Creative Fiction: Janitor

Janitor

The halogen light bulb flickers; the populace spoke and school funds plummeted again last October during the sharp bite of autumn. He’s surprised he still has a job; it doesn’t seem like there’s much of a regard for cleanliness here – obscene images are plastered across the mirrors in the bathroom and graffiti art is sprayed across the brick exterior of the building. Nature is beginning to reclaim the earth here (an additional and unfortunate consequence of budget cuts), but again, there’s no regard for conformity or neatness here.

The shadows of night begin to gather outside, even though the hour hand of the clock points to the two–oh, of course. Budget cuts.

Slowly, he begins to move toward the janitor’s closet, pulling a set of rusted keys from his worn trousers. Etched in the blurry and crooked lines of old age, he is dressed in a gray that matches the overcast sky. The fat under his chin is a lateral pendulum while the calluses on his hands form a thick layer of skin on his palms. The curvature of his back reveals years of apathy and discontent, and crow’s feet wrinkles gather around his eyes, but the number on his driver’s license would surprise you. There is no bounce in his step or life in his eyes but he still comes. Like clockwork. Tick, tock, tick, tock. The hour hand always points at the two––always two, always on time.

Well that’s disgusting, but admittedly, I did succeed in my purpose–evoking this sense of boredom and lethargy and…slowness? I don’t know.

I’ve been trying this new exercise – I choose a random word and just sit and write anything sane. Partially sane, I mean. Lately I’ve been trying to improve my abilities to write about the mundane aspects of daily life, and I guess this is just an extension of that effort so…yeah.

Anyway, I’m sleepy.

Cheers,
Shouryaman

Review: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Read Professional Review at Bookleaf (Coming Soon)

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Title: Dark Matter
Author: Blake Crouch
Genre: Science Fiction/Thriller
Publisher: Crown/Penguin Random House
Rating★★★★★
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 352 pages
Release Date: July 26, 2016
Source: Review Copy
Series: No
Price: $26.99
ISBN: 978-1101904220
 

Description:
Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.
 
Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.
 
Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.” 
 
In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.
 
Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

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My Thoughts:

Without a doubt, everything about Crouch’s story deserves a strong bout of applause; not only does the story explore the true meaning of “what if” within an intriguing scientific context, but it examined human character and motivation with impressive depth and understanding. Although the backdrop of quantum physics may seem intimidating, Crouch approaches the science with ease and grace, never allowing for the narrative to falter or stray from its path. The characters were wholly round, even though the cast lacked diversity, and page after page, Crouch’s prose is edged with adrenaline and madcap action. Dark, disturbing, and deeply engaging, Dark Matter is a staple for every bookshelf, library, and reader.

Plus, the cover is gorgeous.

About the Author

mwvdlqjzBlake Crouch is a bestselling novelist and screenwriter. He is the author of the novel, Dark Matter, for which he is writing the screenplay for Sony Pictures. His international-bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy was adapted into a television series for FOX, executive produced by M. Night Shyamalan, that was Summer 2015’s #1 show. With Chad Hodge, Crouch also created Good Behavior, the TNT television show starring Michelle Dockery based on his Letty Dobesh novellas. He has written more than a dozen novels that have been translated into over thirty languages and his short fiction has appeared in numerous publications including Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. Crouch lives in Colorado with his family.

Review: Yes Please by Amy Poehler

Read Professional Review

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Title: Yes Please
Author: Amy Poehler
Genre: Comedy (Memoir)
Publisher: Dey Street/HarperCollins
Rating★★★★
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 329 pages
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Source: Purchased
Series: No
Price: $28.99
ISBN978-0062268341
 

Description:
Do you want to get to know the woman we first came to love on Comedy Central’s Upright Citizens Brigade? Do you want to spend some time with the lady who made you howl with laughter on Saturday Night Live, and in movies like Baby Mama, Blades of Glory, and They Came Together? Do you find yourself daydreaming about hanging out with the actor behind the brilliant Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation? Did you wish you were in the audience at the last two Golden Globes ceremonies, so you could bask in the hilarity of Amy’s one-liners?

If your answer to these questions is “Yes Please!” then you are in luck. In her first book, one of our most beloved funny folk delivers a smart, pointed, and ultimately inspirational read. Full of the comedic skill that makes us all love Amy, Yes Please is a rich and varied collection of stories, lists, poetry (Plastic Surgery Haiku, to be specific), photographs, mantras and advice. With chapters like “Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend,” “Plain Girl Versus the Demon” and “The Robots Will Kill Us All” Yes Please will make you think as much as it will make you laugh. Honest, personal, real, and righteous, Yes Please is full of words to live by.

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My Thoughts:

I absolutely love Amy Poehler – from her hilarious interviews on Late Night with Seth Meyers to her laugh-out-loud movie roles in Mean Girls and Sisters to her totally relatable and quirky character Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!?!?!?!). So, obviously, I had to pick it up. But typically, I don’t read memoirs and the like, simply because they just don’t to hold my attention and enthusiasm, and even though I did have reservations about Yes Please,  SPOILER ALERT: I adored it.

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The memoir was candid, uncensored, and unbridled – she checked every box on my list of expectations, and then some; her no-BS attitude was so refreshing and the way she just poured out her heart got me like:

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She was just so honest and completely unashamed of her past, which just made me love her even more. And at the same time, she was incredibly funny and witty! For me, that’s not even humanly possible. With that said…WHY IS SHE NOT MY BEST FRIEND?!?!?

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Anyway, my favorite parts of the book were when she shared stories of her grueling road to stardom, her SNL days, and her two children because it showed that she was a normal human being like the rest of us and didn’t think too highly of herself, even though she’s wildly successful. She was humble, relatable, and supremely wise  – the advice she imparted was insightful and unique, but not generic or preachy at all. She subtly teaches us how to embrace our flaws, appreciate our lives, and not want “pudding,” along with a myriad of other life lessons. Yes Please is most definitely not a self-help book; it’s more of a celebration of life and all its graces.  


That is the motto women should constantly repeat over and over again. Good for her! Not for me.

It’s hard to really say anything about Yes Please, since it’s a memoir and doesn’t have a plot or characters, but whatever, I love talking (or more accurately, writing), so I’m just gonna keep going – I really liked her writing style too; it was super simple and easy to read. Along with eye-catching and motivational illustrations (“Nothing Is Anyone’s Business” and “Forget the Facts and Remember the Feelings”), Poehler’s prose was engaging and immersive through and through because I felt like she was talking directly to me, just like an old friend instead of like a greedy Hollywood opportunist.

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I hope Amy Poehler decides to write another book because I did truly enjoy Yes Please, and I’m sure that, just like Mindy Kaling, her sophomore venture would exceed all expectations just as Yes Please did. If you want a light, summery, and hilarious read, then shout a resounding “Yes” to Yes Please. It’s a heartwarming, inspiring, and kindhearted narrative that probably won’t keep you up all night, but will keep you smiling all day for sure.

The Final Verdict:

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About the Author

Amy-Poehler

Amy Poehler is a writer, actress, producer, and director. She lives in New York City and Los Angeles with her two boys. She hopes this book will get her invited onto her hero Judge Judy’s yacht, Triumphant Lady.

Customer Ratings

Amazon Customer Rating: ★★★★☆ (2000+ reviews)
Barnes & Noble Rating: ★★★★☆ (100+ reviews)
Goodreads Rating: ★★★★☆ (190k+ ratings)

Similar Titles

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Don’t forget to share your thoughts on Yes Please with me down in the comments below! Happy Reading!

 

Boundless Buddy: Michelle Garren Flye

Hey, everyone! Michelle Garren Flye‘s new book (with the gorgeous cover), Out of Time,  just released today, and I had a few questions that she was kind enough to answer; take a look!

The Interview

What was the initial inspiration for the book?
The Answer:

My fascination with time, which began as a child, inspired this book. I like to think about time as a commodity. You spend it, you waste it, you save it. But how do you do that with something that doesn’t actually exist? I wanted to look at that phenomenon and the Synchronicity series, of which Out of Time is the first book, sort of grew from that.

Are there any characters with parallels to reality (based on real people)?

I try to avoid basing characters on real people, at least ones I know. I’m sure they’re all amalgams of people I know, people I’ve read about, actors and actresses I admire…

What was your favorite part about writing your book?

I liked writing the action scenes. I’ve always loved writing action. You can’t put too much in because if you do, you risk overwhelming the plot. I think of action scenes like hot sauce. Use just enough so it doesn’t burn your taste buds off. 

What scared you the most while writing your book?

Well, this is a different genre for me. I haven’t tried writing fantasy since I was about twelve. I’ve never set out to write a full-length fantasy novel. So I guess what scared me most was that I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing!

Why do you think readers will like your book?

I think Out of Time is an escape, first and foremost. Today’s world is very serious, somewhat dangerous and a whole lot aggravating. You read to escape all that, and Out of Time is like a theme park for the brain. It’s meant to be fun. But I think readers will also find the deeper meaning in Out of Time, especially if they continue with the rest of the Synchronicity series: Time is valuable. Don’t waste it.

About the Book

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Title: Out of Time
Author: Michelle Garren Flye
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Romantic Fantasy
Format: eBook
Release Date: June 15, 2016
Page Count: 216 pages
Series: Yes, The Synchronicity Series
Description:

Tucked away in the mountains of North Carolina, the people of the strange little

town of Sanctuary have enjoyed their status as a tourist attraction and Renaissance faire destination for decades. But on her twenty‐sixth birthday, Kaelyn Anderson discovers a dark secret about her hometown.

The only reality she’s ever known has proven false. Now, her last hope lies in an unusual alliance with the son of the enemy she didn’t even know she had. Under the protection of Jack, an Elf prince, Kaelyn plunges into Cherokee lore to find the answer that will protect her people from invaders from another world.

Can Kaelyn and Jack form an alliance between three factions to fight their common enemy, or are they out of time?

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About the Author

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Michelle Garren Flye is an award‐winning author of romance and women’s fiction. Reviewers have described her work as: “an engaging novel with charming and likable characters”, a story that “will make you believe in love and second chances”, and a “well‐ written and thought‐provoking novel.”

Michelle placed third in the Hyperink Romance Writing Contest for her short story “Life After”. Her short stories have been published by the romance anthology Foreign Affairs, Opium.com, SmokelongQuarterly.com and Flashquake.com. She has served on the editorial staffs of Horror Library, Butcher Shop Quartet and Tattered Souls.

Michelle has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master’s degree in Library

and Information Science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is the mother of three and lives in North Carolina with her husband and their rapidly growing collection of pets.

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Happy Reading!

Guest Post: The Unexpectedness of Falling in Love

Hey, everyone! Today, Rachel Strong, the author of That Girl, is here to share her thoughts on falling in love! Hope you enjoy (and don’t forget to check out her book)!

The Un­expectedness of Falling in Love

‘It’s funny how we fall in love with the most unexpected person at the most unexpected times!’

I’ve only ever been in love once, and I’m really lucky that after thirteen years together I’m still as in love with him as I was all those years ago. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not always sweetness and light, he irritates me beyond belief and sometimes I could quite happily strangle him, but I still get the same excited feeling in my tummy when he comes home from work, just like I used to in the beginning ­ maybe not every day, but most days, but then maybe that’s because after a stressful afternoon with three kids, I’m just so relieved to have another adult around! (Only joking Greg)

When I met my husband, the last thing I ever thought would happen would be to fall in love with him. To be honest, despite fancying the pants of him, my first impression wasn’t great. He was very quiet, barely said two words to me all night and to me looks aren’t the most important factor, personality is! Yes, it’s nice to have someone nice to look at, with a nice body, but a man that makes me laugh win hands down ­ every time. Despite that first impression, this is the reason I fell in love with Greg ­ he made me laugh lots, most of the time I’m was more laughing at him than with him, but still, he made me laugh.

How I met Greg was so un­expected, I didn’t have a great track record with boys, I was barely eighteen and boys were all I could think about, I desperately wanted a boyfriend and went out with the most disgusting species of mankind that treat my appallingly, and by the time Greg meandered into my life, I had kind of given up and decided to enjoy being single and care­free!

For weeks my best friend and her boyfriend at the time were desperately trying to set me up with his friend, but I wasn’t interested, I was too obsessed with someone that liked to pick me up and drop me when he felt like it. I thought I was in love with him ­ I now know I wasn’t ­ and so I kept brushing them off. Eventually, after much persuasion, I agreed to meet this Greg ­ who my friend described looked like a pixie, which didn’t enthral me ­ and we arranged that Greg would come with the best friend’s boyfriend and meet us out on New Year’s Eve.

In the end though, Greg didn’t turn up, which was a good job really, if he had seen me that night I doubt we would be coming up to our eleventh wedding anniversary, he would have taken one look at me and scarpered. I was drunk and emotional, bouncing from the guy I was obsessed with, to some randomer I’d met the week before, and in the end I was put in a taxi and sent home, I didn’t even see midnight!

The best friend didn’t give up so easily ­ which I am very thankful for now ­ and so on the 10th of January 2003, I was conned into meeting the man who would eventually become my husband, my best friend and father to my three babies.

As I said earlier, by this point I’d given up on men (boys) and just wanted to have some fun with my friend, a few glasses of wine whilst watching a girlie film and lots of giggles ­ that didn’t happen! At the last minute she sent a text letting me know her boyfriend was joining us, to say I was hacked off was an understatement! I just wanted a good old fashioned girl’s night in, where I could rant to my heart’s content about how evil men were, not play gooseberry to the two of them.

Then, to make matters worse, to my absolute horror, when they came to pick me up, Pixie boy was in the car! But, as I turned and had a sneaky look, I thanked god that I’d made an effort and not just come out in my pyjamas, like I planned, because hell fire, he was hot!

That night was a bit of a drag to be honest, best friend and lover boy were all over each other, whilst hot pixie (he doesn’t look like a pixie at all!) and I sat awkwardly at opposite ends of the room, I couldn’t wait to escape!

When the gruesome twosome disappeared upstairs and left me with Greg, I just wanted to melt into the floor and disappear, he was so quiet and had barely spoken to me, I think he was as annoyed as I was about the trick they’d played on us. Eventually we got talking, he came across as a bit of a big head, a show off and, despite his hotness, I didn’t like him very much. But then, out of nowhere, he started to make me laugh, I mean proper belly laugh and I was hooked!

The night ended with us joined at the lips, sharing a taxi home and swapping numbers. He must have barely left my house before he texted me, asking me out the next night, which, despite me falling over on the way to his car, was the best date ever! And the rest is history!

The point I’m trying to make really, is that you never know when it’s going to happen, you can’t control when, how or even who you fall in love with, it just springs it’s self upon you, as James, one of the main characters in my new book, That Girl, found out. When he met Katie, he wasn’t in a good place, he’d just been dumped by long term girlfriend, Hailey, and he was heartbroken. But then Katie popped up in his life and he was hooked. He knew that his relationship with Katie wasn’t right and he knew he shouldn’t see her, but he couldn’t control his feeling for her. When you fall in love, you can’t just switch it off, you can’t control who you fall in love with!

About her book

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Title: That Girl
Author: Rachel Strong
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: Paperback or eBook
Release Date: June 9, 2016
Page Count: 278 Pages

Description:
After serving half of a three­ year prison sentence, James is out and ready to try and get his life back on track, which means forgetting about the girl who sent him to prison in the first place ­ despite the fact he’s still in love with her!

Katie knows that she can’t see James, but that doesn’t make it any easier. If she does it could send him straight back to prison, but, she still loves him and is desperate to make things right and tell him how sorry she is for ruining his life. After accidently bumping into each other, James and Katie can’t stay away from one another and so begin to see each other in secret. After a slight wobble on James’s part, when he decides he can’t take the risk of going back to prison, Katie decides enough is enough and it really is time to move on and put James behind her.

Heartbroken, James decides to try and get his life in order. But due to his conviction it’s not as straightforward as he would like, leaving him miserable and despairing at what his life has become. When a job opportunity comes up hundreds of miles away he doesn’t hesitate to head south and put his troubles behind him.

Can James and Katie forget each other and move on with their lives without one another?

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About the Author

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Rachel Strong is a romance author and lives in Lancashire, England, with her husband, three children and little dog Daisy. Rachel works part time as a Health Care Assistant at her local hospital, but her real passion is writing.

Ever since she can remember, Rachel has been writing stories but didn’t really take it seriously until summer 2012 when her husband discovered one of her stories, read it and convinced her that it was good. She loves writing and creating characters, sometimes a whole day can pass her by, just sitting at her laptop, typing away.

When she’s not writing, Rachel loves to read slushy romance novels, chick­lit and a good thriller. When she finds a spare moment she will be found curled up on the sofa with her nose in a book.

Rachel’s debut novel ‘Complicated Love’ is out now with her second novel ‘That Girl’ is due to be released this coming June.

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Or, go check out her website!

Happy Reading!

Amazon Giveaway!

Hey, everyone! I know how much you all love giveaways, so here’s one that Matt Abraham, the author of the Black Cape Case Files is running!! Go check it out!
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Go on to Rafflecopter to enter for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card NOW!

Who’s Matt Abraham?

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Awarded Pulp Detective’s Best Newcomer of 2015, Matt Abraham spits hot PI palaver mixing Mickey Spillane with the classic super heroes from the golden age. In his series Black Cape Case Files we follow Dane Curse, a former black cape turned PI, as he navigates the powered underbelly of Gold Coast City. While not writing, Matt’s engaged in juggling his newborn baby boy Kal, and supportive wife Jenny, all in the People’s Paradise of China.
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Website: danecursepi.com

The Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken

Hey, everyone! It’s time for a book spotlight! Here’s NYT Bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken’s newest novel The Matchmaker’s Playbook:

Meet the Book

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Wingman rule number one: don’t fall for a client.

After a career‐ending accident, former NFL recruit Ian Hunter is back on campus—and he’s ready to get his new game on. As one of the masterminds behind Wingmen, Inc., a successful and secretive word‐of‐ mouth dating service, he’s putting his extensive skills with women to work for the lovelorn. But when Blake Olson requests the services of Wingmen, Inc., Ian may have landed his most hopeless client yet.

From her frumpy athletic gear to her unfortunate choice of footwear, Blake is going to need a miracle if she wants to land her crush. At least with a professional matchmaker by her side she has a fighting chance. Ian knows that his advice and a makeover can turn Blake into another successful match. But as Blake begins the transformation from hot mess to smokin’ hot, Ian realizes he’s in danger of breaking his cardinal rule…

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There’s a giveaway! *Cheers* Go head over to Rafflecopter and enter to win exciting prizes!

Excerpt

“If you hurt her, I’m going to break off your favorite appendage.” “Silly Gabi.” I grinned. “Is that an invitation to touch?” “Guarantee if I ever do touch you, it will only end badly.” “Tease.” I winked.

“Stop that.” She flicked me on the nose. “Your sexual prowess is dead to me. Dead!”

Rolling my eyes, I wrapped an arm around her and steered us both into the kitchen, where the smell of French bread and spaghetti filled the air. “Have I told you how much I miss our weekly dinners? Think we should do it daily? You know, so I don’t starve?”

Gabi shrugged out of my embrace. “Learn how to cook.”

I jutted out my lower lip. “It’s not for lack of knowledge.” I broke off a piece of warm bread, then poured myself a large glass of wine. “It’s because yours always tastes better.”

Gabi groaned loudly. “Damn, do the girls really fall for that? Still?”
“Eh.” I shrugged and made a so­so motion with my hand. “Nine out of ten.” “You disgust me.”
“You say that every day.”
“Because it’s true every day.”

“When’s dinner ready?” Serena bounced into the room, literally, her head bobbing from left to right. Maybe that’s how girls like her built up more brain cells. They shook the air, and the pressure between their ears exploded, making tiny little brain­cell babies.

Gabi poked her head into the fridge. “When Lex gets here.” “So it’s ready now?” she asked.

Never mind. No brain­cell babies. I fought the urge to point to the steaming spaghetti and bread sitting on the breakfast bar. Didn’t it look ready, kiddo?

“Technically,” I answered for Gabi. “But we aren’t eating”—I stressed the word “eating” even though I’d just taken some bread—“until my sidekick gets here.”

“Sidekick, huh?” Serena crossed her arms, forcing her boobs to kiss one another and nearly hit her in the chin.

“Oh, I thought you knew.” I gave her a sad face. “I’m the hero in this scenario . . . Even own my own cape. He’s basically the Robin to my Batman.”

“Batman’s hot.”

“So is Robin,” Gabi said defensively.

Whoa. Did she just defend Lex? I felt her forehead. She pushed my hand away and handed me some parmesan cheese.

The door flew open, and Lex stepped through, holding up two bottles of Cab. “Sorry, traffic was shit.” “Language,” Gabi called.

Lex and I shared a look before Lex stomped over to the swear jar and tossed in a dollar bill.

Meet the Author

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Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor. She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers! Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866! You can connect with her on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/rachelvandyken or join her fan group Rachel’s New Rockin Readers. Her website is http://www.rachelvandykenauthor.com.

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Boundless Buddy: Rosa Temple + Giveaway

Hi, everyone! Today, Rosa Temple is here to offer some insight on her newest novel Natalie’s Getting Married, which follows a career-oriented lady who has never experienced love. That is, until she meets Jackson Humphries at university, an encounter that leaves her helplessly infatuated and leads to a breathtaking resolution. Ms. Temple is here to answer the questions we all want to know. And mind you, she is very tongue-in-cheek about it!
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What was the inspiration for your book?

Natalie’s Getting Married was really the result of me letting my imagination go with the flow after the idea for the character of Natalie came to me one day. I pictured her in my head, what she looked like, who her friends would be and then I placed her in the context of a university with an idea that the reader would grow up with her. Once I put pen to paper, the storyline came. I tend to write like that sometimes – by letting the characters speak to me about who they are and what they want to do and say. The title came much later when I realized that focusing on her wedding, what led up to it and what came after it was the way to go. It was a very liberating way to write this book.
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If any, which characters resemble people you know?

Without being able to stop myself, I do put tiny characteristics of people I actually know into some of my characters. But hand on heart, none of the characters are exactly like anyone I know. If I was pushed, I would say that there is a little of my own mum in Natalie’s mum. It’s probably because my mum is so dramatic, like Natalie’s. But she might not be as prone to fainting episodes like Natalie’s mum.
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What was the scariest part about writing your book?
Well, apart from wondering if I could finish it and be really happy with it, my biggest fear was whether the readers would like it. Once I’d gotten to a draft that was readable, I sent it out to beta readers to get some honest feedback. I was well chuffed when all the reports gave me the thumbs up – they liked Natalie, the other characters, settings, dialogue and more! Who was I to argue? I forged ahead, paid for an editor, proof reader, cover designer. Now I have to wait and see if the beta readers got it right! Scary 🙂
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What advice do you have for authors trying to expand their online presence?
 Be patient. It doesn’t happen overnight. First off, build a website or blog before you write your book and try to engage with people on all the platforms you can comfortably handle. I’m on Twitter and I have a Facebook page and blog. For now, that’s all I need. It’s important to blog often and stay in touch with your readers. Don’t post or blog if you have nothing to say and if all you’re doing is telling people to buy your book. I’m far from having a large fan base because I’m just starting out. But I’ve got faith in my writing and bags and  bags of patience.
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What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?

 Be true to your own writing style and develop your voice. Don’t try to copy the famous writers because you will only ever be a copy cat. Developing a confident writing voice is the thing that will make you stand out in an ocean filled with brilliant and popular writers. If
you are just starting out it might be a good idea to join a writing critique group and get
some feedback. Don’t be in a hurry to publish without a good editor and proofreader to
check your work and help you improve. We can’t do it all on our own. Trust me.
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If you could be any author, who would you be?

 I’m a big fan of Terry McMillan who isn’t a Chick-Lit or Romantic comedy writer at all. But what she does do is create convincing characters who come to life with vivid, but not overly done,  description and cracking dialogue.
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What is the biggest lie you’ve told?

 Who me? Tell lies? Never. Although … I lie to myself every time I say Danish pastries
have no calories and that I’ll get back on my spin cycle one of these days!

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Access an excerpt of Natalie’s Getting Married here for FREE.

Who Is Rosa?

Rosa Temple began writing chick lit and romance novellas out of a love for the old films she watched as a young girl. As a ghost writer, she gained experienced writing romantic novellas both sweet and on the slightly more steamy side. A passion to write self penned novellas in this genre, as opposed to being a ghost writer,  gave rise to the completion of Sleeping With Your Best Friend and the soon-to-be-published novel Natalie’s Getting Married. Rosa Temple is a Londoner and married with two sons. She is a reluctant “keep fit fanatic” and insists that writing keeps her away from such strenuous tasks. Drinking herbal tea and munching biscuits help her create characters and story lines.
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Don’t forget to check out her blog!
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Rosa is giving away five e-copies of Natalie’s Getting Married at Rafflecopter. Open to anyone and everyone.
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Boundless Minds
Brain

Boundless Buddy: Lisa Beth Darling

Hey, everyone! Today, Lisa Beth Darling is here to talk about her book, “Child of War!” Here she is:

What was the inspiration for your book?

“Child of War-A God is Born” is the second novel in the OF WAR Series of contemporary adult fiction, it picks up shortly after the first novel, “The Heart of War”. The whole series came to me in a flash of inspiration when the Muse posed the question: What would happen if Ares God of War fell in love?

I’ve always adored Greek mythology and thought that was wonderful question as the God of War, according to most legends, never actually married or fell in love even though he had many children and lovers including a torrid affair with Aphrodite.

In this novel, Ares and Alena, our happy but unlikely couple, are settling down on Olympus to await the birth of their first child, Raven. While Ares adores his wife and unborn son, the rest of the Olympians hate her and they have many ways of making life difficult for her the most effective of which is turning Raven against his mother.

What scared you the most about writing “Child of War?”

The scariest part was wondering if the Muse and I were doing the right thing by making this into a series. “The Heart of War” was supposed to be a standalone novel and it is. Anyone of a mind to read it can do just that and come to a satisfying ending without ever having to go further into the series. I didn’t know if anyone would even want to read further but I knew that we’d only scratched the tip of iceberg when we got to The End in “Heart”.

What was your favorite part about writing “Child of War?”

The Olympians are my favorite part of this book, they’re all so catty and each has his or her own agenda. It’s the most delightfully dysfunctional family ever and, as nasty as they can get, they are a lot of fun to work with.

What advice do you have for authors trying to expand their audience?

Grinding the Promo Wheel is hard work and it takes up so much time, time that you could be writing. But it’s a necessary evil. Establish your Web Presence with a good site, FB, Twitter, and whatever other social media you like. Establish a mailing list people can easily sign up for and then use it to let people know whenever you have a new book coming out or when you’re on virtual book tour. Don’t crazy spending money on things. Find all of the free places you can to advertise then start venturing money on book tours and emags. If money’s no object for you then by all means jump right in with some $1,500.00 advertising package but don’t be shocked when your ROI is far less than half that investment. Start slow and steady, this is a marathon not a sprint.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?

I don’t know I’m a pretty good person though I can get cranky sometimes when riled up. I tend not to hold back when my opinion is strong and in today’s atmosphere it’s very easy to offend people. I imagine I’ve a few Hurt Feelings Reports in my wake.

If you were a superhero, what would your name and power be?

Ginger Witch and I’d be able to manipulate people with the power of my mind.

Which authors inspire you?

Being a child of the 70s and 80s I grew up on Stephen King, VC Andrews, Judith Rossner, Jacqueline Susan, and Harold Robins. All of it, save King, was very hot steamy stuff. My writing tends to combine all of those writers best qualities.

Name a book you wish you would’ve written.

“Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” by Stephen King, honestly it’s the best story I ever read, I was a wreck for a week after finishing it. The movie never ever fails to make me bawl my eyes out.

The Cure by Tania Hagan: Excerpt + Giveaway

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Title:  The Cure
Author:   Tania Hagan
Published:  February 16th, 2016
Publisher:  Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing
Genre:  YA Dystopian
Content Warning:   Mild violence, romantic scenes, mild foul language

Synopsis:  Eighteen-year-old Genesis Weatherby is a clone of a long-dead silent-screen star. In order to eradicate cancer, GOD–the Genetic Operations Division–only allows procreation by way of the code-regeneration system. All of her life, Genny has learned “Original” births are the greatest threat to the cancer-free world. But, what happens when dashing British newcomer, Nat Wilkinson, steps into her perfect life, and overturns everything she ever believed?
Buoyed by their love for each other, as well as by their mutual distrust of GOD, Nat and Genny hatch a dangerous plan to change the system, one child at a time.
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About the Author:

Tania Hagan has been a writer most of her adult life. The Cure is her first work of fiction. Tania resides in Chicago with her husband, her daughter, and her three dogs.

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Don’t forget to check out her website!!!

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Excerpt from The Cure by Tania Hagan:

     That night, I was no longer Genny Weatherby. She was dead. At least, she might as well have been dead. For the life of me, I couldn’t remember who I was now supposed to be. I had used her name like it was my own earlier in the day. I had thrown it out there, and I’d owned it. But, at the moment, it escaped me. I knew it didn’t really matter. Whoever she was, she looked just like me. Everyone on that list looked just like me.
     I made a halfhearted attempt to pull her name into my head as I crouched behind the stack of alfalfa bales. The storage shed, which was little more than a roof supported by eight tall metal posts, provided little shelter for me.
     I knew I was not out in the open, so I couldn’t be discovered. Despite the imperfect nature of my hiding place, at least I was hidden.
     I tried to relax a bit since I had already been there for half an hour. He’d told me to stay in the car, but I’d felt trapped. Plus, if anyone came looking for us, the first place they would look would be the car. That was my logic.
     My ankles were swollen. My stomach ached, and the sweet, fresh-cut grass smell permeating from the alfalfa only accentuated the problem. At any other time in my life, I would have welcomed the scent, but not now.
     My long red hair was pulled into a tight pony-tail. I loosened the band a bit, and pulled a few of the tighter strands out, in order to alleviate some of the pounding in my head. Along with the hair, I also released some of the familiar cherry-almond scent from my shampoo. I didn’t remember how long it had been since I’d last washed my hair, but, apparently, the sweet odor outlasted the cleanliness. Even that pleasant scent turned my stomach.
     We hadn’t eaten all day. We’d left our last bag of supplies on top of our car when we’d taken off in a hurry the night before. It was my fault. I knew better than to pull out the entire bag just for one meal. But, I had thought we would have plenty of time to repack before we had to flee.
     I had the old-fashioned rifle by my side. Of course, I didn’t know how to use it. The impromptu training I had gone through a couple of days before had done nothing for my confidence, let alone my skill. But, it made him feel better knowing I had a way to protect myself if we were ever separated like we were now.
     I yawned, and I allowed myself to lean back a bit onto the itchy bale behind me. I was so tired. I never knew I could be so tired. I had only been able to steal maybe four hours of sleep since yesterday morning.
     The stars in the clear Nevada sky glistened above my head. Somewhere in the distance, a coyote howled into the night.
     I propped my growing ankles up on another bale, hoping they would eventually deflate. I was wearing my mom’s expensive hiking boots. Even if my own, cheaper shoes had still fit me comfortably, they would not have made it through this journey. As I sunk further into the hay, my back thanked me for the relief, and I edged slowly towards sleep.
     A year ago, this would have been the last place I’d thought I would be. I was supposed to be getting ready to start college. I had been accepted to the University of Kansas, and I’d planned to have all of my supplies, including bedding and decorations for my dorm, ready by the end of August. School would be starting in the middle of September. I was going to follow in my sister’s footsteps by majoring in Political Science, and entering the pre-law program. There was no chance of that happening now.
     Almost everything I had ever learned about the world was a lie. So many things I’d believed were good, now appeared to be nothing short of evil.
     They had eradicated cancer, but at what price? I was still reeling from the information we’d recently heard. It had overturned everything I knew.
     As part of our curriculum since Kindergarten, we’d learned all about how The Cure had come into being. While we were allowed some degree of laziness in subjects such as Math, and Language, US History was drilled into our brains from the time we could read.
     Eliminating cancer topped the list of important accomplishments in World History as well. No event, anywhere, at any time, even came close to the importance of The Cure. Except for a few fluke cancer-cases here and there, no one dreaded the beast in quite the same way our ancestors had.
     I thought of my little brother and sister. They were two of the lights of my life, as was my whole family. Now, I wondered if they were safe at all…


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Giveaway Details:

There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:

2 X $10 gift cards

The Cure tote bag with handmade, beaded stretch bookmark

GOD coffee mug with DNA keychain

DNA earrings with silver-toned necklace

Giveaway is International
Ends February 22nd at 11:59 PM ET


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