A Strand of Doubt (The Protectors Book 1) by
Donna Gustainis Fuller
Jana Clawson has a propensity for Chinese food, M&M's, and chocolate chip cookies, and she deals with opposition with a wry sense of humor. She is caught up in whirlwind known as Trevor Willis, the most eligible non-Mormon bachelor in Portland. He is perfect in every way, but will his secrets be too much for their relationship?
While Jana escapes to the Oregon Coast to make a decision about Trevor, a car accident stirs Jared Carpenter—a physical therapist with kind brown eyes who never turns down a homemade meal—into the mix. Unknown to Jana, events set in motion six years ago threaten everything she holds dear, and her life depends on one or both of these men. Combining suspense, intrigue, action, and understated humor, this book will keep you turning pages until the exciting conclusion.
A Strand Of Doubt - Donna Gustainis Fuller
Truly a beautiful story. It is true that bad things happen to good people. Jana and Jared are very much the definition of good people. It was so interesting to follow Jana through her ups and downs and to see her never lose sight of what is important. And Jared was just always there to help and be her friend. There was so much drama in the story which kept my attention every minute.
The characters are awesome and are all well-developed and it is easy to feel their emotions.
I highly recommend this story to others. I absolutely love every detail about it.
I give this a literary rating of 5/5
Jana Clawson: Early 20’s, 5’1”, shoulder length hair the color of honey, sapphire blue eyes. She has a habit of talking to herself when she’s nervous. Good at her job as an executive assistant. Loves to cook.
Actress to play Jana: Abigail Breslin or Emmy Clarke
Trevor Willis: 31 years old; black hair, green eyes; always immaculately groomed; 6’2”. He is sure of himself and has been accused of arrogance. He owns a business, and as a former agent, he moonlights with the FBI when they need his expertise.
Actor to play Trevor: A young James Brolin or Karl Urban
Jared Carpenter: Late 20’s, 5’8”,
compactly built, dark brown hair, brown
eyes. Good listener, usually even-tempered,
the kind of guy who knows everyone in
Physical therapist, professional.
Actor to play Jared: Yannick Bisson >>>>
About Donna Gustainis Fuller
Born in Illinois, Donna Fuller has lived in a variety of places and currently resides in Butler, Pennsylvania with her husband. At times, she feels like a Ping-Pong ball bouncing from coast to coast. She has always been involved in writing, from journals to plays for Cub Scouts, to short stories for her children and as a reporter for a small newspaper. Donna has won awards for her writing and has also taught in writing workshops. Donna is the co-founder of the OHPA writing retreat in Western Pennsylvania. She recently earned her Bachelor's Degree from BYU. She has written two novels: A Strand of Doubt and Code Name Scorpion.
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The Way to Remember by Martha Reynolds
Category: Adult Fiction (18 +), 341 pages
Women's fiction, general fiction | Tour dates: Oct 26 to Nov 13, 2020
Publisher: Independent | Release date: June, 2020
Content Rating: PG-13 +M. There are a few swear words, and sex is more suggested than explicit, but there are one or two moments that are provocative.
Set in New England at the time of the American Bicentennial, The Way to Remember is the poignant story of a displaced young woman struggling to figure out who she is within the context of her hometown and the carefully masked dysfunction of her family. "Everything can be fixed by writing a check." Words to live by for Robin Fortune's wealthy father, until he can't buy her way back into college after she's expelled for dealing pot.
Now he chooses not to speak to her anymore, but that's just one of the out-of-whack situations Robin's facing.
At nineteen, she feels rudderless, working in a diner by day and sleeping with a buddy from high school by night - all so strange for her because she was always the one with the plan. While her college friends plotted how to ensnare husbands, she plotted a novel, which she scratched out into a series of spiral-bound notebooks she hides in the closet.
But now, there's nothing. No vision, no future, no point. In fact, the only thing she feels she has to look forward to is that her favorite author, Maryana Capture, is paying a visit to the local Thousand Words bookstore. Robin surmises that if she can convince Maryana to help her get her novel published, she'll finally get herself back on track. Except that life never takes a straight path in this intensely satisfying coming-of-age novel.
Buy the Book:Amazon ~ Add to Goodreads
REVIEW By LAWonder10:
This was a story with a very good moral to it.
A young woman with a fairly affluent father, was at the University and discovered she could make decent money selling "pot"... that is, until she got caught. All of her college "friends" scattered and pretended not to know her. Her father was very embarrassed and when her parents went with her before the judge, she was let off easy. She figured her father used his influence and wrote a check... that is what he always did. However, he did not let her off easy. He refused to talk to her and told her she had to move out of the house. They arranged for her to have a small rental apartment for low rent. However she had to get some type of a job to pay the rent and food expenses.
She was lucky the local diner just had an employee leave. Her boss was cranky, but she liked him anyway. At least it was a job.
Te highlight of her week was when a cute lawyer came in twice each week. She made casual conversation with him and he always left a big tip. Could it turn into more?She couldn't believe it! Her favorite author was coming for a book tour to the small community not far away. She couldn't miss it! Her budget didn't allow for extras like books, but she had bought every one of this author's books. SHe had another reason she had to go to the book signing. A reason only two other. unlikely individuals, knew of.
This is about a girl who had a good relationship with her parents as a child but they grew apart as she got older. She had been given a lot through life.
She now felt the pains of rejection from her father and knew she had been wrong but refused to act like it was the serious situation it was. She still felt close to her mother but her mother began acting strange. Her brother was still speaking to her and her sister-in-law seemed to be her main confidant.
This is a story of a young woman sho makes discoveries about those she thought she knew, the one she idealized and, most of all, herself.
It is a story illustrating how often in life, people and situations are sometimes not what they/it seems.
There are some sexual situations, yet not explicit. There are a few "strong words" that I would have preferred be left out or written more discretely.
The character were developed well and they felt real. The situations were easily visualized. The TItle was okay and the book cover worked okay but wasn't a greaat choice to attract teh "browser.
The writing was good but not great. It did allow the reader to feel connected, though.
I offer a Four Stars rating for this book.
*This was gifted me with no pressure for a positive review. This is my honest review.
Pairing Music with a Novel
Do you listen to music when you read? I do not, unless it’s instrumental classical music. No singing! It’s too hard for me to concentrate.
However, I find that creating a playlist can help when I’m writing a novel. It sets the tone, the mood. If the book is set in a certain time period or year, it can be fun to research songs from that time.
In the case of my novel The Way to Remember, I created a playlist while I was writing it. The novel is set in 1976 (a time I remember, because I’m old!), and I enjoyed going back in time and listening to some of the hits from that year. Here are the songs I came up with:
“Fame” by David Bowie. This song talks about the dissatisfaction with fame and stardom. Of course, my character Robin Fortune spends her days dreaming of the fame that can come with being a bestselling author.
“Afternoon Delight” by the Starland Vocal Band. It’s a light song that hints at what ‘afternoon delight’ might mean. Robin knows.
“Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” by Elton John with Kiki Dee. This song is appropriate to the shaky relationship Robin has with her friend Frank, and then with her upstairs neighbor David.
“Love Hurts” by Nazareth. Robin’s relationships are tested – not just with Frank and David, but with her father and her mother as well.
“Theme from ‘Mahogany’ (Do You Know Where You’re Going To?)” by Diana Ross. Symbolic of the rudderless aspect of Robin’s life, she undergoes some heavy introspection about her future.
“Get Closer” by Seals and Crofts. If Robin wants a relationship, she has some work to do on her end, too!
“Fly, Robin, Fly” by Silver Convention. The end song is appropriate to our intrepid heroine.
So there’s my playlist for The Way to Remember. This can be a fun exercise to do with any book!
MEET THE AUTHOR:
Martha Reynolds was raised in Rhode Island, spent a year of college in Switzerland, and is always planning a return visit. She completed an accomplished career as a fraud investigator and decided it was time to do something she really liked.
She now writes full-time and has set a personal goal of releasing a book a year until she dies. Her writing has appeared in Magnificat magazine and her very short poem was read by journalist Connie Schultz during NPR's Tell Me More poetry challenge.
Her novel VILLA DEL SOL won the 2018 Book Award in Literary Fiction by the Independent Publishers of New England.
Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ goodreads
Here is the tour schedule.
$50. Gift Card GIVEAWAY!
$50 Amazon Gift Card courtesy of Martha Reynold's THE WAY TO REMEMBER
(Customers of Amazon.com only) (ends Nov 20)
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A Case for the Toy Maker by Candace Havens
(Ainsley McGregor #3)
Published by: Tule Publishing
Publication date: October 26th 2020
Genres: Adult, Cozy Mystery
Ho. Ho. No…
It’s Christmas in Sweet River, Texas, and the whole town is feeling festive apart from Ainsley McGregor. Ainsley has never enjoyed the holidays and would rather ignore them, but with her shop Bless Your Art busier than ever and filled with happy shoppers, even she’s feeling some Christmas spirit. That is, until her Great Dane, George Clooney, sniffs out a dead body in the Santa House at the Christmas Festival.
When one of her favorite crafters becomes the prime suspect, Ainsley is determined to prove his innocence. The case is full of so many twists and turns that even Ainsley begins to fear the truth. Is she protecting a killer?
With help from her friends and some extremely nosey townsfolk, Ainsley and her dog hurry to find the truth––as long as they can outwit and outrun the killer first. Otherwise, this Christmas might just be her last.
Goodreads ~ Purchase: Amazon ~ B&N ~ iBooks ~ Kobo
Other books in the series universal links-
A case for the Wine Maker: https://books2read.com/u/4Azljp
A Case for The Yark Maker: https://books2read.com/u/4j27lo
Bestselling author Candace Havens has written more than 35 novels. She has won the Holt Medallion and her books have received nominations for the RITA's and Write Touch Reader Awards. She is the author of the biography Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy and a contributor to several anthologies. She is also one of the nation's leading entertainment journalists and has interviewed countless celebrities including Tom Hanks, Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise, George Clooney and many more. Candace also runs a free online writing workshop for more than 2000 writers and teaches comprehensive writing classes. She does film reviews for Hawkeye in the morning on 96.3 KSCS, and is a former President of the Television Critics Association.
Author links: Website ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~Goodreads
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Shopping For A CEO’s Baby by Julia Kent
(Shopping for a Billionaire, #16)
Publication date: October 27th 2020
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance
It’s Andrew and Amanda’s turn… in duplicate
We’re having twins.
Which means my shooters are stronger than my brother’s. I win.
Yeah, yeah, everyone can say it’s not a competition, but it is.... And we all know it.
Two babies at once means double the fun, and double the misery for my poor wife, Amanda. While I’m growing a Fortune 500 company, she’s growing two entire human beings out of nothing but orange cheese snacks and ice cream.
Do you have any idea how hard I’ve worked during this pregnancy, tracking down orange smoothies for her?
Not to mention being forced to Facetime into a childbirth class on perineal massage, rescuing Chuckles the cat from being shaved bald by my two-year-old niece, and fighting with a wife who has named the twins Lefty and Righty.
By the time we hit the ninth month, my entire world revolves around pleasing — and protecting — her.... Even if it means humiliating myself in the name of love.
Wait a minute. Wait a minute, now.
Is she the one who’s winning?
Andrew and Amanda are BACK in the newest New York Times bestselling Shopping series book as I“beat” Declan and Shannon in the baby competition, but at what cost? As their future awaits them in the form of twins, Amanda and Andrew face ghosts from the past with wit, humor, and most of all — plenty of love.
Goodreads ~ Purchase: Google Play ~ Nook ~ Kobo ~ Apple Books ~ Amazon (ALL)
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men's room toilet (and he isn't a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down.
Author's Links: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Newsletter ~ Instagram ~ Bookbub ~ Goodreads ~ Amazon Author Page
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Our Educational system is greatly lacking, but is more serious than the people are told. There is a solution. Read below!
Blind Spots: Why Students Fail and the Science That Can Save Them by Kimberly Nix Berens
BOOK REVIEW By LAWonder10:
I feel the information in this book is priceless. There is help for those of us who struggle with children diagnosed with various learning and behavioral disabilities. I would have loved to know about this program when I was raising my son! This not only aids in learning but does not stereotype any individual.
in her book, the author presents the problem with facts, press conference, and examples. She describes the lack of "real data" and the ineffectiveness of the Department of Education as well as our national education "funding" problem. For example, the teacher's claim the scores are down because of a lack of funding for supplies.,, Even when there was more funding, scores were still down. Additionally, in areas where most black, Hispanic, and those in poverty reside, the academic proficiency rating is as low as over 90%! The average graduating High School student is below over 40% of academic proficiency.
She describes why charter and private schools are not the answer and are still lacking in academics.
In her book, the author describes the process her system uses and the results In six months of her program, a child will advance as he/she would in two years of public education. Many who have done this program are no longer clinically diagnosed with dyslexia or other similar learning disabilities. Her system can help any child learn at his/her own level.
This was such an interesting and enlightening book!
I offer Four and a Half Stars rating.
*This book was gifted me with no pressure for a positive review. This is my honest review.
"What I am asking you to consider is the possibility that sometimes our beliefs get in the way. Sometimes our beliefs prevent us from making progress, from being effective, from solving problems that really need to be solved for the betterment, not only of our own lives, but of all humanity. Is it possible to hold on to your beliefs but be willing to let go when doing so might make a difference? I think it is possible and I think pragmatism is what makes it possible.”
About Kimberly Nix Berens PhDL
Kimberly Nix Berens, Ph.D., is a scientist-educator
and Founder of Fit Learning.
She co-created a powerful system of instruction based in behavioral science and the Technology of Teaching, which has transformed the learning abilities of thousands of children worldwide, including those who are struggling, average, gifted, or learning disabled.
For more than 20 years, her system of instruction has produced one year's worth of academic growth in only 40 hours of training. Her learning programs effectively target such essential areas as early learning skills, basic classroom readiness, phonemic awareness, reading fluency, comprehension, inferential language, basic and advanced mathematics, logical problem solving, grammar, and expressive writing.
From her early beginnings in a broom closet at the University of Nevada - Reno, Dr. Berens has helped grow Fit Learning to an organization with more than 30 locations worldwide.
She currently lives in Long Island with her husband and two children, where she oversees Fit Learning locations in Long Island, New York City, and Connecticut. Blind Spots: Why students fail and the science that can save them is her first book.
Amazon Page ~ Website ~
The Christmas Spirit by Alexandrea Weis
Published by: Rosewind Books
Publication date: October 27th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
SOMETIMES IT TAKES ONE BROKEN HEART TO HEAL ANOTHER.
Courtney Winston is a writer on a deadline. Eager to finish her book and get over a recent break-up, she ditches Christmas with her family and retreats to a secluded cabin in the mountains.
Appliances rarely work, and cell service is spotty, but Courtney senses there is more to her rustic rental—something dark and haunting.
Then Peter, the attractive Stone Mountain Lodge owner, and a meddling cook, Mrs. Finn, keep coming around, shattering her peace and offering advice on how to fix her heavy heart.
Courtney grows closer to Peter, but Mrs. Finn warns her of his troubled past. Undaunted, Courtney sets out to win him over. But being with the brooding stranger may end up costing her more than she ever imagined.
Goodreads ~ Purchase: Amazon
How to Make Your Characters Believable?
I continually strive to make my sure my characters resonate with readers. After all, that is what makes any story memorable. Whether a movie, television show, or novel, the characters propel the story along.
But putting people on paper can be difficult. You have to relay idiosyncrasies readers can understand. Ticks, personal gestures, the way someone walks or talks, or identifying scars, hair color, or features all add to a character’s believability. Just like meeting an interesting person in life, there is always something that stands out, making you remember the encounter. A character in a story should be the same way. Strive to make them real—the more you can see someone in your head, the more likely they will be to walk out of the pages of a story and greet you on the street.
For the reader, make it someone they would want to meet. Good or bad, it doesn’t matter. To become so ingrained in a character, so invested in their circumstances, only happens when the reader believes in the character.
They must be multi-faceted. Go beyond physical descriptions to incorporate favorite clothes, food, music, plays, books, movies, etc. Likes and dislikes give a character dimension. What type of car they drive, how they drive, and where they drive can help define them.
The inflection of the voice, the quality of their tone. If their voice is deep or shrill, the types of words they use, whether endearments or nicknames. These things can also help solidify a character. Voice is important to us. When speaking to a person, how they say something is just as important as what they say. Remember that when putting a character down. An aristocratic man may dress and act a certain way, but without the condescending inflection of his nasally voice, or his sharp, barking orders to his staff, you can’t impart the entirety of what he represents.
Another aspect is how a character lives. Where they live, the presentation of their home, their neighborhood, even the type of furniture they select says a great deal. If you walked into the home of a wealthy man who puts on airs, is well-spoken, and yet very secretive about his past, living in a mansion on the side of a cliff and discovered he had no furniture, no personal items. Only a suitcase filled with clothes and a collection of books. What would you make of him? In that presentation, you have whetted the appetite.
A character is very much like a painting. You begin with an outline drawn in pencil, fill in the colors of skin, hair, and eyes, and move to the details of the clothes and the setting. When you are done, you have a complete portrait and depending on the details presented, a story.
Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author, screenwriter, advanced practice registered nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable.
Weis writes romance, mystery, suspense, thrillers, supernatural, and young adult fiction and has sold approximately one million books. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans where she is a permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and rescues orphaned and injured animals.
She is a member of both the International Thriller Writers Association and the Horror Writers Association. www.AlexandreaWeis.com
Author links: Website ~ Instagram ~Subscribe ~Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads
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The Moon Is Missing by Jenni Ogden
Category: Adult Fiction (18 +), 388 pages
Genre: Book Club, Literary, Women's Fiction, Domestic Suspense
Publisher: Sea Dragon Press
Release date: April 2020
Tour dates: Oct 26 to Nov 20, 2020
Content Rating: PG-13 + M: No violence, mild non-explicit sex scenes, appropriate and minimal use of f--- words and a few mild cusses etc, adultery as a secret from past generations, but not between current-day characters.
A daughter who cries “Who am I?”
A mother who can’t tell her…
A hurricane called Katrina…
A family secret exposed…
An island at the bottom of the world.
From Jenni Ogden, author of multiple-award-winning A DROP IN THE OCEAN, comes a page-turning tale of family secrets and mother–daughter conflict set in London, New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, and on a remote and spectacular island off the coast of New Zealand.
Georgia Grayson has perfected the art of being two people: a neurosurgeon on track to becoming the first female Director of Neurosurgery at a large London hospital, and a wife and mother. Home is her haven where, with husband Adam’s support, she copes with her occasional anxiety attacks. That is until her daughter, 15-year-old Lara, demands to know more about Danny, her mysterious biological father from New Orleans who died before she was born. "Who was he? Why did he die? WHO AM I?” Trouble is, Georgia can’t tell her. As escalating panic attacks prevent her from operating, and therapy fails to bring back the memories she has repressed, fractures rip through her once happy family. Georgia sees only one way forward; to return to New Orleans where Danny first sang his way into her heart, and then to the rugged island where he fell to his death. Somehow she must uncover the truth Lara deserves, whatever the cost.
BUY THE BOOK:Amazon ~ B&N ~ BAM ~ indiebound ~ Add to Goodreads
ALSO IN AUDIOBOOK:Google Play ~ Chirp ~ Scribd ~ Kobo,Walmart ~ hibooks ~ Audiobooks.com ~ Apple
"Jenni Ogden is a beautiful writer. In her newest, a tale of domestic suspense, Ogden tells the story of a neurosurgeon bedeviled by her own sophisticated brain and the memories of a long-ago tragedy that still has the power to destroy her and her family. Pick up The Moon is Missing. You won't put it down." -- Jacquelyn Mitchard, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean & My Only
"With gripping scenes set during Hurricane Katrina and on a remote New Zealand island, this tightly-woven family drama—fueled by long-buried secrets and a daughter’s desperate need to answer the question, ‘Who am I?’ —is ripe for book club discussion." --Barbara Claypole White, bestselling author of 'A Perfect Son' & 'The Promise Between Us'
“…Beautifully written … characters were immensely believable…Ogden did not shy away from the harsh realities of what can happen when someone in a family is experiencing panic attacks and trauma from the past. Katrina was a tragedy and I feel the novel really paid homage to the medical staff who worked tirelessly to make sure people were evacuated….a must-read for anyone who is a fan of women’s fiction, especially harkening back to the old greats such as Fern Michaels.”
—Readers’ Favorite, 5 star review.
Here is the tour schedule.
Meet the Author:
Jenni Ogden and her husband live off-grid on spectacular Great Barrier Island, 100 kms off the coast of New Zealand, a perfect place to write and for grandchildren to spend their holidays. Winters are spent near a beach in Far North Tropical Queensland. Jenni’s debut novel, 'A Drop in the Ocean', won multiple awards and has sold over 80,000 copies. As a clinical psychologist and neuropsychologist, she is well-known for her books featuring her patients’ moving stories:'Fractured Minds: A Case-Study Approach to Clinical Neuropsychology', and 'Trouble In Mind: Stories from a Neuropsychologist’s Casebook'. Please visit her author website, sign up for her e-newsletter, and friend and follow her everywhere!
Connect with the Author: website ~ facebook ~ twitter ~ instagram ~ goodreads
Win Jenni Ogden's THE MOON IS MISSING in audiobook from Author Direct (20 winners) (ends Nov 27)
Enter by filling in the Rafflecopter below!
Unmasking The Duke By Donna Hatch The last thing Hannah Palmer wants to do is flirt with men in a crowded ballroom, but when her sister, the Countess of Tarrington, throws a Masquerade Ball, Hannah can’t say no to the invitation.
Taking comfort behind her disguise, she dances with a charming masked gentleman, matching him wit for wit. When the glorious evening culminates in a kiss, and the two remove their masks, Hannah is horrified to discover the man she’s been flirting with all night is her most despised neighbor, the Duke of Suttenberg.
No matter how charming the duke was at the ball, and how wonderful the kiss, he is the last man she could ever love.
Buy Link: Amazon
ABOUT The AUTHOR:
Donna Hatch is the author of the best-selling “Rogue Hearts Series,” and a winner of writing awards such as The Golden Quill and the International Digital Award.
A hopeless romantic and adventurer at heart, she discovered her writing passion at the tender age of 8 and has been listening to those voices ever since.
She has become a sought-after workshop presenter, and also juggles freelance editing, multiple volunteer positions, and most of all, her six children (seven, counting her husband). A native of Arizona who recently transplanted to the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband of over twenty years are living proof that there really is a happily ever after.
~ Facebook ~ Website ~ Amazon ~ Goodreads ~
To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our
Official Event Page
If you’re looking for a good mystery with a little holiday twist, look no further!
Today I’m participating in the FESTIVE MAYHEM Book Blast featuring 10 talented authors with stories of mystery, crime, and suspense with a holiday flair.
◊ Genre: Mystery Anthologies ◊ Publisher: Marla Bradeen (October 26,2020)
Print Length: 159 Pages ◊ ASIN: BO8F3HLH67
Ten crime writers of color have teamed up to offer you the gift of escape this holiday season. From Christmas crime capers to Thanksgiving thrillers, historical hard-boiled to contemporary cozies, mystery fans of all genres will find something to love in this limited-time collection of exclusive, never-before-published seasonal short stories.
What you’ll find inside:
• “The New Year’s Hex” by Carolyn Marie Wilkins.
Carrie McFarland finds her New Year’s plans derailed when a psychic vision pulls the 1920s African American amateur sleuth into someone’s evil scheme.
• “Pipe Dreams” by S.G. Wong.
In this hard-boiled Crescent City short story, infatuation and passion drive Minnie Chen straight into danger as she tries to best the City’s most glamorous private detective in a re-imagined 1930s-era Chinese Los Angeles.
• “A Christmas Tip” by Elizabeth Wilkerson.
A surprise Christmas bonus becomes too tempting for Philadelphia nursing assistant Brianna Byers to resist—even if accepting requires some skillful skirting of the law.
• “The Stranger in the House” by Stella Oni.
This London House Mystery prequel stars Elizabeth Ojo, a Nigerian housekeeper at a posh guest house, who finds her Christmas intersecting with that of a mysterious resident in trouble.
• “What Lies Inside” by Kia Dennis.
A tormented university professor falls deeper and deeper into a destructive obsession in this harrowing tale of love and longing.
• “A Pub, Bed & Breakfast & A Dead Body” by Forest Issac Jones.
A dark past becomes the deadly present when North Carolina police detective Ike Coates and his intrepid young partner are tasked with determining the cause of a suspicious death.
• “A Deadly First” by Delia C. Pitts.
Thanksgiving takes a fatal turn when New York private eye SJ Rook finds himself thrust into his first murder case in this darkly atmospheric tale of noir.
• “The Holiday Murder Mélange” by Myra Jolivet.
This Sarah Doucette Jean-Louis short story follows the Creole P.I. around the San Francisco Bay Area on her quest to figure out who killed a man outside of her office.
• “Those Holiday Blues” by Jennifer J. Chow.
Jasmine, aka “Jazz,” can’t escape the tragic past when an old boyfriend asks to meet on the anniversary of his mother’s death.
• “Holiday Holdup” by Paige Sleuth.
In this Cozy Cat Caper Mystery Short, Imogene Little gets tangled up in a Christmas Eve bank robbery orchestrated by none other than Santa Claus himself.
About the Authors
FESTIVE MAYHEM features a collection of never-before-published short stories authored by 10 mystery, crime, and suspense writers of color. To learn more about the author, click on the name and it will bring up the website:
Carolyn Marie Wilkins ~ S.G. Wong ~ Elizabeth Wilkerson ~ Stella Oni ~ Kia Dennis ~
Forest Issac Jones ~ Delia C. Pitts ~ Myra Jolivet ~ Jennifer J. Chow ~ Paige Sleuth
There will be multiple Winners...
One Per Book Prize!
Be sure to enter the giveaway below.
If the widget doesn’t work, just click HERE to enter. You can
read more about this fascinating book by visiting the other
stops on the Book Blast.
Monday, Oct. 26 – Just Jemi – Review Rockin’ Book Reviews – Feature Nesie’s Place – Excerpt Writer’s Gambit – Review & Feature
Tuesday, Oct. 27 – First of All – Review & Excerpt CelticLady’s Reviews – Feature
Bookish Rantings – Excerpt
Wednesday, Oct. 28 – I Found This Great Book – Review & Excerpt Book Reviews by Pat Garcia – Review Thoughts in Progress – Excerpt Author Deborah A. Bailey – Excerpt
The Shadow tech Goddess (Turns of the Shadow tech Goddess Book 1) by Ren Garcia
BUY Link: AMAZON
ABOUT the AUTHOR: Ren Garcia is a Science Fiction/Fantasy author and Texas native who grew up in western Ohio. He has been writing since before he could write, often scribbling alien lingo on any available wall or floor with assorted crayons. He attended The Ohio State University and majored in English Literature.
Ren has been an avid lover of anything surreal since childhood. He also has a passion for caving, urban archeology, taking pictures of clouds, and architecture. He currently lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife, and their four dogs.
Amazon Page ~
(The North Star Series #1)
By Laurie Winter
Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 240Pages
October 20, 2020
'A beautiful story of loss and new love, set in a snow-capped mountain ski resort town.'
Celia Batista waited a long time for all three of her sons to be together for Christmas. But after one of her identical twins disappears without a trace, Celia must rely on Police Captain Luke Veldkamp for help. Despite Luke’s accusations that her other twin son is involved with organized crime, she falls for the handsome, Stetson wearing cop.
Luke Veldkamp is facing his first Christmas after the loss of his wife, working nonstop to avoid the holidays and his grief. His daughter, who’d moved home to care for her mom before her passing, pushes him to face his pain. Luke pushes back, telling her to return to college and regain her own life. If his own strife isn’t enough, the mission to locate the missing son of his beautiful neighbor grows more personal than any other case.
While Luke and Celia fight to keep their families from falling apart, they find comfort and strength in one another. And when love blooms between their children, Luke and Celia’s own relationship takes root and grows. But Celia is used to living on her own terms, and loving a man who has isolated his heart is a risk too great. Now, Luke must either confront his emotions or face a life without the woman he’s come to love.
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This Christmas - Laurie Winter
This is a super story. I loved the intrigue and mystery in the story. I like the family dynamics with Celia and it was interesting to follow Luke's emotional ups and downs.
The characters are all well-developed and it is easy to feel their emotions.
The story flows well from chapter to chapter and is easy to follow along.
I highly recommend this story to those who enjoy mystery and great romance.
I give this story a literary rating of 5/5
ABOUT the AUTHOR:
Laurie Winter’s head has always been full of stories. Then a dream gave her the inspiration to put her thought into written words, sharing a part of her heart and soul. Now, she creates authentic characters who overcome the odds and find true love. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, daughter, and rescue dog. Please connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Bookbub.
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One winner will receive a Loqi Reusable Shopping Bag with birds design, Soy Wax Candle - Snowflake and a $25 Amazon gift card (US only)
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(Rodeo Romance #8)
By Shanna Hatfield
Contemporary Romance, Western, Holiday, Clean and Wholesome
ebook, 335 Pages
October 22, 2020 by Wholesome Hearts Publishing
A focused cowboy, a distracted executive, and a hilarious quest make for an unforgettable holiday . . .
Wyatt Nash is a professional tie-down roper, a good ranch hand, and not too shabby when it comes to attracting women. But according to his five-year-old niece, he needs to work on both his roping skills and his dating game. His sister thinks he needs to settle down. And don’t get him started on the advice he gets from well-meaning friends. When his rodeo sponsor, billionaire Jon Sinclair, asks for his assistance in tutoring a clueless city girl about Sinclair Industries, Wyatt doesn’t feel like he can say no. Then he discovers he’ll be teaching none other than the one woman on the planet who wants nothing to do with him.
Ashley Jarrett would do almost anything to turn her small publicity firm into a huge success. When Jon Sinclair expresses interest in working with her, she readily agrees to his crazy idea to have her learn about his company through hands-on projects. Not only is she forced far outside her comfort zone, but the man documenting every bumbling misstep she takes is an infuriating cowboy she’s determined to ignore.
Packed with small-town charm and the wonder of falling in love, Roping Christmas is a sweet holiday romance sure to bring laughter and infuse hearts Christmas cheer.
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Chase settled his arm around her shoulders and pulled her against his side in a brotherly hug. “You know we love to have you anytime you can visit.”
“I do know that and am grateful for the standing welcome.” Ashley smiled up at her cousin while a tiny tornado swept into the kitchen.
Corkscrew curls the color of straw bounced in every direction as the little girl launched herself at Wyatt. He swung her into his arms and kissed her rosy cheek. The little one looked like a miniature replica of Sarah.
“Hi!” the child greeted with a broad smile that showed off a missing space in her front teeth.
“Hi, Livy.” Jessie smiled at the little girl. “Are you keeping your Uncle Wyatt busy while he’s here?”
“Yep! We watched a movie last night about the bear ’cessities. It was awesome! But Uncle Wyatt said he’s missing some of the ’cessities. I told him he needs a wife and babies.” Livy wiggled against Wyatt, so he set her on her feet.
She rushed over to Ashley and took her hand in hers. “Hi! I’m Livy. Wyatt’s my uncle, and that’s my mama, Sarah. My daddy is washing up, then we can eat. I’m starving to death! You’re pretty and smell nice, too.”
The little imp turned toward Wyatt. “Did you smell her, Uncle Wyatt? She smells good. Maybe she’d be your wife, and you could have babies, Uncle Wyatt.”
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ABOUT the AUTHOR:
USA Today bestselling author Shanna Hatfield is a farm girl who loves to write. Her sweet historical and contemporary romances are filled with sarcasm, humor, hope, and hunky heroes. When Shanna isn’t dreaming up unforgettable characters, twisting plots, or covertly seeking dark, decadent chocolate, she hangs out with her beloved husband, Captain Cavedweller.
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Entries must be received by October 30, 2020.
Winner will be notified by November 15, 2020.
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Other Fires: Novel by Lenore H. Gay
Publisher: She Writes Press (October 20, 2020)
Category: Women’s Psychological Fiction, Medical Fiction
Tour Dates Oct 20-Nov 25, 2020
Available in Print and ebook,256 pages
Description Other Fires: Novel by Lenore H. GayJoss and Phil’s already rocky marriage is fragmented when Phil is injured in a devastating fire and diagnosed with Capgras delusion―a misidentification syndrome in which a person becomes convinced that a loved one has been replaced by an identical imposter. Faced with a husband who no longer recognizes her, Joss struggles to find motivation to save their marriage, even as family secrets start to emerge that challenge everything she thought she knew.
With two young daughters, a looming book deadline, and an attractive but complicated distraction named Adam complicating her situation even further, Joss has to decide what she wants for her family―and what family even means.
Pre-order Other Fires: Novel by Lenore H. GayAmazon
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“Once again, Lenore Gay has woven a story that captivates the reader from page one. Other Fires is a brilliant study of tragedy on multiples levels. Beginning with a dysfunctional family struggling in the aftermath of a terrible fire, she expertly peels back the layers of human behavior and motivation that unravels the lives of the guilty and innocent. Peppered with surprising twists and turns, the story will stay with you long after you close the cover.”―PAM WEBBER, author of The Wiregrass and Moon Water
“Heartwarming and dramatic, the two major intertwining stories in Other Fires reach across decades from troubled childhood to mid-life adults and reaffirm what remains human and vulnerable in all of us. The portraits of the main characters arc from hopelessness to vulnerability and a sense of recovery. Gay holds the reader’s attention from the first page.”―DIANA Y. PAUL, author of Things Unsaid
“How do people figure out their minds? This novel explores what constitutes reality, and from whose perspective. Drawing on her varied experiences in life and background in rehabilitation and mental health counseling, Lenore Gay weaves together the perspectives of compelling characters who interact in ways that keep the pages of this novel turning.”―CHRIS REID, PhD, Rehabilitation Psychology
OTHER FIRES Lenore Gay:
Adam pulled up in front of a large house for his next job. He whistled at the sight of the sprawling two-story house on a wide lot. He could never make enough money to afford anything close to this house in this neighborhood of stately houses. A silver Volvo and a black BMW were parked in the driveway; the front lawn littered with leaves and fallen branches. Why would people who could afford to live in this neighborhood have such a messy lawn?
He parked on the street and headed up the walk. Before he could ring the doorbell, a woman with long honey-colored hair opened the door. Almost his height, not thin, she had curves and a lovely mouth. He angled his head away. The contractor told him all about the damaged second floor, but nothing about this fine-looking woman.
“You’re right on time,” she smiled. “I’m Joss. Come on in. The electrical damage is on the second floor.”
“I’m Adam Werther.” He followed her upstairs, his ears felt hot. The two rooms had been recently painted white, with purple trim. The bathroom looked bare, without towels or toilet paper. With its clean, polished floors the upstairs felt empty and calm. Yet the woman’s hands trembled.
“Nice house. I suppose Fred told you the wiring might take a few days.”
“That’s fine. With extensive water and fire damage up here; the repairs have taken a while. Our guest bathroom is downstairs, in the hall by the front door if you need it.”
“I’ll have to go to the basement to check the system. Do I need a key?”
“No. The basement door’s in the kitchen. I’ll be in my room. In on the first floor at the back of the house down the main hall.”
Joss had tried to put her manuscript deadline out of her mind. With October closing in, her manuscript still unfinished. While wandering through her worries, she had an image of the electrician upstairs. She called her editor. But he was out of his office. In brief terms she explained the situation to the editor’s assistant and asked for a six-month extension. The response came as a maybe, but maybe not. The assistant would let Joss know the decision soon. Through gritted teeth, Joss explained her situation in more depth. The assistant repeated himself in a robotic voice.
Joss slammed down the phone. What a bastard. He probably had no money worries and a wife at home taking care of his kids.
She stared at the phone. Okay, if the number on the caller ID didn’t show the hospital’s number, or Terpe’s school or Geline’s daycare, she wouldn’t answer. She had to get the writing done.
Recently, she regularly spent less than half an hour visiting Phil. Let the physical therapists do what they were trained to do. When he first arrived at the rehab center, she occasionally fed him lunch. She found herself so irritated with his slow helplessness she wanted to cram the spoon down his throat. Her irritation stoked her guilt for lack of compassion. Yet he treated her like a nurse’s aide. Mostly he ignored her. When he fastened his eyes on her, he cocked his head like a bird studying another bird. Listening to her voice, trying to place it in memory? The doctors had not lied. He truly thought of her as an imposter.
An hour into writing a soft knock at her open door startled her. She glanced over her shoulder at the electrician. She stopped typing. “How’s it going?”
“Pretty good. I’ll be using the bathroom.”
“Oh, fine. That’s fine.”
“You writing a book?”
“Right,” she sighed, hoping he hadn’t heard her sigh. Annoying, yet he looked nice, quite good-looking.
“I don’t discuss my writing until I’ve finished the original draft.” Why would an electrician care?
“I don’t know any writers. Maybe I’m being too curious?”
“It’s okay, people ask.” She turned back to her computer and said over her shoulder, “It’s about mythology.”
“Books take a long time to write.”
“Obviously.” She bit her lip.
“Mythology? Like those monsters that were alive, but aren’t anymore?”
“Creatures of mythology weren’t ever alive. The Greeks made them up, invented monsters to challenge their heroes’ strength and courage. Sorry, I have to write.”
“I’m starting community college soon,” Adam said to the back of her head. “I graduated high school and began learning how to be an electrician in shop class. I apprenticed. Now I have my own business.”
Joss didn’t say anything.
“Well, you’re busy.” Adam backed out of the room.
Without any rugs upstairs, Adam’s footsteps echoed back and forth through the empty rooms.
Her phone rang, she read the number on the caller ID, and read it again. The anonymous caller? She picked up the cell and said hello. Someone breathed close to the phone. She repeated the hello and the person hung up. Almost one o’clock on a Tuesday. She pulled a piece of paper with the phone number out of her pocket. She wrote down the identical phone number again, noting the time.
She wandered into the kitchen and fixed lunch. She didn’t hear footsteps, maybe the electrician had left.
Adam strolled into the kitchen.
“I ate lunch in my truck, enjoying your tall trees and shaded front yard. I’m a city boy who lives in a second-floor apartment. Trees outside my place are stunted and I got these bars across the living room windows messing up my view. But I got big trees out my bedroom window.”
She took a bite of a roast beef sandwich. Keep your sentences short.
“My mother is missing,” he said.
“What? She’s what?” She put down her sandwich and took a sip of water.
“Two weeks ago, I went over for our regular dinner, but she wasn’t home.”
About Lenore H. Gay(c) Sasha Gay-Overstreet
Lenore Gay is a retired Licensed Professional Counselor with a master’s in sociology and rehabilitation counseling. She was an adjunct faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rehabilitation Counseling Department for thirty years. She has worked in several agencies and psychiatric hospitals, and for ten years worked at her private counseling practice before becoming Coordinator of VCU’s Rehabilitation Counseling Department internship program.
Her debut novel, Shelter of Leaves, was a finalist for the Foreword Book of the Year award and a finalist for an INDEFAB award. For three years, Lenore has served on the Steering Committee of the RVALitCrawl, which has been featured in RVAMag, Richmond Family Magazine, and Richmond Magazine. She is an active member of James River Writers. She lives in Richmond, Virginia.
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Giveaway Other Fires:
Novel by Lenore H. GayThis giveaway is for 1 copy each for 3 winners and is open to the U.S. only.
This giveaway ends November 26, 2020,midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.
The Overly Honest Teacher: Parenting Advice from the Classroom by by Meredith Essalat (Author), Sheryl Evans Davis (Preface)
As both a teacher and school principal, Meredith Essalat has lived the daily challenges of helping children navigate through their young lives. She has seen the struggles that parents have as they balance longer working hours with the demands of home life. Essalat offers hard-won pointers, enabling parents, teachers, and students alike to encourage one another while holding everyone accountable for their actions.
Combining humor with straightforward, practical advice, “The Overly Honest Teacher” is a fresh take on 21st century child-rearing and development. The results will be well-adjusted, positive, enthusiastic young adults ready to work hard and take on the world. And isn't that what we all want for our children?
Book website: OverlyHonestTeacher.com ~ Amazon link ~ GoodReads link ~ BookBub link
REVIEW By LAWonder10:
Never before has there been a need for increased parenting skills, as is needed now.
Cyber technology is enjoyed by all but it comes with a very dangerous risk to all. Adults sometimes get caught up in the negative aspects of it. Children - especially those entering puberty - are especially vulnerable and at risk. With the drastically increased opportunities for predators to infiltrate their young minds and lives. With the new occurrences that happen with puberty, the embarrassed, emotionally immature and curious adolescent often share deep concerns with the clever strangers. I was surprised to learn the 2nd most approached victims are young boys questioning their sexuality.
The author offers imperatively needed parental guidance and non confrontational questions that can be asked in being involved in the adolescent's' life.
If you wait to read this book until your child is well into his/her teenage years, then you may have waited too long... Elementary age is not too soon!
The only negative aspect of this book is the very small print which is a deterrent.
I offer a Five Stars rating for this book.
*This was gifted me with no pressure fir a positive review. This is my honest review.
Meredith Essalat is a K-8 school principal in San Francisco, CA and author of The Overly Honest Teacher. With a career in academia that has spanned more than 17 years, she started off in collegiate student activities before moving into both elementary and secondary academic communities. She spent nine years in middle school education as both teacher and Dean of Middle School Curriculum. In each of these opportunities, she witnessed the gamut of the scholastic, social, and developmental experiences of today's student. She possesses a BA in Mass Communication, a California-Clear Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction, and a second M.Ed. in Educational Leadership. Essalat resides in California with her husband, Cameron.
Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for valuable lessons learned both inside and outside the classroom.
The Tsars Locket by Ken Czech
Publisher: Fireship Press (April 30, 2020)
Category: Action/Adventure, Historical Romance, and Historical Thriller
Tour dates: Sept 30-Nov 25, 2020
Available in Print and ebook, 303 pages
Description Tsars Locket by Ken CzechWhen Duty, Honor, and Love Collide
Julian Blunt, a former sea captain and a despised Catholic, is stunned when Queen Elizabeth proposes that he help carry a betrothal locket to Tsar Ivan the Terrible in Moscow. It means an alliance between England and Russia is brewing, and the queen warns that should the locket fall into the hands of the Pope or his minions, it could mean war.
Julian joins the queen’s messenger, the lofty and spirited Jessandra Calcross, in a perilous voyage across the Baltic Sea and into the very heart of Russia. When a papal assassin determined to prevent the royal marriage strikes, Jess turns to Julian as the only man she can trust. Although at odds over religion and station, a slender emotional bond grows. Stalked by the relentless murderer, Julian is soon torn between abandoning his mission so he can better safeguard Jess, and fulfilling his vow to the queen. If he fails the queen he’ll never captain a ship again. But if he and Jess continue on to Moscow, they face a darker peril in the mercurial and sinister Tsar Ivan–a peril that will drive courage and dawning love to the breaking point.Buy Tsars Locket by Ken Czech
Buy Links: Barnes&Noble ~ IndieBound ~ Amazon
REVIEW By LAWonder10:
Julian had been devoted to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, even though he joined the Roman Catholic Church in order to marry, Katie. While he was in service to the Queen, his Katie died of an illness. He returned a torn, broken-heartened man, only to lose his captaincy since he refused to deny his Catholic religion. He was fortunate he didn't lose his head link many were sentenced to. Why could Elizabeth not see that one could become Catholic without betraying their loyalty to her and England?
Julian, was astounded as the one who took over his captaincy smirked at Julian's new assignment. He was to act as a translator to the Russian tzar, after accompanying a member of the Royal Court, over a vast, dangerous ocean voyage. He only consented to, because of the promise his dead wife would receive a better serviced grave with a decent headstone, and he would get his captaincy back. Little did he know how his journey would be met with the repeated threat to his and his charges' safety.
The reader is constantly kept guessing and under suspense throughout the book.
This is a tale based on factual history. he author has taken a few undetermined events and twisted them into possibilities, adding flair and suspense to the facts.
The characters are very believable and realistic. The events are vividly and graphically portrayed in a way it is easily visualized.
The Title and the Cover is simply stated, yet colorful, and eye-catching.
Reader Beware: There is some Brief profanity and a brief, non-explicit, sexual situation
I offer a Four and a Half Stars literary rating
This book was gifted me without pressure to give a positive review. This is my honest review.
Praise Tsars Locket by Ken Czech!
“The vivid descriptions of the European cities, including Moscow and the Tsar’s palace, transport us to that era. An exciting and informative novel. Highly recommended.”–Waheed Rabbani, Historical Novel Society
“There were twists and turns throughout, but the climactic twist at the end really caught me off guard. If you love a really good story with action, suspense and romance, then I recommend this novel.” --Lesley Jones for Reades’ Favorite
“The historical backdrop to the tale is … fleshed out with gorgeous details and cinematic style descriptive work, enabling author Ken Czech to show off some real knowledge and a true sense of atmosphere about the period. Add to this the real excitement of a perilous journey across the sea, well-developed villains, a political versus religious thematic arc and some authentic yet accessible dialogue, and you have a truly excellent novel that readers will simply devour.” --K. C. Finn, author of the Caecilius Rex series
“I enjoyed the setting, the play-by-play of action, and the chemistry between Jess and Julian was off the charts. This is an astonishing story that had me hooked from the beginning …” --Rabia Tanveer for Readers’ Favorite
Where do you get your ideas from?
That's a wonderful question. I write historical novels, so my plot lines and ideas come from actual events in history. I try to choose incidents less familiar to readers so they have a sense of learning something new despite the work being fiction. For instance, The Tsar's Locket has a setting that begins in Elizabethan England and ends in Russia.
When I was teaching at university, I came across details of Tsar Ivan the Terrible's interest in marrying a member of Queen Elizabeth's court. This time period was filled with religious and political tension, so I built my story around the concept of a betrothal locket being sent to Russia and all the dangers such a mission would face. Jess Calcross and Julian Blunt, the main characters, must cross the dangerous Baltic Sea and wend their way through war torn Estonia before reaching Moscow to deliver the locket.
In Last Dance In Kabul, I chose a British military disaster that few readers have heard of—the destruction of 15,000 soldiers and civilians at the hands of Afghan fighters in 1842. One British army physician managed to escape. I read firsthand accounts written by two members who were taken hostage earlier in the conflict, and used their experiences and observations to create the scenario wherein Reeve Waterton and Sarah Kane, my main characters, also escape.
Years ago, I read the books penned by British explorer Sir Samuel Baker about his quest to discover the source of the Nile River. On his way to Africa, he purchased a slave girl and tried to set her free. She refused to leave him, ended up joining him on his journey, and much later becoming his wife. Never once did Baker mention her name
(Florence) in his books, always referring to her as F. In Beyond The River Of Shame, I tried to imagine what their relationship was like, especially during the stodgy Victorian era.
History is full of stories and vignettes waiting to be explored. I find it especially exciting to create the interaction and emotions of the characters against a true historical backdrop.
ABOUT Ken Czech
About Ken CzechHistory has been his passion since award winning author, Ken Czech was a wee lad. After retiring from a career of teaching history at both secondary and higher education levels, He turned that passion to writing historical novels. His stories combine fiction with actual events and actors taken from the past. He lives with his wife Mary on an abandoned granite quarry in Minnesota where they enjoy the wildlife and the changing seasons. That’s where his writing happens.
His latest book THE TSAR’S LOCKET has received Five Stars from Reader’s Favorite. His previous novels BEYOND THE RIVER OF SHAME and LAST DANCE IN KABUL have also received very favorable reviews.
Giveaway... Tsars Locket by Ken Czech
This giveaway is for 1 print copy for 2 winners, open to the U.S. only.
This giveaway ends November 14, 2020,midnight pacific time.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.