Thursday, January 30, 2020

Book Blast: 10 Letters to a Stranger by Sarah S. Saeed






Title: 10 Letters to a Stranger
Author: Sarah S. Saeed
Publisher: PartridgeHouse
Genre: Self-Help
Format: Ebook


PURCHASE HERE



Dear stranger is a book that hopes to enlighten people's lives. It is a booklet that one may carry around and open up to seek hope and optimism whenever they feel like life is tightening up from all corners. When life seems like it is not going anywhere, this tiny manual aims to remind you and I that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. This book acts as a prompt that there is no such thing as a dead end. To never ever give up, no matter how tough things get. Just like how flowers need rain to grow and how diamonds are created under high pressure, we individuals are also facing life’s pressures in which we find ourselves growing in.

This pocket book is here to tell you that there is ALWAYS a way to start new and fresh
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Monday, January 27, 2020

Book Blast: Thunder in the Wind by Curt Orloff



Inside the Book:


Title: Thunder in the Wind
Author: Curt Orloff
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Genre: Fiction/Westerns
Format: Ebook

Purchase Here


Thunder in the Wind is a historical novel concerning the assimilation reservation American Indians underwent at the turn of the twentieth century. The first part of the work describes how the Assiniboine, and one family in particular, deal with the onslaught of a society that not only was technologically superior, but also thought itself so morally superior it treats the tribe as if it was a hopeless dependent. The second part follows the exploits of the main character as he tries to unite the Plains, Great Basin, and Southwestern tribes in revolt, not to defeat the whites, but to scare them so badly they would restore to the Indians the selfhood they had stolen. Miskaw deals with the same trials Tecumseh experienced early in the previous century while uniting the tribes east of the Mississippi and, in dealing with them learns several truths about himself and the human condition. If not for hubris, the outcome of his endeavor may have been dramatically different.


I'm a Yankee who became a damn Yankee when I wouldn't leave the South. When I did leave it, was for overseas where I comfortably acquired the moniker of "yank". I have two bachelor degrees. The one in geology I use to support myself, the one in history just showed I am curious about human nature. This curiosity culminated in Thunder in the Wind after I found out about a Cree named Almighty Voice while I was engaged in geologic fieldwork in Montana. His revolt almost united the tribes. I was an Army 1st Lieutenant, lived for golf as a youth and got to play on the University of Houston golf team, and was an Eagle Boy Scout. I've been writing books for over two decades, getting only to the agent level. At present, one agent is peddling a novel I wrote about the oilfield. I was a well-site geologist for fourteen years and a petroleum engineer, mostly overseas, for seven years.

Curt is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins January 27 and ends on February 7.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on February 8.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR SCHEDULE

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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

THE COURIER by Gordon J. Campbell



An expatriate businessman, Gregg Westwood, leaves the Officers’ Club at an American Air Base in Japan unaware about the impression he’s made on two intelligence agents. They sized him up as someone with potential for strategic deployment, and more importantly, he’s under the radar.

Gregg’s exploits start with what he thinks is a one-off assignment as a courier, and the straightforward task spirals out of control. He’s forced to rise to the occasion and use every resource available to survive. Even his family is jeopardized which forces him to return to Japan to settle scores.

The Courier is one man’s struggle to fight for survival in a world that he’s not been trained for and where violence and retribution are the names of the game.

Praise:

“The Bottom Line: One of the year’s best thrillers.”
–BestThrillers.com  

“With such fine attention to detail in creating some amazing scenes, I give The Courier 4 out of 4 stars. Campbell creates an amazing and well-edited adventure that could even someday work on the big screen. Readers that enjoy action adventures or thrillers will likely enjoy this one as well.”
–Official review by Kendra M Parker, OnlineBookClub.org

“The Courier is an exciting ride from start to finish. I couldn’t put it down and wanted more when it finished.”
–Gyle Graham, entrepreneur and longtime Tokyo expatriate

“The Courier would transform well from a thriller novel to an action movie.”
–Michael Harrison, marketing expert and martial artist

Amazon → https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07W89JND1?

______________________

TEASER




______________________

EXCERPT

The taxi bounced over the speed bump and splashed through a steaming puddle of rainwater remaining from a summer shower as it sped toward the front entrance of the Ambassador Hotel. It jerked to a stop, and a hotel employee dressed in a tan-colored suit and red necktie opened the taxi’s door while the customer in the back seat all but threw his cab fare at the driver. The man adjusted his camp shirt to conceal his German-made SIG Sauer P226 and stepped from the car. He handed the doorman a fifty-baht tip and walked several yards away before a thank-you could be uttered.

The assassin was built well for his profession with a trim and muscular frame. His average height combined with dark hair and brown eyes favoring his Japanese heritage granted valued anonymity when working in Asia. He turned left and walked up the crowded and poorly lit incline while maneuvering past street food stalls busy with patrons. An old woman was cooking beef and noodles in a wok.

Hot oil bubbled, and the spicy aroma was strong and appealing. A teenage girl used a wooden pestle and pounded on vegetables and red chilies in a large mortar. Several Thais and a few tourists sat on plastic stools around small tin tables enjoying the street cuisine. The smell of lemongrass and the coriander herb essential to Thai cooking brought back memories of his sniper training in the jungles of Chiang Mai Province when he was addressed as Sergeant Jim Takada.

The assassin hadn’t used his name given at birth in more than a decade and was presently known by colleagues as Pierre Marron. Dozens of taxicabs and bike taxis were parked in a line along the curb beyond the food stalls. One driver caught his eye. “Need a ride? Can I take you to see young sexy girls and maybe you want sex show? You want boys?” Marron ignored the staccato offers and carried on up the street to Sukhumvit Road where he again turned left.

Marron spotted the Blue Moon Restaurant’s neon sign flashing on and off a block away, and he pulled behind a street vendor’s cart full of counterfeit Major League Baseball caps. He purchased a black Chicago Cubs cap and replaced the plain white hat he’d been wearing. He observed the streets while tossing the old headwear into a trash can.

There was nothing across the road in the south, but a young Caucasian man was cutting in and out of the crowd and moving toward him with speed from the east. Marron considered the best defensive measures and swiveled his head to identify other potential threats. He relaxed when the young man stopped in front of an ice cream shop where two Thai women welcomed him with hugs and kisses. The threesome entered the shop, and the gunman walked to the Blue Moon.

Marron let himself into the after-hours club and sat down while wondering why he’d allowed himself to break his number-one rule. “Look out for number one,” he muttered. He was waiting to meet an informant with data key to the next operation. It was an annoying and unprecedented request with potential risk. “Was he the only gun in town?”

The detour from protocol had the assassin on edge, and he contemplated the implications of his orders to hold in place a moment before brushing the questions aside to run a check on the room. Nothing waved a red flag, and he forced a smile when a waitress approached him. He ordered a Singha Draft and scanned the tables placed outside the restaurant for those who didn’t mind the heat and humidity.

They were empty, and the main air-conditioned room where he sat was less than half-full. He spent hours in places like this one in countries once classified as the third world. He wondered where he found the patience to stay in place. The last project was complete, and he was ready to leave Bangkok. His hours of preparation had paid off as they always did. He had memorized a checklist, which included visualizing the entry and exit points, practicing local accents, and readying equipment. Readiness was everything, and people in his profession knew awareness of the details kept you alive. “What am I doing here?” The words came out of his mouth as if spit by the assassin.

The Blue Moon would get busy over the next hour with the arrival of young girls and some boys released from work in the entertainment district. They’d join the wealthy foreign tourists, called “farang,” and offer their professional company. The default demand from the scantily dressed and heavily made-up children of the night was at the least a free drink or a bite to eat when their services were refused.

Marron’s location near the rear fire-exit doors offered a peripheral view of everything and everyone in the room. His language skills were impressive, speaking flawless Thai with proficiency in several other Asian languages. Another prerequisite for his line of work was patience, and he’d reached its limit. He stood up readying to leave as his burner phone vibrated in his pocket. Marron answered by offering the operation code of the day, “Vincent.”

“It’s Theo. Get out now. You’ve been compromised and must evacuate,” said the voice.
The threat was confirmed as soon as he stepped near the back door of the Blue Moon. Both routes out of the alley were blocked by motorbikes staggered in gauntlet formation. Marron hesitated for a heartbeat and turned toward the bar’s front door to find a pair of men dressed in security uniforms blocking the main exit.
Marron turned away from the rent-a-cops and stepped into the lane. He walked away from the direction of the busy Sukhumvit Road while removing his SIG Sauer from beneath his shirt. He pulled a silencer from his pocket and fastened it onto the handgun with practiced dexterity. Clouds moved across the sky, shading the alley from the moonlight. The darkened side street was subject to faulty and crackling back-alley lighting and shadows from buildings flanking the corridor.
He stopped thirty yards from the small pack of bikes and assessed the four sun-blackened and raggedly dressed young men. They straddled their bikes, facing into the alley toward Marron.
Their posture and unconcealed interest in Marron telegraphed the gang’s intent, and they stood between him and his objective. A polite “excuse me” wasn’t going to get him past the thugs. His focus sharpened and his mind and body began to mesh. Marron charted the course of every move necessary to escape from the ambush. The professional killer controlled his breathing and heartbeat, remaining calm when he felt the adrenaline spike through his body.
His mind’s peaceful state allowed a clear perspective, and he scanned the thugs, making an instant assessment for the impending engagement. Two of the bikers left their jackets open with firearms concealed under their vests. The other two grasped their bike handlebars with one hand and held blades exposed against their legs with the other.
Marron jogged toward the bikers, forcing two of the rough young men to kick the starter pedals on their bikes. The armed thugs fumbled and pulled at the weapons held tightly against their chests by their vests. Marron’s SIG Sauer spat out two muffled shots, and he moved with the speed and agility of an elite athlete. The sound resonating around the concrete walls resembled the retort of a child’s cap gun. Bloody red mist filled the air, and the two bikers’ bodies slammed to the asphalt with their weapons remaining forever concealed and useless.
The young thugs armed only with blades started maneuvering their bikes one-handed to escape. Marron sighted on the first and fired then moved his aim to the second to deliver another fatal round. The hollow-point bullets penetrated their chests and erupted, finishing the skirmish in less than fifteen seconds. Brass shell casings fell to the ground and bounced on the road. Their metallic ring reminded Marron to scoop them up to drop in his pants’ pockets.
He analyzed the scene with a microsecond-long glance and confirmed the four deaths. The men waiting on motorbikes at the Sukhumvit Road entrance seemed frozen in shock. The rent-a-cops stepped into the alley from the bar’s exit and dropped to the ground when Marron fired one shot in their direction.
No further action was required as most of the bikers rode away toward Sukhumvit Road. The others dropped to the ground and crawled for cover while the rent-a-cops dashed back into the bar. The hesitation allowed Marron time to snatch a motorcycle from one of the shell-shocked bikers. He stomped on the kick starter, and the bike’s engine roared to life.
The assassin maneuvered around two corpses before turning the throttle and accelerating down the narrow alleyway, which emptied onto a thoroughfare allowing him to increase speed and blend into traffic. Marron slowed and positioned himself behind a family of three commuting home on a small motor scooter. He blended into the traffic, becoming another piece of the Bangkok community in motion.


 

______________________

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Gordon Campbell is a Winnipeg born Canadian who’s spent most of his life in Japan. He’s worked as an English teacher, a market entry consultant with a focus on the medical and sporting goods industries, and as a sales director for a corporation with multiple product lines.

He’s presently working on the second novel of a series initiated with The Courier, and its protagonist, Gregg Westwood.

Gordon leans on his experiences built around decades working and traveling in Asia. He’s trained at several karate dojos, run full marathons, and skied black diamond hills in the Japanese Alps.

He played American football at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and started in the Canadian championship game known as the Vanier Cup. Gordon is a member of Psi Upsilon Fraternity, Sinim Masonic Lodge, and the Tokyo Valley of the AASR.

When he’s not writing, working, attending one of his daughter’s vocal concerts, pumping iron, or at a lodge meeting, you’ll find him dining with his wife Mako at their favorite local bistro.

website & Social links

Website → https://www.gordonjcampbell.com/

Facebook → https://www.facebook.com/gordonjcampbellauthor/

Twitter → https://twitter.com/GcampbellGordon



http://www.pumpupyourbook.com
 

REFRAMING POVERTY: NEW THINKING AND FEELING ABOUT HUMANITY'S GREATEST CHALLENGE by Eric Meade



REFRAMING POVERTY: NEW THINKING AND FEELING ABOUT HUMANITY'S GREATEST CHALLENGE
By Eric Meade
Nonfiction

We typically view poverty as a technical problem we can solve with more money, more technology, and more volunteers. But there is an adaptive side to the problem of poverty as well. Reframing Poverty directs our attention to the emotional and often unconscious mindsets we bring to this issue. Meade's approach is as unique as it is challenging. Rather than trite tips or tricks, he offers a series of nested insights from diverse fields like political science, physics, complexity theory, and psychology. Most importantly, he provides a path of self-exploration for those eager to become the kind of people who can successfully navigate the tensions of a world in need.


 


______________________

TEASER




______________________

EXCERPT


“And because how we feel is intricately tied to how we know, we cannot
feel differently if we don’t know differently. We need a bigger emotional and cognitive space, one in which we experience that the internal conflicts and inconsistencies of our adaptive challenge are not inevitable and intractable.”
Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey
The most constructive conversation about poverty may be the one we’re not having.
We talk a lot about poverty. Rarely does a day go by without someone offering a new book, white paper, or article marshaling new data to support a particular point of view. Experts make definitive statements on long-standing debates, only to see those debates reopen the next day with a new report issued from the opposing side. The pace of the conversation seems to suggest that we are making daily progress toward understanding – and solving – the problem of poverty.
Unfortunately, most of this conversation is a rehash of the same old views. Contrary to popular opinion, “breakthrough studies” and “radical new perspectives” on poverty are of-ten – for those familiar with the historical discourse – merely rediscoveries of or variations on arguments and proposals heard many times before. The same ideas come and go as seasons and public attitudes change.
But why? Why does so much discussion yield so few genuinely new insights about poverty? The answer is that we have misunderstood the challenge of poverty. We have seen it as a technical challenge – one that we can solve once we learn the right skill or methodology. We strive to determine “what works” and to apply it as broadly as possible.
Too bad it’s not that simple. We cannot have a straightforward, technical discussion about poverty because the topic is too emotionally charged, and for good reason. Until recently, the vast majority of humans were poor. A mere 200 years ago, 83.9 percent of humans lived in extreme poverty, on less than $1 per day (in 1985 dollars)1, which is roughly equivalent (ac-counting for inflation) to the World Bank’s poverty threshold today. Poverty is the ground from which most of us who are not poor have only recently emerged. Most of us would only have to look back a couple of generations to find a relative who genuinely struggled to survive. How our own relatives made it out of poverty – or why they were unable to do so – likely shapes how we think and feel about poverty today.
Thus, poverty is not just a technical challenge. In the words of Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey as quoted above, poverty is an “adaptive challenge.” It requires us to change not just what we do but also who we are. It requires us to change how we think and how we feel, and to work through the emotions we carry forward from our personal and familial experiences of poverty. Only then can we shift the focus from the unresolved needs of our own pasts to what the world needs from us right now.
Prior to that shift, we experience “internal conflicts and in-consistencies.” In our dealings with others, we cling to our own limited ideas about poverty at the expense of the ideas of others, preventing meaningful collaboration and partnership. In our dealings with the poor, we unconsciously project the difficulties of our own lives, and we offer the poor not what they need but what we feel fulfilled in providing. In our dealings with ourselves, we reject new insights and discoveries that threaten our established identities and our ways of understanding the world.
After we work through our emotions about poverty, how-ever, we become more potent leaders of change. In our dealings with others, we embrace multiple perspectives to build collabor-ative partnerships with those we previously may have avoided. In our dealings with the poor, we respond to their most pressing needs rather than making them foils for our own challenges. In our dealings with ourselves, we recognize that the emotions poverty evokes in us may actually raise issues we need to ad-dress in our own lives.
These benefits accrue not  only to those who address poverty on a professional or volunteer basis, but also to all who are concerned about the state of their own communities. The question we must address affects each one of us. It is not: How do we eradicate poverty? But rather it is: What am I, as a human being, to do, living as I do in a world where poverty exists? This question demands a new conversation – one in which we look deeply into our own experiences.
This book opens the door to that conversation. Part One explores what our society has already been saying about poverty, but in a novel way. First, it shows how our emotions about poverty shape how we think about it. Second, it explores the range of perspectives on poverty and suggests the emotions that may be associated with each. Finally, it concludes that all such perspectives have some validity.
Part Two reframes those perspectives by introducing concepts not currently included in the poverty conversation. These concepts allow for a way of thinking about poverty in which all the major perspectives can be true at the same time. They also highlight and address areas where I believe the poverty conversation overall has heretofore fallen short.
Throughout the book, I will offer a series of nested insights drawn from my own experience living in developing countries, consulting to nonprofits, teaching social enterprise classes at the university level, serving on the board of a global development non-governmental organization (NGO), and otherwise living my unique human life. What you will do with these insights, I cannot say. What I can say is that after reading this book, you will be able to enter into a new, more constructive conversation about poverty.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Eric Meade is a futurist, speaker, and consultant serving nonprofits, foundations, and government agencies. He teaches graduate courses on strategic planning and social innovation at American University’s School of International Service in Washington, DC. He lives in Superior, CO.

Website  → http://www.ericmeade.com 

Twitter  → http://www.twitter.com/reframingpvrty 

Facebook  → http://www.facebook.com/reframingpovrty

 





http://www.pumpupyourbook.com