Archive for March, 2015

Eileen Richards Double Cover Reveal

An Honorable WishTitle: An Honorable Wish
Author: Eileen Richards
Publisher: Lyrical Press

After a disastrous season in London, Juliet Townsend returns home with a new focus – to be independent. Who needs to get married anyway? While her sister, Sophia, enjoyed her popularity, Juliet was planning a life on her own, and not under the thumb of some man. After a tragic carriage accident takes his best friend after a night of debauchery, Tony Matthews comes home to settle down, get married and find an estate to buy. Sophia, jealous of Tony’s attention to Juliet, issues the challenge and Tony is the prize.

Research for Juliet’s novel provides the excuse for spending time with Tony and keeps him away from her sister. The only problem is his kisses tempt her to give up her plan for independence, inciting a passion she didn’t think she was capable of feeling. When Tony finds out he’s been the prize in the game between the sisters, he’s furious. He retreats to his new estate. Juliet, now ruined, has no choice but go to Scotland until the scandal passes. Her letters of apology go unanswered. Her plan for independence no longer matters. She has lost real love and may never see it again. Sophia meddles again by letting it slip that Juliet might have to marry in Scotland. Tony goes to Scotland convinced she’s pregnant with his child and will only marry him. He convinces her he loves her and forgives her and that she’s free to write as many books as she wishes if she will only marry her. They marry in Scotland and return to Beetham as man and wife.


An Honorable Wish is available at Amazon

An Unexpected WishTitle: An Unexpected Wish
Author: Eileen Richards
Publisher: Lyrical Press

Anne Townsend has given up on finding a husband for herself. At 27, she is firmly on the shelf and resigned to her fate.  Instead she’s settled with finding a husband for her beautiful sister. But a mischievous fairy derails all her plans by making her the most wanted young lady in the village. Suddenly she’s tripping over suitors and has no idea how to handle it.

Nathaniel Matthews has returned to Beetham for one purpose: to prevent his younger brother from an imprudent match to the daughter of his enemy. The elder Townsend played a key role in his father’s death.  Instead of preventing the marriage, he finds himself wildly attracted to Anne Townsend.

Anne is determined to resist all the overtures from the single men in the village save one. Nathaniel Matthews, the man preventing the marriage that would save her and her sisters from starvation, is the one man she can’t seem to resist.


An Unexpected Wish is available at Amazon

Eileen Richards

Eileen Richards has been writing for most of her life. Poetry, totally inappropriate answers to essay questions in school, and interesting error codes during her 30 year IT career has prepared for the manic world of publishing.

She writes sassy regency romps set in the small villages of England where the rules are bent a bit and gossip rules the day.

Eileen resides with her husband and their diva of a greyhound in North Carolina.

For More Information
Visit Eileen’s website.
Connect with Eileen on Facebook  and Twitter.

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Chosen By You Book Club

Bewitching Bibliophile

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Storm Goddess Book Reviews & More

Review From Here

Literal Exposure

I’m Shelf-ish

The Dark Phantom

The Revolving Bookshelf

Bent Over Bookwords


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Title: The Quiet Revolution

Author: Ed Barajas

Publisher: iUniverse

Pages: 110

Genre: Non-fiction/Law

Format: Kindle

This is a different view of our criminal justice system in a way that challenges the negative portrayals from people considered experts. Contrary to the prevailing view of most experts describing a broken and inhumane system, something appears to be working.

For the past twenty years crime has taken a plunge in the US and the experts appear to be clueless regarding the cause. Barajas suggests the reason for less crime is because of an ongoing transformation of the justice system that is more focused on public safety and working in concert with the community and other service agencies.

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Recent news from California suggests that crime has spiked in response to court orders and new policies to reduce prison crowding.  This should serve as a lesson in how bad policy leads to disaster.  Other states are currently attempting
criminal justice reform but should pause to consider some crucial questions.
Criminal justice certainly needs major improvements.  The problem is that the current reform movement is actually an
anti-incarceration effort.  This movement has been active for several years but rather than a systemic approach to reform,
its main goal is to reduce incarceration.  This is like trying to reform healthcare by aiming to reduce
hospitalization.  Just as hospitals are a small part of the healthcare system, prisons are a small part of the criminal
justice system.
Reform efforts are wrong headed because they’re based on a false premise—mass incarceration.  The object is to place
more offenders in alternatives, or community supervision, by using misleading information that prisons are a drain on the economy and needlessly used on the wrong types of offenders.  
Despite rhetoric about “mass incarceration” and calls for “alternative sentences” the major portion of offenders is serving time in an alternative status of community supervision.  About two thirds of individuals serving time are under community supervision. One could say that in this country incarceration is an alternative sentence.  In some states the community supervision population constitutes more than eighty percent of the total corrections population. 
Experts in the reform movement rely on misleading assumptions about safely releasing large numbers of non-violent offenders. Experts provide the answers but we need to ask the right questions.  Should we only incarcerate violent offenders? Should we never incarcerate car thieves, burglars, drug dealers, swindlers and others?  The California
crime spike involves a high number of these types of offenses.
What exactly is a non-violent offender? Is it someone who’s never committed a violent crime? Is it someone convicted of a non-violent crime but with a history of violence? Is it someone who committed a violent crime but was convicted of a non-violent crime because of plea-bargaining? Al Capone was convicted of tax evasion.  Without asking these questions, he’d be considered a non-violent offender.  The point is that sentencing statistics provide only a snapshot of the person’s current offense.
The reform movement thus demands that the system do what it’s already doing and has been doing for decades—incarcerate only a relatively small proportion of offenders.  We’re also told that we should spend more money on education rather than on prisons but the fact is that our country spends ten times more on education than on prisons.  The problem is not too many people in prison.  The problem is the system’s misguided purpose.
The system is never tasked with confronting crime. It processes cases. It reacts to individual acts of criminal behavior after
the fact.  This is what must change. Instead of a reactive system focused responding to individual criminal acts we should have a true public safety model of justice that’s focused on crime prevention and reduction as well as creating and maintaining safer communities.
The good news is that this is rapidly changing.  The advent of community, or problem oriented, policing been very
beneficial to crime-ridden communities.  Its principles 
of crime prevention by focusing on specific crime related problems, have spread to the other justice components during the past twenty years.  Community courts, community prosecution, and
community corrections are now becoming the norm.  This has resulted in a remarkable drop in crime.    
Community courts are now within neighborhoods to respond immediately to “quality of life crimes”.  They sentence offenders to clean up crews and/or drug treatment.  Community prosecutors work with citizens to evict drug-dealing tenants
from buildings.  Community corrections (probation and parole) officers have gotten out from behind their desks to
patrol the streets with police, clergy, and social service agencies to have more effective control of those under their care.     
These strategies have produced remarkable results.  The homicide rate fell 51 percent between 1993 and 2012 from 9.5 per 100,000 residents to 4.7 per 100,000. Property crime also fell sharply during that time. Auto theft dropped an astounding 62 percent. It’s likely that these trends will continue into the future. 
These phenomenal changes in criminal justice are not the result of passing more laws.  The criminal justice system has
changed its operating practices and partnered with the community and other system components.  This is what makes
this truly revolutionary.  Instead of an endless cycle of reform the system has begun to transform itself.    This bottom up change tends to confound those accustomed to top down modification through new legislation.
Reform movement experts remain clueless because they persist in trying to affect change at the legislative and judicial levels.  Meanwhile the criminal justice system continues its quiet revolution.

Ed Barajas retired from the Federal Bureau of Prisons after twenty-seven years of service, including twelve years in three maximum security prisons. He began his career as a correctional officer right after graduating from college. He worked his way into management and administrative positions, including ten years with the National Institute of Corrections in Washington, DC. He has been a guest lecturer at universities and has written chapters of criminal justice textbooks and published articles and guest editorials in various periodicals. He and his wife live in North Carolina.
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Historical Romance Kensington March April

The Memory of Your KissTitle: The Memory of Your Kiss

Author: Wilma Counts

Publisher: Lyrical Press

Genre: Romance

Format: Kindle
An Untimely Encounter…

When her father falls gravely ill, eighteen-year-old Sydney Isabella Waverly dutifully agrees to marry the earl whose estate borders her family’s modest country home. But on a trip to Bath before she weds, Sydney meets the enigmatic, heroic Captain Zachary Quintin, with whom she feels an unmistakable mutual attraction. Still, they have no choice but to part ways, regretting what might have been. Sydney cannot know that one day they will meet again under vastly changed circumstances, that Zachary will play an unexpected role in her life—and that the man she never forgot still ignites her heart. All that will remain is to find out if he feels the same way…

For More Information

  • The Memory of Your Kiss is available at Amazon.

Wilma Counts

Wilma Counts spent her formative years in Dora, Oregon, a location Germans would call a “dorf” since it was not, at the time, large enough to qualify as even a village. This was in the age of “Leave it to Beaver”, though television reception was not available that far out in the boonies. She attended high school in Myrtle Point, a logging-farming town twenty miles away. Later, she attended what was then known as Oregon College of Education in Monmouth, Oregon (now Western Oregon State University).

Armed with a BS degree in secondary education, she taught English for six years in Oregon (Bend, Astoria, and Gresham). Then she joined the Department of Defense Dependents’ Schools (DoDDS) in which she taught English, world history, and U.S. Government to military dependents, first for one year at the Navy base in Guantanmo, Cuba, then on an Army base in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and finally on an Air Force base in Ramstein, Germany. During this time, she also earned a master’s degree in International Relations from Alabama’s Troy State University. With the troop drawdown in the ‘90s, she seized the opportunity to retire early and returned to the States.

During her stint with the DoDDS, Wilma taught all levels of high school English as well as social studies classes, but most of her work was with 12th grade students. She was English department chair for several years. She especially enjoyed working with students in Advanced Placement English and U.S. Government classes—as well as working with those in the Model United Nations program. For about ten years she traveled every January with groups of 20-30 students to the International MUN conference in The Hague, The Netherlands. She loved her students (almost all of them), but found grading papers to be pure drudgery. She was twice nominated by former students to be included among Who’s Who in American Teachers.

Model United Nations trips was not her only travel with groups of high school students, She also led study tours to England, Russia, Czechoslovakia, Italy, and Tunisia. An exchange program with a school in Ivanovo, Russia, led to two important developments: (1) a humanitarian aid project that ended with American military communities in Germany donating nearly 80 tons of clothing and foodstuff to Ivanovo two years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and (2) the Russian school’s involvement with Model United Nations which has since expanded to include schools in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Wilma has also traveled widely on her own: England and Scotland; most of continental Europe; India and Pakistan; Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia; and just a touch of the Far East—Burma (as it was then called), Hong Kong, and South China. Lots of weekend getaways to France, Belgium, and Luxembourg and The Netherlands. Travel remains a keen interest, though largely of the armchair variety in recent years. She plans a return trip to Germany next year.

You can take the teacher out of the classroom—but not for long! Shortly after retiring from DoDDS, Wilma took a part-time position teaching classes in freshman English at Western Nevada College in Carson City, Nevada. At the same time, she realized a life-long dream of becoming a published writer. Eleven Regency novels and two novellas (all with Kensington) are closely linked to her love of Jane Austen’s work. In addition, she has a novel set in WWII, In Enemy Hands, born of her love of modern European history. She is among the contributors to the ALWAYS LOSTexhibition (currently touring nationwide), a tribute to the sacrifices of men and women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Today, Wilma devotes her time largely to writing and reading. She loves to cook, but hates cleaning house. She has never lost her interest in literature, history, and international relations. She spends a fair amount of time yelling at the TV. She maintains contact with many friends from each of those lives mentioned above. She is an active member ofLone Mountain Writers in Carson City.

She considers herself to be the second most computer illiterate person in the universe, but she loves hearing from friends, former students, and readers at wilmacounts@att.net.

Starling by Virginia TaylorFor More Information
Visit Wilma’s website.

Title: Starling

Author: Virginia Taylor

Publisher: Lyrical Press

Genre: Romance

Format: Kindle

An aspiring dressmaker, orphaned Starling Smith is accustomed to fighting for her own survival. But when she’s offered a year’s wages to temporarily pose as a wealthy man’s bride, she suspects ulterior motives. She can’t lose the chance to open her own shop, but she won’t be any man’s lover, not even handsome, infuriating Alisdair Seymour’s…

To prevent his visiting sister from parading potential brides in front of him, Alisdair has decided to present a fake wife. He lost his heart once, and had it broken—he doesn’t intend to do it again. But stubborn, spirited Starling is more alluring than he bargained for, and Alisdair will risk everything he has to prove his love is true…

Set against the sweeping backdrop of 1866 South Australia, Starling is a novel of cherished dreams and powerful desires, and the young woman bold enough to claim them both…

For More Information

  • Starling is available at Amazon.

Virginia TaylorVirginia Taylor is an Australian writer of contemporary romantic comedy, romantic suspense, historical romance, short stories, and children’s stories.

After a stint at the South Australian School of Art, I worked for an advertising agency,  re-trained as a nurse/midwife, and then married the man of my dreams. Two children later, I began writing romance. While awaiting publication, I painted and designed various theatre sets with a fellow School of Art graduate.In 2013 I sold my first novel-length story.

For More Information

Visit Virginia’s website.

Connect with Virginia on Facebook, and Twitter

The Ghosts of Peppernell ManorTitle: The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor

Author: Amy Reade

Publisher: Lyrical Press

Genre: Romance

Format: Kindle

Do you know what stories Sarah could tell you about the things that happened in these little cabins? They’d curl that pretty red hair of yours.” 

Outside of Charleston, South Carolina, beyond hanging curtains of Spanish moss, at the end of a shaded tunnel of overarching oaks, stands the antebellum mansion of Peppernell Manor in all its faded grandeur. At the request of her friend Evie Peppernell, recently divorced Carleigh Warner and her young daughter Lucy have come to the plantation house to refurbish the interior. But the tall white columns and black shutters hide a dark history of slavery, violence, and greed. The ghost of a former slave is said to haunt the home, and Carleigh is told she disapproves of her restoration efforts. And beneath the polite hospitality of the Peppernell family lie simmering resentments and poisonous secrets that culminate in murder—and place Carleigh and her child in grave danger…

For More Information

  • The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor is available at Amazon.
Amy ReadeThanks for visiting!  I grew up in Northern New York, just 30 miles from the St. Lawrence River.  I live in New Jersey now with my husband, three kids, dog, and two cats, just a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean.  I love being near the water, whether it’s a river or an ocean or just a stream.  My favorite place on Earth is Hawaii, where I’m surrounded by the blue waters of the Pacific.I also love wine and music.  You’ll find wine recommendations on this website from my latest favorites, as well as playlists to go along with my books.Please visit my blog at http://amreade.wordpress.com/

I am on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/amreadeauthor

I am on Twitter @readeandwrite

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Title: Defining Intelligence

Author: Dr. Pat Keogh

Publisher: AuthorHouse

Pages: 168

Genre: Education

Format: Ebook/Paperback/Hardcover

Purchase at AMAZON

It may be unethical for a person to conduct an intelligence assessment on another human being. Human intelligence is unquantifiable. Observing or analysing behaviour, appearance, personality, beliefs or acquired knowledge cannot produce a quantifiable measure of a person’s intelligence. The brain can perform millions of billions of calculations per second. This gives the person enormous power and incalculable potential. Yet, saying ‘I use my brain to think’ awards the ‘I’ (the mind) a priority over the brain. We are thinking beings. We are compelled and condemned to think. Thinking is process. We cannot analyse thinking but we can analyse thoughts and ideas, the products of thinking. The mind can reflect on the past, live in the present and plan for the future. Intelligence involves abstract, purposeful, logical thinking and the ability to create and execute ideas. It also includes unconscious thinking. The mind functions best when the body is at rests. The mind never sleeps. The ‘Bru na Boinne’ megalithic burial tombs in County Meath, particularly New Grange testify to the brilliance in observation, the thoughtful archectual planning and the masterful engineering execution of ideas and plans by our Neolithic ancestors of five thousand years ago. Modern day communication technology air and spacecraft are contemporary testimonials to human genius. Primary education should allow time in the curriculum for students to daydream purposefully. In early schooling greater emphasis should be placed on creativity, music composition, innovation and artistic pursuits.


Pat Keogh is principal teacher in a large Dublin suburban primary school. He is a staunch advocate of child-centred education. He has had numerous articles published in the Irish Primary Teacher’s journal ‘In Touch’, The Irish Times newspaper and in ‘Leadership’, an Irish Primary Principal’s magazine. Pat has a master’s degree in philosophy and a doctorate in education. His doctoral thesis is entitled: ‘THINKING CRITICALLY’. He is keenly interested in the incredible calculating ability of the human brain and the illusiveness and ingenuity of the mind. He believes that the creative mind operates best when the body is at rest.

Pat is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!


Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins March 16 and ends on March 27.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, March 30.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Title: Gray Skies

Author: Elle Emtage

Publisher: iUniverse

Pages: 170

Genre: Romance

Format: Ebook

Purchase at AMAZON

Dunstan’s dashing good looks, thriving business and exotic lifestyle made him one of the world’s most sought after bachelors; but none of this seemed to quell Dunstan’s desire for Destiny. As their courtship evolves their romance is woven from a tapestry of classical beauty and romantic places in the orange light of the Tuscan sun. To Destiny, her life once filled with endless days of meetings and long nights alone is now full of life and love in a whirlwind romance.

In the midst of their developing relationship however, tragedy rips them apart and she discovers a thread in time which links their existence to an unbelievable possibility. This possibility threatens their very existence, but Dunstan, fueled by his love, will stop at nothing until he reclaims what he has lost. A fantasy romance novel, Gray Skies demonstrates how true love can even overcome obstacles set by the universe.


Guest Post – Gray
As I’ve gone through life’s celebrations and challenges I’ve
come to the undeniable realization – Writing is in my DNA. My adventures are colored
in verse and rhyme, my thoughts are painted on a canvas of imagination and
experiences born in day and night dreams. I see events in words.
My writing is tempered by my emotions. If I’m not in a good
place then I can’t write – which is ironic because writing takes me to that
‘good place’. Very often I have to push myself to a chair to calm the thoughts
exploding in my head by putting them in print. Each and every time as soon as
my fingers touch the keyboard or finger the leaf of my journal (yes I actually
prefer a good old pen and paper) my initial hesitation disappears as if there
was never a cause for concern. So what happens when I can’t write? I write!
Writing is therapeutic for me. It soothes. It calms. It
provides the passageway into the recesses of imagination where life is
exciting, adventurous, predictably unpredictable, passionate, thrilling – I
guess all the things that real life (for me anyway) isn’t. Not that I’m unhappy
with who I am – I’m just overwhelmingly happy that I have an avenue that allows
me to escape into a fantastic reality without the use of any vices – a win-win
for me I think.
I’ve been asked on many
occasions – “Why have you decided to publish at this stage in your life? And
why a romance novel? That seems so unlike you!” And I had to sit back and
really ask myself the same question but with a twist – why on earth did I take so long to bring a dream
birthed in me from early childhood to fruition? What did I use to validate me
turning away from the path that made sense? I came up with a host of reasons:
1.       There
are so many writers out there – competing on the global arena will be tough…
2.       Agents
aren’t going to sign unknown writers, far less will big publishing houses…(and
from the Caribbean?)
3.       How
can I make a living, achieve the ‘things in life’ on peanuts?
4.       Can
people really get immersed in my style of writing?
5.       Do
people even really believe in real romance or true love anymore?
…And the list went on and
on….until I came to one important realization – if I didn’t live my dream,
or at least try at it, how would I know how successful I could have
been? And what is the measure of success? For me – it was turning the
pages of my very first novel and realizing that everything that I feared –
whether real or not – that the look on someone’s face when they get lost in the
characters and their lives made it all worth it.   And dare I say? This is
And so the birth of Dunstan and
Destiny and their fantastic tale of their lives and love. Gray Skies Gray Skies
is a wonderful page turner, centered on the characters Dunstan Moab and Destiny
Tallum. Dunstan’s dashing good looks, thriving business and exotic lifestyle
made him one of the worlds most sought after bachelors; but none of this seemed
to matter to quell Dunstan’s desire for Destiny. Gray Skies is weaved from a
tapestry of classical beauty and romantic places in the orange light of the
Tuscan sun. To Destiny, her life once filled with endless days of meetings and
long nights alone is now full of life and love in a whirlwind romance.
In the midst of their developing
relationship, however, tragedy rips them apart and she discovers a thread in
time which links their existence to an unbelievable possibility. This
possibility threatens their very existence, but Dunstan fueled by his
love, will stop at nothing until he reclaims what he has lost. A fantasy
romance novel, Gray Skies demonstrates how true love can even overcome
obstacles set by the universe.
Elle Emtage is a business professional and has been published in several media houses. Elle’s passion for writing has transformed throughout the years and she is sharing her love of romance and intrigue through the début of this novel. Elle and her family consider themselves fortunate to live on the beautiful island of Barbados.

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profile-pic (1)Puerto Rican-born novelist, Eleanor Parker Sapia, was raised in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Europe. Eleanor’s life experiences as a counselor, alternative health practitioner, a Spanish language social worker, and a refugee case worker inspire her passion for writing. When Eleanor is not writing, she facilitates creativity groups, and is making plans to walk El Camino de Santiago a second time. A Decent Woman is her debut novel. Eleanor is the mother of two adult children, and she lives in West Virginia.

About the Book 

Ponce, Puerto Rico, at the turn of the century: Ana Belén Opaku, an Afro-Cuban born into slavery, is a proud midwife with a tempestuous past. After testifying at an infanticide trial, Ana is forced to reveal a dark secret from her past, but continues to hide an even more sinister one. Pitted against the parish priest, Padre Vicénte, and young Doctór Héctor Rivera, Ana must battle to preserve her twenty-five year career as the only midwife in La Playa.

Serafina is a respectable young widow with two small children, who marries an older wealthy merchant from a distinguished family. A crime against Serafina during her last pregnancy forever bonds her to Ana in an ill-conceived plan to avoid a scandal and preserve Serafina’s honor.

Set against the combustive backdrop of a chauvinistic society, where women are treated as possessions, A Decent Woman is the provocative story of these two women as they battle for their dignity and for love against the pain of betrayal and social change.

Find out more on Amazon.

Q: Congratulations on the release of your debut novel, A Decent Woman. What was your inspiration for it? 

A: Thanks so much for your kind words and for the opportunity for this author interview, Mayra. My historical novel, A Decent Woman is my love letter to the island of my birth, Puerto Rico. I was inspired to write the book by my Puerto Rican grandmother’s stories about her Afro-Caribbean midwife, Ana, who caught my mother, two aunts, and my uncle. The lack of information about the history of Puerto Rican women in American history textbooks also inspired me to write this book. I researched non-fiction books written about the complex lives of women in colonial Puerto Rico, and was also inspired by my interviews of daughters of Puerto Rican women born in that era.

Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist. 

A: Ana is a tenacious, gritty, feisty, Afro-Cuban midwife, born into slavery, who mysteriously arrived on the shores of Puerto Rico in the middle of the night at age twenty. Alongside her positive characteristics, Ana is suspicious of strangers, stubborn, distrustful of men and authority, and she is hiding a secret from her past. She also practices the Yoruba traditions of her Nigerian ancestors, which involves praying to the ancestors and to gods and goddesses.

BOOK COVER SEPT 2014 (2) (1)Q: What was your creative process like during the writing of this book and how long did it take you to complete it? Did you face any bumps along the way? 

A: I wrote A Decent Woman in six months. The words came quickly, but the editing and research took nearly three years! Six months before the book was published, I met my current editor and she was incredibly helpful to me and the story. She challenged me to change the ending and remove male POV—it was a great idea.

Oh yes, I faced many bumps! Before I signed with Booktrope Publishing, I’d queried 100 agents for two years. There were many agents interested in my book, but in the end, they thought an historical novel about an Afro-Cuban midwife would be tough to sell. I wasn’t deterred; I kept at it and finally went the hybrid publisher route, which is between traditional and Indie publishing. I’m very happy where I am, and have several projects lined up with Booktrope—a happy ending for me after quite a journey.

Q: How do you keep your narrative exciting throughout the creation of a novel? 

A: I live in my head, and use all the senses when I describe the sights, smells, texture, and sounds of a scene or a character. There must be momentum in a story, no stagnant places where nothing is happening, to keep the excitement moving forward, and the reader turning the pages.

Q: Do you experience anxiety before sitting down to write? If yes, how do you handle it? 

A: I didn’t experience any anxiety whatsoever with my debut novel, but I am experiencing a bit now with my second historical novel. I handle it by reminding myself of what I’ve accomplished, how difficult it was to get published, and how fortunate I am to have a great publisher and publishing team. I psyche myself out is what I do; I talk to myself, and calm down with prayer, meditation, and a good night’s sleep. Taking writing breaks to garden and play with my pets also helps me.

Q: What is your writing schedule like, and how do you balance it with your other work and family time? 

A: I am a single lady, and my two wonderful adult kids are out of my nest, doing wonderful things in the world, so I have a lot of free time. In 2010, I left my job and moved to West Virginia to write full time. It was a bit like falling off a cliff, but it was the best thing I’ve done post-kids.

I wake up between 8 and 9 every morning. I write in my journal and tackle social media and answer emails until noon. I take a long lunch break, walk the dog, check in with social media, and begin working on my work in progress around 2 in the afternoon until dinner time. After dinner, I get organized, turn off the phone, select favorite music to write by, and write until I can’t see any more. It’s very common for my best writing to come between 10pm-2 am.

Q: How do you define success?

A: I like this quote by Orison Swett Marden – “When a man feels throbbing within him, the power to do what he undertakes as well as it can possibly be done, this is happiness, this is success.” I feel the same way about success. I feel blessed to do what I’m passionate about—writing, and the opportunity to write full time makes me very happy, every day.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers whose spouses or partners don’t support their dreams of becoming an author? 

A: I was a social worker and a counselor for a few years, so my advice would be to have an honest talk with the spouse or partner about personal needs and dreams. If nothing changes, a good look into the marriage or relationship would be necessary, and a realistic look at the writer’s commitment to writing. It’s a long haul for most of us. Every marriage and relationship is different, so I won’t generalize. Personally, I’d have to move on because I was a painter for 25 years and I write novels; I’ve always lived a creative life. Life is too short to live with someone who doesn’t support my dreams.

Q: George Orwell once wrote: “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing, if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” Do you agree? 

A: Yes, I agree. Orwell is correct, once you’re in the process of writing a book, it’s an intense, exhausting experience. But highly satisfying at the same time! Writers must be a bit nuts. I am obsessed with writing, and there aren’t many things I love more than writing.

I started out as a painter, and I painted and exhibited for 25 years before discovering a passion for writing books. When the paint brush could no longer express all I had inside, I turned to words.

Q:  Anything else you’d like to tell my readers? 

A:  A Decent Woman is now available on Amazon.

and I love hearing from my readers, so please visit me at my website http://www.eleanorparkersapia.com and at my writing blog http://www.thewritinglifeeparker.wordpress.com

Thanks so much, Mayra! I’ve enjoyed my time with you today.

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Driving the streets of our suburb, I call my daughter’s cell phone for the thirty-seventh time. It goes right to voice mail, just as it has for the last three hours. The logical part of me knows this is the sign of a dead phone battery.
Alyssa didn’t come home from school again. The second time in two weeks. Night has long since fallen. There were no planned after-school activities. She’s just acting out, got a good head and wouldn’t do anything stupid. As I drive around, I keep telling myself this. It helps, but only a bit. Stacey called me earlier to let me know of Alyssa’s disappearance. Not the kind of phone call I wanted, but at least it was civil. Neither of us can figure out if drugs are to blame. It seems Stacey has an idea what’s behind this, but she’s not opening up. No surprise there.
 Stacey gave me a list of places to look for Alyssa. A good parent should probably know where his daughter hangs out. We really only know what our kids choose to let on to us. At some point you have to trust the work you put in when they were young. Alyssa knows right from wrong. Next on my list is the bowling alley.
 This oughta be fun. It’s a Tuesday night. The place will be filled with league bowlers and teenagers looking to score illegal alcohol. I’m not sure which I’d rather avoid more. As I open an oversized blue wooden door with a bowling pin for a handle,
the smell hits me. Eau de bowling alley. I don’t know all the ingredients in this recipe. Sweaty shoes, plastic balls, alley oil, cigarette smoke, and other substances less appealing. I think if these places were around in prehistoric times, a few dinosaurs might have made it. Nothing dies in here. Everything feels supernaturally suspended.
 The café and bar are to the left. An amusement room is to the right. I make an unnecessary scan of the lanes. It would be too uncool, unhip, unfly, to be seen bowling in here. When was the last time bowling was popular with the in-crowd? I decide to start with the amusement room. Not because I think I’ll find her here. I would just prefer it to the bar.
Electronically generated sounds drown out pins crashing and balls returning to their owners. Pre-teen boys swarm around the machines, focusing their attention on killing aliens and driving fast. The opposite gender are surrounding some kind of dance game. A computer is teaching them to dance. Isn’t that the boys’ role? The only kids in here that are close to Alyssa’s age are social misfits. She would never hang with them. A bunch of nerds who’ll end up as engineers and scientists.
 I trudge to the other end of the alley. I close my mouth tightly as I pass through a curtain of cigarette smoke. Like all other buildings in the state, this is supposed to be smoke-free. Try imposing those laws on league bowlers. They’re not the type to be worried about their health. There’s probably not a one of them with a cholesterol level below 200. They’re not convinced that smoking or bad eating habits will kill you. I think they make bowling pins black and white because that’s
how bowlers see the world.
 I move quickly through the bar area. There’s no sign of Alyssa or anyone else this side of fifty. I do see a couple of lizard-skinned women that may have been around with the dinosaurs. Their knowing glances assure me that they have taken off their custom-made bowling shirts for money at least once in their lives. If I believed in prayer, I’d request now that I never have to come back here again.


No one should smile before the sun rises. On the happiness scale, content is about as good as you can get to in these dark hours. I wake early most every morning because content works for me. Since becoming the father of two, this tiny portion of the day is all the me-time I have left. If people were honest, which they mostly aren’t, I think they would admit to wanting more time alone. It’s 5:47 AM and I’m sitting quietly in the
kitchen, where there are no responsibilities, no guilt, and no unmet expectations. Simply silence.
Mitch Pederson, a forty-something executive in the high-tech world, made no allowance for blackmail in his comprehensive plans to ascend to the top of an electronics
company. His carefully ordered world quickly unravels into a chaos that threatens everything he cares about. As he puts the pieces of his life back together he discovers something about himself that is much more than the sum of the parts.

The Authorleo
 Leo’s  Website / Goodreads / Facebook

The son of a career Air Force serviceman, Leo spent his childhood living the nomadic life of a military brat. Having survived the constant uprooting, Leo draws upon the time spent in the four corners of the US as well as Europe to develop his characters.

Leo has finally settled down in San Diego, California with his wife of over thirty years. Aside from writing, and engineering (the necessary day job), he enjoys time with his children/grandchildren, running distance races and all things baseball.

“I write contemporary novels where I stress a character’s beliefs to the point of breaking and then I follow along for the ride.My goal is to offer readers a pause in their lives to think about what they believe and why.”~ Leo Dufresne

Follow the entire Touched Up Tour HERE

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Admit to Mayhem banner

DJ AdamsonD.J. Adamson is an award-winning author. Her family roots grow deep in the Midwest and it is here she sets much of her work. She juggles her time between her own desk and teaching writing to others at two Los Angeles area colleges. Along with her husband and two Welsh Terriers, she makes her home in Southern California.

Her latest book is the mystery, amateur sleuth, Admit to Mayhem.

For More Information

Would you call yourself a born writer?

My mother stated I popped into the world holding a pencil and a piece of paper wanting to record my birth. A born writer? No, I see myself as a born storyteller.

Admit to Mayhem 2What was your inspiration for Admit to Mayhem?

My father estranged himself from his sister who was an alcoholic. I never knew her, yet I have been told I am much like her in personality. I am sorry I didn’t get to meet my Aunt Lillian. Like the Mormon religion believes someone can still be saved after they have died, I wrote Admit to Mayhem wanting to give my aunt the chance of living life sober. The story is not about alcoholism. It’s about giving a person rebirth and watching how she handles a new life. My protagonist’s name is Lillian.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

Funny you should ask this question. My newsletter Le Coeur de l’Artiste, found on my website, djadamson.com, is exploring theme in writing this February issue. My overall work is challenged with themes of self-discovery, renewal, justice, looking for that holy grail that slips from us each time we turn our heads, common man, or woman.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

I worked on the concept for this novel series for a year. It then took a year to write the first novel, four complete drafts before editing and revising. Suppose, the second book in the series will be out Fall of 2015.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

Writing for me is a job, like my other job as a professor. I write four-six hours a day at least five days a week. I work best in the mornings. Rule: No email until 2,000 words are written! Discipline is the key. When I am in the editing phases, I stretch my schedule to seven days.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

Providing the reader truthful moments. Isn’t that always the most difficult, to let the raw truth out?

What do you love most about being an author?

Love? You haven’t read Bukowski’s poem, “So You Want To Be A Writer.” His advice, “Don’t.” It’s a long, difficult, generally lonely. Bukowski influenced modern poetry and left a legacy. But don’t forget, his day job for a great while was in the post office as a mail carrier. I cannot stop telling stories. I am lucky enough to thoroughly enjoy my characters, as if they are people in my life. Well, aren’t they? And I have a supportive family who understands my need.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

I created my own company, Horatio Press. I self-published because I didn’t want to write “marketable” stories others wanted me to tell. The stories I write are mine. The characters, mine. Writers think that traditional publishing will do the work of sales and marketing. If they can just land a Big 5, then they will be a success. Not true. Editorial advice is valuable, but the author still has to promote the work and generate sales numbers that will create a product the publisher will want to keep. I’ve had friends knocked off lists.

I can’t fail at self-publishing. I write the stories without expectations. If a reader asks when the next book is coming out, I’ve been paid.

Where can we find you on the web?

Readers can find me or my newsletter at djadamson.com. Admit to Mayhem can be found at Amazon or Goodreads. I also walkabout on twitter @adamson_dj and Facebook.


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Every Move She Makes Banner

Every Move She MakesTitle: Every Move She Makes

Author: Jannine Gallant

Publisher: Lyrical Press

Genre: Mystery/Suspense

Format: Kindle
No matter where she goes, he knows her every move…

Long ago, Rachel Carpenter was a glamorous soap star. She gave it all up to move to Napa Valley with her daughters to open up a bookstore near her family vineyard. Her life is safe and dependable, until she encounters Kane Lafferty at a wilderness camp in the rugged High Sierra. A burned-out police detective struggling with his own demons, Kane is instantly attracted to Rachel. And like Rachel, he isn’t sure if he’s ready to open up his heart. But everything is about to change…

Someone is watching from the darkness. A fanatic obsessed with Rachel for years has decided to claim what he believes is his. It will be up to Kane to not only protect his new love and her family, but to uncover the identity of the stalker before it’s too late for all of them…

For More Information

  • Every Move She Makes is available at Amazon.

Jannine Gallant

Write about what you know. I’ve taken this advice to heart, creating characters who live in small towns and plots that unfold in the great outdoors.I grew up in Gasquet, a tiny town in Northern California, where as kids we swam in the river, ran wild in the woods, and rode our bikes every-where we wanted to go. Now I live in Tahoe City with my husband, two daughters, and dog, Ginger. When I’m not busy writing or being a full time mom, I enjoy taking Ginger for hikes in the woods around our home.Whether I’m writing romantic suspense, contemporary, or historical romance, I try to bring the beauty of nature to my stories.I graduated from U.C. Davis with a double major in history and creative writing. Though I’ve worked in both the restaurant and ski industries, I never wanted to be anything but a writer. After many years of pursuing my passion, I’ve finally achieved success, proof positive that dreams do come true!

For More Information
Visit Jannine’s website.

Connect with Jannine on Facebook 

Visit Jannine’s blog.

Death and DesireTitle: Death and Desire

Author: P.H. Turner

Publisher: Lyrical Press

Genre: Thriller/Suspense

Format: Kindle

Ancient rituals. Up-to-the minute deception.

Reporter Taylor McWhorter knows something is going on at the newly reopened uranium mine on the local Navajo reservation. The Native workers are being fired. Rumors of bad Native American spirits and shapeshifters mingle with the stink of leach pit mining. The rough red mountains and steep canyons hide more passes and getaway trails than any maze. And Taylor’s sources keep turning up dead…

Until she meets Captain Trace Yazzie, head of the tribal police force and plenty to reckon with on his own. The chemistry between them is enough to incinerate Taylor’s rule about mixing business and pleasure. But with a murderer on the loose, priceless Navajo artifacts turning up in the wrong places, and Trace’s suggestion that spirits disturbed from looted burial sites might be part of the problem, Taylor can’t afford to lose her head to lust. This might be the story of the year. But unless she keeps her wits about her, it could be the last one Taylor ever tells…

For More Information

  • Death and Desire is available at Amazon.

P.H. Turner
Teaching and shooting news and documentaries took me to work on the East and West coasts, the Midwest and an island in the Gulf of Mexico. Born a fourth generation Texan, I live in Denver with an energetic mutt that waits patiently every day for me to come home and work on my second novel.
For More Information

Visit P.H.’s blog 

Twelve HoursConnect with P.H. on Facebook 

Title: Twelve Hours

Author: Leo J. Maloney

Publisher: Pinnacle

Genre: Thriller/Suspense

Format: Kindle
“A must!” —Lee Child

Black Ops veteran Leo J. Maloney delivers an explosive tale of international intrigue and the menace of a third World War. The clock is ticking…
Twelve Hours

New York City is under siege. A bomb has exploded in Penn Station. Islamic terrorists have occupied the Waldorf Astoria. And a bloody, catastrophic battle is being fought in Grand Central  Station. It’s all part of an insidious plot targeting a visiting head of state. Dan Morgan knows what he has to do to prevent an irreversible domino effect from bringing the world to its knees. There’s just one catch. Dan’s teenage daughter is trapped among the hostages. And she’s determined to fight her way out…

For More Information

  • Twelve Hours is available at Amazon.

Leo Maloney

Leo Maloney was born in Massachusetts, where he spent his childhood and graduated from high school and attended Northeastern University. In the mid 1960’s, while in the army, he was recruited to become a deep cover black ops contractor for a clandestine government agency.

While he was serving his country in the secretive world of Black Ops over 30 years, he operated several “cover” businesses including a classic car brokerage, promotions and limousine companies, and a detective agency. He served as a municipal police officer in Revere, Massachusetts and is still a licensed private investigator in the state of Massachusetts.

After leaving his career in black ops, Leo continued several of his cover businesses, and also had the opportunity to try his hand at acting in independent films and TV commercials. Leo has 5 movies to his credit both as an actor and behind the camera as a producer, technical advisor, and assistant director.

In his most recent project, Leo began writing, reliving many of his Black Ops experiences and evolving them into his books. In 2011 he signed a contract with Kensington Publishing Corp for the Dan Morgan thriller series. The first book, Termination Orders, was released in September 2012. The second book, Silent Assassin, was released in August of 2013. The third book, Black Skies, was released on 26 August 2014. The fourth book a novella, Twelve Hours, will be released in March of 2015. It’s now official, Leo has signed a movie deal with Amber Entertainment in LA / London to bring the “Dan Morgan” thriller series to the “BIG SCREEN”. It is slated to begin filming in 2015.

Leo currently resides in a suburb north of Boston with his wife and their German Shepherd, Neika.
For More Information
Visit Leo’s website.

Connect with Leo on Facebook and Twitter.

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Understanding the Economic
 Understanding the Economic Basics and Modern Capitalism
Author: Dan Blatt

Publisher: iUniverse

Pages: 558

Genre: Business/Economics

Format: Ebook/Paperback

Purchase at AMAZON

UNDERSTANDING of the economic successes and failures of the past century and today begins here.

Dan Blatt, after almost a half-century of accurate published economic forecasts, examines history’s most important economic works. He shows why capitalist market mechanisms successfully raise billions out of poverty and why socialist and other administered alternatives flourish briefly and then collapse.

UNDERSTANDING begins with the basic texts:

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, by Adam Smith;
The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, by David Ricardo;
Capital (Das Kapital), by Karl Marx;
The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, by John Maynard Keynes;
Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy by Joseph A. Schumpeter.

The analysis is readily comprehensible for college level readers and busy professionals. The style facilitates speed-reading and scanning but with liberal inclusion of quoted material covering the key ideas and most famous passages.

Understanding the Economic Basics and Modern Capitalism is your source for rapid familiarity with these basic works and the reasons for the repetitive failure of current economic policies.


Dan Blatt, a graduate of Brooklyn College and Harvard Law School, has been working for or writing about government agencies and policies for more than fifty years. His track record of accurate published economic forecasts began with the prescient book, “Dollar Devaluation” (1967). He is the author of “Understanding the Great Depression” (2009), and currently publishes “Futurecasts online magazine at www.futurecasts.com

Dan is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!


Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins March 16 and ends on March 27.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, March 30.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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