Monday, March 31, 2014

Book Spotlight: The Tragedy of Fidel Castro by Joao Cerqueria

The Tragedy of Fidel Castro
by Joao Cerqueira

Paperback: 188 pages
Publisher: River Grove Books; 2 edition (December 25, 2012)
Amazon Paperback Link

Kindle Edition
File Size: 373 KB
Print Length: 189 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1938416163
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Amazon Kindle Link

About the book:

God receives a request for help from Fatima because a war between Fidel Castro and JFK is about to start. Worried, God asks his son Jesus to return to Earth and difuse the conflict.

Meanwhile, JFK and his counselor are about to interrogate a captured Fidel Castro’s spy (Varadero). Following a testy Communism versus Capitalism debate, JFK set him free and Varadero returns to Cuba. However, his faith in Fidel Castro is shaken and the spy begins to suspect that he is supporting the wrong side.

In Cuba, Fidel Castro faces protests on the streets and realizes that he is about to be overthrown. Suspecting Varadero betrayed him, Fidel imprisons the spy as he previously did with the revolutionary hero Camilo Ochoa. Desperate, he decides to invade JFK’s country as a way to divert people's attention from his own problems.

Fidel’s' army invades part of JFK’s country but cannot conveniently convince the inhabitants of the advantages of Marxism. Whilst peasants refuse a land reform, whores prefer free enterprise. Castro is then forced to ask Varadero for advice. Varadero seizes the opportunity accusing him of having betrayed the revolution and responsible for Cuba’s misery. Disturbed and distressed, Fidel isolates himself in unknown territory and following a fall which leaves him amnesiac. He is found by monks who take him to a solitary convent where mad people are ministered by the Church. Once inside he see’s the fools are enslaved, Castro starts a revolution against the friars. The course of events reignites his memory.

By this time, Christ has arrived on Earth accompanied by Fatima, who is convinced she can create a miracle to avoid the ultimate battle between JFK and Fidel Castro.

Back with his army, Fidel Castro receives a visit from the Devil and makes a pact: he sells his soul in exchange for being remembered as a hero who fought for a better world. In the future, nobody will call him dictator.

Finally the two armies meet in battle, but JFK proposes to fight Fidel Castro in a duel to avoid wholesale carnage.

Fatima, Christ and Varadero watch the duel behind a bush. After a violent struggle, JFK overthrows Castro with a stone. Then he grabs a knife. But when everyone thought that he had killed him – much like David and Goliath – it transpires that JFK had only cut Castro’s beard.

At that moment, miraculously, an eclipse occurs.

A Father and Son dialogue 

’’If we don’t do anything, something terrible will happen… or even worse, they’ll say it was our fault.’’

’’Don’t upset yourself. Just as they’ve stripped us of our merits, so they’ll exempt us from responsibilities, you’ll see. Just as they invent theories to explain the beauty of a flower, so they will find a way of justifying killing between men.’’ 

’’Fine words, but one day someone will use mathematical formulae and computer programmes to prove that we don’t exist….’’

 ’’First of all, there are a great many people that no longer believe, and secondly, that would mean that our problems would be over….’’ 

’’And then what would we do? What sense does it make for us to be considered products of the human imagination?’’ 

’’Aren’t you the one that usually has an answer for everything?’’  

This was followed by some moments of somewhat embarrassing divine silence. Then, after millennia of celestial contention, God decided to bare his soul. 

’’I confess I’m intrigued. Could there be someone above us? Who created me, then?’’ 

’’No one, you are the only being that has not been created.’’ 

’’But that is completely illogical, an affront to basic rationality….’’ 

’’What is fascinating in this mystery of origins and beginnings is that not even we understand it….’’

 Absorbed in the contemplation of the firmament, God digressed. .’’To have no beginning and no end…’’ 

‘’The specialist books on the subject insist that we are immortal…’’   

 ‘’Would that be a gift or a punishment?’’ Christ looked confused but God went on with his musings. ’’I also wanted to have a father and a mother….’’ 

’’You have billions of children….’’ 

’’I sometimes wonder if their real father wasn’t someone else….’’ 

’’It’s the adoptive father that counts….’’ 

’’But, if I created them in my own image, then why do they behave as they do?.’’ 

’’You’re in no position to complain. Before I was born you were terribly mischievous...and in any case, you gave them the freedom of choice, free will.’’ 

’’That doesn’t seem to have been a very good idea….’’ 

’’That’s the problem. Only thinking beings can conceive transcendental existence. Can you imagine a turkey in a mystic ecstasy, contemplating his magnificent Baroque sculptures?’’ God frowned. He’d never been very keen on sacred art. ’’We’re getting off the subject….’’ ’’It’s all related, can’t you see? Your creation is trying to break free of its creator. Look, they have already discovered that you didn’t mould them out of clay and that women were not made from a man’s rib. Nowadays almost everyone agrees they’re descended from apes. No one believes in hell, no one goes to confession. They’ve even managed to create test-tube babies and clones.’’ 

’’Are you telling me I’ve been fired?’’ 

’’You can’t be fired because you’re the boss. What they want is to set up on their own.’’ ’’But why are they so rebellious?’’ 

Christ hesitated before replying, and his countenance grew serious. 

’’I suspect that none of them, not even those that claim to be believers, are really convinced that another life exists….’’ 

God placed his hand on his forehead and closed his eyes. ’’So, what do they believe in, then?’’ 

’’Oh, they believe in power and money, in the good life, wild parties, things like that….’’ God remained silent, lost in eschatological ruminations. ’’You know, son, maybe you’re right. I sent you to Earth to save men, but they ended up fighting amongst themselves in your name, enslaving each other and burning people on bonfires….’’ 

’’Even the angels defy you. What do you expect?’’ 

’’I might be old but I’m not finished yet. I can still conjure up a plague or two.’’ - God began to sing an old song, ’’...Look at me, I am old, but I'm happy….’’ to which Christ countered, ‘’... from the moment I could talk, I was ordered to listen...’’- (and their exchange continued) 

’’Plagues? They would invent a cure right away and say it was all caused by genetic mutations.’’ 

‘’You’re right, the time for anger and revenge is over… This time, we’re going to think before we act.’’ 

’’I warn you, father, I’m not going to be the court jester all over again. With me, history doesn’t repeat itself....’’ 

Amazon Buy Links

Monday, March 24, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

"It's Monday! What are you reading?" is a fun meme hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. This is where we share the books we have read the last week and our reading plans for this week.

Stalking and restraining orders are a thing of Alayna Wither’s past. With her MBA newly in hand, she has her future figured out—move up at the nightclub she works at and stay away from any guy who might trigger her obsessive love disorder. A perfect plan.

But what Alayna didn’t figure on is Hudson Pierce, the new owner of the nightclub. He’s smart, rich, and gorgeous—the kind of guy Alayna knows to stay away from if she wants to keep her past tendencies in check. Except, Hudson’s fixed his sights on her. He wants her in his bed and makes no secret of it.

Avoiding him isn’t an option after he offers a business proposition she can’t turn down and she’s drawn further into his universe, unable to resist his gravitational pull. When she learns Hudson has a dark history of his own, she realizes too late that she’s fallen for the worst man she could possibly get involved with. Or maybe their less than ideal pasts give them an opportunity to heal each other and finally find the love their lives have been missing.

**love the cover!!**

Thrown to the Wolves: The Legend of Hannah & Eli (Shapes of Autumn, prequel)

NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER: As with any Veronica Blade book, this is a ROMANCE NOVEL, meaning it's romance FIRST and everything else is secondary.

A young werewolf must fight for her life to gain freedom, but her triumph could mean losing her only chance at happiness.

Hannah, a seventeen-year-old werewolf, would rather be a peasant and free than dripping in jewels and wife to the tyrant werewolf king. Running from him will get her hunted, and most likely killed, yet she formulates a plan.

Sneaking around the castle, she encounters Eli, a handsome blond shape-shifter and slave to the king. Drawn to Eli as a fellow captive, she admires his courage and honor — qualities rarely seen amongst her own kind. With him, Hannah finds rare moments of joy in the place she's desperate to escape. Though she dreams of being with Eli forever, she knows he will never abandon his sister, another prisoner of the evil king.

Meeting in secret, Eli and Hannah's bond deepens as he trains her to protect herself. When she discovers the king’s scheme to murder her after their wedding, Hannah must choose between a short life and brief happiness with Eli or freedom and a future without him.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Book Spotlight: Soul Control by C. Elizabeth

Soul Control 
by C. Elizabeth

Publisher: Wings ePress
Pages: 454
Genre: YA Paranormal
Format: Paperback, Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

“Lead us not into temptation, deliver us from evil.”

Words that ring true for seventeen-year-old Saydi Gardiner upon discovering her ancestry.  But if she has doubts, further confirmation is forthcoming and it comes in the form of a wickedly gorgeous Nathanael Braxton, when he steals her heart and cuddles into her sole – the last place the boy should be.
Nineteen-year-old Nathanael’s unrelenting good looks aren’t the only thing that make him dangerous – and he knows it!  However, his caring human side struggles with a loyalty – a loyalty that binds him to the hunt for the soul that will give his family the power they seek. There’s only one problem: When he finds her, Nathanael falls in love with his prey – Saydi.

First Chapter:


I’ve always believed the soul connects us together. Being able to feel emotion, love one another, hurt one another, laugh, cry... all the things that make us human. Did I believe my soul was an actual physicality of my human make-up? That it could be whisked off into the darkness by a demon? No. To me, life held enough hurt and pain without having to worry that there were forces of evil crouched in the shadows--waiting for me to swear, or something along those lines.

There was nothing more humbling than to be wrong.

As the warmth of the morning sun brushed against my face, I heard the cries and whimpers of the ones I loved. Truth be told... dying would be better than the alternative.


When the summer was over, my friends and I settled into our last year of high school. All of us were looking forward to graduating and going to university. I wanted to be a teacher, but they still weren’t sure.

We lived in the small town of Duck Lake, Saskatchewan where time stood still and nothing changed. Every year it was the same--no new faces, no one ever moved to God forsaken Duck Lake, and anyone who started grade one on any given year would eventually graduate with the same classmates. If anything, it made the teachers happy, for there weren’t too many of us that didn’t have good grades. We had to... if we were ever going to escape.
Being a snore-fest, my small home town offered only three entertainment options. We could hang out at home, hang out at the local restaurant/billiards room (Sloppy Joe’s), or, last but not least, party every night with the beer heads. Our little group of four pretty much stuck with the first two, only because the last time we drank, it took me four days to recover! It also brought about other crappy consequences--I endured two weeks of no friends when my mom found out and grounded me. Of course, she cited my age of seventeen and, not to mention, what drinking did to the soul.

That was one of my mom’s little quirks. She was always adamant that I was special and needed to be extra careful. Yes, she believed there were people out there who would be particularly interested in me, working very hard to ruin the good I had. She always talked like it was someone she knew, when in fact, she meant the general population.

~ * ~

“Saydi,” Angie called, hurrying down the hall toward my locker. She was one of my three best friends, a trio that included Angie Kathers, Becky Meyers, and Norma Pasely.

Angie was the one who we liked to call the computer geek--all in fun, of course. She was the epitome of “don’t judge a book by its cover”. Five-seven, blonde and blue-eyed, she always turned heads wherever we went. She was also the only one of us who had a car.

Closing my locker door, I waved back. “Hi!”

We walked to social studies with her arm wrapped in mine. “Did you hear there was a moving van in front of the old Winslow house? Someone’s finally moving in there.”

That surprised me, because that house had been targeted for demolition. “Really? Are you sure?”

She nodded fiercely. “I heard it right from Pat.” Pat was the town pharmacist and the biggest gossip ever.

“Hmm, that’s strange. No one’s lived in that place for years.” I stopped and looked at her. “Weren’t they going to tear it down?”

Angie shook my arm. “Don’t you remember? A few months back someone bought the place to save it.” She rolled her eyes dramatically, throwing her other arm up in a flourish. 

“They’ve completely renovated or restored it, whatever it is. Remember?”

How could I forget the biggest news to hit Duck Lake in years?

“Um... not sure how that slipped my mind,” I admitted.

In typical Angie style, she rolled her eyes again. “Really, Saydi, how could you forget? It was only the biggest news all summer! Where’s your head?”

“Ladies, get to class,” Mrs. Jensen ordered, coming from around the corner.

“Yes ma’am,” I responded, tugging on Angie’s arm to move faster. Apparently, the quickness of our steps was a direct correlation to the speed of her words.

“Anyway, let’s go by there after school before we go to Sloppy’s, okay?”

There was never any reason for me to go near that old stinky house. It was on the other side of town, and besides, it gave me the creeps.

“Angie, it’s completely in the opposite direction.”

Just before entering class Angie managed, as usual, to get the last word in. “Come on, it’s Friday! We got nothing better to do.” She grinned a mischievous grin. The ulterior motive dancing in her eyes jogged my memory. Other news came along with the renovation--it wasn’t just the house she wanted to see, Angie was dying to see if the rumors were true... Supposedly, boys our age were going to move in.

“You love me,” she quietly proclaimed, sitting at her desk beside me.

Yes, yes I did...but how much? The day wasn’t over.

~ * ~

Lunch time was our first opportunity to meet up with Norma and Becky, our other two groupies.

Norma was about an inch shorter than me, which would put her at about five four. She had dark black hair cut really short, so it framed her face and made her hazel eyes shine. Her cheeks were always rosy and she had an exceptionally small nose, but it suited her. She was also the one that struggled with everything, including boys.

Becky, on the other hand, was five six and had the same blonde hair as Angie, but it was always tied up in a ponytail. Becky hated hair in her face and she wore glasses over her dark blue eyes that rested on her little flat nose. Becky could be categorized as not the sharpest tool in the box, but she was fun.

Angie filled Becky and Norma in on her plan. Norma was on my side, arguing our case that the old house was out of the way. Becky was on Angie’s side. That was a no brainer... Becky was just as boy crazy as Angie.

Unfortunately for them, my logical side kicked in. “If they’re just moving in, we’re probably not going to see anybody, anyway.”

Becky stuffed a potato chip in her mouth. “Of course we will. They gotta come in and out to unpack the truck.”

“Duh!” I jeered playfully. “By time schools out, the moving part will be done.”

She hovered a chip close to her mouth looking off to the side, in her own world. “Oh, never thought of that.”

“Don’t look now, but we’re not going to be the only ones who’ll be doing a drive by.” Angie directed a nod behind me. “Look who’s planning.”

Turning around, I took a bite of my apple and grunted. “Of course,” I drawled with my mouth full.

Segra, Jocelyn, and Mattie were all wide eyed and talking with their hands. Segra Tittle had long curly brown hair, brown seductive eyes (I heard boys say that), was about my height, and had a body that made movie stars look saggy.

Jocelyn Adams was the one I kind of felt sorry for. They only allowed her in their group because she let them push her around. She had mousy brown shoulder length hair that always looked messy, blue eyes, stood about five nine, and was a little chunky around the edges. Unfortunately for her, she hadn’t mastered how to be graceful with her height and always seemed clumsy.

Then there was Mattie Drunes. She’d fit in anywhere with her long auburn hair, freckles and green eyes. She was about five seven and slim, and I never understood why she wanted to hang out with Segra. Mattie always had a smile, even with braces.

Those three were the most popular girls in school and had been since, well... forever, and only because boys liked the type of girl Segra was, for a short while anyway.

Angie moved in closer. “So... let’s skip last period.”

“No,” I argued. “I have an English test then. I can’t skip it.”

Angie turned her attention to the other two. “Well?”

Becky nodded with excitement.

Norma declined. “No thanks, we’ll know soon enough who lives there. What’s the big deal about today?”

Becky gave Norma a crooked smile. “Because if there’s boys and they see us first, we’ll be the first on their minds and they’ll remember us!” It was a warped logic, but a Becky logic nonetheless.

Norma flirted with the idea Becky presented. “Oh, maybe that is a good idea.” And as if someone hit her in the head, she snapped it toward me. “Are you sure you don’t want to come?”

It wasn’t something I could even consider, and they knew it. “No, I can’t. I’ll meet you guys at Sloppy’s after I drop off my Sunday School lesson. Father Lacombe wants to take a look at it to make sure it’s okay for me to teach the kids.”

Being our resident, not so bright, drama queen, Becky threw her hand over her mouth. “Oh! I forgot! Darn it! I’m teaching next Sunday, aren’t I?” She looked at all three of us, wanting an answer.

Angie dug in her purse. “Hang on, let me get my calendar,” she said as she pulled out her cell phone. All of our schedules were meticulously imbedded into that little electronic calendar of hers, not that we had any kind of elaborate agendas, but it pleased her to feel important.
After some furious button pushing, Angie had Becky’s answer. “Yup, sure are, Becks.” Then she tucked it away and looked at her. “Have you even got an idea what to teach?”

“Not a clue.” Becky slouched down in her seat.

The bell rang.

When I stood to leave, I patted Becky’s shoulder. “You’ll think of something, hopefully soon. It usually takes you two weeks to prepare a lesson.”

She ignored the bell and rested her chin in the palm of her hand, sulking. “I know.”

~ * ~

My spare class on Friday afternoons usually found me in the library studying, and that particular day was no different. I laid out all my materials and methodically began reading the first chapter of five we were being tested on in English.

“Hey, Saydi,” Todd said, as he sat down across from me.

I peeked up. “Hi, Todd.”

Todd Lethars, eighteen, had been my boyfriend off and on since sixth grade and completely off since grade nine. It was never anything serious; we’d never even kissed, so I guess you could say he was one of my best friends, too. But a couple months prior he’d started acting weird, following me around, and even went as far as to corner me and ask me out on a real date.

I told my Mom about it and she laughed, saying he was finally a young man and was showing interest in me. “That’s what boys do,” she informed me. Well, though he was tall, maybe six foot, with blonde curly hair, perfect skin and beautiful brown eyes and... get a grip!

Something just didn’t feel right when he asked me. It felt like my brother was asking me out, and ever since then I stayed away from any boyfriend/girlfriend talk whenever he was around. I also tried to avoid him.

“What can I do for you, Todd?”

He folded his arms on the table and rested his chin on them, grinning.

“Todd, I’m trying to study.”

Continuing to grin, he nodded. “That’s okay, you study, I’ll watch.”

My mouth turned up in a soft smile. “You’re making me lose my concentration.”

“No! I’m sorry!” he goofed.

I giggled. “Todd!”

He pushed his chair back. “Okay, I’ll let you get back to it.” Then he pointed at me. “You heading over to Sloppy’s after school?”

“Yeah, right after I drop my lesson off with Father Lacombe.”

“Kay, we’ll see you there.”


Across the room, two girls were whispering and gawking at him as he walked away. Todd could probably have any girl he wanted. He was pretty cute.

~ * ~

With another exam under my belt I scanned the extra noisy hallway for my friends, then remembered they skipped last period. It would be interesting to see what they discovered, and as I stepped out the doors it did make me a bit curious as to who moved in to the old house. I had to admit a little jolt of excitement came along with that curiousness. What if there were some new boys? That would be the highlight of the year for all the girls no matter what the boys looked like. It was appealing just to have new faces in town.

The rumbling of an engine crawled up behind me.

“Hey, get in,” Todd called, from his car.

“Thanks, but I’d rather walk,” I responded, forcing a smile.

“Come on, Saydi,” he begged.

I stopped to study him, debating whether it was a good idea or not.

His hands slapped together in prayer fashion. “Please, with sugar on top.”

“Oh Fine!” I grumbled and got in. “The least you could’ve done is be a gentleman and open the door for me.”

The tires squealed against the pavement as he pulled away from the curb. “I’m not that desperate.” He laughed.

When Todd rounded the first corner he slowed down to the speed limit, not wanting to alert the Father to his erratic driving ability. Once parked, he insisted I stay put. Then he opened my door for me and bowed, holding his hand out. “Me lady.”

Taking his hand, I stepped out. “I thought you weren’t that desperate?”

“Well... maybe a little bit.”


It felt uneasy how closely Todd walked beside me, giving me the impression that he wanted to reach for my hand and in turn made me shudder. A quick interception was warranted.

“You don’t have to come in,” blurted out.

Smiling, he responded, “I know, but I need to talk to Father Lacombe too.”


There was a sly look on his face. “Don’t you want to know why?”

There really wasn’t any interest on my part, because I knew what he was doing, but I humored him anyway. “Okay, why?”

“I wanted to see if he’d let me attend Sunday School,” he said, being a rascal.

And there it was...letting me know, in a roundabout way, he wanted to spend time with me.
“You’re a little old, don’t you think?”

“Well...” He ran his fingers through his hair. “That might be a problem.”

“You think?”

He laughed, finding the small of my back with his hand.

Purchase at AMAZON

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Romwe Free Item : Necklace and Ring

USD 7.99

Size & Fit
Chain Length:50cm
Pendant With:1.5cm
Pendant Height:3.2cm

Blue necklace, featuring camara shaped design, diamante studded styling, a tiny chain with an adjustable length, a clasp fasterner.


To maintain appearance and condition, avoid contact with liquids and perfume.

USD 9.99

Size & Fit
Inner diameter:1.7cm

Ring, featuring an adjustable slim band, retro bowknot embellished on top.


To maintain appearance and condition, avoid contact with liquids and perfume.

Ordered on 23 March 2014, review to follow. . . . 

Book Trailer: The Vintage Club by Darin Gibby

The Vintage Club

Author: Darin Gibby
Author's Website
Paperback: 326 pages
Publisher: Koehler Books (December 1, 2013)
Amazon Paperback Link

Kindle Edition
File Size: 924 KB
Print Length: 326 pages
Publisher: Koehler Books (November 1, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Amazon Kindle Link

About the book:

Can wine really make you live forever? Yes, if the grapes are an ancient varietal---or so the members of the Vintage Club believe. Made up of some of the world’s wealthiest industrial magnates, the club conducts secret scientific research to discover what has eluded humans throughout history: the elixir of life.

Their quest hits a snag when scientist Walter Trudell is murdered. The prime murder suspect is his godson Reggie Alexander, a patent attorney whom Trudell once saved from a life of poverty in northeast Washington, D.C. As soon as news of the murder spreads, Reggie goes into hiding---soon after his wife and son disappear.

After being chased by mysterious assailants, beaten unconscious, and planted with a bug, Reggie must come to grips with his own private demons while figuring out how to save his family. The Vintage Club is a thriller that both explores the ancient Christian symbolism of wine and imagines ways that modern nanotechnology could be used to discover the fountain of youth.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Book Spotlight: A Bed For Fred by Lori Zoss

A Bed for Fred

Author: Lori Zoss
Hardcover Edition
Hardcover: 24 pages
Publisher: Hugo House Publishers (October 11, 2013)
Amazon Hardcover Link

Kindle Edition
File Size: 4700 KB
Print Length: 18 pages
Publisher: Hugo House Publishers, Ltd. (November 12, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Amazon Kindle Link

About the book

Ready for a nap, young Fred the Basset Hound goes to his room after an energetic morning of play and the unthinkable happens: his favorite comfy, red bed has disappeared! After a search of his house that involved an exchange with a less than helpful mouse, Fred sets out on a journey outside to find his bed. Along the way he meets a sedentary frog, an enthusiastic cricket, and a sympathetic owl. The dilemma of his lost bed intensifies as Fred realizes he has strayed too far from home without telling his father that he left. A Bed for Fred is a delightful journey relatable to young children, figuring out the world they live in as well as their first experiences with complication and change. 

Amazon Buy Link

Book Review: Unelmoija: The Dreamshifter (Weeia) by Elle Boca

Unelmoija: The Dreamshifter (Weeia) 

Author: Elle Boca
Kindle Edition
File Size: 3262 KB
Print Length: 157 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Poyeen Publishing (November 24, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Amazon Kindle Link

Note: I received a review copy of this book free from the author, Elle Boca. The review posted below is based on my personal thoughts while reading the book.

Ratings: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

My thoughts:

The Dreamshifter is the first book in the Unelmoija series.

The book tells the story of two young people, Amy and Duncan, with special super powers. Amy is able to manipulate dreams, Duncan on the other hand is able to heal and move fast. Of these two powers, what would you like to have? 

The story and twists are interesting. The paranormal-ish stuff gets more interesting, too intriguing past half of the book. I like story lines like this, having super powers and fighting enemies using them. I want my own super powers too! LOL

As for the plot, it is not that complex, easy to follow. I liked Amy and Duncan's friendship. They remind me of the movie, Push, with Dakota Fanning and Chris Evans. This is an enjoyable read. If you are into stories with super powers, you might want to pick up this book. 

About the book:

Unelmoija: The Dreamshifter a pretty yet ordinary young woman's life is transformed beyond her imaginings when a traumatic incident changes her forever. An unexpected encounter with the father she never knew and a mysterious man that repels and attracts her at the same time leads her to discover she's not who she thinks she is. 

About the author:

Elle is the author of the Unelmoija urban fantasy series set in Miami, Florida in the United States. Growing up the only child of a monkey mother and a rabbit father she learned to keep herself entertained and spend time reading.

Elle makes her home with her king cat husband in South Florida. When not writing and creating fantastical beings she likes photographing nature and wildlife, eating baked goods, watching movies, and dreaming of going on safari.

Find me on



Saturday, March 15, 2014

Guest Author: Charles Prandy

My Inspiration for writing The Avenged

Many years ago I wanted to be a police officer. I minored in criminal justice, I was physically fit and I studied martial arts. So naturally I felt I’d be a good fit for the force. Then I got married. When I told my wife that I wanted to take the police officer’s exam, she looked at me sideways and said she didn’t want me becoming a cop. Her father was a retired police officer and she saw firsthand what kind of stress police officers deal with on a daily basis. So as the saying goes, happy wife, happy life. I probably could have pushed the button a little harder and argued the facts as to why I’d make a good officer, but in the end if she wasn’t comfortable with me being a cop, it was probably best for me to pick another career field. Therefore I did the next best thing. I created a fictional character named Detective Jacob Hayden that I could live my police dreams through.

I’ve always known that at some point in my life was I was going write novels, and when I did I wanted to write crime thrillers. Living so close to Washington, D.C. and being familiar with the city, I figured D.C. would be the perfect setting for a crime series. Hence, Jacob Hayden was born. Jacob is a homicide detective with the Washington, D.C. police department. He loves his job and cares for his city and has all of the natural attributes and faults of any normal living person. 

When creating Jacob’s character, I wanted to be careful and not make Jacob too much like Alex Cross. I’ve been told numerous times that I have a similar writing style to James Patterson’s, so I didn’t want it to seem as if Jacob was a knock of Alex Cross, even though they’re both African American detectives in D.C. I wanted Jacob to be likeable and believable. Throughout the course of writing, The Avenged, I consulted with a couple of friends who were former police officers to make sure that I portrayed Jacob in the most believable light. Nevertheless, since, The Avenged, is fictional, there are going to be instances where you say to yourself, a real person couldn’t get out of that. 

What inspired, The Avenged? The Avenged is actually a combination of a couple of stories that I had been working on. I wanted to write a story about a sniper who was out for revenge, and I also wanted to write a story about a corrupt judge. When I started playing with the plots a little bit I said to myself, why not mesh the stories together. The first two Jacob Hayden novels were originally going to be the two separate stories noted above, but as I began combining them together, I saw that the story was more complex and creative and there was more wiggle room to create plot twists and suspense. So by merging the two stories together I created, The Avenged.

The Avenged has everything you want in a crime thriller: love, suspense, betrayal, sex, violence, intriguing characters and plot twists. If you haven’t had a chance to meet Jacob yet, pick up a copy and see what he’s all about.

The Avenged

Author: Charles Prandy
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 2, 2012)

Kindle Edition
File Size: 1094 KB
Print Length: 374 pages
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English

About the book:

Alex Cross isn't the only detective in D.C.

A seventeen year-old kid is shot point blank in the chest in the streets of D.C.

A sniper sits on top of a building and aims a Parker-Hale M85 rifle in Dupont Circle.

A prominent D.C. Superior Court judge is involved in a shady business practice.

Jacob Hayden is a homicide detective with the D.C. Police Department. His life is as
great as it's ever been. He's married to a beautiful woman and works in a
career that he loves. All of that changes when he's assigned to the murder of
Melvin Johnson, a seventeen year-old who was shot in the streets of D.C. Upon
arrival, the murder scene looks like the typical drug deal gone wrong, however
the clues tell a different story.

A calculating sniper sits on top of a building in D.C. His rifle is aimed towards
Dupont Circle's park. Through his scope he sees people walk by. His finger
rests on the trigger, just waiting for the right moment. When he's ready, he
takes in a deep breath, steadies his aim, and squeezes the trigger.

Frank Peters is a nearly retired Superior Court judge with a hot temper. From the
outside looking in, Frank Peters appears to be as clean cut as they come.
However, when a business associate is murdered, everything about Frank Peters
will come into question, which only brings out his rage. The last thing you
want to do is be on Judge Peter's bad side.

Follow Jacob Hayden's investigations and see how the Sniper and the Judge are linked to an underground operation that ultimately changes Jacob Hayden's life

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Guest Author: Greg Messel


Since I was a small child, I’ve been in love with San Francisco. I grew up in the East Bay town of Concord, California, which is about 30 miles east of San Francisco.  

I’ve spent a good share of my life, going to San Francisco to have fun. Even though I live farther away from this magical city now, I still return and it is a place I dearly love. 

One reviewer said of my Sam Slater Mystery books that one of the main characters in the books is the city of San Francisco.   I’m excited to have “Fog City Strangler” published and available to readers.  I plan at least two more in the series.   

While I’m promoting “Fog City Strangler, I’m busy writing my next book in the series-- “Shadows In The Fog”--which should be out by the end of this year.

Last summer when I returned to the Bay Area I spent a day in San Francisco, drinking in the sites but also imaging different locations for my books. I wanted to refresh my memory in some cases and make sure things are as I remember.   I research the locations as best I can, to imagine what they were like in the 1950s compared to now. 

In some cases I do remember what it was like in the 1950s.  For instance, one of my favorite locations in San Francisco is called the Cannery.  My wife and I loved to go there and when we were dating in high school we would go to the Cannery, which is a collection of restaurants, shops and nearby is the old Ghirardelli Chocolate factory. 
When Sam Slater walked the streets of San Francisco, the Cannery was still a cannery, for Dole Pineapple. 

Last summer I visited Coit Tower and drove down the steep hills of Telegraph HIll. Coit Tower and the steep streets which surround it, figure prominently in the plot of “San Francisco Secrets.”   

I also walked up and down Filbert Street where Sam and Amelia have a harrowing ride after the brakes on their car are tampered with in “San Francisco Secrets.”  

I drove out to historic Fort Point at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge which is a key location in the second book in the series “Deadly Plunge.”   One of my favorite places in San Francisco is the Palace of Fine Arts.  I walked around the pond on the path where a Russian diplomat is murdered in “Deadly Plunge.”   

On my recent trips to San Francisco I’ve even driven through Sam and Amelia’s old neighborhood in the Mission District. It has changed a lot since the 1950s. For one thing, sadly there is a Safeway store on the hallowed ground once occupied by Seals Stadium.  I will always think of Sam Slater and Amelia Ryan when I drive by the corner of 16th and Valencia. It’s the fictional location of Sam’s apartment building. 

I love to use the photos from the San Francisco Historical Society in my books. I think they add a lot and hope readers agree. I have to get permission to use them and they have been wonderful to work with.  They have copies of my books in their archives. 

I’ve always been very fond of Stinson Beach, a beach town north of San Francisco, which is the location of key events in “Fog City Strangler.” I liked to go to Stinson Beach in the summer when I was a teenager. There were also a few occasions when I cut school with my friends and went to Stinson Beach. I always wondered how we got away with it. Me and my friends would return from our “sick day” with sunburned cheeks after our day at Stinson Beach. 

Napa Valley is a beautiful place and world famous for it’s vineyards and wineries. In 1958 the California wine industry was on the cusp of making a name for itself. 

I’ve always loved the movies of Alfred Hitchcock as you can probably tell from my books. I discovered a book called “Footsteps in the Fog.” Hitchcock shot several movies in San Francisco in the 1950s and 1960s.  “Footsteps in the Fog” talks about the locations he used and showed photos of him scouting locations in the City-By-The-Bay.  

I hope I’m following his footsteps in the fog. 

I had one reader ask if all of the detail in “Last of the Seals,” “Deadly Plunge,”  “San Francisco Secrets” and “Fog City Strangler” is real?   My answer is as real as I can possibly make it.  The 1950s world of San Francisco, where Sam and Amelia live, in very alive in my memory. 

First Chapter:
Stinson Beach
November 29, 1958 

Amelia Slater had only slept a short time before she was startled awake by crashing and banging noises outside the beach house on Stinson Beach where she was staying with her husband Sam Slater. 

Shortly after she awoke, another physical sensation hit her as she regained consciousness. She was really cold. She tried to see if Sam was awake but the darkness was so thick that she couldn’t see him even though he was right next to her in the bed.  

The house where Sam and Amelia were staying seemed to be right in the bull’s eye of an unusually fierce early winter storm that was zeroing in on the northern California coast. Storm warnings were up for the coast for high winds followed by heavy rains. The fury of the storm raged outside the large window of Sam and Amelia’s bedroom as the winds whistled through the rain gutters of the beach house and rattled the windows.  

The two-story beach house was perched on a steep hill which thrust up from the sandy, wide beach below. The master bedroom where Sam and Amelia were sleeping had a large sliding glass door which opened out onto a deck that surrounded the house on the second story offering spectacular vistas of the beach below.  

The beach house also had a round turret with a large leaded-glassed window of Neptune, Kind of the Sea, flanked by two large fish with curvy tails. On the roof was a large weather vane of a gray whale which was spinning like a top in the high winds. 

Beach access from the house was a wooden stair case which was built on the steep hill that was covered by thick, low-growing masses of blooming ice plant. The staircase had obviously been replaced recently since the wood had not yet become the weathered gray color of the rest of the house. The raging storm was roiling the foamy surf which crashed onto Stinson Beach and was lapping up at the bottom of the wooden stairs. 

Their sleep had been brief.  In preparation for a stormy night, Sam and Amelia had found flashlights and candles to put on the nightstands on either side of the bed in case they lost power.  

Sam detected Amelia stirring next to him in bed and tried to click on the lamp on the nightstand. It was then that he discovered that the house had no power. Sam reached into the darkness until his hand touched the flashlight. He then clicked it on to look at his wristwatch which was on the table. It was 1:15 a.m.

“Amelia,” Sam said softly, “are you awake?”

“Yeah,” came the reply out of the pitch darkness of the bedroom. “How could anyone sleep through this? I’ve been awake for a while. I didn’t want to bother you in case you had been able to get to sleep.”

“No such luck. It’s freezing in the house. I’m going to go check on things. Maybe I can get a fire going in the fireplace. Light the candles. I’m going to go see if the house is okay.  I heard some really loud noises earlier.”

Sam didn’t want to unnecessarily alarm Amelia but he’d swear he had heard footsteps earlier, like someone running through the house. He couldn’t be sure because of the sounds of the raging storm. 

Sam clicked on his flashlight so Amelia could find the matches.  After she lit the first candle, Sam disappeared into the darkness.  Amelia watched as the shafts of light from Sam’s flashlight vanished from sight as he began to walk through the house. 

Amelia picked up the candle and made her way to a chair to retrieve her coat which she put on over her nightgown to fight off the chill.  She listened intently and could hear some thumping noises. She wasn’t sure if source of the banging was Sam or the storm. 

“Sam! Sam!” Amelia called. “Where are you?  Sam, is that you?”  

There was no response. 

The large floor-to-ceiling glass doors which opened off of the bedroom were rattling to the point where Amelia wondered if they would be able to withstand the strong winds. Amelia heard noises outside on the deck and saw a shadowy figure throwing a large can which clanked onto the deck. The man then turned and ran.  She strained her eyes against the dense darkness. 

Amelia instinctively walked towards the glass doors. She wondered if the man on the deck was Sam. If it was, what was he doing?

She held up the candle but could see nothing.  She reached for the flashlight on the table and clicked it on.  Amelia shined it out the glass door, but she could see nothing but her own reflection.  As she walked closer the beam of her flashlight fell on a red gas can lying on it’s side on the deck. 

Amelia moved closer towards the door and then to her horror she saw flames racing across the deck outside the doors.  Amelia was simultaneously confused and frozen with terror as she watched the deck become a wall of fire being buffeted by the high winds from the storm. 

The bewildered Amelia shrieked before turning to run towards the bedroom door with the flashlight illuminating her path.  She began shouting Sam’s name as loudly as she could.  As she opened the bedroom door two shots rang out and ricocheted off the wall and door frame above her head. 

Amelia squealed and retreated into the bedroom, slamming the door. She looked for a way to lock the door to protect her self from the assailant but there was no lock. It was an old fashioned lock that required a skeleton key. 

There was so much noise from the fire roaring outside on the deck and that storm, that Amelia couldn’t tell if the shooter was pursuing her further or attempting to break down the bedroom door.  She leaned against the door but knew she would be defenseless if the gunman wanted to force his way into the bedroom.

Where was Sam?  Was he okay? Who fired the shots at her?  Who set the deck on fire?

Amelia was now trapped between an unknown assailant outside her bedroom door and the fire raging on the deck on the other side of the glass doors.  She knew she had just moments to make a decision about how to escape. 

She decided to take her chance on the deck since the shadowy figure who fired the shots at her was undoubtedly just outside her bedroom. 

Amelia tried to grasp the door handle to the sliding glass door but it was getting hot. She couldn’t figure out how to unlock it and didn’t have time in the darkness to deal with it. Amelia decided to take more direct action--she picked up a wooden chair and threw it at the large glass doors onto the deck. 

The chair cracked the glass but mostly bounced off of the door and fell onto the floor. She quickly scanned the room for something heavier that she could throw through the glass door. 

Amelia spotted a large metal paperweight on a writing desk in the bedroom. It looked like some kind of navigation tool from a boat.  Amelia cocked her arm and threw it as hard as she could at the cracked glass door. 

That did the trick, but the glass shards from the door went flying all over the bedroom floor and the deck. The breaking of the door only made her situation worse as the high winds now pushed the flames into the bedroom and closer to Amelia. 

The curtains around the large glass door ignited as the fire now snaked it’s way towards Amelia. It was now going to be impossible for Amelia to escape onto the deck because of the intensity of the flames.  Amelia let out a blood curdling scream.  “Sam! Sam! Help! Sam, help me!”

The storm and the crackling of the fire which exploded into the bedroom onto new sources of fuel drowned out Amelia’s cries for help.  She eyed the bedroom door and decided she had to open it and confront whatever was on the other side.   

Sam had taken his gun when he left moments ago. She had no idea what had happened to him.  The defenseless Amelia stood in front of the closed bedroom door, She glanced over her shoulder at the advancing flames.  

Amelia didn’t know what awaited her on the other side of the door but she was going to have to make a break for it. 

To her horror when she grabbed the knob and turned it but the door was locked. Someone had used a skeleton key to lock her in the burning bedroom.

She was trapped. 

About the Author:

Greg Messel grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and now lives in Edmonds, Washington on the Puget Sound with his wife, Carol.  Fog City Strangler is his seventh novel and is the fourth in a new series of Sam Slater mystery novels. Greg has lived in Oregon, Washington, California, Wyoming and Utah and has always loved writing, including stints as a reporter, columnist and news editor for a daily newspaper.

Follow news about Messel’s writings and books at

Connect & Socialize with Greg!

About the Book:

As 1958 nears an end San Francisco is being terrorized by a man who calls himself the “Fog City Strangler,” who preys on pretty young blonde women.  The strangler announces each murder by sending a note and piece of cloth from the victim’s dresses to the local newspapers. 

Private eye Sam Slater is worried that the Fog City Strangler may be eyeing his beautiful blonde wife, stewardess Amelia Ryan. Sam’s angst mounts as the strangler continues to claim more victims. His anxiety is further fueled when TWA launches an advertising campaign with Amelia’s picture on a series of billboards plastered all over the city. Sam fears the billboards may attract too much attention--the wrong kind of attention.

Meanwhile, Sam and Amelia are hired to try to find the missing daughter of a wealthy dowager who fears she has lost her only child. The missing woman went for a walk with her dog on Stinson Beach, near San Francisco, and seemingly vanished into thin air. The woman’s husband arrived at their beach house and found the dog running loose but there was no trace of his wife. The police are stumped in their investigation.

As Sam and Amelia look into the disappearance of the woman on the beach they discover that nothing is as it seems at first glance. On a stormy night a shadowy figure sets fire to the beach house where the couple is staying--hoping to stop their investigation. 

Fog City Strangler is a stand-alone thriller but is part of the Sam Slater Mystery Series--Last of the Seals, Deadly Plunge and San Francisco Secrets.

Purchase your copy:

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