Beyond the Books

Beautiful Belly Dancers Adult Coloring Book Book Blast!

Beautiful Belly Dancers Coloring Book banner

We invite you to Richard G. Lowe Jr.’s BEAUTIFUL BELLY DANCING COLORING BOOK Book Blast! Leave a comment on this blog with your email address to win a free copy of his adult coloring book! Winner will be selected from comments and will be notified on August 31.

Beautiful Belly Dancers Coloring Book

Inside the Book:

Title: Beautiful Belly Dancer Coloring Book
Author: Richard G. Lowe Jr.
Publisher: The Writing King
Pages: 110
Genre: Adult Coloring Book

What could be better than an adult coloring book of beautiful belly dancers? These gorgeous ladies have performed all over the world, and now their images are presented here for your coloring pleasure. All pages are printed on one side to make your coloring easy.

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  • Beautiful Belly Dancer Adult Coloring Book is available at Amazon.

Meet the Author

Richard Lowe Jr.

After spending over 33 years in the computer and information technology industry, Richard decided to take an early retirement to pursue his dreams of becoming a professional writer and published author. Richard is a leader in the computer industry, serving as Vice President of Consulting at Software Techniques and Beck Computer Systems before settling down as Director of Computer Operations at Trader Joe’s. During his twenty-year tenure at that esteemed company, he focused on computer security and preparing for the possibility of disaster.

In addition to creating hundreds of articles for the web and blogs, Richard actively works as a professional ghostwriter. In that role, he has completed books on a wide variety of subjects including memoirs, business volumes, and novels. Because of his in-depth background in software management and computer security, Richard has ghostwritten a number of major books in those areas.

Additionally, Richard has published books of his own. His first two volumes, Safe Computing is Like Safe Sex and Real World Survival Tips and Survival Guide, respectively touch on the subjects of computer security and how to survive emergencies and disasters. Richard has also written and published a series of short eBooks on the aspects of freelance writing, including blogging and ghostwriting. Other published books include How to Plan a Party and How to Surround Yourself with Beautiful Women without Being a Sleazeball.

An avid adventurer, Richard has been a photographer for much of his life, with a focus on nature, scenic, performance and event photography. He has done everything from hiking in dozens of national parks throughout the country, to photographing various unique festivals and events, such as the Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Ball and the World Mermaid Awards Convention. He is well known in the Renaissance Festival and Belly Dance communities, having photographed over 1,200 dance events and 400 festivals. For several years, he photographed the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, California.

Richard is currently working on a large number of short Kindle eBooks on a wide variety of subjects. Beginning in 2016, the first of a ten volume series of Science Fiction novels will be published.

One of Richard’s passions is to use the power of words to educate people on human rights. He believes the world will be a better place when human beings are treated with the full respect and dignity they are due.

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Book Review: The Last Wife of Attila the Hun, by Joan Schweighardt

The Last Wife of Attila the Hun by Joan Schweighardt is an ambitious, superbly researched, excellently written novel based on Germanic legends and the true life of Attila the Hun that will mesmerize fans of historical fiction. There isn’t a lot of fiction based on Attila, so being a lover of history I was instantly intrigued about reading the book.
The novel moves back and forth in time, interweaving two stories. In one, we meet Gudrun, a brave Burgundian noble woman with a lethal mission, destroy the infamous Attila the Hun. In the other, the reader travels to the past to learn the overwhelming events that brought Gudrun to this difficult, suicidal undertaking.
From the beginning, Schweighardt’s imaginative storytelling and attention to detail shine through the pages, bringing Attila’s fifth century landscape to life in all its gritty vividness. Characters are deftly drawn, and I found myself instantly sympathetic to Gudrun’s situation, as well as absorbed by the other characters. This was especially true of Attila’s second in command, with whom Gudrun develops an unusual relationship. Attila himself is portrayed in chilling detail.
Needless to say, I love the fact that the story is seen from a female perspective. At times, her focused obsession for revenge propels the tale at a breathless pace. Juxtaposing with her present life as Attila’s prisoner are her memories of her great yet tragic love with Sigurd.
I’m not surprised the novel has won awards and it’s been translated into other languages. Dark, mysterious, and beautifully layered, The Last Wife of Attila the Hun is filled with lust, revenge and passion, and comes highly recommended by this reviewer. If you’re a historical fiction enthusiast, this is for you.
Find out more about Joan Schweighardt here. Read my interview with her on Blogcritics. Purchase the book on Amazon.

Chapter reveal:WHISTLE BLOWER AND DOUBLE AGENTS, by Ruth J. Anderson

Plug Your Book!

CoverTitleWHISTLE BLOWER AND DOUBLE AGENTS

Author: Ruth J. Anderson

Publisher: The Peppertree Press

Genre: Thriller/Espionage

Release date: July 2016

Purchase at Amazon and B&N

About the bookDuring a visit to the CIA on a safeguards inquiry,an Atomic Energy Commission nuclear scientist finds that the safeguards program of his agency was flawed and allowed for nuclear material to be stolen from within the nuclear plant and passed on to other countries.  Deeply alarmed, he reported this finding to the AEC, and later to the U.S. Congress and the President.  But when the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman falls in love with a beautiful female undercover CIA operative, what follows is a pulse-quickening, globe-spanning page turner that will leave readers wondering where truth ends and fiction begins—if at all…

CHAPTER 1

A loud persistent buzz of the telephone awakened Jim Miller

some time…

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Beyond the Books with MC Domovitch

Monique DornovitchM C Domovitch is the author of nine novels, four of which were published under the name of Carol Ann Martin (by Penguin), another two under the name Monique Domovitch (by Carina Press) The other three are published as M C Domovitch, Scorpio Rising, The Sting of the Scorpio (Both now republished in one single tome) and Scar Tissue. The decision to use a different pen name was based on her departure from cozy mysteries and entering the Romance and Romantic Suspense genres.

Before becoming an author, Monique had multiple careers, beginning with modeling. She won a modeling contest in the 70s and became one of Canada’s top models. After retiring from the fashion industry, she studied finance and joined an investment company. This led to a new career as host of her own television show about investing, with the television network, WTN. Following her retirement from finance, she decided to pursue her true passion, writing. At a writing workshop at San Diego’s Writers’ Conference, one of her unpublished books caught the eye of a publisher and of an agent. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Domovitch lives with her physician husband and their dogs. They divide their time between homes in Victoria and Toronto Canada and Key Largo Florida.

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About the Book:

When successful model Ciara Cain wakes up in hospital, remembering nothing of the weeks she has been missing, her only clues are the ugly words carved into her skin. According to the police she was a victim of the Cutter, a serial Scar Tissuekiller who has already murdered three women. For her protection the police and her doctors give a press conference, announcing that because her amnesia is organically caused, her memory loss is permanent. But, whether her memory returns or not is anybody’s guess.
Overnight, Ciara’s glamorous life is gone. Her scars have killed both her modelling career and her relationship with her rich boyfriend. With nothing to keep her in New York, she returns to her home town of Seattle, moves in with her sister and goes about building a new life. But when her sister lets it slip that Ciara’s memory is returning, the killer comes after her again. If Ciara is to stay alive, she must keep one step ahead of the Cutter.

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Scar Tissue teaserQ: Welcome to Beyond the Books, M. C.  Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

Scar Tissue is actually my ninth novel. It is the first in a new series, Mindsight. The main character is Ciara.

The book starts with her running for her life through the woods. She runs onto a highway and gets hit by a car as tries to flag it down. The next thing she knows, she’s in hospital and remembers nothing of her accident or what brought her there. The interesting thing about this character is that the accident has left her with a tiny bit of scar tissue from a bleed in her brain, which gives her an ability she views as a curse. However, in time, this ability will help save her life.

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

I was extremely lucky. So many authors never get the opportunity to get picked up by a publishing house, I was certain I’d have to go the self-published route, but, before I had fully polished my first novel, I was already offered two contracts for series, one with Penguin and the other with Harlequin. I published a total of six books with them. I guess you can call me a hybrid author in that I do both. I work with publishers and I also self-publish.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

That was my first big surprise, the amount of time everything takes when you go the traditional route. Once your novel is done, you can expect about one year before it sees the shelves of a bookstore. By then you’ve already finished another novel and should be hard at work on a third.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

I cried. Being an author was always my life’s dream, and starting late in life, as I did, I really did not expect it would come so easily.

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

I did a few online book tours, and blabbed about it all over Facebook and Twitter. I still do that. I also created an author website for myself, which I’ve just updated a couple of weeks ago. Once in a while I post a few lines on my blog page. What I like best about my site is that it offers the possibility for reader to register for my newsletter. In return for registering, they might occasionally get free books, or participate in draws for free kindles. I just had a draw last week for a kindle fire. The winner was so thrilled. She said it was the first time in her life she ever won anything.

That list of readers makes up my fan base. They are the readers who post reviews, and a few have even become my beta readers.

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

English is my second language. I am French by birth. When I was young we all spoke French at home. So my biggest challenge has always been syntax. I still struggle with it, but after going through the editing process so many times, I’ve gotten better at it.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

My biggest surprise is how much it has changed. Years ago, when I used to dream about being a writer, nobody self-published. The few who did used what was then called vanity presses. They were poo-pooed in the industry and nobody ever sold books that way.

Now, it’s a brand new world out there. Self-publishing is recognized as a legitimate business.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

Holding that book, you worked so hard on, in your hands for the first time is an indescribably sensation. You really feel that you’ve created something. Otherwise, your novel is likely to rot away in a dark drawer somewhere and gather dust.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Do it. Get to it. Don’t put it off. If I could live my life over again, I’d start writing straight out of school. I know it’s scary. It feels like a huge financial risk. It’s practically impossible to earn a living in the first years of a writing career. But, you can have a job, but get up early and write before going to work. You can stay up and write instead of watching TV. If you want it, make it happen. Your destiny rests with you.

 

 

The First Page: Scar Tissue by MC Domovitch

Beyond the Books First Page Feature & Interview

The First Page is one of Beyond the Book’s newest features. Here we get a glimpse into an author’s work and what better place to begin than the first page? Authors share their first pages and answer a few questions about why they started their books off the way they did. Today we welcome MC Domovitch, author of Scar Tissue.

Scar TissueTitle: Scar Tissue
Author: MC Domovitch
Publisher: Lansen Publishing
Pages: 396
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Thriller/Paranormal

When successful model Ciara Cain wakes up in hospital, remembering nothing of the weeks she has been missing, her only clues are the ugly words carved into her skin. According to the police she was a victim of the Cutter, a serial killer who has already murdered three women. For her protection the police and her doctors give a press conference, announcing that because her amnesia is organically caused, her memory loss is permanent. But, whether her memory returns or not is anybody’s guess.
Overnight, Ciara’s glamorous life is gone. Her scars have killed both her modelling career and her relationship with her rich boyfriend. With nothing to keep her in New York, she returns to her home town of Seattle, moves in with her sister and goes about building a new life. But when her sister lets it slip that Ciara’s memory is returning, the killer comes after her again. If Ciara is to stay alive, she must keep one step ahead of the Cutter.

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The First Page:

I don’t want to die.

That single thought pounded through her mind as she hurtled through the woods. The blackness had dropped all at once, and now the trees were merely shadows against a dark night. The rain came down hard. Lightning cracked, sounding so much like a gunshot that she muffled a scream. But she had not been hit. She was still alive. She ran on.

Branches and bushes whipped at her, scratching her arms and legs. She tripped over an exposed root and crashed to the ground, but was back on her feet in an instant.

A brilliant flash of lightening was followed by thunder. Ka-boom. Everything that had been black a moment ago became white. Had she been spotted? No, surely not.

A crunching sound came from her right. She whipped her head toward it and picked up her pace. Her breathing was ragged, short puffs of steam in the frigid April air. It couldn’t have been more than fifty degrees. Sweat and rain mixed with the dirt and blood from her countless wounds and ran down her face and neck in rivulets. Thanks to the adrenaline pumping through her veins, she was numb to the cold and the pain, but she would feel it later—if she got out of here alive.

Please God, let me live.

But she’d had no real food for days, no water except the occasional sip. Her body couldn’t keep going much longer. She was close to collapsing.

Must. Keep. Going.

If she wanted to stay alive, she needed to put as much distance as possible between herself and her captor. She had no idea how long she’d been running or in which direction she was going. Had her kidnapper even noticed she’d escaped? Was that monster already on her trail, getting closer with every passing second? A horrendous thought came to her. She could be running in a circle, her every step bringing her closer to her jailer. A sob escaped her throat.

Dear God. Please. Please.

She squinted, trying to see through the inky night. There had to be a road, a house, something, and then she saw them. Some distance away there were lights, and her last vestiges of hope crashed.

Flashlights.

Had a posse been formed? Were they closing in on her? In her panic, she tripped and came down hard, again. This time she thought she might have broken an arm. She was crying now. She’d come so close. But she would be caught. And she would die.

She looked up at the lights moving through the trees, and blinked. Could her imagination be playing tricks on her? She stared, and in moment of clarity she understood. Those weren’t flashlights. They were headlights. Headlights meant cars, and cars meant a road. Just ahead, maybe a few hundred yards farther, lay safety.

Interview:

Welcome M.C. Can you tell us what your book is about?

Gladly. Scar Tissue, is the story of Ciara Kelly, the only surviving victim of the Cutter, a serial killer who has already murdered three women. As the title suggests, Ciara gets away, but not without wounds, both physical and psychological. But there is also a third wound, a tiny bit of scar tissue from a brain bleed she suffered during her MC Domovitchescape, and which leaves her with an unusual ability. When the Cutter comes after her again, she must run for her life, and that strange ability comes in handy.

The first page is perhaps one of the most important pages in the whole book. It’s what draws the reader into the story. Why did you choose to begin your book this way?

Some writers might have started the story earlier, with the kidnapping. But since the story is one of survival, I started it with her escape. The harrowing part is that when Ciara wakes up in the hospital, she remembers nothing of her ordeal. She wouldn’t recognize the murderer if he stood in front of her.

In the course of writing your book, how many times would you say that first page changed and for what reasons?

In this case, the beginning remained the same from the first draft on. Oh, there was plenty of editing, but the scene itself was never changed. Not the case with the book I’m writing now. I’m only half way through and I must have changed it half a dozen times.

Was there ever a time after the book was published that you wished you had changed something on the first page?

Not really. The scene is so dramatic, so captivating. It grabs the reader right from the first page and that’s what I try to do with all my novels.

What advice can you give to aspiring authors to stress how important the first page is?

Start your book late in the story, and end it early. No long backstory. What you do is weave it throughout the book instead of plunking it down at the beginning. And make that first line a real grabber.

Thank you for having me on your blog. I enjoyed answering your questions.

M.C. Domovitch

 

Interview: Ruth J. Anderson, Author of ‘Whistle Blower and Double Agents’

Image (197).jpgBorn and raised in Washington, D.C.’s  Georgetown, Ruth J. Anderson served with several Congressional and cabinet-level officials for over 25 years, including the Federal Communication Commission; Senator Richard Russell, Senate Commerce Committee, Secretary of Commerce, and Postmaster General. Upon the recommendations of Sen. Henry Jackson and Judge Roy Morgan, Ruth joined the Atomic Energy Commission and then U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, as Editorial Assistant and Research Specialist.  Ruth served as President of the Federally Employed, Inc., SMC, which represented over 750,000 Federal employees.

She was selected for the World Who’s Who of Women in Cambridge, England and in 1977, was honored to be the first woman to receive the Silver Medal for Meritorious Service at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  A past member of the New York Academy of Sciences and the Society of Women Engineers, Ruth also served on the Federal Women’s Interagency Board. Ruth Anderson resides in Florida.  Whistle Blower and Double Agents is her first novel. Centered on what Anderson calls “a cover-up of epic proportions,” its an explosive international thriller inspired by actual events.

About the book During a visit to the CIA on a safeguards inquiry, an Atomic Energy Commission nuclear scientist finds that the safeguards program of his agency was flawed and allowed for nuclear material to be stolen from within the nuclear plant and passed on to other countries.  Deeply alarmed, he reported this finding to the AEC, and later to the U.S. Congress and the President. But when the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman falls in love with a beautiful female undercover CIA operative, what follows is a pulse-quickening, globe-spanning page turner that will leave readers wondering where truth ends and fiction begins—if at all…

CoverWelcome to The Dark Phantom, Ruth! Tell us, what is inside the mind of a thriller espionage writer?

While I can’t vouch for what is in the mind of every thriller espionage writer, I can say that I have a healthy active brain, which I inherited from my grandmother, who was a brilliant woman. My grandmother on my mother’s side loved to write and she wrote extensively. In fact, that grandmother was a relative of Charles Lamb, a great writer in England. I’ve loved to read and write my whole life, as well.

Why should readers buy Whistle Blower and Double Agents
Cover
Readers have said Whistle Blower and Double Agents is exciting and a page-turner. I’ve heard from a number of people who have read the book say they have difficulty putting it down. I hope that readers in search of a good story will find that in Whistle Blower and Double Agents. One writer described it as “straight out of a James Bond movie – chock-full of intrigue, suspense, romance, and action.”  That is certainly high praise.

What makes for a good thriller novel?

First, I like novels that have some basis in reality. For instance, I prefer to read thrillers written by an author who either knows his/her subject or is willing to do the research to learn about the topic he/she is writing about. Some of the best thrillers, in my opinion, are rooted in fact. Whistle Blower and Double Agentscertainly fits that bill, as the book is inspired by actual incidents around the 200 pounds of uranium missing, or unaccountable, from a US nuclear power plant.

The question of responsibility pointed in many directions – the man who operated the nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania, the CIA, and even the President. My employer, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission held hearings where a lot of lying and cover-up ensued at the expense of the brave and later maligned nuclear scientist who blew the whistle on the case. I’m often asked why I believe there was a cover-up. I interviewed the whistleblower and was haunted by the stories for years. You see, the ‘whistleblower’ found out exactly what happened to the uranium, who was involved—and who received the ‘missing’ uranium. Ultimately, I felt that this was a story that needed to be told.

Second, I love when there is a sense of authenticity and realism about the characters in a novel. I had the benefit of personally knowing the characters inWhistle Blower and Double Agents. That experience helped me bring life to these characters so that readers get that sense of reading about real people and not just characters in a book.

When do you write?

I write at night since it is quiet and no one bothers me. It’s important for me to really be able to concentrate while I’m writing. Also, in researching Whistle Blower and Double Agents, I was working with people all over the country and found that night was the easiest time to speak with contacts in other regions. I researched the book thoroughly so that the facts would be correct. That was very important to me, even though it made the writing process tedious and time-consuming.

What has writing taught you?

Writing has taught me how to research a word, observe a person, take note of colors, examine a room, to consider a person’s emotion and what is really conveyed through laughter, a smile, or sadness. In other words, writing has reinforced just how important it is to be observant, to listen and to pay attention.

Writing has also reinforced my belief that if you want to succeed, you have to work hard. The process of writing Whistle Blower and Double Agents was a lengthy one: I started writing the book in the 1970s and would return to it every once in a while over the years. I started writing regularly again around 2001 and finished the book in late 2015. Even though it was a process that spanned decades, I’m so proud of the book and the hard work I put in to it.

Photo and cover art published with permission from the author.

Character Interview: Dana McGarry from Lynn Steward’s literary fiction What Might Have Been – Book Two in the Dana McGarry Series

e4acd-wmhb2bfront2bcover2baugust2b2014We’re thrilled to have you here today Dana McGarry from Lynn Steward’s novel What Might Have Been, Book Two in the Dana McGarry Series. Dana is a thirty year old fashion buyer at a glamorous New York City department store. It is a pleasure to have her with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so much for this interview, Dana.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

Yes, I was fairly portrayed. Lynn understood that I was stressed and conflicted about my desire to suddenly end my marriage last December when I discovered my husband’s affair, and she helped me work it out with a kind priest, who I met in London, and through dear friendships in New York. I have no regrets. We had many good years and fond memories, but the marriage was beyond repair. Lynn has also experienced challenges at work and she understood how important it was for me to create The English Shop, in the vein of the new women’s department at Brooks Brothers. It’s very frustrating when senior management is set in their ways, not willing to think outside the box: if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?

Lynn had the same problem, people underestimated her, so she did an excellent job painting the two sides of my personality: I am accommodating but at the same time ambitious and determined.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

Fortitude and independence.

Worse trait?

Pefectionist. Too intense.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself)

Felicity Jones. 

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Yes. Mark Senger, president of the Senger Display Company.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

When I met my boyfriend’s spoiled college age daughter and she was cool to me. 

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

My boss, Helen Kavanagh, the divisional merchandise manager. She was an obstructionist in book one, A Very Good Life, and she’s obstinate in What Might Have Been.  She’s only in her late forties, but she’s inflexible and controlling. She resists my suggestions at every turn. I would not want to treat my staff that way and stifle their creativity.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

I am convinced that the right choices were made.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?

I would like an exciting career in the fashion industry, more romance, and a handsome and charming soul-mate!

Thank you for this interview, Dana.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

Yes you will! There are five volumes in the Dana McGarry series and the synopses for the remaining three are written. Lynn tells me that I will love the English influence and characters in the next book, so I’m looking forward to it! As you will learn if you read What Might Have Been, I’m an Anglophile!

 

TitleWhat Might Have Been

Genre:  Literary fiction/women’s fiction

Author: Lynn Steward

Website: www.LynnSteward.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/What-Might-Have-Been-McGarry-ebook/dp/B00U8CR2KG

About the Author 

Lynn Steward, a veteran of the New York fashion industry and a buyer on the team that started the women’s department at Brooks Brothers, created the Dana McGarry series, set at a transformational time in the 1970s world of fashion and in the lives of multigenerational women. What Might Have Been is the second volume in the series. A Very Good Life,Steward’s debut novel, was published in March 2014.

LynnSteward.com

Pinterest.com/LynnStewardny

Facebook.com/LynnStewardnyc

Twitter: @LynnStewardNY

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