"White Chalk" by Pavarti K. Tyler

INTERVIEW and GIVEAWAY
NEW RELEASE
White Chalk
by Pavarti K. Tyler
I am participating in a Blog Tour for Pavarti K. Tyler’s NEW RELEASE White Chalk. You can visit all the tour stops listed below. Today, Pavarti visits Books Direct for an interview. You can also read my 5-BD (the Books Direct equivalent of stars) review. I’d give it more if I could!
Also, be sure you enter the giveaway below for your chance to win some great prizes!
Description
Chelle isn’t what most people consider a typical 13-year-old girl – she doesn’t laugh with friends, play sports, or hang out at the mall after school. Instead, she navigates a world well beyond her years.
Life in Dawson, ND spins on as she grasps at people, pleading for someone to save her – to return her to the simple childhood of unicorns on her bedroom wall and stories on her father’s knee.
When Troy Christiansen walks into her life, Chelle is desperate to believe his arrival will be her salvation. So much so, she forgets to save herself. After experiencing a tragedy at school, her world begins to crack, causing a deeper scar in her already fragile psyche.
Follow Chelle’s twisted tale of modern adolescence, as she travels down the rabbit hole into a reality none of us wants to admit actually exists.
Book Trailer
Excerpt
Too cold for me to be out, drenched in a thin sweatshirt, I trudged home after school. November had betrayed me with its promises of clear skies, and I’d skipped the bus.
Mr. Harris pulled up, his oversized body squished into the too small car. When the window rolled down, warm air tinged with the scent of coffee invited me in.
“It’s a little cold for you to be walking, isn’t it, honey?” He peered out the window, brows pulled high to his forehead, appraising my appearance.
“Can you drive me home, Mr. Harris?” My teeth chattered as I spoke.
“Come on, get in. But you know teachers aren’t supposed to pick up students on the side of the road.” He chuckled softly to himself.
“I know. I won’t tell anyone. Please? I’m just so cold.”
In the car, I kicked my soaked backpack out of the way of the heating vent and slid my feet out of my shoes. My toes had gotten so cold I half wondered if they’d be tinged with black—gangrene setting up shop. I leaned back and closed my eyes, letting the warmth of the car envelop me. When I opened them, I realized Mr. Harris hadn’t started driving again.
Instead, he sat staring at me. Parked in the middle of the road, his eyes roamed my body as I shivered.
Cold? Lust? I didn’t know, but the feeling of power spreading through my chest as he took in the curve of my hips made me bold. I sat up and pulled the wet sweatshirt over my head, revealing the T-shirt beneath.
Mr. Harris shifted in his seat. His gaze fell upon my breasts and the sound of his breath sped up.
“Mr. Harris?” I asked, the temptation of seducing a teacher thrilling me.
“Yeah?” His voice was hoarse.
“Thanks for the ride.”
“What?” His body snapped to attention as he remembered where he was. “Oh, right… um….” He shifted position again.
“Really, I appreciate it.” I laid a hand on his arm and rose up in my seat, leaning forward so I could kiss him on the cheek—innocently, like kissing an uncle or cousin. But I knew it wasn’t, and when I pulled away, the dark intensity of his eyes told of desire I’d only been hoping to find.
Review


By Lynda Dickson

White Chalk tells the story of Chelle Whitney is a 13-year-old girl in 8th grade at Northwoods Secondary School. Her father is a drunk who is abusive to her mother, while her mother is so busy working to support them, that she has no time for Chelle. Enter Troy Christiansen, the new boy in school, a junior complete with Mohawk and piercings. Chelle falls “instantly and obsessively in love” with him, a love that will have serious repercussions for Chelle and all of those around her.
Chelle is a Lolita-like character, in an inappropriate relationship with her History teacher. This similarity is further reinforced by the cover image depicting a young girl with a lollipop (compare to Lolita movie poster). But is Chelle as innocent as she seems? And who is seducing whom? What has happened to Chelle to fill her with insecurities and to cause her self-harm and suicidal thoughts? She feels out-of-control, but her self-harm is something she can control. When pain equals pleasure, even the acts which we find abhorrent bring happiness to Chelle. The author provides a handy list of resources for people who may be in a similar situation to Chelle, including where to get help for suicide prevention and cutting.
This book is about a young girl whose desperate need to be loved and wanted leads her to make bad choices. It is a book about teenagers, but its content is suitable for mature people only. It contains coarse language, pedophilia, sexual acts, drug and alcohol abuse, spousal abuse, suicide, and self-harm. As the mother of a fourteen-year-old girl myself, I can only hope that what goes on in this book is not commonplace. That being said, I absolutely loved this book. It reminded me a grittier Sarah DessenIt was a pleasure to read, with beautiful lyrical passages. I’m a big fan and will read anything else this talented writer publishes.
Interview With the Author
Hi Pavarti, thanks for joining me today to discuss your new book White Chalk.

Which writers have influenced you the most? Since I was a teenager I’ve been inspired by Anais Nin and Henry Miller. Both because of the controversial topics they cover but also because of their absolute commitment to brutal honesty. Interestingly, Henry Miller’s crude violence earned him the label of literary fiction and Anais Nin’s more delicate and beautiful descriptions were looked down on as erotica and porn.

What age group do you recommend your book for? This is an adult book. Other books with similar themes such as Gemma by Meg Tilly are listed as 15+. I think White Chalk is fine for teens to read, maybe even important for them to do so, but I would never market this as a YA book. Readers and parents should know they are getting a book with graphic details of abuse and sexuality.

I couldn’t agree with you more. I have daughters who are 14 and 16 and whilst I wouldn’t want them reading it, I think that they should be aware of the issues raised. What sparked the idea for this book? Emlyn Chand inspired the idea for the character of Chelle.  We were talking about doing a project together which we’ve since scrapped, but in conversations with her the initial seed of Chelle and her relationship with Mr. Harris was born. I took off and ran and realized Chelle’s story was much, much deeper than I’d originally realized.

Which comes first? The character’s story or the idea for the novel? For me they are often the same. The character’s story is the novel.

What was the hardest part to write in this book? The emotional impact it had on me and on my readers. I found that sometimes I needed a week or two away from it just to recover and keep moving forward.

How to you hope this book affects its readers? I hope that White Chalk brings the story of Chelle and others like her to the forefront. It’s so easy to dismiss the reality of the teens and children around us. But the economy and failure of social institutions, they are the ones who suffer. “No child left behind” should be about so much more than test scores.

How long did it take you to write this book? I wrote the first draft in 6 months and then spent 5 months editing.

What is your writing routine? I write every day, even if what I put out is crap. 500 words, no excuses. Usually it ends up being much more.

How did you get your book published? Evolved Publishing picked up White Chalk as my first novel with them. I’m honored to be a part of such a quality team and to have the support of a publisher behind what promises to be a rather controversial book.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer? Shut up, keep writing. Write what you believe in, what scares you, and do it every day. The rest will work out.

Great advice, Pav. What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I knit, play with my dog and do yoga 🙂

What does your family think of your writing? Most are proud of me. Few have read anything I’ve written but they are all supportive. My husband is amazing. Every day when he comes home from work he asks “How was writing today?”

That’s great! It’s important to have support. Please tell us a bit about your childhood. I’m an only child.  My parent divorced when I was five, so it was just my mom and me for most of my life.

Did you enjoy school? I loved class, hated school. I always did my homework, skipped my junior year of high school and went to Smith College on early admission. But I never fit in and never had a real group of friends, just a handful of solid people I loved.

Did you like reading when you were a child? Everything. I started reading Steven King at 11 and Proust at 15.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I started writing Twilight Fan Fiction in 2010 (I know – shut up) and had so much fun with it and met so many amazing people I wanted to try something on my own. I wrote Consumed By Love for a Supernatural Romance competition and lost (my idea of romance isn’t the same as everyone else’s I guess!) but it was picked up by SNM Horror Magazine as story of the month in 2011.

Did your childhood experiences influence your writing? Yes. My story is not Chelle’s but it could have been.

What was your favorite book as a child? Probably The Indian in the Cupboard. I loved that book, read it over and over.

Who were your favorite authors as a child? I don’t really remember having a favorite as a child. I loved Roald Dahl. But I soon graduated to Dean R. Koontz!

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say? Usually death threats of some sort 🙂 I get a lot of complaints that I haven’t written more for TheSandstorm Chronicles and a lot of angry 5 star reviews about White Chalk. My readers tend to be exceptional people who are an amazing source of support for me. I love hearing from them!

What can we look forward to from you in the future? Sugar & Salt will be coming out next with Evolved Publishing. It’s Book One in a novella series about a brothel in Manhattan and the women who work there. Book One is about Janice Cane, the madam who can’t find love, until she goes to speed dating. 🙂
Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with me today. Best of luck with the rest of the tour. I absolutely loved the book!
About the Author
Award winning author of multi-cultural and transgressive literature, Pavarti K. Tyler is an artist, wife, mother and number cruncher. She graduated Smith College in 1999 with a degree in Theatre. After graduation, she moved to New York, where she worked as a Dramaturge, Assistant Director and Production Manager on productions both on and off Broadway. Later, Pavarti went to work in the finance industry several international law firms. She now lives with her husband, two daughters and one very large, very terrible dog. She keeps busy working with fabulous authors as the Director of Marketing at Novel Publicity and penning her next genre bending novel.
White Chalk (Evolved Publishing) marks Tyler’s third full length novel and promises readers familiar with her work the same mind bending experience. Her other projects include: Shadow on the Wall (Fighting Monkey Press) and Two Moons of Sera (Fighting Monkey Press). Shadow on the Wall has received many awards: Winner of the General Fiction/Novel Category of the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Winner in the Fiction: Multicultural category for The 2012 USA Best Book Awards, and Finalist in the Multicultural Fiction category for the 2012 International Book Awards.
White Chalk has been hailed as “brave”, “raw”, and “destroyingly beautiful”. In line with novels such as White Oleander, Thirteen Reasons Why, and Gemma, White Chalk invites you to witness one girl’s heartrending story of confusion and desperation.
Giveaway
Make sure you enter the giveaway for a stack of amazing prizes!
Links
Blog Tour Stops
Blog Tour Stop
Type of Stop
Date
Top Ten
7/21/2013
Guest Post – Puppy Love or Obsession
7/22/2013
Review
7/23/2013
Interview
7/24/2013
Guest Post –
7/25/2013
Review
7/26/2013
Playlist
7/29/2013
Interview & Review
7/30/2013
Writers Wednesday
7/31/2013
Review
8/1/2013
Guest Post
8/2/2013
Guest Post – Review
8/3/2013

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"Selected Short Stories featuring Cinderella Shoes" by Nicolas Wilson

Selected Short Stories
featuring Cinderella Shoes
by Nicolas Wilson
Description
Cinderella Shoes contains 15 short stories, including the titular story.
Stiletto: An exotic dancer struggles to make a living after encountering a murder-in-progress on the job.
Cast: The world is increasingly run by robots, which grow increasingly human.
Analog: An ex-Air Force pilot subsists after a weapon disables all modern technology.
Weakness: Sergeant Ruocco hanged himself.
My Beloved’s Eyes: We leave pieces of ourselves with our loved ones- sometimes literally.
Reformatory: A juvenile delinquent and her roommate mature in the aftermath of a devastating assault.
Capricorn: A man wrecks his life and chases fairy tales, while dealing with his young daughter’s impending illness.
Behav: Future terrorists recruit a past terrorist.
Death Echoes: A detective communes with the dead to close their unsolved cases.
Traveled Time: A man examines his life and choices, with the advent of time travel.
Genetic Memory: A dog confronts his owner after gaining the ability to speak and reason.
Darling, Wendy, M.A.: A girl saves her brothers from their abusive father by masquerading as a gang leader. From a 2009 series of shorts reexamining classic heroines.
Eponine: Following her near-death in the streets of Paris, a young woman witnesses the birth of feminism and the industrialization of Europe. From a 2009 series of shorts reexamining classic heroines.
Dorothy: Her fantasy was undoubtedly much happier than the reality of her injuries. From a 2009 series of shorts reexamining classic heroines.
Cinderella Shoes: A man discovers a new side of himself after acquiring women’s clothing.
Review
It’s strange to think that once upon a time not that many years ago, I didn’t care very much for short fiction. I always felt like the ride was over just before it got to start whenever I read a short story. Intervening years have shown me the error of my ways and that in my short-sightedness (no pun intended), I was missing out of some of the best literature by avoiding this format.
Enter Nic Wilson and his Selected Short Stories featuring Cinderella Shoes (try saying that three times fast!). All jokes aside, this collection of short stories from Wilson’s literary vault shows just how talented a writer he is. His ability to enthrall readers with compelling tales ranging from a stripper’s brush with a sadistic killer with a shoe fetish to a talking dog who could lecture the Surgeon General on genetics is quite remarkable. Each story in this collection makes you think, feel, laugh, or even cry. Tales such as the very emotional “Capricorn” makes this collection a cut above similar works.
I have no idea if the stories in this book were republished elsewhere. But it’s great to see such terrific fiction available for the masses. If you’re a fan of short stories or just plain good storytelling, then I highly recommend you check out this collection. You won’t be disappointed.
About the Author
Nicolas Wilson is a published journalist, graphic novelist, and novelist. He lives in the rainy wastes of Portland, Oregon with his wife, two cats and a dog.
Nic has written eight novels: Whores: not intended to be a factual account of the gender war, and Dag are currently available for eReader and will soon be available in paperback; Nexus, The Necromancer’s Gambit, Banksters, Homeless, The Singularity, and Lunacy are all due for publication in the next two years. Nic has also written several short story collections.
Nic’s work spans a variety of genres, from political thriller to science fiction and urban fantasy.
For information on Nic’s books, and behind-the-scenes looks at his writing, visit Nic’s website. Sign up for his mailing list to receive a free novella, Dogs of War.
Links

This Week on Books Direct – 28 July 2013

This Week on Books Direct – 28 July 2013
Here’s a list of the articles you may have missed this week:
“Homemaking” – Brought to you by Bundle of the Week.
A little organization and pre-planning goes a long way when you’re managing a home, and this week’s bundle will help you get organized, tame the paper clutter and simplify your home. Plus, discover the secrets for throwing a party without the stress and get all of the printables you need to set up your home management notebook today! This week only, get all 4 ebooks plus more than 300 printables for just $7.40, a savings of more than 75%!
Creativity is not a talent that only some chosen ones possess and others can only envy. It’s an ability and, as such, you can learn it, develop it, and use it. And everybody can learn to be creative.
“Free Ebooks” – Article by Janus Gangi on Books, Bikes, and Flying Machines.
Janus comments on a disturbing trend happening in the writing world that not only affects her but all her fellow authors. What do you think?
“Four Critical Writing Tips For Quick and Easy eBooks” – Article by Ellen Violette for Authors and Speakers Network Blog with Larry James.
When people have trouble writing an ebook they are usually making at least one, if not more, of these critical mistakes. Avoid them and you’ll find writing an ebook much easier than you ever thought possible!
“The Self Publishers Marketing Starter Guide” – YouTube video by Matthew Dawson.
Learn the secrets to publishing with success as a self-publishing author. This video is a starter guide that designed to help the self-publishing author gain marketing success. Learn the tricks of the publishing trade in this 45 minute tutorial video.
“The Self Publishers Road Map To Success” – Article by Matthew Dawson on Hubpages.
Self publishing your own book is not as easy as one may think it is. For a writer to successfully self publish their book the writer must have a well thought out plan that has many strong strategies that will outwit his/her competitors within the industry.
“Market Your Book: Cheap” by Kathryn Elizabeth Jones for Book Shelf.
Kathryn shows you how to market your book on the cheap.
“Guide to Writing Science Fiction” – Article by The Writing Café.
The Writing Café gives us some tips of writing science fiction.
“Knowing Your Genre” – Article by Kathryn E. Jones for Idea Creations Press.
Do you feel as if you know your genre?
Being a self published author or freelance writer can be hard at times. Sometimes the world just doesn’t understand what it’s like being a writer. There are many problems as to why people think that self-publishing and freelance writers are badly portrayed but most of them aren’t true.
No experience is ever wasted and authors often draw on their own life stories in order to write colorful and authentic tales.
In this series Matthew has been exploring writing in all its forms. Today he takes a detailed look at one of the most popular forms of writing – fiction.
“Writers: You Might be Doing It Wrong If … “ – Article by Chuck Wendig for Terrible Minds.
What more can I say? Read on.
“From Idea to Ebook Course” – Brought to you by The Ebook Emporium.
Do you have a fantastic idea, just waiting to be shared? Are you ready to maximize your earning potential with an ebook? Do you know what you want to write, but aren’t sure where to start? Are you overwhelmed with formatting and distribution questions? Creating and selling your own digital products is perhaps the best way to monetize your online presence, but it’s one that’s underutilized because the process can be overwhelming. Join The Ebook Emporium for the initial launch on July 29th for just $10 with coupon code LAUNCH! (That’s just $1 per week, including lifetime access to all of the content.)

"Dark Genesis (The Darkling Trilogy)" by A. D. Koboah

FREE Kindle Edition
Dark Genesis
(The Darkling Trilogy)
by A. D. Koboah
The Kindle edition of A. D. Koboah’s debut novel is currently FREE. The author will begin working on the sequel shortly. She is also the author of Peace, a novel set in modern-day London.
Description
Life for a female slave is one of hardship and unspeakable sorrow, something Luna knows only too well. But not even she could have foreseen the terror that would befall her one sultry Mississippi evening in the summer of 1807.
On her way back from a visit to see the African woman, a witch who has the herbs Luna needs to rid her of her abusive master’s child, she attracts the attention of a deadly being that lusts for blood. Forcibly removed from everything she knows by this tormented otherworldly creature, she is sure she will be dead by sunrise.
Dark Genesis is a love story set against the savage world of slavery in which a young woman who has been dehumanized by its horrors finds the courage to love, and in doing so, reclaims her humanity.
Excerpt
Many slaves came to visit Mama Akosua for her medicines, and her skills were known far and wide. It was also rumoured that she dealt in more than just herbs and was actually a witch. Whether that was true or not, she was feared by many, even some of the whites, and few dared incur her wrath.
As I got nearer to the cabin, I saw that the door had been left open and a light was burning inside even though the sun had yet to go down. I approached gingerly. Already feeling the unease that always possessed me in the presence of the African woman, I walked up to the door, and stopped.
“Mama Akosua.”
There was a short spell of silence and then her voice floated out to me.
“I have been expecting you.” The voice was low and dry like the sound of rustling leaves.
She probably said that every time someone came to her door, no doubt to help foster the belief that she was a powerful all-seeing, all-knowing witch. But the words still sent icy fingers trailing down my spine and I swallowed before taking her words as permission to enter.
The cabin, which consisted of only one room, was rich with the slightly bitter, but not unpleasant, smell of dried herbs. Most of the room was taken up by a long wooden table, which held bottles, bowls and an assortment of other instruments that were used to prepare her concoctions. Every wall in the room was lined with shelves holding bottles, jars and baskets of fresh and dried herbs. The only evidence that someone lived in the cabin was the pallet in the corner. This was the most furniture I had seen in any slave cabin, but as her Master profited from the sale of her herbs, it was in his interest to make sure she had everything she needed. There was another smaller table in the centre of the room and that is where she sat, peering at me by the light of an oil lamp.
She was a small lithe woman with delicate features like mine. Her head was cleanly shaven and she would have been considered beautiful were it not for the scars, rows of lines about an inch long, marking her forehead and cheeks. It was rumoured that those scars had been self-inflicted when she was first brought to America as a slave. Some people whispered that she had done it to honour the customs of her people, others, that the journey, the horrors of the middle passage, had driven her to scar her face in madness and despair. Although I would never dare to ask her, I didn’t believe she had been driven insane. The shrewd dark eyes that met mine belonged to a strong, sharp mind and I doubted that anything could, or ever would, be able to break it.
“Evening, Mama Akosua,” I said as I walked into the circle of light.
There was still daylight outside but it didn’t seem to reach the small window in Mama Akosua’s cabin and so it was always dark in here no matter what the time of day.
She gestured to the chair opposite hers, her eyes never leaving my face. I moved to the chair and when I sat down, she pushed a small cup toward me.
“Drink,” she said.
I picked up the cup and sipped the cool concoction, which tasted vaguely of mint leaves. Whatever it was, it seemed to have an immediate effect because I no longer felt as hot and the fatigue, which had been pulling on me like lead weights, seemed to evaporate.
Feeling slightly better, I was able to meet the force of her gaze fully. She seemed to have aged a great deal since I last saw her, nearly four years ago. The lines around her eyes and the ones running from her nose to the corners of her mouth had deepened and although she was not yet forty years old, she looked much older.
She studied me for a few moments and a soft sigh escaped her when she finally shifted her gaze away from my face.
“It is as I feared,” she said and stood up, wincing from the small movement.
“You hurt?”
“It is a small price to pay,” she mumbled, more to herself it seemed.
She reached into a basket on one of the shelves and pulled out a small black cloth bundle. Moving back to the table she placed the bundle before her and when she sat down again she closed her eyes for a few seconds. She was clearly in a lot of pain.
“I have prepared what you need,” she said pulling open the cloth bundle to reveal six paper sachets of herbs.
There was no need for her to ask me why I was here. I would only risk making this dangerous journey for one reason.
“Take this tonight.” She pointed to the larger of the bundles. “The rest is to be taken for five nights after, to stop the bleeding.”
She tied up the bundle and pushed it across the table toward me.
“Thank you, Mama Akosua.”
“Is it the son this time?”
I looked up and met her intimidating gaze, but on this occasion, I couldn’t hold it. She knew how much these things shamed me yet it didn’t stop her from asking about them. When I answered, my voice was barely a whisper.
“Yes.”
“How long?”
“He… he be at my cabin near about three times a week now since Easter.”
“He is worse than his father, no?” It wasn’t a question; it was a statement.
“Yes.”
I fought back tears as an image came to me from a few weeks before. I was standing in my tiny cabin and Master John was behind me gazing at our reflections in a small handheld mirror. I don’t know if making me look at myself was one of the many ways he had of tormenting me or if he really was oblivious to the fact that I despised my face. Either way, he would make me stare at my piercing dark brown eyes framed by long sooty eyelashes, deep mahogany skin, small delicate features and large sensuous lips. My springy, unruly hair was pulled away from my face, something he insisted on, as my hair was the one thing a man like him could find no beauty in. It was always the same ordeal with the mirror whenever he came to my cabin. And I honestly don’t know which face I hated more, that of the blond-haired, blue-eyed man I had come to despise even more than his old, decrepit father, or my own. The face he was enamoured with. He eventually pulled the mirror out of my hand, and placing it on the bed, held his arms out.
“Dance with me,” he had said in a soft, silky voice.
I remained where I was, my face a blank mask but rage no doubt burning behind my eyes. I may not have had a say over his nocturnal visits, but I would not play these little games or pretend that I wanted him in my wretched little cabin.
Fast, so fast that I didn’t have time to protect myself, he raised his hand and slapped me, sending me crashing to the floor. Pain bloomed along my temple and the left side of my face. I had also bitten my lip when I hit my head. His foot came down on my neck and I felt the dirt on the sole of his boot rubbing into my skin as he pressed down, cutting off my air supply. I struggled in vain to breathe and was close to losing consciousness when he slowly removed his foot and hauled me back onto my feet as if he were picking up a sack of potatoes. Then he held out his arms again, that smile, which never seemed to leave his face, swimming before my eyes as I struggled to clear my vision.
I was bristling with anger and yet fear won out because he could do anything he wanted to me and there was nothing I would be able to do to stop him. No one I could go to for protection. I had been born and bred purely for men like him, not only to do with as they pleased, but to increase their riches by breeding more slaves for them to own.
“Dance with me,” he said again.
Tasting blood in my mouth, I did as I was ordered to do.
“Massa Henry used to please hisself and leave,” I told Mama Akosua. “But Massa John… he like to play.”
Review
Luna is a slave who is repeatedly sexually abused by her Master and then his son when he becomes the Master. Her mother is sold away from her when she is a very young child and she has no-one else. She finds her only solace in a ruined chapel on the grounds of the plantation, but even that is no longer safe.
This story is truly intense. It is told from the view of a young woman who finds a journal telling the life’s story of an ancestor of hers, Luna. Through her we feel terror, horror, humor, romance, sex, safety, loss, joy, and sorrow. Each page brings new enticing information to keep pulling you into the story.
Well written, this story is not for the faint of heart or for children. This story has scenes of rape, murder, demons, beating, the worst of slavery, and the best in humanity. It will make you angry, happy, sad, and get your adrenalin pulsing. I would not read it in the dark … Unless you are very brave.
From the Author
I am of Ghanaian descent and spent the first few years of my life in Ghana before moving to London which is where I have lived ever since. I completed an English Literature degree in 2000 and although I have always written in my spare time, I didn’t start writing full-time until a few years ago.
My first novel Dark Genesiswas inspired by my thoughts on dehumanization. I was fascinated by the ways in which people are able to dehumanize others, the impact it has on the psyche and whether it is possible for people to find their way back from being dehumanized. This led me to Luna and the ruins of a haunted chapel deep in the heart of Mississippi.
I am currently writing a screenplay and will begin work on the sequel to Dark Genesis shortly.
Links

"The Find" by Gregg Bell

FREE Kindle Edition
NEW RELEASE
The Find
by Gregg Bell
Gregg Bell’s The Find is FREE indefinitely. The author is seeking reviews, so why not download your free copy today and leave your review on Amazon, Goodreads, or your favorite book site?
Description
What can a mother do when she has no money and a dangerously sick kid?
She can make a mistake.
In a moment of desperation, cleaning lady Phoebe Jackson tries to pawn the diamond-bejeweled Rolex she found in a mobster’s locker. Turns out the watch is a fake, but the mobster isn’t – and he’s on to her.
Excerpt
The wind from the thudding helicopter was pushing Phoebe this way and that. The sirens were getting louder. Phoebe’s shoulder burned. She was starting to lose consciousness. But with a shaky hand she kept her pistol on Michael.
            Michael straightened up, his arms up in the air, fingers extended, the helicopter whipping his hair. “There,” he yelled, “you’ve got them both now. It’s what you wanted. It’s over.” He took another step down the stairs but stopped at the second to last stair and held his arms wide. “You’ve won, Phoebe.”
            She shook her head. His lawyers. His owning the police. His vendettas. His lies. He’s like a mosquito. The only way you’ll be rid of him is to move away or kill him.
            She wasn’t moving away.
            Michael read her eyes. “Don’t, Phoebe,” he yelled. “It would be your worst move ever. Do you really want your girls to grow up without their mother? You’ll spend the rest of your life in prison. I can promise you that.”
            Phoebe swallowed and lowered the gun. “Maybe so.”
            “That’s right.” He nodded aggressively. He stepped down to the last stair. “That’s the only way to go.”
            “Then again maybe not.” She raised the pistol, fired, and the bullet ripped into his chest. He fell, landing solidly on his butt on the last step, almost like he’d meant to, his feet dangling like a little boy sitting on a pier. He coughed blood and tore at his shirt. Then he looked at Phoebe. And he kept looking at her.
            Phoebe didn’t look away, her eyes staying on his until like a slow-falling oak he tumbled hard onto the tarmac.
Review
The story started out well, and I expected a lot of suspense. However, it settled into a fairly predictable, almost romance-type novel, with a main character that can’t seem to decide between a safe, solid, nice guy, and a hard, abusive, but to her, exciting crook. Other than the main character, we don’t learn much about the other characters, what drives them, their backgrounds, etc. The main character will do anything for her kids, and I mean anything. Many of the events in the story provide no context, and leave the reader with a lot of questions that never get answered.
For me, I would have preferred more mystery and unexpected turns, but I think this book would appeal more to women.
From the Author
When I was ten, a drunken guy almost drowned me in a swimming pool. It was in Miami Beach at the Chateau motel. The guy was a pool hand and he was wrestling (playfully, for the most part)with us kids. Then he said, “I’m going to show you a good hold” and he got me in a headlock and took me under. It was a good hold all right. He held me there and held me there and held me there. I struggled but this was a powerful man. There was nothing to do. I would either die or I wouldn’t.
That experience gave me an appreciation for life’s tenuousness. If you think about it, we’re only alive as far as our next breath will take us.
So I write novels and stories about characters like you and me with their heads underwater. (Figuratively speaking of course.) Characters under so much duress their brains are about to burst. They’re at the end of it all. No way out of this one. But I also write with a sense of humor. (You have to have a sense of humor, right?)
I was born in 1956 in Chicago. A lifelong Illinois guy. Married once. Divorced. No kids. No pets. Passionate about things: people, classical music, golf. And I always seem to be on the side of the underdog.
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"Homecoming King (Diary Entry #1)" by Luke Mallory

NOTE: This book is for adults only
INTERVIEW
Homecoming King (Diary Entry #1)
by Luke Mallory
Description
Diary Entry is a hilarious series of quick-read novelettes charting the life and times of Luke Mallory, a twenty-five-year-old, hot-blooded ‘lad’.
In episode 1, Homecoming King, Luke flies back to his hometown of Dublin, Ireland in response to a family emergency and immediately suffers a number of embarrassing incidents. Unbowed, Luke does his best to carry on and deal with the bigger issues at hand…despite the fact that all eyes are on him.
Colorful, contemporary and full of real-life characters, each Diary Entry episode is told in the first person by Luke Mallory in his own inimitable style! Diary Entry episodes 1, 2, 3, and 4 are out now!
About this book: Reading time ~30 minutes. Approx. 20 pages. Contains strong language and scenes of a sexual nature. Contains Chapter 1 Preview to Luke Mallory’s novella, Singleton. You can also get all five of Luke’s books in one volume, Naughty Box 1.
Excerpt
‘Orange juice please.’
How I regretted those awful words! Orange juice please. It had seemed like such a harmless choice when the flight attendant flashed an insincere smile and asked what I’d like to drink. But now, barely two minutes later, I realised my mistake. The turbulence had been quite unexpected – and quite severe. I watched in horror – slow motion, actually – as the plastic cup slipped off the frictionless tray table and emptied its contents all over my lap. If only I’d ordered water…
‘Ladies and gentlemen,’ the airplane’s loudspeaker blared, ‘the captain has switched on the fasten seatbelt sign as we may experience some turbulence…’
Now they tell me!
The same flight attendant who had taken my order – a blonde in her mid-twenties – breezed down the aisle again, inspecting the seatbelts of all the passengers. Poker-faced, she did a double-take when she looked down at my, eh, juicy lap. The poker face quickly disappeared…
‘Oooooooohhh,’ she said, grimacing – the smile was a sincere one this time. It even caused her makeup to crack. ‘Are you all right?’
‘Never better,’ I replied, smiling back. I held up my empty plastic cup. ‘It’s the orange juice…’
‘Wait there,’ she added and skipped away – evidently the threat of turbulence was over.
I leaned my head into the aisle, for I was sitting in an aisle seat, and watched her disappear – her big ass kept bumping into stray heads. Wait there, she had said. Where was she expecting me to go?
‘Here you are,’ she said now, landing beside me shortly after and pushing some paper towels onto my lap. She awkwardly watched as I went about mopping up the damage. ‘Oh, it really got everywhere…’
‘Thanks…’ I gave her a few nervous smiles as indeed I felt the orange juice spread…everywhere. ‘At least it wasn’t something scalding hot.’ Another nervous smile.
She laughed, took one final look at my crotch and then continued on her rounds. The poker face was firmly in place again.
Just then, the elderly American husband and wife team sitting on my right chimed in.
‘Soda water will get that right out,’ they said in unison, with matching southern drawls, pointing at the spilled juice.
‘Maybe,’ I replied, ‘but right now I’m not sure if I could stand another soaking.’
‘Suit yourself,’ the husband said, laughing at me.
I grinned. Well, smirked might be more accurate…
Review
An entertaining entertainer. Perfect. Luke has a fantastic voice for storytelling, engaging, cute and oh, so naughty. I enjoyed this tale from start to finish and am just about to download his next. His short trousers have their own part to play and almost take on a life of their own. I’m familiar with Dublin and enjoyed the descriptive, short journey from the airport, but it’s the last line that has stayed with me since I closed my Kindle. I laughed so much I think my face fell off.
Interview With the Author
Hi Luke, thanks for joining me today to discuss your Diary Entry series.
Which writers have influenced you the most? Probably Robert Ludlum. I’m a big thriller and action reader … though I have yet to write anything like it.
What age group do you recommend your books for? Adults over 18!!
What sparked the idea for these books? I’ve had some interesting adventures in my life … especially when it comes to women … so I thought I’d write them down.
Which comes first? The character’s story or the idea for the novels? Well, since these books are about me, I guess I came first…!
What was the hardest part to write in these books? Writing about all the stupid things I’ve done. One particular scene (from the fourth book in the series) in a nightclub still gives me cold sweats at night.
How to you hope these books affect the readers? I hope people can relate to them. Maybe they’ve had similar experiences. Or hoped they had, I don’t know! Either way, I hope they laugh at me – I’ll laugh with them.
How long did it take you to write these books? It took a few months to write the series of four short books.
What is your writing routine? I work in an antiques shop and that gives me time to write during the day (unfortunately we don’t sell much these days!) and then I write when I get home too.
How did you get your books published? I begged people to read them. A small team finally did.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer? Never give up. Ever.
Great advice! What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I used to play rugby at university. Injury has ruined that, but I still like to keep in shape. I read and run. I do like a pint of Guinness.
What does your family think of your writing? They don’t know anything about it – I haven’t told them! However, my Dad always told me I was good at writing back in school – I won a few short-story competitions.
Please tell us a bit about your childhood. Basically I was dragged all over the world as my father worked for a multi-national oil company. It seemed like a pain at the time, but in hindsight I was very lucky. My mother is French too – so that was interesting. My grandparents are from New Zealand.
Sounds a bit like my life! Did you enjoy school? No – I was the guy firing rockets at the teacher and getting into fights.
Did you like reading when you were a child? I did, actually. But I didn’t boast about it!
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? By accident really. Something happened in my life last year (which I talk about a bit in the books) and I was encouraged to write some things down. I haven’t stopped writing since then.
Did your childhood experiences influence your writing? Absolutely.
What was your favorite book as a child? Anything by Roald Dahl.
Who were your favorite authors as a child? I was reading Jeffrey Archer and Ludlum and Tom Clancy when I was a kid.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say? Not yet, but I’ve had some very nice messages of support and some reviews that have brought me to tears – in the good way. It has been a long road.
What can we look forward to from you in the future? Well, my next novella will be out in August 2013 and then I can get back to work on my first full-length novel. I can’t wait!
Thanks so much for the chat, Luke. Best of luck with your writing!
About the Author
Luke Mallory was born in Dublin, Ireland. After completing his university degree (some businessy thing) he meandered over to Paris, France and briefly worked as a trader. Unsure as to why he did this, he made his way back to Ireland, took off his shirt and started writing books. Following the launch of his debut novella, Singleton, Luke has put his shirt back on – something his employers are particularly happy about.
Luke is currently working in an antiques store while he plans his first full-length novel. Indeed, he can often be seen scribbling away at an unsold Victorian writing desk in the store, much to his employer’s annoyance. After work, Luke regularly walks the famous pier in Dun Laoghaire. He definitely does not do this during work hours.
A fan of Girls, Guinness, Rugby, Girls, Nightclubs and Dayclubs if there is such a thing, Luke Mallory’s modus operandi is to make the most out of life. If he can make a few others smile and laugh at the same time, then it’s all the better!
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"Twisted Souls (The Griffin Chronicles)" by Jon Pew

GIVEAWAY
NEW RELEASE
Twisted Souls (The Griffin Chronicles)
by Jon Pew
Jon Pew’s new book Twisted Souls, the second book in The Griffin Chronicles, has just been released. You can also read my earlier blog post on the first book in the series, Transition Man. Jon is also the author of Genesis (True Immortals).
Jon has kindly donated copies of both books in The Griffin Chronicles for our giveaway below. Be sure to enter!
Description
On the heels of a devastating battle in Arizona, the loss of someone close to him and the new discovery of Jordan’s powers, Wesley Griffin’s soul is at stake. His twisted path will bring epic battles between angels and shadows and turn Las Vegas itself inside out. Who does Wesley belong to the Dark or the Light? Will he be the Great Griffin or turn to evil Wesley forever? Find out in the next stage of The Griffin Chronicles, Twisted Souls.
Excerpt
Stepping away with Cliff, Griffin thought they might make it without participating in the fight. But out of the shadows, in front and behind them, jumped at least twenty new enemies, accompanied by Daru. Raven and his men were engaged, fighting the remaining horsemen, and were not coming to help. Griffin stopped and drew on his own power.
Time slowed and he could look down on the situation from the bird’s eye view. He had many enemies straight ahead, more from the rear, but few in the flank. For weapons he had a slight wind blowing and a small pool of water on the ground by the street lamp. It was a clear night so there were no clouds from which he could call down help, but there was always ample sand near at hand when you live in the desert called Nevada, and the city of lights that is her jewel.
There was no means of escape without destroying the enemies now standing in front of him. He drew back Talon, wanting to destroy as many as he could with his first strike. Griffin caused the wind blowing from his back to increase to a gale and narrowed his vision to take in the five shadows standing in a nearly straight line. He loosed Talon and it sped with the accuracy of an Olympic javelin, pinning the five to the wall. Quick as thought Griffin drew his sword. It gleamed with great light as he gave his battle cry and sprang to the attack.
The dark shadows rushed forward in a mass group. He reacted quickly to keep them from passing him to kill his father. He cut the first in half vertically. Straight down the middle of his skull, between his eyes and out between the fork of his legs. The two sides of the shadow’s mouth were still screaming in pain as he splashed Griffin’s boots with a black mess. Next Griffin spun back with the sharp edges of his shield to slice the next shadow in half horizontally across his waist. The shadow stood still, looking at Griffin with surprise. As Griffin reposted, the shadow tried to hold himself together. He slid apart sideways and his top half hit the ground with a sickening thump. The two halves of the shadow melted, leaving a stain that was visible even on the asphalt, and then slowly faded from view. With a movement of Griffin’s sword the puddle of water jumped into the air, making itself into small shimmering daggers of ice. With barely a thought, Griffin sent them flying, blade over handle, straight into the eye sockets of nine shadows. Blinded, they were easy prey. With the speed of a jet airplane he rushed from one to the next, dispatching them and splattering the alley with black scars that slowly faded.
Cliff looked at his son and was shocked by the light which shone around, and on him. He saw, as if in a dream, his son change from khaki and a ridiculous colored Hawaiian print shirt, to bright silver. He was amazed by the graceful movements Griffin made! Cliff was blown away by the speed, power, and accuracy of his actions. There were no wasted movements or energy, every move was a death blow to an enemy. They seemed to melt as he struck them and they splattered the walls of the alley as if with blood. Griffin moved so fast Cliff couldn’t see him when he fought with his enemies. Every time he located where Griffin had gone to fight, he and the shadows would disappear and reappear elsewhere, still grappling and fighting tooth and nail. Then the shadow would remain in one space, falling apart and dying, while Griffin had moved on to the next enemy.
Review
There are no reviews as yet for this NEW RELEASE. Why not be the first to review it?
From the Author
I was born in Tucson Arizona and am a proud father of three awesome kids and married to the most beautiful woman born. I am a life-long fan of entertainment in all its forms. I love watching movies, reading and listening to books and spending time with my family. I am a faithful member of the LDS Church and proud soldier in the United States Army. I have been an Entrepreneur most of my life and have tried my hand in many small businesses over the years. I joined the service in 2009 and wrote my first novel in 2010. My overall philosophy in life is Play to Win, so if you have a dream be proactive and go get it!
Giveaway
Jon has kindly donated copies of both books in The Griffin Chronicles for our giveaway below. First prize is a download of both books from Smashwords. Second prize is the winner’s choice of one of the books in the series. Please show your appreciation by entering.
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