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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Saturday Sample: The Best Selling Toy Of The Season

I love Christmas. That's why I have two novels set a Christmas time. I've shared some excerpts from The Table in the Window, so today here's an excerpt from The Best Selling Toy of the Season. In this scene my hero meets my heroine.

Finally, his turn came. He thankfully paid for his gag gift and

joined the throngs of people either going out or coming in. He saw

Bill English and lifted his hand to wave goodbye, but he didn’t see the

woman in front of him until he plowed into her. Both he and the

young woman who had helped him find his gift went sprawling to the

floor. Something in her bag broke with a loud crash when Tommy’s

knee smashed into it.

All the Super Mart employees in the vicinity came running,

including Bill English. “Are you guys okay?”

“I’m fine,” Tommy assured him as visions of lawsuits danced in

his head. “Ma’am, are you okay?”

To his horror, the young woman burst into tears. “You’ve ruined

everything! Teddy and Michael are going to be so disappointed, and I

guess they’ll stop believing in Santa Claus, but you don’t care.”

She jerked her bag toward her and held out two broken toys for

Tommy to see. “These robots are all that my boys asked for this year.

I put them on layaway back in September, and I finished paying for

them today. They’re the best selling toy of the season. You can’t find

them anywhere, and now you’ve broken mine.”

She shot Tommy a look of bitter enmity. Wiping the tears from

her cheeks, she scrambled to her feet and stalked out of the store.

“Be ashamed,” lectured one of the customers. “You ruined her

boys’ Christmas.”

“Yeah,” a man in the crowd contributed. “You could at least have

offered to pay for it.”

The Super Mart employee nodded their agreement. “Look at the

way he’s dressed. He’s got money to burn. He won’t even pay for

Nikki’s loss, and it was all his fault.”

The Best Selling Toy of the Season can be found at B&N and at Amazon at

Friday, November 29, 2013

Fashionista Friday: Red Scarves

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Unholy



Paul DeBlassie III



 A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, The Unholy is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.


Lightning streaked across a midnight dark sky, making the neck hairs of a five-year-old girl crouched beneath a cluster of twenty-foot pines in the Turquoise Mountains of Aztlan stand on end. The long wavy strands of her auburn mane floated outward with the static charge. It felt as though the world was about to end.

Seconds later, lightning struck a lone tree nearby and a crash of thunder shook the ground. Her body rocked back and forth, trembling with terror. She lost her footing, sandstone crumbling beneath her feet, and then regained it; still, she did not feel safe. There appeared to be reddish eyes watching from behind scrub oaks and mountain pines, scanning her every movement and watching her quick breaths. Then everything became silent.

The girl leaned against the trunk of the nearest tree. The night air wrapped its frigid arms tightly around her, and she wondered if she would freeze to death or, even worse, stay there through the night and by morning be nothing but the blood and bones left by hungry animals. Her breaths became quicker and were so shallow that no air seemed to reach her lungs. The dusty earth gave up quick bursts of sand from gusts of northerly winds that blew so fiercely into her nostrils that she coughed but tried to stifle the sounds because she didn’t want to be noticed.
Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D., is a psychologist and writer living in Albuquerque who has treated survivors of the dark side of religion for more than 30 years. His professional consultation practice — SoulCare — is devoted to the tending of the soul. Dr. DeBlassie writes fiction with a healing emphasis. He has been deeply influenced by the mestizo myth of Aztlan, its surreal beauty and natural magic.  He is a member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. 

Author Links
Buy Links
Readers, Paul is giving away a $50 gift certificate from either Amazon or B&N, so follow his tour and enter often. Use the link below to enter. You can find his schedule at
Link to the rafflecopter to register for the prize:


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Vault of Secrets

If you came for Beyond the Book, just scroll down and look a the wonderful Thanksgiving recipe, but before you do, why not enjoy this post first? The book looks great.



Hawk McKinney



Vault of Secrets is a compelling tale of intrigue, murder, deception and redemption that leads retired Navy SEAL/part-time private investigator Craige Ingram in search of the connection between seemingly random murders and a banking conspiracy.  Working with the local homicide investigator, who just happens to be a former Navy buddy, Craige Ingram's attempts to protect a lonely widow and solve the case before another person dies are only thwarted by a psychotic killer whose motivation is based on pure pleasure.  The instincts and skills Ingram and his buddy acquired as Navy SEALS are tested to their limits.


It was straight up nine when Craige pushed through the doors of the trust department.  He figured after the way he’d behaved, he’d get the brush-off from Ms. Rozkovsky but knew he was wrong the minute she looked up at him.  She didn’t stare; she ogled and promptly dribbled her coffee.  Craige figured if he said anything too pleasant, she’d spill the whole cup, but he decided to risk it.  “Good morning,” he said.  “I have an appointment with Mrs. Stanley.”


The blistering instant he spoke, Irene went deaf and numb, swallowed into those gorgeous, green, scintillating eyes, wishing this stack of a man would do everything to her she’d ever wanted a man to do.  She scrutinized every scrumptious imagined morsel she could just taste under his casual Madras cotton shirt.  Having not heard one word he had said, she stuttered, “Can I help you?”  In her mind, she was already peeling away the faded cords pulled across his thighs, that marvelous face with its strong jaw and hint of heavy beard.  She wanted to run her fingers through those curly brown locks, shaded tawny gold like a male lion’s mane--every unmentionable she’d ever swirled in her dizzy head and gave her tingly goose bumps.  She didn’t care what he said as long as he kept looking at her. 


Craige repeated, “I have an appointment with Mrs. Stanley.”


Irene blinked and blinked again as though she had no idea who he was.  She then stammered, “What’s your name?” Courtesy such as “please have a seat” shot to hell.


“Craige Ingram.”


“One moment, I’ll tell her you’re here,” she bubbled.  Irene’s heart was in a pity-pat dither.  Her bra squeezed so tight, it was hard to breathe.  She stumbled around her desk and hurried into Terri’s office, somehow managing to shut the door somewhat quietly.  In a butterfly falsetto and a hand at her throat, she said, “He’s here!”



With postgraduate degrees and faculty appointments in several medical universities, Hawk MacKinney has taught graduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem. In addition to professional articles and texts on chordate neuroembryology, Hawk has authored several works of fiction.


Hawk began writing mysteries for his school newspaper. His works of fiction, historical love stories, science fiction and mystery-thrillers are not genre-centered, but plot-character driven, and reflect his southwest upbringing in Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award, details the family bloodlines of his serial protagonist in the Craige Ingram Mystery Series… murder and mayhem with a touch of romance. Vault of Secrets, the first book in the Ingram series, was followed by Nymrod Resurrection, Blood and Gold, and The Lady of Corpsewood Manor. All have received national attention.  Hawk’s latest release in the Ingram series is due out this fall with another mystery-thriller work out in 2014. The Bleikovat Event, the first volume in The Cairns of Sainctuarie science fiction series, was released in 2012.


"Without question, Hawk is one of the most gifted and imaginative writers I have had the pleasure to represent. His reading fans have something special to look forward to in the Craige Ingram Mystery Series. Intrigue, murder, deception and conspiracy--these are the things that take Hawk's main character, Navy ex-SEAL/part-time private investigator Craige Ingram, from his South Carolina ancestral home of Moccasin Hollow to the dirty backrooms of the nation's capital and across Europe and the Middle East."


Barbara Casey, President

Barbara Casey Literary Agency




Readers, please follow this tour and comment often for your chance to win a $20 Amazon gift certificate. You can find the tour schedule at

Monday, November 25, 2013

Beyond the Book: Pumpkin PIe

Hi, there, readers. My name is Dr. Kathryn Sinclair, and I'm Elaine's heroine in her upcoming release Blue 52. I have to complain about that Prince Alan from The Enchanted. He's hosted so often that he thinks he owns Beyond the Book!  I had to argue like crazy with him before he'd let me share a recipe with you. LOL. Here I am, though.

One of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes is pumpkin pie. We have it every year, and there's never any left over. Would you like to see my recipe? I have a simple secret that elevates this pie from just good to sublime.  Here you are, and I hope each and every one of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

 Pumpkin Pie


1 16 oz can pumpkin

1 1/3 cups evaporated milk undiluted

1/3 cup honey

½ cup sugar

2 large eggs

2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

In large bowl mix all ingredients with a wire whisk. Pour into unbaked 10 inch pie shell. Preheat over to 425. Bake pie 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350. Bake 35 minutes or more until knife inserted comes out clean. Cool on rack and chill.


¼ cup sugar

½ tsp allspice

¼ cup pecans chopped

2 TBSP water

In a small pan cook all ingredients until golden brown. Pour onto greased foil. Chill and chop. Put cool whip on top of the pie and sprinkle the topping on the cool whip. I always doubled the topping recipe.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Snippet Sunday: The Table in the Window

I've been humming Christmas carols and thinking about decorating for a week now, so I'm giving in to my impulse to post Christmas excerpts. This one is from The Table in the Window. My heroine's fiancé broke up with her right before Christmas, and now another man is showing deep interest in her. In this excerpt, they are in the restaurant where he works having lunch together, and he criticizes her former engagement ring. She naturally wants to know what he'd have given her.  I posted the breakup scene yesterday if you're curious about it.

He thought for a minute. “For you, something in blue to

match your eyes. You do have great eyes.” His own eyes filled with

laughter. “The rest of you isn’t bad either. It’s a cliché, but your

skin really does look as smooth and rich as that cream, and your

figure…” He kissed his fingers to her in a typical French gesture.

Marley blushed. “Blue would be nice,” she allowed.

She couldn’t explain it but, when he smiled at her, she felt

warm all over. The chill that entered her on the day Michael broke

up with her had gone away the first time he smiled at her.

Being dumped by your gorgeous fiancé is bad enough no matter when it happens, but he did it at Christmas time! Marley thinks she’ll never get over it, but Rob Travers disagrees. He sets out to win Marley’s heart, well aware that when she finds out about his past, she may turn her back on him forever.

Buy Link:

Friday, November 22, 2013

Christmas Is Coming

It isn't long until Christmas, so why don't we have a nice Christmas excerpt today? This one is from The Table in the Window which is available now at and at most other online retail outlets.  This scene occurs a few weeks before Christmas.

“Hey, there,” she called, even before she reached the table.

“Seeing you makes up for the lousy weather.” She smiled as she

took her seat and busied herself with removing her wet coat.

Michael, who wore the wheat-colored sweater she’d bought

him last month, stared out the window as if he saw something far

more fascinating than rain and fog. He hadn’t met her eyes once,

and he didn’t have the hint of a smile on his face. “Hello, Marley.”

The waiter, a guy whose name tag identified him as Robert,

approached to take their order. “What’ll it be?” he asked with a

smile. “Hot chocolate? Coffee? Or do you need something stronger

to warm you up?”

“Coffee,” Marley answered.

Robert offered them a menu, but Michael waved it away.

“I’m not having lunch.”

Marley’s eyebrows shot up. As the waiter left the table, she

said, “I thought you wanted to have lunch.”

“No, I said I wanted to talk to you.”

“Okay, talk.” Marley reached for his hand, but he drew it

away and put it in his lap.

“Uh…Marley…I have something to tell you.” He cleared his

throat, and this time he stared at some point right behind her left


Marley’s heart thumped. “What is it, Michael? What’s

wrong?” Was he ill? Had he lost his job?

He stared at a burned spot on the rustic table as if it had

come to life and tried to bite him. “I…I’ve met someone.”

Marley cocked her head. “Who did you meet?”

He’d pitched his voice so low she had a hard time hearing

him. “Her name is Heather.”

Everything clicked. He wouldn’t hold hands with her. He

wouldn’t look at her. Cold more intense than that outside settled

into her veins and almost took her breath away, but she clung to

the hope that she was wrong. “I...I don’t understand.”

His eyes met hers briefly before they slid away. “Yes, you

do. I’m sorry, Marley, but I can’t marry you after all.”

Book Blast: Into The Fire

If you can for Fashionista Friday, scroll on down. I have something nice today, but why not look at this post first?


The Virus changed them, but that was only the beginning…


…all that remains is hope.


In the wake of destruction left behind by the Virus, it took Dani and Zoe months to find each other. But their reunion was short-lived. Dani has been taken, and though little distance separates them, they might as well be worlds apart.


From the moment she hears Dani’s scream, Zoe’s only goal is to save her best friend. She and her companions scramble to come up with a rescue plan, but when a ghost from Jake’s past reappears, lines are blurred, decisions become harder, and secrets are revealed…and some secrets are best left buried. To keep heartache and fear from consuming her, Zoe must cling to her determination. She will see Dani again.

Dani awakens inside the final hold-out of civilization: the Colony. Remnants of the former world surround her—electricity, safety, social order—but all is not what it seems. As she faces her most manipulative adversary yet, she loses sight of who she is and who she can trust. Friends become enemies, enemies become allies, and allies will betray her.  Dani will have to decide what she’s willing to do and whose lives she’s willing to risk if she is to have any chance of breaking free.


“Tell me! Who was I with?”


“Zoe…and Jason.”


“What?” I screeched and scurried away from him to huddle on the edge of the bed. “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Zoe was in Massachusetts and was probably dead, and Jason…Jason was…I didn’t know. Why would I have been with Jason? Nothing was making sense. Scrunching my eyes closed, I tried to remember, but the harder I tried, the more my head hurt. Panic churned within me, making me feel sick. My heart beat heavily, like my blood was too thick, and my lungs felt constricted.


“Dani,” Gabe said, and I felt the bed shift behind me. He scooted closer, joining me on the edge of the bed and draping his arm over my bare shoulders. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you.”


Only when I looked up at him did I realize tears were streaking down my cheeks. “I don’t want to think about them…about any of it,” I told him. “If they’re gone…I just want to forget. I just want to be here, with you.”


“Dani, I think we should…”


I tilted my face up, leaning in closer to the safety and comfort of his body. “What?”


“Probably not be…”


“What?” I asked, raising my hand to his face. I brushed my thumb over his chin, feeling the rough stubble covering it, and angled his face lower.


“In here, doing this.” He breathed in jerkily when my thumb brushed across his full lower lip. It was soft and dry and begging to be kissed.


“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” I whispered, closing the distance between us.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Lindsey Fairleigh lives her life with one foot in a book—as long as that book transports her to a magical world or bends the rules of science. Her novels, from post-apocalyptic to time travel and historical fantasy, always offer up a hearty dose of unreality, along with plenty of adventure and romance. When she's not working on her next novel, Lindsey spends her time reading and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. She lives in the Napa Valley with her loving husband and confused cats.
Lindsey Pogue has always been a little creative. As a child she established a bug hospital on her elementary school soccer field, compiled books of collages as a teenager, and as an adult, expresses herself through writing. Her novels are inspired by her observations of the world around her--whether she's traveling, people watching, or hiking. When not plotting her next story line or dreaming up new, brooding characters, Lindsey's wrapped in blankets watching her favorite action flicks or going on road trips with her own leading man.
Buy links:
Into The Fire (The Ending, #2) - not available yet
After The Ending (The Ending, #1) -
Barnes & Noble:
Into The Fire (The Ending, #2) - not available yet
Into The Fire (The Ending, #2) - not available yet  
After The Ending (The Ending, #1) – not available yet
Into The Fire (The Ending, #2) - not available yet  
After The Ending (The Ending, #1) – not available yet
The authors will be giving away a $15 Amazon gift certificate to one random commenter so follow the tour and comment often.  You can find the schedule at
And here's a link to the rafflecopter:
Coming soon


Fashionista Friday

who you really are

High heel stiletto

Alexander McQueen handbag

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Gospel According to Prissy

The Gospel According to Prissy

by Barbara Casey






Three Army veteran misfits, a college dropout, an unmotivated high school graduate accused of murder, a controversial warden of a women's prison, and a little girl with the gift of prophesy – these are the people 31-year-old Lara Kruger invites into her life after suffering a miscarriage, a divorce from an abusive husband, and unemployment.
Miriam walked away from her desk and paused in front of the unframed full-length mirror she had salvaged from the recent renovations in the women’s shower rooms.  The edges were chipped and blackened, and there was a fairly large crack that ran vertically from one corner to the other.  The condition of the mirror was the result, no doubt, of one of many displays of frustration and anger within the prison walls before she took over.  Still, the mirror served its purpose.  On those rare occasions when Warden Miriam Temple of the Braden Women’s Correctional Institution needed to be sure she looked her best, at least she could do so in the privacy of her own office.
Studying her reflection, she saw a tall, aging fifty-nine-year-old woman with dark hair streaked with gray cut in a simple shag, myopic brown eyes made evident by the wire-framed glasses, and a raw-boned body that could be considered well-proportioned if it weren’t for the fact that it was about twenty pounds on the heavy side, fifteen of which had settled around her thighs and buttocks.  “Pear shaped, as opposed to apple shaped,” she frequently reminded herself, “so that means at least I won’t die of a heart attack.”  The fact that her ear lobes were also plump and didn’t have the diagonal creases indicating some type of heart disease seemed to confirm that fact.  She didn’t know if these old-wives’ tales she had grown up with were really true, but she liked to keep an open mind, especially when they worked to her benefit.
She normally didn’t wear make-up, but this morning before leaving for work, she had dug out her small tapestry bag that held what few cosmetics she owned and applied a little blush and a touch of lipstick.  She rubbed one cheek with her hand now, thinking that maybe she shouldn’t have bothered.  She didn’t need to impress anyone.  Even if there had been the awkwardness that sometimes comes with being a large woman, it had been replaced years ago by the confidence born from a privileged background and the level of acceptance and comfort from which she viewed herself.
Her dark gray suit and crisp white blouse were clean and unwrinkled, thanks to the prison laundry facilities.  The plain black pumps she wore looked both practical and appropriate to complete the over-all appearance of discipline, control, strength, and above all, a positive attitude.  It was the attitude within the prison that Miriam had worked the hardest on when she took over as head warden six years earlier.  There had been a stifling wave of hopelessness and despair among the female inmates so thick it made it difficult to breathe.  This was manifested daily in brawls, food fights, and a behavior of non-compliance in general.  “Animals get treated better than we do,” had been the mantra at the prison.
For six years Miriam had been working fourteen-hour days, overseeing the operations of the facility, staying on top of problems, writing reports, and talking to every person she could reach about helping to set up programs for “her girls” as she referred to them.  Each of Miriam’s programs offered something to a few of her girls, but not to all, something she struggled with daily.  She constantly researched what other correctional institutions were doing not only in this country but other countries as well, trying to come up with new ways to stimulate her girls and help them feel enthusiastic about their lives.
It had worked.  She started getting noticed after the first year of her tenure.  Complaints from the prisoners dropped, a State audit confirmed that for the first time in over a decade the prison budget would be in the black, and the over-all appearance of the facility was vastly improved.  Government officials who previously had been reluctant to show interest now started to open doors for this hard-working, persistent, and obviously dedicated woman. 
And then Prissy had been born.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Barbara Casey is president of the Barbara Casey Agency, representing adult fiction and nonfiction for authors throughout the United States, Great Britain, and Japan.  She is also the author of numerous articles, poems, and short stories.  Her award-winning novels have received national recognition, including the Independent Publishers Book Award, the Dana Award for Best Novel, and the Publisher’s Best Seller Award.  Her novel, The House of Kane, released in 2008, was considered for a Pulitzer nomination, and her novel Just Like Family received special recognition by the 7-Eleven Corporation.  Two other novels, The Gospel According to Prissy (released in the spring of 2013) and Shyla’s Initiative, both received an IPPY Award for Best Book in Regional Fiction. Her most recent young/new adult book, The Cadence of Gypsies, has been selected as an Amazon Best Read and received the 2013 IPPY Living Now Award.


In addition to being a frequent guest lecturer at universities and writers’ conferences, Ms. Casey served as judge for the Pathfinder Literary Awards in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Florida, and was the Florida Regional Advisor for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators from 1991 through 2003. 

The author is giving away a $25 Amazon gift certificate to a random commenter, so follow her tour and comment often. You can find her schedule at