Category Archives: Guest Authors

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VBT – Wheels Up

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About the Author

Jeanine Kitchel, a former journalist, escaped her hectic nine-to-five life in San Francisco, bought land, and built a house in a fishing village on the Mexican Caribbean coast. Shortly after settling in she opened a bookstore. By this time she had become a serious Mayaphile and her love of the Maya culture led her and her husband to nearby pyramid sites throughout southern Mexico and farther away to sites in Central America. In the bookstore she entertained a steady stream of customers with their own Maya tales to tell—from archeologists and explorers to tour guides and local experts. At the request of  a publisher friend, she began writing travel articles about her adopted homeland for websites and newspapers. Her travel memoir, Where the Sky is Born: Living in the Land of the Maya, and Maya 2012 Revealed: Demystifying the Prophecy, are available on Amazon. She has since branched into writing fiction and her debut novel, Wheels Up—A Novel of Drugs, Cartels and Survival, launched May 2018.

Jeanine Kitchel

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS
WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK (Personal) | FACEBOOK (Page)

About the Book

Title: WHEELS UP: A NOVEL OF DRUGS, CARTELS, AND SURVIVAL
Author: Jeanine Kitchel
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 294
Genre: Thriller

Wheels Up

BOOK BLURB

Layla always wanted to run the family business. But is she willing to kill for it?
When her notorious drug lord uncle is recaptured, Layla Navarro catapults to the top of Mexico’s most powerful cartel. Groomed as his successor, Layla knows where the bodies are buried. But not all the enemies. She strikes her first deal to prove her mettle by accepting an offer to move two tons of cocaine from Colombia to Cancun by jet. Things go sideways during a stopover in Guatemala whe Layla unexpectedly uncovers a human trafficking ring. Plagued by self-doubt, she must fight off gangsters, outsmart corrupt officials, and navigate the minefield of Mexican machismo. Even worse, she realizes she’s become a target for every rival cartel seeking to undermine her new standing. From her lush base in the tropics, she’s determined to retain her dominant position in Mexico’s criminal world. If she can stay alive.

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Book Excerpt

Chapter 1
Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Present Day
The Gulfstream jet, loaded with two tons of Colombian cocaine, careened over dense Yucatan jungle as Layla stared out the compact window, horrified. If they weren’t running on empty and destined to crash, it might have looked lush to her, even beautiful.
Without fuel, the engines starved into silence, she heard only the whooshing sound of the aluminum plane as it cruised over mangrove swamps and fast-approaching mahogany trees. All thoughts of her hasty departure from Guatemala to escape Don Guillermo’s wrath had vanished along with any hopes of safely landing in Cancun. They were going down.
Layla gripped the armrests, dropped her head between her knees, and prepared for the worst.
#
Three weeks earlier, Layla was sitting at the crowded bar in Bucanero’s Cantina in Ensenada, on Mexico’s west coast, while she waited for Clay Lasalle, Canada’s biggest pot dealer, to show up. Carlos, her bodyguard and sometime lover, was with her, but rather than relieving the stress, his overbearing presence just added to the pressure.
With the recent recapture and imprisonment of El Patrón, her notorious uncle, Layla had catapulted to the top of the Culiacan Cartel as his replacement. Now she was facing her first deal without her uncle’s guiding hand. To calm her jitters she resorted to the one thing that never failed her: tequila shots.
“Don Julio, por favor!” Layla called to the paunchy bartender over the clamor of the rowdy, alcohol-fueled crowd—mostly tourists in shorts and Hawaiian shirts. Above the polished mahogany bar a framed poster-sized photo showed a nude blonde being ushered out of the century-old watering hole by two Mexican policia. Of course it’s a gringa, Layla thought, Mexicans treaded more carefully in shark-infested waters. She waved a two-hundred-peso note as the bartender passed by with a tray of margaritas.
“Momentito!” he promised.
Carlos stepped away just as she downed her second shot. Though he’d given her his “cuidado” or “be careful” look before heading to the restroom, she ignored it. When a handsome gringo sat next to her and started talking, she was all in.
By the time Carlos returned, Layla was too busy chatting with her neighbor to worry about her bodyguard’s glare. Carlos hated outsiders as much as seeing her drink, but she needed to chill. Tequila shots and flirting were a mindless diversion. The agave centered her, allowing her to distract herself without losing her edge before the meeting.
“You’re from Chicago?” she asked. “I’ve been there.”
The man gazed at the dark-haired Latina by his side. “What did you think?”
She gave a dismissive shrug. “Too cold.” Her intelligent almond-shaped eyes were the color of charcoal. “I prefer Mexico.” A sardonic smile highlighted her cheekbones, making her face even more appealing.
Layla turned back toward her bodyguard and focused on the shot glass the bartender placed in front of her. Poor Carlos. Coming to Baja always rattled him. It wasn’t only the jaw-breaking drive from Culiacan on dodgy Mexican roads. It was Ensenada—far from the safety of Sinaloa, well out of their comfort zone. But for Layla, Bucanero’s Cantina qualified as northern Baja’s one saving grace. The dive bar brought back memories of her wild, reckless early years. At thirty-five, Layla still had plenty of the right stuff. Her five-foot-six frame seemed mostly legs and Carlos’s rare compliments always focused on her tiny waist. She emphasized her striking physique by wearing low-cut tops but her most notable feature was the cascade of curly dark hair that spilled over her shoulders.
She downed her last tequila shot, scooted off the wooden bar stool a step ahead of Carlos and moved towards the empty dining room. The cantina was not the best place for a meeting, but it suited their needs: an easy landmark near the border with a back room for business. Layla slipped into the barely lit room, accepted a menu from the waiter, and handed him a two-hundred-peso note.
“Our associate arrives soon. We need privacy. Close the restaurant,” she ordered. “Your manager knows.”
He nodded, pocketed the bill, and turned towards the kitchen.
Layla walked across the worn wooden floor to a corner table in the back. She took a deep breath to steady herself before sitting down. Things would escalate into a full-scale argument once Carlos reached the table. She could already hear him scolding, “Bosses keep to themselves, especially in public.”
When Carlos had a bad day, everyone had a bad day. He could easily vie for title of most miserable man on the planet. Too bad the sex was so good. Hijole! He had the body of a male model but two sizes larger, with café au lait skin. So handsome, but so disagreeable. Granted she shouldn’t have given that gringo the time of day, but tequila made her bold.
Layla opened the menu, waiting for her bodyguard’s interrogation to begin.
Carlos banged a cheap wooden chair against the table before sitting down. “What the hell do you care about Chicago? It’s not Madrid, not even Barcelona! That guy was boring! Are you so starved for conversation you have to talk to a gringo?”
Layla silently perused the bill of fare.
“I’ve had it,” he said, his voice rising. “I’m tired of my life. Am I just your bodyguard and nothing more? Everyone, everyone, told me to keep it strictly business, even your uncle. But I didn’t listen. I thought it would be that one drunken one night stand, and now I’m fucking chained to you because of this goddamn job!”
His powerful hands clenched into fists as he rubbed them over his knees. “If only I could’ve left you in Guadalajara. But I’d have never made it out of the city before taking a bullet from your uncle.”
That was accurate: You didn’t quit the cartel, the cartel quit you. She looked at the menu, avoiding eye contact, glad the waiter hadn’t yet returned. “Should we order?”
He glared at her. “Are you acting like this conversation isn’t happening? Do you want me to walk out of here, meeting or no meeting?”
Best not to test him. He’d do it, and then she’d be without a bodyguard. The drone of his voice, the bullying, started to sink in. Chinga! She had no trouble working the cartel mob, but Carlos ran her. He was as overbearing as her two brothers. Reynoldo who should have been running the cartel had died trying, and Martín, her other brother, wasn’t up to the task. Now with one brother and two cousins dead, Layla found herself atop the Culiacan Cartel.
She looked up and said in as soothing a tone as possible, “Carlos, let’s not fight, okay? We’re here for business. I need you with me. You’re not only the man who protects me. I love you.”
She did love him, though his bad attitude and barking complaints—usually aimed at her—were tiresome. He shifted his perfectly-proportioned body forward, staring at her with eyes she’d been lost in a hundred times. He surprised her by grabbing her hand, a little harder than necessary. They never touched in public.
“After this meeting, we’ll talk about you and me.” He scowled. “I don’t know why you drink so much—and with strangers.”
These macho men! “Okay, okay. I’ll let up on the shots. One last Pacifico while we wait.”
The waiter came and they ordered. She checked her watch, 10 p.m. Lasalle would be showing up soon. She’d met him once before in Miami and sparks had flown—there was no denying they had chemistry.
Layla changed topics. “So, what does he want?”
“Chinga! Who cares?”
She backpedaled. “Carlos…”
He gave her a cold look but couldn’t hold back his opinion. “Routes for coke or pot.”
The meal went smoothly. Layla pushed an enchilada around her plate and watched Carlos demolish an order of chilaquiles, three tamales, and a couple chicken enchiladas. As he piled it in, a rare calm settled over him. He was well into his second beer when Clay walked into the restaurant. Layla saw him first, but Carlos looked up the moment Clay crossed the threshold. As a bodyguard, Carlos’s instincts were flawless.
The thirty-something Canadian smuggler was six feet two, a looker with brown shaggy hair and an easy smile. Though his frame was solid, almost hefty, he moved like a cat. Spotting Layla, he gave a nod as his long strides brought him across the room.
He let his knuckles graze the table as he flashed her a warm smile. “Layla, it’s been a long time. Good to see you again. And this is…”
“Carlos.”
“Carlos, hola. Clay.” The Canadian extended a hand.
Carlos rose from the booth. “A pleasure.” He spoke in Spanish. “I’ll be close by,” he said to Layla.
“Have a seat.” Layla slid over to allow room for Clay. Not much had changed about the northern grower since she last saw him—still that laidback air even though he controlled the lion’s share of Canada’s pot sales.
“Something to eat?” Layla continued in English, though she knew Clay spoke passable Spanish.
He shook his head. “Just a Pacifico.” She gestured toward her beer and the hovering waiter sprung into action.
“Long drive?”
“Not bad. Been waiting long?” Clay asked.
“No.”
They silently watched the waiter set down the bottle of beer and retreat from the room.
“Salud,” said Clay, raising his bottle. “Layla, I’m glad you could meet with me. I’ll get right to the point. I want a partner to move a couple tons of coke to Cancun by air—a regular run. I heard you lost a yacht recently, so a partnership could work out well for both of us.”
How did Lasalle know about the navy seizing their yacht?
“Cocaine…”
“Boats are fine, but flying’s faster and we can carry more. Plus I’m dealing directly with FARC. Gotta hand it to ’em. For a guerrilla army in the Colombian jungle, they know how to run those cocaine fincas. And we can get better prices from them than anyone’s gotten before.”
He took a swig of beer.
“Interesting,” she said without emotion. “How will you manage those good prices?”
“A combined order with you.” He paused and waited for her reaction.
She said nothing.
“The airport manager’s on board,” he said, “Already allowed some of my flights through.”
She leaned back against the worn naugahyde booth, settling into the game of cat and mouse. “What kind of planes?”
“A Gulfstream and a DC-9.”
Layla raised an eyebrow. “Who owns them?”
“A couple guys in Lauderdale run a shield for drug planes by providing American registration to the cartels. It’s complicated—big money down, more than what the plane’s worth. In return these guys maintain the plane registration, and hire Vietnam vets to do the cartel runs.”
She nodded.
“If the plane’s seized, the pilots deny responsibility. These hooked-up guys can reclaim the plane because their corporation holds the lien,” Clay said.
Layla slid forward, placed her elbows on the table and picked at the label on the empty beer bottle in front of her. “How can they do that? Someone must hold the original papers.”
“They disguise ownership by sheep-dipping it—you know, a fake identity—and pass it on to straw owners. It’s a slick process, an old scheme used by the CIA.”
“The CIA? Come on, Clay,” she said with a slight frown. Do I look naïve? She flipped her dark hair over one shoulder. Clay’s gaze shifted to Layla’s long elegant neck.
He caught himself, looked away, and readjusted his long legs under the table before speaking. “These vets couriered traffickers from Colombia to Miami for the CIA. Talk about walking the line. They did time for trafficking, but they’re back, and they’re hotshot pilots.”
“Your shipments came in with no problem?” Layla asked.
“Like I said, I have connections, and the players, they’ve worked it out.”
“Does that include the Gulf Cartel?”
He nodded.
“Hmm. I’ve got to think things through,” Layla said. “When’s your next run?”
“Got a few details to sort out. I hear you’re growing the European market—this’ll get you a lot closer to that trip across the pond.”
Layla gave him a cool smile. “If I didn’t know better I’d think you were spying on me.”
“Layla,” Clay said with a chuckle. “I’m just trying to keep up with you.”
She looked at him a second too long before she continued. “Can I get back to you?”
“Sure.” Clay finished off his beer. “Let me know where and when.”
#
Layla and Carlos left Ensenada immediately after the meeting, heading out on the road to Culiacan. Carlos high-powered the black SUV through the moonless night while Layla closed her eyes and imagined the impact of bringing in new business on her own. In a four hundred billion dollar global industry, she could begin to stake out her territory.
“By working with us, FARC will see Clay as a real player,” she confided to Carlos.
“Basta! Always business!” Carlos said, still in a huff.
Layla composed herself before responding. “Yes, it is. Business that allows you to drive a new Escalade, wear expensive suits and five thousand peso boots, and drink Don Julio and Dom Perignon. Let me remind you: My uncle’s in prison and he’s left me in charge. Get used to it!”
She leaned against the window, pulling as far away from Carlos as possible. Always fighting. She turned her attention to the darkness outside. It was a lonely two-lane road, not used much even in the daytime. Though she couldn’t make out the mountains that surrounded them she knew they were there.
They rode in silence, absorbed in separate thoughts. Carlos concentrated on dodging potholes. Layla contemplated moving powder with Clay.
The rules were changing and in this game they all had to stay ahead of the curve. She was anxious to run the idea by El Patrón. But they had a long drive ahead.

Guest Post

Why I Decided to Write Fiction

I write about Mexico, the Maya and the Yucatán. I’ve always loved Mexico. It was my home for 15 years and once I moved there and opened my bookstore, there were just too many untold stories that needed telling.

At first I was cajoled into writing by a publisher who wandered into the shop one day and started quizzing me on various pyramid sites and eventually got around to asking how I ended up there, pretty much the middle of nowhere—a fishing village on the Mexican Caribbean coast. He asked me to write an occasional column about Mexico life for his publication and I obliged. As a former journalist with two non-fiction books under my belt, travel articles were an easy assignment.

But after my last book, I realized I could reach a wider audience by writing fiction, and still discuss big ticket issues. Now, in 2018, I’ve watched the creeping dominance of Mexico cartels for more than a decade. Living in Mexico gave me an insider’s view to the damage being done and the effect the cartels have on every level of society.

Speaking and reading the language is an immense benefit. If I missed a bit of gossip, Mexican papers provided the back story—they’re newsy but a strange combination of fluff and gore. During my early years in Mexico, locals feared the Russian mafia. That idea may seem quaint, but it was a real thing. That worry fell to the wayside when cartels entered the picture. Primarily centered inland or on the west coast, Cancun’s treasure trove of tourist dollars beckoned. Though relatively safe—as are all major Mexican tourist destinations— a sleeping giant lies nearby. How could I not write about it?
—Jeanine Kitchel, author Wheels Up—A Novel of Cartels, Drugs and Survival

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VBT – A MATCH FOR THE MARQUESS

tourbanner_A Match for the Marquess

A Match for the Marquess
by Lillian Marek

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GENRE: Historical Romance (Regency)

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teaser_A Match for the Marquess

BLURB:

Decisions, decisions…

Should Lady Anne Milhaven marry the wealthy and handsome young marquess, or should she resign herself to living out her life in poverty and disgrace, exiled from the world she was born to?

Should Philip Tremaine, the new Marquess of Penworth, redeem his honor and marry the proud and beautiful earl’s daughter whom he has unintentionally compromised, or should he prove himself as dissolute as his contemptible family?

They are not fools, but marriage is only the beginning. Now can they learn to work together and thwart the vile plots of their scheming relatives?

A Match for the Marquess is the prequel to the Victorian Adventures series.

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Match for the Marquess LM EBook Cover 2

EXCERPT

“That’s enough from you, Anne,” Mrs. Craddock snapped. “I should not have bothered asking you. You’ve always been jealous of Corinne. Now go to your room, and the next time I see you, I want you to be wearing your cap. And what have you done to that dress? Put on one of the others. Remember what you owe to our charity.”

Penworth had had enough. His wife-to-be was not going to be disparaged in his hearing. And she certainly wasn’t going to put that hideous cap back on her head.

He stepped into the room and struck a dramatic pose with his arms outflung. “Beloved,” he exclaimed, “our troubles are at an end!”

“My lord?” Anne spoke uncertainly.

“I knew that once he saw you again, the earl would love you as I do. He has agreed to our marriage, and the wedding can take place at once.” Penworth stepped quickly to her side and drew her into his arms. “Oh my darling, tell me that you share my delight.”

Anne looked up at him, and he saw the shock in her eyes change to uncertainty and then to amusement. “Oh, my lord,” she said, “my joy is equal to your own.”
At that Philip gave a shout of laughter. She was indeed quick-witted, and he doubted that her aunt could recognize the sardonic note in her voice. He pulled her close and kissed her soundly.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links

When she retired after too many years in journalism, Lillian Marek felt a longing for happy endings and stories where the good guys win and the bad guys get their just deserts. Having exhausted her libraryís supply of non-gory mystery stories, she started reading romance novels, especially historical romance. This was so much fun that she thought sheíd like to try her hand at writing one. So she took her computer keyboard in hand, slipped back into the 19th century, and began.

She was rightówriting romance novels is as much fun as reading them.

Website: http://www.lillianmarek.com

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLillianMarek

https://twitter.com/lillianmarek
Buy links:

https://books2read.com/u/4AYwBe

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Lillian Marek will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

VBT – Rescued by the Captain

TourBanner_Rescued By the Captain

Rescued by the Captain
by Laura A. Barnes

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GENRE: Historical Romance

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BLURB:

Abandoned at sea
When Ivy Mallory awakens; she finds herself on the ship of the man who rejected her love years earlier. While he was away working for the Crown, she embraced the London Seasons trying to forget him. Caught in the middle of a treason plot; she must help save her brother. To do so she needs to put her trust in the one man who can protect her. But can she protect her heart from loving him again?

Found at sea
Captain Marcus Thornhill never imagined he would find a lady floating unconscious in a lifeboat out in the middle of the open sea. But it wasn’t any lady, it was Ivy. Seven years earlier he rejected her love for a life at sea. As he rescues her he gets involved in a treason plot that will bring the war to their beloved shores of England. As he unravels the plot he is unable to deny his desire for her. Is he too late in saving her and the love he has for her?

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Teaser_Rescued By the Captain

EXCERPT

Thorn stood at the bow of his ship ‘My Hedera’ starring out into the dark night, lost in his deep thoughts. The brigantine dipped and swayed into the huge waves that rocked the sea. Dark storm clouds stretched across the skies blending into the black sea. None of the stars lighted the sky tonight; because the heavens had opened for a fierce storm. As he ran his fingers through his long, dark, wet hair he brought them down to his sides, fisting his hands in anger. The storm was nothing compared to the turmoil of emotions that were running through him.

“Captain, do you think it is her?” Sammy his first mate shouted to be heard above the thunder as he twisted his hat in between his hands.

“I don’t know Sammy, I don’t know.” Thorn whispered into the storm.

Marcus Thornhill, Thorn to his friends continued starring out into the dark night. He knew it was her; he just didn’t want to admit to it. While trying to get control of his anger he tried to figure out who would have done such an awful thing to her. Before he returned to her he needed to be calm. He was angrier with himself than with anyone else. If he would have come home sooner, he could have prevented something like this from happening.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

AuthorPhoto_LauraBarnes

I have always dreamed of being an aspiring author. I am making my dreams come true, one word at a time. When I am not writing, I am spending time with my family. I love reading books on lazy afternoons, and late into the night. Anytime really. Married 28 years to the love of my life and we have three wonderful children and two sweet grandbabies. Besides writing, I have always wanted to travel. In the last few years we have gotten our passport stamped in England and Scotland. We are hoping to add Italy to the list soon.

Links
http://www.lauraabarnes.com
Amazon: amazon.com/author/lauraabarnes
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16332844.Laura_A_Barnes
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLauraA.Barnes/
Lulu: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/lauraabarnes
Twitter: https://twitter.com/labarnesauthor
Book+Main Bites: https://bookandmainbites.com/LauraABarnes
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/laura-a-barnes

Rescued By the Captain – Sale Links

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Rescued-Captain-Laura-Barnes-ebook/dp/B01NCWCDP7/

Kobo Link: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/rescued-by-the-captain
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/rescued-by-the-captain/id1194175441?mt=11

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rescued-by-the-captain-laura-a-barnes/1125516477?ean=9781365606502

Lulu Link: http://www.lulu.com/shop/laura-a-barnes/rescued-by-the-captain/ebook/product-23023095.html

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Laura_A_Barnes_Rescued_By_the_Captain?id=XL7oDQAAQBAJ

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Laura A. Barnes will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $10 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Release Blitz – The Heart of Aleppo

About the Book

Title: The Heart of Aleppo

Author: Ammar Habib

Genre: Young Adult / Coming of Age / Contemporary

Page Count: 235

After standing for over 7,000 years, Aleppo’s ruin came overnight. Separated from his family during the night the rebels attacked the city, thirteen-year-old Zaid Kadir is lost in the middle of a war zone. Alongside his friends, he is forced to survive the dangers of a civil war he does not even fully understand. Zaid witnesses the destruction of the brutal Syrian Civil War as it grows more deadly by the day and rips his city apart. However, as he braves this destruction, as he desperately tries to survive this catastrophe, he discovers something. Zaid realizes that it is in the darkest hours when humanity’s spirit of hope burns brightest.

Links

Goodreads

Amazon

About the Author

Ammar Habib is a bestselling and award-winning author who was born in Lake Jackson, Texas in 1993. Ammar enjoys crafting stories that are not only entertaining but will also stay with the reader for a long time. Ammar presently resides in his hometown with his family, all of whom are his biggest fans. He draws his inspiration from his family, imagination, and the world around him.

Social Media

Website:www.ammarahsenhabib.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ammarahsenhabib

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmmarAHabib1

@AmmarAHabib1

Blog: www.ammarhabibblog.wordpress.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Ammar_Habib

Instagram: https://instagram.com/ammar.a.habib/

@Ammar.A.Habib

Giveaway

In conjunction with the release of The Heart of Aleppo, Ammar is running a giveaway from July 26th to August 3rd. The prize of the giveaway is a signed copy of his national award-winning novel, Memories of My Future. Memories of My Future is a historical/inspirational novel that was published in 2016. It received several accolades after its release, including the Independent Press Award in May 2017.

Go here to visit the giveaway!

 

Why Ammar wrote The Heart of Aleppo:

I personally believe that the Syrian Civil War is one of this generation’s greatest tragedies. With the way it is proceeding, it’ll be remembered by future generations in the same manner that we remember the Rwandan genocide and the Bosnian War of the 1990s.

The motivation for writing The Heart of Aleppo was simple: I wished to bring more global attention to this crisis. Although the characters are fictitious, this novel accurately depicts the events that transpired in Aleppo during the summer of 2012. I hope that reading this will lead readers to have a greater understanding of the plight those in Syria face, as well as those in other war-torn regions. If this work helps garner more attention for those in Syria, then I will have considered this project a success.

In an over-politicized world, my wish is for this work to humanize those we call “refugees”. The Heart of Aleppo is not about the politics of the Syrian Civil War or any other conflict. Its aim is not to convince readers to support any faction or political party. Instead, this story is about the unbreakable spirit of humanity. It is about how humanity often shows its true strength during the darkest times.

I truly hope that these themes of hope and strength will resonate with readers. I know that simply writing this The Heart of Aleppo changed me as a person, and it made me more aware of everything that transpires in the world around me. Although the world will never be perfect, I believe that if we keep our faith in the human spirit and keep striving to always better ourselves and those around us, then we can create a little piece of heaven on earth.

Writing Playlist for The Heart of Aleppo

  1. “Sadness and Sorrow”

Youtube

  1. “Sound of Hugh Glass”

Youtube

  1. “Despair”

Youtube

  1. “Man of the World”

Youtube

First excerpt from The Heart of Aleppo:

Two days before Nabeel leaves for the last time, I find him standing at the kitchen counter with his friend, Zakariah. I don’t know his rank, but Zakariah serves directly under Nabeel in the army and only lives two miles down the road. The two of them always seem to be on leave at the same time.

Their voices are low, almost secretive, but I catch the look in Nabeel’s eye. Except back then, I didn’t recognize it.

“What are you guys talking about?”

Seeing me enter and hearing my voice, they both look my way before exchanging glances. That gleam in Nabeel’s eyes disappears.

I excitedly run up to the two of them. “Tell me!”

Nabeel looks back down at me as he stops leaning against the counter. Reaching down, he ruffles my hair. “You’re too young to know about that, Zaid.”

“Aww, what’s that about? I’m not part of the group now—”

My brother playfully flicks me on the forehead as he crouches down a little. “I’m sorry, buddy. Maybe next time.”

“You’re always saying that.”

Zakariah laughs as he comes closer to me. He puts his hand on my shoulder. “That’s just not fair, Nabeel. You’re a horrible brother for leaving Zaid out like that.”

I see a concerned expression momentarily wash over Nabeel’s face.

However, Zakariah glances up at Nabeel and shoots him a quick wink as he continues. “Why don’t I just tell you then?”

My eyes light up. “Really! You’re the best, Zakariah.”

Coming to his knees, he puts his arm around my shoulders and leans close, acting as if he is about to tell me the world’s biggest secret. “You see, Zaid, your brother and I were having a discussion about which one of us would win in a wrestling match. We all know that I’m stronger, but he just won’t admit it.” He sighs and shakes his head as he looks back at Nabeel. “But you agree with me, don’t you, Zaid?”

I don’t hesitate to respond. “No way!”

He moves his head back in surprise. “Huh?”

“Sure you’re pretty strong, but my brother would beat you!”

Zakariah is slow to reply, taken aback by the statement. “C’mon, Zaid. You do realize that I’m older than him—”

“Age has nothing to do with it, Zakariah! My brother was the school’s wrestling champion. He wouldn’t lose to you.” I whip my head to look back at Nabeel. “Right, big brother?”

Nabeel is slightly smiling now.

With a chuckle, Zakariah rises back to his feet. “Alright, alright. Well, I best be off, Nabeel. We can finish our little discussion next time.”

Nabeel shakes his hand. “Give my greetings to your folks.”

“I will.” Zakariah grabs my shoulder and gives it a squeeze. “See you, Zaid—no, sorry: Dr. Zaid.”

Did he really just call me that? How did he know?

Hearing Zakariah’s footsteps grow faint, I turn back to Nabeel. He opens the fridge door and rummages through it.

“You told him?” I ask.

Nabeel doesn’t look my way. “I tell everyone.”

I watch him pull out a pound of chicken meat rolled up in brown paper as he turns back to me.

“Aisha is visiting her parents tonight and Abbi and Ummi are having dinner with friends. So looks like it’ll just be you and me.” Nabeel shoots me a wink. “I’m going to make some shwarma for dinner. Just the way you like it: tomatoes, lettuce, onions, lots of chicken, and even more spices.” He starts setting the ingredients on the countertop. “I went by Sohail’s shop today. The mangoes he was selling were ripe, so I picked some up. We can have them for dessert. That is if we have room.”

He looks back at me with a smile, but it fades when he sees my expression.

“What’s wrong, Zaid?”

I glance at the ground before replying, “I don’t think I want to be a doctor anymore.”

“Why not?”

“…I don’t think I can.”

He takes a few steps towards me before crouching down to come to my eye level, urging me to continue.

“Ms. Farooq said I’m not smart enough.”

“She did?”

“I got the lowest score in the class on the last math test. She said I’m not cut out for it.”

“I didn’t realize Ms. Farooq could tell the future.”

I don’t respond.

“Did you tell Abbi or Ummi?”

I shake my head.

He takes a deep breath and glances down at my feet. His eyes look like he’s weighing something, wondering if he should say it or not. When he does speak, his voice is different. It’s no longer speaking to me as his younger brother but as his friend. “You know, Zaid, Zakariah was joking about what we were talking about.”

“Really?”

He nods before his gaze focuses back on me. “Not even a few weeks ago, my soldiers and I were in a bit of a… well, situation.”

“What happened?”

“We were in Homs. The people we were fighting—the rebels—had heavy control of some neighborhoods. We were trying to take them back. It was…”

A silence ensues as he searches for the word.

“Difficult.” Nabeel pauses. “Some soldiers were pinned. The army tried an airstrike to break the rebel lines. It was a heavy bombardment that leveled entire streets. The cost was high. But we couldn’t break their lines.”

I don’t interrupt him.

“Our intelligence said it was a lost cause. We were ordered to abandon the soldiers. They said we would lose more men than we would save. But even the army’s ‘intelligence’ doesn’t know everything.” He looks away. “Zakariah and I disobeyed our commanding officer. As did our men. Those soldiers that were pinned weren’t just men. They were my friends… my brothers. And I would never abandon them, even if it led to…”

For a moment, his eyes again display that same gleam, but it disappears as quickly as it came.

His gaze again meets mine. It’s firmer this time, stronger. “It doesn’t matter what people say, Zaid. It doesn’t matter what the facts say. All that matters is what you say. And, maybe more importantly, what you do.”

I hang on his words, unable to say anything.

“Why do you want to be a doctor, Zaid?”

“I’ve always wanted to.”

“But why?”

“Because… I don’t want to see people suffer. I… I want to be the one to help others. I want to save lives, make a difference and put others before myself. I want to make this world a better place. Just like the Imam always talks about.”

Nabeel smiles. “Never forget that. And never go back on your word. No matter what happens. Please never forget one thing, Zaid: I love you. No matter the circumstance—no matter if I’m so far from you that you may never see me again, know that I’m with you.” He presses his finger against my heart. “I believe in you, Zaid.”

 

VBT – Memoirs of a Road Warrior

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About the Book
Title: Memoirs of a Road Warrior
Author: Fred Klein
Genre: Humor

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Andrew Livingston, a young, naive college graduate gets a job as a sales engineer for a crazy company. Set in New York in the corporate raider 1980’s this humorous book is a recounting of all the strange history of a high-tech company with an eccentric CEO.
This character gathers together a strange assortment of employees who endeavor to manufacture and sell their products to an equally strange collection of customers. The book tells of their amusing conflicts and experiences throughout the decades.
Follow the company’s encounters with Chinese agents, horse trailers, rocket fuel disasters, con-men, bedbugs, and airplane crashes. Learn how not to run a business!

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Author Bio

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Fred Klein is a new author of his humorous novel MEMOIRS OF A ROAD WARRIOR. He was a sales engineer for 30 years selling scientific instruments throughout North America. He is a private pilot, a drummer in a band, and presently lives with his wife in California. Fred is not a natural comedian but funny things always see to happen around him.

Links

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/
webpage: http://www.humorous-book.com
email: memoirsofaroadwarrior@gmail.com
facebook: http://www.facebook.com/fred.klein56232
twitter: https://twitter.com/Author3333
wordpress: www.humorousbook.wordpress.com
Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/81816063

Book Blast – ARIES RED SKY

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Aries’ Red Sky
by James Young

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GENRE: Science Fiction

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BLURB:

The Confederation of Man believes all Humanity should be under Terra’s rule.

The Spartan Republic has spent seven centuries preparing to resist Earth’s tyranny.

The stars will burn as these two mindsets come into brutal conflict in Aries’ Red Sky, the newest novel by award-winning author James Young.

Teaser_AriesRedSky copy

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EXCERPT

Despite his best efforts, Agenor Acheros’ was unable to completely dodge his opponent’s whirling axe kick. Rather than a clean, visage altering hit, however, the blow thudded into the Spartan lieutenant’s thick chest.

Ow, he thought with a grunt, the woman’s combat boot sliding off the right side of his dark green gi. Agenor did not give his sparring partner time to regain her balance, allowing his dodge to the left to flow into a crouch. Even as Lieutenant Abigail Schweizer realized her vulnerability, Agenors braced himself on his left arm. This was followed by a left leg sweep that knocked his diminutive opponent onto her back. Continuing the motion with a speed and agility no man his size should possess, Agenor completed an almost complete rotation on his straining left arm. Schweizer was just trying to regain her bearings when Agenor’s feet came back around and caught her steel-toes-first in the back. The blow elicited sharp cries and gasps from onlookers as the woman flung forward several feet.

Let’s finish this, Agenor thought, coming to his knees then springing to his feet and striding towards the stunned Schweizer. He felt a calmness descend upon him, blue eyes narrowing as he carefully stalked towards his opponent.

She might be faking. Either way, she will yield.

“Enough!” Captain Mordechai Butler barked, stopping Agenor in his tracks The tall, thin officer stood just outside the “Square of Enlightenment,” Alpha Company’s nickname for their designated sparring area. Agenor stopped to look at him, face quizzical.

“The Square has spoken,” Butler continued, signalling the end of the fight. Unlike the two lieutenants, Butler wore the standard Spartan Marine camouflage uniform. Inside of the Basile’s dark grey compartments, the clothing’s adaptive threads had adopted a mottled, random pattern of grey, white, black, and silver lozenge shapes.

“The Square tells all,” the roughly sixty Marines scattered in the open bay chanted with varying degrees of solemnity.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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James Young is a Missouri native who escaped small town life by attending the United States Military Academy. After being set free from the Hudson River Valley, Mr. Young spent the next six years of his life in the Army repaying his education the proverbial “nickel at a time.” Along the way he collected a loving, patient, beautiful spouse…and various animals that did not fit that description. Leaving the Republic’s employ, he returned to the Midwest to pursue his doctorate—a process which took twice the time planned but is finally concluded. Having now concluded two of the prerequisites to be a super villain, Dr. Young spends his time waiting for the inevitable origin story, winning writing awards (2016 United States Naval Institute Cyber Essay Contest Winner, among others), and writing an alternate history (Usurper’s War) and military space opera (Vergassy Chronicles) series. His latest book is Aries Red Sky, the first in a new Vergassy Universe trilogy.

James Young’s Blog: https://vergassy.com/

James Young’s Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B00AVKCQZQ?redirectedFromKindleDbs=true

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

James Young will be awarding a 5×7 print of concept artwork from the Vergassy Universe to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a special art print – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blast – THE CLOCK FLOWER

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The Clock Flower
by Barbara Casey

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GENRE: Mystery/Suspense

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BLURB:

Mackenzie Yarborough, one of the three FIGs—Females of Intellectual Genius—finds herself facing a terrifying death of an ancient evil dragon while in China working on a secret research project and trying to discover the truth of her birth parents.

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EXCERPT

Lyuba was startled awake by the screeching of the magpie. It was the third morning in a row the large bird had settled on the crooked branch of the tall elm tree outside her hut just before dawn. She had studied the Tarot late into the night to determine the meaning of the magpie’s warning, but the message was clouded and obscure—its purpose stubbornly hidden. She only knew it had to do with her precious daughter, Carolina, and the three orphaned students whom her daughter loved and cared for—Dara, Mackenzie, and Jennifer, all three geniuses born with special talents that couldn’t be explained.

The Comino Gypsies, or Black Tribe as they were sometimes called, had been staying near Frascati, Italy, less than 10 kilometers south of Rome, the nearest of the Castelli towns. As in times past, the gypsies camped on a hill, once called Tusculum by the ancients, in the shadows of the Villa Mondragone, so named because of the many dragons carved in its brown stone edifice. The gypsies simply called it the Old Villa, and they had made this their home during the warm months for as long as anyone could remember. Even before there was a Villa Mondragone.

Originally built on Roman ruins in the sixteenth century, it had survived through the centuries as home to various Catholic cardinals and periods of abandonment until most recently when it had been sold by the college of the Jesuits to the Second University of Rome. From their camp, it was an easy walk into the rural village of Frascati. Many of the villagers living there who were advanced in age still held on to many of the old beliefs, making it easier for the gypsies to sell their wares. Through the years, the travelers and the settlers had enjoyed a mutually beneficial association. But even in Frascati, there was the hint of change; it was a different generation—younger and less experienced to the ways of life and less patient. Lyuba noticed it; the others from the tribe who made daily visits did as well. It was just a matter of time before it would become a destination for tourists, with its fancy wine and its historical villa, and the old beliefs would be cast aside and forgotten.

Once it had been a place of heart-breaking sadness for Lyuba, for it was here where her young daughter barely three years of age—Carolina—had been taken from her by the Italian authorities. In her unrelenting sadness, she had felt a great darkness toward the person responsible and taken revenge, something for which she would regret the rest of her life.

Lyuba was a choovihni—a wise woman, an exalted and envied position among gypsy women. As her birthright, she and she alone had been given the responsibility to pass on the knowledge of the travelers to those who would follow, but it was rare to find a child born with the natural gift. In all her years as a choovihni, she had only known one—her own—the beautiful one that was taken from her so long ago. And because her child—Carolina—had also been born with the gift, she was able to find her mother many years later, the Kaulo Camio, a black gypsy who went by the name of Lyuba, there in the shadows of the Old Villa. The zee, the essence of all life both animate and inanimate, had been forgiving of that one vengeful act and chose to smile upon Lyuba. Now, returning to the shadows of the Old Villa for the warm summer months was a source of great joy.

With the knowledge of gypsies from the beginning of time running through her veins, Lyuba had the ability to communicate in a way that no other could. Carolina had that same ability, although she didn’t completely understand it—not yet. But in certain situations, especially if there was danger near, she would hear her mother’s voice, warning her, telling her what to do. That ability had saved Carolina from the gypsy boy’s curse, the wicked son of the Bandoleer. It had also helped Carolina and her three gifted students when they were lost deep inside the bowels of Grand Central Terminal searching for Dara’s mother. There would come a time when Carolina would be able to communicate in the same way as her gypsy choovihni mother and also be heard. That time was drawing near.

As Lyuba listened to the sharp cry of the magpie, she prepared a cup of sassafras tea, the root and leaves taken from the tree in the early morning dew just before dawn, that time of day when the benefit of its essential oils were the strongest. Perhaps the leaves would reveal what she needed to know.

She felt a sense of urgency. Soon her tribe would be departing this place on the hill near the Villa Mondragone, for it was that time of year when the shadows lengthened and the cool darkness of night more quickly replaced the warmth of day. They would need to travel south to another place and set up their camp away from winter’s chill. She would prepare a special duk rak, her own psychic shield. Perhaps that would ease her anxiety.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

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Originally from Carrollton, Illinois, author/agent/publisher Barbara Casey attended the University of North Carolina, N.C. State University, and N.C. Wesleyan College where she received a BA degree, summa cum laude, with a double major in English and history. In 1978 she left her position as Director of Public Relations and Vice President of Development at North Carolina Wesleyan College to write full time and develop her own manuscript evaluation and editorial service. In 1995 she established the Barbara Casey Agency and since that time has represented authors from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. In 2014, she became a partner with Strategic Media Books where she is involved in acquisitions and day-to-day operations and oversees book production.

Ms. Casey’s two middle-grade/young adult novels, Leilani Zan and Grandma Jock and Christabelle (James C. Winston Publishing Co., Trade Division) were both nominated for awards of excellence by the SCBWI Golden Kite Award, the National Association of University Women Literary Award and the Sir Walter Raleigh Literary Award. Shyla’s Initiative (Crossquarter Publishing Group), a contemporary adult novel (occult romance/mystery), received a 2003 Independent Publisher Book Award and also an award of special literary recognition by the Palm Beach County Cultural Council. The Coach’s Wife (ArcheBooks Publishing), also a novel for adults (contemporary/mystery), was semi-finalist for the 2005 Dana Award for Outstanding Novel and listed on the Publisher’s Best Seller List. The House of Kane (ArcheBooks Publishing), released in 2007, was considered for a Pulitzer nomination. Another contemporary novel for adults, Just Like Family, was released at Christmas 2009 when it received “Special Recognition from the 7-Eleven Corporation,” and The Gospel According to Prissy, also a contemporary novel written for adults, received a 2013 Independent Publishers Book Award for Best Book in Regional Fiction.

The Cadence of Gypsies, a novel written for young/new adults, was released in 2011 and was reviewed by the Smithsonian Institute for its List of Most Notable Books. In 2012, The Cadence of Gypsies was expanded into a four-book mystery series called THE FIG MYSTERIES: The Wish Rider (2016), The Clock Flower (2018), and The Nightjar’s Promise (to be released in 2019).

Ms. Casey also writes book-length nonfiction for adults. Kathryn Kelly: The Moll behind Machine Gun Kelly was released in 2016 and has been optioned for a major movie. In 2018 her book Assata Shakur: A 20th Century Escaped Slave was released and it has been signed for a major movie.

Ms. Casey’s award-winning science fiction short stories for adults are featured in The Cosmic Unicorn and CrossTime science fiction anthologies. Ms. Casey’s essays and other works appear in The Chrysalis Reader, the international literary journal of the Swedenborg Foundation, 221 One-Minute Monologues from Literature (Smith and Kraus Publishers), and A Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation). Other award-winning articles, short stories, and poetry for adults have appeared in both national and international publications including the North Carolina Christian Advocate Magazine, The New East Magazine, the Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer, the Rocky Mount (N.C.) Sunday Telegram, Dog Fancy, ByLine, The Christian Record, Skirt! Magazine, and True Story. A thirty-minute television special which Ms. Casey wrote and coordinated was broadcast on WRAL, Channel 5, in Raleigh, North Carolina. She also received special recognition for her editorial work on the English translations of Albanian children’s stories.

Ms. Casey is a former director of BookFest of the Palm Beaches, Florida, where she served as guest author and panelist. She has served as judge for the Pathfinder Literary Awards in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Florida, and was the Florida Regional Advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators from 1991 through 2003. She is a frequent guest lecturer at universities and writers’ conferences around the country including the SCBWI Regional Conference, the Harriett Austin Writers Conference in Athens, SIBA (Southeastern Independent Book Sellers Association), Florida Writers Association, and the University of Auburn, Montgomery.

In 2018, Ms. Casey received the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award for her extensive experience and notable accomplishments in the field of publishing and other areas. She makes her home on the top of a mountain in northwest Georgia with her husband and Benton, a hound mix who adopted her.

Website: http://www.barbaracaseyagency.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/697572.Barbara_Casey

https://www.linkedin.com/in/barbara-casey-a9527667/

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Barbara Casey will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Clock Flower

VBT – Labors of an Epic Punk

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Labors of an Epic Punk
by Mark and Sheri Dursin

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GENRE: YA Fantasy, Myth Retelling

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BLURB:

Mac is an epic punk. No wonder: after his dad went off to fight in the Trojan War and never came back, Mac spent his childhood evading his mom’s scumbag suitors—all one-hundred-and-eight of them. Of course, he turned out this way—a moody, friendless sixteen-year-old who blows off work, alienates everyone at school, and pulls pranks. But when he trains a flock of birds to defecate on the headmaster, Mac (short for Telemachus) goes too far. The administrators give him an ultimatum: prove that he’s truly the son of Odysseus by doing something heroic—or get out. A school story that just so happens to take place 3,000 years ago, Labors of an Epic Punk is a tale of friendship and transformation, regret and redemption, and a reminder to us all that even heroes need to survive adolescence.

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EXCERPT

No one on the field that morning had any idea that all Hades was about to break loose.

Well, one person did.

The stands were over-crammed with students, all chirping away about their summer travels, each one trying to out-fabulous the other. But Mac wasn’t talking to any of them. (No surprise there.)  Instead, he just stared at the empty stage in fist-clenching anticipation. For the entire morning, the entire summer, the entire two years he’d wasted at this gods-forsaken school, he’d been waiting for this moment. His moment of glory, of genius. The moment when he’d finally and irretrievably cross The Line— that hard-to-define boundary between tolerable and intolerable. Between a week of detention and expulsion. All he needed was for Headmaster Gurgus to blow on that shell.

Just when he thought he couldn’t wait any longer without throwing up, Mac heard the band play the opening notes to “Yielding Never,” Pieridian Academy’s absurdly overblown fight song. The Opening Ceremonies were officially underway. From his seat high up in the stands, Mac watched intently as the members of the so-called Grand Procession marched onto Garthymedes Field: the entire faculty and staff, wearing shiny red gowns and smiles full of phony reverence; followed by the honored students, also in ritualistic red, condescendingly waving at the crowd; followed by a grotesque, nine-headed Hydra.

Lastly, waddling ten paces behind the Hydra, in all his roly-poly, four-hundred pound glory, was Headmaster Gurgus.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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For many years Mark, a high school English teacher, and Sheri, a freelance writer and blogger, wrote independently. No matter the writing project—newspaper articles, retreat talks, college recommendation letters, fan-fiction, blog posts on spirituality or 80s pop songs—they tended to work alone. Separate rooms, separate computers. But raising their twin sons helped them discover an important truth: All Good Things Come in Twos.

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY:

Mark and Sheri Dursin will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Author’s choice of topic

When Mark and I visit schools to talk to teen readers, the question we’re asked most often is pretty obvious: How did we become authors? I think a love of writing always starts with a love of reading. The kind of reading that results in a pile of “to be read” books that keeps growing and growing. The kind of reading that keeps you up late into the night, because you need to finish “just one more chapter!”

As kids, Mark and I were exactly those kinds of readers. We both had that experience of falling in love with the world of fiction and the amazing realization that authors could create imaginative stories out of thin air that people would read and love and relate to and talk about.  I was in 8th grade when I first tried doing this. Having joined a brand new club called The Young Authors Club, I wrote my first book, which I called The Garden Party. The story was pretty short and was inspired (more than a little) by my favorite childhood books, The Secret Garden and The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe. But it was a completed book and it was mine.

When I was young, I had this vision for my life of being a full-time author…maybe not a “famous” author, but definitely someone who wrote books for a living. And then I “grew up” and like what happens with so many childhood dreams, I thought of it less and less as my path took me in other directions.

But I never stopped writing.

I know Mark’s story is almost the same as mine. Lots of short stories and half-finished novels written on notebook paper and stuffed in drawers. When we were young, there was no Internet with fanfiction sites, Wattpad, or blogs. Stories remained hidden because there weren’t a lot of ways to share them. So it was easy for our dreams of becoming authors to remain hidden, too. Until we met and got married, and that’s when things changed.  And now here we are…all these years later, finally published authors.

It took a series of leaps for us to get to this point. The first was the lightbulb moment that we had a good idea for a story. And then came the decision to actually start it. Writing takes time and discipline and inspiration all mixed together. The conditions for writing aren’t always ideal and so just getting started is often the first hurdle.

What got Mark and I over this hurdle was our decision to work together. We had both been dragging our feet for so long…having a partner to write with made it fun, exciting, and not so scary or overwhelming.

The second big leap was the decision to publish Labors of an Epic Punk ourselves. It was the most freeing decision we ever made, and it’s how we’re finally able to hold our book in our hands and share it with the world. It took about a year and a small investment of money to go through the indie publishing process.  But we can honestly say it was worth it. We’ll have to keep our day jobs. Very few published authors make enough money to write full-time. And now that anyone can publish their own book, there’s tons of competition out there.  But there’s also tons of inspiration to be found. We’ve met authors who work as teachers, accountants, landscapers, engineers, office managers, EMTs, and lawyers. The common thread that ties us together is that writing is our passion. It’s something we fit into our lives because we love it.

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