Category Archives: Guest Authors

Postings, short stories, and promotions for Authors

VBT – The Continuum

Cover Image - Continuum

The Continuum

By

Wendy Nikel

170 pages   *   Science Fiction and Time Travel

Author Bio:

Wendy Nikel is a speculative fiction author with a degree in elementary education, a fondness for road trips, and a terrible habit of forgetting where she’s left her cup of tea. Her short fiction has been published by Fantastic Stories of the ImaginationDaily Science FictionNature: Futures, and various other anthologies and e-zines.

For more info, visit wendynikel.com or subscribe to her newsletter here!

Social Media Links:

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/WendyNikel

Blurb

Elise Morley is an expert on the past who’s about to get a crash course in the future.

For years, Elise has been donning corsets, sneaking into castles, and lying through her teeth to enforce the Place in Time Travel Agency’s ten essential rules of time travel. Someone has to ensure that travel to the past isn’t abused, and most days she welcomes the challenge of tracking down and retrieving clients who have run into trouble on their historical vacations.

But when a dangerous secret organization kidnaps her and coerces her into jumping to the future on a high-stakes assignment, she’s got more to worry about than just the timespace

continuum. For the first time ever, she’s the one out-of-date, out of place, and quickly running out of time.

“Nikel is a solid writer with vivid description, an imaginative future, and a command of accurate historical speech.”

Unreliable Narrators

 

Buy Links:

Official page:

http://www.worldweaverpress.com/store/p139/The_Continuum.html

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35224471-the-continuum

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Continuum-Wendy-Nikel-ebook/dp/B076R9Z6DS/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1509402840&sr=8-1&keywords=wendy+nikel+continuum&linkCode=sl1&tag=worweapre-20&linkId=8fbea5376b3e9fcfdea0b0fc4dc65b3e

Barnes & Noble

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-continuum-wendy-nikel/1127278953

iTunes

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1299843408

 

Excerpt:

“The spinning slows. Suddenly, everything stops.

My legs flail, searching for solid ground, until I plunge abruptly into dank, smelly water. I gasp, and my mouth fills with brine. I’m being dragged in one direction, but instinct pulls me the opposite way. I kick against my heavy skirts and break the surface. For one dizzying moment I’m utterly confused. The concrete slabs of the nearby docks sharpen my fuzzy memory.

1912.

Southampton.

The Titanic.

I Extracted while on the gangplank—a gangplank that doesn’t exist in 2012. This is exactly why our travelers are encouraged to use pre-approved Extraction locations. The Wormhole dumps travelers at the same place they’ve left from, which can make for some awkward (or dangerous) entrances.

Across the way, Marie does a frantic doggie-paddle towards the steel rungs leading up to the dock. With labored strokes, I swim after her, clutching the sphere in one hand. When I reach her, she’s still clinging to the bottom rung, too exhausted to climb to safety.

“Hang on.” I slip my Wormhole Device into my handbag and pull my dripping body up to the dock. Water streams out around me, forming a dark puddle on the concrete. The evening sun, balancing on the very edge of the horizon, casts an eerie glow on the water.

“Okay. Come on up—”

My encouragement is drowned out by the sound of retching. Lovely.

I clench my jaw to stop my teeth from rattling and focus on retaining my professionalism—not easy, considering the mucked-up circumstances.

Finally, Marie starts up the ladder, ascending tentatively, with gasping breaths. When she’s close enough to grab my forearms, I pull her up with much grunting and tugging. Her eyes widen as she takes in the industrial warehouses, giant cranes, and sprawling parking lots that seem to have appeared instantaneously.

“What have you done?” Her voice rises in pitch with each word.”

* * * * * * * *

Interview With …

Wendy, thanks for being here today.. Tell us about you

I’m a former teacher-turned-homeschool mom from the Midwest who currently lives in Utah. I love drinking tea, playing board games, and — of course — reading.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?

Usually, my six-year-old comes in and starts telling me all about what he’s been reading or writing or imagining. Sometimes, there’s music involved. All in all, it’s not the worst way to start the day, though I usually do need a cup of coffee before I can really get down to work.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?

I’d love to sit down for a conversation with David Tennant to hear about his time on Doctor Who. His seasons were some of my favorites of the whole series, and I’d love to hear his take on the character he played and how that role has changed since he left the show. Plus, he has a great accent.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

THE CONTINUUM began as my very first attempt at National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo, as it’s sometimes called, is an online writing challenge for writers to complete a 50,000-word novel in the 30 days of November. I’d never written a novel before, and I wanted to write a fun time-travel adventure, since that was always one of my favorite genres.

NaNoWriMo_logo_w_words

Tell us your writing process

NaNoWriMo has worked well for me for completing first drafts. Over the past five years, I’ve written nine novel-length manuscripts with this fast-first-draft method. The revision process obviously takes a lot longer, though I’ve developed a system that works for me that involves multiple read-throughs, each time working on digging deeper into the novel’s different layers until I have a finished product I’m happy with.

What tips can you give other authors who are looking to get the word out about their book?

Writing a book is a long game. Getting one published is even longer.

There’s a lot of places where you’ll be tempted to rush through the process — whether it’s in revisions or edits or in getting it out into the world. But there really are no shortcuts, and the time you spend in each phase can be a great opportunity for growth and learning.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always enjoyed writing and making up stories and pondering “what if” scenarios. In college, I studied to be a teacher, but after my kids were born, I quit teaching to raise them and found that I really missed the mental challenge that teaching brought with it. I’d also done photography in the past, but that wasn’t a very conducive creative outlet with two very small children, so I turned to writing and found there a great way to challenge myself that was flexible enough to do while also raising a family.

Tell us about your main character:

Elise Morley takes her job very seriously. As a professional time traveller, her job is to keep the Place in Time Travel Agency’s clients out of trouble in the past, which isn’t always easy to do. She has to be resourceful and smart, as well as know a lot about past historical eras.

What are you working on next?

I usually have multiple projects in the works, and right now is no different. In addition to the work I’m doing on this series, I’m also revising a historical fantasy novel that takes place on the Pony Express and working on a handful of short stories.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

I am quite skilled at building with LEGOs, if I do say so myself. I enjoy finding ways to work LEGO-building into our homeschool lessons, so my kiddos and I have built pyramids, pirate ships, rainforests, and even a model of the Titanic.

LEGO Titanic

Who are your favorite authors?

I’m a fan of the classics: Jane Austen, Daphne du Maurier, Alexandre Dumas, Jack Finney, H.G. Wells, and others. As far as contemporary authors go, my tastes are somewhat eclectic, though I’m always excited to read something new from Jodi Taylor, Mary Robinette Kowal, Kate Morton, Kenneth Oppel, and Neal Shusterman.

What do you like to do with your free time?

One of my favorite things to do in my free time is to go on road trips with my family. I love traveling around the country, seeing new things, checking out random roadside attractions, and exploring places I haven’t been before.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.

The Place in Time series which begins with THE CONTINUUM will have at least two, possibly more follow-up novellas all revolving around the time travel agency and the people who work there. Book two, THE GRANDMOTHER PARADOX, takes place about a year after the events of the first book and features one of the side characters from THE CONTINUUM as Dr. Wells sends him on a secret mission to the year 1893.

 

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VBT – From Compton to Congress

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About the Book

Title: From Compton to Congress: His Grace for my Race
Author: Walter Tucker III
Genre: Nonfiction Memoir

From Compton to Congress reveals shocking criminal charges, based on an FBI Sting, that send Congressman Walter R. Tucker III reeling, and changes his life forever. Against the great odds of overcoming the tough streets of Compton, young Tucker fulfills his goals of becoming valedictorian of Compton High School, graduate of USC with honors, graduate of Georgetown Law School, passing the California State Bar, and filling his father’s vacant seat as Mayor of Compton—all by age 33. During his meteoric rise in the political arena, at age 35 he becomes the youngest African-American from California to be elected to a U.S. congressional seat. However, the U.S. Attorney’s federal indictment against him shocks the nation. Tucker’s choice to fight the charges against him thrusts him into a criminal trial that tests the condition of his human spirit and provokes us to reflect on every man’s plight versus every man’s fight.

FINAL FRONT COVER 9.23.17

Author Bio

Walter R. Tucker, III is a native of Compton, California. He graduated Valedictorian of Compton High School in 1974. After graduating from high school, Walter studied Politics at Princeton University for two years. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from U.S.C. in 1978, and his Juris Doctor from Georgetown Law School in 1981, Walter worked as a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney, established his own law firm, served as Mayor of Compton, and was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1993 – all by age 35. Walter R. Tucker, III is still the youngest African American to ever to be elected to the U.S. Congress from the State of California. In 2003, Walter became a pastor of a church in Chicago. In 2012, Walter and his wife, Robin Tucker, returned to Los Angeles and founded Truth and Love Christian Church, located in Carson, California. The church currently has over 300 members and 40 ministries in operation. Walter and Robin have been happily married for 30 years. They are the proud parents of Walter, IV, and Autumn and have one son-in-law, Spencer Rodney Sr., and one wonderful grandchild, Spencer Rodney, Jr. Walter enjoys morning walks on the beach and candlelight dinners with Robin.

Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/COMPTON-CONGRESS-Grace-Race-Book-ebook/dp/B07731BN3J/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1514881084&sr=1-1

Website: https://www.fromcomptontocongress.net/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17304450.Walter_R_Tucker_III

 

 

VBT – The Adventures of Mitee Mite

The Adventures of Mitee Mite banner

About the Author

 Dave_Edit1

David John is the author of The Adventures of Mitee Mite book and app series. The series follows the adventures of superhero Mitee Mite and her sidekick, Terry the Ticker. The five titles in the series are The Time Frame Game (Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-9860919-0-2; Softcover ISBN: 978-0-9860919-6-4), The Measuring Game (Softcover ISBN: 978-0-9860919-2-6), The Money Game (Softcover ISBN: 978-0-9860919-4-0), The Shape Game (Softcover ISBN: 978-0-9860919-3-3), and The Time Frame Game Advanced (Softcover ISBN: 978-0-9860919-5-7). Complementary apps for each book are available on Google Play and iTunes.  The companion song is available at the website:  www.miteemite.com.

David lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his wife and daughter. He enjoys spending time with his family, playing hockey, and creating new stories for The Adventures of Mitee Mite book and app series.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK


About the Book

 The Adventures of Mitee Mite

Title: THE ADVENTURES OF MITEE MITE SERIES
Author: David John
Publisher: Mitee Mite
Pages: 120 pages total in series
Genre: Children’s Picture Book

BOOK BLURB

Building on a desire to teach children about time, shapes, measurements, and money, author David John created THE ADVENTURES OF MITEE MITE series. In the same way that many of us learned our ABCs, the book and app (available on Google Play and iTunes) collection helps young readers learn how many seconds are in a minute, the number of sides different shapes contain, and more, using a catchy tune that captures their attention and motivates learning.

Focusing on children from age 3 to 11 years old, THE ADVENTURES OF MITEE MITE book and app series offers its readers a dynamic female superhero, Mitee Mite, as their guide through the often tricky terrain involved with mastering time, shapes, measurements, and money. In her matching red cape and boots, Mitee Mite, accompanied by her alarm clock sidekick, Terry the Ticker, activates her superpowers by using her manners, respecting others, and accurately answering questions in the games she encounters during her adventures.

The five books in THE ADVENTURES OF MITEE MITE book and app series include The Time Frame Game and The Time Frame Game Advanced, which break down seconds, minutes, hours, days, months, and years to teach readers the fundamentals of time. The Measuring Game explores the components of feet, yards, and miles, as well as cups, pints, quarts, and gallons. Mitee Mite teaches kids about currency in The Money Game and dives into a colorful world of triangles, squares, hexagons, and more in The Shape Game. The companion song for this series (available at www.miteemite.com) helps kinds absorb the skills in an enjoyable and interactive way.

The idea for THE ADVENTURES OF MITEE MITE book and app series came about when David was faced with a dire challenge. “One day as I was babysitting my friends’ children, and not having any idea what to do, I made up fun games to help them learn,” David revealed. The goal of the series is to expose children to a variety of lessons in a manner that is fun, relatable, and memorable. David says, “Mitee Mite was created to help give children a head start on the basics of time, measurements, shapes, and money.”

David’s daughter, whom he calls his “Little Mite,” is the inspiration for the main character and the themes of the series. David’s desire to teach his daughter the basic skills featured in THE ADVENTURES OF MITEE MITE book and app series has expanded into the goal of sharing these lessons with other children through his “You Buy, They Read” program. “We plan to give away one book for every one bought to kids in need.” In addition, David will donate $1 for every $2 of the gross sales of apps to teachers “who are going into their own pockets to buy supplies.”

 

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

Book Trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkeJmSC1-Xw

Book Spotlight – Double Take

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About the Author

 Version 2

Abby Bardi is the author of three novels: Double Take, The Secret Letters, and The Book of Fred. Her short fiction has appeared in anthologies and journals, and she has written academic articles on Roma (Gypsies). She grew up on the South Side of Chicago and now lives in Ellicott City, MD, the oldest railroad town in America.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

About the Book

 Double Take

Title: Double Take
Author: Abby Bardi
Publisher: Harper Collins Impulse
Pages: 186
Genre: Mystery

Set in Chicago, 1975, Double Take is the story of artsy Rachel Cochrane, who returns from college with no job and confronts the recent death of Bando, one of her best friends. When she runs into Joey, a mutual friend, their conversations take them back into their shared past and to the revelation that Bando may have been murdered. To find out who murdered him, Rachel is forced to revisit her stormy 1960s adolescence, a journey that brings her into contact with her old friends, her old self, and danger.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Excerpt

1975

I recognized his voice from across the room. When I handed him a menu, he looked up absent-mindedly and went on talking to some guys, then did a double take.

“Cookie?” he said.

I tried on the name like an old article of clothing to see if it still fit. It felt like a suede fringed jacket. “Yep,” I said.

“Wow. You look so different.”

“I cut my hair.”

“Everyone did.”

“I’m older,” I said. “Everyone’s older.”

“You look exactly the same,” I said. He was wearing a beat-up leather jacket over a green T-shirt, maybe the same jacket and T-shirt he had always worn. His thick black hair was shorter now and curly, skin still tan from summer, small mouth with perfect teeth. He still looked tough and handsome, but in a creepy way, like someone you couldn’t trust.

“Cookie, what the hell are you doing here?”

“I work here. I’d rather you didn’t call me that. My name is Rachel.”

“I thought your name was Cookie.”

“Nope. Do people still call you Rat?”
He laughed. “Nowadays I go by Joey.”

“Okay, Joey,” I said, since this was nowadays.

“Miss?” a voice called from a nearby table. The voice brought me back to where I was standing, in Diana’s Grotto, a Greek diner on 57th Street, with ten tables full of customers. For a moment, I had thought I was in Casa Sanchez.

It took me a while to make it back to Joey’s table. A divinity student had found a fly in his milkshake, and it wouldn’t have taken so long if I hadn’t made the mistake of saying, “So, how much can a fly drink?” Like most academics, this guy had no sense of humor and gave me a lecture on hygiene. It was amazing that knowing as much about hygiene as he seemed to, he would continue to eat at Diana’s Grotto. By the time I got back to Joey’s table, the men he had been sitting with were gone. Off-duty police, from the looks of them, I thought, or plain-clothes. We got a lot of cops in Diana’s; they slumped on stools at the counter with their guns hanging from their belts, sucking down free coffee. Back in the sixties, the sight of their blue leather jackets had always made me nervous, like I’d committed some crime I’d forgotten about.

“So why are you working here?” Joey asked. “I thought you were a college girl. A co-ed.” He flashed his white teeth. “I don’t mean to be nosy.”

“The problem with college is they make you leave when you finish.”

“And here I thought it was a permanent gig.”

“Nope.”

“But why aren’t you doing something a little more—”

“Collegiate? Don’t ask.” I slid into the booth next to him. From across the room, Nicky, the maître d’, shot me a poisonous glance. I ignored him. “I like it here.” I smiled a crazy little smile.

“Hey, different strokes.” His eyes swept the room, resting on a mural of a white windmill on an island in the Aegean. The windmill’s blades were crooked. I remembered this eye-sweep from Casa Sanchez, where he had always sat facing the door so he could constantly scan the whole restaurant. His eyes returned to me. “Didn’t I hear a rumor you were supposed to be getting married? Some guy in California?”

“Just a rumor. Glad to hear the grapevine still works.”

I felt someone hiss into my ear. Nicky had slunk up behind me. He looked like a garden gnome in a plaid jacket and baggy pants, reeking of aftershave that had tried and failed. “Rose!” he snapped. He never called anyone by their right name. “What’s in a name?” I always murmured.

“Be right with you.” I gave him what I hoped was a reassuring smile.

“This is a classy place,” Joey said as Nicky ambled away.

“He’s the owner’s brother-in-law.”

“Diana?”

“There is no Diana. She’s a mythological figure.”

“Like Hendrix?”

“Kind of.”

“Hey, you want to have a drink after work?”

“Actually, I don’t drink any more.”

“You want to come watch me drink? What time do you get off?”

“Nine thirty. You could come help me fill the ketchups.”

“What?”

“You know, take the empty Heinz bottles and pour cheap generic ketchup in them.”

“Sounds like fun, but why don’t you meet me at Bert’s? Back room?”

I thought for a moment. This did not seem like a good idea, but I didn’t care. “Okay, why not. So, can I get you anything?”

“Just coffee.”

“You want a side of taramasalata with it? It’s made from fish roe.”

“I’ll pass, thanks.”

When I brought him his coffee, he said, “You’re still a hell of a waitress, Cookie.”

“You’re still a hell of a waitress, Rachel.”

“Whatever.”

“Thanks,” I said.

VBT – Secret Baby, Second Chance

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About the Author

 jane godman lg

JANE GODMAN worked in a variety of shops, bars, and offices before settling into a career as a teacher. She was born in Scotland and has lived in Germany, Wales, Malta, South Africa, and England. Home is now the Wirral, a beautiful English peninsula situated between Wales and Liverpool.

Jane still gets the urge to travel, although these days she tends to head for a Spanish beach, or a European city that is steeped in history. Venice, Dubrovnik, and Vienna are among her favorites.

When Jane isn’t reading or writing romance, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her family. She is married to a lovely man, has two grown up children and has recently discovered the joy of becoming a grandparent.

Jane writes paranormal romance for Harlequin Nocturne and SMP Romance, thrillers for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, and self-publishes her steamy historical and gothic stories.

Her latest book is the romantic suspense, Secret Baby, Second Chance.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

 

About the Book

Secret Baby

Title: SECRET BABY, SECOND CHANCE
Author: Jane Godman
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 288
Genre: Romantic Suspense

BOOK BLURB

She’s alive! Vincente Delaney has finally found his girlfriend, Beth Wade, who disappeared a year and a half ago, alive. But he’s shocked to discover someone with her: their child, a little girl he never knew about! Once upon a time, lone wolf Vincente never expected forever with Beth, but now he must put everything on the line to protect her and their family.

Beth was forced to leave Vincente to protect everything she held dear. But now the threat to her loved ones’ lives has reared its ugly head again. As danger approaches, she and Vincente must delve into her past to cast out the darkness jeopardizing their future.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Excerpt

As he approached, he sized up the building. Nothing about it made him think of Beth. It had a slightly neglected air, as if the owner didn’t have the time, energy or money to spend on it. He contrasted that with the Stillwater house she had lived in. That had been as neat as wax. Being organized seemed to come effortlessly to Beth, spilling over into how she dressed, her surroundings and how she dealt with other people. Vincente wondered, not for the first time, if the reason she had struggled with their relationship was because she couldn’t neatly package up her feelings for him. When they were together there was no controlling what they felt. It had always been raw, primal…and incredible.

The thought spurred his feet up the front step. His heart was pounding so loud it almost drowned out the sound of his knock on the door. Prepared for disappointment, his nerves—already under intense pressure—were ratcheted up to crisis level when he heard a voice calling out.

“Did you forget something, Detective ?” It wasn’t just any voice. It was Beth’s voice.

He wondered how she would react if she checked who it was through the peephole in the door. Her words indicated she thought Laurie had come back again and he heard a key turn in the lock immediately after she spoke.

The door swung open and the smile on her lips faded. As she gazed at him in shock, Vincente took a moment to drink in her appearance. Her hair was shorter, just reaching her shoulders now instead of the waist-length mass in which he had loved to bury his hands. It was scraped back into an unflattering ponytail. She looked thinner. And tired, definitely tired. Almost to the point of exhaustion. But maybe the reason for that was sitting on her hip.

The baby wore pink sweatpants and a T shirt with butterflies embroidered all over. Not quite a toddler, she was a perfect little girl. Her black hair clustered in a halo of curls around her head and she studied Vincente with eyes that were huge, dark and framed by thick, spiky lashes. The hint of olive to her skin and the full ruby lips were additional confirmation of his first suspicion. It was like looking in a mirror .

Vincente almost took a step back in shock as he gazed at his daughter.

Book Trailer:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohfQ59gCygc&feature=youtu.be

VBT – Crimson Realm Series

About the Authors

Gabriella Bradley lives amidst rugged mountains. She more than often has a grizzly in her backyard searching for food. Other critters that visit on a regular basis are cougars, coyotes, squirrels, raccoons.

She has been a writer all of her life, though only ventured into erotic works in 2003.

Gabby’s hobbies include hiking, gardening, swimming, sewing, embroidery. Favorite movies are old timers like Gone with the Wind, Spartacus etc. Favorite music is Abba. Besides all that, she owns and directs a busy company and its staff.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Taryn Jameson is a mother, artist, and avid reader who lives in an enchanted forest that sparks her imagination to create. Her latest outlet is the written word. She is the alter ego of cover artist Angela Waters.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

About the Books

 Carnal Twilight

Title: CARNAL TWILIGHT (Prequel)
Author: Gabriella Bradley & Taryn Jameson
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Pages: 23
Genre: Fantasy/Scifi/Paranormal/Shifter

BOOK BLURB:

The prequel to In Search of Pride

The gods smile upon a weary warrior…

Brenn, a warrior, returning home from battle, rests by a tempting magical pool and meets a siren who changes his life forever.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Excerpt:

Then he saw her… Grabbing the base of his cloak, Brenn quickly wiped the water from his eyes. He shook his head in disbelief. This woman, this dainty naked nymph rising from the water, was not what the legends spoke of. Her body glowed in the moonlight, a halo of unruly raven hair framing a beautiful face and cascading down to her trim waist. Her full luscious lips parted in song, hypnotizing him, beckoning him to come to her… begging him to take her. The gods were smiling down upon him again with the gift of this beautiful creature.

******************

In Search of Pride

Title: IN SEARCH OF PRIDE
Author: Gabriella Bradley & Taryn Jameson
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Pages: 125
Genre: Fantasy/Scifi/Paranormal/Shifter

BOOK BLURB:

Bound by a curse, Brenn must find a way to save his pride.

Brenn returns from a war far from his home to find that his village is destroyed and his pride missing. With the help of his guardian dragon, Ciara, he sets out to find his missing family and pride.

After Ciara saves Brenn’s life twice, he begins to realize that he isn’t as invincible as he once thought. He must accept his limitations and the help of his lifemate to keep him safe.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

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Book Excerpt:

Brenn swore under his breath. Everything had been as it should on his travels home after he’d left the Clyss. No attacks, everything normal. Why the sudden interest in their realm? The Toubosians had sent several ships, but only one craft had attacked the village and abducted all the occupants? During his travels, he’d heard nothing, no rumors of alien attacks, of spaceship sightings. Would they really send several ships to capture the people from one village? Had the ships returned to Toubos? He doubted it. He had a feeling the ships were hiding somewhere in the far mountain range south of their village—planning another attack?

Were the Toubosians in league with Cewrick, the evil sorcerer who had placed the curse on all shifters? The sorcerer’s castle stood on the highest peak in the center of the Sucronian Mountains, a forbidden mountain range. No one dared to approach it. At the base of the mountains was the Verboten Forest. Its trees were said to have been bespelled by Cewrick and would kill anything or anyone treading the ground below. Large black dragons guarded the castle, along with urcals, giant birds with wingspans as wide as the road in his village. They, too, were black. Their beaks were a bright orange, curved and very sharp, their claws so big they could easily pick up several horses in one swoop, their talons an arm’s length long, and their eyes like glowing embers.

They had all seen the dragons and the birds as they circled above the forbidden forest. Brenn’s father, Yartah, the alpha of their pride, and some of the warriors, including Brenn, had ventured to the edge of the forest when one of their young women had suddenly gone missing. When Huf, a young warrior, rode ahead into the forest, one of the monstrous birds had plucked him and the horse from between the trees and disappeared with them.

After that tragic event, Yartah had doubly enforced the rules. No one was allowed to venture near the forest. Brenn didn’t think after what had happened that anyone would even dare, but one never knew what young people would do. The youngsters thought themselves invincible. The only thing that seemed to scare them was the curse—if they shifted, which usually surfaced during puberty, they could remain a lion forever and lose all humanity.

He turned his attention back to Ivran. His friend was distraught, barely holding onto his human form, his lion fighting to burst free.

Brenn swore under his breath. Everything had been as it should on his travels home after he’d left the Clyss. No attacks, everything normal. Why the sudden interest in their realm? The Toubosians had sent several ships, but only one craft had attacked the village and abducted all the occupants? During his travels, he’d heard nothing, no rumors of alien attacks, of spaceship sightings. Would they really send several ships to capture the people from one village? Had the ships returned to Toubos? He doubted it. He had a feeling the ships were hiding somewhere in the far mountain range south of their village—planning another attack?

Were the Toubosians in league with Cewrick, the evil sorcerer who had placed the curse on all shifters? The sorcerer’s castle stood on the highest peak in the center of the Sucronian Mountains, a forbidden mountain range. No one dared to approach it. At the base of the mountains was the Verboten Forest. Its trees were said to have been bespelled by Cewrick and would kill anything or anyone treading the ground below. Large black dragons guarded the castle, along with urcals, giant birds with wingspans as wide as the road in his village. They, too, were black. Their beaks were a bright orange, curved and very sharp, their claws so big they could easily pick up several horses in one swoop, their talons an arm’s length long, and their eyes like glowing embers.

They had all seen the dragons and the birds as they circled above the forbidden forest. Brenn’s father, Yartah, the alpha of their pride, and some of the warriors, including Brenn, had ventured to the edge of the forest when one of their young women had suddenly gone missing. When Huf, a young warrior, rode ahead into the forest, one of the monstrous birds had plucked him and the horse from between the trees and disappeared with them.

After that tragic event, Yartah had doubly enforced the rules. No one was allowed to venture near the forest. Brenn didn’t think after what had happened that anyone would even dare, but one never knew what young people would do. The youngsters thought themselves invincible. The only thing that seemed to scare them was the curse—if they shifted, which usually surfaced during puberty, they could remain a lion forever and lose all humanity.

He turned his attention back to Ivran. His friend was distraught, barely holding onto his human form, his lion fighting to burst free.

 ******************

The Dragon's Lion

Title: THE DRAGON’S LION
Author: Gabriella Bradley & Taryn Jameson
Publisher: eXtasy
Pages: 172
Genre: Fantasy/Scifi/Paranormal/Shifter

BOOK BLURB:

Danger, lies, and betrayal forge the path to unlocking the secrets Brenn seeks.

The rescue of Brenn’s pride sets off an angry tirade from Cewrick that results in curses that almost cripple the Crimson Realm and all of Ierilia.

With the help of Ciara, Brenn leads his crew through the bowels of the planet and the forbidden forest to unlock the secret of defeating Cewrick. But will his defeat end the reign of terror on their world?

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Book Excerpt:

Brenn paced back and forth. How could he possibly rest after the events of the night? What had started out as a night of victory and discovery had quickly turned into one of disaster and havoc. Cewrick had vented his rage at losing his captives across the whole planet. Brenn’s family and pride were safe, but at what cost? Even though Ciara had dispelled the wind funnels and their destruction, there was nothing she could do about the stone curse. So many innocents had turned to statues in a matter of minutes. If Cewrick unleashed the renegade Toubosians on the villages west of the Inar Ridge, they would have no defense against the ships and could suffer the same fate as Xynnar.

He stopped his pacing on the verandah of his rooms. Gazing over the courtyard, he caught a glimpse of his beautiful dragon as she slept in his orchard beneath the umbrella of his giant wraggia trees, their branches heavy and laden with ripe, lush fruit. He frowned, his brow creasing with worry for her. The night had taken its toll on Ciara. After flying to every corner of their planet to stop the black wind funnels, she had returned to Brenn’s estate and tried every possible spell she could muster to halt the stone curse, but her magick had weakened. He could feel how weary she was, how helpless she felt against Cewrick. She rested now, too exhausted to fight the sleep that overtook her.

He hated that she fought alone. Dissipating the wind funnels had exposed her to more and more people. He knew word would travel to Cewrick about the jewel dragon protecting the Ierilians and he would realize it was Ciara, the sorceress that had escaped his clutches. He would know she was no longer bound to the Clyss, and the sorcerer would spare no effort in his attempts to find her so he could bespell her again and try to capture her for her much-coveted soul shard.

After the suns came up, the stone curse had stopped, but Brenn was sure Cewrick was brewing up more plans of revenge.

He was about to go and bathe when he spotted a swarm darkening the rays of the suns. Shading his eyes, he saw dozens of black dragons and urcals in the sky heading for the city. A bath was not important right now. An announcement needed to be made to the citizens of Cront to remain inside their homes. The dragons and birds could not pluck them from inside their dwellings. He quickly hailed Admiral Zhala on his communicator.

“Admiral, I apologize for contacting you this early, but a swarm of black dragons and urcals is approaching the city. A global warning needs to be issued as I’m sure this is happening in all our major cities on Ierilia.”

“By the gods, I see them,” the admiral uttered. “Leave it with me, Brenn. I just hope it is not too late for some. I’ll send my fleet to annihilate them.”

“No. You can’t do that,” Brenn warned him.

“I can’t? What is—”

“Those black dragons, or many of them, were once jewel dragons, Ciara’s parents among them. They have lost their humanity, but when the curse is lifted, they will return to their natural state. We cannot kill them. The urcals, yes. But they are flying together as one flock,” Brenn explained.

“By the gods! What are we to do?”

“Stay inside. If they can’t grab people to bring to Cewrick, they will surely give up.”

“This is frustrating. We have the power to kill them all. But after what you told me, I won’t attack. I have no wish to destroy jewel dragons.”

“We also need to issue a warning for people not to touch the stone statues. They could break. Imagine when the curse is lifted, and people are missing arms or legs, or worse, if broken in half or missing their heads.”

“Yes. We need to dispatch teams across the planet to transport the statues to safe holding areas. I fear it will prove quite an impossible task unless our people can all pitch in. There are far too many villages and outlying farms that suffered the curse.” The admiral paused for a moment. “Let me get in touch with our media offices to get word out about the dragons and urcals and a message to the population to take great care in handling the statues. I’ll be in contact.”

Brenn feared for Ciara. As long as she remained sleeping, the black dragons and urcals could not see her from above. But what if she woke up and ventured into the courtyard?

After a quick wash and dressing, he opened his door to find Laro and Ivran about to knock, as well as Tomas standing behind them.

“Have you seen the black dragons, Brenn?” Laro asked.

Brenn was relieved to see Laro had returned from picking up Tomas. “It is good to see you are safe, my friend,” Brenn said as he embraced Laro. “Yes, and the urcals. I have already been in contact with the admiral.”

“What else is Cewrick going to hit us with in his wrath?” Ivran asked.

“I worry about Ciara. She is sleeping in my orchard, so she can’t be seen from above, but what if she wakes? Cewrick knows by now that she is free from the Clyss.”

“Can’t she hide elsewhere? The Tideless Abyss, her natural habitat?” Laro asked.

“I don’t know. Once the danger has dissipated, I will talk to her. Just help me pray to Taella, the goddess of tranquility, that Ciara sleeps for some time. I must warn my staff not to venture outside.” Brenn quickly headed for the kitchens and hoped he wasn’t too late as he could hear the flapping of wings above his house.

 ******************

Sword of Betrayal

Title: SWORD OF BETRAYAL
Author: Gabriella Bradley & Taryn Jameson
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Pages: TBA
Genre: Fantasy/Scifi/Paranormal/Shifter

BOOK BLURB:

The blade of betrayal cuts deep.

When Erica is granted a commission in the king’s army and a magical sword for her bravery, she begins to look forward to a future for both herself and her crew. But not everyone is happy with their circumstances.

Erica joins Brenn’s team in the fight to save his planet from the angry god, Zolmes and she finds herself charmed by more than just the planet. The sexy lion shifter Laro, claims she is his lifemate, setting her passions ablaze. Stung by the sharp tongues and dissension of some of her crew, Erica pushes him away to focus on the lives of her crewmembers.

Can Erica accept a future with Laro or will she let hate and betrayal decide her fate?

 

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Amazon (TBA) | Barnes & Noble (TBA)

Book Excerpt:

“Ground shift. Come on! We need to move!” Aldis yelled.

Erica snagged the strap of her pack as Laro pulled her to her feet. They took off running with the others in the general direction of the road they were seeking. Puffs of dirt shot up around them and dust filled the air, obscuring Erica’s vision.

A loud crack echoed through the veld. Long, spindly legs peeked through a wide breach in the ground in front of them. Claws snapped as eight huge creatures pulled themselves from the gorge. Huge mandibles were set on a small head with twelve eyes. Their long, segmented bodies sported two massive claws, eight legs, and a long tail with a pointed stinger.

“What in the hell are these things?” Erica screamed.

“Durogons! They are Zohmes’ pets. He had to have sent them from Yanata. They were banished with him,” Ciara said.

Erica looked around. A gaping maw right behind them seemed to meet the crack at both ends. They were trapped, with nowhere to run. All hell broke loose. Fire spewed from the durogons’ mouths as they advanced on them in a full attack. Icaras threw his hands up and shielded them from the fire with a magical shield. Ciara and Icaras began throwing balls of fire at them, trying to hold the durogons back but of no avail. The durogons’ hard bodies seemed impregnable, the fireballs sizzling out before causing any damage to their black, armored shells. Shots from Aldis’ fleet weapon met the same fate. Brenn, Ivran and Laro drew their swords, ready to attack.

One of the durogons broke through Icaras’ shield and lunged at Erica. She yanked her sword from the scabbard with both hands and nearly dropped it. Laro moved quickly in front of her to shield her and slashed off one of its claws. All it did was piss the creature off. Its tail whipped around and gashed him in the side before Laro could dodge it and slice off the other claw. Erica had never seen Laro wield a sword and was stunned by the beautiful display. He fought the durogon in a deadly dance of precision, each strike of his sword hitting its mark.

A movement caught her attention. Another durogon found an opening and rushed in to attack. Erica pulled out her fleet weapon and started shooting it in the eyes, hoping to keep it from advancing further. Its claws snapped at her, and its tail swished around, trying to find purchase. Suddenly, all she could feel was intense heat, and the scent of charred bodies filled the air. A wall of flame rushed up in front of her, consuming the creature she was trying to kill. Ciara had shifted and set the creatures ablaze.

The rumbling stopped, the ground no longer moved, and the maws slowly closed, burying the creatures.

******************

The Inspiration Behind the Crimson Realm Chronicles

The start of this adventure is so much bigger than just one book, but what sparked the world Gabriella Bradley and Taryn have created was one tiny 1400 word glimpse into the lives of two people whom the gods determined were destined to meet. We decided the short story should not be the end. Readers deserved to know more about Brenn and Ciara and their destiny.

Taryn had hidden the short story away for over ten years and had actually forgotten about it until she started doing a hard-drive cleanup. She read it again, then contacted Gabriella to see if she would like to take a peek at it and maybe edit it. Gabriella phoned Taryn and discussed what her muse had inspired. Both their muses just seemed to take over. The short story, Carnal Twilight, grew to over 4k and became the prequel to the Crimson Realm Chronicles, and book 1, In Search of Pride.

This brief snapshot of the meeting between Brenn and Ciara, spawned an adventure filled with fantasy and science fiction—a vivid world where gods and goddesses rule, shapeshifters, magic, and sorcery are very real, and evil has wormed its way throughout the realms. Throw a crashed spaceship and people from Earth into the mix, and it has become an even more interesting journey, laced with romance, angst, quests, and humor.

The Crimson Realm Chronicles now has five completed books with two more in progress and more planned for the future.

We are published through eXtasy Books Inc. A company that has been in existence since 2002. Gabriella has been published with them from their start-up. They are a great company to work with. Royalties are paid on time. The editing process is painless, and coverart is fantastic.

We are working hard on books 6 and 7 and are already planning a spin-off series. It is a fantastic rollercoaster ride with new characters entering the story all the time, characters that deserve their own tale. And bingo, another book is in the making.

VBT – It’s Never Game Over

It's Never Game Over Banner 2

About the Author

Christina G.

Cristina G. was born in Romania during one of the harshest communist regimes that ever existed.

The tenth child of a farmer’s family, she has six sisters and used to have four brothers, now only two.

Aged eight, she read Les Misérables by Victor Hugo and fell irremediably in love with books. Since then she kept dreaming of writing for many years, and she wrote a lot, but never thought of publishing.

In 2012, after living in Italy for ten years, Cristina became a blogger.

In June of 2014, with the help of a British friend, she moved to the UK. Here, although her expectations were not great, Cristina fulfilled the dream she never dared to dream before.

Cristina G. is now a registered author and dedicates her life to writing focusing on human behaviour, emotions and feelings.

Her latest book is the self-help/nonfiction, It’s Never Game Over.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

 

About the Book:

 It's Never Game Over

Title: IT’S NEVER GAME OVER
Author: Cristina G.
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 145 ebook/268 paperback
Genre: Nonfiction/Self-Help

BOOK BLURB:

It’s the end of the year but you have the impression it’s the end of your life?

Start the New Year with a plan. Don’t make a resolution, make a habit!

Whatever your situation might be now, you have the power to change it.

  • Depression can be overcome.
  • You can lose weight and find love.
  • You can heal and transform your life.

Believe you’re happy, and you’re half way there.

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Amazon

Book Excerpt

It’s over when you die

If change was easy, everybody would do it – I have heard this from several people who made it.

As you might have realised, all the chapters treated one thing only: humans are all the same, what differentiates them is ONE single decision: to fight or to surrender. To strive to change, or to accept what happens to you.

What surprises me the most is the fact that we all want a better life, without doing the work. I wanted that too. For 40 years of my existence, I was a spectator in my life. And I cried when things went from bad to worse. I crawled and bowed my head while I was telling myself that it was going to be sunny on my road too, one day. I thought it would happen because I was a good person. The truth is that we are all good until we take the decision not to be good anymore. And this might happen at any time in our existences. It could occur when we are just a baby. It could happen with or without our knowledge.

I knew I had to change for more than 15 years. If you reach thirty and you feel like you never lived, then it is definitely the time to change. I tried many times, but the fact I didn’t succeed means that I wasn’t serious about it.

If the change doesn’t occur in a very long period of time despite many efforts it is either because you are doing something wrong or not enough. Change strategy after you did your best to follow one without a break. Adapt and keep working on yourself. Don’t give up. It’s not the strategy that is useless, you are doing it wrong.

We have seen people who are not smart being extremely prosperous.

“I don’t have the looks.” – How many actors, models who don’t look that good, quite the contrary, are incredibly successful? Why do you think is that? Because they were born to get what they wanted in life?

We were all born to get what we want in life, but we are weak and don’t do the work. These people did everything in their power to be in movies. To play the role of their lives. They didn’t stop at anything. They woke up at 4 am, went to the gym, then knocked on every door they found. When they were turned down, they knocked again, and again, and again until someone opened and let them in. Most people give up at the first try, “It was so humiliating. They didn’t even look at me. I can’t go through this again.”

If you think that after a few attempts, of course you give up. I felt that when I gave up. I cried like a baby in the corner of a room and swore I would never embarrass myself in front of anyone again. But when at forty I realised there was no other way, I started doing what those who made it do. With the mentality I had, the sensitivity, the sense of guilt, it was impossible to get anywhere. I had to make a paradigm shift first. And it wasn’t easy. If for 40 years you are a victim, taking life in your own hands triggers a war inside you. Mind, body, and soul in conflict for 24 hours a day is utterly exhausting. That’s why most of us don’t stick with the decision to change. Surviving is easy, living is an endless tussle.

Everybody wants to have an easy life. We would love to sit all day long, watching TV or walking around, having someone to serve us while we swim in luxury. Some of you will contest this with vehemence, “I don’t want to walk around, I want to have a job I love, money to travel, a family to love me. I want to have a purpose.”

Well, if you really want that, you go and make it happen. Humans flew to the moon. That was impossible, changing is not that risky and definitely not that expensive. If I can do it, everyone can do it. After 2 years of holding on to my decision to change my thoughts in order to transform my life, I am still having troubles breathing. Like right now. And the reason for this is that I am doing something my body doesn’t like to do, insisting on believing I can live one day on my own terms. Everything in my body screams, ‘Give up, you fool. You have a good job that allows you to pay the bills. What else do you want? Many would love to be in your position. Sit back and relax. That’s what most people do.

You don’t have to fight against yourself. You have a destiny that will be fulfilled no matter what;     Why do you make everything so complicated?

You’ll never make it;

Just who do you think you are? Have you forgotten you were born a Romanian farmer? Have you forgotten that you have little education?

Succumb and settle like everybody else. Marry the first bloke who proposes to you and accept the fact you’ll fight against one another daily. Just like everybody else. No one is perfect. Accept the fact you will hate listening to his constant laments about the weather, not enough money to spend on Friday nights and holidays. Accept the fact he will betray you on every occasion. That he will have imaginary sex with every woman (or man), he sets his eyes on. Porn actresses, singers, models, strangers who look so glamorous in pictures;

That’s how life goes for everyone. You can’t beat that. You are no one. Your life means nothing. You are one of the 7.5 billion. Nothing less and nothing more. Eat your breakfast, go to work, come home, and walk around until the next day. A regular life doesn’t require too much effort. Give up the fight. Aren’t you worn out already?’

You might feel the same, and I am sorry. Nobody has to fight if they are happy with their lives. If you don’t complain about your current situation, you don’t have to do anything other than what you’ve done until now. But if your day is characterised by endless laments, resentment, envy, jealousy, a sense of emptiness, gloominess, and despondency, then you must consider making a shift in your paradigm. You need to sacrifice, compromise, commit, sweat, believe in yourself and persevere when you are turned down over, and over, and over again.  Everything has to change:

The way you sleep, drink, eat, walk, speak;

What you listen to or watch;

Your friends, interests, hobbies;

You need to give your time the value it merits;

You have to cherish struggle, rejection, defeat;

You need to force yourself to look in the mirror and see a worthy human being who can do anything!

You already knew everything you just read, right? Then why don’t you put it into practice? What’s stopping you? Who’s stopping you? If you feel like you are not going anywhere, why don’t you make the shift?

Dr Wayne Dyer used to say that we can’t force the shift. But others say exactly the opposite. I think that if we wait, it might take three lives until it happens. And from what I know, and everyone can prove it, we only have one life, and it is now, not after! If I had to wait for the shift to occur, I wouldn’t have written anything.

The internet and the libraries are full of amazing books, articles, movies that could help you shape your destiny. You read, watch them all even or especially if you disagree with the author or the idea. Invest as much time possible into educating yourself. When the moment comes, you have to be ready. You just need to take the decision to become whoever or whatever you want to be. Then you have to work hard to convince your body to follow the mind’s directions.

Are you contemplating death as the only solution to your struggles? I am the most entitled person that could understand you. I have been thinking of taking my life since I was just a child. A few months before turning forty, I was on the floor in my room, looking in a mirror and thinking the time was right to do what I have been thinking for the previous 39 years. I looked back and saw only misery, the present was dark, and the future seemed even worse. I was tired of fighting, I couldn’t take anymore. I was upset, angry, disappointed. I had nothing but sorrow. There was no point insisting. I thought the universe had already decided. However, I didn’t want to throw shame upon my family, so I spent a few weeks searching for the easiest and safest way to take my life without the evidence of suicide. But I haven’t trained my mind to think criminally, so I came up with nothing. All the ideas that I gathered weren’t bulletproof. In the past, I was a fan of The Mentalist, Lie to me, Dexter (for a few seasons) and several others TV serials on the same theme. I knew they would discover my intervention. I couldn’t risk it. I imagined the titles of newspapers and online articles. They looked dreadful. Then I thought of those who truly cared about me. They were not doing well either, was it fair ignoring their feelings? Was it fair to bring upon them other reasons to suffer?

So one day, I stared at my image in the mirror and told myself out loud the following: ‘It’s your life, if you don’t like it, you are free to make it over with. But just before you do that, give your best shot to change it. You’ve attempted it before but gave up before it happened. This is your last chance. You do whatever it takes. If in 5 years your opinion remains unaltered, then it’s over. You’d know you did your best and it wasn’t supposed to happen.’

The rest is history. After I had taken this ultimate decision – about which I am writing in detail in a new memoir – I realised that before I wasn’t serious about changing. I have waited for something to fall from the sky because I was a good person. I was expecting the shift that Dr Wayne Dyer spoke about. No, I wasn’t expecting it, I was demanding it because I thought I deserved it. Now, I am making the shift, and I am guiding it. Baby steps.

If you are planning a suicide, then the first thing you should do is get help from an organisation like the Samaritanshttps://www.samaritans.org.

The only suggestion I can make is that you give your best shot before playing your last card. You invest absolutely everything: time, money, focus, energy for at least 2 years into transforming your life. Take time off from everything and everyone. You are already dead, it won’t matter. But you must do it in this life, and you must do it alone. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. The power is in your hands. You truly are the master of your thoughts. You might not believe in you, but I do.

Do you know why? Because I am 100% certain that you can do it. But you must plunge into this project 100%. Not 90 or 99 but 100. With no breaks and no second thoughts. If you really want to change, if you are so fed up with your empty life, you listen and follow the steps others made before you.

It’s not easy at all. If it was everybody would change, and nobody would be so depressed all the time. But if you start, you go until the end.

I have heard many teenagers saying with anger, “I don’t need you to tell me what to do. Let me make mistakes so I can learn from experience.” Except they never learn and blame their parents for not pushing them more.

No more wasting time with people and situations that drag you down;

No more sad songs, silly movies that make you temporarily forget your problems. These are like alcohol, when they are over, you go back to your desolation;

No more listening to the news, no more watching shallow shows on TV, playing the Xbox as forms of distraction.

If you don’t give up at all these, you won’t step out of your misery. There is no way that you attend a motivational seminar then go to back to your TV, social networks, gaming, expecting those 2 hours to be enough to make you change.

As I said, I tried many times but gave up thinking it was no use. “No, nothing works. I am a lost cause. Too broken to be fixed. There is no point insisting.”

I didn’t manage to change because I capitulated too soon. Because I expected the change to occur instantly or in a few months.

Let me ask you something, “If it took you 20-30-40 years of your existence to become such a wreck, how can you expect to fix that in a few months of trying?”

Everything is broken inside you. You are full of wounds. Your mind is shattered. Your heart is bleeding. It will take time to cure all these. Convalescence is necessary. Unorthodox methods are your best bet.

I used to think I was smart, strong, reasonable, and open-minded. But I wasn’t very humble as I despised neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), motivational speakers, bold and hard to understand beliefs. I actually said a few times that NLP is for losers. Like I wasn’t one…

I used to feel sick at the idea of wasting my time with positive affirmations and subliminal messages. But when the vicissitude of life pushed me to the ground for the umpteenth time and let me no escape, I had to make a supreme choice. The greatest of my life. I was one single second away from cutting my veins when the idea of change spurred into my mind. ‘If others were able to rise from their ashes, why not me too?’ The moment I took the decision to change, I gave up everything else. I fumbled and fell numerous times, but I refused to go back.

So I took my laptop and started the ultimate search for my lost soul. The final battle. ‘If people say that subliminal messages help, who am I to say the opposite? Look at me, I am crawling, suffocating from crying, submerged in pain and responsibilities that shouldn’t even be mine. I need help. Nothing worked in the past, so a change in strategy is an absolute must.’

Of course I didn’t really expect it to take that long and to be such an arduous process. I used to think and say that listening to subliminal positive affirmations is absolutely ridiculous. I was disgusted when I heard that many people waste their time with this useless activity. I couldn’t even conceive of such a thing. ‘I could tell myself these words. But that won’t make them true. I know I am not worthy. Although I am a good person and quite intelligent, I am not that intelligent. There isn’t anything extraordinary about me. I know I am not really strong. The only reason I am still alive is that I am the ultimate coward, I can’t take my own bloody life! Why should I lie to myself? How in hell could this nonsense help me transform my appalling existence? Terribly ludicrous, pathetic, and stupid!’

However, I forced myself to do it. My first step was to buy stickers with positive messages. “If you can dream it, you can do it!” – Walt Disney – that type, all clichés. My eyes hurt when I looked at them. I felt so childish! My mind retaliated it with violence, ‘You can’t even dream, how the hell are you supposed to do it then?’

Then I started writing what I thought I wanted to happen in my life. Many influential people in the world did this. So, I began waking up 1 hour earlier every morning and made a list of my desires. Then I wrote them as if they were already there, ‘I am a happy, positive and accomplished writer. My stories are appreciated around the globe. And so on.’ Pages and pages with the same words over and over and over again. I was terrified at the idea that someone might discover them and call a psychiatrist who would put me in a straightjacket.

Then I followed (still) the ritual of reading them out loud first thing in the morning and before going to bed. Every day. I am still doing it because 40 years of miserable paradigm can’t be overwritten in 2 years.

Listening to positive messages was even harder. My body rejected the idea with violence, my mind was literally bleeding, my face was covered in tears, my back in cold sweat. At that moment I understood what torture feels like. But when it’s inflicted on you by others while your hands and legs are tied up to a chair, you can’t do much. When this agony is your decision, bloody hell it feels infinitely worse!

All successful people recommend the use of positive affirmations daily, you check. At first I registered my voice reading out loud words of encouragement, praise, compliments, and so on. I also made a list of all my accomplishments I never really considered as such. I listened to them when I walked to and from work (50+50 minutes).

This made me feel so pathetic, but I didn’t give up. I downloaded positive affirmations recited by strangers and focused on them. Every fibre in my body was aching. My mind rejected them with ferocity, ‘What is wrong with you? You know it’s not true. It will never happen;

Based on your experiences, your destiny is to suffer in eternity;

You are cursed. Nobody believes in you. You don’t believe in yourself. Give me a break, you can’t be a writer, you are a farmer!

You can’t do that. You can’t do anything. Stop fighting against fate. Nobody ever won this battle. You are not strong enough;

Who will read your stories? Just who do you think you are?

You are not an erudite, you have no expertise;

So what if you speak three languages, people are fluent in seven, twelve, or even fifteen;

Give up already. Stop fooling yourself. The universe has no power. There is no such a thing as positive vibrations;

People will step on your dignity again. They will wash the floor with your human essence. They will push you to the ground and spit on your work. They will mock and denigrate you. They will call you delusional and arrogant. They will laugh at your pain. They will invent anything to destroy you. You know this already. You know how it feels. Do you really want to torture yourself again? Are you a masochist or just terribly stupid?

You are losing your mind, go to a psychiatrist;

Nobody will publish your books. Your life story is just a story. Nothing extraordinary about it. You are not Victor Hugo. You will never write like Thomas Hardy. You are an amateur, and there are millions like you. How are you planning on getting noticed when the competition is so ferocious? Are you sure you can swim in this sea of sharks? They will take your money and bury you in shame;

You make me feel sick. So what if you are elegant and can walk in high heels? It’s nothing to be proud of. How are these helping you? You can’t defy ageing. It’s too late. Look how old and ugly you are. Nobody loves you. Nobody wants you;

You are too sensitive for this world. A crier, a servant, a follower, not a leader;

Just kill yourself and make it over with. The world would be a better place without you.’ And the list could continue indefinitely.

5 months of persecution from these and many other terrible beliefs and behaviours – nature – resulted in tangible improvements in my thinking patterns. My confidence started to build up. I stopped crying so often. I gave a different meaning to my struggling. And most importantly, I slowly started believing that becoming a writer was possible.

I think it was then when I realised that most people use their ignorance as an excuse to not do anything extraordinary in this life. Most of us are offended when someone calls us stupid. But it turns out that this is our defence against change. The perfect pretext not to try anything. Ignorance is a shield behind which those who don’t want to do much in this world hide.

But we all know that “No man is his craft’s master the first day.” If we sit all day long watching TV shows, films and serials, we will never enhance our knowledge, right? If we listen to songs that praise humiliation, loss, discrimination, pain, gloominess we will not feel inspired to get out of misery, will we? We resonate with those negative feelings, and we feel understood somehow. We chose infantile distractions on purpose.

Almost 2 years after, I am still listening to subliminal messages and positive affirmations daily. I know that if I stop now, or take a break, the risk to go back to my miserable life is tremendous. I listen to them when I sleep, when I walk to work and back, when I clean the house, while I write and study (at a very low volume in the background).

I also still listen to audiobooks that treat this subject. All the free audio books on YouTube were heeded by me at least once. From each of them, I learnt something. Some of them became my bible, and I access them once a week, a few daily. Many people are convinced that reading a book once is enough to acquire the meaning of it. What I am doing taught me that if an idea gives you the chills, then you should listen to it – or read it if you prefer – as often as possible. Especially when you are in this process of mental – life – transformation. I prefer the audiobooks because I can do other things while listening. However, I know that perusing something written on a piece of paper might have a stronger impact on you. You choose. If I were twenty, I would have, most certainly, chosen the paperback versions.

The reason one should insist on watching, reading, listening to something positive ad infinitum is that we change even without noticing and some things we might have ignored in the past might become incredibly powerful and effective.

There is a motivational speaker I listen to first thing in the mornings: Les Brown. His talks sound different from one week to another.

Bob Proctor was the first one I listened to, and he promulgates a unique set of principles. I was so frustrated and upset because I didn’t like much his philosophies. I remember watching his seminars and crying from exasperation. I was incredibly conflicted and had tough times accepting or agreeing with him. I forced myself so badly that at some point I thought that I will die from too strong feelings of controversy. The Law of Vibration sounded very appealing, and that’s what I acquired from him.

Then I moved to the next motivational speaker, Louise Hay. You can heal your life resonated with me so much that I listened to absolutely everything I found with and about her.    Then I discovered Eckhart Tolle, “What a liberation to realise that the voice in my head is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that.”

From him, I moved to everyone else suggested by YouTube and Google based on my researches. I literally plunged mind, body and soul into the search for my true essence. I fought against my thoughts, impulses, arrogance, scepticisms, cynicism, pessimism disguised in realism. 24 hours a day for several months I invested into getting to know and accept unbelievable theories propagated by extraordinary human beings like the ones mentioned above and many, many others. I can’t even remember all their names. You do research, and once you start, you won’t have time for anything else. The amount of self-help is infinite. Only one who doesn’t want to change, can’t find this priceless. Don’t be arrogant and think you know better. Unless, of course, you are happy with your current situation. All right? Nobody is required to change something they are pleased with. I hope you have understood this by now.

But if you complain, my suggestion is: The earlier you start, the faster you can transform your life entirely.

***

Of course, among these great people, I also came across despicable creatures who vaunt themselves and have great success on YouTube. One guy, for example, very detestable looking, teaches the art of manipulation (among other abhorrent topics). I was utterly disgusted by all his lessons. I spent like 5 hours in one day watching and listening to him. I was mesmerised by depravation. I really couldn’t believe that such a repugnant being could get so many followers and views. However, that’s when I gathered that if his distasteful concepts can be accepted, my style has a market too. In the end, he gave me hope.

So you see, you can learn something good from anyone. I so wish I had learnt that from a nice person, not from a big-headed brute with whom I randomly collide in my nightmares.

When I didn’t watch motivational seminars, I listened to subliminal messages and encouraging affirmations in which I never trusted. I had such a repulsion towards all this sort of new age therapy that I can’t even explain in words. Until I turned forty, I was convinced that positive thinking was a bullshit notion sold to gullible and uninformed humans. How ashamed I am now it’s hard to describe. So much camouflaged arrogance in my old beliefs.

Although Bob Proctor is not in my top five favourites, he is the one who opened my eyes and initiated me on the tricky path of paradigm transformation. I totally believe in the Law of Vibration being linked to the Law of Attraction. I will always be grateful.

Again, you might not like an idea or a person, but you can still change if you are fed up with your current situation. From my own experience, I gathered that one has to be at the nadir of their existence in order to want and force the change. Curious is the fact that I hit rock bottom quite a few times in my life and have strived for happiness since I was a child, yet it took me 40 years to move into the same direction of the wind of change.

Some people take the decision to change their lives at an early age. I really don’t know what drove them, but they have my admiration.

Changing takes time. Success takes time. Nothing happens overnight while we sleep. We would like that very much, isn’t it? I know I would. Without discipline, consistency, resilience, grit, determination, self-esteem, we are a ship adrift. Don’t be a victim of destiny, unless that’s your goal that makes you happy.

Nobody can force you to change or to become successful, these have to be your free choices. If you are happy with your situation, don’t do anything, changing is not required. You know what’s best for you. But if you are weary and contemplate death as the only escape, don’t give up life before having invested at least 2 years of your existence into shifting your paradigm.

Victimism, drama, guilt don’t serve you any good. Move away from these. Don’t succumb to negativity and sufferance. There is always another way.

Choose living instead of surviving. Believe you can do it and you are halfway there.

Remember that we are what we think we are.

Book Trailer

 

 

VBT – Abuse of Discretion

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About the Author

Pamela Samuels Young has always abided by the philosophy that you create the change you want to see. She set giant-sized goals and used her talent, tenacity and positive outlook to accomplish them. Pamela consequently achieved success in both the corporate arena and literary world simultaneously.

An author, attorney and motivational speaker, Pamela spent fifteen years as Managing Counsel for Toyota, specializing in labor and employment law. While still practicing law, Pamela began moonlighting as a mystery writer because of the absence of women and people of color depicted in the legal thrillers she read. She is now an award-winning author of multiple legal thrillers, including Anybody’s Daughter, which won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction, and her new release, Abuse of Discretion, a shocking look at the juvenile justice system in the context of a troubling teen sexting case.

Prior to her legal career, spent several years as a television news writer and associate producer. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from USC and earned a master’s degree in broadcasting from Northwestern University and a law degree from UC Berkeley School of Law. She is a frequent speaker on the topics of teen sexting, child sex trafficking, self-empowerment and fiction writing.

Pamela Samuels Young

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About the Book

Title: ABUSE OF DISCRETION
Author: Pamela Samuels Young
Publisher: Goldman House Publishing
Pages: 352
Genre: Mystery

Abuse of Discretion

BOOK BLURB:

A Kid’s Curiosity … A Parent’s Nightmare

The award-winning author of “Anybody’s Daughter” is back with an addictive courtroom drama that gives readers a shocking look inside the juvenile criminal justice system.

Graylin Alexander is a model fourteen-year-old. When his adolescent curiosity gets the best of him, Graylin finds himself embroiled in a sexting scandal that threatens to ruin his life. Jenny Ungerman, the attorney hired to defend Graylin, is smart, confident and committed. She isn’t thrilled, however, when ex-prosecutor Angela Evans joins Graylin’s defense team. The two women instantly butt heads. Can they put aside their differences long enough to ensure Graylin gets justice?

Unbeknownst to Angela, her boyfriend Dre is wrestling with his own drama. Someone from his past wants him dead. For Dre, his response is simple—kill or be killed.

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Book Excerpt

Graylin

“What’s the matter, Mrs. Singletary? Why do I have to go to the principal’s office?”

I’m walking side-by-side down the hallway with my second-period teacher. Students are huddled together staring and pointing at us like we’re zoo animals. When a teacher at Marcus Preparatory Academy escorts you to the principal’s office, it’s a big deal. Nothing like this has ever happened to me before. I’m a good student. I never get in trouble.

Mrs. Singletary won’t answer my questions or even look at me. I hope she knows she’s only making me more nervous.

“Mrs. Singletary, please tell me what’s wrong?”

“Just follow me. You’ll find out in a minute.”

I’m about to ask her another question when it hits me. Something happened to my mama!

My mama has been on and off drugs for as long as I can remember. I haven’t seen her in months and I don’t even know where she lives. No one does. I act like it doesn’t bother me, but it does. I’ve prayed to God a million times to get her off drugs. Even though my granny says God answers prayers, He hasn’t answered mine, so I stopped asking.

I jump in front of my teacher, forcing her to stop. “Was there a death in my family, Mrs. Singletary? Did something happen to my mama?”

“No, there wasn’t a death.”

She swerves around me and keeps going. I have to take giant steps to keep up with her.

Once we’re inside the main office, Mrs. Singletary points at a wooden chair outside Principal Keller’s office. “Have a seat and don’t move.”

She goes into the principal’s office and closes the door. My head begins to throb like somebody’s banging on it from the inside. I close my eyes and try to calm down. I didn’t do anything wrong. It’s probably just—Oh snap! The picture!

I slide down in the chair and pull my iPhone from my right pocket. My hands are trembling so bad I have to concentrate to keep from dropping it. I open the photos app and delete the last picture on my camera roll. If anyone saw that picture, I’d be screwed.

Loud voices seep through the closed door. I lean forward, straining to hear. It almost sounds like Mrs. Singletary and Principal Keller are arguing.

“It’s only an allegation. We don’t even know if it’s true.”

“I don’t care. We have to follow protocol.”

“Can’t you at least check his phone first?”

“I’m not putting myself in the middle of this mess. I’ve already made the call.”

The call? I can’t believe Principal Keller called my dad without even giving me a chance to defend myself. How’d she even find out about the picture?  

The door swings open and I almost jump out of my skin. The principal crooks her finger at me. “Come in here, son.”

Trudging into her office, I sit down on a red cloth chair that’s way more comfortable than the hard one outside. My heart is beating so fast it feels like it might jump out of my chest.

The only time I’ve ever been in Principal Keller’s office was the day my dad enrolled me in school. Mrs. Singletary is standing in front of the principal’s desk with her arms folded. I hope she’s going to stay here with me, but a second later, she walks out and closes the door.

Principal Keller sits on the edge of her desk, looking down at me. “Graylin, do you have any inappropriate pictures on your cell phone?”

“Huh?” I try to keep a straight face. “No, ma’am.”

“It’s been brought to my attention that you have an inappropriate picture—a naked picture—of Kennedy Carlyle on your phone. Is that true?”

“No…uh…No, ma’am.” Thank God I deleted it!

“This is a very serious matter, young man. So, I need you to tell me the truth.”

“No, ma’am.” I shake my head so hard my cheeks vibrate. “I don’t have anything like that on my phone.”

“I pray to God you’re telling me the truth.”

I don’t want to ask this next question, but I have to know. “Um, so you called my dad?”

“Yes, I did. He’s on his way down here now.”

I hug myself and start rocking back and forth. Even though I deleted the picture, my dad is still going to kill me for having to leave work in the middle of the day.

“I also made another call.”

At first I’m confused. Then I realize Mrs. Keller must’ve called my granny too. At least she’ll keep my dad from going ballistic.

“So you called my granny?”

“No.” The principal’s cheeks puff up like she’s about to blow something away. “I called the police.”

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