Book Excerpt: Two Empty Thrones by C.H. MacLean

Two Empty Thrones 2Title: Two Empty Thrones
Author: C.H. MacLean
Publisher: CNH Publishing
Pages: 242
Genre: YA Fantasy
Format: Paperback; Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

With her powers growing every day, fourteen-year-old Haylwen Rightad thinks she’s safe in the magical forest. And now that she finally has the friends she always wanted, what is there to be afraid of?

But she’s not out of the woods yet. Old enemies rip through her beloved forest, threatening to haul Haylwen and her newfound friends away. Their safety shattered, Haylwen and her friends are suddenly at each other’s throats. Is the friendship she worked so hard for already ruined, or is there another, unseen enemy at work?

Haylwen and her brother must unmask this mysterious enemy before they can fight it off. But even if all their enemies are destroyed, the King of the magic users will stop at nothing to ensure he’s still in power when the dragons take over the world. And he’s hidden an enemy where Haylwen would never think to look.

If no one is what they seem, who can she trust?

Book Excerpt:

Haylwen heard a crash, the distant sound of breaking wood. She started walking, and then heard the sound of a chainsaw. She picked up the pace. Nacia was gesturing to the twins, who looked confused, then angry. They started running, sprinting past Haylwen. By the time Haylwen got to the farmhouse, the boys were standing next to Feabee on the porch, the three of them looking like thunderclouds.

Nacia ran over to stand with her mother, Topaz, just inside the door. They looked so much alike, one just an older version of the other, a mirror through time. Haylwen drifted to stand by her parents off to the side, while Cadarn stood by himself to the side of the porch. Everyone was looking down the path, to where the sounds of crashing branches and large motors were gradually coming closer. Feabee made an occasional gesture to the twins to let them know what the rest were hearing.

Haylwen blanched at a particularly loud crash, wincing. Her father looked at her questioningly. “They are trying to help, and it is hurting them,” Haylwen whispered. Her father held his questioning look for a moment. His eyes popped wide and suddenly narrowed as he heard what she’d said. He looked into the forest briefly and then turned and started to say something to Haylwen.

He was drowned out as a large, olive-green truck crashed through the last of the branches, leaves and twigs caught in its grille and hanging from the roof rack. It looked like some savage beast, a destroyer of trees. It revved its engine and then growled its way up the slope to stop halfway up. It backed off the dirt road onto the grass as a shiny black SUV quietly rolled out from the mangled tunnel of trees. After the SUV passed it, the truck threw itself in a roaring spin that threw chunks of green and mud behind it to block the road out. It sat there, engine still growling. The smell of diesel rolled up to the house.

The SUV pulled off the road and drove across the rolling lawn, leaving crushed grass in its wake. It stopped with the passenger side at the very edge of the farmhouse porch. The passenger door opened and a tall man in a charcoal suit stepped out, directly onto the porch.

With his blond hair chopped short, it took Haylwen a moment to recognize him. “Mr. Johansen,” she whispered, clutching her father and sliding behind him. Her ex-principal was here? A wave of fear washed over her, carrying memories of when he had grabbed her—the feel of his hands on her neck, the chemical smell of his car as he’d stuffed her in.

“You have nothing to fear from him,” her father said in a quiet, but stern, voice, tension rolling off of him.

Haylwen’s mother, Crystyn, leaned over, turning to look Haylwen in the eye. “He will never touch you again, I promise.” Crystyn stood, taking a couple of firm steps to stand a bit ahead of Haylwen and her father. Abrennin twitched away as Crystyn moved past him, like he had gotten a shock. He gave her a brief look of surprise and confusion, but she wasn’t paying attention.

“May I help you?” Feabee said. “You realize this is private property.”

Mr. Johansen took a step toward Feabee, a reddish hue seeping from him. Haylwen’s guts clenched. He was going to use magic to hurt Feabee!

Abrennin whispered something and then choked. Haylwen’s stomach twisted more, realizing what her father’s choking meant. With me and Cadarn here, our parents’ Oath is in effect. Mom and Dad can’t use magic. Her parents might protect her from a physical attack, but what about a magical one?

Feabee shot Abrennin a wide-eyed look and he nodded once. She blinked, then her jaw muscles jumped as a green glow slipped around her. Haylwen squeezed her father’s hand, a question. He smiled thinly and squeezed back. Of course, Feabee could use magic!

“I have information that you are willfully transgressing against federal law,” Mr. Johansen said. Haylwen gave a little gasp as a red arc shot from Mr. Johansen, a striking snake, to bounce off Feabee’s green shield. “You are harboring fugitives, aiding and abetting criminals.” Another red snake slithered along the ground, trying to work its way under Feabee’s shield.

Feabee shook her head with a smile.

“You think truancy laws are less important than any other?” Mr. Johansen said loudly, standing a bit taller. “We must make sure the children of society are safe.”

“My paperwork is in order and has not expired,” she said.

“Perhaps, but it only lists three students,” he sneered.

Haylwen looked over to Cadarn, sharing the look of guilt and fear that this was about them. Haylwen felt her fear twist into anger. Feabee, Nacia, and the twins were going to get in trouble because of her! She looked up at her father, who just held her hand and shook his head slightly.

“Actually, I submitted updated paperwork, which was received two days ago,” Feabee replied.

“And I was sent to confirm the information was accurate. We have the right to do an inspection for classes equal to, or larger than, five,” he said.

“There is no such law,” Feabee retorted, eyes narrowing.

“Law? Oh, I guess you didn’t see the express invitation to an inspection on the forms you completed?” he sneered. His red bubble pulsed. Several snakes struck as he said, “The forms you signed authorized the right of inspection with acceptance. We must make sure there is actual learning, to prevent child neglect.”

Feabee threw apologetic looks at Haylwen’s parents. “Invitation? I didn’t see…” Her green shield was weakening under the repeated attacks.

“You understand that the neglect laws include all students, correct?” The red intensified, and the attacking snakes grew in number. “Under the child abuse and neglect statutes, we have the authority to take all of the children into custody immediately,” Mr. Johansen said.

Haylwen watched as the green glow started to show tiny spots of black, gaps in the shield. Two more red snakes quickly shot out from Mr. Johansen, squirming against the black spots, trying to force their way in. Feabee looked resigned, trapped. Haylwen felt her father try to say something, but he tensed and choked.

“You have no authority here.” Haylwen gave a small gasp, hearing her mother’s voice with such power. “You will take your polluting trucks and leave immediately.” Crystyn stalked across the porch to stand ahead and to the side of Feabee, making Mr. Johansen shift to face her. Haylwen glanced up at her father, who was breathing easier. His face was an odd combination of confused and proud.

Mr. Johansen looked over Crystyn’s head, following where she had come from to see Haylwen and Abrennin standing there. He gave a little smirk, a twisted look of revenge.

“Ah, Mrs. Rightad. I see where your vandalizing daughter gets it.” Several thick red snakes slowly approached her mother. “If I leave, it will be with your truant children…”

A white glow erupted around Haylwen’s mother. Haylwen squinted, slightly blinded as the white glow around her mother flared even brighter, engulfing the snakes, obliterating them.

“You will leave with nothing,” her mother said in a tone that sent shivers down Haylwen’s spine. Her mother had locked eyes with Mr. Johansen. Though he was at least a foot taller, he seemed to shrink with each passing moment, while Haylwen’s mother seemed to grow. The white glow increased in intensity and size, washing like waves against the receding red of Mr. Johansen. “If you ever come close to either of my children again—”

“I did nothing, I have witnesses,” Mr. Johansen interrupted, momentarily straightening, the red pushing against the waves.

The white flared again, and Mr. Johansen took a step back. He had only the slightest hint of red around him now, flickering.

“You have nothing to withstand a mother protecting her child,” Haylwen heard her mother say, as another blinding flare of white pulsed out. Mr. Johansen took another step back, stumbling, withering even more under her fierce gaze.

Crystyn pointed her finger toward the SUV as another pulse of the white light washed over Mr. Johansen. “You and your agent’s invitations are revoked!” Haylwen’s mother nudged Feabee, who nodded once.

Mr. Johansen slid backward down the stairs, banging into the SUV, scrambling to open the door and get inside before being sucked away. He slammed the door closed, and the SUV’s idling engine roared, tires spitting grass and dirt in every direction. Everyone was pelted, but Haylwen noticed not a fleck hit her mother.

The SUV bounced down the hill as the olive-green truck tore out of the way. The black SUV disappeared into the tunnel as the truck spun around, engine roaring, tires clawing the ground, making a new set of wounds in the grassy field. A cold shiver crawled up Haylwen’s legs, tightening around her throat, as she looked at the ruined lawn. Even after the smell of exhaust had drifted away, the wounds were mocking proof they weren’t safe. It was only a matter of time.

Interview with Erna Mueller, author of ‘K-9 Cop’

Erna MuellerI was born in Austria and my family immigrated to the U.S. I loved living here as a child and considered the U.S. my home. My family returned to Austria and of course I had to tag along. I missed the friendly faces and the cultivation of the free spirit which America symbolizes. In Austria I completed my education but always wanted to return, so here I am.

I traveled the world and lived in many exciting cities such as Paris, Munich and London. I currently work as an accountant for a large pizza company in Seattle by day and passionately pursue a career as a writer in my spare time.

My new book, K-9 Cop, is adapted from my multi-national award winning screenplay.  The book has won several awards including first place in the 2009 National Good Read Competition sponsored by awomenswrite.com.

Please visit my web site at http://www.k9cop-woofwoof.com for more reviews and other info.

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K-9 Cop 2Can you tell us who or what was the inspiration behind your book?

I thought a Young Adult book would be a great idea to write for a first time novelist. I always loved family orientated books and movies and was searching for a story that depicts the human condition with all its splendor and frailties. What better way than through a surly cop who has to go back to earth in the body of his K-9 partner? The cop needs to help a troubled teenager and his dysfunctional family in order to be redeemed

Is this your first published book and if so, can you tell us your experiences in finding a publisher for it?

N/A since I self-published.

Where do you live and if I were coming to town, where would we go to talk books?

I live in a Burb in the Northwest near Seattle and we would meet at a Starbucks. We’d be the book junkies grazing with caffeine junkies and it’s raining outside, ah…the perfect afternoon.

When you’re not writing, what do you do to relax and have fun?

I love good movies, spending time with fiends and pets.

Do you make a living off your books or do you have another job?

I am a mild mannered accountant by day and a passionate writer by night. I would love if my writing paid the bills but it doesn’t so I’m glad I have a great day job.

In your opinion, what makes a good book great?

A book that depicts the human condition with all its splendor and frailties. It has to make me laugh and cry and after I turn the last page it needs to stick in my mind.

Psychologists tell us the thing we think we’d most like to grow up to be when we’re ten years old is our avocation. What did you want to be?

Ever since I can remember, a writer.

Can you give us a short excerpt from your book?

Chapter Seven
GOOD HEAVENS!

“Holy moly! I’m dead! And God is a woman!”

“Slow down!” The angel laughed like tinkling chimes. “I’m not God. I was once a mortal, just like you.” She offered Spencer a hand, and pulled him to his feet.

“And where am I? Am I…?

“Dead.” The angel tittered.

He brushed himself off. “At least I made it into Heaven.”

“Well, not quite.”

“What does that mean?”

The angel stared into his eyes. “It means you’re not ready. Not for a while.”

Spencer’s eyebrows shot up. “Not ready for Heaven? I’m quite ready, thank you. What’s my room number?”

The angel shook her head.

“Seriously? Why not? Hey, did I know you? Because if I did, I’m sorry that I didn’t call you the next day. I lost your number in the wash.”

“No.” The angel looked across the vast cloudscape, to the open doors of a great gilded throne-room. She spoke in a singsong voice and shook her head defensively. “He knows that I was never that desperate. I’m a gatekeeper. You’re not going into Heaven, not yet. Not in your condition.” The angel raised her brows at him, leaned her shoulders, and settled a hand on a hip. Her golden aura glowed as she glared at Spencer, a force that burned through him.

He dropped to his knees. “But I spent my whole life putting scumbags behind bars.”

“We know. And our Department of Works appreciates that, but you’re not on the gatekeeper’s checklist.” The Angel snapped her fingers and an easel appeared, with a large pad of visual aids. She glanced at the chart and tapped Spencer’s chest. “It says here you have a sub-zero storage locker where your heart should be.”

“No!”

“Yes. Let me put it in spiritual terms. You’re a jerk, Spencer Watley, and jerks need to pass the J.R.P. before they can get in.”

“What’s the J.R.P and how does it work?”

“I’m so glad you asked.” She snapped her fingers, and a page on the easel turned. “It stands for the Jerk Redemption Program. The standard tour is one-hundred years of service in the Department of Works surveillance department . . .” She checked the chart. “Monitoring daytime talk shows. You know, like Oprah and Dr. Phil. That should make you nice and sensitive.”

“Noo!” howled Spencer.

The angel bent to read smaller print. “Oh, and not just cable, but all stations globally.”

“If that’s your idea of redemption, what did your people put together for Hell? I’d never survive a stakeout that long. Please, anything but that!” Spencer hands clasped before him.

“You can’t blame me for everything. Maybe if my dad had helped me, I would have been a much better person. I never had a father’s guidance and it crippled me. You must have a spiritually handicapped department? I may not have been Mr. Nice Guy, but I had other redeeming qualities.”

The angel snapped again, turning her easel to a checklist, blank except for two marks. “You were a great cop, no doubt about that. And you never stole cable. Those are the only redeeming qualities in the man before me.”

Spencer crept closer to the angel, nodded and whispered righteously. “But I always put the toilet seat down.”

“Again, those are Department of Works issues. You see, you followed all the rules, but that’s only a small part of being a good person. More importantly, did you love your fellow man? What about empathy, understanding, and patience – all the things that make the human race divine? Remember what the big Boss said? ‘Whatever you do to your fellow man, you do unto me.’”

She sighed, and pointed to a giant cement fortress. “It’s that building over there. Just tell the doorman you’re a jerk, and he’ll give you the paperwork to fill out.”

What’s next for you?

My Audio book of K-9 Cop will be out in October.

 

 

Unlocking Your Spiritual Greatness by Jim Greene – Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card

Title of Book # 1: Unlocking Your Spiritual Greatness
ISBN: 978-1-105-46980-0
Genre: Spiritual Maturity, Christianity, Discipleship Training
Publisher: LuLu Enterprises, Inc.
Publication Date: 2005, 2011
Just like there are specific physical exercises that are good for physical conditioning, there are specific spiritual exercises that are good, in fact, essential for our spiritual conditioning and growth. If you want to grow spiritually, you have to do spiritual exercises. (1Timothy 4:8)
This book looks to Jesus for “duplicate-able” activities for the model for our growth. For years Christian writers have identified specific activities regularly evidenced in his earthly life and called them Spiritual or Christian Disciplines. I believe that if it was useful for Jesus to be disciplined in his worship and praise to God, then it is useful for us as well. Further, I believe that the inclusion of Christian Disciplines in our lives, or what I call the Disciplined Training Approach places us in obedient submission to God and that is where we are supposed to be.
Book excerpt:
God has outlined a plan for living that when followed will bring us into a closer fellowship with Him. All the treasure in the world will not purchase it, but God will provide it for free to whosoever really wants it. No matter how worthless you may think you are, you can become one of the greatest treasures in the world. You can become the person God wants you to be, equipped with all the supernatural power for the Kingdom work He wants you to do!
Simply put, if you hear what God tells you, trust that He will not lead you astray and do what you’re told to do, you will experience the peace God planned for you. More than that, the consequences of ignoring God can be anxiety, frustration, depression and even eternal separation from Him.
People, however, are not simple. In fact, we go to great lengths to take something simple and complicate it. Our relationship with God should be personal, based on the time we spend with Him. We can’t manufacture a relationship with Him, but we can come to know him based on our personal experiences.
If you want to be blessed, comforted or reassured in a small way, then exercise a small amount of faith. If however, you need your life changed… it may take more. It starts with regular prayer, regular meditation and regular listening. It continues when we do things outside our comfort zone and that’s exactly where faith begins.
Your life will change when you realize God’s ability
zone is greater than your comfort zone.
Purchase at
Title of Book #2 God’s Answer, Praying the Scriptures Back to God
God gave us the Bible as a constant reminder of His love and plan for us. More than a historical document, it is truly alive. As we read His Word and become heart-linked with Him, a supernatural transformation begins to take place in us. God’s Word is alive and we can’t comprehend it all at once. That explains why you can read a passage several times over weeks or months and receive a different message from the same verses.
God gave us prayer as an avenue or vehicle that He designed for us so we could be in constant communication with Him. God’s Answer seeks to bring you to His Throne of Grace, where prayers are answered, (Hebrews 4:16) so that you can claim the promises God makes about today’s problems. That’s a tall order, so let’s look at what He said about prayer in His Living Word, the Bible.
Several times He promises us that He will hear and in fact, answer our prayers. It would be great to think that we always get what we want or that we could just name it and claim it, but that simply is not the case. What we can claim is the promises God makes and we will be exploring those. Let’s examine a few passages and see what they reveal beyond God hearing us and answering our prayers.
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Title of Book #3 A Place of Faith, When There is No Place Else to Go
What or where is the place of faith? Is it a physical location? No, it is where we are when we step out into the unknown in a blind, yet obedient faith because that is all we have left. Our Christian vocabulary is filled with ideas, quotes and even promises from God that are meant for comfort and reassurance. As real as God’s Word is, what happens when all has been recalled and rehearsed and we still find ourselves alone at the place of faith. A Place of Faith defines faith from a real and practical viewpoint, then develops it’s progression from a measure of faith, to a step and then a leap of faith. Most importantly, time is spent on the Enemy of Faith and the Trial of Faith and finally, The Results of Faith. Each chapter concludes with a hymn that reinforces the points made in the chapter and a few reflection questions.
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Title of Book #4 Living on the Dark Side of Faith
While faith has two sides, they are both sides of the same thing. The word faith cannot be substituted for the word belief or theology. It is more than a collection of thoughts about religion. It is more than simply believing in the existence of God, the demons in Hell do that. The faith we speak of is in God and how, though we may not see how, He will provide for His beloved. The faith we have is certain; it is the evidence of things to come. It begins with a measure and increases with experience and that often means a trial or test of our faith.
Purchase at
About the author:

 

Jim Greene makes his home in Knoxville, TN in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. An avid backpacker, his countless hours in the outdoors have often blessed him with many topics to write about.
As a layman Sunday School teacher, he challenges himself and his class to strive for and enjoy a closer relationship with God. Each of his books look to God as the ultimate authority in our lives. He is the author of Unlocking Your Spiritual Greatness, God’s Answer, A Place of Faith, When There is Nowhere Else to Go, and Living on the Dark Side of Faith. His next book is entitled, When Waiting isn’t Working.
Jim feels God speaks to him personally through journaling and his books primarily came to answer a question in his life. They may just help you too.
Pump Up Your Book and Jim are teaming up to give away 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 the prize.
§ This giveaway begins September 2 and ends on September 26, 2014.
§ Winner will be contacted via email on October 1, 2014.
§ Winner has 72 hours to reply.
§ VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.
Good luck everyone!
ENTER TO WIN!

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Interview with Laurence St. John, author of ‘Metatron: The Mystical Blade’

Lawrence St. JohnLaurence A. St. John was born on January 11, 1965 in Toledo Ohio. Laurence has one older brother and two younger sisters. Laurence along with his parents, brother and sisters moved once while growing up to Genoa Ohio, just south of Toledo. While attending Genoa Area schools, he was active in track, football and baseball. Later, after he graduated from Genoa High School (Comets) in 1983, he worked for a few manufacturing companies.

At the age of 23 and after three years of dedication, hard work and sweat, in 1988, Laurence received his first-degree black belt (Shodan) in Tae Kwon Do. This gave him the self-confidence and perseverance needed to surmount anything that came his way.

When Laurence was 25 years old he fell in love then married the love of his life, Julie in 1990. He then adopted her two young wonderful children Joe and Jan shortly after.

Out of high school for nearly fifteen years and after persuaded by his former manager, Laurence attended Owens State Community College where he obtained an Associates Degree in Microcomputer Business Systems while working full-time. In addition to computer classes, he enjoyed composition classes where he could free his mind and write what he wanted.

While working in the steel processing business for almost fifteen years, Laurence’s place of employment changed hands, for the third time in 2006; fighting for his job, again. In the same year his first granddaughter, Kendall, “Papa’s Angel” was born. He described this as one of the most uplifting moments of his life. In addition, it was during this time when his emotions were running wild; he became inspired as well as determined to write his penned-up thoughts on paper.

Nearly four years later, he had completed his first middle grade fantasy novel, Metatron: The Angel Has Risen. His latest book is Metatron: The Mystical Blade.

Laurence currently lives in Northwood Ohio with his wife of 24 years, Julie. His son Joe is married to Cari and they have three daughters, Kendall, Sadie and Harper. His daughter Jan is married to Andrew and they have a son Eli and a daughter Evelyn. Laurence currently holds the position of Administrations Manager at Precision Strip, Inc. in Perrysburg Ohio, where he works full time. He continually writes in his spare time; weekends and after work, and is endlessly inspired by his five grandkids Kendall, Elijah, Sadie, Evelyn and Harper.

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About the Book:

Metatron 2Thirteen-year-old Tyler Thompson is on the verge of becoming a superhero, but he must prove himself so he can earn the remainder of his superpowers and fulfill his destiny.

When his grandfather, Benjamin, is held prisoner at AREA 51, where the eternal powers are presumed to be hidden, Tyler attempts to penetrate the base’s heavy security. However, Dr. Mason Payne, the evil scientist who killed Tyler’s father, has insidious plans of his own.

Hunted by an unknown entity, Tyler races against the clock to retrieve the superpowers, rescue his family and help the others who are depending on him. And when all hope seems lost, help comes in a power he didn’t know he possessed—a mysterious weapon known as The Mystical Blade.

For More Information

  • Metatron: The Mystical Blade is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
  • Watch the book trailer at YouTube.

Can you tell us who or what was the inspiration behind your book?

Yes, absolutely but first thank-you for having me.

One day while working in the steel processing business for almost fifteen years, my place of employment changed hands, for the third time in 2006; fighting for my job, again. In the same year my first granddaughter, Kendall, “Papa’s Angel” was born. This as one of the most uplifting moments of my life – one of the few times I remember crying with happiness. In addition, it was during this time when my emotions were running wild; I became inspired as well as determined to write his penned-up thoughts on paper. My first novel was published in 2012. The second novel in the series, Metatron: The Mystical Blade was published August 2014.

Is this your first published book and if so, can you tell us your experiences in finding a publisher for it?

This is actually my second book published by the same publisher, Imajin Books. After my first book was completely drafted, I had no idea what to do next. Ironically, the next day in the mail was a quarterly letter from the college I graduated from – Owen State Community College. In it was an article about an alumnus who was also an author. And behold, his email address was also included in the article. I sent him an email introducing myself then asked some questions. Within a few days he actually called me and provided me with valuable advice and contact information of an author/editor. After my manuscript was edited by the author/editor along with another editor and query letters sent out to over 100 agents and publishers, I didn’t receive a contract. Contemplating the idea of self-publishing I sent out a help memo to my networking contacts from Facebook and Twitter. I received some great advice from many of them but most importantly a reply to have my manuscript reviewed. Finally, after a couple of months I was offered a contract with Imajin Books. I smiled so much my cheek muscles began to hurt.

Where do you live and if I were coming to town, where would we go to talk books?

I live on the outskirts of Toledo Ohio in Northwood. If we were to talk books we would go to Barnes & Noble in Toledo or Books-A-Million in Perrysburg. But first we would walk down to Starbucks for coffee.

When you’re not writing, what do you do to relax and have fun?

I like to watch scifi movies, or lay by the pool with a beverage or just have a quite dinner with my wife Julie. I also love spending time with my five grandkids.

Do you make a living off your books or do you have another job?

Unfortunately, I do not make a living writing stories – I would consider it almost like a hobby. Hopefully someday writing will be a full time job. And yes, I have a full time day job. I’m an Administrations Manager for a local steel processor.

In your opinion, what makes a good book great?

I believe the story has to be well written, well edited, and easy to follow and keeps you wanting to read more – or wanting to read the entire book without putting it down. And, the story has to have something new that people haven’t read before.

Psychologists tell us the thing we think we’d most like to grow up to be when we’re ten years old is our avocation. What did you want to be?

I wanted to be a professional baseball player. I believe I was on my way until I sustained an injury to my pitching shoulder tearing muscle and ligaments when I was around twelve years old. Ever since that injury my throwing ability was never the same.

Can you give us a short excerpt from your book?

“If Tyler Thompson had known how tough it was to be a superhero, he might never have gotten involved in the first place. Sure, it was cool having Flash speed and super vision and all that, but there was a lot of pressure, and you couldn’t tell anyone. Not to mention that every time he went out he took his life in his hands and the whole thing was exhausting. Who knew that superheroes got tired? He wasn’t sure if being a superhero was a gift or a curse.

So when he heard a cry on the way home from another night of whooping Las Vegas bad guys, he wasn’t exactly in the mood for more trouble. In fact, he was tempted to ignore it. But superheroes never ignore people in trouble, no matter what. And while he wasn’t one hundred percent superhero yet, he’d never get there if he didn’t do his duty.”

What’s next for you?

I am currently working on book 3 and book 4 in the Metatron Series. Who knows, I might also be co-authoring a book as well.

Interview with Diana Raab, author of poetry collection ‘Lust’

Diana RaabDiana Raab, Ph.D. is an award-winning poet, memoirist, educator, transpersonal psychologist, and author of eight books, including four poetry collections and two memoirs, Regina’s Closet and Healing With Words. Her latest poetry collection, Lust, is available in softcover wherever books are sold and on Audible.

She is also editor of two anthologies, Writers and Their Notebooks and Writers on the Edge: 22 Writes Speak About Addiction and Dependency. She is advocate of writing for healing, transformation and empowerment and teaches workshop around the country. She also teaches memoir writing. She has been writing and publishing her work for more than 45 years.

She blogs for Psychology Today; The Huffington Post (Huff50) and BrainSpeak.

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About the Book:

Lust 2A passionate journey through private emotional moments, Diana Raab’s LUST voices the pain of loneliness and the heart’s yearning for love while transcending the depths of human desire. In her fourth book of poetry, Raab employs narrative verse that is alive, titillating, and seductive. LUST examines the emotional and physical complexity of love, helping readers navigate the risks of intimacy as we move toward the realization that every experience enriches our lives, whether we perceive it as joy, pain, or out of the ordinary. Yet for all their psychological richness, the poems’s simplicity and accessibility will resonate with women and men across all walks of life. LUST is a book you won’t put down and won’t soon forget.

“Diana Raab’s poetry collection, LUST, will make you fall head-over- heels in love with words. Words that are strung together, knotted like a perfect strand of opera length pearls. Some read like heartbreaking short stories. Some read like pieces of your soul. Some read like scented love-letters. Some like tearful, regretful voice messages. If you want to have a love affair with the written word, please, read this collection. It will make you a believer. Or maybe … just maybe, it will make you a believer in the pure absolute beauty of Diana Raab.”–Amy Ferris

“In the lyric tradition of Song of Songs, Rumi, Lady Murasaki, and Anais Nin, poet Diana Raab sings of carnal desire. The themes of LUST, the transcendence of sexual ecstasy, the range of its expression, the sorrow of its temporality, they surprise of its renewal in maturity, the physicality of its intimacy, are, at once, timeless and as contemporary as Raab’s short leather skirt and an espresso shared at Starbucks.”–Tristine Rainer

“Diana Raab in this daring book offers what shouldn’t be so remarkable, yet is, a fearless detailing of intimacy, of blissful ‘acts of kindness,’ of that worshipful sexuality which forms our birth- and adult-right. LUST celebrates the sacred ‘everlasting eros’ that we must admit most interests us, the giving and taking, the ultimate bonding, the very enlightenment through glories of the body. She sings ‘your oasis in the midst of me,’ and bless her for it!”–Barry Spacks

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Can you tell us who or what was the inspiration behind your book?

As a two-time cancer survivor, I am a believer in the lust for life, intimacy and work. I wanted to share this passion and belief with others.

Is this your first published book and if so, can you tell us your experiences in finding a publisher for it?

Lust is my fourth book of poetry and ninth book. I sent the manuscript to 4 publishers and the first one which responded was the one I went with because it was my first choice.

Where do you live and if I were coming to town, where would we go to talk books?

I live in Santa Barbara. We no longer have chain bookstores here, but we have fabulous Independent Stores. The names are Chaucer’s, Tecolote and Granada Books. There are also a lot of coffee shops, such as The Coffee Bean Tea & Leaf, Peet’s Coffee, and number of Starbucks where many writers meet to talk.

When you’re not writing, what do you do to relax and have fun?

Writers work 24 hours a day because our mind is always working. To be a writer means to be observant and tuned into our worlds. I always carry my journal with me and jot down possible poem or article ideas. I work out at the gym 4 days a week and take beach walks. I also like hiking. To be a writer, you also have to read a lot. I read many magazines, books and am current on the Internet.

Do you make a living off your books or do you have another job?

Writing is my hobby and passion.

In your opinion, what makes a good book great?

Every genre is different, but a great book holds a reader’s interest. The story or poems need to resonate with the reader. It is ideal when personal stories merge with the universal truths.

Psychologists tell us the thing we think we’d most like to grow up to be when we’re ten years old is our avocation. What did you want to be?

A writer and a teacher. Those are my two passions. As a transpersonal psychologist myself… I can say they are usually right!

Can you give us a short excerpt from your book?

You can buy the poetry book and also hear it on Audible read by NY actress Kate Udall. She is amazing, but here is a short poem:

Create

Make me the person I want to become

draw from me the secrets buried under

the façade of responsibilities.

Allow me to be who I want

as I whisper secrets into the pockets

of your open mind and the doorways

to your heart. Make me the one

you wake to every morning,

the coffee that brews you, the ice cream

which smothers you. Steal my heart

and hold it with your sculpted muscles,

massage it as if you want to keep it forever

and most important, please don’t tell

anyone our little secret of the person

we will become together.

What’s next for you?

I always write poems and my three blogs—Psychology Today, Huffington Post (Huff50), and BrainSpeak. I am also working on turning my PhD Dissertation into a book. It’s about the healing and transformative powers of memoir writing.

 

 

Interview with Jesse Giles Christiansen, author of ‘Captain Shelby’

Jesse Giles ChristiansenJesse Giles Christiansen is an American author who writes compelling literary fiction that weaves the real with the surreal. He attended Florida State University where he received his B.A. in English literature, and holds an M.A. in philosophy from Georgia State University. He is the author of Pelican Bay (book one in the Captain Shelby Series), an Amazon #1 list bestseller, outselling Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway. One of Christiansen’s literary goals is to write at least fifty novels, and he always reminds himself of something that Ray Bradbury once said: “You fail only if you stop writing.”

His latest book is the literary fiction/magical realism novel, Captain Shelby.

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About the Book:

Captain Shelby 2There are places even the sea cannot go…

In coastal Denmark, a young man named Nereus builds a longship and leaves at age eighteen to discover a new, enigmatic land. Faced with unimaginable obstacles, he crosses the North Atlantic, only to be captured by the Skraelings, the Inuit indigenous people who seek revenge on all settlers because of a “Great Red Man” who murdered many of their family members.

Many years later, Nereus is hired by a group of Irish settlers who are fleeing the tyranny of King Henry VIII, and he takes them across the North Atlantic to the New Found Land. A fierce battle ensues against the sea, the Little Ice Age, and the vicious Skraelings.

When Nereus falls in love with Laura Hodges, fiancée to the group’s leader, William Brockelby, he becomes embroiled in a dangerous love triangle…until the formidable mystery surrounding Captain Nereus H. Shelby is finally revealed.

For More Information

  • Captain Shelby is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Can you tell us who or what was the inspiration behind your book?

The Captain Shelby Trilogy, I’m almost ashamed to admit, all began with an eerie dream I had about the ex-girlfriend of ex-girlfriends—a narcissistic, deeply troubled librarian. Ever seen “500 Days of Summer?” Kind of like that. Fortunately, after I started writing, Captain Shelby leapt out of the pages and put the librarian in her place.

Is this your first published book and if so, can you tell us your experiences in finding a publisher for it?

Captain Shelby is my second published book, with the same publisher, Imajin Books. Not having found the literary agent who I want yet, I published with a small house to garner credentials. If an author is going to select a smaller publisher, in this century, one with marketing clout is essential. Now that I have more readership and social media presence, I hope to land a N.Y. agent next year. Wish me luck!

Where do you live and if I were coming to town, where would we go to talk books?

Great question! I live in Atlanta, and just happen to be across the street from a Barnes and Nobles. But we won’t go there. Java Monkey has much more real ambience, if you know what I mean.

When you’re not writing, what do you do to relax and have fun?

Play guitar (I’m also a singer/songwriter), watch movies, run, travel, and do any activity related to nature/animals.

Do you make a living off your books or do you have another job?

I’m also a musician. But I’m excited to announce that next year I will be doing about 80% writing, and 20% playing music!

In your opinion, what makes a good book great?

A great book is a new entity of memories that spawns out of nothing, and leaves the reader with everything.

Psychologists tell us the thing we think we’d most like to grow up to be when we’re ten years old is our avocation. What did you want to be?

An astronaut. Not too far off, eh?

Can you give us a short excerpt from your book?

In coastal Denmark, a young man named Nereus builds a longship and leaves at age eighteen to discover a new, enigmatic land. Faced with unimaginable obstacles, he crosses the North Atlantic, only to be captured by the Skraelings, the Inuit indigenous people who seek revenge on all settlers because of a “Great Red Man” who murdered many of their family members.

A few years later, Nereus is hired by a group of Irish settlers who are fleeing the tyranny of King Henry VIII, and he takes them across the North Atlantic to the New Found Land. A fierce battle ensues against the sea, the Little Ice Age, and the vicious Skraelings.

When Nereus falls in love with Laura Hodges, fiancée to the group’s leader, William Brockelby, he becomes embroiled in a dangerous love triangle…until the formidable mystery surrounding Captain Nereus H. Shelby is finally revealed.

What’s next for you?

I’m releasing a Christmas story in November called GOTH TOWN, which I’m very excited about!

Thanks so much for having me! Great questions!

Yours in literature,

J.G.C.

Interview with H. Peter Alesso: ‘There is joy in expressing your thoughts, so find your words—tell your story’

H. Peter AlessoAs a scientist and author specializing in technology innovation, H. Peter Alesso has over twenty years research experience at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). As Engineering Group Leader at LLNL he led a team of computer scientists and engineers in innovative applications across a wide range of supercomputers, workstations and networks. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. and served in the U.S. Navy on nuclear submarines before completing an M.S. and an advanced Engineering Degree at M.I.T. He has published several software titles and numerous scientific journal and conference articles, and he is the author/co-author of seven books.

His latest book is the science fiction space opera, Lieutenant Henry Gallant.

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About the Book:

Lieutenant Henry Gallant 2In an era of genetic engineering, Lieutenant Henry Gallant is the only Natural (non-genetically enhanced) officer left in the fleet. Many of his superiors, including rival Anton Neumann, have expressed concern he is not up to the challenge. However, his unique mental abilities have proven essential to the defense of the United Planets in its fight against the Titan invaders.

Serving on the first FTL prototype, the Intrepid, on its maiden voyage to Tau Ceti, Gallant finds a lost colony on the planet Elysium. Cyrus Wolfe and his son, manipulate planet politics against the democratic opposition led by James Hepburn and his granddaughter Alaina. Wolfe has allied himself with an ancient Artificial Intelligence which had lain dormant on the planet for millennia, but is now willing to protect the colonists against the Titans.

With Alaina’s help, Gallant discovers the ancient AI has a sinister ulterior motive and he matches his unique and exceptional mind against the complexity of machine intelligence to escape the ultimate trap and prevent the extermination of humanity.

In Lieutenant Henry Gallant, one man pits the naked human mind against the perspicacity of machine intelligence.

For More Information

  • Lieutenant Henry Gallant is available at Amazon.
  • Watch the trailer at YouTube.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Can you tell us who or what was the inspiration behind your book?

I think finding an author you admire and would like to emulate provides the stimulus to become an author. By examining just what it is that you find so compelling about that author will give you a start to developing your skills.

In my book, Lieutenant Henry Gallant, the hero is handsome, brave, and daring—just what you want in a hero who sets out on a great adventure. A rival challenges him for the love of a beautiful, young, and bold woman—just what you’d expect from a warrior princess. Together they face an alien invasion, a jungle full of dangers predators, and a malevolent artificial intelligence bent on exterminating humanity.

Can you guess who wins in the end? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not the corrupt politicians who maneuver to upset all Gallant’s efforts to protect the people and stop the malicious AI.

How much fun do you think I had writing this tale?

Actually, I had more.

Is this your first published book and if so, can you tell us your experiences in finding a publisher for it?

In the past, I’ve published several books through large traditional publishers, but for Lieutenant Henry Gallant, I chose self-publication in order to get the book to market more quickly. It allowed me more flexibility in editing and marketing choices.

When you’re not writing, what do you do to relax and have fun?

I like to work out both my left and right hemispheres of the brain using a wide variety of skill sets and abilities. As a result, I love to read, do word (or math) puzzles, as well as develop computer apps for Android.

In your opinion, what makes a good book great?

I found that science fiction novels provided wonderful adventures in unexpected places with unusual characters and strange circumstance. I’ve enjoyed them all my life, so when I first began to develop science fiction stories, I wanted to write adventures that I could vicariously enjoy.

Some of my favorite authors, I. Asimov, J. Campbell, and R. Heinlein have accomplished this. When they ‘set the stage’ at the beginning of a chapter, they offer elaborate descriptive prose, rich in adjectives and superlatives. For action scenes, however, their sentences become short, crisp, and emphatic. When involved in conversation, the individual characters each achieve their own ‘voice’—they demonstrate a distinctive characteristic of speech, or language, so that they can be picked out of the dialog. Of course, the arc of the main story must be seamlessly inter-wound with the subplots so that the reader doesn’t trip over the narrative. But the result is a reader so engrossed in the story that he is unaware of his actual reality, he has been transported elsewhere.

There is joy in expressing your thoughts, so find your words—tell your story.

Can you give us a short excerpt from your book?

Gallant ran—gasping for breath, heart pounding; the echo of his footsteps reverberated behind him.

He hoped to reach the bridge, but hope is a fragile thing.

Peering over his shoulder into the dark, he tripped on a protruding jagged beam, one of the ship’s many battle scars. As he crashed to the deck, the final glow of emergency lights sputtered out leaving only the pitch black of power failure—his failure.

He lay still and listened to the ship’s cries of pain; the incessant wheezing of atmosphere bleeding from the many tiny hull fissures, the repetitious groaning of metal from straining structures, and the crackling of electrical wires sparking against panels.

Thoughts flashed past him.

How long will the oxygen last?

He was reluctant to guess.

Where are they?

The clamor of dogged footsteps drew closer even as he rasped for another breath.

Trembling from exhaustion, he clawed at the bulkhead to pull himself up. His hemorrhaging leg made even standing brutally painful.

Nevertheless, he ran.

The bulkhead panels and compartment hatches were indistinguishable in the dimness. Vague phantoms lurked nearby even while his eyes adjusted to whatever glowing plasma blast embers flickered from the hull.

As he twisted around a corner, he crashed his shoulder into a bulkhead. The impact knocked him back and spun him around. Reaching out with a bloody hand, he grasped the hatch handle leading into the Operation’s compartment. Going through the hatch, he pulled it shut behind him.

He started to run, then awkwardly fought his own momentum and stopped.

Stupid! Stupid!

Going back to the hatch, he hit the security locking mechanism.

It wouldn’t stop a plasma blast, but it might slow them down, he thought. At least this compartment is airtight.

Finally able to take a deep breath, he tried to clear his head of bombarding sensations. He should’ve been in battle armor, but he’d stayed too long in engineering trying to maintain power while the hull had been breached and the ship boarded.

Now his uniform was scorched, revealing the plasma burns of seared flesh from his left shoulder down across his back to his right thigh. He had no idea where the rest of the crew was; many were probably dead. His comm pin was mute and the ship’s AI wasn’t responding. He had only a handgun, but, so far, he didn’t think they were tracking him specifically, merely penetrating into the ship to gain control.

Gallant tried to run once more, but his legs were unwilling. Leaning against the bulkhead, like a dead weight, he slid slowly down to the deck.

Unable to go farther, he sat dripping blood and trembling as the potent grip of shock grabbed hold. The harrowing pain of his burnt flesh, swept over him.

Hope and fear alike abandoned him, leaving only an undeniable truth; without immediate medical treatment, he wouldn’t survive.

I’m done.

Closing his eyes, he fought against the pain and the black vertigo of despair. He took a deep breath and called upon the last of his inner resolve and resilience . . .

No! I won’t give up.

What’s next for you?

A multi-book story arc requires a thorough understanding of the characters and their motivations, as well as considerable planning. An author always benefits from the encouragement and feedback of his co-conspirators in this endeavor—the readers. With the release of each book in a series, the voice of the readers becomes clearer. Their desire to see certain characters prevail and certain events transpire becomes plain.

I am looking forward to further developing The Henry Gallant Saga—if the readers encourage me to do so through their review comments.