Posted in Fundraiser, Short Story, Spotlight, women on May 8, 2014

fight like a girl


“Even non-girls will feel empowered by these stories about ordinary, flawed characters finding their own strengths. Highly entertaining and original.”

Lee Goldberg, New York Times bestselling author of The Chase and King City, whose mother lost her hearing to lupus.

Women of TV have united against lupus! Presenting Empower: Fight Like A Girl, a special collection of short stories by top women writers from some of your favorite shows, including: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Family Guy, Person of Interest, Grimm, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Law & Order: SVU, Star Trek: Voyager, Eureka, Twisted, The 100, Malcolm in the Middle, Millennium, Being Human, The Shield, Castle, Chuck, Gilmore Girls, and Game of Thrones. In this anthology, you’ll discover supernatural thrillers, crime mysteries, horror, comedies, and more.

Authors contributing stories to this volume include:

All proceeds will be donated to the non-profit Lupus Foundation of America to help solve the cruel mystery of lupus.


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Posted in e-books, Free, New Adult, romance, Spotlight on May 7, 2014


is celebrating her One Year Indie Anniversary and to celebrate her debut novel
Let Love In
It is now FREE until May 11th!!!!
What would happen if you lost everything? If the people who were
supposed to love you unconditionally were no longer there for you, how
would your world change?That’s exactly what happened to
Madeleine Becker when her parents died when she was ten years old.
Ripped from her home and everything that she has ever loved, she is
forced to start all over again. The only way for her to move on is to
build walls around her heart and keep everyone at a safe distance. Her
logic: she can’t get hurt if she doesn’t fall in love.That
theory is blown to pieces when she meets Reid Connely during her
freshman year at college. He is gorgeous and darkly mysterious. He
understands Maddy’s pain all too well, but sharing his pain would mean
breaking down the walls he put up around his own heart. Conflicted
between loving Maddy and hiding his dark past, Reid starts to reevaluate
his world. Maddy’s inner strength, snarky personality and breath
taking beauty help Reid to make peace with his past.


Together they find out what happens when they Let Love In.




Melissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in
college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed
her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English
teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism
of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a
classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream.
Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she
was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance
novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the
characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of
her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain
and The Love Series was born.


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Posted in Blog tour, e-books, Giveaway, Historical, Spotlight, Western on May 7, 2014

Forced to Love banner 2


Forced to Love A

Title: Forced to Love
Author: Sky Alexander
Publisher: Rising Phoenix Inc.
Pages: 140
Genre: Historical Western Romance
Format: Kindle


Purchase at AMAZON

FORCED TO LOVE is the newest book in Sky Alexander’s series The Fires of Love & Hate (Historical Romance Collection).

“Inspiration can come from anywhere, but nothing is more uplifting and irresistible to me as a new Sky Alexander novel. This is one of my new favorites, (with FORCED TO LOVE) Sky Alexander shows his unique writing style that reminds us of how great historical romance and western romance can be written that reminds you of classics but with new addictive twists that are uplifting and intriguing in The Fires of Love & Hate (Historical Romance Collection). Hattie really shows that through thick and then love for your family is one of the most important things.” ~Heather Goodreads

FORCED TO LOVE is spell-bounding and one of my new favorite historical romance stories that is sure to be around for a long time. You must read this!” ~ Juanita Goodreads

Hattie Morran is a poor dirt farmers daughter in Missouri. Suddenly Hattie finds that her life is changed in the blink of an eye and she is forced to love Abner Garland. Now her Western Romance which is purely a façade for show and to save her family will soon come to an end.

“But what about their anger?” Hattie asked. “Jess and Abner will be furious.”

“Furious doesn’t even begin to describe how they’re going to react. Even though I probably shouldn’t, I am going to set them up with handsome allowances. What can they do? I’m of sound mind. So, Miss Hattie, when you marry Abner, I will give you nine-tenths of my fortune, and the remainder will be yours at my death.”

From the moment that you are brought into the book you will be immediately part of the western romance in the middle of the south. The Fires of Love & Hate Series will keep you right in the middle of a tale that is based on some true and historical events. This Historical Romance series is sure to be you’re new favorite.



Standing quietly in an upper bedroom of the beautiful Garland Mansion, Hattie Morran gazed out the open window over the lush, green grounds known as the Silver Creek Estate.  Her wedding dress and auburn hair fluttered lightly in the soft Missouri breeze as she sighed dishearteningly.  The cold steel of her Colt 45, nestled among the flowers of her wedding bouquet, belied the picture of a beautiful bride awaiting her once in a lifetime moment.

Without breaking her gaze, she began talking to her sister, who sat silently on a sapphire blue settee in the middle of the ornately decorated room.  “So help me God, Dakota,” Hattie said with great conviction, “if Abner does not come across with my demands this time, this will be the shortest marriage on record!”

Knowing Hattie was not one to mess around, Dakota leaned forward with concern.  “What do you plan to do, Sis?”

Turning in Dakota’s direction, Hattie slowly lowered her bouquet, reached in, and cocked the revolver.  “Put it this way . . . if he doesn’t, the man is goin’ to meet up with an untimely death . . . or I am goin’ to shoot off the only thin’ in life that Jackass holds dear.”

Hearing the revolver being cocked, Dakota replied in shock, “You wouldn’t!”

“Oh wouldn’t I?  Just you hide and watch, Sister Dear.  Believe me, I’ve taken just about all I’m goin’ to take from Abner Garland.  At this point, I’d just as soon kill him than look at him!  Of course, I can’t do that because I love his Mama so much, and even though he is a despicable person, he is her son.”  With her feelings for Abner’s mother, Rebecca Garland, calming her, Hattie reached back into her bouquet and uncocked the revolver.

Tilting her head to one side, Dakota let out a long, labored breath.  “To tell the truth, I can’t blame you, Sis.  With all that Abner has put you through, I understand perfectly your wantin’ to kill him.  I just hope everythin’ goes exactly as his mother has planned.”  Then, rising to her feet and walking in Hattie’s direction, Dakota held up a small handkerchief edged in lace.  “Is this the blue one?” she asked, staring straight ahead.

Hattie looked down at the pale blue handkerchief and then at her sister.  “Yes, Honey, it’s the blue one, thank you.”

“I really wish I could see you in your weddin’ dress, Hattie,” Dakota said somberly.  “It’s times like this when I really miss bein’ able to see.”

Hattie thought for a moment and fell silent.  She was so used to her sister’s condition that she tended to forget how hard it was for her.  Dakota Jayne (often referred to as Cody) had tragically been left blind by an unknown illness at the tender age of six, but through time, sheer determination, and a staunch refusal to be limited by the hand she had been dealt in life, Dakota had learned to cope very well.

To the casual observer, Dakota appeared perfectly normal.  Strangers, in fact, were stunned when informed of her blindness, as her beautiful blue eyes looked healthy and moved about freely yet deliberately, appearing to survey everything with the thoroughness of a sleuth.  In addition, the family made sure that her surroundings remained constant, and in doing so, Dakota knew instinctively how many steps to chairs, tables, and the doors.  Her familiarity with her environment coupled with an extremely keen sense of hearing that allowed her to place people by the sounds that they made enabled Dakota to move about with the greatest of ease.  It was only when she was in new or unfamiliar places that she became unsure of herself.  On the arm of a trusted friend, however, she handled herself with poise and elegance, never letting on to her handicap.  Always the life of the party, Dakota was quick-witted, had an effervescent smile, and was even a delightful dancing partner.  Looking at her sister with deep admiration, there was no doubt in Hattie’s mind that Dakota’s strong character and deep faith in the Lord allowed her to persevere where others would have surely failed.

The silence between them was broken as Laville, their elder sister, burst into the room and rushed to the window.  Raising her hand and pointing enthusiastically at the guests who were arriving, she exclaimed, “Hattie!  Hattie!  You won’t believe who just arrived!  It’s the Governor, his wife, and their party from the Capitol!”

Before Hattie could respond, Rebecca Garland and Hattie’s mother, Minerva Morran, entered the room as well.  Rebecca, a dainty woman with blonde, flowing hair, pale blue eyes, and fair complexion, was the epitome of elegance.  Smiling brightly, she replied to Laville’s youthful enthusiasm with her patented southern flair.  “I should certainly hope so!  I invited him, as well as many other dignitaries of Missouri society.  This will, after all, be the state’s most prominent wedding of the year.”

Rebecca was right; the wedding between her son, Abner, and the beautiful, young Miss Hattie Morran was indeed known as the social event of the summer of 1896.  Rebecca had spared no expense and Minerva had left no stone unturned in making this mockery of a wedding appear genuine.

Joining Laville and Hattie at the window, the two mothers looked down over the stunning gardens of Silver Creek.  The gardens were by far the most awe-inspiring part of the estate, as they were the home to nearly every tree, shrub, and flower known to man.  Rebecca went to great lengths to keep the vast gardens immaculately maintained, and in doing so, it was often referred to by the locals from the nearby town of Gallatin as a latter-day ‘Garden of Eden’.  For today, however, the usually tranquil gardens were alive with activity, as they served as a magnificent backdrop for the wedding.

Gazing down into the shaded court area, Rebecca secretly wondered if there would be enough seating, as it appeared there were more people arriving than had been invited.  But then, as if she had been reading Rebecca’s mind, Minerva nodded her head reassuringly and whispered, “Everythin’ is perfect.”  It was a beautiful sunny day this July 25, and the illusion that they had worked so hard to create was at last complete.

Turning their attention from the outside, Rebecca and Minerva set their gazes upon Hattie.  Moving directly in front of the young bride-to-be, the two mothers looked adoringly at Hattie, bathed in the morning sunlight.  It’s warm, gentle rays streamed through the open window, surrounding her in a soft, white aura, perfectly accentuating her auburn hair.  A petite girl with a tiny nineteen inch waist, Hattie stood only five foot two inches tall.  On this day, however, with the morning sunlight cascading down around her in such splendid grandeur, she appeared larger than life.  Rebecca sighed as she took in the picture of beauty in front of her.  “Hattie, my dear, you are breathtaking.”

Flattered, Hattie smiled graciously, turned, and looked outside again.  She, like the rest of the family, could not get enough of the elegance of Silver Creek.

During the next few minutes, the women busied themselves making final touches on the wedding dress.  As they did, Hattie’s mother, Minerva, a moral, strong-willed woman with dark brown hair and blue eyes, thought back to the terrible morning when her husband, Newton, an immoral, average-sized man with red-brown hair, brown eyes, and rugged masculine features, informed her of the circumstances which eventually led up to this whole sordid affair.  In her mind, she could still hear him screaming at her as she sat silently at the kitchen table, turning her coffee cup around and around in her hands.

Pacing back and forth like a caged lion in the small kitchen of their modest farmhouse, Newton’s voice boomed like thunder.  “Damn it, Minerva, do you hear me?  Hattie has no choice in the matter!  She will marry Abner, and that’s all there is to it!”

Aghast at her husband’s behavior, Minerva implored, “Stop screamin’ at me, Newton!  And lower your voice, the girls are still in bed.”  He glared at her with eyes as cold as a Siberian winter as she pleaded desperately.  “Tell me, Newton, how in the world did you ever get yourself into such a mess, and why in heaven’s name did you involve Hattie?  She is only fifteen and too young to marry anyone, let alone the likes of Abner Garland!”

“And just what the hell is wrong with Abner?  His mother, Rebecca, is your best friend.  The boy’s well educated, and he comes from the wealthiest family in the state of Missouri, if not the whole damn country!”

Minerva knew trying to reason with Newton once he’d made up his mind on something was like beating her head against a brick wall.  “What’s that got to do with the kind of man he is, Newt?  As I recall, you used these same words last year when you tried to convince me to let Laville marry John Anderson, and look what a horrible mess that turned out to be.”

Disgusted, Newton muttered, “Hattie ain’t nothin’ like Laville, and you know it.”  Walking to the open back door and venting his frustration, he kicked it shut, shaking the walls of the kitchen.  “You know damn well Laville never intended to cooperate with me.”

“And just what makes you think Hattie will?”

“Hattie’s always been obedient.  She’ll do exactly as she’s told.”

“And what do you have your money grubbin’ hands after this time, Newton?”

“Never you mind!”

Disgusted that he wouldn’t level with her, Minerva slammed her cup down and held the determination of an ox.  Weary of her husband’s deplorable behavior, she had taken all she was going to take.  “Well, the fact of the matter is that she’s only fifteen years old.  As for Abner’s mother, she may be my best friend and Heaven knows she loves Hattie like her own, but what has that got to do with your puttin’ our daughter in the hands of a man like Abner?  You know, just as I do, that Rebecca had to send him back East to school because she and Jess couldn’t do a thin’ with him.  He’s worthless, Newton, and you know it!”

Feeling he was losing ground, Newton tried another tactic.  “Now Minerva, you’re takin’ this all wrong.”

“Oh, no, I’m not!” Minerva replied in anger.  “Hattie ain’t somethin’ for you to bargain with, especially if it’s to get you out of some kind of trouble.  I won’t stand for it!”

Newton was absolutely furious as he glared at her and again raised his voice.  “Listen, Woman, I’m not askin’ you for your permission!  I’m tellin’ you!  Hattie will marry Abner Garland!  I’ve already given Jess my word on it.”

Minerva pushed her chair away from the table and stood in defiance before her husband.  “Your word!  Hah!  Since when has your word ever amounted to anythin’?  Get this through your thick skull, Newton.  The only way she’ll marry Abner is over my dead body!”

In the bedroom above the kitchen, Hattie, Dakota, and Laville listened in disbelief.  Laville turned to Hattie.  “Did I hear what I thought I heard?  Please tell me this isn’t happening again!”

Angrily throwing her hairbrush on the bed, Hattie tried in vain to control her emotions.  “You heard right, Sis.  It looks likes Pa ain’t gonna be happy till he ruins all our lives!”

Worried for the safety of their mother, Dakota tried to calm her sisters.  “Look, you two, I know you’re both angry, but I think we better get downstairs.  Laville, find Curtis and have him go for the boys.  I heard them leave for town a while ago, but they couldn’t have gotten far.  I got a feelin’ we’d better get ‘em back to the house before this all blows up in Mama’s face.”

As Laville opened the door to Curtis’s room, she found him frightened and huddled with his three younger brothers on the floor.  He, like them, was tired of being scared of their tyrannical father.  With urgency in her voice, Laville instructed, “Curtis, go after your older brothers, and make it fast.  They’re on their way to town, but you should be able to catch them if you hurry.  Don’t bother going down the stairs and through the kitchen.  Instead, crawl out your bedroom window, across the roof, and onto the shed.  Take my buggy; Robert said he would have it ready for me early this morning.  When you find the boys, tell them I said to hightail it back here as fast as they can.  Then, get right back up here and make sure that Mark, Barry, and Miles stay safe.”

Curtis, sensing the seriousness in his sister’s voice, was out the window and gone before she could say another word.  After making her way back to Hattie and Dakota, Laville grabbed a robe then waited while Hattie and Dakota got themselves presentable, as they had all been in their sleeping garments.  “I’m the oldest, so I guess I better do the talking,” Laville quipped, as the girls made their way out of the bedroom and started toward the stairs.

Not about to let Laville fight her battles for her, Hattie grabbed Laville’s arm and whirled her around so that they were face to face.  “Oh, no you won’t, Laville!  This is about me.  This time I’m doin’ the talkin’!”  Moving quickly, they started down the stairs and reached the bottom just in time to see their Pa drawing back to strike their mother.  Terrified, Hattie ran to her mother’s aid, jumped in front of her father’s flailing fist, and screamed, “No, Pa, stop!”

Following through without a second thought, instead of striking Minerva, Newton struck Hattie square in the face.  The blow came with such force that she spun across the room like an out of control top, struck the wall, and fell into a heap on the floor.  Laville rushed past their father to Hattie and, bending down next to her, wiped away the stream of blood that was now trickling from her sister’s mouth.  Angry beyond the point of common sense, Laville screamed, “What’s wrong with you, Pa?  Have you completely lost your mind?”

Showing no remorse, Newton stepped toward them, his hand drawn back again.  “Shut up, Laville, or you’ll get some of the same.”

Hattie, knowing that it might come to this, had slipped her pearl-handled revolver in her robe before coming downstairs.  As she reached in and pointed the gun toward the picture of evil that was her father, shivers ran down her spine.  It was as if she was looking at the devil himself.

Seeing the revolver, a smirk crossed his face.  “You wouldn’t dare use that on your own Pa, now would you Hattie?”

“Just try me,” Hattie said daringly, as Laville helped her to her feet.  Then, quite abruptly, she pulled the trigger twice, splintering the wooden floor directly in front of his feet.  Jumping back to the window, Newton could see Hattie’s jaw firmly set and her eyes aflame with anger.  “That’s the last time you are ever goin’ to hit one of us!”  Holding her revolver steady, she ordered, “Stay right where you are, Pa.  The boys will be back any minute, and when they are, we’ll get to the bottom of this mess.”

Testing Hattie again, he took one step forward but stopped when he heard Minerva call out his name from behind.  Turning around, he saw that she was now standing in the doorway with a rifle.  “Stop where you are Newton, or so help me God, if Hattie doesn’t shoot you, I will.  She’s right; we’ve taken all we’re goin’ to take from you.”

“Who do you think you’re kiddin’, Minerva?  Why, the law would hang you.”

Looking at him as if she could see right through him, she replied, “Don’t you think for one minute, Newton, it wouldn’t be worth it, to get you out of our lives.  I’m plum fed up with your takin’ advantage of us.  As far as I’m concerned, the depths of Hell couldn’t be any worse than you are.”

Showing no emotion, he replied arrogantly, “You can’t hold these guns on me forever.”

“You’re right, Pa,” Dakota said matter-of-factly.  “We could just go ahead and shoot you.  Then we could drag your body out in the woods, bury you, and all of us swear we didn’t know what happened to you.”

“Stay out of this, Cody; this is none of your affair.”

“Wrong, Pa!  Everythin’ that happens to us is my affair.  Don’t think we didn’t learn our lesson after what you did to Laville.  No one said anythin’ when you married her off to John Anderson.  But this time we ain’t standin’ by while you try to ruin Hattie’s life, too.  How do you think we felt when we found out that you forced Laville into marryin’ John just so you could get your hands on their farmland?”

Before he could answer, the back door swung open and Newton’s three older sons, Shannon, Robert, and John, stepped inside the kitchen.  Shannon, being the eldest, was very protective of his mother and sisters.  Demanding an answer, he asked, “What the hell’s goin’ on, Pa?”

Crossing his arms in front of him, Newton refused to speak.  Gaining composure, Minerva explained the situation, and as she did, the boys became enraged.  Taking in all that his mother had to say, Shannon could only shake his head in disbelief.  “What are you after this time, Pa?”

Newton had a reluctant look on his face, but he knew now with the whole family present he’d have to fess up.  “If you must know, I owe Jess Garland a lot of money.”

Shannon’s blood was boiling.  “You can’t keep expectin’ the family to bail you out every time you get yourself into trouble, Pa.  We love Hattie too much to see you use her to pay off your gamblin’ debts.”

Newton glared at his eldest son.  “She has too as she’s what Abner wants, and if I was to give him everythin’ we owned, it still wouldn’t be enough.”

“My God, Newt!  How could you do such a thin’?  How much do you owe ‘em?” Minerva questioned, heartsick.

“More than we got.  But that ain’t all.  Jess said if Hattie doesn’t marry Abner, Laville and Dakota just might meet up with some sort of accident.”  Newton was lying, but with the whole family in opposition of him, he was desperate.

Stepping farther into the kitchen, John couldn’t help but think that there had to be a better way to solve the situation.  “Why don’t we just go to the Sheriff, Pa, and explain the whole thin’?”

Thinking quickly, Newton retorted, “Wouldn’t do us a bit of good.  It’ll just be our word against theirs, and they carry a lot of weight in this county.”

Discouraged but not willing to give up, Minerva slowly lowered her rifle.  “I’ll go to Rebecca myself.”

“I wouldn’t if I were you.  She can’t control Jess or Abner, and you know it.”

“Then it’s hopeless,” she conceded, her voice full of despair.

Newton, seeing things turning in his favor, took advantage of the situation.  “As I see it, we ain’t got no choice in the matter.  No choice at all.”

Hattie looked at Laville, then Dakota, who were both now sitting at the old wooden table in the middle of the room and couldn’t bear the thought of anything happening to them.  Seeing no other solution and wanting desperately to protect her family, she said reluctantly, “If that is what it will take to get us out of this mess, then . . . then I’ll marry him.”


About the Author

Sky AlexanderSky Alexander was born in Utah and raised in both Utah and California, Sky has been writing for many years and enjoys spending time with his family as well as staying up on the newest technology. Sky is a single father of 2 little boys, Lucas & Matthew, and lives in Idaho. He has a degree in Network Engineering and is currently finishing a degree in Software Engineering. Sky is currently working on two different series “The Fires of Love & Hate” (A Historical Romance series) & “Aspen Falls” (Action Adventure, Thriller series).

His latest book is the historical western romance, Forced to Love.


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Posted in Cozy, e-books, Monday, mystery, Spotlight on May 5, 2014

Today I’m bringing you book #8 in the High Heels series by author Gemma Halliday.  These is such a fun series and if you have never read any of these, then start with book 1, Spying in High Heels.  Also, if you are reading this on Monday, May 5th – the whole series is $0.99 (each) on Amazon and a few other sites like Kobo and Smashwords.

Today’s highlight is the newest in the series and while I haven’t read it yet, it is on my list to read hopefully this week!


homicide in high heels



It’s springtime in California! The flowers are in bloom, the fashion week runways are fierce, and fans of America’s favorite pastime are filling the baseball stadiums to root for their favorite team. But when the girlfriend of the L.A. Stars rookie MVP winds up dead at a chic Beverly Hills salon, it’s suddenly up to fashion designer Maddie Springer to track down the “Tanning Salon Killer.” Armed with the help of her wacky cast of friends and family, Maddie finds herself with a list of suspects that includes the cast of the reality TV show Baseball Wives, a desperate blackmail victim, and an entire baseball team! If Maddie can brave the hot dogs and cat fights, she just might be able to catch a killer…before he strikes again!


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Posted in e-books, romance, Sale, Spotlight on May 4, 2014



Love Finds A Way Boxed Set

Four unconventional love stories, from popular and bestselling romance authors, each with sequels from Turquoise Morning Press.

Release Date: April 29, 2014
Category: Fiction > Women’s Fiction (Romantic Elements)
Length: Four full length novels, boxed set
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press
ISBN: 978-1-62237-291-1

Ebook Price: $0.99 (Special Introductory/Promotional Price)



BRING ME BACK by Karen Booth

“Fast-paced, sexy and altogether irresistible. A flat-out fabulous read!”–New York Times Bestselling author Celia Rivenbark

“Ms. Booth has hit a home run with this riveting story that’s full of life, trials and tribulations, joy, but most of all, love.”—5 stars and a recommended read, BlackRaven’s Reviews

“If you are a fan of drama, humor and heart with a wonderful blend of bittersweet and delicious sensuality, then you need to read Bring Me Back. I’ve added it to my absolute favorites, the ones I curl up with when I’m down and need to remember to love and laugh and believe in magic.”–5 Stars, The Book Tart
Included on the Top Ten Romances of All Time list by Patience Bloom from Harlequin. An All-Romance bestseller.

CONTENTMENT by Margaret Ethridge

“The story is honest, well told, and so sweet. I loved it.” –5 stars, Amazon bestselling author Jennifer Johnson

“You’ll want that Hollywood ending that never happens in real life. What you will get a story that is so true to real life that it’ll make your stomach twist and your heart hammer.” –5 stars, Another Look Book Reviews

“This is story-telling at its best.” –5 stars, Amazon customer review

“Have you not read Margaret Ethridge? Hop to it! Although she is a new author, her work is consistently intriguing, even while writing different romantic genres.” –Booking It
Margaret Ethridge is an Amazon bestselling author and RWA PAN certified.


MEANT TO BE by Karen Stivali

Best Books of 2012 – Literati Literature Lovers (Meant To Be and its sequel Holding On) Books That Rocked My World 2012 – Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews (Meant To Be and its sequel Holding On)

Meant To Be is simply an amazing story that is heartwarming and genuine, it is one that will make you believe in soul mates.” –5 stars, Jersey Girl Book Reviews

“If you’re looking for engaging, soulful characters, enough drama to take you through a myriad of emotions that entail everything from laughter to anger to crying, and enough passion to make you sizzle in all the right places, then Meant To Be is the book to read.” 5 stars and a Recommended Read, BlackRaven’s Book Reviews
Karen Stivali is an RWA PAN certified author and winner of RWA Passionate Plume 2012 and RWA Bean Pot Readers Choice Award 2013.


′TIL ST. PATRICK’S DAY by Holly Gilliatt

“With the author’s ease of putting words on paper, the story flows through your mind, connecting on a deep emotional level. You will find yourself hoping, gasping, shedding a tear or two and smiling with happiness as the story unfolds.” — Literati Book Reviews

“Gilliatt creates characters who you connect with… The reader is placed in the middle of these three women’s lives; you experience their ups, their downs and their own journey of self-discovery.”–

“The main theme of this novel was friendship, but it’s followed very closely by love—and not just romantic love. …It’s fantastic.”–5 stars, Pink Fluffy Hearts


Amazon 4.5 average rating. Goodreads 4.31 average rating.




Posted in Spotlight, Young Adult on May 4, 2014

This sounds like an interesting book as it deals with bullying and teen suicide – you can even enter to win a copy of the book!



7 Things to Love about Anna Khonda {Book Review w/ Recipe} #bullyingisnotacceptable (via

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.  Full disclosure policy here. I must provide a disclaimer here … this book I’m reviewing is my sister’s. So I may be a bit biased, but I’m bursting with pride over her accomplishment. You see…

Read more …

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Posted in fiction, Historical, Spotlight on May 1, 2014




“Shaba had washed the blade of his stabbing spear, his prized iklwa, many times already. It would be rinsed again today, with the blessings of his ancestor’s spirits, to herd the red soldiers finally from the land of the AmaZulu.”

1879 – the British army has suffered one of the worst defeats in its history at the hands of the Zulu King Cetshwayo. Now the British seek revenge and a second invasion of Zululand is about to take place.

Within the Zulu regiments charged with repelling the assault is Shaba kaNdabuko − driven by ambition to share the glory of battle, to bring honour and cattle to his family.

Meanwhile, new British soldiers are shipped out to replace those lost in the military disasters, and among them is Lieutenant Jahleel Carey, likewise also hoping that adventure will bring him a change of fortune.

But there are also always those on the sidelines of conflict, profiteers like renegade trader William McTeague.

Three men, three women, will be brought together by one of the Zulu War’s strangest episodes, and their destinies will be changed forever.

Praise for The Kraals of Ulundi: “This is well-researched and solid historical fiction – a very worthwhile project.” Adrian Greaves, Anglo-Zulu War Historical Society and author of The Tribe That Washed Its Spears.

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About the Author

David Ebsworth is the pen name of writer, Dave McCall, a former negotiator and Regional Secretary for Britain’s Transport & General Workers’ Union. He was born in Liverpool (UK) but has lived for the past thirty years in Wrexham, North Wales, with his wife, Ann. Since their retirement in 2008, the couple have spent about six months of each year in southern Spain. Dave began to write seriously in the following year, 2009. He has now published three novels, The Jacobites’ Apprentice (2012), The Assassin’s Mark (2013), and The Kraals of Ulundi: A Novel of the Zulu War (May 2014).

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Posted in Blog tour, romance, Spotlight, women on April 24, 2014

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dangled carat book cover



Hilary had gotten used to dating the commitment-phobic Marc, thirteen years her senior. They had a great relationship–why rush into things? She saw no need to pressure him for marriage, believing that when the time was right, he would propose. But after they had been together for four years, their friends decided to take matters into their own hands, pushing Marc to propose and making Hilary realize how much she really did want to marry the man that she loved. Unfortunately, Marc still wasn’t ready–and their friends’ meddling in the form of a faux engagement party led to a disastrous New Year’s Eve that brought their relationship to an inevitable turning point.


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My nervous energy was getting the better of me. I paced around the room. Exasperated, I asked, “What do you mean, what do I mean?  I will ask slowly. What… happened… at… dinner… TONIGHT?”

Marc patted the space next to him on the bed, gesturing for me to sit down, which I did, although I couldn’t stop my leg from bopping up and down.  Casually he replied, “Dinner was good, wasn’t it?  I loved my grouper.  How was your fish?”

I shook my head in disbelief. “Fish?  You’re asking me about the fish?  Have you completely lost your mind?”

He tried very hard to suppress his laughter.  “No, I didn’t lose my mind. You wanted to know what happened at dinner, didn’t you?  So I told you about my fish and asked you about yours. Isn’t that what people do? Did you want to know something else?”

Despite my frustration, I couldn’t help but laugh.  “Yes.  I want to talk about everything that happened except for the fish.”

“Something else happened?” he asked.

I sighed deeply.  “You are getting on my last nerve, mister!  Do you think you can be serious for a minute?”

“I don’t know, but I guess I can try.”

“Good, try hard. I need you to focus.  Can you please tell me what’s going on?  Why did you tell Eric and Jaye that we may be married by the summer?”

“Oh, that’s simple. Because we may be.”

About the Author

hilary grossman Hilary Grossman dated a guy so commitment-phobic that she was able to write a book about their relationship. She is currently the CFO of a beverage alcohol importer and lives on Long Island.

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Posted in Blog tour, Giveaway, Novella, romance, Spotlight on April 23, 2014

Avery Flynn Blog Tour Banner



If that man calls her one more time…

So what if Gabe Campos is a model-dating billionaire who gets Keisha Jacobs hotter than a Ferrari’s engine on the straightaway? He keeps pushing her to sell her family’s furniture business, but she’ll never give in—not unless she wants to give her father a second heart attack.

All Gabe should be thinking about is how he’ll finally get revenge on the man who killed his father. But when he meets the man’s daughter, Keisha, instead of focusing on destroying Jacobs Fine Furnishings, he can’t get her warm-whisky voice out of his mind.

Forced by a snow storm to spend the night together, their passion ignites. The next day, however, it’s back to business. The only way Keisha can save her family is to win a bet with the billionaire. But neither realized their hearts are part of the bargain…


Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo * iTunes

About the Author

AFlynnAvery Flynn has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip.

She fell in love with romance while reading Johanna Lindsey’s Mallory books. It wasn’t long before Avery had read through all the romance offerings at her local library. Needing a romance fix, she turned to Harlequin’s four books a month home delivery service to ease the withdrawal symptoms. That worked for a short time, but it wasn’t long before the local book stores’ staffs knew her by name.

Avery was a reader before she was a writer and hopes to always be both. She loves to write about smartass alpha heroes who are as good with a quip as they are with their *ahem* other God-given talents. Her heroines are feisty, fierce and fantastic. Brainy and brave, these ladies know how to stand on their own two feet and knock the bad guys off theirs.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads


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Posted in Monday, mystery, Spotlight on April 21, 2014

Black Lotus Cover



Initially optioned as a screenplay, Black Lotus was subsequently selected as a semi-finalist in the Court TV nation-wide contest for best original mystery – a contest drawing more than 2,000 entries. The novel has since been labeled by more than one critic as “filmed noir in a book.”

Written in a unique style, Black Lotus diverts from traditional mystery and becomes something more like The Office TV show – except covered in blood. It uses a real-time technique with the camera always present, following the action and recording the characters as they speak.

The narrative: African American detective Lotus Williams is fired after the death of her young daughter pushes her into a downward spiral of cocaine use. An outstanding detective before her fall, Lotus is finally given another chance with a new police department, this time in New Parise – a city controlled by two drug cartels viciously battling for supremacy.

Meanwhile, a potentially “psychotic” investigative journalist believes that the powerful New Parise officials are behind much of the city’s illegal activity. Coincidentally obsessed with the gorgeous female Chief of Police, Francesca Corelli, this nosy journalist is fired from her newspaper and ordered to get out of town – or else.

It is within this mire of possible corruption and open gang-war that Lotus Williams has her second chance. But Lotus soon finds herself caught in a web of possible deceit and lies that quickly put her own life in danger.

The denouement is a total surprise, although clues are sprinkled liberally throughout the work so the astute reader may be able to solve the mystery.

The novel is slated for publication this summer. Excerpts from and pre-order forms for the novel are available at Treasure Chest Press. A contest whereby readers offer Black Lotus characters advice is now in full-swing. The most salient, practical advice will receive a $100 Amazon gift card. There is no entrance fee; and no solicitations will ensue because of initial entry.

Black Lotus excerpts

Publisher’s Website * Twitter * Facebook


About the Author

Lita Lepie is a graduate of Vassar College and was awarded a Master of Fine Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence where she was a personal student of Grace Paley. Author of ten novels, several plays, dozens of short stories and poems for the past twenty years, Lita Lepie has been represented by top NYC literary agents.

Despite only marginal success in print media, her persistence is either to be admired or pitied. She feels passionately driven to write, and, like any other addiction, numerous attempts to give up her avocation have all failed miserably.

The writer lives in NYC with her Pixiebob cat, Hunter, and her African grey Timneh parrot, Pearl. She works as a high-end trainer to private clients. On a freelance basis she is available as a body guard [she has extensive mixed martial arts training] and raconteur.

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