How Old is Grandma by Antoinette Simmonds

How Old is Grandma?

by Antoinette Simmonds

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GENRE: Children’s Picture Book

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BLURB:

A humorous family mystery about a Grandma’s big secret! Kendall and Kayson love going to visit their grandparents and their Grandma’s birthday means CAKE, but how many candles to put on it? As the story unfolds, and misunderstandings abound, inquisitive Kendall is surprised to find out more than he bargained for. “How Old is Grandma?” joyfully illustrates the interactions amongst a loving African American family; children, parents, and grandparents and the learning experiences they share. Warm story-telling with a humor and charm that illustrates an understanding of the funniness and peace of mind that is so commonly found in children. The first in a series of books written for children ages 4 and up.

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EXCERPT:

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Antoinette Simmonds has more than 25 years’ experience as a teacher. She is an Adjunct Professor at two community colleges and has worked in the past as a teacher of software and a high school business teacher. She holds a BA in Business Education and a master’s degree in Instructional Technology.

As an African American woman, mother of 3, and grandmother of 3, over the years she has found fun, joy and shared experiences sharing books with children. Now as a grandmother and an emerging voice in writing, her goal is to produce a memorable series of humorous family-oriented stories featuring people of color to share, “Teaching is my passion and I am thankful that I am sharing my joy and passing it forward.”

Website: http://nanasbookshelf.com/

Blog: http://nanasbookshelf.com/contact/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AntoinetteSimmondsAuthor/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/antoinettesimmondsauthor

Buy links: Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/How-Old-Grandma-Antoinette-Simmonds/dp/1735029521/ref=sr_1_2

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/how-old-is-grandma-ian-dale/1137189738

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

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The Wars Among The Paines



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. John M. Millar will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Spanning over 200 years of American military history, “The Wars Among the Paines” (Koehler Books, September 30, 2020), tells the complex story of a family defined by war, accounting in vivid detail its toll in blood, treasure, and emotional turmoil. Nearly 50 years in the making, “The Wars Among the Paines” is the debut novel by Vietnam veteran John M. Millar, who tells a story that illustrates how the consequences of America’s foreign wars escape the boundaries of the front lines, and ripple through generations of families, friends, politics, and the lives of we the people.

Read an Excerpt

THOMAS PINKERTON PAINE JOINS THE FIRST DIVISION—APRIL 1918
“OVER THERE”—George M. Cohan

Thomas left on a troopship for France. He stayed on deck the entire time, except for meals, to minimize his contact in a closely packed ship. One of his goals was to return to his family by avoiding the diseases so easily contracted in war zones. He arrived in St. Nazaire, France, and was rapidly transported in a second-class passenger coach, while enlisted men rode in boxcars.

Thomas arrived at the front at a time that the First Division was the only fully trained American division in France. They had already lost a disproportionate number of junior officers in their first operational missions. Thomas was immediately assigned as a platoon leader in the 1/26th. He had been in France for less than one month, but he was about to engage in his first combat mission. The mission was to capture the town of Cantigny and the surrounding high ground.

On May 27, 1918, the division moved into its attack positions, and the next morning commenced their attack on the German positions in and around Cantigny. As the First Division advanced, German machine-gunners delivered heavy fire, killing three officers in Company A. The advance halted, while the advance party was pinned down. Until the machine guns were taken out, the First Division could not move. Second Lt. Paine gathered five volunteers, all armed with automatic rifles and grenades.

Thomas had this exact tactical problem while he trained in Ithaca. He had his remaining men deliver heavy fire on the machine gun positions, while his team pulled back and circled the Germans’ flank. They advanced slowly, then charged the bunkers, using their grenades first. When the grenades flushed out those who were not dead, the men fired their automatic rifles, killing the rest of the gunners and their support. Thomas’ and his men’s heroism would be recognized after the battle—if they were still alive.

About the Author:
John M. Millar has no traditional experience in writing a novel. “The Wars Among the Paines” is a result of a fifty-year process since returning from Vietnam in 1969. Millar grew up in Central Pennsylvania; and graduated from Cornell University in 1966. He served in the U.S. Army from 1966-1969; graduated from Officer Candidate School in July 1967; served as a First Lieutenant with the First Infantry Division in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969; and received two Bronze Stars, an Air Medal and a Commendation Medal from the U.S. Army. From the Vietnam government, Millar received the Vietnamese Honor Medal and the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross for joint operations. He graduated from the Darden Graduate Business School, University of Virginia with a MBA in 1972. For the past forty-five years, he has served in senior executive positions in the department store, regional mall REITs and mixed-use town center development industries.

Website: http://thewarsamongthepaines.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/warsamongthepaines/
https://www.koehlerbooks.com/writer/john-m-millar/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20171543.John_M_Millar

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Wars-Among-Paines-John-Millar-ebook/dp/B086L4L5D7/
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-wars-among-the-paines-john-m-millar/1136756769

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Blackhorse Road Book Tour

Blackhorse Road

by Merida Johns

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GENRE: Women’s fiction romance

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BLURB:

Under another hand, Blackhorse Road could all too easily have been a singular romance. Johns provides more as she follows Luci down the rabbit hole and out the other side of life experience, bringing readers into a world where . . . transgression changes everything and challenges carefully-constructed foundations of belief and values. As Luci lets go of her lifesavers and navigates obstacles to happiness, her story becomes a vivid portrait of hope and self-examination which ultimately moves into unexpected territory. Novel readers seeking a tale that closely considers deception and forgiveness, love gained and lost, and family ties will welcome the multifaceted Blackhorse Road’s ability to come full circle in a satisfyingly unexpected way. – D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

It’s the turbulent mid-1960s, and Luci, an eighteen-year-old Southern California girl, is on the quest for self-determination and new beginnings. Three powerful forces influence her values: the grit of her Irish great-grandmother, Lucinda McCormick; the philosophy of choice of her father, Sam; and the 1960s ideals of equity and altruism. But potent foes thwart Luci at every turn. Her budding romance with a handsome United States Air Force Academy cadet sets the stage for conflict and deception that last for two decades. When Luci discovers how her autonomy and her love affair were hijacked, she struggles with anger and bitterness. But from a surprising source, she finds a forgiveness path that restores her well-being and hope and, in the end, faith in herself.

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Excerpt:

The cranky engine revved as the driver shifted gears, and the military bus crawled forward exiting the air force base. Along a narrow and dark roadway, the vehicle increased its speed and left the MPs at the gate standing immobile and mute in the glow of the rising moon. Drifting through the open windows, the Southern California desert air blew like pixie dust across the faces of the thirty young women headed home from the street dance. A few hours ago, they were preening and adjusting their bouffant hairdos, reapplying creamy pink lipstick, and placing the last twirls of mascara on their eyelashes to prepare for a street dance with cadets from the elite Air Force Academy. Then, the atmosphere buzzed with gossip, chatter, laughter, and anticipation. Now, the glimmering night sky created the perfect backdrop that lulled each into a contented silence to fantasize about the handsome men they had met.

“This is the beginning of my story about love and betrayal and a journey toward empathy, compassion, and forgiveness. It is also a story of choice—my choice to be inspired by the resilience of a great-grandmother, the values of a father, and the wisdom of a spouse. But in the end, it is a story of how a letter of gratitude . . . reminded me to open my heart to love and kindness.”

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Topic Discussion:

  What are your plans for the future? 

A significant theme of Blackhorse Road is about how choices in the present determine our future. 

Characters in the story that fill the roles of mentor, sage, cheerleader, and ally counsel Luci, the protagonist, of the benefits of living in the present.  Some of the counsel is exemplified in the following quotes:

  • Many times, Sam had counseled Luci and her sisters, “Take advantage of the present. After all, it’s the only thing that you ever truly have.”
  • True enough, the past can’t be changed. But what can you do in the present? The choice you make now drives the future.”
  • Live in the present, and you won’t be anxious or worried.

In the spirit of Blackhorse Road and living in the present, I’d like to share what I’m doing now that will help drive my future.  I’m continuing to work on writing fiction about the human experience, showing how ordinary people tackle challenges, live through sorrow and betrayal, struggle with doubt, and act on their aspirations to achieve flourishing lives.

I am working on a women’s fiction novel tentatively titled Suzanna that begins in Columbus, Ohio, in the mid-1980s.  Suzanna has her whole life in front of her like an open freeway or so she believes . . . The story is packed with challenges, hard decisions, and an elusive love, as Suzanna strives to follow her North Star.  The ending, like Blackhorse Road, has a surprising twist—this one, though, might raise the reader’s curiosity just enough to wonder if coincidences that edge on the paranormal might be real.  Stay tuned!

I entered fiction writing after my retirement.  Career and other life situations prevented me from following my dream of writing fiction. Beyond my writing additional women’s fiction, I’m working on developing a non-profit organization with a mission to provide support and resources to women who, like myself, have not been able to pursue their life-long dreams of writing fiction.   

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About the Author:

For three decades, I was a university professor who taught classes and wrote textbooks on “nerdy” subjects centering on computer systems in healthcare. 

But a decade ago, informed by my experience in a male-dominated area, I started my practice as a leadership coach to help women break the glass ceiling and fulfill their leadership and economic potential. Consequently, during the past ten years, I transitioned from writing textbooks to motivational books on creating environments where people flourish through better leadership.

 About a year ago, I was on a conference call discussing concepts of what makes a fulfilling life with fellow life coaches.  Bang! Like a thunderclap, I had an insight. What would it be like to help people understand the concepts of a flourishing life in a story instead of through a motivational book or text? After all, I thought, storytelling has been the most compelling form of communication for thousands of years. As far as I could recall, none of the great prophets fed up learning objectives and multiple-choice questions to their followers.  No!  They got their message across through stories.

 Motivational books and textbooks give frameworks, theories, and ideas, but they don’t immerse us in the human experience. They don’t show us how others face challenges, embrace their passions, overcome sorrow, celebrate achievement, quash self-doubts, develop positive emotions and relationships, handle betrayal, or act on aspirations.

 Storytelling ignites our imagination and emotion.  We experience being part of the story rather than being served up a platter of facts, exercises, and information.

This eye-opener was enough for me to take on the challenge of novel writing.  My passion is to help people catapult beyond concepts and theories and jump into the wonderment of imagination in designing a flourishing life for themselves.  Storytelling does this best.

Happily, as a fiction writer, I have jettisoned learning objectives and test questions.  Ah…the freedom makes me feel as light as a balloon on a summer breeze.

Website:  www.MeridaJohnsAuthor.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MeridaJohnsAuthor/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/meridajohns

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Merida-L.-Johns/e/B001IU2KBS

https://bookshop.org/shop/MeridaJohns

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

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bandits and Ball Gowns Cover Reveal


This post is part of a Cover Reveal Tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Christina Bauer will be awarding a Fairy Tale Charm Bracelet to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

One Prince Finds True Love … And Risks It All

Elle Cynder has fallen hard for Alec, the ‘prince’ of Le Charme Jewelers. Time for some happily in their ever after, right?

Not so much.

While the new couple shares joyful moments–and sizzling kisses–serious trouble is brewing. Elle’s evil stepmother, Marchesa, schemes with none other than Alec’s twisted father, Legend. Their plan? Destroy Elle and Alec, along with everything the young lovers hold dear, including Bry, Knox, and Wilhelm.

Another Royal Freezes His Heart … But For How Long?

As a prince of the dark fae, Jacoby focuses on one goal: avoid assassination. Marrying Elle would certainly aid in that cause, considering how she’s both a Cinderella life template and a powerful fae warden. Even better, Jacoby doesn’t truly love Elle. In court life, deep romantic attachments only mean certain death.

Then Jacoby notices Elle’s youngest stepsister, Agatha.

For the first time in his life, Jacoby’s cold heart warms with true affection. The elven prince struggles to ignore his feelings, but it might be a losing battle. And what would the prince’s newfound emotions mean for Elle and Alec? Could Jacoby really stand by and watch another’s true love be destroyed?

Buckle up for a wild ride as Cinderella’s time-honored story gets some all-new twists.

FAIRY TALES OF THE MAGICORUM

1. Wolves And Roses
2. Moonlight And Midtown
3. Shifters And Glyphs
4. Slippers And Thieves
5. Bandits And Ball Gowns


About the Author:
Christina Bauer thinks that fantasy books are like bacon: they just make life better. All of which is why she writes romance novels that feature demons, dragons, wizards, witches, elves, elementals, and a bunch of random stuff that she brainstorms while riding the Boston T. Oh, and she includes lots of humor and kick-ass chicks, too.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Be the first to know about new releases from Christina by signing up for her newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/CBupdates

Stalk Christina On Social Media – She Loves It!

Blog: http://monsterhousebooks.com/blog/category/christina
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorBauer/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CB_Bauer
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christina_cb_bauer/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/christina-bauer-481b12139
Web site: http://monsterhousebooks.com/authors/cbauer

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Dark Matter Book Blast



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Alyssa Huckleberry will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

“Survival is light years away.”

Earth is dying. The only salvation for humanity is colonizing space, yet so far that has failed. The last hope for survival exists on a planet light years away…and the mission is fraught with danger. Teenager Selina Alois leads a group of six high achievers who pass the exam of a lifetime to earn a position on the precarious expedition. As the mission launch approaches, dark secrets are exposed about the planet. Further digging reveals a sinister plot that not only risks humanity’s fate but also puts Selina and her team to the ultimate test.

Read an Excerpt

I always knew it would be me.

Don’t ask me to explain how I knew—I won’t be able to.

As far back as I can remember, there was talk of colonizing outer space. I didn’t grow up freaked out by the idea. Maybe I should have—my parents were.

The year I was born, the United States celebrated its one hundredth anniversary of the successful establishment of a colony on the moon. Venturing into outer space was never foreign to me; it never carried fear the way it did for the adults around me. I learned about the solar system in school like every kid through the generations…but I also facetimed with the scientists stationed at headquarters and had a third-grade pen pal who lived on the moon.

But that was when Earth was only thought to be dying…before scientists put an expiration date on Earth’s existence. That news changed everything: disbelief melted into panic, which boiled to cold-blooded terror when the drafts were instated.

But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. I forget that not everyone is fluent in space-talk; that my everyday reality is startling to some. My mom in particular reminds me of this all the time. She accuses me of being intentionally abrupt just so I can elicit shocked reactions from people around me.

It isn’t true. I just don’t see the point in sugarcoating situations.

About the Author:
Alyssa Huckleberry grew up in San Diego as the oldest of four children. After earning a business degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Alyssa spent a short time working in finance before transitioning to work in education. Today Alyssa works as a fifth grade teacher and she LOVES her job!

When she isn’t teaching or writing, you can find Alyssa running, reading, practicing yoga, traveling the world, or spending time with those dearest to her. She loves spending time outdoors, growing in her faith, and learning new things (hence, the great amount of time spent reading, traveling, and going on adventures!). A true lover of whimsy, she also believes everything is better with a latte in hand.

Alyssa’s first novel, Rescuing Racei, was published in 2004 (while Alyssa was still a high school student) and later won the San Diego Book Award for Best Young Adult Novel. Since then, Alyssa published three other books to complete the series: Stealing Splendiferous, Magicus, and The Maleku Map.

The Struggle is Real was an inspired piece written for an adult audience as a stand-alone work. Her latest novel, Dark Matter, is written for a young adult audience. It is the first book in what will be a science-fiction series imagining a future of space exploration!

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alyssa.huckleberry/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3162224.Alyssa_Huckleberry
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Alyssa-Huckleberry/e/B00J8X3RSM/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_book_1

Dark Matter purchase links:

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Matter-Alyssa-Huckleberry/dp/1734419865/ref=sr_1_2
Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Matter-Dystopian-Science-Fiction-ebook/dp/B08CS2HPDN/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0

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Doorway to Scorn

Doorway to Scorn

by Dimitrius Jones

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GENRE:   Fantasy

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BLURB:

Many in the world of Austyria dream of becoming heroes, gaining classes like Mage, Knight, and Beastmaster. With the power granted to them by the powerful Alrelics, they can level up and accomplish extraordinary feats.

The citizens of Hollo village long for a hero to save them from the malevolent Gate, which disfigures all who see or try to enter it. Lex dreams of becoming a Soldier and leaving his cursed village with his friends, Bibi and Ariel, but his class designation ceremony devolves into absolute disaster. Within days, he’s forced to embark on a journey that will change his destiny forever.

To save his friends, Lex must uncover the mysteries of this mysterious doorway, while keeping his scornful heart in check before it consumes him utterly.

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Excerpt

Lex. You need to run.”

Bibi’s voice is low, just above a whisper. She flips her daggers in her hands until they’re pointing away from her body, something I’ve never seen done before. They’re normally used for stabbing – usually in the most treacherous manner possible – and held with the blade facing up, not down.

“I’m not leaving you here to fight that alone.”

“Then you’re a fool. You can’t help me here, and that cursed weapon you have won’t save you. I don’t even know why you’re still holding onto it.”

“I have potions. If you get hurt, I can at least heal you.”

Bibi doesn’t respond, but I can see the muscles in her shoulders and arms tensing as the shadow man regains his composure and goes completely still. She doesn’t sound like herself. It’s as if she’s a completely different person.

The shadow man points his blade high into the sky, and a strange, smoke-like energy begins to wisp around him. Soon, he is joined by two identical shadow men, each taking a battle stance with swords of their own.

“This is not a fight I plan to win,” Bibi says, and that’s when it dawns on me. She’s trying to buy everyone else time to escape from these things.

“Lex. You need to run.”

Bibi’s voice is low, just above a whisper. She flips her daggers in her hands until they’re pointing away from her body, something I’ve never seen done before. They’re normally used for stabbing – usually in the most treacherous manner possible – and held with the blade facing up, not down.

“I’m not leaving you here to fight that alone.”

“Then you’re a fool. You can’t help me here, and that cursed weapon you have won’t save you. I don’t even know why you’re still holding onto it.”

“I have potions. If you get hurt, I can at least heal you.”

Bibi doesn’t respond, but I can see the muscles in her shoulders and arms tensing as the shadow man regains his composure and goes completely still. She doesn’t sound like herself. It’s as if she’s a completely different person.

The shadow man points his blade high into the sky, and a strange, smoke-like energy begins to wisp around him. Soon, he is joined by two identical shadow men, each taking a battle stance with swords of their own.

“This is not a fight I plan to win,” Bibi says, and that’s when it dawns on me. She’s trying to buy everyone else time to escape from these things.

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An Interview with the Author:

1. How long have you been a published author?

Thank you so much to Independent Authors for having me! Unofficially I’ve been a published author since about 2017 when I self-published an anti-dating memoir and realized it was kinda cringe. I’m now declaring 2019 as the official year I became a published author with the release of Life After Low Self-Esteem.

2. Do you have any new releases coming soon?

I’m currently working on a teen fantasy romance that features an androgynous black queer lead character. He falls in love with his best friend, the school jock, and tries to use magic to avoid his feelings. Naturally, things go astray.

3. If you could co-write with another author who would it be?

I would love the opportunity to write with James Baldwin if he were still alive. I feel like I would have so much to learn from him as a fellow black queer artist. I think that’s an important factor when co-writing with someone, having the opportunity to absorb each other’s strengths in a mutually beneficial way.

4. Do you listen to music while writing? If yes, what songs are your favorites?

Anything by John Coltrane will do when I’m outlining and creating my world and characters. Listening to Coltrane takes me back to my childhood when I would beg my dad to let me sit in his office with him. He would give me a chair and an end table, and I’d pretend to go to work just like he did.

That’s also how I got started writing. I’d draw pictures, and my dad would let me type out what was happening in the scenes on his computer. Then, he’d print it out, and we’d read it together. From there, I maintained that passion for storytelling.

5. What genres do you write in?

I mostly stick to fantasy and self-help. It’s an odd pairing at first, but I feel both genres are appropriate given my personality and values. I love to escape into a new adventure in a vibrant world full of interesting characters, and I also love to take time to self-reflect.

I believe it’s important to constantly improve as a person. We get stuck in a rut sometimes, whether it’s because of mental illness or purely circumstantial, and we struggle to maintain a high self-worth. I am constantly searching for ways to combat those struggles for myself and others.

6. If you could write anywhere in the world, where would it be?

It’s funny because I wouldn’t call it a place. It’s more of an idea. One thing I love about NYC (when I visit) is that there’s always a chance to stumble upon a random bar or restaurant where you can sit, order a cup of coffee, and be at peace. I love to explore new places and spark new writing ideas. Plus, NYC is one of the best cities to people watch.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Dimitrius Jones was born and raised in West Texas, much to his eternal annoyance. Despite this, he first picked up the pen at the tender age of six. His first masterpiece was a page-turner was about dolphins that used eye lasers to kill a hurricane. From there, his life took a few twists and turns, but he always found his way back to his trusty notepad.

His next few projects include a self-help book for those who suffer from low self-esteem as well as a full-length fantasy/romance novel to be released sometime in the future. Dimitrius has always, perhaps unsurprisingly, been inspired by the mystery, tragedy, and wonder of fairy tales.

His goal in life is to constantly inspire, amuse, and shed light into the corners of life we didn’t know were right in front of us.

Website: http://dimitriusjones.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/idimitriusjones?lang=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authordimitriusjones/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/idimitriusjones/?hl=en

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Doorway-Scorn-Novella-1-Austyria-ebook/dp/B081XJC13P

The book will be $0.99 during the tour.

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Dimitrius Jones will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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The Thee Kitties That Saved My Life


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Michael Meyer will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Michael Meyer will be awarding a $20 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.

“This is like drinking tea and honey on a cold day.” When tragedy struck, I thought for sure that my own life was at an end. I was wrong. This is the true story of how two stray rescue cats and a woman named Kitty, whom I finally met after a wild ride of internet dating, brought love, romance, and laughter back into my life.

Love was then.
Love is now.
Love is forever.

WINNER of the 2018 Stephen Memorial Award
FINALIST for the 2014 RONE AWARD
A True Romance Memoir

If you love reading feel-good memoirs, then don’t miss THE THREE KITTIES THAT SAVED MY LIFE, where “Mike Meyer pens a tender tale of love, loss, and renewal. The depth of emotion is palpable…The Three Kitties will tug at readers’ heartstrings, as they ride through the emotional highs and lows of Mike Meyer’s remarkable story.” – InD’tale Magazine

Read an Excerpt

And, to add a delicious icing to the lovely taste of my life, I can say with total honesty to the whole world, my voice booming into the sky, my dancing feet not caring in the least who might see me, that I have been very fortunate to have done something that brings more sheer delight and wonderful pride to me than anything else that I have accomplished in my life: I have fallen madly, head-over-heels in love not once, but twice, and how many others can say that?

About the Author:
Michael Meyer is the author of mysteries, thrillers, humorous fiction, and non-fiction: Love and romance, laughter and tears, thrills and fears.

He has resided in and has visited many places in the world, all of which have contributed in some way to his own published writing. He has literally traveled throughout the world, on numerous occasions. He has lived in Finland, Germany, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He gained the wanderlust to see the world, to experience other cultures, at an early age, and this desire has never left him. If anything, it has only gained in intensity as he has aged.

As a recent retiree from a forty-year career as a professor of writing, he now lives in Southern California wine country with his wife, Kitty, and their two adorable rescue cats.

Website: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005E7M8CW
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelMeyersWritingLife/

Buy links: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CGND93E/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i2

On sale for only $0.99.

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The Last Collection

The Last Collection

by Jeanne Mackin

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GENRE: Historical Romance

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BLURB:

An American woman becomes entangled in the intense rivalry between iconic fashion designers Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli in this captivating novel from the acclaimed author of The Beautiful American.

Paris, 1938. Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli are fighting for recognition as the most successful and influential fashion designer in France, and their rivalry is already legendary. They oppose each other at every turn, in both their politics and their designs: Chanel’s are classic, elegant, and practical; Schiaparelli’s bold, experimental, and surreal.

When Lily Sutter, a recently widowed young American teacher, visits her brother, Charlie, in Paris, he insists on buying her a couture dress—a Chanel. Lily, however, prefers a Schiaparelli. Charlie’s beautiful and socially prominent girlfriend soon begins wearing Schiaparelli’s designs as well, and much of Paris follows in her footsteps.

Schiaparelli offers budding artist Lily a job at her store, and Lily finds herself increasingly involved with Schiaparelli and Chanel’s personal war. Their fierce competition reaches new and dangerous heights as the Nazis and the looming threat of World War II bear down on Paris.

***

“Sophisticated couture wars and looming world wars take center stage in Mackin’s latest, with a plot that buzzes with love triangles and political intrigue. A gorgeous meditation on art, fashion, and heartbreak. Stunning.”

–Fiona Davis, national bestselling author of The Masterpiece

“Exquisitely melding world politics and high fashion, THE LAST COLLECTION is a smart, witty, heartfelt, and riveting look at the infamous rivalry between Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli set against a gripping period in history. Mackin’s powerful novel brings these characters to life and transports the reader, juxtaposing both the gaiety and tension of Paris on the brink of war. As elegant and captivating as the designs depicted in the novel, THE LAST COLLECTION is the perfect read for both historical fiction lovers and fashion aficionados. Simply stunning.”

–Chanel Cleeton, USA Today bestselling author of Next Year in Havana

“A wonderful story of two intensely creative women, their vibrant joie de vivre, and backbiting competition played out against the increasingly ominous threat of the Nazi invasion of Paris. Seamless research makes every character leap to life and kept me totally engaged from beginning to end.

–Shelley Noble, New York Times bestselling author of Lighthouse Beach

“A vibrant portrait of two designers cut from very different cloth, Jeanne Mackin’s THE LAST COLLECTION pits bold Coco Chanel and colorful Elsa Schiaparelli against each other in a fiery feud even as the ominous clouds of World War II darken the horizon. A captivating read!”

–Stephanie Marie Thornton, author of American Princess

“As Hitler and the Nazis gather strength and the world braces for war, Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel, whose politics differ as much as their couture, wage a war of their own. Lily Sutter, the woman who finds herself in the middle of their feud, has a battle of her own as she struggles to make a new start amidst extreme grief and loss. From New York to Paris, Jeanne Mackin takes the reader on an enthralling journey, complete with such vivid descriptions of the clothing, you can practically see them on the page. Beautifully rendered and meticulously researched, THE LAST COLLECTION is a must read.”

–Renée Rosen, author of Park Avenue Summer

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt:

At the ball that night there were people whose faces I recognized, a blur of memory from my first evening in Paris at the Ritz, and many more people whom I didn’t recognize at all, men with military posture, women covered with jewels, men in dresses, women in tuxedos, ingénues in pastel gowns. And Charlie and Ania, beautiful Charlie and Ania, so immersed in each other’s gaze they could have been alone rather than dancing through crowded rooms.

…Coco arrived around eleven, in a diaphanous green gown that looked like fern fronds moving in a breeze when she moved.  It was Coco, blending into nature, but still Coco.

Schiap arrived soon after, dressed, as she had promised, as a tree, covered in a rough brown cloth that looked like tree bark, with branches extending from her arms and the crown of her head. Several cloth and feather birds perched on her shoulders. Whimsical, humorous, always-make-it-look easy Schiap.  Schiap got the louder applause when she made her entrance, and I saw Coco’s smile fade.

Who knew what was going through Coco’s mid that evening? Perhaps she had dreamed the night before of the orphanage, the father who had abandoned her and the mother who had died.

Pehaps she wasn’t thinking at all but only reacting, the way dry wood reacts when a match is put to it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About Me:

 The Emotions of Color

When I began working on this novel about two incredible women, the fashion divas Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel, and their infamous rival in Paris just before World War II, I knew that much in the novel would be about color, and how we react to it. I was delighted when one reader contacted me to say I must be an artist, to have written about color with such strong emotional responses. 

Far from it!  I am verbal rather than visual, and I am constantly challenging myself to experience the world through my all my senses and abilities…including color.  What color is the feeling of happiness? When we are in love, does our perception of color change? I remember when I was young and passionately in love for the first time, whenever that boy came into a room, colors brightened.  And when he left a room, the colors looked and felt dusted with grey to me.  In The Last Collection – A Novel of Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel, color becomes for me one of the most important aspects of fashion and design.  Color, and the use of it in clothing, was one of the most significant differences between Elsa and Coco.  Chanel was famous for her neutral pallet, blacks and whites and beiges. Elsa became famous for her use of bright colors and that brightest color of all, Shocking Pink, which she made popular.

Color.  How much weaker would our emotions be, if we could not enjoy reds and greens and blues, and all the shades? If we couldn’t enjoy the color of our beloved’s eyes, and remember the color of his favorite sweater?  During World War II, the Parisians had to work hard, and sometimes subversively, to keep their world from turning into nothing more than the menacing colors of military uniforms. All of that was what I worked with in this novel.  Color, and emotion, history. Trauma and recovery.  Happiness and love lost, and then refound. I hope you enjoy my novel!

~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jeanne Mackin ‘s latest novel, The Last Collection, A Novel of Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel takes the reader to Paris, just before world war II, and the intense, dangerous rivalry between the two queens of fashion. Her previous novels include A Lady of Good Family, the award winning The Beautiful American, The Sweet By and By, Dreams of Empire, The Queen’s War, and The Frenchwoman.

Her historical fictions explore the lives of strong women who change their worlds…because we know the world always needs a lot of change! She has worked all the traditional ‘writers’ jobs’ from waitressing to hotel maid, anything that would leave her a few hours each morning for writing. Most recently, she taught creative writing at the graduate level.  She has traveled widely, in Europe and the Middle East and can think of no happier moment than sitting in a Paris café, drinking coffee or a Pernod, and simply watching, while scribbling in a notebook.

JeanneMackin.com

Facebook.com/JeanneMackinauthor

Twitter.com/JeanneMackin1

Penguin Random House – https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/531859/the-last-collection-by-jeanne-mackin/

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H71Q5FQ/ref=dp-kindle-redirect

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

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Two Ink Minimum Book Blast



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Michel Prince will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

In book one of Permanent Hangover, all Finn Gardner wanted was a breath of fresh air when he stepped into the alley behind the Permanent Hangover Bar and Tattoo Parlor. At first sight, he’d thought it was just another homeless person to shoo away from the building. Instead, he found someone who needed help – his help. Having been given a second chance himself, Finn believes in paying it forward. The Hangover has taken more than one lost soul in over the years.

Bailey Parson needed to get away. She left her life in Chicago behind and escaped to St. Paul, but she never once thought far enough ahead to what her next step would be when she arrived there. To her, what she was running from was much more to worry about than some half-baked plan. After a month stuck on the streets, a new need arose, as the temperature started to drop – survival.

Given a chance by a stranger, Bailey works to find her way. Not only winning over customers and the staff with her smart wit and empathy, she wins over the standoffish tattoo artist. Keeping their relationship forward focused, Finn hoped to avoid both of their baggage. However, when Bailey’s past threatens to destroy everything they built together, Finn’s left with decisions to make.

Does he give up the beautiful curvy woman, the only one whose touch calms him? How much of his dark past would he need to unlock to save her? A past with the potential to destroy what they have together. More importantly, can the lovers turn the scars of the past into a design strong enough to see them through any challenge? Or, will the permanent ink leave them with open wounds and no chance of healing?

Read an Excerpt

“I wasn’t doing anything,” she said as she slipped the penny in her pocket.

The man turned to look behind him before taking a drink. In a tight black t-shirt, worn-in jeans and work boots, he stood a good six-three at least. From her crouched position, the tattooed man seemed massive. Although he was lean, his body had cuts from sinewy muscles.

“Didn’t think you were,” he replied in a deep baritone voice.

His jaw was outlined by a slight bit of scruff that could be a decent beard with a month or so to grow it out. Bailey swallowed hard and stuffed her hands in her pockets, fingering the penny she’d tucked there.

“Needed a break,” he replied. “I love the fall. When I come out in the summer I’m slammed with the humidity, you know?”

“Warm is good.”

“I guess. I like the brisk cool, but it could be because it gets so damn hot in there.”

The mention of warmth made Bailey wonder if the cover charge would be worth a few hours. She’d found the cheaper motels were further out of downtown, but the shelter was in the center. By the time she walked her way to a place she could afford, it would be morning and the Dorothy Day center would be open for a free breakfast.

“What’s that place like?”

“Loud tonight,” he replied. “You’ve never been?”

“No,” she shook her head a bit surprised he wasn’t catching on she was homeless.

“I’m Finn.” He extended his hand like she was a human being. The simple contact warmed her.

“Jane,” she said not wanting to let go of his warm hand, but knew she had to. “You a bartender?”

“Nah, they don’t really get breaks. I’m with the tattoo parlor.”

She finally paid attention to the sign on the back of the door that said Permanent Hangover. A whiskey bottle with two tattoo guns on either side reminded her of angel wings.

“What is this place?”

“Bar, club, whatever you want to call it with a few chairs for tattooing.” He cleared his throat. “So, Jane, I don’t suppose the last name is Doe?”

“Yes, are you psychic? Only I spell it the French way.”

“D-O-U-G-H,” he said, and she let out a laugh. “Jayne with a Y?”

About the Author:
USA Today Bestselling author, Michel Prince, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history and political science. Michel writes new adult and adult paranormal romance as well as contemporary romance.

With characters yelling “It’s my turn damn it!!!” She tries to explain to them that alas, she can only type a hundred and twenty words a minute and they will have to wait their turn. She knows they’ll eventually find their way out of her head and to her fingertips and she looks forward to sharing them with you.

When Michel suppresses the voices in her head, she can be found cheering for her son in a variety of sports. She owes a huge thanks to her family for always being in her corner and especially her husband for supporting her every dream and never letting her give up. Michel was awarded Elite Status with Rebel Ink Press in 2013, the service award for her local RWA chapter Midwest Fiction Writers in 2013 and 2014, and Sweetest Romance at IRAE 2015.

She resides in the Twin Cities with her husband, son, and dogs, Bolt and Sawyer.

http://www.MichelPrinceBooks.com
http://www.facebook.com/MichelPrinceBooks
http://www.Twitter.com/MichelPrince1
http://www.instagram.com/michelprincebooks

Buy Links:

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Morning Star Excerpt Tour



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Charlotte Hubbard 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.

When four maidels join forces to turn an abandoned barn into an Amish marketplace, the unmarried women have community in mind. But their fledgling enterprise promises to reap surprising rewards for each in turn, including the gift of unexpected love . . .

For Regina Miller, the new Morning Star Marketplace is a chance to share her secret work with the world—without revealing herself. Old Order Amish forbid the creation of art without purpose, but without a husband, Regina has been free to explore the joy of painting in her attic. Yet when Gabe Flaud’s curiosity leads him to speculate that Regina herself is the painter, the full weight of their community’s judgement falls on her shoulders. When Gabe stands up to defend Regina, questioning the Order’s restrictions, he reveals his own guilty secret and is shunned along with her. Forced to turn to each other for companionship, the young couple must learn to balance their own needs with their deep faith … and a love that will show them all things are possible.

Read an Excerpt

April had painted the Missouri countryside with a palette of vibrant greens and gentle pastels only God Himself could create. The pastures were lush with new grass, and the dogwood and redbud trees added splashes of pink, cream, and fuchsia to the untamed landscape. Jo Fussner and her four maidel friends were on their afternoon walk, soaking up the midday sunshine. An occasional car passed, but otherwise, Morning Star seemed to be nodding off for its Sunday nap.

As they reached the edge of town, Jo gazed at a dilapidated white stable that sat back from the road. The plank fence around it was also in a sorry state of disrepair. The harsh winter hadn’t done the stable any favors, and Jo thought the place looked sadder than usual as the breeze riffled some of its loose shingles.

The wooden sign posted on the fence alongside the gate startled her. “Did you know this place was for sale?” Jo blurted. “I haven’t seen this sign before.”

“Me neither,” Molly Helfing replied. She glanced at her rail-thin twin sister, Marietta, who was recovering from chemo treatments. “Last I knew, the Clementi fellow who owned this property died in the nursing home—”

An idea was spinning in Jo’s head—an adventurous, totally impractical idea—as she gazed at the long white stable with its peeling paint and missing boards. Her longtime friends would think she was ferhoodled, yet her imagination was running wild with possibilities.

“The Clementi kids must’ve decided to sell the place rather than keep it in the family,” redheaded Regina Miller remarked. “I can’t think it’ll bring much, though, run-down as it is.”

“Anybody who bought it would have to invest a lot of money to make it usable as a stable again,” Lydianne Christner said with a shake of her head.

“But wouldn’t it make a great place for some shops?” Jo blurted out. “You Helfings could sell your homemade noodles, and Mamm and I would have more space to display our bakery stuff and our summer produce—and we could get other local folks to rent spaces, and—and it’s on the main highway! Think of how much more business we’d attract here than we do at the roadside stands in our yards.”

Her friends stared at her as though she’d sprouted a second head.

About the Author:
In 1983, Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. She wrote around 70 of those confession stories, and she’s sold more than 50 books to traditional or online publishers. A longtime resident of Missouri, she’s currently writing Amish romances set in imaginary Missouri towns for Kensington. She now lives in Omaha, NE with her husband of 40+ years and their Border collie, Vera.

Website http://www.charlottehubbard.com
Facebook http://www.Facebook.com/Charlotte.Hubbard1

Order Ebook

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Order Print
Zebra Books
July 28, 2020
ISBN-13: 9781420145120
ISBN-10: 1420145126

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