Magical Whispers #NewRelease

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I wait for whispers; they regale my muse. Whispers that can be heard by our heart, whispers that ride on the breeze to dispel darkness and ignite hope. I’m sure you would hear them through these poems if you read slowly.

‘Magical Whispers’ would transport you to an island of serenity; beseech you to tread softly on the velvety carpet of nature to feel the ethereal beauty around you. The jigsaw of life would melt and merge as you dive into the warmth of words.

In this book, my poems focus on whispers of Mother Nature, whispers that are subtle but speak louder than words and breathe a quiet message.

Each day reminds us
It’s the symphony of surroundings
That whisper life into us.

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

Thank you to all the author buddies and blogger friends who are spreading the word by sharing the Magical Whispers at their blogs.

Balroop Singh.

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.

Welcome to Day 5 of the “SMOKE ROSE TO HEAVEN” Blog Tour! @SarahAngleton @4WillsPub #RRBC

Please welcome Sarah Angleton, an awesome author who is here to talk about her latest book ‘Smoke Rose To Heaven.’ Over to you Sarah!

Divining a Novel

I think the best part about writing a novel is learning all the new things I have to learn in order to make my fictional world feel as real as possible for readers. Fiction writers, it turns out, are not necessarily experts on everything that happens to become entwined in their works.

For my first novel, Gentleman of Misfortune, that meant I had to figure out, among other things, how to make a mummy. Because this is historical fiction, I had the added challenge of trying to determine how a person living in nineteenth century America might have done it with materials commonly available. The first step was to make a phone call. Whenever dead bodies are concerned, I reach out to an old college buddy of mine who is a funeral director by trade. He was able to point me in some of the right directions and led me down many wonderful hours of rabbit holes.

My most recent release, Smoke Rose to Heaven, which is a companion to the first, also made me ask some questions, because it includes a character who is a dowser.

In case you’re as unfamiliar with dowsing as I was, it’s the process of locating something hidden, often water or minerals beneath the ground, with the aid of a pointer or pendulum. It’s considered a form of divination and those who use it are often landowners wishing to dig new wells or people looking for lost items or persons. It can allegedly even help to answer more spiritual questions. Historically, and still sometimes today, it’s also been used in treasure hunting.

And as it is done regularly by some of the fictional characters in my novel, it was also practiced by the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith, one of the central historical figures wrapped up in the conspiracy theory that forms an important part of the book. I knew I couldn’t be faithful to my setting and story if I didn’t do a little research.

Because I did not have a dowser among my contacts, I began my search with the American Society of Dowsers, which I learned is the largest organization of professional dowsers in the world and has a convenient online list of its members identified by region. There I found the name of a gentleman working in Western New York State, the very setting of my novel. He listed water dowsing as well as missing persons and objects as his area of particular expertise, which worked perfectly for what I needed.

I reached out and received a very warm response. We spoke for more than an hour over the phone and exchanged numerous follow-up emails. He patiently answered all of my questions about how dowsing feels and even how it could be faked by a conman. He then offered stories that illustrated aspects of dowsing that would never have occurred to me to ask about. Many of these extra fascinating little tidbits became part of the novel and added a richness I could not have achieved by reading a few articles on the internet.

I didn’t become a dowser. As I tend to be a somewhat skeptical person, I’m not even sure I could say I came to believe it really works. But I did manage to get a feel for how my characters might perceive it and how it might be woven into the culture of my setting. I also learned how to write respectfully about something that is outside the realm of my own experiences and knowledge so I could share it with readers.

And that is definitely the best part about writing a novel.smoke-rose-to-heaven-by-sarah-angleton

 Book Blurb:

New York, 1872.

Diviner Ada Moses is a finder of hidden things and a keeper of secrets. In her possession is a lost manuscript with the power to destroy the faith of tens of thousands of believers.

When a man seeking the truth knocks at her door with a conspiracy theory on his lips and assassins at his heels, she must make a choice.

Spurred by news of a ritualistic murder and the arrival of a package containing the victim’s bloody shirt, Ada must either attempt to vanish with the truth or return the burden she has long borne to the prophet responsible for one of the most successful deceptions in US history.

Protecting someone else’s secret may save Ada’s life, but is that worth forcing her own demons into the light?

Author Bio:

sarah-angletonSARAH ANGLETON is the author of the historical novels Gentleman of Misfortune and Smoke Rose to Heaven as well as the humor collection Launching Sheep & Other Stories from the Intersection of History and Nonsense. She lives with her husband, two sons, and one loyal dog near St. Louis, where she loves rooting for the Cardinals but doesn’t care for the pizza.

 

Social Media Links:

https://twitter.com/SarahAngleton

https://www.facebook.com/sangletonwrites

https://sarah-angleton.com

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2t7RS9g

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2U9pwXk

Sarah is giving away 5 e-book copies of SMOKE ROSE TO HEAVEN and all you have to do for a chance to win a copy is to leave a comment below.
To follow along with the rest of her tour, please drop in on her 4WillsPub tour page.
If you’d like to take your book or books on a virtual blog tour, please visit  4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com and click on the VIRTUAL BLOG TOUR tab.
Thank you for supporting this author’s tour.

The Quest for Home – Prehistoric Fiction

Prehistoric fiction is a literary genre in which the story is set in the period of time prior to the existence of written record. If you haven’t read this genre, just check how Jacqui Murray has brilliantly explored it in her books. The Quest for Home is the second book in series. I have read and reviewed Born in Treacherous Times (Dawn of Humanity) and Survival of the Fittest (the Crossroads Trilogy.)

a-quest-for-home-1

Chased by a ruthless and powerful enemy, Xhosa flees with her People, leaving behind her African homeland, leading her People on a grueling journey through unknown and perilous lands. As they struggle to overcome treachery, lies, danger, tragedy, hidden secrets, and Nature herself, Xhosa must face the reality that her most dangerous enemy isn’t the one she expected. It may be one she trusts with her life. 

The story is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man populated Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, the one destined to obliterate any who came before.

Based on a true story, this is the unforgettable saga of hardship and determination, conflict and passion as early man makes his way across Eurasia, fleeing those who would kill him. He must be bigger-than-life, prepared time and again to do the impossible because nothing less than the future of mankind is at stake.

Book information:
 Title and author: The Quest for Home
Series: Book 2 in the Crossroads series, part of the Man vs. Nature saga
Genre: Prehistoric
Available at: Kindle US   Kindle UK   Kindle CA   Kindle AU

My Review:

The Quest for Home (Book 2 of Crossroads trilogy) by Jacqui Murray continues the journey of Xhosa despite the losses she had suffered when the rafts crashed due to the storm. She had to wait till her group had healed, to restock food and weapons in preparation for departure. A trusted leader, determined to fight the perils, crawling up mountains, slipping down into valleys, following the sun, she leads her people with unwavering confidence. There are conflicts within the group to remain powerful, reminiscent of basic human traits.

It is interesting to note that discrimination, one-upmanship, slavery, selfishness, and revenge are as old as those people who inhabited this earth 850,000 years ago. It is not easy to write such a story but Murray could weave it brilliantly, throwing in many characters quite similar to what we know about human beings. You must read these books in order to appreciate the comfort and security that we take for granted. Highly recommended with 5 stars!

jacqui-murray-2Meet the Author:

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, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, In the Footsteps of Giants, Winter 2020, the final chapter in the Crossroads Trilogy.

Contact Links:

Amazon Author Page
Blog
Instagram 
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn
Website  

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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/

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Balroop Singh.