Welcome my guest @jansikes3 #NewRelease

I am delighted to welcome Jan Sikes, (my author buddy) with her new release ‘Ghostly Interference.

BOOK BLURB:

Jag Peters has one goal in his quiet comfortable life—to keep his karma slate wiped clean. A near-miss crash with a candy apple red Harley threatens to upend his safe world. He tracks down the rider to apologize properly. Slipping into a seedy biker bar, he discovers the rider isn’t a “he”, it’s a “she”, a dark-haired beauty.

Rena Jett is a troubled soul, who lives in a rough world. She wants no part of Jag’s apology, but even while she pushes him away, she is attracted to him. When he claims to see a ghost—her brother—can she trust him? And could her brother’s final gift, a magical rune stone with the symbol for “happily ever after” have the power to heal her wounds and allow opposites to find common ground—perhaps even love?

GROWING UP IN FOSTER CARE

 Rena Jett’s mother died of a drug overdose when Rena was a baby. As no relatives could be located to take her and her brother, Sam, they went into the foster care system. 

I drew from my own experience of having worked for the Texas Child Protective Services for several years. There is an average of 30,000 children brought into the foster care system per year in Texas. That’s a lot! Not all foster homes are kind and loving. Not all are bad. In fact, I’d say there are more good than bad. But for my story, I needed lots of bad to develop this character. 

Rena has built walls around her heart to avoid more hurt. She’s tough as nails and rides the big red Harley like a pro. She needs no one. And, now that her brother is gone, she’s even more determined to protect herself. Throughout the story, she reveals to Jag incidents that’s caused her to build this shell around herself. 

Excerpt:

“You seemed to click with Mattie and Sheila. Did you ever have a dog?”

She frowned and stiffened. “There was this little stray once. I’d sneak food out to him when I could.” Her voice broke.

After a long pause, Jag asked softly. “What happened?”

“The foster dad caught me and whipped me, then killed the dog and made me watch.” A sob caught in her throat. 

“Oh,Rena.” Jag gently wiped away a stray tear. He wanted to hold her and make all the bad memories go away. “I’m so sorry.”

She sniffed. “After that, I never tried to have another dog. I do really like them though.”

Jag searched for words of comfort. The horrors she’d endured were beyond his comprehension. It didn’t seem fair that any child should have to suffer so much. And yet, under all of that, was a beautiful sweet girl just waiting to be loved and cared for. He swallowed past the lump in his throat.

“You’ll never be mistreated like that again as long as I’m alive.” 

“I can damn well take care of myself. I didn’t survive all of that shit by being weak.”

Excerpt 2:

“Jag, can I tell you something?”

His eyes widened. “You can tell me anything. I hope you know that.”

She looked down at the amber liquid in the bottle. “One time I was sent to this foster home over in Rigsby. They wouldn’t let Sam come with me. He’d gotten into trouble for fighting and they sent him to detention.” Her voice trailed off. 

“Go on. I’m listening.” Jag slipped the pizza into the oven and sat the chips and dip on the bar. 

“It was a nice house like this and I thought I’d finally landed somewhere I would be treated good. Boy, was I wrong.The foster mom locked me in a closet for hours one time because I ate a piece of cold pizza from the refrigerator.”

Jag put his arms around her from behind and murmured into her hair. “I can’t even begin to imagine all that you’ve been through. It’s no wonder you don’t trust anyone.”

She twisted around to face him. She fought to keep her voice from trembling. “I wanted so badly to have a family. Someone who gave a damn if I lived or died. But, they never came. It was just me and Sam trapped in a system that was broken in so many ways it could never be fixed.”

***

Have you ever had any experience with the foster care system, or known anyone who grew up in it? I’d love to hear from you! 

BOOK TRAILER LINK: https://youtu.be/NHaLVSe_flI

Purchase Links:

AMAZON

BARNES & NOBLE

Connect with Jan:

Website Blog Facebook Amazon Author Page

Thank you, Balroop, for allowing me to use your blog space to talk about my new book, Ghostly Interference

Hiding Cracked Glass @jamescudney4 @Shalini_G26 and #BookReview

Amazon US

Please welcome my author buddy and blogger friend, who is launching a sequel to his book – Watching Glass Shatter. I am delighted to share the news. I’ve already read it! Thanks to Jay for sending me an advance copy.

About the Book:

An ominous blackmail letter appears at an inopportune moment. The recipient’s name is accidentally blurred out upon arrival. Which member of the Glass family is the ruthless missive meant for?

In the powerful sequel to Watching Glass Shatter, Olivia is the first to read the nasty threat and assumes it’s meant for her. When the mysterious letter falls into the wrong hands and is read aloud, it throws the entire Glass family into an inescapable trajectory of self-question. Across the span of eight hours, Olivia and her sons contemplate whether to confess their hidden secrets or find a way to bury them forever. Some failed to learn an important lesson last time. Will they determine how to save themselves before it’s too late?

Each chapter’s focus alternates between the various family members and introduces several new and familiar faces with a vested interest in the outcome. As each hour ticks by, the remaining siblings and their mother gradually reveal what’s happened to them in the preceding months, and when the blackmailer makes an appearance at Olivia’s birthday party, the truth brilliantly comes to light.

Although everyone seemed to embrace the healing process at the end of Watching Glass Shatter, there were hidden cracks in the Glass family that couldn’t be mended. Their lives are about to shatter into pieces once again, but this time, the stakes are even higher. Someone wants to teach them a permanent lesson and refuses to stop until success is achieved. 

 Purchase Links:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Goodreads

Meet the Author:

Background

James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College, an historic but small liberal arts school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with a degree in English literature and minors in Education, Business and Spanish. After college, I accepted a technical writing position for a telecommunications company during Y2K and spent the last ~20 years building a career in technology & business operations in the retail, sports, media and entertainment industries. Throughout those years, I wrote some short stories, poems and various beginnings to the “Great American Novel,” but I was so focused on my career in technology and business that writing became a hobby. In 2016, I refocused some of my energies toward reinvigorating a second career in reading, writing and publishing.

Author

Writing has been a part of my life as much as my heart, my mind and my body. At some points, it was just a few poems or short stories; at others, it was full length novels and stories. My current focus is family drama fiction, cozy mystery novels and suspense thrillers. I think of characters and plots that I feel must be unwound. I think of situations people find themselves in and feel compelled to tell the story. It’s usually a convoluted plot with many surprise twists and turns. I feel it necessary to take that ride all over the course. My character is easily pictured in my head. I know what he is going to encounter or what she will feel. But I need to use the right words to make it clear.

Websites & Blog

Website: https://jamesjcudney.com/

Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

Amazon: http://bit.ly/JJCIVBooks

Next Chapter Pub: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/james-j-cudney

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/james-j-cudney

My Review:

Hiding Cracked Glass by James J. Cudney is a brilliant sequel to Watching Glass Shatter – the saga of Glass family, each member a complex human being yet realistic and benevolent. All of them are flawed, with secrets that they carry within their hearts but guilt gnaws at them the moment they try to introspect. None of them find life a swinging delight.

Olivia, the grieving widow of Benjamin William Glass buries the secret of her husband in her heart and chooses escapism. She goes to Italy on an extended vacation that had been planned with Ben but his sudden death had convoluted her life. When she returns, another turbulence strikes Glass estate in the form of a letter that becomes the center of discussion. Who has sent this threatening letter and for whom? True to his style, Cudney has created a plot within the plot to keep you guessing by pulling in each member of the family who thinks that the letter is for him or her.

A character driven story, it flows at a steady pace till it hits the boulder of past events, which have been narrated together. They bring the story to standstill and fail to blend in the present. The element of curiosity drowns in the details that each character shares from his POV. None of the characters could evoke my sympathy except Emma, the young sensitive girl who rides the roller coaster of emotions. Matt is still struggling to overcome the roadblocks that had haunted him. Olivia is intuitive enough to dislike the new housekeeper, the moment she sets her eyes on her. Cold, indifferent and haughty Olivia mellows down in this book and takes some sane decisions. 

I marvel at the way such a large cast of well-defined characters has been handled to create a gripping story. Thanks to James for providing an ARC to me even before the official release of the book. An enjoyable read.

– Balroop Singh.

Give-away:

Enter for chances to win Hiding Cracked Glass and Watching Glass Shatter!

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e5ee1a9220/?

Thank you. Please share this post at your favorite networks and support Jay, an awesome author.

Just Her Poetry #NewRelease

Just Her Poetry

I am delighted to welcome my blogger friend D.L.Finn to celebrate the release of her first poetry book, “Just Her Poetry Seasons of a Soul.”  You would be touched by realism in her poetry, which is inspired from Nature and seasons.

Finn Facts:

  1. I watch the Bachelor/Bachelorette shows, even when I announce I’m not going to. I hope for love to win, even in the strangest of circumstances.
  2. My favorite flower is a rose. Its beauty mesmerizes me, while its scent relaxes me. I always keep a bottle of rosewater with me.

Blurb:

Take a journey with D.L. Finn as she blends her love of nature with her deepest emotions. Sit with her on the forest floor observing its tranquil beauty, or stroll along the ocean’s shore admiring the vastness of its horizon. Here in these peaceful moments you’ll be able to experience her thoughts and feelings in the light—and in the darkness. This is a thought-provoking collection of poetry that invites the reader into all the seasons of a soul.

Excerpt FROM THE BOOK WORLD:

EVILDWELS MOVE ON

(based on This Second Chance and The Button)

Evildwels cannot exist where there is love.

But if there is doubt, fear, and hate they thrive.

They do their best to extinguish any love,

While feeding on the absence of it.

They only win with their own conquests.

Their hunger fed as they discard their victim.

Time is irrelevant to them…

As they search for the rage they need.

It seems to be in abundance for them.

They can pick their cream of the crop

…And then wipe it out.

The battle can be bleak and boundless

…Between good and evil.

But ultimately, it is evil that loses,

When good repairs the broken soul

…It is the stronger of the two.

It may lose the battle but always wins the war,

Then the good in love becomes the happy ending.

Evildwels move on…searching and waiting

For the cruel satisfaction of temporary hosts

In a moment where love is wiped away

Until love re-emerges…and the evildwel moves on.

Amazon Purchase Link

author_pic_smaller_sizeMeet the author:

D.L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA. She immersed herself in reading all types of books, but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, being surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations vary from children’s books, young adult fantasy, and adult paranormal romance to an autobiography with poetry. She continues on her adventures with an open invitation for her readers to join her.

D.L. Finn Links:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

D.L. Finn blog

Thank you for your support dear readers. Please share this post at your favorite social networks.

Survival of the Fittest #NewRelease

Please welcome my blogger friend Jacqui Murray who has a new book, very different from the usual ones we read, as she has tried to trace the way people survived and faced their enemy 850,000 years ago. I am reading this brilliant book and would like you to delve into it. I am sure you are going to like it.

Survival-of-the-Fittest-coverShort Summary:

Chased by a ruthless and powerful enemy, Xhosa flees with her People, leaving behind a certain life in her African homeland to search for an unknown future. She leads her People on a grueling journey through unknown and dangerous lands but an escape path laid out years before by her father as a final desperate means to survival. She is joined by other homeless tribes–from Indonesia, China, South Africa, East Africa, and the Levant—all similarly forced by timeless events to find new lives. As they struggle to overcome treachery, lies, danger, tragedy, hidden secrets, and Nature herself, Xhosa must face the reality that this enemy doesn’t want her People’s land. He wants to destroy her.

Book information:

 Title and author: Survival of the Fittest

Series: Book 1 in the Crossroads trilogy, part of the Man vs. Nature saga

Genre: Prehistoric fiction

Cover by: Damonza 

Available at: Kindle US Kindle UK Kindle CA Kindle AU

One question that haunted me has been answered so well by Jacqui!

How do you differentiate Xhosa (this book’s main character) from the human species that probably led to her extinction?

Homo erectus (Xhosa) was a brilliant creature, worthy of our respect and admiration. This species is the longest lasting human species ever. Where her predecessor chose flight over fight, she never did, always confronting her enemy , always believing that she could win.

 But, sometimes, that’s not enough. Though she was tough, aggressive, and tenacious, like the alpha animals she defeated, a smarter human species was her undoing.

 At least, lots of scientists think so. Truly, there are lots of theories.

Jacqui has also shared the captivating beginning of her book:

Chapter 1

Her foot throbbed. Blood dripped from a deep gash in her leg. At some point, Xhosa had scraped her palms raw while sliding across gravel but didn’t remember when, nor did it matter. Arms pumping, heart thundering, she flew forward. When her breath went from pants to wheezing gasps, she lunged to a stop, hands pressed against her damp legs, waiting for her chest to stop heaving. She should rest but that was nothing but a passing thought, discarded as quickly as it arrived. Her mission was greater than exhaustion or pain or personal comfort.

She started again, sprinting as though chased, aching fingers wrapped around her spear. The bellows of the imaginary enemy—Big Heads this time—filled the air like an acrid stench. She flung her spear over her shoulder, aiming from memory. A thunk and it hit the tree, a stand-in for the enemy. With a growl, she pivoted to defend her People.

Which would never happen. Females weren’t warriors.

Feet spread, mouth set in a tight line, she launched her last spear, skewering an imaginary assailant, and was off again, feet light, her abundance of ebony hair streaming behind her like smoke. A scorpion crunched beneath her hardened foot. Something moved in the corner of her vision and she hurled a throwing stone, smiling as a hare toppled over. Nightshade called her reactions those of Leopard.

But that didn’t matter. Females didn’t become hunters either.

With a lurch, she gulped in the parched air. The lush green grass had long since given way to brittle stalks and desiccated scrub. Sun’s heat drove everything alive underground, underwater, or over the horizon. The males caught her attention across the field, each with a spear and warclub. Today’s hunt would be the last until the rain—and the herds—returned.

“Why haven’t they left?”

She kicked a rock and winced as pain shot through her foot. Head down, eyes shut against the memories. Even after all this time, the chilling screams still rang in her ears…

The People’s warriors had been away hunting when the assault occurred. Xhosa’s mother pushed her young daughter into a reed bed and stormed toward the invaders but too late to save the life of her young son. The killer, an Other, laughed at the enraged female armed only with a cutter. When she sliced his cheek open, the gash so deep his black teeth showed, his laughter became fury. He swung his club with such force her mother crumpled instantly, her head a shattered melon.

From the safety of the pond, Xhosa memorized the killer—nose hooked awkwardly from some earlier injury, eyes dark pools of cruelty. It was then, at least in spirit, she became a warrior. Nothing like this must ever happen again.

When her father, the People’s Leader, arrived that night with his warriors, he was greeted by the devastating scene of blood-soaked ground covered by mangled bodies, already chewed by scavengers. A dry-eyed Xhosa told him how marauders had massacred every subadult, female, and child they could find, including her father’s pairmate. Xhosa communicated this with the usual grunts, guttural sounds, hand signals, facial expressions, hisses, and chirps. The only vocalizations were call signs to identify the group members.

“If I knew how to fight, Father, Mother would be alive.” Her voice held no anger, just determination.

The tribe she described had arrived a Moon ago, drawn by the area’s rich fruit trees, large ponds, lush grazing, and bluffs with a view as far as could be traveled in a day. No other area offered such a wealth of resources. The People’s scouts had seen these Others but allowed them to forage, not knowing their goal was to destroy the People.

Her father’s body raged but his hands, when they moved, were calm.  “We will avenge our losses, daughter.”

The next morning, Xhosa’s father ordered the hunters to stay behind, protect the People. He and the warriors snuck into the enemy camp before Sun awoke and slaughtered the females and children before anyone could launch a defense. The males were pinned to the ground with stakes driven through their thighs and hands. The People cut deep wounds into their bodies and left, the blood scent calling all scavengers.

When Xhosa asked if the one with the slashed cheek had died, her father motioned, “He escaped, alone. He will not survive.”

Word spread of the savagery and no one ever again attacked the People, not their camp, their warriors, or their hunters.

While peace prevailed, Xhosa grew into a powerful but odd-looking female.

Meet the author: 

jacqui-murray-2

 

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, an Amazon Vine Voice,  and a columnist for NEA Today and TeachHUB. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Quest for Home, Summer 2019. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning

 

Connect with Jacqui at:

http://twitter.com/worddreams

http://linkedin.com/in/jacquimurray

https://worddreams.wordpress.com

  https://jacquimurray.net

https://www.instagram.com/jacquimurraywriter/

Thank you for reading this post. Please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

 

‘Timeless Echoes’ is Here!

Book cover

Timeless Echoes is just a click away now. Click on the link to download it and hear the echoes that would reverberate around you, reminding you of lost opportunities, repressed desires, cherished moments and hope that shimmers through clouds.

Here are all the links:

US UK DE FR ES IT NL JP BR CA MX AU IN

When Echoes Vibrate

Lilies in the garden spoke to me
Birds sang merrily
Clouds of gloom disintegrated
When I let these echoes vibrate

Mute watchers warbled
Fluttering fervently around me
Stirring hopeful messages
Of joy and bliss

When smoke of your love
Tried to asphyxiate me
When dreams got besieged
I flew on the wings of words

Fears receded when
Sun spread its gold
Creating a fusion of colors
Silently illuminating life.© Balroop Singh

The Editor’s Review:

Half of what we say are lies although they might be considered true, but truth with one’s self is an accepted bundle of lies except for those rare moments of self-realization. These lines right at the start of Timeless Echoes, ‘Each moment is precious, we try to cage it within our heart, where it perches in perfect rampart, embalmed by memories,’ reveal how this book is a healer, promising to lay bare the ills of the soul as it soothes, cleanses, and nurtures; instilling in us a will to learn and live without fear, and a will to not hurt others: ‘Why can’t our hearts feel the hurt we hurl at others?’

Balroop’s new book is a steadfast repudiation of those ills that we painfully hide under the covers of our flesh to present the polished exterior as truth. This magnetic collection of poems highlights our precious human lives with all their varied emotions and imposing relations: the lives often blinded by the strictures of the self-made duplicity, an excessively common phenomenon. ‘Listen to your heart, my friend. It knows you well,’ she writes.

I treasure these ‘forgetting fragile facets of love, facade of fading memories, echoes of dwindling love, is all I have now, yet love echoes refuse to subside’ believing that love echoes are soul-launched signals, ready to hug our pretenses to forge a divine assimilation because the struggle has always been with the self that we excommunicate to build up a wall, which obscures the travails plaguing the core. And finding a path to the core is the cure since there’s no villainy in the soul.

As Balroop proclaims ‘love is such a strange emotion, it gives less, it claims more…the facade of love is so delusive,’ I concur how our infirmities require urgent banishment, more pressing now than ever. And once I’ve made peace with the self, ‘the dark corridors are like meadows, they glow with my presence.’ Yes, without an iota of my own falsehoods plaguing me.
  Mahesh Nair

Thank you for your support.

Please share this post at your favorite social networks.
Balroop Singh.