Thursday, November 28, 2013

I Run, a novel by E. L. Farris

I Run

By E.L. Farris

Genre: Literary Fiction

Book Description

When Sally Lane Brookman gets hit by a Metro bus, it shatters her suburban world. But it does more than just damage her body; when she begins the long and painful process of physical recovery, she realizes that she's broken in more places than any doctor could ever see.

Confronting addiction, abuse, mental illness, and a hell she can't escape, Sally drags her past into her present and desperately tries to flee both. It's not until she puts her future in danger that she realizes it's finally time to slow down.

With exuberant energy, humor, and sometimes painful honesty, the quirky Sally takes the reader along on a modern odyssey: a sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking, and ultimately inspiring journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance.

This book has 27 five star reviews, and not one below 4 stars.  Her first book, Ripple, has received 130 reviews, all 3 stars and above.  Some reviewers have said that E.L. Farris was simply born to write.  Head on over to Amazon now and get your copy.
Like Sally Lane Brookman, E.L. Farris is a marathon-running suburban soccer mom, and her husband really does dream of shooting squirrels. They live in Virginia with their three children. E.L. loves to talk with readers (and she answers all of her correspondence personally!)
Connect with her on Facebook and on Twitter and via e-mail
The cofounder of Bad Doggy Productions, E.L. is also the author of Ripple: A Tale of Hope and Redemption; Strays Welcome, the upcoming sequel to I Run; and Wave, the upcoming sequel to Ripple. 
If you would like to be notified when E.L.’s next book is released, please visit her author website to subscribe to e-mail updates. 
You can also find news about upcoming releases at Bad DoggyProductions.


No Thanks, Giving it a Break!

Attention to my blog has been a little sparse of late, primarily because of NaNoWriMo.  For any of you who don’t know what that is, it’s when a writer puts his or her head in on the chopping block and says to the world – or at least a few fellow writers – that they are going to write 50,000 words of a brand new story during the month of November, national novel writing month.  I didn’t get off to a great start because I missed the first four days because of a cold.  This meant that the first couple of weeks were all about playing catch up.  I was beginning to feel like the Thanksgiving turkey might feel if it knew what November was all about. But just like the specially selected presidential turkey, I have today been spared judgement.  I have completed my word count and I am an official NaNoWriMo winner!

So, that leaves me with one 120,000 word manuscript to edit (which I finished in the summer), and another fresh one that tips the scale at 51,000 words in total courtesy of NaNoWriMo.  Slowly the editing pile is getting deeper and the writing ideas stockpile feels like it is getting smaller.

But unlike how I imagine my American family are feeling right now, sitting with their feet up rubbing their turkey filled bellies, I admit to feeling a little deflated.  Writing to a target has been all very well and good, and completing it rather than not reaching the goal is great.  But yet I feel a bit like I took a twenty hour plane ride and ended up on the runway where I left.  Without any of the in-flight entertainment.

It’s strange, because I am actually pretty happy with my new manuscript.  I like the plot and the characters have become realistic enough that after a few edits I’m sure I will get to know them better and they will feel well developed.  But it is a bit of a diversion for me.  Usually I write thrillers.  This is my genre.  This genre to me feels like a comfy sweater and big pants, the kind that if I was American I know I’d be changing into around about now.  Science fiction is a genre I love to read, and love to watch, but never have I tried to write it.

So for now, thanks NaNoWriMo, but my NaNoWriMo WIP is going to be electronically shuffled backwards on the to-do list.  At the moment I am going to start working on my latest full length manuscript, Psychophilia, because yesterday I decided to read the first chapter again and I got so excited I knew it was the right time to get back to it.  So for now NaNoWriMo, thanks, but you are just going to have to wait.

Monday, November 25, 2013

I have a dream......

I have a dream...

In fact, I have many.  I am a perpetual dreamer.  I am the type of child who would sit staring out of the window during class with big ideas, seeing the end of the journey before I had seen the step in front of me.  I was the university student who whilst checking out biochemistry books from the library, also checked out books about special effects make up techniques because I had this gnawing desire to run off to Hollywood and become the next Stan Winston.  I am the adult who read The Beach by Alex Garland and even when I was finally working in Cardiology as I planned, gave another serious thought to jacking everything in and going travelling through Thailand.  Most of my ‘dreams’ however were just fantasy.  I was never seriously going to become a make-up artist in Hollywood, and it was very unlikely although slightly more realistic that I would end up going travelling in Thailand.  These aspirations were ideas that I thought sounded nice, and yes, seeing my name on the credits for The Lord of the Rings would have been nice, but there were other things I always wanted much, much more.  So it begs the questions, were these ever really my dreams in the first place?

I read recently that some dreams were just not supposed to be followed.  There is a very good article by Mark Manson called Why Some Dreams Should Not Be Pursued.  The article is really not as negative as the title might suggest, and certainly isn’t about compartmentalising your dreams and aspirations into keep/throw boxes.  The point of his article was that sometimes we think we want something, but the reality is that we don’t.  I might have thought being a special effects make-up artist was the answer to my prayers when I really couldn’t be arsed to read another alchemic reaction, or when reading about genetics seemed about as interesting as sitting watching the washing machine whirl around.   But in truth I didn’t really want to do it.  Moving to Los Angeles and living in a bedsit because I had no money?  Creating a broken bloody nose whilst suffering an unnamed muscle-heavy actor letting his towel ‘slip’ off?  No thanks.  Biochemistry was by far the better option.  The other was just a distraction.  But what if I had got it wrong?  What if I did give it all up and run of to Hollywood?  If it all went wrong, would society just say that I was a failure?

Let me tell you a story about me.  Once upon a time I moved to Cyprus.  When I did so I gave up a job that paid well in a department where I loved working.  My colleagues were great, I had a managerial position, liked my house, my language, my family, my friends, and my hobbies, and I think you get the point that life in general was pretty good.  People honestly must have thought I was mad.  After I moved the dream I was chasing had its first test.  The job I thought I had disappeared within the first two weeks of being here so I spent four months unemployed after just moving to an island with a population of less than one million people on the brink of a worldwide recession.  I got another job but then the country actually went into recession and I was made redundant.  I spent at least eighteen months (some will attest to longer) with a completely gormless look on my face that communicated ‘I don’t understand’ when anybody tried to talk to me in Greek.  This occasionally still occurs, but less.  The cherry on top of the icing was when I also got arrested for having the wrong number plate on my imported car and was escorted from the motorway in convoy as if I was en route to bomb the nearest embassy.  In their defence, the police did assure me I hadn’t been arrested, but I have to say when you sign a statement and spend three hours in the police station, I’m not sure what else I am supposed to call it.  In all my time in Cyprus, never had I looked so gormless.

So did this mean that I had got it wrong, and that I should never have pursued this dream?  Was this even really my dream?  Did everybody back home think my dreams had gone up in smoke along with the finances of my new country?  Some might say so, but I don’t think so.  Before I came here there was never a question in my mind if I was doing the right thing or not, and even in the hardest moments since coming here I have never thought that I should go back to the UK.  I came here to follow a dream and I stuck to my plan.  If I hadn’t stuck through the tough bits, it was over.  No marriage or future as I had dreamt of.  I’ll grant you that sometimes I had to dig my sandaled heels right down into the nearest sandy beach, but I never gave up.  But this isn’t because I am a type-A personality who believes you can achieve anything you want if you just work hard enough.  I didn’t give up because I actually wanted this.  It wasn’t just a flippant fantasy like my dreams of Hollywood.  Would I have given up with so many setbacks en route to becoming a special effects make-up artist?  Maybe.  Probably.  But I didn’t give up on Cyprus because I really wanted it.  I knew before I had even started the journey that it didn’t matter how hard it got, I would stick it out. 

This for me and many other writers is much like writing.  Nobody ever promised me success before I started writing a book.  In fact, most people promised exactly the opposite.  But I just started writing it anyway.  Nobody promised me a publishing deal, so I self published and wrote another book to follow without knowing if it would sell a single copy.  I keep going.  I keep writing.  They have to be pursued because they are the real dreams, not the fantasies.  Mark Manson suggested that you have to fall in love with the process of achieving your dreams, rather than the end result, and when it comes to writing this couldn’t be closer to the truth.

For an idea or a fantasy to become a dream, you have to really want it, and those dreams should always be pursued.  Real dreams are exactly that because you are incapable to stop your path towards achieving it.  They are simply a part of you.  I am sure when Martin Luther King first uttered these four famous words and told the world he had a dream he didn’t do so lightly or without consideration of what it might take to move forward, no matter how hard the steps might become to achieve them.  And I can bet all I have achieved so far that he really, really wanted them to come true.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Introducing Jill Engledow!

Is there any more inspiration you need?
One element that I love about my life as a writer is the reach that it offers to other writers all over the world, all possible through the power of the internet.  And so this week I am pleased to introduce you to a writer all the way from Maui, Hawaii.  Jill Engledow is an award-winning writer who specializes in Maui history. Born in England, she grew up in Texas, Hawaii and Guam and moved to Maui, Hawaii, in 1968. After working for 17 years as a reporter and editor at The Maui News, she wrote The Maui News 1900-2000: 100 Years as Maui's Newspaper. Other books include Island Life 101: A Newcomer's Guide to Hawaii and Exploring Historic Upcountry.

Venice Falls, Maui, Hawaii
Her most recent nonfiction book is Haleakala: A History of the Maui Mountain, which tells the story of the mountain that makes up East Maui, the “crater” at its peak and the national park that protects its pristine lands and endangered species.  Her first novel, The Island Decides, is now available on

Today, she is sharing a few thoughts about cover design, and how she came up with her cover for The Island Decides.

I spent hours looking through stock-photo websites for the picture I imagined as the cover of The Island Decides. I was searching for something that showed two key elements in my book: a young woman and her child on their own in the world, and the beauty of Maui. I have lived on this Hawaiian island for many years and am still in love with that beauty.

 One by one, I collected images, though none seemed exactly what I had in mind. Then I sat down with graphic designer Cynthia Conrad and studied the images. One stood out – the silhouette of a woman with two children on the beach at sunset. The sunset, the palms, even the fringe of what looked like needles of the ironwood tree – all said "Maui." (On my to-do list: find out who took that photo, and where.) The extra kid in the picture? No problem; Photoshop turned him into part of the sunset.

We searched online for fonts from the 1970s (the book is set in 1971) and found this one, Pasdenom by Diogene. To me, it looks elegant, a bit tropical, a bit retro. The final cover not only satisfies my initial requirements but also is reminiscent of work by Don Blanding, a poet who lived in Hawaii in the 1920s. Blanding illustrated his own work with beautiful black-and-white drawings that captured a romantic vision of the Islands. His work made an indelible impression on me when, as a teenager, I first fell in love with Hawaii.

You can buy The Island decides on AMAZON

You can follow Jill on FACEBOOK and TWITTER

If you would like to get in touch with Jill, you can do so HERE

Friday, November 15, 2013

NaNoWriMo pep talk

One of the things I have been most impressed with regarding NaNoWriMo is their dedication to helping you cross the finish line.  I am getting a regular supply of emails that help inspire, that push you forwards, and help you finish that all important word count.

This article is about finding inspiration.  We all know that some days it's harder to sit down and come up with something, and that sometimes Facebook seems so full of good stuff that we barely make an impression on our WIP.  This letter from Malinda Lo to all NaNoWriMo participants is right on the money for getting you back into your word processing document.  Get ready to turn off the internet!

There are many myths about writing (writers are tortured artists; writers are drunks; writers are drunk, tortured artists). But in my opinion, one of the most insidious of those myths is the idea that you must be inspired to write. I’ve heard writers say things like, “I just wasn’t inspired to write today,” and “I’m waiting for that burst of inspiration, you know?”

I’ll let you in on a little secret. If you wait for inspiration to strike before you sit down to write, you’ll probably never finish a damn thing. Inspiration is like that hot girl or guy you met at a party one time—and when you talked to him or her, it seemed like you totally clicked. There was eye contact; there was flirting; maybe there was even a bit of casual brushing of your hand over theirs, right? I know. I’ve been there. At the end of the night they asked for your number and said, “I’ll definitely call you. We should hang out.”

But then they never did, and you were left waiting for a call that never came, feeling increasingly like a fool.

That’s what inspiration is. It’s seductive and thrilling, but you can’t depend on it to call you. It doesn’t work that way. The good thing is, inspiration is irrelevant to whether or not you finish your book. The only thing that determines that is your own sense of discipline.

Here’s what happens when I sit down to write. First, I turn off my access to the internet by engaging Freedom. (The internet is the number-one killer of writer productivity!) Second, I open Scrivener. (Substitute whatever word-processing program works for you.) Third, I force myself to sit there with my work-in-progress until Freedom says I’m done. (I always set it for at least one hour, and often three.) I don’t allow myself to get up to make endless cups of tea (one will do). I just sit there. That’s all.

How often am I filled with inspiration before I start writing? Pretty much never. Instead, I usually stare at my work-in-progress with a vague sense of doom. I often think to myself: What the hell am I doing in this scene? I don’t understand how to get my characters from Point A to Point B! I really want to check Twitter!

The trick is this: As long as I sit there with my work-in-progress, at some point I will write something, because there’s nothing else to do.

Whatever I write may not be any good, but that doesn’t matter. When you’re writing a first draft—which most of you are doing this month—the most important thing is to keep moving forward. Your first try will be riddled with mistakes, but that’s what revision is for. Right now, you only have to put those ugly, wrong words on the page so you can fix them later.

So, inspiration isn’t what gets your book written. Discipline is. However, inspiration does sometimes pop by for an unexpected visit. Picture this:

You’re sitting there with the internet off. You’re writing some horrible words, thinking this is surely the most miserable dreck ever typed into Scrivener. Suddenly, something you wrote will seem to leap out at you, as if the words themselves came to life and shouted at you to pay attention. You’ll look at that sentence you wrote and think, Oh. Wow. Is that what this scene is about? And then things will accelerate. It’ll feel like you’ve miraculously tapped into what’s meaningful about this novel you’re writing, as if you’ve been able to glimpse where you’re going and why you’re going there.
It’ll be as if that person you gave your number to—the one who never called—finally did.

Inspiration is fickle like that. It shows up when you least expect it, all sexy and exhilarating and reminding you why you put your butt in that chair and turned off Twitter (and the rest of the internet) and forced yourself to trudge through the valley of no-good, very-bad first drafts.

Enjoy that inspiration while it’s there. Enjoy it thoroughly because it is rare and precious.
Just don’t expect it to show up every day. The only thing that needs to show up every day is yourself—and your determination to see this through to the end. You can do it.


Malinda Lo is the author of several young adult novels, including AdaptationInheritanceAsh, and Huntress. She is a co-founder of Diversity in YA.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

That special ingredient

There has been a distinct lack of posts this month so far from me, but its NaNoWriMo time and the concept of a word count has taken over.  In fact it has become such a personal challenge not to fall flat on my face that I am wondering where I might get a NaNoWriMo app from for the rest of the year.  I am just loving the counting.  Whether what I have written so far is any good, well, they do say the proof is in the pudding.  I guess we'll find out once I complete the first read through.


But how is it that you know you have got something good?  What is it that sets one book aside from the next?  This secret ingredient is what we are all trying to reproduce and what everybody is looking for when they pick up a book to read.   One book where this was so evident to me was Captain Corelli's Mandolin.  I am always harking on about this book, so please forgive me another reference, but after completing page one and reading about the extraction of a pea from an ear I was completely hooked.  How can this subject hook me in with the same precision as required for the said extraction?  In all honesty, short of providing you with a stock answer like, 'the writing quality is wonderful', or 'his use of words is so poetic', I can't actually tell you I know.  Sometimes it's like describing the one we love.  It is easy to name things like he makes me tea when I want, takes care of me when I am poorly, he makes me laugh, or we like the same movies.  But usually a much more accurate, if somewhat abstract answer is that there is just something about that person that you cannot be without, but as to what it is, only Cupid really knows.

And this is what happened this week.  At the moment I do not read Kindle books because a friendly neighbourhood thief popped by and relieved me of mine.  But yet this week I purchased a book after seeing it on Facebook and finding myself so drawn into it that I had to buy it.  Right then and there.

The strange things about this are that generally I don't read space novels.  The second thing is that I'm reluctant to get involved in trilogies.  But mainly I don't have a Kindle anymore and reading on my phone, well just forget it.

But there was something that worked so well for me about this story, the idea, the cover, the text, the colour.  Everything combined to make it irresistible.  I don't know what, but I just knew this book was for me, and waiting two weeks for the Cypriot post wasn't an option.

So what is it?  What is it that makes you say you have to read a certain book?  Answer's of an electric postcard please!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Author Interview: Sydney Arrison

Please offer a warm welcome today to our guest author Sydney Arrison who is here to share her first novel with us, My Heart in Seoul, which was recently released and is available through Amazon.  So without delay, hi and welcome, Sydney!  Tell us a little bit about yourself and your life as a writer.  Do you write full time, or do you have another job or are studying?  What about when you are not writing? 
I live in a small town outside of New York. I'm married with two children and a dog. Other than writing I love to walk and bike on the nature trails. For many years I worked for an independent newspaper covering politics, human interest stories, and zoning disputes. After nodding off during a town-hall meeting about a zoning law, I realized that this is probably not something I'd like to continue doing.
What was the hardest challenge when constructing your plot and characters for My Heart in Seoul?
When I started writing the story I knew where I wanted it to go, it was just a matter of getting there. For me the biggest challenge was not letting the “real world” distract me from writing.  My BFF was gravely ill when I started the book and passed after I finished the final draft. Writing is what kept me afloat.  
I see that you have used the services of a separate editor and artist.  Do you think it is possible for an indie author to do everything herself?
Madison and her staff at Front Porch were amazing throughout the publishing process. I think if an indie author has the drive and determination they absolutely can do it. They just have to be prepared to do the hard work.
What initially drew you to the romance genre?
I really like the development of relationships. I also love the old classic romance movies and books.
If you had to stop writing tomorrow, what would it be that you miss the most?
I would miss creating characters and living inside of their world for a while.
For the tweeters out there, describe your writing style in less than 140 characters.
 It’s hard to express a style. My intent when writing is to keep the reader engaged. I’m acutely aware of pacing; I never want the reader to be bored. I want the words to emote.
Oooo, you cheated!  That's more than 140!  I'll let you off though.  What are your future writing plans?  Any more books lined up?
Right now I’m working on a young adult mystery novel. The story takes place in the south in the 1950’s.
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us today!  You can find out more about Sydney in the following places.
And you can buy My Heart in Seoul here

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The WIP and other weekly news


I suppose a bit of a sorry is in order because there has been a distinct lack of blog communication going on this week.  Reasons are numerous, some good, some not so good, and some you just don't want to hear about.

Primarily I have been a bit on the ill side and haven't really been up to much.  You don't want to know in what way, but let's just say I haven't had any visitors.  Or food.  No, rice doesn't count.  I am sat here feeling oooooh so hungry and still not eating.   You catch my drift, right?  Enough said.

A better reason is that on day four of November, I finally decided that what the hell, let's give NaNoWriMo a crack.   I really hope that you caught Evie Gaughan's post on Monday because that for me was the final tip in the balance towards having a go.  It was very inspiring.

So by day seven I have indeed been plodding through the hurdle of making a start and currently the word count sits somewhere in the region of 5,500.  Not bad for three poorly days.  This story follows a group of survivors of a post nuclear war Britain living in the last remaining tower blocks of London, all of which are controlled by one main power.  The Omega Tower.  Everybody wants to get a place in Omega.  Everybody except for one girl.  She want's to get out, but not even the resident's of Omega understand her reasons why.  But how did these towers even exist, when everything else was destroyed?


I have also been holding a FREE GIVEAWAY for Identity X.  It is the first giveaway since release and so far so good.  Well, almost.  When you set up your giveaway on select there are only a few selections to make.  Which book do you want to give away?  When does it start?  When does it end?  Simple right?  I thought so.  My giveaway started as planned on the 5th as it was supposed to, with the exception of one major site.  It took 24 hours and an irate email to Amazon for the .com site to get it's act together.  Anyway, better late than never, isn't that what they say?  But currently the giveaway (and therefore Amazon) is still in my good books because I am sitting in the #1 slot in my category, at #2 in science fiction, and at #164 overall on  This has happened without being picked up by one of the main free-book advertisers so far, so thank you everybody who is downloading Identity X and putting a smile on an otherwise poorly face!

If you didn't get your copy yet and you would like to sneak one onto your Kindle whilst you can for the grand price of 'one click', you can get your copy through the links below.
And I just noticed that it is #101 overall in Canada!  Canada, I love you!

Monday, November 4, 2013

It's NaNoWriMo Time!!

Joining us today is Evie Gaughan, and she is sharing with us her plans for NaNoWriMo which I am sure many of you are currently following.  After a busy weekend combined with a cold, my NaNoWriMo word count stands at zero, but it will creep up a little later on today. 

The hurdle from the end of book one to the start of book two can often be a difficult one, so without further ado, let's hand over to Evie to hear about how she is managing that process and using NaNoWriMo as a way to focus.

The weather is getting chilly, Halloween has come and gone and there’s nothing much to look forward to until Christmas – no better time to write a novel!  November is the perfect time for National Novel Writing Month.  Writers all over the world can hibernate for 30 days and focus solely on trying to string together 50,000 words of a novel in a writing frenzy.
This is my first year taking part in the NaNoWriMo challenge and I am hoping to write the first draft of my second novel in one jam-packed, all-consuming month.  I can imagine myself in November, emerging from my literary cave, blinking in the bright Christmas lights wondering who I am, what I’m doing here, and resembling the missing link!  Still, I am looking forward to the experience for several reasons.
As many self-published authors are aware, it can be difficult to move on from the first novel because you get so caught up in the marketing of your book.  NaNoWriMo seems like the perfect spring board to move on – although you’ll have to ask me how I feel about that again when it’s all over!  Also, because you only have one month, I think it frees you up as a writer to abandon your usual writing technique.  This will be particularly interesting for me, as it took about 18 months to write my first novel, so I’m not sure how I’ll cope with not having time to edit as I go along.
Writing can also make for a very solitary life.  With NaNoWriMo, for one month of the year at least, you know there are thousands of people around the world sharing in your misery (did I say misery?  I meant creativity), which would warm the cockles of any lonely writer’s heart.  What’s more, you can connect with fellow authors on the forums to share ideas, inspiration and have the odd moan.  You can even meet up with real live people in your area for write-ins etc, so it offers a community feel to an experience that is often quite isolating.
Another benefit of taking part is the deadline and the discipline it takes to stick to it.  Being self-published means it’s oh so easy to avoid, ignore and forget deadlines.  Working from home means that the most mundane chores suddenly become an irresistible distraction; browsing the internet for funny cats becomes ‘work’.  It can be a challenge to maintain momentum when writing, especially when things aren’t going well and you feel like giving up.  That’s why I’m looking forward to signing up to NaNoWriMo, because it means I have to stick to my targets.  Not only that, but you have a whole team of pep-talkers, coaches and fellow writers cheering you on through each and every stage of your writing, which frankly never happens for the other eleven months of the year, so I’m planning to take full advantage. 
At the very least, I will have made a start on my second novel and as the website says “Your story matters!”  So enough procrastinating, it’s November… let the fun and games begin!
Evie Gaughan - Bio
Evie Gaughan is an Irish author based in Galway, a bohemian city that nurtured her creativity from childhood and provides much of the inspiration for her debut novel, The Cross Of Santiago. 
After completing a diploma in Marketing, Evie spent several years travelling between France and Canada before returning home to become a writer.  She has since published several short stories, poems and feature articles for local and national publications.
Currently working on her second novel, Evie's other passion in life is painting and she has a collection of work on exhibit in a local gallery.
Follow Evie on TWITTER and FACEBOOK

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Review sharing for Identity X

Reading a new review for Identity X is always fun and I really like this one!  This review is courtesy of K Ree at Kitty Muse Book Reviews ( and can be found here.  But I am also sharing it with you below.  In other news, it's Sunday, it's late, my throat hurts and my nose is blocked, and there is a seven year old sat next to me who has also decided to write a book who needs my help, so forgive me, but the rest is copy and paste!  Enjoy!

"Persona non grata" is a phrase defined as "someone who is not wanted", in a nutshell. But what if someone decides to take that "not wanted" stigma a step much further?

Ben Stone becomes the target of such an ambition when, after a discovery of global proportions, he is suddenly, for all intents and purposes, wiped out of existence. The only thing that remains is the troubling fact that he is still breathing. Overnight, his lab, his work, his co-workers, and his very identity have all disappeared. Someone way up in the governmental hierarchy has gotten what he wanted, and is now hell-bent on making sure Ben gets erased.

But what this menace does not foresee is how very resourceful Ben is when it comes to surviving. Even though he is completely bewildered, with absolutely no idea of what has happened, Ben keeps his wits about him and eludes the bullets that rain down on him at every turn.

All too soon, though, with no one he can trust, and his options running out, Ben has but one choice-to trust the one person he thought he knew better than anyone. She risks her life to save his, along with the life of their son. But running like a low-voltage current through all of this is the one question: What happened to Ben's discovery? And what will the people who stole it from him do with it?

To be honest, my only regret is that I didn't read this book sooner. Ms. Muckley has a way with words that is in the upper echelons of writing. Her turns of phrase are so accurate and so descriptive-some of the best I've ever read. For example, at the beginning of the book, Ben is facing his peers, ready to announce his discovery. This is what Ms. Muckley writes:

He felt the weight of all great men before him who had stood on the same precipice of achievement, isolated in the solitary moment before the world learns what has been accomplished.

The book is rife with descriptions of this caliber. Her characters are so real that I could almost hear them breathing. Beautifully crafted, and it has an ending that just cries out for more. It was a total surprise, and, as they say, "therein lies another story".

More, please!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Author Spotlight!! Meet Quanie Miller

Quanie Miller grew up in New Iberia, Louisiana. She fell in love with reading at an early age and spent most of her time at the Iberia Parish Library discovering new authors like R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike (she was often found walking back home from the library with a stack of books that went up to her chin). She holds degrees from Louisiana State University and San Jose State University. She has been the recipient of the James Phelan Literary Award, the Louis King Thore Scholarship, the BEA Student Scriptwriting Award, and the Vicki Hudson Emerging Writing Prize. She loves writing humorous stories about strong willed, sassy women who can’t keep themselves out of trouble. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband and is currently, as always, working on another novel. 


Read an excerpt of It Ain't Easy Being Jazzy......

My best friend, Serai, invited me to her aunt’s seventy-fifth birthday party because she thought it was a secret ambush by her family that would end with her marrying some guy that they had found on Craigslist. “You have to come, Jazzy,” she begged me. “I think I saw a wedding gown in my mother’s trunk. They’re getting desperate.”
“You’ll find somebody. Besides, you can’t marry just anybody.”
“I don’t think they care anymore. It’s been too long since Chuck and I broke up and they’re starting to wonder about us.”
“Yes. You don’t have a man either.”
“That’s by choice!”
“I told them that even if I were gay, you wouldn’t be my type, but that only made Aunt Cleotha clutch her pearls.”
“Fine, I’ll go. But if the guy from Craigslist is cute, I have first dibs.”
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