Rising to Rising

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A fantasy starts this week’s Free Book Friday, and this one’s full of mermaids. Who doesn’t like a mermaid? Well, anyone likely to be killed by one, I guess. Happy Free Book Friday.

Rising by Holly Kelly. Free from Smashwords.com
In a war between the humans and the inhabitants of the sea—humans will lose. Xanthus Dimitriou—the most lethal Dagonian to rise from the ocean—is on a mission to save mankind from annihilation. But first there’s one small thing he needs to do… kill a beautiful young woman in a wheelchair.

Watch for the Stone and Silt

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A young girl tries to solve a murder to save her father in this coming-of-age mystery. Maybe, if there’s a sequel in the works, she can solve the mystery of what happened to spring.


Stone and Silt by Harvey Chute. Amazon for $4.99. A ruthless murder and a stolen shipment of gold.

At school, sixteen-year-old Nikaia Wales endures the taunts of bullies who call her a “half-breed.” At home, she worries about how her family will react if she reveals her growing feelings for the quiet boy next door.

Those are soon the least of her troubles. Nikaia discovers a hidden cache of gold, and when police find a corpse nearby, her father becomes a suspect. Worse, Elias Doyle is circling, hungry to avenge his brother’s death.

Nikaia desperately searches for clues to save her father. In her quest to find the killer, she learns about the power of family, friendship, and young love.

Happy Spring in Theory

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Can someone please tell the weather that today is the first day of spring? My direct line to the elements seems to have been disconnected.

According to my phone, we are supposed to have flurries today. Flurries. Actually, it says it’s snowing right now, but my window and the bright blue sky beg to differ.

There was a thin, taunting layer of snow this morning when I got up, and it seems to have mostly disappeared, with white patches remaining to remind us who is boss.

It’s been a greedy, narcissistic winter, starting early and stepping on fall’s toes, hogging the spotlight and elbowing out spring. Watch out summer, it might be coming for you next.

And in case I think it’s all one elaborate joke, the extended forecast promises snow next week. Actual snow next week, when it’s very nearly April.

It’s enough already, winter. Take your bows and make a graceful exit while you still can. Now it’s just embarrassing.

Doing Your Taxes Can Get You Free Books

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I hate to remind you, but tax time is right around the corner for those of us here in the U.S., so this morning’s post isn’t about a book, per se. It’s about getting a bunch of books.

If you buy TurboTax from Amazon with their Shop Amazon – Refund Maximized – Get Up to 10% More on Your Federal Refund promotion, for every $100 of your refund you put on an Amazon gift card, you get $10 more from Amazon. If we’re talking Kindle, that’s a lot of books. It might make the thought of actually doing your taxes a little more bearable.

Prefer H&R Block? You can get that there, too, but there’s no bonus (personally I prefer TurboTax, I’ve used both in the past).

Happy refunds!

Meet the Wife of the Gods

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Speaking of travel, you don’t have to leave the space-time continuum to visit distant worlds, we’ve got plenty right here on our own planet. You can go to Ghana in the space of a download, and help solve a mystery with this first book in the . Book three of Kwei Quartey’s Soho Crime series,Murder at Cape Three Points, just came out, so if you enjoy it, there are more books ahead.


Wife of the Gods: A Novel by Kwei Quartey. Amazon for $9.99.Introducing Detective Inspector Darko Dawson: dedicated family man, rebel in the office, ace in the field—and one of the most appealing sleuths to come along in years. When we first meet Dawson, he’s been ordered by his cantankerous boss to leave behind his loving wife and young son in Ghana’s capital city to lead a murder investigation: In a shady grove outside the small town of Ketanu, a young woman—a promising medical student—has been found dead under suspicious circumstances. Dawson is fluent in Ketanu’s indigenous language, so he’s the right man for the job, but the local police are less than thrilled with an outsider’s interference. For Dawson, this sleepy corner of Ghana is rife with emotional land mines: an estranged relationship with the family he left behind twenty-five years earlier and the painful memory of his own mother’s inexplicable disappearance. Armed with remarkable insight and a healthy dose of skepticism, Dawson soon finds his cosmopolitan sensibilities clashing with age-old customs, including a disturbing practice in which teenage girls are offered to fetish priests as trokosi, or Wives of the Gods. Delving deeper into the student’s haunting death, Dawson will uncover long-buried secrets that, to his surprise, hit much too close to home.

My Coffee House Misadventure

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Yesterday, my internet went out, so I did what every internet-addicted human would do in a similar situation. I went to work at a local coffee chain, and realized I only had as long as my battery would hold.

Any table near an outlet was taken.

So I found myself wondering who all these people are, who fill the tables in the middle of the day, laptops open. Apparently it is not just work that gets done here, but surprise chatting, meetings, socializing. Huh. Socializing.

I don’t know if the woman who approached the guy at the next table over realizes odds are good that she’s not his type. Then again, in my neighborhood, those odds are always good. Maybe they know each other. Who knows.

But then a woman sat at a table just in front of me, talking on her cell phone as though in a private office. And the compulsive throat clearer behind me. And the music, the unending music.

How do people work in these places?

Eventually I couldn’t take it anymore. A woman swooped in to snag my table, and I trudged home, hoping that my own private internet was up and running again.

 

Book a Flight to Exile

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Call it the Arnold Palmer of books, a blend of sci-fi and fantasy (I mean the half-lemonade, half-iced tea drink, not the golfer. Who, I think invented the drink. Terribly confusing). You can take a distant-future adventure from your recliner. The beverage is optional.


Flight To Exile by Chris Reher. Amazon for $3.95. “A great combination of Sci-fi and Fantasy” by the author of the Targon Tales series.

It’s been a millennium since the migration from Earth. A powerful, puzzling substance found on a distant planet and its moons has given rise to a new breed of human.

Two Homeworld agents, brothers Galen and Chor, are sent to the moon to rescue a young woman who is being hunted as a renegade by a primitive society. But their simple assignment turns into a fight for survival when they oppose the will of their own ruthless leader. And soon not only the mysterious exiles living on the second moon but also their own people have taken up the chase.

Aletha is the key when the brothers must choose between the destruction of one civilization and the future of the Homeworld. What sacrifice are they willing to make to escape the violent passion that threatens to destroy all of them?

From the author: Please note that this book was originally released as “Gods of Chenoweth”. This title caused some confusion in regard to genre and so I changed it without changes to the story.

The Extraordinary Promise of a Pencil

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Time to spread a little kindness, and even do some good with the purchase of an ebook. Adam Braun shares his story of creating change with very little, and shares how you can do the same. The proceeds from this book go to Pencils of Promise, Braun’s nonprofit organization.

 

The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change by Adam Braun. Amazon for $11.04. The riveting story of how a young man turned $25 into more than 200 schools around the world and the guiding steps anyone can take to lead a successful and significant life.

Adam Braun began working summers at hedge funds when he was just sixteen years old, sprinting down the path to a successful Wall Street career. But while traveling he met a young boy begging on the streets of India, who after being asked what he wanted most in the world, simply answered, “A pencil.” This small request led to a staggering series of events that took Braun backpacking through dozens of countries before eventually leaving one of the world’s most prestigious jobs to found Pencils of Promise, the organization he started with just $25 that has since built more than 200 schools around the world.

The Promise of a Pencil chronicles Braun’s journey to find his calling, as each chapter explains one clear step that every person can take to turn your biggest ambitions into reality, even if you start with as little as $25. His story takes readers behind the scenes with business moguls and village chiefs, world-famous celebrities and hometown heroes. Driven by compelling stories and shareable insights, this is a vivid and inspiring book that will give you the tools to make your own life a story worth telling.

*All proceeds from this book will support Pencils of Promise.

You Can (Nearly) be the Judge

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I may have just elected a judge. We had primaries today, and my polling place was nearly deserted. There were two election judges, neither of whom could vote because they needed a third and no one else had shown up. And I was the 35th person to vote.

Thirty-fifth.

There were several referenda, a contested gubernatorial primary, and a slew of judges. Given that many people may not know who to vote for in the judicial races, and therefore, left them blank, given the low turnout, a few individuals may be choosing who hears cases. That includes vacancies on the state appellate court.

If you think your vote doesn’t matter, consider my vote, one out of 35 so far in my ward. Think of the contested judicial races, and the fact that my choice might be the choice. I maybe be well-informed and vaguely intelligent, but I don’t think the entire weight of a democracy belongs on my shoulders, or the those of the 34 others who’d made it so far.

And if you elect judges like we do here, your state, county and local bar associations conduct rigorous evaluations of the candidates, and offer you a list you can take with you when you vote.

We don’t have to fight for the right to vote. Others did that long ago, the revolutionaries, the people of color, the suffragettes. Go out and use that right already.

Hearing Echoes

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This is a bonus day, because in addition to Therin Knite’s book “Echoes,” you also get the Knight Writes Awesome Indie Roundup blog post. There you’ll find a a whole slew of great indie reads organized by genre. Check it out, and check out this sci-fi thriller while you’re at it.


Echoes by Therin Knite. Amazon for $3.99. Twenty-three-year-old Adem Adamend has it rough. His name is ludicrous. His friends are few. And the only thing his “kid genius” status has gotten him at the Interdistrict Bureau of Intelligence is a boatload of extra work with no credit in sight.

Then hotshot lawyer Victor Manson is burned to death in his own back yard, and Adem finds himself using his unique skills to piece together the strangest crime he’s ever seen. Strange because the only possible suspect Adem can pin the murder on…is a mythical beast. A dragon.

Before Adem can unravel the mystery of Manson’s death, the Bureau loses jurisdiction to the secretive EDPA, an organization that investigates weird and deadly events. But Adem isn’t one for giving up, so he takes it upon himself to delve deeper into EDPA’s machinations, into the series of unfortunate events that led to Manson’s demise.

And what he finds may change the way he views the world — and himself — forever.

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What do you do when a killer can hide behind his dreams?

What do you do when a murder weapon ceases to exist?

And how do you stop a villain who can conjure up nightmares and burn you from the Earth in the blink of an eye?

Adem Adamend is about to find out.