Category Archives: giveaway

Free Books for Blog Giveaways

One of my books has just been reissued in a new interior format. Seven Sisters is a self-help book that touches on parenting, love, friendship, and other elements of life within a community.

The original version has a full-color interior featuring Australian Aboriginal dot-dot style artwork on every page. These types of paintings told stories, frequently ones that were important to spiritual growth.

To new version has a black-and-white interior so that the print price point is lower than the gift version. To celebrate the new edition, I am offering copies of the original, full-color gift version to any blogger who wants to host a giveaway.

There is a limited number of print copies on hand but it is possible to provide two copies to blogs with large followings. Just connect with me by leaving a comment on this blog, or email me directly through either Writer’s Resource or my author website.

Let’s get your readers reading something for free!

Book Giveaway: Saving Phoebe Murrow

Today is a special post because the publisher of Saving Phoebe Murrow has provided a paperback copy for a giveaway! Scroll down to previous posts for the author guest post, review, and an excerpt you won’t find on the book sellers’ sites.

To enter this review, simply leave a comment on this blog before Wednesday, Sep 21. The winner will be selected at random. Be sure to provide your Twitter handle or an email so that you can be contacted if you win!

To stay updated on all giveaways, book reviews and publishing tips, follow me on Twitter or sign up for this blog!

While you’re waiting to hear if you’ve won, check out an award-winning novel about a family destroyed and reborn in The Family Made of Dust: A Novel of Loss and Rebirth in the Australian Outback

Guest Post by Author Herta Feely

Today we hear directly from Herta Feely, author of Saving Phoebe Murrow. 

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It’s September. Crickets and cicadas screech in full chorus as I sit on a small third-story balcony overlooking a forest of oak trees, trying to imagine what readers might like to know about the writing of Saving Phoebe Murrow.

1) Are you wondering how I chose Phoebe’s name or Isabel’s?

2) Because Phoebe was bullied, do you wonder if, perhaps, I was ever bullied, or if I was a bully?

3) Do you want to know why the story is set in DC in 2008?

4) Do you ask: What are you working on next?

So, question one. The characters’ names. I’ve always liked the name Phoebe. It contains a kind of vulnerability and softness that I wanted for the eponymous 13-year-old character. As for Isabel, her character actually began with the name Susan in a short story, which then became part of this novel. In that story, which you’ll recognize in Saving Phoebe Murrow, a woman is getting a manicure and while there experiences anxieties about her teen daughter, from whom she feels estranged yet is dying to understand.  After changing Susan to Isabel, I also changed the last name from Winslow to Winthrop, which helps reflect Isabel’s rigid upbringing (as in the Puritanical Winthrops of Massachusetts), hence her rigid father, John Winthrop.

#2: Yes, in fact, I was bullied as a young girl when fresh “off the boat” from Germany and new to the U.S. It was quite painful and stayed with me for many years. I only remembered this after writing the novel when someone asked me about bullying. I imagine that experience allowed me to tap into emotional truths for 13-year-old Phoebe in the novel. (I don’t recall being a bully. Bossy, yes. Bully, no!)

#3: The story is set in DC , where I’ve lived since 1982. Though this novel reflects certain peculiarities of DC culture, perhaps even exaggerates them for dramatic effect, the essential aspects of the story could take place anywhere. I chose 2008 because teens still heavily used Facebook then and it was an interesting election year, which allowed me to bring certain aspects of the city to the fore.

#4: I’m working on All Fall Down, a novel about Charlotte Cooper, a woman about to reach the pinnacle of her career, until everything falls out from under her. It’s also a love story between a London-raised Nigerian sculptor and Charlotte, the human rights activist.

 

To hear more from Feely, check out her website. Be sure to come back tomorrow for the giveaway!

For another novel that features a strong female protagonist in a unique setting, try Beloved: A Senual Noir Thriller

Free Reading: Excerpt from Saving Phoebe Murrow

As promised, here is a free excerpt from Saving Phoebe Murrow by Herta Feely. This is from pages 56 through 58 when Phoebe’s mother is getting a manicure.

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Isabel’s thoughts traveled between Phoebe, the TV, and Thuy, whose soft, quiet features belied the strength in her hands. She rubbed Isabel’s forearms, then her palms and each finger. Isabel closed her eyes and tried to relax. She needed to spend more time getting to know Phoebe’s friends and their parents, even if one of them was Sandy. She’d start by being friendlier at the party that evening, and released a long exhalation of air.

“You have long week?” Thuy asked in a low voice. Isabel nodded. Much too long, she thought, when suddenly a local news anchor’s head appeared on the TV screen. He wore an earnest, worried expression.

The words “Breaking News” popped up behind him. For some reason subtitles now failed to crawl across the screen. Isabel’s brow wrinkled. What was he saying? Anything could have happened. Anything from those exploding sewer lids in Georgetown, to a drive-by shooting (she thought of the DC sniper of a few years ago), to another act of Al Qaeda terrorism. Why on earth didn’t they turn up the volume?

The image on the screen flipped to a low-income neighborhood. At the bottom it said, “Adams Morgan.” She caught sight of several police cars outside a crumbling apartment building. What the hell’s going on, she wondered. But the announcer’s face returned, mouthing the words, “…breaking news story. Back in a minute.”

The news made her restless. As Thuy deftly lacquered the nails of her left hand, Isabel wished the manicure were finished. She wanted to be home in her clean house (thank you, Milly) and have a glass of Chardonnay. She again tried to relax, inhaled the familiar scent of polish, but another thought niggled its way into her brain. What if Phoebe’d gone to Adams Morgan after all?

Until recently, Isabel had taken for granted that Phoebe was reliable, alongside being wonderful, smart, and kind. And very pretty, even if she had inherited Ron’s short, slightly stubby fingers. Nor had she ever worried about what other adults thought of her, not even after she learned about Phoebe’s cutting.

She considered this as Thuy brushed sunrise onto her long nails, which accentuated her shapely slender fingers, fingers someone had once referred to as perfect.

Actually, she’d always thought that Phoebe was perfect, or nearly so, until a little over a year ago, when she’d begun accumulating used clothing. Disgusting smelly men’s pants and shirts, women’s dresses, and even old petticoats and tattered jeans. God only knew where she found them. Surely she hadn’t been going to shops in Adams Morgan all along?

One day – when was it? – Phoebe had told her she wanted to design clothes. A skill she’d learned from Ron’s mother. With her chubby, nail-bitten fingers, Phoebe began tearing these hideous clothes apart, then sewed the dark swatches of fabric into skirts and assembling them into misshapen jackets.

At first, Isabel had objected. She wanted to steer Phoebe toward a sensible profession. But all at once, determined and headstrong, Phoebe had insisted fashion was her future. Isabel believed it to be a cutthroat, low-paying industry, and hoped it would be a phase Phoebe was bound to outgrow.

On the TV, the commercial concluded and the same neighborhood featured earlier reappeared. Isabel leaned toward the screen. A crowd of people had gathered behind Cynthia Chan, the reporter at the scene, microphone in hand. Police cars stood in the background. The reporter was saying something, her mouth moving exaggeratedly. Isabel could only guess at the content. Her eyes drifted to the cluster of people surrounding the woman, mostly Latinos, though whites were among them, and a few African Americans.

A girl standing further back near a policeman caught Isabel’s eye. A fair-haired white girl, wearing a jean jacket that looked like one of Phoebe’s creations!

Isabel’s distance from the TV made it impossible to discern the girl’s features. She tugged her hand away from Thuy and jumped out of her chair, awkwardly threading her way toward the TV in her paper flip-flops. She called out for the volume to be turned up. As she drew near, the camera angle shifted and the policeman and the girl disappeared.

Isabel gazed emptily at the screen. The anchorman’s mouth shaped the words, “Thank you, Cynthia.”

Isabel turned around to find people staring at her. She felt the need to say something, but the words caught in her throat. “I just thought the girl looked—” She stopped; her eyes scanned the clientele. They looked like jurors, hanging on her every syllable, their own thoughts in limbo. Normally she took this in stride, but now their stares unnerved her. Finally, she met their gaze, and groping for a word, added, “Familiar. She looked familiar.”

Interested? Get the book on Amazon here. Check back tomorrow for a guest post, and don’t forget the giveaway on Saturday!

Or, for a gripping journey through a young man’s attempt to rescue his sister and his girlfriend from a Native American-style peyote cult, click on Reparation: A Novel of Love, Devotion and Danger

Book Giveaway

This week, I’m giving away 10 signed copies of Seven Sisters: Spiritual Messages from Aboriginal Australia. This has a full-color interior with custom artwork, so even if it’s not the right book for you, it makes a fantastic gift!

Here’s the description:

For readers of The Secret, A Course in Miracles, and Paul Coelho’s works.
Award-winning self-help essays delivered on the print edition’s full-color interior with custom artwork on every page. Makes a great gift!According to Australia’s ancient cultures, all creatures and things emerged from the Dreamtime. The Dreaming is not just a collection of lore or a long-ago time; it is a living energy that flows constantly through the universe. It is then and now, divine and human, spirit and law. Because the energy is as vibrant today as ever, these ancient stories show us how to survive in a harsh world and how to thrive in our souls.

Each Aboriginal story in this collection is enhanced with an essay from award-winning author Laine Cunningham. Our modern perspectives on love and friendship, illness and joy, life and the afterlife can be enriched with this ancient knowledge. Open this book and take your own journey through the eternal Dreamtime. Along the way, you will discover that the ancient connection to god/goddess/the divine still resonates in your soul. You will discover your own truth.

This is Laine Cunningham’s first inspirational self-help book. Seven Sisters harnesses Dreamtime energy to help modern people address their challenges. In this collection of essays, readers discover that love and friendship, parenting, life and the afterlife can be addressed with the unchanging wisdom of the human heart.

This unique book blends Aboriginal folktales with Laine’s essays; the print version has a beautifully designed full-color interior.

In The Dance, readers are inspired to follow their dreams while staying balanced in their lives.

Trickery and Seven Sisters address the special relationships between men and women.

War provides a new perspective on one of the world’s most important issues.

Excerpts from this book have been published in spiritual, literary, and inspirational magazines and newsletters; one combination received an award.

Laine’s understanding of Aboriginal culture began during a six-month solo journey through the Australian Outback. The same visions that drew her into the red desert also told her that she would die there. A miraculous connection to divine energy saved her life and launched her along the path she follows to this day.

Laine has appeared on TV and radio shows to discuss the metaphysical viewpoint on the swine flu, the real secret of prosperity, relationships, love, women’s empowerment, chronic illness and other topics.

Her first novel, Message Stick, follows an Aboriginal man’s journey through the Outback as he rediscovers his lost heritage. The novel won two prestigious national awards. Her second work, He Drinks Poison, follows a female FBI investigator who must access the dark energy of the Hindu goddess Kali in order to stop a serial killer. Her third novel, Reparation, has a Lakota Sioux man racing to stop the leader of a Native American-style peyote cult before he enacts the largest mass murder on American soil.

Look for Laine’s novels and future nonfiction books as her journey, and yours, continues.

Reviews of the book will be greatly appreciated but are not required to participate in this giveaway. US entrants will receive a hard copy. Others will receive an ebook.
To participate, you must be a follower of this blog. If you are, great! If not, click on the link on the righthand side of the screen.
Then share this post on any of your social media accounts.
Finally, comment on this post providing a link to the place where you shared.
If you are inclined to share this on more than one social media site, you will receive as many entries as sharing links!
Winners will be contacted through the social media on which they shared. If you prefer an email, note that in your comment to this post.

Good luck!