Posted in Fantasy, Spotlight on December 31, 2013



The Lightbearers is about an ancient Egyptian King and Queen who have been reincarnating for over 3300 years and is based on the lives of Akhenaten and Nefertiti about whom I created a fantasy. As Lightbearers, their mission is to be guardians of the human race and I have ascribed to them the powers of astral projection, telepathy and psycho-kinesis.  In ancient Egypt they were mentored by a being from a more advanced civilization.  They must try and influence anyone whose path they cross to become Lightbearers as well and hopefully raise the collective consciousness of the planet.  The story opens in the 21st century when they discover a terrible secret for which they are assassinated and must return to resolve the conflict. They can determine when they return and the gender in which they return but they cannot predetermine their identities so they have to pick a time, a place and a signal by which they can identify each other and reunite.  They decide to meet 20 years later on the UCLA campus where he will sit under a tree near the computer science building strumming “Imagine” by John Lennon.  The reunion takes place but not without a hitch and their journey continues.

Praise for The Lightbearers

By Weston A. Kincade on January 17, 2013, posted on Amazon

The Lightbearers is a fantastic story where Egyptian royalty, the supernatural, romance, and political corruption all coincide. I enjoyed reading both about the evolution of Akhenaton and Nefertiti’s powers and their struggle to bring peace and power to the world’s inhabitants. The idea that we can be more, do more, with what we have if only we understood how to tap those abilities has always fascinated me, and Nora has certainly written a story that stretches the imagination, but not so far as to be unbelievable. The combination of tragic loss reminds me of Romeo and Juliet with a sci-fi spin, but in Nora’s world each life is yet another chance to find happiness once more. It’s a moral we should all take to heart in the hopes of a brighter future.

I’d recommend that any fans of the supernatural, sci-fi, or romance pick up this book. It will certainly be worth every penny and much more.


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About the Author

NoraBorn, raised and educated in New York City, Nora now makes her home in Southern California where, recently divorced, she enjoys a successful career in the media business.  When Nora first began researching The Lightbearers, she went to the New York Public Library and immediately headed for the Egyptian section.  While walking down the empty aisles a book suddenly fell off the shelf and landed at her feet.  It turned out to be Akhenaten’s biography; Nora was immediately captivated with his story and hence the creation of a fantasy about Akhenaten and Nefertiti.

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Posted in Cozy, excerpt, Monday, mystery, Spotlight on December 30, 2013

Today I’d like to welcome author Sharon Burch Toner to StoreyBook Reviews.  She writes the Maggie McGill series which is a cozy mystery series.  Sharon has kindly sent me the first book in the series that I will be reading and reviewing in the coming months, but wanted to introduce her to you so you can look for her books now!  And watch for a giveaway tied to that review.

This is the order of the books and I’m highlighting the first book below.  If you click on the links of the books it will take you to Goodreads where you can check out more about the books:

maggies image


When Florida psychotherapist, Maggie McGill, plans a vacation visit to her daughter, Allie, in California the mysterious events initially seem only coincidences. But as the visit is plagued by a series of increasingly dangerous events they begin to fear for their safety. The two unsuspecting women are caught up in a mystery that causes them to follow a twisting trail of terror and uncover a diabolical conspiracy that threatens their very lives. Who is the inscrutable Sufi mystic who provides aid through their travails? How did he become part of their adventures? This is suspenseful story telling at it peak of gripping power tempered by a sense of fun and lighthearted mystery

Excerpt (from Sharon’s website)

Maggie and Allie sat side by side on the edge of the bed. “If this were the movies we’d pull out a hairpin, work some mechanical magic and escape,” Allie said dejectedly. “Women don’t use hairpins much these days.”

Maggie mused, “What do we have to work with? A bed with bed linens. Two night stands with lamps. Two really heavy chairs. A room lined with mirrors—even the ceiling! My God, it makes you think!” She broke into a soft chuckle.

“Mom, back to business. We can analyze the owner later.”

“Okay. Okay. I read a novel once where the prisoners wired the doorknob so that when the villains opened the door they were electrocuted. What do you think? We could use the lamp cord.” Maggie whispered hopefully.

“Great. But what if we screw it up and electrocute ourselves?”

“What if we don’t?” Maggie responded.

“You sound just like Pooh!”

“I know.” Maggie grinned in the dark. “But Pooh never let himself feel scared.”

Allie whispered, “Yeah. I guess we can use some of that. Okay. Let’s check out a lamp. This would be easier if we could see.”

“But then they might know we’re up and about.”

“Yeah, I know.” Allie picked up the nearest lamp and followed its cord to the socket. She unplugged it and lifted the lamp. “Ugh. This sucker is heavy. Let’s see if we can find an outlet near the door.” They crawled again examining by touch the walls on either side of the door.

“Psst. Found one. Bring the lamp.” Maggie held the cord near the outlet while Allie carried the lamp toward the door, stretching the cord out.

“Rats.” The cord was at least eighteen inches too short to reach.

“Now what?”

Maggie sighed and took another deep breath. “Well, Sweetie, I have only one other thought right now. I really liked the electrocution idea. It had so much style!”

Allie whispered impatiently, “Who cares about style. What’s the idea? We just need to get out of here.”

“We could push the chairs behind the door and bash them with a lamp when they come through the door. No style at all, but probably effective,” Maggie said glumly.

Allie smiled. “Sounds perfect to me, Mom. Let’s do it!”

With much quiet grunting and panting they pushed the two chairs across the deep carpet to the door and placed one on either side of it. They placed the bed pillows lengthwise on the bed to give what they hoped would give a momentary impression of their two bodies still incapacitated. Finally they each took a heavy lamp and climbed onto a chair to wait.

“If there are two of them, I’ll take the first one. You get the second. Okay?” Allie asked.

“Right. You get the first. I’ll get the second. Boy, I sure wish I knew karate or something,” Maggie whispered.


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Posted in Book Blast, contest, e-books, Giveaway, Young Adult on December 29, 2013


Winter Reads Cover


Sit back, relax in your favorite reading chair and enjoy 15 Winter Reads from 15 bestselling YA authors. There is something to delight every reader in this box set – paranormal romance, futuristic sci-fi, historical, time travel, and contemporary. Many of the Indelibles have given you access to both the first and second books in their series – you’ll be reading well into the New Year!

LIMITED TIME BOX SET – from 15 bestselling YA authors
ON SALE 12/29 – 1/11 for just $1.99

Amazon * Barnes & Noble

15 Winter Reads includes:


Iron ButterflyThe Iron Butterfly by Chanda Hahn

Escaping an experimental prison, Thalia tries to hide her past and her gifts, from her friends. But her past isn’t always easy to escape, especially when it hunts you down.

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TrembleTremble (Celestra Series) by Addison Moore

Sixteen year-old, Skyla Messenger is a dead girl walking. When her newly remarried mother moves the family to Paragon Island, to a house that is rumored to be haunted, Skyla finds refuge in Logan Oliver, a boy who shares her unique ability to read minds.

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ExiledExiled by RaShelle Workman

Venus wakes to find herself no longer on her home planet of Kelari, but on Earth with a week to get back or she’ll die.

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Dragonfly CoverDragonfly by Leigh Talbert Moore

Gossip Girl meets VC Andrews in this contemporary family saga. Love, lies, and betrayal become the new normal when Anna enters the world of Jack and Lucy Kyser.

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open mindsOpen Minds and Closed Hearts by Susan Kaye Quinn

When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep.

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untraceableUntraceable by S.R. Johannes

When Grace’s forest ranger dad disappears on patrol, she fights town authorities, tribal officials, & nature to prove he’s alive. Torn between a new hot boy and cute ex, she heads into the wilderness to find her dad. Soon, she is caught in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder.

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date an alienHow to Date an Alien and How to Break Up With an Alien by Magan Vernon

Alex Bianchi takes an internship at an alien operations center to pad her college applications but doesn’t plan on falling in love with one of its residents. But as Alex’s senior year progresses, everything changes and she can’t figure out if it is interstellar or if it is just time to break up with an alien.

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flutterFlutter of Luv by L.M. Preston

Dawn, the neighborhood tomboy, is happy to be her best friend’s shadow. Acceptance comes from playing football after school with the guys on the block while hiding safely behind her glasses, braces, and boyish ways. But Tony moves in, becomes the star Running Back on her school’s football team, and changes her world and her view of herself forever.

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watchedWatched by Cindy M. Hogan

It takes more than a school trip to change Christy’s life. It takes murder.

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clockwiseClockwise and ClockwiseR by Elle Strauss

A follow up to Clockwise, Casey and Nate travel back in time and race against the clock to rescue Casey’s rebellious brother Tim from frontline battle in America’s civil war.

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5.5"X8.5" Post Card TemplateGlimpse (Zellie Wells #1) and Glimmer (Zellie Wells #2) by Stacey Wallace Benefiel

While working together to figure out what their shared vision means, Zellie discovers that Benjamin is a worthy friend and mentor. If only he could keep his hands off of her – if only she wanted him to…

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spy like meA Spy Like Me by Laura Pauling

After dodging bullets on a first date, Savvy must decide how far she’ll go to protect the ones she loves.

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Grasping At Eternity by Karen Amanda Hooper

An eternal soul mate, a supernatural family who has known her for centuries, and lifetimes of erased memories: this is Maryah Woodsen’s life. She just doesn’t know it yet.

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lacrimosaLacrimosa by Christine Fonseca

In the world of angels and demons, one thing is clear – some sacrifices should never be made. Even for love.

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spruce knollThe Secret of Spruce Knoll by Heather McCorkle

The town of Spruce Knoll hides many secrets—and many dangers, among them are that the untimely death of Eren’s parents was no accident and that she is far more than she realizes.

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Giveaway Details

$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 1/11/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Posted in Blog tour, contest, Giveaway, romance, Spotlight on December 27, 2013




Tempers and sparks fly off the page in Ann B. Harrison’s latest Outback novel. FROM THE OUTBACK is set against a vivid backdrop of rolling hills in Australian wine country. Readers that have a sense of adventure and a passion for life and romance in a rural, county setting will love this book.

Although desperate to get out of her dead end job, Sami is cynical when she hears of an inheritance from the grandfather she never knew. But once she and her young brother arrive in the beautiful valley, she discovers they are not wanted…especially by the sexy vineyard owner next door.

Will she persevere and make a home for them, or give in and take the easy money when the going gets tough?



“I guess I have it coming. It must have been hard keeping this place going on your own after the old man died.” Sami latched the fence strainers to the next row of broken wire and started pulling it tight. “Thanks,” she murmured when Tibby handed her the pliers.

“Was a bit but it didn’t feel right to employ anyone to help me. Out of our hands if you know what I mean until they found you. Young Mason did offer a couple of times to help me if I needed it though. He’s a good neighbour to have.”

She stood up and wiped a hand over the sweat trickling down her face. “Sounds like such a sweet guy. Funny how I don’t really believe any of it after meeting his father.”

Tibby coughed loudly and tried to cover his mouth with his hand but Sami saw the big grin covering his face and her stomach did a sudden surge down to her toes. Freaking awesome move Sami, looks like you’ve done it again.

“Well, I suppose it will be up to me to try and prove Tibby’s words true then,” a rich smooth voice said from behind her.

She spun around and came face to face with the man she had brushed past coming out of the solicitor’s office the other day. Embarrassed she lashed out at him.

“F***’s sake, do you always creep up on people?”

“I actually didn’t creep up, I casually walked up the rows as I do everyday making no effort to hide my appearance. Sorry if I scared you.” He looked down at her with a small lift of his lips letting her know how much she was amusing him.

Sami looked into the liquid chocolate-brown eyes and took a step back. The zing jolting her heart surprised her and the clenching of her stomach scared her. She took stock of the chiselled chin, strong and scattered with a day’s dark growth. Her gaze travelled up to his lips and her mouth opened involuntarily. She bit her bottom lip with her teeth to stay the quiver.

“Um, you didn’t. Scare me I mean.” Sami lifted her gaze to meet his eyes and stepped back further. One man shouldn’t be so good looking. “Hi, I’m Sami.”


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About the Author

ann hAnn swears she was born with a book in her hands and has never put it down. A lifelong love of reading has finally culminated in achieving her dream of writing…and publication.

She lives in the beautiful Hunter Valley with her own handsome hero of many years. Ann has always loved the ups and downs of life in small communities and she shares this with readers in her rural romances.

Strong sexy heroines with a good dash of sass thrown in feature in her stories. Of course these women need an equally strong hero. Bring on the outback hero and watch the passion ignite.

When not writing Ann enjoys reading, gardening, walking her very large dog Hugo and fighting with her computer.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads



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Posted in Holiday on December 25, 2013

From all of us here (including April & Gracie), we wish you Season’s Greetings.  And here is to more books in 2014!



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Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, Monday, mystery on December 23, 2013

This week I’m welcoming author Susan Holmes to StoreyBook Reviews.  Susan found me on Goodreads when when she said that her book involved dogs, well how could I say no to reading the book?!  April and Gracie would never forgive me for passing on a dog story!  So I had a little time during the holidays to pick up this book…and well my review is below!

Deadly Ties Cover


Deadly Ties has been described as “a cozy with an edge.” It is a tale of family, friendship, and betrayal in a mountain community where ties run deep and grudges can linger for a lifetime.

Come to the hills of Arkansas and meet Maggie Porter and her dogs—a champion Labrador Retriever, an aging Cocker Spaniel, and a Beagle retired from federal service. When Maggie returns home to reopen the family dog kennel business, she’s greeted by anonymous threats and break-ins. Serious trouble arises when a gossip-loving employee turns up dead holding an heirloom locket belonging to Maggie’s mother. The violence soon escalates and when a security crisis puts everything she loves at risk, she realizes somebody doesn’t want Waterside Kennels back in business.

As the region sizzles in record heat and drought, a “Treasures of the Ozarks” advertising campaign disrupts her quest for answers even as it breathes new life into old tales and brings out tourists and treasure hunters alike. With her loyal dogs at her side, Maggie must dig for the truth. Along the way she learns everyone has something to hide. And some secrets are worth killing for.


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Excerpt (Prologue)

Doreen Crowley wasn’t the smart type. She’d known that since the fourth grade, which she repeated three times. Doreen’s teachers pronounced her hopeless. She left school at fifteen and pushed a broom through her uncle’s grocery store for eight years, and then she drifted from one job to the next, waiting for Lady Luck to deliver a Prince Charming who would declare her beautiful and smart. Somebody who wanted her for more than one night, more than a casual good time.

And now that she’d found one, she meant for him to stay.

Doreen paced nervously about the room, the necklace dangling from her hand as she considered her options. She’d broken her own rule, the one about not taking anything expensive, or something that might be missed right away.

To keep it would be stealing, and she wasn’t a thief. Souvenirs, that’s what she took, something she could pull out when she needed to lose herself in memories.

This was no souvenir.

She could put it back, pretend she hadn’t seen it, didn’t know whose it was, but she wouldn’t forget. Defiant, she shoved the jewelry in the small front pocket of her jeans. When the time was right she’d confront him, demand an explanation. And an apology. Let him say the woman means nothing to him.

And if she won’t back off, Doreen thought, she’d have to get in her face. This was her man, her future, and nobody’s going to say different.

She’d die before she let him go.


What an interesting book! Mysteries to be solved in the past and present. An eclectic group of characters. Maggie has some issues tied to her past and her mother leaving, which still affect her as an adult.  But perhaps with how the book ends she is able to start to move forward with her life and perhaps even have a love interest!

I will say that I figured it out relatively early.  There wasn’t anything that stood out to lead me to figure out it out.  Just this strong hunch on who the “bad guy/girl” was and something else which I do not want to spoil for anyone. However, I didn’t know how it all tied together so that was fun to find out how it all happened. There were a few twists I didn’t see coming and I did think that other characters were more sinister than they appeared.

We give it 4 paws and can’t wait to see what Susan has in store for the next installment!


About the Author

susan holmesSusan Holmes penned her first story at the age of four. Despite the brevity (three pages of crayoned text) and the title (“Three Bears Visit New York City”) her father gave it the same careful consideration he gave to C. F. Forester’s Horatio Hornblower series. When he finished the story he announced, “You are going to be a writer.”

To be a writer, of course, one must also be a reader. In the pre-digital world that meant a trip to the local library (a very long walk across town, requiring an escort/bodyguard in the form of her older brother) where a new world awaited. By the fifth grade she’d progressed to Shakespeare, an experience that came in handy when she was stationed in England at the start of her military career. For the next twenty years, she wrote stories about the lands and the people she met around the world.

She spent much of her military years writing and editing all sorts of materials, tailoring the voice and content to the target audience. She produced the books Quality Approach and the Process Improvement Guide as part of the Air Force’s Total Quality initiatives. That proved great training when she moved into academic publishing and then into poetry and fiction. Today, she lives in northwest Arkansas where she works as a writer, editor, and college professor.

Her third book, Deadly Ties is the first in the Waterside Kennels mystery series. The series is set in northwest Arkansas using both real and fictional settings. In pursuit of authentic material for the series, she joined Search and Rescue exercises, ventured deep into caves, and followed the trail of Ozark legends. Technical details came from experts in the fields of bioarcheology, forensic anthropology, and even fire sciences. She worked closely with dog trainers, kennel owners, and veterinarians to create an environment that dog lovers are sure to recognize and appreciate.

Susan is a member of Sisters in Crime and leads a local mystery writers & readers group.

Website * Goodreads


I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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Posted in Book Blast, contest, Giveaway, mystery, romance, women on December 23, 2013



Hollywood Girls Club Series, #3


Available December 17, 2013

Adult Women’s Fiction (with romantic and mystery elements)

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | All Romance


Being the niece of the biggest star in the world isn’t easy–especially when someone is trying to kill you.

Nikki Solange is a small town Tennessee girl.  When she hits Hollywood and tries to become a movie Producer, she’s in for the culture shock of her life–and finding a D-list actor turned up-and-coming director floating face down in his Beverly Hills swimming pool is the least of it.  Now Nikki must walk the gauntlet that is Hollywood and try to stay alive because someone from Nikki’s hard-scrabble past is out to make sure that she ends up dead.

Pretending to be a Hollywood playboy film producer is easy when one of the world’s richest men is backing you.

Ex Marine sniper Rush Nelson is back from his final tour in Afghanistan and is now a security specialist for one of the world’s richest men, media mogul Ted Robinoff. Backed by his boss, Rush has a solid cover-story that includes some serious Armani threads, a pulse-pounding car, and a limitless expense account.  All to protect Robinoff, his business interests, and Robinoff’s family, which includes Ted’s superstar wife Celeste ‘Cici’ Solange and her pain-in-the-ass niece Nikki. Rush must achieve his directive without ruining his cover. Easy–except for one problem–Nikki Solange. Rush is falling for her.

When your mission is security, falling for the person you’re meant to protect is the number one rule not to break. 


About the Author

Maggie Marr grew up in the Midwest and made the move to Los Angeles to work in the movie business.  She was a motion picture literary agent for ICM before becoming a full time writer.  She’s written for film and TV and ghostwritten for celebrities.  She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and children.

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(1) $100 USD Amazon Gift Card – International
(1) eBook copy of Hollywood Hits (mobi or epub) – International


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Posted in fiction, Science Fiction, Spotlight on December 22, 2013

The Amazing Crystal


amazing crystal



In the summer of 2025, Lydia’s grandfather sent her a strange diamond pendant admonishing her to handle it with utmost care. From the moment that she receives the small package, her life changes. She becomes engulfed in a series of life-threatening events that lead her to realize the incredible properties of the pendant. Slowly she learns that the diamond contains an alien intelligence able to communicate directly with the human brain. Rumors of its powers spread, the Mafia designs a Machiavellian plot to seize the extraterrestrial gem, whose value is estimated at $ 100 billion. An unprecedented confrontation occurs between mercenaries hired by the Mafia and American security services. As rumors continue to grow, the American authorities are forced to release stunning revelations about the life and mission of the alien genius to the peoples and nations of the world. The news throws the scientific world into turmoil. Economic and political ideologies are brought into question and religious beliefs are shaken. But the Mafia wants to have the last say: confrontation is inevitable.

This science fiction novel addresses questions relevant to a growing number of readers. Recent discoveries in astrophysics suggest that there is a large number of exoplanets likely to contain liquid water and a breathable atmosphere able to contribute to the emergence of life. If aliens exist, are they scientifically and technologically ahead of Earth by thousands, millions or even billions of years? If so, have they already colonized or visited Earth? How could they overcome intergalactic distances given the limitations inherent in the barrier provided by the speed of light? Is it possible that aliens have been present on earth for billions of years? If so, what form would they take? Can they communicate with us? If the answers to these questions are positive, how would humans react when informed of these facts via a large television news chain? What would your own answers be after reading “The Amazing Crystal”?


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 About the Author and Translator

Both the author, Gerald Lizee, and the translator, Robert Dykes, are scientists who give credibility to the science fiction novel.

Born in Montreal, Gérald Lizée built a career in physics and in information technologies. Having obtained a degree in theoretical physics from the Université Laval, he taught in several universities and Community colleges in Quebec before moving to information technologies. Today, he is president of his own firm, Cyberconcept, which provides consulting services in information technologies and notably commercializes his writings in science fiction. This book, the first volume of a trilogy of intergalactic adventures, describes the psychosocial impacts of an extraterrestrial presence on Earth.

Gerald’s Amazon author page

Robert Dykes, an American by birth, with a bachelor’s degree in Psycho-physiology from the University of California at Berkeley and a doctorate from Johns Hopkins University, acquired French as a second language while following a career as a neuroscientist, entrepreneur and educator in Montreal. Presently he operates a consultancy that plans and executes innovative projects that improve an individual’s capacity to contribute to the post-industrial society.

 A few words from Gerald and Robert


gerald I started thinking about this book ten years ago. I was and still am very preoccupied by the fact that humanity could destroy itself before the end of this century: mass destruction arms, both nuclear and biological, proliferate, intercultural and religious hatred increases, terrorism expands itself over the world; Earth is getting warmer and warmer because the modern man is sending more and more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, it could foster and already generates catastrophic events such as highly destructive tsunamis and hurricanes. This is why The Amazing Crystal  tells the story of a superior intelligence who has been accompanying secretly Earth evolution for billions of years and suddenly decides to communicate directly with humanity. His mission: help us save our planet.




robert When I first read the novel, I realized that there was action and adventure, but more deeply, I realized that Gérald was exploring an idea that has fascinated man for centuries. Extraterrestrials may have made a positive contribution to humanity over a time frame measured in centuries. Now, mankind is at a crossroads that may determine its destiny. This story addresses what might happen if mankind were to discover that there is another intelligent entity on Earth. The discovery could change the course of human history, perhaps for the better. 



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Posted in Book Blast, fiction, Guest Post on December 21, 2013



War hero Eric Montgomery returns from Iraq, hoping to revive his family’s Cape Cod marina and marry his childhood sweetheart. When his wife and unborn child die in a tragic auto accident Eric’s dreams are shattered. He spends long months grieving, losing himself in alcohol, isolation, and anger. Then Ashley Fitzhugh, a young woman he’s met only once, appears on his doorstep one stormy night. Eric is annoyed at first, but soon finds himself caring for his visitor and her young daughter–seeing in them a chance to rebuild the life he lost. When threatening phone calls, mysterious strangers, and covert agents invade their peaceful lives, Eric must decide: Is Ashley the answer to a prayer or part of the nightmare he can never escape?

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Guest Post

What’s in a name?

Didn’t some sage on the 16th Century say, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”… perhaps, but would it be as enticing, as interesting?

How would we view romantic fiction’s most popular and notorious heroine were her name Maude instead of Scarlett? And what if her long-suffering suitor was named Buddy instead of Rhett Butler would he have garnered the same swashbuckling bravado in our imaginations. And this works not only for the bold, the driven, and the beautiful. Let’s try and imagine a dark-hearted, morose old man named Fred instead of Ebenezer…not quite the same. And what about Alexandra Eyre? Somehow we find it hard to imagine Charlotte Bronte’s stubborn, small, plain (her words, BTW) heroine with such an illustrious name.

No, without a doubt, character names have a vital place in both historical and contemporary literature. How often do I here the ladies swoon when the name “Ranger” is mentioned in association with heroine Stephanie Plum. Somehow if Ms. Ivanovich had named him Bobby the macho element would definitely be lacking.

Convinced yet. Great!

We authors resort to a wide variety of devices, formulas, and even tricks to try to give their characters names our reading audiences will remember. I’ve never subscribed to one of the many services that offer names for sale. I have friends who do. Others search the news media. Some resort to the obituaries searching for names. My best writing friend seeks names that are not only distinctive but give an exotic flavor to her characters. I admit I’m more grass roots. I give my character’s names that I (and my beta readers) find appropriate not through formula or science but by the touch and feel method.

My debut novel featured a heroine named Courtney (Definition: of the court) who was the embodiment of a one-thousand year old Wiccan Goddess. Her hero was named Robert… a strong masculine name. I intentionally abbreviated his proper name by having his intimates call him Robbie, an indication of his naïveté and relative immaturity, at least when compared with his beautiful but ancient heroine. The other strongest character was Simon, an all powerful male witch who embodied both the mystery and strength contained in his name.

My latest novel features Eric, a strong monosyllabic name (definition: one strong who rules) suited for my strong, Special Forces veteran hero and Ashley-Jean (definition: one who sees, which we discover she is), a brilliant, technology savant; a frightened young woman seeking refuge from the evil that pursues her. As a young, southern woman the name seemed to fit perfectly and my test readers agreed.

Which brings up another point: the name must not only lend a visual to the character’s image in the readers mind but must symbolize their place in the story.

In a few hundred words it’s difficult to give a thorough explanation of how and why we authors chose certain methods and different strategies to breathe life into our characters not only with their thoughts and deeds but by what we call them.

I welcome input from readers and fellow authors alike why and how you choose to name your characters. Until next time…

About the Author

kevin symmonsKevin Symmons is a successful author, college faculty member, and president of one of the Northeast’s most respected writing organizations. His paranormal novel, Rite of Passage, was a 2013 RomCon Reader’s Crown Award finalist and has been an Amazon Best Seller. His latest release, Out of the Storm, a contemporary romantic thriller set on Cape Cod, is already gathering 5 star reviews and will keep you turning pages late into the night. His novel Solo, a sweeping women’s fiction work that exposes the tragedy of domestic violence in America, will be released from his award-winning publisher, the Wild Rose Press, in 2014. Kevin has collaborated with award-winning Boston screenwriter and playwright Barry Brodsky in adapting one of his story ideas for the screen. He is a sought after public speaker who has appeared across New England.

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Posted in 4 paws, Medical Thriller, Review, suspense on December 20, 2013





College phenom running back Tyler Bentley is the ultimate success story. The son of a single mother from a wayward stretch of highway in Western Wyoming, he heads to Midwestern football powerhouse Ohio Tech and
becomes a star, MVP of the Centennial Bowl, runner-up to the Heisman Trophy.

He is also the ultimate fall from grace story when a freak play occurs, leaving his knee shattered.

Seeing an opportunity, the SynTronic medical corporation convinces Tyler to use their newly-designed KnightRunner knee replacement, promising him that he’ll be back on the field long before the upcoming season. Everything they promise comes true up until the product malfunctions, costing Tyler his career and his leg.

Now, leaning on the help of his one-time teacher Shane Laszlo, Tyler must take his battle from the gridiron to the courtroom. Laszlo, an Ohio Tech alum himself just a year removed from law school, has his own score to settle with SynTronic, an incident occurring years before with repercussions far greater than the loss of a limb.

Together, they will go into the biggest case Ohio has ever seen…


amazon buy


What a good suspense novel pitting a big corporation against a rookie lawyer and the rising football star that loses out because of their product. While you know that right will win out in the end, the journey to get there is very twisted!  You root for some of the characters and want to strangle the big corporation lawyers and staff, they epitomize evil.  The story is very engaging because it is something that could actually happen in our world today and we have seen many stories in the press of large corporations being sued for failing products.

We give this story 4 paws and recommend it next time you are looking for a medical suspense/thriller novel!


About the author

I originally hale from the Midwest, growing up in the heart of farm country, and still consider it, along with West Tennessee, my co-home. Between the two, I have a firm belief that football is the greatest of all past-times, sweet tea is really the only acceptable beverage for any occasion, there is not an event on earth that either gym shorts or boots can’t be worn to, and that Dairy Queen is the best restaurant on the planet. Further, southern accents are a highly likeable feature on most everybody, English bulldogs sit atop the critter hierarchy, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with a Saturday night spent catfishing at the lake.

Since leaving the Midwest I’ve been to college in New England, grad school in the Rockies, and lived in over a dozen different cities ranging from DC to Honolulu along the way. Each and every one of these experiences has shaped who I am at this point, a fact I hope is expressed in my writing. I have developed enormous affinity for locales and people of every size and shape, and even if I never figure out a way to properly convey them on paper, I am very much grateful for their presence in my life.

To sum it up, I asked a very good friend recently how they would describe me for something like this. Their response: “Plagued by realism and trained by experiences/education to be a pessimist, you somehow remain above all else an active dreamer.” While I can’t say those are the exact words I would choose, I can’t say they’re wrong. I travel, live in different places, try new foods, meet all kinds of different people, and above all else stay curious to a fault.

Here’s hoping it continues to provide us all with some pretty good stories.

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I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

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