Characters in books want their voices heard! @JaimieHope

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Modern
Life

by
Sara Rhea 
lead protagonist from the book 
The Road that Leads to Home
Worldwind
Virtual Book Tours
Having been born
in the later 1970’s I consider myself a modern woman. However, just because I
wasn’t born in my grandparent’s era doesn’t mean I haven’t seen the world
change. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

The very first
historic event that comes to mind is when The Challenger exploded in 1986. For
those unfamiliar with the event, The Challenger was a space shuttle, the first
one to carry a teacher into outer space. The launch had been postponed several
times before, so I was excited when I found out it was actually going to lift
off on January 28th. I happened to be home that day and recall
rushing to the television set as I heard the final countdown begin. That
excitement faded quickly when I realized what had happened. Not only did that
day change the way future launches were handled, it changed my life path as
well. Up to that day I had dreams of being an astronaut. After that day, I
changed my mind. I still had an interest in outer space, but decided to look at
it from the safety of planet Earth.

There have also
been other events as well. I have seen positive changes like the fall of the
Berlin Wall and the end of communism. I have also seen the negative changes
that the modern times have brought upon us. By that I mean things like holes in
the ozone and increased terrorist activity. As I typed that last sentence I
wondered if any of you scoffed at it. It’s hard to argue about an increase in
terrorist activity, but it seems like everyone is ready to throw down when it
comes to issues of the environment. The issue of environmental preservation has
become political.

Some of the
biggest changes within my lifetime have been in politics. History was made
seven years ago when Barrack Obama was elected president. As historic as it was
for a black man to be elected to the highest office in the United States, the
2008 election was important for another reason as well. It showed a shift in
America’s thinking, How so you ask? The top two Democratic candidates battling
for nomination were far different than the usual Anglo-Saxon, older, male
candidate Americans were used to. Not only was there an African American
candidate, there was also a woman.

With the 2016
elections looming, candidates are beginning to throw their hats in the ring.
Among  the men stands one woman, Hilary
Clinton. She last ran against Barrack Obama in 2008. I fully backed her then
and I full back her now, much to the chagrin of many friends and family
members.

I respect their
opinions when they declare their desire to withhold judgement on any candidate
until each candidate’s platform is clearly defined. That makes a lot of sense
actually. What bothers me are the people who won’t vote for her just because of
her gender. Believe it or not, that attitude isn’t just voiced by men I know, I
have also heard it from some women. I have to tell you, this makes me shake my
head and wonder what kind of future this country has. When I look at it from
that perspective, thinking about your question of what modern life is like for
me, I feel like we’re now going backwards. It may as well be the 1800’s, back
when the inn opened. Luckily for me and Becca there’s at least electricity. 

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Sara Rhea

 

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The Road That Leads To Home:
The Sara Rhea Chronicles (Book 1)
 

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 Sara’s life was
going along peacefully until she got the early morning phone call that changed
everything. 
Now she finds herself heading back where she began: home. But not only
does she have to deal with a difficult older sister and help to keep the
family’s inn afloat, Sara has to work alongside her high school sweetheart who
still looks as gorgeous as ever.
And she saw all this coming. 
Her dreams and nightmares seem to come true right before her eyes.
It has to
all be a coincidence, doesn’t it?
Amazon Kindle
Paperback
Barnes n Noble
Audile

Jaimie Hope was born November 3, 1976, in New
York. It wasn’t until high school, where she joined the newspaper staff, that
she decided she wanted to be a writer. After graduation, the author went to
college and received an Associate’s degree in 1999. In 2002, she moved to
Florida where she was an active volunteer in the local historical society and
the Deltona Regional Library. In 2006, she moved back to New York where she
released her first Children’s book, The Adventures of Baby Jaimie. She followed
it with a Young Adult novel, Bless The Broken Road. She also published her
autobiography, Roll With It. She is planning to re-release book one of her New
Adult Romance/Paranormal trilogy, The Sara Rhea Chronicles: The Road That Leads
To Home and a new Children’s Book series, along with releasing all her other
self-published titles under her new publishing company, Back To Basics
Publishing and Author Services in the fall of 2014.
Author
Links:

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Goodreads Giveaway!



 

 
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Eli Edelmann never intended on making a living through mercy killing @greg_levin

continuing with July’s ’emotional scenes’ with
The Exit Man
by
Greg Levin
Sgt. Rush looked around the room,
then at the exit hood, then back at me.
“I’m ready,” he said.
“Yeah?”
“Yes.”
“Is there any music you want to
hear, or something you want me to read aloud while you are, you know, going
under?”
“No. Let’s just keep things
simple.”
“You’re the boss.”
“Thank you again, Eli. You have
no idea how much this means to me. You just have to promise me you won’t let
your conscience torture you on this. You are a good man, doing a noble thing.”
“I appreciate that, but don’t
worry about me. I’m honored to assist.”
I wanted to say more. I wanted to
tell Sgt. Rush how I admired him for having lived a purposeful and honest life.
For having raised a happy daughter. For having endured his wife’s illness and
death with courage and poise. And for having been such a good friend to my
father for so many years. I realized, however, that expressing such sentiments
would have been more for my benefit than for his. Sgt. Rush didn’t need me to
deliver a living tribute or eulogy. He didn’t need to be reassured that he had
been liked and loved and respected by the people he encountered on this planet.
He felt no existential despair. He needed no soft words to send him home. He
simply wanted to leave.
I checked to see that the long
plastic tubing was securely hooked up to the release valve of the tank, and
picked up the plastic bag.
“Remember, there won’t be any
helium in the bag when I first slip it over your head. You will be able to
breathe freely. Once I insert the tube into the hole and turn the valve, just
continue to breathe slowly and deeply. It will be just like you are breathing
oxygen, and you’ll drift off before you know it. Is that clear?”
“Perfectly.”
“Good. Are you ready to begin?”
“Yes.”
Sgt. Rush scooted back in his bed
and propped himself up on a couple of pillows. I carried the connected tank and
the bag to the side of the bed, close enough for the tubing to reach Sgt.
Rush’s soon-to-be hooded head.
Here’s where I had earlier
thought one of us might crumble. This is the point at which I had half-expected
to suddenly come to my senses, or for Sgt. Rush to suddenly come to his. But it
turned out to be the easiest part of the whole plan. A dream sequence. Distance
and detachment, yet each of us locked into our respective role – doubtless that
what we were doing was right. Beyond right. Bordering on obligatory.
Me: Focused and methodical as I
slipped the bag over his head and attached the straps, tube and tape.
Him: Unwavering in his response
to my final “Ready?”
No tension at the turning of the
valve. No coughing as oxygen was ousted. No struggle as helium stole the show.
No panic as the number of living
people in the room was cut in half.
Sgt. Rush, or, more precisely,
the body he had borrowed for 62 years, lay slumped awkwardly on the bed, his
head tilted to the left at a sharp angle, his torso leaning heavy in the same
direction yet still supported partially by the pillows. After I removed the
plastic bag and packed all the hood pieces into my duffel bag, I carefully
un-stacked the pillows and guided the body into a position more in line with
that of a man who had been napping rather than one who had been sitting up in
bed to watch a program on a non-existent TV set. 
On my way out of the room I snatched
the envelope Sgt. Rush had left on the dresser and slid it into my duffel bag.
Just like that, I had been transformed from a rank amateur to a highly paid
professional – nearly doubling what I had earned the entire year before in a
matter of minutes. 
I turned to look once more at the
body. I would miss the man who had exited it, yet I felt no remorse. On the
contrary – I was overwhelmed by a strong sense of achievement. An impenetrable
sense of… there was that simple word again…
Purpose.
Sgt. Rush had just been released.
He wasn’t the only one.
The EXIT MAN

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Suicide should come with a warning label: “Do not try this alone.”
If you truly need out and want the job done right, you should consider using an outside expert.
 Like
Eli.

Add The Exit Man to your Goodreads
Shelf


Eli
Edelmann never intended on making a living through mercy killing. After
reluctantly taking over his family’s party supply store following his father’s
death, he is approached by a terminally ill family friend who’s had enough. The
friend, a retired policeman, has an intricate plan involving something Eli has
ready access to – helium. Eli is initially shocked and repulsed by the
proposal, but soon begins to soften his stance and, after much deliberation,
eventually agrees to lend a hand. 

It was
supposed to be a one-time thing. How could Eli have known euthanasia was his
true calling? And how long can he keep his daring underground “exit”
operation going before the police or his volatile new girlfriend get wise?
About The Author
Having spent much of his life weaving intricate tales to
get out of things like gym class and jury duty, Greg Levin is no stranger to
fiction. Greg’s début novel, 
Notes on an Orange Burial was published in November 2011 by Elixirist (now 48fourteen) and
has sold over 11 copies to his immediate family. Greg’s second book, 
The
Exit Man
 (available Spring 2014), is already being
hailed as one of the top two novels he has ever written.
Greg has been getting paid to put words together since
1994, working as a professional business journalist, freelance writer and
ghostwriter. He has written hundreds of feature articles, case studies and
satire pieces, as well as a critically acclaimed business ebook.
When not busy writing, Greg enjoys thinking about writing,
and spending time with his wife and daughter. He also enjoys cooking, traveling
and exercising, as well as freestyle rapping for his friends even when they
don’t do anything to deserve such mistreatment.
Greg was born in Huntington, New York in 1969, and then
moved to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with his family when he was six. He attended
the University of New Hampshire and graduated summa cum laude in 1991 with a BA
in Communication and a special concentration in Creative Writing.
Greg currently resides in Austin, Texas, where he is one of
just 17 people who don’t play a musical instrument or write songs. He is
currently wanted by Austin authorities for refusing to eat pork ribs or dance
the two-step.
Follow the rest of The Exit Man
Tour 
HERE
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by Worldwind Virtual Book
Tours
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@entrope brings you a sad scene that will make you cry…

The Camellia Resistance

by
A. R. Williams

The entirety of India’s death came back to her in a memory so visceral
she heaved until she sat down on the cot in her cell and put her head
between her knees.

It had been July. They couldn’t afford the
environmental tax that went along with air conditioning. India had
gotten them into a basement apartment, so at least it wasn’t sweltering.
“Back when people used to smoke, they taxed cigarettes like this,”
India would say and Willow would think back to the illegal movies they
watched together, movies where it was socially acceptable—desirable
even—to smoke. The men with their rugged hands held up to their face to
light a cigarette, the women leaning back and looking indifferent. Not
many people knew those days even existed, but India knew, so Willow knew
too. 

“Now the government makes up for lost revenue by taxing
environmental impact. But we are smarter, Will. We live down here.”
India made it sound like they were playing at skipping school days. But
there was no “smarter” that explained going to bed hungry, or why Willow
wore her mother’s shoes, or why it was okay for Willow to crawl into
bed with her mom after a bad dream.

“We’re
different, pumpkin, that’s all,” India would say when Willow asked why
it was okay for them to touch skin to skin inside the apartment, but
they always had to wear gloves when they went outside. “Just about
everyone else is so afraid of dying they never get around to living. One
day, you and me, we decided not to be afraid anymore. Bring on the
germs. We aren’t running scared.”

But there is fear and then
there is watching your kid lose weight because there just isn’t enough
of anything to go around. India left Willow alone with the black and
white version of Count of Monte Cristo playing in the VCR and promised
to be back in an hour. It was an hour and a half, but she did come home.
She stumbled through the door like a drunk, but she hadn’t been
drinking. She was dying.

As an eight-year-old, Willow didn’t
know about social diseases and the lengths people will go to keep them
out of their beds. She didn’t know about state-sponsored prostitutes
that made good money and went through painful cell cleansing procedures
to ensure that they were clean enough for the high-powered politicians
and businessmen that purchased their time. She didn’t know about black
markets, that the Ministry controlled the cleaners and if you weren’t
already in the records, you couldn’t get one done. She’d never seen the
machines, the needles in each arm, pumping blood out, bathing it in a
series of chemical baths and light treatments before pouring it back
into the body. And that was from the state-run clinics. In the illegal
clinics, they used SaniCheck, diluted.

Amazon – Kindle
Amazon – Paperback
BandN- Paperback


After all, SaniCheck had proven safe in clinical trials, and it was readily available. For a little extra, they’d clean you twice as fast with twice as much SaniCheck, slip you back into the records and get you ready to work again if you made your money lying down.

So it didn’t make sense that India wouldn’t allow Willow to call the Health Ministry’s emergency line. Instead, India just coughed blood and cried blood and wiped it off of her skin when it broke through like beads of sweat. Willow held India’s hand. What else can you do when you’re eight? She died two days later. Willow pulled her from the bed into the bath, India’s limp feet dragging along the carpet leaving a faint trail of blood behind. Willow washed her mother with warm water, then dried her face and put makeup on her. There weren’t many ways India was conventional, but she never left the house without her mascara and Willow knew India wouldn’t have wanted anyone to see the softness around her eyes.

The men in hazmat suits burst through the door an hour later, their disembodied breathing filling the house with the whirring and clicking of automatic air purifiers. Willow was bare-armed, bare-handed, her pale skin exposed to the world and all the hazards therein. She was sitting on the edge of the toilet, studying the tub where her mother had been, when she overheard the two goons in their white blimp suits commenting. “Not a bottle of SaniCheck in the house. Not even the generic shit. No wonder the bitch died.”

Willow didn’t cry. She wasn’t even surprised. She knew what SaniCheck was. The teachers had it at school in dispensers at their hips. They took off their latex gloves, wiped their hands down with the stuff, then put on a new pair of gloves. They used designer gloves, with fingernails painted on them, and a slight tanned hue that almost passed for real skin.

But Willow saw the skin underneath: parched, flaking and old. Older than her teachers’ perfectly painted faces. Her mother’s hands were beautiful, even if Willow begged her mom to buy the latex gloves to be like other moms. India just laughed and kissed Willow on the forehead. Willow cringed. Other moms didn’t do that either.

Sitting in the Ministry’s jail, the memory was brand new, like it just happened yesterday, not almost twenty-five years ago. For the first time in her adult life, Willow understood what her mother had been trying to teach her about fear, about love, about accepting the good and the bad in the world and finding the beauty in both. Willow stayed bent over her knees and the motion sensors in the lab switched off the lights. The only sound left was the sound of Willow’s heart beating in time with the clock on the wall.


The Camellia Resistance

2044. Willow Carlyle is the youngest cultural epidemiology research director in the history of the Ministry of Health and is on the fast-track for further promotion until a night of passion shatters her carefully constructed life.

Marked and unemployed, Willow falls in with a band of dissidents. Everyone wants something. In the process of discerning friend from foe, Willow begins to unravel secrets that will shake the New Republic of America to its foundation.

About the Author

A.R. Williams is obsessed with language and myth, not just playing with words and making up stories, but with the real-world impact that our words have on the way we live. Words are the only puzzle that never gets boring, and writing is the only thing she has wanted to do consistently. Other interests, such as sewing and photography, become alternate means to feed the writing habit.

Ms. Williams feeds her obsession with curiosity: people, philosophy, technology, psychology, and culture. Living in Washington D.C. is a good source of inspiration. From the sublime heights of arts and achievement available for free at the Smithsonian to the bureaucratic banality of Beltway politics and scandals, it is a great city for fantasy, possibility, power, and consequence—ideal fodder for the fictional life. She lives between an ordinary external life filled with time cards, meetings, and deadlines; and an extraordinary imaginary world where anything is possible and everything is fueled by music.

Follow the entire Camellia Resistance tour HERE

* This tour is brought to you by Worldwind Virtual Book Tours*