BOOK BLITZ: Freefall by Jana Williams

About the Book:

The deep-space transport ship, the Vera Rubin, is light years from Earth when botanist Elle Silver begins to question the use of their space-travel drug, HCH.  Elle notices a growing number of her friends and  fellow colonists awaken from their 90-day sleep cycles exhibiting a variety of negative side-effects and she begins to believe the drug is the culprit.  Some of the effects are minor, dry eyes and lack of appetite. Other symptoms are a bigger concern on a tiny ship packed with colonists.  With each sleep cycle completed, more and more colonists awaken both confused and barely concealing a simmering rage – rage that could be a catastrophe on a ship as crowded as the Vera Rubin.  Elle needs proof, but she also needs a plan. If the drug that allows them to travel deep-space is at fault, what then?  Elle and her friends Ashok, Achebe and Jin-Hai are pressed to their limits to find a solution to their problem before the ship erupts into chaos… with light years left to travel.

Find FREEFALL on Amazon.Com & Amazon.In

Guest Post:

As a guest writer for a post on books – I thought that rather than talk about my novel, FREEFALL per se…. readers like yourself might be interested in how the book came to be written. I think when we discover a book that really engages us, we begin to believe that writers are some mythical beings with a special ‘secret’ ingredient that allows them to write.

This could not be further from reality in my case and in many other writers’ lives too. The only ‘secret’ ingredient I might possess is a dogged determination to get my story onto the page. I learned determination and persistence from my mother. My mother also seeded in all her daughters an absolute love of reading and storytelling. Although, I continue to be the only writer in our immediate family, my sisters actively read books and even lead book club discussion groups too.

Growing up in a household of females (my father deserted us) was pivotal to my central attitude about life. I believe that there is very little that a determined girl or woman cannot accomplish. As a child, there was no one to tell me ‘girls can’t do that’ OR if my sisters did say it – I immediately set out to prove them wrong. This attitude is woven into the story of FREEFALL throughout the book.

The other tenant of the book is the importance of curiosity. I spent a fair bit of time alone as a child, poking into things, exercising my curiosity about how things worked, why they worked and even sometimes dismantling things to find out if I could make them work again. My single mother had very little extra money to fix toys that were broken or even buy new ones. So all of us girls became adept at putting dolls back together, or gluing tea sets that got broken or putting wheels back on wagons to get them working again.

In the book Elle reminds herself that curiosity is a good thing, it can lead to new ideas and discoveries of importance that might have gone unnoticed by others who never asked the question ‘Why?’ Asking yourself why and then setting out to find the answer can lead to amazing things. As you will see, Freefall reflects core values that I hold that women are smart, capable and caring – and can do almost anything if they try.

My own sense of adventure stems from my curiosity about life here, on this planet – which led to speculation about life – out there in another corner of the universe. Another core belief of mine is that you don’t have to have a degree from a university to write and write well. What you do need is the desire to tell an engaging story. The best place to learn how to do that is from inside a book where you can read, read, and read.

Once you’ve read a fair number of books, start mentally sorting them out into the ones you liked and the ones that were just okay – but not spellbinding. And finally, what about the books you didn’t like? Stack them up, and then start thinking about the ones you liked – What did they have in common? Do the same mental exercise with the books you didn’t like – What did they have in common? You will learn as much about writing from what you didn’t like – as from what you did. Once you know what you like in a book, you’re ready to start writing your own story.

It’s important to write something you would enjoy reading yourself, because if you’re writing a novel you’ll be spending days and weeks and months in the world you’re creating. So it better be a place that you look forward to visiting – you owe it to yourself to make it so. I truly loved every minute of writing Freefall. The editing portion was a challenge for me – because it is a bit like cleaning the house; necessary and important but certainly not thrilling to do.

Freefall came into being because I love good Science Fiction and Fantasy – and I hoped to write a story worthy of some that I have read. Also Freefall came into being because I was persistent enough to sit down every morning before going to work (and sometimes after work too) to continue writing Elle’s adventures with her friends. I would spend hours thinking about what would happen next, so that I would have a focus for the next days writing. And then, when I was done with the first draft, I willingly put in more time to fix the things that needed fixing to make the story more clear and uncluttered.

And of course you must be wondering, ‘Have I started the sequel?” Of course I have! I can’t wait to see what happens next in the Amalie Noether Chronicles. I hope you will join me in reading FREEFALL. Be assured – Elle’s adventures will continue in space in the next volume of the series

About the Author:

Jana Williams is certain that fiction can change people’s lives – especially women and girls.  Her own life is testimony to that fact.  One of five daughters, she was raised by a single-mom who placed a high value on reading and storytelling.

The ability to read, coupled with a child’s innate curiosity about the world, and access to books to satisfy that curiosity can offer significant opportunity to a child. Like most writers Jana has bounced from job to job, absorbing stories, cultures and customs as she worked.  She has been a high-speed motion picture photographer, a VFX coordinator, worked in the film industry, and the publishing trade as a book seller – a publisher’s rep and now an author.

But her first love is reading…. and with each book of the Freefall trilogy sold Jana will donate funds to Literacy agencies around the world whose work is to bring the joy of reading to others.

Enjoy a good adventure story and help others learn to read at the same time !

Find/Like Jana on Facebook  
Find Jana’s Writing advice – Twitter
 
 

 

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BOOK BLITZ: F*ck You, Your Honor by Craig Chambers

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Literary Fiction, Satire
Date Published: June 2017
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Publisher: Black Letter Editions
F*ck You, Your Honor is a satirical literary novel about a low-end attorney and real estate broker who is ordered by a judge to write a book to save his law license.
Attorney Darwyn “Wyn” VanWye is down on his luck. He squats in a foreclosed government-owned HUD home and conducts his law practice over his smart phone from a sports bar.
While attempting to reconcile with Amalia, his Argentine ex-wife, so his excessive alimony payments can be terminated, Judge Solomon arbitrarily sanctions him for misconduct. Instead of a fine or jail time, the judge sentences him to write a sixty-five thousand word book about the “dignity and integrity” of the legal system. Wyn believes the judge is out to get him.
After resisting the order, F*ck You, Your Honor is the book Wyn writes to hopefully save his law license. Will he succeed in placating the judge and winning back his ex-wife?
The book is loosely inspired by an article in the Wall Street Journal about a pharmaceutical executive who was sentenced by a Federal judge to write a book to show penance for lying to the Federal Trade Commission. The executive wrote the book, but instead of writing the reflective work the judge ordered, he denounced the unfairness of the legal system.
What if a lawyer was ordered to write a book like this? His first instinct would be to try to argue his way out of it.
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Excerpt
 29
Another day, I met a new prospective client at The Overtime who wanted to retain me to file for a divorce. I was talking to Cora who was busy with the lunch crowd when the prospect arrived thirty minutes early. I hate clients who are too punctual; it shows they are controlling. It’s rude. Here am I busy working on another case, and a prospective client comes in, and I feel the pressure of her waiting for me across The Overtime. But I immediately forgave her as soon as I saw her.
I must say, if ever I was tempted to start a sexual relationship with a client, this would be the one. After the case was over, of course. I could easily see myself ridding my new client of her soon-to-be ex-husband, and, maybe months later, after enough time had passed… my thoughts wandered off for a second and then wandered back to the case. Although she was probably in her late thirties, she had aged well; beautiful lips, a sensual curved neck. She had a rich, Southern drawl.
As I introduced myself, she let out this warm vibe. I made her fill out the questionnaire while she waited. Questions about the date and history of the marriage, names and addresses, the number of children, any instances of domestic violence. All based on statutes and precedent that I would need to file her case.
I noticed by her questionnaire she lived in a prestigious area of overpriced bungalows and Tudors that surrounded a big park near downtown. The park had a lake and a boathouse. Amalia and I used to go down there some afternoons in the summers for picnics and free concerts. I think part of my attraction to her, however, subconsciously, she reminded me of Amalia.
I never really thought that I had a type. I guess I do. I never liked the competitive career women, and just as important, they never liked me.
This woman was warm and kind. She was of Spanish or Mexican origin, but unlike Amalia, she had been totally Americanized. She spoke perfect English, ate bland food at The Overtime, though she dressed flamboyantly. She worked as a branch manager in a bank. She complained about the inflated prices of real estate and the ridiculous number of Starbucks. On street corners. In grocery stores. In strip malls. Being a banker, I guess she did the math, and $6 a cup is a lot for a cup of coffee.
She confided her husband had not touched her in a year. Unbelievable! I wanted to leap out of my chair and kiss her. I hadn’t touched Amalia in over a year, either.
The first thing I did, I asked her if she and her husband could reconcile. There’s a ninety-one day waiting period for a divorce, to give the couple time to cool off, maybe go to counseling.
If the parties went through a divorce, I could make thousands of dollars. If the couple can’t get along in the divorce, and both get lawyers, a couple can blow through their life savings. If the parties reconcile, the divorce is either dismissed or never filed, and I earn, well, nothing. Amalia called this “chewing my paw.”
I thought again about my divorce. Some of the arguments with Amalia were just silly.
One time, we fought over a banana. I had left a banana on the kitchen counter the night before court to pack with my exhibit books. I usually brought a snack to help me through a whole day trial. Some judges allowed you to bring food into the courtroom to eat on the breaks; others didn’t. Without even telling me, she ate the last banana.
I have to admit, at the time, I was furious.
Another time, she packed me a lunch, put it in my briefcase, and took out my notebook with all my notes for a hearing. I appeared in court, totally unprepared. Sabotaged by Amalia. Lucky for me the case was continued. We went round and round as to who was at fault on this one.
My arguments with Amalia were passionate; never violent. They almost always ended in laughter. For a few years, we had a dog, Knuckles, though the dog eventually died. One day we took him to the vet. She wrote the dog’s name down on a form at the vet’s office: ‘Nuckles’. I informed her the word began with a silent K. The word didn’t register with her, and she had a hard time believing me. I can still hear her making the K sound, trying to pronounce it, trying to make sense of the word.
The English language mystified her. The next time she wrote out a grocery list, along with the milk and some more bananas, she asked me to pick up a package of ‘knoodles’.
I may not be the best one to give a guy marital advice, but still, here goes: Sleep with your wife from time to time. Be nice to her. Otherwise, keep your penis in your pants. These, along with financial difficulties, are the main causes of a divorce.
I explained the essence of a dissolution of marriage, showing off my knowledge with citations of statutes and case law. The first step after a divorce is filed—the parties exchange financial statements and supply the supporting documentation. I call this making the pie. Once you make the pie, you divide the pie, calculating how to fairly distribute the personal property, the assets and debts between the parties. Every asset is taken into account. From the smallest savings bond to the parties’ coin collection, each coin valued and divided coin by coin. The court will even divide the porn.
A divorce works like this: most lawyers review the financial documents, and based on the factors in the statute, calculate what their client is reasonably entitled to. Then they double it. So they will stay employed.
The most accurate definition of a divorce I copied from a well-respected, influential, and prestigious legal journal.
“A divorce is a domestic legal proceeding which takes a highly dysfunctional family, and legally divides it into two highly dysfunctional families.” That was the best definition I ever heard.
I gave her advice about the fundamentals of a divorce. There were statutes about temporary orders, how child support was calculated, parenting time was determined, alimony figured, property, pensions, and debts divided. Hopefully, there’s not much to fight about. If there are no children, thank God. That’s where people fight the most. They also fight about money, until they see how much money they will have to spend to fight about the money. First, a couple doesn’t need to agree to get a divorce. That hardly makes sense. If a couple cannot agree on who will pay the sewer bill, they cannot agree on the divorce. Second, if one party says the marriage is broken, it’s broken. End of story. Agreements of the parties or other court orders are enforced through contempt proceedings, which is an allegation of a deliberate violation of a court order under Rule 107. There are two types of contempt: punitive and remedial.
Remedial contempt is when the judge is mad enough at a party for violating a court order, he or she can put you in jail until you comply. Punitive contempt is when a judge is real mad, he or she can simply put you in jail. (Amazing, though, how a deadbeat dad who owes back child support, has no money, no job, no savings, and no prospects—through some miracle of math or accounting is able to purge a remedial contempt by coughing up ten thousand dollars after spending only one night in jail.)
The smartest thing any divorcing couple can do is sit down and work out a compromise. Settle some of the divorce or all of it ahead of getting the lawyers involved. Write it on a napkin and sign it. It doesn’t matter what form it is in.
A guy usually knows he has to share the assets of the marriage with his wife, especially if the wife is a housewife. A woman thinks differently. She doesn’t like to share. All of the assets are hers; all of the debts are his. That was the story of my divorce.
I gave my prospective client some good advice: “Empty all the bank accounts,” I suggested. “If you don’t, your husband certainly will. Once he finds out you are thinking about filing the divorce.”
This was sound legal reasoning. Before a divorce is filed, there are no court orders in place to protect the assets so the court can divide them fairly. One parent can run off with the children. Or abscond with all the assets and gamble them away in Las Vegas. Once the divorce is filed or if the money disappears in contemplation of the divorce, you will have to fully account for yourself and your finances.
About the Author

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In his junior year in college, Craig Chambers attended the University of Leeds in England. He did not attend a single class, traveled around Europe instead. He came back and took the final exams, only to be disappointed that he got a 1 in English. He later learned that “First Honors” was the highest grade.
In the ‘80s he became a real estate broker while he worked on developing his writing style. Chambers attended law school in the ‘90’s because he observed a real estate closing where the lawyer messed up the deal, but still charged a fee of $1,000. He figured he could mess up a real estate deal for a lot less than that. His literary satire on the legal system, F*ck You, Your Honor, was released in June, 2017. He resides in Littleton, CO.
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BOOK BLITZ: Where Triples Go to Die by Phil Hutcheon

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Sports Fiction 
Date Published: October 2017
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Publisher: Inkwater Press
In irreverent, laugh-out-loud style, Where Triples Go to Die illuminates the messy intersection of sports, race, and romance in contemporary college life. Black superstar Juke Jackson and white counselor Malcolm Wade, each facing relationship crises at home, forge a bond at school as Wade guides Jackson’s quest to join the legion of African Americans who transformed our national pastime. An array of intervening campus issues—date rape, unplanned pregnancy, revenge porn, academic integrity violations, and the aftershocks of war among them—will keep even readers unfamiliar with The Infield Fly Rule turning the pages to find out what happens next.
Praise for “Where Triples Go to Die”
“Phil Hutcheon illuminates the messy intersection of sports, race, and romance in contemporary college life. Black superstar Juke Jackson and white counselor Malcom Wade, each facing a relationship crisis at home, forge a bond at school as Wade guides Jackson’s quest to join the legion of African Americans who transformed our national pastime. An array of intervening campus issues, including sexual assault, unplanned pregnancy, revenge porn, academic integrity violations, and the aftershocks of war, will keep even readers unfamiliar with The Infield Fly Rule turning the pages to find out what happens next. A deftly written and inherently compelling novel by an author with a genuine flair for crafting memorably irreverent characters embedded in a narrative driven story of humor and pathos from first page to last, Where Triples Go To Die will linger in the mind and memory of the reader long after the book itself has been finished and setback up on the shelf.”Midwest Book Review
“Where Triples Go To Die by Phil Hutcheon masterfully intertwines the lives of two men from different racial and socioeconomic backgrounds who are in different phases of life but are connected through their love of baseball. The humorous novel is filled with sex and scandal alongside the much more serious topics of suicide, alcoholism, and race. Julius “Juke” Jackson is on the verge of suicide after a terrible play in his final baseball game and his live-in girlfriend’s decision to move in with someone else. Malcolm Wade, the college counselor,happens to pass by at the right moment to find Jackson on the verge of a suicide attempt and talks him down. Wade, who has his own relationship issues,works tirelessly to help Jackson through his personal issues. The journey for the two men begins here. The quick-paced novel never loses momentum, as new characters and elements are added into the mix. Hutcheon’s writing style is down to earth, and he has a way of making the reader feel a connection with each of the characters and wonder what could possibly happen next. In addition to the everyday realities, Hutcheon also uses the book as a way to explore African Americans’ role in baseball, both past and present. Readers will also be impressed with the historical references and quotes throughout the novel. Hutcheon does not cease to engage the reader in this intelligent and well-written sports novel.”Manhattan Book Review
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Excerpt
Allenby mentioned a news report that Alex Rodriguez might be retiring from the Yankees at the end of the season and giving up his quest to break the home run record.
“Don’t get me started on that,” Wade said. “When he passed Mays on the list, I was hoping Brad Pitt would be there to greet him at home plate with the blade from Inglourious Basterds, carve an asterisk into his forehead.”
Wade was still convinced that the home run breaking Babe Ruth’s historic mark had been hit by the wrong man. He said now, as more than once before, “Put Aaron in a damn wind tunnel for most of his home games instead of those popgun parks in Milwaukee and Atlanta, then subtract sixty or so homers for two years of military service Willie did and Hank didn’t, they probably come out about even. Can you imagine how many homers Mays would have hit if he played his home games where Aaron did?”
“America didn’t love Hank the way we loved Willie,” Allenby conceded. “But if you really want to play the what if game, just imagine if Mays had signed with the Dodgers instead of the Giants.”
Wade stopped his hotdog halfway to his mouth. “Please, I’m trying to eat something here.”
“Unthinkable, I know, but . . . think about it: if Willie signs with the Dodgers, joins that team with Robinson and Campanella and Newcombe, and then later Koufax, Drysdale, Wills, Gilliam, he goes to at least ten World Series: the three he took the Giants to—two of them were tied pennant races that went to playoffs with the Dodgers anyway—plus six the Dodgers went to during his career, not counting the Army years, and one more year when they tied with the Braves—plus however many more his being on that team might have led to.”
Willie Mays Baseball Card
As much as it hurt to think about it, it was a good point; Wade had to admit it. “And gets to hang out with Sinatra in Hollywood instead of having rocks tossed at his house in San Francisco.”
Allenby continued: “Giants fans always remember that Marichal got hurt in the World Series in ’62, pitched in only one game, and that cost them the championship. But they forget who else got hurt that year.”
“Koufax.” Wade had not forgotten. “You had to remind me, didn’t you?”
Allenby shrugged. “You think that regular season ends in a tie if Sandy is himself in August and September?”
Wade nodded bitterly. “That was the only World Series Willie got to in San Francisco, and they didn’t win.”
Allenby shrugged again. “You worry too much about what Mays didn’t do. You ought to be satisfied with what he did: I know I don’t have to tell you.”
Wade ran down the list: a pennant at twenty, a championship at twenty-three, 660 home runs, a batting title, league-leader in stolen bases four years in a row, two MVPs more than a decade apart, a dozen straight Gold Gloves dating from the honor’s origin, fifteen wins in his last eighteen appearances in the All-Star Game back when it still meant something, when the AL barely acknowledged the existence of black players. Kept his team in the race pretty much year-in and year-out for twenty years. Made what is still the most iconic catch in the annals of a game going on a hundred and fifty years. And taught multiple generations, of every color, how to play the game with joy. Not a bad resumé.
“He’s got nothing to apologize for,” Allenby said, “and you can stop apologizing for him or wondering what could have been. Forget the what ifs. Celebrate what the man did, who he is, not what he might have done or been.”
And thank God he didn’t sign with the Dodgers. “Of course you’re right,” Wade said. “I just wish he had taken a crack at managing. He could have been the one to break that barrier, too. All that knowledge of the game, all that love for it, he could have passed so much more of himself on.”
“I suspect he found his own ways to pass it on,” Allenby said, “and not just to guys on the Giants. Remember Andruw Jones giving Willie credit for a big jump in his home runs after he spent some time with him?”
Some men spend their lives waiting for the Messiah; Wade had spent most of his waiting for the next Willie Mays. He remembered Andruw Jones, but he couldn’t forget Bobby Bonds, George Foster, Garry Maddox, Gary Matthews, Chili Davis—the whole legion of fast, powerful outfielders the Giants had signed, drafted, and developed in Willie’s image—and then lost in free agency or traded away, usually for next to nothing in return, just as they had traded him. Some hurts would never heal.
About the Author

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Phil Hutcheon grew up in Redwood City, California, where his youth baseball teammates included Dick Sharon, later of the Detroit Tigers and San Diego Padres. With his father he attended games at Seals Stadium and Candlestick Park in San Francisco during the heyday of Willie Mays. He earned a bachelor’s degree from University of the Pacific and a PhD from Rice University. He teaches composition and film at Delta College. He has also taught at Pacific and at Menlo College. Where Triples Go to Die is his third novel.
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BOOK BLITZ: BBQ, Bikers, and Murder by Summer Prescott

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Hawg Heaven Cozy Culinary Mysteries, Book 1
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Summer Prescott Books
 
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A small Midwestern town.
The best BBQ in the state.
A single mom, determined to do what it takes.
A murder that rocks her world.
Rossalyn Channing is tough, but the odds are stacked against her. Faced with the reality of starting a new life with her teenage son, after her heroic husband is killed in the line of duty, she knows that she has to do whatever it takes to survive.
Irresistibly drawn to a mysterious little building in a small town, the determined single mom uses every dime she’s got to buy it, with plans to turn it into a diner that her late husband would have loved. When Rossalyn finds herself caught up in the middle of a murder investigation, however, she begins to wonder if the challenges she faces will defeat her.
A body is found on her property, the sheriff in town suspects Rossie of the murder, and it looks like her world is falling apart. It’s up to this determined mom to prove her innocence and save her small family. Can she do it?
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Hawg Heaven Cozy Culinary Mysteries Series
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BBQ, Bikers, and Murder (#1)
Baby Back Murder (#2)
Nacho Usual Murder (#3)
Hawgs, Dogs, and Murder (#4)
Killer Barbeque (#5)
Home Grown Murder (#6)
Bittersweet Murder (#7)
About the Author

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Summer Prescott is a Wall Street Journal and USA Today Best Selling Author, who has penned nearly one hundred Cozy Mysteries, and a successful Thriller, The Quiet Type. She makes her home in the Midwest with her Standard Poodle, Elvis, at her side.

 

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