Title: I, Angus
Author: Mike Hartner
Publisher: Eternity 4 Popsicle Publishing
Genre: Historical Fiction
During a time of civil strife and purging the North has lost more men to Wars then it ever did to Nature.
Angus has grown up learning that his life is better off with only him and a family. But is that really in the Grand Plan.
The North needs someone to build community.
But first, Angus needs to be forged… beaten, shaped, bolded and trained.
Watch as Angus hits both lows and highs across the lands of England, Scotland and France, before meeting a challenge of new land.
For More Information
- I, Angus is available at Amazon.
- Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
- Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
It is a few days before my fifteenth birthday, and I have been scrubbing the castle floors all morning. I stand and the wind blows hard in my face, moving my reddish-orange hair from in front of my hazel eyes as I stretch my 5-foot 7-inch frame and look out the window.
The sky is dark and gloomy, but I can’t smell the rain yet, so I know a long time will pass before it pours down on our shire in North Scotland. In the far distance, I observe something moving toward our castle. It’s not long before I recognize my da’s charger. I can see others giving chase, although they’re quite a ways back. I run to open the gate and lower the drawbridge. I yell for my sister Janet to help me, because cranking it upright in a hurry is no small chore for one person.
The drawbridge has just been lowered when the hooves of Da’s horse, Spirit, come galloping across it. My sis does her part, and we quickly raise the bridge and race to the stallion and its rider. We arrive to hear the sound of arrows hitting the drawbridge and men yelling imprecations.
The heavily lathered stallion stands impatiently. On the horse’s back is its owner, Sir Donald Mackenzie, my da’. He is doubled forward, holding on to the mane, with an arrow in his upper left shoulder and another sticking out from his right calf. He wears a blue bonnet, along with a plaid kilt depicting our family’s lineage. A true archer, Da’s bow dangles on his back, diagonally between his shoulders.
The men on horseback, of which there are four, think better of trying to ford our moat, and they ride off. Lucky for us they don’t know that at that moment we are alone in the castle. Sis and I remove Da’ from the horse, and supporting our father between us we hurry him to his bed, where she begins ministering to his wounds.
I wonder what has caused this terrible event? My father had left several days ago with my much younger sister, Alice, to take her to a neighboring laird who had offered to have her schooled. I had watched my da’ the night before give Alice a family heirloom. It wasn’t much, but it was a locket that his great-grandmother had passed down to my grandmother who had passed it down to my mother, who was no longer with us. I remember Da’s telling us once that the tiny case had been given to our family on the occasion of an aunt’s marriage into the Clan MacDonald. I’d seen the engraving it held: two shields together, with their crests, one on the front, one on the back. And I recall Alice’s telling him, as he fastened it to her neck, that she’d forever wear it proudly.
I’d learned, however, not to believe much of what Alice said of late, as she was always coming up with whatever she thought would gain her purchase. But Alice was the oldest daughter—now eleven while Janet, who is every bit as tall as her and twice as strong, is but nine—so the keepsake rightfully should go to her.
Da’ was onto her though, and I think he’d worked out something with Laird MacLaren to see that she learned manners and honor as much as anything. Aye, but I also thought it might do her good to get set down a peg, as the MacLarens were wealthy landowners and not to be trifled with. It crossed my mind as well that Da’ hoped she might find a man of some stature someday who’d marry her, which would solve all the problems with Alice’s odd ways, as she never seemed happy with what Da’ provided for her. No matter, she would be schooled, and if nothing else she’d see other girls her age and how they acted. She would come back a better person—if she chose to return at all, which I highly doubted.
Da’s ride should have been a day out and a day back, with a day in-between to enjoy the hospitality of the laird. You see, this is the North of Scotland, and all of our families know each other, and no one just comes and goes, even if they are not related.
My da’ is hurt bad, and even with Janet and me by his side, the conditions are grim, as there is only so much we can do. I bring him food when sis has it ready, but I take it away when it isn’t touched four hours later. All he can do is let out an occasional groan
About the Author
Mike Hartner was born in Miami in 1965. He’s traveled much of the continental United States. He has several years post secondary education, and experience teaching and tutoring young adults. Hartner has owned and run a computer firm for more than twenty-five years. He now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with his wife and child. They share the neighborhood and their son with his maternal grandparents.
Mike’s latest book is I, Angus (The Eternity Series Book 4).
For More Information
We’re happy to be hosting Dr. J. Denee and her JOURNEY BEYOND THE TRAUMA Book Blast today!
Title: Journey Beyond the Trauma: Simple Practices of Resilence for Survivors of Sexual Abuse
Author: Dr. J. Denee
Journey Beyond the Trauma: Simple Practices of Resilience for Survivors of Sexual Abuse goes right to the heart of the issues related to abuse. It shares the impacts of abuse and offers simple, yet, practical strategies and information to help survivors reclaim and restore their lives. Dr. J. Denee’ guides readers through a 30-day journey to jumpstart their innate resilience. Journey Beyond the Trauma helps survivors to:
• Take responsibility for your healing and your life
• Transform into your authentic self
• Identify and manage triggers
• Turn emotional pain into progression
• Develop self-acceptance and reclaim self-worth
• Embrace resilience as a way of life
For More Information
- Journey Beyond the Trauma is available at Amazon.
- Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
- Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
About the Author
Juanita D. Ashby-Bey, PhD, known as Dr. J. Denee’, is a sexual abuse speaker, author, and resilience expert who specializes in helping women survivors of sexual abuse to rebuild their lives. A survivor of sexual abuse herself, Dr. J. Denee’ has been dedicated to the prevention, intervention, and recovery of sexual abuse issues and other traumas for the past 10 years. She received her Ph.D. in Education from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a Master’s Degree from JohnsHopkinsUniversity.
After coming to an understanding of the extent to which the sexual abuse and trauma she suffered as a child had profoundly affected his life, Dr. J. Denee’ traveled her own personal road of recovery and resilience, and made a firm decision to help build awareness about sexual abuse and to empower and support other sexual abuse survivors and the professionals who engage with survivors along the path to recovery.
As an educator, Dr. J. Denee’ spent many years researching and applying intervention strategies to help people transform themselves and discovery new possibilities. Leveraging her 15 years of experience as an educator at the collegiate and K-12 school levels in the capacities of administration, accreditation, evaluator, professor and teacher, Dr. J. Denee’s approach includes practical and research-based intervention strategies that are designed to produce results that guide women to more loving relationships with themselves and others. She helps women to tackle feelings of powerlessness by finding their voice, build emotional muscle to manage anger and rage, rebuild and establish healthy relationships rather than sabotaging them, and to learn how to effectively establish, respect, and protect personal boundaries for themselves.
Dr. J. Denee’ is an acclaimed speaker who is available to conducts seminars, workshops, keynote addresses, and panel discussions. She empowers her audience to tap into their internal ability to persevere, recreate themselves, express their individuality, and welcome and manage life’s simple and complex challenges successfully. With an interactive and inspirational delivery, Dr. J. Denee’ provides her audience with an effective toolkit of strategies that help women survivors of sexual abuse transform their lives and create authentic happiness, joy, and progress.
“Beyond the Trauma… Living Triumphantly” is the ultimate goal that Dr. J. Denee’ desires for all survivors. Dr. J. Denee’s upcoming, inaugural book, Beyond The Trauma – Simple Practices of Resilience for Survivors of Sexual Abuse is available for pre-sales and will be released in September 2015.
For More Information
We’re thrilled to have here today Annabel Taylor from Jane Jordan’s new Dark Romance, The Beekeeper’s Daughter. Annabel is an eighteen-year-old Bee Charmer living on Exmoor in the South West of England.
It is a pleasure to have her with us today at Beyond the Books!
Thank you so much for this interview, Annabel. 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?
A.T.: I feel that Jane Jordan completely understood my character and the Victorian Exmoor I grew up on, which led to the complex relationships that developed in my life. She understood the darkness in me and from where it came. When Jane Jordan started my story I was a child, she captured the essence of what it was to live, go to school and grow up in this time period, being surrounded by the wildness and landscape of old Exmoor.
Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality? If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?
A.T.: Yes, she understood my personality, just how headstrong I could be, and fearless when faced with adversity. I have never given much thought to rules, but Jane Jordan delved deeper into my psyche to find that I have a strong moral sense of what is right and wrong.
What do you believe is your strongest trait?
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!)?
A.T.: Since I have never seen a television or a movie, I will have to defer to the author, Jane Jordan.
J.J.: The American Actress, Grace Holley, captures Annabel’s stunning green eyes and long red hair, also being very beautiful, she would be a perfect choice.
Do you have a love interest in the book?
A.T.: I have two, Jevan and Alex, but it’s complicated.
At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?
A.T.: When I married Alex, I knew Jevan would be furious when he found out, and my life would be in danger.
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?
A.T.: Cerberus Saltonstall. Because he has been driven insane by the legacy, and along the way lost his moral compass. He is ambitious. He is willing to sacrifice anyone that gets in his way. He is powerful, but in a way he is lost, dabbling in dark magic. So blinkered by his belief, he does not fully understand the devastating consequence of his actions.
How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?
A.T.: For me the ending is bittersweet, the character that is supremely evil is destroyed, but so is a character that, all along, was merely a pawn in someone else’s ambitious plan. I did not realize that at the time. Both these characters caused me great psychological suffering. However, I do end up with the right person and a future that promises to be happy.
What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?
A.T.: Both myself and the people I loved most went through so much in The Beekeeper’s Daughter, now, I could not bear to lose the one person that I hold most dear in this world.
Thank you for this interview, Annabel Taylor. Will we be seeing more of you in the future?
A.T.: As far as I know Jane Jordan does not intend to write another novel with my character, she is too busy finishing up a different story. Of course, nothing is set in stone.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: The Beekeeper’s Daughter
Author: Jane Jordan
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Beekeeper’s daughter Annabel Taylor grows up wild and carefree on the moors of England in the late 1860s. A child of nature and grace with an unusual ability to charm bees, Annabel follows in the footstep of her mother Lilith, a beautiful witch. With her closest friend and soulmate Jevan Wenham by her side, Annabel’s life is a life filled with wonder and curiosity. But Jevan, the son of a blacksmith, lives his life on the verge of destruction, and his devotion to Annabel probes the boundaries between brutality and deep desire, passion and pleasure. When Jevan leaves Exmoor to pursue an education in London, Annabel’s world shatters. Devastated without Jevan, Annabel is sure her life is ending. But everything changes when she crosses paths with Alexander Saltonstall. The heir to the Saltonstall legacy and son of Cerberus Saltonstall, the wealthy landowner of the foreboding Gothelstone Manor, Alex is arrogant and self-assured—and enamored of the outspoken Annabel. Even though the two are socially worlds apart, that doesn’t stop Alex from asking, or rather demanding, Annabel’s hand in marriage. But when Annabel refuses, she is forced into an impossible situation. To further complicate matters, Jevan is back—and so are those same desires, that same passion and intensity. But nothing is as it seems, and Annabel and Jevan are in grave danger. At risk of being ensnared into the dark legacy of the Saltonstall family, Annabel faces the ultimate test. Will her fledgling powers be enough to save those she loves most? Can she even save herself?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jane Jordan grew up in Essex, England and spent six years in the South West of England living on Exmoor. A trained horticulturist, Jane worked and volunteered for Britain’s National Trust at Exmoor’s 1000-year-old Dunster Castle. The atmosphere, beautiful scenery, and ancient history of the place inspired Jane’s first novel, Ravens Deep, the debut release in her gothic vampire trilogy, which also included Blood & Ashes and A Memoir of Carl. Jane Jordan lives in Southwest Florida.
Connect with Jane Jordan on the web:
Rani St. Pucchi, a trend-setting designer whose designs have been recognized in Entertainment Tonight, Harper’s Bazaar, WWD, Town and Country, Bride’s, Cosmopolitan Bride, Martha Stewart Weddings and The Knot, can help define the style that flatters you most — no matter what age or stage of life you are in or what your body type is.
Women from all over the world have clamored to have a private consultation with Rani so they may benefit from her expertise and regain their self-confidence and shine.
In Your Body, Your Style, Rani shares with you her knowledge of the female form and guides you to find simple solutions to your most pressing body concerns. The focus is on you — and how you can make yourself more confident and appealing in almost every situation — simply by making a few changes and different choices in planning your wardrobe.
Once you embrace your unique attributes and dissolve your bad relationship with your body, you’ll be amazed to find how irresistible you are to others!
This simple and friendly guide reveals:
* What clothes and silhouettes are best for your specific body type
* Simple techniques to determine which colors flatter you most
* Solutions to common lingerie issues and the importance of fit
* The one dress that is a chameleon, and how to transform it into different looks
* How to travel stress free by planning your wardrobe well
* 101 styling secrets, professional tricks and fashion tips
RANI ST. PUCCHI is an award-winning fashion designer, an author and relationship expert. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.
If there is a seminal moment in my relationship to fashion and designing, the occasion that springs to mind is a summer in Bangkok, Thailand. I must have been about four or five years old. My cousin and I were running feverishly from the ground floor of our townhome to my mother’s bedroom on the fourth floor to get dressed for the movies and we were very late.
I looked at the choices I had and was very disappointed. Even though there were so many options I kept trying and tossing the frocks one by one on the floor. The cupboard now bare, I hit a wall: I’d run out of clothes. I remember so well the frustration and at the same time an ah-ha moment. I decided from henceforth I would choose my own fabrics and design my own clothes. After all who knew better than I what looks good on me?
I thank my parents for drawing me into the magical world of luxury fabrics and laces. As the largest purveyor of fine laces in Thailand their ateliers and showrooms became my playground where I would spend all my spare time. I had the opportunity to be around fine fabrics and get to touch and feel and know them well. I actively participated with my tailors in transforming these fabrics into unique designs for myself.
Fast forward to 1984. I was still living in Bangkok, Thailand and running my small tailoring shop in a prominent hotel, specializing in ready to wear and evening gowns, along with men’s tailored suits. A rare opportunity came my way when a client asked if I would be wiling to bring my collection to showcase at her charity event in San Antonio, Texas.
I was an avid fan of the TV sitcom “Dallas” and always fantasized living the life of such opulence and outrage as the characters depicted in the series! My wish to travel to the United States was a dream come true.
With great enthusiasm I prepared a collection of 54 pieces, comprising of jackets, skirts, blouses and dresses and some evening sheaths. I also thought it would be nice to have a finale piece, and so I designed my very first bridal gown for this purpose.
It was a blush colored wedding gown made of pure Thai Silk, entirely hand embroidered and hand beaded. Little did I know that the one wedding gown would receive so much attention as to catapult my whole life!
Next thing I knew I had already committed to showing a Bridal Collection in Dallas at the Dallas Apparel Mart, which was the ‘go to’ fashion platform where buyers from all over the world congregated. I registered my company on a wing and a prayer, and St. Pucchi was born.
When I launched my first bridal couture collection at the Dallas Apparel Mart in April of 1985 I was unsure if what I had so lovingly put together was of any value to the US bridal market. I was also clueless to the fact that white was the only color worn and accepted by the American bride at the time.
They say ignorance is bliss! By the time I learnt it was too late. My collection had already shipped from Bangkok to Dallas and there was not a single white dress among the sixteen styles I had designed. The colors ranged from ecru, blush, butterscotch and even pale blue.
I comforted myself into believing that perhaps the US bridal industry as it was could use a fresh perspective and hopefully my collection would, at the very least, bring some excitement.
It was pure pleasure to be totally immersed in an unfolding story, on a journey that is never forgotten. My first collection produced in me an intensely emotional and cathartic experience. After all I had invested all my resources and had used up my credit cards to the max. There was so much riding on my success that I could not fathom what the future would look like if…
The Dallas Apparel News ran a front-page story about my premier bridal collection and how it was a harkening of things to come. I was applauded for being a pioneer not only for using pure silks in bridal, which was unheard of at the time, but also for being so bold and daring as to introduce color to bridal wear.
The US bridal industry as we had known it would change forever.
Today, 30 plus years later, with more than 10,000 designs under my belt, I find myself very fortunate and humbled to write this book. The amazing women I’ve had the pleasure to work with during trunk shows, fashion shows, and on my travels across the globe have taught me much.
I have witnessed again and again how looking good can change a woman’s life. I have worked with numerous women, young and old, women getting married, mothers with teenage daughters, women going thru midlife crisis and those going thru menopause. The story they tell themselves is the same. Most are not happy with their bodies and wish they could change something or the other so they can feel confident in themselves.
A woman’s form is the most beautiful, most complex and the most intriguing. Yet we don’t appreciate it enough. We tend to hide parts that we feel are not attractive and we berate ourselves for being too much of this, and not enough of that. Rather than being in awe and working with the form we are blessed with, we spend more time and resources than most of us can afford, on diets and procedures that are rarely long lasting.
We’re on this constant merry-go-round and obsess about our body during every waking moment. Not only that, but the way we talk to ourselves we would not allow anyone to say those words to either our best friends or even our worst enemies!
This book does not pretend to be your road to perfection. The purpose of writing it is to guide you thru simple techniques and suggestions on how to look at your body and see what you can make better.
You are asked to assess and appraise your body type so that you can learn about the most flattering silhouettes to dress in.
You will learn how to dress your body in a way that will enhance your best assets and camouflage areas that you feel uncomfortable about or find lacking in any way.
You realize why it is so important to invest in the right lingerie. You learn the importance of fit and simple solutions to your common bra issues.
You are invited to learn a simple process to determine what colors flatter you most and which ones to part with. Color being one of the key elements that makes a woman look more interesting, more self-confident, more self-assured and in control.
You will learn about the one color that is a must staple in every woman’s wardrobe. The one piece of clothing that is a chameleon and that can be transformed into any myriad number of looks.
You are taken on a journey on how your style and taste evolves as you transition from your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, to your 60s and beyond. And you learn that sexy is never out of fashion, nor is it outdated. That in fact the older you get the more confident you become. And you realize that ultimately confidence is really what makes a woman sexy.
You become savvy on how and what to pack for your travels, whether you’re going on a month long vacation, a weekend romantic getaway to an exotic tropical island, or a short business trip.
You learn the simple four step process to sort-and-purge and organize your wardrobe so that no time is wasted in choosing what to wear each day allowing you time to become more productive in life.
You will be able to define your personal style, and become clear on how you wish to be seen in the world. This knowledge will help you embrace your own unique personality and shine.
In this book I share 101 tips and tricks on fashion fixes that help you gain self-confidence, on how to accentuate your strongest features, on dressing sexy. You will receive smart shopping hints and simple style advice for your body type and more…
In these pages I share with you the knowledge that I have garnered and reveal those secrets you will now learn so you too can look like a million regardless of the body you have, or the resources, to access trends that are so fleeting as to make our heads spin!
Thank you for the opportunity to share my knowledge. I hope it serves you.
About the Author
Thirty years ago, Rani St. Pucchi took the bridal world by storm, despite having no formal training in fashion. She is an award winning couture fashion designer and founder of the world-renowned bridal house St. Pucchi. A passionate and dynamic entrepreneur who launched her global empire in the United States in 1985, Rani’s vision was to create an avant-garde bridal and evening couture line with modern styling and classic details. That vision has been realized today.
Renowned for infusing her creations with touches of magnificently colored jewels, exquisite hand embroidery, delicate beading and sparkling crystals on the finest silks and laces, these inspired designs with innovative draping evoke the timeless elegance every woman desires. As one of the foremost designers to introduce exotic silk fabrics and hand embroidery, Rani is applauded for being a pioneer in bringing color to the United States bridal scene, having learned that white does not flatter everyone.
Rani has been recognized and nominated on multiple occasions for her design talent and won numerous awards as a Style Innovator. In addition, she has been honored with the Best Bridal Designer Award at the prestigious Chicago Apparel Center’s DEBI Awards (Distinctive Excellence in Bridal Industry).
Rani is famous for designing the wedding dress worn by “Phoebe” as she captured the hearts of millions when she said “I Do” in a unique St. Pucchi Lilac corset bodice A-line gown on the finale of the hit television show Friends.
Her range of avant-garde designs are worn by the world’s most discerning brides, including celebrities and style icons such as New York Giants’ player Aaron Ross’ wife, Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards; Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo’s wife Candice Crawford; Actress Tara Reid; Jason Priestley’s wife Naomi Lowde; actress Candice Cameron and Grammy Award winning country music singer Alison Krauss, who donned a specially designed Chantilly lace and silk gown at the Country Music Awards.
Rani has enjoyed much media attention. Her signature designs have been recognized in high profile media such as Entertainment Tonight, Harper’s Bazaar, WWD, Town and Country, Bride’s, Cosmopolitan Brides, Inside Weddings, Martha Stewart Weddings and The Knot.
Rani’s real passion other than the world of design is to help women who have suffered abuse and those who are struggling to find themselves. On her quest to empower women to be their best selves, she is passionate about helping them find their voice through building their self-confidence. She believes that confidence must start with a woman’s love and acceptance of her body.
Renowned for her savvy knowledge of a woman’s form and fit, Rani is eager to share her knowledge of more than three decades with all women so they can make better styling choices. In addition to the book you are reading now, Rani is the author of four upcoming books: The SoulMate Checklist: Key Questions To help You Choose Your Perfect Partner; Seven Types of Men To Avoid: Recognizing Relationship Red Flags; Designing with Heart: A to Z Guide to Bridal Designing; and Unveiling: A Celebrity Fashion Designer’s Story, a Memoir of her Life Journey.
Born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, Rani now happily lives in Los Angeles, California.
Her latest book is Your Body, Your Style: Simple Tips on Dressing to Flatter.
Energize Your Life!
By: Del Millers, PhD
Are you suffering from a personal energy crisis?Are you constantly running through your day, feeling chronically exhausted? Are you desperately overcommitted? Do you find yourself sacrificing your health, family time and quality of life just to meet the never-ending demands on your time? Are you exhausted when you go to bed at night and still tired when you awake? If the answer is yes to any of the above questions, then you may be suffering from a personal energy crisis.
Unfortunately, this way of living — and working — not only robs us of our health and puts a strain on time and energy resources, it blocks our access to our most essential sources of energy, leaving us feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally drained.
In his new book, Energize Your Life, Dr. Del shows you simple things you can do everyday to fuel your life and work with positive energy. Drawing from his years of experience consulting with executives, entrepreneurs, small business owners, career changers and self re-inventors, as well as the wealth of new research over the past two decades on positive psychology, employee engagement and play, Dr. Del demonstrates how you can program the brain — and the subconscious — for productive, beneficial action.
Energize Your Life is different from other positive energy books and personal energy management programs. Its unique advantage is that it shows you how to fuel your life and work with positive energy from seven distinct sources.
And why is it important to increase your daily dose of positive energy? Well, several studies have clearly demonstrated that chronic stress and negative energy shuts down the creative problem solving brain, slows your productivity and puts you in fight or flight mode where very little gets done.
Energize Your Life will challenge and inspire you to develop a personal action plan to fuel your life and work with positive energy everyday. Thereby, improving your personal well being, enhancing your work engagement, and helping you feel more alive.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Del Millers is the founder of TheBestYouAcademy.com, EnergizedLifeAcademy.com, and author of eight books on nutrition, fitness, and personal growth.
A PhD Nutritionist with a Masters degree in psychology, Dr. Del teaches simple mind-body principles to busy entrepreneurs and professionals to help them energize their lifestyle, improve their personal wellbeing, and enhance their work engagement.
Dr. Del has appeared on FOX Television (Good Day LA), E-Entertainment TV (DR 90210), numerous nationally syndicated radio shows, and in magazines, and newspapers throughout the United States and Australia (LA Sports & Fitness, Australian Ironman, Health & Fitness, Stuff, Fighting Fat and others).
Dr. Del’s greatest passion is sharing what inspires him with others. He lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and three daughters.
Buy any of Dr. Del’s books and forward your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org for Dr. Del’s special bonuses worth hundreds of dollars. Subscribe to Dr. Del’s weekly podcast at http://www.energizeyourlifepodcast.com
Follow the entire tour HERE
Brought to you by Worldwind Virtual Book Tours
Author: H. Peter Alesso
Genre: Science Fiction
placed him squarely in the crosshairs of avenging soldiers.
business and commerce, home to over a million inhabitants going about their ordinary daily lives, now it was a battlefield.
Hawkins to race the engine of single-seat turbojet to gain altitude. The noise and vibration of the straining sputtering engine roared into the dark rainy night until they were able to ascend to three thousand meters.
weapons. This crowded mass of human unhappiness snaked its way along its ill-chosen path intent on escaping the terrifying violence.
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Author: Charlene Whitman
Publisher: Ubiquitous Press
Genre: Sweet Historical Western Romance
of men to discover the love awaiting her with open arms.
cheek burned, but not as fiercely as the hurt in her heart. The pain and
disappointment smoldering there sizzled like hot embers, threatening to reduce
her to a pile of ash. She glared at her father’s back as he stomped out of the
understand? She would not marry Pietro, no matter how wealthy his family was,
no matter how many years her papá and his had planned such an arrangement. “It
is our way, Angela,” he had told her again, his face hard and eyes dark and
menacing, leaving no room for debate. “And you will marry him. You are twenty
years of age—you are lucky he is still willing. You’ve made him wait long
past the rock lodged in her aching throat, she knew what would follow. What
always followed. Her papá’s rage erupted in a torrent of Italian curses that
ended with a slap that knocked her nearly senseless against the foyer wall
before he stormed out the apartment.
the front door, she had caught a glimpse of her mamá in the kitchen, her back
turned to her in unspoken submission. Angela huffed. I will never marry and
become like you, Mamá—squashed under the thumb of some man who wants only
subservience and a crowded apartment full of squalling babies.
tears. She would not cry—not today. Today she would take the first steps—real
steps—toward her dream. And no one, not even the powerful and prominent Giusepe
Bellini could stop her.
rumbled—as it always did six times a day and twice each night—from the Third
Avenue El Train fifty feet away. The noise of the wheels clacking and the
platform rattling mingled with the loud voices of her downstairs neighbors
arguing—Mr. Paolino’s tenor to his wife’s shrill soprano. Outside her window,
carriages clattered on cobblestones in sharp staccato, and shoppers and
merchants carried on in boisterous conversation, sounding no more pacifying
than an orchestra tuning their instruments.
drown out the suffocating symphony of Mulberry Bend by rehearsing violin caprices
in her head, imagining her fingers flying over the fingerboard, her right hand
bowing the strings, eliciting the sweet and sonorous timbre of her instrument.
September afternoon, the many pieces she’d memorized—no, absorbed into her very
soul, as if food that nourished her—flitted away, out of reach, as she pulled
down the heavy carpetbag from the hall closet—a bag that she’d found months ago
stuffed behind a stack of wool blankets.
mama was humming in the back room as she folded laundry. Her two younger
siblings were off playing with neighborhood children—in the street, no doubt,
as the sweltering heat was worse indoors.
dabbed her perspiring forehead and neck with a handkerchief and went through
her mental list of all she would need on her trip. Not much—she’d only be gone
ten, perhaps, twelve days, if all went as planned. She pushed from her thoughts
her papá’s impending fury at her insolence and the resulting punishments that
would await her upon her return. But she had made her decision, and there was
no turning back.
and while he often spent an hour or more on Sunday afternoons smoking cigars
with the men of the neighborhood, discussing the politics of her close-knit
Italian community and their various business ventures—and arranging their
daughters’ marriages, she thought bitterly—he could return at any time.
neat stack of clothes she had put in her bottom dresser drawer, then stuffed
them into the traveling bag along with her few womanly items, her prayer book,
some sheets of music, and a spare pair of shoes. She checked her reticule and
found the roll of bills—the money she’d earned over the last two years from
babysitting and teaching music lessons through Signore Bianchi’s instrument
shop on Second Avenue. She hoped it would be enough for the quality of violin
she planned to buy.
inquiry regarding pricing in his letter. He merely assured her he would provide
her with an exceptional instrument and that they would work out the financial
details once she arrived in Greeley, Colorado.
enough? It had to be, for she couldn’t return to New York and face the audition
committee without a proper instrument.
stung. “You’re a talented musician, Miss Bellini. But you bring shame to
your craft by playing on such an inferior violin. Come back when you have an
appropriate instrument.” The three committee members had politely frowned
when she flustered an apology and hurried to the exit of the symphony hall,
pressing down her humiliation and frustration as tears welled in her eyes.
buy her a violin of exceptional quality, and every year at Christmas she begged
him to indulge her love of playing with the purchase of a new one, but he only
laughed in cool disdain and waved her away. “Give up your foolish dreams,
Angela. Your place is in the home, with a husband and children. Not on the
stage.” Her papá regarded music appropriate only at holidays and festivals
and family gatherings, and only traditional song and instrumentation. He
didn’t—couldn’t—understand this dream she nursed. The dream to play in the New
York Philharmonic, to play on stage before an audience, to be a part of the
creation of ethereal music that filled a great performance hall and moved
listeners to tears.
older brother, Bartolomeo, sided with their papá, constantly nagging her to
“get married already and stop being a burden on the family.” Although he was
but two years older, he and Dora had three children. And Dora—and most of
Angela’s other girlfriends from her school days, who were also married—gave her
constant looks of pity, as if Angela was missing out on life’s greatest joy.
But they just didn’t understand.
of her dream to keep it alive, to prevent it from being snuffed out by her papá’s
stern expectations and society’s demands. And it had nearly been extinguished a
month ago, upon her papá’s brash public announcement of her engagement to
Pietro—an arrogant youngest son of a successful wine merchant who had no love
for music—none whatsoever. She harbored no hope that he would ever understand
her passionate need to play the violin, and no doubt he’d forbid her pursuit of
in the Times about one George Fisk, a master violin maker in a newly
founded town in the West—a place called Greeley. On a whim she’d written him.
Why? She didn’t know. She could purchase a violin in Manhattan—one of
sufficient quality. But there was something about the description of this man,
Fisk. The way he spoke about the instruments he made. The care and time and
love he put into each one. He built his instruments with a passion and love for
beauty and music that resonated with her. For, she wanted more than a good
violin. She wanted one that spoke to her soul, one made just for her. George
Fisk promised he could provide just that. But she had to travel halfway across
the continent. Was she willing? he’d asked her.
more than willing. Although, she’d never traveled outside of the city, and
the thought of venturing into wild country, alone, made her stomach twist. But
Fisk had told her not to worry. He would see to her accommodations and show her
around his “wonderful little Western town.” And she had to admit—she was ready
for an adventure.
tiny bedroom situated in a crowded apartment in a busy, noisy city. I’m more
than ready for peace and quiet, and to get away from Papá’s mean spirit and
under a wide-open sky spattered with stars, with no neighbors quarreling or
trains rattling or horses’ hooves clacking on stones? Her heart yearned for
such open space, for such silence. Silence that longed to be filled with
beautiful music. She imagined nature itself performing a symphony of birdsong
and coyote howls and water cascading over rocks. Those were some of the images
her mind drifted to as she played, and she longed to merge her own musical
voice to that of creation, if even just for a day or two.
The author of “heart-thumping” Western romance, Charlene Whitman spent many years living on Colorado‘s Front Range. She grew up riding and raising horses, and loves to read, write, and hike the mountains. She attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins as an English major. She has two daughters and is married to George “Dix” Whitman, her love of thirty years. The Front Range series of sweet historical Western romance novels (set in 1876) includes Colorado Promise, set in Greeley, Colorado; Colorado Hope, set in Fort Collins; Wild Secret, Wild Longing, which takes readers up into the Rockies, and Colorado Dream (release date 11/15/16) and Wild Horses, Wild Hearts (release date 1/1/17).
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