New Historical Fiction Novel ‘Almost a Millennium’

Almost a Millennium by Jeanbill
Almost a Millennium is an eclectic novel about the unlikely connection between an English monk and an American physician that lived nearly 1,000 years apart, one of today and one in the medieval period. It begins at their birth, traveling through time to their adulthood.
Using cryptography, Paul, a monk at Llanthony Abbey in Wales, writes a four-page document about his life and a harsh critique of the crusades. He places his writings in safekeeping in the hope that it will survive the crusades and eventually land in the hands of someone who can decipher his secrets. When Fred unexpectedly comes across Paul’s book and ciphers Paul’s cryptic message, he has no idea that four pages of millennial history will challenge him to rethink Christianity.
Almost a Millennium by Jeanbill is a deeply compelling historical fiction novel. Although a work of fiction, the story is a depiction of England’s history and the power dynamics at the time. It is a richly detailed story and many times I found myself forgetting that I was reading a work of fiction as the historical events described felt very authentic. The setting of the story and the character development were simply amazing as we dived into Paul and Fred’s compelling background stories. Paul and Fred were two people so different and yet so alike. The pace of the story was set from the beginning and this held true to the very last page. Jeanbill used a unique and very captivating style in developing this story.” – Reviewed by Faridah Nassozi for Readers’ Favorite

 

Excerpt from Almost a Millennium:
CHAPTER ONE
This evening the wind will be gusting to forty miles an hour. No rain in sight, but a rapidly moving cloud cover will probably hide tonight’s full moon that will be directly above us for a few short hours. If you are lucky and outdoors, you may be able to catch a glimpse of the moon if there is a break in the cloud cover.” Fred reached to shut off his favorite radio station, knowing he would not be hearing this weatherman again.
It was a few minutes past eight o’clock; two hours before, the sun had disappeared over the western horizon. The wind was blowing the clouds swiftly, shutting out the full moonlight above. Occasionally, a brief flash reflected from the landscape, lighting the grassy areas, tall trees in the distance, and rows of bushes along the expressway. The road was free of vehicles as far as Fred could see.
When the sun had set the day before, he had finally decided that it was the time to make a decision. He had all night to think about how to solve his problem of atheism versus God, but was not being able to do so. At long last, he decided upon a solution, knowing what to do and how to do it. He felt immediate relief. Later that day, he went to the hospital and to the clinic to sign all the charts that required his signature. He felt it was his obligation to be caught up with all the paperwork that needed his attention. He had the time that day to vacuum some of the floors and clean all the dishes that needed washing. He wanted to wait until it was dark, for traffic would be minimal on the freeway.
Helen had decided to leave Friday morning for her sister’s home. She, too, would have time to gather her thoughts and to make some decision about the future of her marriage to Fred. He had not told her what the problem was; they had had the same argument again. This time Helen told Fred that he would have to explain himself and verbally respond to her questions of “What’s wrong?” and “Why don’t you talk to me?” She had always felt close to him since their marriage, although an occasional brief period of pensiveness bothered her during that time. For the last month, Fred appeared to be more preoccupied. At first it was only once in a while, lasting only a few hours—then he was back to his usual outgoing and cheerful self. But now he had been moody all day long for the past several days.
Fred knew what the problem was, but he could not explain it to Helen. She would not understand. He had told her no problems existed at the medical clinic where he treated patients. But, what he did tell her was that his problem was indirectly related to his bi-monthly (bimestrial) meetings with a group of friends sharing the same interests–timely topics, such as atheism, religion, politics, chaos theory, and evolution. Fred had told her he’d been happily studying these subjects for years. Not knowing the specifics of what they studied, she felt he looked pleased about attending the meetings with his friends. He believed in atheism, and topics regarding that subject or religion always seemed to make him uncomfortable. Finally, Helen was able to force Fred to talk about his real problem.
Happiness pervaded Fred’s love for Helen ever since he’d met her six years earlier. Within a year, they were married, and life had continued to be content until a few months ago when he was exposed to that “book.” It appeared now that he was not enjoying the everyday tasks, not listening carefully to his patients and medical peers, and not attending Helen as he had done in the past. His world had become topsy-turvy and what he thought he proved as true may have been other- wise. This mental alteration began when he first deciphered the secret writings in the last four pages of the “book.”
Up until the last few months, he had plotted his whole life from the time he was in college through medical school, his first marriage, his successful practice, and his esteemed position in the community. He achieved these goals with a keen ability to manipulate the people close to him, meaning he was in complete control. Just two achievements were not manipulated: his second marriage when he fell completely in love with Helen, having no desire to exploit her, and the “other matter” that seemed to have taken control of him.
A little over six feet, broad shoulders, brown hair with streaks of gray consistent with his age in the early forties, a friendly smile most of the time, and that sparkle in the eyes that would attract others—-these physical attributes characterized Fred. His “other matter” reached its climax a month ago after breaking the code in the “book.” At that time, his demeanor changed, fights began with his wife, he lost interest in his surroundings, and rapidly descended from despondency to deep depression.
Driving at seventy miles an hour, Fred did not notice the botanical life that he passed and the fast moving clouds with occasional lunar light streaking the darkness. He was driving for only one fanatical reason. He was searching for the panacea that would relieve his anger, his fear, his frustration, and the depression that seemed to have consumed his life. The overpass was one mile ahead. At its base, massive cylindrical cement supports were in place adjacent to the highway. In the distance, they were barely visible but became larger and closer as he began accelerating faster and faster. No cars were in view, which gave him some relief. No one would see the crash, and there would be no harm to drivers of other automobiles. Moving his right hand from the steering wheel, reaching down to his seat belt and unlatching it, he began to veer his new red sedan diagonally across the other two lanes, directing the car to the closest brightly lit pillar by the car’s high beams. It was dark out; the clouds on high appeared thick, hiding any traces of moonlight. In only a few seconds, he would be relieved of the depression and heavy burden he’d carried for the past month. He finally would be at rest–clear- headed at last. Closer and closer, it was now time!
Where did it come from? The sky was dark like a moonless night. The moon could not be seen, but there was that flashing, sustained light that appeared brightly in the windshield blinding him. Suddenly, he turned the steering wheel in a clockwise motion, not knowing why! A strange, steady sensation electrified his whole body from his hands to his feet. Driving to the right shoulder of the highway, he braked the car to a stop and turned off the ignition.
Sweating profusely, he wiped his hands on a towel lying on the floor mat. What was I thinking, did I really want to take my life? I was so ready to end it and would have, except for that damn flash of light coming from nowhere. It must have been the moonlight shining through a break in the clouds. Why did I make the decision to commit suicide instead of working things out? Everyone has his breaking point or a point of no return, and I must have reached it, but this time that flash of light prevented my reaching the goal of finality. Could Chaos theory explain this experience, a small movement of a cloud results in saving my life.
While sitting in the car, his heart rate was decreasing to normalcy, the perspiration had ceased, and a generalized calm pervaded his body–a feeling he had never experienced in his life. Was this the type of sensation Paul had? It could have been but certainly of lesser quality.
Why did he want to end his life? He had a successful career. He had no financial worries, well respected by his peers, happy with his practice, happy with his new wife, and pleased that he accomplished so much since the death of his mother. He enjoyed all these endeavors until the “book.” Then, it seemed everything began to disintegrate, not all at once, but slowly, like an insidious disease. He thought about past incidents in his life that could have started him toward the point of no return: the death of his parents, the desire to become a physician, his first wife, his second wife, his sometimes fanatical promotion of atheism, or did it begin with Paul who lived a thousand years ago?
Fred started his car, found the nearest turnoff, returned to the freeway, and headed back home. As soon as he reached home, he went to the telephone to call Helen. Her sister answered and gave the telephone to his wife. He said, “Helen, we have to talk.”

 

Author Jeanbill HeadshotAbout the Author:
Jeanbill has been associated with medicine for more than 50 years, practicing as a general practitioner. He studied many hours in the medieval library of University of Notre Dame, researched and wrote over a period of 20 years in his spare time.
His debut novel Almost a Millennium was published in January 2015 and is available for sale on Amazon. Genres: Historical Fiction / Medieval / Religion
Jeanbill resides in Lynden, WA. Married to his other half for 57 years until cancer separated them, he has four children and 14 grandchildren.
Readers can connect with him on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter.
For further information, to request a review copy of Almost a Millennium, or to interview Jeanbill, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at info@bookpublicityservices.com or 805.807.9027.

The Krakow Klub by Philip C. Elrod

The Krakow Club
The Krakow Klub is a fast-paced and exciting science fiction novel by Philip C. Elrod. It was published in June 2015 and is available for sale on Amazon.

 

Synopsis:
The story of one man’s attempt to live a normal life, even though he is not normal.
The United States government is under siege. A secretive cabal of super rich elitists, The Krakow Klub, has initiated the final phase of its long-range plan to take over the USA from within. They have achieved control of the Presidency and the military. Their puppet in the White House has declared martial law. The Congress, The Supreme Court and many other political leaders not under their control are slated for elimination.
Only one man has the power to stop The Krakow Klub. His name is John F. Scott and he appears to be an ordinary human being. But he is part alien. His power is based on alien technology. Can he be trusted to stop the takeover and return power to a lawful government afterwards? Can he control his power once he unleashes it? Can he control himself during the process? Will he take the risk? If so, at what price?
So many troubling questions, with few clear-cut answers.

 

Prologue: 
In a remote castle, north of Krakow, Poland
It was early December 1991. They arrived one by one. Strangers, but yet known to each other. After depositing their coats with the servants, they were shown to the elaborate study. The walls covered in ancient molded paneling were dark and lent a gloomy pall to the atmosphere. A large round table of mahogany was centered in the room, surrounded by twelve leather chairs worn with age. A fire was crackling in the enormous hearth, sending shadows cavorting across the room as the cobwebs that draped the corners seemed to come alive.
As they each took their appointed seat, an icy hush seemed to fall over the world. At the center of the table were decanters of the finest liquors and liqueurs with crystal glasses, as well as a small array of canapés, including a large crystal bowl of caviar. After all, these were no ordinary strangers, but scions of business from around the world. Anything less would have been an insult.
Obligatory pleasantries were exchanged along with formal introductions. The mood was solemn, almost sinister, as the business at hand was brought forth. Plans were proposed, suggestions made, parameters set. The verbal exchanges were lively but carried a diabolical undertone that, if heard by outside ears, would send icy chills up the necks of even the bravest of men.
Their gathering lasted well into the night and continued early the next morning. In the middle of the afternoon of the second day, through a haze of cigar smoke, they regarded each other with looks of satisfaction. Their leader spoke in low but firm tones as he detailed the final plan. When finished, he looked at each member, and then said, “So, we are agreed?” Each one in turn gave a brief nod. Though he never had any doubt they would, Number One was still gratified to know that he had chosen this group wisely, and their plan would proceed without question. Lifting his snifter of cognac, he proposed a toast, “To the world. Our world!”
On a remote island not far from Key West, Florida
As he exited the craft and first stepped foot on the island, he knew at once that he had found his home at last. The scent of flowers carried on the warm breezes that swayed the palms dotting the landscape, the lush greens, and the bright colors were like ambrosia for the senses. The villa just ahead was a magnificent specimen of architecture, just as the surrounding grounds were a landscaper’s dream. He had such wonderful plans for this, his tiny oasis of peace in the vast and troubled world. And he had the resources to make it happen.
Peace and tranquility, so often absent from his life, was finally within his grasp. The power he had at his fingertips would allow him to enjoy the comforts of life while still keeping his finger on the pulse of the ever-growing unease that was settling on the world around him. Yes, this small paradise would do nicely, and once his plans had become reality, he felt he would complete his journey. And what a journey it had been! From the rolling hills of Appalachia to the outer reaches of space. But even as he was finding his heaven on earth, all hell was about to break loose around him, and unbeknownst to him at that time, it would lead him into the proverbial bowels of a hell that would torment him forever after.

 

Praise for The Krakow Klub:
“In this novel of power and its addiction, only the steadfast can walk this devious and treacherous path. The one who gives in to the power will be lost forever in its long maze. The Krakow Klub by Philip C. Elrod was very mesmerizing. It is actually quite scary because I can see something like that happening in the future. No one is safe from the lure of power and the Krakow Club brings this unsavory thought to the forefront. The rich always have influence and that influence brings power. If misused, it can be terrifying. And this is exactly what this novel is … terrifyingly good!” – Reviewed By Rabia Tanveer for Readers’ Favorite
“A thoroughly thrilling read, The Krakow Klub depicts a world that may not be all that far away.” – Reviewed by Red City Review

 

Author Philip C. ElrodAbout the Author:
Philip C. Elrod was born and raised in a small town atop Sand Mountain in Northeast Alabama. After serving with the military in Germany, he returned to the United States and continued his education at the University of Florida and Florida Southern College, majoring in Industrial Engineering and Economics.
Phil is a computer system analyst/designer and securities trader. He resides in Richardson, Texas with his wife and his two “bosses”, a Japanese Chin and a miniature Shih Tzu. His interests include writing, reading, astronomy, photography, outdoor cooking, and travel.
Phil enjoys writing science fiction thrillers. His debut novel Mylea: The Journey Begins is the prequel to the Mylean Universe Chronicles. It tells the story of a technologically advanced civilization and their desperate fight to survive a cosmic cataclysm. Ultimately, their epic journey brings them to Earth seeking the assistance of a unique earthling. The second book in the series, The Krakow Klub, deals with what the earthling does with his Mylean legacy. To learn more, go to http://www.pcelrod.com/
Readers can connect with Phil on Twitter and Goodreads.
For more information, to request a review copy of The Krakow Klub, or to interview Philip C. Elrod, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at info@bookpublicityservices.com or 805.807.9027.

 

Marketing Your New Book Online: 3 Things You Need to Know

open bookCompleting a manuscript is a huge accomplishment. Publishing your story is even more incredible. Whether this is your first book or your fiftieth, chances are that understand exactly how vital marketing is to a book’s success. Many publishers will assist you in your marketing endeavors; however, a book’s marketing plan ultimately rests in the hands of the author.
Marketing is one of the most important factors in a successful book launch. Before your book even hits store shelves, there are a few things you need to know about marketing your book on the Internet.
Marketing takes time
Many new authors make the mistake of thinking that they can post a Facebook message about their book and become an instant bestselling author. If this were the case, every author would be a millionaire. Unfortunately, marketing takes time. Quality marketing takes even more time. When you decide to publish a book, start promoting it long before the book is even complete. Share your book cover or synopsis with your friends and relatives. Post your cover blurb on book message boards. Contact bloggers to talk about your book’s upcoming launch. There are many ways that you can start getting the word out about your book and none of them are quick. When you decide to publish your manuscript, make sure that you understand that marketing is a lengthy endeavor, but one that’s well worth the effort.
Loyal fans make all the difference
When you start to gain fans, you’ll find that their support makes a huge difference in your sales. Fans who add you on Facebook, tweet messages at you, talk about your books and leave reviews on retail websites all contribute to an author’s success. Make sure that you take the time to publicly thank your readers. Consider leaving grateful Facebook messages when someone contacts you through your social media sites. You could also share positive book reviews with your readers. If you have a mailing list, sending a free sample chapter or even a free book offers a great way to thank your readers for their support.
Don’t be stingy
One of the biggest mistakes that many authors make is thinking that all marketing should be free. While there are plenty of ways you can market your book inexpensively, understand that sometimes, you’ll have to spend money to promote your novel. One simple way that you can market your book online is to host a giveaway. This could be a giveaway of your book or it could be something else entirely. Many authors host a gift certificate giveaway in order to gain new Twitter followers or Facebook fans. Others host a book giveaway to spread the word about a specific story. While these giveaways can be a wonderful way to get your name out there, understand that you’ll be the one responsible for supplying the prize. In your marketing efforts, you should plan to give away a lot of free copies of your book, in giveaways and to book reviewers.
No matter how much time you have to market your book, make sure that you treat marketing as an important part of launching your book. If you understand the value of solid marketing, you’ll be more likely to have a wonderful book launch with the success you’ve been working for. If you don’t have the time to market your book yourself, you can hire a professional to handle all of the book promotion and marketing for you.

The Dragon of the Month Club by Iain Reading

The Dragon of the Month ClubThe Dragon Of The Month Club is the exciting first installment in a new children’s book series by Iain Reading that tells the story of Ayana Fall and Tyler Travers, two best friends who stumble across an extraordinarily magical book and soon find themselves enrolled as members of a very special and exclusive club – The Dragon of the Month Club.
On the thirteenth of every month a new dragon conjuring spell is revealed and the two friends attempt to summon the latest Dragon of the Month. The varieties are almost endless: Air Dragons, Paper Dragons, Fog Dragons, Waterfall Dragons, Rock Dragons, Tree Dragons – not to mention special bonus dragons for all the major holidays, including a particularly prickly Holly Dragon for Christmas.
But one day when a conjuring spell somehow goes wrong Ayana and Tyler find themselves unexpectedly drawn into a fantastical world of adventure based on the various books scattered all across Tyler’s messy bedroom. Traveling from one book-inspired world to the next with nothing to rely on but their wits and a cast of strange and exotic dragons at their disposal they must try to somehow find their way home again.
Drawing inspiration from some of literature’s most memorable stories – from 19th century German folktales to the streets of Sherlock Holmes’s London – the adventures of Ayana and Tyler bring these classic stories to life in delightfully strange and unexpected ways. Filled with fascinating detail and non-stop action these books will spark the imaginations of readers of all ages to inspire a life-long love of reading and seeking out books that are just a little bit off the beaten track.

 

Praise:
“No other book bonds together so many stories in such a fashion that is actually readable and enjoyable at the same time. With the title being The Dragon of the Month Club, many might think this is a book strictly about magic and dragons, yet you will find that what’s inside this book will leave you awe struck.”Red City Review
“Iain Reading has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I started reading his Kitty Hawk books and now I’m introduced to a fantastical world. This is the type of book I would have spent hours in my room, wishing I could slip into the pages and have an adventure.”Sandra Stiles
“The Dragon of the Month Club is a very enjoyable read. I’m a grown adult and I enjoyed it. It reminded me of a Harry Potter meets Goosebumps (the part where the books come alive) meets Sherlock Holmes. I found the book to be engaging and kept me wanting to read on. This is a wonderful series for any young reader.”sgebhard

 

Excerpt:
Chapter 2 – The Book
Following their most unlikely of beginnings, the friendship of Ayana and Tyler grew quickly, and before they knew it, they were the best of friends, meeting up with each other almost every day. Sometimes they met up with Ayana’s mother after school at the downtown Dairy Queen for ice cream. Other times they climbed the edges of the coulee behind Ayana’s school and went to Tyler’s house where they did their homework together in his room. But most of the time, they just agreed to meet up at the place where they’d both accidentally bumped into each other on that very first day—amongst the dusty old bookshelves of the old library at the row between the history of the anatomy of earthworms and the illustrated guide to the indigenous mosses of Iceland.
It was on just such a day that Ayana and Tyler first discovered THE BOOK—a name that would be forever capitalised in their minds whenever either of them dared to utter the phrase aloud.
It was a magical book. That much was clear almost from the outset, so perhaps the manner in which these two unlikely friends happened to come across it was magical as well.
It all started on a typical Friday afternoon. Ayana and Tyler had agreed to meet at the library right after school. Tyler had a dentist appointment and would either be a few minutes late or a few minutes early, depending on how long that took. Not surprisingly Tyler was a few minutes late. This could have been expected since Tyler took dentist appointments very seriously. For weeks ahead of time he would be sure to brush his teeth five times every single day—once when waking up, once after breakfast, once after lunch, once after dinner, and once again before bed—which was two more times a day than he usually did. (He normally deemed the wake-up and after dinner steps unnecessary.) All of this was in addition to flossing, rinsing, and otherwise generally trying to keep his teeth in the best possible shape for the check-up.
To Tyler, going to the dentist was like studying for a test in school. Failure was not an option. So it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that once he was actually in the dental chair, he expected the dentist to be every bit as thorough as he was, a process that required a bit more time than it normally would with less fastidious patients.
So Tyler was late.
And so, when he finally arrived, he hurried down the stairs and quickly navigated through the maze of shelves at the back of the library and found Ayana sitting there, crouched on the floor, sobbing her eyes out.
Tyler sighed heavily. He could already guess what must have happened: Heather van der Sloot… again.
He took off his backpack and set it on the floor. Folding his legs under him, he lowered himself down until he was sitting next to Ayana, not too close, of course, but as close as he dared to.
“What happened this time?” Tyler asked.
Ayana sobbed and buried her face even deeper in her hands. After a moment her left arm shot out, pointing an accusing finger toward a stack of soiled and dishevelled papers lying in a heap on an empty space on the shelf opposite them.
“That,” Ayana cried, her voice thin and cracking.
Tyler stared at the papers, and it took him a moment to realise what they were.
“Your poems,” he gasped.
Tyler had to take a breath and swallow. Ayana’s poems were a work of art, neatly written in careful flowing script, one to a page. Ayana carried them with her sometimes in a stiff green cardboard folder with trees on it that had little strings that you used to tie it shut.
Ayana nodded, still sobbing.
“She threw them all over the playground,” she said, her voice raspy. “She grabbed my tree folder away from me and threw them everywhere. I… I ….”
Ayana stuttered and couldn’t speak for a second.
“I don’t know if I got them all back,” she finally said, finishing her thought. “I think I lost some.”
Tyler nodded and crawled over on one knee to pick up the chaotic stack of papers. He sorted through them, one by one, trying to put them back into some kind of order. They were smeared and scratched and crumpled. One even had a dirty footprint stamped squarely on it.
Normally Ayana wouldn’t even let Tyler glance at one of her poems, so he was surprised that she wasn’t bothered by his looking through all of them now. She clearly wasn’t thinking straight, so he tried to make as neat a stack out of them as possible and set it down on the carpet in the middle of the row of shelves.
“There are a lot there,” he said, sitting close to her again. “Maybe you did get them all.”
Ayana shrugged her shoulders hopelessly.
“It doesn’t matter,” she said, staring blankly at the pile of papers. “I don’t care.”
Tyler felt a sudden squeeze around his heart. He had no idea what he was supposed to do to make Ayana feel better.
But as his mind was racing, trying to think of something, the universe intervened.
“I hate her, Tyler,” Ayana said. “I HATE her!”
On this second last syllable, Ayana kicked at the opposite shelves with the heel of her shoe, making the wooden frame shudder and some of the books rattle around. One particular book—a small, thin one high up on the very top shelf—tipped forward as if in slow motion until it was hanging precariously at an impossible angle, almost as if it was levitating, before tumbling end over end to the floor.
Tyler tried to catch it but he was too slow, and instead it crashed into the stack of papers, scattering them slightly, before it fell flat on its back, right side up right in front of them.
how to conjure
your very own dragon
in six easy steps
…read the front cover of THE BOOK in bright yellow letters against a wavy blue background.
Tyler frowned and Ayana stopped crying for a moment. They both stared at THE BOOK with wide-open eyes, neither of them quite able to believe what they were seeing.
“How to conjure a dragon?” Ayana asked, kneeling forward to grab THE BOOK.
Tyler crawled next to her as she opened the front cover.
THE BOOK was very thin—more like a pamphlet, really— with no table of contents, no copyright page, no dedication page. There wasn’t even an indication of who the author might be. It just went straight into the first chapter, which was entitled:
the water dragon
“A water dragon?” Tyler read over Ayana’s warm shoulder.
Underneath the chapter title was a brief list of the various characteristics of the water dragon.
category: lesser dragon
difficulty: medium
classification: common
Below that was a basic introduction and explanation of the dragon followed by some advice to those who might want to conjure one:
this spell is a relatively simple one, but be forewarned that the water dragon is a damp and clumsy creature, prone to making messes and causing trouble. It is recommended to have plenty of towels at hand when undertaking this conjuring.
Underneath this brief introduction was a list of materials needed to actually conjure the dragon.
required material(s): water, towels (optional)
And last but not least came the instructions, six simple steps to conjuring your very own dragon. Tyler could hardly believe what he was reading. The steps were so simple. Just a series of strangely specific hand gestures performed by two people simultaneously. The instructions even had little helpful sketches to help you understand what to do.
It reminded Tyler of IKEA assembly instructions when his parents bought new furniture and let him put it together for them. But that was furniture made of wood and fabric and those little IKEA screws that needed a special tool to screw them in. This was supposed to be a dragon, whatever that meant. How could such simplistic instructions possibly result in assembling anything, much less an actual dragon?
“We have to try this!” Ayana said excitedly.
To learn more, go to DragonOfTheMonthClub.com

Life is Beautiful: How a Lost Girl Became a True, Confident Child of God

Life is Beautiful book
While Sarah M. Johnson was on a mission’s trip in Guatemala with her family, their plane crashed in a remote village, leaving eleven of the fourteen passengers dead. Her brother and father died in the crash, and her mother was severely burned. Sarah was not injured, but her life was completely turned upside down. 
In her memoir Life is Beautiful, Sarah shares her story and full journey of trauma, loss, and finally resilience. However, it is more than a story about an airplane crash. Life is Beautiful shares the personal struggles of Sarah’s father’s drug use, his recovery, and redemption to be a better person. He gives back by doing missions work in Africa, takes in Sarah’s aunt dying of uterine cancer, and eventually leads their family to the mountains of Guatemala. Sarah also discusses her struggles with alcohol use and depression; where she eventually hits rock bottom. It is not until she starts seeking God through prayer, books, and therapy, where she starts to turn her life around.
I want people who read, Life is Beautiful to know is that no matter what happens in our life, whether it be a particular trauma, loss, divorce, relationship conflict, job loss, illness, financial crisis, addiction, etc. that we all have the capacity to get through it. And once we get through this difficult time in our life, we have the ability to become stronger individuals because of it,” says Sarah.

 

Excerpt:
Chapter 1 – The Crash
I remember all of the emotions, the trees whipping by, everything happening so fast, dad yelling, Here we go, and mom screaming, Stop it. I remember my brother Zachary looking back at me, his eyes bright with fear as I prayed God please…

I remember the sense of something coming; you know it’s coming and wonder: will I live?
I remember the violence of the plane plowing into the ground as we attempted an emergency landing in a roughhewn field…Boom, boom, boom…and then nothing but an unnerving silence.
I don’t know if I blacked out or merely paused with my eyes closed in the stillness of those first few moments. Awareness comes slowly. Then in a rushed breath of shock and revelation, Thank God I’m alive.
My eyes open to an eerily lit silence where sunlight and shadow intermingle, making it difficult to see into the new geography of the plane’s interior. My head and body buzz. My mind trips on the dissonance of dangling upside down, held a few inches from the ceiling of the plane’s cabin by my seatbelt.
Taking stock of my body, I notice that I peed my pants and there is a small cut on my left arm. Looking up, I see that one foot is missing its shoe. My eyes squint into bright sunlight that passes through a relatively large doorway next to me that was torn open.
The only noise to break the silence is the erratic popping of electricity; the final groans of a dying airplane.
I move my arms first and then my legs, which causes small shards of glass to fall from where they’re lodged in my clothes and upturned seat. I tilt my head back toward the ceiling beneath me and it is covered in broken glass.
My hair dangles down away from my face, but the position of my body and the way sunlight cuts through the cabin makes it difficult to see much of the plane. In those few seconds I realize that I am okay and begin to think that maybe we are all okay; that the crash wasn’t so bad.

 


Sarah M. JohnsonAbout the Author:
Sarah M. Johnson is currently a graduate student seeking her Marriage and Family Therapy degree. She will graduate in 2015. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work. After graduating, she plans to open up a private practice office and guide those who are seeking their own self-discoveries of love and happiness.
Sarah believes that adversity is a gateway for change, and that through the difficult times of sorrow, loss, depression, anxiety, relationship issues, trauma, disease, or other mental illness, we can use this adversity to self-explore and change for the better. We must not run away from the adversity, but face it, heal, and use this particular adversity as a learning lesson.
We all have the capacity to be happy and love ourselves; but we must utilize all necessary support systems, medical professionals, mental health professionals, Religious affiliations, (and many more that I am not mentioning) to help us find the Power Within. The Power Within helps us to accept our adversity and create necessary change for a life of love and happiness.
Life is Beautiful is available for sale on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. To learn more, go to LifeIsBeautifulBook.com
Connect with Sarah on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
For more information, to request a review copy of Life is Beautiful, or to interview Sarah Johnson, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at info@bookpublicityservices.com or 805.807.9027.

How to Publish Ebooks to Grow Your Business

ebooks for businessAre you planning to offer ebooks as part of your overall content marketing strategy? Are you considering creating long-form content and offering it for free in exchange for an email address or subscription to your company newsletter? Ebooks are an incredible marketing outreach tool that can offer your customers a long-lasting helpful resource while providing your business essential contact data for further future engagement opportunities. Whether you plan to offer free how-to books as part of your content marketing outreach efforts or you want to integrate ebooks into your revenue-generation efforts, there are a number of essential tools that you can use during the publishing process. If this is the year you make the push to ebook marketing, following are a few must-have tools for your publishing resources list:
Convert to Clean HTML
If you plan to create your business’ ebooks in Microsoft Word, the Convert to Clean HTML site is another handy publishing tool you’ll want in your arsenal. Simply copy/paste your ebook content onto this nifty site and you’ll automatically receive clean HTML data for uploading to your publishing interface. There are a number of conversion customization options including the ability to replace non-ascii data.
Smart Formatting
The Smart Formatting PDF offers details on formatting guidelines for CreateSpace, Smashwords, and Kindle. Discover the proper settings you should be using in Microsoft Word, the word styles that work best, and even the appropriate way to block paragraphs. Be sure to bookmark this handy PDF document for ebook writers as you’ll likely return to it numerous times for guidance.
3DIssue
3DIssue lets you create content for distribution in a number of formats including ebooks, content hubs, and flipbooks. Whether you want to offer a how-to ebook to your email subscribers or policy and procedures ebook to your new hires, 3DIssue makes the process easy. Features include audio clip integration, text-to-speech capabilities, and ePub3 compliance to make sure your content renders properly.
Creating business ebooks is made easier when you have the right publishing tools at your disposal. It is essential that you have a thorough list of resources before you attempt to create your first publication. Jumping in without knowing proper publishing procedures can leave you feeling frustrated and disheartened. If you want to maximize the potential of your ebook publishing efforts, the above-listed tools should definitely be on your publisher’s resource list. And once you have your ebook ready to be published, in order to maximize book sales, make sure to hire a publicist or book promotion company to help get the word out about it.

Novelist J. Frank James Announces the Release of His Latest Crime Thriller ‘Finders, Keepers’

Finders Keepers book coverLos Angeles, CA (June 1, 2015) – J. Frank James announced today that his latest novel Finders, Keepers is now available for sale on Amazon. Finders, Keepers is an action packed crime thriller. It is the seventh book in the Lou Malloy Crime Series.
Synopsis:
Lou Malloy and Hilary Kelly have just returned from a very tough assignment for Max Reynolds. Hilary wants to take some time off and go to Italy for a vacation. Lou thinks it’s a good idea, but when he calls Max to get clearance, he tells Lou that while they are there he has a small request to make. It seems that a scientist has gone missing and Max would like to have Lou check to see if he is still around. Max also tells Lou that to find this scientist he has to find a ghost ship named the Arctic Queen. It is important that this scientist be found because he is the inventor of a new type of weapon called an electromagnetic device. Follow along as Lou and his team search for the Arctic Queen and the scientist, while encountering many obstacles along the way.
Finders, Keepers is available for sale on Amazon in eBook and paperback.
Previously published novels in the Lou Malloy Crime Series include: Dead Money Run (Book 1), Only Two Cats (Book 2), Blue Cat In Paradise (Book 3), Rainbow Games (Book 4), Two Birds to Kill (Book 5), and Last Flamingo (Book 6). There is also a prequel novel – The Run Begins.
About the Author:
J. Frank James has a passion for writing, and he certainly has the knowledge and experience to write realistic crime thrillers, thanks to his extensive background in law. Jim attended law school, where he was a member of the law review. He even went on to pass the state bar and started his own law practice that specialized in complex litigation. Jim’s experience in law helps lend credibility to his crime fiction books. He has also traveled extensively and gains inspiration for his crime thrillers from his travels. From observing other cultures and gaining new experiences, Jim is able to infuse new life into his books and develop believable characters that readers can identify with.
Frank James writes crime thriller novels that are gripping and suspenseful. He is the author of the Lou Malloy Crime Series and the Indigo Marsh Detective Series.
Frank James is also an artist and he creates all of his own book covers.
To learn more, go to http://www.jfrankjamesbooks.com/
For further information, to request a review copy, or to set up an interview or appearance by J. Frank James, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at info@bookpublicityservices.com or 805.807.9027.
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