September Sale — Take 25% off All Author Promotion Services! Stock Up and Use Later #marketing

NNLAP September Sale


Stock up on services and save 25%! They include the following —


Tier 2: Book/blog promotion and marketing for a small fee. You have the option of the following and the fee is $11.50 per service:


Author Interview

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Book Review by either Mr. N or Mrs. N (depending on when you need it by, a book review ranges in price)

  • 12 Weeks $11.50
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  • Rush 3 Business Days $143.00


Amazon US Ranking as of September 7, 2017 is 11,321

Amazon CA Ranking as of September 7, 2017 is 616 * Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer *

Amazon UK Ranking as of September 7, 2017 is 31,448

Goodreads Ranking as of September 7, 2017 is #9 Top Readers, #16 Top Reviewers, #49 Best Reviewers (updated weekly)


Tier 3: Advertisement Button on the left sidebar. Authors and professionals in the book industry can advertise on this website for a super-low fee of $6 a week/$20 a month (plus Paypal and processing fees).


We’re also offering a Top Spot Advertisement Button for our clients. You will be at the very top of the sidebar and this is one spot only. First come, first serve.

  • 1 Month $50
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Note: November and December 2017 booked 



Tier 4: Social Media Graphics and Memes. I am now offering a memes package plus Social Media Headers.


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Meet Award-Winning Author @Rtranbooks as She Imparts #AmWriting Advice #IAN1 #TuesdayBookBlog

R Tran


It’s time for another author interview, this time from award-winning author R. Tran. I first met her a month or so ago. I was intrigued by her series and once I got to know her, I knew you’d love her, too. So grab your favorite beverage and sit down for an in-depth interview. She reveals odd writing habits, choosing character name and how to handle reviews, not to mention how cockroaches totally freak her out. Take it away, R. Tran: 


Do you have any odd writing habits?

I usually hand-write my manuscripts first. I read them at least two or three times editing as I go before they are typed. Even though it makes writing anywhere more practical it does make deciphering some notes and edits harder at a later point.


How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

For my fantasy novels, I use both methods. If the character is important I try to find a name with a specific meaning. Mara for example appears in folklore as a goddess of death and also a demon. It seemed fitting based on where her goals laid at the beginning of the novel. Other characters like Kess got his name in the first draft because I liked the way it sounded and I couldn’t imagine him with any other name.


In my novel For Their Sins I had to research names from all over the world making sure that each fit with their country of origin or heritage. A name or two belonged to friends or family as well.


What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

I hold two degrees including a doctorate. I have a nice house and a good job. My first two published novels reviewed well and even received an award a piece. Yet, none of that compares to my family. My best accomplishment, by far, is my two daughters. They just turned 4 and 6 and I don’t know where my life would be without them.


Have you always liked to write?

No, there was a time I didn’t even want to read. I hated it. If there were cliff notes when I was in school I would have had a whole set. Book reports were like pulling teeth for me. Then one day a friend suggested I read A Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind. I thought she was joking; it was three inches thick. But, I fell in love with it and with reading again. Soon after my dad died. That same friend was writing a story that she let me read. I thought I could do that. It was better than therapy. Anything was better than therapy when you’re 16. So, I started writing and haven’t stopped since.


What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Don’t be afraid to edit. Cut out dead weight so you can highlight the juicy bits. If it doesn’t do anything for the story or seems irrelevant, cut it.


Also get a beta reader or two or five before publishing. I had no idea what that was until about two months ago. My third novel was already advertised and out for pre-purchase on Amazon, it was too late for major changes. I lucked out and most of my problems seem to be small, but things could have gone horribly wrong.


Lastly, avoid “to be” verbs. They give a very passive tone to the writing. I think in writing that was the one thing that really stuck with me. My college English professor had a limit on how many we could use in a single essay and yes, she counted them. I’ve read other works that don’t follow this rule and what she said is true. ‘To be” verbs aren’t always necessary, well unless you’re Shakespeare.


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 read all my reviews. I do not respond to them except to say thank you. Not everyone will like my book. It’s why I did not publish for so long. But, the reviewer not only read my book; they took that extra time that most readers don’t to tell others what they thought about it. I don’t always agree with what the reviewer says, but I try to see it from my reader’s perspective. Just because I intended something one way doesn’t mean that is how it was received. I try to learn from criticism; it’s the only way I will grow, learn, and do better on my next book.


What is your best marketing tip?

If you aren’t used to talking about yourself do so, and I mean now. You are you’re best salesman. I still have a hard time promoting myself in person, although I haven’t had any formal appearances or signings. Still, if some one sees me writing, I use that opportunity to promote myself. I still have a hard time working up the nerve.


If you have a Twitter account, pin a tweet promoting your book to the top of your feed. Anytime I look at new authors I want to follow or even help out by retweeting their books, I want to see that first without scrolling through a bunch of random tweets. If I don’t see one right away I give up.


Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)

The Rashade’ and A Guardian Falls combined is my first book. Originally they were written as one massive manuscript. I split it in two to make it more marketable. I prefer reading a long book. I am just getting into a book around 200 pages. However, I realize I am not the norm. So I followed general publishing consensus and split the book in two. The original manuscript was finished in 2002. Since then I have completed 5 more manuscripts and have 6 more in the works.


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

Currently I am working on Volume 3 and 4 in The Chronicles of the Coranydas series. I hope to have these published in February and July, 2018. I am also hoping to have the prequel to the same series ready for publication late next year. It will answer a lot of questions for those that read the series. Lastly I want to finish a manuscript that was inspired by the Exodus story in the Bible. That is, if I quit getting sidetracked by the sequel to For Their Sins.


And now for some more personal questions…


What is your biggest fear?

Cockroaches! I have an irrational fear of cockroaches. I know I am a thousand times bigger than them and all I have to do is step on them but they are gross. I see one and I jump. Even a dead one instills fear in me when my husband chases me with it or throws it at me.


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

I crossed a lot of them off before the girls were born. But I still want to ride a mechanical bull. I want to visit all 50 states. I want to see the ruins in Greece and Rome. Lastly, I want to ride as many famous and/or record setting roller coasters as I can.


Do you have any scars? What are they from?

I have a scar on my right thigh that I’ve had since I was three. I was climbing out of an old galvanized pool and cut it open on the rim that had rusted through.


I have another set on the front of my shin that is nearly faded now. I got those when I was 13 and Three Non-Blondes had the biggest hit on the radio. I was canoeing with one of my best friends and our canoe was rolled by a tree branch under the water. As another group of canoers pushed our boat free the front bolts of the canoe scraped long gashes in my leg.


I have my C-section scar from my youngest daughter. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.


Lastly, I have a scar on the inside of my right pinky finger from a wine glass breaking in my hand this summer. Sorry no fun tale there, just good old-fashioned clumsiness.


What do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?

I don’t have any recurring dreams now but when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter I did. I had very vivid dreams about zombies. Most of the time I was hunting them, but sometimes I was being chased. I would wake up occasionally still worried there were zombies lurking in my room.


 The Rashade award


Title: The Rashade’

Author: R.Tran

Genre: Epic Fantasy


Book Blurb:

After her father was murdered before her eyes, Mara Coranyda traded a life of privilege, for one devoted to vengeance. Shortly into her quest to find the mage that murdered him, Mara discovered it wouldn’t be an easy task to accomplish. Not only would she have to find the magical artifacts to destroy him, but she would also have to raise an army to stop his conquest of her homelands.



From her roost in the tree, Mara had a clear view of the mouth of the pass. She bent her head in silent prayer as she had so many times before.


Mara jerked her head up as dry leaves crunched under a boot. A scout was in the clearing once again moving slowly. Shiny helmets followed. Soon, helmets became men and men became archers entering the clearing. Most of them didn’t have their bows strung. They talked and laughed as they marched unaware of what lie in wait. When the bulk of the archers entered the clearing, Mara shot the man in the lead. His bow fell off his shoulder as he hit the ground. In the blink of an eye, the sky was thick with arrows and men were falling with loud screams. Those with strung bows began firing blindly into the trees but died first because they were the biggest threat. Those who were bending bows were the next to fall. By now, the enemy cavalry were entering the clearing at a run, trying to get past the hidden archers slaying their comrades.


Mara whistled loudly for Bishop and the other riders to join her. She waited for Bishop to pass below her as he ran down the trail and jumped onto his back. Leandra and Valaska led the riders. Drawing her sword, Mara saw the enemy directly ahead. Their lines broke allowing enough room for the Shiori riders to slip among them.  At first sight of women, the men were undeterred, but after Leandra and Valaska got away unscathed after killing a man each, they began to turn their horses and fight.


Valaska took off a man’s head in one clean swing. The horse continued to run out of fear adding to the chaos. Mara whistled twice to halt the reign of arrows as Valaska neared the archer’s range. Many of the enemy cavalry still remained. Those who had not scattered into the woods, herded into a tight circle for safety using their small shields to block the arrows.


Mara entered the clearing, veering right to pick off stray men leaving the mass of horses for the Shiori to attack as a unit. An enemy soldier charged at her raising his sword to strike. She ducked and held her sword low to her side. Bone cracked as it hit its mark nearly slicing the man in half. Rushing ahead, she swung in a wide arc catching another man in the neck. He fell off his horse grasping his neck in a futile effort to stop the blood. An arrow whizzed past Mara’s left shoulder killing the soldier ahead. Effortlessly, she veered right for another man. He saw her, though, and swung wide. He missed her, but she took his arm. Closer to the pass she saw the end of cavalry and beginning of the infantry. Still, there was no sign of the mage.


Mara glanced at the clearing to watch the mass of horses and people in its center. They had to break apart the enemy without risking their own warriors. “Wayette, fire into the center!” she yelled, pointing with her sword. Somehow Wayette heard her over the noise and four arrows caught enemy soldiers off guard. Those men did not break until four more men fell trying to defend themselves from Shiori blades. Mara rushed a few stray men and killed them easily. Storm’s cry overhead signaled the mage’s arrival.


Mara rode hard back to the tree line to retrieve Wayette. The mage was already on the ground running to meet her. Mara pulled Wayette onto the horse behind her and headed back to the pass. Mara killed three men as they rode past and Wayette knocked another two away with her staff. When they reached the pass, Wayette sent up a large light spell to signal their own infantry. Within moments, heated shouts erupted from the woods as Shiori warriors rushed onto the battlefield. Mara and Wayette jumped off Bishop’s back and sent him to the woods.  “I’ve got your back until help arrives. Go on,” Mara told Wayette nodding to the mage.


Buy Links:

Amazon US


Amazon UK


Barnes and Noble


Author Biography:

I started writing as self prescribed therapy after my dad died when I was 16. As a teenager I was too scared to admit I was depressed so it was my coping mechanism. It took years before I got the courage to publish. In the years between writing was my relaxation whether I finished the stories or not. I had to get them down before I forgot.


Twenty years later I have, two degrees, three published books, a husband who loves me, two little girls I adore and a spoiled dog.


Social Media Links:



Facebook page:

Twitter: @rtranbooks



Independent Author Network:


Meet @RobShackleford and his New Release, Traveller Inceptio #books #SFF #amreading



As many of you know, I love reading historical fiction. The reason? I love learning about history through the eyes of people who experienced it.  History comes alive, if well-researched and well-written. I first met Rob Shackleford a few months ago and was instantly intrigued. I convinced him to sit down with me for an honest interview. I’d ask some pretty tough questions and he’d have to answer them. It’s my great pleasure to introduce Rob Shackleford to the POTL Blog. Please give him a warm welcome. Take it away, Rob:


What is your writing process?

Perhaps the most important part of my process is research. My story involves detailed descriptions of the English Saxon world of around 11th Century. It also involves the Special Forces troops who are sent there. This has meant intensive research into both areas, ie History and the military. When it came to the 11th Century Saxon community, I had to learn what they ate, what were their attitudes to religion, what their homes were like, how they dressed, even their attitudes towards sex. Everything had to be researched to make the story stand up to any sort of scrutiny, especially scholarly scrutiny. Only then can the story be told with any degree of reliability.


Once the research was completed in the areas I targeted, the story could unfold. Many times I discovered I was writing the narrative in a direction I didn’t realise it would take. That then required more research. In my attempt to make the story as realistic as possible, the story involved some surprising developments, that is, it was surprising to me.


Once the story was told, I went back to rewrite, to improve grammar, description, and then develop speaking parts, which allowed for more character development and fine tuning of the events in the story.


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

I have always enjoyed the mind-broadening aspects of great science fiction works, so some of the classic authors such as H. G. Wells, Arthur Clarke, Robert Heinlein and Frank Herbert are just a few of the many who allowed me to submerge into bold new worlds and ideas. I have grown to better appreciate the difference between great storytelling from authors such as Stephen king, to true wordsmiths who paint a portrait with their breathtaking language, one who comes to mind is Yann Martel for the Life of Pi.


Other inspirations are found in islands of Robert Louis Stevenson, the humour of Mark Train, the insight of George Orwell, the razor-sharp social commentary of Jack Kerouac, to name but a few authors who changed the world.


I would be remiss not to mention J. K. Rolling and her epic Harry Potter tales, a legend in market adaptation and commercial success.


While I feebly aspire to develop my own creative writing skills, I opt to be a story teller, hopefully a great one. One day, I hope the two will merge.


What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Being an author is a tough gig. It takes time and lots of dedication. Most of all it takes belief in yourself, which can be the most challenging task of all. Think of it as a professional sportsperson. Sometimes one is discovered and shoots to the top of the charts, but most of the time any success is through the good, old fashioned hard slog. Even then, luck, or shall I say good fortune, is a part of being discovered.


Like most of the arts today, such as the music industry, or art, the process is so much tougher, so much longer. The days of million-dollar first book contracts are long gone.


With today’s technology we are so very fortunate to see the emergence of great authors, whether they are best sellers or not. The biggest challenge is to get your work out there, make it shine, and then do the marketing and get exposure. But don’t despair. Write your novel or your poetry. Give birth to your dream, and then learn and go through the process that the world requires of you. Even if you bring delight and inspiration to only one other, it will be worth it.


Are you a plotter or a pantster?

It seems I am a bit of both. I have the book’s broad structure in my head and then I develop the characters and chapters one step at a time. I need the broad structure so as to not ramble, but sometimes the story heads in a direction that surprises me. I don’t think it’s ghost writing. At least I hope it isn’t. It’s just describing the responses of humans placed in challenging situations.


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

Traveller Inceptio – which means “Beginning” in Latin, as spoken by the clergy in 11th Century England, lends itself to a sequel.


I have almost completed the first draft for Traveller Probo, which means ‘to inquire or prove’. All I can suggest is that the success of the English Traveller missions receives intense international attention and envy, causing nations to compete to engage in their own missions to send their own Travellers 1000 years into the past. It’s like a space-race, only a lot cheaper and easier.


But is this a wise course of action?  Who can say?


Traveller Probo examines the social and political consequences of the English Saxon mission, and how more missions are planned to send more Special Forces historical researchers to the world of 1000 years ago.



What is the biggest fib you’ve ever told?

Once when working for the media they wanted someone who had driven racing cars to participate in a media race event. Though I was never any kind of media star, I fibbed and said I had the experience and was given the gig. On race-day, I couldn’t even change the gears, but once I was shown I did quite well, as none of the other media participants dared drive fast. I did bounce off the walls a few times and won the race, though the car owner wasn’t pleased as there were bold, new scratches down the side of his nicely painted yellow race-car.


It was, I must say, a worthwhile fib.




Didn’t hurt a bit – after having my teeth ground without anesthetic for caps by a dentist in India. I aged 5 years and dropped 2 kilos from sweat.


Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

Crystallized Ginger, and Licorice (the British type). If you bring that stuff around, don’t expect me to share.


What literary character is most like you?

As a kid I was a bit like Tom Sawyer in that I managed to get things … done. When I was about 8 years old I recall being picked on by a kid, so I enlisted the abilities of a big, not too bright kid I barely knew to go into battle for me. They both got into trouble for fighting on the parade ground just as school parade was about to start. I was never picked on again.
My Teacher saw what had happened and, without me knowing, had a chat to my parents. Years later they told me about it. My dad thought it was the funniest thing ever.


If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

A cat owned by my partner. She spoils that creature rotten. All I would have to do is avoid being gelded at the vet.


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

Here’s a few: See a tornado, Scuba dive with sharks – me in a shark cage that is, climb a live volcano, hike a glacier.




Title: Traveller Inceptio

Author: Rob Shackleford

Genre: Science Fiction, Historical, Action

Publisher: Book Baby – E Publishing only.


Book Blurb:

If you were sent a thousand years into the past, would you survive?


With the accidental development of the Transporter, university researchers determine that the device sends any subject one thousand years into the past.


Or is it to a possible past?


The enigmatic Transporter soon becomes known as a Time Machine, but with limitations.


An audacious research project is devised to use the Transporter to investigate Medieval Saxon England, when a crack international team of Special Services soldiers undergo intensive training for their role as historical researchers.


The special researchers, called Travellers, are to be sent into what is a very dangerous period in England’s turbulent past.


From the beaches of Australia to the forests of Saxon England, Traveller – Inceptio reveals how Travellers soon learn that they need more than combat skills and modern technology to survive the trails of early 11th Century life.




Michael makes a chance meeting upon a lonely monk in the depths of the English forest.

The monk stood before Michael and wept in an open-mouthed cry that looked unlike grief or fear but looked more like … joy? He didn’t appear to be as afraid for his life as one would have thought when confronted by an armed man in the depths of the forest.


To make matters even more disconcerting, he moved forward until his face was but a hand’s breadth away from Michael. There was an impression of rotten teeth and bad breath, an almost a physical assault from which he immediately recoiled. Many of the monk’s teeth were missing. Obviously, he rarely shaved as his face was covered with stubble that could have been blonde or grey, so the man’s age was almost impossible to determine. Thick, grey hairs and pocked blackheads decorated the end of his bulbous nose as pale grey eyes gazed adoringly up at the newcomer. As the monk wept, Michael froze uncomfortably.


Without warning, the monk moved as if to give Michael a hug and it was all he could do to fend the smaller man off with raised hands. Thankfully the small man stopped at the last moment. There was no desire for any close contact with the damp wool that stank heavily. Quickly Michael scanned his surrounds as he realised this monk would be a perfect distraction for brigands, for he was completely immobilised by the man’s emotional reaction. As he watched aghast, the sobbing monk sank slowly to his knees while his tearful eyes never left Michael’s face. Tears poured down his weathered, whiskered cheeks and soon the childlike weeping began to distress. Michael had seen weeping in many places; weeping of mothers for sons, of fathers for children, but nothing quite as mysterious as this. He crouched in front of the monk and reached to touch the man’s grubby hands, his other hand still on his short-sword, just in case.


As he reached out, his hand was grasped and held by the monk’s hard, heavily veined hands with swollen arthritic knuckles, hands obviously aggravated by a life of hard physical labour. Before he could react, the monk kissed his hand passionately. He felt the bristly face and a damp slobber of snot and his initial reaction to pull away. He uncomfortably patted the monk’s shoulder and made soothing noises before he retrieved his hand and stood as he encouraged the other to rise. More kisses were threatened, so he hurriedly addressed the monk in Latin, supposing he could speak the lingua franca of clergy throughout Christendom. “Peace be unto you brother,” he said as he gave his slobbered hand a tactful wipe on the seat of his breaches.


“And to you” was the automatic sobbed response. There was an accent and the words were understood though, at first, difficult to decipher.


“What is your name?” asked Michael.


“My name?” the monk asked in a daze as if stunned at such a question. “Oeric, Lord, Brother Oeric,” he replied quietly as he briefly averted his eyes.


“Oeric. Greetings Brother Oeric my name is ..” and he paused. He knew it was best to provide his name in a format best suited to the local language. “My name is Michael.” He pronounced it ‘Meekal’ to give the pronunciation that he assumed would suit.


At the name, Brother Oeric wailed loudly and again placed his trembling, worn hands over his face. Before Michael could react, the man again fell to his knees and bent to place his face on the leaf litter. Michael again scanned the surrounding forest uncomfortably.


Indeed, they were alone.


He knelt and awkwardly patted the prostrate Brother Oeric on the shoulder. “Oeric, Brother Oeric, is something wrong? Why do you weep? Come now, stand and tell me, what is the matter?”


After a titanic struggle, Brother Oeric managed to retain some control. Rising to his knees he wiped his freely running nose and eyes on the cloth that hung over his chest, a simple square of wool with a head hole that was his scapula, designed to protect his long brown tunic. Michael noted the silver line of snot and decided that if another hug was attempted, that was good enough reason to keep the monk at arm’s-length. Brother Oeric wore a simple, one-piece robe of rough, raw, dark-brown wool that enabled him to blend effectively with the forest. Attached to his scapula was a cowl or large hood to offer protection from snow or rain in a fashion similar to the hood Michael wore on his own cloak. Michael watched the small man clutch his shaking hands together in a moment of muttered prayer before he looked up again. “Lord I give thanks that you are here”, he said with eyes that were again downcast. He paused and gazed adoringly at Michael, a look that was supposed to be a quick glance but which ended in a stare akin to wonder.




Buy Links:


Book Baby Bookshop—Inceptio




Author Biography:

An English-born Australian, Rob Shackleford has lived in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, with a varied career that has included Customs Officer, Scuba Instructor, College Teacher and management roles in too many places.

With degrees in the Arts and Business, he is mad keen on travel, Scuba diving, Family History, martial arts, astronomy, and playing Djembe and Congas.

Rob is father of two and lives on the Gold Coast.


Social Media Links:




Linked In

Google +




Meet Iris Sweetwater @irisissweet1 and Sizzling Texas Roze #romance #amreading

Iris Sweetwater


Today, it’s our absolute pleasure to introduce you to Iris Sweetwater. She’s a romance/fantasy/paranormal author and a fun person, too. We met via Twitter and MRS N can’t wait to read her latest release, Texas Roze. She agreed to sit down with MRS N for an interview and we think you’ll agree when we say you should check out her writing. So please give a warm welcome to Iris. Take it away, Iris:


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

It is very hard to choose. I think you know that as an author, I am also a book lover. I have read so many. I am going to stick to three in particular, though I think I won’t be the only one using these. 🙂

  • JK Rowling: Obviously, she has the ultimate career, and I can’t say I wouldn’t want that. However, there is much more about her that inspires me. I had to write a paper about her for school about 12 years ago, and I found out so amazing things. She was at the lowest of lows as a single mother who had nothing when she first started writing Harry Potter, and it took a long time to get recognized and get a book deal. She went through a lot of struggles and still came out in top, and she is a nice and brilliant person.


  • Jane Austen: This is the ultimate woman in writing romance. Even though her settings speak of a time I didn’t live in, I feel a lot of her themes are still relevant today. And let’s face it, her male characters are the best to base any man you write about on.


  • Holly Black: She is not afraid to be unique in life and in her writing. I can also tell that a lot of research goes into her writing. She sticks to the lore.


How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

I think names mean everything, especially when the setting is at a certain point in time. I think sound is great, but sometimes meaning is quite important. It’s funny that you ask this because I am actually holding a poll for readers to choose the names of my main characters in my next book. I like seeing everyone else’s opinion.


Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

It’s probably ridiculous, but I see myself in a house I bought with my family, maybe another child or two we adopted. And I see myself with several books published and well known-maybe even a movie deal in the works. * crosses fingers *


Have you always liked to write?

Yes, I have actually been writing since I was 4. We joke about it all the time now, but I liked it so much that instead of doing boring journal prompts in kindergarten I would get in trouble for making up crazy stories about my grandfather being murdered or something!


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

I have a lot in the works for this year, but the next two that I have coming out are a part of two series. One is a stand alone romance where all the books will have the same setting. They are short and steamy, just the way some of my readers like it. The other is the first in an epic dystopian trilogy called Desert Runners. It pulls from things like Mad Max and Divergent and adds in some unique twists all its own.


If you were a super hero, what would your name be? What costume would you wear?

It would be Baby Doll. That was a nickname I was given when I was in high school. I’d like to think I’d have something similar to a Sailor Scout and look that good, but that might be another nerdy pipe dream 😉 .


What literary character is most like you?

I used to think it was Bella form Twilight, though I am not that adverse to rain and snow or to shopping. Now that I have read the Celestra series by Addison Moore, I think I found a better candidate; Skyla. She is the main character, and I swear it’s like reading my own feelings and thoughts.


Do you have any scars? What are they from?

I have my lovely C-section scar.


What do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?

I have a LOT of strange dreams and nightmares, in particular. A lot of them revolve around being eaten by a monster or bitten by a snake. However, I have a few dreams that star one man, in particular, I’ve always wanted to talk to a dream expert about. It’s always set in modern times, yet the man’s chasing me, trying to find me to kill me. He looks like he just stepped out of the wild west. He had a handle bar mustache, a duster, and even the right kind of gun. I am always trying to escape him, and he always finds me.


Texas Roze


Title: Texas Roze

Author: Iris Sweetwater

Genre: Contemporary Romance (with some steamy scenes)


Book Blurb:

Roze had everything a 23-year-old girl should want; a great relationship with her zany mother, an amazing career where she got to meet some of the world’s top celebrities, a high-rise apartment in L.A., and a hot boyfriend. But Roze was bored with being the girl everyone was jealous of, and her opportunity to try her hand at being someone else came with the phone call from a lawyer telling her that her father had passed away; the father she had stopped visiting for some reason after she turned 12. He had left her his ranch in Texas to share ownership with her step brother who she hardly knew.

So, Roze did what any other woman would do in her predicament; pack up her life in the city and head to the ranch to find herself. Though, along the way, she may find a man…. or two, as well as the father she didn’t get the time to know.



“I don’t know a lot about farming or animals, I have no problem admitting to that, but I do know some about business. I think we’re running a bad business right now.” Roze glanced sideways at Jake who leaned back in his seat looking amused while covering his smiling mouth.


“What makes you say that?” Todd asked, sitting up in his seat to pay closer attention now. Even if it was anger that got his attention, at least he would listen now.


“It doesn’t matter if you think we’ll have the money to afford more workers because we have to have them in order for this place to operate at its optimum level. If we lose animals or crops because we only have three people, and one is inexperienced, then there’s no point in worrying about profit – we will go under. We’ll disgrace Dad’s name.” She felt more confident now, holding her head high.


Todd looked like he was mulling it over while scrutinizing her new-found voice as Jake slapped his hand on the table with a chuckle. “Damn, she schooled you,” Jake joked, nudging Todd in a teasing manner. Todd didn’t look like he was in the mood. In fact, he was dangerously quiet for far too long. So, it shocked Roze to the core when he finally responded.


“I’ll call back two of the old workers tomorrow and see if they’ll take a temporarily reduced salary. I’ll also give you access to Dad’s office in the morning so you can take a look at the business side of things. In the meantime, I need you to pick two things that you want to work on every day until you become an expert. I am not going to be the only owner that works this land.” Todd narrowed his eyes at her as if he were her father giving an order, and even though he wasn’t of his blood, she could see his mannerisms in Todd now.


“Thank you,” she told him, nodding and then turning on her heel. She still needed a shower, and she didn’t want to outwear her welcome when she just made a big, important demand of Todd.


Heading back into her room, she realized that perhaps a bath would do her more good after the long day of work and went about gathering a towel and a robe for afterward. Then, she turned on the water to fill the large garden tub that had replaced the claw foot that had been in there when she was younger. She was noticing updates all over the house that had been an attempt to modernize it since she got there, and though she appreciated the ability to relax in the bathtub, she kind of missed the traditional piece of plumbing.


Just as she turned off the water and sprinkled some bath salts into the pool of liquid, a light knock came at her door. Roze looked at it in curiosity for a moment before going to it, wondering what either of the two men in the house would want with her.


When she opened it, she found Jake standing there, looking sheepish for the first time since she had met him. He had since put a shirt on, and in his hand, he held a makeshift bouquet of yellow and purple wildflowers. He’d obviously picked them outside.


“Hi,” he said with a goofy grin on his face. Roze realized that he was nervous about something.


“Are those for me?” she asked, pointing at the wildflowers in his strong hands.


Jake nodded.


“I know they aren’t much to look at compared to what you can get at a city shop, but it’s what I had.” Jake leaned into the doorway, and Roze leaned over to smell the flowers. They smelled beautiful and brought back instant memories of her childhood.


“They’re perfect,” she told him. “Did you want to come in and talk or something? Hang out?”


“Nah, I don’t want to keep you. I just wanted to come by and see you before I went back home and tell you that you were pretty kick ass down there.” They both laughed at that, and Roze began to feel like she might have an ally there after all. “I also kind of wanted to know if you would let me take you on a date this weekend. You know, now that you’ll have some of the workload off you.”


Roze was taken aback for a moment, not expecting Jake to ask her on a formal date. There was nothing holding her back since she had pretty much broke it off with her boyfriend back in L.A., but she hadn’t expected something so formal so quickly. Though, she found that she wanted to say yes.


“Sure, though I have no idea where we might go in such a small town.”


“Oh, don’t you worry about that,” he told her with another of his signature winks.


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Author Biography:

Iris Sweetwater has been writing since she could hold a pencil. Starting with poetry, she was excited to be published in many anthologies at the age of 13. As an adult, she made a living for almost seven years as a ghostwriter, writing thousands of websites, romance novels , erotica, paranormal, and fantasy for small and large publishing companies. She has also taught public speaking and English to children ages 4-18.


Today, she is starting a writing career she hopes to be proud of and be successful with, actually getting credit for the work she does. She hopes to turn being an author into something that can support the family she loves so much and take it as far as possible. Regardless, she will continue to write and teach children because she is passionate about what she does.


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Even Dragons Get the Blues… Take These Broken Wings @LiviaQuinn #books #dragons #MFRWAuthor

Broken Wings EBOOK 06252016 copy


How do you handle stress?


Sheriff Jack Lang came to Destiny after hearing it was a normal “safe” small town – the perfect place to raise his teenage daughter after years of abuse by his crazy ex. Well, the “normal” ship sailed the day he met Tempest Pomeroy. The weeks that followed challenged him far beyond his years as a Navy pilot. He’d been both appalled and attracted to the quirky mail carrier with the rainbow shaded hair and unpredictable weather “talents”. The events of the last months had rolled over them like a tidal wave and just as he was getting used to the idea of being a human lawman in a town of supernaturals, his world had been turned upside down.




Five months ago, Sheriff Jack Lang would have sworn there were no such things as vampires, tempestaeries, djinn or dragons. That was before he met Tempest Pomeroy, trouble magnet and sexy redheaded mail lady. He’d fallen for her before he found out about her “special abilities”. But that wasn’t what turned his life upside down. No, to say Jack’s world had gone FUBAR was like saying Wolverine’s fingernails were long enough for a manicure.



Tempe had been afraid her supernatural nature would be a problem for Jack, who’d mistaken Destiny for a “Mayberry-like” small town, but that didn’t explain why he’d left her in favor of haunting the highest levees in the parish. She knew he’d received a shock, but what was it going to take to get him to return to his life and to her? A stubborn man is one thing; a grumpy, depressed twenty-ton dragon is a bit more of a challenge.




My stomach growled, again, and I caught a tantalizing whiff. What was it with this persistent aching hunger? Lately, I ate anything in my path, and I mean anything.


One thing had changed, however¾my sense of smell. I could smell a flea farting at fifty paces. I walked quickly around the building, tossing the coffee to the curb and marched like a laser beam – straight to the green dumpster at the rear of the parking lot.


The next thing I knew I was hip deep in trash, my new sniffer guiding me through an assortment of bags and boxes. My stomach thundered, but I was getting used to it, being hungry, I mean. I didn’t know what it took to fill up my dragon gut because so far it had never been full. And these pickings were slim.


What once would’ve turned Jack Lang’s stomach wasn’t bothering me, Jack Lang, Dragon Shifter, in the least. From here on, I’d be thinking of dumpsters as food banks.


I took in the chewed chicken wings, packets of catsup, smashed French-fries and hushpuppies, a bag of dredging flour and cornmeal. My mind lumped it together as energy. I squeezed the catsup onto my tongue. I couldn’t get enough, the containers and packaging were slowing me down. I popped leftover bones and followed them with handfuls of flour. Then I spotted a bucket of old grease and food sitting by the door to the dumpster. Yum!


As I reached for the handle a pair of familiar work boots and tanned legs entered my field of vision. “Jack, what are you doing in that dumpster?”


Tempe’s eyes widened when she saw my face, my hand on the handle of the bucket. I followed her gaze to the flour covering my shirt, pants and boots. I’d been single-mindedly scavenging and hadn’t had a clue that my uniform was caked in white crud, probably my face as well.


“Oh, this?” I couldn’t stop… I was on a binge. I reached for the bucket of slop, which had probably been awaiting some pig farmer, and upended it like a Super Duper 90 drink from Gatorz Grub.


While I guzzled the rich fatty mix of lard and leftovers I watched Tempe’s face turn green and she grimaced. “That is so gross!”


I stopped long enough to belch. “Hold that thought.” I finished off the bucket, let out an audible sigh of satisfaction, wiped my hands on my pants and tossed her my keys. “Do me a favor, will ya? Grab one of the duffels from my trunk.”


Her face said I needed more than just a clothing change. Well, it is what it is. I realized I was approaching midday with a different attitude, although it probably wasn’t quite the attitude Tempe had been looking for. When she returned, I pulled myself away from my delicious snack—I could always slip back tonight after they’d restocked my dumpster—they were open twenty-four hours.


I burped and cut a big gust, as we Navy pilots say. Tempe stopped a couple feet away pinching her nose shut. “Zeuus, Jack! Uu bight deed to thee a twagon toctor.” She extended the duffel to me with one finger of her other hand, as if she was afraid of getting cooties. I stripped off my shirt and pants and tugged on the clean clothes.


“Where did you come from?” I asked.


“I was on my way to Harmony and spotted your cruiser. I was just curi¾ Her voice trailed off.


“You were curious if I’d gone back to work like I said I would. You don’t have to worry, Tempe, darling.” I winced at my sarcastic tone. There was going to be hell to pay for treating the women I loved like this, but right now… “I stopped for coffee but after I meet with the ME, and have lunch with my mom, I plan to find Jordie wherever she is and let her flay my scales off. Then I have a case to solve.”


She didn’t miss that I hadn’t mentioned us. Things were not kosher in Denmark, or whatever that saying was, but I was making some baby steps toward taking my old life back. That was good, right?

“What’s up with the dumpster diving?”


I adjusted my gun belt on my hip and shrugged, “I was hungry.”


“Well, sorry I interrupted. Have you talked to Conor about this…um… hunger problem?” Tempe asked.


“Nope.” I spotted two nearly whole turkey legs lying on top of a trash bag and reached in snagging them—with two claws that shot out of my fingertips! “Shit.”


“What is it?” Tempe jumped forward, alarmed.


I held up my hand to show Tempe the drumsticks speared on a pair of five-inch claws. “How am I supposed to investigate when… claws pop out of my hands when I least expect it?”


“Um, well…” her lips twisted in a grimace. She shrugged.


“Right.” I took two chomps on the grimy, rotten legs then tossed them over my shoulder into the dumpster as I walked away, staring as the claws receded when they weren’t needed anymore. Which actually kind of rocked.



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What readers are saying…


“Destiny is like a mini-vacation from the real world.”


“My new favorite series” “Book 5 is out! quirky characters, shifters and magic. What else could you want?”


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About the Author:

Livia Quinn is a DC native who lives by the bayou in Louisiana. She believes in the power of love. To see excerpts from all her books visit



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Meet Eldon Farrell and the First Book in His Series #amreading #books #TuesdayBookBlog



We’ve met some fascinating indie authors lately and ironically, they’re Canadian. One of these talented authors is Eldon Farrell. We got to chatting and come to find out, he’s just published his third medical mystery in his series. Mrs. N corralled him into an author interview and he agreed. Please give a warm welcome to Eldon and be sure to check out book 1 (Stillness). Mrs. N has just started reading it and it’s well-written, captivating … you get the point. Take it away, Eldon:


What book do you wish you could have written?

A number of years ago now I came across a novel by Robert Liparulo called Germ.  The blurb absolutely blew my mind!  There was no way I could not read the book.  His concept of a biologically engineered strain of Ebola that targets specific individual’s DNA was so original and intriguing that I wished it had been mine.  So for being entirely original—Germ is the novel I wish I could’ve written.


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

Patrick Redmond is my favourite author and his books have inspired me greatly.  His talent is unsurpassed in my humble opinion and I continue to be amazed that more people don’t know about this author.  Pick any one of his books and you won’t be disappointed if you’re a fan of psychological suspense.  He could write about paint drying and have you on the edge of your seat—I swear!


The late great Michael Crichton is another inspiration of mine.  The way he could bend genres is something I greatly admire.  So often these days you find authors who only write one type of fiction; they never seem to leave that comfort zone.  Crichton wrote thrillers, sci-fi, historical fiction, you name it.  One of the reasons he is so sorely missed by his legions of fans.


What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…be humble.  Too much confidence in your abilities will hinder your growth as a writer.  When that happens…you’ll find yourself going nowhere fast.  Not everything you write is the greatest thing ever.  If you can learn to see your words as others will see them you’ll be amazed by how quickly you improve.


And beyond that piece of advice, every aspiring author should do themselves a favour and prepare to hear and read negative things being said about their work.  It’s not if as much as when—it will happen.  If you want to prosper in this line of work you have to take criticism.  I don’t know how many talented authors I’ve known who are your best friend until you criticize their work and then you’re dead to them.  It’s a shame really because again, if you can’t admit to yourself that you need improvement you’ll never improve.


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 make it a habit to read my reviews.  If a reader of my work has taken the time to post their thoughts about it, then I feel it’s the least I can do.  Like all aspiring authors, I crave that feedback and long for more reviews.  It’s also just neat to think about someone a world away reading your words and being moved enough to write about them.


That said though, I do not respond to reviews whether they are good or bad.  Responding is tricky; no matter what you say it could be taken the wrong way because tone and inflection do not carry across the internet.  While I appreciate all the reviews I get, it’s just safer to remain silent on them.


The best advice I have for dealing with bad reviews would be to learn from them.  The first 3 star review I received was a bitter pill to swallow.  I could no longer say that all my reviews were positive.  But I learned about a grammatical blind spot I had from that review and have since been able to correct the book and improve as a writer.  I owe them a debt of gratitude.  Everybody is going to get bad reviews no matter how good the book is; just accentuate the positive and keep moving forward.


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

An easy question.  I love writing.  There is nothing more challenging or exciting than to be faced with the blank page and find a way to fill it up with a story that previously only existed in your head.  It’s awesome!  But as much as I love the writing I detest the marketing.  I don’t think I’m alone in that either.  So many writers struggle with marketing their books, myself included.  It’s a long road to visibility in this crowded marketplace and if I could avoid that part of the process I would!


Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)

Stillness is my first published novel.  Like so many others though, it’s not my first novel.  My first novel is securely buried on my backup drive where it shall never see the light of day.  Too many mistakes made there to fix but many lessons learned that enabled me to grow as a writer and complete Stillness.


And I’m sure you’ve noticed that Stillness is Book One of Descent, so yes, it’s not my only book.  Taken and Realm of Shadows, books two and three, are available now.  Each book stands on its own as a complete novel but the long story connects them all together in a complete narrative.


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

I’m so glad you asked that!  The project that I’m currently working on is a departure from what I’ve previously written.  Singularity is a dystopian future novel with an urban fantasy twist.  I’ve never had so much fun writing a novel and I really think readers will enjoy it.  In brief, it’s essentially about a time of great upheaval.  Through each character the struggle for and against change is then explored.  With the fantasy elements woven in I call it the comic book all grown up!


Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

I rarely drink and I have never smoked.  If I had a vice I would say it is comic books.  I have a massive collection of graphic novels that I love reading.  They keep me young!


What do you want your tombstone to say?

I was hoping for a pyramid.


If you had a superpower, what would it be?

This question is right up my alley.  If I had only one superpower it would have to be super speed.  To be able to zoom around like the Flash—that would never get old!!


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

I’m tempted to say Bora Bora just because it looks so relaxing but the adventurous side of me would lean toward Antarctica.  To stand at the bottom of the world in a place where few ever tread would be awe inspiring.  And cold!!


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

Retire! Ha!  No, seriously I’m too young for that.  I’d like to travel—to see the world with my beautiful wife beside me.  I’d like to take that quintessential family road trip with my wife and son that we all remember taking with our parents when we were young.  More specifically I would love to attend the San Diego Comic Con just once in my life—to stand at the summit of comicdom.


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

I was a quiet child, very introverted.  I remember spending many hours writing short stories back then—my introduction to fiction writing before I graduated to novels at the tail end of high school.


As a child of the 80s I really feel like I grew up in the golden age of toys.  We had it all from Transformers and G.I. Joe to Masters of the Universe and the just burgeoning home video game systems.  Of all the toys though my personal favourite remained Masters of the Universe.  Although if I watch the cartoon today I really have to wonder what I was thinking lol.  The innocence of childhood I guess; all I know is that toy line really expanded my imagination.




Title: Stillness

Author: Eldon Farrell

Genre: Medical Mystery / Thriller


Book Blurb:

Some secrets won’t stay buried…

When people start to succumb to a virulent strain of plague in the seemingly idyllic hamlet of Stillness, the CDC is called in to investigate. Pulled from her training with the Epidemic Intelligence Service, Dr. Lynne Bosworth is tapped to head the investigation.

Many questions surround the outbreak, not the least of which is how did plague find its way to the heartland of America? Determined to find the answers and her own way out of the long shadow cast by her father, Lynne embarks for Iowa. Unable to isolate an index case of bubonic plague, patient zero is traced to Nikolai Markov; an old Russian bio warfare scientist.

Rumors of a bioterror attack are rampant.

Under examination, the bacteria present Lynne with many anomalies but few answers. The antibiotic resistance noted in the field is absent in the lab, while a synthetic gene is found that seemingly has no purpose. For her superiors it’s enough to deem the outbreak a biological attack, a conclusion that Lynne does not share. For her, something about the whole incident remains…elusive.

In search of evidence to either prove or disprove the bioterror claim, she crosses paths with FBI Special Agent Caleb Fine. Together, they come to believe that something other than a biological attack is going on in Stillness, and that the answer to what may lie in solving the fifteen-year-old murders of Bobby and Maggie Sullivan.

As the body count rises and the pressure mounts, they delve deeper into the shadowy past of this quiet town; in the process exposing secrets long thought forgotten until finally uncovering the shocking truth behind the cause of the outbreak.



With a file in his left-hand Walt Anjou waddles into the tiny interrogation room and closes the door behind him without raising his eyes from the file.


Seated across the battered wooden table—with his right wrist shackled to said table—William Sullivan shows no sign of acknowledging the sheriff’s entrance.


Scraping the wooden chair along the floor, Walt tosses the file on the table and lowers his hulking frame into the chair.  Turning his left hand over he begins to examine his fingernails while completely ignoring his prisoner.


It’s a psychological tactic that’s supposed to frustrate the captive party.


Finally raising his eyes to look at Will, Walt bristles upon seeing that the tactic didn’t work.  Will Sullivan is still staring off into space.


“My boys tell me that aside from waiving your right to counsel, you’ve said nary a word since they found you hunched in an open grave.”  Pausing for effect Walt asks, “Your parents grave right?”


No answer.


“Yeah,” Walt calmly continues “Your parents’ grave.  Bobby and Maggie Sullivan—how proud they must be of you, don’t you think so?”


Only an experienced interrogator would notice it, but Walt is certain that he saw those distant eyes flinch just a little.  Smiling he continues.


“Who helped you dig up their grave?”


No answer.


“Oh come on,” Walt motions toward him saying, “I’m looking at you and I know that you didn’t move six feet of earth by yourself.  So who helped you?”  Leaning across the table Walt nods his head as he asks, “The same help that took their remains?”


Slowly Will turns his head and looks down at the table—at the file resting on it.


“You want to know what’s in here.”  Walt picks up the file continuing in a self-satisfied tone “This is what we in the law enforcement business like to call a trail of evidence—a pretty impressive one too, if I do say so myself.  Care to guess where the trail leads?”


No answer.


“You know exactly where it leads, straight to you.  I got to say, you are one persistent bastard Sullivan.  I mean I have here in my hands requests from you written to the M.E.’s office, several councilors, the mayor’s office, Christ you even wrote to the FBI crying for the case to be reopened.  You had to know that your parents’ case was never a federal matter, but you’re just that persistent.


“No matter how many times your request for their grave to be exhumed was denied, you just wouldn’t go away.”


Leaning back in his chair Walt closes the file and asks, “Do you see where I’m going with this?  We have a paper trail a mile long connecting you to this act not even mentioning the little fact that you were found in their empty grave.  So why don’t you tell me that I’m wrong?”


Keeping his eyes down Will offers no answer.


“What were you doing in their grave Sullivan?  Where are their remains?  What did you do with them?”


Looking up momentarily, Will shrugs his shoulders slightly before the vacant stare reclaims him.


Lowering his rough voice to just above a whisper, Walt asks menacingly “You think this is a game Sullivan?  Take a good look around you, at where you are.  You don’t see any two-way mirrors or windows in this room do you?


“I’ll tell you what else you don’t see.  You don’t see any cameras do you?  It’s just you and I in here and I suggest you start talking before I lose my patience with this bullshit silent act.  This isn’t some fucking movie where I actually give a shit about your goddamn rights.  If you really want to do this the hard way,” a sinister grin creases his plump face as he says, “Then by all means.”


No answer.


“Fine,” Walt snorts derisively as he stands up and opens the door behind him.  “Henson!  Get this lump out of my sight!”


Stepping back into the room away from the door Walt moves to within inches of Will’s face.  “You’re going to wish for two things when I get through with you Sullivan.  You’re going to wish that you had cooperated with me when you had the chance because now I’m going to dig up every little thing I can pin on you.


“You better hope there are no nasty secrets waiting to climb out of your closets because if there are…I’ll find them!”


Walking away Walt stops at the doorway and says over his shoulder “And the second thing…you’re going to wish you hadn’t waived your right to a lawyer.  Put him in isolation Henson—he’s got nothing to say anyway.”



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Author Biography:

Eldon Farrell was born in Guelph, Ontario, growing up just down the road in Brantford. A designated professional accountant, he’s a graduate of both Fanshawe College and Laurentian University. He still resides in South Western Ontario together with his lovely wife Emily and their young son Connor. An avid reader and writer of suspense fiction, he is a lover of language and an unapologetic fan of DC Comics. Stillness is his first published piece of fiction.


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Meet Award-Winning Author @ChristineBened5 + Her #Thriller! #IARTG #IAN1 #books

Christine Benedict

It’s out great pleasure to welcome Award-Winning Author Christine Benedict to the POTL Blog. We first met Christine when she contacted us about a book review. MRS N is a huge thriller fan so she read Anonymous. She loved it so much that MR N had to read it also. We begged and pleaded with Christine to sit down with us for an author interview and after many months, she agreed. Please give Christine Benedict a warm welcome to the POTL Blog. Take it away, Christine:


Do you write naked?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stood naked, dripping wet from a shower, writing as fast as my pen will go. What is it about taking a shower that gives the creative mind a nudge. It’s not a widely-known fact but our best ideas come in the shower. Google it. You’ll be amazed.

Do you have any scars? What are they from?

I have this scar on my forearm an inch and a half long in the shape of lips. I don’t remember how old I was, maybe four or five, when we lived with Grandma Wilson who watched us while my mother worked. I don’t know why it such a big deal to get the mail either, but when I saw the mailman that day pull off Route 82, I yelled, “I’ll get the mail!”  Me in my summer clothes, flip-flops and all, I opened the wooden front door.

My older sister, who would never let me ‘one-up’ her, yelled back, “No I will!” She dodged past me and flung the screen door open. My feet in motion, my arm outstretched, she slammed the storm door shut. I wonder to this day how she couldn’t have done it on purpose. My hand and arm broke all that glass, the only parts of me to make it outside.  I stood there bleeding, Grandma’s English bulldog, Beauty, licking up the blood and the glass on the floor. Grandma kept hitting that dog with a broom, yelling, “Git!” all the while, afraid it would cut its mouth.

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

I think Eudora Welty could inspire any writer as she certainly has for me. It’s little wonder why universities everywhere bring attention to Eudora and her stories. ‘Death of a Traveling Salesman,’ for example, still gives me goosebumps, something I aspire to give my readers.

There are so many other authors who inspire me, Jodi  Picoult, author of The Storyteller, for her depiction of the human condition during the holocaust.  Amy Tan, author of The Valley of Amazement, for her expression of detail, taking you to China at the rise of World War II. And most importantly Sarah Willis, author of Things That Stay; I was fortunate enough to take part in her writing workshops sponsored by Community Partnership for Arts and Culture – Talk about inspiration.

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

I’d like to tell aspiring authors to read read read. Spread out to other genres, not just the one you write. Delve into cultures around the world through their stories. Open your mind to the new and abstract.

There’s so much more you can learn about the crafting a story, no matter what your education level.  Seek out writing workshops in your area sponsored by universities and art counsels. Dr. Neal Chandler lead the fiction workshop at Cleveland State University where I had the privilege of learning above the grade.  I even had the chance to sit in on a few sessions with Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife, at a workshop sponsored by The Ohio Arts Counsel. A one of a kind experience.


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

It’s been said that I’ve always had a bubbly personality, even as a kid in the 1950s. I don’t know how that could have happened seeing that I lived in an abusive home. Except by the grace of God. I was friendly to everyone, the kind of kid who would gladly sit in a stranger’s lap just because he was nice to me.

I don’t remember a favorite toy, but I do remember when we moved to the country we had a huge trailer that sat empty in a grove of willow trees. The trailer had two wheels in the center and was closed at both ends, the perfect seesaw for 4 little kids.  Together, I, my sister and the two neighbor boys climbed inside the trailer and ran to one end, the metal clanging under our bare feet. It came down so hard the jolt made us jump involuntarily which made up laugh hysterically. We did it over and over again, until someone bit their tongue.

This is the farmhouse that inspired my story. I lived there 36 years and the neighbors still say it’s haunted. – Christine Benedict

Title: Anonymous

Author: Christine Benedict

Genre: Thriller Suspense

Publisher: Loconeal Publishing

Book Blurb:

Debra Hamilton faces the fear of inheriting her mother’s insanity when her husband insists on moving into a fixer-upper farmhouse that’s a hundred years old, not an easy place for Debra to live, what with its creaks and bangs, and strange shadows, a house that even scares the neighbors. Debra befriends Julie, and learns that Julie has a stalker who writes her anonymous letters about the sexual fantasies he sees with her.

The story was inspired by the author’s own 100-year-old farmhouse where the neighbor still say it’s haunted. All the letters in the novel are letters from the man who stalked the author. He remains anonymous to this day.



Having to pee, Debra unzipped her jeans in the bathroom before remembering that Greg had turned off the water.

“Geez-oh-Pete.” At this point the gas station was too far. She traipsed down the corridor that led to the basement. A quick flip-of-the-switch was all she wanted, just enough water to flush. The stairwell was dark and steep; the light-bulb’s pull-chain at the bottom. She clicked on the flashlight from Greg’s toolbox, and holding her pants up, cautiously stepped down the narrow stairs. Every inch she eked past spider webs meshed in between the cracks of hand-hewn quarry-stone walls. She stopped at the bottom step where she could finally reach the light, not wanting to take the last step onto the broken cement, muddied from the last rain. It smelled like the bottom of a creek bed, like earthworms and sludge. Spider webs were draped from the ceiling to the walls, and hung like shelves in every corner. The quarry-stone walls dating back to the 1800s were pitted blocks of sandstone—every bit her idea of a dungeon. From where she stood, Debra scanned the walls, trying to see the water valve. But she didn’t know where to look. A wolf spider the size of a quarter sat very still at the bottom step, then scurried across the floor. She shuddered right down to the bone. Another spider sat like a brooch on a jacket that Greg had hung on a hook. And in that moment before the light flickered off when all she could hear was her own heart, she swore that something was crawling up her leg. She let out a piercing yell, kicking wildly. She kicked off her shoes. She kicked off her jeans and dashed up the stairs in her panties, wanting to nail the door shut right then and there. At the top of the steps she eyed a yard stick that she’d used to stir paint, and picked it up. Then she made a mad dash to the basement and flogged her jeans to death right there in the sludge. Holding them at arm’s length, she brought them upstairs and looked them over. She begrudgingly pulled them on, and ran outside to the back field.

The sun shining off the white of her derrière, she squatted behind a briar bush where no one could see.

At least that’s what she thought.

Buy Links:


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Author Biography:

Christine studied creative writing at Baldwin Wallace University and Cleveland State University. She has had the privilege of working with authors Karen Joy Fowler, Paula McLain, and Sarah Willis.

Her debut novel Anonymous had earned:

  • 2015 Clue Award (Chanticleer Reviews) Winner (1st place)
  • 2016 Wishing Shelves Bronze Book Award Winner
  • 2015 Eric Hoffer Book Award Winner
  • 2015 First Horizon Book Award Nominee
  • 2015 IAN book of The Year Nominee
  • 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Award Nominee

Her short story A Normal Life, a finalist for Perigee Publication for the Arts, is the fictional rendering of the visit to the mental ward where her mother had been undergoing shock treatment therapy in the 1980s, which is also a chapter in Anonymous.

Christine’s short stories, taken from her working novel The Girl in the Willows, have also been finalists for The Fish Short Story Prize.


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Author @denaehaggerty Takes on the Difficult Subject of Sexual Assault in Her New Release #books



Why in the world would I take on the difficult subject of sexual assault?


My book plots are often the result of a great (I hope!) opening idea, which my muse forces into my consciousness – usually at 4 a.m. She’s a kickass muse, but she can also be a bit bitchy. For example, with Life Discarded I had a very vague idea of a book about a woman who threw her life away. And then I had a vision of a woman walking away from an explosion erupting behind her (because cool heroes never look back at explosions). I worked the entire book out from that premise. Why an explosion? What could be so terrible that someone would not only walk away from her life but literally burn all her bridges in the process?


Self-Serve Murder started the same way. My muse sent me a vision – no doubt at 3 a.m. – of a woman waking up naked with a dead man in her bed having absolutely no clue how she got there and who in the world the man was. But where to go from there?


Due to a bizarre set of circumstances, I found myself wandering around the US for a few weeks in June 2016. I was supposed to be living in Istanbul with my husband at the time. Instead I was a vagabond being bombarded with news stories concerning the sentencing for a brutal rape case (People v. Turner). A man was convicted of three felony counts of sexual assault but received a mere six-month jail sentence. He only served three months. Even now, several months after the case first hit the news, I can barely read the news accounts without going into a fit of rage.


I don’t even remember making the conscious decision that the murder in Self-Serve Murder would somehow be related to rapes on college campuses. Between the opening scene implanted in my head and the continuous news coverage of the Turner case, ideas just poured out of me. But now I had a big – no, huge – problem. How do I balance the sensitivity involved with sexual assault while maintaining the light humor of my Death by Cupcake series?


Self-Serve Murder remains, despite the background theme of college rapes, a murder mystery and I’ve never had a problem with humor and death before. In fact, I was shocked when I was asked how I could combine humor with murder after writing my first murder mystery, Murder, Mystery & Dating Mayhem. I’m a big believer that jokes and smiles can be seamlessly combined with death. Death is, after all, just a part of life. This is perhaps the result of my (dare I say weird?) family who finds it normal to drink unseemly amounts of beer after a funeral and sometimes during the visitation itself while telling inappropriate jokes about the deceased until late in the night (or the hotel tells us to shut it down, whichever occurs first).


So, yeah, I think murder can be funny. Just ask anyone who is addicted to BBC crime series that are filled with dry humor and situations so bizarre you’ll start to wonder about those English people. But rape? There’s absolutely, positively nothing funny about this crime of extreme violence. How in the world do I handle this sensitive topic without demeaning the victims of this crime? Maybe I shouldn’t write this novel after all, I thought. I had always planned to make the Death by Cupcake series three books with the final book centered around the bakery worker, Kristie. She doesn’t need to wake up naked with a blank in her memory. I can think of something else.


Except I refused. That’s right. I refused. Between living in a country where women are considered second class citizens (trust me, when men universally refuse to shake your hand or even touch you, you feel like there is something wrong with you for having a uterus), watching news reports of the Turner case, and the extremely volatile US presidential election in which sexism became a central theme, I was convinced that rape – now more than ever – is a topic of extreme importance. It needs to be discussed – no matter how uncomfortable that is.


And so I trudged on. I researched rape on colleges and the use of the date rape drug. I tried to intersperse facts and figures throughout the novel. Luckily, Callie, one of my heroines and owner of Callie’s Cakes, is a complete nerd who likes to drop trivia whenever she’s nervous or stressed. Therefore, I was able to ‘educate’ my readers without boring them to tears. At least, I hope that’s what happened. Because knowledge is power and, although Self-Serve Murder is a fictional story, the ability to provide even a few readers with important information regarding sexual assault is all I can hope for. And that’s why I decided that I could take on the difficult subject of rape.




Book title: Self-Serve Murder

Book Series: Death by Cupcake, Book 3 – can standalone

Genre: Cozy Mystery, Humor

Published: December, 2016



Book 3 in the Death by Cupcake series. Can be read as a standalone.


Kristie is kind with a capital K, so it’s quite the surprise when she wakes up next to a dead man with no recollection of the previous night. Even worse? She’s naked. Kristie may be a sweetheart out to save the world, but sticking her nose into an investigation of rapes across campus makes her the target of a murderer. Before she knows it, Kristie is smack dab in the middle of a murder investigation with her colleagues Callie and Anna. If that’s not enough to drive a sane person up the wall, a friend has decided he’s going to keep her safe whether she wants him to or not. And, oh yeah, he’s her man and that’s that.


Come join us at Callie’s Cakes, where murder investigations are on the menu. You are most welcome, but you may need to serve yourself as our barista Kristie is busy trying to save the world.


Warning: Although there are plenty of moments that will make you shake your head and laugh at the antics of the ladies of Callie’s Cakes, the subject matter – rape on college campuses – is very real and somewhat darker than your usual cozy mystery.



I’m wiping down the counters when I get ambushed by Callie and Anna. Callie grabs my arm and together with Anna she pushes me into the corner furthest from the students. “What in the world of coffee beans are you guys up to now?” I cross my arms over my chest to make it perfectly clear that I’m not okay with whatever cockamamie scheme they’ve cooked up now.


Anna looks at me and smiles in an obvious but unsuccessful attempt to look innocent. “It’s just that we think it’s time we see the Youth Center where you spend all your time.”


Yeah, right. I roll my eyes at her. “You don’t really expect me to believe that you want to see the Youth Center to check out my life’s work.”


Callie bobs her head. “We’ve been meaning to go down there for ages.”


“Yeah,” Anna jumps in. “Logan always makes it sound like the first circle of hell.”


I raise an eyebrow at the troublemaking pixie. Of course, she would want to jump into the first circle of hell. “Most people try to avoid Dante’s Inferno.” I don’t know why I bother trying to dissuade her. She obviously has no fear of things ‘normal’ people avoid like gangs and violence and such. She even admits to starting to fall for Logan before she realized he was an undercover cop.


“We just need to make sure we can eliminate anyone from the Youth Center as possible suspects. You know – up close and personally – then we need to find this rapist before he strikes again. The dead guy in your bed was some kind of warning. It’s time to get to the bottom of this.” Callie makes an impassioned speech. I look down but, to my surprise, no soap box has magically appeared under her feet.


Unfortunately, Callie is right – as usual. The rapist needs to be found. And this whole thing just got personal. I might have backed off before Friday night since I wasn’t making any progress anyway and my whole knowledge of the rapes was based on rumors. But now that I’ve been roofied and found out about the ten other girls who weren’t as lucky as me? No way I’m bowing out of this investigation now.


“I thought you guys promised not to go to the Youth Center.” I make one last ditch effort to keep Callie and Anna safely away from this investigation.


“I promised to not go running around. I will definitely not be doing any running.” Anna shakes her head and points at her feet. As if those high-heeled boots would ever stop her from running head-on into turmoil.


Callie shrugs. “I never actually said the words ‘I promise’. There’s definitely some kind of loophole there.”


“Fine!” I throw my hands in the air in defeat. “We’ll head over in my car after the bakery closes this afternoon.”


The dynamic duo immediately jumps up and down before rushing back into the kitchen giggling. And I’m the young one?



Buy Links:





Barnes and Noble:





Author Biography:

I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although I did manage, every once in a while, to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I decided to follow the husband to Istanbul for a few years where I managed to churn out book after book. But ten years was too many to stay away from ‘home’. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.



Author links:















Amazon Author Page:









Meet Ben Jackson and his Funny #Kidlit Book #TuesdayBookBlog @AuthorsBen_Sam



As many of you know, we get a chance to meet authors from all walks of life and in many genres. Fellow Author Carole P. Roman introduced me to Ben and Sam a few weeks ago and I’m so glad she did. Ben and Sam are a husband-wife writing/publishing team (love that) who have the funniest children’s book series I’ve read in years. I asked Ben to sit down with me for an interview. He agreed and he sure to check out their new release, The Day My Fart Followed Me To Hockey. Take it away, Ben:


  1. What is your writing process?

My writing process is pretty unorganized! I came from an average background without much formal schooling. I like to think of an idea and then just start writing and see where it takes me.


  1. Do you have any odd writing habits?

I love watching Netflix or movies! I know a lot of writers probably like to relax somewhere quiet without any distraction, but I think that would drive me nuts. I do like to look out of my window and see the beach while I write.


  1. What book do you wish you could have written?

A popular one! Or twenty ha ha.


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

Wilbur Smith, Leon Uris, and Bernard Cornwall. One author that has personally helped me out and inspired me to really strive to push my books is Carole P. Roman.


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

I haven’t really thought of this one. I’d like Selena Gomez to play the lead female roll, and probably Brad Pitt. He plays a gritty hero pretty well.


  1. How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

I like to choose names of people I know. Whenever I write for other authors I always try to slip in the names of my friends and family.


  1. What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

Hmm, my kids book which I wrote with my wife, Sam Lawrence, The Day My Fart Followed Me To Hockey has been my most successful book so far.


  1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Hopefully still writing, living off my books royalties and laying on a tropical beach with my wife.


  1. Have you always liked to write?

Yes, and I’ve always loved to read since I was very young.


  1. What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Just keep writing and for as long as you spend writing, spend an equal amount of time marketing.


  1. If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?

Well, my books aren’t paying all the bills. By day I’m a welder that specializes in aluminum welding.


  1. Are you a plotter or a pantster?

No idea!


  1. 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 read them all. I would love to respond to them all, but I have only ever responded to ones which were in regards to technical or printing problems. I take what I can from reviews, take a deep breath and move on.


  1. What is your best marketing tip?

Market, market, promote, beg, and market some more.


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

Marketing! Proofreading and beta reading lol.


  1. Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

There’s lots. I like to write about things which I have experience in and things that I’m interested in. I have turned down a lot of offers to write romance books as I just don’t know if I could swing it.


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

Just in front of my TV. I can look out the window or watch Netflix.


  1. Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?

Love and Racy for sure.


  1. Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)

I have written several non-fiction books, a fiction book and several children’s books.


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

My next children’s book, and thinking of another project.


And now for something more personal about Ben…


  1. Do you write naked?

Umm, no. That would be horrifying for everybody.


  1. What is your biggest failure?

Not winning the lotto.


  1. What is the biggest fib you’ve ever told?

Well, it wouldn’t be good if I let the truth slip out now!


  1. Have you ever been in trouble with the law?

Only once, it wasn’t much fun. I was young and silly.


  1. Have you ever gotten into a fight?

Yep. Not much fun there either.


  1. Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

I like bourbon whiskey and cola. Used to smoke, but now I use a vaporizer instead.


  1. What is your biggest fear?

Spiders, and not a huge fan of confined spaces.


  1. What do you want your tombstone to say?

Buy my book!


  1. If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I don’t know. Probably just the same as Captain America, Deadpool or Thor.


  1. If you were a super hero, what would your name be? What costume would you wear?

I like anti-heroes. Probably something similar to Deadpool.


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

Europe. Asia.


  1. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

Eagle. For sure a massive eagle like the Sea Eagle so that I could just cruise around all day.


  1. Do you have any scars? What are they from?

Lots! Too many to list, stiches in my arm from a fall, staples in my head from a fight, and about a hundred scars from burns, scratches and cuts while working with power tools.


  1. What do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?

I have recurring nightmares that have been with me for as long as I remember. They always end up the same and I can almost workout I’m in a dream while I’m sleeping.




Title – The Day My Fart Followed Me To Hockey

Authors – Ben Jackson and Sam Lawrence

Category – Children’s Book, Hockey

Publisher – Indie Publishing Group –


Book Blurb –

Timmy and his best friend the Fart are back again!


If you and your child love to read together, then you are going to love reading along with Timmy and his Fart as they play hockey together!


The Day My Fart Followed Me To Hockey is a beautifully illustrated journey of Timmy and his best friend the Little Fart as they attend Timmy’s first hockey tryouts. Chaos and laughter ensue as the Fart attempts to help out his best friend the only way he knows how.


If you enjoy reading funny books with beautiful illustrations and love having your child read along with you, then make sure you grab The Day My Fart Followed Me To Hockey.


Discover and giggle along with Timmy and his best friend on their exciting day at the hockey arena!


Buy Link –


Author Biography –

Ben lives in Tasmania, Australia. While working during the week as a Boiler Maker/Welder, specializing in Aluminum Welding, he also writes of a night as a Freelance Writer and Author.


Ben is in a Long Distance Relationship with his wife Sam, who lives in Canada, she works as a full-time formatting professional, publisher, and author.


Be sure to check out all of his books, there is definitely something there for everyone!


As Indie Authors, we rely on our valuable customers to write a review, if you could spare a minute to leave a review of one of our books, we would greatly appreciate it.


He has numerous books in progress so stay tuned for information on those by following this page, connecting with him on Facebook or Goodreads.


Remember, if you enjoyed one of his books, leave a review!





Author Central




We’re Thrilled to Introduce @Suzy_Henderson and her #historicalfiction novel #ASMSG

We’re so excited to have historical novelist, Suzy Henderson, here on the POTL Blog today. Her debut novel, The Beauty Shop, sounds fantastic and we’re deciding which of us gets to read it first. Suzy agreed to sit down for an interview and we’re proud to introduce her. Take it away, Suzy:


  1. Are you a plotter or a pantster?

In the beginning, I was a pantster, but I soon realised it was impossible to work that way and to expect to be able to draft a complete historical novel. The research for my debut was huge and took a considerable amount of time – I’m talking many months. So, I began writing this as a pantster which, looking back now was ridiculous. When I ran out of steam, I was left frustrated. I knew what I wanted to say, but I didn’t know how to say it. That was when I relented and began to plan. The structure worked very well, eradicated the writer’s block while bringing in a flood of fresh ideas. It helped me complete the novel and revise it – several times in truth. I’ve since written a contemporary romance and decided once more to be a panster, only to stop and plan half-way through. So, a plotter I am.


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

Marketing my book is my least favourite part. I think that once I have the paperback format, I’ll enjoy arranging book signings and talking to the public about the book. That’s something I know I’ll love, but it’s the ‘behind-the-scenes’ work I dislike. Well, the problem is that it takes away your writing time which is so precious. Writing the next book is vital, and so I think it’s essential to strike the right balance.


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

Well, I’m staying with the WW2 period for the time being, and I have a novel which is almost complete. I can’t say too much about it yet, but there is an SOE theme with a slight difference, and it’s mainly set in France.


  1. What is your writing process?

I’m not sure I have much of a process as such. I get up and write, or I don’t write – it all depends on the day and the work revolving around marketing the recent book. I love writing early morning and late in the evening when the house is quiet and calm, and my writing flows so much easier. I do try to write every day, even if it’s simply to jot down random thoughts – it doesn’t have to be about making a certain word count each day, not to me. I write verses too, anything goes.


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

Hilary Mantel gave me the courage to be a writer. Not only do I love her writing style and her books, but her beautiful memoir, Giving up The Ghost, is a frank account of her early life and her journey into writing. In it, she talks about how she always knew she could write well, but she had never written fiction, and so she had to learn. Well, that was my turning point. I suddenly thought if she can do it then so can I. Also, Pat Barker inspired me with her Regeneration Trilogy, novels that were so relevant to my writing.


  1. If you had a superpower, what would it be?

Without any hesitation, I’d love to be able to go back in time – and you can guess where I’d go. That would be the ultimate journey, although I may just be tempted to remain lost in the past.


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

France, especially the Pyrenees. It’s beautiful and intriguing, and I’d love to see the museum for the Maquis and the various memorials. The area is steeped in history and is remarkable.


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

At the top of that list is my ride in a B-17 Flying Fortress. For that, I need to make a trip to America as it’s not possible here in the UK. I can’t wait, and I just know I’ll be in tears – happy and sad. Next, I’d love to fly in a Lancaster Bomber – again, the only place I can do this is in Canada. I recently decided I’d also love to take some flying lessons. I’ve always been too nervous in the past, but I think I’m growing bolder as I grow older! That would be so great.


  1. What secret talents do you have?

Music has always been a passion ever since I was a child and I play the flute.


  1. Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?

I don’t smoke and, rather bizarrely, I’m sensitive to alcohol, so I no longer drink. My vice is snacks – sugar ultimately and that’s pretty bad when you’re a writer, and you sit for long periods. So, I’ve banished most of the bad treats, and I drink a lot of water. So far so good and no cravings after six weeks.




Title: The Beauty Shop

Author: Suzy Henderson

Genre: Historical Fiction


Book Blurb:

England, 1942. After three years of WWII, Britain is showing the scars. But in this darkest of days, three lives intertwine, changing their destinies and those of many more.

Dr Archibald McIndoe, a New Zealand plastic surgeon with unorthodox methods, is on a mission to treat and rehabilitate badly burned airmen – their bodies and souls. With the camaraderie and support of the Guinea Pig Club, his boys battle to overcome disfigurement, pain, and prejudice to learn to live again.

John ‘Mac’ Mackenzie of the US Air Force is aware of the odds. He has one chance in five of surviving the war. Flying bombing missions through hell and back, he’s fighting more than the Luftwaffe. Fear and doubt stalk him on the ground and in the air, and he’s torn between his duty and his conscience.

Shy, decent and sensible Stella Charlton’s future seems certain until war breaks out. As a new recruit to the WAAF, she meets an American pilot on New Year’s Eve. After just one dance, she falls head over heels for the handsome airman. But when he survives a crash, she realises her own battle has only just begun.

Based on a true story, “The Beauty Shop” is a moving tale of love, compassion, and determination against a backdrop of wartime tragedy.



Chapter One

Ward III, Queen Victoria Hospital,

East Grinstead, November 1942


The boy lay swathed in bandages that masked third-degree burns to the face, neck, chest, arms, and legs; the aftermath of a skirmish with the Luftwaffe. It was a miracle he’d been able to bail out of his flaming Spitfire and pull the cord on his parachute, with hands of molten wax, skin that hung in shards like ripped silk, and fingers melded together by the heat of the furnace. Archibald McIndoe inhaled as he hovered in the doorway of the side room and wrinkled his nose against the cloying stench of charred flesh that assaulted his nostrils. It was a nauseating odour he was used to and usually ignored, but tonight was different. Tonight it was especially malodorous and reached into the back of his throat, and he cupped his nose with his hand as he tried not to gag.


He sauntered out into the ward. Music flowed from the gramophone further down, and the upbeat, familiar Glenn Miller sound swung out, a delightful blend of saxophones, trumpets, and strings. ‘American Patrol.’ The volume was unusually low; he sensed that was purposefully done out of respect and his heart contracted. A haze of stale cigarette smoke and the sweet aroma of beer blended in the air to mask any clinical odours or otherwise. With the blackout curtains drawn, the bedside lighting cast a subdued glow around the ward. He stopped in front of the coke stove and held his hands in the wave of heat that streamed from the door. They were still numb from the frosty evening air, even though he had been back inside for a while.


He glanced around. The place looked more like a barracks than a hospital. One airman lay stretched out on top of his bed, reading a newspaper, a smouldering cigarette resting between the first two fingers of his right hand. He glanced up.


‘Evening, Maestro.’ The voice was flat.


Archie nodded a greeting. Three others sat huddled around the table in the middle of the ward, playing cards. Suddenly, an airman in RAF blues sprang up from his chair and grabbed the blonde VAD nurse with the ruby lips and twirled her around, dancing to the tune, which promptly changed to a slower number. Then he drew her close as they waltzed to notes that quivered in the air. He glanced at Archie and grinned. ‘Hello, Maestro. Fancy a beer?’


‘No thanks, Dickie, not tonight.’


His upturned mouth sagged into a straight line, and he nodded, his hand slipping from the nurse’s waist as he moved away – thirty seconds of frivolity anaesthetised by the gathering dark clouds. As Archie ambled back towards the side room, the boys gazed at him with sombre faces, their eyes glazed. Amidst the clink of beer glasses, the chain-smoking, and the banter, they all knew.


Back in the side room, another sound filtered in, a desperate, chilling rasp, and the hairs at the nape of Archie’s neck prickled. He sighed. He had told the boy exactly what he said to all of them when they first arrived. ‘Don’t worry. We’ll fix you up.’ His stomach sank. He’d tried his best, truly he had.


He strode over to the bed. David’s breathing had changed since this morning. He was in the period of transition; the final phase. Archie swallowed. Dear God, why had it come to this? David lay quite still, rattling breaths cutting through the hush, a thatch of golden blond hair just visible above his bandages. Did he have a girl and did she ever thread her fingers through his hair? It was a random thought, plucked from nowhere, silly really, but then this whole event was bizarre and surreal. It shouldn’t be happening – just like this bloody war. The words of his cousin Harold Gillies sprung into his mind: This war will bring injuries never seen before. Archie nodded. ‘Right again, as usual,’ he muttered.


Why couldn’t he have saved him? Yes, the boy had severe injuries, albeit injuries he could have survived. However, the infection that had taken a serious hold several days ago had changed the course of David’s life, bending its flow in another direction. Sepsis had spread, his organs were failing, and there was nothing to be done. Nothing at all, except sit here and wait. The boy sucked in breaths through an open mouth. Archie glanced around and spotted the kidney dish on the bedside table with a mouth swab and water. He gently dabbed David’s dry lips and tongue. At least he could do that.


Buy Links:




Author Biography:

Suzy Henderson was born in the North of England, but a career in healthcare would eventually take her to rural Somerset. Years later, she decided to embark upon a degree in English Literature with The Open University.



That was the beginning of a new life journey, rekindling her love of writing and passion for history. With an obsession for military and aviation history, she began to write.



It was an old black and white photograph of her grandmother that caught Suzy’s imagination many years ago. Her grandmother died in 1980 as did her tales of war as she never spoke of those times. When she decided to research her grandmother’s war service in the WAAF, things spiralled from there. Stories came to light, little-known stories and tragedies and it is such discoveries that inform her writing.



Having relocated to the wilds of North Cumbria, she has the Pennines in sight and finally feels at home. Suzy is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Romantic Novelists Association. “The Beauty Shop” is her debut novel and will be released 28th November 2016.


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First Time Ever: Mr N and Mrs N Sit Down for an Interview #books #ASMSG #IARTG

couple N N Light


Want to get to know the couple behind the moniker, N. N. Light?

This is your lucky day! Both Mr. N and Mrs. N sit down with Barbara Donlon Bradley for an honest, thought-provoking author interview. We talk about everything from writing tips, favorite books/authors to writing advice and our new release. So click on the link below and discover the real us:


While you’re there, check out our poetry book, Poetry of Love: The Engagement Year. It makes a great gift for the holidays or an upcoming wedding.



Book of the Broken: A Guest Post by Jesse Teller #darkfantasy #books #writing



On October 5, 2016, my book Chaste was unleashed upon the world, and I have come here to make peace with that, to find a way to ready myself for the onslaught of reviews and criticism it will receive, and in some way prepare myself for this beast being free to roam into the life of anyone who might be interested in it.

Chaste has a mind of its own, a mind dark and deviant, and it is my most terrifying creation to date. It scares me. It always has. It is too honest, too revealing to ever let anyone read it. It reveals all my secrets, and it will affect the reader. To what end, I do not know.

Chaste was written by a broken man. I wrote it in 2004. The four years before, I had delved into my past with a very intelligent, very capable therapist who was like a father to me. I had found a darkness that my mind could barely stand. I had found abuse in every form, abuse enough to bend and twist a man.

One day, I asked my therapist how bad it was. I had reached the point where I was beginning to think I was whining, that I was making things out to be worse than they ever could have been. I asked him how bad it was, and he picked up my file. By this point, his notes were grand enough to stand four inches thick, and he set it in front of me. He said these words:

“If I were to show this file to an FBI profiler, the question they would ask is, ‘How many? How many victims had this serial killer produced?’” He said he had never heard things like I was telling him. He said that it didn’t get any worse.

When you see evil, it gets in your bones. It was in mine. It was deep in me, and it had scarred me. It had stained me, and I never thought I would get that stain out. It had me in its grasp and I felt weakened by it, felt crushed under the weight of it.

I was in love and trying to make a life with a woman who cherished me. She knew it all, all the horror and the insanity, and she wanted me anyway. But I was stunted by the memories I had found, and I had no way of getting past it. Then I started writing Chaste.

I set out to write a fantasy novel. I had an idea. It was a simple thing, a concept that might take me through a whole book, might end after 50 pages. I didn’t know. I had never written a novel before. So I just got to work.

What came out of me was a horror fantasy.

There were broken characters. They were powerful and shiny, bright spots in the world, but they were locked up by shadows, past obsessions, and pain.

One of them mirrored my past in such a way that to write her was torture. She had suffered abuse and horror and had locked it away in her mind, as I had, for decades. She broke my heart and scared me more than a little.

There was a character on a quest for love. He was fighting to get to his love and had dedicated himself to being with her. But he had wars to fight before he could make it to her arms.

There was a deformed man, a man who had grown wrong. He hid himself from the world because he was a freak, and he was haunted by the things he would never be able to do, never be able to be.

They were all haunted and jaded. These, and many more, characters walked into a darkness that was all-consuming and fought to get free of it, to right it, to survive it.

When I wrote Chaste, I was insane. I was twisted and wrong, bent in a way that I could not see myself getting out of. I poured it all into that book—all my fury with God, all my loss and confusion, all my self-loathing and my pain. I put it all down, hammering out the worst I had, so that I might one day heal.

And heal I did. My woman and I built a world of happiness. We fought back all my demons and I found peace. I found love. I found hope.

Chaste is part of that healing. It is where I laid all the darkness. I thought I would never go back, thought I would never bring it out of its rough draft form. I would leave it unclean, a thing unfit, a beast dead and rotting that I would not bury.

Then a friend fell in love with it. I let her read it, and she adored it. She said it was her favorite book she had ever read, that it gave her hope, that it gave her peace. She said it had the power to heal, to bring people from the dark. She said it was beautiful.

And I believed her. I took it out, and I washed it up. I found that the thing I had thought dead and reviled is actually powerful and real. It has a message. It has a place.

Chaste will always be a terror. It woke up screaming. It will always be hard for me to look at, hard for me to live with.

It knows me and it displays me in ways no other work has ever. I thought to hide it forever. I thought to let it rot in a dark corner somewhere and try to forget about it. But I can’t.

Chaste is unflinching. It is brutal and dark. But I think it will help. I think it will make people feel understood, that it will make people feel heard.

It might even bring people peace.

It did for me.


originally published on Jesse Teller’s blog at this link:


Title: Chaste: A Tale from Perilisc


Author: Jesse Teller


Genre: Dark Fantasy


Book Blurb:

When her devout parents died, Cheryl turned her back on her god. Years of denial and self-loathing have defeated her. Her life consists of taking orders and succumbing to abuse. A group of strangers stops in Chaste for the night, but an unnamed threat is preying on the town. Tragic deaths have become more and more frequent. Cheryl wants to protect these travelers, expose the evil force, and save her fellow citizens, but she must find a way to believe in hope.


Buy Links:







Author Biography:

Jesse Teller fell in love with fantasy when he was five years old and played his first game of Dungeons & Dragons. The game gave him the ability to create stories and characters from a young age. He started consuming fantasy in every form and, by nine, was obsessed with the genre. As a young adult, he knew he wanted to make his life about fantasy. From exploring the relationship between man and woman, to studying the qualities of a leader or a tyrant, Jesse Teller uses his stories and settings to study real-world themes and issues.


Social Media Links:

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Amazon –

Goodreads –


No Tricks Just Treats on POTL Blog #POTLReads #books #authors



Happy October from Mr. N and Mrs. N! October is one of our favourite months and we thought it would be fun to dedicate 31 days to books and authors. No tricks, we promise.

Are you looking for new books and authors to discover?

You’ve come to the right spot! All month long, we’ll be featuring books and authors from all genres. We’re also chatting about it on Twitter. So feel free to tag #POTLReads and tell us what you’re reading, authors to binge-read or anything book-related.

If you missed a post, all you have to do is click on the smiling pumpkin graphic on the upper left side.

Authors, want to be featured this month? Send us an email and we can schedule you: 

Happy Reading!!!

N. N. Light

Meet Author @eanthony81 and His Debut Novel, Taylor Made #books #YA #bookpromo

I love meeting new authors and sharing their books with the world. Today it’s my pleasure to introduce talented and up-and-coming author Edward Anthony. I first met Edward on social media and his book, Taylor Made, intrigued me. I asked him to sit down for an interview and he agreed. Please enjoy and check out his book afterwards. Take it away, Edward:


  1. What is your writing process?

The process for me starts with inspiration. My philosophy is that a creative individual can find inspiration from under a rock. In other words, they have the ability to find or get inspiration from anyone, anywhere, at any time. I say that to say sometimes it will be the simplest thing that comes to mind that will lead me to create a story. From there, I will write a draft on a tablet (usually 3 or 5 subject), and transfer what I’ve written it to my laptop, where I will make modifications from there, sometimes on-the-fly adjustments.

  1. How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

Names are definitely a factor when it comes to my characters. It may be kind of a meticulous quirk, but I choose based on how it sounds and how does the name fits the character I have in my mind. If the name doesn’t sit right with me, I won’t use it.

  1. Have you always like to write?

Yes. I love it. It’s a gift from the Most High. I’ve aspired to be an author and writer for the majority of my life.

  1. What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Whether others believe in you or not, believe in yourself. You’re going to encounter adversaries only the way — usually from within — whether it be doubt, fear, writer’s block, or nay sayers, but confidence and perseverance is key. Don’t fear failure, but don’t be afraid of success either.

  1. Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I’m capable of both, but I lean more towards plotting. I much rather have my stories planned out and organized.

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

My least favorite part is the writer’s block. It can be the biggest delay in the process.

  1. Is this your first book? Have many books have you written prior (if any?)

This is the first book I’ve written. I edited and self-published it as well.

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

I’ll provide the names for the main character and her immediate family (the rest, we will cross that bridge, if/when we get there):

Ebony Taylor- Paige Hurd

Angela Taylor- Nicole Parker-Kodjoe

Elliott Taylor- Boris Kodjoe

Curtis Taylor- (For the life of me, I could not find someone that fit Curtis’ profile, so I’ll provide a description for his character): slightly chubby black kid between the ages of 12-14

  1. If you had a superpower, what would it be?

If I had a superpower, it would be weather control.

  1. Have you ever gotten into a fight?

Interesting question. Who hasn’t been in a fight? The answer is yes; actually, there’s a fight with the enemy within (in all of us) nearly everyday.

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

I would visit the Serengeti.

  1. If you were an animal, what would you be and why?

(Although the cheetah is my favorite), I would say the black panther because it’s powerful, stealthy, free-willed and can’t be tamed.

  1. What is your biggest fear?

My biggest fear is failure, which is what drives me to succeed.

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

I’m currently working on a second book titled The Execution of Priscilla.

  1. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I see myself not only as a successful author/writer, but as an individual who helped other aspiring authors and writers fulfill their goals as well (Ex: via Author Promotion website/company).


Taylor Made


Title: Taylor Made

Author: Edward Anthony

Genre: Coming of Age/Adolescent/Young Adult


Book Blurb:

Ebony Taylor is not the average teenager. While some party, hang out with friends or get into the latest trends, she’s at home locked down on her studies, making preparations for a better and brighter future. In the midst of all of this, Ebony encounters the trials of life such as heart-break, betrayal, racism, and prejudice. With her rare maturity, intellect, dead-eye focus, and strong family foundation, Ebony is equipped with what she needs in this emotional ride of the transition to womanhood.



“This book is a great read. I am impressed how the author managed to hold my attention though out the entire Reading. Taylor made is a book of encouragement. She stuck to her truthiness despite of the various hardship that she encountered., She is reaping the rewards. Is is very well illustrated, and hope we hear more about Taylor life. Outstanding job to Edward Anthony!”

-Susan B.

“I loved Taylor Made. It’s a great read that will hold your interest to the end. Bravo Edward.”

-Shalone A.


Excerpt from Amazon:



Buy Links:

Amazon US


Barnes and Noble


Edward Anthony


Author Biography:

Edward Anthony Kees has aspired to be a writer all of his life; he recalls: “Before I got into sports (as most boys tend to do), or anything else, I was into writing. In terms of goals, it has always been my first love. Obviously not anything such as a novel, I had never heard of a novel at that time in my life. I would tell random stories, most of them straight out of my head, to my mom — and to anyone who would listen — usually while she was cooking. I’m happy, excited, and looking forward to sharing my gift and creativity with others.” Aside from fulfilling a lifelong goal, his vision with his work is to create entertaining, intriguing stories that pulls readers into the world of the characters, along with hidden lessons and messages underneath the surface of a good read. Prior to writing, editing, and publishing Taylor Made, he worked as an Editor for, a website dedicated to Oregon Ducks sports, and as an Assistant Editor for an online magazine, WisdomCriethWithout.


Social Media Links:














Guest Post: @LiviaQuinn’s Hero Surprised Her! #amwriting #giveaway #IARTG

One of the things that has surprised me most as my writing has progressed is the way my characters’ stories are revealed. I remember when I was writing Hard Days Knight during #NanoWriMo several years ago. All I had was a vague idea and a brief synopsis of what I knew about the story. As I started writing, the characters revealed details of their lives to other characters – before they even told me!  When Luc described his family life to Del, I was so shocked I found it hard to write the rest of the day until I considered his explanation.


Where did this come from? I asked myself. Well, when I started the Storm Lake East: Larue series (formerly called the Under-Cover Knights because all the heroes both male and female are either current or former military or law-enforcement) I researched for hours about everything from military issues like PTSD, MSA, problems with the VA, family life, deployment, uniforms and more. I created a timeline to determine how the current era military campaigns would impact my characters. Then, as I started writing, events and backgrounds just fell into place.


I’d already introduced Ridge in Hard Days Knight as the owner of the Knights studios where these former military guys worked as cover models. All I’d revealed in HDK was that Buffy, a former famous runway model, had met the CEO at an unlikely event while looking for cover models for her new venture. Now, in Her First Knight, it was time to flesh out Ridge’s story.


The more I read about recent military deployments and saw the high rates of PTSD, brain trauma due to IEDs, the loss of limb by so many, and the suicides, the more I found myself caring about these issues, and Ridge’s background was born.


I think a big part of the gap in appreciating the depth of the problems veterans face on a daily basis is that many of us who haven’t served can’t relate to those who have. It reminds me a Native American quote,


“Great Spirit, help me never to judge another until I have walked in his moccasins.”


At first, like many in the public, I wondered if these issues had been exaggerated but what I found appalled me, and as a result, the characters in my story. Perhaps some think it’s preachy but it’s just the facts. Our veterans have had an uphill battle making their needs known and having them met. There’s an apathy that’s perhaps a result of hearing so much filter through the media to our ears without those issues ever being addressed by the agencies that should be taking care of them. As I talked to actual vets in my community I found that, in fact, the problem was much bigger. The rate of suicide- 1 out of 22 vets per day – is thought to be low because of the inability to get statistics in some states and because many “reported accidents” are believed to be suicides. So when I found pockets of organizations that successfully addressed the needs of vets, it was often privately funded or voluntary organizations who cared and who came from the military community themselves, therefore understanding the depth of the need.

You can see where Ridge’s idea of a private consortium to take over veterans’ care from the government came from. Unfortunately, Ridge was so fervent in his dedication that he ignored his own personal happiness. Fortunately for him, Buffy is a brilliant woman who wasn’t about to let his obsessive tendencies get in the way of his happiness.


I hope you enjoy this couple’s love story and find in Her First Knight a new appreciation for our veterans and their loyalty to this country.


Note: there was one other happy coincidence in the plotting of these books – attending a romance conference strip bingo event in Las Vegas. What fun!



** To one commenter, I’ll send a paperback of Her First Knight.  But the perfect way to catch up on the Larue series is to pick up the new Storm Lake Larue Box Set available at all retailers for #kobo #kindle #Ibooks and #nook and more. **


Her First Knight web NEW final 03302016 copy 


He’s the one, and everyone knows it but him.

Buffy Calloway is looking for the face of her new cover model agency. The man she chooses will be crucial to its success. When she spots the sexy cover model on the strip bingo stage she knows he’s the one, and not just for her business.


Ridge got on stage through a huge error in judgment and if he manages to get out of this predicament with his reputation in tact —and his clothes—he won’t wind up in the limelight again risking everything that’s crucial to so many.


Buffy wonders – who is she to argue with Ridge’s noble cause — but she doesn’t see why his goals and hers should be mutually exclusive. Could this be the first time a Calloway is wrong?




The morning after…


“He’s like some kind of stripper Robin Hood,” Diane said.


“Did you see the paper this morning?” Sally asked Buffy in a low voice. Diane and her friends had the Washington Post laid out in front of them. Had she really thought she’d escape by leaving her room?


“About what?” Buffy asked pretending ignorance. She wanted to close her eyes and wish it all away.


Cathy said, “The guy that impersonated Tucker? Seems he’s a rich muckity muck who’s been testifying in front of Congress. The media has made him out to be some kind of sex pervert.”


“Ridge?” Buffy’s heart sank. “That’s terrible.”


“Yeah, and the evil congresswoman who’s been giving him the third degree for the last two days said she knew there was something suspicious about him. I quote: ‘No one is as selfless as he pretends to be.’ She’s calling for an investigation.” Diane continued, “It says here he got a doctorate in Mechanical Bionics from MIT when he was seventeen! The guy’s a friggin’ Einstein. You just don’t think of geniuses looking like that.”


Sonya said, “More like da Vinci. What else?”


“He was recruited into the Army Rangers and ended up doing classified research and ‘on-site quality control’,” Diane read.


“In his work, that probably means on the battlefield,” Sally said.


“There’s another picture of him accepting an award from the President for his work with veterans.” Sonya looked at Buffy. “What was he was doing on that stage? It’s obvious he wasn’t a cover model.”


Sally said, “It might be obvious now, but he was my favorite of the cover models. I was shocked when the real Tucker showed up and we found out this guy wasn’t even in the industry. Boy, what I wouldn’t give to have him on one of my Seal Team Extraction covers. He seems like such a nice man, too. Did you know he gave me a donation for my Wounded Warrior fund?” Sally’s readers had raised thousands for the WWP.


“Maybe it was a publicity stunt that had to do with this hearing, the bill he’s trying to get support for,” Claranne Braxton suggested, her eyes brightening as if she was on to something.


“Wait a minute,” Sally said, suddenly alert. “What bill is that?”


Sonya leaned over Diane’s shoulder, “Looks like it’s a bill for some kind of cooperative, MiliCare H.R. 6159?”


Sally slapped her forehead with her palm. “Are you kidding me? That’s him?” She grabbed her purse. “I don’t know why I didn’t put it together. He’s R. Romano of… here it is.” She slapped the article on the table. Claranne read it aloud.



With the passage of H.R. 6159, the new consortium group will ease some of the financial stress on the VA’s already imploding budgetary problems and provide medical care to veterans. Ridge Romano, the architect of the proposal said, “Government funds have been slashed repeatedly and our servicemen and women should not have to fight for their rightful treatment when they are fighting for their health and their very lives.”



Romano quoted President Lincoln: “The mission for government is ‘To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan.’ I ask you, can these values be accomplished by our current government system which is stretched beyond its founders’ imaginings? The government is over burdened, and our veterans are paying the price but private companies and professionals in every field are ready and willing to fill the gap. This bill will be a step toward better lives for our vets.


They deserve it. We owe it to them. Don’t let them down.”


“Wow,” Sonja said. “I can’t believe he was the man on that stage.”


But the article only affirmed Buffy’s feelings. She’d known, even that first night, that Ridge Romano was a man in a million. And, he was the one for her.



Her First Knight Buy Links:



All Romance


Barnes and Noble






Look for the Storm Lake Box set Larue available now.


Livia Quinn Head Shot_M9A0603 square sml copy

Author Biography:

Livia Quinn is a D.C. native living in Louisiana. She began pursuing her dream of publication after a layoff and a little known event called Katrina in 2005. With several interruptions in her career, all involving weather, it’s only natural that storms would be at the center of many of her stories. She is a business owner and professional singer, salesperson, plant manager, computer trainer, and mail lady. She has written eight books based in the communities surrounding Storm Lake— an infamous, though fictional lake in Southern Louisiana. She has never met a Tempestaerie or a sexy Aussie gem hunter, but she recently met some hunky cover models in the name of ‘research’ so see…Anything Can Happen!



Social Media Links:





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#Authors, Save 50% on July Ad Buttons and Get Seen by Millions! #ASMSG #IARTG #Books

N. N. Light Author Promotions (1)


Every author (traditional, small pub or indie) knows how hard it is to reach readers and one way to create buzz is to advertise. We at N. N. Light Author Promotions understand that and are here to help.


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We’re offering our Advertisement Buttons for only $11.50 USD in July. It’s a perfect time to increase your readership and you save 50% off regular price. You have the opportunity to advertise two books/ads. All we need is two book covers/ads along with a link for each book/ad.

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Fill out the form below (or send us an email and we’ll invoice you via Paypal. Spots fill up fast so sign up today.

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:

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Amazon UK:


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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:


Book Marketing 101: 3 Tips to Promote Your Book(s) Without Driving Away Readers #authors #marketing

Book Marketing 101 - NN Light

“You’ve just published a book. Congratulations! You’ve done something that many have tried and few have succeeded. Give yourself a pat on the back… then put on your thinking cap. It’s time for the next step: promoting your book.”

Ruth A. Casie invited me to appear on her blog to talk about book marketing for all authors. I offer three tried and true tips to promote your book(s) without driving away readers/followers.

Check it out and then come back and let me know what tips you have on book promotion: 

Question Time: What do you struggle with the most when it comes to book promotion? I’d love to hear from you. I’m happy to answer any and all questions, too.

Mrs. N aka N. N. Light

Croc’s Return by @EveLanglais #ParanormalRomance #bookpromo #MFRWAuthor

CrocsReturn cover


Title: Croc’s Return

Author: Eve Langlais

Genre: Paranormal Romance


Book Blurb:

Welcome to Bitten Point, where the swamp doesn’t just keep its secrets, it sometimes eats them.

Take one deadly bite and, bam, a man’s life is changed forever, or so Caleb discovers when a loss of control leads to him joining the military and leaving everything behind. Now that he’s back, making amends is harder than expected.

His ex girlfriend, Renny, is not interested in excuses. Caleb might have returned but her plan is to keep him at arm’s length. Only she can’t. Her son deserves a chance to get to know his father, but that doesn’t mean Renny is letting Caleb back into her heart. Now if only her heart would cooperate.

Things get dangerous when a mysterious being starts stalking the residents of Bitten Point. When the monster threatens his son, Caleb knows it’s time to unleash his dark inner beast so he can snap at danger–and take a bite out of life.

Coming home doesn’t always solve things…but it does pave the way for second chances.




Exclusive Excerpt:

“Hello, baby.” The familiar nickname purred from him, unbidden, but once spoken, unable to be retrieved.

A long time ago, that endearment might have once curled her lips into the most beautiful smile. Now it just served to make her eyes flash with anger. “Don’t you baby me, Caleb. I have no interest in talking to you.”

“I get that, and I don’t blame you.”

“How magnanimous of you,” she retorted dryly.

“You look good.” Again, he spoke without thinking—or filtering. I’d better start watching my words, or I’m going to get myself in trouble.

Too late. He was in trouble the moment he came seeking her.

At his praise, she sucked in a breath, and a slight flush heightened the color in her cheeks. “You look good, too,” she said.

At her obvious lie, his lips tightened. “I’m very much aware of how I look. No need to coddle me.” The burns had left a scar, not just on his skin but his psyche. Even if she could ignore the one, he couldn’t ignore the other.

“Coddle? I can assure you that would be last thing I’d do for you.”

Renny always did have that irritating tendency of telling the truth, but even if she didn’t find his scars ugly, that changed nothing.

“As you can see, I’m back.”

“So everyone keeps telling me,” she mumbled. “As if I care. I stopped caring a long time ago.”

A lie that hit him hard and low. She still feels something for me.

Yeah, lots of anger.

“I know you hate me, and I just wanted to tell you that I’m going to do my best to stay away from you.” Even if all he wanted was to stick to her like honey on a bear.

Her brow arched. “So far you’re not doing a good job staying away.”

“I thought I should talk to you because I figure we’d bump into each other again at some point, and I didn’t want it to be awkward.”

“Oh, because this isn’t awkward at all.” Renny rolled her eyes. “You’ve said hello. I know you’re back. I also don’t care, so if you don’t mind, there’s the door. Use it.” She turned her back to him.

Oddly enough, though, he didn’t want to leave. As a matter of fact, all he really wanted to do was snare her in his arms and squeeze her tight. Tell her how much he’d missed her and wished things could have been different. He wanted to peel that tiny shirt from her and cover her body in his. Surround her in his scent. Claim her and make her off-limits to others.

The time apart hadn’t cooled the attraction on his part at all, but he wouldn’t act on it.

Mustn’t mark her and claim her and keep. She deserves better.

Thing was, he needed to make sure she hated him because, if she softened at all, like she did now with her body trembling slightly, he might not be able to resist. “So do you strip for money on top of waitressing? Or do you just strut your shit for every dick with a few dollars?”

She whirled on him. “Are you seriously insulting me here?”

“Just questioning your choice in careers.” Because he knew she was capable of being more than a waitress in a strip club. “Couldn’t you find something a little more—”

“More what? Morally sound? More clothed? Perhaps you’d like me to walk two feet behind men and curtsy when they speak to me?”

“Now you’re exaggerating. I’m just saying a nice girl like you should have higher aspirations than working in a titty bar.”

“There is nothing wrong with working here. And that’s a priceless thing to say, given you came here in the first place. If this place is so disgusting, then what are you doing here?”

Getting a beer? But he didn’t have time to voice his reason. Renny was still talking, her voice reaching an incredulous pitch.

“You’ve got a lot of nerve, Caleb Bourdeaux, coming back into town after everything that’s happened and acting as if I owe you anything or give a fiddle what you think.”

Once again, he just couldn’t seem to keep his mouth shut. “Maybe you should give a damn what I think since no one else seems to be. You deserve a job that doesn’t require you dressing like this. For fuck’s sake, Renny, your shirt is so tight I can see your damned bra.”

“Are my bralines bothering you? Let me fix that.”

He could only gape in shock as her hands slid under the fabric of her top, and in moments, she’d managed to unsnap her bra and slide her arms through the straps. She tossed the scrap of fabric at him.

It hit him in the chest, but he clasped it before it could fall. The cottony material still held the warmth of her body. Was it him or the beast that lifted it for a sniff?

Vanilla. Delicious. And tempting, just like the buds of her nipples clinging to the material of her shirt that drew his gaze.

I am in so much trouble.

A trouble he couldn’t seem to stop from snowballing.

“What are you doing with my bra?” she asked as he stuffed it in his pocket.

“Keeping it.”

“For what?”

Nothing could have stopped his slow, lazy smile. “Inspiration.”



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Author Biography:

Hello, my name is Eve and I am a Canadian author who loves to write hot romance, usually with werewolves, cyborgs or aliens.


I should warn you that I possess a twisted imagination and a sarcastic sense of humor something I like to let loose in my writing. I enjoy strong alpha males, and shifters. Lots of big, overprotective shifters. I am also extremely partial to aliens, the kind who like to abduct humans and then drive them insane…with pleasure. Do you like something a little darker? Then check out my cyborgs whose battle with humanity have captivated readers worldwide.


I love to write, and while I don’t always know what my mind is going to come up with next, I can promise it will be fun, probably humorous and most of all romantic, because I love a happily ever after.


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N. N. Light’s 5 Sure-Fire Tips to a Successful Author Interview #writingtips #bookpromotion #authors

author interview


Ask a roomful of authors how they feel about author interviews and you’ll likely clear the room. For many authors, debut as well as seasoned, conducting an interview is scary. There’s a lot of pressure and it’s easy to get caught up in it.

How can I create the right first impression?

How do I want to be perceived?

What do I want someone to remember about me?

Why can’t I just talk about my book?

What if I come across as dumb?

These questions and more pummel an author until he/she lies in a puddle on the floor. Listen, promoting yourself as well as your books is essential in the industry. Readers want to know about you first and your books second. The quickest way to do that is to do an author interview.

As you may or may not know, I’m a book marketer and I help authors every day market themselves and their books. Whether it is through an author interview or a guest post, you are trying to connect with the reader. They want to know more about you and what makes you tick. They want to know what inspired you to write your books. They want to get an inside glimpse into the inner workings of you, the author, before they buy your book.

I have seen many authors make mistakes when it comes to the author interview and many excel at it. I want to help you give the best possible interview. Here are my top five tips:

1- Breathe. Breathe Breathe. This is not the end of the world. In fact, this is exciting! Someone out there wants to have you on their blog/website. They find you interesting enough to interview and promote you. High five!

2- Study the questions carefully. Each blog/website has a different set of questions they want answered. Some, like mine, give you a lot of questions to choose from. If you have the option of let’s say eight questions, make sure to have a mixture of professional and personal questions. Remember, you are aiming this at the average reader. They want to get to know you. As a rule, I like to mention my love of baking and/or chocolate. It allows me to relate on a more personal level.

3- Answer the questions in detail. There is nothing worse than an author interview that has short choppy answers. Where do you live? Don’t just name a town but chat a little about it. Entice the reader with a snapshot into your personal life. You are a writer and words are your friends. Let your natural ability shine when answering the questions. First impressions are important and you want the reader to remember you in a positive way.

4- Proofread the interview at least twice. As a rule, I don’t edit author interviews that are scheduled on this blog. It’s not my place to rework your words. My job is to present you in an eye-appealing way and to get the message out there about you. Read it aloud and make sure it flows well.

5- Follow the instructions to the letter and send off your interview. Every blog/website has a set of rules for what they need. For me, I need the interview, author bio, buy links, social media links and blurb all saved in a word doc. In addition, I need a book cover and an author photo. I ask for these things to be emailed to me no later than three days before the scheduled interview. I can’t stress this enough, FOLLOW directions! I have heard from my fellow promoters/bloggers how many times this gets overlooked by the author. Many of us have day jobs and it takes time to create an blog post/ author interview, not mention scheduling the marketing via social media. Having everything sent in one email makes it so much easier to get it done quickly.

Author interviews are a great way to meet new readers and connect with a new circle of followers. It doesn’t have to be scary and please, don’t freak out. In my opinion, it’s one of the easiest ways (besides Twitter) to mesh well with readers. Get creative and most importantly, have fun!

MRS N aka N. N. Light

Portrait of a Girl by @Luanna_Stewart #bookspotlight #RomanticSuspense #amreading


Title: Portrait of a Girl

Author: Luanna Stewart

Genre: Romantic Suspense


When her wealthy art dealer father died, Heather James was expecting a fortune. Instead, his bank account was empty and Heather’s working in a bakery, wondering exactly what happened to her father’s millions…until someone tries to kill her.

Tony Simons is on the trail of an art theft cold case that’s practically giving him frostbite. He’s hoping that by sticking close to Heather—the daughter of his deceased prime suspect—he’ll find the answers he needs. Instead, he’s finding himself distracted by a gorgeous woman who drives him crazy in every way imaginable…

Now Tony’s in serious trouble. Even if Heather can’t—or won’t—tell him where the stolen paintings and money are, she may well have stolen his heart.

And now someone wants her dead…


“Do you want every room painted that shade of beige?” He didn’t even try to keep the shudder out of his voice.

“What’s wrong with the color?” She straightened her back and raised her chin, apparently willing to defend her choice.

“Who said there was anything wrong with it? I was just wondering—”

“You didn’t have to say anything. You’re very easy to read. The paint was on sale, okay?”

He laughed. “I can see why.” And if he were so easy to read, she’d know he wasn’t thinking about painting, or anything else that one does with clothes on.

“What color would you choose, then?” She took a step closer, like she was angling for an argument. Arguing was not what he had in mind, either, unless it led to making up.

“I’d choose a blue like your eyes.” He closed the distance and tugged a lock of hair free from her ponytail.

“Or a mellow gold like your hair. Or”—he stroked her soft cheek, noting the catch in her breath—“the shade of your blush when you’re aroused.”

Her lips parted with a soft “oh.”

This right here was why he’d asked to be taken off the case or shipped overseas. He’d known, during that last meeting with his boss, that he was headed for this kind of trouble. The last thing he wanted to do was paint the fucking house.

She put her hand on the back of his neck and pulled him close, her soft lips laying claim to his mouth. He slid an arm around her waist, pulled her close, pressing against her heat. Her scent made him forget all the reasons why this was a bad idea.

“We shouldn’t be doing this.” She nibbled at his lips, playing and teasing.

“You’re right.” He nuzzled her neck, tempted to take a bite.

“I hardly know you.”


“Why are you so agreeable?”

“One of us has to think clearly, and I’m doing my damnedest to be a gentleman.”

“Maybe I don’t want a gentleman.”

She pulled him back for another kiss, openmouthed, tongues clashing. If the bad guys showed up right now—

He broke the kiss. They were both breathing hard, and her heart raced along with his. He had to get her out of his house. “I’ve got a deadline to meet, or I won’t get paid. I’d hate to make my landlord upset by being late with the rent.”

He felt her smile against his neck. “I happen to know your landlord, and her cat would go hungry if you were late with the rent.”

“I’d hate to be responsible for a cat going hungry. Maybe we can continue this discussion later.”

“You can count on it.”

Buy Links:

Amazon UK:


About the Author:

Luanna Stewart has been creating adventures for her imaginary friends since childhood. As soon as she discovered her grandmother’s stash of romance novels, all plots had to lead to a happily-ever-after.

Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Luanna now lives in Maine with her dear husband, two college boys and two cats. When she’s not torturing her heroes and heroines, she’s in her kitchen baking something delicious.

Writing under the pen name Grace Hood, she has two novellas published with The Wild Rose Press. She is excited to have a book published under her own name with Entangled Publishing.






Amazon Author Page:

*** One lucky commenter will win a $5 Amazon gift card. ***

I’d Like to Introduce You to… Jeff Lee @JFredLee #authorinterview #womensfiction #books

Today it’s my pleasure to introduce you to a funny, funny author. Jeff Lee is the author of The Ladies Temperance Club’s Farewell Tour, Hair of the Dog, Chump Change and Bird Boy. Each of these books debuted to rave reviews, garnering all 4 and 5-star reviews. He has a knack for writing hilarious stories and all from the female viewpoint. The best part is that he’s accurate in his portrayal of the female point of view. I swear, he must’ve been a woman in a past life. Anyway, he agree to sit down with me for an interview. If you like comedy/humor, you’re in for a treat. Take it away, Jeff!

What book do you wish you could have written?       

That’s a tough one, because there are so damn many of them. But ones that instantly come to mind are: Get Shorty; Fried Green Tomatoes at the Spitfire Grill; Shogun; anything by William Goldman (the man is a god); Even Cowgirls Get The Blues; Baja Oklahoma; Catch 22; The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight; The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe; anything by James Michener; The Hunt for Red October; anything by Carl Hiaasen. Yeah, it’s a pretty eclectic mix. But I’m an eclectic kind of guy. I do confess to a love of humor and satire.

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

Interesting question, since I usually cast my books before I sit down to write them. It helps me get a better handle on each character if I can picture someone actually playing them. That said, The Ladies Temperance Club’s Farewell Tour would have an interesting cast, including: Vonda – could be Goldie Hawn, Susan Sarandon or Meryl Streep. Kay – could be a made down Michelle Pfeiffer. Francine would HAVE to be either Kathy Bates or Conchatta Ferrell. Bruce Willis would make a Hell of a “Fish” (so would John Goodman). And Bob, the former green beret turned large animal vet? Sam Elliott, hands down.


Have you always liked to write?

Pretty much. I’ve been writing, either as an amateur or professional for more than 50 years. First, as a student substituting my own short stories for actual class assignments. Then, spending more than 35 years as an advertising copywriter and creative director.


What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?                                              

Write. The more you practice your craft, the better you’ll get at it. And get involved with a writers’ group or beta readers you trust for honest feedback. But the most important advice I can give is this: some times, you’ll have to kill some of your little darlings. Word are just that; they’re not little bonbons that fall from the  heavens. If a word doesn’t serve to advance your plot or character arc, get rid of it. There will be others. Trust me.


If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?                                                                                       

I’m retired now, so the question’s a little moot. But if I wasn’t writing books, I’d probably still be writing ads & commercials. The money is great, and you can’t beat the turn-around on an ad for instant gratification.


Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I’m a modified panster. I don’t usually plot out more than the initial concept of the book. But I do spend a huge amount of time getting to know my characters. When I did The Ladies Temperance Club’s Farewell Tour, by the time I fired up my word processor, I knew Vonda, Kay and Francine so well they actually wrote the book for me.


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?

Look, any writer who tells you they never read their reviews is either lying or too pretentious for words. We ALL do it. The trick is NOT to respond, to ANY of them – good or bad. If you get a bad review, fight hard to resist the temptation to open that pie hole or fire off a broadside from behind your keyboard. Yeah, you might defend your position, but it will cost you the whole damn war.

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

In a word, rejection. I’ve been writing novels – damn good and funny ones – for about 15 years. And so far, I’ve amassed a collection of at least 400 rejection letters. From literary agents who loved my work but had no idea how to sell it; to others who worried that, since no one had ever written with a writer’s voice like mine, there would be no other writers to compare me to. And, in a lot of cases, it was just resounding silence coming back to me from the mailbox. That’s why I got into self-publishing. And the difference is like night & day.

Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)                         

I’ve actually written four novels : The Ladies Temperance Club’s Farewell Tour, plus two sequels, Hair of the Dog and Chump Change. The last two sequels are based on a trio of secondary characters I fell in love with – three wise cracking, heavily tatted, Harley riding bounty hunters and repo men. The fourth, titled Bird Boy, is a cautionary tale about extreme teenage bullying and where it could lead.

What is your next project?

Taking Hair of the Dog and Bird Boy and re-publishing them myself, since the small indie publisher that released them went out of business. After that, I’m seriously considering writing a screenplay based on Farewell Tour.


Do you write naked?                                                                                                                                 

All right, which one of you big-mouths spilled the legumes? Truth is, sometimes. But almost never on days when I decide to write at Starbucks. And…not the full monty, either. I’ve usually got on a watch, reading glasses and my lucky sock.


What is the biggest fib you’ve ever told?

When I was in Basic Training in the Army, I invented two Jewish holidays. I actually got a day off from training for the day Moses parted the Red Sea, and one for Abraham’s birthday.

Have you ever been in trouble with the law?

Once, during a National Guard two-week summer camp back in the 70’s. I won’t go into much detail, other than to say the infraction involved guard duty and a host of violations that included drinking on guard duty, ingesting banned recreational substances while on guard duty, drunk driving, being out of uniform, performing one’s duties in an un-military manner, destruction of government property and attempting to murder a second lieutenant with a five-ton truck. Had we been under a declared state of war, I they could have gone all “Execution of Private Eddie Slovack” on my ass. As it turned out, I got a terrifically funny short story out of it.


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?

Getting arrested for a capital crime while at National Guard summer camp definitely qualifies. Fortunately, I had some friends in the headquarters company, who saw to it that all the paperwork from my arrest got “misplaced”.

What do you want your tombstone to say? 

“See other side”. And I want the same inscription chiseled on the reverse. I figure it ought to keep some of my relatives busy for hours.


What literary character is most like you?

“Fish” Fishbein, the heavily tattooed, Harley-riding, wise-cracking repo man, bounty hunter and sometime attorney from my Adventures in La-La Land series.


What secret talents do you have?

I’m a damn good cook, and I can say “supercallifragilisticexpialidocious” backwards.


Do you have any scars? What are they from?

Just one, really. The one EVERY Jewish male has to schlep around, where, one night and without his approval, a rabbi barges into the house and forcibly removes the little turtleneck dickie he’s wearing around his hangey-down part.


 Ladies Temperence

Title  — The Ladies Temperance Club’s Farewell Tour

Author – Jeff Lee

Genre — Women’s Fiction; Chick Lit; Crime; Murder; Humor; Comedy; Satire

Book Blurb  —

Vonda Mae Ables could never hurt a soul. Now she’s on the lam in a huge RV, with her best friends, gallons of Chardonnay and a stiff in her freezer.

Vonda has suffered her alcoholic boyfriend’s abuse for twenty years. But when she finally stands up for herself, she overdoes it and crushes his skull with a football trophy. Rather than turn herself in, she enlists her friends to help ditch the body. They stash the boyfriend in the freezer of his humongous RV and take off for Arizona, planning a quiet desert burial. Unfortunately, the plan goes more sideways with every mile. Vonda finally finds a likely place to plant the dead SOB, but now he’s frozen solid and stuck in the freezer.

Exhausted from their day of digging and unsuccessfully trying to extricate him, the women stop at a local cafe. While they’re drinking dinner, a gang of Harley-riding repo guys makes off with the RV and a Good Samaritan reports the theft. Vonda panics when the police arrive to investigate, knowing that if the cops recover the RV and discover what’s in the freezer, she might have to turn that old trophy on herself.

Exclusive Excerpt –

“Walking back out into the afternoon heat, she looked over to the pump island and noticed the motor coach was no longer sitting where she left it.

Now it was parked all by itself—which wasn’t that hard to do, considering it was about the only vehicle in all of Quartzsite at the moment.

It was all the way down at the far end of the truck stop, sitting beneath a large faded sign reading, “DUMP STATION.” One of the lower baggage compartment doors was open, and Vonda was struggling to show a large and extremely stubborn section of plastic hose just who was calling the shots here.

“Goddammit, get in there!”

The hose was about three or four inches in diameter, bright blue in color and covered from end to end with hundreds of ribs molded around its circumference, like an azure version of the business end of some incredibly foul smelling vacuum cleaner. One end was connected to a large plumbing fitting mounted inside the baggage compartment, while the other end steadfastly resisted all of Vonda’s efforts to cram it into an opening in what looked like a manhole cover.

“Stinkin’ piece of—GET IN THERE!”

“Good Lord, what a stench, Vonda.”

“You know, you could give me a hand here…”

Just then, the hose saw the error of its ways and decided to cooperate, sliding smoothly into the hole in the manhole cover.

“Why? Looks like you’ve got the whole thing under control, babe.”

“Well, I’m glad you’re getting so much enjoyment from this, Francine.”

Vonda stomped back to the coach, grabbed a small lever on the plumbing valve connected to the length of blue tubing and shoved it in the direction labeled “DISCHARGE”. The hose immediately started to twitch and dance and the air was filled with sucking and gurgling sounds, not to mention an even more vile odor, as the contents of the toilet’s holding tank began to drain into the manhole cover.

“Because next time, it’s your turn.”

“Whatever you say.” Francine answered as she disappeared around the front of the motor home, headed for the door. Unable to resist the impulse, she loudly called out, “Shit, but that stinks, girl!”

“Very funny, Francine…”

This was probably not the best time to be having a few yocks at Vonda’s expense. Now that she’d managed to get the toilet tank drained, the hose rediscovered its independent spirit, becoming jammed in the plumbing fitting underneath the motor coach. And Vonda wasn’t in any mood to let an inanimate hunk of polyvinylchloride try much more of her patience, so she gave the valve a good swift kick.

Followed by another.

The retaining ring holding the blue hose in place finally spun, freeing the tubing, but in the process a small plastic tab broke off from its end, which landed unnoticed on the basement floor of the coach.

Bounding up the steps from the front door, Francine almost collided with Kay, who was using a piece of double-sided adhesive tape to attach a small ceramic figure to the dashboard.

Apparently, fruit, nuts and natural sources of dietary fiber weren’t the only things she purchased at Hadley’s Nut House, back in Cabazon.

She also picked up a small planter, a little ceramic hombre in a sombrero, who was fated to spend eternity looking down and contemplating whatever ended up getting planted in the large pocket molded into the front of his pants. In this case, it was a five-inch long, needle-studded shaft of cactus.

Which made Kay’s souvenir planter look like a very happy little figurine, indeed.

“Kay, honey, what the hell is that?”

“I’m sor—“ Kay suddenly remembered how both she and Francine had grown tired of her constantly apologizing for every little thing in life. “It’s a freakin’ planter, Francine. Excuse me for trying to brighten the place up a little.”

“Well, I think it’s kinda cute, y’know?”

“Really?” Kay instantly bounced back from her mildly irritated mood. “You really like it?”

“Yeah,” Francine nodded. “Hey, take away all those needles and sharp things stickin’ out … and your little guy here could be in for one hell of a social life.”

Kay looked blankly from Francine to the little planter a couple of times, not getting it.

Her friend’s meaning finally sunk in.

“What is it with you, Francine? Why does everything have to be about sex?”

“Oh, lighten up.” Francine gave her a quick hug. “I was just givin’ you a little shit. Besides, I really do like your little guy.”

“Well, thanks.”

“I’ll tell you one thing, though.” She moved in for a closer look at the length of cactus sprouting from the figurine’s trousers. “Your little amigo here? Well, it’s a pretty safe bet he ain’t Jewish.”

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Jeff Lee

Author Biography –

Born near New York City and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jeff Lee has spent his entire writing career in Los Angeles. For more than 35 years, he has been a copywriter, producer and creative director for some of the advertising industry’s most recognizable agencies, winning numerous awards for his creativity and wise-ass sense of humor. Typical for his industry, none of those ad agencies are still in business, but Jeff appears to have pretty solid alibis for the deaths of each one.

Jeff now spends his time on his own writing, having produced four novels – The Ladies Temperance Club’s Farewell Tour, Hair of the Dog, Chump Change and Bird Boy. Each of these books debuted to rave reviews, garnering all 4 and 5-star reviews.

Trained as a cook in the Army, he still enjoys being creative in the kitchen, and admits that few things in life compare with the thrill of discovering you’ve just given a nasty case of food poisoning to 140 heavily-armed troops.

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Cheerleaders in Heat @SexyMuffyWilson @LaurenceChrissy ~ Blog Tour + #Giveaway 18+

Cheerleaders in Heat
   Muffy Wilson  and  Chrissy Laurence
                @SexyMuffyWilson            @LaurenceChrissy                   
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Miami Rattlers Cheerleader Cherie Redd is exquisitely beautiful, athletic, and very, very lonely. Romance: a puzzling phenomenon she figured had something to do with guys’ fear of rejection or lack of self-confidence because they just didn’t have what it takes to win someone like Cherie.

Titillatingly sexy and breathtakingly beautiful, Cherie and her other cheerleading friends often spent their lonely Saturday nights lamenting their beauty and available just for the asking. The prettiest single women around: lonely, loveless and forlorn.

Frustrated by too many quiet nights at home or with other cheerleaders, Cherie was oh-so-eager for romance and a man to seduce her lavishly. She wanted to feel what a real orgasm in the arms of an adoring man was like once again. So, she tucked her vibrator away and took to the Internet. Cherie had no clue how rapidly the seduction would begin or where her life would careen as a result. Painfully naive and overwhelmed by admirers before her spinning head cleared, Cherie was learning things her momma never even knew enough to warn her about.

Follow Cherie and her friends as their sexual scoreboards light up brighter than in any stadium as their downward spiral introduces them to hot ménage sex, perversion and degradation.

Or does it?

Even his muscles have muscles for The Girls

An Insatiable Appetite for the Explicit *HOT* Edge 
Once in awhile, a book comes along that really captures your imagination. 
This book does that.
It begins as a charming “anything goes” chronicle of Cherie, and her cheerleader friend’s, 
journey beginning with Internet dating on the wild-side of South Miami nightlife. 
Timely situational circumstances hold a mirror on the breath of today’s edgy living, sensation-seeking society reflecting a degradational descent into drugs, alcohol, BDSM, casual sex, and sexual perversions.
This book was hard to put down. The pace was a roller-coaster ride of surprising 
twists and turns—some funny, some not, all thought provoking—all totally absorbing.
However, the underlying story is one of love: 
wanting it, losing it, looking for it, finding it,  and underestimating the power of love.
Outstanding, entertaining read! Wilson and Laurence nailed this one! 
You will not see the end coming…..
~ PA Jiuditta

In this scene, Sampson has saved Cherie from a horrible assault. Ever the gentleman, he collects her and brings her to his penthouse apartment on Miracle Mile in SoMa to relax and recover.


“I really appreciate this, your gentle kindness is more than I ever could have anticipated or ever expected. I just don’t know what to say.”

“Nothing needs to be said. Okay—this is my bathroom . . .”

“Wow!” Cherie exclaimed. “It’s incredible; it’s beautiful, so beautifully appointed yet  masculine.”

“Uh, yeah. Thanks, it has everything I need. It gets the job done,” He said, giving her a warm, teasing smile.

The marble bathroom had both a walk-in shower with six separately controlled rain heads and an oversized sunken tub with a whirlpool, 24 jets and in-line heating with wave action controls. The little foam head pillow was a nice sensitive touch. Sampson reached into a linen closet and took out a set of matching snow white big, fluffy over-sized bath and hand towels and a facecloth. He handed them to Cherie and turned back into the linen closet. He rooted around for a minute and took out a guest basket: a packet including tooth brush and paste, a body puff, and miniature bottles of scented body wash, bath oils, shampoo, conditioner and lotion. Included was a small travel bottle of Lancome facial tonic and moisturizer with a tiny clear plastic envelope of cotton balls. Sampson handed the guest basket to Cherie and said, “Wait just a minute.” Then, turned on his heels and left the room. While he was gone, Cherie couldn’t help but wonder how many other impromptu visits from women he’d had. She winced as the thought came to her that he must have these packages made up in lots of 50. Was he always this prepared for his female visitors? Perhaps she wasn’t as in charge as she had imagined.

He came back a short time later with a terrycloth bathrobe and hung it on the bronze hook above the whirlpool tub.

“Would you prefer to shower or take a tub?” he asked.

Without hesitating, Cherie pointed to the tub and asked, “Wow, you must do this a lot—rescue damsels in distress? You are certainly prepared for unexpected female company—even a soft scented bottle of Davidoff’s ‘Cool Water’. Must be your favorite? I am impressed you are so prepared for unexpected, ah—shall we say—‘company’ late at night,” Cherie noted with surprise and a modicum of disappointment at feeling like one of many in a long line of women visitors.

“Oh, geez, Cherie! No! I barely know anything about you women save for you’re all  soft to touch and smell good. That’s my Mother at work. I never have her favorite toiletries and she always forgets something at home when she visits. I’ll have to keep the little bottles and get some new to refill the basket for her next visit—but I can see how you’d think that!! No, no! I’m no Don Juan prince charming; I just saw what looked like a horrible injustice to a woman I like and wanted to help.” He laughed in a self-deprecating way and added with a mock twang, “I’m a hick at heart, ma’am, and didn’t even kiss a girl until I was eighteen at our senior prom!”

Cherie laughed a little too nervously and said, “Really, Sampson?  That is so hard to believe, a good looking guy like you, but believe you? I do. Would you turn on the whirlpool?” 

“Of course, I’ll set it up for you and you can relax for a while. I have some of my Mom’s bubble bath here and some kinda nodules with oil or something in them—I suspect you know what they are—that you can use as well. She wouldn’t mind, even if she did know. She’d love you.”

He started running the water into the tub and Cherie, blushing at the sincere compliment, watched as he turned on the jets and the currents started to flow. The football player took another feminine-looking pink jar from underneath the sink and poured a small amount of the rich, thick cream into the water.

“This smells really good,” he commented. “It’s that aromatherapy stuff. Maybe it’ll help you to relax. Okay—I’ll get you a glass of wine. Or would you prefer something with a little more kick—sorry, something a little stronger—to it? Then, I’ll leave you alone to enjoy the soak.”

“Wine, please, whatever you have open. That would be delicious, thank you.” Cherie replied and looked him in those deep blue pools he had for eyes and added, “You are so kind. I am overwhelmed. How could I ever repay you?”  He smiled a silent Thank you and left, leaving the door open behind him. As he got half-way through his master bedroom, he remembered he forgot to ask her if she wanted red or white wine and he turned around. Slowly, she undid her halter and once again slid down her scant shorts. He walked towards the open bathroom door and he saw Cherie already with her halter top off, bending to take her short-shorts off, too. He stopped dead in his tracks. It was as if he had never seen her naked before and her purity, her naked beauty, as God Himself had divined, was spellbinding. 


The Girls take on the Hot-Hungry Media
She is reading for pointers from The Girls
He just collided with an 80 year-old Grandmother at a bus stop
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Chrissy Laurence ~

Chrissy Laurence is the cousin of Best Selling mystery writer C.K.Laurence. Chrissy has always wanted to write,
but until her dear friend Muffy encouraged her to do so, she kept the manuscript she had started tucked away without moving forward.
Thrilled with the opportunity to collaborate, she forwarded her manuscript to Muffy. It turned out that the two women were a perfect team and the result of Chrissy and Muffy’s work is

Yours to read and enjoythoroughly!

Muffy Wilson ~ 

Muffy, author of erotic, romantic novels and stories about love, sex, hope and passion, was born in San Antonio, Texas, to traditional parents. With two older brothers, she was the youngest, the family “princess,” indulged and pampered. She adored her older brothers, following them everywhere and was surrounded by love, stimulation, and pets. Her father was a career Colonel and pilot in the U.S. Air Force which required the family to travel extensively. The family lived in most points between Alaska and France. Muffy spent her formative years in Europe and came of age in France.Returning from France with her family, Muffy
finished high school in Northern California and attended the University of California
at Davis and majored in Business Management. She entered the work force, independent with a fierce work ethic, and retired at 39 from IBM as a Mid-West Regional Director in the Real Estate and Construction Division. She and her husband moved to a small Island in northern Wisconsin where they owned a historic one hundred year old tavern, restaurant and resort business which they since have sold.
They now live a charmed life by the water in SW Florida. Muffy pretends to be a serious real estate business person but, in real life, indulges her private interest writing sexy stories and sensual literotica.  ~ Live, Laugh, Love with Passion. 
Ravenous Romance, Decadent Publishing, Yellow Silk Dreams, 
Secret Cravings Publishing, Oysters & Chocolate 
Get Your Ho Ho Hos On
A Christmas Anthology
Muffy Wilson
November 2015
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the War 
A Memoire of Lt.Col. Joe Lyle Jr
Muffy Wilson
 Fall 2015
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Released August 2015

Moonbeams of Unintended Consequences 
Released June 2015


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When Love Blooms by @Judythe2 #bookreview #Romance #MFRWAuthor

when love blooms

Title: When Love Blooms

Author: Judythe Morgan

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book Blurb:

After a hit-and-run accident leaves her mother confined to a special care facility, Darcy Clark abandons her dream of an art career. Instead, she focuses on helping her father run the struggling family landscape business. She has no time or interest in romance. When at-risk students from her old high school become her labor force on a city park project, their teacher Andy Fitzpatrick shows up to help and keep an eye on his kids. The chemistry between Darcy and Andy is instant. Darcy dares to daydream about the possibility of a happily-ever-after until a dark secret connecting Andy to her mother’s accident becomes known. Will the link kill their budding attraction before love can blossom?

My Review:

Darcy Clark is landscaping the high school’s gardens when she meets Andy Fitzpatrick, a special needs teacher at the high school. Darcy falls for him immediately, even though she promised herself she wouldn’t let a man hurt her again. Both Darcy and Andy are dealing with a lot of baggage, including their own insecurities. Can they overcome it all and let love bloom?

I loved the premise of this story but as I was reading, I found myself frowning at the continual obstacles in their relationship. It was one thing after another and I didn’t like that part of the story. I’m a happily-ever-after kind of romance reader and drama really isn’t my thing.

I did like many of the characters and was impressed by the amount of gardening information thrown in. Good job, Judythe. The story flowed at a quick pace and it’s not a long read. I was able to read it in one sitting.

The main theme of this story is how love can bloom if you give it space. Like flowers in a garden, it needs sunlight, water, care and faith. If you cut away the weeds, you’ll have a beautiful garden.

If you’re looking for a contemporary romance with depth, I recommend this book.

My Rating: 3.5 stars

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© Michael Chansley Photography (520) 241-5746
© Michael Chansley Photography
(520) 241-5746

Author Biography:

Judythe Morgan is an award-winning author who believes in true love and happily-ever-after. That’s why she writes love stories.

As an Army wife, one time Department of Army Civilian, mother, antiques dealer, schoolteacher and administrator, her life has provided a wealth of experience. Add her years of international travel and an insatiable desire to see, do, and learn and you have a creative fountain overflowing with stories.

When she’s not writing, you’ll find her browsing antiques shops, reading on the front porch of her Colorado home or walking her dogs–a very large Old English sheepdog and an equally tiny Maltese–in the nearby Rio Grande National Forest.

Please visit her website at or her award-winning blog at for information on her upcoming projects. You can also connect on FB, Twitter and Goodreads.


48 Hours Til Christmas by @StephanyTullis #bookspotlight #Christmas #holidayfiction

48 hours til christmas

TITLE: 48 Hours’ Til Christmas

AUTHOR: Stephany Tullis

GENRE: Contemporary Fiction/Holiday Fiction


Luke Evans and Deputy Mayor Jocelyn Lopez promise Smoothville Georgia residents a Christmas celebration like none other in order to heal their broken city torn apart by the recent mayoral election. After all, everyone loves Christmas. What better way to mend the ill will caused by the election?

As Luke and his team begin to plan for the massive event; one expected to be larger than NYC’s celebration at Rockefeller Center, Smoothville City Manager, Angelica Mason discovers someone’s out to sabotage Smoothville’s Christmas Extravaganza.

Smoothville residents’ tempers flare when rumors circulate that the mayor never planned to deliver on his promise. Angelica convinces Luke and Jocelyn they need a special SWAT team to identify the Grinch in their midst.

Luke is excluded from the team and doesn’t seem to care. Is the community right? Is Luke the undercover Scrooge?

The SWAT team and Smoothville residents work around the clock to salvage Smoothville’s Christmas celebration.

Christmas music, holiday food and festivities, and a few angelic hosts make this Christmas novel a holiday favorite; a beautiful story about the magic of Christmas, the strength of family and friends and the power of forgiveness.


“…Would you please tell her that you’re not really Santa Claus, that actually there is no such person”

Jocelyn knew something was up when she received a festively decorated box with a handwritten note: Felize Navidad, Luke Evans.

Thankfully she was unable to find her red permanent marker: RETURN TO SENDER!  Instead, she deep sixed the package in her home office waste basket.

Jocelyn intended to celebrate Christmas with her Papa and the several tias, tios and mucho primos coming to Smoothville for the first time for some—and in many years for others.  Liam, her 15 year old, was as excited as any 15 year old allowed them self to be. He insisted they travel the almost 50 miles to the Mall of Georgia to buy the specially advertised Cuban cigars for his grandfather. Price was no option—though the Christmas special proclaimed a reduced price of 30 percent.

Still licking her wounds and camouflaging the remaining psychological bruises from the recent mayoral election, she accepted her loss—a close one 46 to the incumbent’s 54 percent. Her colleagues and loved ones congratulated her on her first time numbers. She heard them; even acknowledged them with a big smile and hug but inwardly beat herself up–a win is a win and a loss still a loss.  The point spread is not a factor—not when you exit the campaign hotel suite as the loser. She moped through Thanksgiving but forcibly reminded herself by mid-December that her son needed her.  On December 20th she learned of her family’s plans; a well-intended effort to lift her spirits.

She was elbow deep in flour and just sipped from her now cookie dough flavored cava when Liam brought her cell phone: Jose Feliciano serenaded, ‘I want to wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart’.  Phone in hand, Liam froze at the entrance to the kitchen refusing to enter the winter wonderland of flour, salt and sugar. He stared at the white streaks claiming their turf in his mother’s naturally curly hair. They shouted for attention alongside the reddish brown highlights Jocelyn’s hair stylist insisted she get prior to the election. Rather than take the chance of getting flour on his new Luigi Paper Mario Nikes, Liam stretched his arms, “mami, telephono, its Mr. …”

“Liam, give me that phone. Since when do you…” She fake swatted her son with the back of her hand adding more flour to her face. Glad for the slight reprieve from the warm kitchen, she grabbed her goblet and headed towards the patio.

“Hey Daira, did you get lost? We’re waiting for you.” She sat as she yakked her greeting to her sister. Liam yelled, “Mami, did you hear me? It’s Mr. …”

Taking a three second breather from her sisterly diatribe she waited for Daira’s familiar, “hey girl” and almost dropped her cava when she heard Luke Evans’ never to be forgotten flesh crawling southern drawl.

“Oh. What do you want? I’m busy right now.” She cared less what Luke wanted. She didn’t ever want to talk to Luke Evans or any other Luke again in life. Political etiquette dictated otherwise. So did her upbringing which explained the twinge mid-chest. Before she could apologize for her rudeness, she was paralyzed by Luke’s response.

“And why do you want to meet with me?” She glanced at her cell phone tempted to hit the red  button. “Excuse me? You have an offer that you hope I won’t be able to refuse?” Who does this chico think he is?

“Look Luke, it’s Christmas. My family’s visiting. I’m cooking. And trying my best to enjoy the holidays.  You may find it strange but a meeting with you hasn’t made it to my holiday to do list.”

Rather than boohoo she listened.

“Jocelyn, I need you on my team. I don’t know what else I can say to convince you. I’m so sorry. I know…this is about the sixth time I’ve apologized in less than five minutes? But I…I… I want you to know I wake up with an apology in my head and go to sleep with one each night in my heart.”


Am I hearing things? Deputy Mayor? Is this man for real? How can I work with el monstruo who exploited my son’s father’s addictions to win the election that had my name on it? El hombre malo who authorized and paid for 14 panoramic color perfect 14 by 48 billboard ads that screamed to my son, my family, and all of friggin’

Smoothville more than I ever wanted anyone to know about Ernesto’s struggles.

Jocelyn straightened her shoulders mentally cursing out her self-named, ‘Luke the Scoundrel’: How dare you? You jerk! Mentiroso! You literally stole from me. That office should be mine in January!  Realizing that she wouldn’t be able to repeat a word of soon to be second time Mayor Luke Evans’ discourse even if her life depended on it, she abandoned her mental tirade.

“So, um, what do you think Jocelyn? Can we make this work? I’m begging you. I cain’t do this without you. I don’t want to do this without you.”


Stephany Promo Pic


Stephany’s life changed dramatically in the fall of 2008. The professional contract and business writer was unable to find the senior manager job she expected to easily find after her relocation to Atlanta, Georgia. The move was for family reasons and a little sooner than expected but was a part of her personal life plan.

Refusing to succumb to the heavy disappointment of not advancing her career in a city with such promise, Stephany struggled to understand purpose behind sudden and unexpected life changes. When her oldest son asked, ‘why don’t you just write a book? Do what you love to do?’, after a few weeks of thought, she decided to give it a shot.

She loved to write and realized that one of the reasons she succeeded as a proposal writer was because of her ability to ‘create programs and program designs’ —so effectively that they were loved by her business clients and convincingly presented to and funded by grant sources!

From inception to publication, Stephany worked for four years on her first novel, The Master’s Plan, A Novel About Purpose. When thinking about how much she continually enjoys reading her debut novel, she writes, “I still laugh at all my favorite chapters and have yet to decide who is my favorite or least liked character. It’s amazing! I was able to spin a tail around two frameworks that have had a major influence on my life: church and government politics. In writing The Master Plan, I was reminded of what a blessed life I have had and that despite what appeared to be very dismal circumstances, I was able to use my creativity and love of writing in a different way. Truly, I can see and believe, it was all part of a master plan.”

Stephany Tullis graduated from Russell Sage College with a Masters in Public Service Administration. She is the recipient of several leadership and career related rewards. She continues to consult for not for profits and lives in Georgia with her family. Her second novel 48 Hours Til Christmas is scheduled for release in November of this year.



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