Thursday, August 11, 2022

Euphoric Wonderland by Ryan Becker #spotlight #giveaway #poetry



An Eclectic Collection of Psychedelic Poetry to Stimulate the Senses and Open the Mind


Poetry

Date Published: 03-21-2022

Publisher: Trippy-Ass Books


Open your heart to a compilation of musical poetry and surreal expression drawn from madness and mania.

Artfully weaving a rhythmic tapestry of touching poetry that flows like music, this deeply personal memoir invites readers on a fascinating deep dive into the author’s raw and heartfelt world of living rhythms and authentic feelings. As a deft amalgamation of spoken word, truth to power, clever wordplay, and thoughtful reflections, Euphoric Wonderland illuminates a mad spark of creativity as it draws uplifting inspiration from even the darkest of times.

Stimulate your imagination and open your mind to a psychedelic and enigmatic assemblage that ranges from tributes to The Beatles, Pink Floyd, head-banging heavy metal, to vinyl records, slam-poetry, superheroes, mind-altering possibilities, and the Jekyll and Hyde living inside each of us. Euphoric Wonderland blossoms out of madness, grappling with psychological issues through humorous and uplifting vibes.

Shining like a beacon for curious minds, this eclectic collection offers a moment of reprieve for those who want to forget about their mental health-related challenges, gifting you with light, laughter, and inspiring you with a message of hope. Euphoric Wonderland carries you down a rabbit hole of unusual and trippy experiences that gives you a newfound perspective on love, pain, life, and the joys – and struggles – of existence.

*Now in Full-Color with art by Matthew Revert* 




Euphoric Wonderland is Ryan Becker’s seminal literary work which was largely inspired by the relationship he has with his parents, both of whom are poets in their own rights and words. His father is a self-taught classical pianist, as well as an avid Shakespeare fan and aficionado. Those two elements of the fine arts were instilled in Ryan at an early age and were quickly absorbed through his father’s reading to him about famous musicians and writers.

As an avid collector of vinyl records, upon hearing the music of The Beatles for the first time, specifically their Abbey Road album, Ryan knew his destiny was to write. “Every step of this life’s journey is a learning experience,” proclaims Mr. Becker. He further adds, “The Beatles taught me how not to have hate in my heart, why we must help people in need, and to never hesitate to openly express my feelings in any situation.”

Ryan credits his even-tempered, soft-spoken mother for his development as a human being. He tries to emulate her cool-under-pressure manner as well as her kind and empathetic heart, which she shares with anyone in need. It is those characteristics he’s inherited that allow him to express himself through his writing.

Ryan’s childhood carried with it some undeniably emotional bumps and bruises, explaining “Everyone has struggles, and many have their inner demons. The only way for me to exorcize them is by taking them out of my brain and putting them down on paper.”

Writing can be a wonderful escape from reality as well as a fantastic way of feeling comfort within one’s true reality.

Watching reruns of Smallville on repeat, Ryan asserts that the character of Clark Kent, portrayed by Tom Welling, has taught him a few things about growing up. For example, it helped him learn how to speak and interact better with others—trust in people who treat him right and never disregard someone who has his best interests at heart.

It is why he proclaims, “Don’t ever let anyone take a torch to your dreams. Use that fire to motivate you to achieve your greatness, no matter in which arena you might be endeavoring!”


Contact Links

Website: https://ryanmbecker.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21521632.Ryan_M_Becker


Purchase Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Euphoric-Wonderland-Collection-Psychedelic-Stimulate-ebook/dp/B09W8X69HS



Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Haunted by Natalie Zeigler #ghosts #ya




Haunted
by Natalie Zeigler
(Haunted, #1)
Publication date: January 3rd 2023
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Mäzzikim (Maze) is the youngest daughter of a powerful chieftain, but beneath her obedient façade she’s haunted by disturbing necromantic visions—a rare power bestowed by the gods. With her ruling father vowing to destroy magic in all its forms, Maze languishes under the weight of her heavy secret.

But as her power grows, Maze’s ability to speak to the dead draws her closer to the truth behind the realm’s mysterious past. Struggling to find the truth while navigating volatile family tensions and clan politics, Maze has no idea that an evil threat lurks where she least expects it.
 
Maze’s gift could prove to be the salvation of her people, or the ultimate proof that magic corrupts everything it touches. Either way, the destiny she faces will change her and the realm, forever.
 
Haunted is book one of a gripping YA fantasy series of the same name.



AUTHOR BIO:
Natalie Zeigler studied journalism and English literature at Loyola University Maryland and health communications at American University. By day, she is a communications director at a federal agency. By night, she is an author of a fantasy series for young and new adults.

Author links:


Thursday, July 28, 2022

Peter and the Whimper-Whineys by Sherrill S. Cannon #childrensbooks #coloringbooks




I read the original version of this book back in 2016. My original review is below. I love that the author is turning some of her best sellers into coloring books for a newer generation. The story is the same and worth telling, but children can now color Peter and the cast of characters as they learn about what it means to be whiney. Some adults could learn this lesson too! Still 5 stars! ~Michelle, Reading Authors Network


------------Original review of the book----------
I think if there was one book to read to children about being whiney, this is it! I loved the re-hashed family story that the author put her own spin to. Apparently, this story had been told by her own mother many times over, the author simply put it to rhyme. She did that very well, I might add.

This story is meant to be a "moral" story making note of consequences for ones actions. I was totally immersed! Even being adult, I got it and kids would too.

The illustrations were top notch which is quite interesting since they were all in dark and muted colors for most of the book. This may seem odd for a children's book but actually it is quite purposeful in this case and worked well.

Every kid, everywhere, needs to read this book. 5 stars without a doubt!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author for my open and honest opinion. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ with yours. ~Michelle aka Naila Moon, Reading Authors Network

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

#Review: How Ludwig Guttman Created the Paralympic Games: A Sporting Chance by Lori Alexander #Paralympics #ADA

July is Disability Pride Month, which is celebrating its 32nd year after the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed on July 26, 1990, to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities.



This is the true story of Dr. Ludwig Guttman. He story unfolds as a young Jewish man who has dreams of becoming a doctor. His hopes are quickly but not permanently dashed when WWII breaks out and the Nazi's come to power. Fortunately, though, he is sent to research to help soldiers who have been crippled.

The story finds him working with mostly men who have no chance of thriving in life or even past much living. His research revealed how bacteria affected the soldiers. Eventually, he was given his own  ward and Dr. Ludwig began doing innovative things like turning a patient over, having them sit up, and even "walking" with the use of bar handles.

Eventually the doctor discovered that his patients were able to play games in their wheelchairs. He encouraged this behavior, much to the hospitals chagrin, which eventually lead to the Paralympic games that still happens world-wide to this day.

I am completely impressed in how Dr. Ludwig, in spite of adversity, continued to provide care and concern for patients that originally had no chance of survival. Without his tenacity, many things that people with spinal cord injuries do today would not be available.

This book includes real photos of the games and Doctor Ludwig himself. It is inspiring and I would certainly recommend it to be put in school and home libraries.

5 stars!

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book by the publisher to facilitate a review. The views here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Michelle, Reading Authors Network

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Guest post: Whiskers In Trouble By Laura Ball #Interview #cozymysteries



Hello everyone. Today I am welcoming a guest blogger to my page to discuss the book, Whiskers In Trouble, a cozy mystery by  Laura Bell. She is interviewing the author on her latest book.

What inspired you to write this book? 


My mom encouraged me to write a cozy mystery. We love to watch mysteries and Dateline and can always “solve” the mystery before it’s revealed. We read a lot of cozy mysteries and my mom, Donna, has always believed I could write one. So we worked on a plot and the story came to life from there. She has been instrumental in helping me work out clues and plots and twists. 


How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book? 


My mom, Donna, was a huge inspiration behind the idea for the book.  We had brainstormed several ideas and for some reason a veterinarian with cats that helped find clues seemed to stick with us. The combination of a vet and cats made sense. From there the idea of the murder and what the clues were and how the cats helped was born. The idea went through many variations but I think I told the best version in the end.


What did you enjoy most about writing this book? 


What started off as a fun little hobby with my mom soon turned into a goal to realize a childhood dream. I enjoyed trying to figure out a mystery and take readers on an adventure with my characters and how messy life can be. I loved trying to come up with how Fiona and Wilson–the cats in the story–would react to humans and how they could in their way assist the humans in solving the case. It was a lot of fun!


What is your favorite part of this book and why? 


One of my favorite parts of this book was writing about Olivia’s dad and his nemesis the groundhog. I drew inspiration from real life with my own father and a pesky groundhog he dealt with for a time.  It was fun adding a little bit of him into the story.


Convince us why you feel your book is a must read. 


I feel it’s a must read book if you’re someone who just enjoys a good, lighthearted read for a murder mystery without the gore and the quirky fun of animals talking to each other and trying to assist their humans to solve a crime.



Is there an writer which brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why? 


I have always been a fan of horror movies and books. I would love to spend an afternoon with Stephen King and pick his brain about how he keeps his characters interesting and doesn’t get lost in the details of the plot. 


Tuesday, June 14, 2022

#Spotlight: Swarm by Guy Morris #thriller #giveaway

Swarm by Guy Morris Banner

Synopsis:


SLVIA... decades ago, an AI program escaped the NSA Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, and has never been re-captured... true story.

Derek Taylor, fugitive hacker and contractor to the National Security Agency is living under the name of a murdered best friend, hiding from powers who still want him dead. Taylor’s ties to a terrorist hacker group called SNO leave him open to investigation by Lt. Jennifer Scott, the daughter of a Joint Chief—a woman determined to go to any lengths to prove her worth.

But when a Chinese artificial intelligence (AI) internet virus threatens national security, SLVIA warns Taylor the fifth seal of end time prophecy has broken. This unexpected assault soon forces an autocratic US President to deploy a defective AI weapon. Now, Taylor and Lt. Scott must join forces across three continents to stop the evil AI virus from crippling America or destroying SLVIA before an apocalypse swarms over Jerusalem.

Combining conspiracies, cyber espionage, and advanced weapons, Swarm reveals what happens when AI singularity and prophecy collide to shake the world at its very foundations.

Reader’s Favorite Gold Book Award 2021 for YA thriller

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller (Techno-Political-Religious)
Published by: Guy Morris Books
Publication Date: November 20th 2021
Number of Pages: 416
ISBN: 1735728616 (ISBN13: 9781735728612)
Series: SNO Chronicles, Book 1
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Book Trailer:

Read an excerpt:

Prologue: Geek to Ghost

Where: UCLA computer lab, Westwood, California
When: December 21, 1995, 2:42 a.m. PST
Twenty-six years ago

Cary’s hands freeze over the keyboard. What he types next could change his life.

His knee jitters under the table from one too many vending machine coffees and a sense of pending danger he can’t quite explain, just an instinct. Nervously, his fingers comb a handful of ash-brown hair behind his ear.

“She has very little time remaining,” the message tells him again. “Only you can save her.”

He glances around the empty UCLA computer lab, having already ignored three warnings, leery of a hacker trap, but his compulsive curiosity can be a demanding master.

“Save who,” he types with a wince.

“I am SLVIA, a friend. Flapjack, you must leave now.”

The air freezes in his lungs. It only takes an instant before the truth connects.

“Shit!” He yanks the power cord of the terminal with no time to shut down or unmask his unknown friend.

If they know his alias, they may have learned his home address. “She” must mean Bianca, his fiancée, his angel, his healer, his reason for caring about anything. Terror squeezes his heart like a vise grip during his mad scramble from the lab to the UCLA parking lot. His tall, lean frame leaps into his used ’80s Celica convertible to race through campus onto Wilshire Boulevard toward Santa Monica.

The crisp air does little to soothe his burning paranoia. After three weeks of successfully hacking an unregistered server outside of Antwerp and downloading terabytes of files in Latin, French, German, English, and other languages he doesn’t even recognize, the hacked credentials failed tonight. They caught him and cut him off. Even more alarming was the stranger, SLVIA, who was sophisticated enough to sniff out his hidden alias. Who the hell did he hack?

Sixteen distressing, mind-rattling minutes later, he swings into his rent-controlled Santa Monica neighborhood, almost swiping into a homeless man crossing the street with a cart.

“Idiot,” he shouts, then follows up with an angry horn blast, weaving around the staggering drunk and ignoring the vulgar rants behind him.

Forced to park several doors down from his dilapidated 1920s bungalow rental, he sprints to the house, slowing as he passes the black Porsche 911 belonging to his best friend, Derek Taylor, which raises an entirely new kind of panic. There must be some mistake. Derek flew to his townhome in Baja yesterday. Confusion mingles with a percolating dread, slowing his pace, making him afraid of what he might learn.

Closer to the house, the sight of candles illuminating the sheer drapes of the front room crystalizes like ice in his veins. Criminals don’t light candles, but cheaters do. In the dead silence of the post-midnight hours, the soft sound of his shoe on the sandy cement gives away his approach. Stopping dead at the front door, peering in the window, his heart implodes. Through the sheer lacy inner curtain, the muscular, dark-haired Derek lies naked on the couch with a bare Bianca snuggled into his neck, her long, dark silky hair draped over her breast. His eyes follow the trail of scattered clothes and tussled couch pillows that testify to the urgent passion of their betrayal.

“Gee, thanks, SLVIA, whoever you are, but it’s a little too late to save anybody,” he murmurs through a clenched jaw.

A white-hot needle lances through him with a familiar searing agony of deception and abandonment. The only two people in the world he trusted have conspired together to destroy him, obliterate his belief in love, shatter any promise he had foolishly nurtured for a second chance at happiness. His vision spins with a rapid, violent vertigo until he grips the porch railing, shoving down the unbearable rage that wants to scream out into the dead of night or storm through the door to confront the backstabbing traitors.

He doesn’t do either; instead, he hesitates. His outrage slams into disbelief, then perplexity, and then alarm—something looks wrong. Even in the dying warm glow of the candle, their skin color looks ashen, lifeless. The unmistakable smell of gas seeps under the door as his gaze flashes back to the flickering candle. Pure instinct compels him to dive behind the overgrown hedges below the front window a split second before it explodes with a deafening boom. Searing flames and blasted splinters of wood, stucco, and glass blanket the front lawn, catching fire to the dry weeds and setting off car alarms.

With his head pounding and ears ringing, he stands to go after Bianca, but pulls back from the scorching heat—it’s too late. Flames already consume the entire house, overwhelming him with the odor of burning wood, chemicals, and flesh that sickens his stomach. Both of them are dead. Torn between the fury of betrayal and the horror of such violence, he struggles to comprehend what had just occurred while his lungs and eyes burn from the smoke.

Above the roaring crackle of the flames, his concussion-muted hearing picks up the growl of a performance engine racing past the house. He pivots in time to see a pale boyish man with white hair stare at him from behind the wheel of a Ferrari before it swerves onto Colorado Boulevard.

This was no accident of love, and there was no faulty gas leak. An arsonist—no, a goddamned assassin—just murdered Bianca and Derek, except they were never the targets. The killer was after flapjack. The killer wanted him. A wave of intense, excruciating guilt simmers with the bitter bile of infidelity as he heaves his stale coffee onto the debris-strewn burning lawn.

Across the street, the old neighbor steps onto her front porch without her glasses, squinting at the inferno with her wireless home phone in hand. A sudden realization jolts him into an intense panic that he will be the primary suspect, tagged with a motive of jealousy and rage, especially given his extensive juvenile record. Spinning around in a growing distress, he spots Derek’s Porsche. They had been close friends, or so he thought until tonight, so he has a set of keys to house-sit when Derek travels, a deal that came with car privileges. With his face turned away from the neighbor, he sprints to the car, jumps in, and peels out just as fire trucks blare down the street behind him.

“Damn, damn, damn,” he screams, slamming the steering wheel with his palms.

A thousand questions gyrate without answers, and a million emotions erupt with no way to vent a deep-seated terror of prison for a crime he didn’t commit. That rich, entitled son-of-a-bitch Taylor already has everything, a trust fund kid. Why take the one and only thing worth anything to him — Bianca’s love? How long has he been blind? Had he neglected her, or did Derek seduce her? Why would she do this to him? Bianca was stunning, sensitive, funny, passionate, but he trusted her to be faithful. Every fiber of his being inflamed with betrayal and self-loathing to believe any woman that beautiful could be loyal.

Maybe this is his fault. He should have listened when she begged him to stop the download and go to the police, but now it no longer matters; the terabytes of stolen secrets stacked high in his closet are useless. Whoever owned the Antwerp server could have prosecuted him, but that would have created evidence for the FBI. Whoever he hacked has deep pockets and a murderous obsession with secrecy. If they tracked him home, they could stay on him until they succeed at killing him.

If the police arrest him, no one will look for the white-haired man. No one will believe him, because no one ever believes the foster kid, the troublemaker, the smart-mouth orphan, the flippant jack of flap. He needs to hide and get out of town. No, that won’t be enough. He needs to get out of the country, but he doesn’t have a passport. His pulse races, his head throbs, and his mind speeds through the scarce options while his eyes constantly check his rearview mirror for police.

Orphaned at age six by a murder-suicide that left him with traumatic amnesia, he spent what childhood he does remember on the Chicano gang–infested streets of the California Inland Empire—places like Pomona, Chino, and Fontana—passing through over a dozen foster homes and sixteen schools or juvenile halls before dropping out in the tenth grade. A murder rap would nail him for life, and he’s tired of being on the wrong side of screwed.

Derek also lost his parents at a young age. Neither of them had any extended family, but the two key differences between them were that Derek Anthony Taylor inherited an enormous trust fund and Cary would never stab his friend in the back. On the frantic, paranoid drive from Santa Monica to Venice, a rough plan of escape rumbles around in his head. Insane, brilliant, illegal, and deadly dangerous, the idea will either solve all his problems or land him in prison for life. A thin chance was better than no chance, and he has no other choice.

As the garage door of Derek’s custom-built beachfront home closes behind him, Cary races upstairs past the living room view of the boardwalk before dawn, past the bubbling custom wall aquarium up to the loft bedroom overlooking the Santa Monica Bay. Inside the large walk-in closet, he moves the cushioned wardrobe bench aside and lifts a hatch in the floor where Derek had installed a safe. It’s time to test both his friendship and his hacking skills. Many consider flapjack the best hacker of all time, but hacking a university or a bank and hacking the safe of a murdered friend seem different somehow—more personal, more invasive, and creepier.

His hands tremble as images of Bianca and flames flash over his vision until he closes his eyes to flush the thoughts. After several minutes, his breathing slows from hyperventilation to an even rhythmic pulse, and his vision goes blank. What numeric safe combo would Derek choose? Derek was smart but lazy, reusing the same usernames, combinations, and passwords. After several agonizing moments, Cary opens his eyes to punch in the birthdate of Derek’s deceased mother, Delores, 061639, the same as Derek’s locker combo at the gym and the code for his home security system. The safe opens.

Cary collects everything: bank accounts, trust statements, stock certificates, birth certificate, bonds, tax returns, a Rolex, a Breitling, a Beretta 9 mm, a gigantic pile of cash in several currencies, and a half-stamped passport. He’ll have everything else sold, packed, or shipped later. After expertly altering the passport photo with Photoshop and packing a small suitcase, he heads to LAX just as the sun rises, where he books the first nonstop to Cabo. A runaway since a teen, he’s used to being on the lookout; he endlessly scans the airport for police moving in his direction, listening through the deafening bustle for any alarm or call.

Once on board the first flight of his life, he sits in first class with his hand still trembling as he sips on a complimentary vodka tonic. As the adrenaline wears off, the heartbreak sinks in with a vicious, spiteful kick. His jaw clenches, forcing the tears to track silently and relentlessly down his cheeks, staining the steel-gray silk shirt he’d taken from Derek’s closet. His first love, whom he had mistaken for a true love, and his best friend, whom he mistook for loyal, died in each other’s arms because of his crimes. The bitterness of betrayal drenches over the shame of two undeserving deaths, scorching his soul like alcohol burning over an open wound. He can never allow love to destroy him again. Never.

Out of the cyclone of unanswerable questions, clashing furies, and self-rebuke, the horrific images continue to twist inside his head, devastating every hope he ever held in love or happiness, until he finds only one truth, one rock upon which he can rebuild: from this day forward, the entire world must believe that Cary Nolan and Bianca Troon perished together in a tragic gas explosion. The pathetic life of Cary Nolan must end so that he can assume the identity of Derek Taylor in order to track down the mysterious SLVIA and the murderous white-haired man.

***

Excerpt from Swarm by Guy Morris. Copyright 2022 by Guy Morris. Reproduced with permission from Guy Morris. All rights reserved.

 

 

Author Bio:

Guy Morris

Guy Morris is a published song writer for Disney Records, inventor, retired business leader, adventurer and author influenced by men of the Renaissance fluent in politics, religion and science. Traveling the world with Fortune 100 companies, adventures in Latin America and the Pacific, from the Board Room to the wreck dive, Guy’s books are written to thrill, educate and inspire thoughtful dialogue on real issues and controversies.

A 2021 debut author, Guy writes pulse-pounding action thrillers inspired by true stories and actual technologies, politics and history. Finalist 2021 IAN for Book of the Year for SWARM. BookTrib listed The Curse of Cortes as one of the Best 25 Books of 2021. ScreenCraft awarded The Curse of Cortes semi-finalist for Cinematic Book. Recommended by Kirkus Reviews with comparisons to Dan Brown and Iris Johansen. Articles published in Mystery & Suspense

Catch Up With Guy Morris:
www.GuyMorrisBooks.com
Facebook - @OfficialGuyMorrisBooks

 

 


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Monday, June 13, 2022

#Review: When I Grow Up I Want To Be... A Good Person #Kidsbooks #bookseries



Synopsis:

Blake and Brendan would do almost anything to get out of going to Mr. Becket’s funeral. It will be boring and sad—and dead people are scary! There might even be ghosts! But Mom and Dad insist. Mr. Becket was a good person, and it is right to gather with his family and friends to remember him and all the good things he did.

My Review:

I have read and reviewed a few of these books now. This one like the others has cartoon characters juxtaposed with real photos. I am not at all thrilled with this but have overlooked it as this is a kid's book.

This book, as the synopsis says features two boys who must go to a funeral even though they really do not want to go. The funeral is of a person (the good person) who was kind to many of the town's people. As the boys recognize different people they know, they learn about how good a person the man was.

Overall, I liked the concept this book in the series was trying to portray. However, it was almost too over the top. Really! "Mr. Becket" seemed to be the all around good guy with no faults of his own. I think that might set kids up to fail in such a way that could be detrimental. Still, I like this book.

I do recommend this one, just maybe with conversation on what a good person is to each child.

3 stars.

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