Friday, October 31, 2014

Two Empty Thrones Virtual Book Tour Highlights

It's so sad to see our authors go, but in tribute we do a recap of the highlights of their blog tour with us at Pump Up Your Book.  Today we're highlighting C.H. MacLean and his Two Empty Thrones Virtual Book Publicity Tour.

About the Book:

With her powers growing every day, fourteen-year-old Haylwen Rightad thinks she’s safe in the magical forest. And now that she finally has the friends she always wanted,
what is there to be afraid of?

But she’s not out of the woods yet. Old enemies rip through her beloved forest, threatening to haul Haylwen and her newfound friends away. Their safety shattered, Haylwen and her friends are suddenly at each other’s throats. Is the friendship she worked so hard for already ruined, or is there another, unseen enemy at work?

Haylwen and her brother must unmask this mysterious enemy before they can fight it off. But even if all their enemies are destroyed, the King of the magic users will stop at nothing to ensure he’s still in power when the dragons take over the world. And he’s hidden an enemy where Haylwen would never think to look.

If no one is what they seem, who can she trust?

For More Information

  • Two Empty Thrones is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
  • Read first three chapters here.

About the Author:

To young C. H. MacLean, books were everything: mind-food, friends, and fun. They gave the shy middle child’s life color and energy. Amazingly, not everyone saw them that way. Seeing a laundry hamper full of books approach her, the librarian scolded C. H. for trying to check them all out.

“You’ll never read that many before they expire!” C. H. was surprised, having shown great restraint only by keeping a list of books to check out next time. Thoroughly abashed, C. H. waited three whole days after finishing that lot before going back for more.

With an internal world more vivid than the real one, C. H. was chastised for reading in the library instead of going to class. “Neurotic, needs medical help,” the teacher diagnosed. C. H.’s father, a psychologist, just laughed when he heard. “She’s just upset because those books are more challenging than her class.” C. H. realized making up stories was just as fun as reading, and harder to get caught doing. So for a while, C. H. crafted stories and characters out of wisps and trinkets, with every toy growing an elaborate personality.

But toys were not mature, and stories weren’t respectable for a family of doctors. So C. H. grew up and learned to read serious books and study hard, shelving foolish fantasies for serious work.
Years passed in a black and white blur. Then, unpredictably falling in love all the way to a magical marriage rattled C. H.’s orderly world. A crazy idea slipped in a resulting crack and wouldn’t leave.

“Write the book you want to read,” it said. “Write? As in, a fantasy novel? But I’m not creative,” C. H. protested. The idea, and C. H.’s spouse, rolled their eyes.

So one day, C. H. started writing. Just to try it, not that it would go anywhere. Big mistake. Decades of pent-up passion started pouring out, making a mess of an orderly life. It only got worse. Soon, stories popped up everywhere- in dreams, while exercising, or out of spite, in the middle of a work meeting. “But it’s not important work,” C. H. pleaded weakly. “They are not food, or friends, or…” But it was too late. C. H. had re-discovered that, like books, life should be fun too. Now, writing is a compulsion, and a calling.

C. H. lives in a Pacific Northwest forest with five cats, two kids, one spouse, and absolutely no dragons or elves, faeries, or demons… that are willing to be named, at least.
His latest book is the YA fantasy, Two Empty Thrones.

For More Information

Virtual Book Tour Highlights

"Amazing sums this books up. It was a incredible read from beginning to end that captivated you and threw you into this wonderful and intriguing world. The story was fun, exciting and intriguing.  If you love magic and fantasy you will adore this book. I will say straight off the bat, that this is not my preferred genre, but this book might change my mind or at least make me pick up a few more in the genre. This book really did have it all: suspension, twists and turns throughout keeping the plot interesting, magic, spells, evil.  enjoyable characters. What i really enjoyed the most where the friendships in this book and the feeling of safety they had with each other. I think that is a message that all young adults need to hear and want from life."
-- Our Families Adventure (review)

"The author brings out a good lesson.  Who can you really trust? Or is there anyone?"
-- Books, Reviews, ETC. (review)

"Tweens and teens fantasy fans will love this series.  There is magic, danger, and dragons - always a winning combination.  And when you throw in two teens who have to think fast to survive the unexpected you have a book you won't want to put down... And not everyone is whom they appear to be."
-- Blooming with Books (review)

"So refreshing to be able to read a book without having to wince every time you have to get through bad language or too graphic parts. I can't wait to read the next book!"
-- Mary's Cup of Tea (review)

"Magic, dragons and young was a great combination.  The first book was good and the second even better.  Loved this book!  5/5.  You need to read the first book, One is Come first but both books are great."
-- Ashley's Bookshelf (review)

"This was a good book. It kept you guessing without making you frustrated. I can not wait to read more from this author!"
I liked that the main characters were being trained by their parents. In so many books the parents died. It was nice to see a family working together. The author did throw me for a loop when Haylwen's relatives became suspects. 
There is so much more to this books. There are trust issues, liars, and even a kingdom at stake. I need to read the first book in this series, and definitely the third.
- See more at:"
-- My Life Loves and Passions (review)

Visit the official Two Empty Thrones Virtual Book Publicity Tour here

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Palmetto Moon Virtual Book Tour Highlights

It's so sad to see our authors go, but in tribute we do a recap of the highlights of their blog tour with us at Pump Up Your Book.  Today we're highlighting Kim Boykin and her Palmetto Moon Virtual Book Publicity Tour.

About the Book:

June, 1947. Charleston is poised to celebrate the biggest wedding in high-society history, the joining of two of the
oldest families in the city. Except the bride is nowhere to be found…Unlike the rest of the debs she grew up with, Vada Hadley doesn’t see marrying Justin McLeod as a blessing—she sees it as a life sentence. So when she finds herself one day away from a wedding she doesn’t want, she’s left with no choice but to run away from the future her parents have so carefully planned for her.

In Round O, South Carolina, Vada finds independence in the unexpected friendships she forms at the boarding house where she stays, and a quiet yet fulfilling courtship with the local diner owner, Frank Darling. For the first time in her life, she finally feels like she’s where she’s meant to be. But when her dear friend Darby hunts her down, needing help, Vada will have to confront the life she gave up—and decide where her heart truly belongs.

For More Information

About the Author:

Kim Boykin was raised in her South Carolina home with two girly sisters and great parents. She had a happy, boring childhood, which sucks if you’re a writer because you have to create your own crazy.
PLUS after you’re published and you’re being interviewed, it’s very appealing when the author actually lived in Crazy Town or somewhere in the general vicinity.

Almost everything she learned about writing, she learned from her grandpa, an oral storyteller, who was a master teacher of pacing and sensory detail. He held court under an old mimosa tree on the family farm, and people used to come from all around to hear him tell stories about growing up in rural Georgia and share his unique take on the world.

As a stay-at-home mom, Kim started writing, grabbing snip-its of time in the car rider line or on the bleachers at swim practice. After her kids left the nest, she started submitting her work, sold her first novel at 53, and has been writing like crazy ever since.

Thanks to the lessons she learned under that mimosa tree, her books are well reviewed and, according to RT Book Reviews, feel like they’re being told across a kitchen table. She is the author of The Wisdom of Hair from Berkley, Steal Me, Cowboy and Sweet Home Carolina from Tule, and Palmetto Moon, also from Berkley 8/5/14. While her heart is always in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, she lives in Charlotte and has a heart for hairstylist, librarians, and book junkies like herself.
For More Information

Virtual Book Tour Highlights

"There’s so much food in the book, it’s a wonder I can fit in the pages. I’d say a little less of that, but with Frank Darling as a top-notch cook, there might even be more goodies. Love his peach cobbler."
-- The Literary Nook (character interview)

"I was pleasantly surprised and then shocked at one of those ethereal moments. Dana and Bonita Cheney, the nice couple from the Colleton County Historical Society who showed me around Walterboro, offered to show me Round O. To be honest, with the majority of the story taking place there, and having never been there, I was more than a little nervous."
-- The Book Faery Reviews (guest post)

"Palmetto Moon is a charming read. The characters make you want to hop into the book and stay with them forever. I am glad that Vada stepped out on her own. She blossomed into a good woman. There was a time of two where she did revert to being a young child like and needing assistance but luckily she had Frank there by her side. Speaking of Frank, he is such a sweetheart. He was like a giant teddy bear with a heart of gold. I had such an enjoyable time with Vada, Frank, Claire, and her boys that before I knew it I was already done reading this book in a matter of a few short hours."
-- Cheryl's Book Nook (review)

"What I really enjoyed about Palmetto Moon was the character of Vada. A strong woman who took control of her life at a time when women were not suppose to behave in such a manner.  But along with that strength was innocence which I found very refreshing, it is rare in books these days.  I totally enjoyed this book and suggest you give it a try."
-- The Road to Here (review)

"Palmetto Moon is superbly written and does a great job of bringing you along in the story. While the story takes place in the 1940′s I could actually picture them driving to Walterboro and to Augusta. The story is not rushed at all and carries a good pace. Along with that, the characters are all well written and none are presented as an afterthought. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to read her others."
-- Southeast by Midwest (review)

"Palmetto Moon is an insightful novel with a charming cast of characters. Although it is written from different perspectives, the story flows nicely with smooth transitions between the various points of view. Kim Boykin’s descriptive prose easily brings the setting and the characters vividly to life. All in all, it is a very engaging novel that has depth and substance and a wonderfully heartwarming romance."
-- Book Reviews and More by Kathy (review)

"A well written story with engaging characters and a storyline that flows easily. An easy going read for a rainy fall day. The love scenes are sweet, the characters are endearing and the storyline is a bit predictable, but interesting. Well written, you can tell the author knows her southern fiction. An enjoyable read!"
-- My Book Addiction and More (review)

Visit the official Palmetto Moon Virtual Book Publicity Tour here

Meet Me in Barcelona Virtual Book Tour Highlights

It's so sad to see our authors go, but in tribute we do a recap of the highlights of their blog tour with us at Pump Up Your Book.  Today we're highlighting Mary Carter and her Meet Me in Barcelona Virtual Book Publicity Tour.

About the Book:

A surprise trip to Barcelona with her boyfriend, Jake, seems like the perfect antidote to Grace Sawyer’s current woes.
The city is dazzling and unpredictable, but the biggest surprise for Grace is discovering who arranged and paid for the vacation.

Carrie Ann wasn’t just Grace’s foster sister. Clever, pretty, and mercurial, she was her best friend—until everything went terribly wrong. Now, as she flees an abusive marriage, Carrie Ann has turned to the one person she hopes will come through for her. Despite her initial misgivings, Grace wants to help. But then Carrie Ann and Jake both go missing. Stunned and confused, Grace begins to realize how much of herself she’s kept from Jake—and how much of Carrie Ann she never understood. Soon Grace is baited into following a trail of scant clues across Spain, determined to find the truth, even if she must revisit her troubled past to do it.

Mary Carter’s intriguing novel delves into the complexities of childhood bonds, the corrosive weight of guilt and blame, and all the ways we try—and often fail—to truly know the ones we love.

For More Information

About the Author:

Mary Carter is a freelance writer and novelist.  Meet Me in Barcelona is her eighth novel. Her other works include:  Three Months in Florence, The Things I Do For You, The Pub Across the Pond, My Sister’s Voice, Sunnyside Blues, She’ll Take It, and Accidentally Engaged.  In addition to her novels she has written six novellas: Return to Hampton Beach in the anthology, Summer Days, A Southern Christmas in the upcoming 2014 anthology Our First Christmas, A Kiss Before Midnight in the anthology, You’re Still the One, A Very Maui Christmas in the New York Times best selling anthology Holiday Magic, and The Honeymoon House in the New York Times best selling anthology Almost Home. Mary currently lives in Chicago, IL with a demanding labradoodle. She wishes she could thank her gorgeous husband, but she doesn’t have one. In addition to writing she leads writing workshops.

For More Information

Virtual Book Tour Highlights

"Within this Spanish setting, Carter crafts quite an enjoyable story. As Grace and Jake unsuspectingly take a simple vacation to Barcelona, the sudden appearance of Grace’s foster sister, Carrie Ann, draws them into an unpredictable plot. Though it starts slowly with all the initial set-up, Meet Me in Barcelona soon gains momentum and twists and turns all the way to a very dramatic conclusion. Carter kept me guessing about the childhood secrets and lurking villains, and I had fun trying to figure everything out. For anyone looking for a bit of adventure and mystery, consider Mary Carter’s Meet Me in Barcelona."
-- Book by Book (review)

"I adored this witty, romantic, adventurous, quirky book. It was just a fun read from beginning to end. Filled with discovery, overcoming your past, finding love and childhood bonds that never end keeping you engaged and enthralled from the first page till the bitter end. Packed with imagery so wonderful it transports you right into the thick of things. Personally, I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book that Mary Carter puts out. "
-- Our Families Adventure (review)

"I loved Mary Carter's Meet Me in Barcelona. Taking a prominent place on my bookshelf, Meet Me in Barcelona will be one book I read over and over. I can honestly say this book deserves more than five stars."
-- Bottles and Books Reviews (review)

"Author, Mary Carter grabs her readers from page one.  You simply can't put the book down.  The story was quite  mysterious and hard to figure it out.  The setting was so exotic.  You could almost  feel yourself being there.  This book is an absolute grabber that everyone will want to read."
-- Books, Reviews, ETC. (review) 

"I give this book 5 stars and recommend it to anyone that enjoys a great book to get drawn into and who likes to be kept guessing and being thrown off balance. It was a fun read and I think it will stay on my shelf to be read again to see if I missed any clues during this first read through."
-- My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews (review)

Visit the official Meet Me in Barcelona Virtual Book Publicity Tour here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Temple of All Knowing by Lee Papa

Title: The Temple of All Knowing
Author: Lee Papa
Publisher: WaveCloud Corporation
Pages: 186
Genre: Memoir
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

The Temple of All Knowing is a memoir of one woman’s passage from personal and professional turmoil to spiritual awakening. A compelling straight forward and sometimes humorous account of the most personal of journeys as this 40-something woman finds herself in Sin City with promise of a new life, new husband and elderly mother living with her. She instead is uncovered as a central character in the deepest of possible challenges only to break through to discover her authentic spiritual self through a near death experience and a personal mission in Soul CityLas Vegas.

Book Excerpt:

The phone rang; it was Delphine. It was a Sunday afternoon early 2008. I took the call and moved to the denim-covered glider that was in my 3-year old son’s room to have the conversation.
            My sister calling was not odd, but she opened with “Can you talk? I have an urgent message from Aunt Beatrice.” 
            My sister practices meditation in which she regularly communicates with Spirit beings and our dead relatives. In everyday conversation, Delphine would mention things like, “I spoke to Dad or Uncle John …” (both had passed), and relate a story or an emotional healing process she went through while receiving the communication. I thought this was amazing and believed in the possibility, when Delphine, or De for short, would discuss this other worldly messaging.
I would find myself having an internal dialogue debating if she was actually making this connection or was she delusional. When she would speak of something that she “received” from the Spirit world, and I would come to realize she could not have otherwise known, a fleeting twinge of jealousy peaked in the window of my subconscious. Could she really be speaking with Dad and Aunt Bea? And if she is, how come SHE is the one with this ability? I was not proud of it, but I was most definitely questioning the decision of the Universe to have Delphine be the messenger of heaven. 
            My sister was not the one of the three of us girls whom you would consider to be the “good” one or the most religious growing up, but actually to the contrary. She would have been described as the Bull in the China Shop by my mother, as the one most apt to finger point or cause trouble. Sophia, the eldest, had the first born light shining upon her by my mother and father, even though, she was what some would consider a problem child for she pushed the envelope of life in so many ways. Her antics included jumping out of the 2nd story building of our private high school to skipping class and developing the first female tackle football team in her teenage years, to much more complicated and explorative behaviors that provided my parents with reasons to call on prayer and saintly assistance. 
            Delphine was the quiet one as the middle child of our youth, until she found her voice later in her teens. She was often over-shadowed by the exuberance and manipulation of Sophia when she was being used as a co-conspirator for our eldest sister’s secretive escapades of the 1970s.  When I came around, my role of the “baby of the family” was not always appreciated by my older sisters, and as I matured, the less they liked this pedestal I was propped up on as “the good one.”
            How is she doing it?  I thought. How is De getting these messages from Aunt Bea?
            My elderly Aunt Bea had died more than 10 years earlier while in the presence of my mother, my sister, Delphine, one of my older female cousins, and me in the living room of our family home. I had lived in that house from the time I was born until I got married to my first husband, Anthony, at age 20. 
            Our house was a 3 bedroom, middle class row home in Baltimore City, Maryland. The 12 by 12 foot front room, where I grew up and where we watched TV programs on the console television that offered just three major stations for your viewing enjoyment. Although the room was small, when we were little and the family piled in to watch Sonny & Cher, it felt huge. As the entry room to our family home, I experienced most of my fond memories there. This is where we opened our Christmas gifts under our decorated 5-foot Frasier fir tree that stood seemingly tall, as if it could reach the stars on a wooden platform, to set the stage for this holiday focal point. In reality, the Christmas tree was no taller than the height I currently stand.  
            Christmas was a very special time in our Catholic family. Not overly religious, mind you, but the whole Santa Clause phenomenon was beautifully orchestrated with all the mystery and wonder that a child could hope to receive. The Christmas tree was secretly stored in the basement well of the stairs until we kids were all asleep and then my parents would work through the night to make a spectacular show of lights and hand-wrapped presents from old paper bags and twine adorned with our names scribbled on by “elves.” This was a tradition handed down from my mother’s family who grew up during the depression and fancy wrapping paper was a luxury. Christmas was magical! 
            After my parents would signal that Santa had indeed arrived, my sister Sophia and I would rush down the stairs to witness the light show of the tree, and we would tear through our presents leaving no time for individual gift lingering. Delphine, on the other hand, was not so quick; instead, she would slowly and methodically use her scissors to gently unwrap each gift with all the appreciation of an unwrapped Tiffany blue box that none of us had ever experienced. Later as we became adults, Delphine would prop herself preciously on the couch, and while filing her nails, would direct me to the spots on the tree that were missing lights and Christmas balls.
            This is the same living room where my nature-loving father would let our hamster out of the cage while directing us three children to lie on the floor and make a circular barrier with our arms. That little chubby, furry rodent was a family pet, and we loved him. My dad loved animals, so we had a bunch of them from Dutch rabbits, to hamsters, cats, and frogs - but never a dog. My mother was afraid of dogs. The hamster outing was strategically orchestrated during the time of my mother’s weekly visit to the Farmers Market in downtown Baltimore across from the corner row house where she grew up, and where several of her sisters still lived. Mom would not have tolerated such nonsense and activity on her prized oriental rug. This was the room where my Aunt Bea allowed me to lie down on the sofa when I was a child, and she would stroke my head and rub my back until I would fall asleep. She had such a loving and confident manner. I always felt safe with her. 
            My mother’s side of the family was the most involved and influential in our lives, especially Aunt Bea. She was the family matriarch, our lifeline and leader.  She was loving, intelligent, strong, certainly had her opinions, some may say controlling ones, but if it weren’t for her emotional and financial support, we and her sisters’ and brother’s families would not have had as many essentials provided for and certainly not any niceties. 
            She was a savvy businesswoman, so deferring to her made sense. For her era, Aunt Bea was super cool and open minded, rising to heights in her profession at C&P Telephone Company when women were just starting to be acknowledged in the workforce. She was a petite woman with an incredible sense of style and pep in her step that oozed confidence and excitement for the possibilities of life. It also made it difficult to walk with her as she was down the block before you had taken your first step. Aunt Bea never married, but made her siblings’ families her own. Sometimes the involvement would have been considered today as “too much.” There is usually a price to pay when you are being rescued. But I loved her and I thought she was amazing, just as my mother did.  Aunt Bea was my mother’s best friend.
            Aunt Bea believed in reincarnation before it was an accepted concept to consider openly, as this was the 1950s and 60s when my sisters and I were born. We were raised in a devout Catholic family, and such things were not dinner topics, nor was it on our radar at that time. 
            As easily as it was for me to pull up these cherished memories, it was the hope and promise that communication could continue from beyond death.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Wolf Haven by Lindsay McKenna

Title: Wolf Haven
Author: Lindsay McKenna
Publisher: Harlequin Books
Pages: 378
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

New York Times bestselling author Lindsay McKenna brings readers back to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for another gripping, edge-of-your-seat romantic suspense!

U.S. Navy nurse Skylar Pascal is struggling to regain control of her life after a traumatic crash in Afghanistan that nearly destroyed her. After losing so much, an ideal job at the Elk Horn Ranch in Wyoming offers Sky something she thought she'd never find again—hope.

Former SEAL Grayson McCoy has his own demons. But something about Elk Horn's lovely-yet-damaged new nurse Sky breaks something loose. Compassion—and passion. And even as Gray works with Sky to piece her confidence back together, something deeper and more tender begins to unfurl between them. Something that could bring her back to life.

But not even the haven of Elk Horn Ranch is safe from dangers. And all of Sky's healing could be undone by the acts of one malicious man.

Book Excerpt:

Sky Pascal moaned, tossing in her sleep on the hotel bed. Her stomach was in knots, with the pain radiating outward. She flinched and drew her legs up toward her body. The vibration of the Black Hawk helicopter sur­rounded her. She could smell the sweat from the bodies of the air crewmen on this flight to Forward Operating Base, or FOB, Charlie. The odor of the kerosene avia­tion fuel was always present.

She’d been asked to fly along with Dr. Aaron Zim­merman to take a look at an Army soldier who was thought to have appendicitis. They had been over at a different FOB when the call came in. The FOBs were only forty miles from one another, and they were the closest medical team that could respond.

Now the vibration of the Hawk skittered through her. Sky was on the metal deck of the medevac helicopter as it raced through the darkness to reach the soldier.

She was an emergency-room trained R.N. and Zim­merman, who sat near the door, was a surgeon, spe­cializing in internal medicine. Two other combat medic crewmen, whom she could not see, were nearby. The two pilots to her left were wearing night-vision goggles.

The tension was so thick it felt like a wet blanket around her hunched shoulders. Her mind raced.

She was assigned to the Army hospital at Bagram Air Base near Kabul, Afghanistan. A first lieutenant, she had three years under her belt in the U.S. Navy. It wasn’t un­usual for different military services to have personnel assigned to the huge, busy hospital. She loved her job in the E.R. Sky was good in a crisis—cool and calm. That was why Zimmerman had asked her to go with him as he visited the outlying FOBs. If he had to perform sur­gery on the spot at the FOB, he wanted someone like her with him.

But now her mouth was dry, and her heart was skip­ping beats in her chest. She was dressed in Navy fa­tigues, the “blueberries” coloring standing out starkly against others who wore desert-hued uniforms. Glad to have the forty-pound Kevlar vest on, Sky lived for mis­sions like this. They were exciting and scary as hell.

She knew there was danger with any helo flight. The Black Hawk Army pilots, who were from the black-ops Night Stalker squadron, were flying high enough so the Taliban couldn’t send grenade launchers up at them. However, the Stinger missiles were always a threat. One could blow them out of the sky regardless of their alti­tude. Sky was a knot of excitement and fear, adrenaline leaking through her bloodstream.

She couldn’t see through the darkness because she wasn’t wearing night-vision goggles. Only the four crew members were wearing NVGs. The flight wasn’t long to FOB Charlie, located three miles from the Pakistan border. There were only two platoons at the Army base.

Sky was told this particular FOB was an essential stopgap measure to halt or slow down the Taliban and al Qaeda soldiers trying to sneak into Afghanistan. FOB Charlie was an important deterrent.

Zimmerman had warned her beforehand that this would be a dangerous mission because of the FOB’s location. Sky had leaped at the chance. Maybe she was bored. But that couldn’t possibly be. She lived on the same dicey border of stress and pressure in the E.R. Night and day, men and women were brought in chewed up by the weapons of war. She felt no small amount of pride in being part of the E.R. team who helped save those lives. Now she was going to help a young soldier with appendicitis.

The sound of the engines changed on the Black Hawk. Sky felt a sudden lurch, the nose suddenly dropping. She inhaled sharply, throwing out her hand on one of the lit­ters against the wall. Wearing a helmet, she heard the tense, short exchanges between the two pilots.

Something was wrong.

She caught a whiff of what smelled like burning oil entering the cabin. Her pulse ratcheted up.

A sudden shrieking, screaming noise blasted through the cabin of the Black Hawk. The bird banked sharply right and plunged downward. It happened so fast. The thumping of the blades. Being thrown up against the skin, striking her head hard on the bulkhead, nearly los­ing consciousness. Suddenly, they were upside down. She hadn’t been able to wear the seat belt. The other crewmen were thrown around, as well. Yelling and sharp orders from the pilot filled the ears of her helmet.

They were falling out of the sky. The screeching of metal upon metal continued to shriek through the cabin.

Her mouth went dry. Sky bit back a scream. Oh, God, they were going to crash! It was some sort of mechani­cal malfunction. Her mind swam with terror. Where were they? She couldn’t see out the window! Gravity was shoving her hard against the aluminum skin of the Black Hawk. She was scared. She was going to die!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Dream in Color, Think in Black & White by Jonathan Bissell

Title: Dream in Color, Think in Black & White: How to Get Unstuck and Fulfill Your Dreams
Author: Jonathan Bissell
Publisher: High Performance Impact, LLC
Pages: 108
Genre: Self-Help/Personal Growth
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

Somewhere along the way, you had a dream that you let go of. But it hasn’t let go of you.  You're the reason this book was written.  Because dreams matter. Dreams are powerful. And sometimes dreams just won’t go away – no matter how impractical, ill-timed or financially risky they are.
This is a book about getting unstuck in your life or career. It’s about learning to dream in COLOR and think in BLACK & WHITE. There are three parts to this book: Dreaming in Color, Thinking in Black & White, and Fulfilling Your Dreams. Each part contains practical “how to” steps and examples explaining how to get unstuck and move toward your dream. The rest is up to you.
Book Excerpt:

Charlotte, North Carolina. The lake house was stunning. Right on the water, with clear views down the lake. A blue heron swooping in now and then for a landing and staking his claim to the yard, and a stillness we could never seem to capture in our small New York City apartment.
We had escaped from the City for the weekend, hoping to find rest and some answers to our deep discouragement and restlessness. And we did. Our hosts Mark and Pam, dear friends who are gifted coaches, gave us what we needed: time alone as a couple, one on one mentoring, two on two coaching, fun and games together, home cooked meals, and family time spent rowing on the lake.
Now it was the tail end of a beautiful family weekend getaway, and our friends were giving us a final parting gift. As we sat in comfortable chairs on a screened-in porch overlooking the lake, they asked us to share our dreams and hopes for the future.
But for different reasons, we struggled with this simple request. My wife’s dreams, once clear, were now obscured by the compelling realities of limited financial resources and a busy family life. As for me, I knew what I wanted, but I had no idea how to transition from where I was standing to where I wanted to be. We were both stuck, so Mark and Pam gave us permission to dream.
“This is the time for dreaming,” Mark told us. “Stop limiting your dreaming process with words like can’t and should. Deal with those realities later. Right now you just need to give yourselves permission to dream.”
Give yourself permission to dream. Setting aside words like ‘can’t’ and ‘should’ enables you to dream without limits.
Dreaming is a powerful tool. I wrote this book because I listened to Mark and gave myself permission to dream. Now I want to give that gift to you.
You may be asking yourself, “Why do I need to give myself permission to dream?” The simple answer is that permission to dream allows you to put the color back into your dreams, and to put the black and white back into your rational thinking.
Let me explain…
Most of your dreams from childhood never got fully unwrapped, never made their way completely out of the box. As a child, you may have been told to “stop daydreaming” and “face up to reality”. Boundaries were set for you. Rules for dreaming were established.
As you internalized these boundaries and rules, you became your own dream enforcer. Gradually your dreams became elusive, and reality, rules and boundaries began to crowd out your big ideas. And as your unique, outlandish dreams became more limited by words such as can’t and should, they slowly lost their color and you began to dream in black and white.
But this is not just a book about dreaming and thinking. It’s a book about Dreaming in Color, then Thinking in Black and White. About getting unstuck, then staying unstuck.
Dreaming in Color is dreaming without rules or boundaries. With full permission. With words and ideas from your heart! With pure imagination. Thinking in Black and White is rational, strategic thinking. With clear steps. With wise counsel. With practical, actionable solutions.
When you Dream in Color before you Think in Black and White, your capacity to unleash your imagination will increase and your ability to think rational, strategic thoughts will become stronger. You will remove your self-imposed limits on dreaming, and you will bring your dreams to fruition.
Dream first. Dreaming before planning increases
your ability to be fully imaginative and to
think rationally and strategically.
Dreaming as an adult comes with rules and boundaries, but they are rules of your own making. You are your own dream enforcer! To get off the ground – to get unstuck – you must give yourself permission to dream in color, without boundaries or rules. Without the words “can’t” or “should”.
Leverage your power as an adult. Exercising your right
to dream changes the rules and boundaries of
your dreaming process.
Are you ready to take this step? Or are you willing to stay stuck? If you’d like to come along with me on this journey, make this promise to yourself before you go any further:
“I, _________________________ (go ahead, write your name!), hereby give myself permission to dream in color.” 
Now that you’ve completed Assignment 1: Give Yourself Permission, you’re almost ready to move on to Chapter 2, called “Show Then Tell”. This next chapter will help you re-learn to dream in color, just as you did as a child, but with the power of an adult to make your dream real!
Before you move on to Chapter 2, there’s one more thing you need to do for yourself: You need to give yourself a deadline. It may sound strange to combine giving yourself permission to dream with giving yourself a deadline, but it will actually give you the freedom you need to fully dream because you know that it has a definite end.
Give yourself a deadline to complete the dreaming process. Taking a set period of time to fully dream gives you freedom to begin and end the dreaming process.
Let me give you a personal example. I used to work as a public school teacher in eastern Japan. One morning, after four years of living there, I woke up with a consuming question on my mind: How was I going to pack all my things and move? I had had no such thoughts even up to the day before, but I woke up that morning knowing with absolute certainty that it was time to leave. And the more I thought about it, I knew it was the right decision.
My life had become too comfortable. I had learned to meet the challenges of everyday life in a different language and culture, and I was simply coasting along. I intuitively knew that if I didn’t leave, I was going to get stuck in a comfortable life and miss out on an amazing life beyond the borders of my comfort zone.
Move out of your comfort zone. Getting unstuck from your comfortable life enables you to have an amazing life.
Once I was clear that it was time to leave, I felt free to begin dreaming. So I gave myself a deadline of several months to dream of the type of life I wanted to live beyond Japan. By the end of this time period I was amazed at how much clearer my dream had become, and I realized that the deadline had kept me motivated and on target. I was then able to move into the thinking and planning phase at an accelerated speed, and one year later I left Japan to start graduate school in New York City.
Now it’s your turn. But before you turn the page, do yourself a favor and complete Assignment 2: Give Yourself a Deadline. Just go ahead and enter a date on your calendar, with a note next to it that says, “Deadline 1: Finish Dreaming in Color.” Once you’ve completed this assignment, it’s time to move on to Chapter 2, Show Then Tell.
Here’s a quick recap of the assignments you’ve completed in Chapter One. Write the date completed next to each assignment to track your progress.
Assignment 1:          Give Yourself Permission     
                   Date Completed: ___/___/______.
Assignment 2:          Give Yourself a Deadline
                   Date Completed: ___/___/______.         
                   Deadline Date:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

PUYB Virtual Book Club Chats with Thriller Author William R. Leibowitz

William R. Leibowitz has been practicing entertainment/media law in New York City for a number of years.  He has represented numerous renowned recording artists, songwriters, producers and many of the leading record companies, talent managers, merchandisers and other notable entertainment businesses.  At one point, he was the Chief Operating Officer/General Counsel for the Sanctuary Group of Companies, a U.K. public company that was the largest ‘indie’ music company in the world (prior to its acquisition by the Universal Music Group). 

William has a Bachelor of Science degree from New York University (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and a law degree from Columbia University.  He lives in the village of Quogue, New York with his wife, Alexandria, and dog, George. 

William wrote Miracle Man because of its humanistic and spiritual messages and because he feels that in our current times – when meritless celebrity has eclipsed accomplishment and the only heroes are those based on comic books, the world needs a real hero –and that, of course, is Robert James Austin, the protagonist in Miracle Man. Miracle Man won Best Thriller in the National Pacific Book Awards.
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About the Book:


The victim of an unspeakable crime, an infant rises to become a new type of superhero. 

Unlike any that have come before him, he is not a fanciful creation of animators, he is real. 

So begins the saga of Robert James Austin, the greatest genius in human history.  But where did his extraordinary intelligence come from?

As agents of corporate greed vie with rabid anti-Western radicals to destroy him, an obsessive government leader launches a bizarre covert mission to exploit his intellect.  Yet Austin’s greatest fear is not of this world.

Aided by two exceptional women, one of whom will become his unlikely lover, Austin struggles against abandonment and betrayal.  But the forces that oppose him are more powerful than even he can understand. 

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Welcome to the book club, William!  I’d like to start off by talking about your new book, Miracle Man.  This is a cross genre thriller.  What other genres could it be categorized under?
William:  Well, it’s definitely a thriller.  The genres within that category would be:  psychological, medical, superhero and spiritual.
Can you tell us a little about your main character, Robert James Austin?
William:   Austin possesses an extraordinary intelligence the likes of which has never previously existed.  We’re talking about someone with 10X the intelligence of Einstein.  He’s a highly complex person, both psychologically and spiritually, and begins in his
childhood to suffer intense nightmares and to fall into prolonged trances –conditions that continually get worse as he gets older and makes progress in his quest to cure diseases.  His extraordinary intelligence and relatively undeveloped social skills are self-isolating.  Nevertheless, he yearns to be loved. In fact, there is a very powerful love story in Miracle Man that readers have really latched on to.
What are his strengths and what are his weaknesses?
William:  Aside from his intelligence, his strengths are his laser-like focus and ability to concentrate on his work to the exclusion of all else.  His other great strength is his spirituality;  his extreme intelligence has not excluded him from a deep belief in God and in the struggle of good against evil—not just on a temporal plane, but metaphysically. His weaknesses are in many ways the flip-side of his strengths; he is an obsessive compulsive worker and manic in his suppression of other aspects of life, all to the detriment of his physical and mental well-being. 
Can you tell us a little about the other characters?
William:   There are several antagonists, but one of the most interesting is Column McAllister, the CEO of a major pharmaceuticals company.  He is obsessed with stopping Austin from curing diseases because each time Austin does so, one of McAllister’s “cash-cow” symptom -treatment drugs becomes obsolete.  McAllister is a sinister and highly resourceful politically connected “Big Pharma” magnate.

Orin Varneys, is the head of two U.S. government agencies that interact with Austin throughout Miracle Man.  The first of these is the OSSIS (Office of Special Strategic Intelligence Services), which discovers, nurtures, educates and then seeks to direct and control Austin as it views him as an “intelligence weapon.”  Ultimately, Varneys rises to become head of the CIA and in that capacity he hatches a bizarre plan to exploit Austin.

Christina Moore, is a beautiful and extremely intelligent PHD of mathematics, with a tragic past.  She becomes Austin’s love interest.
Where and when was this book set?
William: The book is predominantly set in New England –although Washington DC and New York City are also prominently featured.
I understand that when writing your book, you researched the lives of actual geniuses so that you could understand how genius manifests itself at various ages.  Can you go into this a little more?
William:  Even though Robert James Austin is an entirely superior class to any genius who ever lived –i.e., 10X the intelligence of Einstein, Newton, DaVinci or anyone else, I wanted Miracle Man to be realistic in its portrayal and description of the indicia of genius at various ages-and how genius is identified and quantified.  I read the biographies and studies of known geniuses and from this I understood what was “real” –--I then “pumped up” the actual realities to reflect the fact that Austin was in a completely different league from the people whom I researched.
I read some time ago that there were cures for diseases but that they wouldn’t allow this to happen because it would put the pharmaceutical companies out of business which really irks me.  Is there anything we can do about it?
William:  I think this is a real problem that confronts us. One of the powerful forces fighting Austin is “Big Pharma” which views Austin as their enemy since he cures diseases and thereby makes many of their “cash-cow” drugs obsolete.  Like Austin, I find it incomprehensible that virtually no major disease has been cured in over 50 years.  How can that be the case when so much money has been spent over the decades on research?  Simply put, there’s a lot more money in treating symptoms than there is in curing diseases.  Austin realized that Big Pharma has no interest in curing diseases.  It just wants to keep on selling expensive symptom treatments –and as we know, many people are on ‘medication maintenance programs’ for years, sometimes for life.  Austin wanted to change that.  I think that people need to start questioning Big Pharma on a host of issues ---from the astronomical cost of drugs –to the question-- “Where are the cures?”  Of course, one of the very big problems is that Big Pharma employs a huge lobby in Washington DC to bribe politicians and regulators to do things their way.  Like everything else, America’s health is for sale in Washington.
Do you have any plans to turn this into a series?  If not, what’s next for you?
William:  The ending of Miracle Man hints at a sequel and in fact, many readers have been writing to me calling for one.  I’ve already begun to sketch out the plot line—and all I can say is that #2 will have many surprises in store for readers, as things aren’t always as they may initially appear.  Ultimately, I view the saga of Robert James Austin as a trilogy.