Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Mistletoe, Mobsters, & Mozzarella by Peggy Jaeger


Peggy Jaeger's books are always fun, and now she has a new holiday rom-com to share! Enjoy excerpt from Mistletoe, Mobsters, & Mozzarella! And then be sure to follow the tour for more, letting her know your thoughts along the way. Best of luck entering the giveaway!

Finding a body in the freezer of the family deli isn’t the way Madonna San Valentino planned to start her day.

Adding insult to injury, the investigating detective is the one guy she’s never been able to forget. After seven minutes of heaven in the back seat of his car when they were teenagers, Tony Roma skipped town without so much as a thanks for the memory.

Just when Madonna thinks the present situation can’t get any worse, Tony is ordered to go undercover at the deli to ferret out a killer. Forced to work together, she vows to keep their relationship cool and professional. But with the sexy, longing looks he tosses her at every turn, Madonna’s resolve is weakening.

With Christmas drawing closer and Tony’s investigation taking an unexpected turn, Madonna is at her wit’s end. Can she really be falling for him again? And will he wind up leaving her broken hearted and alone like the last time?

Read an excerpt:
Being the oldest of six kids and the only girl in the mix, it takes a lot to scare me.

My brothers are, each and every one of them, a pain in the ass to their cores and I’d grown up the victim of their arguably stupid shenanigans too many times to count. Cooked linguini placed in my bed to look like worms; a farting cushion placed on my chair at the dinner table; toothpaste spread on my school lunch sandwich instead of peanut butter. More times than I could remember one of them would hide in my closet then jump out at me when I least expected it. Anything and everything dumb and dumber they could think up to annoy me, they’d done. And still did to this day if they thought they could get away with it. Chronological maturity hadn’t made its way to their brains yet and they all still acted liked little boys when it came to infuriating me.

This spine tingling sense of unease rippling through me didn’t feel like one of their usual pranks.

But with my brothers, you never know.

“I swear on all that’s holy, Giacomo,” I called out, naming the brother voted most likely to do something moronic, “if this is some dumbass attempt to scare me, I’m gonna make you suffer.”

Available on Amazon
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Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes Romantic Comedies about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. If she can make you cry on one page and bring you out of tears rolling with laughter the next, she’s done her job as a writer!

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, she brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she’s created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

When she’s not writing Peggy is usually painting, crafting, scrapbooking or decoupaging old steamer trunks she finds at rummage stores and garage sales.

A lifelong and avid romance reader and writer, Peggy is a member of RWA and her local New Hampshire RWA Chapter.

As a lifelong diarist, she caught the blogging bug early on, and you can visit her at where she blogs daily about life, writing, and stuff that makes her go "What??!"

Social Media links:











Amazon Author Page:

Authors database:


Peggy Jaeger will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour

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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Review of A Ranger for the Twins by Tanya Agler #RFTPrism

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Welcome to the book tour for A Ranger for the Twins by Tanya Agler, part of the Harlequin Heartwarming series. I had the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book and am sharing my thoughts with you today. Please enjoy and share your thoughts in the comments. Also be sure to check out the rest of the tour for even more. And best of luck in the giveaway!

A Ranger for the Twins
By Tanya Agler
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages
October 6, 2020 by Harlequin Heartwarming

She fell from grace…

Before falling for him

When her husband defrauded the town of Hollydale, now-divorced mom Lucie Decker went from being the town darling to total pariah. Now she’s launching a new business and needs ranger Caleb Spindler’s help. And her twins adore Caleb. After all, he’s a genuine hero—even if he is hiding a secret. But while Lucie’s heart has forgotten how to trust, it still remembers how to fall in love…

(Affiliate links included.)

**My thoughts**
This story is a standalone in the series. And I didn't feel like I needed to read the first book in the series to understand this one. At the same time, there is a huge amount of backstory between Caleb and Lucie. A lot of it is discussed in this book, but I almost feel like we needed a prequel to really get a feel for their close friendship in high school! 

The two of them are essentially starting over in town again. Lucie is trying to start her life over independent of her ex-husband, who had scammed a lot of money out of a lot of people. She could have run away to avoid the anger of the townspeople who were affected, but instead chose to take the high road and separate herself by creating a new identity via revising the wedding destination her parents had owned into a place for inner reflection and growth. She's determined to show her independence and make it on her own. It's not going to be easy, though, because a lot of people still hold a grudge against her and cannot believe that she knew nothing of what her ex was doing. Other people, though, are behind her 100%. She was the goody-two-shoes debutante in high school and now is at the other end of the spectrum.

Caleb is coming back a hero, after saving the lives of some young boys at his previous job as a ranger in Yellowstone. He had his issues when he was a kid, but now is also at the opposite end of the spectrum. Basically, if you put the two of them together back then, or even now, you have a good yin and yang for balance.

Caleb's affections for Lucie run deep and seem to have been there for a long time. Lucie is understandably hesitant to get started again in a new relationship. She has her new business to launch, her twins to care for, and her reputation to fix. Her affection for Caleb is for her old friend, with twinges of something more creeping up on her here and there. You know that the strong foundation they had as kids can lead to a strong relationship, if they give it a chance. Plus he gets along well with the twins, which is a bonus.

But there are secrets to be had and shared and timing isn't always the greatest. And they both have a lot to overcome, including Caleb's new injury.

I appreciated their friendship and Caleb's determination to help Lucie to be a success. I admired Lucie's determination to reestablish herself in town as an independent woman who was free of her ex-husbands misdeeds. I wanted the two of them to figure it out, because they are good for each other. I just didn't quite feel the chemistry that I am used to feeling in a lot of these second-chance, friends-to-lovers books. There is definitely some there, but not as strong of a zing as I was expecting. At the same time, that almost gave the story more of a real feeling than a lot of those love-at-first-sight ones that make you swoon but don't happen as frequently in real life. I was still glued to my Kindle, interested to see what was going to happen between these two and how they were going to make it all work out. It's a fun ride to read. I may have to go back and read the first one (because I did enjoy those supporting characters!) and will keep an eye out for future installments.

Other Books in the Series

The Sheriff's Second Chance
By Tanya Agler
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 368 Pages
January 1, 2020 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Broken things can’t be fixed…

Or can they?

Officer and single dad Mike Harrison doesn’t believe in second chances. Ever. That is, until he learns that his former best friend—gorgeous green-eyed car mechanic Georgie Bennett—is back in town. Unfortunately, she’s also a suspect in a recent break-in! But it’ll take an old classic car to show Mike and Georgie that almost anything can be restored with a little patience…and a whole lot of love.

(Affiliate links included.)

About the Author

An award-winning author, Tanya Agler moved often during her childhood and settled in Georgia where she writes sweet contemporary romance novels, which feature small towns, family and pets, and themes of second chances and hope. Her debut, The Sheriff’s Second Chance, is a January of 2020 Harlequin Heartwarming release. The sequel, A Ranger for the Twins, will be released in Oct. 2020. A graduate of the University of Georgia with degrees in journalism and law, she lives with her wonderful husband, their four children, and a lovable Basset, who really rules the roost. Represented by Dawn Dowdle and the Blue Ridge Literary Agency, she’s currently at work on the sequels to her debut. When she’s not writing, Tanya loves classic movies, walking, and a good cup of tea.

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive a tote bag, $10 Amazon gift card, signed print copy of The Sheriff's Second Chance and a pen (US only)
Ends October 7, 2020

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Monday, September 28, 2020

Mail Order Isabella (Widows, Brides, and Secret Babies Book 29) by Jo Grafford


A deathbed promise, an accidental family, and a mail-order marriage…

Isabella Hill signs a mail-order bride contract only hours before promising to raise a dying friend’s babe as her own. With her wedding date looming, there’s no time to contact her would-be groom by letter, so she decides to deliver the news of her change in circumstances in person — praying he won’t object to the idea of a ready-made family. Otherwise, she and her precious bundle might soon find themselves living in the streets.

Tex Sullivan’s rebel younger brother forges Tex’s name on a mail-order bride contract, only days before Tex is supposed to marry the catch of the season. While he scrambles to set the scandal straight, he finds himself face-to-face with a lovely, impoverished debutante from Atlanta — with an infant in her arms, no less! Tex never asked for a woman like Isabella to come into his life, but is it possible she’s exactly the kind of wife he needs?

Read an excerpt:
“If you slip away, no one will notice,” the woman in front of her hissed. 
Isabella frowned. “You think I should give up and go home?” She bit her lower lip, realizing she wasn’t in her Sunday best like the other women. 
“Well, it’s not as if you stand a chance against the rest of us,” the woman noted with a sideways glance at her wrinkled skirts. 
“Says who?” Isabella’s ire rose. “For all we know, the interviewer is specifically looking for a wrinkled, windblown lass.” She lifted her chin. “In which case, the rest of you ladies will be sorely out of luck.” 
To her surprise, there was no reply. The entire line of women had grown as silent as death.
“You,” a man said in a laughing voice. “You’re next.” 
Isabella slowly raised her head to meet the gaze of the man conducting the interviews.

 Available on Amazon

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Jo is an Amazon bestselling author of sweet and inspirational romance stories with humor, heart, and happily-ever-afters.

Readers can connect with her in Cuppa Jo Readers on Facebook at and Bookbub at To join her New Release Email List, visit

Moon in Bastet by E.S. Danon


Welcome to the book blast tour for Moon in Bastet, a magical realism, Jewish fiction book by E.S. Danon. I have an excerpt for you to enjoy today. Then if you follow the tour, you'll find even more. Be sure to let the author know what you think along the way. Best of luck entering the great giveaway!

A memoir turned into thrilling fiction; Moon in Bastet is based on the life of author E. S. Danon. The story follows a fourteen-year-old girl named Eva, an orphan living in the Negev desert of Israel who is working as a custodian of Cirque Du Christianisme. Her life is controlled by a volatile drunk named Bella who favors a group of equally volatile teenage bullies over her and her own safety or sanity.

Bullied, neglected, and alone – Eva’s only friends are an odd, thirteen–year–old Sephardic boy named Jack and a small cohort of Bedouin sister-wives. On the brink of giving up on life, Eva stumbles upon a mysterious cat in the middle of the desert. Or really, did the cat stumble upon her?

Together they must fight to stay alive, win the battles thrown at them, and Eva must learn to not only lean on others but to trust in herself.

Filled with mystery, magic, and symbolism – Moon in Bastet is a story of resilience, survivorship, forgiveness, and women empowerment. This is a work filled with Jewish mysticism that can be enjoyed by people of all races, ages, and religions everywhere.

Read an excerpt:
Mist twinkles atop the desert sand as a cohort of camels take their morning promenade. A girl runs past them, chasing the rising globe of fire.

Her breath labors as she slips on a rock.


A perfect little scrape forms on her knee, but she continues onward and unfazed.

Her skin is olive tinted; her head covered by a canopy of endless brown, curly hair. On her face sit two prominent beauty marks, on either side of her mouth. She is slender and not yet fully grown, but by no means does she have a frail frame. She wears a beige, spaghetti strapped dress that is knee length and complete with a secret pocket - all of which is covered in dirt. A headband woven from plants and flowers sits around the girl’s head.

This girl is named Eva.

She sprints up another dune’s side, her dress ballooning around her as she sits suddenly with crossed legs. The mirage of the sun’s gaseous performance begins to play on the horizon; another Israeli sun rise in the Negev. Like toy soldiers, the sun’s rays advance in a medley of oranges and yellows. Pink is usually reserved for sunrises - however on this day, a rosy aura is cast around the girl as she grabs a rock and casts it towards the sun: This is how a desert girl skips rocks. Next, she takes aim at the arse of the nearest camel.

The rock misses by centimeters, causing a fuss amongst the cohort, but Eva’s almond shaped, brown eyes glisten.

“G-d! Adonai! Where are you? I see you in the colors of the sky!” Her voice echoes as her eyes drift upon the sunrise. “Why are you ignoring me like everyone else does? I feel you in the warmth of light but where are you? Why haven’t you rescued me yet?” She shivers and brings her bare feet in closer to herself. “Can you at least give me a jacket? You’re not very gentleman-like, you know… it’s really chilly this morning.”

Eva puckers her lips in defeat, and then meditates in the following silence, focusing on the warmth ricocheting from the sand and onto her goosebumps.

“Well at least my cramps are gone,” she says once her anxiety diminishes – massaging her lower stomach, happy that her most recent predicament has gone away. “But yet I still must deal with the cramp of life: being unheard and misunderstood.”

Reminded of the reason why she came to pray in the first place, Eva turns to the sky and gives a cloud a dirty look. “G-d, you have approximately twenty-four hours or I will throw rocks at every camel that I see! I can’t survive in that stupid Circus another day.” She throws a finger towards the unsuspecting cloud in the sky and pauses, thinking of a way to coax G-d into saving her.

“You know what - if you like your camels so much, then you better get me out of this place!” Shaking her head, she mumbles, “I’ll just throw rocks at each of their heads. Not like they would care. They’re already dumb… dumb camels.” She looks at a moon shaped scar on the top of her hand, given to her by one of the water-hoarding creatures several years ago.

“Dumb camels,” she repeats.

Silence again is all that responds to Eva once she finishes speaking to herself. She slumps over, shrugs, and decides to head back to her home that sits half-a-mile away from the dunes.

Her feet slip on the sand, causing her to lift her left hand to her face. She huffs as she thinks of her favorite book; reading it gives her solace in her own solitude. Eva sighs, feeling stuck in an ocean made of sand and trapped with her own imaginary desert marlin. She’s already picked out several camels to act as the sharks.

Ironically, one of the camels spits at her as she passes – as if asking, “Where’s your rock – dumb human?”

“Rude,” she mutters in response.

Eva finds her way to a camp studded with only several architectural structures that is surrounded by seven-foot-high wall made of sand. There is only one exit and one entrance, a sky-high rectangular structure made of wood that suffices as a gate. As she skips under it, a sign that reads Cirque du Christianism sways after her.

Officially home, she is welcomed by an array of Circus tents.

Her lazy footsteps saunter past the main tent to her right, soon halting as she approaches a much smaller blue tent. Looking back towards a white tipi, she can feel her body tensing as she holds her breath before leaping forward in front of the blue tent.

I hope he doesn’t attract attention to me.

Buy Links

Elizabeth Danon received her B.S. in Marine Science from Stony Brook University before working as a Marine Biologist for the National Marine Fisheries Service. She traveled the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and Gulf of Mexico: collecting data aboard commercial fishing vessels and dredges.

When that didn’t pan out to be the glorified job that she expected, finding herself covered in shark snot and fish scales daily, Elizabeth became a technical writer. In her spare time, she began doing standup comedy after taking comedy bootcamp with the Armed Services Arts Partnership. At this time, she married the most wonderful man who also provides most of her joke writing material. Unfortunately, because he’s Indian he has also enabled her Maggi addiction… Like she needed that on top of her already long-standing iced coffee issues.

Her favorite show is Schitt’s Creek, as she feels a special bond to her fellow comedians - and Sephardic brethren. Growing up half-Jewish herself, Elizabeth eventually converted to being full-Jewish with Temple Israel as a student of Rabbi Panitz.

Her enriched, but complicated, heritage has been an inspiration for most of her creative writing. Being an Aries, she has always felt like a leader and has therefore integrated her feminist beliefs into her work, albeit dropping every women’s studies course that she ever elected in college.

Additionally, her writing has an unmistakable international presence. Elizabeth wanted to discover as much as she could about her Sephardic Heritage and went on Birthright, followed by her independent travels to over ten other countries… carrying nothing but a red bookbag.





E.S. Danon is giving away a $10 Amazon GC via Rafflecopter during the tour

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Get a free copy of Conflicted Affection by Denean Dawson


In this journey, Caroline the nanny, together with Jack, the playboy extraordinaire younger Jamyson brother, and Jake, must navigate the increasingly complex world that is the Jamyson family. Will Caroline finally be able to heal old wounds, or will her emotions lead her to the same fate suffered by her parents years earlier? Will Jake, recovering from the infidelity that led to his divorce, overcome his pride, or will his stubbornness drive her into the arms of his charming brother?

Fun. Sexy. Happy.

If you like fun, sexy stories with a happily ever after, you've come to the right place.

Denean loves to explore sexy situations with a wide variety of characters as a means of escape from life, kids, work or whatever is getting in the way today.

So come escape with her!

You can learn more about Denean and her books at


I was compensated via Fiverr for sharing this post. I only share those books that I feel will be of interest to my readers.

Redemption: Episode One: Messenger of God: Iran Attacks by Ed Benjamin


An orphaned teenager becomes an Air Force TOP GUN and meets seven Iranian fighters in a sneak attack on American planes. After experiencing a near death experience during the battle, the Air Force grounds him from flying and he faces a fate to him worse than death - being medically retired from the air Force and unable to fly.

Buy Links

Ed Benjamin retired from the United States Air Force in 1990 where he served as an aircraft maintenance supervisor.

He currently works part-time as a proposal writer helping companies obtain business with federal, state and local governments.

He also writes short stories; some of which he offers for sale via digital download. He is currently working on a full length novel featuring Harry Miles.

For more information, visit Ed's website at

Ed Benjamin social media links =
Author website – Ed Benjamin Books and Stories -

Twitter = @Col Benjamin =

Ed Benjamin = main account =

EdBenjamin.Author = Facebook subaccount =

LinkedIn =

I was compensated via Fiverr for sharing this post. I only share those books that I feel will be of interest to my readers.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Interview with Ellen W. Martin, author of the Sons of Cuba series


Welcome to the book tour for the Sons of Cuba series by Ellen W. Martin! Today you're going to get a peek into her books and then get to know her a little bit better. Follow the tour for even more! And best of luck entering that giveaway.

Relentless political turmoil streams through the veins of Cuba like lava coursing down the side of a volcano holding the Cuban people hostage to tyranny since Christopher Columbus discovered the Caribbean Island. One wonders if the country’s destiny can ever change.

In BOOK I – SONS OF CUBA – PRELUDE TO REVOLUTION Felipe Cardena, the rebel, endures lost love, the exhilaration of victory, demoralizing disappoints, imprisonment, exile, and an assassination attempt. Nothing will stop Felipe Cardena until he achieves his ultimate goal — free Cuba from tyranny.

In BOOK II – SONS OF CUBA – HOMECOMING after victory is declared by the Cuban rebels, the plot shifts away from the revolution and centers on Tangi Montolio, a fiery redheaded activist who once was one of the rebel leader’s most passionate supporters. Tangi and her family become a victim and suffers under the hands of Felipe Cardena’s new leadership. The rebel now turned dictator will discover that his brief interaction with Tangi will lead to the destruction of his legacy.

Read an excerpt:

TANGI rushed over and picked up the now hysterical Andrés. Her eyes widened. Standing at the front door was that same disgusting soldier that had harassed her at the plaza; three others were behind him, rifles in hand. Once again, he leered at her. She looked down; her blouse was still open. She buttoned the top button and held Andrés close.

Ramon Miguel stepped between Tangi, Fernando, and the soldier. “What can we do for you?” He asked.

“I told you, I’m looking for Fernando Reyes. Are you he?”

Ramon stared at the soldier; his eyes narrowed. “Maybe, but tell me first why you’re here.”

The soldier waved a piece of paper in front of Ramon’s face. “This is about you turning your farm over to the government.”

Fernando pushed Ramon aside and snapped, “I’ll do no such thing. That land has been in my family for generations. Besides, what would the government want with a few meager acres?”

The soldier looked first at Ramon, and then at Fernando. “Okay, which one of you is Reyes?

Fernando yanked the papers from the soldier’s hands. “I told you I am. What is this?” He asked, shaking the papers in the soldier’s face.

“It’s the deed to your land. Sign it; sign it now without argument. If you don’t, we have a prison cell waiting for you.”

Ramon Miguel took the papers from Fernando’s trembling hands, and glanced over the legal document. He turned his back on the soldiers and pulled the old man aside. “I’m afraid you have no choice,” he whispered. “You wouldn’t survive a week in jail, and I can’t go to prison for you. Who’d take care of Tangi and the baby?”

Amazon buy links:

What was the inspiration behind this book?

A five-year old Cuban boy by the name of Elian Gonzalez was the inspiration for writing my SONS OF CUBA two-book series. In November 1999 this young child climbed into a seventeen foot boat with his mother and fourteen other Cubans all seeking asylum and freedom from tyranny. Before reaching shore his mother drowned and the boy was found floating on a tube off the Florida coast.

So what you might ask? Since 1959 many Cubans have risked the treacherous ninety-mile crossing in the Gulf of Mexico seeking asylum from the Fidel Castro regime. Why did this one particular incident out of thousands of risky ventures catch my attention? ANSWER: The minute little Elian stepped onto the Florida shore he became a pawn between two governments flexing their muscles. The more I read and heard about this tug of war, the more I became incensed with why so many people put themselves and their families in harm’s way to escape their beloved country Cuba. So to satisfy my curiosity I spent the next three to four years researching Cuba’s tumultuous history, all their infamous leaders and spun a wicked fictional tale, dramatizing actual events, and keeping in mind the story was solely for entertainment and meant no harm to actual people.

History cannot be changed, but whether you live in a democracy or under the iron fist of an oligarchy, everyone has the right to dream “What if.”

What character was your favorite to write?

Rafaela Zamá, the Santería priestess (Oloricha) was definitely my favorite and most fun character to write. This mysterious woman pops in and out of Felipe Cardena’s life throughout the two book series. Sometimes she is the rebel’s savior — sometimes a thorn in his side. But Rafaela is always free with her words of wisdom in an effort to control his destiny. In Book II of SONS OF CUBA she realizes Felipe Cardena is a lost cause and turns her attention to Cuba’s future generation.

On what are you currently working?

I have two projects underway – both suspense/thriller genres.

INTO THE DEVIL’S DEN – SNARED BY THEIR OWN LIES (proposed release date around the end of October 2020) weaves a tangled tale of a father caught in a twenty-year old lie he told his daughter when she was a child. He now fears he could lose her trust forever. Before he can seek forgiveness, he finds himself racing against time to save her from a jihadist’s sleeper cell – leaving a trail of murder in his wake.

This spring I completed the first draft of another suspense/thriller entitled SHATTERED LOYALTIES. This suspense/thriller is about a young female journalist, who blew up a promising career in Washington D.C. Instead of interviewing heads of state, she is now living in New Orleans writing obituaries for a local newspaper.

When the President of the United States makes a campaign stop in the Crescent City, her newspaper editor gives this ambitious journalist a second chance to redeem herself. Unprepared to face the man responsible for derailing her career, the inner demons that have tormented her soul are awakened. This young woman struggles to restrain the urge for revenge, but the ashes of her past are too strong and trigger a maelstrom of events — leading to betrayal, suspense, political intrigue, murder, but most of all, Shattered Loyalties.

About the author:

After a lifetime of personal adventures, travel and escapades (a lot of risky escapades), author Ellen Martin, is living her sunset years bouncing around a tennis court or clicking away on her keyboard.

Outrage at social injustices, the thrill for suspense, and unraveling a good mystery are triggers that motivate Ellen to write memorable stories and colorful characters.

Over 30 years as a military wife, she has resided both in the Orient and in Europe where she became no stranger to social injustice and poverty. She and her family have lived in the Philippines, Japan, Italy, and the Netherlands — not to mention both U.S. coasts and Kansas in the winter. She is fascinated by real-life, colorful personalities.

On a more personal note Ellen was a flight attendant for the Charter Airline Saturn in the 1960’s. Her job was escorting United States troops in and out of Viet Nam. Her adventures in the war zone continued until she was swept away by her fighter pilot husband.

After retirement the couple’s travels included Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungry, Spain, Scotland, and Ireland and topped off with a visit to Cuba.

God gifted Ellen with one “perfect” son and three grandchildren.

You wrap all this in a package and Ellen has been rewarded with an endless supply of fodder for her fiction.

In her historical fiction Book-I SONS OF CUBA–PRELUDE TO REVOLUTION she weaves an embellished tale of the most notorious and charismatic Cuban rebel in modern history. There’s a chance you might find him charming, intriguing and actually root for him in his early endeavors to free his beloved Cuba from tyranny.

However, in Book II - SONS OF CUBA – HOMECOMING, the story takes the reader from the rebel’s exile in Mexico to preparation for the revolution from the Mountains of the Sierra Maestra. This is where you will meet the fiery redheaded peasant girl, Tangi. The narrative shifts its focus from the revolution and centers around the fictional character, Tangi, and her family’s struggles, fears and disappointments in the new regime.

How the story in real life ends is no secret. But, in Book II – SONS OF CUBA – HOMECOMING, the characters and the author may just get the last word.

In 2020 Ellen’s new book INTO THE DEVIL’S DEN turns from historical events to present day reality – Terrorism — terrorism in our own backyard.

Check out her website for excerpts from her books:

Ellen W. Martin will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Bryon Vaughn, author of Neurogarden, shares his Top 10 Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix


OK, fans of science fiction, we have a multimedia post for you today. Well, sort of. You're going to get to take a look inside of Neurogarden, the new book from Bryon Vaughn, and then find out what his Top 10 Sci-Fi movies are on Netflix for your streaming pleasure. Be sure to compare your own list in the comments and then follow the tour for more interaction. Plus there's a great giveaway at the end!

Where can you run when there is no place to hide?

Brenna Patrick is a brilliant technologist specializing in neural-cognitive functions and AI. She has cracked the code to solve one of the most troublesome problems in the field, and turned that into the multi-billion dollar NeuralTech Corporation.

Working quietly with the U.S. Department of Defense, NeuralTech is poised to leapfrog the competition with a revolutionary system for tracking people, starting with the world’s most wanted terrorists. But there are only so many terrorists in the world, so who’s next?

When a pair of Columbia graduate students, Jenny and Leo, stumble on the dark secret of NeuralTech’s success, it kicks off a tense game of cat and mouse. As they fight to defeat the powerful forces arrayed against them, nothing less than the fate of humanity hangs in the balance…

NEUROGARDEN is a roller-coaster ride of a thriller, one that will have readers pondering the nature of memory, and of reality, long after they've read the last page.

Read an excerpt:
In a lonely pod on the 77th floor, Jenny floated. The only indication of life was a slow, rhythmic sway as the blue feeding solution swirled through the chamber, pushing through her body and out into the next in the chain. Her eyes closed to the world around her, a world she could no longer sense or interact with in any tangible way. Her body was there, but her mind had joined the others, and despite her ongoing confusion, she was now a resident of The Garden.

Her connection to the others came in ebbs and flows, their memories, their thoughts crashed into her own like waves on a distant, rocky shore, smashing at each other in an indiscernible mashup of sensation. In a moment of clarity, she wrapped her mind around her situation, how she had wrestled to free herself, the needle had plunged into her arm, the slow, sweet descent into slumber. Though the silent lucidity was fleeting, chased away, replaced by another barrage of brainwaves from the others.


Somewhere in the melange, the chaotic furor of a thousand minds, there was a single voice, some kind of controlling singularity. Commanding attention, its words marshalled the disparate collective of thoughts, ever so briefly, into a cohesive direction.

--Welcome to The Garden.

"Who are you? Where is this place? Why am I here?"

--Time for that later. First, you must learn the rules.

Available on Amazon
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Top Ten Sci-fi Movies on Netflix NOW

In these days of quarantine and isolation, Netflix has been a terrific way to pass the time and not feel quite so alone, and what’s a better way to spend a day--or a weekend, or who knows how long--than watching some awesome science fiction? Here are the top ten movies that I wholeheartedly recommend for any fan of the genre.

#10 - Safety Not Guaranteed

This is a quirky peek into the minds of real characters, with real passions. The premise of time travel places it squarely in the sci-fi space, but this movie is so much deeper than most time paradox stories. If you like getting to know your characters thoroughly, this is a great way to spend a couple of hours. Be sure to watch it with somebody. The conversation after will likely be just as interesting.

#9 - The Old Guard

Charlize Theron as an immortal warrior kicking ass is all I needed to jump into this movie, and boy was it satisfying. Fantasy, sci-fi, action, this movie has it all, presented in a slick package that will leave you hoping this is the beginning of a series of movies about these characters.

#8 - Jupiter Ascending

I have no idea why this movie catches so much flak from people. Sure, it is over the top, and can be a little trite in ways that makes sci-fi aficionados cringe, but it is still an enjoyable two hours. It is kind of like Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element mated with the Chronicles of Riddick, but don’t let that scare you away, they produced a decent offspring.

#7 - Splice

Sexy, kinky sci-fi splendour. This is one of those movies that will get you thinking about ethical science, and whether humans should be playing God. You know, the usual fare for a biological sci-fi story, but it takes it in a really messed up direction. People love or hate this movie. I don’t know what it says about me, but you can put me in the love column.

#6 - Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

This is a quirky gem of a movie that leaves us with a lot to think about long after it ends. I still wonder what it would be like to erase somebody from my memory. Would it make things better or worse? This is another one that you must watch with somebody. Maybe watch it early and then enjoy discussing the depths of love, reality and existence over a bottle of wine.

#5 - Starship Troopers

Filled with over the top violence, action, and gratuitous bug guts, this movie delivers a non-stop assault on the senses. Despite all of the violence, this movie has a terrific sense of humor, and feels like a comic book come to life. Don’t come here to think, just turn off the brain and enjoy.

#4 - Snowpiercer

This movie was so heralded when it was released, but it somehow flew under my radar. I saw it, and didn’t really see what all of the fuss was about. Over time, however, Snowpiercer has grown on me and I return to watch it at least once a year. The whole premise of a dystopian world, complete with social strata, all on a single train barreling endlessly across a desolate planet is genius.

#3 - Being John Malkovich

I can’t explain what this movie is about, not without giving it away, but suffice it to say this is one of the most unique flicks you will see in your lifetime. Another movie that gets you thinking, and John Malkovich is a legend for both his performance, and for inspiring the writer so completely. I would love to see a series of movies like this. Let’s make the next one Being Charlize Theron.

#2 - Mad Max

The movie that started it all. While dystopian futures have been around in sci-fi since its inception, this iconic entry brought it to film in a way that few others had before it. Don’t let it scare you, while we are all trapped in our homes hiding from the ‘Rona, that the Mad Max world is set in 2021. I’m sure it is just a coincidence.

#1 - Total Recall

How can I not make the number one movie something by Phillip K. Dick? Arguably, Total Recall is one of the best adaptations of a Dick story, and as one of the most beloved authors in the genre, I think he is well served by this one. Humor, action, Arnold, what more do you need?

Ever since reading Douglas Adams back in my formative years, I have had an interesting relationship with humor, science fiction, and technology. My first computer was a TI-99/4A, so yeah, I’m old, but only until scientists have cracked the code on transplanting our brains into shiny new vessels.

My body may be showing signs of wear, but I’m keeping my brain tight.

When I am not dreaming of far off worlds and writing, I am living a semi-normal life working in New York City, and watching movies with my wife and her spastic cat, Moss.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Review of Fated Always by Becky Flade


Welcome to the book tour for Fated Always by Becky Flade! Today I'm sharing my thoughts on this romantic suspense novel. There's also an excerpt for you to enjoy and a great giveaway! Be sure to follow the tour to leave your questions and comments and to see even more!

Friendship. Secrets. Murder.

When her best friend, Sawyer Gavin, roars into town on his motorcycle, Tala Gael thinks life couldn’t get any better. What she couldn’t have anticipated was his appearance heralding a time of change in her quiet, comfortable existence.

With her life turned upside down, Tala resists Sawyer’s advances, clinging to the familiar.

Tragedy changes her mind, but as she takes the leap of faith into Sawyer’s arms, they find themselves suspects in a murder investigation. And Tala learns she’s not the only person in Trappers’ Cove keeping an impossible secret.

Jealousy is when you worry someone will take what you have; envy is coveting what someone else has; and both can lead to murder.

Read an excerpt:
“How’s the wine?” His lips feathered over hers in a whisper. Twice. On his third pass, Tala’s eyes drifted shut as her body molded itself to his and she deepened the caress. His world spun as she clung to him. I knew it. I’ve always known it. He stepped away, steadying her when she swayed, waited for her eyes to open. “Excellent.”


He smiled. “The wine’s excellent.”

Her fingertips rose to her mouth. Her eyes widened, confusion blurred them. He smiled and pulled her into his arms. It was not a passionate embrace. He offered comfort and she held on, squeezing tighter when he placed a gentle kiss at her temple.

“Are you surprised?” he whispered.

“I have a boyfriend.”

“I wasn’t expecting that but it’s an easy enough fix.” He tugged her braid. “Come on, Tee. We’re meant to be.”

“No, we’re not.”

She reared out of his arms, panic skating across her features as though threatened. Her reaction struck him like a fist to the gut. He suspected she hadn’t taken him, taken them, from the box where she thought they belonged. She hadn’t considered them from any other perspective. I thought once she saw, once she felt, once she knew, the rest would click into place. “You know that we are.”

“Stop it! I. Have. A. Boyfriend.” She punctuated each word with a stab of her finger.

“Fine. I’ll wait.” It’ll kill me. “You’re worth it. We’re worth it,” he stressed before grabbing her wrist and tugging her back into his arms. He held her there, though she didn’t struggle. He kissed her again, pouring his impatience into the kiss. He let her go and strode to the door, pulling it open, letting the cool snap of air scented by forest file past him into her house, and paused.

“You want me to stop?”

She nodded.

“Then stop kissing me back.”

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**My thoughts**
You've gotta love a story about two best friends who finally realize in adulthood that they are in love with each other, even if they are going to fight giving into it. Someone is always the hunter and the prey isn't always willing at first, but then soon gets out of his or her way to accept what is fated. It's just going to take them some time to get there.

See, when Sawyer comes back to town, Tala is with another man. Granted he is a big jerk and not worthy of Tala at all. But how many of us have to make that mistake before finding our true mate?

The two of them go way back, with even their families being intertwined through the generations. So it's natural that the two of them love each other. It's just more than either one of them realized. And when Tala is attacked, they finally start to realize it. The fallout over the next several weeks definitely makes life interesting for everyone involved and changes everyone's lives. And that's where the suspense and mystery comes in.

I admit that there were moments when I had a hard time keeping track of who everyone was. There are so many people in the families and this small town, and their histories are tightly weaved together. But I could still easily focus on the main story of the book, which was the most important.

One of the most intriguing parts of this story is Tala's ability to communicate with the wolf pack that lives in the woods near her house. It's a gift that she has had since she was young. It's not in a Disney princess kind of way, nor is it in a paranormal shifter kind of way. It's an intuitive kind of communication taken to the next level. It definitely makes this romantic suspense stand out from others like it.

Thank you to the author and Goddess Fish for fulfilling my review request. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the author:

When I was little I thought everyone had stories in their head. When I found out that wasn’t true and that only special people had stories to tell, I wanted to be one of the people who shared their stories with the world. Here I am, making my own dreams come true, one happily ever after at a time.

I'd love to have you visit with me at any of my virtual homes or write to me directly at

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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Review of When Lions Roar by Karen Leigh Gruber


Welcome to the book tour for When Lions Roar by Karen Leigh Gruber. Not only am I sharing an excerpt and my thoughts about the book with you today, but also Karen is giving us some background on the book. Please let her know what you think in the comments and follow the tour to do so even more. You'll also have more chances to enter the great giveaway at the end!

Two women from different lands, each struggling to survive; a child’s mysterious disappearance will alter both their lives forever…

Maggie has become unrecognizable to herself, succumbing to the predictability of being a mother and wife. Every day she reminds her daughter to brush her teeth, has the same conversation with her husband about what’s for dinner. Maggie struggles to cope with the disenchantment of the monotonous tedium that has become her life. Despite her boredom, when her husband David is called on assignment to South Africa, Maggie resents having to rearrange her life just because David has decided they all need to traipse halfway across the globe.

While on safari, Maggie awakens one morning to a mother’s worst nightmare; their daughter Hannah has gone missing. Just when things can’t get any worse, Maggie is confronted with the harsh truth of her emotionally abusive marriage and what she has allowed her life to become.

When Lions Roar is set against the backdrop of the exotic and intriguing landscape of South Africa, when the country is reeling from the aftershocks of apartheid. Will Maggie find the strength and courage to abandon the fragile ties of her marriage and confront her self-destruction in time to save the life of her daughter?

Read an excerpt:
As we enjoyed our breakfast, my mind tended to wander. That morning, as I looked at my divine daughter, a million thoughts came rushing in. She is so kind, so smart, and so emotionally in tune, this young girl. As I watched her interact with the world and the people within it, I was touched by how compassionate and thoughtful she is. She was so respectful and engaging of the people around her, whether it’s a peer, a person of authority, and especially now, the personnel catering to our every need here in our little hotel bubble. Between the culture, the language, and the accents, there were challenges in communication. Hannah had a smile for everyone, and they, in turn, lit up when she spoke to them. Her demeanor truly reflected that a stranger was just someone she hadn’t met yet, and everyone we encountered responded in kind. I couldn’t help but be so proud of her. I thought back to all the moms I knew who insisted they could never travel that far away with their kids, which made me sad for them because I didn’t think I could ever travel that far away without her. She was such a wonderful travel companion.

Getting to experience the world through her eyes was a true gift.

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**My thoughts**

This is an interesting mix of a couple of tales. First you have the story of Maggie, who is trying to deal with being in an abusive marriage and trying to be the best mother to her daughter. (And trigger warnings for readers that Maggie's husband is verbally abusive, and there is a brief marital rape scene.) She drinks away her demons because she doesn't know what else to do. But her love for her daughter is simply breathtaking.

When they go on their trip, Maggie is forced to face her demons head-on, especially after Hannah disappears. And this means her present, tactile demons, as well as the ones inside of her head. And she ends up becoming a better person for it.

At the same time, you end up with an African legend that parallels Maggie's own story and also explains what has actually happened. It's almost like reading a second book, and yet it's extremely interesting and makes complete sense when you put the two of them together.

I enjoyed this trip to South Africa. I have always been fascinated by stories that take place in Africa, plus a cousin of mine spent time there and married a woman from there. Choosing it to take place during the death of Nelson Mandela is an interesting time period. And bonus points have to go to mentioning Amarula, which is absolutely delicious and was a weekend beverage of choice for me for a while a few years ago

Thank you to the author and Goddess Fish Promotions for fulfilling my review request. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Background on the Book

Five years ago, my family and I got the unbelievable opportunity to travel to South Africa. We spent two weeks on Safari with a group of family members; and a third week exploring Cape Town, just me, my husband, and our daughter. This trip was the furthest away I had ever been from the States and seemed very exotic to me, having the opportunity to go to Africa.

Unlike the main character of the book, Maggie, I was ecstatic about the opportunity to go Africa. This was something so out of the realm of possibility for me, it wasn't even on my life list. It was unfathomable to me that I would ever get to do something like this, so when the organizer of the trip said “Yes, you may bring along your six-year old”, we were all in.

The continent of Africa is massive and the cultures within it are far too numerous to mention. I only experienced a tiny little taste, but even that miniscule morsel was life changing.

Being out in the wilderness, the Bush, the Veld, the Savannah, it all felt like coming home to me. I felt such a connection to that land and its inhabitants, particularly the animals. I wish everyone would get to have the experience I did. I know I came back a different woman, Africa cracked open a deep desire to live a more primal life. And by that, I mean live authentically without all the walls and facades. I want people to see me, to know me, the soul of me.

My experience in Africa was just begging to come forth in some fashion. I was captivated by how the lodges were run and the guides all working together and the gloriousness of the animals. Getting to see these beautiful beasts in their natural environment is so moving, I cannot seem to put words to it.

The sky is different in Africa and night after night we saw constellations that we never see in the Northern hemisphere. My daughter got to see the Scorpio constellation, her Zodiac sign, which was breathtaking. The food, the clothing, the singing rhythm of the drums, the aromas, hearing an animal call in victory or distress across the camp, monkeys stealing our things, sleeping in structures with no electricity to visiting the most luxurious of accommodations. Every part of everyday was a new adventure.

My intent with the novel When Lions Roar, was to give readers a taste, a tease, of what it was like to be in Africa and spark a desire to make that trip. There is a harsh unforgiving edge to South Africa, but the contrast, the majestic wonder and the beauty all come together and are present in the most magical of ways. How could I not write about that?

In many ways, like our heroine, Maggie, Africa permeated my soul and healed me in ways I did not realize I needed to be healed. That's why it is so important to stay open to the experiences and opportunities that come your way and to stay curious about and lean into the offerings life has for you.

Karen Gruber is an international #1 best-selling contributing author, inspirational speaker, and a Leadership Development Coach for women and moms. She specializes in inspiring moms to realize their potential as mothers, women, and leaders. Karen has had extensive specialized training in parenting, feminine spirituality, and leadership. Over the past 15 years she has provided innovative leadership coaching for moms and has dramatically transformed her own life.

Sharing her life with her husband Jim and daughter Jaymie, presenting her message to other women, and traveling the world bring her the greatest joy.

She is the founder of The Inspired Mama, a company located in gorgeous Denver, Colorado that focuses on the inspiration, leadership, and wellbeing of women and moms.

When Lions Roar is Karen’s debut fictional work. She is freakish about Christmas lights and loves to play Baccarat.




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