Friday, March 29, 2013

Discover ...The Master's Book

Today we are gathered here to learn more about...

Sean moves to Brussels to a house that is a crime scene...

For a FREE copy of THE MASTER'S BOOK to review, just scroll down to the end of this post and answer the simple question...

Philip, thanks for agreeing to share a little about yourself and your novel today.
Your book has been released through Museitup Publishing. Can you tell us what inspired you to write The Master’s Book? Reading the blurb, it sounds like a thrilling YA adventure
First of all, I lived in Brussels at the time when my son and daughter were the ages of Sean and Maeve in the story (but there the resemblance ends, I must stress!). I started writing the book at a time when I was a bit down and wanted to re-capture that happy period of my life. Stephanie, the main female protagonist, was inspired by the many beautiful mixed race children that my own children mixed with in the European school, although again her personality is her own.

Did your characters follow your plot path or did they take on a life of their own? Do you keep them in check or let them take control?

They very much take on a life of their own so that any prior plotting tends to end up in the bin! Still, I have to keep some rein on them or the story can go off-piste (you can see that I’m learning to ski just now).

Writing the story is only half the exercise though, isn’t it. Becoming published is not always easy. Even with self-publishing as an option. What do you think is the most important thing a writer needs to face, along the road to publication?

First of all, especially with children’s writing, it’s very important to be realistic. Lots of well-meaning people remind me of J.K.Rowling’s experience but that is so untypical. Most authors struggle, even when they get published. Also, while you mustn’t give up writing, you need to learn to move on from one project to another after a certain point, because otherwise you just risk disappointment and demotivation. Besides, trying different styles and scenarios is good practice.

What has been the hardest hurdle for you in getting your novel published?

Both this novel and a previous project twice got to second readings with potential publishers before being turned down so I experienced the frustration of knowing I was doing something right but not knowing what I was doing wrong. All in all it’s just been a long haul and if I’d taken the advice I just gave above I’d have moved on (I had, in fact, started on another project).

Have you always been a writer?

Not since my teens until about seven years ago, when I was inspired to write after reading Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. So it’s no surprise that I like feisty girl characters – although in the case of The Master’s Book, the feisty girl (Stephanie) is counterbalanced by a more uncertain boy, who is the narrator.

What is your favourite pastime, when not writing?

Anything that revolves around food and drink; either cooking food, eating it, reading about it, watching food programmes on TV, or just talking about it! That said, I love reading (fiction and history), cinema and classical music. In terms of physical stuff, I live in the mountains so I’ve plenty of opportunities to walk or ski. I also like swimming and I go to the gym to work 
off the food!
In 1482 Mary, the last Duchess of Burgundy, lies on her deathbed in a castle in Flanders. She is only 24. In her final moments she makes a wish that, 500 years later, will threaten the lives of a boy and a girl living in Brussels.
The Master’s Book is the story of Sean, an Irish teenager, just arrived in Brussels to a house that is also a crime scene. Together with Stephanie, his classmate, he finds an illuminated manuscript, only for it to be stolen almost at once.

Where did this manuscript come from? Who was it originally made for? Is there a connection with the beautiful tomb Sean has seen in Bruges? Above all, why does someone want this book so badly that they are prepared to kill for it?

Part thriller and part paper-chase, this book is aimed at boys and girls of twelve and over.

“So tell me more about this murder.”

What am I to say? I’d love to tell her what I found this morning, but can I trust her?

“There’s not really much more to tell,” I said. “The house was ransacked, but we don’t know what they were looking for.” 

“Hmm. So you don’t think there’s still something hidden somewhere in the house?” 

She’s near the mark.

“No, I’m sure there isn’t,” I said, trying to hide my surprise.

“Oh, come on.” She poked my shoulder. “You realise you’ve missed a chance to make up a really good story.”

The laugh I gave mustn’t have been very convincing, maybe because I’d fixed my gaze on the floor. She stared hard at me and suddenly gave me a nudge. 

“You’re not telling me everything, you sly thing,” she cried. “You did find something. You were trying to keep it a secret, weren’t you?”

Inside, we could see neat stacks of framed pictures against both walls, their backs facing out. Starting with the left-hand stack, I pulled them forward one by one: an old-fashioned painting of some horses in a field, another of a mountain waterfall, one of a woman in a blue dress, and then a painting of a vase of flowers. 

“I’ve no idea if these are valuable,” I said, “but they’re certainly old.”

I turned to the right-hand stack, all black-and-white stuff like sketches and architectural drawings. 

“What’s in here?” Stephanie asked, turning the light on a steel cabinet with an airtight door that was set into the end wall. “Here, hold the torch.”

The big handle of the cabinet reminded me of one I’d seen on a walk-in meat store once. Stephanie had to use both hands to swing it open. Inside we could see two rows of folders hanging sideways like files from metal frames. She pulled on the lower frame, and it slid out. She lifted one of the folders out at random.

It contained several yellowing sheets of paper with old-fashioned writing, each one separated from the next by a piece of tissue paper. We tried another folder and found more of the same. 

Stephanie fingered them gently. “What can these be, I wonder? I’m not sure if I can read them. Some of the words look like Flemish, and some like German.”

She put the folder back carefully and took out another. “I think these ones are in French, but I’m not sure. Some of the words are strange.”

“Well it doesn’t look like there’s anything here in English, anyway.” I looked into the gap where she’d taken out the folder. 

That was when something else caught my eye.

“Wait a minute,” I whispered, the hair on the back of my neck standing up.

“What?” asked Stephanie, also dropping her voice to a whisper.

“There’s something else behind these folders. Here, help me get a few more out.”

She did as I asked, and we looked into the space again. 

“What the—” I began, but Stephanie got there first.

“Why is there a safe hidden back here? It’s not as if this room is easy to find.”

“Or that the rest of the stuff here isn’t worth a lot,” I added.

 “Exactly.” Stephanie exclaimed. “What on earth was this guy up to?”

The safe looked like the ones you see in hotel bedrooms, with buttons instead of a combination dial, only a bit bigger.

“Whatever’s in there must really be in a different league,” I went on, probing the buttons.

“I don’t suppose you can figure out the combination, can you, mister smart kid?”

“No,” I muttered. I couldn’t tell if she was being sarcastic when she called me “mister smart kid”.

“Pity. You’ve been doing so well up until now.”

I still didn’t know if she meant that as a compliment or not. Best not to take the credit if I didn’t know her intentions.

“Well, it was Maeve who first spotted that the basement was smaller than it should be,” I reminded her, trying to sound as if I didn’t care about her compliments. 

“I forgot about that,” said Stephanie, laughing. “Maybe we should bring her in on the whole thing now.”

“No way.” The last thing I wanted was for Maeve to butt in on my time with Stephanie, not that I was going to admit why I didn’t want Maeve there. “If we do that, we might as well tell my folks, because I reckon that’s what she’d do.”

“Oh, well, we can’t have that. At least, not until we see if we can work out for ourselves what’s in there. It might be diamonds or something. Maybe the guy was a crook. We could get a reward.”

“Well, Dad said the neighbours didn’t like him, but that doesn’t mean he was a crook. Still, I suppose you never know. Anyway, we’re not going to find out one way or the other if we can’t work out the combination, are we? 

“He’s probably written it down in code somewhere.”

“Yeah right. Now who’s been watching too much TV?”

“No, I think people actually do that. If this guy—what did you say his name was?”

“Jan. Jan de Meulenaer.” I’d heard Dad mention it often enough to remember.

“Well, maybe this Jan guy made some kind of a note of it somewhere to make sure he wouldn’t forget. But if the safe is this well-hidden, he won’t have just written it down somewhere obvious where everyone can find it. He’d leave himself a clue somewhere.”

“I don’t think so,” I said, reluctantly starting to put back the folders. “The house was completely empty when we moved in. They’d even redecorated it.”

“Let me think,” said Stephanie slowly, fingering her lower lip.

“Well, we can’t stay down here, anyway.” I glanced at my watch. “The folks might walk in anytime. And Maeve is always nosy.”

“All right. Let’s lock up then.”

Sounds great Philip... Thanks for sharing a little about The Master's Book with us today.
You can discover more about Philip, at THE RELUCTANT IRISHMAN

Now... the simple question to answer to get yourself a FREE copy of THE MASTER'S BOOK
Where does Sean move to?
Email your answer to CaleathsQuest @ (no spaces) and I will forward your request to the author.
Thanks again for dropping in.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The SEVENTH BULL enters the arena...

Today in the arena we face

To get a FREE copy of 
THE SEVENTH BULL to review, 
answer the question at the end of the blog. This offer is valid for one week only.

Gordon, your story has recently released through MuseItUp Publishing.  Can you tell us a little about what inspired you to write The Seventh Bull.  

I suppose it began when I saw Tyrone Power back in the 1940’s in Blood and Sand.  I was fascinated by the drama, color, costumes, pageantry and danger.  Over the years I read a lot about bullfighting, especially the works of Ernest Hemingway.  Eventually I saw several bullfights in person. The one that sticks in my mind was when I went with a party of friends from Los Angeles down to Tijuana.  We wanted to see the world’s Number One matador, Antonio Ordoñez, in an exhibition at Plaza Monumental by the sea.  We experienced a lot that weekend----a wild cab ride to the arena, the unruly Americans at the bullfight, the grand parade of bullfighters in all their finery, the ritual of the bullfight in three acts, and the exciting parties after the event.  We all went to a famous motel, The Sierra, afterwards.  It was an unforgettable sight.  Beautiful women in toreador clothing and flat-brimmed gaucho hats clapping and dancing to the flamenco music of a small mariachi band.  Laughing, chatting movies stars like Mike Conners who was starring in MANNIX on TV, Diane Baker and Cesar Romero. And Gilbert Roland with his white shirt sleeves rolled up, and a leather sleeve on one forearm, surrounded by young fans and regaling them with fanciful bullfight tales. That was the experience I drew upon when I wrote The Seventh Bull.

Bullfighting is not usually a sport I would follow but reading about your character has aroused my interest.  What is it about bullfighting that fascinates you?

I cannot think of another sport that is so thrilling.  I was amazed to see one man stand up to a charging thousand-pound bull with only a small stick and a piece of red cloth to protect him. 

 Bullfighting has a long history of colorful fighters, great victories in the arena, and tragic deaths of beloved and legendary figures.  It has spawned hundreds, and perhaps, thousands of books and articles on the subject.  It has an army of ardent fans, and an equal number of those who hate the sport and who have attempted to get it abolished. 

 But it still thrives, survives, and keeps thrilling audiences all over Europe, South America and Mexico.

When writing The Seventh Bull did your characters follow your plot path or did they take off on a life of their own?  Are you a plotter or a pantzer?

I am a plotter mostly.  Much of my writing over the past twenty years has been screenplays.  And for that, I always like to work out a step outline of each and every scene in the film. 
 When I write fiction, I do much the same, and work out each scene from beginning to end, with a firm idea of what the ending will be.  
Once in a while, my characters might say something that I didn’t expect.  That often surprises me and delights me when they talk back, or rebel against what I have plotted.  But for the most part my story and my characters stay true to the plot I have laid out for them.

Writing the story is only half the exercise, though, isn’t it?  What research did you do to give The Seventh Bull its authenticity?

Because of my interest in bullfighting at an early age, I began collecting books and articles on the subject.  I amassed box loads of material.  I drew on a lot of that when I wrote two screenplays, Matadora and Even The Sea Must Die, with bullfighting as a background. 
 There was some producer and studio interest, but the scripts never sold.  They wound up with the tear sheets and paperbacks in a cardboard box.  But my extensive research for script development, and my attendance at bullfights in person, gave me a pretty solid background to draw from.

Becoming published is not always easy.  What do you think is the most important thing a writer needs to face along the road to publication?

I am an old man.  And I have been writing for more years than I care to say.  I’ve been lucky enough to make my living as a writer. 

 I have had a lot of people try to discourage me along the way---teachers, relatives, my wife, bosses, friends, agents, editors, and producers.  But I forged on. 

I think the best advice I can give anyone is to stay the course and listen to our heart, not any outside influences.  And disregard that inner critic who tells you to give up.  Always fight for it.  It will happen sooner or later.

Have you always been a writer?

No.  But I’ve always been a reader.  
It wasn’t until college that I began to think of writing as a career.  I was encouraged by a professor in the Journalism School at the University of Washington.  He had been a successful writer of Young Adult books and his wife was a magazine writer who had published a great many stories in The Saturday Evening Post.  

Their words spurred me on and I became the Sports Editor of the college paper and a featured writer for the campus humor magazine.  After college, most of my writing was done in Los Angeles for aerospace firms, and in San Francisco advertising agencies.


Once at the top of his journalistic game, Robert Dunne is now a drunken hanger-on following the circuit of a highly acclaimed matador. 

Paco Garcia is known and revered as "The Bullfighter Who Can't Be Killed."
 Dunne hopes to jumpstart his languishing career with a bestselling book revealing the mystery of Paco's phenomenal ability to escape "death in the afternoon."

 But circumstances take a macabre turn when the famous matador fires his beautiful manager---despite her dark warnings. 
Will Dunne heed the woman's threat of dire consequences---or is he prepared to give the Devil his due?

While the other two toreros stumbled and blundered fighting their four bulls, Paco was magnificent with his pair of selected beasts. 

Paco showed the crowd why he was called"The Bullfighter Who Can't Be Killed." He stood under the hot sun, with never a backward step, and sent his bulls crashing to magnificent deaths in a sea of gore and spittle.

 The crowd that had come to see Paco gutted ended up screaming, "“Olé, olé, olé!”, until they had no voice left to use. Paco gave them the works: pase de pecho, natural, manoletinaveronica, a kneeling molinete, and even the famous arrucina
The fans forgot the inadequacies of the other matadors, as they sat enthralled by Paco's mastery of muleta and sword. Paco cheated the crowd out of seeing him get a fatalcornada

He was brilliant. And, finally, the last espada had been driven into the blood-soaked aorta of the sixth bull of the afternoon. 

A hitched team of plow horses then carted the last gory carcass off into the shadows beyond the stands. When I rejoined Paco, he was making like a playful schoolboy. "Ha, Roberto," he shouted at me, "we showed them, didn't we? No adornos. No funny clown hats. Or the telephone bit. We just showed them all the classic moves."

 "And courage, Maestro," I added. 

"I was the best today, Roberto. Not only the master of my muleta and sword, but of my very soul as well."

 To get a FREE copy of THE SEVENTH BULL to review, answer this simple question,
What sport is featured in The Seventh Bull? 
and send your answer to 
CaleathsQuest (no spaces) and I will forward your answer on to the author. 
Grab your copy of The Seventh Bull today for only $1.59... Save 20% BARGAIN.

Thanks for dropping in today!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

THREE WRONGS...Will the Bad Guy cut it?

Chuck Bowie talks about...
The Road To Redemption

Here’s the thing about human nature: it is messy. 

You’ve seen them: the guys who raise hell on Saturday night and wouldn’t miss going to church on Sunday. Or that teacher who has zero patience for most of her students, yet always has a snack for the child who has forgotten their lunch. In fiction, as in life, the lines between good and bad can become blurry. And sometimes, that’s where the tasty part rests.

In my novel Three Wrongs, Donovan, my Thief For Hire protagonist, does bad things. He’s a thief and a liar. When the going gets tough, his instinct for self-preservation causes him to step over the line. And bad things can happen when you cross the line.

A series of conversations and events cause Donovan to re-imagine what his life might be like if he was to reverse some of the wrongs. It calls to mind Saint Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus. But what if he nevertheless wanted to make a profit from this conversion? Life, in fiction or otherwise, is never clear-cut.

There is a scene, early on in Three Wrongs where Donovan places someone in harm’s way, with disastrous consequences. We don’t like our protagonist, at that point. He is a bad man who has inadvertently done a bad thing. Readers have shown that they don’t like badness at the beginning of a novel, a steady diet of inexorable badness throughout, and an unsettlingly bad ending. (I don’t do that, by the way; I’m not tough enough) So, why do we keep reading Donovan?

Donovan has a soul. Yes, he’s broken, in his way. Events throughout his life have formed and informed him. He carries his history into each day and it sits like a bully-angel on his shoulder, demanding that he stands up for himself. But he knows right from wrong, after a fashion, and he tries to makes amends. And we like that. This is part of what makes Donovan interesting. We want to follow him, to understand why he is bad and how he will try to make amends.

As a writer, I created this person who does bad things, but who may wish that he was a better person. Once he had sprung to life, his actions, together with his personality got me wondering: where will this dichotomy between good and bad take him? Three Wrongs is a suspense-thriller series about a Thief For Hire. 

Naturally, I had to find out, for instance, if he back-slides. I explore this element in subsequent episodes. 

So, is he a bad guy, trying to be good or a good guy, trying to be bad? I find him, in all his complex, imperfect glory, interesting. Initial reaction from my readers suggests that they want to know what happens to him. 

Maybe a little bad isn’t so, well, bad, after all.
Sean Donovan is doing all right; he has two offshore bank accounts and an American one as well and all three are filling up nicely. His network of clients know his business plan: he is willing to acquire whatever rare or inaccessible product is needed, be it the security plans to an art gallery, a rare Etruscan goblet or a recorded conversation from a former American President. And he will steal it and deliver it to them, no questions asked nor answered.
But he is becoming dissatisfied. In addition to the physical wear and tear inflicted on his body by adversaries, he is now becoming weary of the toll his newly-discovered conscience is exacting from these highly illegal exploits. A series of lies to his most recent client has caused him to think about the impact of his deeds and he doesn’t like how it makes him feel. An idea begins to form; what if he was to undo his last three wrongs? And what if he nevertheless wants to benefit from turning over this new leaf?
This story follows Sean Donovan as he travels from Bucharest to London to Montreal and New York. Will he repent his wicked ways? Will he quit the business before those who he has wronged catch up to him? Will he discover that three wrongs don’t make a right?

THREE WRONGS has me hooked.. It has just gone to the top of my 'to read' list. 
Thanks for being my guest today. I hope you will be back soon.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

ReGuarding Grace...

Hi there, I would like to introduce Karen Leppert, author of ReGUARDING Grace...
For your chance to get a FREE copy of ReGUARDING GRACE to review, just answer the question at the bottom of this post.
Karen, your novel has recently been released through Museitup Publishing. Can you tell us a little about what inspired you to write “ReGuarding Grace.”
 Having worked with you on this book as content editor, I know what a complex story you have to share. Can you tell us what inspired the many personalities behind ReGuarding Grace?

The idea for ReGUARDing GRACE came from a television show and a documentary. The show, The United States of Tara, was a dark comedy on Showtime some years ago. 

The main character, Tara, had multiple personalities, though unlike mine. Hers were human and the result of abuse. One of her alters wore glasses, reminding me of a documentary about Dissociative Identity Disorder, or people with multiples personalities. 

I marvelled at how the mind can protect itself and especially how the alters had distinct personalities and traits. Unlike humans, my alters have superhuman abilities, traits they possessed in their former lives that are “supersized” as an alter.

Having multiple personalities as characters had to be difficult, how did you get your characters (and their alters) to follow the plot? Did any of them take on a life of their own? How do you keep so many personalities in check?

First and foremost, I gave them distinct personalities and very different paranormal abilities. This made it easy to tell them apart. 

At least I hope so. As the writer, I knew the characters. I hope the reader agrees. 

For instance, even though Jack’s alters share his body and, therefore, looks, they change his look a little. Nathan wears glasses, Tobias’ body appears to “buff up” when he transitions and Oliver wears rugged clothes befitting his earthy personality.

As far as any of the alters taking on a life of their own, I found a kinship with Oliver. I thoroughly enjoyed when Jack “gave him the day”. He was fun to write.

Writing Grace’s story is only half the exercise though, isn’t it. Becoming published is not always easy. Even with self publishing as an option. What do you think is the most important thing a writer needs to face, along the road to publication?

I threw my fear of failing out the door. First and foremost, I write for myself. I promised to take this journey with one expectation. 

I would take the steps toward publishing because it was a part of the process. My only goal was to learn something from this experience, even if it meant accepting failure. 

Great lessons come from failing. At least I could say I tried. I also thought it might give my children (and someday grandchildren) some insight into my soul, other than being their mother.

What was the hardest hurdle for you in getting your story published?

I received an offer to publish from another publisher who didn’t plan to make any changes. I had already sent the manuscript to Muse, so I informed them of the other offer. 

While Muse liked my idea, they thought the story was too passive and offered to accept a re-write. This was the first real critique I received. 

Even though I did not have a guarantee Muse would accept my manuscript, I declined the first offer and proceeded to re-write. It wasn’t easy and I still struggle with a passive voice. I am definitely a work in progress.

Have you always been a writer?

In my heart, but my head got in the way (that fear of failure again). With my children grown and out of the house, I contemplated how I would spend my time. 

Being out of the working world for twenty years, I had few employable skills, so I decided to pursue my dream of writing a novel. 

In five years, I have written two trilogies. I am presently editing the second book in this trilogy, Beyond Grace, with the hopes of Muse accepting it for publication.  

About the Author:
I was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland but now reside in Belcamp, Maryland with my husband, Ed, and two children, Jess and Zach. When my fiftieth birthday approached, I finally discovered what I wanted to be “when I grew up”…a writer. 
When a new student arrives at Mansfield High School, Grace Evans feels an inexplicable kinship with the boy. Strange feelings are not new to Grace, who has experienced lapses in time accompanied by injuries that defy logical explanation. As much as she tries to ignore this latest mystery, Grace cannot deny her already-troubled life is getting darker and more dangerous and wonders if this new boy knows her secret.
Jack Elliott has always known what he is and believes his life is one of destiny and fate because of one person: Grace Evans, a young woman who has haunted him since the day she was born. Everything…his education, training, sacrifices…has led to this moment, but Jack‘s skills are about to be tested beyond his wildest imagination.
Like so many times before, Grace Elizabeth Evans dominated Jack’s thoughts as he waited in the corridor of The Delacroix Institute. Everything around him seemed heightened. While he could blame Oliver, one of three alter personalities who shared his body, Jack knew better. The possibility of another Guardian receiving Grace’s assignment sent Jack reeling. So much so, Nathan and Tobias, Jack’s other alters, left for the day, leaving only Oliver to contend with Jack’s hysteria.

Jack empathized with his sensitive alter, who had the ability to see, feel, taste and hear others. Surely, Oliver felt incapacitated today, overwhelmed by Jack’s worrisome thoughts, trembling body and visions of Grace with another Guardian. Not to mention the outside stimuli Oliver must contend with on a daily basis. 

“You should go,” Jack prompted.

Without a word, Oliver retreated, returning the world to normal. The fluorescent lights no longer buzzed in Jack’s ears like an annoying fly, their brightness dimmed to a tolerable level.

Best of all, his colleagues’ conversations, both external and internal, hushed; the only voices Jack heard belonged to two people chatting beside the water cooler at the end of the hallway.

Yes, Oliver was gone.

Jack longed to flee too. His position, however, forced him to be stay so he ventured down the hall to attend a Board meeting, an annoying nuisance in his life, mandated by the Institute.

My life, not my job, he thought, knowing they were one in the same, because his job consumed his life. While his father accepted Amalgamates’ jobs and lives as one, Jack sometimes wondered, even longed to be human.

Was their existence fate or a gift? Countless theories attempted to explain Amalgamates existence. Hosts bore the responsibility of housing alters with previous, unfulfilled lives; or hosts, with the help of alters, were chosen by a higher being for the greater good. Either way, each time the Board delegated a new assignment, Jack became overwhelmed. 

A new assignment meant a new life, moving to the new recruit’s home, pretending to be a distant cousin, anything and everything not to raise suspicions among humans.

This time proved different. Jack believed he, as well as the Board, didn’t have a choice; Grace’s appointment came the day she was born.

Grace? The Board frowned on coed assignments so Jack expected intense opposition. Even his father questioned approving Jack as Grace’s Guardian. After all, there were plenty of competent woman who could help Grace develop a cohesive partnership with her alters.

“Well, well. Are my eyes deceiving me?” A familiar voice resonated from the end of the hall, bringing him back to reality.

“I’m afraid not,” Jack groaned.

“Jack Elliott,” Christina announced when they met, exchanging a warm embrace. Her eyes penetrated his, trying to ascertain who else might be present.

“Christina Powers,” he greeted and answered her unasked question. “I’m alone. Tobias can’t stand the bureaucracy of our job and Nathan fears he will succumb to the temptation to sway the Board’s decisions so he banished himself. Oliver tried. My emotional state proved exhausting. I sent him away.”

She nodded. “What brings you here?”

“A new assignment.”

“Really? I must not have seen the profile yet. There are two new recruits receiving assignments today. I doubt either is yours.” Christina waved two case files in the air.

“You couldn’t be more wrong,” Jack said, choosing not to share the details.  

“I doubt it.”

“I asked for this one…”



“Interesting.” Christina opened the door. “Shall we?”

“You’re late,” his father admonished after Jack and Christine took their seats.

Jack recognized the faces sitting around the table. His father, Dr. Robert Elliott, Administrator and Chief Resident of The Delacroix Institute; Dr. Charles Phillips, Dean of Education; Christina Powers, Transition Coordinator; Maggie Willington, Chief Psychiatrist; and Louis Flanagan, Facilitator.

“Why is he here?” Charles asked.

“Good question,” Jack muttered for a different reason.

The same question plagued him for years. Jack heard her, dreamt of her, saw her. Why? He knew their lives would intersect one day, just not when. Now “when” had arrived.

Her picture flashed onto the screen at the front of the room; a familiar face, which haunted him. Grace Elizabeth Evans.

Although Grace’s file contained a complete account of her life, Jack already knew everything about her and imagined, in her mind, Grace knew him too.

* * * *
Grace jerked upright in bed, looked around, listening. Did someone come into the room? Had someone talked about her? When she didn’t hear anything, Grace fooled herself into believing it a dream instead of the annoying voice inside her head.

As far back as Grace could remember, she woke tired, as though she never slept at all. Her caretakers blamed sleepwalking, while the experts, physicians, psychologists, didn’t have a clue. Grace endured tests for Attention Deficit Disorder, Sleep Apnea, Bipolar Disorder, as well as any other mental illness imaginable, along with a host of other diseases, which frightened and intrigued her. 

She sometimes wished one of them proved to be true. It might lead to a cure. No such luck. So she lived with the belief she wasn’t normal; no treatment existed for her malady, no miracle cure, no drug, and certainly no magical potion.

When sleep came, Grace experienced the strangest dreams. At least normal people called them dreams. They didn’t feel exactly like nightmares, rather fantastic adventures, which left her exhilarated. Grace even gave them a fancy title, ESMs or Euphoric State of Mind.

Grace’s mind and body did not feel in harmony, however. Most times, Grace woke achy, with unexplained bruises, cuts or other strange anomalies. This morning proved no different.

While Grace managed to avoid the mirror while brushing her teeth, she couldn’t help noticing her hair when dressing for a jog. Well, not her hair, rather what stuck out of it. Her long, curly locks always felt tousled, except now something else knotted through them. 
Twigs, grass, leaves, all twisted and matted in a tangled menagerie Mother Nature bestowed upon her. Why? How? Yet another mystery. Could she crack the case?

Not this morning. Grace headed out the door. 
If you would like a FREE copy of ReGUARDING GRACE to review, just answer the question...
What are the multiple personalities called in ReGuarding Grace?
and email your answer to Caleaths (no spaces)
 and I will contact the author.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Daughters of the Sea... addresses the topic of adoption.

Daughters of the Sea
A Novel by Julie Eberhart Painter
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages 244
If you’d like a FREE copy of 
Daughter of the Sea, 
to review, 
answer a simple question 
  at the end of this post.

Daughters of the Sea is about a love that transcends time. Before 1769, the Tahitians had sacrificed a warrior. But two women, native girl, Kura, and contemporary heroine, Laura, are destined to become the brides of Maui, the shark god, 243 years apart.

The year Captain Cook arrived was the first recorded sighting of the transit of Venus. Cook was sent from Plymouth, England to find new lands and document the astrological event by triangulating from three of the largest islands in Tahiti.

At the transit of Venus in 2012, Laura, a contemporary French teacher travels to Tahiti to search for her biological father, the last navigator to read the waves. The girls’ parallel lives clash in an aura of mysticism. Laura is haunted; Kura is doomed. Laura’s romance could end in a tragedy similar to her ancestor’s.

Author Bio:

Julie Eberhart Painter, a native of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, has seven novels in print. Previously, she worked with nursing homes as a volunteer coordinator and later as a community ombudsman. In 1988, she joined Hospice of Volusia Flagler in Daytona Beach and remained with them for 17 years. Julie’s volunteer jobs were the beginning of her surrogate family that she expands upon in her WIP memoir. Daughters of the Sea addresses the question of how adoption affects Laura who has lived with the lie for 25 years, as told by someone who’s been there.

Time permitting (Laughter here) Julie’s hobbies include duplicate bridge, music, dance, reading and world travel. She reviews books for a prestigious online romance review site, and is a regular columnist for Cocktails, Fiction and Gossip Magazine, an online slick. Bewildering Stories has published nine of her flash fictions tales.

PS: The readers who would enjoy this book are adventurers and romantics. I was inspired by Nomads of the Sea, a TV program about the Polynesians leaving Tahiti because of overcrowding and tribal warfare to settle other lands, such as New Zealand, Hawaii, Easter Island and the Cook Islands, all of which we have visited. and other online e-tailers
Or, for paperbacks

If you’d like a free copy of Daughter of the Sea, to review, answer this simple question.
Where is Daughter of the Sea set?
email your answer to Caleaths (no spaces) 
and I will contact the author.

Thanks for being here today Julie...