Author Marilyn Meredith ( Southern Sierra, California-USA)

Marilyn Meredith - 2015Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty-five published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest Spirit Shapes from Mundania Press. Writing as F. M. Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel is Murder in the Worst Degree from Oak Tree Press. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, Three chapters of Sisters in Crime, including the Central Coast chapter, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America.

Featured Book: Violent Departures by F.M. Meredith

Violent-Departures-by-F.-M.-MeredithIn the eleventh novel in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, College student Veronica Randall, disappears from her car in her own driveway, everyone in the Rocky Bluff P.D. is looking for her. Detective Milligan and family move into a house that may be haunted. Officer Butler is assigned to train a new hire and faces several major challenges.

Book Review: It is serious business for Detective Doug Milligan of the Rocky Bluff P.D. when a student from Santa Barbara College named Veronica Randall disappears from her idling Toyota Prius parked in her grandmother’s driveway. Items left behind along with a new clue emerges when the neighbor Mrs. Doris Jarvis tell officers everything she can about the sedan speeding by the house earlier that morning.

The investigation revs up and the list of possible suspects grow as inquiries into college and work acquaintances begin. The ex-boyfriend Bryan Franklin is an interesting lead and so is a possible stalker from Veronica’s high school days.

Meanwhile Detective Milligan and his wife move their family into a new house that seems to suit their needs, except for the reported resident ghost. He and his new partner Felix Zachary are finding themselves dealing with other criminal activities in the community while the whole department keeps an eye out for Veronica.

A multi-faceted story line with personable characters that could be from your own community. Author F.M. Meredith writes with a charming style that brings the reader into the detectives’ investigation. Here is a small quote. “The woman moved quickly up the spiral wrought iron stairs, and the rest followed. The second floor landing had two door on both side, and an open window. A breeze brought in a mixture of scents, the salt from the ocean, the pungent almost medicinal smell of eucalyptus, and the heavy sweet odor of gardenias. The last set of steps led to a small space in front of a closed door.”

Never a dull moment when a crime mystery and poltergeist activity inhabit the same space.

Theodocia McLean endorses ‘Violent Departures’, book 11 in F. M. Meredith’s Rocky Bluff PD Series. Each book stands on its own merit, so you can enjoy each book even out of sequence. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on April 23, 2015.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Paranormal

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Author Pat Kelley (USA)

Pat-Kelley-PS-adjusted-1Pat Kelley, MS, SPHR, is the author of Hiring Right: A Business Blueprint for Lower Turnover and Higher Profits, Second Edition, published in December 2014.

For more than 43 years, she worked as a specialist, manager and Director of Human Resources in banking, manufacturing, food processing and communications.

Certified as a lifetime Senior Professional in Human Resources, Ms. Kelley is recipient of the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arkansas Society of Human Resource Managers.

Featured Book: Hiring Right: A Business Blueprint for Lower Turnover and Higher Profits (A Business Blueprint Book) by MS, SPHR, Pat Kelley

Hiring-Right-A-Business-Blueprint-for-Lower-Turnover-and-Higher-ProfitsHiring Right by Pat Kelley is a common sense, practical step-by-step, need-to-know business guide for finding and keeping good employees.

Whether you are just starting out and need to hire a few employees or business is picking up and you need to hire more this book should be your first reference guide. Pat Kelley lays out her step-by-step, need-to- know guide with facts, numbers, examples and all the forms necessary to help you find and keep good employees. Following her advice and the right incentives you will be able to lower your turnover rate and increase your profits.

Book Part One is made up of five chapters. In Chapter One, Pat lays out mistakes one, two and three and teaches employer how to “Profile” the job that you are offering, “Research” and “Complete A Personality Profile” on each perspective employee.

Chapter Two goes on to teach the employer how to “recruit”, “screen” and “test” applicants. This detailed chapter defines the advantages of promoting from within, considering employee referrals and details how to use all local, community, and technological researches to find, screen and test applicants.

Chapter Three details steps the employer can use to prepare for and conduct an interview.

Chapter Four presents the “Employment Law In Hiring” and alerts the employer to danger zones.

Chapter Five Part One shows the employer what comes after the interview, such as checking references, how to make the job offer with the proper compensation. Chapter Five Part Two goes on to explain the necessary training and work environment to ensure the employee fits in and stays.

Book Part Two is made up of five “Business Blueprints”. These blueprints are include essential “Job Profile”, “Patterned Interview”, “Candidate Offer Letter”, “Orientation Checklist” forms for Office Clerical Positions, Level Labor Positions, Technical Worker Positions, Sales Worker Positions and Management Worker Positions.

The book wraps up with miscellaneous resource materials.

Theodocia McLean endorses Hiring Right: A Business Blueprint for Lower Turnover and Higher Profits (A Business Blueprint Book) by MS, SPHR, Pat Kelley for an instructional guide to help new employers coming into the job market and existing employers that are struggling with a high rate of turnover. This review was completed on March 28, 2015.

Genre: Non-fiction, Professional & Technical

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Author Cary Allen Stone (Phoenix, Arizona-USA)

Cary-Allen-Stone“Cary Allen Stone is a brilliant writer of psychological thrillers and murder mysteries. He writes with a keen eye for detail–the graphic violence is chillingly realistic. He delivers a taut, darkly introspective, cunning and well-executed plot by leaning towards the fallible side of his characters. He understands the criminal mind avoiding the stereotypes that dominate crime thrillers. There is a good balance of chemistry and conflict, good and evil that fans will find enthralling. His characters become embedded in our psyches and the pace of his unraveling of his thriller is a ride not easily forgotten. Cary Allen Stone is an important name to watch. This is one superb crime writer!”––Grady Harp, Amazon Hall of Fame Top 100 Reviewer Vine Voice

My backstory is, I spent almost forty years inside the cockpits of corporate jets and airlines and because of my flying career I acquired a unique perspective of life. I was fortunate in 1992 to fly Sir Ridley Scott on a location scout in the islands. We talked about writing and building an image inside the words. He was quite a mentor.

Before that, I graduated from college with a Bachelor of Arts. I was involved in feature films in LA and Indie films in Phoenix. I have done voice-over, radio commercials, and standup comedy magic. I represented the USA alongside nine other countries in the Night of Magic in Bogota, Colombia performing before dignitaries, ambassadors and their families.

For my “Stealing Atlanta,” I received the endorsements of Clive Cussler and Tim Dorsey.

I’m a proud member of the oldest women’s writers club in the country, the Phoenix Writer’s Club.

My Jake Roberts Novels have been well received by Amazon Hall of Fame Top 10 Reviewers in crime fiction and psychological thrillers. The series has received the READER’S FAVORITE FIVE STARS award. Action adventure author Clive Cussler and South Florida author Tim Dorsey endorsed Stealing Atlanta, my cyber crime thriller.

Featured Book: After The Evil (A Jake Roberts Novel Book 1) by Cary Allen Stone

After-The-Evil-A-Jake-Roberts-Novel-Book-1-by-Cary-Allen-StoneAirline captain Nick Parker has an insatiable sexual appetite and wants sexy flight attendant Megan. On a sexual sabbatical, Fr. Anthony Moralli wants to taste the forbidden fruit. Dr. Thaddeus Abrams married into money, but wants her dead. And Chief of Detectives Ed Fairchild?

He meets a man with information. What do they all have in common? Death by serial killer.

FBI profiler Mika Scott and homicide detective Jake Roberts are obsessed on a cold trail that turns flaming hot. Will they get there in time?

Book Review: After The Evil is an extremely well written psychological crime fiction thriller that will not only keep you turning the page, but will lock you into this Jake Roberts series.

Author Cary Allen Stone taps into the criminal mind of his characters with a fresh perspective and clarity of the psychological nuances. His characters are realistic with engaging dialog and the plot is unpredictable with detailed graphic violence that is for mature audiences.

Father Anthony Moralli battles his sexual desires while serving in his parish. “Father Anthony loved the whole religion thing—the ceremonies, hearing confessions, and especially saving lost souls. He planned to start saving his soul right after saving all of the others. After years of religious studies and training, he concluded it was beyond his comprehension to truly understand God, so he simply preached the commandments, and left the rest to God.”

Homicide detective Jake Roberts reports to Dr. Thaddeus Abrams after an on the job shooting incident. Professionals can have issues too as we learn that Dr. Abrams who married into money, secretly wants his wife dead while attempting to help clients in his busy psychiatric practice. Jake wrestles with post-traumatic stress and Dr. Abrams tells him “I can’t erase what happened to you Jake. It will always be in your memory. All I can do is to try and help you find some closure and that’s going to take time.”

Lori Powers is a beautiful, seductive flight attendant who cause men’s heads to turn when she walks into the room. She is a widow and a mother with secret inner demons that drive her to the cemetery where her beloved daughter is buried.

Airline Captain Nick Parker believes his position of authority gives him license over one or more of his flight attendants. In the right circumstances the hunter can become the hunted.

FBI Profiler Mika Scott teams up with Homicide Detective Jake Roberts to solve a crime spree. They look at the statically data surrounding serial killers like Theodore Bundy while Chief of Detectives Ed Fairchild meets with a man that might have some pertinent information.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is “The mind is truly a remarkable creation, the way it operates. What goes on routinely inside of it is nothing less than miraculous. It can add and subtract, multiply and divide, all of what life throws at us. It is responsible for basic functions of the human body and can contemplate abstract concepts. It’s a fascinating thing, the human mind.”

I invite you to read ‘After The Evil’ and don’t take for granted the intensions of those you work, play and live with.

Theodocia McLean endorses After The Evil (A Jake Roberts Novel Book 1) by Cary Allen Stone. This is book one in the Jake Roberts series. Also enjoy Mind Over Murder, After The Goode, After The Kill, and three standalone books titled Mother’s Day Magic: With Love – Anthology, Stealing Atlanta: A Cybercrime Thriller and Through A Mother’s Eyes: A True Crime Story. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. The review was completed on May 4, 2016.

Genre: Crime Fiction, Psychological Thriller

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Author Augustus M. Cileone (USA)

HPIM0669.JPGAugustus M. Cileone won the Dark Oak Mystery Contest sponsored by Oak Tree Press, for the novel, A Lesson in Murder, about homicides associated with a Philadelphia Quaker school.
His second novel, Feast or Famine, a satire, deals with a traumatized man dealing with his Catholic Italian American upbringing in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

His latest novel, Out of the Picture, published by Sage Words Publishing, is a mystery loaded with movie references, and deals with social outsiders.

He has been honored for his writing by Annual Art Affair, Hidden River Arts, the annual Writer’s Digest writing competition for two plays, The Philadelphia Writers’ Conference, the Montgomery County Community College’s Annual Writers’ Club Poetry and Fiction Contest, Filmmakers International Screenwriting Awards, and the Annual StoryPros International Screenplay Contest.

His short stories appear in the anthologies entitled South Philly Fiction and Death Knell V, and in the literary periodical Schuylkill Valley Journal.

Out Of The Picture by Augustus M. Cileone

Vince Singleton, a writer, part-time English professor at Philadelphia Sacred Covenant University, and huge movie fan, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. He witnessed the accidental shooting of his wife by a policeman during a robbery. Vince, however, suspects that her death was intentional. Now, an old friend of his is found dead amid unusual clues. Vince helps the lieutenant working the case, despite his wariness of policemen. Faculty members associated with animal abuse are murdered and strange items are discovered near the bodies. Vince determines that the clues refer to movies, and, with the help of his daughter, his journalist brother, and a female professor, tries to find the killer before another person is taken … out of the picture.

Book Review: Nothing can go wrong in the close-knit community surrounding Philadelphia Sacred Covenant University in North Philadelphia, USA or can it?

Vince Singleton is retired, but works 3 days a week teaching in the English Department and his co-worker Gina Alimentare makes it bearable with her Italian American homemade cannoli, rum cake, or ricotta cheese cake just to name a few. Even though they have a good working relationship where humor is battered about, Vince just isn’t himself some days and gets under Gina’s skin “What’s the matter with you?” demanded Gina. “Is your crazy barometer reading high today? You know, Patterson asked me to make allowances for your weirdness, but, sometimes you can be annoying as hell.”

Well-developed characters surround Vince Singleton and his daughter Hope. Post-traumatic stress is just one complication Vince faces since the death of his wife Jewel. When his long time college buddy who encouraged and helped him land his teaching position is murdered even his ongoing therapy sessions with Dr. Michael Probst don’t stop the panic attacks.

Vince finds solace with his furry cat friend named Jellybean, as he is compelled as a film enthusiast to get involved in the murder mystery when the clues tie into movie trivia. The pressure is mounting to find this killer before next victim is found dead.

Do the animal rights activists play a role in this evolving mystery?

Theodocia McLean endorses Out Of The Picture by Augustus M. Cileone for the artful writing style that draws the reader into the murder mystery and keeps the reader guessing until the end. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on July 12, 2015.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Murder Mystery, Crime, Fiction

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Author Jason Zandri (Wallingford Connecticut-USA)

Jason-ZandriJason Zandri has been working in the information technology field in one form or the other since 1996. He is currently employed full time at Bloomberg LP as a Systems Engineer in the R&D group.

He lives in Wallingford Connecticut, with his wife Renata. He is the father to four children, three boys and 1 girl – 11 years (Andrew), 9 years (Angela), 7 years (Adam) and 6 years old (Alex).

Jason has six published works of fiction and two “works in progress”. He has three series As Life Goes Series, The Sunset Series and I, Hero Series.

Featured Book: As Life Goes: Elementary (Book One) by Jason Zandri

As-Life-Goes-Elementary-by-Jason-ZandriMark Sanford returns to his hometown with his son Matthew in tow to rebuild their lives. Recently divorced, and with the mother totally abandoning her parental responsibilities, both father and son are beginning their fresh start together.

Matthew begins to make new friends in the neighborhood and at school while he tries to find his place among people that have been friends with one another for years at elementary school. Mark takes over the reins of the former family corner store with the help of a young woman looking for work. The ability to love and trust that woman entering his life is difficult for him because of all he has lost.

For Matthew, that “first love” is difficult to understand without a motherly influence and with a father that has been deeply hurt.

“Every new beginning starts from nothing. Understanding that you can have everything in the love of one person, isn’t that worth the risk of personal capital? Isn’t that kind of love worth it?” by Diane Wakeford.

“Have I ever told you, you’re the nicest boy I’ve ever met?” by Melissa Bancroft.

“I will have the friends I want. I don’t care what boy likes me or what boy I like. You’re an awesome friend. I am not giving you up because we’re going to different schools or for any one person either.” by Elizabeth Wellsworth.

Book Review: This story of heart-break and divorce plays out across America every day. Unlike the higher percentage of outcomes, the main character Mark Sanford is rebuilding his life with his pre-teen son Matthew. I quote the first paragraph as it is a well written indicative snap shot of life as it now stands for Mark Sanford.

“Mark Sanford stood among the boxes in the living room of his father’s former home—a small three-bedroom cape—with a cup of coffee in his hand. The weak morning sunlight broke through the early winter cloud cover and came in the windows and around the hanging drapes. It had been nearly sixteen years since he’d lived on South Cherry Street with his parents. He remembered the day he moved out of the house to his apartment at eighteen years of age, shortly after his mother had passed away. He now smiled at the irony of wanting to come back to a place he was so ready to leave in order to start his adult life so many years ago, in an effort now to simply start over.”

This is a touching story about a father creating a new life out of the circumstances around him while his son Matthew adjusts to his new home, loss of friendships, new school, challenge of building new friends, awkward adolescence, coming of age, and the desire to be grow up and be included in all of the important decisions that affect his life.

The story is well written and realistic. The characters are probably someone you know and could even be yourself. Life lessons are taught within the situations and dialog between families, friends, and co-workers. There is a mixer of character, moral values, and light romance that show how small town communities, especially in the past, impacted each life within the community. For some of us older readers it brings back some nostalgia. For the younger generation it shows that there is more to life than the electronics that consume them. It is a story of family bonds, community, friendships, life, love, passion, direction, and personal interaction.

Theodocia McLean endorses As Life Goes: Elementary (book one) by Jason Zandri as a reminder of simpler times and straight forward even “elementary” values. As Life Goes: The End Of The Innocence (book two) continues the story. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format.  This review was completed on December 14, 2015.

Genre: Fiction, Contemporary

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Author B. W. Prescott (California-USA)

PosterAuthor B. W. Prescott is the public persona of an anonymous, 57-year-old, white male who has spent his entire life contending with serious mental illness and addictions within his birth family. The problems caused by these mental illnesses and addictions have included medical issues and extended hospitalizations, civil litigation, arrests and criminal prosecution, terminations of employment, financial hardships, life-threatening physical violence, and social ostracization. Compounding these issues was the culture of Ben’s puritanical, ultra-conservative, and social climbing extended family that denied any suggestion that either a mental illness or addiction existed, and rigidly enforced a code of silence so as not to tarnish their public image.

When a series of catastrophic events unfolded in 1974 that were so severe that they could no longer be silenced or ignored and which publicly revealed the full magnitude of the problem, Ben, in a mixture or despair, rebellion, and an attempt to anesthetize himself from the pain, buried himself in school and work, and went on an eight-year drug and alcohol fueled bender that nearly ruined him. After hitting rock bottom, and after experiencing a life-changing, not-of-this-world encounter that he can only attribute to Devine intervention, Ben began the process of rebuilding his life and pursuing the path towards emotional intelligence that has become the basis of this book. Over the next thirty years, Ben remarried and raised a family; became a successful entrepreneur; buried half his family; stood by others as they battled cancer; suffered his own life-changing injury; became a multimillionaire–and then lost most of that fortune after 9/11. Along the way he discovered what life is about and realized what he’s supposed to do with the life he has been given.

Today, he is a “C” level executive, management consultant, and author with extensive expertise in the healthcare and technology industries. Ben has been a member of the executive teams of three very successful technology companies taking each from the earliest stages, through multiple financing rounds and rapid growth, to exits through either an initial public offering or acquisition by a larger publicly traded company. In 2000 a company that Ben co-founded and served as President and Chief Operating Officer was honored by the Smithsonian Institution as being one of the ten most innovative technologies on the planet out of field of nearly 4,000 global nominees. He has been a trusted advisor to the senior executives of companies such as Hewlett-Packard, W.R. Grace, Morgan Stanley, Blackstone, MetLife, United Healthcare, Ernst & Young, Microsoft, and many other Fortune 500 clients. He currently coaches and advises entrepreneurs and CEOs of early to late stage technology companies and serves as the Managing Director of the knowledge management, advanced analytics, and big data practice for a technology accelerator and venture fund based in California.

Driven by his life experience and a burning need to ensure that others do not have to silently suffer with the twin issues of mental illness and addiction with which he has so long contended, Ben has made these issues a focus of his personal and professional existence. He has authored several articles and book chapters on the application of technology for managing the delivery of clinical services and the administration of public health and patient navigation initiatives. He has edited three books on patient and family journeys through addiction and mental illness. He has been a featured speaker and presenter at several national and international healthcare and technology conferences. He has spent decades working with various Children’s Hospitals and National Alliance on Mental Illness chapters across the United States on outpatient and community outreach programs designed to mentor and serve the physical and emotional needs of patients and families dealing with abuse, addiction and mental illness. In other volunteer efforts he has worked with Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the Boy Scouts of America, and several school districts on mentoring programs to educate and equip at-risk children and adolescents.

He is a former Big Four CPA and Consultant. He pursued his doctorate in Organization Behavior and earned his MBA from programs that were rated in the top five in the nation. He holds bachelor degrees in Economics and Psychology from the University of California. Ben has been married for over 27 years to an educator and parent coach who has dedicated her professional and personal life to the nurture and development of children. Together they are the proud parents of two grown children, a son and a daughter, who carried on the family tradition of swimming, water polo, and lifeguarding. Their son is an Eagle Scout. Their daughter was in the Assistance League and volunteered her time to help homeless families and children of abuse. Both kids are recent college graduates who now work in the software and healthcare industries. Ben maintains his sanity by surfing and hiking the coastal hills and valleys of his native California.

Managing Your Inner A**Hole: An Unusual Education In The Fundamentals Of Emotional Intelligence by B. W. Prescott

Managing-Your-Inner-A...Hole-An-Unusual-Education-In-The-Fundamentals-Of-Emotional-Intelligence-–-by-B-W-Prescott“Have you ever let your emotions get the better of you? Have you ever felt like events, or circumstances, or other people were controlling you—instead of you being in control of you? Have you ever acted in a way that you later regretted because you were caught off guard, or were tired, or angry, or hurt, or frustrated, or didn’t really know what to do, or just didn’t have the time you needed to think through how you should respond to something or someone before you actually did? Have you ever hated yourself afterward, or wondered how you could be so dumb?

Have you ever wondered why nobody ever wrote down a practical set of step-by-step, bulletproof guidelines for developing and maintaining a healthy relationship? Or have you ever wondered why, if there really is a God and He really is the Creator of the universe, why He didn’t bother to take the time to leave us a simple list of instructions for dealing with the biggest emotional challenges of our lives?
If you’ve ever asked yourself any of these questions, then this book is for you! That list of bulletproof instructions not only exists, God wrote them. Managing Your Inner A**hole is an unvarnished, unconventional look at the greatest practical advice the Bible has to offer without a hint of preaching, pretense, or posturing. Imminently logical without the guilt-trip, compassionate and humble without judgment or condemnation, this is a story of acceptance and empowerment about what it means to really love, what you have to do to really grow, and the surprisingly simple steps you can take right now to manage your own Inner A**hole and build a happier, healthier life and network of relationships than you ever dreamed possible.”

Book Review: I am deeply moved by B.W. Prescott’s book, life, and mission.

This is a deeply honest book designed to help others in their healing journey.

The author weaves his own personal experiences and self-discovery into a life resource guide to wake the sleeping spirit inside us and draw us to a deeper awareness of self, others, our existence and the power of God to communicate his love when a person is in their own deepest personal hell.

B. W. Prescott’s is a master of reflecting his intellect, love and deep passion for helping others, and it shines through in a way that makes you stop and ponder where you are, where you are going and where will you end up.

Once this book is in your hands, it will be impossible to put down.

Cold Coffee Press endorses B. W. Prescott’s book titled ‘Managing Your Inner A**Hole: An Unusual Education In The Fundamentals Of Emotional Intelligence’.

Reviewed by Theodocia McLean on July 24, 2014

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Author A. K. Taylor (Georgia, USA)

A.-K.-TaylorA. K. Taylor is an award winning YA fantasy/science fiction adventure writer who has been writing novels since age 16. Taylor also draws her characters and maps of the worlds she created sense then. Before this she began loving writing at age 8 and a natural world builder.

She grew up in the backwoods of Georgia where she learned about nature. She enjoys hunting and fishing, beekeeping, gardening, archery, shooting, hiking, and has various collections.

She also has interest in music, Native American history and heritage, Egyptian history, and the natural sciences. A.K. Taylor has been writing and drawing since the age of 16. A.K. Taylor has graduated from the University of Georgia with a biology degree, and she shares an interest in herpetology with her husband.

Now she is a compulsive blogger and a genre hopper, but her first love will always be fantasy!

In 2013 she founded Soaring Eagle Publicity. Visit www.soaringeaglepublicity.com to see what it’s all about.

Connect with her on her author site and blog at www.backwoodsauthor.com

Occupations: MG/YA fantasy/sci-fi author (now award winning), beekeeper, amateur herpetologist, scientist, artist, marksman, blogger, outdoor sportsman, and animal lover. Musician and instrumentalist who played the French horn since middle school.

Interesting facts: I love the animals that most people hate. I LOVE snakes. Snakes need love too, but I don’t cuddle with the venomous ones, BTW, so you won’t see my life story on “Fatal Attractions”. Most people hate bees (not the same thing as wasps and hornets), but they aren’t as easy to hold and pet since they are too easy to squash and they sting. I love them enough so that they will make honey.

Chocoholic and action addict. Big Vin Diesel fan. I have a lot of favorite movies: Star Wars, Dirty Harry, Legend…I’ll stop there. Did I mention I was an action addict? I don’t like being bored.

I began my writing career young at sweet 16 that began with my debut novel Neiko’s Five Land Adventure. Instead of a car, I wanted my own computer, but didn’t happen till I bought my own about five years later. I started out on my parents’ ancient slow computer. I received my first rejection slip when I was 21, but it was a blessing in disguise. I chose the indie way instead!

Graduate of UGA with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. Total science nerd. I love all science besides biology; chemistry is my fave. I hate political science, but that’s not science–I don’t even think it’s a pseudoscience.

  • Owner and CEO of Soaring Eagle Publications LLC
  • Blog Coordinator for YAPC
  • Owner and Publicist at Soaring Eagle Publicity
  • CEO and Publisher at Soaring Eagle Books
  • For savvy tips, tools, and resources for new and aspiring (sometimes established) authors, check out my other blog Newbie Authors Guide
  • Blog Coordinator at Booklover’s Heaven
  • PT Book Reviewer and avid reader when I have time to read between it all. Not a fan of Romance but I love action!

Why is it called this? There is more than one AK Taylor out there, but as far as she knows she’s the only one from the backwoods, and the backwoods makes up her life!

Featured Selection

neikos-five-land-adventure-the-neiko-adventure-saga-book-1-by-a-k-taylorNeiko’s Five Land Adventure (The Neiko Adventure Saga Book 1) by A. K. Taylor

What if the fate of two worlds were in the hands of one person: you?

The childhood secret of a troubled teen warrior is used against her by her enemies. It turns out what Neiko imagined is real, and she becomes trapped in the same world she imagined by an otherworldly evil that is worse than the devil. Getting home is the least of her problems.

The Indians and the Cracked skulls are locked in the turmoil of a war that has raged for centuries, and it is presently in a stalemate. Her enemies, Raven and Bloodhawk, have come up with a scheme to take her down, but in doing so they inadvertently open the door to another universe and to an otherworldly evil. Neiko later finds out that a land she thought she had only imagined is actually real and the dark being is not a figment of her childhood imagination-he is terrifyingly real and she faces him for the first time. To make matters worse, it is now in her world and he has evil plans especially for her.

After several standoffs with the malevolent Ramses the Dark Pharaoh in Hawote, she is trapped in Qari by his strange and powerful magic. Trapped in another universe in a place that is not exactly the way she imagined it, and she must somehow find a way to teleport home. That is easier said than done; the odds are overwhelmingly against her and her scorpion-cobra companion as they must travel to find the answer and help but at the same time avoid Ramses’ allies, traps, and tricks. Can she come back home and turn the tables on her enemies?

If you love the hidden worlds and magic of Percy Jackson and Harry Potter, travel to other worlds like Warriors of Virtue and The Never-ending Story, and a strong female protagonist with a bow (only that she’s Native American and a nerd at heart who doesn’t want to completely grow up!) like the Hunger Games, you will love Neiko’s Five Land Adventure!

Awards:

  • Winner of the 2012 Indie Reader Approved Award
  • Nominated as “A Great Book for Kids” by fantasy and science fiction reviewer CC Cole

Praise for Neiko’s Five Land Adventure:

“Plenty of action and inspired imagination.” By Wulfstan Top 100 Reviewer

“From the first word, Taylor delivers a fresh, vibrant tale of two different worlds.” By Steven Knight Book review and author of “Born of Blood”

“An imaginative journey that is that is much of an adventure for the reader as it is for Neiko.” By CC Cole Book Reviewer and author of the Gastar Series

“A great middle school or read to me book with tons of adventure and characters.” By Paper Mustang Book Reviewer

“A fantastical twist to the childhood game of Cowboys and Indians and a wonderful coming of age story.” By Indie Reader Reviewer

“Neiko’s five land adventure is a gripping young adult fantasy tale. You get an exceptional feel for the protagonist, Neiko, as you travel through the rich worlds between reality and imaginary (well not really imaginary as Neiko soon finds out!) alongside her and her cohorts (I particularly liked Quickstrike)” by Michael Dadich, Award Winning Author of the Silver Sphere

Book Review

I can’t begin to imagine A. K. Taylor as a young girl writing fascinating fantasy tales like Neiko’s Five Land Adventure (Neiko Adventure Saga Book One). Granted as an adult the author has revised this teen writing project and added the wisdom and balance of being a grown, educated and married woman.

Take a moment and think back to your childhood bedroom. Recall your favorite toys, the ones you played with the most and the ones that caused you some discomfort in the dark. Now imagine your bedroom transformed into a fantasy land were you were called upon to battle for the good and defeat evil between reality and imaginary. What if you found out those imaginary worlds and the people/creatures in it were real and you became trapped there? Some things you imagined were incorrect. What would you do?

Neiko’s has one foot in reality and the other where she is Captain Neiko Kidd, commanding officer of the Desert Storm Falcons a hidden world that coexists with the known one. These woodland warriors battle with the Crackedskulls and it has to be done before supper.

I always like to share a quote from each book that I review, not to spoil, but to engage. Now imagine yourself back as a teen trying to communicate with your mom and see if it would go something like this:

“Well, here goes nothing,” said Neiko as she walked down the hall. She was trying to measure up what to say to her mother about what happened. She sat down at the table and waited for her mom to hand her dinner. They prayed, and after they finished, Neiko began eating.

“I wonder where your daddy is,” her mom said, trying to break the silence.

“I don’t know, probably got held up at LP again,” Neiko replied with a mouth full of cabbage.

“Is there something on your mind? You’re awfully quiet.”

“Yeah, um—did you hear anything strange—like in my room… like metal hitting the wall or something?”

“No, why?”

“I was just wondering because a couple of strange things happened a few minutes ago.”

“Like what?”

“Well—like…um—I was playing with Ramses, and when he hit the wall he clanged, and then I tried to bring him in the toy box; I missed, and he hit the side and said ‘Ow’.”

“Who is Ramses?”

“One of my toys—the guy with the shiny armor.”

“Amanda,” she groaned in an aggravated manner, then said gently, “Oh—yeah— well… that’s nice, dear.”

“Mom, I ain’t makin’ this up. It really happened.”

“That’s really using your imagination. Did this happen during a battle?”

“No! This wasn’t pretend—this was real. Like in real life,” Neiko stammered.

“Oh, well, that’s a really nice joke—”

“I’m not joking—and I haven’t even laughed about it. If I was joking, then I would be laughing my head off.”

“Has he ever done this before?” “No.”

“Did he come with any special real-life sounds or anything?”

“No, he was just a plain toy. I’ve had him for a long time, and I’ve played with him a million times, and it’s never happened before—never mind, let’s talk about something else.”

The question begs to be answered, would your Mom believe you? What if your real or imaginary friends reveled in the fact that your Mom just didn’t understand.

I encourage teens and young adults to read ‘Neiko’s Five Land Adventure’ and learn from a peer that you must have courage and the strength to face the odds and fight for what you believe. Teens will enjoy this book and perhaps it will encourage them to write about their toys and action figures that seem to at times, take on a life of their own.

This book was winner of the ‘2012 Indie Reader Approved Award’ and this book was nominated as “A Great Book for Kids” by fantasy and science fiction reviewer CC Cole

Author A. K. Taylor created the Map of Hawote/Georgia and the Map of Qari and has been writing and drawing since the age of sixteen. She worked with another artist to create the 23 black and white photos that help bring the story to life IN THE Sixty-five chapters. There are also letters and an amazing log titled “Neiko’s Log” at the end of this book which details, people, places and events. This log will help young readers as this series continues.

For parents: The author grew up in the backwoods of Georgia where she learned hunting and fishing, beekeeping, gardening, archery, shooting, hiking, and has various collections. She has her degree from University of Georgia with a biology degree. I think she is a good role model for teens and young adults.

Theodocia McLean endorses Neiko’s Five Land Adventure (The Neiko Adventure Saga Book 1) by A. K. Taylor and encourage teens and young adults to read Neiko’s Five Land Adventure (Book One), Escape from Ancient Egypt (Book Two), The Newbie Author’s Survival Guide and her latest book title Bloody Klondike Gold. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on October 20, 2016.

Genre: Fiction, General

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Author M. C. V. Egan (Florida-USA)

M. C. V. Egan 2017 FixedM. C. V. Egan is the pen name chosen by Maria Catalina Vergara Egan. Catalina was born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1959, the sixth of eight children, in a traditional Catholic family.

From a very young age, she became obsessed with the story of her maternal grandfather, Cesar Agustin Castillo–mostly the story of how he died. She spent her childhood in Mexico.

When her father became an employee of The World Bank in Washington D.C. in the early 1970s, she moved with her entire family to the United States. Catalina was already fluent in English, as she had spent one school year in the town of Pineville, Louisiana with her grandparents. There she won the English award, despite being the only one who had English as a second language in her class.

In the D.C. suburbs she attended various private Catholic schools and graduated from Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland in 1977. She attended Montgomery Community College, where she changed majors every semester. She also studied in Lyons, France, at the Catholic University for two years.

In 1981, due to an impulsive young marriage to a Viking (the Swedish kind, not the football player kind), Catalina moved to Sweden where she resided for five years and taught at a language school for Swedish, Danish, and Finnish business people.

She then returned to the USA, where she has lived ever since. She is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Swedish. Maria Catalina Vergara Egan is married and has one son who, together with their five-pound Chihuahua, makes her feel like a full-time mother.

Although she would not call herself an astrologer she has taken many classes and taught a few beginner classes in the subject. She celebrated her 52nd birthday on July 2nd, 2011, and gave herself self-publishing The Bridge of Deaths as a gift. Find M. C. V. Egan and The Bridge of Deaths at http://www.thebridgeofdeaths.com.

Death-of-a-Sculptor-in-Hue-Shape-and-Color-by-M.C.V.-EganFeatured Book: Death of a Sculptor in Hue, Shape and Color by M.C.V. Egan

Color coded love stories and revealing female anatomies lead to the murder of world renowned sculptor, Bruce Jones.

In life, the artist loved women, almost as much as women loved him. Adored for his art and colorful personality, Bruce is mourned by the world at large. The tale is launched with the multifaceted perspectives of four ex-wives, the current wife, and his new love interest and their children.

Mary , Bruce’s wealthy first love, is always in perfect pink; the color of love. Mother of Clair the famous actress and Aaron the corporate lawyer.

Leslie The Second’s color is yellow for her sunny nature as much as for her fears and insecurities. Her only son Bobby is vulnerable and lost. Mourning his father’s death, he finds himself.

Petra The Third, is outstanding in orange, representing not only her native Holland but also her love of the fruit. Cherished her freedom and had no children of her own.

Toni The Fourth is a vibrant passionate Italian red and part of the eventual glue that creates and solidifies this dysfunctional Jones family. Her teenage daughters Tina and Isa are as different as night and day.

Brooke The Fifth a gold-digger. Green, her color, reflects the color of money and envy. Her young son’s Kyle and Caleb are too young to understand why their world has been turned upside-down.

Mara, as blue as the ocean was the last woman to steal Bruce’s heart. Mother to newborn Baby Peter is the unexpected gift and surprise.

Bruce Jones’ eight children speak out, too. They are as distinctive as the women he loved, their mothers.

Loose ends are tied up by the insights of Sylvia, Aaron’s wife and a trusted keeper of secrets; Scott, the private investigator and family friend; Nona, the quintessential grandmother everyone loves but to whom few are truly related; and Detective Jim Miller who will not rest until he discovers Bruce Jones’ murderer.

Book Review: Although the author has placed this book in the literary, contemporary fiction genre, I would go a step further and also list ‘Death of a Sculptor in Hue, Shape and Color’ by M. C. V. Egan in the psychological crime fiction genre.

This book opens in a most unusual place. We the readers are participates in the funeral of renowned sculptor Bruce Jones. This beginning should have a psychological effect on any thinking reader as this is no ordinary funeral with the normal mourners. In fact the church pew normally reserved for the wife and children of the diseased is filled with Bruce Jones’ five legal wives.

Author M. C. V. Egan casts her characters well and introduces each wife to the reader in the same hue, shape and color that had attracted sculptor Bruce Jones to them. To spice things up a bit, Bruce Jones didn’t die of natural causes and it is Bruce’s daughter-in-law Sylvia who is the keeper of secrets.

All families have secrets, but few have the psychological dynamics of the six women who Bruce brought into the family and the eight children that were conceived by his artistic reflections. Not only is Scott (the private investor), Detective Jim Miller, family friends, in-laws drawn into the drama surrounding Bruce Jones death, but an international community that respects this man as a sculptor and art teacher. His legacy and fortune will touch more than a generation.

Once I read this novelette, my mind created scenarios to answer the many unanswered questions left behind. I invite you read ‘Death of a Sculptor in Hue, Shape and Color’ by M.C.V. Egan. I wish there was a way for me to know, if you the reader come away with the same questions. I can only hope that this book is an introduction to a series where the characters that now live in my head will find their way back to a page where more psychological pieces will craft the completed puzzle with conclusions that will define this Sculptor as the real focus of his art. My mind created a scenario where the story would make a good ‘twilight zone’ episode (if expanded).

Once you have read ‘Death of a Sculptor in Hue, Shape and Color’ by M.C.V. Egan, I invite you to read ‘Defined by Others’ and ‘The Bridge Of Deaths’ as I have enjoyed these books too.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Death of a Sculptor in Hue, Shape and Color by M.C.V. Egan. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on January 11, 2017.

Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Psychological Crime Fiction

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Author Arleen Alleman (SW Florida-USA)

Arleen-AllemanArleen Alleman is a former analyst with the U.S. Government Accountability Office where she wrote extensively on many topics ranging from satellite systems to endangered species. She has a science education and worked as a fashion model, insurance adjuster, jewelry designer, and proprietor of a home décor shop.

Her interests include reading, health and fitness, world religions, and travel. Her world travels supply authentic backdrops for her stories. Born in England and raised in New Hampshire and Nevada, she spent many years in Colorado before moving to SW Florida with her husband, Tim.

Arleen has just completed the 6th and final book in the Darcy Farthing Adventures.

In order of publication: Currents Deep and Deadly, Currents of Vengeance, Current Assets, Alternate Currents, A Current Deception and Currents of Sin.

Winner of Books and Authors 2012 Best Trilogy Award for “Currents Deep and Deadly” “Currents of Vengeance” and “Current Assets”.

The sixth and final Darcy Farthing Adventure, Currents Of Sin, explores human trafficking. Cold Coffee Press says “challenge your understanding of the problem with Author Arleen Alleman’s newest suspense-filled psychological fictional drama, meticulously researched and skillfully written will underscore the danger that awaits teenage runaways in America.”

The fifth Darcy Farthing Adventure, A Current Deception, explores themes of computer hacking, identity theft, and long-held grudges and revenge played out on a cruise ship sailing around Australia. Murder-mystery with the added plots of a yellow crazy ant infestation as well as food-borne pathogens.

The fourth Darcy Farthing adventure “Alternate Currents” was a finalist in Foreword Reviews Magazine’s 2013 Indie Book of the Year Awards. This is a timely topical story of mystery, child abduction, and murder set in Seattle, WA. Darcy rushes to the aid of good friend, Don Freeburg, when his partner, Charlie Scott, disappears. She is soon immersed in a murder investigation and the shocking abduction of Penelope, Don and Charlie’s daughter by surrogacy.

The first two novels in the series are based on crime and mystery aboard cruise ships. The third in series “Current Assets” is set in South Florida and involves local corruption, terrorism, and the U.S. Marshals asset forfeiture program.

The series is unique in that it addresses social issues along with the murder-mystery elements of the stories. Themes addressed in the first four installments include, family issues and adoption, PTSD, alternative lifestyles, religion, government corruption, and cruise ship safety. This is a series that follows the lives of the characters over time, but the author has taken great care to write each book so it can stand alone. This said she reports that at book signings most people still want to begin with the first book.

Featured Selection

Currents Of Sin: Darcy Farthing Adventure Book Six by Arleen Alleman

Currents-Of-Sin-By-Arleen-AllemanIn downtown Las Vegas homeless teens are disappearing from the streets, and Darcy fears that runaway teen, Pammie Fleetfoot, has succumbed to human traffickers. After Darcy befriends two young prostitutes, their pimp is brutally murdered, but they refuse her offer of help to leave the streets. She finds that they have fallen under the influence of a dubious, self-styled preacher. When she confronts him, her activities draw the attention of brutal Asian gang members, and an old nemesis with a deadly agenda.

When an attack on Darcy and her friend, Sid, brings life-changing consequences, Darcy doubles her effort to end the violence, stop the human trafficking, and finally determine Pammie’s fate. When clues lead to a strip hotel with links to their past, Darcy and husband, Mick, join forces with local law enforcement to free girls who’ve been forced into prostitution, only to find themselves caught between two vicious criminal factions.

Book Review: If you care about the intense suffering that goes hand in hand with global human trafficking, challenge your understanding of the problem with Author Arleen Alleman’s newest suspense-filled psychological fictional drama, meticulously researched and skillfully written will underscore the danger that awaits teenage runaways in America.

With the tension of time ticking way, lives on the line and bold, unrelenting evil will cause your heart to race and blood boil as innocent young lives are terrorized and devalued on the altar of greed. I share a couple of quotes in order to draw you into the story.

Part One titled ‘Persecutors and Prey’ with 19 chapters reinforces every parent, grandparent, sibling, friend, and law enforcement’s nightmare when a teen goes missing. Following in the footsteps of each of these stand-alone Darcy Farthing series books ‘Currents Of Sin’ outlines a criminal drama when Darcy Farthing is contacted and rushes to Las Vegas when a teen named Pamela goes missing.

Quote: “In yet another world apart from downtown Vegas, a beautiful young woman with dark hair and eyes blinked into blackness then rolled onto one side as far as her tether would allow. She didn’t know what awakened her, only that she’d suddenly jerked to awareness. As her eyes adjusted to the gloom she tried to shake off the remnants of sleep . . . and something else.”

Part Two titled ‘Murder and Misery’ has 27 chapters that begins on day six through day nine will thrust you into the world of drugs, gangs, human traffickers that enslave, sell and ship unsuspecting teens to buyers across the continents. No one is safe when billions of dollars the motivating factor.

Quote: “Tom called early in the morning to tell me about Shimmer’s murder. I plopped down on a barstool after my knees almost gave way. I thought I detected a surge in my blood pressure as he was explaining how he was driving down Fremont and came upon the huge police presence. He parked and walked to the motel where he stood as close as possible to watch the action. Part of me wished I’d been with him. Another part, not so much.”

Part Three titled ‘Rescue and Raids’ includes 33 chapters that start on Day 10 and goes through Day 16 keeps the reader turning the page. Who is the good guy and who is the bad guy?

Quote: “In a dark, decrepit room at the Green Door, five members of the Asian gang were planning their next move. The tattered drapes were drawn tight and despite the efforts of an ancient swamp cooler, the temperature hovered around ninety. The room was small and the men were big. Several sat on chairs they’d brought from other rooms they controlled, and an oversized cooler full of beer sat against the wall.

Curtis leaned back in his rickety wooden chair, wiped perspiration from his forehead, and gulped down a Bud while he listened intently to the boss.

“These assholes are going to be history. They think they can send spies down here to run our bitches? Then grab em off the street just when we’re seasoning them? No fucking way, man! Not gonna happen anymore.”

He looked around the room and his eyes fell on Curtis. “You, the new guy, let’s hear what you think we should do about it.”

Wrapping things up 6 Months later, I quote: “All the current ills of the world can be traced back to our failure to embrace and entrench these basic necessary characteristics, simple and broad as they are. We have gotten in our own way. Thankfully, individuals rise above their base natures to embrace one or more of them, often without realizing the impact of their actions on future generations.”

I invite you to read Currents Of Sin: book six in the Darcy Farthing series by Arleen Alleman and answer these questions for yourself:

Can Darcy’s marriage and Mick’s PTSD withstand this test of time?

Is there a psychic connection between Tom, Darcy, Mick, Rachael, Brooks, Sid, Don and Charlie?

Is it possible that a man in Darcy’s past is responsible for these crimes?

What will be Pamela’s fate be and can others be saved?

The Darcy Farthing series books stand alone and you can read them in any order. I encourage you to also purchase Currents Deep and Deadly: Book One, Currents Of Vengeance: Book Two, Current Assets: Book Three, Alternate Currents: Book Four and A Current Deception: Book Five which are all sold in print and eBook format at Amazon.

Theodocia McLean endorses Currents Of Sin by Arleen Alleman. I purchased and reviewed this book from a Kindle format. This review was completed on July 23, 2016.

Genre: Exciting Suspense-filled Fictional Crime Mystery, Thriller, Action Adventure

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Author Lisa Miller (Anchorage, Alaska-USA)

Lisa C. Miller is an inspirational writer. She and her family live in the beautiful state of Alaska where the spirit of animals and men roam free.

She writes through the whispered power of the Holy Spirit. She wants to write about the beauty and simplicity of life and reveal the beauty of Christ to the broken and lost souls of humanity. She has been given the ability to write simply and honestly from the heart so it is understandable. She believes writing is a language of the heart and is a beautiful way to share one’s innermost feelings.

Lisa C. Miller is an author working under the Holy Spirit’s daily direction. She focuses on the Holy Spirits daily direction for her life and writing. She has enjoyed a creative partnership with the Holy Spirit for many years.

She writes inspirational poetry and has published two books so far. She has been told by her readers that her writing reminds them of the Psalms of David. She is similar to Ruth Bell Graham and Helen Steiner Rice.

Here is a quote that she thinks is close to how she writes: “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart” by William Wordsworth

Featured Book: Inspirations from Heaven’s Gate by Lisa C. Miller

This is a poetry book full of bible verses sprinkled throughout the book . This was written with the whispered power of the Holy Spirit to help the lost and broken souls of humanity.

It is my hope this book reveals the beauty and simplicity of life and Christ love for us. This book takes you on a journey of which when you return you will be different, stronger in spirit and character. This is a book of hope, encouragement and inspiration.

This book contains inspirational and philosophical poems and stories that I feel everyone can relate to and use on a daily basis. As a Christian I believe people need words so their world is beautiful. Everyone can benefit from the power of words. So I leave the words on the page for everyone to use. This book should be a great tool in strengthening your Christian Life.

When you enter its pages may you receive many blessings from reading: “Inspirations from Heaven’s Gate.”

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