Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Mathematical State of Grace by Cathy McGough-blog tour-guest post

Original Title: A Mathematical State of Grace

Series: Book #1

Author: Cathy McGough

Publisher: Stratford Living

Release Date: February 14, 2015

Genre: Science Fiction

The laws of the Universe are ordered and finite. Every mathematical equation has one perfect solution. Jocks lead the high school pack, and nerdy girls go unnoticed. 

But what would happen if one day, everything changed? 

In one fateful moment, sixteen-year old mathematical prodigy Grace Greenway and Vincente Marino, all-around high school athlete, are unexpectedly thrown together. From that moment on, Grace and Vincente are forced to navigate a strange and wonderful new world together, quickly learning that they must depend on each other if they want to survive. 

Now, imagine a world where the rules of the ordered Universe no longer apply, and the line between reality and fiction becomes blurred beyond all reason. 

Imagine living in A Mathematical State of Grace.



Grace was in love with Vincente Marino, but she only loved him from afar. She knew that she was totally out of his league, but at the same time, she had hope. She believed that love was a mathematical equation. She believed that true love was predetermined. It was like any other mathematical formula—you just had to search, seeking it out until you found the perfect golden mean. Then, and with all of the numbers from the correct sequence in place, the universe would help conspire for two people, any two people, to fall in love. Grace Greenway was waiting for her golden mean to click into sequence so that she and Vincente Marino would find that perfect state of love.


Cathy McGough lives in Stratford, Ontario, Canada with her husband, son and two cats Rosie and Layla. Cathy is the published author of three novels Three Friends, Interviews With Legendary Writers From Beyond and A Mathematical State of Grace, plus a book of poetry Painting With Words and several short stories including Death Wish. Cathy is the Publisher of a quarterly magazine which is distributed in print and digital form called Stratford Living. For information on Cathy’s writing people visit her website For information on Stratford Living


The author is giving away the following to one winner of the Rafflecopter.

1.        1 Signed paperback copy of A Mathematical State of Grace (signed personally to the winner)
2.        2 Ebooks of A Mathematical State of Grace


The author is giving away one $50 Amazon Gift card drawn randomly from the names of those who buy her book between May 25, 2015 and June 30, 2015, and produce their order number in the below Rafflecopter.  One random winner’s name will be drawn on July 1, 2015. Winner will be notified via email. The Gift Voucher cannot be redeemed for cash value.

Talk back, I'm listening so is Cathy. Follow this blog for more goodies.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

At the Sharp End of Lightning by N.R. Bates-my review and guest post

NR BatesAt The Sharp End of Lightning by NR Bates:

My Review of “At the Sharp End of Lightning” by N.R. Bates.
I received a copy of At the Sharp End of Lightning for my honest review. After reading it, I gave it five stars. This book takes the reader into three different worlds you readily feel a part of in your mind. The catch is, these worlds occupy the same planet, Earth. Only they are parallel worlds. The characters are believable and draw you into the story where the wall between the parallel worlds is thinning, allowing creatures from different worlds to enter each other’s worlds. The Sprites are flying intelligent creatures. The Daiman occupies another world and are they are shape shifters. Then there are the Humana whom occupy the third dimension. The story is set in Wales for the Humana with a young man named  Einion Morgan Alban. He suffers from hemophilia. Unbeknownst to him he is recruited by one of the Sprites, Helia to go through the Interface as it is called to stop the thinning of the parallel worlds. A Kaembian, Fimafeng, wants to kill the Humana to take the crystals from Einon, to go through the portal, (Interface) back to his home world after being held captive on the Human earth. For thousands of years the kaembian ( Kaembian. A mix of Sprite and Daiman, often taking human form) awaits his chance to return to his home world, through the Interface that Einon opened.
I found myself drawn into the story even though it kept shifting back forth between the three parallel worlds and slowly came together. N.R.Bates writes believable descriptions of each world and how the characters lived and survived, especially the Sprite world.
I highly recommend this book to all readers of fantasy books by A.G. Moye.
Listed below is all the info and other data for you to purchase the book and about the author.  

Publisher:  NR Bates (January 30, 2015) Category: Epic Fantasy, Magic Realism, Literary Fiction, Celtic Mythology,  History Tour Date: May/June, 2015 Available in: Print & ebook, 239 Pages AT THE SHARP END OF LIGHTNING is the  tale of family, of loss and sacrifice, of unexpected gifts and coping with disability and new abilities set against the backdrop of climate change occurring across parallel worlds. The intertwined worlds of Oceanlight and Earth are no longer hidden from view of each other. In one realm, Yalara Narika, a winged Sea Sprite, searches for her family and she encounters a deadly blue haze at sea. Escaping the poison makes her realize that her world, Oceanlight, is experiencing sudden and catastrophic environmental change. Meanwhile, in the safe suburban normality of North Wales, Einion Morgan Alban, a restless youth with haemophilia, is nearly murdered by a man in a white suit who intentionally shoves him off a cliff. If Yalara and Einion don’t uncover the connections between their worlds and near-deaths, it will have dire consequences for the worlds they live in. Book one of the OCEANLIGHT series.

Praise for 'At The Sharp End of Lightning' by NR Bates:

"What a fantastic book, the author takes you into another realm. I couldn't put the book down, a real page turner. Seeing as this is book 1 I can't wait for the next one to be written."-Scotialassie, Amazon.UK Reviewer "British author NR Bates makes his novel writing debut with AT THE SHARP END OF LIGHTNING, Book 1 of the OCEANLIGHT series. He has indeed written extensively which explains why his command of the medium is so secure: he has published more than one hundred and twenty scientific papers on ocean chemistry, climate change and ocean acidification as a Senior Scientist at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and Professor of Ocean Biogeochemistry at the University of Southampton, UK. Bates' passion for the ocean and environmental sciences has proven a successful driving force in both his scientific mind and his fantasy creative mind. The result, as we read it here, is `true' Science Fiction fantasy! Bates opens his book with a map/diagram called The Interfaces - the meaning of which will be explained throughout the novel, but whose information offers hints and suggestions of codes to be solved. And at the end of his book he discusses Welsh history that informed this story as well as the biology and biogeochemistry of the Sargasso Sea, further influences. The author provides an outline of the story that assists the reader immensely: `The interwoven fantastical tale of family, of loss and sacrifice, of unexpected gifts and coping with disability and new abilities set against the backdrop of climate change occurring across parallel worlds. Bates' writing style can only be called `elegant' - he is unafraid to challenge the reader with a rich vocabulary that somehow enhances the characters we encounter. This is obvious form the opening paragraph: `As the streamer of lightning harmlessly discharged through her body into the palm of her hand, Yalara Narika noticed many things at once. There was fright and surprise as adrenaline raced through her body. The words "I'm alive" came to mind, accompanied by an overwhelming relief when the forked sharpness passed out of her. Then came the reflex response-- her call to Calymene, Mother Earth-- that she had despite her doubt. A hurried glance brought the reassuring thought "I'm still in the sky." Simultaneously, she returned to her search-- for the "lost"-- which was set against the immensity of the seas. And interwoven amongst these reactions were thoughts of that moment in the distant future, at the end of her life, when she'd fly up into the tumult, clad in a cuprous woven fabric, and upon the flash of electrica, her constituent parts would disassemble in an instantaneous coruscation of energy.' This is our first encounter with being struck by lightning. As with most fantasy/sci-fi books it takes a while to adjust to the strange names and the references to places of origin, but Bates' language makes that journey of discovery a rewarding one. He does offer a helpful Sprite Glossary and Human Glossary at books end. This is a strong debut, well worth the investment of mental energy."- Grady Harp, Amazon Hall of Fame & top 100 reviewer. Ambitious and enchanting, At The Sharp End Of Lightning by author N R Bates proves a rich and original foray into the realms of fantasy fiction. Compelled by a commanding narrative that readily enthrals the imagination, the magical intrigue simmers throughout as Bates renders his fantasy world in rich hues. A world parallel to our own yet retaining a time worn familiarity that makes it feel immediately authentic. It’s an intricate, intrigue-laden telling, which plays to the best in this popular genre and it’s clear from the start that Bates is in his element. "There’s certainly much to enjoy here. From cleverly contrived and vibrant scenes to a captivating blend of magical mysticism, he ably manages to avoid prescriptive tropes whilst a certain descriptive economy and a tight word count brings a penetrating levity to his dialogue. Both timely and well observed, he notably avoids the trite mutterings of mediocre characterisation to create genuine depth and emotive resonance, which in turn ensures the reader becomes fully invested in the trials and tribulations of his characters. Beautifully written and undoubtedly the start of an exciting new series, At The Sharp End Of Lightning proves a fine example of fantasy fiction. Definitely deserving of a place on your bookshelf, it is recommended without reservation!"-Book Viral

About NR Bates:NR Bates

NR Bates was born in London, grew up in Wales, and lived in Canada and Bermuda. He shares his life with his wife,seven cats, one dog and the tropical wildlife of lizards, wolf spiders and ant colonies that seek out a better life indoors. He is an oceanographer and scientist, and has published more than one hundred and twenty scientific papers on ocean chemistry, climate change and ocean acidification. He is a Senior Scientist at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and Professor of Ocean Biogeochemistry at the University of Southampton, UK. His novels focus on epic fantasy and magic realism, and inspired by his deep love of the ocean and environmental sciences. Website: Facebook: Twitter:

Buy At the Sharp End of Lightning by NR Bates:

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Follow the At the Sharp End of Lightning by NR Bates Tour:

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus May 1 Excerpt & Giveaway Ordinary Girlz Book Reviews May 4 Review What Jenna Thought May 5 Review What Jenna Thought May 6 Interview & Giveaway Books, Books & More Books May 8 Review Rockin' Book Reviews May 11 Review Cassandra M's Place May 12 Review & Giveaway Confessions of a Reader May 15 Interview Mary's Cup of Tea May 20 Review Lightning Chronicles May 21 Review &  Guest Post 100 Pages a Day May 22 Review Indie Review Behind the Scenes May 23 Live Interview  11 am cst Romance That's 'Out Of this World' May 27 Guest Post Room With Books May 28 Excerpt What U Talking Bout Willis? May 29 Guest Post Rockin' Book Reviews Jun 1 Interview & Giveaway The Cosy Dragon Jun 2 Review Deal Sharing Aunt Jun 9 Review & Giveaway Joy's Book Blog June 24 Review & Interview Bound 4 Escape June 25 Review Create With Joy June 26 Review

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Myths, Mysticism, and Adventure with Mike Walters

“Mulder, it is such a gorgeous day outside. Have you ever entertained the idea of trying to find life on this planet?”
“I have seen the life on this planet, Scully, and that is exactly why I’m looking elsewhere.”
Being a close-minded person can choke off possibilities readily available to us all in the form of Myths, Mysticism, and Adventure. I became a fan of the X-Files when it debuted back in 1993. At the time, I had no idea that it would start me down the path of formulating some of my own stories with the ultimate desire of putting them down on paper. Watching the outlandish storylines loosely based on myths and mysticism, was the impetus behind coming up with some of my own ideas. Mind adventures, that years later would help inspire me to write. Teleport forward seventeen years with the television debut of Ancient Aliens. Love it, hate it, or laugh at it, take your pick, the one thing it did for me was further open my mind. I continued my journey of a realization that not everything adults told me as a child should be considered gospel. A strict religious upbringing from an early age throttled back a creative mind that looked up into the stars, starving to know more. The words of Erich von Daniken in his book the Chariots of the Gods, “Not until we have taken a look into the future shall we be strong and bold enough to investigate our past honestly and impartially,” found new meaning with me. 

Years ago, on a trip out west with my then 12 year old son - - - we were living in Manassas, VA at the time, one of our stops was Sedona, AZ where my brother and sister-in-law took me into an innocuous shop that sold Kachina dolls. They immediately intrigued me and captured my imagination. I asked as many questions of the shop-owner I could and purchased a Wolf Warrior doll. The dolls, for centuries, have provided countless tale telling myths, mysticism, and adventures to many Hopi and Navajo Native American children. I have purchased several more over the years and each one has provided me a certain level of mysticism and sparked a creative energy that gives birth to characters in my novel, The Outlaw River Wilde. The centuries have changed but cave paintings are still being created. It just so happens they take place on computers now.

Mulder: Mr. Simpson, we want you to recreate your every move the night you saw the alien.
Homer: The evening began at the gentlemen's club, where we were discussing Wittgenstein over a game of backgammon.
Scully: Mr. Simpson, it's a felony to lie to the FBI.
Homer: We were sitting in Barney's car eating packets of mustard. Happy?

The Kachina dolls will always fascinate me and my Dreamcatcher, next to my bed, will hopefully continue to hold on to the tales I dream with the hopes of more characters and ideas. I want my novels to be packets of mustard like an honest Homer Simpson, simple, and enjoyable adventures revolving around new and old myths, and mysticism.

 Who of us, at one time or another, hasn't wondered if we’re alone in the universe? Mitch Wilde never had until a failed attempt at pulling an arrow out of his best friend Jack’s shoulder began a string of strange and unexpected events in the small Pacific Northwest Town of Outlaw River. 

When Native Americans start vanishing throughout the country and re-appearing in strange places on horseback, Mitch is challenged in ways he never dreamed. In addition, who are the uninvited strangers ransacking some of their homes? Added to this, Jack has taken to odd nocturnal treks. The local sheriff releases hostility he has held against Mitch since high school and something—nobody wants to call them UFOs—has just crashed into several surrounding lakes.

Can Mitch keep himself out of jail? Can Mitch figure out what the strange entities emerging from the lake are and why? Can Mitch protect the beautiful life he and his wife Mabey worked so hard to create? Finally, can Mitch help his eccentric neighbor save the residents of Outlaw River before it's too late?

Buy @ Amazon | B&N | Smashwords | Kobo | iBook


Mike Walters and his debut novel, The Outlaw River Wilde, sprung from an idea while watching Ancient Aliens on the History channel. He intertwines his love of Native American culture and a passion for the Pacific Northwest, primarily his birth state of Oregon. Mike sat down one day and started writing. The characters and story were revealed each and every day he wrote.

"Every session was as if I were reading something new myself for the first time. It was a blast seeing what would happen next. This is why I enjoyed writing this novel so much. "

Mike is a Director of Marketing & Product at Auto-Graphics, Inc. based in Ontario, CA. That's California, not Canada. A-G makes software for Libraries, primarily public. So on your visit to the library, when you sit down to search for a book this is the software that A-G makes.

"I am very fortunate to work in an industry that has a meaningful impact on society. It makes going to work each and every day enjoyable. I mean who doesn't think we need, and who doesn't love, libraries?"

Mike learned photography as a freshman in high school and later took the passion and used it as a photographer in the United States Air Force. He loves to ride bicycles in SoCal year around, volunteers in Los Angeles at the Westside German Shepherd Rescue taking photos of the beautiful dogs, and has a passion for Micro-brews, particularly Porters and Stouts. You will frequently find him sampling, with his son Alexander, at Claremont Craft Ales, a personal favorite --- or one of the many fine breweries in and around Claremont, CA. Mike is currently at work on the follow up to The Outlaw River Wilde, which will be titled - Still Wilde in the Outlaw River. The book should be out later this year or early 2016.

I hope you enjoyed our little chat about why Mike wrote and where the idea of the book came from.
Talk back, I'm listening

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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tricks of the Trade by Spencer Dryden Tour and conversation

How I Came to Write Male-Centric Erotic Romance
Hi my name is Spencer Dryden. I am the author of Tricks of the Trade, a new story from Fireborn Publishing. It is one of a series of works I have published with tradesmen as my male leads. I call my brand of fiction 'male centric'. It's not a recognized a a sub genre but I am trying to distinguish my fiction from other erotic romance. The principal difference is my point of view is strictly from the male character. Anything we learn about the women in my stories comes from dialogue and action. My typical trope is demonstrated in Tricks of the Trade, a slightly clueless guy is drawn into the orbit of a sexually assertive woman. it's a big twist on the typical tale of the billionaire bad boy, ego maniac or self destructive alpha male who must be rescued from his destructive life style.
One of the most common author prompts suggest by blog hosts is to recount how you came to writing fiction. Here's my story.
I turned sixty-five on Jan 8th, 2015. Three years ago, I started a new career  in a field I never imagined I would be in back in my twenties—writing fiction—erotic romance to be precise.
I have been enchanted by female allure since the first time I started feeling that urge from down below at the sight of a naked woman—over a half century ago.  I never imagined I'd be writing about it though. I come from a very sexually repressed background. I grew up believing that erotica was dirty, sinful, mind and soul destroying trash. Fifty years and Fifty Shades later I became aware of how many women, including my mother, were going straight to hell for reading it. Or were they?  I don't believe that any more.
Erotic Romance is monstrously popular as measured by sales, but reasonably well hidden, especially since the advent of electronic readers like Kindle. However, one gift of reaching your sixties is you start throwing off taboos like so much dead skin.
Unlike many of my fellow authors, I didn't grow up with a life long love of words. In fact, I was terrible at reading and writing. Growing up, I rarely read fiction for entertainment. I started writing fiction at age sixty-two. The only fiction I wrote before then was the marketing reports I prepared for my bosses during my tenuous white collar career.
I came into writing by accident, during my white-collar years, learning the craft on the fly through composing business letters, proposals and reports. A mentor told me one way to stand out in a professional career is to speak and write. I am a natural at public speaking. I guess it's like the gift many writers have for writing. From a young age I could stand up in front of a group and carry off  clear and entertaining presentations. Thanks to the now nearly obsolete tool of the dictation machine, I found a writing voice. Having a secretary to transcribe for me hid my complete inability to spell and punctuate correctly. (Suzie, where are you now?)  I wrote many articles for business and professional magazines.
As time passed, the visibility I earned from speaking and writing fostered aspirations of writing longer non-fiction works. After I became an at-home dad, I set out to be a male version of Erma Bombeck. That dream died under a pile of dirty laundry. I didn't have Erma's constitution. She rose early and wrote while her children slept. Mine never slept at the same time. I did most of my parenting under advance stages of sleep deprivation—not a condition conductive to creativity.
My forties turned to fifties and then sixties. I passed from a man at the threshold of middle age to a man on the threshold of oblivion. In the wake of my mothers passing in April of 2012, I spent a long time alone at her beach house. While walking the beach every day, my head started filling with ideas for stories. Eventually, I had one of those epiphanies, realizing that if I didn't act on some of my dreams, there wasn't going to be anything for anyone to remember at my wake.
I started scribbling little stories of erotic romance. A lot of it was therapy I guess, with plenty of fantasy thrown in. Fiction is a great vehicle for seeking revenge without the threat of jail time. Even better, in erotic romance, I can sleep with any woman I want and my wife could care less.
I broke through my taboos about writing erotica, but assumed a pen name knowing that family, friends and associates would drop dead in horror if they knew of my interests. I'm not ashamed of my new profession. I simply don't have the energy to argue with them, but I don't want to blatantly offend them either. I'm still in the closet and intend to stay here. My intention is to have poster sized reproductions of the tawdry covers from my books on display at my wake. That'll give them something to talk about.
I'm as messed up as any man by the prevailing image of manhood and what women seek in men. My knowledge about pleasing a woman sexually was confined to guy talk and XXX movies. It has caused me serious harm.
I came into fiction with the advice to write the story I wanted to hear, the way I wanted to hear it. That's what I'm trying to do. I am targeting a male audience, who like me, have grown up with  distorted notions of manhood and what it takes to win and please a woman. I am trying to show, through stories, that you don't have to be rich, famous, distant, abusive or even sexually polished to make it with women. My male characters are typically ordinary guys who are genuine, but often a bit clueless about sex. I have a lot of fun writing about them because I'm really writing about my own foibles. (Oh there's a surprise!)
I dislike the terms we use to describe ourselves as writers of erotica, primarily the terms, 'smut', 'porn' and 'stroke' . I like to say I write stories about human sexuality from a male perspective, where an ordinary guy struggles with the conflict between love and lust, where lust is stronger. Through my stories, I want men to know that an ordinary guy can find true love. You just have to be genuine, and if you'll open your heart, you'll find a woman who will teach you what you need to know to please her sexually. That's my story, but I had it wrong for most of my life. My stories are deliberately short. Like many men, I have the attention span of a fly.
I led men's spiritual development groups for years and I can tell you men's hearts ache for the blessing of their fathers and the appreciation of their wives. Often, they don't get either, and they don't know how to deal with it. Stories is how we learn about what we can't articulate. What is the bible if not stories about how to navigate the journey though life? 
I believe our brains are hard wired to acquire, retain and transmit knowledge through the power of story. I am hoping though stories, I might lead other men on to the path of sexual healing I have found. My story like all of ours is a works in progress.
Thanks for taking some time with me today. If you have questions or comments, please feel free to post them here.

PUBLISHER:  Fireborn Publishing
RELEASE DATE:  April 17, 2015
GENRE:  Contemporary, Erotica
TAGS: Happy Ending, May/December
HEAT LEVEL- 3 Flames
PAIRING: Male/Female
CATEGORY: Short Story/Flash Fiction/Novelette
LENGTH: 69 pages
Twenty-something, sexually frustrated plumber, Will Last, is fascinated by an attractive age 40+ woman he sees in the plumbing fixtures isle of a big box store. When he casually strolls her way she strikes up a conversation and begs him to do some emergency plumbing repairs for her.

Mitzi Callahan soon has Will wrapped around her little finger. After showing her a plumbers trick for a quick repair, Mitzi reveals herself as a sex trainer and returns the favor by showing Will a trick or two in the bedroom.

Mitzi opens his world to the enchantment of older women and introduces him to one of her students, Lucy Park. Sparks fly between Will and Lucy while dancing at the club where they meet, but they must reach out across age and cultural barriers to find the romantic connection they both seek.

Spencer Dryden is a new writer, but an old guy on the threshold of draining any reserves left in Medicare and Social Security.
In real life he is a handyman, an at-home dad, inventor and web videographer living a quiet life in the frozen tundra of Minnesota (USA).
Like all writers he has a cat but they don't get along well. He can be found at the usual writer hangouts:


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May 16th 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm eastern time

IndiGo Marketing is throwing a party to celebrate Spencer Dryden's new release "Tricks of the Trade" and he's invited some friends to join him! Lots of fun, frivolity and giveaways!

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Interview Vera Jane Cook author of Pleasant Day

I had the pleasure of chatting with Vera Jane on her current blog tour. Here is some of the questions I asked her so everyone could get to know her better.

  1. Do you have a certain place to write and need solitude?

I definitely need solitude and yes, I have a desk in my bedroom in the city (New York) but a wonderful writing room in the country – that’s the favorite, it’s quiet and beautiful and very inspiring.

  1. When an idea of a book germinates in your mind, how long before you start writing.

It could be years. I have a sequel churning in my head, a sequel to my novel Annabel Horton, Lost Witch of Salem and I’ve been thinking about it for years. I should start it soon

Do you consider your writing style the like other writers, if so name a few of them.
I like to think that I write like some of the very popular authors today, authors like Anita Shreve but I’m pretty unique with my prose. I’ve been told it’s very poetic so maybe I’ve been reincarnated from the Victorian era

Your latest book, how would you consider it different than your previous books?
It is written from the perspective of a young girl who doesn’t age much like the girl in The Story of Sassy Sweetwater. It’s definitely different from my latest novel, Pharaoh’s Star, which was told from a male POV and involved aliens to some degree. I write in different genres so I guess all my books are a bit different.

Is there a basic underlining story you place in the background of your books?
Usually, yes. I think there’s always the element of hope in my novels. I think there’s also the fact that my characters overcome harsh obstacles.

Why do you love to write and what is your favorite genre?

I love to create and I love language so I like finding the right words for description and the right emotions for characters. My favorite genre is actually women’s fiction.

What are you working on, now that your latest book is released?

The next book I will probably release is based on five friends who have a reunion and heal the past when secrets are revealed. But I am revising one of my books, Marybeth, Hollister & Jane, about an interesting group of art and jewel thieves. I hope to put it on tour soon with Virtual Tours. So I hope you get to read it.

I hope you enjoyed our little chat and found out some interesting facts about Vera Jane Cook. Now I will present her book along with her bio for your enjoyment. Follow along with various stops on this blog tour.

<Vera Jane CookPublisher: Moonshine Cove Press  (February 1, 2015) Category: Contemporary Fiction/ Women’s Fiction/ Southern Fiction Tour Date: February-March, 2015 Available in: Print & ebook,  285 Pages With murder in common friendship is inevitable: As fifteen year old Pleasant Day struggles with her mother's distance, her father's infidelity and the death of her best friend, she draws closer to Clarissa, an older woman with the secrets to heal her. But Clarissa has struggles of her own as she faces betrayal and seeks to come to terms with old wounds. With her unpredictable but psychic ability to 'read people' Clarissa uncovers the answers to a deadly crime and to Pleasant's true identity. In the end, both Pleasant and Clarissa's worlds are transformed by the truths they're forced to accept.

Praise for 'Pleasant Day' By Vera Jane Cook:

"Absolutely unputdownable, a real page turner. Be prepared to clear your schedule for the day. You're going to read this one straight through! This is Vera Jane Cook's best one yet!" -Wall to Wall Books "A beautiful blend of past and present with loveable, memorable characters and a page turning pace, I was sorry I couldn't read it in one sitting." -Jenn Doyle, Books & Life.  "A beautiful piece of southern fiction...a great page turner...this book is filled with delightful characters, charm, warmth, love and last but certainly not least, wonderful humor."-Arlene Uslander, Editor and writer.

About Vera Jane Cook:Vera Jane Cook

Winner: Eric Hoffer Award for publishing excellence and the Indie Excellence Award for notable new fiction! 5 Star Clarion ForeWord Review! Vera Jane Cook, writer of Award Winning Women’s Fiction, is the author of The Story of Sassy Sweetwater, Lies a River Deep, Where the Wildflowers Grow, Dancing Backward in Paradise and Annabel Horton, Lost Witch of Salem. Jane, as she is known to family and friends, was born in New York City and grew up amid the eccentricity of her southern and glamorous mother on the Upper West and Upper East Side of Manhattan. An only child, Jane turned to reading novels at an early age and was deeply influenced by an eclectic group of authors. Some of her favorite authors today are Nelson DeMille, Calib Carr, Wally Lamb, Anne Rice, Sue Monk Kidd, Anita Shreve, Jodi Picoult, Alice Walker and Toni Morrison. Her favorite novels are too long to list but include The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, Cheri and The Last of Cheri, The Picture of Dorian Grey, Wuthering Heights, Look at Me, Dogs of Babel, The Bluest Eye, The Art of Racing in the Rain, Body Surfing, Lolita, The Brothers Karamazov, She’s Come Undone, Tale of Two Cities, etc., etc., etc., Vera Jane Cook’s Website: Vera Jane Cook on Twitter: Vera Jane Cook on Facebook:

Buy 'Pleasant Day' by Vera Jane Cook:

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Follow the Tour:

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Apr 7 Spotlight & Giveaway Bound 4 Escape Apr 8 Review Confessions Of A Reader Apr 9 Interview What U Talking Bout Willis? Apr 13 Review Mythical Books Apr 14 Interview Room With Books Apr 15 Review & Giveaway Winter Reads Apr 17 Interview & Giveaway Elizabeth McKenna Romance Author Apr 20 Excerpt Wall To Wall Books Apr 21 Review Teddy Rose Book Reviews Apr 22 Review From Isi Apr 27 Review Writer In Progress Apr 28 Review & Giveaway Sapphyria's Book Reviews Apr 29 Excerpt The Book Diva's Reads Apr 30 Review & Excerpt Suko's Notebook May 5 Review                                                                   Deal Sharing Aunt May 6 Review & Giveaway Lightning Chronicles May 12 Review, Interview & Giveaway Indie Review Behind the Scenes May 14 live I 6 pm cst Melina's Book Blog May 18 Review & Giveaway Cassandra M's Place May 21 Review & Giveaway Jersey Girl Book Reviews May 22 Review & Excerpt The Mama Games May 25 Review Pinky's Favorite Reads May 26 Review Pinky's Favorite Reads May 27 I & G Bassgiraffe's Thoughts May 28 Reviewdiv dir="ltr" style="text-align: left;" trbidi="on">

Thanks for stopping by and talk back, I'm listening as always. Follow this blog for more author interviews, character interviews and book reviews. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Commercials that actually touch you inside!

I guess I am like most that think the commercials on these days are annoying or stupid regardless of what they are selling. I normally mute all commercials because they tend to be so loud. Every once in a while, one that is not loud or abrasive comes along that I don't mute or change channels. I saw it on PBS that caught my attention and touched me. It was one about a wife trying to catch her husband's attention. Each time she tried, he was either texting, sleeping, or talking on his cell phone to someone else. Toward the end of the commercial, he accidentally drops his cell phone into her dish water. He retrieves it, only to have the wife take it and drop it back into the water wearing a smile since she finally has his attention.  The Crux of the commercials was talk and listen to have a healthy relationship. I see so many couples that rarely talk and listen to each other, this commercial touched me knowing how many people need to see it. Then realize it applies to them, I think a lot more relationships could be saved or made closer if they just talk and listen.  

My wife and I try to make sure we have quality talk time even when I spend a lot of time on writing or attending to my volunteer work.

Another of those commercials that I like and touches me is one where a kid walks through his poured concrete that he was smoothing out and had it perfect. It was about patience. Something we all need.

Talk back, I'm listening and I hope you are reading as well. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Volunteer work cutting down social media time?

I don't know about you but volunteering as a member of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, (People helping people) has suddenly taken on much more of my time. Last year I became Vice President and chairman of the Finance committee along with being chairman of the Diabetic fund raising committee. Okay those took some time but didn't really cut into my blogging and writing time that much. Now, June 1st I will become President of the local chapter. That I expect will cut into my blogging, reading and writing time. Since I retired three years ago, I haven't had to worry about any scheduling of my personal time. Which book to work on that week was the limit of my scheduling duties, now I have to plan and make sure everyone else is doing their jobs. It is almost like having a regular job, ho-hum! Do you along with writing get involved in any other tasks? 

Talk back, I'm listening. maybe not as close as before but I am still here.

Friday, May 1, 2015

SpotLight on The Tramp by Sarah Wathen-blog tour-guest post

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When John was seven, he found Candy dancing in the neighboring yard wearing a yellow polka-dot bikini and red rain galoshes, splashing and dancing and singing at the top of her lungs. She saved his throat from getting ripped out by her grandma’s guard dog. Good thing she did, too. It was John who raised the alarm that day, when the man who smiled with his mouth but not his eyes drove off with Candy in a cloud of dust. The police stopped whatever might have happened next in a seedy motel—a place Candy doesn’t dare remember. John rescued her, creating a bond between two friends strong enough to awaken…something. 
That something has haunted the southern mountain town of Shirley since a time before stories were written, in a cycle that has spun for centuries. 
Years later, John and Candy begin to suspect something more sinister lurking amidst the days of football glory and the nights of clandestine rendezvous. John discovers disturbing symbols from the ancient tribes indigenous to the area in his history textbook, in a local cave system, and in his very dreams. Candy uncovers a family history that is more colorful than she knew. If shades of black are colorful. 
If only the two friends could foresee the danger looming before them. For another something, one much more dangerous than the first, is waking up to continue the cycle. 
And this something is bent on revenge…again. 
Murder forces everyone out of sunny valley torpor, and Candy realizes that more than acquaintance connects her with the killer. When a corpse is found, gutted as if for ritual, she knows that whatever evil has overtaken her hometown is moving forward. She will have to exorcise the haunting herself—though she has no idea how—and she will need John’s predestined help to do it. Candy will have to face the memories of that seedy motel room first. At least she finally understands the power she never knew she had—a link to her departed mother and a line of healers shrouded in pre-history.
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 Sarah Wathen
Sarah Wathen is an artist, author, and founder of the independent publishing house, LayerCake Productions. She was trained in Classical Painting at the University of Central Florida, and then received her Master's in Fine Art from Parsons School of Design in New York City. If Florida was where she discovered her passion, New York was the place she found her voice. "Writing a book was my obvious next step, once I realized I'd been trying to tell stories with pictures for years," Sarah says about transitioning from visual artist to novelist. "Painting with words is even more fun than painting with oil." She describes world-building with language--developing characters, constructing settings and plots, and inventing history--as a power trip that everyone should try at least once.
If only she had as much control over her Bichon Frisées as she does over her narratives. A devoted animal lover, she populates every story with at least one of her pets--especially the dearly departed ones, as therapy for an aching heart.
Sarah lives in Florida with her husband, son, and at least a dozen imaginary friends from her two novels, The Tramp and Catchpenny.

“Come on, I’ll show you how to find rubies in the creek.”
The evergreen forest closed in around John and Candy. They stepped over loose earth and around algae-covered boulders, still slippery from a recent rain. John spotted a patch of bright orange mushrooms sprouting around the base of an enormous pine tree.
“Which alien planet sent those as spies?” he wondered aloud.
Delighted, Candy decided that they must find clues to lead them to the mushroom spaceship. No rubies were discovered that day, but John did find a bright red ladybug that he swore bit his nose, despite Candy’s protestations that “fairies” don’t bite. Candy found blue flowers with yellow sunny centers and John helped her lace them into her braids. She threaded her fingers with his when it was time to head back.
“Candy,” said a deep, quiet voice.
John jumped and Candy yelped.
“Oh my gosh. You scared me, Uncle Brian,” she said, grabbing her chest. John turned to see a tall thin man in faded jeans and a worn plaid flannel shirt: cuffs unbuttoned and gaping wide at his wrists. He was walking up the road towards them, just outside the little woodland. “Where’d you come from?”
“Candace, you need to come with me. Right now.” He was gruff and stony-eyed.
“In the truck?” Candy peered around him at an old blue pick-up. Its door was ajar. “What’s wrong?”
“You’re late, time to go home.” He held out his hand and flicked his fingers, impatient and distracted. “Just come with me. Now.”
“Jeez. Come on, John,” said Candy, tugging her new best friend’s hand.
Uncle Brian barked, “No. Just you. Let’s go—now.”
“But…” Candy let go of John, pink blooming across her face. “His grandma lives right next door to Grandma Catherine. He’s visitin’ from the city—”
“We’re not going to Grandma Catherine’s. Your mom wants me to bring you home.” Her uncle clenched his jaw and gestured towards the truck again.
The pick-up’s engine ticked out tense seconds. John strained his vision and could just see the limp figure of another kid asleep on the bench inside.
Candy followed his line of sight and perked up. “Andy’s with you?”
“Yes. Everything’s fine, sweetheart,” Uncle Brian said, his tone softening and his smile returning.
The smile looked forced to John.
“Okay. Well…bye.” Candy dove in for a hug. She squeezed his waist, leaned back and shrugged, “You just follow the trail around either way. It leads you right back to your grandma’s house. Or mine. It just circles the woods. Sorry.” She turned to walk with her uncle, without taking his hand.
“I can find it,” John said, not entirely certain that he could. But the unfamiliar trail was not what was setting his nerves on edge. That kid in the car looked more passed out than asleep; and John didn’t like the way Candy’s uncle smiled with his mouth but not his eyes. “Bye.”
John watched her walk away, her cut-off jean shorts still damp and muddy in the rump, and her coppery braids twisting down her back, trailing blue flowers with every step. She got into the cab next to her “sleeping” cousin—pinned between him and Uncle Brian—and waved from behind a filthy window. Her uncle slammed his door, avoiding John’s gaze. Then, the ratty truck spun its wheels hard, and they peeled away off the grassy shoulder, tires squealing on the asphalt. John gasped and trotted over to the road to see them racing away in a cloud of dust.
He sprinted home, his feet pounding the packed earth and his lungs choking on their exit.

Another EXCERPT 
Sam headed towards the inner hall and beckoned her to follow with an outstretched hand. She accepted it and sidled up close, nervous. Her breasts bumped against his back and she tripped over his heel. “Sorry.”
“Thats okay,” he chuckled. He squeezed her fingers and led her out into a wide marble entryway; their steps echoing against a thirty-foot ceiling.
“Wow,” Candy breathed.
The central staircase plunged past them. It lead to a sumptuous foyer: the handrail curled around ornately carved dancing women that stood guard at the top of each stair rail. A dusty crystal chandelier hung inert over a threadbare Persian rug. Candy stepped onto the richly patterned carpet. She spun, slowly, taking in the details of the Baroque balustrade. A circular gallery ringed the room overhead before reaching back into shadows.
Sam pulled her towards the mezzanine around the outskirts of the main hall. “Look at these.” He flicked a light switch as if he owned the place. The track-lighting ran under the entire upper gallery and the effect was instantaneous and brilliant—the bulbs shone down on half-a-dozen stoic paintings. Serious faces regarded her in disinterested surveillance.
Candy’s sneakers squeaked on the checkerboard marble floor. “Whoa…so many.”
The lights on the other side of the hallway flickered on over even more life-sized portraits. Sam watched her reaction, as she spun around, her eyebrows shooting up in surprise.
“Thats exactly the way I felt,” he said.
Candy nodded, speechless, the faces were so realistic it was like she had an audience. Gilded paintings hung across the wall: a parade of dignitaries. She looked from one intelligent face to the next and their eyes followed her as she moved past.
“Those must be the oldest, by the way they’re dressed,” she whispered, pointing to the other side of the hall. She walked over to inspect them up close. The first few in line seemed to have been painted during a much earlier time; though there weren’t dates on most of them. They were more refined—richer than what one would expect from painting in early Colonial America. “Shipped over from Europe? I don’t know who couldve painted them here.”
After those few gauzy, pastel likenesses, there was a much more crudely painted portrait. Candy strolled over to stand in front of an image of a bearded man with generic features. He was wearing a leather jerkin with some kind of animal skin draped over one knee and a rifle resting on his lap.
“The legend, himself. Fredrick Jessup Collins. I remember him from History,” she laughed. “In my freshman year. He founded the first settlement here.”
“He could be Daniel Boone.
Candy smirked. Another painting that was quite different from the rest caught her eye. “Look. A Sendalee woman. She looks important, like a princess or something. What was that thing about the ‘Beloved Woman?” She tapped her finger against her lips, searching her memory. “They were almost like female chiefs or princesses or something.”
Sam looked from Candy to the Native American woman in the portrait. “You have the same eyes,” he blurted.
Sam pointed at the face in the portrait, “You got any Indian blood? I always wondered about your eyes.”
She cocked her head to consider the painted woman’s face more closely, and the hair stood up on the back of her neck.
“Eyes so dark in someone so fair. Almost black,” said Sam. “Fathomless.”
Candy chortled. She had always heard people say that her eyes were unnerving. “Those aren’t my eyes. It’s just a painting. How exact could the likeness of that woman really be…to me?”
You can’t see it?” asked Sam, incredulous.
“Not really.”
But she could.
Candy stood in front of the painting and took it in. The Indian woman’s portrait lovingly captured the unique and intimate details of a real woman’s face and person—it was in no way a caricature, like the Danielle Boone painting. Her shiny black hair was parted in the middle and flowed like silk over squared shoulders. Her face was angular, but soft at the edges, and she wore a simple feather headdress with an elaborate brocade gown. Wisps of gossamer undergarments both covered and revealed her breasts. The hem of her gown stopped just above jeweled wooden sandals, and her ringed fingers rested demurely in her lap. The womans smile was alluring but her posture was erect; the combination lent an air of agression, and challenge, mixed with seduction. Her eyes twinkled with wit and private speculation, one eyebrow half-cocked, not with a need to please. A tiny plaque underneath read, “Ahnaanvwodi.” No date.
Turbulent waters,” Sam mumbled. “I know that look.”
Just one more EXCERPT for your enjoyment 
Tyler lunged forward, grabbed a handful of hair, and yanked it hard. Candy’s neck snapped back and he slammed his body against hers.
A blade slid under her chin. “You’s a quick lil vixen, ain’t ya?”
Foul breath huffed against the back of her head, blowing wisps of her hair. She braced herself and felt the knife dig deeper into her flesh. All he had to do was whip it to one side to slit her throat. She stilled herself, barely daring to breathe.
“You been given that ole’ Sam goodies all along, wasn’t you? Think it’s ‘bout time I took some for me,” he snickered.
The heat rose so fast in Candy she felt dizzy. She tried to catch her breath over her fury. But, she knew where his filthy mouth was. She had a better idea where his eyes were, right behind her cheek. And as he struggled against the buttons of her jeans with his knife-hand, the point of the blade swung away from her. Candy Vale hadn’t grown up wrestling against three older brothers without learning how to deliver a few sucker-punches. She rammed two fingers backwards and felt at least one make squishy, wet contact with an eyeball. Tyler howled, and when he raised the switchblade, she grabbed his wrist and bit down. She tasted blood and heard the knife thud to the ground. He was still hanging onto her arm with his other hand, but he was leaning over in pain. She cracked her head against the bridge of his nose. He fell down, moaning in agony. She broke free, but tripped over a tree root.
“Shit!” As she scrambled to her feet she could hear Tyler on the move behind her. He grabbed her ankle and wrenched her back to the ground, twisting her leg so that she landed hard on her elbows. Her bones jarred to the top of her head.
“You bitch!” he screamed, blood spurting from his nose.
She saw her opportunity—he was blinded with his own blood—and she wrenched herself around to grab his head in both her hands, delivering her rage through her palms with a howl. She had planned to knee him in the mouth, but he yanked his head back so violently she lost her grip. He wailed like a banshee and flailed away from her. His eyes rolled back in his head and his body convulsed.
She watched him in horror. What the hell?
“Ahnaan…” Tyler sat up, in control of his limbs again. “Ahnaaan…wodiii.” The word came from deep in his throat—guttural—but Candy understood the meaning perfectly. The Sendalee word: Ahnaanvwodi.
“Where?” she stuttered, bewildered. His eyes were fixed on her. “Me? But I’m not the…”
He lunged at her, ripping at her shirt, her face. He tore at her hair in a frenzy, like he would claw his way inside.
“Get off—get off me!”
She kicked him away as hard as she could. A hulking shadow loomed over Tyler from behind, raised both arms overhead with a club held high. The club came down on Tyler’s head with a dull whack and his body went limp.
“Are you alright?”
Candy sat up, staring dumbly at her savior.
“Candy, are you hurt?”
The adrenaline coursed through her body. “Is he d-dead?”
John knelt down next to the stilled heap, feeling for a pulse. “No, just passed out. But, I think he’s going to wish he were dead when he comes to.”
“M-my g-g-god…”
Candy accepted John’s hand, wincing in pain when she put weight on her left ankle. She bore the pain to administer a sharp kick to Tyler’s midsection, and ended up hissing and hopping on her good foot.
 “Come here, Candy.” John wrapped an arm around her waist for support, but when she fell into him, sobbing and trembling, he hoisted her up with both arms. She looped her legs around him and held onto his neck, clinging to him like a child. He threaded his hands under her bum—exactly the way the Child Services officer had carried her away from the crime scene when she was seven. She had watched over the officer’s shoulder—her Uncle Brian was sprawled face-down on the pavement, the policemen shouting over him. Guns were trained on his head.
“Let’s get you home.” John kissed her forehead, stepping gingerly through the undergrowth.
“Okay.” Her blubbering increased with her gratitude, and John made quiet shushing sounds as they left the woods. His Mustang was parked up the road under an umbrella of elm trees.
“I had him,” Candy snuffled wetly into his neck.
“Alright. It’s alright.”
“I don’t need s-saving.” Tears flowed and she pounded his broad back with a weak fist. “I don’t.”
“You could have fooled me, Candy-cane,” he sighed. She hugged him tighter. “You sure could have fooled me.”


The author is giving away the following gifts to one winner of the Rafflecopter.
1.       Signed print copy of the book + Kindle download
2.       MP3 download of The Tramp theme song, "Bound Hearts"
3.       Cover art T-shirt

Rafflecopter code to embed in a blog or website:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hope you enjoy the second visit of Sarah Wathen to my blog Lightning Chronicles! I presented three excerpts from her story to entice you to read her work.  Follow this blog for other exciting authors and their book tours. Talk back, I'm listening, have a great weekend!