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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. Columnist for The Conscious Talk Magazine.

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E-book’s and Amazon

Cover Reveal: Danu (line of Enya, book 2), by T.L Harty

Danu, by T.L. Harty is the second book in a YA Historical Fantasy packed to the brim with fascinating insight to a dangerously magical blood line. It was released just a few days ago and I can’t wait to read it. Stay tuned for a review, it’ll definitely be sooner than later!  I finished up the first book in the series just over a week ago and it was an excellent read.

Read the review for book one here: Review: Behold Ellowee: Destiny is Rarely Your Own, by T L Harty

Muriel is whisked away, safely nestled in Danu castle so she can’t be found.

Still coming to terms with her abilities, she begins to understand their importance, and gains more insight about her ancestry, as historical errors are revealed in a powerful way.

With so much to learn and loved ones to protect, she can’t afford to ignore the inevitable responsibility of her lineage.
Muriel is destined to complete the Council, which has been missing the Line of Enya seat for over 500 years.

Sometimes, life has to fall apart before it can finally come together.

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Review: Deity’s Soulmate, by Angelina Kerner 4 of 5 stars

My Review:

4 of 5 stars.

Deity’s Soulmate has the most uniquely modern twist on mythological aspects I’ve ever read. It’s different, and I love different. Gardenia is the daughter of Athena and Zeus. She has a bit of a temper, and often makes rash decisions. She lets her family and the fates press her buttons, and she’s known to act on emotions rather than thinking things through.

Her stubborn bull-headedness isn’t all bad though. After breaking the rules, checking out human kind in war without permission, and listening to some negative comments of belittlement from her family and one of the fates, Gardenia makes a split decision to create a Galaxy of her own. Such a task usually requires years of extensive training. It’s extremely taxing on the body and soul, and the complexities of creating life is far to overwhelming for a teenage goddess to understand.

Luckily Gardenia survives the first step. But, for punishment Zeus places her creation in a limbo state and requires her to train for quite an extensive period of time. Everyone is expecting her to fail. After her choice to seek out the help of dragons as her trainers rather than the obvious choice of her family, they all seem to stand against her even more. Gardenia uses the lack of faith in herself by her family to feed her determination. She seeks out the help of dragons to train her for the task at hand. What she finds in her journey is far from what she expected.

I really enjoyed the style of this story and am excited to read the next books in the series!  I enjoyed the fates. They’re deceptive and weave a path of destruction. It’s kind of like they are irritating in a perfect way. I love the approach Angelina took with Dragons! I felt like Gardenia was a bit juvenile. A part of me felt like that was necessary to the plot, and part of me not so much. Ultimately I really enjoyed the read, and will definitely be reading the next in the series!

Description:

From author Angelina Kerner (Seven Hours: Challenge Accepted) comes an all-new fantasy series about Gardenia, a daughter of Athena, and her 100 years of coursework on how to create whole new worlds and subjects of her own.

A sheltered schoolchild in a realm of condescending gods and goddesses, Gardenia goes to Earth on a dare to witness the unsavory side of mankind for herself. Believing she can do better, she undertakes the formation of an entire galaxy, but without permission from Zeus.

Zeus disciplines her by assigning an epic 13-fold creational lesson destined to take her a century to complete. But he is taken aback once more when she makes an odd choice. She vows to fulfill this knowledge quest by tracking down a lost race of dragons, and discovering the secrets they’ve kept since time began.

Searching the universe to meet even one dragon may be a fool’s errand, but that’s the least of her worries. For ancient wartime resentments linger between the nations of dragons and deities, and some dragons would attack Gardenia on sight!

Yet she ventures out undaunted, learning unexpected things about nomadic life, tender love, and mortal peril along the way. The biggest surprise of all, though, goes by the name of Ri. Ri may be the man of her dreams, the voice in her head, the dragon she’s seeking, or all these things and more…

Meanwhile, the Fates brew sordid plans of their own and Hera jealously sets traps and trials for Gardenia at every chance. What’s a young goddess to do? Flight or fight?

The Stone Arch Secret, by K. D. Dowdall @shanannigans81 #blogtour #thriller #giveaway

Genre:  Mystery/ Thriller/ Romance

Publication Date: January 2018

Blurb:

Twenty-eight-year-old cultural anthropologist, Lilly Allaire, receives a phone call telling her that Dax is dead.  The cause of death is unknown.

At the age of fourteen, best friends, Lilly and Dax, experience a traumatic incident. After the incident, Dax is institutionalized in a psychiatric hospital with total memory loss.  For Dax, his memory loss is an act of self-preservation.  Lilly still suffers a blocked memory of that day and has frequent nightmares.

Lilly decides to go back to Salmon Brook, her hometown, to find out the truth about the mysterious incident that left Dax in a catatonic state. Lilly has a chance meeting with a former high school classmate, Noah Hawthorne.

Noah remembers Lilly as his high school secret crush and offers to help her. Together, they try to unravel the mysterious incident that plagues Lilly’s dreams and turns them into nightmares.

However, Noah has a secret of his own, a dangerous secret, that will put Lilly in harm’s way.

Available on Amazon

The Stone Arch Secret Cover

About the Author

D. Dowdall, PhD, MSN, RN was born in New England and spent her elementary-grade school years in Granby, Connecticut. She graduated from FAU with a master’s degree in Clinical Research Nursing and has a PhD in clinical nutrition. K. D. is also a lover of ballet, jazz, ballroom dance, contemporary dance, and has had her own dance studio.  She has written songs, poetry, short stories, and now several fiction novels; a children’s fantasy adventure story, a historical mystery/murder with a dash romance and a third fiction novel almost complete;  a mystery thriller with romance. All are standalone novels.  Her next book is a series.

Along the way, it was her good fortune to live in the Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, and England. Each culture she experienced reinforced her belief that all cultures are rich in storytelling to explain their human hopes, dreams, struggles, and life experiences, often in magical fantasy presentations. K. D. still dances, loves swimming, scuba diving, and theatre.

KD Dowdall

https://karendowdall.com/

Giveaway: 2 Print Copies of The Stone Arch Secret

#ARC sign up! Choose Between 7 books, Amazon #kindle Gifted!

My writing buddy Kim and I are inviting all friends to an ARC read and review round! This means you will be gifted a FREE Amazon Kindle copy of one of the below books, in exchange for an honest review. The event is taking place between the 1st- 31st January 2018. The only polite request is, if you receive a copy of the book you signed up for, please read and leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads during January 2018. Note that all but three of these books are novella length, and should not take long to read. Feel free to forward this event onto anyone who you may feel is interested! Sharing is caring!!

Further descriptions on each book can be found on Amazon Author Pages here:

DIDI’s BOOKS

KIM’s BOOKS

We are both so excited for this freebie review round!! It’s a hell of a way to kick of the new year.  The requests have been coming in and neither of us can wait to see your shining reviews on Amazon and Goodreads!  Thank you readers!

LET ME CHOOSE MY FREE KINDLE GIFT, I’d LOVE TO LEAVE A REVIEW!

Happy Reading!!!

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Start 2018 With Free Books!

Hello Book Lovers!

My co-author and I are inviting you to our Author Review Copy read and review round…. this means freebies!
 

1st-31st January 2018

Would you like a FREE Amazon gifted copy of one of our books below? (plus more!!!) There’s no catch, we promise. We’re doing an ARC read and review round. Anyone who is interested in a book will be gifted a copy, in exchange for an honest review. Check out the blurbs, if something takes your fancy there’s a Google forms link THAT CAN BE FILLED OUT HERE to indicate your interest and you will receive a free copy directly. The link will be clickable at the bottom of post as well.
Happy New Year!
Happy Reading!

The Red Room, Romance In The City

The Red Room is book one of the Romance In The City novella series, of steamy and romantic standalone short stories.

Rita Lane lives a double life in her day job she’s a receptionist at the prestigious London Park Hotel. By night her adventures begin. As a thirty something year old woman she is content with her single status. Richard Clarkson a New York based guest at the Park Hotel has firmly closed the door to romance, after a rocky marriage. As soon as Rita checks Richard into the hotel as a guest the sparks and electricity between the two begin.

After hours, the day before Valentine’s Day , their paths cross in an unexpected way. Rita and Richard’s desire for each other is on maximum …. will they cross the line to become more than just friends? The Red Room is a steamy short story set in London with diverse characters that will leave you wanting more.
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Lover’s Retreat, Romance Set In Paradise

Lover’s Retreat is book #2 of the Romance Set in Paradise Series of stand alone modern, steamy, suspenseful and romantic stories. All set in exotic locations around the world.

For thirty seven year old recluse Yasmin O’Neil, life feels like one crisis after another. Her husband left her five years ago, she starts to suspect she’s losing her hearing, and then her mother is diagnosed with cancer. When her mother passes away her fortune changes. Yasmin is fifty thousand pounds richer from her mother’s estate. Yasmin takes her fate into her own hands after years of being a recluse, she rediscovers herself at a spiritual retreat in Sri Lanka south Asia, before she plans to spend the next six months travelling around the world. In Sri Lanka, Yasmin’s path crosses with Michael Thomas, an army soldier on his own path of self discovery. With their luke warm initial encounter the pair don’t hit it off straight away. After some push and pull the two are finally on the same page. Their encounter turns from luke warm to steamy sizzling hot.

In Lover’s Retreat two very different characters originally on different paths, embrace the need for change and companionship. Set in the back drop of paradise, palm trees and untouched nature of Sri Lanka, these two lonely souls gain more than just self discovery they gain a soul mate.

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The Suspenseful Collection Volume #1

For Mature Readers Only:

A suspenseful novel with a twist. Eight short stories, by two suspense authors, from diverse backgrounds. From opposite sides of the Atlantic these stories have been created. One author started the tale and the other ended it. No discussion, no pre-planning, but yet their stories are seamless. With just creativity and the use of writing prompts, to craft one tale, with two different writers. This anthology of suspenseful, fast paced and engaging tales covers multiple genres. From heart felt romance, crime, fantasy, and steamy historical fiction. There is a story for everyone!

Steamy Historical Crime Fiction: It was The First Time I Killed A Man.

It’s 1972 and New York’s first female serial killer Lisa Vanacilli is in the hot seat again, ten years after her conviction of murder to the first degree and innocent plea. The ruthless but sexy reporter Tiffany Low cracks Lisa for a confession… at a price. Lisa is strong, courageous and says it how it is. This story has been extended due to reader’s demand. And is only for adult readers.

Psychological Fiction: Every Time I Hear That Voice From The Basement.

George appears to be harmless. The local neighbourhood geek on the outside, married to Jolene. In reality, he’s a very disturbed man. His path crosses with Dana, the local check out girl. This is a psychological suspense story with a twist.

Crime Fiction: The Entrance To The Tunnel Is His Only Way Out.

Juan is a wanted man, and an ex-gang member on the run from Atlanta to Mexico. With a hundred grand in cash stolen from his ex-boss, he meets an unlikely fate in Mexico. A fast-paced crime fiction story.

Contemporary Romance: When His Hands Run Up My Thighs I…

Love has no time limit, age limit or use by date. Sarah now in her fifties is reunited with her long-lost love Joshua. They last had contact in 1961. In the present day, thanks to the advancement of technology their paths cross. A heart-warming and modern tale, about long distance love, that will leave you warm inside.

Suspense: We Only Said Goodbye With Words, I Died A Hundred Times:

In 1963 Russian Femme Fatale Mila Petrov is London’s top Madam. Her entertainment house is booming, she has a team of London’s strongest women behind her. Unfinished business from her past creeps up and haunts her. It’s nothing she can’t handle. A suspenseful historical tale, with a strong femme fatale.

Fantasy: The Ones Who Live At The Bottom Of The Ocean, Come To The Surface.

A beautiful coming of age story, featuring sixteen year old Zoe and her mother May-Li. Myth becomes reality, as Zoe finds out who and what she really is. Her mixed descent reveals more than what meets the eye. This fantasy story is set against the backdrop of a Greek island and Hong Kong, China.

Suspenseful Crime Fiction: Guilty As Charged, In Self-Defence

California’s sassy, tough, and likeable defence lawyer Catherine has taken on a case so high profile, if she wins she’ll become a partner of Martin Law Firm. Defending forty six year old Mrs. Chevelle. An ex Las Vegas show girl, now a Hollywood wife, on trial for the murder of her high-profile husband. She claims she’s innocent. Readers are taken on a fast -paced journey on a mission to seek the truth.

Contemporary Fiction: It’s A Man’s Man’s World:

A beautiful modern tale showing the love and appreciation of a woman. James Brown said it right when he said, “it’s a man’s man’s world, but it would mean nothing without a woman or a girl.”

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Search For Maylee

Since Maylee was abducted from her high school the very month of graduation, her Aunt Autumn has never lost hope in finding her. It’s been three years. Autumn has finally reached inside herself and found the courage to track down an old lead. She moves across the country to find him. Will Autumn be able to pry Maylee’s case back open? More importantly, what will Autumn uncover in the process of searching for Maylee? It’s a cold dark world we live in, and she is about to find out just how cruel it can be. Strength and determination are on Autumn’s side and she will do what ever it takes.

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Havana Heat
THIS IS FREE NOW ON AMAZONHavana Heat is book one of the Romance Set in Paradise series of modern,steamy, suspenseful and romantic stories, set in exotic locations around the world. In Havana Heat readers are transported to the paradise of Cuba’s capital Havana, following the romance and heat build between Spaniard Detective Sebastian Garcia, and London born and bred wedding planner Melinda Jones. Melinda’s path crosses with the handsome and charming Detective at Casa De Amour Hotel as a guest at her client’s exotic location wedding. Both characters are in search of a slice of paradise, away from their own troubled love life back home. Once their paths cross the romance and sizzle begins.

When all hell breaks out at Casa De Amour Hotel, and conflict builds over their past both characters are faced with a decision to take a risk and see out their romance, or walk away. Forever asking themselves what could have been. Romance, thrills and excitement await in book one of this modern romance series set in paradise.

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YES PLEASE I’D LOVE AN AMAZON GIFT
ENTER YOUR EMAIL ON THIS FORM

Overcoming #PTSD With the Help of Reading and Writing – Guest Post, by Lynn Hammond

I have Lynn Hammond here with an inspiring guest post about how she developed a love for reading and eventually writing as an outlet in learning to live and cope with PTSD. Lynn’s message is short yet extremely powerful. Hopefully her post will persuade others to follow her lead in finding a positive outlet of their own. I’m so grateful that Lynn was able to turn to books in aid of her grief and trauma. Lynn currently has one book of her own released and available, and another one coming soon! I personally can’t wait to give them each a read!

(If you’d like to be considered for a guest post visit here!)

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Now, let’s hear from Lynn:

May 11, 2011 my life changed.

My father left my house on a motorcycle.

About five minutes later we heard several different siren sounds.

An ambulance went down our road several times with the sirens on. My husband decided he wants to go find out what was going on.

That day I lost my father and I lost myself.

It took two years to recover from his death.

I went to a facility for seven weeks to do Cognitive therapy. These classes help recovery from PTSD. My assignment was “pick one hobby to do”. I picked reading. After seven weeks’ I could read a whole book without distractions.

I have been reading one book every two days. I notice that this helps me relax and imagine myself in the romance stories.

When I started reviewing books on Amazon I notice the authors were sending me Facebook request. I really enjoyed talking with them, playing games on their sites, and just helping them with characters in their book.

I went to my first RT convention in Atlanta, GA. I decided why not try to write. I really enjoyed the atmosphere. I ask several authors about my ideas and they loved it and encouraged me to write.

I like New Adult Romance because it is exciting. At the beginning adult stages, the teenagers are experimenting. They want to be grown-ups. As a teenager once myself you are so full of life and you have so many obstacles to face.

I have a lot of stories to tell and one day I hope to get them all out.

Thanks for Listen,

Lynn Hamond

Lynn’s book Alaskan Love Voyage can be purchased on: Nook, B&N, Kobo, Apple, as well as Kindle!

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Alaskan Love Voyage Excerpt:

Otis

I’ve been in this tiny stateroom for one hour. When I got inside the room, there was only one bed. I picked up the phone and called downstairs. They told me that the beds will separate into two full-size ones.

After twenty minutes of getting the beds separated and our luggage put up, I am starving. I decide to call our friends and see where they are. They tell me there weren’t enough tickets left for everyone, so they decided to change their plans. They are going to celebrate Christmas with a road trip closer to home. Great. I guess I should have checked with them first. At least now I can spend as much time with Keegan as I want. I decide to see what she’s up to.

Me: Hey you ready to eat?

Keegan: Yeah, let me get some clothes on, and I’ll meet you at the elevator.

Me: Shoot, I am heading that way to help you. ❤

Keegan: Maybe tonight.

She didn’t say no! I get a feeling that this girl is going to be hard to let go of when our cruise is done. She is beautiful, sassy, smart, and has a body with all the curves a man wants. I push Carl out the door, and we head to meet Keegan.

She is waiting right where she said. She has put on a pair of leggings with Christmas lights on them, and a reindeer sweatshirt. She has short, black Ugg boots on. The whole ensemble is really cute and accentuates her curves. When I get to her, I can smell a vanilla and cinnamon fragrance. She smells like a homemade apple pie. I am suddenly thankful our friends couldn’t make it. I wrap my arm around her shoulders and lean into her.

“Tonight, I am going to eat the best Apple pie,” I whisper in her ear and she shudders. Let the games begin.

We all get on the elevator and push the third-floor button. Carl is staring out the glass window, talking about the hot women he saw while walking in front of the slot machine room. Neither of us is paying any attention to him. Keegan has melted against me, snuggling her head on my chest. All I can think about is getting her in bed and showing her she’s mine.

The elevator stops, and we walk out, heading toward the dining area. Tonight is steak and lobster. There are already people standing at the door, waiting to be seated. After about fifteen minutes, we are taken to a table. We are sitting with other people because the ship must accommodate everyone. As long as no other guy sits with us, I don’t have a problem with it.

The waiter arrives to get our drink orders, and Carl motions for me to look behind me. When I turn around, I see a woman I recognize. She is wearing a little, formfitting, red satin dress and is heading towards our table. She sits down beside me and starts talking to the man on her other side.

I suddenly realize who she is, and my heart skips a beat. Shoot! Breathe. That’s what I need to do. That was my professor’s wife I slept with. She has changed her hair from dark brown to light brown with auburn color streaks. This cannot be happening. I look over to Carl, who is laughing quietly at the table. Keegan has now turned to him and is asking what’s so funny. I can feel the sweat running down my back. I open my phone and text him.

Ding. He hides the phone under the table before looking at it.

Otis: Man, we got to find another table.

Carl: Hell no, this place is packed and I am hungry. Just don’t make eye contact with that woman. If she says anything to you, pretend you didn’t hear her.

Like that’s gonna help. I slide my chair closer to Keegan and wrap my arm around her shoulders. The waiter arrives with our beverages. He takes all our orders and walks off to plug them into the computer.

“So, Keegan, what kind of job do you do?” I ask, keeping my attention on her.

“I am a bartender at Whisky River in Charlotte, North Carolina,” she says.

The woman beside me snorts, and then laughs. This is not making things easier. Keegan opens her mouth to say something, but I close it with my lips. She smiles. Crisis averted for now.

“During the day, I go to school. I am taking engineering classes now, and then I will transfer to do civil engineering,” she continues after our kiss.

The whole table gets quiet, and all eyes are on her. I am shocked that a woman would want to do that kind of work, and it looks like I’m not the only one. But somehow, it only makes her hotter.

“Wow! That is so cool. I think I am in love with you,” Carl beats me to it.

“Really? You’re going into engineering? That’s a man’s job,” the woman beside me says.

She seems really determined to insert herself in our conversation.

“I’m sorry, what is your name?” Keegan asks her.

I am now biting my tongue, praying it’s not Dina, or that she won’t talk about our time together.

“It’s Dina! The man beside you used to call me his angel in bed,” she says.

Shit! Keegan looks pissed. She stands up, throws her napkin down, and excuses herself from the table. I watch her walk off, unable to follow. I am stunned. I don’t know what to do.

“Otis, I am so sorry I said that. I will get up and apologize,” Dina says.

“Hell no, stay away from her and stay away from me,” I say abruptly. Hasn’t she done enough harm already? I push out of my chair and chase after Keegan.

I find her halfway down the hall and start jogging after her. She turns around, and the look on her face is pure anger. Her cheeks are splotchy and her neck is streaked red. She holds her hand up for me to stop where I am.

“Look, I am sorry I got up and left, but what that woman said brought back some memories, and I just lashed out. I had a fiancé; his name was Bishop. I walked into work a little early, one day, and he was having sex with my best friend in the supply closet. He told her she fucked like an angel,” she says, crying.

Now I understand her reaction. I walk over and put my arms around her, and just let her cry. I don’t understand why a man would want to cheat on her. I have known her for a day, and I want to keep her forever.

After a few minutes, she pulls away and wipes her eyes. “I am so sorry I fussed at you. It is not your fault, what my ex did. What you did, with that woman in there, is not my business.”

“That happened months ago, and I don’t really want to talk about it. I was being a punk back then, and I used her to get a good grade in school,” I say, hoping this is the end of it.

As we turn to leave, we hear Carl calling our names. He runs up, out of breath, bending down with his hands on his knees. You would think he ran a marathon.

“Hey, guys, were you going to leave me in there, with those crazy people? Hey, there is a pub restaurant one floor up. Let’s go try the Ultimate Skillet burger,” he says.

Why not? It’s not like we’re going back in there anyway, and we’re still hungry. I grab Keegan’s hand, and we head towards the elevator.

We make it to this place, on the next level, called The Salty Dog. We head in and take a seat at

Lynn also has a new book coming soon!

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A bit more about Lynn Hammond:

Lynn Hammond works fulltime as a LPN but writes at night. She lives in Rock Hill, South Carolina. She is a RWA member. She loves to make children’s tutu in her spare time. Every night before bed she takes time to read. She loves romance, paranormal romance, and erotica. She is a proud mother of three beautiful girls, two beautiful grandbabies, two boxer pups, two lizards, four ducks, and love spending time with her husband riding in her father’s old corvette. She is a new author writing New Adult romance and would love to hear for readers. You can contact her by email, lynnhammondauthor@gmail.com. To find out more, please visit her face book page at https://www.facebook.com/lynnhammond.10888.

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Embracing Hope, by Janelle Butler Wojtowicz #blogtour #excerpt @shanannigans81

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Embracing Hope

Janell Butler Wojtowicz

Genre: Christian Romance/ Clean Romance

Published: November 2016

Blurb:

Take a poignant look into the broken heart and daily struggles of Christian college dean Drew McKinley. The story chronicles the turbulent first year in his desperate journey to understand God’s motives for the sudden death of his wife and his quest to find hope in his future.

Crossing his perilous path are Allison, a graduate student and new employee in the dean’s office, and Chris, the handsome but egotistical student senate president.

The road Drew must navigate is fraught with career upheaval, a reawakening heart and the struggle for forgiveness and restoration. Will Drew finish his journey to embrace the hope God offers, the love Allison shares and the guidance Chris needs, or will he turn his back on all three with catastrophic consequences?

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt from “Embracing Hope”

When Drew got back to his condo after breakfast with Mitch, he took recycling bins from the garage and headed straight for his office. He pulled open the top drawer of the filing cabinet, labeled “Dissertation,” removed all the folders and tossed everything in a bin with a satisfying thump. He turned on the TV for company and for the next several hours sorted through files and books, occasionally reading, mostly shredding. Taking the framed photo from the bookshelf, he wrapped the UConn afghan around it and placed it carefully in his briefcase. Sitting down at the computer, he composed a new email.

Dr. Cavanaugh,

Thank you so much for the opportunity to serve as Dean of Students at Riley University. Riley is an outstanding university devoted to its students and committed to serving God. It’s been a privilege to work here.

However, it is in the best interests of the university and its students that I resign the position of Dean of Students, effective immediately. I will contact Human Resources upon your acceptance of my resignation to complete the necessary exit procedures.

Blessings,

Andrew McKinley

Without hesitation, Drew hit “Send.”

He looked up a phone number on his contact list. “Ed, this is Drew McKinley. Could you give me a call as soon as you can? I need to put the condo up for sale.”

Next he went online and checked flights to Hartford. He frowned at the airfare, but booked a one-way ticket for eleven the next morning. He perused the online career section of the Chronicle of Higher Education and made notes.

Going into his bedroom, Drew hauled out a suitcase from the back of the closet and laid it on the unmade bed. He pulled out clothes from the bureau, placed them in the suitcase and stuffed a couple of suits in a garment bag. The bottle of pills on the bed stand caught his eye. He poured out two, then two more, and swallowed all four without water. Closing and moving the suitcase to the floor, he lay on the crumpled linens. He glanced at the clock: 2:38. Closing his eyes, he let the memories—bittersweet as they were—engulf him.

He saw his preschool teacher leading him to his little desk as his mother lingered in the doorway.

He saw himself as an eight-year-old on his knees next to the bed asking Jesus into his heart.

He saw his mother taking a picture of him in his high school cap and gown.

He saw Kendra grinning across the table in the student union, a dollop of whipped cream from the latte on her nose.

He saw her floating down the aisle on her father’s arm.

He saw Tony behind his desk, interviewing him on a sunny, spring day.

He saw him and Kendra kissing in the gazebo during orientation.

He saw the white casket being put inside the white hearse.

He saw Allison at the Christmas party in the sparkly green dress.

He saw her with Eliza nestled in her arms.

He saw the red car with the bashed-in rear fender in the ramp.

The shrill squeal of the phone sliced through his ears, a crack of thunder shook his bed, and Drew bolted upright in the darkened room. The red numbers of the clock glowed 9:12. He leaped out of bed, but when he stood his legs buckled, and he fell over the suitcase onto the floor. The phone screamed at him again. Like a flood, the dream from the bus rushed back: the storm … the ramp … the exit sign … footsteps … Allison!

Available for Purchase

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Enter for a chance to win a digital copy of “Embracing Hope” by Janell Butler Wojtowicz

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About the Author

Janell Butler Wojtowicz

Janell Butler Wojtowicz, born and raised on an Iowa farm, was one of those kids who loved to write the dreaded “What I did on summer vacation” essay. She wrote stories for her own enjoyment, including a short story about a teenage drug addict—something of which she knew nothing about. Her cousin illustrated the cover using Halloween orange paper featuring a hypodermic needle.

Janell attended the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, Minnesota, earning a bachelor’s degree in, naturally, Written Communication, adding a Journalism Emphasis. She returned to Iowa where she worked as a reporter/editor at three small town newspapers for 10 years.

Janell left the small town Iowa life when she married, Frank Wojtowicz, a family friend who lived in Minneapolis. (By the way, her Polish last name is pronounced “Why-tow-vitch.) She worked in public relations at her alma mater, the University of Northwestern; Leadership Foundations, a nonprofit organization supporting inner-city Christian ministries; and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. Today, Janell owns a freelance service, A Portrait in Words, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.

Much of Janell’s writing has been the “people stories” of trial, tragedy and triumph, which are reflected in her debut novel, “Embracing Hope.” The idea for the novel came after watching a BBC version of “Jane Eyre” in 2007. That night she dreamed the beginning, pivotal scene in the middle and the ending of “Embracing Hope”, and began writing it the next day. Unlike her first story, she was very familiar with the setting of “Embracing Hope”: a Christian college campus.

She and Frank, live in New Brighton, Minnesota, a pleasant suburb of the Twin Cities. She has two step-sons, a step-daughter-in-law, and three step-granddaughters.

Janell Butler Wojtowicz| Facebook | Amazon | Goodreads| Twitter

Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours

Blog Tour: Embracing Hope by Janell Butler Wojtowicz

Schedule

Dec 18th
Reads & Reels (Feature Promo) http://www.readsandreels.com
Love Books Group (Excerpt) http://www.lovebooksgroup.blog
The Christian Fiction Girl (Interview) https://christianfictiongirl.blog
Dec 19th
The Bookworm Chronicles (Excerpt) http://muretbookworm.wordpress.com
Book Reviews by Shalini (Excerpt) http://www.bookreviewsbyshalini.wordpress.com
Dec. 20th
Captive Dreams Window (Review) https://captivedreamswindow.wordpress.com/
Reading is My Superpower (Promo) http://readingismysuperpower.org/
Dec. 21st
Didi Oviatt (Excerpt) https://didioviatt.com
Tenntwo Musings (Review) https://tenntwo.wordpress.com/
Dec. 22nd
Literary Dust (Excerpt) https://literarydust.wordpress.com
Discerning Lillies (Review) http://discerninglillies.wordpress.com
Dec. 23rd
Kristin’s Novel Café (Review)  https://knovelcafe.wordpress.com
Book Lover in Florida (Promo) http://bookloverfl12.wordpress.com

Yearly Bookish Goals

The tail end of 2016 was a pivotal point for me in SO many bookish ways! Some sort of switch flipped with my outlook on life, and my permanent take on goal setting. I’ve been writing for years, but kind of just kept to myself about the whole shebang. Aside from a few friends and family members, not a soul in the world knew my name as an author.

It wasn’t until I released Aggravated Momentum in the Fall of 2016 that I got a boost of confidence in my writing and decided to start putting myself out there. (It’s still my favorite book of all my works too BTW!) At the end of October 2016 I started this blog. Then at the tail end of November 2016 I started my Twitter account, my FB Author Page, my Amazon Author Page, and an Instagram account, AND I actually started logging on and updating all of my reads on Goodreads.

To shorten my story… At the end of 2016 I started building my Author platform!

I can’t believe it’s been a full year since I decided to center my toes on that exhilarating starting line to a real writing career!  Now more than ever, I completely understand the concept that, ‘successful writing a marathon, not a sprint.’ In so many ways I still feel like a toddler, taking tiny little calculated baby steps every single day toward the finish line. It’s a slow climb, and I’ve enjoyed every single pebble in passing. I still have a long way to go, but the difference one year has brought is insanely exciting!

Just about this time last year I sat myself down and actually wrote a list of goals that I wanted to accomplish in 2017 and beyond. It was the first time in my entire life that I’d actually done that! (I know, I know… why did it take me until my 30s to figure this necessity of life out?)

Anyhow, my list wasn’t a resolution at all.  I was already set to work at my goals, and if anything they were more of a lifestyle change… This pivotal point just so happened to fall at the very time of year that people set utterly unpractical New Years resolutions that they usually don’t stick to for more than a couple months, if that. I even wrote a post a bout it called Why make resolutions when you’re already making your dreams come true!?

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Looking back now in reflection I actually nailed EVERY SINGLE thing I set my mind to for this year! I set my goals as challenging, yet practical. It all felt like a lot at the time, but that was totally fine, because if it wasn’t big goals then I knew I’d slack off and let my progress grow stagnant. Here’s a short list of the goals I had set for and accomplished in 2017:

  • Read at least 50 books.  I set the magical 2017 TBR number at 50 because there are 52 weeks in a year, yet that’s kind of an ugly number. I wanted a nice even clean number lol. I get that tons of book bloggers shoot for a hundred in a year and try to read a book every couple days, but come on now. I said practical goals, right? Being a mom of two young kids who aren’t yet in school all day, but are still old enough for T-ball, swim class, toddler time, preschool, and summer camps… along  with my part time ‘day job’, dedication to wifelyness, and book writing… lets just say I figured that reading a book a week was pushing myself.  I’m proud to say that as of today Goodreads announced my year of books at a shining number of 51!!!  Wahooo, go reading goals!
  • Finish and publish my (at the time) work in progress Search For Maylee. On Oct. 6th 2017 Search For Maylee was released, but I didn’t stop there!  I also wound up releasing a two book short story collection called the Time Wasters as well as the first Vol. of a suspenseful short story collaboration The Suspenseful Collection.
  • Build up the Blog to over 1000 followers and Twitter to at least 2000. This goal was tricky. I actually had started these accounts the same time as my Facebook and Instagram accounts, but I knew that it would be way too time consuming to build them all at a rapid pace. So I picked the two that I felt where more important to work on right out the gate and focused mainly on that. Awesomely enough, I nailed these goals too!  As of today I have 1220 WordPress followers, and 2495 twitter followers!
  • Look into and dabble some with Freelance. I actually ended up landing my very first ever Freelance job, and I love it more than I ever would have imagined loving a job!!!  The Conscious Talk Magazine is a fresh new mag that I’ve been writing for since the very first issue was released on the last day in Sept 2017.  So far I have 23 articles published. The fellow writers for the Mag are ALL so amazing, and I’m so excited to watch it continue to grow and flourish!

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Now, for 2018… What shall my goals be?  I’m thinking something like this:

  • Read: at least 50 books AGAIN for the second year in a row.
  • Write and Publish: books two and three of the start in my New Age Lamian Trilogy.
  • Freelance: Continue to Grow at the Conscious Talk Magazine, as well as finding and working on a local project of sorts. I’d like to try writing copy, but will definitely explore my options, before settling on a goal that particular!
  • Social Media Growth: I’d like to continue a steady incline here on WordPress as well as Twitter, but plan to spend more time growing my Facebook and Instagram presence.  I want to see each of those accounts at least double in size and interactive activity. My biggest social media goal for 2018 will be in Goodreads though!!  I want to triple my friend list as well as my followers (wish me luck, and if I’m not already your friend there then please oh please let me know!  Lets connect on Goodreads friends!!)
  • Book Marketing:  This is my MAIN FOCUS FOR 2018! My audience has had a steady growth in 2017 so I really want to really focus marketing my stuff in 2018. I’m officially making it a goal to grow my email list, book tours and promos, Social Media collaborations and book campaigns, build a strong presence in book clubs, volunteer for a youth event of sorts, do at least two signings, schedule/sign up for local events to show a face in (be it Library or otherwise), get back to querying agents for future works, and again… spend much much much more needed time on Goodreads!

There we have it!!  I hope I haven’t left out anything big lol!!

Good luck with your goals, book nerds!!  I know I’ll need all the luck I can get too!!

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Follow the Snowflakes, by Angelina Kerner #blogtour #review @shanannigans81 @KernerAngelina

Follow the Snowflakes: A Christmas Novella

Follow the Snowflakes front cover.jpgAuthor Name: Angelina Kerner

Book Title: Follow the Snowflakes: A Christmas Novella

Date Published: December 15, 2017

Genre: Chick-lit/ Contemporary Romance

At 28, it’s bad to be single. After four years of relationship struggles, Cat is ready to try anything.

That’s when her friend tells her about her class’ Dear Santa letters. One little boy asked for a new mommy, and she suggests Cat meets the kid’s dad, just to see where things go. Cat figures it can’t hurt…until she meets a stranger in the midst of a car accident. The man is handsome with a sad look in his eyes. He still wears a wedding band and she’s not sure his heart’s available, even if he makes her heart race. But, maybe he’s a widower? Cat wonders if she should resign herself to being an old maid, or whether she could possibly be the answer to a little boy’s Christmas wish, unless there’s a third option – a future with the stranger.

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About the Author

Angelina Kerner

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.

Angelina Kerner | Facebook| Twitter

Where Dragons Reside |Pinterest | Goodreads

Pre-Order Now

Amazon| Kobo

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MY REVIEW:

Follow the Snowflakes is a beautiful Christmas novella! Everything about this little page turner is lovely. The love story within is light hearted, wholesome, gripping, and heartstring tugging. It’s the type of romance that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages, from teens to seniors. It has a classy modern feel to it, which is in my opinion wonderfully authentic.

Cat is a great main character. She’s a down to earth, multi-talented, pleasant, and independent gal. Unfortunately, up until the present day at 28 years old she’s thus far in life been utterly unlucky in love. The book jumps in right in the middle of a break up just before the holidays. Cat doesn’t want her mom to find out about it, so she’s trying to avoid and juggle seeing her family for Christmas. Her best friend Regina is an elementary school teacher with an adorable student who’s daddy was  recently widowed. The child had written a very touching letter to Santa as a school assignment. In the letter he asked for a mommy to make his daddy happy again.

Regina suggests setting Cat up with the dad, yet she is reluctant and would rather avoid the awkwardness of being set up blindly. Cat winds up a witness to a hit and run accident, luckily so too because she is able to help out the victim, Hunter, who happened to be on his way to the hospital at the time of the accident.

Hunter is a very handsome charismatic guy and the two wind up helping and leaning on one another throughout the Christmas season. They are both in charge of work holiday parties, and in a bind. They’re able to combine forces and mix the parties as one.
I love the pull that Cat and Hunter have toward one another, and I love the way everything weaves together so seamlessly. It is a very light read, perfect for a one sitting self-pamper to set the mood for an uplifting Christmas spirit.

I’d like to thank the author as well as R&R Book Tours for the free E-Book in exchange for my honest review. I rate this book 4 of 5 stars.

 

Excerpt

Sunday

December 17th, 2017

Dear Diary,

When I eventually return to read my entries in my old age, I’ll always remember just how miserable I was in December of 2017. I should have had a diary when I was a teen; then it would have been funny to re-read what I went through back then. When I was in high school, I didn’t have many friends. In fact, my mother introduced me to a girl on the day of orientation. Here’s the story:

Mom parked her car, and we got out. She began looking for all the gathered students outside of the gymnasium. I knew no one at the high school and Mom knew that too. It was mainly because I finished middle school in a different district and at that moment, I was not happy about the move. I gazed at the students and my Mom. She had that glint in her eyes that said a plan was forming and I could do nothing to stop it. After a minute, she motioned me to follow her and I did, just like the good girl that I was. We walked up to two girls. One had long brown hair and was wearing a loose shirt and long skirt, while the other had short blonde hair, glasses and wore a tiger t-shirt with jeans. Mom told them how it would be nice for them to take little old me into their friendship. They said ‘sure,’ and she just left me there.

You see Diary? Now those are memories. Memories of dating an engaged guy at 28, is not as good as that one, huh?

If you’re wondering, I couldn’t really make friends with the long skirt. She and I were too different. She was very opinionated, and I couldn’t hold a conversation without being confused. The glasses girl and I stayed friends until the first year of college. We grew apart after she moved away. I did hear from her once. She congratulated me on my degree. It was random. She sounded happy, and she met her life partner. I was happy for her, but that conversation didn’t rekindle the friendship that lasted for five years.

Now, I am off to work. Yes, I’m working today, although it’s a Sunday. There are branches open on Sundays; I am talking about the ones inside the grocery stores. My friend, Jessica, who’s a manager at one, called me to cover for her today because she has a cold. I couldn’t say no, so I need to go. Oh, and she told me to buy her crew breakfast! At least, we’re only open until 2 pm today.

Cat

PS: Buy those groceries TONIGHT, or you’ll be eating Chinese noodles, and not the take-out ones.

Giveaway

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I have the sweetest Giveaway for the tour – pictured here – & open worldwide.

Included is a Wine bottle Christmas tree, chocolates, Rudolph hot chocolate with Snowflake marshmallows, a Christmas tree ornament and a signed copy of Seven Hours: Challenge Accepted.

While you read, you can enjoy chocolate!

Angelina XO

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours

Blog Tour Schedule

Dec. 11th

Reads & Reels (Featured Promo) http://www.readsandreels.com

Book Reviews by Shalini (Excerpt) www.bookreviewsbyshalini.wordpress.com

Darque Dreamer Reads (Review) https://darquedreamerreads.wordpress.com

Gemma’s Book Reviews (Review) http://www.gemmmasbookreviews.wordpress.com

Dec. 12th

Jen Med’s Book Reviews (Review) http://Jenmedsbookreviews.com

Romantic Reads and Such (Review) http://romanticreadsandsuch.wordpress.com

Loves Books Group (Review) http://www.lovesbooksgroup.blog

Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com

Nesie’s Place (Excerpt) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

Dec. 13th

Book Inspector Blog (Review) https://bbookinspector.wordpress.com

Spunky n’ Sassy (Review) http://spunky-n-sassy.blogspot.com

Endless Reading Blog (Review) http://endlessreading.wordpress.com

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

Novel Gossip (Review) https://novelgossip.com

Dec. 14th

Books to Get Lost In (Review) http://bookstogetlostin.blogspot.ca

J Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com

Portable Magic (Review) http://portablemagic.net

Bookish Lifestyle (Review) http://www.evie-bookish.blogspot.com

Book Lover in Florida (Review) http://bookloverfl12.wordpress.com

Dec. 15th

On the Shelf Reviews (Review) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

Splashes into Books (Review) http://splashesintobooks.wordpress.com

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