Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday's Film Adaption: Double Indemnity by James M Cain


Summary:
Tautly narrated and excruciatingly suspenseful, Double Indemnity gives us an X-ray view of guilt, of duplicity, and of the kind of obsessive, loveless love that devastates everything it touches. First published in 1935, this novel reaffirmed James M. Cain as a virtuoso of the roman noir.

CHAPTER 1
I drove out to Glendale to put three new truck drivers on a brewery company bond, and then I remembered this renewal over in Hollywoodland. I decided to run over there. That was how I came to this House of Death, that you've been reading about in the papers. It didn't look like a House of Death when I saw it. It was just a Spanish house, like all the rest of them in California, with white walls, red tile roof, and a patio out to one side. It was built cock-eyed. The garage was under the house, the first floor was over that, and the rest of it was spilled up the hill any way they could get it in. You climbed some stone steps to the front door, so I parked the car and went up there. A servant poked her head out. "Is Mr. Nirdlinger in?"

"I don't know, sir. Who wants to see him?"

"Mr. Huff."

"And what's the business?"

"Personal."

Getting in is the tough part of my job, and you don't tip what you came for till you get where it counts. "I'm sorry, sir, but they won't let me ask anybody in unless they say what they want."

It was one of those spots you get in. If I said some more about "personal" I would be making a mystery of it, and that's bad. If I said what I really wanted, I would be laying myself open for what every insurance agent dreads, that she would come back and say, "Not in." If I said I'd wait, I would be making myself look small, and that never helped a sale yet. To move this stuff, you've got to get in. Once you're in, they've got to listen to you, and you can pretty near rate an agent by how quick he gets to the family sofa, with his hat on one side of him and his dope sheets on the other.

"I see. I told Mr. Nirdlinger I would drop in, but-never mind. I'll see if I can make it some other time."

It was true, in a way. On this automobile stuff, you always make it a point that you'll give a reminder on renewal, but I hadn't seen him for a year. I made it sound like an old friend, though, and an old friend that wasn't any too pleased at the welcome he got. It worked. She got a worried look on her face. "Well-come in, please."

If I had used that juice trying to keep out, that might have got me somewhere.

I pitched my hat on the sofa. They've made a lot of that living room, especially those "blood-red drapes." All I saw was a living room like every other living room in California, maybe a little more expensive than some, but nothing that any department store wouldn't deliver on one truck, lay out in the morning, and have the credit O.K. ready the same afternoon. The furniture was Spanish, the kind that looks pretty and sits stiff. The rug was one of those 12 x 15's that would have been Mexican except it was made in Oakland, California. The blood-red drapes were there, but they didn't mean anything. All these Spanish houses have red velvet drapes that run on iron spears, and generally some red velvet wall tapestries to go with them. This was right out of the same can, with a coat-of-arms tapestry over the fireplace and a castle tapestry over the sofa. The other two sides of the room were windows and the entrance to the hall.

"Yes?"

A woman was standing there. I had never seen her before. She was maybe thirty-one or -two, with a sweet face, light blue eyes, and dusty blonde hair. She was small, and had on a suit of blue house pajamas. She had a washed-out look.

"I wanted to see Mr. Nirdlinger."

"Mr. Nirdlinger isn't in just now, but I am Mrs. Nirdlinger. Is there something I could do?"

There was nothing to do but spill it. "Why no, I think not, Mrs. Nirdlinger, thanks just the same. Huff is my name, Walter Huff, of the General Fidelity of California. Mr. Nirdlinger's automobile coverage runs out in a week or two, and I promised to give him a reminder on it, so I thought I'd drop by. But I certainly didn't mean to bother you about it."

"Coverage?"

"Insurance, I just took a chance, coming up here in the daytime, but I happened to be in the neighborhood, so I thought it wouldn't hurt. When do you think would be a good time to see Mr. Nirdlinger? Could he give me a few minutes right after dinner, do you think, so I wouldn't cut into his evening?"

"What kind of insurance has he been carrying? I ought to know, but I don't keep track."

"I guess none of us keep track until something happens. Just the usual line. Collision, fire, and theft, and public liability."

"Oh yes, of course."

"It's only a routine matter, but he ought to attend to it in time, so he'll be protected."

"It really isn't up to me, but I know he's been thinking about the Automobile Club. Their insurance, I mean."

"Is he a member?"

"No, he's not. He's always intended to join, but somehow he's never got around to it. But the club representative was here, and he mentioned insurance."

"You can't do better than the Automobile Club. They're prompt, liberal in their view of claims, and courteous straight down the line. I've not got a word to say against them."

That's one thing you learn. Never knock the other guy's stuff.

"And then it's cheaper."

"For members."

"I thought only members could get it."

"What I mean is this. If a man's going to join the Automobile Club anyway, for service in time of trouble, taking care of tickets, things like that, then if he takes their insurance too, he gets it cheaper. He certainly does. But if he's going to join the club just to get the insurance, by the time he adds that $16 membership fee to the premium rate, he's paying more. Figure that in, I can still save Mr. Nirdlinger quite a little money."

She talked along, and there was nothing I could do but go along with it. But you sell as many people as I do, you don't go by what they say. You feel it, how the deal is going. And after a while I knew this woman didn't care anything about the Automobile Club. Maybe the husband did, but she didn't. There was something else, and this was nothing but a stall. I figured it would be some kind of a proposition to split the commission, maybe so she could get a ten-spot out of it without the husband knowing. There's plenty of that going on. And I was just wondering what I would say to her. A reputable agent don't get mixed up in stuff like that, but she was walking around the room, and I saw something I hadn't noticed before. Under those blue pajamas was a shape to set a man nuts, and how good I was going to sound when I started explaining the high ethics of the insurance business I didn't exactly know.

But all of a sudden she looked at me, and I felt a chill creep straight up my back and into the roots of my hair. "Do you handle accident insurance?"

Maybe that don't mean to you what it meant to me. Well, in the first place, accident insurance is sold, not bought. You get calls for other kinds, for fire, for burglary, even for life, but never for accident. That stuff moves when agents move it, and it sounds funny to be asked about it. In the second place, when there's dirty work going on, accident is the first thing they think of. Dollar for dollar paid down, there's a bigger face coverage on accident than any other kind. And it's the one kind of insurance that can be taken out without the insured knowing a thing about it. No physical examination for accident. On that, all they want is the money, and there's many a man walking around today that's worth more to his loved ones dead than alive, only he don't know it yet.

"We handle all kinds of insurance."

She switched back to the Automobile Club, and I tried to keep my eyes off her, and couldn't. Then she sat down. "Would you like me to talk to Mr. Nirdlinger about this, Mr. Huff?"

Why would she talk to him about his insurance, instead of letting me do it? "That would be fine, Mrs. Nirdlinger."

"It would save time."

"Time's important. He ought to attend to this at once."

But then she crossed me up. "After he and I have talked it over, then you can see him. Could you make it tomorrow night? Say seven-thirty? We'll be through dinner by then."

"Tomorrow night will be fine."

"I'll expect you."

I got in the car bawling myself out for being a fool just because a woman had given me one sidelong look. When I got back to the office I found Keyes had been looking for me. Keyes is head of the Claim Department, and the most tiresome man to do business with in the whole world. You can't even say today is Tuesday without he has to look on the calendar, and then check if it's this year's calendar or last year's calendar, and then find out what company printed the calendar, and then find out if their calendar checks with the World Almanac calendar. That amount of useless work you'd think would keep down his weight, but it don't. He gets fatter every year, and more peevish, and he's always in some kind of a feud with other departments of the company, and does nothing but sit with his collar open, and sweat, and quarrel, and argue, until your head begins spinning around just to be in the same room with him. But he's a wolf on a phony claim.

When I got in there he got up and began to roar. It was a truck policy I had written about six months before, and the fellow had burned his truck up and tried to collect. I cut in on him pretty quick.

"What are you beefing to me for? I remember that case. And I distinctly remember that I clipped a memo to that application when I sent it through that I thought that fellow ought to be thoroughly investigated before we accepted the risk. I didn't like his looks, and I won't-"

"Walter, I'm not beefing to you. I know you said he ought to be investigated. I've got your memo right here on my desk. That's what I wanted to tell you. If other departments of this company would show half the sense that you show-"

"Oh."

That would be like Keyes, that even when he wanted to say something nice to you, he had to make you sore first.

"And get this, Walter. Even after they issued the policy, in plain disregard of the warning on your memo, and even with that warning still looking them in the face, day before yesterday when the truck burned-they'd have paid that claim if I hadn't sent a towcar up there this afternoon, pulled the truck out, and found a pile of shavings under the engine, that proved it up on him that he started the fire himself."

"Have you got him?"

"Oh, he confessed. He's taking a plea tomorrow morning, and that ends it. But my point is, that if you, just by looking at that man, could have your suspicions, why couldn't they-! Oh well, what's the use? I just wanted you to know it. I'm sending a memo to Norton about it. I think the whole thing is something the president of this company might very well look into. Though if you ask me, if the president of this company had more . . ."

He stopped and I didn't jog him. Keyes was one of the holdovers from the time of Old Man Norton, the founder of the company, and he didn't think much of young Norton, that took over the job when his father died. The way he told it, young Norton never did anything right, and the whole place was always worried for fear he'd pull them in on the feud. If young Norton was the man we had to do business with, then he was the man we had to do business with, and there was no sense letting Keyes get us in dutch with him. I gave Keyes' crack a dead pan. I didn't even know what he was talking about.

When I got back to my office, Nettie, my secretary, was just leaving. "Good night, Mr. Huff."

"Good night, Nettie."

"Oh-I put a memo on your desk, about a Mrs. Nirdlinger. She called, about ten minutes ago, and said it would be inconvenient for you to call tomorrow night about that renewal. She said she'd let you know when to come."

"Oh, thanks."

She went, and I stood there, looking down at the memo. It crossed my mind what kind of warning I was going to clip to that application, if, as, and when I got it.

If any.

CHAPTER 2
Three days later she called and left word I was to come at three-thirty. She let me in herself. She didn't have on the blue pajamas this time. She had on a white sailor suit, with a blouse that pulled tight over her hips, and white shoes and stockings. I wasn't the only one that knew about that shape. She knew about it herself, plenty. We went in the living room, and a tray was on the table. "Belle is off today, and I'm making myself some tea. Will you join me?"

"Thank you, no, Mrs. Nirdlinger. I'll only be a minute. That is, if Mr. Nirdlinger has decided to renew. I supposed he had, when you sent for me." Because it came over me that I wasn't surprised that Belle was off, and that she was just making herself some tea. And I meant to get out of there, whether I took the renewals with me or not.

"Oh, have some tea. I like tea. It makes a break in the afternoon."

"You must be English."

"No, native Californian."

"You don't see many of them."

"Most Californians were born in Iowa."

"I was myself."

"Think of that."

The white sailor suit did it. I sat down. "Lemon?"

"No thanks."

"Two?"

"No sugar, just straight."

"No sweet tooth?"

Film:
Directed by Billy Wilder and adapted from a James M. Cain novel by Wilder and Raymond Chandler, Double Indemnity represents the high-water mark of 1940s film noir urban crime dramas in which a greedy, weak man is seduced and trapped by a cold, evil woman amidst the dark shadows and Expressionist lighting of modern cities. Phyllis Dietrichson Barbara Stanwyck seduces insurance agent Walter Neff Fred MacMurray into murdering her husband to collect his accident policy. The murder goes as planned, but after the couple's passion cools, each becomes suspicious of the other's motives. The plan is further complicated when Neff's boss Barton Keyes Edward G. Robinson, a brilliant insurance investigator, takes over the investigation. Told in flashbacks from Neff's perspective, the film moves with ruthless determinism as each character meets what seems to be a preordained fate. Movie veterans Stanwyck, MacMurray, and Robinson give some of their best performances, and Wilder's cynical sensibility finds a perfect match in the story's unsentimental perspective, heightened by John Seitz's hard-edged cinematography. Double Indemnity ranks with the classics of mainstream Hollywood movie-making.

Release dates: September 6, 1944
Running time: 107 minutes

Cast:
Fred MacMurray as Walter Neff
Barbara Stanwyck as Phyllis Dietrichson
Edward G. Robinson as Barton Keyes
Porter Hall as Mr Jackson
Jean Heather as Lola Dietrichson
Tom Powers as Mr Dietrichson
Byron Barr as Nino Zachetti
Richard Gaines as Edward S. Norton, Jr.
Fortunio Bonanova as Sam Garlopis
John Philliber as Joe Peters
Raymond Chandler as man reading book (cameo)

Trailer:
 

Clips:








This is film noir at its best.  The chemistry, the dialogue, the acting, the directing, and everything in between is absolutely perfect.  There's just no way to say it better.  If you haven't seen it and love a true classic, then you definitely need to check this film out.

RATING: 

Author Bio:
James Mallahan Cain was an American journalist and novelist. Although Cain himself vehemently opposed labelling, he is usually associated with the hardboiled school of American crime fiction and seen as one of the creators of the 'roman noir'.

He was born into an Irish Catholic family in Annapolis, Maryland, the son of a prominent educator and an opera singer. He inherited his love for music from his mother, but his high hopes of starting a career as a singer himself were thwarted when she told him that his voice was not good enough.

After graduating from Washington College where his father, James W. Cain served as president, in 1910, he began working as a journalist for the Baltimore Sun.

He was drafted into the United States Army and spent the final year of World War I in France writing for an Army magazine. On his return to the United States he continued working as a journalist, writing editorials for the 'New York World' and articles for 'American Mercury'. He also served briefly as the managing editor of 'The New Yorker', but later turned to screenplays and finally to fiction.

Although Cain spent many years in Hollywood working on screenplays, his name only appears on the credits of three films, 'Algiers', 'Stand Up and Fight', and 'Gypsy Wildcat'.

His first novel (he had already published 'Our Government' in 1930), 'The Postman Always Rings Twice' was published in 1934. Two years later the serialized, in 'Liberty Magazine', 'Double Indemnity was published.

He made use of his love of music and of the opera in particular in at least three of his novels: 'Serenade' (about an American opera singer who loses his voice and who, after spending part of his life south of the border, re-enters the States illegally with a Mexican prostitute in tow), 'Mildred Pierce' (in which, as part of the subplot, the only daughter of a successful businesswoman trains as an opera singer) and 'Career in C Major', a short semi-comic novel about the unhappy husband of an aspiring opera singer who unexpectedly discovered that he has a better voice than she does.

He continued writing up to his death at the age of 85, his last three published works, 'The Baby in the Icebox' (1981), Cloud Nine (1984) and The Enchanted Isle (1985) being published posthumously. However, the many novels he published from the late 1940s onward never quite rivaled his earlier successes.


AMAZON  /  ITUNES



AMAZON US  /  AMAZON UK  /  B&N
KOBO  /  AUDIBLE  /  ITUNES

Film
AMAZON US  /  AMAZON UK  /  B&N
IMDB  /  ALL MOVIE  /  AFI  /  TCM






Dawnflight by Kim Iverson Headlee

Title: Dawnflight
Author: Kim Iverson Headlee
Series: The Dragon’s Dove Chronicles #1
Genre: Myths, Legends, Historical, Spiritual, Romance
Release Date: 2013
Publisher: Lucky Bat Books
Cover Design: Natasha Brown
Summary:
Gyan is a Caledonian chieftainess by birth, a warrior and leader of warriors by training, and she is betrothed to Urien, a son of her clan’s deadliest enemy, by right of Arthur the Pendragon’s conquest of her people. For the sake of peace, Gyan is willing to sacrifice everything...perhaps even her very life, if her foreboding about Urien proves true.

Roman by his father, Brytoni by his mother, and denied hereditary rulership of his mother's clan because of his mixed blood, Arthur has followed his father's path to become Dux Britanniarum, the Pendragon: supreme commander of the northern Brytoni army. The Caledonians, Scots, Saxons, and Angles keep him too busy to dwell upon his loneliness...most of the time.

When Gyan and Arthur meet, each recognize within the other their soul’s mate. The treaty has preserved Gyan’s ancient right to marry any man, providing he is a Brytoni nobleman—but Arthur does not qualify. And the ambitious Urien, Arthur’s greatest political rival, shall not be so easily denied. If Gyan and Arthur cannot prevent Urien from plunging the Caledonians and Brytons back into war, their love will be doomed to remain unfulfilled forever.

But there is an even greater threat looming. The Laird of the Scots wants their land and will kill all who stand in his way. Gyan, Arthur, and Urien must unite to defeat this merciless enemy who threatens everyone they hold dear.

Chapter 1
THE COMBATANTS CIRCLED warily in the churned mud of the practice field, blind to the swelling audience and the chilling autumn rain. One, a giant of a figure, was the teacher. The student was neither as tall nor as well muscled but moved with the speed and agility of youth. The mud splattered on both bodies was mute evidence of the length of the session.

“Keep up your intensity!” Ogryvan swiped at his opponent’s midsection. “Always! Lose your battle frenzy, and you’re dead!”

Neither was fighting in true battle frenzy, but the younger warrior understood. Smiling grimly through the rivulets of sweat, the student danced out of reach, whirled, and made a cut at Ogryvan’s thigh. The blunted practice sword could not penetrate the leather leggings but was sure to leave a bruise precisely over the wound he had taken at Abar-Gleann two months before.

Although the swordmaster gritted his teeth against the pain, his opponent sensed satisfaction in the accompanying nod. The reason for the sign of approval was clear: the student had made an excellent choice of moves. Exploitation of the enemy’s weaknesses was a basic tenet of the warrior’s art. Mastery of this principle would serve Ogryvan’s pupil well in the years to come.

“Strive to outthink your foe. Stay one move ahead,” he advised between feints. The clatter adopted a dancelike rhythm as the opposing blade deftly met each thrust. The onlookers shouted their approval.

The youth answered with a powerful counterattack, silent but for the creak of leather and the hollow thunks as sword met shield. The swordmaster staggered backward. His disciple quickened the attack.

And grew careless. The shield sagged. Ogryvan landed a blow to the unguarded left shoulder. Startled, the youth lost footing in the treacherous mud and fell.

The laughter sparked by the mishap, from teacher and audience alike, was not unkind, yet it did not comfort the mud-painted student.

The Chieftainess of Clan Argyll hated to lose.

The reason rankled like that awful brew Cynda called spring tonic: she’d not done her best. She didn’t need her father to tell her that carelessness had caused the loss.

In battle, such a mistake was fatal.

She began to pick herself up, seething, only to be unceremoniously shoved face-first into the mud. Before she could twitch, her father’s foot pinned her down. His sword at the base of her neck chilled her to the core of her being. It was too easy to imagine what might happen next.

Ogryvan whispered, “Pay attention, Gyan. This is my favorite part.” His rumbling voice poised on the brink of a chuckle. “All hear and beware! The Ogre takes no prisoners!”

Had this been actual combat, her head would have become the newest addition to Ogryvan’s private collection. Such was the Caledonach way. Not only was the foe defeated in death, but to the victor went possession of the soul. Well honored was the warrior who boasted the largest array.

Long years of training had hardened Gyan to this aspect of warfare, yet the prospect of someday ending up on display in an enemy’s feast hall was grisly at best.

By the shifting of his foot on her back, she knew her father was posturing for the crowd. They rewarded his performance with gleeful claps and shouts. The official practice session was over, of course. But she wasn’t quite finished.

Her sword hilt nestled in the palm of her outflung hand. She carefully tightened her grip. In a burst of movement, she writhed and scissored with her legs, twisted free, rolled to her feet, and brought the sword up in both hands. Ogryvan toppled into the mud. The resounding wet thud of his landing was chorused by the guffaws of the audience.

She grinned, holding the point of her sword to his throat. “Neither does the Ogre’s daughter!”

No nectar was as sweet as the joy of winning, and winning before an audience of her clansmen tasted even sweeter. One day, she would lead them into battle; events like today’s added another brick onto the foundation of trust. Their heartfelt adoration warmed her like the summer sun.

She sheathed the sword and offered a hand to her father. “Even?” Her voice was huskier than usual from the exertion of the morning.

Ogryvan took the proffered hand to regain his footing. “Even.”

The crowd drifted back to their various duties around the settlement, but one man remained at the edge of the field. She strode toward him, swatting mud from her thighs and chest.

“Well, Per, how did I look?”

“Like the fen-spirits Cynda used to try to frighten us with.” Her half brother reached for a glob of mud lodged in her braid.

“Ha!” She playfully slapped his hand away. “You know what I mean.”

Per beamed at her. “You did well. I don’t think I could have fooled Father like that. Or held him off for so long.”

She didn’t believe him for an instant. They had sparred with each other often enough to know who was the better swordsman, but she rewarded his flattery with a brilliant smile and a challenge: “Race you to the house!”

She launched herself down the path, bruises forgotten in the autumn mist.

A Strong Woman by @KimHeadlee #MFRWAuthor #amwriting
A strong woman is one who feels deeply and loves fiercely. Her tears flow just as abundantly as her laughter.

A strong woman is both soft and powerful. She is both practical and spiritual.

A strong woman in her essence is a gift to the world.

Men—and women, alas—who are not secure in their own selves fear and despise and revile strong women. This should not be so, and yet it is, to the detriment of all. This has been occurring for millennia: look at Hatshepsut, Cleopatra VII, Elizabeth I... and Guinevere.

This is the foundation of my collection of novels called The Dragon's Dove Chronicles, aimed at the redemption of Guinevere's reputation, which has suffered brutally for more than fifteen hundred years. To begin this process, more than 25 years ago, I gave her a new name: Gyanhumara, which in her language means "Rarest Song."

And Gyan's life is indeed a song, by turns jaunty and lilting and mournful and prayerful and joyous. Read about (or listen to) its beginnings in DAWNFLIGHT. The second verse is now available in MORNING'S JOURNEY. Gyan's song weaves through the background of the third novel in the series, now being written: RAGING SEA, which concentrates upon the story of Angusel (Lancelot) and his struggle to claim his place within Gyan's world.

Embrace the strong woman. Love her, cherish her, respect her... and forgive her. She is not perfect, but she will enrich your world in ways you have never dreamed possible.

Top 10 Mythical Figures
1. Thor (because who doesn't love Chris Hemsworth??)
2. Loki (ditto for Tom Hiddleston!)
3. Robin Hood (more "legendary" than "mythical," but I do have a soft spot for Kevin Costner in spite of his American accent; my dad favors Errol Flynn, and my daughter is partial to Russell Crowe)
4. Poseidon (not that I'm particularly fond of either the 1981 movie Clash of the Titans or its 2010 remake, but anyone who can command the seas is just flat-out cool)
5. Anubis (another god with a scary but important job; plus the guy really rocks that dog's head)
6. Bastet (because this list isn't complete without some reference to cats!)
7. Ruslan and Ludmilla (the Arthur and Guinevere of the Russian fairy tale corpus)
8. Han Solo (What?? Yes, George Lucas has invented a mythology. And Han most certainly did shoot first; it's a crucial part of his character arc, and removing that aspect in a later release gelded the character. Gelded or not, however, I would still watch Harrison Ford recite his laundry list. :D)
9. Ba'al (the Stargate:SG1 character, based upon the Canaanite deity and brilliantly portrayed by Cliff Simon)
10. Spock (because my fondest wish to Leonard Nimoy, successor Zachary Quinto -- and to all of you -- is to live long and prosper)


I am Gyanhumara nic Hymar, daughter of Hymar and her consort, Ogryvan. My mother, whose name means “song,” named me her “rarest song,” for I was fated before birth to be the only daughter she would ever bear. Those who do not ken the Caledonach tongue call me by many other names: Vennevria ... Guanhumara ... Ganora … Gwenhwyfar ... Guenevara ... Guinevere. I am none of those women.
I am Gyanhumara.
The banner under which I fight is not my own but my clan's: Na Calamaig h’Argaillanaich, which is called in your tongue the Doves of Argyll. Our storytellers tell us of Clan Argyll’s first exalted heir-bearer, who lived countless generations ago. Argaillean was fierce and strong and true to her name, which means “our tempest.” For her valiant battle against those first despised RΓ²manach invaders, she chose the doves, for they are the fastest of birds and the strongest for their size. Argaillean and her army had to be fast and strong to defeat the RΓ²manaich. She chose two doves to show unity between her and her consort, between her and her clan, and between her clan and Caledon. The silver on the banner represents the natural coloring of doves, but Argaillean also chose it in defiance of the RΓ²manaich, who prize silver for their finest armor and adornments. The midnight blue field against which the Doves of Argyll fly represents the vast eternal realm of the Old Ones… or Heaven, as I have learned to call it.
I also proudly fight under the Scarlet Dragon of Arthur the Pendragon, but I shall defer to him for the explanation of its meaning, if he so chooses to share it with you.

Audiobook Prologue:




Author Bio:
Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, and assorted wildlife. People & creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins -- the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-20th century -- seem to be sticking around for a while yet.

Kim is a Seattle native (when she used to live in the Metro DC area, she loved telling people she was from "the other Washington") and a direct descendent of 20th-century Russian nobility. Her grandmother was a childhood friend of the doomed Grand Duchess Anastasia, and the romantic yet tragic story of how Lydia escaped Communist Russia with the aid of her American husband will most certainly one day fuel one of Kim's novels. Another novel in the queue will involve her husband's ancestor, the 7th-century proto-Viking king of the Swedish colony in Russia.

For the time being, however, Kim has plenty of work to do in creating her projected 8-book Arthurian series, The Dragon's Dove Chronicles, and other novels under her new imprint, Pendragon Cove Press.

FACEBOOK  /  TWITTER  /  BLOG  /  GOOGLE+
PINTEREST  /  LINKED IN  /  YOUTUBE
NEWSLETTER  /  AMAZON  /  GOODREADS



B&N PAPERBACK  /  KOBO  /  SMASHWORDS  /  ITUNES





Brought to you by:

Cover Reveal: Rearranged Life by Annika Sharma

Title: The Rearranged Life
Author: Annika Sharma
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Expected Release Date: May 15, 2015
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Summary:
Nithya, a vivacious, intelligent and driven college senior has always known what she's wanted: a successful career in medicine and the love of her family. She's even come to terms with the idea of an arranged marriage, a tradition her conservative Indian family has held up for thousands of years.

When a night of partying puts her on a collision course with danger, Nithya's entire life changes. Enter James St. Clair, the smart, challenging and heartbreakingly handsome American. As Nithya and James fall in love, she questions the future she and her parents have always planned. To make matters worse, Nishanth, the son of newly reunited family friends is the perfect match for her in the eyes of her loved ones.

Now, Nithya has a choice to make: become a doctor and a good Indian bride, or step away from her family and centuries of culture to forge her own path. The decision she comes to takes her on a journey that transforms how she sees her future, her relationships with loved ones, and how she learns to put herself back together when even her best-laid plans fall apart.


     There it is again. That electric charge. It’s as if the air between us has solidified into a molten mass, white-hot and pulling us together like magnets. My heart pounds so hard, I’m afraid it’ll break the stone we are sitting on. His eyes stare into mine, and I am engulfed by their vibrant green sheen. James crosses his legs and straightens his back from the way he was leaning. He’s closer to me now. I can see the shade of stubble on his chin and exactly where his jaw flexes. There’s a scar on his forehead near his eyebrow, and I wonder distractedly where he got it.
     “You can really see the stars out tonight.” He tilts his head. I turn around, taken aback by the change of subject. The shadows of the mountains in the distance are huge waves of dark blue on the horizon. The green grass in the fields behind the pavilion appears teal in the night. There are no lights there, while the other side of the arboretum is lit by campus streetlights. The stars are brilliant, glittering specks against a dark background. Suddenly, one jets across the sky, trailing faint white light behind it. It travels so quickly, my eyes can hardly keep up.
     “Hey!” James and I cry out, pointing to the shooting star. The second it disappears into the universe, I close my eyes.
     “What’re you doing?” James whispers. I hold up a finger to make a wish, willing it to happen with all of my heart and soul. I wish this night would never end.
     “I had to make my wish.” I whisper back. I’m not sure why, but after the fleeting glimpse of the meteor, it feels appropriate.
     “What did you wish for?” He has shifted his weight again, his position mirroring mine perfectly.
     “I can’t tell or it won’t come true. Did you wish for anything?”
     He shakes his head, smiling.
     “It’s not too late. You still have time. Give it a shot.”
     He closes his eyes, and the vision of him with his eyes serenely closed, cross-legged on the stone floor inches away from me, is seared into my mind. He looks so peaceful, like a child. A wistful smile lingers on his lips—until his eyes flutter open, and his smile turns playful.
     “Are you going to tell me what you wished for?” I repeat his question.
     “It won’t come true.” He echoes my response.
     We are inches from each other. Our faces tilt toward one another, our images reflecting in each other’s eyes.
     “I really want to kiss you right now,” he whispers.
     “I really want you to,” I reply, breathlessly.
     He moves in closer, taking his time. The world has stopped. There are no passing cars, no breezes blowing through the trees, no ties binding us to anyone but each other. When his lips finally touch mine, it is as if a fire bursts to roaring, glorious life inside me—it is flaming, reaching for any way to free itself from my body. Though I’ve never done this before, I have no worries. I am a lost soul, and he is my lifeline.
     “You taste like chocolate,” he whispers to me, grinning.
     “Is that a racial reference?” I ask him, smiling.
     He laughs softly, his forehead pressed against mine, his hand still grazing my cheek, fingers entwined in my hair. “I guess I got what I wished for.”
     “You wasted a wish. I would have kissed you anyway.” I tell him, playfully.
     “I didn’t want to take any chances,” he murmurs and kisses me again.
     I am in heaven, and there is nowhere I would rather be.

Author Bio:
Annika Sharma was born in India and moved to the United States (Pennsylvania!) when she was a baby. Annika was a daydreamer from day one, always coming up with stories and games of pretend that seemed real. She was a serious journal-writer from fifth grade to college and wrote dramatic scenes for stories often, inspired by soap operas she watched in summers off from school.

Eventually, when the time for college came around, Annika’s parents encouraged her to pursue journalism. Convinced she couldn’t make a living from writing, Annika disagreed. After five years, two degrees, two minors, working with children, being a dancer teacher, and creating a two-and-a-half page resume in college that had interests so all-over-the-place that even she couldn’t make sense of it, Annika finally decided her parents were right. Writing was where her heart was, all along.

In the month before graduate school, the idea Annika had in my mind for years finally poured out in the form of the novel, The Rearranged Life. Annika began editing in earnest after she finished her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education, landing Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary Group as an agent. Three months later, she had a book deal with Curiosity Quills.

In her spare time, Annika loves spending time with her family and friends, often indulging in the three S’s: Starbucks, shopping and superhero movies. As a chocolate lover and general all-around vegetarian foodie, Annika also adores cooking.


FACEBOOK  /  TWITTER  /  WEBSITE  /  GOODREADS







Brought to you by:

Release Day Blitz: Day One by Summer Lane

Title: Day One
Author: Summer Lane
Series: Zero Trilogy #2
Genre: Dystopia, Young Adult
Release Date: March 20, 2015
Summary:
The apocalypse took everything from Elle: her family, her world and now…her friends. After escaping the ravaged streets of Los Angeles, Elle finds herself stranded alone in California when her friends are kidnapped by a new and dangerous enemy. Determined to rescue them from a horrible fate, Elle begins her trek across the unforgiving desert, into the mountains, and into Slaver Territory.

All is not what it seems. Death lurks around every corner. Enemies are everywhere.
With the help of a new and brave companion, Elle fights against all odds, clinging to hope and life.
Day Zero is behind her. Day One is before her.
The end of the world is just beginning.

(The Second Installment in the Bestselling Zero Trilogy, a companion adventure story to The Collapse Series.)

Where did the inspiration for The Zero Trilogy come from? 
I can’t say that it simply hit me like a lightning bolt. The character of Elle was the first thing that slowly formed in my mind – and then the storyline came after. I was writing The Collapse Series at the time, and I had just released State of Pursuit. I saw Elle in my imagination and I started working on a couple of different versions of a Day Zero manuscript over the summer. By the time August was over, I had a pretty good rough draft of the novel.

What is your favorite part of being a writer? 
Being my own boss, and being able to make a living out of telling stories. I’ve always been hyper-self-disciplined, so running a publishing house is right up my alley. I have about 2-3 major deadlines a week, and I love the pressure. It’s stressful, but it’s exciting. I am happiest when I’m working on something.

Any new or upcoming projects? 
Yes! State of Vengeance (Collapse Series #6) releases on June 26th, 2015. A yet-untitled and brand new Collapse project will release in August 2015, and End of Day – the last installment in The Zero Trilogy – will release October 9th, 2015.

In 2016, I have an entirely new series coming out, as well as continuing Collapse and releasing a standalone novel featuring one of the hit characters from Cassidy Hart’s world.

Author Bio:
Summer Lane is the author of the international bestselling Collapse Series and Zero Trilogy. She owns WB Publishing and Writing Belle, an online magazine dedicated to the Art of Storytelling. Summer is also an accomplished creative writing teacher and professional journalist. She lives in the Central Valley of California where she creates her stories and shares them with the world.


FACEBOOK  /  TWITTER  /  WEBSITE







Brought to you by:

Cover Reveals: The Diary of Bink Cummings Vol 3 & Big by Bink Cummings

Title: The Diary of Bink Cummings
Expected Release Date: May 2015
Title: Big
Expected Release Date: Fall/Winter 2015
Author: Bink Cummings
Genre: Motorcycle Club Romance
Series: MC Chronicles

Diary of Bink Cummings -- GOODREADS TBR

The Diary of Bink Cummings Vol.3
Summary:

Must read: The Diary of Bink Cummings Vol 1 & 2 previously.

Tests, life is full of them. The world is constantly putting you through them to see how much you can take before you break. Before you are no longer who you are. Before your world dissolves around you. How long you can stay strong and overcome the obstacles.

It's no secret that Big and I butt heads. It's no secret that I not only dislike my mother, I hate her because she hates me. But can these people break me? Can they push me to the edge of insanity, ready to jump?

Having stayed and moved in with Big, I was living the life I never even knew I wanted. Every day was filled with promise, warmth and unconditional love. Until the day, it wasn't. Until the day it all changed and I quickly learned what I'm made of, thanks to the truths behind many years of painful secrets.

It only took a single day for my world to never be the same. One day to change me forever. One day for revelations. One day I'll never forget......

***Steamy Adult romance Warning: Contains Mature scenarios, and mass quantities of profanity. For Ages 18+  This is not a Stand alone.***


BIG:
Summary:
Under construction






Author Bio:
Author Bink Cummings was born and raised part of an MC family. Upon the incessant coercion from her sacred sisters, she has begun her newest journey in life--writing. When she's not shacked up in her home, writing at all hours of the night, Bink enjoys riding motorcycles, taking care of her extensive roughneck family, and cooking huge meals. Especially her infamous chocolate chip cookies.


PINTEREST  /  TSU  /  AMAZON  /  GOODREADS



Bink Cummings Vol. 1

Bink Cummings Vol. 2
Brought to you by: