Broken Pieces

Saga of the Nine : #Area38 by Mikey D. B. @mikeydbii #Excerpt #Dystopian

Standing up from the cover of the shadows, Mica heads forward calculating and planning each step and breath he takes.  He slows the surroundings down and takes in every sight, every sound, and every smell he can.  As he feels the leather armor on his body and the weight of his weapons in his hands, he knows he’s got this.  He can do this.  He must.

“Hey!  Whatcha doin’?!”  A thug notices Mica’s advancement but is unintimidated by the approaching tweeker.  “Yo!  I axed you a question.”  He pulls out a Glock 21 from his pants and flips off the safety.

Forty-five caliber, Mica is very familiar with it.  Mica stops and so does every gang member present, watching for what happens to this old vagrant.  Mica’s right hand slides on top of the whip and unclips it.  “What are you doing here?” he demands.  He knows how stupid it sounds, but he has to stall and distract them while he finalizes things.

“Doin’ business.  Now git!”

Mica doesn’t move.  The thug takes three steps forward, chambering a round in his gun.

“Did you hear me?  I said--”

Three steps was all Mica needed.  In a flash the whip is out and slicing the back of the thug’s hand open.  He yelps and drops the firearm immediately.  Gun shots rain in from the twenty-seven others, but Mica is behind an SUV before a single trigger is pulled.

“Who is that?!  He with you fools?” one gang banger shouts.

“Ain’t no way!  He’s with you!”

This is exactly what Mica was aiming for: confusion.  The prime situation would be if they started fighting amongst each other, but that’s doubtful.  They might damage their merchandise if they do that.

“Protect the product!”  Seven gang bangers huddle around the five hostages as one of the kids begins to cry.

“Shut up!”  And without warning he kicks the kid.

“Hey!!”  Mica stands up from his hiding spot, throws a knife with all his might at the terrorist.  With a thud, the blade finds its mark in the meat of the thigh.  A retaliating barrage is shot in Mica’s direction, but again he’s long gone from that spot.

“Let’s get outta here!”  A gang member cowers at the thought that he could be next.

“It’s one douche--” but before he can finish his petty logic, he’s clocked in the back of the head by a cane and Mica is able to easily take out two others with the same weapon before he is gone and they are shooting at his shadow.

An eerie silence falls, over the moans and groans from the injured.  The wind blows leaves across the asphalt and nobody moves for seconds at a time.  A startling hiss cracks the silence as one of the SUV’s groans under the lack of support from its flat tire.  Investigating, the gang finds no one.

“What the hell man?”

“Shut up.”  The leader whispers and listens but hears nothing but whimpers and scattering leaves.

Without warning a News Van’s alarm goes off.  First one, then two, until all of them blare in the early morning hours and every gang member is disoriented by the obvious diversion.  Out of nowhere, the middle gang banger is whipped in the throat and drops to his knees.  Not a single shot is fired as Mica breaks the various limbs of the thugs trying to stop him from running off again until only a select few stand in between him and the kids.  They cautiously approach Mica with the realization that this is no old bum.

Mica unexpectedly throws his cane, cracking a gang banger’s skull on the far left, as the remaining thugs advance without caution but full of fear.  Mica pulls out two mini-clubs from off of his back and goes to town on their hands, knees, jaws and any part of their body that gets in the way or tries to cause harm.  Mica is only hit once, and that comes from a wild swing with a bat to his ribs.  He slams the mini-club into the thug’s collar bone and easily knocks him out.

With the car alarms still blazing in the background, Mica knows he has to hurry.  He hears the sirens from the police and Mica scrounges for his weapons and quickly approaches the kids.  They cower at the sound of the unknown man approaching.

“Hey, it’s okay.”  Slowly Mica lifts the canvas bags off of each of their heads.  “Are any of you hurt?
All timidly shake their heads.

“You’ll be fine.”  He kneels down, looking into the eyes of a little girl.  Her eyes red and cheeks flushed, Mica wipes away one of her tears.  “The good guys are on their way.”  He would say more, but there is a flash of white light from behind him.

Saga of the Nine

Change affects everyone and it is no different for Jackson. Living in Area 38 for as long as he can remember, he knows of no better way to exist than under the tyrannical rule of Christopher Stone, son of Stewart Stone from The Nine of The United Governmental Areas, aka The UGA. This all takes a dramatic turn when Jackson finds a red, metal box buried in his yard, filled with illegal artifacts—journals, a Bible, CDs, etc.—that are from a man of whom he has no recollection of: Mica Rouge.

 The year is 2036 and Mica, unlike Jackson, does know of a better way of life but is torn apart as he sees his country, The United States of America, crumbling from within by group known as The Political Mafia. The Mafia has infiltrated levels upon levels of governmental resources and it is up to Mica and a vigilante group known as The USA Division to stop them and their dark Utopian vision. To their demise, and at the country's expense, The Division fails and has no choice but to watch The Constitution dissolve and transform into The UGA.

In a final stand, having not given up hope, Mica and what is left of The Division, give one final fight in Colorado, or better known as Area 38. However, all is lost as The Division is betrayed by one of their own, Stewart Stone. Mica is left with no choice but to hide in exile, leaving what little history he can of himself and the great United States of America, with his wife, long time friends, and newly born son in hopes that they will one day finish what he could not.

Jackson, having found this legacy twenty-seven years later, decides to start the war that will end The Nine, and he with an outcast group known as The Raiders, begins his fight with Christopher Stone in Area 38. Filled with betrayal, unity, despair, hope, hate and love Area 38 follows both Mica and Jackson in their attempts to restore what they believe to be true freedom, and where one fails, the other rises to the seemingly impossible challenge.

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Genre – Dystopian Thriller
Rating – PG13
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Sarah Nicholson on the #Books that Have Influenced Her Life @EvolutionWoman #NonFiction

Did you learn anything from writing this book?
I learnt that women's history has been compromised for two reasons. On one hand women have been creating, teaching, producing and innovating forever,  but their achievements have been under recognized. They been ignored, or lost, or hidden or repressed; on the other hand, women have been marginalized and prevented from these same opportunities to achieve. These two realities exist side by side.

What books have most influenced your life?
I count Clarissa Pinkola Estesphemonenal women's soul classic Women Who Run With the Wolves as a book of great value and influence. In this book Pinkola Estes has drawn on her  twenty years of practice as a  Jungian psychoanalyst, as well as her history as a cantadora (keeper of the old stories), and you can tell. She beautifully weaves together, retells and explores the deep symbols of folklore and fairy tales with the desire of reigniting the lost sparks of women's intuitive and instinctive life.
Who is your favorite author and why?
Joseph Campbell. He was a remarkable scholar who examined mythology, religion and literature from around the world and saw in them a single unify story about the human journey. His writing is genuinely accessible and you can feel his love of teaching and great soulfulness.  His writing has been a key source of inspiration, illumination and joy for me and I count him as a soul grandfather.

Can we expect any more books from you in the future?
You definitely can!

What are your current writing projects now?
I am in the process of writing a novel. Currently called Terma and is the story of Nin, a young Sumerian girl who, after being recognized for her special powers of divination, is sent to the newly emerging city of Ur to train as a priestess at the temple of Inanna. Terma is also the story of Liz  who, in 2020 London,  is bequeathed with an archaeological mystery. Terma is one part historical fiction, one part fantasy, one part sci-fi mystery and a whole heartedly, woman focused, page turner.

Are you reading any interesting books at the moment?
I am reading Sera Beak's Red, Hot and Holy. It is a wonderfully outrageous, playful, and soulful, spiritual memoir and I'm finding it is quite a journey to take with her!

Are there any new authors that have sparked your interest and why?
I recently read The Burial by new Australian author Courtney Collins. Her book is an exploration via historical fiction of a female bushranger (a type of outlaw or runaway convict in the Australian bush in early colonial times). It’s a wonderful read; combining an amazing true story with a strong heroine and told through rich, spell binding language.

Do you have any advice for writers?
Get set up :if you have a big writing project, such as a novel, software specifically developed for writers such as Scrivener can be very helpful.

If you could leave your readers with one bit of wisdom, what would you want it to be?
I'd like readers to come away from The Evolutionary Journey of Woman: From the Goddess to Integral Feminism feeling the importance of the lost, hidden and repressed lineage of female spirituality and  wisdom, both to women and to human culture.  And I'd hope that women particularly will reawaken to this wisdom tradition in their own lives, and will look to find,  connect with and hear the wisdom from their own spiritual grandmothers.

The story of human evolution that we've been commonly told is one built on the shoulders of male heroism, competition and dominance; but, what if it isn't the whole story? This book tells the lost story of women in evolution.

The Evolutionary Journey of Woman: From the Goddess to Integral Feminism looks towards a future that brings together and reintegrates women's wisdom traditions through establishing a spiritual lineage for women that is traced all the way back to ancient Sumer with the goddess Inanna. Marrying the ancient wisdom traditions with adult developmental theory, this book charts a pathway towards the full spectrum of possibilities for women's self-actualisation in the coming Integral age. The Evolutionary Journey of Woman is academically rigorous, historical, philosophical and spiritual, but, most fundamentally, it is a narrative that will change the way you think about woman as a heroine of history.

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Genre - Non fiction, Women's Spirituality
Rating – PG
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Across Worlds: Collision by S. A. Snow @BooksBySnow #AmReading #Erotica #SciFi

She reached behind her and made sure he door was securely locked. The benefit of the unisex bathroom was that there was almost always a chair or something for parents to sit on as they waited for children. This particular bathroom had a long, low wooden bench against one wall. Perfect.

Her mind made up, Jane unbuttoned three buttons on her shirt and took her pants off, draping them neatly over the paper towel dispenser so that they were easily accessible. She sat down on the bench, jumping when the cold wood hit her bare ass. She giggled at her nerves and eased back onto her elbows. There was nothing comfortable about a wooden slab, but it was long enough to kind of lay down on—if she let her legs hang off the sides, and it was sturdy enough to hold her, which made it good enough for her needs.

She tugged the lace cup of her bra down so that she could rub her fingers over her nipple. It stiffened and pressed into her palm, aching to be touched. She pulled on it gently, moaning softly at the burst of desire that erupted deep within her. She spread her legs farther and let one hand drift between them, finding wetness there. Stroking herself gently, her hips rocking against her hand, she found her clit with her middle finger and pressed against it firmly while rubbing. She tugged her nipple harder, rubbing it with her fingertips at the same time.

Pleasure speared through her body, and she sighed contentedly. She would feel better in just a few minutes. Already she could feel tension seeping from her body as she got closer to orgasm. Anxious to get there, she slid one finger inside herself, moving it back and forth quickly as she pressed her palm against her own flesh.

Almost there. The orgasm built up quickly, and Jane moved her hands harder and faster. She was almost there. Release was within her grasp.

The knocking on the door was sudden and violent.

“Hey! Whoever’s in there, you’ve been in there fifteen minutes!”

Frustrated, Jane moved her fingers faster, trying to finish while she shouted back. “I’ll be out in a minute!”

“I’ve got three kids that need to pee and a diaper explosion. I don’t got a minute, lady!”

“There are other bathrooms!” She pinched her nipple, desperately trying to keep going.

“Finish the hell up and come out! This is the family bathroom! You got kids in there?”

“No, but—”

“No buts about it. Get your ass out!”

Family friendly my ass, Jane thought as the moment was gone. Her orgasm slipped out of reach yet again, and she threw her head back against the bench in irritation.

She sat up slowly and reached for her pants, growling, “I’m comin’.”


Jane expected six months undercover to be hard; she expected it to be lonely and bleak. She didn’t expect to find love. 

Jane Butler, a CIA operative, is assigned the task of infiltrating the Xanthians and determining if they’re a threat to humanity. Going undercover as a Xanthian mate, she boards the transport ship and meets Usnavi—her new mate. After spending six days traveling through space, Jane is ecstatic to explore the Xanthian station and soon sets out to complete her mission. The only problem? Usnavi—and the feelings she is quickly developing. 

Fumbling their way through varying sexual expectations, cooking catastrophes, and cultural differences, they soon discover life together is never boring. As Jane and Usnavi careen into a relationship neither of them expected, Jane uncovers dark secrets about the Xanthians and realizes she may no longer be safe. When it becomes clear she’s on her own, Jane is forced to trust and rely on Usnavi. Simultaneously struggling with her mission, her feelings for Usnavi, and homesickness, Jane faces questions she never imagined she would have to answer.

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Genre – Blended Science Fiction, Erotica
Rating – NC17
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Pendelton Wallace on the Importance of Blogging for Authors #AmWriting #IndieAuthors #Blogger

Why Blogging is Important

I don’t know if blogging works or not. I have been told it takes five years to build a viable book selling business. I’m in year one. I’m taking on faith that some of these things are going to pay off someday.

For me, blogging is important because it builds your reader base. I started out with blogs about my adventures sailing down the coast to Mexico. I got about two hundred hits per post and was pretty happy. Then I hit the jack pot.

I live with my girlfriend and her Great Dane on my 56-foot sailboat. People always ask “How do you live on a boat with such a big dog?” I decided to write a blog post about living with a Great Dane.

One post became three. Then Odin, the Great Dane in question, took exception to what I was writing about him and wanted to set the record straight. He wrote about three blogs, to which I had to respond.

During this blog debate, readers started flocking to my blog. Dawn, my significant other, posted the blogs to her Great Dane Facebook groups, I posted to my sailing/cruising groups and people just appeared from nowhere. Suddenly, thousands of people were reading my blogs.

Has it done any good? Not a lot. My book sales are still pretty low, but I get email from readers saying things like “I really liked your blog, so I decided to buy your book.” Now I just need to get more people to follow suit.

If Clive Cussler had written Ugly Betty, it would be Hacker for Hire. 

Hacker for Hire, a suspense novel about corporate greed and industrial espionage, is the second book in a series about Latino computer security analyst Ted Higuera and his best friend, para-legal Chris Hardwick. 

The goofy, off-beat Ted Higuera, son of Mexican immigrants, grew up in East LA. An unlikely football scholarship brought him to Seattle. 

Chris, Ted’s college roommate, grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth. His father is the head of one of Seattle’s most prestigious law firms. 

Ted’s first job out of college leads him into the world of organized crime where he faces a brutal beating. After being rescued by beautiful private investigator Catrina Flaherty, Ted decides to go to work for her. 

Catrina is hired by a large computer corporation to find a leak in their corporate boardroom when the previous consultant is found floating in Elliot Bay. 

Ted discovers that Chris’s firm has been retained by their prime suspect. Now he and Chris are working opposite sides of the same case. 

Ted and Catrina are led deep into Seattle’s Hi-Tech world as they stalk the killer. But the killer is also hunting them. Can Ted find the killer before the killer finds him? 
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Genre – Mystery, Thriller
Rating – R
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Erin Sands on #Life Lessons from the Seventies Kid @TheDunesBook #AmReading #NonFiction

The 3 things kids from the 70s can teach today’s kids

As a kid growing up in the 1970s summer held a magical allure for me. It meant playing outside from sun-up to sundown, endless games of hide and seek, double-dutch and jacks. I loved the muggy summer walks to the corner store with my friends, to purchase Grippo’s Chips and hot pickles. It was the best of times. The laughter of children filled the air and freedom was sweet and sticky, dripping down our arms like an ice cream cone in overflow. Unlike today, darkness carried no fear. Jars in hand, we engaged the night in boldness, warning all lightning bugs to beware. There is something to be gleaned from those kids, from that time, something that they could teach the youth of today.

The Outdoors are a Good Thing
The virtual world is fun and it can get you moving, but there is nothing like the real thing. Running, jumping, learning about nature and our place in it, help to define our appreciation for the earth as well as engender a sense of boldness and exploration. Nothing against the Wii, but there is something that happens when you actually kick a ball, hold a tennis racquet and grab the metal handle bars of a bike and engage.

It’s Okay to Lose
Now a days kids get a participation trophy just for showing up. As a kid growing up in the 70s, you only got a trophy if your team won. We kept score and it taught us how to enjoy victory as well as to accept defeat. I can honestly say that I learned more about competing when I lost. I learned that I had the ability to become better and to stretch myself in ways that I hadn’t before. Character isn’t born when everything goes your way. Character is cultivated in the losses and in the trenches when you learn to work as a team and overcome.

Be Fully Present in the Moment
Modern technology is great. It gives us the ability to connect with people anywhere, 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. It can also, unfortunately, be a distraction when we are more focused on it than the life that is happening around us. In the 70s if you were at an event you didn’t stop the fun to inform the world “Hey I’m enjoying myself!” You were too busy actually enjoying yourself to advertise it. Don’t get me wrong; sharing is good, but fully experiencing all of life’s great moments is even better. Telling the world electronically that you are having a great time with a friend should not be more important than savoring the moment and actually having a great time with a friend. Share, but be there, in that moment, one hundred percent.

May the memory of those 1970s kids remind us all to experience life beyond our technology.


Born in Cincinnati, Ohio and raised in the Bay Area of Northern California, Erin grew up with an innate love for dance, theatre and the written word. A graduate of Loyola Marymount University, Erin began her career in the arts as an actress and choreographer. After booking several notable roles in television and film, Erin began to use her gift of writing in blogs featuring political and social commentary, as well as developing content for theatrical use.

Although The Dunes, is a divine departure from Erin’s previous writings it is by far her most cherished work to date. “I wrote The Dunes initially as self therapy because I needed to release some painful experiences and disappointments from my past. I had this thirst to walk in the complete fullness of life with joy as my constant companion. I had no idea what effect it would have on other people. But when I saw people read it and be released from fears that had held them back for years…when I saw people forgive and be able to walk in the freedom forgiveness brings…when I saw people commit and serve and how those things opened up new opportunities in their life, I was just humbled. Humbled by the awesome power of God and humbled that I had been allowed to go along for the ride”.

When asked why she writes, Erin pauses and reflects on the truth of her heart. “I write because although I am only now beginning to truly love the process, I have always loved the outcome. Like a composer, words become my notes. I string them together in song eliciting the response of my reader, grafting a picture of my soul. Where besides the written word can you effect change so utterly and so succinctly? What besides the written word can pierce the universal collective mind? Everything begins with a thought, but it isn’t until that thought is articulated in written word and those words passed down can life changing movement happen. It must be written, it must be expressed on tablet, and when it is, we all become greater, whether the writing be genius or fatuity, it has evoked thought and debate. Why wouldn’t I want to be apart of that phenomenon? Why wouldn’t I want to share my story, give my testimony…add my paradigm to the mix? Whether it is a novel, a poem, an essay or an article, it is humanity visited. An insight into a new or sometimes shared truth. In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God. And with that I live my life”.


If there was a journey that could masterfully change your life in seven revelations...would you take it? 

In life, sometimes the kernels of wisdom and the richness of revelation can be found in the most innocent of stories; and so it is with The Dunes. Join one man and one woman in an exquisitely simple yet remarkably profound journey as you discover with them that the mountain you must climb in order to live the abundant life of your dreams is located squarely within your heart. 

Illuminated in seven revelations; The Dunes carries the reader on a journey to not only examine the obstacles that are holding them back in life but to conquer and over come them as well. With each revelation The Dunes intimately calls on the reader as the journey companion to face a challenge…a dare if you will that requires an uncompromising commitment to change. In the family of faith-based self help books, The Dunes stands alone, simultaneously taking the reader from fiction to life and back again, equipped with a tailor made journal for the readers inner most secrets and reflections. The Dunes is part allegory, part testimony and part journal, but the best part is the healing it offers your heart. When you’re ready to step out of your comfort zone and step into the miracle of your life…The Dunes awaits. 

CAUTION: Readers of this book are subject to significant changes for the better. Side effects may include frequent smiling and enjoying life in every season.

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Genre – Non-fiction
Rating – G
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#Excerpt from "In A Small Town" by @MarcADiGiacomo #AmReading #Thriller

Chapter One  Not in our town

August 3, 2007
I can’t get this out of my mind. My dreams won’t let me forget the lightning that exploded from the end of the barrel, the ripping orange flash off the black steel, and the burning scent of gunpowder. The sound, like an M-80, and the pain—the fucking searing pain. It is permanently scorched into my memory. Everything except for his covered face. The face I didn’t see haunts me every second. All I remember are those ultra-white Reebok sneakers as he ran away. The fucking coward would have shot me in the back, but I turned around and caught the blast in the chest. I didn’t have time to pull my Glock.
The blast knocked me off my feet. I thought I was having a heart attack—I couldn’t catch my breath. Then I understood what happened, and reality hit: I was going to die.
It seemed to take minutes rather than seconds, but I managed to radio my location into headquarters. The response from the good guys was impressive, to say the least. They saved my life. Cops from my own town and others surrounded the scene. I knew they would come. When a cop gets shot, they all come, and with one thing in mind—to find the bastard who pulled the trigger.
Things grew foggy. My thoughts became hazy. I saw blue uniforms scurrying around the scene while white-clad EMTs lifted me onto the gurney and loaded me into the ambulance. I could hear people talking about me—reporters, other cops, curious residents. “Detective Matthew Longo… Only twenty-nine years old, been on the force nearly ten years… Shot in the fucking chest and shoulder. No wife or children. Parents live in town; Hutchville lifers. Oh yeah, the town is going to go batshit over this.”
Blood oozed from my left shoulder. My friend and paramedic Scotty Franks hovered over me and placed direct pressure on my wound. Even through my fog I could tell he was holding back tears. My shoulder was on fire. I never wore my bulletproof vest unless making entry on a search warrant, or if a hot pursuit was coming my way; then I quickly threw it over my shirt. I was lucky I had it on that night. Maybe someone on the other side was looking out for me.
I fell unconscious even with all the shouting around me. I dreamed of my funeral and who would be there. I saw myself in the blue box surrounded by a sobbing crowd of familiar faces. My parents looked horrible. My poor mother clutched her bible and rosary beads. My dad kept his eyes fixed to the floor, angry and broken. My little brother Franny, in full dress uniform, stood near my casket at full attention, his white gloves damp from tears. Donny was there too, trying to keep it together.
I heard Scotty screaming for me in the distance. The poor guy loved me, but why was he screaming my name, spitting all over my face, at my wake? Maybe I should have had a closed casket.
Suddenly I felt him slapping me. I awoke and found myself back inside the ambulance. Scotty took a deep breath, in and out, and said, “Okay Matt, okay. Don’t do that again.”
The pain was relentless, and I couldn’t help but cry. Scotty inserted a syringe into an IV line that was attached to my arm. My pain vanished almost immediately. “Don’t give me morphine Scotty,” I managed to whisper. “It killed my grandparents.” Then, I lost consciousness again, falling into a world between life and death.
I heard someone screaming in the night. Was it me? It was too dark to see. Where’s Donny? I really needed him now. Was I dreaming again or was this some delusion of reality? I slapped myself and felt a sharp sting, jolting me awake.
It has been three weeks of hell living inside this apartment. My social life has been placed on indefinite hold. The phone rings constantly but who cares? I don’t answer. The window shades are drawn. I don’t know if it’s day or night, and I don’t give a shit.
Thankfully, the wound has been healing well. But I look at my shoulder and am repulsed by the scar and missing flesh. People say scars are sexy but this one may be the exception. My left arm is still in a sling. At times, the pain is still unbearable. The Percocet I’m still taking makes me pass out.
The sink is loaded with paper dishes and plastic cups. Last week’s dinner from my mother sits on the kitchen table still wrapped in tin foil, and the smell is starting to ferment in my kitchen. I can hear my dad’s deep voice in my head: “Why don’t you pull it together and clean up around here? You’re making your mother nervous.” She’s nervous? I can’t help laughing.
Hey Dad, your oldest son was almost shot dead in the same small, safe community where we played Little League baseball. Mind if I take a week or two to let that one sink in?
Only cops—and maybe some of their wives—realize how dangerous police work can become in a millisecond. Parents of cops usually choose to ignore this reality—it’s too difficult to accept that a life-or-death choice awaits their son or daughter at any moment. A bank robbery turns into a shootout; a wanted felon gets pulled over for a broken tail-light and decides suicide by cop is his only way to avoid a lengthy jail sentence. As a detective, this is my everyday reality.
This wasn’t supposed to happen in a small town. We’ve never had a police shooting—never. In fact, the last time we had any kind of criminal shooting was ten years ago, and it was a domestic dispute between a father and his cheating son-in-law. These old-school Italians are no joke. The father said his son-in-law disrespected him, so he “took care of it” like they do in the old country.
It didn’t make any sense. It would have been one thing if I had been shot on a traffic stop. But I was just picking up a fucking pizza. Half pepperoni, half sausage. I was just walking down the street. It wasn’t even dark out as the sun was just setting in the western sky.
My mentor and partner Detective Domenico “Donny” Mello always told me never to “go anywhere alone.” He said, “Don’t even pick up lunch alone. A cop is always a target for someone looking to become infamous. The public hates us most of the time because our interactions are rarely positive. Nobody calls us when they have a new baby but if that baby isn’t breathing, there is no one else to call. Always the bad,” he would say. “Always the bad.” I miss Donny. He’s been away for three weeks at his family’s villa in Italy, on the Amalfi coast. Did he even know I had been shot?
The press remains close by outside my apartment, salivating for an interview, the fucking cretins. I’m the talk of the town—everyone wants to know about the cop shooting. Fuck them. Twice. Even if I wanted to relive the horrifying experience for them, it goes against department protocol.
I swallow down two Percocets, lie down on the couch and let the painkillers do their magic. In my head the image haunts me—a dark shadow with the whitest fucking sneakers you ever saw.

Marc A DiGiacomo
Amazon Best Selling Author

The shotgun blast catches Detective Matthew Longo by surprise. His world unravels into a nightmare that seemingly won’t end. Murder, rapes, pedophiles, the small town of Hutchville, N.Y. is changing. It is up to him to make a difference.
While partner Donny Mello is in Italy attending a funeral for a family member who is connected, to say the least, a beautiful F.B.I. agent waits to question him about his family business. Can Matt keep from answering the Agent’s questions? More importantly, can he hide a potentially career-ending secret from his community, his brother, and most especially Agent Cynthia Shyler?
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Genre – Thriller
Rating – R
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Victoria Bernadine on Her Favourite #Authors & Writing @VicBernadine #Contemporary #Fiction

What writing are you most proud of?
I’m proud of everything I’ve finished and sent out for public consumption (whether an original novel into the marketplace, or a fanfic set loose in the wilds of fandom). A Life Less Ordinary, of course, because it’s the first one I’ve officially published. For fanfic, I’m extremely proud of my one and only (so far) Star Trek fic called Clementine (, because I thought it was a unique idea, it’s incredibly experimental for me, and I still tear up over it (and I wrote the thing). I have absolutely no idea where it came from, but I’m really glad it did.
What are you most proud of in your personal life?
That I’m good at what I do.
What books did you love growing up?
The Black Stallion novels were my first loves, I adored them when I discovered them in Grade Two, I think it was. Mainly, though, science fiction and fantasy were (and usually are) my go-to reads. Isaac Asimov, Lloyd Alexander, Robert A. Heinlein (before I started reading his adult stuff and went ‘WTF?!’), and others. Of course, I also adored Stephen King, Agatha Christie, Louis L’Amour, and I’m sure there are more because I read a LOT as a kid.
Who is your favorite author?
I have many, because I read all different genres. Terry Pratchett is currently riding in first place; his Discworld novels are a never-ending joy, and I read Good Omens (his novel with Neil Gaiman) at least once a year.
What genre of books do you adore?
All of them – well, except erotica but that’s mainly because I’ve yet to read one that’s actually my idea of erotic.
What book should everybody read at least once?
Mine? Ha! Seriously, though, I guess I would say…Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. It’s a take on the Apocalypse that’s just hysterically funny, bizarre, scary and touching. I read it at least once a year.
Are there any books you really don’t enjoy?
I’m not a big fan of erotica, but that’s mainly because I’ve never found one that I actually found erotic. I can enjoy those old-fashioned, gritty action-adventure-thriller books that are aimed at a male audience, but usually only once in a while, because sometimes the misogyny is just too much. Any book where the main character/point of view character is completely despicable and I feel slimy for spending any time at all with him/her (Lolita, I’m looking at you).
What do you hope your obituary will say about you?
“She’ll be missed.”

Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
I grew up on a farm in southern Saskatchewan, Canada, where trees are few and far between and there’s an endless expanse of horizon and sky. I currently live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where we now have a million people and I seldom see the horizon (although there’s still lots of sky). :)
How did you develop your writing?
Practice. And lots and lots and lots of reading.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Anything and everything. A Life Less Ordinary was inspired by how I was feeling at the time. The book I’m working on right now, Along Came Jones, was inspired by Nathan Fillion (probably to his chagrin, if he ever knew about it – LOL).

For the last fifteen years, Rose “Manny” Mankowski has been a very good girl. She turned her back on her youthful fancies and focused on her career. But now, at the age of 45, she’s questioning her choices and feeling more and more disconnected from her own life. When she’s passed over for promotion and her much younger new boss implies Manny’s life will never change, something snaps. In the blink of an eye, she’s quit her job, sold her house and cashed in her pension, and she’s leaving town on a six month road trip.
After placing a personal ad for a travelling companion, she’s joined in her mid-life crisis by Zeke Powell, the cynical, satirical, most-read – and most controversial – blogger for the e-magazine, What Women Want. Zeke’s true goal is to expose Manny’s journey as a pitiful and desperate attempt to reclaim her lost youth – and increase his readership at the same time. Leaving it all behind for six months is just an added bonus.
Now, armed with a bagful of destinations, a fistful of maps, and an out-spoken imaginary friend named Harvey, Manny’s on a quest to rediscover herself – and taking Zeke along for the ride.
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Genre – ChickLit, Contemporary Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
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