My Books!

Thursday, October 6, 2022

The Story That Made Us Stronger


                                    The Story That Made Us Stronger

by Iris March

 

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GENRE:   Women's Fiction/ Cancer journey

 

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BLURB:

 

An abandoned building. A motivated runner. A Hodgkin's Lymphoma cancer survivor.

Connor Jackson has been training for a half marathon for the past six weeks. Katie Brandt has been training to beat cancer for the past 50. When Connor discovers an intriguing secret in a tiny, abandoned building on his running route, Katie finds that the mystery is what she needs to help her get through her three-week stem cell replacement procedure. Together, Conner and Katie must find the strength to achieve their personal goals and, in the meantime, expose the many past lives that the tiny building led.

 

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EXCERPT

 

The Runner

Connor Jackson

 

I’d run past it probably a thousand times. 

 

An especially windy thunderstorm had covered my regular paved running trail with slippery leaves, twigs, and a few larger limbs on a late August afternoon. As I was running the trail, avoiding the more slippery sections, a door that I’d never noticed before was ever-so-slightly crooked, leaving it ajar. Mind you, I was running when I caught this dark shadow next to the door in the corner of my eye, and I almost tripped. Instead of hitting the ground, I sidestepped and took that moment to stop, pretend to tie my shoe and adjust my socks, and push my sweaty brown hair out of my eyes. I refused to be one of those guys with a man bun, but maybe I just needed to get a new haircut.

 

As I was messing with my shoes, I looked up at the building. It was small, probably only ten feet long by ten feet wide, a red-brick structure with a huge pole an inch away from it that was taller and thicker than any nearby telephone poles. At the tip of the pole was a piece of metal, strapped on and reaching even farther into the sky. There was a rusted chain-link fence around the building, with a few small trees and weeds within it. You could tell at one point that green plastic had been wrapped around the links, but it was long gone. The building was about fifty feet away from the trail, with plenty of trees between it and me, including a huge tulip poplar that I often noticed while running, and a bunch of maples. Breaking up the brick on the west side of the building, facing up the trail, was a wooden door with no window, adorned only by a worn doorknob. And now the hinges seemed to have broken a bit, the wood warped and pulling away from the frame about half an inch.

 

I was kneeling and staring for too long. A woman wearing blue sunglasses and walking a dog that looked like Lassie gave me a bit of a sideways look. I adjusted my shorts and stood up to continue running, with a lot more on my mind. 




A Word With the Author



1.Did you always want to be an author?

I have always been a reader and I always been a bit in awe of authors. I never understood where they came up with ideas and how they could write such a long story, so so many words. When I was struggling with the worry I had surrounding my sister’s cancer treatments and the burden on her family, I needed something more than journaling. I distinctly remember standing up at my desk, looking out the window, and craning my neck to see the little brick building on my running route that I always wondered about. In that moment, I was inspired. I sat down and wrote the first scene of Connor running past the building and knew that he was my sister’s fictional nurse and they would figure out the mystery together even if I didn’t know the answer myself yet. 


2.Tell us about the publication of your first book.

This is actually my second book. My first is a cozy mystery, The Broken Bridge – A Succulent Sleuth Cozy Mystery - set at a garden center with a hiking trail running behind it. There’s another trail, another mystery, and another cat. That book was a lot easier for me to figure out the plot and I knew the ending before I even started writing it.


3.Besides yourself, who is your favorite author in the genre you write in?

I used to claim that F. Scott Fitzgerald was my favorite author. It was the English major in me that needed to be a bit literary. But then I reread Gatsby as an adult and didn’t love it as much as the first four times I read it (ha!). I love cozy mysteries and am a big fan of Sara Rosett and Lucinda Harrison. 

 


4.What's the best part of being an author? The worst?

The very best part of being an author is someone you don’t know telling you they love your book. Yes, I want my mom and my sisters and aunts and my friends to like it but their praise has a lot to do with the accomplishment of writing the book as a whole. When someone I don’t even know takes the time to seek me out and tell me they love the story, that means a lot. That’s the best. The worst part is being stuck at a scene that you don’t think is going in the right direction. 

 


5.What are you working on now?

I’m working on a short story for an anthology – a collection of cozy mystery short stories that all have a bookish theme. It’s the second in the Succulent Sleuth Cozy Mystery series and is set at a plant swap event at the library.  

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Iris March grew up the oldest of three sisters whose names all began with the same letter. Her sisters are still her best friends. March works in the sustainability field and also writes cozy mysteries in the Succulent Sleuth Series. She lives in Ohio with her husband, young son,

and three cats.

 

Author website https://irismarchbooks.com/

 

Insta https://www.instagram.com/searchingformysteries/

 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100076150266393

 

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/22404252.Iris_March

 

Amazon (will be in KU): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0B9PQWVN5/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i2

Physical book will also be on Barnes and Noble 

 

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

 

Iris March will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


 

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Hope, Strength and Courage


 Hope, Strength and Courage: With Stories in Medicine Training and the Atypical Sibling Rivalry

by Kathryn Lee

 

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GENRE: Autobiography - Medical and Family

 

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BLURB:

 

This book has been a self-reflective journey of a medical doctor as an ordinary person going through ordinary life's ups and downs. In epistolary form, its articles were written during the special time of her first year of training to become a general practitioner/family physician, including making the tough decision to give up hospital specialist training, "withdrawing" from fast-paced hospital work, transitioning to working from a metropolitan hospital to a rural community clinic, witnessing and getting used to a younger sibling's growing up, and being independent from a close and loving family. Some also feature a promotion of the author's new academic career at the start of the COVID 19 pandemic and how it was perceived. The book shows a journey of love, strength, perseverance, purpose and encouragement. Lots of anecdotes, lots of stories, lots of quotes. With love and respect.

 

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EXCERPT

 

Many, many other motivational speakers, and wonderful  business and scientific giants: Evan Charmichael, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jack Ma, Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Lisa Nichols, Oprah Winfrey, Rick Warren, John Maxwell, Jim Carveziol (the actor who played Jesus), Denzel Washington, Simon Sinek, Barbara Cocoran, Pastor Liew Qunmao, Tom Bilieu, Jay Shetty, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, people from TED talks, the hard-working Chinese public figures that we listen to, as well as many, many more… Dude, I think there is value in knowing the above names and listening to the people attached to these names. They share characteristics that really shine in this world where things can go poorly and negativity prevails. In a world that is often corrupt, these are positive, energetic, super intelligent, yet incredibly down-to-earth people. These people are great not only because they are extraordinary in what they do, but because their attitudes. and approaches to life set them apart from those who live their lives in a mediocre way. Have a listen to the talks presented by these people. I shared some with you, and there are many more online. Stay grounded and be faithful to God.I really appreciate God always finding ways to cheer me on, to encourage and motivate me when I am down, frustrated, and worried. Through His word and the people He has impacted, I am indirectly impacted myself. This has gradually changed the way I look at things and people.

 

 

 

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Kay Li is a medical doctor. A Christian. A daughter. A sister. A student in life university. An ordinary person in an extraordinary world.

 

 

CONNECT WITH KATHRYN LEE

 

WEBSITE: 

https://authorkathrynlee.com/

 

Goodreads: 

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/22644710.Kathryn_Lee

 

PURCHASE LINKS:   

 

Amazon.com.au 

https://amazon.com.au/dp/0228833280

 

Amazon.com 

https://amazon.com/dp/0228833280

 

Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hope-strength-and-courage-kathryn-lee/1139427777

 

Book Depository https://www.bookdepository.com/Hope-Strength-and-Courage-Kathryn-Lee/9780228833284

 

Kindle

 https://amazon.com/dp/B094DS6C8K

 

Indigo https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/hope-strength-and-courage-with/9780228833307-item.html

 

Kobo

 https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/hope-strength-and-courage

 

Smashwords 

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1083228

 

Apple Books https://books.apple.com/us/book/hope-strength-courage-stories-in-medicine-training/id1566675671

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

 

Kathryn Lee will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


 



 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Beyond the Book: Rose in Bloom

I’m doing a book review today on an older book, but if you give it a chance I think you’d love it. Bear in mind that it’s really a young adult book. First a blurb and then my review.

Blurb: In this sequel to Eight Cousins, Rose Campbell returns to the “Aunt Hill” after two years of traveling around the world. Suddenly, she is surrounded by male admirers, all expecting her to marry them. But before she marries anyone, Rose is determined to establish herself as an independent young woman. Besides, she suspects that some of her friends like her more her money than for herself. How can Rose tell who her real friends are? Is there anyone she can count on?

My Review:

I bet you’d like to know why I just read a young adult book written in the nineteenth century. Isn’t the language archaic? Isn’t the subject matter irrelevant in the modern world? Yes to the first question, no to the second.

It’s true that in the nineteenth century their language was a bit more formal than our own. It’s also true that they put words together in a slightly different way than we do. They didn’t know much about brevity either. I think they got paid by the number of words they wrote which might explain their wordiness.

However, and it’s a big however, the story line is excellent. Rose in Bloom is the sequel to Eight Cousins. Rose, whose parents died, is sent to live with her Uncle Alec where she meets and becomes a part of her family that she hadn’t known. The eight cousins are seven boys and Rose. Rose in Bloom is the story of what happens when the cousins grow up. 

I hate giving summaries of books, so I’ll just say that Rose in Bloom is a romance, a coming of age story, and is filled with attitudes and values that really matter. This is what I think Alcott wanted us to learn from the story.

First, be true to yourself. Don’t let people pressure you to do something you don’t want to do.

Second, think of other people and do things for them, not just yourself.

Third, be kind. 

Fourth, avoid bad things that tempt you to do wrong.

I wish that all people were taught these things as they were growing up. It would make such a difference in our world. So, encourage your young adult to read Rose in Bloom. I think if they can get past the formal language, they’d love the story. They’d also love Eight Cousins.

Would you read an old YA book?

Monday, October 3, 2022

In the Mood

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. M W Arnold will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

During a hectic couple of weeks in February 1944, the girls of the Air Transport Auxiliary Mystery Club must face devastating personal loss amongst their number. A member of an illegal faction blackmails Betty, whilst a mystery at Mary's ancestral home threatens to cause more trouble than anyone thought possible. In the midst of what should be the happiest of times, the portents seem to be catching up and little is what it seems to be. Can the girls find the strength to battle forces both internal and external, yet still maintain their dignity and friendship?


Read an Excerpt

Jane slumped back into her seat, tore the headset off, and threw it onto the desk next to the radio she’d been about to attack. “I suppose you’re right. It only makes sense if she can’t receive what we’re sending. If I didn’t know her voice so well, I’d think someone was playing a trick on me.”

“Plus,” Betty added, “it’s on our frequency.”

Jane nodded in agreement. “Still, remind me to tear her off a stripe when she gets back…calling Hamble. This is Aston.” She ended with a nervous chuckle.

Betty joined in, eventually saying, “Still, you’ll have to give her points for originality, if nothing else.”

“I’ll give her something, all right,” Jane replied. “I’ll give her…”

“Mayday! Mayday! This is First Officer Aston. Am under attack by two Me109s!”

Jane and Betty stared at each other with open mouths, as the shocking statement blared out of the radio’s tiny speaker in Thelma’s unmistakable voice. When she’d simply been trying to get through earlier it had been in her normal, albeit frustrated, tone. Now unmistakable panic coursed through it.

The radio came to life again, only the first thing they heard this time was the chilling staccato chatter of gunfire! “I repeat, this is First Officer Aston of the ATA! I’m under attack. Rudder control is gone! My port engine’s on fire! Am going down, roughly northeast of Oxford…”

White as a ghost, Jane automatically made a grab for the microphone, “Thelma! This is Jane Howell. Do you receive? Over.”

After a few seconds, a voice came out of the speaker, barely audible, yet clearly that of their desperate friend, “Jane? Is that…”

And then, deathly silence…

About the Author:
M W Arnold lives near Northampton, UK and is known to his family and friends as, Mick. He was in the Royal Air Force for 16 years, visiting many different countries and very much enjoying himself. If he ever meets the Queen, he will have to thank her. He began writing as these characters needed their own voices. For a few years now, he's been a member of the Romantic Novelists Association, a wonderful group of writers who've welcomed this bloke into their fold with open arms.

Amazon Author Page
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Saturday, October 1, 2022

Saturday Sample and Weekend Writing Warriors


 Welcome to my blog. Today I'd like to share an excerpt from my all time favorite book Blue 52. On Sunday when you finish here you can go to www.wewriwa.blogspot.com for more excerpts from a talented group of authors. 

Blurb:

"First Lady Kills President Lovinggood" 

December 5, 2018 

Thirty years later, Hank Lovinggood embarks on a quest to prove his mother's innocence and punish the killers who took his family from him. Together Hank and lovely physicist Dr. Kathryn Sinclair confront an implacable, twisted, and merciless enemy who'll do whatever it takes to hide the truth forever.


Last Week's Excerpt: 

When he thought of them, he usually got a warm, safe feeling. He could distinctly remember both of them sitting on the bed with him reading him a story before he went to sleep.

A faint smile curved his lips when he thought of the time he and his mother had sneaked up on his father while he was asleep on the beach. They had poured ocean water from a little sand bucket onto his stomach. He had come awake with a roar and jumped up and chased them down the beach. When he caught them, he had threatened to throw both of them into the ocean. Instead, they had walked down the beach hand in hand and found a hot dog stand where his father bought everyone a hot dog.

Other memories clamored for attention, like the time his mother fell and broke her ankle. He could still picture the fear on his father’s face. His mother had bitten her lip and hidden her face against his father’s shoulder. His dad had hugged her and looked as if he was trying to take away her pain .

Today's Excerpt: Hank and the Senator arrive at the Sinclair Mortuary to view the remains of Hank's mother and father. 

Today's Snippet


Friday, September 30, 2022

The Stained Glass Window


                                             The Stained Glass Window

by Kris Francoeur

 

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GENRE: Contemporary Romance

 

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BLURB:

 

Lilly has the perfect life... she's beautiful, successful, and financially independent.

 

Lilly inherits a mysterious house in Vermont. She sees it as her life only getting better. She hires a hot contractor to fix up and restore the grand old house, then meets a gorgeous Italian professor who showers her with attention. What seems like a perfect life can sometimes be masking dark secrets just beneath the surface and old houses have their memories.

 

Will Lilly do the reasonable, safe, and expected thing and marry the dashing professor or give in to the raw passion of a future with the one man who has not only discovered the secrets of the house, but also Lilly's?

 

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EXCERPT

 

The drive was uneventful, and by the time I pulled into my parking space, I was bored and lonely.

 

I slogged up the stairs to the front door. First, I’d throw a load of laundry in, and then I’d order an early dinner of takeout.

 

Standing at the kitchen counter with the menus, I picked up the phone and hit speed dial. The voice was warm. “Hey, how was New York?”

 

“Well, it was good for you. You are now a proud season ticket holder for the Yankees.”

 

“Really, Lil?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“Thank you, sweetie.”

 

“You’re welcome.” I bit my lower lip. “Hey, can I come over?”

 

His voice deepened. “Megan is away.”

 

“I know.”

 

“Ah, that kind of visit.”

 

I leaned my head against the cabinet. Darn it. I wish I had more willpower. “Yes.”

 

“Come on over.”

 


 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Kris Francoeur is an author, ghostwriter, and educator who lives on her small family farm in Vermont. When not writing stories about strong women with interesting backstories, Kris loves to travel, knit, and garden.

 

Twitter: @KFAnnaBelleRose

FB: www.facebook.com/authorkfrancoeur

Website: www.authorkfrancoeur.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18490380.Kris_Francoeur

Instagram: @author.krisfrancoeur_aka_abr

 

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Stained-glass-Window-Kris-Francoeur-ebook/dp/B0B96YBLKD

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

 

Kris Francoeur will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 



 


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Thursday, September 29, 2022

An Amish Christmas Star


 

An Amish Christmas Star

by Charlotte Hubbard

 

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GENRE: Inspirational Romance (Amish)

 

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BLURB:

 

The crisp fragrance of pine trees and the warm spice of fresh cookies aren’t the only blessings that Christmas brings, and no one knows more about happy homecomings than three couples who are celebrating the greatest gift of all . . .

 

STAR OF WONDER by Charlotte Hubbard

When Raymond Overholt comes to Promise Lodge, hoping to sell the barnboard signs he’s painted with stars and Christmas messages, spirited young Mennonite Lizzie Zehr is intrigued. But any courtship between them will face fierce opposition from the bishop of Raymond’s Old Order community—unless someone can convince him that at the heart of faith lies love . . .

 

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EXCERPT

 

After a deadly dull Monday morning of filling small plastic containers with colored sugars and Christmas jimmies, Lizzie Zehr loaded them onto her wheeled cart and headed into the main room of Promise Lodge’s new bulk store. It was boring work, all that scooping and labeling—repetitive and downright lonely, being stuck back in the warehouse by herself. 

 

But compared to slaving in her older sister Maria’s bakery or, for years before that, running the household for their eldest, crippled sister, Malinda, it was a piece of cake.

            

And because Dale Kraybill was paying her, it was freedom. This job was her ticket to independence, an escape from the two bossy sisters who’d been running her ragged for most of her eighteen years. Their parents had passed when she was very young, so Lizzie’s sisters had raised her as best they could—and they expected her to be grateful. She was, of course. But she was also really tired of being at their beck and call.

            

Lizzie’s thoughts shifted into a higher gear the moment she spotted the guy who was talking to Dale. The two fellows were hanging wooden signboards, which caught her eye because of their sparkly gold stars—but the shimmer of their glittery paint paled the moment the younger fellow turned around. In his green paisley shirt, red jeans, and backswept black hair, he looked anything but Plain, and when he met her gaze through his red-framed glasses, Lizzie immediately knew they were soul mates. Like her, this free spirit was gnashing at the bit and refusing to conform to the religious limitations he’d been raised with.

            

Like her, he wanted out.

             

“Hey there,” he said. His voice, barely audible from across the cavernous room, spoke volumes to Lizzie’s restless heart.

            

Afraid to say something stupid, she merely nodded and held his gaze. She heard the secretive whisper of soft, small objects hitting a hard surface—or maybe it was the feathery swishing of angels’ wings—

            

“Lizzie, watch what—you’re spilling jimmies all over the floor!” Dale cried out.

            

She blinked. She had no memory of picking up a container, just as she didn’t realize she’d been squeezing it so tightly that the lid had popped off. The sight of red and green jimmies bouncing off her bare feet—she wore flip-flops year-round to show off her painted toenails—was suddenly the funniest thing she’d ever seen. As Lizzie sprinted into the warehouse for a broom, her laughter filled the store. 

            

Her life was finally taking a turn for the better. She just knew it.

 

 


 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

In 1983, Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. She wrote around 70 of those confession stories, and she’s sold more than 60 books to traditional or online publishers. A longtime resident of Missouri, she’s currently writing Amish romances set in imaginary Missouri towns for Kensington. She now lives in Omaha, NE with her husband of 40+ years and their Border collie, Vera.

 

www.charlottehubbard.com

 

Facebook -- www.Facebook.com/Charlotte.Hubbard1

 

Buy Links: 

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Amish-Christmas-Star-Shelley-Shepard-ebook/dp/B09PJ348C8

 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/an-amish-christmas-star-shelley-shepard-gray/1140825147

 

Kensington Publishing:  https://www.kensingtonbooks.com/9781496734273/an-amish-christmas-star/

 

Walmart: https://www.walmart.com/ip/An-Amish-Christmas-Star-Paperback-9781496734259/385381250

 

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/an-amish-christmas-star/id1602867197

 

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

 

Charlotte Hubbard will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 



 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway