Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Book Blast! It's About Time by Alex Duthie, PEng - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!


ABOUT IT'S ABOUT TIME

Title: It's About Time
Genre: Science
Author: Alex Duthie, PEng
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 156
Language: English
ISBN - 978-1-46975-824-4

It’s About Time presents an introduction to theoretical physics as well as challenges to some of the concepts put forward by theoretical physicists of our time. These scientists have presented such concepts in countless public lectures, highlights of which are compiled here along with a variety of historical data, such as the history of earth time. Also included are short biographies of physicists who have contributed significantly to our knowledge base.

 To help foster understanding of the related astronomical matters, It’s About Time includes technical information relating to Newton and Kepler’s laws. Technical discussions are appended to the end of each relevant chapter. Furthermore, it offers a credible and significant challenge to Einstein’s theories and to the current thinking on time dilation.

 Finally, the study outlines some procedural guidelines for young physicists and suggests how academic institutions can become custodians of a central depository of reference data, facilitating future physicists into more efficient and fruitful endeavors.

This study offers no challenge to mathematics, which is a pure and exact science. When a physicist is able to have the mathematics represent natural phenomena, then mathematics becomes a necessary tool for our simplified understanding of nature. Eventually all of nature will be reduced to mathematical terms. The challenge presented here is to theoretical mathematics with no proven relationship to natural phenomena.

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ABOUT ALEX DUTHIE, PEng

Alex Duthie, PEng, has worked for fifty years as a mechanical engineer in the automotive, aircraft, nuclear, and entertainment industries; his passion has consistently been the examination of how things work. He and his first wife of fifty-four years had four children. He has re-married and now lives in Kincardine, Ontario, Canada.

Pump Up Your Book and Alex are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins January 7 and ends on January 21.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on January 22, 2014.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Book Blast! The Balkan Photo by Kenny Ferguson - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

ABOUT THE BALKAN PHOTO

9781475994964_COVER_V2.inddTitle: The Balkan Photo Genre: General Fiction Author: Kenny Ferguson Publisher: iUniverse Pages: 184 Language: English ISBN - 978-1-47599-495-7 In the summer of 1987 in Romania, Coronel Nicolae Mollica has just murdered the communist party treasurer. He has no fear of being caught—until he notices tourist Maria O’Sullivan taking pictures that may include him. Photographs are retrieved … but not all of them. The vacationing O’Sullivan family has now become embroiled in a matter of national security. Now, the O’Sullivans and twenty-four other Americans on a tour bus are in great danger. They find themselves accused of murder and trapped behind the Iron Curtain. Tour guide Peter Korzo has run up against Mollica before; he knows what the man is capable of, but he is willing to risk his life to escape with his new American friends. Mollica will stop at nothing, however, in order to remain in power. His indiscretion cannot be revealed, so with the help of the Romanian Secret Police and a nation of informants, he hunts the O’Sullivan family. He must have the photo but now he also wants Maria. He lies when he offers her safety and freedom for her family in exchange for a night of sex, Will she accept his offer?

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ABOUT KENNY FERGUSON

Kenny Ferguson grew up in the Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea areas of New York City, where he served as a sergeant in the NYPD. He is an air force veteran who now works as a director of security. He and his wife, Marie, live in Metuchen, New Jersey.

Pump Up Your Book and Kenny are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins January 7 and ends on January 21.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on January 22, 2014.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

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Book Blast! To Kill for His Queen by Carolina West - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!



ABOUT TO KILL FOR HIS QUEEN

   
Title: To Kill For His Queen
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Author: Carolina West
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 216
Language: English
ISBN - 978-1-47590-345-4

Living in the world of werewolves, vampires, and dark magic can have a certain effect on a child, especially when that child is Hassen Mason, who seems destined to bring ruin to those he loves. Hassen was abandoned as a child and was immersed in the world of magic by the strange creatures that raised him. His lineage was a mystery, but no mystery buried in the past can stay buried for long—especially when that mystery is strong enough to span centuries. An accident leaves Hassen without memories, and he must find a way to remember who he was and what his life meant to him before his past creeps up and kills him. He encounters evils worse than abandonment—vengeful demons and walking dead. Somehow, Hassen’s family was involved in this dark underworld. Now he has to fight his own internal battle: Is he a good guy or one of the villains? Then he meets Carissa—a woman he suspects he knew before he lost his memory. She has had a similarly troubled past, and although the two of them are from different worlds, they find a common bond that even dark spirits cannot break. Will Hassen’s good side be strong enough to battle the side that longs to be bad? Will Carissa’s love keep him sane, or will the truth about his family finally cast him into the endless abyss of insanity?

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ABOUT CAROLINA WEST

Carolina West is a high school student living with her mother and younger sister in Arizona. She has been writing since she was fourteen years old. This is her first book.

Pump Up Your Book and Carolina are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins January 7 and ends on January 21.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on January 22, 2014.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Book Feature - My Whispers of Horror by Brine Books


My Whisper of Horror Revised

ABOUT MY WHISPERS OF HORROR

Women search for happiness no matter where they live. They want to build a life, family, career in order to insure a wholesome future. But in much of the world the patriarchal cultures women are born into simply nip at a woman's potential and brutally guards the slave-like position that women occupy. Women struggle as they are bought and sold as property. Their inheritance of an unequal and corrupt system that works against them. All while being enforced by domestic violence which women must deal with alone. These issues, and so much more, are addressed by the voices of real women in ex-USSR nations. We included anonymous letters that will touch and terrify you on a personal level, while learning what women still have to deal with today.

Foreword

The screams of many women around the world are often forced into nearly silent whispers. But if one listens closely enough, one can hear the horrors these whispers behold. Many women are screaming through these hushed voices every single day, often due to the bloodied hands of their own husband, or even father.

This is an extremely significant issue that continuously pervades all around us today. It is within our neighbor’s home, potentially a family member’s residence, and everywhere else all around the world. It is still a significant problem within western society, but it is nothing compared to the rest of the world. If we want our women to be safe and not live under oppression, then we are required to combat it everywhere. Not only here, but in other parts of the world as well.

This book is about her, my, and even your “personal problems.” Or perhaps, they are not so personal? Interesting, because women need to realize this is an issue for them as a whole, and men must take notice that it is something rotten within society. Today it is your neighbor, but tomorrow it may end up being your daughter. So maybe it is time to turn back, see what is wrong, and find the right path for women.

This book is about something that everybody knows about, and yet some of us appear to still be in some kind of blissful denial. Something many of us see on a daily basis, but would prefer to be ignorant about. In the ex-USSR countries, the issue has such deep roots that to dig it out will take a long time and a substantial amount of effort. This issue is so significant and prevalent that when brought to the surface the resulting shock will knock you over. But of course you must keep quiet about it, or else…

Only, we don’t want to keep quiet. Sorry, but we won’t shut up. Not today, and not ever. We still have our sympathy and our compassion, along with what is vitally important: our understanding that this is not right.

In Eastern countries, the word woman has so often been associated with a lack of rights, with oppression and abuse as if intertwined with cultural traditions. But what kind of decent culture oppresses women with traditions such as these?

The unequal beliefs that a woman shouldn’t receive adequate support from the government, where a husband can abuse her emotionally, fiscally, and physically while controlling her every move and decision! Basically, she lives a life of everlasting work, abuse, experiencing slut-shaming, having him decide everything about her body in regards to abortion or anything else. Welcome back, knitting needles and coat hangers! But of course if she were to protest, then he can easily shut her mouth thanks to the male privileges society bestows upon him.

It is the Slavic nations where men believe they have found the answer to the eternal question ‘What is the purpose of her life?’ The answer: it must be to serve men, raise children, and restrict her spiritual growth within the kitchen. Women must be domesticated and preserved, as if they are nothing more than trained mutts. Equality, respect, and equal opportunities? Forget about it.

As you will read within the letters of this book, this reality has gradually stifled many women’s spirits. It is for this reason we contacted women from a part of the world that we understand well—the ex-Soviet region. We have family that still live in Russia and Ukraine, which provides us with a certain understanding of all these women encaged within their own private little hell.

So we collected a series of letters from women from across both countries, in which they express the problems that they face every day. Anything from employment issues to domestic problems, although of course the majority of the focus is on the abuse the women receive day to day. Employment issues, while important, are not the focus of this book, rather the book focusses on issues such as human trafficking, domestic violence, rape, and child abuse.

What do we aim to do with all of this? Of course to raise awareness, but also to raise funds for non-profit organizations that help with human rights abuses around the world. With this book, we are particularly hoping to raise funds for a specific organization within Cherkassy, Ukraine called the “Young Cherkassy Region Coalition,” an organization that helps women battered down by the society and culture around them. We have looked into the Coalition and are certain they are doing well in regards to their help of women, which is why we are pleased to partner with them.

There was a strong desire to focus on the troubling issue of gender inequality within Russia and Ukraine. While this isn’t exactly the most positive of books, it is our belief that it is vital that awareness is raised concerning what women go through. Naturally, these are not positive stories, highlighting just how many of the world’s women are persecuted, both within and outside ex-USSR countries. Not exactly rosy pictures.

Women are often equated to being nothing better than child bearers and housewives, and that there is nothing more important for them to aspire to in their lives. Women are told to be subservient to their men, instead of being a partner in life. None of this is right.

It is our hope that you walk away from reading these letters with a better understanding of the problems that Russian and Ukrainian women face. And it is our hope that more can be done once enough people know about what these women face.

To help provide more facts on the issue, we have also included our own letters at the beginning of this book. Please keep this information in mind while reading the letters, as it will help in understanding why a woman cannot just pick up everything and leave. Unfortunately it isn’t so simple.

Across much of the world, there is this strange way of thinking that in cases of domestic abuse and women’s issues it is best to keep quiet. Well, we refuse to keep quiet. We are, in fact, choosing to shout from the rooftops about as many issues as we can. Hopefully, many ears will hear us join these women’s screams. Then we can finally do something to save our wives, mothers, daughters, and all of the other forgotten and beaten down women.
Valentina
Ukraine

My name is Valentina. I have three children and am currently living safely in Germany. While waiting for my next interview with the government, my hope is that luck will finally smile upon me so that I can receive permanent residency.

I would like to tell you the story about my life. Possibly it will help you in figuring out what to do in your own. Perhaps it will help you figure out how to change these strange sexist stereotypes. Or maybe it will at least help you to change the habits or fears in which we live and with which we struggle that make a terrifying hell out of a woman’s life.

The most disgusting part is that we are nurturing children into this despicable life. We educate them so that they will share the same future while duplicating our fears, similar misunderstandings, and the same indoctrinated values. So as a result, we will end up raising even more victims that are, of course, mostly women and children. But this is about my own story not theirs. And my own life story begins in the central part of Ukraine.

I was brought up by my father, who was a construction worker, and by my mother who was a milkmaid. They raised three girls along with our older brother. My father, despite being a hard worker, was an alcoholic. Honestly, in the beginning he didn’t drink a lot, but eventually he was drinking all the time. Drinking a ton of alcohol appeared to be a tradition for Ukrainian men, although I have no idea why it is this way. To be an old man in Ukraine it was expected to drink, and to live in a smaller village it was thought that they needed to drink a significant amount of liquor. It is a very strange way of thinking.

He was often jealous of my mother over nearly everybody and everything. It wouldn’t take much to set him off and the result was always the same. My mom was often walking around covered with bruises, her head held low, a depressed-like state in her eyes.

But in truth, the real horror didn’t introduce itself until my brother had moved away to study in another city. This left us without anyone in the role of our bodyguard. By then I had reached the age of seventeen, with my youngest sister only nine.

A horrific event occurred on the fateful day my sisters and I returned home from our Easter holiday. We had left to exchange presents with our relatives as is our cultural tradition. Upon our return home, we were greeted with only silence at our front door. We knocked and called out for our parents. Yet nobody came to greet us. All that was heard was the sound of our fists against the door and our cries on the front steps. Otherwise, there was nothing.

For a long time we had sat near those stairs to our home while waiting for our mother. We thought maybe Mom was hiding somewhere from our drunk father; we had a nice home in the village with a large garden where we could have easily missed her. We all agreed to wait for her. But we sat there until the sun began to set. So then afterward, out of concern over the situation, we decided to ask our neighbors for assistance. We asked for help to maybe break down the door, or at the very least break a window, so that then finally we could be home and find out what was going on. But the neighbors understood my father’s temper, including how he was the very opposite definition of calm. They said no. Nobody would help us. So with no idea what we should do, we cried.

Finally, though, we had found a phone so we could at least call the police. It took a few hours but they responded to our request for help, breaking down the door to our home. And then this was our moment of terror!

Lying in her own blood was our mother. Above her, was our alcoholic father dangling with a noose around his neck. The police explained to us that he had kicked her until her liver, spleen, and many other organs gave out. Then he decided to take his own life in reaction. So this is the story how, during the Easter holidays, we became orphans.

Mind you, one of the worst parts of all of this was what the police themselves were saying. “Why didn’t she just leave him? He probably was a schizophrenic. It is almost as if she was asking for this!” These words angered me as I knew very well it wasn’t true. She had tried to save us from him many, many times. But it didn’t matter who we went to, be it neighbors or friends. Nobody wanted to help us, so as a result we were always left with returning home. Everyone was afraid that out father would take revenge, and to them our situation was normal. Also, many witnesses to the violence toward his wife and children told our mother crazy things, like:
          “You must stand it because you are a woman.”
          “It is your destiny!”
          “If he is hitting you at all, it means that he loves you.”
          “Who else will take care of a woman with four children?”
          “You will die of hunger alone.”
          “Nobody needs you.”
          “Nobody could be interested in you as a woman.”

When I was nineteen, I finally got married. He was a very quiet boy with absolutely no self-confidence. It was noticed right away that there was something wrong with him. Even so, I was happy that he appeared to be the complete opposite of what I had seen in my father while growing up. Plus, on hearing about my history he had promised he would never touch me, not even with a single finger.

Then I gave birth to our daughter. While I was still in the hospital he was drinking a boatload of alcohol during the week I was away. And he didn’t stop. He was confident that I couldn’t run anywhere as we now had a small child. So this drunken boat never had a cork put in it. He also told me at last that before me he always drank like this. That is, he was drinking until he finally realized he needed a family, which forced him to only sober up until he had the protection of a young child.

But it wasn’t enough protection for him. I went to court and applied for a divorce. So then all of my neighbors were looking at me like I was the devil, as it was strange thought that one should leave her husband. We had a small baby, we were only married very recently; so then no matter what, there was the expectation to stay with this man. I became the outcast of the village. Not him—me.

[…]

Alisa
Russia

Lesbianism is a crime in itself in traditional Russian village life. To be somebody’s perfectly eligible, family pride-inheriting daughter who identifies as a lesbian is considered to be like Satan’s right-hand lover. And if I am his lover, Satan took the form of a girl named Marina. Yes, I succumbed to Satan: “he” happened to be my one true love, and my entire world. And I must be quite addicted to this senseless evil I am carrying out while living in a world of hellfire and devil’s horns, because I can’t possibly imagine living without this woman. What would rouse the most shock and horror from others is stating that it actually isn’t all that different from a man and woman being in love. Imagine that!

At thirty-two, I live in Moscow now. Though it seems that the world of Satan would be miserable (at least to the outside world), it’s actually quite magnificent. It’s invigorating, romantic, satisfying—that’s just what Marina and I have when we’re together. And the only real trail of pain in this satanic world of mine only lies behind my hometown we left behind. Our sin was too great to bear for them, the only real hellish aspect of my evil world. Memories of old, smiling faces become twisted in disgust and damnation, tainted with consequence and the connotations of what I’d sacrificed. Yet, my sacrifice and Marina’s sacrifice was simply for the ones we love—each other.

My life would be a fleeting and beautifully simple normalcy had Marina been granted male anatomy—why is that? Regardless of my private actions, I would be considered healthy, one to carry integrity and dignity, and pure with a man by my side. Heaven would be easily in sight! But Marina is not a man, therefore I’m automatically tossed into the flaming pits of hell, and I am a symbol of shame, regret, and failure for my parents. Worse—I no longer exist. My value as a woman is dependent on a man’s love; therefore I am faceless, valueless…dead.

Four months: the longest relationship I’d ever had with a man, as of five years ago. Four measly months—you can imagine it hadn’t worked out very well. Four months of emptiness; what the two of us had (or lack thereof!) felt like a farce, a soulless front. I pranced with a plastered-on smile throughout life, fulfilling the ignorance and conformity that is “normalcy.” During those four measly months and in other involvements with men, this “normalcy” didn’t cause me to swoon with dreamy images of marriage and happiness. Who did swoon with these images of grandeur, however, was my mother.

“She’s finally found her future husband!” she’d say of that four-month farce. By this time, she’d told everyone including our neighbors! He was tall, dark, and handsome; muscular, handy around the house, and had an amazing job—the ideal recipe for a financially and socially comfortable life for the perfect, obedient, successful wife and daughter. Blah, blah, blah! None of that talk ever considered what I wanted. She didn’t care. It’s possible that she’d internally acknowledged my unusual attractions, that dark hole in my soul void of “normalcy.” Maybe she was excited that I could end up with a man after all. Maybe she was excited that I could be saved.

In my experience, feeling normal apparently doesn’t equate to fulfilling what the world expects of you to be considered “normal.” I’ll tell you why—of all things, that relationship was the most abnormal feeling I’d ever had! Even walking beside him, I felt uncomfortable. Walking in front of him or behind him had connotations of inequality; what kind of couple were we? And we did try to make it work, but it was like fitting puzzle pieces together that did not belong. It felt wrong, unnatural! My balance of being, my sense of fitting into place…it was corrupted, and I often cried myself to sleep. Yet, there was no option for me but to try. In our country, it’s almost entirely considered unnatural to be a homosexual. And if such tendencies were out in the open, this type of love could very well receive responses that are disheartening, dehumanizing, dangerous…perhaps even deadly.

And then, it happened. Satan had come to sweep me away from the dark world! Or rather, a woman named Marina; the very opposite of the devil, in fact. A vision of perfection, true beauty! Upon getting to know her, for once I felt at peace; my love felt natural. And just as in heterosexual relationships, it didn’t take long for the chemistry to take wing—I quickly learned she felt the same way I felt about her. My world was spun in the right direction, and I had found my true happiness. My everything! My soul mate, whose essence could put me to sleep without sobbing and made me feel as though all was right in the world.

Just like my four-month relationship being a farce, keeping the relationship between Marina and I quiet felt like a farce as well. Though we’d initially decided to remain silent, living a lie and not being able to freely express our love was a hindrance. At this point, I’d already ended the relationship with my old boyfriend. My poor mother was downright devastated—it was as though he was her own son! Like she’d loved him more, or at least the peace of mind he brought.

We decided to approach my parents first. How did it go? Well, to say “it didn’t go well,” would be like saying the genocide in Rwanda “didn’t go well.” An odd comparison, but on an emotional level for me, it was unimaginably traumatizing and destructive. The explosions, the lines immediately drawn between and against the family. How quickly and unforgivingly relationships, memories, and commitments were broken—it was as though a vacuum had sucked it all away from my body. My entire soul, scared out of its wits and having succumbed into the swirling void of hatred and ignorance.

Throughout my young life, I never really wanted much—I’ve always liked it simple. There were three things at that point I desired in earnest: One, I wanted to marry Marina and live the rest of my life by her side. Two, I wanted to raise three beautiful adopted children. And three, I wanted to remain in close contact with my parents, carrying out a continued inclusive and “normal” relationship. I’d never done drugs, never hurt anyone, nor taken advantage of them—I was never greedy or malicious. However, for my parents finding out they now had a “hell-raising” lesbian daughter on their hands was hardly comforting for such traditional minds. Even so, I hoped they’d wish for me to just be happy. My dream life wasn’t ideally “normal,” but it wasn’t harmful. Why couldn’t I just be happy?

I soon found that the happiness I wanted would come with a price. I’d not only lose my parents’ acceptance, love, and support but also apparently rot in the flaming pits of hell with “that” satanic woman. My mother first attempted to calmly sit me down. She scolded me, bartered with me, and assured me—I was a child all over again. “If you don’t find an ideal partner by your age…when you are nearing your thirties…it doesn’t mean that you like girls. You know, I know a few friends that have single sons. Good boys too. They don’t drink too much either. I can show you that this is just a temporary hobby of yours. Don’t worry, you can find a man! You will not be an old maid.”

What did it mean that I was thirty and hadn’t found a partner? And why would I be an old maid? I had plans! Marina and I were now conceptualizing a life together. My relationship with her wasn’t a fleeting, useless fling to cope with my failure with men, but a commitment! I just wanted nothing more but to share that with my parents. And to my greatest hopes and dreams, the plans to finally settle down and revel in my greatest salvation of love…They laughed.

And when they stopped laughing, they told me it was an illness. “You must be sick!” they said, and vaguely that they could find me some place through the church that could cure me of this habit. But even if I were sick, I didn’t want the cure—I didn’t wish to be with a man. What I was doing felt right for me; it felt important.

Realizing their failure, my parents snapped. My father especially—he called me a “dirty whore,” selfish, that I blamed my issues on my family with no self-responsibility. And since lesbianism wasn’t a natural human tendency, I must have chosen to do it because I was spoilt too much. He should have beaten me when I was younger, he said.

[…]

Ekaterina
Russia

I want to first thank you for providing this outlet for us women to speak. In my part of the world it is often complicated when a woman reaches out for any kind of help. When we, as women, reach out toward those around us after going through the kind of thing I did, often there is only silence. But of course, when men see these women, it is perfectly okay to still welcome them in! But for the women to be even forced into anything apparently sinful, then they are damned to hell.

Even the court system will often not provide any kind of justice for a woman. Even though my situation was one of the greatest horrors that a woman can face, they didn’t help me a whole lot either. And yet, it is a real problem here in Russia, but my own government care neither about my plight nor that of any other woman that experience the same.

Little do many men seem to understand: when you buy a prostitute you’re not actually paying her. You’re paying the pimp to bring in more slaves for his sexual prison called “prostitution.” Many women are not there by choice. Whether they were being tricked through a promising career option overseas, or through being sold by a friend of your family, they are often forced into it under threat of death—either theirs or their family’s back home. They’re also often beaten and tortured into such a submissive state that many of these rapist purchasers of women do not know that they are in fact participating in perpetual rape. For those that do know what they are doing though, well, it makes their act of payment that much more despicable. The money they pay to these women is never kept by the women; it’s handed to the pimp either under threat or the suggestion that they have an endless debt for repayment.

I was one of these unfortunate sexually enslaved victims.

My life started out not being so bad, though I was growing into the typical victim, even if I didn’t know it. My childhood was rather happy, though. Even in my adulthood my life was that of a young beautiful housewife with a newly born baby girl, whose father seemed a decent man. A good man is difficult to find in my part of the world and even harder in our village. We understood this, seeing the men enjoying drinking significant amounts of liquor, before then beating their wives.

So, I counted myself fortunate that he chose to resolve differences with discussion rather than fists, and treat his depression with comfort from me rather than vodka. And best of all, he always tried to be an active part of our child’s life, despite his endless work hours. That is, endless work hours until he lost his job with no explanation provided.

My husband was having very little luck finding work. I ended up noticing an advertisement in the paper for a job that was available though. It was out of the country for a year of touristic work, and was for the level of pay a westerner usually receives. For a young Russian family out of work, it sounded like an amazing opportunity. But this touristic job was specifically looking for young hard-working women. So after much discussion with my husband, along with comfort for his inability to provide at the time, we decided that I would apply.

The interview seemed mostly typical and standard. They asked me about my experience in the service sector, which included jobs waitressing and volunteering at the local museum. They had asked me questions on how I’d handle various difficult situations. I did find it a bit odd, though, that they also asked me some rather personal questions about my marriage and child, thrown in here and there. But they appeared, at the time, to be minor, and I had thought nothing of it during this interview. Perhaps I was naive or stupid.
But looking back, I now know it was a warning sign. They were trying to analyze me to see if I would be the perfect little victim for their web of deceit and rape. And unfortunately, I fit into their perfect little picture. They offered me the job on the spot.

While I was reluctant to leave my newborn child alone, I knew that my husband would be a good father, so I reluctantly said yes. Work is scarce over here, after all, so we needed to do what we could to feed and provide for our family. We needed food on the table and diapers for our baby girl.

They explained that the job would be in the United States. I would be working for a touristic company in New York City that required young Russian women. While they did not go through a lot of details regarding my “duties,” they did specify that it would be touristic in nature and that I’d be interacting with many Russians, Americans, and Europeans. They explained it’d take a couple of weeks to complete the paper work for the visa, and then they could place me on a flight to my new employment for the next year. It was good that I had taken English lessons in university, I thought. That would come in use during my employment overseas.

The next couple of weeks were filled with many somber moments of tears and sadness. I didn’t really want to leave my family for a year, nor was my husband very happy to see me go. But we completely understood the opportunity of this job prospect. I would save every penny earned, and then when I returned our home, we would move to Moscow, set up a business together, and build a better way of life for our family. At least, that was the plan.

But plans change when extreme tragedy happens. And this tragedy resulted in tremendous consequences all our lives, especially my own.

Even so, during our final goodbyes, our families and my husband exchanged many kisses, hugs, and tears with me before I finally departed. They all mentioned how they loved me, would miss me, and how they respected my sacrifice for our family. Everyone was there for the goodbye: my parents, my grandparents, his parents, his grandparents, my two brothers, and his sister along with his brother. They were all there as one supportive family to show their love and care for me and their support for our family’s decision. I even received a few little gifts and many pictures to take with me, along with my favorite thing of all: a photograph of my husband holding our small baby.
All mothers I’m sure understand the kind of pain involved in leaving behind a child. They must understand how difficult that is. To leave my husband and my baby girl! It brought me to tears countless times during those weeks.

I finally arrived in the United States, the land supposedly for the free; well, maybe anyone but me. After retrieving my bags, I found my boss, an older woman of obvious Russian decent. She explained to me that she had been in the same position as me, and that if I was obedient and good at my work, much success could come my way. Believe me, I tried to find out more about my duties on the way from the airport, but all she’d do was just smile that charismatic smile and then tell me that I’d be fine and learn in good time. Plus, she explained, there was no rush. It was best to enjoy the sites on this drive as I might be too busy to see much of them for a while.

And, that I did, as it was my first time seeing any city outside of Russia. The city was beautiful and, truthfully, I was charmed by the new and different culture along with the surrounding architecture. Not even for a moment did I question what was about to happen. Who would ever think that anyone could do anything so cruel to, well, anyone else?

When the taxi dropped us off at an old apartment building, that was when I began to feel unease wave over me. This place didn’t look as charming as the rest of the town. The apartment building didn’t appear appealing at all.
And, that was when things started to go downhill.  The older woman, Helga, took me into the building where there appeared to be vacant halls, though it looked like there was a lot of use not long ago.

I was brought to one of the flats, and there were two men already there. They offered me a drink, which I had at first declined, but after some pressure I reluctantly accepted their offer. One of the men, along with Helga, sat with me at the table, while the other man stood by the door as if he were some kind of security. They were discussing with me about my home and family. All seemed quite normal at first, until he finally said, “And, you better do as we say... if you care for their wellbeing.”

I stood up to try to leave, but the other man moved in the way of the door. I was also beginning to feel very odd. My drink! Drugged with some kind of substance to make me more obedient. It was then that I slipped and fell to the floor. The man at the table was quickly on his feet, only to push me down further toward the ground as I tried to get back up.

“You will learn to love this, bitch. You will love being a whore.”

And then he had proceeded to rape me.



cropped-Brine-Books-Full-LogoABOUT BRINE BOOKS PUBLISHING

We are an activist publishing company established as a partnership by a husband and wife in Ontario, Canada. The mission of this business is bring awareness for serious human rights issues around the world, while raising funds to expand our capabilities and to help fund non-profits and charities whose purpose is to better the world. Our main purpose as a company is to find ways to better the world. We feel that if we fail in this mission then we fail as a business, so we will not give up on our goal. The release of our books and the profits that we raise are meant for this very purpose.
  View their site at http://brinebooks.com

Pump Up Your Book and Brine Books are giving away a Kindle Fire HDX!

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  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins November 4 and ends January 31.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, February, 2014.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
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WATCH THE TRAILER


 Divider 9blog tour schedule 9Divider 9
 Monday, November 4
Guest blogging and 1st chapter reveal at Ali's Books
Tuesday, November 5
1st chapter reveal and 1st chapter review at Raven Reviews
Wednesday, November 6
Book featured at Icefairy's Treasure Chest
Thursday, November 7
Book featured at Moonlight, Lace and Mayhem
Monday, November 11
Book featured at The Writer's Life
Thursday, November 14
Interviewed at Review From Here
Tuesday, November 19
Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking
Friday, November 22
Guest blogging at Literal Exposure
Tuesday, November 26
1st chapter reveal at As the Pages Turn
Wednesday, December 4
Book featured at Mary's Cup of Tea
Thursday, December 5
Interviewed at As the Pages Turn
Friday, December 6
Interviewed at Examiner
Tuesday, December 10
1st chapter reveal and 1st chapter review at Hardcover Feedback
Wednesday, December 11
Book featured at The Book Rack
Monday, December 16
Guest blogging at Crystal's Many Reviews
Tuesday, December 17
Book reviewed at My Devotional Thoughts
Wednesday, December 18
Guest blogging at Allvoices
Thursday, December 19
Guest blogging at Between the Covers
Monday, January 6
Book featured at Between the Pages
First chapter reveal at I'm Shelf-ish
Tuesday, January 7
Interviewed at Book Marketing Buzz
Wednesday, January 8
Thursday, January 9
First Chapter Reveal at Read My First Chapter
Friday, January 10
Book featured at Jody's Book Reviews
Monday, January 13
Interviewed at Broowaha
Guest blogging at Chick Lit Pad
Tuesday, January 14
Book featured at Inkslinger's Opus
Interviewed at Beyond the Books
Wednesday, January 15
Thursday, January 16
Interviewed at Blogher
Guest blogging at Redroom
Friday, January 17
Guest blogging at The Dark Phantom
Book featured at Plug Your Book
Monday, January 20
Guest blogging at Carol's Notebook
Guest blogging at I Heart Reading
Tuesday, January 21
Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book
Wednesday, January 22
Book featured at The Zen Reader
Thursday, January 23
Guest blogging at As the Page Turns
Friday, January 24
Book reviewed at CelticLady's Review
Book featured at Confessions of a Reader
Book featured at Dawn's Great Finds
Monday, January 27
Interviewed at I'm Shelf-ish
Book featured at Beth's Book Review
Tuesday, January 28
Book featured at The Book Rack
Wednesday, January 29
Book featured at All Inclusive Retort
Thursday, January 30
Interviewed at Blirt
Book featured at Maureen's Musings
Friday, January 31
Interviewed at Literal Exposure
Guest blogging at Angie's Diary

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Book Blast! From Adam to Omega by A.R. Roberts - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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ABOUT FROM ADAM TO OMEGA

9781475905045_COVER.inddTitle: From Adam to Omega Genre: UFO Phenomenon Author: A.R. Roberts Publisher: iUniverse Pages: 522 Language: English ISBN - 978-1-47590-505-2 Extraterrestrial life has been a philosophical issue that has not been high on the priority list for scientific study. Since the UFO issue revolves around possible alien visitors, however, it is essential to determine if extraterrestrial life could exist and, if so, whether it could visit our world. In From Adam to Omega, author A. R. Roberts provides a comprehensive compendium of UFO phenomena, followed by his interpretations of how those phenomena relate to religious and historical texts. Roberts provides a commonsense approach and a logical evaluation of the most credible evidence available—evidence compiled by reliable researchers and investigators. He examines a plethora of questions: • Are UFOs real? • Were extraterrestrials involved with ancient civilizations? • Are aliens abducting people and performing strange tests and examinations? • Does the Bible reveal evidence of extraterrestrial visitation? • Did the US Air Force really retrieve crashed UFOs and alien bodies? • Are the military, the government, and NASA hiding the truth? • Is there evidence of an alien agenda? From Adam to Omega presents thought-provoking and interesting information as it examines the evidence to determine what is fact and what is fiction. Roberts offers a unique perspective on the UFO mystery.

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iuniverse

ABOUT A.R. ROBERTS

A. R. Roberts was a musician in the 1960’s and traveled the country with different groups, one of which appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in December, 1964. He later worked in the hotel industry before opening a photography studio. He became interested in UFO phenomena in 1954 while serving as a volunteer in the Ground Observer Corps. Roberts is now semi-retired and lives in Florida.

Pump Up Your Book and A.R. are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins January 7 and ends on January 21.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on January 22, 2014.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

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Book Blast! Requiem for Doctor Edward Browne by Richard Dean Smith - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!



ABOUT REQUIEM FOR DOCTOR EDWARD BROWNE

   
Title: Reqiuem for Doctor Edward Browne
Genre: General Fiction
Author: Richard Dean Smith
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 580
Language: English
ISBN - 978-1-44013-771-6

When Dr. Browne’s partner retires, his practice is taken over by Dr. Forbes Q. Hazzig, who becomes a zealot for a ‘managed care revolution’ of ‘marketplace medicine.’ Browne and his associate Dr. Kennes receive irrational, discordant information from healthcare experts, consultants and economists. Browne learns that rhetoric of a mass movement must be as erroneous as possible promising a vague, glorious future. Hazzig grows immensely rich and gains enormous power relying on intimidation and coercion. Joanna Browne’s exhibition of J.M.W. Turner becomes a thrilling success, yet Hazzig’s wife succeeds in eliminating Joanna’s position at East Valley Museum of Art. Joanna must accept a position at a distant university; her absence devastates Browne. Browne and Kennes discover managed care was based on a Washington bureau hoax, the ‘health maintenance strategy’ of 1973: an irrational mass movement, a mass hysteria. Hazzig plots to humiliate and ruin the two doctors; each threat goes awry. Hazzig is discredited; his illusory wealth collapses. Reunited with Joanna, Dr. Browne receives a disturbing invitation to return to East Valley to be recognized with Dr. Kennes for their efforts to expose the folly of managed care. Browne is reluctant to relive his lonely, troubled, distressed past.

Purchase your copy:

iuniverse


ABOUT RICHARD DEAN SMITH

Richard Dean Smith 48 words The author received medical education at Kansas University Medical Center and Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. He is presently Medical Director of the Rehabilitation Services, John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek, California. Dr. Smith lives and practices where managed care had its beginning and its most rapid growth.

Pump Up Your Book and Richard are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins January 7 and ends on January 21.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on January 22, 2014.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
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Book Blast! High Pressure the Executioner by Robert Davis - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

ABOUT HIGH PRESSURE THE EXECUTIONER

  High Pressure The ExecutionerTitle: High Pressure The Executioner Genre: Fantasy Author: Robert Davis Publisher: iUniverse Pages: 420 Language: English ISBN - 978-1-47595-632-0 In central Africa, all seems well in the House of Ra, until a top Warlord finds his three daughters beheaded. Queen Ramala and three of her children have barely escaped a kidnapping by Warlords who believe the cunning Queen is the murderer. The Queen’s cousin, Tara, has not been so lucky. Kidnapped by Warlords, her life now hangs in the balance. But all is not lost as the Queen’s six children and their cousin prepare to spring into action. La, Dan, Shaya, Don, Ram, Danaaa, and Yin have just transformed into the Hammer-Axe Six. Danaaa, a child prodigy and the youngest of the six children, takes her inherited fighting skills to outstanding levels. Danaaa is not exactly street-smart, but she is an expert at protocol. Because of her uncanny ability to swing an ax with lightning-fast accuracy, Danaaa becomes known as High Pressure Executioner—and it is not long before her siblings take advantage of her skills in order to gain power. In this fantasy novel, as the Hammer-Axe Six begin their quest to find Tara and seek retribution for the murders, Danaaa embarks on a dangerous path that leads to the realization that sometimes even her trusty ax cannot save her from evil.

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iuniverse

ABOUT ROBERT DAVIS

Robert Davis loves to create unique and interesting family stories. He is the author of The Butcher, The House of Ra, The Hammer-Axe Six, and The Number One Princess. Robert currently lives in Cleveland, Ohio, where he enjoys local and state parks.

Pump Up Your Book and Robert are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins January 7 and ends on January 21.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on January 22, 2014.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Diabetes Slayer's Handbook by Alan D. Raguso - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!


About the Author:

Alan D. Raguso has developed diabetes-reversal techniques that have helped him and others. He is a member of a hospital advisory committee for diabetes education for a local nonprofit organization that provides wellness education for prediabetics and type 2 diabetics. Raguso lives in Washington State.

About the Book:

Title: The Diabetes Slayer’s Handbook

Genre: Health and Fitness Book

Author: Alan D. Raguso

Publisher: iUniverse

Pages: 116

Language: English

ISBN - 978-1-47595-003-8

Just over eleven years ago, author Alan D. Raguso was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. He spent ten years battling raging A1Cs and ever-worsening blood-glucose readings; two and a half years ago, he started developing the beginning stages of retinal problems. That’s when Raguso decided to get serious about his health and resolved to find a way to beat diabetes.

In The Diabetes Slayer’s Handbook, he narrates his journey with the disease and presents a nonsurgical, nonprescription-drug intervention program that he discovered through his research and study of nutrition. He provides an understanding of the basics of prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, excess weight, sugar and carbohydrates, and metabolism, and he outlines diabetes-reversal techniques using everyday healthy foods combined with easy low-impact exercise.

The Diabetes Slayer’s Handbook dissects the components of diabetes and offers a game plan for attacking the disease to help diabetes sufferers get a handle on their health and their life.

Purchase your copy:

iuniverse


Pump Up Your Book and Alan are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins January 7 and ends on January 21.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on January 22, 2014.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Book Blast! World Without Cats by Bonham Richards - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

World Without Cats Banner

ABOUT WORLD WITHOUT CATS

9781475926019_COVER.indd
Title: World Without Cats
Genre: Science Fiction
Author: Bonham Richards
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 320
Language: English
ISBN - 978-1-47592-601-9

 A strange, fatal hemorrhagic disease is killing housecats in Camarillo, California. Veterinarian Vera Barnett suspects that the illness originated in the lab of her lover, molecular biologist Noah Chamberlin, who has been investigating a hereditary feline disease at a nearby university. The infection soon appears in nearby cities and, not long after, all over the world. Senior epidemiologist Angelo Kraakmo, is assigned to investigate. The cause turns out to be a new virus. Angelo names the disease feline hemorrhagic fever, FHF for short. It did not originate in Camarillo. Newspapers report FHF mortality figures on their front pages. Rodentborne diseases become epidemic. Cat-oriented businesses suffer severe economic losses. Vera, Noah and Angelo work together to find a cure. By the time eighty percent of the world’s cats have perished, scientists question whether the species can survive. Will Felis catus become extinct? What are the consequences of the demise of a species that has lived intimately with humans for twelve thousand years? How will the disappearance of our feline companions affect the human population?

Purchase your copy:

iuniverse

ABOUT BONHAM RICHARDS

Bonham Richards describes himself as an unabashed cat-lover. Before his retirement, Richards taught biology at California State University San Bernardino and the University of Southern California. Originally from Los Angeles, he now resides in Camarillo, California.

Pump Up Your Book and Bonham are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins January 7 and ends on January 21.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on January 22, 2014.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

Book Blast! Requiem for Doctor Edward Browne - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!



ABOUT REQUIEM FOR DOCTOR EDWARD BROWNE

   
Title: Reqiuem for Doctor Edward Browne
Genre: General Fiction
Author: Richard Dean Smith
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 580
Language: English
ISBN - 978-1-44013-771-6

When Dr. Browne’s partner retires, his practice is taken over by Dr. Forbes Q. Hazzig, who becomes a zealot for a ‘managed care revolution’ of ‘marketplace medicine.’ Browne and his associate Dr. Kennes receive irrational, discordant information from healthcare experts, consultants and economists. Browne learns that rhetoric of a mass movement must be as erroneous as possible promising a vague, glorious future. Hazzig grows immensely rich and gains enormous power relying on intimidation and coercion. Joanna Browne’s exhibition of J.M.W. Turner becomes a thrilling success, yet Hazzig’s wife succeeds in eliminating Joanna’s position at East Valley Museum of Art. Joanna must accept a position at a distant university; her absence devastates Browne. Browne and Kennes discover managed care was based on a Washington bureau hoax, the ‘health maintenance strategy’ of 1973: an irrational mass movement, a mass hysteria. Hazzig plots to humiliate and ruin the two doctors; each threat goes awry. Hazzig is discredited; his illusory wealth collapses. Reunited with Joanna, Dr. Browne receives a disturbing invitation to return to East Valley to be recognized with Dr. Kennes for their efforts to expose the folly of managed care. Browne is reluctant to relive his lonely, troubled, distressed past.

Purchase your copy:

iuniverse


ABOUT RICHARD DEAN SMITH

Richard Dean Smith 48 words The author received medical education at Kansas University Medical Center and Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. He is presently Medical Director of the Rehabilitation Services, John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek, California. Dr. Smith lives and practices where managed care had its beginning and its most rapid growth.

Pump Up Your Book and Richard are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins January 7 and ends on January 21.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on January 22, 2014.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Book Blast! Traveling Business Class by Randall L. Erickson, PhD - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!


ABOUT TRAVELING BUSINESS CLASS

Title: Traveling Business Class
Genre: Travel
Author: Randall L. Erickson, PhD
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 230
Language: English
ISBN - 978-1-47594-606-2

 In this unusual memoir and travelogue, a longtime employee of 3M climbs up the corporate ladder and starts traveling the world—for free. Author Randall L. Erickson, PhD, recalls his adventures of traveling throughout the world. His looks back on being named an honorary member of the House of Lords, meeting the pope one Easter Sunday in Rome, and touring the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Those stories are just the beginning; he also shares the hilarious tales of how he pretended to be a male prostitute in Madrid and how he was saved from a Chinese prison because he smoked cigarettes. He also provides practical guidance, such as how to find a western toilet in Japan, how to dry your underwear when your luggage doesn’t arrive, and tips on experimenting with new foods. Erickson had such a variety of experiences while traveling on business that his wife dubbed him “the Forrest Gump of 3M.” After hearing about his adventures, there’s no doubt that you’ll agree with her; get some practical advice for having fun while abroad in Traveling Business Class.

Purchase your copy:

iuniverse


ABOUT RANDALL L. ERICKSON PhD

Randall L. Erickson, PhD, received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, and his doctorate in physical chemistry in 1965 from North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota. He retired from 3M after thirty-three years and currently lives with his wife, Nancy, in North Oaks, Minnesota. He still enjoys traveling, but now he has to pay for it himself.

Pump Up Your Book and Randall are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins January 7 and ends on January 21.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on January 22, 2014.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!