Saturday, July 22, 2017

Surviving the Fatherland by Annette Oppenlander Virtual Book Tour

Historical Fiction
Date Published: March 15, 2017

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***An IWIC Hall of Fame Novel*** 

***Winner 2017 National Indie Excellence Award***

"This book needs to join the ranks of the classic survivor stories of WWII such as "Diary of Anne Frank" and "Man's Search for Meaning". It is truly that amazing!" InD'taleMagazine

"This family saga is wonderfully written and, aside from the emotional ramifications, very easy to read. I stayed up too late a couple of nights reading it...I highly recommend this book!" Long and Short Reviews

Spanning thirteen years from 1940 to 1953 and set against the epic panorama of WWII, author Annette Oppenlander's SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND is a sweeping saga of family, love, and betrayal that illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the children's war.

SURVIVING THE FATHERLAND tells the true and heart-wrenching stories of Lilly and Günter struggling with the terror-filled reality of life in the Third Reich, each embarking on their own dangerous path toward survival, freedom, and ultimately each other. Based on the author's own family and anchored in historical facts, this story celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the strength of war children. 

When her father goes off to war, seven-year-old Lilly is left with an unkind mother who favors her brother and chooses to ignore the lecherous pedophile next door. A few blocks away, twelve-year-old Günter also looses his father to the draft and quickly takes charge of supplementing his family's ever-dwindling rations by any means necessary.

As the war escalates and bombs begin to rain, Lilly and Günter's lives spiral out of control. Every day is a fight for survival. On a quest for firewood, Lilly encounters a dying soldier and steals her father's last suit to help the man escape. Barely sixteen, Günter ignores his draft call and embarks as a fugitive on a harrowing 47-day ordeal--always just one step away from execution.

When at last the war ends, Günter grapples with his brother's severe PTSD and the fact that none of his classmates survived. Welcoming denazification, Lilly takes a desperate step to rid herself once and for all of her disgusting neighbor's grip. When Lilly and Günter meet in 1949, their love affair is like any other. Or so it seems. But old wounds and secrets have a way of rising to the surface once more.

Surviving the Fatherland/Annette Oppenlander
Excerpt 1
Chapter One

Lilly: May 1940
For me the war began, not with Hitler’s invasion of Poland, but with my father’s lie. I was seven at the time, a skinny thing with pigtails and bony knees, dressed in my mother’s lumpy hand-knitted sweaters, a girl who loved her father more than anything.
It was May of 1940, my favorite time of year when the air is filled with the smell of cut grass and lilacs, promising excursions to town and the cafes in the hilly land I called home.
Like any other weekend, my father came home that Friday carrying a heavy briefcase of folders. Only this time, he flung his case in the corner of the hallway like it was a bag of garbage. You have to understand. My father is a neat freak, a man who keeps himself and everything he touches in absolute order. And so even at seven—even before he said those fateful words—I knew something was different.
My father had been named after the German emperor, Wilhelm, and Mutti called him Willi, but to me he was always Vati.
Ignoring me, he hurried into the kitchen, his eyes bright with excitement. “I’ve been drafted.”
At the sink, Mutti abruptly dropped her sponge and stared at him. Her mouth opened, then closed without a sound.
I didn’t understand what he was talking about. I didn’t understand the meaning of a lie, yet I felt it even then. Like others detect an oncoming thunderstorm, pressure builds behind my forehead, a heaviness in my bones. There is something in the way the liar moves, his limbs hang stiffly on the body as if his soul cringes. His look at me is fleeting and there is something artificial in his voice.
At that moment I knew Vati was hiding something from us.
“They want me there Monday. I’ll be a captain.” His voice trembled as he sank into a chair, still wearing his coat and hat.
“But that’s in three days.” Mutti picked up Burkhart, my little brother who was a just a toddler and had begun to whine. “It’s fine,” she soothed as she paced the length of the kitchen, the click-click of her heels like an accusation.
I frowned and moved closer to my father. Since my brother’s birth, Mutti had been spending every minute with the baby. No matter how well I behaved, how I did what she asked, I rarely succeeded drawing her eyes away from my brother. It annoyed me to no end that I couldn’t stop myself from trying.
“Vati, where are you going?” I asked, secure in the knowledge that my little brother wouldn’t draw away his attention.
My father’s cheeks glowed with excitement. As if he hadn’t heard me, he rushed back into the hallway and knelt in front of the wardrobe. I followed.
One door gaped open, revealing a gray military uniform. He was rummaging below.
“What are you looking for?”
“Just a minute.” He emerged with a pair of shiny black boots.  
He knelt at my level and to this day I remember smelling the cologne he used every morning, a mix of spice and citrus.
“I am packing.”
“Where are you going?” Vati had never been away, not even for one night. In fact, he and Mutti had strict routines, and these were dictated by the clock. We ate every night at six thirty sharp. Even on Sundays. Breakfast was at seven in the morning. Clothes never ever lay on the floor, each item brushed and aired and returned to its spot in the closet. Life was laid out in rules, washing hands before dinner, carrying a clean handkerchief at all times and always, always looking spotless when leaving the house.
He smoothed the pants of his uniform. “I’ll be helping out in the war.”
“Will you be back for my birthday?” My birthday was on June fourth and I worried about our customary visits to town. In the window of Wiesner, our local toy store, I’d discovered a Schildkröt doll. Her name was Inge and I wanted her badly. Vati said she looked just like me, with blond hair and this pretty red-checkered dress with a white apron and white patent shoes you could take off.   
As Vati lifted me in the air and turned in a circle, I shrieked in surprise and delight. I was flying.

“They want me after all! With all my experience, they should be glad.”

About the Author

Annette Oppenlander is an award-winning writer, literary coach and educator. As a bestselling historical novelist, Oppenlander is known for her authentic characters and stories based on true events, coming alive in well-researched settings. Having lived in Germany the first half of her life and the second half in various parts in the U.S., Oppenlander inspires readers by illuminating story questions as relevant today as they were in the past. Oppenlander’s bestselling true WWII story, Surviving the Fatherland, was elected to IWIC’s Hall of Fame and won the 2017 National Indie Excellence Award. Her historical time-travel trilogy, Escape from the Past, takes readers to the German Middle Ages and the Wild West. Uniquely, Oppenlander weaves actual historical figures and events into her plots, giving readers a flavor of true history while enjoying a good story. Oppenlander shares her knowledge through writing workshops at colleges, libraries and schools. She also offers vivid presentations and author visits. The mother of fraternal twins and a son, she lives with her husband and old mutt, Mocha, in Bloomington, Ind.

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Interview with Annette Oppenlander

Where do you get inspiration for your stories?
I find inspiration in the smallest details and often while I travel. I exclusively write historical fiction, so I am always on the lookout for the next idea. In 2012, I visited the ruins of medieval Castle Hanstein in Thuringia, Germany. Walking through the ancient ruins, I felt the walls talking to me. I tried imagining how life would’ve been in the 15th century. On a wall inside a restored bedchamber, I read about a famous knight who’d ruled here and been in a feud with an evil duke. This was the beginning of the ‘Escape from the Past’ trilogy, a time-travel adventure set at Castle Hanstein.

During another trip I found that Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press, had lived in this little town along the Rhine River. Well, that seed may one day become another novel. I’m also interested in certain eras like WWII, the American Civil War and the prohibition era. The inspiration for ‘Surviving the Fatherland’ came from the stories of my parents who’d lived through WWII as German war children.

How did you do research for your book?
I recorded many hours of discussion with my parents who were 7 and 11 when their fathers left for the war. I dug through our family photo albums and unearthed many interesting shots. In addition to this primary research, I read several books on Russian gulags though none of that material made it into the book (will be in another novel). I visited the archives of my hometown, Solingen, where most of the story takes place, walked the streets, and read a number of books about the time period to get a good feel for the technology and daily lives of Germans in the 1940s and early 1950s. I found records of the RAF bombings of Solingen. The list goes on. In all, it took me 15 years to put this novel together.

Do you have another profession besides writing?
I’m fortunate that I can write and research fulltime. In earlier years, I wrote whenever I had a free minute, many weekends and evenings, during trips and lunch breaks.

If you could go back in time, where would you go?
If I could visit as a time-traveler without any risk to my person, I’d visit as far back as the dinosaur age, the Stone Age, the Middle Ages and more recent history. I’d visit Native Americans when they were still free. I’d go to France during the revolution, to Italy during the time of Da Vinci. I’d probably limit visits to warzones because they’re all horrific and I’d soon be so overwhelmed that I’d get sick. There are infinite places to see in our past. Each region/country has its own distinct history and they’re all fascinating to me.

What is your next project?
I recently finished ‘Broken Journey,’ a story set during the American Civil War. It is about a boy’s choice to protect his best friend, a slave, from a brutal attack which forces both on separate journeys: one escapes into war, the other is sold into slavery. Told from alternating viewpoints, one black and one white, the story examines the power of hope and friendship, and the endurance of the human spirit to find a way home.

Reading Addiction Blog Tours

Addicted to Love by Jennifer Wilck blitz

Addicted to Love
Jennifer Wilck
(Serendipity, #1)
Publication date: July 21st 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Dan Rothberg struggled after an accident killed his wife and he nearly lost custody of his daughter. He can no longer allow himself to get attached to anything or anyone. Until he meets Hannah.

Hannah Cohen is a young executive with a meddlesome grandmother and a troubled brother. She’d like nothing better than to find her own Mr. Right, after too many Mr. Wrongs. A sexy older man with a teenage daughter was never in her plans.

As they navigate their relationship through adolescent attitudes and grandmotherly interference, they realize age is just a number and love can be right in front of them. But when the terrible truth of Dan’s former struggles is exposed, Hannah must decide if she can get past his deception and allow love to conquer all.

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“So what’s Hannah like?” Tess sank into the chair next to him. Dan refrained from telling her to go to bed. For once she wanted to talk—he’d spend all night with her if necessary.

“She’s nice. Funny and smart, too.”

Tess winced. “Sounds great.” Her tone implied anything but.

Dan nudged her. “Trust me, she is. I didn’t think you’d want to hear other kinds of stuff.”

“Eww, no. Where’d you guys go?”

“I took her to the planetarium, and afterward, to Isabella’s.”

Tess sat up straight. “You took her there? I thought you were joking!”

“What? She liked it.”
“Really? Or was she just pretending?”
He paused and considered Hannah’s reaction. It hadn’t seemed fake. He’d been careful not to overload her with too much geek data, which might fascinate him but bore others. No, he was sure she’d liked it.

“Her eyes didn’t glaze over, and she pulled me along to show me things she thought were interesting. So I’d have to say really.”

“Weird. Are you going to see her again?”

This was worse than he expected, as he tried to keep from squirming in his seat under Tess’ direct gaze. “I hope so.”

“When do I get to meet her?”
“You’ve met her, Tess. At the JCC concert.”

“I know, Dad, but when do I get to really meet her? If you like her enough to go out with her so often, I should at least get to know her better. Invite her over for dinner.”

He glanced at his watch. “Shouldn’t you be…in bed or something?” He regretted his eagerness to talk to her. Well, that was his feeling lots of times as the father of a teenager, but this time she was talking about Hannah. And for some reason, she made him feel like his mother was interrogating him, rather than his daughter. He needed to regain the upper hand. Somehow. “Dinner’s a good idea, Tess. Just not right now.”

“Why not? You’re a good cook. Everyone has to eat. You can invite her here, impress her with your culinary skills, and she and I can get to know each other better. What’s the problem?”

The idea had so many problems her compliment didn’t hit him until after.

“Thanks,” he said.

“For what?”

“For telling me I’m a good cook.”

“You’re welcome. But changing the subject won’t work.”

Damn. He ran a hand through his hair and remembered he needed a haircut. Turning in his seat, he grabbed his phone and added it to tomorrow’s to-do list. “Tess, I think it’s too soon in our relationship for this to happen.”

“Too soon? What’s too soon about it? You’ve been dating a couple of weeks, right?”

“Ten days.” Was it only ten days? “You have a daughter.”

He nodded.

“So, it’ll look weird if you keep me hidden away, like Mr. Rochester’s wife.”

“Oh, a literary reference,” he said. “Nice touch.”

She grinned. “I thought you’d appreciate it. As my reward, I think you should listen to me. I could always come with you somewhere if you don’t want her at the apartment.”

Letting out a sigh, he faced her. “Like a chaperone? Oh, sounds fun. Come here.”

She stood and he pulled her into a hug. “I’ll think about it. I’m glad you’re okay with the idea of me dating.”

Tess shrugged. “I don’t know. I mean, Hannah seems nice, but do you have time to date? You always tell me how busy you are.”

He pulled her into another hug. “No matter what I do, I’ll always have time for you. I promise.”

Author Bio:

When I was a little girl and couldn’t fall asleep, my mother would tell me to make up a story. Pretty soon, my head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Each character had a specific personality, a list of likes and dislikes, and sometimes, even a specific accent or dialect. Even as an adult, I think about the characters and stories at night before I fall asleep, or in the car on my way to or from one of my daughters’ numerous activities (hey, anything that will drown out their music is a good thing).

One day, I started writing them down (it was either that or checking into the local mental hospital—the computer was way less scary) and now I'm a published author. My first book, A Heart of Little Faith, was just declared a Finalist in the Fiction: Romance category of the 2016 Best Book Awards.

In the real world, I’m the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men I know. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, traveling and watching TV. In between chauffeuring my daughters to after-school activities that require an Excel spreadsheet to be kept straight, I run youth group activities, train the dog we recently adopted from a local shelter, and cook dinners that fit the needs of four very different appetites. I also write freelance articles for magazines, newspapers, and edit newsletters.

When all of that gets overwhelming, I retreat to my computer, where I write stories that let me escape from reality. In my made-up world, the heroines are always smart, sassy and independent. The heroes are handsome and strong with just a touch of vulnerability. If I don’t like a character, I can delete him or her; if something doesn’t work, I can rewrite it. It’s very satisfying to be in control of at least one part of my life. My inspiration comes from watching the people around me and fantasizing about how I’d do things differently.

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Nowhere is Home Since You Left

Death, Grief, Bereavement
Date Published: 1-6-2017
Publisher: Cygnet Publications, Cygnet Media Group Inc.

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When her beloved soul friend husband, Gerald, passed away a few years ago, and her friends and sons moved to distant cities, she found herself alone for the first time in her life.

Gerald, a professional artist, had his studio in their home. Their home was always filled with family life, art, music, joy and playfulness in the garden.
After his passing, the silence was loud. The joy was gone — her paradise — a lost paradise.

She had two choices, either to fall apart or to get on with life.  She chose the latter and traveled to find a home, a community — however - nowhere was home - since he left.
In writing Nowhere Is Home … Since You Left, Madeleine Zeldin shares her insights, emotions, and true life experiences as she journeys solo throughout the years following the sorrowful death of her soul mate, internationally renowned artist, Gerald Zeldin. She presents years of storytelling based on travel journals she wrote while traveling to countries such as Mexico, Philippines, Ecuador, France, Spain, and California, U.S.A.  Zeldin also reveals the intensity of the pain and sorrow experienced in her grief, along with the fulfillment, satisfaction and logistics of international travel. In her travels she volunteered in the medical field and gave help where help was needed. She brings inspiration to those of her generation, the 60’s, who find themselves alone.

Through her evocative tales of adventure, Zeldin reveals this life-changing knowledge to the world!

But ultimately where is Home?

About the Author

Professionally, Ms. Zeldin has been engaged in nursing and teaching. She has successfully advocated for changes in the medical field, along with homebirth and Midwifery. In her travels to out of the way places, she has been a keen observer of people and distant cultures, often writing a 'sketch' of her experience.

Madeleine is an advocate of advocacy.

Madeleine believes we can all make a difference.

Throughout her adult life she has successfully advocated for change. When she felt change was needed, she rallied. She lobbied. She started a group or joined a group.

In the late '70's, when her town council was considering tearing down old heritage properties in the name of 'Progress', she helped start a group of interested citizens in order to save these heritage properties. 'Progress' was stopped and many heritage buildings were saved due to the group's diligence.

Again in the early '80's, Madeleine herself changed local hospital policy to allow midwives to accompany couples in the birthing room, after the hospital refused to allow her midwife to enter.

She belonged to a group of informed parents who advocated for changes in the policies for vaccinations.

Madeleine volunteered at the local Health Center and advocated for improved health care for refugees. Improvements were made.

She successfully advocated for her soul-friend, late husband Gerald's medical care throughout their six year battle with cancer. Many important changes were implemented in our medical system due to her persistence.

Madeleine has been ahead of her time in her generation. She had many professions throughout her life including social worker, teacher, registered nurse. She also joined a group of midwives and again successfully advocated for choices in childbirth.

However, she considers her most important achievement as being a mother and grandmother. She has instilled in her family a sense of love and empathy and has taught them to love the earth and its people.

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Illumination by Susannah Sandlin

Penton Legacy
Book 5
Susannah Sandlin

Genre: PNR/UF

Date of Publication: July 11, 2017

Number of pages: Approx. 330
Word Count: 90,000

Cover Artist: Kim Killion

Tagline: Nik wants to escape his family curse. Shay wants to change the world. Together, they are the only hope to save the vampires of Penton.

Book Description:

He came to Penton seeking peace. Nik Dimitrou joined the Army to escape his family legacy, only to have his psychic abilities exploited as a weapon. Now, as a civilian, he turns to the bottle to veil the images that haunt his mind whenever he touches anyone—except vampires. With them, he has finally found a home. But as Penton, Alabama, moves into open warfare with the Vampire Tribunal, Nik finds himself a linchpin in the deepening conflict, not to mention facing a transformation in his own body more frightening than anything he’s encountered before.

She wanted to change the world. Shay Underwood watched her Peace Corps parents move from one third world country to another—until both died following an outbreak of fever. Driven to her own career in tropical medicine, Shay works in New Orleans to cure the disease that killed her parents—until a careless weekend outing draws her into a world far more dangerous than the diseases she studies: a vampire society engaged in human trafficking and on the verge of all-out war.

Two cities, two strangers, one world. With Penton rebellion leader Aidan Murphy making risky choices and chief vampire lieutenant Mirren Kincaid forced to take a leadership role in Penton, it will fall to two outsiders, Nik and Shay, to find a way for the town—and themselves—to survive in this much-anticipated conclusion to the multiple award-winning Penton Legacy series.


“Right then. We have an
obscenely large vehicle on the other side of that brick wall,” Cage said.
“Archer or Nik should be able to help you over. Once I’m sure you’re in the car
and locked up tight, I’ll collect Robin and Glory from the cemetery entrance
and we’ll all be on our way back to Penton.”
Shay bit her lip. She had
absolutely no reason to go to Penton, wherever the hell it was. Her home and
life and work were here in New Orleans. She knew she’d have to be careful, but
now that the breeding house was broken up and Jonathan was dead, the vampires
and their minions had no reason to come after her. Whatever feelings Shay had
nursed for Nik Dimitrou in high school, they were long dead. Gorgeous only took
a person so far. Besides, he was a vampire.
She’d wait until they got
her out of this cemetery, though, to decline her visit to Vampire Central.
Maybe the handsome cat boy would drop her off somewhere. But where? She had no
money or identification with her. She didn’t even have the keys to her own
apartment or lab.
Maybe a police station.
They could come up with a plausible story for her disappearance. Maybe even
name Simon as her kidnapper, and the warehouse location. Let the authorities
make of it what they would.
Shay was distracted by
the sight of Archer leaping to the top of the brick wall behind the Le Boeuf
crypt, followed closely by Nik. Her old classmate might be injured and hungry,
but that wall had given him no challenge. Shay wasn’t sure she could climb over
it without a sturdy ladder on a good day. Today had not been a good day except
that she hadn’t died.
Nik reached down and
motioned to Shay. “C’mon, let’s get out of here.”
Shay looked at the wall,
at Nik, and back at the wall. “I don’t think you can lift me. You’re hurt.”
“Trust me.” Nik grinned,
giving Shay a glimpse of an older, even more handsome version of the boy she’d
known so many years ago. She’d thought she loved that boy; this man, though….was
a vampire. Don’t forget that, idiot.

She nodded, dried her
hands on her jeans as much as she could, and reached up toward Nik. He leaned
over, wrapped strong fingers around both of her wrists, and lifted her to the
top of the wall with what seemed like little effort, setting her down beside
“Swing your legs over,
and I’ll lower you down the other side. Or I can leap down with you in my
arms.” His grin widened, and her heart beat double-time when their gazes
locked. Vampire. He’s a freaking vampire.
He’s a freaking vampire involved in a war with other freaking vampires. You
cannot trust him. Lust, yes. Trust, no.
“Whatever you do, would
you please move your arses?” Cage stood beneath them. “I’m getting soaked and—”

A loud pop sounded from
the Washington Avenue end of the cemetery, followed by a splintering noise and
another pop pop. Shay had lived in New Orleans long enough to recognize the
sound of gunfire.

About the Author:

Susannah Sandlin writes award-winning paranormal romance, including the popular Penton Legacy series for Montlake Romance, and romantic suspense and thrillers, including two series, The Collectors and Wilds of the Bayou, also for Montlake. Writing as Suzanne Johnson, she writes the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series for Tor Books. Suzanne grew up in Alabama halfway between the Bear Bryant Museum and Elvis’s birthplace and lived in New Orleans for fifteen years, so she has a refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of college football and fried gator on a stick. She currently lives in Auburn, Alabama, where she is a full-time author who does copy editing on the side through

Twitter: @SusannahSandlin, @Suzanne_Johnson

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Author: EJ Apicello

Publisher: Page Publishing

Pages: 110

Genre: Self-Help

Welcome to my diary, my journey,
as I tripped and crawled through the darkest time in my life- when I witnessed
 people that I held incredibly close to me shatter my very existence with
their words and actions. The things within this book spine are extremely raw
and exceptionally real. You and I are going to get very close, the details in
this book, although oddly general, are incredibly specific. Yes, I realize what
I just said and as you read my words you will see what I mean. As you silently
gasp and mentally bitch slap me, please be kind because my story is just that -
my story. It is not any more or less special than yours. In fact the only
difference between our stories are the choices we made at each of the
crossroads in our lives. For most of my life the choices I made were not based
on my happiness but on everyone else’s. This book describes what I have
experienced in my journey to finding my happiness and hopefully never letting
it go. Sadly, it took me thirty six years to find the strength I need to
detoxify my life and self-view and find someone who is worthy of my
awesomeness. Thirty six years to shatter the negative foundation I had built
shatter the ultimate representative I created to hide behind and begin the
process of building a new foundation. Only this foundation will be built on
strength, confidence and above all, happiness. So take a minute or thirty and
sit with my story for a while. You never know what you might find out.


* B&N

I challenge
anyone to argue with the following oh so utterly simplistic, almost
ridiculously too easy to be real, truth. Here it is, people, be ready for your
mind to be blown! Every choice has an opposite choice. And these choices
come at a crossroads. A crossroads you are in control of. So go ahead, try and
come up with a reason to argue that what I speak isn’t the absolute truth. I’ll
wait. Come back when you realize you can’t think of a single one. Please don’t
get me wrong, it’s not that I enjoy being right; I just know it’s hard to argue
with such an insanely logical and straightforward truth. You see my readers, my
new friends, it will hurt less if you accept this to be so. Everything in our
world has two opposing choices, and these choices sit at our own personal
crossroads, forcing us to embrace either the right or the wrong, the easy or
the hard, the light or the dark. Throughout this book, you will see how I am
working through this arduous journey with you by my side, priding myself on
being a woman of logic and facts, but let’s be clear: I also believe in Santa,
the Tooth Fairy, and unicorns!
What can I
say, it gives me intense pleasure to know that while you read this book you are
going to be kept on the edge of your seat! There will be sexy steamy bits,
utterly hopeless bits, raw emotional bits, hilariously funny bits, and pathetic
whiny bits. But I promise, if you stick with me, at the end of it all, there
will be mostly strong, empowered, utterly-confident bits. But who knows, right?
This is honestly an introduction to my journey of self-discovery not directed
simply at you but at me as well. Welcome aboard my crazy train, I hope you
enjoy the ride!
recognize that as you stumble through my jumbled musings and scattered thoughts
that where I sit typing this, even on the last of the last of the last
rewrites, I am starting at the same place in my journey as you are right at
this very moment. The beginning, and I’m not sure what will happen at the end.
This thought makes me both nervous and excited. Is my life going to stay the
same, or will it take a completely different path, one that is still
unbeknownst even to me? What a novel idea (wink, wink) that you will be
right there to experience my holy shit moments as I experience them.
“Talking” to
you like this is going to force me to have thoughts, feelings, and emotions
that I haven’t allowed myself to experience before. This will be like breaking
through the fourth wall just like they did during the movie Deadpool,
which, by the way, is the best movie I have ever seen. It was like the movie
was talking to my soul! I digress, though, and I must get back to focusing on
the introduction, for this is my welcome to you, as if you were right here with
me urging me on, especially when I feel like I can’t go any further.
I will admit
this: I am being slightly selfish, I’m using you for some personal gain. Why
would I admit this upfront? Well, because I think it’s important to be honest
with myself and you, my new confidants, so that we have a clear understanding
of what is to come. Be honest with yourselves too, you picked up this book for
a reason. There is something you are hoping to gain from reading through my
journey, sharing my experiences, and being able to reflect on them as if they
were your own. Which is exactly what I would like you to do by the way. Put
yourself into my shoes through my words. I purposely kept this book very
generic, partially because I am trying to fly under the radar until I am so
famous it doesn’t matter anymore, and partially because I want you to use this
book as a sounding board for your own emotions, thoughts, and feelings. And
please remember that is a good thing; it is one of the two biggest reasons that
I wrote all of this nonsense down and worked so hard to get it into your hands,
your consciousness, your world.
I am going to
introduce you to the many faces that I wear, or should I say wore, throughout
most of my life. You will also be here to discover the parts of the new me that
I am in the process of piecing together. With that being said, it is imperative
this early in our bud-ding relationship, that I share with you the vast clarity
I have found while writing this novel and you see the clarity of your choice
while reading it. It took me up until the moment the first letter was placed on
the page, over thirty-six years, to realize that in spite of the very logical,
black-and-white way of processing things that I so absolutely rely on, it is
time I accepted that I too am layered in shades of gray, just like everyone

Welcome to EJ’s real, crazy,
emotional, probably too honest journey. She is an everyday girl in this
everyday world trying to keep her head above water. Within the pages of this
book you will learn about the things that have broken EJ down and the
steps she is taking to build back up. You will see, that this story is written
in a unique, general, conversational voice, which was her choice. She wants you
to be able to picture yourself in her shoes, relate her trials and tribulations
to yours and see that you too can find your happiness. Even if you don’t
realize this yet, every single one of us possesses things inside of ourselves
that we didn't know were there. It took EJ’s life taking a crazy right turn and
dumping her at the lowest possible point before she could see the strength
within herself. We are not defined by what we do, we are defined by the choices
we make. EJ decided when she put pen to paper that she wanted her choices to
start defining her as strong, confident, secure and above all else, happy. So,
who am EJ? How about who she was - a self-loathing shell who put everyone
else’s happiness before her own. Herein lies a story about finding that
happiness and all of the ups and downs along the way. See who EJ was and who
she is trying to become and maybe, somewhere in there, you will find out a
little about yourself too.

Her latest book is the self-help, Your
Crossroads. Your Choice

Interview with EJ Apicello
How did you come up with name of this book?

I had a much wordier version of this title but decided that less is more. The whole essence of my message in this book, of my whole platform is that you control the choices you make. My goal is to empower you to have strength and confidence in those choices so you can find your happiness.

Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?

I love to read! I am a middle school teacher so I admit I read a lot of young adult novels in order to stay current with what my students are experiencing/reading. I am also adapting this book into a more kid friendly version in the hopes that it can help kids navigate the choppy waters of middle and high school with a little more strength and confidence than they may have had.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?

I prefer noise - it makes me feel connected to the world.

What do you feel you can accomplish with this book?

If there is enough reach, then I am hoping I can begin a global change - a major shift in the way our culture and society view happiness.

What is your next project?

I am working on a sequel to this book that will include tools and strategies to find your confidence and happiness.


Dorothy Thompson
Winner of P&E Readers Poll
2016 for Best Publicity Firm

Simple Man by Ashley Hampton blitz

Simple Man
Ashley Hampton
(Southern Rock Lyrics Series #4)
Publication date: July 19th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Will Jenkins had an ideal life as a teenager until his parents were killed in a car accident. His two best friends, Nate and Finley, became his family. A few years later, Hannah breezed her way into town and became the sister Will never had but always wanted. Through Hannah, Will found Stacy, a woman he could not avoid as she was unlike all the others. Stacy was full of mystery and hiding something secretive behind her gorgeous smile. It was only a matter of time before Stacy gave in to Will’s advances, despite their close friendship. Will their budding relationship have a chance to grow? Or will Stacy’s secret past ruin everything?

Author Bio:
Ashley Hampton works as a Licensed Psychologist in private practice during the day. When she leaves work, she puts on her writer and photographer hats and enjoys living in the worlds created in her mind. She lives near her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama with her cat, Gemma. Ashley wanted to find a creative way to meld her love for music and psychology with writing, and the Southern Rock Lyrics series was born. With other series planned, Ashley wants to write in the romance, erotica, and psychological thriller genres.
Buy Links:

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The Witchbreed Series by R.L. Martinez blitz

In the Blood
R.L. Martinez
(The Witchbreed Series #1)
Published by: Lakewater Press
Publication date: March 21st 2016
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

A snake. A lion. A return.

In a time when magic is feared, Lady Oriabel Dominax has no choice but to conceal her healing powers while she cares for her father’s struggling estate. One touch of the Witch’s Tree shows her visions of witches hung and burned at the very hands of the people for whom she cares, the people who love her. But with the arrival of a new lord, a man hiding secrets of his own, falling in love might be one wrong move too many.

Incarcerated for an unspeakable crime, fearless warrior Lady Ottilde Dominax is plagued by mysterious dreams of her sister’s death. When a hooded figure offers her the chance of escape, although untrusting, she does not hesitate. Racing across nations to reach Oriabel, her journey is cut short by an encounter with a wedowyn, a formidable beast which she has no chance to overpower alone. Though it is not death that greets her, but something far worse.

Blackmail, betrayal, and murder are only the beginning as a darker magic is awakened. And someone has plans for the Dominax twins, plans more terrifying than anything they could ever imagine.


Beneath the Skin
R.L. Martinez
(The Witchbreed Series #2)
Published by: Lakewater Press
Publication date: July 21st 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

Abandoned, betrayed, and wanted for murder, Lady Oriabel Dominax is a witch on the run. The deadly magic now awakened inside her is hungry, and it is all Oriabel can do to control it. With no choice but to trust strangers as her guardians, she quickly discovers not everyone is who they say they are and the very magic she fears might be her only weapon to protect those she loves.

Since rescuing her sister from certain death, Lady Ottilde Dominax’s only goal is to keep Oriabel safe and alive. Not an easy task when both the enemy and their so-called allies are hunting them. Placing all her trust in the very man who held her prisoner, Ottilde must open her heart and mind to a future she could never have predicted, a future guided only by love and survival.

Life, death, and tragedy lie ahead as the Dominax twins set out on a perilous journey to safety. But knowing they are mere pawns in someone else’s game means fighting for family is all they have left.

Goodreads / Amazon

Author Bio:

Being a stay-at-home mom is probably the hardest job Robin’s ever had (and that’s after working at places like Goodwill, MCL Cafeteria, and Captain D’s). Her house is never clean! No matter how many dishes she does or toys she picks up, her two little ones come right behind her and make a whole new mess. Anyway, this is the first time she hasn’t had some sort of job outside the home since she was fifteen. Kinda scary!

Now that her kids have both started all-day school, she can fling herself into the stories that constantly swirl inside her head. One of the main reasons she writes is to read books that she wishes other people were writing. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, two small sons, two naughty canines, and a mouse-killing cat.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


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