Sunday, December 4, 2016

Circle of Nine: Sacred Treasures by Valerie Biel | New Release Spotlight

Circle of Nine: Sacred Treasures

by Valerie Biel

Publisher: Lost Lake Press
Published: October 23rd 2016
Page count: 304
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal


“Return to the Celtic magic that began with the suspenseful, award-winning novel Circle of Nine – Beltany . . .”

Brigit Quinn has survived a year full of both good and bad surprises after learning the truth of her unique heritage as a descendant of a powerful Celtic tribe. As she trains for her eventual place in the Circle of Nine that guards the ancient stone circles of Ireland, Brigit embraces the rich, mystical history of her people and the responsibility to protect their extraordinary way of life.

But everything Brigit holds dear is in jeopardy when a mysterious packet warns of an evil force seeking to steal the legendary weapons known as the Sacred Treasures and use them to destroy the Circle of Nine. Plagued with worry about her own magical capabilities, the motivations of those around her, and her family’s lineage, Brigit is catapulted on a mission to discover exactly who is threatening her people. Can Brigit and the rest of the Circle learn the truth in time to destroy this enemy for good?

“The first time I summoned a portal, I didn’t understand how I accidentally opened a doorway to another realm. The second time wasn’t a mistake. I was ready and stepped through with a clear vision of my destination and the grim resolve that my mission must succeed.”

- Brigit Quinn

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About the author

Valerie Biel's love for travel inspires her books for teens and tweens. Circle of Nine - Beltany is set partially in Ireland where Valerie was inspired by the ancient stone circles which dot the countryside. Beltany, an actual stone circle in County Donegal, Ireland, plays an important part in this novel. "There's something eerie and beautiful about these circles which rise up out of the greenest grass you've ever seen. Who built them? Why did they build them? If that's not enough to start a story, nothing is."

Circle of Nine: Beltany has been honored as a 2015 Kindle Book Award Finalist, a finalist in the Gotham Writers' YA Novel Discovery Contest and the Readers' Favorite Book Award Contest as well as being a B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree.

When Valerie's not writing, she's working on freelance public relations projects, wrangling her overgrown garden, traveling the world, and reading everything she can get her hands on. Once upon a time, she graduated from the University of Wisconsin with degrees in journalism and political science. More recently, she moved back to small-town Wisconsin, happily violating her teenage vow that she would never do so. Valerie's husband and three children are always providing her with new story ideas whether they mean to or not. 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Dangerous Pilgrims by Lawrence Swaim | New Release Spotlight

Dangerous Pilgrims

by Lawrence Swaim

Publisher: Roundfire Books
Published: October 28, 2016
Page count: 344
Genre: Fiction

Maitland Sutterfield is a San Francisco journalist who has just been through an exhausting divorce.

He takes a writer's holiday, accepting an assignment as a reporter in Guatemala. In full flight from his personal demons, Sutterfield seeks peace in a beautiful land unlike his own - but this is Guatemala of the 1980s, and there is a brutal civil war underway. Instead of peace, Sutterfield finds the perils of love in a time of revolution, not to mention the moral quandaries of a country that is descending into madness.

Maitland's main contact in Guatemala is Sofia Mendez, who takes him to a small Catholic mission in the highlands run by a Spanish-trained Jesuit priest. Maitland volunteers at the mission, convinced that the priest's ministry is a vivid example of the Liberation Theology movement about which he hopes to write the definitive book-length analysis. But complications abound when Sofia becomes Maitland's lover, before either he or Sofia have a chance to discuss the real nature of her previous vocation. Maitland is oppressively aware of the subtle but inevitable exploitation of third-world sources by first-world media, but the tables are turned as he finds himself trapped in a dangerous dilemma in which Sofia's needs dictate both their futures.

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About the author

I’ve been the vice-president of a postal union, a college professor, a journalist, a musician, an author of many books, and for twenty years a counselor in a residential crisis program. For eight years I wrote a column on religious liberty for a Muslim newspaper. I am concerned about the rise of Islamophobia in the US (oddly reminiscent of the rise of antisemitism a hundred years ago) and the sometimes toxic influence of the Israel/Palestine conflict on American culture, politics and religion. I am also concerned about the sinister transformation of the American economy into an ATM for the corporate upper class, and the repression of economic opportunity for everybody else.

I am the executive director of the Interfaith Freedom Foundation, a small public-interest nonprofit I helped to organize after 9/11, created to deal with early manifestations of violence and religious bigotry against Muslims, but also against Sikhs, who are often attacked by people who mistake them for Muslims. The Foundation protested and sometimes stopped unfair deportations in San Francisco, argued against unconstitutional provisions of the Patriot Act, and were AMICI to an important Supreme Court case. 

Because I am concerned about the problem of evil in human behavior (and the fact that modernism seems to have very little to say about it) I wrote three books on the subject, called the ‘Genesis Trilogy.’ I maintain that victims of aggression tend to internalize the violence they endure, in order to survive it psychologically. The aggression becomes an unconscious emotional orientation which victims act out against others, or against themselves. If this scenario is true, it follows that there should be ways to manage the internalized violence without acting it out. 

I am a great fan of the long-form essay, in which one takes a knotty social problem and examines it from every possible angle, arriving at some kind of conclusion, however tentative, that can guide behavior. George Orwell and his generation of British writers were particularly good at this form of literary journalism, and their methods are still instructive. I’ve also written three novels. (All of my books can be purchased on My latest novel, DANGEROUS PILGRIMS, is about a journalist who gets caught up in the genocide of the Mayan Indians in the highlands of Guatemala in 1982-83. 

To write is to struggle with the three important recurring questions facing humankind: the problem of good and evil, the nature of the world we live in, and the pursuit of the good life.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Worldwide Giveaway | Win Deception: A Love of Lies by T. J. Blake

Deception: A Love of Lies

by T. J. Blake

Published by: Independent
Page count: 380
Genre:  Fiction, Crime, Thriller, Mystery


“Through the stark and leafless trees, I see her.

I remember the first day I saw her; an instant attraction. I think she’s beautiful. She has such pensive blue eyes; they remind me of a blue sky right before the sun descends. Every time I see her I want to talk to her, I want to get to know her, and I want to be her friend.
She usually completes the lower woodland walk in six minutes and forty-two seconds; she misses the deeper woodlands and goes home, I believe.

I walk down the road at the same speed as her. She reaches the crossroads at the bottom of the road, looks both ways, and then jogs across into the garden of a house. I stop walking and concentrate on which house is hers.

I can’t stare too long but I am intrigued already, I will come back.”

T. J. Blake's psychological thriller, 'Deception - A Love of Lies', will not let you look at passing dog walkers the same.

Praise for the book

'Deception -- A Love of Lies is a psychological thriller that keeps readers guessing until the final pages.' 

'T. J. Blake does an amazing job depicting the full range of emotions that these characters feel, especially obsession, rage, passion, contempt and confusion.'

'An interesting look at the depths of human nature, keeps you guessing till the last, with a satisfying ending.' 

'The character and scene depictions really paint the picture in your mind. A highly believable plot line, intriguing characters and twists and turns make this a real page-turner.'

- Amazon Reviews

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About the author

T. J. Blake is a self-published author in the UK. 

Living in Surrey, T. J. Blake by day is a Copywriter for a Digital Marketing Company and an author by night. Blake has recently released his latest psychological thriller, 'Deception - A Love of Lies', and is now working on the final chapter of 'The Endurance Series' (due for release in 2017). 

Being a child that needed speech therapy and extra support with writing and spelling, Blake was never considered to be a child who would enjoy the craft of writing. His passion for writing lopsided slightly as school life took over, but once he completed his GCSE's, Blake showcased his writing ability in College and University. At Kingston University, Blake studied Creative Writing with English Language & Communications in 2012, which further encouraged him to continue with his writing passion. 


Three winners will get an eCopy of Deception by T. J. Blake. 
Ends 16th December 2016.
Open internationally!

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