Drama/Comedy – Faith – Hometown of Jesus Christ

FAITH - Hometown of Jesus ChristFaith – Hometown of Jesus Christ
A Sinful Comedy & Drama
By Virginia Austin
Publisher: Melting Salvation Press
Published: January 2016
ISBN: 978-0979408595
ASIN: B017COAYES
Pages: 200
Genre: Drama, Comedy

Comedy, jealousy and intrigue take center stage as a small town prepares for an ACLU lawsuit over a sign that reads FAITH, Hometown of Jesus Christ. A lightning-fast read, the turn of the last page will have you wishing your stay in Faith could have lasted just a few more days, or at least that you had picked up a Jesus-in-the-Box or a poster of the town’s super-hot mechanic Johnny Cain.

The town of Faith has found religion, and no one is happier than Father O’Brien, who was down to one parishioner. Now the confessional lines are blocks long, and the oatmeal cookie crosses are selling like hotcakes. At the 4th of July parade the mayor’s 12-year-old son survived the mock crucifixion with only a broken arm and mild head trauma. Everyone give it up for Faith, Hometown of Jesus Christ.

Someone’s plotting the town’s first murder and the mill has just been robbed of an ungodly sum. There’s a cross burning on  a motel lawn and everyone is sleeping around. Yes, the town of Faith has got problems, but no one is more confused than Bobby Ray whose ex-girlfriend has just returned. Everyone, let us pray.

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Faith - Hometown of Jesus Christ Author Virginia Austin LogoAbout the Author:
Virginia Austin was born and raised in Chicago. When not writing, the author is an engineer for the nuclear plants in the Midwest. The author broke onto the scene in 1997 with the book, ‘Fated.’ After publication of ‘American Jesus’ by Cross Cultural Publications in 2001, Austin went on to write ‘Her Seventh Death,’ in which the screenplay was selected as a finalist in a Chicago independent film festival. She has also been published in Darker Times out of the U.K. Virginia Austin’s two latest books are ‘Faith – Hometown of Jesus Christ’ and ‘The Assassin and the Disciple.

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Contemporary Fiction – The Color of Pain

The Color of PainThe Color of Pain
By Melisa E. Arnold
Publisher: Xlibris
ISBN: 978-1514412114
ASIN: B016YL270Y
Pages: 303
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama

As a small boy, Alex becomes ensnared in the schemes of his mother, Cathlean, as she seeks to entrap a white British soldier, John, and “marry up” to improve her status in life. Her plan comes to fruition when John becomes obsessed with his black wife, marries her, then takes her and her son away from her native country of Belize to live in England. Cathlean becomes the society woman in England but begs her husband to return to Belize so she can show off her new status to her friends and fellow “good-time” girls. They return ten years later, but an unhappy Alex seeks solace in the arms of Sherrette. They fall head over heels but soon find their own problems as fast-paced revelations affect their fragile relationship. Told in a first-person view of life in Dangriga, Belize, young Alex’s story reflects on the color of his pain as he seems to bear the brunt of Cathlean’s selfish brand of pain that she calls love.

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The Color of Pain Author - Melisa E. ArnoldAbout the Author:
MELISA E. ARNOLD was born in Dangriga, Belize, Central America, and has been writing stories since she was a young girl. Her family says she always created stories and always won essay-writing competitions in school. She is a thrice-published poet but has always felt that she had at least “one great novel” in her that needed to be written. This book is the result of her collaboration with fellow Belizean expatriate Alexander Cassanova, with whom she discovered she had much in common as they make their way in their new country of residence, the United States of America. Ms. Arnold resides in Los Angeles, California.

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Coming of Age/Family Saga – Shadow Heart

shadow-heartShadow Heart
Broken Bottles Series, Book 1
By Pamela Taeuffer
Publisher: Open Heart Books
ISBN: 978-0989952903
ASIN: B00IICDHO8
Pages: 340
Genre: Literary Fiction, Coming of Age, Family Saga

What if you were afraid to even turn the doorknob to your front door when coming home because of what might wait inside? What would it take to make you step out of your shadows, to once and for all break free from the twisted security of familiarity, and take a chance, a little risk, that could change everything?

Nicky Young is a woman who has come of age and is beginning to realize the first layer of her fears carried through her childhood from growing up in a family battling alcoholism. They have impacted her severely when forming relationships.

Abandonment, devaluing, fear of everything good ending—all are why she has been happy to stand back in the shadows. Watching. Observing. Stepping out only when safe. Until Ryan Tilton, a professional baseball player who also has abandonment issues of his own, promises her a relationship that could be like no other.

Now, in order to transition into a life she’d always imagined, she needs to take the first steps of risk to embrace the rise and fall, the love and heartache, and joys of life. Through small steps she struggles to trust, most importantly herself, but also others, enough to let them a little closer. The rage of her father’s addiction pushes and pulls her back, but with all her heart she wants to break free and start a life that is brilliant and unafraid of failure. But can she?

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Other Books in the Broken Bottle Series:

fire-heart-broken-bottles-series-book-twoFire Heart
Broken Bottles Series, Book 2
By Pamela Taeuffer
Publisher: Open Heart Books
ISBN: 978-0989952927
ASIN: B00NE5DSSO
Pages: 367
Genre: Literary Fiction, Coming of Age, Family Saga

My heart is on fire. For the first time in my life I am awake and the desires I’ve pushed down are smoldering. The shadows of my youth are daring me to step away from them, and new visions are circling through my head that include having intimacy in a way I never dreamed of.

My name is Nicky Young. This is my coming of age story and family saga. I have begun to understand if I want to live differently than my parents—an alcoholic father and co-dependent mother—I need to love, forgive, trust and live with an open heart. As I look in the mirror, I am seeing a new woman emerging—one I’m not sure of and trying hard to discover.

Through family dysfunction and by the lack of affection in my household I learned not to get too close. Rage and violence lurked when we became vulnerable and the way I learned to protect myself was to build high and thick walls of defense around my heart. I dream about having a full, open, and intimate relationship. I want a real adult romance with every beat of my heart. But I can’t trust anyone enough—especially myself.

That was until I met Ryan Tilton, a very sexy professional baseball player who lost his father at only fourteen. In many ways we seem to be ancient spirits. He promises to hold me in his arms like I’ve never been held, and is offering me a chance to step out of fear and experience what is like to ask for what I want without being afraid. I feel my heart opening. I feel . . . joy.

This is my battle: A fight to break generational chains of dysfunction and addiction, to understand the choices of my parents, to love and trust myself, so that I can love and trust another. This story is about transitioning into joy. I invite you to follow me on my journey and the struggle I’m desperate to overcome.

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jagged-heart-broken-bottles-series-book-3Jagged Heart
Broken Bottles Series, Book 3
By Pamela Taeuffer
Publisher: Open Heart Books
ISBN: 978-0989952958
ASIN:  B01E81MGUS
Pages: 264
Genre: Literary Fiction, Coming of Age, Family Saga

Swept into a romance with professional baseball player, Ryan Tilton, we’ve just had an evening of dreams—until I wouldn’t have sex with him. I couldn’t risk it. To me, sex means marriage. It means love and forever. I tried to explain. I didn’t hide it. But to him, it means love, acceptance, and that he wouldn’t be abandoned the same way he was when a boy of fourteen and his father was killed in the Middle East. He’s pleaded with me to tell him my feelings and openly tells me he loves me. I can’t repeat the words. Once I do, he’ll abandon me just like my parents—discounting my feelings because they can’t deal with their own. I couldn’t risk it. I knew he’d leave.
Dad battles his alcoholism. Mom embraces her co-dependency. They’ve gambled with their daughters’ mental and physical safety multiple times over the years.

I’m at a crossroads trying to understand this threshold of being an adult, yet emerging from childhood. It’s as if a tornado has taken me into it’s roar spun and tossed me around, breaking me away as I cling to the twisted security of my family—even the word “secure” sends a shiver through me. I’ve never been.

Being raised in an dysfunctional family battling alcoholism whispers, stay hidden in the shadows, be safe, don’t be noticed or share too much.
I know this is it.
I need to take a risk.
I need to let go of old fears, forgive my parents, embrace intimacy and move forward. I need to trust—especially myself—so that I can transition into joy.

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amazing-heart-broken-botles-series-book-4Amazing Heart
Broken Bottles Series, Book 4
By Pamela Taeuffer
Publisher: Open Heart Books
ISBN: 978-0996380614
ASIN:  B01E886M9M
Pages: 2336
Genre: Literary Fiction, Coming of Age, Family Saga

It’s Amazing, but for the first time in my life I have let go of the control. I’ve battled so hard to hold onto the twisted security of my family’s battle with alcoholism—it’s what I’ve known—never risking too much, holding back, so the hurt didn’t cut too deep. Now?

I feel a new life
An unknown.
Vulnerable.
It’s magnificent.
It’s . . . intimacy, being held, letting someone see into my dark places so the light, hidden since a little girl, can finally become brilliant.

It’s amazing. I’m about to shout my love for a man who seems to understand me like no one ever has. After I do, will everything fall apart? In my heart of shadows, the fear of being abandoned beats inside my head with regular rhythms.

“Please take me in your arms,” I say silently. “Accept my dark places. Help me understand you won’t leave me.” Maybe I’m dreaming when he says, “Whatever path we choose, whatever arises, we’ll overcome our fears.”

Have a finally been set free from generational mistakes that are passed forward in our family? Dare I ask for what I want and trust myself enough to share my thoughts, wishes, dreams . . . dare I actually hope in another person? Will he break his promises like my parents did to me? Can I really, really, be alive, be vulnerable, open and reach for deep, sensual intimacy? Can I take a risk and transition into joy?

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shadow-heart-author-pamela-taeufferAbout the Author:
My passion is writing books that tell a love story and family saga of leaving old fears behind as the characters embrace intimacy and transition to joy. My first series, Broken Bottles, details those fears of growing up in a family battling alcoholism. Along with the struggle and pain of a parent’s rage, there is intelligence, strength, and survival. How to love intimately in all relationships is the challenge. For children of trauma, it can take years to let another person come close. When they do? It’s like rainbows cover their heart.

Slowly, you’ll read how my characters become vulnerable, reach for deep, sensual intimacy, and try desperately to let go of their fears. They struggle and risk everything to trust others—and themselves. My stories are about daring to take the baby steps that let them really come alive and in every way, experience and give love.

MAKING MONEY TO CREATE: The small, vacation rental/ property management company I run with my husband and son in Sonoma County, California allows me to have the money for my creative life. I love that I was born and raised in San Francisco. My father introduced me to baseball when I was six. I’ve rung a cable car bell, and went to concerts in Golden Gate Park with my sister where Jimmy Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane and Santana once played.

WHAT I’VE DONE/AM DOING – IT’S A JOURNEY OF DREAMS: Broken Bottles is a four part series. Two books, Shadow Heart and Fire Heart, are ready. Soon to follow are Jagged Heart and Amazing Heart. I’m honored to have 3 poems in an anthology called The Beats Go On, and a story in Sisters Born, Sisters Found. I have released the first book in a series for Introverts called The Introverts Guide to the Galaxy: Attending Conferences.

My Dream? To create beautifully decorated and custom journals with gorgeous paper that accompany each book series: The Introvert’s Journal, A Family Saga Journal, My Body’s Journal, and Trauma: You Can’t Stop Me Journal. Journaling was a lifesaver for me. I was in shock. You may be in shock. Don’t let that keep your heart frozen!

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Contemporary Fiction – Ms. Money

ms-moneyMs. Money
By T.L. Ashton
Published: November  2016
ISBN: 978-1536841893
ASIN: B01MTKKDXS
Pages: 412
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction

If you’re a serious investor, you’ve seen ‘Ms. Money’ on TV. She’s a regular on Smarter Than The Street, the financial markets broadcast whose Neilsen ratings are off the chart. When she’s not on camera, Margaret M Worth is Chief Investment Strategist for nationwide money manager Traub Securities. Learn how the woman who majored in Holy Orders and planned to work at a mission school in Guatemala became a Wall Street guru.

After making a fortune in merger and acquisitions, losing it on the dot.com blow-up and winning it back with decidedly insider information, she is ultimately victorious in the men-only survival-of-the-fittest world of Wall Street, owing to her mantra–“Sex is the ultimate medium of exchange!” But she becomes disillusioned with the Midas touch, and when a Presidential appointment sends her into the inner sanctum of the monetary blowup at the New York Federal Reserve on Maiden Lane, she gets in touch with the real Maggie, discovering genuine self-worth. Experiencing the Financial Crisis first-hand, she witnesses the titanic conflict between the Kings of the Street and the Feds who want to rule them. Will her new found self-reliance be rewarded?

Praise for Ms. Money:

** “Ms. Money knows oppression when she sees it. Ashton debunks the classic paradigm that men live for money and all women want is love.” – Amber Kaufman, copywriter 
 
** “The first totally great novel of the financial crisis.” –Gail Postal, artist 
 
** “Maggie Worth beats the Wall Street boys, making millions on M&A, because she knows what merger and acquisition really mean.”  – Tracy Gardner Beno, author 
 
** “Men made the financial world come crashing down. It took a woman to find out why.” – Nora Brown, educator

ms-money-author-t-l-ashtonAbout the Author:
TL Ashton wrote investment strategy at Prudential Securities, Salomon Brothers, U.S. Trust, TD Ameritrade, and other Wall Street firms before switching to fiction about what goes on in them when financial crisis strikes. The Madonna Model, by the same author will be published early next year.

 

 

 

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Women’s Fiction – Hello, Agnieszka!

hello-agnieszkaHello, Agnieszka!
Between Two Worlds, Book Two
By Evy Journey
Publisher: Sojourner Books
Published: June 2014
ISBN: 978-0996247429
ASIN: B00L5IHKZ4
Pages: 284
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Coming of Age

Elise thought she knew her mother. But when her oldest brother attempts suicide, painful secrets are about to be revealed. Agnieszka Halverson must now tell her children a past she has kept from them.

As a child in the seventies, Agnieszka discovers a passion for music when she hears her grandaunt Jola, a concert pianist in Poland, give a piano recital. Jola hones her talent and feeds her dreams. But too poor to continue professional training and with a mother who fails to support her ambitions, her dreams of being a pianist are shattered.

Agnieszka meets Lenny Weisz and they fall in love, renewing her hopes for happiness. But her hopes are thwarted  once again by forces beyond their control.

Weighed down by its roots, her family casts her aside. Can music and memories of her first love help Agnieszka make a life for herself all alone? Can she rise from the loss she has suffered and get a second chance at happiness?

Book 2 in the family saga Between Two Worlds (BTW), Hello Agnieszka explores mother-daughter relationships in a tale of a mother’s youthful dreams, thwarted and renewed amidst the exciting promise of the 70s,  In three standalone  novels of loss, love, second chances, and finding one’s way, BTW tells the stories of three strong women who cope with issues contemporary women face.

Praise for Hello, Agnieszka!
“…a beautiful narrative …an intricate, heart-wrenching coming-of-age story about family and love.”―GoodbooksToday Reviews

“…character descriptions written to perfection with a unique POV that places you deep in her thoughts and feelings.”–★★★★★Michael Alexander Beas for Readers’ Favorite

“…interesting, enlightening and, in some respects, heartbreaking. … All families struggle with issues, this one more than most.”–★★★★ Kathryn Bennett for Readers’ Favorite

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Other Books in the Between Two Worlds Series:

hello-my-love-between-two-worlds-book-1Hello, My Love
Between Two Worlds Book 1
By Evy Journey
Publisher: Sojourner Books
Published: December 2013
ISBN: 978-0996247412
ASIN: B00FIDG12U
Pages: 330
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Coming of Age

What would Elizabeth Bennet be like if she had been born today? What things would she have to cope with? In this modern-day tale inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, bright, beautiful law student Elise Halverson looks forward to a promising career. The last thing she needs is to fall in love with well-known playboy Greg Thorpe. Besides, he’s engaged to be married.

Greg finds Elise so unlike the women he used to date and he’s deeply intrigued. But distrusting the image she has of him, Elise tries to keep away.

Elise’s parents invite Greg to their frequent dinner parties. There, Greg and Elise butt heads. She’s surprised to find that, behind his rich playboy persona, he’s intelligent and engaging. They can’t help feeling drawn to each other.

The night before his wedding, they give in to their mutual attraction. Although Elise expects nothing more from that night, Greg is in for trouble. His jilted fiancée strikes back, intent on revenge.

Two years later Greg and Elise get a second chance but they find that the way to their happy-ever-after is not so easy. For one, Greg is in for a surprise. Then, his former fiancée comes back and trouble returns to haunt Greg and Elise again.

At the core of this women’s fiction is a literary and realistic romance spiced with a twist of mystery. Hello My Love is Book 1 in the series Between Two Worlds, a family saga about three strong women. In three tales of loss, love, second chances, and finding one’s way, they cope with issues contemporary women face.

welcome-reluctant-stranger-between-two-worlds-book-3Welcome, Reluctant Stranger
Between Two Worlds Book 3
By Evy Journey
Publisher: Sojourner Books
Published: May 2015
ISBN: 978-0996247436
ASIN: B00VETSCZ6
Pages: 314
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Coming of Age

Leilani’s mother has never set foot in her school until the day she whisks her children out of their Pacific Island country, without their father and without explanation. Eighteen years later, Leilani just wants to leave the past behind, move forward.

She has settled peacefully in California and like her long-lost father, she heals people. But her tranquil existence is disturbed one evening.

A computer nerd and culinary whiz with a biting sense of humor, Justin is brokenhearted from the loss of his girlfriend who has left him after seven years. All he wants is to drown his sorrows. But he finds more trouble than he’s looking for when thugs assault him.

On her way home from work, Leilani sees the assault. An ace with a gun, she rescues him.

Weeks later, they meet again and find themselves attracted to each other. Fearing Justin is on the rebound, or has a rescuer complex, Leilani doesn’t want to get involved.

But Leilani cannot deny her feelings. As they begin to fall in love, her past comes back to haunt her.

A friend of her father arrives with news which forces her mother to reveal a shocking, shameful secret—the truth about the role Leilani’s father played in a deadly political web.

Can Leilani deal with the truth? But hero or villain, he is her father and only she and Justin can rescue him from the island she’d left long ago.

At the core of this women’s fiction is an Asian woman-white man interracial romance spun with international political intrigue and a young woman’s acceptance of her past. Welcome Reluctant Stranger is Book 3 in a family saga. In three tales of loss, love, second chances, and finding one’s way, three strong women cope with issues contemporary women face.

hello-agnieszka-author-evy-journeyAbout the Author:
Evy Journey is a flâneuse (a female observer-wanderer) who writes about, and illustrates (oils, pastels, digital) what she sees that intrigues her.  In a past life, with a now-dormant Ph.D., (University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana), and the primacy of her left brain, she researched, evaluated and developed mental health programs. But writing was her first love.

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