Sunday, October 26, 2014

Michael J. Bowler - And The Children Shall Lead - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

The campaign to save California’s children was only the beginning. Now King Arthur and his Round Table of teenaged knights set their sights on fixing something even bigger – the entire country. How? By targeting America’s most sacred document – The Constitution.

Native American teens Kai and Dakota, despite harboring secrets of their own, join the team, and swear undying loyalty to Lance. They carry the hope of their people that the crusade will better the lives of Indian children, who are the most neglected by government. This new campaign will take the young people to The White House, the halls of Congress, and beyond in their quest to change the prevailing opinion that children are property, rather than human beings in their own right.

But an unseen nemesis stalks Lance and Arthur, and ratchets up the attacks on New Camelot, promising to kill them and destroy all that the king has put in place. Lance, Ricky, Kai, and Dakota become the enemy’s favorite targets, and barely escape with their lives on more than one occasion. Who is this mysterious stalker, and what is the motive for these attacks? Lance has no idea, especially since he’s never intentionally hurt anyone.

“You were right, little boy, death is coming for you, but slowly, and only after it takes out the people you love.” That chilling promise haunts Lance, but also strengthens his determination to protect the people he loves at all costs. Or die trying.

The Knight Cycle Continues…

My Review

Lance goes from "The Boy Who Came Back" to "The Boy Who Came Out." His public declaration of his love for Ricky, sets him up to face a whole new set of challenges as the teenage knights of the Round Table grapple with the idea that their leader is gay. Some are afraid of being cast in the same light. Others think it'll make them look weak. They fear the public backlash from Lance's announcement.

But Lance is finally okay with who he is. For a boy who was sexually abused at the age of six, he has finally found the one person he was meant to give his heart to. It's been a long, hard road for him to travel. His self-acceptance was a painful process, a battle that wasn't easily won, and the repercussions of that seem far easier to have to cope with than the inner hatred he had been dealing with for so long. Now, he's going to embrace his new relationship with Ricky, and to hell with what anyone else thinks.

Now seventeen, the time is drawing near for Lance to take up the mantle and assume the throne. Merlin warns him that King Arthur will not be with them for too much longer, and that Lance will need to step up and keep the crusade going. Lance hates to hear Merlin talk that way, so he pushes the thought aside, refusing to accept the truth behind his dire prediction.

Because Lance doesn't think he'll make it to eighteen. The mysterious stranger with the phone number 000-000-0000 is back, upping the ante with his death threats. First, Lance and his friends are fired upon with rubber bullets, then a window washing platform nearly crushes him. His assailant is playing a cat and mouse game, threatening to take out Arthur and Ricky first, before coming for him, in order to make him suffer. Things escalate when a horde of motorcycle assassins chase him through the streets of downtown Washington DC and into Arlington National Cemetery where a helicopter almost separates Lance and Ricky forever.

Lance feels like he is a character in one of the FINAL DESTINATION movies, knowing that he cheated death once and it's only a matter of time before death comes for him again. He's gets all "emo" about what is going to happen to him, not wanting the ones he loves to fall in harm's way. While everyone is out to label him as "homo" or "gay," he knows his identity reaches far deeper than that. All he wants to be known as is "human." That's it. Because after staring down death time and time again, he knows what's really important in life.

The only thing that can define him is love.


And The Children Shall Lead can be purchased at:
Amazon, Barnes and Noble

Prices/Formats: $4.99 ebook, $14.95 paperback
Pages: 302
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Release: September 25, 2014
Publisher: self-published
ISBN: 9780990306368
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

About the Author

Michael J. Bowler is an award-winning author of seven novels––A Boy and His Dragon, A Matter of Time (Silver Medalist from Reader’s Favorite), and The Knight Cycle, comprised of five books: Children of the Knight (Gold Award Winner in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards), Running Through A Dark Place, There Is No Fear, And The Children Shall Lead, and Once Upon A Time In America.

His horror screenplay, “Healer,” was a Semi-Finalist, and his urban fantasy script, “Like A Hero,” was a Finalist in the Shriekfest Film Festival and Screenplay Competition.

He grew up in San Rafael, California, and majored in English and Theatre at Santa Clara University. He went on to earn a master’s in film production from Loyola Marymount University, a teaching credential in English from LMU, and another master's in Special Education from Cal State University Dominguez Hills.

He partnered with two friends as producer, writer, and/or director on several ultra-low-budget horror films, including “Fatal Images,” “Club Dead,” and “Things II,” the reviews of which are much more fun than the actual movies.

He taught high school in Hawthorne, California for twenty-five years, both in general education and to students with learning disabilities, in subjects ranging from English and Strength Training to Algebra, Biology, and Yearbook.

He has also been a volunteer Big Brother to eight different boys with the Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a thirty-year volunteer within the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles. He is a passionate advocate for the fair treatment of children and teens in California, something that is sorely lacking in this state.

He has been honored as Probation Volunteer of the Year, YMCA Volunteer of the Year, California Big Brother of the Year, and 2000 National Big Brother of the Year. The “National” honor allowed he and three of his Little Brothers to visit the White House and meet the president in the Oval Office.

He is currently at work on a horror/suspense novel based on his screenplay, “Healer.”

Links to connect with Michael:
Web Site
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

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Monday, October 20, 2014

DJ Wilson - Ride to Restoration - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

In this second book, D learns that paying it forward is not without costs, toss in Candi Parker, the girl of D’s dreams gone rogue, along with vivacious Victoria Lawson, attorney at law, who willingly steps in to fill Candi’s thong, and D’s hilarious misadventures continue across Canada. Reality sets in and the bullets begin to fly just two days after he returns to the states.

D sends Victoria away to keep her out of harm’s way, before tackling his real life demons, aka A.J. Standford, the Ponzi scheming banker who has a bounty on D’s head, and Candi’s extended family, the Gambinos, who will profit from his demise.

The romantic side of the story poses multiple questions: Will D settle for Victoria after being royally screwed by Candi or will his feelings for Candi propel him back into her life and the crime family’s ongoing chaos? Will Candi take back her sleazy ex-husband Joseph or will she somehow manage to break with her powerful family and come crawling back to D’s loving arms?

With all of this going on, there’s bound to be hell to pay sooner rather than later. Like momma always said, “When you play with fire, you’re gonna get burned.”

My Review

Jon David, the man otherwise known by the capital letter D, is a self-proclaimed masterpiece in the making. His two main goals in life are to do the right thing and to pay it forward, letting the chips fall where they may. In the second book of DJ Wilson's RIDE series, D's still on his motorcycle, running for his life from a Bernie Madoff-style crook whose diamonds he stole and freely distributed to those in need.

But it's not just the packages of bling that have gotten him in trouble, but also a certain part of the female anatomy, he labels a weapon of mass destruction. He thinks he can replace his former riding partner, Candi, with his latest biker babe, Victoria, who's been wanting to get in D's pants since they met. She's game to wear Candi's clothes and mimic her moves in the bedroom, much to D's initial satisfaction. But the buzz soon wears off, and he finds himself thinking more and more of the one who got away, rather than the one currently at his side.

Growing up as an overweight kid, D still struggles with self-confidence issues. Candi's rejection of him stings when he thinks about how she betrayed his trust by going back to her ex-husband. All he sees when he looks in the mirror is grey hair and crow's feet, telling himself that's the reason why she left him. He tries not to dwell on the negatives in his life—how his ex-wife fell out of love with him, how he's estranged from his children, how he's had to give up everything in order to stay alive.

What he's wishing for is Mayberry, a modern day utopia where he can reside among like-minded individuals who will like him for the man he is, not what they can get out of him. He's through with self-absorption and greed. He's through with communicating through voicemails, emails and texts. He wants to live a simple life, concentrating on the people who are most important to him, and not cling to the material things he no longer desires. He even locates possible communities in Hawaii and Newfoundland that might offer just what he's looking for, if he can only get there.

Yet there's another side to D that isn't so nice. Sure, he's a dreamer, an idealist, but he can also be a bit of a jerk. He has a habit of belittling women, calling Victoria, 'Little Miss Priss' and making fun of her with his friend, Greg. He also tends to drink too much whenever he starts feeling sorry for himself. He's not above pleasing the woman he's with, but he usually only wants to fool around when he's in the mood. He even has the nerve to mess around with Victoria while he's talking on the phone to Candi. Sometimes he comes off like a know-it-all, always having the answer to everything, acting like he's the only one who knows what to do in any given situation—the right road to take, the perfect restaurant to dine in, the sure way to handle people—that his egomania can become a bit much at times.

D's a character who's flawed and readily admits it. His self-awareness is not often found in fiction and it's very refreshing. He knows that he's still a work in progress. He's a good man, who wants to be a great man, but he's not there yet. He has issues he needs to work out and internal demons he has to conquer before that can happen. He's not at peace with who he is yet, but he's trying to be. The hope is that one day he'll finally get there.


Ride to Restoration can be purchased at:
Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Google Play

Prices/Formats: $4.99 ebook, $11.95 paperback
Pages: 318
Genre: Erotic Romance
Release: July 16, 2014
Publisher: Riscatto Publishing
ISBN: 9781604148022
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

FREE ebook download 
of book one of this series

Smashwords Promo Code: MU83Y
expires 10/24/14

About the Author

Raised in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, I graduated from Cumberland University, located in a small town you've never heard just inside Kentucky quite a few years ago. At the present, we're living beside beautiful Dale Hollow Lake.

Blessed to travel, blessed with health, blessed with second chances, too numerous to list here.

As a blogger, featured on many sites, including the Huffington Post, I have been humbled beyond measure, more times than not, by all that life has thrown our way.

Successful, that's me, catastrophic failure, that's me too. We've been there, done that and have the life changing scars to prove it.

Our writings reflect life through the throes of heartache and loss, as well as through the joys redemption brings.

"Life is not waiting for the Storms to Pass, It's Learning to Dance in the Rain."

Links to connect with DJ:
Web Site
Blog Tour Site

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Richard H. Hardy - The Infinity Program - Author Interview & Giveaway

About the Book

Jon Graeme and Harry Sale are unlikely friends. Harry is a world-class programmer, but his abrasive personality alienates co-workers. In contrast, Jon is a handsome and easy-going technical writer, the low man on the IT totem pole.

Sharing a love of nature, the men set out together, planning to go their separate ways--Jon on a hike and Harry, fly fishing. Three days later, Jon arrives at the rendezvous point, but his friend is nowhere in sight. When Jon finds Harry unconscious on the floor of a cave, Harry claims to have been lying there the entire time. But he is neither cold nor hungry. What Jon doesn't know is that Harry fell into an underground cavern, where he came into contact with an alien quantum computer.

Back at work, Harry jettisons his regular tasks and concentrates exclusively on inventing new operating language to access the alien system. In the process he crashes his office's Super Computer and is fired. Jon convinces the company to give Harry a second chance, arguing that the system he has invented will make them millions.

Jon has no idea what havoc Harry is about to unleash.

Author Interview

1) Who is your favorite character?
My favorite character in The Infinity Program is Harry Sale, the brilliant but quirky programmer. He can be kind and thoughtful, but he can also be an irascible curmudgeon.

2) Why is he/she your favorite?
I like Harry best because he was the biggest challenge to create. I also liked him because as I got deeper into his character, he became a vehicle to express a secret wish of my own—to be as direct and honest as possible at all times at the expense of diplomacy. I could never be like Harry in real life, but for awhile it was a lot of fun to put on a mask and pretend.

3) How did you come to create him/her?
Harry Sale is really a composite of many different programmers I have known. For example, a programmer I knew loved to tinker with old cars. One morning at work, the night after they installed new carpets, he walked into the office with motor oil all over his shoes. That incident found its way into The Infinity Program. Another programmer could be unbelievably cranky. When I started off in technical writing, he would often hand me my head on a platter. But afterwards, he would feel guilty about it and bend over backwards to be helpful. That too found its way into Harry Sale’s character. Yet another programmer I knew would often work around the clock for several days running. This characteristic was added to the mix. Harry also has something of the author’s own personality as a component. Like Harry, I tend to be literal-minded (though not as much as Harry!). I also tend to be overly abstract at times.

4) When did he/she first enter your mind?
Harry appeared relatively late in my conception. I had imagined the characters of Jon Graeme and Lettie Olson, as well as the quantum computer with the nanotechnology module. But somehow I could not pull the ideas together until the character of Harry Sale occurred to me.

5) Where was he/she given life in the creative process?
I tried to give life to Harry as I went along, building his character in stages. His first scene in the book—where he risks his life to save a kitten—was especially important since it shows him to be a very unusual kind of guy. It also establishes him as a man who will risk anything to do what he thinks is right.

6) What do like the most about him/her and what do you dislike the most about him/her?
I like Harry’s compassionate nature. He’s a kind person, a Good Samaritan who will always go the extra mile when someone needs help. Harry’s worst trait, which I don’t like but am sometimes guilty of myself, is his self-absorption. He is so caught up with the events of his own inner life that he misses out on love and friendship.


The Infinity Program can be purchased at:
Barnes and Noble

Prices/Formats: $5.95 ebook, $13.95 paperback
Pages: 250
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance
Release: April 1, 2014
Publisher: Camel Press
ISBN: 9781603819336
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

About the Author

Richard H. Hardy was born in Glasgow, Scotland, during a week of relentless bombing raids just before the close of World War II. The day he was born an incendiary bomb fell on the church across the street from where he lived, so he is fond of saying that he entered the world with a big adrenaline rush.

His family later moved to England and then on to America.

After college Richard bounced through a series of temporary jobs as he traveled around the country, wanting nothing more than to write fiction. A job driving a library van allowed him free time to write several short stories and work on a novel.

He and his wife moved to New Hampshire, where he took an entry level job at a software company. He was soon promoted to the technical writing department and ended up producing over 500,000 words of online documentation. After a few years he was promoted to the programming department and ended up as the Senior EDI Programmer, creating EDI maps and writing UNIX scripts and troubleshooting on AIX systems throughout the U.S. and Canada.

After he retired, he started writing fiction again. The Infinity Program is his first published novel.

Links to connect with Richard:
Web Site
Blog Tour Site

Read an Excerpt:

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