A hero of The Eastern Front

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A war memoir Thursday teaser

By Scott Bury

The birthday of the main character of The Eastern Front Trilogy will be in two days. In his honour, we present a sample of the book that reveals something about his character and his family.

Chapter 16: Fighting in their own way

Nastaciv, December 1941

Out of uniform, out of the army, out of prison, Maurice was now under the command of his mother. Tekla Kuritsa did not allow her son to do anything but rest for a whole month. The harvest over, she paid young local boys to do what remained: manuring fields and fixing fences.

Day by day, Maurice regained weight and strength. At first, he sat in the kitchen, drinking tea and reading newspapers.

Nothing but German-approved propaganda. This paper actually says we Ukrainians are happy to be occupied by Germany.

Idleness quickly lost its allure. Maurice decided to make sure the farm was ready for winter. He started with chopping firewood. Just a half-hour a day, relishing in his ability to split logs with a single blow, chopping and sawing harder, and lasting longer each day.

One evening, Tekla took Maurice to the shed beside the barn for a chore he would find much more enjoyable.

“Is that a still?” he asked. “Mama, are you making vodka?”

“It’s not very good, but the German officers like it,” she said. She set him to work.

Maurice liked the opportunity to concentrate on a task, drawing a spoonful of clear liquor, carefully closing the valve then setting fire to the spoon. If the liquor burned with a blue flame, it was “proof,” good enough for sale.

One evening, Maurice filled six four-litre jugs and put them on a small wagon.

“Good boy,” Tekla said and buttoned her coat. “I’ll take this to the village.”

“Why?”

“To sell to anyone who wants it, of course. But mostly it goes to German officers.”

“It’s getting too late to go out, Mama,” Maurice said. “It’s almost curfew.”

“That’s the time men want to buy vodka,” she said, buttoning her coat.

“It’s too dangerous for a woman out in the evening. Let me go.”

She shook her head. “Maurice, you strong men don’t know how things work in wartime,” she said, patting his cheek. “An old lady out in the evening is much safer than a man. What would the patrols do if they caught you out after curfew?”

“Throw me in jail.”

“They would probably shoot you on the spot, sweetie. But they see an old lady struggling with a heavy wagon, they think of their own mothers.”

“Some of these bastards would just as soon shoot their own mothers.”

“That’s when I sell them some vodka.” She smiled and kissed him.

Maurice watched her pull the wagon to the road until she vanished into the evening gloom. He did not realize he was smiling as he shook his head.

My mother. After all I’ve been through, she’s going to sell cheap liquor to the Germans. She’s the bravest person I’ve ever seen.

The Eastern Front Trilogy

The true story of a Canadian drafted into the Soviet Red Army during World War 2, just in time to be thrown against Nazi Germany’s invasion in Operation Barbarossa.

Caught in the vise between Nazi and Communist forces, Maurice Bury concentrates on keeping his men alive as they retreat across Ukraine from the German juggernaut. Now the question is: will they escape from the hell of the POW camp before they starve to death?

Find it exclusively in paperback on:

For a limited time, the Eastern Front Trilogy is available in three volumes for reduced prices, or free, in e-book form from Amazon.

Scott Bury

can’t stay in one genre. After a 20-year career in journalism, he turned to writing fiction. “Sam, the Strawb Part,” a children’s story, came out in 2011, with all the proceeds going to an autism charity. Next was a paranormal short story for grown-ups, “Dark Clouds.”

The Bones of the Earth, a historical fantasy, came out in 2012. It was followed in 2013 with One Shade of Red, an erotic romance.

He has several mysteries and thrillers, including Torn RootsPalm Trees & Snowflakes and Wildfire.

Scott’s articles have been published in newspapers and magazines in Canada, the US, UK and Australia.

He has two mighty sons, two pesky cats and a loving wife who puts up with a lot. He lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

Learn more about Scott on his:

Website   |   Blog    |  Facebook    |   Twitter

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When a book idea strikes

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Monday musings on new ideas for books

By M.L. Doyle

It never fails. I usually get hit with the good idea stick when I’m at my desk … at my day job.

Like most indie authors, I don’t make millions writing books (don’t I wish), so I have to earn a living doing something not as fun or as cool or as fulfilling as writing books. Ah well.

That said, it’s at the job where I actually earn a living that I get ideas for the job that isn’t responsible for putting food on the table. I’ve never asked, but I’m guessing my real employer wouldn’t be too happy with me dashing off a chapter or two while I’m supposed to be doing what I get paid to do.

It’s frustrating as hell.

Between having the first two books in my Desert Goddess series made into audio books, I’m sketching out ideas for book three. I’d been rolling a bunch of ideas around but hadn’t really landed on anything that was worthy of a jumping-off point. Until, off course, I got to work.

It felt as if, as soon as I booted up my computer, opened Outlook and started scanning through the piles of emails that would govern my day, that Hester, Gilgamesh, Sarah, Reuben, Quincy, Rashid and everyone else in my made-up world, demanded my attention. The opening scene unfolded. The emotion and atmosphere made themselves real. I could hear Hester in my head and the new character that will make his debut in this book, finally became a solid, fleshed-out human. For the first time, I could see his thoughts, could feel his fatigue, his hunger and confusion. He finally took shape and I knew exactly how I would make him work.

I grabbed a post-it pad, scribbled a quick tease of the ideas, and stuck them in a notebook. Throughout the morning, between meetings, phone calls, discussions with colleagues, I kept scribbling ideas and setting them aside for later. By the end of the day, I had a decent stack.

Photo by Startaê Team on Unsplash

At home, I spent some time sticking the post-its to the wall, moved them around, tried to build a bit of a timeline. There is still a lot of work to do plot-wise, but I’m finding the sticky note method works for me.

Once I sat down to write, I flew through the words that tied all of those ideas together. Chapters one and two were done in a flash.

Writing and my day job, for obvious reasons, have to be separate, but I’ve yet to figure out how to tell my brain to stop firing when I get to the office. I’m not even going to try.

M.L. Doyle

calls on her years of serving as an Army Reservist to write about women in combat boots. She co-authored the memoirs of two brave soldiers to ensure their stories keep their proper place in history. Her work with Spec. (Ret) Shoshana Johnson, an African-American POW of the Iraq War, was finalist in the NAACP Image Award. She also co-authored with Brig. Gen (Ret.) Julia Cleckley the story of her rise through Army ranks from humble beginnings and despite great personal tragedy.

Mary has written the three-book Master Sergeant Harper mystery series, and Limited Partnerships, a four-novella erotic romance series. Her latest release, The Bonding Blade, is the second book in her Desert Goddess urban fantasy series.

Mary’s essays, reviews and interviews have appeared in The War Horse, The Wrath-Bearing Tree, The Goodman project and O-Dark Thirty.

Check her out on Facebook.com, or Twitter @mldoyleauthor, and you can read excerpts of all of her work on her website at www.mldoyleauthor.co

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From Alaska With Love

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A romantic Thursday teaser from the brand new military romance

By Ally James

Talk about a family reunion from hell, Sara Ryan thought as she smiled politely through yet another introduction. Her aunt Lydia had relentlessly marched her around the room like a drill sergeant for the last hour. Her brother, Chris, had been smart enough to make up an excuse that got him out of coming, but true to form, Sara let her mother guilt her into it. The bathroom door was only inches away, and she was so close to making a break for it, when her aunt’s voice rang out loud enough for the people in the next town to hear. “And this is my niece Sara, Joan’s daughter. You know, the spinster. She lives with her brother.” Horrified. That’s the only way to put it. Or perhaps “mortified” was a better word. The entire family appeared to be staring at her with equal parts pity and disapproval. While Sara was fran­tically trying to compose herself, her aunt patted her on the back before adding, “She spends a lot of time with her mom, since, you know, she’s never had a boyfriend. I’ve told her time and again that she needs to get her nose out of those trashy books she’s always reading. Men like that don’t exist.” Sara wanted to object. There had been some boy­friends. It had been a while, but there had definitely been a couple. Back before the time of electricity and vehicles. Heck, she’d had sex before. But how exactly could she go about denying something so personal without making her­self sound worse? Could this could get any worse?

She opened her mouth, intent on clarifying some of the misinformation, but her aunt Ivy suddenly appeared at her other side. Shit, what now? Her mother’s oldest sister had always been the more outspoken of the three of them, which was normally amusing—but Sara was already at her limit and couldn’t take much more. Ivy gave her an exaggerated wink, which resembled someone having a seizure, before saying, “I sure love that Christian fella. Now there’s someone who seems like he’s got it all figured out. Anna is one lucky gal. He’s rich, hot, and knows how to take care of his business.” All eyes turned to stare across the room when Ivy pointed to her husband, who appeared to be sound asleep sitting up. “Even Fred likes listening to those audio books.” Oh, dear God, she can’t possibly be talking about Fifty Shades of Grey. Sweet Aunt Ivy? Uncle Fred? From the snickers around the room, Sara could only deduce that Ivy wasn’t the only one who’d been doing a little read­ing on the wild side. Or was it doing a little wild reading on the side? And while the things being whispered among her relatives might result in years of therapy in the future, it had shifted the attention away from her. “That’s disturbing,” an amused voice murmured behind her. Sara whirled around to find her cousin Chloe standing there with a grimace on her face. “Sorry about Mom. She means well for the most part.”

From Alaska with Love

A soldier has six weeks to convince the only woman he has ever longed for to take a chance on life with him in Alaska….

Sara’s letters were the only bright spot during Gabe’s devastating tour in Iraq. With each new correspondence he fell harder, needed her more, wanted to be with her. Now, after initially rejecting his offer to meet, she’s shown up at the door of his isolated cabin in Alaska looking for…what? Gabe’s not sure what made Sara change her mind, but he knows he never wants to let her go.

Major Gabe Randall is everything Sara Ryan wants but nothing she feels she deserves. A modern-day spinster, Sara hides behind family obligations and the safe, quiet life she’s resigned herself to living. But secretly, even though she may have stretched the truth about who she is in her letters to him, she wants Gabe. Will he still want her when he discovers the real woman behind the pen?

Once they meet, Gabe asks her for six weeks in Alaska. Six weeks to spend getting to know each other, and then she’ll have to decide whether they are better together or apart.

Ally James

is a pen name for bestselling romance author Sydney Landon.

Sydney Landon is the New York Times & USA Today best selling author of:  Weekends Required, Not Planning on You, Fall For Me, Fighting For You, Betting on You, No Denying You, Always Loving You, Pierced and Fractured.  Sydney is currently working on the next book in the Danvers’ Series as well as the Pierced Series.

When she isn’t writing, Sydney enjoys reading, swimming and the beach.

She lives with her family in Greenville, South Carolina.

Get to know more about Sydney:

BestSelling Reads author page     |     Website    |    Amazon Author page    |    Barnes & Noble    |    Kobo    |    Google Play    |    iBooks

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How does gravity work? Where do ideas come from?

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Monday musings on the elusive source of inspiration by award-winning bestseller

David C. Cassidy

The original image and the final cover for The Dark

Where do my ideas come from? It’s a question I’ve been asked more than once. The truth is, it’s like asking, “How does gravity work?” Who the hell knows.

As a writer, I can say that my ideas—some of the best of them—come to me when I least expect it. Almost without fail, they strike when I’m not writing. And that’s often when I’m outdoors making photographs. In other words, the Idea Train is running in the background, when suddenly, the horn blows, the smoke clears, and wham, there it is: The Idea.

Photo by Giuseppe Ruco on Unsplash

To wit: At the time I was trying to come up with a book cover for my award-winning horror novel, The Dark—I create my own book covers, as well as for other authors—I was out with my camera in a graveyard. It was getting close to sunset, and the sky was awash in red. It was as if the sky was filled with blood, even on fire. I made a dramatic image using three simple elements: the fiery sky, the glowing sun, and a silhouette of a scraggly, menacing tree. And at that moment, it inspired the eventual cover for The Dark. Spoiler: the story’s darkness and evil surround a mysterious and frightening oak.

So, how does gravity work, anyway? I don’t know, and I don’t care. I’m just glad it keeps the pepperoni on my pizza … and that the Idea Train keeps rolling.

David C. Cassidy

Award-winning author David C. Cassidy is the twisted mind behind several chilling books of horror and suspense. An author, photographer, and graphic designer—and a half-decent juggler—he spends his writing life creating tales of terror where Bad Things Happen To Good People. Raised by wolves, he grew up with a love of nature, music, science, and history, with thrillers and horror novels feeding the dark side of his seriously disturbed imagination. He talks to his characters, talks often, and most times they listen. But the real fun starts when they tell him to take a hike, and they Open That Door anyway. Idiots.

David lives and plays in Ontario, Canada. From Mozart to Vivaldi, classic jazz to classic rock, he feels naked without his iPod. Suffering from MAD—Multiple Activity Disorder—he divides his time between writing and workouts, photography and Photoshop, reading and rollerblading. An avid amateur astronomer, he loves the night sky, chasing the stars with his telescope. Sometimes he eats.

BestSelling Reads author page    |      Website   |     Facebook     |     Google+     |     LinkedIn     |     Twitter     |     Instagram    |      Amazon Author page

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New book launch: Somewhere in Wine Country

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A new series by BestSelling Reads author Toby Jane

Nothing could go wrong with this scenario.

I watched my family’s vineyard fall under the auction hammer, holding back tears of grief and rage. What should be mine went to a stranger.

I want to hate Kane McCallum and his dark blue eyes. He has everything: looks, money, even a big, lovable dog. Now he’s offered me a job managing the vineyard—my vineyard.

I can stay in my family’s home, but only if I work for him.

I’m a billionaire looking for something more.

I don’t want to care what happens to prickly Meg Villier, but I see hard work and courage in her calloused hands.
Passion in the curve of her generous mouth.
Tenderness in the way she treats my dog.

Available TODAY from Amazon:

Toby Jane

is the romance pen name for bestselling mystery writer Toby Neal. Romance allows her to indulge in the delight of love stories with happy endings, big families, and loving pets.

Toby also writes memoir/nonfiction under TW Neal.

If you like Marie Force’s Gansett Island series, Bella Andre’s Sullivans, or Melissa Foster’s Remingtons, you will love Toby Jane’s Michaels sisters, and their children, in the Somewhere Series.

 Visit her on her:

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Velvet Rain

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A Thursday teaser from the Readers Favorite-selected read

By David C. Cassidy

The black car eased left, onto the dark country road that would lead to its destruction.

“I’m telling you,” Christensen said again, tapping his wristwatch. He’d been going on about it for nearly five minutes. “No way it’s nine-thirty.”

Strong glanced up at the rear-view mirror, then brought his focus to bear on the road. He seemed quite put off with the private’s obsession with the current time, even more put off by the ill color of his own bloodshot eyes. “Just shut the fuck up.”

Christensen looked like he might say something about the lieutenant’s skin, which was quite unsightly now, what with its odd blister here and there. He studied it a moment longer, then simply turned and faced the road.

The headlamps cut through the darkness. After a short distance, Strong shut the air vents. “I can’t take this no more. Smells like cow shit, for Chrissake. Fucking hick towns.”

Christensen disagreed as he rolled up his window. “I think it’s more like a dump. Sir.”

Brikker was not surprised at the darkness. What surprised was that foul odor; the hideous transformation of Strong. The man rarely suffered but minor aches and the occasional bout of nausea after a Turn, but how it had affected him in this manner, yet showed not the least in the private, was a puzzle. Perhaps it had something to do with the homosexual gene (of which he was certain existed and could be eradicated in time), but that was only speculation. More likely, the queer was simply one of the fortunate few who suffered no ill effects of the Turn, unlike the vast majority predisposed to certain side effects of the magic. And thus it did not surprise him when he reached up and touched his cheek and found it blistered and worn. He could smell his own blood from the open sores. Could taste it on his lips.

What most surprised—and intrigued—was this strange turn of events. Richards had struggled to summon the magic, had nearly destroyed himself in the process; had nearly destroyed all of them. He could still see the burning bodies in his mind, the fall from human to human waste, terrifying. He could not recall such horror, nor such agony. And from this moment onward, he would remember the agony.

The world was different now; of that he was certain. Perhaps a rebirth of ten minutes had come … perhaps fifteen. Nonetheless, the effects would be far-reaching in every sense: There would be mild chaos and confusion for a radius of several miles. Miles of wasteland, yes, and perhaps that would serve as a saving grace. But what he did not know, could not possibly know, were the full implications of this strangest of Turns. Richards had not only struggled, he had suffered the loss of his greatest strength: control.

Indeed, to grasp Time’s Wheel and draw it back without thought, with no guiding hand … who knew its danger. The Turn itself had been disastrous, and already this new world had taken a darker path. The air reeked of filth; Strong was a fright, as was he. He would heal, surely, his nausea would pass, and his eyesight, of which he had never suffered the least ill, would clear. Yet the question tasked him: What darker surprises awaited?

“Sir.” It was Strong.

“Shit,” Christensen muttered. He was struggling to read the directions on his crumpled notes.

Brikker lowered his window. At least all had not changed.

In the distance, the farmhouse burned.

“That’s the place,” Christensen said. “Jesus.”

In the other direction, far to their right along the road perpendicular to them, Brikker saw a pair of headlamps in the blackness. The vehicle was moving at quite the rate of speed. The bumpkin who would be hero, he thought. Or was it the farm boy?

It mattered little. What mattered was avoiding another collision.

“Slow down,” he snapped.

“Slow down?” Strong asked. “What for?”

“Do it.”

Strong eased up on the gas and brought them under the speed limit.

Brikker nodded to himself as a second pair of lights appeared, perhaps a quarter mile behind the first vehicle. It was closing quickly.

All three vehicles converged toward the intersection. The first, a flatbed, Brikker now discerned, had slowed as it approached. It was still a hundred yards shy.

“Stop,” Brikker said. “Let them pass.”

Strong hesitated, clearly wondering why, but followed the order to the letter. The black car slowed, creeping up on the intersection. It finally stopped, a safe thirty feet from the stop.

And waited.

Velvet Rain

Award-winning author David C. Cassidy takes you on an extraordinary journey into the heart of the human soul, where one man’s incredible story of courage and tragedy will lift you, shock you, stir you—and leave you begging for more. 

Velvet Rain is a rollicking thrill ride, pitting unstoppable power against unstoppable evil. With a nerve-wracking beat that weaves paranormal and horror with a deeply human touch, this is a gripping tale of heartbreak and redemption, terror and torment, with a stunning climax that is simply unforgettable.

HE WAS BORN A MIRACLE.

IT WILL TAKE ONE TO SAVE THE WORLD.

A mysterious drifter, Kain Richards is the last of his kind—and a man on the run. Once a tortured prisoner and pawn in a secret government experiment, his freedom hangs in the balance against the relentless pursuit from Brikker, an obsessed and brutal madman who will stop at nothing to possess him.

Born with the Turn—the godlike power to reverse time—Kain’s ability is constrained inside a “bubble” that alters time within it. The further back he turns, the larger the bubble, the larger the effect—and the greater, stranger, and more dire and unpredictable the consequences, for those within, and beyond, the Turn’s reach.

Kain also possesses the Sense, giving him knowledge of the previous timeline and fuzzy, incomplete glimpses of the future. While the vast majority of the population don’t have the Sense, some do—and Brikker is one of them. And yet, while those who have it aren’t even aware of it, experiencing little more than déjà vu when time has turned, Brikker’s Sense far exceeds Kain’s, and is utterly dangerous. Not only can he remember every detail of a previous timeline, his glimpses into the future are far deeper, far more telling, giving him a deadly advantage. As these glimpses can only occur when time has turned, Kain is the key to Brikker’s twisted plans that tread an unalterable path to a terrifying future of death and destruction.

Knowing full well he must keep to the road, yet worn from the chase and his curse of the Turn, Kain settles into a job as a farmhand, only to fall for a beautiful and sensible Iowa farmwoman. Unable to stay but unwilling to leave, his dark secret sets their lives in peril. His health and his powers failing, only an iron will in an epic final battle will give him the chance to stand against the evil menace that threatens to consume him and the woman he loves—and to save the world from a hellish apocalypse.

Read more about it on the author’s web page.

Get it from

David C. Cassidy

David C. Cassidy, horror and science-fiction

Award-winning author David C. Cassidy is the twisted mind behind several chilling books of horror and suspense. An author, photographer, and graphic designer—and a half-decent juggler—he spends his writing life creating tales of terror where Bad Things Happen To Good People. Raised by wolves, he grew up with a love of nature, music, science, and history, with thrillers and horror novels feeding the dark side of his seriously disturbed imagination. He talks to his characters, talks often, and most times they listen. But the real fun starts when they tell him to take a hike, and they Open That Door anyway. Idiots.

David lives and plays in Ontario, Canada. From Mozart to Vivaldi, classic jazz to classic rock, he feels naked without his iPod. Suffering from MAD—Multiple Activity Disorder—he divides his time between writing and workouts, photography and Photoshop, reading and rollerblading. An avid amateur astronomer, he loves the night sky, chasing the stars with his telescope. Sometimes he eats.

Website   |     Facebook     |     Google+     |     LinkedIn     |     Twitter     |     Instagram

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