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Tough Decision

This has been a really tough decision for me to make and I’ve been weighing my options for a while now. But, a few weeks ago I was informed that certain content that I post on this blog could end up getting my blog deleted.
For any blogger, this is terrifying. Whether you’ve just started out or you are a pro at this now. That’s so much time, effort and content to lose. It hurts your credibility, the credibility of any authors you review for and anyone else involved in your blog.

So out of desperation to keep my content, I backed off of posting that kind of content and opened a secondary blog for the content.

Now I’m realizing how much work it is to have that secondary blog plus this one.

So I have decided to close this blog and move all future reviews, interviews and tour content to the new one. This is not a decision that I’ve taken lightly and I definitely have debated it thoroughly, but alas I must comply with WordPress and their user guidelines.

Where You Can Find Me:
New Site
BlogLovin
Facebook
Twitter
GoodReads

and of course, you can e-mail me at shhiamreadingblog@gmail.com.

For the authors who are seeking my reviews in the future (if you’ve come from any of the Indie Review sites), please either e-mail me or find me on the links above, especially Facebook.

Best of lucks Readers and I hope to see a few familiar faces commenting on future posts.

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Featured Author · Spotlight Interview · Uncategorized

Featured Author: Geoffrey Saign

Wednesday Spotlight

 
Genre: 
Epic Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Kiraku Press
Publication Date: November 26, 2016
Pages: 296
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About the Book

A hundred-year-war that won’t end… Three young women sworn to kill each other… Famere, the wyshea butcher, seeks vengeance with loyal mythic beasts called shadows, Jennelle, commander of the Northerners, fights for her people’s survival using brilliant strategies, & Camette, a wild divided draghon, searches for her kidnapped lover… Famere, Jennelle and Camette must discover who is friend or enemy, who is responsible for the hundred-year dark sky, and death mists, and if the men they adore will still love them.

Interview

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I love nature and wildlife, so environmental issues concern me. I have many other passions, including water (swim, sail, snorkel), cooking, self-awareness, walking in forests, and of course, writing. I grew up in a city that was surrounded by forests and a small farm, so the outdoors became my playground. Later I studied biology, humpback whales, and got into sailing. I’ve travelled over much of the South Pacific, and have worked in special education for decades.

What inspired you to write?

I love stories, but my first thoughts about writing were triggered by a high school creative writing teacher, who prefaced reading my homework essay assignment with, “A writer like this comes around once every 17 years.” I was shocked, and her words always stuck with me.

What inspired your novel?

I wanted to show that good and evil can be in all races, each of us and that our choices decide where we end up. One of the main characters in Wyshea Shadows hates war but ironically becomes a cold-blooded warrior/killer after a tragedy. Our responses can either swing us to peace and love, or violence. Another theme is the overarching threat to their world, which is being caused, ultimately, by a quest for power—a parallel to the current situation in our world.

What is the genre?

YA epic fantasy action thriller with romance subplots.

What draws you to this genre?

The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen Donaldson were some of my favorite books. Fantasy that is a bit dark (darker than my books), but with hope too. I grew up reading thrillers and fantasy, and combining the two seemed a natural fit. At one point I decided I enjoyed writing for younger readers, MG and YA, but really my stories seem to appeal to all ages.

How did you develop your plot and your characters?

Unlike many of my books, this story was developed over many years. It was my first fantasy novel, and over the years morphed from adult to YA, and from first-person to third, and from male main characters to female (though the book also has male main characters, the story is seen mostly out of the eyes of three women who have tremendous challenges and tragedy to overcome while fighting a war).

What inspired your protagonist?

I wanted to show a young woman struggling with what is expected of her, rebelling against that, while events overtake her desires and force decisions upon her. She’s strong, connected to nature, in love, confused, and tired of everyone’s expectations of her. The other two women in the story have similar situations, and they also have to make decisions that force them into dangerous alliances. I wanted to show women leaders who were strong, yet sensitive and compassionate, tough and mysterious, yet very clear on what they want. War, love, and mystery entangle them together.

What inspired your antagonist?

Actually, there are several antagonists of different stature. Some are minions, one is conflicted, and there is one who is driving all the conflict. In our current society, there are men of power who don’t care what happens to the environment or people who stand in the way of ‘progress’—whether it is pipelines or a new dam in Brazil threatening native peoples. These men have single-minded goals—riches and power, and their actions become very destructive. The antagonist in Wyshea Shadows is in a fantasy world, but with those same attributes.

What was the hardest part to write in the book?

Blending the beauty of the dangerous world of the Wild Lands on Pangaea with action and suspense so that beauty is always there, yet never slowing the pacing or taking over the scenes.

What was your favorite part of your book to write?

The book is full of action and suspense, yet I love the emotional strands connecting the characters, who in the end are willing to die for what they believe in, and for each other. It brings deep emotion to me even now after reading it a hundred times.

Are you a full-time or a part-time writer? If part-time, what do you do besides write?

I work full-time in education, where I teach novel writing, self-awareness, and speech, among other things. But I’m writing 25+ hours/week, and 40+ in the summer.

What are you currently reading?

I read science articles at times, to keep current on environmental issues. I’m also reading some things on Virtual Reality, which is used on one of my thrillers. Mostly right now I’, rewriting a thriller, and even more time is spent on marketing the 6 books I have out.

How about your favourite books? What would be your top 5?

I loved Sabriel by Garth Nix, Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, and more recently I’ve read Hunger Games (book 1), and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children—I read to see what others are doing, and enjoyment. I spend most of my reading time on my books—I will be putting out another 5-8 by July 1, 2017.

What are your future projects, if any?

I will be publishing 2 adult thrillers over the winter. Then the 2nd Books in the Bubblegum Mike series and Divided Draghons series. The 3rd books in each of these series will be out by July 1, hopefully. I also have a younger MG book, another nonfiction book, and possibly a romance. Many of these books are written already, and thus just need editing and production—otherwise, I could never do something like this, put out so many books so fast.

What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you and your books?

WebsiteFacebookTwitterLinkedIn

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? 

You either write just for fun, pleasure, a few friends and family, or it’s a business.

Publishers often are no longer the best route, since an agent/publisher if you are lucky will take two years to put out a book (IF you sell it fast), and then you have 3 months in B&N. If you don’t sell well, you’re done. I know a number of writers who have experienced this. Then you have to get the rights back, redo the cover and interior files, etc. Thus, self-publishing gives you more chance of success and more options. However, it costs more up front, and there are 4,000 new Kindle books published daily. That’s a lot of competition. But most of these books will never be read, never be successful, and are glutting the platforms. Most writers work other jobs, so you have to love it to keep at it.

Winning awards, sales, readers telling you they love your book all help keep you excited along the way.

Good luck!

Book Tour · Contests · Excerpts · Giveaway · Monday Book Tours · Silver Dagger Scriptorium · Uncategorized

Last Semester Book Tour & Giveaway


Genre: Comedy, Romance, New Adult
Publisher: Corine Mekaouche
Publication Date: April 21, 2017
Pages: 360
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Buy On: Amazon

About the Book

When Johanna ‘Jo’ Gold, witty college life blogger and senior at Rutan University, decides to move in with three male strangers her last semester of school, her life unexpectedly turns upside down. While dealing with her new roommates, A.J., the pompous rich kid who feels trapped in following his father’s footsteps; Rob, the prematurely engaged former womanizer who tries to force Jo out of the house at all costs; and Drew, the 21-year-old virgin genius whose encounters with women have been more than limited, Jo learns that change isn’t always easy and it’s up to her to learn how to survive the remainder of her time at Rutan the best that she can. Along with searching for her missing mother, figuring out a clever way to pay for school tuition on her own, and dealing with the childish pranks brought on by a certain roommate, Jo’s issues seem more complicated than the average 21-year-old. Can Jo endure the dramatic perils of college while planning for life after graduation?
Navigating through college isn’t easy especially when you don’t know what the future holds, but Jo is determined to conquer her present even if it means figuring out what being an adult is all about. With graduation around the corner, Jo and her roommates have some growing up to do and the last semester is all they have.
College is complicated.
Partying is a necessity.
Drama is guaranteed.
Life is just beginning.

Excerpt

“Breathe, Rob! Just breathe!” I demand in a panicky voice from the back seat as we swiftly pull up to the entrance of the hospital. Clutching his chest in pain next to me, he heaves out a few spouts of air, but it’s not enough to help him.
Shit!
I watch my roommate Rob’s cheeks turn from a shade of deep pink to a dark crimson red. “A.J.! He’s getting worse!” I yell to my other roommate in the driver’s seat. He rolls his eyes then turns around.
“Calm down, Jo!” he exclaims. “I can’t think when you’re yelling like this!”
Drew, our other roommate, and usually the voice of reason, says nothing as he quickly jumps out of the Range Rover and runs into the hospital entrance.
“Can’t. Breathe,” Rob manages to force out of his mouth, then before I know it, his body falls limp and his head somehow ends up on my lap. His eyes roll to the back of his head.
“I think he’s dying!” I whine and suddenly I’m losing my breath.
Releasing a loud groan, A.J. climbs out of the SUV and casually walks into the hospital as if nothing is wrong.
Why is he so calm and I’m flipping the hell out?
I begin to shake Rob’s shoulders but he doesn’t respond and I’m almost positive that he’s not breathing at all now.
It’s official.
I killed my roommate.
Okay, maybe he’s not dead yet, but if death was a road, he just made a left turn for the worse then ran over a few annoying potholes and some week old roadkill…and probably drove off a cliff or something…
Ugh! I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore! I feel guilty for doing this to him and I feel even more guilty because I kinda hate his arrogant, smug ass, but just because someone is an asshole doesn’t mean that they deserve to die, does it?
The back door opens and I see A.J. and Drew standing outside with a wheelchair. A.J. roughly wraps his arms around Rob’s body and begins to pull him out of the car. “Fuck! He’s like the size of an ogre,” he complains as he struggles to get Rob into the wheelchair. The fact that Rob is as useless as a wet noodle right now makes it difficult for A.J. to adjust Rob’s body in the chair. I cringe just watching it.
“I knew this was going to happen one day,” Drew says shaking his head. “The inevitable always happens.”
Shooting Drew a snarling glare, A.J. grits his teeth. “Just roll the goddamn chair into the hospital,” he instructs. Drew turns the chair around and begins to jog into the emergency room with Rob’s body leaning to one side. A.J. looks at me in the SUV, annoyed. “Well, are you coming?” he asks and I just freeze.
Do I stay? Do I go? I don’t know what to do with myself!
Taking a quick yet deep breath, I climb out of the SUV, shut the door and join A.J. on the other side of the vehicle.
“I’m horrible,” I blurt out and I can feel wetness welling in my eyes. “I’m a horrible person.”
“Dammit, Jo! I hate it when girls cry,” he complains as he shuts the other back door and begins to walk into the hospital. He pauses in his tracks when he notices that I’m not following him.
I’m frozen.

About the Author


The geek and the dreamer, Corine Mekaouche has always had the vision of becoming a writer. While growing up in the New Jersey suburbs, Corine spent her childhood immersed in music, novels, and writing. To her, the arts was the best escape ever. For college, she attended Rutgers University majoring in English and minoring in Theatre Arts. Somehow, Corine survived the college experience and became somewhat of a grown-up yet still kept the vision of being a writer alive because it may be all she’s qualified for. So, she wrote and wrote until Last Semester, a new adult novel about college life and growing up, was born. Currently, she is writing other novels and plays for future release. When she’s not writing, loudly singing to songs in her car or dancing in random places for no apparent reason, Corine is being an awesome wife and a mom residing outside of the wonderfully flawed New York City.

Connect with Corine

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Good Reads

Giveaway

$10 Amazon Gift Card

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Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and giveaways!

Book Tour · Contests · Excerpts · Giveaway · Monday Book Tours · Silver Dagger Scriptorium · Uncategorized

The Red Kiss Book Tour & Giveaway

Book 2

 
Genre: 
New Adult, Romance, Suspense
Publisher: Loose Id LLC
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Pages: 414
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Years after being targeted in a violent, public attack, Seneca Graves is no longer the women she was. Once a forceful and outgoing writer and BDSM lifestyle advocate, she now secludes herself behind walls both physical and mental. When other survivors of the attack begin showing up dead, Seneca’s life is again bound up with her former lover, Special Agent John Book of the FBI. Their bond, and his willingness to submit, draws out Seneca’s strength and dominance.

At the same time, Holly Rabb and Jason Wills of the local police join the investigation. They are partners, dealing with their own feelings and dangerous flirtations. All are thrown together in a swirling mix of mystery, murder, and heated attraction as Seneca and Book become mentors to Holly and Jason in feminine-led love.

As the pressures of romance and investigations come to a head, secrets are revealed that put lives and careers at risk. The mystery deepens as Seneca makes plans for a return to public life, bringing the connections–and passion–to a head. Danger collides with sex, whips with skin, and dominance with love. Not just Seneca, but all four lovers must evolve and learn as a new killer rises to threaten them all, once again in a very public confrontation.

*Can be read as a standalone*

Holly looked at the wine, then at Book. She looked at Seneca, who nodded with her pretty smile. The motion made her dark hair flounce gently. An image of that hair cascading down over Jason’s lap as Seneca took him in her mouth slipped into Holly’s mind.
They are asking me to— Holly flipped through mental images of words, as though she had stumbled across a sexual primer she never knew was in her head. Participate. Join. Share. Nothing seemed to fit, but they all did.
She took the wine that Book was holding. It bloomed on her tongue and through her sinuses with fragrance and warmth. As she swallowed, the liquid was like a heated river spilling into her belly. With the next beat of her heart, the comfort seemed to spread through her veins until she had a second taste of it. Aged oak and a hint of cedar with something fruity echoed on her palate. It reminded her of the colognes she liked. That made her think of the men she loved the fragrances on.
She looked up from the glass at Book, then shifted her attention to Seneca. “Why are you doing this?” she finally asked.
“I’m not doing anything,” Seneca said. Her smile was like a pretty mirage, shaping to her words and always communicating a happy sexiness. “We’re offering. And we want you to accept. But it’s your choice.”
That second wind, what she had thought impossible, wafted through Holly’s mind first, then her body. She wanted what was offered, even if she wasn’t sure what it was. It was different and charged with a sexual energy.
More than sex.

Book 1

 
Genre: 
New Adult, Romance, Suspense
Publisher: Loose Id LLC
Publication Date: November 24, 2014
Pages: 364
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Buy on Amazon

After years of alcohol and promiscuous sex, Detective Eleanor Silver is not the cop or the person she wanted to be. New doors and new worlds open up when the murders of sexually dominant women, involved in the world of BDSM, lead her to Dr. Anderson Wells. A psychologist and sexual submissive, Anderson offers to be her guide. They soon find themselves exploring on more intimate levels. In her, He sees the strong and forceful woman he craves. She sees in him a man strong enough to surrender control.

As he escorts her into the world of kink parties, leather corsets and safe words she flourishes, becoming the kind of woman she never dreamed. Even as they become closer, both as lovers and as Dominant and submissive, new murders and his own lie make

Anderson a suspect and then the target of a cop looking to clear his own name.
Events and passions collide with bite marks, pretty underwear and murder in a world where cops may be killers and lovers may hold whips. Eleanor Silver has to let go of her pain to claim for herself the life she wants and risk everything to save the man she loves.

*Can be read as a standalone*

Drury Jamison is not a bestselling author, yet. But he believes hard work will prevail. He has been writing since he could read and gave all his attention to the story at the expense of the rules.
Born an Army brat he finally settled and came to call the Missouri Ozarks home. While raising wonderful kids and failing at everything else he wrote screenplays, television scripts, advertising copy and filthy limericks. After many twists, and multiple once-in-a-lifetime life changing events, he returned to work on the short stories and novels he loved best.

Connect with Drury

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$25 Amazon

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Book Tour · Contests · Excerpts · Giveaway · Monday Book Tours · Uncategorized

Daughter of Aithne Book Tour

 
Genre: 
Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Orb Weaver Press
Publication Date: May 1, 2017
Pages: 386 pages
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About the Book

Betrayed by her own prodigy, Eolyn, High Maga of Moisehén, is accused of treason. While power-hungry nobles dismantle her life’s work and honor, the desperate maga forges a risky alliance with the ruthless and cunning Mage Corey. Plagued by enemies old and new, Eolyn prepares for battle against her own sisters in magic.

Across the Furma River, Taesara of Roenfyn is drawn out of seclusion and into an ever-more vicious game of intrigue and war. Subject to the schemes of an ambitious uncle and the mysterious magic of the wizards of Galia, Taesara struggles to assert control over her own fate, even as she defends her daughter’s heritage.

In the climactic finale to The Silver Web trilogy, threads of love, honor, betrayal, and vengeance culminate in a violent conflict between powerful women, opposed to each other yet destined to shatter a thousand-year cycle of war.

Excerpt

Anger flared in Eolyn’s veins. She stood. Akmael rose with her.
“Speak plainly, my Lord King. I will not be subject to this cat-and-mouse game. If you do not trust me, if you do not believe me, then say so.”
“I trust your heart, Eolyn, but your heart has led you to ill-advised decisions in the past. For this reason, I am not always inclined to trust your judgment.”
“For the love of the Gods! I am not the confused and frightened girl I was when my brother took up arms against you.”
“No, but you must understand the dilemma you have put me in.”
“The dilemma I have put you in?”
“If you knew of Ghemena’s plan and did not inform me, you were party to treason. If you did not know, then your authority over the magas is uncertain. Either way, the magas must remain bound and imprisoned until this conflict is resolved.”
Eolyn blinked and stepped away.
Not even Thelyn had put it so bluntly.
“The magas have lived in peace in Moisehén for more than a decade.” Her voice shook, and her hands were clenched at her sides. “You cannot let the action of one woman—”
“Three women. The blatantly treasonous act of three women, all devoted students of yours. They have brought war upon us, Eolyn. Who knows how many others among your followers support them?”
“The magas who remain in my service have done nothing to merit suspicion.”
“You cannot ask this of me.”
“Eolyn.” He took her gently by the shoulders. “Do not close your eyes to the delicacy of our position. Half the court speculates it was your command that led Ghemena to deliver Eliasara to Roenfyn.”
“You know I would never—”
“And I, seeing that my daughter has been stolen from me, wonder what is next in the minds of those who plot to bring down my house and reign. Will they attempt to kill my son? Will they try to take away my Queen? Because those two things would destroy me, Eolyn. Me and all the futures I have imagined.”
Eolyn stared at Akmael in disbelief. A ghostly cry echoed through her heart, the forgotten lament of a woman betrayed.
“This is how it began, isn’t it?” she whispered. “The confinement of your mother began just like this.”
“Eolyn—”
“Your father wanted only to protect her, but he never allowed her to leave. In the end it made no difference. Kaie penetrated the wards and slew her. You remember, Akmael. You were there.”
“My love—”
“You cannot lock me up in that place!”
“You will not be left alone as my mother was. Not tonight, not in any night to come.”
Akmael pressed his lips to her forehead. He took the chain that suspended the Silver Web and lifted the jewel gently over Eolyn’s head. As he held the amulet in the palm of his hand, its delicate crystals glittered in the afternoon light.
“This magic can be used to penetrate the wards,” he said.
“How?”
“That is for me to know.” He set the silver chain around his own neck, slipping the amulet beneath his tunic. “I promise you, Eolyn, I will be with you in every moment I can.”
“You secure your way into the East Tower while leaving me with no way out. At night you would use your mother’s magic to come as a thief, a surreptitious lover, not openly as my king and husband. Why?”
Akmael nodded to the door that separated them from the courtiers outside. “Because they must believe that my judgment is free from the influence of desire and love, free from any spells a High Maga might cast.”
“All magas merit suspicion.” Akmael hesitated at her stricken look. He let go a slow breath and softened his tone. “There is a history here that we have not yet overcome, Eolyn. You, of all people, must understand that. Too many of our subjects still remember the war against my father.”
“And the purges that followed?” she shot back.
“The violence that tore this kingdom apart,” he conceded. “Right or wrong, the magas were left with the blame. There are many who fear your power, Eolyn. They fear the ambitions of all women of magic. We must manage this situation carefully, to protect you and your daughters. To see that justice is done.”
“What Thelyn did to my magas on your orders was not just.”
“A precautionary measure. Nothing more.”
“You must give me your word—” Eolyn’s voice broke. She sensed doors closing all around her. Was there nothing he would allow? No small concession she could demand? “At least promise me that none of my daughters will be mistreated during their confinement.”
“Mistreated?”
“That they will not be…That they will not be subject to the techniques once used by Tzeremond and his mages.”
Realization washed over Akmael’s features. He smiled and shook his head. “Come, Eolyn. The situation is not that grim. I assure you the days of Tzeremond will not return. We are at a momentary impasse to be endured until we determine whether this web of treachery ends with Ghemena or begins with her. If found innocent, your magas will be restored to their former positions. If any of them harbor treasonous hearts, it is better we find out now before further damage is done.”
Eolyn nodded, though she found little comfort in his reassurance.
“I have had the rooms of the East Tower prepared for you,” Akmael said.
“What?”
“I knew you would not be pleased,” he hastened to add, “but I do this for your own protection.”
“My protection?”
“There are no wards more powerful than those of the East Tower. You will stay there and the children with you.”
“You would imprison me? The woman you love, your Queen?”
“Your magic will not be bound. You will be permitted visitors, and you will be allowed to leave the confines of the tower during daylight hours, but always in my company or in the company of guards appointed by me.”
“You cannot ask this of me.”
“Eolyn.” He took her gently by the shoulders. “Do not close your eyes to the delicacy of our position. Half the court speculates it was your command that led Ghemena to deliver Eliasara to Roenfyn.”
“You know I would never—”
“And I, seeing that my daughter has been stolen from me, wonder what is next in the minds of those who plot to bring down my house and reign. Will they attempt to kill my son? Will they try to take away my Queen? Because those two things would destroy me, Eolyn. Me and all the futures I have imagined.”
Eolyn stared at Akmael in disbelief. A ghostly cry echoed through her heart, the forgotten lament of a woman betrayed.
“This is how it began, isn’t it?” she whispered. “The confinement of your mother began just like this.”
“Eolyn—”
“Your father wanted only to protect her, but he never allowed her to leave. In the end it made no difference. Kaie penetrated the wards and slew her. You remember, Akmael. You were there.”
“My love—”
“You cannot lock me up in that place!”
“You will not be left alone as my mother was. Not tonight, not in any night to come.”
Akmael pressed his lips to her forehead. He took the chain that suspended the Silver Web and lifted the jewel gently over Eolyn’s head. As he held the amulet in the palm of his hand, its delicate crystals glittered in the afternoon light.
“This magic can be used to penetrate the wards,” he said.
“How?”
“That is for me to know.” He set the silver chain around his own neck, slipping the amulet beneath his tunic. “I promise you, Eolyn, I will be with you in every moment I can.”
“You secure your way into the East Tower while leaving me with no way out. At night you would use your mother’s magic to come as a thief, a surreptitious lover, not openly as my king and husband. Why?”
Akmael nodded to the door that separated them from the courtiers outside. “Because they must believe that my judgment is free from the influence of desire and love, free from any spells a High Maga might cast.”
“They are fools if they believe a maga can control the decisions of men! If we had such power, I assure you this world would be a very different sort of place.”

“Vigorously told deceptions and battle scenes…with a romantic thread.” –Publishers Weekly review of Eolyn, Book One of the Silver Web

Lush, evocative descriptions carry readers through an unforgettable journey.” –Kirkus Reviews review of Sword of Shadows, Book Two of the Silver Web.

Where to Buy

Amazon

About the Author

Karin Rita Gastreich writes stories of ordinary women and the extraordinary paths they choose. An ecologist by vocation, Karin has wandered forests and wildlands all her life. Her pastimes include camping, hiking, music, and flamenco dance. In addition to THE SILVER WEB trilogy, Karin has published short stories in World Jumping, Zahir, Adventures for the Average Woman, and 69 Flavors of Paranoia. She is a recipient of the Spring 2011 Andrews Forest Writer’s Residency.

Connect with Karin

Website | Facebook | Good Reads | Twitter

Giveaway

 $15 Amazon or BN gift certificate.

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Book Tour · Contests · Excerpts · Giveaway · Monday Book Tours · Silver Dagger Scriptorium · Uncategorized

The Thief Book Tour & Giveaway

 
Genre: 
Contemporary Romance, Suspense
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publication Date: 
April 11, 2017
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The Elite Crimes Unit works behind the scenes of Interpol—and employs some of the world’s most talented criminal minds. Because as everyone knows, it takes a thief to catch a thief—or to seduce one . . .
The old farmhouse in the French countryside is a refuge for former jewel thief Josephine Deveraux. Admittedly, there aren’t many men in the vicinity, but she has her cat to cuddle up with. It’s a far cry from her former life, constantly running from the law, and she’s enjoying her peace . . . until the intruder in the three-piece suit tackles her. He wants her back in the game, helping with a heist—and he’s not above making threats to get his way.
Little does Josephine know that notorious—and notoriously charming—thief, Xavier Lambert, is after the very same 180-carat prize she’s being blackmailed to steal. To his chagrin, he’s doing it not as a free agent, but as a member of the Elite Crimes Unit—the team he was forced to join when his brilliant career came to a sudden end. And little does Xavier know that his comeback is about to include a stranger’s kiss, a stinging slap, and a hunt for missing treasure—along with the infuriatingly sexy woman who’s outfoxing him . . .

Two days later, Josephine took a cab back to Jean-Hugues’s place. She’d set up in the Paris safe house and had contacted Dmitri. It would take a week to relocate her to Berlin. She didn’t look forward to that—she didn’t speak German and the city was dismal—but it wasn’t permanent. A quick layover that would provide much-needed misdirection. All that mattered was getting out of France and going under.
Again.
How Lincoln had managed to keep tabs on her was incredible. She’d been careful. Since moving to France with her mother when she was eight, she’d never been issued a driver’s license or ID card. No internet presence, not even a credit card. The only phones she used were pre-paid burners. Of course, she should have expected Lincoln would not let her leave so easily. He’d been infatuated with her. So quickly. It had freaked the hell out of her. She’d refused his marriage proposal after dating only four weeks. She wasn’t the marrying type. Domesticity gave her the hives. Sharing her life with a man sounded so evasive. Since giving up thievery, she liked to keep her head down and her ass out of trouble. And Lincoln wanting her to step back onto the scene now was not keeping her head down.
She directed the cabbie to turn off the headlights so they didn’t shine through her neighbor’s bedroom window, then told him she’d be right out. She headed up the walkway, then stopped.
The front door was open. Instinctively, Josephine’s hand went to the gun she’d tucked in the back of her leather pants. While she didn’t like guns, sometimes they were necessary. She pulled out the small pistol she favored and held it pointed down near her thigh. She stepped over the cracked stone threshold.
“Jean-Hugues?”
A groan sounded from the living room. She hurried in to find the old man sitting on the wood floor before the smoldering fireplace. Blood dribbled from his forehead and had stained his upper lip. He smiled up at her, but then winced.
“Jean-Hugues, what happened? When did this happen?” It must have been Lincoln. Had to be. Had she passed him on the road coming here?
“They were here not too long ago. I am so sorry, Josephine.
They took Chloe.”
Heart dropping, she bent before Jean-Hugues and touched his forehead. He’d been punched, and probably cut with a ring. Not a deep cut, but it must hurt terribly.
“A man with dark hair asked for you. I told him I didn’t know where you were. He had two thugs with him. Why did they take the cat?” he asked, spreading his hands. “I don’t understand.”
It was a means to force her to do the job. Lincoln was a ruthless bastard.
Hurting an old man to get to her was beyond cruel.
“I’m sorry, Jean-Hugues. Let me get that first-aid kit out of your bathroom and we’ll take care of you.”
“No, I am fine. Just a cut and maybe a few bruised ribs.”
“They beat you?” She stood and pressed the gun grip against her temple. “That bastard.”

“Why do you have a gun, Josephine? Who were those men?” Josephine clenched her jaw. “My past.”

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Michele Hauf has been writing romance, action-adventure and fantasy stories for over twenty years. Her first published novel was Dark Rapture (Zebra). France, musketeers, vampires and faeries populate her stories. And if she followed the adage “write what you know,” all her stories would have snow in them. Fortunately, she steps beyond her comfort zone and writes about countries she has never visited and of creatures she has never seen.

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Sweet Southern Hearts Book Tour & Giveaway

 
Genre: 
Chick Lit, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Date of Release: January 10, 2017
Pages: 214 pages
Links: Good Reads
Buy Links: AmazoniTunesGoogleKoboBarnes & Noble

Susan Schild welcomes you back to the offbeat Southern town of Willow Hill, North Carolina, for a humorous, heartwarming story of new beginnings, do-overs, and self-discovery…

When it comes to marriage, third time’s the charm for Linny Taylor. She’s thrilled to be on her honeymoon with Jack Avery, Willow Hill’s handsome veterinarian. But just like the hair-raising white water rafting trip Jack persuades her to take, newlywed life has plenty of dips and bumps.

Jack’s twelve-year-old son is resisting all Linny’s efforts to be the perfect stepmother, while her own mother, Dottie, begs her to tag along on the first week of a free-wheeling RV adventure. Who knew women “of a certain age” could drum up so much trouble? No sooner is Linny sighing with relief at being back home than she’s helping her frazzled sister with a new baby…and dealing with an unexpected legacy from her late ex. Life is fuller—and richer—than she ever imagined, but if there’s one thing Linny’s learned by now, it’s that there’s always room for another sweet surprise…

Linny’s heartbeat galloped under her life jacket as they shot down the rapids of the Ocasoula River. Eyes wide, she watched as their orange raft careened toward a jagged boulder, bumped it hard, and spun them toward a patch of choppy water. As the water rushed around the three of them—Linny, her new husband Jack, and their beautiful, Ms. Outward Bound–type goddess of a river guide—they dug deep and paddled hard, straining to pull through the eddy. With a whoosh, they were pulled backward down the roaring, foaming river. Linny shot Jack a panicky glance, but he was grinning exultantly and looking like he was having the time of his life. With the flick of a braid and a pirate’s smile, the guide thrust her paddle into the rapids, turned the raft around, and steered them downstream toward calmer water. Too soon to relax, though. Linny saw more rough waters ahead and tensed.

Be a shame to lose a third husband, she thought crazily and paddled harder.

The nimble-footed photographer from the outdoor center jogged along a path on the riverbank, snapping away as their raft rocketed toward the Turbinator, the Class III rapid that roiled ahead in the home stretch of the river trip. The photographer’s ponytail bounced as he raced ahead of them, taking shots as their raft bucked, dove, and finally glided through the rain-swollen Ocasoula.

Soon, a shivering Linny stood at the takeout, hugging herself and rubbing her arms. She’d been splashed thoroughly and didn’t want to think about how cold the water would have been if they’d flipped over. Though it was late June, the guide told them the water temperature was only in the midfifties. Linny found herself grinning like a fool as she waited for Jack to come back from the truck with his wallet to pay for their pictures. She’d been terrified, but she’d had a blast.

A white water rafting trip might not be high on most women’s lists of a must-do on a honeymoon, but when Linny had seen how Jack’s eyes sparkled as he reminisced about a rafting trip he’d taken when he was in his twenties, she’d said, “Let’s do it!” in an enthusiastic, practically perky voice she’d hardly recognized. In this new and complicated marriage, being a good sport and flexible as Gumby were going to ease the way. Though rafting wasn’t her thing, Jack had cheerfully gone on the vineyard tour with her yesterday and, on the drive up to the mountains, had tagged along, not looking bored, as she’d poked through vintage aprons and yellow Nancy Drew books at an antique store.

“Here you go, ma’am.” The young man held out his camera and scratched one mesh- sandaled foot with the other as he watched her view the shots he’d taken.

In perfect clarity, the fellow had caught them at the moment she and Jack got sling-shot skyward in their raft after diving down into the roiling water of that last rapid. Linny peered more closely at the picture. The photographer had captured the Carolina blue sky day, the Day-Glo orange of the raft, the lithe young goddess at the helm, and her and Jack—the glowing, sun-drenched newlyweds. Twice coming down that river they’d almost flipped and been swept into the churning waters. Linny’s teeth had chattered and she’d buzzed with adrenaline and fear, but she looked alive and exhilarated as she beamed at Jack, pure joy in her eyes. With powerful arms, he was digging away with his paddle, helping power them through. But Linny spotted two details that made her eyes well up: Jacks’ new gold band glinting in the sunlight and the look he’d given her just as the photographer had taken the shot was one of wonder and delight. He looked like he was thinking, How did I get this lucky?

“You did a great job.” Linny smiled at the young photographer.

“Thanks.” The young man blushed and pulled down the brim of his cap. He pointed to the visitors’ center. “Just give me a minute to load the pictures and you can pick the ones you want.”

“Thanks. We’ll be over as soon as my husband gets back,” she said.

He raised a hand and loped off.

Linny loved saying my husband. She’d probably said it too many times over the three days of this honeymoon. My husband and I are from Willow Hill. My husband is a veterinarian. My husband likes unsweetened tea. Linny smiled at herself. Yup, she was being obnoxious, but she didn’t care. She was so dang happy that she couldn’t stop. Well, at least for a while.

At age thirty-nine and with her streak of bad luck with husbands, the odds of her and Jack finding each other and falling in love weren’t great. Linny sent up a quick prayer of pure gratefulness. After her beloved first husband, Andy, had died of a brown recluse spider bite while cleaning out a shed for Linny—an item on the too-long honey-do lists she always kept for him—she’d been lost for so many years and thought she’d never be happy again. Then Buck the charmer came along. She should have known a golden boy driving a vintage Caddy wouldn’t be good husband material, but she’d married him anyway. He’d turned out to be trouble, but just as she was considering divorcing him, he’d up and died on her. When his aneurism blew while he was in bed with a woman named Kandi, he’d left her broke.

Linny had sworn she’d steer clear of men or die trying, and then she’d met Jack. Technically, she’d accidentally hit him in the head with a bourbon bottle while recycling at the dump. She smiled and shook her head, remembering. Most women would pretty up that how-we-met story, but Linny told people the unvarnished version. Maybe she just wanted to spread the word that second chances, fresh starts, and true love were all still possible, even at her ages. The happily ever after you yearn for just might not look the way you thought it would.

So, a few days ago in a backyard ceremony, Linny had married Jack. A small-town vet with a twelve-year-old son and an exquisite ex-wife who was just a little too chummy with him for Linny’s taste, Jack came with complications. But so had she. And today she was buoyant and happy.



Susan has an undergraduate degree from James Madison University and a master’s degree (MSW) from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has used her professional background as a psychotherapist and corporate trainer to add authenticity to her characters.

Susan is a wife, a stepmother, and a dog lover. She and her family live near Raleigh, North Carolina where she is busy finishing up the third novel in the Willow Hill Series.

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Book Tour · Giveaway · Monday Book Tours · Uncategorized

The Order Book Tour and Giveaway

Book 1:

 
Genre: 
Epic Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Self-published
Date of Release: August 2, 2015
Pages: 913 pages
Links: Good ReadsAmazonBarnes and NobleiTunesBook Trailer

 

 

 

 

 

 

A clumsy step, the wrong branch to hold on to and a bump on the head to leave her unconscious – no more than that causes Eryn’s life to turn upside down and to suddenly find herself in the capital city as a prisoner to the king.

She is determined to keep her magical abilities a secret in a kingdom where magicians have only ever been male as long as anyone knows. That doesn’t work out that well, though. The Order, the governing body for magicians, and the king seem to have their own plans with her, none of them caring in the least that she just wants to leave that blasted city behind and return to the peace and quite of her profession as a healer.

And then there is Enric, a high ranking magician in the Order thanks to his considerable strength, who seems to find watching her struggles an amusing diversion.

Book 2:

 
Genre: 
Epic Fantasy
Publisher: Self-published
Date of Release: March 9, 2016
Pages: 1000 pages
Links: Good ReadsAmazoniTunes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ram’an has, to Enric’s great relief, left Anyueel again to return to his home country – which leaves him to figure out the challenge that Eryn still presents to him in more than one area of his life.

Eryn is restless, unnerved by the Order’s demands and her own urge to do something useful. Thus an expedition into the woods to teach the herb gatherers in the city how to provide her with acceptable goods seems just the thing to do to pass the time until the new healer’s place is ready for use. Ten peaceful days of collecting plants far away from the city. Or at least that’s the plan.

Book 3:

 
Genre: 
Epic Fantasy
Publisher: Self-published
Date of Release: July 29, 2016
Pages: 602 pages
Links: Good ReadsAmazoniTunes

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the delegation’s return not only the Old Kingdom has to face changes as a consequence of the contact with the Western Territories. Eryn and Enric, too, realise that their recently established bond is not without side effects. Eryn centres all her hopes on the healer from Takhan who is supposed to aid her for a few months and who is bound to arrive soon…



Astrid Christine Donaubauer – that’s me. I don’t normally use my middle name for any purpose whatsoever, but I thought that two initials look better on a book cover than just one. And thus, after more than 30 years of being either ignored or a nuisance when I had to fill in forms, my middle name has finally turned out to be useful for something. I was born and raised in Austria (not Australia, mind you – no kangaroos!) and still live there with my husband. You might have heard of that small country somewhere in the middle of Europe; we are known for Sound of Music, Lederhosen, Arnold Schwarzenegger and, lately, Christoph Waltz. Another recent claim to fame: In The Big Bang Theory Austria was mentioned as one of the countries that look like a Wiener… Isn’t that lovely. I haven’t managed to look at a map without giggling since. I would call writing a hobby, yet I am not sure if hobbies are supposed to drive you crazy and haunt you at night if you don’t give in to them. Calling it a vocation sounds a bit grand for my liking, so let’s just say it’s what I spend a lot of my free time on. In real life (I like to consider my writing activities as kind of a double life; not quite as grand as Batman’s secret identity, but you get my drift) I earn my keep as a freelance trainer and translator, pursuing the quest of helping people to improve and develop their communication and language skills. I have no wish to make writing my primary occupation – I am convinced that in my case sitting down and letting my fingers type what is going on in my head has so far only worked because I am not bound by any deadlines or financially dependent on producing anything halfway enjoyable. That’s how I would like to keep it.

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Ethical Strains Book Tour and Giveaway

 
Genre: 
Dystopian, Fantasy, Sci-fi
Publisher: Heathermoors Books and Words LLC
Date of Release: July 9, 2015
Pages: 15 pages
Links: Good ReadsAmazon

In a dystopian future, a rogue journalist uncovers what may be a revolutionary scientific discovery: a way for DNA to be extracted from the bodies of ‘morally sound’ people and injecting them into criminals as a way to reduce recidivism, and therefore the overpopulated prison system.

The street was as quiet as the dead that lay in the cemetery. Jacob crouched outside the metal gate in the shadows. The moonlight waxed silver onto the graveyard’s greenery, giving off a choral glow of peace and terror. Jacob’s heart pounded, refusing to allow the silence to tease him into thinking the street was empty. He moved his hand to his side, above the holster that cradled his gun around his waist.
Jacob extended his arm – covered with the sleeve of his leather jacket – and glanced at his digital wristwatch. 10:10. He returned his attention to the street. The wind escorted the fallen leaves along the deserted sidewalk, scratching the pavement.
She said she’d be here at 10. She did say she’ll be late.
He moved his hand away from the gun and adjusted his collar. He paced in front of the cemetery gate, his mind an agitated rush of thoughts.
Down the street, two uniformed soldiers with ammunition strapped to their bodies marched on opposite corners of the intersection. Emotional rigidity hardened their faces, while the shadows that their hulking physiques cast swept the concrete. Jacob tried to study the face of one of them, but it was difficult with the masked helmet obscuring the soldier’s face.
For twenty years I haven’t seen a street without soldiers. Doesn’t matter if I’m a kid or I’m now working as a reporter underground – things haven’t changed. Those government goons are always on people’s backs, always patrolling these streets. The beatings, the arrests, the murders. It’s a miracle I’m still alive.
Receding further into the shadows, Jacob pressed his back against the cemetery gate’s brick wall.
So many laws I’m breaking –hanging out in the streets after 10, meeting with someone crazy enough to tell me at this time she has an exclusive. What’s next? Grave robbing?
The soft shuffle of footsteps made Jacob look up. Across the street, a woman broke through the screen of darkness and crossed the street. Her low heels tapped on asphalt, while the faint moonlight unveiled her petite hourglass frame cloaked in a trench coat. A purple floral scarf covered her head, face and neck; only her eyes revealed a personal aspect.
“Jacob? Jacob Franklin?”
Jacob nodded. “That’s me.”
The woman untied her scarf and presented a gloved hand. “I am Dr. Sydney Pelham. We have spoken over the telephone. It is a pleasure to finally meet you. I apologize for my tardiness. I had an imperative appointment that ran long. This this meeting is unusual, but given the nature of my overall work, we have to be discreet. Although I work for the government counseling prisoners, the information I’m about to disclose with you is quite crucial.”
Jacob nodded. Discreet. Somehow by the time I’m done here, that word will reek of irony.
Dr. Pelham began walking. “Follow me. I know a way underground that will lead us to my experiments.”
Jacob shadowed her. “Experiments, yeah, I remember you mentioning about them.”
Dr. Pelham chuckled. “Actually, it is more than that. It is a cause. I could not divulge the details to you over the phone because someone might have tapped the lines. You have reservations about meeting a mad scientist, quote-unquote. But given that we have so many problems surrounding us – with the rampant criminal activities and the federal government demanding the construction of more prisons at taxpayers’ expense – you will understand there is a method to my alleged madness.”
Jacob wondered if it were possible to withhold his sweat from bursting onto his forehead, similar to how people could hold back tears. As a self-proclaimed maverick journalist working with a ring of underground reporters, he didn’t dare to give Dr. Pelham the impression he was shaken at the ideal of being among “experiments.”
Their footsteps crunched the fallen leaves under streetlights that cast a dim, bluish-white glow on the foliage. Both turned a corner and into the woods behind the cemetery. They walked another few yards, and then Dr. Pelham stopped. Jacob almost bumped into her.
“We’re here,” Dr. Pelham said.
She looked around and crouched down; her modest length skirt rode up her leg. With her gloved hands, she cleared the leaves to reveal a wooden trap door. She retrieved some keys on a chain from her coat pocket and unlocked the door. The pair descended the staircase into a brick tunnel. Water drops echoed and the coldness bore down on Jacob.


Teresa Edmond-Sargeant is an Orlando, FL-based poet, author and journalist originally from northern New Jersey. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies featuring NJ poets. During her time as a reporter in Jersey, she won two NJ Press Association awards.
In 2006, she published her debut poetry book, “How Fate’s Confusion Connects”; the book’s second edition will be released later in 2014. She is the author of three (so far;-)) Amazon Kindle ebooks: “Eve the First,” “An Estella Exclusive” and “Ethical Strains,” all short stories.
Edmond-Sargeant is a member of the Florida State Poets Association. She is now a staff writer for The Apopka Chief, a newspaper that covers the Apopka, FL, area (http://www.theapopkachief.com)

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Captain Hawkins Book Tour and Giveaway

 
Genre: 
Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure, Thriller
Publisher: Video Software Lab
Date of Release: December 16, 2016
Pages: 272 pages
Links: Good ReadsAmazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Action packed battles – plus an alien mystery with an original twist.

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 cross-hairs 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, Captain Jamie Hawkins on his ship, the Indefatigable, fought in ship-to-ship and fleet actions against the government–only to discover that something insidious was behind the war–a mysterious alien presence with a original twist.

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 death—for Joshua could never accomplish what had to be done—nor 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.”



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 computer scientists, engineers, and physicists 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 nine books.
He’s grateful to those who have posted favorable reviews of his work. He encourages those who would like to receive email notification of future books to click the Follow button on the Author’s page.

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