Friday, December 9, 2016

Book Spotlight: Journey To The Cross by Shane Cloonan



Inside the Book:



Title: Journey to the Cross
Author: Shane Cloonan
Publisher: State Street Publishing
Publication Date: September 11, 2015
Pages: 35
Genre: Children's Christian Fiction


This is the story of the Jesus donkey, a fictional tale that takes readers on a journey from our Lord's birth to his ultimate crucifixion. Though written and illustrated for young readers, this book is perfect for people of all ages who want a fresh, youthful perspective on the life of Jesus. The book's message is imbued in the strength and simplicity of hearts that are linked to other hearts by Jesus. Journey to the Cross follows the light of hope that first appeared on that special night in Bethlehem.

Journey to the Cross helps answer questions that young people ask about the life of Jesus.


For More Information:
Journey to the Cross is available at AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club on Goodreads




Meet the Author





Shane Cloonan began writing Journey to the Cross as a sixth-grader at a Chicago-area Catholic school.

While his own journey to the publication of this book took three years, it was a complete labor of love. Shane is an avid outdoorsman. He also is an accomplished woodcarver. Shane took third place in his age group and category two years ago at the Ward World Championships Wildfowl Carving Competition in Maryland, then followed that up with a first-place finish in the International Woodcarvers Congress competition in Iowa.

Animals and pets of almost every shape and size have always been a big part of his life. It’s one of the reasons why he used a donkey as his lead character—a donkey that tells the most profound story in human history.

You can visit Shane’s website at www.shanecloonan.com

For More Information:
Author Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads





Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Colorado Dream Book Blast



We're happy to host Charlene Whitman's COLORADO DREAM book blast today!  Please leave a comment to let her know you stopped by!


Title: COLORADO DREAM
Author: Charlene Whitman
Publisher: Ubiquitous Press
Pages: 450
Genre: Sweet Historical Western Romance

Yearning to become a concert musician, a young woman from New York travels to Colorado to purchase a violin, but when she meets a wild, untamable cowboy, her dream is threatened and her heart torn ...
In New York in 1877, Angela Bellini longs to become a concert violinist and get away from her abusive father. When her dream takes her to Greeley, Colorado, to purchase a violin from a master instrument maker, she learns she must wait three weeks until her violin is ready before she can head home.
Angela is determined not to let anything or anyone waylay her dream, but when she meets rough-and-tumble cowboy Brett Hendricks, her heart is torn. He is her opposite in every way—uncouth, cocky, and reckless. But she is hopelessly drawn to him, like a moth to flame.
Brett Hendricks is on the run—not just from an angry rancher who is tracking him down for shooting his son but from a dark and troubled past plaguing him with guilt and shame. A wild, untamable cowboy, Brett can break any horse with a soft touch and soothing word, but nothing in the world can bring him peace. He fears he will never stop running, never see his dreams of ranching realized.
But then, one evening, he hears sweet violin music that seeps deep into his soul--music that floods him with peace. He falls hard for Angela but knows she plans to leave Colorado. All his attempts to win her heart fail disastrously, and though he buries himself in the cattle roundup, when he helps thwart a rustling outfit, his enemies multiply.
Somehow he must find a way to gain Angela's heart and trust. And somehow Angela must break past her distrust of men to discover the love awaiting her with open arms.
Pick up your copy at:

Amazon



Book Excerpt:
Chapter 1

September 9, 1877
New York City, New York

The slap on Angela Bellini’s cheek burned, but not as fiercely as the hurt in her heart. The pain and disappointment smoldering there sizzled like hot embers, threatening to reduce her to a pile of ash. She glared at her father’s back as he stomped out of the room.
Why couldn’t her papá understand? She would not marry Pietro, no matter how wealthy his family was, no matter how many years her papá and his had planned such an arrangement. “It is our way, Angela,” he had told her again, his face hard and eyes dark and menacing, leaving no room for debate. “And you will marry him. You are twenty years of age—you are lucky he is still willing. You’ve made him wait long enough.”
When she forced her objections past the rock lodged in her aching throat, she knew what would follow. What always followed. Her papá’s rage erupted in a torrent of Italian curses that ended with a slap that knocked her nearly senseless against the foyer wall before he stormed out the apartment.
As she slid down in a heap by the front door, she had caught a glimpse of her mamá in the kitchen, her back turned to her in unspoken submission. Angela huffed. I will never marry and become like you, Mamá—squashed under the thumb of some man who wants only subservience and a crowded apartment full of squalling babies.
 She swallowed back tears. She would not cry—not today. Today she would take the first steps—real steps—toward her dream. And no one, not even the powerful and prominent Giusepe Bellini could stop her.
Their tiny stuffy apartment rumbled—as it always did six times a day and twice each night—from the Third Avenue El Train fifty feet away. The noise of the wheels clacking and the platform rattling mingled with the loud voices of her downstairs neighbors arguing—Mr. Paolino’s tenor to his wife’s shrill soprano. Outside her window, carriages clattered on cobblestones in sharp staccato, and shoppers and merchants carried on in boisterous conversation, sounding no more pacifying than an orchestra tuning their instruments.
On most days Angela could drown out the suffocating symphony of Mulberry Bend by rehearsing violin caprices in her head, imagining her fingers flying over the fingerboard, her right hand bowing the strings, eliciting the sweet and sonorous timbre of her instrument.
But on this stifling, humid September afternoon, the many pieces she’d memorized—no, absorbed into her very soul, as if food that nourished her—flitted away, out of reach, as she pulled down the heavy carpetbag from the hall closet—a bag that she’d found months ago stuffed behind a stack of wool blankets.
She stopped and listened. Her mama was humming in the back room as she folded laundry. Her two younger siblings were off playing with neighborhood children—in the street, no doubt, as the sweltering heat was worse indoors.
Angela’s hands shook as she dabbed her perspiring forehead and neck with a handkerchief and went through her mental list of all she would need on her trip. Not much—she’d only be gone ten, perhaps, twelve days, if all went as planned. She pushed from her thoughts her papá’s impending fury at her insolence and the resulting punishments that would await her upon her return. But she had made her decision, and there was no turning back.
Hurry, she told herself. Her papá had gone downstairs to the corner market, and while he often spent an hour or more on Sunday afternoons smoking cigars with the men of the neighborhood, discussing the politics of her close-knit Italian community and their various business ventures—and arranging their daughters’ marriages, she thought bitterly—he could return at any time.
In her bedroom, she gathered the neat stack of clothes she had put in her bottom dresser drawer, then stuffed them into the traveling bag along with her few womanly items, her prayer book, some sheets of music, and a spare pair of shoes. She checked her reticule and found the roll of bills—the money she’d earned over the last two years from babysitting and teaching music lessons through Signore Bianchi’s instrument shop on Second Avenue. She hoped it would be enough for the quality of violin she planned to buy.
Mr. Fisk hadn’t answered her inquiry regarding pricing in his letter. He merely assured her he would provide her with an exceptional instrument and that they would work out the financial details once she arrived in Greeley, Colorado.
Would her meager savings be enough? It had to be, for she couldn’t return to New York and face the audition committee without a proper instrument.
The director’s words still stung. “You’re a talented musician, Miss Bellini. But you bring shame to your craft by playing on such an inferior violin. Come back when you have an appropriate instrument.” The three committee members had politely frowned when she flustered an apology and hurried to the exit of the symphony hall, pressing down her humiliation and frustration as tears welled in her eyes.
Her papá could well afford to buy her a violin of exceptional quality, and every year at Christmas she begged him to indulge her love of playing with the purchase of a new one, but he only laughed in cool disdain and waved her away. “Give up your foolish dreams, Angela. Your place is in the home, with a husband and children. Not on the stage.” Her papá regarded music appropriate only at holidays and festivals and family gatherings, and only traditional song and instrumentation. He didn’t—couldn’t—understand this dream she nursed. The dream to play in the New York Philharmonic, to play on stage before an audience, to be a part of the creation of ethereal music that filled a great performance hall and moved listeners to tears.
To make matters worse, her older brother, Bartolomeo, sided with their papá, constantly nagging her to “get married already and stop being a burden on the family.” Although he was but two years older, he and Dora had three children. And Dora—and most of Angela’s other girlfriends from her school days, who were also married—gave her constant looks of pity, as if Angela was missing out on life’s greatest joy. But they just didn’t understand.
She had to fan the tiny spark of her dream to keep it alive, to prevent it from being snuffed out by her papá’s stern expectations and society’s demands. And it had nearly been extinguished a month ago, upon her papá’s brash public announcement of her engagement to Pietro—an arrogant youngest son of a successful wine merchant who had no love for music—none whatsoever. She harbored no hope that he would ever understand her passionate need to play the violin, and no doubt he’d forbid her pursuit of her dream.
And then she’d read an article in the Times about one George Fisk, a master violin maker in a newly founded town in the West—a place called Greeley. On a whim she’d written him. Why? She didn’t know. She could purchase a violin in Manhattan—one of sufficient quality. But there was something about the description of this man, Fisk. The way he spoke about the instruments he made. The care and time and love he put into each one. He built his instruments with a passion and love for beauty and music that resonated with her. For, she wanted more than a good violin. She wanted one that spoke to her soul, one made just for her. George Fisk promised he could provide just that. But she had to travel halfway across the continent. Was she willing? he’d asked her.
Yes, she wrote him. Yes, more than willing. Although, she’d never traveled outside of the city, and the thought of venturing into wild country, alone, made her stomach twist. But Fisk had told her not to worry. He would see to her accommodations and show her around his “wonderful little Western town.” And she had to admit—she was ready for an adventure.
She looked around her cramped tiny bedroom situated in a crowded apartment in a busy, noisy city. I’m more than ready for peace and quiet, and to get away from Papá’s mean spirit and violent temper.
What must it be like to stand under a wide-open sky spattered with stars, with no neighbors quarreling or trains rattling or horses’ hooves clacking on stones? Her heart yearned for such open space, for such silence. Silence that longed to be filled with beautiful music. She imagined nature itself performing a symphony of birdsong and coyote howls and water cascading over rocks. Those were some of the images her mind drifted to as she played, and she longed to merge her own musical voice to that of creation, if even just for a day or two.




About the Author


The author of "heart-thumping" Western romance, Charlene Whitman spent many years living on Colorado's Front Range. She grew up riding and raising horses, and loves to read, write, and hike the mountains. She attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins as an English major. She has two daughters and is married to George "Dix" Whitman, her love of thirty years. 

The Front Range series of sweet historical Western romance novels (set in 1876) includes Colorado Promise, set in Greeley, Colorado; Colorado Hope, set in Fort Collins; Wild Secret, Wild Longing, which takes readers up into the Rockies, and Colorado Dream (release date 11/15/16) and Wild Horses, Wild Hearts (release date 1/1/17).

Join Charlene's mailing list to get free books, news, and sneak previews of upcoming books and covers:
https://cslakin.leadpages.co/charlene-whitman-list-opt-in/.

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Monday, December 5, 2016

Book Feature: Dowsing and Ley LInes by Gerald Chatfield



 

Inside the Book:


Title: Dowing and Ley Lines 
Author: Gerald Chatfield 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Reference
  Format: Ebook

This book contains information on dowsing for beginners and advanced alike. It provides information on how to find and follow more than five hundred ley marks across the south of the British Isles. It also contains unique insight on how shadow ley lines are connected to time as we measure it in minutes and hours. Also answers as to why the legendary figure of the Long Man of Wilmington is positioned where he is on the South Downs. There is also information on both Woodhenge and Stonehenge.


Book Spotlight: Human Origins And The Bible by Myron Heavin




About The Book

Title: Human Origins And The Bible
Author: Myron Heavin
Publisher: Redemption Press
Publication Date: July 20, 2016
Pages: 194
Genre: Christian Apologetics / Theology


An engineer takes a scientific approach to the study of human origins, and compares Scripture with the findings of current scientific discoveries and DNA research. Myron Heavin examines differing views on creation and human origins, and what the Bible has to say in Genesis 2-5. From how to read and interpret the Bible, to when Adam and Eve lived, to hominids and Neantherthals, Heavin examines the validity of various creationist viewpoints, always with the supremacy of Scripture in mind. An individual or group Bible study that uses nature and Scripture to answer questions on our origins.


Book Excerpt:

Introduction (pages IX – XI)
There is a need for a sensible discussion of how humans came to be, what recent fossil records reveal, what DNA reveals, what science has learned, and what we can learn from a careful and reasoned study of Scripture. We wish to interpret Scripture as literally as possible, since God was the real author of Scripture. God also created the heavens and the earth, and left clear footprints everywhere in nature clearly revealing to all humans that He did this. There is much passionate discussion among friends, between believers in the high schools, in the media, from the pulpit, from our politicians, etc. about both nature and religion. Most teach us today that science is king; the scientist is the wise one; advances in science and technology will lead to a better life for all; and careers in science and technology often pay well. Other people tell us religion is all-important; if the nation becomes more Christian it will succeed; and a nation that turns its back on God will surely sink into total failure. The result is a kind of polarization where religion and science are mutually contradictory, and one is the enemy of the other. Rejection of God leads to divisiveness.

It is suggested that God wrote both books, nature and Scripture, and they do not conflict with each other, but rather they help each other to a better understanding of both. It is observed that most people reject  both Scripture and science somewhat equally. They say they believe in science, but reject global warming, they reject immunizations, they are not supportive of exploration of space (NASA), they are against new developments in agriculture such as genetically-modified food, are against chlorination of drinking water, and are against even most economic theories. Likewise, most people believe in the Bible and the Ten Commandments, and literally believe the world was created in six twenty-four-hour days as they Bible says, but many say evolutionists like Darwin are from the devil. Our youth read the creation story in Genesis and the literal six days of creation and this turns them off religion entirely. 

This book takes both Scripture and nature seriously, because God wrote both books. The heart of the problem is people reject God, and this leads to rejecting equally both science and Scripture. We believers see only through a foggy mirror. It is important to be humble about what we do and what we do not know. We read and think we understand Scripture, but scripture is “living”—it speaks to us anew each time we read it. Our understandings today are often different from our understandings when we were young. Likewise, nature is “living” and our understandings are different from when we were younger. As we age, our opinions tend to harden, and we tend to become more conservative. We are always changing, always seeking, always hungry for new dialogue, but it always becomes more difficult to change. Our society, likewise, is becoming more polarized. We tend to read and see things that we already believed. When we hear something different, we somehow process it to reinforce what we believed before we heard it. Some of the greatest theologians and preachers did not do well in science and mathematics. Likewise some of the greatest scientists and engineers lack “people skills.” Perhaps this is because each believer is unique with his or her spiritual gifts and natural abilities. The scientist has trouble communicating with the theologian, and the theologian has trouble communicating with the scientist. This is further compounded by congregations that “hang” on every word their beloved preacher says; likewise, classroom students that “hang” on every word the science or engineering professor says. This tends to build up egos. Suddenly, the preacher knows more about science than the scientist; suddenly the scientist knows more about religion than the pastor. This tends to polarize society as people have trouble listening to each other. 

This book will avoid the creation issues (wars) in Genesis 1, but instead concentrate on understanding human origins in Genesis 2-5. Let’s tackle only one issue at a time, and try to understand it well. The main subject of all of Scripture is God. The main subject of Genesis 1 is God—see how God created the world! The main subject matter of Genesis 1 is not the creation, and how God created the fantastic creation. See how God is the intelligent creator; not “see how creation was intelligently created by God.” This temporary cosmos will someday be destroyed by fire, but God and those reborn will live in eternity with new bodies. Lastly, it is difficult to write anything about science and religion without later developments proving us wrong. We observe that bipedalism seemed to suddenly and miraculously appear as hominids seemed to evolve from chimpanzees, and we used this as somewhat of a proof God intervened to suddenly create a new species. When a later development finds an intermediate form, we are embarrassed. This has happened over and over each time a theologian gets too carried away by scientific specifics.



For More Information:

Human Origins And The Bible is available at AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreadsRedemption Press

Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club on Goodreads


About the Author




Myron G. Heavin graduated from Purdue University with a BS in aeronautical engineering, and has a BA in biblical and theological studies from Talbot Theological Seminary, and is currently enrolled in Christian Apologetics MA studies at Biola University. After fifty years as an engineer for the Boeing Company, Heavin retired and continues teaching and leading seven different Bible studies. Heavin and his wife Sharyl, who have been married over fifty years, have three grown children, and make their home in Lompoc, CA.


For More Information:





Virtual Book Tour







Erin Leigh Crisp's Sight Unseen Book Blast Today!


We're happy to host Erin Leigh Crisp's SIGHT UNSEEN Book Blast today! Please leave a comment to let her know you stopped by!


Title: Sight Unseen
Author: Erin Leigh Crisp
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 198
Genre: Christian Romance

Emilia Phillips is looking for a career and a way out of her day job. She is not looking for a man to rescue her heart.

Asher Mason wants his life back. He lost his sight and the hero-life he loved in a millisecond. He no longer trusts his instincts, especially about women. But the sweet-smelling waitress in his favorite café tempts him to trust. As Emilia helps Asher relearn everyday activities, the two find themselves falling faster than either expected.

Can a woman love a blind soldier? Will she want a man who doesn’t recognize himself anymore? As Asher’s shortcomings become more apparent to him, the wedge forced between he and Emilia widens. Can Asher trust the same God that took his sight to direct his future?

Purchase:

Amazon


Book Excerpt:
“How long has it been?” Emilia could have bitten off her own tongue. 
His eyes glanced over again, but they didn’t see her. He gave one huge breath and shrugged, like it wasn’t important. “Three months.”
Only three months? And he was walking around town and ordering coffee? No seeing-eye dog, no dark glasses? She wanted to compliment him, but she figured he wasn’t the type of man to take it for what it was. Instead, she eased her hand onto his shoulder for a split second and went for humor instead.
“I should have noticed when you didn’t wink back at me earlier.”
His head shot up, and his cheeks tinged the darkest pink.
Emilia covered her giggle and shook her head. “I swear I’m kidding. I wasn’t flirting with you, but I really should have noticed earlier. My brother was born blind. He’s seventeen.”
The man looked curious, but he was still blushing and she decided not to press him. “Anyway, if you need anything, my name is Emilia. I’ll be here all week.”
His lips turned up in the smallest smile. She reminded herself that she wasn’t looking for a man. She took three steps away before he called her name.
Her feet stopped. “Yeah?”
He swallowed hard, his fingers linking on the tabletop. His eyes searched for her face. “I’m Asher Mason. Thank you, again.”
“It was my pleasure.” She turned and walked away, but the damage was already done. Her heart thumped crazily. Her cheeks heated. Her teeth bit down to stop the smile that threatened. And I’m in a load of trouble, she thought.




About the Author

Erin was born and raised on the Florida/Alabama state line in a small farming community which has served as inspiration for her novels. She believes the heart of a happy ending is God and His plan for the lives of His people.

In 2014, Erin published her first novels for sale.  She currently has eight full-length novels and one novella for sale on Amazon. Erin makes her home in Northeast Georgia with her husband, four children and two fish. Erin has a bachelor degree in Christian Counseling and enjoys photography in her spare time.
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Captain Hawkins Book Blast



Join us for H. Peter Alesso's CAPTAIN HAWKINS Book Blast today! Please leave a comment to let him know you stopped by!


Title: Captain Hawkins
Author: H. Peter Alesso
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 207
Genre: Science Fiction

Jamie Hawkins was living on an obscure planet in the twenty third-century when on one fateful night—his life changed forever. His heroic effort to save the lives of innocent women and children, caught in the cross-fire of war, placed him squarely in the crosshairs of avenging soldiers.

A former marine, Hawkins was stunned when his rescue effort was seen as treachery. Unfairly convicted of treason by a corrupt judge, he was sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor on an infamous penal colony.
 
Once in prison, his courage and perseverance won him the admiration and trust of his fellow convicts. While he was plotting his escape, an enemy attacked the planet--giving this daring warrior his chance. Together with his fellow prisoners, he launched a bold assault and high-jacked an enemy warship.

From then on, the rebel ship Indefatigable, engaged in multiple ship-to-ship and fleet actions until the exploits of Captain Jamie Hawkins became legendary.

PURCHASE:

Amazon


Book Excerpt:

The black of night had fallen, but Jamie Hawkins couldn’t sleep. Though the surgeons had patched up his many wounds, the remorseless pain persisted, even now, months after his medical discharge from the Marines.

BAM! BAM! BAM!

Despite his desire to ignore the unwelcomed thundering blows, he answered the door to his country home and found his neighbor, tall scrawny seventeen year old Joshua Morgan, gasping for breath.

“Captain Hawkins, come quick! Come quick, or they’ll all be killed!”

“Who? What are you talking about, Joshua?”

“I’ve just come from the city—it’s a war zone. People are dying,” Joshua’s voice broke. “The hospital is taking care of the wounded and sheltering women and children, but its force shield is buckling.” He finished in a breathless rush, “It’s only a matter of minutes before it fails.”

A troubled frown creased Hawkins’s face. Their mothers had been friends and he had known Joshua since he was born.

Has the boy been drawn into the turmoil? He wondered.

Hawkins had listened to the broadcasts throughout the day, absurd in every detail; demonstrators declared that they were only protesting injustice, while the government insisted the violence was a last resort against rebels.

Which is the greater lie?

I told one of the doctors, I knew someone who could help. My flyer’s right outside, sir. You must come,” begged Joshua, his expressive eyes pleading.

A more kindhearted man, who possessed his insight, might have agonized over what was happening in the capital city, but though Hawkins was not unsympathetic, past adversity had left him more hardboiled and cynical than most.

“That’s not my concern anymore,” he said.

Joshua’s desperate voice squealed, “You’re a veteran. You could make a difference, sir.”

Hawkins put his hand on his hips, threw his head back, and barked, “Ha!”

Then, giving vent to a deep inner passion, he demanded, “What difference can one man make?”

As a Marine, Hawkins had been a hot-blooded warrior, always quick to action, so at this moment of great upheaval, while frenzied violence was playing out in the capital, he surprised himself with his reluctance to act. As he ran his hand over the long jagged scar that marred his chest, one thing was certain, the foolish mutinous passions of the people could only lead to ruin.

But the look that spread across the boy’s face was indescribable—it was as if he had just lost his hero.

“Alright, if you won’t come, at least tell me how to maintain the shield,” said Joshua, showing a daring and persistence beyond his years. “I’ll go back alone, but you must tell me what to do.”

“You have no idea what you’d be getting yourself into. All hell has broken loose. Can’t you see, you can’t contribute anything worthwhile, and most likely something terrible will happen?

“I must go back, my mother is a volunteer at the hospital,” said Joshua. Throwing back his shoulders with a determined jerk of his chin, he challenged Hawkins’s jaded gaze, pleading, “Please. Tell me how to fix the shield.”

Hawkins opened his mouth, but the words froze on his lips. The boy’s courage was a splash of cold water in his face, stinging his sense of honor. It wasn’t in his nature to send this boy to certain deathfor Joshua could never accomplish what had to be donenor it was in his makeup to let innocents be condemned to death with the hospital’s destruction.

A gritty resolve washed over Hawkins. He said, “Let’s go.”

***

Wearing a brown pilot jacket, tanned rawhide trousers with knee-high leather boots, calfskin gloves, and goggles, Hawkins skillfully maneuvered the single seat flyer at breakneck speed. Joshua desperately clung to him to stay on the back of the motorcycle-like vehicle--his arms wrapped tightly around Hawkins's waist.

What they saw was a madhouse--Newport was ablaze with savage fires that lit up the horizon--scores of them. Just hours before it had been a vibrant city, the capital of Jaxon, renowned for its culture and history, thriving with business and commerce, home to over a million inhabitants going about their ordinary daily lives, now it was a battlefield.

Though his home was a mere two dozen kilometers outside the city, it was impossible for him to fly directly there. There were several sharp mountain peaks in their way, one tremendous one, flanked by two smaller ones, causing Hawkins to race the engine of single-seat turbojet to gain altitude. The noise and vibration of the straining sputtering engine roared into the dark rainy night until they were able to ascend to three thousand meters.

When they reached the outskirts of the city, they descended to a hundred meters, but skyscrapers rose in their path causing them to fly directly over a paved highway that connected the planet's capital to the suburbs. It was swollen with traffic--pedestrians, motorcycles, trucks and cars--choking the road. There were people of every description; disheveled housewives and construction workers, unskilled laborers and local tradesmen, reeking hobos and sharply dressed businessmen, young and old, men and women alike, all seeking safety. Some carried cherished possessions while others brandished antiquated bullet guns, since the government had already confiscated most laser and plasma weapons. This crowded mass of human unhappiness snaked its way along its ill-chosen path intent on escaping the terrifying violence.

Is Joshua's mom in that mob? Hawkins wondered.

Those remaining in the city suffered under a shower of high explosive aerial bombs intermixed with artillery shells. With sirens wailing, Hawkins saw bombers overhead dropping death from the skies and heard the repeated firing of artillery in the distance. He couldn't tell who was doing the shooting.

After his initial reluctance to come, he agonized over whether he would arrive in time. A nearly impenetrable wall of smoke, flame, debris, and explosions added extra heart wrenching minutes to the journey.

Every two minutes a new wave of jets would be overhead and a new barrage of artillery shells would join in. The roaring fires pulsed, like the blind fury of an agitated buzzing beehive. Little fires grew into big ones, right before his eyes. Big ones died down under the valor of firemen, only to break out again a few moments later.

Hawkins saw the panic in the street. The city's civil-defense included shelters that were now overflowing with refugees. Many had left their homes and defied the flames to run to the bomb shelters distributed throughout the city, only to find there was no room for them. In addition to the death and injury, everywhere there was evidence of psychological trauma--children sat in rubble--their dead parent's bodies nearby. It was impossible to gauge how much more the citizens could take. Panic and raw nerves grew tighter with each passing minute. The people prayed for a respite--but there was little hope for mercy on this night.

Hawkins heard the crackling of the closest flames and the screams of victims and firemen, alike. Smoke blurred his vision and seared his lungs. Nevertheless, he kept going with Joshua clinging to his waist.

"Arf! Arf!" choked Joshua.

"Here cover your mouth with this handkerchief," yelled Hawkins over the uproar around them.

EEEEEEERRRR!!!

The sirens wailed.

Hawkins cursed.

"Oh, no," said Joshua. "Are we too late?"

"We're almost there," said Hawkins.

They heard detonations high in the air. The sky was alive with a deadly dance of destruction.

BOOM!

Then another--

BOOM!

Farther down the street, Hawkins could see soldiers breaking through the defensive ring of some diehard demonstrators, sending them fleeing in every direction. He couldn't quite make out what the people were yelling, but he could see one oversized banner fall to the ground.

It read, "Beware the Wrath to Come!"





About the Author


As a scientist and author specializing in technology innovation, H. Peter Alesso has over twenty years research experience at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). As Engineering Group Leader at LLNL he led a team of scientists and engineers in innovative applications across a wide range of supercomputers, workstations, and networks. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. and served in the U.S. Navy on nuclear submarines before completing an M.S. and an advanced Engineering Degree at M.I.T. He has published several software titles and numerous scientific journal and conference articles, and he is the author/co-author of ten books.

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Author Interview: Rani St. Pucchi, author of YOUR BODY, YOUR STYLE



Thirty years ago, Rani St. Pucchi took the bridal world by storm, despite having no formal training in fashion. She is an award winning couture fashion designer and founder of the world-renowned bridal house St. Pucchi. A passionate and dynamic entrepreneur who launched her global empire in the United States in 1985, Rani’s vision was to create an avant-garde bridal and evening couture line with modern styling and classic details. That vision has been realized today.

Renowned for infusing her creations with touches of magnificently colored jewels, exquisite hand embroidery, delicate beading and sparkling crystals on the finest silks and laces, these inspired designs with innovative draping evoke the timeless elegance every woman desires. As one of the foremost designers to introduce exotic silk fabrics and hand embroidery, Rani is applauded for being a pioneer in bringing color to the United States bridal scene, having learned that white does not flatter everyone.

Rani has been recognized and nominated on multiple occasions for her design talent and won numerous awards as a Style Innovator. In addition, she has been honored with the Best Bridal Designer Award at the prestigious Chicago Apparel Center’s DEBI Awards (Distinctive Excellence in Bridal Industry).

Rani is famous for designing the wedding dress worn by “Phoebe” as she captured the hearts of millions when she said “I Do” in a unique St. Pucchi Lilac corset bodice A-line gown on the finale of the hit television show Friends. 

Her range of avant-garde designs are worn by the world’s most discerning brides, including celebrities and style icons such as New York Giants’ player Aaron Ross’ wife, Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards; Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo’s wife Candice Crawford; Actress Tara Reid; Jason Priestley’s wife Naomi Lowde; actress Candice Cameron and Grammy Award winning country music singer Alison Krauss, who donned a specially designed Chantilly lace and silk gown at the Country Music Awards.

Rani has enjoyed much media attention. Her signature designs have been recognized in high profile media such as Entertainment Tonight, Harper’s Bazaar, WWD, Town and Country, Bride’s, Cosmopolitan Brides, Inside Weddings, Martha Stewart Weddings and The Knot.

Rani’s real passion other than the world of design is to help women who have suffered abuse and those who are struggling to find themselves. On her quest to empower women to be their best selves, she is passionate about helping them find their voice through building their self-confidence. She believes that confidence must start with a woman’s love and acceptance of her body.

Renowned for her savvy knowledge of a woman’s form and fit, Rani is eager to share her knowledge of more than three decades with all women so they can make better styling choices. In addition to the book you are reading now, Rani is the author of four upcoming books: The SoulMate Checklist: Key Questions To help You Choose Your Perfect Partner; Seven Types of Men To Avoid: Recognizing Relationship Red Flags; Designing with Heart: A to Z Guide to Bridal Designing; and Unveiling: A Celebrity Fashion Designer’s Story, a Memoir of her Life Journey.

Born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, Rani now happily lives in Los Angeles, California.


WEB & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | YOUTUBE


About the Book:

Rani St. Pucchi, a trend-setting designer whose designs have been recognized in Entertainment Tonight, Harper’s Bazaar, WWD, Town and Country, Bride’s, Cosmopolitan Bride, Martha Stewart Weddings and The Knot, can help define the style that flatters you most no matter what age or stage of life you are in or what your body type is.

Women from all over the world have clamored to have a private consultation with Rani so they may benefit from her expertise and regain their self-confidence and shine.

In Your Body, Your Style, Rani shares with you her knowledge of the female form and guides you to find simple solutions to your most pressing body concerns. The focus is on you — and how you can make yourself more confident and appealing in almost every situation — simply by making a few changes and different choices in planning your wardrobe.  

Once you embrace your unique attributes and dissolve your bad relationship with your body, you’ll be amazed to find how irresistible you are to others!

This simple and friendly guide reveals:

* What clothes and silhouettes are best for your specific body type
* Simple techniques to determine which colors flatter you most
* Solutions to common lingerie issues and the importance of fit
* The one dress that is a chameleon, and how to transform it into different looks
* How to travel stress free by planning your wardrobe well
* 101 styling secrets, professional tricks and fashion tips

RANI ST. PUCCHI  is an award-winning fashion designer, an author and relationship expert. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.

PURCHASING LINKS:

AMAZON   *   B&N

Thanks for this interview, Rani St. Pucchi.  Can we begin by having you tell us about yourself from a writer’s standpoint?

Writing this book came as second nature to me. As an award-winning fashion designer and founder of the world-renowned Bridal House, St. Pucchi, established since 1985, and having personally worked with more than 15,000 brides, I have learnt much about women and the challenges they constantly face in accepting their body. The research is from my own experience as well as from having participated in hundreds of runway shows and styling models in so many photo-shoot campaigns.

When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation and/or fun?

I am an avid reader. I love nature and the ocean. I enjoy music, especially new age, and the theatre.

Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regards to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing?  Can you tell us about your journey?

It’s been such a learning curve, especially this being my first published book. I did a lot of research about the benefits if self-publishing and traditional publishing, steps I had to take in marketing and how time consuming that could be, and how my personal involvement was key to making sure that the message got out there in the way I had envisioned.

If you had to summarize your book in one sentence, what would that be?

Your Body, Your Style teaches you simple tricks on how to dress your body in a way that will enhance your best assets and camouflage areas you feel uncomfortable about or find lacking in any way, so that you may elevate your self-confidence and become clear on how you wish to be seen in the world.

 What makes your book stand out from the rest?

This is not just another book about styling your wardrobe. There is a message I would like to get across: that every relationship starts with an individual’s relationship to self. That loving your body is the first step and the key to having an amazing life with your partner, as well as how you show up in the world.

If your book was put in the holiday section of the store, what holiday would that be and why?

This is a non-seasonal book. It is a subject very close to all girls’ and all women’s hearts. Self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence are traits we all seek to embody, and as such this book is relevant all year round.

Would you consider turning your book into a series or has that already been done?

Yes indeed. This is the first book of this series. The second book in this sequel is called Your Body, Your Bridal Style, scheduled for release on February 15th of 2017.

What’s next for you?

I have three more books that I am writing which will all be published next year. I am also an Inspirational Speaker, a Coach and a Jack Canfield Certified Trainer. And of course, I continue to design my St. Pucchi collections, and in the process, I have the privilege to dress amazing women!