Book Excerpt: Love Never Quits by Gina Heumann

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Today we offer you an inside glimpse of Gina Heumann's new memoir, Love Never Quits: Surviving & Thriving After Infertility, Adoption, and Reactive Attachment Disorder.

Title: LOVE NEVER QUITS: SURVIVING & THRIVING AFTER INFERTILITY, ADOPTION, AND REACTIVE ATTACHMENT DISORDER
Author: Gina Heumann
Publisher: MadLand Press
Pages: 246
Genre: Memoir
WHACK… At three in the morning Gina was sound asleep, yet somehow she was smacked in the head. She looked over at her husband, thinking perhaps he accidentally rolled over and flopped his arm on top of her, but he was sleeping soundly and facing the opposite direction. She turned to the other side and glaring back at her was her eight-year-old child.

“Did you just hit me?”

“Yes, and I’d do it again.”

“Whyyyy?”

“Because you took away my video games.”

“That was EIGHT HOURS AGO. And you’re still mad about it?”

“I wish I could kill you.”

This is the true story of the hell one family lived through parenting a child with reactive attachment disorder, a severe diagnosis related to children who experienced early-childhood trauma.

This inspirational story covers over a decade of daily struggles until they finally found resolution and made it to the other side. The family remained intact, and this once challenging son is now achieving things never thought possible. 





The Beginning

“I think I want to be a mom,” I declared one day.

This came as quite a shock to my husband, Aaron.

Marriage itself wasn’t part of my original plan. After going through my parents’ contentious divorce and living with one of my mom’s abusive boyfriends, my view on “happily ever after” was a bit tainted. I wasn’t going to do that. I had dreams of being one of those Sex in the City girls—with a successful career, girlfriends, travel, and a closet full of designer shoes. Marriage and kids seemed so mundane and expected. So it was quite a surprise to me when I met Aaron and realized that the plan had changed.

It happened on our first date.

In college, I went out with one of my best friend’s brothers. I knew the entire family except him, as my future in-law’s home was a hangout spot for us in graduate school. My father-in-law was a professor and had a computer at home, which he generously allowed us to use. This was the early ’90s, so laptops hadn’t been invented and writing a paper for college meant waiting in line for the computer lab to type up the final copy and print. Visits to the Heumann house often meant dinner with the family and sometimes even a load of laundry. Aaron wasn’t living there, so I knew his mom, dad, brother, and sister before I knew him. I loved them all and was starting to see that “successful and single” wasn’t the only way to go. They were a pretty amazing family.

On our first date, we weren’t quite sure if it was a date or not. He thought I was going out with him as a favor to his sister, because he needed a date to a fraternity party that would feature a somewhat big-name band, and he already had two tickets. I thought he thought I was doing his sister a favor and just needed a date. I had met him several weeks prior and thought he was awfully cute, so I was secretly hoping it was a date. Turns out, we both really liked each other the last two times we had met, but each thought the other was dating someone. That first date was magical. I had found my soulmate.

After the party, the hot tub, and a two-block walk in subzero temperatures back to his apartment, he asked me to spend the night to avoid driving me home on black ice. He was gentlemanly, offering me some sweatpants and his bed while he slept on the couch. I took the sweatpants but shared the bed … but I knew in the back of my mind that whatever happened on that date would most likely get back to his sister. So it was a reasonably innocent night together. The next morning, we ordered pizza and watched a football game, and when he dropped me off, I had a somewhat panicked thought that I couldn’t shake:

“Crap, there goes my plan.”

I knew I would marry him and the Sex in the City dream would die. Or change. Or morph into something different.

So the new plan was now marriage to the coolest guy ever, a successful career, couple friends, travel, no kids, and a closet full of designer shoes.



Gina Heumann is a true Renaissance woman: wife, mother, architect, designer, instructor, author, speaker, and sales rep for an award-winning Napa Valley winery. She and her husband, Aaron, adopted Landrey in 2001 from Guatemala and then went back for Maddox three years later. Gina’s love of learning and dedication as a mother inspired her research of different treatments and therapies that eventually led to this inspirational success story about conquering Reactive Attachment Disorder.

Her latest book is Love Never Quits: Surviving & Thriving After Infertility, Adoption, and Reactive Attachment Disorder.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:


Website Link: www.ginaheumann.com


Book Excerpt & Giveaway: Wolves At Our Door by Soren Paul Petrek

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Title: WOLVES AT OUR DOOR
Author: Soren Paul Petrek
Publisher: Editions Encre Rouge/Hachette Livre
Pages: 319
Genre: Historical/Action/Adventure

BOOK BLURB:
The Allies and the Nazis are in a deadly race to develop the ultimate weapon while supersonic V-2 rockets rain down on London. Madeleine Toche and Berthold Hartmann, the German super assassin who taught her to kill, search for the secret factory where Werner von Braun and his Gestapos masters use slave labor to build the weapons as the bodies of the innocent pile up. The Allied ground forces push towards Berlin while the German SS fight savagely for each inch of ground.

Finding the factory hidden beneath Mount Kohnstein, Hartmann contacts his old enemy, Winston Churchill and summons Madeleine to his side. While she moves to bring the mountain down on her enemies, Hartmann leads a daring escape from the dreaded Dora concentration camp to continue his revenge against the monsters who ruined his beloved Germany.

Together with the Russian Nachtlexen, the Night Witches, fearsome female pilots the race tightens as the United States and the Germans successfully carry out an atomic bomb test.

Germany installs an atom bomb in a V-2 pointed towards London, while the US delivers one to a forward base in the Pacific. The fate of the Second World War and the future of mankind hangs in the balance.
Read the first chapter at Booksie and don’t forget to give it a like!

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon


Book Excerpt:
Helga Miller shut the door to her small flat in Saint-Omer. With seagulls reeling and crying in the sunny morning sky above, she felt as though she were on vacation. She loved the quaint architecture of the homes, the small shops, and the produce market. Things were scarce, but it was late summer, and the local produce was in. Fish was always available, and she had developed a fondness for it. She could smell the sea and loved the warm sand and relaxed atmosphere at the beach. It was as if there wasn’t even a war.

I’m not on holiday, she told herself, but it’s my first time out of Germany, and I’m not going to waste it. She’d wanted to help with the war effort, and now she had her chance. Even after the invasion, everyone back home still thought Germany would win—Hitler told them so, and the propaganda films left no doubt. Why wouldn’t she believe it as well?

Smaller than some of the other women she worked with, Helga prided herself on being athletic and trim. She went for long walks and did calisthenics daily. Her long hair, which she kept tucked under her hat while on duty, was dark, as was the hair of many people from Bohemia in southern Germany. She wasn’t much interested in the men she worked with. Older and serious, they paid little attention to her except to bark orders. They bored her. She liked the young soldiers stationed in the town and at her worksite. They were exciting and fun-loving, and girls like her from home were scarce.

Helga had been recruited right out of university, and while she knew that as a non-soldier, she would never be much of a threat to anyone, she was eager to work on such an important program. The big projects had political or military applications. The project she was working on combined mining and construction. It was unique.

She was on her way to La Couple, where she worked as a mining engineer. Helga knew the fighting was close, but the enemy army was still many miles away. She didn’t think about it much, but when she did, she had to admit it was a bit thrilling. Neither did she think often of the intended use of the facility once complete. At work she concentrated, paying no attention to the fact that rockets launched from there would fall on major cities—and their civilian populations. Allied bombs were falling on German cities, targeting military installations and civilians alike. She hoped the completion of the facility would stop those raids and help Germany win the war.

 Helga walked toward the train station where she would catch the short ride to her worksite. She disliked the frumpy white coveralls she wore, but they, like everything else, were mandatory. She felt as though she were dressed in a sack. How would she ever catch a man’s eye while wearing a tent?

She turned a corner and crossed over the car park toward the train station. It was a squat wooden building consisting of dirty windows, a ticket booth, toilets, and a kiosk that sold newspapers, cigarettes, and whatever sweets were available at a given time. Helga made her way over to the short line to buy a ticket for the next train. She noticed a young woman ahead of her with a mane of curly black hair cascading down the middle of her back. She didn’t have to see the woman’s face to know that she was beautiful; the way she held herself left no doubt. Oh, to have curls like hers . . . Helga fingered the correct change in her pocket and had it ready when she got to the window. She smiled at the man behind the glass. He gave her the same indifferent look he gave all the passengers, French and German alike. She was sure he’d been there before the war and would be there when it was over. His job was simple and didn’t require any conversation.

A rush of wind announced the arrival of the train. Helga moved forward onto the platform and waited for it to come to a stop. It was a tired old commuter train that had covered the same miles of track for years. With petrol scarce, people got around on foot, bicycle, or, for longer distances, train.

After waiting her turn to board, she found an empty seat in the middle of the car. Among the passengers who brushed past her was the young woman with the beautiful hair. Helga snuck a peek at her dark and angular, almost Gypsy-like, face; the lovely girl was almost certainly from the south. She watched men steal glances as she passed. She felt a twinge of jealousy. No man had ever looked at her that way; it wasn’t fair.

The train pulled out of the station and picked up speed. The windows were down, and the warm breeze carried a hint of salt from the ocean. The smell of seaweed and surf wafted through the car, carrying out cigarette smoke and lingering smells. Helga could stay in a place like this forever. With the weekend coming, she was planning to go down to the beach with another girl from work. Two days in the sun, a chance to chat with some young men, drink some local wine, have some fun. There were always young German soldiers about, on leave.

As the coastal scenery came into view, it seemed to shake from the train’s rattling. Seagulls cried down near the beach. The tide was out, revealing large expanses of sand and lowland areas. People were out digging clams and scraping mussels off the exposed rocks. The chalky cliffs were much like their counterparts on the other side of the channel in England.

No sooner did the train stop than the other passengers stood and eked out to crowd the passageway. Helga waited until the aisle was clear before she stood. As she made her way to the door, the car was empty, so it hardly stood out that the young woman was, like everyone else, gone.

Helga made her way from the train station toward the construction site. The path was a mixture of sand, gravel, and chalky white chips weathered away from the hillsides over millions of years. The path came to a wooded area. She could see other workers walking far ahead, but there was no one near her. She wasn’t in a hurry to get to work, especially on such a nice day. She’d be on time; there was no need to rush.

It was a blind corner in the path. No time to react. A dark figure slid behind her and placed a hand on her shoulder, another on her chin. With a furious jerk, the assailant broke Helga’s neck and dragged her body off the trail. The killer removed her work clothes and pulled them over her own. In less than a minute, the body was covered with grass and sticks. Unless someone from the trail was looking for Helga, she would never be seen.

The killer moved away, pulling Helga’s cap over her head, tucking in strands of curly black hair. Back on the trail, she headed toward the rear entrance of La Couple. She clipped the dead girl’s credentials to her coat pocket. She’d already observed that the guards never even checked the women coming and going from the facility. How incredibly stupid of them.

The guards at the entrance waved her through as she held out her identification. Hardly a glance in her direction. She stepped into the entrance, where, shielded from the summer sun, she was immediately cooled. Moisture clung to the walls and made the floor beneath her slippery. A sheet of water covered the tunnel, pooling in spots. This entrance mustn’t be completed yet, she thought. Touching the spongy chalk walls, she passed on into an area where concrete walls had been added and spanned in a curved ceiling overhead. The passageway was extremely wide. Wide enough to accommodate a small train. Not tall enough for a full-sized rail car, but certainly wide and high enough to transport something big.

The woman’s name was Madeleine Toche, and her inside-out knowledge of her business was nearly as legendary as her hatred of Germans. For this important operation, she needed to know what was inside so she and others could destroy it. Today was a reconnaissance mission. If an attack was ordered, it would come later.

Toche was an assassin, trained and deployed by the British Special Operations Executive, the SOE, and Prime Minister Churchill’s army of the shadows. She’d spent most of the past two years in France killing—Gestapo, SS officers, and troops. Stealth and patience were her strongest weapons. She’d often wait days in concealment, like a spider in its dark recess, until she sprung from a forgotten crack to kill, afterward slipping away. Her reputation spread far beyond Europe.

Raped at the hands of the SS after her beloved brother was killed when Germany invaded France, she’d vowed revenge. With the help of her father, she killed her assailant and escaped to England through Spain. Her young life had been a whirlwind of training with the British SOE and preparing for war.

A German Jew, a hero of the German army in the First War, trained her. His hatred of the Nazis for killing his wife and daughters propelled him down a road of destruction that made Madeleine’s pale by comparison. Those Jews that knew of him considered him a Gollum. A creature sent by God to kill the enemies of the Jewish people. A monster devoid of mercy. An instrument of unspeakable cruelty. Hatred lain bare.

Passageways led off the main corridor she was in, and down which she continued toward the cavernous space under the dome. Oily dust hung in the air. While the chalk was caked and fragile, the hum of diesel machinery and poor ventilation created a haze inside the tunnels. The place was light on security; if there were any other guards, she couldn’t see them. Electric bulbs strung overhead created a misty effect. She was happy with the additional cover.

The tunnel was a hive of activity. With tight schedules to keep, the workers inside remained intent on their tasks, often walking right past her without a glance or a greeting. No one would notice her in here. She stepped aside to allow a group of workers to go by.

The sound of nonstop drilling shook the structure. She walked past workshops and storage areas, all linked by railroad tracks that headed down toward a massive central hall looming ahead. Inside, it was brightly lit and crisscrossed with construction scaffolding.

She walked out into the space underneath the dome, towering seven stories above her. Full-sized train tracks led out of the cavern into a corridor much larger than the one she had just walked through. Machinery was being attached to walls in the middle of the structure beneath the dome. She could identify winches and tracks to move something horizontally above the tracks. But what in the world was this?

She left the dome area to inspect the remainder of the construction. As she passed one of the rooms, she noticed that the ceiling was much higher than the others. At least twice as tall. She paused and walked inside. Workers measured the floor, marking it at intervals to accommodate another set of tracks. A man looked up with a quizzical expression and then motioned her over. She would answer none of his questions; she promised herself as she pointed to her watch and shook her head. When he started in her direction, she turned and walked out of the room. He followed.

Madeleine picked up her pace and started back down the tunnel in the direction from which she had come. She ducked into a dark hallway leading off the main corridor. She flattened her back against the wall, hiding on the fringe of the light spilling in from the hallway. The man hurried in her direction. Just a little closer, she thought. He couldn’t see her in the dark. Once he was near, she darted out, ramming a fountain pen into his ear, pushing it in with the palm of her hand. His knees buckled, and he fell forward onto his face, crashing to the floor. Setting her clipboard down, she dragged his body further into the dark. And though his legs jiggled, she knew he’d been dead before he hit the ground. Finding a bin partially filled with rock, Madeleine pulled his body behind it. Turning, she picked up her clipboard and walked out into the main passageway. She had seen enough. Time to leave.

She walked toward the entrance she had come through, knowing she needed to be gone before they discovered the body. After all the missions she’d completed, and blood that had stained her hands, to get caught on a reconnaissance mission would be stupid. She knew she would find Jack at the top of the hill overlooking the compound. Just make it to the trees, and you’re home free. This is routine. Shoot your way out, but only if you have to.

Madeleine hurried to join a small group of workers leaving the facility. Neither guard at the entrance gave her any notice until she walked past them. Madeleine made sure to smile at the young guards. They couldn’t help but smile back. Just don’t speak to me in German, she thought, touching the pistol in her pocket. It had become almost involuntary. A reassurance that it was there if she needed it. She could feel their eyes on her body. The bulky uniform couldn’t hide everything. And the more they concentrated on her looks, the less they would think about security; it had worked in the past. The Germans just didn’t see women as threats. They’d think differently if they knew she had a five-million-Francs bounty on her head.

Walking out of the guards’ line of sight, Madeleine stepped off the path. She pulled off the white smock and hat and shook out her hair. She tossed the clothes further into the woods and then covered them with small branches. Soon she relaxed, the adrenaline in her body subsiding. She had much to tell her superiors about this successful mission. She couldn’t wait to reach the top of the hill and see Jack, her husband.


GIVEAWAY!

Soren Paul Petrek is giving away 15 Amazon Kindle copies!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Fifteen winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive an e-copy of Wolves At Our Door!
  • This giveaway ends midnight September 27.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on September 28.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Encounters by Patrick Stull & Giveaway

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Title: ENCOUNTERS
Author: Patrick Stull
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 250
Genre: Fine Art Photography Book



With photography at its base, Stull offers a nuanced explication of his encounters to allow the viewer an opportunity to form a relationship with his art. While looking within ourselves, exploring our own feelings, he hopes that he will inspire greater humaneness in response to his art.

ENCOUNTERS is the second in a series of six large-format books in which artist, photographer and author, Patrick Stull explores a wide range of experiences. Using light and the physical body, the written word and his artistry he creates imagery that examines aspects of the lives of women.
Compiled over the last 18 years, the images in ENCOUNTERS, Stull says, are meant to “inspire and challenge the observer while always empowering the subject.”

Stull brings a powerful sense of the surreal and the spiritual to his work as he plots a course along the many paths of the human experience. His imagery runs from the ghostly and ephemeral to the flowing and fiery.

As much as he concentrates on the human form, Stull never forgets to focus on the humanity of his subjects. His choice of the coffee-table style book format draws the viewer into an experience both intimate and universal.

Stull’s first book in his series, titled EVOLVE, was published in 2006. A third book, titled HIDDEN DIMENSIONS, is completed and awaiting publication. Future titles in the series include DHARMA, BEING DIFFERENT, and YOGA, A HEALING MOMENT.

Stull hopes that his readers come away from the book with “a love for art and a respect for the female who gives us life and challenges us to be better human beings.

https://patrickstull.com/books-2/encounters

 

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Encounters is a collection of imagery created and compiled over the last 15 years to inspire and challenge the observer while always empowering the subject. The imagery is coupled with text, odes and perspectives about the human experience and existence itself. The imagery is mostly an explication, an intimate view of the lives of women and our relationship to them – on an individual and cultural level. However, there are images of men included in this work. A portion of the portfolio presents something more than a photographic image. Here the imagery is developed into contemplative art pieces of the surreal genre, where the viewer is transported into the depths of their own psyche challenging them to see something new.



















 









American artist Patrick Stull has spent the last eighteen years mostly creating imagery about the lives of women. He searches for what lies beneath the surface of his subjects, empowering each one he encounters. He has recently ventured into the realm of surrealism, creating powerful imagery that reflects on our humanity while dealing with the meaning and power of art.

Stull say's, "My work has allowed me to venture past the camera into the realm of a humanist, an artistic life, delving into the intellectual, a more cerebral life experience, creating what I call 'connectivism.'"  

His ongoing work is based in large-scale digital photography accompanied by sculpture/body casts, composition art, painting, poetry/prose and drawings.  His art is then integrated, collectively, into exhibitions to provide the viewer a once in a lifetime experience. The presentation of the work is delivered to the viewer in a unique and emotionally powerful way. 

Stull, 71, a self-taught artist, works in many artistic disciplines. Educated at San Diego State University with degrees in psychology, economics and philosophy during the 1960’s, amidst the backdrop of the counter-culture revolution and the Viet Nam War, where his social consciousness and political views were shaped. Stull emerged from a Catholic Irish/German family, one of five children where work, discipline and religion took precedence over emotional expressions of the self – a different kind of loving environment. Being a husband of thirty-plus years and father to two has taught him the power of kindness, love and commitment. 

His latest book is the fine art photography book, Encounters.
 
Visit his website at www.patrickstull.com.
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GIVEAWAY!

50 Amazon Gift card

Patrick Stull is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $50 Amazon Gift Card.
  • This giveaway ends midnight August 30.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on September 1.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!







* INTERVIEW * Michael Houtz * Dark Spiral Down

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After a career in medicine, Mike Houtz succumbed to the call to hang up his stethoscope and pursue his other passion as a writer of fast-paced thrillers. A rabid fan of authors such as Clancy, Mark Greaney, Vince Flynn, and Brad Thor, Mike loves series writing with strong characters, fast pacing and international locations, all of which explode into action in his debut novel, a 2017 Zebulon Award winner. When not at the keyboard, he can be found on the firing range, traveling for research across the globe, or trying out the latest dry-fly pattern on a Gold Medal trout stream.
He lives at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

His latest book is the thriller/international/action novel, Dark Spiral Down.

Website: www.mikehoutz.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/michaelhoutz
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/author.mikehoutz/
https://www.facebook.com/mike.houtz.77


Q: Welcome! Can you tell us a little bit about your writing background?

Wonderful to join you. Well, it’s a short story! Actually, my earliest memories of writing goes back to grade school. Somewhere in a box in the basement, I have a writeup from an early grade-school teacher asking where I’d come up with such a wild story on a prompt she gave the class. Most of the kids offered a three or four sentence response. Mine was nearly four pages. I dabbled here and there until my mid-twenties. I halted those desires for my medical career. I’ve been purposefully writing, after I took an early retirement, for three or four years now. I’m not ever winning any literary awards, but that same vivid imagination never left me. I’m trying to become the writer my imagination deserves.

Q: What fact about yourself that would really surprise people?

I’m a picture of contrasts. I suppose folks who don’t know me would form an opinion on my personality based on my practicing medicine and writing—cerebral endeavors largely populated by people of culture enjoying wine tastings. I ended my martial arts career undefeated in 5 years of combat competition. I have National titles in wrestling and represented our country in the sport. I’m a slightly polished knuckle dragger.


Q: How do you define success in regards to writing and publishing books? 

This is the most important question I’ve seen in all my interviews. Bravo. I tackled this subject on the first day I considered writing as a career. I also pose this very subject to every new writer I interact with. My answer, and everyone should have their own, started as a bucket list item. I wanted to check off that line stating I’d traditionally published a book. One. On day number two, I changed my mind. My current definition is I want to entertain and create emotional responses in readers. Nothing is more satisfying to me than when someone tells me in an excited voice about something in the story that shocked them or created an adrenalin rush for them. That’s my success.

Q: Can you tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it?

The protagonist, Cole Haufner, is a twenty-six-year old professional mixed martial arts superstar. Considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport’s history he holds a unique attitude with his career—he HATES fighting. Growing up in a Shaolin temple in Southeast China, he carries a serene spirit and calm outward persona. Planning to attend medical school, his plans abruptly change when his newborn son suffers a congenital heart condition and requires extensive medical care. He turns to the one skill that can provide for his son—the employment of his renowned martial arts skill. At the peak of his success in the octagon, tragedy strikes and he’s left alone in the world save for his brother, an American Delta Force operator who goes missing on a mission. Cole follows a clue back to his childhood home and becomes embroiled in a desperate fight between the remnants of his brother’s Delta unit and North Korean commandos hell bent on acquiring a stolen device capable of changing the world or destroying it depending on who manages to escape with this invention.

A few years ago, I retired early from a career in medicine. No surprise, my first writing effort started with a medical thriller. I felt, and still do, the story has a strong premise and has the potential to do well. Somewhere around that same time, I read an appalling account of a child whisked away from his father to South America by his ex-wife. The courts in that part of the world were manipulated by the new boyfriend, an attorney, and the father struggled mightily against unsympathetic ears. From all accounts on subsequent research, I discovered the dad was a good guy with no history of violence, and he’d been a loving father to his son. His journey for the return of his son spanned years. Imagine dropping off your child with a spouse for visitation and never seeing them again. Having two sons around the same age, the account really hit me hard. I imagined someone rescuing the boy and bringing him back to the only home he’d known. I woke up one morning, shoved the medical thriller in a drawer, and let the anger and sympathy pour out into the novel. From that spark, my own personal life mission changed too.


Q: When you are not writing, how do you relax?

With my two sons, I don’t know how to relax. When not writing, I’m shuttling my kids to practices or traveling for their competitions, getting in a workout, or working with my German Shepard, Saber. Sometimes I can sneak in time at the shooting range or hit a Colorado stream for native trout. It’s a fast and furious life, but I’m grateful for all of it.

Q: Please tell us why we should read your book?

If for no other reason, you’re joining a growing group of people providing support to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children network. My mission is to bring light to the horrible crime committed upon children by an adult unlawfully removing them from their home and taking them to a country that does not recognize our laws on child custody. Every book sold supports that effort both financially as well as creating awareness.

Plus, if you’re anything like me, seeing a character employ a really nasty skill set in these horrible situations is very satisfying. When the courts fail, Cole begins his brand of justice.


Q: What kind of advice would you give other authors just getting their feet wet?

First, answer question three. How will you “know” when you’re successful. Everyone will have a different answer. Why are you spending hours, day in and day out, for years, writing? Is it a fun hobby or are you shooting for Bestseller status. Your answer will likely change over time, but you should have an initial idea.

Secondly, any timeline you’re giving yourself just double it. There are so many different factors to publishing out of your control. The industry moves like a glacier. I had one of the fastest turnarounds I’m aware of from the first sentence to book release, and it took nearly three years. If you’re a relatively unknown, prepare for a long haul.

Finally, the difference between published authors and those who don’t reach that mark is those published writers never quit. Take all the “no” responses and collect all the rejections into a nice big ball, because you will get them, and vow to shove it up their rear ends. Never surrender to other people’s failures projected onto you.

About the Book:

COLE HAUFNER is a reluctant superstar in the professional mixed martial arts world. After his latest fight, his wife and child perish in a car crash. His grief deepens when his brother, BUTCH, a Delta Force operator, is absent from the funeral and reported missing by two furtive strangers who show up unannounced at the burial. Despairing, and acting on a tip, Cole travels to his childhood home in southeast China, looking for his brother.

Butch and his teammate, HAMMER, are the sole American survivors of a gun battle between their unit and North Korean commandos, both sides fighting over possession of a stolen suitcase containing a miniaturized fusion device that could either provide unlimited clean energy or be converted to an undetectable bomb seven times more powerful than a nuclear explosion. Leading the North Koreans is the sociopath, Commander PARK. Pressed into helping the Koreans is a disgraced former CIA operative, BARRETT JENNINGS.

Cole meets with the uncle who raised him, MASTER LI, and is warned to stop his search for Butch. Barrett discovers Cole’s identity (with the help of a genius computer hacker, LILLY), which opens a twenty-year-old wound when Barrett was blamed for the disappearance of Cole’s father, along with the man’s invention. Barrett enlists the 14K organized crime syndicate to help capture Cole. Hammer, separated from Butch during the fight for the device, thwarts the gang’s attempt to kidnap Cole, and the two then set off to find Butch and the device. All parties converge on the city library where Butch, now disguised as a monk, is attempting to communicate with the Pentagon. Barrett and Park capture Butch, while the 14K gang nabs Cole.

Danger mounts as Chinese authorities begin investigating foul play within their borders. Cole fights his way free of the gang and reunites with Hammer.  Both men find Barrett’s apartment and discover Lilly (the man’s stepdaughter), who divulges Barrett’s identity and plan. Cole clashes with Hammer, who is willing to sacrifice Butch in order to recover the fusion device. Lilly offers her help in exchange for her and Barrett’s rescue from Park’s grip. Meanwhile, Barrett discovers the true nature of the case the North Koreans are pursuing and, sensing he and Lilly are to be assassinated by Park once he has the device, frees Butch. Butch, trusting Barrett was sent to rescue him, leads the turncoat to the site where he hid the device. Barrett, hoping to make a quick fortune selling it, shoots Butch before escaping with the case.

Cole, along with Hammer and Lilly, arrives at the location of Butch and finds him gravely wounded. Butch fingers Barrett for shooting him and for stealing the case. Cole wants only to save his brother but Butch makes him promise to kill Barrett and recover their dad’s invention. The revelation that the device is his father’s scientific discovery propels Cole forward to fulfill his brother’s mission. Cole is forced to abandon Butch at a hospital. Cole pursues Barrett to a remote dock where the ex-CIA man is planning to escape China by boat. With the Chinese military now actively looking for Cole, Cole confronts Barrett and Park sparking a gunfight. Barrett kills Park. As Barrett turns the gun on Cole, Hammer kills Barrett. Cole, Hammer and Lilly escape via the boat, and the fusion device is safely returned.

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Lee Matthew Goldberg * Interview * The Desire Card

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Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of SLOW DOWN and THE MENTOR (St. Martin’s Press), which was acquired by Macmillan Entertainment with the film in development. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. The first two books in a thriller series, THE DESIRE CARD and PREY NO MORE, are forthcoming from Fahrenheit Press in winter 2019. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, Essays & Fictions, The New Plains Review, and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series (guerrillalit.wordpress.com). He lives in New York City. Follow him at leematthewgoldberg.com and @LeeMatthewG.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Any wish fulfilled for the right price. That's the promise the Desire Card gives to its elite clients. But if the Card doesn’t feel like they’ve been justly compensated, the “price” will be more menacing than the clients could ever imagine.   

Harrison Stockton learns this lesson all too well. Harrison has lived an adult life of privilege and
excess: a high-powered job on Wall Street along with a fondness for alcohol and pills, and a family he adores, yet has no time for. All of this comes crashing to a halt when he loses his executive job and discovers he has liver cirrhosis with mere months left to live.

After finding himself far down on the donor list, Harrison takes matters into his own hands. This decision sparks a gritty and gripping quest that takes him to the slums of Mumbai in search of a black market organ and forces him under the Desire Card’s thumb. When his moral descent threatens his wife and children, Harrison must decide whether to save himself at any cost, or do what’s right and put a stop to the Card.

THE DESIRE CARD is a taut international thriller that explores what a man will do to survive when money isn’t always enough to get everything he desires. It’s the first book in a series followed by PREY NO MORE that focuses on other people indebted to this sinister organization, where the actual price is the cost of one’s soul.

PRAISE:

"Careful what you wish for, especially from a nefarious shadow organization, in this gripping start to Lee Matthew Goldberg's fast-paced, highly compelling, buzz worthy new series. If you love characters morally compromised, richly drawn, and constantly surprising, you'll love THE DESIRE CARD. I burned through the first book and can't wait to get my hands on PREY NO MORE to see where this endlessly exciting story takes me next! Loved it!” - Daniel Palmer, critically acclaimed suspense author

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon



Welcome to Nuttin’ But Books. Tell us a little about you and your writing background?

I’ve been a writer my whole life. I got an MFA from the New School in ’06 and my first novel Slow Down came out in 2015. I’ve published three books now with my fourth coming out soon.

Tell us about your book?

It’s about an organization called the Desire Card that promises “Any Wish Fulfilled for the Right Price” although the price is always more menacing than the clients expect.

What is a regular writing day like for you?

I edit in the mornings and then write from 1 to 5. If the weather is nice I write under a tree in Central Park.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Depends on the book, one has taken me ten years, another has taken forty days.

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?

People are always very interested. It’s a weird career.

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?

I try to write every weekday. If I need a day off, I always take it. Go see a play, a movie, go to a museum, meet up with friends.

What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?

I don’t really care. I work my ass off and I don’t do it for them.

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate?

I love writing, the business end of it I sometimes hate.

Do you think success as an author must be linked to money?

It’s something I will forever grapple with.

What has writing taught you?

Be dedicated, follow your dreams, explore your creativity.

How can readers discover more about you and your work?

Leematthewgoldberg.com

Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview. What’s next for you?

My next book PREY NO MORE will be out next. It is the second book in the Desire Card series.

A Burdened Novel Series * Book Blast * Giveaway

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We're really excited to be hosting Felisha Antonette's A BURDENED NOVEL Book Blast today! Felisha is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a 4 book set of her A Burdened Novel series! Enter and win!!


FOUR TIMES BROKEN (A Burdened Novel – Book 1)

When Tracey’s life spirals out of control, who will help her pick up the pieces?

Tracey Warren’s last year of high school is mapped out: stay focused, graduate in a few months, and get the hell out of Bennington, Virginia. The finish line is in plain sight and everything is going according to plan. Until a car accident sends her plans spiraling out of control.

After a chance encounter with a diabolically handsome stranger, she is left with questions that only Nathan Newcomb can give her the answers to. But being around him makes her head spin and being away from him makes an unbearable pain consume her.

There is only one cure, and being the girl mated to a Burdened Sephlem won’t be an easy road. It will be destined for chaos, but Nathan’s magnetism draws Tracey in, and she can’t resist him. Once they are bonded, danger lurks around every darkened corner, and the greatest one may be coursing through the bloodlines running through Nathan’s veins.

Can their love survive or will their burdened souls surrender and fade away?

            
 


THREE TIMES TORN (A Burdened Novel – Book 2)



Tracey’s fun and free life has taken a nefarious turn. Since releasing her heart to Nathan, the repercussions for choosing to love a Burdened Sephlem have been deadly, daunting, and more dangerous than she ever predicted.

If life only allowed her a moment to breathe, to break away from her tainted father and chaotic friend, the injurious bonding may be easier. But there are sentiments rushing through her veins that is twisting her through a whirlwind of bliss and chaos. And a breath of fresh air only resides in one place. . . Until he’s changed. . .

Someone who lives to destroy Tracey’s mate, Nathan, has the perfect concoction for tragedy and Tracey is his primary ingredient. Influenced by the sinister intentions of Roehl, Nathan’s half-brother, Tracey’s outlook on her bond has faltered. She will be required to choose again, and all signs point in the wrong direction; for her and her friend.

We’ve made it onto Lunis’ radar. A full-blooded Sephlem who’s driven by torturing others. He claims he’s owed a debt and Nathan will do anything to protect his family from him. He’ll put his life on the line if needed, and Lunis guarantees he will take it. This threat seems far more likely to succeed when we invade his guardhouse to rescue Olar.

Can bonds tied to the soul be broken, or will a Burdened Sephlem have to bare his soul to keep his mate?

Amazon2
 
 


TWO TIMES SLAIN (A Burdened Novel Book 3)


Loyalty, deception, honesty, and death.

These factors in Tracey’s life have taken her from an innocent teenager to a strong-minded young adult when she took the leap that no human or Sephlem would dare to. And while none of the promised perils have materialized, her strength has yet to be tested. Now, the secrets behind the midnight eyes of her mate have started to come to light, and this unbalanced truth affects her, her parents, and what’s left of her friends.

When her mate’s mother gets abducted and everyone leaves to find her, Tracey’s left to fend for herself. She finds peace in finally being alone without the bond of her mate overwhelming her and revels in a freedom that she has tried to obtain since mating. But it is short lived. She wakes, bound and blindfolded, awaiting a torturous greeting from an unlikely foe… Someone who has an appetite for vengeance.

The Burdened has rule over Nathan and his life. The more he fights it, it prevails. But rescuing his mate and his mother is a dead cert, and Nathan will destroy anything and anyone who stands in his way.

A prophecy has set the fate of Nathan and Tracey’s relationship and the Sephlem race—their union more significant than either realizes. As the future unfolds and their love is tested, will it endure the deepest pain of their loss?

Love has found its match.

            
 


ONCE TIME PASSED (A Burden Novel Book 4)



Loyalty, deception, honesty, and death.

These factors in Tracey’s life have taken her from an innocent teenager to a strong-minded young adult when she took the leap that no human or Sephlem would dare to. And while none of the promised perils have materialized, her strength has yet to be tested. Now, the secrets behind the midnight eyes of her mate have started to come to light, and this unbalanced truth affects her, her parents, and what’s left of her friends.

When her mate’s mother gets abducted and everyone leaves to find her, Tracey’s left to fend for herself. She finds peace in finally being alone without the bond of her mate overwhelming her and revels in a freedom that she has tried to obtain since mating. But it is short lived. She wakes, bound and blindfolded, awaiting a torturous greeting from an unlikely foe… Someone who has an appetite for vengeance.

The Burdened has rule over Nathan and his life. The more he fights it, it prevails. But rescuing his mate and his mother is a dead cert, and Nathan will destroy anything and anyone who stands in his way.

A prophecy has set the fate of Nathan and Tracey’s relationship and the Sephlem race—their union more significant than either realizes. As the future unfolds and their love is tested, will it endure the deepest pain of their loss?

Love has found its match.


            
 
______________________



I flick my enamored gaze back onto the black-and-white tiles, cheeks on fire. Crap! He probably thinks I’m like the floozies from earlier, stupefied by a cute smile and well-lined beard.
And to make it worse, he cackles, head falling forward, having a few strands of his hair fall onto his forehead.
I snort, hating I’ve become his amusement today.
There’s cautiousness in his movement when he drags his hands from his pockets and approaches me. “Let me help you,” he drones. His reach is precarious, but when he latches onto my waist, his grasp is steady. I’m ambushed by a plethora of sensations from the contact; my heart stutters and my breaths rush from my lungs as he lifts me off the bed.
“Thanks,” I mutter, meeting his eyes. Which, is something I’ve been trying to avoid since I had passed out.
They take me in, and the hazel-brown swirls. I stare in awe as liquid emerald blends with milk chocolate.
He blinks and backs away, releasing his hold. I didn’t notice how aware I was of his hands being on me until they fall away, an immersing sense of comfort and warmth going with them.
“Let’s go. It’s getting late; you need to get home.” His rigid, deepened voice differs from the discerning one he used only moments ago.
“Um,” I mumble.
He lifts his gaze and looks past my shoulder toward the doorway, eyes brown again.
My eyes narrow and I point to his face. “That’s different.”
“I know,” he says. “It’s also a pain in my ass.” He sweeps his hand toward the door.
Not wanting to pry, I shrug and walk out of the room.
“Hi, Mrs. Waturstrom,” I greet the woman behind the nurse’s desk. “I’m a little better, but my head still hurts. May I have something for my headache that’ll tide me over until I get home, please?”
“Of course, Tracey. Nice to see you’re okay. I’ll give you a Tylenol for your pain and a bottle of water. Wait there a moment,” she adds, turning away to her cabinet of pain-relieving goodies. Our school nurse is a nice little lady whose smooth skin and perfect posture is a compliment to her age. She says it is because her late husband kept her young. He passed away a year or so ago, and it’s noticeable his passing broke her heart. She lost the spring in her step. Now, she’s the basic happy nurse, keeping a smile on and speaking with a slight hint of excitement but it’s not from her heart. If it weren’t for the small, tear-shaped scar under her right eye, she’d be flawless for her age.
I rest against the counter. “Thank you.”
“Now, Tracey. I’m not trying to meddle, but sometimes I can’t help myself.” Mrs. Waturstrom examines the label of a pill bottle and continues, “Are you two dating?”
My eyes bulge. I hurry to sober them, knowing he can see my expression with him only being a foot away. “No, ma’am. I don’t even know him,” I hurry to say, wanting to clear up any confusion. “There was an accident.”
“Oh!” she gasps as if my denial of our involvement is unbelievable. “I’m sorry, dear. I thought, well, with the way he carried you in here and his concern over you being well. That boy even fell asleep in that hard chair, waiting for you to wake up.”
























 








Felisha Antonette writes young adult and new adult romance, paranormal and contemporary, sweet and sexy. There’s a little bit of something for everyone! She cares most for the enjoyment of her readers and loves making others happy may it be through her stories, encouragement, or volunteering. When she’s not writing and ‘momming’ she’s a team leader for kiddos and teens at her church (Cornerstone – Chandler, AZ), working out at the gym, binging on a Netflix series, or trying to defeat Mr. King Dice in Cuphead with her daughter Namia!

Website: www.felishaantonette.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/peiriann
Facebook: www.facebook.com/feeantonette

GIVEAWAY!

Felisha Antonette is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a 4 book set of her A Burdened Novel series!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Two winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive either $25 Amazon Gift Card or the whole 4 book A Burdened Novel series!
  • This giveaway ends midnight July 19.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on July 20.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!