Book Blast: Dog Town

I’m happy to welcome author Debbie L. Richardson. Today, Debbie shares her latest release, Dog Town.

Blurb

Harry loves to race around the streets of Dog Town. When he stumbles upon the lost city of cats, he finds himself in a race against Dog Town’s fastest canine, Grizzly.

The winner of this race will have the power to save Cat World, or destroy it.

Harry wants to win, but there is one small problem. The race is in the ocean, and Harry is terribly afraid of water.

Can Harry overcome his fear of the water and save Cat Town?

Excerpt

Harry spied the bell of the clock tower over the treetops. He heard the bell strike the first of twelve chimes.

“First place, here I come,” he whooped with delight.

“First to the finish line has to take a bath,” Fleabag shouted, right on his tail.

“Stop changing the rules, Fleabag,” he barked.

“At least we can tolerate a bath,” Junior cried out, though from further away.

Junior was talking about Harry’s phobia – called ablutophobia, a fear of water. Harry suffered terribly from it. He was even afraid to get too close to his water bowl in case it tipped over. And he never bathed. His brown coat could very well have been white underneath the dirt for all anyone knew.

He could see no point in bathing anyway, because he often rolled in something filthy afterwards.

Even now, the thought of water made Harry look up at the sky. Above was a wide expanse of blue without a cloud in sight. Just the way he liked it.

Sneaking a look behind him, he saw Junior trailing behind in third place. Junior’s attention was more on the traffic than on the race. But Fleabag, who was in second place, was gaining on him. She was competitive, probably more competitive than Harry, yet something other than competitiveness propelled Harry forward. Harry was the champion racer, and he’d been the champion racer for two years. He wasn’t about to quit and give up the title.

Buy Links

Kobo | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Author Bio and Links

Debbie Richardson has published fiction novels as D L Richardson. She has published three young adults supernatural fiction novels, and science fiction and supernatural thrillers for adults. This is her first children’s book.

She was born in Dublin, Ireland and grew up in Australia. It was always crowded and noisy in the family home. At one stage there were also three dogs, a cat, a budgie, and three mice living with seven people the same house.

Debbie learned to find a quiet space within books.

She now lives in the south coast of New South Wales with her husband and a small dog named Teeka.

Website | Facebook

Giveaway

Debbie Richardson will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Enter here

Follow Debbie on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.

My Yoga Practice…Then and Now

In late June of 2009, the following newspaper advertisement caught my attention:

Unlimited yoga during the months of July and August for $160

I planned to attend three classes a week and see how I felt by the end of the summer.

I was hooked after the first week.

The classes were small, and the instructors were able to work with me on an individual basis. I test-drove all the instructors and then zeroed in on my favorites: Amy, the social worker from Newfoundland who had completed her training in India; Claudia, the young mother who offered a structured class that appealed to my left-brain tendencies; and Lisa, the quintessential willow.

Continue reading on the Soul Mate Authors blog.


A Week of Mermaid Posts

I’m grateful to everyone who supported the $0.99 promotion of my mermaid novels, Between Land and Sea and The Coming of Arabella.

Special thanks to the bloggers who spread the news throughout Canada, US, and UK.



Here’s a recap of the week’s posts:

Monday, March 30

Sharing Mermaid Humor (my blog)

Tuesday, March 31

A Tale of Two Trailers (Sisterhood of Suspense blog)

All About Fantasy Hen Lit (Jacqui Biggar)

Antagonist Interview (Sue Berger)

Wednesday, April 1

Are You Ready to Suspend Belief? (Chris the Story Reading Ape)

Mermaid Wisdom (C.D. Hersh)

Inspirational Quotes (Nancy Badger)

Thursday, April 2

Men and Mermaids (Peggy Jaeger)

Interview with Vicki Batman

Friday, April 3

Interview with Helen Hulene Bartell

A Different Kind of Fantasy Element (my blog)


***Today is the last day of the sale***

Blurb – Between Land and Sea

After giving up her tail for an international banker, Isabella of the Mediterranean kingdom is aged, weathered, and abandoned on the fog-drenched shores of southwest England. She faces her human journey as a plain and practically destitute fifty-three-year-old woman.

With the help of a magic tablet and online mermaid support, she reinvents herself as a career counselor, motivational speaker, and writer of self-help books. Along the way, she encounters a cast of unforgettable characters, among them former mermaids, supportive and not-so-supportive women, deserving and undeserving men, and several New Agers. As Isabella evolves into Barbara Davies, she embraces her middle-aged body, heals her bruised heart, and learns to love again.

This contemporary version of The Little Mermaid offers hope and inspiration to anyone who has been dumped, deceived, or demoted. It will also appeal to mermaid enthusiasts.

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK)

Blurb- the Coming of Arabella

On the day of her engagement party, an ex-mermaid’s life is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of another mermaid—a sister she has never known. Under normal circumstances, Barbara Davies would be overjoyed, but her special day is already wrought with tension. While Barbara is not the first mermaid from the Mediterranean kingdom to settle in small town Ontario, she has yet to reveal her origins to her fiancé. So, when Arabella, the gorgeous sister whose disturbing black eyes banished her to the island of Crete, saunters into her life, clutching the arm of Barbara’s discarded lover, a powder keg of emotion is released.

Relationships falter and careers stall as envy stirs in the hearts of the sisters. On the verge of meltdown after her fiancé leaves Canada for a teaching job in Vermont, Barbara flees to Arizona hoping for a reprieve. There, she finds solace at a retreat for ex-mermaids and a second chance at love with a charismatic preacher. As she contemplates a new life in the desert paradise of Sedona, shocking secrets emerge and tragedy strikes. A stronger and wiser Barbara rises up to face these new challenges and embrace the best parts of her mermaid heritage.

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK)


Cover Reveal: Bear With Me

I’m thrilled to reveal the cover of Marilyn Barr’s debut novel…

Back Story

Bear with Me was originally a journal entry describing my family’s first full day after moving to Kentucky in 2015. Main character Alison’s struggle to act normal with sensory processing disorder mirrors my own challenges. Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a dysregulation of how the body perceives the world and its use of our seven senses. Each person has a different combination of over-responsive and under-responsive senses.

Alison has the same combination as myself, where we are overly sensitive to smells, tastes, and hearing. Social events that involve eating are a nightmare. It is not that I am a picky eater, but that different food textures scrap along the inside of my mouth to varying degrees. I will cook a large repertoire of foods but would only eat five different meals when I went to college. I knew my husband was “the one” when he didn’t make fun of my eating in our college cafeteria.

While I have normal eyesight with contact lenses, Alison and I are under-sensitive to touch, proprioception, and vestibular senses. This is where most of my social problems occurred growing up. I cannot feel if my shoes are on the wrong feet, my clothes are on backward, a sign has been placed on my back, or a teen boyfriend was grabbing my behind. Because of these issues, I decided to turn this aspect of SPD into Alison’s superpower. The last two senses describe where our bodies feel they are in space. Those of us who are under-responsive fidget, dance, and use grand hand gestures to verify the gravitational input most people receive naturally. You can imagine the trouble I had sitting in a desk at school.

In addition to SPD, Alison and I homeschool our autistic sons, both boys have savant syndrome. This portion of the autism spectrum is the characterized in television shows like “The Good Doctor” and movies like “Rain Man” where the person has one outstanding area of expertise to the detriment of other skills. In Bear with Me, Henrik is a musical savant with behavior troubles in public school. He sings, composes, and plays the piano at a virtuoso level. My real son is a linguistic savant. He excels in the areas of grammar and syntax, not only in English but in many foreign languages as well.

I hope to show readers a growing section of the homeschool community in Bear with Me referred to as secular homeschoolers. These families homeschool for reasons other than religion. The children of rural Strawberry are an hour’s drive from the nearest school, so each parent teaches their area of expertise with all the children in the community as classmates. In real-life Kentucky, we call these groups of families: cottage schools or parent-lead co-ops depending on whether money exchanged between parents. In Strawberry, the parents exchange teaching classes but do not pay each other monetarily. Green Witch Alison teaches math and science. Pizzeria owner Rosie Paulino teaches language arts and Italian. Also, her son Henrik takes online classes from a local university in his area of expertise (as my son takes foreign language classes from Outschool Professors in different countries)

Blurb

Blue eyes, dimples, and silky brown hair; Grant Luther has all of Alison’s weaknesses.

When he asks for one last chance to save their marriage, she agrees to relocate their family to isolated Strawberry, Kentucky in pursuit of his career dreams. Grant views Alison’s sensory issues as limitations and protects her from outside threats. When he finds his new job includes changing him into a shifter in a war against the soul-sucking Sluagh he vows to keep the changes a secret. What he doesn’t know is Alison has been hiding a magical secret of her own. One that makes her a target of the Sluagh.

Will Alison emerge from Grant’s shadow to protect her family? And can Grant learn that being different can be a strength not a weakness?

Excerpt

“You look perfect. I mean perfectly healthy. I mean mostly uninjured,” she stammers. She places her tiny hand over her eyes.

Feeling braver than ever, I walk right up to her. I gently remove the hand from her face and hold it to my own. “See, I’m fine,” I whisper as I gently rub my thumb over her tiny knuckles.

Her eyes lift to mine and lock our gazes. I have always found the golden color of her eyes fascinating but never studied them up close. They are light brown with a golden star in the middle. I am literally star gazing as she takes in the injuries to my face. We stand there for about a minute, lost in time.

I wonder if she is thinking about when we first started dating, the hard times that followed, the present, or the future. I search her face for clues but don’t want to break the spell by opening my mouth. I decide to put said mouth to better use by lowering my head toward hers.

Book Trailer

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1heqPeGLXyocP2ou3e_VJkxxCVdcMni4F

Bio

I have a diverse background containing experiences as a child prodigy turned medical school reject, published microbiologist, special education/inclusion science teacher, homeschool mother of a savant and advocate for the autistic community. This puts me in the position to bring tales containing heroes who are regular people with different ability levels and body types, in a light where they are powerful, lovable, and appreciated.

I currently reside in the wilds of Kentucky with my husband and son. When I’m engaging with the real world, I’m collecting characters, empty coffee cups and unused homeschool curricula. In my perfect world, we would use our talents to work together in the pursuit of the perfect, yet allergen free, pizza.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads


Blurb Blitz Tour: A Savage Kultur

I’m happy to welcome author Monique Roy. Today, Monique shares her new release, A Savage Kultur.

Blurb

Ava is a Jewish art student who suddenly inherits her grandfather’s gallery in London. Acting on his final wish, Ava begins a journey to discover a valued Van Gogh, which was looted by the Nazis in 1937. As Ava unlocks this complex journey, we begin to travel between her timeline and that of the war itself, where we find out what ordinary people had to do to survive under the power of the Nazis and their wishes.

Excerpt

London, England

New Year’s Eve, 2013

It was an icy New Year’s Eve in London when Ava Goldman contemplated the bitter side of life. As she strolled home from a cozy bookshop before sunset, she noticed the wind crisscrossed between ancient buildings, thick snow blanketed the streets, and a single piece of newsprint swirled up in the gust. This weather was not everyone’s cup of tea, but Ava liked the invigorating, crisp air and the hoarfrost on the grass. She could stare for hours at the individual snowflakes that sparkled like glitter and diamonds.

The chilly weather scarcely dampened the mood as the city, on the dawn of another year, still hummed with activity and celebration. Ava knew she was not alone in her thoughts. Merry revelers stood on the banks of the Thames River, which lay frigid from below London Bridge. They, too, were on a journey, quietly observing the world before them as they tried to imagine the future and rehash the past. Glowing fireworks burst around Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, illuminating the night sky with explosions of bright and vivacious colors of light.

In these moments when nothing stirred, she remembered the past, understood the present, thought of the future, and she dug deep into her soul. Ava vowed to remain centered no matter what came her way. To her, this meant being more grounded and calm. She hoped the new year brought with it hope and renewal like a radiant flower that springs from a timeworn vine.

Author Bio and Links

Monique loves writing that twitches her smiling muscles or transports her to another time or place. Her passion for writing began as a young girl while penning stories in a journal. Now she looks forward to deepening her passion by creating many unique stories that do nothing less than intrigue her readers.

Monique was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and her grandparents were European Jews who fled their home as Hitler rose to power. It’s their story that inspired her to write Across Great Divides, her debut, historical fiction novel.

Monique holds a degree in journalism from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and is also the author of a children’s book Once Upon a Time in Venice. In her free time, she loves to travel, play tennis, pursue her passion for writing, and read historical fiction. In 2008, she was chosen by the American Jewish Committee’s ACCESS program to travel to Berlin, Germany, on the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, to explore German and Israeli relations along with 20 other Jewish professionals from across the U.S.

Website | Twitter | Amazon

Giveaway

Monique Roy will be awarding electronic book copy of A Savage Kultur to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.

Follow Monique on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.


In Praise of Quotes

In my late teens, I started a quote collection. I would underline sentences (and sometimes entire paragraphs) in books and jot down inspiring thoughts from other print media. I would then copy these words of wisdom into a journal. When I joined Pinterest, I set aside a page—Words I Love— where I recopied these quotes.

Maintaining a personal collection of quotes has helped me immensely. Here are some of the benefits I have discovered:

• Quotes have the power to transform moods. While books and movies can accomplish the same goal, quotes do it faster. I don’t have to invest hours of my time to experience the same effects. Whenever I need a quick jolt of inspiration, I click on my Pinterest page or visit one of many twitter hashtags devoted to quotes, among them #Quoteoftheday, #Inspirationalquotes, and #quotes.

Continue on reading on the Sisterhood of Suspense blog.


10 Lessons I Have Learned From Life

I’m happy to welcome author Erin Pemberton. Today, Erin shares ten life lessons and her new release, The Prophecy.

1. Life is hard, don’t make it harder by making stupid decisions. As a teenager, I thought I knew best and I thought I could get away with playing around with no real consequences. I was wrong. Being a teenager is hard, going to college right after high school is not easy either. Being a single parent while finishing high school and then going on to college is even harder. You have your whole life ahead of you, make wise choices.

2. It’s okay to say no. I am one of those types of people who like to help out others despite what I have on my plate. Through many stressed out days and lots of hard lessons, I learned that it’s okay to say no when you already have a lot going on. In fact, when you do, your work will reflect it in the fact that you’re able to give more attention to the things you’re already taking on. They’ll be of better quality and you’ll be happier with the results.

3. Marriage takes two. Through two failed marriages, I realized in my third one, that it really does take two. You have to be willing to put your spouse’s needs ahead of yourself and make them a priority. By both of you doing this, everyone’s needs are met. Even when you have kids, your spouse needs to come first. Because when the kids are all gone, you’ll still have each other. Better to enjoy life with your spouse than to resent life with them.

4. It’s okay to let your kids fail. This is something that I struggle with daily. It’s unnatural for us to let our kids fail. However, how will they learn to live life if you’re constantly taking over for them? Last fall, my son was failing three out of five classes in high school. After trying to put him on a homework schedule, emailing teachers daily, and more screaming matches with my son than I care to admit, I finally looked at him and said, “I have two jobs, a husband, and five kids. I cannot and will not fight with you on this anymore. If you fail these classes, you’ll have to take them again. If you pass, that’s one more step toward your goal of going to Shawnee State. I’ll help when you need it or ask, but otherwise, I’m tapping out. Fail or pass, it’s on you.” By the skin of his teeth, he passed and he’s done so much better this year with keeping up to date on all his assignments. It was a tough lesson for us both.

5. It’s okay to ask for help or to let others lead for a change. As a preschool supervisor, I struggle with feeling like I need to accomplish everything our program needs in order to make it a great program. However, I’m finding that by creating teams and letting others take on leadership roles, it works out so much better for everyone. Not only do we end up with so many more ideas than I could ever dream up, but by sharing the role, I find my stress level goes down considerable and my team members value me more.

6. Take time for you. Whether it’s sitting down and reading a good book, doing yoga, or taking a mini vacation with my spouse, finding me time is critical being able to do as much as I do on any given day. I can recharge, I give myself permission to think of something other than work, and I’m ready to hit it again when I do come back.

7. Hobbies are for you. Something I struggle with as an author is asking other people to read my books. It’s not because I don’t want others to read them, I just don’t like asking what they thought of the book. I find that when I start valuing other’s opinions of my work more than I value my own opinion, my hobby or writing changes. I have a tendency to focus more on what other’s think and how I can make the world happy versus just writing because it’s something that I enjoy doing. When you find a hobby, don’t let anyone tell you how to do it. Make it yours.

8. Don’t let anyone stop you. If there is something that you want to accomplish in life, by all means, get it done! We can come up with a world of excuses, but the truth of the matter is, you’re the only person holding you back. Stop it and get it done!

9. Light will always defeat dark. As I mention in several of my books because they usually have a dark/ light battle going on, the light will always defeat the dark even if you have to search the darkness to find it. Hang on because around every dark corner, there is always light waiting for you.

10. Life without God, is not much of a life. God is the light in my world, my marriages, my parenting, and my work has all failed when I turned from him. By keeping him the center of my life, not only am I happier but I find myself blessed even when things are tough.

Blurb

In a land plagued by war, King Dorvin and Queen Shiara are expecting their first child. They are excited until the good fairies tell of a prophecy; that their daughter is the key to winning the war against the Shadow tribes. To protect her, mages of the kingdom create a tower to keep her and her guardian hidden until her eighteenth birthday. When Ella turns 18 she leaves the tower, only to find that her parents are dead and the Shadow tribes now control the kingdom. Trained as a warrior, and aided by the good fairies, Ella must now bring her subjects together and prepare for the final war.

Excerpt

“If you don’t tell me your name, you’ll find out the hard way,” Ella responded calmly even though butterflies were carrying out their own battle in her stomach. The magic was showing her just how far she could throw him with its use. She was beginning to think of it as a whole separate entity within her mind.

Just as she pulled her arm back in preparation of launching him through the night sky, he shouted “Erek! I’m called Erek.”

Ella, bemused, smiled serenely at him as she placed him none too gently back on the ground. “That wasn’t so hard, now was it?”

Erek mumbled something under his breath but made no attempt to say anything else.

“What are we going to do with him?” Ella asked, turning to look at Tia.

Tia, ignoring Ella’s question, took a step closer to Erek, grabbed the rope that bound him, and pulled him toward her. “What do you mean we’re trespassing on your land? This land belongs to Dorvin, king of Fablina,” she hissed, apparently taking care to spit in his face as she talked.

The ugly smirk appeared on his otherwise handsome face, a mirthless laugh consuming him. “My tribe killed and replaced your king seventeen years ago. This land belongs to the Shadow tribes, and you are as good as dead.”

Add to Goodreads | Buy on Amazon

Author Bio and Links

I’m just a small town girl, living in Ohio and making up worlds for my characters to live in. A preschool teacher by day, I live with my amazing husband while dreaming of walking hand in hand with him on the beach just searching for seashells. Together, we have five incredible kids, who are starting to make their way in this world as they take on college, high school, and elementary school. I love Christmas, the beach, seashells, painting, reading anything fantasy related, and in my very little spare time, creating new worlds for others to enjoy.

Website | Goodreads

Giveaway

Erin Pemberton will be awarding a $25 Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Enter here.

Follow Erin on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.