And the Man Booker Prize 2017 winner is……

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

It may appear that George Saunders is the new kid on the block as he walks away with this years Man Booker Prize and while he is indeed a first time novelist, many readers are familiar with George Saunders already….

His short stories are dream to read and already he has a significant following with some glowing reviews.

“It’s tough to think of a living short-story writer – or even a dead one – who garners as much peer approval as George Saunders…” – San Francisco Chronicle

And my personal favourite…

“George Saunders — the beloved cult author known for surreal short stories about American nuttiness — is the master of joy bombs…” – Entertainment Weekly

Not just a short story writer George Saunders is a big advocate of kindness (as we all should be) and his foray into children’s writing with The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip  demonstrates his work on Kindness and Community.

If the name George Saunders doesn’t mean anything to you yet then you should definitely check out some of his other work.  He’s a satirist, a Sci-Fi writer, kindness advocate, oh and don’t forget the Manbooker Prize Winner of 2017!!!

To start you off here’s a round up of George Saunders books!

Promo: It Feels Good To Feel Good By Cheryl Meyer

About the Book

Author: Cheryl Meyer

Genre: Non-Fiction / Health

Got Pain?

This book is for anyone with chronic pain looking for answers. It will give you a place to start. You don’t have to resign yourself to a life of pain and pills.

In this book you will learn:
* What is causing your pain and how to eliminate it.
* How to find a practitioner that will help you gain back your health.
* What’s in your food? Organic, conventional, GMOs processed, fast, canned, dairy, factory farmed meat, soy, water.  Identify your sensitivities and heal your leaky gut.
* Identify the toxins in your life. in  your cosmetics, over the counter drugs,in you kitchen, in your body. Learn how to purge them.
* 34 stress busting ideas, and four simple exercises to reduce your stress.
* 32 suggestions from leading functional experts on how to get a good night’s sleep..
* How to recognize a toxic relationship and make it work or walk away.
* How to tame Anxious Negative Thoughts “ANTs”.
* The importance of movement, even for people who don’t like to move
* How to take control of your health, reduce your inflammation and feel great again!

Author Bio

About Cheryl Meyer aka Cheryl M Health Muse and her book, “It Feels Good to Feel Good, learn about toxins, reducing inflammation and feel great again.”

Five years ago, Cheryl got sick, really sick.  It was a perfect storm: she was working 24/7; her long-term relationship imploded; economic changes slowed her business; she got Type II diabetes; she was taking care of everyone else; her stress was out of control.

Then one morning … viola, Cheryl woke up in incredible pain that didn’t go away. Her doctor didn’t recognize what it was and thought it was in her head.

Cheryl didn’t want more pills, so she embarked on her own journey to find wellness.  When she started, she didn’t even know what she was looking for.  She was stunned to find toxins in every aspect of her life that were poisoning her.  She discovered the Functional Medicine community.  She was tested for food sensitivities.

This book shares everything that Cheryl learned to reverse her inflammation and put her autoimmune diseases at bay.  This is the get well manual that she wishes had been available when she got sick. The book is about first identifying  that toxins that were a significant cause of her leaky gut, then she identified  what  the toxins were  and finally she shares what she replaced them with. She addresses the toxins in our food, in our cosmetics, our cleaning supplies, our kitchen utensils, our water, our over the counter drugs, and even in our heads, stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, lack of movement and finally toxic relationships.  She wants to help others find a path to wellness.

Cheryl is now relatively pain-free, but still considers herself a work in progress.  She avoids the foods and spices on her specific, long list of problem foods.  She has purged toxins.  She has released stress and nagging worry.  She has learned to find joy in movement.  She has found love.  She is grateful.

Cheryl believes that following her journey will help you live a long, happy and pain-free life.
In order to help others, Cheryl has become a Holistic Health Coach, certified from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition©.

Acclaim for It feels good to feel good

  • 3rd place CIPA EVVY Health/Wellness,
  • 2nd Place CIPA EVVY Illustrator in a non-children’s book
  • New Apple Summer Digital sole winner in Health/medical
  • The Living Evergreen Award Gold winner for books that exemplify better living.
  • It is in the top 10 from Write your Own Dream Book, November 17, Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
  • TOP 12 Books on the Spirited Woman Fall Equinox 2017 book list.

 

Book Reviews

“It Feels Good to Feel Good, learn to eliminate toxins, reduce inflammation and feel great again” is written by Cheryl Meyer, a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition®, where she completed a cutting edge curriculum in nutrition and health coaching taught by the world’s leading experts in health and wellness.  I recommend you read this book and be in touch with Cheryl (Cheryl M Health Muse ) to see how she can help you successfully achieve your goals.

– Joshua Rosenthal, MScEd, Founder/Director, Institute for Integrative Nutrition

If you want to truly feel better…clean up! Just one tip from Cheryl’s book will change your life. She has written the ultimate source for getting well through detoxification.”Suzy Cohen, RPh Author of “Drug Muggers: Which Medications Are Robbing Your Body of Essential Nutrients and How to Restore Them.

“You have taken putting soap in the mouth for naughty words …” to a New Level!  LOL Who knew we were surrounded by so many toxins.

I’ve pretty much finished your book now working on giving sections to my family and friend that I think will especially appreciate certain chapters!  YOU, my Dear, have found your calling, YOU make this rather “dull” subject a Very Good, interesting read, with fun personal touches along the way.

I LOVE your book; I hope people will embrace it.  Why worry so much about health care if we keep killing ourselves with poison.  We can all start with eliminating the toxins out of our lives.              Val Peterson

“As a Functional Medicine Doctor who partners with patients to deal with the root causes of their symptoms, it was a pleasure to read a book that offers such a comprehensive yet simple approach to improve health, reduce inflammation and pain, lose weight and increase energy. This is a great reference to keep in reach on your own journey to optimal wellness.  If you are struggling with chronic symptoms like digestive problems, hormonal imbalances, and autoimmune disorders, this book may really help you. It lays out practical tools that you can use right away and at your own pace, everything from how to change your shopping choices to getting more comprehensive medical testing to reduce your toxic burden. Her simple to understand, well researched and easy-to-adopt tools can be helpful to even the busiest among us.”   Dr. Shilpa Sayana, Founder and Medical Director, Sayana Wellness Centers

“Cheryl has been not only been an exemplary patient, she has made it her mission to inspire and help others with her experience and knowledge!”   Susan Spizer, MTCM, L.Ac.

She writes like she talks, straight and with passion.  What you will read here will surprise you. A helpful read that you will refer back time and time again for reference.” Scott Lee, Master, Body and Brain Yoga, Monrovia

“My friend, Cheryl Meyer has written a book that I recently finished called “It feels good to feel good”. It has a lot of common sense solutions (many that you would never think of) to healthy, toxin free living designed around the reduction of inflammation through what you put in and on your body. Most of this is from her personal experience. I know Cheryl to be one of the finest people you’ll ever know. Cheryl’s also a big proponent of “functional medicine”. If you are unfamiliar with this form of medical practice, you need to read her book. It will change the way you think”.  Frank Jones 

Cheryl’s book is as timely as it is informative. This is an excellent read for those seasoned in the holistic lifestyle as well as those just beginning. There is something for everyone. Her material covers everything from probiotics, house cleaning materials, and abdominal massages, to which teas to drink for better sleep. She has the latest information on metal detoxing and extensive research on the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat.

Cheryl provides real solutions that can be implemented far beyond the basics with a bend toward functional medicine. I personally ordered three products within hours of reading her book. I’m especially thrilled with the depth of her research around relationships and those that can be toxic. Make sure to read this book and hold onto the “not to miss points” at the beginning of each section.
Shannon Eavenson, Author, & Physical Therapist/Health Coach

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Excerpt

Dousing the flame of inflammation:

THE BIG TAKEAWAYS ON DAIRY

  1. Only use full fat dairy
  2. Only buy organic dairy products from grass-fed cows to avoid synthetic growth hormones, antibiotics and the stress hormones from factory farmed meat
  3. Raw milk is a good choice for additional nutrients and better taste
  4. Yogurt is good for you, but only buy full fat with no added sugar  
  5. If you eat cheese, if it is cow cheese, make sure it is organic, or eat sheep or goat cheese.  Watch the salt content on the label.

Dairy was the first category that I discovered I was highly sensitive to when I started my journey five years ago.  Probably my most favorite thing in the world is cheese, and I don’t get to eat it anymore.  When I fall off the wagon and eat cheese, hoping that the cheese won’t cause inflammation, bingo, I get a flare, so it’s just not worth trying anymore.  It doesn’t matter if it is a cow, sheep or goat, I can’t eat dairy.

It is a common thing for people to be sensitive to, so I am not alone.

The good news is that I can eat ghee, which is clarified butter.  Clarified means the milk proteins have been removed, and these proteins are what my body can no longer tolerate; I am sensitive to the whey and casein protein in the milk.  Ghee is just as tasty as butter to me, so it solves a multitude of sins in eliminating dairy.

But the bigger question is, is dairy good for anyone?  This is what I found:

75% of the world is lactose intolerant.  The primary carbohydrate in dairy is lactose, a “milk sugar” that is made of the two simple sugars glucose and galactose.  North America, Europe, and Australia, don’t have this intolerance as much as the rest of the world.

Whole milk from grass fed cows is quite nutritious.  If it is organic grass fed cow milk, it also has avoided most of the hormones, antibiotics and pesticides/herbicides that are in factory cow milk.  Grass fed cow dairy has omega three fatty acids which we need, and it has fat soluble vitamins like K2 that are essential to human bones.  I am talking about milk only in this regard, not cheese, which we will get to in a second.

The most nutritious milk is whole raw milk from grass fed cows.  It is not as risky as once thought and has many benefits over conventional pasteurized milk.

Low-fat or nonfat dairy, however, is not healthy and has had the fat replaced with dry milk (which has its own health hazards).  

Full-fat grass-fed dairy can reduce the risks of diabetes II.  This is not true of low-fat or nonfat dairy.  Full-fat grass-fed dairy is also linked to reduced obesity.

If the milk is from grass-fed cows, it is also linked to reduced heart disease and reduced strokes.  A study in Australia showed a 69% drop in heart disease if grass-fed organic milk was regularly drunk.

Fermented dairy products like yogurt and kefir may be even better if they are made from grass-fed milk.  They contain probiotic bacteria that can have numerous health benefits

 

Continue reading in “It Feels Good to Feel Good, learn to eliminate toxins, reverse inflammation and feel great again.

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Blitz: Heroine And Hellions

Heroines & Hellions: An Urban Fantasy and Fantasy Collection
Publication date: March 13th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy

NO DAMSELS ALLOWED! @nodamselallowd #heroinesandhellions #urbanfantasy http://heroinesandhellions.com/

22 Kickass Heroines.
22 Exclusive, Full-length Urban Fantasy and Fantasy Novels.
0 Damsels in Distress.

Do you like your leading ladies to save the day…or raze it?

No matter which you prefer, this set is brimming with 20 magical stories (many BRAND NEW) told by some of the leading voices of urban fantasy and fantasy in the industry, including several New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors!

If you want strong female leads who strike back against the captivating worlds of vampires, elementals, fiends, and paranormal monsters, then you’re ready to charge into the adventures of HEROINES & HELLIONS, a pure Urban Fantasy/Fantasy collection!

Grab your stake, silver bullets, and your limited edition copy of HEROINES & HELLIONS today!

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Rule #1 Don’t Be #2 Winner in the 2017 IAN Book of the Year Awards!

The Independent Author Network (IAN) has selected Rule #1 Don’t Be #2 by Daniel Milstein as the #1 Business, Sales & Economics Book of 2017.

IAN represents authors published by Indie Press. More than 20,000 readers visit the IAN website each day to find great books through a network of 550,000 Twitter followers and 101,000 Facebook fans.

Rule #1 Don’t Be #2 has received several awards and distinctions including:

  • #1 Bestselling Business Book July, 2017 by 800-CEO-READ
  • Hollywood Book Festival- WINNER Best Business Book
  • Beach Book Festival – WINNER Best Business Book
  • New York Book Festival – Named Runner Up in Business

A man known for motivating others and overcoming his own challenges to create the Gold Star Family of Companies, specializing in Financial Services, Sports Management, Publishing and Film Production, and also the nation’s #1 mortgage lender, shares what has inspired him and how he inspires others in his new book Rule #1 Don’t Be #2 – You Get What You Work For, Not What You Wish For.

Known for his own strong work ethic and “don’t-quit” attitude, Milstein lays out 25 Rules for how he got where he is. It’s not a soothing book of inspiration; instead it’s a motivational how-to that can propel you from mediocre to the top of your field.

“While you’re asking whether the glass is half empty or half full, I’ve sold it,” says Milstein in his book. Mincing no words, Milstein’s chapters, titled: “Get Off the Couch,” “Failure is Your Best Teacher” and “You Can’t Stop Believing” mix an inspiring, motivational approach with his “no holds barred” work ethic. Milstein believes no dream is too big, but he reminds readers that it’s not dreaming, but hard work and dedicated planning, that will get them where they want to go.

“By the time they have a solid ‘career,’ ninety-seven percent of the people who have a dream will have ‘settled’ into a life of the mundane,” says Milstein in the prologue. “Only three percent of those who dreamed of pursuing their passion will be successful. What’s different about this three percent? I can tell you they weren’t born with silver spoons, and they weren’t simply luckier than the rest.”

Milstein knows something about hard work. He came to the United States at the age of 16, with only 17 cents in his pocket, when his parents fled the religious and political persecution in Russia. Having survived that and the Chernobyl disaster, Milstein’s biggest problem in the US was learning how to navigate in high school where he didn’t speak the language. Wanting more in life and with an immigrant’s vision uncolored by entitlement, he found a job at McDonald’s and worked full time, sandwiching high school in between two shifts. The job taught him a strong work ethic that has stayed with him.

Milstein has filled the book with stories of people who are successful and have inspired him: athletes, inventors, mothers, and survivors. It’s a collage of people who have overcome great odds to realize their goals.

“Anyone, can make it,” says Milstein. “No one is born successful. Success or failure is only determined by where you stop.”

Whether you are a business person looking to better yourself and your company, a recent college graduate entering the work world for the first time, or a person who is fed up with their current job and looking to make a change, this book is for you. Prepare to be inspired.

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Blitz: Haven by Mary Lindsey

Haven
Mary Lindsey
Published by: Entangled Publishing
Publication date: November 7th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

“We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”

Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere. He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.

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Author Bio:

Mary Lindsey is a multi award-winning, RITA® nominated author of romance for adults and teens. She lives on an island in the middle of a river. Seriously, she does. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, two Cairn Terriers, and one husband.

Inexplicably, her favorite animal is the giant anteater and at one point, she had over 200 “pet” Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. The roaches are a long story involving three science-crazed kids and a soft spot for rescue animals. The good news is, the “pet” roaches found a home… somewhere else.

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New Cookbook from YouTube Sensation The Edgy Veg

Say hello to vegan food you’ll actually want to eat! Candice Hutchings, the host of YouTube sensation The Edgy Veg (with over 250,000 subscribers and 630,000+ monthly views), has released her first cookbook filled with 138 recipes that revolutionize vegan food as we know it. The cookbook is now available wherever books are sold!

Tired of a traditional plant-based diet that just felt frankly #sad, Candice started veganizing childhood cravings, fast food faves and food-nerd obsessions. Think UnOrthodox Lox and Cream Cheese Bagels, Cobb Your Enthusiasm Salad, Buffalo Cauliflower Wings 7 Ways, Easy Cheesy Fondue, Chick Fillet Deluxe and Thank You Very Matcha Ice Cream (fear not salad lovers, there is a token kale salad!). No type of food is off limits and everything in the book has received the signature carnivore stamp of approval from her husband James and their friends and family.

You’ll find brunch staples, munchies, not-boring salads, cocktails, sweet endings, more mains than you can count and everything in between. Candice also breaks down the essentials on how to make meat and dairy replacements that are so good you won’t even miss the real thing. She also offers extensive advice on how to stock a vegan kitchen and pantry, which both experienced chefs and first-time vegan cooks will love.

With recipes that take vegan cooking to the next level, tips and tricks for eating like an Edgy Veg, and more dad jokes than you can count, say hello to a vegan cookbook that you — and your tastebuds — can feel good about. It’s time to put down that spiralizer and get ready to have your cake, burger and fries, and eat them too!

About the Author

Candice Hutchings is the host, chef and resident food scientist of The Edgy Veg YouTube channel that she co-founded with her husband James Aita.  It caters to comfort food-loving vegans with a sense of humor. The couple live with their two rescue dogs, Sir Winston Churchill and Harley Quinn.

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Blitz: Canary Club by Sherry D. Ficklin

The Canary Club
Sherry D. Ficklin
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: October 16th 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult

“Bad Luck” Benny is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Recently released from jail, he has vowed to keep his head down and stay out of trouble. But he also needs to care for his ailing sister and the rest of his struggling family, and he’ll do anything to make that happen—even if it means taking a position with a notorious crime boss. He soon finds himself in over his head—and worse still—falling for the one dame on earth he should be staying away from.

Masie is the daughter of a wealthy gangster with the voice of an angel and gun smoke in her veins. Strong-willed but trapped in a life she never wanted, she dreams of flying free from the politics and manipulation of her father. A pawn in her family’s fight for control of the city, and with a killer hot on her heels, she turns to the one person who just might be able to spring her from her gilded cage. But Masie is no angel, and her own dark secrets may come back to burn them both.

Two worlds collide in this compelling story of star-crossed lovers in gritty prohibition-era New York.

Perfect for fans of Beatriz Williams’ A CERTAIN AGE or Libba Bray’s THE DIVINERS, THE CANARY CLUB by Sherry D. Ficklin will entice Historical Romance fans of all ages. This Gatsby-era tale filled with dazzling speakeasies, vicious shoot-outs, gritty gangsters, and iridescent ingenues has also been compared to the television series Z: THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING and BOARDWALK EMPIRE.

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Glitter and Gold (A Canary Club Prequel) is currently FREE!
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EXCERPT:

Lepke.

I roll the name around in my head like a curse.

Glancing back over my shoulder toward my room, toward June, I know what I have to do.

For the most part, it suits me just fine to let people think I’m just some silly girl, some empty-headed dame. Because what it means is that they never see me coming, never suspect me of being capable of doing terrible things.

But I am my father’s daughter.

I was born to violence like a fish is born to water. It’s part of me, part of who I am. All my life I’ve watched the people around me suffer—the women most of all. It’s a fact of this life that more often than not, shots are fired, grievances aired, and warnings sent through the women around the powerful men. They are soft targets. Disposable, but cared for enough to make a point.

In this business, women are nothing more than weaknesses to be guarded and fodder to be thrown when needed. Pawns in a game we aren’t even allowed to play. It’s one of the reasons I was so glad when Mother had sent me off to private school upstate. For a few months, I’d felt normal. Safe.

Being called back to the life after losing her was like suddenly having an axe hanging over my head again. For one dark, dark moment I’d considered running away—and I might have too. But soon enough I realized that this is where I belong, even if I might wish otherwise. I have to do what I can to protect my family, what family I have left. I know my part and I can play it as well as any Hollywood starlet. I know I should be appalled, bereaved that things like this come so easily to me now. But I let that grief, and the dreams of being anything other than what I am, go a long time ago. And so I stay. Cursed to walk the fine line between hero and villain, between vengeance and redemption.

But Lepke isn’t going to get away with this. Not this time.

I drag my hand through the water, mixing in the salts, cementing my plan in my head.

As soon as I deposit June in the tub I steal away to the den to make a call.

“Hello?” Vincent Coll’s groggy answer reverberates through the receiver.

My heart stutters at the sound of his voice. “It’s Masie. I need a favor.”

“What’s up, doll?”

I hesitate, biting my bottom lip. It’s then that I notice the smear of blood on my dress.

“I have blood on me, Vinny,” I say, more to myself than him, but his tone heightens.

“Are you alright?” He’s awake now, alert and sharp.

“It’s not my blood,” I clarify. “It’s the blood of someone I care about, though.”

He calms again, “What do you need?”

“Lepke Brewer,” I spit the name, unable to quite put into words how I want him to suffer. How much I want him to hurt.

On the other end of the line there’s a deep sigh, followed by the sound of a lighter flicking and Vinny taking a long drag. Despite being someone I once cared about greatly, Vinny is a dangerously unstable man on a good day. I know he’ll do what I’m about to ask without breathing a word of it to anyone—not out of loyalty to me or sympathy for June and what had happened to her, but for the sheer opportunity to level some brutality on a rival. Most people call him Mad Dog, thanks to his reputation for being about as well tempered as a rabid animal. But to me, he’s just Vinny, the young boy who’d come to stay with us after being expelled from the Catholic Reform School his mother had abandoned him to. We’d spent our formative years together, thick as thieves and practically family, until he took up the roll as Daddy’s enforcer and hit man. He’d changed after that.

Hell, we’d both changed. And neither of us for the better.

I roll the memory of him around in my head, biting the inside of my cheek as I decide what to say next. We haven’t been close in a very long time, and that’s the way it has to be. It might have been something more once, or maybe I just wanted there to be something there that never was. He’d kissed me exactly once, and it had been enough to sear itself into my memory, only to be buried beneath piles of disappointment and choices neither of us can take back. He has to be hard to do what he does, with no weaknesses for our enemies to exploit. And if I’m being honest, it’s the darkness in him that terrifies me. Not because I don’t understand it, but because I do. I know exactly how easy it would be to allow myself to be consumed by the violence of this life—and how good I would be at it.

But that’s not the person I want to be.

Even so, here I am, about to ask him to do the dirty work for me, just so I can keep my hands just a little bit clean.

“You want him taken care of?” he asks finally.

I suck in a breath before answering. Yes, I want him dead. I want him wiped from the face of the earth so he can’t ever hurt anyone ever again. I imagine myself saying yes. I imagine myself throwing a fistful of dirt onto Lepke’s coffin as it’s lowered into the ground. And then I imagine trying to look myself in the mirror every day after that.

“I want him to hurt,” I say after a moment. “I want him to be broken to the core of him. But leave him breathing.”

Leave it to Vinny to echo my own fears back to me. “You sure about this, Mas?” he asks, taking another drag and exhaling it slowly. “It’s not going to keep you up at night?”

It’s a barb from an accusation I’d leveled at him the last time we spoke, when I’d asked how he slept at night, after all he’d done. His answer had been crude and aimed to hurt me. Mine would be much kinder.

“I suppose I will have to find a way to live with myself,” I answer, keeping my tone indifferent.

He hangs up without even saying goodbye.

I hold the receiver in my hand for a few heartbeats before returning it to its cradle. JD is being groomed to take over the family business and –despite daddy’s constant berating that he’s too soft-hearted or slow-witted or whatever insult he feels like hurling in the moment for the job—I’ve never stepped in and asked for a place in the business. I’m just the girl, after all, to be coddled and protected and mollified. I’d been surprised that he let me worm my way into the club as it’s headline singer rather than being shipped off to wherever. Now, I can’t help but wonder, if Daddy had seen me tonight, if he might rethink the line of ascension.

And I can’t help but wonder what life would be like for me if he did.

 

Author Bio:

Sherry is the author of over a dozen novels for teens and young adults including the best selling Stolen Empire series. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.
Sherry also writes contemporary romance under the pen name SJ Noble. You can find her at her official website, www.sherryficklin.com, or stalk her on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/sherry.ficklin.

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David Grossman’s Leadership Book Wins Host of Honors

Leadership consultant, speaker and author David Grossman has won another honor for his latest book, No Cape Needed: The Simplest, Smartest, Fastest Steps to Improve How You Communicate by Leaps and Bounds.

The latest accolade comes from the 2017 Book Excellence Awards, which named No Cape Needed a finalist in the leadership books category. Grossman’s book was selected from hundreds of entries from around the world for its high-quality writing, design and market appeal.

No Cape Needed offers practical leadership and communication guidance to help leaders achieve their goals faster and more effectively than they ever imagined. In addition to expert insights from Grossman’s more than 30 years in the field, the book features leadership advice from 20 senior executives at some of the world’s leading organizations, including: Aston Martin, The Boeing Company, Compassion International, Motel 6, Nationwide Insurance, Starbucks, and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., to name a few.

This is the fifth writing award for No Cape Needed. The book also received top honors from:

No Cape Needed is Grossman’s third leadership communications book. His first two books, You Can’t Not Communicate: Proven Communication Solutions that Power the Fortune 100, and its follow-up, You Can’t Not Communicate 2, were also recognized with multiple writing awards.

Author Bio

A leading consultant, speaker and author, Grossman, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA, is one of America’s foremost authorities on communication inside organizations. He is Founder and CEO of The Grossman Group, an award-winning Chicago-based leadership and communications consultancy that focuses on organizational consulting, strategic leadership development and internal communications for Fortune 500 clients. A frequent media source, Grossman provides expert commentary and analysis on employee and leadership issues. He’s been featured on the NBC “Nightly News”, WSJ.com, Today.com, in the Chicago Tribune, LA Times, and CBS “MoneyWatch,” among others.

Blitz: Wicked Fallout by Kelly Charron

Wicked Fallout
Kelly Charron
(Pretty Wicked #2)
Publication date: July 17th 2017
Genres: Adult, Thriller

“Wicked Fallout is a twisty cat and mouse psychological thriller that will keep you turning pages right up to the unexpected end. A creepy mix of horror and psychological insight, Charron takes you into the mind of a killer and doesn’t let go.”
~Eileen Cook, Author of WITH MALICE

Convicted of six murders when she was just fifteen, the notorious Ryann Wilkanson hasn’t been able to act on her darkest, deadliest urges for twelve years. She’s exhausted her appeals and has little hope of ever getting out of prison and back to hunting.

Until a media-hungry legal team mounts a campaign to do the impossible—get her immediately released with a commuted sentence.

Forensic psychiatrist Nancy Clafin has mere weeks to evaluate Ryann’s current mental state against her grisly past to determine if she’s changed. But under the shadow of her own questionable history, it’s not easy to separate her personal life from her professional duty.

At least that’s what Ryann is counting on.

Behind the cold steel doors of a Colorado maximum-security prison, will Nancy find a cold-blooded killer or a newly redeemed woman determined to right her past wrongs?

**This novel can be enjoyed as a standalone or as part of the Pretty Wicked series.

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EXCERPT:

I spin around and see two women rolling on the ground, hair flying. Fights are a pretty rare occurrence, but when they happen it’s nasty. I once read that men fight to injure, but women fight to kill.

Sounds accurate.

The women roll closer to our table, and we all jerk out of the way in case some of the action heads toward us. I can hardly see who it is, but Georgina is quick to say it’s Roxie and Jinx. And they are going at each other: hands whacking, hair pulling, face slapping, and rib kicking. The whole nine. But it doesn’t go on for too long. Two guards descend on them, yanking the women apart. Some damage is already done. Jinx has a bloody nose and a swelling eye, and Roxie’s lip is split open.

“Fuck, man. Did you see that? Roxie almost killed the bitch! Bam!” Margot slams her hand on the table and my head rings. Jodi laughs. Must be nice for her to sit back and chuckle, since she’s never actually fought in here.

“Enough, Margot, or the guards are gonna be over here next.” Steph eyes her and Margot settles down.

The cafeteria is returning to normal so we sit again, and I try to force a spoonful of my cold, lumpy lunch down. It takes all my concentration to swallow the disgusting mouthful. My stomach clenches, so I drop my spoon.

“No offense, princess, but you look like shit,” Georgina says in between shovels. She’s a fat pig. No matter how disgusting the food is in here, don’t take your eyes off your plate or it’ll be in her goddamn mouth before you know what’s happening.

I lock my gaze on her. “Thanks. Just giving you a chance to feel a bit better about your ugly ass.”

She shoots me the finger.

“Seriously, you look pale, like even more than normal,” Stephanie chimes in, sounding far too motherly for my liking.

I smile. “Thanks, ladies. You sure are the fucking cheer committee today.”

“This shrink is really taking the piss outta you, huh? I ain’t never seen you so frazzled before,” Jodi says.

“I’m just tired. Been sleeping like shit, the food is inedible, and yes, talking in circles about your feelings is agony. So I’m taking donations—any booze, pills, or weed is welcome.” Most of what I say is bravado. Keeping up appearances is key to survival in this hellhole. I can’t afford to get caught with any contraband in case a miracle happens and I have a chance of getting out. What a kick in the tit that would be, if I got approved only to have a stupid joint found in my bunk.

“We’re all suffering in here, princess, so buck up.” Georgina braces her gigantic noggin on top of her propped arms.

It takes all my strength to stay calm. Sometimes people in here forget what I’m capable of. Maybe some of them don’t believe in my history and are willing to take a chance by coming at me.

Too bad I’m on my best behavior.

Margot puts a hand in Georgina’s face. “Lay off her, Gina. Ain’t none of us know what being examined under a microscope like that feels like. I know I’d be stressed to fucking shit if my whole future relied on talking to one damn bitch for a couple of weeks.”

“Thanks, Margot, but you don’t have to defend me.”

“Yeah, princess is a big girl. She can take care of herself, or so she wants us to think.”

I glower at her and swallow the scream that threatens to explode out of me. I’m afraid if I release it, I’ll never stop. “You got something to say?” I sit on my hands. Just in case I’m a little too tempted to gouge her eyes out.

Georgina stands up from her spot at the table across from me and walks around to my side. “Actually, yeah. I think you’re a fucking weak-ass bitch who ain’t no one afraid of in here, especially not me. You walk around all high and mighty, thinking you’re better than us, smarter and prettier than us, but guess what—you in here just like the fucking rest of us, and I ain’t scared by your supposed past.” She makes finger quotations an inch from my face.

I stand. We’re eye to eye. I can feel her hot, stinky breath on my face. Her finger jabs me in the chest. My blood fills my ears and I can’t hear much past the intense rushing. I clench my fists at my sides. Ready. I want her to come at me so badly. “Is that so? You gonna do something about it then?” I say, smacking her finger away from me. My eyes narrow on her acne-scarred face.

Before I can register what’s happening, I feel her two bony hands dig into my chest. The air is pushed out and I gasp. My legs tremble. Teeth clench.

It only takes me a second to leap onto her. Her fingers are entwined in my hair and I can feel the pressure as she yanks. I elbow her, and she lets go. The top of my hand swings across her cheek and I hear a loud slapping sound. Her head flies back, her arms wave wildly as she tries to grab a hold of me, but my adrenaline is pumping so hard that I don’t feel anything. My hands find their way to her neck. I squeeze and squeeze. Teeth gritting.

The power of my fingers pressing into the flesh of her neck makes me shiver with excitement. It feels like I can breathe for the first time since that day in the library all those years ago.

I have tunnel vision. I only see her eyes rolling back and her mouth attempting to suck in air. My heartbeat increases in my ears. Thump. Thump. Thump. My hands and wrists must be aching, but I don’t feel them.

Her arms keep flailing. Her fingers attempt to dig at my face. I don’t feel that either, I just keep pressing my hands into her. Squeezing. I wonder how much longer until she dies. I’m tingling all over.

And then I feel hands on me—pulling and yanking me off her. I fight harder, and then so do the hands.

My grasp is broken. I’m being lifted into the air. I’m screaming and swearing. I’m shaking, ferocious with rage. It’s a sensation from a time very long ago, yet it’s so familiar to me.

A man’s gruff voice breaks into my trance. My arms are twisted behind my back where I’m cuffed. Tightly. “That’s enough, Wilkanson! You’re done! You’re done!”

Now that I’m off her, I realize in a sobering moment that he might not be talking about just the fight. A hurtling wave of nausea makes my stomach twist and my mouth water.

I may have just ruined any chance I ever had to get out of here.

***

I’m whisked away by two guards who throw me into solitary.

They aren’t gentle with me as they literally launch me inside the room. I’ve never been in here before, but I’ve heard enough horror stories to know I never wanted to see it. I land on the ground with a thud. My bones vibrate from the motion. My arms are sore and bruised above my elbows where I was manhandled.

“I got to say, I’m surprised to see you in here, Wilkanson. There goes your perfect record. Was it worth it?” The guard, Han, shakes his head. He looks like a disappointed daddy and not some guy who’s getting underpaid to deal with us lowlifes.

I remain quiet, as is my right. It’s about the only thing I can control in here.

The other guard that has kindly accompanied me to the hole is Rickers. Unlike Han, has a smug smile on his face, like he’s been waiting for this moment with a lousy fifty bucks riding on it.

Han spins me around and unlocks the handcuffs. My wrists are sore from being forced into the cold, hard metal. I rub them, trying to get the circulation back into my hands. My brain finally registers where I am as I look around the closet-sized room. There’s nothing in here but a sweat- stained pad on the floor and a disgusting dirty blanket that I wouldn’t touch for fear of contracting scabies or countless other contagious diseases.

“Someone will be in later to bring you to your hearing. Do you want anyone else there with you?” Rickers asks.

“What do you mean? I don’t understand what’s happening,” I say, and it’s the truth. I’ve never committed an offense before. My anger has dwindled, and I’m left in a state of confusion and shock. My body trembles. I can even feel my ribs shaking. What did I fucking do?

Han stands tall, shoulders squared, with his hand on his baton. He looks like he’s ready to take down a linebacker and not some hundred-and-ten-pound chick. “You’ll be taken in to see an adjudicator. You can bring in witnesses if you think it’ll help your case. You’ll tell them what happened and plead guilty or not guilty of the offense—in this case, assaulting a fellow inmate.”

“But Georgina started it. She hit me first!” Ugh. I hear the pitiful whine in my voice and I wonder how I suddenly became a petulant child. I need to get my shit together before the hearing if I have any hope in hell of being taken seriously. “Can you ask Stephanie Harvey and Jodi Brown to come? They were there.”

“We’ll see what we can do,” Han says.

“So what, I have to stay in here until then? How long does this hearing take to set up?” I ask. My palms are slick, and I wipe them on the thighs of my pants.

“It could be a few hours.”

“Oh, great,” I exhale, relieved.

“Or it could be tomorrow,” Rickers adds.

My eyes and mouth widen. “What? You mean to tell me that I could be stuck in this hell

hole overnight?” My mind reels. My bunk is shitty, but it’s the Westin compared to this hovel. “That’s right.” Rickers smiles. “Shoulda thought about that before you tried to kill someone in here.” He walks out with Han right behind him.

My hand goes up and I wave for them to stop. “No, wait. You can’t leave me.”

Han takes another step away. “I’m afraid we can, and just in case we’re not back today, sleep tight.” The hefty steel door slams shut. The sound reverberates, echoing painfully in my ears. I’m dizzy. The walls look like they’re getting closer. The air is cold and stale. My stomach turns over.

Think, Ryann. Lunch was served at one o’clock. The fight happened just after, which puts it around two. There’s got to be enough time to get a judge or adjudicator to see me. What if the warden won’t let Steph and Jodi out to testify for me?

I need water. My mouth is so dry.

Surely someone will come soon. In twelve years at this prison, I’ve never so much as hid a candy bar I wasn’t supposed to have. I don’t deserve this.

Fighting is a major infraction. Georgina wanted this. This was probably her fucking plan the entire time.

What the fuck did I do?

Author Bio:

Kelly Charron is the author of YA and adult horror, psychological thrillers and urban fantasy novels. All with gritty, murderous inclinations and some moderate amounts of humor. She spends far too much time consuming true crime television (and chocolate) while trying to decide if yes, it was the husband, with the wrench, in the library. She lives with her husband and cat, Moo Moo, in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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Review: I Know Where She Is by S.B. Caves

Synopsis

An explosive, gripping thriller for fans of Karin Slaughter, Linwood Barclay and Karen Dionne, don’t miss this heart-stopping debut.

On the tenth anniversary of her daughter Autumn’s abduction, Francine receives an anonymous note containing just five words: I KNOW WHERE SHE IS

When a young woman approaches her the next day claiming to have sent the letter Francine wants to dismiss it as a cruel, twisted joke.

But the stranger knows things that only Autumn would know.

It soon becomes clear that Francine must go to dark places in order to learn the truth about her child’s kidnapping.

She will discover that danger comes from unexpected sources. She will do things she never imagined herself capable of.

But will Francine get her daughter back – or is it too late?

Review

A thrilling read that keeps you turning the page, this novel describes in vivid details the turmoil of a mother who has lost her daughter and the dark world that exists beneath civilisation.

Well written and sublimely paced, this novel is able to grasp your imagination and keep you on the edge of your seat as you explore more deeply the world in which Francine finds herself.

Torn between a mother fighting a losing battle and a staunch determination to find her lost daughter, never losing hope against all odds, this book pulls you in and keeps you immersed while you vie for Francine against all odds.

A parent’s ultimate nightmare, this book resonates on every level as somebody with children of my own.  I lived her nightmare, her hope, her frustration and her anger, egging her on at every  step, relishing in her successes but also ruing her failures and challenges.

This book is highly recommended for those who enjoy a tense thriller but is not for the fainthearted; a dark story line but exhilarating in the way it is written.  A must read novel by a talented author.

Disclosure: The Pursuit Of Bookiness received a copy of this book free of charge in return for an honest review.  All opinions are our own