Thursday, December 14, 2017

Lovesick Gods by Amanda Meuwissen

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Amanda 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.

The elements touch everyone on Earth—Fire, Water, even Light—but every so often someone becomes more attuned to their elemental leaning and develops true power. When an evil Elemental known as Thanatos arrived in Olympus City, it saw the rise of its first hero—Zeus. But the death toll caused by defeating Thanatos changed Zeus, who by day is young detective Danny Grant.

It’s been six months since Thanatos terrorized the city at the start of Lovesick Gods. Danny should be used to his duty behind the mask, but the recent past haunts him. His girlfriend left him, he snaps at the barest provocation, his life feels empty—he needs an outlet, any outlet to pull him out of his depression.

Enter notorious thief Malcolm Cho, the Ice Elemental Prometheus. There was a time when Danny welcomed a fight with Cho, filled with colorful banter and casual flirtations that were a relief compared to Thanatos. Even as a criminal, Cho had recognized the threat Thanatos posed and promised to help Danny stop him, but the day Danny needed Cho, he never showed. Cho was the reason so many people died that day—including Danny’s mother.

Danny decides to teach the man a lesson and fan the fire of their attraction into something more. At worst, he’ll get some no-strings-attached sex out of the deal and finally blow off steam; at best, he’ll get Cho to fall in love with him and then break his heart to spite him. Danny doesn’t expect to fall for Cho in the process, and he certainly can’t predict the much darker threat on the horizon.

Read an excerpt:

The long game, Danny thought as he accepted the hand Cho held out to help him from the sofa. Cho couldn’t have any fun with a blubbering mess, so of course he’d want to cheer Danny up. It didn’t mean anything. It just felt nice that Cho didn’t pry the way the others did. He’d never look down on Danny. He was a liar, a criminal, a scoundrel—he was the reason Danny had been forced into that position with Thanatos to begin with—but while the rest of his life felt like an open wound, somehow Cho was a balm.

Danny made a show of changing out of Cho’s clothes and into his Zeus costume right there in the living room. Leaving the sleep pants and T-shirt folded on the sofa, he started to put on his boots at the door.

“Interesting choice of work clothes.” Cho crossed his arms with an amused eyebrow raise.

“I’ll change when I get to the precinct. And next time I’ll call. Or text. Promise. Thanks for breakfast.” Danny made to walk toward Cho off the rug, then gave an abortive gesture like oops, stuck now with my boots on.

Cho rolled his eyes, but he still moved closer to accept the kiss Danny pulled him into. And let linger. And linger... Maybe a little longer than necessary.

“Have a nice day at work, dear,” Cho said, sickly sweet in his familiar drawl.

Danny found himself smiling—and meaning it.

Cho was a bad man. He was. He…he was. But he made things lighter. And easier. And even though Danny knew that soon he’d have to end this or risk getting in too deep, for now he could enjoy the lie for just a little longer.

About the Author:
Amanda Meuwissen has been writing and posting online for many years, including maintaining the website and blog for the software company Outsell. She is an avid writer and consumer of fiction through film, prose, and video games, and is the author of the paranormal romance trilogy The Incubus Saga and young adult novel Life as a Teenage Vampire. Amanda lives in Minneapolis, MN, with her husband, John, and their two cats.

The book is on sale for $0.99 during the tour.

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Monday, December 11, 2017

Menage in Paradise by Anya Summers

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Anya 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.

Ian has wanted Olivia from the moment they first met. They shared a torrid one-night-stand in Scotland a year prior and never spoke of it again. Now they are business partners, and Ian has plans to woo Olivia back into his bed permanently.

Eric Thomas is a drummer from the superstar rock band, The Harbingers. When he meets Olivia, he knows there’s something different about her. He wants her – and not just for the night.

But when the two Doms cause a stir with their antics on Pleasure Island as they each attempt to win Olivia, they will be forced to contemplate another means of attaining their prize. Can they convince Olivia to experience the fantasy of a ménage with them? And will what happens on Pleasure Island stay that way?

Publisher’s Note: While this steamy ménage is part of the bestselling Pleasure Island series, it can be read and enjoyed on its own.

Read an excerpt:

One mistake. One teensy error in judgement had changed everything.

The deed that she was trying fervently to forget never should have happened in the first place. But it had. Choices had consequences, even drunken choices. And since Olivia didn’t own a time machine, nothing could change that fact. Once they’d tangled in the sheets together, their friendship evolved—and not for the better.

It didn’t matter that it had been without a doubt the hottest night of her life, or that she’d not known how hot his fires burned. Their lovemaking had scorched the very fabric of her soul. Ian was normally so staid and stoic, which made the night all the more memorable and the walls erected between them since all the more daunting.

The man infuriated her. He’d hurt her—or her heart, anyway. That had been the most unexpected thing, considering Olivia didn’t do feelings and tended to skedaddle once emotions came into play. In her life, love had been used as a weapon. The scars she bore on her soul attested to how insidious the barbs and arrows of emotions could be.

So Ian didn’t want her help. Big surprise there. The difficult man snarled at her for even offering him aid.

Silly. Stupid even of her to try and offer assistance after the past year. Their relationship could be defined as stilted, forced, and foreign, even. Like they were two strangers attempting to divine the other’s moods. Wary beasts wondering when the next loaded barb would pierce their heart.

Regret weighed her down as she ascended the stairs—holding on to the rail as the vessel dipped and swayed—into the blinding sunlight. Slipping her sunglasses into place, shielding her gaze, needing to hide the ache in her chest, she ignored the rest of the passengers as she traipsed across the boat deck. Olivia wasn’t in the mood to be social. There would be enough of that forced on her over the next two weeks, where every moment she would have to pretend she wasn’t hemorrhaging internally from wounds no one saw.

The next two weeks would make or break them.

About the Author: Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Anya grew up listening to Cardinals baseball and reading anything she could get her hands on. She remembers her mother saying if only she would read the right type of books instead binging her way through the romance aisles at the bookstore, she’d have been a doctor. While Anya never did get that doctorate, she graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis with an M.A. in History.

Anya is a bestselling and award-winning author published in multiple fiction genres. She also writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance under the name Maggie Mae Gallagher. A total geek at her core, when she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She currently lives in the Midwest with her two furry felines.

Visit her website here:

Visit her on social media here:
Amazon Author Page:

Don’t miss these exciting titles by Anya Summers and Blushing Books!

Dungeon Fantasy Club Series
Her Highland Master, Book 1
To Master and Defend, Book 2
Two Doms for Kara, Book 3
His Driven Domme, Book 4
Her Country Master, Book 5
Love Me, Master Me, Book 6
Submit To Me, Book 7
Her Wired Dom, Book 8

Pleasure Island Series

Her Master & Commander, Book 1
Her Music Masters, Book 2
Their Shy Submissive, Book 3
Her Undercover Doms, Book 4
Her Lawful Master, Book 5
Her Rockstar Dom, Book 6
Duets & Dominance, Book 7
Ménage In Paradise, Book 8
Her Rodeo Masters, Book 9

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Birthday Presents by Dianne Hartsock

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

Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

I stumbled on my first m/m erotic romance about six years ago, and I have to say, I was instantly hooked! I’ve read plenty of romances, but there was something about the intimacy and passion and strength of their love in a world that doesn’t always except them as a couple, that really got to me. I wanted to write something this touching and intensely personal, really climb into their skin and see what makes them tick. I can’t seem to find this level of intimacy in any other genre.

What research/world-builing is required?

Everything! Birthday Presents is a contemporary story, so I didn’t have to world build for this one. But it’s about a serial killer and his victims and the police/detectives that are tracking him down. I needed to research modern serial killers. What survivors have to say about their horrifying experience. Their family’s ordeal. PTSD. Police procedure. Some of this I already knew from other crime stories I’ve written, but with new characters come more things to research. If I don’t get it right, the story loses credibility, which loses the reader’s interest.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

How to be brave. My goodness, the terrible things that were done, the fear and pain and terror they went through. How they didn’t simply fall apart and give in to despair, I’ll never know. But they kept hold of hope, and though they have a long recovery ahead of them, they’re going to make it. They have good friends who will make sure they do.

Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

I think if I didn’t have to work and could stay home and write full time, we’d have the cleanest house in the world! When I get into a writing a difficult scene, I get restless and nervous and pace the floor, scrub the counter, straighten a bookshelf, anything while I work out the sequence of events in my head. Sitting still while I untwist a plot point is not an option.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

Panster? I say that hesitantly because I usually am plotting out a storyline for a new book while still working on another one. I usually know the main characters, the beginning, where I’d like the story to go, and the ending. Of course, once I start writing, my characters take over and then it’s like herding cats to get them to go where I want them to. It’s always an adventure and I don’t always end up where I thought we’d be, but it’s also the only way I can write. If it’s too structured, I lose out on the fun and the surprises my characters have in store for me.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

My notebook for Birthday Presents! I wanted to make sure I got all the names right and didn’t leave anything important out of this interview. I did have a cup of coffee there about ten minutes ago, but finished it (my third cup) and didn’t think I should have any more. Being a jittery author is not always a good combination. Who knows what my characters would do then!

Anything new coming up from you? What?

Most everything I’ve written up to date has been published. (Lucky me!) At the moment I’m finishing up a psychological thriller and will send that to my publisher at the end of the year to see what they think. After that I’ll start a romantic suspense story based on a winter legend. I won’t tell you which one! I want it to be a surprise.

Do you have a question for our readers?

With so many terrific stories out there, I have a hard time picking which one to buy next. Do you have a favorite author, and if so, which book of theirs would you recommend I read first?

For Tracey, life has become a nightmare. Kidnapped from a nightclub in Boulder, Colorado, brutalized and raped by the killer known as Crimson, he's held captive alongside Kyle, a young man Crimson keeps chained to his bed and is slowly torturing to death. Though Tracey manages to escape with Kyle's help, he is forced to leave Kyle behind.

Gene has never stopped looking for his brother Kyle, abducted from a nightclub seven months previously. The case breaks open when Tracey comes forward, claiming to have knowledge of the whereabouts of Crimson's hideout.

A manhunt begins, but Crimson's birthday has come and gone, and he will kill again.

Read an excerpt:

"I know." Paige gave him an intense look. "I will find them, Gene."

Gene sighed, scrubbing at his face with his hands. "How many men do we have out here?" he asked, staring into the darkness below them.

"There's a team two ridges over, working their way toward us, and another sweeping from the west. We have Crimson boxed in, as long as no one gets careless. Another reason I wanted to stop. Can't risk him doubling back and getting behind us."

Gene nodded, though his skin crawled with nerves. He let out a long breath and shifted, stretching out on the hard ground.

Paige leaned back on his elbows, his gaze on the dark trees in front of them. He flicked Gene a glance. "You should get some sleep."

"Fuck that." Gene saw him flinch. "Can you find Crimson in this?"

"Yes. He's very good, though. The signs I've been finding have been left by Tracey. A footprint here, bent twigs, a button. "

Gene pictured Tracey as he'd last seen him: beautiful, strong, despite the shadows lurking darkly in his eyes.

"Okay," Genes said, nerves on edge. "We've had Crimson cornered several times and he's managed to get away every time. And now he has Tracey again." He rubbed his aching forehead. "How did that happen, exactly? How'd Crimson find us?"

"I have no idea. You, Craig, Klinton, and me were the only ones who knew the location. My money's on Craig."

About the Author:
Dianne is the author of paranormal/suspense, fantasy adventure, m/m romance, the occasional thriller, and anything else that comes to mind. She lives in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon with her incredibly patient husband, who puts up with the endless hours she spends hunched over the keyboard letting her characters play. She says Oregon’s raindrops are the perfect setting in which to write. There’s something about being cooped up in the house with a fire crackling on the hearth and a cup of hot coffee warming her hands, which kindles her imagination.

Currently, Dianne works as a floral designer in a locally-owned gift shop. Which is the perfect job for her. When not writing, she can express herself through the rich colors and textures of flowers and foliage.

Amazon Author Page:
Facebook Author Page:

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Friday, December 8, 2017

The White Lady by Beth Trissel

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Beth Trissel will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Avery Dunham has always been ready to follow her friend, time-traveling wizard, Ignus Burke, on incredible adventures. This time, though, she has serious misgivings. It's just one week before Christmas, but she cannot get him to change his mind. The usually cool and collected magic-wielding leader is wholly obsessed by the portrait of the White Lady whom he is bent on rescuing.

Almost as soon as they begin their journey, it becomes clear their mission is a trap.

Avery was right: this adventure is not going to be like any other.

Read an excerpt:

What had Mrs. Burke said about the smell of black magic? An acrid scent clung to the portrait. Avery could practically taste the bitterness on her tongue, and she’d scarfed the last dollop of Guy’s chocolate mousse. The chocolaty sweetness should linger, not this fetid whiff from the fumes of Mordor.

A slight exaggeration, perhaps, but the disagreeable odor went beyond the mustiness associated with the age of some things, mostly old books. And this was no antiquated leather-bound volume. Paintings didn’t generally reek. Had she grown more sensitive to the smell, or was the proximity of the portrait the reason she was affected? Or something far more ominous…

When/if they returned from this journey, she planned to toss her Highness into the fire, unless Mrs. Burke still objected to destroying the painting. Ignus was too entranced for a reasonable discussion. It was like Invasion of the Body Snatchers with him. Not entirely. He wasn’t deranged, but not himself.

Maybe if she hadn’t known him before his bewitchment, she wouldn’t be as aware of the alteration in his personality. He used to be a lot more fun.

She sought Stan’s reassuring presence. His hair might change color, and he didn’t need the glasses he wore to enhance his geekiness, but he remained steady.

“Here goes nothing, or freakin’ everything,” she said.

He eyed her from beneath his brown bowler. “Something, for sure. Whatever you do, for God’s sake, don’t blink.”

Her jaw dropped. “Not the Weeping Angels again? Are you thinking what I am?”

A smile twitched at his lips. “Great minds.”

“Don’t go there. Nothing could be worse than them.”

All humor faded from his face. “Never say never.”

About the Author:
Married to my high school sweetheart, I live on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with my people and furbabies. An avid gardener, I grow herbs and heirloom flowers and use them in my stories. The rich history of Virginia, the Native Americans, and the Scots-Irish are at the heart of my inspiration. My English/Scots-Irish ancestors were among the earliest settlers in America. I write historical romance set in the colonial frontier (The Native American Warrior Series), and the American Revolution (The Traitor's Legacy Series), colonial American Christmas romance (A Warrior for Christmas) Georgian England romance (Into the Lion's Heart, the time and place of Poldark). Some of my historicals have ghosts and paranormal in them. I also write Young Adult shapeshifter, fantasy romance (The Secret Warrior Series), and New Adult paranormal time travel, time slip romance to the Scottish Highlands, the American Revolution, the Civil War, WW1.. (My Somewhere in Time and Ladies in Time Series.)

Blog--One Writer’s Way:
Amazon Author Page where all my books reside:

The White Lady is available in Kindle at: and in eBook from all major online booksellers.

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

One Hundred Promises of Love by Aidee Ladnier

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Aidee Ladnier will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

For Ethan and Nico, a broken millefiori ornament is more than a few shards of glass−it’s a chance at finding love at Christmas.

Ethan Carson wants to treat his mother to the perfect Christmas while she’s visiting over the holidays. He’s spent all his savings on presents and bought an enormous tree that takes up half his living room. But when he starts to trim the tree with the family heirloom decorations, he finds her favorite ornament, the one his late father bought on their honeymoon, is broken.

Glassblower Nico Kazan doesn’t celebrate Christmas—unless you count trying to sell the art glass in his gallery to holiday shoppers. When Ethan, the object of his secret crush, asks him to recreate a broken Murano ball, he knows it will take more than his skill and time. Can he risk his heart to give Ethan back a symbol of love and family for Christmas?

Read an excerpt:

On the Christmas card, two fluffy Persian cats sporting felt antlers stared at Ethan in disgust. Behind them a miniature sleigh sat empty. A thought balloon rose above one cat with the words, “Pull your own sleigh, fat man.” Ha. Ethan tried to smother the chuckle, but it escaped.

“Are you laughing at your Cousin Emmylou’s lumbago?” His mom’s disapproving question snapped Ethan back to the conversation on his phone. He shoved the card back in the rack and lined them up from where the last customer picked through them.

“What? No. What is lumbago, anyway?” His Cousin Emmylou always had some ailment discussed ad nauseam by the family. A pang of regret thrummed in his chest as Ethan realized he wouldn’t see Cousin Emmylou or any of the extended family this Christmas.

At least his mom would be here to celebrate.

“It’s a three-dollar word for back pain.” Ethan’s mom sighed. “Last month it was impetigo. I swear that woman is a walking health hazard.”

“Well, you’ll get a week off from Cousin Emmylou. I’m looking forward to your visit, Mom.” And he was. His mom traveled little, and he wanted to pamper her this Christmas. He’d spent his cash, extra savings, and maxed out his puny credit card to buy spa day gift certificates, theatre tickets, and a special weekend stay at the Opryland hotel. He’d even sprung for passes to see his mom’s favorite performer in concert. He’d need to watch his budget through January to make sure he didn’t overdraw his checking account, but she deserved it. Christmas was always hard, now that Dad had passed. And with her move out of the family home this year... He wanted her new memories to be just as special.

“I can’t wait to spend quality time with my baby boy again.”

“Well, it will be a whole new experience to see Nashville at Christmas. Don’t forget to bring a warm coat.”

His mom’s laughter sparkled through the phone’s speaker. “No shorts for Christmas?”

“I’m hoping for snow.” Ethan chuckled at his mom’s exaggerated “brrr” noise in response.

“There’s something else I—” She began but movement beyond the coffee shop’s plate glass window caught his eye.

Ethan recognized the tall, delicious figure in purple lens sunglasses striding toward him. He interrupted her mid-sentence. “Oops. Gotta go, Mom. Love you.”

“Love you too, baby boy.”

Ethan rammed the phone back in his pocket and ducked behind the counter a minute before the bell over the door jingled.

About the Author:
Award-winning author Aidee Ladnier began writing at twelve years old but took a hiatus to be a magician’s assistant, ride in hot air balloons, produce independent movies, collect interesting shoes, fold origami, and send ping pong balls into space. Don’t tell anyone, but she secretly likes to watch Hallmark Christmas movies because she’s convinced that the holidays are the most romantic time of year.

You can find her on her blog at or on her favorite social media sites:


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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The One Apart by Justine Avery

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Justine Avery will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN 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 inspired you to write this story?

For The One Apart, I woke up one morning with just one interesting sentence in mind as an idea for a brand-new story: “he remembered everything.” It felt really impactful, like the fact that this person remembered “everything” was a big deal, that it wasn’t supposed to happen, something went wrong, or maybe, someone would be really upset to discover this person did remember everything. That was it. And that’s my favorite part of writing. I love having no idea what the story is and just writing to uncover it. I wrote two scenes from that idea and set it aside because I was hoping to write a short story and I knew this idea was “a long one.” And two years later, when I sat down to start writing my first novel, I picked up this story idea again. I knew this one was the idea to run with.

What was your favorite part to write?

I loved writing The Big Reveal—once I knew it was part of the story—when the story kind of explodes and suddenly expands around you as you’re reading it, and you realize there’s much more to the story, to this character’s life, to the whole universe around us, than you first imagine.

What was the hardest part to write?

*MINI SPOILER ALERT!* The most difficult bit to write was when Tres, the main character, suddenly disappeared on me as I was writing the moment he was in. He had to go away, his life was too difficult and confusing for him, and I felt very sad for him and his family left behind who had no answers for what they were about to realize about him. It was hard to write their lives without him, especially as they needed him the most.

How did you come up with your characters?

It all began with the main character, Tres, who appeared right in the first few sentences and had a huge predicament: he was about to be born, with the memories of every life formerly lived. Then, he had to be born to someone. So, Sancha, his teenage mother, and Maria, his soon-to-be grandmother, came to be. As the story continues, Tres is born, grows through childhood, and crosses paths with many other characters who all play an important role and help him to realize who he is and his purpose in this life. For me, the characters come to be as I write the story, as if they were “there,” waiting for me to discover them, all along.

Do you have anything coming up and can you tell us about it?

I have a few short stories that belong in a collection full of tales of those moments in life when everything changes, when a new path is chosen, when we’re jerked right out of our old ways—all with twists and surprises, of course!

Only one obstacle stands in his way of enjoying a normal life. He remembers—every life he's lived before.

Tres is about to be born... with the biggest burden any has ever had to bear. He is beginning again—as an ageless adult trapped in an infant body.

He and his teenage mother face life filled with extraordinary challenges as they strive to protect, nurture, and hide how truly different he is. But Tres alone must solve the greatest mystery of all: who is he? The answer is linked to the one question he's too afraid to ask: why am I?

In his quest, Tres discovers that all is considerably more interconnected and dynamic than he could ever imagine—and fraught with far more danger. He cannot hide from the unseen threat stalking him since his birth.

Life as he knows it—as all know it—is in peril. And Tres is the only one aware.

Read an excerpt:

A casual knock pre-empted the arrival of an attending nurse. Sancha heard the sounds of a metal cart rolled in, its wheels locked in place at her bedside. She took a quick puff of air and released it as the knuckles of her fists began to turn white.

She heard a rustling of linens, then Maria leaning toward her from her chair on the opposite side of the bed.

Something heavy and warm was laid against Sancha’s arm.

“Sancha...” Maria pleaded this time. “Please.”

Sancha squirmed against the uncomfortable pressure on her arm.

“I can’t let you live the rest of your life,” Maria whispered, “knowing you never even saw him.”

Sancha swallowed. Her breathing quickened. She rolled her lips between her teeth. And she opened her eyes—as slowly as humanly possible.

The brightest pair of crystalline blue eyes stared back at her.

They blinked tenderly, giving away how new to blinking they actually were. Their steady gaze pierced straight through to something rooted within Sancha.

The eyes blinked again, temporarily cutting off the intense connection before opening again to resume it. Sancha rested on her bed in silence, mesmerized by the novice rhythm of blinking resembling Morse code.

Every muscle in her body relaxed. Her mouth began to form an unthinkable smile. She couldn’t help herself.

The baby—her baby—beamed at her with his big, round eyes and flooded her with the total contentment and perfect peace that wafts only from brand-new life.

Justine Avery is an award-winning author of stories large and small for all. Born in the American Midwest and raised all over the world, she is inherently an explorer, duly fascinated by everything around her and excitedly noting the stories that abound all around. As an avid reader of all genres, she weaves her own stories among them all. She has a predilection for writing speculative fiction and story twists and surprises she can’t even predict herself.

Avery has either lived in or explored all 50 states of the union, over 36 countries, and all but one continent; she lost count after moving 30-some times before the age of 20. She’s intentionally jumped out of airplanes and off the highest bungee jump in New Zealand, scuba dived unintentionally with sharks, designed websites, intranets, and technical manuals, bartered with indigenous Panamanians, welded automobile frames, observed at the Bujinkan Hombu Dojo in Noba, Japan, and masterminded prosperous internet businesses—to name a few adventures. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree that life has never required, and at age 28, she sold everything she owned and quit corporate life—and her final “job”—to freelance and travel the world as she always dreamed of. And she’s never looked back.

Aside from her native English, Avery speaks a bit of Japanese and a bit more Spanish, her accent is an ever-evolving mixture of Midwestern American with notes of the Deep South and indiscriminate British vocabulary and rhythm, and she says “eh”—like the Kiwis, not the Canadians. She currently lives near Los Angeles with her husband, British film director Devon Avery, and their three adopted children: Becks, Sam, and Lia. She writes from wherever her curiosity takes her.

Avery loves to connect with fellow readers and creatives, explorers and imaginers, and cordially invites you to say “hello”—or konnichiwa.
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Monday, December 4, 2017

The Prophet and the Witch by James W. George

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. James W. George will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Go to to see the other stops on the tour.

Five Things You Might Not Know About James W. George

1. I strongly suspect my teenage son is secretly letting me win at NFL Madden on the Play Station.

I think he knows how grumpy and cranky I get when I’m losing, and I think he knows it’s just not worth the aggravation. My suspicions are always raised when I get out to a nice ten or twenty- point-lead, but then, in the fourth quarter, he starts doing all these crazy no-huddle offenses and starts moving the ball downfield like he’s Tom Brady.

One of the most fascinating things about parenthood is watching your kids eclipse you at things. When they’re in elementary school, it almost seems inconceivable that one day, they will run faster than you, they will be smarter than you, they will play musical instruments better than you, and they will almost always defeat you at games of skill or strategy. But that’s the nature of humanity. It’s just always surprising how quickly it comes.

Fortunately, I gave him a Thanksgiving beatdown on the chess board, which I’m almost certain was legit. Almost.

2.I am obsessed with conquering the world.

On the topic of video games, by far my favorites are those variations of “Risk” or “Axis and Allies,” where you have a map and you watch your armies fan out over the globe. When I was a kid, if I wanted to play “Risk,” I’d have to find three of four friends, it would take seven hours, and there would be two or three gruesome, childish tantrums (usually my own). Now the whole thing takes fifteen minutes on my Kindle. And, if I inadvertently let loose with a fiendish, Doctor-Evil-esque laugh, there’s no one around to notice.

3.I’m worried I’m going to have to pay a cover charge and a two-drink minimum to sit in my living room.

On the subject of kids eclipsing their parents, I am stunned how good my sixteen-year-old son has become on guitar. There’s all kinds of backing tracks you can download from the internet now, and when I walk into my house in the evening, it’s like I’m in a Chicago blues club. I keep looking around for a waitress to bring me a beer.

My son is considering becoming a music major, but he is approaching it with eyes wide open. He even told me this joke: What’s the difference between a guitarist and a sturdy couch? The couch can support a family of four.

4. I have never been defeated in a 5K race by any women over the age of 65.

I’ve never been much of an athlete, but while living in Charleston, S.C. in the 1990s, it was pretty hard to resist the holiday 5K races they offered. They were on Thanksgiving, and there was another one right around Christmas. They went right through the heart of the beautiful downtown, and they were a lot of fun.

I remember during one of them, I was huffing and puffing while approaching the home stretch. Off in the distance, at least fifty yards ahead, I spied a woman who seemed to be at least seventy years old! She was beating me! I was in my mid-twenties! Absolutely horrified, I kicked it into high gear. With my vision blurring and my heart bursting, I crossed the finish line at least ten yards ahead of her. YES! IN YOUR FACE, GRANDMA!

The next day, they posted the winning times in the local newspaper. I was proud to see the winning time for the category of women over the age of 65 was five seconds behind my own. YES! I defeated every woman over the age of 65! VICTORY!

Now, before you beat me down with shrieks of ageism and sexism, let’s stipulate that it should be pretty reasonable that a twenty-something, healthy young man should be able to eclipse a sixty-five-year-old woman in a road race. Let’s also stipulate to the fact that I haven’t run a 5K in decades, and I have no doubt if I tried it today, there would be a veritable army of youthful, physically fit ladies of a certain age tearing past me like I was wearing molasses sneakers. Finally, let’s stipulate to the fact that my mother-in-law is well into her seventies and biking 10+ miles every day, and I’m scared to go out and ride with her. So, bottom line, my triumphant victory was pretty fleeting.

5. I love Scrooge McDuck.

My office is filled with Scrooge McDuck collectibles. Just because. Enough said.

Puritans. Quakers. Pirates. Mohawks. Witches. And a brutal war…

If you thought New England was dull in the 1670s, get ready for a history lesson.

In the critically acclaimed “My Father’s Kingdom,” debut author James W. George transported his readers to 1671 New England, and the world of Reverend Israel Brewster. It was a world of faith, virtue, and love, but it was also a world of treachery, hatred, and murder.

Four years later, Brewster is a disgraced outcast, residing in Providence and working as a humble cooper. Despite his best efforts, war could not be averted, and now, “King Philip’s War” has begun.

The rebellion is led by Metacomet, known as “King Philip” to the English colonists. He is the tormented son of the great Massasoit, and leader of the Wampanoag nation. Once the most reliable of Plymouth Colony’s allies, they are now the bitterest of enemies. Meanwhile, Metacomet’s mysterious counselor, Linto, despises this war and will do anything to end the bloodshed.

Meticulously researched, “The Prophet and the Witch” is a tale of hope and brotherhood in the face of evil and violence. It features the remarkable cast of fictional and historical characters from book one, including Josiah Winslow, Linto, Increase Mather, Constance Wilder, and Jeremiah Barron. Additionally, new characters such as America’s first ranger, Captain Benjamin Church, bring this chapter of history to life like never before.

Read an excerpt:

“Vous êtes malheureux?”

Linto morosely drew another card, and ignored Captain Alain Fontaine.

“Qu'est-ce qui ne va pas?”

Linto should have been using the opportunity, as Captain Fontaine expected, to study the language of their new allies. As the captain repeatedly conveyed, within a few years New England would merely be an extension of New France, and a working knowledge of French would be vital.

“Are you unhappy, Linto?”

The shift back to English stirred Linto from his dull torpor. He briefly made eye contact, played his card, and sighed. They were playing “one and thirty,” and this would certainly be the fourth consecutive hand Linto would lose. His three cards currently added up to a paltry seventeen points, and he knew Fontaine would capitalize on his discard.

“I will take your three, and…voila. I have thirty-one. Or better yet, I have trente et un.” Linto stared vacantly into space.

“Linto, speak to me. You miss your family, no? I miss my family as well. My daughter is named Madeline. She is with her grandmother in Lyons. Tell me, what are the names of your children?”

Linto blinked and stared at the table. “Will Father Jacques ever come back, Cahp-ee-tehn Alain?”

Fontaine remained cordial. “I do not believe so. I have told you before. He will spend the spring to the west of here, on the shores of the ocean lake. It is very far, but he will save many souls. But I can answer all of your questions. You wish to know more about the English heresies? How they revile the Holy Father?”

Linto reached absent-mindedly for the cards, and lethargically shuffled them, much to Fontaine’s surprise. “A fifth hand, Linto? Surely, your luck must be ready to change?”

Linto briefly ruminated on the concept of luck. “Cahp-ee-tehn Alain, do you confess your sins?”


“Father Jacques told me true Christians will tell a holy man all the things they have done wrong, and they will ask to be forgiven. Do you think people are punished if they don’t tell a holy man all the things they have done wrong?”

“You think of such serious matters all the time, Linto. The sky is clear, the English are on the run all over the land, and we are roasting ducks today. There will be a big lacrosse game to watch in the afternoon. I think we will also see at least thirty more warriors arrive this week, and they will bring muskets.”

Linto continued his ineffective shuffling. “How often do you tell the holy man your sins? What if you do bad things every day?”

Fontaine reached for the cards and took them. “Linto, you have been moping like a sad Puritan ever since you went to see the Nipmuc. Weren’t they overjoyed at the news? Aren’t they making preparations for two hundred new warriors?”

The reminder of deception and falsehood triggered an even deeper gloom in Linto. He sat silently, and was relieved when one of Cahp-ee-tehn Alain’s attendants came in with cheese and brandy. Linto hoped the subject would now quickly change.

About the Author:
James W. George is a lover of history and historical fiction. He is a graduate of Boston University and a military veteran. He is currently residing in Virginia with his wife and children.

He published his critically-acclaimed debut novel, My Father’s Kingdom in January 2017. The novel described the prelude to King Philip’s War in New England in the 1670s. The Indie View gave it five stars: “This is high historical drama handled wonderfully…a tale that will fully engage you on every level.”

My Father’s Kingdom is a planned trilogy, and book two, The Prophet and the Witch, was published in September 2017. This is an epic novel that spans the entire conflict of King Philip’s War, and includes such notable historical figures as Josiah Winslow, Increase Mather, Metacomet, Benjamin Church, and Mary Rowlandson. The Literary Titan awarded it five stars and a gold medal for October 2017.

The author is looking forward to book three of the trilogy, and he can be found on Goodreads.

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Friday, December 1, 2017

Creating Places: The Art of World Building by Randy Ellefson

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Randy Ellefson will be awarding an ultimate world builder's package to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Creating a unique, immersive setting one place at a time.

CREATING PLACES (THE ART OF WORLD BUILDING, #2) is a detailed how-to guide on inventing the heart of every imaginary world - places. It includes chapters on inventing planets, moons, continents, mountains, forests, deserts, bodies of water, sovereign powers, settlements, and interesting locales. Extensive, culled research on each is provided to inform your world building decisions and understand the impact on craft, story, and audience. You’ll also learn how and when to create history and maps. Experts and beginners alike will benefit from the free templates that make building worlds easier, quicker, and more fun.

Learn the difference between types of monarchies, democracies, dictatorships and more for realistic variety and believable conflict. Understand how latitude, prevailing winds, and mountains affect climate, rainfall, and what types of forests and deserts will exist in each location. Consistently calculate how long it takes to travel by horse, wagon, sailing vessels, or even dragon over different terrain types and conditions.

CREATING PLACES is the second volume in THE ART OF WORLD BUILDING, the only multi-volume series of its kind. Three times the length, depth, and breadth of other guides, the series can help fantasy and science fiction creators determine how much to build and why, how to use world building in your work, and whether the effort to create places will reap rewards for you and your audience.

Read an excerpt:

All flying animals that are depicted as being ridable are imaginary. The likelihood is that none of them would get off the ground with a rider, but there’s no fun in that. We must take being realistic with a bigger grain of salt than normal. This can suggest doing whatever we want, and we certainly can, but there are often useful details and considerations that arise from trying to being realistic anyway. And these serve to make our work more believable.

While flying can generally be assumed to be done in a straight line, factors change this. Mountains can be tall enough that they must be circumnavigated. Real birds struggle to get over the Himalayas, for example, because the air is thinner. Larger creatures like a dragon would suffer even more from this. Dragons are often depicted as all powerful, but this is one way to make them less formidable and realistic at once. The difficulty of climbing over tall mountains is one reason, along with rain shadows, for characterizing any land features we’ve created; in this case, we’ll decide which mountains ranges are this tall (hint from chapter 4: the tallest peaks are in the interior of a continent, not on its coast).

Hostile territories can also change flight patterns, whether that hostility is other animals or sentient beings like humans. Even dragons are preyed upon by other dragons. A lone dragon might fear to fly through an area full of other dragons, especially if the latter are territorial or of another kind hostile to its own kind. If the dragon is unafraid, his rider might be more cautious.

About the Author:
Randy Ellefson has written fantasy fiction since his teens and is an avid world builder, having spent three decades creating Llurien, which has its own website. He has a Bachelor’s of Music in classical guitar but has always been more of a rocker, having released several albums and earned endorsements from music companies. He’s a professional software developer and runs a consulting firm in the Washington D.C. suburbs. He loves spending time with his son and daughter when not writing, making music, or playing golf.

Creating Places universal buy link:
The Art of World Building Podcast
The Art of World Building Website:
Author Website:
FREE eBook:
NOTE: The book series has a new podcast where even more details are discussed. This podcast is free to listen! Follow along here:

Click here to enter for a chance to win an ultimate world builder's giveaway

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Shadows, Shells, and Spain by John Meyer

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

Share 5 things we'd probably never guess about you. They can be fun, interesting, edifying, or even embarrassing.

Hmmm, well, I guess I'll just list five things and you can decide which ones are fun, interesting, edifying, or embarrassing (or some combination of the above).

1. After my 22 day Camino walk across Spain, I wasn't ready to give up the nomadic life! Before my trip, I had moved out of my downtown condo, sold much of my furniture, and had placed all my remaining possessions into a large storage unit. I delayed any future decision-making and assumed I would look for a new place to live upon my return.

But that didn't happen...

After living for a month with everything I needed on my back, the last thing I wanted to do was buy new furniture again and set up shop. So I continued my nomadic life inside Toronto... for 2.5 more years! I just signed up for Airbnb rentals: a month here, a week there, a long weekend over here. Over the course of two years, I stayed in over 30 houses, apartments, condos, and basement suites! I only succumbed to living in an apartment again because I needed a "permanent" residence for my publishing address. But I made sure I lived close to a big city park...

2. Since the age of 22, I stopped celebrating my birthday. Now I, of course, acknowledge it and plan something fun that day—but it's nothing like an official party. And all of my friends have (over time) forgotten the exact date. They know I'm a Gemini... but that's about it.

I just started to hate those parties. I hated the attention; the unwanted stress of hosting them; and the silly need to make sure everyone else had a good time. My family thinks I'm selfish for ending them, but that's okay.

However, I've now enjoyed many memorable "secret" birthdays. And I'm usually out of the city! On that special day, I've visited London, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Quebec City, Halifax, and St. John's, or I've made a longer trip out of the occasion and traveled across Ireland, Italy, Croatia, and Scandinavia. And when I approached 30, I spent 6 weeks in Europe. And three years ago, I walked the Camino in Spain so I could research my new book!

3. I often travel alone (especially in Europe and often on my birthday) but I never get lonely. And that's because there are two tricks I use that can often trigger people to join me in conversation.

1) I never go to a restaurant or bar without my journal. It's not a gimmick because whether I'm working on a book or not, I still like to write down the details of my day so I don't forget the names of people who I've met or places I have been. And eventually—and sometimes quickly—someone will wander over and ask what I'm writing. It drives them nuts. "Who is this guy who's ignoring everyone and seems so content jotting things down in his journal? Is he a writer? A food critic? I have to find out!" Then they meet me and soon we're new friends and I have someone to entertain me the rest of the night.

2) The other trick is to carry a bottle of red wine in your bag. You open up that bottle on a train or in a park and people want to join you for a drink. Especially the friendly people of Europe! They love socializing whenever and where ever they can!

Can I count that as two things? Well, I am, because I'm reaching the end of my word count limit...

4 (or 5, by my count). My guilty TV pleasure is watching The Bachelor. It all started one Monday night a few years ago while I was folding laundry. "I need something brainless to pass the time." That's when I discovered it. "Twenty-five beautiful women competing for one guy? And there's drinking? And they say outrageous things behind each other's backs? I'm in!" It is the water cooler in my office (I also write the TV show, Entertainment Tonight Canada). Men and women alike watch this show and we discuss it enthusiastically every Tuesday morning. It's sad (to a degree), it's pointless, and nobody cares who wins. We just want the drama! I hate myself sometimes, but there you go. I'm part of Bachelor Nation. (I guess this last confession can be definitely filed under embarrassing...)

John Meyer's "Shadows, Shells, and Spain" is a thrilling new adventure where a husband desperately searches for his missing wife along the ancient Camino trail across northern Spain. It’s also a bold, new take on a modern-day pilgrimage that feeds the mind and soul of every character while testing the limits of their bodies... and their comfort zones.

Read an excerpt:

The only nugget of information I ever received, however, was from her mother during a particularly frustrating phone conversation in early October.

“I’m going to ask you again: where did she go?”

“I haven’t the foggiest.”

“You must know something. She tells you everything.”

“Ha! That’s what you think.”

“Well, maybe she doesn’t automatically tell you everything. But somehow you nag it out of her.”

“I do not nag.”

“Where is she? Her work doesn’t know. Our friends don’t know. Even if you don’t know everything, Pam must have given you a clue at some point; you talked to her every day.”

“As did you—”

“Not since we separated in the summer and she moved into the guest room.”

“Honestly, Jamie; I don’t know a thing.”

“Was it Bora Bora? She always wanted to go to Bora Bora.”

“I don’t know. Stop yelling.”

“Santorini? Was it Santorini?”

“Why take a Spanish class if you’re planning on going to Santorini—”

“Ah haaaa! ‘A Spanish class.’ So it’s Mallorca, then—of course! Wait…when did Pam take a Spanish class?”

“You’ll have to ask her! When you get to Mallorca!”

Her mother hung up. I fought with her for days over the phone and outside the door of her house (she wouldn’t let me in) about Pam’s whereabouts. She had conceded the island of Mallorca but wouldn’t reveal anything more. Pam was on the move and didn’t want to be disturbed.

About the Author:
John Meyer writes fictional travel memoirs—unique adventure stories that combine fun facts of history with present-day drama and humor—always revolving around a fictitious love story and always based on his own thrilling journeys. His previous publication, Bullets, Butterflies, and Italy, was selected as a November Best Book by Chatelaine magazine. Meyer is also the studio writer for Entertainment Tonight Canada and has been ever since the popular daily show launched back in 2005.

Buy the books at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Cover Reveal: Scourge by Charley Pearson

Welcome to the cover reveal of Scourge, a medical thriller by Charley Pearson, scheduled for release August 14, 2018.

Financially independent, biochemistry genius Stacy Romani grows up off the grid, while her Roma family takes advantage of her knowledge for their own gain.

Watching his family farm struggle, and traumatized by mass slaughter, Aatos Pires wants to heal animals but gets seduced by industry and goes to work for a big pharmaceutical company.

When Aatos’ co-worker Trinity creates a deadly doomsday virus, it puts the world population in jeopardy as it spreads exponentially. . .with no cure in sight.

Stacy and Aatos work alone to find a cure, as the CDC and FBI close in. Will they find a way to stop the plague or will it be the end of the world?

About the Author:
Charley Pearson started in chemistry and biology, then moved on to bioengineering, so the Navy threw in some extra training and made him a nuclear engineer. This actually made sense when his major task turned out to be overseeing chemical and radiological environmental remediation at Navy facilities after the end of the Cold War, releasing them for unrestricted future use. Now he writes fiction.

Take a Chance and Win by Wellington Manjengwa

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Wellington Manjengwa will be awarding an autographed copy of Take a Chance and Win (US/international) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Formative Years

I was in my third year if secondary school when my mind was made up about which career I was going to follow. And my awesome choice was finance. Unfortunately, accounting was not one of my assigned subjects at school. My class had been assigned to the science subjects and not commercial subjects. The only option available was for me to study accounting on my own and I was so keen on the subject that I was up to the task. Fortunately, two of my friends, Emmanuel and Cephas, were also interested in the same subject and were in the same predicament. We teamed up and worked hard, encouraging, and supporting each other until we sat the exams and we all passed. That was the beginning of what has been my career and life in the world of finance. I went further and became a Chartered Certified Accountant and obtained a Masters degree.

Welcome to the rest of your life, Wellington

When I got into the world of work, I started out doing company secretarial work, which is small branch of the accounting profession. I learnt a lot from the owner of the company who was a Chartered accountant. Fast forward a few years later, equipped with finance training and company secretarial experience I found my way into the world of banking. I remember receiving a call from the employment agency where I was registered and being asked to come for a meeting the following day. On the day of the meeting, I found my way to a building called Pearl House in the center of Harare on to the 4th floor where I was met by a fine gentleman who introduced himself as Patrick. I recognized him because he was also a news anchor of the local TV and radio. Patrick welcomed me and ushered me into a small meeting room near the reception where we broke the good news with a beaming smile on his face, that I had been successful in my interview with Barclays Bank. He gave me a few words of advice for my career and told me to keep my friendly personality because in the professional world relationships are very important and your personality is what will draw people to you or repel them away from you. Finally Patrick said these words which I always remember “There you go Wellington, welcome to the rest of your career…” We said our goodbyes and he escorted me to the elevator and I was on my way. This happened in January of 2005, I went back to my employer at the time and wrote my resignation letter, served my one month notice and on the 1st of February 2005 I started work in a bank. As I write this, it is 2017 and it has been 12 years and I’m still a banker. I have ascended the corporate ladder and enjoyed the many opportunities I have been blessed with. I enjoy the world of finance and it diversity and dynamism.

Everyone is a risk taker

It was in banking that I first experienced risk management and understood how it relates to our lives. Because uncertainty is common in many of the daily decisions we make, I understood that while the notion of risk takers and risk averse people is quite common, it is not exactly accurate because in all truth everyone takes some level of risk at one time or another. It may be in love or finances, at school or at home; in business or at work; everywhere where there are decisions to be made. These situations may not need heavy statistical model or quantitative analysis techniques, with some reasonable qualitative considerations one can improve their chance of success, or should they fail as they often will (it’s part of the process), they will be able to minimize the impact of the failures on their emotional and physical lives. When everyone becomes their very own risk manager they will embrace and understand their relationship with uncertainty as they understand risk, accept risk, and appreciate the importance of utilizing the principles of risk management in their everyday decision making.

Risks are a part of life. What differentiates those who take a risk and succeed and those who don’t is how they manage that risk.
Tony Robins once said, “It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.”

This book takes that philosophy and expands upon it. Grounded in the idea that how you approach decision making and risk management determines success or failure, Take A Chance And Win aims to teach you the tenets of success in all aspects of your life and shows you how to capitalize upon effective risk management for regular decision making.
Inside you’ll discover:

• Strategies to avoid making poor decisions
• How risk management and decision making go hand in hand
• Why risk management is the biggest ingredient for success
• Practical strategies to clear obstacles to success

Whether you’re just beginning your life’s journey or have already endured your share of failure, an opportunity to succeed still exists. Embrace the proven strategies laid out in this book and discover the power of moving forward strategically for maximum impact. Essentially this book shows you how to TAKE A CHANCE AND WIN at the game of life.

Read an excerpt:

Risk can be defined as the probability that things do not go according to plan. In other words, while your journey to stardom in your chosen field will sure be successful, with the right mindset and doing the right things, the journey itself may not always be straightforward. You may also discover along the way that you have taken the wrong path or you have taken off on a journey to the wrong place. I would like to suggest therefore that embarking on something that is of importance to you is in itself a risk because there are no assurances that you will get there. Things may not go according to plan.

Risk management, on the other hand, is about the decisions you make along the way and the actions you take to increase your chances of making it to the place of your success in whatever endeavour you embark on. It is all about gathering enough information to enable you make the right decisions and take the right course of action

Risk in a person’s life might be looked at through two lenses, i.e. Internal Risks and External Risks.

Internal Risks: These emanate from within the individual; things such as self-doubt, lack of confidence, self-sabotage, indiscipline lack of self-believe

External Risks: These are external occurrences that impact our chances of success. They are usually caused by things, people, and situations that happen around you.

It is no longer a secret that every individual exists for a purpose. There’s a why for your existence. You are not on this earth just to make up the numbers; there’s a specific purpose for you. It is very important for every individual on this earth to discover their purpose for living; it may be to serve in a particular area of life, industry or commerce, to make a difference in a particular part of the world, to live a mark in the field of education, etc. We are often called upon to take risks, that is to venture into a chosen endeavour without having all the answers to everything that might arise. It is in such moments, I would like to suggest, that we are called upon to be the ‘RISK MANAGERS’ of our own lives. We must make decisions, tackle the challenges, manage situations to ensure that we achieve the success that we seek.

About the Author:I don’t know if you do this as well, but I keep old notebooks in my drawers; some of them go way back. My drawers get really cluttered sometimes because I dump all kinds of papers with notes from books, speeches, workshops, ideas that just crop up, brainstorming etc.

One Sunday in 2008, I needed to do a bit of cleaning, which included my desk and drawers. So I got started throwing stuff away and cleaning up. I was determined to leave the place sparkling clean.

And then I came to my desk, happily throwing away papers, notes, and unwanted clutter, when I came across this diary. A nice, leather-bound diary I had used the previous year, with many inspirational quotes on every page. While thumbing through the diary and reliving the appointments and meetings in it, I noticed one interesting quote; Success is due to our stretching to the challenges of life. Failure comes when we shrink from them. I didn’t know who John Maxwell was but his words were immensely profound

Then I read one of John’s quotes from my old daily planner, which said: “Your thoughts will attract opportunities to you but it is your actions that will put money to that opportunity.”

This was at a time when my life was at crossroads. I was contemplating making a huge career move, which entailed me leaving my country and comfort zone. I had lost money through some speculative investments in the era of hyperinflation in my home country, Zimbabwe. I was running a small business which was my passion but it just wasn’t making enough money to make it reasonable to keep going, in fact I was sustaining it with my salary because it was just not doing well. John’s messages and quotes touched me at the very core and left me questioning every decision I had ever made about my life. I kept saying to myself, this is so painful, why isn’t there some guidance out there to help me make these decisions. I realised my limitations but I had no-one to turn to, no big brother to run to for advice. I was confused about life, I had many questions but no answers. I have always been quite ambitious and hungry for success but at this point I was really afraid. I had a family that depended on me for everything and I needed to make sure that whatever decision I made would enable me to be successful and be able to continue being the provider. There was no room for mistakes. Failure was just not an option. How was I going to make this happen?


I have since gone through a long path of self-discovery and self-development that has led me to discover something:

One of the greatest challenges we face in life is DECISION MAKING. As you weigh the options for yourself or your company’s next step, how do you decide which way to turn? Successful outcomes can only be evaluated after the fact. But by the time the results are in, it’s normally too late to take corrective action. Often our decisions involve risk, and our big failures come from failing to manage the risk. Some people consider themselves risk-averse, while others consider themselves risk-takers. This drives their decision making and the strategies they implement to achieve what they want. The cold, hard truth is that everyone is a risk taker, what differs is the size, type, and amount of risk you take. The key element that distinguishes the successful from the unsuccessful is how we manage our risk. To take a risk is not the same as being careless. Many people confuse the two.


My name is Wellington, I was born and raised in one of the most populous townships in Harare, Zimbabwe. Yeah, you’ve heard of that country. Does one million percent inflation ring a bell for you?? At some point we were millionaires and billionaires but could barely afford a loaf of bread. I come from humble beginnings. No silver spoon in my mouth. I get that you don’t know me that well yet. Usually when you have a background like mine, you are not given much of a chance. But I have lived this one truth that has transformed my life forever: The battle for success is an internal battle. Great things always begin from your inside.

That is why I fell in love with learning expert, Jim Kwik’s saying the first time I saw it; “If an egg is broken from outside force, life ends, but if it is broken from inside, life begins.”

Failure to understand this is the reason one can be sitting on a treasure but be treating it like trash.

I have discovered an intensity and passion that has led me through a journey of self-discovery, adventure, conquering doubt, fear, and many limiting beliefs to establish the Well of Inspiration. My team and I work with individuals and companies providing them with information, ideas, and strategies that help to take their lives and businesses to their next level of success.


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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Fun, Fab Facts from Wayne Avrashow

It's Raining Books welcomes Wayne Avrashow whose debut novel Roll the Dice released today.

Early Rock 'n Roll Influences. In my earlier twenties, I traveled around the country with my friends selling T-shirts and posters of various bands at their concerts. We were far down the totem pole of importance, but at least we did not have to lug around equipment. We had our moments with various parties and was backstage at some concerts. One vivid memory is how short and slight Roger Daltry of the Who was. My ears are still ringing.

Best Teenage Job. A high school friend’s parents were actors/actresses with minor film parts. Mostly non-speaking parts, there were not celebrities. However, my buddy asked me to join him as an extra on a movie… Hello Dolly! Good pay, free lunch and simply wait around all day for a five-minute shoot… great gig! We were fitted for costume period pieces and stood in the crowd on the 20th Century Fox film lot when the parade walked by. Our job--smile and wave as director Gene Kelly sat in a crane above. There were a couple of more extra jobs; and my film career had an uneventful close.

Parental Moments. As a father to two boys, it was extremely satisfying to coach each of them in youth basketball. I coached each son for about ten years. I had my own memorable moments when I played high school basketball; but it was a far greater thrill to coach my children. One moment is seared in my memory. My younger son Grant was about eight years old when I called a timeout with a few seconds left. I tried to not favor my sons over the other players, but I broke that rule and called the last play for Grant. One player would make the entry pass to Grant at half-court. I instructed Grant to take one dribble and fire it up at the basket with two hands. Grant did as instructed. As the buzzer sounded, he shot the ball and it swished through the net. I ran onto the court and lifted Grant up in the air! We still talk about it 15 years later.

My Mother’s Lesson. To my surprise, my mother absolutely loved the Jimmy Webb song, MacArthur Park. She cranked up the volume every time Richard Harris sang on the radio. I asked her why. She recited the lyrics about a birthday cake being left in the rain and that, “I’ll never have that recipe again.” To her, the recipe was myself and my two brothers. She would never have that recipe again. Very good.

Learn from Paul McCartney. In 2014 I took my sons to see Paul McCartney at Dodger Stadium. Sir Paul was 72 years old. Aside from the thrill of hearing live the soundtrack of my youth, I was struck at how Paul performed for nearly three hours. He kept going, no intermission, a few sips of water and had the energy for two encores! Life lesson; Paul is living his passion. We all have to locate some passion in our lives to enjoy and keep going. I feel that passion in my writing.

My Only “D” Grade. I generally received positive grades from elementary school through law school. However, in the third or fourth grade, my handwriting was so bad that I received a D. It left a mental scar. I did not receive any tutoring or advice, so I simply tried to slow down and write neatly. I never could. My hand writing is terrible.

What happens when one of America’s biggest rock stars leaves the Las Vegas stage to run for the United State Senate?

The ultimate celebrity candidate, Tyler Sloan is no stranger to politics – his estranged father was a California governor who narrowly lost a Presidential campaign. He runs as a political independent, refuses campaign contributions, and dismisses special interests and lobbyists.

Sloan is caught in a political campaign fraught with; sexual scandal, corruption and conflicting loyalties. Will he be able to navigate through political turbulence and his own past to win the race?

About the Author:
Wayne Avrashow was the campaign manager for two successful Los Angeles City Council campaigns and a Deputy/Chief of Staff to those two elected City Council members. He served as a senior advisor for a successful city-wide referendum in the City of Los Angeles, co-authored ballot arguments on Los Angeles County-wide measures, served as Chairman for a Los Angeles County ballot measure, and was a Los Angeles government Commissioner for nearly twenty years. He currently serves as a Board Member of the Yaroslavsky Institute, a public policy institute founded by long time Southern California elected official, and now UCLA professor, Zev Yaroslavsky.

His background in politics, government, business, and law provides unique insight into the machinations and characters that populate political campaigns.

Wayne is a practicing attorney who specializes in government advocacy, real estate, and business law. Formerly, he was an officer in two real estate development firms. As a lawyer-lobbyist, he has represented clients before numerous California municipalities and in Nevada and Idaho. He has lectured at his law school and taught at Woodbury University in Los Angeles. He has also authored numerous op-ed articles that appeared in daily newspapers, legal, business, and real estate publications. In addition, he is the author of a self-published book for the legal community, Success at Mediation—10 Strategic Tools for Attorneys.

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