Embattled

“EMBATTLED” FREEwww.emandyves.com

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Blurb:

My face is on every television, in every newspaper. They say I’m saving the world. I know better. I’m a school principal not a superhero.

Of course that doesn’t explain the blood on my hands. Or the strange languages coming out of my mouth. Or the feel of swinging a machete. Or the sensation of lifting off the ground before I lose all memory.

Someone or something has hijacked my life. How do I get it back?

Alien contact leads to adventure and love as the characters involve themselves in world affairs in this science fiction novel series. But are humans given second chances after our superhero fights war or will the gods decide our fate?

Excerpt

“Sue,” Tom called. “You here?”

“In the supply room. Gotta check the back-up tapes. What do you need?”

“The Boss in?”

“Haven’t seen her.”

Tom took a step back, and surveyed the office. “Her door’s closed. Coast is clear. Listen Sue, what’s up with her?”

Sue shrugged. “I don’t know. She’s been vague and forgetful lately. Not like her at all.”

“Loses her train of thought. Did you notice her struggling for words at the staff meeting? That’s not like her at all. Normally sharp as a tack.”

Sue glanced out the door. Two teachers were passing through the office on their way to the staff room. She waited until they’d gone and lowered her voice. “Do you think we should talk to her?”

“I tried. As diplomatically, as I could.” Sue arched her brows. Tom chuckled. “Okay, so I asked her outright if she was okay.”

“And?”

“I don’t know. It was like she didn’t hear me. Like she was someplace else.”

“Do you think we should call her family?”

“Yeah, you should.”

“Me!?”

She didn’t need to overhear that conversation to know she was slipping away. Away to that other world.

And later in the story:

She picked up the phone, dialed Tom’s room. “Can you come to my office please?”

“What’s up, Boss. You sounded worried and I don’t mind telling you, you look like hell.”

She took a deep breath. “Do you believe in extraterrestrial beings?”

“Whoa, girl. Where did that come from?”

She shifted in her chair. “I… Nothing. Sorry. It was a bad dream I had last night. Spooked me is all.”

Tom frowned. “Are you sure you’re not sick or something?”

She nodded. “Yeah, sorry to have bothered you.” She waved a hand at him. “Now get out of here. Back to the kidlets.” Her grin was wobbly.

Tom grinned back, but felt like cursing. He found Sue refilling her coffee cup in the staffroom. “She’s not okay, is she?”

“No, and I don’t mind telling you I’m worried sick. She asked me today if I believed in aliens and then seemed heart broken when I said no. I thought she’d burst into tears then and there.”

“So what do we do?”

“I’ve called her family like you suggested last time we talked. Waiting to hear back.”

Tom squeezed Sue’s shoulder. “Let me know as soon as you get word. I’ll go with you to talk to them.”

Darlene - beach [1][2]

Author Darlene Jones

Get your FREE copy of “Embattled” by Darlene Jones. Fascinating reading.

Hooked by a Whale

Novelists have to consider the hook in almost every part of their writing. The title should hook the reader and lure him into picking up the book. The first lines of the novel should grab the reader and make him want to read more. The end of the chapter should leave the reader wanting more. If he wants to turn the page, he’s hooked and that’s where you want him to be.

I’ve talked about the hook at the beginning of the book in a few earlier posts, but I haven’t mentioned the hook that is needed at the end of a scene or chapter. We don’t want the reader putting down our book and not thinking about it ever again. Ideally we want to have them lose sleep and need to continue reading all through the night, but I’ll be satisfied if the reader thinks about my book after closing the pages to give the eyes a rest, as long as that reader picks up the book again at earliest convenience.

When I was teaching, I came across an old book I recognized in the school library discard pile. The librarian said it was being thrown out because it was hardly ever signed out. Not many pictures. Old plain cover. Not very exciting. I took that book to my class and read it to them a chapter at a time, just as my teacher had read this same book to my class when I was a student in elementary school. I remember wishing she would just keep on reading to us and never mind the lessons we needed to get on with. Why? Because the author had us hooked at the end of every chapter.

Here is the book: “The Baby Whale: Sharp Ears” by John Y. Beaty.

005It is very old, and so I was not surprised to find some parts of the story not valid anymore. At one point the author says that the “sperm whale is the largest animal that has ever lived.” When I read this to my class they looked at me questioningly and said, “No, that’s not right. It’s the blue whale.” But it didn’t dampen their enthusiasm for this old book. See the age in the photo below:

001The book may have contained some dated information and certainly a dated language style, but when I made adjustments for this as I read, the children in my classes were always HOOKED by the whale.

Here are some examples of the last paragraphs of chapters from this book. You can see why the children wanted me to go on reading.

002So what was going to happen next time, and what would poor Sharp Ears do when he couldn’t have his mother nearby to help him? This could be so bad! We need to know more. Turn the page!

Here is another final paragraph that hooked us.

003What an exciting book this was! And what could be more dangerous than this? Turn the page!

004Oh no! The kids were almost in tears at the end of this chapter. Deserted by their mothers! We had to resolve this one, and quickly! I read on this time. I turned the page.

Of course Sharp Ears falls in love and everything is all right again, until the end of the next chapter, and so it went to the end of the book.

I loved this book as a child, and later, when I read this treasure to my classes, many more children were hooked by the whale.

One of my boys was so enthralled by the story that at the end of the school year, he  and his mother bought me one of the most meaningful gifts of my career. On the last day of school, he proudly presented me with a small replica of Sharp Ears.

007

Sharp Ears sits in my kitchen window where I can see him most often. I have very fond memories of those wonderful storybook times with my classes. But one of the most important things I learned from reading to children, is valid for reading of any sort: we want to be hooked so we have a craving to know more. So writers, hook your readers!

Free Coastal Drama

FREE!

eBOOK [1]

Adventure, drama, suspense, and a trip up the coast of British Columbia — If you have not read The Wind Weeps, grab your free digital copy now on amazon or on smashwords. Follow it up with the conclusion to Andrea’s story in Reckoning Tide. Here is a sample of the beginning of Reckoning Tide.

 eBOOK_RECKONING_TIDE

You’re mine!

To have,

To hold,

No matter how hard.

You’re mine!

Give me honour,

Obey,

And do as you’re told.

You’re mine!

In sickness,

My sickness,

Comes hell.

You’re mine!

This day forward,

’Til death,

Do us part.

Chapter 1

“Nurse!” I screamed. “Nurse, come back!” Robert’s smile vanished. He advanced and tossed the three orchids onto the foot of my bed.

I twisted around grasping for the cord with the call button. “Get away from me!” I hit the button frantically.

Robert lunged at me. “No, Andrea. Don’t!” He ripped the cord away from me. I pulled my fist back to punch him, but he was quick and caught my wrist in an iron grip. His eyes narrowed into slits.

“Nurse!” I yelled again. He clamped a hand over my mouth. Flashbacks of what that hard hand had done to me went through my mind. I bit down on his fingers, my terror lending me extra strength.

“Arrrgh! You bitch!” Robert’s eyes grew wide. He stared at me with a glassy look that I remembered too well. He drew his arm across his chest to backhand me, but dropped it when the nurse appeared.

“What’s going on here?” the nurse demanded. Margaret was a hefty woman. She filled most of the doorway as she stood with her hands on her hips. “Sir! Come away from the bed.”

“She bit me!” he said, unable to keep the whine out of his voice. “I brought her flowers—orchids, her favourite kind—and she bit me!”

I gasped at his outrageous boldfaced ploy, twisting the truth. “He tried to kill me. Don’t let him near me. He’s the one I told you about.”

“Now, Andrea.” Robert’s voice, silky smooth, sent ripples of terror up my spine. “You know that’s not true.” He turned to the nurse and slowly shook his head. “I’m her husband. You see, she’s had quite a shock. We had an argument and she set fire to our cabin and ran away when she thought I had died in the fire. I guess she’s surprised to see that I’m still alive.”

The nerve of him! I tried to get out of bed. “No! No-no-no!” I had to get the nurse to believe me. “He’s twisting it all around. He tried to kill me.”

The nurse was quick to put her hand out. “Stay in bed, Andrea.” She looked flustered and tried to calm us both. But no wonder she was confused. The whole situation was so bizarre. She looked from Robert to me and back to Robert again.

Would she side with Robert?

“Sir,” she said, “would you mind going to the waiting room down the hall? I’m sure the RCMP would like to speak with you, too. They’ll be here soon to interview Andrea.”

Robert raised his chin and gave me a smirk. “That was fast,” he said. “We’ll soon get to the bottom of the situation then.”

The nurse escorted him out the door. “We called them this morning when she woke up,” I heard her say as they walked down the hall.

The nurse had explained to me earlier that the police have to make a report in cases where there has been violence, especially since a gun was found in my fanny pack. The gun I pointed at him last week. Should have pulled the damn trigger.

 *****

You will find paperback and digital versions of Reckoning Tide on amazon outlets and on smashwords.com (for e-readers other than Kindle). Just click on the links:

Amazon.com

Smashwords.com

For more about Anneli Purchase and her books, visit her at http://anneli-purchase.com/

Book cover design by Anita B. Carroll. http://race-point.com

Fun and Sassy Sheryl Browne

UK author Sheryl Browne has done it again. She’s written another engaging romantic page turner.

Here’s Sheryl to tell introduce her newest release to us.

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The Rest of My Life – When is it time to stop running?

Recommended to Choc Lit by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer my contemporary romance novel, The Rest of My Life, is here!!

Fun, sassy and a tad naughty in places …

Tweet - Mocha

Are we tempted?

Adam

Just a little bit?

The Rest of My Life

 “You can’t run away from commitment forever … “

Adam Hamilton-Shaw has more reason than most to avoid commitment. Living on a houseboat in the Severn Valley, his dream is to sail into the sunset – preferably with a woman waiting in every port. But lately, his life looks more like a road to destruction than an idyllic boat ride…

Would-be screenplay writer Sienna Meadows realises that everything about Adam spells trouble – but she can’t ignore the feeling that there is more to him than just his bad reputation. Nor can she ignore the intense physical attraction that exists between them.

And it just so happens that Adam sees Sienna as the kind of woman he could commit to. But can he change his damaging behaviour – or is the road to destruction a one-way street?

Fancy a peek at the video?

https://youtu.be/7p319itbVKg

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Choc Lit

Heartache, humour, love, loss & betrayal, bestselling author Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, poignant fiction. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and shortlisted for Innovation in Romantic Fiction, Sheryl has seven books published.

Sheryl’s new contemporary romance novel was recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer.

THE REST OF MY Life comes to you from award winning Choc Lit.

Author Links

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

Loveahappyending Lifestyle

Choc Lit | Romantic Novelists’ Association

 

June Moonbridge

New Release July 1

It is my pleasure to host author June Moonbridge today. She has a newly released novel, Racing Heart that I’d like to tell you about. But first a bit about June’s background.10959496_975717602438857_2025247771143656394_n

June Moonbridge has many names and many faces too. Although she stayed living in the same area, she was born and raised in one country  and is now living in another.

She studied economics, and quickly realised she hated it. Afterwards, she found herself working in male dominated businesses; at first in automotive and later – steel products. She can choose for you the best steel you need, but don’t, please don’t, ask her which lipstick to use.

She started to write in  high school and was negatively criticised by her teacher. Stubborn as she is, that didn’t stop her. Under different pen names for her stories she tried to get some independent opinions, which came back as good reviews in magazines and later she published three books.

Married, and with two children, one of whom has autism, she nevertheless continued to work. These responsibilities took all of her free time. But the desire to write didn’t die. When life somehow sorted itself out, she decided to write her novel in English and her first submission to Safkhet was rejected…. 

For what happened later… read the third paragraph, second sentence.

*****

Here is the cover of her newly released book, a love and suspense drama, Racing Heart, published by Safkhet Soul.

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Synopsis:

At age twenty-five, Desire Hart has experienced almost too much.

Taking drastic measures and changing everything in her life; her identity, her hometown and the country of residence, she hopes her new life will help her to find her kidnapped son. Desire is determined that nothing will prevent her from achieving her goal. Not even love which has led her to skate on thin ice in the past one time too many.

One spring evening she meets the golden boy of F1 racing, Lorcan Shore, and finds herself falling for him. Struggling to suppress that feeling, she realises he might help her get closer to the child she strongly believes is her long lost son.

But nothing goes according to plan. In fact, everything goes wrong. Her identity is revealed by the press, Lorcan experiences a racing accident and she finds out that the trail she was given leads her to another dead end. In despair she does what she does best; she runs away.

Set against the glamorous backdrops of Monaco, Paris, and Nice, “Racing Heart” mixes romance and mystery as Desire struggles to come to terms with her past and learns how to accept love into her life once again.

*****

You will find Racing Heart at these links:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZXRYESO

Answers to Copy-editing

Thanks to those who were brave enough to have a try at the copy-editing job on the previous post. Here are the mistakes I found in the passage from that post. I have marked them in bold and have added explanations where I felt they were needed.

Travel from Italy to Greece

An alternative to driving the long way around from Italy to Greece is to go by car ferry. On the day we wanted to make the trip many years ago, third class tickets for the “Mediterranean Sea” (no comma) were sold out, so we had to buy first class. After waiting in line for hours, our VW van was crammed aboard (no space in a board, no comma after it) into one of the last available spaces, a cubbyhole with a low ceiling and steel walls on three sides.

Three days later, when it was time to unload, this cubicle became an oven. Temperatures soaring over 100 F.,  (add comma, remove “and”) the chaos of impatient passengers, (add comma) and disorganized unloading practices had us nearly suffocating on the engine exhaust of cars started way too soon in the closed-in (hyphenated before a noun but not after) car deck. (In those days in Italy, there were no safety regulations such as we have in Canada nowadays.) An overeager passenger in dire need of driving lessons backed up his trailer at a weird angle behind us, making it impossible for us to move. Trapped in the scorching cubicle I felt like a chicken in a slow cooker.

Copy-editing Fun

Here is a fun exercise for writers. I’ve taken part of a travel adventure and purposely put many mistakes into it. How many can you find? Count them and tell us in the comment section. I haven’t included the kind of mistakes that involve number of spaces between words or sentences, or repeated words. This exercise is very basic, showing just a sample of the most obvious mistakes that a copy-editor will find for you. Believe me, in the world of “pre-publishing,” many manuscripts look worse than the sample of writing below, but a copy-editor can save you from disgracing yourself.

So, are you  “up” for the challenge? Why not give it a try?

Travel from Italy to Greece

An alternative to driving the long way around from Italy to Greece to go by car ferry. On the day we want to make the trip many years ago, third class tickets for the “Mediterranean sea,” were sold out, so we had to buy First Class. After waiting in line for hours, our VW van was crammed a board, into one of the last available spaces, a cubby hole with a low cieling and steal walls on 3 sides.

Three days later, when it was time to unload, this cubacle became an oven. Tempatures soaring over 100 F. and the Chaos of impatient passengers and disorganized unloading practices had us nearly suffocating on the engine exhaust of cars started way too soon in the closed in car deck. (In those days in Italy, there was no safety regulations such as we have in Canada now-a-days.) An over-eager passenger in dire need of driving lessons backed up his trailor at a wierd angel behind us, making it impossible for us to move. Trapped in the scorching cubacle I felt like a chicken in a slow cooker.

If you have writing that needs the expert eye of a copy-editor, please visit my webpage anneli-purchase.com and click on the copy-editing page. I can do a free sample of editing for you.