Wednesday, August 29, 2012

First Chapter Review: At Drake's Command by David Wesley Hill

This is a First Chapter Review of At Drake's Command by David Wesley Hill. It will be published in trade paperback by Temurlone Press in November, 2012 and can be pre-ordered on their website. It has been submitted by the author for my consideration.

BLURB: It was as fine a day to be whipped as any he'd ever seen but the good weather didn't make Peregrine James any happier with the situation he was in. Unfairly convicted of a crime he had not committed, the young cook was strung from the whipping post on the Plymouth quay side when he caught the eye of Francis Drake and managed to convince the charismatic sea captain to accept him among his crew.

Soon England was receding in their wake and Perry was serving an unsavory collection of sea dogs as the small fleet of fragile wood ships sailed across the brine. Their destination was secret, known to Drake alone. Few sailors believed the public avowal that the expedition was headed for Alexandria to trade in currants. Some men suspected Drake planned a raid across Panama to attack the Spanish in the Pacific.

Others were sure the real plan was to round the Cape of Storms to break the Portuguese monopoly of the spice trade. The only thing Perry knew for certain was that they were bound for danger and that he must live by his wits if he were to survive serving at Drake's command.

COVER: Superb. The scene is breathtaking and appropriate for this novel. I love the color scheme.

FIRST CHAPTER: The novel opens with fictional character Peregrine "Perry" James being led through the streets of Plymouth, England in manacles. Accused of a crime he did not commit, he will face the whipping post on a cold November day.

Knowing there is no future for him in Plymouth, he asks Francis Drake, captain of the Pelican if he might have a place for him on his ship. Drake is uncertain if he should take the boy along, but when fellow captain Thomas Doughty attests to Perry's skill as a cook, Drake agrees depending upon how Perry stands up to the whipping.

KEEP READING: Definitely. In the Historical Preface, the author lays out the Drake circumnavigation in 1577 and the written accounts he used as a foundation for his novel. There is mention of John Winter, captain of the Elizabeth, and his concise account of the expedition. Our family has gone aboard the Elizabeth II, a representative sailing ship at the Roanoke Island Festival Park in North Carolina multiple times, so I was immediately drawn to this story.

Hill fills this first chapter with historical details, providing the reader with a complete knowledge of the world in which Perry lives. Whether you have read other novels set during this time period or not, you will easily be able to visialize Perry as he is driven through the streets of Plymouth tied to the end of the parish beadle's cart and everything he witnesses and experiences.

The reader is treated to several wonderful characters--some historical, others fictional--in this opening chapter. Beadle Hal Audley, Sam Goodman, a cordwainer, Beth Winston, who does her best to see that Perry is treated with kindness, Constable Felix, who is determined to see justice is carried out, Drake and Doughty. Whether a main character or a secondary character, Hill has given the reader excellent first impressions of them all.

Finally, the ending of this chapter is outstanding. It will definitely encourage the reader to turn the page.

This is a time period I enjoy, so I would add this book to my wish list.

The author submitted the first chapter of this novel for my consideration. This First Chapter Review contains my honest opinions, for which I received no monetary compensation.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Series Spotlight: The Samsara Chronicles by Diana Kemp and Gabriella Bradley (Kindle Fire Giveaway)

The Samsara Chronicles Banner

About Diana Kemp

Toronto native Diana Kemp is a multiple award-winning screenwriter and author with one hundred and thirty film festivals and screenwriting competition awards/placings to her credit. She is the co-writer of an NRL (Naval Research Lab) documentary ( produced by David Bellino of Second Wind Films.

Graduating with honors from Cal State Long Beach, she began a writing career at the age of seven that culminated in a diversely prolific collection of science fiction, horror and fantasy short stories, numerous short and feature screenplays and three science fiction novels, two of which include The Samsara Chronicles co authored with Gabriella Bradley.

In addition to serving as Executive Producer and Producer on a variety of projects with Michael Gianfriddo, her credits include Blink Black Ops ( and her 3-D science fiction show, Trapezoid, (, which is in pre-production. .

Diana founded Shadowland Productions and Edge Media with producing partner Michael Gianfriddo and holds positions as CEO and Chairman in addition to serving as an executive for Dominant Entertainment. She oversees all development, production and management for each company.

She is represented by industry veteran Sherry Robb of the Robb Entertainment Group.

About Gabriella Bradley

Gabriella Bradley lives amidst rugged mountains. She more than often has a grizzly in her backyard searching for food. Other critters that visit on a regular basis are cougars, coyotes, squirrels, raccoons.

She has been a writer all of her life, though only ventured into erotic works in 2003. The Samsara Chronicles was born through psychic channeling. Many of the scenes in these books were inspired by David—possibly a writer during his life, a guide from beyond that visited Gabby. During the course of his visits, he told her to involve Diana.

Gabby’s hobbies include hiking, gardening, swimming, sewing, embroidery. Favorite movies are old timers like Gone with the Wind, Spartacus etc. Favorite music is Abba. Besides all that, she owns and directs a busy company and its staff.

About The Samsara Chronicles

ARTIST: Martine Jardin
AUTHOR: Diana Kemp and Gabriella Bradley
ISBN: 978-1-77111-141-6
WORDS: 12366
PRICE: 2.99
GENRE: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Futuristic, Romance
SERIES: The Samsara Chronicles Book 1
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Guided by mystical beings, a human mother bears a daughter of alien royalty, Aislinn, destined to champion the future of two worlds.

NadirARTIST: Martine Jardin
TITLE: Nadir
AUTHOR: Diana Kemp and Gabriella Bradley
ISBN: 978-1-77111-142-3
WORDS: 21000
PRICE: 2.99
GENRE: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Futuristic, Romance
SERIES: The Samsara Chronicles Book 2
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Aislinn, directed by circumstance to meet her past and future soul mate, Dylan Young, begins to understand the daunting task awaiting her. In order to save Earth, she and Dylan must open the portal, the celestial gateway that will allow salvation of Earth's chosen. Facing opposition at every step from a world plunged into chaos, they have until midnight, December 31st, to reach their destination.

CovenantPUBLISHER: eXtasy Books
ARTIST: Martine Jardin
TITLE: Covenant
AUTHOR: Diana Kemp and Gabriella Bradley
ISBN: 978-1-77111-143-0
WORDS: 20380
PRICE: 2.99
GENRE: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Futuristic, Romance
SERIES: The Samsara Chronicles Book 3
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Targeted by Eletarii minions, Aislinn and Dylan are guided to acquire the crystal skull, the core of Aislinn’s past and future power. After a terrifying encounter with the dark forces while spending Christmas at her parents, Aislinn and Dylan accept the perilous journey ahead of them.

ItinerasPUBLISHER: eXtasy Books
ARTIST: Martine Jardin
TITLE: Itineras
AUTHOR: Diana Kemp and Gabriella Bradley
ISBN: 978-1-77111-144-7
WORDS: 18550
PRICE: 2.99
GENRE: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Futuristic, Romance
SERIES: The Samsara Chronicles Book 4
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No longer safe in Burnaby, Aislinn and Dylan are directed to visit her parents on Boxing Day where they meet an Italian orphan, Angelica. Aislinn recognizes her soul sister from her home world, Nirvana. Guided by an escort in the guise of an eagle, Aislinn and Dylan continue their quest to gather the talismans.

TempestPUBLISHER: eXtasy Books
ARTIST: Martine Jardin
TITLE: Tempest
AUTHOR: Diana Kemp and Gabriella Bradley
ISBN: 978-1-77111-145-4
WORDS: 20200
PRICE: 2.99
GENRE: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Futuristic, Romance
SERIES: The Samsara Chronicles Book 5
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Narrowly escaping danger during their quest to acquire the talismans and suspected of multiple murders, Aislinn and Dylan endure harsh winter conditions to evade the military and corrupt human minions seeking to stop them from the opening of the portal.

MaelstromPUBLISHER: eXtasy Books
ARTIST: Martine Jardin
TITLE: Maelstrom
AUTHOR: Diana Kemp and Gabriella Bradley
ISBN: 978-1-77111-146-1
WORDS: 20200
PRICE: 2.99
GENRE: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Futuristic, Romance
SERIES: The Samsara Chronicles Book 6
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Forced to abandon their vehicle, Aislinn and Dylan must cross the treacherous mountains on foot. Close behind is the military, whose corrupt leader must honor his pledge to the Eletarii to capture them. But as more guides appear to help Aislinn and Dylan, they are brought to the sanctuary of Emerald Lake.

ExodusTITLE: Exodus
AUTHOR: Diana Kemp and Gabriella Bradley
ISBN: 978-1-77111-147-8
WORDS: 18000
PRICE: 2.99
GENRE: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Futuristic, Romance
SERIES: The Samsara Chronicles Book 7
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Besieged by the Eletarii, humanity struggles in its final hour. Legions assemble by the lake where they descend into the basest depravity wait while Aislinn and Dylan prepare to open the gate at midnight, a portal through which only a chosen few will pass.

NirvanaTITLE: Nirvana
AUTHOR: Diana Kemp and Gabriella Bradley
ISBN: 978-1-77111-148-5
WORDS: 16000
PRICE: 2.99
GENRE: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Futuristic, Romance
SERIES: The Samsara Chronicles Book 8
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Aislinn and Dylan’s joyous homecoming to Nirvana is tempered by yet another crisis. Aliens, assisted by a traitorous member of Nirvanan security and a threat to the royal bloodline, have kidnapped Aislinn’s parents and hold them hostage on the dying world of Klatria. Aislinn and Dylan now face the task of rescuing them before they are killed.

NetherworldTITLE: Netherworld
AUTHOR: Diana Kemp and Gabriella Bradley
ISBN: 978-1-77111-149-2
WORDS: 10300
PRICE: 1.99
GENRE: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Futuristic, Romance
SERIES: The Samsara Chronicles Book 9
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Seeking answers regarding the kidnapping of her parents, Aislinn and Dylan follow one of their Earthly guides to the mysterious Overlap, a temporal rift situated within an ancient castle. There they experience past events that reveal the nature of the rival Nirvanan bloodlines as well as the identity of the traitor in league with the Klatrians.

BloodlineTITLE: Bloodline
AUTHOR: Diana Kemp and Gabriella Bradley
ISBN: 978-1-77111-150-8
WORDS: 16100
PRICE: 2.99
GENRE: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Futuristic, Romance
SERIESS : The Samsara Chronicles Book 10
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While Vark, Soulmaster and corrupt ruler of Klatria, plots with the Nirvanan traitor to acquire the skull and kill the royals, insurrection grows from within the ranks of his own people. His intention to use Aislinn’s parents as pawns to lure Aislinn to Klatria conceals his true intentions to destroy them all.

EntityTITLE: Entity
AUTHOR: Diana Kemp and Gabriella Bradley
ISBN: 978-1-77111-151-5
WORDS: 18200
PRICE: 2.99
GENRE: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Futuristic, Romance
SERIES: The Samsara Chronicles Book 11
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Faced with Shakan’s treachery, Aislinn and Dylan must capture him and rescue Nashira, Aislinn’s sister. Realizing that Shakan is both possessed by the spirit of a corrupt ancestor and is in league with Vark to betray Nirvana, they devise a plan to rescue Aislinn’s parents using alien technology obtained during Shakan’s capture.

KindredTITLE: Kindred
AUTHOR: Diana Kemp and Gabriella Bradley
ISBN: 978-1-77111-152-2
WORDS: 17650
PRICE: 2.99
GENRE: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Futuristic, Romance
SERIES: The Samsara Chronicles Book 12
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Shakan’s sentencing to the Overlap for his betrayal of the royals and his collaboration with the Klatrians leads Aislinn and Dylan to finalize their plans to rescue her parents before the Fortieth Tribunal. In the meantime, the Klatrian resistance make their own plans in response to Aislinn and Dylan’s arrival.

NexusTITLE: Nexus
AUTHOR: Diana Kemp and Gabriella Bradley
ISBN: 978-1-77111-153-9
WORDS: 17150
PRICE: 2.99
GENRE: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Futuristic, Romance
SERIES: The Samsara Chronicles Book 13
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Certain that Shakan’s banishment to the Overlap has forever ended the tainted bloodline of Jhanvar, Aislinn and Dylan prepare, with the help of Altithronus, emissary to the Antiquitas, for their journey to Klatria to rescue the royals.

EquilibriumTITLE: Equilibrium
AUTHOR: Diana Kemp and Gabriella Bradley
ISBN: 978-1-77111-154-6
WORDS: 32067
PAGES: 116
PRICE: 3.99
GENRE: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Futuristic, Romance
SERIES: The Samsara Chronicles Book 14
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The royal pair’s next journey is to go back to Earth and help the Earthlings restore their planet. But now, the safety of two worlds hangs in the balance. Can they come up with a plan to escape?


Pump Up Your Book and The Samsara Chronicles are teaming up to give you a chance to win a Kindle Fire!


Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Gender Genie

I follow the Books and Such Literary Agency blog. Michelle Ule created a blog post on August 7th titled, "The Value of a Word Census." As part of this post, she mentioned a neat site called The Gender Genie. By copying and pasting 500 words or more of your work, then selecting if the piece is fiction, non-fiction or a blog post, The Gender Genie uses a simplified version of an algorithm to predict the gender of the author.

This sounded like such a neat idea that I had to give it a try. It seemed neat until six out of seven times it says I am male.  I guess I write like a guy. Should I be concerned?  LOL!

The Gender Genie is a great way to let authors see what words they use. Hope you try it and let me know how it works for you.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Book Review: Healing Music by Carolyn Huebner Rankin

In this follow up to Falling Through Ice, Carolyn Huebner Rankin shares the story of the frightening diagnosis that changed her life and how the power of God's healing brought her through recovery and rehabilitation.

I already provided a First Chapter Review of this book back in April. I was so engrossed, I knew I would be going back to it.

In some ways, Healing Music overlaps Falling Through Ice. Some of the same years in the author's life are covered. But while the writing style is similar, the focus of each book is very different. Still married to her husband, Larry, and mother to her young daughter, Audra, Rankin receives a crushing blow when she learns she has Degenerative Bone Disease. Her doctor calmly informs her she will be wheelchair bound by the age of 35.  Her deteriorating condition is compounded by her strained marriage. A visit home and reuniting with a childhood friend puts Rankin down a new path--one that with God's help, will bring her the joy, peace and healing she needs.

Each person's Christian journey is such a personal thing. When someone decides to bear witness to what God has done in her life, it's always moving. The conversational, down-to-earth style of this narrative encourages readers to follow Rankin along her journey, while they watch the amazing things that God does in her life. From leading her to the right team of skilled physicians to the healing music he sends during her rehabilitation and recovery, readers will be captivated by Rankin's story.

I would suggest reading both books together to get the full picture of the amazing work God has done in Rankin's life, but they can easily be read separately too.

Paperback: 120 pages
Publisher: Crossover Publications, LLC (August 15, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 098196575X
ISBN-13: 978-0981965758
SRP: $12.95

I received a free copy of this book from the author's representative. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I have received no monetary compensation. 

This is the 39th book I've read for the following challenge:

Book Spotlight: The Harbormaster's Daughter by Heidi Jon Schmidt

The story of a mother and daughter in an idyllic Cape Cod town...

On a freezing January night, LaRee Farnham answers a knock at her door to find a policewoman holding three-year-old Vita Gray, whose mother has just been murdered a few miles away. LaRee raises Vita with fierce love and attention, at the same time trying to shield her from the aftermath of the murder, which has deeply divided the histoiric village of Oyster Creek.

Born out of wedlock, Vita is the product of the town's two very different cultures: the hard-working fishing families of Portuguese descent and the "washashores" from the mainland, who've drifted to the coast for its beauty. At sixteen, Vita is shy and isolated, estranged from her father, and bullied at school, but she is determined to come out of herself, step-by-step.

When the shocking details of her past surface suddenly, Vita feels utterly betrayed by those closest to her, and the fraught tension between Oyster Creek's two cultures comes to a head. LaRee must ask hard questions about herself as a mother, while Vita turns to unexpected avenues to find meaning and discovers that the truth is almost never found in black-and-white...

Read the reviews!

"Expertly explores the complexities of domestic life and the tug of forbidden love."
-Elizabeth Strout, New York Times Bestselling Author of Olive Kitteridge

"Superior literary fiction."
-Library Journal

"Subtly nuanced, beautifully crafted prose...Schmidt delivers a thoughtful, realistically complicated exploration on love, marriage, friendship, and community."
-John Charles, Chicago Tribune

Reading level: Ages 18 and up
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: NAL Trade; 1 edition (August 7, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0451237870
ISBN-13: 978-0451237873
Available in paperback and electronic formats

First Chapter Review: Tell A Thousand Lies by Rasana Atreya

The first chapter of this novel was submitted to me by the author while I was on vacation.

BLURB: In a land where skin colour can determine one's destiny, fraternal twins PULLAMMA and LATA are about to embark on a journey that will tear their lives apart.

Dark skinned Pullamma dreams of being a wife. With three girls in her family, the sixteen-year-old is aware there isn't enough dowry to secure suitable husbands for them all. But a girl can hope. She's well versed in cooking, pickle making, cow washing -- you name it. She's also obliged her old-fashioned grandmother by not doing well in school.

Fair skinned and pretty, her twin sister Lata would rather study medicine than get married. Unable to grasp the depth of Lata's desire, the twins' Grandmother formalizes a wedding alliance for the girl. Distraught, Lata rebels, with devastating consequences.

As Pullamma helps ready the house for her older sister Malli's bride viewing, she prays for a positive outcome to the event. What happens next is so inconceivable that it will shape Pullamma's future in ways she couldn't have foreseen.

A mainstream, multi-ethnic, world literature book from India, TELL A THOUSAND LIES is a sometimes wry, sometimes sad, but ultimately realistic look at how superstition and the colour of a girl's skin rules India's hinterlands.

If you like Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner) or Vikram Seth (A Suitable Boy), you might like this book.

COVER:  I like the details on this one. The multiple hands of various colors reaching for the girl speak to the plot. The food all around tells of the setting, while the money in the plate seems to reflect the family's desperate circumstances or perhaps their income from selling items.

FIRST CHAPTER:  Pullamma and her grandmother--along with a friend--are awaiting the arrival of the groom's family for her sister, Malli's bride viewing. They have decided to hide Pullamma's fraternal twin, Lata, because she is so pretty they are afraid the groom's family might prefer her. Thankfully, as her grandmother's friend, Lakshmi reminds her, Pullamma is not pretty at all considering how tall and dark-skinned she is.

KEEP READING:  I'm definitely intrigued. This is a culture I don't know a great deal about, so that adds to my interest. Atreya has an eloquent style and her writing shares the right details to engage the reader and make her feel she is right in the village with Pullamma. This chapter ends strong with a bit of mystery to encourage the reader to continue.

  • File Size: 630 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007IX6W8Q
  • Available in paperback and electronic versions

  • The author submitted the first chapter of this novel for my consideration. This First Chapter Review contains my honest opinions, for which I received no monetary compensation.

    Thursday, August 23, 2012

    Interview with Gus Pelagatti, Author of The Wicked Wives

    Gus Pelagatti is a practicing trial lawyer with over 47 years of experience trying civil and criminal cases including homicide.  He’s a member of the Million Dollar Advocate Forum, limited to attorneys who have been recognized as achieving a standard of excellence as a trial expert.  He has spent years researching the true story of the 1938 insurance scam murders, interviewing judges, lawyers, police and neighbors involved in the trials.

    Gus was born and raised within blocks of the main conspirator’s tailor shop and the homes of many of the wives convicted of murdering their husbands.

    His latest book is The Wicked Wives.

    Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

    I’ve been a criminal and civil trial attorney in Philadelphia for the past 48 years

    Where did you grow up?


    What is your fondest childhood memory?

    Seeing the Philadelphia Phillies play for the first time in 1948

    When did you begin writing?

    While in law school.

    Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

    Evenings and week-ends.

    What is this book about?

    The Philadelphia 1938 arsenic scandals in which 17 wives were arrested for poisoning their spouses for insurance money.

    What inspired you to write it?

    My family had a home within two blocks of the main co-conspirator and some of the guilty wives.

    Who is your biggest supporter?

    Women between the ages of 25-75.

    Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?

    My book editor.

    Who is your favorite author?

    Harold Robbins.

    Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?

    I’m looking for an agent.

    Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

    It was smooth sailing.

    If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

    Yes. I would have had more book reviews within the first few months after the book was published.

    Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?

    What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?

    Obtaining reviewers.

    What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

    Never give up!

    What is up next for you?

    The sequel to The Wicked Wives: Benito’s Gold.

    Is there anything you would like to add?

    Yes. I wish everyone happy reading in the future.

    You can visit Gus’ website at

    To get your paperback copy of  THE WICKED WIVES by Gus Pelagatti:

    To purchase an e-copy of THE WICKED WIVES for your Kindle for $2.99:

    To purchase an e-copy of THE WICKED WIVES for your Nook for $3.99:

    Follow Gus Pelagatti on Twitter:

    Like Gus Pelagatti on Facebook:

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012

    Guest Blogger: Laura Carroll, Author of The Baby Matrix (Kindle Fire Giveaway)

    In the movie The Matrix, the character Morpheus offers two pills to Neo—if he takes the blue pill, he will go on with life as he has before, believing what he has always believed. If he takes the red pill, he will find out what the “matrix” really is, and many of his earlier beliefs will be shattered. When it comes to taking a hard look at a specific set of beliefs about parenthood and reproduction that has driven our society for generations, The Baby Matrix is the red pill.

    We commonly think our desire to have children boils down to our biological wiring, but author Laura Carroll says it’s much more than that. Unlike other books on parenthood, The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction Will Create a Better World takes a serious look at powerful social and cultural influences that drive the desire for the parenthood experience, and lays out why we need to be very aware of these influences to make the most informed decisions about parenthood.

    The Baby Matrix looks at long-held beliefs about parenthood and reproduction, and unravels why we believe what we believe. It lays out:

    -the historical origins of beliefs about parenthood and reproduction
    -why many of these beliefs no longer work for society or were never true in the first place
    -why we continue to believe them anyway
    -the prices society pays as a result

    The Baby Matrix shows us how we got here, brings to light what is true, which includes knowing about the powerful influence of “pronatalism,” and explains why society can no longer afford to leave pronatalism unquestioned.

    “This is not a book about convincing people not to have children,” says Carroll. “I want people to be very aware of the long-held social and cultural pressures, and be able to free themselves from those pressures when making parenthood choices. This will result in more people making the best decisions for themselves, will foster a society in which those who are best suited to become parents are the ones who have children and one that knows what it means to bring a child into the world today.”

    This book will make you examine your own intentions and beliefs, will rile you, and might just change your mind. Whether you are already a parent, want to become a parent, are still making up your mind, or know you don’t want children, you’ll never think about parenthood in the same way.

    The Baby Matrix is a must-read for anyone interested in psychology, sociology, anthropology, parenting issues, environmentalism, and social justice. But most of all, it’s for anyone, parent or not, who reveres the truth and wants the best for themselves, their families, and our world.

    Dispelling the Myths of Only Children by Laura Carroll

    Imagine you have a child, and are not sure if you want to have another one. But you think you should because it’s best for a child to have a sibling, right? Wrong, say Bill McKibben and other experts. The bias against only children has an interesting history, and began in the late 1800s with psychologist Stanley Hall. He was the Victorian era’s “Dr. Spock.” He did a study of “peculiar and exceptional children” with 1,045 child subjects. “Peculiar and exceptional” was loosely defined from reasons that were psychological or physical. Forty-six out of the 1,045 (about 4 percent) were only children, which, according to him, was a “number entirely out of proportion to children generally.” He concluded that an only child is very likely to be peculiar and exceptional. Even though his study many that followed did not stand up to the rigors of good research, the idea stuck, and the conventional wisdom to this day has been that it isn’t good to have an only child.

    Better studies to date say otherwise. Toni Falbo, a professor at the University of Texas and her colleague Denise Polit looked at past studies more closely. They analyzed 115 studies of only children in the U.S. across class and race from 1925 onward. The studies looked at adjustment, character, sociability, achievement, and intelligence variables. They found that only children “aren’t measurably different from other kids” except that they, “along with firstborns and people who have only one sibling, score higher in measures of intelligence and achievement.” They are no more likely to be lonely, shy, unpopular, selfish, or maladjusted than children with siblings. They also found that the “personalities of only children were indistinguishable from their peers with siblings.”  No published research can demonstrate any truth behind the stereotypes.

    This needs to become more well-known so more people will consider having only one biological child. People need to see that it isn’t only all right to have one child, but it is also doing right by that child. As McKibben argues, more single-child families are necessary so that they and their parents will be more likely to live in a sustainable world.

    As the book The Baby Matrix argues, parents who want to have more than one biological child need to look harder at why they feel this way. Is it because they didn’t get the gender one or both parents wanted with first one? Now more than ever, it is important for those who think they want more than one child to answer what need are they filling for themselves, and why they would put themselves and what they want first, knowing the impact of bringing another child into the world. It’s also important for them to ask themselves if their need could be filled in a way other than a second biological child. For example, how about filling that need by parenting a child who is already here? The myths about adoption need to be tackled as well.

    About the Author:

    Laura Carroll is the author of The Baby Matrix: Why Freeing Our Minds From Outmoded Thinking About Parenthood & Reproduction will Create a Better World, Families of Two: Interviews With Happily Married Couples Without Children by Choice, and Finding Fulfillment From the Inside Out.

    In addition to writing nonfiction books, she has worked over the last 15 years as a business and litigation psychology consultant and used her expertise in behavioral sciences, psychology, and communications to advise business, legal, and nonprofit professionals on their communications strategies and goals.

    Laura is a seasoned leader of personal and professional development seminars, and has appeared on a variety of television shows, including Good Morning America and The Early Show. She has been a guest on many radio talk shows to discuss social science topics.

    You’ll also find her online at her nonfiction book site, LiveTrue Books, and her top blog, La Vie Childfree.

    To get your copy of The Baby Matrix by Laura Carroll at Amazon:

    Pick up your ebook copy at Barnes & Noble:

    To get your e-copy of The Baby Matrix by Laura Carroll for your Kindle:

    To learn more about Laura, go to her website:

    Visit Laura Carroll on Twitter:!/LauraCarroll88

    Like Laura Carroll on Facebook:

    Find out all about The Baby Matrix at Goodreads:

    Pump Up Your Book and Laura Carroll are teaming up to give you a chance to win a Kindle Fire!

    This Kindle Fire promotion will run from July 2 – September 27. Winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on September 28, 2012.

    Click here for details and entry form!

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012

    Book Spotlight: Ride the Tiger by Pat Silver-Lasky

    Fame, money and sex, that’s what tinsletown is all about. Madelaine Brent wanted them all and she always got everything she wanted. But sometimes everything is too much and somebody gets murdered. Maddie remembered an ancient Chinese proverb her agent told her as a warning, so long ago: ‘She who rides the tiger better not dismount.’ Was she about to fall off?

    This is the deeply penetrating story of a film star who puts her career and her erotic desires above all else. Madelaine Brent is willing to undergo the tortuous beauty treatments that will keep her on top – a survivor in the film world, the Las Vegas showtime scene and a survivor in the art of love. But Maddie does not foresee the consequences her actions will have on the men in her life: her British film director husband Charles who is devoted to her, the one-night stand she thought she could dismiss, the French film star who fathered her child, the young writer-director she seduced and the actor who holds her spellbound. Her beautiful daughter Cathy, alienated from her mother, has taken a dangerous path that leads to prison. Maddie’s path leads her to a place she didn’t expect – and a trail of murders.

    Read the reviews!

    "What the author manages to do is give us a story that is brittle enough to keep us with it until the end and all the while she is making a lot of statements about the current obsession with youth - every cosmetic correction of time's wages is discussed...It is a story of our times and culture, warped though they are becoming."
    - Grady Harp, Top 50 Amazon Reviewer

    "This is one of those very rare books that grips you from the start and keeps hooking you in tighter with every page. I think a big part of this is the authentic voice the author, herself a Hollywood insider, brings to it. You can feel and smell the glamor, the jealousy, the hatred and the greed of the movie industry on every page. It is a deeply satisfying story and I absolutely loved it."
    --Jim Peterson, Amazon Reviewer

    Pat Silver-Lasky wrote as a team with her late husband, the well known Hollywood screen writer and author, Jesse L. Lasky, Jr., son of the film pioneer. Jesse Lasky, Sr.’s company, Jesse Lasky Feature Play Company produced the first full length motion picture in Hollywood, The Squaw Man. Jesse, Jr. wrote 40 films, 8 for C.B. DeMille, including The Ten Commandments, and Samson And Delilah.

    With Jesse, Pat wrote 4 books (including the American best seller historical novel, The Offer), 8 produced films, nearly 100 produced TV scripts, (including the award winning ‘Explorers’ series (’Ten Who Dared’ in U.S.A.). Their verse play, ‘Ghost Town’ won several awards in the States. In 1984/6 their TV series, ‘Philip Marlowe’ won three awards in the USA, and in Holland. Jesse Lasky Jr. died in 1988.

    Born in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A., Pat attended the University of Washington as a Drama Major, Stanford University and Reed College, where she produced and directed their first play.
    She produced, wrote, directed, and acted (as Barbara Hayden) in the first live TV drama series from Hollywood: ‘Mabel’s Fables’, for KTLA (Paramount), appeared in feature roles in films (Sammy Fuller’s The Crimson Kimono) and played leading and co-starring roles on television, and directed for the theatre in Los Angeles and Palm Springs.

    As an A.S.C.A.P. writer, she wrote lyrics for 14 published and recorded songs, including “While You’re Young” for Johnny Mathis’s album, “Portrait of Johnny”. She wrote the lyrics for two films at Columbia Studios.

    Pat has lived in London since the early 1960’s and has duel citizenship. In 1987 she and Jesse wrote the play, ‘Vivien’, based on their book, “Love Scene”, the story of Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh. Pat directed its highly acclaimed first production at the Melrose Theatre, Los Angeles, 1987 and directed the London Rehearsed Reading of ‘VIVIEN’ in 1992.

    Pat served as a Story Editor on the second MARLOWE series (see credits), has written articles and interviews, contributed to various British antique journals, written short stories for international magazines including a 1999 series of romantic short stories for the magazine, A World of Romance.
    She has lectured on script writing at several American Universities, was Script Consultant and guest lecturer at the London (International) Film School for eight years until 1999.

    Her book, SCREENWRITING FOR THE 21ST CENTURY was published for B.T. Batsford Books (Chrysalis Publishing) in March, 2004.

    To find out more visit her website at:

    Monday, August 20, 2012

    Book Spotlight: Let's Talk Intuition by Darlene Pitts

    How do I trust my intuition? Can my intuition help me reduce stress? How do I use my intuition to find a good relationship? In Let’s Talk Intuition, intuition consultant Darlene Pitts answers these questions and many others clients have asked her over ten years, to show you how quick and easy it is to use your intuition at home, work, school, and play right now. She describes the ways your intuition helps you save money, time, and energy in twenty-eight areas of life, including career, finances, health, and relationships. Included is her three-step process to ask your intuition questions about any life situation and sense accurate answers.

    Read an excerpt here!

    Read the reviews!

    "Let's Talk Intuition" is full of information, examples and tips to make life easier. The book is useful whether you are a newbie or a "practitioner" to intuition.
    --Regina D, Amazon reviewer

    Darlene Pitts is an intuition consultant, speaker, and author of two books: Discover Your Intuition and Let’s Talk Intuition. She is also the creator of the “Abundant Living Cards” designed to help people use their intuition to create financial success.

    She discovered her own intuition in 1994, after an angelic encounter during sleep and several prophetic dreams. She teaches people how to use their intuition in twenty-eight areas of life, including career, finances, health, personal relationships, and spiritual growth. Her mission includes spreading the joys and benefits of living the intuitive way.

    You can visit her at :

    Sunday, August 19, 2012

    First Chapter Review: Crucible of War (The American Patriot Series) by J. M. Hochstetler

    Gosh, it feels like forever since I wrote up one of these. Crucible of War is the fourth book in J. M. Hochstetler's American Patriot Series. I have only read the third book in this series, and it was back in 2009. This book is currently available for only $2.99 for Kindle, so I picked up the electronic version to complement the paperback versions of the first three books I own.

    BLURB: Returning from the Shawnee, Brigadier General Jonathan Carleton rejoins General George Washington’s army to find the patriot cause on the verge of extinction. In a daring gamble the American force crosses the Delaware on Christmas night 1776, to defeat outposts at Trenton and Princeton before vanishing into the mountain bastions around Morristown.

    When she returns to New York, Elizabeth Howard is drawn ever deeper into the intrigues that swirl around British General William Howe. She and her Aunt Tess, move to Philadelphia in summer 1777 to gather intelligence while waiting for a rumored British attack. Ambushed and almost captured as the Americans dig in at Brandywine Creek, Carleton is transferred to General Horatio Gates’s army in the upper Hudson Valley where his old nemesis, British General John Burgoyne, closes in on Saratoga. With decisive battles looming on both fronts, Elizabeth and Carleton face a crucible of war that tests their mettle, faith, and love to the very limits—and beyond.

    COVER: Stunning. This is a cover that truly captures what this book is all about. I love the green background too.

    FIRST CHAPTER: Brigadier General Jonathan Carleton and other members of General Washington's army are making a dangerous trek across the Delaware on Christmas night in 1776. In addition to the horrible storm, problems such as the fast approaching expiration of many enlistments and a number of men complaining about serving with colored troops and Indians, make it even more important for Washington's army to strike now.

    Meanwhile, Elizabeth Howard and her Aunt Tess are guests of the Wainwrights. Neither group entirely certain of the other's allegiance, they carefully discuss the current happenings, while the extreme curiosity of one of their servants catches Elizabeth's eye.

    KEEP READING: Yes. I've admired Hochstetler's storytelling ability since I began reading her work. Her attention to detail makes Crucible of War come alive for readers. Tensions are at their highest and the author portrays this nicely. Her characters are well-developed and engaging.  I do feel, however, if one was not familiar with the series and its characters, this would be a difficult book to read as a stand alone. There is so much going on in the first chapter and some back story--both historical and fictional--that numerous characters interact with each other. It might be frustrating for someone new to the series to not know how all the dots connected. To help along, though, the author has included a brief synopsis of the three other books in the series before diving into this one.

  • File Size: 796 KB
  • Print Length: 371 pages
  • Publisher: Sheaf House Publishers; 1 edition (August 9, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008VV4HYK
  • Currently $2.99 for Kindle

  • I purchased a Kindle version of this book. I received no monetary compensation for this first chapter review.

    Friday, August 17, 2012

    Book Spotlight: Fit to Kill by Donnie Ray Whetstone

    How do you stop a personal trainer, who fantasizes about killing his clients, then carries out his gruesome desire on someone else? Making matters worse, how do you stop desires for your own trainer, jeopardizing your marriage? More troubling, do you want to? That’s what Detective Tara Tanner must solve in this crime thriller.

    La Flore is renowned for its elite personal trainers. This model city however, faces a crisis. Someone is on a killing binge. The killer is vicious and cunning. He harbors a profound irony for one of the nation’s fittest cities, and the way he selects his victims makes him untraceable, but this predator has a weakness.

    Fit to Kill is a non-stop thriller of fantasy, temptation and redemption, a deadly game of chase, in which the line is marred between predator and prey, a game that reveals how far one will go to kill, and how far the other will go, to survive.

    Download the first three chapters at

    Read the reviews!

    "A good pot boiler for a rainy afternoon."

    - Portland Book Review

    "A great serial killer thriller for lovers of the genre."

    - The To Be Read Pile

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1470107740
  • ISBN-13: 978-1470107741

  • Available at Amazon and Stonecart Books

    Electronic formats available at:



    Barnes and Noble



    Donnie Whetstone resides in Rochester, Washington with his wife Diane. He is a full time personal trainer with over twenty years of experience and more than 70,000 training hours in homes, gyms and his own private training studio. Donnie is currently the co-owner of Fit Stop 24 Fitness Centers located in both Olympia and Yelm, Washington.

    Though Fit to Kill is his first novel, he is no stranger to writing, having written numerous articles on nutrition, weight training and fitness; appearing in newspapers, magazines and the Internet. In Fit to Kill, his experience as a trainer allowed him to truly immerse the reader into the world of fitness in this detective thriller.

    Donnie also has 13 years of military service in both the US Marines and US Army serving as a platoon sergeant and acting first sergeant. His experience as a trainer and veteran was extremely helpful in writing Fit to Kill. He is currently in the process writing a new novel with the working title of Night Spear. It combines both the supernatural and military drama.

    For more information about Donnie please visit

    Thursday, August 16, 2012

    Interview with Justin Ordoñez, Author of Sykosa

    Justin Ordoñez was born in Spain, raised in the mid-west, and currently lives in Seattle. He's nearly thirty years old, almost graduated from the University of Washington, and prefers to wait until TV shows come out on DVD so he can watch them in one-shot while playing iPad games. For fifteen years, he has written as a freelance writer, occasionally doing pieces as interesting as an editorial, but frequently helping to craft professional documents or assisting in the writing of recommendation letters for people who have great praise for friends or colleagues and struggle to phrase it. Sykosa is his debut novel.

    When did you begin writing?

    I started writing “seriously,” and I consider serious to be me writing for myself and not for a grade in school or anything, in the ninth grade. It was the first time I set time aside, like a kid would set time aside for baseball practice or something, and said, “This is time for writing. This is what you’re going to do during this time.”

    What is this book about?

    Here is the blurb I most prefer:

    Sykosa (that's "sy"-as-in-"my" ko-sa) is a sixteen-year-old girl trying to reclaim her identity after an act of violence shatters her life and the life of her friends. This process is complicated by her best friend, Niko, a hyper-ambitious, type-A personality who has started to war with other girls for social supremacy of their school, a prestigious preparatory academy in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. To compensate, Sykosa has decided to fall in love with her new boyfriend, Tom, who was involved in the act of violence. Propelled by survivor guilt, an anxiety disorder, and her hunger for Tom and his charms, Sykosa attends a weekend-long, unchaperoned party at Niko's posh vacation cottage, where she will finally confront Niko on their friendship, her indecision about her friends and their involvement in the act of violence, and she will make the biggest decision of her life—whether or not she wants to lose her virginity to Tom.

    What inspired you to write it?

    Furious, uncontained jealous at my peers. When I was young, I was falling behind in my class, having trouble learning how to read and complete math. I remember that some of the first graders in my class were already at a second grade level, which made no sense to me as we’d only be in school for, like, two weeks total—how did they already skip a grade? Well, I know now their parents probably taught them a ton of stuff early. At the time, I assumed I was stupid and got rather upset about it. For some reason, this really centered on reading and writing for me. I became obsessed with reading books, even though I couldn’t do it at all, and I’d stay up at night staring at some of my mother’s fiction books (Danielle Steele and stuff like that) in my room by myself, pretending I could read. One night, as I was “reading” Sidney Sheldon’s “Memories of Midnight,” I was overcome by a notion. I would write a book one day and I’d show those kids I wasn’t stupid.

    Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

    At Amazon! Or if you don’t like the Kindle, or you don’t own one, we can figure something out, just visit my contact page and send me a message:

    Do you have a video trailer to promote your book?  If yes, where can readers find it?

    I do! Lots of people have said they like it!

    What is up next for you?

    The latest news is Sykosa, and trying to see if I can somehow get her to connect with readers. I think people will connect with her and her story. At the same time, I think there’s a hesitancy to go on a limb for her, and I think I can understand that. There’s so many things fighting for our souls right now—corporations, politicians, sports teams, religion. Who wants to invest themselves in a piece of art? Really go all out for it like we go all out for the previously mentioned four items? It doesn’t feel as important, which is a dangerous and disastrous thing to both think and feel, but I must admit, even I struggle to separate myself from this idea sometimes.

     Price: $12.95 paperback, $2.99 ebook
    Pages: 320
    ISBN: 9780985424312
    Publisher: TDS Publishing
    Release: March 2012

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    Interview with Lindy S. Hudis, Author of Crashers (Kindle Fire Giveaway)

    Lindy S.Hudis is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she studied drama. She is a former actress, having appeared on such television shows as “Sunset Beach” and “Married with Children”. Her romantic murder mystery, Weekends, is currently available from Lachesis Press. She is also a filmmaker, her independent short film “The Lesson”, which she wrote, produced and directed, screened at the Seattle Underground Film Festival. She is co-owner of an independent production company called Impact Motion Pictures. She and her husband Steve, a Hollywood stuntman, have just completed the screenplay adaptation of Charmaine Hammond’s best selling book, “On Toby’s Terms.”  She lives in California with her family.

    Visit Lindy on the web at

    Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

    Well, I am a wife and mother of two and I live in California. I write because I like to create worlds and characters, I guess you could say I base my stories on my life. I also own a business with my husband called Impact Motion Pictures. We have several scripts that we are producing, so I am pretty busy.

    Where did you grow up?

    I grew up in Tennessee, but I lived in NYC for a while to attend NYU, then made my way out to Los Angeles in the early 90’s to seek my fortune in the movie biz. I love California though, and have made it my home.

    What is your fondest childhood memory?

    Traveling with my family. I loved taking family vacations during the summer! Actually, we are getting ready to take our summer family vacation right now. We used to go on road trips to Florida and to all different places. I just remember having fun riding in the car with the family.

    When did you begin writing?

    I started writing as a child, really. I used to write short stories that were inspired my Judy Blume – who was a huge inspiration to me as a kid. I would also write plays and have family members play certain roles. I loved to make up stories, I just put them on paper. Writing and reading to me was my childhood escape.

    Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

    As a mom of a preschooler and a nine year old, I write when I can. Mostly when I get a quiet moment – which is hardly ever in my house, haha!

    What is this book about?

    Crashers is about a trio of reckless young people who get caught up in the seedy world of auto insurance fraud. They stage auto accidents to collect the insurance money. Basically, an innocent, young couple get lured into the underworld of crime due to hard times and the desperate need for quick and easy money. It is a story of love, temptation and finally, redemption.

    What inspired you to write it?

    I was in a minor fender bender several years ago. One of the parties involved decided to pretend that she was seriously injured and decided to sue all the drivers involved. It was a very minor accident, no injuries or damage at all. Anyway, I was so mortified that somebody would actually try to pull this kind of a scam that I decided to channel all of that anger into a story. There are dishonest people out there that are ready and willing to do anything for money, people need to be very careful.

    Who is your biggest supporter?

    My husband is my biggest supporter, he is my cheerleader. I think I will get him a short skirt and some pom-poms, haha!

    Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?

    Never had an agent nor am I looking for one. Personally, I don’t believe they are really necessary. There are so many opportunities for authors to get their stories told now. Agents are no longer the gatekeepers of dreams coming true…thank goodness!

    Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?,,, or any bookstore.

    What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

    Never, ever, ever give up! This is a game of persistence. Hang in there and never even entertain the thought of giving up! There are so many fresh stories that need to be told. Just keep plugging away, and don’t let the rejection letters get you down.

    What is up next for you?

    Right now I am pretty busy with our production company, Impact Motion Pictures. My husband has worked in the movie business for many years. We are in the process of producing our own films. That is taking up most of my time, along with the kids and promoting Crashers! I have lots and lots of food on my plate, but I love being busy.

    To get your paperback copy of CRASHERS: A TALE OF CAPPERS AND HAMMERS by Lindy S. Hudis at Amazon:

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    Pump Up Your Book and Lindy S. Hudis are teaming up to give you a chance to win a Kindle Fire!

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    Wednesday, August 15, 2012

    Interview with Greg Messel, Author of The Last of the Seals

    Greg Messel has written four novels and three unpublished memoirs. He published his premiere novel “Sunbreaks” in 2009, followed by “Expiation” in 2010 and “The Illusion of Certainty” in 2011. “Last of the Seals” is the first in a series of mysteries which are set in 1957 San Francisco. The second book in the series “Deadly Plunge’ will be published around Christmas of 2012. Greg grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and has had a newspaper career as a columnist, sportswriter and news editor. He won a Wyoming Press Association Award as a columnist while working for a daily newspaper in Wyoming. Greg also spent many years in the corporate world as a Financial Manager. He now devotes his energies to writing at his home in Edmonds, Washington on the Puget Sound just north of Seattle, where he lives with his wife, Carol.

    To get your paperback copy of LAST OF THE SEALS by Greg Messel:

    To get your e-copy of LAST OF THE SEAL by Greg Messel at Amazon:

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    What was the experience like writing Last of the Seals?
    It was great fun. I've never written a mystery. It was really challenging and a new experience. I was pleased with the result and it seems that readers and reviewers have reacted very favorably to it. I love the characters and the time period and place. San Francisco in 1958 in a very exciting and interesting place. Readers seem to really like the nostalgic aspect of the story.
    How did you come up with the title?
    The San Francisco Seals were a Pacific Coast League team that was displaced after the 1957 season. The Seals were just one level below the big leagues. The end of the Seals came when the major league Giants moved from New York for the 1958 season. The time period of the story is 1957 as the Seals and the main character Sam Slater play their final games in San Francisco. Sam is at the end of his career. In the fall of 1957 it was the "last of the Seals" but in a way Sam was the 'last of the Seals."
    Can you tell us more about your main character, Sam Slater?
    As a teenager, Sam was a baseball phenom and was signed by the Boston Red Sox right out of high school. But Sam's career is interrupted by World War II and he is part of the landing force at Omaha Beach on D Day. Sam also fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Sam's baseball abilities are never quite the same after the war. As his baseball career is ending in 1957 he plans to join the private detective agency of his best friend Jimmy Jankow. But Jimmy is suddenly murdered and Sam is thrust into a series of mysteries which he feels ill prepared to cope with. It is then that he meet Amelia Ryan who changes his life.
    What are his strengths and what are his weaknesses?
    Sam is a very admirable character and is the kind of guy who is admired by men and loved by women. He is very brave and loyal. Sam is often reminded by his friends and Amelia that he doesn't need to take on all of this problems alone. Sam has had a lot of hard knocks and has become something of a loner. Amelia is always reminding him to let others help him with his challenges.
    What about Amelia Ryan? Can you tell us more about her?
    Amelia is a beautiful 25 year old TWA stewardess. Amelia has always had a sense of adventure and wants to experience as much of the world as possible before she settles down to become a 1950s housewife. Amelia is often told that she looks like Grace Kelly. It is her classic beauty that enchants Sam Slater from the first moment he meets her. Amelia has had many pursuers over the years and is constantly fighting off grabby passengers at work. However, when she meets Sam she falls deeply in love with him. She also loves helping him solve the mysteries he faces as a private eye.
    Are there any supporting characters we need to know about?
    Sam's friend and old Army buddy is Vince Marino is a street-tough San Francisco Police Detective. Vince helps Sam and advises him as he tries to solve the mysteries he encounters. There is also the Ryan family, Amelia's large Irish Catholic clan, who is very interested in her new romance. The men in the Ryan family are big baseball fans and are star struck by Sam and his baseball stories.
    Can you open to page 25 and tell us what’s happening?
    This episode occurs just before Jimmy's death. It is the last time the three friends are together before the murder. The three Army buddies meet for dinner and then are going to some boxing matches together. It reveals much about their relationship before everything suddenly changes.
    What about page 65?
    Sam is adjusting to his new role as a private eye. He goes into the office and meets with his secretary Janet. Someone ransacked the office while they were at Jimmy's funeral. Sam and Janet are puzzled as to why someone would tear their office apart. What were they looking for?
    Now that Last of the Seals has been published, what’s your next project?
    I've finished writing the second book in the series as a sequel to "Last of the Seals." It is called "Deadly Plunge" and takes place in 1958. Sam and Amelia encounter a rich, seductive socialite who wonders why her husband suddenly jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. There's also a mysterious house where shadowy characters come and go. "Deadly Plunge" will be out around Christmas. I'm also beginning work on the third book in the series "San Francisco Secrets."
    Do you have anything you’d like to tell our readers?
    I hope you will give "Last of the Seals" a try. Some readers wonder if it's a baseball book or is it a romance or is it a mystery? It's all three and I think it should appeal to a wide range of readers.