Forever Yours Featuring The Sweetest Spark by Liwen Y. Ho

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The Sweetest Spark by Liwen Y. Ho

He’s a fun-loving ice cream shop owner looking for more than a fling. She’s a straight-laced food critic too scared for love. Little did they know how much a foolish kiss would trigger an avalanche of emotions too great to contain.

Colin Spark may not have the best track record when it comes to his career choices, but he’s loved the same woman since he was thirteen. His only obstacle to winning her heart is proving he’s ready to settle down—an impossible task now that his store is going out of business.

Since her sister’s passing, Candy Connelly has survived by being in control and protecting her heart. There’s only one man she’s let her guard down with, but his unreliable past shakes her confidence in his future.

Colin won’t give up pursuing his passion; Candy won’t give in to her attraction. That is until an accident brings all their unspoken issues to the surface and forces them to listen to their hearts. Will this incident be the spark that drives them apart for good or gives them their sweetest taste of romance yet?

 

 

 

Candy followed Abby as they headed back to their table, her heels clicking against the wooden floor, until a tall figure stepped in front of her. One whiff of the man’s musky cologne confirmed Colin’s presence, as did the warmth radiating from his body. Candy would’ve liked to wrap herself up in it, especially in this cold winter weather. Instead, she stepped back, careful not to make contact with the man who had a way of worming his way into her heart. “Excuse me,” she stated, trying to side step her way around him.

“Candy, can we talk?” Colin stood firmly, crossing his arms as if he meant business. “Please?”

“Colin, that’s not a good idea.” Candy peered around him to look for Abby and see if she’d help her out of this situation. No luck though; her friend was long gone. So much for counting on her friend’s nosiness. She crossed her arms and peered up into Colin’s pleading eyes, then immediately dropped her gaze. It was best not to look directly into his eyes. That’s how she’d found herself letting down her guard around him. “I thought I made it clear; there’s no future for us. We’re too different. It would never work.”

He stepped close, leaning his head down next to hers. His voice was husky when he spoke. “If that’s the case, I want you to tell it to me straight. Look me in the eyes and say there’s no future for us. Then I’ll let you go on your way and never bother you again.”

“What? What difference does it make how I say it?” Candy turned her head to the side, away from his face. She stared at the intricate pattern of the tiles on the wall, anywhere but his eyes. For some people, sugar was their weakness; for her, it was Colin.

 

 

“I loved the chemistry and banter between Candy and Collin. Their escapades and experiences drew me into the story and their love and forgiveness stayed with me long after the last page.”

“Colin really is the sweetest Spark! He and Candy had such beautiful character arcs as they grew to trust God and each other more. The romance was tender and the Christian elements gentle and poignant. I found I could actually identify with parts of both of their personalities, and that make me cheer for each of them even more. The push-and-pull of their relationship was the richest of any Liwen Ho book I’ve read yet, and I’m already a fan. She just keeps getting better!”

“The Sweetest Spark is a book where the characters just walk right into your heart-well, by book 3 of the Spark Brothers, you are invested in these lovable and fun people – uh… CHARACTERS (Characters in a book, NOT real people-yes, I know! Really!) Colin and Candy are wonderful characters BECAUSE of their issues that they work through… and discover that everything works when they work together. Isn’t that something that we would all benefit from learning!!! I am looking forward to the rest of the series!”

 

 

 

 

Liwen Y. Ho works as a chauffeur and referee by day (AKA being a stay at home mom) and an author by night. She writes sweet and inspirational contemporary romance infused with heart, humor, and a taste of home (her Asian roots).

In her pre-author life, she received a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Western Seminary, and she loves makeovers of all kinds, especially those of the heart and mind. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her techie husband and their two children.

 

 

 

 

 

$25 Amazon Gift Code or $25 in PayPal Cash

Ends 2/5/19

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner may be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, BookBub, Instagram, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader & Clean Wholesome Romance and is sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 

 

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Book Blitz: Handbooks for Humans by Grace Anne Stevens

 

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Self-Help
Learn to Manage Your Attitudes in All Your Relationships
Publisher: Graceful Change Press
Published: November 2018
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In the traditions of Life’s Little Instruction Book, Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, and the Messiah’s Handbook, Handbooks for Humans will provide you guidelines to help make you a better person, and learn to manage our attitudes in our relationships with ourselves and others. You probably wish you were given instructions for living at birth. Because, the truth is, being human isn’t easy. Now, by putting in the effort, working with the guidelines in the Handbook for Humans, Volume 1, there is a path forward that makes it easier. You could probably read this book in a matter of minutes, glean some helpful insights, and toss it aside…or pay attention to each guideline, reflect, go more deeply inside, and do some work. As a reward, you can learn to articulate your feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and experiences which in turn create your attitudes. Your attitudes affect every interaction you have in this world. As one of the guidelines teaches us, Never stop learning. It’s never too late to be a better human. Handbooks for Humans, Volume 1 provides a platform for personal work and sharing, making it perfect for individuals, couples, and families.
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About the Author

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Grace Anne Stevens is a writer and speaker on living authentically.
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After over forty years as an engineer and manager in the tech world, she returned to school and received her M.A. in Counseling Psychology at the age of 62. She has participated in and seen life from many sides.
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Each day she looks forward to what the future may bring on her own journey learning how to be a better human.
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In 2016 Grace was selected by Amtrak as one of their Writer’s in Residence and named as Person of the Year by New England Pride TV.
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Grace lives in Lexington Massachusetts and enjoys biking on her new e-bike, beaching and babysitting for her grandchildren, as she learns something new each day.
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Forever Yours Featuring A Friend in Paris by Jennie Goutet

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A Friend in Paris by Jennie Goutet

Friendship between a talented young artist and her handsome French neighbor is a promising start—until it’s not enough.

April promised her dying father she would study painting in Paris, but friends are few, her budget is tight, and her landlord increasingly won’t take “no” for an answer. Then she meets Victor.

Victor is as chivalrous as he is wealthy, and if it weren’t for him, April would have already left the City of Light behind. Too bad Victor still has eyes for his ex-girlfriend, who is now back on the scene and wants to get married.

Although April and Victor swore to remain just friends, magical Paris seems to weave a different spell. The more their connection deepens, the more it becomes difficult to keep a proper distance. Or to remember why they should.

 

 

 

 

Penelope peeked into the hallway. “We’re about to play poker. Who wants in?”

“Me,” April said. “But I need a refresher for the rules. It’s not for money, right?”

“Nope, just for chips. Hey, Victor,” Penelope said, “Are you able to take April back to your grandmother’s apartment tonight after you bring Margaux home? She probably won’t ask for help, but we’re afraid Lucas is following her, and we want to make sure she doesn’t get stalked.”

“Sure.” Victor turned to her in consternation. “Another thing you’re not telling me, April. Please tell me these things.”

A flash of anger came over April, and she replied without thinking. “Don’t expect me to tell you everything. It’s not like I’m your girlfriend. I don’t owe you explanations, or details, or anything.”

Er…let me see how the game is going.” Penelope turned, whisking away a smile.

“What are you talking about, April. We’re friends. Friends talk.”

“Victor,” April hissed. “It’s like you expect things from me you don’t even expect of your own fiancée. You want me to come to you for help and tell you everything. But you don’t even know what Margaux was doing that whole year in Monaco. You don’t know what brought her back or…or whether the baby is even yours.” There. I said it. April’s pulse pounded in her temple.

“Victor doesn’t ask me these things, because he already knows the answer.” Margaux’s cool voice came from where the living room joined the hallway. “And, since he is satisfied, I don’t see what business it is of yours.” Margaux managed to communicate all her disdain in two sentences.

April’s face was crimson. She could feel the heat of shame emanating from her. She’d let everyone know how she felt about Victor as plain as if she’d announced she was in love with him at the dinner table. It’s not like I’m your girlfriend. And what was even worse was that she was completely in the wrong attempting to sow seeds of doubt. She was not the type of person to try to break people up. She was not “the other woman”. It was not her style. If a man wasn’t free to love her, she had absolutely no interest in him.

So what had happened? How had she gone so wrong?

Victor’s eyes were fixed on hers. He hadn’t answered, but now he looked toward Margaux and the crowd that was gathering behind her. “Hey guys, could you give us a minute? Margaux, I’ll be right there to take you home. I imagine the baby needs you.”

Margaux folded her arms and planted her feet. So Victor took April’s arm and pulled her into the first room he saw. It was the toilet, and they had only enough room to stand face to face. He fumbled for the light, and when it went on, April wouldn’t look at him. He grabbed her by the arms.

“April, I need to say this fast so no one gets the wrong idea about us being in here together.”

They were standing in a tiny cubicle, nose to nose, and his words brought on an insane desire to laugh. She needed to get a hold of her emotions. He’s not available.

“I think one of the biggest regrets of my life,” Victor said, “will end up being that I wasn’t free to follow my feelings in this instance. But I’m not. I’m a father, and that comes first.”

I am a great fool, April thought, and any wisp of humor over the situation fled. To complete her shame, her eyes filled with tears.

“If I could’ve followed my feelings…” He stopped short, looking at her eyes, her lips…They heard only the sound of their breath.

Then Victor dropped his arms, turned in the tight space, and opened the bathroom door. “Margaux and I need to get going. Penelope, do you think one of you could see April home safely?”

“Sure,” Penelope said. She handed the pack of cards to Auriane and slid past Victor to where April was. “You guys go ahead and play.”

 

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Book Blitz: Luris: Memories of Dreams by Rune Marie Nielsen

 

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YA Fantasy
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Published: January 2016
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Luris: Memories of Dreams is a full-color manga which follows the unfortunate life story of M—, a young adult suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Due to amnesia induced by the PTSD, M— cannot remember many details from her past. What remains in her memory are fragments of dreams that must be traversed in order to piece together the reality that traumatized her. Though often strange and ambiguous, her dreams hold the keys that will empower her to face and overcome the terrible events of her past and the deepest fears of her inner self.
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Luris: Memories of Dreams is suitable for teens and older.
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About the Author

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Rune Marie Nielsen is an author and artist who seeks to provide a glimpse of divine eternity in her work through creative storytelling, unconventional angles, and occasional humor.
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Book Blitz: A Trail of Honesty by J.A. Angelo

 

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Children’s Book, Children’s Social Issues
Published: October 2018
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Summertime is vacation time for the Angelino family, and the two Angelino boys are excited about their upcoming camping trip. They’re going to the local state park, where they can swim, go fishing, and look for wildlife!
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Being on vacation doesn’t mean the boys have to be careful. An encounter with a sneezing deer provides their father with an opportunity to teach the boys about respecting wildlife and staying alert for danger. Knowing more about the park’s wildlife helps the boys have more fun while staying safe. They discover staying quiet and moving slowly makes it easier to see the animals and birds that call the park home.
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At the camp, the boys have responsibilities like the rest of the family. When they neglect one of these responsibilities and lie about it, they wind up in trouble—and learn an important lesson.
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Beautifully illustrated, A Trail of Honestyteaches children about honesty while explaining actions have consequences. J. A. Angelo’s delightful story is an ideal way for parents to use consequences to teach children how to be better people—not simply to punish them.
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About the Author
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 photo unnamed 2_zpsp1jwd21u.jpgUnited States Army veteran J.A. Angelo believes strong family values build strong families. J.A. and his wife enjoy volunteering in their local school district and are leaders in various non-profit organizations catering towards children. They also donate to various national and local charities to include the Apraxia Kids, Wounded Warrior Project, and the Coalition to Support America’s Heroes. A portion of the book proceeds will go to these great organizations to help children and support veterans and their families.

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J.A. Angelo is originally from Zanesville, Ohio and currently resides in northern Virginia. He is a dad to three wonderful children – two daughters (16) and (10), and a son (7). He is also a devoted husband to his loving wife of 17 years. He is also the oldest of eight children – three brothers and four sisters. 
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Some of our hobbies include spending time with our family, writing, donating time and materials to charities, and going to the beach.
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Book Blitz: From Frights to Flaws by Sunayna Prasad

 

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Middle Grade Fantasy
Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions, Book 1
Publisher: S.A. Prasad Publishing
Published: October 2018
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An Adventure of Modern Magic
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Twelve-year-old Alyssa McCarthy longs for a better life. She lost her parents at age seven and her aunt at nine. Her uncle also enforces unfair rules. But Alyssa discovers something she has never thought existed before… magic. A wicked sorcerer hunts her down. He kidnaps her from her ordinary New Jersey town to Yanowic, an enchanted island in Fiji.
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Alyssa is trapped in the country due to a giant shield covering it. She must defeat dangerous creatures and the evil wizard in order to leave. But with sorcerers and enchanted technology getting in her way, can Alyssa succeed?
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Originally published in 2013, the book has been updated to its full potential with edits, while keeping the storyline the same.
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Excerpt
 
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Rain banged against the window. Alyssa looked up from washing her lunch dishes and stared at it. At least she could daydream while no one else noticed. After all, how else would she spend life without family fun—or even love? Her uncle enforced strict and unfair rules. Alyssa longed for the kind of life she’d lived before her parents had died in a car crash five years ago. She’d only been seven at that time, and now she couldn’t experience things like many children her age. Unless . . . she could find her godfather’s phone number and secretly call him. She hadn’t talked to him ever since she’d also lost her aunt three years ago. But she recalled his kind attitude. Her parents had even designated him as a legal guardian. But something seemed off with the raindrops. They turned grayish blue and darkened into black, looking as if ink fell from the sky. Alyssa leaned closer, squinting to determine the shapes it formed on the window. The rain formed—letters. No. That couldn’t happen. But a message formed as the rain plopped on other parts of the window. Nature couldn’t change its laws, right? Yet, the message finished putting itself together. Alyssa gasped at what it said.
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 Your life will never be the same again, Alyssa McCarthy, as magic will interfere.
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 What? Alyssa had never believed in magic. She’d been told at a young age that it hadn’t existed. Everyone on Orion Street was ordinary—at least, Alyssa had thought that ever since she’d moved here, right after her parents’ deaths.   Turning around, she saw her babysitter, Mrs. Hutchinson, examine the kitchen floor. Alyssa’s eleven-year-old cousin, Hailey, watched the progress. Hailey had mopped the floor. Would she earn a break now? Ever since her uncle, Bruce, had hired Mrs. Hutchinson, Mrs. Hutchinson had admired the way Hailey had done her chores more than Alyssa.  “Hailey, you can take a break until your next chore,” said Mrs. Hutchinson. “Alyssa, get back to work. You’ve been staring at the rain for too long.”  “Okay.” Alyssa turned back—only to see the message gone and the rain back to its normal transparency.   “What did I say?” asked Mrs. Hutchinson.  Alyssa sighed. “Fine, I’ll finish washing the dishes.”  She scrubbed her dish and glass with soap under warm running water. Her eyes focused on just those. No way would she want Mrs. Hutchinson to catch her looking out the window again. Mrs. Hutchinson was only in her sixties, but she’d sometimes seem to forget that was 2010 and not 1960 with her guidelines. Yet, it had taken Alyssa a while to realize that she wouldn’t even tolerate the mildest kind of nonsense, such as getting distracted by a windowpane when having to perform chores.  Now that she finished washing her dishes, Alyssa put them to the side and grabbed some paper towels to dry them.  “What do you think you’re doing?” Mrs. Hutchinson asked.  Alyssa stopped. “I’m just—”  “The last few times I was here, you left little bits of food on your dishes.”   “But they were stuck.”
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 “Let me inspect them. Also, if something is rubbery, you have to wash it again.”  “Why?”  “Because clean dishes aren’t supposed to be rubbery. And boy, did you do such a sloppy job. Look at that stain on your sweater.”  Alyssa looked down.  “That looks like chocolate.”   Alyssa blushed and arched her eyebrows.  “Hey—it’s just water.” She covered the stain at the bottom of her sweater’s V-neck.  But Mrs. Hutchinson waved her index finger. “Don’t you ‘hey’ me, Alyssa. That’s rude. In my days, kids respected their elders. We never would dare talk to them that way unless we didn’t mind them smacking our bottoms.”  “Things change.”   “Not when I’m here, they don’t. Now let me do my inspection.”  Great—an inspection! How long would Mrs. Hutchinson take? She might spend a couple minutes or maybe twenty. Alyssa crossed her arms and tapped her foot. She wanted her break now. She wished to read, rest, do a small craft, like lanyards—anything but wait for Mrs. Hutchinson to finish her task.  “Mrs. Hutchinson?” Alyssa asked.  “Whatever you need to say, wait till I’m done,” she said.   Alyssa sighed. She continued to watch Mrs. Hutchinson run her finger down the middle of the front of the dish. She then rubbed it back and forth. When she put it down and nodded, Alyssa figured out that the dish had nothing on it.  Mrs. Hutchinson spent a few minutes of running her finger down the glass. She put it down and turned to Alyssa. “You’re good. Now what did you want to tell me?”  “Um . . . if I tell you, can you not give me a hard time?”   “Okay.”  “There was writing on the window.”  Mrs. Hutchinson pursed her lips and tilted her head. “Really?”  “Yeah.”  “Nonsense.”   “No, really, it was there.”   “There was nothing there when I came, and there’s nothing there right now. So don’t tell me stories.”  “But it’s not a story.”  “I don’t want to hear any more. Now it’s time for your next chore.”  “Aw, but I wanted my break.”  “Too bad. You have to go vacuum the living room.”  Alyssa dragged her feet toward the living room and took the vacuum from the corner. She cleaned and thought about that writing as well as how Mrs. Hutchinson wouldn’t believe her. Would a nicer babysitter have believed her? Mrs. Hutchinson had watched her and Hailey for three years, and not once had she smiled or assisted with anything.   After vacuuming the carpet for about five minutes, Alyssa decided that she had tidied the floor enough. So she stopped and put the vacuum away.  “Hailey, you and Alyssa need to go get the mail now!” Mrs. Hutchinson called, facing the staircase.   “Coming!” cried Hailey.
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Another rule Uncle Bruce had placed on Alyssa and Hailey was they could only go outside together. He worried about people taking them or something, even though Alyssa would turn thirteen next month. But that rule had been placed because a few months ago, Uncle Bruce had heard about a seventeen-year-old boy who had been shot while skateboarding in his neighborhood. Violence could even happen here in Bursnell, New Jersey.  Hailey and Alyssa headed to the closet and put their raincoats on until Mrs. Hutchinson said, “It stopped raining outside.”  “Already?” asked Alyssa.  “Yes.” Mrs. Hutchinson went to the bathroom.   The girls walked outside toward the mailbox. Alyssa pulled the mail and headed back toward the door. But mud bubbled from the ground near the house. It piled up, looking like horse manure, and grew as more soil emerged. Alyssa dropped her jaw and stared at it.  “Alyssa, what’s going on?” Hailey asked.   “No idea,” said Alyssa.  The dirt stopped piling up, but it continued to bubble, and the effects spread throughout the whole pile. The bubbles stopped popping up and down. Alyssa and Hailey gasped as they expanded. They kept their mouths open as the bubbles merged together, each one attached to another, forming a single bigger shape. Alyssa and Hailey stepped back as the now giant bubble swelled. And it . . . popped! Particles of exploding mud landed on the girls. They shrieked.  The front door opened to reveal a glowering Mrs. Hutchinson. “What the heck have you two been doing?”   “T-the mud . . . it e-exploded,” said Hailey.   “Nonsense!” growled Mrs. Hutchinson. “Get inside!”  The girls returned inside, pulling and wiping the mud out of their hair. Alyssa could spot the mud in her straight pale-blonde tresses, unlike Hailey, who likely needed more patience to search for globs in her elbow-length red locks. But Alyssa’s hair fell a few inches past her hips, so cleaning out the mud would take longer, even with the shorter layers in the front.  “How could dirt explode?” Mrs. Hutchinson stomped.   “I-I think it was magic!” exclaimed Alyssa.  “There’s no such thing as magic!” screamed Mrs. Hutchinson. “Alyssa, you’re twelve years old. You’re too old to say things like that!”  “But nothing else can make mud explode!” Alyssa said.  “Mrs. Hutchinson, we swear it did!” whined Hailey.   “Enough!” snapped Mrs. Hutchinson. “You and Hailey—go upstairs and take showers!”  Alyssa followed Hailey up the stairs and heaved a sigh. How else would the mud have splattered all over them? Mrs. Hutchinson couldn’t have thought they’d play in the mud like small children.  “Alyssa, can I shower first?” asked Hailey.   “Sure,” said Alyssa.  As Hailey strode into the bathroom, Alyssa walked into her room. She scratched more mud off her skinny jeans (the only jeans she’d worn ever since they’d come into style) and the back of her hand. She stood by her bed since she wanted to keep it clean.  She considered the writing on the window and the exploding mud. Someone wanted magic to interfere with her life, but who, and how come?

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Book Blitz: Before We Were Perfect by S.D. Moore

 

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Drama, Dramatic Comedy, Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Moon Leaf Publishing
Published: January 2018
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Before We Were Perfect has been adapted into an award-winning screenplay titled Perfectly Normal in Flagstaff. The screenplay won Best Feature Script in the 2018 Top Indie Film Awards and a 2018 Silver Screen award in the Nevada International Film Festival.
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Inspired by true events; Before We Were Perfect is a dramatic comedy about the Havreaux family and their ragin’ Cajun uncle. Julz Havreaux is a beautiful young woman with imperfections who meets an imperfect handsome wounded warrior turned writer. Through comedic mishaps and drama, they discover that in spite of their imperfections they are perfect together. Contains adult themes, intense drama, sensuality, humor, and love.
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About the Author

 photo unnamed 2_zpsncjywlqb.jpgMultiple award-winning Author S.D. Moore writes in spite of being a brain-damaged, heart damaged Air Force veteran who also battles Lupus. She is the author of the award-winning screenplay, Perfectly Normal in Flagstaff which won a 2018 Silver Screen award in the Nevada International Film Festival. S.D. is also the author of Readers’ Favorite 2017 International Gold Medal (1st place) winning horror novel Wicked Prayers, the award-winning Adventures of PJ and Split Pea and the workbook Basics to Business: Minding Your Business with Excel. She is also a patented inventor of The Portable Hot Sink System; has an ABD towards a Doctorate of Education, holds dual master’s degrees in management and human resources development.

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Book Blitz: Do the Dead Dream? by F.P. Dorehak

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Speculative Fiction
An Anthology of the Weird and the Peculiar
Published: October 2017
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Do the dead dream?

Dive a wreck that was never there, in the waters off Bimini . . .

Meet a young girl who debates with rooftop monsters . . .

Dine at a tiny café teetering on the edge of oblivion . . .

Take refuge from a downpour in a gas station from nowhere . . .

Discover the real reason behind migraines . . .

Encounter a love gone bad before it ever existed . . .

Explore the emotional remains of a woman’s not-quite-dead past . . .

Follow a WWII airman plummeting through flak-filled German skies . . .

Edgy.

Unnerving.

Not quite right.

These are but a few of the surreal, the weird, and the peculiar you will encounter in a realm few willingly tread…with or without the lights on.

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Early Reviews
“F. P. Dorchak writes like a hot-rodder heading toward a brick wall. Edge of your seat entertainment! I pondered over each of these stories long after I’d finished reading them. That’s what great writing is all about!” – Dean Wyant, Co-Founder, Hex Publishers
 
 
“A collection that folds upon itself like a Möbius strip. A twisted landscape of the humane, the weird, and the fantastic.” – Mario Acevedo, Author, University of Doom
 
 
“Stylistically edgy and willing to muck around in the darker corners of life, the stories in Do The Dead Dream? are both bold and gritty. Readers looking to be soothed and reassured about the human condition, seek elsewhere.” – Mark Stevens, The Allison Coil Mystery Series
 
 
“F. P. Dorchak’s anthology—a collection of forty-five short stories—spans decades and showcases the author’s wide-ranging talent. With tales that are at turns engaging, suspenseful, twisty and often slyly humorous, Dorchak focuses his penetrating gaze on those things we too often take for granted—and makes us laugh or shiver in the doing. Reading Do the Dead Dream? takes you across a threshold into a Kafkaesque world where anything can happen; if Rod Serling were still on Planet Earth, he would be the first to offer his voice for the audio version.” – Barbara Nickless, The Sydney Parnell Mystery Series
 
 
“So reminiscent of the Twilight Zone! Imagine a story between light and shadow, between science fiction and superstition, between what you know about horror, and what horrors one can only imagine. Gritty and beautifully crafted, Do the Dead Dream? is the sort of collection readers will enjoy story after story.” – J.A. Kazimer, Author of CURSES!
 
 
“From the surreal to the all too real, F. P. Dorchak’s stories delve into the realms of the mind, otherworldly beings, loves lost, and the fickle nature of death. With a little bit of everything, this collection of stories will haunt readers long after they’ve closed the book.” – Shannon Lawrence, Short Story Author, Blogger, The Warrior Muse
 
 
“Do The Dead Dream? is a masterpiece. F. P. Dorchak effortlessly weaves the real and surreal into twisting, epically personal stories. “Etched In Stone” and “Tail Gunner” challenge what we know as real and yet are completely human tales of love, loss, and camaraderie with incredible resonance. This is a collection of the highest order from a supremely talented author.” – Kevin Ikenberry, The Protocol War Series
 
 
“F. P. Dorchak’s short stories take a look at the world in an inside-out, rarely visited way. These are neither happily-ever-after tales nor ghost stories solely meant to creep you out. They are worlds that can be deliciously understated like dreams of dreams, as enigmatic as time warps, and as unexpected as falling in all directions at once. We meet werewolves and undead and people whose past lives bleed through. These tales are nostalgia-meets-a-future with nighttime borders that hint something is not quite right, each one putting the reader in a graying state between sleep and wakefulness.” – Karen Albright Lin, WritersLaunchPad
 
 
“F. P. Dorchak blurs the lines between reality and the paranormal with his vast collection of unnerving tales that are sure to keep you up past midnight.” – Joshua Viola, Denver Post bestselling author
 
 
“From a dangerously precocious little girl who befriends gargoyles to a conventional guy who discovers (first hand) an invasion of mind-blowing creatures, F. P. Dorchak offers up a collection of horrifying short stories in Do The Dead Dream?, which he delivers with an inimitable, unique voice. The reader accompanies Dorchak’s characters’ bizarre experiences that manifest as rapid-fire flashes of thought-pandemonium . . . as would naturally occur under such unnatural circumstances. Just when you think the path is headed in an obvious direction, Dorchak jerks the road out from under your beliefs to find yourself suddenly drawn along a most unexpected thoroughfare.” – Jan C. J. Jones, Executive Producer/Writer, FOREST ROSE PRODUCTIONS, LLC, A Journey with Strange Bedfellows
 
 
“You may think you’ve read it all, but F. P Dorchak’s “Do the Dead Dream?” will test the limits of your imagination. Picture Stephen King as a mad scientist, mixing bits of Night Gallery with a generous helping of Black Mirror, a dash of Altered States, a pinch of metaphysics, and a healthy dose of surrealism. Dorchak takes you forward and backward in time, puts you in the cockpit of a plane, plunges you into the ocean, and ushers you into other realms you never expected. Buckle up for a unique and unforgettable ride.” – Paul Gallagher, Writer/Editor, Blogger, Shadow & Substance
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Excerpt
 
Homecoming

2000

There comes a time in everyone’s life when you must face the music.

To think back to your childhood . . . when you were basically not held accountable for much. Those were the fun times, happy times! Happy and carefree. Life was your amusement park!

You had no real responsibilities, aside from school and a few chores. If you had a bike, you were mobile and that meant freedom! The world was literally at your feet! And the challenges! Nothing went unchallenged! Everything was suspect, from your home to your school. You’d try to get away with as much as possible, testing the system. You’d steal that candy bar just to see if you could get away with it . . . stay out later and later on dates.

It was all part of being a kid.

The excitement of being a kid!

But then things begin to change about mid-way through high school.

Slowly but surely more responsibility was layered into your life. No longer did things remain just mere “unaccountable challenges” . . . and if you later became one of the few to go to war, you witnessed the atrocities of mankind. Things that seared your soul with an intense anger and hatred.

Sadness.

It was an anger at the cruelties and callousness of conflict. At how the Human Condition could inflict torture—mental or physical—upon another. You wondered how could such things be? How could—can—people be driven to perform such atrocities—horrible, unspeakable acts upon each other.

How God could allow such things.

But it was and is real . . . and won’t ever go away.

The worst part is that it isn’t just confined to wars: it breeds . . . finding other ways to manifest . . . unleash itself. War (you find) just becomes a convenient excuse.

And while you’re in the middle of it all, you may find yourself thinking back to a particular girl you knew . . . before you left and everything went crazy. You think back to when you and her were an item.

Inseparable.

In love.

You think back with a sadness that bites deep. You think back to when you told her not to worry . . . you’d be back.

She says, well what about all the others who’ve said the same? You look her in the eyes and tell her—with all seriousness—that you’re different.

Yes, you think back to that time . . . and how you began to doubt your own words. She was the one you really cared about.

You remember that when that night was over so was your relationship. No one said anything, but you both felt it. And it wasn’t that you would necessarily never come back . . . no that wasn’t it. It was the waiting . . . and what you might become . . . .

She never wrote you and you never wrote her—well, maybe once. You did write her that one time just to let her know you were okay. But that was it. When there was no response, you knew why.

There was no animosity. It was just something that had to be.

But you did come back . . . all limbs and mentality intact. At least you think so. Maybe you are a little rougher around the edges—there was no part of your being that was not bruised from your “experiences,” “they” call them—but you were still you.

That boy who’d gone off to war.

So you found your way to her place, that lone porchlight still on the way you remember it. You knock at the door . . . her father opens it. Looks outside. He looks right through you as you stand before him . . . then he solemnly turns around without saying a word and reenters the house, head slumped miserably forward.

You, however, straighten yours up more.

You’re prepared.

Couldn’t be more prepared.

You turn back to the street . . . your thousand-yard stare catches you off-guard . . . recall the fire fights . . . the carnage . . . the smell of death and destruction . . . but also the life you had before the war . . . before . . . before you’d changed . . . .

It seems you stand there for an eternity.

Then a hand reaches out for you.

You turn.

She stands before the door, face to face with you.

You’re knees buckle.

Something inside you unhinges.

Tears . . . pain . . . in both sets of eyes.

You weren’t the only one who’d changed.

You thought you’d forever lost her . . . and she you. Sure, she had her “experiences” (“they” call them) while you were gone . . . but she’d always held you closest . . . never really wanted to let you go. You see it in her eyes. Feel it in the electricity between the both of you.

You were back . . . and so was she.

Back for you.

Gently you take her hand. Together you both turn . . . and hand-in-hand step off the porch . . . and vaporize as your feet hit the path leading away from one life . . .

Into another.

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About the Author

 photo unnamed 2_zpsyqun1ntx.jpgF. P. Dorchak writes gritty speculative fiction. Frank is published in the U.S., Canada, and the Czech Republic. His novels are Voice, Psychic, ERO, The Uninvited, and Sleepwalkers, and his first anthology, Do The Dead Dream? won the 2017 Best Books Award for Fiction: Short Stories. His short stories have appeared in the off-the-grid The Black Sheep; You Belong 2016, Words and Images from Longmont Area Residents regional anthology for 2016; The You Belong Collection, Writings and Illustrations by Longmont Area Residents regional anthology for 2012; Apollo’s Lyre. Frank can occasionally be reached in séances, and his website is www.fpdorchak.com.

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RABT Book Tours & PR

Book Blitz: Shrill Dusk by Helen Harper

 

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Urban Fantasy
City of Magic, Book 1
Release Date: January 4, 2018
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Charley is a cleaner by day and a professional gambler by night. She might be haunted by her tragic past but she’s never thought of herself as anything or anyone special. Until, that is, things start to go terribly wrong all across the city of Manchester. Between plagues of rats, firestorms and the gleaming blue eyes of a sexy Scottish werewolf, she might just have landed herself in the middle of a magical apocalypse. She might also be the only person who has the ability to bring order to an utterly chaotic new world.
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This is the first book in The City Of Magic series.
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About the Author
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 photo unnamed 2_zpsvhbypx06.jpgAfter teaching English literature in the UK, Japan, and Malaysia, Helen Harper left behind the world of education following the worldwide success of her Blood Destiny series of books. She is a professional member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and writes full time, thanking her lucky stars every day that’s she lucky enough to do so!

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Helen has always been a book lover, devouring science fiction and fantasy tales when she was a child growing up in Scotland.
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She currently lives in Devon in the UK with far too many cats – not to mention the dragons, fairies, demons, wizards, and vampires that seem to keep appearing from nowhere.
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RABT Book Tours & PR

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Reprobation by Catherine Fearns

 

Crime Thriller/Mystery

Date Published: 16th October 2018

Publisher: Crooked Cat

Are You One Of The Elect?

Dr. Helen Hope is a lecturer in eschatology – the study of death, judgement, and the destiny of humankind. She is also a Calvinist nun, her life devoted to atoning for a secret crime.

When a body is found crucified on a Liverpool beach, she forms an unlikely alliance with suspect Mikko Kristensen, lead guitarist in death metal band Total Depravity. Together, they go on the trail of a rogue geneticist who they believe holds the key – not just to the murder, but to something much darker.

Also on the trail is cynical Scouse detective Darren Swift. In his first murder case, he must confront his own lack of faith as a series of horrific crimes drag the city of two cathedrals to the gates of hell.

Science meets religious belief in this gripping murder mystery.

 

Purchase Link: Amazon

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About the Author

Catherine Fearns is a writer from Liverpool. Her first novel, crime thriller Reprobation, was published by Crooked Cat on October 16th 2018. Her second, Consuming Fire, will be out in February 2019. As a music journalist Catherine has written for Pure Grain Audio, Broken Amp and Noisey. Her short fiction and non-fiction has appeared in Toasted Cheese, Succubus, Here Comes Everyone, Offshoots and Metal Music Studies. She lives in Geneva with her husband and four children.

Contact Links

Website: https://www.catherine-fearns.com/

Twitter: @metalmamawrites

Blog: https://www.catherine-fearns.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18236347.Catherine_Fearns

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Excerpt

In this scene Deaconess Margaret Mills, figurehead of the Sisters of Grace, subjects the congregation of St Michael’s Church to one of her threatening sermons. Sister Helen’s feelings about the Deaconess are beginning to change, and at the end of the service she tells her first lie.

‘All of us are sinners. All people are conceived in sin and are born children of wrath, unfit for any saving good. Inclined to evil! Dead in their sins! Slaves to sin! Without the grace of the regenerating Holy Spirit they are neither willing nor able to return to God, to reform their distorted nature, or even to dispose themselves to such reform. I say again, All of Us Are Sinners!’

This last sentence was said with such venom and volume that several members of the congregation who were sitting in the front pews visibly recoiled. Deaconness Margaret Mills always began her Wednesday evening sermons from the pulpit, in a gentle voice tinged with a hint of menace. She would build gradually, moving from the pulpit to the floor, a crescendo of portentous threats as her whole body would come into play. She was a natural performer, with eyes widening and narrowing at just the right moments, catching individuals so that they wanted to look away in shame but couldn’t. Her voice would range from ominous low to shrieking high, the gentle Northern accent sounding impossibly grand in this part of the world. There was no comfort to be had from her sermons, only the fear of god struck into one’s heart, and this was the appeal. For the residents, for the visitors, for Helen. Most of the congregation loved the firebrand thrill of the performance, the horror-film quality of the fear. But for Helen the fear was real, visceral. She craved this punishment, this constant, caustic reminder of her sin. After some more fire and brimstone, the Deaconness softened and brought kindness, a sweet manipulation for her audience.

‘Yes, all of us are sinners. And nothing brings the beauty of Jesus Christ to sinful people, believers and unbelievers alike, as powerfully as God’s own Scriptures. The Scriptures are the basis of our teaching, of our Gospel, for the word of God is the only word. And we do not question the word of God. From this comes our happiness’.

She smiled for a moment then suddenly, spectacularly, turned up the anger again.

‘And to those who complain about this grace of an undeserved election and about the severity of a just reprobation, we reply with the words of the apostle ‘Who are you, O man, to talk back to God?’

Hey eyes were wild now and ranged from one person to the next in fury. St. Michael’s Church was small, more of a chapel than a church, having been built originally to serve only the Argarmeols family and their employees. There was no division between the nave and chancery, and no room for aisles flanking the nave at its edges. Therefore there was no escaping the Deaconness’s wrath as she stalked the pews, allowing herself to be an eager vessel for the bitter rage of the Calvinist God. The majesty of this church interior lay in its absurd height; in typical Victorian Gothic style it had been built to aspire to the sky, drawing the eye upwards and reminding the worshipper how very far above him his God was to be found.

‘God’s plan cannot be changed; God’s promise cannot fail; the calling according to God’s purpose cannot be revoked!’

She sighed with theatrical exhaustion, closing her eyes and raising her hands in supplication, before wringing them and returning to the pulpit. She was disappointed with her flock, this rabble of hopeless candidates for heaven. She looked from one face to the next, expectant. The Deaconness taught religious education part-time in a local private school, and Helen, sitting in her usual position on the front pew, sometimes amused herself at the thought of the terror she must instil in those teenagers.

‘May God’s son Jesus Christ, who sits at the right hand of God and gives gifts to humanity, sanctify us in the truth, lead to the truth those who err, silence the mouths of those who lay false accusations against sound teaching, and equip faithful ministers of God’s Word with a spirit of wisdom and discretion, that all they say may be to the glory of God and the building up of their hearers. Amen’.

At the end of the service, Helen waited as the small congregation filed out in a silent purge, wrapping their coats against the cold autumn evening, Helen approached Margaret who was collecting her papers together at the altar.

‘Deaconness?’

Margaret spun around. ‘Yes, tell me.’

‘Would it be ok if I took the car overnight tonight?’

Margaret’s eyes and body language betrayed a momentary flicker of disappointment – she had been hoping Helen might ask something else.

‘I thought I might go and see my mother.’

‘Are you sure that’s a good idea Helen? You’ve tried very hard, but it only seems to upset you every time. Has something happened?’

‘No, no, I… just think it’s important to keep showing I’m there for her, you know.’

‘Of course.’ There were those hands on Helen’s shoulders again. ‘Drive safely and come and see me tomorrow when you return, let me know how it went.’

‘I will Margaret, thank you. And may I take some money from the kitty? I think we need petrol.’

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Giveaway