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Book Showcase: A Reason for Living by Julian Jingles

Book Showcase: A Reason for Living by Julian Jingles


Title: A Reason for Living 
Author: Julian Jingles

Category: Adult Fiction, 382 pages
Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: iUniverse
Release date: January 17, 2018
Content Rating: R

Book Showcase: A Reason for Living by Julian Jingles
About the Book:

It is the mid-1960s in Kingston, Jamaica, and the country is steeped in social, political, and economic inequities. Howard Baxter, the heir to a real estate empire, has no interest in seeking or managing wealth. Painting and deflowering Jamaican maidens are his passions. As he combs the streets looking for greater meaning in his pathetic life, it soon becomes apparent that Howard's journey will not be easy.

Bernaldo Lloyd, a member of the Baxter clan, is a medical student who is sensitive to the hopelessness of the Jamaican masses. Inspired by his close friend and Howard's cousin, Ras Robin Pone, and their ties with the Rastafari movement that calls for social and economic equity, Bernaldo is determined to overthrow the corrupt government. As Howard, Bernaldo and Robin become influenced by America's Black Power and Civil Rights movements demanding equal rights for African Americans, the women in their lives both love and criticize them. But when revolution breaks out, Howard finally discovers a purpose for his twisted life that leads him in a direction he never anticipated.

In this tale of love, passion, and self-discovery, two Jamaican men become caught up in a 1960s revolution that reveals injustices, oppression, and a purpose for one of them.

Praise for A Reason for Living:

“Riveting, touching on micro and macro relationships of love, sex and politics, and the search of Jamaicans for the essence of their existence, with many compelling scenes and very touching, sensitive dialogues.”
- Dr. Basil Wilson, New York Carib News

"A Reason for Living is a highly complex work that pits sense against sensibility. Emotions surge, transforming men in unfathomable ways. And as love and revolution march in lock-step, Jingles might well have earned a place among the region’s more interesting writers."

“The author, filmmaker, entrepreneur did not wile away five decades as a bystander but may have calculatedly used the hiatus to toil in order to reveal a compelling novel about the creative and volatile ‘60s in Jamaica.”
- Vinette K. Pryce, Caribbean Life

Buy the Book:




Book Showcase: A Reason for Living by Julian Jingles
About the Author:

Julian Jingles has had a professional career spanning 52 years writing for publications such as the Jamaica Gleaner, the New York Amsterdam News, JET magazine, the New York Daily News, and the New York Carib News. He began work on his novel A Reason For Living in 1966, a teenager just graduating from high school in Jamaica. In 1967 he went to work as a journalist at the Gleaner Company, the oldest published newspaper in Jamaica, and the Caribbean. He has written, produced, and co-directed three documentary films, production managed several music videos featuring Kool and the Gang, Steel Pulse, the Main Ingredient, promoted several music concerts, and a stage play, along with investing in several entrepreneurial projects in America, and Jamaica.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Facebook ~ LinkedIn


Enter the Giveaway!
Ends June 16, 2018





Excerpt: Bound by Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor

Excerpt: Bound by Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor


Title: Bound (A Magnus Blackwell Novel #2) 
Authors: Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor 

Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: April 17th 2018
Genres: Adult, Supernatural

Excerpt: Bound by Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor
About the Book:

Magnus Blackwell’s past is about to catch up with him.

An evil force has seized New Orleans. Pestilence, suffering, and darkness cloak the city. The citizens are scared and need their mambo to guide them, but Lexie Arden can’t help anyone. A diabolical presence has taken Lexie’s power and severed her ties with the other side.

Magnus Blackwell is fighting demons of his own. Torn between his devotion to Lexie and a spirit from his past, Magnus’s loyalty is put to the test. He must revisit his sins to uncover the key to the hatred ripping the city apart. If he doesn’t, Lexie’s reign as mambo will end.

Their search for answers leads them deep into the darker realms of voodoo—until a desperate Lexie does the unthinkable, and Magnus can do nothing to spare her from her fate.


Purchase:




Excerpt:

Will went to the doors leading to the balcony. “Do you hear that?”
Lexie got up from the sofa, and as soon as she came up to him, a low buzzing came through their back door. “What is it?”
Will hooked her waist. “Get behind me.”
“Why?”
“Just do it, Lexie!”
She curled into his back with her hands on his shoulders, looking around the nape of his neck while he reached for the door handle.
The buzzing got much louder when he cracked the door.
Her breath coming in quick gasps, she stared out into the night.
A wave of black shot up from the courtyard as if alerted by the light escaping from their door. The humming became deafening. Her eyes adjusted to the dark, and then Lexie became paralyzed with terror.
Flies, thousands of them, swarmed like a flock of birds, dipping and rising with a single mind. While poised over the pond, their mass obscured the floodlights from the adjacent buildings.
Aghast, Lexie’s nails dug into Will as the swarm pulled into a giant ball. A black wave flowed over the mass, bending and twisting in different directions, forming a shape.
“Have you ever seen flies do that?” Will mumbled.
Never taking her eyes off the object, she whispered back, “No. Never.”
Right after Lexie spoke, the ball suddenly contracted into a tight, flat orb.
She could not see the flies anymore, but their buzzing remained. Depressions sank into the orb; two eyes, a dip where the nose should be, and a thin line for the mouth.
The face reminded Lexie of a large black skull.
The skull then exploded, and the flies flew off in every direction.
“Holy shit!” Will slammed the doors and set the bolt. “What the hell was that?”
Lexie went around him to the window and peeked outside.
The only things hovering above the pond were a few bright beams from a neighbor’s spotlight. The flies had disappeared.
She stepped back, trembling. “It’s a warning.”
 “Any idea who’s sending it?”
She rubbed his back, eager to feel his warmth. “No, but I’m sure I will find out soon enough.”
“Are you all right?” Magnus arrived in her living room. “I came as soon as I felt the black presence nearby.”
“We’re fine.” She looked up. “Just spooked.”
“Who are you talking …?” Will’s voice faded. “Oh my God. Is that …?”
Lexie held her breath as Will stared openmouthed at Magnus. “Can you see him?”
Will closed his mouth and cleared his throat. “Oh yeah.”
She rubbed her head, fighting the tension headache coming on. “This is all I need.”
“Others have seen me, why not him?” Magnus maneuvered closer. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Will.”
Will’s cheeks blanched, but he managed a courteous nod.
“Yeah, it’s nice to know you’re real.”
Magnus smugly grinned. “I’ve always been real.”
A long lapse of silence followed as each of the men—well, man and ghost—sized the other up.
Since she’d first met Magnus, Lexie longed for Will to see him, to know he existed. Her wish finally granted, she questioned if seeing Magnus was good for her husband. Will had stayed on the fringe of her world, opting to support her in any way he could, but leaving her to run her responsibilities without his assistance. She’d preferred things that way, seeking guidance from Titu instead of Will. He had his architecture firm and she her shop. Could they go back to their comfortable existence, or had the tide turned?
“Why is this happening?” Will staggered backward. “Why am I seeing him?”

About the Authors:


Excerpt: Bound by Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor
Lucas Astor is from New York, has resided in Central America and the Middle East, and traveled through Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight.

He is an author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face.

Photography, making wine, and helping endangered species are just some of his interests. Lucas is an expert archer and enjoys jazz, blues, and classical music.

One of his favorite quotes is:  “It’s better to be silent than be a fool.”  ~Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)

Excerpt: Bound by Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor
Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Having been brought up in the motion picture industry, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.

Excerpt: Bound by Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor


GIVEAWAY




Video Book Trailers

Video Book Trailers, guest post by Sara Marks.


As a reader, I love book trailers to get the flavor of a book before I read it.  There are some beautifully done ones and I want them for my books too.  For my first novel, Modern Persuasion, I hired someone from the website Fiverr to create a trailer a few months after the book was released.  When I was getting ready for Phi Alpha Pi, I decided to try it again, but to use the trailer as part of the cover reveal. Here are the lessons I learned from the experience.


What Is Fiverr

Imagine that you can just hire someone to complete a job for your book: proofread, illustrations, video creation, voice over work, or anything else.  Fiverr is a website that connects you to freelancers who can help with those tasks.  The cost depends on how much work is expected, but the low end would presumably start at $5.00 (hence Fiverr).  The person you are hiring can share the products of past jobs, feedback from previous clients, and set their own terms.  For a video trailer, they can vary in price, but many start at $10 and go up to $30.  The highest I saw was $80 and the creator was one of their most popular and top rated.  Within each job there are levels that can vary the length of the video, the number of revisions the creator will do, and how much media they might use. Custom jobs can be set up with most creators.  In the past I’ve done jobs for proofreading and copy editing short stories as well as the trailers.  I’ve worked with some great professionals, but there are drawbacks to the service.  

My Experience

Video Book Trailers, guest post by Sara MarksMy two novels are part of an anthology series with a shared universe.  They are modernizations of Jane Austen’s classics.  They are sweet romance books targeted at new adults, college students, and romance fans.  This means they aren’t steamy, bodice-rippers.  The sex is implied and the romance is, well, sweet and often playful.  My cover designer, for Phi Alpha Pi, really got the tone of the book and the cover reflected it.  I wanted a trailer that extended this tone.

As a self published authors all the profits and expenses are mine. My sanity is just as important as my wallet and I’m not opposed to hiring someone who can do something better than I can.  SInce a trailer is not critical to the success of the book, I really had to consider the expense and my budget.  People suggested creators who charged as little as $400 for 20 seconds of video.  The work was wonderful, I couldn’t justify the expense. I turned to Fiverr to see what options I had.  I spent an entire day looking at different jobs and their creators.  I watched past trailers they had made.  I searched stock footage websites to make sure I wasn’t expecting something unreasonable.  I composed the lines I wanted on the screen.  I composed a statement explaining the tone of the trailer.  I picked someone I thought I could work with and within 2 hours I had my trailer.  After I watched the entire 90 second video and only had a long list of problems.

I won’t name the creator, he was kind enough to refund my money when I expressed my frustrations.  The problem really centered around having paid for one revision and not feeling we couldn’t create something I liked with that little work. I ended up doing it on my own and it helped me realize what was going on and why it wasn’t going to work for me in the future.

Lessons 1: Media Libraries

Video creators will often talk about their library of videos, photos, and music.  These libraries are what they will use to create your trailer.  I thought, in my naivety, that they were paying a fee to have access to sources similar to Getty Images or iStockPhoto.  I assumed it was different than what I could get access to.  This is not true.  Based on the number of images and video I saw repeated across trailers, they have their own personal libraries.  When I buy a stock photo, I have the right to use it as often as I want.  The same with videos and music.  The ones I have paid for are my library.  Videos on iStockphoto cost at least $50 each.  If the creator charges you $30 to make your trailer, this is no incentive for them to buy a video just for you.  That is, unless they think the content can easily be used in other videos. Compare this to someone who is charging you $400 to make a trailer.  Instead of $30 for 90 seconds, they only give you 20 seconds of video for the $400. Their media libraries are likely larger and the higher fee gives them an incentive to buy the media you need for your trailer (if they don’t have something already).

When your on Fiverr,  look at a creator’s work and pay attention to the media they use.  How often do you see the same video or image?  How often do they use the same music?  These are signs to the breadth of their library.  Are the similar objects used for a specific genre? Are they abstract images? If you saw it in your trailer, would you be happy?  For example, I frequently saw a video of wine being poured into a wine glass.  It was used in romance trailers.  It was also in mine and had nothing to do with my book, but the creator had it in his library already.

Lessons: Revisions

One of the difference between job levels on Fiverr, when it comes to videos, is how many revisions you get.  In this recent experience we only had one revision.  Imagine you and your creator have completely different visions for your trailer (for whatever reason).  If your first draft isn’t to your satisfaction, then you only have one chance to try and communicate your needs better before you get your final product.  My creator and I both realized this was not going to be possible.  In my first experience with the Modern Persuasion trailer, I paid for two revisions, and even that didn’t lead to complete satisfaction. 

The number of revision is far more important than I ever thought.  Maybe I wouldn’t have been as frustrated with the first draft if I had additional revisions. With more expensive creators, off Fiverr, I saw unlimited revisions as a selling feature.  It makes sense.  Time is money and revisions are time.  Clarity of descriptions and vision are critical if you only have one or two chances to revise the video.

Lessons: Length

This is the strength of the Fiverr videos- you get more length for less money.  With the more expensive creators, off Fiverr, I was seeing 15-20 seconds of video.  On Fiverr I was seeing 60 - 120 seconds of video.  More time means more text and, in my opinion, more time to craft a message. If you don’t have a problem with the image library and number of revisions, you can easily get a lot of video for a good price. It allows people to see the text for more time and the trailer doesn’t feel rushed.

Lessons: YouTube

The point of the trailer is to share it and, for many, the easiest way to do this is via YouTube. With my first trailer I was given a final MP4 file, which is perfect for YouTube, but the only hiccup I had was with the music license.  It was flagged for copyright on the music. This meant, if I had it set up for monetization, it probably wouldn’t be eligible. Even though your creator has the license to use the music, it doesn’t mean you do. I don’t think this is really going to be a problem for most people.  In my experience, the trailer is to help sell the book, not the video. Still, it’s something to be aware of.

Should you use Fiverr to hire someone for a book trailer?  Of course!  The key is to go in with open eyes and make the best decision for your sanity, wallet, and time.  Hopefully, my lessons will help you make a more informed decision! Check out my blog, Book Club of 1, to learn how I learned to create my own trailer and the lessons I learned from that experience.

Video Book Trailers, guest post by Sara Marks
Born in Boston, MA and raised in Miami, FL, Sara Marks has two masters degrees and plans to never stop getting over educated. She likes the idea of having all the academic regalia she can ever possess and winning with the most degrees in her family. By day she’s an academic librarian. In what little free time she has, she also knits and plays with her dog Cedric Doggory.

You can find and contact Sara Marks here:
– Website
– Facebook
– Twitter
– Instagram
– Goodreads
– Amazon
– Mailing List

Video Book Trailers, guest post by Sara Marks



Cover Reveal: The Aviary by Emily Shore

Cover Reveal: The Aviary by Emily Shore


Title: The Aviary (The Aviary Series, #1) 
Author: Emily Shore 

Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: March 5th 2019
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult

Cover Reveal:

Cover Reveal: The Aviary by Emily Shore


About the book:

"Gentlemen, we have a special treat for you today. Feast your eyes on this pure-blooded beauty!"

Sixteen-year-old Serenity has spent her entire life in hiding to protect her from this exact moment. In a world where beauty is bought and sold on the streets like a corporate commodity, Serenity's natural assets are more like liabilities. Despite her parents' best efforts, she's been taken—ripped from her home and the only life she's ever known—to find herself on sale to the highest bidder. And that bidder? Enigmatic and dangerous, Luc is the director of The Aviary—an elite museum where girls are displayed as living art by day…and cater to the lascivious whims of the highest bidder by night. In this elaborate and competitive world, girls go by names like Raven and Nightingale, and will stop at nothing to become top Bird.

Luc comes to idolize Serenity's purity and aims to turn her into his grandest exhibit of all time—The Swan. In no time, she becomes one of the most coveted exhibits in Aviary history. When she discovers Luc holds the key to finding her parents, she must learn to play The Swan to perfection…to win his heart and earn his trust. But she doesn't anticipate falling for him in the process. Now she faces an impossible choice: escape The Aviary and lose her only chance at finding her parents—or become Luc's Swan for good and lose her identity forever.

Content Note: the goal of The Aviary Trilogy is to raise awareness about the devastating effects of sex-trafficking. The Aviary's major theme is a struggle with identity. These books brush on themes of abuse and manipulation, dissociation, pornography, Stockholm Syndrome, drug use in the industry, and various other subjects. Stories were inspired by real-world truths from survivors and rescue workers. A portion of The Aviary's proceeds will always go to benefit Women at Risk, International.



Cover Reveal: The Aviary by Emily Shore
About the Author:

Emily Shore is a MN author with a B.A. in Creative Writing from Metro State University and was a grand prize winner of #PitchtoPublication, which led her to working with professionals in the publishing industry. Her anti-trafficking books Ruby in the Rough and Ruby in the Ruins are her first indie-published books with proceeds benefiting trafficking rescue organizations: Breaking Free and Women at Risk, International. This summer she will be debuting her first contemporary novel as well as re-releasing her paranormal series in the fall: Roseblood

Emily lives in Saint Paul with her husband and two little girls. In her free time, she enjoys connecting with rescue organizations and survivors of sex-trafficking, hearing their stories, and injecting their truths into her books for youth. She loves motivational speaking on the issue of sex-trafficking and is lining up more schools and libraries for the fall and winter, campaigning against sex-trafficking, baking, acrylic painting, interior decorating, and spending time with all the little girls in her life.

To learn more about Emily's work and the anti-trafficking movement, see her Facebook page where she regularly blogs: www.facebook.com/authoremilyshore and sign up for her newsletter through the Contact Me on her website: www.emilybethshore.com

Author links: 

Cover Reveal: The Aviary by Emily Shore



Interview with Amberly Kristen Clowe

Interview with Amberly Kristen Clowe


What genre do you write and why?

I enjoy writing numerous genres for children. Picture books are a fun challenge. An author only has so many words and pages to use. Every single word matters. This is like a fun puzzle! I enjoy writing children’s chapter books—this may even be my favorite. These young readers are often looking for relatable, humorous stories. I so enjoy a good one-liner! I have dabbled in both middle grade and young adult fiction. For me, I have to be truly committed to a story in these genres, since they often consume much more time. Nonetheless, writing for older children is an incredibly rewarding experience.  

Interview with Amberly Kristen Clowe
Tell us about your latest book.

My latest book is titled Teeny Sweeney and the Mustache Cash. It is the first in a new series published with Christian publisher Little Lamb Books. This early-reader is for children who are beginning to read on their own. Teeny is a lovely character to write. She’s bold, curious, and with such a big heart. The story begins with Teeny’s teacher assigning the class a huge project: to create a business plan in a single week. Teeny not only creates a business plan, she creates a thriving business. Unfortunately, she skims over a few pretty important parts. The story is funny and zany, and one I really do think kids will enjoy.

What did you edit out of this book?

I did have to edit out a line about a worm’s derriere. That kind of broke my heart, but I know it’s part of the process!

How was this book published? Why did you choose that particular publishing route?

I decided to sign with traditional publisher Little Lamb Books. After speaking with the founder, Rachel Pellegrino, I knew God had placed Teeny in good hands. The people at Little Lamb Books expect so much from their authors, but they expect the same—if not more—from themselves. These people are the finest at what they do, from editing to marketing. They are eager for your input and to share with you the many steps from manuscript to published work. It has been a beautiful process to experience!

What formats is the book available in?

The paperback is currently available for pre-sale at Amazon and other major retailers. There will be hardbacks available for purchase when I debut the story at The Great Homeschool Convention in Texas on March 15th of this year. I’ve been told the e-book version will also be available soon.

Who are your favourite authors?

Whew. That’s a big question. I have included a handful of favorites.
Mem Fox
Beverly Cleary
Dan Gutman
Lauren Kate
Else Holmelund Minarik
James Christopher Carroll

What's the best thing about being a writer?

I love the whimsy of it all. It’s absolutely thrilling to weave a world, rich in characters and growth and pretend.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?

I am active on both Twitter and Facebook. I keep my website updated with current events and bookish news. Readers can access my blog from my website and read a new Five Minute Friday each week. These are Bible lessons for kids that require little materials and time. On my website, readers can also subscribe to my monthly newsletter. My newsletter peeps are the first to see new covers and hear about events before I even post to my site. I like to include even more Bible lessons through my newsletter too.
My twitter handle: @AmberlyClowe
Search “Amberly Clowe” on Facebook for my author page.
                                                       
Interview with Amberly Kristen Clowe
Do you believe in writers block?

I do. There are moments in which I feel drained. I’m discouraged. I need a break. During these moments, I focus on something else. Maybe I put more time into my online presence. Maybe I brainstorm ideas for new books or re-visit old ones. Maybe I ferociously read. I’m almost always doing something, but I totally get re-grouping.  

Who or what inspired you to become a writer?

I have enjoyed creating characters since I can remember. I cherish the memories of my elementary school teachers reading and laughing at my writing assignments. I had such a happy childhood when it came to books, whether meeting authors or practically camping out at the library during my summers. And once I became a school teacher, reading to my students at every opportunity, writing just made more and more sense. I think all of this had an influence in my pursuit. 


Book Showcase: Blind Trust by Lynda Aicher

Book Showcase: Blind Trust by Lynda Aicher. Includes giveaway!


Title: Blind Trust (The Boardroom) 

Author:  Lynda Aicher 

Publication date: eBook May 14th 2018, paperback May 29th 2018
Genres: Erotica, Romance


Book Showcase: Blind Trust by Lynda Aicher. Includes giveaway!
About the book:
A blindfold. Four men intent on only her pleasure. Knowing she’s being watched. It’s her ultimate erotic fantasy—and it’s really happening.



Brighton Wakeford has played by the rules her entire life. From her country-club upbringing to her job as a paralegal, she’s the image of propriety and class. And she’s tired of it.

An invitation to the Boardroom is Brighton’s chance to transform. Here she’s Brie—free to explore her wildest cravings, her most scandalous desires.

As the lawyer for the exclusive Boardroom club, Ryan Burns knows confidentiality is vital. As a member, he gets off on the controlled ecstasy, the exhilarating balance of trust and power. So when he recognizes a beautiful, blindfolded and very willing new participant as a coworker, he knows he should back off. Brighton Wakeford is business. The Boardroom is about pleasure.

But the rules are about to change.


Purchase:


Book Showcase: Blind Trust by Lynda Aicher. Includes giveaway!
About the author:
Lynda Aicher is an RWA RITA Award finalist and RT Reviewers' Choice winner who loves to write emotionally charged erotic romances. She spent years traveling weekly as a consultant implementing computer software into global companies until she opted to end her nomadic lifestyle to raise her two children. Now, her imagination is her only limitation on where she can go and her writing lets her escape from the daily duties of being a mom, wife, chauffeur, scheduler, cook, teacher, cleaner and mediator. If writing wasn't a priority, it wouldn't get done.

Author Links:

GIVEAWAY 

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Book Showcase: Blind Trust by Lynda Aicher. Includes giveaway!


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