‘Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows’ by J.M. Bergen

Published by Elandrian Press, Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows is a new Middle Grade Fantasy by J.M. Bergen released in February 2019.

Synopsis:
Magic is real, Thomas. No matter what happens, always remember that magic is real. 
Seven years have passed, and Thomas hasn’t forgotten. He hasn’t forgotten the blue of his dad’s eyes either, or the tickle of beard on his cheek as they hugged goodbye. Last moments with a parent are memorable, even if you don’t know that’s what you’re having at the time.
Now, with his 13th birthday rapidly approaching, Thomas’s search for magic is about to take a radical and unexpected turn. At an out-of-the-way shop filled with dusty leather books, a strange little man with gold-flecked eyes offers him an ancient text called The Book of Sorrows. The price is high and the rules are strict, but there’s no way Thomas can resist the chance to look inside.
With the mysterious book guiding the way, a strange new world is revealed – a world in which Thomas has a name and destiny far more extraordinary than he ever imagined. But time is short. Even as Thomas uncovers his secret family history, enemies emerge, threatening to end his rise to power and destroy everything he holds dear.
Through a fresh voice, genuine characters, and a unique storyline, Thomas Wildus and The Book of Sorrows is destined to appeal to fans of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and readers who enjoy books about magic and adventure.

Praise for Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows: 
“I am always so excited when I come across a book series that I KNOW my middle schoolers will LOVE!  I hit the jackpot when I had the opportunity to review the book, Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows by J.M. Bergen.  It is exactly the type of book my students are always interested in! … I already have a waiting list in my classroom of kids that want to check it out! … If your students love the likes of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, they are sure to be equally obsessed with The Book of Sorrows Series!”Lit with Lyns
“Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows is a charming, chummy tale that will instantly draw in any reader who has secretly (or not so secretly) wished for a little more wonder in their world. Parallels will of course be drawn to the Harry Potter series—and rightfully so—but this book also shares much in common with Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time.” – 5 Stars, Red City Review
“Middle graders will find Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows a compelling story… and an adventure tale that proves hard to put down.” – Midwest Book Review
“Reading this truly well-written novel was a lot of fun… It had plenty of exciting moments, funny parts, intriguing developments, and characters you just have to love… Harry Potter fans would love Thomas Wildus too. And while the story is aimed at younger readers, adults can also enjoy it.” – 5 Stars, Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers’ Favorite
“An exciting story about family, friendship, magic, and good versus evil.”KidsBookshelf
“For fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, I would definitely recommend this book as a must-read…”Alliee Reads
“This is a wonderful fantasy tale well-told by the author. The character development is good, the friendships Thomas has are heart-warming and the magic is unpredictable.”Long and Short Reviews
“Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows is an enchanting foray into a fantasy world where stories can become realities, science and magic intersect, and crystals hold the power to destroy. If you’re looking for an enthralling and thought-provoking read, this is the book for you!”Middle Grade Minded
“This was a wickedly fun and richly imaginative middle-grade urban fantasy with a compelling plot and endearing characters… From the moment Thomas enters the bookstore I was hooked and couldn’t wait to find out the mysterious book’s secrets. This little gem of a story has magic, action, mystery, intrigue and rollicking adventure, and held my interest until the wild ending… there are more adventures yet to come so I can’t wait to delve into the next book.”Roger’s Reads
“This is a very fast-paced fantasy adventure tale that has great friendship representation, lots of magic and a thrilling adventure for young readers.”Noveltea Corner
“I highly recommend this book for 4th and 5th graders! My son Caleb, who is a 4th grader this year, finished the book in just 3 days! He could not put it down. We both enjoyed the deep plot twists and unexpected surprises throughout the story.” – The Butterfly Teacher
“In Thomas Wildus and The Book of Sorrows, J.M. Bergen has created a marvelous fantasy/sci-fi story for children and teens. With all the qualities a great book should have, the story holds your interest and offers a pleasing blend of legend and modern-day problems. Thomas must choose between good and evil… and accept the consequences of his actions. J.M. Bergen provides a wonderful tale that anyone can enjoy.” – 5 Stars, Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers’ Favorite
“Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows by J.M Bergen is a stunning fantasy novel… The book was very descriptive and incredibly well written. The plot was intriguing and well thought through … This book will entertain readers of all ages. I would definitely recommend this book.” – 5 Stars, Reviewed by Kristen Van Kampen (Teen Reviewer) for Readers’ Favorite

Excerpt:
…Thomas froze, this time blinking furiously. When he could see again, he found himself staring at a shop on the other side of the street. A sign hung above a wooden door with slightly faded red paint. The lettering was too small to read, but there were splotches of purple around the edges. It was the only purple Thomas could see anywhere. He looked both ways and jogged across the street.
The sign came into focus. H&A Booksellers, Purveyors of Fine Books and Rare Manuscripts. The words were painted in chipped gold leaf, with tiny purple flowers nestled in the arcs and whorls of the lettering. Thomas stared at the sign, his eyes following the path of the thin green vine that wound through the gold letters.
Was it possible that a bookstore in this area had escaped his attention? Not a chance. Not one that was listed on the Internet anyway. But the shop was here, every bit as real as the humming man a moment earlier. Thomas felt an uneasy excitement in his chest. Cars zipped past on Main, but this street was practically deserted. He looked at the red door, at the plastic placard dangling from the nail in the center. Open.
He contemplated his next move. The options were simple. Forget what had just happened and turn around in time to catch his bus home or go inside and risk being laughed at for the hundredth time.
He reached out and pressed on the old-fashioned handle, forcing himself not to think about the disappearing man or the prospect of pending humiliation. The door swung open. The wide wooden counter and oversized green cash register looked as ancient as the faded lighting and worn carpet. The place was bigger than he would have expected, though, with shelves running far beyond the point where they logically should have ended.
The size was just the first curious thing about the shop. Everything else was different, too. There were no racks of shiny best-sellers, no big display cases promoting glossy fiction. Instead, cloth and leather-bound volumes were stacked and piled and crammed together in an endless sprawl of dusty texts. Every shelf was chock full of unrecognizable old books. The place was a goldmine. Jackpot!
Thomas looked at the placard at the end of the nearest row. The inscription stamped in tarnished bronze was faded but legible. Alch. Hist. 1127 1490. He reached for the nearest book, a tall, narrow volume wrapped in faded red leather, wondering what the inscription meant.
“Ahem.”
The forced cough originated behind Thomas’s left shoulder. He turned, startled, and found himself eye to eye with a man who had thin graying hair, a sharp nose, and hazel eyes flecked with specks of gold. The man stood with his hands behind his back and wore a yellowed apron with the words In Liber Veritas stenciled on the front.
“May I help you, young man?” The shopkeeper was only a few inches taller than Thomas himself.
“I, uh, I hope so.” Thomas looked around the shop, his eyes wide with wonder. “This place is amazing.”
“Thank you,” said the little man, inclining his head in a slight bow. “Is there something in particular you are hoping to find?”
The wonder receded, replaced by a wrenching anxiety that knotted his gut and made his palms turn clammy. He could hear the scornful responses of the others he’d asked. Are you messing with me, kid? What, are you some kind of idiot? There’s no such thing as magic, dummy. Go on, get out of here.
He pushed the voices out of his head. “I’m looking for books about magic. Magic books, really.”
“Back of the shop and to the left.” The man pointed a finger past Thomas to an even more dimly lit part of the building. “We have a wonderful selection of collectibles in the fantasy genre and more than a few New Age texts as well. I’m sure you’ll find something to your liking.”
Fantasy and New Age? Really? Thomas’s shoulders slumped. He took a half-hearted step toward the back of the shop and paused, the knot in his gut tightening. As much as he hated getting laughed at, the idea of digging through piles of worthless books was as unexciting as the prospect of scrolling through another online ‘magic’ forum. If ever there was a place that might have what he really wanted, this was it. He sucked in a deep breath and turned around.
The man looked at Thomas with one eyebrow raised. “Yes?”
“I, uh, I’m not really looking for those kinds of books,” he managed. “I was hoping for something different. Something more unusual.”
“What do you mean by unusual?” the man asked. “Be specific, please.”
This was it. The part where he got laughed out of the building. Thomas looked at his feet, wondering if he should even bother. He considered turning around, but the words on the man’s yellowing apron caught his eye. In Liber Veritas. Veritas meant truth, right? He looked up, his eyes locking onto those of the little man. “Unusual as in magical. Not fiction or fantasy or New Age. Magic. Real magic.”
“Real magic? What makes you think there’s any such thing?”
Thomas’s body tensed, preparing for a swift retreat from the store. His dad’s last words flashed into his mind, the final fragment before everything changed. “Magic is real, Thomas. No matter what happens, always remember that magic is real.”
He sucked in a deep breath and forced himself to stand still. The air rushed out in a whoosh. “I-I just do.”
“But why?” The man’s expression was curious, focused, his eyes boring into Thomas like a drill. “And even if there were such a thing, what would it have to do with you?”
“Never mind. Just forget about it.” Thomas spun toward the exit, his cheeks flushed and heart racing. Halfway to the door, he paused. The man wasn’t laughing. He was asking questions. That, at least, was different. Thomas turned around. The man’s unwavering eyes reflected the overhead lights, glinting with fragments of gold.
“It’s, uh, it’s something someone told me a long time ago,” said Thomas. “Someone I trusted.”
The man tilted his head, his expression almost curious. “Somebody told you magic is real, and you believed them?”
Blue eyes stared at Thomas out of a distant memory, sincere and earnest. He felt the roughness of his dad’s calloused hand on his cheek, the tickle of soft beard as he pulled Thomas close and kissed his forehead for the last time. “Magic is real, Thomas.” Magic is real.
Thomas drew himself up to full size and met the man’s stare directly. “Yes. I did. I do.”
“And now you want a magic book, but not the make-believe kind?”
Thomas nodded. The shopkeeper’s eyes were ageless, his stare unsettling. Thomas stood tall, refusing to break the connection even though his insides had turned to jelly.
“What is your name, young seeker of magic?” The hint of a smile crinkled the subtle features of the man’s face.
“Thomas,” he answered. “Thomas Wildus.”
The smile lines smoothed, and the man’s face took on a serious expression. “You’re late.”

About the Author:
J.M.’s debut fantasy/magic series originally started as a bedtime story for his oldest son. The story turned into a saga, and one book turned into five. The first book in the series, Thomas Wildus and The Book of Sorrows, is scheduled for release in February 2019. The second, Thomas Wildus and The Wizard of Sumeria, will be published in early 2020.
When J.M. isn’t working on the Thomas Wildus books, you can find him playing with his kids, napping, or dreaming up new adventures. If you ever meet him and can’t think of anything to talk about, you might ask about Herman the Shark, the Kai and Eli stories, or why Riddle-Master by Patricia McKillip is his all-time favorite book. Or maybe, just maybe, you’ll have questions and stories of your own (if you do, he’ll think that’s far more interesting).
To learn more, visit www.jmbergen.com.

“The Girls Are Gone” by Michael Brodkorb and Allison Mann

The Girls Are Gone, by Michael Brodkorb and Allison Mann, tells the true story of two sisters who went missing, the father who kept searching, and the adults who conspired to keep the truth hidden.
On the evening of April 19, 2013, Samantha and Gianna Rucki disappeared. Two of five children born to David Rucki and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, the teenage sisters vanished in the midst of their parents divorce.
The girls father, David Rucki, worked tirelessly with law enforcement to search day and night for his two missing daughters, following every lead while raising three remaining children at home. Their mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, used her newfound freedom to vacation around the world, abandoning her children. And as the investigation intensified, catching the attention of the media, Sandra also disappeared.
On November 18, 2015 – 944 days after they disappeared – the girls were found living on a ranch in northern Minnesota by law enforcement.
Criminal charges were filed against four people, including the girls’ mother, for their role in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters. “The Girls Are Gone” chronicles key events during the criminal trials of the people who were later convicted or pleaded guilty for their involvement in this heinous crime.  The book examines the other adults who aided in the conspiracy to hide the truth and the Rucki sisters.

Praise for The Girls Are Gone:
“The Girls Are Gone is an excellent true crime book… This is a very involved book with lots of detail, including court transcripts, telling the whole story from start to finish, filling in some of the lesser known details about the case. This book reads like a crime novel but is far more horrifying, given that we know it is the truth. It is riveting and compelling reading… I like true crime stories and this one is way above any other just because of the amount of detail and the way it was written; matter of fact yet drawing you into the web a step at a time. Fantastic book, I wish there were more like it.” – 5 Stars, Reviewed by Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers’ Favorite
“True crime stories relate facts and events; but superior accounts grab the reader’s heart. The Girls Are Gone achieves this as it portrays the bigger issues of parental responsibility, kidnapping, child endangerment, and legal investigations… As true crime and kidnapping stories go, The Girls Are Gone is head and shoulders above most others, probing a network of crime and the impact of hidden truths that will leave readers thinking long past the conclusion… The Girls Are Gone should be on the reading lists of anyone interested in not just true crime stories of kidnapped children, but accounts of desperation and the bravery of survivors who come forth to tell their stories to change the world.” – Reviewed by Diane Donovan for Midwest Book Review

About the Authors:
Michael Brodkorb and Allison Mann met during the 2016 Grazzini-Rucki criminal trial. Allison worked at a law firm representing David Rucki, the father, who was trying to find his girls. Michael was working for the Star Tribune, covering the story as the case developed.
Michael and Allison have spent the last two years working together investigating and researching to find the answers to many questions that had been left unanswered for years. They have analyzed court documents, reviewed investigative files, and conducted numerous interviews to provide a completed story about how and why two children vanished from their family and friends for 944 days.  Their passion for following the case and connecting the dots to figure out the truth of what really happened led them to write “The Girls Are Gone.”
“The Girls Are Gone” provides new details about the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki and includes interviews with members of the Rucki family, including exclusive interviews with Samantha and Gianna Rucki. The book also discusses the connection between Michelle MacDonald, who is currently a candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court. MacDonald was labeled a “person of interest” by the Lakeville Police Department in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki, but did not cooperate in the investigation.

“The Girls Are Gone” was released on October 23, 2018, published by Wise Ink Creative Publishing. It is available for sale on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback.
Readers can connect with the authors on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter (@AllisonMannMN and @MBrodkorb).
To learn more, go to: http://missinginminnesota.com/

How to Use Influencer Marketing to Increase Book Sales

The number of people searching Google for the phrase influencer marketing has more than tripled over the last year. Many companies (and authors) have discovered that influencer marketing can be a cost-effective way to build brand awareness, drive online conversions, and increase sales. 
If you want to increase your book sales through influencer marketing, here are five tips to help you get better results.
1. Set a Clear Goal
Although there are some unique aspects to working with influencers, this strategy is still a marketing activity. Getting the best return on your investment from this marketing channel requires having a clear goal. Before you start reaching out to influencers, decide if your goal is to build awareness, promote a specific book, drive people to Amazon, increase your followers, grow your email list or something else.
2. Start with One Platform
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the different options for collaborating with influencers. Instead of trying to do everything at once, choose one platform and start with it.
Instagram is a popular choice. Snapchat can work great if you’re targeting younger potential customers. There are also tons of bloggers out there that can have a big impact on your influencer marketing efforts. From motherhood bloggers, to health and fitness Instagram Influencers, there’s an endless world of bloggers and social media influencers that you can collaborate with to promote your book. Research and find the influencers that would be the best fit to reach your target audience. Send them an email and ask if they would be interested in reading your book, offer to send them a complimentary review copy. Once they’ve had a chance to read it, follow up and ask if they enjoyed it to post about it on their social networking platforms. The photo above is an example of Instagram Influencer Nicole Cogan. She posted about a book on her Instagram feed – resulting in 4K likes in just 2 days. That’s 4,000 potential readers. You can see how having an Instagram Influencer post about your book could be a great way to get the word out and increase sales. Having several influencers post about your book all at once can help provide instant credibility (and sales) for your book.
3. Look Beyond Follower Counts
The most significant mistake authors make with this type of marketing is only looking at people with big follower counts. 
Instead of follower counts, your evaluation of potential influencers should focus on how much engagement they create and whether they reach your target audience. That can help you identify “micro-influencers.” These influencers are highly engaged with their smaller audiences and tend to charge very reasonable rates, or are willing to help promote your book for free (if they like it).
Most prominent influencers may charge more than you are willing to spend. Do the math. Calculate how many books you would need to sell – and base that on what you are willing to spend for influencer marketing. Start with smaller influencers and go from there.
4. Give Influencers Freedom
Micromanaging is another mistake authors often make when working with influencers. Providing brand guidelines for influencer partners is fine. What you don’t want are strict rules that prevent an influencer from being authentic.
Influencers understand their audiences better than anyone else. Giving them the freedom to choose how they share your product with their followers will yield the best results.
5. Build Long-Term Relationships
It’s essential to invest time in finding the right influencers. Once you do see an influencer who is an excellent fit for your book, it’s worth building a long-term relationship with them. By finding multiple opportunities to collaborate, you will be able to maximize the amount of value you get from their audience.
When done correctly, influencer marketing can be a potent channel. By setting a clear goal, starting with one platform, looking beyond follower counts, giving influencers freedom and building long-term relationships, you’ll be able to grow your followers and sales through influencer marketing successfully.

Real Food for Pregnancy

Lily Nichols is a Registered Dietitian, specialist in prenatal nutrition, and best-selling author.
In her latest book Real Food for Pregnancy, Lily Nichols, takes prenatal nutrition advice out of the dark ages and provides an easy-to-follow guide for making the best food and lifestyle choices during pregnancy.
Short version of what is covered in the book:
-Most prenatal nutrition advice is either outdated or not evidenced-based. InRealFood for Pregnancy, Lily Nichol’s debunks a LOT of prenatal nutrition myths. Misconceptions of conventional prenatal nutrition: macronutrients, salt, “foods to avoid,” fish, etc.
-Foods to emphasize, lab tests, supplements
-Testing for gestational diabetes—pros/cons of all the methods
-Nutritional management of preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, nausea, heartburn & more
-Mindfulness, stress management, exercise, avoidance of toxins
-Traditional postpartum care, impact of nutrients on breast milk quality, etc.
In Real Food for Pregnancy, you’ll get clear answers on what to eat and why, with research to back up every recommendation. Lily Nichols has taken a long and hard look at the science and lays out the evidence—930 citations and counting—on the benefits of real food, why certain foods are essential (and others are detrimental), and countless lifestyle tweaks you can make to have a smooth, healthy pregnancy. There has never been a more comprehensive and well-referenced resource on prenatal nutrition. With Real Food for Pregnancy as your guide, you can be confident that your food and lifestyle choices support a smooth, healthy pregnancy.
“I’m so thrilled to read Real Food for Pregnancy. I absolutely love Lily’s work. Her evidence-based approach to nutrition is not only relevant during pregnancy, but for the rest of your life! I think every birth professional (midwife, doula, etc.) should have a copy in their lending library for clients.” –Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, Founder of Evidence Based Birth®
To learn more, go to http://realfoodforpregnancy.com/

365 Days of Happiness: Because happiness is a piece of cake!

365 days of happinessIn 365 Days of Happiness, author, energy healer, and mindfulness teacher Jacqueline Pirtle has created a step-by-step guide to being happy. The book contains 365 short and sweet daily readings to inspire you live a happier life, one day at a time. Showing that you can put in work to change your life while also having fun, the practices are full of whimsy and delight.
Jacqueline spent every day of 2017 devoted to her own happiness. She wrote every single day about the things she did to honor her joy and used those writings to create this 365 day step-by-step guide. With this book, she aims to teach you how to shift your mindset to happy — no matter where you are at in life. She hopes these readings will touch your heart and change your life by initiating new learning, understanding, knowledge, and wisdom to get closer to your true, authentic happy self.
Through light, bubbly, cheerful passages, each day teaches you to find happiness. Use those sour lemons and shift yourself into a “high for life” frequency where you can reach happiness anywhere and at any time.
Excerpt:
DAY 3
The best cookie recipe makes delicious and enjoyable cookies! The best happiness recipe makes a delicious and enjoyable life
– Acknowledge everything and everyone without judgment.
– Accept everything and everyone.
– Respect everything and everyone.
Appreciate everything and everyone.
Thank everything and everyone.
– Love everything and everyone.
With everything and everyone, I mean all, without exceptions! Because everything and every and everyone is in your life for a reason.
Acknowledging all in this way, releases resistance; and without your resistance you can shift smoothly with all that is happening for you. Who knows, you might even love it!
Life is an ever changing and constant moving experience: it is naturally so. Every split second is new, different, and fresh. That means every split second you get new opportunities and chances for a change to happen.
Use those split seconds, and make your delicious and enjoyable new day!
That IS happiness!
To learn more, go to http://www.freakyhealer.com/ 

Why Book Reviews Are So Important

 

If you’re an avid reader, you’ve probably recommended lots of books to family and friends, or maybe even contacted the author directly to let them know how much you enjoyed their novel. All this is excellent and always makes an author smile, but the best way to thank an author is by leaving a book review. Book reviews are important to authors and here are a few reasons why:
Feedback
A review is a good way to let an author know what you enjoyed about their work so that they can keep on writing books that you love.
Increases visibility & exposure
It’s said that after 25 reviews, regardless of how many stars awarded, Amazon will highlight the novel under the ‘Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought’ and ‘You might also like’ section on a page. The fate of a good novel lies in exposure, the more it’s seen and talked about, the greater the chances of its success.
Increases sales
After 50 reviews, again regardless of stars awarded, Amazon will give the book a bit more limelight on their website; more hype and visibility means more sales for the author!
Helps other readers
A lot of people do buy books based on good, honest reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, so you’ll be helping other readers with your informed review.
Lifts the author’s morale
It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to write a book – first draft to publication can be a long and arduous process. A reader can make an author’s day with a bright, sunny, and encouraging review.
So, the next time you read a book you really enjoy, please consider logging into your Amazon or Goodreads account and leaving a short review. You’ll be helping the author a lot more than you think.

New Book ‘The Quantum Realm: Philly the Photon’ Teaches Quantum Physics in a Fun and Easy to Understand Way

The Quantum Realm: Philly the Photon is an inspirational SciFi novella that addresses some of the key elements of Science and Quantum Physics and how it relates to the human experience.
The story follows Sebastian, a boy filled with fear of things he cannot explain. When traumatized by a freak electrical storm, he develops a burning need to understand light. That night, he awakens inside a lucid dream, where he meets Philly the Photon, a light particle, who offers to guide him on a perilous journey through the Quantum Realm.
As Sebastian embarks on a journey through the unknown, he learns to overcome his fears and apply the fundamentals of quantum physics to alter his perspective on self and how he is connected to the very nature of the universe.
This journey will inspire, educate, and challenge your perceptions on relative reality. It will increase your ability to think critically, rationally, and encourage you to ask more questions. Young adults will find sanity and direction in these words, while adults of all ages will find nuggets of wisdom for personal application. Embark on a journey with Sebastian and visually experience the more elusive universal patterns that determine who we are as humans and how we are integrally and three-dimensionally connected to everything and everyone around us through the continuum of quantum events.

What Readers Are Saying:
“a fascinating adventure that takes Sebastian and the reader into the unseen world of photons, electrons and electromagnetic waves. Reading this book teaches you the basics and gives them meaning and relatedness, and it’s not at all painful — not for one moment…” –Jack Magnus, Readers’ Favorite
“Montgomery explains the scientific method through story and explanation in a way that’s both fun and gripping… There are little gems of wisdom and a wealth of understanding within these pages as Sebastian tries to apply the method and find his own understanding.” – K.J. Simmill, Reader’s Favorite
“…a brilliant book that is such fun to read because you don’t realize how much you’re learning.” –Sarah Stuart, Readers’ Favorite

Excerpt from Chapter 1:
RIPPING OF THE SKY
Lightning tore through the sky as if the fabric of the universe was being ripped to shreds. The expansive tendrils crookedly reached out to grasp tops of ancient trees. With tremendous violence, they were torn off in great explosions. The vast network of lightning seemed to span miles into the sky. Back and forth, the lightning went from sky to land, then land to sky in an amazing dance of power and colors.
The trail meandering through the woods was covered in shards, branches, and felled trees. It was nearly impossible to traverse. Thunder pounded the heavens as if great forces battled for supremacy. Fear rippled through the air on the currents of electricity to permeate their very souls. This was the substance of legends.
Running. Jumping. Climbing. Dodging. Taking momentary shelter. The storm had taken them by surprise and the boy was becoming paralyzed with fear.
“Listen to me, Sebastian! Look at me! We don’t have time for you to be afraid; our lives are in danger. We must reach the house before the rain begins.”
A freak electrical storm suddenly crept upon them, and what was supposed to be a two-hour afternoon hike around the beautiful Lake Chabot was being terminated abruptly.
He was fading in and out of focus. His father’s voice sounded as if traveling through a tunnel at a far distance, then right next to him, then far away again. He was going into shock.
“Snap out of it! Come on, you can do this. Focus. Overcome your fear.”
The trees were swaying in a roaring gust and a violent bolt of lightning touched down on an enormous Sequoia stump not more than twenty feet away. It erupted in flames, and chunks of glowing embers splashed on the ground while some erupted into the air as if it was responding with fury at its annihilation.
Sebastian was jolted back in a rush of emotion and adrenaline. The lightning continued to sizzle through the air in a hundred different directions.
What is happening? I’ve never seen anything like this. If the lightning strikes me, then I’m going to look like that stump. Where does the light come from? What is it? How does it simply appear, disappear, and have such power to destroy. I can’t escape it. The lightning is everywhere.
 “Sebastian, let’s go.” Emcie said in exasperation.
Why is he so afraid?
His father’s face was furrowed with intensity as he held him by the shoulders and looked into his eyes with deep angst.
Sebastian understood, we must escape the woods.
They raced out of the forest. More than once, he felt as if he couldn’t breathe. The fear struggled to manipulate his mind and constrict his chest. He stumbled, tripped, and fell several times and he knew that his body would pay.
As they reached the car, he was exhausted. He ebbed and flowed between a state of fear and a need to understand what had happened. He’d never seen anything like this before.
I must understand what happened. I must understand.

Mark MontgomeryAbout the Author:
Mark Montgomery joined the US Navy at the age of 17 years old and graduated top in his class as a Hospital Corpsman. Years later he returned to school and attained a BS in Economics, Finance, and International Business. Mark is an Entrepreneur and has owned several businesses that range from car repair, a gourmet coffee and chocolate shop, and several real estate companies. He has lived in ten states and he thrives on obtaining life perspectives from various cultures.
In 2010, after struggling with Mental Health issues for fifteen years, he experienced a life transforming Psychotherapy process called EMDR. The near instantaneous transformation inspired him to understand what had happened. Mark began an expedition into his own mind: Biology, to Psychology, to Neuroscience, to Chemistry and, to Quantum Physics. The journey produced an insatiable desire to understand the mysteries of the Quantum Realm. It was a healing process, which turned into a passion to share quantum patterns with his son. 
As of 2015, Mark lives in the culturally and idea rich San Francisco Bay area. He works for one of the leading Medical Research and Teaching Institutions—The San Francisco Veterans Hospital. He has a passion for promoting Science and Technology in education and he is seeking opportunities to enter the 3D Virtual Realty Educational Software development sector. He hopes to one day have Philly the Photon guide students through the Quantum Realm and beyond in an interactive Virtual Environment.
Mark hopes that his writings will take you on a journey of a lifetime… that will last a lifetime. Readers can connect with Mark on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. To learn more, go to TheQRE.com 

The Quantum Realm: Philly the Photon is available for sale on Amazon. For more information, or to request a review copy, please contact Kelsey at Book Publicity Services at (805) 807-9027 or Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com.

Authors: 5 Ways to Increase Book Sales with Goodreads

Electronic books are projected to skyrocket over the next decade, both in authorship and purchasing. Amazon’s Kindle is one of the biggest platforms when it comes to publishing, reviewing, and selling e-books, and now that Amazon has acquired the well-known bibliophile site Goodreads, there is no better place for marketing your book.
All About Goodreads
Every author on Goodreads has the same goal in mind: promoting their book to get sales.
If you’re new to Goodreads and wondering what all the fuss is about, think of this site as an educated social media platform where writers and readers can share their love of books. You can discover new authors as easily as bestselling ones, follow their publishing, and ask them questions. It’s a book lover’s paradise, all for free.
So, how can you harness this nerd-powered social media platform to promote your book? Here are five ways:
1) Build a Following
First, you have to realize you aren’t just marketing a book; you’re selling yourself as an author. People want to buy books from interesting writers who have something say, who’ve built a following, and who appear knowledgeable about whatever it is they’re selling. Goodreads is the single best place for an author to build the following necessary to create buzz and interest.
Start by setting up an author page for yourself on Goodreads. You’ll notice there’s an option for people to “follow” you. Add an intriguing bio, a professional-looking photo, and answer a few standard questions about why you write and what you write. That gives people something to know about you; it pulls them in and leaves them wanting to know more. That’s when you can start adding blog posts and status updates, keeping your followers engaged.
It will take some time to build a following, but once you do, you will have a built-in audience for everything you publish.
2) Get Reviews
The most valuable feature on Goodreads is its ability to get your book reviewed. Your book will not sell if you do not have reviews. It’s honestly that simple. Most people who review your book on Goodreads will also post a review on Amazon, and this directly translates to book sales.
There are three primary ways to get reviews on Goodreads: 1) join a critique group; 2) search out book bloggers and request a review, or 3) make friends and ask for a review.
Honest reviews are the best way to market your book–it’s like digital word of mouth. Each one is valuable, but aiming for a minimum of 50 reviews is essential. Books with at least 50 reviews begin to receive attention from Amazon, resulting in more exposure to customers and more sales.
3) Discover Opportunities
Join some Goodreads groups geared toward authors or your genre to discover some unique ways in which to market your book. Some examples include opportunities to add your book to swag bags, donate your book to libraries, participate in author interviews, and enter your work into book catalogs for sales. There’s also groups of reviewers looking for books to review. You can join, comment, and offer revie copies of your book to the group members. These opportunities are plentiful on Goodreads but challenging to find elsewhere, so take advantage. The more you interact, the more traction your Author page will get.
4) Giveaways
Goodreads giveaways are one of the prime reasons readers flock to the site. Everyone enjoys the chance to win a free book, many of which are signed by the author. But giveaways are also an invaluable marketing tool for authors.
Goodreads giveaways are free to set up and only cost the author printing and shipping costs for the number of books they choose to give away. You can opt to give away a single copy if you wish. The exposure is the same as if you choose to give away 100 copies, and the cost-to-benefit ratio is low (which is a good thing).
There is no other site with a larger audience of book fanatics eager to hear about your giveaway than on Goodreads. Many of the people who enter your giveaway will add your book to their “to-read” shelf, and some will instantly purchase your book upon seeing your giveaway listing.
5) Build a Network
Apart from building an audience (readers who adore your writing), Goodreads provides a platform for building a network (connecting with other authors). There is no better place than Goodreads for building a network. As your connections increase, so will your opportunities. The greater your following, the bigger your voice is for marketing your books.
Overall, Goodreads can provide you with everything you need to promote your book successfully. It’s the single most valuable resource for authors, with a global reach. Invest your time wisely on the site, and you will be guaranteed an uptick in book sales.