Aicha Zoubair

Jessica Bell

Friday, November 7, 2014

Gender Harmony - GLIMPSES OF HEAVEN ON EARTH by John E. Wade II #Relationships #AmReading

From the chapter on gender harmony, by co-author Charlotte L. Piotrowski:

“In heaven on earth, women will have the same access to education as men, and the same job opportunities. They will enjoy the same right to voice their opinions. They will not be fearful of the violence most often perpetrated against women, such as: rape (including gang rape), acid throwing, honor killing, and domestic violence (which is perpetrated much more frequently against women). These evil gender-based acts will not occur in a heaven on earth. Men must, and will, view women as their equals.”

From the chapter on gender harmony, by co-author Charlotte L. Piotrowski:

“Getting to the point where men and women live in harmony will take time and commitment. Gender apartheid, which is the practice of discriminating against women economically and socially through the use of physical or legal force, is most associated with Islamic cultures in the Middle East and Northern Africa. However, it occurs worldwide and has been found to exist in the context of all of the major religions of the world. This may range from women’s struggles to gain leadership roles in certain religions to the requirement of women to cover themselves (veiling), when men have no such mandate. Removing these obstacles is necessary. Where men and women are treated fairly, harmony can exist.”

Glimpses of Heaven on Earth

Editor and author John E. Wade II has compiled a spiritual guide of invaluable insight for finding peace and meaning in life while making the world a better place for all. Along with co-authors Charlotte Livingston Piotrowski, Daniel Agatino, Michael Nagler, and Martin Rutte, this collection of enlightening essays and inspirational quotes from renowned thinkers and leaders throughout history provides the intellectual tools needed to live a more harmonious life.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Inspirational
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with John E. Wade II on Facebook

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

LUCIFER & THE INDIGO KIDS by Lord Ra Krishna El @Lord_Ra_Krishna #AmReading #Poetry #NonFiction


Soon I will be free...
As free as the dolphin

That swims in the Sea...
As free as a feather

That blows in the wind...
Sitting on the beach

Sipping coffee once again
With long
dread loc's...
And new tattoo's...

Smoking with Bob Marley
As my words help heal the earth...
My music playing around the world

Performing in front of thousand's...
Sharing my art with the planet

And speaking in the language
of the dolphins...

"This “new age” book of poetry reflects the diverse views and philosophies of it’s author Ra Krishna EL. It’s an intimate, humorous and thought provoking group of poems intended to evoke strong emotion. To quote the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, this style of poetry can be called “Zukunfts poesie“ which translates into “Poetry of the future”, where truly original ideas are presented thru poetry. Also known as post Nietzschean poetry.

It’s subjects include society, pop culture, love, religious dogma, God and the new age of Aquarius. This book was written and published during the false incarceration of its author in Chicago’s notorious Cook County Jail, the largest jail in the country."

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Poetry, Philosophy
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Lord Ra Krishna EL on Facebook & Twitter

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

WITNESS TO MY HEART by Loni Flowers @LoniFlowers #Excerpt #Contemporary #Romance

Note : Excerpt contains strong language

Grabbing my shoulders, Max pushed me against the wall. I sucked in a sharp breath and tried to push him away from me, but couldn’t make him budge an inch. “Get your hands off me,” I demanded.

Stepping closer, Max leaned in and the muscles of his chest flexed under my palms. His stance was wide, each foot planted on the sides of mine. When I peered down, I noticed the waist of his jeans hung below his hip bones. Considering my position, and Max’s over-reactive, accusatory tone, I did my best not to drool because I was supposed to be mad. I was pissed, right?

“Don’t play games with me, Abi.”

Max stared down, his gaze skimming over my chest as I stood there in one of Caroline’s pretty, pink push-up bras. Having more than enough to fill the small cups, I didn't require the extra lift. My chest rose up and down with visible succession in every breath I took and I didn’t know if it was because I was scared or possibly getting turned on.

“I don’t play those types of games, Max.”

Shit! Not the appropriate comeback in a situation like this.

His grip hardened, “Now! Tell me why you covered for me?”

“Ow, let me go! I was only doing you a favor.”

“I didn’t ask for handouts when I came here. What the fuck did David say to you!?”

“He said you were a good guy and I shouldn’t kill you; but obviously, he has you mixed up with someone else because you’re a fucking lunatic!”


“Oh? You man-handle me and all you can say is oh?” Forget shocked, I was furious. “For your information, Charlie is a friend, like a father, and he’s extremely protective over me. Sometimes, he does background checks on the people in my life. If he had seen you here, he would have done one on you and on your vehicle. I assumed you wouldn’t want him snooping around. Plus, if he did find something he didn't approve of, he wouldn’t let me…”

I instantly paused and thought if he didn't stop this line of interrogation, I could say something I shouldn't. My record of zero slip-ups since being placed in the Witness Protection Program might be broken this very day.

“Wouldn’t let you… what?”

“Nothing. He wouldn't want me staying here. Excuse me for trying to be proactive.” If he thought he could talk to me or handle me however he wanted, he had another thing coming. I straightened up before I leaned forward, letting my hands slide up his chest until my fingers curled over the top of his shoulders. His brow rose with interest, but I ignored it. Pulling Max’s chest forward, I pressed my chest against his to whisper into his ear. “Didn’t I tell you not to underestimate me?”

Max pulled back, slightly squinting as if he suddenly recalled something. His eyes gazed intently on me and I was momentarily frozen. His lips parted, and a rushed breath escaped his mouth as his finger curled around a lock of my hair. He gathered it in his hand and pulled it away from my shoulders. His face twisted in confusion before amusement sparkled in his eyes. My unexpected heavy breathing seemed to match his own.

“Darling, I never underestimate anyone, but you...”

“What? You think you know me? Don’t pretend to assess me either.”

“Tell me, do you act this way every time you get pissed off? Because I think I could get used to it.”

“Who pushed whom against the wall in a fit of anger?” I countered.

His full, pink lips curved into a small grin as he pierced me with his amber brown eyes, the color of a light brandy. Like a cognac that slid down your throat until it found the right spot and scorched your insides. God, why did he have to be so damn sexy?

My fingers swiped over the taut muscles in his neck and I might have murmured an audible sigh. I wasn’t sure. When his grin spread wider, I knew I was caught. It had been far too long since I'd been intimate with a man, and standing that close to him, inhaling so much testosterone, became too much for me to handle. He being a jackass didn't make much difference at that moment.

Witness to my Heart

Keep a low profile. That's what Abigale Peterson was supposed to do, especially when the person she was being protected from was one of the world's worst crime lords. After seven years in the Witness Protection Program, she felt no safer now than she did when she was seventeen. Revenge was rarely forgotten when it came to a professional criminal like Zerilli.

Low profiles meant no social life and definitely no love life.

Paranoia and lies became daily habits, going against everything Abigale believed in, but they kept her safe. They kept everyone safe.

Until a house fire puts her out of that safety and into the arms of a stranger. Max Smith is sexy, smart, and has major attitude. He’s the only one who seems to get her. He calms her fears and comforts her from her nightmares. But he also sees right through her lies.

Before Abigale can stop, she’s in too deep; confiding too much and breaking the one rule she promised herself to uphold: Never fall in love.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Romance
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with Loni Flowers through Facebook & Twitter

Saturday, October 25, 2014

@KirstenArcadio on a Different Version of Ourselves & Quantum Tectonics #BookClub #Thriller #AmReading

What if a quantum tectonic event split our reality?

So that different versions of ourselves appeared from an alternate universe, to show us what our lives could have been had we made different choices, or what we might become, should we change our behaviour right now?

As Werner Heisenberg said,

‘Atoms or elementary particles themselves are not real; they form a world of potentialities or possibilities rather than one of things or facts.’

What if our lives were made up of infinite possibilities, all of which were happening simultaneously, until the observer – you – decided to pin one down? One choice, one life.

In my latest novel, Split Symmetry, I explore all of these questions – and more – against the exciting backdrop of a mysterious Italian mountain range. Find out what happens when Dr Elena Lewis and a group of her friends become embroiled in the worst earthquake the region has known mixed up with a quantum event that changes their lives for ever.

How do they escape? Can Elena save her friends? Can she save herself? And when she crosses into a reality she cannot conceive of, what does she make of it?

Set in the near future, Split Symmetry [] is the story of what happens when a hike in the notorious Gran Sasso mountain range in central Italy descends into chaos on the same night that scientists decide to work on a clandestine experiment in a lab beneath the mountain. Dr Elena Lewis must work around the clock to find members of her group who have become lost on the mountain, but just as she is close to finding them, the region is rocked by one of the worst earthquakes central Italy has ever known.

Author bio:

Kirsten Arcadio has written three novels, each with a different speculative theme. Her first novel, Borderliners, was published in February of this year with the second in the series, Split Symmetry, to be published in July. The third, WorldCult, is due out just before Christmas. She’s also a part-time poet, digital communications nerd and frazzled head of an Anglo-Italian family.

After working for over fifteen years in digital communications, she returned to her twin first loves, literature and philosophy, in 2011. She’s passionate about the big questions in life and how these can be explored using speculative fiction.

When she’s not writing she’s obsessing about Sci Fi or Nordic noir. She loves all things Italian, including her husband, and she once taught English in the Italian senate.


Split Symmetry

Lost meets The Poseidon Adventure with a hint of Sliding Doors!

It's 2015 in the notorious Gran Sasso mountain range of central Italy.
Quantum physicists in a lab beneath the ground begin an illegal experiment. 
A landslide hits and a hiking group is stranded. 

Every decision, every step of the way...changes reality. 

Book #2 of the best-selling Borderliners series, this other-worldly adventure will keep you turning the pages to the very end!

'A novel about what it is to survive and endure, what defines us, how it is to be ruled by fear, to be a slave to the terror of nature and what it feels like to love.' Five star customer review. 

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre - Speculative thriller
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Kirsten Arcadio through Facebook & Twitter

Friday, October 24, 2014

Cheryl Rice Opens Up About Her Grief & Writing a Book @RiceonLife #Memoir #MustRead #NonFiction

What Inspired Me to Write"Where Have I Been All My Life"

One life changing event and three simultaneous inner urgings inspired me to write my book, Where Have I Been All My Life? A Journey Toward Love and Wholeness.

The life altering event was the swift, merciless death of my mother – who happened to also be my best friend – when she was an otherwise robust and healthy 68 years old and I was 45. I was completely unprepared for life without her. Her death broke me open in unprecedented, yet ultimately life-affirming, ways.

While I was mired in grief, and playing all sorts of grief games in an effort to stay connected with her, I also felt compelled to live more boldly, authentically and vibrantly than I ever had before. Even though I had always prided myself on living with intention and enjoyed setting and reaching challenging goals, there were a few dreams, like writing a book, that I had been too scared and overwhelmed to tackle. But in the wake of my mom’s death there was no time for just thinking about “tomorrow” or relegating my long buried dream to “someday.” My someday was now.

The second thing that inspired me to write my book was a deep, intrinsic desire to produce something that would outlive me. While I had two wonderful stepchildren and a puppy I treated as my baby, I hadn’t yet truly offered the world something tangible that would endure. And now I had a fierce longing to give creative birth to something that would speak for me when I was gone – something that would be part of my legacy.

The third thread of inspiration for my book came from a yearning to find and validate my own voice. Ironically, as a professional leadership and life coach I was comfortable and competent helping others, especially women, claim and cultivate their own voice yet I had been remiss in doing the same for myself. Coming from a family of writers (but never identifying as one myself), I always knew that writing was a wonderful way of clarifying and cleansing one’s thoughts, but beyond penning some bad adolescent poetry and keeping journals episodically throughout my life, I never took myself or my writing seriously. That changed once my mother died, my heart broke, and my time and need for self-inquiry and validation burst forth.

Lastly, I had a strong desire to reach out and connect with other people, women in particular, who were struggling with similar issues. Issues like self-acceptance, using longing as a substitute for loving, and overcoming the loss of a loved one. Reading books, especially stories of personal resilience written by women, had always been a comfort and balm to me. Through the brave and honest stories of other women I found strength, companionship and validation. My loneliness or isolation would lift, even for a bit, and my fortitude and hopefulness would be reignited. Also, since I adore championing women, writing a book felt like a natural and necessary vehicle to connect with them on both a deeper and broader level and to inspire those who are on a similar journey toward love and self-acceptance.

Where Have I Been All My Life

Where Have I Been All My Life? is a compelling memoir recounting one woman’s journey through grief and a profound feeling of unworthiness to wholeness and healing. It begins with the chillingly sudden death of Rice’s mother, and is followed by her foray into the center of mourning.

With wisdom, grace, and humor, Rice recounts the grief games she plays in an effort to resurrect her mother; her efforts to get her therapist, who she falls desperately in love with, to run away with her; and the transformation of her husband from fantasy man to ordinary guy to superhero. In the process, she experiences aching revelations about her family and her past—and realizes what she must leave behind, and what she can carry forward with her.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Cheryl Rice through Facebook & Twitter

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mike Hartner on His Crammed Room of Characters @MHartnerAuthor #HistFic #Romance #GoodReads

Inside the Mind of An Author

In the Darkness brought on by a closed room and narrow stairs, I slowly ascend to the top and push the attic floorboard to the side. This stairwell, conveniently hidden in a second floor wall, has been very dusty and full of cobwebs. I’m really not sure what to expect when I go into the attic. I have, however, heard strange noises.

Climbing up into the attic, into the mind of this author, I look around. The walls are cluttered with post it notes, and most of them had small symbols and some writing. There were papers that had fallen to the floor, and the whole area looked like an old bomb shelter.

I’m immediately dodging the many different children who are running around. The voices that each one uses to taunt the others are all different.

I stop one of them. His name is James.

“Are there any others around?”

“Oh, there are plenty.”

“Where are they?”

“Sitting in a corner of the filing room in the back. They’re waiting for their opportunity to come join the fun.”

“What are they waiting for?”

“Why, everyone knows that they’re waiting to be heard. Not all of us characters can be heard at the same time. Sometimes, he listens to three or four of us for a short time, and sometimes he listens to one of us for a long time. But, we’re all here. Waiting for our chance to be heard.”

“So why are you three out here running around?”

“We’ve already been heard. He’s concentrating on us right now, and it’s our chance to play and rest while he figures out what he wants us to do next.”

“How many are in the back room?”

“The last I checked, the room was crammed, and the waiting list was endless. Lots of voices like us want to be heard. We want to tell our stories.”

James escaped from my vision and went back to running around.

When I saw them return, I also saw them carrying long sticks, using them as play swords. I beat a hasty retreat from the mind of this author.


James Crofter was ripped from his family at age 11. 
Within a year the prince was a pauper in a foreign land. 
Is nature stronger than nurture? And even if it is, can James find the happiness he so richly desires? 

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Historical Fiction, Romance
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Mike Hartner on Facebook & Twitter

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

K S Ferguson on What Scares Her, Happiness and Why She Writes #AmReading #Fantasy #Fiction

Tell us a bit about your family.

Grand-dad was a horse thief. Grandpa on the other side was a bigamist. Writing novels that involve crime and madness is in my blood.

How do you work through self-doubts and fear?

"La-la-la-la-la." Did you ask something?

What scares you the most?

Heights. I'm the pits when it comes to putting on a new roof or standing on the top of small, swaying buildings like the Space Needle.

What makes you happiest?

Good music, a stunning sunset, the ripe wheat waving in the autumn wind, the hummingbirds outside my window on a summer morning. I'm easy.

What’s your greatest character strength?

I shout and stand up for the underdog no matter the odds or the consequences.

What’s your weakest character trait?

I shout and stand up for the underdog no matter the odds or the consequences, but sometimes confrontation isn't the answer.

Why do you write?

When I write, I get to go to amazing places and meet interesting people doing important things. By writing, I get to share that experience with others.

Have you always enjoyed writing?

No. I started writing in fourth grade, but I couldn't spell half the words I wanted to use. Very frustrating.

What motivates you to write?

There's no drug that can compare to the feeling of getting the right words on the page in the right order to convey what you meant to say, what you want the reader to feel.

What writing are you most proud of?

I currently have three separate series on the go. My characters would never forgive me if you made me choose just one. And pride goeth before the fall, so I think maybe I should skate around this question.

Touching Madness

Light bulbs talk to River Madden; God doesn't. When the homeless schizophrenic unintentionally fractures a dimensional barrier and accidentally steals a gym bag containing a million dollars, everyone from the multiverse police to the local crime boss—and an eight-foot tall demon—are after him. Can he dodge them long enough to correct his mistakes and prevent the destruction of three separate dimensions? If he succeeds, will the light bulbs stop singing off-key?

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary, Urban fantasy
Rating – R
More details about the author

DARK CHEMISTRY #Excerpt by Kirsten Mortensen @KirstenWriter #AmReading #Romance #Suspense

This excerpt, from chapter 4 of Dark Chemistry, introduces Donavon Todde, the man who destined to fall in love with the novel’s protagonist, Haley Dubose. He actually encounters her in this scene, although he doesn’t know who she is—the woman who’s about to assume control over the company where he works; the woman who is now his boss. Instead, as you’ll see, Donavon is wrapped up in a personal struggle that consumes him with emotional pain and humiliation. When we meet him, here, he’s flying home from a fruitless trip to Las Vegas . . .

Donavon set his iPhone on the bar.

What kind of a loser—

Damn it, damn bartender walked by again without looking over. What was that, the third time? Because bartenders in airport bars don’t make eye contact. Of course they don’t. They don’t believe they’ll ever see you again. For them it’s just a shift, just get through the shift, they’ll never see anyone in here again, if they get good tips they get good tips, if they don’t, so what? It’s a job, hourly, benefits. It’s not about relationships, like in a real bar ...

Donavon waited, watching, for the guy to come back over to his end of the bar. Good, he’d turned, he was heading this way ...

What kind of a loser does it take to—

“Another Sam Adams, when you get a minute.”

The bartender nodded at Donavon, but without smiling. It was a “yeah, I heard you” nod.

Donavon checked his phone again.

No messages.

“Is this seat taken?”

“No.” Donavon smiled at the woman who had spoken to him, sizing her up. Shoulder-length hair, no discernable gray, but a little crinkling around her eyes as she smiled back at him. Forties, he’d say. Mid-forties.

The bartender returned with his beer. “Menu?” he said into the air between them, and the woman said yes and asked him what sort of white wine he had, and ordered a Pinot Grigio.

“Lucky you got him,” said Donavon. “He’s a busy guy.”

“Eh, he can take all the time he likes—my flight’s been delayed until at least 7:30, apparently.”

“Yeah? Where you headed?”

“Rochester, New York. You?”

Of course. They were in Concourse G, the spot where the little planes land and take off, the planes headed to the little airports.

Too bad she wasn’t flying to Syracuse. He could use a distraction ...

The woman was checking her phone now, sending a text message, but then when she got her wine she put her phone away and turned slightly toward him. Good—she was a friendly one. “Syracuse, eh?” she said. “So what do you do?”


“Oh yeah? What company?” Smiling at him.

“RMB.” He felt himself relax as he spoke. “We’re a small chemical manufacturing plant nobody’s ever heard of, that makes stuff that other companies—companies you have heard of—put into their products.”

“What kind of products?”

“Cosmetics mostly—shampoo, lip balm, that sort of thing.”

“So is RMB based here in Chicago?” She sipped her wine, and he noticed her left hand.

No wedding ring.

Maybe he should date someone older. Maybe an older woman would be easier, less drama ...

“Nope,” he said. “It’s south of Syracuse. But as you know, if you fly to Rochester a lot, there aren’t any direct flights. I spend half my life in O’Hare. Is Rochester home for you?”

“Yes. So where are you coming from, this trip?”

“Vegas,” he said without thinking, and then wished he’d lied.

“That’s a fun town. So did you win, or lose?”

“Broke even, more or less,” he said. “Or anyway,” he struck a jovial note, “that’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it.”

She smiled again, then flagged the bartender and ordered a chopped salad with chicken, and Donavon asked for his check, then watched out of the corner of his eye as the woman fumbled through her purse, took out a little bottle of Purell, opened it, and rubbed it into her hands.

“How about you?” Donavon asked as she recapped the bottle and dropped it back into her purse. “What do you do?”

“I’m a writer.”

“No kidding. That’s interesting. What do you write? Books? Or ...”

“A little bit of everything. Stories, novels. But I pay the bills with corporate contract work. Marketing brochures, that kind of thing.”

A man’s voice came on over the terminal intercom and the woman paused, listening.

“Syracuse,” she said. “Is that you?”

Donavon nodded and pushed his stool back. “Yeah.”

“Well, have a nice flight.”

“I’m Don, by the way,” he said and held out his hand.

“Christine,” she said.

Her hand felt small and clean from the Purell.

He slung his duffel bag strap over his shoulder. “Good luck on your flight.”


Old enough to be his mother, almost. But maybe that’s what he needed—someone older, someone who had dealt with all her baggage, who would be grateful for the attentions of a young stud. And she was well-preserved. Trim, probably worked out. Pilates, probably, or spinning ...

So that’s it, Donnyboy?

That’s how you’re going to cope? By hitting on anything that moves?

He shook his head, trying to shake off the thought.

You get dumped, so you hate yourself, and then you cope by becoming a person you’ll hate even more?

He reached his gate and stepped into the plume of people waiting to board.

He pulled his boarding pass out of his back pocket.

There was a blond just off to the side, a little ahead of him. Her back to him. She was wearing those tight blue jean jeggings that show off every curve, black leather boots up over her calves—he let his eyes move up and down, lingering.

Yeah, now that—that was a morsel. Had to be at least an 8 or 9 ...

He shifted forward to get a glimpse of her face, her profile. Fine, like a porcelain doll. Easily a 9. Stupid, no doubt, but that was all the better. Yeah, this was exactly what the doctor had ordered. He should move in, now ... it would be easy. Let her know he had a job, strike the right balance between suave and aloof, flirtatious and superior ...

An older couple stepped in front of him, blocking his view of the blond, interrupting his thoughts, and his mind flashed back again to Vegas.

How many times had he made that trip?

And why?

What kind of a loser does it take to keep flying back out there? You know you’re not going to just run into her. And even if you did—then what? It’s done. She chose.

They’re probably fucking married by now.

What kind of loser does it take to keep chasing after a woman who is long fucking gone?

Donavon handed his boarding pass to the agent and waited as he scanned it. No beep. The agent scanned it again, and again, and finally the scanner beeped and Donavon took the ticket back and started up the jetway.

Goddamn it, they’d better have beverage service on this flight.


A woman's worst nightmare

Drugged by something...that makes her think she's fallen in love.

All Haley Dubose has ever known is beaches and malls, clubs and cocktail dresses.

But now her father is dead.

And if she wants to inherit her father's fortune, she has to leave sunny Southern California
for a backwater little town near Syracuse, New York. She has to run RMB, the multimillion dollar
chemical company her father founded. And she has to run it well.

Keep RMB on track, and she'll be rich. Grow it, and she'll be even richer. But mess it up, and her inheritance will shrink away before she gets a chance to spend a dime.

Donavon Todde is her true love. But is it too late?

He's RMB's head of sales – and the more Donavon sees of Haley, the more he's smitten.
Sure, she comes across at first as naïve and superficial. But Donavon knew Haley's father. He can see the man's better qualities stirring to life in her eyes. And Donavon senses something else: Haley's father left her a legacy more important than money. He left her the chance to discover her true self.

Donavon has demons of his own.
He's reeling from a heartbreak that's taking far too long to heal. But he's captivated by this blond Californian, and not only because of her beauty. It's chemistry. They're right for each other. But has Donavon waited too long to woo this woman of his dreams? Because to his horror, his beautiful Haley falls under another spell. Gerad's spell.

A web of evil.

Gerad Picket was second-in-command at RMB when Haley's father was alive. And with Haley on the scene, he's in charge of her training. But there are things about RMB that Gerad doesn't want Haley to know.

And he must control her. Any way he can.

Romantic suspense for your Kindle

Will Haley realize that her feelings are not her TRUE feelings?
Does Donavon have the strength left to fight for the woman he loves?
Will the two of them uncover Gerad's plot to use RMB pheromones to enslave the world?
And even if they do – can they stop it?

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Romantic suspense
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Kirsten Mortensen through Facebook Twitter

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Madi Brown on Having a Writing Schedule & Social Media @Madithe1brown #AmWriting #WomensFic

Madi Brown is an ambitious relationship blogger ( by night, and a pencil-skirted, poplin-shirted, admin assistant by day. And though this author finds her main character to be quite relatable, she knows that having it all is a stretch. Duh. Success is self-defined. This is her debut work of contemporary women's fiction.

If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask? I’d ask my Grandmother Emily, who is now deceased to attend. My novel is dedicated to her love of reading, but I only know this because of what my mother shared with me. I’d love to know what types of books she did read. It very well could have been pornographic.

Do you have any tips on how writers can relax? Well, there is this one app; I downloaded it for free on my Ipad. It’s called Jumpstart Energize Me. It helps me to breathe. I totally decompress.

Do you have an organized process or tips for writing well? Get rid of distractions---television, music, your ringing cell phone.  

Do you have a writing schedule? Not really,Writing on a schedule feels so forced to me. I’m still trying to pin myself down to schedule my blog posts on

Sometimes it’s so hard to keep at it – What keeps you going? Knowing how much work I’ve put into it so far. It would be crazy for me to walk away and leave my book project unfinished at this point. Giving up without trying my best just isn’t a part of my genetic makeup. Madi Brown doesn’t want to be a Loser-girl.

What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel? The take away will hopefully be that they’ve been entertained, followed by a need to read more of what I've written.

What’s your favorite meal? That would be shrimp and grits. It’s life-changing.

What color represents your personality the most? Orange. It has to be just the right shade though, not too bright. It makes me feel happy---no make that euphoric.

What movie do you love to watch? Casino. Sharon Stone’s wardrobe was so fab, and the film contained all of the other components that I like in a story, romance, action, and intrigue.

How do you feel about social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter? Are they a good thing? Yep. Facebook and Twitter allow me to expand my reach of potential readers, while I’m in my apartment scantily clad.


"If you LOVE New York, if you’re a name-dropping, fashion fiend careerist; fed up with serial dating, plagued with a thirst for sex, then you’ll totally stalk me for what I've penned.” - Author, Madi Brown


29-year-old Emily Greene looks the part, but she’s still working on becoming a modern-day woman. Not that she’s one to back down from a challenge, but living as an eternal work-in-progress wasn't exactly the goal that she had in mind. It’s a harsh but true realization---the idea that that time isn't on her side, and the notion that wanting to have it all, doesn't mean getting it. The verdict is in; with zero prospects for a relationship and a stalled blogging career, Emily has every reason to believe that she’s been living a life too humdrum for her own good.

Making the change won’t be easy. She’ll have to do whatever it takes; start dating like a man, become more selective about which RSVP's she accepts, and work even harder at getting her dream job.The payoff’s huge; a modern twist on a storybook ending, but gains don’t often come without risks. In the here and now Emily just may be forced to choose...It’s got to be one or the other----the profession that she’s always wanted, or the love that she’s never had.

˃˃˃ Praise for Madi Brown & her debut novel, The Truth About Emily

"The added depth of character promises complexity but wraps everything in the saucy cloak of Emily's evolving personality and newfound beliefs about life, love, and the real nature of happiness. And this is where The Truth About Emily outshines many competitors, making it a recommended read for those seeking more than a standard romance novel." - D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Reviews

"This book has just about anything a girl would love to read about. If there's anything Emily Greene has is ISH and lots of it, oh the ending... This book is a total keeper, just anything about fashion to relationships to friends and family." - Y. Sanchez, Goodreads

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Women's Fiction
Rating – PG18
More details about the author
Connect with Madi Brown on Facebook & Twitter

Friday, October 3, 2014

WHAT FREEDOM SMELLS LIKE: A #Memoir by Amy Lewis @AmyLewisAuthor #AmReading #Women

Every single item that you buy in life, that outlives you, someone, some person, has to deal with. Has to pack, has to decide what to do with: to sell, to donate, to throw away? If you sell it you have to decide how much to sell it for, maybe even research what similar items go for; you have to advertise, you have to exchange money, maybe even make change. If you donate you have to pack up, decide what charity or friend to give it to, usually you have to bring it to them or arrange to be home when they come by. You have to make sure it works because you don’t want to donate something that is broken. If you throw it away you have to lug it, schlep it to a waste bin and if it’s a lot of things to a dumpsite. You don’t think about this when you have money in your pocket and want things.

Every item in our Vegas house had a memory connected to it. Now I had to decide what to do with them all. I rented a huge storage space close to my parent’s house. It was almost as big as our first tiny slum apartment. All of our stuff had been deposited there.

The week after he died, I had gone into our walk-in closet in Vegas and sniffed every item of his clothing, removing those pieces that still had his scent and packaging them into gallon size vacuum packed Ziploc bags. I imagined this was a new use for Ziploc bags they probably never advertised: preserving the scent of the dead. I would have taken his clothes in the dirty laundry basket, but my father had washed them. I cried when I found him in the laundry room trying to be helpful. I put the zip locked bags of clothes under my bed in my parent’s guest bedroom.


Diagnosed with Borderline Personality disorder, Amy struggled with depression and an addiction to sharp objects. Even hospitalization didn't help to heal her destructive tendencies. It took a tumultuous relationship with a man named Truth to bring her back from the depths of her own self-made hell.Amy's marriage to dark, intriguing Truth was both passionate and stormy. She was a fair-skinned southern girl from New Orleans. He was a charming black man with tribal tattoos, piercings, and a mysterious past. They made an unlikely pair, but something clicked. During their early marriage, they pulled themselves out of abject poverty into wealth and financial security practically overnight. Then things began to fall apart.

Passionate and protective, Truth also proved violent and abusive. Amy’s own self-destructive tendencies created a powerful symmetry. His sudden death left Amy with an intense and warring set of emotions: grief for the loss of the man she loved, relief she was no longer a target for his aggression.

Conflicted and grieving, Amy found herself at a spiritual and emotional crossroads, only to receive help from an unlikely source: Truth himself. Feeling his otherworldly presence in her dreams, Amy seeks help from a famous medium.

Her spiritual encounters change Amy forever. Through Truth, she learns her soul is eternal and indestructible, a knowledge that gives Amy the courage to pursue her own dreams and transform herself both physically and emotionally. Her supernatural encounters help Amy resolve the internal anger and self-destructive tendencies standing between her and happiness, culminating in a sense of spiritual fulfillment she never dreamed possible.

An amazing true story, What Freedom Smells Like is told with courage, honesty, and a devilishly dark sense of humor.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Amy Lewis through Twitter

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Kimberly Shursen Shares an #Excerpt from HUSH by @KimberlyShursen #AmReading #Thriller

Minneapolis Court House
September 3, 9:00 a.m.

Ben ran a hand down the lapel of his suit jacket. “I call Paige Werner to the stand.”

Putting a child on the witness stand to testify was the worst part of Ben’s job. But if a child was over the age of ten, and sometimes even younger, they were usually called to the stand. For many of these children their lives would always be a living hell. They would go from foster home to foster home until they were eighteen.

Today, Ben was representing twenty-nine-year-old Jeremy Werner. The Werner’s oldest daughter Paige had just turned ten and the oldest of three siblings. Recently divorced, both Rachel and Jeremy Werner wanted sole custody.

When Ben had deposed Rachel Werner, he’d seen through her. She wanted child support—not her children. Oh, she’d put on the drama-queen act and cried like a baby when Ben asked her questions. She’d ranted and raved hysterically about how Jeremy Werner had never been there for her or his children. But Ben had done his homework and found it had been Jeremy who’d attended his children’s school conferences, had signed Paige up for a dance classes, and enrolled his two younger boys in T-ball. It was also Jeremy who’d attended dance recitals and baseball practices. Rachel Werner had not only been a silent partner in this marriage, but as a mother.

Dressed in gray sweat pants, her ample breasts bulged inside the blue-and-white striped tank top, Rachel sat at the defense table, her right leg bouncing up and down rapidly. The stringy, unkempt hair, the sallow complexion, Ben was well aware of the signs of withdrawal. Most junkies tried to stay off dope long enough to win a custody case, and then they’d be right back at it.

The door of the courtroom opened, and a diminutive Paige Werner appeared. Wearing a navy cardigan, sundress, and sandals, she was small for her age. Staring at her fingers weaving in and out of each other, her light brown ponytail was tied with a white ribbon. Ben recognized the DHS worker who walked beside her.

“It’s okay, Paige,” Ben soothed and opened the gate. A courtroom was overwhelming for an adult, let alone a child; the judge donned in a black robe perching God-like on the bench, the twelve empty jury seats and parents sitting at opposing tables.

Paige slowly walked to the witness stand, picking up each foot as if it was too heavy to lift. Robot-like she stopped when she reached the three steps that led up to the witness stand, turned around, and faced the bailiff.

“Please raise your right hand, miss,” the sober-faced bailiff said.

Paige’s dark, doe-like eyes looked so full of pain Ben didn’t know how much more of this she could take. She raised her hand, her petite fingers curled over slightly.

“Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?” he asked the sad-looking child.

Her blank gaze went to Ben, and he nodded.

“Yes,” she said faintly.

“Witness may take the stand.”

Ben unbuttoned the middle button of his jacket. “Paige,” he said and took a few steps toward her, “do you know who I am?”

“My daddy’s lawyer,” she said shyly.

“That’s right,” Ben said evenly. “And do you remember what I told you?” He turned his head and briefly glanced at the defense table. “That your mommy’s lawyer and I would be asking you some questions today?”

“Uh huh.”

“Please answer with a yes or a no,” a voice boomed.

Paige jerked her head toward the judge, her eyes like saucers.

“It’s okay, Paige, you didn’t do anything wrong.” The judge nodded at the court reporter. “We just have to have a yes or no, so we can write it down.”

“Okay,” the child said, barely audible.

“Let me ask this again.” Ben smiled warmly. “Do you remember I told you that both Mr. Lansky and I would be asking you some questions today?”

“Yes,” she said and looked down.

“Do you know why you’re here today?” Ben took a couple of steps to his right, blocking Paige’s view of her mother.

“Uh huh.” A panicked expression quickly came across her face. “I mean yes.”

Ben wanted to walk up the steps, wrap his arms around her, and tell her everything would be alright. But everything wasn’t going to be alright and hadn’t been since the day Paige was born.

“And as you know, Paige, we’re here today to ask which parent you feel you would like to live with.”

She wiggled anxiously in her seat. “I know.”

“Do you remember I told you that we’d be asking you one very important question?”

“’Bout whether I want to live with my mommy or daddy?” Her tone pleaded with Ben to say no.

Ben nodded. “That’s right.”

Her chin started to quiver. “But I don’t want anyone to get mad.” A crocodile tear rolled down a freckled cheek.

“I know.” Ben walked back to his table and picked up a carton of Kleenex. “This is tough, but it’s important everyone knows how you feel.” He put the box down on the ledge in front of her.

Paige pulled out a tissue and wiped her cheek. She sat up straight, her eyes focused and clear. “I want to live with my daddy.”

A high-pitched shriek of resounded through the courtroom.

Ben shot his head toward Rachel Werner, giving her an arresting look. He turned quickly back around and faced the child. “I want you to pretend it’s just you and me talking, okay?”

“I’ll try.” She gnawed on her lower lip.

“That’s good enough for me.” Ben took a few steps to the side, blocking Paige’s vision of her mother again. “Can you tell us why you would like to live with your daddy?”

“My mommy’s…” Paige paused. “She’s too tired.”

“Can you tell us why you think your mommy’s tired?”

“She…she…” Paige covered her face with her hands and shook her head.

Rachel Werner stood up so fast, her chair toppled backwards. “You’re a liar!” She pointed a shaky finger at her daughter, her face balled in anger.

Paige cowered in her seat as Rachel Werner’s state appointed attorney stood and put a hand on his client’s shoulder, but Rachel Werner shirked it off. “Leave me the hell alone, asshole.” Angry spittle sprayed out her mouth.

“Mrs. Werner.” The sound of the gavel came down hard on the bench, and the judge’s face turned an angry crimson. “Sit down.”

“Everyone knows children should be with their mother,” Rachel Werner said hysterically. “She’s a little liar and everybody,” she screamed and bent over from the waist, “everybody knows it.” Her eyes glared fiercely at Paige. “You hear me, you little liar!”

“Counselor.” The judge shook his meaty jowls angrily. “Get your client under control, or I’ll throw her in jail for contempt.”

The fresh-faced attorney leaned over and whispered something into his client’s ear. Reluctantly, the mother sat back down, her hands and legs trembling in sync.

“Mrs. Werner.” The judge looked over the top of his glasses at her. “In this day and age, the parent who will be awarded custody will be because of the best interest for the child. The rights of both parents are equal. A mother has no more rights than a father.”

Rachel Werner bowed her head, her shoulders flinching with each muffled sob.

Ben leaned over the witness stand and patted Paige’s hand. “It’s okay, honey. We’ll stop if you want.”

“I knew she was gonna get mad,” Paige sniveled. “My brothers and I want to live with my daddy.”

“And why is that?” Ben asked.

“He makes us bunny pancakes and stuff.” Paige managed a slight grin.

“So, you have breakfast before school when you stay with your daddy?”

“Weekends we get to choose what we want.” Paige changed positions and smiled at her father. “Like eggs or pancakes and I get to help.”

“And what about dinner when you’re staying with your dad?” Ben locked his hands behind his back. “What kinds of things do you eat?”

“Daddy says we need to eat good stuff.” She wrinkled up her nose. “Like broccoli and carrots.”

Ben smiled. “And when you’re with your mom what kinds of things do you have for dinner?”

“Well.” Paige looked up pensively. “Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.” Her eyes lit up. “Sometimes pizza”

“And your mom makes the pizza?” Ben probed.

Paige slapped a hand over her chest. “I’m big enough to make pizza.”

Ben swallowed a chuckle. “So, if there is one big reason why you would like to live with your daddy, what would it be?”

“He plays with us.” Paige put her hands out to the side. “Like we do dog piles and all jump on top of him. And…hide-‘n-seek.” She shrugged her shoulders. “Lots of stuff.”

Ben raised an eyebrow. “So, he plays with you?”

“Uh huh.” She stiffened. “I mean yes.”

Even though Ben wanted to ask her more questions, he knew when to stop. Attention spans were short, and sometimes children became confused and would answer the same question differently.

“No further questions.” Ben winked at Paige, walked back to his table, and sat down. He put his hand over the French knot in his tie and moved it back and forth a few times. Hopefully Paige would remember to focus on Ben and not Rachel Werner when she was being questioned by her mother’s attorney.

The judge nodded at Rachel Werner’s attorney. “Counselor?”

“Thank you, Your Honor.” The slightly built attorney with black-rimmed glasses perched on a pug nose stood and approached the witness stand.

This case was over. The lawyer would hound Paige until she cried, the judge would recess, and by the end of next week, the father would have sole custody. A mother who was a practicing addict as opposed to a father who was clean and sober with a job that would support his children was a no-brainer.

Nothing enraged Ben more than children being placed with a parent who hadn’t earned their title. Men’s rights had come a long way. Two decades ago children were almost always awarded to their mothers, no matter how bad of a parent they were.

After the judge announced he would render his decision by the end of next week, the courtroom was adjourned.

“Thanks.” Jeremy Werner’s face beamed as he shook Ben’s hand.

“Just take care of Paige.” Ben stared into the father’s tired, young eyes. “Or I will guarantee you I’ll see you on the otherside of the courtroom.”

“I will, Mr. Grable.” Jeremy grinned. “I promise.”

Ben picked up his briefcase and took a fleeting glance at Mrs. Werner. Head on the table sobbing, her right leg moving up and down rapidly, she was a mess.

He marched down the aisle and pushed the door open at the back of the courtroom. As usual, the hallways were jammed. Women in faded jeans and somber frowns sat on benches in hopes a judge would issue a restraining order against an abusive husband; young women held crying toddlers, trusting an absent father would be jailed for lack of child support; and anxious, supportive fathers sat beside teenage sons about to face their first DWI charge.

He rode the elevator to the skywalk level as it only took minutes for Ben to walk from one building to the next. From eight until four, the above ground, indoor walkways were always crowded with professionals carrying attaché cases, as well as the homeless who wandered aimlessly through the maze of heated, indoor paths. Meshed inside a faceless crowd seemed to calm Ben down, especially after an intense courtroom session. He caught the musky scent of leather when he passed Wilson’s, and next to it, the sweet, succulent aroma of Godiva chocolate. With all the boutiques along with a sundry of restaurants, the skyway was a city in itself.

Ben took an escalator up to the top floor. It was a little after eleven, but people had already started to filter into the food court. His stomach did a flip-flop when he spotted Ann at a table as she’d told him she’d try to get away and meet him for lunch. Ben was already crazy about her. It felt like they’d known each other a lot longer than two weeks.

“You made it.” He leaned over the table and gave Ann a quick hug. “You like Chinese?”

“Love it.”

“You sure? Because there’s everything from pizza to—”

“I really, really, really want Chinese.” She flashed Ben a dimpled smile.

He snatched the Star and Tribune off another table and handed it to Ann. “Hey, do me a favor and find the New York Stock Exchange. Search for the cymbal DBS and let me know what it’s at.”

“It’s at thirty-five,” Ann informed Ben when he set a tray on the table. She folded the paper and pushed it aside. “That smells wonderful.”

“Great. Up a point.” He took the cartons off the tray and set a paper plate and plastic silverware in front of Ann.

Ann opened one of the red-and-white checked boxes and leaned over the steaming carton. “Ginger chicken?”

Ben grinned. “Ginger chicken.”

“Iced tea, too? Can you read my mind or what?” She scooped out a portion of the chicken onto her paper plate and then served Ben an ample portion. “What’s DBS?”

“A research company I invested in a couple of years ago.” Ben pulled out a chair across from her and sat down. “The research center is trying to find a cure, or at least diminish some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.”

Ann took a sip of her drink. “Do you know someone with Parkinson’s?”

Ben’s expression turned somber. “My grandmother. Watched her suffer for years before she passed. People shouldn’t have to live like that.”

“Oh, Ben,” she said sympathetically, “I’m sorry.”

They chit-chatted about their morning as they ate, Ben sharing with Ann that his heart broke every time a child had to testify in court, and Ann telling him about the newest arrivals in the nursery.

“How old are you?” Ann blurted. “Oh, sheesh”—she leaned back in her chair—“that came out of nowhere. Sorry.”

Although she had that wholesome girl-next-door look, she was beautiful, and Ben caught himself staring at her. “Older than you. I know that.” Ben scooped up the last of the chicken on his plate. “Twenty-eight.”

“When’s you’re birthday?”

Ben swiped over his mouth with a paper napkin. “Why? Wanna know what I want?”

“Maybe,” she said flirtatiously.

“You into signs and all that?”

Ann rolled her eyes. “Not at all. My father would not be proud if I were.”

“December twentieth,” Ben said. “Almost a Christmas baby. When’s yours?”

Ann’s mouth dropped open. “You’re kidding, right?”

“Why would someone lie about their birthday?” Ben closed the empty carton and put it back on the tray.

She slapped a hand over her chest. “Mine’s December twenty-first.”

“Okay, sock it to me. What year?” Ben eyed her. “Please don’t tell me I’m a cradle robber.”

She cocked her head to the side. “Same year as yours, Mister.”


Soon after Ann Ferguson and Ben Grable marry, and Ben unseals his adoption papers, their perfect life together is torn apart, sending the couple to opposite sides of the courtroom.

Representing Ann, lawyer Michael J. McConaughey (Mac) feels this is the case that could have far-reaching, judicial effects -- the one he's been waiting for.

Opposing counsel knows this high profile case happens just once in a lifetime.

And when the silent protest known as HUSH sweeps the nation, making international news, the CEO of one of the top ten pharmaceutical companies in the world plots to derail the trial that could cost his company billions.

Critically acclaimed literary thriller HUSH not only questions one of the most controversial laws that has divided the nation for over four decades, but captures a story of the far-reaching ties of family that surpasses time and distance.

*** Hush does not have political or religious content. The story is built around the emotions and thoughts of two people who differ in their beliefs.

 EDITORIAL REVIEW: "Suspenseful and well-researched, this action-packed legal thriller will take readers on a journey through the trials and tribulations of one of the most controversial subjects in society today." - Katie French author of "The Breeders," "The Believer's," and "Eyes Ever To The Sky."

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Thriller
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Kimberly Shursen through Facebook and Twitter