Thursday, March 27, 2014

Character Interview - Emerge: A Galatia #Novel (The Galatia #Series) by @CDVerhoff #Fantasy

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Transcript of Michael Penn’s Radio Interview.
as conducted by guest DJ, high school student, Nick Armstrong.
-Courtesy of Galatia Radio–
Good Morning, Galatia! I’m Nick Armstrong and I’m here today to interview the one and only, Mr. Michael J. Penn. As most of you already know, Mr. Penn is one of our respected elders. He has lived through the end of the world twice now—three times if you count the destruction of our underground bunker. Welcome, Mr. Penn.
Just call me Mike. Thank you for having me.
Since our airtime is limited, and there are so many questions I’d like to ask you, is it okay if we get right to the interview questions?
Fire away, Nick.
I was hoping you would say that, Mr. Penn. Er, I mean Mike. How much do your remember about your life in the modern age, when humanity was at it’s peak, before the plague toppled civilization?
I was only eight-years-old when the Celeruns dropped their alien plague on our planet. Before that time, I took everything for granted, especially my family. But isn’t that what an eight-year-old is supposed to do—assume everything will be okay and not worry about the future?
Of course.
I’m in my fifties now, but I remember the pre-plague days with child-like wonder. Driving around at Christmas to look at the lights, Easter egg hunts on freshly mowed lawns, Bey Blade battles at recess, riding my bike to Kewl Jack’s for a cheeseburger and curly fries without worrying about being attacked by bouncing wumpers, poisonous snuffies, or hungry flowers. Those were carefree days, good days, good days...
How are the experiences of your own children different from your experiences?
While I’ll always be grateful for the life Galatians Bunker provided them, there was a trade off for living under the ground. Some of my children have gone from the cradle to having children of their own without having felt the real sun on their faces, without ever getting lost in the depths of the starry sky. Up until recently, they had only known the bland taste of food grown in depleted soils. They grew up in a heavily regimented environment, not because the adults were mean, but out of necessity. In our underground city, resources were scarce. Activities were limited. All they knew was school and more school. For fun there were the movies, books, video games and organized indoor sports coached by adults. They never knew the kind of freedom that comes from walking on an empty field in a sunny day, or climbing to the top of a hill, and watching the road disappear over the next one in the distance.
When the bunker was destroyed, they came to the surface for the first time, the whole world stretching out before them. I can’t imagine what must have been going through their heads.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My jewelry collection. I spent my boyhood hunting for the shiny riches left behind after the fall of civilization. Even then, I understood it as a divine calling, but I didn’t understand why. I collected so much; my adopted father used to complain that our house was beginning to look like Smaug’s lair. He forbade me from taking all my loot to the bunker, but I convinced Father Bob to help me find a way to smuggle it all in. Now that it’s been used to fund the building of a new nation, my compulsion has been vindicated. I didn’t expect to find it so emotionally difficult to part with it, especially since I knew it was going towards a noble cause.
What is your idea of perfect happiness, Mike?
I don’t think perfect happiness is achievable in this world, Nick. The closest I could get to it is to be surrounded by my family, in a home of our own, surrounded by gardens and fields, and not having to worry that it is all going to be taken away from us at any second.
What is your current state of mind?
Pensive, worried, anxious, concerned—take your pick. The Western Alliance has warned our people to leave the Northlands. If we don’t comply, they’ve threatened to destroy us. My brother, the mayor, has no intention of leaving. My other brother, Barrett, is vehemently opposed to his decision and he’s not alone. Did I mention that I hate conflict?
Everybody kind of knows that, Mike. So, tell us, what is your favorite occupation in the whole world?
Farming. My charisma allows me to make plants grow in and out of season at an accelerated rate, which has been a godsend to everyone. I love using my talents to feed people.
I know my family certainly appreciates it. I had my first pumpkin pie last week and it was wonderful.
I’m glad you liked it.
What is your most treasured possession?
The Wittlesbach Diamond. As I youth, I rescued it from an abandoned museum. God is saving it for a special purpose. I don’t know what exactly, but time will tell.
What is your most marked characteristic?
I’d say my bulky physique and blond beard. I’ve been compared to Grizzly Adams and the Vikings. Although I look fierce on the outside, I’m a big softy in the middle.
When and where were you the happiest?
The happiest day of my life was the day of my First Communion. I was eight. My parents threw me a big party with silver and white balloons, streamers, cake and big glass bowls full of pink punch. Presents wrapped in fancy paper and exploding bows covered the table. There I was in my suit and tie, feeling so proud and special because everybody that cared about me had come to celebrate. I had never felt so loved.
Three months later, every person who had attended my party was dead. But I don’t like to talk about it. Can we move to a different topic?
Sure. What is it that you most dislike?
I don’t like speaking in front of a crowds, but being on the radio isn’t so bad. Probably because I don’t have a million eyes staring back at me.
What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is losing my family. I went through that once when I lost my parents and siblings. If something were to happen to Jessica or the children...I don’t know what I would do.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Right after the plague, I wandering the streets in a bewildered state. Hungry, alone, afraid—those were some dark days, dark days. Then a woman named Elizabeth saw me and took pity. She had lost her husband and two boys to the disease, so she was pretty messed up herself. I needed a mother’s love, she needed to give it, and a bond was instantly formed.
What qualities do you look for in a friend?
Honesty, courage, loyalty and dependability.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I have no leadership skills. Time and time again, people look to me for guidance. I’m just not that guy.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Is know-it-allness a word?
I don’t think so, but I think everyone knows what you mean. Moving on, what do you most value in your friends?
The ability to forgive.
Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Wonder Woman, but not just because she looks good running around in a bathing suit. She’s my favorite because of her lasso of truth. In my opinion, the ability to separate truth from lies is the greatest superpower of all.
Interesting answer. I wasn’t expecting that at all. Who are your heroes in real life?
My adopted father, the late great Red Wakeland the First. He showed me what it means to be a man.
We’re running out of time, so excuse me for rushing through the questions. I have to get through them all of I want an A+.
Well, by all means, let’s pick up the pace.
Which living person do you most admire?
My adopted mother, Elizabeth. I was a boy lost in the darkness and she became my guiding light. And to this day, I’m convinced she’s the only reason my brothers haven’t killed each other.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
On what occasions do you lie?
I plead the fifth. Wait, does anyone even know what that means anymore?
I think it was an amendment or something. Anyway, if you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’d be a great orator.
How would you like to die?
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
That’s a weird question, Nick. I don’t know. A dog, I guess.
Why a dog?
I like dogs.
Um, okay. Any words of wisdom on how to deal with everything that has happened to us since leaving the bunker?
When a man loses what he thought was his forever, he comes to realize that nothing really belonged to him in the first place.
I’d like to respond to that, but they’re telling me I’m out of time. Thank you for a great interview, Mike.
I hope you get your A+, Nick.
Me, too. Now back to Jessica, the weather forecaster who never gets it wrong.
SF covinggton cond- Emerge-for kindle (1)
Short Description:  The last survivors of the human race are riding out nuclear winter in an underground bunker when disaster strikes. Forced to the surface centuries ahead of schedule, what they find blows their minds. Who can explain it? Two social misfits work together to unravel the mystery.
Extended Description:  After living in a posh underground shelter his entire life, Lars Steelsun is plunged headfirst into a mind-blowing adventure on the surface of the Earth. As Lars and his displaced bunker mates are led across the grasslands by Mayor Wakeland, a man of questionable sanity who claims to talk with God, they discover a primitive world where human beings are no longer welcome. Even more mystifying is the emergence of new senses and abilities from within. Learning to use them has become a priority, but his biggest challenge comes from the vivacious Josie Albright. Her lust for glory is going to get them both into trouble. Sparks fly when her gung ho ways clash with his cautious personality. Can they overcome their differences to find love and a homeland for their people?
May not be suitable for younger readers. Contains mild profanity, sexual situations (infrequent), and violence. Main Category: epic fantasy. Subcategories: dystopian, science fiction, religion, sword and sorcery.
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Genre - Epic Fantasy
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with C. D. Verhoff on Facebook & Twitter

Dream A Little Dream by Lynn Murphy #Excerpt #Romance #Christian

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Chapter One
Madison Walker opened the front door of the Newport School For The Deaf to witness a moment of chaos. Three little boys were playing a game of keep away with a little girl’s teddy bear and a number of other children had stopped to watch. Madison watched, a bit amused, a bit uncertain whether or not she ought to intervene. After all, she was here to interview for a job, she didn’t work here yet. As she debated her options, one of the handsomest men she had ever laid eyes on strode out of the front office and caught the teddy bear in mid-flight, handed it back to its rightful owner and spoke in fluent sign language to the game’s participants. He sent them on their way and using a combination of sign and spoken words, told the rest of the crowd that they were about to be late to class and that he expected them to move quickly. When the lobby was clear, the man smiled at Madison and approached her with his hand out.
“Seamus Lansing. How can I help you?”
Madison hoped she didn’t look as surprised as she suddenly felt.
She had pictured the man she was interviewing with to be…less attractive and certainly older. Somehow she hadn’t expected the headmaster to have a beautifully sculpted face, an athletic build and startlingly blue eyes. “Madison Walker,” she replied. “I have an interview.”
“Yes, with me,” he said, smiling at he yet again. “Come in the office. I’ll be right with you. Have a seat.”
A pretty blond woman stood and came around her desk. “I assume you are Madison Walker?”
“I’m Sheryl. Can I get you some coffee or tea?”
“No, thanks, I’m fine.”
Sheryl sat beside her on the sofa. “So, just to give you a little background information, although I’m sure Seamus will cover this too. We’ve only been open since the first week of August and we have had a much bigger enrollment than we expected. Some of our students are traditional day students and about half of our students board. That allows us to serve children who don’t live in Newport or close enough to drive every day. Parents are welcome anytime for those students and we have rooms available for them. We need a few more teachers, obviously, since we’re doing interviews.”
“It’s a beautiful campus and a beautiful town.”
“It is, and I think you’ll see when I take you on a tour after you talk to Seamus that it is an excellent school for the hearing impaired. Although, I will tell you that Seamus isn’t big on being politically correct, so you won’t hear us using all the educational buzz words here. He’s looking for teachers who are compassionate yet get good results, but not people who baby these children because of their disability.”
“I agree with that philosophy.” Madison liked Sheryl already.
“Then you’ll do fine. After you talk to Seamus I’ll show you around.” She led the way to the office door.
Seamus stood as she entered. She noticed he was holding her resume as she took a seat in front of his desk. Only then did he sit too. Gentlemanly manners, she thought. She couldn’t help but think that most men she knew weren’t as polite, nor would the act seem so natural to them. “So,” he said, “you currently live in Boston and have three years of experience teaching deaf children.”
“And you’re fluent in sign language.” He looked directly at her.
“I have family members who are deaf.” Madison wondered if it was really necessary to reveal that much information, but for some reason she felt comfortable sharing that with him.
“That would make you more at ease with our students,” Seamus said. “You would be surprised how many people who have degrees and experience in this field really aren’t.”
“If you live with it on a daily basis, you forget everyone isn’t hearing impaired,” Madison admitted. “I probably talk in sign language all the time without realizing it, even when I’m with people who hear perfectly. In fact I know I do. My best friend calls me on it all the time.”
Seamus laughed. “Most of our students use sign exclusively, although we are planning to encourage more lip reading and speech. I prefer teachers who can sign in complete sentences. I hate it when people speak in broken sentences, as if not being able to hear means you don’t have a grasp on the English language.”
“It can certainly make teaching writing more difficult,” Madison agreed.
“Exactly.” He looked at her resume again. “If you don’t mind my asking, why are you looking for another position?”
“They are cutting my position to half time. I read about the school online and I was impressed with what you are doing. And, personally, I need a change of scenery. A fresh start.”
“I appreciate your honesty. I checked your references, and if you like what you see on your tour with Sheryl and you want the job, I’d like to offer you a contract.”
“You can make a decision that quickly?”
“I’m a pretty good judge of character,” he said, leaning back in his chair, but never taking his eyes off her.
“I’m tempted to say yes right now,” Madison admitted.
“I hope you will, but take a look around first.” He stood and called for Sheryl. “Madison is ready for you to show her around. I have a contract here, you’ll go over that with her when you get done, right?”
“Of course. I have a parent on hold, we’ll go as soon as I get off the phone with her.”
Seamus asked, “Any more questions for me?”
“Yes, how is it that you are so fluent in sign language?” She hoped that wasn’t too personal a question.
Seamus laughed again. He really liked this woman, more for her honesty than for her striking beauty, although he certainly found her pretty. “Because, Miss Walker, I haven’t heard a single thing you said.”
Her mouth fell open and he laughed again before she recovered and started to apologize for not realizing he was deaf. “Enjoy the tour,” he said as he moved past her to exit his office. “Ask any questions. Think about the contract once you’ve looked over it. If this is you’re looking for, we’d love to have your join our faculty.”
Madison Walker never planned on falling for her boss when she accepted a teaching position at The Newport School For The Deaf. Seamus Lansing is handsome, wealthy, athletic, charming- and hearing impaired himself. As the only hearing person in her own family, Madison isn't sure she wants a long term relationship with someone who can't hear but she can't deny that she is attracted to Seamus. As their romance develops, Seamus will find himself questioning things he never considered about his disability.
Jim O'Brien has achieved worldwide acclaim for his musical ability. When unexpected circumstances threaten to take away his ability to play the piano how will it affect his recent marriage to Lady Berry Harrington?
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Romance, Christian
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with Lynn Murphy through Pinterest

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Conspiracy of Silence by Gledé Browne Kabongo @gkabongo #Suspense #AmReading #BookClub

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She would never be able to have children on her own. That was the bombshell diagnosis from Nina’s doctor. Apparently, both her fallopian tubes were blocked because of massive scarring. IVF seemed to be the most viable option. Marc wasn’t completely on board but Nina made the unilateral decision to move forward, and that led to a huge fight. They didn’t speak to each other for three days. Once the smoke cleared and Nina had time to think things through calmly and rationally, she could see why Marc felt the way he did. They had been trying to get pregnant for almost a year, and that was stressing him out. 
He complained they never made love for fun anymore, everything was based on her ovulation cycle and she wouldn’t let him touch her unless it was that time of the month. The pressure was causing him to be resentful and he suggested they consider adoption at some point if she couldn’t get pregnant the old-fashioned way. That caused Nina to fly into a rage and she accused him of giving up without a fight. That led to an even longer, louder argument that ended with Marc moving to the guest bedroom.
This morning she was in a sour mood but the person knocking on the other side of the door was persistent.
“Come in,” Nina said wearily.
Nina was astonished to see her younger sister barge into her office. Cassie was in her late-twenties, slightly chubby, yet sickeningly pretty. If a piece of clothing was short, tight or showed her cleavage, Cassie owned it. The Boston College dropout had a platinum credit card permanently attached to one hand, and a puppet string controlled by their father attached to the other.
Nina gave her a bright smile and a hug. “You didn’t tell me you were coming over.”
“I was at Downtown Crossing and thought I should come by and see what you’re up to.”
“Found anything good in the stores?”
“No, but my friend Kate says new inventory will be coming in at Neiman Marcus and she’ll hold some items for us.”
“I don’t know, Cass. Marc is already complaining that I’ve taken up all the closet space. “If I buy any more clothes or shoes, I think he’s moving downstairs.”
“Oh, please. Marc’s not going anywhere.”
“Maybe you’re right. It’s an empty threat. Name the date and the time and I’ll be there.”
Cassie seemed pleased. Nina had a guilt complex regarding her younger sibling. She didn’t see her as much as she should. They were somewhat close, but Nina and the naïve and somewhat irresponsible Cassie were perpetually at different junctures in their lives. Cassie lacked direction and focus while Nina was single-minded in whatever she pursued. At the moment, it was motherhood. Cassie was the ultimate daddy’s girl and he had no problem letting her wander through life aimlessly on his dime until the day when she figured out what she wanted to do with her life.
“Great, I can’t wait. Dad says hello, by the way. He’s still mad at you for skipping his birthday party.”
“I always skip his birthday party, that’s nothing new.”
“He was hoping it might be different this year.”
“He knows better.”
“Come on, Nina,” Cassie said impatiently. “How long do you intend to keep this up? Can’t you give him another chance? This is getting ridiculous.”
“I would expect that coming from you. The way you hero-worship him, though — that’s what’s ridiculous.”
Cassie looked put out by the criticism. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“He’s not who you think he is, Cassie. I’ve been trying to tell you this for a long time. Yet, you refuse to even consider my point of view.”
“You’re the one who’s hard of hearing. Our father is getting old. Every time he reaches out to you, you reject him. Why can’t you just be nice to him?” He’s not going to be around forever and then you’ll be sorry if you don’t make up with him.”
Nina was getting sick of Cassie’s constant nagging about their father. Still, she was almost sympathetic to her sister’s plight, since Nina had been the one who dashed her hopes of them ever being a happy family again. Nina recollected the story exactly as she had written it in her diary.
#1 Amazon Bestseller in the suspense and women's psychological fiction categories.
Boston executive Nina Kasai has been living a lie since her days as a student at Stanford University. But she's about to learn that some secrets are too big to stay buried.
Years ago, Nina fled from her life of wealth and privilege and vowed never to look back. The horrifying truth has been locked away in her hidden diary, and in the mind of a disturbed woman who will never tell, ever. However, the perfect life she's since created is about to come crashing down when Phillip Copeland --a ghost from her past with political ambition and secrets of his own, makes Nina an offer she can't refuse: her silence in exchange for his.
Soon, it all goes horribly wrong when a  shocking double-cross sends Nina reeling,  and devastating loss threatens to push her over the edge. To make matters worse, her diary, the only link to her secret past has been stolen.
To reclaim her life and bring this twisted game to its stunning conclusion, Nina must confront the past she's been running from, and find the courage to make a life-altering decision that leaves multiple casualties in its wake.
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Genre - Psychological Suspense
Rating – R
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Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Chance At Love by Sheena Binkley @ChevonBink #Fiction @MustRead #YA

at 2:00 PM 0 comments
Chapter 4: Charles
Lounging around on a Saturday seemed like an ideal day for me until Trevor texted, asking me to meet up with him at Buffalo Wild Wings. At first, I was going to tell him no, but I figured he would either call repeatedly or show up at my apartment; so I threw on the first thing I could find in my closet, grabbed my keys and headed out the door.
Twenty minutes later, Trevor and I were inside, munching on Buffalo wings and drinking beers while watching a baseball game on the big screen. Since he arrived early, he had already ordered for the both of us. I looked at Trevor, who was still smiling from last night. I have to admit, since he and Camille have been together, he’s been a little too happy. I guess that’s what love does to you. I remember having that feeling a long time ago, where you only wanted to be with that person morning, noon and night. When that person invaded your thoughts throughout the day. Although I said love was never a part of my life’s plan, there’s a reason for that theory. I took a long swig from my beer bottle.
“You know, I am a lucky man,” Trevor said as he put a wing to his mouth.
“I know you are. You’re getting married to a beautiful woman who is also your best friend.”
“Exactly. I didn’t think we would ever get to this point. After the whole situation with Chelsea, I didn’t think Camille wanted to be with me.”
“Tre, a lot of things happened during that time, but Camille loved you regardless. There was never a doubt in my mind that you two weren’t going to be together.”
“Well, you did point it out in high school.”
“Of course. That’s why I kept teasing you two.”
Trevor smiled as he grabbed a napkin from the center of the table.
“What about you? There’s not a woman you’re sporting for the week?”
“Actually, there are two women I’m sporting this week. Of course I wasn’t going to bring either one to the party in case anyone knew the two.”
“Really, Charles?”
“What? I thought it was logical to think that. They may run in the same social circle.”
“I’m not talking about that. When are you going to stop dating multiple women and actually be in a relationship?”
I gave a long-winded sigh, knowing what was about to occur. Trevor and I had this talk once a week: him saying I would eventually meet a girl that would change my life around and me convincing him that I was happy with the way my life was.
I didn’t want a relationship. And to be honest, I didn’t think I ever would.
“I get it, you want to date as many women as possible, but what if you find that one woman that will make you change your ways? What if she’s the one you want to spend the rest of your life with?”
“Can we just drop this? I’m happy, Trevor.”
“Are you really? You used to value relationships. In fact, you were a one-woman man at one point.”
My expression went from annoyed to harsh at what Trevor said. In fact, why was he even bringing this up?
“That was a long time ago. Things have changed since then.”
I grabbed my beer bottle again and realized it was almost empty.
“I’ll be back,” I said as I got up from the booth.
Once I did, I noticed someone walking into the establishment that made me immediately stop in my tracks. She looked in my direction. When she saw me, she gave me a bright smile, which I quickly wanted to turn away from but couldn’t.
Trevor looked at the woman and then at me, giving me a look that read, are you okay?
“Hi, Charles,” the woman said as she approached our table.
I stared at her, wondering what I should do. Should I talk to her, or should I walk away? She did it to me before our college graduation.
The person standing in front of me is the reason why I stopped caring about relationships. The reason is she left me with a broken heart eight years ago.
Tia Simmons has been happily dating Eric Taylor for the past 6 months, and could possibly see a future with him. He’s everything Tia wants in a man- smart, funny, and extremely sexy, but she feels something is missing in the relationship. Until she finds what she’s looking for, she’ll be with Eric as long as she can.
Charles Robinson always dated women without the concept of falling in love. He doesn’t even want to think about the word considering he was at one point in his life. When his ex arrives claiming she wants another chance with him, he starts to rethink the notion that love is not a bad thing.
While the two are living their lives, they both are centered around their best friends, Camille Anderson and Trevor Williams, who are madly in love. Seeing the two together put their own lives in prospective and wonder if their lives are where they should be; but there is one problem that have plagued them both.
Tia and Charles have known each other since high school. They were actually good friends, until one night changed their relationship forever. After that night, the two have been distanced, causing them to snip at each other any chance they got. But when a new merger unexpectedly puts Tia and Charles in the same company, the two have to come together not only for a big account, but also to settle their differences before both are out of a job.
Through a string of events, including a drunken night out, a game of strip Twister, and a wedding, the two realize that love can come when they least expect it.
(A Chance At Love is the sequel to In Love With My Best Friend, but the book is considered a standalone and can be read separately.)
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Genre - Fiction / Young Adult / New Adult
Rating – R
More details about the author
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