Beyond the Books

Character Interview: Jessie Murphy from jd daniels` mystery Quick Walk to Murder

We’re thrilled to have here today Jessie Murphy from jd daniels new mystery, Quick Walk to Murder.  Jessie is 28 and a property manager/artist living in Matlacha, FL & Cambridge, MA.

It is a pleasure to have her with us today at Beyond the Books!

QW_lg.jpgThank you so for this interview, Jessie.  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?

Oh, sure, jd did a great job portraying me, but I would like the readers to make sure to understand that just because I love a plaster of Paris Gargoyle, that doesn’t mean I’m not logical and smart.  I’m sure jd got that across, but I just want to make sure they get it. I mean, I do believe you need to follow your intuition, but that doesn’t mean that you also don’t use your brains. Thanks for asking, by the way.  Great to get that straight. I’m sure you understand.  One doesn’t like to feel that just because they have their quirks that they are considered totally a goofball.  I’m a creative person—a painter.  There are those out there that think because you’re imaginative that you aren’t logical too.  Well, I’m sure there are people like there like that, but I’m not one of them.

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

Colorizing my personality?  What an interesting phrase. As an artist, those words are making me want me to paint an image to match them.  Very cool. I just might do that later.  But personally, I think my zany, creative, but clever personality shines through loud and clear in Quick Walk to Murder.  Heck, I’m so naturally colorized, jd didn’t have to do much work on that score.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

Hm.  I’d say being honest when need be and being capable of knowing when a little lying can go a long way.  Grandma Murphy taught me that.

Worse trait?

Oh, that’s easy.  Being too vulnerable.  I’ve always had to fight this tendency.  When I was younger anyone could pull one over on me anytime.

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!)?

Well, Anne Hathaway would be perfect. I loved her in Becoming Jane, didn’t you?

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Oh, yeah. He’s a hunk.  Name’s Jay Mann. He’s a sculptor. Like, you should see him in his long white cotton robe.  Oh, dear, I’m blushing. Could we talk about something else?

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

When I was afraid it was Caitlin, a young woman who had convinced me she’d been abused by her brother.  I really, really did want her to be the killer.

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?

I wouldn’t want to be Gator.  I couldn’t stand to smell like him and I’m really not a fisherman. Can’t imagine ever hunting gators either.

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

Oh, I just had to shake my head.  I mean, I really, really thought I had that worst trait thing (being vulnerable) under control. Not!  Life’s a surprise a minute—that’s what I say.

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

What words of wisdom would I give jd?  I’d say don’t let anyone tell you what to do or which way to go when you’re creating.  Artists need freedom.  Best advice:  You go, girl!

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

Cool set of questions you asked.  Been more than a pleasure answering them.  See me in the future?  You can bet on it.  In fact, I’ve already solved another tough murder case in Mayhem in Matlacha.  A buzz has already started. Business owners are marking their calendars for a launch party and reading extravaganza. Last reading I was led in by a bagpiper!  Can you believe it! And he ran me afterward to Micelli’s on the back of his Harley. Whooee! I’m sure you know that all Irish girls love a good party and swoon when bagpipes are played. And that’s the truth.

Thanks for having me. It’s been a blast.  Bye now.


Genre: Mystery

Author: J.D. Daniels


Publisher: Savvy Books

Purchase on Amazon

Quick Walk to Murder opens with the murder of the son of a local crab fisher folk family. Young Jessie Murphy, an artist from Cambridge, MA who solved a homicide the previous season on the island, joins forces with two quirky, but savvy locals in hopes of bringing the murderer to justice. In her search for the reasons behind the murder, Jessie uncovers hidden—and frighteningly disturbing—relationships between the victim and many of his acquaintances.  Among them? A local crab fisherman who secretly hired the young man, the victim’s girlfriend and her over-protective brother, the victim’s college roommate, an adviser at college, a psychic, the victim’s mother and two strangers who show up on the island with badges.  With no shortage of suspects, Jessie launches a pulse-quickening investigation that  leads her to death’s door. But through her own power of reasoning and feisty Irish refusal to not finish a job once begun, Jessie uncovers a startling, surprising ending.


About the Author:

jd daniels is a mystery writer who divides her time between Southwest Florida and Iowa City, Iowa. She has also lived, written prose and poetry, and taught writing at the college level in Boston, Massachusetts and Ankara, Turkey.  She’s published five books, receiving an Iowa Arts Grant for her biography and reached the top of a best seller list for her book of poetry. Over the years, she has worked as a college professor, an aerobics instructor, a bartender, a restorer of historic homes, a landlady and has learned the art of carpentry, dry walling and bookmaking.  Quick Walk to Murder is the second release in the Jessie Murphy mystery series.   Through Pelican Eyes, the first Jessie Murphy mystery, was released in 2014.


Murder For Me Cover Reveal

Murder for Me Cover Reveal banner

Pump Up Your Book is pleased to bring you Russel Little’s MURDER FOR ME Cover Reveal! Please stop at the blogs who will be hosting him on May 13!

Murder for Me

Inside the Book

Author: Russell Little
Publisher: Independent
Genre: Psycho-Thriller

Larry Lamb is a mediocre attorney. His last client committed suicide.

Larry Lamb is a mediocre husband. His wife divorced him because she thinks he’s crazy.

But Larry Lamb’s luck is about to turn around. Oil tycoon Don Stonek needs an attorney good enough to be convincing—but bad enough to lose his case.

Stonek’s wife Ava is the victim of multiple murder attempts, and his lover Marilyn is a suspect. Stonek offers Lamb a six-figure retainer to represent Marilyn, and Lamb accepts, with a secret plan to dump the case and keep the money.

But Marilyn has a certain power of persuasion, and the meeting leaves Larry convinced he must please her every desire. She also tugs at a part of him he prefers to keep locked away deep inside—a part of him that’s desperate for release.

Book Excerpt:

The trees surrounding the clearing looked like jungle to him, and he inhaled the smell of cut grass and heavy tree pollen through his cigarette smoke. This was way better than the stacked old garbage smell in the beaten-down park up the street from Colinas. The trash cans were empty here, and they had black plastic bags on them. Alex never saw that before, park cans with trash bags; these people were treated right.

He flicked his butt at the trash can again as he watched a wuss in blue sweats slowly run into the clearing, look at Alex and the butt as it hit the grass, and speed up as he passed by. Alex laughed at it, the thought of a man giving up sleep to run in a park. “Dumbass,” he thought. He was glad the pussy hurried, and he hoped the guy got far enough away before he popped the bitch.

He had to stay ready. Once he shot her, he’d get some breakfast tacos. There’s a truck a couple of blocks from his room that he bought tacos from late at night. They were good, too, especially the green salsa they made, and he wondered if they were open this early. Of course they were. He hoped that guy was far enough away. He checked the time on his phone again. He’d waited too long for the bitch, and he worried he’d missed her. He might go to Colinas after lunch for a beer to celebrate. He’d have some money coming in so they’d probably give him credit; they’d have to since he’d already spent everything she’d advanced him. If he did this woman well enough, he might get some of Miss Melody, too, and stop having to call her that Miss shit.

A blond woman with headphones ran past him. Who was that? He panicked. Was that her? Blond chick, like in the picture—it had to be. He jumped off the table, jerked his gun out of his pants, and ran after her.

Meet the Author

Russell Little

About the Author

Russell G. Little is a writer and practicing divorce attorney. Murder for Me is a fictionalized compilation of the many people he’s encountered over his lifetime and thirty-two-year career.

He lives in Houston, Texas, with his wife of thirty-two years, Melinda.

Visit Russell Little’s website.

Connect with Russell on Facebook and Twitter.

Interview with Sean Dow, author of ‘A Leafy Green World’ & ‘Al-thar’

Sean DowSean Dow is a pulmonary and critical care physician in Great Falls, Montana. He started writing thriller novels in 2011, and has three titles, one of which, Debridement, is in its second printing and is being made into a feature film.

Sean was born in Iowa City, but was raised on a small farm in Kansas before leaving for medical school, and the adventures beyond. His career was largely in Klamath Falls, Oregon, a town that still feels like home. He did a brief stent in Las Vegas before moving to the paradise of Montana. When not working or writing, Sean can be found in the kitchen perfecting his New York cheesecake, or on the mountain streams with Bailey, his beloved (and perfectly behaved) Mastiff and his favorite 2 weight fly rod-a parting gift from a dear friend and patient.

His latest books are A Leafy Green World and Al-thar.

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About the Book:

[ File # csp0373319, License # 2949338 ]Licensed through in accordance with the End User License Agreement ( Can Stock Photo Inc. / Joeshmo

Title: A Leafy Green World
Author: Sean Dow
Publisher: Two Harbors Press
Pages: 449
Genre: Thriller

A Leafy Green World is a fast paced, action packed thriller set in the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Brent Holcomb has moved to Portland in hopes of resurrecting his life and his career. There, he meets Robyn-the girl from his dreams. All is going smoothly until he realizes Robyn and her friends are not what they seem. Now, wrapped up in the murder of an innocent man, and with nowhere to turn, Brent forms a bold plan-a plan that will put him on a dangerous course, aligning himself with domestic terrorists and ultimately, a deeply hidden cell of Islamic terrorists.

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Al-TharTitle: Al-thar
Author: Sean Dow
Publisher: Two Harbors Press
Pages: 466
Genre: Thriller

In Al-thar, (Arabic:revenge) Brent is living a tranquil life on the peaceful Philippine island of Masbate. But the FBI’s witness protection plan is not enough when you have destroyed the plans of the world’s most feared terrorist group-an assassin is on the way, and his plans are far worse than a simple bullet in the head.

With the violent destruction of his new island home, Dr. Holcomb is once again thrust into danger, this time on an international level. There are only two outcomes in this new high-stakes match, Brent’s painful and public death and the destruction of America’s, or the death of Saadullah Abul Ka-beir, and his council.

Brent brings together his cast of memorable friends from A Leafy Green World as he devises the greatest deception ever imagined. The action goes at a break-neck pace from the Philippines to Washington, D.C., and from a remote valley in Pakistan to the jungles of Sierra Leone in this novel that has been described as almost too real, and too timely.

For More Information

  • Al-thar is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Sean.  Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

Multi-published. A Leafy Green World is my second novel, and Al-thar, the third.

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 self-published. Having read horror stories of the lengths other authors had gone through trying to find a traditional publisher, I decided to go with the self-publishing route, at least until I had a chance to see if I could establish myself with a few stories.

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

It seemed like two lifetimes from the time I submitted my first manuscript until I had a chance to hold it in my hands, but it was probably about 6 months.

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

It was a terrific feeling-jubilation, accomplishment, and relief that it was finally done. Not very exciting, but I celebrated by starting another story.

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

I made a lot of marketing mistakes. My first was to engage an expensive company to promote my story. Big cash outlay, with little result-lesson learned.

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

I have gone back to my first books and tried to put myself in the shoes of the reader. This has been most beneficial in learning how to fine tune my style.

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

Tough question. I would have to say the biggest thing is the number of people and companies making outrageous promises on their ability to market independent authors. There are good ones out there, but the old adage, Let the buyer beware could be no more true than it is in the book marketing world.

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

The joy of hearing back from happy readers, there is nothing else like it!

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

Start writing! As a side note, I find that when I am actively writing a story, my mind responds just like my body does when I occasionally relent and take it to the gym-everything becomes sharper, and I take in so much more of the world around me. Maybe it’s time I start that next one?



Book Excerpt: Dark Money by Larry D. Thompson

Dark MoneyTitle: DARK MONEY
Author: Larry D. Thompson
Publisher: Story Merchant Books
Pages: 420
Genre: Legal Thriller

DARK MONEY is a thriller, a mystery and an expose’ of the corruption of money in politics.

Jackson Bryant, the millionaire plaintiff lawyer who turned to pro bono work in Dead Peasants, is caught up in the collision of money and politics when he receives a call from his old army buddy, Walt Frazier. Walt needs his assistance in evaluating security for Texas Governor Rob Lardner at a Halloween costume fundraiser thrown by one of the nation’s richest Republican billionaires at his mansion in Fort Worth.

Miriam Van Zandt is the best marksman among The Alamo Defenders, an anti-government militia group in West Texas. She attends the fund raiser dressed as a cat burglar—wounds the governor and murders the host’s brother, another Republican billionaire. She is shot in the leg but manages to escape.

Jack is appointed special prosecutor and must call on the Texas DPS SWAT team to track Van Zandt and attack the Alamo Defenders’ compound in a lonely part of West Texas. Van Zandt’s father, founder of the Defenders, is killed in the attack and Miriam is left in a coma. The authorities declare victory and close the case—but Jack knows better. The person behind the Halloween massacre has yet to be caught. When Walt and the protective detail are sued by the fund raiser host and the widow of the dead man, Jack follows the dark money of political contributions from the Cayman Islands to Washington to Eastern Europe, New York and New Orleans to track the real killer and absolve his friend and the Protective Detail of responsibility for the massacre.

For More Information

  • Dark Money is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Dark Money teaser

Book Excerpt:

Jack Bryant turned his old red Dodge Ram pickup into the driveway of the Greek revival mansion at the end of the cul-de-sac in Westover Hills, an exclusive neighborhood in Fort Worth. He was amused to see Halloween ghosts and goblins hanging from the two enormous live oaks that fronted the house. The driveway led to wrought iron gates that permitted entry to the back. A heavy set Hispanic man with a Poncho Villa mustache in a security guard uniform stood beside the driveway near the gates, clipboard in hand. He was unarmed.

Jack stopped beside him and lowered his window. “Afternoon, officer. Fine autumn day, isn’t it?”

The guard sized up the old pick-up and the man wearing jeans and a white T-shirt. “You here to make a delivery?”

Jack reached into his left rear pocket and retrieved his wallet from which he extracted a laminated card. “No, sir. Name’s Jackson Douglas Bryant. I’m a lawyer and a Tarrant County Reserve Deputy. My friend, Walter Frazier, is part of the Governor’s Protective Detail. Said Governor Lardner is attending some big shindig here tomorrow night and asked me to lend a hand in checking the place out before he hits town. My name

should be on that clipboard.”

The guard took the card, studied it closely and handed it back to Jack. He flipped to the second page. “There it is. Let me open the gates. Park down at the end of the driveway. You’ll see another wall with a gate. Walk on through and you’ll find your way to the ballroom where the party’s being held tomorrow. I’ll radio Sergeant Frazier to let him know you’re on your way.”

The gates silently opened, and Jack drove slowly to the back, admiring the house and grounds. The house had to be half a football field in length. Giant arched windows were spaced every ten feet with smaller ones above, apparently illuminating the second floor. To Jack’s right was an eight foot wall. First security issue. Not very hard to figure out a way to scale it. Fortunately, cameras and lights were mounted on fifteen foot poles that appeared to blanket the area.

Jack parked where he was directed and climbed from his truck. Before shutting the door, he took his cane from behind the driver’s seat. He flexed his left knee. It felt pretty good. He might not even need the cane. Still, he usually carried it since he never knew when he might take a step and have it buckle under him. Better to carry the cane than to fall on his ass.

He found himself in front of another wall. He was studying it when Walt came through the gate. Walt was ten years his junior, six feet, two inches of solid muscle. He bounded across the driveway to greet Jack. They first shook hands and then bear-hugged each other like the old army buddies that they were.

Walt pulled back and looked at Jack. “Damn, it’s good to see you. Been, what, about three years since you were in Austin for some lawyer meeting?”

“Could have been four. I think I was practicing in Beaumont then.”

“Still carrying the cane. That injury at the barracks causing you more problems?”

“No worse, not any better. Every once in a while the damn knee gives out with no warning. I may have to put an artificial one in some day. Meantime, the cane does just fine. I’ve got a collection of about twenty of them in an old whiskey barrel beside the back door of my house. This one is my Bubba Stick. Picked it up at a service station a while back.”

Walt’s voice dropped to just above a whisper. “Follow me into the garden. There are some tables there. We can sit for a few minutes while I explain what’s coming down.”

They walked through the gate. Beyond it was a garden, obviously tended by loving hands. Cobblestone paths wound their way through fall plantings of Yellow Copper Canyon Daises, Fall Aster, Apricot-colored Angel’s Trumpet, Mexican Marigold and

the like. Walt led the way to a wrought iron table beside a fish pond with a fountain in the middle, spraying water from the mouth of a cherub’s statue. The two friends settled into chairs, facing the pond.

“This is what the help call the little garden. In a minute we’ll go around the house to the big garden and pool that fronts the ballroom. You know whose house this is?”

“No idea.”

“Belongs to Oscar Hale. He and his brother, Edward, are the two richest men in Fort Worth. Their daddy was one of the old Texas wildcatters. The two brothers were worth a few hundred million each, mainly from some old oil holdings down in South Texas and out around Midland. Life must have been pretty good.

Then it got better about ten years ago when the oil boys started fracking and horizontal drilling. Counting proven reserves still in the ground, word is they’re worth eighty billion, well, maybe just a little less now that we have an oil glut.”

“Edward still around?”

One of the servers in the kitchen had seen the two men and brought two bottles of water on a silver tray.

“Thanks…Sorry, I forgot your name.”

“Sarah Jane, Walt. My pleasure. Let me know if you need anything else.”

Walt took a sip from his bottle as Sarah Jane returned to the house. “Yeah. His legal residence is still in Fort Worth, and I understand he and his wife vote in this precinct, only they really live in New York City. He always kept an apartment there. When the oil money started gushing, he upgraded to a twenty room penthouse that I hear overlooks Central Park. He’s big in the arts scene up there, opera, ballet, you name it. He’s also building the Hale Museum of Fine Art here in Fort Worth.”

Jack nodded his head. “Okay, I know who you’re talking about. My girlfriend is thrilled about another museum in Fort Worth. She’s into that kind of thing. When I moved here, she took me to every damn one of them. The western art in the Amon Carter museum was really all that interested me. So, the Hales play with the big boys, and the governor’s coming. From what I read, Governor Lardner travels all over the world. Never seems to have a problem. What’s the big deal here?”

About the Author

Larry D. ThompsonLarry D. Thompson was first a trial lawyer. He tried more than 300 cases throughout Texas, winning in excess of 95% of them. When his youngest son graduated from college, he decided to write his first novel. Since his mother was an English teacher and his brother, Thomas Thompson, had been a best-selling author, it seemed the natural thing to do.

Larry writes about what he knows best…lawyers, courtrooms and trials. The legal thriller is his genre. DARK MONEY is his fifth story and the second in the Jack Bryant series.

Larry and his wife, Vicki, call Houston home and spend their summers on a mountain top in Vail, Colorado. He has two daughters, two sons and four grandchildren.

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The First Page: The Hidden Reality by Stephen Martino

magic book with a landscape

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 Stephen Martino author of The Hidden Reality.

About the Book:

The Hidden Reality

Title: The Hidden Reality
Author: Stephen Martino
Publisher: Light Messages
Pages: 318
Genre: Science Fiction/Political Thriller

In the year 2084, the brilliant inventor, Alex Pella, finds himself at a precarious crossroad between the pursuit of justice and preservation of his own sanity. While attempting to undermine an international New World Order government created by the financial juggernaut known as The New Reality, he must also face the hidden truths about his own genetic heritage that are slowly destroying him. After receiving an ambiguous message sent from a former New Reality executive who died 2 years prior, Alex learns that the only possible means to confront this New World Order is to defeat a long-forgotten enemy almost 2500 years old.

THE HIDDEN REALITY is the second stand-alone novel in a trilogy starring Alex Pella, created by New Jersey-based neurologist and entrepreneur Stephen Martino. With his fusion of history, politics, and science fiction, Martino joins such masters of the thriller genre as Dan Brown, James Rollins, and Michael Crichton.
Martino’s villain is a corporation run by a cadre of ruthless international bankers known as The New Reality. Directed by the most corrupt and morally unscrupulous of the bunch, Myra Keres, the company has economically seized control of the world’s governments and the population’s personal freedoms in the process. In order to save humanity from this despot ruler and the unwonted atrocities to which she plans to perpetuate on the world, Alex Pella must infiltrate the company and face an enemy that has unknowingly haunted both him and history for almost 2500 years.
Martino says he wrote THE HIDDEN REALITY more than just to entertain the reader. He wanted to create a modern day Orwellian ANIMAL FARM to allegorically forewarn his readers of a possible dystopia future that awaits all of mankind if humanity continues to proceed down its path of self-destruction.


In THE HIDDEN REALITY, Martino has included such hot-button contemporary topics as genetic cloning, unprecedented economic debt, the rise of big government, and the threat of a New World Order run by the economic elite, while bringing the reader back almost 2500 years into the past when the ancient city state nation known as Greece fought the mighty Persian Empire for world domination.
All of these elements, Martino maintains, separate his book from the pack. He calls THE HIDDEN REALITY “issue-oriented fiction. There are real concerns facing society today that threaten both the sovereignty and prosperity of our future generations. Though fictional, my novel addresses some of these issues and predicts the potential consequences we face as a nation and the world if they are not properly addressed today.”

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The First Page

October 11, 1786 Landsbut, Bavaria

THE HYPNOTIC MELODY of the whistling wind and the patter of raindrops hitting the roof ordinarily proved more comforting to Xavier von Zweck than the most angelic lullaby. On this night, the grandfather clock had just chimed 2:00 a.m., and Xavier could barely close his eyes, let alone fall asleep.

Insomnia was no friend of his but had become an accustomed bedtime partner over the past year. Though the night was unusually warm and muggy for a Bavarian October, Xavier pulled another quilted blanket over his body, covering himself as if he were trying to make a cocoon.

“Xavier?” his wife mumbled, half asleep. “You’d rest better with the lamp off.”

“Mind your own business,” he quipped. Not wanting to start another argument, his wife simply turned away and drifted slowly back to sleep as if nothing had occurred. She had become accustomed to her husband’s quick fits of temper and erratic behavior. The man she married in her late teens was certainly not the man she had grown to know over the past year. His gentle, caring demeanor had been transformed into one of paranoia and fear. Though she cared for him dearly, their relationship dwindled as quickly as Xavier’s sanity.

If she only knew, Xavier thought. She would not be sleeping so soundly.

He double-checked his bedside table drawer for the tenth time that night to ensure that his gun was in the proper place. He had loaded the flintlock pistol and stowed it there in case of any emergency. Assured the gun was where he stored it, Xavier rolled on his back and looked blankly up at the ceiling. It was such a noble and just cause, he lamented. The enlightenment we would have brought to Bavaria, if not the world, would have made the Renaissance pale in comparison. Now they hunt us down like a pack of dogs, wanting to rid their country of any contrary thoughts or points of view. The government and church are nothing more than instruments of suppression that hinder man’s true nature to achieve enlightenment and pursue humanitarianism.


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

The Hidden Reality is about our potential future. It’s a future whereby we have surrendered all of our personal rights to a New World Order government run by an international banking institution. It’s a time when the First Amendment and Second Amendment to the Constitution are but a distant memory.

The main character of the book is a brilliant inventor and neuroscientist by the name of Alex Pella. While attempting to undermine this New World Order, Alex must also face the hidden truths about his own genetic heritage that are slowly destroying him and confront a long-forgotten enemy almost 2500 years old.

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?

The first page of my novel hopefully not only draws the reader into the book but it also establishes the tone for the entire novel. The intrigue and suspense felt after reading this page only intensifies throughout the story. Plus, beginning The Hidden Reality, which is set in the year 2084, back in 1786 only proves to weave more mystery into the story and makes the novel’s plot and eventual climax that much bigger. Plus, I enjoy placing the reader in a different time and place at the beginning of each of my novels. Though the research can be daunting in creating historically accurate fiction, the end result only strengthens the story.

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

The real question is how many times was just the first sentence changed? Though I had created an elaborate outline for the first chapter and spent hours plotting its creation, actually starting the that initial sentence proved the most daunting task. I sat looking at a blank screen all morning, just praying for some sort of inspiration. I would write a sentence and then erase it. Sometimes I would type a single word and then delete it. The more I thought about what I wanted to write, the more I attempted to get myself into character and feel as if I were in that room on that rainy night. After completely visualizing the scene using all my senses, I was eventually able to write that first sentence and make it flow. What a relief!

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

By the time the book was published, I had edited the page so many times that I felt as if I could recite it from memory. Plus, my editor and proofreader also went through it with a proverbial fine tooth comb and made multiple corrections of their own. In the end, there was nothing more that I could do or change. I was pleased with the final product. Plus, obsessing over the page now would only be counterproductive. Truthfully, once a book is finally published, there are too many other things to obsess about.

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

The honest truth is that if your reader doesn’t like the first page and it doesn’t draw them into the story, your book is done. It will go either in the trash or donated to a library or charity. Plus, if it were that uninteresting, the reader could write a poor review for you on Amazon, Goodreads, or Barnes & Nobles. Hundreds of books are being published each day. You have to make your book stand out among the crowd and give the reader a reason to finish your novel. Without that reason, there is another book waiting to take its place.

About the Author

Stephen MartinoStephen Martino is neurologist practicing in New Jersey. Though not separating conjoined twins like Dr. Ben Carson, he is part of an active medical practice and is currently participating in concussion research and inventing new medical products. When he is not working, he can be found with his five children doing homework or cheering them on at a soccer field, basketball court, or dance recital. Martino is a member of the Knights of Columbus, a Cub Scout den leader and is an active public speaker, helping to provide stroke education to the local community, EMS squads and healthcare professionals.

His latest book is the science fiction/political thriller, The Hidden Reality.

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Discount of the day: Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat series, Book 1) only $.99!

Title: Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat series, Book 1)

Author: Zoe Kalo

Genre: YA mythological fantasy/paranormal

Word count: 93,000 words / 330 pages

Official Launch: May 1, 2016

Amazon purchase link:

Only $.99 until Wednesday May 11th(regular price $4.99)

Get your copy on Kindle today!

Daughter of the Sun, Book 1 – blurb

Sixteen-year-old Trinity was born during a solar eclipse and left at the doorsteps of a convent along with a torn piece of papyrus covered with ancient symbols. Raised by nuns in the English countryside, she leads a quiet life until she’s whisked away to the Island of Cats and a grandmother she never knew.

But before they can get to know each other, her grandmother dies. All that Trinity has left is a mysterious eye-shaped ring. And a thousand grieving cats. As Trinity tries to solve the enigma of the torn papyrus, she discovers a world of bloody sacrifices and evil curses, and a prophecy that points to her and her new feline abilities.

Unwilling to believe that any of the Egyptian gods could still be alive, Trinity turns to eighteen-year-old Seth and is instantly pulled into a vortex of sensations that forces her to confront her true self—and a horrifying destiny.

What readers are saying….

“This was an amazing story!” –Hot Off the Shelves

“This book was so super good! Great writing, great characters, great plot. Very immersive reading experience.” –Awesome Book Assessment

“Wow- this book was a stunning, magnificent adventure! Very well written and full of intricate details, I was immediately drawn in and just absolutely did not want to put this one down… The intrigue just leaves you racing through the pages to find out what will happen next! I absolutely, completely enjoyed this book and can’t wait to see what happens in the next one!” –The Recipe Fairy

“The way [Zoe Kalo] writes cats into the book is astounding. Every little quirk, mew and lick is incredibly authentic. I love it when a writer is skilled at writing about the animals in the character’s story, it makes it more warm and fuzzy, no pun intended.” –Samantha Writes

“Daughter of the Sun is an intriguing young adult mythology read full of mystery, magic, action, and history… [it] kept me flipping pages like an addict.” –Fishing for Books

“Oh my God. This is definitely a ‘something.’ This concept and the plot is soooo unique and weird and fascinating that I did not want to put this down. I literally breezed through this one…. This book was an overdose of kitty love.” –Grape Fruit Books

“If you are looking for a Young Adult Fantasy book that is different from the norm, then look no further. Daughter of the Sun is full of Egyptian mythology, with layer upon layer of mystery just waiting to be uncovered.” –Archaeolibrarian

About the Author

A certified bookworm, Zoe Kalo has always been obsessed with books and reading. Reading led to writing—compulsively. No surprise that at 16, she wrote her first novel, which her classmates read and passed around secretly. The pleasure of writing and sharing her fantasy worlds has stayed with her, so now she wants to pass her stories to you with no secrecy—but with lots of mystery…

A daughter of adventurous expats, she’s had the good fortune of living on 3 continents, learning 4 languages, and experiencing a multicultural life. Currently, she’s working on a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature, which she balances between writing, taking care of her clowder of cats, and searching for the perfect bottle of pinot noir.

Connect with Zoe Kalo on the web: /Facebook / Twitter

Book Excerpt: Super Sized Success by Linda Zander



Title: SUPER SIZED SUCCESS: 9 Steps to Maximum Riches
in Minimum Time
Author: Linda Zander, The Success Packager
Publisher: MAXAR Press
Pages: 138
Genre: Non-Fiction: Success/Personal Development/Self-Help/Business
& Money
The only Get Rich Quick method
that puts VALUES before profit as the non-negotiable to achieving lasting
riches in all areas of ones’ life. 
Super Sized Success delivers a
revolutionary new definition of success never shared before… “Success
is a balanced achievement of Wealth and Well-Being through consistently living
the Truth of one’s own grace inspired values.”  
Author, Linda Zander, unveils the shocking Truth about Financial Wealth…that
without relentlessly living the Truth of ones’ own values, financial success
alone, simply put, cannot last nor make you happy.
Inside the pages of this book you will find practical, easy to use and launch
9-Fail Proof Steps that will make you so mentally, physically, intellectually,
financially, and spiritually potent that you become Super-N​aturally
driven to excel at the highest possible levels of human achievement. Powerful
real-life stories, including those from the author’s own life, provide the
reader with living proof that once one aligns their thoughts, actions, and
character to reflect the highest Truth of their values, they have the unending
power to become Wealthy, Healthy and Happy​.

Praise for SUPER SIZED SUCCESS: 9 Steps to Maximum Riches in Minimum

“A brilliant new formula for achieving success!”
–Judith Williamson, Director of Education , Napoleon
Hill World Learning

For More Information

    Steps to Maximum Riches in Minimum Time is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB
    Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Book Excerpt:

I was and still am an “adult child of an
alcoholic.” I grew up in an alcoholic home with all its crazy drama. The
instability taught me not to trust. I became excessively independent. I felt
that if I didn’t take care of myself, nobody would. I didn’t realize that by
being so obsessively independent I was pushing away people and especially God.
If I couldn’t trust anybody other than myself, how could I trust God?
Once I realized I didn’t own cocaine, but it
owned me, I became determined to beat the beast on my own. I went to AA, but in
spite of going to meetings, I couldn’t stay sober or learn to let go and let
anyone in, much less God. I kept thinking I could do it on my own. I kept
slipping back to using in spite of truly wanting to conquer my addiction. I
couldn’t understand why I couldn’t beat this thing on my own! I literally had a
100 percent success rate of doing everything on my own without help from
anyone! In my determination to fight this thing that had control over me, I
went to a hospital out-patient program, got out, and slipped again.
Determination was the driver of my existence. I checked myself into the Betty
Ford Center, and that’s when the miracles started to happen…and then along came
Dorothy was the director of the chemical
dependency unit of a prominent hospital, and she signed on to be the after-care
therapist for our group therapy meetings. I went to a handful of group meetings
and slipped again. What was I doing wrong? I went to group the very next night
after using and confessed. Dorothy asked me to stay after the group session
ended. She knew how badly I was trying and how badly I wanted to overcome this
obstacle in my life. But she also knew my real problem…the underlying one that
was preventing me from being successful.
She sat across from me, took my hands in hers,
looked directly into my eyes, and said:
“Linda, do you want to get sober for once and for all?” 
“Yes!” I said.
“Are you willing to go to any lengths to get
“Okay, good. You will have to put your faith and
trust in me. If you will put your trust in me and follow my directions, I give
you my personal promise that you will succeed in getting and staying sober.
Will you trust me now?” 
It was a gigantic jumping-off point for me. I
looked at her and paused, and my mind was wildly racing. “Why is she doing
this?”  “What does she have to gain?”
“Why should I trust her?” …and then: “What do I have to lose?” 
In a flash, I realized this beautiful,
intelligent, extremely busy woman had zero to personally gain from helping me
out. She had no ulterior motive other than to help me slay the beast for once
and for all. Right then, I can honestly say, I came to believe in a Source
outside of myself for the very first time in my life. 
In letting go and letting Dorothy in, I first
learned to trust another human being, and then after that, I learned to put my
trust in God. I am now clean and sober for over twenty-six years, thanks to
Dorothy. I got and stayed sober from that very moment of our conversation. I
represent a very small percentage of addicts who get and stay sober. Dorothy
got me sober, and I stayed sober because through that relationship and what it
taught me, a gateway to God opened up that I otherwise wouldn’t have found.
Napoleon Hill teaches the power of creating what he calls “Mastermind
Alliances,” which he defines as “an alliance of two or more minds working in
perfect harmony for the attainment of a common, definite objective.” Dorothy
was the first mastermind alliance in my life, and the one that saved me.
Learning to put faith and trust in someone other than just myself was the
one-way ticket to learning that within every adversity is great opportunity and
benefit waiting to be seized.
You see, Dorothy already knew
the power of mastermind alliances, and her greatest mastermind alliance was
with God. I came to know Dorothy, and then I came to know God. God is now the
greatest mastermind alliance in my life, too. He is the director of our
copartnership, and I have found great personal power and contentment in placing
my trust in him. 



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About the Author


Linda Zander, The Success Packager, is a serial
entrepreneur, self-made multimillionaire, success expert, coach, and
award-winning amateur athlete.  She is a
natural visionary and intuitive who delivers the next-generation model of
success that is absolutely necessary for attaining success amid today’s global
challenges.  She has a proven track
record of delivering success both for herself, individuals and Corporations
regardless of extreme personal or business challenges. She lives in Malibu,
More Information



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