Didi Oviatt

Author of suspense novels Search For Maylee, Aggravated Momentum, The Stix, and New Age Lamians. As well as the short story collection Time Wasters and (co-author of) The Suspenseful Collection.



Cover Reveal: When Fire Rains Down, by Cecelia Earl @shanannigans81 and @authorcecelia

I’m so excited for this cover reveal, it’s absolutely beautiful! In my opinion it’s just as pretty as the first and second book in the series: Book Blitz: When Smoke Rains Down by Cecelia Earl! Check out the story bellow, it’s even better than the cover… if that’s even possible!!

When Fire Rains Down Front Cover

When Fire Rains Down: A Kingdom Come Novel (Book #3)

Author: Cecelia Earl

Release Date: July 27, 2018

Genre: YA/ Paranormal/ Urban Fantasy


The little town of Shady Creek is under attack by Lucifer and his demons. To save the people she loves, human-angel Hybrid Julia must rescue their kidnapped Guardian Angels, even when it means defying her father.

Trouble is, he knows only too much about Hell’s perils. When a demon sucks Julia into a cosmic vacuum, the experience leaves an indelible blight she dares not mention for fear of losing her place on the angelic rescue team.

As a growing demon army surrounds Shady Creek, Julia’s feelings for her own Guardian become all too real and dangerous. But the cosmic imbalance fueled by Hybrid Angels, Rogue Guardians and Warriors is already depleting the strength of the Rescue Team. And there’s no room for distraction when the mission is to get into Hell—and out again.

For the sake of the mission, Julia must face the truth of the Hybrids’ existence. Because nobody will be safe unless she can trust the gift of free will—for others and for herself—in this end-of-the-world finale to The Legend of Shady Creek Trilogy.

Stay tuned for another trilogy in the Kingdom Come Series: The Stories of Summersby Corner

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eReader Phone Paperback When Fire Rains Down #3

Amazon (US) | Amazon (CA) | Amazon (UK)

Paperback will be available July 27th!

Facebook Party!

The author will be hosting a Facebook cover reveal event today (june 25) with giveaways, trivia, excerpts and more, so be sure to check it out!


“Nicholas can teach you to use the demons’ weapons against them. You may become an expert, the best. Cole and I can get you inside. We can provide detailed descriptions of Hell and instruct you on how to find Tobias and the others, but we were there for months, for years, and we are blessed to miraculously be sitting here before you now.

“There’s a slim chance you’ll get in and an even slimmer chance you’ll get out. Especially with all the Guardians. An attack from the inside out is the only way, but some of the Guardians have been there a long, long time. There’s no telling how beat up they are, and I don’t mean bruised bodies, I mean tortured minds.”

His words are met with a hushed silence.

I expect Nicholas to look defeated, but he rises again, and his voice is as strong as ever. “It will not be easy, and none of us can expect it to be. We’ve all fought demons before, and we know as well as anyone how they can manipulate, deceive, and pervert truths. We know how nearness to them for any short or lengthy period of time can affect the strongest of angels.”

He doesn’t look at Cole when he says this, and Cole doesn’t appear to be offended. I suppose they’re too timeworn and wise to mind obvious truths and overlook what humans might take as a slight.

Dad’s looking at his folded hands, clenching his jaw. I feel bad for him. With what he saw and felt, it’s no wonder he doesn’t want me to go. I want to wrap my arms around him now and put my forehead to his like I did when I was a little girl. I want to remove those memories as much as he wants to save me from experiencing them.

“But in knowing this, I hope we will become stronger, more prepared, more resolute. Even though it is dangerous and will be difficult, knowing what being near Hell does to our Guardians, we have all the more reason to rescue them. I am still all in for this mission. My plan to take a small team in order to get in without detection, accomplish our mission, and get out, stands.

“With so many Guardians in captivity, we cannot simply sneak them out. Our breakout will be catastrophic. It will be an upset. We will go in small, like a whisper, but we will come out shouting in victory.” He pounds on the table. It shakes and the sound echoes throughout the cave. Once it’s quiet, he asks, “Who is with me?”

Stunned, we all sit in silence. But after a moment I realize he is waiting for us, for at least one of us, to respond.

I don’t look at my dad before I rise. “I am with you.”

Other Books in this Trilogy

When Ash Rains Down Cover.jpegWhen Ash Rains Down (Book #1)

Shady Creek gets a whole lot scarier after Julia learns she’s part angel, especially since the only person she can trust is an angel who’s as infuriating as he is attractive.

Julia received a necklace containing the songs of the angels from her dad when she was four. When she was eleven, he abandoned her family and the necklace went silent. At seventeen, Julia’s doing everything she can to maintain security for her family, but now her necklace seems to have come to life once again. And that’s not all that’s changing.

When a robber attempts to steal from their diner, the necklace blazes and burns her chest. Pain in her back is nearly unbearable as the thief transforms before her eyes… into something demonic.

Demon after demon threaten Julia’s home, family, and friends, and she realizes there may have been something more behind her dad’s disappearance. And now there may be something–or someone–dangerous after her.

Julia has to accept that she is not quite human. Will her infuriating but attractive Guardian Angel be able to prepare her for the battle to come?

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When Smoke Rains Down Cover.jpegWhen Smoke Rains Down (Book #2)

If only humans knew the invisible danger lurking around them…

In the aftermath of an explosion and Homecoming battle, Julia tries to form some semblance of a routine: work, study, and visit her brother who remains hospitalized. Unable to confide in anyone about her double life of being both human and angel, and fearful she’ll bring more death and destruction to those she loves, she pulls away from her family and best friend.

When demons once again start to show up at every turn, seemingly bringing about her brother’s deepening depression, she demands her sword from Nicholas. Ever the stern Guardian Angel, he forbids her from using it. Isolated, she takes protecting her brother into her own hands. But when demons show they have evils hidden within their weapons in addition to their ability to siphon souls from the living, Julia’s not sure she knows the best way to handle saving him any longer. Especially when ash-colored lines begin to appear on humans, lines of demonic poison that travel through their veins toward their hearts and alter their moods.

Thrust into a dark world of conspiring demons, Julia is in more danger than she ever imagined possible. To stop evil from spreading and overtaking those she loves, she’ll have to seek out the one person she mistrusts most–especially when a line appears on her own arm, and her apathy toward doing much of anything, including saving anyone, grows.

Enter a complex world where humans, demons, and angels collide, all battling to rule the Earth.

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About the Author

Author Pic

Cecelia Earl graduated with a degree in education and has been teaching ever since. She’s a wife, a mom of three boys, and an owner of a magical laundry pile that never stops growing. She lives near enough to Green Bay, WI that her refrigerator is always stocked with cheese, and the first colors her children learned were green and gold.

She’s a first grade teacher in a Catholic school by day, a mom always, and a writer in her sleep, but that’s okay because being an author is a dream come true. She writes angel fantasy books for young and youngish adults. If you feel young, she writes for you—whether or not you feel particularly angelic.

Cecelia Earl | Newsletter | Goodreads

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Win a SIGNED paperback copy of book #1 When Ash Rains Down, including the bonus story Before the Ashes!

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A Seasoned Author’s Tips On Handling Criticism!

Sometimes I think of reviews and critique, be it negative or positive, as being suggestive ingredients of sorts for my next creation. Like my writing/books is actually a four course meal. I’ve shopped, prepped, marinated, mixed, chopped, fried, blended, and baked until I’m utterly exhausted. I feel like the food is as perfect as I can possibly get it and it’s time to be served.

The guests show up, ready to devour my masterpiece (or read the book per say), and here I am pacing the floors from the sidelines. I watch as some people slowly pick at it before actually giving it a taste. Some people dive right in without second thought. They’ll eat as much food as possible, as quickly as they can, until they’re ready to pop. Some let each bite swirl around in their mouths slavering the flavor.

And in the end, EVERYONE has something to say about your cooking.  OR, not say if the case may be, which can be even more intimidating and stressful, because you’re forever left to wonder what they really thought.


There’s the trick (or three) to dealing with this stress!  A secret approach as the chef/author on how to take in your critics. How to handle the wave of opinions that’s soon to wash over and quite possibly drown you if you let it!

If you follow the following steps… You’ll be able to use your criticism to your favor rather than let it either break you or fake you (as in fill you full of fake shit, AKA blow so much smoke up your ass that even your head is full of hot air.).

First step, is the mind set going in. This is HUGE! Remind yourself before your book is released that you write because you love it. You chose this story because it’s what YOU wanted to write. No every one likes cake and not every one likes pizza. Most people will eat it anyway because they’re hungry, but they might not have anything nice to say about it afterwords…. And so be it.

Also, some people like pizza and cake a little too much. They’re going to be a bit of experts on the mater, knowing the ins and outs of brands and dough’s, flower and flax. They’re going to pick it apart because no mater what, they’ve had better. They may even think they can make it better themselves when in reality they probably suck at baking.

Some people just love all sorts of food period. They’ll enjoy the meal, appreciate what’s best about it rather than search for false, and if there is a bite that is too salty, they’ll tell you away from the group because they can’t wait to taste your next meal… That’s even better than the last!

Understand all of this before you even serve your meal. You’ll be prepared for all things negative and positive. Hopefully you invite a big enough group of the right guests 😉

Second step is to take notes as if the meal/book isn’t even yours. This one can be tricky. It isn’t always easy to detach, but it IS easy to make sense of things once you are detached.

Think of when you’re reading a slew of reviews on a book you’re debating on reading. I don’t know about you, but I can usually tell in the first paragraph of a review on whether it’s genuine or not. Sadly enough, a lot of reviewers only write them for their own benefit.

Example: Your guest might announce to the crowd that “this frosting is way too sweet, I can’t even eat it without worrying about my teeth,” and then, when no one is looking they’ll take a spoonful from the top of the entire cake and eat it in the shadows of the room. They don’t want people to know how much they actually love it. (my husband teased me the entire time I read 50 shades. He called them the ‘Mormon mom’s closet pleasure. No one will ever know, but they’re all secretly reading it behind each other’s backs.’)

Another Example: Someone might smile, nod and agree with the rest of the crowd who loves the sauce, and then turn their back when they swallow it so that no one sees them gagging!

If you’re detached and not taking it personal, it’s a lot easier to separate the phony followers from the genuine opinion makers. While taking notes on the worth while criticism, make sure you’re noting what will actually improve your cooking/writing skills rather than overwhelming yourself with a bunch of unnecessary crap. YOU’RE the expert, you know what’s worth noting!! If someone tells you to add a bunch of garlic salt to vanilla pudding would you listen?

LAST STEP, move on to your next meal. There’s a lot more to this than just starting to cook something new. You have to be conscious about your previous work. Make something that compliments what you already know, learn something new, and challenge yourself with improvement… all at the same time.

This step is actually pretty complicated. Not only do you have to use the right ingredients suggested, but you also have to let the ones that wont work for you roll off your back. The trick is starting with the biggest most prominent suggestions. The ones that you have to use in order to improve, but by habit it’s hard! Once you can conquer that, you can conjure it all. You have to break your bad habits, and move on to the smaller, more tedious things from there.

Let’s say, you use too much salt. It’s the way you like to eat, therefore it’s the way you cook even though literally not another person in the world likes quite that much salt. (for me its adjectives lol… I have tendency to overdo it. I’ve really had to break myself of this!) If most of your eaters tell you everything would have been completely perfect with just a pinch less salt… Then maybe you should accept the mistake, fix it and move on. Don’t dwell, don’t be embarrassed, DETACH yourself and just make a conscious effort to add less salt. That simple. It’s only more complicated if YOU make it that way.



  • Go in with a practical and productive attitude. Be ready for all scenarios, and excited to build even further from where you’re currently at. Every single project in your life should be an internal improvement from the last.
  • Detach and sort your criticism accordingly. It’s okay to feed bad about something as long as you don’t dwell and you learn from it. It’s more than okay to be grateful and love your readers. BUT let the feelings sink in afterwords… Because, it’s also okay to detach yourself during the sorting process.
  • Move on and GROW because of your readers, not despite them. Your criticism is what you make of it. Life is all in the eye of the beholder.






Cover Reveal! The Scented Bones: The Svabodina Case Files (book 1) by Angelina Kerner

The Scented Bones: The Svabodina Case Files (The Svabodina Case Files Book 1)

Genre: Paranormal/ Crime Thriller

Expected Publication Date: September 28, 2018

Publisher: KDP Select

The Scented Bones Front 3D


Angel Svabodina is a rookie forensic anthropologist, enjoying the beginning of her new career. That joy comes crashing down when she figures out the skeleton she’s working on is not human and then it vanishes.

She throws herself fully into the case without thinking about the parties involved, a psychopomp associate, and paranormal mafia families made up of vampires and werewolves—or the consequences.

When she sees there’s no avoiding the inevitable, Angel has to suck it up and work with the werewolves to solve the case but can she trust them?

Werewolves and witches are in a centuries-old feud, but that doesn’t stop the shivers running down her spine from one wolf in particular. What’s more, nothing comes for free, including information. To get what she needs from the werewolf don, Angel has to meet with the fae queen. Can she meet her without repercussions and solve the case?

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Available for Pre-Order: Amazon


About the Author

ANGELINA KERNER is a self-published author of paranormal and lighthearted romance. She’s the wife of a photographer/physicist, and the mother of a cute little toddler, but she’s also been a dancer, a psychologist, an anthropologist, a geographer, a dreamer, and an adventurer. She does her best writing while being bothered by her cats, taking care of her son, in dressing rooms while waiting for family to try on clothing, and at home in sunny California. Angelina loves to play goddess-dragon matchmaker, transporting readers to a place where young goddesses have lovable flaws, the Fates plan to dethrone, the universe is endless and untamed, and dragons roam free! She also loves to write carefree romance where one can finish reading with a smile.


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5 Star Review: Fox in the Closet, by Alisa B. Bates (Another stellar debut!!)


Liverpool in the late 18oos/early 1900s was a cruel place to be for Annie, but she never lost her hope for the future or compassion for humanity. Although fictional, Fox in the Closet is based on a factual ancestor of the author Alisa Bates. The research put in is beyond impressive, and the dedication to her character Annie is lovely. This book is tragic through and through, yet its written in a way that inspires hope and beauty in all situations. Annie finds light, and an upside to her living conditions no matter what barrel she’s scrapping the bottom of.

The book starts out with Annie in love. She’s a barmaid at her brother’s place, and has fallen for a patron. They’ve planed to run away together, but he leaves her stranded, alone with the baby growing inside. From there it spirals from one low to another for Annie all throughout her pregnancy and beyond. After her only family and childhood contact situations turn sour, she bounces from homelessness on the cruel streets of Liverpool, begging for food and taking a couple of abandon children under her wing.

She’s picked up by the authority, and finds herself in a religious placement for distraught women and their babies. It’s an ideal place, yet because Annie is not Catholic, she is only allowed a few weeks stay. They refer her to seek out a sweatshop type workhouse. It’s a less than ideal situation, but at least it offers a roof over her head, a small meal in her growing belly, and has a decent hospital for when the baby is born. It’s an option she can’t pass up.

Annie follows instruction and is admitted in the workhouse, and its much worse than expected. She’s given a mere box with straw to sleep on, it’s lined against a wall with several others. Privacy is non existent, the food is sparce, and the work is grueling. That’s not to mention the tension and hatred the workers have with one another.

Annie winds up having her beautiful little boy Charlie here, which starts a whole new journey for her. The love and devotion she has for her baby is felt deeply. Annie fights through thick and thin to keep him, and to give him a healthy happy life despite their situation. While Charlie is still an infant, he and Annie are placed in a working home as caretakers for an elderly couple. They’re happy, and well for a short time. She’s making a living and their stay is comfortable. Sadly, they’re stricken with red measles and forced back to the workhouse hospital.

The struggle continues as Charlie grows. By the age of three, he’s been in and out of family placement, the workhouse nursery and schooling, and has stayed with Annie another short time as she was able to find work and care for him. The second time Annie was stricken with sickness, it was Cholera, and they barely made it back to the workhouse hospital, as it nearly claimed her life. This time around, Charlie is placed in a home during Annie’s recovery and she’s forced yet again to make a decision of giving Charlie a better life than what she can offer as a single homeless mother in a cruel poverty stricken place.

As the book draws to an end Annie decides to try mending fences with her brother, which is an utter fail. She also makes the decision to try and seek out Charlie’s father. She loved him dearly, and her memories of him nearly convince her that the abandonment was a fluke… nearly!

Annie’s journey is one of a kind. She has a beautiful soul despite her mishap, and loves her son with the kind of dedication that really touches a mothers heart. I absolutely loved her drive and dedication to do what’s best for Charlie no mater what, and her heartache is written flawlessly by Alisa Bates. There is a taste of poetry at the end of each chapter as an emotional sum up, and it’s perfection, I loved it! There is also an index after the story describing situations, wording, and placement as they’re linked to historical facts and places. I love everything about this book, and recommend it with the highest regard!


Annie Brett waits near the quay of the River Mersey to begin a fresh, new life with her sailor. As the moon sinks lower in the sky, she pines for her true love, though he is nowhere to be seen. If he does not come, he will leave her with a lifelong remembrance and burden. Annie rubs her tightening belly. “I fear we be alone and withered, dear child. Our hearts be properly broken, now.”

Moving Forward

Nothing about life just stops and waits for us. Time moves forward whether we’re ready for it or not. People grow, and events happen. We can progress right along with time. We can work hard day in and day out toward our goals (note I didn’t say dreams, because really that’s just a load of crap. If you have a dream, make it a goal, or it’ll always be just that… a dream.) OR… we can let opportunity pass us by, grow stagnant from fear and self doubt.

I choose to move forward and I hope you do to!


Yesterday was my Grandpa’s funeral (Another Family Loss) I actually stood up with two of my cousins and read memories and a few poems that I had written for him, my grandma and all of their eight children.  If you follow my blog closely you know how badly I’m afraid to speak in public (Artist’s Fears). Anyhow, funerals are different, I was nervous but everything went smoothly, and I’m so glad I was able to honor him at his services.


Now it’s time to focus, bounce back, it’s hammer time! I have so many projects in the works right now it’s insane. This week is a big one, because over the weekend I finished up the second draft of my first book’s rewrite/rendition!!  I’m so excited!! The Stix was a book I wrote before I had any clue I was destined to be a writer.

I enjoyed writing it, but in the editing and publishing phases I cut corners and settled with mistakes that I didn’t realize were indeed such outrageous mistakes (the publishing place I went with totally stole my book!).  Anyhow, because they’ve been in breach of contract for SO LONG, haven’t paid me a dime, and refuse to release the title or let me make changes… I’ve FLIPPED it!  It’s been a work in progress for sometime now, and this week I’ll be starting the submission and query phase. I’m choosing not to self publish right away. I’m hoping that with the acceptance of an agent and/or publishing agency I can get some help in releasing the original story. We’ll see how that goes, wish me luck!

Along with the Lamian Trilogy that has been in the works, I’ve been making some pretty awesome progress on another thriller. I’m not going to get into details about it. I don’t want to give anything away OR jinx it, but I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited about ANY of my books!!  The title is Justice For Belle, remember the name and keep an eye out. As soon as I have the first full draft finished up, I’ll share a little taste of it once in a while…. I CAN’T WAIT!


Review: The Curse, by Jina Bazzar 4 stars


Okay, I made the mistake of reading this before Heir of Ashes, so my review is going to be super short. A few things were a little confusing, probably because I didn’t read the other book first. I’ll be downloading ASAP though and diving right in without delay, because even from such a short buildup to Roxanne’s character, it’s a powerful one!

It’s a story of outer worldly magic, relms, portals, witches, and basically the coolest sounding species imaginable. Energy, and the control of it plays a big part in what the magic actually revolves around. BUT, this isn’t exactly what the book is about (I’m assuming it will be much more so in Heir of Ashes, and so on.) This book is more about the characters in general, the intermixing of different species for the purpose of creating particular beings with particular powers.

Yoncey Fosch is pretty awesome, I loved his character. It starts out with him making a huge deal with a very powerful enemy for the sake of saving his brother, and many members of his clan. His brother is cursed with a plague that can only be cured with magical stones. These stones have to be used in just the right way by a being who posses the right power. Fosch is just that being. He keeps the entire endeavor a secret, cures his brother as well as all the others sick. After returning the stones, he’s forced to follow through with his bargain. He has to create a child with a human, in order to bred in particular magic and give that child to the enemy.

Other twists, turns, and characters wind up weaving themselves into this bargain over time. It’s all unbeknownst to them at the time. As it all plays out, some things coming into light, and others staying in the dark, but ultimately the story unravels flawlessly!

All the characters are unique, bringing about their own agendas that get twisted and mingled into the ultimate shebang at the end. I love the premise of the story and can’t wait to read Heir of Ashes, to get the whole experience.


Yoncey Fosch, the leader of the Unseelie Dhiultadh clan would give anything to save his brother from a mysterious plague. Anything, including his leadership mantle and a favor to his deadliest enemy, Queen Titania’s consort.
But his actions will have far reaching consequences, and Fosch realizes he is not only unwilling to pay the price, but will defy anyone who calls him on it.

#excerpt #blogtour The Phoenix Cycle, by Bob Collopy @shanannigans81 @BobCollopy

phoenixcyclefrontcover.pngThe Phoenix Cycle: The Best Shall Rise

The Phoenix Cycle: The Best Shall Rise

Publication Date: June 23, 2017

Published By: The Department of Smoke

Genre: Dystopian/ YA/ Sci-Fi

New San Francisco is the last city standing on a world ravaged by storms of ash and debris. The city survived by putting the ideals of the American dream on steroids and inspiring its people to persevere, though they have become ruthless in the process. Its citizens are ruled by the General, who has made sure that his people understand that gentleness and pity have become weaknesses that nature no longer tolerates.

Now Steve and Leslie must choose whether they will apply for the General’s once in a lifetime opportunity to “Rise from the Ashes” and join the Inner Circle that rules the city. If they don’t, they will be damned to spend the rest of their lives in the ghettos of Edingburg, a place where virtual reality has become a government-subsidized addiction.

For Steve, the choice is easy. His loyalties lie with the IRA, a revolutionary army led by a voice only known as “Mom.” They are trying to overthrow the General and free the people of New San Francisco from the cruelties of the City Guard. Steve’s mission is to broadcast a recording of a speech that a famous philosopher died to tell. Many thousands have and will perish to get this message out, but is anyone willing to listen?

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Every wrist in the stadium beeped. Every boy and girl glanced down at the face of their watch. “00:10” then “:09” then “:08.” Everyone turned their heads to the west. There it was. Right on time, as always. The nightly storm. A wall of blackness had lurched up into the sky, swallowing the setting sun. The hairs on Steve’s neck stood up, urging him to get the hell out

of there.

Instead he grabbed Leslie’s hand, who sat quietly quivering next to him, instinctively pressing her bow into her head for comfort. Steve knew her shaking wasn’t coming from Line’s yelling, the storm, or even the tank pointing at them. Her quivers never came from the barrel of a gun, no, the ragging agony she held within her was the very same thing that pushed him back into the sheets when the sun finally rose—are we going to lose each other?

Leslie’s mind pushed the feeling away for at least another moment. “It’ll be all right,” she whispered. Her brown eyes guided him to the dozens of mortar tubes pointing upward and outward on the vibrant green field and then to the perfect line of churning ash that approached the stands.

“Unity can only be achieved and be maintained when it is the STRONG who come together and fly under one flag! We, like no other in the world, have created a unity that has never broken, has never FLINCHED! When the rest of the world saw THAT—” Line’s long arm pointed at the coming avalanche of black— “They all fell to pieces!”

The earth began to quake as the wall rose over them. Someone screamed. The mortars on the field fired as one at the roiling sky. The blackness spilled over the stadium, then slid over the perimeter of the frizzing wall of static that had encapsulated the field. No Phoenix Cycler had seen—only heard rumors from past Cycle Pref parties—this blackness that was sliding over and them whispering their deaths.

– The Phoenix Cycle: The Best Shall Rise

About the Author

Author Pic

Bob is pretty dope. Firstly, his name is Bob, so…yea. Second, have you seen him rock that suit while in a maximum security prison? Epic.

Yea. That’s Bob. No psychological scarring with that author. Nope. Totally fine.

Gosh he looks good in suits.

Hey Have you read The Phoenix Cycle? He wrote that.

One suggestion before you read it and become one of those fans that leaves him roses by his doormat. Read her slowly. This book is not Twilight. She’s deeper than that. Take your time with her. Show the book you care. Cradle it and make it feel loved. If you do, she’ll be good to you. Go too fast and you’ll have no idea why she’s acting so crazy.

Philosophies Dead | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Goodreads


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The author is giving away 10 print copies (That’s right 10) and 5 Digital copies of his book so make sure you enter as the odds are definitely in your favor! (Runs from May 21st to May 30th)

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Blog Tour Schedule

May 21st

Reads & Reels (Kick-Off Promo)

Just for My Books (Excerpt)

The Lit Cottage (Review)

Adventures Thu Wonderland (Review)

The Midwest Ladies Who Lit (Excerpt)

May 22nd


Tranquil Dreams (Review)

On the Shelf Reviews (Excerpt)

May 23rd

Didi Oviatt (Excerpt)

The Genre Minx (Excerpt)

The Cozy Pages (Excerpt)

Valerie’s Musings (Excerpt)

The YA Book Divas (Interview)

May 24th

J Bronder Reviews (Review)

Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Interview)

Bri’s Book Nook (Review)

The Cozy Pages (Excerpt)

Wicked Good Reads (Review)

May 25th

Afire Pages (Excerpt)

Port Jerricho (Excerpt)

Touch My Spine Book Reviews (Review)

Life at 17 (Review)

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Over a Hundred Downloaded! Thank You!

As a spring time thank you gift to my readers I offered Search For Maylee free for a few days last week. I’m over the moon that so many people took advantage of this offer! Usually when I do a free day or two of one of my books, I get anywhere from ten to fifty copies downloaded. It’s a very random number, to be honest… I never really know what to expect.


SO, when I had over a hundred copies downloaded you can imagine my joy!  I’m so excited, and so grateful that so many readers were interested in reading Search For Maylee!

That said, I just want to throw a quick THANK YOU for everyone who spotted the promotion here on the blog and decided to give this book a try!  I appreciate every single reader dearly, and I can’t wait to see your thoughts on my book!


#review #booktour The Things We Learn When We’re Dead, by Charlie Laidlaw @shanannigans81 @CharlieLaidlaw

The things we learn COVER FINAL.jpgThe Things We Learn When We’re Dead

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Humor

Publication Date: January 26, 2017


With elements of The Wizard of Oz and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead shows how small decisions can have profound and unintended consequences, and how sometimes we can get a second chance.

On the way home from a dinner party, Lorna Love steps into the path of an oncoming car. When she wakes up she is in what appears to be a hospital – but a hospital in which her nurse looks like a young Sean Connery, she is served wine for supper, and everyone avoids her questions. It soon transpires that she is in Heaven, or on HVN. Because HVN is a lost, dysfunctional spaceship, and God the aging hippy captain. She seems to be there by accident… Or does God have a higher purpose after all?

At first Lorna can remember nothing. As her memories return – some good, some bad – she realises that she has decision to make and that maybe she needs to find a way home.

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The things we learn COVER FINAL

The old man was as good as his word and a tray was swiftly brought by a male nurse in white clinical overalls who looked spookily like a young James Bond. On it was a plate of grilled lamb cutlets, string beans and sautéed potatoes. There was also a warm bread roll with a knob of butter and, under a silver dome, a bowl of chocolate profiteroles with cream. In short, exactly what she would have ordered in an expensive restaurant, given the choice, and if she’d ever been able to afford to eat in one. Also on the tray was a small metal jug of white wine, which made no sense. During her coma, had it become health service policy to keep patients inebriated? And why the metal jug?

“The boss says that you’re up and about now,” he remarked, placing the tray down and making sure it was well balanced on her knees. The jug of wine and glass he placed on her bedside table. Why wasn’t there a bunch of flowers in a vase? That’s the first thing her mother would have brought. It was the first thing she always took to friends and relatives in hospital, even the ones who suffered from hay fever.

“Who was the old man? The one who was here a minute ago?” she asked, as if there might be several old men in her wing of the hospital. “Grey hair. Beard. Beads,” she added.

The nurse merely gave a small shrug. “He’ll tell you himself the next time you meet. Anyway,” he added, making for the door, and looking uncomfortable, “if there’s anything else I can do, just ask.”

“I’d like to know how long I’ve been asleep.”

“Asleep?” The nurse raised one eyebrow.

“Yes, asleep. I mean, how long have I been here?”

He didn’t reply for a few moments, hands clasped behind his back. “Not long, as far as I know.”

“And how long is not long?” she asked. “Look, if you don’t know, could I please speak to someone who does.” Lorna, running out of patience, had raised her voice. The nurse took a step backwards towards the door.

“All in good time,” he assured her and indicated the tray. “For now, you need to eat. Get your strength back.”

“Look, I really need to know how long I’ve been here. Can I see a doctor? Actually, I shouldn’t have to bloody ask that, should I? What kind of useless hospital is this?”

The nurse, perhaps unused to being shouted at, had backed himself to the door. “Anything you need, just ask. Okay?”

Lorna wanted to scream at him. “But how?” she asked instead, looking around the blank walls for a call button. “And what did he mean by not feeding the little brutes?”

“Just ask, that’s all. Your room is sound-activated so don’t worry, I’ll hear.” He touched a blank place on the wall that somehow made the pneumatic door hiss open. “But he’s right about not feeding them,” he added as the white door closed again, leaving Lorna utterly exasperated. – The Things We Learn When We’re Dead

About the Author

CL bandw

I was born in Paisley, central Scotland, which wasn’t my fault. That week, Eddie Calvert with Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra were Top of the Pops, with Oh, Mein Papa, as sung by a young German woman remembering her once-famous clown father. That gives a clue to my age, not my musical taste.

I was brought up in the west of Scotland and graduated from the University of Edinburgh. I still have the scroll, but it’s in Latin, so it could say anything.

I then worked briefly as a street actor, baby photographer, puppeteer and restaurant dogsbody before becoming a journalist. I started in Glasgow and ended up in London, covering news, features and politics. I interviewed motorbike ace Barry Sheene, Noel Edmonds threatened me with legal action and, because of a bureaucratic muddle, I was ordered out of Greece.

I then took a year to travel round the world, visiting 19 countries. Highlights included being threatened by a man with a gun in Dubai, being given an armed bodyguard by the PLO in Beirut (not the same person with a gun), and visiting Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa. What I did for the rest of the year I can’t quite remember

Surprisingly, I was approached by a government agency to work in intelligence, which just shows how shoddy government recruitment was back then. However, it turned out to be very boring and I don’t like vodka martini.

Craving excitement and adventure, I ended up as a PR consultant, which is the fate of all journalists who haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize, and I’ve still to listen to Oh, Mein Papa.

I am married with two grown-up children and live in central Scotland. And that’s about it.

Twitter: @claidlawauthor

Facebook: charlielaidlawauthor


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My Review:

Contemporary type fantasy isn’t usually my cup of tea, so my joy in reading this was actually a pleasant surprise. After reading over the unique description along with a few very promising reviews I decided to give it a go, despite my initial hesitation due to the genre. I like to mix things up and rotate book types. So, more often than not, when I do actually find great books in my not to usual genres’ I’m ultimately thrilled to have found them. I’m happy to report that this was indeed the case with Charlie Laidlaw’s afterlife tale.
The Things We Learn When We’re Dead was a bit slow paced for my taste, but it is contemporary(ish) so knew was I was getting myself into. That said, there are a few qualities about this book that I absolutely loved. The word choices and scene flow throughout is brilliant. I really enjoyed the way Charlie describes things. Even the dialogue is superb. I think it’s conversation that really makes this book what it is. In a way I felt like the characters are built through the in depth and witty banter. Especially the main character Lorna. She’s someone I could see myself hanging out with. She has a no-nonsense approach to life, along with dry humor and a bit of quirk. Her character feels real, and I enjoyed that immensely!
At the beginning of the book Lorna is in an accident that claims her life. She finds herself waking in Heaven, only this particular version of Heaven is insanely different than anything I’ve ever read or even dreamed of reading. Be it fictional books, religious reference, or any other way for that matter. Lorna’s afterlife is centered in a place beyond all logical comprehension. In my opinion it’s unique, and actually kind of genius in simplicity.
Heaven is a spaceship, that happens to be stuck in a black hole. I’d go into the details of this place, but I honestly don’t even know where to start. Lets just say that Laidlaw covered every ‘what if’ and ‘how is that possible’s’ very thoroughly, and once you’ve read the details… it doesn’t seem as far fetched as it sounds and first blush.
Lorna’s life on Earth comes back to her through distorted memories. They are hit and miss, some significant, and some not so much. They jump around in frame of time, leaving Lorna confused and sometimes beside herself. Her life experiences are uncovered little at a time, all the while she’s trying to adjust to her current living circumstances. Love, family, loss, friendship, and everything in between are unfolded through glimpses of memory. Once in a while I was a little confused, but oddly enough even that was fitting to the premise of the story line.
Ultimately I enjoyed the story and will be looking into the author further. I give it a 3.75 rating.

Thanks to the author and Reads and Reels Book Tours for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

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