Friday, May 18, 2018

#Book Spotlight - Radio Underground





Historical Fiction
Date Published: November 15, 2018

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With swift, bold, and powerful writing, debut author Alison Littman captures the epic and devastating uprising against the Soviet regime in Cold War Hungary, illuminating a time in history when news, rock ‘n’ roll and underground journalism forever changed the lives of those living behind the Iron Curtain. Radio Underground tells the story of a family ripped apart by the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 as a mother and fanatical underground journalist relentlessly goes to battle against the communist government, putting the lives of her daughter and husband at risk when she commits a calamitous murder. She is banished to a secret, underground prison where she faces madness, torture, and a possible death sentence. Years later, her daughter must decide to save the mother who discarded her, or leave her life to fate. A beautiful, relevant novel that explores the lengths and limits of love, family and the power of expression.

“Radio Underground tells a thrilling story of family and loyalty in the face of oppression. Its richly evoked historical setting took me back to the Cold War era, while its warm-blooded characters stole my heart. A propulsive read and a timely reminder that maintaining our humanity requires courage as much as love.” -- Kim van Alkemade, New York Times bestselling author of Orphan #8 and Bachelor Girl

“Set during the Hungarian revolution of 1956 and its heartbreaking aftermath, this vivid and compelling novel is a story of courage, family and the importance of "breaking the silence." -- Susan Breen, author of The Fiction Class.


 Excerpt

A black Zis-110 idled ahead of me, the car’s curtains drawn on its passenger windows. I shivered at the sight of the secret police’s hallmark car, thinking of all the friends who had disappeared for no reason, taken away by henchmen in the middle of the night, never to return. It was no coincidence the Zis looked just like a hearse. I scurried onto a side street, dodging the car and the poor captives I assumed sat, trembling, inside of it.

I tiptoed past the Ministry of Interior, where red geraniums lined the building’s windows. In the secret prisons below, police tortured people with whips, limb crushers, nail presses, and scalding and freezing baths. Or else they just executed them. But the geraniums were always fresh.

I slid my fingers across the building’s dusty exteriors, imagining I could somehow transfer my nerves onto the cold, unfeeling brick. I had snuck through the streets after curfew for years, but tonight was different. I could feel the regime sensing our newfound courage, like a dog pushing its nose high into the air, catching the subtle perfume of a rabbit nearby.

After walking several blocks, I spied smoke unfurling in the path before me, like a languid snake expanding as it digests a fresh kill. Following it, I found Antal, his eyes closed, relishing in a cigarette.

“Antal, it’s me,” I said, coughing on the smoke now choking me.

Antal smiled and opened his eyes, his cataracts reflecting the glow of the street lamps. “Eszter, it’s good to see you.”

“It’s good to see you too.” I kissed Antal on both cheeks, feeling his dry skin against mine and wondering how long he’d been outside waiting for me in the cold.

“Tell me, what information do you have for me today?”

“It will happen tomorrow,” I said. “Today, technically.”

It was already past midnight.

“So it’s here, isn’t it?” Antal said.

“Yes,” I said. “I went to their meeting. The students decided they’re going to march. I heard them talking about gathering arms.”

“How many people are participating in this … this march?” Antal asked as he stamped his cigarette into the ground and lit another one.

“Hundreds, thousands, maybe. I can’t be certain.”

“It doesn’t take a genius to predict how Gerő will react.”

“Gerő will slaughter them,” I said, feeling dizzy as I said aloud what we both knew. Hungary’s leader, Erno Gerő, was a Soviet puppet with an arsenal at the ready. “Without enough people hearing about it and organizing, it will just be a bloodbath.”

Antal fell back against the brick wall, suddenly losing his breath. He was always so levelheaded, so much so it often drove me to even greater heights of anxiety as I tried to compensate for his indifference. His fingers, still clutching the cigarette, quivered as his eyes searched the space behind me.

“The state radio will probably ignore this and just keep spewing out its propaganda,” he said.

“Exactly. We’re going to print with this too. But Realitás won’t reach enough people in time. An announcement on Radio Free Europe is the students’ only hope.” I held on to Antal’s shoulders to steady him. “It has to happen first thing in the morning, so people will have time to plan.”

The closest Radio Free Europe outpost was in Vienna. If Antal left now, he would get there by four in the morning.

“I already have meetings scheduled in Vienna for today,” he said. “I’ll visit our Radio Free Europe contacts as soon as I get there and cancel my other meetings to get back in time for the march. Gerő will think I cut short a routine visit to be by his side.”

Our lives by day were lies—Antal’s more than most. He served as the regime’s Deputy Interior Minister. After being forced to coordinate the executions of his friends—communists who threatened the power structure when they became too popular—he resolved to undermine the regime in any way possible. He began relaying intelligence to the American-run Radio Free Europe. With the freedom to travel at will and deep knowledge of the government’s inner workings, he also became an asset to Realitás, the underground newspaper I ran.

“It’s already one in the morning,” I said. “What will you do when they ask you why you’re crossing the border so late?”

“This is normal for me. I go to Vienna at all times of the day and night, just to keep them guessing. Just in case I run into a situation like this.”

“Smart. Well, you better leave now before Gerő tries to get in touch.”

We both knew Antal’s phone could have been ringing right then. I wondered what it would cost him—or his children and grandchildren—if he wasn’t there to answer it.

“I’ll be back,” Antal said, coughing into his hands, still shaking from what I knew was the fear we all shared.

“Wait.” I pulled out a tattered piece of paper, wincing as the cuts in my hand protested the sudden movement. “Take this with you. A student gave it to me yesterday. It’s a coded list of meeting points and times for the march. You have to get this on air too.”

Antal nodded as I slid the paper into his coat pocket, making sure to secure the meticulously crafted plans of the brave, hopeful students. They probably didn’t even realize that at this moment, Soviet troops were almost certainly readying their tanks at a base nearby.



About the Author


Alison Littman lives in San Francisco where she is a writer by day and standup comedian by night. She has contributed to magazines on John F. Kennedy and The Beatles, writing feature stories on listening to rock ‘n’ roll behind the Iron Curtain and the Cuban Missile Crisis. She produces two comedy shows in San Francisco and performs at clubs, bars and alternative venues throughout the city. This is her first novel.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

#Book Spotlight - Where My Heart Belongs

Today's blog guest is the lovely Ann Marie Bryan. 
Scroll down to learn all about her new release!!



Book Title: Where My Heart Belongs

Genre: Christian Fiction Romance




About the Book:



Love guided them to precisely what they needed—each other.

From the moment Tyler Bradshaw first lays eyes on Madison Kanate, it’s a dream come true. She is everything he wants, yet everything he feels he cannot have. He is determined to keep his distance, but he can’t, not with the love she offers him. They become the best of friends. That works flawlessly, until she wants more….

That was seven years ago.

Madison has come a long way since falling apart at any reminder of Tyler. He had left her questioning God’s plan for her life, and uncertain of how to move forward. Eventually, she takes charge of her life, putting memories of Tyler to rest with a successful interior design business, along with many charitable projects. Anything else, especially love, ranks a distant second. 

Tyler and Madison reunite through the shenanigan of Mason, Madison’s twin brother. Tyler wishes he could change the past… but life does not offer do-overs. Even so, he believes God has provided a golden opportunity for him—his last chance to win Madison’s heart. As he begins to open up about his childhood and trailing baggage, Madison realizes that his faith has been built in the face of adversity. 

But Tyler’s childhood holds a secret even he doesn’t know. In the face of a staggering revelation that challenges the fabric of his faith, Tyler drops a bombshell of his own. When Madison tries to walk away, she recognizes that deep down she wants happily-ever-after. With her faith rekindled, she decides to trust God, believing she will not be left to pick up the pieces of her heart all over again. But will Tyler allow himself to heal so he can let Madison in? Will they move beyond the past and build a life together?

Amazon Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07C92KD36

Standalone books in the Encounters of the Heart series:
Book 1 - Shades of the Heart (The story of Blake & Gabrielle Montgomery)
Book 2 - Mirrored Hearts: Sealed by Fire (The story of Larry & Rozene Kanate)
Book 3 - A Place For My Heart (The story of Chandler Peynard and Sabrina Benjamin)
Book 4 - Where My Heart Belongs (The story of Tyler Bradshaw and Madison Kanate)

Other books:
Unforgettable, My Love Has Come Along
Truth Awaits You on the Other Side: An Anthology about the Consequences of Sin
Mirrored Hearts (A Short Story)


EXCERPT – Where My Heart Belongs: 

His heart rate kicked up and he raked a hand over his head as uneasy dread shot through his veins. Still, wisdom demanded he move speedily to help, even if the situation would force him to come face-to-face with someone he was unprepared to see.

“God, help her,” he prayed aloud, before jumping into action.

He moved swiftly to grab his Jeep keys from the coffee table then rushed through the door. He did not relish the journey that now lay before him. Nor did he wish to confront the one thing that would never let him rest—the one painful remorse that continually aggravated his gut. The one thing in his life he needed to fix—his relationship with the woman he had nicknamed Em.

Madison Emma Kanate. She was his first love….

Once his soul found her, he loved her.

One look and he was helpless to her pull. She had caught his attention and lingered in his heart ever since. He had endured two years of being near Madison—drowning in her love. She always stirred him. Around her, he constantly felt the flutter of butterfly wings in his stomach. She made him feel things he longed for… things he couldn’t have.

Despite all the love she offered him, he could not bring himself to reach for her. Fear held him bound, propelling him to escape the source of his misery.

At the first opportunity, he had left it all behind.

He ran.

He had run away like a frightened animal.

And he had kept moving. He hadn’t looked back.

But, he couldn’t outrun the memories or the guilt that haunted him.


About the Author:




Ann Marie Bryan is a dedicated, graceful, multi-talented leader with a passion for excellence. She is the CEO & Founder of Victorious By Design, an organization committed to providing top quality professional writing services, comprehensive personal and professional development programs and exceptional performing arts services to meet the unique needs of individuals and organizations.

A Christian Fiction author, Ann Marie writes to educate, inspire and empower others. She desires to tell great stories with fascinating characters to show the awesome power of God in the lives of people and places. Shades of the Heart is the first book in her bestselling, Encounters of the Heart series. Book 2 - Mirrored Hearts: Sealed By Fire was released February 2016. Book 3 - A Place For My Heart, the highly anticipated third installment in the series, was released in March 2017. Book 4 - Where My Heart Belongs was released in April 2018.

Ann Marie's greatest passion is to empower others to succeed by tapping into their God-given potential. She enjoys writing, reading, dancing, teaching, meeting people and traveling. With all the knowledge and experiences that God has so graciously blessed her with, Ann Marie is determined to make her life a ministry for the Lord.


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Monday, April 23, 2018

NO HOLDS BARRED #BOOK TOUR


Write Now Literary is pleased to be coordinating a blog tour Stephanie Nicole Norris. This tour will run April 23, 2018. Book your own tour here.


Title: No Holds Barred
Genre: African American Contemporary Romance
ASIN: B07C8J6DH9
Read for free with Amazon Kindle Unlimited



                       Meet Stephanie
Stephanie Nicole Norris is an author from Chattanooga Tennessee with a humble beginning. Always being a lover of reading, during Stephanie’s teenage years her joy was running to the bookmobile to read stories by R. L. Stine. After becoming a young adult, her love for romance sparked leaving her captivated by heroes and heroines alike. With a big imagination and a creative heart, Stephanie penned her first novel Trouble In Paradise and self-published it in 2012. Her debut novel turned into a four book series full of romance, drama, and suspense. As a prolific writer, Stephanie’s catalog continues to grow. Her books can be found on Amazon dot com. Stephanie is inspired by the likes of Donna Hill, Eric Jerome Dickey, Jackie Collins, and more. She currently resides in Tennessee with her husband and two-year-old son.    



                                                                                   About the Book
Love was no longer on the menu for Camilla Augustina. After her fiancé calls off the wedding not once but twice, Camilla's had enough. In a brazen move, she takes a new position in the windy city of Chicago; leaving her parents, friends, and ex in a bittersweet goodbye. Adapting to her new surroundings isn't easy but as Camilla settles in a chance encounter with an infamous playboy throws her off balance and rattles her world. She hadn't expected to be drawn so meticulously to another but denying the magnetism that lures her is a futile fight. As President of VFC Energy, a fortune 500 company, Hunter Valentine is at the top of his game. The renowned bachelor holds no secrets about his risqué rendezvous, and his allegiance is saved for family only. However, when Hunter spots Camilla Augustina, dining alone at the breakfast hut in his building, he can't explain the adulation that runs through his core and shakes his entire world. Lust never weakened him like this, and the inclination of love at first site was silly. But when Hunter decides to prove the sudden rapture is unreal, he may find himself enamored by love.d



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Friday, April 20, 2018

4-Author #BookBlast


Write Now Literary is pleased to be coordinating a blog tour for  authors Siera London, Tonya Barbee, Donneil Jackson and Sierra Kay. This book blast tour will run April 20, 2018. Book your own tour here.

                                      Meet Donneil D. Jackson
Donneil D. Jackson is a writer by nature and a Jersey girl by heart. Growing up a sheltered child, she used writing as an escape from her everyday life. She discovered that with writing she could be someone else, do things Donneil would never do and entertain others. Donneil has been writing for as long as she can remember, ever since her mother placed a pencil in her hand. The girl has a niche for painting an elaborate scene while telling a descriptive tale. One day she began writing Chante’s Song marking the beginning of her professional writing career. Learn more at: http://www.donneildjackson.com
                                                    




About the Book
As one of the hottest radio personalities, Kayla, the Gossip Queen, has the fast-paced, glamorous life that many dream of. But one thing eludes her. Love. Growing up in a family where her father was nothing more than a ghost, Kayla sets her sights on finding true love and creating the perfect family of husband, wife, home, and children--even if she has to slip up and make a ton of mistakes along the way. When she meets Shawn Dewitt at a club, their attraction is immediate. Despite the less than perfect beginnings, such as dealing with Shawn’s deranged ex-girlfriend, Kayla finds herself falling hard and fast. All Kayla sees is Shawn's charm, great looks and mind-blowing sex. She braces herself for the highs of love and the lows of perpetual infidelity and lies. After being with a man who constantly makes her question her role in his life and her vision of the perfect family, Kayla has to ask herself, "Am I right to fight for this love, or am I being foolish?" Genre: Contemporary Women's Fiction Amazon
                                                                 


Meet Siera London
Siera London, a former naval officer, is a #1 Amazon Bestselling Author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. A native Floridian, her love of coastal towns and bustling cities shines through in her sassy and sexy storytelling. Currently, she resides in southern California with her husband and a color patch tabby named Frie. Learn more at: http://www.sieralondon.com
                                                 
                                       

About the Book
Recently divorced, Sarah Jones no longer looks forward to the cupid and candy holiday. With her shattered heart and designer swimsuit in tow, she plans a little vacation to Adventure Cove Resort and Spa. It’s just the respite she needs from inquiring minds. Quiet and brooding, Deputy Lance Stevens wants to be left alone with the pain of his past mistakes, but his family has other ideas. This contrived vacation is another family intervention he plans to squash, that is until Sarah zips into his life. What’s meant to be Sarah’s escape turns into a steamy attraction to a man who’s too young, and too determined to get what he wants-her. Lance is forbidden in more ways than one and Sarah is harboring a secret that could destroy more than their budding romance. What happens when Ms. Jones realizes there’s more than a Valentine’s Day fling going on? Genre: Contemporary Romance Amazon
                                                       
                             
Meet Sierra Kay
Sierra Kay has an M.A. in Writing from DePaul University, won a Nuyorican Poets Cafe Short Story Slam, participated in comedy fests as a member of the writing teams for Spankx and N20 Comedy. She also writes poetry and suspense novels. Obviously, she’ll try anything at least once. Her two novels are available online. Learn more at: sierrakay.com.
                                                           







About the Book
The Grim Reaper has visited Echo Charles so often he might as well have his mail forwarded to her address. Echo never quite recovered from the loss of her parents to a tragic accident on her twenty-first birthday. Now fourteen years later, she mourns their death of her career, her social life, and if the reaper has his way, the death of her best friend’s lover. The only ray of light in all this darkness is Dr. Brandon Hall, who has had run-ins with the reaper himself—especially when his ex-wife put a choke hold on his bank account along with his belief in love. Dr. Daniel Ellington’s touch provided the electricity that pumped Telia Arthur’s heart, and a life without his smile was unthinkable. However, an unfortunate accident spared the lives of their children and left his hanging in the balance. Now Telia must deal with a challenge only a few people know about, in addition to Dan’s mother who has descended on Telia intent on securing control of Daniel’s wealth as well as his heirs, all while her son is fighting for his life. Telia and Echo began a friendship in elementary school that has blossomed into sisterhood. But their emotions are being dragged over concrete. Will love conquer all or become another victim of the reaper? Genre: Suspense Amazon
                                                                 




Meet Tonya
Tonya Barbee, Founder of I am Still a Rose, LLC (IASAR), has a passion to help those who want to be helped. It took her awhile to realize that she had to make a change in her life in order to get the change she was looking for. After betrayal, emotional abuse, and other turmoil, she had to self-reflect, learn to forgive, and move beyond her pain. Her commitment is to help inspire and empower those that are ready to start a new chapter and to stop those vicious cycles. IASAR will offer events, conferences, plays, and inspirational products that empower women to get past their circumstances to get to their triumphs. Tonya is an inspirational speaker who uses her experiences to uplift women who have had similar circumstances and are ready for resolution. She’s spiritual, energized, funny, and eager to help encourage others to never, ever give up. Tonya never dreamed of writing books but she’s always enjoyed telling stories and sharing profound testimonies. Her listeners inspired her to write and the rest is history. The Little Girl Inside is her first project, followed by a short story, a collaborative project with ten amazing authors who bared their souls through heart wrenching testimonies. Tonya’s short story is titled, Prayer Works, in Sharing Our Prayers, which is followed by her latest (soon to be released), I Am Still A Rose, a sequel to the Little Girl Inside. She's working on several other exciting projects so stay tuned. Tonya resides in Maryland and enjoys spending time with her incredible four children and seven grandchildren that have stolen her heart. Learn more at: http://www.tonyabarbee.com
                                                     


About the Book
It's love (or the misconception of such). It's betrayal. It's triumph! It is all three wrapped into one self reflecting book written by an author whose relationship struggles helped shape and define her as the self sufficient woman she is today. If you have endured the difficult dynamics of a relationship and often wondered why the cycle kept repeating then this book is the perfect guide to help you evaluate yourself internally before giving your heart externally. You will find the much desired answers to your "who's," "what's," "when's" why's," and "how's" of your past relationship issues. Aren't you exhausted from the same ole same ole? It is time to STOP, reflect and make changes that will help you get it right! As you read this book, you will experience the author’s journey as she continuously seeks the fairy tale relationship only to discover the fairy tale relationship never comes. Her pain will become yours as you begin to relate with the various bad relationships documented. However, her victory will become yours as you will learn how to effectively build upon and maintain a healthy and fulfilling relationship. You will quickly become empowered and inspired to start afresh and live your life to the very fullest. Genre: Nonfiction, Inspirational Amazon


Monday, April 16, 2018

#MondayMotivation - #Quote

The words you use and choose not to use do not merely describe reality, they create it.
~~James Slezak