Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Without a Head by M. Glenda Rosen

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. M. Glenda Rosen will be awarding a $30 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Jenna Preston is used to investigating cheating spouses, fraud, and even a murder or two in her role as a private investigator. But she’s never consulted on a case quite like the one at Darcy’s Salon in East Hampton. A killer has struck and left behind a woman’s head in the upscale salon’s shampoo sink.

As Jenna struggles to make sense of the what’s happened, she comes up against entitled and badly behaved beach dwellers, greedy parties with motives all their own, and the billion dollar beauty industry. With her loyal dog Watson at her side, Jenna pieces together clues and tracks down a killer who claims victims that are dying to be beautiful.

Read an Excerpt

This was not the first time the salon would find itself in the news. Almost ten years ago, another summer, a different disaster. Jenna remembered it well. She had been an investigative reporter at the time for the local daily paper. With its senior editor, she had worked the story for weeks.

The headline read: “Salon Stylist Arrested For Child Endangerment.”

“Fifty-four year old Zachary Kline, hair stylist at Darcy’s Salon in The Hamptons, was arrested after police found dozens of photos of underage children at his home and on his computers. He is alleged to have made arrangements for many of them to have sex with older men, several accused of indecency with minors. His checking account showed huge deposits from an undisclosed source. A serious criminal offense, he is facing felony charges that could get him a long jail sentence.

“The salon’s owner, Darcy Monroe, had no comment. The local police have said it’s an active investigation and can’t provide any more details at this time. It is known that one of the children, a young boy, told his parent what happened, which is what put this investigation into motion.”

“We did a number of in-depth stories including background pieces on the subject of child endangerment. Plus I interviewed Kline, but he refused to say who his clients were, which is why he ultimately got a ten-year sentence after being found guilty. Only thing that saved him from more years were a few locals saying positive things about him. The story of the case went on for several weeks. All of us reporters were nagging you for comments or information you might have on this Kline guy.”

“My attorney told me to keep saying, ‘No comment.’ Eventually, it all died down in the media, but it cost me a summer of headaches and maybe a dozen customers leaving my shop.”

“I know, Darcy, and now this!”

“Jenna, I need your help. The body has to be found before the salon has another full-blown disaster hanging over its business in the middle of ‘the season’.”

About the Author:
Marcia Rosen (aka M. Glenda Rosen) is author of ten books including The Senior Sleuths and Dying To Be Beautiful Mystery Series and The Gourmet Gangster, Mysteries and Menus (with her son Jory Rosen). She is also author of The Woman’s Business Therapist and award-winning My Memoir Workbook. Marcia was owner of a successful national marketing and public relations agency, received numerous awards for her work on behalf of business and professional women and has given many presentations, now as Zoom Events, such as: Encouraging the Writer Within You, Writing A Mystery...Not A Mystery, Book Marketing with Zoom and Podcasts, Writing From Your Soul, Memoir Writing and The Senior Sleuths & Dying To Be Beautiful Mysteries. Member of Sisters In Crime, Southwest Writers, Central Coast Writers and Public Safety Writers Association. Board Member, 2021, National Association of Independent Writers and Editors.

Sample of Scheduled Zoom Programs: The National Steinbeck Center (6 week program on About Being an Author), Shelter Island Library, an hour marketing presentation. Public Safety Writer's Association Encouraging the Writer Within You, Central Coast Writers “About Being an Author,” Podcast Marketing for Southwest Writers, Murder on The Beach bookstore, Memoir Writing Sessions, Shelter Island and Westhampton Beach Library, “Writing Mysteries…Not A Mystery,” and other venues and topics for 2021.


Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08Q4FWFKF/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

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Friday, January 8, 2021

Kennedy Devereaux by Bernadette Marie

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

Welcome to It's Raining Books. When did you decide to become a writer?
When I was 13.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I’ve been a published author since 2010, and each year I learn a little more. My ambitions are to continue to learn and to enhance my writing. Of course, I’d love to carry those big titles like NYT Bestseller within moments of releasing a book, and I think with hard work, that will come my way.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Kennedy Devereaux owns a boutique and it is filled with femininity. She is strong and feminine, embracing pink as her signature color.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Most of my writing is done at 6am. I try to write 2000 words before I workout and go to the office. Some days this is easier than others. During the day, I usually log a few more words.

Where do the ideas come from?
I am blessed to find inspiration in everything. Ideas come to me from song lyrics, stories people tell me, and just looking at objects. Seriously, I know how lucky I am that stories are everywhere for me.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
Yes, this is how I work. I say that because I come up with an idea, and I have an idea how it will go. If I try to plot it out, it doesn’t usually work out the way I plot it, so in the end, I see where it goes.

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
Journal. Write every day, even if it’s a recount of what you did that day. Look up journal prompts for ideas, and focus on those. Keeping your mind active and putting words to the page will help get over that block.

What can we expect from you down the line?
More and more happily ever after romances. Kennedy Devereaux is my 41st book, and the first in a new family series. The final three books will release monthly through February. After that, I think I’ll keep writing more family sagas. I plan to put out more holiday books next year as well.

Kennedy Devereaux, owner of Kennedy Devereaux Designs, is a sight to behold in her signature pink colors, accented with custom designed jewelry. Intriguing enough that Joel Kingsley, the man building the new business next door, can’t help but keep coming around, just to get to know the woman in the designer clothes. He finds she’s not such a mystery, and his charm easily wins her over--until she finds that he’s forgotten to let her in on the secrets of his past.

Read an Excerpt

“Who’s smitten with me?” Oliver asked as he set his box on the table. “Oh, tell me it’s that gal next door.”

Joel discarded the rest of the bar mix in his hand into the bucket they’d placed for trash under the table. Oliver’s words had felt like a kick in the gut, and Jeff must have noticed. Without hesitation, he kicked again.

“Which gal next door?” his brother asked. “The blonde in the pink and heels?”

Ouch, Joel thought as Oliver took a seat.

“Are you kidding me? Too pretentious. Too stuck up. I’ve been snubbed by the cheerleading squad and the prom queen before.” He began to unload the box he’d set on the table. “I’m talking the other one. Not the pregnant one either,” he said holding up a finger in objection before one of the mentioned her. “The leggy one with the mess of auburn hair. Sexy as hell. Like maybe, she was the wannabe jock that fit in with the pretty girls and balanced them out. You know.”

They all howled in laughter at his analogy, except for Joel who was able to finally breathe. Good, he thought. No one had their sights set on Kennedy except him. But Jeff was right. If she ended up hating him, it could be bad for them.

As Oliver cracked open the first growler and passed around the plastic cups, Joel decided he couldn’t afford for Kennedy to hate him.

About the Author:
Bestselling Author Bernadette Marie is known for building families readers want to be part of. Her series The Keller Family has graced bestseller charts since its release in 2011. Since then she has authored and published over thirty-five books. The married mother of five sons promises romances with a Happily Ever After always…and says she can write it because she lives it.

Obsessed with the art of writing and the business of publishing, chronic entrepreneur Bernadette Marie established her own publishing house, 5 Prince Publishing, in 2011 to bring her own work to market as well as offer an opportunity for fresh voices in fiction to find a home as well.

When not immersed in the writing/publishing world, Bernadette Marie and her husband are shuffling their five hockey playing boys around town to practices and games as well as running their family business. She is a lover of a good stout craft beer and might have an unhealthy addiction to chocolate.

Email: info@bernadettemarie.com
Website: http://www.bernadettemarie.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorbernadettemarie
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/writesromance
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/authorbernadettemarie
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/writerofromance

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Kennedy-Devereaux-Family-Book-ebook/dp/B08JZK8KKV

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Thursday, January 7, 2021

Wired by FBI by Glenn Painter

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 or $100 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Welcome back to It's Raining Books. Can you describe your dream home?

Big walk-in closet with a house built around it!

If we were to come to your house for a meal, what would you give us to eat?

Look at the spread I had for Christmas - Does the photo below answer this question????

Tell us about the best fan letter you have received?

Last year a man I sold 3 Cadillacs to wrote a letter to my boss. A few quotes are written below. It’s too long to write the whole thing.

I am a retired Cadillac salesman having been in the business over 30 years.
I have stumbled across a salesman I consider to be quite different.
His name is Glenn Painter.
I have bought 3 new Cadillacs from Glenn this past year and I have recommended him to many others.
I live about 20 miles from the dealership, but Glenn is well worth the driving time.
He has gone out of his way to make my wife and myself totally satisfied with our new Car purchases.
He speaks very articulate and is very knowledgeable.
If I owned a dealership today, I wish I had a Glenn Painter as one of my salespeople.
I found out when I bought my cars from Glenn that he is also an author.
My hat's off to Glenn.

Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?

I would want to go wherever the contents of the book took place i.e./ the book I am working on now took place in a small town in the State of Washington, so that’s where I should go to do research and talk with people who might have any knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the event that took place.

Who designed the book cover for the book touring?

Actually, I designed the book cover with great ideas and input from my mother. We both did research on the internet until we came up with what we thought ‘fit the story line’ the best.

Christian Romano lives his life as a con-artist, burglar, drug dealer, and a ladies' man, using his good looks to con wealthy women out of jewels and money. When he is arrested and jailed in one of the most violent jails in the U.S. (Cook County in Chicago), a steamy affair begins with a nympho female jail guard. When he loses control of the romance, Christian must end the affair by reporting her to Internal Affairs. It turns out that she is already under suspicion for supplying drugs to various gang members inside the jail. He has to decide if he is "rogue" enough to help set her up for arrest. Meanwhile, the FBI wants to recruit Christian to gather information against a sadist ex-cop, Scott Mason, who has been arrested for murder. The risk? Christian must wear a wire and testify. The reward? Witness protection for Christian and his girlfriend and a modification of his prison sentence. Will Christian risk his life for a chance at freedom? Will the female sheriff "get even" with him? Or will his life end at the hands of the jail's drug lords or a lunatic former cop?

Read an Excerpt

Something’s wrong, my intuition told me, as I stepped out of the stairwell and into the chaotic frenzy of the main hallway running under Division One of the Cook County jail.

Sergeant Ricky Walsh opened the heavy, rusted steel door leading to the death trap—that is A-B stairwell—then turned to me. “Romano, take the stairs down four flights to the bottom, I will meet you there.”

There are four sets of stairs that lead to the main boulevard on the first floor. They are legendary for the infamous men who have been butchered there, the bloodstained walls are a testament to the violence that is the norm in this building. As I begin my descent down the narrow and poorly lit stairwell, the thought hits me: At least half a dozen men have been stabbed in this exact place. The words taunt me as I step slowly down the stairs so that Walsh will have time to beat me to the first floor in the old, decrepit elevator.

When I finally make it down, I breathe a sigh of relief. But it is not Walsh waiting at the huge, steel door I am to exit. Instead of the old mick—who looked and walked like a bulldog with his perfectly groomed hair and mustache—it was one of the lackey guards. They would often hang out on the main floor waiting to proposition some poor woman coming to visit her man. I open the door and step through quickly, not wanting to arouse suspicion. But my heart hangs in my throat.

During my trip down the stairwell, the heavy steel recorder slid down my pant leg, stopping on top of my right foot. The ACE bandage, meant to hold it in place, was also dangling and ready to pop out for everyone to see. Panic set in as my mind processed a million thoughts, but I couldn’t break my stride.

It was common knowledge that this is where inmates often came out stabbing when sent to attack a guard by one of the gang bosses. Looking past the guard, I saw Sergeant Walsh bearing down on us as fast as his stubby legs would carry him.

“Hey Walsh,” I said, “the food poisoning is getting worse, I’m gonna puke all over this guy.” These guards tolerated zero bull, especially from a smart-ass like me.

I decided that it was quicker and easier to shove the recorder under the waistband of my jail pants and pray it would stay. After splashing water on my face, I poked my head out.

Walsh fell right in line with my cover. “We’re going to the hospital, come with me!” he bellowed.

I exited the closet, pushing the recorder into my torso as we walked past another guard. We traveled down the long hallway. Once we were far enough out of earshot, Walsh found an unoccupied attorney visiting room. As he opened the door, I scurried to the far corner.

“The hallway is clear!” Walsh yelled.

I pulled the recorder from my waistband and looked at it with disdain. Then I wrapped it tight with the ACE bandage. Although the long recording wires had to be reconnected and it only took a few moments, it felt like forever.

Then it hit me: I’m wearing a wire against one of the most violent hitmen Chicago has ever known, and this prick had been a Chicago cop. He probably knows every person who works in this jail. Getting whacked in a place like this costs less than a carton of cigarettes. What the hell have I gotten myself into? But there was no backing out, and I still had to get back to my tier.

Walsh looked at me, his brow furrowed. He quietly asked, “You alright, kid?”

“I better be. I signed a deal with the devil, and it’s time to pay up.”

I drew in a deep breath as we headed to the hospital, so we could sign in and make it look legit.

How did my life get to this point? I wondered as I followed Walsh. Growing up in Chicago, I was exposed to police corruption, murder, drugs, gangsters, and sex, oh yes, lots and lots of sex.

I had no clue of what awaited me, but my unsavory legacy was about to go down in history like crap down a toilet.

About the Author:
Glenn Painter is single and lives in Central Florida. He became interested in writing at an early age but did not make it his career until 2014 when he published his first book, Beyond the Sentence.

Glenn has written this story from the notes by the man who actually lived it. However, extensive research was also require in order to make the story factual.

Glenn has also founded a company, ‘Prisoner Civil Right Services.’ He is an advocate for incarcerated individuals who have had their rights violated. He is in constant contact with these individuals, their families and the council. Most of his stories are inspired by ‘factual events’ that have happened to these individuals. This makes his stories both fiction and non-fiction.

Glenn says that writing is very challenging, and you must love the trials and tribulations that come with it. He believes that patience, perseverance and determination are required essentials to see a book through to being published. The journey is just as important as the destination.

Website: http://www.gapainter.com
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Glenn-Painter/e/B00NETNKU6%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9875593.Glenn_Painter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/author2663

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07WS6DQBT/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

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Tuesday, January 5, 2021

First Light at Morning Star by Charlotte Hubbard

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

Founded by five enterprising Amish maidels, the new Morning Star Marketplace is a joyous success. What’s even more remarkable is the gift the business bestows upon each of these unmarried women—the unexpected blessing of love . . .

Leaving Flaud’s Furniture to teach at the community’s new school is a joy for Lydianne Christner. Old Order Amish, but new to Morning Star, she’s grateful that the congregation trusts her with the position—but she panics when handsome Bishop Jeremiah Shetler asks about the life she left behind. If anyone discovers the secret she’s hiding, she would, quite rightly, be shunned.

A widower, Bishop Jeremiah admires young Lydianne’s youthful energy and skill with the children. He’s also curious about her past, and the burden he senses on her heart. When his request to court her is refused, he’s stung, and lonelier than ever. It isn’t until a crisis prompts a tearful Lydianne to confess to him that Jeremiah is faced with a choice that requires all of his faith—and teaches them both that love and forgiveness go hand in hand.

Read an Excerpt

“Miss Christner, we’re pleased to offer you this teaching position,” Bishop Jeremiah said as he grasped her hand, “and if you need time to consider your answer—”

“Oh, no, I’ll be happy to accept!” Lydianne interrupted gleefully. “Denki so much for considering my application. What I lack in experience, I’ll make up for with careful preparation and my love of learning. I won’t let you down.”

“That thought never entered our heads,” the bishop put in. “And with Lorena Flaud and Clarence’s Lucy being in their final year of school—and with their sisters right behind them—you’ll have plenty of eager assistance as you teach the youngest ones the basics of reading and arithmetic. I anticipate a productive—and fun—year for our scholars.”

“This is so exciting!” Lydianne said as she shook each man’s hand in turn. “Maybe this sounds silly, but I still love the smell of fresh packages of notebook paper and new bottles of glue, and the joy of opening a fresh box of crayons—thinking of all the drawings and reports and projects that lie ahead of us.”

As she left the schoolhouse and drove down the road, Lydianne floated on a cloud of euphoria. After she turned off the main county highway to head for home, she paused at the sight of a little blond girl chasing a butterfly on the front lawn of Tim and Julia Nissley’s place. With the sunshine shimmering on her golden hair and upturned face, six-year-old Ella Nissley looked for all the world like a little angel. Her laughter rang out as she ran and reached eagerly for the butterfly, followed closely by a little brown puppy that yipped and yapped.

Lydianne’s heart overflowed with a wave of emotions. Her dream had come true: she would now be Ella’s teacher. But she would have to be very, very careful. Ella was the apple of her adoptive parents’ eyes, and Lydianne had no intentions of interfering with their happy family.

No one else, including Tim and Julia, knew that Ella was the newborn baby Lydianne had given up when she’d been an unwed mother.

About the Author:
In 1983, Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. She wrote around 70 of those confession stories, and she’s sold more than 50 books to traditional or online publishers. A longtime resident of Missouri, she’s currently writing Amish romances set in imaginary Missouri towns for Kensington. She now lives in Omaha, NE with her husband of 40+ years and their Border collie, Vera.

Website: http://www.charlottehubbard.com
Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/Charlotte.Hubbard1

Order Ebook

Kindle https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZPKX5SQ/
Kindle UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZPKX5SQ/
Kindle Canada http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07ZPKX5SQ/
Kindle Australia http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07ZPKX5SQ/
Apple Books https://books.apple.com/us/book/morning-star/id1507818638
Apple Books UK https://books.apple.com/gb/book/morning-star/id1507818638
Apple Books Canada https://books.apple.com/ca/book/morning-star/id1507818638
Apple Books Australia https://books.apple.com/au/book/morning-star/id1507818638
Apple Books New Zealand https://books.apple.com/nz/book/morning-star/id1507818638
Nook https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/morning-star-charlotte-hubbard/1134434813?ean=9781420145151
Kobo https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/morning-star-60
Google Play https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Charlotte_Hubbard_Morning_Star?id=goq5DwAAQBAJ

Order Print

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=1420145126/
Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ISBN=1420145126
Amazon Canada http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ISBN=1420145126
Barnes and Noble http://barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?ean=9781420145120
Books-A-Million http://www.booksamillion.com/product/9781420145120
Chapters Indigo http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/books/a/9781420145120-item.html
IndieBound http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781420145120
The Book Depository http://www.bookdepository.com/book/9781420145120

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Monday, January 4, 2021

A Curse of Mayhem by Sunayna Prasad

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

Thanks for stopping by It's Raining Books. What is your favorite part of this book and why?

Any scene where my MC’s godfather comforts her after something terrible has happened. I also love the part where she accidentally conjures a robotic bee in English class and gets detention for it. I found both to be fun to write.

If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

My MC, Alyssa’s, friend, Lily. She is bubbly and has a happy personality. We would go for ice cream or a café.

If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?

Probably Harry Potter

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

They’re all from my imagination or inspired by other fictional characters. Some are developed like real people, though.

What made you want to become a writer?

When the idea of my MC now struck me 11 years ago while in the shower. I wanted to develop her from that point on.

History, like magic, has a habit of repeating itself

It’s been six months since thirteen-year-old Alyssa McCarthy left magic behind for good. Or so she thought…

Then the enchanted objects that protected her disappear. Now a skeleton named Errol has cursed her with magical powers that keep getting her in trouble. Suddenly strange things are happening with disastrous effects, and if Alyssa can’t remove the magic, she will lose everything she holds dear.

In order to get rid of her unwanted wizardry, Alyssa will have to boost her bravery and confidence and determine who Errol really is. But every time Alyssa uses an enchantment, Errol is one step closer to getting his flesh back and becoming alive, and he will do anything to achieve his goals…even if it means destroying Alyssa’s happiness.

Originally published in 2016 as “Wizardry Goes Wild” and “The Unruly Curse” in 2019, “A Curse of Mayhem” is book two in the exciting and suspenseful “Magical Missions” series.

Read an Excerpt:

Several hours had passed. It was now ninth period, the last one before school ended. Only twenty minutes remained until the bell rang.

However, thanks to the library closing because two classes had occupied it, Alyssa hadn’t gotten to hone her presentation skills. Even the teachers monitoring the hallway had forbidden her to practice there.

Today through Wednesday, the students would present on different literary elements in the last novel they’d read, Angelica: A Whale Princess. Alyssa had been assigned to discuss the themes and morals of the book.

Mr. Godfrey, the teacher, had picked students randomly to read their brief speeches today, tomorrow, or Wednesday. Alyssa had been assigned for today. So, her stomach made several knots as she watched Sydney present on the characters from the book.

Usually, Mr. Godfrey had a more easygoing attitude toward the class. On his birthday last month, he hadn’t given homework. For the first assignment of the year, he’d played a game with the class to help them prepare for a quiz.

Alyssa wished that he’d let her and everyone else pick when they’d wanted to go—or he could’ve at least chosen the bravest speakers for today. She assumed that Mr. Godfrey knew that many children stuttered, hesitated, or got words wrong when having to present in front of crowds.

About the Author: Sunayna Prasad enjoys writing fantasy books for children, as well as cooking, creating artwork, watching online videos, and blogging. She has also written The Frights of Fiji, formerly titled as From Frights to Flaws. She is passionate about modern life, fantasy, and world-building. Aside from her website, she also has a blog about different creative and entertaining topics, including fiction and writing, called “Sunayna Prasad’s Blog”.

Sunayna has graduated from college in May 2017. She lives in Long Island, NY.

Website: https://www.sunaynaprasadbooks.com/
Blog: https://sunaynaprasadblogs.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SunaynaPrasad

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Unruly-Alyssa-McCarthys-Magical-Missions-ebook/dp/B07SGLLF8W
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-curse-of-mayhem-sunayna-prasad/1136458117
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-curse-of-mayhem

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Thursday, December 31, 2020

Rise and Fall of My Beloved by Utanu Maa

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $20 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.

Rise and Fall of My Beloved is a collection of poetry and prose about resilience—about the experience of stigma and rejection, disease and suffering, love and care, loss and grief—and also a testimony of gratitude, forgiveness and togetherness. Each of its three parts is a journey through life's struggles, pain and loss, all of which require an inner force to overcome, build, rebuild, succeed and heal: resilience. It expresses an undercurrent to an imposed destiny or stigma.

Based on the life experience of my late brother, Rise and Fall of My Beloved is a tribute to mankind's resilience to overcome adversities. The book takes readers from his vulnerable childhood as a neglected orphan set to die, through a childhood in which he was bullied, to his rise as an accomplished engineer, and sadly to his fall as a dying patient of HIV/AIDS. Each poem depicts the essence of unconditional love and care, the dignity of dying of AIDS, forgiveness, and family bond. This book is a manifesto of my brother's exceptional resilience, the best memory of him that will live forever. It is an invitation, an inspiration, a reflection that, when mankind encounters struggles, disease, pain, death, loss, grief, we have to grieve and heal, and rebuild.

The Pursuit of Love

Through life struggle and resilience came true love:

The love of his life, the girl who stole his empty heart,

The girl who caught even my father’s attention and esteem.

“You must marry the girl who will stand by you at any time,”

Dad said to his son, discretely trying to influence his mind.

His wisdom saw the essential mostly invisible to the eye.

Dad was a great, caring, loving, and protective father.

He loved the fact that she was a nurse, a caring person.

He believed that our deceased mother also would have agreed,

So, Dad adamantly murmured again that she was the “One.”

Zola was a man of his own mind, decisions, and actions,

But immature to understand and see the invisible essential,

He disregarded Dad’s wish and departed from the girl.

A short time later, my father passed away in his arms.

Devastated, lonely, grieved by the loss of our last parent,

Zola turned to dating, looking in vain for love.

His early craving for maternal love resurfaced with intensity;

He had resurrected from the greatest need of his childhood.

The emptiness inside of him dug deeper, hurting him to the


What to hold on to? Something more meaningful was missing.

A love of a woman to soothe his grieving and lonely heart,

A soulmate with whom to connect deeply and emotionally

And spiritually to his profound inner self was gravely needed.

Maybe that was what my father meant!

About the Author:
I am Utanu MAA. I live in Toronto and work as a public servant within the Ontario Court of Justice. Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa, where I studied French Literature and Law before migrating to Canada in 1991, and thereafter studied Fashion Marketing, Paralegal and Law (1year) programs. In 2004, I was a recipient of a prize for the Poetry contest organized by Canada Heritage during the celebration of the Francophonie. "Couleur d'une langue" (The Color of a language), my unpublished poem about the diversity and different accents that give rhythm and power to a language to become an umbrella of one identity. "Rise and Fall of My Beloved" is also my own journey into unconditional love and care, and the resilience to deal with pain, loss, grief, to grieve, heal and continue with life after my brother's death.

Connect with Utanu Maa: http://utanumaa.com/
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorUtanuMaa

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Wednesday, December 30, 2020

The Calling by Branwen OShea

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Branwen OShea will be awarding a prize pack of 1) One signed paperback,2) One Tote bag with the Finding Humanity Series logo (Savas' Compass)and 3) Two different bookmarks for The Calling, one signed by the author, to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Humanity’s wake-up call. Answer it or face extinction.

When Bleu’s little sister shows symptoms of the deadly Sickness, a strange vision directs him to leave humanity’s subterranean haven and seek the cure on Earth’s glacial surface. Joining the expedition team, Bleu expects extreme temperatures, not a surface ruled by ingenious predators.

Rana and her fellow star beings have co-existed with Earth’s top carnivores since the humans disappeared. But when her peers transform into Crowned Ones, the final stage of star being development, she fears remaining Uncrowned like her parents. To prove her worth, she undertakes a dangerous mission—contacting the hostile and nearly extinct humans.

But Rana’s plan backfires, and Bleu’s team retaliates. As war with the more advanced star being civilization looms, both Rana and Bleu separately seek a way to save their people.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“All right, get out, men.” Savas had never experienced such peace on the last mission. This was truly pleasant. They climbed out of the rover, and he tripped on his own feet as if drunk.

Laughing at himself, he reminded the others, “Guns out. Stamf, take the lead. I’ll bring up the rear.”

He paused, swaying a bit, while the other two men passed him and then proceeded slowly down the left branch. Sparkling light from farther down the tunnel lit their way. With a quick glance back toward the entrance, he took up the rear.

Then a voice as ethereal as the wind sang, “Caaaaaahm heeeeeeeere…caaaaaaaaaahm heeeeeeeere…”

What the hell?

Savas shook his head, blinked, and tapped his ear communicator. Stamf and Abdul, farther ahead, had frozen and appeared confused, swaying in place.

Something was terribly wrong. Was this cave filled with noxious fumes? Had they all gotten cold sickness? The databases talked of arctic workers becoming weak and confused by the extreme temperatures.

Think! Think. Savas wanted to lie down and nap. What’s wrong with me? Images from his childhood tumbled through his head. Not now. Not again. I control my own mind.

“Caaaaaaaaahm heeeeeeeeere,” the voice lulled, endlessly peaceful.

They all mindlessly continued forward, as if in a dream. A small part of Savas’ brain screamed in warning. I. Control. My. Own. Mind. He grunted with the effort. Fighting the urge to relax, Savas forced his hands to raise his weapon.

About the Author:
As a young girl, Branwen wanted to become an ambassador for aliens. Since the aliens never hired her, she now writes about them.

Branwen OShea has a Bachelors in Biology from Colgate University, a Bachelors in Psychology, and a Masters in Social Work. She lives in Connecticut with her family and a menagerie of pets, and enjoys hiking, meditating, and star-gazing. Her previously published works include contributing to a nonfiction yoga book, wellness magazines, and her published science fiction novella, Silence of the Song Trees.

Website: http://www.branwenoshea.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/branwenoshea
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/branwenoshea
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/branwenoshea

Order Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1735915998

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