Oct 09

Reading in Public – “Winter’s Tale” by Mark Helprin

I’ve mentioned before that Mark Helprin’s “Winter’s Tale” is my favorite novel of all time (and also the best novel I’ve ever read).  Every year, once the weather starts getting cold and the days shorter, I reread it, and it’s about that time.

This year, I want to share my love/obsession with the world (or at least the regular visitors of this blog).  I’m going to read two chapters a week, and post my thoughts and feelings about them.  And I’m encouraging any and all of my visitors to join me, both in reading the book, and in discussing it.

I’ll kick things off right here, talking about the very brief prologue.  Even before that, Helprin starts us off with a quote that sets the tone for all that’s to follow:

“I have been to another world, and come back.  Listen to me.”

That sentiment could apply to many of the characters in the story about to unfold, and it prepares us to jump across both worlds and eras (and different times ARE other worlds; as the famous quote has it, “the past is another country.”).

The prologue showcases Helprin’s gift of prose; it’s gorgeous from the very first word.  As he opens things:

A great city is nothing more than a portrait of itself, and yet when all is said and done, its arsenals of scenes and images are part of a deeply moving plan.

He goes on to talk about New York City specifically, where our story is set, and, really, the book is one long love letter to the greatest city in the world.  We’re told about the mass of white clouds that surround the city, about which we’ll learn much more as the novel progresses.  We  also get our first reference to the the city as one great machine, about which, again, much more later.

And then we are told:

…our swift unobserved descent will bring us to life that is blooming in the quiet of another time.

This is important, as we’ll see very shortly in chapter one.  The prologue ends with an invitation:

As we float down in utter silence, into a frame again unfreezing we are confronted by a tableau of winter colors.  These are very strong, and they call us in.

Colors, both wintry and otherwise, play a large role not only symbolically, but very literally in the story, as we’ll discover early on.

So the stage is set.  We’re about to embark on a journey that will span worlds and centuries.  I hope you’ll come along with me; our first steps will be onto the snow-covered streets of pre-World War I Manhattan, which is where chapter one begins…


Chapter Index

I’ll keep an updated list of links to the individual chapter discussions here, so it’ll all be easy to find…

Part 1, Chapter 1 (“A White Horse Escapes”)

Part 1, Chapter 2 (“The Ferry Burns in Morning Cold”)

Part 1, Chapter 3 (“Pearly Soames”)

Part 1, Chapter 4 (“Peter Lake Hangs From A Star”)

Part 1, Chapter 5 (“Beverly”)

Part 1, Chapter 6 (“A Goddess in the Bath”)

Part 1, Chapter 7 (“On the Marsh”)

Part 1, Chapter 8 (“Lake of the Coheeries”)

Part 1, Chapter 9 (“The Hospital in Printing House Square”)

Part 1, Chapter 10 (“Aceldama”)

Part 2, Chapter 1 (“Four Gates to the City”)

Part 2, Chapter 2 (“Lake of the Coheeries”)

Part 2, Chapter 3 (“In the Drifts”)

Part 2, Chapter 4 (“A New Life”)

Part 2, Chapter 5 (“Hell Gate”)

Part 3, Chapter 1 (“Nothing is Random”)

Part 3, Chapter 2 (“Peter Lake Returns”)

 Part 3, Chapter 3 (“The Sun…”)

Part 3, Chapter 4 (“…and The Ghost”)

Part 3, Chapter 5 (“An Early Summer Dinner at Petipas”)

Part 3, Chapter 6 (“The Machine Age”)

Part 4, Chapter 1 (“A Very Short History of the Clouds”)

Part 4, Chapter 2 (“Battery Bridge”)

Part 4, Chapter 3 (“White Horse and Dark Horse”)

Part 4, Chapter 4 (“The White Dog of Afghanistan”)

Part 4, Chapter 5 (“Abysmillard Redux”)

Part 4, Chapter 6 (“Ex Machina”)

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Mar 18

Buy the Books!

Here’s the one-page resource for everything you need to know about me and my books…especially how to buy them!


Read the rest of this entry »

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May 24

Book Launch – “More than Ready” by Anita Philmar – @anitaphilmar

More Than Ready in Naked Bluff, Texas
Genre: historical, western, erotic
Theme: friends to lovers


Word Count: 5803
After losing his brother, Kirk Pepperman planned a future with Richard’s wife, Sadie. Kirk wanted to honor his brother and take care of Sadie.
She had other ideas and married another man.
Now, Kirk is uncertain what he should do with his life
Mary Beth Owens knows her parents are arranging for her to marry Kirk. The problem is he’s been stuck on the wrong woman for years.
She is determined to find out if he can please her. If not, then she has no desire to marry him either.
Can these two let go of the past and move into the future? 
Available for .99cents and free for KindleUnlimited.
Theme: friends to lovers
This story is part of the Naked Bluff series.
Kirk is introduced in the story In Too Deep 
Sadie Pepperman is looking for a chance to escape the demands of her in-laws. With her husband’s dead, they want her to marry her brother-in-law so they can take control of her farm. Suddenly, the peace of the day is shattered when her best friend steps too far into the river. Rushing to save her, Sadie meets a handsome stranger that ignites her dormant lust. She sees her friend rescued by a steamship and backs away from Logan Jansen, only to turn her ankle. 

The agonizing pain leaves Sadie with the inability to walk. Needing help, she offers Logan a place to stay if he’ll help with the chores on her farm. With his agreement, Sadie adds another problem to her list. Now, not only does she have to worry about how to bring her crops in from the field and run her farm alone but she also has to fight her attraction to Logan. 

Can Sadie end her in-laws’ interference in her life, 

run her farm alone, 

and give love another chance? 


“Kirk, where are you?”
Unhappy about the interruption, Kirk Pepperman debated not answering Mary Beth Owens’ call. He’d snuck away to the barn’s upper floor to escape his parents and to have a few moments to himself.
The view outside the open loft door showed the sun drifting steadily toward the horizon. A nice cross breeze blew inside and cooled the large space. For the last couple of weeks, he’d found he enjoyed sitting up here alone, maybe because it helped him forget.
“Kirk?” Mary Beth’s voice rang from the ladder, leading to the stalls on the ground floor.
Not bothering to turn, he leaned forward and gripped his hands over his knees. The three-legged stool, where he sat, was right in front of the center pole for the barn. The position afforded him a backrest if he should want one.
The floorboards squeaked, telling him Mary Beth stood behind him. He pictured her in his head. A petite blonde, she had small breasts and appeared much younger than him. In truth, they were around the same age.
Hoping, if he remained quiet, she’d leave. He continued to stare out across his family’s property. The last days of summer and the recent harvest had turned the parched land to dust. What did this place hold for him?
He’d never ventured outside of Naked Bluff to travel or to experience another way of life. Depression filled him at his brother dying so far away from home. Now, though, Kirk understood Richard’s desire to leave.
What future could Kirk have here?
He toyed with the idea of heading off to join the Confederate army. The latest news from the returning soldiers was the south wasn’t faring too well against the Northern armies. Maybe, if he had something to fight for, he’d feel alive again.
The familiar noise of a rope flying through the air alerted him. The lasso fell over his head and circled his chest before it tightened, pinning his arms to his side. “What the…”


With a sharp tug, he fell back against the center pole and hit his head against the solid bulk. “Mary Beth, what are you doing?”
Anita Philmar enjoys writing hot stories to get the blood a pumping. She grew up in Texas and enjoys sharing information about the state with her readers.
Currently, she is working on a historical series call Naked Bluff, Texas. No, it is not a real place, but the people there do have problems and with the gift of love they do find happiness.
Just for fun–
What is your favourite drink? Arnold Palmer – Tea and Lemonade
Are you a cat or dog person? Dog – have a small terrior.
Love or lust? Both, One helps grow the other in my book.
If you could spend the day with any famous author, who would it be? And, why? Mark Twain – love the way he looked at life.
Do you laugh at your own jokes?
Yes, because no one in my household thinks I’m funny. Men have no sense of humor.
Are you fun to go on vacation with?
I like to think so. I enjoy seeing new things and love to travel.
If you came with a warning label, what would it say?
Proceed with caution, this woman is known to cry over sad movies and make you burn with her smoking, hot, sex scenes. She’s loyal, kind, and fun to snuggle with but hurt anyone she loves and she’ll cause you intense pain while relishing every moment of your suffering. Best to avoid if not looking for a lifetime commitment because friends are for life, lovers are forever, and enemies live in hell.
Find Anita at
Anita Philmar, More Than Ready, Kindle short reads historical romance, Hot Western romance, Cowboy lust, Texas Bride, Texas cowboy romance series, Love in a small town
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May 23

My Sexy Saturday – Fever Dream edition

So it’s time for this week’s edition of My Sexy Saturday, and I’ve got an excerpt from the brand new Dream Series book, FEVER DREAM!

While I shower, I tell Brian about my dream.  He’s appalled, just as I was.  Whatever good Edgar Spinner may do as Attorney General, it doesn’t outweigh the things I’m seeing in his dreams.  He truly is a horrible man.  “He’s definitely lost my vote for governor,” I say.  Brian nearly laughs at that, but his face falls when I add a moment later, “If I get one.  I might be in state prison by then.”

“We talked about that last night,” he says with exaggerated patience.  “Whatever’s going on, we’re going to beat it.  You know that, right?”  I don’t answer, and he goes on, “Sara, don’t make me come in there.”

I do, though.  When I still don’t respond, he steps into the shower, pajamas and all, embraces me, and then he – that’s not fair!  Stop it!  I can’t – he’s tickling me, and I can’t stop myself from laughing.  I can’t speak – I can barely breathe – I hear myself, laughing uncontrollably, and then the tickling stops suddenly.  His hand moves to my stomach, and then down, down, down, and suddenly I’m not laughing anymore.  I gasp, and again, and it takes every ounce of self-control I possess not to scream loud enough to shatter every window in the house.

The next thing I know, my legs are collapsing out from under me, and Brian is slowly, carefully lowering me to sit on the floor of the shower.  I – I can’t even remember what we were talking about before he – before that.  I guess that was the point, wasn’t it?

And you can  buy FEVER DREAM all over the interwebs…

Amazon (Kindle or Paperback)


Barnes & Noble (Nook or Paperback)

Apple iBookstore


Google Play



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May 22

Book Spotlight – “Passion’s Sacred Dance” by Juli REvezzo







I’m happy to host fellow indie author Juli Revezzo today…


To learn more about Juli D. Revezzo, PASSION’S SACRED DANCE, the Celtic Stewards Chronicles series and all her other works, see her site, at http://julidrevezzo.com

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1dmAwFa

She’s also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/julidrevezzo

Good Reads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5782712.Juli_D_Revezzo

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/111476709039805267272/posts

Pintrest: http://pinterest.com/jewelsraven/

And Twitter: @julidrevezzo

For news on forthcoming releases sign up for her newsletter at: http://bit.ly/SNI5K6


She’s got a new book out, just this month, and I’ll let her tell you all about it:

PASSION’S SACRED DANCE came about from a number of things. The biggest influence on the story, however, was my love of Irish mythology. These are legends and stories written down in the 11th=15th centuries by Irish scribes, but the stories are much older than that, undoubtedly told by wandering bards, before a king’s fire for an avid audience. The stories tell of heroic deeds, of the wondrous gods and sorcerers. Of honor, and oaths made—and broken. One story particularly, that of the Second Battle of Mag Tuired, tells of a battle between the gods of the Tuatha dé Danann (the Peoples of the Goddess Dana), and their enemy Balor and the Fomorii. A battle that began when Balor dared to give audience to a Tuatha dé Danann bard, but did not pay him the respect he was owed. For a people that prized honor—and that of their bards—above all else, this was a grievous mistake. When the Tuatha dé Danann heard of this dishonor, they gathered up their armies and went to war with Balor.

So, there the story of harshad wars in my fantasy romance novel PASSION’S SACRED DANCE took root and I wondered, now, we know the Tuatha dé Danann won that battle. But what would happen if the losers didn’t want to honor that win? I mean, Balor and his followers are painted as a dishonorable lot. Is it far-fetched to believe they wouldn’t want a rematch? And there the reoccuring mythical wars that Stacy and her family, and her protector Aaron face, every five hundred years, in PASSION’S SACRED DANCE was born.


Would you like to read a little more of PASSION’S SACRED DANCE?


Unless Stacy Macken can stave off her creditors, she may lose her renowned history center. Yet she knows in her heart that the land is sacred and what a catastrophe losing it would be. How much of a catastrophe, she hasn’t a clue.

Until Aaron Fielding arrives with his tales of magical guardians and the Tuatha dé Danann, sworn warriors from Celtic legend who protect humanity from a wicked enemy seeking their destruction.

Is the end of the world imminent? What can she, a modern woman and her warrior lover, possibly have to offer when a long-prophesied druidic mythic battle explodes around them?

Bonus: Includes brand new flash fiction piece, “About A Warrior”

Want to read it right now?  It’s available at:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00X0P3IPG

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/passions-sacred-dance-juli-d-revezzo/1117518183?ean=2940151559270

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/539975

Add Passion’s Sacred Dance to your Good Reads shelves here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25508616-passion-s-sacred-dance


Stacy nodded then strode into the main gallery, past statues of a few founding fathers, paintings of historical incidents, and cabinets displaying the city charters and noteworthy proclamations. Slipping through a door at the far end of the room, she entered the courtyard.

Despite the chill air, Stacy spied a few tattooed men and women gathered around a small table, discussing a class while nursing cups of coffee. One woman sitting with them had silvery gray eyes that shone like beacons. Hard to miss.

Stacy stared at her a moment longer, trying to figure out the nature of the color. Putting the woman’s eye color down to a set of extremely cool contacts, she smiled and gave the woman a jaunty salute then reached out for the empty glasses lining the next abandoned table. The woman still watched her.

Uncomfortable, Stacy strode to the far side of the courtyard to escape the woman’s scrutiny. Something told her to look back.

The woman with the startling eyes stood right behind her, glaring. Her eyes glowed like quicksilver.


Miss Silver Eyes smelled of patchouli, musk, and some other strange scent Stacy couldn’t identify.

She leaned close to Stacy’s ear, and her voice sounded raspy when she spoke, “We will have this ground. This harshad time, Stacy Macken, the ground is ours, and they will never dance again.”

Harshad? How did she know about harshads? Had the long-awaited war truly come, then?

Stacy stared as impossibly long incisors slid down from the woman’s gums like snake fangs. Miss Silver Eyes clamped a hand around her upper arm. The woman’s steely gaze, the ruby and alligator’s tooth earring glittering in her right earlobe, and the dark threat mesmerized Stacy.

“You won’t if I have anything to say about it.” A cool male voice brought the silver-eyed woman up short and the fog lifted from Stacy’s mind.

Aaron Fielding stood before her dressed in casual jeans and a gray, cable knit sweater. He seemed right at home here among the students, and yet somehow he also stood apart.

The air shifted. Stacy could have sworn his leather coat, for just an instant, took on the shape of a golden eagle’s wings.

A high-pitched whine scraped from the silver-eyed woman’s throat. Taking Aaron in, she cocked her head. A bemused smile spread across her face, as if at some private joke.

Aaron retrieved an item from his coat. At first, Stacy thought the object might be a baton. A hint of blue light flickered between his fingers, barely there; almost hidden by the glare of the courtyard lights. Then the object changed shape and substance, wood to steel. The innocuous baton became a sword.

“Now, wait!” Stacy jumped to her feet and caught the baton before it bashed the woman’s face in.

Aaron grasped Stacy’s upraised hand and thrust her behind him. “For your own good, don’t interfere.”

Miss Silver Eyes screamed. Steel glinted from her fists as she rushed headlong at Aaron.

He raised the weapon while muttering something in a foreign language.

An explosion of light split the air. A blue starburst flashed at the edges of Stacy’s vision. Cringing and blinking in the brightness, she saw that the woman, hands outstretched, had gone utterly still.

Stacy frowned as she studied the woman, wondering what happened.

Aaron turned back to the silver-eyed woman, grasped her arm, and whispered in her ear. Her feet began to move, one step, then another, as a zombie might—unseeing and stiff in posture. Aaron kept a hand on her back, leading her to the entrance. He opened the gate and shoved her through, then slammed it shut with an Irish curse. He proceeded to mutter something, tracing a finger along the gate’s edge.

His words reminded Stacy of something out of Chaucer. Azure light danced around the gate’s perimeter.

Aaron turned to face her. “This should never have happened,” he said.  “Forgive me, Stacy.”

Surprised to see his medallion glowing with a soft reddish-golden light and his eyes an unearthly shade of green, Stacy gasped.

Aaron shook his head. “We were lax in our vigilance, and this intrusion never should’ve been allowed.”

His gaze came back to hers. The glow in his eyes was gone. Had she hallucinated?

“I give you my solemn vow that I’ll do everything in my power to see it doesn’t happen again.”

Shaking, she recalled the fables she’d heard all her life about women and fated love with mystery men. Was the tale just the stuff of silly bedtime stories? Was Aaron merely defending her from an attacker as any gentleman might? Or did his purpose spring from something other than chivalry?

Taking her hands, he tried to soothe her. “These grounds have been violated,” he said. His expression melted into a solemn frown. “And we’ve work to do to restore the safeguards. If you’ll come with me, we can get down to the business of ensuring that.”

Safeguards? Stacy couldn’t believe her ears. Work to restore the safeguards?

Oh, God. Oh, God! Why now? Would that her whole life could’ve passed without having to hear those words.

Yet, she knew what he said was true, and reached out to him. Stacy’s breath caught in her throat as he raised her hands to his biceps. His expression held a combination of intensity and passion. Her heart raced.

His voice, a mixture of seduction and gravel, rumbled through her. “Hold on tight. I don’t want to lose you along the way.”

The lights at the corners of the courtyard flared. Digging her nails into Aaron’s arms, Stacy squinted. They glided upward, and she looked down, disbelieving what she saw. They floated above the floor as if they’d become no more than a puff of smoke.

The puff thinned, stretched out in the light, blinding her as it blended along the spectrum. A thin whining sound screamed in her ear. She shot along its frequency, until she felt she was one with the universal energy pulsing through her, until all she saw turned to white darkness that seemed to go on forever.



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May 22

Launch Day!

Good morning, and welcome to the launch day for book #9 of the Dream Series, FEVER DREAM!  I’m hosting a launch party tonight on Facebook from 5 to 7 PM (Eastern US time), so please stop by and check that out!


Dr. Sara Alderson isn’t used to her patients dying for no reason.  When a young boy succumbs to a mysterious illness that defies all her efforts to treat it, she refuses to accept defeat.

After two months of questions, Sara has attracted the attention of powerful people who don’t want their secrets uncovered, and will go to any lengths to make sure they stay hidden.

Now, time is running out for Sara to unravel the mystery before anyone else falls victim to the illness.  And before her career, her family and her freedom are taken from her by enemies she doesn’t even know she has.

You can buy it, as an ebook, or in paperback, all over the Interwebs!

Amazon (Kindle or Paperback)


Barnes & Noble (Nook or Paperback)

Apple iBookstore


Google Play

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May 22

Hot for Friday – Book Launch Day edition!

It’s time for the weekly Hot for Friday blog hop.  This week’s theme is a “hot kiss” and here’s one from the fifth book of the series, WAKING DREAM

His hands are all over me, his lips are on mine, I’m pulling him close to me, on top of me.  God, I can’t breathe, I – I…

Now he’s pulling back from me.  No!  Don’t do that!  I can’t stand it!  I’m burning up inside, I want – no, I need him.  Right now.

There’s a blast of cold air; he’s lowered the window.  That helps.  What was I – what were we thinking?  There’s not a single car up here besides ours, but we’re still in a public place.  I knew where he was going when he made a left instead of taking the right that leads to the Beltway on-ramp.  And we do have a half-hour to kill, at least.

He’s panting and his eyes aren’t quite focused.  He needs the cold air every bit as much as I do.  When he recovers a bit, he says, “Do you have the slightest idea how gorgeous you look tonight?”

I do now, seeing myself reflected in his beautiful, perfect eyes.  Right now, we’re on the top level of the parking garage of the Pentagon City mall.  “You know there’s a hotel right here,” the big Ritz-Carlton, connected to the mall.  “How much room do you think we have left on the credit card?”

That’s unfair of me, to tempt him; I know we can’t do that.  It’s important to Brian’s job that we go to the party, and that we – both of us – make a good impression.  “Any other night,” he says.  “I’d take you up on that.”

The book is also available as a fantastic audiobook!

And don’t forget that the latest Dream Series book, FEVER DREAM, is officially up for sale this morning!



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May 21

Book Launch – “Lacy” by Shanna Hatfield

Thank you so much, James, for hosting me today! What a pleasure to be back on your blog!


Pendleton Petticoats Series Book 5

Lacy Cover

Sweet romance blossoms between people from two very different worlds.

Will the bonds of love be stronger than the bonds of tradition?

Eager to make her own way in the world, Lacy Williams leaves behind her family on the Umatilla Reservation and accepts a job in Pendleton at the telephone office as an operator. The work she takes in stride, but dealing with the unfamiliar, unsettling feelings stirred by the handsome banker across the street is an entirely different matter.

Grant Hill wants a wife.

However, not just any wife will do. If that were the case, he’d make an announcement at the mercantile and cause a stampede to the church. Grant wants a woman who will look beyond his material wealth and see into his heart. When he’s all but given up on the possibility that such a woman exists, he runs into the lovely Lacy Williams.

The two of them must strive to discover if the bonds of love are stronger than the bonds of tradition in this sweet historical western romance.



Meet Lacy and Grant

If you’d like a chance to win a digital copy of Lacy, either post a comment here or on my Facebook page what you enjoy most about a historical western romance. One random winner will be drawn Saturday morning!


Intently studying the fullness of his bottom lip and wondering what it would feel like if he kissed her, Lacy’s feet slid on a patch of ice.

Grant reached out to steady her. She ended up pulled tight against his chest with his arms wrapped securely around her. His spicy, masculine scent filled her nose and made a delicious tremor race through her.

Disinclined to let her go, Grant kept a hand on her waist and guided her to Ilsa’s shop door.

“Thank you, Mr. Hill, for all you did for me today. I am most grateful for your assistance.” Lacy lifted her eyes to his. The man’s entrancing gaze pulled her into a place of warmth and security she never wanted to leave.

The nearly overwhelming urge to discover if Lacy’s lips tasted as ripe and sweet as they looked created an internal struggle for Grant. He’d never been so attracted to a woman and couldn’t dignify what caused such a strong reaction now. It was ridiculous and unreasonable to be so completely captivated by a woman he’d just met.

Despite his head telling him to walk away, Grant took her hand and brought it to his lips. Covered with a glove, the presence of her hand in his still made his tingle. He lifted his gaze to hers as he bent over her hand, holding her captive and losing himself in those dark eyes. “It was my pleasure, Miss Williams. Have a pleasant evening.”

By sheer force of will, Grant turned and strode away.

Lacy gaped after him. She had no idea how long she would have stood on the sidewalk watching his departing form if Ilsa hadn’t opened the shop door and tugged her inside.


Shanna Hatfield 2Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, hopeless romantic Shanna Hatfield is out to make it happen one story at a time. Her bestselling sweet historical and contemporary romances combine humor and heart-pumping moments with realistic characters. When she isn’t writing or consuming unhealthy amounts of chocolate, Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.

Find Shanna’s books at:

Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Apple

Follow Shanna online:

Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | You Tube | Twitter


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May 21

Just one more day…

The new book, FEVER DREAM, is out tomorrow!  But it’s available for pre-order at basically every e-book retailer you could possibly shop from:

Amazon (Kindle or Paperback)


Barnes & Noble (Nook or Paperback)

Apple iBookstore



Google Play


And here’s one more sneak peek before tomorrow…

It’s six-thirty when we emerge from the shower.  We had to; neither of us was in any state to rejoin the rest of the family after I got through showing Brian exactly how I’m feeling.  But now we’re both clean, and both in an extremely good mood – even if I am a little bit sore.

Brian starts to put his pajamas on, and I protest, “You can’t put those on!  They’ll all know what we were doing!”

He gives me a gentle smile – so much like the one my father used to give me when he was explaining something I ought to have figured out for myself.  “I think they already know.”

“But I was quiet!”  It was not easy.  It never is easy to keep my feelings to myself when we’re in bed.

“Yes.  But your parents and our children aren’t idiots, Sara.  Maybe Matty doesn’t know, but he won’t think anything about my pajamas anyway.”  I suppose he’s right.  I’m about to say so, but before I can, he grins and says, “If it’s any consolation, Chrissy probably doesn’t know, either.”  And then, fully dressed now, he opens the door and heads out into the hall before I can think of an appropriate response to that.

We’re greeted by all of our children in the living room.  I catch Stephanie whispering to Lizzie, “I told you so!” and I glare at Brian.  He just shrugs back; what is there to say, anyway?

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May 21

Cover Reveal: “Forever: A Lobster Kind of Love” by Jody Pardo & Jennifer Tocheny


A Lobster Kind of Love
Reveal: May 21, 2015

Date: June 9, 2015
Photography by Shelton Cole of SC Photo AZ
Design by Justin Temporando of Ready, Set, Edit
Male Cover
Model: Craig Geirish

Cover Model: Jami Watts aka Jurnee Lane
When a drunk truck driver claimed Lydia’s
husband and son, her world shattered. The small town that once embraced her was
now her personal hell. She made the decision to leave her hometown of Nazareth,
Pennsylvania and move to Eastport, Maine, to start over in the last happy place
she ever knew.
When the sea tried to claim Ryan, he was left a
broken man. Starting over in a wheelchair was the last thing he expected to do.
Ryan was born to be a lobster fisherman, not a buoy. When Lydia became his home
care nurse, he never expected her to be the light at the end of his tunnel.
Will their broken hearts survive a second
chance or will they remain locked in their cages?
Lobsters mate for life. Lobster love is


About the
Jody Pardo…


Born and raised
in New York City, Jody is an only child of an English professor. After
9/11/2001 and a line of duty injury, she left her role as an EMT with FDNY-EMS for a quieter life. She pursued Bachelor’s degrees in Molecular Biosciences and English. Her
love of books and introduction to the Indie book world led to many wonderful
friendships including Jennifer Tocheny and the drive to write and publish was
ignited. Jody loves to travel and meet new people and has lived in four states
and has visited 48 out of 50 US states.
Still a
resident of New York City, Jody is an Executive Assistant at a design firm and
single mom to her daughter Ariel Elizabeth and her two cats, Bullet and Oreo.
Follow Jody Pardo on Social Media…
Instagram: @AuthorJodyPardo
Twitter: @JodyPardo
Email: AuthorJodyPardo@gmail.com


Jennifer is
a resident of Nazareth, Pennsylvania, where this book originates, and works full time as a home care nurse. Jennifer has been a LPN since 1998. She has always been an avid reader and enjoys book signings, flea markets, going to the beach, spending time with family and friends, and road trips. When this crazy idea was born one Saturday afternoon, Jenn
switched gears from reader to writer.

Jenn has
been married for 11 years to Chris Tocheny and they have a 6 year old son,
Logan who loves moose.
Follow Jennifer Tocheny on social media…


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May 19

Book Launch – “Tainted Dreams” by Christi Corbett

Good morning!  please welcome indie author Christi Corbett to the blog today!

Christi Corbett, winner of the 2013 RONE Award for Best American Historical novel, lives in a small town in Oregon with her husband and their twin children. The home’s location holds a special place in her writing life; it stands just six hundred feet from the original Applegate Trail and the view from her back door is a hill travelers looked upon years ago as they explored the Oregon Territory and beyond.

Christi Corbett Picture for Bio

You can follow Christi all over the Interwebs:

Blog: https://christicorbett.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christi-Corbett-Author/430817400345104

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChristiCorbett

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/christicorbett/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Christi-Corbett/e/B00DC8H5CI/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7132469.Christi_Corbett?from_search=true

Email: christicorbett@gmail.com


You can also listen to a radio interview with her, right here.


And here’s her new book…


TaintedDreams_1600x2400 FINAL2


They survived the Oregon Trail, but claiming a legacy would be their biggest challenge yet…


Sometimes, the end justifies the means…

Kate Davis arrived into Oregon City transformed from a pampered daughter of fortune into a determined woman with a plan–fulfill her father’s dream of starting a horse ranch in Oregon Territory.

She quickly discovers a harsh truth–even thousands of miles from home, on an unsettled land America doesn’t yet own or govern, gender still takes precedence over ability. Refusing to be ruled once again by the stifling laws and societal norms she’d escaped by leaving Virginia, Kate begins creatively claiming what is rightfully hers.

Until a visit to the land office changes everything.

Jake Fitzpatrick guided Kate across the Oregon Trail, and fell in love with her along the way. Now he wants to marry her and build a life together, but a ruthless man from Jake’s past threatens to reveal a dark secret, and destroy everything he’s worked so hard to achieve.

You can buy it at Amazon, and elsewhere:

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tainted-dreams-christi-corbet/1121906167?ean=2940151530439

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/tainted-dreams

ibookstore: http://ibookstore.com/products.php?i=B00W0R2FAY

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/542314

This is the sequel to her previous novel, Along the Way Home, which won an award as the Best American Historical Novel of 2013 from Ind’Tale Magazine!

Christi has an excerpt for us:

(Jake, Kate, and two people they rescued on the Oregon Trail, William and Margaret, have entered Oregon City. They are looking for the hotel.)

At the end of the block a man burst from the saloon and stumbled into the street, stopping mere inches from Jake’s horse, Plug. Instead of backing away, the man lurched forward and reached for Jake’s saddle horn.

“Hey there!” Jake said. Raising his left leg, he ignored the resulting twinge of pain and shoved the stranger aside with his boot heel. “Watch it!”

The man drew back and stared at him, his eyes bloodshot and unfocused. He raised an unsteady finger, slurred an unintelligible response, and then fell face-­first into a patch of mud.

“Drunken fool,” Jake muttered, then faced the others. “Let’s keep moving.”

High-­pitched squealing foiled his plan.

On the upper deck of the saloon a horde of harlots stood clustered together, giggling and shrieking as they pointed toward him. Clenching his jaw, he focused on the street ahead, all the while hoping Kate didn’t notice one woman in particular who’d separated herself from the others and was now hanging over the railing, calling him by name.

Jake pressed his boot heels into Plug’s side, urging him to a steady trot. Thankfully the others followed and they quickly left the saloon behind.

Minutes later, Kate motioned to the end of the street. “William, we’re running out of road and I still don’t see a hotel.”

William pulled a rumpled paper from his pocket. He studied it briefly and then eyed the surrounding buildings. “My uncle sent me a rough sketch of where it’s located, but there are so many new buildings, it’s useless. Jake, do you know where it’s at?”

Jake shook his head. “There wasn’t a hotel the last time I was here.”

“Perhaps one of those men sitting in front of the apothecary would know?” Margaret suggested.

“We’ll find it ourselves,” Jake replied. He led the group around the corner and onto the next street.

Buildings, so new their fresh pine scent still hung in the air, lined one side of the street while the other side held only two—an enormous livery and a two-­story building with the word Hotel prominently displayed on a white sign with black lettering. A matching sign beside a light-­rimmed window read Rooms Available by the Day or Week.

They dismounted, secured their horses to the empty hitching posts in front of the hotel, and headed for the door. William reached for the glass knob, then turned to the others with a worried frown.

“I haven’t seen my uncle in over seven years, so I don’t know what to expect. Though from what I’ve observed so far, living out west doesn’t seem to improve manners.” He stepped inside and ushered Margaret and Kate through the doorway. Jake followed them, then stopped cold.

Behind the hotel’s front desk sat Theodore Martin—the one man Jake never wanted to see again as long as he lived.





And I’ve also got a great interview with Christi:

Who is your favorite author?

I would say Laura Ingalls Wilder, the author of my favorite book series of my youth, the Little House books.

I got my first book of hers at a yard sale at age seven, and read it so much the covers crumbled from wear and eventually fell off the book. And I had my first moment of absolute book joy when I learned that there were many more of her books available (which was my first brush with the concept of a series).

How do you describe your writing style?

My descriptions are simple and to the point. I’ve never been a fan of long, wordy passages, so if my character needs to go from one end of the room to the other, they just do.

Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?

I believe keeping a promise is important, so the theme for both books is the importance of being a man, or woman, of your word. In other words, if you make a promise you should be prepared to keep it, no matter the cost.

Have any of your characters been modeled after yourself?

I gave Kate, my female lead character, my hairstyle from high school (auburn, waist-length, thick and wavy curls) because it was really hard to take care of and keep tangle free, so I figured it would be really hard to do the same on the trail where access to water deep enough to bathe in was rare. There is a part of the book where Kate is cutting snarls from her hair that really resonated with me, since I’d done the same.

If you could exchange lives with any of your characters for a day which character would you choose and why?

I think it would be fun to be Jake, my male lead character. He’s a rugged, yet honorable, man who genuinely cares how the other members of his wagon train are doing, and does everything within his power to keep his promises. Plus, he rides a horse all day!

If you could select one book that you could rewrite and add your own unique twist on, which book would that be and why?

Gone with the Wind. I finally read it when I was twenty-five years old, after years of listening to other readers rave about how good it was, and how much I was missing out on. Also, I wanted to see the movie and I’m a firm believer in reading the book first. I read it in one sitting; I started after dinner, read through the entire night, and finished as the sunrise peeked through the living room curtains. The book irritated me for the first 100 pages because I couldn’t understand why anyone would care so much about such a vapid and selfish character like Scarlett, but thankfully I kept reading and by the end I was fascinated in the character growth Scarlett went through throughout the book.

I would love to see an epilogue where Rhett sees Scarlett’s growth as a person, and gives her another try. (I’ve read the sequel, and heartily enjoyed that this did actually happen)

Beatles or Monkees? Why?

Monkees. I’m a huge fan of Neil Diamond, and they played four songs he wrote: I’m a Believer, A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You, Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow), and Love to Love.

Who should play you in a film of your life?

There are far more interesting and worthy people out there to make a movie about, Harriet Beecher Stowe is one example. She was an amazing author, who changed the world with her book.

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May 19

Book Launch – “Sunk” by Renea Porter

SunkBy: Renea Porter

Release Day: May 19th


The darkness claws at Raine Sims,
bringing her farther in.
There was no escaping it and no
one to bring her out of it. The burden of loss weighs heavily on her, reminding
her every day that there are no guarantees in life. Every day is a struggle
every day she puts on a façade just to get through. She’s already lost her
husband to divorce and now her child in death… It’s all too much to grasp.
But a chance encounter with Sly
Wilkes is all it takes to come completely undone.
Sly Wilkes is always in control,
in every situation, including in the bedroom. He’s mysterious, and Raine has
definitely piqued his interest. However getting to know her isn’t all that
easy. Raine’s guarded and believes she deserves to feel the pain and the
darkness that surrounds her.

Will Sly be able to help Raine see she deserves more?

Or Will the pain forever remain?

Renea has always had her nose
inside of a book ever since she could remember. She has wrote ever since she
was young enough to write, never showing anyone what she was writing. Initially
she started writing Coming Back to You without intending to publish, but her
hubby of 15 years encouraged her to publish it. And she did. She couldn’t
imagine never writing. Its in her blood.
Her mind is always wondering, plotting and full of ideas. Even her hubs
questions her sanity sometimes, because she well her characters are real. They
feel real.

Back To you
Bare Hearts

Driving Layne (Unspoken Truth Book 1)

Switching Lanes (Unspoken Truth Book 2)

Outbound Lane (Unspoken Truth Novella)


Mirror Mirror



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