Spotlight on Sally Brandle

I’m happy to welcome back bestselling Amazon author Sally Brandle. Today, Sally shares her writing journey and recent release, Sapphire Promise.

Here’s Sally!

My writing journey began ten years ago with a dare on a Costa Rican vacation. I spent 95° afternoons on my brother’s porch in a hammock reading books I’d brought and ones I’d swapped for at the local cantina’s library shelf. Seven days and nine books in, I’d read several great romance stories and a couple of duds. “I could write this well,” I announced to my husband and waved one without likeable characters. Famous last words.

I contracted the first book I penned with Soul Mate Publishing in 2017 and am currently editing a fourth book in the contemporary series. The Hitman’s Mistake is the open story of the three published romantic suspense adventures set in fictional Emma Springs, Montana. In this genre, I write edgy, sweetly intimate, love stories. My tenacious heroines find deserving heroes, share an ample dose of sizzling attraction, and together are pitted against shadowy villains. I throw in folks enjoying small town life and clever animals for heartwarming, page-turning thrillers.

Last year I switched gears and wrote the enhanced memoir of a dear, Dutch-American friend, Iris. During our thirty-year friendship, I heard tales of her childhood in 1930’s Batavia (now Jakarta), Indonesia. How many young women ever shared a saddle with their pet monkey while riding through a jungle? Married at eighteen, due to the impending Japanese invasion, Iris never gave up hope of seeing her newlywed husband again after they were hauled off to different internment camps. Her command of five languages and beginning nursing training provided a reason for the Japanese to keep her and her mother alive. She remained positive throughout horrific challenges, and I couldn’t resist writing Sapphire Promise, her inspirational story. The challenge was to stay true to her life while portraying the colonial aspect in a sensitive manner. Research and consultations with a variety of experts proved invaluable.

I enjoy answering questions about any of my stories at Zoom book club meetings, so feel free to contact me. Inevitably, a discussion of Sapphire Promise encourages the members to share tidbits of history they’ve heard from friends and relatives. Many express hesitations at recording or writing them. I learned tips and tricks while prompting details from Iris’s memory and then created a document for others to get started. If you’d like a copy or to get in touch, here’s the link:

Iris’s story is over ninety percent true, with a few scenes added for flow, all bearing her approval. The book is historically accurate, a sweet romance, and on sale in eBook and Audio versions for Women’s History Month. Here is the link for purchasing a discounted copy before April 7th. Print versions and Large Print versions are also available at regular price from multiple retailers.

Here’s what reviewers are saying about Sapphire Promise:

…This would make a fantastic read for a book club!…Emerson Matthews, InD’tale Magazine

“This turbulent, complex and intense love story shifts from idyllic beginnings in Dutch-controlled Indonesia, pre-World War Two, through several years of brutal Japanese occupation, to possible new beginnings in an uncertain postwar era…Brandle paints a tapestry that vividly depicts the serenity of the region prior to occupation and the brutality of the aftereffects.” Jon G. Bradley, Historical Novel Society

“This coming-of-age story occurs during a time of great turbulence. The author takes such care in reminding the reader about what it means to be human, love, care, survive, and heal.” Jamie Stern-Member at Large, Director of Research, The Indo Project

Back Cover Teaser

Loyalty to family. Trusting instincts. The will to survive. These virtues are deeply embedded in a mature Dutch teenager, Annika Wolter. Her attributes prove useful as she navigates typical coming-of-age insecurities and a blossoming romance with a handsome lieutenant in 1939 Batavia, Java.

Nothing prepares her for the distress of Hitler’s attacks on European countries followed by Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor, toppling her idyllic life in the Dutch East Indies colonial society and separating her from the man she loves. Uplifting events from a true story showcase how determination, nursing basics, and language skills keep a young woman and her mother alive in the worst Japanese internment camp in the Pacific. If you admire clever women and unfailing love in a tropical wartime setting, you will be captivated by Sapphire Promise.



Annika dropped a bag of Earl Grey tea into the porcelain teacup—her wrinkled, sun-spotted hand showing evidence of her earliest decades spent in the tropics. The sapphire ring on her right hand still glowed deep, deep blue, and without thinking, she pressed it to her heart. A lock of silvery hair fell across her forehead. She brushed it back, and touched the bumpy scar at her hairline, vaulting an eighty-year-old memory into play.

Her body tensed while she relived the horrible moment of the noontime heat, the smell of petrol on the street, but worst of all, the crisp vision—a jeep full of Japanese enemies slowing as it drove by her, the passenger soldier glaring, the brake lights flashing a warning. The driver veered in front of her bicycle and stopped. She swung the handlebar to the right, parked on the shoulder, pulled out her Mobile Nurse card, and then bowed. One soldier jumped out and walked around her while another one stepped to her side and yelled an angry order in Japanese. She remained bowed and prayed for God to protect her and Mamma from harm.

A rifle barrel whacked her knee from behind, pitching her forward until her kneecaps hit gravel. She thrust her hands out before face-planting. Keeping her head lowered and bare shins on the rough ground, she pressed her chest to her thighs. Was this enough groveling to stay alive? “Bow!” the ugly voice shouted. A saber rattled. A Please Lord, help me. She dropped her brow to the ground and stretched her shaking arms out ahead, palms down, as if prostrated in prayer.

“Bow!” he shouted again, and the sole of a boot pushed onto the back of her head and drove her forehead into sharp stones.

A whistling tea kettle jarred Annika back to the present. She slowly inhaled and exhaled and then poured steaming water over the teabag. The robust scent of the first brew brought a comfortable, calming warmth to her face.

Suffering brought enlightenment—a truth she’d read somewhere.

After sipping her tea and nibbling a cookie or two, she’d think back to the beginning—to the life she’d loved, the lessons she’d learned, and the wonderful people who had helped her through the toughest years of her life.

Bio and Links

Bestselling Amazon author Sally Brandle grew up as a tomboy alongside helpful brothers, which prepared her to work in a male-centric industry and raise respectful sons. Sally’s rescued Tuxedo cat, Shepherd dog, and Blue Heeler are her companions during long spells of writing or bouts of tormenting weeds in her garden. Afternoons she often spends riding on the wind with her thirty-one years young Quarter Horse.

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Virtual Book Tour: The Nantucket Beachfront Inn

I’m happy to welcome author Ainsley Keaton. Today, Ainsley shares her new release, The Nantucket Beachfront Inn.


She’s 54, broken-hearted, and starting over….

High-powered New York attorney Ava Flynn finds herself without a job or a future. Unemployable at her age, and broken-hearted by a husband who left her in the lurch, she desperately needs a Plan B. Her prayers are answered when a wealthy benefactor wills her a large house in the ‘Sconset Beach area of Nantucket. She heads out to the picturesque New England island with her two best friends, Luna and Mila, going along for the ride.

One catch…her estranged daughter also lives there. Charlotte Killeen, Ava’s daughter, is battling a crisis of her own. Her new husband, Matthew, wants a divorce, even though the couple have a newborn baby. Charlotte needs her mother more than ever, but the two have never seen eye to eye. Her marriage on the rocks and with few prospects for income, Charlotte is near the end of her rope. Then a life-threatening illness brings into focus what’s important after all.

Ava’s other daughter, Samantha, also lives on Nantucket Island, with her best friend and roommate, Grayson. Samantha suffers from a lack of direction in her life, and longs to meet a rich prince charming who will sweep her off her feet. When she meets the man of her dreams, she’s leaving behind the one man who loves her unconditionally – Grayson.

Jackson, Ava’s son, is an aspiring actor in Hollywood. Everything has always come easy to him, that is until Willow, Matthew’s cousin, shows up. Free-spirited Willow is just the kind of girl to break Jackson’s heart, which is difficult to do, as Jackson is always the heartbreaker.

And speaking of Willow…she’s a feminist island witch and artist. She and Jackson have been through many, many lifetimes together. Yet, Willow wants nothing to do with Jackson in this lifetime. She has no desire to give up even an ounce of her power, not even for her soul mate. Willow also is hiding a devastating secret from Jackson. A secret that is guaranteed to upend his life for good.

Mila, Ava’s best friend, is battling a devastating illness, information that she hasn’t shared with Ava and Luna. She never wants to be a burden, so she just doesn’t ask for help. But she’s going to need all the support she can get. She finds this support in a very surprising place, and, in doing so, gets closer to her own destiny.

Ava busies herself with fixing up her beautiful new beach home, so that she can open up a bed and breakfast. Contractor Deacon Cromwell, whom Ava hires to do the renovation, is the man who might thaw Ava’s cold heart, if only she’ll let him. However, he’s almost 20 years her junior and, Ava believes, out of her league. Can Ava overcome her insecurities and allow herself to love again?

In this feel-good beach read with a touch of magick, Ava and her friends and family will become your best friends. Come and share their joys and heartbreaks, their tragedies and triumphs. For fans of Susan Mallery, Jude Devereaux Nantucket Bride series and Elin Hilderbrand!


As much as she hated for her work to be interrupted, she never turned anybody away. Even if the person was a walk-in, as this girl was.

She didn’t have to be thrilled about it, though.

The girl knocked, and Willow threw open the door. “Dude,” she said to the girl, whose name was Sara Delacorte, “I see you’re back. My spell worked. Jamie came back, right?”

Sara nodded her head, tears in her eyes. “Yes. He came back. But now he’s gone again, and I-“

Willow shook her head. “No. Not again. Not this time. Listen, I think you have to get it in your head that some things aren’t worth saving. I worked that spell, against my better judgment, I might add, and he came back. It was up to the two of you to keep things together once my role was done. Free will and all that. Sorry, but the universe obviously doesn’t want you with that jerk.”

“Please,” Sara said, her huge blue eyes glistening brightly.

Willow came out on the wooden porch instead of inviting Sara in. That was her way of creating boundaries with women, like Sara, who were becoming pests. Ever since word got out about her abilities, she was constantly fending off silly women like Sara who were desperate to hang onto men who weren’t worth the wax in the candle that Willow used for her love spells.

“Tough love,” Willow said as she took a seat on the stoop of her porch. She patted the space next to her, gesturing for Sara to join her.

Sara sat down next to her and put her head on Willow’s shoulder. “Please,” she said again. “This’ll be the last time, I promise.”

Author Bio and Links

Ainsley Keaton lives in Southern California with her husband and two fur-babies, Bella and Annie. When she’s not binge-watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Downton Abbey and Succession, she’s reading historical and women’s fiction or scouring the beach for sea glass and sand dollars.

Website | Facebook | Amazon Pre-Buy Link


One randomly chosen winner via Rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift card. Find out more here.

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

Spotlight on Cara Bertoia

I’m happy to welcome Wild Rose Press author Cara Bertoia. Today, Cara shares her creative journey and new release, Casino Queen.

Here’s Cara!

When I was younger, I always wondered what was wrong with me. Even though I would have good jobs, friends and a beautiful place to live I couldn’t settle down. I would pack up and move on a whim. I changed careers every few years. Then I found this word, that described me perfectly, torschlusskpanik. The German word for the feeling that opportunities are slipping away. I didn’t just travel to places, I lived there. My wanderlust started in college. I spent a semester at the University of the Americas in Mexico.

I grew up in a strait-laced Southern family, but was always fascinated with casinos. In my twenties on a summer hiatus from teaching in North Carolina, I drove to California and became a dealer at Caesars in Lake Tahoe. I discovered that after teaching high school, handling an unruly gambler was a piece of cake. My mother highly disapproved of my working in a casino, “a place so bad it has ‘sin’ in the middle.”

Eventually, I succumbed to pressure from the family and returned east to take a high-tech job in Boston. I also began working on my MFA in writing at Emerson. My goal was to write the first realistic novel about casino life from the perspective of an experienced table games dealer. I am always amazed that normal and sometimes quite intelligent players become absolutely clueless in the casino. They repeat superstitious nonsense and no amount of logic can change their position, maybe my novel will.

While in Boston I was offered the opportunity to join Princess Cruises as a croupier. Jumping at the chance, I spent the next five years circling the globe. Sometimes life exceeds your dreams. I was awed by the wonders of Venice, the fjords of Norway, and the Northern Lights in Leningrad. At Princess Cruises the ship traveled across the globe, and I only had to pack my bags once every six months.

I met my husband when we worked on a cruise ship together. He jumped ship to be with me, and we moved to Palm Springs, and got married. I worked at the Agua Caliente Casino. I think life in Southern California was so exciting it tempered my wanderlust. Palm Spring was two hours to the mountains, two hours from the coast, two hours from Los Angeles and San Diego. Palm Springs was beautiful, a town in the desert filled with flowers surrounded by majestic mountains.

The best advice I ever got was from my father, a man not known for lecturing. He said, “You have to make your own mistakes, no one can make them for you.” Contrary to popular opinion, I decided that since I was probably going to fail anyway, I would try everything. Every failure was a badge of honor, but pretty soon I was racking up successes and gathering experiences. You never know things might just work out.

No one applauded my career in the casino industry, but it was a good choice for me. I made a good money, lived in beautiful places, and traveled the world. Best of all I never got laid off like my co-workers in high tech. In these precarious times, sometimes the safe career just isn’t that safe.

I worked in Native American casinos for twenty years. The casino industry had been good to me, but I always witnessed an underbelly just perfect for a thriller. Millions of dollars passed through the casino every week, casino fleas operated their personal side businesses on the gaming floor, and you never know who might walk in the door itching for a fight. That is what led me to my new career as a mystery writer. My hope is that after reading Casino Queen you will never walk into a casino the same way.

I will leave you with this quote: In life as in cards, you can’t play the last hand. You have to play the cards in front of you now. Cara Bertoia


Caroline Popov, alone, heartbroken, and deeply in debt ends up in glamorous Palm Springs, California. Native American casinos have just opened, thousands of people from all over the world came to work there, money flowed like water, and real estate became the new status symbol. And then came The Great Recession, and suddenly the partying stopped.

Alone, desperate and deeply in debt, she lands a job at the Palm Oasis Casino. She is mentored by the charismatic tribal chairman, John Tovar. Embraced by casino culture, Caroline works her way up to casino manager of the Night Hawk, in the High Desert town of Joshua Tree. There, she is responsible for managing multicultural team members, satisfying the demands of challenging guests, growing revenue while rooting out corruption. As she moves up through the ranks of management, her bond with John deepens.

In the process of uncovering the underbelly of corruption her list of enemies grows. Sometimes you have to gamble like your life depends on it. With her life on the line can she pull out a win?


“Why did I transfer you up from Palm Springs to be my Casino Queen?” The charismatic Tribal Chairman John Tovar asked.

“Casino Queen, really? Apparently, you are the only person in America who isn’t watching the show about the seven kingdoms on cable. The queens always get killed in the most horrific ways. They are hanged, beheaded, poisoned, burned alive in an explosion, or have their throat slit,” an exasperated Caroline Popov answered.

“I promise that won’t happen to you.” He gestured for her to take a seat at an empty ‘Mystic Mermaid’ slot machine, then sat across from her. They swiveled their chairs to face each other. John tried to act serious, but a smile kept pulling at the corner of his eyes. “According to the Mazurie decision, Native American tribes are considered sovereign nations. Therefore as leader of the tribe, I am King of the Shotowa.”

He continued. “Believe me, when I met the Queen of England I was introduced as the leader of the Shotowa nation. Let me be clear, as soon as you drove into this parking lot you entered the nation.” He gestured toward the uniformed officers standing at the door. “We have our own army.”

She decided to play along with the flow of his logic. “You mean security guards.”

“Precisely, trained courtesy of the United States Marine Corps. The tribe issues its own currency, gaming chips made of ceramic clay, stamped with our logo. At the cashiers’ cage, our central bank, those chips can be exchanged for U.S. dollars. Anyone can find food in our three restaurants or the team member dining room for employees. An underground well supplies us with water. We provide hotel rooms for shelter. Any guest who comes to stay with us will find their basic human needs covered by the Shotowa Tribe. Never forget we are a sovereign nation. I am the King, and I anoint you Queen of the Night Hawk.”

Buy Links

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In the News

I am being featured in the April issue of The Big Thrill. I had a wonderful conversation with Susana Kuehne about my writing process.

The Big Thrill is a monthly publication of the International Thriller Writers Association. They say they have 200,000 hits a month. But all the big names are in there. I don’t know why they picked me, but I am very happy. Most of my readers thought my novel was a suspense novel. Check it out. Here is the link. My author interview will appear April 1.
The Big Thrill

This is the link from a book blog. Little Miss Book Lover 87. Vikkie Wakeham is a member of the Squadpod a group of book influencers.
Little Miss Book Lover 87

Parting Words

My husband and I met when we were working for Princess Cruises. In April, we have booked a cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Copenhagen. The first part of the cruise is six straight sea days. One of my friends said she would jump over board if she had to be at sea that long. We can’t wait. For me there is nothing as great as standing on the deck of a ship in the middle of the ocean. After the cruise we will travel across Europe to visit his family and mine. I plan to tweet about my travels. You can follow our journey online. I know people are curious. Is it okay to cruise again? We’ll let you know.

I love to interact with my readers. Send me a picture with Casino Queen and I will post it on my social media sites.

Here are our social media links:

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Palm Springs, Where It All Started…

Interview with Carol Preflatish

I’m happy to welcome author Carol Preflatish. Today, Carol chats about her creative journey and new release, Witch Hunt.

Here’s Carol!

Q. What was your inspiration for this novel?

A. One of my favorite series to read is the late Robert B. Parker’s Jesse Stone series. That was my inspiration for the Nathan Perry Mystery series.

Q. What’s the best part of being an author? The worst?

A. The best part is being able to create something that people like. It’s really a rush to do that. The worst part is all the work after the book is released. All the marketing there is to do. It would be great to be successful enough to just hire a publicist to handle all of that.

Q. Describe your writing space.

A. My desk is in the corner of my living room. When I first moved in, I was facing the wall when I wrote. That was a little too closed in for me. I turned the desk so I can now look out the window. I also really enjoy sitting on my couch with paper and pencil and write. If I get stuck with a scene, I can move to the couch and sometimes it helps me get my muse again.

Q. Which authors have inspired you?

A. I love Lisa Gardner. Her books are so good and I love seeing her photos of when she’s out hiking.

Q. Besides writing and reading, what are some of your hobbies?

A. I’m a huge photography nut, especially nature photography.

Q. What are you working on next?

A. My next Nathan Perry book will be a modern-day retelling of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. I’m about halfway through and I’m loving how it’s going.


Is it 1692 all over again? When a millionaire’s daughter is found hanging from a tree in the Mystic, Massachusetts cemetery, witchcraft is suspected. Police detective Nathan Perry is assigned the case and works closely with an attractive female private investigator hired by the father to find who murdered his daughter.

Mystic is known for its history of witchcraft in the area. It’s what brings tourists to town, and when another murder occurs, there is rising pressure on Nathan to solve the case quickly.
Nathan’s investigation pulls him into an unfamiliar world rife with covens, magic, and lore to find the killer. A small town gripped in fear is depending on him to prevail.

Witch Hunt is a stand-alone novel that is part of the Nathan Perry Mystery Series.


“Five-thirteen – Central Dispatch,” the female voice said over Hank’s hand-held radio.

Hank picked up the radio. “Dispatch – Five-thirteen. Go ahead.”

“Five-thirteen, can you and six-nineteen meet five-ten at Bridge Road at the cemetery just west of Water Street.”

“On our way,” Hank said into the radio. He looked at Nathan. “I wonder what that’s about?”

“I suppose we’ll find out when we get there, but I have a bad feeling about it,” Nathan said. The two officers stood. Nathan waved some money in the air to catch Ginger’s attention, and then placed it on the table. He took one more bite of his sandwich before leaving. Hank took half of his sandwich with him.

Bridge Road, located on the east side of town, started the rural part of Mystic. When they reached the street, they saw two Mystic Police Department patrol cars parked on the side of the road next to the cemetery, emergency lights flashing brightly.

“This can’t be good,” Nathan said. He and Hank walked up to the other officers standing by their cars.

“That uniform looks good on you, Detective. You should join us working boys more often,” Wally, the older of the two officers, said.

“You know I work much harder than you do any day of the week,” Nathan joked.

“That’ll be the day. No matter, I’m glad you’re here,” Wally replied, more serious now.

“What’s up?” Nathan asked.

“Take a look over the hill,” the younger officer said.

This was the oldest and largest cemetery in Mystic, having some historic gravestones in it. They walked through the oldest part to reach the top of a small knoll, where they stopped. Nathan looked toward the back part of the cemetery and saw it. About fifty yards away, a female body hanging from the tree.

“What the hell?” Nathan said.

“Exactly what I said. Come and see,” Wally said, leading the other two officers to the tree. “I thought it was a mannequin at first. I figured this fell under your job description, Nathan.”

“Yeah, I’m afraid it does.” They reached the tree. Nathan looked up at the body. She was young, with long black hair, and dressed in a white dress. “Anything been touched?”

“No, but I did photograph the tree and body from all sides before calling the coroner.”

“How did you find the body?” Nathan asked.

“It was a cell phone call. The dispatcher said the person didn’t identify themselves, just that something had happened out at the cemetery. With it being over the hill, we didn’t see it at first. You can’t see it from the road. Then, we walked over the hill and found her. You know, they say there’s a bunch of witches buried out here,” Wally said.

Nathan looked at Wally. “Is that true, or just a rumor?”

“It’s just something I’ve heard since I was a kid,” he replied.

“Let’s keep that to ourselves, okay?” That’s all that the public needed to think about, a witch being murdered at the cemetery.

“Yes, sir.”

Nathan heard cars stopping out on the highway. “Wally, could you check on the traffic? Your partner might need help, if word got out. I don’t want any civilians seeing this. Can you also call Mallory Duncan to come out here? She’ll need to collect evidence.”

“Yes, sir.” Wally walked back toward the road, leaving Nathan and Hank at the scene.

“What do you think?” Hank asked.

“I think we have a sick person running around here.”

Buy Links

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Author Bio and Links

Carol Preflatish, from southern Indiana, is the author of the Nathan Perry Mystery Series, as well as several romantic suspense novels, and two non-fiction books. When she’s not writing, she loves to read, watch Indianapolis Colts football, and do just about anything outdoors.

An avid photographer, Carol has had many photos published in her local newspaper, as well as in “Golf Journal,” the official publication of the United States Golf Association. A few little-known facts about Carol are that she’s a licensed amateur radio operator, and is a collector of celebrity autographs, stamps, and coins.

Carol is a member of Sisters in Crime, SinC’s Guppies chapter, and the Louisville, Kentucky SinC chapter.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads | Instagram | LinkedIn

Spotlight on Terry Segan

I’m happy to welcome Wild Rose Press author Terry Segan. Today, Terry shares her creative journey and new release, Precious Treasure.

Here’s Terry!

Thanks for hosting me today, Joanne. My writing journey is a true example of how the twists and turns of life can surprise you. I only began writing about fifteen years ago. (And I’m approaching the big 6-0 this year—that’s still considered middle-aged, right?) While I’d attempted crafting stories before, it was never the right time.

I’ve worked as a secretary all my life in several different industries (movie studio, airline, office of a large theme park to name a few), but it wasn’t until I became a stay-at-home mom that my fingers flew across the keyboard for pleasure. My first jaunts were a couple of articles for an online travel newsletter, which led to my creating short fiction stories. My venture into a full-length novel came shortly afterward.

About six years ago I joined a local writers’ group, and that’s when things got real for me. I guess you could say I found my tribe. They’ve given me inspiration, guidance, and friendship. Getting together with other writers, all in different stages of their writing careers, was the component I’d been missing. Now, at any given time, I’m juggling two or three projects, while getting great feedback from other authors.

If you were to pin down my genre, I fit best in the paranormal mystery section. My first book, Photographs in Time, involved matchmaking mixed with time travel and murder. Just released on March 9 by The Wild Rose Press is my second book, Precious Treasure. You can read more about this one below.


Eight years ago her husband disappeared. Does a hundred and fifty-year-old journal hold the answer as to why?


Janie Holcomb prays for closure once the courts declare her missing husband dead. Instead, she’s sent spiraling down a dangerous path.

When her lawyer delivers a package held in trust, she finds a cryptic warning along with a Civil War journal promising buried treasure. While seeking a connection between her spouse and the decades-old diary, Janie attracts the spirit of a Confederate soldier pleading for help.

Enlisting her brother’s assistance to chase down clues, they discover that not everyone they know should be trusted. Janie overlooks potential threats when the promise of new love stirs her emotions. Will her digging uncover the answers she craves or doom her to a similar fate?

Sneak Peek from Precious Treasure

Janie dragged herself out of bed and into the bathroom. Turning on the tap to fill the sink, she bent over and splashed cold water on her face. The refreshing drops rolled down her forehead, cheeks and chin, pulling her out of her funk. Sightless, Janie reached for the hand towel hanging nearby and dried her face as she stood upright. Opening her eyes, she leaned in to examine the damage of the late night on her complexion. Her reflection looked back, as well as that of a young man standing behind her. Janie’s heart leapt to her throat as she whipped around and found no one there. Looking back in the mirror, she saw only herself.

This is too much, she thought. First nightmares and now hallucinations. Janie shook her head. With the assault of information thrown at her in the last twenty-four hours, her imagination cartwheeled out of control.

Knowing the visions were a result of the wine, newspaper articles and journal, didn’t calm the raised hackles on the back of her neck. The foreboding in Brian’s letter snaked its way up her spine threatening to encircle her throat and squeeze tight. His writing had a tone of uncertainty and fear—uncharacteristic of the man she had married.

Buy Links

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Author Bio and Links

Terry Segan resides in Nevada. The beach is her happy place, but any opportunity to travel soothes her gypsy soul. The stories conjured by her imagination while riding backseat on her husband’s motorcycle can be found throughout the pages of her paranormal mysteries.

Author Website | Facebook Page | Instagram | Twitter | Amazon Author Page

The Good Years Are So Good

I’m happy to welcome best-selling author Liz Flaherty. Today, Liz shares the two acts of her life and her new release, A Year of Firsts.

Here’s Liz!

My first act was my life’s dream. I had a family I loved, a job I liked a lot, a house, and friends. It was, like everyone else’s dream-come-true, if one likes roller coasters. Fortunately, I do—or did then. Although the years were happy, there were also the days of being overwhelmed, of sitting alone in the bathroom wondering what to do, of having three teenagers in the house. In the middle of it was a year of “can this marriage be saved?” (It could.) I had months of hating the job and wept a gazillion tears over the kids. I couldn’t wait for it all to be over.

Until it was. Act One, Scene Two came with the empty nest. It was okay, much less hectic. Not nearly as much fun, but I had more writing time. I had a book published. Then a few more.

Then I retired, and Act Two happened because Act One ended.

It’s been such a surprise. Writing fulltime doesn’t mean I get more written—it means I waste more time. Marriage in retirement age isn’t easy—it’s hard! Losing friends no matter how you lose them, with death, dementia, and lack of interest taking center stage, is painful.

But those are the bad days. The good ones…no, the good years… are so good they’re hard to describe. The marriage is more fun, as is traveling, having remarkable grandchildren, and laughing with friends and family until your stomach hurts. The good days are most of them.

And then there’s the writing… And that’s where I am now. I’ve never been one to keep count of things, so I’m not sure how many books and novellas (and rejections) there have been, but, like I said before, they’ve been good years.

A Year of Firsts, Book One in the Second Chances series for Magnolia Blossom Publishing, is the story of Syd and Clay, whose own Act Twos are up the air and—for Clay at least—might be doubtful. I had so much joy and not a little angst writing this story. I hope you have that much pleasure in the reading, too.


Widow Syd Cavanaugh is beginning a “year of firsts” with the road trip she’d promised her husband she’d take after his death. An unplanned detour lands her in Fallen Soldier, Pennsylvania, where she meets the interesting and intelligent editor of the local paper.

Television journalist Clay McAlister’s life took an unexpected turn when a heart attack forced him to give up his hectic lifestyle. He’s still learning how to live in a small town when meeting a pretty traveler in the local coffee shop suddenly makes it all much more interesting.

While neither of them is interested in a romantic relationship, their serious case of being “in like” seems to push them that way. However, Clay’s heart condition doesn’t harbinger a very secure future, and Syd’s already lost one man she loved to a devastating illness—she isn’t about to lose another. Where can this relationship possibly go?


If I fall in love again, this will be how it happens.

The thought came from nowhere she could identify, although she knew deep in her soul that it had to do with the tall man in shorts and a polo shirt walking up the incline of her yard to meet her. The man whose heart would likely not last as long as her own, whose every wince made her fear he was having a heart attack. His attitude toward exercise and diet was that of the middle-aged man in perfect health he appeared to be, not one who had a zipper-like scar up the center of his chest.

But just the sight of him, with his light brown hair that needed cutting blowing into his eyes even though his graying beard was as always short and neat, made her heart beat harder and faster. She smiled, remembering his explanation of why he had a beard.

At first he’d said it was because he had a weak chin he didn’t want anyone to notice, but then he’d admitted it had been an ongoing struggle between him and a producer of his show. “He was pushy and I was usually compliant. It was a great gig and I knew it. But it got to where he wanted to…create the brand he wanted me to be, I guess. I mostly went along because he was a pretty smart guy who knew his stuff, but when I came back from vacation with a beard and he gave the order to have it gone before I went on the air, it became the proverbial last straw.”

Everyone had last straws sometimes, she thought abstractedly, stopping and waiting for him to join her. “Rehearsal was okay, wasn’t it?” she said, thinking her voice sounded horrifyingly breathy. It went along with the movie scenario. “I didn’t make a complete idiot of myself, did I? Or mess things up for other people? I never want to do that. Where’s Toby?”

Of course, she didn’t. People who were pocket protectors protected not only themselves, but others from themselves.

During all the long months of his illness, Paul had never seen her angry. She’d confined that to times alone. She’d hidden her anger to protect him, yet it had probably created a chasm between them. She should have let him see her last straws sometimes.

“He’s asleep. Braxton is staying the night.” Clay didn’t hesitate as he joined her, just put his arms around her and led her into a dance. “You were great.”

Syd wasn’t a good dancer, by any means. When friends used to tell her to “listen for the beat,” she always said, “what beat?” because she could never hear it. But she’d loved to dance anyway. It was emotion in motion, and sometimes…sometimes after Paul got sick it had been better than running screaming into the woods behind the house, which had been both an alternative and a temptation. Abba and Billy Joel and Journey had often brought some semblance of peace to the crashing cacophony of her anger.

She couldn’t remember the last time she’d danced in a man’s arms—probably at the girls’ weddings, when Paul was already having trouble moving but had been determined to dance not only with Haley and Shiloh but with Syd as well. It had been excruciating, the fear that he would fall and be injured or become so exhausted he couldn’t stay to enjoy the receptions.

The memory was fleeting, and of happy times, and then it was just Clay McAlister. Taller and more muscled than Paul had been, his arms creating a circle of light for just the two of them as they danced across the grass.

When he kissed her in the shade of the willow tree, she wasn’t sure where the stars came from, only that they filled her eyes and, for a long and tender moment, her heart. She’d been so tired when she came outside, but weariness gave way to the magic of the clear night and being in Clay McAlister’s arms. She’d set her glass down somewhere, or he had, leaving her arms free to go around him.

It couldn’t go anywhere, whatever “it,” this meeting of hearts and minds, was. She couldn’t go through it again, the caring for and ultimate losing of a man she loved. She didn’t think Clay wanted to settle into a committed relationship, either, and she didn’t know how to have any other kind.

“Boat ride?” he said quietly, meeting her gaze in the dim lights from the deck.

She nodded. That much, she could do. Saying no never even occurred to her.

Buy Links

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Retired from the Logansport post office, Liz Flaherty spends non-writing time sewing, quilting, and doing whatever else she wants to. She and her husband Duane live in the old farmhouse in North Central Indiana they moved to in 1977. They’ve talked about moving, but really…40-plus years’ worth of stuff? It’s not happening. It would require removing old baseball trophies from the attic and dusting the pictures of the Magnificent Seven, their grandchildren.

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Virtual Book Tour: Secrets of a River Swimmer

I’m happy to welcome author S.S. Turner. Today, he shares his favorite films and new release, Secrets of a River Swimmer.

My top ten favorite films (it will become very clear who my favorite director is from this list!):

1. Vertigo

2. North by Northwest

3. To Catch A Thief

4. Rear Window

5. In Bruges

6. Lord of the Rings trilogy

7. Being John Malkovich

8. Hot Fuzz

9. Man Up

10. Notting Hill


As Freddy gazes at the majestic river gushing past him in the depths of a Scottish winter, he’s ready to jump in and end his life. But what happens next is not what Freddy expects. From the moment he enters the river, Freddy starts a journey which is more beautiful, funny, and mysterious than he could have imagined. And through this journey Freddy’s story becomes interweaved with a cast of unforgettable characters who are equally lost and in search of answers. Eventually they all unite in their quest for an answer to the biggest question of them all: will the river take them where they want to go?

In the tradition of inspirational works of fiction like The Alchemist and Life of Pi, Secrets of a River Swimmer is at once a profound exploration into living with meaning and an affecting story of people on the cusp of change.


From Page 21-22

My thoughts drift to picture what life as a gillie must be like. I imagine you start the day by carrying all the fishing equipment your fat and wealthy clients will need for a day of luxurious and fully-catered fishing. You carry everything while they take it easy, and you locate the best spot to fish for the largest possible salmon. Your local knowledge about fishing spots has to be extraordinary. You then set up the fishing rod, position your client in the right spot, and talk them through what they need to do to catch that magic fish they’re all searching for. Of course, your clients are always searching for the largest catch of the season, so they can go home and brag to their friends and family about what skilled fishermen they are. It’s obvious to you, if not to them, that the subtext is being able to sing to the world that they have massive willies, bigger than everyone else’s.

Beyond fishing, you’re forced to listen to whatever the hell it is your clients want to talk about for the eight long hours you’re on the river. Your clients are all obscenely wealthy, so it’s more than likely you’ll hear a lot of moaning about all the small things in life they’d like changed. Many of them will complain about local wind farm developments, council plans to develop their neighborhood, and, of course, the big one: immigration. They all believe immigrants are responsible for all the problems in the world. These people are your quintessential NIMBYs, and will always complain about progress if it affects them in any way, no matter how minor. You do whatever you can to bring the conversation back to fishing because it’s an easier conversation for you, and less productive grounds for their complaining. They’re slowly sucking the life out of you with their negativity, so you carefully select your words to bring the conversation onto a more positive pathway. And, of course, your ultimate back-up plan, as it is for many British people, is to pull out the ultimate conversation filler when you’re at rock bottom: the weather. Yes, it’s a desperate move and the equivalent of holding up a white flag, but needs must.

Buy Links

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Author Bio

S.S. Turner has been an avid reader, writer, and explorer of the natural world throughout his life which has been spent in England, Scotland and Australia. Just like Freddy in his first novel, Secrets of a River Swimmer, he worked in the global fund management sector for many years but realized it didn’t align with his values. In recent years, he’s been focused on inspiring positive change through his writing as well as trying not to laugh in unfortunate situations. He now lives in Australia with his wife, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and ten chickens.



One randomly chosen winner will win a $50 Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift card via Rafflecopter. Find out more here.

Follow S.S. Turner on the rest of his Goddess Fish tour here.

Interview with Bentley Turner

I’m happy to welcome back author Bentley Turner. Today, Bentley chats about his writing journey and shares his new release, The Prize Winners and Other Stories.

Q. Are any of your characters inspired by real people?

A. In The Prize Winners and Other Stories, there are a few characters in two or three stories that have been inspired by actual people. In other words, I pictured these individuals when I created the characters. However, their actions or thoughts were mine, not theirs.

Q. What is the best part of being an author?

A. The best part of being an author is having a reader tell me s/he enjoyed what I wrote.

Q. What is the worst part of being an author?

A. For me, the worst part of being an author is the time I’ve wasted trying to come up with a plot that will interest readers.

Q. Describe your writing space.

A. My writing space includes several desks, a computer or two, two or three lamps, one or two dictionaries, and other reference books.

Q. Which authors have inspired you?

A. The authors who have inspired me include John O’Hara, Ernest Hemingway, James M. Cain, and several other writers who are no longer living.

Q. Besides writing and reading, what are some of your hobbies?

A. Some of my hobbies besides reading and writing include walking or hiking, traveling (by car, train, or ship), and sightseeing.

Q. Any advice for aspiring writers?

A. Although aspiring writers have been told this, I’ll repeat it: don’t give up trying to get a poem, short story, article, novel, or whatever published. You may get one rejection after another, but, if you’re serious about your writing, you’ll stick to it.

Q. What are you working on next?

A. I have just submitted two novels to the publisher that is publishing my collection of stories. One of the novels is a mystery, which is what my first novel, The File on Thomas Marks, was. It concerns the murder of a successful businessman and the investigation for the culprit by his son, who is not a trained detective. The novel includes the trial of the accused, too. The other novel concerns an agent with the Central Intelligence Agency that becomes the head of a small department that investigates UFOs. Although he learns about unidentified flying objects, he also learns about another agent who he thought he knew but didn’t.


The unique stories in the collection feature young people who have to deal with intolerant teachers, fickle girlfriends, unusual pets, and the deaths of loved ones. Other stories concern adults who have to confront loneliness, mental illness, rejection, and even murder.

The Prize Winners and Other Stories literally has something for everyone and will be available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Ingram, Smashwords, and other retailers.

Author Bio

Bentley Turner is the author of The File on Thomas Marks, a mystery that was published by the Global Publishing Group in 2021.

Amazon Author Page –

Blurb Blitz: Honor

I’m happy to welcome back author January Bain. Today, January shares her new release, Book 3 in the Sin City Wolf Series, Honor.


Never run from a wolf!

Isadora Champagne is a witch on a dangerous mission to take down Lucius Luceres. That bad boy Alpha billionaire doesn’t deserve to have it all his way. Thinks he can dump her baby sister after a one-night stand and get away with it! But now that she’s met the shifter, keeping her heart safe from him is going to cost more than a curse to stop him, it just might cost her a pack with the devil himself.

Lucius of the House of Luceres is an alpha werewolf, secure in his bad-to-the-bone reputation. But when confronted by the beautiful Isadora one fateful night, even he can’t help but notice the extreme attraction that instantly ignites between them. But what he hadn’t counted on was how useful her magic gifts can be to the House of Luceres when one of their own goes missing.

Will he be able to set aside the centuries of mistrust that has existed between witches and shifters and allow her special brand of courage and caring heal even the most jaded heart?



I placed an arm around Elena’s thin shoulders, my heart breaking for my younger sister who was the mirror image of me with her smooth fall of Titian hair, legs that didn’t quit and a bod that drew more than her fair share of attention. But she didn’t look like a goddess at the moment. She was sobbing as if her life were over. I’d never seen her this upset, not even when her first boyfriend had dropped her just before prom…though it had been fun enacting a spell to cause him to grow horns and a tail for the event.

Of course, I wouldn’t do anything like that again. If I’d learned anything, it was the cost of being rash in such endeavors. Everything one does has a karma attached to it, like it or not. Good deeds attract good energy. It was the way of the witch—or a good witch, which was what I considered myself. Okay, I had to work on it at times. Nobody’s perfect, right? But hell yeah, I tried to stay in the good-witch zone.

Elena turned her tear-stained face toward me. Her beautiful hair was tangled, oily from needing a washing, her eyes were red-rimmed and I swore she had lost weight in the past few days. Was she even eating? My sister, who prided herself on being well-groomed and whom I loved for her big generous heart, was beyond devastated, her eyes hopeless pools of pain.

“I know I was stupid to care so much. But he was so kind to me, so handsome and romantic. I thought we’d made a real connection. I wouldn’t have gone with him otherwise. You know that, right? I’m not easy. I’ve only been with a few guys.”

I rubbed her back. “He’s a damn fool. And no, you’re definitely not easy. You’re the best he could ever imagine being with. It’s his loss.”

“I should have known better. He’s too good for me, being a Luceres and all.”

My ire heated. “You’re as good as any Luceres. In fact, this proves you’re better. Why, your little finger is more special than all of him put together.”

“Then why didn’t he think so?”

My stomach squeezed into a fist. “Which Luceres was it? I’ve got an idea. We’re not going to let him get away with this.”

Author Bio and Links

January Bain has wished on every falling star, every blown-out birthday candle, and every coin thrown in a fountain to be a storyteller. To share the tales of high adventure, mysteries, and full-blown thrillers she has dreamed of all her life. The story you now have in your hands is the compilation of a lot of things manifesting itself for this special series. Hundreds of hours spent researching the unusual and the mundane have come together to create books that features strong women who live life to the fullest, wild adventures full of twists and unforeseen turns, and hot complicated men who aren’t afraid to take risks. She can only hope her stories will capture your imagination.

If you are looking for January Bain, you can find her hard at work every morning without fail in her office with her furry baby, Ling Ling. And, of course, she’s married to the most romantic man! Who once famously remarked to her inquiry about buying fresh flowers for their home every week, “Give me one good reason why not?” Leaving her speechless and knocking her head against the proverbial wall for being so darn foolish. She loves flowers.

If you wish to connect in the virtual world she is easily found on Facebook. Oh, and she loves to talk books…

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January Bain will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.

Follow January on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here

Go For It!

I’m happy to welcome back Wild Rose Press author Jennifer Wilck. Today, Jennifer shares her reinvention story and new release, Unlock My Heart.

Here’s Jennifer!

Reinvention is an awesome thing, and one I think many women find themselves doing at some point in their lives. I know I’ve done it, and for anyone who is considering reinventing themselves, my advice is GO FOR IT!

When I graduated college, I worked in public relations for several firms in New York City. I loved my job. I loved meeting people, finding out what messages they needed to convey, and figuring out ways to do that. It was exciting. I learned how to pitch story ideas to editors, how to translate complicated technology descriptions into common English that the average person could understand, and to help clients through product releases. I must confess, my favorite part was hiding behind my youth—sitting in a client meeting, quietly listening to what the men thought they wanted, and finally speaking up with an idea and watching their expressions turn from shock to acceptance to admiration. It was a nice ego boost.

Eventually, I realized I liked the writing part the best, and I moved over to the editorial side, where I worked for technology magazines. Again, I loved it. It was a bit of a reinvention, but more like flipping to the other side of the same coin. Now I sought out the companies, read the press releases, interviewed people who could have been former clients. I loved the writing, but there was less creativity involved. I had to stick to the facts, rather than coming up with marketing campaigns. My creative juices were less in demand, but I drew pride in writing for myself rather than for a client and seeing my byline rather than my clients’.

I took time off when I had children, lucky enough to be able to devote my time to them. But something was missing. I needed a creative outlet for everything that was whirring in my brain. And so, I reinvented myself again. I’d always been a romance reader. I read lots of different genres, but romance made me happy. I liked the happily ever after endings and the escapism. One day, when my girls were sleeping, I wrote down a story in my head. That story eventually turned into my first romance, A Heart of Little Faith. From then on, I was hooked. I learned everything I could about my craft—I’m still learning—as well as the business side. I entered contests, queried editors and agents, and eventually landed with my current publisher, The Wild Rose Press. I’m a hybrid author, so I also self-publish (that first romance, along with two more, Whispers in Washington and Better Together in Boston). And I was lucky enough to find an agent who I hope will help me find a home for a manuscript I’ve been working on for a long time.

Reinvention is scary. It’s easy to stay with what you know. But if you listen to your inner voice, you can do it. Talk to others. There are a lot of us out there who have done it. We’re happy to share our successes and failures.


Abby Marlow, computer security expert, lands a job at the best IT security firm in the country. Her sole focus is financial independence so she never has to rely on others again, especially a man. But why does her boss make her wires short circuit?

Ted Endicott, CEO and founder of the IT security firm, is hard of hearing. Although an expert in his field, he’s still uncomfortable admitting his difficulty hearing to his clients or employees. So why is he willing to accept Abby’s help?

As Ted and Abby work together, barriers fall away, and soon the lines blur between colleagues and lovers. But a security glitch in a client’s system indicates one of his employees is the hacker, and all signs point to Abby. Can they get past the suspicion and find a future together?

Tagline: Can love break through their firewalls?


“You always run alone?”

She pointed to a nearby jogger. “I’m not alone.”

“But you’re not with anyone.”

Standing this close to him, she wished for things she shouldn’t. “No, I’m not.”

“How far are you going?”

“The end of the trail and back.” Or however long it
took to get him out of her mind.

He put his helmet on. “Come on, I’ll keep you company.”

“It’s not necessary.” Clearing her mind would be impossible with him next to her.

“It’s safer this way.” He looked down the trail. His desire to protect her sent warmth curling up and down her spine. It had been a long time since anyone was concerned about her. All of a sudden, the idea of company appealed to her. Touching his arm— and trying not to squeeze his bicep like you would if you tested the ripeness of a peach—she waited for him to turn. “You’re welcome to join me if you want. If you can keep up.” She winked and raced away, his bark of laughter a brief punch in the silence behind her.

She no longer kept an easy pace, easing into the morning. This time, she sprinted hard. The slight whir of his bike wheels warned her as he reached her a few moments later.

“You’re pretty fast, but I’d suggest you slow down.”

She turned toward him. “Out of pity for you?”

His lips twitched, and his nostrils flared, but he kept his humor reined tight. Instead, he cycled next to her, his head turned slightly toward her. “The only pity I ask for is please don’t make me carry you home when you’re too tired to continue.”

“Wouldn’t dream of it, sir.” She made sure he could read her lips.

He grinned, and the last of her tension disappeared. He accepted her teasing.

“Oh, you’ll pay,” he said.

He rode ahead, and she thought for sure he would leave her in the dust. But he turned around, a gleam in his eye, and returned to her side. When they reached a part of the trail farther on, he pulled ahead a little and skidded in a puddle, splashing her legs.

She gasped and looked at her mud-spattered shins and ignored the twinkle in his eye. “You play dirty—literally.”

Ted stopped while she paused to clean her legs off. Given the opportunity—two could play this game—she took her mud-streaked hands and wiped them on his chest. She drew in a breath and realized her mistake. Sure, she’d repaid him for splattering her with mud, but a sudden awareness of his body overrode her satisfaction. His muscles were hard, and she wondered what the rest of him felt like. Her pulse pounded in her ears, and her gaze shifted to his lips. What would it be like to kiss them?

She jerked and pulled her hand away. No. She jumped at the strangled sound from the mouth she’d considered kissing and raised her glance to his eyes. His surprise mirrored her own.

Mistake, mistake, mistake! An internal voice blared a warning. She’d intended for it to be like when she and Max, her best friend from childhood, challenged each other as kids. In fact, when he teased her, Ted reminded her of Max—something about the glint in his eye and the “need to win” coupled with concern. But she hadn’t counted on the sexual component.

She closed her eyes. She was not like her mother. She wasn’t.


She stilled. Maybe he couldn’t see her. Right, and maybe unicorns are real.


“Open your eyes.” She opened them.

“Let’s get breakfast.”

Buy Links

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Author Bio and Links

Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after.

In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate.

Jennifer Wilck is an award-winning contemporary romance author for readers who are passionate about love, laughter, and happily ever after. Known for writing both Jewish and non-Jewish romances, her books feature damaged heroes, sassy and independent heroines, witty banter and hot chemistry. Jennifer’s ability to transport the reader into the scene, create characters the reader will fall in love with, and evoke a roller coaster of emotions, will hook you from the first page. You can find her books at all major online retailers in a variety of formats.

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