My Books!

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Saturday Sample and Weekend Writing Warriors: Purple Heart

 This week I'm starting a few excerpts from my Wild Rose Press release, Purple Heart. Purple Heart is available at


Jenna West has no idea what she might have done to her new tenant Mike Hightower. He's surly and hateful every single time they meet, and he looks at her as though he despises her.
He does despise her. She's from the Middle East, and people like her killed his friend Ramirez when the army sent them to Iraq.

Will the power of love work its magic to soften Mike's bitter hatred, or will he ignore his growing attraction for his pretty landlady?


The dark Iraqi streets looked deserted, but they heard movement all around them. Captain Perry motioned Mike forward. “Sergeant Hightower, take a couple of guys with you and cover the side exit.”

Mike nodded. He gestured toward Ramirez and Mason, and they silently followed him around the side of the building where they took their positions behind an old burnt-out wreck. Mike had just finished adjusting his night vision goggles when an explosion erupted behind them. The reverberations from it hadn’t died away before another shell detonated in front of them.

The bright flash of light temporarily blinded Mike. “Fall back!” he heard Perry scream from somewhere on his right.

Mike staggered, tripped, and fell. 

Friday, January 29, 2021

Sol Invictus

Sol Invictus

by Ben Gartner




GENRE: Middle grade, time travel, adventure, historical fiction






Siblings John and Sarah barely made it home last time, but in their next time traveling adventure the challenge really heats up. Surrounded by clashing cultures on the ancient Roman frontier, they must fulfill their quest to unite the emperor with his enemy, an Alemanni barbarian, or risk being stuck in time forever.


An action-packed fantasy full of sword fights, chariot chases, fearsome wild animals, and high mountain survival. For graduates of the Magic Tree House looking for a thrilling middle grade page-turner, read Sol Invictus, book two of The Eye of Ra series!







Sarah instantly recognized those distinct green eyes sunk into that deeply tanned and wrinkled face, the long beard dappled with gray. 




The man who had been covered in a rockslide and then taken away by police. The tomb robber. The ancient Egyptian time traveler. Memories of their last adventure barraged Sarah’s brain like an overwhelming lightning storm. Then her survival reflex blared in alarm. 


She swung the scepter toward Aten, and the man recoiled. 


“Stay back!” Sarah shouted.


“You must go,” Aten said. 


“No, you must go,” Sarah replied, shaking the scepter and moving John behind her. Aten blocked their exit. 


“I am but a humble messenger sent by the gods.” He put both hands in the air and flicked his eyes toward the ceiling. “Sent by Ra and Khonsu, the gods of the sun and the moon, of light and travel.” He looked down to Sarah and John. “The gods have chosen you. And so you must go.” 


“What does that mean?” John asked. “How did you get out of jail?” 


“That doesn’t matter,” Sarah said. “Let us leave or I’ll scream.” 


Aten grinned. “The gods visited me in my prison cell, where I swore allegiance to them. Yes, I was a thief and a liar, but I have seen the light of Ra and repented. It was they that gave us the power to travel through time. In return for my fealty, they rescued me from that foul place. I will not hurt you, but nor will I fail the gods. You will meet them too someday, when the time is right, and you will see. But for now, you will trust me because I have traveled through the eye of Ra just as you have.” 


The hairs on Sarah’s arm tingled.


A Word With the Author

1.Did you always want to be an author?

Probably. I give this semi-vague answer because at an earlier age I would have just said “writer,” and I was a writer. I wrote a lot. I love the creative immersion. It is a power like no other.

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

My first published book (though not technically the first book I wrote) is The Eye of Ra, which was released last February 2020. It followed siblings John and Sarah as they accidentally travel in time to ancient Egypt and have to figure out how to return while navigating a mystery and the challenges of the time.


The second book in the series, Sol Invictus, releases soon! February 2, 2021. Available everywhere books are sold. It continues the story of John and Sarah, this time with a focus on the ancient Roman frontier town of Aventicum near the Alps. The stakes are high in this one and they’ll only increase in book three!

3.Besides yourself, who is your favorite author in the genre you write in?
Oh man, I’m not a huge fan of “favorite” questions because it can change, it depends on a mood, and it seems so unfair to all the really great authors out there! But lately I’ve been answering this question with Lauren Wolk. Her books are technically middle grade, but they certainly appeal to anyone. Quality craftsmanship wrapped up in a great story. My whole family read all three of her books this year.


4.What's the best part of being an author? The worst?
The best part about being an author is the writing itself. That may sound like an obvious answer, but there is so much more to being an “author” than just writing! This interview, for example. As much as I appreciate you having me here, I’d rather be writing. Hehe


The worst part about being an author is that there are only 24 hours in a day. I wish I had orders of magnitude more time to write, to hone my craft, to read. It is a delight.


5.What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on book three of The Eye of Ra series. This is my most ambitious project yet, in that much more will be revealed about the overarching series plot, who John and Sarah really are, who some of the mysterious figures are, and why all of this matters. And oh boy, does it matter!


Thank you so much for having me! I love hearing from readers, parents, teachers, librarians, and the general writing community. Don’t be shy about reaching out. My website is On Twitter and Instagram, I’m @BGartnerWriting.  



AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Ben Gartner is the award-winning author of The Eye of Ra adventure series for middle graders (ages 8-12). His books take readers for a thrilling ride, maybe even teaching them something in the meantime. Ben can be found living and writing near the mountains with his wife and two boys.





















Ben Gartnerwill be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.




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Thursday, January 28, 2021

The Time Gatherer



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Rachel Dacus will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Coming of age as a time traveler isn’t easy. Young George St. James gets help from a magical medieval monk and a 23rd century geneticist. But they can’t keep him safe from a secret society dedicated to eliminating time travel. When love unexpectedly arrives in a distant century, George must use all his skill to thwart his foes while trying to save his beloved from their malice.

Read an Excerpt

Her hand was limp in his, and her eyes had ceased to move under closed lids.


He couldn’t take a breath until she took one, but her breathing was shallow and slow. George finally inhaled, a lump in his throat. But he couldn’t allow the tears. Not yet. Not while she lived.

A single window above her bed let in a feeble shaft of light, but not much air. The stone walls oppressed him. This backward place. If only he could have transported his beloved to the airy apartment he lived in, four hundred years in the future. She could have recovered there. No one could get well in this backward century.

He had offered to take Elisabetta with him, knowing that she would die of this unknown disease. In his time, they might have been able to cure her, but she’d refused. He wouldn’t force this brilliant young painter to leave everything she’d ever known when that might ruin her and disturb history.

This was all his fault. If George hadn’t allowed his teenage passion for rock and roll to lead him to an even deeper passion for delving into history, he might not be sitting in this stone-walled room in the seventeenth century, keeping vigil at the bedside of the only woman he would ever love.

He could jump right now to the future and ask Dr. Zheng for another remedy, but since this one had gone so wrong, the next cure could be worse. And he couldn’t leave Elisabetta alone now.

About the Author:
Rachel Dacus is the author of three novels touched with the supernatural, The Time Gatherer, The Renaissance Club and The Invisibles. Magical realism also runs through her four poetry collections: Arabesque, Gods of Water and Air, Femme au Chapeau, and Earth Lessons. Her writing has appeared in many journals, including Atlanta Review, Boulevard, Gargoyle, and Prairie Schooner, as well as the anthology Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and a tiny but feisty Silky Terrier. She loves exploring the outdoors and raising funds for good causes.


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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Journey to Zentobia


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Stacy D'Alessandro will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A fast-paced fantasy/adventure that you won't want to put down! Discover exciting twists and turns around every corner in this new children's book.

When the Miller family moves to the small town of Hailsville, ten-year-old Maggie and her thirteen-year-old brother discover their neighbor comes from a magical world, Zentobia. After the amateur detectives try to help him get home, they're swept through a rainbow portal and end up in his world on their own.

In Zentobia, Maggie and Peter embark on an action-packed fantasy adventure where they encounter orange rain, cascade down floating water falls, and chat with talking animals. Before long, they learn danger lurks in Zentobia, where all magic has been banished. Maggie is captured by an evil leader who wants to bring back dark magic. Help is on the way from Peter and their dad, who team up with Zentobia's good leader. But once they reach Maggie, more trouble emerges.

Join Maggie and Peter as they navigate magical underground tunnels, use flying shoes to travel across the world, and race to save Zentobia from the return of dark magic. Will they make it in time to stop the world's last gold star from turning black, or will trouble find them first?

Read an Excerpt

“Not so fast. Finding the entrance to the tunnels will take time. When my father built them, he cast a shifting spell that made the entrance disappear and move to a new spot every couple of days. We’ll have to send out the squirrels to find the entrance. Once they find it, we can go.”

Griffen clenched his fists and put them on his hips. “Okay, then deploy the squirrels. Send out the cats, the birds, the monkeys, and the rabbits if you have to. Send out every animal on this side of the world to find that entrance. Wait...did you say spell? Like a magic spell?”

“Yes, a magic spell.” She walked over to the phone and lifted the receiver.

He addressed Mr. Walric. “You didn’t mention there’s magic here. Is this for real?”

“When Minka’s father ruled Zentobia, magic had a large role in this world. But it was banished after he had a deadly falling-out with Cyrus’s father. Minka is the only one permitted to practice, and only if there is a threat.”

“What happ—?”

The bang from the phone receiver demanded their attention.

“It’s done,” Minka said. “The squirrels are heading out now to find the tunnel entrance. If all goes well, we should be on our way to the north by nightfall. Once you set foot in the tunnels, you move twice as fast as you would above ground without ever realizing it.”

“More magic?” Griffen asked.

Minka smiled. “Yes.”

About the Author:Routine trips to Disneyland with her daughter played a role in Stacy's passion for storytelling.

Her daughter inspired the idea for Journey to Zentobia on a road trip home from one of their visits to the happiest place on Earth. They would pass a piece of paper back and forth in the car and each write part of a story. Her daughter's idea for a brother and sister to transport back in time through a rainbow portal stuck with Stacy for almost two years before she sat in front of the computer and began to write Journey to Zentobia.

Though she changed her daughter's original idea of the main characters going back in time to ending up in another world, the credit still goes to her innovative, young mind.

When she wasn’t working on this children's book, she wrote freelance stories for the Las Vegas Review-Journal Real Estate Section. Prior to that, she worked in the public relations industry in Las Vegas for more than 25 years. And when duty calls, she volunteers for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Beyond the Book: Pretty Hard To Do

What four words describe you? I thought this would be an easy topic, but it’s turning out to be hard for me to do. People change over time, but as of today here are four words that describe me.

Loyal is my first word. I guess I’m like an old dog. If you’re my friend or I’ve made some type of commitment to you I’ll be loyal. You don’t have to worry about that. It doesn’t matter if it’s convenient or not. I’ll be there for you no matter what. 

My second word is acceptance. When I was much younger I had an idea of how life ought to be, and if someone didn’t live up to my expectations I was very disappointed in them. But now I don’t expect everyone to do life the way I do. I’m more accepting of behavior and beliefs that are different from mine. That doesn’t mean I approve of destructive behaviors, and sometimes I’ll express that view. However, I can still love a person who has disappointed me. 

My third word is determined. If I set my mind on something I work diligently until I achieve my objective. Obstacles are no more than temporary roadblocks that i have to navigate around. There have been a few situations that I couldn’t conquer, but I’ve won more than I’ve lost. 

My last word is really two words: family orientated. I feel very fortunate to have been blessed with two fine sons and three grandchildren. They all live nearby so I can see them often. One of my greatest joys in life is getting the family together for a meal or some other activity. I hope to be a continuing example for my family, especially my grandchildren. I cherish their love. I hope that one day when I’m gone they’ll remember me with fondness and remember the good things I’ve tried to teach them.

What about you? What are your four words?

Hero Ever After

Title: Hero Ever After
Author: Sarah Ready
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy/Women's Fiction
Release Date: January 26, 2021
Cover Design: Mayhem Cover Creations

She needs a hero. He needs a second chance.

Single mom Ginny Weaver needs a hero. Not an average hero. Not an everyday hero. A full-fledge, honest to goodness, super-duper A-list movie star, comic book action hero.
And she’ll do anything to get one.

Liam Stone is a washed-up, has-been, former Hollywood superhero – now dubbed “the super zero”.
He isn’t what Ginny needs.

But Ginny’s six year old daughter is sick and she has one last wish…

So, Ginny and Liam make a deal. Ginny will get a cape-wearing superhero for her daughter and Liam will get his chance at redemption. 

But deals come with unexpected consequences, like questioning what really makes a hero, or a family, and whether or not love has anything to do with it. 

Maybe, just maybe…love makes heroes of us all

A feel good, heart-warming contemporary romance about the power of hope, family and love.

“Sarah Ready is the best kept secret in contemporary romance…If you’re looking for a book that tickles your funny bone and tugs on your heart strings in the most exquisite way, this charming, witty story full of all the feels is your next amazing read!”
“hands down one of my favourite authors…I love this book! Would give more than 5 stars if I could!”
“This book brought me to tears! I loved everything about the book, the characters, plot everything! A book that you do not want to miss!”
“Hero Ever After is a feel good, happily ever after, romance read. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I adored this book.”

Excerpt from Chapter One Hero Ever After by Sarah Ready 

I love heroes. Everything about them. Their strength, their honor, their  devotion, their pursuit of the ultimate goal in the face of unsurmountable odds. A  hero always does what’s right, always wins, no matter what. Right now, more than  anything in the whole wide world, I need a hero. I’m broke, widowed, a whisper  from the edge, and my baby girl’s dying—she wants a hero, and by all that’s holy, I’ll  get her one. I’ll get her the greatest superhero of all time. I’ll get her Liam Stone.  

I glance to the backseat of the car. Bean’s strapped in her car seat. Her sixth  birthday was last week and she’s working through the pile of comic books that she  got for her present.  

“Do you think he’ll lift a car?” she asks. “When he fought The Red Spider he  lifted a car over his head and crushed him.”  

I take my eyes off the washed out dirt road and look in the rearview mirror.  “I don’t know, Bean. I don’t know if retired superheroes still do that stuff.” Two lines pucker between her forehead as she thinks my answer over. “But  he’ll still train me?”  

“If I have to wrestle him to the ground and force him.” 

She giggles and I nearly lose my breath at the happy sound.  

“Mama, you can’t beat Liam Stone. He’s strong as two hundred men, quick as  a rocket, and smarter than Einstein, aaand he’s devoted to helping the  misfortunate.” 

“Downtrodden,” I say with a wry smile. 

“He’ll be happy to see me. I bet he’s been wanting a protégé for years. All the  best heroes have ’em.” 

I raise my eyebrows. Since when did she start using words like protégé? “You  let me do the talking, Bean.” 

“I know.” She buries her nose back in the comic book. I can barely see the top  of her bald head over the bright cover of the comic.  

I breathe through the pinch of panic that comes every time I see evidence of  her being sick. Push it aside. 

Anyway, we’ve made it. We’re ten miles outside of Centreville where Route  511 crosses Route 511B and turns onto Pine Tree Road. Southern Ohio is full of  fallow land sold for cheap, you can snatch up hundreds of acres, and be left alone for  the rest of your life. Which is, I guess, what Liam Stone was hoping for. He bought  the land two years ago when he literally fell from Hollywood stardom.  

At first, everyone in town was starstruck, waiting for the day he’d come to  Main Street so they could go gaga over him. But he never came. Two years on, no  one in town has ever laid eyes on him. And no one has ever been brave enough to  come out and introduce themselves—extend a neighborly hello. Nope, we’ve all just  left him alone.  

Until today.

Sarah Ready is a novelist of romantic comedy, contemporary romance and women’s fiction.
She writes stories about finding love – and all the humor, heart and adventure that entails.
Her first novel The Fall In Love Checklist was called “…my #1 read of 2020”. You can find receive bonus content, exclusive excerpts and sneak peaks by signing up for her newsletter at:


Monday, January 25, 2021

Shelter for Cerise


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Nicole Flockton 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.

After surviving a terrifying tornado, Cerise Robinson has re-evaluated her life goals. Her focus now is on, Finn, her foster son and following her dream to adopt him so that she can call him her own. A relationship is the last thing she’s looking for, yet Brodie is not only handsome and sets her heart racing, he’s also wonderful to Finn. He’s almost too good to be true.

Volunteer fire fighter, Brodie Spelling is as happy on the back of horse working on a dude ranch as he was at creating code for the very successful app he and his college buddies developed. So maybe he’s a tech millionaire. No one else needs to know. He’s finally found the balance his life needed—yet something is missing. When he meets Cerise, he discovers an attraction he isn’t expecting. Nor the connection he quickly develops with her foster son. Does he now have the lost piece to complete his puzzle?

As their relationship develops, danger lurks in the shadows waiting to take what Cerise wants most. She will stop at nothing to save Finn, even if it means putting her life on the line…and losing Brodie.

Read an Excerpt

“I’m glad you came tonight. Did you have fun?”

Brodie stepped a little closer and brushed the back of his knuckles along her soft cheek, careful not to mess up her glitter. “Yeah, I did.”

“Even though they gave you hard time about knowing those tech millionaires but not being in the inner sanctum with them?”

“Yeah, even then. I got to spend time with you. That’s what I enjoyed the most.”

Cerise ducked her head. The urge to taste her was overwhelming him. The scent of her perfume had driven him crazy all night. Along with the way her cheeks sparkled when the light hit them. And she’d reapplied her gloss before leaving so they shone temptingly in the sparsely lit parking lot.

“I liked being with you too.”

He slipped an arm around her waist, waiting a few seconds to see if she would pull away. When she didn’t he raised his other hand and smoothed it over her head. “Can I kiss you, Sparkles?”

“If you don’t, I think I might have to hurt you.”

About the Author:
USA Today Bestselling author Nicole Flockton writes sexy contemporary romances that sparkle. Nicole likes nothing better than taking characters and creating unique situations where they fight to find their true love.

Apart from writing Nicole is busy spreading glitter all over social media, looking after her very own hero – her wonderfully supportive husband, and two fabulous kids. She also enjoys watching sports and, of course, reading.

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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Saturday Sample and Weekend Writing Warriors: Never Trust a Pretty Wolf

 Welcome to Saturday Sample and Weekend Writing Warriors. Today we'll continue to share excerpts from Never Trust a Pretty Wolf. On Sunday when you finish here, do go to for more excerpts from a bunch of great authors.

Liesel Wolf has a secret, a dangerous secret she’ll go to any lengths to conceal. When she’s paired in a charity game with sexy marshal Andy Bryce, a man with secrets of his own, her carefully constructed world comes crashing down, and Liesel’s on a collision course with her past.

Chapter One

Last Week

“Two o’clock. Men in khaki.” Andy came to a halt and jerked her against him. “Kiss me like you mean it.”

Liesel didn’t mind if she did. Hopefully the khaki men would never imagine that two lovers out for a stroll had only moments before been running for their very lives. She prayed the men didn’t get too good a look at them. Throwing her arms around him, she pressed her body against his.

She wouldn’t have admitted to it for anything, but in spite of the danger, she felt a thrill from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet. Nobody could kiss like Andy Bryce!

This week: I've picked up where we left off last week.  This is as far as we're going in Never Trust a Pretty Wolf. We'll do something else next week. 

Friday, January 22, 2021

Into the Devil's Den

 Into the Devil's Den - Snared by Their Own Lies

by Ellen W. Martin 




GENRE: Suspense Thriller






For twenty-years Sam Steele lived with a lie gnawing at his conscience — for twenty-years his only child believed her mother was dead. Without warning his ex-wife springs from the ashes of the past and reaches out to him in his capacity as a veteran Immigration Custom Enforcement agent.


When Sam’s ex dumps a father’s living nightmare into his lap, he must choose between doing his duty as a law enforcer and jeopardizing his cherished relationship with his daughter. Circumstances beyond his control leave him no choice. Before he can seek forgiveness, TERRI ANNE disappears. Sam neglects his duties as an ICE agent and becomes obsessed in finding her. In the wake of his search he unravels a trail of murder, illegal Green Card marriages, and unveils a jihadist’s plot to launch a terror attack on American soil.


INTO THE DEVIL’S DEN – SNARED BY THEIR OWN LIES weaves a tangled tale of suspense, murder, and treachery. Each twisted circumstance is triggered by that one well-intended lie Sam Steele told his child — a lie that mushrooms into several more falsehoods and leaves multiple lives dangling by a single thread. The daunting task of facing the truth and the race against time pushes ICE agent Sam Steele’s integrity to the limit.






Michael shifted his position in the chair; leather groaned beneath him. Arrogant bastard, he thought. Coming here was a mistake. A bigger one was not keeping quiet about Maggie. He took a deep breath. Yeah, right, like he had a choice. When you sell your soul to the devil, he owns you forever. 


Michael nibbled the inside of his mouth. How in hell did Banks discover he was playing both sides of the fence? For years he’d been so careful. Moot point, the Senator had his balls in a vise, and there was no escape. You don’t cross a man like Carter Banks and easily get away with it.


The Senator pulled a fresh cigar from a cloisonné humidor. “What’s the deal on that Immigration agent Steele?” He snipped the end of the cigar and lit it. Pungent smoke ringed his head, fouling the air.


“The man’s possessed. His daughter is missing and he blames Rashid and Jaali.”


“This guy better not get in the way,” the Senator said. “Contain him.”


“And, how do you suggest I ‘contain’ an enraged Papa Bear?” 


“Not my problem,” Banks said folding his hands behind his head. He leaned back in his chair, “You’re the so-called professional,” he said; a sinister grin stretched across his face. “Do what you do best.” His smiled disappeared, “And, get it done before things get out of hand.” 


Michael struggled to contain his disbelief. The bastard’s suggesting he murder Steele, too. He couldn’t, no wouldn’t do that to Maggie, not if he wanted her back and he did. He leaned forward, arms on knees. “Before we go to extremes, use your influence with Homeland Security. Get his superiors to rein him in.”





AUTHOR Bio and Links:


A proud wife of a retired Air Force officer, mother of one son and grandparent of three grandchildren, Ellen, didn’t start writing until retirement years, and even then she considered writing a hobby.  In 2019 she published a historical fiction, SONS OF CUBA, a two book series.  INTO THE DEVILS DEN is her third publication.  During the early months while COVID-19 was wreaking havoc through the nation and around the world, she took the opportunity to write another suspense thriller entitled SHATTERED LOYALTIES which she hopes will be published and released sometime in 2021.


The Martin’s call the snow-white beaches and emerald waters near Northwest Florida home.  


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Ellen W. Martin will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.




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