Friday, November 29, 2013

Shady Deals by Cindy McDonald



Title:  Shady Deals  
Genre: Romantic Suspense  
Author: Cindy McDonald  
Publisher: Acorn Book Services  
Language: English


Disclaimer: May contain mature themes.
Kate West and Dr. Holden Reese have put their troubled past behind them and are ready to set a wedding date. There;s only one thing in Holden's way: a powerful drug Lord at Keystone Downs Thoroughbred Race Track has Holden under his thumb, and he's not letting go!

Kate's family is determined to get to the bottom the of horse drugging ring, and when the West's get too close to the truth the Drug Lord sends them a brutal message that can't be misinterpreted.  Now Holden is on the run, and he's dragging Kate with him.

Can he escape his indiscretions?

How long can he keep Kate in the dark?

And how damning will the truth be when it's finally revealed?

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Deadline to sign up is January 31



PUYB Virtual Book Club: She Ain't Heavy Book Tour Highlights

Just when counter clerk Teddy Warner is about to be evicted from her Scranton apartment, she bumps into beautiful, brilliant, blond Rachel – her estranged childhood friend whose mother forbid their friendship thinking Teddy was beneath them.

Teddy and Rachel reconnect over hot chocolate and under New Year’s Eve fireworks.  Their discussion leads to an invitation. Soon, Teddy’s on her way to Philadelphia, where Rachel is a student, to share an apartment and begin an exciting new life in the City.

Teddy views Rachel as perfect.  Rachel can’t bring herself to shatter the image by letting on that she is having an affair with a married man. Just when Teddy is starting to feel at home, Rachel insists on some privacy.  Acting out her anger at being asked to stay away, Teddy indulges in a one-night stand.
When Teddy returns to their apartment the next morning, Rachel is being carried out on a stretcher – the victim of carbon monoxide poisoning. This unforeseen tragedy leaves Teddy alone in a strange city, with no money, no friends, and no connections.

As Teddy struggles to find her way, she meets a mentor at the same university Rachel previously attended who takes an interest in her, but with strings attached. She also develops a unique bond with the firefighter who rescued Rachel.  And yet, Teddy remains committed to helping Rachel get back on her feet, at a time when no one else who supposedly loves her can accept her in this diminished way.  Along the way, Teddy discovers her own strength in the roles of caretaker, lover, and friend.

Purchase your copy at AMAZON

Praise for She Ain't Heavy by Arnine Weiss

"She Ain’t Heavy is contemporary women’s fiction of the best kind: it makes you think, and it makes you look at your own life, and compare it to the characters in the book, but it’s also just a really good read." -- Bibliotica

"This was an interesting story. It was sort of a coming of age story for Teddy, who has been dealt a pretty crappy hand all of her life. Despite all of the obstacles that are thrown her way, she’s a tough girl, always doing the best she knows how." -- Steph the Bookworm

"She Ain't Heavy is a compelling story with a universal theme that every reader can relate to. Author Arnine Cumsky Weiss has created a beautifully written story about a spirited and strong young woman who has the will power and desire to survive and succeed against any challenges that life threw her way." -- Jersey Girl Book Reviews

Guest Post Blurbs

On Becoming a Writer:

My oldest son survived cancer. Eleven days after his sixth birthday, and just three months after I gave birth to our third child, Matt was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. We – yes, we, the five of us – endured three years of chemotherapy, two bouts of hair loss, and a daunting uncertainty that if we didn’t know where the disease came from in the first place, how did we know it wouldn’t come back. And yet, as the treatment ended, we emerged as a tighter unit, grateful to medical science and our doctors, who worked in partnership with the Almighty.
Read the full post at Curling Up With a Good Book

The Story Behind Her Book:

In the aftermath of 9/11, among the stories of devastation and heroism, there was another theme that was often discussed. There were many individuals who were supposed to be in the towers that morning, but for one reason or another were not. Some were delayed while dropping their kids at school, or got stuck in traffic, or just overslept on that fateful day. Whatever the excuse, I was fascinated by the tales of being in the wrong place at the right time. And I wondered if these lucky souls not only recognized that they were given a second chance, but also what they did with them.

Read the full post at Workaday Reads

Five Benefits to Joining a Writing Group

I moved to New York City several years ago, kicking and screaming. My husband transferred here for a new job, and I learned that a mid-life move is not easy. I came from a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania where people on the street said hello and neighbors watched out for each other. I arrived in NYC to learn that the only people who will risk making eye contact with you are those with their hands out.

Read the full post at Bibliotica

Arnine Cumsky Weiss is a nationally certified sign language interpreter and a teacher of English as a second language. She has worked in the field of Deafness for over thirty years. She is the author of six books. BECOMING A BAR MITVAH: A TREASURY OF STORIES, BECOMING A BAT MITZVAH: A TREASURY OF STORIES (University of Scranton Press), THE JEWS OF SCRANTON (Arcadia Publishing), and THE UNDEFEATED (RID Press) and  THE CHOICE: CONVERTS TO JUDAISM SHARE THEIR STORIES (University of Scranton Press). Her second novel, SHE AIN’T HEAVY (Academy Chicago)was published in June, 2013. She is married to Dr. Jeffrey Weiss and is the mother of Matt, Allie, and Ben. Visit Arnine’s website at www.ArnineWeiss.com.


 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Flight of the Griffin by C.M. Gray



Title: The Flight of the Griffin
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Author: C.M. Gray
Publisher: C.M. Gray
Pages: 219
Language: English
ISBN: 9781471750359

Purchase at AMAZON

The Kingdom is dying… 

The Darkness is coming… the balance between Order and Chaos is rapidly shifting and the world is falling towards evil and horror, and all misery that Chaos will bring. 

But there is hope… 

Pardigan’s had enough, he’s only 12, but he’s breaking into the home of one of Freya's richest merchants... and he’s doing it tonight… 

A burglary that will change their lives forever sets four friends upon a quest, a race against time, to locate three magical objects and complete an ancient and desperate spell. 

Sailing their boat The Griffin, the crew are quickly pursued by The Hawk, an evil bounty hunter and master of dark sorcery, and Belial, King of Demons and champion of Chaos who seeks to rule the world of man… yet first he must capture the crew of The Griffin and end their quest… 

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE.



Friday, November 22, 2013

PUYB Virtual Book Club Q&A: Interview with Deborah Rix, author of 'External Forces'


We welcome Deborah Rix to PUYB Virtual Book Club!  Debbie is here today to talk about YA, one of my most favorite genres.

Here's what her book is all about:

Treason, betrayal, and heartbreak.

A lot can happen to a girl between her first kiss and her first kill.

It’s 100 years since the Genetic Integrity Act was passed and America closed its borders to prevent genetic contamination. Now only the enemy, dysgenic Deviants, remain beyond the heavily guarded border. The Department of Evolution carefully guides the creation of each generation and deviations from the divine plan are not permitted.

When 16-year-old Jess begins to show signs of deviance she enlists in the Special Forces, with her best friend Jay, in a desperate bid to evade detection by the Devotees. Jess is good with data, not so good with a knife. So when the handsome and secretive Sergeant Matt Anderson selects her for his Black Ops squad, Jess is determined to figure out why.

As her deviance continues to change her, Jess is forced to decide who to trust with her deadly secret. Jess needs to know what’s really out there, in the Deviant wasteland over the border, if she has any hope of making it to her 17th birthday. Because if the enemy doesn’t kill her first, the Department of Evolution probably will.

Purchase your copy at AMAZON


Thanks for coming today, Deborah!  Young Adult is hot right now, not only with young adults but older adults as well.  Can you tell us why you decided to write Young Adult and why science fiction in particular?

Deborah: I didn't really set out to write a certain kind of story. It's Science Fiction because that's always been my favorite genre to read. I love the 'what if...?' scenario and seeing where different writers take us when they answer that question. So Sci-Fi was natural for me.  It's Young Adult by default, I think. As I was writing, I wanted it to be something that my kids would want to read and was smart, in an adult kind of way. There are some mature themes in the series that I tried to tackle head on because teenagers are smarter than you think. And they'll be the first to tell you so.

Can you give us the inside scoop on why you think it’s so popular with older adults as well as young adults?

Deborah: It's been interesting to see who reads and reviews the book. Very few guys, but when you use the word 'kiss' in your description I suppose that's bound to happen. The themes and ideas that are in the book are very much extrapolations of current issues, and I think that's what has the appeal for adults. All the little disasters in the book are plausible, which resonates with people. And I tried to keep the characters and relationships real too. I wanted to have a group of friends, not just characters that stepped in for some plot device. I think that the teenage years are full of very intense relationships. All of my own teen years were spent with a group of friends and all of them were important and influenced who I am today. I wanted to explore the intensity of that time in your life and I think older readers can identify with that.

Your main character, Jess, sounds very high spirited!  Can you tell us more about her?

Deborah: Jess is complicated, like any 16 year old girl. She is growing up and has to deal with a lot of change. She is also discovering that the world is a very big place and she has to look beyond her own experience to understand what is going on. Her body is changing, her emotions can be mercurial, she can feels things very deeply while brushing off other things with a shrug. Like any teenager, she begins to question things she took for granted and to challenge the established authority. Where does my food come from? Who makes my clothes? What are my responsibilities to the rest of the world?  The story, without being preachy, is about identity, about discovering who you are and what you stand for. In External Forces, Jess is at the beginning of that journey.

What about secondary characters?  Can you introduce them to us?

Deborah: I am very proud of the characters that become Jess' group of friends. I wanted them to be integral to the story, and in the rest of the trilogy they all play important roles and have their own stories.  Jay is Jess' best friend and they enlist in the Special Forces together. He is the guy that tells her how great she is but also tells her when she's being an idiot. He is tough and smart and gay, but like Jess he hasn't had the chance to really discover himself. Sheree is just badass, no other word for her. She is Jess' first real female friend and confidante. She has supreme self-confidence but she too will have to decide who she ultimately is.  Matt is Jess' sergeant and the boy she falls for. He knows exactly who he is and has lots of rules to prove it, until there are no more rules. Ramon, Charlie, Gabrielle, Ruby and Hendrick are secondary characters that will come into their own in the rest of the trilogy and are all full of surprises.
How did you come up with the idea for the character, Jess?  Was it movies, books, real life?

Deborah: Jess must have been living in my head for a while because she appeared as an almost fully formed 16 yr old. I didn't have to think too much about who she was or what motivated her or how she would react to things. I guess that's why I was able to write it in the first person and in the present tense. 

Every book of fiction has a pivotal point for the reader that they can’t forget.  What do you think is one of the pivotal points in your book?

Deborah: Jess has been ashamed by who and what she is and has been hiding her true self. There is a scene with some animals, gnashers, in which she embraces what she is in order to protect her friends. A lot of bad stuff has just happened and she already feels exposed and vulnerable. It's rather bloody and gory, but she is magnificent and she knows it. Although it doesn't seem like it to Jess at the time, it's the beginning of her self-acceptance. 

Is there anything else you’d like to tell your readers?

Deborah: When I wrote this, it wasn't with the intention of creating a trilogy. I started and just didn't stop and at some point I had to accept the fact that most people did not want to read a 800 page novel. So I think the story arc is a lot longer than people are used to. It isn't all sorted out in each book, some things might seem too slow, others will feel too fast, and there's a lot of dangly bits because there's a lot of twisty turns to come. But rest assured it all comes together quite nicely, you need to enjoy the ride along the way.



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

PUYB Virtual Book Club Q&A: Interview with Arnine Weiss, author of 'She Ain't Heavy'

We welcome Arnine Weiss to PUYB Virtual Book Club!  Arnine is here today to talk about chick lit and her brand new book, She Ain't Heavy. 

More about Arnine:

Arnine Cumsky Weiss is a nationally certified sign language interpreter and a teacher of English as a second language. She has worked in the field of Deafness for over thirty years. She is the author of six books. BECOMING A BAR MITVAH: A TREASURY OF STORIES, BECOMING A BAT MITZVAH: A TREASURY OF STORIES (University of Scranton Press), THE JEWS OF SCRANTON (Arcadia Publishing), and THE UNDEFEATED (RID Press) and  THE CHOICE: CONVERTS TO JUDAISM SHARE THEIR STORIES (University of Scranton Press). Her second novel, SHE AIN’T HEAVY (Academy Chicago)was published in June, 2013. She is married to Dr. Jeffrey Weiss and is the mother of Matt, Allie, and Ben.


Visit Arnine’s website at www.ArnineWeiss.com.


Thanks for coming today, Arnine!  I have to admit – I’m a chick lit book junkie.  Why did you choose that genre?



Arnine: Sure thing. When I write I think in terms of story. It's not until I finish and go through the publishing process that I think about genre. When we (my agent and I) were looking for a publisher, we had to assign a genre and chick lit seemed to fit the bill because it's about friendship and loyalty between several women.



I remember back in the day chick lit was super hot and authors were cranking the books out for this new genre.  A year down the road, publishers started labeling it women’s fiction for some odd reason. I think the genre was starting to get over saturated or there was flack against chick lit so they decided to change the genre name but I am so thrilled when I find out about a book that’s still calling itself chick lit.  Do you remember when that happened and what were your thoughts are on that?



Arnine: I do remember when that happened. I can only surmise that if a book is labeled chick lit, authors and publishers might be afraid that it will be viewed as less highbrow or somehow less literary. I think as long as you have a good story and strong characters it doesn't matter what genre you label it.



Did you base your main character, Teddy, on anyone in particular or was she a product of a fantastic imagination on your part?



Arnine: When I was writing the book, I did interview a young woman who worked in Dunkin' Donuts to learn about working there. But Teddy is a product of my imagination and she also presented the greatest challenge in getting her voice right. 



What about secondary characters?  Would you like to introduce them to us?


Arnine: Sure. Rachel Cooper is Teddy's childhood friend who invites her to Philadelphia. Her mother, Mrs. Cooper, thinks Teddy is beneath her daughter and discourages their friendship. Billy Sullivan is the fireman who carries Rachel out after the carbon monoxide accident. And Deborah is a mentor at the university who takes Teddy under her wing. 



How is your book related to 9/11?


Arnine: In the aftermath of 9/11, I was fascinated with the stories of the people who were supposed to be in the towers that morning and were not. I wondered if they realized they were given a second chance and what they did with it. Although I changed the setting from New York to Philadelphia, I kept the theme of She Ain’t Heavy 
about getting a second chance.



Every book of fiction has a pivotal point for the reader that they can’t forget.  What do you think is one of the pivotal points in your book?


Arnine: Spoiler Alert!  One of the pivotal scenes in the book is when Teddy goes to the hospital to see Rachel and she is confronted by Mrs. Cooper, who once again forces Teddy out of her life. Even as an adult, Teddy is being rejected by this woman.



Is there anything else you’d like to tell your readers?



Arnine: I think one of the most interesting relationships in the book is between Teddy, a woman from the wrong side of the tracks, and Deborah, the mentor from the university. The dynamic between two strong women from two different worlds fascinated me. I hope I did justice to their interaction. 


Leave a question or a comment for Arnine below to win a free autographed copy of her book, She Ain't Heavy

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Awakened Love by Laura V. Hilton



Title: Awakened Love
Genre: Amish Contemporary Romance  
Author: Laura V. Hilton
Publisher:  Whitaker House  
Pages: 288
Language: English  
ISBN: 978-1603745086  
Format: Paperback, Kindle


Purchase at AMAZON


Katie Detweiler grew up Amish, never knowing she was adopted as an infant. Now an adult, her new job as cook at an Amish bed and breakfast doesn’t bring about the euphoria she hoped for. Just as she’s getting her menu perfected, the Englisch family and severely ill sister she never knew existed enter her life and strain her Amish relationships. Plus, Katie suddenly has two different men vying for her attention—one Amish, one Englisch—and she wonders if one of them could be the man of her dreams. But when her Englisch sister’s health worsens, Katie must find a way to balance her heart, her job, and her faith while risking her own life for the sister she never knew.



He’s hiding from a cold-blooded killer; her Amish identity has been stripped away. Both must find a way to balance their hearts, their jobs, and their faith.


Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE




Tuesday, November 12, 2013

PUYB Virtual Book Club Q&A + Book Giveaway with Erotic Romantic Suspense 'Buried Threads' Kaylin McFarren

Kaylin is here today to talk about her new erotic romantic suspense Buried Threads and connect with her readers! Ask her a question in the comment section and we will pick one of you to win a copy of her book!  The contest to win a free copy of her book, Buried Threads, will begin today and end on Friday, November 15.  Please leave your email address with your answer so we know how to get in touch with you.  Only those leaving email addresses will be eligible to win. Good luck and thanks for entering!

More about Kaylin McFarren:

Kaylin McFarren is a California native who has enjoyed traveling around the world. She previously worked as director for a fine art gallery, where she helped foster the careers of various artists before feeling the urge to satisfy her won creative impulses.
We welcome Kaylin McFarren to PUYB Virtual Book Club! Since launching her writing career, McFarren has earned more than a dozen literary awards in addition to a finalist spot in the 2008 RWA Golden Heart Contest. A member of RWA, Rose City Romance Writers, and Willamette Writers, she also lends her participation and support to various charitable and educational organizations in the Pacific Northwest. McFarren currently lives with her husband in Oregon. They have three children and two grandchildren. Her latest book is Buried Threads (Book 2 of the Threads series). Visit her website at www.kaylinmcfarren.com.

About Buried Threads:

Rachel’s mouth sagged. “You mean you’re really a monk? But how’s that possible? You’re not even wearing a robe, and your hair…”

He simply smiled.

 A disturbing prophecy sends a treasure hunting duo on an urgent race to rescue a country in Kaylin McFarren’s heart pounding new novel,  Buried Threads. Full of erotic suspense and wild adventures, this is one trip that readers will never forget!

Rachel Lyons and Chase Cohen work together as the successful owners of a treasure hunting company. But a seemingly simply assignment – to track down a priceless gem that is believed to buried in a shipwreck deep within the Sea of Japan – takes a starling, and dangerous, turn.
Faced with a monk’s dark prophecy that a natural disaster will soon strike Japan, killing millions, Rachel and Chase must embark on the mission of a lifetime in order to uncover the three cursed samurai swords that can avert the catastrophe.

Chaos ensues as their adventure takes them from shark infested waters and creepy caves to haunted hidden tombs and a confrontation with Yakuza gang members.

Time is running out as the prophecy’s day of reckoning draws near. Will Rachel and Chase succeed before disaster strikes?

Thanks for joining us in our book club, Kaylin! Your book is described as romantic, erotic and suspenseful – which of those three genres prevail over the others?

Kaylin: I would like to think the suspense in this book stands out and keeps the pages turning. That's the goal I'm going for with each book in the Threads series.

Rachel Lyons and Chase Cohen work together as the successful owners of a treasure hunting company. Can you tell us a little about the two?

Kaylin: Rachel Lyons is a 32 year-old former marine biologist who worked as a financial representative for the San Palo Maritime Foundation before hooking up with Chase Cohen. She's stubborn, hard-headed, ambitious and serious. She loves to teach and to be taught but, unfortunately, is always looking for flaws and weaknesses in the people she meets. She's known to be money conscience, hardworking and productive. She's also sensitive, struggles with her social skills and has difficulty expressing love due to trust issues. Rachel has auburn hair, green-blue hazel eyes, an oval face, and sweet smile. She has a petite frame, likes to wear 4" heels, wears berets and scarfs, and would like to travel but never has time. She has a goldfish for a pet, lives in a modest home with few furnishings, loves Asian antiques and trinkets, and prefers to have everything put away in its place. She likes orchids and the smell of ginger, and is prone to routines - drinking her triple skinny mocha lattes every morning. She rarely touches alcohol and blushes after only one glass of wine. She drives a platinum Prius and is a dedicated environmentalist. As far as her family goes, she has a brother (a former stockbroker) who recently became a member of her crew. Her father died in a tragic diving accident - of which she feels involvement, and her mother ran off with another man when she was a young girl. She would like to be a mother but lacks the confidence in herself to assume this role. She is smart and intuitive, and suffers often from nightmares involving her father.

Chase Cohen is a 36 year-old who is full of life and loves adventure. He's suave, caring, brave, fearless, prideful and a born leader. Chase is thirsty for praise and can be easily angered or become jealous when provoked. He's observant, cautious and thinks quickly on his feet. He loves to dream and is sensitive but not petty. He's trusting, extremely romantic and loves to surround himself with good friends. He's skilled with weapons and self-defense, enjoys an occasional cigar, Wild Turkey on the rocks and cooking simple meals in his quaint 2-bedroom apartment. He has a white Skye Terrier named Yuki and a 7 year-old daughter from a previous relationship. He likes his laid back style with overstuffed chairs, nautical decorations, and mismatched furnishings. He doesn't mind clutter and wears t-shirts with obscure logos, jeans and cowboy boots. He drives a black Range Rover and has always dreamed of being the captain and owner of a fleet of ships. Chase has shaggy blond hair, penetrating blue eyes, chiseled features, a constant 5 o-clock shadow, expressive brows, a muscular build and is 6' 2" tall. Although he's had is share of women over the years, he focuses on one romantic involvement at a time and is crazy in love with Rachel.

Can you tell us more about this treasure hunting company and why you decided to have Rachel and Chase own such a company? Sounds so cool!

Kaylin: Trident Ventures was originally formed by Chase Cohen and his helmsman, Ian Lowe, to recover sunken ships and the valuables they carried. The rewards in success can be great, especially when contracts are drawn up and gold is discovered. In Severed Threads, Rachel and Chase join forces to recover a valuable Chinese relic and, as a result, they develop a tight bond and passion for one another. After hearing about the opportunity to travel to Japan in search of another treasure, Rachel talks Chase into a partnership, unaware of the danger they're about to face. I loved the idea of putting two opposing forces together and pitting them against an array of obstacles, which would only bring them closer together.

Are there any secondary characters we need to know about?

Kaylin: Two secondary characters are especially important in this story: Mariko Abe and Shinzo Yamada. Mariko is a beautiful 22 year-old geisha who is confident with her abilities to entertain but shy in regard to intimacy. She has had a secret crush on a childhood friend but is contracted through a sponsorship arrangement to another man who comes from a wealthy family and has yakuza connections. Shinzo is the fun-loving, gifted Buddhist monk who Mariko has always loved. He's attractive, confident, speaks fluent English and dresses in custom-made suits. He's also a spiritualist, possesses the gift of insight into past lives, and prophecies the future.

Every book of fiction has a pivotal point for the reader that they can’t forget. What do you think is one of the pivotal points in your book?

Kaylin: I believe this occurs when Rachel convinces Chase to put aside his fears and keep going when he's almost killed by a swinging blade in a ghastly cave. Rachel's dedication pushes her to succeed and her growth is tremendous when compared to her original character flaws.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell your readers?

Kaylin: Although each book stands alone, Severed Threads, Buried Threads and the upcoming Banished Threads are filled with action, adventure and romance. I hope that readers will consider reading all the books I write, as their support is what encourages me to write more. Thank you!!

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Black Song Inside by Carlyle Clark



Title: The Black Song Inside
Author: Carlyle Clark
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Pages: 435
Language: English
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Format: Paperback, Kindle, Audiobook


Purchase at AMAZON

Atticus Wynn and Rosemary Sanchez, newly engaged private investigators, have seen the dark and violent side of life. Nothing, though, has prepared them for an explosive murder investigation that threatens to tear their relationship apart as they struggle to solve a case that could leave them in prison or dead. 

Atticus’s manipulative ex-girlfriend bursts back into their lives wielding a secret about Rosemary’s family that she exploits to force the couple into investigating the execution-style slaying of her lover. The case thrusts Atticus and Rosemary headlong into the world of human trafficking and drug smuggling, while rendering them pawns in Tijuana Cartel captain Armando Villanueva’s bloody bid to take over the cartel. 

The Black Song Inside is a vivid crime thriller rife with murder and madness, melded with gallows humor and the heroism of two flawed and compelling protagonists who, if they can save themselves, may learn the nature of redemption and the ability to forgive.

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

Sign up for review/hosting HERE

Deadline to sign up is January 31



 

PUYB Virtual Book Club Q&A + Book Giveaway with #Amish Fiction 'The Wanderers' Paul Stutzman



We welcome Paul Stutzman to PUYB Virtual Book Club!  Paul is here today to talk about his Amish upbringing and his brand new Amish fiction, The Wanderers.  Ask him a question in the comment section and we will pick one of you to win a copy of his book!  The contest to win a free copy of his book, The Wanderers, will begin today and end on Monday, November 11.  Please leave your email address with your answer so we know how to get in touch with you.  Only those leaving email addresses will be eligible to win. 

More about Paul Stutzman:

Paul Stutzman was born in Holmes County, Ohio in an Amish family. His family left the Amish lifestyle soon after Paul was born. They joined a strict Conservative Mennonite Church where Paul was raised to fear God and obey all the rules the church demanded. Paul continued to live among and mingle with his Amish friends and relatives his entire life. Paul married a Mennonite girl and remained in the Amish community working and raising a family. After Paul lost his wife to cancer, he sensed a tug on his heart- the call to a challenge, the call to pursue a dream. With a mixture of dread and determination, Paul left his job, traveled to Georgia, and took his first steps on the 2,176 mile Appalachian Trail. What he learned during the next four and a half months changed his life-and can change yours too. After completing his trek Stutzman wrote Hiking Through—a book about this life changing journey.

In the summer of 2010 Stutzman again heeded the call for adventure and pedaled his bicycle 5,000 miles across America. He began his ride at the Northwest corner of Washington State and pedaled to Key West, Florida.  On his journey across America he encounters people in all circumstances, from homelessness to rich abundance. The people he meets touch his life profoundly. Stutzman writes about these encounters in his book Biking Across America.

Recently Stutzman released his first novel entitled The Wanderers. The Wanderers is a story about Johnny, a young Amish boy growing up in a culture he is not sure he wants to embrace. A young Amish girl named Annie wins his heart and life is great for a time. Entwined with Johnny and Annie’s story is the allegory of two Monarch butterflies, worms who have been transformed into amazing creatures specially chosen to carry out the miracle of the fourth generation. They, too, must undertake a long journey before they finally find home.

In addition to writing, he speaks to groups about his hiking and biking experiences and the lessons learned during these adventures. Stutzman resides in Berlin, Ohio and can be contacted through his website at www.hikingthrough.com or www.paulstutzman.com.

Stutzman resides in Berlin, Ohio and can be contacted through his website at www.hikingthrough.com or www.paulstutzman.com

About The Wanderers:

Everything in God’s nature, Johnny observed, did what it was created to do. Everything, that is, except the human race. Johnny was born into an Amish family, into a long line of farmers and good businessmen. He is expected to follow the traditions of family and church as he grows to adulthood. But even as a boy, he questions whether he can be satisfied with this lifestyle. He wants “more” — more education, more travel, more opportunity.

His restlessness leads him down a dangerous road where too much partying and drinking result in heartbreaking consequences. He’s adrift, and no one seems to be able to help him find his direction.
Then he meets spunky Annie, who seems pure and lovely and devoted to her God. Her past, though, holds sin and heartbreak. She was a worm, she explains, but God has transformed her into a butterfly. Johnny falls hopelessly in love; and eventually he, too, finds the power of God to transform lives.
Settling down on the family farm, he forgets about the questions and the restlessness, thinking that he is happy and at home, at last.

But in a few short hours, tragedy changes his life forever, and he is again wondering… and wandering on a very long journey.

Entwined with Johnny and Annie’s story is the allegory of two Monarch butterflies, worms who have been transformed into amazing creatures specially chosen to carry out the miracle of the fourth generation. They, too, must undertake a long journey before they finally find home.


Thanks for being our first guest in our brand new book club, Paul!  Get comfy, grab yourself a cup of coffee and let’s get started.  First of all, I love love love Amish fiction.  What’s neat about this book (I have it and am loving it!) is that it’s written by an ex-Amish author.  A lot of authors write Amish but aren’t Amish themselves and I believe that makes you more genuine.  Before we get to your book, I have a million questions about you and your Amish background but I’ll try to keep it short.  First, I think others don’t realize that you used to be Amish.  Do you still consider the Amish way of life is in your soul?

Paul:  I have many Amish friends and relatives. I can easily move from the Amish world to the English world. Their are distinct advantages to both lifestyles.

What did your family do for a living?

Paul:  After leaving the Amish we moved to a 3 acre property where all 5 of us children helped mom with her large garden. Dad worked in a feed mill where they ground up grain to feed farm animals.

When did you decide to leave and why?

Paul:  I was quite young when my parents made the decision to leave the Amish Church. My parents left for spiritual reasons. There were areas of Amish teachings that left them wanting.

What was it like in the outside world at first?  Where did you end up living?

Paul:  We lived near a small town in Amish country named Benton. Our area now attracts over three million tourist a year.

What did your family have to say about that?  Did they disown you?

Paul:  My grandparents were not pleased when my parents left the Amish but they were never shunned. While some folks leave the Amish life to enjoy more freedoms such as cars, phones, and electricity my parents left for more spiritual reasons. My parents joined a strict Conservative Mennonite community that wasn't far removed from the Amish lifestyle. When I was old enough to make my own choices I went one step farther and joined a more liberal Mennonite church. I currently attend a Mennonite church in my area.

Back to your book, The Wanderers, Johnnie is the leading character.  Can you tell us all about him?

Paul: Johnny is a composition of about 4 Amish youths I was raised around. He is fun loving yet very serious about life. He questions the Amish way of life and wonders what he is missing by not having the freedoms his English friends have.

He meets up with Annie.  Was this a soul mate connection?

Paul:  In Johnny's case he believed it was. Annie came along at a difficult stage in his life and he credited her with saving him from many bad choices. He had also been begging God for answers and knew Anne was an answer to his prayer. It also led him to question God when the accident happened.

Do the Amish believe in soul mates?

Paul:  The Amish believe that anything that happens is the will of God. I have never heard an Amish person describe their relationship as soul mates but since their marriage is for life it actually may be true.

Every book of fiction has a pivotal point for the reader that they can’t forget.  What do you think is one of the pivotal points in your book?

Paul: When Johnny meets the school teacher Annie his life makes a dramitic turn.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell your readers?

Paul: I have woven a Monarch butterfly migration story in with the wanderings of the main character. I will leave it up to the reader to decide if it works.



Leave a question or a comment for Paul below to win a free autographed copy of his book, The Wanderers!
 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Take Charge of Your Life by William Glasser, MD



Title: Take Charge of Your Life
Genre: Self-help/Personal transformation 
Author: William Glasser
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 255
Language: English
Format:Ecopy

“A game changer for anyone ready to become the captain of their own ship.” —Dr. Phil McGraw, host of the nationally syndicated series Dr. Phil

“Take Charge of Your Life urges readers to stop blaming and start accepting responsibility for choices.” —Jeannine Chartier Hanscom, ForeWord Reviews

Are you seeking a happier and more satisfying life? In Take Charge of Your Life, author Dr. William Glasser explains choice theory—a science of human behavior and principles for regaining and maintaining a life you control—and how it can help you find personal freedom from relationship-destroying external control. 


Take Charge of Your Life, a revision of his 1984 book Control Theory, explains choice theory using personalized examples and illustrative stories that allow you to learn how to improve your relationships and take charge of your actions. Topics include marital and relationship problems, parenthood, addictions, pain management, and psychosomatic disorders. For each situation, Dr. Glasser ties behavior to the pictures people create in their minds of what they want. He explains how the pictures got there and how people can choose new behaviors to get what they really want. 

In Take Charge of Your Life, Glasser offers a real model of empowerment. He shows how you can become a part of the equation that adds happiness and connection to the world in which you live now and to the world of future generations.




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The Silent Immigrants by Boniface Nwugwo



Title: The Silent Immigrants
Genre: Inspirational 
Author: Boniface Nwugwo
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Pages: 378
Language: English
Format:Ecopy


When Boniface Nwugwo left his hometown in Eastern Nigeria in 1980 to study in America, he had only $4600 to his name for his tuition, his faith in God and an unquenchable thirst to succeed in America. In this revealing, inspiring and compelling memoir, Boniface with uncompromising candor, tells his story of courage, insurmountable struggles, and triumphs that he and many West African immigrants faced before and after coming to America demonstrating that you can reach your dreams if you persevere. 

From modest beginnings as the son of a teacher in his native Imo State of Nigeria, Boniface Nwugwo overcame poverty to distinguish himself as a brilliant academic and achieve a respectable career in the information technology industry. 

Through his story and the sample stories of other West African immigrants, America’s promise as land of immigrants with infinite possibilities are rekindled in this self-revealing and self-fulfilling book. 

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Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow by Salvatore Barbera

Title: Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow
Genre: Children's picture book
Author: Salvatore "Sal" Barbera
Publisher: Sweetles Press
Pages: 36
Language: English
Format: Hardcover



The story of "Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow" takes us on the journey she travels to figure out how to get the cows at a new farm to like and accept her.

While she hopes to find friendship at her new home, instead she learns what it means to be different from everyone else. (Spotless!) Mary Elizabeth uses clever ideas and a sense of humor to help her on her quest for friends at the new farm.

This inspiring tale shows how perseverance in spite of obstacles, using a sound thought process to arrive at solutions and the importance of having fun, using humor and enjoying playtime can build friendships.

When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program to make a difference in the lives of children with critical and life threatening illnesses.

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Thy Will Be Done by Ron Kirk

Title: Thy Will Be Done
Genre: Christian living
Author: Ron Kirk
Publisher: Nordskog Publishing
Pages: 256
Language: English
Format: Paperback



The world cries out for the fulfillment of Christ's model prayer. The opposite of some foolish utopian dream, here is an imaginative but realistic Biblical guide to that world. Thy Will Be Done presents a powerful depiction of a sinful earth redeemed and transformed by Christ as proclaimed by the prophets. A lifetime study of the Bible's specific instructions for loving God and loving man fuels the author's thoughtful extended, everyman essay. A few simple Biblical principles guide a systematic and practical approach to a fulfilled Gospel life, providing the needed tools.

The author weaves a tapestry of possibility–Christ's people growing as salt and light, putting flesh on the Bible's vision of blessing in every aspect of human life and endeavor. The message brings joy to all peoples and glory to the One who came to save the world. Let us hasten the day!

"Ron Kirk comprehensively applies the Lordship of Christ to all areas of life." (Peter Hammond, The Reformation Society, South Africa) Hammond, The Reformation Society, South Africa)


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Closet Words by Kim Hilton

Title: Closet Words
Genre: Christian Inspirational
Author: Kim Hilton
Publisher: WestBow Press
Pages: 174
Language: English
Format:Ecopy & paperback


Taken word for word as heard from God, Closet Words is a collection of powerful and penetrating words written down in the stillness of a prayer closet. Hearing from God for several years, Kim Hilton began writing down what she heard. Encouraging, uplifting, and challenging words with a clear message to His servants, Closet Words gives a renewal and refreshing word to the Christian believer.





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