Rachel Thompson

Mike Hartner on Lots of Voices Waiting to Be Heard When He Writes @MHartnerAuthor #Romance

Inside the Mind of An Author

In the Darkness brought on by a closed room and narrow stairs, I slowly ascend to the top and push the attic floorboard to the side. This stairwell, conveniently hidden in a second floor wall, has been very dusty and full of cobwebs. I’m really not sure what to expect when I go into the attic. I have, however, heard strange noises.

Climbing up into the attic, into the mind of this author, I look around. The walls are cluttered with post it notes, and most of them had small symbols and some writing. There were papers that had fallen to the floor, and the whole area looked like an old bomb shelter.

I’m immediately dodging the many different children who are running around. The voices that each one uses to taunt the others are all different.

I stop one of them. His name is James.

“Are there any others around?”

“Oh, there are plenty.”

“Where are they?”

“Sitting in a corner of the filing room in the back. They’re waiting for their opportunity to come join the fun.”

“What are they waiting for?”

“Why, everyone knows that they’re waiting to be heard. Not all of us characters can be heard at the same time. Sometimes, he listens to three or four of us for a short time, and sometimes he listens to one of us for a long time. But, we’re all here. Waiting for our chance to be heard.”

“So why are you three out here running around?”

“We’ve already been heard. He’s concentrating on us right now, and it’s our chance to play and rest while he figures out what he wants us to do next.”

“How many are in the back room?”

“The last I checked, the room was crammed, and the waiting list was endless. Lots of voices like us want to be heard. We want to tell our stories.”

James escaped from my vision and went back to running around.

When I saw them return, I also saw them carrying long sticks, using them as play swords. I beat a hasty retreat from the mind of this author.


James Crofter was ripped from his family at age 11. 
Within a year the prince was a pauper in a foreign land. 
Is nature stronger than nurture? And even if it is, can James find the happiness he so richly desires? 

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Genre - Historical Fiction, Romance
Rating – PG
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LUCIFER & THE INDIGO KIDS : The Last Prophet by @Lord_Ra_Krishna #Poetry #Philosophy

Me vs. God…

Dread Locs on my head
Like snakes on Medusa

Get to close
and you turn into stone

If I were a girl
Then I would be Medusa

Tell Jay-Z and Kanye
Get the f#ck out of my throne

It's the clash of the Titans
It's me vs. God

They're just mad
Because I stole back the fire
Like Prometheus

You see,
Prometheus stole the fire
From the Gods and gave it to mankind…

That's a metaphor for knowledge
Now I'm giving it to you…

It's the same as the apple
In the Garden of Eden

Just take one bite
And you will know that you are God…

"This “new age” book of poetry reflects the diverse views and philosophies of it’s author Ra Krishna EL. It’s an intimate, humorous and thought provoking group of poems intended to evoke strong emotion. To quote the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, this style of poetry can be called “Zukunfts poesie“ which translates into “Poetry of the future”, where truly original ideas are presented thru poetry. Also known as post Nietzschean poetry.

It’s subjects include society, pop culture, love, religious dogma, God and the new age of Aquarius. This book was written and published during the false incarceration of its author in Chicago’s notorious Cook County Jail, the largest jail in the country."

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Genre - Poetry, Philosophy
Rating – PG-13
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GLIMPSES OF HEAVEN ON EARTH by John E. Wade II #AmReading #NonFiction #Inspirational

From the chapter on freedom
by co-author Charlotte Piotrowski:

“Until such time as we achieve heaven on earth, we must enjoy our freedoms responsibly. Our speech should not be harmful. Our religious practice should welcome those of all faiths (and those without religious faith). Our media should present unbiased truth and facts, rather than one-sided opinion. We must not abuse our freedoms, but rather enjoy them from a perspective of gratitude and wisdom. In doing so, we allow others to enjoy their right to freedom.

While Americans and those of many other nations, especially other democracies, already enjoy basic freedoms, many people around the globe are not equally blessed. Through peaceful means, we must support our worldwide brothers and sisters, as they work to achieve freedom from oppressive governments. We can do this by encouraging the education of all citizens. With knowledge comes power. And with power comes the strength and ability to change. In a heaven on earth, every person will enjoy freedom; and each person’s enjoyment of freedom will only serve for the betterment of the whole, and never to the detraction of anyone else.”

Glimpses of Heaven on Earth

Editor and author John E. Wade II has compiled a spiritual guide of invaluable insight for finding peace and meaning in life while making the world a better place for all. Along with co-authors Charlotte Livingston Piotrowski, Daniel Agatino, Michael Nagler, and Martin Rutte, this collection of enlightening essays and inspirational quotes from renowned thinkers and leaders throughout history provides the intellectual tools needed to live a more harmonious life.

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Genre - Inspirational
Rating – G
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DARK CHEMISTRY (Chapter 3) by Kirsten Mortensen @KirstenWriter #AmReading #Romance #TBR

This excerpt is from Chapter 3 of the book. Haley Dubose—a spoiled, shallow rich girl from Southern California—has reacted exactly as you’d expect to the news that, in order to inherit her late father’s estate, she has to move across country and run his company for two years. She threw a temper tantrum and stayed out too late, drinking with her friends.

Now it’s the next day and she’s in the airport, getting ready to board the flight to Amesbury, New York, that will change her life forever…

Haley’s head hurt.

She stood in front of the counter by Gate 7, waiting for the airline attendant to get off the phone.

“May I help you?”

Haley pushed her boarding pass across the counter like a note to a bank teller. “I’d like to upgrade to first class,” she said.

The attendant shook her head. “I’m sorry. We’ve got a full flight. There are no first class seats available.”

“I have miles,” Haley said, but faintly. She wasn’t exactly sure if she’d be able to use Sheila’s miles on a ticket paid for by Marla, the person at her father’s company who’d actually bought it.

The attendant, in any case, didn’t seem to hear. “I’m sorry,” she said again, and then picked up her microphone. “Okay folks, we’re now ready to begin boarding. First class. Anyone serving in the military. People with small children or who need special assistance—you may now board.”

Haley looked down at her ticket. 23F.

The printing pulsed slightly in the fluorescent light. Pulsed like her headache.

And she gave up.

At least it was a window seat ...

She pulled her rollerboard over to the rows of gray chairs near the gate, and squeezed herself into an empty one between two other fliers to wait for her turn to board.

² ² ² ² ²

The plane rose, tipped. Haley watched the red tiled roofs north of downtown shrink and then the plane tipped again and circled counterclockwise out over the bay. The water looked like rippled glass from this height. Still climbing, circling now back over land—over the mountains, the tawny desert mountains that flank San Diego to the east ...

She shut her eyes.

With her eyes closed she lost any sense that the plane was moving forward. There was only the jiggling turbulence and the roar of the engines humming through her body ... but that was people talking, too? How could their voices be so clear with the engines that loud, she could hear every word they said ... a woman telling someone about her son joining the Navy ... a father promising a child that he’d get the iPad when the seatbelt sign turned off ... now the jiggling and the vibration of the engine made it feel like they were moving backwards ...

I can’t believe my father did this to me.

What had that lawyer told her?

That Richard Molnare’s entire estate was tied up in the company he’d founded. And in two years—provided Haley met the terms of the will—she’d be able to sell RMB, get her money, and go home.

“So what you’re saying is, at that point I get my 70 million dollars,” Haley had said.

But the lawyer had waved her hand back and forth, a gesture signaling not so fast. “Not exactly. RMB generates 70 million in annual revenue. That’s not the same as the value of the estate. You understand the difference, right?”

And Haley had pretended that oh, sure, she’d understood the difference all along.

And the lawyer had gone on for a bit about how the company had been doing well for quite a few years in a row. Something about how it was part of a growth industry, and that a lot of other companies like it were buying each other up, which meant that when Haley’s two years was up, chances were good that RMB would be easy to sell.

“Of course,” the lawyer had continued—the lawyer had talked on and on for hours, it seemed like—“what you take out will depend, in part, on how well the company performs when you’re running it. If you can keep it on its current path, it should be worth more, in two years, than it is today. Several million dollars more, perhaps.”


Haley opened her eyes and leaned forward.

A thick manila envelope protruded from the tote she’d pushed under the seat in front of her.

Everything she needed was in that envelope, according to the lawyer. Including a Ziploc bag with a key inside—the key to her father’s house.

She turned and peered out of the window. The ground was gone, everything was gone, they were inside a cloud—the cloud so thick, so uniformly white that it didn’t seem like they were moving at all—they were suspended, motionless except for that slight jiggling, they weren’t moving forwards they weren’t moving backwards they were motionless ...

She pulled down the plastic shade and closed her eyes again, the sensation growing again that she wasn’t moving anywhere ... she was suspended in the air somewhere, suspended in a box ... in a box over which she had no control, and what choice did she have but to sit here, to let herself be jiggled and vibrated and hopefully go to sleep ...

The “seatbelt sign is on” bell-tone dinged and the pilot came on the intercom to tell them the flight time to O’Hare would be four hours and they’d be out of the turbulence soon and to enjoy the flight.

What was it that Oliver said to me?

She couldn’t remember it—not the words—only that he’d been ugly to her.

The asshole.

Her head hurt.


A woman's worst nightmare

Drugged by something...that makes her think she's fallen in love.

All Haley Dubose has ever known is beaches and malls, clubs and cocktail dresses.

But now her father is dead.

And if she wants to inherit her father's fortune, she has to leave sunny Southern California
for a backwater little town near Syracuse, New York. She has to run RMB, the multimillion dollar
chemical company her father founded. And she has to run it well.

Keep RMB on track, and she'll be rich. Grow it, and she'll be even richer. But mess it up, and her inheritance will shrink away before she gets a chance to spend a dime.

Donavon Todde is her true love. But is it too late?

He's RMB's head of sales – and the more Donavon sees of Haley, the more he's smitten.
Sure, she comes across at first as naïve and superficial. But Donavon knew Haley's father. He can see the man's better qualities stirring to life in her eyes. And Donavon senses something else: Haley's father left her a legacy more important than money. He left her the chance to discover her true self.

Donavon has demons of his own.
He's reeling from a heartbreak that's taking far too long to heal. But he's captivated by this blond Californian, and not only because of her beauty. It's chemistry. They're right for each other. But has Donavon waited too long to woo this woman of his dreams? Because to his horror, his beautiful Haley falls under another spell. Gerad's spell.

A web of evil.

Gerad Picket was second-in-command at RMB when Haley's father was alive. And with Haley on the scene, he's in charge of her training. But there are things about RMB that Gerad doesn't want Haley to know.

And he must control her. Any way he can.

Romantic suspense for your Kindle

Will Haley realize that her feelings are not her TRUE feelings?
Does Donavon have the strength left to fight for the woman he loves?
Will the two of them uncover Gerad's plot to use RMB pheromones to enslave the world?
And even if they do – can they stop it?

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Romantic suspense
Rating – PG-13
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Hank Quense on Developing His Writing & Self-Publishing @Hanque99 #SelfPub #AmWriting #Fantasy

Have you always enjoyed writing?
I can recall writing short, satiric cartoon stories as a junior in high school. I’d send them around the classroom to my friends who would get in trouble because laughing in class is frowned upon in a Jesuit prep school.

Who is your favorite author?
In fantasy/scifi, Tom Holt, Terry Pratchett, Chris Moore and Douglas Adams. In historical fiction, Bernard Cornwall.

What book genre do you adore?
Satiric or humorous scifi and fantasy. There just isn’t enough of it. I’m attempting to fill the humor and satire gap with my fiction

What book should everyone read at least once?
Catch 22. It’s the greatest work of satire I ever read.

How did you develop your writing?
My stories always start with a character. Then I give the character a plot problem. That's as far as I go until I can figure out the story ending. Once I get the ending, I have to build a path between the beginning and end. After that the story is essentially finished, I just have to develop the characters, the setting and the scenes. Then it's time to write the first draft.

What is hardest—getting published, writing or marketing?
Writing is the easiest. Prepping a manuscript for publication is mostly boring. Marketing is frustrating and often expensive. Being successful is the hardest part of the entire process.

Do you plan to publish more books?

Yes. Moxie’s Problem isn’t the end of Moxie’s journey to become an independent woman in charge of own destiny. I’m writing the conclusion of Moxie’s development. The working title is Moxie’s Decision.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Tough question. Rome would be at the top of the list followed by a tie between Paris and Barcelona. Or maybe Quebec City (at least in the summer)

Is it vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing?
Exposure is a vital element of a marketing plan, especially for a self-published book. Random exposure however doesn't do much. The exposure has to be targeted to the people who will be interested in your book. If you wrote a romance novel then targeting folks who read gun magazines is futile.

Tell us about your new book What is it about and why did you write it?
Here is the book blurb: Moxie's Problem is a coming-of-age story unlike others in this genre. Moxie is an obnoxious, teen-age princess who has never been outside her father’s castle. Until now. She finds the real world is quite different from castle life and she struggles to come to grips with reality. Moxie knows she has to get a life, but doesn’t know how to go about it.The story takes place against the backdrop of Camelot. But, it isn’t the Camelot of legends. It’s Camelot in a parallel universe, so all bets are off!

As to why I wrote it, I’ve loved the Moxie character for quite a while. I wrote a short story with her as the many character over ten years ago. I couldn’t sell because Moxie is a terrible main character in a short story. She doesn’t have room to grow and to learn important lessons. I’ve been determined to tell her story for some time now and I finally got this project under way and the end is in sighs.

Moxie's Problem 
Do you enjoy untypical coming-of-age stories? Well, you won’t find one more untypical that Moxie’s Problem. Moxie is an obnoxious, teen-age princess who has never been outsider her father’s castle. Until now. The real world is quite different and she struggles to come to grips with reality. The story take space against a backdrop of Camelot. But it isn’t the Camelot of legends. It’s Camelot in a parallel universe. So, all bets are off!

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Fantasy, Sci-fi
Rating – G
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What Freedom Smells Like: A #Memoir by @AmyLewisAuthor #Excerpt #AmReading #NonFiction

Transformation doesn’t happen overnight. It takes decades to shed our childhood conditioning – the beliefs and thoughts that pieced together like not so colorful charms on a bracelet determine our destiny. But sometimes one moment pierces a hole so large in our consciousness, we can’t continue living as we once did. Seeing my husband’s dead body was that moment for me.

Religion meant very little to me growing up. I was raised Episcopalian. Like Catholic but without the confessional. I attended Sunday school for about a year as a young child. My parents felt obliged to send my sister and me off to church, not because they believed in any of it, but because it seemed proper. After about a year, I think they grew weary of pretending and announced church was no longer required. At fifteen when I could drive, I went back a few times on my own. I liked the church and its 1960s mid-century design. It felt peaceful to me. And, I liked the priest. He was cute, and at 15 older men did something for me. I would kneel in the pew enjoying the atmosphere and fantasize about the priest – romantic fantasies, not sexual ones.

Dad was an atheist although he would never use that word for it. My mother was more of an agnostic. We never talked about God in our family although we did say grace, always the same prayer. “Come Lord Jesus be our guest, let these gifts to us be blessed. Amen.” We must have said it a thousand times. We didn’t have a backup grace, and we never free styled it. That was the only time we ever mentioned Jesus, and I think we only said it to please my father’s mother. I got most of my views on religion, God and Jesus based on my fathers’ negative tirades about his sister. She was a born again Christian. My father thought the whole thing utterly ridiculous at best and highly dangerous at worst.

We never spoke of death. We never spoke of souls. We certainly never spoke of eternity. I had a clear picture of death: darkness. Death was pitch-black darkness. The coffin lid closes, the lights go out, and it’s over - forever. I remember staying awake for hours in my preteen years thinking about infinity. I would lay stiff like a corpse and imagine what death would be like. Pitch black darkness forever and ever and ever and ever and ever. The and evers would torture me. I couldn’t stop obsessing night after night. I decided I would stop thinking of death. From that moment onward, I became terrified of death. The thought, the image, the mere mention of the word made me go numb.

I stood by the door of his room. I had no concept of time so I can’t tell how long. Then my body decided to move, and I took one step and another and another and with my fourth step I found myself right next to Truth’s body, which was slightly slumped to the left.

What I witnessed when I looked into his eyes was the beginning of my own personal revolution. If seeing was believing, then I couldn’t believe what was before my eyes. My husband, whom I had never spent a day apart from in four and a half years, was no longer there. He was dead. Yes, I knew that. His body, which the nurse insisted I say goodbye to, was not him. I knew it instantly when I looked into his eyes. He was nowhere to be found. Who I knew him to be had disappeared. Gone. I couldn’t believe what I saw and what I felt in every pore of my being. He was not there, but his body was. So to whom was I saying goodbye?

I realize all this may sound elementary to those who were raised to believe in what I was just embarking on. I had no idea. My belief system told me it was him but dead. But it wasn’t him. Was I going crazy? I found my presence there pointless. He wasn’t there. I knew it just as much as I knew he had been there a few hours ago. So I left.


Diagnosed with Borderline Personality disorder, Amy struggled with depression and an addiction to sharp objects. Even hospitalization didn't help to heal her destructive tendencies. It took a tumultuous relationship with a man named Truth to bring her back from the depths of her own self-made hell.Amy's marriage to dark, intriguing Truth was both passionate and stormy. She was a fair-skinned southern girl from New Orleans. He was a charming black man with tribal tattoos, piercings, and a mysterious past. They made an unlikely pair, but something clicked. During their early marriage, they pulled themselves out of abject poverty into wealth and financial security practically overnight. Then things began to fall apart.
 Passionate and protective, Truth also proved violent and abusive. Amy’s own self-destructive tendencies created a powerful symmetry. His sudden death left Amy with an intense and warring set of emotions: grief for the loss of the man she loved, relief she was no longer a target for his aggression.

Conflicted and grieving, Amy found herself at a spiritual and emotional crossroads, only to receive help from an unlikely source: Truth himself. Feeling his otherworldly presence in her dreams, Amy seeks help from a famous medium.

Her spiritual encounters change Amy forever. Through Truth, she learns her soul is eternal and indestructible, a knowledge that gives Amy the courage to pursue her own dreams and transform herself both physically and emotionally. Her supernatural encounters help Amy resolve the internal anger and self-destructive tendencies standing between her and happiness, culminating in a sense of spiritual fulfillment she never dreamed possible.

An amazing true story, What Freedom Smells Like is told with courage, honesty, and a devilishly dark sense of humor.
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Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG-13
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"Dinkytown" from HUSH by @KimberlyShursen #AmReading #Thriller #Fiction

Dinkytown, 12:45 a.m.

Ann kicked off her sandals and closed the door to the third-floor apartment. Ben had been polite, hailed a cab, and not pushed to take her home. She liked him. There hadn’t been a lull in their two-hour conversation.

Many of the tenants in the older, all-brick building in Dinkytown were a part of the struggling arts group—most of them a few years younger than she and Jess. The location, however, was perfect. It was cheaper to ride a bus that dropped her off in front of Abbott Northwestern Hospital than own a car. Groceries, boutiques, and restaurants, as well as Lake Calhoun and Harriett, were all within walking distance.

She walked to the kitchen, her feet killing her. With two newborns in incubators and another baby boy on life support, she was exhausted. Keeping a scrupulous eye over every newborn in the nursery was taxing.

When they’d moved in together, combining Jess’s modern taste with Ann’s more conservative look made for an eclectic ambiance. Jess’s poster of Warhol’s “Marilyn” hung next to Ann’s framed picture of a tranquil cottage surrounded by English gardens. Books, memorabilia, and trinkets filled the bookcase they’d put together using two-by-fours and paver bricks. A bright red, curved sectional took up most of the cozy living room and a cream-colored shag rug sat underneath an oval-shaped glass coffee table.

In her bedroom, she wiggled out of her jeans and tossed them on top on the silent radiator. She pulled on drawstring, cotton “bum-around” pants, and a T-shirt.

After she nabbed a bottle of water out of the refrigerator, she plopped down on the couch. Adjusting two pillows underneath her head, she found the remote and pulled the colorful afghan her mother had crocheted over her. Flipping through the channels, she stopped when she found Pretty Woman.

The rattle of pans woke her. Ann slid an arm out from underneath the blanket. “What time is it?” she asked, yawning.

“I was trying to be quiet and not wake you,” Jess said from the kitchen. “Almost eight.”

“You going in early?” Ann rubbed her eyes.

“Have to. Everything’s on sale and not even close to being marked down.”

Ann heard an egg crack and then the sizzle when it hit the frying pan. As manager of the Gap, Jess worked most weekends.

“What time you get in?” Ann put her feet on the floor, waited a couple of seconds, and stood. She shielded her eyes as she stumbled to the window and pulled down the shade to block the rising sun.

“I don’t know—around three maybe,” Jess said. “Want some eggs?”

Ann plopped back down on the couch. “Too early.”

Jess sat down on the opposite end of the couch and put the plate of scrambled eggs and toast on her lap. “You have fun?”

“I did.”

“The guy you met is dreamy.” Jess stabbed a fork into the eggs.

“Seems like a nice guy.”

“And you didn’t want to go to a bar last night,” Jess teased. “Look what you would have missed.”

“He’s a lawyer.”

Jess’s oval-shaped, green eyes grew wide. “A lawyer? Wow. You hit the jackpot.” She stuffed the last of the toast in her mouth, stood, and carried the plate into the kitchen.

“We have so much in common—kind of freaky.” Ann pushed her arms up over her head and stretched. “Family law. Does custody cases. Says he represents kids more than parents.” She wrapped the soft, cotton afghan around her and sank down into the sofa.

“So…you bring the babies into the world, and he protects them.”

Lost in her own thoughts, she didn’t hear what Jess said. “I keep thinking I’ve met him before.”

“Maybe you have. Maybe he had a sister who had a baby, and he came to into the hospital or something.” Her footsteps went down the hall. “Gonna see him again?”

“He’s picking me up this afternoon,” Ann said. “Says he’s thinking of buying a house and wants to take me by it.”

“Still against meeting guys in bars?” Jess asked as she walked down the hall to the door.



Soon after Ann Ferguson and Ben Grable marry, and Ben unseals his adoption papers, their perfect life together is torn apart, sending the couple to opposite sides of the courtroom.

Representing Ann, lawyer Michael J. McConaughey (Mac) feels this is the case that could have far-reaching, judicial effects -- the one he's been waiting for.

Opposing counsel knows this high profile case happens just once in a lifetime.

And when the silent protest known as HUSH sweeps the nation, making international news, the CEO of one of the top ten pharmaceutical companies in the world plots to derail the trial that could cost his company billions.

Critically acclaimed literary thriller HUSH not only questions one of the most controversial laws that has divided the nation for over four decades, but captures a story of the far-reaching ties of family that surpasses time and distance.

*** Hush does not have political or religious content. The story is built around the emotions and thoughts of two people who differ in their beliefs.

 EDITORIAL REVIEW: "Suspenseful and well-researched, this action-packed legal thriller will take readers on a journey through the trials and tribulations of one of the most controversial subjects in society today."

Katie French author of "The Breeders," "The Believer's," and "Eyes Ever To The Sky."

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Genre – Thriller
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
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