Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Mary Maddox's Darkroom tour with Novel Publicity


 Welcome to another exciting tour with Novel Publicity. Today I'd like to share with you my thoughts on the newest novel from Mary Maddox, and don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter! It has some unique and super fun prizes including a photo essay book, gift card and signed books! There's also a release week sale on, so grab your copy of Darkroom before the price goes up!

Grab your copy of Darkroom for only 99c!

Enter for a chance to win great prizes below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Books

There’s plenty of room for another grave in the mountains . . . Talented but unstable photographer Day Randall has been living rent-free in Kelly Durrell’s Colorado condo for eight months. Day needs someone to keep an eye on her. Kelly needs someone to draw her out of her stable but not spectacular life. The arrangement works for both of them. Then Kelly comes home one day to find Day gone. There’s no note, no phone call. Day’s car is still parked out front, but her room is starkly, suspiciously spotless. No one seems to care. The police certainly aren’t interested in a missing bipolar artist, but Kelly knows something is wrong. Day wouldn’t just leave. Alone, Kelly traces Day’s last steps through shadowy back rooms of Boulder nightclubs and to a remote mountain estate, where the wealthy protect themselves behind electric fences and armed guards. Along the way, she uncovers a sinister underworld lying just below the mountain snow, and a group of powerful people who will do anything to protect the secrets hidden in Day’s enigmatic photographs. If she trusts the wrong person, Kelly herself will be the next to disappear.

 “. . . tight, compelling, and convincing writing that is also witty and insightful." — Jon A. Jackson, author of Hit on the House and No Man’s Dog

“I couldn’t put this novel down. Darkroom is suspenseful and beautifully written. Kelly Durrell is a deftly-drawn, intelligent, and likable heroine.” — Daiva Markelis, author of White Field, Black Sheep: A Lithuanian-American Life

“. . . unexpected plot twists and suspenseful action. The murder mystery is dark and menacing, and the characters are multi-faceted.” — RT Source

  amazon.com 
   Mary Maddox is a horror and dark fantasy novelist with what The Charleston Times-Courier calls a "Ray Bradbury-like gift for deft, deep-shadowed description." Born in Soldiers Summit, high in the mountains of Utah, Maddox graduated with honors in creative writing from Knox College, and went on to earn an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. She taught writing at Eastern Illinois University and has published stories in various journals, including Yellow Silk, Farmer's Market, The Scream Online, and The Huffington Post. The Illinois Arts Council has honored her fiction with a Literary Award and an Artist's Grant.  

      a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Bipolar Millionaire

Title: The Bipolar Millionaire
Author: John E. Wade
Publisher: Sunbury Press
Pages: 164
Genre: Memoir
John E. Wade II, retired CPA, author, investor, television producer, and philanthropist, reveals in his memoir, The Bipolar Millionaire, his personal struggle with bipolar disorder and how he has succeeded in living a balanced and blessed life, despite his mental illness.

Wade takes the reader through his family experiences, political aspirations and beliefs, spiritual journey, relationship trials and errors, all while battling mental illness.

Through his religious beliefs, personal perseverance, and the help of friends, family, and his mental health professionals, Wade lives an active, creative, and successful life.

His memoir doesn’t end with contentment at achieving a balance in his life, however. Instead, Wade expresses a determined vision for the future, aiming to assist humanity in what he describes as achieving heaven on earth through his writing, political and spiritual endeavors.

For More Information


My Impressions: 

Bipolar Millionaire is a personal memoir of John Wade, III  that he has written to bring light to a delicate subject that is often taboo to talk about, mental illness.  In his memoir John speaks of struggles with in family structure, his work, personal life and community that have all been deeply impacted by his struggle with bipolar disorder. More importantly though, in my opinion, John opens himself up on a deeper spiritual level and lets the reader in on his own spiritual awakening and impact that this disease has had on his life. From prayers, insight from the Lord and his own revelations John has learned that having a disability does not have to hinder you, but can be the very thing that God uses as your personal testimony to help others and to lead people to Him.


Although for me personally, the book was a little dry and difficult to read at times, the complete willingness of the author to be so transparent kept me engaged. John ask a questions I think we have all come to ask at some point in our lives-why me? Why this particular struggle, why now? Everyone’s answer to that question will be different, but ultimately the Lord works in mysterious ways and we each have to be ready to use our gifts and talents to bring glory to Him. John may not have gotten the answer he desired, but he did come to the understanding that his struggle can be used to help others and by sharing his very personal and profound story he does his part in bringing awareness to mental illness and hopefully to help shed some of the negative stigma associated with those who suffer from this disease. Your illness does not have to define you, God defines you and John reminds his readers of that throughout this book.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via PumpUpYourBooks in exchange for my honest opinion, which I have given. 



About the Author
I was born in Decatur, Alabama, grew up in Georgia and Mississippi, and have lived in New Orleans for many years.  After high school, I attended the Air Force Academy for a few months until I received an honorable medical discharge resulting from a severe case of meningitis and my first experience with bipolar disorder. Eventually I enrolled at the University of Georgia, where I received a BBA and MA, was named the most outstanding senior accounting student, and served as president of Beta Alpha Psi, the accounting honor society. I worked in accounting for nearly thirty years, in both the private sector and eventually for the federal government.

I began writing in 1998, and my first book-length work, Focus Investing, was purchased by John E. Wiley & Sons, but never published, because of changing market conditions. Still, I had discovered the joy of writing and have since produced many essays, blogs, and books.  Deep Within My Heart is a published book containing many of my earliest essays.

My next book project was conceiving and compiling How to Achieve a Heaven on Earth, a collection of essays from 101 other individuals–from world leaders to Nobel and Pulitzer prize winners–about the ten elements of Heaven on Earth as I conceived of them at that time (peace, security, freedom, democracies, prosperity, racial harmony, spiritual harmony, ecological harmony, health, as well as moral purpose and meaning–at the urging of my local editor, Charlotte L. Piotrowski, who pushed for “gender equality,” I have sense added “gender harmony” to the list of ten elements).  I am especially proud of this work and hope it inspires humankind for generations.
In 2012, Ronald Reagan’s Wisdom for the Twenty-First Century was published, which excerpts some of Reagan’s most insightful and articulate quotations from before, during, and even after his presidency, coupled with commentary highlighting the ways in which Reagan’s wisdom is as relevant as ever. Then, in 2014, Glimpses of Heaven on Eartha book of inspiring quotations and insightful essays by four other co-authors and me, was published. This book won the 2014 Living Now Book Awards bronze metal in Social Activism/Charity. My most recent literary project is The Bipolar Millionaire, my deeply personal memoir.

In 2006, I founded the charity Soldiers of Love, which encourages and enables ordinary citizens to work toward a better world. Soldiers of Love partners with other charities with similar goals, both in the local New Orleans community and beyond.  In 2011 I began producing the television series that also relates to the the goal of Heaven on Earth.

I am passionate about travel and have visited China, India, Egypt, Israel, Syria, Jordan, Brazil, Argentina, much of Europe, Costa Rico, the Caribbean including Cuba, as well as much of North America.  Some of these trips have been spiritual journeys and mission trips. I enjoy learning about other cultures and my travels inspire my writing and philanthropy. I am equally passionate about my adopted hometown.  I enjoy New Orleans’ unique food, architecture, and music, as well as Saints football games.  I also cheer on the Bulldogs–The University of Georgia, which I attended, and Mississippi State University, where the Davis Wade Stadium was named after my father.

For More Information
 

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander

Since her twin brother, Eddie, drowned five years ago, sixteen-year-old Elsie Main has tried to remember what really happened that fateful day on the beach. One minute Eddie was there, and the next he was gone. Seventeen-year-old Tay McKenzie is a cute and mysterious boy that Elsie meets in her favorite boathouse hangout. When Tay introduces Elsie to the world of freediving, she vows to find the answers she seeks at the bottom of the sea.


My Impression

This was an interesting book. The book is set in Scotland and told through the point of view of  16 year old Elsie. It is based around a twin, Elsie,  who has lost her brother in a drowning accident when they were little and her ability to remember the events of that day and him. There is alot going on in this book from mental health issues, bullying, to eating disorders, trauma and family dysfunction.  There were so many times I wanted to scream at the characters for not taking action that it was frustrating and captivating all at once. The book has several plot twists that I don't want to give away, but at the end everything pulls together and your like AAHHH OK, makes sense. Great read and easy to recommend. 


Disclaimer: 
I would like to thank Netgalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

The English Boys

Tears of the Silenced



We're thrilled to be hosting Misty Griffin's TEARS OF THE SILENCED Book Blast today!  Pick up your copy!








Title: Tears of the Silenced
Author: Misty Griffin
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 444
Genre: Biography/Memoir

One freezing morning in early March I made a dash for a tiny police station in rural Minnesota. I was a frightened Amish girl with no where to go, a second grade education and no ID or social security card...... Based on the authors tragic true life story.

When I was six years old my family started to live and dress like the Amish. My sister and I were kept as slaves on a mountain ranch where we were subjected to almost complete isolation, sexual abuse and extreme physical violence. My step-father kept a loaded rifle by the door at all times and we were to terrified to try to escape. We knew that no rescue would ever come because only a couple of people even knew we existed and they did not know us well enough to care.
In my late teens my parents feared we would escape and took us to an Amish community where we were adopted and became baptized members. I was devastated to once again find myself in a world of fear, animal cruelty and sexual abuse. Going to the police was forbidden. A few years later I was sexually assaulted by the bishop, I knew I had to get help and one freezing morning in early March I made a dash for a tiny police station in rural Minnesota. When I refused to recant my police report I was excommunicated from the Amish and found myself plummeted into the strange modern world with only a second grade education and no ID or social security card.
To all abuse survivors out there, please be encouraged, the cycle of abuse can be broken. Today, ten years later, I am a nursing student working towards my Masters degree and a child abuse awareness activist. This is my story.......

For More Information

  • Tears of the Silenced is available at Amazon.


Book Excerpt:



I walked through the front door of the tiny police station and went over to a heavy wood counter, where a middle-aged policewoman sat at a computer. She looked up as I stood there, watching her. I saw a surprised look on her face as she stared back at me. I imagined I was very different from the people who normally walked up to her desk.
I was a young Amish woman, just a little over five feet tall, wearing an almost ankle-length, plain, teal-colored dress and apron, followed by knee-length black socks and black shoes. My coat was a homemade denim coat with a high collar and hooks and eyes going down the front. On my head was a stiff white Amish kapp that covered nearly all my reddish-brown hair and was tied in a small bow under my chin.

I was shaking as I stood there, looking at the woman. I tried to get up enough courage to say something, I knew I was going to be shunned by the Amish church for what I was doing. I could not speak. The thought of being shunned was terrifying but I did not know what else to do. My whole body was trembling....

About the Author





When Misty left the Amish she had a bare second grade education and suffered severe PTSD caused by the horrifying abuse she suffered as a child and later at the hands of the Amish bishop. Today, ten years later she is a nursing student, wife and a Child abuse/Sexual assault awareness activist.
For More Information


 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Nicene Creed

Nicene Creed


I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

How to Thrive in the Church When You’re Misunderstood

How to Thrive in the Church When You’re Misunderstood


I don’t fit the Christian norm. I’m thirty-four, single, and working on my fourth degree. Not exactly a Proverbs 31 woman. Life took a different route than I’d planned and sometimes, especially in Christian circles, I feel out of place. I’m not the only one, though. I have a gay friend who’s chosen celibacy and two others who’ve opted for heterosexual marriage. Then there’s the single mom, the childless couple, and the guy who’s unemployed. 

Most conservative churches have a definition of “normal” that my friends and I can’t live up it up. It can leave us feeling confused and isolated, because most of us didn’t choose our unorthodox demographics, we just found our lives playing out on the single, gay, childless, artistic, or job-wandering stage.

Tattoo guy stairsPhoto courtesy of Michael Furtig via unsplash.com

So, how do we navigate life in the church when we don’t quite fit in? During the last decade, I discovered four secrets to thriving in the church even when I’m misunderstood.


1. Remember that misfits make up the church.

While some versions of American Christianity imply that church is only for families with 2.2 kids, God disagrees. His started his church with a bunch of misfits — uneducated fisherman, social outcasts (a tax collector, demon possessed woman, etc.), and one terrorist named Saul.

As the church spread to places like Corinth, it picked up adulterers, people in same-sex relationship, drunkards, and thieves. “And that is what some of your were,” Paul wrote to them, “but you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11). Not only that, later in the same letter Paul suggested that, when it comes to serving Jesus, singles have the edge on married folks (7:38).

So, when we feel like we’re not “church material,” we need visit the New Testament again. No matter how unconventional our lives or how dark our past, we’re just the kind of people Jesus wants in his church.  


2. Find someone to be vulnerable with.

Conversations can get awkward when your life doesn’t follow the usual path. Well meaning people — straight folks, people with kids, or with great jobs — can say things that leave us feeling dumb, hurt, and angry. We can get focused on doing whatever it takes to avoid another awkward conversation, pulling out plastic smiles and superficial answers or sneaking out of church before the service ends. Maintaining a safe distance, though, can leave us feeling lonely. We need to find someone who is safe and be vulnerable with them.

If someone seems sympathetic and open-minded, we need to put in the work of getting to know them and risk being vulnerable; not all at once, but little bits at a time. As we start to verbalize all the messy contradictions of being single, gay, childless, or jobless, we’ll feel less alone. We’ll have someone to call on the gut-wrenching days, on the fabulous days, and on the days where we want to turn our backs on God. Being a member of Jesus’ church means that we “rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15). Not everyone may be able to do that for us, but we need to find at least one person who will.


3. Pray honest prayers.

Too often, we limit our prayers to safe subjects, like the rain, stomach bugs, and busy schedules. We offer God a flimsy version of life while we crumble on the inside, or we stop praying altogether. I’m not sure where we got the idea that God wants our prayers dressed up in a Sunday suit and tie. Jesus didn’t pray that way. Even when he knew the outcome, he begged God to change his mind, pleading so hard that he drenched himself in sweat. David didn’t pray that way, either. He told God to attack his enemies and accused him of neglect and abandonment, and these prayers got recorded in the Bible.

God knows how hard it is, not fitting into a mold. He sees when we ache be different, when life feels too heavy us, or when we’re angry at him for not intervening, and he invites us to wrestle with him. Being brutally honest with God might feel dangerous or unspiritual, but God wants our truthfulness (Psalm 51:6).


4. Find someone to love.

We might feel alone in our singleness, same-sex attraction, infertility, or unemployment, but we aren’t. There are other Christians hurting just like us, feeling disenfranchised from the church, and they need to know that Jesus loves misfits, too. They need someone to be vulnerable with, someone who will tell them that God wants their honest prayers. Our pain, if we’re willing to look past it, can be a gift to them. 


While we might not fit the norm, we’re exactly what Jesus wants for his family. He chooses the most unlikely people for his church and that’s good to remember when we’re misunderstood. It also helps to find someone we can be vulnerable with, to pray honest prayers, and to love someone else who needs it just as much as we do. After all, Jesus was celibate, childless, and misunderstood, and he’s the one we’re following.

* This piece first appeared on ConvergeMagazine.com.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Unashamed: Overcoming the Sins No Girl Wants to Talk About

Are you living in silent shame, hiding a “secret sin”? Maybe you numb life’s pain with a bottle, razor blade, or sex. Maybe you “binge and purge” or act on feelings for other girls. Whatever your “secret”―shocking or not―if you’re trapped by it, you’re trapped by it. And chances are you’re not getting help because you’re too scared of what people would think if they found out.

Unashamed breaks the silence about the sins girls think they have to hide. With daring and a touch of humor, author Jessie Minassian shares her own story of struggle and victory. God longs for you to live in the freedom He died for!

So whether you’re caught in a cycle of sin yourself or just want to know how to help the silent sufferers all around you, let this book be the beginning of your journey toward health, healing, and freedom in His love for you.

My Impression: 

This is a must read book for all pre-teens and teenagers. I would say only for girls, but honestly I think boys would benefit just as well from erasing these negative images from their minds too.  I know far too well about how your own negative self thoughts can destroy you from the inside out. Learning how to counter those thoughts with healthy, truthful ones can be difficult for alot of people, especially young girls. My daughter suffered in silence and turned to self harm and suicide attempts as a means to cope. She was struggling with her identity in Christ versus who she felt Christ made her to be. Her secret and feeling ashamed of it almost cost us the one thing we can never replace..her.  I let her read this book with me and we were both in tears on so many occasions from just being able to relate.  The reality is so many of us struggle with the same crippling sin, if we would only learn to talk about it and defeat the stigma's associated with it our girls would be benefit greatly.  I loved the open, honest and straight forward approach this author took in telling her story so other girls can feel freedom to tell their story.

About the Author: 
JESSIE MINASSIAN loves Jesus, sunshine, and sand between her toes. She's a speaker, author of a handful of books, and the resident "big sis" at LifeLoveandGod.com, a popular website for teen girls. A native Californian, Jessie now lives near Denver, Colorado, with her husband and two daughters.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Yours Truly, 2095


Yours Truly, 2095
by c
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GENRE: Time Travel Romance

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BLURB:

Jeff Blue - the victim of a time-travel conspiracy - wakes up trapped in the year 2095. The only familiar face is J0, a robotic copy of the wife he left behind in 1981. But can she be trusted? J0 could be the only key to unlock Jeff's journey home, but it will require her to do something against her programming , something human.

During Jeff's perilous journey through the future, he will have to discover the truth about J0's origins, and solve the mystery behind how he wound up in 2095, in order to uncover the reality of his own destiny.

Armed with a one-way ticket to the moon, Jeff must race against the clock to seize what might be his last chance to return home to his time. A time without hover cars, Justice Computers, or TeleSkins - a time over 100 years ago.

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GIVEAWAY

Brian will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour,



Enjoy an EXCERPT:


Kelly led the way to the top of the stairs as her husband sat at the poker table to appease his guests. When we reached the second floor, I could hear one of their daughters singing from a bedroom.

“Someday I won’t be anybody—I’ll just be the sky …”

It was very prophetic and, yet, very sad.

“Mama?”

“Yes, Mimi?”

“Who’s here?”

“Mr. Blue. He lived in this house before us. He just wanted to see it again,” Kelly answered.

Mimi scuffled out into the hallway to greet us. My heart almost stopped in my chest. She looked at me suspiciously as soon as she saw me in the hallway.

“Mama, this is the man who gave me the flower today!”

Mimi ran back into her room to grab her daisy. Kelly looked at me with curious eyes. I could sense J0 make the connection between Mimi’s flower and the flowers that I had brought home earlier. Out of my peripheral vision, I saw her turn and glare at me. I realized that explaining the situation to Mimi’s mother was probably more important than J0’s impending wrath.

“Jeff, were you the one who gave Mimi that flower? She told me that some guy stopped to watch her and her friends play soccer, and then he gave all the girls a flower. My first reaction was to call the police and let the Justice Computer handle the situation.”

“I’m sorry if I scared you, Kelly,” I began. “I had just come from the mall after buying daisies for Julie. I was trying to find this house before I went home, but I could only remember the street name, not the address. I saw Mimi and her friends playing, and I was just trying to be friendly. I didn’t mean any harm.”

I hoped that my answer would satisfy both Kelly and J0 at the same time, so I wouldn’t have to face J0’s asperity once we got back to the hover car.

“That’s so sweet,” Kelly said. “You can’t even accept a nice gesture anymore without suspicion these days, it seems. It’s sad, really, when you think about it.”

Although I was relieved that Kelly seemed satisfied with my explanation, I was sure that J0 was going to interrogate me later, especially since the ELO device hadn’t tracked me going anywhere near West Winter Street.

“Did you thank Mr. Blue?” Kelly asked her daughter.

“Yes, Mama.”

“You have a sweet girl,” J0 commented.

I shot J0 a quizzical look. I couldn’t quite decipher if she was just being tactful to keep up appearances while we were inside the Kaminskis’ house. I was even more frightened that I was going to be berated once we left.
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Brian Paone was born and raised in the Salem, Massachusetts area. An award winning author, his love of writing began through the medium of short stories at the young age of twelve. After almost 20 years of consistently writing short stories for only his friends and family to read, Brian's first full-length novel was published in 2007, and he has published two more since then. Brian is married to an Officer in the US Navy, and they have 3 children. Brian is a Police Officer for the St. Mary's GA Police Department and has been working in Law Enforcement since 2002. He is also a self-proclaimed roller coaster junkie, and his favorite color is burnt-orange.

www.BrianPaone.com
www.facebook.com/BrianPaonesNovels
@PaoneBrian

Links to buy:
www.BrianPaone.com/yours-truly-2095  (personal)
http://www.amazon.com/Yours-Truly-2095-Brian-Paone-ebook/dp/B00YFLORGS/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8 (Amazon
http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Yours-Truly-2095-Audiobook/B00ZJJHYVA/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1453389160&sr=1-1 (audible)

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