Robert Wideman and Cara Lopez Lee - Unexpected Prisoner: Memoir of a Vietnam POW

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

22. Unexpected Prisoner: Memoir of a Vietnam POW by Robert Wideman and Cara Lopez Lee (2016)
Length: 343 pages 
Genre: Non-Fiction 
Started: 18 November 2016
Finished: 21 December 2016
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Samantha at Roger Charlie for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 25 October 2016
Why do I have it? I like non-fiction and Robert Wideman and Cara Lopez Lee are new authors for me.

Having spent the past three and a half years in the Navy, Lieutenant Robert Wideman was looking forward to returning to America after completing his tour of duty during the Vietnam War. The recent newlywed had big plans and dreams for his future, and was determined to put them into practice as soon as he came back home. With only twenty-seven days left in his tour of duty - on what should have been just another routine bombing run for him - Lieutenant Robert Wideman's plane is shot down and he crashes in a secluded village somewhere in North Vietnam. The date is May 6th, 1967.

His deepest fear is realized when he is captured and held as a Prisoner of War for the next six years. Although Robert endured the sort of treatment that makes people question humanity, physical torture was never his biggest problem. During his six years spent in captivity, Robert experienced first hand the pain that is orchestrated by other people: shocking instances of 'Man's inhumanity to Man', as well as the truthfulness behind Jean-Paul Sartre's words: 'Hell is other people.' 

Unexpected Prisoner by Robert Wideman and Cara Lopez Lee chronicles a POW's struggle with both enemies and comrades alike; his mistreatment by Vietnamese interrogators and his various dealings with American commanders. Robert Wideman's poignant and heartbreaking memoir further chronicles his personal struggle to maintain a firm hold on his dreams for the future in the face of such prolonged trauma. Ultimately, Robert must find a way to survive and to maintain a solid hold on the memories of his past life, his faltering dreams of the future, as well as his own personal sense of himself as a person.

I must admit that while I learned quite a lot about the Vietnam War in school, I was slightly surprised to learn just how much more of a vicious reputation the South Vietnamese soldiers had than the North Vietnamese. I realize that the Viet Cong - as the South Vietnamese allies of the North - had rightfully earned such a horrific reputation for brutality; but while the North Vietnamese soldiers were considered the enemy, they also seemed slightly less brutal in their treatment of prisoners of war.

In my opinion, this was a thoroughly thoughtful memoir and I truly felt for Mr. Wideman and everything he went through during his captivity. I also understand how hard it must have been for him to come back home and have to adjust to civilian life. To be perfectly honest, I found the story to be extraordinarily poignant and thought-provoking. Although I spent more time reading this book than I probably would have preferred, I would definitely give this book a solid A!

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Introducing Vampire Blood: Prequel to Human No Longer by Kathryn Meyer Griffith!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Hello Everyone! I was delighted to learn that Vampire Blood by Kathryn Meyer Griffith will soon be free to download from Amazon - at least for a short time. Yes, starting in January of next year, Vampire Blood by Kathryn Meyer Griffith will become free to download from AmazonVampire Blood by Kathryn Meyer Griffith is the prequel of Human No Longer, which I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing back in July of 2013. I would advise you all to grab your own copy as soon as possible!


Meet Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Since childhood I’ve been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. But I’d already begun writing novels at 21, over forty-two years ago now, and have had twenty (ten romantic horror, two horror novels, two romantic SF horror, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel, one historical romance and three murder mysteries) previous novels, two novellas and twelve short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books/Eternal Press; and I’ve self-published my last five novels with Amazon Kindle Direct and my dinosaur novels are my best-sellers.

I’ve been married to Russell for thirty-six years; have a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. We have three quirky cats, ghost cat Sasha and Cleo, and live cat Sasha (Too), and the five of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die…or until my memory goes.

2012 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* for my horror novel The Last Vampire - Revised Author’s Edition ~ 2014 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* for my thriller novel Dinosaur Lake.

Connect and Socialize with Kathryn!


Vampire Blood: Prequel to Human No Longer by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2015)
Length: 264 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

Vampire Blood: Prequel to Human No Longer Blurb:

For years the vampire family lived in the shadows, hidden by the night and people's disbelief; feeding on animals or throw away people who would never be missed. As the family moves into an old theater to cover up their crimes, the youngest are restless and determined to live as they like. Killing and feeding when and where they want. Feeding on who they want. 

Only the oldest vampires have managed to keep them in check. But no longer. Unaware of the nightstalking menace, the townspeople of Summer Haven, Florida, blithely go about their daily lives until, one by one, they disappear.

Screams are heard in the night. Fear grows. But the lost are never found...alive. 

Jenny Lacey and her father, who are hired to renovate the old Grand Theater, can't escape when they find themselves caught up in the middle of the vampire's war. In the end, it's up to Jenny, her brother and her ex-husband to get rid of the bloodthirsty fiends that are destroying their town...if they can.

Human No Longer by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2012)
Length: 267 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

Human No Longer Blurb:

Jenny and Jeff Sanders become victims of a bizarre crime; leaving Jeff dead and Jenny in a temporary coma. She returns to her children. With Jeff’s death she must move back to her childhood home, a haunted farmhouse, in Summer Haven, Florida, where once they destroyed a family of vampires.

Jenny has no appetite. She’s edgy. Her eyes hurt. She thinks it could be trauma or grief. Until one night she can’t resist the night woods or the overpowering urge to drink warm animals’ blood - and accepts the truth. Her attackers were vampires.

Now she’s becoming what she once reviled. She can’t abandon her children but must find a way to live in the human world. At night she hunts, in the day hides what she’s becoming and attempts to fit in.

Then townspeople begin dying. Like years before. With her blackouts, she fears she may be the killer, or is it her vampire attackers? For they've found her and demand she joins them–or her family will die. She resists until they kidnap her children. Then she has to find a way to outwit and ultimately destroy them.

The prequel to Human No Longer - Vampire Blood - is also for sale on Amazon.

May you read well and often

Introducing Christmas Magic 1959: A Short Story From my Childhood by Kathryn Meyer Griffith!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

I'm delighted to tell you all that Kathryn Meyer Griffith has recently released a wonderful short story and with the holiday season in full swing, she has decided to offer Christmas Magic 1959: A Short Story From my Childhood for free everywhere through Christmas! I would certainly advise you to grab your own copy while you can!

Meet Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Since childhood I’ve been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. But I’d already begun writing novels at 21, over forty-two years ago now, and have had twenty (ten romantic horror, two horror novels, two romantic SF horror, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel, one historical romance and three murder mysteries) previous novels, two novellas and twelve short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books/Eternal Press; and I’ve self-published my last five novels with Amazon Kindle Direct and my dinosaur novels are my best-sellers.

I’ve been married to Russell for thirty-six years; have a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. We have three quirky cats, ghost cat Sasha and Cleo, and live cat Sasha (Too), and the five of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die…or until my memory goes.

2012 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* for my horror novel The Last Vampire - Revised Author’s Edition ~ 2014 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* for my thriller novel Dinosaur Lake.

Connect and Socialize with Kathryn!



Christmas Magic 1959: A Short Story From my Childhood by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2016)
Length: 19 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon and Smashwords!

Christmas Magic 1959: A Short Story From my Childhood Blurb:

Have you ever wondered what a writer’s early years were like and how it affected their future writing and the stories they would tell later in their lives? Have you ever wondered what their childhood Christmases, their early holidays, were like?

Well, wonder no longer. This story is about one of my most cherished childhood Christmases...in 1959 when I was nine years old. After my beloved musician/singer/songwriter brother Jim passed away in 2015 from cancer I felt an intense need to write this short story about that special Christmas Eve I shared with him, my other siblings, mother, father and grandparents, and put it out there for everyone to read as a tribute to him and my family.

This is my story, part of my childhood, and some of my fondest memories. Note: in the late 1970’s I did a series of illustrated (by me, because I’m an artist, too) short stories for my local newspaper and I’ve used one of my old article drawings from that newspaper from 1977 for the first page of this short story.


May you read well and often

Reading Wrap-up For November at Emeraldfire's Bookmark

Thursday, December 1, 2016


Hello everyone out there and I hope that you all had a terrific reading month for yourselves. I am known as Emeraldfire around the Internet and this is my new personal reading blog.

Anyway, I started out November with about two hundred unread books lying around the house and ended the month with...umm...uncountable amounts of books unread. All of the books that I acquired this month came from authors, Paperback Swap and Amazon.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:


Changes to the TBR pile

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- One of Windsor: The Untold Story of America's First Witch Hanging by Beth M. Caruso

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- Christmas Magic 1959: A Short Story From my Childhood by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
- The Blue Witch by Joni Parker
- A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, a very good reading month for me, considering. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 1
Pages Read: 345
Grade Range: A+! 

So, there you go! The reading month that was November. I hope that you all had an equally good reading month; if not a little better. :) See you all next month! :)

May you read well and often

Beth M. Caruso - One of Windsor: The Untold Story of America's First Witch Hanging

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

21. One of Windsor: The Untold Story of America's First Witch Hanging by Beth M. Caruso (2015)
Length: 345 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction 
Started: 17 October 2016
Finished: 23 November 2016
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Dorothy at Pump up Your Book for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 17 October 2016
Why do I have it? I like historical fiction and Beth M. Caruso is a new author for me.

Young Alice Ashbey was born into the Tinker family of Berkshire, England in 1615. As a distant cousin to the Tinkers, Alice soon came to see her cousins more as adopted brothers and sisters. Orphaned at the age of ten, she also soon discovers that she has inherited her mother's talent for intuitive insights. With the deaths of the patriarch of the Tinker family - as well as of the eldest son and namesake, Robert - within a few weeks of each other, the Tinkers find themselves at a heartrending crossroads.

Deciding to leave England for the promise of the New World, first one and then more members of the Tinker family begin to make plans to settle in America. Alice - now a lovely young woman of twenty - hopes to stay with the only family she has ever known and everyone that she dearly loves. Yet sadly, her wish is not to be, as she stubbornly remains unmarried and seemingly indifferent to all potential suitors. The frustrated matriarch of the Tinker family, Mary, subsequently secures a position for Alice as a housemaid and nanny with an affluent family who is also sailing to America.

So it was that in 1635, Alice Ashbey reluctantly set sail from her home in England for the colony of strict religious dissenters in the Massachusetts Bay. She had made such a treacherous journey filled with the hope that she would be reunited with the Tinker family again, after the family had resettled themselves. Despite her initial misgivings, Alice is astonished by her first sight of the rich American wilderness and its inhabitants. She subsequently begins to appreciate the beauty of her new home.

However, Alice's first impressions of the New England colonies are not all good. Eventually settling in Windsor, Connecticut, Alice soon learns to use her own healing abilities and strong intuition to help those around her. She even learns to open her heart to the possibilities of a love of her own. However, she also encounters the suspicions and blinding fears of Puritan leaders which inevitably collide and set the stage for America's very first witch hanging - her own - on May 26th, 1647.

Although it was this horrendous event as well as Alice's strong ties to her beloved family which eventually influenced Connecticut's Governor John Winthrop, Jr. to put a halt to any further witchcraft hangings in the New England settlement; such horror could never be truly eradicated even in much later years.

Paradoxically, forty-five after Alice's death - her strong familial bonds were again used to further enflame witchcraft hysteria. This time, the influential Puritan minister and prolific author Cotton Mather, used his knowledge of Alice's tragic story as the secret impetus behind the writing of his dangerous and destructive commentary in support of the Salem witch trials of 1692. Alice's strong family ties - as much as the painful memories of the tragedies which resulted in the accusation of witchcraft being leveled against her - served only as a cautionary tale for the righteous to always remain vigilant in their neverending battle against the minions of evil.

In my opinion, Alice Young was such an extraordinary young woman and her story was remarkably  poignant. Actually, while I knew all about the Salem witch trials in 1692, I had never actually heard of any previous trials before that time. To be perfectly honest, I didn't really realize that there were any other outbreaks of witchcraft hysteria before 1692, although I knew that the hysteria spread elsewhere around New England after that time.

Actually, I enjoyed this story very much. In my opinion, the time period was well-researched and the characters and story were sympathetically written. I was drawn into Ms. Caruso's writing from the first few pages and would certainly give this book an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

May you read well and often

Book Blast For The Crush Saga Box Set by Chrissy Peebles

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


Hello Everyone! I hope that you're all having a wonderful day today. I'm so glad to welcome Chrissy Peebles author of The Crush Saga Box Set, to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. Ms. Peebles is currently on a Book Blast tour with I'm a Reader, Not a Writer, and lasting for the next three days. This is also my twenty-seventh Book Blast post ever, but I still hope that I do The Crush Saga Box Set by Chrissy Peebles justice.

The author is also doing an awesome giveaway - she is giving away a $100 Amazon Gift Card/Paypal Cash to one lucky winner at the end of her Book Blast. Be sure to fill out the Rafflecopter form below, and I wish you all the very best of good luck in taking part!

About The Crush Saga Box Set:



I was born to die…But to defy fate is to control your own destiny.

Moving to Big Bear Lake was supposed to be a fresh start, but when Taylor Sparks is thrown into a supernatural world, her reality comes crashing down around her when she finds out she’s a KEY player in a dangerous game created 1,000 years ago that will give the witches and werewolves the upper hand against the vampires. Blood will be spilled and secrets will be revealed in this action-packed thrill ride and paranormal romance.

Will Taylor dive into a paranormal world she knows nothing about to be with the one her heart can’t live without?

Or will her life spiral out of control when she learns her blood is needed, just the serum necessary to lift an ancient curse from a group of supernatural beings and give the witches back their magic?

Werewolves will serve as her guardians and protect her until the first full moon of the new year, the night of her sacrifice…

Will she accept her destiny?

Or will she refuse to let evil swallow her up?

Praise For The Crush Saga Box Set:

This was a fantastic box set with magic, action, mystery, twists and turns, vampires, werewolves, witches, and gargoyles. Each book gets better and better and takes you deeper into the mystery!

Book 1 is about Taylor moving to Big Bear Lake and learning it’s a supernatural place and that her crush is something more. Book 2 gets deep! And this is when all hell breaks loose! Taylor is tossed into the supernatural world. She thought she was observing it from the outside, but little does she know that she’s a major player! And she didn’t even know it!

She comes from an ancient line of witches and is supposed to be sacrificed in The Millennium Ceremony. She’s stubborn and fights her supernatural enemy with everything she has. I loved how tough she becomes. There’s a paranormal battle raging and I loved every page. This is one of my favorite paranormal romances ever!

The Crush Saga Box Set Book Trailer:



Purchase your copy:


Meet Chrissy Peebles

Chrissy Peebles has always loved reading and writing fantasy from the earliest age she can remember. She lives in a busy city with her husband, two children, and one cat (Shadow) and three dogs. (Sparkles, Rosie, and Jack) Chrissy also loves to snap photos as her favorite hobby.

Connect and Socialize with Chrissy!


Book Blast Giveaway of $100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends December 2, 2016.

Terms and Conditions:

  • Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash.
  • Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded.
  • No purchase necessary.
  • You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. 
  • The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.
  • This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified.
  • The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I am a Reader, Not a Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

ENTER TO WIN!


  a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Crush Saga Box Set Excerpt:


Grabbing my purse, I hurried out of the car and locked the doors. Just as I started to walk up the driveway, I felt the cold steel of a muzzle against my neck. My heart hammered against my ribs.

“One sound, and you’re dead,” a harsh, male voice said.


I froze in panic as somebody slipped a black blindfold over my eyes, then gagged me. A man duct-taped my mouth, while another tied my ankles, legs, and wrists with rope. He hoisted me over his shoulder in a fireman’s carry, and horror ripped through me. Help! I’m being kidnapped! my brain yelled, but I dare not cry out for fear of what they would do to me. I did try to fight back, at least to some degree, but I was tied and gagged and could do little about being manhandled.

“Put her in the trunk!” a man yelled.

As I fought, I was thrown, neck-first, into the trunk of a car, and my mind began to race. This can’t be happening! I tried to call out for my parents. If only they could hear me. If only I could scream, maybe Max would bark, and Mom or Dad would come to the door. If only…

Tires screeched, and the vehicle took off down the street. The smell of gasoline made me gag. I tried to kick and scream, but it was tight quarters, and I was still all tied up. I cringed at their muffled voices, wondering what they wanted from me.

“I’m tellin’ ya,” one of the guys said, “we oughtta just kill her now.”


My skin crawled at his nonchalance.

“He’s right,” the other said. “Just do it, right here, right now. We’ve outsmarted her protectors, but for how long? We need to do it swiftly and quickly, before they return.”


“You know the rules,” a low voice hissed. “If we just kill her, they’ll have the legal right to choose another, and we’ll be right back at square one again. We’ve gotta do this by the book.”


“I agree,” a woman said. “We need to stop the Millennium ceremony from happening.”


“I don’t want to kill her,” another woman said. “She’s just…an innocent victim in all this. It isn’t right.”


“If we don’t kill her, they’ll win,” another said. “They’ll gain the upper hand when she gives them what they need.”

“Our enemy will stop at nothing to destroy us,” another said tensely. “Killing her will keep them from becoming more powerful than they already are.”


“It will bring them to their knees!” another shouted.


Great, I thought. A case of mistaken identity is the last thing I need. By their talk, I assumed that killing me was some way to get back at their rivals, though I had no idea who those rivals were. The mafia? Some kind of…street gang? I had absolutely no idea, but I desperately wanted to tell them who I really was, to let them know they obviously had me confused me with somebody else. Maybe if I explain that, they’ll let me go. After all, I hadn’t seen their faces, so I wasn’t a threat. Then it dawned on me: Jesse had just revealed his identity to me. Maybe his clan wants to kill me because I know too much. I wanted to scream at them and tell them, to assure them that I’d never reveal Jesse’s identity, that I’d take his deep, dark secret to the grave with me. Jesse meant everything to me, and I would never betray his trust like that; unfortunately, my captors didn’t give me a chance to explain that to them. I wasn’t completely sure if it was vampires that had me. But they had heard me messing with my ropes and that took Immortal hearing. No human could hear that over the sound of the engine, the radio, and voices talking.


We drove down the lonely stretch of road, and I didn’t hear one car pass by. I considered trying to pop the trunk open so I could jump for freedom. I figured the car was going about eighty, but I figured it’d be easier to heal from a broken neck than a bullet to the head. The rope bindings cut into my skin and began to sting and burn. I wiggled my numbing hands, trying to find some relief, when a man yelled back at me.


“Stop it!” he said. “Or else I’ll kill you right here.”


I shivered at his voice, then obeyed his commands. There was no way he could have seen me no way he could have heard me picking at the ropes. I contemplated how they were going to kill me. It had to be a contract hit, but I wondered why there were so many of them there just to take out a defenseless woman. I also wondered how they could be so heartless.
The vehicle stopped, and my stomach dropped when I heard the doors swing open. This is it, I thought. My time has come. When footsteps approached, I held my breath. The trunk popped open, and strong arms lifted me out and set me down on a hard surface, maybe concrete or asphalt. My legs were wobbly, but one of the men steadied me and untied my ankles. Jerk, I sarcastically seethed. The cold night air hit and my hair blew around. I tried to see through the blindfold, but all I could see was darkness.

A man shoved me forward. “Walk!”

I let out a trembling breath and stumbled to the edge of the hard surface, then felt my shoes sink in grass and damp earth. As I carefully walked forward, a towering fern brushed softly across my face. I took tiny steps because my imagination was in overdrive; I couldn’t help picturing all those pirate films I’d seen of people walking off the plank, and I knew there were a lot of cliffs around. The man behind me kept pushing and shoving, making me go faster than my hesitant feet wanted to carry me, forcing me to trip over what I assumed to be a very long log. Twigs snapped and crunched underfoot. An owl hooted, and crickets chirped. The smell of wet moss, damp dirt, and decaying leaves mingled with the scent of pines, wafting up my nostrils; any other time, the aroma 
would have been beautiful. My heart lurched. I was sure they were leading me to some isolated location for my execution, a place where no one would ever find me, and that thought sent droplets of nervous perspiration rolling down my face, perhaps mingled with tears.

I refused, however, to go quietly. I couldn’t do much to fight them off, but I wanted to make it harder on them. They’ll have to carry my corpse, because I’m not gonna walk out to the middle of nowhere and shovel my own grave. I’m not doing their dirty work for them! I took a huge step to the left, and then bolted.


Strong arms caught me within seconds, and I flailed and thrashed like a gazelle in a lion’s grasp.

“If we don’t keep movin’, we’re not gonna make it to the designated spot on time,” a man said.


“Maybe I oughtta just snap her like a twig, right here, right now,” said a deep-voiced man.


I screamed through my gag at the thought that the guy wanted to rush my demise.


“No!” another said. “She must be sacrificed at midnight.”


Sacrificed?


Trembling with fear, I thrashed even harder in the guy’s grasp. I suddenly realized that my abduction had nothing to do with a mafia hit, vampires, or a street gang initiation; rather, I was in the hands of some strange cult. I could barely breath, terrorized by fear.


“How much farther?” a man asked.


“We’re here,” another answered.


At that point, I was gasping for breath at the thought of being sacrificed in some weird ritual. I recalled what Fred had said about witches and realized it wasn’t so farfetched of a theory. My heart had never raced so hard. The man held me tight in his grasp, and I tried to fight, but he was so strong, and I was no match for him. My feet suddenly left the ground as he picked me up and carried me. I turned and twisted in his grasp, to no avail. He gently set me down on a cold slab of concrete and forced me to lie down, and I’d never been so terrified in my entire life.

Fingers gripped my ankles and wrists as the rope was tightened around me, securing me to a cold slab. It didn’t make sense to me that they left my blindfold on and my gag in, since they were clearly going to kill me anyway. For all I knew, maybe they thought it was more humane to kill me that way. Perhaps they want to spare me the misery of watching the dagger pierce my heart. I listened intently as they shuffled around, and then I struggled in my bindings.


May you read well and often

Introducing The Dinosaur Lake Series by Kathryn Meyer Griffith!

Friday, November 11, 2016

I'm delighted to tell you all that the first book in Kathryn Meyer Griffith's thrilling Dinosaur Lake Series - Dinosaur Lake - is currently free to download from Amazon. Also, with the recent publication of the fourth and final installment of the Dinosaur Lake Series - Dinosaur Lake IV: Dinosaur Wars - back in September, Ms. Griffith has one teeny, tiny, little favor to ask of you all. If you'd be kind enough to write a brief but honest review of the books in the series for her on Amazon, she would be absolutely delighted. Just email Ms. Griffith at rdgriff@htc.net, and she'll be happy to send you a complimentary copy of any of the books to read.

Dinosaur Lake by Kathryn Meyer Griffith is the first book in her Dinosaur Lake Series, and I had the pleasure of reading Book 1 way back in March of 2014! Here is my review. You can also download the other two books in the series - Check 'em out! ;)

Meet Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Since childhood I’ve been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. But I’d already begun writing novels at 21, over forty-two years ago now, and have had twenty (ten romantic horror, two horror novels, two romantic SF horror, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel, one historical romance and three murder mysteries) previous novels, two novellas and twelve short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books/Eternal Press; and I’ve self-published my last five novels with Amazon Kindle Direct and my dinosaur novels are my best-sellers.

I’ve been married to Russell for thirty-six years; have a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. We have three quirky cats, ghost cat Sasha and Cleo, and live cat Sasha (Too), and the five of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die…or until my memory goes.

2012 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* for my horror novel The Last Vampire - Revised Author’s Edition ~ 2014 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* for my thriller novel Dinosaur Lake.

Connect and Socialize with Kathryn!



Dinosaur Lake by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2012)
Length: 451 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon and Audible!

Dinosaur Lake Blurb:

Ex-cop Henry Shore has been Chief Park Ranger at Crater Lake National Park for eight years and he likes his park and his life the way it's been. Safe. Tranquil. Predictable. But he's about to be tested in so many ways. First the earthquakes begin, people begin to go missing, then there's some mysterious water creature that's taken up residence in the caves below Crater Lake and it's not only growing in size, it's aggressive and cunning and very hungry.

And it's decided it likes human beings. To eat.

And it can come up onto land.

So Henry, with the help of his wife, Ann; a young paleontologist named Justin; and a band of brave men, must not only protect his park and his people from the monster but somehow find where it lives and destroy it before it can kill again.

Now Dinosaur Lake by Kathryn Meyer Griffith is a 2014 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* in their Suspense/Thriller category.


Dinosaur Lake II: Dinosaurs Arising by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2014)
Length: 248 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon and Audible!

Dinosaur Lake II: Dinosaurs Arising Blurb:

Prehistoric creatures have again invaded Crater Lake National Park…and this time there’s more than one.

Henry Shore has been Chief Park Ranger at Crater Lake National Park for thirteen years now and thought the days when he’d had to fight a rogue dinosaur that lived in the caves below the lake were long over.

Until one of his park rangers, to save a visitor’s life, is in a deadly struggle out in the woods with a new breed of dinosaur worse than the last one. It’s as big as a man, but this one is a young one. And growing.

Then more of the creatures begin to show up everywhere, threatening people and destroying the tranquility and safety of his beloved park.

A tourist trolley filled with fifteen people is snatched up off the crater’s rim by another version of the younger one…but this one has grown into a giant with fangs, claws and a deadly tail. And this one has wings. Ugly Gargoyles, Henry calls them. For this one isn’t alone. They’re flying beyond the park’s boundaries into the neighboring towns.

So Henry, with the help of his son-in-law, a paleontologist named Justin, and a band of brave park rangers, and a few good soldiers, must not only protect his park and his people from monsters once more but find their lair and destroy it and them before the creatures kill again.


Dinosaur Lake III: Infestation by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2014)
Length: 285 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

Dinosaur Lake III: Infestation Blurb:

Chief Park Ranger Henry Shore has dealt with and fought real live dinosaurs at his beloved Crater Lake National Park for over six years. With the help of his rangers, a few brave FBI friends and army soldiers he’d been victorious over a prehistoric lake creature and years later some particularly fiendish, and clever, specimens of the flying variety. He and his newspaper publisher wife, Ann, thought their park was finally rid of the monsters and they could reclaim their tranquil life in a place they cherished.

Not so. For suddenly across the park new and even more malevolent mutant species of dinosaur begin to appear and create havoc, attacking the park’s visitors and threatening its peace. And this time the primeval scourge isn’t confined to just their park. The creatures have moved into the nearby towns, across the western United States and up into Canada.

They are so much more aggressive, smarter and hungrier than any that have come before and the infestation is spreading further and faster than Henry and Ann can even imagine. This time there’s no easy way to defeat the dinosaurs. There’s too many of them and they’re too devious. This time it’s full out war and the victor will someday claim Earth.


Dinosaur Lake IV: Dinosaur Wars by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2016)
Length: 362 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

Dinosaur Lake IV: Dinosaur Wars Blurb:

For seven long years Chief Park Ranger Henry Shore has been dealing with and fighting anachronistic dinosaurs in his beloved Crater Lake National Park and in the surrounding town of Klamath Falls. It began with one lone leviathan, the one he tongue-in-cheek called Godzilla. Henry and his band of heroes defeated it but others followed: the flying varieties he named gargoyles, the mutant T-Rexes and roaming velociraptors that were so much smarter than their ancient ancestors. 

He, his rangers and the National Guard soldiers, fought all of them, but still the dinosaurs, cunningly destructive and blood-thirsty, kept coming. No one knew where they came from or what the future would now hold for a besieged humanity, they only knew the monsters were spreading like a voracious wildfire and had to be stopped before they ravaged the world. Eventually, he and his wife, Ann, their family and friends, retreated into a fortified ranger headquarters where they continued to battle the proliferating dinosaurs. 

Will Henry’s son-in-law, Doctor Justin Maltin, a brilliant paleontologist, find a way to exterminate the creatures and save them...save the world? And, more importantly, would he be able to do it in time? Dinosaur Lake IV Dinosaur Wars is the fourth and final book of the Dinosaur Lake Series.

May you read well and often

Reading Wrap-up For October at Emeraldfire's Bookmark

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


Hello everyone out there and I hope that you all had a terrific reading month for yourselves. I am known as Emeraldfire around the Internet and this is my new personal reading blog.

Anyway, I started out October with about two hundred unread books lying around the house and ended the month with...umm...uncountable amounts of books unread. All of the books that I acquired this month came from Paperback Swap, authors, All Romance Ebooks and Amazon.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Rereads
- Schism: The Battle For Darracia by Michael Phillip Cash

Changes to the TBR pile

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- Tut Reborn by Cyci Cade
- Mystery at Raven Abbey by Sylvia Little
- Ghost Hampton: A Novel by Ken McGorry

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- From Time to Time by Jack Finney
- I, Angus by Mike Hartner
- A Quiver of Character by Mike Hartner
- To Teach an Ancient God by Sapphire Phelan
- One of Windsor: The Untold Story of America's First Witch Hanging by Beth M. Caruso
- Unexpected Prisoner: Memoir of a Vietnam POW by Robert Wideman and Cara Lopez Lee

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- Tut Reborn by Cyci Cade
- Untamed by Joan Dial
- Wildfire Woman by Marianna Spring

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, a very good reading month for me, considering. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 4
Pages Read: 1,259
Grade Range: A+! to A!

So, there you go! The reading month that was October. I hope that you all had an equally good reading month; if not a little better. :) See you all next month! :)

May you read well and often

Ken McGorry - Ghost Hampton: A Novel

Friday, October 28, 2016

20. Ghost Hampton: A Novel by Ken McGorry (2016)
The Ghost Hampton Series Book 1
Length: 456 pages
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Started: 5 October 2016
Finished: 28 October 2016
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Dorothy at Pump up Your Book for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 28 September 2016
Why do I have it? I like paranormal mysteries and Ken McGorry is a new author for me.

Living in the town of Southampton, New York, Lyle Hall had acquired a reputation for being a notoriously tough real estate lawyer. It was a reputation that was certainly well-deserved, as he was known to be a difficult person to deal with - both in and out of the courtroom. He was definitely not the type of person who has ever allowed feelings of sentimentality to get in the way of him doing whatever was in his client's best interest. And if it just so happened that Lyle Hall's own best interests were also met during his career, then so much the better.

However, ever since his catastrophic car accident a year ago, Lyle has undergone a Scrooge-like transformation. The accident was indeed life-changing; it took the life of an elderly woman, and has left Lyle paralyzed from the waist down. After having a near-death experience himself and spending two months in a coma, Lyle Hall has awakened to find that he developed a strange and disturbing new 'talent': he has somehow become empathetic to other people's pain. This recent development in his personality is disturbing for Lyle, because while he certainly understands why the residents of Southampton are grieving, angry, and even hostile towards him; he is nevertheless powerless to make them understand that their assumptions about the accident are completely wrong.

Late one October night - while being driven back home - Lyle passes by a dilapidated Victorian mansion that has recently been slated for demolition. Known around town as "Old Vic" - the ramshackle house has apparently had quite a colorful history as a former brothel. Lyle cannot honestly describe how he feels just driving by Old Vic - but he intrinsically understands that if he mentions the disembodied pleas for help that he hears - nobody will believe him. Returning alone to the property two days later, Lyle sees an apparition standing on the porch of the house.

The vision of the mysterious young woman identifies herself as Jewel, and she looks to be about twelve years old. But she's been dead for at least a century. Jewel has been chosen to make a desperate appeal to Lyle for his help. In return, she shows him an appalling vision - his only daughter Georgia's epitaph - which, if it is to be believed, means that she will die in four days!

Whether or not Jewel is using this terrifying vision in order to force Lyle's assistance - he has no idea - yet the nightmarish vision serves as the catalyst that shocks Lyle out of his complacent convalescence and back into the real world. However, Lyle's court injunction to save the crumbling Old Vic backfires on him. When Lyle's former courthouse nemesis - a newspaper columnist with a hidden agenda - publishes a sensational story designed to embarrass Lyle, the resulting rumors of a possibly haunted house brings with it a flurry of national media attention. Soon a horde of paranormal-obsessed demonstrators - paranormal investigators and ghost-hunting paranormal enthusiasts alike - descend on the town of Southampton.

Rapidly swept up in the national media frenzy, Lyle finds himself trapped between the proverbial rock and a hard place when he meets the extraordinary Miranda Silkwood. Silk, as she is known to her fans, is a gorgeous yet highly devious television reporter. While his new nemesis may only be scheming to make her big break into the legitimate news business - biding her time working with an online media conglomerate dedicated to all things paranormal - Lyle nevertheless finds himself being seduced by Silk's offer of an exclusive media contract. Faced with an impossible situation - to either sit down with Miranda Silkwood for an exclusive interview; or continuing to try and protect his Georgie's wellbeing without her knowledge - Lyle initially stumbles badly.

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I appreciated just how much Lyle Hall may have changed personally because of his accident, but also understood that he faced an extraordinary dilemma: proving to his neighbors that he is now an entirely different person. I would certainly say that this story is a lot like A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens - however, Ghost Hampton: A Novel focuses more on what happens after Lyle Hall undergoes his Scrooge-like transformation. I would certainly give this book an A! and am curious to see how this story will develop in future books.

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Blog Tour For I, Angus by Mike Hartner From November 1, 2016 to January 27, 2017 - Come Join Us!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Hello Everyone! I am extremely happy to announce that Mike Hartner will be touring the blogosphere to promote his historical novel I, Angus. This virtual book tour is being hosted by Pump up Your Book and will last from November 1, to January 27, 2017!

I, Angus Blog Tour Information:

Meet Mike Hartner

Mike Hartner was born in Miami in 1965. He’s traveled much of the continental United States. He has several years post secondary education, and experience teaching and tutoring young adults. Hartner has owned and run a computer firm for more than twenty-five years. He now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with his wife and child. They share the neighborhood and their son with his maternal grandparents.

Mike’s latest book is I, Angus (The Eternity Series Book 4).

Connect and Socialize with Mike!

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads


About I, Angus:

During a time of civil strife and purging the North has lost more men to Wars then it ever did to Nature. Angus has grown up learning that his life is better off with only him and a family. But is that really in the Grand Plan.

The North needs someone to build community. But first, Angus needs to be forged…beaten, shaped, bolded and trained. Watch as Angus hits both lows and highs across the lands of England, Scotland and France, before meeting a challenge of new land.

Purchase your copy from Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

I, Angus Book Publicity Tour Schedule:


Tuesday, November 1 - First Chapter Reveal and Tour Kick-Off at Pump Up Your Book
Wednesday, November 2 - Book Featured at I’m Shelf-ish
Thursday, November 3 - Book Featured at The Writer’s Life
Friday, November 4 - Book Featured at As the Page Turns
Monday, November 7 - Book Featured at Literarily Speaking
Monday, November 14 - First Chapter Reveal at The Dark Phantom
Tuesday, November 15 - Book Featured at The Literary Nook
Wednesday, November 16 - Book Featured at Confessions of an Eccentric Bookaholic
Thursday, November 17 - Book Featured at Mello and June, It’s a Book Thang!
Monday, November 21 - First Chapter Reveal at Read My First Chapter
Wednesday, November 23 - Book Featured at The Bookworm Lodge
Monday, November 28 - Book Featured at Bound 2 Escape
Wednesday, November 30 - Guest Blogging at The Story Behind the Book
Monday, December 5 - Interview at PUYB Virtual Book Club
Tuesday, December 6 - Book Featured at A Title Wave
Wednesday, December 7 - Book Featured at E-Romance News
Friday, December 9 - Interview at My Bookish Pleasures
Monday, December 12 - Interview at I’m  Shelf-ish
Wednesday, December 14 - Interview at The Literary Nook
Friday, December 16 - Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner
Tuesday, January 3 - First Chapter Reveal at Beyond the Books
Thursday, January 5 - Book Review at Emeraldfire’s Bookmark
Friday, January 6 - Interview at The Writer’s Life
Monday, January 9 - Guest Blogging at Book Cover Junkie
Thursday, January 12 - Guest Blogging at Dear Reader, Love Author
Monday, January 16 - Book Featured at Hooked From Page One
Tuesday, January 17 - Interview at As the Pages Turn
Wednesday, January 18 - Book Featured at SheWrites
Thursday, January 19 - Guest Blogging at Write and Take Flight
Monday, January 23 - Book Featured at BlogHer
Tuesday, January 24 - First Chapter Reveal at The Book Rack
Friday, January 27 - Book Featured at Books, Books, the Magical Fruit

May you read well and often

D. L. Richardson, author of Welcome to the Apocalypse, chats about Amazon's Kindle Scout Publishing Program for Independent Authors

Monday, October 17, 2016


I'm delighted to announce that the science fiction novel, Welcome to the Apocalypse by D. L. Richardson recently been nominated by Amazon's Kindle Scout Program for possible publication. Starting on September 28th and lasting until October 28th, Welcome to the Apocalypse by D. L. Richardson will be part of its own campaign for publication. Yes, from September 28th to October 28th, Welcome to the Apocalypse by D. L. Richardson will be subject to the voting process. Your vote counts, so be sure to vote today!

Meet D. L. Richardson

Debbie Richardson is a writer of speculative fiction. Her favorite authors influence her to write: Dean Koontz, Stephen King and Anne Rice. She wanted to be a musician first but decided writing had better hours. She wants to be as prolific as her favorite authors and she loves meeting readers and sharing her writing tips with other authors. When she's not writing she's reading, killing weeds in the garden, walking the dog, or apologizing to her piano and guitar for neglecting them.You can read about her other books on her website www.dlrichardson.com.

Connect and Socialize with D. L.!



Synopsis from 
Amazon:

Kill or be killed just got real in this game.

It's launch day of a game that'll entertain cosplayers and doomsday preppers. Kelly, Jack, and Reis enter simulation pods to survive a virtual apocalypse, yet instead of "game over" they enter a new game. Then another. Each new day brings a new battle. Surviving the games is easy, it's "kill or be killed". But fatigue and cyber sickness are setting in and the pods are designed for three days. With no communication to or from the operators, they can only hope they're rescued before it's too late.

Cast your vote for this book through Amazon Kindle Scout!

I would like to welcome D. L. Richardson, author of Welcome to the Apocalypse, a thrilling science fiction novel that has recently been nominated by Amazon's Kindle Scout Publishing Program for possible future release, to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. Ms. Richardson was kind enough to write a guest post for me and here it is below in her own words:

'Why You Should Nominate my Novel For Publication'
by D. L. Richardson

Hello! My sci-fi novel Welcome to the Apocalypse has been approved for a 30-day campaign with Kindle Scout, an imprint of Amazon. I'm hoping you can help me WIN nominations.

How the campaign works is similar to 'So You Think You Can Dance' or 'American Idol' or 'X-Factor'. Readers get to vote on a book in the program. Votes count towards publication. Yes, we writers have finally got ourselves a 'So You Think You Can Write' competition. Can you imagine what that would look like on TV? A whole bunch of people sitting at computers.

Anyway, why should you vote? If the book is published through Kindle Scout, every reader who nominated gets a free ebook of Welcome to the Apocalypse, an advanced copy prior to publication. They get to say they helped get a book published. Plus, you can enter the Giveaway to win $50 cash prize.

Whether I get this book published or not, I thank you for all your help.

VOTE NOW AND WIN CASH!
Campaign starts September 28th and ends October 28th!

Readers can win cash simply by voting. Bonus points for sharing your nomination.


May you read well and often

Michael Phillip Cash - Schism: The Battle For Darracia

Friday, October 14, 2016

Reread. Schism: The Battle For Darracia by Michael Phillip Cash (2013)
(Revised Author's Edition 2015)
The Battle For Darracia Saga Book 1
Length: 188 pages
Genre: Science Fiction
Originally Read: 20 June 2014
Reread Finished: 14 October 2016
Where did it come from? Originally I received two copies of Schism from Michael Phillip Cash and Red Feather Publishing back in February and April of 2014. Then, back in June of 2015, Susan at My Book Tour sent me a copy of the Revised Author's Edition to read. Many thanks also to Dorothy at Pump up Your Book for sending me a copy of the Revised Author's Edition to read in September of 2016. I downloaded a copy of this book from Amazon also in September of 2016.

So, back on February 8th, 2014, Mr. Cash was kind enough to send me a copy of Schism to read. Schism by Michael Phillip Cash is the first book in The Battle For Darracia Saga, and after the book began to win awards, I received another copy of the book from Red Feather Publishing on April 2nd, 2014. Despite starting to read this book a few times since I received it, I found that I unfortunately had to set it aside at times.

Having said that, I was thrilled to finally get the chance to read Schism by Michael Phillip Cash for the first time in June of 2014. It actually took me a total of eleven days to read - from June 9th, to June 20th, 2014. Actually, here is my review from June of 2014.

I had signed up to take part in a virtual book tour for The Battle For Darracia Saga being held in November of 2015. Despite Susan at My Book Tour sending me an ebook copy of the entire saga in June of 2015, I wasn't able to contribute a full book review to the tour, although I did post two guest posts from Mr. Cash as well as a book release post. Here are the links to Mr. Cash's guest posts: his character interview with Crown Prince V'Sair, his advice to fledgling writers, and my book release post - all posted in November of 2015.

Finally in September of 2016 - first on September 17th, 2016, then three days later on September 20th, 2016 - I downloaded a copy of the entire saga from Amazon and then Dorothy at Pump up Your Book sent me a copy of the entire saga to read for Mr. Cash's upcoming virtual book tour in October of 2016. I actually read Schism for a second time from September 16th, to October 14th, 2016. Granted, it took me a total of twenty-eight days to finish this first book, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and look forward to reading Collision very soon - hopefully as soon as I possibly can.

May you read well and often

Book Review Campaign For The Blue Witch by Joni Parker - Come Join Us!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Hello Everyone! I am extremely happy to announce that Joni Parker will be touring the blogosphere to promote her fantasy novel The Blue Witch. This is Ms. Parker's second virtual book review campaign with Pump up Your Book! It will last until January 15, 2017 so come join us for all the fun!

The Blue Witch Book Review Campaign Information:


Meet Joni Parker

Joni Parker was born in Chicago, Illinois, but left the windy city at an early age when her family moved to Japan. Upon return to the United States, her family moved to Phoenix, Arizona where she graduated from Camelback High School and began college. However within months, Joni quit college and joined the Navy where she became a Photographer’s Mate.

After 3 years in the Navy, she returned to college and got married. She got a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and an MBA before she returned to the Navy. As a Commissioned Officer, Joni attended the US Army Command and General Staff College, completing a Master of Military Arts and Sciences Degree. She retired from the Navy with over 22 years of service and spent several years traveling the United States in a motorhome with her husband.

When he died unexpectedly, Joni returned to work for the federal government in a civil service job. Five years ago, she started writing and retired once more to devote more time to her new passion. She currently lives in Texas.

Her latest fantasy book is The Blue Witch - Book Two in The Chronicles of Eledon Series.

Connect and Socialize with Joni!


About The Blue Witch:

The second installment of The Chronicles of Eledon finds Lady Alexin in Avalon, seat of King Arthur’s throne. The mortal world is far from what she’d imagined, and the mortals are less than hospitable. Trouble abounds when Alex is accused of being the “Blue Witch” and sentenced to die for treason. In addition, the mysterious death of one of Arthur’s courtiers by seemingly magical means complicates her situation.

Back in Eledon, trouble is brewing. Civil unrest and the threat of war demands Alex’s presence to assume her responsibilities as Keeper of the Keys for the Council of Elders. Only too glad to escape the noose, Alex executes a series of quests to prove her abilities to handle the keys and their strange magic.

But can she save the Elves from Civil War? And commute her own death sentence by finding the Holy Grail?

Purchase your copy from Amazon!

May you read well and often