Friday, 22 June 2018

Leah's Story: A #LiteraryFiction #Novel by C.M. Huddleston

Connie M. Huddleston loved history and dreamed of writing a book even as a child. However, she got sidetracked. She became an Army wife, a mother, an elementary school teacher, an archaeologist, and a historic preservation consultant, before publishing her first book! In 2018, she published her eleventh and twelfth volumes, all dealing with her first love, our nation’s past. Five are fiction, four for children and one for YA/Adult, all under the name C.M. Huddleston. Her other works are histories for adults on a variety of subjects including three about President Theodore Roosevelt’s maternal family.

Now a full-time author, Connie resides in a log cabin near Crab Orchard, Kentucky, with her husband and their Australian Shepherd Katie. They all enjoy the quiet of rural Kentucky. Except when Katie barks at deer, turkeys, and of course, the UPS truck!

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About the Book

Leah's Story tells of an African-American girl born on a rice plantation, who grows up serving her rich owners in Georgia. Her life, like so many others, could have ended there were it not for a bit of education and Emancipation, which gave her, and later her children, opportunities to fulfill their dreams. Told in journal form, taken down by the mysterious “Miss Elliott,” Leah’s personal history comes to life like the tiny birds she carves, revealing a lifetime of love and opportunity amidst a culture filled with hardship, pain, and loss.

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Keep reading for an interview with the author:

Why did you decide to be a writer?

Writing was my childhood dream. I think many avid readers dream of putting their own characters in a book, telling their own story, and becoming known for making people want to read their books. Despite this dream, life got in the way, and I was almost 60 when I printed my first book. Now I have twelve in print!

Did you have a hard time sharing your work with the public?

Not until this most recent book, Leah's Story. I was told I was the wrong color to write about slavery. However, I felt that more than twenty years of archaeological and historical research into the South's African-American slave plantations gave me the necessary background to address the subject. My own imagination could fill in the rest.

Where are you from?

Currently, I live in rural Kentucky. I just recently discovered the very rich writing community in nearby Berea, a town and college known for its artistic ventures and support. I am now working to join that community.

Do you have a "day job"?

I'm a retired school teacher, archaeologist, and historic preservation consultant. Now I get to write full time!

What genres do you write?

Nonfiction history for adults. Middle grade, time travel historical fiction and historical fiction for teens and adults - Can you see I love history?

Is there a genre that you've been wanting to experiment with?

I think I'd just better finish up all the books I have started. No new genres for me, although, I joke with my daughter, a science-fiction author, that I'm going to write a steamy romance just so I can make some money!

If you could be one of your characters for a day, who would it be and why?

Oh, I would be Rose, the female lead in my Adventures in Time books. Rose and Greg can time travel into history. I think that's really every historian's and archaeologist's dream. What better way to explore and learn history than to see it happen.

What is the oddest thing you've ever researched for one of your books?

How to harness oxen to a wagon! Thank God for YouTube videos!

What is the most difficult thing you've ever researched?

Slavery. Even after twenty years of reading first-hand accounts and scholarly research, I often find the information to be heartbreaking.

What authors have most influenced you?

Robert Morgan's "Boone: A Biography" Morgan was/is a novelist and his biography reads like a novel. It showed me how you can transform history into a readable subject.

When did you first consider yourself an author?

Before my first book, I was the author/co-author of over twenty archaeological reports. But I truly felt like an author when, in 2014, I published "Greg's First Adventure in Time." Of, course, winning a gold medal from Literary Classics in 2016 for the book certainly re-enforced that feeling.

What are you working on now?

I am finishing the edits of "Greg's Fourth Adventure in Time" and working on two new historical novels, one middle-grade and one adult.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Veznek: A #SciFi #Novel by Andrew Gates

Formerly an on-site educator at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, Andrew Gates is now a Virginia-based science-fiction writer and magazine contributor. He is best known as the author of the Color of Water and Sky series.

Gates has always been fascinated by science-fiction and fantasy ever since he was a kid. His writing style has been compared to that of Isaac Asimov, author of the Foundation series. Gates's multiple POV writing style focuses on world-building and large scope politics. Though his stories take place in a fictional world, his characters are realistically portrayed and grounded in reality.

When Andrew Gates is not writing, he enjoys running competitively and watching films.

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About the Book

Kholvaria has been attacked. Its greatest city destroyed. A cloud of debris now covers the void once filled by Vigilant Behemoth. In the wake of this unexpected assault, the Chiefdom’s leadership is promptly evacuated to a fallback shelter beneath the surface. But the horrors of the Behemoth’s destruction cannot be forgotten. Here in the grimy confines beneath the Earth, Kho Veznek, second-in-command of the Chiefdom, will stop at nothing to claim vengeance on those responsible for his city’s destruction… even if that means going through his own people to do it. As tensions mount between the ranks of humans and Kholvari alike, the fate of the world comes to its ultimate tipping point.

Author’s Warning: This novel contains scenes of graphic sexual trauma and physical torture and is intended for mature audiences. Reader discretion is advised.

Veznek is the third book in the Color of Water and Sky series by Andrew Gates.

Get it today on Amazon!

Keep reading for an excerpt:

The biochemist held the stopped vial in his right hand, staring at the vivid color as it gleamed in the light. It looked so pure, like a cloudless sky on a sunny day. It was hard to believe this small sample of liquid could be the key to saving humanity.

It had been too long since there had been any hope.

“It’s beautiful,” Carla added, leaning in over David’s shoulder. She pressed her human hand against his back, comfortingly. “Now just don’t drop it.”

“Very funny, Carla. You know if I dropped this thing, that’s years of research down the drain.”

David carefully placed it back in the tray. Good, he thought, it’s secure.

“I know, I know,” she replied. “I’m just giving you a hard time. I know how much this moment means to you, to the world.”

“It means a lot. That’s why I made a backup. I put it in that case over there,” he said, motioning to a black box on a rack.

“And here you had me worried.”

David removed the safety goggles and turned to face her.

As always, Carla’s robotic left arm was first to catch his eye. It extended well past the sleeve of her lab coat, almost a full hand’s length longer than her natural right arm. The metallic prosthetic came in handy when working with hazardous or heavy equipment. If resources had been what they used to be, David would have gotten the same procedure for himself.

Today Carla wore a lab coat with a pink t-shirt underneath. He always liked the way pink looked on her. It complimented her rosy cheeks and thin lips. Carla’s short brown hair appeared unkempt, suggesting she had gone without a shower for far too long. David guessed his own hair did not look much better.

Vigilant Behemoth
“Now doctor, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were eyeing me up,” Carla noted.

David smiled as he stood to join her.

“Tracking my eye movements, are you? I know you have enhanced vision, but it’s not that good.”

“Oh, you can’t be so sure, mister.”

They leaned in and shared a kiss. Her lips felt soft against his. They held this moment for a few seconds. For the first time in a long time, David felt truly at peace.

“You did it,” she said, congratulating him as they pulled away. “Your formula… it’s done! It’s all done.”

“Mostly done,” David admitted. “Testing on squirrels is one thing. A live human is…” He shook his head. “Very different.”

“It’ll work,” Carla said, reassuringly. “I know it will.”

“It had better,” he replied. For all our sakes.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Broken Lives: A #Mystery #Novel by Cesario Picca

I'm Cesario Picca, I was born and bred in Salento (South Italy) thanks to my parents Francesco and Antonia. For 25 years I worked as a crime and judicial reporter, now I devote my time to my thrillers.

I have already published (2005) the juridical essay Ungagged - the developing concept of freedom of the press.

My love for thrillers blossomed with Murder in the Tremiti Isles (She, the other and death…) in which the main character is a reporter from Salento, Rosario Saru Santacroce, who is involved in a femicide. But you can also find Saru Santacroce in the thrillers Gioco mortale - delitto nel mondo della trasgressione (Because transgress also means dying…), Il dio danzante - delitto nel Salento (It is hard to deal with our own certainties…) and Broken Lives (The monsters from the past destroy the future…), a psychological thriller set in London, dedicated to victims of abuse and inspired by Criminal Minds.

In 2002 I was awarded the Piero Passetti prize for Chronicler of the year. I’m a speaker or moderator at numerous conferences and participate in many radio and television broadcasts.

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About the Book

The monsters from the past destroy the future…

A monster from the past reemerges in the present destroying the lives of three young students and engaging in a fight against time with the promising Scotland Yard detective, Sonny D’Amato, in charge of solving the difficult case. The suffering of someone who as a child doesn’t know about love but suffers only abuse can turn into the worst nightmare when it triggers that dangerous stress factor that makes anger push a person to cross the hellish threshold of no return. Thanks to the precious help of the coroner July Pence, the detective digs in the past in search of the logical thread that will allow him to solve the intricate enigma. He will most likely get the promotion that he feels he deserves, but without being able to rejoice. In fact, his soul will be hostage to the pain emanating from this sad inquiry that will make him lose sight of the difference between the victim and the executioner. Because, as Alexandr Solzhenitsyn wrote, “the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being”. Set in London, Broken lives, the new thriller by Cesario Picca, sees once again the reporter from Salento Rosario Saru Santacroce looking for news to inform the readers about these crimes which are worrying a city already wracked by terrorist attacks.

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Keep reading for an interview with the author:

Why did you decide to be a writer?

I’m a crime and judicial reporter and I work breathing crimes, murders, thrillers and suspense so it was not difficult to start writing. But I think there’s always a turning point in our life, the right moment to start doing something and I was looking for it. I started in 2004. It was a frozen evening and I was waiting for police to explain what happened in an apartment where an old woman died. The real story turned the beginning on in my mind. So I started thinking about a thriller and I wrote it.

Do you have a "day job"?

Yes. I'm a journalist, I create events, I'm a problem solver so I work with lots of enterprises

What genres do you write?


Is there a genre that you've been wanting to experiment with?

I love mystery and suspense so I've not still thought about another genre

What inspires you to write?

I’m a crime and judicial reporter and when I write I’m inspired by the reality, by my work, by what I see and I hear, by the life. I love hearing, seeing and feeling what happens around me and I write it in a romance way. I mix real-life experiences and imagination. But I think reality is the most important mine we can draw fully from

What books have most influenced you?

I always read thrillers but as I said the reality is a good mine.

If you could choose an author to be your mentor, who would it be?

Criminal Minds' creator because inspired me to write the psychological thriller Broken Lives

What are your goals as an author?

I will be very happy if I will be alive, and I can continue to enjoy my life, amusing readers of my thrillers

Does your family support you in your writing, or are you on your own?

Yes, my family supports me.

What is the best compliment you've ever received as an author?

The best compliment is when readers tell you the liked your thrillers.

What do you enjoy doing aside from writing?

I love footing. Until now I have run 12 marathons all over the world. A good way, in my opinion, to relax, feel good, think and avoid putting on weight especially if you love eating and cooking like me. I like travelling and knowing people, new point of view, new cultures, new feelings. In my opinion, the best way to spend money. Then I love reading. In the past I read lots of politics and historical essays, now I prefer thrillers. And, if I can, I love the other half of the sky…

If you were stranded on a deserted island, and you could only have five books with you, what would they be?

I usually read classics and Bible. I don’t have a favorite author. It depends on the moment and on my readings. In the past, I read Edgar Wallace, Ellery Queen, Cornell Woolrich, Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Jeffery Deaver, John Grisham, Ken Follett.

What made you decide to self-publish?

I don’t like the policy used by traditional editors. Particularly, I’ve never found a serious or professional editor and so I decided to become an indie author. In this case, I am grateful for the Internet and its revolution which is breaking the mortal grip of traditional editors where a connection can make the difference. I don’t think all indies will become writers like someone say because readers (and market) always give you your real value. But a good prayer and some luck can help to be successful.

What fears do you have about writing and being an indie author?

I think self-publishing is a challenge and I love challenges.

What is your writing process?

I write when I feel the story and I go.

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