Monday, June 30, 2014

In The Hills of Malibu by Patti J. Smith

My son, God Bless him, has a habit of reminding me from time to time how I was before I got sober. Thankfully, most of the stories he brings up are humorous ... like the time my ex-husband convinced me of the existence of "dry-land tuna"... fish that lived in the hills of Malibu sans water (I'm turning red already). My beer brain grabbed on to that little piece of Animal Kingdom trivia and my motor mouth shared it with family and friends. It was only after I revealed my stupidity and gullibility to the masses that my ex told me the truth...while he, my son and step-sons laughed hysterically. I was mortified at first but very quickly became infuriated and humiliated and yes...felt betrayed ....and totally justified in downing a beer or twelve and lashing out in retribution.

I learned early on in rehab that one of my biggest problems was I took myself too seriously. I wanted to be in control every minute and heaven help those who stood in my way. In time, I was able to give myself a break. I found that laughing at myself actually brought me a sense of joy ... and peace. God wants me to be happy and I know when I laugh at myself, He's laughing right along with me.

By the way....did you know there's a man in Wyoming that sells jackalopes?

Patti J. Smith was born in Wimpole Park, England. She lived in England and Morocco as well as several state-side Air Force Bases and considers her father's last assignment, Moses Lake, Washington, her hometown. She audited for the Dept. of Labor and Veteran's Administration Offices of Inspector General, served in the U.S. Army Reserve (Transit Control Unit and Criminal Investigation Division) and recently retired as a background investigator.

Patti lives in Vista, CA with her husband and has three granddaughters. She serves as a Regional Coordinator for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, Co-leads Rachel's Hope After-Abortion Healing Retreats and sings in her parish choir.

Her writing includes devotionals, light romance and suspense, and her strong faith is reflected in each genre.

She is a prolific blogger and reader, and proudly admits to being a diehard Seattle Seahawks fan and Fantasy Football fanatic. Her travel adventures include Spain, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Fiji,... Read More
Patti J. Smith was born in Wimpole Park, England. She lived in England and Morocco as well as several state-side Air Force Bases and considers her father's last assignment, Moses Lake, Washington, her hometown. She audited for the Dept. of Labor and Veteran's Administration Offices of Inspector General, served in the U.S. Army Reserve (Transit Control Unit and Criminal Investigation Division) and recently retired as a background investigator.

Patti lives in Vista, CA with her husband and has three granddaughters. She serves as a Regional Coordinator for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, Co-leads Rachel's Hope After-Abortion Healing Retreats and sings in her parish choir.

Her writing includes devotionals, light romance and suspense, and her strong faith is reflected in each genre.

She is a prolific blogger and reader, and proudly admits to being a diehard Seattle Seahawks fan and Fantasy Football fanatic. Her travel adventures include Spain, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Fiji, South Korea and almost all states - including Hawaii and Alaska.

Follow her blog:

Sunday, June 29, 2014

What do you think of the cover? "The Transformation of Bitty Brown" comes out in paperback this week!

In 1940's Ireland, Bitty Brown was abandoned by her mother at four years old and spent the next years of her life in an orphanage. At nineteen, the mute girl escaped from the orphanage, and with no where to go, lived on the streets. A stranger named the Beggar Jude and his friend, Mr. Jones found her huddled in the cold, sick and dying. Their miracle of friendship not only saved her life but gave her a new home and family. But what miracle would it take to convince this young girl that she was good enough to be loved?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Sue Badeau wants you to "Tell me a story..."

Tell me a Story . . .

From the time our children were small, they loved story time. Our son Jose, adopted from El Salvador, learned English primarily through the reading, and re-reading of children’s storybooks. We read the entire Narnia series aloud, a chapter at a time, and have many other wonderful family memories of snuggling together on the couch sharing in a good book.

Beyond reading stories in books, our family also loves to sit at the dining room table after a meal, or around the fireplace in the winter and re-tell stories of past events. These sessions often start with the question, “Do you remember the time when . . . . “ and end with howls of laughter, and occasional tears.

This year, I have had the great privilege to participate as one of the authors telling a series of stories set in the small fictional town of Sweetland. “Summer in Sweetland” contains 8 volumes – short novellas – and each is filled with many of the moments – silly and sad, endearing and gripping, challenging and victorious – that families like ours have experienced in life.

As I wrote by installment – Volume Three, “Never Too Old,” I was not just putting words to paper, but to some extent re-living and re-shaping events that I wrote about. This re-living can be challenging, and yet, it is also remarkably healing and restorative. I can only imagine how much more healing it can be for a trauma survivor to give voice to his or her own story.

For children or adults who have experienced trauma, one of the most critical elements of healing is learning how to make sense and meaning of their trauma story. Stories that heal are not typically of the fairy-tale happy-ending variety. The healing power of stories is often realized through their very messiness, as the telling of even the most difficult stories allows us to see the places where we were still loved, where we exhibited strength, where God carried us across rocky terrain and where the seeds of hope for the future are planted and nurtured.

Long before science “proved” the value of story telling through research our ancestors and elders understood this intrinsically. Every tribe and community has its own powerful storytelling tradition and from these stories and tales come wisdom and hope that nurtures and guides individuals and whole communities.

God teachers us deep spiritual truths through stories, the Bible, for example, is a great collection of stories – not always fairy-tales, often messy, confusing, even painful – but with themes of grace, mercy, redemption, hope and peace woven throughout.
“Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story” Psalm 107:2

I hope you will enjoy the Sweetland stories and then ask yourself, “Do I have a story to tell today? Or do I know someone who needs me to listen as they share their own story?”

Please visit Sue’s Amazon Author Page:
or drop by here website and say hello:

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Are you ready for "The Herman Thrice Series - Volume 2 - Seeds of Destruction" by CQ Scafidi

December 21, Helsinki, Finland. Annual Winter Global Agriculture Summit
Sponsored by the Global Crop Diversity Trust, The Nordic Genetic Research Center (Nordgen) and the Nordic Council of Ministers, , all the major Agribusiness giants that produce GMO seed and agrichemicals, and major philanthropic associations, whose overt mission is to end global hunger and disease.
Held within the sumptuous surroundings of the historic Hotel Kamp, the Global Elite are meeting within the extremely tight security of its confines to discuss the future of Global Agribusiness. Often attended by the world’s wealthiest people, the Summit is held in Finland because of its proximity to the key players who oversee the operation of the now famous Doomsday Seed Vault or the Svalbard Global Seed Vault located inside the Arctic Circle on a remote island in Norway, Spitsbergen.
It’s time for Stan Gideon to act:
“Pack your bags tonight after your shift; you are coming with me to Finland to help with the Nord-gen Annual Conference of Nordic Ministers. Many bigwigs will be there and I need my best people. You are my best Sous chef and so you are coming with me. Questions?” Chef Gio stared at Stan with a look of impatience and arrogance as he waited for an answer.
Stan was a little stunned by his kind words, a rarity for Chef Gio, so after clearing his throat, he replied, “What time do we leave?”
Welcome to Volume Two of “The Herman Thrice Series”!

Christian Gideon was born with the ability to speak, apparently learned while in his mother’s womb. He was reading at two and had taught himself Spanish by four. His father, Stan Gideon, knew his son was special, but never imagined the destiny that lay in wait for his gifted progeny. As a former agent for D.A.R.P.A., Stan was now working deep undercover. In his years with the government, he had encountered others like his son. It was for this reason that he allowed his son to be mentored by those only known to Christian as “the immortals.” Within a short few years, Christian was writing peer-reviewed scientific papers on particle physics, while his father successfully got him employment at a secret particle accelerator in the shadows of Mount Shasta.
With his assignment to infiltrate the nefarious C.E.R.E.S. cabal, Stan was investigating their plan for global depopulation, while his young son was being schooled in the ancient arts of alchemy by his quirky project manager, Dr. Herman Thrice. Unbeknownst to Stan, Christian would soon be selected to hone his special talents as a Light Worker for the planet Earth. Via the power of Inter-Dimensional travel, Christian would join other “millenials” with similar talents at the Light Worker Academy located on a planet circling one of the Seven Sisters or Pleiades. It was here that they would learn that they are actually the next step in human evolution.
Utilizing the top secret information uncovered by his father, Christian would soon return to Earth with his teammates, to stop the depopulation agenda and return the planet to its original pristine condition utilizing their newfound alchemical skills. Will the father and son be successful at thwarting the ongoing attempts by C.E.R.E.S. to cull the human population through the systemic poisoning of the planet? Will they overcome the dark forces at work within the government to aid C.E.R.E.S.? Read the Herman Thrice series and follow the Gideon’s as they work in tandem to save the planet Earth from its ultimate destruction.
The Amazon Kindle link for the story is:

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mark Rubinstein Guest Post - "Fear Is the Common Denominator"

Fear Is the Common Denominator

Writers are often told, “Write what you know.” Historical thriller novelist Steve Berry says, “Write what you love.” As a novelist and psychiatrist, I’ve become intimate with fear, and while I don’t “love” it, I do love writing about it. I’m not referring to ordinary worries or anxieties: things such as, will I get fired, or will the IRS audit my return? These are troubling concerns, but they don’t rise to the level of true fear—the kind brimming in psychological thrillers.

I’m talking about raw, gut-quivering, life-threatening fear—the primal upsurge of emotion that has been with human beings since they first populated the earth. It’s fear so profound, it can be life-altering. It arises from the brain’s limbic system—specifically, the amygdala—which plays a central role in triggering that primitive emotion upon which our ancestors depended for survival. It can cause a heart-thumping, pupil-dilating, sweat-pouring, knee-quaking bodily reaction—the nervous system’s fight-or-flight response. It’s elemental, basic, biologic. Fear is a legacy every one of us has inherited. It lurks in the deepest recesses of our consciousness, capable of erupting in a millisecond when we’re threatened. In fact, much of life can be viewed as orbiting around attenuating or eliminating fear: we want to live secure, peaceful lives where we don’t feel threatened or endangered by someone or something.

Through my work as a forensic psychiatrist, I’ve become intimate with fear. I’ve seen it in many settings. I’ve treated or examined combat veterans; survivors of concentration camps; people who lived through the 9/11 terrorist attack; railroad, airplane and bus crash victims; survivors of vicious dog attacks, catastrophic automobile and industrial accidents; and people who lived through riots, rapes, and other near-death experiences.

As a writer, I know when it comes to fiction, the most frightening depictions are those describing events that could really happen. Those situations resonate deeply because, unlike paranormal experiences, they fall within the realm of possibility. They depict horrific situations that could happen to any of us.

In psychological thrillers, fear drives the plot and mesmerizes us. We can read about the most terrifying things, experiencing them vicariously. These novelistic true-to-life situations arouse our primitive, instinctual atavistic fears. In a sense, we “exercise” our fear response and keep it honed, at the ready. That’s the psychology behind why we take rollercoaster rides, watch scary movies, or read thriller books.

I think the most frightening novel Stephen King ever wrote is Gerald’s Game because it depicts a terrifying situation that could happen to anyone. (Imagine being handcuffed to bedposts in a remote cabin, miles from civilization. Your husband is dead at the foot of the bed and a wild dog roams nearby).

For a shrieking level of fear, there’s none better than Thomas Harris’s Red Dragon, or for that matter, The Silence of the Lambs. Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl is not only compellingly well-written, but conjures real fears: where and how has my wife disappeared? Why am I suspected of being a murderer? What will happen to my life?

Dennis Lehane’s Mystic River is a psychological thriller in which primal fear is preeminent. A young boy gets into a car with two strangers and terrible things happen to him—every parent’s fear. A young woman is found murdered. The police have no clue who killed her. The girl’s father decides to take matters into his own hands and seeks vengeance. The outcome is tragic as fear, suspicion and preconceived conclusions take their toll on the characters.

Pat Conroy’s The Prince of Tides is a beautifully-written psychological thriller—it depicts a minefield of childhood psychic terror as related by Tom Wingo, the narrator of this rich and multi-layered tale of family traumas. Virtually every scene involves fear, and the psychic scars inflicted on a man’s sense of himself and his life.

William Styron’s masterful novel, Sophie’s Choice, describes the incalculable horrors of the holocaust as told by the survivor, Sophie. It also depicts the psychological terror and torment of severe mental illness—and the potentially lethal consequences of obsessive love, paranoia and inescapable guilt.

There are good reasons why the best-seller lists are populated by novelists like Stephen King, John Sandford, Lisa Gardner, Dennis Lehane, James Patterson, Andrew Gross, Lee Child, Harlan Coben, Dean Koontz, Janet Evonovich, and others. Their novels depict people dealing with the psychology of unmitigated fear, the primeval common denominator of the human condition.

And we share that fear, vicariously, from the safety of our armchairs.

Mark Rubinstein
Author of Mad Dog House and Love Gone Mad

Monday, June 16, 2014

Making The Transition by Karen Lange

Making the Transition
By Karen Lange
When writing, do you give conscious thought to transitions? Transitional words, while helpful, are not always necessary. A transition from one thought to another is not limited to their use, but is successful when ideas flow well.
Common transitions include words like although, furthermore, between, first, second, consequentially, next, yet, during, finally, etc. I keep an eye on these words as I edit and sometimes delete them depending on the context. The key is to aim for each idea to move fluidly to the next.
Did you know that there are several categories of transitional words? Here are a few:

Chronological & Logical - for cause and effect, or contrasting ideas

Pour the cake batter into the baking pan. Next, place the pan in the oven and set the timer.

Although bears in Yellowstone hibernate during the winter, the bison do not.

Climactic – to conclude, summarize, observe

Furthermore, workers will be penalized for arriving late.
Logical and/or Persuasive – summary, convince, influence

For this reason, we must vote for Elwood Smith for Class President.

Order of Importance- prioritize ideas

First, we must address the issue of shoplifting. Next, the customer return policy has loopholes and should be clarified. Finally, the employee handbook must be distributed.
Transitional words, as necessary, can give the reader a map, illustrating how information is connected in terms of logic, place, or time. The bottom line with or without specific transitional words is to determine if thoughts are clear and flow cohesively.

What is your take on transitions? Do you think about them when you write?

Karen Lange is a freelance writer, an online writing instructor, and the author of Homeschool Co-ops 101. Connect with Karen on her blog,, on Twitter – KLELange, on her Facebook author page,

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Joy Ross Davis has just launched a new series about Angels! Surprised?

When Keeva and Maeve, two angel sisters trying to earn their wings, are sent on their first mission, they meet a pair of sassy elderly twins, Lucille and Martha, who live across from them. Trouble begins when one of the angel sisters sets her sights on the handsome grandson of the elderly duo, Chef Nick Barber. On the most important day of the chef’s life, angel sister Maeve decides to wreak havoc in his restaurant. Sweet sister, Keeva, does her best to clean up her sister’s chaos, but can she do it in time to save the reputation of the renowned TV chef? And, will she be able to save the sassy elderly twins from possible death? It will take more than angel power to unite these four sisters in harmony and to keep them all alive.
Joy Ross Davis is of Irish descent and a student of the lore and magic found in the hills of Tennessee. After a twenty-five year career as a college English professor, she traveled to Ireland and worked as a writer and photographer, publishing numerous travel articles and photos for an Irish travel agency. She has been a contributing feature writer for a local newspaper and has published articles in Southern literary magazines. She lives in Alabama with her son and beloved dogs.
The Amazon Kindle link for “Wings” is:

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Out right now! "Amish Snow :The Brotherhood - Volume 4 - Dirt and Secrets"

Having the lights turned back on proved to be one of the easiest tasks over the next few weeks. A quick trip to the Florida Power and Light office in the morning had everything sorted. Apparently, they had a small mix up regarding the transfer of ownership.
“These things happen,” explained the polite woman behind the Plexiglas window. “Unfortunately, with a lot of these farms, the real estate agents simply give up. They figure the places will never sell and they stop maintaining them. Then we get an order to shut off the power. I really do apologize.”
Ezra appreciated her courtesy. He said, “It is no trouble. We are there now. I half-considered not turning the lights back on. You should have heard the uproar from my grandchildren.”
Ezra noticed a sideways glance from his wife. Theresa made it known that she did not care for the joke last night, and apparently, she still did not like it this morning.
The Journey Continues….

The Amazon Kindle link for “Dirt and Secrets” is:

Monday, June 9, 2014

"The Cross", Volume 6 in Murray Pura's amazing Fantasy series "The Name Of The Hawk", is HERE!

The final Chapter in “The Name of The Hawk “saga has begun:
The black dragon flew through the sky with Galahad on one neck and Hawk on a neck right next to him.
“How does it feel?” shouted Galahad.
“Cold!” Hawk shouted back. “I’d rather have a horse!”
“Where’s your spirit of adventure, my long lost brother? You’re part of a legend!”
“Talking dragons! Flying through clouds like an arrow shot from a bow! Freezing my head off! I thought legends were supposed to be glorious!”
“They are glorious! Once you put them in a book!”
“And if you live long enough to read the book!”
Here is the Amazon Kindle link for the story and a little bit on Murray Pura:
Murray Andrew Pura was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and has traveled extensively throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Ordained as a Baptist minister in 1986, Pura has served five churches in Canada and headlined numerous speaking engagements in Canada and the United States. He has over 60 titles published, was a contributor to the Life With God Bible, has been a finalist for The Paraclete Fiction Award, The Dartmouth Book Award, and The John Spencer Hill Literary Award, and has been shortlisted for the prestigious 2010 Kobzar Literary Award of Canada.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Are you ready for a new story in "The San Francisco Wedding Planner Series"? "Old Friends,New Dreams,and Cucumber Sandwiches", a new release by Mishael Austin Witty!

“You can’t do this to me! To us!” Skye cried, hanging onto her husband’s arm with all her might as he reached for the front doorknob.
He lowered his hand and turned to look at her. “Do what, Skye? Go to work?”
She stared him with cold eyes for a long moment, and then she turned away, crossing her arms over her chest. “Fine. Go. Who cares about Britt’s preschool graduation? Bram and I will go and support her, and where will her father be, huh? At some stupid convention in Sacramento.”
And so begins the next story in this amazing series. What is going on with Skye? Heather? Mario?
Grab your ereading device, the roller coaster ride is about to begin!
The Amazon Kindle link for “Old Friends,New Dreams,and Cucumber Sandwiches” is:
Mishael Austin Witty is an editor and the internationally bestselling author of SHADOWS OF THINGS TO COME, a Christian thriller/suspense novel, and BELIEVE IN ME, a sweet contemporary romance/women's fiction novella.
She lives in Louisville, KY, with her husband, two daughters, and one feline fur baby. She holds a B.A. in psychology from the alma mater of Pearl S. Buck, and an M.A. in experimental psychology from the University of Louisville.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Part II: Q&A with J.T. Patten author of “Safe Havens: Shadow Masters (A Sean Havens Black Ops Novel)”

Part II: Q&A with J.T. Patten author of “Safe Havens: Shadow Masters (A Sean Havens Black Ops Novel)”

Writing life related:
How did you become a writer?
I used to write a number of articles in intelligence and special operations magazines or journals, and in my day to day, I had to write many detailed plans, overviews and scenarios. Being able to break out and let my imagination fly in Safe Havens was really the first taste of being a writer. Of course the six months of editing and re-writing is when I considered myself an author. I’d love to do it full-time but I haven’t found the golden ticket yet to allow this. Until that time, my writing has typically been while I was traveling for work. Hotels, airplanes, airports, and lonely solo-flight dinners away from home. I would try to knock out a few hours when I could. I am still marketing Safe Havens: Shadow Masters to gain a bit more uptake (and sales to pay the editor), and then I’ll focus on hammering the keys some more. I am looking forward to it.
Anything else that makes your writing unique or of particular interest to readers?
I like to write out inner monologue and the random acts that occur during the story that often have to do with food, which are most noticeable. In Shadow Masters, Sean Havens is in full operational mode completely attuned to his environment, yet he can compartmentalize the urge for coffee and breakfast. He could be getting the pulp beat out of him, and it is quite possible that he may smell bacon or fresh brewed java. Havens may be a tough guy, but he’s also a foodie with a lot going on in his head at all times. I let the reader inside to better learn about the hero and his mindset.
How does your novel resonate with women? Do they have to be gun toting conservatives to enjoy your book?
They say don’t judge a book by the cover, which is perhaps why I shouldn’t have put helicopters on the front of it. I think it scares off some female readers as being pure military. There is certainly violence (quite a bit of it), swearing, and some really dark, pulpy aspects of the book. HOWEVER, it’s really a book about a regular guy who dearly loves his family, and has a passion for his job. Like most guys out there, Sean blows it. His heart is in the right place and he spends most of his time fixing a situation gone bad than having the presence of mind domestically that he has in the field. I think readers will see the characters as real people. They are going to beat on the book because they are mad at Sean, they will cry when he is scraping and clawing to hold what is dear to him, and they will cheer him knowing that Sean Havens will get up every time that he is knocked down. The house may be on fire, the reader is shaking their head telling him not to go in, but at the same time, they know he will save someone. They want him to do it. I think that is because Sean Havens has a bit of all of us in him, and yet he is they guy many of us would like to be. It’s attainable and we can touch him, even though he lives in a world that many will never see, and most all will never want to. That makes it politically agnostic and a human book. A liberal or conservative may do one thing in political forums but when it comes to their immediate family, they may do something else. This is the picture that I main using a scenario of covert operations the likes that no one has seen. Try it. Follow me into the black. Look over your shoulder forever.
Thank you, so much for your time!
Twitter: @jtpattenbooks
Author Amazon buy page

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

"Death Canyon" by Clay More, the next story release in "The Wells Fargo Express Series"!

It seemed a routine case when Wells Fargo agents Remington Holt and Amos Drewery were sent to Arizona Territory to investigate the activities of a mysterious robber called the Black Canyon Marauder. It was not long, however, before they discovered that something far more sinister was going on in the territory.
Their task was dangerous enough without the unwanted attentions of the meddling dime novelist Oscar Havelock.
CLAY MORE is the western pen-name of Keith Souter, part doctor, medical journalist and novelist. He is a member of the Western Writers of America and is the current Vice President of Western Fictioneers. He is one of the authors who write the Wolf Creek series of novels for Western Fictioneers, under the house name of Ford Fargo. His character is Dr Logan Munro, the town doctor, a veteran of the Crimean War, the Indian Mutiny and the Civil War.
His collection of short stories entitled The Adventures of Doctor Marcus Quigley has just been published by High Noon Press in both paperback and ebook. Doctor Marcus Quigley is a dentist, gambler and occasional bounty hunter who is on a mission to find the the man who murdered his benefactress. He is also one of the authors of the Remington Colt Wells Fargo series by High Noon Press.

Check his blog MORE ON THE RANGE: