Monday, August 31, 2009
In Distant Thunder: Book One of the Lightning Chronicles, the unthinkable has happened. Iranian terrorists are poised to strike the United States and Israel with tactical nuclear weapons. How will the world respond? More importantly, how will a sleepy suburban Church in America respond?
Ty Dempsey is a young American pastor who finds himself in a trial of grief after the loss of his younger brother to the war in Iraq. During his darkest hours, God brings to life a series of passages in the Bible that Ty had always considered allegorical in nature. They aren’t. With a strong sense of urgency that the message must be preached to his congregation, Ty dares to go beyond anything he has ever done before. Most of his people are intrigued, but others begin to stir trouble. The result is a church conflict that threatens to destroy his ministry. His only reprieve is found in a budding romance with talented and beautiful singer, Blake Sieler.
Meanwhile, Moshe Eldan is an Israeli F-16 “Lightning” pilot who is faithfully doing his duty to protect his increasingly beleaguered nation. But things have gotten more complicated than normal. Beyond the fact that Hizbollah fighters are administering their cyclical rocket attacks across the border of Lebanon, neighbor nations are beginning to act provocatively, even after a Palestinian State has been formed. Worse, his wife confronts him with a startling prophecy from the Bible that seems to be coming true ten thousand feet beneath his wings. Never one to be anything other than a secular Jew, Moshe is forced into a journey toward faith. Then, his Lightning jet is shot down by a Russian Mig 29, and things get suddenly complicated.
Strangely, these two men, from totally different backgrounds and cultures are connected in ways that can only be orchestrated by God. This fast plausible, paced thriller never stops moving, and the end will be shocking.
Tel-Abib, Babylon 568 B.C.
The old man kicked at a clump of dried grass, while he wiped away the sweat that was burning his eyes. Just standing in this heat weakened his spindly legs, and a scorching wind seared his lungs. It was the season when relentless summer winds sucked the life out of just about everything in this “Heart of Babylon,” greatest of all kingdoms, center of the universe.
“Bah,” spat Ezekiel, the crusty old prophet. “There is only one King who will lay claim, and it is not Nebuchadnezzar!”
He wasn’t concerned about his words falling on the ears of a stray Chaldean; he was already known by most as a lunatic. In reality, only a handful of his own people actually listened to him. Mostly, he was mocked as a babbling fool, and that only sharpened his frustration.
He was meandering along the eastern bank of the Chebar Canal, alone with his tortured thoughts and nagging regrets. So many hopes and dreams had been piled up like refuse in a trash heap, sometimes he wondered if there was any point in continuing what seemed to be a fruitless ministry. Worse, Ezekiel knew he was nearing his last breath. The reality that he would not see his beloved Jerusalem again weighed heavily upon him.
Stolen away from his homeland by the King of Babylon some thirty years earlier, the prophet had nearly forgotten the beauty and blessings of Judah. Only images remained. Some were pleasant ponderings; others were memories of shattered possibilities. But most glaring were the remembrances of a greater invasion of wickedness that had consumed his people.
He’d cried out fervently while still in Israel, trying to awaken the people to the abomination of it all. Few listened. Wretchedness had been unleashed upon the people, and it came from the iniquities of the people themselves. No matter how passionately he’d challenged the depravity, there seemed to be no power behind his words. None of his pronouncements carried the necessary weight to bring about change. His desire to call upon the conscience of his nation was simply not enough. So, with the heaviness that accompanied a sense of failure, Ezekiel had left prophetic utterance to the prophets, to the few who claimed to have the power.
It wasn’t until he’d settled in the hovel called Tel-abib, situated beside this dirty river, that he first began to feel an odd stirring in his belly. Strangely, it signaled the arrival of a power that would energize his words. It was also when his dreams began to turn dark. He was shown things he, to this day, could not comprehend.
His visions were so horrifyingly real that he’d developed a tremor in his hands, and a slight twitch had become noticeable under his eye. Whenever he shared the dreams and visions, the quaking and twitching became so prominent that people would either discount him as sick or denounce him as a fool. But the inner stirring only intensified until it became a raging storm.
He lifted his head and looked toward a setting sun smeared by distant dust-filled winds. Slowly, his thoughts turned to his once lovely Jerusalem, and it made him mourn. Worse, his wild visions concerned that once great city. Over the last few weeks his waking dreams had disturbed him so much that he’d hardly been able to stomach his food.
Whenever the trance fell, a huge valley would be stretched before him, a valley filled with nothing but dust, dry bones and armor. It was a place of defeat and death, where all flesh had been picked clean by vultures and jackals. Some great battle had been waged and an army had met complete annihilation.
With each repetition of the vision, the prophet would end up puzzled and confused. But the last few times, something different had happened. What seemed to have been a messenger from the Almighty had appeared beside him. The figure was beyond comprehension, yet exuding a sorrowful compassion for the lost people lying before him.
“What do you see, son of man? Describe it to me,” the bronze-hued, light shrouded being commanded.
Ezekiel’s knees were banging together like drums being played at a wedding feast. “I see bones, nothing but bones. Bones separated from one another and piled high. Swords, helms, bucklers, and shields,” Ezekiel answered weakly.
“Can these bones live again?” the being asked. “Can there be life in place of death?”
Ezekiel strained his eyes out over the valley looking for any sign of a survivor, any life at all. Not even a bird remained to pick at the bones. Everything was desolate. With a shrug and a sigh, he let the question stand for a moment. How does one give answer to such a majestic being, when words fall short of holiness and are shrouded in trepidation?
“You know, my Lord, you know,” was the prophet’s feeble reply.
“I tell you, son of man, these bones will live again.”
Suddenly, a swirling wind blew outward from the messenger and passed down the entire length of the valley. It was accompanied by bursts of lightning as it rolled forward in raw, creative power.
A clicking sound could be heard, something far beyond Ezekiel’s knocking knees. It was the sickly pop of bone reconnecting with bone. He looked toward the nearest pile of death and gasped as a soldier was swiftly reassembled, then another. He witnessed a torrent of bones flying as if they were looking for the correct skeleton to connect to. Then, sinew and tendon began to form in joints and spread rapidly over each body. Flesh appeared. Clothing followed it.
Armor flew into place on one lone soldier nearby. The new man took his place among the hundreds of companies who were being formed across the entire valley. Then, silence. The army was standing, living, breathing, and ready to march to war. Sweat poured down Ezekiel’s face as he turned to the messenger.
“I tell you, that which was dead will come to life. My wayward people were crushed under my discipline, but they shall be restored. Jacob shall live again, and my servant David shall be king. I will make a covenant of peace with them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. Then the whole world will see my sanctuary standing in their company forever.” Then the man was gone.
It was the same nearly every night for the last moon cycle. Ezekiel grunted as he thought of how he was getting to the point where he could repeat the words with each night’s visitation.
However, this last part of the vision needed a bit more consideration before he shared it. The people were already raising their eyebrows, no need to confirm his lunacy just yet.
Suddenly, the prophet felt himself driven to his knees by the weight of a massive hand. He was pushed mercilessly downward until his sunburned forehead touched the parched earth he’d been kicking moments before. Then a voice said,
“Son of man, set your face to the north, to Gog of the land of Magog, to the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him…”
You can listen to the Prologue and the first two chapters from Distant Thunder by visiting the author's website.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jimmy Root Jr., has served as an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God since 1982, including service in Nebraska, Missouri, and a seven year term as a missionary in Colombia, South America. Jimmy is the lead Pastor of Family Worship Center of Smithville, a growing suburb of Kansas City, Missouri. Married to his wife Jean for twenty-nine years, the Roots have three grown children.
Root is a 1981 alumnus of Central Bible College of Springfield, Missouri where he majored in Biblical Studies and Pastoral Theology. He is also an alumnus of Southeastern University, Lakeland Florida, where he majored in Intercultural Studies.
A lifetime student of Biblical prophecy, Jimmy is also the Professor of Eschatology, The Study of End Times, for Berean University through the Northern Missouri District School of Ministry. He is a featured speaker at Churches and other venues, and is the host of “The Bible Uncensored” radio broadcast heard on radio stations around the country.
His writings, both in book form as well as his blog, are purposed to be a wake-up call to a sleepy American church that seems to be losing a truly Christian World View. Distant Thunder and its sequels, A Gathering Storm and Then Comes Lightning, will reveal to the adventure/thriller aficionado the reality of the coming fulfillment of Biblically prophesied events. You can visit his website at www.lightningchronicles.com or his blog at www.prophecyalert.blogspot.com. Connect with him on twitter at www.twitter.com/JimmyRootJr and Facebook at
Saturday, August 29, 2009
It's been a summer of great giveaways here at The Book Connection. We want to keep giving you reasons to come back, so we're very excited to announce our next giveaway.
Now, I don't know about you, but my bookshelves are sagging. I have piles on top of piles of books squeezed into every nook and cranny of the seven or more bookshelves in our home. So it was great news when I learned about CSN Office Furniture.com.
CSN Stores have everything you need to furnish your entire home, including fireplaces. In fact, their Classic Flame electric fireplaces leave the warehouse the same day you place your order. You can view their entire line here. Winter will be here before you know it, so now's the time to start looking for economical ways to heat your home.
What does all this have to do with our next amazing giveaway? Well, CSN Office Furniture.com is willing to offer the readers of The Book Connection, a chance to win a Mylex Four Shelf Bookcase in an oak finish for FREE! Yes, you heard me--FREE! The list price on this unit is $69.99!
You can find the specs on this unit by checking out their website here.
What do you need to do? Just follow the rules below to enter. This contest will run from today until midnight on Friday, September 11th. And just think, once you have a new bookshelf, you can start loading it up all the new books you'll read about at The Book Connection and our new children's site, The Kids Book Connection.
We would like to thank CSN Furniture.com for sponsoring this giveaway.
HOW TO WIN:
1) Comment here with your working email address so that we can contact you if you win.
2) Get an additional entry for blogging about this contest. Leave a comment here telling us where you blogged about it.
3) Tweet about this contest and get two additional entries. Don't forget to leave us a comment to let us know you tweeted.
Contest runs from today until midnight on Friday, September 11th. One winner will be announced from all the entries received at this blog on Sunday, September 13th.
This contest is open to residents of the United States only.
My friend Jean from Storycrafters has started a new blog to empower writers to take up the challenge of writing a novel. She plans to start the sharing in September and there will be some talk of NaNoWriMo, but she's basically doing this so we all have support and encouragement while we write.
You can visit the Let's Write A Novel Together blog for more details.
I hope you'll join us!
Friday, August 28, 2009
Sorry for the delay in getting this posted. Blogger was being a pain this morning and Tropical Storm Danny is on its way up here and seems to be creating issues with Internet connectivity because my connection is working as slow as molasses traveling uphill in January.
The winner of American Lion by Jon Meacham has been selected by Random.org. Our congratulations go out to Emilie!!!
We'll be sending an email out to Emilie before the weekend is out. All we need is a return email with a mailing address by next Friday, September 4th, in order to get this book out to you.
Sorry that you didn't win a copy? Visit Amazon and order your copy of American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House (New York Times Notable Books) right now!
Look for more giveaways to be announced soon, as The Book Connection continues clearing out the bookshelves. The Book Connection...where readers and writers connect.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
...to win a copy of American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House (New York Times Notable Books) by Jon Meacham.
Here in Massachusetts, we recently lost another American lion, Senator Edward (Ted)Kennedy. While I can't say I normally agreed with him, there is no doubt he had a dramatic impact on local and national politics. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Kennedy family during this difficult time.
You can enter to win a copy of American Lion by Jon Meacham here.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Are You Emotionally Free?
Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff’s new book Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life (Harmony Books, 2009).
Our society is in the midst of an emotional meltdown. People are restless, volatile, our tempers about to blow. In the past year, Prozac was prescribed for over thirty million people. Domestic violence occurs in one out of six of households. Half of our marriages end in divorce.
None of this is how we want life to be. Our pressure cooker society pushes us to our emotional limits. We deserve relief from getting crucified by daily stresses. This book empowers you to attain this high quality of life and to handle stress artfully. I’m excited to present practical new tools for mastering your emotions in our hyper-tense world. It’s lunacy to put up with being chronically anxious, fatigued, or depressed as so many of us have. I rebel against that cheerless status quo, and hope you will too.
Emotional Freedom offers the answer to reclaiming your happiness and heart. What is emotional freedom? It means increasing your ability to love by cultivating positive emotions and compassionately witnessing and transforming negative ones. It means keeping your center without absorbing the negativity of others. These fundamental living skills liberate you from fear and let you navigate adversity without attacking, losing your cool, or being derailed by it.
I wrote this book because, as an Assistant Clinical Professor at UCLA, I work in a mainstream medical system where the spiritual/intuitive aspects of emotions aren’t understood. During my UCLA psychiatric training, we treated depression and anxiety, as biochemical imbalances requiring medication. I’d meet with patients for fifteen minutes every few weeks, write a prescription, then send them home. Though I never saw medications as the whole solution, I saw many patients experience at least partial “symptom relief,” an undeniable relief of suffering. However, in the next two decades of medical practice, I’ve learned that emotional freedom involves much, much more.
The intellect, stunning as it may be, has restricted vision when it comes to emotions. This is why bringing intuition to the feeling-realm is so liberating. Intuition is a potent wisdom not mediated by the linear mind--a practical, smart, decision-making aid. Intuition can be a hunch, a dream, a “knowing,” specific guidance, a gut feeling, or a warning of danger.”
Emotions also have an intuitive language that begs to be decoded in our bodies--“subtle energies” that move through us that can be sensed. These are what Chinese medicine calls “chi,” our vital life force. We feel emotions internally, while their energy expands beyond our bodies. Similarly, other people’s emotional energy impacts us.
Today, I am a woman who travels many worlds. My approach to emotional freedom blends traditional and nontraditional realms. In this book, I’ll discuss the four major components of emotions that shape your health and mood: biology, subtle energy, psychology, and spirituality. We must appreciate that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. It’s impossible to grasp how we tick emotionally without a cosmic perspective; everything about us, including our biology, is an expression of the divine. Seeing emotions as a training ground for the soul—a path to spiritual awakening--frames every victory over fear, anxiety, and resentment as a way to develop your spiritual muscles and love more.
A first step towards achieving emotional freedom is to know where you currently stand. Here is a sample from “The Emotional Freedom Test” in my book. It’s a self-assessment tool covering a range of positive and negative emotions. It will help you identify ways you typically respond to a variety of emotionally charged situations in your life today, including the most mundane. It’ll highlight your strong points and those in need of loving attention.
Take The Emotional Freedom Test
(Take the complete test in Chapter 1 Emotional Freedom)
0 points - Not True 1 point - Sometimes 2 points -True Mostly True
1. If I’m angry with someone, I’ll breathe and
center myself before I react. _____ _____ _____
2. When I’m filled with self-doubt or fear
I treat myself lovingly. _____ _____ _____
3. When stuck in traffic or if something
doesn’t happen on my timetable, I
have patience. _____ _____ _____
4. After a hard day, I focus on what I’m
grateful for rather than beating myself up
for what has gone wrong. _____ _____ _____
5. I have empathy for others but I don’t
become their therapist or absorb their
emotional pain. _____ _____ _____
How to Interpret the Test:
A score of 10 suggests you are experiencing a considerable degree of emotional freedom in your life.
A score of 5-9 suggests a moderate level
A score of 4 or below suggests a beginning level
A zero score (and it takes courage to admit that) indicates that emotional freedom has been elusive in your life but you can start finding it now!
To be free you must go inside. A defining moment of emotional freedom is when you begin to become more conscious of who you are and your motivations. You’re awakening--that’s what counts. It sends a message to all things negative within that their days of usurping your serenity are numbered.
Judith Orloff MD is author of the new book Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life (Harmony Books, 2009), upon which this article is based. Her other bestsellers are Positive Energy, Intuitive Healing, and Second Sight. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality.
For more information about Dr. Orloff’s workshop schedule and more inspiration visit http://www.drjudithorloff.com/.
***To purchase “Emotional Freedom” with 100 free gifts from noted transformational leaders such as Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Michael Beckwith, Dr. Bruce Lipton, Shirley Maclaine and more go to: http://www.drjudithorloff.com/emotional-freedom-promotion/
A Guide to Staying Brave and Positive During Stressful Times
Picture yourself in a traffic jam but feeling utterly calm. Or not letting your supervisor’s bad mood frustrate you. Imagine being peaceful instead of worrying. Or enjoying nurturing relationships and a warm sense of belonging in the place of loneliness. This is what it feels like when you’ve achieved emotional freedom.
National bestselling author Judith Orloff MD presents new solutions for dealing with emotions in our hyper-tense world. She invites you to take a remarkable journey, one that leads to happiness, serenity, and a mastery over negativity that pervades daily life. You possess the ability to liberate yourself from worry, anger, and fear. True emotional freedom is closer than you think.
Synthesizing neuroscience, intuitive medicine, psychological and subtle energy techniques, Dr. Orloff maps the elegant relationships between our minds, bodies, spirits, and our environments. With humor and compassion, she shows you how to identify the most powerful negative emotions and how to transform them into hope, kindness, and courage. Compelling patient case-studies, stories from her on-line community and workshop participants, and from her own private life illustrate the simple, easy-to-follow action steps that you can take to cope with emotional vampires, disappointments, and rejection.
Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life is a road map for those who are stressed out, discouraged, or overwhelmed as well as for those who are in a good emotional place but want to feel even better. As Dr. Orloff shows, each day presents opportunities for us to be heroes in our own lives: to turn away from negativity, react constructively, and seize command of any situation. Complete emotional freedom is within your grasp.
In Dr. Judith Orloff’s Emotional Freedom you will discover:
Four practical secrets to empowering your emotional life
Your emotional “type” (to better understand why you feel the way you feel and how to feel even better)
How to understand and protect your sensitivity
The way to face fear and build unstoppable courage
How to stop absorbing the emotions of others
How to communicate with compassion
...and so much more!
“Dr. Orloff shows you how to achieve a lightness of being and feel more positive and peaceful. Highly recommended.”
—Deepak Chopra, M.D., author of Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul
“Spectacular! I recommend it to everyone who wants to overcome sabotaging emotional patterns to achieve self-mastery.”
—Candace Pert, Ph.D., author of Molecules of Emotion
“Emotional Freedom is a heartfelt, accessible guide…loaded with nuggets of practical and profound healing wisdom.”
—Christiane Northrup MD, author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom
“I couldn’t put this book down!”
—Caroline Myss, Ph.D., author of Entering the Castle: An Inner Path to God and Your Soul
“This book offers you a path to greater health, intimacy, and compassion.”
—Dean Ornish, M.D., author of The Spectrum and Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease
“Dr. Orloff’s wise insights about emotions serve us with wonderful clarity.”
—Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations with God
"An invaluable book written by one of the finest psychiatrists of our time."—Joan Borysenko, Ph.D., author of Minding the Body, Mending the Mind
"This book is a lifesaver for people who are frustrated, stressed, and anxious. If you long for more joy, give yourself a gift and read this book!"—Marci Shimoff, bestselling author of Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul and Happy for No Reason
"A valuable guidebook for anyone who believes that greater possibilities await them, but has not yet realized them."
—Larry Dossey, M.D., author of The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things
"[B]oth intensely informed by the wealth of Dr. Judith Orloff's professional experience and resolutely compassionate."—Mary Oliver, Pulitizer Prize winning poet
"This well-written book is full of good advice for anyone who wants to take more control of his or her emotional life."—Library Journal
***To purchase “Emotional Freedom” with 100 free gifts from noted transformational leaders such as Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Michael Beckwith, Dr. Bruce Lipton, Shirley Maclaine and more go to: http://www.drjudithorloff.com/emotional-freedom-promotion/ For more information about the tour, please visit: http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/2009/07/emotional-freedom-by-judith-orloff.html
Sunday, August 23, 2009
A touching, heartfelt story of forgiveness and love can be found in Song of Renewal by Emily Sue Harvey.
Garrison, Liza and Angel Wakefield seem like the perfect family. What no one knows is how they sacrificed their own dreams for this perfection. When a car accident leaves Angel in a coma, the false perfection begins to give way, and Garrison and Liza's marriage crumbles. Can they rediscover who they once were and help Angel heal?
Song of Renewal is an inspirational story of one family's journey through a horrible tragedy that forces them to examine everything about the perfect life they created. Garrison and Liza both gave up things to gain this perfection; and even their daughter Angel is pursuing ballet only to please her mother. While Garrison and Liza are trying to find their way back to each other, Angel is hovering between life and death, with each passing day making the prognosis more grim. As a parent, I could totally relate to this aspect of the book, and the fear Angel's parents experience over the thought of losing her.
The passages between a comatosed Angel and Troy, her boyfriend, who she doesn't know died in the car accident, were extremely touching, and proved to create a fulfilling and satisying conclusion.
Both inspiring and empowering, Song of Renewal is a book that will be enjoyed by many.
Title: Song of Renewal
Author: Emily Sue Harvey
Publisher: The Story Plant
SRP: $19.95 (U.S.)
On New Year's Eve in 1688, a curious young Puritan girl died of smallpox in Boston. Over three hundred years later, sisters Alex and Jackie O'Rourke join their Aunt Anne and Uncle Jim for First Night in Boston.
When Sarah Pemberton's ghost appears and asks Alex and Jackie to help her defeat charges of witchcraft brought against her, the sisters' night takes a turn that brings them through Boston's rich history. Can they help Sarah and still have enough time to meet back up with Aunt Anne and Uncle Jim?
In this mysterious and exciting story, author Tom Weston has created a cast of engaging characters that teenagers will easily relate to. California blondes, Alex and Jackie each have their strong points and flaws, but overall they are charming young women caught up in helping Sarah, who has been charged with witchcraft and sharing the Devil's Book.
Jackie is chosen as Sarah's advocate, and travels back in time to defend her before three magistrates. Other characters we meet are Sarah's parents, Hannah and Thomas, who are forced to testify against their daughter, and Captain Ayres, a friend of the Pemberton family. Captain Ayers gave Sarah an Inuit bracelet right before her death in 1688.
First Night's strength is definitely its characters, I just wish the all-knowing narrator would have allowed them to carry more of the story. Instead of having Alex and Jackie experience Boston's history, much that is revealed about the area is discussed by the narrator; and in the first chapter, which is about Sarah's death, the narrator intrudes with future events and plagues that the characters would have no knowledge of.
Though a lover of history and a life-long resident of Massachusetts, I felt overwhelmed by the amount of historical detail. Does the reader truly need to know the entire history of a building or location in order to enjoy a story?
The best parts of First Night, and those that kept this reader turning the pages, were those places where Sarah, Alex and Jackie moved the story along. And the ending was superbly done and satisfying.
First Night by Tom Weston is a fun ghost story that many readers will enjoy.
Title: First Night
Author: Tom Weston
Publisher: Tom Weston Media
SRP: $10.95 (U.S.)
Her Warrior King (Harlequin Historical Series) is a sensual, passionate historical romance that will capture your heart and entice your mind.
In order to save his people, Irish king Patrick MacEgan agrees to wed a Norman bride. He did not, however, expect the strong-willed and stubborn Isabel de Godred to be so beautiful.
Isabel longs to be a wife in every sense of the word, but Patrick refuses every advance and offer of help. The Normans killed his people, including his brother Liam, and burned their winter stores. All he wants from Isabel is the protection for his people that her father has promised as long as his daughter is safe and happy.
Patrick knows he must keep his distance from his beautiful wife and focus on the needs of his tribe. To bed her is unthinkable, even as his need for her grows.
As tensions rise between the Normans and the Irish, the O'Phelans threaten to destroy Patrick's tribe. Will Patrick allow Isabel to help him? And will Isabel ever earn her rightful place as his queen and lover?
While the formula has been done many times, Willingham does an excellent job with this historical romance; providing action, adventure and a love story set in England in 1170. The author's attention to detail coupled with a cast of complex and intriguing characters draws the reader in from the first page and does not release her until the very last word. I've already read the last chapter twice, as the book's satisfying conclusion is worth any time spent reading.
A more fascinating romantic story, I have yet to read. Her Warrior King by Michelle Willingham is certainly a book I will read again. I can't wait to see what's next from this talented author.
Title: Her Warrior King
Author: Michelle Willingham
Publisher: Harlequin Historical
SRP: $5.99 (U.S.)
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Hearts of Courage by John M. Tippets is a story of tremendous courage and faith against seemingly insurmountable odds.
In January 1943, the Morrison-Knudsen Electra piloted by Harold Gillam crashed on a snow-covered mountain in southeast Alaska. On board was Joseph Tippets, a radio electrical engineer for the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) and the author's father; along with Robert Gebo, Morrison-Knudsen's Alaska general contractor; Susan Batzer, on her way to take a stenographer's job for the CAA; Percy Cutting, a Morrison-Knudsen mechanic; and Dewey Metzdorf, the owner of the Anchorage Hotel and apartments.
While the story of the Gillam crash has been described numerous times, this account, including new details and recollections, tells the story of Joseph Tippets and those aboard the fated Morrison-Knudsen Electra using personal research, historical photographs and the words of Joseph Tippets found in news accounts, interviews and published resources.
I approached Hearts of Courage with a tiny amount of trepidation. Often memoirs provide a one-sided version of events, and especially when an author is sharing memories of a family member the fear is that he is too close to be objective.
Such is not the case with Hearts of Courage. John Tippets provides a thoroughly researched, detailed account of the Gillam crash of 1943, a brief history of Joe and Alta's (Joe's wife and the author's mother) life, world events as pertaining to World War II and Alaska's strategic position in the Pacific Northwest, in addition to what the years following the crash held for Joe and Alta. Also included are excerpts from the official Civil Aeronautics Board Report on the crash, new equipment and supply guidelines that were put into effect after the crash and Joseph Tippets's letter to Susan Batzer's parents. Susan was the first victim to subcumb to her injuries.
The last few pages of the book include excerpts from the report completed after a 2004 site examination by the U.S. Forest Service and members of the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, along with photos and diagrams of the Lockhead Electra and the crash site.
Woven through this amazing story of survival is the deep faith that Joe and Alta shared; each confident that they would be reunited, even when others had lost hope and Alta learned the official search for survivors had been called off.
If every memoir was this well written, my bookshelves would be lined with them.
With Hearts of Courage, John Tippets has turned the story of the Gillam crash into a page-turning, engaging and heroic story of courage and faith. Anyone interested in aviation history, aviation disasters or inspiring and uplifting stories will enjoy Hearts of Courage. It is worth every penny!
Title: Hearts of Courage
Author: John M. Tippets
Published with Publication Consultants
SRP: $19.95 (U.S.)
Do you have too much to do and not enough time to do it in? Are distractions and interruptions making you lose focus? Do you wish you could be a productive, effective leader?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, it's time to invest in Time Management In an Instant: 60 Ways to Make the Most of Your Day (In an Instant (Career Press)).
The winning team of Karen Leland and Keith Bailey, partners in Sterling Consulting Group, come together again with this new book to help your life and your business run smoothly, effectively and productively.
I discussed some of the things I liked about Time Management in an Instant when I hosted the authors last month. Now that I've gone through the book cover to cover, I can expand upon some of my thoughts and provide more information.
Time Management in an Instant is not a quick fix to your time management issues. It is a lifestyle change that will help you overcome that chronic feeling of being overwhelmed that leads to procrastination and diminished productivity. Beginning with how to assess your time management skills, Leland and Bailey show you how to achieve your goals every day, create to-do lists that motivate you, enjoy your vacation and avoid chaos when returning from vacation, plan productive meetings and manage day-to-day tasks while reducing stress.
Having specialized in time management and organization for three years now, I've made some of the same suggestions to my readers and use those tips myself; so I know they work when applied religiously.
With assessment quizzes, exercises and examples, Time Management in an Instant will put you on track and help you stay on track. And best of all, it shows you how to apply these concepts to both your professional and personal life so that you gain a better overall balance.
Every business in America should have at least one copy of Time Management in an Instant.
Title: Time Management in an Instant
Authors: Karen Leland and Keith Bailey
Publisher: Career Press
SRP: $11.99 (U.S.)
Friday, August 21, 2009
Today's guest blogger is J.D. Seamus. After decades of working in the world of retail finance, e-commerce, and venture capital, Seamus began writing a series of novels based in Manhattan.
With a keen eye for detail, Seamus takes to heart the old adage to “write what you know.” Borrowing from real life experience, Seamus delivers highly entertaining tales full of sparkling wit and dark humor.
Whether pondering life’s most absurd or most wonderful moments, or showcasing a character’s foibles or triumphs, JD Seamus is dynamic new voice in the world of fiction. Seamus may make you blush, he may make you cry, but he will certainly leave you entertained.
When I read the synopsis for JD's latest book, Last Call, I couldn't believe how many different elements he had mixed in. I asked him to tell us how he did it. Here's what he had to say:
How did I combine hard-hitting crime, mystery with a splash of action, adventure and humor? Great question.
Almost impossible to do if you’re using major narrative but I write ‘in dialogue’ for the most part so I can pull it off. The narrative form would be too cumbersome and boring as hell.
A good friend gave me a tip that I’ve continued to use. His tip was to pick a star to use in character building.
My choice was easy in Last Call. A tough, sensitive, New Yorker who could do comedy. Fuhgetaboutit. Robert Freakin’ De Niro! Forget he’s not Irish but he’s perfect for the role of Jimmie Collins. Bar owner, tough guy, made enough money to go in business by stealing bearer bonds with a couple of rising mafia stars. Close to the church. Treats his bar patrons like family, all around nice guy but will ‘knock you on your ass’ if you cross him.
It was actually fun. My wife would hear me laughing loudly and come into my office to see what the hell was going on. I’d try to explain that it’s how De Niro interacts with Nathan, a small town guy (Randy Quaid-did I mention the guy was a lovable dufus)relocating to New York? She’d just stare and I’d explain it’s how he deals with a big mouth, short Italian (Danny DeVito—just too easy) bar regular who has the worst tailor in the world? Or how he would interact with two Manhattan North cops with career paths heading south-anyone from the old Barney Miller show. Or a long time bar patron who is witty, tough and has a problem picking men (Annette O’Toole from 48 Hours). De Niro lines her up with Nathan after telling Nathan to not hurt her in any way or he’s coming after him. My wife generally walks out around then and closes the door quietly. I guess unless you’ve banged out a book you can’t possibly comprehend.
Last Call was easy with De Niro. Even the slow times when you’re building characters. Even making his sick wife breakfast in bed is an adventure. Picture De Niro fussing over breakfast and toast is way over his head. He’s trying and trying hard. Got to be perfect-the De Niro way. Picture him walking out of the kitchen, remembering the sweetener at the last minute and putting it on the tray. He puts the whole box on the tray, takes a step then stops. He worries that the box is screwing up his presentation. He frowns. Throwing a leftover rose on the tray, he grabs a soup spoon and shrugs, “It’ll have to do. What the hell? I ain’t Martha Stewart.”
Forget narrative. With De Niro, it’s all dialogue. And that’s my favorite. That’s where I stick it to the competition in my genre. Me and De Niro. Those suckers don’t have a chance.
JD Seamus is happily at work on his sixth book in South Florida and dividing his time between his family and Braves and Jaguar games. You can visit his website at www.jdseamusbooks.com.
An illiterate slave, Dred Scott trusted in an all-white, slave-owning jury to declare him free. But after briefly experiencing the glory of freedom and manhood, a new state Supreme Court ordered the cold steel of the shackles to be closed again around his wrists and ankles. Falling to his knees, Dred cried, "Ain't I a man?" Dred answered his own question by rising and taking his fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Dred ultimately lost his epic battle when the Chief Justice declared that a black man was so inferior that he had "no rights a white man was bound to respect."
Dred died not knowing that his undying courage led directly to the election of President Abraham Lincoln and the emancipation proclamation.
Dred Scott's inspiring and compelling true story of adventure, courage, love, hatred, and friendship parallels the history of this nation from the long night of slavery to the narrow crack in the door that would ultimately lead to freedom and equality for all men.
You can read the first two chapters at the Valor's website.
You can order your sale-priced, signed and numbered limited edition copy of Am I Not a Man by visiting www.valorpublishinggroup.com before Labor Day. There are only 5,000 copies of this special edition being printed. Once they’re gone, they’re gone ... and the sale price ends on Labor Day. You can request that Mark personalize your inscription, and your book will be mailed to you before the stores even get their copies. For more information, visit http://www.valorpublishinggroup.com.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
If you had a great idea today for an online information product – something for which you’ve identified a definite niche market – would you know the steps to take to get the product launched online? Steps such as the right software, shopping cart, copywriting, and online promotion needed?
If there’s a possible online information product in your future – or if you simply want to learn more about internet marketing – come along with National Internet Business Examiner Phyllis Zimbler Miller as she explains in detail the steps she took in a one-month pre-launch for an online information product.
Phyllis pulls back the curtain to reveal everything she knew and everything she had to learn to fulfill her goal. And after reading this ebook ANATOMY OF AN ONLINE PRODUCT LAUNCH, you’ll be able to use this accumulated knowledge for yourself.
Phyllis Zimbler Miller started Miller Mosaic, LLC to provide the services she wanted for herself for online marketing. The publication of Phyllis’ MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL in April 2008 launched Phyllis into internet marketing, including using social networking such as Twitter and Facebook to market her book.
Phyllis hired her daughter Yael K. Miller – now the chief technology officer for Miller Mosaic, LLC — and together they have created the internet marketing company Miller Mosaic, LLC that helps people promote their brand, book or business.
In April Phyllis became a National Internet Business Examiner at www.InternetBizBlogger.com, writing articles several times a week on effective internet businesses and internet marketing. Then in June, Phyllis wrote a month-long series on the steps of an information product launch in anticipation of the July 1st launch of the Miller Mosaic Internet Marketing Program.
This article series forms the basis of the just-released ebook ANATOMY OF AN INFORMATION PRODUCT LAUNCH: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE LAUNCH OF AN ONLINE INFORMATION PRODUCT. In this ebook Phyllis has shared the trials and triumphs of launching an online information product.
Phyllis has a B.A in journalism from Michigan State University and worked as a journalist for several years. She also studied advertising design at the Philadelphia College of Art before earning an M.B.A. at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and working in marketing and web design in Los Angeles.
You can visit her website at www.MillerMosaicLLC.com to learn more about the Miller Mosaic Internet Marketing Program and you can read her Examiner.com articles at www.InternetBizBlogger.com.
Here's an article by the author that she would like to share with our readers today:
No Need for Others to Reinvent the Wheel
by Phyllis Zimbler Miller
I'm a big believer in sharing what I've learned. It's not altruistic; it's just the way I'd like to be treated. Therefore I have to pay it forward.
And after months of my business partner (and younger daughter) Yael K. Miller and I studying various membership software solutions, etc., I realized that I could take the Examiner.com readers of my National Internet Business Examiner column (www.InternetBizBlogger.com) along with me on the step-by-step process we went through to get all the moving parts to work together for an information product launch.
Then when I started this series of articles on June 1st, I realized that, by the end of the month, there would be around 25 articles. But who wants to print out 25 separate articles to have an implementation blueprint?
That's when I decided to revise the articles a little and combine them into an eBook that could help others interested in launching their own online information products or just people who wanted to learn more about Internet marketing through the steps that Yael and I took.
Thus the ebook What You Should Know About the Launch of an Online Information Product (http://budurl.com/ebookproductlaunch) was born.
And, since I'd had such a great experience with Dorothy Thompson of PumpUpYourBookPromotion.com organizing my virtual book tour in June of 2008 for my novel Mrs. Lieutenant (www.mrslieutenant.com), it seemed a good idea to repeat the experience for the ebook.
So here I am on a virtual book tour this month, sharing my Internet marketing experiences with book authors and others who want to use the Internet to promote their brand, book or business.
At my company we have two mottos to which we try to always adhere:
Do NOT overwhelm people with Internet marketing information; instead provide easy-to-implement steps.
Do share how to make it as easy as possible for people to say yes to your brand, book or business.
Visit my company website at www.MillerMosaicLLC.com to learn what we do to help people effectively utilize Internet marketing for their brand, book or business.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
A funny, light collection of new essays from New York Times bestselling author Laura Notaro fills the pages of The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death. Her reflections on revenge, germophobis, laser hair removal and more, will have you laughing out loud, and curious onlookers asking what you're reading.
I'm fairly certain if I opted for laser hair removal, my experience would match Notaro's, if not be worse--which is probably why I'll never try it. Oh, and by the way, my primary care physician is equally as attractive as the author's own, Dr Wells; so I especially related to this essay, as I did with the essays about her pets.
The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death is a well-written page-turner, but admittedly not my typical style of reading material. Notaro's writing has been described as "gorily specific" and "raunchy". I would definitely agree, which took away from some of the reading experience for me. I was looking for Erma Bombeck, but found a vulgar and obscene Erma filling the pages.
The overabundance of the terms "a**hole" and "tweaker" (I still don't know what the latter is, but I know it's not complimentary) became tiresome after a bit; and while I could easily relate to how Notaro feels about the spreading of germs, her grotesque descriptions meant I wasn't going to be eating while reading the book.
I'm certain many people will enjoy this book, including the legions of Laurie Notaro fans who have purchased her previous installments; it just didn't reach me personally--which is okay because it's still uproariously funny.
Title: The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death
Author: Laurie Notaro
Publisher: Villard Books
SRP: $14.00 (U.S.)
When I first requested to review The New IQ: How Integrity Intelligence Serves You, Your Relationships, and Our World, I thought it would be about restoring moral integrity to the world. I had no idea what Integrity Intelligence was; and even the back cover blurb and author's introduction didn't prepare me for what I found within this book's pages.
The New IQ discusses our 3 Core Drives: authenticity - living in accord with our deepest, truest selves; connection - how much connection do I co-create with others; and impact - how much positive impact do I have on my world.
Dr. David Gruder uses case studies and personal examples to show how being out of integrity with one of your three core drives impacts you and others. More than that, however, The New IQ shows how undigested childhood experiences--traumas we have not dealt with--impact us as adults.
While not a big surprise, I found Gruder's discussion on the survival plans children put in place when they aren't receiving what they need from their parents, and how rather than digest these childhood experiences, these adults continue to be in survival mode, particularly interesting and engaging. Gruder also brings up Energy Psychology--a topic I became familiar with when reviewing The Genie in Your Genes: Epigenetic Medicine and the New Biology of Intention by Dawson Church. Gruder believes that Energy Psychology could provide "rapid, reliable and lasting" help with removing personal baggage.
The New IQ also covers the 7 WisePassions: teachability, self-care, discernment, harvesting, power, synergy and stewardship. Gruder spends time providing details on each of these WisePassions.
With his conversational style, Gruder has written a book that many will find helpful. It is also good to read about what the author has learned about himself through his clients. Included additional resources allow the reader to continue her study on Integrity Intelligence.
I eagerly anticipate Dr. Gruder's next book!
Title: The New IQ
Author: David Gruder, Ph.D.
Publisher: Energy Psychology Press
SRP: $17.95 (U.S.)
Today's guest blogger is Douglas Carlton Abrams. This author might sound familiar, as he had been a guest at The Book Connection in the past. We also reviewed his book, The Lost Diary of Don Juan. You can find that review here.
Douglas returns with his new ecological thriller, Eye of the Whale: A Novel.
This captivating novel is about a marine biologist whose fate is altered after the unexpected appearance of a humpback whale sends her on a race to discover the meaning of its mysterious song and its implications for human survival.
Elizabeth McKay is a dedicated scientist who has spent almost a decade cracking the code of humpback whale communication. Their song, the most complex in nature, may in fact reveal secrets about the animal world that no one could have imagined. When a humpback whale swims up the Sacramento River with a strange and unprecedented song, Elizabeth must decipher its meaning in order to save the whale and ultimately much more.
But as her work with the whale captures the media’s interest and the world’s imagination, many powerful forces emerge who do not want the whale’s secrets to be revealed. Soon, Elizabeth is forced to decide if her discoveries are worth losing her marriage, her career, and possibly her life.
As timely as today’s ecological challenges and as timeless as the whales themselves, this novel takes readers into the mysterious world of humpback whales and great white sharks. In writing Eye of the Whale, Abrams worked closely with leading scientists to uncover the shockingly true facts on which it is based. This powerful story will transform how readers see their relationship to other species and the fragile world in which we live.
I asked Douglas to share with us some of the shocking facts he discovered while performing the research for this book. Here's what he had to say:
While writing and researching my novel, Eye of the Whale, I was shocked and saddened to find that truth was in fact stranger than fiction. So many of us have a general sense that we are destroying the environment and that this is having grave consequences for human health, but we really don’t know what is happening. I wanted to try to put the puzzle pieces together. To find out why breast and prostate cancer is going up, why leukemia in children has risen by 62% and brain cancer by 40%, why infertility is rising, and how this relates to the overall health of the animal world.
I learned so many shocking things: I learned that we have created 80,000 new chemicals and that very few of these have ever been tested for their effects on humans or the environment, that many of these are being produced in quantities in excess of millions of pounds per year. Most shocking, I discovered that a recent study of umbilical chord blood of children found that these newborn children already had 413 toxic industrial chemicals in their blood—before they took their first breath. We are literally conducting an unprecedented experiment using the health of our children and that they are coming into the world pre-polluted.
I found out that scientists have discovered that minute quantities, in the parts per billion can have dramatic effects on people's bodies. But perhaps two of the most staggering facts that I found out were about the animal world. Beluga whales that wash up dead in the remote Hudson Bay are so polluted with chemicals that they must be treated like toxic waste. Closer to home, eighty percent of the male small mouth bass in the Potomac—the same water that people drink in Washington, D.C.—have eggs. That’s right, males having eggs. Now that’s shocking.
In the end, I also found out some extremely hopeful things. I found out that much of the disease and suffering that we thought was inevitable is actually man-made and therefore can be ended if we make different decisions. We and the environment are not doomed…yet.
You can read sample chapters of Eye of the Whale via Scribd.com by clicking here.
Douglas Carlton Abrams is a former editor at the University of California Press and HarperSanFrancisco. Abrams writes fact-based fiction that tells an exciting story while at the same time changing the world we live in. His first book, The Lost Diary of Don Juan, has been published in thirty countries around the world and was recently optioned for film.
Doug is also the co-founder of Idea Architects, a book and media development agency that works with visionary scientists, scholars, and spiritual leaders to create a wiser, healthier, and more just world. Abrams has collaborated with a number of the world’s great scholars, scientists, and moral leaders, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, best-selling author John Robbins, primatologist Frans De Waal, and astrophysicist Joel Primack. If you want to find out more about Doug, his life, and his literature, please visit www.douglascarltonabrams.com.
Check out The Friendly Book Nook's review of Eye of the Whale here. On Thursday, Douglas will be stopping at A Bookish Mom.
Dr. Jamie Glazov provides a well-documented and insightful analysis of the radical Left's relationship with totalitarian ideologies in United in Hate: The Left's Romance with Tyranny and Terror.
In this thought-provoking book, Glazov presents a case that is both frightening and tragic. Early on, Glazov shares the components that helped shape the progressives' attitude toward the Soviet Union under Stalin; indicating how they saw the Great Depression as "a confirmation of the failure of capitalism..." (Page 28). One can see how in modern times, the same applies. The author provides multiple examples of instances where the radical Left expresses dissatisfaction with capitalism and glorifies leaders who have knowingly starved their own people, while providing themselves with lives of luxury.
An interesting, yet difficult, concept to ponder is Glazov's assertion that the radical Left wishes for the old to be destroyed in order to create the much sought after utopia; and therefore, they can overlook the deaths caused by Stalin, Castro, Pol Pot, and more recently, Saddam Hussein. The author goes as far as to claim that the believer--as he refers to those following the progressive faith--have an urge to associate themselves with the power that murders or to be murdered by that power for the sake of the idea (Page 37). Much easier to accept is the idea that the radical Left must create an atmosphere of oppression, something that Noam Chomsky did by developing the theme for his followers that they were not truly happy because "their joy was a false consciousness manufactured by capitalist elites." (Page 42).
United in Hate has an excellent history of tyranny and terror through the years, up to and including the rise of radical Islam that led to the destruction of the Twin Towers on September 11th. It also portrays how modern-day leftists like Michael Moore reacted to this horrific event that changed America forever.
Part III is an extensive analysis of Islamism and discusses death and suicide, hatred of women and hatred of Jews. Glazov later in the book explains why Israel is the perfect object of believers' hatred, just as their ally America is.
It is difficult for the reader not to form some sort of opinion after reading United in Hate. You're either going to love it or hate it; but no matter what, it is well-written, well-documented and very convincing.
Title: United in Hate: The Left's Romance with Tyranny and Terror
Author: Jamie Glazov
Publisher: WND Books
SRP: $25.95 (U.S.)
Monday, August 17, 2009
The meeting place was carefully chosen: an abandoned church in rural Ireland just after dark. For Jonathan Quinn—a freelance operative and professional “cleaner”—the job was only to observe. If his cleanup skills were needed, it would mean things had gone horribly wrong. But an assassin hidden in a tree assured just that. And suddenly Quinn had four dead bodies to dispose of and one astounding clue—to a mystery that is about to spin wildly out of control.
Three jobs, no questions. That was the deal Quinn had struck with his client at the Office. Unfortunately for him, Ireland was just the first. Now Quinn, along with his colleague and girlfriend—the lethal Orlando—has a new assignment touched off by the killings in Ireland. Their quarry is a U.N. aide worker named Marion Dupuis who has suddenly disappeared from her assignment in war-torn Africa. When Quinn finally catches a glimpse of her, she quickly flees, frantic and scared. And not alone.
For Quinn the assignment has now changed. Find Marion Dupuis, and the child she is protecting, and keep them from harm. If it were only that easy.
Soon Quinn and Orlando find themselves in a bunker in the California hills, where Quinn will unearth a horrifying plot that is about to reach stage critical for a gathering of world leaders—and an act of terror more cunning, and more insidious, than anyone can guess.
Fast, smart, sleek, and stunning, Shadow of Betrayal is vintage Brett Battles: a gritty, gripping masterpiece of suspense, a thriller that makes the pulse pound—and stirs the heart as well.
Quinn could see them now. There were two of them, crouched low and half-hidden by the thick brush. As Quinn and Nate watched, one of the men sprinted forward, stopping only when he reached the outside of the church wall. He then moved down the wall until he came to what had once been a doorway, and peered inside.
"Are we going to play games, or are we going to meet?" It was Otero. He was still standing in the middle of the church, not concealing his presence. When there was no response, he said, "Two minutes and we're leaving."
The man who had been looking into the church from the doorway glanced back at his partner and waved for him to come over.
"Quinn," Nate said.
"I thought they were only allowed one companion."
Quinn shot Nate a glance, then looked at a monitor Nate was pointing at. It was the one covering the north approach to the church, the way Otero and Ownby had come.
"I don't see anything," Quinn said.
"In the tree," Nate said. He leaned forward and touched the screen.
For half a second, Quinn still didn't see anything, then a slight movement revealed the form of a man lying prone on one of the branches, facing toward the church.
A quick glance at a monitor that gave a broader view of that side of the church confirmed Quinn's suspicion that the man was high enough to see through the missing roof into the abandoned structure.
Quinn pushed the mic button again. "Peter, we have a problem."
"Check the feed to camera six. In the tree, near the top of the image."
There was a pause.
"Do you see him?" Quinn asked.
"Is he one of yours?"
"I played by the rules. Only two," Peter said. "He must be one of theirs."
Quinn wasn't convinced of that, but there was no time to argue the point. On another monitor the two newcomers stepped through the doorway, entered the church, and walked a couple paces before stopping. They looked nervous, like this was the first time they had ever done anything like this.
"You need to abort right now," Quinn said.
"We need that information," Peter said.
"Peter," Quinn said, "if you don't abort, you might not get anything."
At the church Otero said, "You guys are going to have to come a little closer."
The taller of the two men shook his head. "We are fine here. I think you have something to show us."
Otero smiled, then tossed a coin in the air so that it landed a foot in front of his counterparts.
"Your turn," Otero said.
The tall man tossed his own coin toward Otero. This was the prearranged recognition signal. Otero had been carrying a fifty-yen Japanese coin, and the informant a 1998 Canadian half-dollar.
"Peter!" Quinn said.
"The meet's already started," Peter said. "They won't answer their phones until they're back in their car."
"They might not even make it back to their car," Quinn said, then let go of the button.
"We can start the van," Nate suggested. "That should throw everyone into a panic. We could even fire off a shot."
It was an excellent idea, Quinn thought. He relayed it to Peter.
There was a pause, then Peter said, "Do it."
Quinn pulled his SIG Sauer P226 out of the holster under his left arm as Nate moved toward the back door to open it.
Several rapid flashes from one of the monitors caught Quinn's eye. It was the one showing the close-up of the man in the tree. He glanced at the view of the church. Otero, Ownby, and the man who had been talking for the other party were all on the ground and not moving.
The final man had just exited the church and was making a run for it. Then there was another flash. The man jerked to the left, his momentum dropping him into a bush at the side of the trail. Like the others, he didn't get up.
"Stop," Quinn said to Nate.
The door was already half opened.
"Close it. Quietly."
Nate shut the door as Quinn sat back down.
Quinn pushed the button. "Your op is blown."
"I can fucking see that," Peter said. "Goddammit! You need to keep whoever that is from getting to the bodies. One of those guys is carrying something we need."
"Don't know if you noticed," Quinn said, "but your men are probably dead. That guy in the tree's got a silenced rifle, and I'm not really interested in walking into his range."
"Do what you were going to do before! Scare him off. He's not going to want to get caught."
Quinn took a deep breath, then nodded at Nate to open the door again. He checked monitor six. The assassin was holding his position, waiting to see if anyone else was going to show up.
Quinn pulled one of the remote communication sets from a bag near the recorders. He slipped the receiver over his ear, then climbed out of the van.
"Talk me in," he said to Nate.
"You're going to try to take him out?" Nate asked, surprised.
Quinn shook his head. "I'm just going to convince him to go someplace else."
"You want your suppressor?" Nate asked.
Quinn paused for a second. If things went as planned, he'd need the noise of the shot to scare the guy off. But if things got off track?
"Toss it to me," he said.
Nate disappeared for a second, then stepped back into the doorway and threw a dark cylinder to Quinn.
Quinn stuffed it in the front pocket of his jacket as best he could. Once it was secure, he nodded back at the van. "Talk me in. You're my eyes, so try not to get me killed."
Praise for Shadow of Betrayal:
"The best word I can use to describe his writing is ADDICTIVE. Razor-sharp prose bites deep, cuts to a raw nerve, and leaves you… craving more. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you." – James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author
Brett Battles lives in Los Angeles and is the author of two acclaimed novels in the Jonathan Quinn series: The Cleaner, which was nominated for a Barry Award for Best Thriller and a Shamus Award for Best First Novel, and The Deceived, which was nominated for a Barry Award for Best Thriller. He is at work on the fourth book in the series.
You can visit Brett Battles online at http://brettbattles.com/.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
You were probably expecting a shoreline photo, but keeping in mind how much I love Christmas, and how excited I was to learn that The Christmas Shop & Island Gallery reopened last year, I wanted to share one of the photos from there.
This is a three-level store carrying Christmas decor, antiques, and local books and artwork. They've also added a jewelry store, a bird room, a T-shirt boutique, museum shop and a general store where Outer Banks Fudge company serves coffee and sweets.
We always make at least one trip to The Christmas Shop when we're down south.
The weather wasn't as good as in past years, but that seems to be the story for most of the east coast. I was just reading today that a tropical storm is forming near Florida. Sounds like we planned our vacation at the right time.
We also try to stop in at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island while we're there. The above photo is the fountain they have out front. If you walk off to the right of the fountain, you can view the coastline through a magnifying lens, and let the kids dig in the sand while you enjoy something cool to drink or a bite to eat from their gourmet shop.
The kids love the aquarium because they have a tank with live animals in it that they can pet; slimy animals from what they tell me.
The Book Connection will back to a very busy schedule in September and I have about a dozen reviews to post from all that reading I got done on vacation.
Don't forget about all the giveaways we're running right now:
* Sea Changes by Gail Graham
* Summer Inspirational Reading Giveaway
* Beach Trip by Cathy Holton
* American Lion by Jon Meacham
* Is Your Ghost Holy? by Shay Bills
Most of these giveaways run until August 31st. The one for Jon Meacham ends on August 27th, and Shay's on September 2nd.
Don't miss the chance to win these great books! Enter today by clicking on the above links to each giveaway and following the instructions in each post.
It's good to be back!
Friday, August 14, 2009
The Missing Keys to Thriving in Any Real Estate Market - How to Create Wealth in Any Community Using Street Analysis Technology is a risk reduction blueprint for investors and real estate professionals who want to be experts in their local market and generate more sales. Readers will learn how to and where to get current accurate information, how not be mislead by the media and how to create wealth using break-through mapping technology.
The housing crisis and financial crisis was caused by a lack of current local information. Just ask your broker or banker, what was the job growth or migration in my Zip Code (or any Zip Code) last month or quarter, and see what they say. More importantly, ask them how will these variables, or any other micro-market variable affect price changes in the future. See what they say.
I am a leading authority on current, local real estate information and author of The Missing Keys to Thriving in Any Real Estate Market. My competition, Case-Shiller, costs significantly more and only covers macro markets, which has HUGE errors at the micro-market and block level. Consumers, investors and bankers can benefit with current local information and forecasts, and thus, make more profits.
With the assistance of PhD’s from UC Berkeley and others, Home Value Predictor has developed Future Value changes, on over 350,000 micro-markets, forecasting out as far as 24 months, with confidence levels. We expect to launch in August 2009.
Eddie Godshalk bought his first investment houses in 1987, where he was a licensed agent in the Eastern U.S. From those humble beginnings, Eddie has gained more than 20 years of real estate investment, business development and mortgage experience. Recently, Eddie gained praise for his ability to help average investors generate exceptional wealth using his revolutionary Home Value Predictor web-based real estate system.
Eddie received his MBA from San Francisco State University (SFSU) with a focus on building automated valuation models (AVM’s) and real estate finance. Using the Home Value Predictor technology, Eddie has purchased numerous properties with little money down, netting greater than two thousand percent return on equity investment per property.
After collecting more than four years’ worth of micro block data, Eddie and a team of SFSU and Berkeley PhD’s tested and back-tested algorithms. After testing more than eight mapping software applications, from Open Source to ESRI, the latest public version of Home Value Predictor was launched in mid 2009.
Eddie is committed to bringing the most accurate, reliable and relevant information to the real estate market Home Value Predictor is poised to redefine the way we think of real estate in the 21st century.
Visit his website at http://www.HomeValuePredictor.com/.
THE MISSING KEYS TO THRIVING IN ANY REAL ESTATE MARKET BLOG TOUR '09 will officially begin on August 3 and ends on August 28. You can visit Eddie's blog stops at www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com in August to find out more about this great book and talented author!
As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors' blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Our special guest today is Sheryl Keen, author of Journal According To John.
Following a nasty bar brawl, John, a twenty-eight-year-old man, follows a close friend’s advice and begins keeping a journal. He’s recently divorced from his wife, Debbie, and he hopes the journal will provide a tool with which to make sense of his brief, failed marriage and to determine why he is so emotionally challenged.
As a therapist specializing in behavioral issues, he knows he has to pull his own life together. If he tells people to clean up their own lives, modify their thoughts, and learn new, more appropriate behaviors, he knows that he’s got to step up and follow his own advice. Early on, he realizes that his mother, the curator of a gallery that specializes in steel art and other nontraditional works, has largely shaped his thoughts and actions. But just how much can he blame her for his current state of affairs?
Soon the words in the journal are flowing easily and quickly. When painful thoughts are no longer avoided and dreams provide fuel for his writing, the journal takes on a life of its own. Will John discover the reasons for his dysfunctional situation? Can keeping a journal help him improve his life?
I asked Sheryl to discuss what research she performed to make John a realistic psychologist. Here is what she had to say:
I tried to make John real for the reader by making his profession as a therapist as authentic as possible. Drawing on my own background knowledge that I had from having worked for an institution that dealt specifically with addiction and mental health, I was able to proceed with a bit of confidence. I was in a position where I was able to see psychologists and psychiatrists on a daily basis and I was able to see some of the issues that they dealt with and the analysis that they made about patients. The organization’s environment and culture were helpful in forming a framework in my mind that I able to use to form a backdrop to John’s practice. At the time I had no idea that this would be helpful to me as a writer but I have learnt that all experiences can become fodder for writing.
Of course, this background knowledge was not enough to make John as bona fide a therapist as I wanted him to be for readers. I had to delve deeper. So I did more research especially into what would actually happen in a session and the methods that a therapist would use to encourage patients to change. This was important because there is a parallel here. John is not just a therapist; he is also a man who is trying to make changes in his personal life. The question is, are there any techniques that he uses in his office that he can use in his own life?
I concentrated on behavioral therapy because the research clearly states that self destructing behavior can be altered by learning more appropriate actions. This research allowed John to act and speak in an authentic way about things like aggressive behavior, anger and anxiety. To take this a step further John could speak about and choose between various techniques of treatment. So, from time to time readers may hear John talking about treatment choices such as rehearsed behavior and role playing, modeling through observation, behavioral homework assignments and conditioning where a desired behavior is reinforced and encouraged by something like a gold star. At one point in the novel John contemplated this kind of conditioning for himself.
A major part of making John real was not just doing research at the library or on the Internet about his profession. It was the duality of showing him as a therapist who probably needed therapy himself. I think that made him more relatable and accessible to the readers who could identify with the frailties of the human condition.
Sheryl A. Keen has a bachelor’s degree in History with a minor in English Literature from the University of the West Indies. She lives in Canada where she works in Administration.
In addition to prose, Sheryl also writes poetry. When she is not writing, one of her other loves is painting.
You can visit Sheryl A. Keen’s website at www.sherylkeen.com.