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Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year 2013 Blog Hop [Giveaway]


Happy New Year 2013 
Giveaway Hop
January 1st - 7th 2013


Welcome to the Happy New Year 2013 Giveaway Blog Hop! I'm excited to be a part of this blog hop. Giveaways are tons of fun, especially when a ton of people are doing them at once. For this giveaway I am giving away a book or e-book of choice of a value up to $15. The giveaway is international as long as the Book Depository ships to your country. If you live in the US I will most likely buy the book from amazon. Check the prices on both. To enter this giveaway use the rafflecopter form below and then use the link form below that to hop to the next giveaway. Have a happy new year everyone and I hope you all win some awesome books!

Feel free to leave a comment telling me what book you would like to win or even any of your New Year resolutions if you made any. I would love to hear about them.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, December 28, 2012

The Fart That Saved Christmas Blog Tour [Q&A + Giveaway}


Welcome, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. Today I am part of The Fart That Saved Christmas by Jacob Morningside blog tour. A fun adult book for christmas time. For the post the author provided a Q&A. You can also win an e-book copy of the book thanks to Tribute Books. I hope everyone enjoys the post and don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post!

The Fart That Saved Christmas by  Jacob Morningside


The behind the scenes story of what really happened "The Night Before Christmas."

It's Christmas Eve. The reindeer go on strike with a list of demands for Santa, the elves and Mrs. Claus. Santa gets "loaded" and threatens to cancel Christmas, fire the deer and divorce Mrs. Claus. But, just when all seems lost, Christmas is saved by a timely fart. 


Q&A

Q: Can you tell us about the journey that led you to write your book?

A: The journey that led me write such a story as The Fart That Saved Christmas is as long and "twisted" as my life.
I was raised by a loving grandmother in the far north woods country of Wisconsin.  I lived with two uncles and a younger brother.  We had no electricity or running water during my youth.  On the bright side, our outhouse was a two seater — though it was not designed for lengthy conversations, especially on 20 degree below zero winter days.  My responsibilities included chopping wood, hauling water from our well, hunting and fishing for our food.  Our family, such as it was, was blessed with a wicked sense of humor and a penchant for pulling pranks on each other.  I think that accounts for my offbeat outlook on life and the ability to embrace tranquility during moments of chaos.  This results in my ability to unite improbable themes for my amusement.

After high school, with assistance of family, hard work and an ability to throw a baseball 95 miles per hour, I attended college.  I ran low on funds after two years and got drafted into the Army.  I was fortunate enough to survive a combat zone tour of duty in Korea.  After my discharge, the GI Bill allowed me the funds to finish my undergraduate school and continue until I got my Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology.  I retired a year ago after 40 years as an ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist.

The gestation period of The Fart That Saved Christmas ended and, with the help of my friends at Publish Green and Hillcrest Media, my story will be released to an unsuspecting public.

Q: What book on the market does yours compare to? How is your book different?

A: There are no other Christmas stories on the market, of which I am aware, that compare to this trip into the wormhole of my psyche.  I can only hope that there are some other offbeat characters out there that will enjoy the ride and a laugh or two.

Q: Do you plan any subsequent books?

A: Other books in planning?  Yes, but is anybody "out there" to tolerate my lunacy?

About Jacob Morningside

Born into a body inhabited by multiple muse personalities, I create stories by stretching the "normal" beyond the boundaries of the absurd.  The result is a worm-hole ride to the Far Side.  I love a good story — so, I wrote one.  Enjoy it with my wishes for a happy holiday season. 

Giveaway:
Use the rafflecopter form below to enter to win an e-book copy of The Fart That Saved Christmas!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (11)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you are getting all kinds of awesome presents, especially BOOKS! I have been reading Opal by Jennifer Armentrout, which I absolutely love and wanted to share a teaser with you all today for Teaser Tuesday.

Opal by Jennifer Armentrout

No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it. (Goodreads)

*TEASER* "He's picked up one of the historical romance novels with the bodice-ripping, barrel-chested covers. Mom arched a brow. Her expression basically read WTF, and I almost lost it."

-Opal by Jennifer Armentrout

The "he" would be Daemon and he epically fails at picking a book to pretend to be reading. When I read this in its full context I couldn't stop laughing! Awesome job Jennifer Armentrout. I hope you all enjoy the teaser. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Dianna's Way by John Catenacci Blog Tour [Spotlight & Giveaway]


Today I am happy to be a part of the Dianna's Way by John Catenacci blog tour which was put together by Tribute Books, as always thank you for having me. I haven't had a chance to read this one but I am always happy to hear about books that have to do with cancer. I like to spread cancer awareness and think it is very important to do so. What better way to spread awareness than with a book? Today you can get a teaser of the book by reading the excerpt, and learn more about it from the Q&A with the author and even have a chance to win an e-book copy of it. I hope you all enjoy this stop, happy reading.

Dianna's Way by John Catenacci


Dianna is a young woman in her late 20’s when she meets John, a man in his late 40's. They fall in love and marry. A central feature of their life plan is to have one child to fulfill her fervent lifelong dream of being a mother.

Not to be.

Not long into their marriage, Dianna discovers she has an aggressive form of breast cancer.

Hand in hand, they begin a 17 year spiritual journey into the nature of love and healing. Along the way, she discovers and fulfills her life purpose and, in the process, takes John by the hand, gently helping him to reveal, then fulfill, his own.

In the beginning, John, being much older, thought he would be her teacher but gradually discovers in the most important dimensions of life quite the opposite is true. With Dianna’s guidance, he ultimately discovers we are all teachers, we are all students and we are all one.

Theirs is a story of courage, determination and a lightness of being, as they descend into the deepest valleys of crushing disappointment, pain and suffering only to rise again to ever higher peaks of appreciation, gratitude and love. Throughout it all, their journey is laced with light and laughter.

Even today, after her passing, they continue their relationship, piercing the Illusion that veils this reality, exploring its limits while continuing a spiritual journey without end.

Excerpt: 

           The End of Something

     “Honey, why don’t we make love anymore?”
     We are in bed. Dianna is reading a book about healing cancer, while
I’m thumbing through a bird hunting magazine. Dianna lays her book
on the end table and rolls over toward me. I lay down the magazine, too.
She has my undivided attention now.
     “I think we make love every day in some way,” I say.
     “You know what I mean.”
     “Sex.”
     “Yes.”
     I let out a big sigh. We have not had sex since the transplant. I have
been thinking about this for quite a while, and nothing ever comes up
making sense to me.
     “Don’t you find me desirable anymore? Do you still love me?”
     “Do you actually have to ask me that?” I’m looking her right in the
eye. “I love you more now than I ever have.”
     “Well?”
     “I don’t have a way to explain it. It’s not that I don’t find you attractive
or desirable. It’s just with everything that has happened to us, to you, I
just…I don’t know what to say.”
      “It’s because I’ve lost my breasts, isn’t it. You never touch them
anymore.”
     “Well, honey, we’ve discussed that already. You’ve admitted you
don’t have any feeling there anymore. Why would I touch them? I don’t
fondle doorknobs, either. But, anyway, your breasts have nothing to do
with it.”
     “Then, what?”
     “The only way I can put it is, I love you very much, and more and
more with each passing year. But expressing my love for you in a sexual
way feels…I don’t know…just feels inappropriate somehow.”
     “Like you will hurt me or something?”
      “I guess so. No matter how much you love someone, if the person
you love is wounded and bleeding, you don’t try to have sex with them.
Feels… just doesn’t feel…right. You protect them. You care for them, not
have sex with them. Something like that.”
     “I’m not a cripple, you know. I’m not a piece of glass. I won’t break.”
     “I know that, honey.”
      “I’m a woman with womanly needs. I still desire you sexually. I would
love to have sex with you like a normal human being.” She slides her arm
under my arm. “I feel rejected. That hurts.”
     “I realize that. I feel terrible about it. Don’t you think I haven’t thought
about how much you’ve lost? You have lost your dream of having a child.
Now your menstrual cycles have ended, reminding you that all you are
going to get from now on is hot flashes instead of the child you so dearly
wanted. You’ve lost your breasts, a part of you, you were always so proud
of…, and you have lost your hair twelve times. You…”
     “Three times.”
     I laugh. Then, so does she, a little.
     “What I’m trying to say, maybe not very well, is I realize all these
losses assail your femininity, of what it means to be a woman, …and…
not having sex with your partner is just another thing piled on top of all
the rest. It’s the last thing you need to have happen in your life, right now.
I know I can’t feel what you feel exactly…, but I do understand these are
losses you deal with every day. That’s why it hurts me so much to be stuck
like this, this way.”
     “Then, I don’t understand why you would want to deprive me of this,
too.”
     My eyes are getting wet, and my heart is thick in my throat.
     “Believe me, if I could do anything about it, I would. I just can’t. Men
can’t fake it, you know.”
     “I don’t want you to fake it.”
      I put my arms around her and pull her close to me. I can’t stop the
tears now.
     “And so I don’t. I’m not faking my love for you, either. I would do
anything I know how to do for you. I do what I can. I’m so sorry, honey.”
      She starts to cry, softly, quietly, burying her head into my neck.
     “So am I,” she whispers.
     We fall into silence. There doesn’t seem to be anything else to say. I
keep my arms around her, and she keeps her arm over me.
     We fall asleep that way.


The Beginning of Something Else
     The next morning, I get up, leaving Dianna still asleep, and go into the
kitchen to make coffee. My back is facing the hallway to the bedroom.
Suddenly I feel her arms around me as she lays her head sideways against
my back.
     “I know what love is, John.”
     “You do?” I ask without turning toward her.
     “Yes.”
     “Look at me,” she says.
     I turn around and look into her eyes. They look wet, but she’s
smiling. “Love is the way you are with me,” she pauses, then, in a more
perky tone of voice, “And the way I am with you, too.”
     Now I can’t help it. I fall apart. She wraps her arms tight around me
and I bury my head into her neck.
     “It’s going to be okay,” she says.
     “It is okay,” she says, then adds, “More than okay.”
     After a minute, she steps back and looks at me with a smirk on her
face. “Do you ever desire other women?”
     I think about that minefield, but decide to go ahead anyway. “Of course.
Once in awhile, I do. Some women are sexually attractive and, …and don’t
look wounded to me, I guess. Must be about a billion of ’em out there.”
     She smiles, gives me a little kiss on the cheek, then walks over to
the dining room window and looks out over the lake. Finally, she says
quietly, without looking at me, “Maybe one day, honey, you’ll see we are
all wounded.”
     I stop pouring water into the coffee pot in midstream, about to enlist
my skills in mental masturbation, when she darts away to a different
flower.
     “Oh, honey, I think it’s going to be a beautiful day today. In fact, I’m
sure it is.” She comes across the room and peeks over the bar. “Oh. Are
you making coffee for me?”
      “Everything is for you,” I say with a smile.


Q&A
(Dianna)



Q: Please tell us about your current release.


A: I will use the back cover copy as it works pretty well on its own.

John Catenacci is enthralled from the start by the beauty, radiance, and mystery of the much younger woman he meets at a party. Dianna “is in Technicolor and everyone else is in black and white.” Expecting to be the teacher, not the student, John is humbled by the gradual discovery that the opposite is true, in their marriage and in life. The author is profoundly awed by Dianna’s courage, determination, and lightness of being that remains entirely undiminished in the face of what becomes a seventeen-year battle with an aggressive form of breast cancer. John accompanies Dianna each step of the way, and is increasingly amazed by the undeniable healing affect she has on others. Theirs is a shared spiritual journey into the nature of love and transformation. Even after her passing, their relationship pierces the illusion veiling this reality.

Q: Can you tell us about the journey that led you to write your book?

A: At some point in our life together, I began to notice Dianna was living her life in a genuinely powerful, almost mysterious (to me) way and suggested to her that I write her story. She was as delighted as any child running down the stairs on Christmas morning. But, as her health deteriorated, I became focused on care giving and put the writing aside. After she died, I was engulfed in grief and for a couple of years I just couldn’t climb out of it. One day, I happened upon a book by Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way, which I credit with guiding me back into the game.
The book is in five parts. The first four recount our life together with the fifth devoted to my personal spiritual journey of coming to terms with her leaving, my long view of who she was and what I learned from her. The first four parts flowed like water once I began to write but I struggled mightily with the last part. Yet it is this last part that weaves together the whole of her life, her message, in a way very satisfying to me.

Q: Can you tell us about the story behind your book cover?

Well, originally the cover was going to be centered on the photo of Dianna that is now on the back cover. I love this photo of her – it is quintessential Dianna in an image.
However, my editor, Marly Cornell, convinced me this was going to be an ineffective cover and, after accidentally seeing the photo of Dianna and me from the rear taken by a dear friend/professional photographer, Giovanni Sanitate, she instantly said, “This is the one. Use this one.” Well, it has taken most of my life but I have finally learned to listen and follow advice when the advice comes from someone I respect. So, now, everyone gets to see my bald head instead of Dianna. More mystery, more intriguing, Marly said. Probably because anyone looking at it would wonder what this young woman is doing with this old man.
Anyway, unwilling to let it go completely, I pushed Dianna’s photo to the back cover because I wanted it to be seen and seen in color.

Q: What book on the market does yours compare to? How is your book different?

A: Everyone is unique. No one could have written this book but me and no one else has existed nor ever will exist who is like Dianna. So her story and how I have written it is like no other book anyone has ever read. Of course, this does not make it a good book but simply a unique one. I have read quite a few memoirs, many involving illness, care giving – and some of them were really good. What I think makes this book special is what made Dianna special, what made our relationship special – so much laughter, optimism, ways of constantly making lemonade when we needed it, and, finally, the deeply spiritual orientation to the book’s message – good or bad, there is nothing fluffy about where Dianna goes in her life nor in the way I have chosen to examine her life …. and the very meaning of life itself.

Q: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I like to write in sentence fragments and the entire book is a sort of a mosaic – there are chapters that are conventionally chronological because they had to be but other parts of the book are like bursts of light shining on an amazing woman so the reader can enjoy her in the way I – and all who knew her – enjoyed and were inspired by her.  I am so happy with how the entire tapestry came together into a whole. I think Dianna is too.
Of course I could go into grammar and punctuation, which I thought I knew. And my love of ellipses and my aversion to the word “that” and my unconscious tendency to start sentences with “So.”
 So, my early readers and editor ripped me to pieces on those “quirks.”

Q: Open your book to a random page and tell us what’s happening.

A: In my reality, nothing in life is random — or accidental. When I was about to write this response, I happened to look out the window and saw three – three – hummingbirds dancing around a honeysuckle – have never seen this before – like Dianna saying “talk about the hummingbird chapter.”
While I was writing the book, it occurred to me to use a hummingbird as one metaphor for how Dianna lived her life – flitting from person to person, embracing their love whole heartedly while impregnating each one with a simple grace, unflagging humor and ineffable love in return, all in one magical spontaneous exchange.
The look of triumph on her face, her excitement and joy, when the first hummingbird showed up in our yard was unforgettable. She had worked so hard for several years, planting for them, and finally there it was, this little Ruby Throated blur. In that moment I saw, once again, her determination, patience, faith, appreciation and gratitude all in one tiny vignette during one day of our lives.

Q: Do you plan any subsequent books?
An already almost fully formed book is in my mind now. Better writers than I have said don’t talk about a book idea or the energy for writing it will bleed away, leaving it stillborn.

Q: Tell us what you’re reading at the moment and what you think of it.

A: The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die by John Izzo and The Five Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware because I am old enough now where I should pay attention to these things — probably before tomorrow — and A Broken Sausage Grinder by Hank Thomas, a friend of mine and The Almost Archer Sisters by Lisa Gabriele, a relative and friend of mine. I often read several books at a time, switching back and forth depending on my mood. All are interesting in different ways and for different reasons.

There is so very much talent in the world isn’t there?


About John Catenacci

After spending his youth doing cement construction work while getting his education, John Catenacci earned a Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. He went on to work on the Apollo 11 Project as a member of the USAF in California, then  as an engineer for the Dow Chemical Company in Midland, MI, doing both process research as well as designing and building chemical plants.

Mid-career he became interested in group dynamics, leading to another 20-year career in team building that took him across the U.S., Canada, Europe and Saudi Arabia.

With a sprinkling of published short stories and articles in small magazines along the way, his abiding passion has always been writing, something now coming to fruition in this, his first book.  

Find John:

Giveaway:
Enter to win an E-Book (PDF) copy of Dianna's Way by John Catenacci! Just use the rafflecopter form below.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Owlet by Emma Michaels Blog Tour [Review + Excerpt]


Today I have a review I wrote for the Owlet by Emma Michaels blog tour, put together by Tribute Books. Along with my review you get to take a peak inside this new book by reading an excerpt on my blog today. If you are intrigued don't miss out on entering the giveaway. This blog tour is also a read along so if you want to find more excerpts check out the blog link list at the end of this post. I hope you all enjoy this post. Thank you all for stopping by and thank you Tribute Books for having me on this blog tour and giving me a chance to read Owlet.

Owlet by Emma Michaels

Somewhere between falling and flying… there is a girl.

Iris has a secret. She lost her memory eight years ago and never told a living soul. After an asthma attack one night she finds out that her dreams of a strange house on a snowy island may be a memory resurfacing but the more she learns about the past the more she realizes the life she has been living is a lie. As the façade her father has built starts to crumble around her she will have to decide which means more to her; the truth or her life. (goodreads)


Find Owlet:

*EXCERPT*

“We will see when she wakes up,” Diana said, not wanting to admit that Iris might change. “You said that every time a soul is torn from the body it makes both stronger. Maybe...the Owlet is teaching her what happened. If they had been separated all this time, maybe they are finally bonding?”

“The Owlet? Not a Vermilion or a Raven?” 

“She dreamed this island had falling white feathers instead of snow.”

“An Owlet’s eyes may lead her way; 
Her perception as a bird of prey; 
Falling feathers guiding and true; 
See the color that life means to you.”

“If the feathers are white then that must mean...” Falcon could hardly take his eyes off Iris now. He searched for something about her that might tell him more; something that might answer the questions forming in his mind. Why would the Eyrie ask me to kill a White Owlet, when white can only ever mean she is driven by truth?


*Review*

Owlet  (Society of Feathers #1) by Emma Michaels

★★★☆☆

Iris lived a sheltered life because of her severe asthma. When she slept she would have a recurring dream of flying to a beautiful island, little did she know that it was a real place. Iris had lost the memory of her childhood of when she lived on the island. Now she was going to the island again and she would begin to learn the truth about her life, and her forgotten memories.

Owlet was a nice introduction to the world of the society of feathers. I got to uncover the secrets and truth about Iris’s past as she did. I learned about Iris and the world that she will be getting to know more in future books. This book had a slower feel to it and I wanted more excitement but I think that is just because it was an introduction to the story and world type of book and I respect that. It is nice knowing the history and how the characters got to where they are.

I had a difficult time getting used to the author’s writing style, the points of views and perspectives shifted and caught me off guard, but over time I got used to it and was still able to enjoy the story. I found the world interesting and compelling. I like the idea of the world and the relationships between the characters and would like to see them unfold even more. I look forward to reading the next chapter in Iris’s journey. I think the story’s pace will pick up more as the story unfolds and I can see myself liking the next one even more.

I’m interested in reading the next installment in this series and finding out what happens next with Iris and her world.

I received Owlet from Tribute Books for review.



About Emma Michaels:


Emma Michaels is the author of the ‘A Sense of Truth’ and ‘Society of Feathers’ series. Her goal with her latest YA novel 'Owlet' is to give others what she did not have growing up; a strong female protagonist with asthma.  While her previous aspiration was to be a lady knight she realized that not being able to run more than a few feet might become a hindrance so turned to writing instead. Her day jobs include being a cover artist, marketing consultant and silk screen designer.

As the founder of The Writers Voice blog (http://OurBooksOurVoice.Blogspot.com) she loves to connect authors and readers. As a book blogger turned author, she was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, until she moved at eighteen to Washington State. Suddenly, the world was a new place filled with tall green trees that reached further for the sky with every moment, making her want to do the same. Ever since, she has tried to make her life something new and different from what it was before, pursuing her future career, setting high goals and reaching for them. With the support of her fiancé, Chihuahua, and her amazing blog followers and fellow bloggers, she wants to prove to the world that anything is possible and help inspire fellow literary lovers to reach for their dreams.

Find Emma:

GIVEAWAY:
Enter by using the rafflecopter form below.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Devil's Garden by Brady Christianson Blog Tour [Guest post & Q&A]


Welcome fellow readers! Today I am part of the Devil's Garden by Brady Christianson Blog tour put together by the wonderful Tribute Books. For this stop Brady Christianson wrote up a guest post and did a Q&A. After you learn more about him and his book be sure to enter to win a copy of his book, Devil's Garden at the end of this post. Here is a big welcome to Brady Christianson!

The Devil's Garden by Brady Christianson


A Marine’s past is never far behind him, but sometimes it’s a lot closer than he thinks . . .

After years of enjoying the soft, quiet, civilian, family life, former Recon Marine Brandon Colson still has a large price on his head…only his family doesn’t know it. That is, until a heavily armed squad of terrorists breaks into his house and tries to kill him and his family.

After swiftly dispatching the would-be assassins, Colson realizes the ghosts from his past have somehow managed to come back to haunt him. His worst nightmare has come true. His identity—a secret until now—has been mysteriously compromised. Something he did years ago, while on a recon mission during his tour of service, has kept anger burning in the hearts of powerful Arab adversaries. And the men who attacked his house are simply an omen of what is to come.

With his family in hiding, Colson and local detective Sam Collier set out to locate and neutralize the remainder of the terrorist cell. It’s a race against time, and the plot they uncover along the way defies all expectation.

Their fates in the balance until the last second, the two men must fight for their lives as they navigate a trail littered with bloodshed and revenge that leads straight to hell on earth: The Devil’s Garden.

Guest Post:


The fog of war is a place where confusion rules, innocence dies and demons are born. Sometimes these demons come back to haunt a man and other times they simply come back to kill him. Few men would welcome the fight, which is to say, a proud and terrible few. The Devil’s Garden twists a Recon Marine’s worst nightmare into a deadly reality.


There is a saying in Recon: There is no life after Force. The lack of adrenaline and ensuing boredom will kill a warrior’s spirit. However, former Recon Marine Brandon Colson has a different kind of death to fear. After years spent in remote deserts and jungles on the other side of the planet dreaming of a quiet, civilian, family life, he finally has it. The problem is he has a large price on his head that even his family doesn’t know about: He is wanted by terrorists he worked to bring down.  With revenge in their hearts and murder on their minds, Colson’s enemies plan to revisit his sins upon him, his wife and his children. When a heavily armed squad of assassins arrives at his home in the middle of the night, he quickly dispatches the men, but knows the identity he buried deep in his past is no longer a secret. With his family in hiding, he makes it his personal mission to eliminate the threat to his family and reclaim the life he’s made.

The Devil’s Garden captures the irreconcilable thoughts and trepidation of a military man turned family man who must now fight to protect his family. As Colson’s crucial mission leads him to the Devil’s Garden of Florida, a forgotten wasteland of swamps, collapsed shacks, and lost souls, he finds that the midnight attack on his home was simply an omen of what is to come. With his fate in the balance until the last second, Colson must navigate a trail littered with bloodshed and revenge.

Q&A

Q: Please tell us about your current release.

A: My book is titled The Devil’s Garden. It will be available on Veteran’s Day, November 11, which is appropriate because the book is dedicated to the veterans of The War on Terror. The story is centered on two main characters who are military veterans, both of whom participated in such military campaigns.

The first is Brandon Colson, who is from the wilds of Kentucky and served as a Recon Marine. The other is Sam Collier who is from Atlanta, served in the Army’s Military Police in Iraq, and then later became a detective. The two men’s paths cross unexpectedly when heavily armed Muslim terrorists from Colson’s past come back to pay him a visit in the dead of the night. Following the aftermath at his residence, and subsequently at the local airport, Colson finds himself being interrogated by Collier while the authorities are trying to sort out and understand the night’s events. The problem is Colson isn’t talking because the event is directly connected to his past service.

Due to the circumstances, the two men are diametrically opposed at first. In fact, they don’t even like each other. Colson soon decides Detective Collier takes too much pleasure with interrogating prisoners and Collier quickly decides he doesn’t like Colson’s cocky, uncooperative attitude. Of course, Collier comes to the realization that if a man is going to swim with sharks, run with lions, or fight with those special forces Recon types, then they are going to have to possess a certain kind of confident swagger about them. On the other hand, it is only after Colson discovers the detective is an Iraqi War veteran that he begins to appreciate Collier’s potential as an ally. With the stage set, the two combat veterans quickly find themselves joined at the hip and fighting for their lives.

Q: Can you tell us about the journey that led you to write your book?

A: I suppose the journey started when I was 17 years old and looking to join the military. I knew I wanted to serve in a specialized warfare unit like the Army Special Forces or the Navy Seals. So I did some research and talked to the recruiters. That was when I discovered the Marine Corps had this unit called “Reconnaissance.” To make a long story short, the Navy and the Army guaranteed me a spot in whatever specialized unit I wanted and offered me a hefty enlistment bonus. The Marines, on the other hand, guaranteed me nothing and I guess they decided to keep the bonus money. They only guaranteed that I would first have to prove myself against all the other Marines before I could even have a chance to try to become a Recon Marine. These words did little more than wave a red flag at a bull and dare it to charge. The Marines have a unique way of taking a young man’s pride and turning it into a work of art. Of course, I must admit not all art is pretty or pleasing.

So I went, I made it into Recon, I served and got out. After that it was the typical college, career, family scenario. Then a few years ago, a Department of Veterans Affairs laptop was stolen. It contained the names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth and social security numbers of every veteran who served this country since the Vietnam conflict. The “missing” laptop was not recovered until about a month later, which was an eternity for someone to copy the information and sell it. There is a market for such information. In fact, according to the news it is not uncommon for some military personnel to sell their identification cards to people off base in order to get some extra cash. Of course, most do so not knowing to what end their identification cards will be used. Although common sense would dictate that nothing good could come of it, there are still those who do it anyway even though the military has harsh penalties for such conduct.

Considering these events and weighing them against the fact that there are those in the military services whose identities are protected — and they are protected for good reasons — the potential for disaster becomes painfully apparent. Combine all of this with one slightly paranoid, socially gruff, former Recon Marine and the story almost wrote itself.

Q: Can you tell us about the story behind your book cover?

A: The Devil’s Garden is not just the title of the book. It is also an actual place in the wilderness of south-central Florida. It is a large geographic area with an old name that no longer appears on any modern maps. For the book’s cover I tried to visualize what kind of garden the Devil would keep. Instead of the Devil tending a field of crops, I see him fanning a field of flames and watching in delight as they grow toward the sky. Hence, the book’s cover is a field of flames reaching upward for its title.

Q: What approaches have you taken to marketing your book?

A: The book’s website is at www.thedevilsgarden.us . There you can read excerpts and order it directly from me. The book will also be available through online retailers and bookstores. We are sending out press releases and setting up book signing events. We are also using social networking as well as my own personal network of friends who are either still in the military or are veterans of the military services.

Q: What book on the market does yours compare to? How is your book different?

A: The book could be compared on many levels to any popular action-packed mystery thriller that involves a highly-trained military operative or agent who is pitted against a powerful enemy. However, I wanted to introduce a hero unlike any other, who is much more simple and yet, much more complex at the same time. I wanted him to be exceedingly more colorful, realistic and human. As such, Colson is a man of many faults, with a unique flair that is only amplified by his intelligence and the confidence that is required to obtain the title of United States Marine. He is impulsive, compulsive, and confrontational and yet has the capacity to be loyal, loving, gentle and kind. Moreover, I believe the most significant defining difference is Colson’s pure, unadulterated killer instinct which is only balanced by his unwavering faith.

Q: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

A: I cure writer’s block by target practicing with my knives. I can spend hours throwing them. Focusing on the target helps focus my thoughts. Not to mention the fact that it is both fun and effective.

Q: Open your book to a random page and tell us what’s happening.

A: Page 151. Colson and Collier are patrolling through a forested area to the location where two fugitive Palestinian terrorists are hiding out. Colson is advising his new “hunting buddy” as to the dangers of the Floridian woods and wetlands such as the native predatory animals, poisonous snakes and spiders, as well as the dangers associated with booby traps when infiltrating a bomb maker’s lair. Needless to say, this is a matter of great concern to Collier who quickly decides he would have been better off not knowing.

Q: Do you plan any subsequent books?

A: Yes. I do have a sequel in the works. In rough draft form, it is about a third of the way done.

Q: Tell us what you’re reading at the moment and what you think of it.

A: I am nearly finished reading Biblica, which is a social and historical treatise on the many lands and cultures of the Bible. It is a wonderful and detailed work which only fuels my desire to take my family on a tour of the ancient world from Rome to Constantinople to Jerusalem to Cairo. I’d like my family to experience the lands of the exodus, the lands of promise, and the Kingdom of David, the paths of the Apostles John, Peter and Paul, but most importantly, to see where Jesus journeyed, preached, suffered, died and arose again into glory.



About Brady Christianson
Brady Christianson is a former United States Marine Corps Recon Marine whose military service and Christian faith has shaped his writing.


Giveaway:
Use the rafflecopter form below to enter to win an E-Book (PDF) copy of Devil's Garden! Thank you Tribute Books for this giveaway!

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