It’s Not Your Journey by @BekaLombardo is a Must-Read! #Memoir #bookreview #MentalIllness

It's Not Your Journey


Title: It’s Not Your Journey

Author: Rebecca Lombardo

Genre: Memoir


Book Blurb:

In her first published work, Rebecca Lombardo collects her internationally followed blog into the pages of It’s Not Your Journey. Rebecca shares her struggles with bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, self-injury, and recovery from a suicide attempt.



Rebecca candidly reveals her real and raw feelings on these subjects, as well as addressing other issues that have contributed to her downward spiral and eventual climb out of her own pit of despair. Issues such as the loss of her mother to lung cancer, the death of her brother, abandonment from friends and family members due to her hospitalization, and more.



At 42 years of age and happily married for nearly 14 years, Rebecca can finally say that she is on her way to reaching her dream. Not only does she hope to help people that are struggling with depression, she hopes to help everyone realize that you are never too old to find your voice.


My Review:

Rebecca Lombardo is one of the bravest people I have had the pleasure to meet. Not does she battle her mental illness daily but she’s put into words her struggle with depression. I must warn you, this is not a happily ever after story of a woman who battled mental illness and is now peacefully happy like Laura Ingalls Wilder running in a field (Little House on a Prairie); it’s a constant struggle. She doesn’t pull any punches and each chapter is filled with stark truth and pain.


Rebecca talks about her family, unconditional love from her husband (who saved her life in my opinion), doctors, how the darkness sucks out the light, cutting, depression and coping mechanisms. Her heart and soul are splashed across the pages, which only makes this book a captivating read. Not since reading Girl Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen, have I read a memoir so gut-wrenchingly candid.


Mental illness is a very real medical condition and we, as a society, need to treat it with the same respect as we do cancer. Advocates like Rebecca, bring the realities to light and I, for one, am grateful. This is a must-read and beautifully written!


Favorite Quote from the Author:

This book is about MY JOURNEY with Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, Self-Injury, and more. This is not a text book, nor is it your journey. I am not a professional, rather an advocate that hopes her story can help those going through similar struggles


Your experiences may be entirely different.  I just ask that you respect that I was in a very difficult situation, and in a lot of pain when these pages were written.  I may not have always made the right decisions, or the decisions you would have made.  But, I did was I had to for me at that time.  All I ask is that you please have some respect for my journey.


My Rating:  5+ stars


Buy it now:




Barnes and Noble



Rebecca Lombardo


Author Biography:

I’m 43 years old and have been very happily married for 15 years. I live in Michigan with my fantastic husband, Joe. We don’t have children, but we have 5 cats that we rescued. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when I was 19, and I’ve been battling it every day since. I write to give my feelings a voice and to help others that are struggling. That is why I started a blog in 2013 after I survived a suicide attempt. I’m extremely grateful to everyone that helped me realize my dream of becoming a published author.


Social Media Links:


Amazon Author Page






Reviewed by: Mrs. N

Pete’s Mighty Purty Privies by @AubreyWynne51 is Hilarious! #bookreview #fiction #humor

Pete's Privy cover


Title: Pete’s Mighty Purty Privies

Author: Aubrey Wynne

Genre: Humor/ Fiction


Book Blurb:

Pete McNutt needs customers for his new business. Spring has arrived and it’s prime time Privy Season. After much consideration, he refines his sales pitch and heads to the monthly meeting of the Women’s Library Association.


My Review:

I haven’t read many short stories in stand-alone fashion but that doesn’t diminish that this is the best one I have ever read!  It is laugh out loud funny!


I disturbed a corporate lunch room with my guffaws while reading the issues that revolve around finding a decent place to do your business in rural America in the late 19th century.  Hilarious and light hearted.  Beautifully written.  Characters are well developed in just a few lines.


The author has a gift for clarity and humor and I can’t recommend this short story enough.  Hilarious!  Brilliant!


My Rating:  5+ stars


Buy it now:





Barnes & Noble:




Aubrey Wynne


Author Biography:

Bestselling and award-winning author Aubrey Wynne resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule, and barn cats. She is elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by choice.


Her short stories Merry Christmas, Henry and Pete’s Mighty Purty Privies won the Preditors & Editors Readers Choice awards in 2014 and 2015. Dante’s Gift received the 2016 Golden Quill award. Aubrey’s first love is historical romance and her series vintage love stories will be released in late 2016. The medieval fantasy series, A Medieval Encounter, will come out in 2017.


Social Media Links:

Facebook: http://www/








Reviewed by: Mr. N

Time-Travelling Author @WestonAndrew Divulges His Top 10 Films #Books

My name is Andrew P. Weston. I’m a time-travelling author from the future, hiding a dark and mysterious past, who currently finds himself kicking his heels in the present with nothing to do except study the cultural impact films have had on the many generations I’ve enjoyed visiting. Flitting back and forth through the spacetime continuum has its perks. Only last week, (thirty years from now), I was able to feast on such treats as: Star Wars XXIV – A Continuing Menace; The Fast and the Furiously Repetitive 19; and Die – Hard to Kill This Franchise Off.


Here are my top ten picks of worthy, thought provoking films from your era:


  1. Wuthering Heights – the original. Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon. A timeless epic, capturing the mood of bitter angst, class division, inequality and all-consuming love.
  2. The King and I: Debora Kerr & Yul Brynner. You cannot beat the pomp and ceremony of the original. Fantastic setting. Brilliant cast. Awesome entertainment. “Shall we dance…?”
    Interesting Fact: Yul Brynner is one of only a handful of people ever to have won an Academy and Tony Award for the same role.
  3. The Forbidden Planet: Leslie Nielsen and Walter Pidgeon. Now this was decades ahead of its time. The forerunner for so many science fiction wannabes that never achieved the same standard.
  4.  The Ten Commandments: Charlton Heston. An absolute epic, and out of this world for special effects in its day. Far superior to later attempts to cover the same material…(And another film Yul Brynner popped up in? The sly old fox).
  5. Saving Private Ryan: Tom Hanks and a vast cast. Gritty, realistic. As an ex serviceman who has seen combat, it truly moved me, as I felt it accurately portrayed how cruel war can be, and how true heroes are forged. They’re just ordinary boys – and nowadays girls – from next door who answer the call, face their fears, and accomplish something extraordinary. Sadly, not all of them make it home. Never forget…we owe our freedom and liberty to their sacrifices.
  6. Way Out West: Laurel & Hardy. Good old-fashioned nostalgic fun. I love the tickling scene, and you can see Rosina Lawrence trying not to laugh and grinning from ear to ear when they recorded it. (I wonder how many takes that took.) And an excellent reminder that a truly entertaining film doesn’t need all the fancy gimmicks they have nowadays. Speaking of which…
  7. The Matrix: Keanu Reeves and many others. Outstanding.
    Interesting fact: You do know it explains the truth about reality, don’t you? We all have that feeling that something’s not quite…?
  8.  Bladerunner: Harrison Ford , Rutger Hauer and others. “I’ve seen things you wouldn’t believe…” (But I don’t want to talk about what I did last weekend). The hidden subtext and moral dilemma this excellent noir sci-fi classic portrayed will – I’m sure – survive the test of time. A truly poignant film.
  9.  Grease: John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. Don’t cringe…I know you can sing all the words to every song…exactly like I can J (Tell me more…?)
  10.  The Devil Wears Prada: Meryl Streep. Anne Hathaway. Emily Blunt. What can I say? I have an eye for things that will never go out of fashion. (Sniff, sniff… “Has one of today’s readers been eating an onion bagel?”




Title: Exordium of Tears

Author: Andrew P. Weston

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: The Perseid Press


Book Blurb:

Fight or die.


That simple yet brutal reality is the tenet by which the refugees from Earth – including the fabled lost 9th Legion of Rome; the 5th Company, 2nd Mounted Cavalry Unit; and the Special Forces Anti-Terrorist Team – were forced to live by while the Horde menace existed. Believing that the threat is over, the survivors now yearn to settle down, start families, and reclaim the lives stolen from them.


But such aspirations might remain beyond their reach, for a shadow looms on the rose-tinted horizon of new beginnings.


The release of the re-genesis matrix has done much to foster a restoration of exuberance across Arden. Along with a resurgence in floral and faunal diversity comes the results of splicing the Ardenese and human genomes: transmutation. A metamorphosis of stunning magnitude that not only affects the living, but those still is stasis as well.


Recognizing the emergence of a new hybrid species, the Architect – the arcane AI construct tasked with the preservation of the Ardenese race – responds by unlocking previously hidden and inaccessible areas of the city. It also releases an archive of sealed state secrets. Such revelations are eagerly perused, whereupon a shocking discovery is made.


Prior to the fall, it was common knowledge amongst the Senatum (the highest levels of Arden’s government) that not all the rabid Horde had joined in the rampage across the stars toward Arden.


Realizing that the peril still exists, the newly reformed administration elects to respond in earnest. Existing resources are utilized, suitable candidates are chosen, and a flotilla of ships is sent out to secure, quarantine, and reclaim the outer colonies.


A mammoth and hazardous undertaking. And nowhere more so than at the planet from where the outbreak was known to have originated – Exordium – for there, the ancient Horde are not only supremely evolved and highly organized, but are capable of a level of lethal sophistication, the likes of which has never been witnessed before.


It is into this kiln of incendiary potential that the cream of Arden’s fighting forces is deployed.


Worlds are torn asunder, suns destroyed, and star systems obliterated. Yes, tragedy is forged, in a universe spanning conflict which proves once again that…


Death is only the beginning of the adventure.



The cavern’s vaulted interior resonated with silence. More than a hundred yards wide, it was a natural feature etched from living rock by the slow and patient attrition of running water over thousands of years. As time passed the wellsprings ran dry, and the chamber gradually drained. Once barren, the cavity lay undiscovered for millennia until explorers from a faraway world happened upon it during their initial surveys prior to colonization.

Recognizing its value, those adventurers adapted the character of the gallery to suit their own purposes, transposing its simple grandeur into a wonderland of startling complexity and delight.

Yet even this transformation had been a long, long time ago, and for many years now the facility remained abandoned.

Although subdued, illumination was still afforded by a swarm of ethereal holographic constructs. Of unknown purpose, these nevertheless had been rigged to serve the mechanism dominating the cavern’s center.

Here, a circular dais more than twenty yards across rose from the floor. Above it, a pair of gleaming U-shaped collars hung suspended in midair. Each measured over fifty feet in length and were positioned so that their open arms bowed toward each other. Within the expanse of their embrace, a tear challenged the authority of spacetime itself. Appearing like a DNA helix, it slowly revolved around its own axis, warping reality to its will. A gentle breeze flowed toward the rent from each of the cavern’s exits, betraying the presence of a subtle vacuum.

Blip — blip — blip!

Harsh in the silence, a warning tone blurted from one of the control stations closest to the feature. Two adjacent projectors flickered to life. As their emitters focused on a condensed shimmering fog of ionized gas, a series of complex equations appeared. The beams intensified, and a stream of translucent symbols scrolled down the misty page.

“Anomaly detected,” a voice announced. “Please stand by . . .”

Background generators kicked in. A steady whine signaled the buildup of impressive potential.

“Target recognized and locked. Quantum tunnel initialized. Temporal sheath established. Safety overrides engaged . . .”

An oscillating tone added deeper counterpoints to the coalescing energies. Underlying vibrations increased dramatically. Static sparks jumped out to scratch at the invisible plane lurking between the brackets. Lightning flashed, once, twice, then the void yawned wide and a tornado of warped sensibilities bloomed forth in a churning bore that somehow encompassed both pelagic and volcanic attributes.

“Gateway activated. Spectral sensors primed. Data retrieval will commence in three, two, one . . . Downloading.”

A surrounding halo of ancillary equipment lent its weight to the process, and by its light hitherto unnoticed features of the chamber stood revealed.

Unlike the rest of the control center, a large area along the western periphery was free of equipment. Desks, cabinets, and scanners occupying that zone had been smashed to pieces and thrown to one side to make room for the assortment of power cables trailing along the floor and into a wide pool of gelatinous goo.

The air above the mucus shivered gently, as if wallowing in the heat of a welcome zephyr. No sooner had the wormhole stabilized than the undulating curtain flared into a confusing amalgam of Orphic contradiction. Strontium-red passion vied against a well of midnight gloom. Magnesium-silver flares rushed to counter all-consuming darkness. And finally, neon-blue tendrils of scorching hot plasma contended the threat of everlasting obscurity. Such was the frenzy of the outburst that the atmosphere itself bristled, and nearby metallic objects clanged together as they became magnetized.

Hidden at the very edge of the visible spectrum, a nest of nightmare apparitions languished in hibernation. The commotion had disturbed their repose and triggered an instinctive reaction. Roused to the verge of consciousness, their glittering fangs snapped imaginary necks. Steaming talons twitched toward phantom aggressors. Huge great jaws opened, and piercing howls joined together in a cacophony of spine-tingling complaint. Several pairs of eyes fluttered open and in that instant, an overwhelming sense of barely suppressed rage and rabid hunger flooded the cavern with the promise of certain death.

“Cycle completed,” the same automated voice intoned.

The combined resonance of multiple stations shutting down droned through the gallery.

“Geodesic anchors retracted. Astrophasic tracking nodes disengaged. Gravity locks releasing in three, two, one . . . Mark.”

The humming swarm abruptly cut off.

“Returning to passive-scan mode. Info-packet prepared. End run . . . Execute.”

The hovering screens went blank, and the control room was thrown into darkness once more.

Deprived of the source of their agitation, the beasts’ emotions cooled, and they were soon lulled back toward slumber. The energized cloud hovering above the ectoplasm continued to ripple awhile longer, but it too eventually subsided into inactivity.

All was as it had been before, except that now, a brooding, heightened state of watchfulness pervaded the ether.


Buy Links:

Amazon US


Amazon UK:


Barnes & Noble:


Andrew Weston


Author Biography:

Andrew P. Weston is Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, Annette, and their growing family of rescue cats.


An astronomy and law graduate, he is the creator of the international number one bestsellers, The IX, and Hell Bound, (A novel forming part of Janet Morris’ critically acclaimed Heroes in Hell shared universe). Andrew also has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.


When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with two of their remote research projects, and writes educational articles for  and Amazing Stories.


Social Media Links:



Publisher: The Perseid Press




Author Facebook:




Andrew P. Weston Blog:


The IX Blog:


What Do You See When You Look in the Mirror? #inspiration #affirmations

what if mirror image

I looked at myself in the mirror this morning and wondered what I have accomplished this year.

It’s the same thought being echoed in the mind of millions of people right now. It’s the end of May and we’re almost halfway through the year. Time for a little reflection.

I started listing off the things I didn’t accomplish first. I started to frown and then caught myself.

Why is it that we always go to the negative first when we self-reflect?

I stared hard into my hazel eyes and whispered, “I have achieved a lot this year and I need to concentrate on that.” I then listed as many positive things as I could.

What happens when you look at yourself in the mirror?

Do you look for the negative first and ignore the positive? I think this is a universal trait in humans and we need to correct it.

The next time you do a self-reflection check, stand tall and say…

I’m a good person. I like me and so do a lot of other people. No matter what happens, today I will shine!


Are You in the Middle of a Storm? You’re Headed for Sunshine! #inspiration #affirmations #motivation

stormy life

Are you going through a difficult time? Has 2016 been a hellish year?

You’re in the middle of a vicious storm that rivals Hurricane Katrina. You’re drenched and you haven’t seen the sun for months. What to do?

Don’t confuse your path with your destination. Just because it’s stormy now doesn’t mean that you aren’t headed for sunshine.

You can make it through the storm. Cling to your umbrella and keep moving forward. The storm will eventually pass and you will be surrounded by the sun!:-)


Navy Blues by @JulieBCosgrove is Heart-Warming! #Romance #ChristianRomance #books

LoveIs_NavyBlues copy (2)


Title:  Navy Blues

Author:  Julie B Cosgrove

Genre:  Christian Romance Novella


Book Blurb:

Naval Doctor Ryan Mackenzie knows how to treat heartburn, but when a heart-broken woman sits next to him in a plane, he’s not sure how he can help her. But something inside his heart tells him he must, whether it means reconciling her and her ex-fiancé or not.



I shot the Navy officer a semi-warm grin. “That was nice of you to trade seats so he could sit with his family, um, Lieutenant, is it?”


“Actually, it’s Doctor.”


My mouth formed a small “O.”


He whispered in my direction. “And it was a purely selfish act. Why would I want to sit next to his kid while she blubbered the whole trip?”


My tongue readied to spill my thoughts about his brash remark, until I saw his wink. Instead, I inched my lips to the right in a fake chuckle. “Very funny.”


“I had you. Admit it.” Those crystal blue pools twinkled with mirth. He extended his hand. “Name’s Ryan MacKenzie. Lieutenant in the Navy, for another 48 hours or so.”


I kept mine in my lap and nodded. “Emma West. My friends call me Em.”


“M? For mystery woman?” The sides of his mouth curled upward. His attention briefly focused on my left hand. It was bare, though it had yet to feel that way to me.


“Hardly.” The words croaked from my throat. I placed my right hand on top and blinked the tears back into my eyes. The white mark around my ring finger where the sun had not hit for four years screamed my plight—rejected for another, not good enough.


I closed my eyes and shut out the cabin noises. The horrid scene, which caused my decision to board this flight, replayed in my mind. I’d tossed the two carat, blue-diamond solitaire— courtesy of my father’s checkbook so his daughter would wear a decent stone—at Trey’s head as it lay tousled on the bed pillows next to another’s, obviously not mine.


He broke the silence. “You okay? Your face seems rather blue.”


Had I put on navy liner and mascara that day? Did it streak down my face? I wiped my finger across my under-eye skin then peered at it. No, not very smudged.


He chuckled. “I meant blue as in down. You know, perturbed. If I offended you.”


I returned my gaze to the wisp of clouds. The sun’s rays infused them with gold. The delicate celestial waves shimmered like a pearl-seed edged lace veil, one I’d never wear now. “It’s not you. I just hated to leave, that’s all.” I turned to him with a forced smile. “But, Spring Break’s over. Back to the grind.”


“Are you, uh, in school?” His eyes narrowed inside his scrunched eyebrows.


“Is that so hard to believe?”


He coughed into his fist. “Well, I mean people go back all the time, I…”


His stumble-stepping over his words brought a chuckle to my lips, though a small one. “I teach at the community college.” With a tilt of my head, I parroted his previous jab. “Admit it. I got you.”


His facial muscles relaxed. “Touché.”


Buy Links:




180 pixels


Author Biography:

Freelance writer, award-winning author and professional speaker Julie B. Cosgrove leads retreats, workshops, and Bible studies. She writes regularly for Light from the Word, Faith-filled Family Magazine, Thoughts About God,, Good News Daily and The Journey. Julie has published three Bible studies, a devotional, two inspirational guides, and has nine faith-based fiction novels published or contracted to be published by 2017, including a new cozy mysteries series, The Bunco Biddies Mysteries. All can be previewed on her website.

Awarded one of the 50 Writers You Should Be Reading by the Author’s Show in 2015, and Best Religious Fiction by Texas Ass’n of Authors in 2016, Julie is a member of Texas Association of Authors, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Toastmasters International.

Julie is widowed and lives in Fort Worth, Texas where she is a church secretary, involved in mission funding, women’s ministries, and servant to two house cats. She is mystery aficionado—especially British ones—and loves word games.


Visit her blog: Where Did You Find God Today?



Amazon:  Julie B Cosgrove

Twitter: @JulieBCosgrove


One With All of Thee: Growing Your Sacred Connection @OneTovarysh #books #giveaway

One With All of Thee


Title: One With All of Thee: Growing Your Sacred Connection

Author: Celine Koropchak

Genre: Spirituality


Book Blurb:

With the grace and simplicity of Rumi and the practical spiritual approach of Ruiz’s “The Four Agreements,” “One With All of Thee: Growing Your Sacred Connection” offers a step by step playbook for embracing the divine within all of us. Described by readers as “… like sitting down for a warm cup of tea with a dear friend who knows my soul,” this “eloquent and poetic collection of essays” offers inspiration and reassurance, reminding us that we are never truly alone.




The Ego, present in your daily lives,

Encourages you to swim upstream against the current

As you strive to move forward.

Your soul encourages you to float with the current.

To allow the waters to lift you and gently place you

At the destination which is your next stop.


Why do you listen to Ego and fight so hard

When there is an easier way?

Do you not understand that all is unfolding as it should?

And if you pay attention,

You might even catch a glimpse

Of where it is that you are going………


Acceptance comes with faith. Faith in yourself. Faith in the Oneness. Faith in the unfolding of your lives.  We have told you before that you are here on this plane to learn. Not only for yourself, as we have already established that your connections run deep, but for the All. The stream of life carries all of you, at the appropriate pace, to where you need to go next. You spend so much energy fighting this. Energy that can be better used to connect with your higher self, with your brothers and sisters on the same journey. When Ego steers you down the path of resistance, ask it why? Why should I do it this way? Why should I think or feel this way? And listen for the answer.


Buy Link:

One With All of Thee: Growing Your Sacred Connection

Free giveaway March 25th, 2016 (click the link above)


 celine px


Author Biography:

Born in a small town in central Pennsylvania, Celine’s childhood was marked by her unique gift of sensitivity. As a kid trying to put a name on something she trusted but couldn’t explain, she articulated the experience as the presence of imaginary friends she named her “Tovarysh,” the word for friend in the Slavic language. These divine messengers, her Tovarysh, have remained a benevolent and guiding presence throughout her life. After receiving a biology degree from Bucknell University, Celine pursued a career in medical research both at Stanford University Medical Center and Duke University Medical Center. She has over 30 publications in infectious disease, biochemistry and cardiovascular scientific journals. Ten years ago, Celine realized a lifelong dream when she became a blueberry farmer in addition to pursuing her professional career. The proud owner of a successful farm that she started with 600 tiny starter plants, she now supplies many of the university and corporate cafeterias in the area. In One With All of Thee: Growing Your Sacred Connection, she has assembled a collection of the messages she has received as a practical tool for readers, to help shape awareness and guide progress towards a sense of serenity, a feeling of well-being and greater purpose. This is her first book of a series sharing the divine wisdom passed down to her.


Social Media Links:





Deadly Hunt by @MargaretDaley is on Sale for #99cents! #RomanticSuspense #amreading

Deadly Hunt


Title: Deadly Hunt

Author: Margaret Daley

Genre: Romance Suspense


Book Blurb:

From USA Today Bestselling Author Margaret Daley comes a new romantic suspense Deadly Hunt


All bodyguard Tess Miller wants is a vacation. But when a wounded stranger stumbles into her isolated cabin in the Arizona mountains, Tess becomes his lifeline. When Shane Burkhart opens his eyes, all he can focus on is his guardian angel leaning over him. And in the days to come he will need a guardian angel while being hunted by someone who wants him dead.



Tess Miller pivoted as something thumped against the door. An animal? With the cabin’s isolation in the Arizona mountains, she couldn’t take any chances. She crossed the distance to a combination-locked cabinet and quickly entered the numbers. After withdrawing the shotgun, she checked to make sure it was loaded then started toward the door to bolt it, adrenaline pumping through her veins.


Silence. Had she imagined the noise? Maybe her work was getting to her, making her paranoid. But as she crept toward the entrance, a faint scratching against the wood told her otherwise. Her senses sharpened like they would at work. Only this time, there was no client to protect. Just her own skin. Her heartbeat accelerated as she planted herself firmly. She reached toward the handle to throw the bolt.


The door crashed open before she touched the knob. She scrambled backwards and to the side at the same time steadying the weapon in her grasp. A large man tumbled into the cabin, collapsing face down at her feet. His head rolled to the side. His eyelids fluttered, then closed.


Stunned, Tess froze. She stared at the man’s profile.


Who is he?


The stranger moaned. She knelt next to him to assess what was wrong. Her gaze traveled down his long length. Clotted blood matted his unruly black hair. A plaid flannel shirt, torn in a couple of places, exposed scratches and minor cuts. A rag that had been tied around his leg was soaked with blood. Laying her weapon at her side, she eased the piece of cloth down an inch and discovered a hole in his thigh, still bleeding.


He’s been shot.


Is he alone? She bolted to her feet. Sidestepping his prone body, she snatched up the shotgun again and surveyed the area outside her cabin. All she saw was the sparse, lonely terrain. With little vegetation, hiding places were limited in the immediate vicinity, and she had no time to check further away. She examined the ground to see which direction he’d come from. There weren’t any visible red splotches and only one set of large footprints coming from around the side of the cabin. His fall must have started his bleeding again.


Another groan pierced the early morning quiet. She returned to the man, knelt, and pressed her two fingers into the side of his neck. His pulse was rapid, thready, and his skin was cold with a slight bluish tint…



Get your e-book copy for only 99 cents at the following retailers:



Barnes and Noble:






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Margaret Daley is giving away to TWO winners a copy of THE FIREFIGHTER DADDY (2 winners – 1 book each). To enter, please click here and fill out the form:


Open to US/Canada residents and runs through May 31, 2016.


1-Margaret Daley photo small-jpg


Author Biography:

Margaret Daley, a USA Today’s Bestselling author of over ninety-five books (five million plus sold worldwide), has been married for over forty years and is a firm believer in romance and love. When she isn’t traveling, she’s writing love stories, often with a suspense thread and corralling her three cats that think they rule her household. To find out more about Margaret visit her website at


Social Media Links:

Facebook Page:






A Lady in the Smoke by @karen_odden #bookreview #TuesdayBookBlog

A Lady in the Smoke


Title: A Lady in the Smoke

Author: Karen Odden

Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction


Book Blurb:

Karen Odden’s enthralling debut historical mystery transports readers to Victorian England, where a terrifying railway disaster plunges a headstrong young noblewoman into a conspiracy that reaches to the highest corridors of power.

Following a humiliating fourth Season in London, Lady Elizabeth Fraser is on her way back to her ancestral country estate when her train careens off the rails and bursts into flames. Though she is injured, she manages to drag herself and her unconscious mother out of the wreckage, and amid the chaos that ensues, a brilliant young railway surgeon saves her mother’s life. Elizabeth feels an immediate connection with Paul Wilcox—though society would never deem a medical man eligible for the daughter of an earl.

After Paul reveals that the train wreck was no accident, and the inspector who tried to prevent it dies under mysterious circumstances, Elizabeth undertakes a dangerous investigation of her own that leads back to her family’s buried secrets. The more she learns, the more she must risk. Not only are her dowry and her reputation at stake; Paul’s very life hangs in the balance when he is arrested for manslaughter. As the trial draws near, and Parliament prepares for a vote that will change the course of the nation, Elizabeth uncovers a conspiracy that has been years in the making. But time is running out for her to see justice done.


My Review:

Lady Elizabeth and her mother are traveling by train back to their estate from London when the train careens off its tracks. Elizabeth wakes up to her mother unconscious with a broken ankle and Elizabeth herself has a gash on her forehead. They somehow make it off the train and a gentleman doctor helps them by the name of Paul Wilcox.


Over the next few days, while her mother is recovering, she helps the young doctor who saved her and her mother’s life. There’s an immediate attraction between the two even though they come from different social circles. Elizabeth doesn’t tell Paul her title because she enjoys being treated like a normal woman and she knows Paul will withdraw if he found out. But like everything in Victorian England, the truth eventually comes out.


Meanwhile, Elizabeth discovers the train accident she endured was on purpose. In fact, there’s quite a few train derailments and it’s politically driven. The more Elizabeth and her new-found acquaintance reporter (a friend of Paul’s) unearth, the more long-buried family secrets emerge. When Paul is arrested for manslaughter, Elizabeth must risk her reputation and life as she knows it to save the man she loves.


I loved this mystery! It’s filled with suspense, twists and turns, not to mention a sweet romance between Paul and Elizabeth. I love trains and the Victorian age. Karen Odden draws you into Elizabeth’s world. The supporting cast of characters add such richness to this story and the mystery held my mind captive. Who is behind the railroad sabotage and murders? The courtroom scenes left me breathless and the ending was satisfying.


If you like historical fiction, especially Victorian, with dashes of mystery and romance, this book is for you! I look forward to more from Karen Odden.


Thank you to Random House Publishing Group – Alibi and Netgalley for giving me a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.


My Rating:  5 stars


Buy it now:


Barnes and Noble




Author Biography:

Karen Odden’s interest in the Victorian era and specifically railway crashes goes back to her New York University doctoral dissertation, which explored how the medical, parliamentary, and literary representations of railway disasters helped to create a discourse out of which Freud and others fashioned their ideas of “trauma.”

Karen has served as an Associate Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and taught classes in English language and literature at New York University and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She has contributed essays and chapters to books and journals, including Studies in the Novel, Journal of Victorian Culture, and Victorian Crime, Madness, and Sensation; and she has written introductions for Barnes and Noble’s Classics Series editions of books by Dickens and Trollope. Prior to receiving her Ph.D. in English, she worked as an Editorial Assistant at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich and McGraw-Hill, as a Media Buyer for Christie’s Auction House in New York, and as a bartender at the airport in Rochester, where she learned how to stop being shy. She is a member of SCBWI and Mystery Writers of America; and she currently serves as an Assistant Editor for the academic journal, Victorian Literature and Culture (Cambridge UP).

Karen currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband, her two children, and her ridiculously cute beagle, Rosy.


Social Media Links:




Reviewed by: Mrs. N

Feeling Frazzled? Take Time to Relax and Meditate #inspiration #longweekend #meditation




Has your life suddenly become chaotic and you’re wound up tighter than a coil? 

Last week was completely draining for me.  There was so much going on and I was being pulled in a million different directions.

Friday, my nerves were frazzled and felt so out of control.  I got a lot done on Friday and by the time MR N came home from work, I was feeling pretty good. It was the start of a long weekend and dinner was fabulous. But then, our toilet handle broke. We were having people over (read my mother-in-law) Saturday morning and we needed to have a working toilet. Calling the Super was out of the question since it was a long weekend; they wouldn’t fix it until Wednesday. What to do? What to do?

My nerves fizzled out and all I wanted to do was to curl up in a ball and cry. I knew I needed to meditate, to center myself. While I did that,  MR N got on Google and found a solution. He came up with a brilliant plan (wake up early and head to Walmart) and we went to sleep Friday night. We got the part from Walmart in the morning and it took seconds to fix it. Now, we have a toilet that works better than before.

The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing and centering ourselves. It was exactly what we needed.

When life gets to you, how do you handle it?  Do you exercise, drink, cook, watch television, listen to music?

Sitting out on our solarium is a form of meditation.  I sit out there and put my feet up.  I look out at the trees and watch the trains go by.  I breathe in and out.  I empty my mind of all the thoughts that are swirling around like a hurricane.

According to the Dictionary, Meditate: to spend time in quiet thought for religious purposes or relaxation.

Every religion and spiritual practice incorporates meditation.  Even if you do not believe in any religion, deep breathing exercises are healthy for your body.

The next time you are dealing with a crazy day, take a few moments and meditate.  There is no right or wrong way.  Your spirit/soul will be refreshed and you will be ready to take on another day!

What do you do to relax? Share with us in the comments below.


Meet Sebastian Castañeda and His Powerful Book, @Ladiesmanifesto #books #dating #men

 I’m so excited because the author of The Ladies Man-ifesto: What Sales, Science and Love Have in Common is featured on the blog today. Discover the underground secrets of charisma & charm that only 1% of males know. Obtain this tangible power to  get what you want without having to ask. His book, while aimed at men, is one I found captivating. I mean, women are also looking to gain confidence and attract people. Sebastian agreed to sit down with me for a candid interview. So please, give a warm welcome to him and be sure to check out his website. He’s giving away three chapters for FREE!  Take it away, Sebastian:


What book do you wish you could have written?

I wish I could have written Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T Harv Eker!


Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?

I would have to say Brendon Burchard, Ryan Holiday and Daniel Lubetzky.


What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

Founding “The Ladies Man Academy” which helps men develop inner confidence and attract women. Also, having the privilege to speak once a month at my local children’s home through motivation.


What is your best marketing tip?

Network in your niche and be genuine in asking for help. Always look at the newest trends of what is working and capitalize on them as fast as possible. What may have worked last year does not mean that it will work this year. You literally have to become a learning machine and adapt to any changes if you want to leverage your marketing campaigns.


Do you have a favorite spot to write? What is it?

I usually like to write in public places like coffee shops or pastry shops. I like the ambiance and the scent of coffee beans; it’s very soothing and relaxing.


What are you working on now? What is your next project?

My next project (or I should say book) is going to be a self help book on overcoming the delusion of fear and harnessing your inner power to live your best life. Largely influenced by advice passed down to me by some of my Billionaire mentors: books like Motivation Manifesto: Meditations by Marcus Areilus, The Obstacle is the Way and Mastery by Robert Greene to list a few. I will be using tons of data on neuroscience and cognition research.


What is your biggest failure?

Well, I don’t believe in failures. I feel life is a series of experiments. Like Steve Jobs says, “you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backward.” So if you have a situation or circumstance that is not ideal, you learn two things: how to do it better next time or how not to do something.  I call “bad” days character building days.


What is your biggest fear?

Not moving toward my dream or goal on a daily basis scares the hell out of me! I fear wasted valuable time. Like Seneca says, “we act very mortal with our material possessions but act very immortal with our time.”


What do you want your tombstone to say?

“None but ourselves can free our mind. You have the power to create the life you want.”


If you had a superpower, what would it be?

The power to read at lightning speed. I would be able to get through my usual 15 books a week to probably 30 a week which would incredible!


What’s on your bucket list (things to do before you die)?

Help one million people live a stronger, empowered life.


What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?

Curious, adventures and a trouble maker. I fell in a ditch as a kid and was up to my neck in mud for hours. I was finally rescued by police. LOL!  That’s definitely one of my most memorable moments. I was 5, I believe.

Also when I was in second grade, I was the only student that had a desk in the office. I would report there instead of a regular classroom. Apparently, that’s how disruptive I was!


The Attraction Blueprint


Title: The Ladies Man-ifesto: What Sales, Science and Love have in Common

Author: Sebastian Castañeda

Genre: Non Fiction – Self Help, Laws of Attraction


Book Blurb:
The Attraction Blueprint “The LadiesManifesto” was written as an invigorating & compelling new way to approach, attract & date more women.  Whether you are looking for a serious relationship or just looking to have a good time, the ball is in your court.

This book isn’t about feel good speeches, pick up lines or any other pseudo trickery you can think of. This is just raw powerful knowledge passed down by some of the greatest thinkers of our time with a modern twist.

If you want an actual system that shows precision, innovation & accountability all rolled up into one, then this resource is for you.

There is someone very special out there waiting for you to become the powerful man you have suppressed deep down. This book will harness that veiled potential, force it out so the world may see you for who you really are

…a Gladiator.




“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.”
– J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


First thing you must know is confidence is not something you are born with but rather it is a state of mind that is learned. According to Dr. Manisha Goel:


“Self-confidence is one of the personality traits which is a composite of a person’s thoughts and feelings, strivings and hopes, fears and fantasies, his view of what he is, what he has been, what he might become, and his attitudes pertaining to his worth. Self-confidence is a positive attitude of oneself towards one’s self-concept. It is an attribute of perceived self. Self-confidence refers to a person’s perceived ability to tackle situations successfully without leaning on others and to have a positive self-evaluation. A self-confident person perceives himself to be socially competent, emotionally mature, intellectually adequate, successful, satisfied, decisive, optimistic, independent, self-reliant, self-assured, forward moving, fairly assertive and having leadership qualities. So the concept of self-confidence enjoys an important position in the theories of human behavior and personality and is regarded as a basic condition of the human existence in our modern day world by many thinkers.”


Confidence comes from an awareness of perception of oneself. This awareness is gained through knowledge, practice, and feedback. Interested in becoming more confident and attracting more women? Perfect, let’s begin.


Knowledge is a broad term so let’s target some specifics. Here are three conceptual and practical applications for knowledge when building your confidence.


Know your strengths and weaknesses. A good book to help you determine what your strengths and weaknesses are is Strength Finder 2.0. It will show you the science behind your personality traits and what studies show are a good path to better harness your unique abilities. This goes to better understanding who you are, what makes you tick. Never suffer American Idol Syndrome. American Idol Syndrome is when you think you are good at something when in reality you’re terrible at it. The technical term is “illusion of external agency.” This cognitive bias develops when we don’t seek objection outside our own thinking. We over-compensate and tell ourselves what our own desirable qualities are, and we often are ignorant to our own thoughts. A good method to avoid American Idol Syndrome is by seeking outside objectivity. Ask other people such as friends, family, or even strangers how they perceive you. Are you perceived as outgoing or reserved, loud or quite, funny, charming, awkward…the list goes on but you get the idea. Understanding how other people perceive you is essential to understanding your level of charisma and allows you to double-down on the things that are working and readjust the things that may be holding you back.


Grow positivity, kill negativity. This one is essential. Think of positive energy as the foundation for everything to build on. Picture this for a moment: you’re in a room and everyone is laughing and having a great time—maybe you’re with some friends catching up about old times or at a comedy show or maybe your favorite football team just won the Super Bowl. That is the essence of positive energy. Remember, energy is never created nor destroyed, it is always there, you just have to open awareness to it and energy will manifest itself. The same is true with negative energy although this one is more infectious. The reason why negative energy is easier to dwell on is because when you look at human biology, studies have shown that we have five main emotions. Unfortunately, only one of those five emotions is positive and that emotion is joy. Picture yourself in a situation where someone walks in the room, they are clearly upset or agitated and their energy makes you feel uncomfortable. You don’t want to feel that negative energy but it is being transferred to you because you are around that state of mind provoking negative energy. You have to remove yourself from these types of people and situations as often as you can. Surround yourself with the people who make you feel great. People you can easily be yourself around and have a great time with. These are the people who are going to help contribute to your confidence.


Image is everything. Whether we are talking about fashion, body language, or emotional presence, you must uphold the image of a confident man. Picture James Bond, although he is a fictional character you can’t deny he is what a confident man walks and talks like. Even if slightly exaggerated he clearly is displaying confidence without having to read you his character role. That is what confidence is, something people can read off you without any verbal clarification. Take pride in your physical appearance, work out, get a clean haircut, shave, smell good, and dress well. Pay attention to your body language. Have a straight posture, roll the shoulders back when you walk, and when you’re walking walk with a purpose, not too slow not too fast, have a firm frame. Regarding your emotional state, have James Bond in mind again. Does he complain or bitch? Does he sob in self-pity or get his feelings hurt right away? Does he seek emotional comfort in other people to make him feel good? Bet your ass he doesn’t and neither should you. Have “emotional intelligence” as scientists call it. Emotional intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.


Focus on things in your control and ditch the rest. Having a clear, uncluttered mind will leave room for all of the positives to manifest. I realize that men put such emphasis on women that they even let their actions dictate how they feel. Even worse, they let the opinions of others dictate how they feel. Les Brown said, “Don’t let the opinions of others become your reality.” Only you have the power to be confident and happy. If you leave your happiness in the hands of others you will be miserable. If a woman is giving you the cold shoulder, MOVE ON—don’t try to force anything to work. How another person feels towards you is completely out of your control.


Picture Atlas for a moment. He’s carrying the world above his head by himself. That’s essentially what you are doing by letting other people affect your happiness with their opinions. Don’t try to fix things or force them to work, and avoid making it a personal burden if they don’t. Luckily you’re not Atlas; you don’t need that added pressure, so do what is necessary and just shrug it off. Now, by focusing on things that are in your control, you are able to leverage social power and increase your confidence. Choosing the people you hang around with is in your control, so be around people that make you feel like a million bucks and you’ll start to see increased happiness which will translate to confidence. Why? Simply because you will feel great all the time.


The better you feel about yourself, the more you are going to be encouraged to go out and meet women. You want to be a juggernaut in your approach to happiness and confidence. You are going one way with your life and the juggernaut will run through anything to reach his destination. He’s an unstoppable force.


Buy Links:


Barnes and Noble



Sebastian C.


Author Biography:

Sebastian has become an engaging leader that has established a large fellowship of men wanting to transcend their lives. He is one of the most sought-after romance coaches in the dating industry today. He is founder of the powerful program “The Ladies Man Academy” which he designed to reach a broader audience, giving only the most concise and applicable information and step-by-step guide equivalent to what you would get with over 30 one-on-one sessions. Though he focuses on romance he bestows a higher purpose for all his clients, to begin living life on your terms.


Sebastian truly believes that greatness lies within everyone and it just takes the right mix of knowledge, attitude, and shift of perception to unlock your true potential. He is an advocate of a higher calling and pushes clients to limits of growth that both disrupt and engage the natural order of things to sprout rapid growth. Sebastian has touched the lives of hundreds of men at his in-person conferences, online courses and one-on-one coaching sessions. “Without my mentors I wouldn’t be on the path I am now. This book is a way for me to pay it forward.”


Social Media Links:





Mrs. N Loves #RomanticComedy #Books so She’s Listing 5 FREE Ones! #amreading

Friday Book Round Up


Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round Up! Today, I have a book spotlight on a brand new romantic comedy, Gone Wild. It got me thinking about romantic comedies and how much fun they’re to read, especially as the weather warms up. I looked on my Kindle and noticed I was in need of some fun romantic comedies. So off I went to Amazon to find some, and low and behold, there were several FREE ones. So, here are five I downloaded:


Careful What You Wish For by Michelle Escamilla

One simple wish can change everything…


Harley Simpson has one wish—to find Prince Charming and settle down. She has a dream job and wonderful friends, but something is missing. With her thirtieth birthday looming, Harley is sure being with her hot, smooth-talking boss Ethan Prince would make her life complete. Having just landed a major client and learning she’ll be working even more closely with Ethan, Harley sets out to celebrate with her friends.


On her way to the bar, Harley chats with a mysterious cab driver. When the woman asks what she would wish for, Harley answers honestly—she wants Ethan. But during her night out, she meets a handsome, blue-eyed part-time bartender and full-time teacher named Matt Garner. No, he’s not a CEO, but he’s the sweetest guy Harley’s ever met.


A wish gone bad…


Harley awakens the next morning in a strange house with Ethan—and their two young daughters. The wish she’d confided to the freaky fairy godmother has actually come true. As she tries to figure out what this means and if it’s really what she wanted after all, Harley discovers Matt is also part of this bizarre world…He’s her daughters’ teacher.


Harley suspects fate has gone completely haywire. Will she be able to find a way out of this suburban nightmare? Or is she destined to stay and live the life she thought she wanted in this messed up fairytale…


Careful What You Wish For.


Big Girl Panties: #One Like a Lady Series by S.J. Sawyer

Big Girl Panties is a Southern, romantic comedy that will leave you laughing and swooning in equal measure. It is the first novella in the Like A Lady serial and cannot be read as a standalone.


Mom always tells me that when life gives you lemons you squeeze the heck out of them and hope for some lemonade, but after catching that no-good lying, jerk of a bastard cheating on me seconds before we were supposed to be married, I do what any self-respecting Southern girl would do: throw a punch and hide under my blankie. Now, Mary Lou thinks I need a night of fun and adventure. I agree to go out, planning to get her off my back, but when I find myself in Mason Pierce’s arms, I’m thanking my lucky stars, and my best friend. ~Red


Freemont, Oklahoma, is the last place on the whole damned planet that I want to spend my summer and working on my parents’ ranch is the last thing I want to do, but damned if that’s not what I’m doing. Monroe and I need a night away from this place, a night to blow off steam. A party at the lake sounds like a mighty fine idea, and after catching a glimpse of Red Summers in the firelight, I’m quickly changing my tune. ~Mason


Sex, Lies & Sweet Tea (Sex and Lies Book 1) by Kris Calvert

Hotter than hell and half of Alabama, FBI Agent, Mac Callahan is thirsty for everything except love. Coming home to bust a white-collar crime ring, Mac intends to execute his usual practice with work and women¬ – get in, get it on and get out. Instead, he finds himself unexpectedly drawn to the legacy of his family, his plantation, and the charms of a Southern girl. Samantha Peterson possesses everything he needs in a woman, including the evidence to wrap his case. As the investigation heats up, so does their passion and a dangerous game ignites. But, then again, everything’s hotter in the South.


Chasing Charlie: A Romantic Comedy (The Texas Two-Step Series Book 1) by Kathy Carmichael

The Texas Two-Step romantic comedy series is a reader favorite. All of the stories in the series are sweet, charming and emotional contemporary romance. Each story in the series stands alone, but all Texas Two-Step novels and novellas feature love stories about members of the Nelson, Murphy or Palmer families — and sometimes, more than one!


Book Description:

Raised in a family of rodeo champions on a South Texas cattle ranch, Charlie wants only one thing: to avoid thrill-seeking cowboys.


Davis Murphy, cowboy wannabe and one of Dallas’s most eligible bachelors, needs a pretty and witty faux fiancée so his widowed mother will marry her longtime gentleman friend. Charlie, his local librarian, seems the prefect choice.


Charlie’s first reaction is to run, but she’s promised herself to step out of her plain-jane routine. When Charlie accepts, Davis’s plan is set. But now Charlie’s sweet ways are challenging his bachelor heart.


Chasing Charlie is the first sweet romance in the Texas Two-Step contemporary romance series from USA Today bestselling author Kathy Carmichael.


THE TEXAS TWO-STEP, in series order

Western Pleasure (A Novella) (Book 0)

Chasing Charlie (Book 1)

The Lassoed Bride (A Novella) (Book 2) Coming Soon

Country Courtship (Book 3)

Courting Trouble (Book 4)

My Southern Bride (Book 5)


“Part of her Texas Two-Step series, this book has all the things I enjoy in Kathy’s writing. Packed with humor, tenderness, and loads of romance, (the hunky cowboy hero is fabulous too) My Southern Bride is a wonderful addition to the series.” ~ USA Today bestselling author, Regan Black (My Southern Bride)


Shopping for a Billionaire 1 (Shopping for a Billionaire series) by Julia Kent

When mystery shopper Shannon Jacoby meets billionaire Declan McCormick with her hand down a toilet in the men’s room of one of his stores, it’s love at first flush in this hilarious new romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Julia Kent.


Read the whole series:


Shopping for a Billionaire Boxed Set now released! includes:


Shopping for a Billionaire 1

Shopping for a Billionaire 2

Shopping for a Billionaire 3

Shopping for a Billionaire 4

Christmas Shopping for a Billionaire  (5)


And don’t miss:


Shopping for a Billionaire’s Fiancee (book 6)

Shopping for a CEO (book 7)

Shopping for a Billionaire’s Wife (book 8)



What romantic comedies would you recommend for my Kindle? Share in the comments below.


Happy Reading!


MRS N, Book Addict

Laughing is the Sensation of Feeling Good All Over #inspiration #laughter #affirmations


When was the last time you made someone laugh?

I love to laugh! It’s one of those natural cures that really works for me! No matter what’s going on, when I laugh, all the stress/pain/hurt flees.

Yesterday, I challenged myself (and others) to go 24 hours without complaining. At first, it was difficult. I was faced with situation after situation that tried my patience. I had to mentally stop myself from complaining.

One thing that helped me was to laugh. I started laughing and my body responded by releasing happy endorphins. Was I crazy for laughing out loud at nothing? Maybe but it worked.😉

This same methodology works for others. Make someone laugh. Tell a joke. Share a funny story. Watch a funny show/movie.

When you make someone laugh, you are not only helping them but yourself too. Laughter is infectious. So go ahead and make someone laugh!:)

😀 MRS N😀

Alone in the Wind by Judy Bruce Will Stay With You #bookreview #books #mystery



Title: Alone in the Wind

Author: Judy Bruce

Genre: Mystery, Suspense


Book Blurb:

In the second installment of the misadventures of Megan Docket, she learns of the investigation of meth dealing in the area. A gut feeling forces her to question the motives of a DEA agent residing in the area. As she snoops on the agent, she becomes protective of a young teen and a young autistic, who works at the local diner. The meth use in the community causes the deaths of two friends and ensnares the local residents in the drug trade. Meanwhile, discord with her husband Brian creates problems at home. When the DEA agent and the chief of police commit murder, Megan uncovers the truth. After she impulsively commits revenge against the men, it blackens her soul and plunges her into a personal hell. Burdened with grief over the community tragedies and her own guilt, she seeks peace and redemption. This is the author’s second book in her Wind Series. The first book in the series is ‘Voices in the Wind.’


My Review:

Megan is back in the second Wind series by Judy Bruce and in this book, she’s put through the ringer as she tries to uncover one crime after another. The meth trade has infiltrated the small town, killing two of Megan’s friends. Bent on revenge, Megan does the unthinkable in the name of justice. Now, faced with marital problems and her immense guilt, Megan is left wondering if she is destined to be Alone in the Wind.


This was a difficult book for me to read. The writing was superb and the emotions Judy Bruce evoked in my soul were genuine. It’s the subject of drugs and infidelity that makes this hard for me to read. Bruce takes you inside the world of Meth, from the DEA to the police to the dealers and finally to the family of users. I was caught up in it and it makes me question everything I thought I knew of meth.

The marital discourse between Megan and Bryan was also hard to read. As a happily-married woman, I hate the thought of infidelity. One act can ruin the lives of many. If you don’t want to be with the one you’re with, leave. That’s my personal opinion so please don’t take offense.


I didn’t like this as well as I liked Voices in the Wind but I applaud Bruce for delving into serious topics under the guise of fiction. She brings many things to light, including PTSD and autism, which need to be talked about. Megan’s reactions to circumstances appear realistic, although it was hard for me to relate to her the closer we came to the climax.


If you like crime fiction and/or suspense, I highly recommend this book and this author! Bruce weaves a mystery full of interesting characters and makes you think.


My Rating:  4 stars


Buy it now:


Barnes and Noble



Judy Bruce


Author Biography:

Hello, book fans. I am the mother of two, the wife of one, and the sibling of three (formerly four). I also blog at  where I ramble about favorite books and movies and personal topics–my younger sister Janet who died of brain cancer, and my autistic son Danny who takes quirky to an amazing level. Aside from writing novels, I have contributed various works on law, history, and social issues. I am a Kirkus Reviews Featured Author, and a member of Goodreads, the Authors Guild, the Cassell Network of Writers, and the American Film Institute. Yet my true love, apart from my family, is fiction—writing and reading it.


Social Media Links:





Facebook: You can find her on her public Facebook site (try Judy Bruce 1481)


Reviewed by: Mrs. N

Gone Wild by USA Today Best-Selling Author Dakota Madison @karenmbryson #RomanticComedy


Gone Wild Front RGB SM

#NewRelease – Gone Wild by Dakota Madison

Genre: #RomanticComedy

✦ ✦ — SYNOPSIS — ✦ ✦

Go BACK TO BOOKMAN with USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR Dakota Madison’s new #LoveinMidlife #ComingofMiddleAge romantic comedy series.

Tenured English professor Bly Daniels believes the short walk from her campus office to the university library is too much exposure to the harsh elements of the outdoors. She would prefer to spend her days (and nights) comfortably seated indoors reading classic literature.

When Bly is arrested for reading one of the great books while driving home, a judge sentences her to thirty days of community service with The Wild Way, a therapeutic wilderness program for troubled teens.

There she meets Turner Wild, the owner and operate of the wilderness program. Turner is everything Bly despises: rugged, unrefined and outdoorsy. For Bly a trip to hell sounds more desirable than spending an entire month with Turner and his band of hooligans as they traverse the woods of rural northwest New Jersey communing with nature.

Bly certainly never expects to form a bond with the troubled teens she’s been assigned to mentor and forge an unlikely relationship with their fearless leader, Turner Wild.

Each full-length novel in Dakota Madison’s LOVE IN MIDLIFE romantic comedy series can be read as a stand-alone or as part of the series. Each story features one of the graduates of Bookman College attending their 25th reunion.







“This is as far as I go,” the crusty old cab driver barks as he stops in front of a long dirt road that disappears into the woods.

“How far is it to the wilderness camp?” I ask.

“Pretty far, I would imagine. It’s not visible from the road at all.”

“And how am I supposed to get there?”

“I guess you’re just going to have to walk.”

I laugh until I realize he’s not joking. He expects me to walk into the woods on a dirt road that is God knows how long.

Then I realize I’ll also have to carry my bag as well. I could barely carry my suitcase to the front stoop for him to place in his truck.

“I can only take the cab on paved roads,” he tells me. “Company rules.”

Is that supposed to make me feel better? It doesn’t.

I heave a huge sigh. “How much do I owe you?”


I hand him three ten dollar bills, plus a five dollar tip.

“Let me get your bag out of the trunk.”

When he exits the cab I take a moment to compose myself. I’m already so far out of my comfort zone I feel like I’m having a panic attack, and I haven’t even made it to the camp yet.

You’re an intelligent woman with a doctoral degree, I remind myself. You can do this.

By the time I exit the cab my bag is already on the side of the road waiting for me.

“Good luck,” the cab driver says.


It probably wasn’t the smartest idea I ever had to wear a dress and pumps. In my defense I don’t have much else in my wardrobe. Work attire and lounging outfits for around the house are about it. When I teach I always wear a dress or a suit with dress shoes. I wouldn’t be caught dead outside of my home in one of my lounging outfits.

Calling the dirt pathway a road is extremely generous. The trail is much rockier and uneven than I initially thought. The shoes I’m wearing are not even close to being appropriate for the conditions. I’ll be lucky if I don’t turn an ankle.

My suitcase is another problem entirely. I can barely make it a few feet before I have to set it down. The muscles in my arms are already throbbing and I haven’t even made it far enough to spot the end of the trail yet.

Luckily it’s still early in the day. I’ve got many hours of sunlight left. Even if it takes me several hours walking a few steps at a time I should make it there before dark.

Unless it’s a few miles to the camp, then I’ll be in a bit of trouble.

Two hours and thirty seven minutes later I’ve had about all that I can take. My feet are blistered and aching. I’m afraid when I finally remove my shoes my feet will be bloody as well.

My arms are so weak I don’t think I can lift the suitcase again.

And I’m on the verge of complete exhaustion.

What was I thinking packing so much stuff? I was thinking I’ll be here an entire month and I need reading materials.

Here is no water but only rock

Rock and no water and the sandy road.

Those words from T.S. Eliot’s ‘The Waste Land’ seem appropriate right now. I take a seat on my suitcase and wipe the sweat from my brow with a tissue that I just happened to have shoved in my pocket. I can’t even remember the last time I sweated. It may have been in high school when we were forced to play those utterly horrendous sports in our Physical Education classes.

I was supposed to be at the apex of my career this year. I was finally promoted from Associate to Full Professor. Edgar had been hinting that when he retired I was first in line to take over as Chairperson of the English Department. I was just a few months away from paying off the mortgage on my house.

Now it looks like I might lose everything, and I’m sitting in the middle of the woods helpless to do anything about it. Edgar was not happy when I told him I needed to take a month of personal leave and he’d need to find a substitute to teach my classes. That coupled with the fact that my arrest and conviction has tarnished the reputation of the institution does not bode well for me still having a career upon my return from this journey into the wilderness.

The sun is starting to get higher overhead, and it’s beating down on me. I’m not sure how much of the blistering brightness my pale skin can take. I should probably edge closer to the tree line where it’s shaded, but I’m too exhausted to move.

I’m just about to fall asleep seated on my suitcase when a large pickup truck whizzes by. I try to raise a hand to wave the driver over, but to no avail. My arm won’t lift high enough.

Instead I choke on the dust left in the truck’s wake.

Then to my surprise the trucks comes to a screeching halt, reverses and heads back towards me.

When I rise to greet the driver my legs feel like cooked noodles. They’re so weak I can barely control them as I move towards the truck.

My eyes go wide when I see who has hopped out of the vehicle. The driver is a young, petite woman of Asian descent.

From the neck up she’s beautiful, with long silky dark hair and perfect features. From the neck down she’s dressed like a man. She’s wearing well-worn jeans, black combat boots and a green Army jacket.

“Are you lost?” Her tone is accusatory, definitely not friendly.

I shake my head.

“You know this road leads to a wilderness camp for troubled teens.”

“I do.”

She looks me up and down. “You don’t look like you’re ready for the wilderness, and you’re definitely not a teenager.”

“I’m aware of that.” My voice is weary. “I’m court ordered to be here. Community service.”

She rolls her eyes. “Lucky us.”

“Unfortunately the cab driver wouldn’t take me beyond the main road. I’ve been walking for hours.”

“Would you like a lift?” She raises an eyebrow.

“That would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.”

She lets down the tailgate of the pickup, presumably for me to place my luggage in the empty truck bed.

I do my best to drag the suitcase over to the truck, but I feel like my muscles are on fire. There is no way I’m going to be able to lift the suitcase into the back of the vehicle.

The woman and I both stare at the suitcase for several moments.

“You can’t lift it, can you?” she asks finally.

I shake my head.

“Unbelievable.” She grabs the suitcase like it’s no heavier than a rag doll and tosses it into the back of her truck. Then she slams the tailgate of the truck closed.

She glares at me for several seconds. “I have some advice for you. Never pack more than you can carry.”

Before I have a chance to respond she marches over to the driver’s side of the truck and hops in.

I hurry over to the passenger side of the vehicle and stare at it for a few moments. I’m five feet seven inches tall. The woman is easily five inches shorter than me and she got into the truck with very little effort. I have no idea how I’m going to climb into this thing, particularly in my dress and heels.

“Are you coming?” She glares at me again. She’s very good at glaring. Despite her small stature she’s quite intimidating.

“If you’ll give me just a few seconds I need to figure out how to get inside of this truck.”

“Oh, for God’s sake.”

She jumps back out of the vehicle, makes her way around to my side then gives me an extremely hard shove right on my buttocks which propels me enough that I’m able to climb into the seat.

She stomps back over to her side of the truck, leaps into her seat with the ease of a rabbit then slams her door shut.

“Your truck is very high off the ground,” I observe.

“No shit, Sherlock. Now fasten your seatbelt.”

The woman doesn’t say another word to me as we head down the dusty road toward the camp.

Thankfully she parks extremely close to what appears to be a main building. It has a placard which says: The Wild Way Administration.

I do my best to hop out of the truck in my heels. The woman opens the back of the truck, hoists my suitcase out of the truck bed and tosses it on the ground.

She doesn’t wait for me to say anything, not even a thank you. She marches back over to the driver’s side, leaps into the truck like a frog, and drives somewhere behind the administration building.

I’m not sure what to do. I don’t feel like dealing with my suitcase so I just leave it where the woman tossed it. There’s not another soul anywhere so I don’t think it’s in danger of being stolen. Not that my clothing and books would be of value to anyone but me.

I walk up the small set of stairs to the administration office. The building is really just a large cabin, much like all of the other smaller cabins scattered about the heavily wooded property.

Unfortunately the front door is locked. I try knocking, then pounding, but to no avail. The place appears to be deserted.

The person with whom I spoke on the phone, Turner Wild, the program director, told me specifically to report to the camp today. I even wrote it down. He was very short with me, much the way the Asian American woman was, so I wasn’t able to get him to commit to a specific time.

My feet are throbbing. I’m not that motivated to walk over to any of the other cabins, which are a significant distance from this one, several hundred yards at least.

The small porch that I’m standing on doesn’t have any chairs, or seats of any kind, so I guess I’m stuck standing here for a while until someone appears, or I figure out something else to do.

I wait for what feels like an hour, but when I glance at my watch I realize only twenty minutes have actually gone by. Time seems to pass very slowly when I don’t have my nose firmly planted in a book.

That’s when I hear rustling on the roof of the administration building. Panic begins to set in when some tree debris fly off the roof and nearly hit me.

What’s up there? Is it some kind of animal?

Then I hear stomping—loud, heavy stomping—right above me. Is it possible for a bear to climb on a rooftop?

My chest tightens and I feel like I can’t breathe. I’m going to get killed by a bear and I haven’t even started working here yet.

More tree debris rain down on me: branches, bark, pine cones.

What is going on up there?

Then I hear hammering. To my knowledge bears don’t know how to use hammers. Is Turner Wild on the roof? Or maybe the woman who gave me a lift in her truck?

“Hello?” I shout when the hammering stops. “Hello?”

“You made it,” a male voice shouts back.

I nearly jump out of my shoes when the guy, presumably Turner Wild, jumps down from the roof and lands on the porch next to me.

“Community service?” He places his hammer on the porch rail next to him and wipes his dirty hands on the sides of his jeans.

“That’s what I’m here for.”

The man is different than how I pictured him from our very brief phone conversation. I thought he’d be a lot younger, maybe late twenties or early thirties, but he looks more like he’s my age, mid-to-late forties.

That’s not to say there isn’t a youthful air about him.

Everything about this man is rugged and outdoorsy. His brown hair is cut in a short, military-style haircut. His strong features look a bit rough and weatherworn. His dark jeans and t-shirt are tight fitting and display every one of the large muscles on his exceptionally masculine body.

And he’s wearing a very large knife hanging from his belt.  I’m not surprised he runs a wilderness camp. It would be difficult to imagine someone who looks the way he does doing anything else.

Well, maybe serving in those Special Operations Forces in the military. I could picture him in one of those SEAL teams like the one that killed Bin Laden.

I decide there are only two likely vocations for this man: killing bears or killing Bin Laden.

His sea green eyes are like lasers as he stares at me. I’m immediately uncomfortable. I wonder if there is any way I could contact the judge and tell her I’ve changed my mind. Fifteen months in jail is starting to seem much more desirable than a month in the woods with this frightening character.

I extend a hand because I’m not sure what else to do. “Hello, I’m Dr. Daniels.”

He stares at my limb like I’m a leper. Then he looks me up and down. “What kind of doctor are you?”

I clear my throat. “I’m an English professor.”

He laughs. “So you’re not a real doctor.”

I immediately bristle at his ignorant comment. I hate when people say that. “For your information the word doctor is derived from the Latin word docēre which means to teach. The title Doctor has been used for centuries in Europe as a designation for someone who has obtained a research doctorate such as a Ph.D. Thus a person with a medical degree is more accurately described as a physician, not a doctor.”

He pats my shoulder in the most condescending way imaginable, like I’m some kind of pet. “Whatever you say, Doc.”

“Why are you touching me?” His hand is still on my arm. I can feel the heat from his body move through mine. It’s extremely disconcerting.

“Sorry.” He stares at me for a long moment before he removes his hand.

I try to brush away the tingly feeling flowing down my limb. “Why did you call me Doc? This isn’t a cartoon. You’re not Bugs Bunny.”

He laughs again. I don’t like people who laugh so easily. I’m immediately suspicious of them.

“I’m serious,” I tell him. “There’s no reason to laugh.”

“Has anyone ever told you that you’re wound up tighter than Dick’s hatband?”

I glare at him. Does that expression even make sense? I have no idea what he means, but it feels like an insult. And he’s smirking, which makes it worse.

He looks me up and down. “You can’t wear that.”

“Why not?”

“This is a wilderness camp, Doc. We’ll be getting down and dirty. Living in the woods. You can’t wear a dress and heels.”

“I’d appreciate it if you called me something other than Doc. Dr. Daniels would be fine. Or Ms. Daniels. Or my first name, Bly, if you insist. Just not Doc.”

“I could call you Community Service. Would that be better?”

I shake my head.

“That’s what I thought. What about the clothes, Doc?”


Teaser with Turner Wild


USA TODAY Bestselling author Dakota Madison is known for writing romance with a little spice and lots of heart. She likes to explore current social issues in her work. Dakota is a winner of the prestigious RONE Award for Excellence in the Indie and Small Publishing Industry. When she’s not at her computer creating spicy stories Dakota likes to spend time with her husband and their bloodhounds at their home outside Phoenix, Arizona.







– Tour Host –

HEA Book Tours, PR & More:

I Challenge You to Complain-Free Day! #inspiration #affirmations #ThankfulThursday


Life gets complicated and before we can stop ourselves, we start complaining.

I’ve noticed over the past few weeks how easy it is for me to complain. The weather, my to-do list, writer’s block, cars in my way, book sales, etc. all send complaints spewing from my mouth. Just this morning, I went down to my building’s laundry room and some lady with a screaming toddler had taken all six of the washing machines. I caught myself complaining under my breath.

Do you find yourself doing the same?

Well, it stops today! I am going to go the next 24 hours without complaining. It will be hard to do and I’ll have to be more conscious of my thoughts and actions. Why bother doing it then? I saw this graphic and I want my outlook to change. I’m a positive person and I don’t like feeling negative.

Wanna help?

I challenge you to do the same! Take the next 24 hours and try with all your might to not complain once. Sure, we’ll slip up once or twice but making a conscious effort will make a difference (or so I’m told). LOL!

If you want to take up the challenge, please comment below.:) Challenge your friends, family and co-workers! Maybe we could start a conplain-free zone.:)

MRS N, Former Complainer

Get to know Author Tia Shurina and her #Memoir, @everythingAAHE #RRBC #AuthorInterview

We all want a happy ending in life, like Cinderella and Prince Charming, but sometimes Cinderella has to go through pain/suffering and discover her own path to a happy ending. Tia Shurina, author of Everything and a Happy Ending, agreed to sit down with me for an interview. Her book talks about the three men in her life, her journey to self-discovery and working on her own happy ending. She’s an amazing woman and it’s my pleasure to introduce her. Take it away, Tia:


If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?


I am a very sentimental woman, & because of that:


I’d cast Brooke Shields as me since she holds very significant meaning to my story.


I would cast Ray Romano as my dad.  The physical resemblance is stunning, &, as the 3rd man in the trio, I feel would add an incredible full circle beauty & intimacy to it.


I would cast Tony Danza as Larry, my ex-husband.


And as Ray I would cast George Clooney, again, because, like Brooke Shields, he has a  special significance in the book.



What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?


My best accomplishment is my 3rd baby, Everything and a Happy Ending.  It accomplished the 2 most important things in my life…


feeling I came full circle as a mom to my 2 boys as I gave birth to my memoir.  As my boys grew, & my dissatisfaction in my life grew, I hid a sad sorrowful feeling of disappointment that I was short-changing my children by letting my fears push me to settle in my life.  My dad’s death was the catalyst & catapult to a transformation & metamorphosis long in the making.  As they watched their mom face her fears & follow her heart for the 1st time in her life, I became the example I wanted to be for them.  In that experience & thru that process, I am now ecstatic & feeling so proud they are well on their way to happy “everythings” in their lives…relationships, careers, experiences, at least with the things that are within the realm of their own control, of course.



Where do you see yourself in 5 years?


In 5 years, I see myself having climbed completely out of the financial hole that I dug myself into as part of the extraordinary gift of “everything” that I freely, & faithfully gave to another.  I see myself blessedly, blissfully happy in a loving, intimate, exciting & beautifully balanced romantic relationship with a man I am madly, crazily, fantastically in love with.  I was blessed with an answered prayer when I was given the opportunity to make some new choices for myself at this later age in my life.  I will not let that gift be in vain or go unwrapped or unlived.


Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?


I have read each & every review that I’m aware of, so far.  Who I am, tho, struggles to NOT let the 1 negative comment out of 100 positive ones eat me alive so, can be draining.  In my life, I’m getting better at not engaging, or co-creating with other’s harsh criticisms, so, I keep the faith I will move to that place with the book as well.


In my heart, Ricky Nelson’s song, Garden Party, is my theme song (you can’t please everyone so you gotta please yourself)…but my head sings a different song many days!  I won’t plan on responding to the negative.  Constructive criticism is one thing…an important valid tool and as an inexperienced nonprofessional writer I accept they will be a part of the process, but I will do my best to let negative mean-ness “walk on by” (that’s Dionne Warwick…& yes, I love music & find it to be a very powerful inspirational tool!).



What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?


My least favorite part of the process has been the marketing & publicity aspect.  The book was a Plan C for sure (maybe even Plan D).  I had no desire or plan to share my own personal story so publicly.  I went kicking & screaming a bit to go with that flow I was so desperate to swim with finally in my life, instead of bucking that flow.  But, I’m so outside my comfort zone in soooo many areas of my life right now as a result.  It has brought a happiness & peace of heart I have never felt, yet, I am also exhausted from the journey I chose to take to 7 years ago at this point and because am so beyond my limits, “running  on empty” at this point, & beyond in some important places, this particular part has hit me very hard. It is very draining but I’ve accepted the possibility that maybe was something important I do & face & embrace in my life.


Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?


The situation I find myself in right now.  My ex & I have a very Modern Family kind of living arrangement.  He moved out for quite awhile after we split & then became my roommate after his dad passed away…a gift to my ex, wanting to be kind & help him out, even as I was trying to honor myself 1st & foremost, finally, in my life.  That choice was also a gift to Ray, which is all detailed in the book as to the why’s.   At the time, I trusted was going to be for a short amount of time & felt certain was a positive healing choice & opportunity for my ex & I & our 2 boys actually, after they witnessed a bit of tumult between us in the time before we finally split.  But, it passed its circle of healing at a certain point & became quite unhealthy, & I’ve been struggling mightily as a result as my circumstances have changed through the years.


I’m currently in full swing of trying to get myself out at this point, on my own…the book is part of my attempt to gain back some of the financial security I gifted to another, part of my offering of trust.



What is your biggest fear?


Well, to piggyback off the last question, I will share that on a difficult, dark day, I will allow the fears to have their moment & take me to my knees in fear & worry that even a tiny remote chance exists that I will be unable to get myself onto a firm steady financial foothold to be able to take care of myself & start the new life I so desperately wanted for myself when I made the decision to end my marriage is definitely topping the list these days.  After I allow myself to be human, however, I am well aware of the importance to get up from my knees & walk away from those fears so that energy does not get to stick around me.  It is so unhealthy to wallow in it but I am also aware of the importance of allowing feelings & acknowledging emotions as well, after a long time in my life of kinda stuffing them away.  It’s a balance, for sure.



If you had a superpower, what would it be?


I’d like to be able to become invisible.  A lot of mystery & some angst too, would no longer exist in my life if I were able to do that.



Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?


Giraffe Hotel in Nairobi Kenya



What’s on your bucket list (things to do before you die)?


Besides above, which gets me to Africa, I’d like to visit Alaska & Hawaii, which were places my dad wanted to get to, drive cross country & see the Grand Canyon, a visit to a few other of the Wonders of the World (either classic, new or natural), a Mediterranean cruise, learn to speak a little French (which I find to be a very sexy language), learn to play the drums & piano, mentor…& since I have 2 sons, I’d like to mentor a girl, & lastly, have a book I wrote made into a screenplay!


EAAHE Cover (2)


Title:  Everything and a Happy Ending


Author: Tia Shurina


Genre:  Memoir



Book Blurb:

EAAHE is a memoir that recounts 3 interconnected relationships & love stories, her dad, her ex-husband & an old special friend.  The book details and shares Tia’s full circle journey to learn how to really trust, how to “thine own self be true” and then the real & true love it circled her ‘round back to.  It’s a story about how the power of love & a journey to intimacy helped flip learned pessimism, reacting in reflex and running from fear into choosing optimism, trusting intuition and rising above the fear.



Chapter 8


Grow with the Flow

(of the Current of Your Life)

Come together… at just the right and perfect time

Such wonderful advice, to go (and grow) with the flow. I heard it from my dad, as he encouraged me to swim more with the current of my life, rather than against it, as I’d done for a long, unsatisfying time. It is a great title for a book chapter or TV episode, yet it can be difficult to true-ly live in real life, I think.

There’s an Oscar winning movie, Marty, from 1955. It’s a fictional story of two average people who meet a bit later in life, fall in love, and get a happy ending. Marty, a plain man, meets Clara, an ordinary woman. Both are lonely, and both feel even less than plain and ordinary. It is a beautiful love story about meeting, connecting, trusting, redemption, and second chances arriving later in life. It is extraordinary and ordinary, both at the same time. It is almost unbelievable, yet totally attainable. It is a once in a lifetime story and an everyday possibility—the perfect balance.

Now, imagine the story is not fiction, but real. Imagine there real-ly exists a Marty and Clara, who meet when fate crosses their paths, but not as middle-aged, world weary, lonely adults, but as much younger, scared, lonely adults. Imagine also that this particular Marty and Clara are not plain or ordinary at all on the outside, yet on the inside feel the very same way Marty and Clara felt. It is a difficult challenge for even the older, wiser adult to go with the flow, but for the younger, intimidated, un-wise young adult to ponder the paths that could be taken, instead of the choice to trust, to let it all go, to jump in and let the current flow you to where you are meant to be is much harder. Imagine that this very real and very scared Marty and Clara pair go their separate ways, rather than go all in and take the risk first time around.

But if life is a journey of human choices and divine plans and assistance in mind and soul from the start, consider the possibility that, if their destiny is to come together, they will make their way back around the circle to reunite. Given another chance to simply be together, when the time was right and perfect for them, they’d reconnect like yin connects with yang.

What if the universe has always been watching their backs, moving them along divinely, in just the right and perfect way, to help them get a second chance someday? As Sophie says in Letters to Juliet, “‘What’ and ‘if ’ are two words as non-threatening as words can be. But put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life: What if? What if? What if?” What if, like in reel life, the real life Marty makes a promise to the real life Clara, to come back to her so that they can have that love affair, finally, to go with the flow, and meet up with her soon? What if the real life Clara devotedly waits as the reel life Clara does—sitting, motionless, on the sofa, just waiting for her Marty to reach out, not moving or budging until he did, because she grew scared that if she did, it meant she didn’t trust him, petrified it meant she didn’t have faith in him? What if?

What if, in a very real life, a very real Marty and Clara can face their fears this time around their circle, and find the courage to actually go with that flow? Maybe, just maybe, they can have that love affair that often exists true-ly in fairytales, but once in a while moves into reality as well, jumping off the pages of a book, leaping out of the TV or off the reel life movie screen—a real and a very true love.


Buy Links: 






Press Release

 PR Newswire



Will Tia Shurina give Ray Romano a “Happy Ending”? New Memoir Reveals Relationship and Unveils Transformation

Tia and Ray


Feb 01, 2016, 12:11 ET from Everything and a Happy Ending

NEW YORK, Feb. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Sometimes a person’s outside public persona isn’t reflective of their inside private life. Everything and a Happy Ending shares her struggle with authenticity between her outer and inner worlds; her real and true lives. It also details how an old friendship turned to secreted emotional love affair and how she helped him flip a not so funny reality into a fantastical new reel life self.

As Tia transitioned through her own real life roles she became the muse for one of Hollywood’s most beloved stars.

Her book illuminates her awakening and metamorphosis, committed to embracing the high road of nourishment, while exuding courage and kindness. Her memoir shares her journey to give and receive love without domination, submission, or sublimation. She takes the reader through sorrow and tribulation leading to growth, clarity, peace, release and joy recounting three interwoven circles & love stories. EAAHE chronicles how her childhood relationship with her father set the foundation for her long marriage to her ex-husband; then shares how their adult relationship “set the stage” for a unique love story with the comedian. She details how her faith is strengthened as her own re-birth inspired her old friend to grow and evolve himself. She’s been his shadow muse since a poignant, powerful reconnection became the catalyst for her privately shared personal evolution which became the root and core of Romano’s own journey of “soulwork”. That inspiration allowed him to achieve some of the greatest successes of his career.

Shurina states, “My dad’s advice to his children was, ‘hold your form’. Those bestowed bellwether words were integral to embracing my faith, finding joy within (and without!), allowing ‘true’ love, giving in peace and empowering others to rise to their own best form.”

Her story is a tour de force of emergence into empowerment & the recognition of the interconnected heart, balancing the spiritual and the material, and her selfless, unconditional giving to help liberate another from a life born of a need for adulation and acceptance.

“It’s my prayer another woman of a certain age feeling dissatisfied in her life might take a babystep forward.”

EAAHE combines real and true aspects of Eat Pray Love crossing paths with 50 Shades, Marty, Parenthood and Someday Someday Maybe meeting When the Balls Drop.


Author Bio:

Tia Shurina lives in Queens, NYC but still spends time on the Jersey Shore, where she feels safest in the bungalows she spent her childhood summers.  She is, most days, really filled with joy.  She is, every day, truly filled with peace.   She looks forward to a happy ending each new day, however it unfolds, whomever it holds, & however the Universe molds, as she continues to create a new “happily ever after”, staying committed to rising above her fears, moving out of her comfort zones and going with the flow of her life.




Wine and Romance Blend Perfectly in Crushed by @deborahcoonts and @MasqTours #CrushedTour

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Wine is romance.  Well actually it may be closer to sex.  Think about it.  The next time you see an oenophile quivering in front of a rare Chateau Lafitte Rothschild, watch them.  Decanting the wine, pouring it, studying it in the glass, inhaling the aromas, sipping, savoring…the whole thing is sensual and evocative.  I had no idea.  And I too was caught up in the sensuality of wine.  And an oenophile was born.  And a voracious researcher.


And here is where prudence is key—putting what I learned into the story.  Wine is a huge topic.  So much to know and learn—I’m still an incredible neophyte.  But I love learning about all of it, from choosing the varietal, the clone, the land, to cultivating, pruning, growing, harvesting, then crushing, maceration, pressing, fermentation….and all of the choices at each interval.  You can imagine if I even tried to mention each of these in the story, reader’s eyes would roll back in their heads and they would be throw out of my fictional world.  Not what I’m looking to do as a writer—I want to keep you immersed in the lives and complications of my characters.  If you want to learn about wine, there are courses and books, but that has very little place in a novel.


In CRUSHED, Napa and the wine culture is actually a character, in a way, so details (just enough) are essential to setting the scenes, the location, in building the world.  Sure, this whole wine thing happens in other places in much the same way, but most of us don’t live in those regions, so giving the readers enough to understand the complications and challenges of that universe was important.


Where many writers err is in falling in love with the research then feeling compelled to stuff it all into their stories.  think Tom Clancy in some of his later stories.  I seem to recall about ninety pages on how the stock market worked.  He got away with it because he was Tom Clancy.  I am not.  Most of us are not.  So, less is more when it comes to inserting research into stories.



Title: Crushed, a Novel of Wine and Love

Author: Deborah Coonts

Publication Date: March 9, 2016

Genre: Contemporary Romance

In Napa Valley, he who has the best grapes wins.

And in the pursuit of perfection, dreams and hearts can be crushed.

Sophia Stone is a widow on the brink of an empty nest, stuck in an unsatisfying job managing the vineyard for a mediocre Napa vintner.  Faced with an uncertain future she wonders how do you choose between making a living and making a life?  Between protecting your heart and sharing it?  Five years ago, after her husband was killed in an accident, Sophia put her heart and dreams on ice to care for those around her.  Now her home, her dreams, and her family’s legacy grapes are threatened by the greed of the new money moving into the Valley.   Sophia has a choice—give up and let them take what is hers, or risk everything fighting a battle everyone says she can’t win.

Nico Treviani has one goal in life: make brilliant wine.  A woman would be an unwanted distraction.  So, while recognized as one of Napa’s premier vintners, Nico finds himself alone… until his brother’s death drops not one, but two women into his life—his thirteen-year-old twin nieces.  In an instant, Nico gains a family and loses his best friend and partner in the winemaking business.  Struggling to care for his nieces, Nico accepts a job as head winemaker for Avery Specter, one of the new-money crowd.  And he learns the hard way that new money doesn’t stick to the old rules.


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Goodreads


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Author Bio

Deborah Coonts’ mother tells her she was born in Texas a very long time ago.  Deborah isn’t so sure—her mother can’t be trusted.  These things we are fairly certain of though:  Deborah was raised in Texas on BBQ, Mexican food and beer.  She is the author of WANNA GET LUCKY? a humorous romantic mystery set amid the glitz, glamor and gaudy of Las Vegas that was a NY Times Notable Crime Novel and double RITA™ Finalist and received several starred reviews as have the five sequels. CRUSHED the first novel in her Heart of Napa series is out now.  Deborah can usually be found at the bar, but also at her website.


Social Media Links


Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram


Giveaway:  There is a giveaway for this tour. One (1) $50 Amazon giftcard and one (1) digital copy of the Lucky series by Deborah Coonts. Ends 5/27. Open Internationally. Void where prohibited.


Blog Tour Organized By:


Hidden In Ashes, A’yen’s Legacy #5 by @RachelLeighGeek #MFRWAuthor #BookPromo

Hidden in Ashes


Title: Hidden In Ashes, A’yen’s Legacy #5

Author: Rachel Leigh Smith

Genre: Paranormal sci-fi romance


Book Blurb:

Childhood enmity turns to love, with one problem: his heart isn’t his to give.


Lorin is a daro, a Lokmane trained to make humans feel special and valued. As Prime of Arkos House, no one stands between him and the safety of the daros under his care—except his mistress. The dead one, and the new one. He needs to focus on the Essence crisis infiltrating the Houses, and his sister’s safety. Not figure out how to balance his duties with falling in love.


When her mother dies, emotionally wounded Sagira Memeos becomes the Marcasian Empire’s newest High Lady. And reluctant owner of the most sought after daro in said empire. He’s her childhood nemesis, and way too sexy for his own good. With his kindness finding its way into her bruised soul, asking for his help to navigate her succession to ruling high lady probably isn’t her brightest idea.


Lorin wants Sagira. But not if he has to pay for it with innocent lives. She’s a distraction he can’t afford while the bedrock of Marcasian high society is under attack. Not to mention facing losing his sister to the man who wounded Sagira. If the daro houses fall, all hope of freedom goes with them.



“Hello to you too. Your glacial receptionist made me call Amun and he let me in.” Stay calm. Be nice. Apologize. He wasn’t here to let her bait him into a fight. The data chip in his pocket weighed heavy. Turning over his client list so early was an extension of trust, an effort to reach through her armor.


“Oh. Flowers?”


“For you. I came to apologize for going off on you last week. It was uncalled for.” He lifted the bouquet, enticing her to come to him to get them.


The set of her shoulders softened and she inched forward. “Apology accepted. My reaction was uncalled for too. We’re adults now, and we should act like it.” She stopped two feet from making contact with his hand to take the roses.


Cynda had picked a rainbow, including yellow ones and a teal color he and Mrs. Arkos had bred. “They’re beautiful. I love the yellow ones.”


“I thought you might.” He took a step. Pressed the wrapped stems into her hand. “Cynda refused to take the thorns off.”


Sunny smiled, and her entire face lit up. Lorin couldn’t look away from the beauty. “I think she’s trying to tell me I’m prickly and she doesn’t trust me.”


“Can you blame her?”


Sunny lowered her nose to the roses and inhaled their scent. “No. She hates me more than you do. Because of how I treated you.”


“I don’t hate you, Sunny. I just don’t like you very much. There is a difference.”


Sunny laid the roses on her desk, also of opaque glass like the one outside, went to a row of cabinets, and pulled out a vase. “I’ve never liked you either. At least we’re even on one thing.” She took the vase to her desk and began arranging the roses. “What other reason are you here?”


He dove into his pocket. Closed his fingers around the chip, but didn’t pull it out. “To start building trust. I don’t want another jealous mistress who won’t leave me alone.” He held his hand out, fingers open to show the chip. “It’s my client list. You’ll get it eventually. I thought if I brought it, it might get me brownie points.”


“Only if I can redeem them in literal brownies.” She reached for the chip, hesitating before she brushed her fingers across his palm.


The feel of her skin against his made him ache to know more. And revealed a glimpse past her mental blocks. No one had ever treated this gorgeous creature with the tenderness she deserved. Wall after wall of armor kept people away from her, built up thicker than he’d expected. Preventing himself from taking her hand and pulling her against him took every bit of willpower he possessed. She’d slap him, or worse, and he’d deserve it.


She withdrew, chip in her hand. “But no nuts. I’m allergic, remember?”


He nodded.




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Author Bio:

Rachel Leigh Smith was swept off her feet at the age of six by Magnum, P.I., then again at nine by Frank Hardy. She remembers her favorite romance novels by the hero’s name, so of course she writes romance for the hero lover. She lives in central Louisiana with her family, a half-crazed calico, a ginger tabby lion, and a menagerie of book boyfriends.



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A Looming Hurricane Stirs Up Passion in @DianeEscalera’s Passion Storm #romance



TITLE: Passion Storm

AUTHOR: Diane Escalera

GENRE: Contemporary Romance



A looming hurricane has nothing on the storm raging inside…


Karina Valdez loves a good adventure, but jetting off to the Bahamas with a complete stranger is taking it to the extreme. She can’t believe her meddling best friend entered her in a radio dating contest. Even more shocking? Karina won! A tropical getaway she can do. Making a love connection with a hot local bachelor, not so much. Especially when she’s not looking for a man.


Meteorologist Andrew Romano is psyched over winning the radio contest. He’s ready to settle down and get married, prove once and for all that he’s not a player. The contest will surely help his chances—he’s been matched with his perfect woman. Too bad she doesn’t want him. To make matters worse, an erratic storm has shifted direction and is whirling toward them. Andy will do whatever it takes to win over the elusive beauty and keep her safe. He can handle a hurricane. But what about the other storm waiting to be unleashed?



Andy had never felt happier. He couldn’t believe his good fortune. Karina in the Bahamas, and staying right next door. It hadn’t been easy getting her here, but he wouldn’t dwell on the past when the present offered way more excitement. Just him and her. No tricks. No games. A man and a woman with a weeklong vacation to get to know each other. He’d let things evolve naturally. If his suspicions were true, that’s all he would have to do. Karina would come around. She’d learn what he already knew. Overly optimistic? Maybe. But he’d always been a positive guy.


Early evening now, he figured she had to be hungry for dinner. He took the initiative and made all the arrangements. “Want some company?” he called out to Karina, who sat on her deck sipping a cocktail. She watched as he climbed the wooden stairs. “Food?” He stepped onto the patio and flashed his biggest smile. With a bottle of wine and a picnic basket in hand, he said, “You can’t say no this time.”


“Actually, I can.”


He looked at her pretty lips. “Yeah. But you won’t.”


Instead of tossing his ass down the stairs, she laughed. “I’ll let you stay this time.” She took the wine from him.


Without saying a word, he popped open his basket and began to extract all kinds of goodies. First he draped a white cloth over the table. Then he lit a lavender candle. He fished out two crystal goblets and set them down. Next he laid a foil-covered plate in the center. When he removed the aluminum, a tangy aroma engulfed the deck.


“What is that?” She set down the wine and hovered over the scent.


“That’s Bahamian maki rolls with conch, and this is mango and cucumber with pickled ginger.”


Karina studied the plate. “Smells good.”


“Last time we ate together we couldn’t see.” Chuckling, he slid out a colorful chair. “Have a seat.”


“No thanks. I’d rather stand.”


“Okay. I’ll stand with you.”


“Fine, I’ll sit,” she said, dropping into the chair.


He uncorked the wine and filled their glasses. “We couldn’t find our mouths,” he said, handing her a drink.


“We still managed.”


“We did, didn’t we?” He analyzed her more carefully. Her hair looked different tonight. Long bangs that were usually swept to one side were clipped back. It emphasized the shape of her oval face and made her striking eyes stand out even more.


“What is this again?”


He lifted a roll and brought it to her mouth. “Here. Taste it.”


She gave him a look. “We’re not wearing blindfolds. I think I can feed myself.”


“Right,” he said, and stuffed the piece into his own mouth. He let out a pleasurable moan. “Good stuff. You’re missing out.”


She picked up a roll and tore off a hearty bite. “Am not.”


Unlike the blind date, this time they watched each other intently. For every bite he took, she took two. First she polished off her cocktail. Then she killed the glass of wine. Without taking his eyes off her, he refilled her glass. They played their little food game until every crumb had been eaten.


“What is it with us and food?” He liked their form of foreplay. At least, that’s how it felt to him.


She shrugged her shoulders. “This is an awesome place. The radio station got one thing right.”


“They got more than one thing right.” Angling his face, his eyes met hers and he winked. “No regrets here.”


“Well, I have one or two.”


He laughed at her bold spirit, her fight. A captivating mouth turned him serious again. She had the most amazing lips. How long would it take to kiss her again? Not long, if he had any say in the matter.



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Diane Escalena



Born and raised in the Bronx, NY, Diane Escalera makes her home in coastal North Carolina. The sultry surroundings are a steady source of inspiration for her hot love stories. Diane is married, has two children and a super cute dachshund she can’t get enough of. She writes contemporary romance and is published with Kensington Publishing and Lyrical Press.










MacLaren’s Bride by @DebraDier #historicalromance #bookpromo #highlandromance



Title: MacLaren’s Bride

Author: Debra Dier

Genre: Historical Romance

Book Blurb:

A Determined Highlander and his Reluctant Bride


Meg Drummond was known as the Snow Queen, a challenge to the gentlemen of the ton, for it was said she could freeze a man with a single glance of her green eyes. No one knew the icy castle walls were built to protect the vulnerable girl within. Meg didn’t trust easily, not after witnessing the fiery destruction of her parents’ marriage. Since she was a child she had only ever thought of one man in terms of happily ever after, and he had never returned her regard.


After leaving the Highlands, Meg managed to change from an awkward hoyden into the elegant lady her English mother expected her to be. Though she allowed her estranged father to believe she would marry an Englishman to spite him, she had no intention of ever allowing any man close enough to hurt her, until Alec MacLaren charged back into her life. She has loved the charming rogue since she was a child. Yet can she trust the wicked Highlander with her heart?


A hero of Waterloo, Alec owed Meg’s father his life. Although he had no desire for an arranged marriage, Alec kidnapped and married Meg out of his debt to Robert Drummond. Once he held Meg in his arms he realized there just might be something more to this marriage than he had expected. A suspicious tragedy had made him Earl of Dunleith. Alec doesn’t realize a murderer lurks in the shadows waiting to take everything from him.


After years of war Alec longs for a home and family. He knows he must break through the wall of ice surrounding Meg’s heart, gain her trust, and awaken her desire to truly make her his bride.


Meg retreated, backtracking as he advanced, trying desperately to maintain her poise. Her years in London had taught her how to deal with all manner of men. Yet this was Alec. Nothing had prepared her for Alec. “I assure you there is nothing left of the wild girl you knew.”


“You were a lovely girl.” He looked at her in a way that made her feel he was studying a painting he found fascinating. “But you’ve grown more handsome than I could have imagined.”


Hope kindled inside of her at his soft words. Foolish woman! Only a fool would be swayed by a man’s false declarations. “Oh dear, I do believe I may swoon from such flattery.”


Alec laughed softly. “I’m going to enjoy getting reacquainted with you.”


“I’m not at all certain I want to become better acquainted with you.” She bumped into a bedpost at the foot of her bed. He approached, as though he were enjoying himself.


Before she could escape, he gripped the thickly carved post behind her with both hands and leaned toward her, trapping her. “Step away from me.”


He leaned closer. “Do you wish to pack a bag before we leave?”


“I’m not going anywhere with you.” She spoke slowly, distinctly, a governess teaching a reluctant student, a governess who was having a great deal of trouble finding enough air to shape her words. All the air evaporated around him, as though he were a flame, devouring everything in his path.


“Lord in heaven, Meg. You could freeze a man to his marrow with that look. A proper English Ice Princess, that’s what you are.” He studied her a moment, as though he were trying to piece together a puzzle. “You have me curious about something.”


His breath fell softly against her face as he spoke, warm and moist, filled with a scent that held a subtle sweetness, like a freshly cut plum. She pressed back against the bedpost, trying to increase the distance between them. How in the world was she supposed to think when he was this close? “What?”


“How many men have you left petrified in your wake? Frozen from one glare?”


No one realized the walls were built for protection. No one had ever been able to breach her ramparts. But the men who had tried were not Alec. A lush male heat reached across the sliver of air between them, teasing her, beckoning her to lean toward him. She pressed her spine into the bedpost. “I believe I asked you to leave.”


“I have to admit, all that ice is tempting.”


She swallowed hard. “Tempting?”


“It makes me want to melt it.” Alec slid his arm around her waist, slipped his other hand into her hair and cradled the nape of her neck. Before she could utter more than a gasp, he hauled her against his chest. In the next heartbeat he captured her lips beneath his.


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Debra Dier

Author Biography:

Debra Dier is the award winning author of sixteen critically acclaimed romance novels and short stories. Her work has earned her a place in the Writer’s Hall of Fame.

Debra was born and raised in Niagara Falls, New York. Although she always knew she wanted to do something creative in life, well-meaning family members talked her into doing something in a much more practical light. She received a BS in Information Systems Management and headed down a career path that included writing computer code and designing computer systems. It wasn’t exactly what she had in mind when she thought of a purely creative career. For some mystifying reason, she was put on a fast track in this career and became a manager of other programmers and analysts in a large corporation at a young age. It was then she decided to try her hand at writing something other than computer code. After her first novel, Surrender the Dream was published, she took the plunge into writing full time. She has never regretted that decision.

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Life is Too Short to Cry so Smile Instead #inspiration #affirmations #motivation


Did you smile yesterday?

I smiled a lot yesterday. It changed my whole outlook and the day flew by.

When you’re smiling, life seems more positive, bright and wonderful!

I love this quote and it’s a great mantra for life. Life is too short to cry so smile instead!


MRS N, Smiling Ambassador

The Storm Lake Boxset: Larue by @LiviaQuinn is a Must-Read! #IARTG #TuesdayBookBlog #Romance

 Box Set 2 East web 04132016 copy


Storm Lake Boxset: Larue

This Storm Lake set (with brand new covers) includes the first three books in the Larue series of Storm Lake East, formerly known as the Under-Cover Knights. Each of the Larue heroes has a personal mission to contribute to their community, whether it’s teens, veterans and all are former and current military or in law enforcement. Book 3, Merry Christmas, Baby, also includes characters from Thunder Point and introduces upcoming heroes and their partners.


Available in digital and print at your favorite retailer.


Title:  Hard Days Knight


Book Blurb:

He’s a hero on a mission…


Is he a real hero, or just a pretender? Ex-Navy officer Luc Larue knows how it looks when the sexy cop and her partner respond to a silent alarm at the grocery where he stopped for a six-pack. Luc’s job with KPI requires certain…attire and equipment.


The tall, dark and deadly looking mercenary Delilah Burke confronts at the robbery scene is sexy as sin, but is he a hero or a conman?


Each day reveals more to Del of the enigma that is Luc Larue. The guy is pure gold, perhaps too good to be true. Then, trouble arrives from his past and Del is faced with a choice. Will she believe the evidence against Luc, or trust her heart?



Luc held his hands out palm up, “Calm down now. I’m just trying to get you what you want without anybody getting hurt. You need money, right? And what, liquor? Cigs? You seem like a smart guy,” not. “If we can get you fixed up, you can leave and everybody wins. What do you think about that?”

Meth Head snarled, “What I think is you should bring me that gun. Put it on the counter.” To make his point, he pressed the point of the makeshift weapon to the cashier’s cheek and drew blood. “Make it quick.”

The cashier whimpered again, and Luc knew his time was running out. He’d hoped the cops would be here by now and a solution would present itself in the form of a sniper round through the front window. His options were limited so he stuck with his plan.

“Okay, be calm. I’m going to lay it down on the counter like you said. See?” He spun the gun in his hand and palmed it. Holding the barrel he placed it on the corner of the counter.

“Back away from it. I mean it.”

It was obvious he did. Luc raised his hands in a gesture of peace and took a step back. One step only.

The man dropped the glass as he picked up the gun and placed it under the woman’s chin. His voice held new confidence as he nodded at the cash register and ordered, “Now, empty this drawer and put it in that bag.” He gestured with the point of the gun to his worn duffle bag.

“Man, watch where you point that thing okay?” Luc said, putting a crazy concern in his voice.

“Fill it. And put some Dorals and two bottles of Jack in there too.” Luc did as the man said, setting the small duffle on the edge of the counter.

The junkie shoved the woman down on the floor in front of him and ordered her to “stay put” then he pointed the gun at Luc. “Move out of my way,” he ordered as he shouldered the duffle, now in a hurry to leave.

Luc stepped back letting him think he’d relaxed his guard, but as he came around the counter, Luc moved. His opponent pointed the gun at him, “Get back.” Luc stepped into his body, and grabbed the gun, twisting it out of his grip with his left hand and clocking him on the side of the head with his right. Luc saw the whites of the thug’s eyes as he fell backwards into a display of beer and rolled over onto his face. Before relief could take hold, another little niggle of apprehension hit him.

“Put the gun down,” said an authoritative female voice. With his back to the voice, Luc raised his hands, again loosening his grip on the handle of the gun.

The clipped voice came again, “Be smart. Don’t think you’re going to try any Special Forces tricks on me. Lay the gun on the floor gently, kick it over here, and lie face down, hands clasped behind your head.”

Luc leaned forward placing the gun near his foot, then did as she ordered.

“Now, on the ground.”

“I’m not the criminal here. The robber—”

“On the ground now,” she barked. “Hands behind your head.”

Luc complied, knowing the cops would sort out the details after talking with the cashier. The sounds of sobbing came from behind the counter, and Luc listened as the officer in charge directed someone to check on the woman. Meth Head’s foot pushed against Luc’s side as he prepared to sprint away. Luc reacted automatically, grabbing the thug’s ankle in an iron grip.

“What do you think you’re doing?” The female officer squatted next to him and bent over so he could see her face. It was an arresting face. No puns here. Hair like corn silk draped over her shoulder in a thick braid, and eyes like mad Texas bluebonnets glared at him. Eyes like that should never glare, he thought. They should be softened from a long night of…back to earth, Luc.

He tapped his forehead on the floor and wagged his head back and forth but only replaced one hand on his head, the other was still firmly clasped around the wriggling form of her perp. “Making sure my efforts didn’t go for naught,” he said.


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Title:  Her First Knight


Book Blurb:

He’s a hero on a mission…


“Take ‘em off, Tucker. Tucker. Tucker…”


What had he been thinking? Ridge Romano is an ex-Ranger, billionaire, inventor and advocate. So how did he wind up on stage in nothing but his trousers and tie beside two cover models in front of a hundred women screaming at him to take it off? That’s the question his friends and family would be asking tomorrow, if they found out. That, and “Who’s Tucker?”


It had seemed like a recipe for harmless fun. Take one curious CEO following a gorgeous redhead onto the conference floor of his hotel. Add a hundred romance writers at a “meeting”. Toss in some false assumptions, throw out a lifetime of good behavior and Ridge was up to his Special Forces tattoo in manure. He’d just have to make sure no one found out about this little side trip or a whim and a folly might turn into his worst nightmare.



She swallowed. “Ridge? What a surprise,” she smiled. Her first thought was how incredibly glad she was to see him.


He gave her a sheepish look, which was adorable on his handsome face and said, “Yeah, about that. I didn’t anticipate the drive and Larue’s location to be quite so…”


He’d anticipated seeing her, though, wondered how she’d receive him. She laughed. “Out in the sticks? Poor thing, with this fog I’ll bet it was a terrible drive. Don’t just stand out there, come in and get warm. These rains always bring a chill with them, either that or a sauna.”


She reached for him and he accepted a hug. While she stroked his back, he felt the roaming beast within him make a circle and prepare to curl up by her warmth. “It’s raining and my shoes are wet.” Idiot, she can see that with her own eyes. He sighed. “Look, I can go find a hotel, if you’ll just point me in the right direction. I didn’t think I’d be this late—”


“Nonsense, I have plenty of room here. Your hair’s wet. Let me get you a towel, and you can slip your shoes off right over there,” she said pointing to a mat next to the door. “Give me your coat and come sit down.”


She took his coat, his briefcase and tugged him by the hand to the love seat in front of the fire. He frowned at the fireplace and she said, “It’s fake. This time of year I have the electric insert in it for atmosphere, but it’s easy to pull out. Are you chilled?”


“No, I’m fine, really.”


“Ok, I’ll just get that towel. And how about a drink or a glass of wine, some cocoa?”


She stood looking down at him, waiting, and once again, he was struck by a sense of well being that was rare for him. He wasn’t one given to anxiety or depression though he’d had his share when John had died, but somehow being with Buffy raised his comfort quotient to the top of the scale.


“Come here,” he said, and tugged her down next to him. “I think this is what I need right now,” he murmured before taking her lips with his. She moaned beneath him and her arms clasped around his neck. All thoughts flew from his mind and he just savored the taste of her, the soft silky texture of her shoulders in his hands, her moist pliable lips giving in to his need to separate and explore her mouth.



Title: Merry Christmas, Baby


Book Blurb:

It’s a weekend full of love. Larue social media is all atwitter at the return of hometown movie idol, Ducane Beauregard Larue at the only place to celebrate Christmas Eve—the Romanos’. Catch up with the characters from Larue and Thunder Point and get a peek into the lives of upcoming characters.


Beau hates Christmas. It reminds him of what he can’t have. He’s been avoiding homecomings, and the biggest reason is unavoidable this Christmas – Madison Hart, who has loved Beau for most of her adult life. Whenever rumors surface about him returning home, Madison hyperventilates at the prospect of seeing him again.


Samantha Larue’s baby is overdue and everyone is hovering including Jed, who ended their relationship last summer because kids “weren’t in his future”.


Bad guys don’t scare Delilah Burke but Luc’s mother and five sisters do. They have her stalling on setting a date to marry the man she loves.


Nothing could make Buffy Romano happier than delivering some surprises and helping the people she loves find love. Then, a Christmas Eve miracle confirms what she already knows – that with a little nudge, all her love ones’ happily-ever-afters will happen in the not so distant future.



“Your health has to come first, Beau.”


He studied the woman who’d been like a mother to him for most of his life—since his parents had died when he was a child. She was still beautiful even in her seventies and as strong as ever. Her short white hair made her eyes stand out like the winter sky. Actually, his uncle had been a mother to him, since he’d been the ‘mom’ of their family while Vic had been stationed overseas. He knew he could count on either one of them for anything.


“I know, Aunt Vic. As soon as the movie’s done, I’m going back to LA and getting on that protocol. Just don’t rat me out to the pack.” His voice was hoarse with fatigue. “They’d never let me leave, and I can’t afford for this to get out.”


Listening to her big tough nephew, the star people in Hollywood were so intimidated by, beg her to keep his condition from the ones who loved him most nearly broke Vic’s heart, but she had to give him what he wanted. “For now, Beau. But I’m going to call you—when did you say shooting was over in Atlanta?” Her steely eyes drilled into his.


He cleared his throat. “By the middle of February.”


“All right. On February 10th if I haven’t heard from you, I’ll be on your doorstep, or that movie set, carrying you to the doctor personally, and I’ll bring your Uncle Sam, Luc and Mack with me, so don’t think you’re getting out of it.”


“I promise, mother,” he teased affectionately, but he knew she was dead serious.


She stroked his hair away from his face. “This is nothing to mess with, sweetheart.”


Beau nearly groaned aloud at the endearment. He gave in briefly to her mothering and pulled her into a hug, more for himself than her. He was so tired and it was taking every bit of grit he had to pretend, much less to argue. What could he say? He was a hell of an actor, or so he’d been told. He’d better be; he had over a month until they finished the movie, and the camera could pick up the smallest lie. God, if he could just lie down until the plane left tomorrow.


Her voice startled him. “Why don’t you lie down back here in the guest room?” He’d almost fallen asleep mid-hug. He really was tired. Perhaps she was right. “But—”


“I’ll make your excuses—lie for you this one time and say you have a bug.”


He hated that she was right. He wanted to see his family, he didn’t get home much. She knew him better than anyone and recognized the reason for his hesitation.


“We love you, Beau, and we miss you, too, but we’re family. We’ll be here when you get home next time.” She put her fingers over his lips. “Everyone will understand.” She smiled up at him.


“I love you, Aunt Victoria.” He probably loved her as much as any kid could love his mother.


The lines around her eyes lifted as her smile deepened. “And you know I love you too, Beauregard. Now, go on. I’ll come get you before any of us leave.” She pushed him gently toward the open door at the end of the hall.


He pulled away and nodded, stumbling down the hallway to the guest room. Seconds later, he’d fallen across the wide bed and was fast asleep. He didn’t move when Vic placed the quilt over him.


When Victoria walked back into the living room without her nephew, Madison was the first to frame the question, “What’s wrong with Beau?”


Buy Links:



Livia Quinn Head Shot_M9A0603 square sml copy


Author Biography:

D.C. native, Livia Quinn, now lives and writes by the bayou in Louisiana. She’s written ten books in her Storm Lake series, both paranormal and contemporary romance. While working as a plant manager, computer trainer, mail lady, professional singer, and small business owner she has stocked her brain full of great characters and fodder for her stories, and she can’t wait to share them with her readers. Her readers have said: “It’s like a mini-vacation from the real world.” “Walk don’t run to the buy button.”  “This book made me swoon.”


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#BookReview: Mr. N Reviews Mays Landing by J. C. Mercer #books #darkfiction

Mays Landing


Title: Mays Landing

Author: J. C. Mercer

Genre: Fiction, Dark Comedy


Book Blurb:

Parkhill Mays is a third-year medical school dropout from a prestigious university who wakes up from a failed suicide attempt in Bellevue Hospital in New York City. There he meets T-Bone, a self-described “human lab rat” who takes the vulnerable Mays under his wing. Living beneath the streets of the city they make ends meet selling sperm and other body parts and as paid participants for product and pharmaceutical trials, culminating with an extended Phase III clinical trial for a new anti-depressant wonder drug. We gradually learn more about Mays’ mental illness and the reasons behind his suicide attempt as he struggles to find a place between his new underground existence and the “topside” world he left, finding love and fighting his own inner demons in his quest for peace and meaning in his life.


My Review:

I have read a lot of books in my life but I have never read one like this.  I cannot state strongly enough how incredibly well written this book is.  The author is able to evoke emotion strongly from the read and the descriptive style is possibly the best I have ever seen outside of classic military battlefield histories.

There is something else this style brings to the forefront…a warning. 

This book is not for the squeamish and should not be read while you are eating.  I read it while I ate and I still regret that.

As for the book, personally, I disliked Mays from almost the first page and never warmed to him.  That he eventually got his poor miserable excuse for a life back on its feet is good for him.  I never cared for T-bone or any of the other cast of characters that are brought to life here.

The author presents a world few know exist.  He presents it in what has been described as a ‘raw’ style.  I might choose vile.  It is vile in its raw descriptions.  A hard read that will appeal to everyone who likes to be taken to another world and be buried in the experiences therein.  Not recommended for children.


My Rating:  3.75 stars


Buy it now:




Author Biography:

J.C. Mercer lives in New Jersey with his wife and two children.  He has a BA from Wesleyan University in Connecticut and an MFA from Columbia University in New York.  Mays Landing is his first novel.


Reviewed by: Mr. N

The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales by @LibraryofErana #BookPromo #Fantasy

Kitchen Imps 3
A wise green fairy man profile, beautiful colorful painting of a radiant elven creatures and energy lights, detailed abstract background fractal effect


Title: The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales (Fire-Side Tales Collection Book I)

Author: A.L. Butcher

Genre: Fantasy


Book Blurb:

Naughty imps, missing socks, cunning thieves and baffled gods feature in this collection of short fantasy fiction.



The Joy of Socks


The Round Door of the Machine opened and once more the Offerings were placed inside; although there were many sizes and shapes, they were all white, and all deliciously filthy. The Bringer of Offerings poured in the Fragrant Powder, but as tiny bulbous red eyes watched and sharp-teethed mouths chuckled, the imps knew it would not be sufficient to eradicate the glorious stench they so craved!


Tiny clawed, three-fingered hands gripped the edge of the Door of Many Holes, and with a push it swung open to reveal the faces which owned the red eyes and the sharp teeth. Water poured in, and gleefully the imps squeaked and slid into the pile of dirty-white Offerings, hands grabbing and pulling to see what had been brought. They were hoping this time there would be the wonderful stench, the pungent odour of the Socks, as the last lot of Offerings had been most disappointing. Imps loved Socks! The taste, the feel of the crispiness of a week-old foot cover. The stinkier the socks, the more they adored and craved them. The thought of rolling around in such a cheesy, foul stench was what imps lived for.


“I love the smell of dirty socks in the morning!” Bunter crooned hopefully.


“I love dirty socks anytime at all, day or night!” said Gleego.


“Gimme socks for breakfast, lunch and dinner!” shouted Knot.


Rolling and bouncing as the water washed over them, seeming to be able to ignore the rushing torrent, the imps sniffed, hoping to find what they sought. Although the Offerings were indeed rather smelly, what the creatures looked for was not there. Bright blue tongues licked, tasting the grime and feeding upon the dirt, the stains and the lumps of grease. Hopefully they snorted and desperately they searched, only to find meagre and most unsatisfactory gifts. The odours of sweat, a myriad of foods and even the scent of something much more unsavoury filled their pointed noses. But their squeaks of displeasure echoed within the Round Cavern: these were not Socks! Such high pitched squeals went unnoticed by the Bringer; the human ear is too feeble a thing to hear the high-pitched voices of imps, so all the man heard was the rumble and roar of the Machine.


The chief of the imps, Ikthik, banged a tiny matchstick upon the glass of the Round Door, and at once the Machine ceased its rolling.


“Now gather ’round, you boggles, bugs and boogers!” he commanded.


The imps slid and swam to sit upon the pile of white Offerings, now soaking and foaming.  Ears swivelled to listen, and all were quiet.


Ikthik grunted, squeaked and squealed, waving the matchstick wildly in his tiny clawed hand.


“What’s this? What’s this?” he wondered. “This ain’t right!” Poking a nearby lump, he jumped upon it, angry and despairing.


“No socks? Where’s the socks? There ain’t no socks!” yelled Knot.


As one, many small heads nodded, teeth gnashed hungrily, and Gleego and Bunter scooted backwards towards the Door of Many Holes. Dragging it open, they pulled from the stash of inferior Offerings lingering beyond the door a large, bright blue pair of boxer shorts. Bunter looked at them longingly, for he liked these particular items, and this pair was especially disgusting, being of the two-weeks-between-washes variety. The imp dreamed of such items, but of course reminded himself that these were not Socks. Still, such treasure should not be sacrificed. Swiftly Bunter shook his head and then received a questioning glance from Gleego. Bunter shrugged and kicked the underpants away before pointing to a bright red and rather shredded pull-over.


“Bring that to me!” said Ikthik the chief.


The two imps dragged the item through to squeaking cheers and clapping of clawed hands, and placed it at the feet of Ikthik. Slinking away backwards, bowing and scraping, Bunter and Gleego exchanged the shared glances of a job well done and a secret kept. Ikthik held aloft the item of crimson red, displaying a strength that was most surprising in one so tiny. With a joint cry of revenge, the imps slithered and slipped back to the Door of Many Holes, disappearing into the darkness. Chief Ikthik again waved the matchstick in the air, and the Machine began to roll and rock once more.


“Victory is ours!” cried Ikthik.


Sometime later the Bringer fetched out the abandoned Offerings, groaning as he held aloft a pink-stained shirt and formerly white underpants that were now a most fetching, pale shade of rose.  Grunting, he pulled the ruined load from the Machine, his face wearing a look of anger and confusion as the faded, red pull-over tumbled out.


It was an article of clothing he did not even own.



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Audio narrated by J Scott Bennett


A L Butcher


Author Biography: A. L. Butcher is the British author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles fantasy series, and several short stories in the fantasy and fantasy romance genres.  She is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet and a dreamer. When she is grounded in the real world she likes science, natural history, history and monkeys.  Her work has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as evocative.


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