Saturday, January 31, 2015

Read an excerpt from 'The Red Road' by Jenni Wiltz

Literary / Women's Fiction
Date Published: January 26, 2015

A father's love. A family's tragedy. A daughter's revenge.

Honor student Emma knows more about galvanic cell diagrams than guns. College is the only way out of her gang-ridden hometown, but her parents can't afford it.

When her unemployed dad lands a job as a census taker, things start looking up. But he's sent deep into East Malo Verde, where gang members rule the streets and fear anyone with a badge who knocks on doors. One night, a gang member mistakes him for a cop and beats him savagely, leaving him for dead.

Her best friends, her chem lab partner, her mom, and the detective assigned to the case all try to convince her to focus on school. But school won't prepare her for a world that ignores a crime against a good man. Emma must decide what's more important: doing what's expected, or doing what she feels is right . . . even if it leads her down a dark and dangerous path of revenge.

The Red Road is about a girl in turmoil, coming of age as she discovers the depths - and the limits - of friendship, first love, and the bond between parents and their children.

Read an excerpt:
Dan sat next to her in AP Chemistry, but never seemed to have the requisite supplies. At the beginning of the year, she became his go-to paper provider, and he’d agreed to be her lab partner. Lucky for her, he was the most precise measurer she’d ever met, and that included her mom, who was like Attila the Hun with measuring cups. 
Everything was fine until February 8, when he’d leaned over their lab table and asked if she had a hot date for Valentine’s Day. Her pencil slipped, and instead of entering “NR” for the cross of Pb with Pb(NO3)2, she blistered through the page with the tip of her Ticonderoga. “What did you say?” she asked. 
His dark hair flopped over his eyebrows, almost reaching his cheekbones. “Here,” he said. “Let me do that. You’re messing it up again.” Since that moment, she’d been haunted by the implications of his question. No one had ever asked her out and she’d assumed no one ever would, not while she had baby fat and bad skin. 
One day during sophomore year, class president Javier Benavides flung an arm around her after biology class. Javier’s friend said, “Hey, is this your new girl?” Javier raised both hands quicker than a cowboy in a calf-tying contest. “No way,” he’d said. “These are the ones you save for marriage.” Emma had no idea what that meant, aside from the fact that it was mortally embarrassing for Javier’s name to be linked with hers in any romantic context. She was dating kryptonite—until February 8 at 11:42 a.m., when Dan joked about her having a date on Valentine’s Day. This was no small thing. 
She watched Dan and his friends walk toward her table. They were heading for the main hall, its doorway just behind her. She liked the way he walked, with slightly turned-out legs that weren’t bowed but definitely weren’t straight. He had very smooth lips, while hers were always chapped. It didn’t seem fair. 
She tried to smile, in case he looked at her. The boys shuffled by, talking about the match on Saturday. He didn’t see her. He didn’t even look in her general direction. Story of my life, she thought.

 Buy links

About Jenni Wiltz

Jenni Wiltz writes fiction and creative nonfiction. She's won national writing awards for creative nonfiction and romantic suspense, including a 2011 Romance Writers of America Kiss of Death Chapter's Daphne du Maurier Award for her novel, The Cherbourg Jewels. She also writes thrillers, historical fiction, and paranormal romance, and you may have seen her short stories in The Portland Review, Gargoyle, and the Sacramento News & Review. After earning bachelor’s degrees in English and history and a Master’s degree in English, she worked as a web editor, a copywriter, and a USAID grant program coordinator, which gave her the opportunity to travel to Kenya. When she's not writing, she enjoys reading, sewing, running, and genealogical research. She lives in Pilot Hill, California and has not yet struck gold in her backyard. Visit her online at


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'3 Romantic Short Stories' by G.B. Brulte #FREE on 1/31

Very simply put, this FREE read has three, sweet (not overly spicy) romantic reads. Get your fix of paranormal and fantasy while the characters unexpectedly fall in love.


G.B. Brulte lives in San Diego, California and teaches anatomy, physiology and biology at several local colleges. He is the author of 'Coronado Dreaming', 'Giddeon', 'The Supplemental Tourist', 'Thaw Me Out' and 'Hopscotch'. All of his books have romantic themes, but cannot really be classified as 'romance' novels. The books generally incorporate one or more of the following: science fiction, adventure, history, metaphysics or the paranormal.

Many of the novels contain lyrics to original songs. Some of the music is available at:

More songs will be added as they become available.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Review of 'Short Bus Hero' by Shannon Giglio

Contemporary Fiction / Humor
Date Published: December 16, 2014


Twenty-three year-old Ally Forman, a $350 million dollar lottery winner with Down syndrome, is either cursed or blessed, depending on how you look at things. When professional wrestler Stryker Nash loses his job, Ally, his biggest fan, wants nothing more than to put him back in the ring. And she will spare no expense. Her mother, however, has other plans for Ally’s winnings and her life. SHORT BUS HERO is a darkly humorous look at life with Down syndrome, the rise of a wrestling empire... and angels. Yes, angels.

Read an excerpt:

   “I know, she could have gone to Carnegie Mellon or something, you know?” Mrs. Farley is a regular customer. Her daughter had recently finished her first semester at Skidmore and Mrs. Farley is still half-heartedly complaining about her choice of schools. “Well, it’s nice to have her home for the holidays, except, look at all this stuff—what’s this gonna cost me?” She makes a funny face. Ally laughs as she loads Kashi cereal bars and soy milk into a bag and piles it on top of the overflowing cart.
     “Maybe you’ll win the lottery,” Julie says to her, scanning a box of brown rice. “Nobody’s claimed that three hundred and fourteen million yet.”
     “God, I know. Too bad I never buy tickets.” Mrs. Farley pays her astronomical bill and rolls away, declining Ally’s offer of help out to her car. God forbid she catches something from Ally, as if Down syndrome was communicable. Wouldn’t that just destroy her perfect daughter’s perfect visit?
     There are too many undereducated people in the world. It’s sad.
     The evening drags on, different customers file by, all having the same conversation as they pay for their provisions. Julie pages Doug about seven times to check prices for her, letting Ally in on the joke. Then, mercifully, break time arrives.
     Ally climbs the perforated metal stairs to the break room and finds her time card. She punches out and gets her dinner from the fridge. She sits down at the round table and pushes a newspaper aside to clear an eating space. She hates clutter. Her Jonas Brothers lunchbox contains a zip-lock baggie full of chicken nuggets, which she likes cold, a small bag of pretzels, and a banana. She opens the pretzels and begins munching. Her eyes glide over the OSHA posters that line the walls, the snack machine, the soda machine, and the refrigerator before coming to rest on the crumpled newspaper next to her. Crunching another pretzel, she pulls the paper over in front of her and flips over the front page. A smaller headline shouts: “$314 MIL — IS IT YOURS?” The story says the winning Megalo lottery ticket was purchased in Maryland just before Christmas, but no one has yet claimed the prize.
     Ally thinks of the envelope that fell out of her purse earlier. She walks to the coat rack to get it. Once she has the card in her hand, she sits back down at the table and flips the newspaper to the winning numbers. She opens her envelope, skims the Christmas card, takes a second to think aw, how nice, and then looks at the lottery ticket. She sets it down on top of the paper, right next to the winning numbers and begins comparing the digits.
     First number: 8.
     Ally’s first number: 8.
     Second number: 13.
     Ally’s second number: 13.
     Third number: 19.
     Ally’s third number: 19.
     The dry salty pretzels throw her into a coughing fit. She gets up to buy a cola from the soda machine, a bit giddy from reading the numbers, but trying not to get her hopes up. She pops the can, tips it to her lips, lets out a belch, and sits back down.
     Fourth number: 32.
     Ally’s fourth number: 32.
     Fifth number: 2.

     Ally’s fifth number: 2.
Ally giggles, positive that she is reading the numbers wrong. One more to go.
     Sixth number: 38.
     Ally’s sixth number: 38.
     She doesn’t believe it.
     One more—the super duper awesomely lucky mega power number: 23.
     Of course she read it all wrong—come on, she is retarded, for Christ’s sake.
     Only, she’s not wrong.
     She slumps over the table, working the pretzel sludge off the roof of her mouth with her thick tongue. Her head seems completely empty of thought. Did she really read those numbers? She looks again. No, she never wins anything. Impossible.
     I whisper to her to believe.
     And it hits her.
     Her scream echoes off the shining linoleum floor. She clutches her ticket and the crumpled page of the newspaper and jumps up and down. Spit and pretzel crumbs fly from her mouth as she stammers and grunts and hops. Julie arrives just in time to see Ally go down in a heap. She thinks Ally is having a seizure.
     “Oh, my God, Fred!” Fred is the manager, and Julie screams for him, alarming the other cashiers and customers within earshot. “Fred! Somebody quick, get Fred!” Julie rushes into the break room and turns Ally over. She isn’t unconscious.
     She’s laughing. And crying. Call it hysterical.
     “What, baby? What is it? Are you all right?” Julie cradles Ally’s head. Fred wheels into the room, pale and sweaty, eyes wide.
     “What? What is it? Oh, Ally.” Fred pokes his head out the door and shouts, “Someone please call 9-1-1.”
     All Ally can do is laugh and cry and stutter. “Look!” She says it over and over until Fred finally understands what she is saying. He takes the newspaper and the lottery ticket from Ally’s sweaty hands. He squints at the numbers and his face falls in complete disbelief. He shakes his head and reads them again. And again. And then he whoops and laughs. He gets down on the floor and hugs Ally and Julie. “She won! She won! Hot damn, she did it!”
     Doug and a couple of other cashiers filter into the room. Someone tells them what’s happening.
     Though no one can see, I’m jumping up and down. High fives all around!
     “That retard won the lottery?” Doug asks, looking like he just swallowed something particularly nasty.
     I resist the urge to smack that little douche bag. (Excuse my language; I’m excited!)
     Fred struggles to his feet and pulls out his cell phone. He dials Lois’s number and tells her to get to the store right away. After he hangs up, he realizes that Lois probably thinks something is wrong with Ally, there’s been some emergency. Ooops. He doesn’t call her back, though—he’s too excited. She’ll be there in a minute, anyway.
     The paramedics beat Lois by seven minutes. When they show up, Fred launches into hysterics. “I’m sorry, I called you guys before I realized why my employee was freaking out. She just won the lottery! I’m sorry, guys.” They are good-natured enough and take off without charging anyone a dime. They were just down the block getting a coffee from Starbucks, anyway.
     Lois is a complete wreck when she arrives. She looks quite green when she appears in the break room doorway. But, once she sees Ally sitting at the table with a broad smile on her face, she is visibly relieved. She walks over toward Ally. Fred throws his arm around her shoulders and tells her to have a seat, because she’ll need one.
     Lois sits next to Ally and Fred gives her the ticket and the paper.
     The paramedics should not have left.
     Lois faints and falls on the floor.
     Ally won three hundred and fourteen million dollars.
     Woo-hoo! Let’s get this party started!

**My thoughts**

The title of the book quickly caught my eye when I saw it on the list. I knew immediately that it would be about someone with disabilities. I have to admit that I am not sure how I feel about the title, as the term "short bus" has evolved into something more derogatory.

I was a bit unsure when I started reading the story. It is narrated by a guardian angel, of sorts, who keeps tabs on Ally. Because (s)he is involved with Ally, (s)he can also follow those who are directly connected to Ally. This gives you insight into the other characters, which helps the story to move along.

I didn't like a lot of the characters. They are all flawed in some way, thus making them quite human. They think and say things that are deplorable, but unfortunately that is how many people think and act. It's that REALness, though, that eventually helps you to come around to appreciating them, especially as they come to terms with some of their own issues.

I loved the way that Ally was portrayed, showing that just because someone has Down's, that doesn't mean that they are less than human, or mentally deficient, or lacking in emotions. She is a very real person with very real emotions, and a heart of gold. She also has a unique perspective on life.

I also appreciated how Ally's mom was portrayed with her hoarding issues. I think that society also has a serious misconception about this disorder, not realizing how the hoarder is actually struggling inside. 

And then there is the crazy world of wrestling. I am not a fan, but those men and women can also be a mess in their own right.

I think Shannon was brave in bringing all of these issues to light, and came up with a very creative way to make a few points. I can guarantee that you have never read a book like this, nor will you be likely to ever read such a story again. I am glad that I gave it a chance.

Buy links

Recent praise for Short Bus Hero:
“SHORT BUS HERO has it all: Down syndrome, hoarding, suicide attempts, heart attacks, betrayal, redemption, angels, winning lottery numbers, and big time professional wrestling. A dark, sweet, and poignant tale about what happens when you follow your dreams.” — S. G. Browne, author of BREATHERS, BIG EGOS, and FATED 
“If you were the big Lottery winner, what would you do first? Why, resurrect the career of your favorite professional wrestler, of course. Touching, violent, hilarious, tragic and surreal—Short Bus Hero is an inspiring and emotional story.” — Richard Thomas, author of STARING INTO THE ABYSS, co-editor of BURNT TONGUES 
"From a mind-bending cornucopia of eclectic ingredients-troubled lottery winners, pro wrestlers on the skids, and restless angels are just the tip of the iceberg-Shannon Giglio has expertly crafted one of the strangest, cleverest, and, yes, sweetest, tales I have ever read. This wonderful novel has it all: ingeniously imagined characters, rousing and poignant adventures, and, perhaps most importantly, the true heart of a champion. Anyone who enjoys great storytelling will love this book." -- Bill Breedlove, author of HOW TO DIE WELL

About the author:

Shannon Giglio, originally from Milwaukee, WI, graduated from Drexel University and Emerson College before going to work for Dick Clark, CBS, and Ridley Scott. She lives in Savannah, GA, with her husband, author Peter Giglio, and her two daughters. She is currently finishing her fourth and fifth novels.


Twitter: @ShannonGiglio

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Meet S.S. Dudley, author of 'Elf Hills'

Learn a little bit more about author S.S. Dudley. Follow the tour by clicking on the banner above to learn even more about him and his book Elf Hills. Be sure to enter the giveaway below!

What is your favorite quote and why?
I think that right now my favorite quote is Stephen King’s in his book On Writing: “you’d do well to remember that we are also talking about magic…” It captures the essence of what is so captivating, powerful, and important about writing for readers. In the book where he gives the quote he emphasizes how writing without a reader is nothing, you have to complete the circle for the magic to take place.
Have you ever had an imaginary friend?
You mean other than the ugly, hairy gnome sitting on my desk right now? He spits and yells sometimes, especially when I get distracted from writing. Nasty. But he can be encouraging too. Sometimes. Just don’t give him any beans to eat. Whoa.
Do you have any phobias?
Not that I know of. I trained as a biologist and spent a lot of times in the outdoors as a kid. Nothing really sways me. I don’t get much from adrenaline, so high-risk activities aren’t attractive at all.
Ever broken any bones?
Yep. My toe. Kicked the wall getting my kids ready for school one morning. Taught them some new vocabulary that day. It was great. Did I mention I like to run? Broken toe and running don’t go together. Sigh. That was a frustrating month. Other than that, only some sprained ankles. Pretty boring.
What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Chocolate. The darker the better. With dark chocolate chunks. Maybe some walnuts.

Elf Hills

by S.S. Dudley



Something strange, something magical, is going on in the dusty hills behind the small town of Villaloma. Yet each time Linda Peters puts on her running shoes and sets out to find the enchanted kingdom she imagines—full of dancing elves, unicorns, and more—something stops her. And with school starting soon, she only has a few more chances to really search the hills.

While Linda’s frustration and doubt grow, her cousin, Nugu, looks for answers in his books and wonders if maybe, just maybe, Linda’s stories are for real.

The day finally arrives when Linda can run far, the day she is sure she will find her magic city. But when she and Nugu feel their goal must lie just beyond the next hill, they only find more hill.

Is it all a figment of an over-active imagination; a wistful fantasy?

Or is there truly something magical in those hills that only the strong of heart—and leg—can discover?

Read an excerpt:
Excerpts from Elf Hills © 2014 by S. S. Dudley

From Chapter 4:

A rustle from a bush to the side of the trail attracted his attention. He watched, expecting a rabbit or ground squirrel to pop out and hoping for a snake or something he could actually catch. Distracted from his search, he quietly picked his way down from the rocks, watching the bush. It rustled again as his foot touched down.

A wave of apprehension washed over him. Something about the moment was familiar, as if he had been in this situation before. The images were vague, so he dismissed them. His imagination got away from him sometimes.

He tiptoed toward the bush, his eyes scanning and probing, looking for a sign of the critter hidden underneath.

He reached out to grab a branch and pull it back—again the images washed over him, memories… There! It was a… a raccoon? Big round eyes, a wide face with a black, furry mask, short stubby ears, and lots of fur. It was holding something shiny in its hands—paws? The creature quickly concealed what it held and growled, showing a mouthful of teeth.

"Augh!" Nugu fell back, scrambling like a crab.

A safe ten feet away, Nugu watched the bush. It rattled again. The raccoon—it could only be a raccoon, he thought—waddled out into the open. It was walking on two feet. Do raccoons walk on two feet? Nugu tried to remember all of the animal documentaries he had seen. Maybe? And do raccoons get so big? This guy looked like he could take on Jeremiah, Nugu's four-year-old (almost five) brother. It reminded Nugu of something else entirely, some creature from a book… or a movie.

Unconsciously, feeling more nervous, Nugu took a couple steps backward.

The big, standing raccoon looked at him, and threw its arms in the air. "BaaaagahLOO!" it grunted. Nugu jumped straight up, turned, and ran.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

S. S. Dudley grew up in Wyoming, USA, an avid reader and lover of the outdoors. He studied at the University of Wyoming and the University of Illinois. He started his first book (an epic fantasy hand-written in with a blue fountain pen…) when he was 13, but never finished it. At some point (as his mother recently reminded him), he decided that he needed to go do something (like get a job) for a while before he could, or should, write. He did, and spent time in Colombia, Panamá, Antarctica and the dark recesses of large science buildings on college campuses. That done, he now writes, lives and runs in Northern California with his wife and two children. He can be found at, and on twitter at @SS_dudley.

Prizes for the tour are as follows:
• One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card.
• One randomly chosen host will receive a $25 Amazon/ gift card.
Follow along for more chances to win!

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

'Child of Two: Journeys Begin' by Dustin H. Austin

Book blurb-

Tash is an Awkward eighteen year old boy who was born with an unusual birthmark. Over the course of one terrifying night, he gets to find out exactly what "Child of Two" means.

Tash and his best friend Ryder's lives get turned upside down. They spend the night fighting demons, the law, a secret society and a mad man. All Tash and Ryder have to help them in their conquest is a written letter from his mother, which instructs them to travel halfway across the country to find a man that Tash has never met.

Follow Tash and his fun-loving companion Ryder on their journey. Tash falls in love for the first time and discovers many new things about himself in this coming of age fantasy novel with paranormal romance story lines.

Tash and Ryder find out that many things in this world are not what they appear to be. They meet secret soldiers whose main purpose is to hunt down and fight demons. Can Tash and Ryder stay one step ahead of the demons? Can they find this mystery man before it's too late?)

Dustin H. Austin, a former police officer, is enjoying life with his retired K9 partner “Timmy.” His passion is helping animals and spending quality time with his Wife and their three children. Dustin and his family live in Texas.

Follow Dustin:

Amazon Author Page 

Twitter: @author_dustin 

Review of 'White NIght' by Kathi Haacke Morehead

white night tour banner

White Night BookCover croppedJoanna Anderson Campbell lived the perfect life ... loving daughter and sister, loyal friend, faithful wife, and devoted mother. She was happy and content. What more could she have asked for? Life could not have been better. At least ... that's what she believed. Until she died. Can death teach the most valuable lessons about life? Jo Campbell is about to find out.

**My thoughts**

I'll be honest. The first chapter devastated me and I had to put the book down for a day or two. It wasn't because it was bad. It was because it was so familiar and rang so true. This isn't a spoiler: Jo dies. The first chapter is about her final moments in the Hospice room, as she and her family say goodbye to each other. The descriptions of their interactions were just like those I had with my father when he was dying. Jo's descriptions of what she saw and how she felt were precisely the way I imagined my father felt in those final moments. I was a sobbing mess and did take a peek into Chapter 2. 

After a day or two, when I had time where I knew I could read completely in the privacy in my own home (as I also often read out in public), I tackled the book again. A full box of Kleenex wasn't as necessary, but my brain got a ton of exercise. Jo is now reflecting on her life, guided by her subconscious soul. As she undergoes this journey, she finds that she made some good decisions and some bad decisions. She misinterpreted many situations, yet was spot-on for others. Now, in the afterlife, hindsight and memories from a different point-of-view help her to finally sort through everything, realize what was important, and to find the value in her life.

It's a book that makes you think. I was reminded of Cognitive Behavior Therapy, where you take a situation and have to analyze it from different perspectives, to change and to challenge your immediate reactions and interpretations. It makes you take a look at your own life. How did you react in similar circumstances? Which of your memories of life are totally distorted? What was really important? What wasn't worth losing sleep over? You could be inspired to do a true inner search of your own soul. It takes a special book to connect with the reader in this way.

Autographed Copy:

Buy on Amazon (Paperback) | Kindle


About the author:
Kathi - White Night Author PicKathi Haacke Morehead makes her fiction debut with WHITE NIGHT. She is the author of HEART BLEED: Letting go and stanching the flow, and THE BEST FROM THE CHEAP SEATS. She has also written numerous articles for Mind Body Green, and Boomeon. She also blogs daily at A View From the Cheap Seats Today. Kathi lives in Brunswick with her husband Dave and their four finicky felines. Her motto is "love and laugh!"  


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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

'Whispers From the Dead (Serenity's Plain Secrets #2)' by Karen Ann Hopkins

Whispers From the Dead

Some Amish communities aren't so cozy.

Whispers From The Dead is the powerful and thrilling sequel to Lamb to the Slaughter, in the Amish mystery series, Serenity’s Plain Secrets.

Sheriff Serenity Adams and Daniel Bachman are once again partnered up in a criminal investigation, when they travel to a northern Amish settlement that has been riddled by arsons for the past two decades. Serenity quickly discovers that there is much more going on than just barns being set on fire in the touristy community, and that the new group of Amish has their own secrets to hide. She begins to unravel an extensive criminal underworld that threatens to destroy everything that the simple people of Poplar Springs hold dear and once again puts her own life in jeopardy.

And even though Serenity tries desperately to avoid it, things begin heating up between her and Daniel, making her wonder if true love and happiness are really within her grasp.

**My thoughts**

Karen Ann Hopkins has a knack for creating atypical worlds in Amish literature. While most of us who read Amish literature are used to the worlds created by the originals, such as Beverly Lewis, Beth Wiseman, etc., with more innocent romance and intrigue, Hopkins shows us another side to this quiet community. We already know that people are not perfect and that secrets can rule, especially in small towns. But murder and arson? This series takes it to a whole new level.

Serenity is a sharp detective, capable of putting together pieces that others have not yet found. She is still sorting out a lot in her personal life, figuring out her own beliefs and feelings, while also still healing from her past. She tends to be pretty good at not letting her past interfere in her investigative duties, though she is fully aware of its influence at all times. You can see some growth in her from the first book and can easily expect to see some more as this series progresses. 

Daniel is still beneficial to her investigations, thanks to his own past. He also packs some intense heat in his affections. While you still see glimpses of his past, sometimes it is hard to believe he grew up Plain.

I found this book to be quite the page-turner. The only thing preventing me from reading it all in one sitting was that work thing that tends to get in the way of my book time. It flowed well, chapters broken up in such a way that you immediately wanted to move on to the next one to find out what was going to happen next. 

A lot of the twists leading up to the solution do provide plenty of clues to help you quite possibly figure out whodunit ahead of time, if not at the same time as Serenity, et. al. It's the details of the final reveals that are not as easy to deduce ahead of time.

I do feel that this book could stand on its own, as there are plenty of references to the first book for clarification, but I would recommend reading Lamb, first. That way you truly understand from where Serenity is coming, and how she got to where she is today.

The only thing with this book that throws me off, as do all of Hopkins books, is that I don't get the same genuine Amish feel from those characters that I do in books by those aforementioned authors. Hopkins doesn't resort to using the authentic Pennsylvania Dutch verbiage, but I know she has done a lot of research into the communities she has created. This is not a bad thing. It's simply a different style of writing, but I point it out to those who are seeking those traditional Amish books. These simply are not those traditional ones. But, if you are also a big fan of mystery and suspense, give this series a shot. I truly love reading it and am now anxious for the third book to come out!

Whispers from the Dead links:

Lamb to the Slaughter (Book #1)

Lamb to the Slaughter is a story about the intertwining lives of three unlikely people in an Indiana Amish Community and the devastating results when a rebellious teenage girl is found shot to death in a corn field during the harvest.

Serenity Adams is the newly elected young sheriff in the country town of Blood Rock and besides dealing with the threatening behavior of her predecessor, she now has a dead Amish girl on her plate. At first glance, the case seems obvious. The poor girl was probably accidently shot during hunting season, but when the elders of the Amish community and even the girl’s parents react with uncaring subdued behavior, Serenity becomes suspicious. As she delves deeper into the secretive community that she grew up beside, she discovers a gruesome crime from the past that may very well be related to the Amish girl’s shooting.

Serenity enlists the help of the handsome bad-boy building contractor, Daniel Bachman, who left the Amish when he was nineteen and has his own dark reasons to help the spunky sheriff solve the crime that the family and friends who shunned him are trying desperately to cover up. Serenity’s persistence leads her to a stunning discovery that not only threatens to destroy her blossoming romance with Daniel, but may even take her life in the end.

Lamb to the Slaughter links:

Find Karen Ann Hopkins

A native of New York State, Karen Ann Hopkins now lives with her family on a farm in northern Kentucky, where her neighbors in all directions are members of a strict Amish community. Her unique perspective became the inspiration forthe story of star-crossed lovers Rose and Noah. When she’s not homeschooling her kids, giving riding lessons or tendingto a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats, she is dreaming up her next romantic novel.
We have a really exciting prize package for this tour, so make sure to follow along for more chances to win every day! What’s up for grabs:

• 5 e-copies of Lamb to the Slaughter, Book 1 of Serenity’s Plain Secrets
• 5 e-copies of Whispers from the Dead, Book 2 of Serenity’s Plain Secrets
• A traditional Amish style hand stitched wall hanging/lap quilt

Please enter via the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.

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Tour Schedule

Monday, Januray 19th - Her Book Thoughts
Tuesday, Janaury 20th - Curling Up With A Good Book
Wedneday, January 21st - So Bookalicious
Thursday, Janaury 22nd - Bewitched Bookworms
Friday, Janaury 23rd - Lose Time Reading & Books i View


Monday, Januray 26th - Unabridged Bookshelf
Tuesday, Janaury 27h - Andi's Book Reviews
Wedneday, January 28th - Little Miss Drama Queen
Thursday, Janaury 29th - Tien's Blurb
Friday, Janaury 30th Christy Howell Books


Monday, February 2nd - Actin' Up with Books & Page Turners Blog
Tuesday, February 3rd - Once Upon A Twilight
Wednesday, Feburary 4th - JeanzBookReadNReview
Thursday, February 5th Bittersweet Enchantment
Friday, February 6th Books i View

'Silk (The Bloodstone Series)' by Chris Karlsen

by Chris Karlsen



What would you do to stay young: Lie, Manipulate..kill?

London-Fall, 1888

The city is in a panic as Jack the Ripper continues his murderous spree. While the Whitechapel police struggle to find him, Detective Inspector Rudyard Bloodstone and his partner are working feverishly to find their own serial killer. The British Museum's beautiful gardens have become a killing ground for young women strangled as they stroll through.

Their investigation has them brushing up against Viscount Everhard, a powerful member of the House of Lords, and a friend to Queen Victoria. When the circumstantial evidence points to him as a suspect, Rudyard must deal with the political blowback, and knows if they are going to go after the viscount, they'd better be right and have proof.

As the body count grows and the public clamor for the detectives to do more, inter-department rivalries complicate the already difficult case.

Silk on the skin—luxurious, luscious..lethal.

Read an excerpt:
Events of the day and the potential satisfaction of giving Napier a bloody nose dwindled. Questions about the murder crept back into Ruddy's thoughts. Morris joined him at his table in the rear of the pub with a Guinness, the popular beer of choice in hand. “You’ve got the look of a man whose thoughts are a long distance from London.”

“No, sadly my thoughts are fixed here in the city. I’m trying to figure out a clue. Ellis’s roommate said she’d sometimes meet with a well-dressed man, a man of means the victim indicated. They’d meet up at the fountain by the British Museum.”

“Don’t know the spot but then the museum isn’t my cup of tea.”

“Not the point. I’m saying it’s odd. What member of the upper class chooses to stroll through a public garden other than Hyde or Regents, where they can see and be seen by one of their own?”

“I agree the wealthy prefer the parks filled with others of their kind but it doesn’t mean a man can’t enjoy someplace different.”

“We interviewed the guard again. The one that discovered the body walks that half of the building. He told us the majority of their male patrons are natty dressers, but he never saw a man like that loitering by the fountain.”

“My guess is: the man is married and can’t afford to run the risk of being seen by a friend of his wife’s. Or, he might live or work in the area and the spot is convenient.”

“Or, he’s a murderer who’s noticed the victim walking through the park on a regular basis, saw it as an opportunity and cozied up to her.”

Ruddy took another swallow of his ale, mentally debating the merit of each theory. “I don’t think he lives in the area. If so, he’d have cut through the park more and been seen by the guards. Not sure about the married man having a tryst idea."

To Ruddy's way of thinking, if the man was married and looking for a tumble, he’d have met her someplace other than the gardens and at a better hour.

Instinct drew him back to his original sense of the culprit and crime. “I feel like this was a crime of opportunity. I’ve thought it all along and can’t shake the sense.”

“If he was just seeking a victim, then why haven’t you had more murders like this?” Morris asked.

Ruddy downed the rest of his beer and put his tankard on the edge of the table where June would refill it. “Everyone has to start somewhere. She might be number one.”

 Buy links

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

I was born and raised in Chicago. My father was a history professor and my mother was, and is, a voracious reader. I grew up with a love of history and books.

My parents also love traveling, a passion they passed onto me. I wanted to see the places I read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated me. I’ve had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa.

I am a retired police detective. I spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. My desire to write came in my early teens. After I retired, I decided to pursue that dream. I write two different series. My paranormal romance series is called, Knights in Time. My romantic thriller series is, Dangerous Waters.

I currently live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, four rescue dogs and a rescue horse.


Chris will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host. Follow along for more chances to win!

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

'Your Leadership Edge: Mastering Management Skills for Today's Workforce' by Ravinder Tulsiani


Not everyone is born a great leader, but anyone can foster core leadership competencies for themselves and become actionable, effective leaders. If you're ready to take the next step in your career and learn the secrets to effectively motivating and developing your team, Your Leadership Edge is the program to take you there.

Your Leadership Edge is not just another leadership development self-help book; it is a complete management training program. The leadership training guide is geared toward managers, supervisors and executives of all backgrounds and experience levels and provides concrete steps that you can take to become a better leader right away.

As you work through the management training guide, Your Leadership Edge will help you assess your own leadership competencies and allow you to identify your strengths and weaknesses. From there, the leadership development program helps you find ways to overcome the obstacles that stand in your way of being the type of effective leader that motivates, inspires and retains employees.

In the pages of Your Leadership Edge, you won't find broad discussions of leadership development that are difficult to relate to or use to affect change in your own leadership style. Instead, you'll engage in a series of exercises and activities that make the concepts discussed relevant to your own position. It's this difference that makes this leadership training program so powerful. By the end, you will have a deeper appreciation of your own level of leadership skills and be poised to lead those who report to you in a way that maximizes their job satisfaction and improves their overall performance.

Discover the leadership skills that transform subordinates into productive, positive and driven teams that are poised to accomplish their goals. Become the type of leader that you have always wanted to be. Order the paperback version of Your Leadership Edge or download this life-changing leadership training program for your Kindle today.
Sale-priced for a limited time!

About the Author

Ravinder Tulsiani, is a renowned Leadership Expert, Author and Speaker. He has appeared in several major media outlets including Bloomberg, CNN and Wall Street Journal and is the author of numerous quality, business and self-help resources.

With over 13 years of industry experience, Ravinder's reputation for excellence reflects his expertise as a strategic planner, who creates cultural transformation in business, focusing on educating and motivating the workforce to achieve core business objectives.

Ravinder is not only a Certified Training & Development Professional (CTDP) with a Masters Certificate in Adult Training & Development and Human Resources Management Diploma, but has a Canadian Investment Manager (CIM) accreditation and is a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute (FCSI).

Ravinder has compiled his wealth of industry experience and his business acumen to comprise Your Leadership Edge – Mastering Management Skills For Today's Workforce so that industry professionals can unlock their leadership potential using his proven step-by-step program.

'2014 Christmas Collection' by Stephanie Burkhart & More!

Christmas Collection
by Stephanie Burkhart



Seven complete sweet to sensual romances from seven multi-talented authors in settings that are sure to be magical this holiday season. There's a story for everyone.


Caroline Ross, a Confederate widow, desperately seeks medical help for her little son in the Union Army camp.

John Oldham, a soldier disowned by his family for choosing the wrong side, comes to her aid. As they keep a vigil for days at Danny's bedside, a close relationship develops between them. John longs for a family and wants to make Caroline and Danny his own.

Will his wish come true in this season of miracles?

AT FIRST SNOWFALL by Cecilia Corona

May all your dreams come true, takes on a whole new meaning when Xiomara finds out she's an Oracle with Fae witch powers, and her boyfriend is a werewolf from another realm.

When her half- brother shows up on her doorstep with his prophecy, the true nightmare begins. She must stand beside him in the battle of Galant or the evil Queen will destroy the kingdom.

Some faerytales are all too real, but if she can unleash her powers and learn to control them before the first snowfall, she just might find her happily ever after.

MR. CHRISTMAS ELF by Stephanie Burkhart

Jules' Christmas list is looking pretty pathetic. She needs a new muffler for her car and a hundred dollars to pay off her root canal. Her niece is asking for an iPad, but all Jules can afford is a Barbie doll. The peppermint on the top? Her boyfriend dumps her in a text message.

Jules could use a little Christmas magic, so when Elvis pops up claiming that he was sent by Santa to fill her Christmas list, all she has to do is believe – in the magic the season has to offer.


The wait is finally over. Today is Theodore Lewis' 18th birthday and his essence has switched places with his soulmate for the day. His people have practiced this tradition for centuries. They are granted the chance to see the world through each other's eyes before actually meeting.

Only the Fates may have missed their mark. Theo's life is in 1940 and his soulmate is in 2014. This couldn't be happening. Is he doomed to never be with his soulmate, or will the Fates find a way to make this right?

CHRISTMAS TEARS by Rebecca J. Vickery

What's a widowed mother to do with two children to provide for and Christmas coming soon? Noelle Welborn is in dire straits when she loses her job, is cheated out of her pay, and has no relatives to which she can turn. Then they lose the roof over their heads. Sleeping in the car seems the only option left.

Officer Nick Stewart stops when he spies a familiar looking car parked in a church parking lot late one night. Sure enough, she's the same pixie-faced woman he warned before. When he discovers she has kids asleep in the car, he insists she park in his yard or go to the police station with him.

But what about the next night, and the next?

ROOM AT THE INN by Nan O'Berry

Welcome to Magic Hallow, Pennsylvania. On the day before Christmas Eve, Helena McCray finds herself driving from New York to Washington, D.C. with a car load of Felicity Adams designs. She wasn't expecting the storm of the century to send her car careening off the road. Rescued by James Buchannan, she is taken to a grand old Victorian he has been fixing up as a bed and breakfast.

Gift of the Magi has been handed down in James Buchannan's family since his great, great, grandfather brought his Russian bride home from Europe. But the Magi is a secret place where James can hide from the world. Helena McCray slowly melts his heart and together they find out the magic of the inn could be in opening their hearts to a new beginning.

BLAME THE MISTLETOE by Markee Anderson

Do you believe in love at first sight? Or love after a kiss under the mistletoe? Neither did Tasha or Cal...

Tasha Adams owns a bakery and catering shop after losing her nursing career. Lack of confidence and low self-esteem make her an almost hermit, especially during the holidays.

Calvin Miller, busy doctor and bachelor, receives a sudden and unexpected visit from his young niece and nephew for the holidays. There go his work plans.

Then a fateful collision on a staircase changes all their lives.

Read an excerpt from MR. CHRISTMAS ELF: 
The bus slid up to the stop near the coffee shop. I hustled out the door and rushed toward the store, noticing a guy reading the letters to Santa in the window. There were five minutes 'til opening. I didn't want to disappoint Joe again by being late, so I broke into a trot – and slipped on a hunk of ice. The sidewalk was coming up fast, but I fell into the arms of the letter reader.

He smiled one of the most adorable smiles I've ever seen and a cute little dimple popped out in his cheek. "You smell like peppermint," he said.

I opened my mouth, stammered like an idiot, and shut up. Mr. Dimple held me close. I didn't want to move. He owned a very solid body, with unkempt, curly, sandy blond hair that covered his ears and ice blue eyes that pierced my soul. I melted like a snowman in June.

"I'm Elvis."

"Hi, Elvis." I managed to squeak.

He chuckled and helped me to firm footing on the ground. "And you are?"

"Julie Erwin, but everyone calls me Jules."

"So, you're the one with the depressing Christmas list."

Buy links

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Linda Swift divides her time between her native state of Kentucky and Florida. She is an award-winning author of published poetry, articles, short stories, and a TV play. Linda holds an Education Specialist Degree from Murray State University with post-graduate work from U. of Alabama and was a teacher, counselor, and psychometrist in the public schools in three states.

Linda's first two books were published by Kensington. She currently has twelve E-books (also in print) and seven short stories available at Amazon and other distributors. Her Civil War novel, This Time Forever, has been adapted for a short film titled Clarissa's War which will soon be available through Vimeo.

Visit her website at


Cecilia Corona is a massage therapist by day and enjoys the adventures of writing by night. When she's not sitting at her computer plotting her next tale, she's enjoying the Southern California weather. She loves movies, animals of all kinds, especially her three dogs, and she's a big fan of mermaids. When she was young and saw the movie Splash for the first time, she believed sprinkling salt in the bathtub would magically allow her to grow a tail. She was sadly disappointed when the experiment didn't work. If she can't be a mermaid, then maybe she'll just have to write about them.

You can visit Cecilia at:


Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for the Los Angeles Police Department. She served in the U.S. Army between 1986-1997 in the Military Police Corps. Raised in New Hampshire, she now makes her home in Castaic, CA. Stephanie adores chocolate, enjoys coffee and participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer's held in Santa Clarita, CA on 20 Sep 2014. She writes romance and children's stories. Stephanie is published with Victory Tales Press, Desert Breeze Publishing, and 4RV Publishing.

Visit Stephanie's website at:


Katrina Gillian is a big fan of Marvel comic books and superheroes. Only a real man would dare to wear tights when facing down the bad guy. Gotta love that!

When she isn't thinking of ways to take down Hydra, she creates pre-made book covers at: Gillian's Book Covers, "Judge Your Book By Its Cover". You can also check out her published cover art designs at Western Trail Blazer and Rebecca J. Vickery Publishing. All That You Have is Your Soul is her debut story with Victory Tales Press.

Visit the author at: \


Rebecca J. Vickery has been married to the same very patient man for quite a while now. She has one son, a special daughter-in-law, and three wonderful grandchildren.

She lives in South Carolina, USA, and slips away to go camping at Myrtle Beach whenever possible. Long walks on the beach help her to unwind and often ignite her imagination with new stories.

She enjoys the challenge of adding a special twist to her stories of romance. Usually they involve the paranormal, mystery, adventure, suspense, or a bit of fantasy along the way to a happy ever after ending.

Recently Mrs. Vickery has branched out into speculative fiction and has several short stories published in that genre. She owns Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery, a small independent company, and also Victory Tales Press, where invited authors share their stories in various anthologies.

You may visit Rebecca at these sites online: \ \

She loves to hear from readers and fellow authors.


Nan O'Berry lives on a small farm in Western Tidewater with her family and pets including a Black Angus cow named Esmeralda. A graduate of Old Dominion University with a degree in education, she taught elementary school for several years before turning her attention to writing romance. She loves hearing from readers.

Please feel free to contact her on Facebook at or at her website:


Markee Anderson resides with her husband, three older children, and various pets in Wisconsin.

See more information at and more information about her other pen names at

Stephanie will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Follow along for more chances to win!

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