Wednesday, March 21, 2018

To Discover a Divine by Tessa McFionn


So, we all have secrets, right? Now, I’m not talking about the deep, dark, “skeletons in the closet” type of secrets. I’m talking about those kinda generic, embarrassing moments back in high school or college, or maybe even yesterday at the supermarket, that you’d rather forget about. Let’s say we dredge up some dirt on yours truly!

All right. First, huge disclaimer; I’m boring.

Honest! I wish I could say I’ve spent years traveling the globe and hanging out with posh celebrities. But, sadly, I’m not that person. I work as a teacher and shoehorn in writing at every available opportunity. I have a husband who gratefully understands my weirdness. I have no kids, nor have I ever had the desire to have them. (See above statement about being a teacher.)

No, I’m not going to cheat and say the boring disclaimer was one of my five secrets. OK, here goes.

Secret number one: I am a huge nerd.

Most of my readers know of my obsession with everything Disney, but my nerdiness goes far beyond that. I have a rather extensive comic book collection, complete with signed comics and graphic novels. I played Dungeons & Dragons from the moment it hit the gaming shelves way back in junior high school and continued to game until just recently (Yes, I still have my character sheets and I think I know where my dice bag is). This also means I was stuffed into lockers and occasionally dumped in trash cans, but I didn’t mind. I took calculus and physics just for fun in my senior year. I have action figures from very random movies, and I do mean random. I have Kurt Russell and Kim Cattrall’s characters from Big Trouble in Little China, the cast of Firefly, and of course, Doctor Who. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact I have been attending San Diego Comic-Con for almost twenty-seven years, with about twenty-three of them spent as a staff volunteer. Like I said, seriously huge nerd.

Secret number two: I’ve performed Off-Broadway.

Surprise! Remember when I said I teach, well, I didn’t mention that I teach dance. I started dancing when I was about three and after a slight break in high school, I picked it back up again in college. Before going to college, I focused on tap and jazz, and then ballet and modern once I got to college. I returned to my first love, tap, after discovering Irish step dancing. Yeah, I know. That’s a lot of dance, so when I add it to the pile, my repertoire consists of tap, jazz, ballet, modern, hip-hop and Irish step dancing. All right, back to the show. Set the Wayback Clock to 2002. I was much younger and ready to try something new. So, I took a summer break, went to NYC, and worked with a great group of tappers on a show called “Break the Floor.” It was part of my fifteen minutes of fame and I just loved it. Yet, the most amazing thing I learned was I was no longer driven to perform. Strange, I know. Standing in the wings of the American Plaza Theater, preparing to take the stage, and I didn’t have the butterflies I was expecting. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade that moment for the world, but it did let me know that my passion truly lay in watching my students perform.

Secret number three: I’m an extrovert.

Ok, so maybe that’s more of a declarative statement, but some people might not expect it, nonetheless. I think it’s because most people believe authors to be the introverted, shy, bookish types who connect better with pages than with people. Yeah, no. Not so much for me. And I’ve always been outgoing. Being the youngest of three, I had to be creative to get in trouble. So, you can be assured, trouble was found and very often when I was a kid. I remember going to McDonald’s with my brother and I had to talk to the people behind the counter for him. I really like talking to people. I enjoy hearing other people’s stories and I also like to see people smile. Laughter is the song of the day in my house at all times, and I share positivity as often as I can. Does this seem odd for someone whose entire wardrobe consists of black, light black, and darker black? Details.

See? I told you I’m boring.

Secret number four: I’m nearly impossible to embarrass.

This one is pretty entertaining. I am more apt to embarrass myself, but at the end of the day, embarrassment happens when you’re uncomfortable. And, if you just finished reading the above secret, you know that I’m very outgoing and I thrive in crowds. Have I done embarrassing things? At least once a day, but I laugh them off. I will share one entertaining event. Now, the Wayback Clock is getting set to late 1997. I had recently met the man I now call my husband and we were hanging out with friends at a coffee shop. It actually was the coffee shop where we first met (he was a barista at the time and I was a first-time patron), so it was a rather relaxed setting. One of my hubby’s very good friends is from the Netherlands, so a bunch of their crew knew a smattering of Dutch (I’m thinking you might see where this is going). It’s still the beginning stages of the relationship, and we all remember those days, and nights. So, at the coffee shop, I’m sitting with my hubby and friends and we’re making goo-goo eyes at each other. One of his friends uses the phrase, “hoeken in de keuken.” Unaware, I smiled, and my hubby proudly said, “Yup.” Wide eyes turned toward me as one of our friends exclaims, “You had sex in his kitchen?”

One of the few times I’ve actually turned red. I could feel the heat on my cheeks, plus the peals of raucous laughter were another obvious sign.

Secret number five: I am terrified that I’m doing everything wrong.

Yeah, surprise. After all the posturing of my earlier statements, I am quite the fraidy-cat. It's a little of the "imposter complex" that most artists deal with on a daily basis, but a large part of it is due to something else. I have ADHD. I'm not really including this as one of my big secrets. If you've ever met me, it's pretty easy to figure that one out. I HAVE to be going in fourteen different directions all at the same time. If not, I am truly a basket case. I'm adept at multitasking, and most of the time, I can keep all the balls up with a decent degree of success. But, at the heart of the matter, I generally spend half of my time concerned that I'm forgetting something that I should be doing, and worrying that what I am doing isn't right, or enough, or any number of qualifiers simultaneously. Some days are easy; others, I want to curl up in a catatonic ball of frazzled nerves and blubbering tears. But I don't.

So, why not? This is where things get even weirder. I'm a dreamer, yet a realist at the same time. Like all authors, I have a little voice in the back of my head. It's more than just my muse. It refuses to let me give up, or break down, even when things are bleak. I attribute the voice to both my parents. They always believed in me, even when I didn't. And even though they have passed beyond, I can still hear them, whispering loving words of encouragement and support. So, I persevere. I have my momentary freak-outs, but they generally last only a second or two. Then, I'm back to my crazy, positive, Goth self.

Well, there you have it. Five randomly boring insights in the dark little space I call my mind. But, to be honest, I do like my life, warts and all.

When Kahlym cal Jhuen, freedom-fighting leader of the Chandar Stria, breaks into a prison ship controlled by the Rimmarian Thrall, he only expected to rescue two of his crew. But when he discovers a terrified female during his escape, he is immediately captivated by her unique beauty and makes a snap decision to take her with him. However, his good deed backfires when he learns he has stolen the Thrall Emperor’s prize.

Down to her last dollar, Evainne Wagner expected nothing out of the ordinary when she stepped out of her Boston apartment. Instead, she found herself in the middle of an intergalactic firefight, complete with strange soldiers with deadly weapons pointed directly at her. Salvation arrives in the nick of time in the form of a mysterious leather-clad warrior, skidding in and whisking her away. Trusting her heart, she follows, hoping to find answers as well as a way home.

Safely on board his ship, he learns more about her and her rare skills, triggering the memory of a half-forgotten prophecy spoken at the time of his cursed birth. Outcast because of a cruel twist of fate, he finds unexpected acceptance, even affection, from his new passenger.

Could she be the one who holds the future of his people, as well as his own heart, in her tender hands?

About the Author:
Tessa McFionn is a very native Californian and has called Southern California home for most of her life, growing up in San Diego and attending college in Northern California and Orange County, only to return to San Diego to work as a teacher. Insatiably curious and imaginative, she loves to learn and discover, making her wicked knowledge of trivial facts an unwelcomed guest at many Trivial Pursuit boards.

When not writing, she can be found at the movies or at Disneyland with her husband, as well as family, friends or anyone who wants to play at the Happiest Place on Earth. She also finds her artistic soul fed through her passions for theatre, dance and music.

A proud parent of far too many high school seniors and two still living house plants, she also enjoys hockey, reading and playing Words With Friends to keep her vocabulary sharp. She is currently the treasurer of the San Diego chapter of Romance Writers of America and loves spending time working with such amazingly intelligent and creative writers.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Unringing the Bell by Judy Higgins

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Have you ever had an imaginary friend?

I played with a whole slew of imaginary people when I was young, plus some fictional characters like Tarzan and Roy Rogers. I also played with my little brother who was acquainted with my imaginary friends. He had some, too. Our play varied from day to day, because we had a large repertoire of invisible companions. Sometimes, we’d take a movie we’d seen and use that as a setting. When we saw a movie about cavemen, for months afterwards we had a cast of cave men and women as playmates. We dealt with woolly mammoths and tigers and lived in a cozy cave. The mimosa tree in our front yard was the hub for our jungle friends which, of course, included Tarzan. In the backyard, we had a tree house in a chinaberry tree. That was home base for other types of adventures involving imaginary friends.


I’m scared to death of snakes. Just say “snake,” and I start shaking. I grew up in South Georgia where a rattlesnake or a water moccasin would occasionally slither into our yard. Once, my mother started down the front door steps and almost put her foot on a four foot long water moccasin. I was afraid to go down those steps for weeks afterwards. I attended a program on snakes at the Okeefenokee State Park in Georgia one summer. The snake handler put a rattle snake at the back of the stage while he gave his lecture and explained that the snake would remain there because the snake was even more afraid of the man than the man of the snake. Every time he took a step toward the snake, the moccasin would coil and hiss. When the man moved away, the snake unwound but was still too afraid to slither away with the man so close by. This program helped ameliorate my fear of snakes marginally. One of my favorite stories is Kipling’s Rikki Tikki Tali about the mongoose who does battle with a cobra.

Do you listen to music when you’re writing?

Never. Nor do I listen to music when I read. I can’t seem to shut it out. I find that I can listen to music if I’m doing something mathematical, but not when I’m doing something that has to do with words. I think it might have something to do with the rhythm. When I listen to music, I’m totally focused on the music. Since I can add, subtract, and do Sudoko without thinking, I can listen to music at the same time.

Do you ever read your stories out loud?

Not as much as I should. I know you’re supposed to catch mistakes that way as well as judge the rhythm and voice. I catch the most mistakes when I print off sections for my critique group. No matter how many times I have read over it, as soon as I print it off for someone else to read, I find errors. An actor in Charleston, Nat Jones, has read Unringing the Bell for the audiobook. Listening to a professional read my story was really exciting!! But I do need to read my stories out loud before I pass them on.

Tell us about your main character and who inspired him.

Jacob Gillis is a creation based on no one except for one thing. My son’s father died when he was seven and so I know some of the issues of boys growing up without fathers. Jacob’s father died when Jacob was ten. I had one of his father’s friends, Detective William Laskey, step in and act as a surrogate father to Jacob. Regrettably, my son had no such person in his life.

Another character, Dr. Zuela Hay, the zany Shakespeare scholar, is based almost entirely on someone I knew. My readers seem to like the fictional Dr. Hay as much as I liked the real one.

In the second book of the Bucks County Mysteries series, Bride of the Wind, Fritz Herschmann is based partially on a man I knew. His name was also Fritz. The real Fritz was one of the kindest, most thoughtful, and most intelligent men that I’ve ever known, as is his fictional namesake. When the fictional Fritz’s daughter goes missing, because he is the kind of man he is, he refuses to believe that the worst can happen to her.

In the small town of Goose Bend, Pennsylvania, people don't forget. Especially something as sensational as 12-year-old Jacob Gillis burning down the town. Nineteen years later, Jacob returns, hoping for redemption. Instead, he finds himself entangled in a murder investigation. The prosecutor, taking advantage of Jacob's involvement with the victim's beautiful sister-in-law, threatens Jacob with loss of career and reputation if he doesn't play by his rules. Only by outwitting the prosecutor can Jacob save his future.

Read an excerpt:

When Jacob Gillis was twelve years old, he burned down the town of Goose Bend, Pennsylvania. The fire didn’t actually consume the entire town – only two blocks of the four-block business section went up in flames – but when the folks in Goose Bend spoke of the incident, they persisted in saying that Jacob Gillis, abetted by his friend Charlie Garrett, burned down the town.

Jacob watched Laskey walk back to the Sequoia, his limp barely detectable, and for the thousandth time he wondered why his friend kept what had happened to his foot a secret. But there were some places Laskey didn’t go – formidable Laskey with his gruff manner and hard-muscled body. He was a private person and sometimes a grizzly bear, but he had a goose-down heart which he tried like heck to hide. But Jacob knew.

Laskey grasped the arms of his chair and pushed his feet hard against the floor to contain himself. For a brief moment, the thought had rushed through his head that a jail term for assaulting a DA would be worth enduring for the pleasure of smashing Inglehook’s head against his desk.

Laskey squared his shoulders, turned around, and looked Jacob in the eyes. “Don’t get yourself in a mess, Jake. Extrication isn’t always possible.” He started for the door.

“Give back the painting,” he called over his shoulder. “And Jake,” he paused and twisted around. “Don’t ever mistake pretty wrappings for the quality of the gift inside.”

About the Author:
Judy Higgins was born in South Georgia where she grew up playing baseball, reading, and taking piano lessons. To pay for her lessons, she raised chickens and sold eggs to neighbors. She attended Mercer University for two years, and then Baylor University from which she graduated with a BA in German. She received her MA in German literature from The University of Michigan. After teaching German for several years, Judy decided to become a librarian and earned an MA in Library Science at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania.

Judy’s life took an exciting turn when she left her teaching job in Pennsylvania to be Head of Library at the Learning Center School of Qatar Foundation. She lived in Qatar for eight years, enjoying the experience of living in a different culture and traveling to exotic places during every vacation. Recently, she returned to the United States and lives in Lexington, KY. Judy has two children, Julia and Stephen, two children-in-law, Jim and Erin, and four grandchildren: Kyle, Jon, Karina, and Addy.

Judy’s first book, The Lady, was a finalist in the 2012 Amazon Break-out Novel Award. The first two novels of her Bucks County Mysteries, Unringing the Bell and Bride of the Wind are available March 1, 2018. The series is set in an imaginary small town in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Call me Mara, the story of Ruth and Naomi, is scheduled for publication in March, 2019.

In addition to writing, Judy’s passions include travel, tennis, elephants, and playing the piano.
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Monday, March 19, 2018

A Walk on the Wild Side by Eileen Dreyer, writing as Kathleen Korbel

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Eileen will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly chosen winner via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour and more chances to win.

J.P. O’Neill is in the fight of his life. A legendary agent with the DEA, he’s uncovered a conspiracy in his own agency. The only problem is he’s been arrested for the murder of his partner. If he goes to jail, he dies.

There’s only one solution—escape. The only way to do that is to kidnap his defense attorney. Lauren Taylor is a high-priced attorney doing a favor for a friend. Suddenly she finds herself on the run with the most dangerous man she’s ever met. Will she survive with her heart intact?

“Ms. Korbel generates an incredible chemistry between her two immensely appealing lovers that will set your heart on fire.” ~ RT Booklovers

Read an Excerpt:

The DA cackled that he had an open and shut case. A slam dunk with clusters. J. P. O’Neill, once a virtuoso of undercover agents had finally stepped over the line and gone rogue, turning on his own people rather than be reeled back in. The DEA had lost track of him some five weeks earlier. It was their suspicion that the mercurial star of undercover had finally succumbed to the life-style he’d imitated for so long and gone spinning off into his own personal orbit. His partner had been sent in to retrieve him.

Something about those eyes, though, contradicted the idea that he’d done anything in cold blood. Something about those eyes made Lauren think twice when a personal request from the senior partner in her firm to represent this man might not have.

“So, what do you think?” O’Neill asked. “Am I a worthless maggot with antisocial behavior who couldn’t withstand the lure of filthy lucre?”

Startled by the tone of his voice, Lauren looked up. Amusement. She’d heard it in the question, and now saw it in the eyes. They glinted with it, a dark, knowing challenge that made her somehow sorry.

Those eyes. Blue, green, changing like the water off the Bahamas on a sunny day, so startling against that grime not for the color but for the intelligence. The sharp, sudden flashes of humor and even more stunning glitter of grief.

Wild eyes. Eyes that promised surprise, that mesmerized with energy, with the wicked wit that lurked behind. Eyes that made her wary, that taunted her like a peek into a forbidden room. Eyes that should have belonged to the devil himself.

“I don’t know what you are, Mr. O’Neill,” she finally admitted, leaning back in her chair.

Lauren was tired. She’d already put in a full day when Tom Paxton had called in his favor from New York where he was taking depositions.

For a friend. Well, if this was the friend, then there was a lot about the senior partner of the firm Lauren wanted to know. For now, though, she ignored the ache in her back and the stale feel of a suit too long worn.

“I’m dead if I don’t make bail,” O’Neill assured her, picking off yet another strip of foam and carefully folding it into the disintegrating cup. “If you don’t believe anything else, believe that.”

About the Author:
New York Times bestselling, RWA Hall of Fame author Eileen Dreyer has published 31 romance novels in most genres, 8 medical­forensic suspenses, and 10 short stories.

2015 sees Eileen enjoying critical acclaim for her foray into historical romance, the Drake’s Rakes series, which Eileen labels as Regency Romantic Adventure that follows a group of Regency aristocrats who are willing to sacrifice everything to keep their country safe. She is also working on her first non­fiction book, TRAVELS WITH DAVE, about a journey she's been taking with a friend's ashes.

A retired trauma nurse, Eileen lives in her native St. Louis with her husband, children, and a large and noisy Irish family, of which she is the reluctant matriarch. She has animals but refuses to subject them to the limelight.


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Guarding Her Heart by Jade Webb

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jade will be awarding a $30 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Trust me, even though I’ve had a silver spoon in my mouth since I was a fetus and have a world-famous pop diva as a sister, there is nothing I want more in the world than to fade into the background and live out my Law & Order fantasy of becoming a public defender.

The only problem is my dad won’t bankroll law school unless I spend the summer following my older sister on her arena tour, keeping her out of trouble and making sure she doesn’t have yet another embarrassing public meltdown. Now relegated to a glorified babysitter, I am stuck lugging my ten-pound LSAT prep books through hotel lobbies and taking practice tests in my sister’s dressing rooms.

Then I find myself caught in a love triangle with my sister’s arch nemesis, bad boy popstar Jordan James and Liam, my sister’s confusing and irritatingly gorgeous Scottish bodyguard. Too bad I’ve sworn off love after seeing my own parent’s train wreck of marriage end with heartache and misery.

I’m tired of living under my family’s careful rules and law school is my way out. I won’t let anything get in my way. I won’t let anyone close enough to break down my walls. I have to guard my heart.

Read an excerpt:


When I hear my name, my eyes pop open and I feel the rush of blood to my cheeks. Jordan has stopped playing and is looking right at me. Dear God, I must look like such a stalker.

“I’m so sorry,” I manage to stammer out. “I heard you playing and it was so beautiful." I turn to leave, offering him an apologetic smile. "You know, I’m just going to go.”

“Wait!” Jordan calls out and I turn back around, pushing the door to the room open. I take a deep breath and slowly enter the room, taking a seat on the couch opposite his chair.

“Well, did you like it?” Jordan asks, his stunning blue eyes looking at me.

I find myself nodding. “It was beautiful, but…”


“Well, to be honest, it felt a little sad.”

He doesn’t respond right away, but instead looks at me thoughtfully before chuckling. “It’s my ode to Hollywood,” he responds dryly.

I look at him curiously. “Jordan, why don’t you record songs like that?”

Leaning back in his chair, he moves the guitar off his lap. “No one wants to hear songs like this. They want to hear about pretty girls and fancy cars. They don’t want to hear how I really feel.”

I let out a long sigh. “That’s so sad, Jordan.”

Catching my eye, Jordan smiles. “Do you feel sorry for me, Gabby?”

“No!” I answer instantly before admitting, “Well, actually, maybe a little.”

He leans in, closing the distance between us. “I like that you’re always honest with me. That’s something I don’t get a lot.” He smacks his palms on his thighs and winks at me before continuing, “And since I’ve got you feeling sorry for me, how about you let me take you out to dinner?”

About the Author:
I am a lover of romance novels that feature strong heroines who know that the loves that may come into their lives are always the icing, and never the cake.

I have loved romance novels since I was a teen, sneaking them into my Bible studies at my all-girls Catholic school. I love strong heroines who know that the men that may come into their lives are always the icing, and never the cake.

Thanks to my own marriage, I have learned that the challenges of life can only help to make love stronger and I am grateful to my partner for embodying all the magic that love can offer.

When I am not writing or dreaming up new love stories, I am working in a retirement community outside of Boston that provides me with enough writing material for ten lifetimes.

You can find me at:


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Friday, March 16, 2018

Nadia's Heart Part Two by Wendy Altshuler

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Wendy will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


In Nadia's Heart, Part One, amnesiac Nadia knew that something was wrong, so she went in search of her missing heart. What she encountered has only brought more questions: about her origins and her ties to the people of the Land of Silence. She learned that her heart was indeed removed, and that her memory was erased by an evil Voice. But why? Now Nadia and her glowing-eyed companion, Georgeonus, must help recover the stolen hearts of the children of the Land of Silence. In Part Two, they will do battle against the evil Voice and travel to frightening places. They receive help from a powerful Witch and Wizard, and Nadia gets her heart back—but it's not at all what she expected. Can they rescue the stolen children's hearts in time?


From Chapter IV: The Silver Witch:

They remembered that her visit had been preceded by a magick dust.

The dust came from above, the air tingled, and miniscule, silver particles glistened as they fell. It was musical, and as they breathed, they smelled fresh air like new spring, and they felt an excitement of imminent magick. She appeared suddenly, and at first no one knew where she had come from or how; she was just there on the road. She came as naturally as if she had approached them from the road. But as the magick dust settled, they realized—remembered—that the Silver Witch had dropped out of the sky.

As she stood there smiling at them, they remembered that they had looked up at the sky at a circling dot which descended. As it approached, it formed the shape of a square, floating quilt. The Witch was soon revealed to be sitting on top in black garb and hat, her silvery skin thick and rubbery. With both hands placed on diagonal corners of the quilt, she jumped off and shook the fabric out like clean laundry and parachuted down to them, the tennis sneakers on her feet ready for the road. Softly she landed, snapping the quilt upward and folding it once, twice, three times, and again and again until it was a small square deposited into one of her pockets.


Wendy Altshuler is a writer-producer who explores myth in new media. She writes fantasy novels and creates works in stop motion animation. Her credits include award-winning screenwriting and WGA-accredited representation. With a degree in psychology and a Master of Arts from Columbia University, Altshuler documented the work of international choreographers and wrote and produced regional programming. Her short plays have been performed at Boston Playwrights' Theatre, at regional schools and most recently, Puppet Showplace Theatre. Altshuler's young adult book series has been hailed as "emotionally moving, uplifting and wholesome," and "spirited and haunting. . .with much symbolism and beauty."

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Lawbreakers by Deb Julienne, Daryl Devoré, January George and Viviana MacKade

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The authors will be awarding a digital copy of the book to 4 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

If you like strong women who take a detour from the straight and narrow, this collection is for you! From computer hackers to art heists, to a mysterious woman reclaiming her legacy and a re-telling of a classic with a billionaire twist, this box set has it all.

Join us for a ride-along on the wrong side of the law, and see if you fall in love with a Lawbreaker.

Collection includes The Fighting Lancasters by Deb Julienne, Two Truths and a Lie by Daryl Devoré, The Storm and the Sea by January George and Painted Love by Viviana MacKade.
Featured Book

The Fighting Lancasters by Deb Julienne

Chrysanthemum Lancaster is a geek to the core. The youngest of three children, all geniuses, and yet they have trouble fitting into their own family. Chrys has always felt stupid when compared with her elder brother the financial wizard, and ugly when beside her older international super model sister. The only place she feels comfortable is on the computer where no one can see her. When their father is killed, the three Lancaster’s must quit their bickering and find a way to get along. While her siblings believe the police report that it was an accident, wrong place, wrong time, Chrys takes it into her own hands and contact an old hacker buddy to help her discover the truth. Along the way the three siblings find themselves embroiled in a bitter fight between Lancaster Pharmaceuticals and the Board of Directors accusing them of stealing and selling the three patent pending serum breakthroughs on the big C to the highest bidder.

Nicholas Porter aka The Dark Knight, at one time was well on his way to a life behind bars for hacking into the Government database, the National Treasury, and the White House for the fun of it. Thanks to his current boss, who saw the brilliance in him, he now works for the FBI Cyber Crimes Team. When his old sidekick, 4n0m@ly, contacts him begging for his computer skills to uncover a murderer, three things soon become abundantly clear: 1) Can he use his Federal skills to help an old friend? 2) Will he have to break a promise to the man who saved his life? 3) What happens when 4n0m@ly turns out to be a very pretty female trying to save her family legacy, find a killer behind the death of her father, and if it’s the same person who stole the secret recipe that was about to go public as a cure for Cancer.

Read an excerpt:

“Is this an honest conversation?”

“Of course! Why?”

“Because I’m twenty-four years old and this is the first time you’ve ever had a conversation with me.”

“Come on, Chrys, don’t play stupid, it doesn’t become you. You were Mother and Father’s favorite.”

“Bull that’s you and Frank.” Chrys clutched her head.

“Seriously?” Lily stood up and glared down at her.

“Do you have any idea what it’s like having to live up to the fact that Frank’s the financial whiz who made his first million before he turned twenty-one? And then there’s Princess Lily. The beauty and the brains. You’ve been on every continent in the world, worn the most incredible gowns, mingled with royalty, and rubbed elbows with the handsomest men on the planet. How’s a computer nerd supposed to compete with that?”

“You’re joking, right?” Lily said.

“Between you and Frank, I didn’t stand a chance. Do you know what my handle is?”

“What’s a handle?”

Chrys chuckled. “My online name in the computer chat rooms. It’s Anomaly. Do you know what an anomaly is? Look it up, you’ll find my picture and the definition: one that is abnormal or doesn’t fit in. Why do you think I hang out on the computer? It’s my hiding place.”

About the Author: Deb Julienne is a USA Today Bestselling Author. While some say truth is stranger than fiction, Deb’s experience runs more along the lines of a slap-stick comedy. She believes when life tosses you lemons the only thing to do is to turn it into Limoncello. In fact, her life has been one big fat romantic comedy…of errors. It’s not a matter of “if” it can go wrong, but how bad when it does happen, and make no mistake…it will. Survival with a sense of humor is the goal.


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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Blooming Into Life by Kristie Booker

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kristie will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Blooming Into Life is my first book. I’ve always loved writing and creating stories but I had a huge fear of sharing my work. The hardest part of writing this book was getting out of my own way. I had to work hard to shut down all of my fear-based thoughts of not being a good enough, experienced enough, or smart enough. I kept the writing of this book a secret until I was almost finished because I worried that people would think I was some crazy middle-aged woman with a pipe dream. I grew a lot as a person throughout the process of writing this book. I learned how to have power over my fears and to stop conforming to what I thought others expected of me.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I enjoyed the entire process of creating and perfecting this story. As a wellness coach, I loved creating a character with similar issues that I see women face every day. I also enjoyed taking my main character through the same type of detox diet that I have taken many of my clients through. I loved creating the characters, the scenes, and rewriting and restructuring my sentences. I could spend an hour pouring over one sentence and I loved every minute of it. The mornings I spent writing over the course of the eighteen months it took me to write this book were the most magical moments I have ever experienced. I’ve never felt more joy or fulfillment from any other experience in my life.

What inspires you?

Nature inspires me most. A sunny blue sky, flowers, trees, sounds of crickets chirping and birds singing always gets my creative juices flowing. I’m also inspired when I see people allow their love and light conquer their doubt, fear, and sadness.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?

I’ve always been a fan of Elizabeth Berg’s writing. Her stories leave you feeling like you just had a really nice cup of tea. I love the way her words dance across the page. After reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love many years ago, I was inspired to write an inspirational novel. And, the quick beach reads that Elin Hilderbrand creates made me want to write books that were fun and easy to read.

What do your plans for future projects include?

I plan to write more stories about women overcoming difficult life circumstances and self-imposed roadblocks. I’m currently working on a story about a young widow with a ten-year-old son that has great talent as a youth hockey player. She and her son relocate to Chicago,IL from St. Paul, MN to be closer to her parents and her late husband’s best friend who happens to be the hockey director of an elite youth hockey program. She must manage her overbearing mother, the political nuances of the hockey organization, help her son adjust to his new environment, and figure who she is and what her life purpose is.

Growing up on a farm in Brockville, Illinois, did not prepare Colleen O’Brien Adler to be the wife of a wealthy entertainment lawyer living in Chicago. It certainly didn’t prepare her to be Dinah Adler’s daughter-in-law. The stay-at-home mother of two has more than she’s ever wanted—a personal stylist, a prestigious country club membership, a multimillion-dollar home—but she finds herself not only struggling with depression and body image but also failing as a parent and fearing for her marriage. Her life is about to change when an invitation to a wellness meeting arrives in her inbox. With some coaxing from personal coach Kory Stone, she commits to a new beginning. But will she be able to overcome the things that are holding her back?

Read an excerpt:

“How many of you are here to lose weight?” Kory asked.

Colleen raised her hand along with every other woman in the room. Noticing how skinny over half the room was, Colleen wondered why they were raising their hand.

“While your goal is weight loss, my goal is to help you find yourself, your true self,” Kory said.

“What if our true self just needs to lose weight?” Beth said.

The women around the table laughed. Kory smiled at her. “I want to help you see beyond your physical body and dig deep into what makes your heart happy.”

Beth’s smile faded as she considered Kory’s words. Colleen had no idea what made her heart happy. She loved the girls and Jay. They made her happy. They also made her exhausted. Besides her bed, a vanilla latte and a bottle of wine, she couldn’t put her finger on anything that truly made her happy.

“The hardest part about finding out what makes you happy is being truthful about what isn’t making you happy,” Kory said. “In order to lose weight and keep it off, you have to commit to working hard to overcome the things that are holding you back.”

Colleen wasn’t sure she could commit to doing whatever work Kory was talking about. Some things in her life were too difficult to overcome.

About the Author:
Kristie Booker is the author of Blooming Into Life, a blogger and a Wellness Coach. She enjoys coaching and inspiring women through her writing as well as in person. Kristie is a wife and mother of two sons. She grew up in rural Illinois, but now lives in Chicago.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Revision is a Process by Catherine E. McLean

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What comes first, the plot or characters?

Actually, an IDEA always comes first.

Most writers don't realize that. You see, a word, phrase, headline, or anything can trigger curiosity that sets the imagination into pondering "what ifs" until a story blossoms. That initial story dump of information might be a character sketch, the idea for the plot that then needs characters, or it could be a scene with character interaction over some situation or looming problem.

Once I stopped trying to fit the mold of a Pantser and understood my imagination (which pigeonholes me as a Foundation Type of writer), it ceased to concern me whether character or plot mattered.

As a Foundation writer (see the note at the end about getting a free copy of "10 Types of Writers"), my imagination will work on an idea, then give me a full blown scene with characters dealing with a problem or facing some sort of danger. That scene might be ten pages or a hundred. Then there is nothing more. That's because everything I need to know about the story is in that dump. All I have to do is figure out the rest and ask more questions of my imagination so it comes up with answers that fit the character or the plot and story's theme. For example, in HEARTS AKILTER, the initial idea (which I entered in 1996 to my Bits & Pieces binder, where I keep all my ideas or stuff that would trigger a possible story or novel, was— What if a robot thought it was having a heart attack?

From time to time while going through the Bits & Pieces book, I would read that line and wonder how it could be made into a story. The hang-up was this: The robot is small. It is full of micro and mini pulleys and gears, hydraulic systems, etc. There is not much room inside for anything else. So, what can cause the heart attack that runs from where a human heart might be inside the robot down his left appendage? Obviously the first thing to come to mind is a short circuit, which is just too trite. And then, in 2008, it came to me— there is a bomb inside the robot. Which led to asking a series of questions:

* What is the maximum size of a bomb, say plastic explosive, that could be put into such a robot?
* What is the maximum explosive power of such an explosive? Here's where I spent a long afternoon online looking up various explosives and their boom. With all the searching, I figured Homeland Security might even come calling or put me on a watch list. At any rate, I discovered a few explosives that had potential and tweaked the power and range just enough to work in the story and be believable.
* Who was the target of the bomb? And why?
* Who put the bomb inside the robot without anyone else knowing about it, not even the robot itself?
* Who was the best person to disarm the bomb? Of course, the answer is a bomb expert.
* Who could discover the bomb? Obviously a maintenance technician, one who worked on such a robot's inner workings.

Basically that's how HEARTS AKILTER - - evolved into a lighthearted sci-fi romance novella published by The Wild Rose Press.

As you can see, the original idea contained a character (a robot) in need of the right plot.

Do you keep a file of story ideas?

NOTE: For a free download of 10 Types of Writers go to

A first draft holds the possibility of what will be a great story. Revision turns that rough diamond into a spectacular gem worth a reader's money and time.

Writers are individuals but to be a producing writer means creating a system to revise and polish a work so the reader thoroughly enjoys the story. REVISION IS A PROCESS is a guidebook for writers and authors that shows how a simple 12-step process can be tailored to eliminate the most common and chronic maladies of writing genre fiction. This valuable guidebook contains secrets, tips, practical advice, how-to's, and why-to's for taking the frustration out of self-editing.

Read an Excerpt from Section 7, Show Don't Tell - What to Cut or Change:

One rule of fiction is to show more and tell less.

What does that mean?

A very simple example is that saying it's a flower is telling but to say it's a white rose, its petals edged with a mist of ruby-pink is showing.

Showing means providing an instant, vivid image so the reader sees in their mind what was meant.

Yes, showing requires more words than telling, but how much detail is too much detail when showing?

Keep in mind that readers will stop reading and skim over sentences and paragraphs of details in order "to get to the good stuff" of drama, action, and something happening of interest. So it's best to choose all descriptive words carefully and keep the passages succinct.

Now— Go through your manuscript and highlight all descriptive phrases and passages so you can see how much of the total text is description.

If using your word processor's highlight feature, pause to zoom down to view entire pages and look at the end of pages to see how much carried over to the next page.

If you have exceeded three sentences (20-60 words) of description or explanation at any spot, that may be overkill. Determine what needs to be cut, pared down, rewritten, or reparagraphed for visual effect and immediacy, and what is too lengthy, mundane, or bordering on boring.

It's also important, when revising such areas, to remember that the replacement words should be in keeping with the story's or scene's narrator—and not you, the author, stepping onto the page with your voice, (that's a type of Author Intrusion that readers hate).

About the Author:
Catherine E. McLean's lighthearted, short stories have appeared in hard cover and online anthologies and magazines. Her books include JEWELS OF THE SKY, KARMA & MAYHEM, HEARTS AKILTER, and ADRADA TO ZOOL (a short story anthology). She lives on a farm nestled in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains of Western Pennsylvania. In the quiet of the countryside, she writes lighthearted tales of phantasy realms and stardust worlds (fantasy, futuristic, and paranormal) with romance and advenure. She is also a writing instructor and workshop speaker. Her nonfiction book for writers is REVISION IS A PROCESS - HOW TO TAKE THE FRUSTRATION OUT OF SELF-EDITING.

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