My Books!

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Beyond the Book: Her Name Was Pearl

“Do you have a favorite story about your family that has been passed down, or one that you hope will get passed down?”

I had two great storytellers as I was growing up. The first one was my Grandpa Pace. He was born in 1890 something. I can't remember the exact year, but he knew a lot of stories about Brer (Brother) Rabbit. If you don't know these were trickster tales made up by slaves back during slave times. In these stories a small weaker animal always tricked larger more powerful animals and got the better of them. Of course in the stories the slaves always identified with the rabbit, and the more powerful animals were the slave owners. The ones my grandfather told me were not original. He didn't make them up. He just repeated what he had been told. My sister and i were thrilled with the stories and always wanted Brer Rabbit to win. 

The other great storyteller in my life was Grandma Pace. This lady had a lot of things happen to her, and she made stories out of most of it that made the past come alive. One of my favorite stories was the one about the time Uncle Will had to spend the night in town. My grandmother lived with her mother's brother Uncle Will on a farm not too far from where I live now. There were about eight children in the family, and they all worked and did chores on the farm. Anyway, one day Uncle Will had to spend the night in town on business. That left the children and Aunt Margaret all alone in an isolated area. They had their dinner and had gone to bed when they heard someone rattling the door. Aunt Margaret jumped up and crept into the kitchen. Someone was on the porch trying to get in. The children were up by this time because the intruder was going from window to window trying to gain access to the house. Aunt Margaret was a decisive woman. She stirred up the fire under a pot of water that she'd heated for the children to use washing their faces and feet before bed. It only took a few minutes for it to boil because it had still been hot. All the while someone was outside nosing around.

Aunt Margaret told all the children except her oldest son to hide. When she gave the word the boy flung the door open, and Aunt Margaret threw the hot water in the intruder's face. They also set the dog on him. The last they saw of him he was hightailing it down the road with the dog in hot pursuit. 

Scary? I'd have been scared if it happened to me. It used to give us chills the way my grandmother told it.

She had a story about how an escaped convict stole Uncle Wills overalls off the clothesline, and there was a great story about a mad dog that terrorized them one summer afternoon before Uncle Will came from the field and shot it.

We have stories of things that happened in our lifetime too, but to me they seldom pack the punch of my grandmother's stories. What about you? Do you have a master storyteller who passes on family stories to the children?

Promising Love

Promising Love

by Sara Ohlin




GENRE: Contemporary Romance






When a glamorous spa owner seduces the grumpy neighborhood bartender, passion smolders…

Ruby Naylor, confident, successful proprietor of Spa La La, has been crushing on Lachlan MacGregory for ages and finally throws herself at the grumpy bartender as he’s helping her tipsy butt home to her apartment above his pub.


Ruby is the only woman Lachlan has ever loved—from afar. When she makes a pass, he finally admits he’s wanted her for a long time. He leaves her that night with three promises—a kiss, a special connection between them and an epic tomorrow.


Unfortunately, when tomorrow arrives and Lachlan is smacked with the knowledge that she’s already in a relationship with two men, he feels he has nothing to offer her.


His day gets worse when his addict father is on his doorstep again, demanding money. The thought that he could end up sick and miserable like his father eats at Lachlan, making him focus on what has never let him down, his successful pub in the burgeoning Corvallis neighborhood.


Learning that Ruby is not taken, Lachlan finally goes all out to win her back. With his heartfelt apology, it’s easy for Ruby to forgive him—she believes in joy, in romance, in happy ever after. What she never expected was how vulnerable Lachlan could make her feel.


Can their love withstand life-shattering events to lead them into a beautiful future?






“Beautiful, I want that.” His voice was rough with need and it gave her a shiver to know she did that to him. “But not on Detective Naylor’s couch.”


Stunned for only a second at the last words she expected to come out of his mouth, Ruby burst out laughing. She couldn’t help it. Lachlan rocked them together.


“Love that sound.”


“Oh my goodness, are we sixteen just waiting to get caught?”


“You think this is funny?”


“Uhm, hilarious. I’ve been waiting a lifetime for you to kiss me and do all the other amazing things. And we’re adults, but we’re getting blocked by my dad who isn’t even here.” The laughter poured out of her. Her energy needed an outlet and apparently it wasn’t going to happen how she imagined it right this minute.


“A lifetime, huh?” Lachlan’s deep, soft voice was a stroke against her skin.


“Yeah,” she whispered.


“I’ve been waiting too.” He brushed his fingers through her hair, following their path with his eyes. Pensive eyes. Tired eyes. Ruby noticed the little details. “I can keep waiting.”


“Me too,” she said, resigned but still in a happy place, lost in him.


“Waiting sucks,” he said. And his pout was so darn cute.


“Yeah.” Ruby chuckled again. “But this sure is nice.”


“Mmm. Maybe you could do that thing to my head again with your hands. Felt damn good.”


Her smile was automatic. It felt amazing taking care of this man. Ruby ran her hands through his hair and kneaded his scalp with her fingers, stroking once in a while with her nails. Soothing, deepening, then soothing again. It was only a few minutes before his breathing changed and his weight settled. Her hottie was asleep. Oh, you precious man.


“Best kiss ever,” she whispered as he slept beside her.





AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Puget Sound based writer, Sara Ohlin is a mom, wannabe photographer, obsessive reader, ridiculous foodie, and the author of the contemporary romance novels, Handling the Rancher, Salvaging Love, Seducing the Dragonfly, Igniting Love, Flirting with Forever and Promising Love.


She has over sixteen years of creative non-fiction and memoir writing experience, and you can find her essays at, Feminine Collective, Mothers Always Write, Her View from Home, Under the Gum Tree, and in anthologies such as Are We Feeling Better Yet? Women Speak about Healthcare in America, Take Care: Tales, Tips, & Love from Women Caregivers, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. 


Although she’s the author of many essays about life, grief, motherhood and the connections we make through delicious food and shared meals, Sara loves creating imaginary worlds with tight-knit communities in her romance novels. She credits her mother, Mary, Nora Roberts and Rosamunde Pilcher for her love of romance.


If she’s not reading or writing, you will most likely find her in the kitchen creating scrumptious meals with her two kids and amazing husband, or perhaps cooking up her next love story. She once met a person who both “didn’t read books” and wasn’t “that into food” and it nearly broke her heart.



Facebook =


Instagram =

Pinterest =

BookBub =

Goodreads =


Promising Love Buy Links



Totally Bound








Sara Ohlin will be awarding a $30 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 29, 2021

A Moment in Time

A Moment In Time

by Martin Dukes




GENRE: YA Fantasy






Alex Trueman has just turned fifteen. He's a typical teenager, a bit spotty, a bit nerdy and he's not exactly popular at school, not being one of the 'cool' kids. His tendency to day-dream doesn't exactly help him to be cool. either! But being cool isn't as good as the talent Alex discovers he has - stopping time.


Yes that's right. Stopping time!


Well, for everyone except Alex, that is, who finds that whilst everyone else is caught in a moment in time, he is able to carry on as normal. Maybe not quite 'normal', after all, he's able to stop time, and whilst that's not exactly as good as a certain 'boy wizard', it's pretty close!

The only trouble is that reality for Alex isn't always what is seems, and being plunged into an alternative can be a bit tricky, not to mention the fact that he makes an enemy almost as soon as he arrives, which tends to cause a problem.


Will Alex Trueman, nerdy daydreamer, be able to return to reality or will he be stuck forever in his alternative? Is a moment in time enough for Alex to discover the superhero he needs is probably himself?


A Moment in Time is the debut novel of author Martin Dukes, and is the first in a series of Alex Trueman Chronicles, which take the reader, along with Alex, into a bedazzling world of time travel, alternative reality and flying sea creatures. His further adventures include the past, possibly the future and definitely a fight to save reality itself.






Alex returned home to find a most unwelcome development, which had arrived through the letterbox in the superficially innocent form of a brown envelope. It might as well have been a letter bomb for its explosive impact on Alex’s day. It contained his school report.  His mother’s set jaw and the glint of steel in her eyes when Alex walked into the kitchen signalled danger ahead. Alarm bells were dinning away insistently by the time the brown envelope was brandished in his face.


“This,” she said, tapping him on the head with it for emphasis, “Is your report.” She paused to let Alex dwell on this prospect. “It does not make good reading. Let me see,” she pondered as she snatched up her glasses and whipped the report out to read. “Mathematics… 3C... English… 2C… Design Technology, get this… 4D.” She read through the whole list in a voice trembling with outrage. “And here’s the grand finale,” she said, shaking the page. “The considered opinion of your form teacher. Do you want to hear what Mr Burbage has to say about you?”


Alex had absolutely no desire to hear this now, or indeed ever, but he recognised there was no point in saying so. A display of submissive behaviour seemed in order. He hung his head. “Alex is undoubtedly an intelligent pupil with a bright future, should he choose to exert himself,” she read. “Get that? Should he choose to exert himself.


Her face came worryingly close to Alex’s as she stressed this last part. He was conscious of a little drop of her saliva on his chin, at first warm, now suddenly cold.

A Word With the Author

1.Did you always want to be an author?


I’ve wanted to be an author as long as I can remember. Given that I’m sixty-two, that’s quite a long time. Since, ‘A Moment in Time’ is my first work to be published through the traditional publishing route I can hardly claim to be a precocious success! I have always loved books and the possibilities of the English language for creating worlds that others might wish to explore. As a child, I remember that I had an extensive bookshelf, for an eight-year old, and set myself up as librarian. I made little lending cards for the inside of the front covers and loaned them out to my young friends and relatives. They faced my wrath if they didn’t return them by the set date, or brought them back dog-eared or food stained! My first attempts at writing involved hand-made folded paper booklets, telling stories involving my teddy bears, but my earliest formal attempt resulted in an epic work entitled ‘The Adventures of George and his friends’, penned when I was twelve. This was in a lined, hard backed notebook, written in my best handwriting and illustrated throughout in felt-tipped pen. I still own (and treasure) this book. Throughout my teens, and beyond, I continued to write, although none of my attempts resulted in a completed document.

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


In the next thirty years I continued to write and began to approach literary agents with a view to publication. I have a large collection of rejection slips to show for this, which resulted in various lapses in perseverance, brought on by sheer frustration. I always returned to it, eventually, however, and I like to think that my skills developed through practice, experience and continuing to read widely over the years. My breakthrough came a few years after a moderately successful attempt at self-publishing, which eventually languished due to my inability to commit sufficiently to marketing and publicity. As a full-time teacher and head of department I simply didn’t have the time to devote to it. Then, as retirement approached, I came across the wonderful Jane Murray of Provoco Publishing, on Twitter, who invited me to send her a manuscript and evidently liked what she saw. My first book, ‘Alex Trueman in A Moment in Time’, describes the adventures of a fifteen-year old, who finds he has the ability to stop time, with all the delightful possibilities such an ability might offer. At first, he finds that he can start and stop time at will, but soon he finds that he cannot re-start it. He is trapped in a moment, with the whole world apparently frozen into immobility around him. The book records his adventures in this frozen world of ‘Intersticia’ and his relationships with the few fellow prisoners in this place, as they plot their eventual escape. This is the first book in a whole series of the ‘Alex Trueman Chronicles’ that should see publication over the next few years.

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


I am a big fan of Philip Pullman. His ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy is amongst the finest books I have read in any genre, and I frequently re-visit them. His world building is superb, creating a highly detailed universe with some most original and fascinating concepts. He is a hugely compelling storyteller, a master of language who creates a whole range of memorable and highly relatable characters. There is a wonderful sense of ‘legend’ in his work, where the familiar physical universe has its interface with a world where the ordinary rules of existence do not apply. You know you have read a good book when you continue to re-visit its world in your own mind.

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


The best part of being an author is sitting with your fingers at the keyboard and feeling the story flow out of you, as though it has a life of its own. In these moments it feels as though my body is no more than a channel between two worlds: the real world, and the world that exists within my mind. I have a real sense that the story writes itself. That is not to say that each book doesn’t require a great deal of groundwork and preparation in conceptual terms. However, once the conceptual framework is in place and I know what happens next, the rest is a real pleasure to set down.

The worst part of being an author is editing, as many an author will tell you, I should think! When every sentence must be minutely scrutinized for errors all the pleasure of reading is squeezed out of it. I find it very hard to sustain concentration when doing this, and it is so easy to slip back into reading for reading’s sake, seduced by the story. Then you think to yourself, ‘Oops! When did I actually lose focus?’ and you have to work your way back up through the pages and paragraphs again to see where you last deleted a rogue comma, for example. I have taken to starting from the end of the manuscript and working my upward, paragraph by slow paragraph. At least this way you don’t find yourself slipping back into the story once more. Still, editing is a pain. A necessary pain but a pain nevertheless!

5.What are you working on now?


I’ve just finished writing a fantasy novel, set in an imaginary world called Toxandria; one that I conceived of back in my twenties. My wife and my son are presently reading this, and giving me the opportunity to correct anything too ludicrous or objectionable before I present it to Jane Murray, my publisher, to see if she agrees that it has any merit. I’m very pleased with it, and it has given me great satisfaction to bring it to a conclusion during the last few weeks. Some details of this world are on my website ( It contains four realms, each with a distinct character and so I may eventually write four books, one set in each realm. My next major project will be to write another Alex Trueman book. A number of these are in various stages of publication, but I am aware that I need to bring the series to completion and now have to give some thought to creating a new adventure for my boy hero and his friends.  



AUTHOR Bio and Links:


I’ve always been a writer. It’s not a choice. It’s a compulsion, and I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. Lots of childish scribbles in notebooks, lots of rejection slips from publishers and agents testify to a craft long in the making. In addition, it has proved necessary to earn a living by other means whilst those vital skills mature. For thirty-eight years I taught Art and Graphic Design, thirty-seven of them in a wonderful independent girls’ school in Birmingham, UK. For much of the latter part of this career I was Head of Department, which gave me the opportunity to place my own stamp on Art education there, sharing with the pupils there my own love of Art and the History of Art. Over a decade I was able to lead annual visits to Florence, Venice and Rome (some of my favourite places on the planet) as destinations on my Renaissance Tour. These visits created memories that I shall cherish for the rest of my life.


I love history in general, reading history as much as I read fiction. I have a particular interest in the ancient world but I am also fascinated with medieval times and with European history in general. This interest informs my own writing to the extent that human relationships and motivations are a constant throughout the millennia, and there is scarcely a story that could be conceived of that has not already played itself out in some historical context. There is much to learn from observing and understanding such things, much that can be usefully applied to my own work.


Teaching tends to be a rather time-consuming activity. Since retiring, I have been able to devote much more of my time to writing, and being taken on by the brilliant Jane Murray of Provoco Publishing has meant that I am finally able to bring my work to the reading public’s attention. I like to think that my ideas are original and that they do not readily fall into existing tropes and categories.


I am not a particularly physical being. I was always terrible at sport and have rather poor physical coordination (as though my body were organised by a committee rather than a single guiding intelligence!). I tend to treat my body as a conveyance for my head, which is where I really dwell. My writing typically derives from dreams. There is a sweet spot between sleeping and waking which is where my ideas originate. I always develop my stories there. When I am writing it feels as though the content of my dreams becomes real through the agency of my fingers on the keyboard. I love the English language, the rich majesty of its vocabulary and its rhythmic possibilities. My arrival at this stage could hardly be describes as precocious. However, at the age of sixty-two, I feel that I have arrived at a place where I can create work of value that others may appreciate and enjoy.


Twitter - @MartinDukes5






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



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Saturday Sample and Weekend Writing Warriors

 Welcome to Saturday Sample and Weekend Writing Warriors. Today I'm sharing  excerpts from Return Engagement, my first book about the Lovinggood family. I've already shared some of the first part so I'll be doing a little jumping around. First a blurb, then that excerpt. Oh, and on Sunday when you finish here go to for more excerpts from a talented group of authors.


Elizabeth Lane is one lucky woman. She has it all-money, fame, a satisfying career and a devoted fiancé. Her humble beginnings are all but obscured, but she isn't the kind of woman Senator Henry Lovinggood wants for his son, Richard. Senator Lovinggood plans to make Richard the President of the United States; he'll need a woman from a wealthy, powerful family by his side. Ten years ago the senator broke Richard and Elizabeth up, but this time it won't be so easy, for Elizabeth wants to know what might have been. This time she'll fight back, a struggle which ultimately leads to kidnapping and attempted murder and alienates her from the man of her dreams.

Last Weeks Excerpt:

As the clock struck five, the doorbell rang again. All three women raced to the door to receive a small, gift wrapped box. “I love the paper,” Cathy exclaimed as she examined the violet strewn wrapping. “And just look at this gorgeous, purple bow.”

Elizabeth took no interest in the wrapping paper. She stripped it from the box and threw it in the floor. “Why, it’s a picture of Richard.”

She fell silent and studied the picture. He stood on the beach laughing into the camera. The wind had rumpled his hair so that a small piece of it had fallen down over his fore- head. He had unfastened the first two buttons of his shirt and rolled his sleeves up to the middle of his arms. The hem of his shorts looked wet as did the bottom of his shirt. She didn’t see a card or inscription this time.

Elizabeth couldn’t have spoken if her life depended on it. Seeing Richard’s picture made memories spring alive, memo- ries almost too poignant to bear. She stared at the picture for what seemed like a long time. Finally, she passed it to her mother who looked at it and passed it to Cathy.

This week's excerpt:

Cathy studied the picture herself. “You know, I suppose I could have been wrong about him. I guess he might really love you, Elizabeth. After all, you’re a beautiful, vibrant woman. Why wouldn’t he fall in love with you? He did a wonderful thing for you today, so why don’t you call him and ask him to come over? He’s probably waiting by the phone for you right this minute.”

“I thought you and Mother wanted me to marry Alex,” Elizabeth objected. “Why are the two of you telling me to call Richard? Yes, this is romantic, but it doesn’t change any- thing . ”

Cathy passed the picture back to her. “Maybe not, but you need to see him. If nothing else you owe him a sense of closure. He’s your husband, and it isn’t fair to leave every- thing hanging this way. If you don’t want him, you need to tell him so he can get over you and move on with his life. And don’t forget that if you saw him you might decide you love him too much to lose him. Don’t get Alex’s hopes up if you’re eventually going back to Richard.”

Mrs. Lane quickly stepped in. “I agree. Do what she says, Elizabeth. ”

Available at

Friday, November 26, 2021

Two Many Sleuths

 Two Many Sleuths

by MK Scott




GENRE:   Cozy Mystery






Can the Brits and Yanks team up to solve a murder?

What should have been an easy week for small town detective Mark Taber and his amateur sleuth and innkeeper wife, Donna Tolllhouse Taber goes awry when a local garden club member is shot. One of the inn guests, a Scotland Yard detective's insistence on helping could actually make things worse. Can ruffled feathers be smoothed before the killer strikes again?

Find out in Book Twelve of The Painted Lady Inn Mystery series, Two Many Sleuths.






A week without a murder or the mention of any crime made Donna Tollhouse Taber grin. She adjusted the car window clamps on the British flags, then stepped back, resting her hands on her lower back. “I think it’s a nice touch.”


Her detective husband, Mark, ran a hand through his salt and pepper hair. “I don’t know.” His face scrunched up. “It might be over the top. Howard doesn’t strike me as the showy type. He keeps things low-key, a proper Brit.”


Typical. Her husband thought he knew all about the neighbors over the pond due to an online relationship he’d struck with Scotland Yard detective Howard Dudley, when he previously researched diamonds and jewel heists. Never mind her husband hadn’t put in the hours she had watching BBC mysteries and The Great British Baking Show. If Howard didn’t appreciate her effort to welcome them, his wife, Elizabeth, certainly would. “A proper Brit might mention they don’t go in for pomp and ceremony, but just look at the royal weddings. They go crazy about those.”


“Well, you’d know more about that than me. All I can hope for is a nice quiet time with no murders. I told the station not to call me unless it’s an emergency. A vacation is still a vacation even if I don’t leave the state.”


“The best thing to do is not answer your phone.” Donna had doubts about her husband not getting pulled into a case. 





AUTHOR Bio and Links:


M. K. Scott is the husband and wife writing team behind the cozy mystery series, The Painted Lady Inn MysteriesThe Talking Dog Detective AgencyThe Way Over the Hill Gang, and Cupid’s Catering Company.


Morgan K Wyatt is the general wordsmith, while her husband, Scott, is the grammar hammer and physics specialist. He uses his engineering skills to explain how fast a body falls when pushed over a cliff and various other felonious activities. 


The Internet and experts in the field provide forensic information, while the recipes and B and B details require a more hands on approach. Morgan's daughter, who manages a hotel, provides guest horror stories to fuel the plot lines. The couple's dog, Jane, is the inspiration behind Jasper, Donna's dog.  


All the series are full of quirky characters, humorous shenanigans, along with the occasional murder.




The book will be $0.99 during the tour.





MK Scott will be awarding a $40 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Polish Dragon P.I.


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Steve Zimcosky will be awarding a $25 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.

A bible mysteriously disappears from a Russian businessman’s home and it is said to have a secret hidden inside that would cause embarrassment to the Russian Orthodox Church. The Polish Dragon P. I. is called in, along with his new partner, to help find the bible. The problem is the bible is not supposed to exist and there is a secret organization, sworn to protect the church, also looking for the bible. They will stop at nothing to locate it and destroy it.

Read an Excerpt

"I found out that before Father Zelenko was in charge of the church, there was another priest there who was excommunicated from the church."

"Really? How did you find that out?"

"I managed to talk to some of the older parishioners, who told me they were surprised when he was given the boot, so to speak."

"Did you find out why he was excommunicated?"

"Yes, it appears he began to question some of the things going on with the church and some outside group called…"

"The International Bureau of Archangels." Tom blurted into the phone.

"How did you know that?"

"I have had two calls from some mystery person who wanted me to check out Father Zelenko and who just last night left me a message to check out this group."

"Well, I'm not having much luck finding anything about the Bureau, but most of the local churches and any others I've contacted claim to not know anything about this group. They say they never heard of them."

About the Author: Steve Zimcosky is a multi-award winning and international selling author. He is the creator of the Polish Dragon P. I. series and was born in the Slavic Village area of Cleveland, Ohio where many of his stories take place. He has wanted to be an author since elementary school while reading books like White Fang and Call of the Wild by Jack London. He spends his retirement time writing short stories on a variety of subjects he hopes his readers will enjoy. Some of his favorite authors include Stephen King, James Clavell, Thomas B. Dewey and Vivien Chien.

Amazon Author Page


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Spell Sweeper


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Lee Edward Födi will be awarding a Spell Sweeper prize pack: Hand-made miniature broom, hand-made magical creature egg, spell bottle, and bookmarks to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

There's nothing magical about wizard school
. . . at least, not for Cara Moone.

Most wizard kids spend their days practicing spells and wielding wands, but Cara? She’s on the fast track to becoming a MOP (a.k.a. Magical Occurrence Purger). You see, when a real wizard casts a spell, it leaves behind a residue called spell dust—which, if not disposed of properly, can cause absolute chaos in the nonmagical world. It’s a MOP’s job to clean up the mess.

And no one makes more of a mess than Harlee Wu. Believed to be the Chosen One, destined to save the magical world, Harlee makes magic look easy. Which makes her Cara’s sworn nemesis. Or she would be, if she even knew Cara existed.

Then one of Harlee’s spells leaves something downright dangerous behind it: a rift in the fabric of magic itself. And when more rifts start to appear around the school, all in places Harlee has recently used magic, Cara is pretty sure the so-called “Chosen One” isn’t going to save the world. She’s going to destroy it.

It will take more than magic to clean up a mess this big. Fortunately, messes are kind of Cara’s thing.

Read an Excerpt

There’s nothing magical about a broom

* * *

It’s one of my earliest memories, vivid as a full moon. I’m only four or five, and Su is walking me to school like any good big sister. We stop at the crosswalk and I see an old woman sweeping the pavement, just a few feet away. She wears a frayed sweater, grimy jeans, and maybe a secondhand pair of sneakers. Her broom is wisps of straw, the handle fashioned from a twisted stick of wood. Everything about her is ordinary. Mundane. But as I watch her, the morning sun catches her just right, and for an instant she ignites with a golden luster, frozen in a perfect moment of magic—a fairy sweeping away the shadows of the night.

Then she vanishes. Maybe it’s a trick of the light, maybe my childish frame of mind, but I’m convinced she’s a witch, that she has leapt upon her broomstick and taken to the clouds. When I tell Su this, she doesn’t laugh or chide me for having an overactive imagination. Instead, her eyes dance with wonder.

“Well, there is magic in the world, Cara. That’s what Dad always says. Right?”

I nod dramatically in agreement.

Of course, that was a long time ago. A lot of things have changed since then—with me, with my sister, with everything.

I know now that you can’t fly away on a broomstick. It’s not that I grew up and stopped believing in magic—actually, I believe in it more, which is what happens when you’re chosen to attend one of the most prestigious wizard schools in the world. But here’s the thing: when I was given my own broom, it wasn’t so that I could soar across the skies, read prophecies in the stars, or fight dragons in wand-to-fang combat.

It was because I’m a failure.

Trust me. It doesn’t matter if you’re some old lady on a street corner or a kid with a whisper of magic in her blood—a broom is for one thing and one thing only: sweeping.

Yay, me. I’m going to wizard school.

And it’s terrible.

About the Author:
Lee Edward Födi is an author, illustrator, and specialized arts educator—or, as he likes to think of himself, a daydreaming expert. He is the author of several books for children, including The Secret of Zoone and the Kendra Kandlestar series. He is a co-founder of the Creative Writing for Children Society (CWC), a not-for-profit program that helps kids write their own books. He has the joy of leading workshops for kids in Canada, the US, Korea, China, Thailand, and other places here and there. Lee lives in Vancouver, where he shares a creative life with his wife Marcie and son Hiro.


Purchase links:

a Rafflecopter giveaway >

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Beyond the Book: What Would You Want to Hear?

This week I'm talking about what book I’d choose to read to a sick adult.

Several thoughts come to mind here. First, just how sick is the person? If someone is really ill they might prefer to be left alone. Assuming that the person wanted to be read to, there are a few things to consider.

One important thing, maybe the most important, is to find out what type of book the person likes to read. I don’t think my husband, for example, would be interested in hearing a Harlequin romance. He’d either be asleep or restless by the end of page two. If I were the patient, I wouldn’t want to hear a biography. (I used to like them, but in recent years I’d rather not read one.No idea why.)

Maybe the patient has a specific book that he/she would like you to read. That would be easy, wouldn’t it? 

If not, I’d probably pick one of the books I’ve read and enjoyed. If the patient was a young person I’d pick a very old title that I loved. The Witch of Blackbird Pond was really good, and so was The Sherwood Ring. It would have to be an older title because I haven’t kept up with young adult books since I retired. 

If you like time travel books, I’d suggest the Out of Time series by Deborah Truscott. They’re so interesting, a combination of romance, mystery, history, and of course time travel. 

If the patient wanted to hear some of the latest bestsellers I’d suggest A Day Like Today, All Our Darkest Secrets, Mrs. Rochester’s Ghost, or Good As Dead. I’ve read all of those and enjoyed them. 

There are so many choices you could make in so many different genres. If the patient has no choice, then just pick a book you’ve enjoyed, and they probably will too.

Swipe Right for Murder


Swipe Right for Murder

by Polly Harris




GENRE:   New Adult Thriller








After a devastating heartbreak and a string of short-lived, failed relationships, college student Georgie Itoyama has now decided to approach dating in the same way that she approaches everything else: methodically, logically, and efficiently.

Georgie downloads countless dating apps, determined to find the love of her life as easily as she orders jeans online. And while her love-at-first-sight aspirations don’t exactly come true, she does find someone she likes. Quite a lot.

There’s only one problem. Girls are going missing at Georgie’s university, and all the signs are pointing to . . . him?

But that’s ridiculous. What are the chances that she’s dating an actual serial killer?

Then she matches with Nate. Mysterious, intelligent, and oddly fixated on solving the local disappearances. As Georgie’s relationships deepen with each of her guys, she unwittingly finds herself caught up in the mess that is murder, intrigue, and the nightmare of online dating.







We turn the corner and I think it’s Amelia who notices her first. What I notice is the smell. Iron. Thick and palpable. And then decay. I never knew bodies could smell so quickly. I always assumed it would take days. Apparently, it’s only a few hours.


Amelia screams and it reverberates through the stairwell like a siren.


I don’t say anything, I don’t move. I’m frozen on the steps like someone is physically holding me there, unable to take my eyes off the girl at the bottom of the stairwell. Bent in a shape that no one’s supposed to bend in, her eyes open. But that makes it worse. Because if they were closed, maybe she could be sleeping—unconscious.


Three mind-numbing seconds pass, and then a thought flits through my head. 


Whitney. Her name was Whitney.

A Word With the Author

1.Did you always want to be an author?


Always! I wrote my first story at six years old (dictating to my mom), and haven’t stopped since.

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


I published my first book at fourteen! It’s crazy to think about now, but I was so proud of it and excited at the time. 😊 Swipe Right for Murder is the first book I’ve published in quite awhile, and it’s also my first contemporary thriller.

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


Gretchen McNeil is one of my favorite thriller writers! Her books are incredible and always keep me on the edge of my seat. 

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


Ooooh, the best part is just coming up with whole new worlds and characters! Plotting is so fun! The worst is probably ironing out difficult plot holes and trudging through writers’ block.

5.What are you working on now?


I’m currently working on a second book in the same vein as SRFM. It deals with catfishing, and I’m so excited about it! 





                                                             AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Polly Harris is the author of six YA novels and runs her own editorial company where she works on books just like this one. When Polly isn’t writing or editing, she can be found cuddling her cat (professionally known as her editorial assistant), crafting, or swiping through dating apps.


Twitter: @PaulineCHarris



The book will be $0.99 during the tour.







Polly Harris will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway