The Best of No Small Thing

TheBest-Practice

Welcome to the book tour for The Best of No Small Thing with its accompanying gratitude workbook, Practice Gratitude. This unique collection of blog posts is by author, Deborah Hawkins!

Read on for details and a chance to win a set of books!

paperbackbookstanding.TBONST copyThe Best of No Small Thing

Publication Date: December 2019

Genre: Collection of Blog Posts/ Non-Fiction

No Small Thing – Mindful Meditations (NoSmallThing.net) was launched in 2010 with the intention of reflecting on experiences that generated feelings of gratitude in order to create a positive mood and orientation to life. As of fall of 2019, over 500 reflections (mindful meditations) have been published along with over 100 tips that can be employed in a gratitude practice.

This mindfulness process is detailed in a companion book, Practice Gratitude: Transform Your Life. It emphasizes the creation of personal gratitude themes, one’s Grateful Dozen, which can help a person see things that spark grateful feelings in new situations. This is a collection of favorite blog posts that came out of this process.

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paperbackstanding2-practice graitude copyPractice Gratitude: Transform Your Life

Publication Date: December 2019

Genre: Practice Guide/ Gratitude Journal

For several decades, studies have supported the idea that gratitude has many positive benefits. It boosts optimism, a sense of personal control, and even enhances relationships. Keeping a simple gratitude journal, where daily entries are made identifying things that spark gratitude, has become a very popular. Deborah Hawkins, originator of NoSmallThing.net, goes beyond listing little boons to generate good feelings. In this book, she teaches techniques for mindfulness, self-inquiry, and writing to build memories that activate strong positive emotions. This guide and workbook helps readers understand what kinds of personal experiences prompt uplifting feelings of gratitude in them, develop broad themes that apply to these experiences, and then use these themes to see and experience gratitude in new situations. This approach can empower anyone to begin each new day with confidence that things they love and value are already present. A companion book, Best of No Small Thing – Mindful Meditations provides examples of posts that were written using this process.

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Excerpt from The Best of No Small Thing

Since I started writing down my mindful meditations, I have tried to pay extra attention to things that affect me, things that change my mood or outlook, or simply things that I’m grateful for. Keeping an eye out for these kinds of things has brought up memories of my father and some paradoxical advice he tried to impart.

My father died when he was sixty-two. I was in my midtwenties and going through a divorce. He was not around often when I was growing up as he worked very long hours, but his presence was oh so constant. We didn’t go to many ballgames together or to the park. He didn’t teach me how to drive or mentor me in some important life skills, but I knew he loved me very much.

Starting when I was about thirteen, he used to pull me under his arm and repeat an odd phrase. “Don’t worry about the little
things. It’s the big things that are important.” Then he’d add, as if confiding something more profound to me, “Don’t worry about the big things. It’s the little things that are important.”

Available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.

You can also purchase Practice Gratitude on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.

About the Author

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Returning to her hometown in 2008, after nearly one year spent, unsuccessfully, trying to create a new career in a new town, Deborah Hawkins found herself fighting depression and struggling to maintain solvency. In her early fifties, looking for financial help from her family was especially hard. A car accident, caused by an uninsured driver, kept her off her feet for months. She felt cursed.

She began blogging on gratitude in 2010 as a way to focus on positives and elevate her mood. Inspired by Eckhart Tolle’s words, “Acknowledging the good that is already in your life is the foundation for all abundance,” she developed a mindfulness orientation for her own gratitude practice. This practice led her to post weekly over the last decade; around 500 posts.

Beyond traditional gratitude journals and lists, Deborah’s approach focuses on understanding things that sparked gratitude in past experiences and using this understanding to identify similar qualities in new situations. She attributes her gratitude practice with bringing a sense of empowerment and contentment to her life.

She plans to make her process available as a tele-seminar in the near future. Deborah has a BA from Knox College and lives in Chicago.

No Small Thing Blog | Facebook | Instagram

Giveaway: The author is giving away two sets of these books. Click the link below to enter!

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TheBest-Practice

Blog Tour Schedule

November 16th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com

November 17th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

The Cozy Pages (Spotlight) http://thecozypages.wordpress.com/

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

November 18th

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Sophil Reads (Review) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

Stine Writing (Review) https://christinebialczak.com/

November 19th

@BrendaJeanCombs (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/brendajeancombs/

@bookandwinelovers (Review) https://www.instagram.com/bookandwinelovers/

@thecrookedhouse (Review) https://www.instagram.com/thecrookedhouse/

November 20th

Didi Oviatt (Review) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

@burlingtonbibliophagist (Review) https://www.instagram.com/burlingtonbibliophagist/

Meli’s Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://melisbokreviews.wordpress.com/


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Busting the Brass Ceiling

BustingTheBrassCeiling

Congratulations to author Linden Gross on the release of Fanchon Blake’s fascinating story, Busting the Brass Ceiling!

Read on for more details and an exclusive excerpt from the book!

BustingBrassCeiling-eBook-Cover_for publicationBusting the Brass Ceiling: How a Heroic Female Cop Changed the Face of Policing

Publication Date: November 20th, 2020

Genre: Non-Fiction/ Police/ History/ Women in History

FANCHON BLAKE joined the LAPD in 1948 and walked a beat in a skirt and heels for three years. Her ambition to rise in the ranks would be curtailed by an increasingly discriminatory agenda, but her relentless tenacity finally led to a promotion to sergeant nineteen years later. When LAPD policy barred her from rising any further and threatened to eliminate women from the department, she sued. The historic case would change the face of policing around the country.

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Excerpt

Enough!

The words CONFIDENTIAL SURVEY caught my attention. I picked up the paper and read: A Survey to Justify Why Men Do Not Want to Work with Policewomen. I loved the LAPD. But I sure didn’t love the way they treated the women on the force. Were things about to get worse?

I looked around the LAPD squad room, where I worked as a detective investigating forgery, but no one was paying attention to me. I gazed again at the paper I held. It was from the chief’s office, complete with an authenticated signature. For years, I had protested the fact that no new women officers were being hired, and that a substantial number of female sworn officers had already been reassigned to desk jobs. Now it seemed that management was setting up a justification to eliminate women from the job altogether.

Surely, the chief had more brains than to try to circulate something as bizarre as this survey, but nobody else would dare take that kind of action without his knowledge. I couldn’t let this go unchallenged. I would have to flush it out into the open, which meant confronting the chief. I couldn’t do that alone. He would crucify me.

I convinced the president of the Los Angeles Policewomen’s Association to ask the chief to explain the blatantly anti-female survey to his female officers. Surprisingly, he agreed to meet with us on January 10, 1971.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

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LINDEN GROSS is a bestselling writer. She ghostwrote Julia “Butterfly” Hill’s New York Times bestseller The Legacy of Luna (HarperCollins, 2000). Publishers Weekly wrote that Hill’s “firsthand exposition of destructive forest practices … is extremely powerful, and her book, a remarkable inspirational document, records a courageous act of civil disobedience that places her squarely in the tradition of Thoreau.” Gross is also the writer behind Kathryn and Craig Hall’s national bestseller, A Perfect Score: The Art, Soul, and Business of a 21st-Century Winery (Center Street, 2016).

Gross has authored, co-authored, or ghostwritten an additional eight books, including Ms. Cahill for Congress (Ballantine, 2008), the stirring tale of public school teacher Tierney Cahill, who on a dare from her class ran for U.S. Congress, and Surviving a Stalker: Everything You Need to Know to Keep Yourself Safe (Incubation Press, 2013), a revised edition of To Have Or To Harm (Grand Central Publishing, 1994), the first book written about the stalking of ordinary people. Gross also functions as a writing coach and an editor, helping other people to write their nonfiction books and novels, several of which have gone on to become bestsellers.

Linden Gross

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Tripping the Multiverse Cover Reveal

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I’m thrilled to share the cover of Alison Lyke’s upcoming release, Tripping the Multiverse! This is the first installment of an exciting new series!

Stay tuned for the book tour in January!

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Tripping the Multiverse: Jade and Antigone #1

Expected Publication Date: January 21st, 2021

Genre: Science Fiction

As a science journalist, Jade has seen more than her fair share of peculiar oddities—none weirder than her socially inept fellow reporter Antigone. When the test of a teleporter using an electron collider goes awry, the two women find their world changed in subtle ways, with anomalies breaking out in their personal lives. Their increasingly unstable dimension gives Jadethe ability to shapeshift while Antigone can see portals into other worlds.

A fellow journalist who attended the experiment is trapped in another dimension and Jade and Antigone hold the key to saving him. Of course, their task is not just a simple rescue mission. Realizing they will continue to drift into increasingly stranger worlds until they straighten out the paradox, the women reluctantly agree to travel through the multiverse in search of a solution.

If you purchase the book prior to the publication date of January 21, 2021, they may use the promo code: PREORDER2020 to receive a 15% discount.
Pre-Order Here!

You can also pre-order on Amazon!

About the Author

Alison Lyke

I’m an author and an English and Communications professor from Rochester, NY. I’m an insatiable reader and a dedicated writer. I’ve spent many years honing my skills and I now enjoy helping others find and explore their own voices. I write fantasy and science fiction and I aim to captivate and inspire. I’ve written two published novels: a modern mythology titled Honey, which came out in 2013 and Forever People, a cyberpunk science fiction slated to come out in the spring of 2019. I also regularly contribute poetry and short stories to literary magazines.

Alison Lyke | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

By the Book

Book Tour in collaboration with RR Book Tours!

A clue is left at a murder scene: a page from a paperback novel. The title of the book is Murder by the Dozen, and local author, T.L. McGinnis, cannot provide any leads. Detectives Josh Riddell and Clint Weller of the Ottawa Police Service are worried about what lies ahead. It soon becomes evident their worst fears have been realized, and a serial killer is using the novel as a guide. It’s impossible to foresee and safeguard all the potential victims, and time is running out. But who is the killer’s real target?

🦄🦄🦄
By the Book is a mystery novel by A.J. McCarthy. The plot of the book drew me in and with its easy language, it made for a very smooth read. The premise of a fictional novel being used as inspiration to commit murders is something I’ve come across before, but I’m always open to reading more stories with this kind of plot as it’s interesting to see how the author can fit a story within a story andctiecjt all up in a nice little bow. To an extent this book has achieved some of the things that I look for in a good mystrey book like interesting characters and a good plot development.
However, there are a couple of things that didn’t work for me; the first is that there’s very little ‘crime solving’ actually going on and most of the story is focused on how the murders are affecting the author’s life.
There’s a tangent in the story regarding one of the character’s life that I found had no relevance whatsoever to the story and in the end didn’t get a proper wrap up so (maybe) it was an unnecessary inclusion just to deviate the reader’s mind from the mystrey butbits something I found quite annoying because as much as I love twists, I hate unnecessary deviations.
The ending was quite bland compared to how the rest of the story is. At the end when the culprit is revealed I didn’t care for it and was honestly disappointing.
Overall, it’s an ok book but it could have been better.

🦄🦄🦄
Rated 6.5/10
Melina L.


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54899242-by-the-book?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=5EgMPLzxp5&rank=1


Excerpt

The figure glided to the bed on soft-soled feet. The face of the intended victim was at ease, lashes dark against her pale cheeks. The curve of her lips suggested a pleasant dream.

Jennifer Danvers slept the sleep of the dead, the intruder thought. The pun provoked a smile; a hand stifled a chuckle.

Jennifer’s face was familiar, chosen with great care, and it inspired a sense of excitement; the adventure had begun at last. It had taken months of planning and hour upon hour of research.

A few hiccups were expected along the way, but the killer didn’t question the likelihood of accomplishing the goal.

Despite a sense of elation, the hands were steady as the person leaned over the bed and wrapped latex-covered fingers around Jennifer’s throat. Her lovely blue eyes opened, startled, and her hands grabbed her assailant’s wrists as she struggled to free herself, to no avail.

Training and preparation were on the killer’s side.

“You should be honored.” The words were spoken with a smile, even as the fingers

increased their pressure, and terror-filled eyes pleaded for mercy. “You’re perfect. The most

perfect I’ve found. We’ll go down together in history.”

It was over within minutes, too quick for the killer’s satisfaction, and the young woman’s body slumped, lifeless, on the bed. The act completed, the murderer took a few moments to relish the sight of her: the slack mouth, the bulbous eyes staring back, as if in wonder.

Exhilaration flowed through the killer’s veins. So powerful, so clever, so much in control. A laugh escaped, a brief staccato burst.

“No one will ever suspect me. They never do. I’m invisible.” The words were addressed to the body on the bed, as if expecting a response. “I may not come across as being special, but I can do whatever I want to, and I’ll prove it. You’ve been an enormous help. Thank you.”

The corpse received a bright grin as a reward. “Oh, I can’t forget. I have a few things to take care of, haven’t I?”

From a pocket, a pair of tweezers were removed. Unzipping a bag pinned to the front of the person’s white coveralls, a small, red plastic heart was extracted. Jennifer’s mouth was opened, and the heart was lodged against her tonsils. Thin lips curved into a smile of admiration

before closing the victim’s mouth and blocking the heart from view. Next, the tweezers were used to pull a crisp piece of paper from the bag. The killer squatted, placed it beneath the bed, and pushed it under as far as possible, taking care not to bend or tear it.

“There. Once upon a time.”



Purchase Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Book-Canadian-Crime-Novel-ebook/dp/B08FP63SW2/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=by+the+book+by+a.j.+mccarthy&qid=1599508164&s=digital-text&sr=1-2

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/by-the-book-aj-mccarthy/1137451277?ean=9781684335879



About the Author

A.J. McCarthy grew up with a love for reading, and that love became stronger with the years. Having built a career in finance, she decided to try her hand at writing. To her surprise, she discovered a new passion, and is enjoying the excitement and the challenges which accompanied that discovery.

She tries to blog when the inspiration strikes her, and she continues to write novels.

She lives with her husband north of Québec City, Canada, and is the mother of two wonderful daughters.

AJ McCarthy: https://ajackmccarthy.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ajackmccarthy/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ajackmccarthy/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/A.%20J.%20McCarthy/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/a.j._mccarthy/



Giveaway: $20 Amazon Gift Card (International)

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Buried In My Past

Buried in my Past5 STAR thriller, Buried in My Past by author Eva Mackenzie, is on sale for ONLY $0.99 from now until October 30th on Amazon, AND as a special treat to our hosts and their readers, the author is giving away a brand new 32GB Kindle Paperwhite (Value $159.00)!!!

buried-in-my-past

Buried in My Past

Genre: Domestic Thriller/ Romantic Suspense

Publication Date: February 6th, 2020

Publisher: Craven Ink Press

She’s desperate to stop the panic attacks. But the truth won’t set her free…

Jamie Kendal sees life through the bottom of a bottle. After surviving assault and betrayal, she is forced back to her hometown to care for her mother. Not long after her return, she’s plagued by terrifying slivers of memories from the night her twin brother disappeared forever…

Unearthing new evidence, she’s shocked to learn she’d been found wandering in the woods that same night—covered in blood. More than one person from her past hid the haunting truth that’s bubbling to the surface. The deeper she digs into the horrors from her past, the more she fears almost anyone could be a killer, including Jamie herself.

Can Jamie expose what happened that night, or will she join her missing brother?

*Trigger Warnings: Implied Sexual Assault but none depicted

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Excerpt

Every night her mother fell asleep atop a deep, dark secret. A box containing a mystery wrapped in the blood of her twins.

She wasn’t a killer. That’s what she told Drew; that’s what she told herself. But now, sitting on the floor of her mothers’ room, she cradled evidence that suggested otherwise. And she had no memory for an alibi.

Available on Amazon!

About the Author

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Eva Mackenzie is an author who enjoys twisty, emotionally engrossing tales. Her debut novel has been a work in progress for over a decade. Under the urging of a loved one, it’s finally finished.

She is a wife and mother living on the east coast. When she isn’t writing, she is spending time with her family, training for her next marathon or reading stacks of suspense novels. Some of her favorite authors are Minka Kent, Dean Koontz, Tami Hoag, and Lisa Jackson.

Eva Mackenzie | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads| Newsletter

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Eucalyptus Street Book Release

EucalyptusStreetBRB

Congrats to author Sherrill Joseph on the release of the next exciting book in her Botanic Hill Detectives mystery series, Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse!

I have an excerpt for you to read and a chance to win a signed, personalized paperback copy of the book, and some matching book swag!

Ebook_EucalyptusStreet_GreenCurse_02(1)Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse

Publication Date: October 20, 2020 (Today

Genre: MG Mystery/ Middle Grade

(For fans of Nancy Drew type mysteries)

In 1945, Isabela de Cordoba’s great-grandfather, the famous silent movie actor Lorenzo de Cordoba, mysteriously hid a legendary, multimillion-dollar emerald somewhere on the family’s sprawling Eucalyptus Street estate. Seventy years later, the gem remains concealed. Nicknamed the “Green Curse,” the emerald is blamed for the Southern California familia’s numerous, untimely deaths.

On her twenty-first birthday, Isabela receives a secret letter with a cryptic poem. These documents from the long-deceased Lorenzo invite her to hunt for the gemstone. But first, she must decipher the poem’s eight stanzas for clues.

To assist, Isabela hires her thirteen-year-old neighbors, the four Botanic Hill Detectives—twins Lanny and Lexi Wyatt, and their best friends, Moki Kalani and Rani Kumar. Eerie footsteps inside the mansion, unexplained occurrences in the adjacent cemetery, and the mysterious tenant in the backyard casita challenge them. But they ingeniously make progress on the poem’s meaning with startling discoveries. Sliding wall panels, a secret room, and hidden passages reveal much. The detectives aren’t the only ones looking for the emerald. The perilous race for the de Cordoba treasure is on!

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Excerpt

Lexi is awakened at two a.m. by an unlatched bedroom window banging in the wind. She has just closed it and is about to return to bed when:

Lexi . . . became transfixed by something she saw out the troublesome window. At the far western edge of the estate grounds, there appeared a light that seemed to be bobbing, then pulsing on and off. Lexi squinted her eyes to aid her focus.

“What’s going on?” Rani asked a moment later. She propped herself up on her elbows.

“There’s a twinkling light out there. Come see for yourself.” Lexi beckoned to Rani with both hands. “Hurry up, before it’s gone.”

Rani scrambled out of bed and joined Lexi in gazing in the direction her friend was pointing. Both girls watched as the light moved first one direction, then the other.

Rani craned her neck for a better view. “Creepy. What part of the garden is that?”

“I hope I’m wrong, but I think that’s the churchyard at St. Barnabas Cathedral.”

The girls stared at each other wide-eyed as Lexi squeezed Rani’s forearm.

Available in paperback and for Kindle!

About the Author

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Sherrill Joseph will be forever inspired by her beautiful students in the San Diego public schools where she taught for thirty-five years before retiring and becoming a published author.

She has peopled and themed the Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries with children and adult characters of various abilities, races, cultures, and interests. Sherrill strongly believes that children need to find not only themselves in books but others from different races and social situations if all are to become tolerant, anti-racist world citizens.

In addition, the author created her detectives—patterned after her own fifth-grade students and twelve-year-old twin cousins—to be mature, smart, polite role models that will appeal to parents, teachers, but especially to kids who seek to realize their greatest potential with courage and self-respect.

Sherrill is a lexical-gustatory synesthete and native San Diegan where she lives in a 1928 Spanish-style house in a historic neighborhood with her poodle-bichon mix, Jimmy Lambchop. Other loves include her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. She can’t leave out dark chocolate, popcorn, old movies, purple, and daisies. Having never lived in a two-story house, she is naturally fascinated by staircases. Sherrill is a member of SCBWI and the Authors Guild and promises many more adventures with the squad to come.

Sherrill Joseph | Newsletter | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Giveaway:
3 lucky winners will receive a signed, personalized paperback copy of the book, and some matching book swag (US only this time)! Giveaway will be open until October 23rd!

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In Our Bones

InOurBones

Congratulations on to Pernell Plath Meier on the release of In Our Bones! Read on for a little sneak peek and book details! There’s also a fabulous giveaway!

Bones - Digital Cover

In Our Bones

Publication Date: October 6th, 2020

Genre: Women’s Fiction/ Trump Era – Dystopian Thriller

Lauren’s happy childhood on a farm in Minnesota is shattered after an assault during her teen years, and she retreats into her own world as America falls apart. Hers was the last generation to grow up before the economic collapse that followed the Corona pandemic. Amidst roiling climate chaos, the government has been taken over by extremists, incompetents, and con-men who tear the country apart while clinging to power. Lauren is swept up in the madness when she falls for the wrong man. She’s looking for love and safety, but Bryan becomes distant and abusive as he obsesses over White Sharia and deepens his ties to the racist patriot militia group. Lauren worries about the safety of her sister and nephew, who is mixed-race. Will Lauren escape from Bryan and keep her nephew safe from danger? In a world where values are tested and morality is unsettlingly murky, Lauren must break free from the constraints in her mind to protect her family.

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Excerpt

She heard a whimper that brought her back to the moment, and peered at Craig as grief wracked his body. He started whispering, “It’s not coming back. None of it. The old world will never come back.” His chest quivered with small spasms and quiet tears flowed down his face and into his curly hair.

Lauren instinctually wanted to turn away from him, to give him privacy. She scarcely knew him, and the depths of his grief sent fear rippling through her chest. She pushed herself to remain present. She may have been cool at times, but she refused to be an ice queen like her mom. She reached out a clumsy hand and rubbed his head, trying to soothe him.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

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Pernell Plath Meier grew up on the Iowa side of the Mississippi in the Quad Cities. She left behind a life of traumatic chaos to move out on her own at fifteen. She earned undergraduate science degrees with honors in biology, anthropology, and environmental studies, followed by graduate degrees in sustainable agriculture and anthropology at Iowa State University. She’s worked and traveled in ten countries, including a long-ago trip to see the Grateful Dead in Canada. After college, she worked in Kentucky helping farmers transition from tobacco production to local foods. She found her way to Southeast Minnesota and spent nearly twenty years raising gardens, chickens, dogs and cats, while homeschooling her five adopted children. Today Pernell juggles day to day life as a single mom with three kids still at home, a smaller flock of chickens and a new puppy, Buddy. Prior writings have centered on adoption and gardening. In Our Bones is her first quest as a novelist.

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Giveaway Time!!!

Grand Prize: Signed Copy of In Our Bones & Swag

Second Place: Digital Copy of In Our Bones

Giveaway will run from today until October 17th! Click on the link below to enter!

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A Cut Twice as Deep

ACutTwice

Congratulations to Wendy L. Anderson on the release of her Viking adventure, A Cut Twice As Deep! If you enjoy Norse mythology, you will love this!

Read on for an excerpt and a chance to win a paperback copy of the book!

A Cut Twice As Deep Final Front CoverA Cut Twice as Deep

Publication Date: October 7th, 2020

Genre: Viking Adventure/ Sisterhood/ Romance

The bond between sisters is one forged in blood and fire. Twin sisters, Liana and Deirdre were inseparable like the two halves of a double-bladed axe, making the pain of having to leave each other a cut twice as deep. Their father, Gorsedd Gunnarson, King of the great country of Svartur Rokk, did not care about twin bonds or his daughter’s preferences and severed the pair with a single blow. Both Liana and Deirdre have been sold to the highest bidders for ships, weapons, and alliances. For Gorsedd Gunnarson these are very profitable and advantageous marriage arrangements, but the twin sisters would be torn from each other lives and sent to lands far apart forever!
Liana is forced to leave her childhood sweetheart and marry a stranger. Sweet, timid Deirdre would be wed to a Viking warlord. One would leave her home on a ship and the other on a horse. Both would travel great distances to new lands. Given no choice but to embrace the lives planned for them, they find that the future holds more than they could ever have suspected. In a land where blood and ice reign, danger and betrayal war with love and hope, as they fight to find happiness in a ruthless world ruled by the sword and axe.

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Excerpt

Liana recalled with great detail, the smoky room, and the flickering torches in iron sconces on the walls. Remembered the smell of sweaty men, oiled leather, damp fur, wood smoke, and roasting meat. Heard the rattle of sword and thump of drinking horns and the pounding of eating knives on the worn, beaten tables. Shadows crouched in the dark corners of the hall. She could see clearly in her mind’s recollection, how her father had suddenly stood after eating and drinking for hours and raised his large drinking horn on high. He smoothed his hand over his long greying blonde beard, straightened the black bear fur cloak on his broad shoulders, and roared for silence. As all eyes trained on King Gorsedd, the conversation and laughter quieted.

“This night!” Gorsedd Gunnarson’s deep voice boomed out and the men stilled to listen. “We celebrate!” The men roared in response and then quieted.

“Raise your mead horns and drink to my daughters!” The men raised their horns and cheered loudly sloshing mead on the tables and over their hands.

This was strange behavior coming from their father and Liana and Deirdre exchanged surprised glances as they moved slowly toward the front of the room. Pulled forward by this uncustomary sentiment, their father had their full attention.

“Tonight!” Gorsedd boomed again, waiting for the men to quiet down and regain everyone’s attention. “We celebrate the betrothal of both my daughters! Drink to our good fortune! SKOL!

All eyes turned to stare, and the men drank to Liana and Deirdre.

“Skol!” they all shouted then quieted as Gorsedd began to speak again.

“For my eldest Liana, I have arranged a marriage contract with Tiernan Lachlan of Lochlannach and Kearn Mac An-Bharain of Noreg for Deirdre.”

He gestured toward strangers in the hall and bellowed.

“Welcome men from Lochlannach to Svartur Rokk my great mead hall where the warriors are more skilled at sword and drinking! These men will be taking Liana across Loch Indaal to marry Tiernan Lachlan!”

Loud cheers rang out and the men raised their drinking horns in salute, sloshed mead into their mouths, and banged their daggers on the tables.

Both Liana and Deirdre stared in wide-eyed shock at their father with their mouths falling open. This was the first time they had heard this news, and both girls stood stunned, disbelieving their ears. They turned and looked at each other, terror written on their identical faces. The men at the tables murmured and some continued to cheer, a few fell to grumbling.

Deirdre staggered in disbelief and her frightened gaze stayed fixed on Liana while she slammed down the pitcher of mead she had been holding onto the nearest table. Her furious gaze flew back and forth between their father and Deirdre.

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Click the link below for a chance to win a paperback copy of the book. This giveaway is open to international entries and will end October 10th!

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About the Author

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Wendy L. Anderson is a Colorado native and mother of two boys. A devout reader of the classics, fantasy, sci-fi and historical fiction, she has decided it is time to write down the fantasies from her mind. Writing about everything from fantastical worlds to the stuff of her dreams she takes her stories along interesting paths while portraying worlds she sees in her mind’s eye. Her goal is to deviate from common themes, write in original directions and transport her reader to the worlds of her creation.

Wendy L. Anderson | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

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Talking to Gautam Mayekar!

Talking to Gautam Mayekar, author of the thriller novel, I’m So Hacked.
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Blurb:

@v! Is a hacker who spends his days working in India’s number one anti-virus company as a security researcher and his nights, crawling through underground hacking forums. He is completely unmotivated and lacks purpose until he receives a letter from M@dR1; a mysterious revolutionary who wants to create a “change” in the world. M@dR1 uses @v!’s horrific past to motivate him, and guides him through various tasks, starting with shutting down the internet services of the entire city. A series of mayhem, manipulation and mystery ensues as @v! Begins hallucinating various events and people from his former life, before he became a reclusive hacker. He is thrown into a barrage of uncertainty and confusion as his perception of reality begins to shift out of focus. Meanwhile, M@dR1 and @v! Prepare for a major cyber-attack that will rock the foundation of the country’s technological unit, with the help of @v!’s friends, $@m and K!LL3R. Will they accomplish their goals? Or will @v!’s increasing delusion lead to their downfall?
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Interview:

1. Tell me (and the readers) a little bit about yourself, including a quirk that you have.

A Haha, quirk would be sarcasm. But I try not to be sarcastic during these interviews. Anyway, I am Gautam and I am from Goa. Professionally I am an ethical hacker and I work in cybersecurity domain helping an American IT firm in securing their software from getting hacked. And oh ya! I also write, occasionally.


2. How did the idea for your book, come about?

A. Well, a few years ago when I was working in an anti virus firm, we were tasked to chase a Russian hacker who was causing nuisance. And during this period I wrote a few blog posts which were liked by my friends and colleagues. I expanded them into a fictional story.


3. What was the most enjoyable and stressful part about writing this book?

A. Well, I enjoyed writing the hacks which are mentioned in the book. I wanted to show hacking as some real thing , you know, and not like some magic as how it is portrayed in most movies and TV shows. It being a thriller (a psychothriller), the stressful part was of course, connecting all the dots and giving away some clues throughout the book about the end, without actually letting too much out.


4. Who was the first person you asked to read your book after it was ready and why them?

A. That would be Chloe Fernandes. And Nikhil Shirdokar. Both of them read and gave me valuable feedback and inputs. Why I asked them?, well, they are big fan of thrillers and they are both voracious readers. Also, I knew they both would give me biased advice.


5. Are you planning to release another book anytime soon?

A. Oh yes, the second book from the Hacker series will be out soon hopefully. With it, I am digging deeper into the underground hackers and their lives. This book also touches the Indo-pak cyberwar area.


6. If you could venture into a different genre, which would you choose to write on?

A. I am also working on an interesting project in the satire genre. I am a huge fan of chuck Palahniuk and his crude, unconventional, minimalist writing style. In our country obsessed with reading Mythological fiction and romance novels, I want to try and present them something different to read and think about.


7. Did you always know you wanted to be a published author/poet?

A. I have been blogging for a long time but I never thought I would be a published author. My friends and early readers, they believed though; and it’s all credit to them for transitioning that belief in my mind.


8. Did you look up to any author or poet while growing up?

A. As I already mentioned above, I loved reading works of Chuck Palahniuk, Bret Ellis and even classics from Harold Robins.
But if I have to name one particular influence and inspiration, I guess, i can say Mark Russinovich. Currently, he is the CTO of Microsoft Azure.
He has written techno thrillers and they are quite amazing.


9. I’ve always talked about this, but if your book was made into a movie, who would you want to play the main characters?

A. Haha, and I have always found this question difficult to answer. But Maybe, Imran Khan. Now, don’t ask me why.


10. Lastly, do you have any words of wisdom for aspiring writers out there?

A. Well, other than the obvious “you should read a lot” advice, one point I would like to mention is that- make use of these platforms such as yourquote, meraki , lettrs, which allow you to write short snippets or quotes and present it to the audience. Writing a book is a long task and you go days/weeks/months and even years, without presenting your work to someone. But, writing snippets from it and showing it to the world will help you, not just for the validation but also for the valuable feedback.
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Links:

Amazon India: https://www.amazon.in/dp/9352011473/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_fab_z.UyFbVYTGB1C

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Im-So-Hacked-Gautam-Mayekar/dp/9352011473/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=im+so+hacked&qid=1600319656&sr=8-1

Full Review: https://www.instagram.com/p/B1-6FZuAhF-/?igshid=hvkg84759wuk

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46143805-i-m-so-hacked

Author’s Instagram: https://instagram.com/gautam_author13?igshid=12lvrqotzvm69


Minute Zero (Stronghold #1) Book Release

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Happy publication day, and congratulations to author Chris Jayne on the release of Minute Zero (Stronghold #1)!

Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card!

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Minute Zero (Stronghold #1)

Publication Date: September 11th, 2020 (Today 🎉)

Publisher: Inferis Press

When the world ends in a heartbeat, suddenly old secrets don’t matter anymore. But new ones still do, and protecting the ones you love is the only thing that still remains.

Two sisters, one a trendy caterer on the run from a vicious killer, the other a country midwife.

Because of a simple mistake, Lori Dovner must flee from the vicious mafioso Raoul Saldata, and her life goes from routine day to terrifying journey in a single moment. On the road with her two children, her only goal is to get to her sister’s Montana farm alive. But both Lori and Louise have been hiding a devastating secret for years.

Two brothers, one a Navy Seal on leave, the other a good man who wants to do right by his family.

Captain Deacon Hale is taking two weeks to help his brother Roger and his wife Louise on their remote Montana farm. He loved Lori once, but has finally put her behind him. Roger Hale just wants to give his pregnant wife and two young children a good life. He has no idea about the betrayals that have been hidden from him.

Dangerous identity.

Angela Jones is an FBI agent with a terrible debt that she knows she will someday have to pay. And when Raoul Saldata calls in that marker she has no choice but to comply.

Evil incarnate.

Raoul Saldata as a child in Albania, would pretend he was a dhampir, the offspring resulting from the mating between a human female and a vampire. A myth of course, but the evil Saldata practices is anything but. And when he finds Lori Dovner, he intends to do a lot more than just kill her.

“Minute Zero” Stronghold: Book One is an apocalyptic EMP thriller (with a touch of romance) about an ordinary family struggling to stay safe and find each other in the face of insurmountable odds, an abysmal loss of life and the dawn of a new, post-apocalyptic dark age.

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Excerpt

“Roger, I’m in trouble.”

His voice came back, quick and sure. “What’s going on? Where are you?”

“I’m at a rest area about an hour outside of Billings.”

“West or east?”

“West. We’re maybe twenty miles from where we go off the highway and come north to Lewiston. I can’t remember the road number.”

“191,” he supplied. She heard Roger speaking to someone else in the room, his voice distant, as if he was holding the phone away from his mouth. “Top drawer of the desk. Yeah, there. There’s a road atlas in there.” His voice came back into the phone. “I’m think I know where you are, but I’m getting a map. What’s going on?”

“The man who is after me is here. His name is Raoul Saldata and…”

“There? Now? With you?” Roger’s voice, while remaining calm, still carried a note of real urgency.

“No. I saw him just by chance. He didn’t see me. He got into a car and left.”

“You’re sure he didn’t see you?”

“Yes. If he’d seen me, there’s no way he would have driven off.” She quickly shared with her brother-in-law her guess that if it were not for Grace’s illness, they would already be at their destination and because of that, Saldata was no longer looking for them on the road. “Roger,” Lori voice cracked, “he wants to kill me. And he’s not alone. He’s got two people with him, a man and a woman.”

Lori heard what sounded like a door slam and then another voice muffled in the background, the words unintelligible, but it was definitely a male voice, and not her sister.

“How long ago was this?”

“Just a couple of minutes. I saw him, watched him leave, walked back to my car, and then called you.” She did the quick math. “No more than five minutes.”

“So, two hours from here,” Roger stated flatly. Lori got the feeling he was talking to someone else as well as to her. “Is he armed?”

Lori swallowed, her throat dry as dust, thinking about what she’d seem at Saldata’s house. “I’m sure he is. But,” Lori had a sudden thought, “can you bring guns on the plane?”

“He flew?”

“He was in a rental car. I assume he flew. That means he would have had to bring the guns on the plane, right? Can you do that?”

“You have to declare them if you fly commercial. But, if this guy has enough money or influence, he may have come on a private jet. Then he could bring anything he wanted.” Roger paused. “Tell me about who he’s with.”

“I don’t know who they are. I don’t know this man, really, at all. I just did a party for him. But, the first one is some sort of helper. A bodyguard maybe. I saw him at Saldata’s house. The other one is a woman. Young, maybe thirty. Very professional.” Lori envisioned what she’d seen in the restroom and suddenly Lori realized exactly what she looked like. “Like a lawyer or a detective maybe. She saw me in the bathroom.”

“She saw you?” Roger couldn’t hide the shock from his voice.

“Yes,” Lori explained, “but she didn’t recognize me. I cut my hair really short and dyed it black. I look very different. And the kids weren’t with me, thank God.”

There was a long pause as Roger was obviously considering the next steps. “Did you notice the model of the car?”

“No, Roger, I’m sorry, I don’t really know car models. It was a small SUV.” She thought about car models that she knew, ones that she and some of her friends owned. “It wasn’t as big as my Range Rover. Maybe something like a Toyota 4Runner. That size. It was gray. And it definitely had Montana plates.”

“How did he know you were coming here?”

“I don’t know, but…” Quickly, Lori shared with Roger her fear that Saldata had somehow found her employees, Salvadore and Michelle.

As she waited for Roger to respond, she watched her two children with Simone. Brandon had run over to Simone, and, his face turned up, he said something to her. He smiled, so sweet and trusting. My God, she had to protect them, all of them. The silence on Roger’s side of the call grew. “What should I do? Where should I go? I’m so sorry.” She heard her voice rising to shrill, but she couldn’t stop it.

Roger interrupted curtly. “What’s done is done, Lori. You need to hold it together. And the only thing that matters now is keeping everyone safe.”

“I don’t know what to do. Even if I turn around and I didn’t come to you, he’s still on his way there.”

“I want you to stay there.”

“Here? At the rest stop?”

“Yes, I’m going to send someone to get you. Do you remember my brother Deacon? He’s on leave and visiting us for a few weeks.”

For the second time in ten minutes, Lori felt like she’d been punched in the stomach and for a very long moment, she could not breathe. On a day when things could not possibly have gotten worse, they just did. “I met him at your wedding,” she managed to choke out. That flat statement masked a wealth of information. Did Roger notice how strangled her voice was?

Lori remembered Deacon Hale very well, but now was not the time to dwell on it, though why in the name of all that was holy had her sister not mentioned that Deacon was there visiting them? For a brief hysterical second, she wondered if she’d be better off taking her chances with Saldata. And in the next moment, she knew a hard truth, one she had never allowed herself to acknowledge. The main reason she had avoided being around Lou and Roger for the last five years was that Roger reminded her way, way too much of Deacon. She could barely gasp out her next, strangled question. “So, you’re not coming?”

“No.” Roger’s voice was flat and hard. “If what you say is true, I have three people on their way here who are perfectly capable of putting a bullet into the brains of anyone in my family.”

“You think I should just wait here? At the rest stop? What if he comes back?”

“You’re sure the woman didn’t recognize you?”

“Yeah, I’m sure. She just walked right out of the bathroom. I look really different, Roger.”

“Then, they won’t come back,” Roger responded, his voice full of confidence. “Why would they? And even if they’d turn around for some reason, they’d be on the other side of the interstate.” Lori saw the logic in that. “Just sit tight. Deke’ll be there in two hours, give or take.”

In less than three hours she’d see him. See Deke. Could she do it? There was no way. No. Fucking. Way.

The phone went dead in her hand.

And in one instant the world changed forever.

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About the Author

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Chris Jayne is author of the apocalyptic EMP series “Stronghold.”

Jayne is also the penname of a USA Today bestselling romance and thriller author who is has started asking “what if?” What if the lights go off? What if the food supply chain just… stops? The world could become an unfriendly place in a hurry.

Three years ago, Chris began exploring the “prepper” lifestyle, and hopes that if TEOTWAWKI would actually happen, she would be in a position to protect her family and loved ones.

She now spends her days splitting her time between her romance writing and her apocalyptic and dystopian fiction novels. Because what’s more fun than imagining the end of the world from the comfort of your couch? And if the end of the world has a few sexy Navy Seals in it? All the better!

She loves writing stories exploring how ordinary people cope with extraordinary circumstances, especially situations where the normal comforts, conveniences, and rules are stripped away.

Chris Jayne | Facebook | Instagram

For a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card, click the link below! Giveaway will be open from September 11th to the 14th.

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