Virtual Book Tour: Irresistible

I’m happy to welcome USA Today Bestselling author Darcy Burke. Today, Darcy shares an entertaining post about a writer’s life and her new release, Irresistible.

A Day in the Life

You probably know that writers’ lives are not that glamorous. For the most part, I get up, I feed the cats, I eat breakfast, I wake my son, give him breakfast, then I drive him to school. Or, maybe it’s a morning when I drive him to get allergy shots first. His school day is either three and half hours or just over five hours. On the shorter days, I often don’t drive home (school is 20-30 minutes away, depending on traffic and construction). Instead, I run errands, work at Starbucks, and usually grab lunch.

I like working at Starbucks or a lunch place because I am not distracted by cats! Or laundry (I am weird – I actually like doing laundry!). When I am in public, I tend to focus better for some stupid reason. So if I’m on deadline, I like to take advantage of that time to force myself to work. It feels even more productive now after so long at home due to the pandemic, but I don’t know how accurate that is.

I try not to run too many errands as it can be incredibly distracting. Running into Target for two things becomes an hour-long trek purchasing things I vaguely need, but probably not right now when I, um, should be writing. My favorite boutique is next door to one of the Starbucks where I write. That can be a total time suck! I am super proud of myself for avoiding it since new year’s! And I had a gift certificate!!

After I pick up my son, I typically go home and work some more or I’ll run on the treadmill. I bait myself with television to get myself to run—that’s where I do my best binge watching. I’m currently enjoying the show Barry starring Bill Hader and Henry Winkler. I laugh out loud several times every episode. I am lucky to have a husband who does most of the cooking. I just got really tired of it about five years ago, and he enjoys it, so it works out. I do still cook (I’m the taco, chili, and stew queen!), mostly when I’m not on deadline.

Evenings are spent either writing, ironing (I iron sheets because I hate when the top edges are all wrinkled), reading, or watching TV with the family. Or playing games! Oh, and always, always petting cats.

Blurb

Jessamine Goodfellow has spent six Seasons avoiding the parson’s trap, and spinsterhood is finally within her grasp. A brilliant scholar, she longs for adventure and new experiences, things her family frowns upon. Presented with the opportunity to use her puzzle-solving talent on a secret mission for the Foreign Office, Jess eagerly accepts. Even when it means posing as the wife of a scorchingly attractive Scotsman who she must also covertly investigate as a possible double agent.

Lord Dougal MacNair, the new Viscount Fallin, has always completed his assignments for the Foreign Office alone. Now he’s saddled with an overly enthusiastic amateur partner. She possesses a remarkable intellect, but something about her isn’t quite right, and after two failed missions, Dougal is certain someone is working against him. Battling their secret suspicions, Dougal and Jess dive deep into their cover as a married couple, which arouses temptations they find irresistible. Danger is all around them, but it’s their hearts that may be the most imperiled.

Excerpt

“Tell me why I’ve hurried back.”

“A mission to the Dorset coast. You leave in a week.”

Dougal frowned. “If I don’t leave for a week, why am I here now?”

Lucien hesitated the barest moment. “Because you need time to prepare with your partner.”

“My what?”

Voices in the hall interrupted further conversation because a moment later, Lucien’s butler announced the arrival of Lady Pickering and Miss Jessamine Goodfellow. Dougal was very familiar with Lady Pickering, but the other white woman was unknown to him. Taller than most ladies, Miss Goodfellow possessed vivid cobalt eyes that assessed him with a keen curiosity. Indeed, her unabashed attention could only mean one thing—that she was to be his partner.

Lady Pickering moved her vigilant gaze toward him. “I’m pleased you could arrive so quickly, Lord Fallin. I do apologize that you were called away at this time.”

Dougal inclined his head. “I am always eager to serve.”

“One of your best qualities.” Lady Pickering turned slightly toward the young lady. “Jessamine, this is Lord Fallin.” Lady Pickering then looked to Dougal. “Allow me to present Miss Jessamine Goodfellow. She will be your wife on this endeavor.”

“My what?” First, he had a partner, and now he had a wife?

Author Bio and Links

Darcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of sexy, emotional historical and contemporary romance. Darcy wrote her first book at age 11, a happily ever after about a swan addicted to magic and the female swan who loved him, with exceedingly poor illustrations. Click here to Join her Reader Club.

A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, artist daughter, and imaginative son who will almost certainly out-write her one day (that may be tomorrow).

They’re a crazy cat family with two Bengal cats, a small, fame-seeking cat named after a fruit, an older rescue Maine Coon with attitude to spare, and a collection of neighbor cats who hang out on the deck and occasionally venture inside. You can find Darcy at a winery, in her comfy writing chair, or binge-watching TV with the family.

Her happy places are Disneyland, Labor Day weekend at the Gorge, Denmark, and anywhere in the UK—so long as her family is there too.

Website | Reader Group Newsletter | Instagram | Twitter | BookBub | Goodreads | Facebook | Darcy’s Duchesses Facebook Group

Impossible Buy Links

Amazon | Apple | Nook | Kobo

Giveaway

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

Follow Darcy Burke on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour here.

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have Wild Rose Press author Chloe Holiday sharing the radical change that catapulted her into an extraordinary second act.

Here’s Chloe!

Briefly describe your first act.

For many years I practiced medicine, in and out of the military. It was a challenging labor of love, between the complicated management of cancer patients, their emotional needs and those of their families, and the long hours. While it was tremendously rewarding, it took a toll, leaving little time for my family and almost none for me, for many years.

What triggered the need for change?

Things started to happen with my colleagues—serious diagnoses and even some deaths. I had a couple of health scares myself, and a family member developed serious mental health issues. Dealing with these required a radical change: leaving medicine since I could no longer devote the time to doing it right. This was horribly scary, and made worse by the dire predictions of coworkers that I’d feel empty without practicing but I knew something had to give.

I developed terrible insomnia the first year after this change, and read a hundred novels that year—a great luxury, since I’d read mainly medical journals for years. I thought, “maybe I could do this” and during the next Insomnia Edition, I started to write my first novel.

It wasn’t great—two stories squished into one, but it had potential and it was really fun, to unleash the creative side of me. I learned all I could about writing, and worked to fine-tune my prose to an easy-reading, fast-paced style.

Where are you now?

I’ve just published my seventh novel, Fly Boy. It’s about a crop duster in Texas, and have become a “number one best-selling Amazon author” and am branching out into audiobooks. I love writing and connecting to readers and other authors, and hope that my stories can give people a much-needed escape and positivity.

Do you have advice for anyone planning to pursue a second act?

Do what you can to plan it—the finances, the timing, etc. so that you can “look before you leap” but understand that in the end, it takes courage and faith to commit to taking that step—you’ll always have a reason not to do it. Realize that while many will be supportive, some people in your life might actively discourage you, because your bravery in stepping off the treadmill will make them worry that they are making the wrong choice to stay. That creates cognitive dissonance and emotional stress for them, so they resolve it by taking the position that you are being foolish. Let them!

Any affirmations or quotations you wish to share?

Growing up, our family had two informal mottos. The first was, “How hard can it be?” and the second was “What’s the worst thing that could happen?”Those have stood me in good stead for every new endeavor, including making the jump to author.

Tagline

Tricia needs to liquidate assets to keep her late grandmother’s orchard out of foreclosure, but Travis—the guy who stood her up on prom night years ago—claims he had a handshake deal with Nana to buy the crop duster.

Blurb

Travis burned her once, but now Tricia must choose:

Flame him, or forgive and forget? Maybe he’s changed.

But … what if all the rumors are true?

Photographer Tricia Carlisle inherits her beloved grandmother’s orchard and leaves Chicago for her Texas roots, steeling herself to be immune to the charms of the small town—and those of Travis Walker, who stood her up on prom night seven years ago. Worse, she arrives only to find Nana’s place is in foreclosure. To have any hope of saving it, Tricia has no choice but to sell down assets—including her grandfather’s crop duster.

Travis Walker loses his last true friend when Nana Carlisle passes. Will his handshake deal to buy her crop duster survive now that Tricia is taking over? She’s cash-strapped and probably still hates his guts. He needs that plane—it’s his ticket out of this small town that sees him as a crook—but it’s on Tricia’s radar now.

Fly Boy is a steamy, stand-alone second-chance novella in the All-American Boy Series. It’s set in Deacon, Texas—home to sexy country boys and sassy, tough women. Warm, lazy afternoons in a hammock and swimming holes in a shady creek. Hot, heavenly Tex-Mex and even hotter kisses.

Come on down, y’all!

Author Bio and Links

Chloe writes steamy, fun novels about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, smart women and men who aren’t jerks. Her stories feature friendships—close women or a good bromance—with all the feels: the thrill of a smoldering gaze or the barest brush of fingertips, the shocked gasp at the underhanded villain, the angst of heartbreak, the joy of reunion, and of course, happily ever after!

She enjoys humor and embarrassing situations as well as a vicarious sneak peek into intriguing groups (military personnel, medicine, another culture like Greece, sailing, diving, or rock climbing…) A little danger is always fun, so many contain a suspense subplot.

She hates to read the same old thing, with only the names and places changed, so her goal is to bring you a fresh, fun, new story every time, with NO CLIFFHANGERS: a rollicking, great escape that whisks readers away and love prevails.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | BookBub | Amazon Author Page | Universal Book Link | Universal Audiobook Link

Other Books by Chloe Holiday

The Helios Series

Finders, Keepers | Helios | New Heights | Submerged Hopes | Hard Truths

The All American Boy Series

A Boy & His Dog | Fly Boy

Welcome Baby Kodiak!

10 Powerful Affirmations from Abby Wynne

I’m happy to welcome psychotherapist and author Abby Wynne. Today, Abby shares her new release, Awakening, Book 1 (The Inner Compass Trilogy), and ten powerful affirmations. These affirmations would have helped Melissa, the protagonist of the trilogy.

I’m a healer first and foremost, a writer second. My genre up to now has been self-care. I’m a Shamanic Psychotherapist, something that the main character in my book, Awakening, is not. Not yet, anyway. She is me but she isn’t me, some of her struggles mirror my own when it came to the journey of learning how to be a therapist. And some of them are very much hers.

1. I am safe

This seems like a simple thing to say, but to believe it 100% is incredibly difficult. Marissa was safe, as are most of us, but she believed that she was vulnerable, and fragile in the world. Repeating this affirmation helps anyone re-orient themselves, and get stronger.

2. I can and I will

This one is great for increasing self-confidence. Marissa has many essays to write, many live assessments to perform, and sometimes just getting the bus to work is a challenge. If she says ‘I can and I will’ instead of worrying so much, she would be much less stressed out!

3. I no longer need to cause myself emotional pain

Marissa questions everything, and brings it all back to self-doubt, which causes stress and elicits fear. By making a deal with yourself to not cause yourself deliberate stress, it really takes the pressure off.

4. I am here

This one sounds strange, of course you are here, but we are not always here. Particularly Marissa who drifts off to shamanic lands and other worlds while her body is in this reality. Sometimes we need to pull ourselves back into the room, othertimes its fun to travel. This one is a good anchor into the present moment.

5. Everything I need is right here

We all have a tendency to compare ourselves to other people. Marissa would be looking at her friend Joanne who is married with children, and thinking that she is lacking something, especially since James left her. Perhaps she’s not good enough for anyone? Well, if she had said this affirmation, she would be more solid, and perhaps more attractive for a new mate to show up in her life. Does someone new show up? Well, I don’t want to give you any spoilers!

6. I am learning how to look after myself

Marissa feels very grown up when she’s able to organise things well, and she feels scattered and small when she isn’t. I think that goes for most of us. By saying this affirmation out loud and meaning it 100%, we let go of our mistakes, and focus on what we can do, and do it better, and better, and better, until we can look after ourselves as best as we can. This one is important – try it!

7. Every Day I heal a little bit more

Healing is a process, and it isn’t a straight line either. Marissa feels at times that she goes backwards, and then berates herself for it. When you feel like you’ve regressed, remember that maybe it feels like going back, but what you’re actually doing is going deeper in, and healing something that you couldn’t heal the first time. Saying this affirmation is very empowering.

8. I call my power back to me right now

We lose power everywhere all the time. By calling our power back well, we become empowered. Marissa loses her power to other people, and to things that happen to her, and, she loses it in her dreams, too. If she had used this one, maybe The Inner Compass Trilogy wouldn’t have ended up a trilogy after all. Just as well she didn’t know this one for me!

9. I am worthy of love

Many people don’t feel this at all. It’s sad really, because if you exist, then you’re worthy of love. You just are looking at all the things that you don’t love about yourself. James left Marissa and she felt unlovable. But if she knew she was worthy, maybe some of her decisions would have been different. And maybe yours would be, too.

10. I am good enough for me

This is my favourite affirmation. We don’t always have to fix or change ourselves, we can be good enough, just as we are. And if we are waiting to be good enough for someone else, well, we will never get there. So let’s focus on improving the relationship that we have with ourselves – I’m all for doing that first. If we like ourselves, then we will have better boundaries, and choose people that are healthy for us. Being good enough for me, is good enough, for me, and I hope for you, too.

I hope you try these affirmations and that they change your life, help you anchor into the present moment, and let go of your expectation that the love you need is outside of you from another person. You can give yourself all the love you need, which makes you all the more loveable for someone else.

And do go out and get Awakening, and find out what happens to Marissa, maybe you’ll be shouting out one of these affirmations to her when she needs it the most. And maybe she’ll hear it too! Lots of love, Abby Wynne

Blurb

When Marissa’s fiancé leaves her unexpectedly, she is left trying to put the broken pieces of her life back together again. The magical years of her childhood are now lost or long forgotten and, trapped in a downward spiral of worry and anxiety, nothing seems to be bringing the magic back any time soon.

Training to become a therapist, Marissa discovers an unforeseen talent for helping others and, for a while at least, she puts her own needs and concerns to one side. An unexpected windfall prompts a spontaneous trip to Peru, and an encounter while she is there triggers an astonishing series of events. Shaken but excited, Marissa embarks on a wonderful journey of revelation and adventure – after which, her life will never be the same again.

Marissa’s story is your story, is my story, is everybody’s story: we each must find our own true path through life, our one true way.

Abby Wynne, author and Shamanic Psychotherapist, brings all her wisdom to bear on Marissa’s amazing tale of discovery and healing. A catalyst for people’s healing processes, Abby is a problem solver, a creative artist, an alchemist, a healer, a mother, a daughter, a lover of life – and it shows in this, her first novel.

Excerpt

Marissa looked out the window at the moonlight. It was half a moon and seemed to glisten through the tree branches. The leaves were falling, the days were getting darker earlier and earlier. A single star blinked in the pale sky, but the sky was too bright with light pollution to see anything more. She looked at the cloud as it crawled towards the moon, shifting and changing its shape. She could see a dragon in it for a moment, then it turned into puffs of smoke, and then the moon was hidden.

She put the notebook down beside her laptop and climbed into bed, leaving the curtains open. She liked moonlight. Her room in the half-light felt like an in-between place, her breathing slowing down, her body relaxing. Tobermory jumped up beside her, looking straight into her eyes. She stroked his back.

‘My familiar, my friend, my cat,’ she said, ‘what do you think? Do you have an answer for me?’

As usual, Tobermory was silent, but he held eye contact for a moment longer than Marissa expected him to. Perhaps he understood her? He mewed, then curled himself into a black circle on the bed beside her and began to purr.

Training, she thought to herself as she settled under the covers. But who is going to teach me?’

Author Bio and Links

Abby Wynne is the bestselling author of the “One Day at a Time Diary”, “How to Be Well” and “Energy Healing made Easy.” The Inner Compass Trilogy is her first novel, weaving her knowledge of shamanism, psychotherapy and energy healing into an exciting, fast-paced story which spans across many dimensions. Abby’s based in Ireland and lives with her husband, 4 children, a dog and a cat! Abby offers many ways to feel supported while you are on your path of healing; her mission is to empower people by teaching them how to heal themselves.

Website | Podcast | Instagram | Facebook | YouTube

You can buy The Inner Compass Trilogy on all good online bookstores.

Giveaway

Abby Wynne will be awarding a International – €50 off any of the digital products on the author’s website to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.

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

Virtual Book Tour: Lost and Found

I’m happy to welcome author C. M. Sage. Today, she shares her new release, Lost and Found, Book 1 in the Chronicles of Antecede Fantasy Adventure Trilogy.

Blurb

Sometimes things are lost for a very long time…and then they are found.

Take Gracie for example, a woman who lost everything, her life, her family, even her name, but now she is a Cathalian warrior of Antecede blessed with powers, which aren’t yet fully realized. Her elder and nemesis, Donavan, finally granted the former professor an opportunity to train a new warrior. Her joy turns to shock when she meets her great, great, great, great grandson, Henry, accompanied by his wisecracking best friend, Milo. Henry recognizes his long dead ancestor right away, and it doesn’t take the Cathalians long to realize that this meeting was no accident.

Gracie and the warriors of Antecede soon discover that they aren’t the only ones laying a claim on their new charges. Menacing enemies from the South and their hired mercenary assassin, Revilan, the Bowman, have also taken an interest. Come along with Gracie, Donavan, and their fellow warriors on a perilous quest to protect all that is good and right from the evil that threatens it, and along the way discover what else was lost.

Excerpt

Gracie tapped his shoulder, “Milo, did you notice anything unusual before I arrived to meet you? Did you see anyone on the shore, even from a far distance?” Milo reached down to ruffle Rosie’s ears before he answered, which was fortunate because at that exact moment a vicious arrow barely missed grazing his ear before flying by into the tall grass.

Gracie heard a sound like a muffled curse far off in the distance. The language wasn’t one she recognized. She knocked Milo flat to the ground, so that he was no longer a target and signaled for her little ones to stay down. Several more arrows flew in quick succession from the same direction. Gracie managed to pull a long dagger from under her coat before she also went down. Blue fell onto her back next to Gracie, a knife in each hand. Gracie looked at Obi, who knew what to do. He crawled away to search for and retrieve an arrow.

In the interim Blue and Gracie rose to their knees, keeping their heads down, and signaling for Milo to stay down. He nodded, and muttered in a shaky voice, “You don’t have to tell me twice. I may never get up!”

Author Bio and Links

Lost and Found is author C.M. Sage’s first book in the Chronicles of Antecede fantasy adventure trilogy. She loves writing, reading, and traveling. Most of all she loves spending time with her beloved family and friends…and yes, that includes her furry friends. Life would have been much less sunny without them.

Website | Instagram | Facebook | Amazon Author Page | Amazon Buy Link

Giveaway

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

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

Virtual Book Tour: Thumb Fire Desire

I’m happy to welcome author Carol Nickles. Today, Carol shares five of her most embarrassing moments and her new release, Thumb Fire Desire.

Here’s Carol!

Oh Boy! This may be painful.

Episode 1: Color Day

From first grade through sophomore year in college, I attended parochial schools. An established dress code was consistently enforced.

In seventh grade, I was a new and enthusiastic sewist. As Color Day—the one day of the month students could wear civilian clothes approached; I strategized an outfit of my own creation. My mother suggested an easy sewing hack for a sleeveless A-line dress. If I made it out of felt, I could dispense with seam finishes, neckline and armhole facings, and a turned hem.

Embellishment choice and application were my opportunities to stand out. A popular pattern company designed a whimsical guide to sewing round characters they called Gonks. Gonks were the precursor of the smiley face, except gonks had long skinny arms and legs and a generous head of hair. Wouldn’t it be fun? I thought, to applique a gonk to my plain white jumper? I gathered the materials—pink felt for the face, flesh color felt for the appendages and thick, black rug yarn for the hair. And wouldn’t it be more fun to position the gonk upside down?

I completed the jumper before bedtime and drifted off to sleep with sweet dreams of the big reveal. Among a jovial, colorful cast of fellow students jockeying their way into our middle school classroom the next morning, I slipped off my winter coat.

A chorus of gasps followed by unchoreographed mouth claps met my Ta-Da moment. Hiccupy giggles and finger-pointing ensued.

A softhearted friend led me by the hand to the girl’s room. There, in front of the mirror, the upside-down gonk smiled, its bushy head of black rug yarn placed dead center over my crotch.

Episode 2: Office Blackout

It was a regular summer day in the office until the power went out. A bank of windows allowed natural light, so work continued. But utilizing the windowless restroom presented a challenge. With a familiar feel, I found the seat and the lever to flush the toilet. On my return to the office, I passed the receptionist.

“Carol, check your skirt!” Bonnie whispered.

Gah. The bank of windows allowed enough light for my colleagues to see my lightweight, flowy skirt tucked into the back of my pantyhose waistband.

Episode 3: Lake Huron Regatta

“Prepare to capsize!” Our ten-year-old captain screamed. As part of a four-man crew on a Summer School sailboat, I scrambled to unleash the ropes, slip into Lake Huron, and keep my head above water.

I knew the retrieval routine. This was not my first capsize. I swam to the side still atop the water and reached to grip the gunwale.

Whoosh. My home-sewn bathing suit bottom slipped off my waist, down my legs, and wafted to the sandy Lake Huron floor. Lesson learned: Use waterproof elastic constructing bathing suits.

Episode 4: Paranoia on Parade

I have hatbox phobia. This paranoia stems from my first-grade Halloween costume.

My mother repurposed a Bloomingdale hatbox into a paper cephalopod—squid cousin—an invertebrate animal with eight tentacles—an octopus. The tentacles were fashioned out of you guessed it—her supply of black rug yarn. She wove wire throughout the yarn braids and tied pink satin ribbons on the ends. Out of black card stock, she cut large black ovals. On the short top edge, Mother slashed long thin strips and rolled them in tight curlicues over a number two lead pencil. The resulting eyelashes were as dramatic as Madame Bovary’s.

Mother placed the upside-down hatbox on my head.

With a shrill whistle from Sister Mary Josetta, the school Halloween parade began.

The octopus tentacles bobbed.

The hatbox eclipsed my knees, narrowed my vision to a patch of sidewalk encompassing my feet, and restricted my stride to tentative baby steps.

I bounced blindly off of classmates like a driverless bumper car. In the privacy of my cephalopod-inspired hatbox costume, my cheeks burned hot with embarrassment.

Episode 5: The Grand Finale

Following the felt jumper hack, my sewing skills progressed to managing one hundred percent cotton that required seam finishes. At the end of my seventh-grade year, I made a sleeveless straight shift from a cotton fabric printed with varying blue hues——cornflower, navy, cobalt of stylistic apples. The construction of that dress marked my sewing introduction to interfaced armhole facings, a front neckline facing, a back neck facing, and a center-back zipper. Successful completion of those steps fostered a bubble of confidence. I marked and pressed the hem. I applied a hem tape impregnated with glue. Easy peasy! A no-sew hem!

The last Color Day of the year would be remembered as my triumphant exoneration of the gonk fiasco. And Sister Mary Verda had promised an outdoor parade to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. How perfect! I could conquer my first-grade parade paranoia as well.

The sun shone on my brightly dressed classmates as they queued in line.

With our hands folded in prayer, the solemn procession began across the parish perimeters.

Parents lined the walkways.

Cameras clicked.

Stepping into the grassy trail leading to the stone shrine of the pious Madonna, I felt a faint touch on the back of one leg—like the swipe of a sable paintbrush. Trailing down my leg and through the trailing crowd, a length of failed-glue hem tape obliterated my exoneration.

Blurb

In the Spring of 1881, indigent seamstress Ginny Dahlke arrives in one of the earliest Polish American settlements-Parisville, Michigan. Deemed charmless and awkward by her mean-spirited sister-in-law, Ginny disparages her chance of securing love. But sought-after widowed farmer Peter Nickles is enamored by Ginny’s perseverance, her pioneer spirit and, her inclusive acceptance of the indigenous peoples of Michigan. The seductiveness of a buxom heiress, a twisted story of an old-country betrothal, and the largest natural disaster in Michigan’s history-The Great Thumb Fire of September 5, 1881, challenge their fledgling attraction and ultimate committal.

Excerpt

“Watch your step. Watch your step, please,” the steward beckoned from his place on the platform, offering his arm to leave-taking passengers. Ginny stepped down. The heel of her kid leather pump caught in the juncture of the aisle floor and the train ladder’s top step. The blankets in her arms dropped onto the backs of the descending nuns. Her valise—weighted with a treasured book collection, conveyed from her father’s study, and two pounds of beef jerky wrapped in butcher’s paper—whacked the starched veil of the woman who spoke on her behalf. The target’s knees buckled. The nun tumbled face down on the back of her traveling sister.

Ginny toppled next. Mark Twain’s bestseller, the Dahlke family Bible, and a cracked leather-bound copy of Aesop’s Fables fluttered open and sailed into the congregation of the fallen.

From behind them, platform-roosting farmers rushed to retrieve the books, the butcher paper, and the integrity of three ladies.

A man resembling her father’s daguerreotype tugged Ginny by the shoulders and plucked her from the rubble. She clasped his neck and crushed her bonnet against his cheek. “Joseph,” she whispered, kissing a prickly cheek and whiffing aromatic cedar. She sneezed.

“Ginny, so glad you made it safely, even though the very last step of the journey is a sure-as-hell chance you’re going to Purgatory.” Her brother laughed, claiming her. “I mean, Ginny, you almost killed some nuns—nuns, for God’s sake,” he whispered as he tipped his hat to the black-and-white-clad women scurrying to a waiting wagon.

Author Bio and Links

Carol Nickles is the sixth generation of a German textile aficionado family. In 1881, her great-great-great-grandfather founded Yale Woolen Mill—the longest-lasting of Michigan’s once twenty-nine woolen mills. Carol earned a Master’s degree in Historic Clothing & Textiles at Michigan State University. Her thesis is a narrative of the Yale Woolen Mill. She held faculty positions at both Utah and Michigan State universities. She lives in West Michigan and enjoys spinning a tale, weaving a story, and threading a luring hook.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Email

Giveaway

Carol Nickles will be awarding a $50 Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.

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

10 Yoga Tips from a Seasoned Yogini

I’m happy to welcome Wild Rose Press Anastasia Abboud. Today, Anastasia shares yoga tips and her new release, Tremors Through Time.

Here’s Anastasia!

I know – I absolutely know – that everyone would expect me to talk about gardening. But I’ve had a yoga practice for at least as long as I’ve gardened and done it more regularly – since I was around eight years old, in fact. Over the years, my practiced has ebbed and flowed, but I have continued it. I feel more than comfortable sharing a few tips and will begin with the most obvious.

1. Practice daily. Yoga is meant to be an intrinsic part of one’s daily life. It’s good for mind, body, and soul.

2. By the same token, even if you have a yoga class later in the day or evening, try to begin each day with a morning flow and end with at least a few calming poses at bedtime.

3. Yoga will make you stronger inside and out.

4. You do not have to be “in shape” to practice yoga.

5. Most yoga is Hatha yoga. It is a balanced approach consisting of postures (asanas) and breathing exercises (pranayama).

6. Pranayama techniques can and will come to your rescue in various life situations.

7. I have to say, I can’t think of Power Yoga as yoga. But I do think it’s a great workout based on yoga poses and practices. Just be careful. Like other forms of exercise, it is easy to hurt yourself if you don’t do it correctly.

8. Hot yoga can actually be very relaxing.

9. You can keep your religion and practice yoga. Yoga is all about intention. It does not require you to worship a God other than your own.

10. Last but not least, fold your yoga mat in half before you roll it. Seriously, people!

Tagline

In the infinite vastness of time—past, present, future, past—love prevails.

Blurb

She’s made mistakes and paid the price, but Deidre Chisolm is no quitter. She’ll never again be a fool for a man, not even her gorgeous new neighbor with his haunted eyes and strange accent. She’ll be friendly, but nothing more.

Lachlann has to go back to fourteenth-century Scotland. He can’t forsake his family, his son. But when a beautiful, kind, funny lady buys the house next door, he’s never been so drawn to anyone in his life. Would she believe his story? After years of struggling through nightmares and flashbacks, headaches and illiteracy, dare he ask her to help him return?

Book Links

Amazon | Goodreads | Website | BookBub

Author Bio and Links

For me, playing is the best — playing outdoors in nature or in my garden, experimenting in the kitchen, spending time with those I love. I also enjoy disappearing into a good book, attempting crafts, learning, writing, exploring, discovering. I especially like to mix it up and have yet to perfect any of it; and I’ve come to realize that perfection’s not the point. It’s all wonderfully fun. That’s the point!

I prefer authentic and natural, be it food, lifestyle, people. I passionately enjoy both history and science, and certainly sociology to a degree, and I am most truly a romantic.

My husband and I have been married for over forty years. We reside near Houston, Texas, surrounded by loved ones. We have a blast with our little grandchildren.

I thank God for this wonderful life.

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Spotlight on Strong Enough by Jana Richards

I’m happy to welcome back Wild Rose Press author Jana Richards. Today, Jana shares her new release, Strong Enough, Book 4 in the Masonville Series.

Here’s Jana!

Five Things You Need to Know About the Masonville Series

1. This small-town series is set in the fictional town of Masonville, North Dakota. I’ve given the town a population of about 6,000 because I once lived in a town of that size. It’s big enough to have a lot of services, like restaurants, lawyers’ offices, and a veterinary clinic, but small enough that everyone knows your business! Despite being hotbeds of gossip, good things can happen in small towns, too. Small town romance is all about falling in love with your community, while at the same time falling in love with someone special.

2. In each of the books, the characters have a past trauma or unhappiness or hurt they must work through before they can be whole again. And before they can accept love into their lives.

3. There are four books in the series. Several of heroes and/or heroines of the books work at the town’s veterinary clinic. Several of the main characters come from two families in the town, the Saunders and the Greysons.

4. This is the fourth romance series I’ve written. I think I’m getting the hang of this thing! Each book in the series will be a stand-alone story, but as with every series, I think the reading experience is enhanced when read in order.

5. Animals play a huge role in the series. As I said several of the main characters work in veterinary health care. All the couples have at least one pet, and a couple of the heroines are deeply involved in animal rescue. In book four, STRONG ENOUGH, the characters unite to take on their biggest challenge, rescuing both people and animals!

Tagline

Love can make you stronger, if you let it.

Blurb

Charlotte Saunders has a full life—a rewarding career as a nurse, meaningful volunteer work at a dog shelter, and family, friends and pets she adores. But no matter how hard she tries; she can’t forget the horrible event that’s haunted her for ten years.

A survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Damon Greyson now helps others who have suffered trauma. His experience and intuition alert him to trouble in Charlotte’s past, and he wants to help her, if only she’d let him.

As they work together to help veterans suffering from PTSD and neglected dogs needing loving homes, their feelings for each other deepen. But when the trauma from Charlotte’s past roars back to life, both are forced to confront their painful histories—or die trying.

Excerpt

She looked away. “I’m sorry. I hate women who use tears to get what they want. It’s just that yesterday the shelter had to put down some dogs. There was this one old dog, Shep….” She shook her head, unable to finish.

He squeezed her elbow before letting her go. “I’m sorry, Charlotte.”

She nodded and again Damon sensed her vulnerability. Charlotte tried to give off an aura of strength. She was the caregiving nurse, the person others looked to for help. But who helped Charlotte?

After a few breaths, she straightened her shoulders and faced him, her composure once more back in place. “How long do you think it will be?”

“You mean until the retreat is up and running?” When she nodded, he blew out a breath. “I don’t know. My building’s in worse shape than I first thought.”

“If there’s anything I can do to speed up the process, let me know.”
“You know anything about unplugging sewer lines?”

She made a face. “You’re on your own, Greyson.”

Don’t I know it. “Hey, you asked. From now on I’ll only request your help when it comes to dogs.”

She chuckled. “Good plan.”

This time Charlotte’s smile was genuine, and for a moment Damon couldn’t breathe. He found himself wondering what it would be like to have the full force of her smile directed at him on a regular basis, and to know there was real affection for him behind the smile. The longing he experienced at that thought shocked him.

Better not to allow such thoughts to take root. Despite all the work he’d done over the years to overcome the harm done to him in the past, he still had questions. Would it ever be possible for him to have a normal, loving, long-term relationship with a woman? So far, the longest relationship he’d had lasted only six months.

Maybe he’d always be damaged goods.

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | ibooks | Barnes & Noble

Author Bio

When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then, she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.

In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at http://www.janarichards.com

Social Media Links

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter Sign-up | Goodreads | BookBub | Amazon Author Page | Amazon UK Author Page

Spotlight on By Strangers Mourned

I’m happen to welcome multi-published author J. R. Lindermuth. Today, John shares his latest release, By Strangers Mourned.

Sylvester Tilghman, the third of his family to serve as sheriff of rural Arahpot, Jordan County, Pennsylvania, would love to marry his longtime sweetheart Lydia Longlow. But Lydia has constantly turned down his proposals in the previous three novels in the Sheriff Tilghman historical mystery series set in the waning days of the 19th Century.

Lydia professes to love Syl. But she’s a busy and independent young woman. In addition to running a general store and caring for her elderly parents, she’s also postmistress, head of the Women’s Temperance League, a Sunday School teacher, sings in the choir and is substitute pianist for the Methodist Church.

Now in the spring of 1899, Syl is hopeful preparations for the wedding of his deputy Cyrus Gutshall and Emma, younger daughter of his neighbor and friend Doctor Hiram Mariner, will put his sweetheart in a marital mood.

Alas, crime in his small community has always had a way of interfering with Sylvester’s plans.

A woman is found drowned in a local creek and Doc Mariner’s autopsy reveals her death was the result of foul play. The sheriff’s investigation soon puts him on the trail of a mysterious man named Bauer and a gang preying on young immigrant women.

Sylvester Tilghman will need all his detecting skills and the help of his friends to unravel the many skeins of this case before he can dream again of marriage.

….

As noted above, By Strangers Mourned is the fourth novel in the Sheriff Syl series. The first two, Fallen From Grace and Sooner Than Gold, were originally published by Oak Tree Press. After the death of Billie Johnson, publisher, rights were returned to me. Lawrence Knorr, who had published The Bartered Body, third in the series, agreed to reissue them and publish By Strangers Mourned in the Milford House imprint of Sunbury Press.

Bio and Social Links

J. R. Lindermuth lives and writes in central Pennsylvania. A retired newspaper editor, he currently serves as librarian of his county historical society where he assists patrons with genealogy and research. He’s the author of 18 novels and two regional histories. He is a member of International Thriller Writers and is a past vice president of the Short Mystery Fiction Society.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

In addition to Amazon, By Strangers Mourned is available from the publisher Sunbury Press and other quality booksellers.

Blurb Blitz: They Had Eyes of Silver

I’m happy to welcome veterinarian and author S E Davis. Today, she shares her new release, They Had Eyes of Silver.

Blurb

A secret lineage. A family cursed. A forbidden love that can’t be denied.

Veterinarian Reina Kirke is exhausted. So, when her best friend suggests a European vacation, she doesn’t hesitate. A much-needed break and a chance to investigate her mysterious family tree sound perfect. Too bad she’s in no way prepared for what she finds. The fairytale town in Belgium hides family secrets grounded in the supernatural. Legends of werewolves and witches surround her, and a taboo love affair threatens to pull her into a danger she might not be able to handle.

What seems like a chance encounter with Blaise Woodward, a brooding hunk with his own secrets, sets up a sequence of events that could unravel both of their families as they realize their deep connection to each other is generations old. But only one thing is certain.

Their lives will never be the same…

Excerpt

Night belongs to nocturnal creatures. And sneaks.

Later that night, a large brawny wolf, black as midnight with eyes glinting with starlight, prowled within the shadows of the sleepy town. Darkness kissed the beast’s thick coat. His ears picked up soft laughter and conversations that drifted around him in the cool night from the nearby pub.

Her laughter.

Reina.

The wolf, Blaise, licked his lips, tasting the faint, achingly familiar scent of her on the night breeze.

A heavy weight crashed into him, and he rolled across the alley. Blaise found his feet and lunged at the shadowed figure that sat on his haunches, mere steps away, pink tongue lolling. The other wolf’s eyes glinted silver in the sliver of light slicing down from the streetlight.

Alek, Blaise thought, and snapped viciously at his cousin. He missed connecting with flesh on the other wolf on purpose.

In a fluid motion, fur and hide morphed into smooth skin, wolf into man. Alek shifted from the buttery tan wolf and into his human form, crouching naked against the brick building.

Following Alek’s lead, Blaise shifted quickly into his human shape and moved back into darkness’s cover, hunched over his knees, one hand reaching the ground. They could speak freely now. Their wolf forms possessed a limited form of mental communication. Intricate discussions were impossible without verbal speech, and so shifting into human form was necessary.

“Holt has fallen under the witch’s spell,” Alek said, his words jovial. He had never taken anything too serious.

Blaise growled, “She isn’t a witch, Alek.”

“I know. I know. No such thing as witches, ya right?” The blond man huffed, probably because a werewolf said witches didn’t exist.

Author Bio and Links

S E Davis is a veterinarian and advocate for werewolf health. She lives on the North Dakota prairie with her family and a Weimaraner who understands shifting into human form is not necessary for being part of the pack.

Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Bookbub |
Amazon Buy Link

Giveaway

S E Davis will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.

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

Spotlight on The Collector

I’m happy to welcome author Lane Stone. Today, Lane shares her recent release, The Collector, Book 1 of The Big Picture Trilogy.

Blurb

Art expert Emma Kelly arrives at the Metropolitan Museum to meet with disgraced philanthropist Boyle York only to learn he has been murdered. His body and a nearby masterpiece are splattered with blue paint. In the following days, works of art around the world are attacked with the same paint, which Emma believes has something to do with the Virgin Mary. Emma’s husband, Elliott Baldwin, the Assistant Director in charge of the FBI’s New York City field office, isn’t convinced but appreciates her expertise.

Following a lead, Emma travels to her other home in Bath, England, and continues her search for one of the most famous Nazi-looted paintings. When a diver hired to explore a sunken Nazi submarine is murdered with the same weapon used to kill Boyle York, Emma wonders if the art crimes on three different continents are actually an attempt to trip her up.

Emma races against the clock to countries with Virgin Mary apparition sites in an attempt to save the world’s most beloved artwork. Can she convince the Vatican to disavow the perpetrators and stop the attacks and bring justice to the mastermind behind them before it’s too late?

Excerpt

I would hate him forever for making me afraid. My hands trembled and I was as white as the sink I leaned against. I looked how you would expect someone who had just made a deal with the devil to look. How was I going to sit with Ali and Victoria? He’s a killer. The phrase repeated over and over in my head.

I splashed water on my face and returned to the table, knowing that not a single one of the brilliant comebacks I now thought of, guaranteed to reduce Ali to a sobbing lump, could be used in front of Valerie. As I turned the corner a waiter poured a martini from a shaker into a fresh glass and took away her empty. Ali wasn’t there. Valerie was lubed up and looked past caring about anything.

I sat and the waiter shook out my re-folded napkin and held it out to me. “Your friend isn’t staying for lunch?”

She shook her head.

“Would you care to order, Madame?”

Valerie looked at the drink. “I’m not hungry.” A text came in and she picked up her phone.

“I’ll have my salad now, please.” That ‘please’ was a signal that I intended to over tip to make up for our party of three table ordering only one meal, that wasn’t liquid. His nod was as understated as the vermouth in the Tavern on the Green’s martinis. If only interactions like what had taken place between us, and between Tabitha and her chauffeur, counted as a second language I would be bi-lingual.

Author Bio and Links

Lane Stone lives in Alexandria, Virginia and Lewes, Delaware with her husband, Larry Korb, and their Standard Schnauzer, Cordy. She’s the author of THE COLLECTOR, an art thriller, which is the first book in The Big Picture trilogy. The first book in the Old Town Antiques Mystery series, DEAD MEN DON’T DECORATE, will be published in November 2022, and will be written as Cordy Abbott. She is the author of the Pet Palace Mysteries and the Tiara Investigation Mystery series.

When not writing she enjoys characteristic baby boomer pursuits: being a dog Mom, traveling and volunteering for good causes, like AAUW and the Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation. She serves on several boards.

She has a post-graduate certificate in Antiquities Theft and Art Crime.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Buy Link – The Collector |
Buy Link – Dead Men Don’t Decorate

She is represented by Dawn Dowdle, Blue Ridge Literary Agency.

Giveaway

Lane Stone will be awarding $10 Starbucks gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Find out more here.

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