New Christian Fiction Novel: The Secret Rebellion by Martin Baggen

The Secret Rebellion book coverMartin Baggen recently released The Secret Rebellion, a captivating Christian fiction novel that provides an interesting take on religious history. The book is recommended for readers who enjoyed The Da Vinci Code and The Passover Plot.
“The Secret Rebellion is a result of wanting to share a perspective on a story that has become a thread in the very fabric of our culture,” says Martin. “The accounts of Jesus that we know, that have now become biblical, may have had their roots in events of a much more earthly origin. The Secret Rebellion combines the drama of the New Testament with elements that we see every day in our modern world.”
The Secret Rebellion tells the story of Miriam and Yeshua. Miriam is a young, rightful queen who returns from exile to her homeland. Her mission is to reclaim her country from the grip of an oppressive foreign occupation. To achieve her goal, she must find a king.
Her quest leads to a charismatic and gifted man, Yeshua, who possesses the ability to help her lead a nation to freedom. But the mission comes at a cost greater than anyone can predict, and the misunderstood legacy of their secret rebellion will endure for thousands of years. A failed political movement that gave birth to a new religion.
“The Secret Rebellion is written in the style of the Bible… Much of the story parallels that of Jesus, with the huge exception being that Yeshua’s works were accomplished by the hands of man rather than by the hands of God… The Secret Rebellion is a well-thought out, well-researched and intelligent book.” – Amazon Review
The Secret Rebellion ebook is available for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


Excerpt from The Secret Rebellion:
Years from now when I am telling stories to my children, this will be the moment they hear of the most. Months ago, I did not understand who this man is or what he means to all of us.
Even as the first steps are taken from the Mount of Olives I am frustrated at the slow pace we must move down the trail. The ass is in charge of this parade no matter how much force I put upon him with his line.
As we descend into the valley and start the climb up toward the gate I can see people as they move along the walkways atop the great walls. Walls that rise ten times the height of a man and seem much higher from where we are. There are hundreds and hundreds of people within my view.
The robe I have been given is for much cooler weather than today, and the desire to shed it is great. But what little instruction I have been given was to hide the blade at my hip, and the robe is intended for that purpose. I have never used a weapon against my fellow man.
At last we are at the ridge that completes our climb up from the valley, and we are on level ground to the Eastern Gate. I have never entered through this gate directly into the Temple Square. As we crest the hill and begin our final few hundred paces to Jerusalem I can now hear people, and I watch as they stop to look at us from above. At first it is difficult to understand what they are doing. I even slow my steps for a moment to look behind us. Yeshua is looking along the top of the wall as well. There are no others behind our tiny parade. The reactions we witness are because of us.
It is cheering. With only one hundred steps to the open gate, I can see their faces. Some are just staring and curious, but most are very happy and yelling. Many more have collected at the entrance. So many that if they do not make way, we will not be able to pass through. But I do not believe they mean to prevent our entry. The people are happy.
I am thankful the ass does not care about the loudness and excitement that is now all around us. If he suddenly decides to bolt away from here, there is little I could do to control him. It is that thought which is on my mind as we pass under the arch. My god, the noise is much louder as we pass within the walls. My God!


Author Martin BaggenAbout the Author:
The Secret Rebellion is Martin Baggen’s debut novel. Martin is passionate about writing, reading, and music. He currently resides in Benton County, Oregon.
Connect with Martin on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.
To learn more, go to
To schedule an interview with Martin Baggen or request a review copy of The Secret Rebellion, please contact Kelsey McBride at

Honor and Innocence: Against the Tides of War by Glen Hierlmeier

Honor & Innocence small book coverHonor and Innocence: Against the Tides of War, a historical romance novel by Glen Hierlmeier, was released March 2014. It is available for sale on Amazon.
Honor and Innocence is the first in a series of novels that weaves together a deeply intriguing and heart-grabbing love story with the authentic historic circumstances and chaos in Europe that followed WW II. This first book in the series takes the reader through the devastation left by World War II across the European and Asian continents, following the course forced upon two unlikely lovers, Hank, an American soldier, and Roberta, a German girl, the twin sister of a German prisoner of war Hank is responsible for. Hank falls in love with Roberta, rescues her from the British Intelligence forces, and an improbable romance and death defying escape ensues. The reader is immersed in the intense and captivating journey with Hank and Roberta and learns history from a perspective often overlooked in the history books.
Hank Fischer is drafted into the American Army soon after high school graduation in 1945, which begins a six month saga of intrigue, horror, and love that takes him from his southern Wisconsin home to Texas, then Germany, Switzerland, Greece, and Singapore, revealing along the way the devastating truth of the tragic consequences of war. In the Texas prisoner of war camp where Germans were interned, a youthful and naïve Hank is targeted by Haynes who becomes his lifelong tormentor, but he also begins his closest, nearly unimaginable lifelong friendship with Max, a German prisoner of war under his supervision, whose twin sister, Roberta, back in their German homeland, is destined to become the love of his life and his wife.
Hank is drawn into a dangerous web of intrigue by the common heritage he shares with Max, a prisoner of war being returned to his homeland, and the intense love he finds with Max’s sister, Roberta. Because of their ties to the SS through their father, a senior Nazi official hand-selected by Adolph Hitler himself, Max and Roberta are pursued by the Intelligence Forces of the American and British Occupation.
Faced with a choice between his love for Roberta and allegiance to the Army, Hank chooses to collaborate with Max and free Roberta from a British prison camp, beginning a desperate flight through war-torn Germany where they witness first-hand the ravages of post –war Europe, while staying perilously ahead of pursuing forces. Their flight takes them to a secret refuge in the mountains of neutral Switzerland where Lazlo, a Hungarian born war-time profiteer provides the opportunity for their escape. Sadly leaving Max behind in Switzerland they set out for the port city of Trieste by train, only to survive an attack by post-war Italian Army pirates, then sail the seas on a merchant ship with a modern day Greek philosopher, Captain Koz, to search out hidden treasure in a small Greek village. Again forced to flee, Captain Koz helps them find refuge across the Indian Ocean, in Singapore, only to once again face the bane of powerful men…another war-torn country. Their very survival hangs in the delicate balance between their powerful love and will to live, and evil man’s violent quest for power and wealth. Their amazing journey, immersed in horrors of war, bombed-out cities, displaced person by the millions, desperation and hopelessness, give the reader a rare look at the despair of victims of the hubris of men seeking power for the sake of power, amidst their powerful love story.


Glen Thomas Hierlmeier About the Author:
Glen graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, then earned a Masters of Business Administration at The University of Wisconsin at Madison. He served in the US Air Force on the Manned Orbiting Laboratory space exploration program and on the design phase of the development of the F-15 fighter aircraft. After leaving the Air Force, Glen returned to Wisconsin and became Vice President of the largest bank in his home state, First Wisconsin National Bank. In 1979, he moved on to become President and CEO of several real estate development and management companies. Glen retired in 2009 to devote full time to his grandchildren and his writing. Glen is the author of Honor and Innocence, We Had to Live: We Had No Choice…, and Thoughts From Yesterday: Moments to Remember.
Connect with Glen on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.
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How To Start Writing A Novel

writingThere are many amateur writers who would love to write a novel. Not all of them know where to get started. This is a basic blueprint for first-time novelists to learn how to approach writing a novel.
Writing a novel is every writer’s dream. Not everyone with this dream knows how to take on the gigantic task of writing 40,000 to 120,000 words or more with one legendary story. Here is a simple blueprint to writing a novel for those who want the chance to make their writing dreams come true.
Start With A Title: The most important step in writing a novel is coming up with something that people will want to read. Without a clever title that stands out among the crowd of books available, then there is no point in writing a novel at all. Come up with the main idea for the novel with a catchy title and go from there.
The Beginning And The Ending: Every story has to have a purpose. Before proceeding any further, decide why the story is happening and where the story will end. Making this decision will help the main character to develop throughout the novel. Choose a problem for the main character to deal with in the beginning and a goal to work toward for the end.
Choose Chapter Names: The best way to stay on course throughout a novel is to prepare a series of events for the characters to experience along their journey. Having the basic ideas set in place before giving the details will keep a nice pace, and will help avoid rabbit trails.
Develop Main Characters: Before writing the story, it is important to know a few basics about the main characters. This will ensure that they act consistently throughout the novel. Making a profile for each main character will keep the novelist on the right path.
Just Start Writing: The hardest part for any first time novelist is believing in their abilities. The best thing any writer can do to get started as a novelist is to just start writing. If a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, then the journey of writing a novel begins with one word.
Use these steps and start writing a novel today.



The Importance of Book Reviews for Authors

Getting book reviews is vital for recently published authors. There are two main benefits to having your work reviewed: public presence and social credibility.


When your manuscript is complete, you might send it off to an agent or publisher. Alternatively, you may decide to self-publish. Either way, you will need book publicity to gain attention from your target audience, so that people actually buy it and read it.


After publication, the fear sets in. What if nobody reads it? Or even worse, what if people read it and everyone hates it? Realistically, if your book is worth publishing, there’s somebody out there who will think it’s worth reading and even paying money for. You need to make sure they know it exists.


Gaining presence in the world of booklovers comes about by people talking about your book. It’s a promotion for you, even if they aren’t saying nice things, at least they know your name and the title of your book. If you get people talking about your book online, it will generate more interest and a lot of people will read the book just to see what all the hype is about. So, although positive book reviews are better, any type of mention can help you out with sales and presence.


The other reason book reviews are so important for authors is that it gives you social credibility. When other authors support your writing, all of their fans may potentially become yours. Even getting book bloggers or general readers to discuss your work is valuable. It shows people that other people are reading your book, not just your high school English teacher. They have read it and they cared enough about it to tell the world what they thought. The majority of them will be fair, albeit subjective, in their comments, which means you will probably accumulate a decent number of favorable statements to use in your public relations campaign.


Of course, it’s a lot of work to get a bunch of reviewers to write about your work, especially if you’d much rather be writing your next book or taking a well-earned vacation. The submission process is different for each blogger and figuring out how to get a hold of published authors is even more complicated and time-consuming, but it’s worth the effort. Having that credibility and public presence will give you the edge you need to succeed in the publishing world. Once a few people mention your name, the word will get passed around.


The crux of the matter is that when people are talking about you, it means your book publicity is working. Publicity helps increase book sales, and book reviews are one key way to make those sales happen.


Self-Published Authors Need to Create a Community

WritingThe playing field has been leveled for aspiring authors. No longer do you have to send out dozens of queries and wait months to receive a rejection notice. Authors now have the power to go directly to the source and self-publish. Self-publishing has allowed authors to bypass big name publishing houses and press agents, but what some fail to realize is all that responsibility is now in their hands. It can feel overwhelming for a first time author.
Some authors have the mindset that all they want to do is write. Unfortunately, those days are over for most authors, especially those that are new self-published authors. The biggest thing you must do as a self-published author is create a community of “fans.” It may be two people when you first begin, but it has to be people that are passionate about your work. There are so many books being released that it is tough to get publicity and carve out a niche to get yourself noticed. This is where your fans can begin to help you out. They will become your public relations managers and help spread the word on how great your book is.
Developing your base:
You must have a place where your fans can gather and get access to you. If you’re a self-published author who wants to stay out of the spotlight, you have a better chance of hitting the lottery than having a best-selling book. You must be on the frontline engaging with each of your readers. Let them get to know you and really allow them to see who you are.
A blog or a website is going to be your “home-base.” This is where your readers will be able to get updates and samples of all your latest works, and most importantly have access to you to start creating that bond.
Social Media:
As you are establishing your blog or website, you need to start adding social media platforms. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube are the biggest out there right now. Each site is unique so make sure you get a feel for the proper procedures before you dive in. Once you feel comfortable, it’s all about how you can help your readers. What problems can you solve for your readers that will make them interested in your work? Once they become interested and buy your book, then you want to add them to your army of PR advocates who are also your fans.
Self-published authors need to be on the front-line of any successful public relations campaign. Engaging with readers and building a community of fans is essential. Ideally, this plan needs to be put in place well before your book is released. However, most self-published authors are learning as they go so if you already have a book out it’s okay. Just realize you are starting from ground zero and it will take some time to build a solid platform of followers.

Promoting a Self-Published Book

Open BookThis article gives some low or zero-cost ways self-published authors can successfully promote their books and increase sales.


If you have self-published a book, you have likely learned that getting a book published is only half of the work. There are millions of books available to readers, who have only so much time and money to spend on them. The challenge is figuring out how to promote your self-published book so readers become interested and spend their hard-earned money on it.


Perhaps one of the biggest challenges in promoting your self-published book is if you do not have thousands of dollars or more to spend on hiring a professional to promote it. Still, you can market your book successfully without spending very much money at all. Later, as your book’s sales increase, you can then use the money you earn to increase the marketing efforts for your book.


Here are six low-cost things you can start doing today to promote your self-published book:


1. Start with family and friends. Promoting your self-published book requires you to not be shy about sharing your work. This is no time for humility, but at the same time you need to not be annoying. Your friends and family have an interest in seeing you succeed, and they are a ready-made support base for promoting your book. Talk to them about your book, and even consider giving them free copies. Encourage them to post reviews of your book online, to talk to their friends about it and do anything else they can think of to spread the word.


2. Leverage social media sites. Social media allows you to connect to other people from across the globe, spreading your influence even further without spending any money. Set up a Facebook page for you as a writer, or consider setting up a page for your book, and then invite your Facebook friends to like the page. Use Twitter to connect with other writers and to reach people with interests that relate to your book. Register on Goodreads and encourage your friends on there to read and review your book. Connect with people who have interests relating to your book’s topic by joining groups on different social media sites. For example, if your book is about gardening, find out what gardening groups exist and join them. Do not just talk about your book on these groups, but actually participate in the conversations going on in the group. Mention your book occasionally, or to include a blurb about it in your signature every time you post a comment.


3. Never underestimate the power of local support to promote your book. Seek out local bookstores in your area. Avoid marching into a bookstore and just hawking your book to the owner though. Get to know the store beforehand, frequenting it on a regular basis so you get to know the culture behind the store. Many independent bookstores have their own quirks that appeal to their customers, so if you can make your book mesh with those quirks you have a better shot of getting it placed with the bookstore. Also, getting to know the workers and owner as a customer helps selling them on your book.


4. Look into non-book stores. The fact of the matter is that a good portion of book sales take place outside of bookstores. Market your self-published book by placing it with other local stores, especially ones that sell things which relate to your book. If your book is about cooking, even if it is a work of fiction, place it with some local kitchenware stores, or even independent restaurants. In general, local gift shops, grocery stores and pharmacies also might be interested in carrying your book, especially if it has good mass appeal.


5. Further market your book by convincing book clubs to choose it as their next book selection. This requires you actively seek out local book clubs, which you can find listed on the Internet or at local bookstores. Offer to go speak to the book clubs when they discuss your book, giving extra incentive for the club to choose your book. Members of the book club also inevitably will end up mentioning your book to other people, increasing your marketing efforts and your book sales.


6. Donate two or more copies of your book to local libraries. Your book marketing plan can reach a whole new level if people who are well-read like your book. Many people who read high amounts of books frequent libraries, since they cannot afford to buy every book they read. These people often are go-to sources for other people who are looking for a good book to read. If library users have read and like your book, they likely will recommend it to others who value their opinion.
Many people who have written a self-published book see dismal sales because they don’t know how to promote their book. These people often think they need spent lots of money for marketing, advertising, and public relations, but as you can see, there are plenty of low-cost things you can do to promote your book yourself to increase sales.

New Sports Fiction Book Helps Kids Exercise Their Minds

The Hoop Kid from Elmdale ParkLOS ANGELES, CA (January, 7, 2014) – As college basketball’s most exciting and serious time of year [March Madness] approaches, Elmdale Park Brand founder Teko Bernard hopes to encourage young basketball fans to read more for fun with his new book, The Hoop Kid from Elmdale Park.
“Kids devote a lot of their time to sports participation these days, and it can get pretty hectic and serious,” says Teko. “I wrote this book to help fill the need for fun, sports themed fiction books for active kids who love sports but are reluctant to read. I hope to inspire sports-minded kids to reach for a book more often to exercise their minds.”
According to Nickelodeon Kids and Family Research, almost 50% of kids ages 7 to 14 play sports 3 to 4 days a week during their sports seasons. Most kids seem to be participating in 2 to 3 organized sports in a year.
Kids who read for pleasure are likely to do significantly better at school than their peers. The Institute of Education found that children who read for pleasure made more progress in math, vocabulary and spelling between the ages of 10 and 16 than those who rarely read.
The Hoop Kid from Elmdale Park is a fun, upbeat story dealing with themes of courage, teamwork, and overcoming defeat. The length and pace of the book was created with the reluctant reader in mind. The occasional cartoon like illustrations add a fun break while reading.
In The Hoop Kid from Elmdale Park, all Bernard Jones wanted to do while staying with his grandparents for the summer in Elmdale, was work on his basketball skills. When Bernard excitedly enters a team into the Annual Elmdale Park Basketball Tournament, he’s shocked to discover that the future of the park is at stake. The town of Elmdale hasn’t won the tournament in 20 years, and Victor Franco, a ruthless millionaire, is planning to shut down the annual tournament for good and turn the historic Elmdale Park into a landfill for his own profit. It can all be stopped if Bernard and his team, the Elmdale Warriors, win the tournament this year. Can the courageous Bernard and his fun and wacky crew defeat their Oakdale rivals and save the historic Park?
The Hoop Kid from Elmdale Park is available on Amazon.
The Hoop Kid from Elmdale Park
By Teko Bernard
Age Range: 8 and up
Grade Level: 3 and up
Paperback: 126 pages
Publisher: Elmdale Park Books
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0986059307
ISBN-13: 978-0986059308
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