Friday, August 22, 2014

Excerpt from 'The Nightclub'

by Lynette Sofras:

Petra's eyes rolled upwards to scan her pink ceiling; she then glanced at her watch and swung her long legs over the side of the bed. Laura feared this was a prelude to being shown the door, but instead, Petra reached for a pack of cigarettes and pulled one out, offering the pack to Laura. She shook her head.

"No thanks, I don't—"

"No such thing as don't. At Ferriby's you do, even when you don't. Take one, just to get used to holding it." Petra lit her own cigarette from a vintage gold lighter with an art deco diamond inlay that she casually picked up from the side table. She proffered this to Laura. "Genuine vintage Cartier, worth a couple of grand; a little gift from one of my punters. I didn't smoke either, though I do now. You don't have to inhale, just know how to look as if you're used to it. The ciggies are a little income-booster. When Jeannie comes round, the punters usually buy you ciggies, then you can sell them back to her, or pass them on to your friends. Or keep them, if you take up the habit."

Bibi stretched out her hand eagerly, but Petra laughed again. "Not you, little skylark. Think what it would do to that wonderful voice of yours." She watched as Laura pulled a cigarette out from the packet and rolled it between her fingers. "OK, Ferriby's. When I first started there, it was one of the best nightclubs in town. That was when Guy Ferriby ran the place. It was high end and very elegant, frequented by the wealthy and famous. But then Guy died." Petra choked on a cough and stubbed out her cigarette in a large rose-pink ashtray. After another sip of her drink, she continued. "Very sad. After that his brother, Melvin took over. He had completely different ideas about the club, but not all bad. He just catered to a different crowd—and that made a lot of work for a whole new army of girls."

"Strippers," Lily added, surprising everyone


Laura looked at her, hoping for more, but Lily simply swung her slender frame from the bed and reached for a hand mirror to examine her face, her expression again doll-like and blank.

"The girls don't complain," Petra assured them. "And don't worry about Mel, his bark is far worse than his bite. He's a puppy dog really. So what do you think, Laura? Are you game?"


Trying to make a living for her teenage sister and herself, naïve Laura Hamilton accepts a job offer as a hostess at an infamous nightclub. As she struggles to survive in a world of sex, drugs and corruption, she certainly doesn't expect to find her own knight in shining armour in the club's owner, Julian. But will he really save her from a future as a fallen woman? And is he involved in the criminal organisation that threatens not only her sister's life, but will change her own fate forever?


A former teacher, Lynette gave up her career in education a few years ago in order to focus on her writing and thus fulfil her childhood dream. She writes contemporary women's fiction, often involving romance with suspense or a supernatural twist. She claims 'Killing Jenna Crane', a romantic thriller and 'Unworkers' a modern ghost story/women's fiction are her personal favourites to date. Her latest release 'The Nightclub' is a romance packed with suspense. You can find more details of her novels on her website: or Amazon author page:

Buy Link:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Shenanigans of Time

About the book :

The Shenanigans of Time is an absorbing, vivid collection of interlocking stories. P. A. Chawla, reveals myriad emotions - the turmoil and transcendence of childhood, parenthood, sex and love – that shape immigrant lives.

Whether it is the motelier Deven Shah and his deep seated desire to be embraced as the quintessential local only to be regarded as a foreigner by his own child, or Saya Sharma who fades in and out of her suburban life like a migratory bird, or the visiting Feroz grasping for a chance at domesticity with the volatile Rita, The Shenanigans of Time is ultimately a hymn of praise for the resilience of the human spirit and the desire for a place to call home.


Poonam Chawla migrated to United States from India in 1982. She has worked in the corporate arena for fifteen years (Communictions) before she began her career as a writer.

The Shenanigans of Time is her debut novel. Poonam lives in new Jersey wither husband of 32 years and two extraordinary children.

Excerpt from: Chai for his sister

Now came the hard part. He had to let go his cane, and carry the tray back to her room. It did not feel too heavy at first but the act of turning around with the tray, made the teacups slide a bit and he realized, his heart sinking, he had not added napkins to the tray. What if the tea spilled…the thought made him nauseous. After all his work, to bring her a cup of tea making dirty brown rings in the saucer, like a clumsy, irreverent peon. He gripped the tray hard and walked carefully his tongue sticking out between pursed lips. Halfway through, his right toe got caught in his pajamas. He had the urge to empty his bladder. He stood still, unfurling his toe waiting for it to come unstuck. He should have tightened his pajama string before he picked up the tray. By now his forehead was gleaming with sweat threatening to trickle down his eyes. A few more steps and he was at her door.

She seemed to sense his presence and stretched and sighed. His elbow nudged the corner table by the door. Ah! Perfect. He would place the tray on the table just for a moment. She was now awake and looking at him wide eyed. “Chai” he smiled shyly.

She sat up painfully, making a cursory attempt to push her wispy hair in place under the thinning braid. “Rosa?” She queried, perplexed.

“She will be in later.” He placed the tray beside her and sat at the edge of the bed. She held out his cup. Together they sipped their tea.

“Is it all right?” He asked after a while. She smiled at him, her eyes wet, her lips trembling. He put his head down. Why get used to that look in her eyes? She was only here a few days.

She ate a tea biscuit, then another. Wiped the crumbs from her lips and said, “Remember Ram Singh? I was so afraid of him…he looked like a monster to someone my age, with his moustache like a scrubbing brush, his deep voice …” Ram Singh was an old family servant, back when they were children.

Her brother nodded, listening as she prattled on, letting the words tease the air, play in his ears wash over him like water in the desert heat. Now and then he nodded, led the conversation down another alley, deliberately transposed dates, killed off living relatives, conflated events then acted surprised as she corrected him, the twinkle in her eyes and sharp curving lines around her lips making her otherwise featureless face come alive with pleasure. “No no don’t you remember…. you were in Quetta at the time, trying to persuade our father to let you join the film industry … ”

Like a child who sucks and sucks and sucks at a mint, willing himself not to allow its inevitable escape into the blood stream, the 87 year old brother let his sister, two years younger, talk about the things she liked to talk about, an endless number of times.

Available: the Shenanigans of Time is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ellora's Cave Changes

On Dear Author and Passive Voice.

On Monday, an anonymous person posted on Absolute Write the full email Patty Marks sent to the Ellora’s Cave authors. Before the post was taken down, we managed to copy and paste the letter, and Jane put together the following news item:

To All Ellora’s Cave authors:

>Read more.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Blonde Ops

Short Bio:

Until Hollywood calls, Charlotte lives in NJ with her husband, three children, two needy cats and sometimes a deranged squirrel. She is the co-author of Blonde Ops (St. Martin’s/Dunne) and the Sirenz series (Sirenz, Sirenz Back In Fashion, Flux).

She’s written for magazines and newspapers. Currently she’s working on solo sci fi, ghost, and time travel novels and loves to hear from fans on Twitter (charbennardo) or through her blog,

You can buy her books at your local bookstore or online at:

Books A Million
Barnes and Noble
Indie Bound


Staying in the shadows, I walked around the warehouse, and spying the faded Fredo Transporto sign, I knew I was in the right place. Around the corner of the building, I passed cracked windows grimed over with soot and dirt and eventually found a door. After a quick glance to make sure no one was around, I ran up to it and stopped in dismay. It had an electronic keypad lock. Cracking this would cost me extra time that I didn’t have. Lucky for me, it was a cheap setup. I didn’t have the equipment for disabling a more sophisticated system. Carrying the necessary tool in my luggage, even if I had it, would have instantly gotten me yanked out of the security check into a room for a full body search and interrogation.

Sliding my backpack off, I pulled out my penlight. A swift look up assured me I was still alone. Using my hand to shield the light, I turned it on and searched the ground near the door.

Not too far from the walkway was a patch of dirt, bare of grass, dried and hard packed. I ground it with my foot, creating a powdery dust. I scooped up a small handful, went back to the door, and gently blew dirt onto the keypad. It was almost like dusting for fingerprints. The penlight showed it stuck to four numbers: 3, 5, 6, and 8, where residual skin oils remained from repeated pressing on the pad.

That meant only twenty-four possible combinations if it was a four-digit code string. It wasn’t a high-end lock, so it probably had a shorter sequence of numbers and wouldn’t freeze up with too many wrong combos, like a computer would after three incorrect passwords.

I began with 3, 5, 6, 8.

Then 3, 6, 5, 8.

Sweating, I rushed. Being caught picking a lock on a warehouse would be the most legitimately jail-worthy thing I’d done to date, taking me from hobbyist-hacker to criminal-cracker.

i>Focus! If Candace or the man shows up early…

5, 6, 3, 8.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Researchers May Have Found a New Way to Cure Cancer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Chasing cancer cells with chemotherapy drugs can save lives, but there's no guarantee that the treatment will kill every run-away cancer cell in the body.

hat if, instead of hunting those metastatic cells, a treatment could lure them out of hiding -- every last one of them -- and eliminate them in one swift blow?

Yong Wang, associate professor of bioengineering at Penn State, has created such a therapy -- a tissue-like biomaterial that attracts cancer cells, like bits of metal to a magnet, and entraps them.

"Once we trap the cancer cells, we can deliver anticancer drugs

>Read more.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Author Rock Star Round Up

What have my rock stars been up to the past few weeks?

Hugh Howey has been asked why indie authors should care about what Hachette charges for e-books.

I just got an email from a reporter asking me why indies are fighting for lower priced ebooks. I’ve seen many indies ask each other the same thing. After all, affordable pricing is one of our biggest advantages. Why would we want that to go away?

What I find interesting about this question is the insight it provides about the people doing the asking. It would never occur to me to question another person’s willingness to perform selfless acts. I’m far more curious (and wary) of those who seem to think this is alien behavior. Maybe there is a lot of projection going on here. I don’t know.

Read here.

There's more fisking going on over at J.A. Konrath's blog.

William Ockham Fisking Michael Pietsch

William: In case you haven't heard, Hachette (US) CEO Michael Pietsch is sending out a response to the emails he's getting. DBW has it: <.P

As you might imagine, I have a few comments:

Thank you for writing to me in response to Amazon’s email. I appreciate that you care enough about books to take the time to write. We usually don’t comment publicly while negotiating, but I’ve received a lot of requests for Hachette’s response to the issues raised by Amazon, and want to reply with a few facts.

• Hachette sets prices for our books entirely on our own, not in collusion with anyone.

David Gaughran makes the argument that indie author are saving the publishing industry.

Self-Publishers Aren’t Killing The Industry, They’re Saving It

Posted on August 9, 2014 by davidgaughran

In light of current events, I thought it would be good to re-run Ed Robertson’s excellent guest post from November 2012 where he highlighted interesting parallels between historical paperback pricing (pre-industry consolidation) and self-published e-books.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Lunar Lion X Update: Raising funds

Moon missions take brains, willpower, and usually, the wealth of nations. Until now. Brains are still needed, as is willpower. Now, for the first time in history, YOU can join a group landing a privately-funded spacecraft on the Moon.

>Read more