Aicha Zoubair

Jessica Bell

Friday, February 28, 2014

Sebastiana Randone – Virtue Of The Adjective @sebasti29567440

Virtue Of The Adjective
In the same way that a palette replete of every colour imaginable, equips the artist with endless possibilities from which to capture flights of fancy, the adjective, in all its boundlessness, provides the writer with a lexical feast from which to express the vast spectrum of emotion.
Description, as clay for the sculptor, delineates and shapes characters and places. At times fantastical and wondrous, or harrowingly real and visceral. Were it not for the adjective, the reader could not connect emotionally with newfound friends, foes or lovers. Or walk down shadowy alley ways, scale craggy and dramatic moors, or drift into a hidden island where sought treasures lie hidden amongst predacious fauna.
Many adjectives came out to play in my book, The House.  This detailed approach was predicated by the need to evoke settings reminiscent of the 19th century.  Later in the story, it is discovered that one of the characters penned this novel. Therefore in order to adhere to the integrity of the story, I adopted a pictorial writing style.
It was, at times, a challenging feat, that I cannot attest to having mastered. The process was vicissitudinous, as I ascended the heights of euphoria only to fall crashing down into a puddle of self doubt. I do however love the literary abandonment that poetic language affords one.
The difficulty in creating, often lie in the limitless number of choices. Where at times, monotones craft a discernible poignancy, whilst in other instances a strong commanding outline can be exhilarating when accompanied by a mosaic of colour and detail.
Despite past readers accustomed to language laden in adjectives, contemporary audiences have adopted and embraced a more economical approach to the art of expression.  Although not a long read, The House moves at a dizzying pace, and may require an occasional visit to the dictionary.  I imagine it is suited to those who have the time and freedom to go wandering into the past, on the way encountering a large cast of distinctive characters whose tribulations and attitudes are familiar to us all.
It is not a book that will appeal to those engaging in the technique of speed reading – that questionable practice which enables one to follow a narrative whilst washing over extraneous details.
Time poor as many are today, it is not surprising that very little space in one’s mental clutter exists for reflection, let alone to imbibe a long illuminative line of prose.
As with the ubiquitous car chase sequence prevalent in the modern day film, many mainstream readers now demand that the narrative moves quickly and cuts to the chase (no pun intended). Simply put descriptions that serve to convey the dramatic impetus and so propel the narrative.
Whilst The House, does indeed move at a brisk pace, it will however suit readers, who have the time to meander along a brook that ripples in rhythm with the lover’s caress; or to witness a tempest lay siege upon a bedevilled town, ringing in the vituperative howl of nature’s malcontent.
Whilst verbs present energy and movement, adjectives tend to stand still by portraying a portrait or landscape imagined by the writer. It is an intimate exchange that can often render the author vulnerable and exposed, particularly when the work is being analysed objectively.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre - Historical, Fantasy, Romance
Rating - PG-16
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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fool for Love by Merry Farmer @MerryFarmer20

Chapter Four

The Majestic rose up out of the water in its Liverpool dock with all the glory of its name.  Amelia held one hand to her hat and stared at its iron sides, its two dun-colored funnels and three tall masts.  The ship was a strange thing to her, a mixture of old and new, progress with hints of the past.  It had sails that could be unfurled in a pinch, but with its powerful new engines, the ship could cross the ocean in a week.

Seven days to a new world.  It was an exact description of everything her life had become.  It was every bit as daunting.

“What am I doing?” Amelia whispered, staring at the hopeful monstrosity in front of her.  It was one thing to accept an offer for a new life.  It was another thing entirely to go through with it.

She turned away from the ship, swallowing the nausea that had plagued her since she’d left her mother’s house.  This time it wasn’t morning sickness.  That was long past.  At the moment, the baby was the least of her worries.  Her stomach rolled over the idea that she was about to board a ship heading for a new life at the mercy of a stranger, a man, no less.  The last time she had trusted her life and her future to a man had been a disaster.

She paced, purse clutched to her chest, scanning the busy dock in search of her American savior.  Men, women, and children crowded the gangplanks, eager to start their journeys, excited and hopeful.  Many of the third-class passengers carried bundles that indicated theirs was a one-way trip as much as hers was.  Eric had left her there to go buy her ticket, but there was nothing stopping him from running off and leaving her stranded.  Like her father.  Like Nick.  She was a fool to agree to this.  She pivoted and marched away from the ship.

No, she stopped herself after a handful of steps, this was the best decision she could have made.  She may have felt small and lonely standing by herself, waiting, heart and stomach fluttering, but she was as much a part of the intrepid adventurers seeking a new life in America as any of her fellow passengers.  This was right.


“Well, we got a minor problem on our hands.”

The twang of Eric’s accent shocked Amelia from her worries.  She spun to face him as he approached her with wide strides, scratching his head and looking as guilty as a schoolboy.

“A problem?” she asked, voice fluttering.

“Yeah.  I went to buy you a ticket, but they’re plumb sold out.”

Amelia’s chest tightened and her tender stomach lurched.  “Oh.  Oh dear.  Well I suppose….”

She lowered her eyes, heart aquiver.  As quickly as it started, her chance for a new life was over.  All that worrying for nothing.

She squared her shoulders to face her fate.  “I … I thank you for your efforts on my behalf regardless, Mr. Quinlan.”

Eric’s brow crinkled into a curious frown.  “Regardless?”

“I suppose I could find work here in Liverpool,” she explained.  “Surely there must be a shop somewhere that would look the other way from….”  She lowered her hand to the mound of her stomach.

Eric’s lips twitched.  The morning sunlight caught in his eyes.  “I didn’t want to have to put you in third-class, so I told them you were my wife.”

Amelia blinked.  “You what?”

“I told them we’re newlyweds.  I reserved my stateroom in first class last year when I came over.  Good thing I paid for it then too, ‘cuz after this fiasco of a trip I’ll never ride first-class again.  Anyhow, when they said they didn’t have any more rooms, I told them you were my wife and that we would be staying in the same stateroom.  They sold me a ticket for that.”  He handed her a fresh, clean ticket with her name written as ‘Mrs. Amelia Quinlan’.  “Sorry.”

Amelia held perfectly still on the outside, but on the inside her heart pounded and her stomach rolled with guilt for questioning him.  He wasn’t abandoning her.  He had gone out of his way to help her.  Her heart squeezed as it never had before.  She took the ticket from him with a trembling hand, hardly noticing when her fingers brushed his.  She was rescued after all.

“Thank you, Mr. Quinlan.  You have no idea how much this kindness means to me.”  She had to concentrate on breathing, standing straight, and looking up into his handsome eyes with a smile to keep her tears at bay.

“You don’t mind sharing then?” he asked her.


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Genre – Western Historical Romance

Rating – R

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

#Author Anne-Rae Vasquez on Writing, Life & Relaxing @write2film #Paranormal #Thriller #amongus

If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask?.
I’d invite the unnamed seekers of truth out there… those who gave up their lives to fight for truth and justice.  In addition, I’d invite truth seekers: Aaron Swartz, Harry Fear, Cairn Rodrigues, author of Song of Soltice series, The Book Landers, Heromine Granger, Linus Pauling, and Gene Shoemaker.
And to entertain them, I’d invite John Lennon (my childhood hero), Johnny Depp (straight up good guy and actor), Jeffrey Dawson (good actor), Joshua Jackson (a Canadian actor) and Justin Timberlake and Jay Z (so that they can perform their hit song “Suit and Tie” for me and my kids).   Just realized that they all start with the letter J…. hmmm… coincidence?  My mother always told me that there are no such things as coincidences.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
Watching back to back episodes of my favourite shows… Fringe, Turkish soap operas (yeah, read my last book to find out about that connection), Burn Notice, White Collar, 666 Park Avenue and more…
Do you have any tips on how writers can relax?
Buy your kids tons of games so that they can play quietly in their room.  Kidding!  Take time to spend time with your family.  Work is always there but your family may not be if you ignore them too much.
How often do you write? And what is the process?
I write in spurts.  Then I drag my developmental author into a room where she can rip it apart and massage it or punch me out.  Then we sit and rewrite it and then go through it again.  We let it sit and then visit it again and re-work, re-edit.  When we finally get to a point where we need more input, then we call on our beta readers and my critique partner to give us feedback. We have some that love it and some that hate it and then we go back and try to rework it again.  Finally when it is done, we send it off to professional editors to polish the book off.
Sometimes it’s so hard to keep at it - What keeps you going?
Artists just want to create and that is really all that keeps me going.
What’s your favorite meal?
Mediterranean food is my favourite kind of meals because I love the rich ethnic flavours and spices.
What color represents your personality the most?
Purple or magenta – my developmental editor says that colours have meanings that describe a person’s personality. She just read to me what Purple and Magenta mean and I was a bit surprised at how accurate it was.
If you could do any job in the world what would you do?
I would be a film maker and author.
What are you most passionate about? What gets you fired up?
I’m passionate about being creative.
Are you a city slicker or a country lover?
City slicker. Born and raised.
What’s your next project?
Book 2 of the Among Us Trilogy… and my developmental editor is bugging me to get started.
What would you love to produce in your life?
A TV series like Fringe or more feature films.
How important are friends in your life?
Extremely important but I can count on one hand who my true friends are.
Do you find the time to read?
Always… and I try to squeeze reading in between even the writing.  It is a my way to escape for a few minutes into another world and sometimes I find that a good book can jump start my creative juices.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?
Quote by me:  Writing is emotional. It is baring your soul to the world and waiting for someone to acknowledge and love it, or shun and hate it, or worse be indifferent about it. --- Anne-Rae Vasquez
What’s your favorite place in the entire world?
Vancouver, BC, Canada is the best place in the world. If you have never visited, you should. Enough said.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing?
As you can see I inject a lot of culture in my stories no matter what the genre. I come from a mixed background and witnessed many clashes between both sides of the family especially from the different cultural traditions and way of life. I like to throw my characters into situations where they have to overcome cultural differences to achieve their goals.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for four decades since I was old enough to hold a pencil.
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?
I usually write by myself but I learned that being the Lone Ranger is not the best way to write. Thankfully, when I was writing Doubt, I had my developmental editor by my side. It was mostly a collaboration of minds, although we frequently butted heads. But the outcome, once we ironed things out, was pure magic.  In addition, my team of beta readers participated in missions (in the theme of the book) and also provided further feedback of each chapter. I also worked with my critique partner who helped shake up the story and make it richer.  Finally, the manuscript went through two copy and proof editors to refine the work and polish off the writing.

Do you love shows like J.J. Abrams' Fringe and read books like Cassandra Clare's City of Bones?
"Doubt" mashes fringe science, corporate espionage and paranormal encounters to catapult you into an out-of-this-world experience.
At 21 years old, Harry and Cristal are fresh out of university with their PhD's. Labeled all their lives as being 'weird' and 'geeky', they find true friendships with other outcasts by playing online virtual reality games.
Harry Doubt, a genius programmer and creator of the popular online game 'Truth Seekers', has a personal mission of his own; to find his mother who went mysteriously missing while volunteering on a peacekeeping mission in Palestine. His gaming friends and followers inadvertently join in helping him find her; believing that they are on missions to find out what has happened to their own missing loved ones. During Harry's missions, Cristal and the team of 'Truth Seekers' stumble upon things that make them doubt the reality of their own lives. As they get closer to the truth, they realize that there are spiritual forces among them both good and evil, but in learning this, they activate a chain of events that start the beginning of the 'end of the world' as they know it.
Doubt is Book 1 of the Among Us Trilogy. Among Us is a book series which delves into the world of the supernatural and how it intersects with the everyday lives of seemingly ordinary young people as catastrophic events on earth lead to the end of times. Among Us weaves the theme of a young man and woman, who while not fully understanding their 'abilities', are drawn together in their desire to find out the truth about the world they live in which is similar to themes used in J.J. Abrams' TV shows Fringe and Lost.
What readers have to say...
As a big fan of the show Fringe, this book appealed to me tremendously. The writing was well done, and the way the "supernatural" forces were introduced was great.
A good, clean read for any age.
It was an excellent story that I'm sure both adult and teen urban fantasy fans will enjoy. You don't have to be a gamer or know one to identify with the characters. They're very well developed and definitely feel like people. I would definitely recommend it to a friend and I'm really looking forward to the second book.
...the novel is written in such a languid style, it moves on effortlessly and absorbs the reader into the story completely. Although the story itself revolves around the online gaming industry, one does not have to have an in depth knowledge as it is ably explained and discussed within the plot line.
OMGosh! I just finished reading "Doubt" INCREDIBLE! I couldn't put it down.
˃˃˃ >>> Depth and Substance mashed up with Fringe Science. Will entertain young and old alike.
This book is intended for mature young adults and new adults. Ages 16 to 45 +
˃˃˃ >>Inspired by real Truth Seekers Aaron Swartz and Harry Fear
The main character Harry Doubt was inspired by Aaron Swartz, internet prodigy and activist, co-founder of the Creative Commons and Reddit, and Harry Fear, journalist, documentary filmmaker and activist whose coverage of the conflict in the Middle East was seen on UStream by millions of viewers.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Young Adult, Paranormal, Science Fiction, Thriller
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with Anne-Rae Vasquez on Facebook & Twitter

Superhuman Nature by Brandon Overall #SciFi #Excerpt #AmReading

The guard behind him tried to hit Neil in the back of the head with the butt of his rifle, but he felt nothing from the blow.  Anger consumed him.  The guard had shot Sung in cold blood.  There was no arrest, no trial, and no judge.  He didn’t deserve any mercy, and Neil wasn’t going to give him any.
Neil lifted the guard off of the ground several feet and slammed him hard onto the pavement.  The distinct sound of snapping bones would have made anyone cringe, but Neil did not have enough humanity left to care.  The guard behind Neil yelled something, but he wasn’t paying any attention.  The guard was raised into the air again, and slammed down once more.  Every time Neil slammed the guard down, the bones disintegrated under the immense force.  The guard screamed in agony.
The guard behind Neil fired several shots from his AK-47 into Neil’s back, but his body reacted automatically to the threat.  The bullets bounced off of his back like nerf darts.  Neil was still too focused on the guard that he was repeatedly slamming into the ground to worry about the crushed projectiles falling to the ground behind him.
As the guard lay bleeding and broken on the ground, Neil walked up to him slowly.  He could see the fear and pain in his eyes.  He cried, knowing what was going to happen to him.  The guard behind Neil was still firing, but it didn’t distract Neil from what he was about to do.  He raised his foot above the guard’s head, and brought it down, again and again.  He was gurgling and blood poured out of his mouth.  He stopped crying.
Neil turned around to focus his attention on the guard that had been shooting him in the back.  At the sight of the gruesome execution before him, the guard dropped his rifle and sprinted away, trying to escape.  He didn’t get far.  Neil severed his Achilles tendon, and he tumbled face first into the ground.  He screamed as the tendon shot up into his body like a rubber band.  He was completely helpless, as his calf muscles were no longer attached to his foot.
The man desperately tried crawling away.  He was crying as he chanted something while inching forward, pulling his body along the road with his hands.  Neil didn’t have to speak Korean to know what a prayer sounded like.  As he approached the man, Neil’s shadow loomed over him, blocking the last sunlight he would ever feel.
Neil slowly and deliberately pulled on each limb of his body.  The muscles stretched, the tendons began to tear, and a soft pop could be heard as the joints at the shoulders and hips separated.  He shrieked with pain, but his suffering wasn’t over.  The skin connecting each limb stretched several inches without giving way.
Pools of blood began to form inside his body where the internal arteries were severed.  Finally, the skin couldn’t stretch any more, and it tore.  The pooled blood spilled out onto the ground.  With each beat of his struggling heart, a line of crimson shot out of each severed artery where a limb was supposed to be connected.  The beats became slower as the life drained from his body.  The screams turned into soft moans.  Finally, the noise stopped, and the blood stopped pouring.
Superhuman Nature is Brandon Overall's first novel. It was written and published during his first deployment to Afghanistan as a 2nd Lieutenant in late 2013.
Neil Hitchens was a senior ROTC Cadet in college. He was just weeks away from graduating and becoming an Officer in the United States Army, until a strange dream set off a chain of events that would twist his life into something he could have never prepared for.
In the days following his dream, several strange happenings occurred that he began to suspect were the result of his own actions. Before long, he discovered that he had the ability to control the world around him with his mind.
What started out as an unpredictable ability quickly evolved into an extraordinary power that had the capacity to change the world. It didn't take long for the government to find out what Neil could do.
They knew having such limitless potential on the side of the US Military could give them limitless political influence, and they would stop at nothing to get Neil to do their bidding. They would find out what happens when you back a dangerous animal into a corner.
Neil spent his whole life believing he would amount to greatness, but he never expected how greatness could corrupt even the most innocent of minds.
Buy @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Science Fiction
Rating – PG-13
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#Author Amy L. Gale Shares Her Favorite Reads Throughout the Years @Amyg618 #Romance #TBR

From the day I was born, books have been an important part of my life. My mother loves to remind me that the first item in my nursery was a bookshelf filled with Little Golden Books. As an infant, she rocked me to bed while reading The Poky Little Puppy. Maybe these books helped develop my love for animals.
As I grew older, I would leaf through the pages of my Little Golden Book until I was old enough to read them. Once that day arrived, I don’t think I’ve ever stopped. My favorite book when I was in kindergarten was Tawny Scrawny Lion. I didn’t leave the house without it in my book bag. I have to admit, every once in a while I still pull it out and sink into my rocking chair for a trip down memory lane.
Of course our tastes change all the time throughout childhood, and when I was in grade school I couldn’t get enough of Amelia Bedelia and her silly antics. When I hit the third grade I was introduced to another author whose books prepared me for the turbulent whirlwind also known as adolescence. Yep, I’m talking about Judy Blume. I started the Judy Blume experience with Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and quickly moved onto Are You There God it’s Me Margaret? So many of the questions and emotions I was going through at the time were depicted in these books and they’ve helped me through some trying times.
Once high school hit I was all about hauntings and tales of the supernatural. I think I’ve read almost all of Stephen King’s books, and some of them were pretty graphic. Maybe the flashlight hidden under my pillow wasn’t only there to read after bedtime. Hey, bringing a book to life is the fun part. Everyone likes a good scare every once in a while.
In my college days, I didn’t get to read for pleasure as much as I would’ve liked. My reading consisted mostly of text books and medical journals, but when I had some down time there was nothing better than losing myself in a romance novel. I flipped through the pages, praying that love could conquer all and there would be a happy ending. I’ve never stopped that habit.
Now, I mainly read and write romance novels. My favorite genres are new adult and contemporary, but I like to throw in a few erotic romance novels and paranormal romances every once in a while to spice things up. I loved my college days and find myself creating characters who are about to enter college, in college, or just graduated college. Most of us will or have experienced some type of intense love connection during these years and there’s nothing more amazing than finding your soul mate. I try to capture that passion and excitement in my writing and always find a way to entwine another passion of mine, music, into the mix.

Blissful Tragedy Cover
Sometimes love is more than tragedy or bliss.
Ambitious 22-year-old Lexie Waters is intent on taking the advertising world by storm. When she’s offered the soon to be open position she’s been vying for at a swanky advertising agency, there’s only one last summer separating her from dreams of corporate success. Still bitter from catching her boyfriend cheating, she heads out for a night of fun to see her favorite band, Devil’s Garden, but fun turns into utter embarrassment when she insults the enticingly confident lead singer, Van Sinclair. 
Van is intrigued by Lexie’s ability to resist his charm and secretly obtains her cell number. Shocked but eager to get to know this captivating rocker, Lexie accepts Van’s invitation to see his next show, which requires an overnight stay. The overwhelming feelings that follow take them both by surprise, and with two months left before starting her sought after new position, Lexie joins the tour. As she’s catapulted into the world of groupies and wild parties, she questions Van’s commitment to her. So what happens at summer’s end when time runs out?
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Genre - Contemporary Romance
Rating – R
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Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Man Who Lived at the End of the World by Robert Davies @ahundredstories

Excerpt 5:

Walking out through the doors I hurried past the debris of the bar and out through the gaping front windows, over the unsteady mountain of crunching glass, and onto the cracked street. Only then did I stop to look up at the sky between the towering buildings. There were patches of pure blue now parting the restless clouds, making way for the bright morning sun once again, and as I stepped out of shadow its rays exploded out in warmth across my face and painted the broken city golden. Seeing its light upon the ruins, I felt laughter once more well up inside me as I breathed deeply and set off.

There was a determined sense of adventure rising inside me as I walked. My mind began to race as my footsteps echoed through the damp, shattered streets and their hollow buildings. Old neural pathways fired back into life as if waking from slumber, and I began to plan. I was clean and clothed. I had food and water. My needs were met. The next step was to find out exactly where I was, and then where I had to go. The rest I could work out afterwards.

Lucy must be waiting for me, I thought to myself, otherwise why would she call for me in my dreams?

I walked and walked. Sometimes I saw crows fly overhead and perch high above me, or land on the rubble in the road nearby only to fly away upon seeing me, and I would pause and smile in delight at them. It filled me with hope to see fellow signs of life, but it seemed they were all that was left. Apart from the gentle mist of rainwater being lifted by the warmth, and the sound of its dripping from the buildings, there was no sound or movement.

The sun slowly rose high to beat down on me until the streets were like a desert between the cool shadows it cast, and just then I saw a mirage of washed-out colour spilled out across the road ahead of me. In the heat-hazed distance it looked like a swirling flood that had to be forded, but as I drew closer I saw that a large book shop had blown its windows and thrown out thousands of books like a flock of downed birds. The storms had soaked and battered many of their flightless pages back into pulp, but others lay fluttering in a quiet, uneasy wind.

I stopped next to them and stood, looking into the cavernous mouth of the store, its shadow darkened by the sun behind it. I knew that somewhere inside there had to be a map. I would find it and look for street names and piece everything together.

The Man Who Lived at the End of the World

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Genre - Apocalyptic fiction

Rating – PG

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Hank Quense's #WriteTip on How to Make Characters Believable @hanque99 #HowTo #AmWriting

To make a believable character, you have to develop the character in four separate areas: physical (outer) attributes, mental (inner) attributes, a biography and a dominant reader emotion.
Physical attributes:  These attributes are the obvious ones.  They tell the reader what the character looks like.  Many beginning or inexperienced fiction writers stop the character development at this point.  What they have created is a cardboard cutout of a real character.  No reader wants to spend time with characters like this because they aren’t human.  In fact, these attributes are the least important of the four areas.  I’ve written and had published short stories in which I never described the characters.  I left that job to the reader’s imagination.  The only important attribute here is dialog; how does the character speak?.  Does the character talk like a banker or a thug?  Does the character’s dialog use gonna, inna and other words of this ilk?  It’s important to differentiate the characters through their dialog.  If every character sounds the same as all the other character, it won’t be an interesting story.
Mental attributes: These attributes are much more important than the physical ones.  These are what turn the cardboard character into a “human.”  These are the attributes you have to assign to your character.  Every one has a personal philosophy and your character needs one also.  Is the character an optimist?  A pessimist?  Is she an individualist or a pragmatist?  Once you assign a philosophy, the character has to act in that fashion.  You can’t have a optimist acting like a pessimist.  If you do, the reader will call you out on it.  Other important traits include the character’s personality.  Is he charming, despotic, murderous, friendly?  And don’t forget to give the character a few quirks.  Does he avoid making eye contact with others?  Does he overeat?  How about picking at her finger nails, or her nail polish?
All this attributes are essential to defining a well-rounded character.
Biography: Most new writers don’t understand the need for a character bio.  After all, most of the material will never make it into the story, so why bother.  Writing a bio allows the writer to understand the character and learn what makes him tick.  If you don’t have a bio, you don’t know how the character will react in different situations.  Suppose you didn’t wrote a bio and someone walks up to your character and punches him in the mouth.  How doe he react?  Does you character punch back?  Turn around and walk away?  You don’t know what the character will do, because you don’t understand the character.  What if a beautiful woman grabs him and kisses him.  Does you character turn red and develop a stammer?  Does he ask for her phone number?  Does he kiss her back?  Without a bio, you’re guessing what the character will do.  Guess will ensure the character inconsistency.
Dominant reader emotion  This attribute isn’t discussed much in fiction writing books.  It’s the emotion you want the reader to experience when the character is in a scene.  All the main characters need one or more of this attribute.  Typical reader emotions are: sympathy, annoyance, pity, amusement, empathy and affection. Don’t give the story’s hero a dominant reader emotion like annoyance or hatred.  These are reserved for the bad guy in the story.
Planning on self-publishing a book? Uploading files to a packager isn't the entire scope of work. That's actually the easiest task, but there are many more necessary tasks to be done..  This book explains the entire self-publishing process.  It breaks up the publishing process into four timeframes starting four months before the availability date. This spreads the workload into easy-to-manage chunks.
The book describes the complete process necessary to self-published a book. Unlike those who maintain that self-publishing a book consists of simply uploading the cover and manuscript files, this book details all of the necessary preliminary tasks that have to be finished before uploading the files.
It’s a complete roadmap to get a book self-published. It’s organized by timeframes to break up the workload into manageable chunks.
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Genre - Non-fiction: how-to
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with Hank Quense on Facebook

A 3rd Time to Die by George Bernstein @GeorgeBernstein #Romance #Paranormal #ReviewShare

A 3rd Time to DieA 3rd Time to Die by George Bernstein
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A 3rd Time to Die by George Bernstein was an entertaining, mysterious and addictive paranormal romance. It was so hard for me to stop reading this book and not get ahead of our weekly book club discussions. This book was impossible to put down once I started it.

I found myself drawn in by the completely engrossing characters & storyline. Sometimes it felt like the movie Groundhog Day. You are feeling the same emotions over and over again but not really understanding what is happening. If that happened to me, I don't think I would have reacted as well as the characters did.

Ashley and Craig were well fleshed out. As they got closer, the plot is filled with twists and turns, most of them unexpected. The author doesn't shy away from the fact that actions have consequences, some wounds take a long time to heal and some things can't be fixed. A reader can be easily moved to tears more than once, but you will also feel joy and hope at the end of the book.

You will find yourself becoming emotionally invested in the story, to me that is a sign of success when an author can achieve that. This book is well written as was George Berstein's Trapped, it has believable characters and I love the eye for detail in the dialogues. You have to read it for yourself, it is well worth the investment.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Three Sisters by Bryan Taylor - #Humor #Comedy #MustRead

“Why’d you become a nun?” asked Mr. Ram.
“Well, when I was a kid, my mother got me to enjoy all the music she and my father had listened to when they were kids, you know, Big Band, Glenn Miller, and she’d get me to watch all the movies she used to go see with my father when they were growing up. I really liked the movies and music from back then. They had a certain optimism, a joie de vivre, almost a naivety about life, all of which it seems like we’ve lost since then. While I was in college, there was Watergate and Viet Nam and the CIA and racial problems, and Berkeley wasn’t exactly a hotbed of contentment. If people in other countries liked our movies and music, they hated our government, and everyone around me at college was either cynical or distrustful or, or…it just all seemed so different from the movies and music my mother had shown me. It seemed to me that there had to be a better way to live life than being distrustful and cynical about everyone and everything, and besides, I thought someone had to carry the torch of American optimism, especially when everyone else was trying to put it out. And I decided that person would be me.
“I decided that what I wanted to do was to go abroad and show others that America was still a country that wanted to help people. I had thought about going into the Peace Corps, but I didn’t want to be connected with the government because if I worked for them, I was afraid that the people in the country I was going to wouldn’t trust me. So instead I became a Maryknoll nun, purposing to go down to Central America to help others and show them what America could be. My parents were Catholic, and I had met a couple of Maryknoll nuns in California. One thing led to another, and before I knew it, I was in the convent. My parents didn’t like the idea at first since they were Methodist, but after a while they accepted my decision.” Sister Carla had turned away from the table and was studying the floor beneath her intensely.
“What’s she doing?” asked Mrs. Ram.
“She’s trying to judge how far it is to the floor. Penguins are terribly nearsighted because their eyes are adapted to seeing underwater. So it takes them a while to judge distances. They’re quite good jumpers though. Some can jump better than they can walk.”
“So what happened in the convent?”
“Being there was quite an adjustment those first few months. Though I had taken on the idealism of the thirties, I had not taken on the Hayes Commission’s morality. I had always had boys chasing after me, but I really didn’t have much of a choice in the matter. You know, men are funny because it’s so easy to manipulate them. I took cues from the movies and from friends and learned to act coy and shy, or aggressive and spunky as the situation demanded. Most of them never realized how I was controlling them. They were so happy to be with me, they didn’t seem to care. What happened at the end of the date was their main concern. Not that I didn’t enjoy it either. In fact, I probably enjoyed it more than they did, but I also made sure the evening itself was just as fun.” Sister Carla jumped off the chair and started to explore the Ram’s house at her leisure.
“Anyway, the convent changed my dating habits drastically, but I adjusted quickly enough. A lot of the nuns I met there were nice, optimistic, and even idealistic, though often for different reasons from my own. Nuns are not the simplistic Debbie Reynolds types that movies make them out to be. Most of them are probably more vivacious and thoughtful than the average person. You know, they say clothes make the person, and it’s the same with nuns. Most people only see the black and white outer habits nuns wear before the world without ever thinking about what nuns wear under their habits. But to some of the more liberal nuns, their nightgowns were their pride and joy. Why, I myself had a veritable rainbow of brilliant gowns to sleep in. Under a nun’s habit lies her true nature, not in it.
“But that’s beside the point. In due time I was down in Central America, and I must admit, it turned out to be something quite different from what I had imagined. I was sent down there to work with Sister Carla, that’s whom I named our penguin after. She had already been down there for two years, and she believed in helping people’s bodies as well as their souls and went out of her way to do so. She made sure she had done everything she could for the people she was working with, and she never gave up. Whether someone woke her up in the middle of the night seeking refuge, or came to her at the church, she went out of her way to help them. It wasn’t always easy either. We were taken advantage of many times and we knew it, but we stuck by our jobs nevertheless.
“Unfortunately, Sister Carla did too good of a job,” continued Regina more solemnly. “She helped everyone regardless of whom they were and that was her fatal mistake. The government of the country we were in was rather brutal and the leftists often did their best to be as inhuman as the people they were trying to overthrow. There were rumors about some of the things that happened to people the government didn’t like. They told me about the ‘flying nun’ incidents. Government soldiers would take some nun who wouldn’t cooperate with them up in a helicopter, fly over the ocean, and then push her out the window and tell her to fly. None did. Both sides had told Sister Carla to stay in the Church where she belonged, but she and I ignored them. I guess we just figured it wouldn’t happen to us, or if it did, it was God’s will.” Regina paused.
“It was a Wednesday when it happened. I was walking home when some of the people in the village ran up to me and told me some men had taken Sister Carla away. They didn’t know who the men were or what side they were on, but she was gone. Two days later someone found her body. She had been shot twice. As soon as I heard, I went to see her body to make sure her remains were taken care of.
“I don’t know. The whole situation was just too real. Sister Carla would have wanted me to stay on, but I just couldn’t do it anymore. My heart wasn’t in it. I stayed down there a while and read the Bible every day. But everything seemed so wrong. If Paul wasn’t preaching at me, the priests were laying down rules and regulations for me. I knew how to live without some man telling me what to do. And the men in the Bible were bigger chauvinists than the men down in Central America. Just read the Bible and see how the Jews treated women back in Old Testament times. The Israelites killed all the men in battle, but raped the women they captured or made them their mistresses. Their women were just furniture. And then I realized Israel was just like Honduras or some other Center American country. Every few years there was a coup, an assassination, a war, or something like that. Nothing had changed in three thousand years.
“After Sister Carla got killed, I tried reading the Bible for solace, but everywhere I read there was nothing but death and destruction from man and from God. You read in one place where the Israelites kill 500,000 men in a few days. In another place an angel kills 185,000 men. I guess God would justify that like we justify Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but what I never could understand was Childermas, the Slaughter of the Innocents. God sent an angel to Joseph so he would save His Son Jesus, but He let all the other children die. Why didn’t God tell the other fathers that Herod’s men were coming to massacre their children? Why did He save His Son and not the other children? I never could understand that. Of course now I’m an agnostic, so I think it’s all a bunch of nonsense, but I never could reconcile Childermas.
Nuns just want to have fun! But when three former Catholic nuns have too much fun and get in trouble with the law, they become nuns on the run.
Driving back to Washington D.C. where they work at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Parts, the three sisters are arrested in Tennessee. After defeating the local deputy in strip poker, they escape from jail, and are pursued by the zealous Detective Schmuck Hole, who has personally offered a $10,000 reward for their capture on The 700 Club. Little do they know that when the three sisters visit the Washington Monument, their lives will change forever.
Set in 1979, The Three Sisters is a sacrilegious satire that skewers not only organized religion, but the government, the media, intellectuals, corporate greed and every other part of the establishment. Maybe not the greatest story ever told, but possibly the funniest.
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Genre – Humor, Satire, Catholicism, Politics
Rating – R
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