Weekend reading: “Belonging to the Alpha” by Mel Hankins

"Belonging to the Alpha" by Mel Hankins
This weekend, get wrapped up in our Book of the Week at ChapterBuzz! Belonging to the Alpha is a fantasy work-in-progress by Mel Hankins:

Layla is a teenage girl who also happens to be a werewolf. Her dad is a high-ranking warrior in the most dominant pack that Silvermoor City has ever seen. She is destined to be the Luna of an extremely powerful Alpha—but she bonds with an unworthy Omega. To complicate things, the Alpha chooses Layla. After being brutally attacked by her Omega, Layla must decide which path to follow. Her wolf or her destiny? Read Belonging to the Alpha now!

Chapter 1

I sighed, rolled over, and looked at my phone. 7.32 am.

Doesn’t that boy sleep?

I roll back over and cover my eyes with my arm. Another day a lie in is out of the question.

Down the hall, you can hear an enthusiastic 5-year-old making plane noises from his bedroom. I sigh again as the noises show no sign of stopping and I swing my legs out of bed.

I catch sight of myself in the mirror. Chocolate brown eyes look back at me. I have long brown hair that tumbles in loose waves over my body. I’m not fat nor skinny. I’m not particularly muscular either.

That’s due to lack of training, I thought.

Gym holds no interest to me, but I know soon that I’ll have to start training. A weak wolf is no good to any pack. You see, we are not normal people. We are werewolves. Not the type that shifts at full moon and kills every human on sight, but the type that can shift whenever we like at choice and have decided to live peacefully alongside humans. We are strong, fast, and powerful. We only shift in cases of emergency and danger or to protect the pack from enemies. Our wolf forms look like normal wolves, only just slightly bigger. Not like the ugly, dangerous, vicious beasts depicted in books.

Read Belonging to the Alpha now!

The cure for cabin fever? More books, of course

Books & Buzz Magazine, June 2020, Volume 2 Issue 10

As I type this, many of us are still spending inordinate amounts of time indoors as the world continues to grapple with a pandemic affecting almost every aspect of daily life.

In my area, hair salons and barber shops have been closed since mid-March, so at this point, it’s impossible to tell, just by looking, the back of my head from the front. You’d need to hear my muffled voice—coming from under my thick cloth face mask—to know where to direct your attention.

The cure for the cabin fever so many of us are experiencing? Why, more books, of course.


This article is from the latest issue of Books & Buzz Magazine. Not a subscriber? Start getting all of our great articles by subscribing for free!


That’s why I’m inviting you to join us for our virtual book fair, the September Book Reading Party. From the comfort of your home, you’ll be able to read the books we’ve been working so hard to write and publish over the past year. RSVP now, and you might even discover your new favorite author this fall!

It’s all part of the Book of the Year Competition, which rages on over at ChapterBuzz, and if you’re the author of a published book, you’re invited to enter. Up for grabs is a valuable prize package that includes promotion for your book, a premium membership to ChapterBuzz, and credit toward a complete publishing package for your next book. Enter today to compete for the biggest award we’ve ever given!

Now, let’s open up this issue and see what we have, shall we?

In a poem called “Little Wolf,” author and poet Allison Marie Conway describes, in vivid language, a “brutal and beautiful” life. “I tend to think or feel that I should always be a good deal further ahead than I am,” Allison writes, “even though ‘ahead’ is an immeasurable illusion.” It’s a short poem, but one you’ll want to read over and over.

Then, award-winning novelist Jodé Millman, who is also an attorney, has plenty to teach us about publishing contracts. This month, she goes into detail about force majeure, a clause that can release a publisher from the original terms of an agreement—and as you’ll see, it’s especially relevant during a pandemic. With her ability to turn an otherwise dry topic into a fascinating read, the information Jodé shares could help you avoid costly misunderstandings.

Regular columnist Shirley Holder Platt, as the award-winning author of Mama Needs New Shoes, knows a thing or two about how to use language effectively to evoke a reader’s senses. “If what you write doesn’t excite you,” she asks, “why would it excite anyone else?” In her column this month, Shirley shares a simple 3-step method for finding the words to arouse the senses.

And on the cover is, well, the creative mind behind the cover herself: graphic designer, film producer, and Pushcart Prize–nominated author Bri Bruce. I’ve worked with Bri for many years on books and other projects, and these gorgeous magazine covers you’ve been seeing every month are made possible by her talent.

In her interview article, Bri discusses how she discovered her true calling in life, why she desperately needs a “Do Not Disturb” sign on her office door, and how she happened to get involved in documentary filmmaking on the side. “It’s hard for me to say no to any project—and it’s very rare that I do,” she tells me. Bri loves working with authors, and is available to help with the cover of your book.

There are plenty of tidbits in these virtual pages to delight your senses, so kick back in that old rocking chair with a tall glass of iced tea—spiked, if that’s your jam—and enjoy this month’s issue of Books & Buzz Magazine.

Now if I could just get the hair out of my eyes long enough to send this off…

Happy reading,

Timothy Pike
Editor-in-chief, Books & Buzz MagazineSubscribe now for free!

Weekend reading: “Angel Maker” by Barry B. Wright

"Angel Maker" by Barry B. Wright

This weekend, dive into Angel Maker, Barry B. Wright‘s award-winning mystery novel-in-progress at ChapterBuzz:

The gruesome murder of a young child, Rebecca Grynberg, sets Inspector Alexander Collier on a roller-coaster ride of events that directly endangers his family. Propelled into a world of spies, espionage and what appears to be a series of unconnected murders, he learns that the lives of his son (Richard), fiancée (Elsa) and her Jewish family in Nazi Germany hang in the balance because of his investigations. Reluctantly, he joins forces with an unlikely group: a psychic medium, a one-legged British agent and a NKVD Soviet agent. Read Angel Maker now!

Chapter One: Beelzebub

The heavy grey mist that blanketed Bournemouth provided him a degree of camouflage. Ahead, there was a slight shimmer of the air. It became warped and twisted before it transformed to a soft susurration of wind. The 10:45 trolleybus passed, the last along this route, on its way to dock for the night. An angry wind swooped up from the ocean side, its salty taste igniting unwelcomed memories. The small, limp body in his sack stirred. In the pub across the street the lights went on and movement within made him hesitate. Several minutes passed before the pub once again was plunged into darkness. Hands numbed with coldness, he adjusted the oversized potato sack slung over his shoulder and continued along Fisherman’s Walk.

Ahead, the marquee above the Palladium Cinema had been turned off, closed for more than an hour. He had been among the last to leave. His prey moved again. Damn! The chloroform must be wearing off. He quickened his pace. Newspaper wrappers that once housed fish and chips, swirled about in the wind, companion to other detritus carelessly tossed aside earlier that day. A grease-stained front page from The Guardian pasted against a wall by the wind captured his attention. He smiled at its headline:

Gangs Unhampered by the Police
Synagogues Burned Down in Many Cities

Then, lifting his boot, he sent it on its way, turned into the alley beside the cinema and continued to the rear of the building. The wind howled as it raced across rooftops and between buildings.

Enjoy the rest of Angel Maker now!

Self-published authors, do you have the Book of the Year?

Learn more about TimSelf-published authors, have you written the ChapterBuzz Book of the Year?

Find out when you enter this year’s competition!

You’ve published an excellent novel, now share it with the world.

At ChapterBuzz, our members are looking for some great summer reading, so whether this is your debut novel or you’re a self-publishing veteran, this is your chance to connect with new readers and become a standout star in our community.

At the end of September, we’ll be giving out the biggest award (and the most valuable prize package) we’ve ever given for the book that gets the best reviews and most Buzz: Book of the Year.

Give your writing career a huge boost! Enter the Competition today

Calling all writers! The race is on for Book of the Year

Learn more about TimIf you’re the proud author of a published book (or are about to publish a book), you could be the proud winner of our Book of the Year award at ChapterBuzz!

This is the first time we’ve given an award this prestigious, or a prize package this valuable.

It’s a great way to get your book in front of our entire community of thousands of readers—and also get professional book reviews to further build your reputation as a novelist.

As our big winner, you’ll also enjoy free book promotion for that extra boost of publicity.

It all takes place at ChapterBuzz—our reading and writing community—where we’ve been working hard all year to prepare our novels for this moment.

Does your novel have what it takes to be Book of the Year?

Learn more & enter here…and good luck to you!

Calling all book reviewers! It’s time to crown a Reviewer of the Year

Learn more about TimAs we prepare to select a Book of the Year at the end of the summer, we’re looking for skilled book reviewers to help us determine the winner.

But as much as we’re looking forward to reading Book of the Year contenders, we’re equally excited to read outstanding reviews of those books.

So to recognize excellence in book reviewing and all the hard work that goes into it, we are also handing out an award for Reviewer of the Year!

The Reviewer of the Year will be one of the expert reviewers who offers his or her professional review services in our ChapterBuzz Service Directory.

In other words…you?

This is a great way for you to get your reviews in front of thousands of book lovers…and even win our big prize!

Think you’ve got what it takes? The first step is to learn more & enter the Competition. I can’t wait to welcome you to our community—and see you become Reviewer of the Year!

Weekend reading: “Scathed Bones” by Leah Lindeman


This weekend, sink your teeth into this Scathed Bones, a historical fiction work-in-progress by Leah Lindeman at ChapterBuzz:

Almost two years after outwitting her blackmailer and father’s murderer and discovering her father’s gold vein, Rose Wood returns to the Cariboo region of BC to reunite with her fiance and prepare for her wedding. However, missing persons and evil practices upend her happy return. Can she and Dave, her fiancé, work together after so much time apart to catch a serial killer? Read Scathed Bones now!

Chapter 1

Glorious land! Goodbye to stomaching rat-eaten cheese, vomiting the contents of supper because her body had succumbed to food poisoning, tasting wine only to spit it out because vinegar had somehow taken its place in the bottle! Rose thanked the Lord the ship’s crew had bought new supplies at the port of her Mother’s beloved birthplace Ushuaia, cradled in the bosom of Tierra del Fuego. If they hadn’t…

She had weighed the benefits versus the dangers of embarking on the longest route from England to Victoria, Canada, a route that required more time and more fortitude to travel around the entire continent of South America. The route also didn’t cost as much though that was not an issue for Rose. The discovery of her father’s gold vein a year and half ago had put her in a position in which she need not depend on any man or well to do family for life’s necessities and pleasures. She was set for life. Fitting since she had almost lost her life in the process.

Her heart lurched for joy at beholding Victoria after so long. During these long months of sea-hardened travel, it had been the beacon of hope shining in her dreams. It was the city in which an unlikely encounter with a smug cowboy had altered the course of her life. That testy friendship had transformed into a committed partnership which had then blossomed into an unbreakable romance. She would make her home here with the man she loved more than all the gold she owned.

The wind whipped loose tendrils of Rose’s hair as she leaned over the starboard railing.

Read Scathed Bones now!

Published author? You could win Book of the Year

Learn more about TimAre you an author who has published (or is about to publish) a book?

Now, give it a huge boost by entering the Book of the Year Competition.

Our community of readers and writers are eager to discover you!

The Book of the Year Competition is a great way to get your novel in front of readers, get more reviews, and take home one of 5 awards…

…and possibly the big one: Book of the Year!

Our grand prize includes extra publicity, credit towards a publishing package for your next book, and an interview with you in our community magazine. We’re excited to help you build your author career.

Get all the details here and enter today. It’s free!

It’s party time! Join us for the September Book Reading Party

Learn more about TimIn just a few months, when we start putting away the beach balls, hanging our towels up to dry, and switching out our iced coffees for Pumpkin Spice Lattes, the event of the year will be upon us: the September Book Reading Party.

It’s just like a book fair, except it takes place in the comfort of your home. All of the published books we’ve been working so hard on this past year will be on display and available for you to read—and you’re highly encouraged to lounge around and read ’em all!

Then, at the end of the month, one of these books will receive the most prestigious literary award we’ve ever handed out: Book of the Year. It’s an achievement that comes with quite a prize package, including free publicity and a year-long premium membership to ChapterBuzz.

These are the books we’ve been hard at work on all year. In fact, you may have given feedback to some of these same authors and helped make their books even better—and poised to win Book of the Year.

But it’s not just about authors and their books.

Since book reviews play a crucial role in determining our winner, we’ll also be crowning a Reviewer of the Year—an award that recognizes excellence in book reviewing.

Readers, meanwhile, receive an equally delightful prize: a treasure trove of fantastic published books (and book reviews) to discover and enjoy.

This September, there’s a little something for everybody!

Be sure to RSVP now to the September Book Reading Party, and if you’re a writer wishing to enter your book in the Competition, get all the details here.

Timothy Pike is the founder of ChapterBuzz and editor-in-chief of Books & Buzz Magazine, and specializes in helping authors publish beautiful books on Amazon.

A summer full of delightful books…and one big winner!

Books & Buzz Magazine, May 2020, Volume 2 Issue 9

This summer, we prepare to choose the winner of the most prestigious literary recognition we’ve ever given: Book of the Year—an award that will go to a published book that our community simply loves.

And as part of our community, you get to help us choose the winner. It all happens at our September Book Reading Party, a virtual book fair where every chapter you read and “Buzz” propels the book toward the big prize. The Book Reading Party starts September 1st, so RSVP now!


This is an excerpt from the latest issue of Books & Buzz Magazine. Not a subscriber? Start getting all of our great articles by subscribing for free!


In the meantime, be sure to stop by and check out our Beta Shelf section, where you can help authors by giving them last minute feedback before their books go to press. Our Hot Off the Press section has several published books ready for you to read.

If you’re a writer who has published a book, now’s the time to enter your book in the competition!

There’s so much to look forward to in the coming months, but let’s check out what’s in this month’s issue:

In yet another exquisite poem, author and poet Allison Marie Conway describes a raging storm. “All night the wind rattled the clanging chimes in the backyard and drove itself mad in loud rushes against the houses and buildings,” it starts out. From there, we journey to a summer memory, then into a place deep inside our very being—that “placeless place” where poetry comes from.

Next, Pallavi Sareen, professional book reviewer and journalist—who also graces our cover this month—reviews one of her favorite books, Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche by Haruki Murakami. The book, Pallavi explains, “is a compilation of incidents that led to the Tokyo gas attack collected through research and interviews.” And of the author: “I was impressed by his ability to stick to the truth while weaving an interesting story.” It’s an excellent review, and you can read the whole thing in this issue.

Pallavi also sat down this month to answer my questions about her life and career. A native of Jammu and Kashmir, India, this insightful literary critic tells me that by the time she turned eighteen, she had already read no fewer than 1,000 books and written 400 reviews. “What no one tells you about book reviewing is that just having a passion for reading is not enough,” she says. In her feature article, Pallavi reveals what else she could spend all her time doing, the book genre she doesn’t like at all, and what it takes to write great book reviews.

In our final article, I explain more about how the Book of the Year Competition works, and how there’s a little something for everyone: readers, authors, and even book reviewers. That’s right—because ratings from our expert book reviewers help determine, in large part, the Book of the Year winner, we want to recognize excellence in reviewing by crowning a Reviewer of the Year. Who will it be?

For many of us in the world, this time of year brings rising temperatures, backyard grill-outs, and spending as much time at beaches as is legally allowed. So today, mix up your favorite iced drink, have a seat in the shade, and enjoy this month’s issue of Books & Buzz Magazine.

Happy reading,

Timothy Pike
Editor-in-chief, Books & Buzz MagazineSubscribe now for free!