New Review of “Beauty Rising”

If you haven’t read my debut novel, “Beauty Rising,” released in December 2012, check out this new review of it from book reviewer Michelle Clements James. She calls it:

“an emotionally charged story of love, redemption, and heartache.”

She concludes calls it

“a book you do not want to miss.”

Beauty Rising

Beauty Rising Mark W Sasse

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Last Chance: “Beauty Rising” FREE on Noisetrade

“Beauty Rising” – my debut novel from 2012 – will be leaving Noisetrade within the next couple of weeks, so I wanted to give everyone one last chance to pick up a free copy. Head on over and pick yourself up one and enjoy a great, fast-paced summer read.

Beauty Rising on Noisetrade

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Way Cool Pictures of Hanoi & Its Rare Statue of Liberty! (and an Excerpt)

I came across these amazing and rare photos of the famous Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi from the time of French Colonialism. And to my astonishment, they had an actual French-made replica of the Statue of Liberty. Look at these cool photos from the turn of the 19th century. Rare Photos

This lake and I have a lot of history. Hanoi is my old stomping grounds. Used to ride bicycles then motorbikes around that lake many-many-numerous-too-many-to-count times. There was no Statue of Liberty at that time. The French were roundly defeated in 1954 and who knows what actually happened to the statue. That lake is the heart-and-soul of Hanoi. On any given morning or evening, thousands of Hanoians are out and about doing a myriad of activities and …  you know what? I’ve written about this. Here’s my description of the lake from my first novel, “Beauty Rising.” Enjoy!

————————–Excerpt from “Beauty Rising” ————————————

We crossed the street and started walking around the edge of the lake. People were everywhere doing everything. A group of old men sat under a lamp post playing Chinese chess. A steady stream of joggers weaved their way through the commotion. A group of boys carrying wooden boxes approached every foreigner asking if they wanted a shoe shine. Couples snuggled close on benches gazing at the lake, perhaps hoping for a turtle sighting. Sellers balanced a scale-like bamboo contraption over their shoulders hawking exotic fruit and freshly baked baguettes while others sold toothbrushes, toiletries, and toothpicks. One small boy tagged along with our threesome halfway around the lake imploring us to buy a pack of Wrigley’s gum from him. The chaos overwhelmed my senses, and I became entranced by the ceaseless action and the unrelenting flow of people. Every few seconds I saw that girl, the one I had clung on to, the one who stole from me, the one with the innocent face and the smooth skin. The one that nearly smiled at me. There she went again and again. Every thin face, every curved body, every long-haired girl looked identical to her. I wished the girl, whom I had held in my tight grip, had smiled at me. What would I have done? My dad knew what to do when a girl smiled at him. I was not like my dad.
Magical. My heart stood squarely in a magical place. I could feel the swelling of my hands and the lump in my throat. This is Vietnam. This is where my dad left his soul. This is where the girl smiled at him. This is where my dad will remain forever.

First Book on NoiseTrade – Grab it now!

I’m happy to announce a special promotion I’m doing in conjunction with NoiseTrade. They will be featuring my debut novel from 2012, Beauty Rising, in their massive 1.5 million member, curated newsletter.

How does it work?  Easy. You can download the novel for free in either ePub or Mobi (Kindle) format, so you can read it on any device. You will also have the opportunity to leave the author a tip if you like. Not required. Completely up to you! Here’s the NoiseTrade link for my book:

“Beauty Rising” on NOISETRADE

I’ve been familiar with noisetrade for a number of years. It started as a site for musicians to create buzz about their music by offering free downloads. It expanded into books in 2014, and I’m happy to be part of what they are doing. I’m hoping for a bunch more new readers to jump on board. Check out Noisetrade’s music, books, and especially “Beauty Rising.”

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Not too late: “Beauty Rising” still at 99 cents!

If you haven’t had a chance yet, “Beauty Rising” – my debut novel from 2012 – is still running a 99 cent sale for 2 more days on Kindle.

It’s a fast, fun, and unexpected read. You can read one of the 85 reviews on Amazon, and even pop through the first couple chapters for free. I hope they hook you in.

Get Beauty Rising HERE!

Beauty Rising Mark W Sasse

Also available in paperback:

From The Book Depository with Free Worldwide Shipping

paperback beauty rising

A Steal of a Deal: “Beauty Rising” (my debut novel) only 99 cents through Oct 18.

My first novel, still near and dear to my heart, is on a Kindle Countdown Deal for only 99 cents through October 18.

Get your copy here!

What’s it about? Many have described it as a late-coming-of-age story and that’s certainly true. Here’s some facts about it:

Date First Published: December 2012

Main Characters: Martin Kinny (30ish, still live at home going nowhere type – also overweight, not remarkably attractive); My Phuong (a beautiful, young, troubled Vietnamese woman)

Setting: Contemporary: Thai Nguyen & Hanoi Vietnam; Lyndora, Pennsylvania;

Narration: 1st person from two points of view

Part I: Section narrated by Martin: As his dying, abusive father (a Vietnam vet) asks Martin to take his ashes back to Nam, Martin tries to accomplish it, but ends up flubbing everything, including getting his wallet stolen, which makes him completely at the mercy of Vietnamese society to get back home

Part II: Section narrated by My Phuong: She chronicles how she stole Martin’s wallet, and how that seemingly benign event which she did many times before, ends up throwing her headlong into a series of events that should could have never predicted – including running for her very life.

Part III: Section narrated by Martin: In strange, unexpected ways, the two stories of Martin and My Phuong come together with a lot of uncertainty brewing under the surface.

Other Important Characters:

Martin’s Mother: weary and worn after a lifetime of living with her abusive husband; she resents all things Vietnam.

The Vietnamese Politician: He lures My Phuong into a web of deceit, where she becomes his trapped mistress.

This is an emotional novel which packs a wallop – especially at the end. Anyone who enjoys stories of love, deceit, culture, adventure, travel, or growing-up will find something enjoyable in “Beauty Rising”

Please check it out!

Beauty Rising Mark W Sasse