Monday, September 30, 2013

"Angels" by Alexis York Lumbard

by Alexis York Lumbard

I came across this lovely book through NetGalley, a site dedicated to allowing readers to discover new books and review them for FREE. If you love reading and reviewing books, why not give it a try?

Did you know that angels of all kinds are everywhere? "Some are big, some are tiny. They're all so bright and very shiny." This lyrical, breezy, and nondenominational picture book introduces children and adults to a magical place which radiates warmth, love, and caring throughout its colorful and delicate pages. With its rich paintings, readers are transported through many colorful scenes, places and seasons to see how angels work behind the scenes, weaving their graces throughout the world.
Through Angels, readers can experience a world of gentle wonder, beauty, and comfort that makes this a perfect bedtime story. "Angels, angels, always near, protecting you, my special dear!"

Book Trailer


By Lynda Dickson
This delightful hardcover children's picture book is the perfect gift for your little angel. Make sure your fill in the special dedication page at the front: "To my favorite angel ... With love from ..."
Angels contains beautiful full-page illustrations by Flavia Weedn that are delicate and old-fashioned. With its simple yet elegant rhyming captions, your child is sure to start "reading" this book on their own after having it read to them a few times.
This book shares the reassuring message that angels are everywhere, looking out for us all. Angels is sure to become a favorite with your little one.

About the Author
Alexis York Lumbard is a storyteller and children' s book author, who is currently working on three children's books which are all scheduled for publication. Her first book, The Conference of the Birds was released in 2012 to much critical acclaim. Angels has just been released and Everyone Pray: Celebrating Faith Around the World will be released soon.
Having noticed a lamentable absence of high quality books of spiritual substance for the earliest of readers, she began writing her own stories since becoming a mother in 2005. With a B.A. in Religious Studies from George Washington University, it is her sincere hope to bring the wisdom and beauty of the world's religions to the eager and gifted minds of young children. Alexis, her husband, and three children live in Newton, Massachusetts.


"The Devil Inside the Beltway" by Michael J. Daugherty

The Devil Inside the Beltway
by Michael J. Daugherty

I feel privileged to have had the chance to read and review this book. Thank you to the author and Babs Hightower from Book Blogger List for the opportunity. Please read my review below, then read the book - you won't believe your eyes. 

If you live in the US, you can enter the Goodreads giveaway for your chance to win a paperback copy of the book (ends 24 October).

Michael J. Daugherty, author and CEO of LabMD in Atlanta, Georgia, uncovers and details an extraordinary government surveillance story that compromised national security and invaded the privacy of tens of millions of online users worldwide. Unbelievable from beginning to end, you'll be shocked at what is really going on behind every closed door in Washington. A riveting true political thriller, the pace is breathless, the arguments compelling, and the iron will of Daugherty transforms him from government prey to government whistleblower.
The Devil Inside the Beltway is a compelling true story that begins when an aggressive security surveillance company, with retired General Wesley Clark on its advisory board, magically acquires the private health information of thousands of LabMD's patients. This company, Tiversa, campaigns for a "fee" from LabMD to "remedy" the problem. When Michael J. Daugherty refuses to pay, Tiversa follows up by handing the file over to the FTC. Daugherty reveals that the company was already working with Dartmouth, having received a significant portion of a $24,000,000 grant from Homeland Security, to surveil for files. The reason for the investigation was this: Peer to peer software companies have back doors built into their technology that allows for illicit and unapproved file sharing. When individual work stations are accessed, as in the case of LabMD, proprietary information can be taken. Tiversa, as part of their assignment, acquired over 14 million files, financial, medical and military data during their search.
Daugherty's book documents a frighteningly systematic and dishonest investigation by one of the US Government's most important agencies. The consequences of their actions will have a chilling effect on Americans and their businesses for years.

The search told us that the only probable way someone could have come into the computer without authorization was through LimeWire. The breach occurred through a program that one employee had installed without our authorization or knowledge. A program that didn’t appear on the desktop. A program that stayed hidden from our view during inspections. How were we to know or anticipate such breaches? The questions were endless.
Rebecca insisted she had no idea she could expose sensitive material through her computer. In fact, she said she had no idea anyone could access her computer externally; she believed she was only using the software to listen to music while she worked. Although she signed an employee handbook acknowledging that downloading software was against company policy, I did not believe she would have risked committing career suicide by being careless with patient data.
We would one day learn that more than 450 million other computers in the world were also vulnerable. We now assumed that Rebecca’s computer was the gateway Boback used to get the file; it seemed obvious but we had no concrete proof.
So what the hell just happened? We needed answers and we needed them now, so we turned back to Robert Boback to see how many more cards he would show in his quest to “help us out.”
<begin test>
Rep. Yarmouth: Do you think that users that download P2P software applications are being tricked into sharing files that they would not ordinarily share?
Sydnor: Yes. They are inadvertently sharing files they do not intend to share. In the report we attempt to explain why, although the user does not intend that result, that result may have been intended by others. That is not a question we purport to be able to answer based on the publicly available data that we were able to review. But the short answer is yes, people are making catastrophic mistakes with these programs . . . That is also a very important part of the problem, and people who do not want to be distributors of pirated goods on these networks should be able to make that choice and have it be very easy, and right now it is simply not.1

Thomas D. Sydnor, II, Testifying before the US House of Representatives,
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform,
to Representative John Yarmouth, R-KY.

Book Trailer


By Lynda Dickson
In The Devil Inside the Beltway, Michael J. Daugherty tells his remarkable story of the powers of the government over the "little people". This is an example of government bureaucracy at its finest. After being unfairly treated by the Federal Trade Commission, Michael undertakes a David and Goliath fight for the future of his company, LabMD; all the while with lawyers out to bill him for all they can get.
This is a well-written, compelling, true life account that reads like a thriller. The dialogue is at times stilted, the narrative is a bit repetitive, and it's a bit long at over 500 pages including endnotes, bibliography, and supporting documents throughout. However, it always remains a page-turner. Michael presents a compelling argument against the abuse of power by a government department. My only concern is that the story is one-sided, and I'm not sure of the ethical implications of writing a book about ongoing legal proceedings. It will be interesting to see how the other parties involved react to this publication.
Unfortunately, this book finishes before the story ends - because the end has not yet happened. I hope it all works out in Michael's favor, and I look forward to reading the next installment in his ongoing saga.
To quote the author's favorite dictionary, the Merriam-Webster, the "Beltway" is the "political and social world of Washinton D.C.". The "Devil inside the Beltway" refers to the Federal Trade Commission, a government body that has become a law unto itself, with no checks and balances to keep it under control.

About the Author
Michael J. Daugherty is President & CEO of LabMD, a cancer detection facility based in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael has just released his first book, The Devil Inside the Beltway. A nonfiction thriller with themes of cyber security, government overreach, and American small business.
Outside of LabMD, Michael enjoys playing tennis, travel, and flying his Cirrus SR22 Turbo single engine aircraft. He is a member of the University of Michigan Alumni Association, the Atlanta Aero Club, and the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Michael holds a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. He has resided in Atlanta since 1987, when he moved there from Portland, Oregon.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

This Week on Books Direct - 29 September 2013

This Week on Books Direct -
29 September 2013

Here's a list of the articles you may have missed this week:

"Blogging" - Brought to you by Bundle of the Week.
Are you ready to take your blog to the next level? With printables to help you set goals and plan for the future, creative ideas for making money with your blog, ways to manage your time when balancing work and home, writing tips and a guide to hiring blog help, this collection offers you a unique set of tools and resources to do just that! This week only, get all five ebooks for more than 85% off!

"Sixty Second Writing Tips: Getting Entitled" - Article by Matthew Wright.
One of the biggest challenges an author faces these days is the title. Those words are often the first thing a buyer knows about the book.

"Say What?" - Article by Kathryn Elizabeth Jones for Idea Creations Press.
What you say in your writing reflects not only the character's thoughts but the tone of your book.

"Who's Afraid to Market Their Book?" - Article by Bianca Sloane.
Tips for promoting your book when you have no idea where to start (or are too scared).

"Examining Wattpad" - Article by Katherine for
Wattpad is one of the few sites where it is totally acceptable to talk about your book and writing more than anything else. In other words, for many authors and other book pros, this may be the most comfortable place to dip your toe into social media marketing.

"How to Publish and Profit" - Article by Christine Nolfi.
The frenetic pace of modern life makes following one's muse a difficult task. Distractions abound. The tedium of everyday chores bogs you down. Here are a few tips to nurture your creative soul and ensure you continue to thrive in your career.

"The Eccentric Habits Of 13 Classic Writers" - Article by Rachel Hodin for Thought Catalog.
Here are the eccentric habits of 13 classic writers, excerpted from the book Odd Type Writers.

Even our favorite authors sometimes write a book we don't love. They can even write books that we actively dislike. And it feels terrible. These are the emotions you can expect.

"How to Keep A Library Of (Physical) Books" - Article by Ryan Holiday for Thought Catalog.
Ryan shares some tips on keeping and maintaining your own library.

"How to Edit Your Own Work Before You Self-Publish Your Book" - Article by Derbhile Dromey for The Alliance of Independent Authors.
Whether or not your budget will stretch to a professional proofreader or copy editor, writing coach Derbhile Dromey's down-to-earth advice will help you make your self-published book the best it can be before you hit the "publish" button.

"Guest Post by David Haywood Young" for A Newbie's Guide to Publishing.
David shares his writing and marketing plans for the next year.

"New Smashwords Survey Helps Authors Sell More eBooks" - Article by Mark Coker for Smashwords.
Read the results of a survey designed to identify potential factors that could help authors sell more ebooks.

"Self- vs. Traditional Publishing: Part 2" - Article by Cheryl Carpinello.
Self-publishing? E-publishing? Whether by yourself or with the help of a publisher, here's some of the facts from Cheryl's hands-on experience with both.

Who will join the Austens and Dickenses and Faulkners and Joyces of the world in the hallowed spaces of the collective literary conscience? Which contemporary authors will still be read and revered in a century's time? Book Riot contributors pick the 10 authors most likely to be read and revered 100 years from now.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please visit the This Week page for links to more great articles.

"Hannah and the Kingdom of Bugbears" by Tom Steephen

Hannah and the Kingdom of Bugbears
by Tom Steephen

Hannah and the Kingdom of Bugbears is a fantasy adventure in which the young Hannah sets off on a great journey to rescue the Princess Aleena from the clutches of the Bugbear Prince, who plans on marrying her! Hannah is joined by the King's most trusted men: Minister Lucas, Commander Maxim Jacov, Chef Maatia and Prince Ronald, the Princess' betrothed, and encounters many new dangers and friends along the way.
Get ready for an adventure like no other as Hannah and friends enter the Kingdom of Bugbears and discover the true meaning of courage and unconditional love!

“Attack!” Commander Jacov shouted while running forward.

“For Cait Berg!” The soldiers charged towards the Bugbear army.

“Go!” Brewer rumbled. The Bugbear army dashed towards the onrushing Cait Berg army. Cait Berg soldiers fought hard to defeat the army of Bugbears. Commander Jacov met Prince Brewer directly, and they fought a mighty battle. The Bugbear soldiers were brave and extremely proficient in the martial arts.

The Cait Berg soldiers fought hard, but they could not best their opponents! Prince Brewer and his soldiers won the battle when the soldiers of Cait Berg finally surrendered.

The Bugbears overran the castle and entered the throne room. Prince Ronald took out his sword and tried to stop the Bugbears from capturing King John and Minister Lucas, but hundreds of Bugbear soldiers surrounded him. They tied up King John and Minister Lucas.

Prince Ronald could do nothing but put his sword down. Prince Brewer came near Prince Ronald and looked him in the eyes. “I have never forgotten that day you put me down,” Prince Brewer said. “This is my revenge!”

He turned to his soldiers. “Find the Princess!” he ordered.

“Please stop,” King John cried. Two Bugbear soldiers ran up to the chamber of Princess Aleena. They found her and Hannah cowering in a corner.

“Who are you? Why are you here?” the Princess asked.

“We are soldiers of The Kingdom of Stones,” they replied. “His Highness, Prince Brewer, wants to marry you. If you do not come with us and marry the Prince, he will destroy the Kingdom of Cait Berg.”

The Princess looked helplessly at Hannah, who was speechless. The Princess had no choice but to follow the Bugbear soldiers. As frightened as she was, Hannah tried to follow the Princess, but the Bugbear soldiers stopped her. They walked away with the Princess.

Hannah made her way to the hall and was saddened by the sight of the people tied up by the Bugbear soldiers. Hannah made her way to the throne room and saw that the Bugbears had tied up King John and Queen Melissa as well.

Tears filled Hannah’s eyes, and ran down her cheeks. Her mother’s face came to Hannah’s mind. She remembered Loren’s last words: “Hannah, you must be good to the Princess Aleena and all people in the castle, but remember you are only a handmaiden. Your main duty is to always make the Princess happy. You must love her and be with her always. My blessing is always with you, my dear daughter.”

Hannah opened her eyes. Princess Aleena is the person I love most in this world. I have to help her! She thought.

Hannah snuck out through the kitchen door. Hannah ran through the bailey and reached the tower house. She found horses attached to an elegant carriage there.

Princess Aleena must be inside the carriage! Hannah hid behind the tower house. Led by Prince Brewer, the Bugbear soldiers began marching. They sang a song praising Prince Brewer and Kingdom of Stones.

Behind the marching column, the horses pulled the carriage. As it crossed the gateway, Hannah ran to the postern gate beside the gateway. She looked at the carriage moving rolling away from the gateway. Hannah didn’t think twice and ran behind the carriage!

I like this book very much. I read this book to my daughter and my niece. They loved the main characters Hannah, chef Maatia and princess Aleena, also they like this book very much. It has lots of adventures that kids will enjoy a lot. It also will teach rich moral values such as loyalty, trust and the meaning of friendship. This is a great book for kids.

From the Author
I am a daydreamer and an idealist, enjoying the beauty of Mother Nature. I was born in Kerala, India, and currently reside in Singapore with my family. Since childhood, I fancied writing stories but put those dreams on hold to focus on family, career and other life matters. I get great pleasure in travelling, photography, listening to music and, of course, writing stories beyond my limitations. I hope my readers will like my stories and wish you all peace and love.