Soaring with the Wright Brothers: Perseverance and sacrifice elevates everyone

First flight by John T. Daniels

On this day in 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright stood on the wintry dunes of Kill Devil Hills, NC, surrounded by a 30 MPH wind, soon to be the first men to leave the ground through powered flight.

Seven years later, their father Bishop Wright, perched next to Orville for what would be the Bishop’s only aeroplane ride, burst out with, “Higher, Orville, higher!” And higher the Wright Brothers took not only their father, but all of us, showing the world how perseverance, ingenuity, and sacrifice can elevate anyone. So here’s to inventors everywhere, whether they create with wood, metal, or words!

Discover more about the Wright Brothers’ through James Tobin‘s To Conquer the Air and Fred Howard’s Wilbur and Orville: A Biography–both are wonderful reads, nonfiction that which reads like fiction.

 

Hope Perches In My Soul: Happy Birthday, Ms. D

Born on December 10, 1830, Emily Dickinson’s poetry still rings true in a timeless symphony of  beauty and wisdom.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Where Are My Strawberries? Realism in Fiction

HellishHaven_200x300I’m thrilled to have a guest post from L.K. Below , author of Hellish Haven–a dystopian multicultural romance (how’s that for a genre buster?)–from Kensington/Lyrical Press. In the following,  she discusses how even seemingly small decisions when creating a character’s world can take on a larger meaning and come to symbolize an aspect of the character’s desires.

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During the early drafts of Hellish Haven, I based some of the heroine’s likes and dislikes on my own preferences. When I needed a food which would be considered a decadent treat, a food which her husband could hand-feed to her and increase the tension between them, I settled on strawberries. Sweet, juicy, and small enough for Grant to tease over her lips. Not to mention they are among my favorite fruits.

Unfortunately, there are no strawberries in war time. Certainly not in the middle of winter. Think to yourself how hard it is to find good strawberries in December. I constantly sigh and wait for summer, for plump local berries. Eva and Grant wouldn’t be able to scour their local grocery store for produce. When they have made themselves the enemy of the government, they can’t venture into places kept firmly beneath government surveillance. So they have to make do with what they can get.

I had to go back to the drawing board. I thought of produce the rebel forces would be able to grow in their own homes. I erased the strawberries from Eva’s story, no matter that it was her (and my) favorite fruit. I replaced it with greenhouse-grown cherry tomatoes. An infinitely more practical solution.

In a way, that fruit symbolises Eva’s life. Set against a vigilant and ever-present threat, she can’t afford to let down her guard. She can’t afford to indulge in toeing the line, not even to visit an abandoned church set too near the enemy border. She has to be practical, when she wants to live free and unfettered. When I changed even that one small fact from desire to necessity, I thought to myself…

Where are my strawberries?

As an author, I am tied to my characters more closely than to my deepest friends. My characters are a part of me. They are born of my fears, my doubts, my hopes, and my dreams. I have to put my characters through the most heinous struggles in order to give them the happily ever after they deserve. That means taking away the comforts I sometimes take for granted. It means stripping my heroine of everything she knows and loves, even something as simple as her favorite fruit, in order to expose her true strength of character.

Because Eva is strong. She faces death, torture, brainwashing, and the ever-present threat of leaving her son an orphan. She does it to protect her family, her friends, and her freedom. I cringe with every punch doled her way. I cheer every obstacle she crushes beneath her heel.

And I make a promise that once it is all done, once her war has been fought and the book is over, there will always be strawberries.

About the author

L.K. Below grew up in a small town in Ontario, Canada, where her only peek into the wide world was through books. She’s been a bookworm ever since she learned to read, and loves any book with characters and worlds she can lose herself in. She wrote Hellish Haven to take one of her favorite classic books, George Orwell’s 1984, into the modern day…or, in this case, near future. She writes as obsessively as she reads and likes to Tweet about both at @LBelowtheauthor.

Fall Romance Alert: Exposed Passion Leads to a Change of Focus

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Exposed To Passion -Five Senses Book 3 by Gemma Brocato
Kensington Books/Lyrical Press, Inc

They walked through the shadows individually. Will they emerge into the light together?

Leading a vagabond life as a curator for a traveling photography exhibit translates to a lot of bad days for Rikki Salerno. But her trouble doubles when a careless high school student shoves her into a marsh. Being rescued by teacher Sam Kerrigan should have made things better, but Rikki’s inability to confess her true identity casts a shadow over their budding affair.

When Sam refuses an overly aggressive parent’s marriage proposal, she’s determined to ruin him. Not only does she doctor photos to make it look like Sam’s behaved inappropriately in front of students, she hacks the foundation website to reveal Rikki’s true identity. Faster than the blink of a shutter, Rikki’s focus changes from pursuing her full-color future to the black and white necessity of clearing Sam’s name.

Excerpt

“Holy cow! Consider me seduced.” She didn’t recognize her own voice. Desire rasped through it, whispery and thick at the same time. Allowing her finger to slip from the steamy confines of his mouth, he pressed a kiss to her palm, then released his hold. She curled her hand into a fist around the kiss he’d left, hoping to hold onto the heat and lingering sensation.

“Oh, Jesus. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have kissed you like that. It was too fast, wasn’t it? I mean, we only just met…but I thought, I mean, you seemed to want… and you didn’t say no. Christ, I’m so sorry.” Sam’s tone rattled with a misplaced apology. “I have no excuse. I’m a horndog.”

He eased her away from his chest and helped her to sit up, then pushed himself upright and scooted a respectful distance from her.

The apology in his tone and the loss of his body heat hit her like a cold slap. His words stung. He regretted kissing her. The tingly pulses zipping from her fingertip to her heart did nothing to tamp down the hurt. She hadn’t wanted him to stop. Normally the queen of snarky retorts, words failed her now.

Buy: Amazon , Barnes & Noble , iTunes , Kobo , Kensington

About the Author

GemmaGemma’s favorite desk accessories for many years were a circular wooden token, better known as a ’round tuit,’ and a slip of paper from a fortune cookie proclaiming her a lover of words; some day she’d write a book. All it took was a transfer to the United Kingdom, the lovely English springtime, and a huge dose of homesickness to write her first novel. Once it was completed and sent off with a kiss, even the rejections addressed to ‘Dear Author’ were gratifying.

After returning to America, she spent a number of years as a copywriter, dedicating her skills to making insurance and the agents who sell them sound sexy. Eventually, her full-time job as a writer interfered with her desire to be a writer full-time and she left the world of financial products behind to pursue an avocation as a romance author.

Gemma is also the auhor of Cooking Up Love and Hearts In Harmony.

Find her on the Web at: site , Facebook , Twitter , Goodreads , Wattpad , Google

Sin can look an awful lot like heaven… Amen, to that

Juliette Cross weaves demons and dark secrets into page-turning fantasies that will leave readers panting for more. So today I’m thrilled to share the covers for two of her upcoming novels.

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SEALED IN SINTHE VESSEL TRILOGY, BOOK 2
SAMHAIN PUBLISHING, April 21, 2015

Sin can look an awful lot like heaven.

One demon prince may be festering in the bowels of the soul eater Cocytus, but Genevieve’s troubles are far from over. Prince Bamal, demon lord of New York City, still wants her. But this time, he wants her alive, to control her inherent power as a Vessel of Light.

With Jude Delacroix off searching for the prophecy, Thomas—a guardian angel with sea-green eyes and an aura of winter woods—steps into the gap, offering her the power to protect herself.

Yet she hesitates, for the transfer of that power comes through a kiss. While Gen’s love for Jude is true, Thomas stirs a desire where there should be none. Thomas also knows Jude’s darkest secret and plans to use it, if necessary, to win Gen for his own.

While her Vessel power grows and more demon spawn creep from every dark corner of the world, one thing is certain—the Great War between the angels and demons is quickly approaching. And Gen is in a race against time to awaken her full power before the storm breaks.

Warning: Contains a demon hunter with dark secrets, a sexy angel with ulterior motives, and demonic creatures running amok.

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BOUND IN BLACKTHE VESSEL TRILOGY, BOOK 3
SAMHAIN PUBLISHING, July 21, 2015

In the belly of the beast, strategy is useless.

Genevieve Drake is on a dangerous mission to find the soul collector, Lethe, and enter the deepest, darkest level of the underworld. No one has ever returned alive from the belly of a soul collector, but she will let nothing stop her from going after the precious treasure Lethe stole from her.

As she is tested against demon spawn and foul creatures of the underworld, each triumph strengthens her Vessel power—and drags her closer to a breaking point that could forever doom her to the abyss.

Meanwhile, with the full prophecy hurtling toward completion, the Dominus Daemonum strategize for the day Gen will battle Prince Bamal’s Vessel to the death, when the Great War between heaven and hell will begin.

But Bamal has a secret weapon. When he reveals it—and Thomas reveals his own hidden agenda—Gen may not have the strength to resist the temptation to fall into darkness, forsaking the fate of the world for her broken heart.

Warning: Contains malicious demons, sinister spawn, and a vengeful heroine with plans to send them all back to burning hell.


Juliette calls lush, moss-laden Louisiana home where the landscape curls into her imagination, creating mystical settings for her stories. She has a B.A. in creative writing from Louisiana State University, a M.Ed. in gifted education, and was privileged to study under the award-winning author Ernest J. Gaines in grad school. Her love of mythology, legends, and art serve as constant inspiration for her works. From the moment she read “Jane Eyre” as a teenager, she fell in love with the Gothic romance—brooding characters, mysterious settings, persevering heroines, and dark, sexy heroes. Even then, she not only longed to read more novels set in Gothic worlds, she wanted to create her own.

Visit her on the web: Blog , Facebook , Twitter , Pinterest , Goodreads , and sign up for her newsletter .

CWTR*: Betrayal lies cloaked in shadow

Reluctanct Prince

Reluctant Prince – Kingdom of Cymmera Book One

by Dani-Lyn Alexander

Seventeen year old Ryleigh Donnovan is certain her life is cursed. Nothing ever goes smoothly, and her first job interview is no exception. An earthquake rocks the building, sending Ryleigh on a frantic search for her younger sister, a search which lands her in the hospital. Terrified they’ll push her for answers she can’t afford to give, Ryleigh flees with a mysterious stranger.

Jackson Maynard is about to be ordained as a Death Dealer, a warrior for the Kingdom of Cymmera, but first he must pass one more test. When he fails to acquire the human girl the prophet has chosen, he’s forced to stand trial for treason. Banished from his realm, he seeks out the girl from the vision, Ryleigh Donnovan, and together they embark on a journey to save his dying kingdom.

Buy at: Amazon  , Barnes and Noble , Kensington ,Kobo

Excerpt

Jackson clutched the stone wall of his chamber and gasped for air. What had just happened? He had returned to Cymmera, of that he was certain, but how? He hadn’t accessed the gateway. At least he didn’t remember opening it. A vision of her assailed him, beat at him, reminded him that he’d failed.

Oh, man. He was in trouble. He pushed away from the wall.

Images of his target taunted him.

He shoved a chair aside and tore through the pictures scattered across the table in a desperate search for salvation. There. He pulled the shot from the mess but found only condemnation. The long blond hair flowing behind her in the snapshot had not been visible to him, but there was no mistaking the deep blue of her eyes.

The pounding of a fist against the heavy wood door released him from whatever spell she’d cast.

“Jackson.” Another loud thud punctuated his name.

He struggled to get his bearings, tried to slow the racing of his heart. “Yeah, one minute.”

“Now. Your father wants to see you, immediately.”

Kai, his father’s most trusted warrior. He was in more trouble than he’d originally thought. Was it possible the king would sentence him to death for ignoring a direct order? Surely not without offering him a fair trial, or at least granting him the opportunity to explain. But what could he say? What explanation could there be for failing to deliver the girl? None.

“I won’t knock again.” The warrior would soon break down the door and drag him before the throne.

He crumpled the offending photo, the evidence of his disgrace, into a ball. Instead of tossing it in the trash as he’d intended, he shoved it into the small leather satchel he wore at his waist. With a deep breath, he released the latch and pulled open the door.

“Come.” Kai turned his back on him and strode purposefully down the corridor, their footfalls echoing through the silence of accusation.

The thought of escape taunted him, but he would never make it out of the castle. He had only recently completed his warrior training under Kai’s watch and would be no match for the seasoned soldier. Besides, Kai was a stickler for the rules. If he tried to run, the warrior would surely take him down, protégé or not.

Dani-Lyn AlexanderBio

Dani-Lyn Alexander lives on Long Island with her husband, three kids and three dogs. She loves spending time with her family, at the beach, the playground, or just about anywhere. In her spare time, which is rare, she enjoys reading and shopping—especially in book stores. Some of her favorite things include; Bernese Mountain Dogs, musicals, bubble baths and soft blankets. She’s an incurable insomniac and has an addiction to chocolate.

Find her at:  Website , Facebook , Twitter .

CWTR: No, it’s not an acronym for an arcane operating system or a clandestine bureaucracy; rather, it’s my shorthand for new books I Can’t-Wait-To-Read (CWTR).

Cover Reveal: Call Sign Karma – Mystery and Romance Soar

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Today is the cover reveal for CALL SIGN KARMA by debut author Jamie Rae. This book will be released January 5th, 2015. Be sure to check out the teasers and rafflecopter below.

 

Click here to ADD THE BOOK TO GOODREADS

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BOOK BLURB:

Love in the no-fly zone…

Distraught over the loss of her brother in a fighter jet accident, Tinklee Pinkerton decides to follow in his footsteps and prove the tragedy wasn’t his fault. But when she’s chosen as the first woman to fly the Air Force’s F-35, her plan for a life that revolves around work is thrown off course by a handsome, mysterious stranger…

Thanks to Locke’s seductive British accent, sweet nature, and one too many beers, Tink is soon inspired to throw caution to the wind and herself into his arms. She thinks maybe love can heal after all—until she discovers Locke is her superior officer. Tink has no problem risking her life in the air, but with everything on the line, is she brave enough to risk her heart on the ground?

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

JamieRaeAuthor Information:

JAMIE RAE is a New Adult and Young Adult author. She writes with one goal in mind–create stories with a positive message that will stay with the reader long after they’ve finished reading.

Jamie is an avid reader and loves discovering stories with a great hook, though she will not eat, sleep, or speak until she reaches the end. The Harry Potter years weren’t pretty!! Convinced that her Hogwarts letter was lost in the mail, she keeps a watchful eye for owls hoping her children will have better luck!

In her other life, Jamie Rae is an orthodontist, and literary agent. She keeps her heart overflowing with love as a mother of three and has perfected the art of nomadic living as a military spouse and Air Force veteran. Jamie has a passion for critters of all shapes and sizes and you can often find her sneaking them into her own home or volunteering for rescues.

AUTHOR LINKS:
Website: https://www.jamieraewrites.com/
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/JamieRaeAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JamieRaeWrites
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8295257.Jamie_Rae

 

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