Thursday 28 February 2013

Rare Disease Day 2013 - Info & G!veaways

On this day, millions of patients and their families will share their stories to focus a spotlight on rare diseases as an important global public health concern.

“There are nearly 30 million Americans—and millions more around the world—affected by rare diseases,” said Peter L. Saltonstall, president and CEO of NORD.  “Everyone knows someone with a rare disease.  But, while many of these diseases are serious and lifelong, most have no treatment and many are not even being studied by researchers.  This leaves patients and families without hope for a better future.”

On Rare Disease Day, people with rare diseases around the world promote awareness of the challenges of living with a rare disease.  The global theme for 2013 is “Rare Disorders Without Borders.” 

World Rare Disease Day was launched in Europe in 2008 and last year was observed in more than 60 nations.  It is always observed on the last day of February.  On that day, patients and patient organizations will post stories, videos and blogs online and host events to raise awareness of these diseases, which are often called “orphans”.

This year, the observance has special significance in the U.S. because 1983 is also the 30th anniversary of the Orphan Drug Act, which provides incentives to encourage companies to develop treatments for rare diseases, and of NORD, which was established by patient advocates in 1983.

“More than half of the people who have rare diseases are children,” Saltonstall said.  “Challenges faced by patients and their families include delayed diagnosis, few treatment options, and difficulty finding medical experts.  Many rare diseases have no approved treatment.  Insurance may not cover treatments that aren’t approved.  Also, treatments for rare diseases tend to be more expensive than those for common diseases.”

In 1983, the Orphan Drug Act was passed by Congress to create financial incentives for companies to develop treatments for rare diseases.  Since then, more than 400 orphan drugs and biologics have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  It is estimated that approximately 15 million Americans benefit from these products, but that still leaves millions more with diseases for which there is no approved treatment.

For more information about Rare Disease Day activities in the U.S., go to  For information about global activities, go to


In conjunction with Rare Disease Day, Pandora Poikilos' books will be free from 28th February 2013 till 15th March 2013. To download your free copy, please click on the links below.

Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out is free via KDP Select (Kindle) from now till 3rd March.
Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety is free via Smashwords from now till 15th March.
Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability is free via Smashwords from now till 15th March.
Pandora's Reading Room (Short Story compilation) is free via Smashwords from now till 15th March.

Author Interview – Kara Stefanowich

Tell us a bit about your family. I grew up a foster child, so as far as family goes, I have only my son.

What is your favorite quality about yourself? My favorite quality about myself would be my ability to persevere.

What is your least favorite quality about yourself? My least favorite quality about myself would probably be my inability to be spontaneous. Unfortunately, I tend to keep a schedule and stick to it no matter what. Anything out of the ordinary must be well planned.

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? I tend to quote Judge Judy rather often. I find her to be very wise and I love how she says everything most people want to say but typically won’t. My favorite one would be, “God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason. Speak once and listen twice.”

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? I think the most worthy accomplishment in my life thus far is getting my first book published. I have many more so this was the big door I had to get my little foot into.

What is your favorite color? My favorite color is red. I am also quite fond of many shades of green.

What is your favorite food? My favorite foods are typically anything you can find in the garden mixed with chicken or pasta.

What’s your favorite place in the entire world? I can only answer that question after being to every land in the world, but I have yet to travel the 4 corners of the world. So in the meantime, I would have to say Orlando, Florida. It’s absolutely beautiful there, not to mention clean and organized. I love the way the neighborhoods are organized. It makes it much easier to find things. I also love the cleanliness of the city. There’s hardly any pollution and the streets are so flat and straight. I also love that there are fruits and flowers growing everywhere. It’s heavenly.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Suspense / Thriller

Rating – R

More details about the author & the book

Connect with  Kara Stefanowich on Facebook & Twitter

Wednesday 27 February 2013

Author Interview – Marquis Boone

What is your favorite quality about yourself? – I would defiantly have to say that I am a people person and easy to get to know. People really like talking to me, I guess because I am a great listener.

What is your favorite color? My fav color will have to be blue but I am a huge fan of earth tones.

What is your favorite food? Don’t laugh but my favorite food is ice cream. I just love ice cream if you consider that a true food lol.

What’s your favorite place in the entire world? My favorite place in the entire world is my home :) i really enjoy being at home since I travel so much every week.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I have always been a fan of english. Even though I have a hard time speaking it sometimes lol. English was my favorite subject so it all started there in a class in high school and my teacher really enjoyed my writing and helped push me into developing my writing more.

How long have you been writing? I have been writing since I have been in grade school. But I would have to say that I have been writing professionally since I was in about 9th grade.

What inspires you to write and why? life really inspires me to write. I think everyday just living and dealing with people everyday, I find that people want answers and hearing their stories cause me to explore the unknown and makes me start to write.

What genre are you most comfortable writing? I am very comfortable with writing in non-fiction inspiration but as of this year I have found a new love for fiction/ general/ religious.

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? The most challenging thing about writing for me is making sure the reader understands and receives the information the way I intended.

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Genre – Religious Fiction

Rating – PG

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Author Interview – Tomica Scavina



What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? In my opinion, what makes the story alive is writer’s ability to emotionally connect with his characters, especially the protagonist. If the writer can forget about himself and “pour” his emotions into his imaginary friends (characters), then they have a freedom to express themselves and lead the story in unexpected directions. I think the biggest challenge is to maintain these intensive, close relationships with characters regardless of the mood.

Most writers are introverts who are not used to sharing their sadness and frustration with others. However, characters have to feel all of it: sadness, frustration, shame, anger, fear and all the other “undesirable” emotions that make us human. This is what makes the characters come alive. So, staying in a close relationship with them, and writing every day regardless of the mood, is the most challenging, but also the most enriching thing that a writer can do for his writing.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? I’m currently resting after writing three novels in a row in the last three years, but I would love to share a short description of my most recent novel Return Of the Genius, which I plan to publish by the end of the year. Here it is…

Nicki Terura, a popcorn vendor and marijuana dealer, on the Adriatic island of Hvar where she was born, meets a fragile, introverted inventor whose IQ soars to 180 after being struck by lightning. Pressed by straitened circumstances and the fear that her 92-year old grandmother could fall ill and die because of the leaking roof, Nicki agrees to a dodgy job on the yacht Kairos where the “genius” and his greedy brother are experimenting with a “happy cap,” an invention that one of the greatest geniuses of all time – Nikola Tesla – was involved in.

Writing this novel was such a good emotional rollercoaster. I can’t wait to share it with my readers!

What would you like the readers to get from reading your book? I would like them to feel Dahlia’s kaleidoscope world and to think about these questions:

If there is a line between subjective and objective experience, between fantasy and reality, where is it? Are we, humans, multidimensional beings who mingle on many levels or are these levels just fantasy?

What inspired you to write this book? As a psychologist, I have an invaluable opportunity to explore the hidden dimensions of people’s minds. In my early twenties, I was impressed by edgy phenomena such as lucid dreaming and out-of-body experiences. Now, at 37, it is reality that impresses me, while the edgy perspective has moved into the realm of fiction. I wanted to connect all those perspectives and experiences into one engaging story.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Psychological Thriller

Rating – PG

More details about the author & the book

Connect with Tomica Scavina on GoodReads & Twitter


June White – How to Avoid the Rejection Blues


How to Avoid the Rejection Blues

by June White

When I first wrote my book and decided to offer it to publishers I knew there would be those who wouldn’t be interested. I researched a great many of the publishing houses and what types of books they published, many are very specific about which books they are interested in publishing. This will cut the number of rejections significantly.

After creating my list I truly believed at least one publisher would be interested in publishing my book, and although there were two that showed a slight interest, it went no further than that. I always told my children when they wanted something but were afraid of rejection, “if they turn you down will you be any worse off for having tried, but if they say yes will you be better off.” This seemed to make the rejection a little easier to handle, in the realm of, “it’s their loss.” You need one person to like your book or see your potential. Keep in mind that authors like J. K. Rowling who was represented by a literary agency was rejected by 12 publishing houses and even when her book was picked up by a publishing house she was told by the editor, “she had little chance of making money in children’s books.” They offered to publish 1000 of her books and then it would be POD, (publish on demand), LOL. The manuscript, “The Help,” was rejected by 60 literary agents and it took the author 3 years to find a publisher. So as the rejections begin to roll in just remember you are in great company. Believe in yourself and your work and remain committed. Those who do succeed don’t listen to the negative words of others.

Self publishing is becoming much more accepted and respected, so if one door closes there is always another you can open. If a book is doing well as a self published book, publishers may become interested and approach the author with an offer. Don’t give up and know you’ve written a good book and rejection, unfortunately is part of the process.


Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords

Genre – Biography

Rating – PG13

More details about the book

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Liz Schulte – How to Create a Great Work Area for Inspiration

How to create a great work area for inspiration

by Liz Schulte

Every writer needs a place they can feel inspired. Inspiration is different for everyone, but having a space you want to be in is important.

This is my office.

My chair is soft and comfortable, my walls are bright and stimulating, and I am surrounded my shelves of my favorite books. I also made bulletin board over my desk to story board books and hang up random bits of information or research I have done.

So to start creating your own space look at what you need and what you want.

1. Surround yourself with the things you love. I have my books and random action figures around me all the time.

2. Keep the space tidy and work ready, or if you are like me, you will waste time cleaning before you can start working.

3. Pick a color that you find stimulating. Before the lime green my office was a soft relaxing gray. It was nice, but a little too serene and it made me sleepy. I suggest something brighter.

4. Make sure you have space to be creative. Don’t box yourself into such a small space that you can’t let the creativity out.

The most important advice I can give is however you decide to set up your work space, make sure you like it because that is really the only thing that matter.

Thank you very much for having me on your blog today. Please feel free to check out the first book in my paranormal romance series, Secrets, for free.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords

Genre – Paranormal Romance

Rating – PG13

More details about the author & the book

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Tuesday 26 February 2013

#Orangeberry Book Review - No Foolin' by Lisa Scott

No Foolin'No Foolin' by Lisa Scott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As a teenager, I remember reading the Sweet Dream book series. In many ways, Lisa Scott's books (I've only read two) have the same tone. The romance is passionate and cute at the same time; the writing clear and easy to read; and let's not forget her well-formed main characters who will keep you entertained from start to finish.

It was absolute fun as Kate and Teague discover the best parts about their own lives and the things they had taken for granted. Be careful what you wish for, indeed. There is a certain air of confidence about these two characters. While this is common in most romance novels, Lisa takes them to a whole different level. For fans of Amanda Quick, you will definitely like this book.

Would I recommend this read? Oh yes, definitely.

Overall assessment:
Content: 5/5
Editing: 5/5
Formatting: 5/5
Pacing: 5/5
Offensive content?: PG15 to NC17 for theme and content.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author through Orangeberry Book Tours. I did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was I obliged to write a positive one.

View all my reviews

Orangeberry Book of the Day – Birds of A Feather by Kara Stefanowich

birds of a feather

When Shiloh Lashley, an International Assassin, breaks all the rules and falls in love with Monty Wright, her latest target, she finds herself in a conspiracy with her own name on the hit list — and a deep, dark secret surfacing in the fight to save her love, her life and a past she’s hidden for so long.

Birds of a Feather is a sexy tail spin of murder, money and conspiracy that gets blown to bits when Monty Wright and Shiloh Lashley are both hired by opposing agencies to kill each other. When the assassins finally meet the sparks fly, along with a hail of bullets which lead them straight into each others arms. But when their agencies discover their affair, cities crumble and a barrage of car chases, explosions and gun fights stalk the lovers around the globe, from Berlin, Germany to Tijuana, Mexico. Even as their affair blossoms, the shock still grips the pair as there are secrets a plenty in the world of spies and contract killers.

Can their love withstand the smoke of gunfire, or will their secrets tear them apart and take their lives?

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Suspense / Thriller

Rating – R

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Monday 25 February 2013

Author Interview – James Berman


Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? Soon after I could read, I wanted to write. It was arrogant.

When and why did you begin writing? In elementary school, I was writing small books. My readers then were my parents. Fortunately, they still are around to be readers.

Who designed the cover? The very talented Araminta Atherton of

Who is your publisher? I am. I like it that way. Once upon a time I had books published by Warner Books. For a no-name writer like myself, publishers are a disadvantage, especially in an age of eBooks. They don’t help with distribution and they take away control. I’m a control freak.

Why did you choose to write this particular book? To finally have a book to assign to my NYU students–one that contained nearly everything I wanted to tell them in eBook form.

Who is your favorite author and why? In fiction, Graham Greene. I always thought he had the best combination of the psychological and good storytelling. For me a fiction book must have both.

What are your current writing projects now? I am working a sequel to Lessons from the Lemonade Stand that will focus on picking individual stocks.

Are you reading any interesting books at the moment? Many. Having a Kindle emans I’m always reading many books at once. The one that really has my interest at the moment is When Money Dies, by Adam Fergusson, about the hyperinflation in the Weimar Republic. It’s a sobering tale.

Are there any new authors that have sparked your interest and why? It’s more topics than authors at this point. I mostly read non-fiction and its the topic that draws me.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Business & Investing

Rating – PG

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Orangeberry Book of the Day – No Foolin’ by Lisa Scott

Welcome to Willowdale, North Carolina, a small town where the folks are friendly, the romances are as sweet as the tea, and the biddies at the diner gobble up gossip like it’s peach cobbler. This may be their biggest scoop ever.

When sexy Hollywood bad-boy Teague “T-Rex” Reynolds comes to this quiet Southern town, he needs a fake girlfriend to hide the secret that brought him there. School nurse Kate Riley takes the job, but she won’t fall for a movie star, no ma’am. That’s fine with Teague. He hung a closed sign on his heart years ago.
Convincing the press they’re in love is one thing. Fooling each other they’re not is getting harder each day. Despite scandal, heartache, and misunderstandings galore, they might just find the sweet thrill of true love. Book one of The Willowdale Romances.

Lisa Scott is a former TV news anchor who now makes up stories instead of sticking to the facts. Learn more about where her ideas come from and what’s on the way at

Buy now @ Amazon

Genre – Contemporary Romance

Rating – PG15

More details about the author

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Author Interview – Meg Mims



Tell us a bit about your family. I’m married, and my husband and I live with two dogs and a cat in Michigan. Our daughter lives out of state.

What is your favorite color? Green, a deep forest hue.

What is your favorite food? COOKIES!! Shortbread drizzled with chocolate – YUM!

What’s your favorite place in the entire world? Ireland – plan to visit one day!

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? Reading books, scads and scads of them – especially mysteries from The Boxcar Children, The Happy Hollisters and Trixie Belden to Agatha Christie, A.C. Doyle, Dorothy Sayers, Dashiell Hammett, to modern cozy writers such as Cleo Coyle, Will Thomas and Charles Todd, etc.

When and why did you begin writing? I started with “fanfic” before it was invented, a rip-off of Trixie Belden – figuring I could write a better plot. LOL. Then I decided to write a mystery as an exercise, and switched to historical and romance, then back to mystery with Double Crossing. The Key to Love is contemporary romance, though! I’m partial to blending genres together for a unique twist.

How long have you been writing? Twenty years. Gah!

What genre are you most comfortable writing? Mystery and historical. I enjoy contemporary romance, it’s a lot of fun, but prefer doing historical research.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords

Genre – Contemporary Romance

Rating – PG

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Sunday 24 February 2013

Susan Russo Anderson – Plotting & a Large Load of Laundry

Plotting and a Large Load of Laundry

by Susan Russo Anderson

For me, plotting is like hanging up a large load of laundry.

Picture it, a beautiful Monday in June. The air is fresh, the breeze is flappy, and you’re doing three loads of wash. Don’t you dare use that drier. Get a rope and two poles.

  • Tie one end of the rope to the house.
  • Tie the other end to that big old maple at the end of the yard.
  • Prop up the rope—the storyline—with two poles. Best to prop it at about the two-thirds point on the rope—roughly, the golden mean.
  • Place the second pole somewhere after the three-quarter mark, Part Three of the story, the beginning of the climax leading to the end.
  • That way you can hang all the light laundry on the long length of rope, scenes which develop core conflict and character and move the story. Clamp the heavier stuff to the smaller lengths toward the end of the rope.

When I start to plot, I know the beginning and the end and the two plot pivots, all subject to change of course. I jot in the bones of these five scenes intermingled with some character sketches, perhaps the arcs of the most important players, and pretty soon, the story is writing itself.

When I read fiction, whether it’s a short story or novella or novel, I look for those two pivotal plot points. Name them, re-read them, because it’s around these two points that meaning clings to the story like barnacles to a ship.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Historical Mystery

Rating – PG13

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Saturday 23 February 2013

Orangeberry Book of the Day - Kaleidoscope World - Tomica Scavina

Tomica Scavina

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Genre – Psychological Thriller

Rating – PG

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A collector of kaleidoscopes and lousy relationships, Dahlia Kasper leaves her possessive alcoholic mother and moves from New York to Barcelona. In search of lost bits of her childhood, she starts living in an apartment where her father was murdered when she was four. As soon as she enters the apartment, strange things begin to happen.
Her favorite kaleidoscope becomes a gateway to another dimension where she encounters a ghost of a famous physicist from the 19th century who tries to persuade her that reality is like a moth-eaten sweater - full of holes. He needs her to help him plug up these holes and save the world from vanishing, while the only thing Dahlia really wants to save is her sanity.
This is just a part of Dahlia's problems. An elderly cello-playing neighbor turns her emotional world upside down and her longing for lost home takes her further than she ever imagined she could go. To collect all the scattered kaleidoscope-bits of her life together, Dahlia needs to go through an intense inner transformation that takes courage and a sharp sense of humor.

Friday 22 February 2013

Author Interview – Lee Strauss

Tell us a bit about your family. I’m married with four kids. Three boys and a girl- Joel, Levi, Jordan and Anastasia

What is your favorite food? Dark Chocolate. That’s a food group, right?

What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing? I’ve written and published my books. It’s amazing to see them on Amazon, itunes, Barnes & Nobles and to know that people are reading them. I love getting fan mail. I adore all the fellow writers I’ve met online, especially those in my writers group, The Indelibles (

Who is your publisher? ESB Publishing, owned by me.

Why did you choose to write this particular book? I watched a documentary on TV about how science is making progress on the effort to extend the human life span especially with genetic alteration. It got me thinking about how that would look globally if they succeed? Would everyone be able to do it and if not who would and who wouldn’t? How would it effect those who did and those who didn’t? Would people pursue this at any cost?

Will you write others in this same genre? Yes. Perception is the first in a series. Book 2 VOLITION is releasing April 16.

Eternal Life is To Die For

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Genre – YA SciFi / Romance

Rating – PG13

What doesn’t kill you…

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Genre – YA SciFi / Romance

Rating – PG13

More details about the author & the book

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Wednesday 20 February 2013

Orangeberry Book of the Day – Undertow by Elle Chardou


Five years ago, Evie Sandstrom and Finn Reilly were best friends and each other’s first love. Although neither has forgotten this time of their lives, they have moved on from one another and the secrets that continue to haunt them from the past.

Evie, now a college student, has decided to transfer for her junior year to Boston University to be closer to her family…and Finn Reilly is still there — waiting for her — in Charlestown.

During part of a gorgeous summer, the beauty of their love is rekindled again only to be torn apart by Evie’s mother, the beautiful and untouchable superstar, Athena Donahue.

Evie, angry and humiliated, is determined to avenge her mother for what she has done. Athena’s recently married Etienne Fournier, a thirty-year-old French model, and he is dangerously attracted to Evie.

Love and lust collide in the cruelest ways and now Evie finds herself conflicted, swept in the undertow and caught in the crossfire of temptation and desire for Etienne though she desperately wants to maintain the loyalty and fidelity she has promised to Finn.

Evie learns the most valuable lesson of all: falling in love is easy but for a young woman who doesn’t like to commit, maintaining a relationship is the hard part.

Publisher’s Note: Due to mature behavior, sexual references, drug references and language, this novel is recommended for those 17+.

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Genre – Contemporary Romance

Rating – R

More details about the author

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Author Interview – Karin Cox

Tell us a bit about your family. I am one of those blessed people whose family is wonderfully loving and supportive. I am one of four children, so I have an older sister and two younger brothers, and I grew up on a farm on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia. We never had a lot of money, because everything went back into the farm, but there was always plenty of love and encouragement to go around and we had a menagerie: horses, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, guinea fowl, a galah, a cockatoo, cockatiel, peacocks, ducks, chickens, turkeys, turtles, even rabbits. We were madcap country kids, riding horses at breakneck speed, swimming in murky dams and creeks, zooming down steep hills of blady grass on cardboard box slides. I am surprised we all made it to adulthood unscathed, to be honest. It makes me kind of sad that I live in the city now, so my child probably won’t have a crazy childhood like that; although, I would love to move back to the country.

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? I’m pretty proud of giving birth without needing an epidural. That was probably my biggest accomplishment. Look, I’m thrilled with the success I’ve had writing. I’ve won two Whitley Commendations for my natural history writing, been picked up by publishers, and received lots of great accolades and reviews. I’m particularly proud of a book I wrote about Australian wildlife conservation. And yet, I still think that there is some truth to “the hardest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return.” Truly, my biggest accomplishment in life is my family. It’s not always easy to keep it all together when you’re a solitary, stubborn, and sometimes absent, author, but my partner and my child are the dearest things in my life. I love them, they are more multi-faceted and clever and accomplished than any character or piece of writing I could create, and they’re what I am most proud of.

When and why did you begin writing? I’ve always had the gift of the gab, but I started out mostly writing poetry when I was a kid, so I’ve been a writer as long as I can remember.

What inspires you to write and why? Strangely, I often feel like I hate writing while I am doing it. I’m like Dorothy Parker—“I hate writing; I love having written.” I am one of those weird creatures who finds editing much easier than writing (it comes with my day job as a freelance editor), so grinding out the first draft can be a real chore because I obsess over details and nitpick words. Often, I even convince myself to quit. I need to just let go and write and worry about it later.

But writing is such a freeing experience in many ways. What mostly inspires me is that I have these ideas that just won’t quit, or I have emotions I need to get down on paper.

Who or what influenced your writing once you began? I suppose I have been influenced by a lot of authors over the years. I have always been a voracious reader. Those who have probably influenced me most strongly are Mary Renault, CS Lewis and Phillip Pullman.

What made you want to be a writer? I am a Scorpio and I like exploring the darker side of human nature. I love philosophy and profound thought. I like to go deep, sometimes too deep. Writing seemed like a perfect fit for my nature.

Have you developed a specific writing style? I like to think so, but I also tinker with my style depending on what I’m writing. My style for young adult is quite different to my style for adults. Also, for Cruxim, I deliberately tried to write in a gothic style, because this is not a book set in the modern era.

What is your greatest strength as a writer? I think writing poetry really helps with lyricism in everyday novel writing. I know my style will be too embellished for some readers, but I can’t help it. I have a love affair with words as much as with characters or plot.

How do you promote this book? At present, I’m still in the early stages of releasing it. Cruxim has been out less than a month, so I’m doing a lot of promotion. Blog tours, banner ads, social media networking, advertising—you name it, I’ll try it. I’m currently on a mission to get a lot more book bloggers and reviewers on board, so I have emails out there everywhere asking for review requests too. I’ll also be doing some more giveaways.

Will you write others in this same genre? Yes, this is the first in what I imagine to be a trilogy about Amedeo the Cruxim. I’m currently working on the second, tentatively titled Creche, and the third will probably be called Creed. I hope to have Creche out by Easter and Creed out before Christmas.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Paranormal Romance

Rating – PG15+ (some violence & swearing. No sex)

More details about the author & the book

Connect with Karin Cox on Facebook & Twitter


Author Interview – Dr. Heather Manley

What genre are you most comfortable writing? I, happily and excitedly, write for the childrens’ book market for ages 4 to 10.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I feel that Human Body Detectives series is the modern version of Magic School Bus.

What inspired you to write your first book? Basically, I was flipping pancakes one Sunday morning when it dawned on me that I could write a series of entertaining and educational adventure stories through the different systems in the body; however, it all began in the classroom. When my kids were younger, I spent time in their elementary classrooms, talking about the digestive system and nutrition. It was quite obvious that kids loved learning about how their bodies work and what foods best fueled them. I searched through the library, book stores and Amazon but was unable to find any books about the human body that were engaging. When I was flipping those pancakes, I was pondering all this and knew that kids would gravitate towards these books and in return, would provide a profound, long-term healthy effect on them. Human Body Detectives, specifically, The Lucky Escape: An Imaginative Adventure Through the Digestive System, was then born.

Do your books have a teaching objective?  If so, what is it? Yes! But what is so wonderful about the series is that kids do not even realize they are learning. My goals for students are:

  • Have a basic understanding on how each body system functions, how they work independently, yet are dependent on each other to function optimally.
  • Understand the important role nutrition plays in having a healthy body.

What is your writing schedule? I usually spend a few hours in the morning writing down ideas and key medical points for the story and then begin writing. It maybe a little backwards but I like to just get writing as you can always edit!




For those wanting to know a little more about Dr. Heather: Dr. Heather Manley, who in 2001 received her medical degree from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, is a practicing physician whose primary interest is preventative healthcare for families. She is the author of the award winning Human Body Detectives, her children’s educational series of story-telling books, eBooks, and iPhone/iPad apps.  She also promotes wellness and naturopathic healthcare on her website She lives on the Big Island of Hawaii with her husband and two daughters, and is currently at work on the next human body adventure for kids.



Buy now @ Amazon

Genre – Children’s Book

Rating – G

More details about the book

Connect with Dr. Heather Manley on Facebook & Twitter

Tuesday 19 February 2013

Orangeberry Book of the Day - Secrets by Liz Schulte

Secrets by Liz Schulte

While Olivia Martin observed life through her camera, the Abyss gazed back at her. She discovers mysterious men follow her around, people close to her are dying, and her dreams are no longer her own as she falls head over heels for a perfect stranger. A chance encounter leads to an obsession that could destroy everything she has ever known or loved. Olivia is about to find out there is a lot she doesn’t know and sometimes what you don’t know can kill you.

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Genre – Paranormal Romance

Rating – PG13

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Author Interview – Catherine Astolfo

Tell us a bit about your family. My mother is quite elderly now and has dementia, but when we were kids, she was a fabulous storyteller. My four younger sisters and I loved listening to her tales. I think that’s where I got my drive to be a writer. Now we’re all older and have kids (and grandkids), but the storytelling continues.

What is your favorite food? Pasta! It’s also my downfall. Bread smothered in butter, pasta in any kind of sauce piled high on the plate – they make me swoon. And swell.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I’ve always had the feeling I was born with it. I don’t remember a time when the words weren’t floating in my head. The compulsion to share my stories seems to have been part of me forever.

When did you first know you could be a writer? In Grade 8, a teacher read my stories and told me I had a terrific style. He thought I was a writer already. I agree with his assessment. Anyone who has the urge to put words on paper might be a writer. It’s the follow-through that counts. Sometimes I use the word “author” to make the differentiation. For me, an author is a writer who wants his/her creation to be read by others. You have to be willing to rip apart your initial output and edit, edit, edit. It’s a lot of work. Only authors are dedicated (obsessed?) enough to put in the time.

Who or what influenced your writing once you began? When I first retired and began serious work on my unfinished novels I was advised by a friend to join Sisters in Crime and Crime Writers of Canada. These organizations led to critique groups, mentors, friendships and networks. In the last couple of years, my publisher, Cheryl Tardif of Imajin Books, has been a huge influence.

Have you developed a specific writing style? I’d say I’m a fairly descriptive writer, bordering on “literary”, that is, well-developed vocabulary and expressive prose. I love to write in first person and present tense.

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? I often suffer from writer’s block. What I do is this: I sit down at the laptop and I write. I write anything. A journal of my day. An outline of the current book. A diatribe against myself for having writer’s block. Anything that dislodges the obstruction and starts the writing flowing again.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? I recently gave birth to book baby #5. It’s a standalone, a bit of a hybrid of romance, psychological thriller, mystery and historical fiction. How’s that for multiple personalities? Before this one, which is at the moment unpublished, I wrote four books in the Emily Taylor Mystery series. They’re published by Imajin Books. The title of the first one is The Bridgeman.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Mystery

Rating – 18+

More details about the author & the book

Connect with Catherine Astolfo on Facebook & Twitter

Monday 18 February 2013

Orangeberry Book Tours – The Lucky Escape by Dr. Heather Manley

Merrin and Pearl’s little brother Robbie has swallowed a penny. Now through magic and imagination they find themselves on an adventure through his digestive system where they must grab the penny, save Robbie, and narrowly escape his poopy diaper.

Buy now @ Amazon

Genre – Children’s Book

Rating – G

Connect with Dr. Heather Manley on Facebook & Twitter

Sunday 17 February 2013

Orangeberry Book of the Day – Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability – Bruno McGrath

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein
This ebook points out the surrounding issues of genetically modified fruit and vegetables that consumers are unaware of. While several parties defend the use of technology to create food, there seems to be little being done to increase awareness about this matter to the end consumer. It also points out alternative food sustainability options such as organic farming and land management.
This ebook will indicate that although some parties agree that genetically modified food items are cost effective and considered safe, its long-term results have not been adequately researched and the use of pesticides on these items are far higher than for other types farming or food products.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Food & Cooking (PG)
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Saturday 16 February 2013

Orangeberry Book of the Day - Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out - Pandora Poikilos

Anya Michaels is having the time of her life. She has the man of her dreams by her side. She has graduated at the top of her class. She has the job others were lining up for. Between late night drinks at her favourite bar and fancy dinners at the most expensive restaurants, she has a string of adoring friends. Everything changes when she hears the dreaded words, “You are sick.”
Being diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder, her world starts to fall apart, one piece at a time. Now dumped, her four year relationship is nothing but a memory filled with pictures, thoughts and a very broken heart. Her job becomes an even further challenge as she tries to hide her condition. Her friends suddenly have more important things to do, what is a party without a party girl? Perfect could not crumble any faster.
Soon, caught between situations, people and pieces of life that she never dreamed of planning for herself, Anya begins to wonder if her brain condition is all that bad. As she absorbs the changes in her life and realization sets in, she begins to wonder if she is the only one saying: Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out.
Buy Now @ Amazon Kindle
Genre – Women’s Fiction
Rating – PG
Connect with Pandora Poikilos on Twitter

Friday 15 February 2013

Orangeberry Book of the Day - Perception & Volition by Lee Strauss

Eternal Life is To Die

For seventeen year old Zoe Vanderveen is a GAP—a genetically altered person. She lives in the security of a walled city on prime water-front property along side other equally beautiful people with extended life spans. Her brother Liam is missing.

Noah Brody is a natural who lives on the outside. He leads protests against the GAPs and detests the widening chasm they’ve created between those who have and those who don’t. He doesn’t like girls like Zoe and he has good reason not to like her specifically.

Zoe’s carefree life takes a traumatic turn. She’s in trouble and it turns out that Noah, the last guy on earth she should trust, is the only one who can help her.

Want to read PERCEPTION? It's FREE on Kobo itunes B&N Smashwords
and .99 on Amazon!

VOLITION is the exciting continuation of Noah and Zoe's story from Perception.

What doesn't kill you ...

Zoe Vanderveen is on the run with her captor turned rescuer, Noah Brody.

They're in love.

Or at least that’s what he tells her. Her memories have returned but her feelings are dreamlike—thin and fleeting. Her heart can’t be trusted. Just look at what happened with Taylor Blake.

Senator Vanderveen’s new team of cyborg agents are in hot pursuit, and a reward for their capture is broadcast nationwide. Record breaking cold and snow hinder their escape. Someone dies helping them.

And their fight for survival has only begun.

Mark to read on goodreads.

To celebrate Lee Strauss is giving away a $200.00 Amazon, Nook or itunes gift card!

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About the author
Lee Strauss writes historical and science fiction/romance for upper YA and adult readers. She also writes light and fun stuff under the name Elle Strauss. To find out more about Lee and her books check out her facebook page. Follow her on Twitter at To find out about new releases sign up for her newsletter at

Author Interview – Scott C. Smith

What is your favorite color? I like dark colors, and black happens to be my favorite.

What is your favorite food? I love Indian cuisine. I could eat it every single day and not get bored. It’s so flavorful. Portland, Oregon is home to many great Indian restaurants.

What’s your favorite place in the entire world? As a Navy journalist, I was fortunate to be able to travel all over the world. My favorite place was Japan. I was stationed in Yokosuka from October 1990 to July 1992. It was my first time outside of the United States. I met a lot of great people in Japan, and it was quite the experience for a young man of 22.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? While I remember writing a short story when I was in the sixth grade, it wasn’t until I was around 15 that I became passionate about writing. After finishing “The World According to Garp” by John Irving I thought, I want to be a writer.

How long have you been writing? I can remember writing my first story when I was in the sixth grade — it was a parody of “Star Wars.” It wasn’t until I was 15 or so that I started writing on a regular basis. I also wrote for my high school newspaper.

What genre are you most comfortable writing? At the moment it seems to be science fiction and fantasy. In the near future, I’m going to write something in the horror genre.

What inspired you to write your first book? I was inspired to be a writer by John Irving; his novel “The World According to Garp” was a huge influence on my wanting to become a writer.

Who or what influenced your writing once you began? I joined the Navy right after high school, and served for six years as a military journalist. I met a lot of great people during that time, and many of them were also writers of fiction. They shared lots of great ideas with me, and were very encouraging of my own desire to become a novelist.

What made you want to be a writer? I read “The World According to Garp” by John Irving in 1982 or 1983, and that book changed my life. After reading it, I wanted to be like T. S. Garp, aside from the horrible tragedy he experienced. Stephen King was also a huge influence. I taught myself manuscript format by emulating the layout of “Christine.”

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? The most challenging part is finding the conflict central to the story. I’m working on my next book now, and it wasn’t until I was about 11,000 words in that I realized what the conflict would be, and how my protagonist would resolve it. When I wrote my first novel, “Awake,” it took even longer.

Do you intend to make writing a career? I really hope so. Self-publishing through places like Amazon and Smashwords has made this a realistic possibility for many authors. With my new book coming out soon, as well as an audio book I’m having produced for “Awake,” I’m hoping that this is the year I can quit my day job.

What is your greatest strength as a writer? I’m really good with dialogue and setting a mood.

Can you share a little of your current work with us? I’m working on a book called “…A Thousand Words.” It’s about a man who discovers that, in a book about World War II, he finds a photograph of someone that looks just like him — a German soldier from 1941. He is able to travel back to the time of that photograph, but in doing so, he discovers he has changed the future. The consciousness of that German soldier is able to travel from 1941 to the present, and essentially takes over the body and mind of the main character. Now the German soldier wants to carry out The Final Solution in 2013. Can my protagonist regain control over his body and mind and prevent this from happening? Stay tuned!

How did you come up with the title? “Awake” came from the fact that my main character, Charles Matheson, is an insomniac, just like me. As that book opens, Matheson had gone several days without sleep.

Who designed the cover? My friend Mary Nichols designed it.

Buy now @ Amazon

Genre – Science Fiction / Fantasy

Rating – PG13

More details about the author & the book

Connect with Scott C Smith on Twitter

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Orangeberry Book of the Day - Ethan Justice: Origins by Simon Jenner

He’s a new kind of hero. Join him for his very first adventure.

John Smith’s life is dull and uneventful. Despite a privileged upbringing and education, he is an underachiever of the highest calibre. When Smith wakes up with Savannah Jones, an escort provided by his best friend, Mark Bradshaw, his life is changed forever. Eager to pay Jones, to avoid her pimp breaking his legs, he confronts his friend for the money – but there is one small problem – Bradshaw is dead. But what was the murderer after?

Fisher has lost his job and wants payback. Bradshaw had the one weapon that could grant him the ultimate revenge but torture hadn’t loosened his tongue. Smith and Jones are dragged into Fisher’s grand plot to destroy the bureaucrats responsible for taking the one job where his lust for murder was an asset. No longer part of the elite SAS, Fisher’s licence to kill is revoked. With only vengeance and an unnatural lust for his sister on his mind, Fisher will relish the destruction of anyone that stands in his way.

Jones, an escort for less than a day, must pay her pimp a thousand pounds or be sold to an interested third party with highly unsavoury tastes. Jones needs Smith to pay the money and Smith needs Jones to… well he’s not quite sure, but he clearly likes having her around. Together, armed with nothing but their wits, they become the pawns of an anti-terrorist agency in a plan to capture Fisher before he exacts a revenge that will take thousands of innocent lives.

Can the underachiever become the hero, save the day and get the girl? Find out in this dark story of murder, deceit, lust and revenge. It’s a fun and wild ride into a disturbing world.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Action / Adventure

Rating – PG15

Connect with Simon Jenner on Facebook


Orangeberry Book of the Day - A Stairway To Danger - Ben Woodard

1923. An eyeless body. A menacing stranger. And a tangled mystery.

If Clive Cussler and Lee Child wrote a teen book featuring a deadly gang, resourceful boys, and nonstop excitement it would be A STAIRWAY TO DANGER.

Fourteen-year-old Tom is learning farm life from his older cousin, Will, when they stumble on a deserted barge—or is it? The boys smell a mystery and snoop around, but what they find is bigger and more dangerous than anything they could have imagined.

A STAIRWAY TO DANGER is a fun, page-turning thriller with a dark side.

Buy now @ Amazon

Genre – YA / Mystery

Rating – PG

Connect with Ben Woodard on Twitter

Tuesday 12 February 2013

Author Interview – Lara Nance

Tell us a bit about your family. My husband and I live on our sailboat with our Yorkie, Rio. He’s our child and rules the boat.

What is your favorite quality about yourself? Creativity.

What is your least favorite quality about yourself? Impatience.

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? That which does not kills us makes us stronger.  Friedrich Nietzsche

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? The many novels I’ve completed and published.

What is your favorite color? Green

What is your favorite food? Pizza

What’s your favorite place in the entire world? The Bitter End Yacht Club in the Virgin Islands.

How has your upbringing influenced your writing? I’m not very comfortable writing love scenes… :o

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? In 1988, I was reading a lot of StarTrek novels after my company moved me to a new city where I didn’t know anyone. I decided I wanted to write one, so I wrote one in a spiral notebook in pencil. That was when I knew I wanted to be a writer.

How long have you been writing? Since 1988 as a hobby, then to be published in the last 5 years.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Paranormal Romance

Rating – R

More details about the author & the book

Connect with Lara Nance on Facebook & Twitter


Monday 11 February 2013

Orangeberry Book of the Day – Grimm End by ST Cameron

Grimm end

Sara Cross never knew that her great-grandfather was still alive until an evil creature sent by his enemies burns down their house and sends her family to seek refuge at his estate on the shores of Lake Superior in northern Minnesota.

Arriving in the small, isolated town of Shadow Bluffs in the valley below his estate, they find that they have stepped into a strange world filled with magic wielders, shape shifters, and the living dead. It is also home to the Moira Sisters, three dark wielders who want to use Sara and her family to steal from her great-grandfather a centuries-old chest containing a dangerous power.

Sara’s family, already fragile after the disappearance of her father several years earlier, is brought to the breaking point as Sara, trying her best to hold her family together, sees them torn apart one-by-one by the strange creatures that inhabit the dangerous town.

When Sara learns that she too has an ability to wield magic, will it be enough combined with the developing talents of her two brothers to fight back against the Sisters? Can she rebuild what is left of her family and keep them together and, more importantly, alive?

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Paranormal Horror

Rating – PG15

Connect with ST Cameron on Facebook & Twitter


Author Interview – George Bernstein

What’s your favorite quality about yourself? That I’m driven. Once I start something, I want to finish it, and I’m not satisfied until I’m sure it’s absolutely right. There’s a bit OCD there, I guess.

What’s your Least favorite quality about yourself? That I’m driven! I have to force myself to say, “enough is enough,” and stop editing and rewriting. At some point, I’ve got to say, “This is ready to go.” Then I can leave it up to an editor to see if something else needs to be done.

What’s your favorite place in the entire world? I probably should say, “Home with the wife and my granddaughter,” to keep my head in place. But actually, it would be a tie between being on a remote, northern Canadian lake, fly-fishing for big pike, or wading a medium-sized wilderness river, fly-fishing for smallmouth bass. Those are places where the world disappears for me, and I can live in the moment, challenging great game fish with the long rod.

How long have you been writing? Probably as a pre-teen. I always love to tell stories and invent adventures. My various English teachers always seemed to pick my essays to read to the class.

When and why did you begin writing (novels)? In 1990, when I was able to “semi-retire” at a pretty young age, my wife said, “You need something to keep busy, and you don’t want to play golf every day. You always loved to write. Why don’t you write a novel?”

What inspired you to write your first book? So my wife and I began brainstorming for a subject, and Dolores thought of a neighbor, when we lived in north suburban Chicago, who became comatose after an anesthetic accident during plastic surgery. I took her condition, but imagined that, while trapped  in a dead shell of a body, her mind was still active, and I gave her the ability to use her eyes. And TRAPPED became the obvious title. I only learned many years later that “Locked-in Syndrome” is a real condition.

What Influenced your writing, once you began? After finishing and reworking my first draft of TRAPPED, I began seeking agents. One agency liked the idea of the book, but asked me to work with a professional editor, Dave King (“Self Editing for Fiction Writers”). Dave was very helpful in my better organizing the story and developing my “voice,” and  he also suggested I totally remove a side plot that I and created with Phil, the husband, to create more action. The heroine, after all, was paralyzed, so I felt we needed some action, but Dave felt it detracted from the main plot. Nothing developed through that agency, but another top agent later made the same recommendation, so I took out the side plot. He still didn’t sign me!

In the meantime, I began attending writers conferences and started learning that, as good as I (and many others) thought I was as a writer, I had a lot to learn about what makes good writing. Those classes were a great asset in developing my craft. As a side note, I took Dolores with me to several conferences. The good news was that she also learned what make great writing, and she’s my stiffest critic. The BAD NEWS was that she learned what makes writing good (!!), and suddenly all the books and movies she used to enjoy were not always so great!

What genre are you most comfortable writing? I write Suspense. My 2nd novel, A Third time to Die, might be classified as a Romantic Suspense. I’ve also written two non-procedural Detective novels, featuring a Miami-Dade homicide cop, and am working on two more in his series.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Mainstream / Suspense

Rating – PG13

More details about the book

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Sunday 10 February 2013

Orangeberry Blast Off - Cargon: Duty & Sacrifice by Kimberly Gould

In a post-apocalyptic world, Eve has discovered power of more than one nature. In Honour and Privilege, Eve became heir to the throne. In Duty and Sacrifice, she explores and defines the power of the elite. At the same time, electricity is being harnessed for the first time in centuries, providing the first glimpse into the ancient people who left the world as it exists. The horror of this revelation could shake their society as much or more than a servant becoming monarch.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – YA / Sci-Fi Fantasy

Rating – PG13

About the author

In 2009 Kimberly returned to writing beginning by expanding on the work of others, filling in scenes left out of books she enjoyed, elaborating back stories of lesser known characters, and in some cases, writing beyond the end of a book or series.

With these stories, she learned how to craft a novel of her own and finally saw the opportunity to explore ideas she had jotted down, not expecting to return to again. She also found she enjoyed the endeavour so much that the need to write and create filled her. Now she can’t imagine going a week without writing a short story or a chapter for a novel.

Kim and Allen still live in Edmonton with their daughter Delilah, born at the end of 2006.

Connect with Kimberly Gould on Facebook & Twitter


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