Wednesday, January 17, 2018

LOYAL & TRUE Hearts of Caledonia, Book 1 by Laura Strickland


THE THREE SOULS by BILL THOMAS

The Three Souls Blitz


Contemporary Fiction/Fantasy
Publisher: BookBaby
Published: June 2017


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Johnny Chambers is jailed in Texas in the early 1960's. He is falsely convicted of a crime and is sentenced to five years in prison. While is prison he meets two other inmates Vinny Le Pugh and David Madejas.

Both inmates have had near death experiences and yet both have shown new found talents in music and art. Johnny decides to talk to the warden about their ability in a way to help them find their freedom. The warden goes along with it for a while but then decides to pull the plug on the craft room. Johnny, fearing for his life, decides to plan an escape with the two inmates and their art.


About the Author


Bill Thomas grew up in Austin, Texas. Bill started playing drums at an early age and played in many local bands including The Rock Hounds and Primitive Moderns. Bill moved to guitar and released two original CD's on CD Baby. He performs with a stage name of Bill James. Bill has also written two full length screenplays.



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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Searching for Gertrude by D.E. Haggerty

Searching for Gertrude Blitz


Historical Fiction, Historical Romance
Date Published: January 22, 2018

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While growing up in Germany in the 1930s, Rudolf falls in love with the girl next door, Gertrude. He doesn’t care what religion Gertrude practices but the Nazis do. When the first antisemitic laws are enacted by the Nazi government, Gertrude’s father loses his job at the local university. Unable to find employment in Germany, he accepts a position at Istanbul University and moves the family to Turkey. Rudolf, desperate to follow Gertrude, takes a position working at the consulate in Istanbul with the very government which caused her exile. With Rudolf finally living in the same city as Gertrude, their reunion should be inevitable, but he can’t find her. During his search for Gertrude, he stumbles upon Rosalyn, an American Jew working as a nanny in the city. Upon hearing his heartbreaking story, she immediately agrees to help him search for his lost love. Willing to do anything in their search for Gertrude, they agree to work for a British intelligence officer who promises his assistance, but his demands endanger Rudolf and Rosalyn. As the danger increases and the search for Gertrude stretches on, Rudolf and Rosalyn grow close, but Rudolf gave his heart away long ago. 

How far would you go to find the woman you love?











Excerpt


As usual, the clerk rushed out of the room as soon as it was lunchtime the next day. Rudolf waited until the other administrative workers had left, and then he waited an additional five minutes to make sure no one was coming back. He didn’t sneak over to the clerk’s desk. He strolled over as if he had business to which he needed to attend even as his palms sweated and his heart beat erratically. He tugged on the drawer to ensure it was locked before pulling the letter opener out of his pocket. He looked around to ensure he was still alone before kneeling in front of the drawer and sticking the letter opener in the tiny lock. With only a bit of jiggling, the lock clicked open. As quietly as he could, Rudolf pulled the drawer open and peeked in. Sure enough, the cabinet keys were sitting in the tray on the top of the drawer. He slid the drawer closed and went to stand. That’s when he realized his mistake. The drawer had to be locked when the clerk arrived. Otherwise, he would immediately assume something was wrong.

Rudolf kneeled in front of the closed drawer and once again stuck his letter opener in the lock. If the letter opener could unlock the drawer, it stood to reason it could also lock it. It took quite a bit of fiddling made worse by his shaky hands before he felt a click. He heard the clacking of boots on tile and jumped to his feet while thrusting the letter opener in his pocket. The sound came closer. He didn’t have time to check the lock was engaged. He rushed in the opposite direction of the approaching person, entering the hallway on the far side of the office. He walked to the toilet and waited until he was locked in a stall before he dared to take a breath. He leaned against the stall door and took deep breaths while his heart slowly went back to its regular rhythm.

After he managed to gain some semblance of calm, he splashed cold water on his face before returning to his desk where he waited for the clerk to arrive. Was the desk drawer locked? Would the clerk know someone had tampered with the drawer even if it was locked? It took all of Rudolf’s willpower to not constantly glance at the clerk’s empty desk. When the clerk finally arrived, Rudolf tilted his chair in the clerk’s direction and waited with bated breath. But nothing happened other than the clerk unlocking his desk after sitting down. Rudolf waited for the man to notice things were amiss. It took several hours before he realized the clerk was not going to notice anything, and he could relax. He could breathe for the first time since lunch and got back to work.


About the Author



I grew-up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on, from my mom's Harlequin romances, to Nancy Drew, to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.

Searching for Gertrude is my twelfth book.

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

~~ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ~~ Breath ~~ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ~~

* I usually avoid Kickstarter projects.  This however is one I strongly believe in, not only because I am a huge fan of Victoria's writing but also because her stories are such, so high quality that they stay with you.   



BREATH by Victoria Dougherty

Are you looking for a story that’ll make you feel the lush beauty and thrill of true love, while taking you on a pulse-pounding journey through history?
BREATH is what you’ve been waiting to read. And to experience. Because you can be a part of bringing this story into existence.
Imagine if you’d been there when Suzanne Collins was writing The Hunger Games or Stephanie Meyer was writing Twilight. When George RR Martin was penning Game of Thrones. You might have lived the story through advance copies and maybe a conversation or two. When you join me on BREATH, you can receive advance copies, artwork, photographs, and short, BREATH-inspired love stories that only a handful of readers will ever lay eyes on. You will receive regular updates from me about how BREATH is coming to life.

Nif and Sherin are Ninti. They share a deep and powerful devotion that puts them both in mortal danger, while propelling them towards an extraordinary fate that ensures they will live infinite human lives...and suffer an equal number of deaths. Together they must solve a mystery that spans the ages, or risk losing one another forever. 
BREATH is a story of lovers, killers, curses and destinies. It's about the people who lived history, but it's also a tale of those who unearthed history in order to preserve and understand its legacy. 
You get to travel with Nif and Sherin during their adventures, but you'll also be present alongside the past and future archeologists who are driven to solve the puzzle of their existence. 

To make BREATH an amazing, immersive, world-building experience, the novel will need original art work, award-winning editorial direction and design, plus vintage photography from some of the greatest archeological expeditions the world has ever known.
And you can help make that happen, and get some fantastic rewards, too. Not only swag like printed copies of the book before it’s available to the general public, but BREATH posters, a limited edition book of BREATH artwork and photography, and even personal story consulting worth hundreds of dollars.
Just click on the link to my Kickstarter campaign, watch a video or two, and read about the incredible potential to make BREATH unlike any other epic historical romance you’ve ever read or even imagined.

Readers want and deserve a story experience that is as visually stunning as it is soul-stirring. A poetry of words and pictures that doesn't merely introduce them to a story, but draws them into a whole world of passion, adventure and intrigue with characters who come to feel like family.
With your support, BREATH will become a story you can't do without. One of the three things you'll grab and save if you ever have to run out of your burning house in nothing but your underwear.


Victoria Dougherty bio:
Victoria Dougherty is the author of THE BONE CHURCH, THE HUNGARIAN, WELCOME TO THE HOTEL YALTA and COLD.



A writer and consultant with Dougherty Dialectic since 2001, she has ghost-written articles, speeches and testimony for Fortune 500 executives, and taught multiple seminars on writing. Her journalism and essays have been published in the Chicago Tribune, the Prague Post, and the Sunday edition of the New York Times. Victoria has also written, translated, and produced television news segments and video scripts.

Earlier in her career, while living in Prague, she co-founded Black Box Theater, translating, producing, and acting in to sold-out audiences in several Czech plays – from Vaclav Havel’s “Protest” to the unintentionally hilarious communist propaganda play “Karhan’s Men.” Black Box Theater was profiled in feature articles in USA Today and numerous European publications.

Her blog – COLD* (www.victoriadougherty.wordpress.com) – features her short essays on faith, family, love, and writing. WordPress, the blogging platform that hosts over 70 million blogs worldwide, has singled out COLD as one of their top Recommended Blogs by writers or about writing.

Goddess of the Wild Thing by Paul DeBlassie III

Let nature and the elements be your guide as we introduce you to Goddess Of The Wild Thing! 

 
 
 
Paul De Blassie III
Goddess of the Wild Thing is a dramatic tale of one woman’s spiritual journey where magical happenings, unexpected turns of fate, and unseen forces influence her ability to love and be loved. Eve Sanchez, a middle-aged woman and scholar of esoteric studies, encounters a seductive but frightening man who introduces her to a supernatural world in which the wicked powers of a surrogate mother’s twisted affection threaten love and life. In the mystic realms of Aztlan del Sur, Eve and three friends struggle with whether bad love is better than no love and discover that love is a wild thing.



Paul De Blassie III
 
 
 
 
Paul De Blassie III
Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D. is a depth psychologist and award-winning writer living in his native New Mexico. He specializes in treating individuals in emotional and spiritual crisis. His novels, visionary thrillers, delve deep into archetypal realities as they play out dramatically in the lives of everyday people. Memberships include the Author’s Guild, the Depth Psychology Alliance, the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, and the International Association for Jungian Studies. 


His other award winning book: 
Paul De Blassie III
A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, "The Unholy" is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.



Twitter  Facebook    Website  Google+ ✯ YouTube ✯ Instagram ✯ GoodReads ✯ Amazon
 
 


Books On Fire Tours:  This was a difficult read. Not because it was a bad story. On the contrary. It was mind blowing! It was difficult because it messed with one's mind in the most clever and effective way, which only a Pscychologist can do. So what is it about? 
Eve and her friends use yoga and other spiritual means to help them navigate life when it gets tricky, and the often elusive thing called love. Debating whether or not bad love is better than no love at all, they go through life's ups and downs together. Yet when Eve meets a man called Sam, who has potential, evil lurks and causes havoc in her life. An epic battle between good versus evil ensues between her and Sweet Mary, and in the process she finds her true self. BUT, there is so much more and as a reader you can only wonder what is real and not real.
Many people will complain about the lack of dialogue on this novel, but it is rich in back stories and information vital to the development of the plot. This book is not only filled with mystical and magical, but paranormal, metaphysical and occult elements. Essentially a great read for horror/ thriller fans, those who like a little romance will also enjoy this read.  Because it catered to all my needs as a reader, I give this book 5 stars. 

"Paul DeBlassie III has an extraordinary ability to pull the reader into his mythical world, and the special effect depictions drawn within my mind while reading *Goddess of the Wild Thing *could easily match up with some of the most gruesome of horror stories on film. He transports you through an amazing spiritual journey exploring the power of fate and love. Packed with action, suspense and even romance, Dr. DeBlassie has written a truly brilliant and riveting supernatural story!” ~ Tamara Ferguson, international, multi-award-winning author"

"Paul DeBlassie III has a wicked gift in writing psychological thrillers, and he does it in a way I have never experienced before. In *Goddess of the Wild Thing*, he gave me a glimpse into his reflections, inviting me to draw closer to the dark side. His writing is rich with supernatural symbolism and, when all is resolved, deeply empowering.” ~ Uvi Poznansky, artist and award-winning author

“*Goddess of the Wild Thing* by Paul DeBlassie III brilliantly couples his in-depth knowledge of the human mind and behavior with his love of lore, imaginatively knitting a deeply psychological and esoteric story that will keep you turning the page. I could picture clearly the fantastical sense of place . . . a must-read magical tale.” ~ Luna Saint Claire, author of *The Sleeping Serpent*

"Dr. DeBlassie, author of the multiple-award-winning *The Unholy*, produced another novel with depth, action, and spirit in *Goddess of the Wild Thing*. For centuries we’ve struggled with whether bad love is better than no love. In this paranormal thriller, a fierce woman tackles the question with determination and fire.” ~ Rayna Noire, author of the *Pagan Eyes Series*


 




The stone altar was used by Eve and company to conjure natural energies of earth, air, fire, and water. Tonatzé symbolized feminine strength and ancient powers. Around the altar, the four women entered mystic states with intuitive inspirations and visions. The four mestizas frequently gathered at midnight, when the full moon shone most lustrously. They held hands, sipped their whiskeys, and inhaled magic herb. Soon the image of the Goddess flickered in rhythm with their soft singing under the light of the high-desert moon.  Chant and trance conjured natural magic. They yielded to relaxation, reverie, and trust in one another and the natural world.

Descending into a meditative state, they were whisked from one world to the next. On slips of paper, they quietly wrote their worries, dilemmas, trials, and tribulations.

Seeking answers and relief, they placed the folded papers in a granite bowl before the altar. They lit a match. Paper burned.  Silence wrapped its arms around the four. Gentle breezes stirred. Hoots of distant and nearby owls carried through the nighttime atmosphere. Flames from the granite bowl rose three feet and abruptly expired, devoured by darkness.

The ritual of fire fortified the coven, foul happenstance and unexpected hazard averted, all save one kind.  Man trouble waited for Eve like a demonic jack-in-the-box, head bobbing and grinning. Muscles up and down her back tightened. It was this that caused her to flee into denial, the thought of time wasted, mind and body pained. The desire to talk, confide in her friends about misgivings about Sam, the last worst guy ever, fled like alley cats into a lonely night. Denial made everything go away—and stay gone—better than a couple of vodkas on the rocks on a chilly evening.  

A white cab edged out of the alleyway bordering the cantina. It pulled stealthily alongside Eve. She bent down and looked through the smudged passenger window. She wanted to make sure she knew the cabbie. Past midnight was no time to be in a trusting mood.   

Paul De Blassie III


***

 At three a.m., the proverbial witching hour of Aztlan, Sweet Mary left her apartment for the gathering of Las Brujas Malas, deep in the crumbling limestone edifice of vicious spirits. The condemned downtown limestone church, once a prosperous enclave of the Ecclesia Dei, had long been  abandoned. It sat adjacent to Sweet Mary’s bedroom, badly stained by gray and black soot.    

Putrid odors of the cursed underworld that lay beneath its unhallowed edifice, curled through the atmosphere surroundingthe decaying structure. 

Sweet Mary wound her way past the fenced and barbed wired blockade that deterred homeless souls and nighttime vandals. Her lithe frame smoothly squeezed between the slightly ajar, chained doors. She walked over the toppled wooden pews and stone statues littering the concrete flooring from the back of the church to its altar.

The religious artifacts had been defaced by those news media referred to as sledgehammer-wielding lunatics claiming clerical abuse as children.

She quipped to herself, Religion mocks, uses, and abuses. Nothing new under the black sun.

She opened a narrow side door that led to a rusted iron spiral staircase. Into the haunted and torch-lined basement that stretched thirty feet beneath the surface, she stepped. At the final stair, she touched bare earth.

Torches were lit along a cave of mirrors, shards embedded in the walls,  shattered remnants taken from the homes of victims who had defamed Las Brujas.

Anyone who dared speak ill of the brujas ended the day tormented, injured, or maimed. Crises happened. One second they were safe, the next mowed down by an out-of-control car, or mugged and cut, or worse, lured in by a soft and sexy vixen loaded with a nasty biological curse. Mirrors confiscated from homes during nighttime raids reflected the victim’s horrified face when doom struck. Sweet Mary hurried past the legions of rats scampering away from her every step into the cracks and crevices of the century-old limestone structure. 

An unavoidable eyesore at the heart of one the most decayed areas of the often sinister downtown Aztlan del Sur. It was a meeting . In this haunted zone, Sweet Mary presided over the witches of black magic. They knew how to spot love, taint love, kill love. It’s what bad mothers did. It’s what Las Brujas did. It’s what Sweet Mary did—because what had been received must be given.

No one knew where they gathered. Evil demanded hiddenness. Street-smart folk and fear-ridden church folk knew them as Las Brujas Malas, the foulest of witches, not to be crossed. Even those who suspected the whereabouts of their lair dared not cross the street to look at the unholy building, now a crumbling religious edifice.

The witches met at the mouth of a deserted tunnel, which in former years led to the secret chapel of the reigning archbishop, who there entertained a bevy of female devotees. Las Brujas, the four desert urban witches, walked down the twenty-foot descent. Hard-pack dirt sloped gently into the entrance of the unhallowed region of the chapel that had become the accursed cave of Las Brujas.

They moved forward, into the mouth of the cave.

Paul De Blassie III

*** 

But here Eve was, paralyzed. Waves of gurgling and quicksand were no metaphor. Agitation could turn bad to worse. Eve clutched harder for a stable mind. It was a torment, nearly impossible not to panic. She gritted her teeth, tightened her mental hold. Gently, millimeter by millimeter, she managed to raise her right hand. Mud offered no resistance. She raised her right forearm out of the hungry maw of dirt and grit. She grabbed hold of a desert oak’s dropping branch. It held firm. Five fingers clutched like a vise. She lifted her left arm and hand. Inch by inch, she loosened her torso from the deadly mud. Low-lying olive tree branches gave steadier purchase.  Relief. 

Memories of circling sparrows, an ancient warding against fated demise, provided a moment’s comfort. She pulled upward. Branches did not snap or break. They were supple. Evenly, she pulled with breath after concentrated breath. She gazed toward the sky. There were no sparrows overhead. The silence felt unnerving. 

The sky shifted, turquoise bright turned to leaden gray. The desert olive branch snapped. Eve screamed and dropped. She sank to her shoulders. Quicksand lapped up past her chin, grains of sand forming crusts along her lips. 

Clenching her teeth, she was grateful her mind hadn’t snapped along with the branch. Wits kept panic at bay. 

Dying wasn’t a concern, survival was. It was the getting there that mattered—how it happened, how she did it. She detested the thought of dying by a witch’s curse, slipping into an underworld of final breaths and mud-loaded lungs. If she went down into the belly of the abyss and the mouth of a soul-famished witch, she’d do it on her terms. Middle finger out.


Paul De Blassie III


 
 
 
Book trailer with the Author's choice of music to listen to his book.