The Hate You Give


The Hate U Give by [Angie Thomas]

To get this book on Amazon: click here

With Black Lives Matter in the news so much, I decided to read this book. It was written in 2017 about a Black girl who witnesses the police shooting of her good friend. It delves into how the Black community, and the white community react, about the protests, the rioting, and how she feels about it all. It reads as if it were written today, after all the protests over the death of George Floyd, but it was written three years before his death. Which indicates to me that Floyd’s death is nothing new, that this has been going on a long time, that the problems of the Black community have been easy to ignore–until now.

This book gives real insight into the mind of a Black teenage girl and the world she lives in. I highly recommend this book!

About the author:

About Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi as indicated by her accent. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine with a picture included. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She can also still rap if needed. She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Myers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books. Her debut novel, The Hate U Give, was acquired by Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins in a 13-house auction. Film rights have been optioned by Fox 2000 with George Tillman attached to direct and Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg set to star.
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Maggie Mae Gallagher


The Fixer Upper

Abby Callier is more in love with Shakespearean heroes than any real man, and she’s beginning to wonder if there is life for her outside the pages of a book. It doesn’t help that her esteemed parents tend to view her as they would one of their science experiments gone wrong. On the eve of finishing her dissertation, she escapes her staid existence to live in the house she inherited from her Great Aunt Evie in the small town of Echo Springs, Colorado. Because, let’s face it, when a woman starts comparing her life to horror films, it might be time for a break.

Sheriff Nate Barnes believes in law and order and carefully building the life you want. In his spare time, he has been remodeling his house in the hope that one day it will be filled with the family he makes. But Nate doesn’t like drama or complications and tends to avoid them at all costs. And yet, when Miss Abigail Callier, his newest neighbor, beans him with a nine iron, he can’t help but wonder if she might just be the complication he’s been searching for all along. It doesn’t hurt that he discovers a journal hidden away by the previous tenant and decides to use Old Man Turner’s advice to romance Abby into his life.

Abby never expected her next-door neighbor, the newly dubbed Sheriff Stud Muffin, to be just the distraction her world needed. The problem is she doesn’t know whether she should make Echo Springs her home, or if this town is just a stopover point in her life’s trajectory. And she doesn’t want to tell Nate that she might not be sticking around—even though she should because it’s the right thing to do, the honest thing—because then all the scintillatingly hot kisses with the Sheriff will come to an abrupt halt. Did she mention that he’s a really great kisser?

Praise for The Fixer Upper:

“Maggie Mae Gallagher writes with warmth and a wonderfully compelling voice – I loved The Fixer Upper!” NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR HEATHER GRAHAM


“Maggie Mae Gallagher makes the reader forget the actual words on the page so they can just enjoy the story as it unfolds.” Nancy Berland, NBPR, Inc. President

Amazon Print
Indie Bound

Social Media:

Twitter: @magmaegallagher

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Vina Arno


Vina Arnois the pen name of Cindy Fazzi, a Filipino-American writer and former Associated Press reporter. Finder Keeper of My Heart, published by Painted Hearts Publishing, is her second romance book. Her romance debut, In His Corner, was published by Lyrical Press in 2015.  Her first literary novel, My MacArthur, will be published by the Sand Hill Review Press in 2018.

Book Blurb

EMMA MUNROE, a Juilliard senior, snags a plum role on Broadway a few weeks before her twenty-first birthday. She travels to Hawaii with her best friends to celebrate. When she gets lost in a jungle during an impromptu hike, she happens upon a waterfall—and a naked hunk bathing underneath it.

When she finds out his name is AVERY BELL, she’s dumbstruck. She believes she’s meant to love someone named Avery. It all goes back to a message in a bottle she found when she was nine, a letter written by a soldier called Avery to his sweetheart named Emma. He’d written it in the aftermath of the Pearl Harbor attack during World War II. Since then, Emma has been searching (and saving her virginity) for her own Avery.

But Avery Bell is as mysterious as he is irresistible. Emma learns about his family secrets and bitterness. In the course of this vacation, an accident and a tragic death will shake both of them to the core. Her singular faith in him—her unwavering belief in love and destiny—proves to be his saving grace.

Book Excerpt:

Emma jogged for the next few minutes. Another brook, then a dry creek, before she faced a second switchback. Shit, she was lost! She slogged along, her legs now aching. Then a faint sound of water. Late July in Hawaii was hot and humid, but the temperature had turned cooler the closer she got to the source of the rumbling water.

It turned out to be a waterfall, partly blocked by overgrown grasses. She descended to the swimming hole and parted the tall weeds with both hands to get a full view.

Omigod! A naked man stood underneath the waterfall, his back to her.

Well, hellooo, hottie. She stood across from him, frozen and mesmerized by his beautiful body—tall build, broad shoulders, toned arms and legs. He braced himself against the water crashing on his face by gripping a boulder with each hand.

All of a sudden, he turned around, his eyes shut. Before she could hide, he stepped out of the cascading water. When he opened his eyes, his gaze shot straight to her. He cupped both hands over his groin.

“I’m sorry!” She swung around. “I’m lost. I need your help.”

He didn’t respond, and she didn’t dare look. Two, maybe three minutes passed.

“Hello? Are you still there?” she shouted without glancing.

“You can look now.” He stood several feet away, dressed in khaki cargo pants and a burgundy T-shirt marked MIT. He carried his hiking boots, socks, and a backpack.

“I’ve been lost forever.” She puffed out her cheeks and blew a gust of air. “You have no idea how happy I am to see you. I didn’t mean to intrude.”

He was probably a few years older than her. He didn’t appear embarrassed after getting caught buck naked, only annoyed.

“And your name is?” he snapped.

Okay, definitely pissed. “Emma Munroe—like Marilyn Monroe, but with a u.” She wanted to shake his hand, but didn’t get a chance since he perched on a big rock and proceeded to put on his socks and boots. When he rose, his dark eyes bored right through her.

He extended his hand. “I’m Avery Bell.”

“Avery?” She shook his hand, dumbstruck. Omigod! She had waited half of her life to meet someone named Avery—ever since she’d picked up a message in a bottle bearing that name.

He gave her a quizzical look.

She cleared her throat, composing herself. “Avery. I love that name.” My soul mate’s name is Avery. Could he be the one she’d been looking for?

He arched an eyebrow, like, really? He hauled his backpack over both shoulders. “How can I help you?”

“I need to get out of here.”

“How did you get here in the first place?”

“How did I get here?” she echoed like an idiot. Her self-confidence withered fast. She described the picnic on the beach and the hike up to the trail’s entrance. “I should have stayed put to wait for my friends, but my curiosity got the better of me. I chased the roosters and turkeys, plus I might have zoned out a little bit. I thought I was retracing my steps. I honestly don’t know how I got here.”

He nodded. “You’ve walked about four miles on the trail. Actually, you were probably not on the Muliwai Trail. You probably followed a fake trail. We’re a couple of miles away from Waimanu Valley.”

“You mean Waipio Valley?”

“I mean Waimanu Valley.”

She’d never heard of the place before. He walked up the weedy slope toward the trail.

She followed him. “Can you help me get out of here?”

He stopped, so she paused, too.

He turned his face to her. “I can take you to Waimanu Valley. I’m camping there.”

“Really?” Hope surged in her chest. He’s got to be the one.

Purchase Links


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K. D. Rose


I’ve never hosted a poet on my site before. K. D.  Rose’s poetry is all about life today, our world, our problems. And for an extra treat, there is a short story at the end of the book!

rose two

K. D. Rose is a poet, essayist, and author. K.D. was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry for There are Species of Stars Yet to be Seen. K. D.’s book, Inside Sorrow, won Readers Favorite Silver Medal for Poetry. She has written books in multiple genres. Her poetry, essays, and short stories have been published in Word Riot, Chicago Literati, Poetry Breakfast, BlazeVOX Journal, Ink in Thirds, Northern Virginia Review, The Nuclear Impact Anthology, Stray Branch Magazine, Literary Orphans,Maintenant Contemporary Dada Magazine,Lunch Ticket Arts and Literary Magazine, The 2016 Paragram Press Anthology, Eastern Iowa Review, Bop Dead City, Santa Fe Literary Magazine, Hermes Poetry Magazine, Slipstream, Wild Women’s Medicine Circle Journal and The Offbeat Literary Magazine.

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Timeless Surrender

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History branded him a coward. Prophecy labeled her his destruction. Some legends are born of lies. Others begin when the lies end. And not everything remains myth…

“If you could live forever, what would you choose to live for? I chose power…”

Born of darkness and raised on revenge, Mordred Lothian spent an eternity fighting for the honor of a woman who had none. Free of her hatred, his only goal is to pick up the pieces of betrayal and attempt to forge a new life in a world that never wanted him.

Raised by one of Hollywood’s most scandalous actresses, Jenalyn Rhodes knows true illusion begins when the end credits roll. Damaged by the one person who should have protected  her most, she is determined to have no master and only one mistress: Herself.

Thrown together to stop an ancient evil hell bent on vengeance, can the sacrifice of one be the salvation of the other?


The man let out a low sound of displeasure. “I said, you have five minutes to convince me to hire you. I have another meeting.” His tone rang with a crisp peevishness which set her on edge.

Not a hello, sorry I kept you waiting, anything?

She didn’t take any guff from anyone. She slid back into her seat, staring up at him as she folded her hand and placed them on the table. “Let’s do something different. You have five minutes to convince me why I should want to be hired by you.” She smiled tightly.

“I’m sorry?” His large eyes darkened a shade.

“You very well might be.” She needed this job but damned if she needed his attitude. Guess those rumors were spot on, you misogynist tool. “Lack of planning on your part doesn’t constitute an emergency on mine. And to be fair,” She pointed out icily, “Your people called me.”

He frowned, crossing his arms defensively over the massive muscled perfection of a chest. “Meaning?”

“I took it to mean you wanted me.”

He razed her with a slow, insolent look.

She wrinkled her nose. “Yeah. No. Simmer down. I’m simply saying while I need this job, you and your people came calling to me.” She rose, grabbing her folder and reaching for her purse.

“What are you doing” He barked.

“Uh, leaving Captain Obvious.”

“Aren’t you interested in the job?” His frown darkened.

“Yes. But we’re obviously off to a bad start. I’ve got a filter free mouth and you’re probably looking for someone to do their job while drooling over what you dictate. I’m thinking it’s not going to make for a good working environment.”

“If I planned on having you underfoot, then I’d agree. But this project doesn’t require a lot of one on one with me. I need someone who knows what they’re doing, can bring the job to completion within a reasonable timeframe and doesn’t need me to hold their hand. I also have no issue when people speak their minds.” He gave her another look, holding his hand out. “Resume?”

Seriously? Her mouth hadn’t run him off?

She sat back down, bringing out her resume and handing it over. He took it, reading it through silently before arching a brow curiously.

“You worked at EFX? Downtown?” He pressed.

She nodded slowly. “Yep.”

“Did you work with Sabrina Foxworth?”

She partially perked up at the mention of her best friend. “Frequently. Do you know her?”

He didn’t answer right away, merely stared at her. Hard. “I’ve heard of her.”

“She does amazing work.”

He fell silent again, regarding her with the oddest look. Curious and calculating, his deep blue eyes delved into her unblinking ones, creating a spasm of shivers to tap dance along her spine. Sexual attraction or her natural instinct reacting to his overt alpha male arrogance and superiority?

Maybe both?

As job interviews went, Jennie figured this one ranked slightly lower than getting a Brazilian with duct tape. Or having habanero tipped enemas. Why am I here again?

Oh, yeah. That’s right. I have an aversion to starving to death.

“You understand what the job entails?”

“You need a web site designed.” She paused slightly. “I’ve seen the one you have up in place now and to be honest, it’s third rate and clunky. Give me a couple of weeks and I can have one set up which will guarantee more hit site visits and larger scope of visibility on cross platforming. I’ve got mad skills with server configuration and can install anti hacking security programs.”

“I’ve acquired two more land bids with plans to develop luxury apartments from the ground up as well as renovating four more buildings on both coasts. Incorporating future acquisitions will be a necessity. Do you offer website maintenance?”

“To be honest, I’m better at creating than maintaining. My follow through tends to keep on the windy side of care. But I do know several web administrators with reasonable rates if you’d like referrals.”

“What makes you think you’re qualified for this job?”

“Because a project of this magnitude is actually child’s play to me. If you’d actually read through my resume, you’d see that.”

“Best work quality?”

“I perform under pressure quite well.” She boasted assuredly.


“Okay.” She squared her shoulders, coughing once. “Bum-bum-bumbumbumda…”

She swore she saw a fleeting grin tug at those firm lips.

Oh, score. He got it! Must be a David Bowie and Queen fan.

He remained stoic. “Why do you want this job?”

“I’m allergic to unemployment.”

“Medically diagnosed?” He drawled, arching one brow.

“Yes, I looked up the symptoms on Web MD.”


“With Web MD?”


“I’d love to. When do I start?” She quipped.



Books2Read Universal Link:



author photo 1

Author Bio:

Born on the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous,I am the illegitimate love child of Han Solo and  Daenerys Targaryen. Rescued by Gandalf shortly before my home planet was destroyed in the last days of the Clone Wars, I was raised in relative obscurity by my foster parents, Severus Snape and Pippi Longstocking. At the tender age of 113, I inherited the best little whorehouse in Texas and it’s been rumored that I am bringing Sexy Back. A self- confessed chocoholic, I’ve been engaged to Willy Wonka for several years despite gossip surrounding millionaire Bruce Wayne and myself.

And clearly, I practice delusion on a daily basis.

Fact is nowhere as fun as fiction!

Growing up, I could be found nearby falling down rabbit holes, catching second stars to the right, and stepping through wardrobes into mysterious lands and countless adventures. When those stories ended, I made up her own and kept going. This later on translated into a strong passion for writing that has helped keep my feet on the ground while my head stayed firmly in the clouds.

My first brush with romance novels came at the tender age of 8 when I filched a Barbara Cartland dog eared paperback from my unassuming aunt and fell into a world of magic, wonder and entirely innocent G rated writing. (Seriously, the farthest Dame Cartland ever took any romantic scene was a chaste kiss and that generally didn’t occur until the very end.) I went on to greedily consume Johanna Lindsey, Jude Devereaux and Anne Rice when older.

Now, I’m a middle aged woman with moxie, no shame and a vivid imagination who loves to write and share her crazy with the world. Her future plans include, hopefully, buying a lovely Scottish castle and convincing Queen Elizabeth I that I’d make a fab addition to the Royal Family.

I live in Southern California, a stone’s throw from Disneyland, with my family and the most ridiculously spoiled pets anyone could imagine. My goals are simple: Keep reading, keep writing and never lose the determination to make life as random, quirky and beautiful as it can be.

Torie James Social Media Links:

Blog and Website:



Instagram: @queenofsquee


Amazon Author:



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In the Weeds

I first “met” Mark Ozeroff when I edited his first book, Days of Smoke, for Asylett Press. In the Weeds, is his second book and it is well worth the wait!


In the Weeds by Mark Ozeroff is a story of a Vietnam veteran working through his own brand of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the early 1970’s. Sometimes gallant and heroic, Slats Kisov often does more than just bend the rules and the law. But through it all, he retains his own morality, which includes helping the weak and helpless without thought of his own personal loss or gain.

This one-man vigilante wrecks havoc on those who trample the rights of others and he does so with a huge helping of humor. I laughed out loud on every page. In the Weeds reminded me of M.A.S.H. Lots of humor even in the midst of war and ugliness.

Slats is far from perfect, however. He learned to smoke “weed” in Vietnam, and sees no reason to stop when he comes home. It is more than a comfort to him and, as a pilot, he sees no reason not to “help” out a family who grows marijuana by flying loads of their crop into Florida.

Ever at odds with the local police chief over civil rights, brutality, and the cop’s downright stupidity, Slats eventually gets into big trouble with the law. While watching helplessly as other veterans succumb and spiral downward, inviting death rather than live with their PTSD, Slats maintains his humor. Through the support of a girlfriend, the weed growing family, an airplane, and a little girl, Slats learns to deal with his own demons and stop his own self destructive life-style.

In the Weeds is heavy on the flying aspect of Slats’s life, providing details about flying and airplanes that only an experienced pilot could supply. But those details are well-written and interesting. Any pilot will greatly appreciate this book. Mark Ozeroff twists the English language more than Slats twists the law to provide a read that, although troubling at times, never lets up on the humor. I highly recommend this book.


IN THE WEEDS is a humorous ‘70s tale of gas, grass, ass…and Vietnam. Slats Kisov is an Air Force pilot who returns to the US a changed man, suffering from undiagnosed PTSD. Slats just thinks he’s addicted to the adrenaline of combat flying, so for excitement he starts smuggling the occasional load of marijuana into Florida from the Bahamas. He is aided in this venture by the Morales family, moral people…who just also happen to be money launderers, gun molls, and poetry-spouting bulimic Cuban pot farmers.

About the author:

Mark Ozeroff holds an MBA and a Commercial pilot license. He is a ravenous reader, one who believes that fiction can sometimes tell a more profound truth than history. Mark may be the most undisciplined author since Jack Kerouac – he writes slower than a glacier descends a fjord, and his first drafts are rougher’n forty-grit sandpaper. Mark’s debut novel earned a gold medal from the Military Writers Society of America…just in time for his first publisher to go belly-up. So he relocated to California, to lick his wounds and write IN THE WEEDS.
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Alexandra Christian has started a new series!  The first book in the series releases on Apr. 13, 2017. Here’s a blurb, a bit about Alexandra, and a sneak peak excerpt! Enjoy!

Naked Teaser

AUTHOR BIO Alexandra Christian is an author of mostly romance with a speculative slant. Her love of Stephen King and sweet tea has flavored her fiction with a Southern Gothic sensibility that reeks of Spanish moss and deep fried eccentricity. As one-half of the writing team at Little Red Hen Romance, she’s committed to bringing exciting stories and sapiosexual love monkeys to intelligent readers everywhere. Lexx also likes to keep her fingers in lots of different pies having written everything from sci-fi and horror to Sherlock Holmes adventures. Her alter-ego, A.C. Thompson, is also the editor of the highly successful Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series of anthologies.

A self-proclaimed “Southern Belle from Hell,” Lexx is a native South Carolinian who lives with an epileptic wiener dog and her husband, author Tally Johnson. Her long-term aspirations are to one day be a best-selling authoress and part-time pinup girl. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and Broad Universe—an organization that supports female authors of speculative fiction.


Following a brutal act of vengeance, MI:6 agent Macijah St. John is left grieving for his slaughtered family and agrees to participate in a secret government experiment that gives him a magnificent and terrible power.  Now he’s a mercenary spy that solves problems for the right price.  His latest job puts him in the path of the greatest catastrophe yet—a librarian.

Phoebe Addison’s life is a disaster. Crippling debt, a non-existent social life, and being the town librarian is hardly the glamorous existence she’d always dreamed of. But when her sister Jessica, an interplanetary archeologist, gets herself involved with a psychotic billionaire bent on world domination, Phoe is about to get more excitement than she bargained for.



Caught in the Rain

There is no situation that can’t be made worse with the addition of heavy rain. Phoebe stumbled down the path behind St. John, her sensible pumps sinking into the squishy ground with every step. His long-legged strides weren’t particularly fast, but she was practically running to catch up. She was also trying to pull a bulky suitcase behind her without much luck. Finally she ran over a large rock, tipping the case over and taking her with it. She sat down hard on the wet ground, the standing water in the grass splashing up and peppering her with a spray of muddy freckles. “Damnit!” she cried, wanting to throw herself down and have a kicking and screaming tantrum. Instead she took off one of her shoes and threw it as hard as she could. It whizzed past St. John’s ear, and he finally turned.

“Problem?” he asked, strolling back toward where she sat in the grass.

“Can you slow down a minute, please?” Her tone was teetering on annoyance. Couldn’t he see that she was having trouble? So much for the politeness of the British.

He stared down at her, his arms crossed over his chest. “Actually, no. We need to get as far away from that crash site as soon as possible and you to that spaceport so I can be on my way.”  He looked over the assortment of items that had fallen out of the case as it tipped over. “Got any trainers in there?”

Phoebe looked up at him like he had suddenly lapsed into Chinese. “What?”

“Trainers. Shoes. Like shoes you wear for running.”

“Oh. Not really, no.”

“Jeans? A jumper?”

“No. I didn’t think I’d be trekking through the forest,” she replied, taking his offered hand and letting him pull her upright. She limped over to where she had thrown her shoe, searching the grass.

“Is there anything in there that’s helpful or important?”

“Well of course,” she replied. “My clothes and toothbrush… anti-bac hand lotion…” She continued listing off all of the things as she pulled her discarded shoe back on. Heaving a sigh, he grabbed the suitcase and slung it as hard as he could over the ravine.

“What are you doing?” She could feel the pressure of angry tears behind her eyes as she watched all of her worldly possessions take a header down the bank, spilling her delicates over the dirty ground. How dare he have such disregard for her personal property! Not to mention that the items in that suitcase were her security blankets. There might not be anything of value or anything “helpful,” but there were things she needed! A picture of her family, her allergy medicine… her copy of Gone With the Wind. Phoebe started to run after the case, but St. John held her back. She beat her fists against his arms and chest. “Let me go! That’s my stuff! I need it!”

“Your stuff is slowing us down. Look, I said I would help you, but I’m not a bellhop or a hero! If you’re going with me, you play by my rules.”  He looked up into the sky and let her go. “Come on… it’s nearly dawn.”

She watched him go, starting to reconsider her pleas for his help and then realizing that she had little choice but to follow him. They were now so far off the beaten path that she’d never find her way out. Steeling her jaw and giving a last glance back to where he’d thrown her suitcase, she started walking. Despite his growling, he did slow the pace a little so that she could keep up.

As they walked on and on, the trees rose up around them in an ominous canopy that nearly obliterated the early morning light of dawn. She could hear the stream that ran along beside them at the bottom of the ravine. It was hard to believe in their world that places such as this still even existed. It was almost desolate, but beautiful. Watching him as they walked, she slowly realized that St. John seemed almost as distressed as she felt. By now they’d been walking for hours, and in that time he’d become increasingly irritable. After several attempts at conversation, Phoebe had just given up and walked beside him silently. But his mood was starting to make her worry even more than she had been already.

“So… you don’t really seem like the normal space traveler,” he said, surprising her by breaking the silence. St. John shifted the backpack from one shoulder to the other. “What’s taking you to New London?”

“What? Oh… yes. My sister,” she replied. “I’m going to visit her.”

“Interesting,” he replied blandly.

Her heart pounded in her chest. She didn’t fully trust St. John and wasn’t sure that she should reveal her true intentions. Anyone could be working for Machine. Maybe he had been sent to keep an eye on her. Phoe was a fan of James Bond, so she had spent many an hour watching spy movies. He could be some kind of operative that was just waiting for an opportunity to steal the medallion and leave her broken body in the woods. And of course there was the werewolf thing. “Not really. I mean… it’s just a visit.”

“Well considering that no one really lives on the space colony unless they’re either filthy rich or a scientist of some sort. Judging by your clothes, you don’t appear to be particularly wealthy. So that leaves scientist.”

“She’s an archaeologist,” Phoebe answered. “She works for the Interplanetary Union, looking for natural resources and such. I’m a librarian.”

“I didn’t know those existed anymore. Libraries, I mean.”

“In small towns mostly, I suppose. I mean, I used to work for a digital archive in New Orleans, but I… I didn’t really like it there.” She bit down on her lip, wishing she could take it back. Her brain whirred, already constructing the story that she would tell him when he asked why she’d left New Orleans. Everyone asked why.

To her surprise, St. John just nodded, glancing toward the lightening sky again.

“What about you?”

“What about me?” he parroted.

“Well… what do you do?”

“I… I’m not really sure how to describe what I do. I’m a problem solver, I guess.”  Given the things Phoe saw in his backpack, his problem solving skills must involve heavy artillery.

 Here’s a link to pre-order the book:

Boroughs Publishing for Pre-Order:


Author Email:

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Betty Bolte

My guest today is Betty Bolte, a sweet, generous writer who has hosted me on her site more than once! She has a bit of family history to share and would love to hear some of yours in the comments. Welcome, Betty!

Betty Bolte-July 2013


Rocking Family History

In my latest release, Undying Love, Meredith’s grandmother’s favorite seat in the plantation house was her gooseneck rocking chair. The reason for this particular piece of furniture to have such a central place in the story stems from my own life. See, sitting in my family room is a blue gooseneck platform rocking chair that is older than I am. In fact, my dad bought the chair for my mom when she was pregnant with me.Gooseneck Rocker-2016 (1)

Originally, the upholstery featured a pattern (flowers or country scene, I think) but decades later my mom had it recovered in a blue velour fabric. Why is it called a gooseneck rocker? If you look closely at the photo, you’ll notice that the wooden handles of the arm rest are carved to look like a goose bent to touch its bill to its throat. Here’s some background on their history:

As you can imagine, this chair holds many, many memories for me. It’s always been part of my life. My dad used to nap in this chair, legs outstretched, hands folded on his stomach as he snored in the afternoon. He and I loved to pull pranks on each other. While he napped, I’d untie his shoes and tie them together, giggling the entire time. When he awoke, he’d always act surprised and miffed, but of course he anticipated, even expected, the joke.

My mom, too, spent a lot of time in this chair, rocking as she crocheted, or sitting still while she worked on cross-stitching the top of a quilt or a picture as a gift. In fact I have a crewel embroidered picture she did of a train station with train in honor of my grandfather who worked as a railroad engineer. She also used to occasionally sit in it while she ate potato chips and sipped on a cold beer while she watched her favorite shows on TV.

As a kid, I was prone to poison ivy, and I can recall clutching the gooses to keep me from scratching the bumps and clusters up and down my calamined arms. I also rocked my children in this chair, read to them, cuddled them when they suffered with a cold. Like mom, I’ve crocheted and snacked in it. After all these decades (5 and counting) it’s still a comfortable place to relax.

In Undying, this type of chair plays a significant role:

Meredith paced through the house until she stopped at the wide doorway to the sewing room. Max had told her Grandma died in her rocker, head back, eyes closed peacefully as though taking an afternoon snooze. Meredith paused, mentally inventorying the contents of the room. Sunshine filtered through the sheers covering the oversize double-hung windows. A cut-glass bowl of lavender-and-mint potpourri sat on an antique table, a spiderweb glistening between the bowl and the wood surface. Two floral-print gooseneck-handled rocking chairs faced the windows, lace doilies pinned to their headrests. Meredith envisioned her Grandma taking her final nap in the chair farthest from the door. The same chair the woman had occupied every Sunday afternoon of Meredith’s childhood to do her mending for the week, or to add stitches to one of hundreds of gifts in celebration of a new baby or birthday or other milestone event.

Grandma didn’t know what Meredith had endured. What would she have said if she were here? How would she have handled the loss of two dear loved ones in such a tragic way? The horror followed by anger and grief was beyond her ability to describe to people who had not experienced it, and even more difficult for them to grasp.

Meredith swallowed the emotion threatening to sprout tears. The past was dead, just like Willy. Just like her Grandma. She could not permit herself to relive it. She could only press on with her life as she knew in her heart that Willy would want her to do, and pray for the day she joined all those who’d gone before her.

Of course, Meredith has a long life ahead of her before she’ll realize that eventuality. But with the history of this style of chair in America, and my own personal history associated with one, it seemed only fitting to include one or two in my story. Do you also see how I wove my own view of the chair into Meredith’s reality without it being my reality? No lace doilies ever graced my chair, for example. Usually crocheted afghans…

It’s your turn. What family heirlooms do you treasure? Or hide? Talk to me…

Undying Love by Betty Bolté


Release Date: January 10, 2017


When architect Meredith Reed inherits her family’s plantation after the devastating loss of her own family, she must choose how to move on with her life. Keep the plantation? Not a good idea. Sell it? Better. Turn it into a memorial park? Better yet. But can she go against her family traditions and the hunky but irate lawyer?

Max Chandler needs two things to complete his life plan: become a senior partner and find his soul mate. He’s due a promotion once his legislation to protect the county’s historic properties is approved. The wife part he finds more challenging, having never met the right woman. If only the talented, attractive, aloof Meredith didn’t want to destroy the very property he cherishes.

While Meredith struggles to reconcile her past and future, will she learn a lesson from the spectral Lady in Blue in time to save both her family and home from destruction?

Buy Links



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Betty Bolté writes both historical and contemporary stories featuring strong, loving women and brave, compassionate men. No matter whether the stories are set in the past or the present, she loves to include a touch of the paranormal. In addition to her romantic fiction, she’s the author of several nonfiction books and earned a Master’s in English in 2008. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Historical Novel Society, the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and the Authors Guild. Get to know her at, signup for her Newsletter, or follow her on Facebook.


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The 10 Most Unrealistic Scenes from Books and Movies

It isn’t like in the movies. Or most books, either. What isn’t? Real life. Here are ten of the most unrealistic scenes I’ve noticed from books and movies.

  1. When someone nearly drowns, and everyone gives up and assumes they are dead, the person suddenly coughs and comes back to life. Well, OK, but this person just inhaled half a lake and they give a cough or two and then they are fine? I usually cough for five minutes when I strangle on a sip of water that goes down the wrong way. And of course, we have to have that dramatic moment when we think all is lost. Isn’t that getting a bit trite?
  2. In books and movies when a person is getting a fever, they are burning up and keep throwing off the cover and the person taking care of them keeps trying to keep them warm. When your fever is going up, you actually feel cold and chilled and want to bundle up. To keep a fever from going too high (before aspirin or other drugs) you would have to sponge the person off with cool water. It’s when your fever is going down, that you feel hot and throw off covers.
  3. The couple has just made mad, passionate love. It’s the best! They lie there panting but she still has on all her underclothes. Hmm. Well, I admit this one usually just happens in sitcoms.
  4. The couple has been trying to escape from the bad guys. They are tired, filthy, hungry, thirsty, and haven’t had a bath or change of clothes or brushed their teeth for three days. They are still in danger, but they can’t put it off any longer. They make love. Yuck. It would be the farthest thing from my mind right then.
  5. There can be days of danger, trekking through jungles, or across deserts, or freezing in the mountains. The woman never has a problem because she is having her period. Do heroines even have periods?
  6. The group is on an expedition to find some lost treasure. They go through horrible situations. Swamps where they lose half their equipment and some people are eaten by swamp monsters. Dangerous tribes who kill some more of the group and they barely make it away from them. More terrible stuff. Finally, they find the treasure! Hooray! Next scene, they are comfortably ensconced back in London or New York, wealthy. End of movie. Uh. Yeah they got the treasure, but how do they go back through all those dangers, this time lugging the treasure, and with just a few of them left, and with practically no food, drink, or equipment?
  7. And of course, there is the mountain climb. All that effort to get to the top, fingers freezing off, people falling to their deaths, guides deserting. Finally, the last few straggle to the top. Hooray! Mountain defeated! Uh. What about going back down? Isn’t it just as far? Just as cold? Just as many chances to fall, etc? But now there is less equipment, less help, etc. And I’ve always found going down a mountain to be harder than going up. But what do I know?
  8. There are just two or three good guys and they are highly outnumbered. The bad guys fire off 100 rounds to every one the good guys shoot. Yet the good guys manage to kill all those bad guys while getting no more than barely wounded. Are the bad guys always such bad shots? Wouldn’t their superior numbers and greater firepower make up for some of their incompetence? If I were a bad guy, I would go to the shooting range more often.
  9. The main good guy and the main bad guy always end up fighting each other after everyone else has been killed or disabled. Every other fight the good guy has engaged in has been quick and easy. But when the main bad guy and the good guy fight, it goes on forever and is really tough. Really? The bad guy never gets hit by a stray bullet and killed early on? He’s never more of a brains kind of bad guy and an incompetent fighter? OK, so I understand that these two have to face off. But, just once in a while, couldn’t some secondary character just shoot the bad guy? Or he falls off a cliff?
  10. The good guy can hold his breath forever. When he has to dive after the heroine, or is trapped and has to fight his way out while under water, it is amazing how long the good guy can hold his breath. Sometimes, while simply sitting still in my recliner, I will take a deep breath when the good guy is in the water. Here he is struggling, fighting, helping others, and I’m just sitting there but I can’t hold my breath for even half the scene. Just how does he do it?

Is there anything I’ve missed? Probably. I can think of one or two more. Can you? Let me know in the comments.

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Sara Walter Ellwood

Today Sara Walter Ellwood has stopped by to share a little about her latest release!



Singing to the Heart Book 3


Sara Walter Ellwood

Releasing June 21, 2016 in both ebook and print


Sex, drugs, and country music. That was the lifestyle for Emily Kendall, a Texas girl who hit it big on the country music charts—until she found herself pregnant and battling addiction. Now out of rehab and seeking a new life for herself and her unborn child, Emily returns to her hometown of McAllister. The last thing she’s looking for is trouble, no matter how good it looks in uniform…

A widower, single father, and former Army Ranger struggling with PTSD, Sheriff EJ Cowley has his own demons to battle while keeping folks safe. The last thing he needs is a troubled celebrity speeding through town in her bright red Maserati. But when someone from Emily’s past threatens her safety and the peace of McAllister, EJ has no choice but to protect her. And soon both will learn there’s more to the other than meets the eye. And that wounded hearts can love again…


“I’m sorry, but I can’t ride you right now.” Emily kissed the horse above her nose, and Tink nuzzled her cheek. “We’ll go out tomorrow. How about that?”

“I remember when you rode that horse everywhere you went.”

Startled by the deep voice, she turned. EJ Cowley leaned on the top rail of the fence, and from the look of it, he’d been there for a while. He’d changed out of the brown uniform of the McAllister County sheriff’s department. She couldn’t help looking him over. Dressed in worn boots, faded jeans, a blue western shirt, and a brown Stetson, he epitomized every sexy cliché existing about how a cowboy should look.

Her heart sped up at the way those clothes fit him. Which irritated the hell out of her. She turned back to her horse and stroked her long face. “What are you doing here?”

“My sister-in-law watches my son while I’m at work.”

She stilled. Had she been quasi-lusting after a married man? Hadn’t he married Raquel Marshall? She glanced over her shoulder at his left hand. No ring. But then a lot of cowboys didn’t wear their wedding bands when they were working. The risk of getting it caught on something was too great.

Despite his clothes, he must have come off duty as the county’s ticket-happy sheriff not too long ago. She patted Tink’s shoulder. “See you in the morning, girl.” As she headed toward the man, who was not hiding the fact he appreciated what he saw, she guessed he wasn’t still married, but she’d been around the world a few times and knew not to take a man’s blatant interest as proof of anything. “You have a son. How is Raquel these days?”

She was close enough to notice his gray eyes had turned as haunted as a gravestone when she asked about his wife. He looked to the left, toward his brother’s house, and from the way a muscle twitched in his jaw, he must have gritted his teeth.

“She committed suicide two years ago today.”

“Oh… I’m sorry. I didn’t know,” she stammered. What else had happened to the people she’d once considered friends she was unaware of? “How old is your little boy?”

He took a deep breath and met her gaze again. She studied his eyes as they moved over her face. God, he had the most fascinating eyes. They weren’t truly blue, but the gray was an odd shade. Too light to be slate, but too dark to be silver. They reminded her of her great-grandmother’s pewter candleholders.


As silence engulfed them, she turned to head for the gate. She had no idea what was up with the sheriff, and she didn’t like her desire to ask. EJ Cowley may have filled her schoolgirl fantasies, but she wasn’t the wide-eyed kid who crushed after the local cowboy-turned-soldier.


At the sound of her name, she glanced past EJ to the porch. Johnny stood there with his toy lightsaber and x-wing. She promised to play a video game with her brother. “Well, it was good seeing you again, EJ.”

She was halfway across the drive when his voice stopped her. “By the way”–He cleared his throat–“I lost your ticket…”

Stopping in the middle of the driveway, she looked over her shoulder at him. His face puckered as if he’d eaten a lemon soaked in vinegar. He took his hat off and ran a hand through his short hair. The setting sun turned the tresses a gleaming gold.

“You lost it?” Damned if she’d make it easy on him. “After going through all the trouble of stopping me a mile away from home?”

Setting his hat back on his head, he cleared his throat again and stood with his feet apart. He gave a quick jerk with his head in the affirmative. “Can’t find it anywhere. No ticket. No proof. You’re off the hook.”

Holy crap, he was gorgeous, and heat flooded her to pool in her belly. She turned, not wanting him to see the way he affected her, and headed for the porch, then lied through her teeth. “Good, because I’ve already tossed it.” She had every intention of paying the fine, but she was glad he lost the ticket. No decent cop would lose a ticket. Maybe he did it out of remembrance of their childhood friendship. Or was he as attracted to her as she was to him?

With an inward shake of herself, she didn’t let a possible answer formulate in her muddled brain. She couldn’t be anything to him. You’re pregnant with another man’s child and don’t need the added stress! At the door into the kitchen, she ruffled Johnny’s hair and turned, ignoring her self-admonishment. “See you around, EJ.”

“Yeah… See you around.” He tipped his hat and turned on his heel to amble toward his extended cab Silverado.

From inside the screen door, she watched the way he filled out the backside of his Wrangler’s and muttered, “Hell yeah, I hope so.”

If you’d like to see more excerpts check them out here:

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Sara Walter Ellwood (8)


Although Sara Walter Ellwood has long ago left the farm for the glamour of the big town, she draws on her experiences growing up on a small hobby farm in West Central Pennsylvania to write her contemporary westerns. She’s been married to her college sweetheart for over 20 years, and they have two teenagers and one very spoiled rescue cat named Penny. She longs to visit the places she writes about and jokes she’s a cowgirl at heart stuck in Pennsylvania suburbia. Sara Walter Ellwood is a multi-published and international Amazon bestselling author of the anthology set Cowboy Up. She also dabbles in the paranormal genre with her The Hunter’s Dagger Series, which was previously published under the pen name Cera duBois.

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The other books in Singing to the Heart…

Heartstrings, Book 1 and Heartsong, Book 2 are also available in ebook and print

Heartstrings: Amazon:

Heartsong: Amazon:

For other vendor links and book information check out my website page:




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