night fell in the desert. Thick black clouds shifted over the horizon, contrasting the orange sky above, and casting shadows on the barren landscape.

In one mound of sand and rock sat an underground house with a tan roof protruding from the top of the hill. The residents had built a door in the side of the roof. This remained locked during daylight hours. Inside this house, the Channing family had just finished their evening meal. The women in the family cleaned the last of the dishes, the father worked in his office, and a ten-year-old boy grew restless. The boy had a head of strawberry curls, a round face, and deep blue eyes.

He scampered down the hall and pounded on his father’s office chamber door. His father, Kelvin Channing, a college professor, would be grading the day’s homework or preparing assignments for the next school day.

“It’s Declan,” he called.

“Yes, Declan?” Kelvin answered through the door. “What do you want?”

“Laken, Chaslyn, and I want to go outside.” Declan said. “Is it safe?”

“It’s 8:00,” Kelvin said. “I don’t see why not. Remember to wear your coat.”

Declan glanced at the clock on his touch screen music device. He and his two sisters had to stay indoors until after dark because his sisters, being conjoined twins, were frowned upon in the eyes of the culture.

In Declan’s day, “handicapped” individuals were those who could not contribute financially. They required government assistance and were considered a burden to society. These handicaps could be something as simple as inseparable conjoined twins, or as severe as major cerebral palsy or quadriplegia. Benevolent medical professionals would simply deny them healthcare, while the majority would euthanize them, with or without a caretaker’s permission. At their doctor’s warning seven years before, Kelvin and Ayla Channing had relocated with their three-year-old triplets—Declan, Laken, and Chaslyn—from Kansas City, Missouri to a desert in New Mexico, hoping it would be safer. Several families who were close friends with the Channings had also come to ease the adjustment. They had scheduled their days so the triplets would be able to spend time with their friends at night.

Removing his coat from a hook near the front door, Declan slipped into it. His sisters came into the living room after they had finished cleaning the kitchen. They too were becoming restless, and the Alamogordo evening beckoned them.

“Did Dad give us permission?” Chaslyn asked.

Declan nodded and assisted Laken and Chaslyn into a special joining coat tailored for them, since they joined at one of their forearms. They piled into an elevator that led to the roof. The elevator opened, and Declan unlocked the door. They stepped out onto the sand and raced down the side of the hill to their “fort”, a crude structure constructed of logs stacked so they overlapped each other. As the evening progressed, the children’s friends arrived and joined in the imagination games.

Over their playing and laughter, Declan could hear a transporter door slam shut and then footsteps approaching. As they grew louder and came closer, Declan became increasingly concerned. All of their friends were with them, and others rarely visited the deserted area.

“Wait here,” he cautioned his sisters. “I’m going to see where that noise is coming from. Guys, keep your guard over them for just a minute.”

Fearing the worst, he left them in the fort and stole away to track the source of the footsteps. He scampered a few feet down the path behind their house. He saw a silhouette several feet in front of him, standing in the glow of a transporter’s headlights. As it came closer, he perceived a middle-aged man holding a flat nylon case.

“Who are you?” Declan demanded. “Don’t come any closer.”

“Declan, I can’t tell you much,” the man replied hurriedly, as if in a rush. “You need to trust me. My name is Mr. Wilcox; I’m a time traveler.”

Mr. Wilcox handed Declan the case. He unzipped it and found an electronic notepad. Opening a side compartment, he pulled out an automatically recharging payment card or ARPC for short. Declan searched his face for an explanation, both of the contents and of the fact this stranger knew his name.

“Keep this book a secret.” Wilcox instructed. “When the time comes, you’ll know who it’s for.”

“What about the ARPC?” He questioned. “Dad opened an account for my sisters and me, but only because he has a job; they’re linked to his. This card’s number isn’t the one on mine.”

“It will be in about thirteen years.” Mr. Wilcox said, “Remember, I’m a time traveler.”

Declan powered up the book so he could read the content, only to find it blank. He flipped it over in his hands and toyed with it, trying to discern why it would not grant him access. He pressed the bottom of the device. It squawked and a negating red light flashed.

“What happened?” He asked the man.

“I set the privacy so only the future recipient can open it. Underneath the electronic device is a fingerprint reader. It’s programmed for only my fingerprints and the person who will receive it.” Mr. Wilcox explained. “There’s an unlocked note at the beginning that I addressed to you.”

With these words, Mr. Wilcox vanished into the night and Declan focused his attention on the unlocked message.

“Declan Channing,” it instructed, “return to the place where you met me at 7 in the morning on May 1st, 2130, when you are twenty-seven. Bring this book with you. On June 30th of 2130, leave the ARPC I gave you—and your FBI badge—at the Indianapolis, Indiana branch of the bank where your account is.”


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Genre - Christian YA Fiction

Rating – PG

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