Thursday, July 21, 2016

Highlight: Interview with B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree Karen Aminadra

Over at my WORDPRESS I had the pleasure of interviewing Karen Aminadra and I thought I would share this wonderful interview with you all here. Be sure to check out other great post on at my WORDPRESS site! Enjoy!

I’d like to welcome back award winning Karen Aminadra to Layered Pages! Karen is a multi-genre author who writes novels within many different genres; Historical Romance, Historical Crime, and modern Chick-Lit.

She can usually be found sat at the computer either writing a novel, writing down new ideas or on social media chatting!

 Her love of reading, writing short stories, and her childhood imaginary world led quite naturally to writing novels. Encouraged to read by her bookworm father and grandmother and by winning a writing competition in just her first year of secondary school, she was spurred on, and she has been writing stories ever since. Her love of mystery and plot twists that she put into that first story continues today.

She has travelled to and lived in many countries, not just in her imagination, and has gained an insight into people’s characters that shines through in her work. Today, with her feet firmly back in the United Kingdom, she travels the world, the universe and in time through her imagination and her novels.

 Hi, Karen! Thank you for chatting with me today! Tell me about your story, Wickham.

Hi Stephanie, it’s a great pleasure to be interviewed by you once again. Wickham is a great book. I know I’m the author and I know I’m supposed to think that, but I have been rereading it lately in order to get the timeline straight in my head to write the next book, and I really like it! It takes place during the Napoleonic Wars about one year after Lydia Bennet and George Wickham were married in Jane Austen’s pride and prejudice. As you can imagine, if you have read pride and prejudice, they are not the most ideally suited couple. George is a libertine and is always on the lookout for more money. Lydia is extremely selfish and childish. Therefore, their marriage is not likely to be very happy. My novel Wickham takes the couple through a new stage of their life. Lydia has a child and Wickham is sent off to France to fight—new situations and adventures await them both to get, literally stuck into.

What is the mood or tone your characters portray and how does this affect the story?

Lydia is extremely selfish and childish and that has quite a negative effect on those around her. In the opening lines of chapter one, I state that Wickham is bored. He is bored with his regiment is bored with the North of England and he is, most certainly, bored with his wife. A man like him is bound to be, isn’t he? He has wondering eye and I did not want to change that trait but wanted to see where it might lead him. As you read the book, you’ll see it get him into some hot water. Lydia, on the other hand, goes back to stay with her family in Hertfordshire, where her immature and self-centred behaviour leads to some very interesting situations. Of course, Mr Darcy and Mr Bingley are there in Hertfordshire, and the addition of these two… shall we say, stabilising characters, helps to continue the vein that Jane Austen started in revealing the true nature of Wickham’s character.

What are the emotional triggers of your characters and how do they act on them?

George Wickham and Lydia are both very emotional characters. For George, his emotional triggers are that he is very lusty, and is controlled by those urges. Lydia, however, is also controlled largely by her opinion of herself being the centre of everyone else’s universe. As you can imagine, if she doesn’t get her own way, she is likely to throw a tantrum or two. I found them very interesting to write about. I decided at the beginning I would not redeem Wickham but I wanted to see how his character played out and where it would eventually lead them both to. I do think, however, that Lydia does mature a little bit throughout the book, thankfully.

Describe England during this era.

England during the Napoleonic Wars is a place of great juxtaposition which I have tried to show in my novel. On the one hand Wickham is in France fighting a formidable enemy, and on the other, Lydia is back in England, and everything is all happy, and tea parties, and you wouldn’t think that there was an enemy not very far away bent on the invasion of the whole of Europe. I found this quite fascinating as I was writing it, because whilst Wickham was dealing with defences, soldiers, long marches, and living in tents, Lydia was living at her parents’ house in Hertfordshire in relative luxury. They have everything they need, and even have guests to stay with them. The two parts of the story are worlds apart. And that’s exactly how it was during those times, which does seem rather strange to us. They had no news reports or internet to tell them every five minutes throughout the day what was happening and so lived in ignorance. They had, of course, the newspaper reports, but they were often months out of date. You could read about some terrible battle happening somewhere in Continental Europe thinking how awful it was, but in actual fact it was long since finished and the soldiers have moved on to the next battle. Wars would last for years and were fought in an almost hand-to-hand fashion. Yes, there were cannons and cavalry etc. but we have no notion of what it was like. Wars today are all computerized and ground troops, although needed greatly, are not as vital as they were in the Regency period, where they were the main force. That kind of warfare is something that our generation can barely comprehend.

Do you feel that Wickham has any redeeming qualities?

Actually Wickham does have redeeming qualities, believe it or not. He does in truth have a conscience. We see it developing throughout the novel and it’s actually quite interesting to watch. He also develops a sense of loyalty and of duty. These are things that we don’t see very much in Jane Austen’s pride and prejudice. However, they naturally developed in my novel and I was quite happy to see where they went. Perhaps one day, if I were to hypothetically continue the novel, Wickham would be a redeemed fellow. Or maybe that’s too much to ask.

I’d have to say that Lydia’s view on life is quite extraordinary and exasperating. Tell me about the emotions you experienced while writing about her.

I literally wanted to slap Lydia more than once and this was a character I was writing myself! She drove me incessantly crazy. I knew I couldn’t change her without upsetting Jane Austen’s original character drastically and I didn’t want to do that. If she was to change it had to happen slowly and naturally. Lydia, thankfully, does begin to very slowly grow up in Wickham. There is a sudden shock at the end of the novel, which may or may not help to mature her in the next instalment that I’m writing now, but I’m not going to give away any clues!

I can imagine you had great fun writing this story. Did you face any challenges?

Yes, the French had to be perfect. Although I did study French at school and I did very well, I knew my French wasn’t good enough for the novel. Thankfully, I knew two people in Lyon, France who are experts in old French and how it is correctly spoken. They were a great help! Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the process. I really do like delving into history books and doing the research necessary for a historical novel. I haven’t, however, yet visited Scarborough Castle. I have planned to do that many times, and unfortunately it has never happened. I am hoping this summer to make it there finally, and take some photographs to put on my blog for my readers.

How much time did you spend working on this story and what was your process?

Wickham took me longer than usual to write. I think there were many factors involved in that. I was under a lot of pressure at the time, the characters themselves are not the most lovable, and I had to make sure that the history was correct. As it was written in two thousand fourteen, I cannot actually remember how long it took specifically, but I know it was most of the year.

To date, Wickham is the longest book that I have written, and having re-read it recently I’m really pleased with it. In the past, and at that time, I would sit down and I would not get up from my computer until I had written a minimum of one thousand words every day. I have to admit to being a bit of a perfectionist and if I don’t do my minimum word count every day, I get a little bit cross with myself. Back in 2012, my process was a lot different to what it is now. I take far more breaks than I used to, and probably drink far too much coffee as well! But, I am more productive now.

I make a notes document and I keep both documents open on the computer. I write down everything I need to know in the notes document, for example, eye colour, hair colour, height, the name of a particular weapon or gun, and details of a town or city. On a separate document, I will begin the novel. I’m quite a linear writer—I write from the beginning all the way to the end. It is very rare for me to add a chapter randomly somewhere in the book. My head just does not work that way. I usually know that somewhere along the line I will find that one particular passage that will be my prologue or my opening scene, and I always make space for it at the beginning. So, when I finally get to the end of the story and I typethe end it really is the end of the whole story for me.

Where can readers buy your book?

Wickham is now available through all major stockists. Here is the Amazon link (that’s a universal link and it will take you to the Amazon store in your country)

What’s up next for you?

I’ve just put the finishing touches to the last in a three-part clean Regency romance series called The Emberton Brothers series. Now, though, my thoughts are turning towards book 4 in my pride and prejudice continues series. It takes place almost 6 months after the end of Wickham, so for those of my readers that are keen to know what happens next, this next book will tell that story. Many of my readers have messaged me in some form or another to ask me to tell Mary and Kitty’s story. That will be my focus for this next book.

For next year, I am planning to step back into women’s contemporary fiction and chick lit, as well as something new in the pipeline. I am thinking of delving into a genre I haven’t visited before as a writer but am a fan of as a reader I have a few books planned for next year as well. It’s an exciting time! I am extremely motivated right now!

More About Karen:
She is now the author of seven novels;
Charlotte – Pride & Prejudice Continues,
Rosings – Pride & Prejudice Continues book 2,
Relative Deceit – Death in the Family,
The Uncanny Life of Polly,
It’s a Man’s World – Lettie Jenkins Investigates,
Wickham – Pride & Prejudice Continues book 3,
The Spice Bride – The Emberton Brothers Series book 1.
The Suitable Bride – The Emberton Brothers Series book 2 – out Friday 15th July.

In 2012 she received a B.R.A.G Medallion  for her debut novel Charlotte – Pride & Prejudice Continues.

In 2013 she was once again honoured with a B.R.A.G Medallionfor Rosings – Pride & Prejudice Continues book 2.

In 2016 she received another prized B.R.A.G Medallion for Wickham -Pride & Prejudice Continues book 3.

AMAZON (universal link)

A message from indieBRAG:
We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to Karen Aminadra who is the author of, Wickham, our medallion honoree at indieBRAG. To be awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion ®, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, Wickham, merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.




Saturday, July 16, 2016

New Book Release!

Karen Aminadra has announced her newest book release, The Suitable Bride! The eighth boo she has published in four years.

The Suitable Bride is book 2 in The Emberton Brothers series and is a clean Regency romance novel.

In the first novel, we followed the story of Richard, the eldest of the three brothers. In this book, we follow Edward the middle one.

Edward is the driven one out of the three. He has spent years working hard at achieving his dream. He’s a politician and dreams of being Prime Minister of Britain one day. He knows the advantages there are to be had in marrying and is eager to find a bride from amongst the set who will help advance his career.

Frances Davenport is the daughter of a lord. She is privileged and has led a life that has had its ups and downs…literally speaking. She’s a little naughty. She doesn’t believe there is one single man out there who can please her as a husband and is resigned to that fact. Until she meets Edward, that is…

THE SUITABLE BRIDE!



Edward Emberton wants to be Prime Minister. He has a passionate vision for the future of England, which includes the abolition of slavery. As the son of a tradesman, his journey to Parliament has been a difficult one, but there is only one thing left to cement this foothold on the steps to Parliament – a suitable bride. She must be of noble birth, reasonable intelligence, mild temperament, and extraordinary beauty.
Frances Davenport is most of those things. And a suitable marriage to Edward isn’t only the answer to her prayers; it’s a way to keep her secrets. Edward is handsome, driven, and better still, enchanted by her beauty. It’s more than a suitable match; it couldn’t be more perfect.

But appearances are often deceiving, and Frances’ beguiling beauty comes with its own set of problems. Edward and Frances are about to discover that there’s more to marriage than suitability because neither is as suitable as they seem…

AMAZON LINK – http://amzn.to/29yA0FP

Author Bio:



Karen is a multi-genre author who writes novels within many different genres; Historical Romance, Historical Crime, and modern Chick-Lit.

She can usually be found sat at the computer either writing a novel, writing down new ideas or on social media chatting!

Her love of reading, writing short stories, and her childhood imaginary world led quite naturally to writing novels. Encouraged to read by her bookworm father and grandmother and by winning a writing competition in just her first year of secondary school, she was spurred on, and she has been writing stories ever since. Her love of mystery and plot twists that she put into that first story continues today.

She has travelled to and lived in many countries, not just in her imagination, and has gained an insight into people’s characters that shines through in her work. Today, with her feet firmly back in the United Kingdom, she travels the world, the universe and in time through her imagination and her novels.

She is now the author of eight novels;

Charlotte – Pride & Prejudice Continues,
Rosings – Pride & Prejudice Continues book 2
Relative Deceit – Death in the Family,
The Uncanny Life of Polly,
It’s a Man’s World – Lettie Jenkins Investigates,
Wickham – Pride & Prejudice Continues book 3,
The Spice Bride – The Emberton Brothers Series book 1.
The Suitable Bride – The Emberton Brothers Series book 2.
In 2012 she received a B.R.A.GMedallion ™ for her debut novel Charlotte – Pride & Prejudice Continues.
In 2013 she was once again honoured with a B.R.A.GMedallion ™ for Rosings – Pride & Prejudice Continues book 2.
In 2016 she received another prized B.R.A.GMedallion™ for Wickham -Pride & Prejudice Continues book 3.
For more information and to download a free book visit  www.karenaminadra.com




Wednesday, June 29, 2016

indiebrag Thrillers!

indiebrag is featuring thrillers for the next few weeks! One of my favorite genres and perfect for the summer time! Below are pictures of B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree books and a link to follow so you may learn more about them and where you can purchase it. Enjoy and happy reading!

Indiebrag’s mission is to discover new and talented self-published authors and help them give their work the attention and recognition it deserves. Their primary focus is fiction across a wide range of genres...

I love thrillers, and I always have. -Kenneth Branagh























Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Interview with M.J. Neary

I’d like to welcome, Marina Julia Neary to Layered Pages today. A self-centered, only child of classical musicians, Marina spent her early years in Eastern Europe and came to the US at the age of thirteen. Her literary career revolves around depicting military and social disasters, from the Charge of the Light Brigade, to the Irish Famine, to the Easter Rising in Dublin, to the nuclear explosion in Chernobyl some thirty miles away from her home town. Notorious for her abrasive personality and politically incorrect views that make her a persona non grata in most polite circles, Neary explores human suffering through the prism of dark humor, believing that tragedy and comedy go hand in hand.

Her debut thriller Wynfield's Kingdom was featured on the cover of the First Edition Magazine in the UK and earned the praise of the Neo-Victorian Studies Journal. After writing a series of novels dealing with the Anglo-Irish conflict, she takes a break from the slums of London and the gunpowder-filled streets of Dublin to delve into the picturesque radioactive swamps of her native Belarus. Saved by the Bang: a Nuclear Comedy is a deliciously offensive autobiographical satire featuring sex scandals of Eastern Europe's artistic elite in the face of political upheavals. Her latest Penmore release, The Gate of Dawn is a folkloric tale of conspiracy and revenge set in czarist Lithuania.

Tell me about your premise. 

Saved by the Bang is an autobiographical satire and certainly a change of pace for me. I gained moderate notoriety as an Anglo-Irish historical novelist.  Even though I don't have an Irish or English strain of DNA in me, I have been writing about the Anglo-Irish conflict. My readers have been nagging me to write something autobiographical, so I gave them what they wanted. Don't tell me I didn't warn you! As one of the readers mentioned, this book is "not for the faint of heart".

Describe Gomel, Belarus.

Gomel is a waterfront Central European city founded by at the end of the first millennium AD by Radimich tribes - East Slavic people notorious for their flashy jewelry. Gomel took a beating during WWII - like most of Belarus. Much of the original architecture was obliterated, and the city had to be rebuilt from scratch. Among the surviving landmarks is the Paskevich Palace and a gorgeous Orthodox Church. The city is very green in the summer and very white in the winter. All four seasons are clearly fleshed out.


The city mascot is a bobcat. It's on the city crest! 



 The Paskevich family palace


The river front park


The music academy where the illicit affair develops

A coveted housing development

Gomel also was affected heavily by the Chernobyl disaster.

Most of the events described in the novel take place in Gomel, but some take place in other cities like Minsk (capital of Belarus) Smolensk (Russia), Gurzuf (a resort in the Crimea), Vilnius (capital of Lithuania) and New Canaan, Connecticut.

What is the mood that Maryana conveys and how does this affect the story? 

Throughout the novel, Maryana is portrayed as a victim who does not really behave like one. In a way, she is a magnet for hostility and she derives sick pleasure out of it. Maryana was the name my father wanted to give me, but my mom had a fit. She thought it sounded to quaint and folksy. When you hear "Maryana" you think of an anthropology major who wears a long skirt with tennis shoes and writes a thesis on the matriarchy within pagan Slavic tribes. My mother opted for a more cosmopolitan Marina. When you think of Marina, you see a multilingual interpreter prancing around in patent leather pumps. Maryana conveys the sentiment of self-mockery. I don't know how else to describe it. The girl revels in her suffering and gets inspiration and sick pleasure in it. She is a professional victim. 


How do you/or talk about how you flesh out the moment of greatest sorrow in Maryana? 

Given that the girl is a professional victim, she makes most of every opportunity to be miserable. She's a magnet for antagonism. As a writer, I find that understatement is a powerful tool. I try to avoid hand-writing and wailing and keep the diction matter-of-factly, not sensational or melodramatic. In one of the scenes Maryana gets kicked off the gymnastics team for developing a crush on a female teammate. She gets a hearty beating at the park for her dual transgression: being Jewish and a lesbian.

Describe a humorous scene in your story. 

I realize that not everyone shares my sense of humor, but I believe that humor and tragedy go hand in hand. It has to be obscene, and awkward.  In Saved by the Bang there is a scene where Maryana is her older cousin are on their way to Vilnius to sell their grandmother's famous cranberry-and-vodka marmalade. They are both heavily made up and decked out in finest Polish denim. They get pulled over by the cops, who assume that the two girls are child prostitutes taken to the city. Maryana's alcoholic uncle Alexander spends some time explaining to the law enforcers that the girls are not being sexually exploited, they were just experimenting with cosmetics.





What is the Crimean Sanatoriums? 


Oh, so glad you asked. The Crimean Peninsula was a sought-after vacation site for the Soviet hot-shots. Most people could not afford to travel there and stay on their own dime. If you kissed the right behind, or if you were in a position of influence yourself, you could get a travel voucher - a room at a resort, a beach sticker and a basic meal plan. One of the most enchanting places was Gurzuf, a Tartar village where Asiatic, Slavic and Greek folklore combined. In Gurzuf there was a military sanatorium. It was utilized by military officers. During the 1980s, while the USSR was engaged in a conflict with Afghanistan, there was an influx of wounded soldiers who came there to recover. My main character, Antonia, strikes a brief platonic romance with one of such soldiers. 


Crimean sanatoriums


This is the Goddess of the Night fountain. Thousands of couples have kissed in front of that fountain. It's like Juliet's balcony in Verona. It has the same romantic connotation. 



What are the different emotions you had while writing this story? 

Revenge, revulsion and sick amusement. You have to realize, I have very mixed feelings towards my country of origin and my former compatriots. There is no warm and fuzzy nostalgia. There's a fair amount of anger that I'm still trying to work through. I turn that anger into humor.

Any conspiracies in this story?

There is no conspiracy per se, but there's plenty of corruption. The extent of damage was covered up by the authorities. The deformed children born as result of the radiation leakage were swept under the rug. I wanted to share a few pictures from my home town. I took American and British journalists to expose the full extent of the damage. So as you can see, the tragic and the mundane exist side by side. You have a gorgeous historical park with flower beds, and just a few miles away, inside a clinic, you have children with severe birth defects and radiation-related cancer. I want my readers to see these images.






Tuesday, June 21, 2016

indiebrag Summer Read Picks!

This month indiebrag and I are kicking off the season with great summer reads! For the whole month of June, we will be featuring B.R.A.G. Medallion books that is perfect for the season. So grab your Kindle or Nook and stay close to the computer. You won’t want to miss this!

Indiebrag’s mission is to discover new and talented self-published authors and help them give their work the attention and recognition it deserves. Their primary focus is fiction across a wide range of genres; however, they selectively consider non-fiction books as well.

One benefit of Summer was that each day we had more light to read by. -Jeannette Walls

Today I am sharing books by David Wesley, Georgia Candoli, Michael Jay, Padgett Gerler, Vicki Pardoe and Daniel Cray.


At Drake’s Command:

The Adventures of Peregrine James During the Second Circumnavigation of the World

It was as fine a day to be whipped as any he’d ever seen but the good weather didn’t make Peregrine James any happier with the situation he was in. Unfairly convicted of a crime he had not committed, the young cook was strung from the whipping post on the Plymouth quayside when he caught the eye of the charismatic sea captain Francis Drake, who agreed to accept Perry among his crew despite the stripes of a thief on his back.

Soon England was receding in their wake and Perry was serving an unsavory collection of sea dogs as the small fleet of fragile wood ships sailed across the deep brine. Their destination was secret, known to Drake alone. Few sailors believed the public avowal that the expedition was headed for Alexandria to trade in currants. Some men suspected Drake planned a raid across Panama to attack the Spanish in the Pacific. Others were sure the real plan was to round the Cape of Storms to break the Portuguese monopoly of the spice trade. The only thing Perry knew for certain was that they were bound for danger and that he must live by his wits if he were to survive serving at Drake’s command.


Meet Joe Black visits The Wonder Years in the true story of DOG WATER FREE. It chronicles a journey by a boy named Mikee, whose coming-of-age search for emotional truth lands a dumbstruck orphan from the unlikely side of Detroit front and center before icons of culture who have shaped the mindsets of nations: England’s Queen Elizabeth; America’s Maestro Leonard Bernstein; the first non-Italian Pontiff in more than 400 years, John Paul II; and a young college co-ed who would become the first woman in history to be elected to lead an Islamic nation, Benazir Bhutto.

A family saga at its core, DOG WATER FREE is an uplifting story of discovery that will appeal to fans of The Glass Castle andAngela’s Ashes as it pulls back the curtain on adolescent bewilderment while celebrating a remarkable hero in the person of an ordinary mom who is thrust into an extraordinary situation, the likes of which few could imagine. Mikee is eleven when his world turns upside down as his mom shares news from her doctor.
She has a year to prepare her family for her death.

Her passing will leave the man she loves and the four children she cherishes alone to fend for themselves.

“At least you’ll always have your dad,” she comforts.

Still on her mission fifteen months later, her focus heightens when her husband drops dead. With that, Mikee’s improbable coming-of-age adventure begins.


When Rowdy Murphy’s husband, Mark, abandons her for a younger woman, leaving behind a dog that Rowdy hates, never wanted, and vowed she’d never walk, feed, bathe, or poop scoop, she is livid. But the divorce, Mark’s new family, and breast cancer forge an unlikely friendship between Rowdy and the much-reviled dog, Nick Nack. LESSONS I LEARNED FROM NICK NACK is the story of one woman’s journey through anger, loneliness, pain, and fear and her ultimate surrender to the power of unconditional love.


There is a need in the child to read and learn of his psychological well-being through literature of another child, one who experiences the same growing pain to achieve self esteem. That beautiful mystery that educates the child is often gained only when he reads and reflects upon that which another child experiences.

I wanted to create a novel to fulfill the adolescent male readers need for a story that relates to the development of the male concept and help encourage boys to read. Hence, my middle-grade novel NORTHERN ADVENTURE for ages 9-12 was born.

NORTHERN ADVENTURE is told from the two-boy main characters viewpoint. It weaves their relationship and growth to each other, sharing their dependency on one another in the adventures they live with; nature, animals and family.

The story is approached thoughtfully, with colorful anecdotes and humor, depicting the detail of family life as lived on a Wisconsin farm in 1950; and, there’s just enough action, fun, surprise, drama and emotion to keep you reading through all 16- chapters.

Mike left the big city life of Chicago during the summer of 1950 to spend one year with his cousin Rich on his family farm at Lake Mentaka, Wisconsin. Anxious to discover their environment with Rich’s dog Prince, they barely escape death on Whale Island, are chased by a bear, dynamite a runway, and are accidently buried alive during a treasure dig. Alarming situations unfold and the boys grow strong through fun and responsibility. Courage and maturity develop after experiencing some harsh realities of life. A bond of caring and survival is shared among family and friends, proving that love and friendship are the most important things in life.

Young girls and adults are enjoying these adventures also. Adults who grew up in the mid-west or raised on a farm during the 1940’s find it reminiscing.


After her mother dies in a car accident, teenager Emily Hamilton moves to the Eastern Shore of Maryland with her father who has accepted a job as a lawyer with a small law firm. Emily feels responsible for her mother’s death. Her relationship with her father is very strained and she is having a hard time dealing with her emotions. Everything starts to change for Emily after she rescues an injured chicken, left for dead, from a factory farm near her new home. With the help of new friends, neighbors and a kind veterinarian, Emily begins to heal and her life finds new meaning.

It’s an unforgettable sight: innovation expert Maureen Clemmons can lift and “fly” massive stones, some of them weighing sixteen tons, with little more than a steady wind and a good kite. But did the ancient Egyptians do the same thing when hoisting immense pyramid stones? Egyptologists say no. Clemmons, backed by a decade of field tests and a Caltech aeronautics team, isn’t so certain– especially when the Egyptologists make it clear they are unwilling to consider evidence from anyone outside their insular field. Buoyed by a tremendous groundswell of grassroots support, Clemmons’ stunning, block-heaving experiments generate national news coverage, a History Channel documentary, and a mention in engineering textbooks. Audiences from NASA, the American Institute of Architects, and a multitude of universities gather to hear her compelling presentations. In the span of just a few short years, she successfully advances a simple “Eureka!” moment in her California backyard to the halls of academia, and eventually to Egypt’s Giza Plateau, site of the actual pyramids. She also proves an important point: that you don’t need a degree, just an inspired idea and some passion, to be a good scientist.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

indiebrag Summer Read Picks!

This month indiebrag and I are kicking off the season with great summer reads! For the whole month of June, we will be featuring B.R.A.G. Medallion books that is perfect for the season. So grab your Kindle or Nook and stay close to the computer. You won’t want to miss this!

Indiebrag’s mission is to discover new and talented self-published authors and help them give their work the attention and recognition it deserves. Their primary focus is fiction across a wide range of genres; however, they selectively consider non-fiction books as well.

One benefit of Summer was that each day we had more light to read by. -Jeannette Walls

Today I am sharing books by Tui Allen, C.M.J. Wallace, Laura Wharton, G.L. Tysk and R.A.R. Clouston!



Have you ever wondered what goes on in the great marine intellects of the whales and dolphins? What wonders might they have achieved during the tens of millions of years of planetary rule they enjoyed before humans came down from the trees?

Recently, forces from the universe decided that the time had come for humans to hear the defining story of their planet. This book is that story. Are we the last intelligent beings in the developed universe to hear it? Live awhile in Ocean Mind. Be prepared to forget your human material obsessions as you slip away and dance the waves with the young female dolphin Ripple. A divine narrator of the Hereafter sweeps you from Ripple’s life in the unimaginably distant past to the not-so-distant future where you can see Ripple’s impact on modern humanity.

Follow Ripple as she negotiates the beauties and horrors of the ancient oceans and falls in love with the fighter Cosmo in the wild surf of Point Savage. Be there beside her when love stimulates her to a single achievement which brings renown to this planet, changes the universe forever, exalts the angels and ensures Ripple’s fame will outlive the planet itself.


This is not a stand-alone book but is the first volume in the Rift series.

A cold-blooded killer lusts for others’ magic. A drug-addicted detective vows to thwart him. Dragged into a dangerous homicide investigation, Andrin Sethuel alone stands between the killer’s murderous desires and his future victims’ salvation, a kingdom’s freedom and its enslavement.

Andrin has survived a childhood that should have destroyed him. Slavers brutally murdered his parents in front of him, ripped him away from everything he knew, and addicted him to drugs. The aftermath leaves him warring against hostility, prejudice, and suspicion on every front. And it leaves him entrenched in self-loathing. Yet despite the odds, he becomes head of the Torvian kingdom’s criminal investigative forces.

Andrin speculates that the killer scythes magic from his victims to reap power and augment his burgeoning might, but such a capability is unthinkable. And wielding spells without a catalyst should be impossible. Yet irrefutably, the killer is wrenching his victims’ craft away with his own unimaginable sorcery, growing more powerful and treacherous with each successive murder.
While Andrin struggles to expose the murderer and his search for the killer turns into a fight for his life, lies and duplicity threaten to rip his only friend from him—and she’s keeping a secret that could be the key to solving the murders. Andrin is forced to choose between his friend and his duty, and ultimately between his king and a betrayal that will save his country from a ruthless conqueror’s invasion.


When young Chip Woodward sees his sister’s small sailboat nearly run over a mermaid, he can hardly believe his eyes! Who will believe he has seen a mermaid—in the lake? This mystery baffles Chip, his older sister Lynna, and their friend Jock Avery from the beginning. What they learn about the mermaid’s presence in their lake as the mystery unfolds turns out to be a fun, educational adventure for readers.



Based on the story of John Manjiro, one of the first Japanese people to live and work in America, The Sea-God at Sunrise follows two castaway Japanese boys, Shima and Takao, from the wreck of their fishing boat in a typhoon to their rescue by an American whaling ship in 1841, the waning days of feudal rule in Japan. Their rescue proves a short-lived miracle. Barred from reentering Japan, the ship heads for the whaling grounds of the South Pacific. Shima becomes an unwilling passenger in a strange floating world filled with foreign faces, a new language, and a hostile chief mate. But when the reclusive captain suddenly falls ill, Shima and third mate Daniel Ellis stumble upon a secret from his past that brings together their previously isolated worlds.




his is a story of the whales and dolphins who rule the Seven Seas and the odyssey of a white dolphin named Apollo whose destiny is to save whalekind from destruction on this planet man calls Earth but whales know as Planet Ocean. Whether you choose to believe it or not, humans are not the only intelligent beings on this endangered blue marble drifting silently through space; for that reason, Apollo’s story must be told lest you and your kind live on in ignorance of the complex civilization that lies beneath the waves. If you dare to join him, Apollo will take you into a world filled with mystery and magic, mayhem and madness—a place of budding life and sudden death where the light of the sun penetrates only the upper layers, leaving the rest of its vast dominions inked in eternal darkness. You will find pleasure in clear, sunlit shallows above rippled sandy bottoms where tiny fish zoom and zip, and feel terror in deep, dark, cold waters where monsters dwell.

And when your journey is done, you will never again look upon the oceans that surround you through the same eyes, or think about the whales and dolphins who dwell within them with the same mind, for this is a true tale of life, and death, and renewal that exists beyond the thin blue line that divides Apollo’s world from yours: it is a world unlike anything you have ever known and you ignore it at your peril.



Tuesday, June 14, 2016

indiebrag Summer Read Picks!

This month indiebrag and I are kicking off the season with great summer reads! For the whole month of June, we will be featuring B.R.A.G. Medallion books that is perfect for the season. So grab your Kindle or Nook and stay close to the computer. You won’t want to miss this!

Indiebrag’s mission is to discover new and talented self-published authors and help them give their work the attention and recognition it deserves. Their primary focus is fiction across a wide range of genres; however, they selectively consider non-fiction books as well.

One benefit of Summer was that each day we had more light to read by. -Jeannette Walls

Today I am sharing books by Debbie Flint, Pauline Barclay and Holly Bush!


Feisty single mum and would-be businesswoman Sadie Turner, PhD, needs an investor – and fast. Nothing can stand in her way – she’s even on a man-ban till she proves her critics wrong and stands on her own feet financially. Now, with this life-changing deal on the table, success is finally within reach. But she only has thirty days to sign the contract, so the race is on. Mac is a playboy billionaire with an appetite for extreme sports and supermodels. So where does curvy Sadie fit in? After all, he has a rule never to mix business with pleasure. A mistaken one-night stand leads to the most 
incredible board-room showdown, and the start of an adventure which takes them half way round the world. But can they seal the deal – and stay out of love – within the deadline?



Winning the lottery was just the beginning for Doreen Wilkinson, nothing prepared Doreen for her holiday at Villas Bonitas and nothing prepared Villas Bonitas for Doreen Wilkinson.

Sometimes It Happens…is about secrets, deception, lies, love and laughter. Tears will flow because this is one holiday that will never be forgotten by many!



Divorcee Glenda Nelson poured herself a cup of coffee, sat down at her kitchen table, and opened up the morning paper. That’s when she found out her hand-picked Congressional candidate was caught climbing out of the window of the Sleepytown Motel. With her job as a political strategist on the line, she must put together a damage control plan, and do it fast. After a multi-year hiatus, Glenda’s love life is finally on the rebound when she meets handsome Christopher Goodwich, a successful artist with oodles of old money. But what will Chris think after witnessing one of her meltdowns? Will his fame and fortune only serve to magnify Glenda’s ineptitude? And sometimes she just can’t stop wondering why she stayed so long with her philandering ex-husband, or how her sister’s marriage has been so apparently picture-perfect.  While uncovering the secrets behind a political scandal, Glenda finds love, and makes the long trek back to happy.