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.

Buy the book at Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, or

Monday, November 27, 2017

You Taste Like Whiskey and Sunshine by Kimberly Love

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

Five Things You Would Probably Never Guess About Me

Writers are quirky characters, aren’t they? When we picture them, don’t we imagine them in a cloak of darkness, hunched over a computer typing frantically away? Well, I assure you although I do have some eccentricities, it’s not that bad.

There are a few things that most people don’t know about me:

1. I stream Law & Order: SVU in the background when I write. It gets lonely being at home working all the time, so I stream L&O because the voices kind of make me feel like I’m not alone. I also write thrillers, so it helps me with my detective talk.

2. I’m obsessed with dinosaurs. I have a large ornament of a raptor in my living room. It’s about the size of a dog. I also have salt & pepper shakers and a cookie jar.

3. I have a pet leopard gecko. He’s super cute but nowhere near as photogenic as the ones I see online all the time. He likes to spend time in his warm cave, but he will watch TV with us as well.

4. I am enamored with the life of a vampire, mostly because being immortal would help me achieve my bucket list.

5. I was an amateur boxer for over five years. I’ve been in the ring with 200 lb men dodging punches and kicks. Kickboxing is one of my most favorite workouts and the fact that I have been able to go toe to toe with men brings me a lot of pride.

There's an evil queen, a demented father, some amateur boxing and a trailer park story. Even a silver fox makes an appearance. Why wouldn't that entice you?

If you are looking for something different from the rest of the books out there, something that might make you question your sanity then you will love this book.

Read an excerpt:

You’re familiar with the story of Snow White and the Evil Queen. Me too. It’s an interesting story if you look at it closely-- interesting and really fucking disturbing. It’s the story of a little girl who lost her father and was raised by a woman that hated her from the start. She hated the girl so much that she hired a man to chase her down and bring back her heart—even though she was only really her stepmother. The Queen had no real reason to hate the girl, right? She hated her because she was the “fairest of them all” …and she was no longer. That porcelain skin, that jet-black hair, blood red lips…okay, okay maybe I would hate her too. Joking aside, the girl just wanted to be loved. The Queen was all that Snow White had left in the world, but instead, she was loathed by her--wanting all the attention and power that she had.

I get it. I get it more than you think. The Evil Queen is real and we all have someone like that in our lives. Someone who would rather see us dead than to see us with happiness in our lives. Shockingly enough, that person happened to be a family member for me. I’m not saying that she sent someone after me to bring back my heart, but I assure you, she definitely thought about it. Did my shoulder pop out accidentally as a toddler? Who’s to say with no witnesses around.

About the Author:
Kimberly spend her days writing about serial killers and playing on her blog while trying not to get sucked in by her Facebook notifications or get into the whiskey decanter (just kidding...kinda). Check out her blog


There's an evil queen, a demented father, some amateur boxing and a trailer park story. Even a silver fox makes an appearance. Why wouldn't that entice you?

If you are looking for something different from the rest of the books out there, something that might make you question your sanity then you will love this book.

Seriously! The comedic and sassy perspective will make you see things differently, and you may even find yourself laughing out loud. It's a good story and one that I truly believe needs to be told. Period.

It’s dark, raw and takes you to a door that keeps all my innermost secrets. I hope that the book makes you laugh, makes you cry, and inspires you to be the best version of yourself.


Buy the book at Amazon.

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Friday, November 24, 2017

Hinder by Kristin Ping

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kristin will be awarding a $50 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.

Ethan SUTCLIFF is no normal seventeen-year-old, but he tries to be really hard. He is what witches call a Guardian, or a the easier term will be a Bender. Benders are crucial to elemental witches as they have the ability to bend their witches’ gifts. In Alex's case he is one of the rarest, an Earth Bender, but his witch is either dead or deep in hiding and Ethan needs to find whoever they are otherwise the witching race might be in danger.

Read an excerpt:

Before Sentinels it was just earth Wielders. That was how powerful they were and Ethan was the lucky boy that was going to be part of that. He was going to become the next earth Wielder’s protector in every way possible.

Tears formed in Ethan’s eyes, but he refused to let them roll down his cheek. He tried so hard to live up to his element, to be strong and special.

Sad that the boy didn’t know how strong or special he already was. Maybe it was my fault as a father, as a parent.

I wanted to tell Natalie that she should stop making him feel so terrible. He was just exploring. But what good would that do? We would just end up fighting again. I was so tired of our fights. Shoulders slumped, I turned to go inside. That was when I heard the roar of engines.

The hair on my arms and neck stood straight. Adrenaline poured into my blood like jet fuel and my heartbeat skyrocketed as I turned to see Natalie running toward me across the yard, jerking little Ethan along by the hand.

“Get rid of them. Now.” She shouldered past me into the house.

No one had seen what Ethan had done, right? No, it wasn’t possible. Was it?

Three black Jeeps and a silver one careened into the driveway, spitting gravel behind their shiny black tires. I leaped off the steps but then composed myself. With great effort, I slowed to a sedate walk. I had to try to make this farmhouse seem like any other sleepy home on this continent—even though it was far from it.

Who are these people? What are they doing here?

They weren’t Necrocretors. Necrocretors didn’t use Jeeps or SUVs to make their entrances. Whoever they were, they were driving fast. Too fast.

As they pulled closer, the sun glinted off the tinted windows and blinded me. Then when they turned an angle, I saw it. It was the outline of a barrel.

I dove for the willow. Bullets shredded bark above my head. Splinters and sawdust flew everywhere.

My back was firmly against the tree, safe from the bullets, or so I hoped. Thank goodness he grew a fully mature tree, I marveled. Otherwise I’d be dead.

I recited words that hadn’t touched my tongue in years. I carried them in my skin on my tattoo, across my chest, close to my heart. A phrase scribbled in Latin that I’ve learned at a very young age: Estque vel me vel.

Its meaning was simple: It is either them or me.

If someone had to die, it wasn’t going to be me.

I took out the Zippo in my back pocket, closed my eyes, and used my diaphragmatic breathing exercises to calm my heart.

More gunshots sizzled overhead. Bits of the porch railing and the willow bar exploded. The air filled with the scent of sulfur and singed wood.

I took a deep breath.

Then I flicked the flint.

About the Author:
Kristin resides in South Africa with her husband, two beautiful girls and two bulldogs that tries to eat her house. She has been writing for the past eight years and her first debut novel, Hinder: A Bender's novel will be published 2018 by Fire Quill Publishing.

When she isn't writing, she is spending her time with her family, or trying to teach her two bulldogs to not eat her house. You can find more about Kristin at



Follow the steps and you can stand a chance to win a Macintosh laptop. It's easy.
Please note that your entry will not count if you haven't followed all the steps.

Want to win a Mac? Every two to three months, Kristin Ping is giving away a mac, all you have to do is subscribe to her newsletter, confirm to the confirmation email that will either be in your inbox or spam, and open the letter. Find the secret facebook group, join and enter the giveaway. It’s as easy as that. We even give you extra entries by inviting your friends to subscribe too. We already gave away the fist laptop.


The Ping Crate is a crate filled with goodies for readers. It’s built around the theme of the Guardian of Monster Series. The first few boxes will be built around witches. Think journals, cups, books, novelty jewelry, swag and something electronic that will push the worth of the crate up to $700 and more.

All you have to do is stay subscribed to the subscription list and open the monthly newsletter that Kristin will send out to find the rafflecopter for you to enter in this lovely giveaway.
It’s a box full of reader goodies and a surprise. Sometimes it will be a gift card if there isn’t any electronics.

Believe me it will be worth your time.

PRE ORDER HINDER FOR 99c. Yes, you’ve heard right. The pre order special is 99c only. The price will go up to 2.99 in its first month, think of it as a release day blitz, and from the second month it will go up to its normal price of 4.99c. So it’s a major deal of getting the pre-order for just 99c. GRAB YOUR COPY NOW!!!

When you purchase Hinder, you can claim your free gift through the subscriber link. Don't miss out on this amazing Pre-Order deal 'Even Witches needs saving now and then.' Use the link below:

Pre Order Landing Page

Reminder: "The book is available for pre-order for only $0.99!"


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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Five Things We'd Never Guess about Brittany Pate

As writers, we tend to spend a lot of time revealing information about fictional people, but very little time on our own, personal information. So here are five things you’d probably never guess about me.

1. I suffer from crippling anxiety.

I know this is true for a lot of people. In fact, it wasn’t until I went to my doctor and figured out I was having panic attacks instead of a heart attack, that I learned just how many people have to put up with this. To those of you with anxiety disorders of any kind, I salute you. Chances are, if you see me in public, I’m fighting a massive panic attack because I’m away from my ‘safe place’. I obsess over every word in every e-mail, every blog post, every Tweet. So, when I get a comment or a like or a retweet, it puts my mind at ease a little. At least someone out there didn’t think what I said was totally stupid.

2. I am (according to my great-grandmother) related to Margaret Mitchell.

For those of you who don’t know, Margaret Mitchell wrote Gone with the Wind. According to my great-grandmother, she would be my seven-times-removed great aunt on my father’s side. I know that’s a bit of a stretch, but it’s still a relation I’m happy to accept. I wrote a report on her once for high school and discovered some very interesting things. Her mother was four feet, eleven inches tall and had brick red hair. I’m also 4’11, with very distinct red hair. That doesn’t really count as proof, but I’ll take it!

3. I work in retail.

Like many debut authors, I have a day job. I work at a large, chain grocery store as a cashier. It may not be the most glamorous job, but it has helped me learn to manage my social anxiety. You know, at least until I have a panic attack and have to run away from the register. I have no intention of leaving my day job, because it afford me a level of social interaction I don’t get from writing (at least for the moment). Retail workers, you guys are the real MVP. It’s a difficult, under-appreciated job. Perhaps that’s why I’m so willing to disappear into fictional worlds!

4. I didn’t start out trying to write paranormal romance.

Shocker, I know. When the seed of the idea for my debut novel, FIRE’S KISS, popped into my head, I was actually working on an historical romance. I was determined that this would be The One, the one I would finish and pursue publication with. But that pesky idea for something a little more out there, something a little stranger, simply refused to go away. I gave in, partially, and promised myself I would only write just enough to get the idea out of my head, then go back to my historical romance. Nope. FIRE’S KISS demanded to be told, and here I am today.

5. I collect coffee cups.

That has to be probably the lamest collection, but I love my coffee cups. If we go on vacation somewhere, I’m going to get a coffee cup. Right now, from where I’m sitting, I can see a Wizard of Oz cup, a cup with two well-known DC villainous vixens, and an R2D2 cup that actually makes sounds when the lid is lifted. My favorite one, at the moment, is a cup that says, “Pay no attention to my browsing history. I’m a writer, not a serial killer”. It’s so accurate. Some of them I actually use, some of them are strictly for decoration because of how awesome they are, but I love them all. Maybe one day I’ll have a cup with a quote from my book on it.

Embyr tends her tavern while keeping her dangerous parentage a secret, until she's attacked by a hellhound and saved by one of the most feared men in history.

For the last eight hundred years, Ryder McLennon, the infamous leader of Death's Horsemen, has used his army to hunt the vampire who killed his wife. He's earned a reputation as a murderous madman. But in Embyr, he discovers something that could turn the tide of battle in his favor. Her control over fire can reduce an enemy to ash and her flippant disregard of him heats his blood in ways no one else ever has. She's beautiful, powerful and completely different from her violence-loving brethren.

Embyr finds herself thrust into a war she wants no part of, targeted by a vicious vampire because of her cooperation with Ryder. As she learns to wield her demonic powers without letting the madness of her race overcome her, she also has to fight her attraction to a killer bent on her seduction.
About the Author:
Brittany Pate lives in Texas with her husband and son. She is a longtime lover of all things fantasy and romance. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys narrating audio books and drinking entirely too much coffee.


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Prosecco Christmas by Sylvia Ashby

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a a pair of Prosecco funny socks to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Family is where life begins.
And what better time to spend with your family than Christmas week?

Ashley and Giacomo go to Upper Swainswick, a postcard village ten minutes’ drive from Bath, to stay with Ashley’s mum and stepdad. It’s their last visit before the arrival of their first child.

But babies have a habit of being unpredictable.

So when Ashley goes into labour on Christmas Eve, three weeks ahead of schedule, it takes everyone by surprise.

She’s not ready! Her perfect Birth Plan is packed away in her hospital bag two hundred miles away, she has no going home outfit, and she has a live event planned for New Year’s Eve for her YouTube channel, The Sinking Chef. People have been signing up for it for weeks. She can’t possibly disappoint them on the last day of the year. What is she to do?

The tinsel gets even more tangled when Giacomo’s parents decide to fly from Italy to meet their first grandchild. Hotels are fully booked, so everyone has to stay under the same roof.

Would eleven people in the house, not counting the baby, turn out to be simply too much for Ashley?

Read an excerpt:

We’re sitting around the low living room table about to begin a game of Best of British.

‘Right,’ Mum says. ‘Does everyone have a drink?’

Orna, Clara and Vittorio are drinking Prosecco. I raise my cup of tea. Thomas and Philip ignore her. They wanted to have the rest of the Coca Cola in the fridge, but Mum put her foot down. Also, they think Best of British is a dumb game. They wanted to play Cards Against Humanity, but Orna vetoed them. And now they are in a funk.

‘The question that we’re asking today is what makes British people so British?’ Orna reads aloud the back of the game box.

‘Let see,’ Mum opens the box and tips out the contents. There is a board, which she unfolds. The playing pieces are different colours and each of us has to choose one.

‘I’ll be blue,’ says Philip.

‘No, I’ll be blue!’ Thomas snatches the pieces before Philip can get to it.

‘I said it first!’

‘You can have green!’

‘Muuum! Tell him,’ Philip shrieks.

‘Boys, if you don’t behave there will be no desserts at dinner.’ Mum’s voice is assertive, but her eyes are pleading with them.

‘Tom always gets whatever he wants,’ Philip whines, but Mum stares him down and he settles for green.

Mum throws a shaky smile at Orna, who returns the smile without showing her teeth, then has the tiniest sip of Prosecco and rolls her eyes.

My blood boils in indignation on Mum’s behalf. How dare she treat Mum like that when she’s never had children. She has no idea what it’s like. I open my mouth to say something, then close it. What’s the point? She’s just a horrible woman. And I don’t want to spoil everybody else’s fun.

We each select a piece in silence and put them on the start space on the board.

‘Right, I’ll read out the rules, shall I?’ Mum grips the string of pearls hanging down her neck. She looks quite stressed. I wish she wouldn’t mind Orna.

She carries on.

‘“The Question Master picks up the first Question Card from the box,” I’ll be the Question Master,’ she says before Orna can jump in. ‘“The Question Master picks up the first Question Card from the box, making sure the answers are concealed from all the players on both teams. If it is a Picture Card, the picture is shown to all the players on both teams. If it is a Themed Card, the theme is read out to all the players on both teams. If a question is answered incorrectly then the Question Master can put the same question to the next player for a bonus move. If they answer correctly they move their own piece onto the next space on the board that matches the colour of the question.”’

Mum releases her string of pearls and makes them rattle.

‘Is everything clear?’ Mum looks around for a second time. ‘OK, then the youngest player goes first.’

Philip perks up. He picks up a card and hands it to her.

‘Who were Randolph, Diana, Sarah, Mary and Marigold?’ Mum looks at the answer perplexed. ‘Oh. This is rather hard. Perhaps you can choose another card, Phil. Something with a picture on it.’

‘This is not how you play a game!’ Orna pushes her ample bosom forward. ‘Rules are rules. They are meant to be followed by everyone. How will he learn to follow the rules if he’s always given leeway?’

‘He’s not always given leeway!’ Mum protests. ‘It’s just that… this question is rather out of his “era”.’

‘What do you mean out of his “era”? Since when has knowledge had an “era”? It’s not only current affairs that are important, you know?’ Orna clicks her tongue.

‘I didn’t say that, but he can’t be expected to know everything. He’s only twelve.’

‘Than you offer the question to the person who’s next in turn! When that person answers, he’ll learn.’

Mum rolls her eyes but complies.

Next in turn is Thomas.

‘Thomas, who were Randolph, Diana, Sarah, Mary and Marigold?’ Mum reads the question again.

‘I don’t know.’ Thomas grumbles. ‘This is a stupid game. Cards Against Humanity is much better.’

‘Yes, but we’re not playing Cards Against Humanity,’ Mum snaps at him. ‘We’re playing Best of British, OK?’

Her veneer is cracking. I see Philip throwing a warning glance in his brother’s direction but Thomas ignores him.

Next in turn is Orna.

‘Orna, who were Randolph, Diana, Sarah, Mary and Marigold?’ Mum reads the question for the third time.

‘They are all character from Downton Abbey!’ Orna says victoriously.

‘I’m afraid not, Orna.’ Mum’s mouth twitches. ‘They were Churchill’s children.’

Thomas starts laughing and Mum shoots him a warning frown.

‘Oh,’ Orna’s face turns puce. ‘Very well, then. Carry on.’

About the Author:
Sylvia Ashby is fond of the written word: books, blog posts, recipes, even an explanation to the HM Revenue & Customs as to why she thinks skirts should be exempt from VAT - she's written it all!

She likes travelling and has lived all over Europe - London, Brussels, Amsterdam and Sofia, Bulgaria. Currently, she lives in Leuven, Belgium with her husband, daughter, son and a sparrow called Jack, who comes occasionally to peck the seeds she leaves for him on top of the garden shed.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Evolved by Archer Miller

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Archer Miller will be awarding a $25 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.

Why do you write in your genre?

I find that science fiction is particularly intriguing due to its speculative nature.

What draws you to it?

The depth of the minds that set the bar for us over so many years. Vern, Wells, Burrows, Heinlein, McCaffrey, Asimov, Pol. If you can't find inspiration there then it's doubtful anything ever will.

What world-building is required?

Look up and study everything, geology, astrophysics, faster than light travel, string theory, foreign languages and cultures and customs, evolutionary theory, biology, alternative child bearing. If you can consider it, study it. Everything becomes the mortar from which your story is built.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

That's easy. Family is not determined by blood but rather by common experience and love.

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

I believe in listening to the voices in my head. Ask any good fiction writer and they should say the same thing. Characters become so real and vivid they will speak to you in their own voice. Writing is one of the few avocations where borderline insanity is an advantage.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

A bit of both actually. I set a rough outline in my head and turn my characters lose in it.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

My side table and phone.

Anything new coming up from you?



There are at least two more books in this series and two more in another totally different line.

Do you have a question for our readers?


What do you look for in a book that grabs and holds your attention?

Humanity has spread to the far reaches of space with The Golden Door, a planetary colonization monopoly, selling off every desirable and not so desirable planet to desperate settlers.

Each new world comes with new challenges, and to meet that challenge the children are evolving.

When Pieter, and other gifted children like him, become the target of government research they must fight not only for their lives but the future of their kind.

Read an excerpt:

Mary’s telepathic shout jolted him out of a sound sleep. As his eyes opened flashes of blue light filled his room. He turned his head to check the common area between the cells. Arcs of lightening sizzled through the room. Kakogo cherta, he thought, watching the dancing discharge.

It’s Mike. He’s having a nightmare. Mary sounded frantic inside his mind.

Can’t you switch him off?

He can’t hear me.

Pieter stood and approached the barrier between his cell and the common room. The crackling discharge reminded him of a small Tesla coil his teacher brought to class. The lightning followed any hand or finger that touched the glass sphere. But this was on a scale he had never seen.

His eyes focused on the room across from his and caught sight of Joan watching the lights. They were all watching, too terrified to do anything to stop it.

Pieter pressed his hand to the clear wall and immediately the blue, static lights flowed to the spot. He felt no pain. The electrical discharge stopped at the other side of the wall, just like the Tesla coil in school. The pops and crackles from the common room made him wary. As he listened he could hear the electric lock mechanism on his door cycle on and off every few seconds.

Has he ever done this before? He asked.

Not like this, Mary replied. Not this bad.

Pieter listened for his door to open and pushed his hand against the clear panel.

About the Author:
Archer Miller emerged from the East Texas hill country and set his sights on finding the life of which few of his contemporaries dreamed. In 1974, he migrated to Boulder, Colorado to enroll at the Naropa Institute – now known as the Naropa University, a tiny Liberal Arts college founded by the renowned Tibetan Buddhist scholar and lineage holder, the Ven. Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche (1940-1987). Rinpoche was enormously influential in spreading the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism to the West.

Archer earned a degree in herbs and creative writing. He was a four-year Letterman on the Varsity Competitive Meditation Team.

After graduating in 1978, he took a year off to hike the Jack Kerouac literary trail. He became a top freelance gun-for-hire with dozens of ad agencies across the south and southwest. As a way to deal with the proliferation of Disco, he took up Zen Archery.

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Dead Corpse by Nuzo Onoh

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Nuzo Onoh will be awarding a $10 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.

When the only child of a humble medicine woman is murdered for ritual magic, she will call on all the awesome powers of her deity, the Earth goddess, and exact a terrifying vengeance on an entire village. The angry dead shall rise again and a dark cloud of terror will shroud both the guilty and the innocent in a deadly supernatural curse.

Read an Excerpt:

There were three doors leading off the living room. He paused again, uncertain which door to try first. The last thing he wanted was for the witch to hear him trying out the wrong door.

That was when the light came on in the room to his right, seeping out from the high gap underneath the shut door. Fucking witch had wakened. Eze cursed and reached for the light switch on the nearest wall, flooding the living room with light from the single dusty bulb overhead. There was no time anymore for caution or delay. He rushed to the door, his movement surprisingly swift, adrenalin fuelled. He turned the knob and pushed the door in with a loud shout, intent on shrieking terror into the heart of his opponent.

His shout caught in his throat. Hot piss gushed out of his bladder, washing his trousers with terror ammonia. A tight band gripped his heart, squeezing the breath out of his lungs. He stumbled back, backwards to the door through which he’d crashed into the room. His eyes, horror-wide, starred at the apparition before him, the albino girl he had last seen inside a secret shrine, drenched in her own blood, her warm heart pulsating inside the witch-doctor’s bowl. Eze moaned, his lips quivering like a child deprived of food. Her cackle hit him like a bullet, sending chills right through his veins to every nerve in his body.

About the Author:
Nuzo is an author of horror fiction from the African continent. She has featured on numerous media platforms, spearheading this new and unexplored horror subgenre.

A British writer of African descent, Nuzo Onoh lived through the Biafran/Nigerian civil war as a child refugee, an experience that has continued to influence some of her works. She attended Queen’s School, Enugu before proceeding to the Quaker boarding school, The Mount School York, England and St Andrew’s Tutorial College, Cambridge, from where she obtained her A’ Levels.

Nuzo holds both a Law degree and a Masters degree in Writing from The University of Warwick, England. Her published works include, The Reluctant Dead (2014), Unhallowed Graves (2015) The Sleepless (2016), as well as featuring in some anthologies. Nuzo enjoys playing the guitar and the piano as well as taking long walks, haunting cemeteries and ancient gravestones. She is a strong believer of The Law of Attraction.

Read the latest review of Dead Corpse by the horror writer, Perry Lake -

In preparation for her latest release, Nuzo has written a blog for Female First Magazine -

Amazon link:

The book will be $0.99.

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Oath: Maddy and Silenus by Susan Badaracco

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

Five Interesting Individuals I Have Met

We’re all shaped by our interactions with others and our experiences. I have met fascinating, intriguing and quirky individuals. Let me tell you how they affected me…

The woman was heavily made up and walked with a limp. I was in training, working as a student physician assistant in the emergency room. I wrote down her symptoms and started her exam. “I’m a dancer.” she stated. I might have looked puzzled. She did not have the lean body build of any dancer, certainly did not move with the grace one would expect… but the injury explained that. Sensing that I did not understand, she stared at me, repeated her statement, “I’m a dancer.” Ahh, got it. She was an exotic dancer. It turned out that she had suffered an sprain and I, unfortunately, had no magic remedies to get her back on her feet faster. I had some preconceived notions about women in this field but decided she was pretty much like everyone else I treated that night.

Another student story. This time a diabetic man with a foot injury. Diabetics don’t have the same sensation in their feet, they may not realize that they have even been injured. Or realize that their injury has gotten infected. It can be life threatening. I was to ‘clean’ his injury. Despite his lower pain threshold, I knew I was hurting him. I sought to distract him, asked him about his career. He replied he was a Boy Scout leader. ‘Full-time?” Reluctantly, he added that he was a also a psychic. Went on to explain that in the same way we can tell a vicious dog from a friendly dog, just by our instincts, he could ‘see’ more. Most of his cases were missing children and often, he said sadly, he would help parents find the remains. He was so unassuming, felt no need to convince me. I came away thinking maybe there was some truth….

I’ve hosted a politician in my home for a fundraiser. He could travel through a room, shaking hands and storing pieces of trivia about each person that he could draw up months or even years later if needed. It wasn’t all ambition, some of them really have a heart.

I once went to a cocktail party in a townhouse overlooking Central Park. Through a distant relationship, I was in the home of a millionaire. The view of the park that night was lovely. The millionaire appeared later in the evening wearing a smoking jacket and slippers. To this day, I am unsure if that was socially correct. I don’t think millionaires care. He did look comfortable though.

I’ve met David McGee- who calls himself a mentalist. Seriously, watch youtube. He performs incredible acts of magic but prefers to consider himself a manipulator of the mind. I didn’t meet him on stage but rather in a garden club. It turns out he is quite the plant lover. He’s also a practical joker. Discovering that one of the members was a birdwatcher, he wired his trees with speakers and then played CD of exotic birds not found in Texas when our group came to visit. I still remember his chuckles when she looked up, mouth open, to search the trees. We should all laugh more.

When her past merges with her present, Maddy is not sure what to think. Was that really an abduction she witnessed? Does she have the courage to find out?

Silenus is a unicorn haunted by his past failure to protect his charge. He trains relentlessly but is he fierce enough to protect this innocent? Will she even trust him?

Can a mortal and immortal pursue the truth together or will Maddy pay the ultimate price?

Read an excerpt:

Searing pain spread across her belly and she caught her breath. Her vision darkened on the edges, advancing to where it shimmered in the center. She tightened her hand against her side and the pain elevated another notch. Maddy looked up at Silenus, her tears collecting and then trailing down her cheeks.

He met her gaze and held it.

Maddy’s back crashed into the steel door behind her when her legs gave out.

Silenus’ soft brown eyes were like beacons and she locked onto his gaze with the desperation of a swimmer going under for the last time.
Save me.

About the Author:
Susan Badaracco is the author and independent publisher of The Oath: Maddy and Silenus.

In her real life, she is a pediatrician at Kids First Pediatrics where she routinely consoles anxious moms, retrieves interesting objects hidden in ears and laughs at made up knock-knock jokes.

She lives with her husband, a dog (ADHD is not limited to humans) and a cat. Her daughter and son both made the unfortunate decision to grow up which means she travels more than she used to.


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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Unseducible Earl by Sheri Humphreys

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sheri will be awarding a copy of A HERO TO HOLD and $15 in Boroughs Bucks to 2 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

When an earl who’s given up on love and has settled on an engagement to a darling of society falls for a Crimean War nurse, he must either forsake his love or embroil them all in scandal.

Read an excerpt:

The vicar cleared his throat. “Your point is well taken, my lord. But it sounds as if Miss Thorne was insulated in her prior situations, surrounded by a small number of accepting, perhaps even misguided, people who regarded her as an exception.” He directed his gaze to Miss Thorne. “As happy as I am to hear of the captain’s improvement, I feel I’d be remiss in my duty if I didn’t warn you to guard your conduct, ma’am.”

“She doesn’t need to guard her conduct,” Robb said. “If there’s gossip, you need to do your best to quell it. You wield a great deal of influence.”

“It’s difficult to dispute the fact she’s an unmarried woman and may have been performing acts of an intimate nature with an unmarried man.”

Miss Thorne set down her teacup and folded her hands. By turns looked each of them in the eye. “Every life I touch, I feel immensely privileged.” Her voice seemed at once measured, calm, and grave. “I’ve held the hands and looked in the eyes of the sick as they died, heard their last words, and been the last face they’ve seen. Vicar, I’m sure you know how sacred such moments feel. Sometimes I think that the gravely sick I care for, and I, somehow exchange little pieces of our souls.” She looked down for a moment, then lifted her head and a soft smile curved her lips. “Wherever they are, they each carry a little piece of me.”

The silence that followed filled Robb’s heart with something very sweet and good.

She’d brought tears to his mother’s eyes. Mother pressed a handkerchief to her eyes before asking the Newcome’s to go to the chapel and pray with her before they left. Newcome’s jaw looked capable of cracking walnuts. The conversation moved on a bit stiffly, turning to community news, but Robb barely heard their voices. He couldn’t take his eyes off Victoria Thorne. A woman who opened herself to the people in her care, who didn’t concern herself with the opinions others formed of her. The very opposite of himself.

“You’re in need of sunshine and fresh air, Miss Thorne,” he said. “Come riding with me this afternoon.”

“Oh.” Her cheeks flushed. “I should stay with your brother.”

“He’s been resting, hasn’t he? We won’t be gone that long. You do ride?”

Her grin nearly knocked him off his chair.

About the Author:
Sheri Humphreys used to be an Emergency Room nurse, but today applies bandages, splints, and slings to the characters of her Victorian romance novels. She loves to ignore yardwork and housework and read—usually a book every one to three days. Having conjured stories in her mind her entire life, she wondered if she were normal. Then she began putting stories to paper and became a two-time Golden Heart® finalist. She lives with a Jack Russell mix rescue, Lucy, in a small town on the central California coast.

A Hero to Hold received a prized Kirkus Star and was named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2016.


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Chaos Stories by Charles O'Keefe

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Charles O'Keefe will be awarding a $15 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.

Top Ten List of Things that Make me Happy

10. Waking up, opening the curtains and looking out at a clear blue sky (seeing water is even better!)

I'm not much of a morning person but one of the things that helps me to have a positive day is to see it's sunny outside. I think it's because I was born (and still live in) Newfoundland, Canada. Consider that Newfoundland holds the record for the foggiest place in the world and you'll know why I appreciate seeing the sun so much.

9. Having new comics to read on my Marvel Unlimited app.

If you're a comic book fan (and have a tablet and/or laptop) you NEED this app. Marvel really does an excellent job with it. I find every week I have at least I have 3-7 new comics to read, they have a bunch of ongoing Star War comics (I read them all) and it's way cheaper than buying paper comics (or even digital). It's become a Monday morning tradition for me and since I've loved comics for over 20 years, it's a tradition I'll happily continue.

8. Getting a new review or post about my book

This one is a little obvious (since you're reading a post about my latest book The Chaos Stories: Tales of Magic, Terror, Passion and Blood) but it's true. I love blog tours (thanks for being a part of mine!) and review tours. A honest review or even just some nice comments about my latest book always make me feel good. I put a lot of time, effort and thought into my writing and feedback from a reader is very important to me. For those negative reviews (which always happen) I've built up a thick skin and I try to find some grain of truth in them that possibly I can use to make my writing better.

7. Getting a massage

I like to walk, I do Pilates and my job entails a fair bit of lifting (plus I’m over 40) so I get sore feet, back and shoulders. Getting a good massage (from a massage therapist I mean, covered by my health plan for so much a year) is so very relaxing. I can book my appointment online and I even have a favourite person that I regularly go to.

6. Going for a long walk by myself

I love nature, well I’ll be honest I love to be outside when it’s warm and sunny. Still even in November I still try to go for walks at least twice a week. Spending time by myself, walking by the water or in the woods is something else I find very relaxing and rejuvenating. I also find it’s a great time to listen to audio books, music or a podcast.

5. Having a big win after a poker game

I’ve been a poker player over 20 years. I'm not saying I'm a pro (I never will be, don't have the time or the mindset, or the money!) but I know I've gotten better. Do I still make mistakes and have bad sessions? Sure, but I think everyone does. For me though the exquisite feeling of winning $500 or more (I'm not up to huge stakes yet, that's a big win for me) is just amazing. Gambling is a thrill and knowing I had a good combination of getting lucky/playing well, keeps me on a mental high for days if not weeks (or until I play again).

4. Going on a vacation (away or here in Newfoundland)

I’ve come to appreciate trips more than gifts. Most gifts eventually just become junk for you to throw out but when you go on a trip with friends, family or your spouse (or sometimes all three if you’re lucky), you get great memories that last a lifetime. I’ve always felt traveling to (safe) places is the best education you can have and I’ll admit to hating cold winters. I especially love to go warm places (usually Florida) in winter. Cruises are always fun (and easy) and even just weekend getaways are great to break the drag of routine life, find a change of scenery and of course have someone else to do the cooking.

3. Finish writing a book

I just mean the rough draft, still the great feeling of accomplishment when you put down those (possible) last few words is pure bliss. I'll also add that reading a book you wrote when it's all polished and ready for publication, also heavenly, mixed with excitement, anticipation and a little nervousness.

2. Going to bed with my wife

Get your mind out of the gutter! Seriously whatever else happens in bed I just hate sleeping alone. Crawling into bed with someone you love, all warm and snuggly, it's a wonderful feeling. It's a great way to end the day and I always sleep better when I know she's beside me, I always say it's one thing I never miss from my single days.

1. Being married and having some to share my life with

My wife may never read this but that's ok. It's true for me, I was never very happy when I was single. From the time I was 12 I wanted to have a girlfriend (took me a while I'll admit) and later in my 20's a wife. Knowing you always have someone to talk to, to share the ups and downs of life, someone to help you, to make you smile, make you feel good, travel with, watch TV and movies, go to restaurants with or just read and snuggle together, it's an essential part of life for me. Not to dwell on it but my Dad died earlier this year. When it was happening I realized how much I depend on my wife for support during tough times, I thought of how much harder this would have been to go through without her and how empty I would have felt when it was over. I think everyone needs a special someone in their life and I'm forever grateful I found someone for me.

Here you'll find nine new short-stories, some which have been from my life, or things that could have happened. One is inspired from the many games of Dungeons and Dragons I've played over twenty years while another is from the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game. Some are even some from other authors, who kindly contributed to my collection.

As a treat for fans of my series, I have included six deleted chapters, two from each of the three Newfoundland Vampire novels, which have been all cleaned up and have been made better than ever for your reading pleasure.

I have also included not one, but two chapters from the upcoming fourth book in the Newfoundland Vampire series, War of the Fangs. I've filled this collection with tales that will make you laugh, or will scare you, and will hopefully make you think a little about the world around us and the people in it.

Read an excerpt:

When he opened his eyes he noticed a red glow to her spine. WTF! Steve was too stunned to speak. The red glow faded as he almost fell off the bed. Angela kissed his neck, snuggling beside him, not noticing his dismay or wide open mouth. Finally he summoned the courage to speak.

“Your spine glowed red. Is there something I need to know about you?”

“Oh come now, you didn't know? Why do you think I loved your Battlestar shirt so much? Didn't you notice I look just like Cylon Number Six? Sure you did. Disney wanted to test me out on one of its tech geeks. You got lucky. So, I was good?”

“You're a Cylon? Does that mean we're starting a whole new race?”

“No silly,” answered Angela, slapping Steve playfully. “It means the bosses finally granted you a promotion. You'll be featured as the main exhibit at the new Disney theme park. It's quite an honor being bestowed upon you. I hope you fully appreciate the confidence Disney has in your work."

Realizing the full extent of his situation, Steve made a break for the door. Too late. Angela was on him, wielding handcuffs as she slammed him to the floor.

“This is kinky,” commented Angela as she slapped on the bracelets.

Angela dragged Steve by his hair, still naked, to a waiting van outside, where Daffy Duck and Pluto robots drove him away to his new Disney adventure.

About the Author:
Charles O’Keefe lives in the beautiful province of Newfoundland, Canada, with his wife and two feline ‘children,’ Jude and Eleanor. He is a part-owner of a beauty wholesale business. He enjoys many hobbies and activities that include reading, gaming, poker, Pilates, Dungeons and Dragons, and of course, fantasizing about vampires. Charles is the author of three books in the Newfoundland Vampire series, but this is his first collection of short-stories. Look for the fourth Newfoundland Vampire book sometime in the near future.

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