Ritualized murders laced with symbolism terrorize the vineyards of Pomerol in this chilling French mystery set in Bordeaux. Alaux and Balen ferment a scenario so shocking and intriguing that even a jaded connoisseur of whodunits will seek an explanation. Difficult to forget and oddly addictive, this tale of derangement deserves a high mark for keeping the answers hidden and the pages turning. Buried within the annals of history, a dark secret awaits discovery.
A fairy tale wedding takes a turn into nineteenth-century America in this time-travel romance that questions the very definition of marriage. Though critics may label this novel as yet another Cinderella tale with a heroic rescuer waiting in the wings, the plot does not proceed along a typical path. Wright’s empathetic book is a captivating mix of feminist outrage and philosophical soul-searching, a simple story with profound meaning.
A vendetta propels this eerie plot from a Civil War-reenactment in Michigan to a behind-the-scenes investigation that probes the bad side of human integrity. In another riveting Pete Thorsen mystery, the criminal intent is apparent, but the motive is not, when an acclaimed historian and professor is shot and killed during simulated battle. What one deserves can be a matter of perception in the deranged mind of a villain, opening the pathway to sinister behavior in Wangard’s thriller.
In this humorous slice of life set in rural England, a potpourri of domestic discontent, Cinderella complex, and cold-hearted reality leaves unforgettable memories. Moran takes liberties in her portrayal of a shy, insecure heroine, creating a character so believably human that she barely qualifies for fictional status in a mix of light romance and solemn drama.
Set in Israel after the 1956 Sinai campaign, this absorbing tale of young love straightforwardly reveals what happens when indoctrinated expectations clash with natural urges. Cultural dominance rooted in tradition meets free-spirited passion. Aharoni’s writing will capture the hearts of romance enthusiasts seeking down-to-earth drama rather than immersion in a mere storybook fantasy.
Discover Louisa May Alcott’s beloved classic from a new perspective in this exciting remake. Pearl takes her characters into forbidden territory, breaking the rules and restrictions imposed on nineteenth-century society in Massachusetts. Tasteful and reserved, the book takes only a conservative step forward in its liberation stance.
Life-changing moments revealed in retrospect lend a contemplative tone to this outstanding short story collection. Sometimes obvious, yet often oblique, every situation depicted in these fourteen eclectic snapshots of life leads to a turning point, propelling a protagonist in a specific direction. Hendrix suggests these catalysts are not always apparent at the time they occur.
A fantasy cruise ten years into the past allows a glimpse of the nautical path not taken in a woman’s life as she sails away from her desired destination, a fulfilling relationship. Impellizzeri’s literary experiment showcases everything that is right and wrong about married existence, while turning on an alternative lighthouse as a beacon of optimism in a fascinating fiction debut. Realistic portrayals mingle with strange phenomena in this heady mix of contemporary romance and psychic twilight.
Childhood companions in the early twentieth century grow to love each other amid the turmoil of racist upheaval and sexist restrictions in a touching story of abiding loyalty. Martin presents two intelligent women faced with intolerable choices that will curtail their future together. Deeply engrossing and quite beautiful, this post-Civil War romance will enthrall an audience seeking diversity in a subgenre often immersed in stereotypes.
Dedication and sacrifice bring former academic rivals together in this medical drama set in an 1891 Washington, D.C. hospital. Camden reveals the terrifying impact of tuberculosis during a time when treatments were experimental. A death sentence for most, the disease ravaged the U.S. population leaving pain and grief in its wake, a scenario described in explicit detail throughout this empathetic historical romance.
Dirty money takes an intriguing cast of characters from heaven to hell and back in this fast-paced historical thriller. A bag of stolen diamonds is the catalyst in a 1960s escapade that brings out the best and worst in fallible protagonists as they travel across Europe at the height of the Cold War. Woods has a gift for developing his main characters to a high degree, skillfully blending introspection, description, and action to depict vibrant personalities.
This dramatic and emotional novel, rich in historical detail, explores star-crossed lovers. Different cultures meet in an awkward yet touching relationship destined for heartbreak at the hands of a society that subjugates women. The first in a planned series, Valverde’s book opens in the ancient city of Kyoto, Japan, in 1890.
Allen takes the reader on a second mind-bending journey to Totoba, Africa, an extraordinary place that cannot be fathomed. An unforgettable romantic encounter adds modern-day and gothic intrigue to this dangerous scenario. In a peculiar buildup, the story veers into a mythical land governed by a pseudo-sacred cult.
Told in a confidential, first-person narrative, this conversational novel will appeal to an audience who has a need to wonder not only about the outcome, but about the purpose of this imaginary, or not-so-imaginary, excursion into a bizarre African realm where reality and fantasy merge. This entertaining, supernatural tale may be classified as escapist fiction, but the book also provokes a deeper, intellectual response that makes us contemplate inner character and morality.
Psychic phenomena and paranormal intrigue create a unique pathway into the realm of science fiction in this mesmerizing novel. Laced with symbolism, Baxter’s writing is fertile with details that invite interpretation, exploring the frightening prospect of fantastical, mind-controlled weaponry. Fans of the psychological thriller will love the style of this debut author.
A haunted mansion with an intelligent personality propels this eerie tale set in New Mexico. Willerton teeters on the brink of historical and horror fiction, creating an eye-opening escapade for the uninitiated. The Comanche kidnapping of a ten-year-old boy in 1870 is the catalyst for this terrifying yet strangely poignant story of a family’s undying zest for living.
Motivation: The Creative Tunnel
Merely giving a writer the opportunity to create is not sufficient motivation to do so. Some believe money should not be used as a lure. This is a noble proposal, but even among those with incredible talent and no financial need, an accolade or a reward must exist at the end of the creative tunnel. An audience is necessary to bring the project to fruition, for without the praise and criticism of the public, the work remains unfinished. Acknowledgement of peers may not satisfy.
A past affair, incarceration for murder, and a grudge have fueled this page-turner set in Tucson, Arizona, with sexually motivated greed and violence in just the right combination. The reading experience is similar to watching a movie rather than delving into a literary endeavor. Like most American crime fiction, the plot is revealed through character interaction, not soul-revealing introspection and prolonged stints of description.
Narrated by Merlinus, better known simply as Merlin, this work is the first in a proposed four-book series, set in the fifth century as the Roman Empire is collapsing. Mintz knows his material to a fine point and presents his novel much like an animated professor, gracing his pages with meticulous historical detail. Inspired by the medieval mystique of King Arthur, this tale has all the attributes of a prolonged saga with treacherous battles and territorial disputes.
At thirty-nine, a woman is destined for disenchantment if she fails to find an appropriate baby daddy. Accustomed to being the center of Fo’s domestic realm, her partner Dina sees the prospect of offspring an intruding threat to their established home. Snatches of life in poignant vignettes grab attention throughout this multifaceted novel, jarring away remnants of complacency from a bygone era content to allow so-called “accepted” standards. Literary in style and focus, this book is no ordinary labor of commercial fiction.
With warmth and humor, Wizelman details a workable plan for career-driven individuals and high-potential teams to reach an extraordinary level of achievement without losing the human touch. This caring and enlightened executive has developed a near flawless coaching technique, specializing in “emotional intelligence” and strategic planning in the corporate realm. Usable in a variety of professions, his advice applies to anyone with a desire to gain from his insight. In this age of electronic communication he reminds us that behind every high-tech device, computer monitor, and workstation is an individual with a heart and a soul.
Though the development of lifesaving medication is a noble endeavor, marketing pharmaceuticals for financial gain may attract unqualified individuals to the field, a disillusioning aspect of the trade. At the core of this publication is a questioning of integrity, a factor that influences every type of commerce. Comparing pills to beans may be flippant, but this analogy makes a crucial point. Medication is serious business, not a financial competition, with long-term consequences that can be good or bad.
Sexism: Blatant and Insidious
Is sexist indoctrination clouding our vision? Merriam-Webster defines unfair treatment of people because of their sex, especially against women, in two ways:
1) Prejudice or discrimination based on sex.
2) Behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex.
It is the second definition, a subtler manifestation, that is the greatest concern in contemporary America.
Mysterious and elusive, the nocturnal lights that appear near Marfa, a small town in West Texas, have fascinated scientists seeking explanations for these strange phenomena. Native Americans believed they were fallen stars, but contemporary studies dispute this assumption. Though the majority of these mystifying orbs have a plausible reason, Bunnell believes that three percent are unexplained. His research methods are sound, based on an eight-year examination, from 2001 to 2009. He shares the trials and failures of his attempts to obtain reliable data, his territorial conflicts with wildlife, and his first captivating successes.
A famous gray ghost emerges from this realistic dramatization in a convincing portrayal of Jefferson Davis. Maring focuses on the life of a controversial figure often perceived as an enemy of the United States. Jefferson was an educated man, a Southern gentleman who later became known as the president of the Confederacy. Though few would award hero status to this outspoken politician, most will find his background fascinating in this fictionalized account of his early years.
In STARLIT OBSESSION one night of passion with a songwriter leaves Jade Ramone longing for a man out of reach, until she returns eleven years later to renew their friendship in the quiet, discreet hours of a sultry Memphis evening. The memory of his touch still haunts her dreams and stirs her fantasies. Cass Donovan is her obsession, a lover who romanticized her youth. This title is available for the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble NOOK.
With sophistication and a pen name, Jade interviews Cass for a magazine. Compelled by attraction neither can ignore, she discovers insatiable passion in his arms. He remembers the girl he loved and releases her with reluctance when ethics forces them to keep their relationship professional. Domineering parents and a broken marriage have tarnished Jade's outlook, making her insecure. Cynical of the music business, Cass has abandoned his career. Under the sobering influence of maturity, can they find young love once again?
Travel fourteen thousand years into the past in this realistic depiction of primitive society. Faced with risky choices, a bonded group of humans must cope with the discovery that they are not alone when they encounter another clan. This unsettling realization is the catalyst for an unforgettable adventure. Nervous and wary, they learn to accept their now humbled status. Powerful and evocative, Rollins reveals a distant world where humans are motivated by the basic need to survive.
Inspired by an obscure dramatic fragment written by Karl Marx in 1837 while attending the University of Berlin, this experimental literary endeavor showcases a contemporary author’s illumination of a plot only partially developed yet potent in its caustic social messages. This novel elaborates on the single act of a play. Though no one will know precisely what Marx may have wanted to express if he had finished the drama, Majkut has done a superb job using the abandoned fragment to its fullest potential.
Harlequin tradition meets contemporary intrigue in a heartwarming novel. This sweet romance features an ambitious veterinarian with no patience for demanding men until she meets an emergency room doctor who shares her lack of enthusiasm for relationships. An underlying element of danger enhances the tension in a quaint small town inhabited by a few undesirable saboteurs.
A criminal twilight zone reminiscent of the classic television series meets hardcore realism in this jaded twist on human nature. Woods delivers his sardonic view of gritty life in seventeen stories that will make hiding under the bed a comforting thought. Subtler than the work of Quentin Tarantino yet similar in tone, these literary trips into fits of madness expose the dark side of the psyche. This collection may be a masterpiece of noir fiction. A shuddering glimpse of hell.
Ely portrays a small community on the brink of paranoid, superstitious madness, along a river steeped in symbolic meaning and, on one unfortunate occasion, booby-trapped with barbed wire. Alternating between scathing depictions of a narrow-minded, sequestered town and investigative savvy, he charges his novel with the skills of a wordsmith. A witchcraft mentality in a traditional environment adds a chilling element, enhancing the ominous mood. Menacing and provocative, this exploration of the so-called bad seed within humankind will illuminate the contradictory impulses that drive some to violence and some to love.
This clarifying history title dispels misconceptions and asserts supremacy in an educated yet ethnocentric view of global events. Divided into five parts, this exploration commences in 500 BC and ends after 1750 AD. From classical beginnings and the so-called Dark Ages to medieval transition and the dawn of modernity, the text delves deeply into everything from the trivial and mundane to the serious and life altering. Though people who remain socially unbiased may find this approach somewhat jarring, the book is amply annotated and offers an extensive bibliography.
Holden tells the story of a young woman in jeopardy. Taken into an underground world and forced into submission, she falls in love with her captor, a leader who treats her with respect and kindness as he changes her into a vampire. This Lothario plot line with its romanticized kidnapping can be endured only within the confines of urban fantasy.
A skillful blend of fact and fiction, Kondazian’s incredible story of a courageous nineteenth-century heroine dramatizes actual events in the life of Charlotte “Charley” Parkhurst (1812-1879), a stagecoach driver for Wells Fargo. This pioneering woman chose to live as a man, combating old-school tradition and unhealthy stereotypes. Riveting and action propelled, this award-winning title showcases the best and the worst of America as our country began to transition into a progressive society founded on fairness and equality.
This psychological thriller delves into the psychotic motivations of a murderous predator stalking unsuspecting human prey with a paralyzing drug. Inspired by the grotesque feeding ritual of the tarantula hawk, this inventive tale juxtaposes supernatural interludes with grisly crime scenes. For thick-skinned, desensitized horror fans seeking a creative spin in a genre that invites the most unthinkable nightmares, Scott will surpass expectation.
Disillusionment and discouragement threaten to derail a young woman’s aspirations in her first year of college. An African American student on a predominantly white campus feels marginalized and forced to immerse herself in the work of professors extolling the virtues of literary greats far removed from twenty-first-century concerns. An emerging feminist intent on making her own mark in the competitive writing profession, this eighteen-year-old refuses to accept the financial and social barriers that confront her.
ROMANCE WRITING: LITERARY HISTORY AND COMMERCIAL CATEGORIES explores this exciting and lucrative field in publishing, a guide for aspiring beginners and established professionals. Windows of opportunity have opened to talented writers with persistence and determination. The message of the romance novel is not a complicated one. It is above all else a love story from its legendary roots to its contemporary sub-genres. This title is available for the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble NOOK.
Prolific authors who consider themselves storytellers, rather than literary greats with an inclination to change the world, often resent the analysis of a commercial endeavor. Romance novelists are entertainers. They write from the heart with inspiration and hope. Scholars who try to decipher their words usually fail, and complications set in when a critic examines the various types of romance. The literary criticism of romance has led to numerous scholarly books, some of which cast a gray sheen on the business through a dark filter. Just like an uplifting rose-colored glass, these negative distortions do not give an accurate picture of reality. Reality to the millions who enjoy romance novels is the pleasure derived from reading and the feeling of contentment that lingers afterwards. Reality to the published author is an advance and quarterly royalty statements. Accomplishment and creative achievement are deeper motives for pursuing this spectacular profession, a glamour job with awards and acclaim.
A candid look at the rise of an ambitious presidential candidate destined for greatness from the days of her youth, this complex novel is an exciting yet tragic behind-the-scenes examination of the political process. Wood presents factual events and real people within a fictional context, juxtaposing an analysis of recent situations with the activities of his protagonist. This in-depth story of a powerful, conservative feminist brings a figment of the imagination alive to a degree of vividness rarely seen in a debut.
Erotica: Not Handcuffed to Romance
Is erotica an extension of the romance genre or a sexual interlude taken out of context? In the twenty-first century, a date, even a first date, may involve consensual sex, yet neither party is manipulated for physical submission or psychological domination.
Within the imaginary realm of fiction, an encounter can be showcased without a plot, allowed to flaunt an unusual fetish, an eccentric desire, or an extreme behavior.
This type of scene, by definition, is not romantic, nor is it a story.
During the aftermath of World War II in devastated Germany, a resilient woman struggles to reunite with her family while helping a special division of the American military, also known as the Monuments Men, retrieve looted art treasures and return precious works to their original owners. Yetman opens her story in August 1945 and turns this piece of history into a Sherlock Holmes-type investigation, involving a stash of artwork, threats, interrogations, and prolonged disappearances.
An elusive serial killer meets a savvy FBI agent in this horrific story of derangement and madness. Gunhus delves into the inner motivations that drive a man to torture and dismember victims in a bizarre, self-imposed ritual, approaching the edge of paganism in a gruesome contemporary tale set along the Chesapeake Bay. Despite a tendency to strive too hard to trigger a nauseated or repulsed reaction that is characteristic of pulp fiction, this shock-worthy story remains ghoulishly mesmerizing and among the best in mainstream thrillers.
This fictionalized memoir brings the pain of the past to the brink of tolerance then dissipates bad memories by celebrating simple pleasures in life. Zaharieva’s ingenious approach to personal distress is a perceptive examination of family and tradition, while exposing the underlying abuse behind social niceties. Engaging, with a decidedly feminist tone, this enlightening journey will inspire anyone dealing with trauma suffered within a domestic or a religious sphere.
The forces of good and evil engage in battle within the depths of a tormented woman’s soul in this mesmerizing spiritual journey that merges psychology with mythology. Intellectual without being off-putting, this fascinating thriller traverses into an unknown dimension of the human mind, a world peopled with fallen angels and dethroned idols. Williamson shines a spotlight on downtrodden foreign environments plagued by desperation and superstition.
Urban fantasy infused with Native American legend takes an excursion into the bloody horror genre in this fast-paced, exciting story. Soul abduction and human cannibalism on the streets of Chicago lead investigators on a gruesome chase into the city’s deserted underground passages. As a frightening disease spreads, victims are of two types: the consumed and the possessed.
This journey of the spirit, involving both the loss of love and the gift of love, takes one on an exploration of human motivation and biological need. Two couples embark on the confusing and often obstructed path to a fulfilling relationship in this dual story line, featuring four separate yet deeply connected individuals. Fans of daytime drama and connoisseurs of confessional fiction will love this sophisticated take on a popular stylistic technique—revelation of the heart.
The stressful world of Manhattan advertising, characterized by the unrelenting pressure to succeed, grounds this first installment of Barker’s trilogy. The story opens in 1959, yet the contemporary tone lends an excellent plot a sense of timelessness difficult to achieve in a historical novel. Realistic and chilling in its examination of human behavior, this fascinating page-turner will attract a diverse audience looking for a psychological thriller that extends the boundaries of genre fiction, while ignoring the industry’s tendency to place a book within a designated niche.
Ghostwriters: A Spooky Crowd
Is it in an author’s best interest to “ghost” for money? Merriam-Webster provides several definitions for this closeted process:
1) To write for someone else using that person’s name.
2) To write for and in the name of another.
3) To write for another who is the presumed author.
A ghostwriter is not to be confused with a copywriter, who is generally affiliated with an agency or a business:
1) Someone whose job is to write the words for advertisements.
2) A writer of advertising or publicity copy.
Ghostwriting does not advance one’s career, but copywriting does.
Susan Glaspell holds her place in the annals of literature, esteemed as a forerunner in feminist prose. This scholarly presentation is a compilation of twelve short stories, followed by detailed notes and information on where each piece originally appeared. Those written between 1915 and 1925 have not been available since their initial publication. How she conveyed her subtle and not-so-subtle messages, using symbols and well-crafted prose, may always remain the subject of ongoing interest to other writers.
A near-death experience leads to a murder trial in this controversial short story, a provocative glimpse of one woman’s perception of the afterlife. Zartman skillfully explores the border between physical and spiritual reality. In an approach that simultaneously enlightens and enrages, this brief journey will open the eyes of staunch supporters of maintaining life support while conveying a warning to those who wish to terminate patients who linger.
This realistic and detailed medical romance features a young intern seeking abiding love and the calm resolution of a tormented childhood tainted by sexual abuse. In a break from tradition, the character of Dr. Tori Taggert replaces the stereotypical infatuated nurse who succumbs to the advances of a powerful physician, providing a fresh take on the popular hospital setting. Hanes explores the psyche of a woman fighting to come to terms with her difficult upbringing while advancing in a fast-paced career.
A concise guide for technophobes, the strategist behind the Backstreet Boys and ’N Sync explains why selling any commodity via bulletin boards will not be successful, just as the postal service is no longer the most effective means of delivering pertinent information. Internet-savvy experts may wonder why these common facts must be reiterated, but some still rely on outdated procedures that lead to failure. Frustrated over the inability to revive a business or sell a product, these baffled individuals assume that it’s a tough market to crack or that a bad economy is preventing them from achieving their goals. Bodnarchuk’s slant is directed toward the real-estate sector, but the information is usable in other fields.
Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) was an eighteenth-century Swedish theologian whose writings formed the basis for a fascinating offshoot of the Christian church. His interpretations go against fundamentalist doctrine and literal acceptance of the Bible. This book contains selections from five of his works that the translators have deemed appropriate for a mainstream audience. The meticulous presentation is informative and mesmerizing.
This exceptional story is a tender portrayal of love without the artificial frills of a capitalistic venture. At the heart of Pierce’s novel is the real source of inspiration in imaginative endeavors. Eschewing the typical perception of attainment in the fine arts and its emphasis on money or fame, this perceptive author presents the natural development of an idealistic, spiritual motivation for creative work. The book probes the genuine emotions that spur creativity and examines the false pretenses that stall artistic fulfillment.
In this soul-searching romance, a woman distinguishes between loyalty and love. Set in 1984 and told in a consistent, unbroken flashback twenty-five years after the events have occurred, Bradford loses none of the immediacy necessary to sustain interest. Perceptive and edited with care, this outstanding novel reveals more of the heroine’s thoughts and feelings than the stereotypical skin-to-skin intimacy that glosses over the emotional aspects of a relationship.
This romantic thriller edges into the crime genre with a sordid look at vindictive undermining and lack of integrity. Set during the socially charged 1960s in rural England, a decent but downtrodden man loses a woman he adores when he is accused of murder. Woods has grabbed both ends of the moral spectrum and created a dangerous mess in a farming community during a decade when off-the-wall anything was the norm.
A primitive ritual and an ancient secret threaten a family’s safety in this heart-pounding tale of horrific madness. Guaranteed to trigger night sweats along with a childlike, irrational fear of the creaky attic, Gunhus will not disappoint horror fans. Beyond a bump-in-the-dark fright, the ominous mood will stay with anyone daring enough to pursue the contents of this lurid book.
A police detective falls in love with the assassin assigned to kill her, a man who chooses to protect her with his life, defying the demands of his own people. This evolved species of humans feeds on the bioenergy of others, turning a social acquaintance into a potential victim. Sensual, sexual, and spellbinding, Hofman’s original take on the urban fantasy strips layers off its characters, revealing the depths of ardor and insanity.
In ROMEO Veronica Swanson, a soccer investor from Wisconsin, falls for Derek Fallon, a charismatic forward from Manchester, England. She signs him to the Madison Maelstrom, a losing team. Headstrong and stubborn, Derek solves her financial trouble in unorthodox ways. He plays the game with fanatical zeal and stirs the growing crowd with lunacy. Soon every game is a sellout, and his female admirers dub him “Romeo,” pursuing him with the adolescent adoration of a rock star's band of groupies. This title is available for the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble NOOK.
The out-of-control situation escalates until Veronica and Derek must survive under the same roof in a relationship comical and emotional as they ward off the fans. Young adult fiction with a racy edge.
Supernatural entities threaten to suppress free will in this fate-propelled plot. A twenty-first-century story embarks on a frightening jaunt into the 1600s and early 1900s, delving into the disturbed emotions of five historical characters who cannot be laid to rest. Cash’s haunting novella explores the consequences of actions taken centuries ago in Oyster Bay, Long Island, examining the long-term, karmic aftereffects.
The exciting world of competitive ballroom dance sets the backdrop for this involved story of an old relationship renewed in the limelight of reality television. Behind the scenes is the rocky romance of a man and a woman with little in common other than shared talent and an undeniable physical passion that transcends reason. In this tale of star-crossed lovers, Albertson explores the definition of love itself.
Glover’s collection of short stories and micro-fiction presents an archaic worldview with sophisticated manipulation. He targets the contemporary urbanite with thought-provoking descriptions and strange characters. This gifted author transfixes his audience with the unthinkable, drawing word pictures that some may prefer not to see in the middle of a lonely night.