Book Release: She’s the One Who Doesn’t Say Much by S. R. Cronin @cinnabar01 @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours

Book 4 is here! R&R Book Tours is hosting this fine release day blitz.

R&R Book Tours

Happy publication day to S.R. Cronin! Check out the latest installment in The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters! Read on for details and a chance to win a $20 amazon gift card and an Amazon gift copy of the first book in the collection, “She’s the One Who Thinks too Much“!

2021-0819 S R Cronin b04She’s the One Who Doesn’t Say Much (The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters)

Publication Date: August 13th, 2021 (Today)

Genre: Historical Fantasy

Do you know what your problem is?

Olivine knows hers. This quiet thirteen century artist has been hiding a secret as she travels to K’ba to meet her friends. Others assume she’s fallen in love with another artist, and it’s not a match Mother would consider suitable. But it’s much worse than that. For on the way to K’ba is the dirt poor nichna of Scrud, a place scorned by…

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When Destiny Calls

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Tricia McGill and her  time-travel romance novel, When Destiny Calls.

Author’s description

From one crazy period in history to another.

 

Whisked by some unseen force from the Covid-19 ridden world of 2020 in Australia, to an equally horrific time in the past, carer Chloe Simpson finds herself in North London during the Blitz of 1940. Could be that Chloe became too immersed in the stories related to her by Minnie, a woman in the Australian nursing home where she cares for elderly people? Stories about the dreadful days and nights endured during the Blitz.

 

Engrossed in the stories surrounding photographs in 98-year-old Minnie Clacton’s cherished album, back in time Chloe meets up with the young Minnie plus her own Great Great Grandmother Aggie.

In the midst of an air raid, Chloe is discovered, wet and confused, by a man and his dog. A man and his canine companion who coincidentally appeared prominently in the photo album alongside the young Minnie and Aggie. Did Chloe simply answer the call of Destiny?

My Review

This is a difficult book to review without giving too much away, so I’m going to start out by saying it is a well told story with likable characters and then approach it in chunks in hopes of doing both the story and my review justice.

First, I loved the opening chapter. I’ve got a soft spot for compassionate care givers like Chloe and the set up was well done. I’m going to love this book, I thought.

Then in the second chapter, Chloe hits her head and goes back in time. Really? I suppose there are only so many non-technical ways to move characters about in time, but as life-long science fiction reader, I’ve had it with this one. Ugh, I thought. Am I going to make it through this book?

In the next several chapters, we get two things. One is a fair bit of fish out of water humor as Chloe deals with the seamed nylon stockings and sanitary pads of the 1940s. The other is a surprisingly hot sweet romance. (As in you don’t see them do much but it really works. ) I flew through this part and I think most reader’s will.

Then, you get chapter after chapter of Chloe’s life. It’s a pleasant life, with some ups and down, but it’s not the sort of life that makes for much of a novel. She’s likable, he’s likable, and I was delighted the two of them were happy, but at this point I’m turning the pages to find out what I really want to know. What’s the deal with the time travel? What is the universe doing? Why did this happen? What’s the meaning of life? I want answers.

Suffice to say, I didn’t feel I got them. I know, explaining how the universe works is fraught with problems, but this author didn’t try.

Then I realized she never intended to. She wanted to write a sweet romance book that started in the 1940’s and ended up with lots of happy people. The going back in time (I wouldn’t call it time travel) was an artifact for making the story happen.

I wanted to read science fiction (which I prefer over romance) and I wanted intricate explanations of the nature of time and the cosmos. So, I didn’t get the book I wanted.

However, I do think the author did a fine job of writing the book she wanted to write. I DNF a lot of books, and I made it to her last page based not only on my curiosity, but also on the likability of her characters, her competent story telling, and the sweetness of the world she created. I suspect those more inclined to overlook the entire time travel thing and enjoy the author’s focus will love this book!

About the Author

VLUU L100, M100 / Samsung L100, M100

Award winning author Tricia McGill spent her early days in Highbury, London, England, and moved to Australia many years ago, settling near Melbourne. The youngest in a large, loving family she was never lonely or alone. Surrounded by avid readers, who encouraged her to read from an early age, is it any wonder she became a writer. Although her published works cross sub-genres, romance is always at their heart.

Tricia’s love of animals has always shown up in her books. Tricia devotes as much time and money as she can spare to supporting worldwide conservation groups and is passionate about supporting those who do all they can to preserve our wildlife for future generations. She also volunteers for a local community group that helps disabled adults and children to connect to the internet with provided computer equipment. When people ask what she does in her spare time, she is heard to ask, “Spare time, what is that?”

Find the Author

http://www.triciamcgill.com
http://triciamg.blogspot.com
https://www.facebook.com/authorTriciaMcGill

Buy the Book

https://bookswelove.net/mcgill-tricia/
http://www.triciamcgill.com

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

I shivered. The cold seemed to seep into my bones. How long had I lain there in the rain? I clutched Minnie’s album to my breast. Right now, it seemed the only normal thing in this crazy scenario. Feeling as if I should say something to break the silence, I blurted, “I just had a thought. Perhaps they put me in my car and then decided to dump me here near a farm before they took off. Is it your property?”

All I heard from him was a soft noise that sounded like a cough or could have been a huff of disbelief. I stumbled and he caught my arm to stop me falling. It was still too dark to see his features well, and his peaked cap was pulled down low on his forehead. I had a fleeting feeling that I might be dreaming and he was a figment of my imagination. “My name is Chloe, by the way,” I said. “What’s your tag?”

Turning around, I caught a grin and wondered if he was laughing at me. “You don’t talk like anyone around here, miss. Where do you hail from, and I am Bill, by the way. You already know Tiger there.” He carried on walking.

We seemed to be getting no nearer to a homestead, so I asked, “As a matter of curiosity, where are you leading me? Oh, I’m Australian—obviously,” I tacked on as if it needed explanation.

Thank you!

Tricia McGill — we appreciate your sharing your book When Destiny Calls with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Lady Deception

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Bobbi Smith and her historical romance novel, Lady Deception.

Author’s description

Hi Everybody!

Lady Deception was the first book in my “Women Who Were Ahead of Their Times” series. All my books with Lady in the title are in this series. They feature strong heroines who are inspiring and great role models. I hope you enjoy Cody’s story.

Best, Bobbi Smith

The Lady

 

Cody Jameson—the name sent chills down the spines of every sidewinder west of the Pecos. A master of disguise, a genius of deceit, the infamous bounty hunter always had the advantage over any prey: No desperado knew Cody’s real identity—or even suspected that the tracker stalking him was a fiery beauty.

 

The Deception

 

The first time Cody caught sight of Luke Majors, she was dressed as a lady preacher. But nothing could conceal the way the gunman thrilled her. Still, it wasn’t Luke’s body or soul Cody was after—it was the price on his head. And she was sure to collect the reward, if only she could convince herself a fistful of dollars was worth more than a lifetime of passion.

Bobbi Smith’s Story

After working as a department manager for Famous-Barr, and briefly as a clerk at a bookstore, Bobbi gave up on career security and began writing. She sold her first book to Zebra in 1982.

Since then, Bobbi has written over 40 books and 6 novellas. To date, there are more than five million copies of her novels in print. She has been awarded the prestigious Romantic Times Storyteller Award and two Career Achievement Awards. Her books have appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List, the USA Today Best Seller List and the Wal-Mart Best Seller List.

The rights to Ms. Smith’s books have been sold to China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Russia and Sweden. Bobbi has also written two faith-based contemporary novels – Haven and Miracles – using the pseudonym Julie Marshall.

Find Bobbi Smith

Learn more about the author at https://www.amazon.com/Bobbi-Smith/e/B001JSBQMS
Visit her website at http://www.Bobbismithauthor.com

Buy Lady Deception

Available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Lady-Deception-Bobbi-Smith-ebook/dp/B00FAY1JSI

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Luke had time to think as he rode with Cody, and he wasn’t happy about it. Memories of the time he’d spent with her disguised as Sister Mary taunted him. He’d been protecting her, and all the while she’d been trying to take him in for the reward they were offering on him for the bank robbery! He silently laughed at how completely he’d been fooled by her act. Cody had gone to El Trajar to catch him, not to save any souls.

Luke recalled how he’d thought Sister Mary was everything a woman was supposed to be—honest and forthright, gentle and caring. He’d thought she was a complete innocent. He’d been wrong. Cody had used every trick in the book to bring him in. Disguised as Armita, she’d even used her body!

He immediately stopped at that thought. There had been no mistaking her untouched state. Memories of their lovemaking made him wonder anew just what kind of woman Cody Jameson really was. Was she a saint or sinner? A deceitful woman or a clever bounty hunter?

Luke tried to imagine that her response to his lovemaking had been an act, but he knew instinctively that wasn’t true. She’d wanted him as much as he’d wanted her.

But not anymore.

Cody Jameson had caught him. She was taking him in to collect her reward, and then she was going to go on to her next conquest. He’d been a job to her. Nothing more.

His mood was black. The only good thing he had to cling to was his knowledge that all the time he’d spent undercover with the outlaw gang hadn’t been for nothing. He had learned that El Diablo, the leader of the gang, was a woman. When they got back to town, he would contact Jack and let him know.

With Stalking Ghost taking the lead, Cody kept an eye on Luke. When they stopped for the night, she noticed how he seemed to be in pain from his shoulder wound as he dismounted.

“Are you all right?” she asked.

“I’m worth the same to you, dead or alive. So it really doesn’t matter. You’ll get your money.” He turned his back to her.

Cody’s heart ached. She wished she could change the way things had turned out, but she’d given her word to Jack Logan that she would bring him in.

Thank you!

Bobbi Smith — we appreciate your sharing your book Lady Deception with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

 

I Can Still Hear You

Today it is my pleasure to welcome Nicole Black and her action adventure and women’s fiction novel I Can Still Hear You.

Author’s description

I Can Still Hear You is a powerful and deeply moving story which grapples with the universal pain of grief and the loss of a loved one. When Scarlett O’Connor loses her father at the age of 30, she’s forced to face the shambles that her life has become. With no money and no savings, the only thing that waits for her is a cryptic map and a mysterious letter. With nothing left to lose, she embarks on a trip to Maui for her father’s final adventure, to begin a treasure hunt which will force her to look deep inside herself and come to terms with her pain and grief.

 

Accompanied by her less-than-supportive fiancé, a close childhood friend, and an enigmatic man who was her father’s old acquaintance, Scarlett must decode the mystery and find the hidden treasure. But she knows she must face her fears alone, and calling upon the spirit of her father for guidance, she struggles to reconcile her emotions and uncover the treasure before her time in Maui comes to an end.

 

Perfect for fans of contemporary and women’s fiction, I Can Still Hear You is a gripping tale which will resonate with anybody who has struggled with the death of someone close. This book is a testament to the fact that even though we may have lost them, our loved ones stay with us no matter what challenges we face.

About the Author

Nicole Black is an author, motivational speaker and entrepreneur with a passion for sharing unique stories and helping people grow. For over 20 years, she’s worked in the business world as a corporate trainer in employee productivity and effective growth, where she’s helped some of the biggest brands in hospitality and entertainment grow sustainably through inspiring their employees. She’s been featured on platforms including TEDxWilmington, Jack Canfield Show, Santa Barbara News Press, The George DiGianni show and the Tom Barnard Show.

Through her writing, Nicole hopes to empower her readers and impart valuable lessons about grief, loss, and emotional growth. In her free time, Nicole enjoys traveling, yoga, and spending time with her wonderful daughter in their home of Santa Barbara, California.

Find the Author

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/nicoleblack25
Instagram: @WriterNicoleB and @nicoleblackauthor
Twitter: @nicolebwriter

Buy the Book

The Book is On Sale for $0.99 during the tour.

Link to buy on Amazon for print book: https://www.amazon.com/I-Can-Still-Hear-You/dp/1732739706
Link to buy Kindle version: https://www.amazon.com/I-Can-Still-Hear-You-ebook/dp/B08VR7SZQB

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

I gazed up at the ceiling in quiet disbelief, as if I’d see my father looking down on me. Carefully, I removed the map from the box. It was yellowing and old, and the paper was as thin as tissue, so I took care in opening it. The map had some faint lines on it, some solid, some dotted, but no place names, no markings at all to tell what exactly it belonged to.

“Great, Dad,” I muttered aloud. “This is super helpful.”

But the second I said it, as had happened a dozen times in my life when I’d been presented with a puzzle, my father’s voice said, I’m not going to give you all the answers. Where’s the fun in that?

“This is one big party,” I muttered again. I had no idea where to even start. The only thing that made sense was to contact my dad’s friend living in Hawaii.

Hawaii.

He couldn’t possibly mean that he wanted me to go to . . .

No. That was impossible.

I read the letter, again and again. The more I did, the more it seemed as if, yes . . . that’s exactly what my father wanted.

Peering in the box again, I hoped that wad of cash would present itself. Or at least the stopwatch. But neither did. The box was empty.

Thank you!

Nicole Black  — we appreciate your sharing your book I Can Still Hear You with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

The Chaebol’s Wife

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Dei Araujo and her multicultural romance novel, The Chaebol’s Wife.

Author’s description

With the life of her unborn child in danger, Camille Jacobs had no choice but to flee Seoul, South Korea, and the man who made her heart soar.

 

Four years later, after the launch of her start-up skincare line, Camille is a successful, single mother who has taken the skincare industry by storm. In need of a new sourcing company to meet her clientele’s demand, Camille strikes a deal with the devil—her estranged husband, Seung-ju Park, who still leaves her weak in the knees. But is passion enough to make Camille rethink marriage and a life with Seung-ju, or will old problems succeed in destroying her?

 

Seung-ju was amazed by the passion that roared to life at the sight of his wife. Camille stokes a desire in him that demands to be satiated. As the CEO of IPCorp Industries, a deal to source her skincare line would open the door for him to finally slake his obsession of her and put her out of his mind for good. Yet Seung-ju realizes that just one taste of Camille isn’t enough; he would need an eternity to love her and drink his fill. But a secret threatens to destroy his feelings for her, hurtling them to the point of no return.

About the Author

Dei Araujo is a multicultural romance author who enjoys reading and writing stories of love where color has no boundaries. When she’s not writing, she can be found binge-watching Korean and Chinese dramas and anime. She received a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/News Editorial from the University of Southern Mississippi and later a MFA in Popular Fiction Writing from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA. Dei is a retired Air Force officer and comes from a proud military family. An adjunct professor at Barry University, she’s living out her real-life love story in beautiful Miami, Florida with her soulmate and their boys.

Find the Author

You can find her on these social platforms:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeiPAraujo
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16944251.Dei_Araujo
Instagram: deiaraujo73
Pinterest: @mystibleu73
Twitter: @dei_araujo

Buy the Book

The Chaebol’s Wife is free on Kindle Unlimited. Find the book at https://www.amazon.com/Chaebols-Wife-Dei-Araujo-ebook/dp/B08TR1T9B3.

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

“If you think for one minute that you’ve won simply because I’m at your driver’s mercy,” she hissed, “you are sadly mistaken. Kidnapping exists in Korea, too.”

“How can a husband kidnap his wife?” he asked, picking up her handbag and retrieving her cellphone from it.

“What are you doing?”

“Nothing,” he said, deftly removing the back of the device and taking out her SIM card. He tossed the tiny card out the window, replaced the backing on the phone, and returned the device to her purse.

She gasped and blinked, unable to believe even he would go so far. “You are so lucky JuJu is asleep.”

Seung-ju glanced down at her son’s sleeping form and shook his head while crossing his arms over his chest. “I still don’t understand how you, after leaving me, ended up getting with a deadbeat like his father. What kind of man leaves the mother to raise his child alone?”

“Is this why we’re not going to my hotel?”

“I’m just curious.”

“Don’t be,” she said, looking out the window once more.

“And surprised.”

Camille frowned and turned back toward him. “Why?”

“All that time we made love,” he said, reaching out to touch the side of JuJu’s face, “you never once conceived my child.”

Thank you!

Dei Araujo — we appreciate your sharing your book The Chaebol’s Wife with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

The Ack Ack Girl

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Chris Karlsen and her historical romance novel, The Ack Ack Girl.

Author’s description

Love and War
A country under attack and the story of one woman’s fight to protect England and her heart.
1941. The German war machine has crushed all of Europe-only England holds fast. To force a surrender, the German Luftwaffe bombs cities and villages the length of the country. As the battle rages, Britain is in desperate need to put more pilots in the air.
To free up more men a new unit is formed: The Ack Ack Girls. These special teams of courageous women will now fight in the anti-aircraft stations. Determined to be part of the effort, Ava Armstrong, volunteers for one of the special teams.
Her unit just happens to be located near an RAF airfield teaming with pilots. Sparks fly, and not just from artillery, when Ava crosses paths with Chris Fairfield, a handsome and cocky pilot stationed there. But nothing is easy in time of war, not even love.

My Review

Chris Karlsen focuses on an amazing event in history that has received surprisingly little attention. As WWII drug on, some English women in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (the ATS, a branch of the women’s army) served in crews of anti-aircraft fighters.

Author Karlsen focuses on one such woman, as she takes you into her day to day life. You learn about Ava’s family history and details of the sort of cake she prefers, the cat she saves in Coventry, and her favorite songs. Karlsen lets the reader follow her emotional journey as she faces her anger at the Germans,  joins the ATS, and becomes attracted to a fighter pilot. The nonchalant sexism of the day (by both men and women) is presented through conversation, as are the fears and frustrations caused by the war.

What I liked most about this book was the way Karlsen made me feel as if I walked through life with Ava. This author has an incredible ability to include sights, sounds and smells to make a scene seem real. For example, Ava doesn’t just sit down. “Careful of the peeling paint and rough wood, Ava sat in the rickety bench in front of the barracks to wait for him.” See what I mean?

I also applaud the amount of research put into this novel. From details on the women’s uniforms (and shoes!) to specifics about the tasks the women were trained and allowed to perform, the breath of information is astounding.

I did struggled a little with the style of the book. The author inserts gaps in time, with no more explanation or transition that to say “Coventry-later that day.” To me, it gave the story a feel of walking through an art gallery, looking at related and beautifully done paintings. I’m used to a book being more like a movie, where the action flows and almost everything presented moves the story along. Here, a lot of the detail seems to only serve the purpose of immersing the reader in the immediate scene, well done though that scene may be.

I’d recommend this book to many sorts of readers. Those fascinated by modern history and particularly World War Two would enjoy it, as would those interested in stories of women being allowed to step out of traditional roles, particularly during wartime. It has a romance at it’s center, but it’s also a book about female friendship.

My strongest recommendation, however, would go to anyone wanting to leave this time and place for a while and thoroughly experience another. Go — be part of Britain’s war effort. Reading this book is as close as you’re likely to get to using a time machine.

About the Author

SONY DSC

I was raised in Chicago. My father, a history professor, and my mother, a voracious reader passed on a love of history and books along with a love of travel. My husband and I retired to the Pacific Northwest where we live with four crazy rescue dogs.

I am a retired police detective. After twenty-five years in law enforcement, I decided to pursue my dream of writing. I’ve completed a historical-time travel romance series called Knights in Time. I currently write a historical suspense called The Bloodstone Series.

I am also working on a world war two series of novella romances. The first is Moonlight Serenade and currently available. The second is The Ack-Ack Girl.

Find the Author

Website — https://chriskarlsen.com/
Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/ChrisKarlsenAuthor/
Twitter –https://twitter.com/AuthorCKarlsen
Pinterest — https://www.pinterest.com/chriskarlsen/

Buy the Book

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08VDSQGDM
Apple:  https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-ack-ack-girl/id1554149585
B&N:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-ack-ack-girl-chris-karlsen/1138717450
KOBO: https://books2read.com/u/bQdOXd
Thalia:  (this is a German site) https://www.thalia.de/shop/home/artikeldetails/ID150770183.html
Bol-de: (another German site) https://www.bol.de/shop/home/artikeldetails/ID150770183.html
Angus & Robertson: (British site) https://www.angusrobertson.com.au/ebooks/the-ack-ack-girl-chris-karlsen/p/9781393715412

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

When her mother turned around, the color had drained from her face and her eyes had a haunted look. “What is it, Mum?”

“They’re bombing Coventry. There’s a BBC reporter on site. He said dozens and dozens of planes are over the city.”

Ava sat on the sofa, listening to the live broadcast as the nightmare continued. Her stomach roiled. The mint-flavored tooth powder she’d used had tasted sweet and fresh, but now soured in her mouth.

“The cathedral is destroyed,” the reporter’s voice broke.

“Turn the sound up, Mum.”

“The sky is black with planes now. They’ve blotted out the moon.” The reporter broke into a coughing fit and then continued. “The city is aflame. It’s raining bombs. The terribleness of this night will never be forgotten. Coventry is no more.”

Eleven hours later

“Did you get any sleep?” her mother asked.

Ava shook her head. “The bombing only just stopped. They’re saying that most of the city is destroyed.”

Ava went upstairs to clean up and change clothes. When she came back down she told her mother, “I need to go. I have to see if Miss Finney is all right. I have to see if I still have a home there.”

Coventry-later that day

The train was standing room only. A blast of intense heat clobbered her as Ava stepped from the station. She found herself flashing back to the night of the blitz attack in London. Like London, hours after the last bombs fell flames still raged and painted the sky in orange and red here. Bright, hot embers filled the air, burning holes through the material of the umbrellas of those who carried them for protection.

She slowly and carefully made her way toward Miss Finney’s flat and the upstairs bedsit she let to Ava. She paused in front of the movie theatre around the corner from Miss Finney’s. The entire building had fallen but somehow the marquee remained undamaged. Perched on top of the rubble advertising, His Girl Friday. Ava had just seen the movie the previous week. She’d gone two nights in a row just to watch Cary Grant.

Thank you!

Chris Karlsen we appreciate your sharing your book  The Ack Ack Girl with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Oh Good Now This

Today it is my pleasure to welcome Susan Merson and her women’s literary fiction novel, Oh Good Now This.

Author’s description

Starting over is hard enough but when ghosts decide to hitch a ride into the future—things can get complicated.

Widowed Vivi leaves California for a new start back east landing in a college town near her old friend Vikram, now the local ‘spiritual’ leader and disappointing lover. But the two have old business which leads them to uncovering the ghosts they conjured long before and the ones that are haunting them now.  Vivi reclaims her life, — with the help of a couple different dimensions– saying hi to the ghosts who choose to hang around, and growing a new garden and a new life.

We need eerie music for this!

I am fascinated by characters that undergo a major transformation in a story, so I often ask an author if there is such a metamorphosis in the novel I’m featuring. I asked Susan Merson this, and you’ll see her interesting response below. But here’s the thing.

Sometimes, instead, I ask a different questions and it usually goes like this. “In my books I’ve always had one minor character who insisted on playing a larger role in the story. I’m curious: was there such a character in your novel?”

Guess what? Author Merson answered that questions also, and I didn’t even ask it. Cool, huh? Read on …

I like to think of my new book OH GOOD NOW THIS  as a second time around, coming of age story. I am fascinated by how people survive and live their lives fully, especially after loss and the plain old battles of living day to day.

Amanda is a woman in her 60’s who ends up living near Vivi, my protagonist, on a country road, hidden behind tall pine trees. She craves light and strips the house of all its possessions, heaves her clothes into the dumpster, white washes the walls, and scrapes the floors til they shine. Through the large window in her living room she can see the moon and puts her white mattress and white duvet directly in the path of its glow. She can not bear the weight of any memory, any lover, any remnant of what was and lives a reclusive, solo life until she welcomes a young man into her home. He is visiting the local college for a seminar and she needs the money from his room rental.

And she falls in love with him. His easy loping style, his curiosity, his tease of pleasure at her company. Just his presence in the house inspires her to return to the root of who she was as a young woman and she spends her days painting pine cones and making soup, pretending she does not care when or if he returns.

Of course, he leaves, returning to his own life, but freezing Amanda in this new beginning as a person who sees the world deeply, through an artist’s eye once again. And the love she bears for this man-boy, releases the hold her body had on its poisons. Renewed, refreshed, no blockages to hold them back, the old poisons find their way into her body, creating illness when she was just reclaiming life.

Amanda’s death informs the lives of my other characters in this world. The journey she makes from cynical, rejected trophy wife, to full and faulty artist—this unfolding—surprises everyone. And inspires them, as well.

Amanda was a surprise to me when I was writing the book. She showed up when Vivi needed to see how the choices we make in our own lives can affect us, can make our choice for life or death very real. Vivi insists that life is worth the struggle even though she has seen how giving in to poison can loosen our grips and let hope recede. Amanda shoves Vivi toward choosing life at an important juncture in the story and I am grateful she showed up to let me introduce her.

About the Author

Susan Merson began her career as an actress on and off Broadway, in television and film. Co-founding the LA Writers Bloc in 1985 with award winning writer Jane Anderson, she has mentored writers through the Bloc and through her private and university classes in Playwriting, Life Stories, Writing as a Spiritual Practice, Tarot for Writers and the popular VOICING Series.

Her short fiction has been featured in The Jew in America, Nice Jewish Girls (Penguin), The Worcester Review, the Chicken Soup series and several other online platforms.  As a playwright, her award-winning plays have been performed internationally, including her 8 solo plays featured and used as example in YOUR NAME HERE: An Actor Writers Guide to Solo Performance. (Amazon). Long form fiction available on Amazon is her award-winning blog, WHEN THEY GO AND YOU DO NOT and her first novel DREAMING IN DAYLIGHT.  OH GOOD NOW THIS, her newest novel launches 12/1/21.

She is a tarot reader and counselor, a maker of quilts, clothing and whimsy.  Susan is a humble mother and a proud resident of New York City.

Find the Author

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/susanmersonauthor
WEBSITE: http://www.susanmerson.com

The author has also done a series of five videos regarding the use of Tarot for writers (for more information, visit her website):

TAROT FOR WRITERS #1:  INTRODUCTION
An introduction to using your own intuitive powers to tap into the resonance of Tarot images, packed with archetypes and symbols, to jumpstart inspiration for your artistic projects.
**CORRECTION: The Raziel Tarot Deck is designed by artist Robert Place with commentary by Rachel Pollack. https://youtu.be/LGONsfOayJg

TAROT FOR WRITERS #2: LANDSCAPE
Explore the landscape of story. Entering the world of the card offers visceral clues to the landscape of your writing. https://youtu.be/Mwq9x-I9oQE

TAROT FOR WRITERS #3: CHARACTER
A brief exploration of character and how to find their first basic journey. Look deeply at the character clues in the cards and throw three cards to begin their adventure. https://youtu.be/CuovTNQ5ztk

TAROT FOR WRITERS #4:  WHAT STORY SHOULD I WRITE TODAY
On pulling cards to intuitively discover the story, the genre, the themes and the major turning points of a new story. https://youtu.be/eHm0mVSNaPo

TAROT FOR WRITERS/ #5 TIMELINES AND DEEPER DIVE INTO RELATIONSHIPS
Timelines and going deeper into relationships with pro and antagonists. The more cards you draw the more information you can gather. https://youtu.be/EClPq0e-H70

Buy the Book

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/…/oh-good-now…/1138532579
Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1546617489
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Good-Now-This-Susan…/dp/B08RCXVNTX/

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

They have settled into their chairs and Tara is tossing some cards, shuffling them and getting a feel. She flips over three cards.

“Oh, my dear. Some bleak times, past, yes?”

Vivi is startled by this pronouncement. “Well, it’s been a time of change, I’d say.”

“Change?” says Tara. “You betcha. This Tower card is about the whole thing coming crashing down. But it’s in the past position. See here? This is the present,” she shows Vivi the 7 of cups. It’s a picture of a man taking a look at a whole gallery of possibilities. “Look at him”, Tara says. “He’s got lots of things to choose from.”

“Well, that sounds good,” says Vivi tentatively.

“Not bad. Don’t get over infatuated with the possibilities. And the last one… here. The Hermit. Yep.”

“What’s that mean?”

“Oh it’s fine. Just a time to go inside and let things percolate. Inner wisdom and all that. Not a bad sentence!” Tara laughs again. “Now. Anything specific on your mind?” Tara continues to flip cards. “So,” she says. “Who is this guy? This King keeps showing up. King of Cups? He fell out of the deck twice while I was shuffling. “Who is this guy who won’t leave you alone?”

Vivi is mystified. “How did you…?’

“Oh, it’s not magic. The cards just know, that’s all. They pick up what you bring. Who is this guy?”

On a personal note:

I learned to read Tarot Cards at 17 years old, in the first creative writing class I ever took. My English teacher was way ahead of her time!  I agree with Susan Merson that Tarot readings are wonderful for many things, including providing inspiration for an author.

Thank you!

Susan Merson  — we appreciate your sharing your book Oh Good Now This with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Love Has No Limits

Today it is my pleasure to welcome Armine Papouchian and her self-help spiritual book Love Has No Limits.

Author’s description

At sixteen, Armine fell in love for the first time and lost that love for the first time. She was the youngest daughter of three in Armenia and the only one underage when her parents decided to immigrate to the United States. She had to go with and leave her beloved Alex behind. Her parents saw a land of opportunity while Armine saw heartbreak. It wasn’t the end of her story with Alex and certainly not the end of her life,as it had felt at the time, but there was more pain to follow. Sixteen-year-olds are resilient, but even when losses and hurt came calling repeatedly throughout Armine’s life, she had the strength to love and to rise again and again. Even as life moves on for Armine and Alex, their lives intersect again and again over the course of thirty years. Through deaths and divorces, their lives never quite line up from their opposite sides of the globe. Love Has No Limits is Armine’s story of keeping faith in oneself and in love despite heartbreak, betrayal, and loss. It reveals the joy available to those who rise and rise again.

About the Author

Arminé was born in Soviet Armenia and immigrated to United States with her parents when she was 17.  She worked in the health care industry for 33 years and held key leadership roles in various health plans. Most recently, she retired from a senior executive position to pursue service and paying forward.

She is currently involved in various volunteer roles. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, gardening, art museums, concerts, dancing, and spending time with family and friends.

Love Has No Limits is her first book.

Find the Author

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56512392-love-has-no-limits

Buy the Book

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08RJ6152L

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

While drinking a glass of red wine, I watched the blazing fire roll down the hill. I got the second emergency alert call to evacuate immediately. I couldn’t believe this was happening again. Last time this happened my son still lived at home, my parents lived with us, and Peaches, our sweet dog was still alive. Back then, I had to get everyone organized, packed, and ready to evacuate. Back then, I’d been more nervous, concerned about my aging parents, my teenage son and our dog, who could sense the tension and had anxiously paced back and forth with her tongue hanging out.

This time, it was just me. I thought about what I should take with me. After all, I had already lost so much in life, yet at the same time, I felt I was blessed with all that I still had. After all, my parents had moved me halfway around the world when I was a teenager, leaving my love behind. I had grieved losing two husbands by the time I was 50, another husband in between who betrayed me at my most vulnerable moment, and I’d struggled with my father’s cancer, which ended in suicide. Just as I was catching my breath, I had to put my dog to sleep followed by my mother’s long-term illness and her painful 1 death. At the same time, I was so grateful for all I had. I was so happy that I was not angry and resentful. I was not bitter; I was content. I had love again, and I was stronger than ever before. I was still standing.

As I packed a change of clothes, my laptop, few photo albums that my son requested and my small metal safe deposit box with important documents, I reflected on how little all our possessions really matter to us. As I was packing the albums, the memories started to come back, old wounds flared up and I started to feel the pain and the deep sadness. I ached for my son who had lost his father at age ten. I felt lonely; I missed the people I had in my life that I’d loved and lost. I missed all they brought to my life. At times, I could not believe I had survived all that had happened in my life in such a short time. Tears rolled down my cheeks. I realized the effects those pictures had on me and why I did not even want to take those albums with me. I had the memories in my heart and that’s all I could ever have, the rest of my life. I realized that’s why I no longer made photo albums. I realized how simplistic life had become for me. I did not need much. I cherished the moments I was with the people I loved and that is all I ever needed.

 

She’ll be here in two weeks

She’s the One Who Cares Too Much

Book 2, my story of the soft-spoken and caring sister who discovers her own fierce power, will be available for purchase Friday Feb 12 and can be pre-ordered now.

I’ll be honest. I struggled with Coral’s story at first. Her personality was too mild for my taste (I like wilder women) and her dreams were so traditional. But over the months we spent together, she won me over as we discovered her power and strength together.

Every woman has a right to pursue her own happiness, and while Coral may want the simple things in life, she’s hardly a simple lady. Furthermore, in the end she may really be the one sister who saves Ilari. I think there is a good chance it’s true, but I’ll have to keep writing to find out.

Gumbeaux Love

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Jax Freyand and her southern women’s fiction novel, Gumbeaux Love.

Author’s description

The adventures of the Gumbeaux Sistahs continues. Five, fiery southern women wage wars against their unique problems using their improbable friendships, hilarious evil-genius schemes, strategy sessions with oh-so-many cocktails, and a shared passion for good gumbo.

Single, Southern artist, Judith Lafferty, casually confesses to her Gumbeaux Sistahs that she is occasionally lonely and would like to fall in love again. Seriously – you’d think she would know to keep her mouth shut around these women by now. The sistahs tackle her problem along with their own with their usual unreasonable, extreme plots and schemes, including a kidnapping, a cupid costume, trying out pick-up lines at the cheese counter, and blind dates from hell. In helping out their friend, the sistahs help each other out as well and bring to light the many flavors of love in all of our lives. Be ready for twists, turns, laugh-out-loud times, and heart-wrenching moments. You’ll be sure to recognize yourself and your best friends in the unstoppable sistahs.

What makes Louisiana Women So Special?

I’ve lived most of my adult life in the south, including nearly seven years in Lafayette Louisiana. So when given the chance to ask author Jax Freyand any question at all, I just had to know what it was she thought was distinctive about Southern women.

To my delight, she answered me specifically about the women of Louisiana. I have to say, I agree with her answer.

Not sure I can speak for all southern women,  but I know Louisiana women! Here’s what I find unique about them:

1.      Attitude – there’s a certain type of openness, impetuousness, and willingness to jump into the party spirit on a moment’s notice that happens to women in Louisiana.  Hand them a second-line handkerchief, and they will grab their own outlandish hats, beads, and boas and go off with total strangers, dancing down the street. It quite normal to the natives, but visitors notice it and are often enticed to move here because of it and many other reasons.

2.      Food – yes, food shows up everywhere in the US when women get together. Pot lucks and parties always turn up macaroni, potato salads, and baked beans. But when Louisiana women get together, Cher! Gumbo with hot French bread, little muffulettas, crawfish pasta, jambalaya, pulled pork po-boys, and bourbon bread pudding are just many of the unique mainstays for that group!

3.      Friendliness – sure there are friendly people all over the world. Thank you, God! But you can count on it in Louisiana. That’s how we were raised.

About the Author

Born in New Orleans, Jax came into this world with a sense of celebration of southern culture, food, family and fun. Translating that celebration into her writing and onto canvas is her true calling. Her colorful art depicts everything from her dancing Gumbeaux Sistahs paintings to her popular line of original Mini paintings of southern icons. Because over 25,000 of the mini paintings have been created and sold into art collections worldwide, Jax holds a world’s record for The Most Original Acrylic Paintings on Canvas by One Artist from the World’s Record Academy.

Jax is also the co-founder of the Women of Infinite Possibilities, an empowering women’s organization started in Covington, LA, where Jax lives today with her loveable, tornado-of-a-pug named Lucy.

The Gumbeaux Sistahs’ series of novels is a work of love for Jax After painting the Sistahs for many years, she finally gives voice to these women characters who have something to say and constantly make Jax laugh when she writes about them.

Find the Author

Website: http://www.gumbeauxsistahs.com/
Jax art and gifts can be seen at www.artbyjax.com.

Buy the Book

Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Gumbeaux-Love-Book-Sistahs-novels-ebook/dp/B08GJ9FZX5/

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Judith rinsed her juice glass in the kitchen sink just as the doorbell rang.

“Who in the world at this hour?” she thought, shaking her head and glancing at the clock on the wall. “It’s not even eight o’clock.”

She walked to the front door and started to open it, but before she could swing it open all the way, a hand clutching a paper coffee cup shoved its way inside, barely missing her face.

“What?” she yelped. Then she laughed. “Oh no, are you kidding me?” She opened the door to five Gumbeaux Sistahs, including Bea, Helen, Dawn, Lola, and Trinity who stood on her front stoop holding coffee. It was especially a surprise to see Trinity there since she lived across the lake and had a long way to come. But the most unexpected thing of all was Dawn, who stood there looking embarrassed as all get-out, wearing a big, red Cupid costume.

“Not again!” said Judith, rolling her eyes and remembering that this was exactly the way that the sistahs had originally kidnapped her and become her best friends in the world.

Dawn grimaced and said, “I don’t know why I’m always the one who has to wear a stupid costume.”

Thank you!

Jax Freyand — we appreciate your sharing your book Gumbeaux Love with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.