My Books!

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Checking the Center

Title: Checking the Center
Series: The Zamboni Diaries, Book #0.5
Author: Delancey Stewart
Genre: Sports (Hockey Romance), Forced Proximity, Enemies to Lovers
Release Date: August 31, 2023
Cover Design: Kelly Lambert Greer
Cover Photo: Jane Ashley Converse
Cover Model: Tim Reed

“Have you ever read a book and immediately felt like you were watching a romcom on tv? That’s exactly how this book made me feel.” ★★★★★ Pucking Reading

A forced-proximity, naked-man-on-my-couch hockey romcom that'll have you snort-laughing!

You have to be pretty desperate to consult someone referred to as the Drunken Psychic for insight into your perennially single status.

But that's me...
  • Working in a bakery despite dreaming of culinary school.
  • Hanging out with my happily married friends and trying not to be gut-twistingly jealous.
  • And renting a blissfully sweet one-bedroom apartment on the banks of a river that has been a much-needed refuge.
Until now.

Because tonight, after trying to make heads or tails of the psychic's mysterious pronouncements about my love life, I arrive home to find a man on my couch.

A very naked, very muscley, very handsome man.

Did I mention he was butt naked?

And things only get more confusing from there. We have a whole conversation, in which he reveals that he's the star center for the Wilcox Wombats hockey team, Rock Stevens. And that Rock is actually his real name. And that he's in town for a week for an all-star pickleball tournament. And that my apartment is actually his apartment.

And then he refuses to leave. Things only get more confusing from there.

As we try to navigate our sudden forced-roommates situation while the landlord gets to the bottom of the mixup, Rock decides to turn the tables. Instead of being annoyed that I'm in his apartment, he suddenly becomes charming. Sweet, even. And even though I know it's a mistake, he charms me right up onto the kitchen counter, and... well, you can imagine the rest.

The guy's only in town for a week. Surely I can protect my silly single heart for that long? But with every stolen kiss and whispered promise, I can't help but wonder if I'm the one who’s getting played.



Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Moccasin Trace


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Hawk MacKinney will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on he tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

It is July of 1859, a month of sweltering dog days and feverish emotional bombast. Life is good for widower Rundell Ingram and his hazel-eyed, roan-haired son, Hamilton. Between the two of them, they take care of Moccasin Hollow, their rustic dogtrot ancestral home, a sprawling non-slave plantation in the rolling farming country outside Queensborough Towne in east Georgia. Adjoining Ingram lands is Wisteria Bend, the vast slave-holding plantation of Andrew and Corinthia Greer, their daughter Sarah and son Benjamin.

Both families share generations of long-accepted traditions, and childhood playmates are no longer children. Against this rustic idyll of hard work and gracious living comes inflexible discord and divided loyalties that mutilate ties of blood and bond, tearing at their lives as smoke and battle no longer so faraway crashes and maims ever closer. Ahead of the on-coming ranks of Blue, foragers and bumlers burn, loot, scavenge and kill. Hamilton faces agonizing sacrifices with dreadful consequences. With little else than his wits, he tries anything to protect Sarah, their unborn child, his sickly father, and Sarah's family.

Read an Excerpt

Back at his post behind the oaks, it wasn't long before the Trace crowded up with a hodgepodge mishmash of wagons and carts headed as far from Augusta as they could get. As he silently watched, it seemed the whole of the Parish was on the move. His thoughts jarred by the hurried plunge of a rider coming toward him through the canebrake. He dropped to one knee, his rifle to the ready, just as Nat and one of Ben's mules busted into the clearing.

Nat hauled up, slid off the mule, "Mister Ben said to git the word to you -- Yankie patrols spotted this side of Sandersville. They burnin' ever'thing, barns, houses, killin' what they don't take. Tearin' Jericho out'a ever'thing they git their hands to."

Hamilton grabbed his mare's reins, pulled into the saddle, "Get back to the Bends. Tell Ben you found me, and Nat -- keep a sharp eye out. Advance lookouts could be anywhere."

Hamilton, off in a mad tear, nudged the mare faster. Wind whistled in his ears, low hanging limbs slashed his sweaty face, horses' hooves flinging clods high behind him. Yankies moving that fast wouldn't ask questions; they'd burn, move on, Sarah and their child be refugees like the pitiful wagons he'd seen. He reined up next to the porch, his horse skidding as he swung out of the saddle.

Bessie was on the front porch, "See you comin' fast." Pistol in her hand, she threw quick glance out across the fields. "Nat find you?"

"Yeh...he's on his way to let Ben know...they might be making a wide sweep into Augusta from this side."

"Missy's cramps reg'lar, an' you be the only help. Yankie or no Yankie, Missy an' that chil' in her belly need both of us."

"If it's their main bunch they'll have bummers way ahead of their army."

"Lordy mercy -- nobody gonna stop that ceptin' the Lord." Bessie shoved her pistol deep in her pocket. "Don't matter how many trompin' 'bout, ain't nobody gittin' twixt me'n Missy an' her chil'. When the Lord say that baby come, fightin' gonna wait, but Jehovah sure gonna have a handful."

"I'll keep watch out by the barns."

Bessie started inside and stopped, "Maybe watchin' from the barn ain't the best next thing. Mistress Corinth'a be upset we don't let her know her grandchil' comin' so she can come help. When she do, young Benjamin alone in that big house settin' there all big an' white. You knows what I means -- Yankies cain't miss it. Bein' hot-headed he won't budge, an' now ain't the time for bein' spiteful 'bout which soldiers got the most bullets -- git shot dead. You'n me both know how that cut down Mistress Corinth'a."

"Might be best to get Mother Greer here while we can," said Hamilton fighting his own fear.

"If Mistress Corinth'a come she best while it daylight. Missy's cramps likely won't be reg'lar for a spell. 'Fore things git busy, time is now to hotfoot over there, an' git back here quick-like."

"Tell Papa where I'm headed."

"Don't need tellin' Mister Rundell, he been up 'fore daybreak, his gun primed and ready. We make double-sure your butt git back here in one piece." Shook her head, "Sweet Lord…what a mixed-up world you bringin' this chil' into."

Hamilton was into the saddle. Gave the mare her head, didn't bother with gates, jumped the fences, pushed her to a full-out gallop. He stayed clear of the Trace, cleared hedgerows and fences, splashed through slough bogs. Before he realized it, he burst through a squatter's camp, scattering pots, pans, campfires, ramshackle shelters, and stampeded several horses. Startled poachers reached for rifles. He spurred the mare and disappeared into the brush, leaving them with nothing to aim at. Racing faster, he finally caught glimpses of the white unperturbed columns of the Bends. As he came out onto the wide buggy approach to the house, he glanced behind, making sure no one was on his tail.

About the Author:
In addition to professional articles and texts on chordate neuroembryology, Hawk MacKinney has authored several works of fiction—historical love stories, science fiction and mystery-thrillers. 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 protagonist in the Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series: Hidden Chamber of Death, Westobou Gold, Dead Gold, Curse of the Ancients, and Blood of the Dragonfly.

Hawk’s science fiction novels include The Bleikovat Event, Vol I in The Cairns of Sainctuarie Science Fiction Series, followed by Vol II, The Missing Planets, and Vol III, Inanna Phantom.

Hawk MacKinney served in the US Navy for over 20 years. While serving as a Navy Commander, he also had a career as a full-time faculty member at several major state medical facilities. He earned two postgraduate degrees with studies in languages and history. He has taught postgraduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem, Israel. He now makes his home in Augusta, Georgia, where he writes full-time.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Beyond the Book: Review Demon Copperhead



Set in the mountains of southern Appalachia, Demon Copperhead is the story of a boy born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father’s good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival. Relayed in his own unsparing voice, Demon braves the modern perils of foster care, child labor, derelict schools, athletic success, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses. Through all of it, he reckons with his own invisibility in a popular culture where even the superheroes have abandoned rural people in favor of generations ago, Charles Dickens wrote David Copperfield from his experience as a survivor of institutional poverty and its damages to children in his society. Those problems have yet to be solved in ours. Dickens is not a prerequisite for readers of this novel, but he provided its inspiration. In transposing a Victorian epic novel to the contemporary American South, Barbara Kingsolver enlists Dickens’ anger and compassion, and above all, his faith in the transformative powers of a good story. Demon Copperheadspeaks for a new generation of lost boys, and all those born into beautiful, cursed places they can’t imagine leaving behind.

My Review

Believe it or not, my seventh grade math teacher nagged me to read this book. I’d never even heard of it. (Actually, if you consider my age it’s a wonder she’s still with us. She has an eye condition that prevents her from reading so she listens to books instead. She’s a great lady. She taught math to me and both of my boys.) Anyway, my first thought after I finished the book was “Wow what a story!”

The book was so interesting it kept me turning pages to see what happened next, yet at the same time I could only read so much of it without coming up for air. It was an excellent book, but it was sometimes hard to read. I live in the foothills of South Carolina on the fringes of Appalachia so I’ve known some people like Demon. I was a teacher so students told me things that could crush your soul. I had one student whose family lived in an old school bus with no heat or running waster. Another lived in a barn because her mother didn’t want her around when Mama’s boyfriend moved in. Another wrote such dark poetry I would have referred her to the guidance counselor if she wasn’t already going to one. There were others, some worse than anything I mentioned. Demon Copperhead would have fit right in. 

So, yes, the book is dark. So dark. Yet I found the ending full of hope. I meant to say more about the ending, but I don’t think I should. Knowing about the ending wouldn’t spoil the book, but I feel you have to experience the story as it happens. 

If anyone has read the book I’d love to hear how you felt about it.

Friday, August 25, 2023


Title: Wildfire
Series: WILD Series, Book 4
Author: Jessica Myel
Genre/Tropes: Enemies to Lovers, Arranged Marriage
Release Date: July 29, 2023
Cover Design: Jessica Myel

Love is Useless.

Lacey Donahue is the beautiful pageant queen destined for …nothing. They say judgment comes in many forms. But for most of her life she was judged on her beauty and ability to perform. After she leaves it all behind she thought she could finally take control back and make her own decisions. What she didn’t expect was for her parents to sell her off to settle a debt no amount of money could pay.

Colby West is the controlled, smart, and arrogant brother. He could do no wrong until he put West Ranch at risk. He will do whatever it takes to protect it, even if that means marrying a woman he’s never met. He had never considered love useful, but he wouldn’t be marrying for love. He would be marrying for the money he so desperately needed to save the ranch, to continue the legacy. What he didn’t expect was a woman with a resilience that would not only test his patience but his icy heart.

Jessica was born and raised in the Midwest. After acquiring a bachelor's in Marketingand a Masters in Biblical Studies many years later she realized her calling was writing.Her passion for words and finding her voice creates deep and emotional writing. She strives to talk about the hard things of life, such as depression, abuse and it’s many forms. In her first book Between the Threads she works through her past, her present and her future. When she's not writing she's drinking matcha, coffee, or both with her head buried in a book.