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CHINA2Book II: The Cascade Preppers 

Paperback: 252 pages

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 8, 2014)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1500157244

Kindle: ASIN: B00KV27ZZA

The life of Graham and his newfound family (from The China Pandemic) continues. But life is anything but ordinary and mundane.

It is now winter in Graham’s camp, bringing bitter cold and snowy conditions. Without daily weather reports, snow falls unexpectedly. New skills have been acquired – such as ice fishing and tanning hides – along with new neighbors.

The Cascade Preppers just across the Skagit River escaped the onslaught of the pandemic by reaching their encampment before being exposed to the virus.

They are cautious neighbors. Just because they escaped the pandemic does not mean they are immune to it. Survivors of the pandemic are carriers of the virus.

Which means face-to-face contact with any of Graham’s camp is off-limits.

This does not preclude communication between the two camps. On the contrary, all are congenial when contact is restricted across the river or via radio.

When pandemonium breaks out with missing members of Graham’s camp – including Graham himself – as well as a fire at the Prepper camp, they realize they may need each other for survival.

Again, Shaw doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to the nasty side of survival in a world where even an old lady has gone mad. The kids in Graham’s camp are growing up more quickly than usual because they have to for their own survival.

Even the possibility of a pregnancy is a threat. Will the baby carry the virus? Will it survive full term? Would it reach adulthood? Should any pregnancy after the pandemic be aborted?

These questions were not issues before the pandemic but now must be posed in order to consider the survival of everyone.

It is especially gripping when everything begins happening at once: Disappearances, fires, potential threat of the virus entering the Prepper camp and a new arrival make for page-turning excitement.

The story itself could be a primer for survival: things necessary to stock up on, skills lost in this technological society that may come in handy should disaster strike, how to hunt wild game, all skills that may one day be re-established to ensure survival of man (and woman) kind.

Invest in this series. You may learn something that will one day keep you alive.

Another good read by A.R. Shaw.

Visit A.R. Shaw’s website 

Or purchase The Cascade Preppers here

Pen has self-published 20 titles in print and e-book formats. Her latest endeavor, Nero’s Fiddle, is a fictitious account of an EMP attack on the United States with women heroes. Visit Nero’s Fiddle website follow her on Twitter @penspen or visit her website at www.penspen.info 

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CHINABook I: The China Pandemic

Author: A.R. Shaw

Paperback: 278 pages

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 4, 2013)

ISBN-10: 1494368552

Kindle: ASIN: B00H06NGFS

Apocalyptic scenarios come in all shapes and sizes and a variety of dynamics.

The story of The China Pandemic opens with Hyun-Ok searching for a guardian for her five-year-old son, Bang. Hyun-Ok has already lost the rest of her family to a strain of the H5N1 virus accidentally unleashed by the Chinese. She herself is dying from the virus and must find someone to care for her son.

She chooses Graham who seems the most stable of those left in town.

But Graham has also lost his family, most notably his wife Nelly and their unborn child. When Hyun-Ok approaches him, he has just lost the final member of his family; his father. But he reluctantly agrees to care for the young boy.

Only about two percent of the world’s population survives. Those survivors are now carriers of the deadly virus. As survivors, Graham and Bang are carriers of the virus.

As the dangers in the town where he lives continue to grow, Graham feels it would be safest to reach his family cabin on the Skagit River.

He and the boy – named Bang – are off to a rocky start. They pick up twins Macy and Marcy, and a German Shepherd police dog names Sheriff, along the way. When they reach the cabin they find it already inhabited by Tala, a Native American woman suffering a miscarriage, and an old black man named Ennis.

I will leave the premise there so as not to divulge too much.

If you think this is like Stephen King’s The Stand, think again. The Stand has a degree of mysticism: people compelled to meet an old black woman in the middle of nowhere for no reason any of them could fathom.

There is no mysticism here. But there is plenty of stark reality.

On the upside (if there is one) of a pandemic is all the electricity, water and cars still work. Until a human is required to flip any switches to keep the electricity and water running.

Shaw depicts reality with compassion while still gripping the reader with fear. In any post-apocalyptic situation, crazies run amuck and Shaw doesn’t pull any punches with the dangers lying in wait for those unprepared.

Her characters are vivid; most people could relate to them as they each recover from their losses and go about building a new family. Achieving a degree of normalcy after such an event is a day-by-day trial and error experience. They work and learn together how to survive.

If you read closely, you could learn what is needed to survive just about any apocalypse.

There are errors, but the story is compelling and well-written. This book is a good read and well worth it.

Visit A.R. Shaw’s website 

Purchase The China Pandemic here 

Pen has self-published 20 titles in print and e-book formats. Her latest endeavor, Nero’s Fiddle, is a fictitious account of an EMP attack on the United States with women heroes. Visit Nero’s Fiddle website follow her on Twitter @penspen or visit her website at www.penspen.info 

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A.W. Daniels may not have set out to be one of the 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading, but it’s a goal he may just accomplish. awdanielsbooks

“Apparently, I’ve been able to strike a nerve with a certain type of reader,” says Daniels. “I can only hope it’s for the good.”

Apparently, it was for the good as Daniels is a finalist in The Authors Show (www.theauthorsshow.com) annual competition.

The author of The Bethlehem Project series – Genetically Privileged, Genetically Conflicted and the forthcoming Genetically Rejected – has always been interested in the natural sciences. An article about designer babies he read while on a business trip to Canada sparked his imagination.

“I began speculating about the possibilities, ethics and the product of such an endeavor,” Daniels says.

What would those individuals created from such technology think of the world that spawned them? Would they see their creators as inferiors? were only a few of the questions he contemplated regarding the subject of genetic engineering.

The idea for the series developed for almost a year before Daniels began putting words to paper. Once started, it took only a month to complete the first draft.

“It literally spewed onto the pages after I began writing,” Daniels says. “This means there was quite a bit of editing involved.”

Growing up in conventional middle-class America, Daniels feels technology has changed almost every facet of daily life, for better and otherwise. On that, Daniels states, “I’ve always felt that change must occur and it is up to the individual to use the new tools available to improve our personal and societal environment.”

The author’s reading tastes run the gamut from medical and science journals to Cervantes, Machiavelli and Stephen Colbert to a dash of science fiction from Kurt Vonnegut.

His eclectic reading choices reflect his desire to encourage non-conventional thought. “I strive for my children to explore any topic, be it religion, politics or any facet of society and question the status quo,” Daniels explains. “I want them to ask themselves ‘what can I do to make it better?’ I’ve seen conventional thought quell the inquiring mind in school and everyday life.”

In an interview on The Authors Show, Daniels was asked about the Biblical references of his book Genetically Privileged.

While not attempting to create a religious book, Daniels says, “Religion and science have always struggled.” By using names and situations, “I wanted that thread running through the series. It’s indicative of the struggle between science and religion, how they grow apart then come back together in certain situations. I believe in the end we’re going to find that religion and science are more closely related than we think currently.”

The science of the book goes beyond cloning. Most of the science in the book may sound realistic but Daniels assures he was making up a good deal of it. “There is legislation against some of the aspects of this book in most of the industrialized nations,” he states in the same interview.

Given the opportunity, Daniels would love to speak with Dostoyevsky on nihilism, Dante on theology, Twain on politics and life (which would make a very interesting conversation) and Steinbeck on society. “Each would have such insight into the segment of life for which they are known.”

It would also make fascinating dinner conversation.

For more information, including purchasing Genetically Privileged and Genetically Conflicted, visit www.awdaniels.net

Pen has self-published 20 titles in print and e-book formats. Her latest endeavor, Nero’s Fiddle, is a fictitious account of an EMP attack on the United States with women heroes. Visit Nero’s Fiddle website at http://bit.ly/1yYsNH2 follow her on Twitter @penspen or visit her website at www.penspen.info 

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Author: A.W. Daniels

Paperback: 246 pages

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing (July 30, 2013)

ISBN-10: 1491231084

Kindle: ASIN: B00EGDWB86

If you could choose your child’s eye color, hair color, physical, mental and intellectual disposition, would you?

What if someone else chose all that for you?

This is exactly what happens in A.W. Daniels’ Genetically Privileged.

Joe and Mary Christiansen tried to have their own child. Due to complications during the pregnancy that would endanger the lives of both mother and child, that child had to be aborted. The remains of that abortion are confiscated by Dr. Gabriel.

A little later down the road, Joe and Mary visit the fertility clinic where Dr. Gabriel works. It turns out that Dr. Gabriel is a good friend of Joe Christiansen. With invitro fertilization Dr. Gabriel succeeds in helping his friends have a healthy baby boy.

The questions begin when their son, Justice Christiansen begins showing remarkable aptitude at a very young age. Like saying his first word at five months old.

Genetic engineering is a much-debated topic, as it should be. DNA is a frightening and heavily responsible technology that should not be taken lightly.

But Dr. Gabriel is not a madman. He seems to be sincere in his desire and effort to end suffering in the human race through genetic engineering. It’s the other people involved who wish to take it to another level the reader needs to worry about. privileged

That’s where I will leave the synopsis, not wanting to give away too much of the fascinating story line.

Daniels deftly explains the scientific aspect of genetic engineering without getting the reader too bogged down in technical terminology. The author weaves a tapestry among the characters whose lives are entwined long before Joe and Mary move to the little town of Bethlehem.

It is a fresh approach to the subject of genetic engineering where the engineering is already occurring with plans for expansion. The changes are noticeable and, at times, a little dangerous.

It’s one of those books that leaves you thinking about the ramifications of the process. And what might happen should someone take it upon themselves to implement the engineering without it being public knowledge.

Genetically Privileged is a good read, especially for those with particular interest in the process of genetic engineering.

Pen has self-published 20 titles in print and e-book formats. Her latest endeavor, Nero’s Fiddle, is a fictitious account of an EMP attack on the United States with women heroes. Visit Nero’s Fiddle website at http://bit.ly/1yYsNH2 follow her on Twitter @penspen or visit her website at www.penspen.info Contact her at mytuppenceblog at yahoo.com to inquire about proofreading, editing and formatting services.

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Having a mother who mesmerizes an audience with her storytelling skills is bound to spark the imagination.  betteleecrosbyarticle

So it was for Bette Lee Crosby.

“My Mom was an awesome storyteller,” says Crosby. “She could mesmerize a room full of children with her fantastic tales. Listening to her helped me to discover the magic in storytelling.”

No doubt having parents with Southern heritages influenced Crosby’s writing. Some of her books have a distinctive Southern flavor. Her books are not necessarily set in the South but her characters retain a touch of Southern charm and faith.

Crosby admires all writers with the courage and determination to write. “Authors are a special breed,” says Crosby. “We are both dreamers and doers. We battle windmills every day and we do it for the joy of telling a story.”

Like most authors, Crosby loves to read. She reads across genres, favoring literary and women’s fiction. “What I truly enjoy is finding a book where I honestly care about what happens to the protagonist. When that happens, it’s a magical experience that takes me into another world.”

A USA Today best-selling author, Crosby is no stranger to the writing process. “I start with creating the characters long before I start writing the story. I make myself think like them and that enables me to gauge how they will react in any given situation.” Crosby’s characters are composites of people she knows or has known, making them characters to which a reader can relate.

Compelling characters in sometimes adverse situations lend a good deal of authenticity to Crosby’s stories. Ordinary people overcoming fears, helping someone in need, climbing a mountain that people said couldn’t be climbed: these are the characters found in Crosby’s novels. They also depict people that most of us know or would like to know which contributes to the popularity of her books. All of her books have a rating average of 4-star or above.

Writing for business made the transition to writing fiction virtually inevitable. In 2010, being unhappy with her current publisher’s pricing policies, Crosby and her then-retired husband formed Bent Pine Publishing through which Crosby’s books are published.

Currently, Crosby is working on The Memory House, a prequel which connects to several previously published works, a delightful project because, “I got to revisit some of my favorite characters and meet some charming new ones.”

An author she would love to meet is Harper Lee, if only for the opportunity to ask why she wrote no other book after To Kill a Mockingbird.

Author Links:

Blog:   http://betteleecrosby.com

Goodreadshttp://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3222582.Bette_Lee_Crosby

Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/Bette-Lee-Crosby/e/B005TLT1PK/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

iTuneshttps://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/bette-lee-crosby/id662962062?mt=11

Barnes and Noblehttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Bette-Lee-Crosby?store=allproducts&keyword=Bette+Lee+Crosby

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BetteLeeCrosby

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Bette-Lee-Crosby/284499021568642

Newsletter sign up:   http://betteleecrosby.com/lets-connect/

Pen has self-published 20 titles in print and e-book formats. Her latest endeavor, Nero’s Fiddle, is a fictitious account of an EMP attack on the United States with women heroes. Visit Nero’s Fiddle website at http://bit.ly/1yYsNH2 follow her on Twitter @penspen or visit her website at www.penspen.info Contact her at mytuppenceblog at yahoo.com to inquire about proofreading, editing and formatting services.

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SpareChange-1400px-2

Book Review: Spare Change

Bette Lee Crosby

Print Length: 280 pages

ISBN: 0983887918

Publisher: Bent Pine Publishing (November 11, 2013)

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

I’ve come to expect surprises from Bette Lee Crosby’s books. Spare Change is no exception and certainly no disappointment.

Meet Olivia Westerly, a fifty-eight year old woman who falls in love late in life. She marries Charlie Doyle and they whisk off to Miami Beach to celebrate their honeymoon. Unfortunately, the honeymoon is cut short when Charlie dies of a heart attack.

Enter eleven-year-old Ethan Allan Doyle, Charlie’s only grandson. When Ethan witnesses murder, he strikes out with the hope of living with the grandfather he’s never met. Instead he meets his newly-widowed grandmother who isn’t prepared to take care of this roguish boy.

Crosby’s characters are sometimes quirky, sometimes frustrating and always authentic. Their personality traits are sometimes endearing and sometimes off-the-wall. For instance, Olivia is superstitious: she has a phobia of the number eleven. So when an eleven-year-old knocks on her door, she is immediately skittish about the number as well as the boy. Ethan, raised without discipline and hardly any attention, curses randomly and with passion and has little trust of this stranger.

Crosby deftly weaves the story introducing the characters in a way that doesn’t make the outcome obvious. It keeps the reading interesting when you don’t know where the story is going until you get there.

What I enjoy most about Crosby’s writing is she gives us intimate glimpses into the characters by dedicating a chapter to an individual character’s thoughts, feelings and perceptions. It’s a wonderful technique and Crosby handles it with finesse.

I enjoy a well-written tale where characters undergo changes, for better or worse. Spare Change fills the bill.

Find Spare Change here.

Pen has self-published 20 titles in print and e-book formats. Her latest endeavor, Nero’s Fiddle, is a fictitious account of an EMP attack on the United States with women heroes. Visit Nero’s Fiddle website at http://bit.ly/1yYsNH2 follow her on Twitter @penspen or visit her website at http://www.penspen.info Contact her at mytuppenceblog at yahoo.com to inquire about proofreading, editing and formatting services.

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theendcover

Book Review: The End

G. Michael Hopf

Print Length: 408 pages

ISBN: 1478195487

Publisher: Plume (October 30, 2013)

Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

The title is The End but, in truth, it is the beginning.

On December 15, 2014, civilization as we know it comes to an end. Surviving the ordeal is the beginning.

Mr. Hopf paints an incredibly realistic picture of what could happen if this nation were struck with an Electromagnetic Pulse as well as nuclear strikes. He skillfully tackles every aspect of daily life: community, military and political.

On the community level, we are focused on the neighborhood of Rancho Valentino, close to the city of San Diego. As civilization breaks down in the weeks after the initial attacks, the reader is witness to neighbor turning against neighbor in the quest for survival. Gordon Van Zandt’s first priority is to ensure the survival of his family, no matter the cost.

On the military front, we witness General Barone as he and his Marines go rogue. Contradicting orders to help with clean up on the East coast, Barone heads his men and an amphibian ship to California so they might find their families. Going against orders pits Americans against one another and Gordon’s brother Sebastian Van Zandt gets caught in the middle.

In the political arena, with Washington, DC wiped out by an outright nuclear attack, Speaker of the House Brad Connor is now the new President. Connor isn’t accustomed to giving orders but he toughens up fairly quickly.

The government has its own hard-wired Internet system in an attempt to preserve a functioning government and to keep abreast of events. Of course, the government has hidden bunkers across the United States to also ensure a functioning government.

Mr. Hopf’s depiction is realistic: grim but realistic. In all fairness, the situation would be much more grim were attacks such as these actually perpetrated upon the United States. People killing each other over a scrap of food or a drink of water; vigilantes taking what they want; drug cartels and other enemies of the United States attacking and taking over: Losing our humanity in an effort to survive reduces people to hardly anything more than barbarians.

The illustration of the breakdown of society represented here should be a wake-up call for everyone in this country. Not only those in power, but for all citizens.

Which is why I recommend this series as a must-read for every citizen in this country. Preparation for events such as these should be mandatory for every citizen because when the poop hits the fan, it’s going to be every man, woman and child for him/herself.

Arm yourself with knowledge so you won’t be caught unaware. Invest in The New World series by G. Michael Hopf.

Find The End here: http://amzn.to/1wf4EKf

Pen has self-published 20 titles in print and e-book formats. Her latest endeavor, Nero’s Fiddle, is a fictitious account of an EMP attack on the United States with women heroes. Visit Nero’s Fiddle website at http://bit.ly/1yYsNH2 follow her on Twitter @penspen or visit her website at http://www.penspen.info Contact her at mytuppenceblog at yahoo.com to inquire about proofreading, editing and formatting services.

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