Saturday, August 31, 2013

"Angelic Answers: Love Letters for Daily Life" by Kathryn Magee

Angelic Answers:
Love Letters for Daily Life
by Kathryn Magee

Kathryn Magee's debut book Angelic Answers: Love Letters for Daily Life, has been beautifully illustrated by Bobbi Lee Healey. The paperback is currently ON SALE for 10% off. Kathryn has also kindly donated a paperback and ten ebooks for our giveaway. Please show your appreciation by entering below.

Angels carry messages of love and joy, and encourage you in the road you walk through life. They are your own personal cheerleaders! Having a rough day? Need a reminder that the world is a loving and joyful place, even if it seems dark and gloomy? Read Angelic Answers, as Kathryn Magee reminds you of the joy and happiness that is your birth right!

Dearest Children of the Light:
For just a moment, close your eyes. What do you see? Darkness? Nothing? Is this darkness real? Yes, while your eyes are closed, but you have only to open your eyes to see the world around you. It is the same with your relationship with God. When your heart is closed, you feel only darkness and loneliness, but you merely have to open your heart to feel the reality of the Love that surrounds you! And just as the world around you does not disappear because you cannot see it for a moment, the love that is there for you does not disappear just because you cannot feel it for a moment!
Brightest blessings and love surrounds you!
Dearest Children of Light:
As you begin a new week of commitments and obligations, we remind you of the commitment made to you. You have been promised unconditional, unending love! You are cherished, you are loved, you are a treasure sent out for all to behold!
This LOVE shines through you, illuminating every step you take, every choice and decision you make. You are surrounded in love in your every moment. This entire living, loving planet was created to make you happy. You have been given flowers to behold, blue skies, silver-white clouds, the joyous cleansing of rain, abundant air to breathe! As you allow this love to light your way, you find others to share with, to talk with; in your strength you find others who have become lost, and you show them, in your reflection of light, how to find their way home. You are comforted when lessons have become challenging, you are guided when you feel lost. In every moment, you are given that which will make you joyous!
You have only one choice to make - to accept this love that is yours.  In this acceptance, you open your heart, and you allow the love and light and healing to shine! In this acceptance, you allow room in your life for miracles!
Blessed Be! Dearest Children of Light, Blessed BE in the unending flow of LOVE!

By troy
This little book, in a peaceful and calm tone, presents a wonderful collection of angelic messages. The themes of love, acceptance and oneness are expertly explored in these "love letters". Each letter proves to be a gentle reminder of who we are and what we can do. I loved coming upon each of the spiritual gems that are so liberally scattered within.
A delightful reminder of whom and what we are - unlimited spiritual beings, always being guided, protected and loved. This book warmed my heart and lifted my spirits. Thank you.

About the Author
Kathryn Magee was born into a military family and lived the nomadic childhood of a "military brat". As a child she missed the connections of other family members, long-time friends and the stability and history of being raised in the same community. From childhood she learned to shed the old and embrace the new, but has spent the last several years building a community of family and friends. The combination has created a woman who doesn't know a stranger.
Kathryn learned the voices and songs being transmitted to her sub-conscious were not fanciful imagination, but rather a higher connection, allowing her to share the love and wisdom which filled her body and spirit. Following the guidance of the angels, she sent letters to her friends. The network of followers grew in leaps and bounds leading to numerous speaking engagements where she shared ways others could hear the angels and their messages of love, joy and understanding. The word spread to nursing homes, hospitals, and churches, easing troubled souls of the transitions and fears associated with day-to-day living and learning. Angelic Answers: Love Letters for Daily Life is the result of the journey to enlightenment.
Kathryn lives in Texas, and spends her time with her daughters and the newest "angel baby", her two year old granddaughter. She enjoys live music, outdoor festivals, and is an avid fan of the Dallas Mavericks.

Kathryn has generously donated one paperback copy (US only) and ten ebook copies of Angelic Answers: Love Letters for Daily Life. Please show her your appreciation by entering the giveaway.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

"Replica" by Lexi Revellian

by Lexi Revellian

When Beth's eccentric boss at the government research lab asks her to try out his latest duplicating machine, she'd be crazy to do any such thing. She's not cleared for this, insured or authorized; it's late Friday evening and she wants to go home. But Beth is fatally unassertive. She agrees, and unknown to her another Beth is created.
The replica overhears MI5 chief, Sir Peter Ellis, discussing her future and it's not good. Terrified, she goes on the run. Penniless, friendless and homeless, she has to find the inner strength and aggression to survive on icy London streets.
Spec op Nick Cavanagh likes to win. Though Beth thinks he's outside her apartment to protect her, in fact he's hunting her double. As the replica proves difficult to catch and the stakes get higher, he has to decide whose side he is on.




Nick drove too fast along Kensington High Street, cutting up other drivers and speeding through amber lights, tailgating anyone who in his opinion should be driving faster.
Ollie waited till they had to stop at a red light. “What’s the rush? Paul and Dario are there if the target turns up. They’ll think it funny us arriving two hours early, anyway.”
“I don’t give a toss what they think. They let her get away.” Nick’s fingers drummed on the steering wheel. The lights changed, and he accelerated, making a woman jump back to the safety of the traffic island. “If I’d been there I’d have got her. Pete should have sent us.”
“He didn’t expect her to turn up at her flat.”
“No, and I bet when she did Paul was making a cup of tea and Dario was going through her underwear drawer.”
Ollie laughed. “So what can we do they can’t?”
“We’re going to do it better. Stay out of sight in the van and wait for her to turn up again. Follow Beth One wherever she goes. Getting to her has to be what replica Beth is playing for. The two Beths talk to the press, it’s out, nothing we can do, game over.”
“So we’ll be off our other jobs for as long as it takes, I suppose. Nice break for the terrorists.”
Nick was quiet for a while, then he said, “Maybe.”
“How d’you mean, maybe?”
“Just, I can’t see Pete throwing in the towel. Saying, oh, all right, now you two totally unimportant secretaries, who just happen to have got mixed up in this top secret research we’ve spent millions of pounds on know about each other, we’ll accept it and go public.” Nick braked hard to avoid collision with a cycle courier, then hit the accelerator. “There’s no way he’ll risk that happening.”
Ollie gripped the handle above the door. “Take it easy, Nick.”
“D’you ever worry about the ethics of what we do?”
“Not a lot. I’m too busy worrying about your driving.”
“Okay, but what about this; supposing catching her is harder than everyone seems to think? He isn’t going to keep all of us running around after her forever. I’d give it a week, maybe two, tops. He’s a ruthless bastard. I reckon, if we don’t find her fast, the original will go missing. Then if the copy turns up, it’s like, boring secretary loses marbles, gets persecution complex, thinks MI5 are after her, goes on the run, ends up in padded accommodation with no one believing a word she says. To be honest, I’m surprised he hasn’t done it already. He must be going soft in his old age.”
Ollie smiled at Nick. “If we can’t catch her in a week we’re not trying. Are you worrying about the ethics of it, then?”
“Me? No. I do what I’m told, I get paid. End of.”

Ollie and Nick slouched in the cab of the van, staring down Beth’s road. Nick watched her doorway via the side mirror and the one-way windows at the rear of the van, Ollie the approach from the main road. Two more men covered the railway and the back of the house, while Paul and Dario were hiding out in an Islington Council truck. There had been nothing to see except the builders at number twenty-two having a smoke, a couple of cats wandering around, and a traffic warden peering at parking permits. They’d driven round the block till he left. The temperature inside the elderly van now matched the temperature outside, but they’d done more boring surveillance in worse conditions, and had a high tolerance of discomfort and tedium. The daylight took on a pale luminescence; fine crystals of snow drifted past the window and settled on the glass.
The Islington truck’s lights came on, its engine rumbled and it pulled out from the kerb, went to the end of the cul de sac, turned and headed off.
“Ten minutes early,” remarked Nick.
“Be fair, no point in four of us hanging around.”
As he spoke, Beth’s door opened and she emerged, locking it behind her. Nick sat up. She walked to her Micra a little way down the road the other side from the van, then as she put her key in the door, something gave her pause. She went to the back of the car, lifted the boot and moved things around, got out the spare wheel, holding it awkwardly away from her coat, and propped it against the car.
“Flat,” Ollie said, unnecessarily.
They watched as she fetched the jack and wheel brace from the car and put them on the tarmac with the spare, went round to the passenger door, felt in the glove compartment, got out the manual and opened it.
“This may take some time.”
“At least it gives us something to watch.”
Carefully, Beth prised off the hub cap, and, consulting the manual, fitted the wheel brace to one of the nuts. Snow dusted her hair and her black jacket. She spent the next few minutes trying and failing to shift the nut, then moved on to the next with as little result. She looked around, went down the road and returned with a brick. Crouching, she hit the brace, and the brick skidded off and bashed her knee. Ollie winced and Nick grinned heartlessly, enjoying himself.
“Shall I nip out and give her a hand? Wouldn’t take a minute.”
Nick swivelled from watching Beth to face him. “Sometimes I think you’re in the wrong job, Oll. You haven’t grasped the meaning of undercover surveillance. The big idea is, it’s covert. The mark doesn’t know he, or in this case she, is being watched. Your job is to keep it that way. Why are you pulling those faces?”
A tap on the van window made him turn round. Beth stood there, her hair a red-gold halo in the grey light, the tip of her nose pink in her pale face. He wound down the window.
She smiled shyly. “Hi. I saw you when you arrived a couple of hours ago.” Ollie dug Nick in the ribs meaningly, his eyes glinting with suppressed amusement. Nick scowled at him. “We met this morning, at the safe house. I’m sorry, I’m hopeless with names…”
Beth glanced at Ollie.
“Ollie,” said Ollie, grinning.
“Hi.” Her eyes returned to Nick. “I’m trying to change my wheel, and I can’t get the nuts off. Do you think you could help me? Just with the nuts, I can do the rest myself. I don’t want to stop you…doing whatever you’re doing.”
Ollie moved with alacrity to open his door, but Nick repressed him with a look, shut the window and got out of the cab. He strolled to the car, adjusted the brace then brought his foot down sharply, his weight behind it. He did the same for the other three nuts, and reached for the jack.
“It’s okay, I can do the rest. Thank you very much.”
Nick ignored her. He fitted the jack under the chassis and started to turn the jack handle. The car lifted. Beth stood watching him, embarrassed. Her phone rang in her pocket, but she didn’t make a move.
Nick glanced up. “Aren’t you going to answer that?”
Beth’s cheeks were pink. She shook her head, looking unhappy. Nick undid the bolts and eased the wheel off the car, then manoeuvred the spare in its place. When he’d finished he put the old wheel neatly in the boot with the jack and brace, lowered the lid and turned to Beth, interrupting her thanks.
“Where are you off to?”
“Just Sainsbury’s.”
“It might be better not to go to your usual shop.”
“Oh…I suppose, if you think it’s really necessary…”
“Sir Peter does, or he wouldn’t have sent us. I’ll come with you if you like. I’d have to follow you anyway.”
“Er…okay, if it’s not taking you away…if…” Beth’s voice trailed off. Nick swivelled in the direction of her gaze, and saw a man in a duffle coat walking purposefully towards them. Beth didn’t seem very pleased to see him. She hadn’t been at ease while he changed the wheel, but now she looked almost panic-stricken.
“Friend of yours?” muttered Nick.
“Boyfriend…um, ex-boyfriend…”
“Shall I tell him to piss off?”
“No, it’s okay.”
Rob reached them. “Bethie…” He gave her a serious smile. “Can we talk?”
“I’m going shopping.”
“This is important.”
“Well, all right, just for ten minutes.” She turned to Nick. “See you later.”
Nick spread his hands, black from the tyre. “Can I come in and wash?”
Beth said, “Sure.” Rob frowned, and she explained, “He changed my wheel for me.”
The three of them walked into the flat, no one saying anything, and Beth showed Nick the bathroom. He turned on the tap then moved silently to the open door and listened. A cat appeared and wove around his legs, purring. Propelled away with the toe of his boot, it returned without taking the hint.
“Who’s that man?”
“I don’t know.” Beth’s voice was almost too soft to hear. “He stopped to help.”
“Look, Bethie, about last night.” A short silence. “It shouldn’t have happened, I’m sorry it did, but it didn’t mean anything. Chloe was in a state over Rollo, and we had a few drinks, and…one thing led to another.”
Beth said something inaudible. Nick stepped over the cat and moved several paces along the hall.
“What do you take me for? Of course it was the first time! I wouldn’t cheat on you, lie to you. I can’t believe you’d think that of me.”
Nick rolled his eyes. The cat gazed at him balefully, and stalked off, tail in air.
“You’re my girlfriend. Chloe is just a very good friend – you don’t grudge me that, do you? You don’t mind me keeping in touch with her?”
“No, of course not…”
“Because if you do, tell me. I like to know where I stand.”
“I’ve never stopped you seeing Chloe! I never said anything. It’s just you sleeping with her I’m not keen on.”
“Beth, I’ve said, that was a one-off. It won’t happen again. I’ve said I’m sorry. I don’t see what more I can do, given that I can’t go back into the past and change what happened.”
Tosser. Nick retreated to the bathroom and washed his hands quickly, turned off the tap and listened again.
“I’m being honest with you, when I could have told you nothing happened. It’s not like you to be unreasonable.”
Nick coughed and walked heavily towards the living room. He put his head round the door. Beth was sitting on the sofa, the cat on her knee, while the waste-of-space boyfriend stood self-righteously in the middle of the carpet. They both turned to look at him.
“I’ll let myself out.”

This is an excellent and gripping story. I can't see how it could possibly be improved.
After reading the first few chapters I wondered if the author could really have missed the obvious. I needn't have worried. She not only makes clear that she is fully aware of it but makes the reader aware of why the obvious is not necessarily the best solution, and even if it was, life isn't that straightforward. Because of this it strikes me that it takes a very brave, confident and competent person to even consider writing a book like this. I'm pleased to report that none of the situations seem forced and everyone behaves in character throughout. The book flows. Lexi has created a very human replica with all the fears, tears and elations one can expect from a gutsy heroine who is neither superhuman nor subhuman.
Few authors would incorporate true-to-life "accidents" to thwart their characters and fewer still would get away with it so naturally and successfully.
This is not a moralising novel about "cloning" or "replication" but a cracking good yarn which simply declares that humans should be treated with humanity.

From the Author
For years, I resisted writing because I knew I'd never be as good as Jane Austen. Finally I realized no one is as good as Jane Austen - I started writing and couldn't stop. I've sold over 60,000 ebooks.
My first two novels are fantasy (Torbrek and the Dragon Variation and Trav Zander). The third, Remix, is contemporary fiction with elements of crime, investigation and romance, and tells what happens when Caz Tallis finds a strange man asleep on her roof terrace. He turns out to be - no, I'm not telling you, you'll have to read it to find out... My fourth, Replica, is a thriller. Beth Chandler is unknowingly replicated in a flawed experiment, and falls for the man who is hunting her double. The latest is Ice Diaries, a post-apocalyptic story with romance and humour.
My day job is designing and making jewellery and silver under my real name, Lexi Dick. I've made pieces for Margaret Thatcher, 10 Downing Street, and Her Majesty the Queen.


"Harold Freddie and Milo" by Rhonda Patton

Harold Freddie and Milo
by Rhonda Patton

Harold, Freddie, and Milo are three frog friends who set out for an adventure. They go on a picnic looking for the perfect place.

Down by the lake on a cool day, there are three little frogs named Harold, Freddie and Milo. Harold is the smartest frog, Freddie is the talented frog, and Milo didn't know any interest he had.
This day sitting on a log, Harold has an idea. Harold wants to take an adventure. Freddie agrees and is excited. "What kind of adventure do you want to take?" Freddie asked jumping up and down.


By Lynda Dickson
Another fun adventure story in the vein of the Ted and Raymond series, also by Rhonda Patton. This time we have three frog friends: Harold, the smart one; Freddie, the talented one; and Milo who isn't sure what he's good at. We follow the three friends on their way to a picnic at a tree house on an island. Along the way, they find adventures both together and on their own.
The three frogs clearly have different personalities and strengths, but they all get on well together. This is a good lesson to teach children. Apart from a few errors in combining present and past tense, the book is well-written and sure to hold the interest of both little ones and their parents! Once again, Chester McDaniel's illustrations are delightful. This time they appear to be computer-generated, not hand drawn as in previous collaborations with his wife, Rhonda Patton. I was disappointed that Milo didn't find something he was good at, but perhaps we might see more of these three frogs in future books. I look forward to Milo's development as a character.

From the Author
Hi I am Rhonda.  A Shreveport residence, a mother, a wife, and a daughter. I have a wonderful husband (Chester McDaniel) who is the illustrator of the Ted and Raymond Series as well as my co-writer in Searching for the Unknown and Spirits of ChesterVille General Store (coming soon). I started my love for writing at an early age of 13. I loved to write even if it didn't make sense. I started my writing in serious love poems and different things. Then in 2000 I wrote my first Ted and Raymond book that turned into a series, The Croak 500. I didn't know that I would have a series until two years ago. As I researched for my husband to do voice-over work I came across some awesome people and then my book showed up. With NO animation or characters my husband made the book come alive. Then I was inspired to do more and more stories. And well.... Here I am. Inspiring kids to be better!
My goal as a writer is to teach children how they can succeed by being themselves. I have learned in life you do not have to be first at everything. You follow your dreams no matter how old. You look at other people and are nice and not be a bully or pushover. It is sad that life has taught us how to be rude, mean, and ugly to even our own family members. Kids need to learn at an early age to help the elderly, be a good friend, and be better with talking to others.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

This Week on Books Direct - 25 August 2013

This Week on Books Direct - 25 August 2013

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

"Christian Marriage" - Brought to you by Bundle of the Week.
Spice up your love life — in the bedroom and out — with this week's ebook bundle, which includes 5 faith-based ebooks for married couples. With ideas for rekindling romance, being the best spouse you can be and improving your sex life, this collection is a fun way to rediscover the spark and prioritize romance in the midst of your busy lives. Get all five of these ebooks for more than 65% off this week only!

Writing and publishing a blog can be a great way for writers to connect with readers. Blogging opens the lines of communication between a writer and his/her audience. And in that way, it can be a powerful marketing tool. But while writers can use their blogs as a way to get their names out there, certain practices are taboo in the blogosphere. If you’re using your blog solely to market, promote, and boast, you’ll lose fans quickly.

"What Do You Capitalize in Titles?" - Article by Geraldine Woods for For Dummies.
How do you decide what to capitalize in the title of your book or research paper? Well, you have to be able to recognize verbs and nouns when you see them, but even so, the English rules about using capital letters in titles are not difficult to follow.

If you're daunted by the complexity of what you have to write – be it non-fiction or the complexities of a novel with its character arcs, plot, dialogue, need for pacing and so forth, try writing by layers.

"How to Slash Your Work Count by 20-50%" - Article by Jodie Renner for Killer Nashville.
Every word needs to count. Every image and decision and action and reaction needs to drive the story forward. There's no place for rambling or waxing eloquent or self-indulgent preening in today's popular fiction. So, how do you do it?

"Marketing: The Tough Part" - Article by Kathryn Elizabeth Jones.
A lovely write up from Kathryn about the Books Direct blog following my blog post about her book. Thanks, Kathryn!

"5 Ways to Limit Your Character's Options - and Make Your Story Better" - Article by Mooderino for Helping Writers Become Authors.
Given a predicament, a character in a story will have a number of options on how to proceed. As in real life, some of those options will be more sensible than others.

"How to Write a Short Story" - Article by Rachelle Arlin Credo for Writing.Com.
How do we write a great short story? What are the things to keep in mind in order to come up with a short story that works? Here's a quick guide to get you started:

"Tips For Marketing And Selling Your Self Published Books" - Article by Sebastian Gourc for A Book.
Whether you've just published a book or have a book that isn't selling, now is the time to get to it; start marketing today! Your book selling, book marketing, and book promotion planning should begin before the manuscript is completed.

"Self-Publishing an Ebook" - Article by Dave Skinner for Creating the Core.
One author's hints on self-publishing.

"Story Structure: A Lost Art?" - Article by Nick Thacker  for WriteHacked.
If you've written anything of length, you no doubt understand the debate between "planners" and "pantsers". Whatever side you're on, there's an important lesson here. Story structure is still vital to the story.

"Indie Authors: How To Use Story to Sell Story" - Article by The Alliance of Independent Authors.
What if you could promote your books simply by telling stories? It seems like a natural fit – you’re a storyteller, after all. That was the concept that got Kathy Meis thinking and brought her to create Bublish.