Friday, May 25, 2018

"Don’t Believe It" by Charlie Donlea

REVIEW and GIVEAWAY
Don’t Believe It
by Charlie Donlea

Don’t Believe It  by Charlie Donlea

Don’t Believe It by Charlie Donlea is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
From acclaimed author Charlie Donlea comes a twisting, impossible-to-put-down novel of suspense in which a filmmaker helps clear a woman convicted of murder - only to find she may be a puppet in a sinister game.
The Girl of Sugar Beach is the most watched documentary in television history - a riveting, true-life mystery that unfolds over twelve weeks and centers on a fascinating question: Did Grace Sebold murder her boyfriend, Julian, while on a Spring Break vacation, or is she a victim of circumstance and poor police work? Grace has spent the last ten years in a St. Lucian prison, and reaches out to filmmaker Sidney Ryan in a last, desperate attempt to prove her innocence.
As Sidney begins researching, she uncovers startling evidence, additional suspects, and timeline issues that were all overlooked during the original investigation. Before the series even finishes filming, public outcry leads officials to reopen the case. But as the show surges towards its final episodes, Sidney receives a letter saying that she got it badly, terribly wrong.
Sidney has just convinced the world that Grace is innocent. Now she wonders if she has helped to free a ruthless killer. Delving into Grace’s past, she peels away layer after layer of deception. But as Sidney edges closer to the real heart of the story, she must decide if finding the truth is worth risking her newfound fame, her career ... even her life.

Excerpt
Chapter 1
Hewanorra International Airport
St. Lucia
March 2017
Ten Years Later
SIDNEY RYAN FINISHED TAPPING ON HER COMPUTER, SAVED HER FILE, and folded the laptop closed. She reached under the seat and slipped it into her carry-on. The popping in her ears told her they had started their descent. She pulled a thick folder from her bag, opened it, and removed the maiden letter that had started her journey.
Dear Sidney,
It's been a while. Fifteen years? Congratulations on all your success. I've followed your career, as you can imagine, quite closely. You are a champion for those who cannot help themselves. As I'm sure you are aware, your accomplishments have echoed far beyond those who have directly benefited. For those like myself, whose fates have long ago been determined, you give hope that somehow things can still change.
I'll assume you know my story. And I hope this letter makes it into your hands. You are, quite literally, my last chance. I've exhausted the appeals process. It is different here than in the States. I've learned the St. Lucian justice system well over the last decade. There are no more loopholes to find, and no more formalities to follow. From this point forward, I can count on only one thing to help me — a re-examination of the evidence. Without it, I will spend my life here. And with each year that passes, it feels as though fewer and fewer people are looking at my case. Lately it seems that no one remembers me besides my family.
I'm writing you, Sidney, to ask you to consider helping an old friend. Of course, I understand no promises can be made. And I'm able to offer nothing in the way of compensation. Yet, I still find myself writing to you. I have no one else to ask.
My attorney and I can provide you with every bit of information about my case. Perhaps, if you look through it all, you will see what so many others have missed.
Thank you, Sidney, for anything you can do for an old friend.
Yours Sincerely, Grace Sebold
Sidney folded the letter and looked out the window. The plane was on a gentle glide and ready to set down in the ocean when a runway reached out and grabbed the Airbus A330 to pull it safely onto dry land. A five-minute taxi settled the plane on the tarmac just outside the terminal doors. Everyone onboard opened overhead compartments and gathered bags. Sidney walked through the plane's exit door and stepped onto the landing of the staircase, where the humid Caribbean air quickly worked her skin to a glistening shine. She took the stairs to the tarmac and felt the heat of the pavement rise in invisible flames around her. The camera crew sorted their equipment as she headed into the terminal. Through customs thirty minutes later, she bounced in the backseat of the taxi van as the driver navigated the rolling mountains of St. Lucia and the twisting roads that cut through their slopes.
Hills lush with rain forest filled the windows of the taxi for most of the sixty-minute ride. Eventually the driver shifted to a lower gear and the van strained to climb a steep bank. As they crested the precipice on the outskirts of the Jalousie Plantation, the ocean came into view across the valley. In the middle of the afternoon, the water carried an emerald brilliance, and from such an elevated vantage point looked almost cartoonish as it smoldered bright cobalt in the area near shore, melting to a deeper navy farther out to sea.
The driver began the descent into the valley toward Sugar Beach Resort. Contrasting the journey to this point, which had been defined by a series of steep inclines barely conquered by the taxi van's straining engine, the ride down into the valley came with the constant squeak of brakes and slow turns around hairpins. The deeper they ventured into the basin, the higher the twin volcanic plugs of Gros Piton and Petit Piton rose on either side of them. The prehistoric nature of the precipitous mountains gave Sidney the sense of heading into Jurassic Park.
Finally the van made the last turn and tall iron gates parted as they approached the entrance to the resort. The humidity again mugged her when the door slid open and Sidney climbed from the van.
"Ms. Ryan," a staff member said, extending a basket of ice-cold hand towels. "Welcome to Sugar Beach."
Sidney draped the towel across the back of her neck.
"The staff will manage your bags," the woman said in a pleasant Caribbean accent. "Your firm has already arranged check-in, so your room is waiting."
Sidney nodded and followed the woman onto a path lined by Lansan trees, the shade of which offered a reprieve from the heat. The staffer pointed out landmarks as they walked.
"The spa is that way," she said, pointing. "It's world renowned and highly recommended. Built directly into the rain forest."
Sidney smiled and nodded, surveying the treehouse–like structures built within the forest and the wooden staircases that twirled down to the ground.
The woman pointed in the other direction. "This path will take you to the beach."
Overhanging branches of palm trees cocooned the long cobblestone walkway. Their heavy fronds rustled in the ocean breeze toward the far end of the path, where a spot of bright sunshine and surf was just visible from where Sidney stood.
They made one more turn. "And here is your cottage."
The woman keyed the door and allowed Sidney to enter the posh room, the furniture of which was white and immaculate. Dark cherrywood floors shone brightly with afternoon sunlight that spilled through the windows and French doors.
"The bar is stocked with anything you might like — water, juice, and soda. Spirits as well. Your bags should arrive shortly."
"Thank you," Sidney said. She glanced at the placard outside the door: 306.
"Yes," the woman said, recognizing the question in Sidney's eyes. "This was the room she stayed in."
Sidney nodded.
"Please call if you need anything," the woman said.
"Thank you."
Sidney closed the cottage door and allowed the air-conditioned interior to cool her body and unstick her shirt from her skin. She looked around the room, moving her gaze from the shining wooden floors to the lush bathroom accommodations, to the sun-drenched patio, and finally to the plush four-poster bed, with its brilliant white comforter. She ran her hand over the thick blanket before sitting on the edge.
Ten years earlier, Grace Sebold had slept in this very room the night Julian Crist was killed.

Praise for the Book
“Donlea’s use of the documentary format helped build and maintain suspense. He tapped into the American passion for true crime to write the story and it worked well.” ~ Bea’s Book Nook
“Charlie Donlea is definitely an author to watch out for. Five stars is not enough praise for this story.” ~ Sinfully Wicked Book Reviews
“The author did a fantastic job of drawing me into the story and keeping me interested. The last sentence of the book left me hungry for more ...” ~ Book Babble
“A perfectly executed and entirely satisfying read, Don't Believe It is a gripping thriller that will blow readers away, from the first page right up to the very last words. Charlie Donlea's best book yet!” ~ Mary Kubica, author of Pretty Baby and The Good Girl


My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.


I’m so close to finishing this book but, unfortunately, can’t post my review just yet. I’m enjoying the book so far, but it all depends on the ending! Please come back tomorrow, and I’ll let you know my thoughts.

About the Author
Charlie Donlea
USA Today bestselling author Charlie Donlea was born and raised in Chicago. He now lives in the suburbs with his wife and two young children.









Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win one of three print copies of Don’t Believe It by Charlie Donlea (US only).

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"Self Publish Now" by E. Van Lowe


GUEST POST and EXCERPT
Self Publish Now:
The Underground Playbook to Get You Writing, Finishing, and Self-Published NOW
by E. Van Lowe

Self-Publish Now: The Underground Playbook to Get You Writing, Finishing, and Self-Published NOW  by E. Van Lowe

This book blitz for Self Publish Now by E. Van Lowe is organized by Bewitching Book Tours. You can read an excerpt from the book and a guest post by the author. Please make sure you visit the other participating blogs as well.


For more books by this author, please check out my blog post on the Falling Angels Saga.

Description
Do you have a book you’d like to get published … or are you thinking of writing a book? Great! This tiny book contains my step-by-step, easy to follow system for getting your book written and self-published NOW. It’s probably the most complete, no-nonsense guide to self-publishing available.
I take you on my personal journey, from an abject failure living in the Bronx with no future to speak of to becoming the writer I always dreamed of being - writing bestselling books, movies, and hit TV shows. I tell you how I went from dreamer to having money in the bank and fans around the world.
I tell you in my straightforward style what’s holding you back from writing success, and give you the kick in the butt, plus all the tools you need to self-publish NOW. I tell you how I got where I am, but more importantly, how you can get there, too. This book contains:
*Expert instruction from a bestselling self-published author
*PDFs for you to download and study
*VIP access into my author success group
*Links to free video training that teaches how James Patterson and other bestselling authors write their bestsellers
*How to choose an editor
*Video instruction on how to create a beautiful book cover - free
*A list building guide showing you step-by-step how to grow your fanbase
*The most important modules from my paid VIP self-publishing program
Plus so much more …
Do Not be fooled by its size. This tiny book contains everything, literally EVERYTHING you need to get your book written and self-published NOW.
What are you waiting for? The time for excuses is over. You want to get published? You want fans around the world? You want money in the bank? Get this book. It’s time to self-publish NOW!

Excerpt
It was 7:30 a.m. Monday morning. The alarm clock had gone off half an hour ago, yet no matter what I told myself, I just couldn’t get out of bed. I should have gotten up and started getting ready for work as soon as the clock went off.  That was normally how I did it.
Something was wrong.
As I lay there, I took inventory of myself. I wasn’t sick. It wasn’t a hangover. Truth is, I wasn’t actually tired, although every muscle in my body seemed wracked with fatigue.  I was sweating.
I thought back to Sunday morning.  I felt great when I got up on Sunday.  I was up early.  I read the paper, I played with my son, and we all went to church. 
We had brunch in Manhattan after church, and spent the warm afternoon in Central Park near the Merry-go-round.  My son loved to go to the merry-go-round. He didn’t like to ride it. He said it made him dizzy, but he loved being in the presence of all the energy exuded by the kids. He feasted on it.
Around 4 p.m. I started feeling a bit sluggish.  It increased gradually, and by bedtime, I was exhausted. I had developed flu like symptoms.
As I lay there that Monday morning, I realized it was around 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon when I started thinking about my job.  On Sunday evening as I prepared my route for the following day, I started feeling a sense of dread. 
I quickly diagnosed myself with a malaise felt by millions nationwide. My illness was that I dreaded going to work. I hated my job.
I asked myself “how did this happen?”  I had a dream job.  At least it was a dream job for a guy from where I’m from. I was the envy of all my friends. I was both proud and excited when I landed the job a few years earlier.  Back then, I couldn’t wait to go out into the field. WHAT had changed?
Hi, my name is Ehrich Van Lowe (pronounced Eric. My friends call me E.) and I am a writer. I’ve spent most of my working career writing professionally, and loving it.  I’ve written for big publishers, small publishers and I’ve self-published. I’ve written blog posts and articles in magazines.
I’ve written for the theater, I’ve written poetry, and I’ve written for TV and film. I’ve won many writing awards including being nominated for the Emmy Award and the Oscar, all for my writing.  I have written bestselling novels and hit TV shows. I am a working writer who has had, and still enjoys a wonderful and rewarding career.
But on that morning, a long time ago, I was a twenty-three year-old nobody who had abandoned my dreams.
If you are a writer trying to figure it all out, or a failed writer, or a would be writer, I wrote this book for you. I hope you will read it from beginning to end. There are a few things I’d like to tell you that I believe can help launch your writing career, and keep you from years of not realizing your dream.
Much of what you are about to read in this book you have never heard before.  Some of it you have, but not from me. The purpose of this book is to get you comfortable with the idea that you, yes YOU, can actually become a published author and make money. It’s also to give you some tools you can use to get your writing career going, and not just going, but going quickly and successfully.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“No nonsense. No blather. This guy had what I thought were the most creative notions I'd ever heard ... He gave me the ideas that changed my life.” ~ John Klawitter, Author, screenwriter
“You not only get solid advice you can use but you hear firsthand how E. Van Lowe helped other very successful people.” ~ Kindle Customer
“Trust me, if you want to self-publish successfully you need to read this book.” ~ Roxanne Rhoads, CEO-Bewitching Book Tours
“I LOVE IT! My favorite line is ‘One of the great secrets we writers harbor is the secret dream that we can actually have careers as writers.’ I have a draft of a book that I started 20 years ago...” ~ Peggy
“Ohhhh my gosh!!! This book really touched me!! I have been struggling to change my life plan. I pursued a career and even obtained my doctorate but I hate my job. You described my every day struggle to go to work. I loved your book.” ~ Natalia Martinez, Non-writer
“Step-by-step guide to self-publishing that works!” ~ Marie Weiss, Mother, Grandmother, Writer
“As I was reading, your A to Z steps became so clear I visualized my book completed and published. This book have erased all my reservations and fears about self publishing.” ~ Stephen Sweeney
“A must read for any new author! This book is bursting at the seams with information; from how to get your email list going too how to format your book to upload. But it doesn't stop there!” ~ Debbie Browdy, New author
“The Author states it is only for beginners but I have been an author and book doctor for 21 years and I still found new principles to use.” ~ Dr. Opal, Director of Santa Barbara Christian Writers Conference

Guest Post by the Author
The Stigma of Self-Publishing
I’m going to be honest here. It was the stigma attached to self-publishing that kept me from self-publishing for many years. I got enamored with self-publishing back in 2011 when Amanda Hocking became the poster child for self-publishing by earning a million dollars from 99 cent ebooks.
Even though I was enamored with the possibility of earning big money, I was afraid to try. I heard all the negative voices, especially the really loud one that kept repeating: “the only people who self-publish are those who can’t get published by a REAL publisher.”
You’ve heard that nagging little sucker, haven’t you?
Even though I had traditionally published a fairly successful book - Never Slow Dance With A Zombie was a selection of the Scholastic Book club, putting it in virtually every school in America - I allowed the voice to persuade me. Despite a large initial order (my editor told me it was one of the largest initial orders ever for the publisher at that time), and the fact that I made me zero dollars beyond the small advance, I allowed the negative voice to keep me from giving self-publishing a shot.
Despite being a super-successful writer and entrepreneur (I’ve earned millions, mostly from my writing), I allowed that negative voice to hold me back. Truth is, it’s that nagging, negative voice that keeps most people from pursuing their success. As I say in my new book, Self Publish Now, we make up all kinds of very convincing excuses as to why we’re not pursuing our dreams, but at the end of the day, it’s the fear that negativity allows in that keeps us from our dreams.
So, here’s the thing, I didn’t make any real money from my books until I gave up traditional publishing. I didn’t build my incredibly wonderful and supportive fan base until I gave up the traditional (legacy) way of doing things.
Now, I admit, self-publishing is not for everyone. But I believe everyone should try it. If all you do publish is a 10-page short story you wrote over the weekend, you should give self-publishing a try. You’ve got nothing to lose, aside from that nagging negative voice, and possibly everything to gain.
I also believe it should always be the author’s choice (or anyone’s choice, really) to take their lives into their own hands. If you think self-publishing could possibly work for you, please check out my new book. It contains every tool you need to self-publish a book spending little or no money.
But whether you decide to self-publish or not (perhaps you’re already self-published; perhaps you’re not a writer), recognize the voice of negativity when it starts chirping in your ear. You best successes will come when you can put that voice to rest.
Please visit my new blog I created to inspire, educate and motivate authors.

About the Author
E. Van Lowe
Ehrich Van Lowe, aka E. Van Lowe is an award-winning television writer, screenwriter, bestselling novelist, and writing coach with over 30 years earning his living as a writer. He is a six-figure author, and a seven-figure entrepreneur. He knows how to be successful. He has taken clients from having no knowledge of the business, to earning a living, to becoming bestselling authors.






Links