Newsletter for May 2012


Book Giveaways for May

born of silence.jpgOne random winner will be chosen to receive a copy of Born of Silence by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Click on book cover for more information and to enter.

guiltbydegrees.jpgOne random winner will be chosen to receive a copy of Guilt by Degrees by Marcia Clark. Click on book cover for more information and to enter.



Book Giveaway Winners for April

Winner of The Innocent

Lori Provenzano - Canada

Winner of Fifteen Digits

Leslie Carcaise - PA

Winner of Sipping from the Nile

Shirley Younger - PA

Waiting for confirmation from one more winner

Winner of Acting Techniques for Everyday Life

Winner has been notified - Waiting for confirmation

Featured Book - Dark Solus: An Assassin's Tale by David Andrew Crawford

darksolusmed.jpgDark Solus: An Assassin's Tale is a dark fantasy, science fiction novel about one of the deadliest assassins on the planet Eorth. The evil wizard Kalifen, along with the ruthless leaders of the Assassins, Thieves and Halfling guilds murdered his parents when he was only a child.

Haunted by their merciless execution, he now waits and prepares to exact his revenge on all those responsible for their demise. Dark is transformed and trained by the Styg, the warden of the Stygian depths and his Grandfather, Mephistopheles, the ancient silver dragon.

Fifteen years later after his parents death, Dark is now ready to travel to the City of Duergar, the home of his enemies. Trained in the skills of assassination and armed with lethal devices and his knowledge of the dark arts, he has only one mission… kill them all!

Note: Dark Solus: An Assassin's Tale by David Andrew Crawford has placed second in the 2011 Written Art Awards in the category of Science Fiction/Fantasy

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Featured Book - To Kill the Duke by Sam Moffie

tokilltheduke.jpgThe novel is a carefully woven escapade that brings together the elite Russian spy squad of Mr. Zavert, Boris Gila, Alexei Aleksandra and Ivan Viznapu as they start on a dangerous mission that brings them into contact with the gangsters Mickey Cohen and Johnny Stompanato, the billionaire Howard Hughes, the producer/director Dick Powell, the actress Susan Hayward, countless others, and of course the big man himself—John Wayne. It is Moffie’s most ambitious novel to date.

An unusual aspect is that one of the worst films ever made, “The Conqueror,” and the sand it was filmed on, play prominent roles in the book. Shot near St. George, Utah, the cast and crew were unaware of the life-and-death risks involved in filming on ground laden with radioactivity from the nuclear tests done downwind in Nevada. In addition, Howard Hughes had 60 tons of the uniquely colored sand sent back to RKO for post-production shots, and to this day no one knows exactly what happened to it. At least 91 of the 220 cast and crew members developed cancer after filming. Forty-six died, including John Wayne, Susan Hayward, Pedro Armendáriz (who shot himself soon after learning he had terminal cancer), Agnes Moorehead, John Hoyt and director Dick Powell.

“The topic of why so many people died of cancer filming “The Conqueror” has always been something I wanted to tackle, because I wanted to expose the horrors of the 50's Red Scare,” said Moffie. “Having the ultimate symbol of America—John Wayne— as an ironic victim of his own overzealous patriotism was the perfect way to write about it,” he added.

Moffie is no stranger to poking fun at The Establishment. His last novel, “The Book of Eli,” reimagined heaven in a unique and completely original way. God sounded like Orson Welles and atheists like Madelyn Murray O’Hare were up there, too, along with Ayn Rand and Freud.

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Featured Book - Spitfire by Jack DuArte

spitfire.jpgIn the late spring of 1940, Flight Lieutenant Anthony Nelson is involved in flying his Hawker Hurricane in the Phoney War that has begun to entrap Great Britain. When Nelson is reassigned to Spitfire Squadron 54 based at Hornchurch RAFS, the action of Spitfire heats up at once. Hornchurch is part of Fighter Command Group 11, the units assigned to protecting England’s most vulnerable city, the City of London and its great port complexes.

Nelson takes his best friend and fellow pilot, Australian Dixby Burke, with him to his new squadron. They are amazed that many new pilots must be trained to make the squadron combat ready. With little time to accomplish this task, the pair diligently proceeds to make the best of a difficult situation.

While on a short pass to his parents’ farm, Anthony Nelson learns that his younger brother Fletcher intends to follow him into the ranks of the RAF as a pilot. Fletcher also announces his intent to marry Prudence Allenby, a charming and beautiful woman he has brought with him to the farm. Prudence is a member of the WAAF and works in the WAAF London Motor Pool as a driver. Anthony is completely enthralled with Prudence but conceals his feelings from the couple. Returning to his squadron, Anthony puts Prudence in the back of his mind. He and Burke start flying actual sorties against the Germans attempting to control convoys heading into and out of the Thames estuary.

Fletcher Nelson reappears with the news that his flying proficiency has allowed him to pick his new squadron. He chooses the 54 in which Anthony already flies. Anthony takes the news reticently, aware of the difficulties of potentially flying with his younger brother.

The real Battle of Britain commences and Anthony, Dixby and Fletcher are thrown into almost unfathomable circumstances to survive each day’s myriad of missions. Fletcher’s flying on several occasions leads him to difficult situations but Anthony is able to see him though his initial problems. Then Prudence visits Fletcher at Hornchurch, and Anthony is again thrown into a quagmire of emotions. He attempts to again distance himself from the pair, but knows inside he is deeply in love with his brother’s fiancé.

When Fletcher makes another unwise aerial decision, his Spitfire is forced to make a crash landing inside the French coastline. Fletcher is able to bail out of the dying aircraft and lands in a newly plowed field where he takes cover.

Meanwhile, Anthony has succeeded in downing a number of German aircraft, a feat that has made him one of the squadron’s top fliers. Upon hearing of Fletcher’s unfortunate circumstances, he eventually contacts Prudence to give her the news. She insists on coming to Hornchurch and the two finally connect.

There is no news of Fletcher’s whereabouts. He is considered missing in action. He could possibly be a prisoner of the enemy, but weeks, and even months, pass and there is still no word. The fierce fighting continues unabated as weary Londoners and the entirety of the British Isles await the outcome.

Anthony and Prudence realize they are in love. Anthony is convinced that Fletcher is never coming back again. The pair returns to their daily duties as the Battle of Britain wages on. During this time, Burke is wounded several times.

A few weeks later, the British Red Cross receives word that Fletcher Nelson has recently been extracted from France where he has been in hiding. The news reaches Anthony first and sends him into a dichotomy of mind---happiness as to hearing of his brother’s return and despair at the thought of having to face Fletcher about Prudence.

He finally reaches Prudence in London and delivers the news about his brother. She is similarly anguished and proposes that they all meet to discuss the matter. Anthony has great reservations but finally agrees.

Fletcher is delivered back to Hornchurch and sees his brother for the first time in months. While his squadron has welcomed him back royally, he senses Anthony is holding something back and confronts his brother. Anthony decides to tell Fletcher about his love for Prudence and Fletcher responds with great anger. The two leave each other's company and Anthony is despondent. He desperately decides to fly another near impossible mission, a mission that could easily be his last. He doesn't have the chance tell Prudence who is now on the train from London to meet them.

She arrives and is confronted by Fletcher, but is perplexed when Fletcher doesn’t appear too upset with Anthony's confession. Fletcher then apologizes for the problems and takes full blame for the reckless flying that forced him down in France. He also tells Prudence that he has spent the past months in France with a wonderful French family that has hidden and protected him from the Germans.

Fletcher also explains that the family’s oldest daughter, Marie-France, actually risked her life several times to save him and that he has fallen in love with her.

When the couple is informed about Anthony’s perilous mission that is going on at that very time, Prudence realizes what Anthony is trying to do. She pleads in vain for him to come back safely. Anthony’s plane is hit and limps back to Hornchurch, crash landing as it does. Fletcher and Prudence rush to the spot where the Spitfire has crashed, hoping Anthony is still alive. Emergency personnel finally extract Anthony who is injured but still alive.

In the final dramatic scene, Prudence tries to explain to Anthony what has happened and of Fetcher’s involvement with the French woman. Whether he lives or dies is left in the air.

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Featured Book - Sumbitch:  A Tale of Bigtime College Football and a Girl by Simon Plaster

sumbitch.jpgWhat happens when college football gets too bigtime for its own britches? Its captivating illusion of semi-noble amateur sport, sponsored by dear old alma maters, comes apart at the seams ----that's what happens! The bigtime game's big ugly ass is exposed, even rabid fans turn away in disgust, and America is faced with the calamitous prospect of not having a worthy national champion. This book,SUMBITCH, tells the tale.

- Dooley Doolittle, Chairman of the University of Texas Big Booster Club, copes with Notre Dame's threat to break-up a realigned Big Star Conference.

- Brother Shepherd, semi-evangelical promoter, offers demoralized football followers an alternative: new wine in old bottles, as it were, or maybe vice versa: oldtime interstate football in a new amateur format.

- In the midst of this upheaval and ongoing turmoil, Gaylord Goodhart, a blue-chip high school triple- threat stud, is caught in a bitter recruiting tug o' war between rival sibling coaches ---- A.C. and D.C. Cantwell.

- A girl, Henryetta Hebert, semi-self-appointed reporter for The New York Times, comes to the rescue in and of the epic tale, told in print for the first time ever.

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Featured Book - The Angels' Footpath:  Let's Take This Walk Together by Ronald R. Cooke

angelsfootpath.jpgThis is the compelling story of a 21st century Prophet. The drama unfolds in an era of political oppression and chronic recession. There is talk of revolution. People of faith are being challenged by hostile secular theologies. An infant with a special gift is born into this growing cultural chaos. We follow his life and share his experiences as he discovers the value of love, endures tragedy, encounters conflict, and overcomes persecution. We witness his wonderful transformation and the power of his unique gift. He reveals a contemporary message of faith, demonstrates the reality of spiritual transcendence, and shows us the path to heaven.

Over 40 people read pre-production copies of The Angels’ Footpath. Here is a sample of reader comments:

- I thoroughly enjoyed it.
- The plot is very realistic.
- The characters are quite interesting and easy to connect with.
- This is a very deeply written story.
- I cried: tears of sadness and tears of joy, and I laughed.
- We are drawn into a journey that will strengthen our faith.
- There is an interesting depiction of relationships between individuals, and between groups.
- I am impressed with the multiple story threads and depth of thought.
- It is a very interesting book from the beginning to the last page.
- Angels presents a prescient characterization of America.
- Bringing Christianity into the 21st century is an interesting concept.
- The novel provides much food for thought in its wide ranging scope.
- I was interested to see that you ended your novel not by “The End” but “The Beginning.”

See Our Review

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Recent Reviews

A Bitter Veil by Libby Fischer Hellmann
A Hard Death by Jonathan Hayes
Collateral Damage by H. Terrell Griffin (Review #2)
Death at Willow Creek Mine by J.D. Savid
Devil's Trill by Gerald Elias
Fall of Giants by Ken Follett
For Whom the Funeral Bell Tolls by Livia J. Washburn
Funny Bone Readers from Red Chair Press
Getaway by Lisa Brackmann
Guilt by Association by Marcia Clark (Review #2)
Hurt Machine by Reed Farrel Coleman (Review #2)
Midnight Alley by Miles Corwin (Review #2)
Nemesis by Jo Nesbo (Review #2)
Riley Mack and the Other Known Troublemakers by Chris Grabenstein
Seahawk Burning by Randall Peffer
Simple Shortcut Recipes by Gooseberry Patch
Skip Rock Shallows by Jan Watson
So Pretty It Hurts by Kate White (Review #2)
So Pretty It Hurts by Kate White (Review #3)
Spitfire by Jack DuArte
Sumbitch:  A Tale of Bigtime College Football and a Girl by Simon Plaster
The Angels' Footpath:  Let's Take This Walk Together by Ronald R. Cook
The Bone Yard by Jefferson Bass (Review #2)
The Fallen by Jassy MacKenzie
The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly
The Heart's Frontier by Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith
The Pasta Revolution by Editors at America's Test Kitchen
The Rodeo Man's Daughter by Barbara White Daille
The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura
The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak
To Kill the Duke by Sam Moffie
Train to Nowhere by Colleen Bradford Krantz
Ultimate Victory - Denied by Jim Kenfield
Worst Case by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

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