Tuesday, 25 April 2017

A Symphony of Hearts By T.E. Hodden



Title: A Symphony of Hearts
Author: T.E. Hodden
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: April 24, 2017
Publisher: Roane Publishing



Meet Bob. Bob is the guy between the lines of every love story you ever met. The lucky chance, the twist of fate, the astounding coincidence that sets sparks flying. Never seen, but always there.

Today Bob is assigned to help Jenny find love. But there is something more than bad luck working against the quirky librarian. Bob might have to save her life, before he can help her find love.

And he can't do that from the shadows....







Excerpt:


Time for a practical demonstration…
I step into a sandwich shop. It is busy with the lunch hour rush. Jimmy sits at one of the tables, staring into his book, and trying not to think. He is a heavy guy, big and round with jowls and a frown. His connection to the Loom is worn thin, and a lot of his strings play sour, dull, notes. He is nearly forty, but has never been kissed and never known that warm fuzzy glow in his chest.
What he has known is shame, self-doubt, and fear. Whenever he has felt his heart crack open, he has been trained to think it is unnatural and shameful. People like him were the butts of jokes, when he was a kid. Most the people he hang around still use “queer” and “gay” as a shorthand for worthless and disgusting. He has spent too long burying his feelings, and now believes that they make him less of a man, and less of a human..
There is a girl at his office who likes him. She is friendly and flirty. He responds politely, but is so convinced of his self-image that he thinks she is quietly mocking him. He sees no malice in her, but he thinks there is gentle teasing at his expense.
Kelly is in the queue. He is waiting on a chicken and avocado baguette to go with his bottle of soda. He is thirty-nine, tall, burly, and jolly. He has a kind laugh and gets on with everybody in the office. He recognises Jimmy. They bump into each other in the office kitchen, making coffees. They talk about cricket and football while waiting on the kettle.
Jimmy nods for Kelly to join him. They joke about the latest email from head office. The "Fair culture flowchart" is a policy that spends three thousand words telling them, in essence, not to be dicks.
Neither men see me standing by their table. I pluck the string that binds them. It plays a sweet note, made heavy by Jimmy's doubts. I knock his drink into his lap. Jimmy squawks in surprise and Kelly drops to his knees, mopping at Jimmy's lap with napkins. Jimmy panics at the touch.
"Hey. Let me." Jimmy laughs a little. "If you don't mind where you put your hands, you will do something you will regret."
I stoop down to Kelly's ear and whisper, "Will you?"
Kelly gives a dirty laugh. "I wouldn't regret it. Would you?"
For a moment they hold each other's gazes.









About T.E. Hodden:

T. E. Hodden trained in engineering, and works in the rail industry. He writes as a hobby, when he is not walking the Kent coast, looking for forgotten nooks and crannies of history and folklore.




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Monday, 24 April 2017

Redfern by Gary Tinnams



Title: Redfern
Author: Gary Tinnams
Genre: Science Fiction



“Humans don’t project past their own frequency. It’s why you’re so isolated as a species. The beings of other frequencies can only witness what you build and feel what you destroy.”

Earth – Tomorrow – The Singularity:-

The machines have taken over and mankind is cast out.

Millennia later, the inhospitable planet of Redfern is in the process of being made habitable for the proposed rebirth of the entire human race. All is proceeding as planned until Enforcer, Ted Holloway, witnesses the unexpected appearance of a long dead and former friend - A man who can become invisible and immaterial, a man that can penetrate any and all security.

A man whose very existence should be impossible.

As Ted and his superior, Lisa Carmichael, investigate further, they face dangers and creatures that challenge their very concept of reality and also encounter the colony’s caretaker Machine Mind and the human Security Commissioner, both of whom have opposing and intricate agendas of their own.

For the true nature of Redfern is stranger and more deadly than anything Holloway or Carmichael can possibly imagine.

And it could change or destroy humanity forever...

Amazon 
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Author Bio:


I have been reading and watching science fiction since I was old enough to watch Peter Davison walking around an unrealistic jungle set in Doctor Who. The first set of sci-fi books I ever read was The Tripods trilogy by John Christopher without ever having watched the resultant TV series. The Tripods were scary.

Over the years I've come to love a variety of science fiction and fantasy books from many different eras and so came to the conclusion that I wanted to create my own adventures, set in my own worlds, with characters that acted and felt like real people. My third novel 'Redfern' is an adventure story which poses question about alien first contact, artificial intelligence, the singularity and the continued survival of our species at any cost.

"If you love your science fiction on the cinematic side but also want big ideas, intelligently explored, look no further."






Saturday, 22 April 2017

Tarragon: Dragon Mage by Karlie Lucas



After hundreds of years, the gates to Tarragon are open once more, fulfilling age-old prophecy. However, Anwen’s journey is far from over. The dragons still sleep and she has no clue how to wake them. Forced to retreat from the Mountain, she and her newfound friends must devise a new plan to wake the inhabitants of Tarragon.

Meanwhile, the Mage Circle, a group of dragon mages with a vendetta, is camped outside the Gates. Calling on allies of their own, they will stop at nothing to gain control of the Dragon City and all who dwell inside.

To complicate matters even more, Anwen’s mother has joined the party. But even with the help of all her friends, can Anwen overcome the ordeals set before her or will this spell the end of the dragons and the world as we know it?



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Snippet:

Courtney stopped abruptly as the scatterings of a cave-in came into view. “Oh no,” she whispered, one hand to her mouth. Moving slowly, she noticed a body slumped in the hallway. “Please don't be dead,” she said over and over again as she moved closer. She couldn't help but wonder which of her friends lay there, and what had happened to the other.

The closer she came, the more detail came to light. She recognized Tyler Durand as he lay on his side. His light-colored hair lay limp against his head. His skin was unnaturally pale. At least she didn’t think he was dead. It took a lot to kill a dragon. But just beyond him, a little more out of the way, lay Anwen Porter. And she wasn’t moving.



The Author:

Karlie Lucas is a preschool teacher by day and a writer/artist by night.

A graduate of Southern Utah University, Karlie received a B.A. in Creative Writing, with a minor in art. She is a member of Sigma Tau Delta, The International English Honor Society, as well as ANWA, the American Night Writers Association.

Karlie is interested in all things magical and mysterious, especially elves and dragons. She is an avid fan of J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling.

When not writing, Karlie can often be found drawing, baking, watching her favorite old school shows, or just spending time with her family.

She currently resides in Dallas, Texas with her husband and a cat named Kally

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Karlie's Top Ten Favorite desserts:

  1. Ice cream. Who doesn’t love ice cream? It’s like the standard go to
  2. Cheesecake. What’s not to love? Especially if it’s one of those Oreo ones.
  3. Coconut cream pie. I don’t normally go for coconut, but there’s just something about it in pie form that can’t be denied.
  4. Brownies. What can I say besides Chocolate?
  5. Blintzes. If you haven’t tried them, you’re missing out. It’s like a crepe but not rolled, and it’s pan fried.
  6. Pudding, especially pistachio or cheesecake flavored, I mean, come on! It’s creamy. It’s rich. It’s prefect. And you can add in whatever you want.
  7. Cobbler, usually apple or peach. You’ve got that sweet crunchy stuff and that gooey filling. Yum.
  8. Chocolate Silk Pie. It’s Chocolate! In a graham cracker crust.
  9. Sugar Cookies, like the melt in your mouth coated with sugar kind, not the cheap tastes like flour stuff you get at the grocery store. Home made all the way!
  10. A Lie, if you don’t know what this is, you’re missing out. It’s a pie baked into a cake. (Some call it something along the lines of a cherpumpkin but my version’s better). Or if, you want to take it a step further, do a glacee pie backed into a giant brownie and decorate it like a cake to have a Conspiracy.)







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Friday, 21 April 2017

Grandpa Bernie’s Bedtime Stories by Bernard Ditchik



Title: Grandpa Bernie’s Bedtime Stories
Author: Bernard Ditchik
Genre: Children’s Books


These delightful tales are sure to help your little ones settle down and drift contentedly off to sleep. Written by a grandfather for his own kids and grandchildren, these twenty entertaining stories feature lots of talking animals, including a kangaroo who teaches a pony how to jump, a little bear who wants to play baseball, a coyote who learns to fly, a magic balloon that takes a little girl all the way to Japan and back, and some resourceful ants who build a swimming pool so they can play as well as work. It’s full of positive images and plots that inspire creative solutions to various challenges. A lovely read-aloud adventure the whole family will enjoy!



Excerpt:
From “The Coyote Who Learned To Fly”

      “Can you sing, Tommy?” asked Lulu.
      “Oh, no. I can hum a little, but I can’t sing. I can run very fast, though. Watch this!” And he ran up the side of a small hill and back.
      “That was a great run, Tommy,” cried Lulu. “I can’t run very fast but watch this!”
      Away she flew—high up into the sky. She flew in great big circles and then landed right next to the little coyote.
      “That was wonderful!” exclaimed Tommy. “I’d love to be able to do that. Do you think I can learn to fly?”
      “Well,” said Lulu, “you need wings to fly.”
      “I don’t have any,” the coyote said.
      “No, you don’t,” Lulu replied. “But maybe we can make you a pair. Come home with me and we’ll see what we can do.”
      After a lot of hard work, they made a pair of wings to fit Tommy. Lulu fastened them on the excited coyote. He stood on his hind legs and tried to flap his wings, but he was barely able to move them.
      “I didn’t know how much strength it takes to fly,” said Tommy. He took his wings off, sat down and started to think. Suddenly he smiled and said, “Lulu, I have an idea. Come with me.”


Author Bio:

I didn’t begin my career as an author by writing stories. First, I was a storyteller. Let me explain. Many years ago, when our children were very young, I would sit on their beds at bedtime and tell them a story. Instead of reading a story written by someone else, I preferred to make up my own story right on the spot. They were stories about animals who learned to fly, children who talked to birds, alligators who were friends with elephants, and even one about a horse that learned to jump like a kangaroo. Our children loved them. So I made up a lot of stories. Then there was a long period of time when there was no one who wanted to listen to my stories because they had all grown up!

But then, something wonderful happened. We had our first grandchild—and I became Grandpa Bernie. One day, one of my daughters said, “Dad, you have so many stories. I think other children would like to hear them.” That’s when I became an author.

At the age of 93, I am still playing tennis (doubles only) five times a week in a 60+ league. I have been married 64 years to my wonderful wife, Faigie, had three children, and five grandchildren. I continue to sit in my favorite chair, with a large pad on my lap, and a pen in my hand, lean back, and let my imagination soar.




Excerpt:
From “Jodie’s Magic Balloon”

      There was a stand with beautiful balloons of all colors and shapes. They were on long strings and floated high in the air.
      Jodie grabbed her father’s hand and pulled him right to the stand. When the man selling the balloons saw her, he winked and said, “I have a special magic balloon just for you, Jodie.”
      “How do you know my name?” she asked, surprised.
      “I’m a magician,” he said. “And when I made this balloon, I saw it had instructions stating that it was only to be given to a little girl named Jodie.”
      “But how did you know that was me?”
      “Oh,” the magician said with a smile. “That was easy. The instructions also said I would recognize her because she has the tiniest nose you ever saw and the sweetest smile. As soon as I saw you, I know you were that person.”
      The man gave Jodie a very large and beautiful balloon. It had every color of the rainbow and sparkled like gold in the sunlight.
      “Oh,” said Jodie. “It”s beautiful. But why is this a magic balloon?”
      The magician smiled again. “When you crawl inside this wonderful balloon, it will obey everything you ask it to do. Would you like to try it?”
      “Oh, yes!” Jodie cried excitedly, and she crawled inside the balloon. “It’s very comfortable in here. Now what do I do?”
      “Just tell the balloon to go anywhere you like,” answered the magician with another smile.
      “Please take me high into the sky, even higher than the clouds” instructed Jodie. 


Thursday, 20 April 2017

The Undaunted Debutantes Series by Christina McKnight



Three innocent debutantes must work to solve the mysterious death of their childhood friend. With undaunted determination, they pledge to not only expose the man responsible for their friend’s tragic death on her wedding night, but to also uncover other unscrupulous men of the ton who would jeopardize the future of other young women.


Title: The Disappearance of Lady Edith
Series: The Undaunted Debutantes Series (Book One)
Author: Christina McKnight
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency England
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Word Count: 45,000

One tragic night changed sensible, proper Lady Edith Pelton’s life: when her best friend fell to her death, pushed down a flight of stairs by a nefarious lord.  Now, Edith dedicates her time watching the man she thinks is responsible, while gathering other information to expose other scoundrels posing as gentlemen of honor about London. But when her spying is noticed by a perfect stranger, Edith finds herself with two mysteries—what happened to her friend, and how to win the heart of a brilliantly handsome lord.



Pre-order from: 






Title: The Misfortune of Lady Lucianna
Series: The Undaunted Debutantes Series (Book Two)
Author: Christina McKnight
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency England
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Word Count: 45,000

Lady Lucianna Constantine, a quick-witted hellion, has no doubt who is responsible for the murder of her dear friend—and she will stop at nothing from exposing his transgressions, and those of every despicable man in London. Though her two dearest friends were unwilling to point a finger at the dastardly man, Lucianna has witnessed the cruelty of London’s Beau Monde her entire life…starting with her own father. She is more than willing to singlehandedly take down every vile man that crosses her path. However, what happens when a most honorable man discovers Luci is the abhorrent woman who ruined both his life and stripped him of his rightful future?

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Title: The Misadventures of Lady Ophelia
Series: The Undaunted Debutantes Series (Book Three)
Author: Christina McKnight
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency England
Release Date: July 11, 2017
Word Count: 45,000

If only Lady Ophelia Fletcher—quiet, reserved, with her nose always stuck in a book—had witnessed the death of her friend that fateful night. Now she writes a column, Mayfair Confidential, that she uses to expose men with unsavory pasts to make amends for holding her tongue the night her dear friend was murdered. She is more than willing to never call attention to herself. But when a handsome stranger arrives to meet with her father, Ophelia can’t help but do a little investigating for her own benefit. At last, Ophelia has stumbled upon an adventure of her own—but does she possess the skills necessary to solve the mystery without the assistance of her friends?

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Author Bio:

Christina McKnight is a book lover turned writer. From a young age, her mother encouraged her to tell her own stories. She’s been writing ever since.

Christina enjoys a quiet life in Northern California with her family, her wine, and lots of coffee. Oh, and her books…don’t forget her books! Most days she can be found writing, reading, or traveling the great state of California.

You can visit her online at the following places: 






Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Interview with Bluette Matthey

My guest today is Bluette Matthey, author of Hardy Durkin Travel Mysteries series

Bluette Matthey is a 3rd generation Swiss American and an avid lover of European cultures. She has decades of travel and writing experience. She is a keen reader of mysteries, especially those that immerse the reader in the history, inhabitants, culture, and cuisine of new places. Her passion for travel, except airports (where she keeps a mystery to pass the time), is shared by her husband, who owned a tour outfitter business in Europe. Bluette particularly loves to explore regions that are not on the "15 days in Europe" itineraries. She also enjoys little-known discoveries, such as the London Walks, in well-known areas. She firmly believes that walking and hiking bring her closer to the real life of any locale. Bluette maintains a list of hikes and pilgrimages throughout Europe for future exploration. She lives in Le Locle, Switzerland, with her husband and band of loving cats.


Hi Bluette, welcome to Just Books.
Would you like to kick off by telling us how your journey as a writer began?
I started writing really awful westerns in third grade and my teacher, Mrs. Schmidt, would have me read them to my classmates.


What motivates you to write...?
An interesting place I’m exploring, something I read might catch my imagination, new experiences …


... and what do you enjoy most about writing?
I’ve always loved creating, but couldn’t draw, paint, or write music. Writing allows me to express myself, stretch my mind, force myself to be precise.


Tell us about your writing routine; what’s a typical writing day for you?
My days vary. Some days I spend completely absorbed, working at my desktop. Others, I may take a hike and mentally write as I walk. I spend boots-on-the-ground time in the
European locales where my mysteries take place, and do a lot of research to make sure what I’m portraying is accurate.



How did you come up with the title for Engadine Aerie?
Engadine Aerie takes place in St. Moritz, Switzerland, the area known as the Engadine Valley where the Alps are six thousand feet, plus. Many of the houses and lodges are perched in the mountains like nests, or aeries.






Do you develop characters from your personal experiences or draw from that of others?
My characters usually have a core of reality in people I’ve known, and I build from that. Some are completely made up.


Who is your intended audience?
I write for an audience who likes mysteries, travel, and experiencing new places, and for people who’d like to travel but are unable to do so. Travel with a bit of a kick.


What is your favourite scene that you’ve written? Would you give us a peek, please?

From Engadine Aerie:

They had been skiing about fifteen minutes; the ski lift for downhill had just come into view. Suddenly, Maryam veered off the trail slightly, into the snow. She lost her balance, as though she’d hit something and, try as she might to keep upright, her outstretched arms pin-wheeling for equilibrium, she lost the battle and fell on her derrière.

Hardy skied to where she had landed, a look of puckish humor on his handsome face. His gold aviator sunglasses hid his eyes, which were also smiling. “You OK? Need some help?” he asked.

Maryam was embarrassed. She never fell. “Of course I’m OK!” she snapped. “I ran over something.”

“A rock?” Hardy queried.

She glanced up to see if he was making a fool of her. “No, “she said thoughtfully. “It was something softer.” She began brushing away the snow at the spot where she’d run aground. Something vivid blue appeared. She brushed more, and an arm appeared.

“Hold on, Maryam,” Hardy said, releasing his boots from his skis. He stepped around where she knelt and brushed the snow off a man’s face, the snow stained a rusty pink near his head. His sightless eyes were a very dark brown, as were his hair and eyebrows. The once youthful face was ageless in death, and pale.

When Maryam caught sight of the face she let out a scream. Then another. “Najib! Najib!” she shrieked, and broke down into sobs.

Hardy bundled Maryam up in his arms and moved her away from the body. He suspected they were, logistically, in the middle of a crime scene and didn’t want to disturb it any more than they already had. Phil Hostelbrink had skied back to where they were after hearing Maryam’s shrieks. His steely, blue-gray eyes and lawyer’s mind assessed the situation in an instant.

“That’s a hell of a discovery, Mr. Durkin,” he began.

“Please, call me Hardy,” Hardy replied.

“Hardy,” he said, extending a gloved hand. “Phil Hostelbrink. New York. I’m an attorney, and for what it’s worth, I suspect you’ve just skied into one hell of a mess.”

Hardy grimaced, and hoped to hell Phil Hostelbrink wasn’t also a prophet.


Thank you, Bluette, that's got me interested.
Let's leave the books behind for a while and discover a bit about you.

What advice would you give to your younger self?
Travel, travel, travel!


Do you remember the first book you read?
I remember discovering all the Walter Farley black stallion books when I was in third grade, followed by the Ellery Queen, Jr. series. I was hooked!


What would you want written on your headstone?
‘She Ran The Good Race’


What are your favourite hobbies and pastimes?
I love to hike and snow shoe in the Swiss mountains. Road trips. Eating good local foods.


What do you consider the most important event of your life so far?
I have lots, but probably re-meeting my husband after a 35-year hiatus of when we first met in Portugal.


What three words best describe your personality?
Adventurous, health-conscious, animal-lover.


When and where was the last time you walked for more than an hour?
Last weekend I was in Lyon, France walking around the Old Town, exploring its traboules. The traboules, secret, hidden passages and courtyards dating back to the 4th century, criss-cross the old town. It is possible to pass through that part of Lyon without ever using the streets. The Knights Templar made use of them to escape the French king, Philip the Fair, when he moved to rid France of the Templars.


What did you do this summer?
We did a lot of travelling and ate some great meals. My kids visited from NY and China, and we did the chateaus in Loire Valley, took a hot air balloon ride above same, spent five days in Paris, went to the Black Forest in Germany and spent half a day in the spa in Baden-Baden, drove most of Switzerland, and ate a fabulous family-style meal in Italy.


If you had to move from Switzerland where would you go, and what would you miss the most about Switzerland?
I don’t think I’d ever want to leave Switzerland, but the South of France would probably be my second choice.


Who is your favourite female actor?
I have several: Sophia Loren, Maggie Smith, Christine Baranski, Audrey Hepburn …


What is your favourite holiday?
I really enjoy Christmas. My kids try to make it to wherever we are, and we just enjoy family.


Are you an early riser or a night owl?
Both; depends on my sleep patterns.


What foreign country would you most like to visit?
I’m open for almost anything, but my current two targets are Morocco and China. Love the food in both places, and the history of both countries is fascinating.


Were you ever in a school play? What was your role?
I was in a small play for my French class and played the rose: La Reine des Fleurs (Queen of Flowers)


What would constitute a "perfect" day for you?
Taking a relaxed road trip somewhere, having a good local meal, enjoying the locale.


When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
Just last week. When I sing to myself my husband usually hears it, too.


If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?
The ability to heal the sick.


Thank you for taking time out from your schedule for the interview, Bluette.


Bluette Matthey's latest book, Engadine Aerie is due to be published next week (April 26) and is available for pre-order on Amazon, Kobo and B&N. It will also be available on Smashwords.



Bluette will be joining us again, on April 26th, to talk about her Life as an Author and The Engadine Skimarathon, the setting for Engadine Aerie.

You can find Bluette at her Website, and on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Google+.

Meanwhile, why not catch up with the previous books in the series:


Corsican Justice



Abruzzo Intrigue



Black Forest Reckoning



Dalmatian Traffick

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

God is Dead by Kata Mlek


Title: God is Dead
Series: One God - Book 3
Author: Kata Mlek
Genre: Dystopian, Technothriller, Science Fiction


The final gambit. The final opponent. The final judgment.

Miran, Satia, and Flins have crushed all opposition, and Genesis dominates the market.
From a position of strength, they launch an all-out campaign to take total control of the European economy. Using everything from manufactured pop idols to underground whisper campaigns, Genesis expands into forbidden new areas, daring anyone to stand in their way.

But the old elites of Europe will only tolerate so much provocation. Setting aside their differences, they mount their most devious and merciless attack yet.

Within months, Miran is afflicted by a mysterious illness, and may be close to death. The media campaign unravels and public sentiment turns against Genesis. Legal troubles mount. And then, the kidnappings begin...

Desperate to survive, Genesis breaks an unbreakable taboo... and nothing can prevent the consequences.

The thunderous conclusion to One God rushes boldly through new and unexpected ideas, redefining the limits of a thriller. It all ends with a final twist that will have you re-reading the series to figure out exactly when Genesis made its one, fatal mistake.

Includes The Genesis Files: bonus stories, art, and dossiers that complement the main story.

Note: contains strong language and some disturbing scenes. For mature readers only.




Author Bio:

KATA MLEK
UNCOMFORTABLY REAL FICTION

I began my writing career in 2012 after leaving the IT industry. In Poland, I’ve had several successful novels published by traditional publishers. In 2015, I made the decision to switch to self-publishing and start my international career.

In 2015, I published the English edition of my intense psychological thriller Absolute Sunset.  This was one of the most talked-about books in Poland in 2012, and the English edition has been equally well-received.

In 2016, I published One God—a trilogy of techno-thrillers about corporate control of genetic modifications. Originally published in Polish as a single long novel, the English version was expanded and re-written to create a trilogy with lots of great new scenes.

Now I’m working on another psychological thriller, a brand-new story written directly in English for my English readers.

All of my books cross genres—I like to experiment with different styles to create the effect I want, and to give my readers a unique experience. My Polish background gives me a different perspective and makes my writing fresh, although I feel it’s still accessible—inside we’re all the same, after all.

You can read my free short stories, get writing tips, and catch up with me on my blog at katamlek.com.
If you like my work, you can become my patron on Patreon and get future books for free. And of course, you can find me on AmazonFacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.