Monday, March 30, 2020

No Stone Unturned by Andrea Kane

No Stone Unturned by Andrea Kane Banner

 

 

No Stone Unturned

by Andrea Kane

on Tour March 16 - April 17, 2020

Synopsis:

No Stone Unturned by Andrea Kane

WHAT IF YOU FOUND YOUR FRIEND DEAD AND FEARED YOU'D BE NEXT?

Jewelry designer Fiona McKay is working on her latest collection of Celtic-inspired jewelry. She's excited by the possibilities uncovered by Rose Flaherty, the antiquities dealer helping her research the heirloom tapestries inspiring her new collection. So when Rose calls to tell her she has answers, Fiona hurries to meet her. But her artistic world is shattered when she finds the lifeless body of the elderly woman.

Why would anyone kill such a harmless person? And what if Fiona had arrived just a few minutes earlier? Would she have been killed as well? Unnerved, she heads for her brother's Brooklyn apartment seeking advice and comfort.

Ryan McKay, Forensic Instincts' technology wiz is not amused by his little sister interrupting his evening with his girlfriend and co-worker, Claire Hedgleigh. But when Ryan and Claire hear the details of Rose's murder, they fear that Fiona could be next, and quickly assume the role of her protectors. What they're unaware of is how many people are desperately seeking the information now buried along with Rose.

A former IRA sniper. A traitorous killer who worked for the British. Two vicious adversaries taking their epic battle to America. A secret Irish hoard as the grand prize in a winner takes all fight to the death.

As the story woven into the tapestries passed down from McKay mother to daughter unravels, Forensic Instincts realizes that Fiona and her family are in grave danger. Together, the team must stay one step ahead of two rival assassins or risk Fiona's life and the McKay family tree.

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense Thriller
Published by: Bonnie Meadow Publishing LLC
Publication Date:
Number of Pages: March 17, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-68232-039-
Series: Forensic Instincts
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Slowly, Rose Flaherty made her way over to the front window of her Greenwich Village antique shop, leaning heavily on her cane as she did. Preoccupied with the ramifications of her research findings, she barely took note of the passersby on Bedford Street, most of them headed home for the evening. A few of them glanced in her window, their unpracticed eyes seeing none of the beauty attached to the treasure trove of antiques and antiquities, instead seeing only the dusty surfaces, the random pieces, and odd assortment of furnishings that bespoke unwanted junk from the past.
At seventy-nine years old, Rose had long ago stopped caring what people thought. She knew who and what she was. And she knew it was no accident that her established clientele, many of whom were wealthy and educated in the realm of ancient civilizations—including Egyptian, Etruscan, Roman, Byzantine, Greek, and her beloved Celtic—came to her for her expertise as well as her one-of-a-kind offerings. Her knowledge was vast, her list of contacts vaster still.
The levels of research she performed were always a labor of love. However, her current project was even more than that. It was a thrilling adventure, a fascination of possibilities that transcended anything she’d dealt with in the past.
She couldn’t wait to delve deeper.
Impatiently, she squinted at her watch, barely able to make out the hands without the aid of her glasses, which she’d left somewhere. Ah. Five fifteen. Forty-five minutes to go.
Given the magnitude of her findings, there was just one way to pass the time.
She limped her way over to her Chippendale desk, sliding open the bottom drawer and pulling out the bottle of rare, old Irish whiskey she kept on hand for special clients. It was sinfully expensive. How fortunate that one of her prominent clients, Niall Dempsey, was a wealthy real estate developer who also appreciated fine Irish whiskey and who had been kind enough to gift this to her.
She poured the whiskey into a glass, making sure to put out a second for her client. They certainly had something to toast to. She would just get a wee bit of a head start.
“Rose?” Glenna Robinson, Rose’s assistant, poked her head out of the back room. Glenna was studying archeology at NYU and thoroughly enjoyed her part-time job at the shop. The fragile, white-haired owner was an intellectual wonder. Learning from her was an honor—even if she was becoming a bit more absentminded as she neared eighty. Absentminded about everything except her work. In that precious realm, her mind was like a steel trap.
“Hmmm?” Rose lifted her lips from her glass and turned, initially surprised to see Glenna was still here. Ah, but it wasn’t yet five thirty, and Glenna never left before checking in, so she should have expected to see her shiny young face. Such was the level of Rose’s absorption with the task at hand. “Yes, dear?”
Glenna’s gaze flickered from the glass in Rose’s hand to its mate, sitting neatly beside the whiskey bottle on the desk. “Do you need me to stay late? You mentioned an evening appointment, obviously an important one… even if it’s not in the calendar.”
“It was last minute.” Rose smiled, giving a gentle wave of her hand. “There’s no need for you to stay. This is a meeting, not a transaction. If you’d just collect the mail and drop it off, you can go and enjoy your evening.”
Glenna smiled back, trying not to look as relieved as she felt. Her friends had invited her to join them for pizza and beer. After a long week, that was exactly what she needed. But she wouldn’t leave Rose in the lurch.
“Are you sure?” she asked.
“Positive. Now run along.”
“Thank you. See you tomorrow afternoon.” Glenna blew Rose a kiss, then retraced her steps into the small back room—the business office, as she and Rose laughingly called it. It was barely larger than a closet, but it served its purpose. Glenna used it to answer phone calls, schedule appointments, email invoices, do reams of paperwork, and keep track of the countless Post-its Rose stuck on every inch of available surface space. She called it Glenna’s to-do list, but Glenna was well aware that the reminders were really for Rose, not for her. All part of Rose’s charm. The Post-it-spotted room contained a jam-packed file cabinet, a rusty metal desk, an on-its- last-legs photocopier, and a computer that Glenna had nicknamed Methuselah because it was older than time. Still, it was enough for their needs and Rose didn’t know how to use it anyway. That was part of Glenna’s job. She’d been doing it since she was sixteen, and she had no desire to go elsewhere.
She scooped up the stack of mail and was about to leave when she spotted a manila envelope propped up against the outbox with the name of the addressee penned on it in Rose’s neat hand. No street address. No postage.
Typical forgetful Rose.
Recognizing the client’s name, Glenna quickly scanned their contacts list, found the requisite address, printed it on a label that she adhered to the envelope, and carefully marked the parcel: hand cancel. She’d take care of the postage at the post office. Jimmy would move the process along. He was an efficient postal worker with a wild crush on her. She’d be in and out in a flash.
After tucking the envelope beneath the rest of the mail, she shut down Methuselah for the night, then grabbed her lightweight jacket and left the shop.
The tinkling sound of the bells over the door echoed behind her.
Twenty minutes later, they tinkled again.
Rose had been sitting in a chair midway in the shop, her back turned to the entrance as she sipped her whiskey and stared idly at the marble fireplace that stayed lit year-round to ward off dampness and mildew. Hearing the bells, she reached for her cane and came to her feet, surprised but delighted. Her client was early.
She turned, a greeting freezing on her lips.
It wasn’t a client who had come for her.
***
Excerpt from No Stone Unturned by Andrea Kane. Copyright 2019 by Andrea Kane. Reproduced with permission from Andrea Kane. All rights reserved.



Author Bio:

Andrea Kane
Andrea Kane is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirty novels, including sixteen psychological thrillers and fourteen historical romantic suspense titles. With her signature style, Kane creates unforgettable characters and confronts them with life-threatening danger. As a master of suspense, she weaves them into exciting, carefully-researched stories, pushing them to the edge―and keeping her readers up all night.
Kane’s first contemporary suspense thriller, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE, became an instant New York Times bestseller. She followed with a string of bestselling psychological thrillers including NO WAY OUT, TWISTED and DRAWN IN BLOOD.
Her latest in the highly successful Forensic Instincts series, NO STONE UNTURNED, showcases the dynamic, eclectic team of maverick investigators as they solve a seemingly impossible case while narrowly avoiding an enraged law enforcement frustrated over Forensic Instincts’ secretive and successful interference in a murder case. The first showcase of Forensic Instincts’ talents came with the New York Times bestseller, THE GIRL WHO DISAPPEARED TWICE, followed by THE LINE BETWEEN HERE AND GONE, THE STRANGER YOU KNOW, THE SILENCE THAT SPEAKS, THE MURDER THAT NEVER WAS, A FACE TO DIE FOR, and DEAD IN A WEEK.
Kane’s beloved historical romantic suspense novels include MY HEART’S DESIRE, SAMANTHA, ECHOES IN THE MIST, and WISHES IN THE WIND.
With a worldwide following of passionate readers, her books have been published in more than twenty languages. Kane lives in New Jersey with her husband and family. She’s an avid crossword puzzle solver and a diehard Yankees fan.

Catch Up With Andrea Kane:
AndreaKane.com, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!









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Sunday, March 29, 2020

Lemon Drizzle Mondays at the Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green




Lemon Drizzle Mondays at the Little Duck Pond Café


Molly Hooper has a secret. It haunts her dreams and casts a dark shadow over life with her gorgeous three-year-old daughter, Eva. Arriving in Sunnybrook has given her a glimpse of sunshine. The Little Duck Pond Cafe crew seem so welcoming and there's even the chance of a new job. Baking delicious cakes has always taken Molly to a happy place, so the job - at the glorious Brambleberry Manor Cafe - might just be perfect for her. It would mean she and little Eva could finally put down some roots at last. But is Sunnybrook the sanctuary Molly is searching for? Or will the past come back to haunt her, wherever she hides?

Purchase Link - https://amzn.to/2slp10U


Even in a small town where everyone knows each others' business,  there are secrets.
Molly has a beautiful three year old daughter she is raising by herself. She manages to get a part time job which will help them to survive but the landlord is a nightmare. Molly doesn't dare tell her new friends and coworkers.
She meets her new work neighbor just before her first shift at the Brambleberry Cafe, when she has a muddy accident. Happily, he is a frequent customer at the cafe. Sadly, the cafe is not busy enough to keep all the staff employed. They must pull together to come up with an idea to bring in more customers.


This is a story about being good to others as well as to oneself. It is about survival and lonliness, and not making assumptions. It is a sweet and clean read that will grab your heart and make you feel good.  I enjoy the setting and the characters and how each book stands alone, yet we watch as their relationships grow.



Rosie has been scribbling stories ever since she was little.

Back then, they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by 'the baddies'.

Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger involved at all - unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love.

Rosie's series of novellas is centred around life in a village cafe. The latest, ‘A Winter Wedding at the Little Duck Pond Cafe', is out now.

Rosie has also written a full-length, standalone book, 'Snowflakes over Moondance Cottage', out now.

Follow Rosie on Twitter - https://twitter.com/Rosie_Green1988



Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Old Man's Request


THE OLD MAN'S REQUEST 
by Joab Stieglitz
 Historical Suspense, 117 pp.
 $11.99 (paperback)
 $2.99 (Kindle)

Title: THE OLD MAN’S REQUEST
Author: Joab Stieglitz
Publisher: Rantings of a Wandering Mind
Pages: 117
Genre: Historical Suspense



An Innocent Favor for a Dying Old Friend…

Fifty years ago, a group of college friends dabbled in the occult and released a malign presence on the world. Now, on his deathbed, the last of the students, now a trustee of Reister University enlists the aid of three newcomers to banish the thing they summoned.

Russian anthropologist Anna Rykov, doctor Harry Lamb, and Father Sean O’Malley are all indebted the ailing trustee for their positions. Together, they pursue the knowledge and resources needed to perform the ritual.

Hampered by the old man’s greedy son, the wizened director of the university library, and a private investigator with a troubled past, can they perform the ritual and banish the entity?

ORDER YOUR COPY:

______________________






CHAPTER 1


June 18, 1929

Final papers in hand, Anna  emerged from the Edison science building and made her way toward Olson Street to catch the trolley to the house she was renting on the other side of the river. She was petite, with dark bobbed hair, and smooth pale skin, and wore a fashionable blue, knee-length skirted suit, white blouse, and a loose, black necktie which flapped gently in the breezes blowing eastward off the slow-moving Woolley River.
It was another typically beautiful day, warm and dry, in Wellersburg.  About halfway across the quad, she spied Father O’Malley approaching hurriedly.  “Hello. Father,” she said with a smile, her Russian accent revealing her origins. “Is it not a fine day?” O’Malley, a tall, slender man with short, curly brown hair, usually had a warm, engaging smile, but today his expression was grim.
“Jason Longborough is in the hospital again,” O’Malley said. “It doesn’t look good, and he’s asked to speak to you with some urgency.”  Anna was concerned and a little surprised. The ailing trustee of the university had been her champion in the faculty selection committee last summer, but she had neither seen nor spoken with him since that time. He was directly responsible for her appointment to fill Dr. McMahon’s chair for three years while he and his team were on their expedition to Australia. Longborough was also instrumental in Father O’Malley’s appointment to the Ancient History department to fill similar vacancies during the Egyptian expedition, which was to occur concurrently.
“Of course,” Anna replied without hesitation, “I will just drop off these papers in office.”
“He may not hold out that long. Please come with me now. It may be your only opportunity.”  With that, the priest took the pile of exam papers from her and led the way toward the Reister University Hospital.


Anna was born Tatyana Trevena, the sole daughter of poor Russian immigrants. In exchange for passage to Brooklyn, the sixteen-year-old was married to the much older, exiled Fyodor Rykov shortly after their arrival in America in 1912. Rykov was an old world man. He treated his young wife as his property and she lived in submission to him until he died of a heart attack two years later.
Tatyana inherited a modest fortune. Wanting to be more American, and having the means to do so, she adopted the name Anna and attended Columbia University, where she studied Anthropology. She completed her degree in three years and went on to pursue a doctorate. In 1924, she did field research for the Russian archaeologist Aleksey Sergeyevich Uvarov in Gnyozdovo, a part of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, the site of a ring of 10th century Viking settlements.
Upon returning to the United States in 1926, Dr. Anna Rykov, expert in the Varangians, or Russian Vikings, found that there was little interest in a female professor, especially one of Russian descent, who had done field work in the Soviet Union and could have potentially been a Bolshevik. When Jason Longborough reached out to her with a temporary position at Reister University filling in for tenured staff while they were on a three-year expedition, she gladly took the offer.
There were many new instructors at Reister. Among them, Anna met Harry Lamb and Sean O’Malley. Dr. Lamb had just completed his residency at Reister University Hospital and was teaching Basic Anatomy to first year medical students. Father O’Malley was well-versed in Middle and Far Eastern history and served as an Ancient History instructor. Anna, Harry, and Sean were all new to the area, and the three quickly became friends exploring their new home together.
She was enjoying the small college-town life in Wellersburg and its uncrowded streets. The people of Wellersburg were courteous and friendly, even to a Russian immigrant, on account of the more cosmopolitan influences of the university. She enjoyed the peace and tranquility of a small town where everyone knew everyone, and no one locked their doors.


The hospital room was small and dark, illuminated by a lone window on the far side of the room. Jason Longborough lay in his bed. The withered old trustee was frail beneath his shock of gray hairs. He had looked much stronger when Anna had seen him last. Now his yellow complexion and paper-like skin clearly indicated his infirmity. Dr. Harold Lamb stood over the patient, taking his pulse. Lamb was taller than average and muscular, with broad shoulders and short, black hair neatly parted on the right. He wore a blue, pinstriped suit and a yellow tie under his lab coat. The doctor smiled slightly when the two entered the room. Longborough was alerted to their presence by the closing of the door.
“It was good of you to come,” the patient said with some effort. “My time draws to an end soon, and there is a grave matter from my past that must be addressed.”  Some strength returned to his voice. “I fear I have become too feeble to attempt it myself, and wish to enlist your services in this matter.”  He sighed heavily.
“How can I be of service to you, sir?” Anna asked. While she was indebted to Longborough for her position at the university, she was hardly acquainted with the man. What could a businessman like Longborough need of an archaeologist?
“Sit. I have a story to tell you.”  He gestured to two chairs by the side of the bed.
“I’ll be back to check on you later,” Dr. Lamb said as he started for the door. Suddenly, with uncharacteristic dexterity, the ailing trustee reached out and grasped his wrist.
“I wish you to aid me as well, Doctor.”  His gaze was fixed on Lamb’s eyes. The physician left the room, and a moment later brought a chair in from the hall.
“I can spare a few minutes, but then I must complete my rounds.”
“This is not a long story.”  The trustee cleared his throat and Anna poured a glass of water for him. He took a few sips from it, and then cleared his throat again. “Back in the spring of ‘71, when I was a freshman here at Reister, I came upon an interesting upperclassman named Brent Hanke, an amateur occultist.”  He coughed painfully.
“Five of us formed a group to explore the secrets of the unknown. We called it ‘the Cabal.’ It was quite innocuous at first, but after a while other students became disturbed by our activities, and so we bought an old farmhouse in Stuckley for some privacy.”  He coughed again and took another drink of water.
“It was at the farmhouse that things grew out of hand. Brent Hanke’s family was in shipping, and as a result, he was able to obtain rare and unique items from the Old World. He used these trinkets to keep us interested. Among these was a small gold box of Russian origin,” he indicated a length of about eight inches with his bent fingers, “that contained a piece of amber. According to a ritual he found in an ancient tome, this amber could be used to contact a powerful oracle. Being precocious lads, we set out to cast the spell at the farm and seek our fortunes.”
Longborough’s subsequent coughing fit caused the onlookers to jump, and Dr. Lamb went to call a nurse, but the old man recovered quickly and motioned for them all to sit again. After a few fairly deep breaths and another drink of water, he continued his tale.
“It was clear that night in March of 1871. I remember the full moon illuminating the living room of the farmhouse so brightly that Brent was worried that there might be too much light. Still we continued, lighting the fire in the fireplace as well as several candles, and drawing a pentagram in chalk on the floor. In the center, Brent placed the amber. As designated observer, I sat in a corner and wrote down the events of the evening in my journal. The others sat in a circle and recited the incantation while Brent threw some foul-smelling powder into the fire.”
“This continued for nearly two hours. Finally, something happened. A plume of smoke arose from the amber and it began to melt. Then it came!”  Longborough began to hyperventilate. Dr. Lamb sprang to the bedside and adjusted his position, putting the patient’s head back to open his throat. After a moment of coughing and wheezing, Longborough recovered.
“It was insubstantial.”  The trustee’s voice was still agitated. “Barely perceptible in the moonlight, but it was there. And it made a horrible growling sound. Brent threw some of the powder on the creature, and all chaos broke out. Most of us were paralyzed by the sight. John Dalton, however, rose to his feet and stepped forward to embrace the entity. The creature grasped his head in its indescribable appendages and twisted it with a terrible snap. Then it threw the head back to land in Homer Cunningham’s lap. Homer's face turned white and he began making that chirping sound.”  Longborough stared off into space for a moment.
“Roger Furlong apparently doomed us all,” he continued after a pause. “He destroyed part of the pentagram. Free from the bonds of its confines, the creature burst from the house with the force of a hurricane and was gone.”  He stopped to catch his breath. “Nevertheless, Hanke believed there was still hope. The spell bound the creature to the house, so it would have to return, and the many glyphs and warding symbols Hanke had previously carved into its structure allowed the creature to only inhabit the attic.”
“Mr. Longborough,” Doctor Lamb said with skepticism, “this kind of superstitious fantasy is probably what caused your condition in the first place. You were probably enjoying the effects of some hallucinogenic drugs this Hanke character threw into the fire.”
“John Dalton was found decapitated the next morning.”  The aged and frail patient bore down on Lamb with a look of rage. “We staged an accident with a carriage and said he was run over. The authorities believed us, and they took Homer Cunningham to the Old Oak Sanitarium. He was never released. Brett said that if the spell is cast again in reverse, the creature could be destroyed, or at least sent back to where it came from . That is what I want you to do.”
“Still,” Dr. Lamb continued, “you can’t expect us to believe that reciting some ancient poetry will lay a ghost to rest?”
Anna was divided. The story was completely unbelievable, especially by a scientist such as herself, but how could she deny the request of a dying man?
“You want us to cast this spell?” Father O’Malley asked indignantly.
“Yes,” Longborough said, his features calm and sharp, “I do.”
“By all that is holy, that is the worst kind of sacrilege.”  But Sean O’Malley was not a typical parish priest. He was a Professor of Ancient History specializing in the Dark Ages. His training had been under the tutelage of Father Christophé, the exorcist from Martinique regarded as the Church’s leading “expert” on the activities various “nameless cults.” O’Malley was more than prepared to accept Satan’s intervention in the sorry affairs of this once gullible youth. The sly smile from his lips surprised his two colleagues. Finally, he said, “But I accept your request.”
“Are you crazy?” Lamb exclaimed. “This delusion has gone far enough. It’s nearly killed this man. Father, I think we should let this matter, and this patient, rest.”  He rose and started off to return his chair to the hall.
“What difference does it make?” Anna asked in earnest. “Mr. Longborough believes that there is threat to all in Stuckley. If it is just a fantasy, then all that will come of it is the easing of his conscience for the unfortunate incident with his friends.”
“Then you’ll help me?” the old man inquired of Anna with hope in his eyes.
“Yes, sir,” she said, holding his hands in hers. “I owe it to you for all you have done for me.”  He smiled.
Rykov and O’Malley cast questioning glances at Dr. Lamb. He looked at them incredulously, and then back at Longborough, who returned his gaze with a pitiable look. After a moment, he sighed and said, “O.K., I’m in. But nothing is going to happen. You’ll see.”
“You don’t understand,” the patient started. “You must believe in the innate power in all of us. You must tap into that power to perform the ritual. Only if you are committed will the spell be successful. If you fail, the creature will be released from the house!  The little remaining power I can still muster won’t be able to keep it there much longer. Whenever I let my guard down, it got out and killed someone.”  He started to gasp and wheeze. Immediately, Dr. Lamb burst from the room to get assistance.
Longborough indicated the drawer of the nightstand beside Rykov and she picked up a locked metal box from it. Then he removed a key from around his neck and handed it to her.  “Take these,” he said with the last of his breath, “it is all the help I can give you.”  With that, his breathing became erratic. Moments later, Lamb returned with some orderlies and a nurse and ushered the pair from the room.



This book reminded me of the horror novels I read back when I was in high school. Dark, brooding, paranormal with a Gothic feel.  It will keep upi on the edge of your seat.
 Do not read this book if you will be alone in the house for the rest of the night.
Great characters and enough plot twists to keep you consumed with curiosity.


Joab Stieglitz was born and raised in the Warren, New Jersey. He is an Application Consultant for a software company.  He has also worked as a software trainer, a network engineer, a project manager, and a technical writer over his 30 year career. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia.

Joab is an avid tabletop RPG player and game master of horror, espionage, fantasy, and science fiction genres, including Savage Worlds (Mars, Deadlands, Agents of Oblivion, Apocalypse Prevention Inc, Herald: Tesla and Lovecraft, Thrilling Tales, and others), Call of Cthulhu, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, and Pathfinder.

Joab channeled his role-playing experiences in the Utgarda Series, which are pulp adventure novels with Lovecraftian influences set in the 1920’s.

Website Address: http://joabstieglitz.com
Twitter Address: @joabstieglitz





http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Alycat and the Tournament Tuesday by Alysson Foti Bourque


ALYCAT and the Tournament Tuesday


           Join us for this tour from March 17  to April 6, 2020!


Book Details:

Book Title:  Alycat and the Tournament Tuesday by Alysson Foti Bourque
Category:  Children's Fiction (Ages 3-7),  32 pages
Genre:  Children's Picture Book
Publisher:  Mascot Books
Release date:   March 17, 2020
Content Rating:  G


Book Description:

A “Mom’s Choice Award Winner”! Alycat’s brother, Bugsy, is playing in a golf tournament with some of his friends, and wants to use his lucky ball to win the game. But when Alycat forgets his lucky ball at home, Bugsy learns what luck is really all about. Can Bugsy win the tournament without his lucky ball? Alycat and the Tournament Tuesday is part of the Alycat Series: alycatseries.com.


Buy the Book:
Amazon.com



A cute and beautifully illustrated children's book with good friends and a positive message.
When Alycat's brother Bugsy forgets to take his "lucky ball" to a golf tournament, Alycat wants to be supportive.  She also tries to let him know it is what HE brings to the contest, not just an object or luck, that matters.  When it is discovered that what he thinks is his lucky ball turns out not to be everything he had thought it was, will Bugsy learn he has what it takes to be a winner?


The illustrations are cheerful and brightly colored. This is a good book parents will enjoy reading many times and children will sit down with and read to themselves when able.  It has a warm and supportive positive message.
  
Meet the Author:

Alysson Foti Bourque is the author of the award-winning Alycat series. Alysson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a Juris Doctor degree from the Southern University Law Center.

After practicing law for six years, she traded in writing trial briefs for writing children’s books. Alysson enjoys public speaking opportunities at schools, conferences, and festivals nationwide. She hopes to inspire people of all ages to follow their dreams and believe in themselves wholeheartedly.

AWARDS & HONORS

The Alycat Series has won several prestigious awards including:
Three Mom’s Choice Awards®
Benjamin Franklin Digital Award, Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA)
Best Book Award Finalist
NY Big Book Award
Reviewed by Midwest Book Review
Southern Festival of Books Panelist
Louisiana Book Festival Featured Author


Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter   Facebook  ~  Instagram ~ Pinterest



 

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Five Minutes, Alfie! by Lily Mae Walters





Five Minutes, Alfie


Alfie snuggles down in bed,
dreams still in his little head.
He dreams he's a king going out for a ride.
"A dragon sleeps in front of the gate," they cried.
How will they succeed in waking him up?
By helping each other and lots of luck.

Purchase Links


Although Alfie starts the book abed and a sleeping dragon blocks the door, this is NOT a book for quiet time reading. This is a waking up book, where children want to hear the voices. They will stretch and wiggle, bounce and cheer as members of the kingdom come together to wake the dragon.
It is a book about compassion and working together.
I enjoyed the rhyming prose and the bright colors and exaggerated expressions.
This is a book that Grandparents will love and every day care should own.


Lily Mae Walters chose her pen name in honour of her beloved grandparents who also stare in the Josie James series.

She is married with two teenage children, and two huskies that are the inspiration behind Murphy and Asher in the books.

Lily Mae lives in Nuneaton, England and finds herself using local  places and even her old school in her stories.

Family and friends mean the world to Lily Mae and many will find themselves popping up throughout the series.

Lily Mae also writes for adults under the name of Florence Keeling.






Thursday, March 19, 2020

LAVENDER BLUE MURDER




Lavender Blue Murder (A Tea Shop Mystery) by Laura Childs

 Lavender Blue Murder

 
Cozy Mystery 21th in Series 
Publisher: Berkley (March 3, 2020) 
Hardcover: 336 pages 
ISBN-10: 0451489667 
ISBN-13: 978-0451489661 
Digital ASIN: B07SSQ1X4R

Tea-Maven Theodosia Browning brews up trouble in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

Tea maven Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier Drayton Conneley are guests at a bird hunt styled in the precise manner of an English shooting party. Which means elevenses (sloe gin fizzes), gun loaders, the drawing of pegs, fine looking bird dogs, and shooting costumes of tweed, herringbone, and suede.

But as gunshots explode like a riff of Black Cat firecrackers, another shot sounds too close for comfort to Theodosia and Drayton. Intrigued but worried, Theodosia wanders into the neighbor's lavender field where she discovers their host, Reginald Doyle, bleeding to death.

His wife, Meredith, is beside herself with grief and begs Theodosia and Drayton to stay the night. But Theodosia awakens at 2:00A.M. to find smoke in her room and the house on fire. As the fire department screams in and the investigating sheriff returns, Meredith again pleads with Theodosia for help.

As Theodosia investigates, fingers are pointed, secrets are uncovered, Reginald's daughter-in-law goes missing presumed drowned, and Meredith is determined to find answers via a séance. All the while Theodosia worries if she's made a mistake in inviting a prime suspect to her upscale Lavender Lady Tea.

INCLUDES DELICIOUS RECIPES AND TEA TIME TIPS!

Continuing on with a much loved series, this most recent book takes us from the elegance and upscale activities and locations of an organized game hunt, (reminescent of Rita Msae Brown) to the fields of a lavender farm, Theo's beloved tea room and to less refined localations.
When a wealthy land owner is murdered and his estate nearly burnt to the ground, members of his family reach out to Theodosia for her assistance in tracking down a murderer. Of course her boyfriend repeatedly advises her to stay away from getting involved, but she and her dedicated friends still find themselves in the THICK of the action. And action there is - heart stopping, breath holding action! Quite exciting.
Even if you have not read previous books in this long running series, if your heart can take it, pick up a copy of this book!
We are also treated to delicious pairings of various teas and scones.

About Laura Childs


Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries,
Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries.
In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays.
She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fundraising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.
 Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!)
Her three series are: The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.
  The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!
  The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

  Laura’s Links:
  Website – http://www.laurachilds.com/
  Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/laura.childs.31

  Purchase Links Amazon B&N Kobo Google Play IndieBound

 
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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

52 Weeks of Writing: Author Journal and Planner by Mariëlle S. Smith


52 Weeks of Writing 
Author Journal and Planner

Are you ready to become the writer you were always meant to be?
52 Weeks of Writing will get you cracking by making you plan, track, reflect on, and check in with your progress and goals an entire year long.


52 Weeks of Writing will help you dig deep by offering questions and writing prompts designed to unravel whatever truths about your writing you’re ready for.
52 Weeks of Writing will keep you inspired by delivering a thought-provoking writing quote every week.


-        Do you struggle with setting goals that reflect your daily reality?
-        Do you want to practise breaking goals down into manageable chunks?
-        Would you like more insight into your writing habit(s) and figure out why you keep getting in your own way?
-        And do you want to create a sustainable writing practice that honours your needs and desires as a writer?

Then the 52 Weeks of Writing: Author Journal and Planner is for you.


52 Weeks of Writing brings together every lesson Mariëlle S. Smith has learned as a writing coach and writer. 

Wary as she is of comparisonitis and unhealthy competition, this author journal and planner was designed to help writers develop and fine-tune a practice that works for them.

If you’re ready to get out of your own way and become the writer you’re meant to be, pick up your copy of 52 Weeks of Writing today.


Purchase Link



Nothing beats 1:1 advice.

As a writing coach, I know that. I live and breathe that. But, I also know that good writing coaches don’t come cheap. No matter how much you’re stuck or afraid to even begin, hiring one just isn’t always possible.

Knowing that there are more people out there than I can help one on one hit me hard last year. While no journal or planner can be a substiture for an actual writing coach, it’s when I started to look for ways to turn my coaching material into something that would be more accesible and have a wider reach.

The result is 52 Weeks of Writing. Everything I’ve learned over the past several years—as a writing coach, a writer, and even an editor—I poured into this author journal and planner.

What did I want this journal and planner to be? A safe space for writers to figure out why they keep getting in their own way as they dream up where they would like to be. Despite me not actually being there in real time as you go through the planning, the questions, the writing quotes, and prompts, I wanted 52 Weeks of Writing to bridge that gap as best as I could.

And with success it seems. As one reviewer on Amazon said, ‘it’s like having a writing coach sit down with you every week’.

Planning isn’t enough

Planning alone only gets us so far. Journaling about and reflecting on our plans and achievements, that’s what gets us to the root of our struggles. And we need to get to the root if we want to heal and move towards the goals we dreamed up.

As I write these words, I’m sitting in my sea-view apartment on the coast of Cyprus, a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Every day, I get to do what I love—I write, and I help other writers do the same. I’ve published eleven books in the past year alone. However, my life wasn’t always like this. In fact, it looked nothing like it until quite recently.

Why? Because, until quite recently, I avoided journaling at all costs.

I’ve been into yoga for about eight years. But, while I’ve embraced many of the yogic principles, I never got into the whole being mindful, sitting still, allowing thoughts to come up thing.

We avoid things for a reason. For me, it was the fear of uncovering why I wasn’t happy. I kept telling myself I was content, but truth is I wasn’t even that. I was at a concert with a friend two and a half years ago when I suddenly felt so alive it hit me just how dead I felt on the inside on other days.

Honesty and courage

The next day, I bought a brand-new journal and started writing. I’d journaled before, and it’d always felt such a useless exercise. They say writing it down—like saying it aloud—makes it real, but we underestimate how easy it is to forget what we’ve spelled out. Especially when there’s something large at stake, like realising you’re still not doing what it takes to be where you want to be.

This time, however, I knew just planning wouldn’t get me there. Not without reflection. It takes writing it down, rereading your own words, and then having the guts to be honest with yourself again and again. About where you truly want to be. What is keeping you back. Why you’re letting that get in the way. My journal became the safe space where I could figure things out once and for all.

Fast forward a couple of years, I quit my day job and moved countries to write and help others write full-time. Now, I’m not saying I wouldn’t have gotten there without journaling, but if I hadn’t started to journal like I meant it, I wouldn’t have gotten here this fast.

For one thing, I would have never created 52 Weeks of Writing. I wouldn’t have published any of those eleven books, to be honest. And while I know it’s not 1:1 advice, let me tell you this: if I was able to get out of my own way enough to start planning for the life I’ve always wanted, so can you.

All you need is a safe space and the courage to look inside. Whether that space comes in the shape of a journal or that of one on one sesssions with your writing coach.



 5 stars and strong encouragement to buy this as a gift for yourself and for any aspiring writer you know.   Full of quotes, prompts and encouragement to pause, reflect upon and capture your thoughts, this journal planner will gently prod you into taking action and moving forward towards your goals: goals you thought were only dreams. By taking action and celebrating your progress, you will be amazed at what you can and will accomplish.
This book reaches you on different levels and via various methods. Naturally some exercises involve repetition but each week is a different experience.

Personally I love this sort of book in a print format.


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