Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween: 25+ Highly Rated Free Kindle eBooks For Wednesday

Cold Lonely CourageHappy Halloween. We have 25+ New Free Books all exceed our minimum standard of 13+ reviews and 4.0+ stars and most greatly exceed these minimums. As a service to our authors, if you read a free book please give the author a review on Amazon.Thanks. Remember that many of the free kindle books are priced at $0.00 for a very limited time (24-48 hours). Always make sure that the price is $0.00 when downloading.
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Book Buzz – Unclaimed Legacy (Time and Again) by Deborah Heal

Unclaimed Legacy (Time and Again)“Wow! I enjoyed Time and Again, but Unclaimed Legacy is in a class of its own! There’s no sophomore slump for author Deborah Heal–Unclaimed Legacy is an absolutely fantastic book.” R. Ritta, Amazon Reviews
Hello Digital Book Today readers. The Book Buzz segment today features Unclaimed Legacy (Time and Again) by Deborah Heal. Unclaimed Legacy (rated 4.6 stars on 18 reviews) is the second book in the trilogy, after Time and Again (4.6 stars on 32 reviews). This novel doesn’t easily fit into a pigeon hole. It’s part mystery (There’s a murder to solve.), part sci-fi (Mysterious computer programs allow virtual time travel.), historical (They follow the lives of Reuben and Frances who live in the 1870s.) and romance (Abby’s relationship with John develops.). The reviews do indicate that a reader could read Unclaimed Legacy as a standalone book, but since this is a trilogy a reader might just want to get both books, read them one after the another, and look forward to reading the third book in this highly rated series.
“I loved this second book in the series even more than the first. The mystery of the events of the past make it a page-turner.” ~ Happy Mama, Amazon Reviews
“This book was so much fun to read and I am really looking forward to the next one! The time travel concept with the computer program has become even more exciting as the author continues to write! It will be interesting to see whats next as she adds new characters and a different location. ~ Chuck Peterson, Amazon Review
Book Description: “I call it time-surfing,” Abby said. “It’s like being there, except no one can see or hear us.” “Whatever you call it,” John said, “that was crazy—what we just did. Beyond realistic. I mean, I was in that guy’s head and knew everything he was thinking.”
Abby’s weird computer program is working again. And it comes in handy when they agree to help the Old Dears next door with their family tree. Except Abby and John learn more about one of the ladies’ ancestors than they ever wanted to know. Convicted in 1871 of murder and arson, Reuben Buchanan is a blight on the family’s reputation. But was he really guilty? Abby and John get inside the mind of a murderer to find out. But while they’re rummaging around in the Old Dears’ family history, they discover the truth of God’s promise to bless a thousand generations … and a legacy waiting to be reclaimed. .… Read more on Amazon.

Halloween Memories – Trick or Treat, Robots and Candy Corn

Evil Stalks the Night: Revised Author's EditionA guest blog post by Kathryn Meyer Griffith author of 16 novels including Evil Stalks the Night.
I believe I’m lucky. I grew up in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Halloween was so different back then. Simpler. More innocent. Exciting. A true holiday for children. And I have memories I’ll cherish my whole life.
My family was large. I had six siblings, three sisters and three brothers, and we never had much money. My dad was a salesman and my mother, like a lot of women during that time, didn’t work outside the home…she was busy enough raising seven children. We were the poor family down the street with too many kids living in the shabby two-story spooky looking house. Our neighbors shunned us or felt sorry for us. But I didn’t care, I had my family to love me. I had Grandmother Fehrt, my mother’s mother, to fill our bellies with food when the table was a little too bare. I had my ambitions and dreams, science fiction and scary library books to read and pictures to draw (I wanted to be an artist from the age of nine).
I frolicked in the empty fields riddled with deep gullies beside our house with my brothers and sisters or ran the dark streets and woods playing hide-and-go-seek. Sang to the moon on our rusty swing set in the backyard with my brother, Jim. Or, on a black and white TV set, watched Zorro, the Twilight Zone or The Lone Ranger on swelteringly hot nights in a house with no air-conditioning. Sweet days and nights. Poignant memories now that many of my family are gone.
Halloween was my favorite holiday, next to Christmas. I remember one, when I was about ten or so, vividly. It was cold and raining, but nothing stopped us four older children (the rest were too young that year) from going out into the neighborhood and collecting big brown bags of free candy. No, not when candy was so rare for us. My parents could hardly keep enough food in the house, much less buy us sweets. So Halloween meant a windfall of treats. Nothing kept us home on that night. We’d quickly eat the bowls of chili Mom would insist we eat as the sun went down. Another tradition. So we had some real food in our stomachs before the glut of candy came.
My mother, money being sparse as always, dressed us two girls up as gypsies, using her old costume jewelry and tying bright scarfs around our heads and waists. My younger brother Jon, wore an old sheet with cut out eye slots. A ghost. My other brother, Jim, had outdone himself that year and, out of two cardboard boxes and paint, had fashioned himself a robot. Wasn’t bad for an eight year old, either. Made it hard for him to walk, though. He stumbled a lot.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tuesday Kindle Books: 25+ New Titles: 4.0+ Stars: Cost=$0.00

Collide (A Collide Novel)Tuesday morning brings our readers a new selection of 25+ books to choose from for their Kindle that cost $0.00 (free). The Top 10 Free Kindle Digital Books listed below is a great start, but don’t forget to check out the rest of The Top 100 Best Free Kindle Books. As a service to our authors, if you read a free book please give the author a review on Amazon.Thanks. Remember that many of the free kindle books are priced at $0.00 for a very limited time (24-48 hours).
Do you ever play Kindle games? Visit the Best Free and Paid Kindle Games.
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Author Interview #128: First Frost by Liz DeJesus

First FrostOur interview today is with Liz DeJesus the author of First Frost. Before we get to the interview a brief book description: For generations, the Frost family has run the Museum of Magical and Rare Artifacts, handing down guardianship from mother to daughter, always keeping their secrets to “family only.” Gathered within museum’s walls is a collection dedicated to the Grimm fairy tales and to the rare items the family has acquired: Cinderella’s glass slipper, Snow White’s poisoned apple, the evil queen’s magic mirror, Sleeping Beauty’s enchanted spinning wheel…
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Frost wants none of it, dreaming instead of a career in art or photography or…well, anything except working in the family’s museum. She knows the items in the glass display cases are fakes because, of course, magic doesn’t really exist. She’s about to find out how wrong she is.

Interview with Liz DeJesus

1) What was unique about the setting of the book and how did it enhance or take away from the story?
My novel First Frost takes place mostly in two places: the Museum of Magical and Rare Artifacts and Everafter. The museum is run by Rose and Bianca Frost. The building is home to a lot of the items that you would find in popular fairy tales. Some of the items on display are Snow White’s poisoned apple, Cinderella’s glass slipper, Rumplestiltskin’s spinning wheel…among other items. And Everafter is the magical land where all of the fairy tales took place. It’s imaginary, so the reader quickly figures out that anything can happen. And that broadens the scope of the story in every way. Even though the museum is in the ‘real world’ there is a whimsical nature to it that lets you know that you are surrounded by magic.
2) What specific themes did the author emphasize throughout the novel? What do you think he or she is trying to get across to the reader?
Honestly, I just wanted to tell a fun story and entertain the reader. But some of the themes that come across in the book are the power of friendship, love and magic. Bianca is very good friends with her mother, which is similar to the relationship I have with my mom. Ming, her best friend, also follows her to Everafter to rescue her mother from an evil witch named Lenore.
I also think that the reader watches Bianca grow up and mature as the story moves along. She goes from being a nice, smart, easy going teenager to a brave, decisive young woman. (Granted she’s still nice, but as I continue writing for her she has much more bite this time around which makes her a kickass character).
3) Do the characters seem real and believable? Can you relate to their predicaments? To what extent do they remind you of yourself or someone you know?
I think Bianca and Ming are totally believable. I wrote Prince Ferdinand and Terrance to be a little bit more proper due to the fact that they’re in Everafter and it’s still kind of stuck in the 1800’s. But the prince was so much fun to write. Take every stereotype about princes that you can think of and you have Prince Ferdinand. And Terrance (Bianca’s love interest) is sort of the opposite because he’s very reserved, calm and thoughtful.

Book Buzz – BELLYACHE: A Delicious Tale by Crystal Marcos (4.8 Stars, 25 Reviews)

“A delicious tale that will delight children of all ages!” Children’s Book Reviewer, Amazon Reviews
BELLYACHE: A Delicious TaleHello Digital Book Today readers. The Book Buzz segment today features BELLYACHE: A Delicious Tale by Crystal Marcos. A great book to read aloud to your child just before they make the transition into chapter books. This is an important stage in reading development. The child is moving on from picture books and is now able to imagine the story in their mind as it is being read aloud to them. As a parent this means the days of reading to your child is coming to an end but the excitement of seeing your child becoming engrossed in a book because of the story is right around the corner. BELLYACHE is a perfect choice (4.8 stars on 25 reviews) for this stage of your childs reading development.
BELLYACHE: A Delicious Tale was nominated for the 2010 CYBILS Awards and won the 2011 Readers Favorite Silver Award in its category. Look for Marcos’ exciting second book in the children’s series, HEADACHE: The Hair-Raising Sequel to BELLYACHE.
“A Delicious Tale is well written and full of exciting word visuals that your children will enjoy. I purchased the book recently through Amazon and have had a great time reading it to my little ones. The book is full of great adventures with a wonderful lesson about forgiveness in the end.” ~ Jessica, Amazon Reviews
“This is definitely a worthwhile read. The moral of the story is a good one, the characters are fully outlined and developed, and the imagination behind the plot is fantastic. ~ Shoegal, Amazon Review
Book Description: A lip-smacking, mouthwatering, absolutely delectable debut, BELLYACHE: A Delicious Tale by Crystal Marcos is a literary feast for ages seven and up. In the vein of Roald Dahl’s best-loved adventures, Marcos offers a mystical, character driven escapade that intertwines strands of reality with a larger-than-life fantasy world. When Peter Fischer sets out to help his grandfather at Papa’s Sweet Shop, he will quickly learn that sneaking sweets and covering up his sugar-dusted tracks will have major consequences. As Peter is transported to a mysteriously delicious, faraway land, a curious people known as the Candonites, some of whom have no time for a non-Candonite, will teach Peter a lesson on what it means to be different and what it means to forgive. .… Read more on Amazon.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Mania: 30 New Free eBooks: All Rated 4.0+ Stars

Open Season (Joe Gunther #1) (Joe Gunther Mysteries)Good Monday morning. As usually happens on Monday, we get a nice fresh list of free titles. We have lost 20+ books from our free list but have added 30 new free titles! Stock up for your fall reading needs as we have a great selection of the best free books for the Kindle, iPad, and Kindle Fire on our The Top 100 Best Free Kindle Books. As a service to our authors, if you read a free book please give the author a review on Amazon.Thanks. Remember that many of the free kindle books are priced at $0.00 for a very limited time (24-48 hours).
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Book Buzz: Ephemeral (The Countenance) by Addison Moore – 4.8 Stars, 70 Reviews!

Ephemeral (The Countenance)“One of the Best YA Paranormal Books I’ve Read – A Definite Must Read!” Stephanie Ward, Amazon Reviews
Hello Digital Book Today readers. The Book Buzz segment today features Ephemeral (The Countenance) by Addison Moore. Do you enjoy YA/Mature paranormal romance series? Then we have the book for you. Ephemeral (The Countenance) is rated 4.8 stars on 70 reviews. Wow! What a great indication of the enjoyment this book has given to its readers. Have you never read a paramoral romance title before? Ephemeral (The Countenance) would make for an excellent choice to dive into this genre. Of course don’t forget to checkout Addison Moore’s other great books including Ethereal (Celestra Series Book 1 – 4.1 stars on 261 reviews) which has been optioned for film by 20th Century Fox. We are sure you will be disappointed by her books.
“If you’re an Addison Moore fan, which I am, then you will fall in love with Ephemeral. You’re pulled into Laken’s world from the start. I am already addicted to the series and can’t waiit until the next book! The incredible Ms. Moore has done it again!” ~ Scooby4281, Amazon Reviews
“Addison Moore does NOT disappoint with her new Countenance Series. Ms. Moore always leaves you wanting more, her writing is fantastic and her storyline transports you directly into the world of her characters. ~ Jennifer Bernard, Amazon Review
Book Description: Young Adult/ Mature Situations. In the grand scheme of things, you’ll be dead a lot longer than you’ll ever be alive. The last thing Laken Stewart remembers is the oncoming car, then bursting through the windshield.
Two months dissolve without her knowledge and she finds herself in unfamiliar surroundings with strangers who not only profess to know her but insist she’s someone else entirely. Laken discovers her long dead boyfriend, Wesley, has been thrown into this alternate world as well. He is quick to inform her she suffered a horrible fall and that her memory hasn’t fully returned. According to Wesley the other life she had—her name, her family, they were simply a side effect of her brain trauma.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Best of the Sunday Free Kindle eBooks

Lost In ItalyWe have 25+ new free Kindle ebooks for Sunday. We only add books with a minimum of 10+ stars and 4.0+ reviews. A great chance to grab a book or two for last day of the weekend. All of our books listed today are free ($0.00) on The Top 100 Best Free Kindle Books. As a service to our authors, if you read a free book please give the author a review on Amazon.Thanks. Remember that many of the free kindle books are priced at $0.00 for a very limited time (24-48 hours).
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Book Buzz: The Pineville Heist the Book that Snagged a Twilight Star for the Movie Version – $0.99 One Day Only

The Pineville Heist“I promise that this book will keep you glued to its pages, and sitting at the edge of your seat right until the very end !!” ~ Amanda James, Amazon Review
Hello Digital Book Today readers. The Book Buzz segment today features The Pineville Heist by award winning writer/director Lee Chambers. Twilight movie star BooBoo Stewart will be in the movie version of The Pineville Heist. This YA Thriller is rated 4.3 stars on 64 reviews. It is a YA crime thriller that older readers will also enjoy. For one day only (10/28) this Amazon bestseller will be $0.99. Don’t miss the chance to catch the book that snagged a Twilight for the movie version!
Also as a bonus for Sunday 10/28 Lee’s book The Sum of Random Chance (4.7 stars, 20 reviews, YA/Adult) is free.
“This is one heck of a fun book and anybody who is interested in a really well-written young adult mystery would be wise to pick it up.” ~ ForTheQuinn, Amazon Review
The Pineville Heist is an action packed thriller that will appeal to the young adult readers and older readers too! ~ Nancy Famolari, Kindle Reader
Book Description: Seventeen year old Aaron stumbles into the aftermath of a five million dollar bank heist gone wrong. Hiding under a canoe, Aaron partially catches the murder of one of the robbers. In the chaos he sneaks away with the money and heads straight for the closest place of safety, his high school. Terrified, Aaron tells his shocking tale to Amanda Becker, his drama teacher, but it doesn’t take long for one of the psychotic robbers to show up. In the locked down school the pair are relentlessly pursued in a quest to get the money back and wipe out the evidence.
The Pineville Heist, based on the award-winning screenplay by Lee Chambers and Todd Gordon. .… Read more on Amazon.
About the Author:
Born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, I hold an Advertising Art and Graphic Design Diploma from Sault College of Applied Arts and Technology. My passion for video and film production lead to a paid position creating community television programs at MacLean Hunter Cable Television in 1991. Higher education followed with a City and Guilds diploma in Video and Television Production, followed by a post-graduate diploma in Film Production from Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Vacation Bible School

Maddog and Miss KittyA guest blog post by Bert Carson author of several books including Maddog and Miss Kitty.
If you live in the south, you know what Vacation Bible School is, however, if you live anywhere else on the planet, you may not. For those in the second group, let me explain. VBS is conducted by churches, early in summer, usually a week or two after the final day of school.
Consider that from a kid’s point of view. Just when you’ve acclimated to a summer schedule, and weeks before you start counting the days left in your vacation, you find yourself in church, hearing the same stories you’ve heard twice a week forever, singing the same songs, drinking the same watered-down lemonade, and eating stale vanilla wafers.
Do you get the impression that I didn’t like Vacation Bible School? Let me clarify that point for you – I’m seventy years old, and I still get goose bumps when I think of the endless hours I spent in Vacation Bible School.
I volunteered for Vietnam. It wasn’t a spur of the moment decision. I was nine months into my twenty-four month service commitment when I decided to go. That meant I had to extend my service commitment by twelve months in order to go to Vietnam. I didn’t think twice about doing that, and two months later, I boarded a plane in California, bound for Vietnam. I arrived at my new unit, the 214th Combat Aviation Battalion, in early May 1967.
The morning of January 31, 1968, all hell broke loose and for once Camp Bearcat wasn’t being hit. It was the beginning of Tet of 1968. Our first inkling of the magnitude of the attack came when we got word that the 117th Assault Helicopter Company, one of our units based at Long Binh, was pinned down by heavy ground fire and couldn’t get a single chopper in the air.
Shortly after that dispatch, we were ordered to send Huey’s, with ammo, to the American Embassy in Saigon. The first chopper to land on the embassy took forty-five hits crossing the street when it took off from the building. None of the crewmen were injured, but the chopper was in sad shape. It flew for five miles before coming down in a rice paddy just east of the city.

Saturday Morning Freebies – A Great Day For Kindle Digital Books

This Time ForeverWe have 30+ new titles and many that are new to our The Top 100 Best Free Kindle Books. Do you need a great weekend Free Kindle Digital eBook to read that won’t break the bank for the weekend? All of our books listed today are free ($0.00)! As a service to our authors, if you read a free book please give the author a review on Amazon. Thanks. Remember that many of the free kindle books are priced at $0.00 for a very limited time (24-48 hours).
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Friday, October 26, 2012

A Great Day For Free Kindle Digital Books: 30+ Free Books: All 4.0+ Stars

The ScourgeOut with the old and in with the new. We have 30+ new titles with many greatly exceeding our minimum of 4.0+ stars and 10+ reviews that are new to our The Top 100 Best Free Kindle Books. Grab a book or two for the weekend. All of our books listed today are free ($0.00)! As a service to our authors, if you read a free book please give the author a review on Amazon.Thanks. Remember that many of the free kindle books are priced at $0.00 for a very limited time (24-48 hours).
Other ways to be informed of great books:

Book Buzz: Ethereal (Celestra Series Book 1) by Addison Moore – Optioned for Film by 20th Century Fox

Ethereal (Celestra Series Book 1)“I LOVED this book… I cannot wait to see what happens with the characters. I recommend this book to anyone who is tired of the same old paranormal romance book.” J. Ely, Amazon Reviews
Hello Digital Book Today readers. The Book Buzz segment today features Ethereal (Celestra Series Book 1) by Addison Moore. This book is currently rated 4.1 stars on 261 reviews. From this book bloggers perspective it is hard for any book to stay above a 4.0+ rating once you exceed 200+ reviews (just look at a NYT Bestseller list). This is a YA paranormal romance book currently with 151 reviews that are 5 stars. Of course there are reviews from people who didn’t like it which comes with the territory when so many people are reading the book. Simply if you enjoy the YA paranormal romance genre then Ethereal (Celestra Series Book 1) is a great choice of a series to read. The other exciting news is Ethereal has been optioned for film by 20th Century Fox.
“I’m glad the author wrote a YA paranormal story that was devoid of vampires and werewolves which seems to be the rage for most new paranormal stories. This was a fun and easy read, one that kept me up well into the night reading.” ~ @KChambers, Amazon Reviews
“I get totally obsessed while reading these books! I just can’t wait to dive right into the next one. Thank you for such a great story! ~ Book Bug, Amazon Review
Book Description: Sixteen year-old, Skyla Messenger is a dead girl walking. When her newly remarried mother moves the family to Paragon Island, to a house that is rumored to be haunted, Skyla finds refuge in Logan Oliver, a boy who shares her unique ability to read minds.
Skyla discovers Logan holds the answers to the questions she’s been looking for, but Logan’s reluctance to give her the knowledge she desires leaves her believing Logan has a few secrets of his own. Skyla’s bloodlines may just be connected to the most powerful angelic beings that roam the earth, and the more she knows, the more danger she seems to be in.
Suddenly an entire faction of earthbound angels wants her dead, at least she still has Logan, or does she? .… Read more on Amazon.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Procrastination: The Secret to Success?

Our guest post is from the Anon Bloggers. Click to visit their website.
Procrastination: The Secret to Success?
What is the secret to success?
The cliché answer to this is “do not procrastinate!”
I love Clichés, but this one is not always true. I present to the arguments for procrastination:
1. With procrastinating time goes by, including time to discuss the project with others and time to reflect on it. By the time you are writing it last minute, you have maximized the amount of knowledge you could have before writing. Benefit? I think so.
2. When you start things early, there is not much motivation driving you. There isn’t any pressure saying “I have to do this now.” With procrastination, you are always thinking, “I have to do this now or fail.” Plenty of pressure means more motivation. More motivation=More passion=Better writing (maybe).
3. By that same train of thought, more pressure means more focus. You know you need to finish this project now, so there is no time for breaks or distractions. This means your mind will be completely focused on work.
4. Procrastination also means you will be going to sleep later, which means you will be more tired. Thus, unlike early nights where you might have trouble falling to sleep, with procrastination, you’ll fall asleep immediately. You might even fall asleep before you make it to bed.
As you can see, procrastination has many benefits. It can lead to better writing and better sleep. The only possible downsides are that rushing will lead to terrible writing, or you won’t be able to finish it in time, both leading to failure. Other than that, procrastination is clearly the best strategy around.
-The Ano…eh I’ll finish the signature later.
Featured: This weeks featured person is an Actress, Lainey Lipson. Currently she plays Scene on the popular Youtube webseries, MyMusic. She also has her own singing channel: She is an amazing singer and a great actress. If you’ve seen MyMusic, you know what I’m talking about. Also, she is a very dedicated tweeter, responding to it almost 24/7. Here’s her twitter link: Hopefully you’ll check her stuff out! (Also Lainey if you’re reading this, comment below to tell me what you think and share to spread the word!)
If you want to get featured below, leave a comment below, tweet @ me, or comment/message me on Facebook.
Awesome Links:

Thrifty Thursday: 35+ Kindle Books to Download Without a Charge

Blood Orchids (The Lei Crime Series)We have a great list of 35+ new titles today. Look at the 10 books below. High ratings combined with a high number of customer reviews. Looking for highly reviewed Kindle books to download without a charge? See the rest by visiting The Top 100 Best Free Kindle Books. Thanks. Remember that many of the free kindle books are priced at $0.00 for a very limited time (24-48 hours).
See the Top 80 – 100 free, handpicked titles that we update everyday on The Top 100 Best Free Kindle Books – updated daily. This list is not available on Amazon. Never miss a great free book again. Join our Reader Mailing List and be notified daily of The Best Free Kindle Books.
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Book Buzz: Saving Grace by Pamela Fagan Hutchins (4.9 stars, 19 reviews) and FREE

Saving Grace (Katie and Annalise Series)“This is one of those books you just don’t want to put down and are sad when it comes to an end! I can’t wait to meet up with Katie and the St. Marcos gang in the next book.” Heather, Amazon Reviews
Hello Digital Book Today readers. The Book Buzz segment today features Saving Grace by Pamela Fagan Hutchins. Winner of the 2012 “Ghost Story” Houston Writers Guild and Winner of the 2010 Writers League of Texas Romance Manuscript, Saving Grace is rated 4.9 stars on 19 reviews and is FREE from 10/25-10/29. Is Saving Grace women’s fiction? A legal thriller? A mystery? Romance? A ghost story? Suspense?. Check all of the above. Saving Grace is the book you’d get if Janet Evanovich wrote Wuthering Heights meets How Stella Got Her Groove Back: zany, tropical, intense, and eerie, all at once. Readers of Lisa Scottoline will love Katie, Annalise, and the unique and beautiful Saving Grace. Remember it is FREE from 10/25-10/29.
“I loved the main character Katie! She is truly a character I have fallen for! I haven’t loved another character this much since Stephanie Plum.” ~ Stephanie Swindell, Amazon Reviews
“Look out, Evanovich. Hutchins is clever and hilarious. ~ Voodoo, Amazon Review
Book Description: Texas attorney Katie Connell escapes professional humiliation, a broken heart, and her Bloody Mary-habit when she runs to the island of St. Marcos to investigate the suspicious deaths of her parents. But she trades one set of problems for another when she is bewitched by the voodoo spirit in an abandoned rainforest house and, when worlds collide, finds herself reluctantly donning her lawyer clothes again to defend her new friend Ava, who is accused of stabbing her very married Senator-boyfriend. .… Read more on Amazon.
About the Author: Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes fiction and nonfiction. She is a former Human Resources executive and employment attorney who lives with her husband and two high school-aged kids, plus 200 pounds of pets in Houston, but their hearts are still in St. Croix, USVI, along with those of their three oldest offspring.
She has five nonfiction books out with SkipJack Publishing: Hot Flashes And Half Ironmans, How To Screw Up Your Kids, Love Gone Viral, Puppalicious and Beyond, and The Clark Kent Chronicles. SkipJack publishes her first novel, Saving Grace, on November 1 2012. She is also a contributing author to Easy to Love But Hard to Raise and the upcoming Easy to Love But Hard to Teach (DRT Press), Prevent Workplace Harassment (Prentice Hall), and an upcoming anthology of ghost stories (Houston Writers Guild).

Author Interview #127: Be Still, My Love by Deborah J. Hughes

Be Still, My Love (Tess Schafer-Medium)Be Still, My Love is the first book in the Tess Schafer-Medium series by Deborah J. Hughes. Its sequel Hidden Voices is now available as well. My third book No Matter What is a paranormal thriller and is due out for ebook only on October 24,2012. A brief book description before we get to the interview: A personal loss throws medium Tess Schafer’s beliefs into question and severs her communications with “the other side”. Unable to move on with her life, she takes a healing vacation to a haunted resort on the coast of Maine. Her arrival triggers a spike in paranormal activity and the return of her spiritual connection.
As the spirits of two young lovers reach out to her, Tess soon finds herself in the middle of much more than a tragic love story. Why are they afraid and why are they warning her away? Personal doubts, skeptics, a growing sense of menace and a distracting attraction to another guest will not stop her from uncovering the resort’s secrets.

Interview with Deborah J. Hughes

1. What was unique about the setting of the book and how did it enhance or take away from the story?
The setting is a small resort on the rocky coast of Maine. I liked the idea of a haunted mansion by the sea as it sort of reminded me of the old gothic books my mom likes to read. But I wanted it more updated than those old gothics so I had the mansion converted to a resort hotel, added a few ghosts and Be Still, My Love was born!
2. What specific themes did you emphasize throughout the novel? What do you think you were trying to get across to the reader?
I tried to stay to the paranormal theme of a haunted house but it does have some spiritual stuff sprinkled throughout. It’s not a “horror” per se. The story is about ghosts and a medium trying to help them but it’s also about a medium who is trying to find her joy again after suffering a tragedy. The theme could also be about faith, what one comes to believe or not, especially concerning life after death.
3. Do the characters seem real and believable? Can you relate to their predicaments? To what extent do they remind you of yourself or someone you know?
I used a conglomeration of people I’ve known through my life to bring the characters to life. Modesta, the front desk clerk at the resort was born to Mexican parents in the United States. They were migrant immigrants and not US Citizens. She, however, chose to keep her American citizenship. I had a roommate in the military whose name was Modesta. Same sort of scenario. Her parents lived in Mexico but she was an American citizen. I liked her name and so I sort of modeled my Modesta after her. Tess shares a lot of my own interests in the paranormal and we share many of her beliefs. Though I have to say she is way more gifted in the psychic department than I am! Kade, her growing love interest, is a Marine who was wounded at Afghanistan and had to separate from the military. He’s the skeptic in the story. I used many of my own experiences in the military and others I’ve known who also served to bring Kade to life. I think all the characters could be real people. I know I’ve come to care for them very much.
4. How do characters change or evolve throughout the course of the story? What events trigger such changes?
The story focuses around Tess Schafer, a medium whose husband and dog were killed by a drunk driver. She’s bitter and angry. Her gift of mediumship is severed. Not only can she not contact her dead husband, she can’t seem to contact anyone in the spirit world. This compounds her anger and puts in question her beliefs. She goes to this haunted resort and finds herself again. She comes to terms with her husband’s death and she basically gets her groove back! Kade is a Marine who is still hurting from the loss of his comrades in a bomb explosion that killed everyone in his vehicle but him. He has a hard time with that. But his problems don’t stop there. His fiancée ends up with his best friend and he’s pretty bitter about that too. So he’s got a lot of baggage but meeting Tess changes all that for him, especially when she makes contact with one of his dead comrades!
5. In what ways do the events in the books reveal evidence of the author’s world view?
Tess is pretty much an “open book”. She’s more than happy to explain who she is, what she does and why she does it. Since she’s exploring her own faith, she’s more than happy to discuss spiritual issues with those who approach her about them. The way Tess handles the different situations involving the ghosts makes it clear her stand on life after death and her concept of the spiritual realm. She and Kade get into several discussions which I particularly enjoyed. I honestly felt like I was listening in on another couples’ conversation and taking notes while doing it!
6. Did certain parts of the book make you uncomfortable? If so, why did you feel that way? Did this lead to a new understanding or awareness of some aspect of your life you might not have thought about before?
I was uncomfortable with Tess’s anger toward God. I was always saying in my head, “Now I don’t feel this way…SHE does!” (smile) I know God probably knew that but thought it wouldn’t hurt to keep things clarified! Tess’s eventual forgiveness of the man who killed her husband was an eye opener for me. He had a story too, he wasn’t just the killer of her husband and dog. Letting her anger go helped me see that holding on to it really hurts you spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Her journey was mine and I felt we both came out of the experience all the better for it.
7. Was there a basis for your story? A previous experience? Something else?
Just before writing the story, I lost one of my cats. He was hit by a car and I was pretty upset by that. I always prayed for their safety when they went out the door so when Milo was killed within a couple of hours of being let outside, I questioned my faith. I thought, “How could God let that happen when I PRAYED for his safely?” So, yeah, I was upset. Then it got me to thinking…how do people feel when they lose a person to tragedy. It’s bad enough to lose a cat but … say a HUSBAND? How awful that would be! Then, because I was going through a mediumship class at the time (this is where you see bits of me in Tess!), I wondered how mediums handled it when they lost someone. The story just evolved from there. I knew right away that I wanted a military person in the story because, who goes through worse stuff than them? I really wanted to explore the whole tragedy thing. How better to do that than to write a ghost story about a tragic couple haunting this resort and the haunting being investigated by yet another couple dealing with tragedy.
8. What research did you have to perform to back up your story? Any research which really opened your eyes or gave you new respect for a topic or profession?
To tell you the truth, I didn’t really research anything for this book. Everything in the story is a lifetime of research…things I’ve been learning on my own journey through the world.
9. What is your method for writing a book? A certain amount of hours every day? A certain routine? Are you character/story builder or an outliner or some other method?
I get a story idea, figure out the main character’s name and the setting and then I start typing. I don’t plan anything out. So yes, that often means when something gets revealed later in the story, I have to go back through and make the proper edits for it but that’s the only way I can write. I tried outlining but for me it hinders the creative process. I like the story to evolve as I go. I do have a vague idea of how I want it to end because I have to know in what direction the story is going but even that surprises me sometimes! In my new book coming out No Matter What, I had no idea how it was going to end until I wrote it and I was blown away. I remember sitting there in shock going…No Way!! For Be Still, My Love there was a shocking discovery towards the end that I didn’t see coming. When that was revealed I had the same reaction…No Way!! (smile)
As for how often I write, hours and hours and hours. I don’t have a set schedule. When I’m writing a new book, I get up early because the story can’t wait to evolve (and I can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen next!) and I stop when I’m too tired to type anymore. Though I do try to write in segments. I’ll finish a particular scene before calling it quits for the day. I never stop in the middle of a scene, otherwise I’d lose the momentum of the story.
10. How do you get past writers block or distractions like the internet?
Tough one, that! I’m constantly distracted. But when I set a goal, I buckle down on myself and won’t get on the internet until I’ve met a particular goal. I don’t always listen to myself, though, so I get behind a lot. I read once that if you get stuck on a story, just write any ole thing and keep going. Eventually the story finds itself and you are back in business. As for the filler fluff, that will undergo massive editing but hey, at least you got the story!
11. Favorite book from childhood.
Little Women. I’ve read it about seven times. I also read every book in the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Nancy Drew mysteries…every volume! I have to admit that I particularly enjoyed the Nancy Drew mystery series!
12. What’s on your desk? Can you see your desk? Describe what you see when you look around.
Oh dear, it’s quite the mess! I have several containers holding an assortment of pens, pencils and highlighters, a bag of candy (totally a downfall of mine while writing!), a cup (which is often filled with coffee but now, due to the season, it mostly contains hot cider, my Kindle, lots of little note pads, a jar of mints (yeah, more candy!), some post its, lip balm, a picture of me with my grandparents (whom I lost shortly after joining the military) and a stack of bills to be paid!
Link to my blog:
Twitter: @DeborahJHughes

Book Buzz: The Leopard Tree by Tim Merriman and Lisa Brochu

The Leopard Tree“Ever think you can’t make a difference? Ever wonder how change happens in the world? Ever desire to do something “big?” Then this book is for you. It will inspire you to do what YOU can do in your own sphere of influence to make a positive difference in your world.” ~ Nancy Bernard, Amazon Review
Hello Digital Book Today readers. The Book Buzz segment today features The Leopard Tree by Tim Merriman and Lisa Brochu. This book was written with the hope of raising awareness of the millions of people in Africa who suffer the effects of malnutrition,malaria, HIV/AIDS, and the unspeakable atrocities associated with armed conflicts. The Leopard Tree won the Best Young Adult Fiction Award in 2008 with Writer’s Digest International Self-published Competition and a Third Place EVVY in the Fiction Division of Colorado Independent Publisher’s Awards in 2008. The Leopard Tree is rated 4.9 stars on 49 reviews and will be a welcomed additon to your bookshelf.
The Leopard Tree is a story I won’t forget. It’s a story that’s touched my mind and heart in permanent ways. Everyone loves a page-turner, the kind of book you can’t put down because of the entertaining journey it takes you on–and this is one of those–but it is also so much more. The Leopard Tree’s story left me feeling inspired and empowered to create positive change in the world.” ~ Kelly C. Farrell, Amazon Review
“Sometimes you search the bookstores and find the right book. But, sometimes, the right book finds you. This was one of those times.” ~ Cal, Amazon Review
Book Description: Three orphans from Kenya stow away on an airplane to embark on a desperate quest to meet the Secretary General of the United Nations in New York City and deliver a message they hope will help millions of homeless and hurting children in Africa. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz becomes their guidebook as they journey alone across the United States. The trio–one with HIV, one blind amputee, and one who hasn’t spoken for years after watching her family slaughtered–find themselves embroiled in a situation beyond their imaginations as they get close to meeting their goal.… Read more on Amazon.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Valhalla Awaits Me

BrightsideOur guest post today is from Mark Tullius author of Bright Side which is FREE on 10/23 – 10/25.
Valhalla Awaits Me
My name and ancestry always fascinated me, especially on my father’s side. The Tullius surname is fairly unique, and I haven’t come across one I wasn’t somehow related to. I never spent any time researching it, but my brother, Steve, did, and traced a family tree that went back to Germany around 1690. It wasn’t until I went to college that I considered how much further back it could go. My Roman History professor had a thing for Marcus Aurelius Tullius and for all he knew I might be a direct descendant. How could he give me less than an A? No argument from me.
I didn’t think much about it until I discovered Warrior Roots (which I discussed here.) Even after I turned in my DNA swabs , I was more excited about getting back the athletics test results, but the ancestral ones came first and opened them up. My Y-chromosome was tracked back more than five thousand years ago to Y-DNA Haplogroup I1a who earliest appeared in the Scandinavian portion of Northwest Europe. It is probable that my ancestors were Vikings.
I know I’m reading into this too much, but what if that was the reason why I’ve always been into the culture. Even as a kid, I loved Thor, Loki, and all things Norse. Whether it was video games, comic books, or movies, I would always pick the sword and shield over modern-day war or sports.
Even my music drifted that way and I listened to bands like Manowar and The Sword for their Norse lyrics. Even now at 40, I crank up bands like Amon Amarth whenever I’m alone in the car. You might too if you were flipping between Caspar Babypants and Katy Perry the rest of the day. Could be karma for all the years my parents had to put up with my metal shaking their walls.
I haven’t read much in Viking fiction and leave that sort of thing to my wife, but in the past two years, I’ve read both The Poetic Edda and The Prose Edda a few times. I don’t recommend this as a fun hobby. I do enjoy learning the mythology, but mostly it was research. I’m a book and a half into a five-novel modern day retelling of Ragnarök. It’s too early to go into details on that project but I can’t wait to jump back into that world. If I manage to pull off what I’m trying to do, I think you guys will dig it. I’m guessing the project will take at least five years of my life. If that’s not an indicator of more than simple interest in Norse mythology, I don’t know what would.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tuesday Kindle Books: 25+ New Titles: 4.2+ Stars: Cost=$0.00

Divine Intervention (Divine series)Tuesday morning brings our readers a new selection of 25+ books to choose from for their Kindle that cost $0.00 (free). The Top 10 Free Kindle Digital Books listed below is a great start, but don’t forget to check out the rest of The Top 100 Best Free Kindle Books. As a service to our authors, if you read a free book please give the author a review on Amazon.Thanks. Remember that many of the free kindle books are priced at $0.00 for a very limited time (24-48 hours).
Do you ever play Kindle games? Visit the Best Free and Paid Kindle Games.
Other ways to be informed of great books: