Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Book Spotlight: A Look Inside the Playbook: How Marxists Plan to Destroy America by Anthony Napoleon, PhD with Yevegeni Yevtushenkov

Playbook incorporates the actual training manual used by Russian operatives trained in the former USSR. In Playbook you will learn that America’s traditional culture has been targeted for subversion using highly sophisticated psychological measures with the goal of imploding the United States upon itself. Once imploded, a Marxist inspired central government will be reconstituted by both elected and unelected American political operatives. It is the author’s contention that this subversion plot was initiated in the 1960s and is well on its way to success.


“We must condition children to believe in communal and socially rooted determinism, not personal responsibility. Even when confronted with, as our enemy would say, “God-given talent,” we shall emphasize the environment and diminish internal factors. Rest assured that our view will come to dominate and give us the leverage needed to control our enemy. This is because citizens like to think that given the right opportunity and environment, they too would have been great, talented and rich. It feels good to blame others or outside forces for your shortcomings. The fact that the vast majority of people are average, by definition, means we can blame our enemy for the average person’s relative lack of brilliance, talent and achievement. We shall brainwash all children to be treated as though they are geniuses in the making. We shall give them rewards, accolades and special achievement awards for merely showing up in class. Remember, there are no “average” children, only brilliant children who have been oppressed by our enemy.”

Title: A Look Inside the Playbook: How Marxists Plan to Destroy America
Author: Anthony Napoleon, PhD with Yevegeni Yevtushenkov
Publisher: Publishing (September 24, 2013)
Length: 125 pgs
Sub-Genre: Non-fiction political/social psychology

Purchase here!

Dr. Anthony Napoleon, PhD is a California licensed clinical psychologist with a specialization in medical and forensic psychology. His work at Indiana University at Bloomington included dual majors in the psychology department’s honor’s program and in I.U.’s school of journalism. Dr. Napoleon is an expert on mind control and how psychology can be used to modify cognitive and affective neurological function. Visit him online at

Yevgeni Yevtushenkov was a high ranking operative in the KGB who was responsible for helping to provide fundamental research for its “Active Measures” unit. This group of Russian human behavior experts was charged with developing the psychological strategies and tactics that have been used so successfully to subvert the people of the United States.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

First Chapter Review: War Torn: A Novel by Hadley R. Mann

War Torn is historical fiction set during the Civil War. I purchased a Kindle version of this book in August of last year for 99 cents. The book is currently selling for $3.99.

BLURB: No battles of the Civil War waged so bloody, and so personal, than at the tenuous border states. War Torn is one woman's story of loss, painful secrets, survival, and most of all, finding love again.

Daniella had always lived a quiet life of privilege in Baltimore, but when she is thirty years old, the Kansas-Nebraska Act changes her fate. Danny and her father soon join thousands of other passionate abolitionists who decide to leave their homes and move out West to be part of a crucial vote that will decide whether Kansas will be a slave territory.

Soon this bold, warm-hearted woman marries William Gary, a bright doctor from Independence, and they start a family, but as brutal conflicts carry on at the border, the marriage eventually begins to disintegrate and William begins to stray. With her town soon emptied of men off to war, including William, and devastated by William’s affair, Danny comes to the aid of a friend from the past, Jack, and his young daughter, whose Arapaho mother has died. Caught between the old life she desperately wants back, and a chance at something new with Jack, Danny must look deep inside herself to discover who she is and who she wants to be as a wife, mother and woman.

When William finally returns a war hero, he finds a town plagued by guerrilla violence and civilian attacks. Danny wants to follow General Ewing’s orders and move the children to the safety of town, but to her horror William has other plans. What follows is Danny and Jack’s perilous journey to keep the family together as the country collapses around them, a journey that will eventually take them to the doorstep of the most sophisticated network of escape ever organized, the Underground Railroad.

COVER: It's plain and simple, but it works because it gives the reader a feel of history and the war that tore the country apart. The large, bold font for the title is a great choice because it stands out so well.

FIRST CHAPTER: Daniella and her father planned a move to Kansas, but along the way, tragedy struck. Stopping in Independence, Missouri, to get help for her father, Daniella soon finds herself all alone and far from her life in Baltimore. She soon marries William, a doctor, but when war breaks out between the North and South, he signs up. When William admits his affair to Daniella, she finds herself starting all over again. Fate brings Jack Hart, a friend of William's into Daniella's life as he seeks medical attention for his sick child.

KEEP READING: The premise of this novel has me intrigued. As you all know, I enjoy fiction set during this time period. What I found within the early pages of this book is a woman whose life of privilege turns quickly to one of hardship. Daniella is a sympathetic character: she's lost much, her husband has cheated on her, and though it wasn't part of the original plan, William is re-enlisting. This leaves Daniella at home with their two boys and her step-son, Theo, who has never seemed to accept Daniella as his mother. Yes, she has a good friend in Allie, but overall, she's very much alone to deal with the hand she's been given.

My main challenge with the prologue and first chapter of War Torn is that Daniella's current situation is overshadowed by the tremendous amount of backstory included. The prologue went on for so long I thought I had started the first chapter and didn't notice. Then the first chapter starts with pages and pages of backstory; so if I didn't read the prologue, I would initially be dropped into tons of narrative instead of into the action. Take for instance, when Daniella sees Jack for the first time in awhile. He's pounding on the door of William's office, which has been closed since he enlisted. The book then goes on to describe how William and Jack knew each other, compared their physical characteristics, and how they parted ways before Daniella hops down to see what's wrong. The tension of the moment is broken and needs to be picked up again once Jack states why he's there.

I would very much like to continue this novel, as I feel it will overall be a great read. But I also wonder how many of the 381 pages move the plot forward.

File Size: 907 KB
Print Length: 381 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English

I purchased a copy of this book for my Kindle. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Not My Mother's Son Book Blast - Win $25 Amazon Gift Card

Devious. Conniving. Deceitful. Insidious. David Miller thought he knew his mother. He thought kidnapping three children was the most appalling and horrendous thing any human being could do and she couldn’t possibly do anything more monstrous. He thought there was nothing else she could do or say that would astound him. How wrong he was.

After Beatrice Miller, David’s serial kidnapping mother, is sentenced to thirty years, David moves to Phoenix, Arizona; and with the help of a trust fund and an old friend, he starts the Never Give Up foundation, an organization dedicated to finding and returning exploited and missing children safely to their families. With all the wicked things his mother had done, David feels it is his unspoken duty to do something worthwhile.

Hesitant at first but after reading his mother’s journal, David is determined to mend their dysfunctional relationship. Every time David visits Bea in prison, she seems deranged insisting that people are trying to kill her. She ends each brief encounter with a chilling statement, “Remember David, things aren’t always what they seem.”

As word about the foundation spreads, the services of Never Give Up are requested time-and-time-again to help where other agencies have failed. That is, until the police come knocking on David’s door and arrest him, taking him back to Bunting Valley, North Dakota, for the murder of a newborn baby boy.

Forced to shut down Never Give Up, David is amazed at how quickly the entire world turns their backs on him. The trial begins and his mother’s testimony is the only thing that can save him. Telling the truth is as foreign to Beatrice Miller as giving up drugs is to an addict. As everyone in the courtroom holds their breath, you will too. Remember, things aren’t always what they seem.

Purchase your copy at AMAZON!

As a recent graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature, R. K. Avery has written numerous, unpublished, children’s picture books, but her true passion is writing adult fiction.

“Having the ability to make people laugh or cry, just by using the written language, is a gift so

powerful and I hope, one day, my name will be among those who possess it” ~ R.K. Avery

After Be Careful What You Wish For achieved near-instant eBook best-seller success even before its print release, Avery had re-signed with Brighton Publishing LLC for her second novel, Not My Mother's Son. Sure to send chills down readers’ spines, Avery’s brilliant new thriller is now available for sale in both e-Book and paperback wherever fine books are sold.
R. K. Avery lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband, two kids, and four dogs. She often jokes instead of sign that says, “Don’t let the dogs out” she has a sign that says “Don’t let any more dogs in”.

Visit her website at

Pump Up Your Book and R.K. Avery are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!
Terms & Conditions:
• By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
• One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate and an autographed paperback copy of Not My Mother's Son
• This giveaway begins November 25 and ends December 20.
• Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, December 23, 2013.
• Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Spotlight: The Witch by W.C. James

The Witch is a modern horror story set in rural Colorado in the early nineteen eighties. The story unfolds around a colourful cast of characters as they are confronted with a growing evil that is mustering around a haunted house; a little place the locals call The Witch. It turns out that The Witch has a dark history, and things get interesting when a mysterious cult arrives on the scene and starts stirring up trouble. It is a classic story of ordinary folks thrust into extraordinary circumstances and how they navigate the troubled waters of the supernatural. All of them react in different ways, but are all working toward a common purpose of defeating an evil foe that threatens to destroy their town and everyone in it.


…the old man bolted up the hill as fast as his legs would move, calling out to little Paco. His shotgun was cocked and propped upon his hip. Junior finally reached the edge of the hill, breathing laboured, and saw that Paco stood frozen in his tracks. The old man was shocked to see that the mob had dispersed. Where the hell did they go? Junior mused. It hadn’t been five minutes since he placed his distress call, yet they had vanished. All that remained was a smouldering cross and few lonely embers glowing in the darkness. Junior and Paco edged closer to the cross, and some instinct inside of him was roused, and he began to feel a touch queasy in his stomach. The dog could sense something too as he started to whimper and whine. Junior and Paco took a couple more steps forward then stood still.

Suddenly, a small cloud of smoke started whirling about the base of the cross. At first, it was only a whisper; soon the smoke thickened and roiled in a black vortex. Paco started barking and growling and hopping around in nervous circles. Junior backed away - his eyes seemed to betray him as he saw two, glowing red orbs hovering inside the smoke. The old man stared in disbelief as moss-green flesh began to materialize around the orbs, and he could begin to make out the image of a hideous face. Paco took to yapping louder, but the dog dared get no closer to the ominous cloud. Junior turned and started running back in the direction of his house as Paco bolted past him. The old man stopped once he felt he’d put enough distance between himself and the cross, but his curiosity demanded that he take another look. There before him stood a living, breathing imp shining in the moonlight. The thing was proportioned much like a chimpanzee; three feet in length with powerful limbs and two stout legs. The creature was decidedly reptilian in that it had scales, and it reeked of a dead snake cooking on hot asphalt. It stood motionless, but then it started blinking and looking around with it’s horrible red eyes. It twitched two pointy ears and then it unfurled grotesque bat wings. The wings, outstretched, were six feet across. With a few powerful flaps, the demon then took flight. The creature circled overhead, fifty feet above Junior and his dog. With a hideous screech, the terrible creature dove towards them exposing a mouthful of jagged, rotten teeth and flexing two razor-sharp claws that resembled eagle talons.

Junior shuffled backwards and fired his shotgun; he let forth two blasts, the second clipping one of the wings. The creature let out a baleful moan, then listed drunkenly to its left. It quickly righted itself and - with a final screech - it steered westward into the mouth of Devil’s Canyon. That is when it occurred to the old man that the demon was flying in a very specific direction; the direction of the Witch…

Title: The Witch
Author: W.C. James
Publisher: Black Dawg Press
Length: 233 pgs
Sub-Genre: Horror

Purchase at:

VBW Book Store


W.C. James schooled at Colorado State University, where he graduated with a degree in creative writing in 1993. This latest book will be his forth work of fiction and his first attempt at the horror genre. James continues to work a regular job hoping and praying that someday, maybe, a bestseller will break through and free him from the corporate matrix, which at this time is destroying his soul.

Visit the author online at

Monday, November 25, 2013

Book spotlight: ELMO by Matt Shea

Elmo is an American story about the small town of Miner pulling together to survive a would-be depression. Initially, the dads kept a smile on their face during the day and secretively took turns wearing a hobo outfit at night. Panhandling at the edge of town was a last resort to keep their families secure; but for how long?

A weak link in security unveiled their nighttime activity to the town's most popular teenager: Sam Skates. This rude awakening propelled the high school senior to join the cause, forcing him to become a man. The story has twists and turns that tests the strength of these good men. Like any small town, these trials only made them stronger.


Then came reality.

He was now exposed at the intersection of Main and Elm. The reflective environment of ice, frost and snow was glorified by the moon and stars. Mankind's artificial sources further intensified the ground where he would stand as a beggar.

Sam stood at the crosswalk that led to the unmanned post across the street. Looking to his right he saw the fields and playgrounds where childhood dreams spawned from. To his left was the ramp that led to those dreams.

Matt Shea is a developing author having written five books. He is greatly inspired by the writings of Andy Griffith and marvels at the small towns this country was built on. His writings incorporate the values they hold and applies it to today's society.

To view more of Matt Shea's books you are invited to go to: This site offers many free stories and allows comments for all viewers.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Book Spotlight: The Rent Collector by Camron Wright

Survival for Ki Lim and Sang Ly is a daily battle at Stung Meanchey, the largest municipal waste dump in all of Cambodia. They make their living scavenging recyclables from the trash. Life would be hard enough without the worry for their chronically ill child, Nisay, and the added expense of medicines that are not working. Just when things seem worst, Sang Ly learns a secret about the ill-tempered rent collector who comes demanding money--a secret that sets in motion a tide that will change the life of everyone it sweeps past. The Rent Collector is a story of hope, of one woman’s journey to save her son and another woman’s chance at redemption. It demonstrates that even in a dump in Cambodia--perhaps especially in a dump in Cambodia--everyone deserves a second chance.

Purchase at:

Camron Wright has a master’s degree in Writing and Public Relations. He has owned several
successful retail stores, in addition to working with his wife in the fashion industry, designing for the McCall Pattern Company in New York. He currently works in public relations, marketing and design.

Camron began writing to get out of attending MBA School and it proved the better decision. Letters for Emily was a “Readers Choice” award winner, as well as a selection of the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild. In addition to North America, Letters for Emily was published in several foreign countries.

He lives with his wife, Alicyn, in Utah, at the base of the Wasatch mountains and is the proud father of four children.

Learn more at

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Book Review: 16 Lighthouse Road by Debbie Macomber

The first book in Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove series, 16 Lighthouse Road is a moving story of friendships and new beginnings.

Family court judge Olivia Lockhart leaves Cedar Cove buzzing when she denies the divorce petition of Cecilia and Ian Randall. Her decision captures the attention of Jack Griffith, the new editor of the Cedar Cove Chronicle. The divorced Olivia enjoys the attention from Jack, but she's not too keen on the secrets he seems to be hiding.

Olivia's best friend, Grace Sherman, finds her life turned upside down when her husband of thirty-five years disappears without a trace. Charlotte, Olivia's mother, helps a stroke victim at the local hospital. The relationship between Olivia and her daughter, Justine, remains strained. Their family fell apart after her twin brother drowned when they were only thirteen. Jordan's death led to Olivia and Stan's separation and eventually divorce; and they were too busy dealing with their own grief to realize how much Justine was hurting. It certainly doesn't help that Justine is dating Warren Saget, a man of questionable character who is old enough to be her father.

Cedar Cove may be small, but it's certainly never dull.

I got caught up in Cedar Cove thanks to the Hallmark Channel television series based upon the books. 16 Lighthouse Road is the first book in the series that introduces Olivia Lockhart and her family and friends to readers. I can see how this series became popular and turned into a television series--which just got picked up for a second season--as the books have a somewhat soap opera feel to them. Drama and romance span the book's 400 pages.

Since I already love the TV series, I enjoyed 16 Lighthouse Road. The sheer amount of characters introduced in this novel can lead to a bit of confusion, but the small community feel to the story is nice. Cecilia and Ian Randall and their friends seem to be specific to this book, which is another neat thing about the series. Though many of the characters carry over to subsequent books (I've read a future one set during Christmas) there always seems to be new characters that are only in one of the books. For me, it's also enjoyable to pick up on the discrepancies between the show and the books: characters found in the books that aren't part of the show and differences in the storylines. The Cedar Cove books are romance novels, so in the books there is the occasional sex scene that doesn't occur on the show.

I'm definitely interested in visiting Cedar Cove again. There are more than 10 books in this series, so I have a lot of catching up to do.

Series: Cedar Cove
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Mira (January 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0778328600
ISBN-13: 978-0778328605

I borrowed this book from my local library. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Guest Blogger: Garasamo Maccagnone, Author of The Storm Chased Me

The Storm That Chased Me is a thrilling novel about the many emotions of life, all bound into one person - Dante Joseph Lanza - and his love for Maricela, a woman of compassion, dedication, and courage. Called Doopers by his friends and family, Dante goes through a quagmire of events as he strives to get healthy on his odyssey to ask for the hand of his girlfriend.

Match. God
by Garasamo Maccagnone

As a married man, I lived inside a bubble of Catholicism for thirty two years. It wasn't until I was cast into the modern culture that I started bumping into a lot of new people, who, through conversation at meetings, counseling groups, or the lunch table, I recognized were conveniently creating a new God for themselves. I was astonished. I never knew it could be so easy! As I'm not prepared with any data on how many have converted away from the traditional Christian God, you'll just have to take my word on the growing numbers from my firsthand accounts. From my business associations, to my friends, to my family, or to my fans as an author, (which goes well beyond my mother and my Aunt Betty), there seems to be a growing trend away from the God taught to us in our Christian educations.

It was a breeze to find a new God. From my experience, to make the change one just had to sign on to the Match. God website. With my girlfriend Jenny at my side, I logged on at my apartment. The two of us were giddy at first, but were quickly paralyzed in fear from the traditional profiles and pictures of God as he was portrayed. There was a little too much Old Testament in the faces of the dudes we were looking at. In one profile, next to his picture, there were quotes from his son, Jesus that spoke of how no man could separate what God had brought together. Attached were letters from St. Paul and St. Aquinas, and many others who disinterested me. I had seen that God before. In my mind, he was too blunt. He was so brash he even included a rendering from Dante's, “Inferno,” in which Virgil and Dante stood in the pits of lower hell.

“We need to scroll down,” said Jenny, as little beads of perspiration formed above her brows.

“Quickly,” I answered. “There's too much justice and righteousness in that God,” I firmly stated. Jenny nodded.

Thankfully, there were so many Gods to choose from. In the Christian section, all of the profiles had pictures of Jesus. After quickly perusing twenty or more, our eye caught a picture of Christ that was a little less stern looking. “This one has sweet eyes,” said Jenny. She went right to the section where it talked about his likes.

“This could be perfect,” she stated gleefully. “It looks like he's more into forgiveness than the others.”

She was right. It was amazing. This God didn't have a problem with sex outside of marriage, adultery, contraception, abortion, or even, sodomy. This was a God of mercy. This was exactly what the two of us were looking for. He had no hang ups. He was a modern God who understood the plight of the people living in today's world.

“Should I send him a wink,” Jenny asked, enthusiastically.

“Yes, yes, we need not wait.”

As Jenny continued reading, I saw her reach for the mouse to click on the wink. Then she stopped. The arrow died in the text.

“Wait a second,” she lamented.

“What, what?” I asked, in an impatient tone.

“This God expects us to go to church once a week. See?” Jenny pointed to some small print at the bottom of his profile. “It also says that we must pray often.”

“Dammit!,” I shouted, pounding the desk with my fist.

It was frustrating. I had resigned myself to giving up. Next to me was a beautiful woman who I desperately wanted to make love to, yet, from my Catholic upbringing the words of all my teachers, priests, and nuns, weighed on me. I left Jenny's side and walked to the couch to sit down. My heart was so heavy and my conscience searched for justification for my actions. How can I go to church? I thought. Even though I knew that the God in that particular profile would forgive me for all of my sins at any time, I knew it would be difficult walking up the aisle to the altar. That God has a Cross in his church that hovers over you while at the altar. I'd have to look at it while accepting the Eucharist. That would be impossible, too difficult, I felt. To be faced weekly with having to self-examine myself was not acceptable. No more guilt, I stubbornly insisted on as my thoughts raced back and forth.

Then it happened. Jenny shouted, “Honey, get over here. You are not going to believe this.”

At the computer, I was instantly ecstatic as I read the profile of the new God Jenny had found.

It was unbelievable. You didn't even need to be religious it said. All this God requested was for his followers to be spiritual. You just had to hold him in your heart and connect with him directly. There was no church, no offertory baskets, no parking lots, and best of all, no Latin terms.

“In this church, we don't have to get on our knees for nothing,” exclaimed Jenny, jumping out of her seat to hug me. I pushed her away.

“Hurry, hurry,” I jovially spouted out. “Get us connected. Don't waste another second.”

In a click we were engaged with our new God. The two of us were overjoyed and frolicked around the apartment like school kids at the playground. We danced for a moment apart and then our eyes met and we embraced in a clenched tango that slowly played out and fed into the bedroom.

It was a late afternoon to remember - without the guilt, the repressed feelings, the dogma of the past zipping in and out of our programmed minds, the intimacy was unreal. In a higher state, finally free of restrictions, we expressed ourselves in a surreal way, a way that was beyond comprehension; a way that was raw, that was liberating, that was totally out of control.

But as evening came, a chill came to the room. The walls moved inward and I recall reaching for the blankets as we both turned our backs to each other. Breathing heavily, I faintly heard Jenny weeping into her pillow. Unable to sleep, and in fear of the darkness, I thought of Virgil, Dante, and Beatrice as I clutched two hands around my pillow.

Garasamo Maccagnone is the author of the novels, The Storm That Chased Me and St. John of the Midfield. Maccagnone is also the author of the children's book, The Suburban Dragon. He currently lives in Shelby Township, Michigan. You can friend him on Facebook at

Interview with Jay Roberts, Author of Break the Chains

Jay D Roberts MD is a board-certified physiatrist, specializing in the treatment of physical disabilities with a focus of adding quality to life. He is currently in private practice in California. He is a member and lecturer at national and international conferences related to his specialty, a contributing author to Current Trends in Physiatry, and author of various scientific papers. In addition to his career, Dr. Roberts volunteers as part of a Christian ministry in maximum security prisons. He and his wife, parents of two grown sons, live in Indian Wells, California. Break the Chains is Dr. Roberts’ first book. Following in the long tradition of doctors who combine their passion for saving lives with their passion for writing, Dr. Roberts is currently at work on a novel, concerning children forced to work in mines.

If you were abused over and over again, would you become an abuser? Or would you learn to forgive? Dr. Jay Roberts had to go to prison to learn the answer.

In 1999 Dr. Roberts was in at-home hospice care preparing for his own death from a neurological disease. At the point where he finally gave up, he experienced a spontaneous, overnight healing. It was not the first time he had “cheated” death. He had survived a fifty-foot fall from a cliff, a plane crash, and attempts on his life by rebel insurgents in remote areas in the Philippines in 1970s. This near-death escape was different though, because it was the culmination of a turbulent lifelong dialogue with God which started when he was a child being bull-whipped by his alcoholic father. Yet even after his complete recovery from disease, it would take a maximum security prison environment to reveal to him the mysterious power of forgiveness.

In the telling of his fascinating story—of extreme abuse, of the compulsion to become a pain and wound care specialist, of medical school in a third world country against a dangerous political backdrop, and of his return home to deal with the demons he’d left behind—Dr. Roberts tackles the big questions illuminating physical, mental, and spiritual growth. Break the Chains affirms faith in both God and the human spirit. It is as revealing and inspirational as it is truthful and poignant.


Q: What compelled you to write Break the Chains?

A:  After I was healed in 1999, I had a deep desire, passion to write, despite my head telling me not to. I ignored the feeling for a few years, but I could not extinguish the burning flame to write my story. Buddy, who you will meet in my story, kept telling me that I must write, to trust him, that everything would be okay even if I told of my past.

Q: How was it for you, looking back into the past?

A:  Difficult and painful. First, I had to mentally agree to disclose my family secret. Second, I had to write it down, uncovering the past that I had buried for years. Then, I had to let it out of my hands and into the public.

Q: In 1999, you were preparing for your own death due to a neurological disease, then you experienced a spontaneous healing. Tell us what happened.

A:  I was at my lowest point. Tired of fighting God. Tired of self-pity. Tired of being in control. At that moment I surrendered to Christ, and died to myself. I saw a vision and awoke healed.

Q: In what way does Break the Chains tackle the big questions illuminating physical, mental, and spiritual growth?

A:  Throughout the book I show my physical, mental and spiritual struggles and how I was able to overcome horrendous obstacles, transform my shame to forgiveness, and heal.

Q: Did you research or study the craft of memoir writing before starting your book?

A:  Yes. I read books on the craft of writing and attended several workshops. For me, it was necessary. My first attempt at writing, before my studies, read like a medical report void of any feeling. It was awful!

Q: While writing this memoir, did you sometimes feel as though you were being manipulated from afar?

A:   From afar, if you mean spiritually, YES. But not manipulated, more guided.

Q: What has been the most positive aspect of writing this book?

A:  After reading my book my mother called and asked me to forgive her for not protecting me as a child!

Q: Is there any point during the writing of your memoir that you thought you couldn’t go on?

A:  Yes. For two years I did not write. It was too painful to put down my shame.

Q: What’s the happiest moment you’ve lived as a writer?

A:  When I held my bound book for the first time. I shivered. My hairs on my arms stood up! I felt like a father looking at his precious little one. I might add I had a temporary fear of letting my baby out into the world!

Q: Will you be writing another book in the near future?

A:  I am currently finishing my first novel, Tin Kids, about the abuse of kids in tin mines. It is a medical, political thriller. I am very pleased with it. Can’t wait to send this baby out into the world!!

Q: Ray Bradbury once said, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” Do you agree?

A:  Well, you must for sure keep writing, and believe in yourself. I prefer to be in a “Spiritual High” to keep my writing flame from being extinguished during times of doubt, frustration, re-writes, and rejections.

Q: Leave my readers with some words of wisdom.

A:   Never stop writing. Never take “no” for an answer. I was rejected- by many editors, publishers, and agents. I was even told to my face, “Even if you can write, which you can’t because you’re a doctor, and, anyway, no one will ever buy your book because you’re a nobody.” Believe in yourself. You are somebody!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: The Anatomy Of Panem - A Look at the 12 districts in THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE comes out this Friday. AMC theatres everywhere are gearing up for this blockbuster film. On 11/21 you can see THE HUNGER GAMES and THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE back to back at AMC's double feature event! They are the only ones giving away collectible victor dog tags from THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE, so don't miss out!

This video is an unofficial look at each district in Panem, the Victors that will be involved in the Quarter Quell in THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE and some info about each district. There is also this infographic that we shared with you back in October.

Feel free to share if you enjoy this video.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I'd Recommend To My Husband

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

My husband is a big into WWII fiction, books on history from WWII and the Cold War, and political thrillers. Here are ten (in no particular order) I would recommend to him if he ever had the time to read lately.

This is the second book in John Knoerle's American Spy Trilogy. It was the first book out of this series that I read and remains my favorite. I think the hubby would enjoy all three books, but this is the strongest one.

It's May 1946. America is enjoying its victory over the Germans. The OSS has been disbanded and the CIA is still more than a year away from being formed.

Former OSS agent Hal Schroeder is offered a job as a trade rep in Berlin. When he flies to meet his new boss in New York, he's shocked to come face-to-face with former OSS Chief Bill Donovan. Schroeder has no interest in being a spy.

When rumors swirl about the Red Army massing tanks along the Elbe in East Germany, and Hal ends up meeting a man from his past in Berlin, Hal's interests take a backseat to discovering the truth.

I already recommended this next one to the hubby right as soon as I was done reading it. I had the digital version, but he tends to read printed books, so I might pick up a copy of this one as a Christmas present this year.

The Germans are retreating as the Russians advance in Warsaw. Resistence fighters rise up against their Nazi oppressors, but the Germans retaliate, leveling the city. American Adam Nowak is dropped into Poland by British intelligence as an assassin. He has lost much, and has had to disengage himself from his past and all he's known to concentrate on his mission. But then he meets Natalia, a woman who has also lost much, he yearns to tap into the human part of himself he is sure must be left behind forever. Together they work to find a copy of the 1940 Soviet order that ordered the murders of 20,000 Polish Army officers and civilians.

This is another novel by Douglas Jacobson. I actually haven't read this one yet, but knowing how much I enjoyed The Katyn Order, I feel comfortable making the recommendation.

In 1939 the Germans invade Poland, setting off a rising storm of violence and destruction. For Anna and Jan Kopernik the loss is unimaginable. She is an assistant professor at a university in Krakow; he, an officer in the Polish cavalry. Separated by war, they must find their own way in a world where everything they ever knew is gone.

Anna’s father, a prominent intellectual, is deported to a death camp, and Anna must flee to Belgium where she joins the Resistance. Meanwhile, Jan escapes with the battered remnants of the Polish army to Britain. When British intelligence asks him to return to Poland in an undercover mission to contact the Resistance, he seizes the opportunity to search for his missing wife.

Through the long night of Nazi occupation, Anna, Jan, and ordinary people across Europe fight a covert war of sabotage and resistance against the overwhelming might of the German war machine. The struggle seems hopeless, but they are determined to take back what is theirs.

I had a chance to review this book back in 2009. It inspires with the stories of average Americans who made a difference when the country was in crisis.

World War II Heroes of Southern Delaware is a book unlike any other ever written. In its pages are profiles of 50 ordinary Americans who did extraordinary things during a time unlike any other in American history. These are men and women who today call southern Delaware home. In the 1940s, these brave Americans put their lives on hold to fight for freedom and democracy against the horrific threat imposed on the world by Emperor Hirohito of Japan and German Fuhrer Adolph Hitler. When Imperial Japan attacked the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1941, the world changed forever. These men and women were a big part of that change; they fought to protect our freedom and our way of life.

This is one of my favorite books from 2011. Madeleine Toche races to the front only to find her brother mortally wounded during the German Blitzkrieg attack on France at the outset of World War II. His death and her rape at the hands of an SS Stormtrooper cast Madeleine down a path of death and violence as her desire for revenge reaches a crescendo.

I have other books from this author on my Kindle, but simply haven't had time to read them.

The three books in the Executive Series are phenomenal. They will definitely become favorites of my husband's if he reads them. Gary Grossman is a print and television journalist, an Emmy Award-winning network television producer, and a film and TV historian. He takes that knowledge and weaves suspenseful, action-packed thrillers.

In Book 1, an assassin takes aim at a Presidential candidate during a primary stump speech. The instant he pulls the trigger, the outcome of the election is irrevocably changed. But Democrat Teddy Lodge, an upcoming media sweetheart, isn't killed. His wife is. As a result, Lodge emerges as the man to beat and the greatest threat to the incumbent President, Morgan Taylor. Under a specific directive from the President, Special Service Agent Scott Roarke devles into the case and begins to unravel a deadly plot that incubated for more than 30 years; designed to alter America's allegiances in the Middle East.

In Book 2, The mugging and murder of a female White House staffer leads Secret Service agent Scott Roarke to the elusive and mysterious assassin who manages to always stay one step ahead of him. But as the plot unfolds, new clues about the assassin's past come to light, and they just may give him the tools he needs to catch his quarry.

In Book 3, the clock is ticking down to an attack on America's most vulnerable
natural resource: Water. Our nation's water resources are high on terrorist target
lists, but low on America's consciousness. Water sources are largely unprotected, providing open access to any enemy with chemicals and biotoxins.

So far we've been lucky. But that luck won't last.

This is the all-too-real-and-present danger facing President Morgan Taylor and Secret Service Agent Scott Roarke as they desperately try to prevent hell-bent terrorists from destroying America and its infrastructure city by city, and state by state.

I picked up a copy of Jarhead: A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles by Anthony Swofford this weekend at the writers conference I attended. Swofford was a panelist. Jarhead was turned into a movie in 2005 starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Jamie Foxx, and Lucas Black. Although I didn't know the author before he appeared at the conference, I figured this book would be right up my husband's alley.

When the marines -- or "jarheads," as they call themselves -- were sent in 1990 to Saudi Arabia to fight the Iraqis, Swofford was there, with a hundred-pound pack on his shoulders and a sniper's rifle in his hands. It was one misery upon another. He lived in sand for six months, his girlfriend back home betrayed him for a scrawny hotel clerk, he was punished by boredom and fear, he considered suicide, he pulled a gun on one of his fellow marines, and he was shot at by both Iraqis and Americans. At the end of the war, Swofford hiked for miles through a landscape of incinerated Iraqi soldiers and later was nearly killed in a booby-trapped Iraqi bunker.

Swofford weaves this experience of war with vivid accounts of boot camp (which included physical abuse by his drill instructor), reflections on the mythos of the marines, and remembrances of battles with lovers and family. As engagement with the Iraqis draws closer, he is forced to consider what it is to be an American, a soldier, a son of a soldier, and a man.

I picked up a copy of Early Warning by Michael Walsh at a library paperback book sale.

The NSA's most lethal weapon is back. Code-named Devlin, he operates in the darkest recesses of the US government. When international cyber-terrorists allow a deadly and cunning band of radical insurgents to breach the highest levels of national security, Devlin must take down an enemy bent on destroying America - an enemy more violent and ruthless than the world has ever known.

This book appears to be the sequel to Walsh's Hostile Intent. Another book in this series, Shock Warning, has also been released.

Closet Words Book Blast and Giveaway

From the Inside Flap

Taken word for word as heard from God, Closet Words is a collection of powerful and penetrating words written down in the stillness of a prayer closet. Hearing from God for several years, Kim Hilton began writing down what she heard. Encouraging, uplifting, and challenging words with a clear message to His servants, Closet Words gives a renewal and refreshing word to the Christian believer.

From the Back Cover

"As the leopard moves quickly in the jungle awaiting its prey so the evil one is lurking around waiting for the moment to devour you. The spirit is deep within you. Do you have your shield to deceive the one who is looking for you? Is your armor in place? Have you prepared for the battle? The battle is not for the weak but for the strong. Only those who are prepared will survive. Do not approach the battlefield meekly. You must know your enemy and fight him or he will overtake you in the darkness before you are even aware he is there. Arise - awaken! - Hear My bugle! I am calling those who are prepared to battle. Your victory is near".

"The days of rain upon your soul arrive. My spirit is pouring upon you as the rain pours onto the earth. Lift your eyes. Lift up your heart and feel my rain upon you. Become drenched in my spirit. Allow your heart to be soaked..."

Purchasing information:

WestBow Press:

Kim Hilton, MCC, PCC, has a master's degree in Christian counseling. Founder of Closet Words Ministries Foundation, Kim is a teacher on prayer and listening to God. An avid writer of several books, Closet Words was chosen as the first book to be published with the proceeds going to Closet Words Ministries Foundation. A sought-after speaker and Bible Study leader, Kim has spoken at both national and local events. She resides with her husband on a farm and enjoys spending time with their six grown children and grandchildren. For more information on Kim Hilton or her work, please visit:

Pump Up Your Book and Kim Hilton are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins November 2 and ends November 29, 2013.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, December 2, 2013.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


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Monday, November 18, 2013

Interview with J.R. Rain, Author of Moon River

J.R. Rain is an ex-private investigator now writing full-time in the Pacific Northwest where he lives in a small house on a small island with his small dog, Sadie, who has more energy than Robin Williams. He will be publishing a slew of new novels over the next five years, so stop by often and check out what’s new.

Visit his website at

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Sure! I’m a writer of primarily mystery novels, who lives up in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve published over 60 books now. My most popular series is my Samantha Moon series, followed closely by Jim Knighthorse and Nick Caine.

Where did you grow up?

I am a southern California boy, although my heart also belongs to the trees and cloudy skies of Washington State.

When did you begin writing?

I began writing when I was about 10. I created a series of adventure stories called Indiana Jon, which was a lot of fun. When I turned 12, I wrote my first book, called Deep Sea Danger, which is actually available online, if you can believe it.

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

I write in the morning, unless life doesn’t allow it. My ideal day has me finished with my daily quota (1000 words) at around ten or eleven a.m.

What is this book about?

Moon River is the eighth Samantha Moon novel. Samantha is my vampire private eye, who also happens to be a mama. She’s had quite an adventurous past two years, and readers can read all about it, starting with Moon Dance (book #1). In Moon River, Samantha is looking into a series of park murders, and uncovers a few heartbreaking clues, all of which leads to a devastating showdown.

What inspired you to write it?

Moon River is the next installment is Samantha’s ongoing drama. The mystery itself is intimately tied into her world, and into her personal life. Samantha’s world, her friends and family, her loves and past loves, have become a part of my life.

Who is your biggest supporter?

I always credit my mama. Back when I was 12 years old, after I had written my first book, I asked my mom: “Can people really make a living writing books?” And she said, “Yes.” And I next asked her if she thought I could make a living writing books, and she told me that I could do anything I set my mind to...and that’s all I needed to hear. Of course, I believed my mama!

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

No critique group. I use three readers and three readers only. My sister Elaine is always my first reader, then it goes on to my two amazing editors. And that’s it!

Who is your favorite author?

Robert B. Parker is the slickest author I’ve ever come across.

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

As bumpy as it gets. I think I tallied over 2,500 rejections. Not fun, but definitely a growing and learning experience.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

The Samantha Moon series can be purchased in your local bookstores. And for ebook readers, you can get just about all of my books at your favorite online bookstore.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

No blog site, but I am active on Facebook. For more about me and my books (and for the Facebook link), head over to

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

Spend time discovering your “voice.” Nowadays, anyone can write something and put it up on Kindle or Nook. But spend time teaching yourself the craft. You will be glad you did.

What is up next for you?

In a few weeks I’ll be releasing Clean Slate, which is the fourth in my Jim Knighthorse mystery series. These are mainstream mysteries with almost no supernatural elements in them. I say almost because a character named Jack appears in some of the books. You will have to read the stories to see who Jack actually is.

Is there anything you would like to add?

I would just like to thank you for having me! It was an honor!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Book Review: Winter of Wishes by Charlotte Hubbard

Winter of Wishes is another heartwarming story in the Seasons of the Heart series by Charlotte Hubbard.

Rhoda Lantz is feeling a bit left out. Her widowed mother is about to remarry and her twin sister, Rachel, is a busy newlywed traveling the countryside visiting relatives to pick up wedding gifts. For the first time in her life Rhoda will be living alone.

Andy Leitner's wife left him and their two children behind for the better life she desired. As a stretched thin nursing student, Andy, an Englischer, is also the caregiver for his mother.

When Rhoda answers Andy's ad looking for someone to take care of his family while he's away, it seems God has given her a meaningful new direction for her life. Falling for Andy could lead to her being shunned by her community. Is Rhoda wishing for things she can't have or will she remember that everything is possible with God?

I think I have found a new favorite Charlotte Hubbard book. I've truly loved all the books in this series, but this one is outstanding. I stayed up late--way too late--reading it and would sneak moments in during the day to read a few pages.

The wonderful thing about Amish fiction is that sense of community they bring; so while Rhoda and Andy's story is the focus of Winter of Wishes, the reader is also brought up to date on the Hooley brothers, their aunts Jerusalem and Nazareth, Preacher Tom, the shunned bishop, Hiram Knepp and other members of Willow Ridge. In addition, we see other familiar characters, like Rhoda and Rachel's sister Rebecca and the banker, Derek Shotwell. A new twist with this story is how it leads in perfectly to Hubbard's and Naomi King's crossover book, An Amish Country Christmas, which we reviewed here. The seeds are planted in this book for folks from Willow Ridge to visit Cedar Creek.

Lovers of Amish fiction and inspirational romances will enjoy Hubbard's Winter of Wishes.

Series: Seasons of the Heart
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Zebra (September 3, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1420121715
ISBN-13: 978-1420121711

I received a copy of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinion, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Book Review: The Many Faces of Katniss Everdeen by Valerie Estelle Frankel

Fans of The Hunger Games series will enjoy The Many Faces of Katniss Everdeen: Exploring the Heroine of The Hunger Games by Valerie Estelle Frankel.

Frankel, an award-winning author of the Henry Potty children's series and several books on pop culture, explores Katniss Everdeen in this new book for fans of the series and educators looking to discuss The Hunger Games in the classroom.

Having enjoyed Frankel's book, Katniss the Cattail, I eagerly agreed to read The Many Faces of Katniss Everdeen. Exploring Katniss in her numerous roles, be it as reality star, warrior woman, protector of children, teen solider, or more, Frankel delves deep into the multiple identities that have drawn readers to this heroine who changed the world. Just as much a social commentary as it is a look into history and an investigation into a popular character, The Many Faces of Katniss Everdeen fascinates you with the vast amount of information Frankel provides and the depths that she is unafraid to go.

Simply put, once I opened this book, I never wanted to put it down. With Catching Fire due out in theaters on Friday, now would be the perfect time to dive into The Many Faces of Katniss Everdeen. I look forward to more books from this amazing author.

Paperback: 178 pages
Publisher: Zossima Press (June 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1936294222
ISBN-13: 978-1936294220

I received a free copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinion, which I have not been compensated for in any way.