Sunday, May 15, 2016

New Release Spotlight: "My Last Love Story"

 
Today's New Release spotlight is the fourth novel from bestselling author Falguni Kothari. Enter to win a copy at the end of the post.

Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes’s, Me Before You, My Last Love Story is a heartbreaking romantic tale about the complexities of trauma and whether love can right a wrong.

I, Simeen Desai, am tired of making lemonade with the lemons life has handed me.

Love is meant to heal wounds.
Love was meant to make my world sparkle and spin.
Love has ripped my life apart and shattered my soul.

I love my husband, and he loves me.
But Nirvaan is dying.
I love my husband. I want to make him happy.
But he is asking for the impossible.

I don’t want a baby.
I don’t want to make nice with Zayaan.
I don’t want another chance at another love story.




 
Book Links: Goodreads * Amazon US * Amazon IN

Advance Praise:

At once heartbreaking, delightful and completely unexpected. A must read! ~ Sonali Dev, author of The Bollywood Affair

In My Last Love Story, Kothari examines love and loss, desire and desolation, with a deft, wry touch that kept me reading late into the night and moved me to tears. ~ Julia Tagan, author of Stages of Desire

About the Author:


Falguni Kothari is an internationally bestselling hybrid author and an amateur Latin and Ballroom dance silver medalist with a background in Indian Classical dance. She writes in a variety of genres sewn together by the colorful threads of her South Asian heritage and expat experiences. When not writing or dancing, she fools around on all manner of social media, and loves to connect with her readers. My Last Love Story is her fourth novel.

Contact the Author:
Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads * Pinterest


Giveaway Details: One copy of My Last Love Story by Falguni Kothari in paperback for US or Indian Resident winner; eBook for other international winner.

Enter now!

Friday, May 6, 2016

New Release Spotlight: The Gladiator and the Guard

Today's guest is fellow Clean Indie Reads author Annie Douglass Lima. Annie writes young adult action and adventure novels. Her latest, The Gladiator and the Guard, is now available on Amazon and Smashwords. This is the second book in the Krillonian Chronicles, sequel to The Collar and the Cavvarach. Read through to find the Rafflecopter to win a $10 Amazon giftcard.

First Things First: a Little Information about Book 1: 

Bensin, a teenage slave and martial artist, is desperate to see his little sister freed. But only victory in the Krillonian Empire's most prestigious tournament will allow him to secretly arrange for Ellie's escape. Dangerous people are closing in on her, however, and Bensin is running out of time.  With his one hope fading quickly away, how can Bensin save Ellie from a life of slavery and abuse?

What is the Collar for, and What is a Cavvarach?
The story is set in a world very much like our own, with just a few major differences. One is that slavery is legal there. Slaves must wear metal collars that lock around their neck, making their enslaved status obvious to everyone. Any slave attempting to escape faces the dilemma of how and where to illegally get their collar removed (a crime punishable by enslavement for the remover). Another difference is the popularity of a martial art called cavvara shil. It is fought with a cavvarach (rhymes with "have a rack"), a weapon similar to a sword but with a steel hook protruding from partway down its top edge. Competitors can strike at each other with their feet as well as with the blades. You win in one of two ways: disarming your opponent (hooking or knocking their cavvarach out of their hands) or pinning their shoulders to the mat for five seconds.

Click here to order The Collar and the Cavvarach from Amazon for a discounted price of just 0.99 cents through May 30. Regularly 2.99. 

And now, The Gladiator and the Guard, with another awesome cover by the talented Jack Lin!

Bensin is just one victory away from freedom. But after he is accused of a crime he didn’t commit, he is condemned to the violent life and early death of a gladiator. While his loved ones seek desperately for a way to rescue him, Bensin struggles to stay alive and forge an identity in an environment designed to strip it from him. When he infuriates the authorities with his choices, he knows he is running out of time. Can he stand against the cruelty of the arena system and seize his freedom before that system crushes him?

Click here to order The Gladiator and the Guard in Kindle format from Amazon for a discounted price of just 0.99 cents through May 30. Regularly 2.99.

Click here to order The Gladiator and the Guard from Smashwords (for Nook or in other digital formats) for a discounted price of just 0.99 cents through May 30. Regularly 2.99.
 
About the Author

Annie Douglass Lima spent most of her childhood in Kenya and later graduated from Biola University in Southern California. She and her husband Floyd currently live in Taiwan, where she teaches fifth grade at Morrison Academy. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since her childhood, and to date has published twelve books (two YA action and adventure novels, four fantasies, a puppet script, and five anthologies of her students’ poetry). Besides writing, her hobbies include reading (especially fantasy and science fiction), scrapbooking, and international travel.

 
Connect with Annie Douglass Lima
Email: AnnieDouglassLima@gmail.com
Blog 

Now, enter to win an Amazon gift card or a free digital copy of The Collar and the Cavvarach! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

New Release: Olympic Swim Film "Touch the Wall"

Once again I veer away from my mission to promote self publishing, indie authors, and their books to spotlight something different. As I prepare to publish my epic swim novel Swim Season, I plan to take a break to watch this documentary about two swimmers as they prepare for the 2012 London Olympics. One is a veteran at these events and the other is a first-timer. After a successful nation-wide theatrical run, the beloved swim film Touch the Wall is now available on iTunes, Amazon, and other digital platforms. Grab it and watch! I'm waiting for my own champion swimmer to come home from school for the summer so we can watch it together.

Touch the Wall, by Grant Barbeito & Christo Brock, stars the teen-aged Missy Franklin as she prepared for her triumphant first Olympics. The film details her relationship with multiple Olympic Medalist Kara Lynn Joyce, a seasoned pro who came to swim with Missy in the altitude of Denver in 2011. At those 2012 games, Missy won 4 gold medals and broke two world records.


Watch the film trailer:


Since the film’s release, the two women have taken different paths. Kara retired after London, and continues in the swim world as a teacher and coach. Missy returned to school and swam collegiately at Berkeley for two years. She passed up millions in endorsement income to swim on a college team, and that choice paid off in 2015 when Berkeley won the NCAA division I female swimming championship.

Missy turned professional after that championship, and returned home to Denver, Colorado to train with her former coach Todd Schmitz. Armed with a sizzling smile and a keen intellect, she’s one of the world’s most sought-after pitchwomen, and endorses Visa, Wheaties, Speedo, Minute-Maid, and GoPro.

The Missy Franklin/Kara Lynn Joyce film has screened more than 500 times in the last 18 months to swim clubs, women’s groups, and Olympic fans across the country. And though DVDs have been available since September, the film just came to digital. Accompanying the digital release on iTunes are four Extra Movies – short behind-the- scenes movies of Missy and Kara talking about their experiences in the film. Those movies are a smaller part of the larger Special Edition due out later this year.

Get it on iTunes!


Reviews

“Unintentionally revolutionary​ in its celebration of female physical and emotional strength​.​ ”
 – The Mary Sue

“A unique lesson in the dance between competition and collaboration​."
 – ​ The Denver Post

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

My Next Adventure:

 

On Saturday, April 30th, I'm participating in Middletown Thrall Library's Local Authors and Illustrators Showcase. I started this event in December 2014 and have helped organize it twice since then. This time, 28 local authors and illustrators will participate. 

The Hudson Valley is rich with talent, especially literary talent. This event gives these authors and artists exposure and introduces them to readers who may be looking for something beyond the bestsellers. It's a wonderful opportunity for readers and writers to learn about the publishing process, and to view and purchase books directly from the people who create them.

The list of participants includes: Jan Berlin & Lynda Gerenser, Sandra Bischoff, Andres Bodon, Dawn Bonney, Frances Brown w/a Claire Gem, Kevin Christofora, Catherine Ciocchi, Jennifer Circosta, Terri Del Negro, Christine Der Ohannesian, Elaine Freed Lindenblatt, Jason Gehlert, Adria Gross, Tom Ingrassia, Charles Isaacs, William Lemansky, Alan Lewis, Tracey Lyons, Liz Matis, Bette Lee Meci, Lisa Melville, Phil Murphy, Barbara Reina, ML Stainer, Lisa Vaughn, and Michael Worden. They represent a variety of genres including non-fiction, memoir, general fiction, romance, paranormal, fantasy, thriller, horror, crime, children's, and young adult. To view their bios please visit the event's web page.

The first session (11 AM - 1:00 PM) will feature children's and young adult authors and illustrators. Following this will be a story hour in the children's room featuring several of the authors. The second session (1:30 PM - 4:00 PM) will feature authors writing for adults. Author-donated books will be raffled off to attendees after the event (no need to be present to win!)

The library is located at 11-19 Depot Street, Middletown, New York. Directions are available on the library's website.

Questions? Send me an email at mariannesciucco@gmail.com.

I hope to see you there! Please spread the word and share this post with your book loving friends and family.

Monday, April 25, 2016

New Release Spotlight: Tower Music by Joseph Bertolozzi


This blog is dedicated to authors and publishing but today I'm mixing it up a little bit by introducing my friend Joseph Bertolozzi, a world-renowned musician and composer about to release his long-awaited album Tower Music. His efforts are not unlike those of an author. He heard a muse. It moved him to explore and imagine his idea. He created a plan to bring his idea to life. He confronted and overcame many obstacles. He did not give up. Now he's on the brink of seeing his efforts launched into the music world, to be heard by millions of listeners.


I know Joe as the music director at my church, St. Joseph's in Middletown, New York. He is a wonderful organist and under his leadership our choir performs beautifully. But Joe is more than an organist and choir director; he's also a percussionist and a composer. One day when looking at a poster of the Eiffel Tower he had an epiphany: What kind of music could he create from the sounds of this architectural landmark? Joe knew that such a structure is a living, breathing thing with a life of its own. What if he could harvest its sounds and compose from those sounds? What would that music be like? Thus Tower Music was born, and the full album will be released on April 29th. This project is so unique, innovative, and out there I can't explain it, so watch the video. 
 

TOWER MUSIC / MUSIQUE DE LA TOUR
from the EIFFEL TOWER is available April 29th on Innova Recordings, iTunes, and Amazon.

Joe has authored many albums and compositions including his first architectural endeavor Bridge Music, composed from the sounds of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Mid-Hudson Bridge, which connects the cities of Highland and Poughkeepsie, New York. This is another original, out there project. My family and I were fortunate enough to be able to visit the bridge and experience the music ourselves. I don't know what was more exhilarating: walking across the suspension bridge with vehicular traffic whizzing by at top speed, traversing the Hudson River from 135 feet above, or listening to and experiencing Joe's incredible bridge music. Again, this is so unique you have to see it for yourself. 

Watch the New York Times video. 

About Joseph Bertolozzi

Photo: © 2009, Dawn Sela
American composer Joseph Bertolozzi forges a unique identity as a 21st century musician with works ranging from solo gongs to full symphony orchestra to sound-art installations. With increasingly numerous performances across the US and Europe to his credit, his music is performed in concert halls and conservatories, and he himself has played at such diverse venues as The Vatican and The US Tennis Open. His latest explorations in sound have brought him to ‘Tower Music,’ using the Eiffel Tower in Paris itself as his instrument. This project builds upon ‘Bridge Music,’ his “audacious plan” (New York Times) to compose music for a suspension bridge using New York’s Mid Hudson Bridge. These works have brought Bertolozzi sustained international attention. In 2009 his CD “Bridge Music” (Delos) reached #18 on the Billboard Classical Crossover Music Chart. His concert music and theatrical scores have also enjoyed particular success, including “The Contemplation of Bravery,” an official 2002 Bicentennial commission for The United States Military Academy at West Point and his incidental score to “Waiting for Godot” at the 1991 Festival Internationale de CafĂ© Theatre in Nancy, France. He also has a large body of liturgical music for use in both Christian and Jewish worship. Many of his compositions can be heard at JosephBertolozzi.com and The American Music Center. 

Connect with Joseph Bertolozzi
Website
Tower Music
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube





Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Happy Tenth Anniversary RSI's! (Just Kidding About the Happy Part)

photo by vladimir floyd via adobe stock photo
Today, April 20, 2016, marks the ten year anniversary of my disability and the "injury" that caused it. This was no clear cut accident with indisputable proof. No, this was the result of cumulative injury over a series of weeks and most likely months that added up to three surgeries, years of physical therapy, medications, and holistic therapies, and the loss of one terrific job. And chronic, unrelenting, soul sapping pain.

Most people are happily oblivious to the fact that computers are dangerous things. In fact, most of us spend hours each day parked in front of one for our jobs, and in the evening spend hours more keyboarding for leisure (or more work.) Without proper ergonomics and adequate rest breaks, excessive keyboarding can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, thoracic outlet syndrome, bursitis, tendinitis, neck pain, headaches, and other discomforts. This includes keyboarding on tablets and smartphones too, which add their own unique set of injuries, such as text neck and text thumb. These maladies can become chronic. The pain may never go away. In my case, it hasn't.

I celebrated the tenth anniversary of the discovery of my RSIs with an MRI of my neck. Yes, ten years later I am still doctoring, exploring, and searching for answers on how to treat these injuries and regain the parts of my life they robbed from me. 
 
Never take for granted the ability to work at a computer station for hours and walk away without pain. If you do experience pain, listen. It's a warning that something is not right. It's easier to rest and repair RSIs when they're acute than to manage them once they become chronic. See your doctor. Obtain an ergonomic evaluation. Read up on the subject. Figure out what you're doing wrong. Go for a massage. See the chiropractor. Get some physical therapy. All of these measures can help. Don't ignore it! Otherwise you too may be celebrating a ten year anniversary with pain in an MRI suite (did I mention I hate MRIs?) 
 
To learn more about my life with RSIs please visit:

Thursday, April 14, 2016

New Release Spotlight: Forsaking All Others, Historical Christian Romance by Kari Trumbo

Rose dreamed of leaving the Sioux reservation in Santee, NE. Now, faced with the wide world, she must decide if she is truly ready to strike out on her own and take the risk. Rose has fought against the painful abuse of her father and the loneliness of a mother long-dead of a white man’s sickness. When Pete offers her the chance to escape to a new life, she must take it or marry into the same abuse she’s lived for so long. Pete has always helped Rose from the shadows. Being half-white, he’s had to. He has loved Rose for as long as he can remember, but he must prove his worth to her by helping her to freedom and safety. Pete must compete for the right to take Rose to Kansas but his young and impetuous heart steers him wrong. In shame, he abandons Rose, but can never leave her care completely to someone else. When they finally make it to Kansas, Pete comes out of the shadows once again. Once within the safety of a Kansas ranch, can Rose forgive Pete for leaving her? Will Pete remain the brooding half-blood from the reservation, or grow into the man Rose needs him to be?

 
Excerpt

“Pete.” She shook him. “Wake up, something’s out there.” 
 
 
Pete’s eyes opened to narrow slits and he looked at her, sleep still in complete control of him. She shook him again as an ominous groaning sound came from the other side of the rock. Looking up, she caught sight of a huge furry head with a brown muzzle and black nose. A great paw with massive claws came over the top of the rocks. She heard it snort as it sniffed the air. Her eyes flew wide open and she couldn’t control her gasping breaths.
 
Pete sat upright, fully awake now. He grabbed for his pack lying next to hers by the far rock wall, and banged their spoon against a cook pot. The bear looked down at him with inquisitive, almost sad-looking eyes. It climbed onto the rock above them and stared down, its sides expanding and contracting as if this was nothing new, like it woke humans every day.
 
“Rose,” he whispered, “whatever you do, don’t run. You can’t outrun it, do you hear me?” He didn’t look away from the bear. Banging on the pot with increasing speed, he had no effect on the massive, hairy beast.
 
The bear climbed down into their small enclosure. Rose held her breath. She wanted to run more than breathe. Pete gave her a look that told her to stay put. She scooted on her backside as far away from the bear as she could, until her back hit the rock and she was trapped. It sniffed the air again and grabbed for Rose’s pack, which carried the little food she’d scraped together for their trip. The invader turned around, climbed back over the rock and she heard it splash into the river and wade downstream.
 
She sat with her mouth open and tried to get her breathing under control.
 
“Well, that was quite a start to our trip,” Pete mumbled as he shoved the pan back into his bag. “We’ll need to find breakfast, since ours is now gone.”
 
Purchase Forsaking All Others
Amazon Barnes and Noble  Apple iBooks Kobo  

About the Author
Kari Trumbo is a writer of Christian Historical Romance and a stay-at-home mom to four vibrant children. She does freelance developmental editing and blogging. When she isn't writing or editing, she homeschools her children and pretends to keep up with them. Kari loves reading, listening to contemporary Christian music, singing with the worship team, and curling up near the wood stove when winter hits. She makes her home in central Minnesota with her husband of eighteen years, two daughters, two sons, and four cats. 
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