Friday, 22 February 2019

Book Feature: JUSTICE GONE by N. Lombardi Jr

About the Book:

When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down. A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran's counselor, is caught up in the chase. Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa's patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers get there first, leading to Darfield's dramatic capture. Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge? Justice Gone is the first in a series of psychological thrillers involving Dr Tessa Thorpe, wrapped in the divisive issues of modern American society including police brutality and disenfranchised returning war veterans.

Book Links:

Goodreads * Amazon

Read an Excerpt:
Chapter 7

The funeral services, particularly the burial, had been announced as private and that sympathizers should remain at a discreet distance; and in a demonstration of exemplary respect, the hundreds of supporters complied with the request.

Family and comrades, especially those from the New Hope Clinic, were designated to be at the gravesite. An uninvited guest, surprisingly, was also among them: John Garson, Police Chief of Bruntfield Township.

After the lowering of the coffin, and the slow deliberate departure of the mourners, Garson slipped away, in the opposite direction that everyone else would follow toward their cars and hired limos: crossing fields of gravestones until he reached the coppices of oak trees, in order to escape the press.

Everyone else present merged into the group of activists who assembled at the gate of the plot, all intent upon making known the measure of their sorrow to the public.

The crowd that participated was moderate in numbers, but in no way insignificant—about seven hundred were reported to have shown up. They marched, waving their signs and chanting slogans, from the central commercial district to the Bruntfield Veterans Memorial Park, where a makeshift stage had been set up for the guest speakers. The local TV stations from Newark and Trenton, including the network affiliates, were present covering the march.

The whole thing was fairly orderly, despite the loud chants of “Justice for Jay” and the cardboard signs that said: WE DON’T WANT KILLER COPS, SHAME ON YOU, PROTECT NOT KILL, PUT THE ANIMALS BEHIND BARS. Police presence was minimal and subdued.

Once they arrived at the previously setup podium in the park, representatives of the various groups got their chance to express their views with the condition of keeping it short, and as per Marshal Felson’s request, focused on the incident. The fact that Jay Felson was approached by police when he was not in the act of committing any crime was stressed on more than one occasion. The TV crews covered the speeches with utmost diligence, as this was one of the highlights to be expected. Finally, for the emotional touch, the organizers called on the young man’s father.

“We are here today to let the city authorities know that we will be following very closely the grand jury proceedings!” Marshal Felson shouted. “That we, as a community, will not just brush this aside. I am grateful to all of you who have shown concern and have voiced their support for my son.” He gave up the mike and walked off the stage amid cheers and applause.

A rather frail-looking young man with glasses took control of the audience to announce that Dr. Tessa Thorpe from the New Hope Trauma Recovery Clinic was to be the next speaker.

Tessa had given much thought as to how she should dress for the occasion. Her first instinct was her Karen Kane pants suit, but dismissed that idea to wear her copper-brown print kaftan in its stead.

Now, with its folds caught in the vigorous September breeze, giving the illusion of a multitude of miniature flags fluttering around her, her thick locks of hair dancing around her head, she spoke to the crowd, slowly, deliberately taking her time. “Hello, my fellow citizens.” She stopped to survey the mass of people standing in front of her. Dramatic pauses replete with eye contact, if not overdone, were quite effective in getting one’s message across. Not surprisingly, Tessa knew how to get her message across, a special art in the realm of behavioral scientists. Public relations firms, advertising companies, political campaigns, all hired an army of psychologists to sell a product. And Tessa Thorpe, as someone who had thirty years’ experience as a criminal psychiatrist, could sell as well as any of them. “We are here today for two reasons, two very important reasons that are essential to our well-being in a modern society. Freedom is one, and justice is the other.”

Enthusiastic cheers.

“When the call for war came, we were told that our enemies hated our freedoms. We were told that the citizens of Iraq had been held hostage by a ruthless dictator who denied his own people these freedoms. Our invasion of that country was sold to us as Operation Iraqi Freedom. And so we sent our young men and women off to war, the most traumatic experience a human being could ever go through, with the belief that they were fighting for liberty and freedom. And yet, one of those whom we had sent…had come back to us only to have his own freedom denied. His single offence at the time he was approached by law enforcement officers was that he was exercising his freedom to stand on a street corner.”

This elicited a roar from the crowd.

“This is not merely tragic, it is an act of deplorable fraud, being denied the very thing he fought for!”

More heartfelt cheering.

“When I was young, we were made to pledge allegiance, an oath that ended with the phrase, ‘with liberty and justice for all.’ Well, Jay Felson was denied liberty…let us make sure he is NOT DENIED JUSTICE!”

An ear-shattering reverberation of concurrence.

Having descended from the little platform with the crowd still shouting in endorsement, Tessa was serially embraced by her coworkers: Casey, Ed, Penny…all with praise about her wonderful speech, culminating in Marshal Felson’s hug, whispering into her ear, “Amazing.”

The next event on the program was to go together to the site where Jay was killed at the bus depot in order to lay memorial flowers and gifts. The TV teams followed, instinctively knowing that this was indeed another newsworthy item. In fact, as a human interest story, it tugged at the heart to see the gift bearers laying their offers down. And what made it even more poignant was the huge bloodstain that had yet to be cleaned off the pavement, a crimson smear that drew numerous zoomed-in shots by the camera crews.

About the Author:

N. Lombardi Jr, the N for Nicholas, has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, working as a groundwater geologist. Nick can speak five languages: Swahili, Thai, Lao, Chinese, and Khmer (Cambodian).

In 1997, while visiting Lao People's Democratic Republic, he witnessed the remnants of a secret war that had been waged for nine years, among which were children wounded from leftover cluster bombs. Driven by what he saw, he worked on The Plain of Jars for the next eight years.

Nick maintains a website with content that spans most aspects of the novel: The Secret War, Laotian culture, Buddhism etc.

His second novel, Journey Towards a Falling Sun, is set in the wild frontier of northern Kenya.

His latest novel, Justice Gone was inspired by the fatal beating of a homeless man by police.

Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Follow the Author:

Website * Goodreads * Amazon

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Book Feature: LOVE AT LAST by Dorothy Ewels

Releasing February 22, 2019      Pre-Order on Amazon

Website   Facebook  Twitter   Instagram │ Amazon   
 Goodreads   │   Bookbub 

When Willow’s lifelong best friend is murdered, she’s left devastated. She knows she needs to pull herself together for the two little girls who are now put under her guardianship. The last thing that should be on her mind is the attraction to investigating officer Adam Dawson.

From the moment Adam glances Willow’s way, he finds himself drawn to her, but she’s off limits. He needs to be professional while investigating her best friend’s murder.
The murderer has no intention of stopping, throwing Willow and Adam into a maelstrom of danger and deceit. Events unfold testing not only Willow, but also Adam’s strength of character, as well as their blossoming love.

Will Willow be another victim? Or can Adam save not only the girl, but their relationship as well?

Pre-Order Links:

  Adam shifted, so he was angled towards Willow, mirroring the way she sat facing him. Showing no signs of shying away from the look or the question, he slid his hand up to cradle the back of her head, never breaking eye contact.
  “I see a woman with a beautiful heart and a face to match. I see a woman with a body built to please a man. And full disclosure, honey, I want to be that man.”
  He certainly didn’t beat around the bush. Willow’s heart stuttered in her chest. The look in Adam’s eyes had turned heated. He sat forward, leaning into her space. His eyes holding hers, he lowered his head until his lips barely touched hers.
  “Adam, I–” Lost for words, Willow stumbled to a halt, worrying at her bottom lip with her teeth.
  Closing the tiny gap, Adam used his teeth to pull the abused lip between his own and sucked on it softly. Sensation arrowed straight through Willow, her whole body tightening in response. Unconsciously, she leaned into the motion. Adam groaned low in his throat before pulling her in for a kiss. Sliding his other hand into her hair, he cradled the sides of her head between his large palms. Her lips parted for him, and his tongue swept in, stroking hers.
  Willow’s senses swam. She felt surrounded by Adam. She inhaled him – the smell of his cologne, his shampoo, the scent she recognised as uniquely Adam. She felt him – the strong, steady thump of his heartbeat under her hand as it lay on his chest. And God, she tasted him – he tasted of coffee and desire.

A proud member of the Romance Writer’s Organization of South Africa (ROSA), Dorothy Ewels developed a love of reading from early on. Her passion for the written word has spanned across decades until she finally put pen to paper and began her path as an indie author where reading and writing remain her first love.

Married, with one son and three fur babies, she lives in Cape Town, and while she loves travelling, she cannot see herself living anywhere else. When she’s not weaving stories in her writing cave, she spends her time with family, friends, as well as enjoying crafting.

Find Dorothy online:
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Thursday, 14 February 2019

Cover Reveal: THE HEART OF YOU by Aarti V Raman

~ Cover Reveal ~
The Heart of You 
(A Geeks of Caltech Novel)
by Aarti V Raman

Mixed martial arts studio owner Kit Barranos has always been a fighter. He will fight for his family. For his friends. For anyone in need.

What he doesn't know how to do is fight for himself...
... Or the inconvenient and consuming desire he has for single mom Lily Fallahil.

Office manager, Lily has spent the last decade raising her son and proving her independence to her protective and overbearing brother, Drake.
She has no time for romance. Especially with Kit Barranos, who has a body to die for and eyes that rip at her soul.
When Kit reveals his heartbreaking secret to Lily - he has a brother he never knew about, one he considered his closest friend - it brings them closer, creates a bond neither can deny.
And paves the way for a steamy attraction that explodes between them.
But it isn't just Lily that Kit is slowly but surely falling for. It's her adorable son, Bret.
Navigating the holidays, their families and their feelings is no easy task.
Flawed and fiercely loyal, Kit and Lily have fought the odds and survived.
But, survival no longer seems enough.
Can they take a chance on each other, on their hearts... On a love that braves The Heart of You?
The Heart of You is Book Three of The Geeks of Caltech, a unique band of friends bonded by loyalty, brotherhood, and pain. The Geeks of Caltech are to die for and their women all they wish to live for!


About the Author:

Aarti V Raman lives in Mumbai, India and has been a commercial editor and business journalist for the better part of a decade.

She is an incurable romantic who has taken up the task of bringing Happily Ever After to life for the characters in her head. She has three traditionally published novels out, all contemporary romances from 2014-2016, with the next one slated for release in 2019.

She currently writes and self-publishes steamy contemporary romance for urban millennials with a global twist. Sometimes, there are guns and car chases too.

Her new contemporary romance series include GEEKS OF CALTECH and ROYALS OF STELLANGARD as well as standalone romances - all of which have become Amazon India and US bestsellers.

She has also appeared as speaker at lit festivals and events around India and also dabbles in poetry, while conducting creative writing workshops.

Contact the Author:

Website * Facebook Page * Twitter * Instagram

This Cover Reveal is powered by b00k r3vi3w Tours

Sunday, 3 February 2019

My theory of wasted time, proven true

time, tracking time, running against time, clock, running woman
How much time do you think you spend doing things? I have a theory that we overestimate how much time we spend doing something, and then when it comes down to actual measuring it, it is not as much as we think. My theory is purely based on personal perception, and I think I have proven it - at least to myself.
For the past month or so I have been using an App to track my time with minimum interference from me. This means that it asks me what I am doing now, and unless I am lying (to myself, because the App doesn't care) it is accurate. The surprising thing (and the reason for my theory) is that I wasted a lot more of my time than what I thought I was. While I think I am doing something (even if it is reading a book) I am wasting more time doing nothing, than doing something useful or enjoyable, like reading.
While you might think that I am obsessed with time (and perhaps you are correct) my biggest issue is that life is too short to waste the time we have on useless activities. Meaning that if I am taking a break when I need to, the break should not become two hours of watching TV, or surfing on social media.
Time away from a computer is a good thing, so I realised that whatever time I am spending not working, or writing (or whatever other activity I want or should do) is not spent as effectively as I thought it was. Yes, the word is procrastination.
Since I am self-employed again, the saying that time is money is more accurate than what it was when I worked for a salary. I am not going to get paid for two hours wasted on the Internet, that's for sure, but working for a salary meant that I wasn't getting paid by the hour either.
The App allows me to draw a report of the time per activity/task that I am tracking, and the results confirmed what I suspected, I am a time waster. Not what I wanted to see, that's for sure. But all is not lost.
What it helps me to do is to find out which tasks take longer than planned. This is a good thing since planning is essential, I can now see where I need to allow for more time for a specific type of task. When some things take less time to complete, I can then plan for a shorter period to finish the job in future, or I can add a task in that same time slot. A task that I probably would have scheduled later because I wouldn't have the time to do it on that day.
It all sounds complicated, but in actual fact, it is more simple than it looks. What I also like about this, is that I can now plan for time to do things that I want, like reading or drawing. Whereas in the past, I had to hope for some free time that will allow me a few hours to enjoy myself.
My 30 days of free usage of the App expires tomorrow, but I have already decided to pay the license fee as the benefits I have already received, definitely outweigh the cost of its continuous use.
A last word
There are a number of these applications for both Windows and iOS operating systems, phones and computers, available in your favourite online store. If you need to track your time for either invoicing or purely to find out where you are wasting it, I can recommend exploring the various options available to see which of these apps will work for you.
I am using on a Macbook if you want to check it out.
Until next time!

The CreativeLife in review - planning, time management, and the creative life

  Hey there, creative friend! It's been a week or more since my last post but mostly because I have been taking time to do other things....