Thursday, March 13, 2014

Gospel For The Damned by Gordon Gravley: Speculative Fiction/Dystopian

http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/speculative-book-tour-giveaway-gospel-for-the-damned-by-gordon-gravley-tour-dates-21714-31714/


Virtual Book Tour Dates:2/17/14 - 3/17/14
Genres: Speculative/Dystopian/Literary 




Blurb:


Set against the backdrop of a city under quarantine, Gospel for the Damned is an episodic and introspective novel that follows young journalist Aaron Garrett on his three day assignment within sequestered San Francisco. His assignment: Interview The Elliots, family of the missing minister suspected of releasing the deadly Omega virus.
What he finds is a fractured community and a myriad of ways of facing hopelessness: clinging to normalcy in banal routines; thrill seeking in dangerous truth-or-dare games; mercy killing and federally sanctioned euthanasia; embracing sorrow through macabre celebrations; and searching for God where faith has been abandoned.
Together with The Elliot Family, Aaron embarks on a mission to save someone, anyone, from a doomed existence.
This is Gordon Gravley’s first literary work, and its philosophical leanings may very well provoke questions of your own about the world we live in, and the future we face. 

A Review From Amazon:

It is not only grim. It is riveting and stirring.

This gospel is not an account of the life and death of the messiah, however it is an apocalyptic account of a man’s journey through the world that is no longer what the world once was.

The title threw me off completely and I deemed this book a religious novel at first. As I read on, I realized it is indeed religious... only not in the traditional sense of the word religion.

You are going to love this book if you enjoy futuristic, dystopia, sci-fi, thrilling and suspenseful adventures that involve world destruction but with hope that the human race will prevail. When reading Gospel for the Damned the reader receives the message that no matter what is destroyed in this world, what matters most of all can never be destroyed. There fore, even if damned, there is more, much more.

During the darkest of times one may search for something to hold on to, for something to remind of the good that once was. It exists within and it is what is retained. Everything that surrounds are actually materialistic things, and disposable. What can never be completely removed is the very essence that makes an individual who and what they are.

Gospel for the Damned shows how mankind does have strength to rise above anything. Finding the belief, and having the faith to do it is the thrill factor.

I absolutely loved this book and everyone that reads it will also realize how deserving of five stars this book truly is. Gospel for the Damned is an amazing, thrilling and intriguing journey.
- Left by Cynthia Jones

Excerpt:

It was an opportunity that would make my career or crumble it, and I’d like to say it came to me by way of my diligence and journalistic talent. But truthfully, I was given the assignment for the simple reason that I was the only one on staff at the Sound who tested as resistant to the Omega virus; it was my luck to be in the 2 percent of the nation immune to a disease that, to date, had wiped out a third of the West Coast’s population. 

Buy Links:


Createspace


About Gordon Gravley:


After decades of self-doubt and errant life choices, Gordon Gravley finally came to write this, his first novel, and is now diligently working on his next two. He and his wife currently reside in the Northwestern United States.

Connect with the Author:


Giveaway:

Seven lucky winners will win a signed print copy of Gospel for the Damned. The giveaway will run the length of the tour, USA only please!




Goodreads Book Giveaway

Gospel for the Damned by Gordon Gravley

Gospel for the Damned

by Gordon Gravley

Giveaway ends March 17, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

So tonight another episode of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo came one, and I found myself watching it again. It was a Halloween special... With the number 2, so they must have another one floating around out there.

I watch this show with mixed emotions. Overall, I really like it. But I have to admit, the constant talk about farting and pooping really grosses me out.

There is so much good in this family, and they are truly happy. And I think it's wonderful. They don't care about keeping up with others. They live how they want, and in this day and age, I think that's amazing. Too many families have too much pressure to conform to their idea of what a family should be. 

There is also a lot of love in this family, and it's nice to see. I think Mama June has done a great job of raising her kids, and you can see she is a good mom. This is great. 

She's also real. She uses coupons and she has a stockpile of stuff. That's amazing. I'm still trying to master the coupon thing, and let me say, it's getting a lot harder to do. Coupons are expiring a lot quicker, and prices in the grocery stores are going up. So I'm really impressed by this. 

I just wish they wouldn't talk so much about pooping all the time. It's something everyone does, but it's not something everybody needs to hear about. With the exception of this, I find this a great show to watch. And I'll likely continue doing so. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Book Spotlight: God On Trial

http://fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/suspense-book-tour-god-on-trial-by-sabri-bebawi-book-tour-dates-2414-3414/


Virtual Book Tour Dates:2/4/14 - 3/4/14
Genres: Mystery, Suspense, Fiction, Philosophy




Blurb:



Convinced that God is a negative force, tormenting the helpless human race, an ailing English professor becomes determined to put the deity on trial. But when he’s diagnosed with schizophrenia, he soon succumbs to the damning madness and brutally stabs and kills his wife. And in the deadly manhunt that ensues, he is ultimately shot dead by the police. This prompts his grieving sister to follow through his life’s mission to bring God to justice.

Excerpt:

He’s now back home in California. It is another night. That tantalizing sensation overtakes his natural senses again. Growing up, he always felt a sense of discomfort that was unrelated to his illnesses, and he still feels it now. He never has been able to identify the source of his severe and unusual discomfort. He wonders whether it was his family, religion in general, or society, with its unscrupulous culture.
He thinks of his parents. “Sadly, They were at odds,” he hears himself utter. “And rightfully so.”
His mother was at home, taking care of five kids, and his father was either working or endlessly playing. His mother had a tender soul. She was simple, affectionate, and caring, and loved her children dearly. The child in him sees her before him as a pretty young woman with fair skin, brown hair, and large brown eyes. She stands by his bed; she is neither too tall nor too short and neither too slim nor too heavy, but she is mysterious. Though his mother probably never knew it, she has had an immense impact on his life that continues with him until this moment of certain hallucination.
He becomes fully awake. It is 2:25 a.m. He gets up and decides to make a cup of espresso forte. After breaking a couple of coffee cups, spilling coffee all over his kitchen counter and floor, and mumbling a few expletives, he cleans up. Now he is calm; now he will taste the fruit of his coffee-making adventure; he places the cup on his desk and starts to write.

I’m not sure my parents’ odd relationship had any effect on me. I was a happy child tormented by religion and religious people’s hallucinations. I was tormented by Egyptian hypocrisy. I’ve seen a great deal of hypocrisy, child abuse, infidelity, abuse of women, and abuse by the government, churches, and mosques.

He hears the voice of his mother; during his childhood she always read to him in bed before he went to sleep. Now she reads from the Bible. In both her wisdom and lack of awareness, she reads from the Book of Genesis and the Book of Revelations. This exposure to apocalyptic writing at a very young age has had a profound effect on him.
Being imaginative, and in this phantasmagoric state, he now experiences the same fright he experienced as a child. He returns to bed and suddenly falls asleep but is soon awoken by one of his many epileptic seizures. His body shakes uncontrollably, and his tremors seem to have a mind of their own.
As his attack gradually dissipates, he thinks of the savagery of God and questions why a peaceful God would be so cruel and nasty. These thoughts make him feel even more terrified. Since childhood he has been petrified of that entity referred to as “God.”
At age seven or eight, he developed an obsessive-compulsive disorder. He’d repeat the phrase “God forgive me” to himself all day until he went to bed. He kept this a secret because he had no idea how his mother, siblings, or Zakia would react. He remembers that he often went to Zakia, who was a Muslim, and asked her to hold him. She would oblige, and he would feel protected, even from that savage God.
He gets out of bed. It is 3:42 a.m. He makes another cup of espresso forte and sits at his desk, thinking. Again he writes.

This phase simply shaped my feelings about whether God does indeed exist. I often thought I’d be better than him or her or it, for I would not be as cruel, brutal, or malicious. Today I am an agnostic, and I can’t get myself to understand why anyone would believe in such a God as depicted in the holy books, including the Bible.
In addition to the Bible, there were other sources of great damage. Egypt is an Islamic country. I was exposed to and forced to learn about Islam and its holy book, the Quran, which is like the Bible in its catastrophic content. I was forced to learn about the Islamic laws, Sharia, even though I was a Coptic. I did so in schools, and I did so in everyday affairs. I was even forced to memorize and recite verses from the Quran, which also had a negative impact on me.
The daily prayers announced over loudspeakers, and coming from all directions, were a frightening experience for me. Everywhere in Egypt, between each mosque there is a mosque, and even that wasn’t enough. The radio broadcasted Quran readings repeatedly. Even today the memory of these sounds brings a deep downheartedness to my soul.
I remember Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, the blind cleric who’s in a North Carolina prison now for conspiring to commit terrorism. His mosque was right behind our house. I remember Abdel-Rahman’s Friday sermons. He’d curse the Christians, Jews, and Americans (I don’t know why he cursed Americans) publically over a loudspeaker that echoed miles away. The sheikh would scream in a screeching, deafening voice, “May God burn them and displace their children, and may God burn their houses.” The congregation would repeat, “Amen.” And the pattern would continue.
This persisted for a long time. We were so used to it, however, that it didn’t bother us much. The amazing thing is that Sheikh Abdel-Rahman was a friend of my father’s. He often visited my father at his law firm and spent hours talking with him. My father considered him a harmless, kind man.
Well, for once my father was wrong. The sheikh always has been a terrorist, and he put his evil spirit into action. Fortunately he’s in prison now. I hope he never gets out.
He stops writing for a minute and wonders how the United States allowed that savage man to enter this country. Where was American intelligence? Didn’t they know how radical Abdel-Rahman was? This was simply bizarre. But the United States government overlooks such things so often that he wonders whether the word intelligence is fitting at all.
His mind is racing, and he grows exhausted with the burden of thoughts. Hoping for a few minutes of sleep, he goes back to bed. His hope materializes, or perhaps he thinks so; at the very least, he is semi-asleep.

Buy Link:


About Dr. Sabri Bebawi


The middle of five children, Sabri Bebawi was born in 1956 in the town of Fayoum, Egypt, where he attended law school at Cairo University. He then left Egypt for the United Kingdom. He was invited by Oxford University, where he spent some time, and never returned to Egypt. A few years later, after living and working in England, Italy, France, and Cyprus, he took refuge in the country he loved most, the United States.
In California he studied communications at California State University, Fullerton, then obtained a master’s degree there in English education. Later he worked at many colleges and universities teaching English as a second language, freshman English, journalism, and educational technology. He did further graduate work at UCLA and obtained a PhD in education and distance learning from Capella University.
Although English is his third language, he has published many works in English on eclectic topics. It has always been his ambition to write novels, and this is his first attempt. As English is a foreign language to him, the task of writing a novel has been challenging.
As a child, Bebawi struggled to make sense of religions and their contradictions; in fact he grew up terrified of the word God. As he grew older and studied law, as well as all the holy books, he developed a more pragmatic and sensible stance; the word became just that—a word.


Connect with the Author:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

LOVE LIKE THE MOVIES PRE-RELEASE SWAG SWEEPSTAKES

Blurb:

LOVE LIKE THE MOVIES
A contemporary romantic comedy from Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Star by Victoria Van Tiem
In this irresistible romantic romp, movie fanatic, Kensington Shaw is thrown into love—Hollywood-style–when her gorgeous ex presents a big screen challenge to win back her heart. What girl wouldn’t want to experience the Pretty Woman shopping scene? It’s number two on the list. Or, try the lift from Dirty Dancing? It’s number five. One list, ten romantic movie moments, and a handful of shenanigans later, Kenzi has to wonder…should she marry the man her family loves, or risk everything for a love like the movies?

Main retail links:





About Victoria Van Tiem:

Author repped by  Jenny Bent of The Bent Agency.  An artist, black belt, mom of two, wife of one, and resident caretaker of the family zoo—including our beloved, pot-bellied pig, Pobby.

Connect With Victoria Van Tiem:

Rafflecopter–Facebook contest tab for all users: http://tinyurl.com/mcfqcqr


LOVE LIKE THE MOVIES PRE-RELEASE SWAG SWEEPSTAKES
 
*CONTEST STARTS Jan 23rd and runs to Feb 24th

To Celebrate LOVE LIKE THE MOVIES release on February 24th we’ve collected all things movies for an ultimate MOVIE SWAG SWEEPSTAKES!





1 GRAND PRIZE worth over $150
Free eBook of LOVE LIKE THE MOVIES and a popcorn gift basket with all ten ROM-COM DVD movies from LOVE LIKE THE MOVIES! We’ll even throw in the movie snacks!
DVD’s included:
Sleepless In Seattle - Pretty Woman – Bridget Jones Diary – 27 Dresses
Dirty Dancing – Sixteen Candles – Love Actually – Say Anything
You’ve Got Mail – My Best Friend’s Wedding




Free eBook of LOVE LIKE THE MOVIES and a $25 iTunes gift card to download Rom-Com’s of your choice!

http://tinyurl.com/mcfqcqr


No purchase necessary. Enter the Rafflecopter on Facebook by clicking here!

SWEEPSTAKES RULES LINK: http://vvantiem.wordpress.com/

See all of the stops on this buzz tour at: Fire and Ice Book Tours!

Lakeside University Cover Up by Charles A. Taylor




Title: Lakeside University Cover Up
Author Name: Charles A. Taylor


Author Bio: Dr. Charles “Chuck” Taylor, author, speaker and diversity expert is currently a professor in the school of education at a Midwestern college. Although he has written and edited over 10 books, this is his first novel. Chuck has also written a full-length children’s musical, a highly acclaimed documentary on the Milwaukee, Wisconsin civil rights movement and continues to serve as a national consultant to college campuses in the areas of racial diversity and inclusion. Please visit his website for additional information: http://drcharlestaylor.com/about/

Author Links




Book Genre: Mystery Thriller
Publisher: Roar Enterprises, Inc.
Release Date: January, 2012


Book Description: A cross is burned in the yard of two black Lakeside University students. When campus
officials call the incident a harmless prank, both black and white student organizations, launch a series of protests to force the administration into conducting a full investigation.
Instead, the administration devises a divide and conquer scheme to create a rift between black and white students. Feel the tension mounting as the students react to the Administration’s response to the incident. As black students turn up the pressure, the campus stands on the verge of a racial explosion. Campus leaders must find a way out of the crisis so they seek the help of Dr. Wendell Oliver, the country’s leading expert in diffusing racial tension.
Watch Dr. Oliver as he masterfully guides the feuding students into looking beyond themselves on a weekend retreat that is filled with action, danger, sexual attraction, and racial conflict. Discover the hidden lessons that students learn about friendship, betrayal and forgiveness. Follow the love story as the plot unfolds. Experience this roller coaster ride of emotions for yourself! Learn the secret behind the cross burning as the leading character Gloria finds her voice.

Students come to realize that the cross burning is more than just about racism. Its wicked flames shed light on corrupt cops, complicit college administrators and misguided attitudes that point to a major cover up. When students finally piece the puzzle together, justice is served but it comes with a steep price. Lakeside University will never be the same again.


Excerpt One:

Enough was enough. Dean of Students, Todd Severson stormed into President David Horning’s office and slammed the door. “Sir, we need to do something!” Severson said, lowering himself into the chair across from Horning’s antique desk. “Your divide and conquer strategy is backfiring—we have to do something and do it fast, or this university will explode!”
President Horning glanced up from his coffee. “That’s a bit dramatic, Todd, don’t you think?”
Severson leaned forward in his chair and pressed his palms against the desktop. “A black student has just been attacked!” he said. “Classes are being disrupted. The police are running themselves ragged, trying to keep everything under control. Now we have threats of a major civil rights demonstration being held on our campus!”
Horning looked at Severson and frowned. “Why don’t you just calm down,” he said. “We’ve weathered crises before. This isn’t any different.”
Severson stared back, his jaw askew. “Sir, I beg to disagree! We may have been able to smooth things over in the past, but this is very different. This could turn violent—even more violent than it already has become. And it's just a matter of time before the media plasters this mess all over the front page.”
Before Horning could respond, his phone rang. As he reached to answer it, Severson stood to leave. “Hold on Todd. Let me get this. This might be the call that will get us out of this damn mess,” Horning said, as Severson paced the floor.
***

Three Weeks Earlier
It was a cool, cloudy Sunday night in early autumn. Two figures huddled in the shadows next to a small house, near the Lakeside University campus. They set to work quickly, and soon a sharp chemical odor drifted through the air.
“Man, this shit really stinks,” said the first one, muffling a cough in his gloved hand. “Are you sure this will work?”
“It has to,” said the second. “You heard what they said. We’ve got to take care of this tonight.” “Okay, okay,” said the first. “Just light the damn thing so I can make the call and we can get the hell out of here!”
***
Inside the small house, Lakeside University student Ashante Melashe was working on a recording for her broadcast engineering class. Just as she hit the record button, the shrill ring of the telephone echoed through the house. "Oh, no!” she moaned, “I forgot to turn off the ringer!” She pushed her chair back from the table. “Well, that’s another sound bite down the drain."
"I'm coming," she grumbled as the phone continued its loud summons. "Hello?"
"Look outside,” said a gruff, male voice. “You’ll see how we feel about niggers at Lakeside University."
"What did you just say? Who is this?"
"Just look outside, bitch."
“Is this some kind of joke?” Ashante asked, but the only answer was the dial tone.
Shaking her head in disgust, she took a deep breath and stepped out into the front yard. The shock of the flames sucked the air from her lungs in a choked gasp. A strange smell burned her eyes and throat. She stood frozen, glaring at the blaze of bright red and orange fire burning against the cold, black starless night.
Then the realization hit her with as much force as if someone had kicked her in the stomach. Suddenly she knew what she was staring at: a huge cross, whose wicked flames lit up the yard and filled her with soul wrenching horror.

 "Oh, my God," Ashante whispered. 







Lonely No More! How to Deal With Feelings of Loneliness.

Lonely No More! How to Deal With Feelings of Loneliness.

Author: Dr. Ken Herman

Isn't it amazing that we're surrounded by people, but infinitely lonely? A feeling of loneliness hits people from all walks of life, singles as well as married people.
Not too long ago, I received a call from a man who lost his wife and was feeling extremely lonely. He reported that he sorely missed his wife and that doing things alone had frequently left him depressed.
"I'm like a fish out of water," he exclaimed.
He never had many friends or joined clubs. He had no hobbies or special interests. "I feel like life is nothing without her." He wanted to know if there is a cure for loneliness and if what he was experiencing was normal.
Obviously, this man was most upset about losing his wife. He felt abandoned and alone, and wasn't sure what he could do to feel happy again.
Feeling lonely is a common phenomenon. It's not just widowed people who feel lonely. People who are married or in a close relationship can also feel lonely.
Some people feel very restless and isolated when they are alone. However, being alone need not be a dark and dreary experience. We can enjoy spending time with ourselves.
Sometimes, thinking to ourselves is an opportunity to "go inside" and reflect, create meaning or a find a new understanding.
Sometimes, being alone gives us time that's needed to learn a new hobby, play an instrument, read a book (or write one), exercise, do something creative or artistic, or learn a new language.
Being alone can be a rewarding experience. Perhaps the key is not feeling sorry for yourself (or self-pity). When we feel sorry for ourselves, your thoughts can quickly plummet down into depression. Instead of this, get busy. Switch to a pro-active, "what's next?" mindset. Look for ways to meet new people. Find something useful or creative to do. You could even volunteer your time for an organization. Margie told me she would like to meet someone, but being alone had its advantages. When I asked what they were, she replied, "You can't get hurt staying by yourself!" Margie felt like the possibility of rejection was greater than any pleasure she might experience in being vulnerable and making new friends.
It doesn't have to be that way. Examine your state of loneliness. Think about what you can do differently. Where can you go to meet new people? How can you find "common ground" or something to talk about? Strike up a conversation with strangers.
Loneliness is usually a temporary condition. All it takes is one another person, and you're no longer by yourself.
That's why I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone, and talk to someone. To be a friend, you must first show yourself friendly.
If you are struggling, take the time to work through any issues you might be facing. If necessary, seek professional help. There is no reason why we should face life alone. And please, do not try to deal with loneliness by using drinking, overeating, drugs, or withdrawing to bed. These methods are not healthy and will make matters worse.
Instead, make an effort to talk to people. If you are shy, join a club, special interest group, or take a course. The next time you feel alone, jump up and make something happen. You'll be glad that you did!


About the Author
Writer Dr. Kenneth Herman is the author of "Secrets from the Sofa: A Psychologist's Guide to Personal Peace." The book, which is based on Dr. Herman's 45 years of counseling practice, focuses on proven methods of change that get results, every single time. Check it out at www.secretsfromthesofa.com

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/motivational-articles/lonely-no-more-how-to-deal-with-feelings-of-lonliness-495916.html

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Children's Book Tour & Giveaway: The Money Tree by LaDonna Smith


Virtual Book Tour Dates: 1/20/14 - 2/17/14
Genre: Children

Blurb:

Follow Tyler on his adventure to get enough money for a cool new toy, without the help of his parents. A witty and fun story with upbeat text for your young child with a valuable lesson about working hard and saving money to get something they really want! The clear text and playful illustrations aim to simplify financial concepts like earning, saving, interest, the difference between needs and wants, and the joy of running one’s own business. To make the otherwise boring topic interesting, the concepts have been explained through small anecdotes accompanied with colorful illustrations to stimulate children and ignite a love of saving.









About the Author:


LaDonna N. Smith is a certified financial educator whose goal is to educate youth from all walks of life on how to find their path to financial empowerment. LaDonna draws inspiration for her book ideas from several typical parenting routines; watching her children play or argue, overhearing them sing or talk, and listening to all the amazing ideas, concerns, & request that they come up with. The Money Tree, is the first, but her children have inspired many more literary surprises already in the works! LaDonna and her husband reside in New York and have four wonderful children, all with intriguing and different personalities, like the characters she creates in her storybooks.

Enter the giveaway below for your chance to win a print copy of The Money Tree by LaDonna N. Smith!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Money Tree by Ladonna N Smith

The Money Tree

by Ladonna N Smith

Giveaway ends February 17, 2014.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win