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The red light districts of Amsterdam

The Netherlands is where you go when you are finally retired and ready to contemplate fields
of tulips as a routine form of entertainment. It’s also where you go when weed, girls and biking
en mass is what makes sense in life for you, and this may be well before or well into your
retirement plans. The Netherlands is about as big as the state of Maryland (not big) and offers
more excitement than California. Legally, that is. It is one of Europe’s soccer powers and beer
producing giants. In short, it is the closest place to heaven when you cross the Atlantic on your  way to the Old Continent.

Upon arriving in Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands and a stag party hub for decades, you are halfway through important decision-making. First, you can choose to walk along the romantic, yet murky canals cluttered with houseboats or tour the Renaissance art museums. Or you can scratch that and hit the coffee shops, strip clubs, erotic shows and brothels first. Adult nightlife in Amsterdam is concentrated in three easy-to-find red light districts (http://www.redlightdistricts.net). The most heavy traffic runs through De Wallen. Mind you, you don’t have to sneak around looking all shy and wondering where the good stuff is. De Wallen is out there – easy to recognize, widely public and nothing to be ashamed of. As soon as you get out of Central Station, head in the direction of Nieuwenmarkt. The other two areas are also popular but slightly smaller – behind the Rejksmuseum and along Singel. Remain alert for the bright red and purple neon lights that shine from the first couple of stories of regular housing buildings – they signify the windows where you may want to stop and check out the temptations. If orientation is not your forte, you can always take a guided tour specifically designed to walk you through the areas and answer your pressing questions.

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Let’s hike the Grand Canyon by John Wesley Powells

A little over a year ago, Shawn and Marie sent me an email requesting information on hiking to Phantom Ranch from the South Rim and back. This contact was the beginning of a friendship and adventure we will never forget.
Shawn and Marie went on their hike in May of 2009. Soon after their celebration was over, I received another email from them…would I be interested in rafting the Colorado River? Ofcourse! Judi and Marc set about finding the perfect company for bookings. It was sometime in July 2011, that we made our reservations with GRAND CANYON EXPEDITIONS.

By the time the trip would start we would be a party of nine. It seemed to take forever for our eight days and seven nights on the river to become a reality, but all of a sudden, there we were…meeting in Las Vegas and on to Lee’s Ferry for the ride of our lives.

Since the summer of 1988, I’ve logged almost 200 foot miles in Grand Canyon. Most of these miles were on the South Kaibab Trail and Bright Angel Trail going to and from Phantom Ranch. Other trails I have hiked are the Grandview Trail, Hermit Trail to Dripping Springs, part of the Clear Creek Trail and the North Kaibab Trail to Ribbon Falls. A couple of summers ago, we hiked the Uncle Jim Trail on the North Rim. Put on your boots, hat and day pack…turn the page, and I’ll take you with me on these trails.

From the South Kaibab Trail in Grand Canyon National Park you can see the Colorado River and Bright Angel Campground. My destination? Phantom Ranch which is just beyond the campground. Come along with me as I take you down the South Kaibab Trail from boarding the shuttle at Bright Angel Lodge to checking in at the Phantom Ranch canteen.

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Helicopter Tours in the air over Grand Canyon

The new tourist attraction allows all the sights to be seen from above. From the air are fabulous views of the Grand Canyon surroundings. The walk takes about 2 hours and the route can be customized

The flights are 5 Native American helicopter “Enstrom 480 C”, which has two engines of the “Rolls Royce”. Since the new attraction now enjoy the first tourists. Interest in it is great, but the experience is indescribable. The flight is completely safe and does not require specialized training. While it is permissible to even include mobile phone and talk to them, explain American pilots of aircraft. Helicopter rides extremely soft and comfortable. It is designed to eliminate vibration and can land on slopes up to 15 degrees, explain pilots. Those wishing to ride may determine and exactly where to land. The helicopter flew at an altitude of 3900 meters, the maximum speed is 230 km, and the machine can remain airborne targets 4, 5 hours.

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Price varies for each panoramic helicopter tour. “Fortuna Air” is the aviation company of Peter Stupelhead. There she supports facilities and hangars for servicing airplanes and helicopters, ground equipment and specialized vehicles.

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Grand Canyon National Park best spot for sun eclipse

Grand Canyon National Park is one of the more interesting venues being touted as a view spot for the annular eclipse of the sun May 20.

Ranger-assisted opportunities to view the eclipse will be provided on both rims. On the South Rim, NASA scientists and amateur astronomers will share their telescopes for views of the eclipse and of the night sky afterward. The Park Service says the largest concentration of telescopes will be behind the Grand Canyon Visitor Center on the South Rim, but telescopes will also be at Lipan Point, at the benches just west of the Desert View Watchtower and on the deck of the Watchtower itself.

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Meet Chris Redding

Meet Chris Redding, the author of Corpse Whisperer, now available on Kindle!

What did I do today? Dragged a kid and two rabbits to a local 4-H fair. Why? Because we are a 4-H family. Son #2 takes care of and shows rabbits. This time our doe (female) got a very good. That is a red ribbon. The buck (male) won Best Senior Buck. That means he was the one on the table that was closest to the breed standard. He would have won Best Reserve in Breed if he hadn’t been moulting. Moulting is when the old fur comes off and new stuff comes in. His new coat is da bomb! And Best Reserve in Breed is given to a rabbit the opposite sex of who won Best in Breed.

But these things have nothing to do with writing. But it does. Sometimes life is more important than writing. Gasp. I know. We write. We submit. We polish. We submit. We promote. Is that all there is to life?

Nope. My kids are still sort of young. They still need me. Maybe not full time, but a lot of the time since it is summer. So for now some of my writing will be put aside. Because there is fun to be had and free ice cream to be had.

So while you are reading this I’m taking a break from the computer. You will all be here when I get back. (I hope!)

So in my stead, I’m leaving you with a question. This is for those of you who have seen Inception. A large portion of my life was spent in Emergency Medical Services. What glaring error is there in Inception that I would pick up?
Thanks for having me.
Chris

Bio for Chris Redding
Chris Redding wanted to be a writer since she was ten years old She belongs to Romance Writers of America and New Jersey Romance Writers. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, two kids, a hound dog, a British cat and a black spotted rat. When she isn’t writing she works a part time job at her local hospital.

http://www.chrisreddingauthor.com
http://www.myspace.com/chrisreddingauthor

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The Making of RETURN ENGAGEMENT

The Creation of Return Engagement

The idea for Return Engagement bounced around in my head for a great many years. You see, I always wanted to be a writer. My childhood playmate was my cousin who was a great artist. I envied her ability, but I always thought that if I had my choice I’d rather be a writer. Oh, the thrill of putting words on paper! The joy of creating my own private reality and peopling that world with characters of my own imagination!

But I never did anything about it even though the characters were crystal clear in my mind and the plot was fairly well developed. My husband encouraged me. “Try it,” he urged. “You can do it.” Well, you know how it is when you’re a young mother with children who need to be transported from activity to activity. On top of that I’m a teacher who has to spend time grading papers and planning lessons.

So, what motivated me to bring my dream to life? I have to give credit to my son. He’s my inspiration because he’s the reason I started writing in the first place. He came home one day and dumped a thick manuscript in my lap. “I wrote a book,” he said. “You can read it.”

Words can never express a mother’s astonishment and pride. At that moment, I was slightly in awe of this child that I had raised. “I make up stories in my head to amuse myself,” he told me. “I decided I might as well write them down.”

Wow! I had always done the same thing. I decided on the spot to write a book myself, but when I sat down in front of my computer screen, I didn’t have any idea how to begin. There were so many ways I could start the book! It finally occurred to me that it didn’t matter. If my words didn’t sound right, there was always the delete or backspace keys. From that moment on, I’ve been hooked on writing.

Don’t think that Return Engagement is my first book, though. It isn’t. My first book A New Leaf won the Timeless Love contest sponsored by Oak Tree Press, and they published it. It was a good story, but I wish I had the chance to rewrite it. I could make it so much better today. Why did I wait to write Return Engagement? Too scared. I wanted it to be perfect, and I wasn’t sure I could do it justice. I’d been writing for several years before I attempted it.

Now back to Return Engagement… Creating my characters was no problem at all. I’d thought about them for years. Everyone has his or her own personal hero, and Richard Lovinggood, the hero of Return Engagement, has all the qualities I’ve learned to admire in a hero. What qualities? Let’s see.

First, I want a hero with a little fire to him, a man who knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to go after it. Second, he has to be loyal and faithful because I’d never be willing to share. Third, I want a man with a little romance in his soul, a guy who isn’t afraid to bring you some flowers for no reason, call you to ask how your day is going, or hold your hand while you walk on the beach. Fourth, and I know this is silly, I really do love a nice pair of shoulders!

And then there was my heroine. I like women who aren’t afraid to follow their dreams no matter where those dreams may take them, and that’s just what my heroine does. She always thought with her head not her heart, but when she meets Mr. Right it’s her heart that engages, not her head.

With my two main characters created, I fleshed out the story, giving family and background for my hero and heroine. And then I had to write the book.

I wish I’d kept the original draft of Return Engagement. It would make you laugh to see how bad it was. I rewrote that book until I could practically quote it in my sleep, but each time I revised it, it was better. After several years of work, I submitted the book to Whiskey Creek Press and held my breath for several months until I heard back from them. I swear it took me ten minutes to get up the nerve to open the email, and then I jumped up and down for ten minutes when they accepted the book. Having this particular dream come true was every bit as wonderful as I thought it would be.

Here’s a blurb about Return Engagement.

Blurb:

Elizabeth Lane has heard the call of the four most seductive words in the entire English language: what might have been. Would you risk everything you hold dear to find out what might have been? That’s the choice which Elizabeth has to make.

Elizabeth is lucky, for she has it all, money, fame, a satisfying career and a devoted fiancé. Her humble beginnings are all but obscured, but she isn’t the kind of woman Senator Henry Lovinggood wants for his son, Richard. Senator Lovinggood plans to make Richard the President of the United States; he’ll need a woman from a wealthy, powerful family by his side. Ten years ago he broke Richard and Elizabeth up, but this time it won’t be so easy, for Elizabeth wants to know what might have been. This time she’ll fight back, a struggle which ultimately leads to kidnapping and attempted murder and alienates her from the man of her dreams.

If you’d like to read an excerpt from the book, you can do so at my web site at http://www.elainecantrell.com. The book is available at http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=819&zenid=0388abcec27444081ac3750d1c5c3fae
Thanks, Kim, for having me here at Book Madness.

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Playing to the Room

By Lisa M. Campbell

Those of us who write undoubtedly have a passion for it. Why
else would we put ourselves through the difficulties of
creating a cast of characters with seemingly insurmountable
problems?

As an author of historical romance, I have noticed the high
volume of paranormal books lining the shelves of our local
bookstores. Publishers and readers alike clamor for these
stories and though the saturation level is high, there doesn’t
seem to be any sign the genre is tapering off. Moreover, it’s
not just bricks and mortar stores packing them in. E-book
sites all over the internet display page after page of
paranormal titles and what once thought a fad is now a
cornerstone of the billion-dollar a year romance industry.
No doubt, it sounds as if I’m opposed to such books. However,
I write erotic paranormal under the pen name Marie March and
have four titles due out this year. As well, I eagerly await
the next Sookie Stackhouse adventure from Charlaine Harris,
and the last installment in Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series.
What I enjoy about these authors is their ability to create
stories in which I’m able to suspend my disbelief and immerse
myself in an all too real fantasy-world.

This brings up the question of writing strictly for profit of
playing to the room. Should an author who stands out in his or
her own category write to a specific market? From what I have
read and heard, most Editors view this as a no-no. Yet, how
many publishers out there, big and small, have calls out for
paranormal manuscripts above anything else? With werewolf,
vampire and shifter stories in demand the conclusion may be
any submission will have a better than average acceptance
rate. Such logic will set anyone up for disappointment and
failure.

As a romance writer, you have to enjoy reading what you set
out to write. With a paranormal, you have to believe in the
unbelievable yourself otherwise the rudiments of your story
just won’t work. Therefore, I believe success in any form of
writing depends on the blend of two essential elements…your
talents and interests.
______________________________________________________

Author Info follows:
http://www.lisamcampbell.net

http://www.mariemarch.com
____________________________________________________________
NEW RELEASES!
Insatiable releases July 28th with Red Rose Publishing and Chasing the Nymph releases Sept. 17, 2010 at Whispers Publishing
___________________________________________________________

Blurbs:
Insatiable by Marie MarchCavyn Sinclair is a centuries old vampire in search of conquest, but women are scarce in the wilds of Montana’s Glacier National Park. Then he discovers a faint light trail left in the wake of an exotic creature he never thought to encounter.To stay amongst her kindred, Loveday a Nymphomaniac in service to the House of Triune is forced to pay tribute to Medb on Beltane by participating in sexual revelry with any male she encounters, climaxing in Medb’s name.When Cavyn and Loveday come together the sex is raw and explosive. However, will they be able to sustain their passion or will Loveday fulfill her needs with Cavyn’s nest mate Priscilla?No matter how decadent the sex, Loveday longs for the freedom to choose her own destiny. Cavyn aids Loveday’s bid for freedom, yet the payment Medb demands may be more than Loveday is willing to pay.

BLURB FOR SUPERSTITIONS DESIRE
Superstition’s Desire, Wild Horse Press 2009
The lush landscape of the Scottish Highlands holds great beauty, but also great peril. Therefore, when Lady Arabella Wyndmere is spirited away from her English home, she is right to fear for her heart and her welfare. Held to a deathbed vow, Laird Connal MacRae is honor-bound to deliver Lady Arabella unsullied, to his deposed older brother, as a prize to soothe his ego. Nevertheless, Connal cannot deny the burning ache the spirited beauty has awakened in him. However, something far more dangerous stalks from the shadows. And in a climate of treachery and betrayal; the greatest risk of all could be surrendering to the depth of feelings of unexpected love.

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Doorman’s Creek

by Lea Schizas

ABOUT LEA

Although I feel as old as the Acropolis at times, I started writing way back in my mom’s womb, where I mistook the umbilical cord for some cool writing implement. I write in various genres but seem to go back to the Young Adult target group. This age group is so full of spunk and dare you just never know what the characters will do next and that is why I love to write and have a teen as my main character. Also, it keeps me young. Some of my favorite authors are: Stephen King, Nora Roberts, Robert Ludlum, J. K. Rowling

ABOUT THE BOOK

Teens have a knack for getting into trouble and that’s why most of my stories are for young adults. I love to add mystery and some entity of the paranormal for this target audience to figure out the puzzle.

Doorman’s Creek uses a town legend and manipulates this legend with hypothetical questions, murders, missing teens, and a slew of characters that are all suspects. The interesting factor is that although there is an unknown entity in this book who this person is isn’t revealed until the very end and what part he plays.

Kyle Anderson, the 15-year old teen who is the main character and boy with the visions to see through the eyes of the killer and sometimes the victim, was fleshed out as a leader, but alos a boy who feels ‘housed-in’ by his over-doting and worrisome mom. The need to prove himself mature is always there and when the visions begin he fears his mother will now seclude him at home to protect him. With the help of his two best friends, Kyle, Shawn and Bradley will slowly begin to put an old ten year old case to the forefront and investigate the disappearances of two new girls.

However, I needed to add a building block to have Kyle prove his maturity to his mother. A murder of someone close to them finally puts these two on the same path and their lives suddenly take an unsuspecting turn when both have similar dreams mixed with visions that lead them to a few suspects.

At the end the one person they never thought would be the one to help them out comes to their aid…in a very strange way.

Because of the nature of the crime, and the suspect, there is some foul language and graphic scenes.
Doorman’s Creek is available in e-book and print at eTreasures:
http://www.etreasurespublishing.com/leaschizas/doormanscreek.html

And in Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Doorman%27s+Creek&x=12&y=21

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Hollywood Under the Covers by Brandie Knight

Hollywood Under the Covers by Brandie Knight

A powerful talent agent, the Mistress of Romance, an international superstar, a sexy movie star, and Hollywood’s biggest and best-kept secret breeds a scandalous world of betrayal.

Hollywood Under the Covers is a rare look inside the seductive entertainment industry. To the outside world, Hollywood is portrayed with glamour, riches and fame—but to insiders, it’s a cold, dark, scandalous place, where survival is not about basic instinct but the people you’re sleeping with. The book exposes the erotic side of four Hollywood moneymakers, openly revealing how nothing is safe in the hands of greed.

Hollywood Under the Covers is an intriguing world of sex, drugs, scandals, and the downside of fame. Loosely based on actual events, this fictional story takes the reader on a fast paced, head-spinning journey into a world so strange it could only be based in truth.

Q: Tell us About Your Book:
Hollywood Under the Covers is a rare look inside the seductive entertainment industry. To the outside world, Hollywood is portrayed with glamour, riches and fame—but to insiders, it’s a cold, dark, scandalous place, where survival is not about basic instinct but the people you’re sleeping with. The book exposes the erotic side of four Hollywood moneymakers, openly revealing how nothing is safe in the hands of greed. A powerful talent agent, the Mistress of Romance, an international superstar, a sexy movie star, and Hollywood’s biggest and best-kept secret breeds a scandalous world of betrayal.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself:
As a teenager, my goal was to become a Hollywood insider to one day write about the celebrity-obsessed culture. For over twenty years, I have been in the entertainment industry documenting the fascinating behavior of high profile people and celebrities in their natural habitats. The time has come to share my adventures with the world.
Q: Who has inspired you as an author?
Jackie Collins and Harold Robbins have inspired me. Both are known as great Hollywood storytellers.
Q: What age did you discover writing? What is your earliest work about?
I was eight-years-old when I wrote my first short story entitled, Oklahoma Tornado. The adventurous story was about a brave, young girl caught in a tornado. She leaves the safety of the cellar to recue her dog. I wrote the story in the cellar at my grandparent’s house while tornados were touching down around us.
Q: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your book?
I have received a lot of positive feedback from readers, but the one comment that I found most interesting was from a book reviewer on Amazon. Part of the review reads, “As a huge Jackie Collins fan, I have to say that discovering a new author that can hold her own in Jackie’s world is a first.” I read the comment in disbelief and felt like I was reading about another author.
Q: Do you have a specific time or place for writing?
I don’t have a specific time for writing. When my writing zone kicks in, I will put everything else on hold to focus on writing. During my creative writing, I have to be in an inspirational settings like by the ocean, waterfalls, or mountains. During the technical writing, I write in my home office.
Q: What is next for you?
I am currently working on the sequel to Hollywood Under the Covers. I originally planned to write a different Hollywood story for my next novel, but I have received an overwhelming number of requests for the sequel. I’m thrilled that the readers want the story to continue and excited to write the sequel.

After twenty years in the entertainment industry, Brandie Knight is writing about her encounters in a fictional environment in Hollywood Under the Covers. Over the years, Knight has created and produced a television pilot, two radio shows, and an entertainment magazine. She is the co-producer of the award-winning documentary a/k/a Tommy Chong, and a former entertainment publicist. Knight splits her time between Las Vegas, NV, Taos, NM, and her hometown of Ponca City, OK. Visit her sites at http://www.brandieknight.com, http://www.facebook.com/brandie.knight, and http://twitter.com/brandieknight1.

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Guest blogger, Jane Bierce

I went to a quilt show a few weeks ago to meet up with some friends from Georgia. One of them asked me if I had any new books out, so I mentioned CRICKET’S MOON.

“It’s set in an impoverished area of north Florida.” I told her. “Cricket knows the furniture store where she works can’t stay in business much longer. With her last folding cash, she buys a lottery ticket. On the way home, she notices a full moon coming up. She cleans out her wallet, opens it so the moon shines into it and says, ‘Moon, moon …’”

And when I got to there, all three of the women said, “Fill it up, fill it up, fill it up!” We all laughed. Every Southern young lady learns that chant.

Cricket Stafford won the lottery – more money than she could have dreamed of, but she’s ready for it. She has a degree in business, and she knows that the first thing to do is to find a good lawyer. Mark Batson is more than good. He’s young, handsome and ready to help her make the town of Hazlett a better place – even though it has a long way to go to get there.

The town doesn’t know much except hard times. All the changes in the last thirty years have led to poverty, unemployment, and a drift of talent and money to somewhere else. But Cricket finds some of her biggest obstacles in her own family – and in herself.

So what would you do if you knew you’d be given over ten million dollars a year for the next thirty years? What changes could you make in your community? Then ask yourself–would it really take that much money? Or would it just take changes in yourself and the people around you?

CRICKET’S MOON, published by Awe-Struck eBooks.

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