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Move over Sam Spade – Make Room for Your Hawaiian Counterpart

San Juan Islands, WA. – High acclaim is coming from every literary corner for One Big Itch (ArcheBooks), the latest novel by Sara Williams.  As Eileen Goudge, NY Times best-selling author of The Diary, expounds: “Sara Williams channels her inner Raymond Chandler ….an addictively readable tale set in Hawaii and featuring detective John Spyer … abounds with local color and Hawaiian lore…the story moves along at a fast clip as it builds toward the cliffhanger climax.  You won’t see the end coming.”  This character-driven thriller is filled with hair-raising twists and turns that will have the reader flipping pages so fast in this modern-day “whodunit” they will probably end up with paper cuts!

Readers of One Big Itch will discover: 

  • A cryptic plea tucked into a Honolulu party invite from the new bride of    an old friend puzzles Hawaiian P.I. John Spyer and sets things in motion.
  • Spyer’s internationally-renowned old friend ends up dead and Spyer asks himself if the wife found out his buddy was a world-class womanizer.
  • As Hawaiians know, Honolulu is rumored to be haunted and Spyer is warned by Madam Pele, mercurial fire goddess, not to take the case.
  • Spyer’s investigation takes him to a familiar ancient valley, opening his own psychic wounds and testing his love for his mainland girlfriend.
  • The P.I. uncovers a frightening tale of obsessive love and learns his old buddy was charisma on steroids – way too popular with the ladies for his own good.
  • The local police believe his friend was killed by his own son, but the current wife and ex-wife believe he was killed by one of his crazed lovers.Police find an erotic manuscript at the deceased’s house and uncover his    involvement with seedy characters in an erotic book club. 
  • A wild ride of unexpected twists and turns follows all the way to the story’s suspense-filled climax!

Sara Williams and her husband lived in Hawaii for ten years, lending authenticity to her book through her own experience of this magical paradise.  Her first novel, The Don Juan Con, was optioned in Hollywood by producer Robert Evans for Paramount Studios.  Her second novel, The Serenoa Scandal, was the prequel to One Big Itch. 

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TIP SHEET:

Don Bruns, author of Bahama Burnout: “If you love characters, One Big Itch has plenty of them…if you love location, you’ll fall in love with Sara’s Hawaii, and if you love a suspenseful race to the finish plot, One Big Itch will give you all you want.  What a great read!”

Diana A.S. Stuckart, author of Portrait of a Lady, second in the Leonardo da Vinci mystery series: “One Big Itch is one wild ride!  With her quirky characters and rollercoaster plot, Williams weaves a slyly entertaining tale …combines lush Hawaiian landscape of travelogues with gritty reality of its urban streets…alive with authentic native voices, this fast-paced mystery will leave you wanting to hop the next plane for a tropical adventure of your own.”

Rodger Nichols, editor The Dalles Chronicle: “Spyer is an appealing mixture of John D. MacDonald’s Travis MaGee and Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer with an exotic locale thrown in for spice.  Williams has caught the rhythm and feel of the Hawaiian life…her characters are real, three-dimensional…whose actions grow naturally out of their characters, not some arcane plot demands….the plot is a gem, with layer upon layer unfolding as Spyer investigates the murder of a childhood friend.”

John Kachuba, author of Ghosthunters: “One Big Itch is one great book, yeah?  It kept one ghost-hunting writer turning the pages wikiwiki Mahalo for one fun read.”

Barrie-Louise Switzen, The Woman’s Connection: “I love a good mystery that keeps me on the edge and One Big Itch fits the bill…just when I thought we couldn’t have another twist, P.I. John Spyer comes up against one more.  The added benefit is all the Hawaiian culture woven throughout and makes me yearn to return to Hawaii.

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Author gives book proceeds and devotes her life to helping forgotten strays on island paradise

Isla Mujeres, Mexico – If it were not for the kindness and generosity of spirit of people like Alison Sawyer Current and her team of amazing volunteers, dogs and cats on this beautiful island and in the neighboring mainland community of Rancho Viejo, would believe that this was their idea of hell!  The prospect of a happy life for many of these sweet animals would be impossible if left to the local government whose archaic idea of reducing the animal population is to tragically end their life right there on the street.  Thankfully, there is an organization of hope, dedicated to decreasing the pet population the humane way – through ongoing spay/neuter programs, education, vaccinations and adoption.  Isla Animals took over this wonderful project, originally started by Amigos de los Animals, in 2002 and they work relentlessly to provide a happy future for these deserving animals.

Alison Sawyer Current divides her time between Colorado and Mexico and is the operator of this unofficial humane society.  In 2005 she received The Doris Day Animal Kindred Spirit Award for her work, and she consulted in Mexico City for the Forum on Small Animal Overpopulation in Mexico.  For the past seven years, Alison and her faithful volunteers have worked diligently with other rescue groups in the Yucatan, U.S. and Canada on behalf of thousands of neglected animals to ensure they get the basic care that every loving animal deserves.

It is an even more amazing feat that this compassionate woman has found the time and energy to write a novel, and is using a portion of the proceeds from the sale of her book to further the care of her beloved extended feline and canine family.  Her intriguing novel, No Urn For The Ashes (Bayfire Press Publishing) is a composite blend of adventure and thrills, compassion and grief, showing an incredible psychological insight into human nature in the writer’s choice of dynamic characters.  Please visit her website at www.islaanimals.org to see the fine work being accomplished by Alison and her team.

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Journey to Hell to Catch Monstrous Creatures to Stock the World’s Largest Aquarium

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water …think again …unless you want to become an afterthought on the food chain!  Carcharodon Megalodon (MEG for short) was a 70-foot, 70,000 pound Great White shark, a monster that could eat the shark in JAWS and still have room for dessert! The most fearsome creature that ever lived is still lurking in the depths of the ocean and has no natural enemy – it is the predator of all predators.  Steve Alten, renowned NY Times best-selling author, takes us on a heart-stopping thrill ride of adventure in his latest novel, MEG – Hell’s Aquarium (Variance Publishing).  Make sure you are strapped in and ready for the journey of your life!

This amazing story begins in the western portion of the sixty million square miles that make up the Pacific Ocean.  Hidden deep beneath the surface is the Philippine Sea Plate – home to the nightmarish species of sea creatures believed to be extinct!  Jonas Taylor had been the best deep-sea submersible pilot in the Navy until his last dive in these waters when he panicked and launched the Navy’s vessel into a rapid emergency ascent that cost the lives of two scientists on board.  No one believed Jonas’ claim of seeing a monster shark with a head bigger than the entire sub.  His career over, his confidence shot, Jonas sets out to prove the giant does exist.  Jonas ultimately finds the giant and has to kill it but captures one of its surviving pups and brings it home.

The Tanaka Oceanographic Institute in Monterey, California, is home to the now 76 foot, 100,000 pound Carcharodon Megalodon that has returned to the lagoon to give birth to five female pups that are already proving too aggressive to keep in one pen.  A Dubai royal prince, building the world’s largest aquarium, wants to buy two of her ‘runts,’ if Jonas’ son David will be their trainer.  Jonas reluctantly agrees and David sets off to Dubai – never realizing his recruitment was for another purpose.  The prince knows that under the Philippine Sea Plate is a lost purgatory for the most terrifying sea monsters in history – and he wants them in his new aquarium!  To get a taste of what is to come, watch the trailer below or at: www.youtube.com/ascotmediagroup

MEG: Hell’s Aquarium, the fourth installment of Alten’s best-selling MEG series, proves to be the greatest yet with a major motion picture already in the works.  Visit this imaginative author at his website: www.stevealten.com.  

TIP SHEET  

Noteworthy past accomplishments of this acclaimed author in the previous three MEG novels include being on numerous best-seller lists, published in over twenty countries, and reaching best-seller status in France, Germany, Spain and Mexico, as well as becoming a popular radio series in Japan.

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A new approach to healing a nation’s cultural obsession with food, sex and spiritual fulfillment.

What a Body Knows: Finding Wisdom in Desire (O-Books) by Kimerer LaMothe combines the author’s knowledge and experience as a philosopher, dancer, partner and mother to call our attention to a source of wisdom we have learned to ignore. Rather than blame our desires for food, sex, and spirit for our cultural and psychological ills, this book urges us to learn from these desires how to move in ways that will grant us the pleasure, health, and well being we seek. With each desire, the author describes what this wisdom is, how to find it, and why it works. Through a compilation of her own personal experiences, philosophical reflections and cultural analysis, we learn that our desire for food is guiding us to follow the arc of eating pleasure to a sense of enough; that our desire for sex is guiding us to ask our partners for what we need in order to help us give and receive a life-enabling touch, and that our desire for spirit is guiding us to create the network of relations that will support us in becoming who we are.

Finally, here is a book that shows how to find the wisdom in each of these desires – engaging people in the moment-by-moment ways they relate to their own sensations of desire. Like a breath of fresh air – it offers a different idea of what it means to be aware of one’s own self – an idea that aligns mind, body and spirit rather than promoting the kind of ‘mind over body’ sense of self that diverts us from what our bodies know.

What a Body Knows might be called “a mother’s philosophy,” since it has the author’s own experiences with her children woven through its words. Part of her motivation for leaving the Harvard world of philosophy and theology and moving to a farm was to live life in a way that would allow her to tell a different story about who we humans are. She accomplishes her goal in What a Body Knows by offering a healing, liberating perspective on what it means to be a bodily self, complete with concrete practices that support it. Please visit her imaginative website at: www.vitalartsmedia.com .

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One unhappy housewife wonders if the best part of marriage begins after the fairy tale ends

Lizzie Buckley knows she should be happy as a lark in her picture-perfect world.  She loves her country estate, her precocious three-year-old twins, and her handsome husband – but why, oh why didn’t somebody warn her about the effects of postpartum depression and the toll it would take on her marriage?  She knows it isn’t normal to fantasize about chucking it all in for a good box of chocolates and an uninterrupted bath!  Your Roots Are Showing (Grand Central Publishing), the debut novel of Elise Chidley, has been nominated in two categories of the 2009 RITA© Awards for Best First Book and Best Single Title Contemporary Romance.

Lizzie, constantly tired, bored, and misunderstood by her husband James, questions whether her ‘perfect’ life really is all that perfect.  When she decides to vent by airing her problems in an email to her sister, Lizzie does the unthinkable; the dreaded millisecond beyond the point of no return, she accidentally sends the email to her husband.  And then, as the old adage goes – the ‘you-know-what’ hits the fan!  James hastily packs his suitcase and takes himself and his ruffled feathers out of her life.

Your Roots Are Showing is the very real story of a young woman forced to uproot her children and start life over as a single mom in a dilapidated garden cottage.  In a desperate attempt to reinvent herself, she takes up running, loses weight, and manages to finish writing a children’s book.  Even a temporary distraction created by an attractive gardener doesn’t help her regain her sense of self-worth or stop her wondering whether James might not have left her if she had only been thinner, better dressed and as well-bred as her upper-crust mother-in-law, Your Roots Are Showing is an excellent character-driven story that is inspiring, humorous and insightful, with each person contributing in their own unique way towards helping Lizzie come to realize that she and James can only find their way back to each other when she is strong enough to cope on her own.

 

TIP SHEET:

Elizabeth Buchan, NY Times best-selling author of Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman: “Look no further for a delicious, romantic story, written with wit and a light touch.”

Gemma Townely, author of The Importance of Being Married: “Toe-curlingly observant and wonderfully heartwarming – I loved it!”

Jane Porter, author of Flirting with Forty: “Absolutely wonderful…a charming debut, not to be missed.”

Romantic Times Book Reviews: “Chidley hits it out of the park with her debut novel…finds humor in the mundane and absolutely nails Lizzie’s character arc…spot-on writing, Chidley has created a heroine readers will care about.”

Eastern Daily Press: “A page turner, Lizzie Buckley has a life many women would dream of but lately she’s been fantasizing about swapping lives with a single woman.  When Lizzie hits ‘send’ on the wrong email everything starts to unravel.”

Prima: “This is full of colorful characters and is the ideal holiday read.”

ArmchairInterviews.com: “Elise Chidley presents…an amusing yet poignant tale… Her characters are vibrant and colorful, and her writing passionate and personal.”

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Walking the Talk to Sobriety – One man’s story of courage and commitment

When Jeffrey Taylor looks back on his life, he knows that God or one of his angels intervened on a cold, snowy night in New York when he was found by police in a gutter, stripped of his clothes.  This was the lowest moment in his life – the deciding factor that made him face his demons and make a choice to take back control of his life, facing the reality that he is an alcoholic.

Jeffrey began drinking at the age of twelve after some tough times in his Jewish neighborhood in New Jersey.  A Gentleman Drunk (Executive Caliber) is a first-rate biography of a once highly functioning man who allowed his alcohol addiction to destroy his marriage and his financial security, leaving him a broken, lonely soul.  It is an incredible story of the road to recovery and survival, despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles and challenges, in order to conquer the debilitating effects of alcoholism.  This real-life drama is written with wit and brutal honesty and there is no sugar-coating the very real drama in this man’s love/hate relationship with alcohol and the battle he endured to finally conquer it.

Jeffrey’s story tells of many things that contributed to his addiction; his flawed relationship with his father, his life at college and the painful details of fraternity initiation rituals, selling drugs, studying music in France, graduate school in Chicago, on to landing a high paying bank job in New York City.  He tells of his daily ritual at a local bar after work where fellow yuppies hung out, drinking more heavily and picking up strangers.  He meets a girl, relocates to San Francisco with her where they marry and have a daughter.  Now he is working 24/7, making lots of money, still drinking up a storm, and decides to relocate to North Carolina in order to better his consulting skills.  Now pregnant with their second child, his wife is forced to end the relationship knowing that his workaholic ways and constant drinking aren’t about to change.  Unrepentant about his irresponsible behavior, Jeffrey heads down to Club Med Cancun where he meets Toby, a woman he obsessively pursues until she agrees to return to New York and marry him, but even this doesn’t fill the painful void in him.  After several years of traveling around the world, lecturing by day and entertaining by night, and not being able to stand Toby’s criticism of his drinking, he comes full circle on the night he ends up in the gutter – when he is forced to admit he has a drinking problem and seeks help from Alcoholics Anonymous.

Jeffrey Taylor is now a recovering alcoholic with six years of sobriety and has spoken on this subject to audiences around the world.  He knows that alcoholism does not discriminate – it transcends many walks of life and knows no boundaries on where it inflicts its pain.  His first AA meeting was terrifying but by his 60th day he knew he must give himself up to a higher power – he could not stop drinking on his own.  He accepted guidance from his sponsor, worked his twelve step program, transforming day by day and helping others on their journey to freedom from alcohol.  Visit Jeffrey’s free and informative website at www.Alcohol411.info.
 
Jeffrey’s life is an amazing success story.  He is the founder of Jeffrey Taylor Group, a holding company for various operating businesses, and has published two textbooks for the equipment leasing industry and one on starting a new business, and still finds time to teach several commercial real estate courses.

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In debt to the devil – not a good place to be when you want out of your contract

When eleven-year-old Lucy Burns writes and mails a letter to “Whom it may concern” to save her sister’s life, she never dreams that “He” will come to collect once her sister miraculously recovers!  Nineteen years later, unnaturally gorgeous, unable to stay with a man past that all-important third date, and stuck in a less than ideal job, Lucy decides she has had enough of doing the devil’s dirty work.  The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns (Bancroft Press), the debut novel of Elizabeth Leiknes, is a hilarious tale about a thirty-something woman whose life teeters somewhere between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Bridget Jones!  Lucy wants out of her seemingly binding contract with the devil so that she will be able to get what she’s always wanted and has never been granted – a normal life that will include a loving relationship, friends, and a family of her own.  An unlikely friend gives his best shot at helping her, but it’s not as easy as it seems, and Lucy must decide the distinction between what is evil and what is good – not an easy task for someone used to damning others to hell!

Leiknes’ novel is fast-paced, sharp and sassy; loaded with humor and just the right amount of compassion; a tale of morality that shows in the end how good triumphs over evil.  Cutting through Lucy’s dark and sometimes scary persona, there surfaces a gentler side of what it means to be human, showing that in the end, no matter how dark the journey was, Lucy does the right thing.  It’s very possible that readers may relate to Lucy’s dilemma with some personal experience in their own lives (did anyone say credit card debt?), but with one exception – quitting isn’t exactly easy when you have accidentally signed on to work for the devil!  Visit the author’s fun website at: www.elizabethleiknes.com.

While The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns is Leiknes’ first novel, she has since written Black-Eyed Susan and The Understory and is currently working on a fourth novel.  She teaches English at a middle school near Lake Tahoe, where she lives with her husband and two sons.

REVIEWS:
Jane Green, author of best-selling Straight Talking, To Have and To Hold, and Jemima J: “I rarely give blurbs for debut novels, but Ms. Leiknes not only came up with a great premise for a story but her novel is quirky and fun, and her main character is devilish and likeable…quick and easy read, and one I enthusiastically recommend.”

Book-Blog.com: “A fun, light read…Lucy turns out to be a more nuanced character than one supposes going into the story.”

Ann Campbell, Editor, Doubleday: “A charming story.”

John Scognamiglio, Editorial Director, Kensington Publishing: “Well-written with a bright, energetic tone and a sexy, likeable protagonist.”

Lynn Drew, Editor, HarperCollins: “Fun.”

Ellen Edwards, Editor, New American Library: “A lot of fun – lively, funny and certainly full of surprises – and definitely an original premise.”

Charlotte Herscher, Editor, Random House: “I loved Elizabeth Leiknes’ incredibly fresh voice, and thought this was truly an original piece of fiction….A fun and quirky tale.”

Lyssa Keusch, Senior Editor, William Morrow: “…I like the unusual premise and the author’s fun voice.”

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