Aicha Zoubair

Jessica Bell

Friday, August 29, 2014

S.A. Snow on Writing & Her New Book "Across Worlds Collision" #AmWriting #AmReading #SciFi

Why do you write?
I write solely for the fact that it is fun and entertaining to me. I write it to challenge myself into worlds that have not yet been created and for personal relaxation time. Across Worlds: Collision was written as an adventure to see how far I could push my comfort zones and to see how I could make it into an enjoyable process. I continue to write for those same reasons: challenge and enjoyment.

What books did you love growing up?
My favorite books growing up were The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner. I could not get enough of those books, and I used to read them out loud to the alpacas on my farm growing up. Those were some of the best read alpacas around.

What do you hope your obituary will say about you?
S. A. Snow was a recluse that we had barely begun to know. She was just coming out of her shell, into her own when tragedy struck. The alpaca’s revolted, and well, it was bloody. There is nothing left of her body, only blood. There has been conspiracies that S. A. is truly still alive and living under a false identity in the remote villages of the Amazon, but we assure you that is not true. S. A. has passed into the next emanation from this one and continues to spin her tales and stories, creating webs of creation in her path. We will sorely miss seeing the product and what got caught in the web itself.
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
Marketing, hands down. Writing is something that comes naturally. Even when the plot or characters aren’t cooperating, you know that it will. With publishing, once you’ve found one, you’re done. Marketing is the job that never ends. You always need to expand your audience, find new people to buy the book, get it into a new store or onto a new blog.

How do you work through self-doubts and fear?
I just stay true to the story. Writing this book was a risk. It’s not a common theme, and it’s not a topic that’s often written about so there are a lot of people out there who won’t like it or will think it’s too weird and that’s okay. Realizing that and just letting the characters tell their story helps with the doubt. It’s not my story. It’s theirs, and I’m just the one who gets to tell it.

Do you plan to publish more books?
I absolutely plan on publishing more books. I’m planning out and working on a werewolf dystopia with a few fantastical twists. My hope is to have this novel finished by the end of this year. At least with the writing of it.

What marketing works for you?
This is always a matter of how you look at it. This is my debut novel, and thus it is far more important that I look at marketing as a strategy. For this particular book, I have set up only two social media sites. This is due to limited time. I want to make sure writing is my focus and not marketing. I also set up a cover reveal on June 14th, 6 weeks before the release day. This is the earliest I would ever do it. I had over 40 people sign up for the cover reveal!

For future marketing, I have also set up a Goodreads account with the novel already there. I’ve also set up a book blog tour a week or so before the release, and this one the month of release. I used two separate tour companies, in hopes to reach more bloggers and more readers. The goal is get some reviews in before the release as well as reviews throughout the month afterward.

Reviews are helpful, but they are not everything. I still have to make an impact, still have to be seen. In order to do that, I must be present online. Since I do not live in a location suitable to foot marketing, online is the way to go.

What other jobs have you had in your life?
I’ve had a lot of random jobs here and there. A lot of online jobs that I can do from home, a lot of schooling which involved many papers and much travel. You wouldn’t believe the number of degrees I have. Anyway, I’ve worked at the starter jobs too. Grocery stores, fast food joints, clothing stores. If you name it, I’ve probably done something close to it if not it itself.

Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support?
Absolutely. A. M. Leibowitz was there from the start of this project. She was definitely a support while I tried to write, and the best support while I tried to edit. She calmed me down when I thought the plot was going to explode, and laughed at all the right places when I tried to tell a funny. A. M. has honestly been the best support there could possibly be.

Tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it?
My newest creation is about a CIA agent who is going on a very special mission. This novel is definitely a blend of genre fiction and erotica. Jane Butler is sent on a mission to an alien space station under the ruse of being mated with Usnavi, a Xanthian. The Xanthians landed on Earth nine months prior in search of ways to reproduce. Since the US is advanced in reproduction technologies, they spent most of their time there. An interesting fact about Xanthians is that they are all genderless and sexless. They shift between being male and female at will.

I wrote this story simply because I got drunk. This will teach me to drink and write again. I was laughing at an editing mistake in a friends WIP, where she had changed the sex of an alien and missed a few lines. I was laughing so hard I must have hit my head in the process and decided to write this lovely tale.


Jane expected six months undercover to be hard; she expected it to be lonely and bleak. She didn’t expect to find love. 

Jane Butler, a CIA operative, is assigned the task of infiltrating the Xanthians and determining if they’re a threat to humanity. Going undercover as a Xanthian mate, she boards the transport ship and meets Usnavi—her new mate. After spending six days traveling through space, Jane is ecstatic to explore the Xanthian station and soon sets out to complete her mission. The only problem? Usnavi—and the feelings she is quickly developing. 

Fumbling their way through varying sexual expectations, cooking catastrophes, and cultural differences, they soon discover life together is never boring. As Jane and Usnavi careen into a relationship neither of them expected, Jane uncovers dark secrets about the Xanthians and realizes she may no longer be safe. When it becomes clear she’s on her own, Jane is forced to trust and rely on Usnavi. Simultaneously struggling with her mission, her feelings for Usnavi, and homesickness, Jane faces questions she never imagined she would have to answer.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Blended Science Fiction, Erotica
Rating – NC17
More details about the author
Connect with S. A. Snow on Facebook

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Pendelton Wallace on Happiness & Motivation #Mystery #Thriller #AmWriting

Tell us a bit about your family.  

I have a rather unconventional family. My father is of Scottish heritage; my mother’s parents came from Mexico. I grew up with a foot in both worlds.

When I was little, we interacted mainly with my mother’s family. I remember my first day of kindergarten. There were all these kids with yellow worms growing from their heads. I had never seen a blond before.

But somehow, I’m not a Latino. My Spanish is poor, but I can make myself understood. I stand out as a gringo in Mexico and fit into American culture.

How do you work through self-doubts and fear? 
This is a really tough question because I rarely have self-doubts or fear. If you read my first book Blue Water & Me, Tall Tales of Adventures With My Father, you will see that Papa exorcised fear and self-doubt from me at an early age.

I’m kind of like the bumble bee. Scientist have proven mathematically that a bumble bee can’t fly. Someone just forgot to tell it to the bumble bee. I don’t know what I can’t do, so I just go ahead and do it.

What scares you the most? 
Dogs. I can honestly say that the only thing in the world that I have ever been afraid of is dogs. When I was three years old I was attacked by two German Sheppards. To this day, the sight of a German Sheppard makes my blood run cold.

This is particularly important since Dawn, my significant other, had two Great Danes when I met her. Like everything else in my life, I swallowed my fear and just plunged ahead.

What makes you happiest? 
Wow! There are so many things that make me happy it’s really hard to choose. Sailing on a downwind reach off the coast of Baja California with just Dawn on my boat was one of the best experiences of my life.

How could you ask for more? The temperatures were in the eighties, we had about a fifteen knot wind on our quarter, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Pods of dolphin and whale played with us for days. We were off shore far enough that we couldn’t see land. We had the world to ourselves.

What’s your greatest character strength? 
Honesty. I value honesty and loyalty above all other traits. When I meet a person, I assume that they are honest. I give them the benefit of the doubt until they prove otherwise. Once a person has been dishonest with me, I can never trust them again.

I have been told by employers that my honesty is a flaw. They said that I was too honest for my own good. They wanted me to lie for them and I wouldn’t. I also did not spend many more years at that job.

What’s your weakest character trait? 
Self-control. I know I have a problem with food. I’ve been fighting my weight most of my life. For me, food is like a drug. I’m hooked. Even though I know I shouldn’t be eating that greasy bacon for breakfast, if it is there, I will take it.

Why do you write? 
Because I have to. My mind is overflowing with stories. I just have to get them down on paper (or under glass).

I write character sketches and a fifteen to twenty page outline before I begin writing the book. Then I sit down to write. By this time, my sub-conscious knows the story and the characters and the words just flow from my fingers. I almost never think about what I’m writing.

I’m as enrapt as any reader as I see the story unfold in front of me. Sometimes it surprises me.

In The Inside Passage, I thought that Meagan was a certain kind of person, but as the story unfolded in front of me, she refused to be pigeon holed. She evolved and changed into a whole different person by the end of the book.

Have you always enjoyed writing? 
Yes. When I was in the sixth grade the teacher gave us an assignment to write “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.” I wrote thirty pages.

What motivates you to write? 
Ego. I have all of these stories that need to be told and I have enough ego to think that somebody might like to read them.

What writing are you most proud of?
I think that I am growing and improving as a writer with everything I write. I think that Hacker for Hire is my best work yet, but I’m the most proud of Blue Water & Me, Tall Tales of Adventures With My Father.

Blue Water is a tribute to my father and it may not be as polished as my later works, but it will probably always be my favorite.


If Clive Cussler had written Ugly Betty, it would be Hacker for Hire. 

Hacker for Hire, a suspense novel about corporate greed and industrial espionage, is the second book in a series about Latino computer security analyst Ted Higuera and his best friend, para-legal Chris Hardwick. 

The goofy, off-beat Ted Higuera, son of Mexican immigrants, grew up in East LA. An unlikely football scholarship brought him to Seattle. 

Chris, Ted’s college roommate, grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth. His father is the head of one of Seattle’s most prestigious law firms. 

Ted’s first job out of college leads him into the world of organized crime where he faces a brutal beating. After being rescued by beautiful private investigator Catrina Flaherty, Ted decides to go to work for her. 

Catrina is hired by a large computer corporation to find a leak in their corporate boardroom when the previous consultant is found floating in Elliot Bay. 

Ted discovers that Chris’s firm has been retained by their prime suspect. Now he and Chris are working opposite sides of the same case. 

Ted and Catrina are led deep into Seattle’s Hi-Tech world as they stalk the killer. But the killer is also hunting them. Can Ted find the killer before the killer finds him? 

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Mystery, Thriller
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with Pendelton Wallace on Facebook

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Lights - #Excerpt from Lights Over Emerald Creek Excerpt by @ShelleyDavidow #YA #SciFi

The Lights

At first it was almost imperceptible. She could have been listening to the throbbing frogs and crickets. Beyond that, though, there was a different sound. It was as deep as thunder, but consistent. It grew louder, the pitch became elevated, until it was a clear tone, a hum that drowned everything, even the rapidly increasing heart rate that she felt pounding beneath her ribs.
Lucy tipped her head to the left, and the sound decreased. She tipped her head to the right and heard it more clearly this time. Softly, hesitantly, she hummed the note. It sounded like an ‘A’, she thought. At nine years old, she’d discovered she had almost perfect pitch. She could sing a note and say what it was, and be at most a semitone off. As she hummed, she was astonished to hear the sound grow more intense, and go up two tones. She momentarily stopped humming, but the sound continued. She began again, and held her tone. It harmonized with the sound around her. Lucy scanned the sky from end to end, her eyes enormous in the dark, her senses keen. She stopped humming and the sound diminished. She had never been so awake in all her life. Her skin began to tingle. She had pins and needles all the way up her arms and her neck. Her face tingled. She even imagined, for one insane moment, that she could feel her thighs tingling. But that was impossible.
Suddenly, just in front of her, a blue-green light appeared. It was so bright it dazzled her completely. It was as large as an open beach umbrella, and it moved until it was right over her head, no more than an arm’s length away. Around it, the night sky seemed consumed by the light. It looks like a miniature sun, she thought. The humming began again. It seemed to come from the light, but it was all around her at the same time. Surround-sound, the thought. In C major. This time, she felt the tingling right the way from the top of her head down to her waist. Prickles of feeling seemed to shoot in small slivers down to her hips, though she knew she had no sensation there. Lucy closed her eyes for a moment. The light was too bright. As her heart raced, another sound joined the first. And then another. And when she opened her eyes and looked up, a white light hovered above the blue-green light, and beyond that, slightly to the left of both lights, was a small orange light, similar to one she’d seen before.
The blue-green light pulsed brightly, and emitted C. The white light followed, pulsing twice, emitting an A. Then softly, the orange light flared, and the tone she heard was B. She threw her head back, aghast. Was this something intelligent? When the sequence of pulses and tones repeated itself twice, Lucy thought that there was no doubt. It was music. It followed a pattern. What she was hearing, was a musical sequence! Her hands, which gripped the chair tightly, were vibrating as though she were on a bridge above a massive freight train. The vibrations were intoxicating. ‘Oh. My. God. It’s real,’ she said hoarsely to the night, to the lights.

Lights Over Emerald Creek by Shelley Davidow 

Lucy Wright, sixteen and a paraplegic after a recent car accident that took her mother’s life, lives in Queensland on a 10,000 acre farm with her father. When Lucy investigates strange lights over the creek at the bottom of the property, she discovers a mystery that links the lights to the science of cymatics and Scotland’s ancient Rosslyn Chapel.
But beyond the chapel is an even larger mystery. One that links the music the chapel contains to Norway’s mysterious Hessdalen lights, and beyond that to Saturn and to the stars. Lucy’s discoveries catapult her into a parallel universe connected to our own by means of resonance and sound, where a newly emerging world trembles on the edge of disaster. As realities divide, her mission in this new world is revealed and she finds herself part of a love story that will span the galaxy.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Young Adult SF
Rating - PG
More details about the author
Connect with Shelley Davidow on Facebook & Twitter

Friday, August 22, 2014

A LIFE LESS ORDINARY #Excerpt by Victoria Bernadine @VicBernadine #Contemporary #ChickLit

“All I ever wanted was a life less ordinary.”
Manny lay flat on her back, eyes wide, staring at the ceiling while she waited for her clock to hit 6:00. Another day of work, she thought. Another day older and deeper in debt.
She had the alarm timed to the millisecond. The jarring noise had barely begun when she clicked it off. She sighed then threw back the covers and got out of bed.
She padded into the bathroom, glanced without interest in the full-length mirror that doubled as her shower doors and took her morning inventory.
Plain face? Check.
Looking tired? Check.
Thirty pounds overweight? Check.
Dark circles under deer-caught-in-headlights eyes? Check and check.
She shook her head at her limp, mousy hair and wondered when she’d gotten so old.
She sighed in resignation then conjured up her Perfect Fantasy Man–or Harvey, as she liked to call him–to give her a morning lift. She cocked her head to one side as she stared into the mirror and imagined him standing behind her. She smiled at the handsome man, and he smiled back, putting his hands on her shoulders. Everything about him was warm, in stark contrast to the cold shades of grey in which she lived her life. He had warm brown eyes, warm brown skin, and a warm smooth voice that always reminded her of golden honey. Today his hair was black with greying temples, and yes, even that seemed warm to her.
He was perfect, everything she considered ideal in a man–and extra-perfect, of course, because he was a fantasy. Just the thought of trying to establish a relationship with an actual man felt too much like work.
She sighed and Harvey disappeared.
“Instead I ended up in a rut–everything planned and executed to the minute.”
She finished her shower and padded out to the kitchen wrapped in a worn terrycloth robe just as the coffee pot finished perking her morning coffee. She pulled a white cup out of the cupboard, filled it and took it with her to the bedroom, where she drank her coffee while she dressed and pulled her hair into its habitual bun high on the back of her head. At 6:45 sharp, she was back in the kitchen where she rinsed out the cup and put it on the rack next to the other three cups from earlier in the week; they marked the passage of time like scratches on a prison wall.

For the last fifteen years, Rose “Manny” Mankowski has been a very good girl. She turned her back on her youthful fancies and focused on her career. But now, at the age of 45, she’s questioning her choices and feeling more and more disconnected from her own life. When she’s passed over for promotion and her much younger new boss implies Manny’s life will never change, something snaps. In the blink of an eye, she’s quit her job, sold her house and cashed in her pension, and she’s leaving town on a six month road trip.
After placing a personal ad for a travelling companion, she’s joined in her mid-life crisis by Zeke Powell, the cynical, satirical, most-read – and most controversial – blogger for the e-magazine, What Women Want. Zeke’s true goal is to expose Manny’s journey as a pitiful and desperate attempt to reclaim her lost youth – and increase his readership at the same time. Leaving it all behind for six months is just an added bonus.
Now, armed with a bagful of destinations, a fistful of maps, and an out-spoken imaginary friend named Harvey, Manny’s on a quest to rediscover herself – and taking Zeke along for the ride.
Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – ChickLit, Contemporary Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
 Connect with Victoria Bernadine on Twitter

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

John Smith: Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars #Excerpt by Roland Hughes #Dystopian

SK:      Can we talk about the Microsoft Wars now?
JS:       Orwell was right.  Everyone was forced to read his book and yet, it still happened.  In reality, that is all anybody needs to know.
SK:      Orwell?
JS:       <sighs> Back in 1949, an author by the name of George Orwell published a novel titled 1984.  It was a look into the future and basically created the concept in society of Big Brother.  This Big Brother was a government, any government really, which would watch over you like a child.  Your life would be monitored and controlled 24 hours per day.  The dictionary would not grow in size, but shrink, as words and thoughts were continually restricted.  Anyone who possessed a thought against the government, system or the way things were being run would be turned in by friends/family/neighbors as a thought criminal.
One by one, various ministries were set up to control every aspect of life, all for the betterment of society, and most had some plausible excuse bringing them into existence.  There would be monitors installed everywhere, so you were continually watched and controlled.  It was one of the best- selling and most widely talked-about books of all time.  Many movies were created showing various flavors of the book.
SK:      Well, if everybody knew about it, then it surely didn’t happen.
JS:       Not in 1984, no.  The final vehicle for control wasn’t  chosen until the early 1990s and it took a while to roll out globally.  Sometime during 2010, the governments around the world achieved 95 percent of what they wanted.  The vast majority of citizens carried with them a 24-hour monitoring device, which could be accessed remotely and would, via GPS, give a complete picture of their travels.  Each one had a unique ID.  Best of all, the devices were marketed in such a way as to make people think they were nothing unless they had one and kept it with them at all times.
When it became apparent that some portions of society simply couldn’t afford the devices—yes, each citizen paid for their own, and gladly…they even paid to customize them—most governments came up with some kind of ministry or program to ensure each and every person falling into the “cannot afford” category was issued one under some plausible story as “medical need” or “neighborhood watch.”  This removed the poor-person-rejection-of-charity problem.  Nobody felt insulted to receive the devices, since the devices allowed them to communicate with anyone at any time, as long as they knew the other person’s unique ID.
SK:      Do you honestly expect me to believe that everybody stood in line to get a unique ID for the government to monitor them 24 hours per day, seven days per week?
JS:       No. They didn’t see it like that. They stood in line to get the latest and greatest cellphone with video camera, GPS, speaker phone, Internet access, and every other buzz phrase marketing could think of.  If you don’t know what any of that is, it doesn’t matter.  All you need to know is the more applications, called apps, it had, the more people wanted it.
Each phone had to have a phone number, which was globally unique so anyone in the world could call anybody else in the world, no matter where they were at the time. It was that “anywhere, anytime” communications capability that was a major selling point. A system of assigning phone numbers to allow for international calling had been in place for many years due to the older land line system, so it was simply leveraged.
Everyone proudly carried and used their government monitoring device.  There were even crime shows on television showing how law enforcement agencies could track a cellphone as long as it was turned on.  What they didn’t tell you was that the phone would periodically report in even when turned off, and if certain instructions were waiting, it would turn itself back on, silently, so full monitoring could continue without the owner being aware.
The only thing that could truly stop monitoring was to remove the battery, then turn the cellphone on to drain the hidden reserve.  When you did that, however, the phone was of no use.
SK: So let me get this straight—you’re saying that there was a communications network that could monitor every person in the country?
JS: No.  Before the middle of 2011, thanks to some production cost reductions, it was every person on the planet living in any civilized country and even many third world countries.  A basic cellphone could be manufactured and sold for under $20 retail, which put the actual production cost at about $6.  Those countries too poor or with terrain too rough used the satellite phones, which cost a bit more, but leveraged cellphone components to reduce costs.  Both networks were monitored by government agencies, even though commercial companies were providing the services to the cellphone owners.  Even children in third world countries who didn’t have food to eat or a bank account in their name had a phone so they could be tracked.

“John Smith: Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars” is one big interview. It is a transcript of a dialogue between “John Smith” (who, as the title of the book implies is the last known survivor of the Microsoft wars) and the interviewer for a prominent news organization.
Buy Now @ Amazon & B&N
Genre – Dystopian Fiction
Rating – PG
More details about the author

@TheSMBoyce on Research and Writing Your Story #WriteTip #SelfPub #Fantasy

Heyo! I’m S. M. Boyce, author of Lichgates and the rest of the books in the Grimoire Saga.
Today I’m going to give you some pointers on how to do research that is crucial to your story. Without proper research, a story will lack what’s called verisimilitude—the tidbits of real-life that make it all seem real. These elements allow readers to suspend belief and fall headfirst into your tale.
While it’s crucial to research and understand your world (be it a fantasy land or modern Earth), how you approach research usually depends on your writing style.
The writing process is different for everyone. Some people get an idea and start writing instantly. Others, like me, outline the entire thing before starting on the first paragraph. If you are the type that outlines, research is going to be much easier for you and you’ll be able to get most of it out of the way before you begin to write.
For many, research can be an arduous task, but for some it can actually be an inspiration. So, for those of you who don’t outline, the research might help you fill in the gaps of your story, effectively building an impromptu outline in your head.
Tip #1: Chunk it!
When you research, I suggest you lump topics together and work through them one-by-one. So, if you are researching the rainforests of the world, types of horses, and a foreign culture, work through each topic separately so that you can keep your facts straight in your mind.
Tip #2: Stay Organized
Notes are extremely important when doing research. Some prefer the notecard method when taking notes; others prefer a big notebook or the freedom of a word document. Whatever your method is, stick to it and stay as organized as possible.
Scrivener, a program used for writing, actually lets you keep all your research notes with your story.  For those of you who don’t use this program, you may want to look into it. Though it has a heck of a learning curve, it’s incredibly useful once you get the hang of it. You can do just about every step of the writing process from this one program.
Stay focused, Boyce
Back on the subject of researching. Sorry.
It’s important to save the locations of your resources so that you can refer back to them. Most internet browsers will let you create a folder in your bookmark tab. Do this and create one just for the links to research sources for the book you are working on. If you are using non-digital sources, keep a list of the materials you’ve used with your notes.
As you work through each resource, label the notes you take so that you know where they came from. This will help later if you need to refresh your memory on certain facts.
Even though you are doing most of your research before you write the book, you will likely have to go back to it at some point during your writing. Research is an important part of writing. Even if you are making up a world of your own, you will need to research one thing or another. This process is what helps bring our stories to life and it’s also what gives our stories some amount of credibility in the reader’s mind.
Let’s open the floor. What are some of your best researching tips?

“The writing is flawless. The kingdoms and surrounding landscapes breathtaking. The Grimoire is a piece of imaginative genius that bedazzles from the moment Kara falls into the land of Ourea. – Nikki Jefford, author of the Spellbound Trilogy
Spring 2013 Rankings
#6 Kindle Store | #1 Science Fiction & Fantasy | #1 Epic Fantasy | #1 Sword & Sorcery | #1 Teens
Now an international Amazon bestseller. Fans of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and Eragon will enjoy this contemporary remix of the classic epic fantasy genre.
Kara Magari is about to discover a beautiful world full of terrifying things: Ourea.
Kara, a college student still reeling from her mother’s recent death, has no idea the hidden world of Ourea even exists until a freak storm traps her in a sunken library. With nothing to do, she opens an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire and unwittingly becomes its master, which means Kara now wields the cursed book’s untamed power. Discovered by Ourea’s royalty, she becomes an unwilling pawn in a generations-old conflict – a war intensified by her arrival. In this world of chilling creatures and betrayal, Kara shouldn’t trust anyone… but she’s being hunted and can’t survive on her own. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn’t know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.
For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this human girl, there is something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.
Welcome to Ourea, where only the cunning survive.
Novels in the Grimoire Saga:
Lichgates (#1)
Treason (#2)
Heritage (#3) – Available Fall 2013
Illusion (#4) – Available Fall 2014
Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Fantasy
Rating – PG13
More details about the author
 Connect with SM Boyce on Facebook & Twitter & Pinterest

Thursday, August 14, 2014

How the English Establishment Framed Stephen Ward by @StephenWardBook #Espionage #Politics

FBI director, J.Edgar Hoover, was convinced that British society was riddled with whores, pimps, sex maniacs and Soviet agents. His conviction was given a boost on Sunday, 16th June, when an article by British solicitor, Michael Eddowes, appeared in the Journal-American. In it Eddowes told of his meeting with Yevgeny Ivanov during the Cuban missile crisis. Eddowes described Ivanov as highly aggressive and full of blustering threats to wipe out England and to drop an atomic bomb in the sea 60 miles off New York. According to Eddowes, Hoover immediately ‘instructed’ him to make further enquiries into the security aspects and report back to him.

Washington was now buzzing with as many rumours as had swept London during the height of the scandal, so what happened next was not entirely a surprise. The White House became involved. The most likely explanation for President Kennedy’s sudden interest in the affair is that his brother, Attorney-General Robert Kennedy, told him of the long report from Hoover.

There were then both political and personal reasons for the President’s interest. One was that the scandal could provide Kennedy’s opponents in Congress with ammunition to attack his plans for a multi-nation NATO nuclear force. If Britain was so leaky, why should the US share it’s defence secrets? Another was a call in the Washington News for Kennedy to cancel his scheduled visit to London because it would provide moral support for the foundering Government of Harold Macmillan. ‘We can think of no better time for an American President to stay as far as possible away from England.’

And a third reason, a personal one, was that given Hoover’s animosity for the Kennedy family, the President became concerned that Hoover would somehow use the scandal against him….The only feasible reason for this widespread fascination is that all these people feared that the President of the United States was about to be dragged into the scandal, not on a political level, but on a sexual one…..The reason was that Robert Kennedy was worried that Christine or Mandy, or even both girls, might have slept with the President during their recent visit to the United States and he needed to know for certain so that he could protect the President from the scandal that would follow if the girls blabbed. It would have been simpler for Robert Kennedy to ask his brother if he had slept with either of the girls. But, as we now know, John F. Kennedy’s sexual appetite was so prodigious and so indiscriminate that he would not have been able to remember.

How The English Establishment Framed
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Genre – Politics, Espionage, Scandal
Rating – PG-16
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LOCK READY by James Rada Jr. @JimRada #AmReading #HistFic #GoodReads

This excerpt comes at the start of the book as David Windover, a former Confederate spy, ponders his future with the Fitzgerald family.
As David stood looking at all he had in the world, the hatch on the other side of the hay house opened. George Fitzgerald, Alice’s oldest child, stood in the opening looking in at him. He was a slim young man with light brown hair. He was frowning, which was a mirror image of Alice’s frown, but unlike his mother, George rarely smiled since returning from the war.
“So it is true then,” George said. “You’re leaving.”
“This makes you the man in charge,” David said. George had recently turned nineteen years old, though he seemed older now. It was more than simply him living additional year. George had seen things and experienced things that a nineteen-year-old man should not have to see and experience. The sparkle of life that Thomas still had in his eyes was missing in George’s. David hoped that the young man would find a way to get it back, but then David had never been able to after what he had seen during the waar.
“I suppose it does,” George said flatly.
The two men looked at each other without saying anything. They had both fought in the war, though on different sides. David had never gone back to the fighting after being wounded while George had lost his arm and couldn’t return. It always seemed to David that George had lost something more than his arm in the war. He had lost the ability to be happy.
“Mama’s in her cabin crying,” George said finally.
David closed his eyes and took a deep breath. What did she expect him to do? He couldn’t stay, not with the way things were between then.
“She’ll get over it,” David said.
“Maybe.” He didn’t sound so certain.
“I’m just a hand around here, George. You know that. You’re the one who’s told me it enough times.”
George snorted. “Since when did you listen to me? If you think that you’re just a hand, then maybe you should leave.”
David slapped the wall with the flat of his hand and then bowed his head.
“What? You want me to stay?”
“It’s not my decision, but I would think that after all my family has risked for you, you would want to stay,” George told him.
The Fitzgeralds could be arrested for hiding a former Confederate spy. When David had been arrested two years ago, they had risked their own freedom to free him from the Union soldiers who had arrested him.
David drew himself up straighter. “I risked my life for your family, too.”
George nodded slowly. “I guess you have me at that.” He was quiet. David thought George had said all he meant to say, but then he added, “You’re doing this because of a woman. I know that, but I’ll tell you something. If you do something for the wrong reason, you will regret it. It cost me my arm.”
George had run off to join the army about a year and half ago because he thought it would impress a girl he was sweet on. He wound up losing his arm and returning home to find out he really didn’t care what the girl thought about him anymore.
David glanced at his pack. He was ready to go. Not much need to stay around anymore. He’d said his goodbye. Anything more would just give people a reason to cry and try to convince him otherwise. He was afraid they might succeed.
David grabbed the pack and pushed open the hatch above his bed.
“So you’re just going to leave things like this?” George said.
David didn’t reply. He just walked away.
It was time to leave.

The Civil War split the United States and now it has split the Fitzgerald Family. Although George Fitzgerald has returned from the war, his sister Elizabeth Fitzgerald has chosen to remain in Washington to volunteer as a nurse. The ex-Confederate spy, David Windover, has given up on his dream of being with Alice Fitzgerald and is trying to move on with his life in Cumberland, Md. Alice and her sons continue to haul coal along the 184.5-mile-long C&O Canal. 

It is dangerous work, though, during war time because the canal runs along the Potomac River and between the North and South. Having had to endured death and loss already, Alice wonders whether remaining on the canal is worth the cost. She wants her family reunited and safe, but she can’t reconcile her feelings between David and her dead husband. Her adopted son, Tony, has his own questions that he is trying to answer. 

He wants to know who he is and if his birth mother ever loved him. As he tries to find out more about his birth mother and father, he stumbles onto a plan by Confederate sympathizers to sabotage the canal and burn dozens of canal boats. He enlists David’s help to try and disrupt the plot before it endangers his new family, but first they will have find out who is behind the plot.
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Genre – Historical Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with James Rada Jr. on Facebook & Twitter