Monday, August 18, 2014

Special Spotlight : The Quixotics (a fast paced action with romance) by author John Wayne Falbey

 Author John Wayne Falbey
                                                                                            The Quixotics (at Amazon)

Today's Special Spotlight is about an intriguing and fast paced action with romance titled The Quixotics. This novel is written by the multi talented, creative and adventurous author John Wayne Falbey with a host of professional achievements to his credit.

Author Links: Connect with author John Wayne Falbey 

Author's Website : http://www.sleepingdogs.biz/author.html

Author's Twitter handle:@jwfalbey

Author's Facebook Page : https://www.facebook.com/wayne.falbey


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Book Spotlight - The Quixotics
 


Ebook :  THE QUIXOTICS ( a fast paced romantic action)

Author :  John Wayne Falbey

Genre : Mystery,  Thriller, Suspense, Romance

Amazon Stores : http://www.amazon.com/Quixotics-John-Wayne-Falbey-ebook/dp/B009RSWROI

Reviews : multiple 5 stars

Achievements : Endorsed by Compulsion Reads

Book Synopsis 
 
Unlike today’s returning warriors, veterans of Vietnam were not welcomed home by many of their countrymen. After risking life and limb in an inhospitable country they often were cursed and spit on when they returned to the USA. Disgusted by this reception, some of these fighters turned their backs on their homeland. 

It’s 1970, and three of these young men buy a leaky old sailboat and set out on a leisurely cruise to drink and brawl their way among the islands of the Caribbean Sea. But they had two problems: they don’t know how to sail and they don’t have any money. So a shadowy government agency convinces them to smuggle guns to anti-Castro insurgents in Cuba.
After surviving a hurricane at sea, things go from bad to worse. They’re captured by Castro’s forces, imprisoned, and tortured. But these guys are former special ops soldiers, and manage to escape into the rugged mountains of eastern Cuba. There they meet up with the insurgents and two things happen. The body count rapidly escalates and an unlikely romance blossoms.  

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Chapter Excerpt
 
Stevens and Flynn left the tumbledown building through the same window by which they had entered, and scrambled up the slope behind it. Staying out of sight, they circled along the edge of the jungle atop the rise. Once at the road, they darted across it and continued through the matted forest on the other side until they reached the cliffs above the sea. With great care, necessitated by the slipperiness of the rock walls, they descended the side of the cliff and lowered themselves into the sea at its foot.
The water was very cold. The shock of it felt good to them, however. It melted away the sweat and grime of the hot day, and brought a new, refreshing surge of energy to their tired bodies. At first, they literally gasped for breath until their bodies grew accustomed to the chill of the water.
The coastline at this point circled toward the town, forming a sort of cove. The two men angled away from the shore, swimming toward the open sea for a while. They used a modified breaststroke to avoid splashing and making noise that might attract unwanted attention from someone on shore. When they reached a point about one hundred yards from shore, they began swimming parallel to the shoreline. As they approached the first of the two docks, they slowed to a quiet dog paddle to avoid making any motions or sounds that might be seen or heard by the few early evening fishermen sitting languorously at its tip. They moved past without incident, and steadily stroked their way toward the second dock. Once again, they moved with extreme caution to avoid detection by the fishermen on this dock. At last they eased past, and swung toward shore, aiming for a point about one hundred fifty yards beyond the second dock. It was directly in front of the old fishing camp.
As they crawled stealthily from the dark water onto the narrow, rocky beach, Flynn hissed, “I never thought to ask you, are there sharks in these waters?”
Stevens grinned. “Only around the docks, and then only at night.”
“Jesus.” Flynn shook his head.
They darted swiftly over the beach, which glistened a dull white in the darkness of evening, and took refuge in the black shadows surrounding the old buildings of the fishing camp. After a few moments when they were certain that no one had detected their presence, the two men crawled into one of the two rotting buildings.
It was the one nearest the road, situated diagonally across from the two bars. The interior of the structure was littered with the debris piled up by past storms. As they crept through the structure, they took great care not to stumble over or disturb any of the debris that lay everywhere. All around them in the near total blackness they could hear the scurrying sounds of things moving. The same foolish thought was foremost in the minds of both men. They hoped there were no spiders around; but they knew with certainty that there must be hordes of arachnids swarming throughout the ruined building. Worse even than spiders was the almost certain presence of scorpions, the nasty-looking, poisonous cousins of the spider family that are native to the tropics.
The sounds of things crawling in the rotting, moldy piles of building parts and furniture, and the knowledge of what those things were, made the flesh crawl on both of the men. They each had to struggle very hard to fight off a sense of panic. Each man was aware of the incongruity between the revulsion caused by insects in men who often found it exhilarating to risk their lives in combat with something as ferocious and cunning as another human being.
The hours passed slowly, as they tensely waited in the building. They took advantage of the time to clean and dry their weapons with slightly damp rags they found in the ruins. As the evening eased slowly by, the two Americans took turns surveying the bars across the road from their vantage point. According to the old fisherman, soldiers from the base, denied permission to visit the bars in town by their new commandant, had devised a scheme. They took turns sneaking out a small side door in the wall that surrounded the base, at times when one of their friends had guard duty at that particular station. They would then descend the cliff to the narrow strip of beach below, and slip into town under cover of darkness.
Stevens, having napped briefly, relieved Flynn of surveillance duty and took up a position by the paneless window. From that point he could easily see the two bars. Flynn, settled into a reclining position against a nearby wall and whispered, “I hope you plan to go back a different way than the one we came in. I’m not in favor of swimming past those damn docks again at night.”
“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” Stevens said. As he finished speaking, two truckloads of soldiers from the base came roaring up the road through the darkness. The trucks rumbled by their hiding place and on through town.
“Wonder where they’re going?” Flynn said, “Kind of late for maneuvers.”
“Quiet!” Stevens ordered. Two soldiers had just emerged from the nearest bar, and were hurrying across the street toward them. One of the soldiers was still struggling to get into his jacket. It was apparent that they had seen the truckloads of their comrades pass by, and were worried that a mission had come up and their absences would be noticed.
Their eyes had adjusted to the darkness inside, and the two Americans quickly crossed the building. They slipped out the rear door and moved swiftly around the other building toward the beach. They lay quietly in the tall sea grass atop the small embankment that dropped to the rocky shore below.
In a few moments, the two soldiers passed in front of them. Like jungle cats, Stevens and Flynn sprang from the tall grass and hurtled through the night air, crashing down upon their prey.
The Cubans crumbled under the swift and savage assault. Before they could recover their senses or cry out, their assailants had thrust the barrels of their .45s under the soldiers’ chins. The chill of the bare metal spoke more clearly to them more than a thousand words could have. They made no sounds except for the soft moans of one soldier, whose ribs had been injured under the sudden, crushing force of Flynn’s bulk.
The captives were quickly yanked to their feet and marched into the solitude of the nearest building. Here, their soiled, sloppy uniforms were stripped from them, to be donned in turn by the captors. Once dressed, Stevens and Flynn turned to the hapless soldiers and bound their arms behind their backs with strips of cloth torn from their own discarded clothing.
Flynn picked out the one he thought to be the more uncooperative of the two captives. Squatting on the floor in front of the man, he smiled pleasantly and said, “Would you like to answer some questions for my friend?”
The prisoner spit in his face. The smile on Flynn’s face never changed. “We’ll, at least you understand English,” he said. Almost faster than the eye could see, his right hand shot toward the Cuban’s chest. The knife held firmly in it pricked the skin beneath the man’s left breast, slid neatly between his ribs and plunged into his heart. Flynn’s left hand, moving just as swiftly as the right, clamped over the victim’s mouth, effectively strangling any sounds. Flynn didn’t move, he let the dead man’s body fall away from the knife, rather than trouble himself to remove it. Next, he moved in front of the second captive. The poor man, bound and helpless in his ragged underwear, shook mightily with fear. His eyes were open as wide as they possibly could be. With a now sardonic smile, Flynn asked, “How about you? Want to answer those questions?”
Si, Señor!” The prisoner readily agreed, his head jerking up and down vigorously.
Flynn nodded toward Stevens, “Your witness, counselor.”
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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Spotlight: Crooked Paths and Abandoned Borders: Story in "Real" Time (Volume 1) by author Kerry Augustyniak

Dear readers,

Today's Spotlight is on a compelling, emotionally charged, and adventurous Memoir titled Crooked Paths and Abandoned Borders: Story in "Real" Time (Volume 1 available at Amazon Stores) by the very talented and gifted author Kerry Augustyniak.


From the author's desk : This is a true story about courage, survival and a quest about purpose and belonging in life with a realization of a spiritual component within.
Author Links : Connect with author Kerry Augustyniak


Self Publishers and Publishers Advertising Club : http://www.pinterest.com/oncemulligan/must-read/

Writer explores life between stability and panic | Lifestyles | The Register-Guard | Eugene, Oregon
http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-364984823.html
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Book Spotlight


Ebook : CROOKED PATHS AND ABANDONED BORDERS : Story in "Real" Time

Author : Kerry Augustyniak

Genre : Non Fiction, Memoirs, Self Help, True Story

Format : Paperback

Available at : Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Crooked-Paths-Abandoned-Borders-Story/dp/1494860260 

Black Sun Books - http://www.blacksunbooks.net/

Reviews : Multiple 5 stars

Synopsis : This is a story about courage. It's a true story of one human’s struggle and one canine’s quest to find a pack where they belong. It’s about surviving as castaways, while each tries to find footing in a wilderness they were never intended to be part of. It’s for those who dance to the beat of a different drummer and what happens when they fail to integrate, a story of trespassed boundaries, disintegration, and broken hearts, in the midst of conflicting ideologies. Despite anguish, despair, and nothing but failure along their crooked paths, they are eventually lead back to where they both began. Where Love, Hope, Acceptance, and Credence can be found, right under our very own nose.

Amazon Reviews
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Chapter Excerpt - Crooked Paths and Abandoned Borders

I’m one of those who has known the bounds between stability and instability all of my life, dipping in and out of each realm to varying degrees. My challenges have not been obvious to others, not at first glance anyway. My wit, charm, and street smarts, though fleeting, have allowed me to skate through just enough to survive. Survive was all I could ever muster when it came to employment. I was able to disguise my inner world, long enough, to obtain way too many entry-level positions to count with just as many failed attempts to follow. I’d seen therapists on and off throughout my life without a diagnosis ever being revealed, not to me anyway. 

After they collected my money and posed as interested advocates, some better than others, they would then attempt to shoot confidence and some semblance of order into my veins. Scantly comprehended by my brain, it mostly dribbled out before it had a chance to sink in, and the little that did would wear off in a short time. Many years later, at the crossroads of life and at the threshold of “the change,” I was deteriorating quickly. It’s true that I’d had high levels of anxiety and a history of panic throughout my life. Perhaps a learning disability of sorts, brain damage, or ADD, but as long as I can remember, my mind has blasted me with negative interpretations of my world and myself, creating deep passages and well-worn grooves for my fully insulated, uninterrupted, negative thought patterns to run in, but none of which were comparable to what was taking place at this juncture in my life. 

My children flew the coop, my place of employment was trying to rid themselves of me (or so I thought), I found myself out on medical leave, my husband of 27 years moved out, and the unwavering support that I had been receiving from my doctors came to an abrupt end. My inability to cope with the recent series of inevitable milestones in my life, created intolerable doses of fear, anger, anguish, sadness and despair, during which time I managed to blow away everything and everyone that had been within close proximity to me. I took out innocent bystanders and wreaked havoc on everything that crossed my path. It had become painfully apparent that the boat load of bad habits I’d spent a good deal of my life trying to control and abstain from, had only been replaced by coping strategies fabricated on false, delusional, security systems.

I’ve written this story for several reasons; I am determined to finish something that I started, because this in and of itself is less than a common experience in my life. Not long ago I had started a story about a canine friend of mine named Copper, who broke my heart; but true to form I was derailed in the process time and time again. When shit hit the fan I decided to pick it up again and since mine and Copper’s experiences seemed so similar in theme, I wanted to try to integrate them. Like me, Copper had characteristics he was born with that made it difficult, no, impossible, for him to succeed in the situations where he was placed. 

Although these environments with their rule and limits did not allow for his attributes to be showcased, much less accepted, I knew he was not flawed. Leaving no stone unturned while running up against dead ends, failed attempts, and repeated messages that he did not measure up, he was ultimately able to find his true pack by continuing along the crooked, dimly lit and unmarked path that life has to offer. Like Copper, I had little interest in the limits of rules and did not know how to carry myself well in social situations.

In school, I missed the boat in learning most of what was taught about reading, writing and arithmetic, so I’ll warn you now that there are many hiccups in my attempt in putting this story together, but this story is for those living in the margins. It’s for the ones who have had continuous struggles and failed attempts at making a living or finding a niche for themselves in this world, whether due to mental afflictions or just simply marching to the beat of a different drummer, a beat that is not copacetic with the rhythms of the culture they find themselves in. If you know the pain of persistence in the face of fear, failures and flaws, or have worked in menial positions all of your life, leaving you wanting, if your experience in the world is one of perpetual outcast, then this book might be for you.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Spotlight : Author Florence Osmund presents highly acclaimed and widely read novels - The Coach House and Red Clover

Dear readers,   
Today's special spotlight is on three-time BRAG Medallion Honoree author Florence Osmund and her superbly written, widely read novels - The Coach House and Red Clover both available at Amazon (Kindle and Paperback) . The Coach House with 170+ reviews and Red Clover with 60+ reviews have been highly acclaimed by readers worldwide. We'll learn more about her and her novels in this special spotlight today.



Author Links : Connect with author Florence Osmund 

After more than three decades of experience in corporate America, Florence Osmund retired to write novels. Her website is dedicated primarily to helping new authors—offering advice she wishes she had received before she started writing her first book. Osmund currently resides in Chicago where she is working on her next novel.


Author's website :  http://www.florenceosmund.com

Twitter handle : @florenceosmund


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Author's Achievements and Awards :

The Coach House – 2012 B.R.A.G. Medallion honoree 

Daughters – 2013 B.R.A.G. Medallion honoree
http://www.bragmedallion.com/medallion-honorees/2013/daughters

Red Clover – 2014 Indie Book of the Day award
http://indiebookoftheday.com/?s=red+clover 
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Book Spotlight 1


Ebook : THE COACH HOUSE

Author : Florence Osmund

Genre : Literary Fiction, Family-Relationships,Women's Fiction

Formats : Kindle, Paperback and E Pub


Reviews : 170+ reviews with multiple 5 stars

Synopsis : May, 1948. Marie Marchetti flees Chicago and her devoted husband when she realizes he is immersed in local corruption, only to discover itʾs the identity of her real father and his ethnicity that unexpectedly change her life more than her husband ever could. 



Chapter Excerpt - The Coach House

Prologue


He stood on the busy sidewalk at the corner of State and Randolph streets and watched the young woman walk around the Marshall Field’s department store window display in her stocking feet. The hem of her blue satiny dress swirled around her as she moved, touching the back of her calves with each step, calling attention to her Betty Grable legs, and making him forget the original purpose for his being in this part of town. He strained to get a look at her face, but she was preoccupied with her work, oblivious to him and all the other pedestrians bustling around Chicago’s busy Loop.
He watched her position and reposition the stiff mannequin. After looking around to see if any other passersby were observing him observing her, he moved closer to the center of the window. At twenty-five, Richard had had his share of girlfriends, every one of them a beauty, but none as captivating as her. What do I have to do to get your attention, gorgeous? He cased her left hand for a wedding band. C’mon, sweetheart. Look my way.
When she finally noticed him, he froze for an instant, grabbed his chest with an open palm, and smiled. Her glossy close-to-black hair softly framed her flawless olive-skinned face and accentuated her deep-set whiskey brown eyes. His heart raced.
Exerting his best charm, Richard proceeded to give her hand signals to point out which way he thought she should position the mannequin. Try uncrossing her legs, he pantomimed. Now put her arm across the back of the sofa.
The young woman gave him a puzzled look at first and then smiled back at him. He beamed when he saw her face redden as she tried to follow his directions. She looked at him for approval each time she rearranged an arm or leg, a reaction that encouraged him even more.
After several attempts, she took a couple of steps back to look at her handiwork and then shook her head. He couldn’t help but laugh. The mannequin didn’t look anything like a happy housewife relaxing in the front room listening to the radio while dinner was cooking in her brand-new 1944 Tappan Deluxe six-burner double oven.
With her back toward him, she continued her work. When he thought he couldn’t stand the distance between them any longer, he tapped on the window, causing her to jump. He took off his Fedora and held it to his chest, gave her his best smile, and mouthed, “Can we meet?” The awkward moment that followed didn’t deter him. He gave her a slow wink and then gestured toward the door.
She looked at him for a long moment before revealing any response. Her narrowed eyes and tilted head told him she was dubious of his suggestion. He smiled at her again. Come on, sweetheart, please don’t make me beg.
“Okay,” she mouthed back and then disappeared through a concealed door at the back of the display window.
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Book Spotlight 2


Ebook :RED CLOVER

Author : Florence Osmund

Genre : Literary Fiction, Family-Relationships

Formats : Kindle, Paperback and E Pub

Amazon Stores : http://www.amazon.com/Red-Clover-Florence-Osmund-ebook/dp/B00IN2ZLZ6

Reviews : 65+ reviews with multiple 5 stars

Synopsis : The troubled son of a callous father and socialite mother determines his own meaning of success after learning shocking family secrets that cause him to rethink who he is and where heʼs going.

Amazon Reviews

Goodreads Reviews

Chapter Excerpt - Red Clover

Excerpt from Chapter 1

Eight-year-old Lee Winekoop entered the front parlor to find his mother sitting in her favorite Louis XV chair reading an issue of Town & Country. An identical chair occupied the space immediately next to it for his father. Without knowing why, Lee had never liked those chairs, nor the room they were in. The parlor—with its twelve-foot ornate ceiling and stilted furniture—made him feel tiny, unimportant, and uncomfortable. But then he didn’t feel very comfortable anywhere in the eighteen-room lakefront mansion in the wealthiest section of Evanston, Illinois.
Her black hair was pulled back into a perfectly coiffed bun at the nape of her neck, and the cultured pearl necklace Lee’s father had given her years ago lay flat upon her flawless ivory skin. She did not bother to look up from her magazine.
“Where’s Kate?”
He ignored her question as to his nanny’s whereabouts and did not allow the queasy feeling in his stomach to stop him from asking the question that had been on his mind for a long time.
“Why are Nelson and Bennett so much older than me?”
His mother sighed and momentarily lifted her gaze from the magazine. “Older than I, dear.”
Why does she care about grammar when I’m trying to figure out something this important?
“Older than I, then. Why is that?”
“I don’t know what you mean, Lee.”
His stomach began to churn. “Nelson was born in 1950 and Bennett just two years after that. Then it was another eight years until I was born. They’re so close to each other, and then there’s me. Why is that?”
She looked past him, as if searching for the answer. After a long pause, she said, “It just happened that way. Not all children are spaced evenly apart.” She made a face he knew all too well when she didn’t want to deal with something. “Where is that woman?”
“They have dark hair, and mine is light.”
“That happens in families.”
“And I have green eyes.”
“Your father—”
“No, Mother. Father has hazel eyes.” Lee’s heart was pounding. A child interrupting an adult while talking was forbidden in his family. “Did you want me when I was born?”
His mother’s pursed lips and stone-faced stare told him he might have gone too far with that one. He hoped she would answer the question but was afraid at the same time.
Her face softened. “Of course I wanted you.”
“Do you know what my initials spell?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Think about it, Mother. My name is Lee Oliver Winekoop. My initials spell L-O-W. Did you know that when you named me?”
She shifted her petite body in the chair and frowned. “What on earth has gotten into you? Maybe I need to make a special appointment with Dr. Jerry. Are you feeling all right?”
She was referring to Dr. Jerry Osgood, the psychologist Lee had been seeing for two years, to make him more like his brothers he thought. What his mother didn’t know was how much he was already trying to be like them.
He almost laughed aloud at her question. When did he ever feel all right?
“Nelson’s initials spell N-E-W.”
“So?”
“And Bennett’s are B-M-W. Mine spell out L-O-W. Why did you do that to me, Mother?”
“Lee, you’re being overly sensitive. I’m sure...that is...I never gave any thought to what your initials would spell out when I named you. I wish you would stop being so querulous.”
“Who was Nelson named after?” Lee knew the answer, but he wanted to hear her say it.
She shifted her gaze to something across the room and hesitated a moment before responding. “Uncle Nelson. Why do you ask?”
“Who was Bennett named after?”
She closed her eyes for a brief moment. “What difference does it make?”
“It was Grandfather, wasn’t it?”
“Yes,” she said. She appeared as if she was about to sneeze. Lee waited for that to happen, and when it didn’t, he asked the question that interested him the most.
“So who was I named after?”
She stared into Lee’s eyes for several seconds before answering. “No one in particular, dear, I just fancied the name.” The wistful look on her face wasn’t one Lee had ever seen before.
“So you took the time to name them after someone special in the family, but when it came time to name me, you just picked some old name? And Lee is a girl’s name anyway.”
“Now you’re being impertinent, young man. Did it occur to you that perhaps someone... Sometimes a family name can be... Where is Kate?” she asked, her face twitching with frustration.
Lee ignored her sensitivity to his questions and continued with his mission to get to the bottom of what had been bothering him for months. He shifted his weight.
“Do you know what happened on the day Nelson was born?” he asked.
“Yes, it was unbearably hot. I was nearly overcome by heat on the way to the hospital, and then I had to endure two hours of exasperating labor.”
She doesn’t get it.
“Do you know what else happened?”
She dabbed her brow with the monogrammed lace handkerchief she carried in her sleeve. “No, but I’m sure you’re about to tell me.”
“There was a doctor right here in Chicago who did the first kidney transplant.”
She took in a deep breath. “What does that have to do with anything?”
“And on the day Bennett was born, Mickey Mantle hit his first grand-slammer.”
She crossed her arms across her chest. “That’s nice, dear. What’s a grand-slammer?”
“Guess what happened on the day I was born.”
The little color she had in her face disappeared. “Please don’t aggravate this occasion by making me guess, Lee. What difference do all these trivialities make?”
“On my birthday, The Flintstones was on television for the first time.” He studied his mother’s face for a reaction. “Don’t you understand? That’s the most important thing that happened on my birthday. That’s all they could come up with for that day.”
“That’s all who could come up with?”
“Whoever puts together the list of important things that happen on each day. I checked it out at the library. It’s all there in black and white.”
“Lee, mothers have no control over what day their children are born. And I certainly did not have any knowledge of or influence over Mickey Mantle or The Flankstones or any other cultural phenomenon. What is your point?” Then she began to “shout,” which for her meant speaking at a volume just above a whisper. “Kate! Where are you?”
A sudden whiff of her perfume made him feel faint. He backed away from her.
“It’s The Flintstones, Mother. It’s a silly cartoon show. It just seems kind of funny, that’s all.”
“Are you saying that if you were born one day sooner or one day later, it may have been advantageous for you in some way?”
“All I know is that if I had been born sooner, I wouldn’t be so far behind.”
“Behind what?”
“Nelson and Bennett.”
“It’s not a race, dear. And you shouldn’t be comparing yourself to them—they are from...they’re much...older and they’ll...”
“And they’ll what? Amount to something someday, but I won’t?”
“Why would you say such a thing?”
“Father said it first, Mother.”
“Lee, dear, you’re special to us. You’re not like Nelson or Bennett, and we don’t expect you to be. And it’s your own aspirations that will determine what you do in life.”
He broke off eye contact with her and turned to walk away but then stopped and turned to face her again. “And then there’s Uncle Nelson’s birthday gifts. How do you explain that?” he asked before turning away from her.
“I’ll call Dr. Jerry in the morning,” she said to his back.
“If it makes you feel better, Mother,” he mumbled.
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