Your “Must-Read” Book List For The Summer!

Summer days are upon once again. For many of you that means vacations, sunny days at the beach, and walks through the park.

What could be more blissful than a sunny day,  a cozy spot, and a great book? That brings us to today’s post which is chalked full of great reads to suit practically every preference.

So without further ado, let me introduce you to your “must-read” list for the summer:

“Enemy of Man” by Scott Moon.

Earth Fleet never forgave Kin Roland’s failure at Hellsbreach. Changed by captivity and torture, hunted by the Reapers of Hellsbreach and wanted by the Fleet, Kin hides on a lost planet near an unstable wormhole. When a distant space battle propels a ravaged Earth Fleet Armada through the same wormhole, a Reaper follows, hunting for the man who burned his home world. Kin fights to save a mysterious native of Crashdown from the Reaper and learns there are worse things in the galaxy than his hunters. The end is coming and he is about to pay for a sin that will change the galaxy forever. Get it here!

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“Blood Land: A James Pruett Mystery” by R.S. Guthrie.

Crime’s an ugly constant in the big city. L.A. Chicago. New York. But when a savage murder brutalizes a small town and neighbor turns on neighbor, a tough-as-nails cop is essential to restoring order. Blood Land is a gritty, emotional saga set in the Wyoming badlands with both greed and vengeance at its core. When billions of dollars in natural gas rights hang in the balance and the town’s top law officer’s wife is slain by her own blood, a reluctant hero is forced to battle his own demons and ultimately choose between justice, revenge, and duty. In the tradition of Dennis LehaneTony Hillerman and James Lee Burke, Guthrie’s sparse, haunting storytelling compliments his talent for creating richly-drawn, unflinching law officers with human frailties and a sense of justice.  Get it here!

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“Painted Faces” by L.H. Cosway.

Come forth with an open mind, for an unconventional tale of love.. Dublin native Freda Wilson considers herself to be an acquired taste. She has a habit of making offensive jokes and speaking her mind too often. She doesn’t have the best track record with first impressions, which is why she gets a surprise when her new neighbor Nicholas takes a shine to her. Nicholas is darkly handsome, funny and magnetic, and Freda feels like her black and white existence is plunged into a rainbow of color when she’s around him. When he walks into a room he lights it up, with his quick wit and charisma. He is a travelling cabaret performer, but Freda doesn’t know exactly what that entails until the curtains pull back on his opening night. She is gob-smacked and entirely intrigued to see him take to the stage in drag. Later on, Nicholas asks her if she would like to become his show assistant. Excited by the idea, she jumps at the chance. Soon she finds herself immersed in a world of wigs, make-up and high heels, surrounded by pretty men and the temptation of falling for her incredibly beautiful employer. In this story of passion and sexual discovery, Nicholas and Freda will contend with jealousy, emotional highs and lows, and the kind of love that only comes around once in a lifetime. **Not suitable for younger readers. Contains some strong language and scenes of a sexual nature.**  Get it here!

***Hot Tip – L.H. Cosway is releasing a new book at the end of this month called, “The Nature of Cruelty”. It is a sizzling new romance that will keep you hooked from page one. Get the latest information here.

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“Hold On Tight” by Maria Monteiro.

After suffering a great loss, Emma is ready to get her life back to normal. She is spending her summer, before her junior year, with her new boyfriend Court. They are both working at Fairland Park alongside her best friend Britney. Emma is spending all her time with Court and is really falling for him. But things change when she meets Nash. She begins to question her feelings for Court. Is Court the right choice? Or is Nash the right choice? Emma will fall in love this summer. But will it lead her to happiness or a broken heart? It will be a summer full of romance, music, and moments Emma will never forget.  Get it here!

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The Desolate Garden” by Daniel Kemp.

The Desolate Garden is the story of a secret Royal and Ancient Government Bank, established in the fourteenth century, located in London, England, near what would become Queen Anne’s Gate, and a stones throw from a more recent edifice, Buckingham Palace. Since its inauguration, only one family has ruled over the Bank; the Paterson’s, Earls of Harrogate, hereditary Lords of the Realm. Down through centuries the Bank’s capital has grown in many surreptitious ways, but upon the election of a Socialist Government in 1945 at the end of the Second World War, the Bank’s chief executive officer, Lord Maudlin Paterson, sensing the winds of change, offers the bank’s services exclusively to the Secret Intelligence Services, a move that ensures the Bank will endure the forces of a Britain fast descending into grasping Socialism.
It is now the year 2003. And, Lord Elliot Paterson takes over the custodianship of the Bank and begins the task of converting the Bank’s hand-written ledgers into digital form and discovers in a hidden ledger, dated 1936, a vast quantity of money erased from the accounts. He digs deeper into the mystery, and comes across some initials along with an address in Leningrad, a major port in Stalin’s Soviet Union, in the margins of another ledger. Lord Elliot suspects that his grandfather, Lord Maudlin, was funding a Russia spy but stays silent until in 2012. In his waning days, he telephones his eldest son, Harry, to pass on the fears behind his suspicions.  Get it here!
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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO LIVE LIKE A FRUIT FLY? Fruit flies are born, begin attending to their fruit-fly agendas almost immediately, then succumb to old age before witnessing a single change of season. Likewise, we live and die in the virtual blink of an eye. Unfortunately, we often ignore our own mortality and simply coast through our days without ever checking out the bowl of fruit on the other side of the kitchen. The life we hoped for can wait for another day, we think. But another day often slips through our grasp, and we learn that we can’t wait another day . . . that if we are to live consciously, we must learn to live like a fruit fly, not tomorrow but at this very moment, the one we are experiencing now. We are responsible for creating our own destiny. Our gut, our instincts–the GPS we’re all born with–will never lead us astray if we trust it. Silver linings–more fruit to feast on–will always be within reach if only we’re willing to explore.Live Like a Fruit Fly is a call to action. Through anecdotes, insightful musings, candid stories, and hopeful messages, it emphasizes the importance of following your passions as well as being grateful through Active Appreciation (the gentle but concentrated art of meditating on ‘thank you’ for everything that has happened, is happening, and is about to happen) with just enough quirkiness to stand apart from the crowd.  Get it here! 
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Matt Veal, the owner of a small timber mill in Georgia, has vanished from family and friends without a trace. When his brother, Chuck, asks for help from local law enforcement, he instead gets a royal
run around and cold reaction to his concerns. Unable to trust everything the local Sheriff is telling him, Chuck asks his love interest and co-worker, Gail, to daringly go with him to Georgia and start a search. When she surprisingly agrees to go and help, the two walk right into a hornet’s nest of trouble. Everything from crooked land deals to the unsolved murder of his Grandfather almost a century earlier
comes into play with each new clue dropping them deeper into unseen dangers.With the help of Gail’s psychic abilities, Chuck starts tracking clue one at his family’s old Veal Cemetery, the last known
place his brother had gone. From there the dominoes fall, tripping circuit breakers on all the wealthy in West Creek County. The crooked forces send out their army of “Cops in their pocket” fighters to meet the threat of exposure from Chuck’s search, head on, and the rest of the story is breathless
action to the conclusion.  Get it here!
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Set in a caged habitat, where supernatural beings have been trapped by humans, the dark fantasy Habitat series follows Lanore as she solves mysteries while struggling for equality in the face of prejudice among supernaturals.

Since the 1970s humans have forced supernaturals to live in caged cities. Silver brands embedded in their foreheads identify them by species: a full moon for Vampires, a crescent moon for Shifters, a pair of wings for Fairies, and the list goes on, for each supernatural species has been tagged and categorized by humans. Lanore Vesta is marked with a silver X, the brand of Mixbreeds; second-class citizens shunned by society. She stays to herself, revealing her ability to create fire only during emergencies. All she wants to do is graduate college and stop having to steal to survive. But when she stumbles upon a murder in progress, she catches the attention of a supernatural killer. Now all she wants is to stop finding dead bodies in her apartment. Enlisting help from her Were-cheetah ex-boyfriend Meshack and a new mysterious friend named Zulu, she is steered through the habitat’s raunchy nightlife. But their presence sometimes proves to be more burden than help as they fight for her attention. While the corpses pile up, and the scent of blood fills the air, Lanore is left wondering: Will she find the psycho or die trying?  Get it here! 

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“Snow Escape” by Roberta Goodman.

Set against the backdrop of a historic snowstorm, Snow Escape is the story of one woman’s innocent foray into the world of online dating turned deadly.

Allegra Maxwell is a 30-year old, single school teacher looking for love. Having chosen to use the Internet to meet the opposite sex, she encounters an articulate, prospective beau on the night the biggest blizzard in history is blanketing the Big Apple. Their pleasant conversation soon turns sinister when she discovers that “Charles” has been stalking her for weeks and claims he lives in her building. With threats of destroying her little by little are made, Allegra must stay one step ahead of the mind games. Turning to neighbors for help, tragic consequences ensue.

When her sanity is questioned, because the online evidence her stalker exists disappears, Allegra must prove he does exist and she isn’t losing her mind. When a power outage thrusts her into darkness, will she be able to overcome the helplessness she feels? Placed in a situation that’s spiraling totally out of her control, while trapped in her apartment building with no escape, will she survive until the authorities can reach her?  Get it here!

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“My Prison Without Bars: The Journey Of A Damaged Woman To Someplace Normal” by Taylor Fulks.

Sometimes the strongest manacles in this life are the bonds forged from painful memories of a past so horrific, that they shackle and incarcerate the very essence of one’s soul…inevitably, the constraint is a life sentence.
It’s storming outside—I’m talkin’ the kind of storm that produces the little red stripe at the bottom of the TV, flashing warnings of impending doom and destruction on a scale of Armageddon. Yet, aside from the frequent bomb blasts of thunder and techno-flashes of lightning, my hotel room is eerily quiet—almost deafeningly so. I lay prostrate on one of the two queen-size beds, arms and hands paralyzed from being trapped under my limp, heavy carcass, hypnotized and mesmerized by the slow seepage of blood spreading into the fibers of the duvet…it’s my blood. This fact does not alarm me—yet, which that, in and of itself, tells me that all my pistons aren’t firing correctly. My vision is impaired by half…meaning my right eye is swollen shut, and I don’t really remember why or how it got that way at the moment. I am, on the other hand, well aware of the difficulty I’m having drawing a deep breath. With what little strength I have—God, my whole body hurts—I shift to my back and gasp! My clothes are torn and mutilated, draped across me in shreds like curtains in an old abandoned house—weathered and forgotten. For a moment that seems to stretch on forever, I am numb, taking in the macabre scenery that is my body—bites and bruises, blood and scratches, a hand-print on my hip, and a…Christ, what did he do to my breast? My brain begins to come back online, circuits flying through my head, some firing at random (work conference, restaurant, too much wine, storm…) while others are more concrete ( walking alone, man in the corridor by the stairwell, tied to the bed, hands on my throat…hands on me). Then the dream—my whole life in Technicolor flashing before my eyes. Was it a dream, or reality? Oh God…I’m either dead, or I will be soon. And what about the man? It’s all becoming clearer now as my brain begins to re-boot. A ghost from my past—the bogey man, Frankenstein, and the monster from under my bed all rolled into my living, breathing, nightmare. Where is he? Did I kill him? Is he still in this room? Futilely, I try to rise up from the bed—oh God, I’m gonna be sick—then I think better of it. Surely he’s gone now. There’s no one in the room but me. I’m trying diligently to convince myself of this before full out hysterics kicks in. I carefully still my aching head, my single eye heavy with weariness and fatigue, scans the shadows on the walls and ceiling as they dance with the strobe beat of the lightning. I just need to rest for a minute, just a minute, then I’ll have the strength to get up and call the police. Darkness surrounds me like a warm blanket in winter. My body is stiff and still as though the bed has been poured around me. The pain in my head and body has changed from a nauseating throb to a dull ache all over. I feel my whole body begin to succumb to sleep, the soothing abyss just waiting for me to fall over the edge into nothingness—that’s when I feel the mattress dip violently and the vise-like hand grip my throat. This is going to get ugly.  Get it here!

Enjoy!!

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Daniel Kemp and The Unpredictable Nature of Life

Daniel Kemp Photo

Daniel Kemp is a father, grandfather, poet, and an amazing author. Unlike the stories of authors who dreamed of writing stories their whole life, Daniel’s journey to writing came about in a most unexpected and challenging way.

(Daniel): I’m not sure that I was ever ‘meant’ to be a writer, I stumbled into it by accident; literarily.

I was at work one sunny November day in 2006 minding my own business, stopped at a red traffic light when a van, driven incompetently, smashed into me. I was taken to Hospital and kept in for while, but it was not just the physical injuries that I suffered from; it was mental.

I had lost all confidence in myself, let alone those around me. The experts said that I had post traumatic stress disorder, which I thought only the military or emergency personnel suffered from.

On good days I attempted to go to work, sometimes I even made it through Blackwell Tunnel only to hear, or see, something that made me jump out of my skin, and the anxiety attacks would start.

I told my wife that I was okay and going regularly but I wasn’t. I could not cope with life and thought about ending it.

Somehow or other with the help from my wife, and the host of professionals that I saw, I managed to survive and ever so slowly, rebuilt my self-esteem.

It took almost four years to fully recover and become what I now am, somewhere close to what I was before that day, but it was during those dark depressive days that I began to write.

My very first story, Look Both Ways, Then Look Behind, found a literary agent but not a publisher. He told me that I had a talent, raw, but nevertheless it was there. After telling me to write another story, he said that there were two choices open to me: One, wait for a traditional deal. At sixty-two, with no literary profile or experience; little hope. Two, self-publish through New Generation Publishing.

This, I’m delighted to say, I did.

His career as a writer really took off after a chance meeting.

(Daniel): About a month after The Desolate Garden was published I met, by pure chance, a film producer, who on reading my novel paid me for a twelve month option to turn my story into a film.

I’m a licensed London taxi driver and met him in that capacity. It was, he said, exactly what he was looking for.

This is maybe why. It is copied from a review, and summary, of an Australian journalist’s radio broadcast from the novel.

 “The Desolate Garden is especially for readers who like a story, largely rendered through dialog because it was the dialog that pulled the work off the page and onto a movie set. This political thriller resonates with charm, deft touches of satire, and romantic entanglement and where the promise of rampant sex is a turn of the page away.”

I should add here that there is no graphic sex nor gratuitous violence in the story and it is suitable for all ages

He wrote something recently that he led to an unexpected opportunity.

(Daniel): I posted this three-line romantic poem on the internet a week or so ago.

“To rise from a barren earth.

To soar above, to wing away.

To escape from all that’s lacking, and live to love another day.”

From it, I met another author who liked it so much that she commissioned me to do the prophecy at the heart of her enticing tenth century novel. It was an honour and great privilege to do.

The book is titled Viking Hearts, and written by Robynn Gabel.

 It tells the story of a boy left to die by his Viking parents because of the birth stain on his face. He is suckled by wolves until discovered by the Druids who believe he is their answer to this ancient prophecy. The boy becomes…..and there I will stop.  Allowing your imagination to take over. This is the Prophecy I wrote.

The story is hidden in this, and follows the chronological order of the tale.

 “There be cometh a boy that a wolf did raise, with a blotch and stain on his face.

He hath a twin who will rule this land, that only he hath the right to replace.

‘Tis a leader of men he will become, with much victory and treasure at his feet.

But that is not all that will trouble him. T’is much danger he will meet.

 

His image will be seen at an altar, where a marriage will be made.

T’will be a terrible time of vengeance, when plans will be laid.

Come one score year and seven, a mask of death will fall.

The boy will stand alone as a man, with ner’e a fear of its call.

 

All is not pure that lives inside, as greed is hidden away.

With no pleasure the Gods will watch, with much pain and dismay.

Ner’e wielding axe, ner’e slashing blade will spill nor cease his breath.

T’will be only a mirror of disguise that can bring upon him death.

 

Ner’e human hand can take his life, though many will want to try.

He is blessed from the heart of the forest, and to water one day he’ll fly.

T’will be a reflection of his own face he will see that coming day,

But all but the eyes will be hidden from view, secured far away!”

If he could give advice to his younger self, what would he say?

(Daniel): What a question and where to start! One part of me would want to say, change; don’t become what you did, but then again I have loved my life. What some could call ‘mistakes’ I would call ‘opportunities.’ There are so many hackneyed clichés one could use here, but I wrote another poem, that my granddaughter now has, that sums me up quite well. This is it. 

Along the Way.

“I am heavy, I am tired” said the old man to the child. “My life, is drawing to an end. It is not what I have done to life that has brought me here today, but what life has done to me along the way.

I was strong, I was fierce, I took no-one to my side, simply brushing them aside with no need of them. Now I find that I’m alone, but don’t pity nor disown those memories that I’ve sown, along the way.

My path was never straight, sometimes narrow, sometimes wide but along it I did stride to find you here. And I am pleased that I did, otherwise you would never know what I managed in my life, along the way.

I have reached that final bend, the one that leads me to my end, and now I leave you here to make your own way through this life. Tread your path with care, and always be aware that there is no such thing in life, as a mistake. 

Daniel’s book “The Desolate Garden” is available in here!

Daniel Kemp Cover Art

Check out Daniel Kemp’s website here.

Daniel’s on Twitter.

It’s November and You Know What That Means….

That’s right! For those of you in the writing community, you know that November means another round of Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month)! The great thing is, you don’t have to be some great accomplished author to participate. Its open to everyone and its free! You can’t get much better than that. Plus they have all kinds of ways to help people to come up with ideas, find support from other writers, get motivated to write their 50,000 words in a month, and more. They even have some cool items for sale in their online marketplace (in case you want to help support them). 

Find out more here: http://www.nanowrimo.org/

I’m sorry to say my posts are not going to as frequent this month, as my nanowrimo challenge is fully underway. Takes time and dedication to write that novel within a 30 days you know.  🙂 

If you decide to give it a whirl, look me up while you’re there. My nanowrimo page is at: http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/participants/kl_toth

Best of luck to all my fellow nanowrimo participants!