Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Book Blast: Mystery at Manatee Key by Nancy Stewart

We welcome Nancy Stewart's MYSTERY AT MANATEE KEY Book Blast today!

Author: Nancy Stewart
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Pages: 36
Genre: Children’s Picture Book

Bella and Britt love to explore along the beach and at more remote places like Manatee Key as well.  It is there that they discover a manatee smuggling ring. 

The manatees have already been netted, so the girls must act fast!  But a kidnapper snatches Bella, hustling her into their hideout.  When Britt sneaks a look in the window, she discovers that the ranger is being held, too.  Now it’s up to Britt.  But what can a single girl do?

Mystery at Manatee Key is available at Amazon


Book Excerpt:
A dark animal circled slowly in the shallow water of Manatee Key. Walking closer, Bella whispered. “A baby manatee. And it has a patch of white near its snout.” Britt frowned. “But where’s the mother? It must be hungry. We should tell the ranger.”
“Yeah,” Bella said. “This one’s too young to be without her mom. Let’s go.”
The friends worked their way through the jungle-like brush back to their bicycles. Britt took the lead. “It’s really hot, but we gotta make time.” 
After a twenty minute ride down dusty paths leading to the main road in their coastal town, they reached the ranger station. “It’s quiet in here today,” Bella said.
 The ranger’s assistant glanced up from his reading. “Hi, girls. Can I help you?”
“We need to see the ranger and report an orphaned manatee,” Bella said.
He frowned. “She hasn’t come in today, and that’s not like her. I’ve called her phones. Nobody answered. And no one’s seen her. Have you by any chance?”
“No,” they answered at the same time.
 “Well, it’s a mystery,” he said. “I won’t call the police yet. But I’m getting worried. Now, about that manatee. Can you take me to it?”
 “Sure,” Britt said. “If you can bring us back to town. We rode our bikes here.” He nodded. “Of course.”

Nancy Stewart has been an elementary school teacher and a professor of education.  Having lived in London for ten years, she was a consultant to the University of Cambridge. She is the author of the Bella and Britt series picture books and the authorized biography of Katrina Simpkins, a young girl whose life was forever changed by Winter, the dolphin (Guardian Angel Publishing.)  Her writing of One Pelican at a Time was featured on the PBS special, GulfWatch in 2011.  Nancy’s YA-LGBT novel will be published by Interlude Press autumn of 2017.  She is a member of the Rate Your Story organization as a critique judge.



About the Author

Nancy Stewart has been an elementary school teacher and a professor of education.  Having lived in London for ten years, she was a consultant to the University of Cambridge. She is the author of the Bella and Britt series picture books and the authorized biography of Katrina Simpkins, a young girl whose life was forever changed by Winter, the dolphin (Guardian Angel Publishing.)  Her writing of One Pelican at a Time was featured on the PBS special, GulfWatch in 2011.  Nancy’s YA-LGBT novel will be published by Interlude Press autumn of 2017.  She is a member of the Rate Your Story organization as a critique judge.



Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Cover Reveal: Chemistry of Magic by Patricia Rose

Inside the Book:

Title: Chemistry of Magic
Author: Patricia Rice
Publisher: Book View Cafe
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Ecopy 

A dying viscount, a bookish botanist, and a marriage of convenience that becomes. . . inconvenient. . .

Diagnosed with consumption, Viscount "Devil" Dare knows his days are numbered. With his greedy cousin scheming to throw Dare’s mother and sisters out of their home after his death, he can hardly refuse a mysterious lady’s solution—wedding vows. Her lands would ensure his industrial success—and secure the future for those he loves. 

Bookish botanist Emilia McDowell desperately needs the land she will inherit once she marries. Her gift for the healing arts requires growing and experimenting with herbs if she’s to save lives. When she learns that her funds would benefit handsome Lord Dare, who is said to be dying, she offers a marriage of convenience. 

But if Emilia touches Dare, her dangerous healing gift could kill her. As they learn to love under trying circumstances, Emilia longs to find the courage to be a true wife—until she discovers Dare's plans for her inheritance. Can love and marriage surmount death and betrayal?



With several million books in print and New York Times and USA Today's bestseller lists under her belt, former CPA Patricia Rice writes emotionally-charged contemporary and historical romances which have won numerous awards, including the RT Book Reviews Reviewers Choice and Career Achievement Awards.  

Her books have also been honored as Romance Writers of America RITA® finalists in the historical, regency and contemporary categories.

A firm believer in happily-ever-after for good reason, Patricia Rice is married to her high school sweetheart and has two children. A native of Kentucky and New York, a past resident of North Carolina and St. Louis, Missouri, she currently resides in Southern California, and now does accounting only for herself. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Authors Guild, and Novelists, Inc.


Authors To Watch: William Leibowitz, author of Miracle Man & Win Free Book!

William Leibowitz has been practicing entertainment/media law in New York City for a number of years.  He has represented numerous renowned creative people and many leading intellectual property companies.  William has a Bachelor of Science degree from New York University (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and a law degree from Columbia University.  He lives in the village of Quogue, New York with his wife, Alexandria, and dog, George.

William wrote Miracle Man because of its humanistic and spiritual messages and because he feels that in our current times--when meritless celebrity has eclipsed accomplishment and the only heroes are those based on comic books, the world needs a real hero--and that, of course, is Robert James Austin, the protagonist in Miracle Man.



Author: William Leibowitz
Publisher: Manifesto Media Group
Pages: 385
Genre: Thriller
                       REVERED     REVILED      REMARKABLE

The victim of an unspeakable crime, an infant rises to become a new type of superhero.  Unlike any that have come before him, he is not a fanciful creation of animators, he is real. 

So begins the saga of Robert James Austin, the greatest genius in human history.  But where did his extraordinary intelligence come from?

As agents of corporate greed vie with rabid anti-Western radicals to destroy him, an obsessive government leader launches a bizarre covert mission to exploit his intellect.  Yet Austin’s greatest fear is not of this world.

Aided by two exceptional women, one of whom will become his unlikely lover, Austin struggles against abandonment and betrayal.  But the forces that oppose him are more powerful than even he can understand.

Miracle Man was named by Amazon as one of the Top 100 Novels of 2015, an Amazon Top 10 thriller, an Amazon bestseller and an Amazon NY Times bestseller.  


Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Tell us a little about yourself.
My full-time gig is being a lawyer in the entertainment/media industry.  I’ve always loved the written word and had a sensitivity to language, but in law – it’s non-fiction, of course.  As a writer, I’m interested in fiction.
When did you begin writing?
Miracle Man is my first book.  I’m pleased to say that it’s getting a terrific response from readers.
Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write?
I plot with a detailed outline but the outline is often in flux and is modified.  I find that once I get deep into the writing, ideas come to me that often take me in directions that I did not necessarily anticipate when I did my outline.
Can you tell us about your most recent release?
Miracle Man tells the story of Robert James Austin, the greatest genius in human history (we’re talking 10X Einstein’s brain power), from the time of his birth and tragic childhood through his extraordinary accomplishments in curing diseases.  The book is a psychological/medical thriller with a fast paced twisting plot as Austin battles powerful forces, external and internal, that seek to destroy him. 
How did you get the idea for the book?
I wanted to create a believable modern day ‘super hero’ who is an ‘anti-celebrity’.  I thought that such a person could be inspirational when contrasted with the meritless celebrities that dominate media today (e.g., the reality TV stars who are famous for being famous, but have no real talent).   I also wanted Miracle Man to be the vehicle within which I could convey, in an entertainment context, certain spiritual and humanistic messages that are important to me.  One of the underlying themes in Miracle Man is the sanctity of each and every human life.  As the story of the protagonist unfolds, I think the reader will come to appreciate that one can never predict the ramifications of one person’s death.  Robert James Austin should have died as a new born, but he was saved in the most unlikely of manners; he then went on to change the world in extraordinary ways.  His life was not expendable.  We all are bombarded every day by statistics of death –how many people died in the latest war, or from famine, or epidemic or other manmade or natural cataclysm.  People’s lives are jumbled together by the media as meaningless numbers.  But what I want the reader of Miracle Man to think about ---is the individual.  That’s why Miracle Man begins with the quotation from Scriptures – “To destroy one life is to destroy an entire world, and to save one life is to save an entire world.”
In writing Miracle Man, I also wanted to get readers thinking about a real-life problem that affects us all. One of the powerful forces fighting Bobby Austin is “Big Pharma” which views him as their enemy since he cures diseases and thereby makes many of their “cash-cow” drugs obsolete.  In short, Austin is bad for their business.  Like Austin, I find it incomprehensible that virtually no major disease has been cured in over 50 years.  How can that be the case when so much money has been spent over the decades on research?  Simply put, there’s a lot more money in treating symptoms than there is in curing diseases.  Austin realized that Big Pharma has no interest in curing diseases.  It just wants to keep on selling expensive symptom treatments –and as we know, many people are on expensive ‘medication maintenance programs’ for years, sometimes for life.  Austin wanted to change that.  I think people need to start questioning Big Pharma on many fronts –from the price of drugs -- to why there aren’t more cures.

Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?
My favorite is the protagonist, Robert James Austin.  Unlike him, I’m no genius—but in developing the peculiarities of his character (he’s a complex individual), I was able to imbue him with certain aspects of my personality that work well to make him believable as a flawed individual.  So, despite the disparity between his intelligence and mine, we share certain behavioral traits.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?
 I needed to do extensive research because of the nature of the plot in Miracle Man.  I researched two areas: (1) the nature of human intelligence (particularly genius), and (2) diseases, treatments, attempted cures—and the medical/scientific methodology relevant to formulating cures. Regarding #1 – I researched the lives of actual geniuses so that I could understand how genius manifests itself at various ages –and the behaviors often attendant to genius.  Because Robert James Austin has an intelligence that is unique in human history, I extrapolated from my research and “pumped up” various things about Austin so as to reflect his extraordinary abilities.  So while I highly magnified elements of Austin’s behavior and thought processes –they are grounded in documented realities.  Regarding the medical/scientific aspects of the book, I didn’t want to ask the reader to take giant leaps of faith when reading Miracle Man, so I knew that in order for the story to be credible, it had to have a plausible scientific foundation for the ways in which Austin invented cures and the way that the cures worked.  At the same time, however, I was mindful that I had to minimize the science so that it didn’t bore the reader.
Which authors have inspired your writing?
Michael Cricton, Ken Follet and Daniel Silva.
What projects are you currently working on?
Miracle Man is the first book in a trilogy.  I’m currently writing the second book.
What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?
Be your own toughest critic.  Set your standards high and don’t think you’re done until you know that you’ve done the absolute best that you can.

William R. Leibowitz is giving away one autographed copy of MIRACLE MAN, 5 e-copies and 4 pens!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Ten winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive prizes.
  • This giveaway ends midnight May 31.
Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 17, 2017

Interview with Lauren Joichin Nile, author of Race: My Story & Humanity's Bottom Line

Title: Race: My Story & Humanity’s Bottom Line

Author: Lauren Joichin Nile

Publisher: iUniverse

Pages: 539

Genre: Biography/Memoir

Format: Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON
Lauren Joichin Nile introduces what she believes is humanity’s racial bottom line with a compelling account of her personal experiences growing up in 1950’s and 60’s segregated New Orleans. In so doing, she posits what she believes is humanity’s universal racial story.
Lauren explains how starting out from Southern Africa, fully formed human beings, over thousands of years, walked out of Africa, populated the entire rest of Planet Earth, and over 2,000 generations, physically adapted to their new environments, gradually taking on the appearance of the many races of modern-day humanity, making all of us literally one, biologically-related human family.
She then provides an abbreviated account of some of the most significant events of humanity’s racial history and an explanation of how that history has affected the American racial present. She also analyzes a number of controversial topics, including whether there are truly superior and inferior races.
Finally, Lauren shares what she believes are the specific actions that humanity must take in order to heal from our wretched racial past, realize that across the planet, we all truly can love one another and as a species, walk into a wiser, more empathetic, compassionate human future.

Question 1:  What was the hardest part about writing your book?
Writing the book while working full-time was perhaps my biggest challenge because I had such limited time to devote to it while at the same time, wanting to do nothing but concentrate on it.

Question 2:  Do you have a favorite excerpt from the book?  If so, can you share it?
The following is an excerpt from Chapter I:  “My Racial Memoir:  The Making of a Compassionate Activist”.  It is taken from an article that I wrote for my law school newspaper in 1984.  While I’m not sure that it is my favorite excerpt, it is one which seems to deeply resonates with readers:

I wish that for a day, for just one day, I could make half of America’s white population experience American society as black Americans experience it.  Twenty-four short hours would suffice.  What would they experience during those twenty-four hours?  They would experience the American culture from a perspective which for most, would be shattering, shattering myths, stereotypes, pre-conceived ideas, lies.  Within those brief twenty-four hours, they would gain an awareness of the subtleties of racism of which they otherwise may have remained totally ignorant.  They would ex­perience being the fourth person in a super-market check out line, seeing the three peo­ple ahead of them receive a friendly "hello" from the cashier and they not a word; they would experience white people's assump­tion that they are interested in only “black things", which manifests itself, for exam­ple, in white peoples' questions to them regarding what they think about Jesse Jackson's campaign or Dr. King's birth­day becoming a national holiday, or some other such 'black concern". They would ex­perience what it feels like to have white peo­ple tell them all about the black people whom they have known in the past. They would experience what it feels like to be in a society in which the vast majority of its members harbor an entire set of often un­conscious but nonetheless firmly entrench­ed beliefs and attitudes about them  which are based almost exclusively upon the color of their skin, i.e. that they are less in­telligent than white people and that they lack the full range of human emotion, sensitivi­ty, and sensibilities which white people, by their very birthright, naturally possess - the ability to appreciate nature's beauty, to be touched by a poem, to look up at the stars with awe. In essence, they would experience what it is like to be thought of and respond­ed to as inferior, to lose their individuality, to be responded to as "a black person", to lose their personhood, to be dehumanized. They would no doubt see quite clearly that many white people are totally and utterly unconscious of their preconceived notions about black people. They would see the specific ways in which many white people relate to black people differently from the way in which they relate to other whites, and they would understand, no doubt with far more depth than "real” black Americans, that the ways in which white people relate to them is the result solely of their social conditioning. They would see clearly that most white people are not deliberately or maliciously racist but they would truly and experientially understand that that lack of deliberateness and malice does not alleviate the pain of losing their in­dividuality, their personhood, a big piece of their humanity. They would see clearly that it does not alleviate the pain of being objec­tified, the pain of dehumanization.

I am convinced that it can be fairly safely assumed that most white people, after only half of that day, would probably be driven to cry out, "I’m white! I’m white! This is going to wear off in only twelve hours! I’m white!" Most could simply not take the be­ing classified, being responded to by automatic impulse on the basis of the color of their skin, walking through city streets and just being in society in general with the knowledge that when many white people look at them, they, (white people), see a black per­son first, their gender second, and not much else. With their exclamations, they would in essence be proclaiming and reclaiming their full personhood, their humanity. They would be shouting to the world that they really are “a regular person".

After those twenty-four hours had elaps­ed and the 'black/white" people had returned to their ordinary state, I would love to sit in on a discussion group in which the 'black/white" people try to explain to the inexperienced half of the white persons present what it was like to be black for a day. I would love to listen to them attempt to explain how differently they, the inexperienced half, responded to them (when they responded to them at all) as black people, what it felt like to be denied the common courtesy of a "hello" from a supermarket cashier, to have white people talk to them about 'black things", obvious­ly with the assumption not only that they are interested in nothing else, but also that they probably don’t know much about anything other than "black concerns". I'd like to listen to them try to explain what it felt like to walk into a movie theatre, bookstore, restaurant, classroom, one's work environment. . . and be one of a very few or the only black face present. I would like to hear them describe what it was like to experience the American media and advertising industries as a black person. I would absolutely love to listen to that conversation.

My thirty years of experience as a black American unequivocally inform me that the inexperienced white people would res­pond to their comments and perceptions with total skepticism and even disbelief. They would be utterly unable to hear, to really hear, to listen to the descriptions of the patronizing, rote manner in which the inexperienced white people related to the “black/whites”.  Without actually having liv­ed as a black person for a period of time, albeit a very short one, there is simply no way for the inexperienced whites to unders­tand the experience of being black in the U.S.  Finally, they would for the very first time truly understand that most white people simply do not see the racism in their interactions with black people.

Question 3:  What do you hope readers will take away after reading the book?
My fervent hope is that after reading my book, readers will have a true understanding both that as human beings, we are far more alike than we are different, and that all seven-plus billion human beings on planet Earth are literally one deeply connected human family.

Question 4:  Who or what is the inspiration for the book?
My mother, Mrs. Selina Gray Joichin, whose indescribable love and powerful life lessons of compassion, poise, maturity, dignity, citizenship, deep concern for the less fortunate and hope for a just and compassionate world, have been my foundation throughout my life. Her example continues to inspire me to this day.

The other inspiration behind my book is my sincere passion for helping humanity to mature beyond racism, colorism, sexism, nationalism, classism, ageism, ableism, heterosexism, homophobia, religious bigotry, and all other forms of xenophobia. What deeply inspired me to write it is my passion to educate, and in the process, to open minds and soften hearts.  My greatest wish for my work is that it will help us as human beings to see the Divine in ourselves and ourselves in each other.

Question 5:  Have you had a mentor?  If so, can you talk about them a little?

I actually don’t have a mentor.

Question 6:  I have heard it said in order to be a good writer, you have to be a reader as well?  Do you find this to be rue?  And if you are a reader, do you have a favorite genre and/or author?
I agree that to be a good writer, a writer must read.  I write non-fiction, so not surprisingly, I read non-fiction.  Because I’m interested in many different subject matter areas, I actually don’t have a favorite genre of non-fiction.  For the same reason, I enjoy the writing of many different authors. 

Lauren Joichin Nile is an author, keynote speaker, trainer and licensed attorney who specializes in assisting organizations in increasing their emotional intelligence, compassion, and productivity. The goal of her work with organizations is to help create environments in which understanding and kindness are valued and as a result, every person is equally welcomed and uniformly appreciated irrespective of all demographic differences. The goal of Lauren’s speaking and training in the greater society, is to help the human species grow in both wisdom and compassion.