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Friday, July 28, 2017

Excerpt reveal: The Prom Dress Killer, by George A. Berstein


ThePromDressKillerprintcover5.5x8.5_BW_30018mar2017

Title:  THE PROM DRESS KILLER
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Author: George A Bernstein
Publisher: GnD Publishing
Find out more on Amazon
Beneath the blazing sun and sizzling streets of Miami, a cold-blooded killer is at work.  His victims?  Young, auburn-haired women—four, so far—kidnapped and murdered.  These victims show no signs of trauma, but all bear the distinct hallmarks of a serial killer.  And this serial killer leaves behind a sickening calling card:  each victim is found clad in a prom dress.
Homicide detective Al Warner is on the case but this killer has left shockingly few clues, leaving Warner with more questions than answers.  Why were these girls taken…and then killed?  Is this psychopath intent on killing redheads, and why?  What, if anything, connects the victims?  Why were the bodies arranged in peaceful repose, wearing prom dresses?  How does that square with his leaving these carefully-arranged bodies in dark alleyways, discarding them as if they’re trash? And how long until this killer strikes again?
Sadly, one question is answered quickly when promising young attorney Elke Sorenstan captures the killer’s deadly attention and becomes the fifth victim. All signs say the killer is escalating—and that can mean only one thing:  the killer is bound to strike again, and soon.  With the stakes mounting and every tick of the clock marking that fine line between life and death, Al Warner doggedly pursues the ruthless killer before another victim falls prey. Warner’s worst fears are realized when newly-minted Realtor Shelly Weitz finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Al Warner will have to act fast: the clock is ticking in this deadly game…and Shelly Weitz is dangerously close to dancing with the devil himself—a dance that will surely be her last.  But as Detective Warner gets closer to stopping the madman behind these murders, he’ll risk losing everything—including his life.
A mesmerizing Miami mystery that ratchets up the suspense from page one, The Prom Dress Killer will leave readers breathless. Resplendent with pulse-pounding action, nail-biting suspense and unexpected twists, turns and surprises, The Prom Dress Killer is an outstanding new mystery that takes readers on a high-octane quest to catch a killer.  George A Bernstein has crafted an eerily real, masterfully- plotted mystery that delivers thrills and chills from beginning to end.
George photo
About the Author: A native of Chicago, George A Bernstein is a retired president of a Chicago manufacturing company. After leaving Chicago for South Florida, George started a world-wide fishing and hunting tour service, Outdoor Safaris. He is a world class fly-fisherman who has held 13 IGFA World Records and authored the definitive book on fly-fishing for pike and musky, Toothy Critters Love Flies.  He and his wife of 57 years, Dolores, live in South Florida. George is also the author of two previous Detective Al Warner suspense novels, Death’s Angel and Born to Die. He is currently at work on the next Detective Al Warner novel, as yet unnamed.
 www.suspenseguy.com / http://facebook.com/georgeabernstein                                 https://plus.google.com/114243818981488647845/ /                             http://twitter.com/georgebernstein
Chapter 2
“What d’ya got, Jack?” Al Warner asked, settling his lithe, hard muscled six-foot frame on the corner of his ex-partner’s desk.
“Not much, Al. The criminalists swept the entire area of the parking lot, but they didn’t come up with anything.” Jack Harris flipped through his notebook, shaking his head.
“We know for sure she was snatched in the lot?” Warner asked.
“Yeah. Security cameras picked her up, entering from the library. There’re two cams on every deck, but unfortunately, Miss Williamson was parked where there was no real coverage, and we never saw her leave.”
“Terrific!” Warner said, his fingers gently probing the spot at the back of his skull, more itchy than tender now, under the mat of thick curly black hair.
“That whack on the noggin still bothering you, Al?” Jack asked.
“Nah, not really. Just habit. Good thing I got a hard head.” Warner picked the crime scene report from Harris’ desk.
“Yeah, lucky for you. Not so lucky for the guy who beaned you … or his two nasty partners.” He grinned, delivering a little punch to Warner’s arm. Harris marveled at the steel hardness of his friend’s forty-year-old body.
“Easy, there, bud,” Warner said, his lips ticking upward. “So no video of the snatch …?”
“If it was one. I ain’t so sure.” Harris stood, coming around the desk.
“The third redheaded gal to go missin’ in the last three months? No longer a coincidence, Jack.” Warner self-consciously dropped his hand from another visit to his itchy scalp.
“If it’s the same perp,” Warner continued, “which now seems damned likely, we got five, maybe six days to find her alive. This guy’s got a timetable, and he sure doesn’t waste much time between vics. He drops one in an alley and has usually swiped the next within two weeks, max.
“Did the cameras at least pick up auto traffic in and out? We need something, Jack.”
“Sure, they got every vehicle coming and going. Problem is, we don’t have an exact timeline when she went missing. She left the library at about five p.m., and we got no shot of her leaving the garage.”
“Let’s review the tapes, startin’, say, at four-thirty, through about six. Look for the same vehicle comin’ and goin’ durin’ that time. He had to drive in and out. Maybe we’ll get lucky,” Warner said.
“Okay, boss, but he coulda followed her there and just waited for her to come back.”
“Good point. So look for her arrivin’ about three p.m. ID the next three or four vehicles behind her, and then look for one of them leavin’ right after we think she was snatched.”
“That’s kinda thin, boss … and it’s gonna give me a lot of sore eyes.”
“What else we got, Detective? Put one of the techs on it, if you’re gettin’ too old,” Warner said with a mischievous grin.
“Shit, you think I’d leave something like that to some nerd punk. I got a bottle of Murine.”
“Yeah, I figured. So get your lazy ass in gear. Let’s try to find this gal before the sands run out. I’m gonna zip by the parkin’ lot again, just in case we missed something. Her car been towed to the lab?”
“Yep. The Tech boys are about done.” Harris had returned to his desk, tilting his chair back. “I thought you might wanna take another peek at the scene. It’s still taped off, all the markers in place, and we got two full-time blues on the spot, so nothing gets disturbed.”
“Okay. Give me a copy of your interview notes of the lot’s attendants, and get on that film ASAP.” His voice raspy, he leaned forward, balancing on his arms, fingers spread like claws braced against the top of the desk.
“I don’t want a third pretty young corpse, all dolled up in a fancy prom dress, lyin’ in an ally somewhere. Not the goddamned Angel of Death, all over again.” Warner’s face contorted, as he slammed his fist down hard enough to spill the pencil container.
“Easy, boss.” Harris pushed away from his desk. “We’re doing the best we can, with what little we got.”
“Well it’s not fuckin’ good enough.” Warner straightened, catching himself from reaching for his last head wound again.
“I’m goddammed sick and tired of serial-killers around here. Three in the last three years is three fuckin’ too many! Let’s get this bastard before this last gal becomes his third vic, and before he takes a fourth.”
“We’re doing what we can, Al. He’s gotta make a mistake soon. I just hope we can do it this time without ya catching a bullet or rock off the noggin. Ya gotta stop playing those sympathy cards.”
Warner glared at the smaller man, but couldn’t contain his laughter, bubbling up, erupting like a ruptured dam … which in a sense, it was.
“Goddammed little shit! You always know how to cool my fuse when it gets too hot.”
Harris grinned. “Someone’s gotta chill ya out. You’re the best cop I know to solve these things, if ya don’t get too emotional about the vics. Never knew a detective who cared as much as you do, boss.”
“Thanks for the bucket of cold water, Jack. I get too wound up and I could miss something. Can’t afford to do that, ’cause this perp’s on a serious mission. I’m pretty sure bodies of pretty young redheads are gonna keep pilin’ up if we don’t nab ’im soon.
“Anyhow, get on that film, and get one of the techies to help. Two sets of eyes are always better. I’ll be back in a couple of hours. I‘ll wanna go over the patrol canvas reports, too.”
“Gottcha. Is Doc Guttenberg working on a profile?”
“Not yet. I’ll see Eva tonight and see if she can come up with something that might help.”
“Right. That’s real tough duty!” Harris grinned. “At least you two getting together is one thing good coming outta the last caper.”
Warner smiled. “Always lookin’ for the silver lining, huh.”
“Gotta be some perks in this job. I’ll call ya if anything comes outta those videos.”
Warner nodded, scooping up the file from Jack’s desk and heading out of the Miami-Dade Homicide Department. Something had to break, but time wasn’t on his side.
It never was, with a nut out there, killing innocent victims. Three years ago, it was teenagers. A year later beautiful young women … almost including Sharon. Now this nut— just sixty days after he snagged the perps with all those SIDS infants dying … and him taking a small boulder on the noggin in the process.
It’s redheaded women this time, meticulously groomed and dressed to the nines. Each was smothered, dying peacefully while apparently in a chloroform daze. It looked like the Unsub didn’t want them to suffer, but that seemed at odds with him laying them out in dark alleys like so much trash.
He hoped Eva could come up with something other than the killer seemed conflicted over his vic’s care. If nothing else, the lovely doctor would at least manage to drain off his tension.
He grinned, in spite of his anger. How was he so lucky to have that beauty love him? He thought briefly of Sharon, fleeing to Buffalo after her near deadly encounter with the Angel of Death. And then the blonde angel, Casey, consumed by the SIDS deaths of all those baby boys. That case eventually brought him to lovely Dr. Eva Guttenberg … and how lucky was that!
Will love last this time? He didn’t give it freely, and was too hard-case to receive it back very often. He was using up a lifetime of opportunities, and he didn’t want to screw this one up.
Unlocking his gray Dodge Charger coupe, he slid in, tossing the file on the passenger seat. He lingered, eyes focused on some distant, invisible spot, fingers tap-dancing on the leather cover steering wheel, considering the current serial lunatic.
This psycho wants something specific from these girls, and when they can’t feed his need, he discards them, cleaving to some unique, personal ritual, and looks for another. The fact they are in their twenties and redheads of similar size and build has a special meaning, but so far nothing has conjoined these gals except age group and hair color.
He sighed, firing up the engine, enjoying the rumble of its power.
“Better figure it out soon,” he mumbled, “or more bodies are gonna start pilin’ up. We’re one or two redheads away from city-wide panic.” Shifting gears, he drove out of the police lot, shaking his head.
They needed a break … and soon.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Authors To Watch: Historical Romance Author Gaelle Lehrer Kennedy





Gaelle Lehrer Kennedy worked as an actress and writer in film and television in the United States and Israel. Night in Jerusalem is her debut novel, which she has adapted to film. She lives in Ojai California with her husband and daughter.

She writes, “I lived in Israel in the 1960s, a naive twenty-year-old, hoping to find myself and my place in the world. The possibility of war was remote to me. I imagined the tensions in the region would somehow be resolved peacefully. Then, the Six Day War erupted and I experienced it firsthand in Jerusalem.

I have drawn Night in Jerusalem from my experiences during that time. The historical events portrayed in the novel are accurate. The characters are based on people I knew in the city. Like me, they were struggling to make sense of their lives, responding to inherited challenges they could not escape that shaped their destiny in ways they and the entire Middle East could not have imagined.

I have always been intrigued by the miraculous. How and where the soul’s journey leads and how it reveals its destiny. How two people who are destined, even under the threat of war and extinction, can find one another.

Israel’s Six Day War is not a fiction; neither was the miracle of its victory. What better time to discover love through intrigue, passion, and the miraculous.

Writing this story was in part reliving my history in Israel, in part a mystical adventure. I am grateful that so many who have read Night In Jerusalem have experienced this as well.”

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Title: NIGHT IN JERUSALEM
Author: Gaelle Lehrer Kennedy
Publisher: PKZ Inc.
Pages: 246
Genre: Historical Romance

A bewitching love story that is also an extraordinary portrait of Jerusalem, its faith, spirituality, identity, and kaleidoscope of clashing beliefs, Night in Jerusalem is a novel of mystery, beauty, historical insight, and sexual passion.
David Bennett is invited to Jerusalem in 1967 by his cousin who, to the alarm of his aristocratic British family, has embraced Judaism. He introduces David to his mentor, Reb Eli, a revered sage in the orthodox community. Despite his resistance to religious teaching, David becomes enthralled by the rabbi’s wisdom and compassionate presence. When David discloses a sexual problem, Reb Eli unwittingly sets off a chain of events that transforms his life and the life of the mysterious prostitute, Tamar, who, in a reprise of an ancient biblical story, leads both men to an astonishing realization. As passions rise, the Six Day War erupts, reshaping the lives of everyone caught up in it.

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We welcome you to My Bookish Pleasures! Can you tell us how you got started writing fiction?
I started writing at about 30, pretty much as soon as I got a sense of who I was.  I had been working as an actress and knew the arts were for me. The thing that drew me to writing was that I could do it all myself without anyone telling me what my part was or where I had to fit in. I’ve always responded best to the beat of my own drum, which I can hear loud and clear most days! Night In Jerusalem is my first novel. Previously, I have written screenplays. They are, of course, visually-oriented and provide limited opportunity for the writer to describe the characters’ states of mind - everything has to be revealed on the screen. I was drawn to writing a novel because the canvas is so much larger –as big as you like -  and the story does not have to fit a budget. However, the relationship with the reader is more intimate and complete, and there’s a challenge to meet there.
Can you tell us about your most recent release?
I have always been intrigued by the miraculous: how and where the soul’s journey leads and how it reveals its destiny; how two people who are destined, even under the threat of war and extinction, can find one another. Night In Jerusalem is a love story set during Israel’s Six Day War in which passion, mystical encounters and the miraculous come together to change the lives of everyone caught up in it.
How did you get the idea for the book?
The love story in Night In Jerusalem came to me on a movie set in Israel. We were filming on a blazingly hot day, dressed as lightly as possible while complying with the dress code of the location, which meant long sleeves, pants and skirts. One of the crew opened his shirt revealing his handsome, muscled chest. An orthodox woman in long black clothes and a wig kept coming out to look at us from her balcony. I sensed how strongly she yearned for contact. The gap between us could have been crossed in a few paces, yet we were centuries apart. I imagined what it was like to be her, what courage it would take for her to break free, how she might do it. Decades later I wrote the book. So far as setting the love story during the Six Day War, Winston Churchill wrote that there is nothing so exhilarating as when someone shoots at you and misses. When the Six Day War erupted. I experienced it firsthand. I spent days in shelters with other women, listening to Arab radio news reports proclaiming victory while we contemplated how we would end it for ourselves. It turned out, of course, that the war went the other way. We were to live! Jerusalem was re-unified. Now, that was exhilarating! At the same time, the search for peace, the endless arguments about what it should look like, and the courageous, impossible loves that thrived despite all odds - the themes of Night In Jerusalem – are questions that have remained with me vividly ever since.
Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?
Reb Eli.   He came from an orthodox family in Germany. While still a child, his father, a prominent rabbi, arranged for him to be evacuated to England just before the Nazis slammed the door shut. He was taken in by an aristocratic British family and lived with them until the end of the war. Learning that his own family had been lost in the holocaust, he started a new life in Israel. His intimacy with suffering was matched by the illumination of his spirit, revealing a wisdom untrammeled by orthodoxy, even though he became revered as a sage and spiritual leader of Jerusalem’s orthodox community. His kindness is what makes him my favorite.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?
The sex scenes were the hardest to write.  The book is an inspirational love story with a spiritual mystery at its core, but it is truly a love story!
What advice would you offer to new or aspiring fiction authors?
I studied creative writing at Columbia and appreciate the virtuosity of many writers, but I love novels that are told simply, where the writer is unobtrusive and the characters and plot say it all. I think it was Einstein who said it is easy to make things complicated, but it takes genius to make them simple. It is hard to write stories that are so clear and transparent you can see right into the souls of the characters. That’s what works for me, and it is what I strive for. I would say to aspiring fiction authors - get started! Let the characters show you the way, and don’t pay too much mind to anything else. If you get out of your own way and let the characters come alive, you’ll likely find yourself continuously and pleasantly surprised by where it leads you.

Monday, July 24, 2017

You Got This! Book Blast



Title: YOU GOT THIS! A MOTIVATIONAL GUIDE FOR ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS
Author: James Kademan
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 256
Genre: Self-help / Motivational




You Got This! A motivational guide for achieving your goals. Written by renowned business coach James Kademan of Draw In Customers Business Coaching. This is a quick read that will drive you to achieve what you have been working on. Sometimes you just need a kick in the rear to get you moving, this is that kick.

For a preview, check out this video:


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James Kademan hails from a distinct past that includes a number of experiences that brought him to the point of feeling it was necessary to write a few things down. Like most writers he started with chunks of paper that were strewn all over his desk, house, garage and under more than a few car seats.

After realizing a bit of organization was needed he resolved to grab those notes, combine them, type them, edit them, polish them and ask the world for some honest feedback. That led to a couple books being written. James' first real book, You Got This! A motivational guide for achieving your goals was a small slap in the face of typical motivational books. Not through intention, just in its simplistic content.
James Kademan's upcoming soon-to-be bestseller, The BOLD Business Book will hit the shelves in couple short months.

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James Kademan is giving away three individual 1 on 1 business coaching 1 hour phone sessions and 3 YOU GOT THIS books!!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
  • This giveaway ends midnight July 28.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on July 29.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!



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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: WHEN THE SKY FALLS BY JOSEPH BENDOSKI

Title: WHEN THE SKY FALLS
Author: Joseph Bendoski
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 408
Genre: Thriller/Espionage/Conspiracy/Historical


“What makes you believe a lie? I’m not asking how you know someone is lying. What makes you believe? Because if you don’t understand how that works, then you won’t know when you’re being manipulated.”

In 1938 the War of the Worlds hoax panicked millions of Americans, then in 1988 another fictional media broadcast convinced nearly half of Portugal that sea monsters had risen from the ocean to destroy their cities. A team of CIA agents was sent to study the aftermath of this 6th Skyfall Event in the hope that they could turn it into a weapon of war. When the team consultant turns up dead, everyone scrambles to be the last man standing: the one who will decide if or when the sky falls.

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Porto, Portugal. October 30, 1988
            The lights flickered and went dark, that’s when it started. Luis reached up and adjusted the bulb with his fingers. The hot glass burned his skin. He gritted his teeth as the sensation grew stronger. He doubted the bulb was the problem. The TV, fan and even the street light outside the apartment all died in the same moment. “Is this normal for an earthquake?”
            Car headlights flashed through the windows reflecting off Renata’s long, dark hair. “It’s not an earthquake. They already said that.”
            Luis let go of the bulb. Only a moment ago, the emergency broadcast system had come on the air. It’s strobing red light, and high pitched siren blared through every apartment. It was followed by men in lab coats being interviewed. They warned everyone that something was coming, and before they could finish the power cut out, the one thing they had said was, “it’s not an earthquake.”
            The street outside the window was still lightless, and Luis went to check the fuse box. It wouldn’t do much good. If the entire neighborhood lost power, it clearly wasn’t a fuse, but at least it was something to do.
            Renata took his hand. Her fingers trembled. “It’s not the fuses; it’s not our lights. Let it go.” Behind her, the old cement walls were spidered with cracks. They had been like that when they moved in.
“I don’t know what else to do.” He pressed his lips together and looked out the window. Outside, a family loaded into a car; the trunk overflowed as the father kicked at it until the latch held. They piled in, each with a pack on their lap. The mother sat in the passenger seat. In her hands, she held a pistol. Her husband got in, and the car roared to life. A few people emerged onto the street carrying packs, or bags. They all headed east, away from the coast. That’s where the scientist said it would start, on the coast.
“The phone lines,” Renata’s voice wavered, “They use a different power source than the electrical grid, right?” She wiped at beads of sweat forming on her forehead. “For emergencies, right?” She swallowed hard. “I’ll try and call my mom,” She picked up the receiver and held it to her ear. The lines in her face deepened the longer she held the phone. She frowned and jabbed at the disconnect lever several times. “The phones are dead.” Her skin paled. “The phones,” she licked her dry lips, “are dead.”
Luis was still for a long time. Strange muscles deep in his stomach twisted. Something terrible was happening, and he couldn’t do anything to stop it. He didn’t even know what it was. There was a worry in her soft brown eyes; he wanted to protect her, keep her from feeling this way. He walked over and put his hand on Renata’s cheek then kissed her. “We’re leaving.”
She nodded towards the bags they’d started to prepare midway through the broadcast. “Do you think this will be enough?” She rested her head on his chest.
The electricity surged back, lights blazing to life. The TV flashed it’s red warning again. After a moment, it changed to a camera feed from inside a helicopter. A reporter bobbed in and out of the frame. “We’re flying over the city of Vila de Conde, only a few kilometers from Porto.” He pointed to something off camera. “While it seems a much weaker force is headed this way, it will strike here first. That should give us some idea of what to prepare for.” The wind whipped his hair wildly and drowned his voice out. The camera focused in over the ocean. White edges of curling waves shifted as they crashed against the shore. City lights reflected on the water; then the whole city blinked out. “What the hell?” The camera jerked up over the blackened city. A loud guttural cry screeched through the TV speakers, and the reporter's voice shouted, “What in God’s nam—” The image on the TV shook and rotated like someone dropped the camera, then the screen cut to static.
Every beat of Luis’ heart pounded in his chest, teeth, and fingers. He waited for the static to end, for someone to come back, to tell them what happened.
Renata grabbed his hand; her pulse was rapid; throbbing in the vein on her neck. When she spoke, the words sounded strange like her mouth was dry after hanging open for too long. “What’s happening?”
Through the window, they saw a car slam into the small market across the street. Glass shards toppled down and shattered on the hood. Two men got out and kicked at the remaining jagged edges. With sacks in their hands, they hustled inside and filled the bags with food and supplies. They tossed them into the backseat and doubled back for more. A box of spaghetti fell out of the passenger side and burst open. Noodles splayed out on the pavement, breaking under the boots of the men as they hurried back and forth.
“I need to get something.” Luis rushed to the bedroom and pulled a pistol from under the bed. He loaded it and placed several ammo boxes in a bag before returning to his pack in the living room.
The static on the screen finally ended. A news anchor sat at a desk; sweat dripped down his face. He wiped at his brow. “It’s clear now, from this footage.” A small image on the side of the screen grew larger. It was a distant shot of the city of Vila de Conde. The entire coastal edge was gone. The hotels, resorts, beach houses. All gone. Some bits of rubble smoldered in the darkness. “This has been some sort of attack.” He stopped, and his face became stern. He sprayed saliva as he shouted at someone, “I can’t … God damn it … I can’t say that on TV. No one will believe it!” He shoved the desk over and stood; then turned and walked a few steps towards the back of the set.
A husky male voice came from off screen. “Do you believe it?” There was a pause, but the anchor kept walking. The husky voice spoke again, pleading this time, “Someone has to tell them. They have to know.” He yelled with urgency in his voice, “We saw them!”
The newscaster stopped and looked over his shoulder at the camera. “Tell them to run.” He disappeared off camera, and the screen went to static.
The lights flickered a second time, then went dark. Luis held his hand over his mouth. He stopped breathing for a moment and counted his heartbeats. He waited, but the lights didn’t come back.
With heavy packs strapped to their backs, Luis and Renata staggered into the street towards their car. A traffic jam built up behind the vehicle that had crashed into the market. People dashed inside, stealing food. The narrow European street swelled with a growing mob as they disembarked their cars to investigate the problem.
A man got into the obstructing car and attempted to reverse out. The center of the frame teetered on the curb, and the wheels spun over the slick cobblestones.
A massive man with a thick beard exited his truck. “What’s wrong with you?” He thrust crude gestures with his hands, then stopped and summoned the other stalled drivers to the stranded car. He pantomimed his intention.
Seven men gathered around the small European car and tipped it onto its side, but the vehicle still blocked the road. They shoved and kicked, but the road wouldn’t clear. Thick-beard threw up his hands, gathered his gear from his car and started walking.
Luis’s eyes widened. “I don’t understand it.”
“Do you need to?” Renata gripped his shoulder, the tips of her nails bit into his skin. “They told us to run.”
Abandoning their car, Luis and Renata joined the panicked herd. They ran, shoved and bumped into each other as they maneuvered around the empty cars. The weight of the pack made Luis unstable as people jostled against him. As each person collided into him or reached out to stabilize themselves, his balance wavered. The straps dug deep into his shoulders. The heavy load labored his run. People were constantly pressing past. He made Renata go first so he could keep an eye on her.      
A tall man with wide shoulders shoved Luis into the side of a car. He stumbled and grabbed the mirror to keep from falling. Renata screamed. He turned as she plummeted to the ground a few feet away, disappearing into the mad swarm of human bodies.
Luis surged forward ramming people until he found her. He tried to help her stand, but the mob kept pressing forward, and Luis fell on top of her. A foot crunched down on his hand; then a knee jabbed into his ribs. Droves of people crashed against his body. His hair got caught on something, and it ripped a patch from his skull. A trickle of blood dripped from his scalp onto Renata’s face.
Luis pressed his lips to her ear. “The gun is in my pack. Fire the gun.” He didn’t feel her searching the bag, too many hands, knees, and elbows jabbed and thrust into him, but he heard the gunshot, next to his ear. It thundered, and his whole body tensed. The thundering didn’t end. His ear rang, and it felt like someone was trying to hammer a nail into his brain. He saw Renata’s face, she was shouting, but he couldn’t hear her anymore, couldn’t hear the crowd, the waves of pounding feet on stone, just a high-pitched pierce in his ears.
The crowd stopped pressing down on him. They’d backed away. He got to his feet. Renata still lay on the ground. Luis dragged her into the bed of a truck. She cried and kept trying to say something, but he couldn’t hear it. Her face flexed in pain. He scanned her body and saw the ankle. Human bodies, human feet don’t bend like that. The tibia seemed to be jabbing down through the foot, forming a large bulb at the bottom, and the ankle swelled thicker than her leg.
The crowd swarmed back. Luis slumped down beside her. His eyes lingered on her face, her eyes. She couldn’t walk, not on her own. Whatever was coming would catch them. How will you take care of her? Luis took the gun from her hands. He studied the pistol for a long time, its dark oily finish, the weight of it in his hand, a weapon. If he couldn’t run, then he would fight. He crawled out of the truck bed to the car just behind. He rested the pistol on the hood and stared out into the darkness. Luis saw the white curling waves. Whatever it was, came from the ocean, he knew that. He waited a moment, watching the water, trying to see it. Nothing, just darkness. He pulled the trigger then looked at Renata. Broken. Helpless. His eyes welled up with tears. Fight. Even if you can’t see it. Fight. He fired again, fired until the gun was empty.




Joe Bendoski study psychology in college and was fascinated by all the insights it provided into human behavior, only to realize most the information never reach people, and when it did, rarely was it in a form that allowed for practical application. He started writing non-fiction, but soon came to understand how few people read that genre and began the difficult transition into fiction writing. His non-fiction works include; the Chemistry of Attraction and the Language of Emotion. 
He worked as the head writer for the television show ‘Saved by Grace.’ After being frustrated with comments like "make this scene cheaper," "What's my motivation?", and "Do we need this scene?" he decided to go in to literature.
His latest book is the thriller/espionage/conspiracy/historical novel, When the Sky Falls.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

AUTHORS TO WATCH: MIRI LESHEM-PELLY AUTHOR OF SCRIBBLE & AUTHOR




Miri Leshem-Pelly is the author-illustrator of 14 children’s books. She’s also illustrated 14 books for other writers. When Miri isn’t writing she can be found speaking at schools, kindergartens and libraries. She is invited to do more than 200 presentations with her books per year. Miri is also a Regional Advisor for SCBWI (Society of Children’s book writers & illustrators).

Miri is represented by Olswanger Literary Agency.

Miri’s works have won awards and her illustrations have been shown on several exhibitions.
Miri lives in Israel with her husband and two children, and loves reading books and going on nature hikes.

Her latest book is Scribble & Author.

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Title: SCRIBBLE & AUTHOR          
Author: Miri Leshem-Pelly
Publisher: Kane Miller Books
Pages: 32
Genre: Picture Book for Authors

Scribble & Author is written as a dialogue between the main character, Scribble, and the author who created her. 
Scribble's journey starts on a peaceful shore called THE BEGINNING, continues to the rough, adventurous MIDDLE, and leads finally to the gate of THE ENDING, but it’s not at all what Scribble expected… Scribble is a scribble and Author is an author, but who really gets to tell the tale?
A picture book about finding your own voice, making your own decisions, and writing your own story.
Watch the book trailer at Vimeo.

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We welcome you to My Bookish Pleasures! Can you tell us how you got started writing fiction?

I started writing at a very young age. As a child I loved books so much and as soon as I learned to write at first grade, I started writing and illustrating my own stories. Luckily, my mother kept those childhood notebooks and it is a lot of fun to read them and see the kind of stories and poems I wrote back then.

Can you tell us about your most recent release?

My new book is Scribble & Author. It is a picture book for children, about a character named Scribble, who is a little scribble on the page. Scribble is created by Author, who is also a character in this book… Author creates the land of story for Scribble to live in and explore, and the two of them talk and interact and in fact, they end up creating the story together. The story shows that authors don’t really have full control over their stories, and characters can also change the plot sometimes!

How did you get the idea for the book?

I was thinking about myself as an author, and about my characters and wondered how would it be if I could have a conversation with one of my characters? And what could happen if this character doesn’t like the story he/she are in? Or wants to change it? The idea seemed very interesting to me, so I decided to write it and see what could really happen if I let an author interact with his character.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?

I had the idea of creating a dialogue between the author and his character for quite some time, but it took me a very long time to figure out how to create a story out of it… I had many ideas for interesting scenes, but I wasn’t sure how to tie them all together into a plot. I made many sketches and created several illustrated dummies, in each one I sent my character Scribble into a different adventure: She dug for a treasure, sailed in sea, explored a dark cave and more, but non of these stories worked good enough. Until I realized what Scribble is really looking for, what is her motivation in the story: she is lonely and she wants a friend! Once I realized that, the story began to unfold quickly and all the parts fell into place, leading to a satisfying and surprising ending.

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring fiction authors?

I would highly recommend joining a critique group for writers. I’m a member in such a group for several years now and I find it very helpful. You get to hear comments and suggestions that you wouldn’t have thought about and you can improve your story and revise it much better and faster than if you do it alone. And when you give your critiques to the other group members, you learn many things too, because it is easier sometimes to see the problems on other people’s work. So if you want to become more professional in your writing - join a critique group.


Monday, July 10, 2017

On the Spotlight: The Art of Making Decisions, by Philip Kimble


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    
Contact: Maryglenn McCombs  (615) 297-9875  maryglenn@maryglenn.com

STUMPED? STYMIED? STUPEFIED?  NEW BOOK EXPLAINS HOW TO MAKE GOOD DECISIONS:
The Art of Making Good Decisions by Philip Kimble Now Available Nationwide


NASHVILLE, Tenn.  – Feeling stumped, stymied, or stupefied by a big (or small) decision? A new book, The Art of Making Good Decisions by Philip Kimble, takes the guesswork out of common decision-making quandaries and explains how to make good, solid, choices—easily, quickly, and consistently.
Sources estimate that an individual makes more than 30,000 conscious decisions each day.  While most decisions are relatively minor—researchers at Cornell University suggest that persons typically make over 200 decisions a day on food alone—decisions, even the small ones, matter.  Consequently, being able to make consistently good, solid decisions is vitally important to our well-being, our livelihood, and our happiness.
Written by Atlanta area resident Philip Kimble, The Art of Making Good Decisions, explains how—and why—to make good decisions.  A groundbreaking book filled with fascinating insights, tips, tricks and techniques, The Art of Making Good Decisions is published in trade paper (ISBN: 978-1542404075, 168 pages, $9.95) and eBook ($9.50) editions and is now available wherever fine books are sold.
Author Philip Kimble takes readers on an enlightening journey through the decision-making process in The Art of Making Good Decisions.  In this thoughtful and thought-provoking guide, Kimble sheds light on such topics as:  the three driving elements to any decision; elements of the decision model sequence; the key component behind bad decisions; how to recognize a good decision; what happens when decisions need to be tweaked—aka zigging and zagging;  becoming a more confident decision maker; and other important topics. Moreover, The Art of Making Good Decisions is filled with step-by-step examples, sage advice, and anecdotes.
Clear, concise, and imminently readable, The Art of Making Good Decisions presents an eye-opening look at the decision making process. Part how-to manual, part coach, part mentor in a book, The Art of Making Good Decisions is intended for anyone who has struggled with making decisions.
So the next time you find yourself frustrated, flummoxed, or frazzled when facing a decision, take heart:  by applying the principles outlined in The Art of Making Good Decisions, you can begin your transition from inaction to decisiveness and bring sense and clarity to choices. Now that’s a good decision.

Philip Kimble lives in the Atlanta area with his wife Julie. 
Members of the news media wishing to request additional information are kindly asked to contact Maryglenn McCombs by phone:  (615) 297-9875 or by email:  maryglenn@maryglenn.com

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THE RAID ON TROY BOOK BLAST


Title: THE RAID ON TROY
Author: Murray Lee Eiland Jr.
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 300
Genre: Light Fantasy / Historical Fiction / YA



The Greek raid on Troy is chronicled in the Iliad and the Odyssey. These poems are pillars of ancient literature and continue to be carefully studied. Homer, who lived in the 8th or 7th century BC, is credited as the author. The actual conflict has been dated from 1260-1180 BC or even earlier. The question is, how close is Homer’s account to real history?

In the Orfeo Saga volume seven there are some familiar characters from Homer. Their motivations, as well as their history, can be radically different. Memnon is a self-made man and a petty king who craves the fabled gold of Troy. His brother Menas is king of Sparta. They assemble a coalition to sack the city. Telemon, not eager to join the expedition, is moved to act after his daughter Elena is taken. He seizes the city of Mycenae and goes to Troy. Odysees might not be as clever or brave as the man described in Homer, but he joins the expedition out of greed. He soon meets Orfeo’s son, who is in search of his first real adventure. Orfeo is on the Trojan side, and has to face the assembled military might of Greece as well as Odysees cunning plans. The Greeks have Ajax, who they count on to defeat any foe in single combat. Can Telemon - now an old man - defeat the greatest Greek warrior and recover his daughter?

The Raid on Troy might not be any closer to real history than the ancient poems, but it does offer insights into what might form the basis of the stories.

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Memnon knew the ship was hitting the beach. He heard the scraping of the hull against sand and
pebbles, and the angle of the deck changed as the prow rose higher. He had not seen the ship’s deck for days, nor had he been permitted to walk around on land for perhaps two years. Slaves on Theran ships were treated with about the same respect as sheep, only slaves could not even be eaten because of some Theran religious prohibition. Galley slaves were useful,but were neither expensive nor in short supply.

At age fourteen, Memnon had seen little else of the world, as he had been seized in a slaver raid as he and his brothers played on an unknown beach now well beyond remembering. He knew he was less than five years old at the time, and now he believed he was nearly fifteen, although no one had been interested in explaining the concept of birthdays to him. Memnon had learned virtually all of what he knew from other slaves in the orchards of Thera, where he had begun his working career by carrying buckets of water to the men who tended the trees and picked the fruit. He had been separated from the two older brothers seized at the same time, but recognized one of them as he was taken to his place at an oar on one of the warships the Therans used to exact tribute from various cities; Memnon had occasionally spoken with him when their different groups of oarsmen were allowed on deck
Memnon recognized that his brother burned with rage. Over time, Memnon found himself coming to understand its origin and nature. Although he could not recall much about his life before his abduction, he remembered a world with occasional comforts, and even times of celebration.





Dr Eiland is a psychiatrist by training, and has written about Near Eastern art and culture. His novels are set in the heroic past and feature fictional characters in a realistic matrix. He has a special interest in exploring how and why people lead. The books contain themes that are suitable for young adults who have an interest in history.

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