Friday, August 31, 2018

Book Teaser: Appointment in Prague by Michael McMenamin & Kathleen McMenamin #historical #thriller

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Inside the Book

Title: APPOINTMENT IN PRAGUE: A MATTIE MCGARY + WINSTON CHURCHILL WORLD WAR II ADVENTURE
Author: Michael McMenamin & Kathleen McMenamin
Publisher: First Edition Design Publishing
Pages: 160
Genre: Historical Thriller

BOOK BLURB:

In the novella, Appointment in Prague, one woman, a British secret agent, sets out in May 1942 to single-handedly send to hell the most evil Nazi alive—SS General Reinhard Heydrich, the head of the SD, the domestic and foreign counter-intelligence wing of the SS; second in rank only to the head of the SS himself, Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler; and the architect of  “The Final Solution” that will send millions of European Jews to their doom.

When British Prime Minister Winston Churchill authorizes the SOE—the ‘Special Operations Executive’— in October 1941 to assassinate Heydrich, he is unaware that the entire operation has been conceived and is being run by his Scottish goddaughter, the former Pulitzer Prize-winning Hearst photojournalist Mattie McGary. The SOE is Churchill’s own creation, one he informally describes as the Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare and, at his suggestion, Mattie becomes one of its Deputy Directors.

Mattie has a history with Heydrich dating back to 1933 and a personal score to settle. In September 1941, when the man known variously as ‘The Blond Beast’ and ‘The Man With the Iron Heart’—that last coming from Adolf Hitler himself—is appointed Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia, the remnants left of Czechoslovakia after the Germans had dismembered it in 1939, Mattie is determined—now that he is no longer safely within Germany’s borders—to have him killed. She recruits and trains several Czech partisans for the task and has them parachuted into Czechoslovakia in December 1941.

An increasingly impatient Mattie waits in London for word that her agents have killed the Blond Beast. By May 1942, Heydrich still lives and Mattie is furious.  The mother of six-year-old twins, Mattie decides—without telling her godfather or her American husband, the #2 man in the London office of the OSS—to parachute into Czechoslovakia herself and  “light a fire under their timid Czech bums”. Which she does, but her agents botch the job and Heydrich is only wounded in the attempt. The doctors sent from Berlin to care for him believe he will recover.

On the fly, Mattie conceives a new plan to kill Heydrich herself. With forged papers and other help from the highest-placed SOE asset in Nazi Germany—a former lover—Mattie determines to covertly enter Prague’s Bulovka Hospital and finish the job. After that, all she has to do is flee Prague into Germany and from there to neutral Switzerland. What Mattie doesn’t know is that Walter Schellenberg, Heydrich’s protégé and the head of Foreign Intelligence for the SD, is watching her every move.

Appointment in Prague is available at:

https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Baby-Second-Chance-Stillwater/dp/1335456252/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8 
You can also watch the book teaser at :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQYcK-Tkw2Y

Monday, August 27, 2018

Why Horror? By Mid-Grade Horror Author Nancy Gray #horror #writing

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Why Horror?

When I was asked to write a blog about my work, I honestly wasn’t sure where to begin. So I started thinking about questions people have asked me before, and one of the things that seem to surprise people when I talk about my work is the fact that I enjoy writing horror. People probably wouldn’t expect it from me. They probably, in fact, would think I would prefer to write fantasy or young children’s stories instead of middle grade horror novellas, but horror stories are how I got my start and what I enjoyed when I was a child. So I’m going to try to explain why horror is important to me and why I think these books are worthwhile.

Even though people don’t like to admit it, deep down I believe that everyone likes a good scare as long as it’s caused by something that doesn’t have a bad outcome. People like to tell a good “close call” story or a story about seeing something they can’t explain if the audience is willing to listen. We all have a deep fascination with the unknown and things that can’t be easily explained. Even though no one likes to say it, we tend to look in the direction of an accident because we have a fascination with things that are grim.

When I was a child, I read books from the Scary Stories series. I read these books because I was fascinated by the gore and the horrific things that happened in the stories. The stories made me jumpy and a little nervous but it was a good feeling, an interesting shiver that would make me always look over my shoulder. As I grew up I started watching scary television shows and reading books like Goosebumps. I started reading Stephen King novels probably when I was too young.

The point that I’m trying to make is that horror books are worthwhile because they stimulate that need that we have to see the grim side of things and to experience a close call through the eyes of another person. We can read a story, feel afraid, and then breathe a sigh of relief knowing that it’s all just a story in the end. No one knows how keenly we need this kind of outlet than children. 

The world today is a scary place. Amid stories of child trafficking, families splitting up, school shootings, and other horrible realities that children are exposed to, stories about children fighting monsters and facing their fears are important. In the Spine Chillers series, my characters have to save themselves by being clever, thinking things through, and using their talents in creative ways to fight off the monsters that thrive on their fear. In facing the creatures, many of them have to confront their own inner demons as well and learn what they are and aren’t capable of in order to protect themselves and others. If my stories can give children courage, and can convince those facing something that seems too big for them that they can be confident in themselves, then I’ll have done what I set out to do with these novels. I’m proud to be a horror writer, and especially one for middle school children.

About the Author

Nancy Gray has published a number of works including her young adult fantasy series Blood Rain. Her short story “Chosen” appeared in Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal Author Quest: a Penguin Special from Grosset & Dunlap. Her work also appears in various anthologies.

Nancy Gray has been writing for over ten years. Gray lives in South Carolina with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys books, video games, anime, manga, and horror.

Her latest book is the mid-grade horror, Spine Chillers: The Scarecrow.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK



About the Book:

Title: SPINE CHILLERS: THE SCARECROW
Author: Nancy Gray
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 113
Genre: Mid-Grade Horror

BOOK BLURB:
Eleven year old Sophie arrives at her Aunt and Uncle’s farm to horrible news: her cousin, Hunt, has gone missing.  When Sophie starts searching for clues to where her cousin went, strange things happen.  The scarecrow wanders around the cornfields at night and murders of crows lash out at other animals for no reason at all.  

An ancient spirit wants revenge. Sophie will have to be brave and clever in order to save her cousin…and herself!

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

Monday, August 6, 2018

Interview with Catherine Wyatt-Morley and Jalyon Welsh-Cole, Authors of I Am the Product of Rape: A Memoir @cwm_women

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A ferocious human predator ripped through our family, drooling over the innocent―leaving none untouched. Generations of child predators have devoured their vulnerable offspring and siblings, molesting our family’s youth unconcerned about the magnitude of their actions. Silence has become the gateway to mental health issues throughout our lineage.  I Am the Product of Rape―A Memoir exposes generational secrets, lies, cover-ups and denial and their consequences. Told from my perspective, this is my family story, a glimpse into four women irreversibly scarred by traumatic abuse.”

From I Am The Product of Rape: A Memoir by Catherine Wyatt-Morley and Jalyon Welsh-Cole

Catherine Wyatt-Morley is the founder, chief executive officer and heartbeat of Women On Maintaining Education and Nutrition, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit social service organization for the at-risk and HIV-positive community. In 1994, Wyatt-Morley founded Women On Reasons To Heal (W.O.R.T.H.), the first and what has become the oldest HIV-positive women’s support group in Middle Tennessee. 
Wyatt-Morley has appeared in countless media outlets nationwide, including SELF Magazine, the Today Show, A&U Magazine, POZ Magazine, CNN, Voices of America, MSNBC, Talk America Radio, FX Radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, the Palm Beach Post, the Indianapolis Indiana Recorder, the Los Angeles Times, the Canadian Sun, Nashville Scene, and the Tennessean.
Jalyon Welsh-Cole has been director of Women On Maintaining Education and Nutrition, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit social service organization, since 2010. Welsh-Cole began writing when she was very young, starting with short stories and poems. As a teen, she was inspired to draw, finding comfort and creativity in her art. She joined forces with Wyatt-Morley to share her story in I AM THE PRODUCT OF RAPE – A MEMOIR. Together, they also have created #HealingSecretHurts workshops, which bring the spectrum of traumatizing sexual assault into the light.
Book Description:


The phrase “secrets and lies” takes on terrible new meaning in Catherine Wyatt-Morley’s devastating book, I AM THE PRODUCT OF RAPE – A MEMOIR.

Wyatt-Morley’s shocking story traces the repeated patterns of rape and incest that plagued four generations of her family, including Wyatt-Morley’s birth in a filthy basement to her 12-year-old mother, who was sexually abused by her step-father.

“…In the process of writing this book, an extremely difficult journey that has taken years, I was taken to unfamiliar destinations and exposed to unfathomable pain,” Wyatt-Morley relates. “Part of that pain was learning that I was created through the atrocities of incest by a brutally manipulative monster and, while only moments old, (I was) denied by a heartless grandmother who never bothered to look at me.”   

Wyatt-Morley wrote I AM THE PRODUCT OF RAPE – A MEMOIR, she says, “as my way of dealing with my personal healing. But through conversations with many diverse women, I quickly began seeing I was not alone. So many had never told anyone of the abuse that has happened to them; yet they have a need to heal, to not feel isolated.”

Wyatt-Morley’s daughter, Jalyon Welsh-Cole, also suffered the terrible legacy of her family when she was abused by her eldest brother. She wrote the epilogue to I AM THE PRODUCT OF RAPE – A MEMOIR, an essay she called BURNING HOUSE, in response to the continued pattern of abuse that formed her familial legacy.

“Most of my family members who have learned of this are dealing with it as well as one can,” Welsh-Cole says. “However, others are still in disbelief and struggle to understand. For over two decades I kept this heinous secret to myself. I have had time to bury it, cry over it, and finally seek therapy and come to grips with it.

Welsh-Cole’s mother’s story “made me feel as if our bloodline was full of secrets and lies that I wanted to expose,” she continues. “I knew after learning of my grandmother’s story that I wasn’t alone. Today, I cannot allow this to continue to happen in our family.”

As dark and unrelenting as it is, the story told in I AM THE PRODUCT OF RAPE – A MEMOIR leads to a conclusion of overcoming tremendous odds, leaving readers riveted, inspired, and empowered.


Interview:

Thanks for visiting us today! I Am the Product of Rape: A Memoir is quite a heart-wencher. Can you tell us the reason why you wanted to share your story with the world?
           
Speaking with many ethnicities worldwide regarding the sensitive subjects of incest, rape and sexual abuse, I noticed in private, they freely disclosed their deepest painful experiences trusting me enough to reveal the real decay that lay behind the smiles. Overtime I saw so many people dealing with similar issues literally suffering alone, in silence. I saw a gap in leadership, a void needing correcting, and a position which needed to be up-righted.  I saw no one taking up the mantel on this issue which is real and happening daily, impacting thousands. I decided to lead! I am determined to be the voice that speaks proudly, gives encouragement and leads our generation of wounded people towards their healing place. My mother instilled in me at a very young age the gratification of helping others and being a leader. She ingrained in my head how though being a follower is easy, being a leader builds character. I choose character. I want to change lives and I want to be remembered for my selfless diligent fight. You ask why I want to share my story with the world? Because I want to give people like me the opportunity to hold their heads up high and say they are survivors not victims.

Can you tell us at what point did you decide that you couldn’t harbor this secret anymore? 

I had kept the secret for so long it had begun to affect me mentally, resulting in a bipolar diagnosis. In a manic state of mind I felt while I had the courage to say it, I just needed to get it out. I felt I needed to tell my mother. If I had not been in a manic state I don’t know if I would have disclosed such horrific news to her or where I would be in my healing process, as disclosing to her was my first step towards healing. Also the next step was when my mother recognized that I needed help and she proactively got that help for me that day. Because of my mental health issues with bipolar disorder I was suffering from the inside out constantly. As I stated in the Epilogue Burning House as part of I Am the Product of Rape―A Memoir, there was nothing anyone could do to my abuser to make it all better. The mental and physical scares his actions caused remain embedded in me. 

Some people judge rape victims saying that they must have provoked their victims to come on to them. What do you tell those people? 

To those who think this way I would say, there is no way an 8 year old little girl who had no interest in anything sexual nor had a fully shaped body could suggest to a predator that she would WANTED to be Raped/Molested. I am using myself as an example. However, there are adult women who are also victims. No one wants to be assaulted or violated. I would say they are wrong to assume a person willingly wants to have their life dramatically changed forever in that manner. That is a misunderstood misdirected assumption. I would hope sexual assault never happens to them or someone they love, unfortunately then there may be a change of heart.

Who was the first person you told and why?

The first person I told about being molested by my eldest brother was my boyfriend at the time. He was the first real/serious relationship I had ever been in. Prior to engaging in sexual activities with him we were both tested for HIV and I disclosed to him that I had been repeatedly rape/molested by my eldest brother. After telling him, he was very upset and supportive of me.

How are you helping other women deal with rape and can you tell us about Women On Maintaining Education and Nutrition, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit social service organization for the at-risk and HIV-positive community?


At the soul of the authors of I Am the Product of Rape―A Memoir is assisting others in need of healing from trauma. The authors of I Am the Product of Rape―A Memoir, have developed an interactive Workbook they have titled #HealingSecretHurts or (#HSH). In conjunction with I Am the Product of Rape―A Memoir, #HSH and utilizing other tools we conduct small to mid-size acquisition sessions which, with attendees, explores the raw subject matters exposed in I Am the Product of Rape―A Memoir.  Sessions are implemented in safe, confidential, comfortable environments. Making trauma a priority, the author’s ability to listen, believe, and care then encourage, empower and initiate behavior change is their principal. Their mother daughter synergy educates, enlightens and empowers as they share their experience while bringing the spectrum of traumatizing sexual assault into the light.

In addition to #HealingSecretHurts, Women On Maintaining Education and Nutrition, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit social service organization for the at-risk and HIV-positive community offers care and recovery through a thorough intake and assessment, the development of safety plans, safety kits, navigation, legal advocacy, court connection, prevention, counseling, support group, justice system advocacy, community coordination and collaboration, crisis intervention, employment counseling, culturally and linguistically specific resources and services targeting safety, locates emergency shelter and the establishment of new housing, transportation, and community outreach. The authors of I Am the Product of Rape―A Memoir alien with community based organizations, professionals and others to establish programs and services for domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault rape and stalking victims.

If you could walk up to one of these rapists/abusers, what would you say?

Both authors agree they have no comment.

Thank you again for this interview. What advice can you give women to help them avoid rape/incest?

I would say don’t be naive, thinking that because it’s a family member or a boy/girlfriend they won’t hurt you or that it can’t or won’t happen to you. Get educated, read I Am the Product of Rape―A Memoir, attend one of our #HealingSecretHurts acquisition sessions, take a self-defense class, be prepared at all times, carry some type of protection, watch for signs of grooming, do your best to never put yourself in situations that can lead to something you don’t want to be involved in and lastly do the same for your friends. 


Thursday, August 2, 2018

First Chapter Reveal: Unlawful Desires by Sassy Sinclair @authorpsy

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UNLAWFUL DESIRES by Sassy Sinclair, Erotic Suspense, 198 pp., $10.99 (paperback) $3.99 (Kindle)


Title: UNLAWFUL DESIRES
Author: Pamela Samuels Young
Publisher: Goldman House Publishing
Pages: 198
Genre: Erotic Romance


Sparks fly when a handsome lawyer falls hard for a smart, seductive woman who thinks like a man and acts like one too.

Sharla Ratliff is done with having her heart broken. Her new dating rules are simple. No emotion. No expectation of commitment. Sex purely for her own physical enjoyment. Then she meets Marcel Dennard. The attractive lawyer has all the trappings of success: a thriving career, women at his beck and call, and enough money in the bank for the finer things in life.

Their lust for each other doesn’t just create sparks, it sets off explosions. The sexual attraction between them is so passionately erotic they behave in ways that can only be called reckless. After a shocking series of events place both of their careers in jeopardy, can they restrain their sexual desires long enough to keep everything they’ve worked for from going up in smoke?

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon




First Chapter

Sharla
Sharla Ratliff finally figured it out. The key to protecting her heart turned out to be rather simple: think like a man and act like one too.
All that Steve Harvey crap about not giving up the cookies hadn’t worked out for her. Her last serious boyfriend wasted three years of her life. Five months after dumping her, Paul the Prick married some skank he met at the Starbucks on La Cienega and Centinela.
Every guy after him heaped on more hurt, though in much smaller doses. Sharla blamed her dating disconnections on the overabundance of phony, self-centered, knuckleheads in L.A. After taking herself off the market for an entire year, she was now ready to dip her baby toe back into the dating pool.
At 34, she was determined not to repeat the mistakes of her past. Her new dating rules were simple. No emotion. No expectation of commitment. Sex purely for her own physical pleasure. Guys enjoyed sex for what it was without hopeful thoughts of a relationship or even a call the next day. So would she.
And in just a matter of minutes, Sharla planned to put herself to the test with the man sitting inches away from her.
As Derrick steered his Escalade into her driveway, she leaned over and started massaging the bulge in his lap.
 “Girl, you’re something else.” Derrick’s hand instantly tightened around the steering wheel. “I can’t wait to get with you.”
      Sharla winked. “Good things come to those who wait.”
Derrick’s hazel eyes pinned her with a look so hypnotically lustful Sharla had to bite her lip to choke back a whimper. His titillating gaze would’ve melted the old Sharla right out of her red lace panties. Thank goodness that girl no longer existed.
 “I like kickin’ it with you, Sharla.” Derrick’s voice had a raspy smoothness to it.
“Is that right?” She daintily cocked her head to the right. “Tell me more.”
“All through dinner I kept telling myself how lucky I was to even be in your presence. You’re beautiful. You’re smart as hell. You’re only nine years out of law school and you’re already at the top of your game. You’re every man’s dream.”
Sharla turned to peer out of the passenger window so Derrick wouldn’t see her eyes cross in skepticism.
“I bet you say that to every woman you date,” she teased.
Derrick’s strong fingers squeezed her thigh, just above the knee. “No way. I’ve never met a woman like you before. I swear.”
Normally, Sharla would’ve swatted away a hand landing that close to her goody bag on only the second date. But tonight, New Sharla was in charge.
Not that Sharla discounted everything coming from Derrick’s lips. She was pretty darn amazing. At five-eight, her body was tight and toned from years of competitive-level tennis. She dressed with the flair of a fashion model and enjoyed showing off legs even Beyoncé would envy. Her annual income topped six-figures, she owned her own home, and already had enough cash in her 401K to dump her day job if the desire ever arose. But the legal profession was a big part of her identity. She wouldn’t be giving that up anytime soon.
Derrick cut off the car, then leaned over and pressed lips as soft and sweet as a glazed donut against hers. The man deserved an A-plus in the lip-locking department.
“Let’s go inside.” He threw open the door and jogged around to help her out of his SUV.
Sharla’s feet had barely grazed the ground before Derrick curled his arms around her body like an over-anxious octopus. The firm tube jutting from his mid-section pushed against her stomach.
 They kissed long and slow for several minutes before Derrick pulled away. “We better get inside or your neighbors are going to witness an X-rated show.”
Sharla giggled as he took her hand. When they reached the front door, she handed him her keys. It was important to allow Derrick to be in control. Or at least think he was.
 Her best friend Reese didn’t believe she would be able to go through with this. Sharla wasn’t that kind of girl. She hungered for true love and longed to find her soul mate. But that hadn’t worked out. It was time to try something new.
So here she was about to get laid with no expectations whatsoever. If she never saw Derrick again, so what? At least she would have a night of fun under her belt.
Once they’d entered the house, Derrick pulled her into his arms again. He was much thinner than she liked her men. Although she found him attractive, he wasn’t her kind of attractive. Sharla preferred thick, well-built guys with a manly, not manicured style. Derrick was a pretty boy with light eyes, thin lips, and a shaved head.
For her first attempt at acting like a man, Sharla had intentionally selected a guy she wasn’t physically wild about. That, she assumed, would help keep her emotions in check.
      “I swear I’ve been dreaming about getting with you,” Derrick mumbled, brushing her ear with those cottony-soft lips. “No female has ever got me this horny before.”
Probably because your cute behind never had to wait two weeks to get some.
Sharla made the bold move of calling Derrick the day before and inviting him to spend the night at her place. The man had become so tongue-tied with excitement he could barely form the words to accept her invitation.
Taking Derrick’s hand, Sharla led him down the hallway toward her bedroom. She turned on the crystal lamp on the nightstand and a soft, blue haze bathed the room with a sexy, nightclub ambiance.
Standing on her tiptoes, Sharla whispered into his ear. “Tell me what turns you on. I want to give it to you exactly the way you like it.”
“Damn, baby,” Derrick panted. “Everything. Everything turns me on.”
Sharla set him down at the foot of the bed, then stepped back and did a slow strip tease, sliding the spaghetti straps of her black dress off her shoulders and down her smooth arms. Once her dress, bra and matching red panties lay in a puddle on the floor, she stood with her hands on her hips, allowing Derrick to admire her nakedness.
No matter what her other issues were, body image wasn’t one of them. Her D cups stood as erect as twin doorknobs, hovering over a waist so tiny Derrick could encircle it with both hands. Her proudest attributes, her legs, were as long and sturdy as a prize stallion’s.
“I can’t believe I’m about to get with you,” Derrick muttered as he unbuttoned his shirt and unzipped his pants. Still sitting, he ripped open a condom. His hands moved so fast he had trouble unrolling it and barely got it on.
What? No foreplay?
After a year of celibacy, Sharla deserved a lover with some sensitivity, not to mention skills. He hadn’t even had the decency to ask what she liked. Did he even care about her feelings?
Old Sharla was trying to resurface, but New Sharla fought her off.
Just do it. For once in your life, experience an orgasm with no expectation of anything except fun.
New Sharla was right. She should just go for it. She was about to get busy with a man for whom she felt no emotional connection whatsoever. And that was progress.
Or was it?
Derrick gazed up at her, his tongue wagging like a thirsty German Shepherd. “C’mon, baby. Big Daddy is ready. Bring it on.”
She closed her eyes and tried to psyche herself up just as Old Sharla popped back into her subconscious. Shame on you! You’re acting like a slut.
It wasn’t a good sign that her gift box was as dry as the Sahara Desert.
“C’mere, girl.” Derrick licked his lips as he reached out for her. “I’ve been dying for some of this.”
 The second his fingers grazed her waist, Sharla pushed his hands away and took a giant step backward, out of his reach.
“Um, I—I changed my mind,” she blurted out.
Snatching her dress from the floor, she covered her nakedness with a curtain of regret.
“I’m sorry. I just can’t do this!”

















 




 
  
Sassy Sinclair, AKA Pamela Samuels Young, is an attorney and award-winning author of multiple legal thrillers. Unlawful Desires is her first foray into the erotic romantic suspense genre. Her mystery Anybody’s Daughter won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction and was a Top Ten pick by In the Margins, the best books for at-risk teens. Her novels #Anybody’s Daughter and #Abuse of Discretion are young adult adaptations of two of her most popular adult mysteries. Prior to embarking on a full-time writing career, Pamela was an associate at O’Melveny & Myers, LLP and Managing Counsel for Labor and Employment Law at Toyota. A former journalist, she also worked as a television news writer and associate producer for WXYZ-TV in Detroit and KCBS-TV in Los Angeles. Pamela received her bachelor’s degree from USC and earned graduate degrees from Northwestern University and UC Berkeley School of Law. A natural hair enthusiast, Pamela wrote Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide to educate women about the true beauty of their kinky coils. The Compton native is a frequent speaker on the topics of child sex trafficking, teen sexting, self-empowerment, independent publishing and fiction writing.

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