Tuesday, February 25, 2020

5 Questions with Paul Midden, Author of 'Riley'



Paul Martin Midden is the author of five previous novels, each of which explores different writing styles. He practiced clinical psychology for over thirty years. Paul’s interests include historic restoration, travel, fitness, and wine tasting. He and his wife Patricia renovated an 1895 Romanesque home in 1995 and continue to enjoy urban living.
Q: What’s inside the mind of an adult fiction author?
A: Most importantly, I think, is a desire to create something. Something that has not been done before, at least not in the way I would do it. Then there is the desire to create characters and let the lives of these characters unfold. For me, this means not overplanning my work or worrying too much about how they will turn out. Once a book is populated with believable characters, events take on a life of their own. It’s a matter of suspending left-brain thinking and respecting the characters that have been created.
Q: Tell us why readers should buy Riley?
A: For those who are interested in how relationships work (or not) in contemporary American life, this book would be of especial interest. It would also appeal to readers who sympathize with normal, even typical, people and how they navigate their lives in often difficult situations. The characters are not meant to be idealized versions of humans; they are living, breathing, mistake-making humans. Like all of us.
Q: What makes a good general fiction book?
A: The writing must be appealing and readily understood. Beyond that, the virtues of a good novel are clarity, candor, and representing the world as it is. Authenticity on the part of the characters is essential to a compelling read.
Q: Where can readers find out more about you and your work?
A: My website at http://www.paulmidden.com
Q: What has writing taught you?
A: Writing fiction enables me to reach beyond the everyday world to create something that reflects that world and allows me, and, it is to be hoped, the reader, to see it in another way, from another perspective. It has deepened my appreciation of the complicated issues that we humans struggle with. It has also taught me the importance of letting events unfold, listening to the characters as they come alive on the page, and developing a greater perspective on life and relationships. And mostly it has taught me to savour the precious human experience.
////////////////////////////////////


Author: Paul Martin Midden
Publisher: Wittmann Blair Publishing


About the Book:

Riley, a young writer, finally divorces her husband and begins a novel about a fictional couple in conflict. Supported by her best friend, Jennifer, she begins her life of freedom. In a complicated turn of events, she meets and beds Edward, a shy young man who falls for her instantly. She does not want to continue the relationship, however, and her refusal lays the groundwork for a series of dangerous events. Her conflicts and those of her characters play out in this psychologically intriguing story.

Book Spotlight: The Turkish Affair by J. Arlene Culiner




THE TURKISH AFFAIR
By J. Arlene Culiner
Romance

Love and Danger at the ancient Hittite site of Karakuyu

Priceless artifacts are disappearing from the ancient Hittite site of Karakuyu in Turkey, and the site director has vanished. Called in to solve the mystery, archaeologist Renaud Townsend is hindered by both his inability to speak the language and the knowledge that the local police are corrupt. His attraction to translator Anne Pierson is immediate, although he is troubled by her refusal to talk about the past and her fear of public scandal. But when murder enters the picture, both Anne and Renaud realize that the risk of falling in love is not the only danger.

Praise:

Author J. Arlene Culiner does not disappoint in this fast-paced novel, The Turkish Affair. Glittering descriptions, magical settings, and enviable characters bring the solemn grounds of Turkey to life as we are planted firmly in an archeological dig in Karakuyu, Turkey. Culiner's mastery of the English language and sentence combinations form an enchanting read. The Turkish Affair is a must-read for all lovers of romance and adventure.
--Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite


Order Below:

Amazon → https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0823B18Z3

 Barnes & Noble → https://tinyurl.com/yx2lyg6v






A delicious breeze tickled the air, and the little boat rocked gently. A fine line appeared between Renaud’s brows, and his blue eyes were, once again, serious. “I need your help.”
Anne stared. “My help? With what? Translating?”
“No. With something else. I have to find out who is behind the thefts at Karakuyu.”
The feeling of dread returned, but she forced herself to sound casual. “How could I possibly help you with that?”
“I don’t know.” He sighed. “I just don’t want to feel that I’m alone in this.”
What could she say to that? Tell him she was the last person he should team up with? That long ago, she’d escaped arrest by the skin of her teeth? If she did so, this splendid moment would be over. The silver-foil glimmer of romance would be tarnished forever. He’d row back to shore, drive back to G├╝lkale, get rid of her as quickly as possible.
“Anne?” He reached out to caress her bare arm. “Come back from wherever you are.”
“You know nothing about me,” she said jaggedly.
“Nothing,” he agreed.
She swallowed. “I could be involved in the thefts for all you know. Why ask for my help? Why choose me?”
He smiled faintly. “A good question. I suppose, quite simply, I need—or want—to trust you.”
She felt utterly miserable. Why was life always like this? Wanting someone and not being able to have them? Wanting trust, but seeing it snatched away before it came close?










Writer, photographer, social critical artist, musician, and occasional actress, J. Arlene Culiner, was born in New York and raised in Toronto. She has crossed much of Europe on foot, has lived in a Hungarian mud house, a Bavarian castle, a Turkish cave-dwelling, on a Dutch canal, and in a haunted house on the English moors. She now resides in a 400-year-old former inn in a French village of no interest and, much to local dismay, protects all creatures, especially spiders and snakes. She particularly enjoys incorporating into short stories, mysteries, narrative non-fiction, and romances, her experiences in out-of-the-way communities, and her conversations with strange characters.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jarlene.culiner

 


http://www.pumpupyourbook.com
 

Monday, February 24, 2020

Book Feature: Failure to Protect by Pamela Samuels Young




Failure To Protect
Pamela Samuels Young

Mystery/Legal Thriller

When the classroom is no longer a safe space for her child, the outraged mother of a bullied nine-year-old is determined to seek justice for her daughter. An ambitious school principal, however, is far more concerned about protecting her career than getting to the truth. She flat out denies any knowledge of the bullying and prefers to sweep everything under the rug. But just how low will she go?

When the mother’s two hard-charging female attorneys enter the picture, they face more than an uphill battle. As the case enters the courtroom, the women fight hard to expose the truth. But will a massive coverup hinder their quest for justice?


EXCERPT

Chapter 1
 "Please, Uncle Dre, let me stay home with you today. Can you homeschool me? Please!"
 Dre stroked his goatee and laughed. "Unfortunately, I'm not smart enough to homeschool you or anybody else."
 "I'm serious," Bailey pleaded, her face twisted in terror. "Please don't make me go!"
 As his Jeep inched along behind the long line of cars dropping off kids in front of Parker Elementary School, Dre peered over his shoulder at the cute little girl sitting in his back seat. Bailey's stress level was way too high. She'd had a few run-ins with a bully at her old school, but he assumed the transfer to Parker had fixed everything.
 "What's going on? Why don't you want to go to school?"
 Bailey hugged her book bag to her chest as if it were a life raft. "I just don't."
 "C'mon, talk to me. Is somebody bothering you here too?"
 After a long beat, Bailey slowly bobbed her head.
 Dre had purposely used the word bothering, not bullying. He was tired of hearing all the hoopla about bullies. Kids getting picked on was nothing new. It happened in his day and would keep happening until the end of time.
 Truth be told, today's kids were too damn soft. People turned backflips to protect them from the realities of life. Like everybody getting a freakin' trophy just for participating. That was the stupidest crap he'd ever heard. Sometimes life is hard. Kids need to know that sooner rather than later.
 "Please don't tell my mom," Bailey begged, her brown eyes glassy with tears. "She'll fuss at me for not standing up for myself."
 Dre reached back and gave Bailey's foot a playful squeeze. "No, she won't. But you do have to start standing up for yourself. If somebody's being mean to you, you have my permission to be mean right back."
 He wasn't condoning violence, but if another kid started some mess, the only way to show 'em you weren't no punk was to clap back twice as hard. Most bullies were wimps. Once you got in their face, they backed off. That's what he'd taught his son to do and, to his knowledge, Little Dre had never had a problem. He would teach Bailey to do the same.
 "You don't get it," Bailey huffed, her shoulders drooping. "That won't help."
 They were almost at the drop-off point, when Dre steered his Jeep out of the line of cars and made a hasty U-turn in the middle of the street.
 Bailey's upper body sprang forward. "We're going home?"
 "Nope." Dre pulled to a stop along the curb. "I'm walking you inside. I want you to show me who's messing with you."
 Bailey slumped back against the seat, her lips protruding into a pout. "That'll just make it worse."
 Turning off the engine, Dre hopped out and jogged around to open the back door. "Let's go."
 He took Bailey's hand as they stepped into the crosswalk. The closer they got to the school doors, the slower Bailey walked. By the time they reached the entrance, Dre felt like he was tugging a sixty-pound bag of potatoes.
 "Please, Uncle Dre," Bailey whispered, glancing all around. "Please don't make me go!" Her tiny hand clutched two of his fingers.
 Dre led Bailey off to the side, squatted until they were at eye level, and caressed her shoulders.
 "I don't know what's going on, but there's no reason for you to be this stressed out about going to school. If somebody's messing with you, I need to know about it. What's the kid's name?"
 Bailey hung her head as a tear slid down her right cheek. For a second, Dre thought she was about to come clean.
 "It doesn't matter," she mumbled, hoisting her book bag higher on her shoulder.
 "Yes, it—"
 Bailey jerked away from him and dashed inside the school.
 He was about to go after her when a woman stepped in front of him, blocking his path.
 "May I help you, sir?"
 The woman's chin jutted forward like an accusing finger pointing him out in a lineup. "And you are?"
 "I'm Bailey's"—he paused—"uh, I'm Bailey's godfather." He'd started to introduce himself as her uncle to make himself sound more legit but changed his mind.
 "Your name?" Her tone conveyed all the warmth of an icicle.
 "Andre Thomas."
 Dre pegged the woman to be in her early forties. Her thick, black hair fell a couple of inches below her ears in a blunt cut that matched her funky disposition. Her sleeveless, form-fitting, red dress hugged every inch of her curvy frame. Actually, she was kinda hot. Kerry Washington’s classy style with Cookie Lyon's bad attitude.
 "Bailey's mother didn't tell us someone else would be bringing her to school today."
 She looked him up and down like he was some pedophile on the prowl for a new victim.
 Dre couldn't seem to pull his eyes away. Despite an innate seductiveness, the woman still managed to carry herself with the spit-shine polish of a CEO. If professionalism had a smell, she would reek.
 "Erika had an early meeting in Irvine and asked me to drop her off."
 Dre ran a hand over his shaved head. Rarely did anybody—especially a female—make him feel this degree of uneasiness. "I'm sorry. I didn't get your name."
 "I'm the principal. Darcella Freeman."
 He should've guessed. A sister with a little power.
"I'll be dropping Bailey off and picking her up from time to time," Dre said, anxious for the chick to move out of his way so he could go after Bailey. "Erika got a big promotion. Her job's a lot more demanding now."
 "Is that right?"
 "Yep, that's right." What's up with this chick?
 "Please ask Bailey’s mother to email the office authorizing you to pick her up from school."
 Dre nodded. "Will do."
 He still wanted to go inside, but the woman stayed put like a queen guarding the gates of her castle.
 Without saying goodbye, Dre pivoted and headed back across the street. As he opened the door to his Jeep, he made a mental note to have a talk with Erika. She'd been thrilled about getting Bailey into Parker Elementary because of its stellar reputation. But the place might not be any better for Bailey than her old school.
 Dre also couldn't shake the feeling that something wasn't quite right. And not just with Bailey.
 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Award-winning author and attorney Pamela Samuels Young writes mysteries that matter. Dubbed “John Grisham with a sister’s twist” by one reviewer, Pamela’s fast-paced novels often tackle important social issues.

Her most recent legal thriller, Failure to Protect, takes on the bullying epidemic and its devastating aftermath. Pamela won the prestigious NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction for her thriller Anybody’s Daughter, which provides a realistic look inside the world of child sex trafficking. Her courtroom drama Abuse of Discretion centers around a troubling teen sexting case. #Anybody’s Daughter and #Abuse of Discretion are young adult editions of the two books. A young adult version of Failure to Protect goes on sale in December 2019.

Pamela also writes dangerously sassy romantic suspense under the pen name Sassy Sinclair. Her first foray into the romance genre, Unlawful Desires (2017), was awarded Best Erotic Romance by Romance Slam Jam. Her second book, Unlawful Seduction (2018), was honored as a finalist in Romance Writers of America/Passionate Ink’s Passionate Plume contest in the Best Contemporary Erotica category.

The prolific writer is a frequent speaker on the topics of sex trafficking, bullying, online safety, fiction writing, self-empowerment, and pursuing your passion. To invite Pamela to your book club meeting or to read excerpts of her books, visit www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com and www.sassysinclair.com .

website & Social links



 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Book Trailer Feature: Buried in My Past by Eva Mackenzie





Title: BURIED IN MY PAST
Author: Eva Mackenzie
Publisher: Craven Ink Press
Pages: 398
Genre: Domestic/Romantic Suspense

She’s desperate to stop the panic attacks. But the truth won’t set her free…

Jamie Kendal sees life through the bottom of a bottle. After surviving assault and betrayal, she is forced back to her hometown to care for her mother. Not long after her return, she’s plagued by terrifying slivers of memories from the night her twin brother disappeared forever…

Unearthing new evidence, she’s shocked to learn she’d been found wandering in the woods that same night—covered in blood. More than one person from her past hid the haunting truth that’s bubbling to the surface. The deeper she digs into the horrors from her past, the more she fears almost anyone could be a killer, including Jamie herself.

Can Jamie expose what happened that night, or will she join her missing brother?


 

Buy Link: http://evamackenzie.com/buy-now/

 


Eva Mackenzie
Eva Mackenzie is an author who enjoys twisty, emotionally engrossing tales. Her debut novel has been a work in progress for over a decade. Under the urging of a loved one, it’s finally finished.
She is a wife and mother living on the east coast. When she isn’t writing, she is spending time with her family, training for her next marathon or reading stacks of suspense novels. Some of her favorite authors are Minka Kent, Dean Koontz, Tami Hoag, and Lisa Jackson.
Her latest book is BURIED IN MY PAST.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS

Website  → http://evamackenzie.com

Goodreads  → http://goodreads.com/evamackenzie

Facebook  → http://facebook.com/eva.mackenzie.3762

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Book Blast: Chemo Muscles & Giveaway



CHEMO MUSCLES: LESSONS LEARNED FROM BEING A PSYCHO-ONCOLOGIST AND CANCER PATIENT
By Renee A. Exelbert, PhD
Autobiography/Health/Fitness

In Chemo Muscles: Lessons Learned from Being a Psycho-Oncologist and Cancer Patient, Exelbert reflects on her experience of confronting her cancer diagnosis, as the doctor becomes the patient.

Exelbert was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 after working as a psychologist in a pediatric cancer center in Long Island, NY. A wife and mother of two young children, she struggled with vulnerability and identity. As a medical professional, she had both challenging and elevating experiences with healthcare professionals. And ultimately, she became a certified personal trainer and bodybuilding figure competitor to regain a sense of control over her body.

With unflinching candor and detail, Exelbert shares her story by pairing it with psychological theory, well-researched coping techniques for patients and families, and guidance to aid healthcare professionals in treating people with greater dignity, understanding, and respect.

“By sharing the inner-most thoughts and emotions she experienced throughout her breast cancer journey, Dr. Exelbert provides validation that “life-altering” doesn’t necessarily condemn a cancer patient to a life that is “less than” it once was. Her dual perspectives as both a patient and a psychologist provide a unique opportunity to merge the raw emotional impact of the diagnosis with clinical training, thereby allowing her to process and understand the experience in a way that is both reassuring and empowering.”
— Jane E. Austin, Ph.D., Professor, William Paterson University

“This is less a book about cancer and the healing effects of exercise and diet as much as it is about the power of resilience; about confronting the unimaginable and what it takes to come out the other side. By allowing the reader into her personal journey, Dr. Exelbert invites us to explore the human dimensions of illness, seamlessly weaving between best psychological practices and the simple needs that we all have as members of the human family. For those of us working in the cancer community – or in any other community for that matter – this book is a must-read. It summons us to remember our humanity – to not hide behind cold clinical jargon and artificial barriers – and reminds us of the power we each possess to not only ease our own fears and pain, but those of our fellow travelers.”
— Arnie Preminger, CEO/Founder, Sunrise Association International summer and year-round programs for children with cancer and their siblings

“In this important and inspiring book, Dr. Exelbert shares her personal and emotional journey through cancer, with the vulnerability of a patient, the expertise of a psycho-oncologist, and with a generosity of heart that makes this book an essential guide for cancer patients, their families and clinicians alike. Lessons gleaned from personal suffering and transformation, combined with valuable knowledge from psychological and medical research, nutrition, and exercise, will undoubtedly leave the reader not only better informed, but empowered with hope and courage amidst the struggle with serious illness.”
— Anthony P. Bossis, Ph.D., Psycho-oncologist, New York University School of Medicine


Amazon → https://amzn.to/2snRyTo

 Barnes & Noble → https://bit.ly/2tk9lvi

 





One Breast or Two?
I still had not decided if I was going to have the requisite single
mastectomy, or a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy. There were some
studies that showed a miniscule chance of breast cancer spreading to
the other breast. My plastic surgeon had discussed that there would
also be a lack of symmetry between my breasts had I elected to have
the single mastectomy. He commented that they would be “sisters”
rather than “twins.” Two days prior to having surgery, I was sent for
a final scan of my breasts. My right breast was the one that had the
malignancies, however, there was some concern that the cancer might
be present in the left breast. The amount of terror I experienced about
the possibility of having more cancer was beyond measure. It turned
out to be nothing, merely dense breasts. However, my doctor notified
me that from this point forward, I would be checked much more
frequently in the existing breast. The prospect of experiencing more
scares due to dense or cystic breasts was something I could not handle.
I decided then and there that I would opt for the prophylactic bilateral
mastectomy. It was not an easy choice, as I could have kept one breast
and therefore preserved some sense of my existing identity, femininity,
and beauty. I had several people close to me as well as Dr. A, my old
boss from the pediatric cancer center, try to convince me that having the
bilateral mastectomy was a drastic and unnecessary measure. On
the other hand, I had been so freaked out by cancer and the possibility
of future trauma, that I felt it best to minimize any and all risks. When
I arrived for surgery, my surgeon, Dr. M, still had not been notified of
my final decision. She asked me in a perfunctory tone, “One breast or
two?” as this was her common vernacular, and illustrative of surgery
that she routinely performed. I couldn’t help but be struck by the metaphor
to coffee—would I like one lump of sugar or two? Additionally,
Dr. K and Dr. M had asked me if they would be removing a mole that
I had between my breasts, as surgery was the perfect time to get rid
of it. It was not attractive, but it had become a part of me. I told them
that I did not want to lose any more of me than I needed to, and that I
wanted to keep my mole. They both joked with me about how hideous
my mole was going to look with my brand-new boobs. They made me
laugh and brought levity to an agonizing experience. Nonetheless, I
am so glad that I kept my mole. We have been through a lot together.
I spent a few final minutes alone with Billy, who gently touched and
kissed my boobs. He then said “goodbye guys.” We cried and held each
other. His unconditional love and acceptance let me know that no
matter how this surgery altered my body, he would always love me and
find me beautiful. And with that, I was wheeled into surgery.
As the anesthesia was administered and I was lying down, terrified
for how this next chapter of my life was about to unfold, Dr. M held
my hand and supported me. It was such a small gesture, but meant the
world to me.













Renee A. Exelbert, Ph.D., CFT, is both a licensed psychologist and certified personal trainer. She is the Founding Director of The Metamorphosis Center for Psychological and Physical Change, where she integrates psychotherapy and exercise with a focus on the mind/body connection. She maintains a private practice in New York City, Manhasset and Nyack, New York for the treatment of children, adolescents, adults and families. Dr. Exelbert is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Applied Psychology at the New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development where she teaches Masters-level psychology courses. She previously served as Staff Psychologist at the Winthrop University Hospital Cancer Center for Kids, working with children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Website:  https://drexelbert.com/
Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/ReneeExelbert

 

Renee A. Exelbert is giving away an autographed copy of CHEMO MUSCLES!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one autographed paperback
  • This giveaway ends midnight February 28.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on March 1.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway