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Book Spotlight: Finding God by Nicholas Oliva

Title: Finding God: To Believe or Not to Believe
Author: Nicholas Oliva
Publisher: Old Line Publishing, LLC
Publication Date: September 16, 2010
Paperback: 260 pages
ISBN: 098461432X
Genre: Nonfiction; Spiritual

Do you believe in God, life after death, or nothingness? Do you know the origins of the Bible’s New Testament? This book explores the world of science, religion, and atheism and integrates them into the aspects of Twentieth and Twenty-first Century physics. It ponders life and death experiences and includes the author’s own near death experience. Posing many questions about the realm of our existence, it stresses the importance of promoting humanity without exclusionary elements of human prejudice. These and many other contemporary issues are combined with the latest scientific and philosophic theories in the search for real truth of subjects that have brought down entire empires in bloodlust, and have each of us pondering the eternal “Why?” We are in the second century since the collision of science and religion. One is based in empirical evidence; the other is based on thousands of years of pure faith. Hang on as your perfectly ordered world is shaken and stirred – if you have an open mind to believe what is real and allow for possibilities of the yet unknown.

Book Excerpt

The hardest part of the human experience is to comprehend the enormity of thousands of years, of the many religions predating today’s beliefs, and the shortness of human memory and our lives in perspective to our history. To begin to speak of history is to be mired in details especially in this day and age. Instant gratification rules in this era. Few can keep it all straight and understandable. Massive amounts of information exist on human history and beliefs and the majority of it has nothing to do with Christianity. The human mind can only process a small bit of the intricate details bringing us to present day.

History is made by those who have the blood of others on their swords and keeping track of thousands of points of aggression is impossible, but for scholars. It is easy to confuse hundreds of years with thousands of years. We think the Romans ruled as a unit for hundreds of years but they were part of a process that saw a rise, a stabilization, and then a long fall. We know even less about Greece and the Egyptian Empires, though they are relatively close to our time frame. The ancient civilizations are still many years before these empires and time has eroded their presence. There are but shards of evidence left behind. All this is difficult to put in perspective for the average person trying to get through life with some type of understanding and survive day to day.

The ancient religions of India and the Far East far predate Buddhism, which is usually confused as a religion and not a way of life. That is really more of what religion and belief are supposed to do—meld together so one would practice their beliefs in everyday life. We must begin to recognize the humanness of mistakes and faults and to reach out and spread love to help each other through this short life. These are the real reasons for faith. Faith in one’s self to do the moral and human things necessary to make life bearable. All we have is our ability to create great happiness or great sorrow for others.

Many of us, both religious and non-religious, want to feel what we do is righteous. In order to be righteous, we must do the righteous thing. By this I mean to forgive and forget and to move on with the knowledge, in the end, all that matters is the laughter you’ve spread, the love you made. We cannot control those who have the power to create horrible experiences for their fellow man, but we do have control over those with whom we surround ourselves everyday and our loved ones. Don’t let the big picture overwhelm the importance of your contribution to making the world a better place. It is not as hard as you think.

It begins with you. A mere smile can change someone’s day. A good gesture can make the difference in someone wanting to live or die. Tackle what is around you and leave the worry of what could be harmful for the time being. Do what you can to fight inhumanness and that is all you can do. Struggle is what we humans must do and it never ends. Change is inevitable. It is hard to manage, but it is all we have.

Nicholas Oliva (O-lee-va’) has been a musician, writer, poet, photographer, an audio engineer, an Entertainment and Technical Director for over twenty-five years.

His first book, Only Moments, was published in 2007, which was a novel that followed the lifetime journey of the professional musical career of a husband and wife team to the year 2020.

His latest book is Finding God: To Believe or Not To Believe, now available at Amazon.com as well as Barnes and Noble and will be available in the Kindle Store soon. To visit the website go to www.tobelieveornot.com. Mr. Oliva’s other Websites are OnlyMoments and for his first book Only Moments by Nick Oliva.  You can find him on Facebook as well on either the book page  Facebook | Finding God: To Believe or Not To Believe or his home page  http://www.facebook.com/noliva.

Oliva lives in the quiet mountains of Nevada.

Categories: Non-Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Spotlight: BUYING TIME by Pamela Samuels Young

Buying Time Virtual Book Tour November and December’10

Title: Buying Time
Author: Pamela Samuels Young
Paperback: 370 pages
Publisher: Goldman House Publishing (November 1, 2009)
Publication Date: November 1, 2009
ISBN: 098156271X
Genre: Legal Thriller

PURCHASE HERE!

Buying Time is a scandalous tale of blackmail, murder and betrayal, evoking John Grisham with a dash of Terry McMillan.

Waverly Sloan is a down-on-his-luck lawyer. But just when he’s about to hit rock bottom, he stumbles upon a business with the potential to solve all of his problems.

In Waverly’s new line of work, he comes to the aid of people in desperate need of cash. But there’s a catch. His clients must be terminally ill and willing to sign over rights to their life insurance policies before they can collect a dime. Waverly then finds investors eager to advance them thousands of dollars—including a hefty broker’s fee for himself—in exchange for a significant return on their investment once the clients take their last breath.

The stakes get higher when Waverly brokers the policy of the cancer-stricken wife of Lawrence Erickson, a high-powered lawyer who’s bucking to become the next U.S. Attorney General. When Waverly’s clients start dying sooner than they should, both Waverly and Erickson—who has some skeletons of his own to hide—are unwittingly drawn into a perilous web of greed, blackmail and murder.

Soon, a determined federal prosecutor is hot on Waverly’s trail. But when the prosecutor’s own life begins to unravel, she finds herself on the run—with Waverly at her side.

EXCERPT:
PROLOGUE

Veronika Myers tried to convince them, but no one would listen. Her suspicions, they said, were simply a byproduct of her grief.

Each time she broached the subject with her brother, Jason, he walked out of the room. Darlene, her best friend, suggested a girls’ night out with some heavy drinking. Aunt Flo urged her to spend more time in prayer.

Veronika knew she was wasting her time with this woman, too, but couldn’t help herself.

“My mother was murdered,” Veronika told the funeral home attendant. “But nobody believes it.”

The plump redhead with too much eye shadow glanced down at the papers on her desk, then looked up. “It says here that your mother died in the hospital. From brain cancer.”

“That’s not true,” Veronika snapped, her response a little too sharp and a tad too loud.

Yes, her mother had brain cancer, but she wasn’t on her deathbed. Not yet. They had just spent a long afternoon together, laughing and talking and watching All My Children. Veronika could not, and would not accept that the most important person in her life had suddenly died. She knew what everyone else refused to believe. Her mother had been murdered.

“Did they conduct an autopsy?” the woman asked.

Veronika sighed and looked away. There had been no autopsy because everyone dismissed her as a grief-stricken lunatic. When she reported the murder to the police, a disinterested cop dutifully took her statement, but she could tell that nothing would come of it. Without any solid evidence, she was wasting everyone’s time, including her own.

“No,” Veronika said. “There wasn’t an autopsy.”

The funeral home attendant smiled sympathetically.

Veronika let out a long, exasperated breath, overwhelmed by the futility of what she was trying to prove. “Never mind,” she said. “What else do you need me to sign?”

* * *
Later that night, Veronika lay in bed, drained from another marathon crying session. She rummaged through the nightstand, retrieved a bottle of sleeping pills and popped two into her mouth. She tried to swallow them dry, but her throat was too sore from all the crying.

Tears pooled in her eyes as she headed to the kitchen for a glass of water. “Don’t worry, Mama,” Veronika sniffed. “I won’t let them get away with it.”

Just as she reached the end of the hallway, a heavy gloved hand clamped down hard across her mouth as her arms were pinned behind her back. Panic instantly hurled her into action. Veronika tried to scream, but the big hand reduced her shriek to a mere muffle. She frantically kicked and wrestled and twisted her body, but her attacker’s grip would not yield.

When she felt her body being lifted off the ground and carried back down the hallway, she realized there were two of them and her terror level intensified. But so did her survival instinct. She continued to wildly swing her legs backward and forward, up and down, right and left, eventually striking what felt like a leg, then a stomach.

As they crossed the threshold of her bedroom, she heard a loud, painful moan that told her she had likely connected with the groin of one of her assailants.

“Cut it out!” said a husky, male voice. “Grab her legs!” he ordered his partner. “Hurry up!”

The men dumped her face down onto the bed, her arms still restrained behind her back. The big hand slipped from her mouth and Veronika’s first cry escaped, but was quickly muted when a much heavier hand gripped the back of her neck and pressed her face into the comforter.

Fearing her attackers were going to rape, then kill her, Veronika defiantly arched her back and tried to roll her body into a tight ball. At only 130 pounds, she was no physical match for her assailants. They easily overpowered her, forcing her back into a prone position. As one man sat on her upper legs, strapping her left arm to her side, the other man bent her right arm at the elbow and guided her hand up toward her forehead.

During the deepest period of her grief, Veronika had longed to join her mother. But now that she was face-to-face with the possibility of death, she fought valiantly for life.

That changed, however, the second Veronika felt something cold and hard connect with her right temple. She stiffened as one of the men grabbed her fingers and wrapped them around the butt of a gun. At that precise instant, Veronika knew with certainty that her suspicions were indeed fact. Her mother had been murdered and now the same killers had come to silence her before she could expose the truth. And just like her mother’s death, her own murder would go undetected, dismissed as the suicide of a grieving daughter. A conclusion no one would question.

As the man placed his hand on top of hers and prepared to pull the trigger, a miraculous, power-infused sensation snuffed out what was left of Veronika’s fear, causing her body to go limp. The heavy pounding of her heart slowed and she felt light enough to float away.

Completely relaxed now, Veronika closed her eyes, said a short prayer, and waited for a glorious reunion with her mother.

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Book Spotlight: THE STAFF OF RAHGORRA by Mark Oetjens

Title: The Staff of Rahgorra
Author: Mark Oetjens
Publisher: Conquer Publishing
Publication Date: June 15, 2010
Paperback: 360 pages
ISBN: 0984119205
Genre: Science Fiction

PURCHASE HERE!

Another time, another galaxy. The mysterious crime lord Thrull has aspirations beyond controlling the underworld in a single corner of the galaxy.  Thrull wants to bring the galaxy under one rule and build a legitimate Galactic Empire.  For years he has been training an army of his followers and building his own private Armada.  But he knows he must also find the Staff of Rahgorra, a weapon of mythic power. To keep Thrull from finding the Staff the Galactic Security Bureau, peacekeepers of the galaxy, has pressed back into service a banished agent.  Chameleon Del Rey was expelled from the GSB for avenging the death of a friend and for practicing the forbidden art of Jai Kin.  Now he must train a young apprentice to use Jai Kin and find the Staff of Rahgorra before Thrull does in order to avoid a war that will stretch across the galaxy.

Excerpt

Thrull did not react as a side door of the observation lounge hissed open. He continued to watch the shuttle’s approach as the sound of boots striking the cool marble floor echoed through the lounge. His visitor finally came to a halt two meters behind and just to the left of him. After more than a minute, when the shuttle had almost reached the landing bay’s magnetic doors, he glanced up to see Tok’s reflection in the glass.

“You have news for me,” he said gruffly. It was not a question.

Tok seemed to stiffen his posture. “We just received word that the transport has arrived,” Tok said.

Thrull nodded. “Has the rest of the trap been set?” he asked. This he phrased as a question.

“Yes, Sire,” he said. “Linu contacted us an hour ago. She and the Talon should be here within the hour.”

Thrull turned to face Tok. “Good,” he said. “Tell her I want to see her as soon as she gets here.”

“Certainly, Sire.”

Thrull paused, looking the young man up and down. Hard to believe it was almost fifteen years ago that he had first taken them under his wing. Tok had been the youngest, only nine. He taught them everything he knew. They became his family, his thirty children. And now, after just fifteen years, he had gone from a mysterious upstart with a band of teenaged commandos to the verge of taking over the galaxy. “Would you please escort our guest up here. I’ll be in to see him shortly.”

“Yes, Sire,” Tok said, but Thrull was already halfway to a second side door.

“Ironically, I don’t read a lot of science fiction, so I couldn’t compare it to another book. I’m more of a sci-fi movie and TV buff. I guess The Staff of Rahgorra is sort of a mixture of Indiana Jones and Star wars.”

— Mark Oetjens

Mark Oetjens was born in 1971. He grew up in suburban Chicago. As a child he was diagnosed with Dystonia, a debilitating neuromuscular disorder. Though there is no cure for Dystonia, surgeries and rehabilitation allowed him to walk with only a slight limp by the time he started high school. He received a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Anthropology, both from Northern Illinois University. As an adult a brain tumor, completely unrelated to his Dystonia, threatened to disable him a second time. Thanks to radiation therapy the tumor has disappeared.  Mark currently lives in Phoenix, AZ.

Mark’s latest book is the science fiction novel, The Staff of Rahgorra.

You can visit his website at www.conquerpublishing.com.

Categories: Science Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Spotlight: TOTO’S TALE by K.D. Hays & Meg Weidman

Title: Toto’s Tale
Author: K.D. Hays & Meg Weidman
Publisher: Zumaya Thresholds
Publication Date: August 25, 2010
Paperback: 248 pages
ISBN: 1936144611
Genre: Children’s Middle Grade Fiction

PURCHASE HERE!

Toto the terrier and his pet girl Dorothy have their world turned upside down by a cyclone that rips their house from ground and spins it into the land of Oz. In this strange place, cats grow way bigger than they should and they speak the same language as Dorothy. So now Dorothy spends her time talking to a giant cat, a walking scarecrow, and a hollow man made of metal.

The five of them follow a brick road to see the Great Lizard who is supposed to give them something. Although Toto is hoping for a pork chop, he will settle for a trip back to Kansas. But when they reach the Great Lizard (who turns out to be a big human head), instead of helping them, he sends them out to kill a witch.

Toto enables them to survive attacks by killer bees and mad wolves, but the annoying monkeys with wings prove too much even for him, and the monkeys are able to carry him and Dorothy to the witch’s castle.

Once there, he realizes the witch is after the shoes that Dorothy picked up when they first landed in Oz. He also realizes that the witch can be destroyed with water. It becomes a race to see if the witch can trick Dorothy into giving up the shoes before Toto figures out how to melt her.

But even if he destroys the witch, they still have to figure out how to get home…

Excerpt

I’d smelled fear on the humans all morning, and the
stink was really getting on my nerves. I mean, we all
knew a windstorm was coming, and it was going to be
rough; but the humans didn’t have anything to worry
about. They’d just go down into The Hole and wait till
it was all over.
It was the chickens who should have been worried.
Their house was so flimsy it was likely to take off
and fly away in the next windstorm. But chickens are
too stupid to think about these things, so they weren’t
worried yet. Meanwhile, Auntem gave off enough
worry scent to cover every living thing in the entire
state of Kansas, and as I said, the smell was pretty
annoying.
So, yeah, I knew I wasn’t supposed to chase the
chickens, but I couldn’t help myself. When those lamebrained
layers started bragging about which one of
them could fly fastest, I decided to let them prove it.
I took off after Eggy, baring my teeth like I was
going to rip all the feathers out of her tail. It felt
really good to run. It also felt good to get some revenge
on the chickens. Ever since yesterday, when the
nasty old neighbor tried to stab me with a pitchfork
just for digging a little hole in her garden, everyone
here had teased me for running home with my tail
between my legs. They would have done the same
thing—it was a big sharp pitchfork, and the neighbor
is as mean as a wet cat.
The chickens, in particular, had acted like I was
the only one who had ever shown fear in the history of
forever. Now I decided I’d put a little fear in the
chickens so they could demonstrate why their name
means being a coward.
“Squahhhhh!” Eggy yelled as she ran across the
farmyard with me right on her tail. “That giant rodent
is going to eat me!” Her big fat feathered body
bounced ridiculously from side to side as she dashed
around on long spindly legs.
“I thought you could fly,” I barked. “And you know
I’m not a rodent.” I chased her into a corner between
the water trough and the barn.
“I can’t fly in this wind, you fool,” she squawked.
“Excuses, excuses.” I got ready to pounce on her,
but she turned fast and hopped out of the way. Then
she ran straight for the henhouse.
“Oh, no, you don’t,” I muttered as I shot after her.
She would have to pay for that rodent remark.
The other animals always make rude comments
about my size, but I think they’re just jealous because
I get to sleep in the house with the people. I’m small,
yeah, but I’m a lot bigger than a rat. And I have a
much nicer tail.
“He’s coming this—squaaah!—way,” one of the
other chickens shrieked.
They had been pecking in the yard, trying to eat
up all the loose bits of corn before they were blown
away by the storm coming across the plains. Now, instead
of eating, they scrambled frantically to get away
from me, squawking and flapping and looking about
as ruffled as they could possibly get. I loved it. I ran in
circles, snapping occasionally to keep them moving.
Then I saw one obnoxious old hen who had pecked
at Dorothy’s ankle last week. I really did want to bite
her. So, I opened my mouth extra-wide and headed
straight for her big fat chicken butt.
“Toto!”
I had to stop when I heard that voice. It was Dorothy,
my pet girl.
“Stop something chickens, Toto,” she said.
With her flat face and small mouth, she can’t
really talk properly, but I still love her. Auntem and
Unclehenry, the other people, are always making her
work when what she really wants to do is roam the
fields with me, chasing grasshoppers and digging for
shiny beetles. She needs me to protect her from work.
If you do too much work, you end up dull and sad like
Auntem, or pinched and mean like the mean neighbor
with the pitchfork.
I want to protect my girl and keep her just the
way she is. I love everything about my Dorothy, from
the smell of her shoes to her sloppy habit of throwing
things everywhere. She throws a stick or ball, and I
have to go pick it up for her. Then, instead of putting
it away, she just throws it someplace else, and I have
to pick it up again. It makes no sense at all, and
sometimes I get tired of cleaning up after her. Still, I
love her, and I’ll do anything she asks.
When I know what she’s asking, that is. I have to
pay attention really hard to understand human
speech, and usually, I don’t bother
Right now, though, even if she didn’t use many
real words, I could pretty much tell what she wanted
me to do just from the tone of her voice and the way
she looked at me, as if she wanted to tie me up like a
shock of wheat and throw me into the barn loft. She
was annoyed, and I could smell a little anger on her,
too. But underneath it all, there seemed to be more
fear than anything else.
Fear of the storm, probably.
With one last look at the fat old hen, I turned and
trotted over to Dorothy. I wagged my tail and hoped
she would pet me for a minute and that I could help
her forget her fears about the increasing wind and the
dark clouds growing like mountains in the sky. Maybe
she would also forget I’d been trying to scare the
chickens and that I’d chewed on one of her shoes this
morning before breakfast. She would forget it all, and
we’d just…
It didn’t happen.
She looked at me for a bit, like maybe she was
going to pet me, but when she bent down, it was just
so she could tuck a loose flap of leather back into her
shoe. That piece of leather is always coming loose and
tripping her, so she really should let me chew it off for
her, but whenever I try, someone always stops me.
“Dorothy!” Auntem barked as she stepped out of
the back door of the house, “Something up something
chickens.”
She can’t talk any better than Dorothy. They
practice a lot—it seems like they’re always barking
about something—but their language is so different
it’s difficult to translate into real words.
Anyway, I guess Auntem had just told Dorothy to
round up the hens, because that’s what she did. She
ran around waving her arms, herding them all into
the henhouse. I could have helped, but somehow I
didn’t think she wanted me to run around after them
again.
So, instead, I trotted over to the barn to watch
Unclehenry bring the cows and the horses inside. He
was having a hard time holding the door open because
the wind blew it closed. He kept turning to look over
his shoulder, as if there were a monster behind him.
But it was just dark clouds and grass bent low under
the weight of the coming storm. The wind moaned
almost like a voice as it gusted along the eaves of the
barn.
That sound made me shiver, and I had to admit I
couldn’t wait until it was time to go into The Hole.
The Hole is, well, a hole—dug out under the
house—and since the house is very small, The Hole is
even smaller. It’s not much bigger than the ones I dig
out in the yard to bury my pork chop bones. But it’s
deep and smells of worms and roots, a rich aroma that
reminds me of underwear. It’s a damp, comforting
place much more interesting than the hard dry
ground above. So, I never mind the wind and storms,
because I know they mean a visit to The Hole.
With a loud thud, Unclehenry slammed the barn
door shut and started toward the house with a lantern
and pail of water. Maybe it was time already! I hurried
to get Dorothy so we could go down into The Hole
together.
I couldn’t find her. The henhouse was closed up
tight and sounded and smelled full of hens. I could tell
Dorothy wasn’t in there. She couldn’t have gone into
the barn, or I would have seen her. So, she must be in
the people house. I pushed through the hole in the
screen door, ran inside and headed straight for the
door in the kitchen floor, expecting to see she was on
her way down into The Hole.
She wasn’t.


Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing and how your journey led to writing your latest book, Toto’s Tale?

Kate: I started writing fiction seriously in 1999 when Meg was a little over a year old. I finally had an idea for a book I thought I could finish! The first draft took about two years, written mostly at night when Meg and her brother were asleep. As the kids got older, it became easier to find time to write for a while, but now everyone’s schedules are so busy that it’s just as difficult to make time for writing as it was when they were small. I’ve written five historical novels and two contemporary mysteries – the historicals under my name, Kate Dolan, and the contemporaries under the pseudonym K.D. Hays. Toto’s Tale is my eighth book and my first children’s book. It’s also my first book with a partner.

Meg: It’s my first book, period.

About the Authors

K.D. Hays and Meg Weidman are a mother-daughter team who aspire to be professional roller coaster riders and who can tell you exactly what not to put in your pockets when you ride El Toro at Six Flags. Meg is studying art in a middle school magnet program. For fun, she jumps on a precision jump rope team and reads anything not associated with school work. K.D. Hays, who writes historical fiction under the name Kate Dolan, has been writing professionally since 1992. She holds a law degree from the University of Richmond and consequently hopes that her children will pursue studies in more prestigious fields such as plumbing or waste management. They live in a suburb of Baltimore where the weather is ideally suited for the four major seasons: riding roller coasters in the spring and fall, waterslides in the summer and snow tubes in the winter. Although Meg resents the fact that her mother has dragged her to every historical site within a 200-mile radius, she will consent to dress in colonial garb and participate in living history demonstrations if she is allowed to be a laundry thief.

Their latest collaboration is a wonderful book titled Toto’s Tale.

You can visit their website at www.totostale.com.

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Book Spotlight: Synarchy Book 2: The Ascension by DCS

Title: Synarchy Book Two: The Ascension
Author: DCS
Publisher: SVT Publishing
Publication Date: July 30, 2010
Paperback: 442 pages
ISBN: 978-0578062181
Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller

Purchase here!

Excerpt

“We’re villains, as much as we are capable of being heroes. When the moments come that we can we soften the blow of our sins, we’ve got to take them.”
-Stefano Vasco Terenzio

Prologue

December 20, 2012- 11:44 PM
Vacherie, Louisiana
Oak Alley Plantation

It came down in thick heavy sheets, bulleting from the sky, drenching the ground that could only absorb so much before it leaked up from the grass, and quickly became the swamp that was so common in the area. The glare of headlights cut through the rain, illuminating the porch of the antebellum mansion that was now empty.

Caesar climbed out of the car, whistling. He snapped open the trunk and stared with vicious glee down at Vasco, whose hands Caesar had taped behind his back. Caesar reached inside and hauled the other man out, half dragging him through the puddles of water, and shoved him in front of the stairs, facing the house. “I thought you‘d want to see it one more time before you died.”
Vasco’s eyes traveled slowly over the elegant, old fashioned structure. It had once been her home, before she—

His jaw hardened. A lifetime ago, he had made love to her against those columns, often after he’d shot a few people out among the centuries-old oaks. For a fleeting moment, his eyes softened at the phantom images.

“You know, she and I had some good times here after you got popped.” Caesar grinned at his own memories.

Vasco’s eyes narrowed, jealousy and fury coiling hotly in his gut. His fingers fisted around the piece of glass hidden in his palm, and sharp edges cut into the tape and his skin, the blood washing away with the force of the rain.

Caesar turned him around so they were facing each other. “I don’t get you, Vasco.” He took a step back, pulling the gun out from the waistband of his pants. “Why? Out of all of them, I never thought you would choose this.”

The hatred in the depths of Vasco’s eyes was unhidden as he regarded Caesar. It was their destiny to be enemies, their agreement for this lifetime. He was fully committed to honoring that agreement. “Choice, Caesar,” Vasco said over the noise of the storm. “I never made anyone do anything. They always had a choice. You—Them—you take the fun out of the game when you take that choice away. But the better, less noble reason is I just don’t like you. Or your masters. I never have.”

Caesar shook his head. “I’ll never understand you Terenzios. I won’t miss you, either.” The thunder growled, a flash of lighting exposing the malevolent gleam in Caesar‘s eyes as he pressed the muzzle of the gun against Vasco’s temple.

About the Author

DCS was born in Alexandria, Virginia. She graduated high school in Huntersville, NC and attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte intent on earning a degree in Political Science and becoming a lawyer.

She instead eventually turned to writing. DCS is currently attending the American Institute of Holistic Theology to earn her PhD in Metaphysical Spirituality.

You can also hear her live every Saturday evening on BlogTalkRadio’s In the Mind of DCS. Show starts at 7pm Central Standard Time.

Synarchy Book 2: The Ascension is her second novel, and four more are scheduled for release.

Synarchy Book 3: SVT and Synarchy Book 4: The Black Widow are the next in the series due out in 2011.

“We’re villains, as much as we are capable of being heroes…” A lifetime ago, Stefano Vasco Terenzio saw one way to maneuver his family into a game of betrayal against an unbeatable enemy; walking into a bullet. A generation later, what started with one man’s ego will determine the fate of the whole word. For centuries The Brotherhood and their Gods, the Anunnaki have hidden in plain sight among us. For centuries they have lied, sacrificed man by the thousands, and manipulated humanity into their service. As the clock ticks closer to December 21st, 2012, they will stop at nothing to keep their control of planet Earth. In the thrilling sequel to Synarchy Book 1: The Awakening, the end is only the beginning. Secrets emerge that will challenge the core of everything you think you believe. All the while a team of scientists must make sense out of the fantastical, and the tenuous link holding together the one family that can save humankind, shatters.

Categories: Science Fiction, Thriller | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Spotlight: THE SPIES OF WARSAW by Alan Furst

The Spies of WarsawAuthor: Alan Furst
Title: The Spies of Warsaw
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Fiction
Language: English
ISBN: 0812977378

PURCHASE HERE!

An autumn evening in 1937. A German engineer arrives at the Warsaw railway station. Tonight, he will be with his Polish mistress; tomorrow, at a workers’ bar in the city’s factory district, he will meet with the military attaché from the French embassy. Information will be exchanged for money. So begins The Spies of Warsaw, the brilliant new novel by Alan Furst, lauded by The New York Times as “America’s preeminent spy novelist.”

War is coming to Europe. French and German intelligence operatives are locked in a life-and-death struggle on the espionage battlefield. At the French embassy, the new military attaché, Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier, a decorated hero of the 1914 war, is drawn into a world of abduction, betrayal, and intrigue in the diplomatic salons and back alleys of Warsaw. At the same time, the handsome aristocrat finds himself in a passionate love affair with a Parisian woman of Polish heritage, a lawyer for the League of Nations.

Colonel Mercier must work in the shadows, amid an extraordinary cast of venal and dangerous characters–Colonel Anton Vyborg of Polish military intelligence; the mysterious and sophisticated Dr. Lapp, senior German Abwehr officer in Warsaw; Malka and Viktor Rozen, at work for the Russian secret service; and Mercier’s brutal and vindictive opponent, Major August Voss of SS counterintelligence. And there are many more, some known to Mercier as spies, some never to be revealed.Alan Furst 2

Alan Furst is widely recognized as the master of the historical spy novel. Now translated into seventeen languages, he is the bestselling author of Night Soldiers, Dark Star, The Polish Officer, The World at Night, Red Gold, Kingdom of Shadows, Blood of Victory, Dark Voyage, and The Foreign Correspondent. Born in New York, he now lives in Paris and on Long Island. You can visit his website at www.alanfurst.net.

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THE PYEWIZ AND THE AMAZING MOBILE PHONE by Herbert Howard Jones

The Pyewiz and the Amazing Mobile PhoneAuthor: Herbert Howard Jones
Title: The Pyewiz and the Amazing Mobile Phone
Paperback: 532 pages
Publisher: YouWriteOn
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Language: English
ISBN: 9781849230278

PURCHASE HERE!

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Journey to a frozen planet to find a long lost twin. An amazing crystal phone with incredible powers. A cunning old pirate wizard who must be stopped.

Schoolboy Terry Mctrain thinks the new tenant in his parent’s guesthouse is strange. Stranger still is the reason why she is here. Then Terry learns about a twin brother he never knew he had, kidnapped by a pirate wizard years ago. Baffled by all this, Terry realizes there’s a mystery to be solved, and a secret to be uncovered. But when he discovers that the fate of the world is also in his hands, he wonders..

Could this turn into the adventure of a lifetime?

Perhaps, but unless Terry and his friend Will travel to the other side of the solar system to solve this puzzle, there’s a danger that the world would be destroyed, and his twin brother lost forever.

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Herbert Howard Jones was born in London in 1955, and went to Eccles Hall, a boarding school in Norfolk. He left after a couple of years and attended IIford County High School in Barkingside where he where he met Bram Tovey, now conductor of the Vancouver Symphony orchestra, and pianist Derek Smith who later played with the Johhny Dankworth ensemble. They inspired Jones to take up music, which he still practices today.

Jones attended Lisburn college in Ireland and then worked in a wide variety of occupations. These included in law, as a porter at the BBC, in jewellery manufacture, publishing, and commercial art. As a BBC porter he was required to hump equipment between studios and could be spotted riding shotgun around London in the old green BBC vans of that time. He was eventually sacked for lateness!

He then found a job in a Hatton Garden jewellery firm in London. As an apprentice jeweller he was required to assemble twenty-two 14 carat gold gate bracelets a day. In the two years he spent in the business he had personally made nearly 12000 bracelets, which was quite a feat, but was mind numbing work, and not something he wanted to do with the rest of his life. At this stage he didn’t know what avenue to go down next.

But the clue lay in his early life. As a young boy, he showed an early interest in the arts, particularly writing, musical composition and painting, and has pursued them as interests ever since. At this time he met the daughter of the captain of the Titanic, which sank in 1912, and consequently became obsessed with the myth which surrounded the subject. Jones remembers handling Titantic artifacts in the lady’s cottage country, and thinking that they made beautiful art ornaments! They inspired Jones to start creating collages using old bric-a brac, attaching small objects to canvas and applying paint to them.

In his teens, Jones lived with the family of author Julian Branston, whose mother was a close confidant of British comic Kenneth Williams. They introduced Jones to writer and poet John Pudney, famed as the author of wartime poem ‘For Johnny’. As busy as he was, Pudney would give kindly critiques of Jones’ earlier writings, urging Jones to say ‘more with less’. Jones described his writing efforts at this time as pretentious and undisciplined, and was frankly lucky, that ‘Pudney gave him the time of day,’

Jones found John Pudney fascinating as, among other things, he knew Pablo Picasso personally, having met him as a reporter during the war. To the aspiring and awe struck Jones, this was all glamorous grist for this artistic mill. At this time he became fascinated by celebrity, which was hardly surprising considering that his benefactors frequently had prominent people down to dinner, including the Bishop of Liverpool and others.

When Jones worked for a firm of ‘showbiz’ solicitors in London, he ran errands for screen star John Mills, and composer Tony Hatch, but felt that life as a London commuter just wasn’t for him, and so he ‘dropped’ out and went to live in Deptford. Jones justified this to himself by saying this was his ‘down and out in Paris and London period’.

Jones moved around South London and finally settled in some lodgings in Lewisham which were also being occupied by the now international artist David Mabb, presently Head of Masters at Goldsmith’s college, from whom he acquired wonderful discarded art pieces. Mabb’s charismatic and confident personality had an inspiring effect on Jones who began to look at art in a new light. In Jones’ eyes, David Mabb was ‘one of the solid group of British artists who are exponents of a new kind of socially responsible art, which is dynamic and very much at the cutting edge.’ In Jones’ view, Mabb’s art not only succeeds powerfully as a room decoration, but it invokes a strong visceral response in the viewer. If Jones was going to paint, he wanted his art to be as eloquent as Mabb’s! At the time of writing, Jones is still struggling to achieve this goal. Jones cites US artist Ron English, as his other influence.

Meeting well known people and those active in the arts and entertainment industries had the effect of shaping Jones’ view of the world, and he vowed that one day, he too would make a contribution. It was only in his fifties that Jones has seriously sought publication. The Pyewiz and The Amazing Mobile Phone is his first book.

At the present time Jones is busily writing his second book and is painting. He hopes to have his first exhibition of art in London in the near future.

Jones’ most thrilling life moment: ‘being six feet away from Frank Sinatra when he came to the London Palladium!’

You can visit his website at www.science-fiction-fantasy.com.

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“Ouch!” Terry McTrain screwed up his face in agony. The sharp point of the other boy’s cutlass nicked his shoulder, and blood oozed through the jagged tear in his shirt. His mum would go crazy!
The boy he was fighting was a good swordsman. If Terry wasn’t careful he would end up with another wound.

He swished his own weapon ambitiously through the air, but missed his opponent by a mile. It gave the strangely familiar boy a chance to jab him in the belly, and this time it really hurt. Terry dropped his own cutlass in shock. More blood, even redder than before, oozed through his shirt.

Shaking, he reached down to unbutton it, but found himself grabbing the edge of the blanket instead. With a start he sat up in bed and looked round. He had been dreaming!

Still shaking slightly, he let out a long slow relieved breath and glanced over at the clock on the desk by his bed. It was nearly seven, time to get up. Then almost against his will, his eyes came to rest on the mess of papers next to the computer. Homework! Tons of it and his form master wanted it handed in today.

But this was simply not possible, unless he did it on the bus. Unfortunately the journey to school only took twenty minutes, which was hardly enough time to think about the homework, let alone do it. Terry got out of bed, his mind pondering. He would just have to think of an excuse.

“Where is it?” said Mr Ibsen, his form master, after class had been dismissed that afternoon.

“Where’s what, sir?” said Terry playing for time and gaining three more seconds.

His form master grinned humourlessly. “Don’t be cute with me, McTrain. You know what.”

Terry was just going reply but Mr Ibsen interrupted him. “I’m afraid it will have to be detention for you, young man. This is the third time this week that you haven’t handed in any homework!”

“But Mr Ibsen, sir,” replied Terry worriedly. “I had to help my parents clear out a room in our guest house for a new tenant. I was going to do the essay on the bus this morning, but I was too tired.”
His form master glared at Terry in a most horrible way. “Did you say on the bus?”

Terry face reddened.

Mr Ibsen shook his head. “You’re not supposed to do your homework on the bus, now are you? Homework is work that you do at home. Schoolwork is work that you do at school..”

“Yes Mr Ibsen..”

“If we wanted you to do your homework on the bus, we wouldn’t call it homework, now would we?”

“No sir,”

“You had a week to do the essay on Victorian children’s classics,” continued Mr Ibsen. “And it was easy enough, to compare any two popular children’s stories of your choice. And I only wanted a page.”
Terry nodded, badly wishing he had done the essay last night, instead of watching that talent show with his best friend Will.
“You’ve got one more chance McTrain,” said Mr Ibsen rising from his desk and packing his briefcase. “I want the essay on my desk promptly at nine am tomorrow, or you’ll be kept behind to do it in your own time.”

“Yes sir, thank you sir,” said Terry.

“And what’s the matter with your left eye?” demanded his form master giving him a strange look. “You don’t wear mascara, do you?”

“Mascara, sir? No!” said Terry completely bemused by his teacher’s comment.

Mr Ibsen frowned. “Its your eye, its gone a funny colour!”

“Has it?” said Terry rubbing his eyelid.

“Go and wash it off!” said Mr Ibsen striding out of the classroom with his briefcase. “And read my lips, homework on my desk, nine o’clock tomorrow, no excuses!”

“Yes sir,” said Terry. He followed Mr Ibsen out of the class room and then went home.

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LESSONS FROM THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA by Vicki Hopkins

Author: Vicki Hopkins
Title: Lessons from “The Phantom of the Opera”
Publisher: Xlibris
Genre: Performing Arts
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1-4415-2374-7
PURCHASE HERE

Leroux weaves the tale of a deformed man living in isolation underneath the Paris Opera House, who desperately loves a beautiful girl named Christine Daaé. The masked man has many names – Phantom of the Opera, Opera Ghost, Angel of Music, and Erik. His desperate search for love takes him down a road of obsession and violence, and the cry of his despair echoes in our hearts. “All I wanted was to be loved for myself.”

Lessons from “The Phantom of the Opera” steps behind the scenes and examines the symbolism hidden in the characters, emotions, sets, and events. The book leads its readers on an emotional journey studying the motivations of the characters and the numerous symbols hidden throughout the Opera House. It examines not only Leroux’s original work, but also analyzes the play and movie. Personal reflection is encouraged, and the author poses questions to incite further thought and revelation. As a result, lessons and life applications emerge from a timeless masterpiece for everyone to enjoy.

Where did you get inspiration for your book?

It started as an obscure blog on Google Blogger that gained worldwide readership from Phantom fans who requested my posts in book form. The story so profoundly touched my life, I felt compelled to write about the symbolism.

Visit the author’s website here.

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