A Nice Brew & Something New: Visions of a Dream Excerpt

(New)A Nice Brew & Something NewA Nice Brew & Something New
 is a feature that allows me the opportunity to spotlight books and authors that are new to myself and the blog. 
Nothing tops a nice cuppa and new book to explore! Today I am pleased to feature something truly unique to the blog, an excerpt from Justine Johnston Hemmestad’s Visions of a Dream. 

(New)TheBookVOAD Cover
Visions of a Dream

By Justine Johnston Hemmestad

Visions of a Dream focuses on the spiritual fire that ignites Alexander the Great’s actions as he learns from the other cultures he comes into contact with. His closest relationships vie for his love but they also provide the steel he needs to be sharpened spiritually and emotionally, for before he conquers the world he must first conquer his own mind. He is inclusive of all people, all cultures, and all religions and he lives that belief. Alexander’s relationships with his fellow man knows no restrictions, nor does his love of the sublime.
Purchase: Amazon
Book Trailer
  (New)ExcerptVisions of a Dream

Deep beyond the cascading waterfalls of the palace stood a marvel of engineering, a wonder of architecture, a dreamland that asked only to be stepped into. For centuries it had beckoned to admirers of no less dwindling numbers to be quenched by its river of beauty, like a road of diamonds sparkling in the sun so that a soaring bird might be tempted by the illusion of luminance and swoop down to drink in.

Slowly, he stretched forth his arm and lay his hand, palm down, upon the marble that was so smooth it may have been mistaken for a drape of Eastern silk. A thin, translucent sheet of water slid over his hand with a chill, pleading with him to become part of this ancient city in more aptitudes than inner knowledge.

He glanced up, toward the umbrella of plants and trees that were as though a sunburst after a storm. He could only imagine how much more lush this mountain garden was in the Spring.

“My ancestors consorted with God here, long ago.”

Alexander whirled around. “Who are you – announce yourself,” he demanded of the man who could not yet be twenty years. “Wait, I did not intend to frighten you, young man, come back. I am interested in what you say. Who are your ancestors and what do you mean by ‘consorted with God’?”

The man raised his head and returned to his previous bold stature before Alexander, cornering a respectfully mild grin. “That,” he answered, “is another story, for another time and place, for all those around you have forgotten.” Alexander took a breath, glanced to the trickling waterfall, the sound of the surging river in his ears, plummeting through his thoughts. But the young man added, “There are those who have tried to remind you, as I am to remind you.”

“What is your name?”

“I am Daniel, of the same name as my ancestor.”

“I have heard of him…from someone else.” Continue reading “A Nice Brew & Something New: Visions of a Dream Excerpt”

Unexpected Outcomes by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson

Book Excerpt

I am pleased to feature Carolyn Ridder Aspenson’s upcoming title; Unexpected Outcomes. Today I have an excerpt of Chapter 1 and a generous giveaway hosted by the author. Unexpected Outcomes is scheduled for release on 9/19/17 and is the 4th book in the Angela Panther Mystery series. Stick around for a chance to win a set of ebooks!

Unexpected Outcomes
Unexpected Outcomes 
By Carolyn Ridder Aspenson


Unexpected Outcomes An Angela Panther Mystery is the 4th book in the Angela Panther paranormal Mystery series.

Angela is a stay at home mom who just happens to be a psychic medium. Join Angela, her dead mother Fran, and her best friend, Mel as they help Atlanta are detective Aaron Banner solve crimes and cross over spirits in this women’s sleuth mystery.


When a frantic 911 call stumps a suburban Atlanta police department, psychic medium Angela Panther is asked to help. Without a body or a ransom note, the cops question whether there’s even a crime, but Angela’s certain the woman’s no longer among the living.

On the outside, the woman’s family seems run of the mill, but Angela’s sixth sense tells her something different, she just has to find the evidence—and the victim’s remains, to prove it.

With the help of her best friend, Mel, and Fran, her celestial super sleuth mother, she sets out to find it and stumbles into a web of dark, dangerous family secrets worse than she ever imagined.

When a desperate spirit forces Angela to act on impulse, she makes one wrong move and lands right in the path of the killer. Alone, and begging for her life, Angela realizes she might not make it out alive.

This book is the 4th in the series but as with all the others, can be read as a stand-alone.

Chapter One Excerpt

“I CAN’T BELIEVE I’m gonna die. Please, no. Why are you shooting at us?”

I pulled the trigger and watched as the bullet raced through the air, smacking my best friend in the center of her chest.

I bolted upright; sweat dripping from my forehead, tears streaming down my cheeks, my heart beating faster than ever. I’d just dreamed I’d shot my best friend, my best friend. I mumbled under my breath. It’s just a dream, just a dream.

My husband Jake rolled over and rubbed my leg. “You okay, babe?”

I lay down and snuggled into him. “Another nightmare. I shot Mel.”

He wrapped his arms around me and squeezed. “We both know that would never happen. It was just a dream. Don’t let it upset you.”

I glanced at the clock. It was four AM, and I knew I wouldn’t fall back asleep, so I kissed Jake and got up for the day, resigned to the fact that I’d be exhausted before nightfall. I shuffled to the bathroom, closed the double doors, and flipped on the light. My eyes sunk like anchors in the blue and black pits swelling below them. Sleep eluded me most nights, and the nights I did catch a few z’s contained restless and fitful slumber, and it showed.

Downstairs, I made a fresh pot of coffee, and while waiting for it to finish, replayed the dream in my head. Nothing was clear except Mel. Fuzzy images of gravel and trees flashed briefly in my head, but their pictures remained too blurred and indistinct to identify with any clarity. My gift allowed me to communicate with the dead, not predict the future, and half of me thought the dream meant nothing. The other half though, threw red flags up all over the kitchen, practically screaming “Danger, Will Robinson”, like that old TV show. That half knew the Universe didn’t have a rulebook, and the fear of what it could mean crushed my heart like a ton of bricks. Six months ago I couldn’t feel what a ghost felt, but that had changed, so I knew endless possibilities existed, and that scared the bejesus out of me. I powered on my phone and pounded out a text to Mel.

“I had a bad dream,” I wrote.

It didn’t take long for her to respond. That’s how best friends worked. No matter what time it was, they were there when we needed them. “Wow, me too. It was so strange. I shot you.”

My heart raced into the anaerobic zone. I snatched my keys from the key box, slipped on my tennis shoes and bolted out the door and into my car in the garage. Both of us having the same dream wasn’t a coincidence. It meant something, and I didn’t need my spidey sense to tell me that.  Continue reading “Unexpected Outcomes by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson”

Giveaway Q&A With Dave Johnston

Questions & Answers

I am excited to have Dave Johnston back for a rather fun and unusual Q&A and Giveaway. When Dave recently decided he wanted to offer a giveaway for his YA debut Lot of a Nobody, I approached him about doing a Q&A. Which he happily obliged, but he decided he had a few questions of his own! And well, I like to play fair 😉 Be sure to stick around and enter for a chance to win The Lot of a Nobody on eBook (this is international).


So without further ado.. here are Dave’s responses to my questions:

1. The Lot of a Nobody was a significant change in pace compared to your Sixty Minute Reads featuring Holly Holloway. What prompted the decision to write a YA title at this time?
I had such a fantastic relationship with my late Grandfather, that I really wanted to explore those emotions and hope that they resonated with others. As a writer you get the wonderful opportunity to say “Imagine if …”, and I found that a story began to present itself from that initial little acorn. I allowed the characters to drive the story and the narrative, to which point it emerged fluidly as a YA novel. There are so many genres I’d like to explore, but hopefully the core voice of my writing will remain.
2. Lot Nobody is an incredibly fun character! Where did you draw your inspiration for such a young and spirited protagonist? 
Well firstly I think Lot would be surprised you think he is fun, and that lack of self-confidence was definitely born in him from my own anxiety and shyness experienced as a child. But you’re right, he is fun, and so much fun to write, and what better foil to have him bounce off than Ethan Longbow, his best friend and special ball of craziness. I’d hate to say any of my characters were inspired by just one thing – they are an amalgamation of myself, my friends, heart-warming stories I’ve read, and comedy TV programmes I watched when younger (Fry & Laurie, The Day Today, Blackadder, Monty Python)
3. It appears that you are on your way to having to very contrasting but wonderful book series (if I am wrong about this, I am going to be disappointed.). How do you plan to find balance between writing the two? 
I have to admit I am at a bit of a crossroads. I know exactly where Book 3 of the “Sixty Minute Reads” series is going, in the same way I have mentally planned out what will probably be a trilogy of Lot Nobody novels in that series. Perhaps I should throw it to a vote?
4. Describe yourself as accurately as possible in 5 words.
Sporadic, determined, forgetful, spontaneous, silly.
5. If your name were an adjective, what would it mean? Use it in a sentence please.
Hmm, well in my twenties my friends called me Dangerous Dave. With great imagination comes great irresponsibility, and before kids I lived my life whichever way it chose to go. Living off pure spontaneity is great fun, but can also end up quite hairy – it just depends if you can accept the consequences. “Who’s that guy in the wheelchair with the broken feet?” “Oh, that’s Dangerous Dave”.
Bonus Question: I now know that you are not a tea drinker (I am letting that one slide). So what is your beverage of choice?
I do feel like an outcast in this industry not drinking tea haha. My only recollection of ever trying it was at primary school, when I spat it all over the headteacher.

Orange squash is my go-to-drink. Is it called that in America? Maybe its known as cordial or dilute? Anyway that keeps me fully stocked up on E-numbers during the week, and then at weekends when the kids are in bed I’ll usually go for a white wine from New Zealand, or my new favourite liquor Amaretto – its like drinking (alcoholic) liquid sweets YUM

And then it was Dave’s turn to ask the questions:

1. If you could spend a day with any fictional character, who would it be, and what would you do with them?
This is an easy question for me! It would be with Bilbo Baggins and we would enjoy second breakfast, smoke a nice pipe and go on an adventure.

2. Is England a place where you have / would like to visit?
Asking me if I would like to visit England is like asking me if I wear pants. Of course I would! It has been on my bucket list for years. I would love to stay in Yorkshire and enjoy some of the renown food and sights. Also maybe Suffolk coastline for a bit. And of course Tower of London, Stone Hedge and visit Cotswolds! In short, I could spend a very long vacation traveling in England.

3. What toppings do you have on a pizza?
Garbage Pizza! Everything minus the anchovies and mushrooms. I like it loaded and sloppy. I also eat pizza with a fork.

4. What’s your funniest habit (including secret ones haha)?
I had to think about this. I have several quirky habits. I cannot go to sleep at night without Forensic Files on the television! Seriously, 7 nights a week. Thank you HLN for airing constant episodes. Although I am not sure if that is considered funny or creepy? I cannot handle open doors. If a room is not in use all doors (including cabinets, etc) have to be closed). I feel like someone is watching me, otherwise. Do you think this falls back on my Forensic Files problem?

5. What’s the best film adaptation of a book you’ve read?
I have a few favorites that include: Great Expectations, The Shining (although I have read King was not impressed), Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep (Blade Runner) and A Clockwork Orange.

Bonus Question from my 6-year-old son: “How do you speak American?
Oh wow! American VS British English.. hmm. Slang has to be one of the biggest differences. Learn American slang and you are halfway there right? I don’t know if that is actually true (sort of making bits up as I go). I feel like Americans tend to also speak at a higher volume (we are loud) and more aggressively.  We use a lot of different words. Vacation = holiday and that sort of thing.  We also spell them slightly different. We neglect the letter “U” a lot. Color, neighbor, favor. Is any of this even helping? Tell your son I think I just failed his question haha.

Many thanks Dave, for the awesome and very interesting Q&A!

dave johnstonDave Johnston is a Father, writer and climber – smarter than an onion, edgier than an orange, rasher than bacon. He can complete a Rubiks Cube in under 2 minutes, has a series of DIY disasters under his belt, and once broke some major bones in his body – now filed as a character building exercise.

Dave has published one novel and two novellas to date, lives in Sheffield, England, and likes gravy.

Search Facebook/Twitter: TheDaveJohnston, or visit www.sixtypublishing.com to stay in touch.


the lot of nobody

The Lot of a Nobody

“Lot was a Nobody. Lot was a nobody. Sometimes, life deals you a right melon.”

Lot Nobody is average – even his ears – and is so lonely that he’s become invisible. But on his 16th birthday Lot truly starts disappearing – uprooted to a magical island, then sent back fully naked in the most embarrassing of situations.

After befriending Ethan Longbow – a classmate who’s about as street as a satsuma – Lot’s insecurities start to peel away, an angry volcano begins to pulsate, and Lot Nobody goes toe-to-toe with the dastardly megalomaniac Hector Shady.

Lot must now face his anxieties, save his new island friends, and discover why the hell his bum has been so itchy …

Enter to win one free eBook edition of The Lot of a Nobody (International).

Rafflecopter giveaway

*Please Note that this giveaway is for one eBook provided by the author. It is open until 5/10/17. A valid email address will be required to receive the book. The winner will be announced on the blog and social media and must be 18 yrs of age or older. I will contact the winner by email, and they will have 3 days to respond before a new winner will be selected.

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