Friday, April 29, 2016

Virtual Book Tour & #Giveaway for Serpents and Doves by G. Lloyd Helm

Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Book Tour, presented by Goddess Fish Promotions, for Serpents and Doves by G. Lloyd Helm.  Please leave a comment or question for G. Lloyd to let him know you stopped by.  You may enter his tour wide giveaway, where ten (10) randomly chosen commenters will be awarded a print copy of his book – including international entries, by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You may follow all of the stops on his tour by clicking on the banner above.  The more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning.

Good Luck!

How the Turbulence of the 1960’s Still Affects Us Today
by G. Lloyd Helm

Serpents and Doves  is about a very small slice of the 1960's at a small church college in a small town in Tennessee.

The sixties--what a time. We baby boomers saw what was happening and tried to do something about it. War, hatred, racism, dishonesty in government. And how have those things changed? We are in another immoral war into which we were pushed by terror, but also by lies and greed from our own government.  And, just like in Vietnam, we are really fighting the wrong enemy and fighting them the wrong way. We should not have ever gone into Afghanistan, that's not where the builders of this whole jihad movement started. They actually started in Saudi Arabia, but certain people in our government have been holding hands with the Saudi royals for decades and were not willing to lose their lucrative deals with them. 

Hatred and Racism went underground after the 60's but it didn't die as proved by everything that has happened in the last couple of years. There are not many lynchings, now. Instead we have police shootings, but the people are just as dead.
Dishonesty in government is rampant. We have a good and competent president who, because of his race has had nothing but grief out of the congress. He has done pretty well in spite of all that, but how much better off would this country be if the congress got off its rear and helped.

All this is tied into the economic mess that was created by the previous administrations who tried hard to cancel and roll back all the things that had carried over from the end of the Roosevelt years.

All the civil rights that were achieved back in the sixties by blood and sweat and marches and legislation, the current congress and many state governments are trying to erase those gains with exclusive voter registration laws. They are making it difficult if not impossible for people of color or poor people to vote.

Finally, I am sorry to have been so negative in this, but I have said repeatedly in the last few years that I am ashamed of my generation. We had something going back when we were young, but when we reached the age of real power we sold out to the corporations who promised comfort and pleasure, while not saying they were going to addict us to drugs (the so called legitimate ones) and  take away our rights to make a living wage and to be citizens. I am hoping that my little book about this tiny slice of the 1960's will in some way help to bring some justice back to this country.

Serpents and Doves
By G. Lloyd Helm

Publisher:  Rogue Phoenix Press
Release Date:  May 2016
Genre: Literary Fiction

About the book:

Stephen Mitchell did not know what he was getting into at a small church college in Tennessee. Sex, protest, friendship, and Civil rights. The title “Serpents and Doves” comes from the warning Jesus gave to his disciples as he sent them out to preach the gospel, knowing the dangers they were going into. He said “I send you out as sheep among wolves, therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” Stephen Mitchell learns first-hand what that warning means when he goes to a Tennessee church college in the midst of the turbulent 60’s. He learns about friendship, war, protest, the sexual revolution, and civil rights.


Ethan’s suicide rocked the school, but not nearly as much as Stephen expected. The New Jersey and New York folks mostly didn’t know anything about Ethan or the BSU so they noted the suicide as a bit of news, but it didn’t effect them much.  There was some anti-homosexual noise and the inevitable nasty jokes, but Ethan Patrick’s passing caused no more than a ripple for the most part.

There was some noise and protest from the Mason First Baptist Church when Billie Jo asked them to hold the funeral service, but finally they said they would bury him, but not in the church cemetery. They ignored the fact of his suicide and the reasons for it and held a small service. Stephen debated with himself whether he should go.   He had about decided not to when Cathy Powell cornered him and asked if he would go with her.  “I really don’t have the strength Steve,” she said. “I’m just a wreck. Can’t you please come with me?” 

Stephen seriously thought about saying, Why don’t you go ask David Hall? But didn’t say it.  “All right. I’ll meet you at the church.”

She smiled sadly, but Stephen thought he saw just the smallest glimmer of triumph in it.

The coffin was set across the aisle in front of the altar. Closed. It was silvery gray and looked more like a large tin can than a coffin. The congregation was small, mostly people from the BSU but a few from Beacon’s faculty including Dr. Conners and Dr. Marchant. Having the Pope there was no surprise. Probably here to make sure the sumbitch is really dead, Stephen thought, and then felt bad about thinking it.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

G. Lloyd Helm has been writing for 40 years, having published poetry in a wide variety of magazines and newspapers including “The New York Poetry Anthology,” “Stars and Stripes News,” “The Los Angeles Times,” “The Antelope Valley Press,” and “The Antelope Valley Anthologies,” among others. 

… Has published short stories and memoirs both in the US and in England in such journals as “Pligrimage” which published the memoir “Football” in spring 2005, and a second memoir “4 April, 1968” in the winter of 2008.  He has published short stories in “Citadel” the literary magazine of Los Angeles City College,” “Delivered Magazine,” which is based in London, “Short Story Library,” The University of S. Illinois’ “Eureka Literary Magazine,” “Tales as like as not,” and London’s “Black Gate Magazine.”  Recently published “Even Up” a Civil War Ghost story at, an English on line magazine, and the short story “A Lovely Elephant” in “Delivered Magazine” an English fiction journal. “The Other Fellows Shoes,” Pulp Empire III, Metahuman Press, Cedar Rapids, IA Nov. 2010. Is being published in an on line experiment from Alfie Dog Publishing in England. May 2012.

…Has published three novels in the F&SF field, 1) OTHER DOORS, From MousePrints Publishing, and 2) DESIGN from American Star. 3) WORLD WITHOUT END from Rogue Phoenix Press,  OTHER DOORS, originally published in 1997, was published electronically by Rogue Phoenix Press in July 2010. Also Published a literary Romance novel called SOMETIMES IN DREAMS, from Siren’s call. Most recently a volume of short stories called TRAIN WHEELS, FLYING SAUCERS, AND THE GHOST OF TIBURCIO VASQUEZ. Many of these stories appear on the Alfie Dog site.

…Is in process of publishing an adult literary novel called SERPENTS AND DOVES with Rogue Phoenix Press, which will be out in May 2016.


Goodreads Author Page: 

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Book Beginnings & Friday 56 - #30

Book Beginnings on Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader. Every Friday we share the first sentence (or so) of the book we’re currently reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.

My Book Beginning:  

Eidolon (Wraith Kings, Book 2) by Grace Draven

When Kirgipa accepted the coveted position of second nursemaid to the youngest of the Kai heir apparent’s brood, she never imagined the role entailed consecutives days of sleep deprivation and exile to the furthest corner of the palace. 

My Thoughts:  Being the oldest of four children, I’m very aware about “younger” children and their care.  Especially since my youngest sister was born when I was fourteen, and I vividly remember changing her diapers and dealing with her crying so I can totally relate to how Kirgipa feels…lol

What do you think?  Don't forget to leave your book beginning below and to link-up at Rose City Reader.  


Friday 56 is a weekly meme hosted by Freda at Freda’s Voice on every Friday.

To Play along here are the Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your post below. 
*Don’t forget to add your post URL (not your blog url) at Freda’s Voice.  
*It's that simple.

My 56: Also from Eidolon (Wraith Kings, Book 2) at the 56% point on my Kindle. 

“What are you up to, Ildiko?” he wanted to ask but held his silence and finished the remainder of the supper in conversation with Serovek, Megiddo, and members of the sejm.  He stood to call an official end to the meal, halting when the doors to the hall opened, and a troop of Kai, led by Anhuset, entered.

My Thoughts:  Brishen and Ildiko are both in a very emotional state at this time due to the events which have taken place and Brishen is worried about his marriage, his “presumptive” position on the Kai throne (something he never wanted) and dealing with a horde of demons that have been loosed on the population.  

What do you think?  I’ve already finished this book and loved it!  Hopefully I will actually get the time to write a review this weekend for it (and a bunch of other books I need to write reviews for).  Don't forget to link up to Freda's Voice.  

About Eidolon (Wraith Kings, Book 2) by Grace Draven

In a bid for more power, the Shadow Queen of Haradis has unleashed a malignant force into the world. Her son Brishen, younger prince of the Kai royal house, suddenly finds himself ruler of a kingdom blighted by a diseased darkness and on the brink of war. His human wife Ildiko must decide if she will give up the man she loves in order to secure his throne.

Three enemy kingdoms must unite to save each other, and a one-eyed, reluctant king must raise an army of the dead to defeat an army of the damned.

A tale of alliance and sacrifice.

Sequel to RADIANCE and Book #2 in the Wraith Kings series 

Don't forget to post your meme's and link up at both host locations.  

Have a great Friday! 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Book Blast & #Giveaway for The Dawning of Scarlett by Jennifer Osborn

Welcome to my stop on the Book Blast, presented by Goddess Fish Promotions, for The Dawning of Scarlett by Jennifer Osborn.  Please leave a comment or question for Jennifer to let her know you stopped by.  You may enter her tour wide giveaway, where three (3) randomly chosen commenters will be awarded a digital copy of The Dawning of Scarlett, by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You may follow all of the stops on the tour by clicking on the banner above, the more stops you visit, the better your chances of winning.  Good Luck!

The Dawning of Scarlett
By Jennifer Osborn

Publisher:  Indescribable Publishing
Release Date: April 28, 2016
Genre: YA Paranormal
Format: eBook/Print
Length: 328 Pages
ISBN: 978-0692675649

Buy Links:  Amazon Print | Kindle | B&N Print | Kobo | iTunes

About the book:

As a pale revenant—the vampire faction believing all life is sacred—sixteen-year-old Scarlett Ellis has learned to hide in the human world. She goes to night-school, works at a coffee shop, and her uncle Chasem trains her in martial arts. No matter what, she has to be prepared, because when she turns seventeen, she’ll be of Dawning age—and her biological father Apollo vows to see her dead first.

Expecting her Dawning to be impossible, she accepts the fact that she will become a rogue, forever hunted by revenant renegades and outcast by her own people. Scarlett thinks she’s prepared for this—until the curly-haired Nicholas Lightener walks into her life and asks her out on a date.

Torn between her feelings for Nick and the danger of the revenant world, Scarlett’s strange life is turned inside-out when she’s kidnapped and forced to do the one thing she swore she’d never do. Plus, she has no idea whose memories keep appearing in her dreams, or if they can even help her. Determined to free herself from a death sentence, Scarlett must fight to become who she was born to be.


He moves so fast it’s almost a blur. I force myself to quit thinking, quit reacting to every action and strike, but I do succeed in keeping him from hitting my body. After a few minutes of the blistering attack, I find my strength flagging. I become slower, and Chasem takes advantage of it, hitting me hard on the shoulder, and I drop one of my Kali sticks. Chasem drops both of his and reaches out, lifting me by the neck toward the wall, pinning me hard against it. 

"Never, ever give up! Do you hear me? Never!" he screams, his hot breath on my face. I squirm and struggle to get free of his grip but find I'm stuck.

His gaze is fierce, his lip curled up in a snarl. "Fight!" he screams again, but it's as if I can't convince myself that I can get free. My visions starts to darken from the lack of oxygen, and Chasem releases me. I collapse in a puddle, heaving hard and coughing, trying to suck air into my lungs though my burning throat.

I see Chasem pace for a few moments with his hands on his hips, like he doesn't know what to do. All around him, the mirrors tremble slightly, as if they’ll shatter at any moment. Chasem reaches for his water, takes a quick drink, then hurls the bottle toward the wall. I've never seen him like this. He’s usually so contained—tough, but contained. Now, he seems like a caged lion. 

He turns towards me and leans down. "You can't be like this, Scar. You can't. You have to keep fighting, no matter what. Do you understand? It will be a matter of life or death. Never surrender, do you understand?"

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

After working in the legal and technical fields for many years, Jennifer Osborn took the plunge into full time writing in 2015. She is the award-winning author of The Shilund Saga and The Sentinel’s Insurgency.  When not writing, she listens to a different muse and creates paintings and collages of all sorts.

She lives in the Cincinnati area with her husband, three dogs and two cats.

You can find out more about her at:

Twitter: @hondagirljen

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TLC Book Tour for The Girl Who Stayed by Tanya Anne Crosby

The Girl Who Stayed
By Tanya Anne Crosby

Publisher:  Story Plant
Release Date: April 19, 2016
Genre: Literature/Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Length: 292
Format: eBook/Print
ISBN: 978-1611882230

Purchase Links:  Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble

About the book:

Zoe Rutherford wasn't sure what she was expecting when she returned to Sullivan's Island. The house on Sullivan's hadn't represented home to her in decades. It was the place where she endured her father's cruelty. It was the place where her mother closed herself off from the world. It was the place where her sister disappeared. But now that her parents are gone, Zoe needs to return to the house, to close it down and prepare it for sale. She intends to get this done as quickly as possible and get on with her life, even though that life seems clouded by her past, both distant and recent. But what she discovers when she gets there is far beyond her imagining and will change her in profound ways.

The Girl Who Stayed is a remarkable exploration of the soul by a writer with a rare talent for reaching into the hearts of her characters and her readers, a novel of transformation that will leave you moved and breathless.

Praise for The Girl Who Stayed

“A beautifully written, page-turning novel packed with emotion.” – #1 New York Times bestselling author Barbara Freethy

“The Girl Who Stayed is a deeply moving story. I am fascinated by the concept and by Tanya Crosby's stunning storytelling.” - Stella Cameron, New York Times bestselling author

About Tanya Anne Crosby

Tanya Anne Crosby is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-five novels. She has been featured in magazines, such as People, Romantic Times and Publisher's Weekly, and her books have been translated into eight languages.

Her first novel was published in 1992 by Avon Books, where Tanya was hailed as "one of Avon's fastest rising stars." Her fourth book was chosen to launch the company's Avon Romantic Treasure imprint. Known for stories charged with emotion and humor and filled with flawed characters, Tanya is an award-winning author, journalist, and editor, and her novels have garnered reader praise and glowing critical reviews.

In 2013, she penned her first romantic suspense novel, Speak No Evil, which appeared on the USA Today list. The Girl Who Stayed brings her full circle to work with Lou Aronica, President and Publisher of The Story Plant, who first published Tanya at Avon Books.

Tanya and her writer husband split their time between Charleston, SC, where she was raised, and northern Michigan, where the couple make their home.  Find out more about Tanya at her website and on her blog, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

A haunting novel about a family torn apart by the disappearance of one child, The Girl Who Stayed by Tanya Anne Crosby is thought provoking, emotionally engaging and filled with psychological twists.  A cross between literary fiction, a suspenseful mystery and family saga, Ms. Crosby’s book grabbed my attention from the first page and never let go.  If you enjoy contemporary fiction, this is a book you’ll certainly enjoy.   

Ms. Crosby does an excellent job introducing the reader to her primary character, Zoe Rutherford, right from the start.  The oldest of three kids, Zoe is headed back to her family’s house, known as “The Kingdom”, on Sullivan Island for the first time in over a decade.  Home to a house filled with memories of her family’s past, her sister Hannah’s disappearance and the destruction of her family.  I easily connected with Zoe and her story right from the start.  Written in first person and using “flashbacks” to give us the Rutherford family’s history, Ms. Crosby paints an emotionally engaging picture of a happy family torn apart by anger, fear and suspicion.  She also paints the picture of Zoe, a woman damaged by low self-worth, an abusive childhood and an abusive romantic relationship.  While there were times I wanted to shake Zoe and tell her that she didn’t have to accept how she was treated, I understood why she accepted it – deep down she felt responsible for her sister and her disappearance even though she was only 10 years old when her sister went missing.

The secondary characters, from Zoe’s younger brother Nick, to the people on Sullivan’s Island were well developed and they all contributed something to the story.  Ms. Crosby’s flashbacks to the past provided a solid glimpse into Zoe’s parents and how their daughter’s disappearance tore apart their marriage and damaged the way they behaved with their two other children.  While some of the scenes and situations were difficult to read, because I wanted to slap Zoe’s dad upside the head for his total ignorance, they are important to the story and I felt Ms. Crosby did a good job making them believable without making them over the top.  She also deals with the issue of sibling rivalry and the love/hate relationships that often exists between sisters in close knit families.   

As Zoe begins to repair her family’s home, and interacts with old and new neighbors, she begins to realize that her sister’s disappearance might not have been random and that the person responsible might still be on the island. The mystery of what happened to Hannah is well written and completely engaging – I seriously had to find out what happened to Hannah and was both anxious and reluctant to find out.  You’ll understand what I mean when you read the book.  The story is well paced and I found Ms. Crosby’s voice as a writer enjoyable and easy to read.

Will Zoe sell the family home or decide to live there instead?  Will her relationship with what remains of her family get better or worse because of her decision?  Will she ever discover what really happened to her sister?  You’ll have to read The Girl Who Stayed to find out.  I enjoyed it and look forward to reading more of Ms. Crosby’s work.

My Rating:  4 out of 5 Crowns

 FTC Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour for a fair and honest review.  My review is solely based on my opinion, and my opinion only, of the reading material provided. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Review Tour & #Giveaway for Like I Used to Dance by Barbara Frances

Welcome to my stop on the Review Tour, presented by Goddess Fish Promotions, for Like I Used to Dance by Barbara Frances.  Please leave a comment or question for Barbara to let her know you stopped by.  You may enter her tour wide giveaway, where one (1) randomly chosen commenter will be awarded a $25 Amazon/BN GC, by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You may follow all of the stops on the tour by clicking on the banner above, the more stops you visit, the better your chances of winning.  Good Luck!

Like I Used to Dance
By Barbara Frances

Publisher:  Positive Image, LLC.
Release Date: January 20, 2016
Genre: Fiction
Length: 396 Pages
ISBN: 978-1944071011

Buy Links:  AmazonLike I Used to Dance    

About the book:

“Oh, Grace, our kids,” laughed Bud. “Where did we go wrong? One marries God, another a Jew and the last one, the devil!”

Texas, 1951. The Wolanskis—Grace, Bud and their three grown children—are a close-knit clan, deeply rooted in their rural community and traditional faith. On their orderly farm, life seems good and tomorrow always holds promise.

But under the surface, it’s a different story. Grace is beset by dark memories and nameless fears that she keeps secret even from Bud. Their son Andy has said no to becoming a farmer like his dad and, worse, fallen in love with a big-city Jewish girl. Youngest child Regina is trapped in a loveless marriage to an abusive, alcoholic husband. Even “perfect” daughter Angela’s decision to become a nun takes an unforeseen turn.

And then Ceil Dollard breezes into town.

Ceil—wealthy, sophisticated, irrepressible—is like a visitor from Mars. She’s a modern woman. She drives a car and wears pants. She blows away tradition and certainty, forcing Grace to face her fears and brave a changing world. Through Ceil, Grace learns about courage and freedom—but at the risk of losing Bud.

Barbara Frances’ sparkling, richly human novel takes you back to a time when Ike was president and life was slower, but people were the same as now. You’ll encounter a cast of characters storm-tossed by change, held together by love. Written with compassion, humor and suspense, Like I Used to Dance will charm you, warm you and even squeeze a few tears, from its opening number to the last waltz.


Ceil had brought over a bottle of wine and some fancy cheeses. Grace felt like a celebrity. She asked Bud and Ceil to sit on the couch in the parlor. Slowly and carefully she furled the bed sheet from the easel revealing the newly dried canvas. It was a painting she had copied from an old black and white photo of the children.

Nine-year-old Andy stood on the creek bank with his little fishing pole while ten- year-old Angela held a wriggly worm for him. To the side and in the background five-year-old Regina looked on with awe at her older siblings.

There was a long moment of silence before Bud could catch his breath. “I’ve never felt anything like this. I’m… It touches my heart,” he said and began to applaud. Ceil joined in. Grace couldn’t remember such joy flooding over her, not even when her children were born. The wine was opened and for the first time in her life Grace got tipsy over the course of the evening. Sitting between Bud and Ceil, she hugged one and then the other like a child who had been away from its mom and dad for several days.

“Ceil, I know I promised you my first painting,” she said, slurring her words, “but this one’s for Bud. I hope you don’t mind.” Bud kissed her on the cheek. He felt like a prince.

Ceil paused with a serious expression on her face. “Well, I guess I’ll have to take back all the brushes, canvases and stuff I got you.” Laughter sailed through the open windows.

A few days later, Regina dropped by and stood for a long time silently taking in Grace’s painting. Grace marveled at how pretty she was these days. She was regaining her health and an interest in her appearance. Finally, Regina said softly, “You paint like I used to dance.”

 AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Barbara Frances has plenty of stories and a life spent acquiring them. Growing up Catholic on a small Texas farm, her childhood ambition was to become a nun. In ninth grade she entered a boarding school in Our Lady of the Lake Convent as an aspirant, the first of several steps before taking vows. The Sisters were disappointed, however, when she passed up the habit for the University of North Texas, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English and Theater Arts.

Her professors were similarly disappointed when she passed up a postgraduate degree to become a stewardess for American Airlines. Barbara, however, never looked back. “In the Sixties, a stewardess was a glamorous occupation.” Some highlights include an evening on the town with Chuck Berry and “opening the bar” for a planeload of young privates on their way to Vietnam.

Barbara eventually returned to Texas and settled down. Marriage, children, school teaching and divorce distracted her from storytelling, but one summer she and a friend coauthored a screenplay. “I never had such fun! I come from a family of storytellers. Relatives would come over and after dinner everyone would tell tales. Sometimes they were even true.”

The next summer Barbara wrote a screenplay on her own. Others followed, including Two Women, a finalist in the 1990 Austin Screenwriters Festival. Three more were optioned: Silent Crossing, The Anniversary and Sojourner Truth. Barbara left teaching and continued to work on her screenplays. In 1992, exhausted by endless rewrites she did something many screenwriters threaten but few carry out. She turned down an option renewal, done forever with writing—or so she thought.

It was not to be. One day a friend’s child found and read Lottie’s Adventure, her script for a children’s movie. At her young fan’s urging, Barbara turned it into a book, published by Positive Imaging, LLC, her husband Bill’s press. For Like I Used to Dance Barbara drew upon childhood memories and “front porch stories.” Her next novel, Shadow’s Way, is a “Southern Gothic tale” about  a woman caught in the struggle to keep her beloved plantation home from a scheming archbishop.

Barbara and her husband Bill Benitez live in Austin, Texas. She can be reached at:

Blog and purchase link:

A cross between women’s fiction, family drama and coming of age story, Like I Used to Dance by Barbara Frances was much more than I expected.  Filled with colorful characters, lively dialogue, emotional angst, and a culture undergoing a rapid change, this well paced story grabbed my attention from the start and never let go.  If you enjoy reading books filled with close knit families, generational differences and an honest look at society, then this is a book you will certainly enjoy.

Ms. Frances does a good job developing the characters right from the start; I really enjoyed getting to know Grace and her family.  I was able to connect with Grace and her youngest daughter, Regina, right away and couldn’t wait to get their full story.  Written in first person, from several character points of view, Ms. Frances gives us a picture of what life would have been like in rural Texas in the 1950’s if you were a member of the working class.  A picture I’m sure is more realistic than what I’ve seen in several movies covering that time period and location. 

The secondary characters were also well developed and I enjoyed getting to know all of Grace and Bud’s family, as well as their closest neighbors (an African American couple who they like much better than their son in law).  The people in town are what you would expect in a small town with racial issues but there is one female character who seems to travel between both groups, with interesting results, due to her “spiritual” talents.  And of course when Ceil Dollard, a very modern “city” woman comes into town with new ideas, it’s interesting to watch the results.

Tackling several hot social issues; alcoholism, rape, racism, pre-marital sex, birth control, and even murder, Ms. Frances paints a picture of society that we can all identify with.  Especially since we are still dealing with these issues over 50 years from the books setting.  Giving us no blanket answer, each of the characters must make an emotional journey as they decide what answer works best for them. 

Will Grace and Regina deal with the emotional issues keeping them burdened with the past?  Will Grace embrace a more modern outlook and loose her family in the process?  You’ll have to read Like I Used to Dance to find out.  I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading more of Ms. Frances’ work.

My Rating:  4 out of 5 Crowns

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Virtual Blog Tour & #Giveaway for The Separation by Stormy Corrin Russell

Welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour, presented by Bridging the Gap Promotions, for The Separation by Stormy Corrin Russell.  Please leave a comment or question for Stormy to let her know you stopped by. 

The Separation
By Stormy Corrin Russell

Publisher: Evernight Teen
Release Date: April 20, 2016
Genre: Distopian, Sci-Fi, Romance
Length: 83,000 Words
Format: eBook
ISBN: 978-1-772338-20-1

Buy Links:    Evernight Teen    Amazon    ARe

About the book:

In a world where men and women live on separate sides of a massive wall, seventeen year old misfit Eroyn Fairchild has always been too busy with her broken family to wonder why they live the way they do. When a man from the other side breaks through, Ero holds him hostage, hoping for a ransom large enough to pay for her Elder Grace’s treatment. Things get more complicated as the man is followed by two others who make Ero question everything she’s ever known about her life. As Ero searches for the truth, the lines between right and wrong blur, leaving her to choose between saving her city and saving herself.


One of the things I love about Grace is that she is the heaviest sleeper I know. So heavy, in fact, she doesn’t hear me dragging a thrashing body through the front door at two in the morning. For the first time in my life, I consider it lucky that we live on the outskirts of the north side. If we didn’t, I would never have been able to get it this far without attracting attention. A loud, confused sound starts to come from the net, so I kick it firmly.
“Shut up,” I hiss, looking around nervously. I’m not worried about Grace rousing, but I don’t want the neighbors waking up and noticing my noisy cargo. I kick twice more, as hard as I can. Silence, finally. With a sigh, I wipe my arm across my forehead, getting rid of the sweat beading there. I sink down on the couch, staring at the large lump inside the net on my living room floor unblinkingly. Little red flowers are blooming all over the heavy white plastic, and they grow quickly. It’s blood, I realize with a sick feeling. It’s seeping through from the inside and leaking onto the clean white carpet of our house. It can’t be real. It just can’t be.

I see Almond cut across the room and sniff at the lump with caution. With one movement, I scoop him up and press him to my chest in horror. For the first time, I realize the danger of what I've just done. I’ve invited a monster into my house.
I’ve made a horrible, horrible mistake.

It takes Luna ten minutes to get here five minutes faster than usual but it feels like hours. She lets herself in the back door quietly, but I rush into the kitchen to meet her.

“Where’s Grace?” she asks with urgency, dropping her medical bag on the kitchen table.
“What? No, I … this isn’t about Grace,” I stutter. I open my mouth once, then again, but it’s no use. Nothing is coming out, so I turn on my heel and tiptoe into the living room. Luna wordlessly follows, eyeing the netted form. I kneel next to it, holding my breath. With shaking hands, I slide the knife into the plastic and pull it upwards slowly. I know what it’s going to reveal when I pull the plastic away, but it still makes my breath leave my lungs in an audible whoosh. I can’t seem to inhale again once it’s gone. I hear Luna do the same next to me.
“Is it a…?” She leaves her sentence unfinished, and I nod. The small slit I cut in the plastic shows a thick arm under a rolled-up shirt, far too thin for our recently nasty winter. At the very end of the slit, I glimpse a swollen throat and a jaw covered in a dark shadow of hair. A chill runs down my spine and my stomach turns.
“Is he alive?” Luna asks, her voice small.
“I … I think so.” I stare at the floor guiltily. “I kicked him pretty hard to shut him up.” 
She scoots closer and with trembling fingers folds back the plastic to see his side, where most of the blood is coming from.
“Cut the rest of it off him,” she tells me quietly. I stare at her in shock.
“But, he––” She cuts me off with a look.
“He isn’t dead yet, but he will be if I don’t stop the blood loss.”
 I swallow hard, and comply.

About the author:

Stormy Corrin Russell is from Orwell, Pennsylvania where she first started writing from the moment she could hold a pencil. She still loves to write there and nearly everywhere else. She loves her family, the outdoors, laughing, eating, and her kitten/writing partner, Maya.

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Release Blast & #Giveaway for Forever With You by Heatherly Bell

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The Starlight Hill Series #5
Heatherly Bell
Releasing April 26th, 2016
Tydandon Publishing and Heatherly Bell Books

She forgot something on the way to the courthouse …

Sophia Abella has a good life, even if she is a little stuck.  Not quite single, not quite married, she keeps men at a safe distance. But when her ex-Marine husband returns to town and takes the job of chief of police, it might finally be time to get that paper work done once and for all. After all, most of her family already thinks she’s divorced.

They’re not actually, in the fullest sense of the word … divorced.

Years ago, Riley Jacobs chose the Marine Corp over his wife and has regretted his decision every day since. But once a Marine always a Marine, and he’ll use every tactical advantage he has to get Sophia to realize that she’s the only one for him.

Love and marriage … take two

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He didn’t answer but only studied her. “Eat.”

She took a bite somewhat automatically and felt immediately annoyed with herself for listening to him. “You’re bad for me.”

What she didn’t say, because she didn’t even want to voice it, was that he’d somehow become nothing but a constant reminder of loss. Pain. Of a fear so overwhelming and raw it threatened to take over everything in its path.

“I’m not. I’m what the doctor ordered.”

“You’re like eating Chunky Monkey every night instead of once a week. Not a good idea.”

He moved closer, so that his shoulder was touching hers. “So what do you want? Vanilla?”

“Not vanilla.” She took another sip, moved her legs and Hershee jumped off her lap, disgusted with Sophia for not sitting still enough for Her Highness. “Maybe Neopolitan. It’s good enough but not so much that I want it every day of the week.”

Riley stood up, took Sophia’s bowl and set it on the coffee table. He pulled her up off the couch, his hands on her elbows. The blanket fell to the ground at her feet. 

“Admit it. You’d like to have Chunky Monkey every day of the week. And sometimes you catch yourself thinking about it in the middle of the day. Wondering how you could get away with it.”


She’d forgotten how perfect it felt to be this close to him, their breathing comingled. Without a doubt, she’d once known he would have breathed for her if he could. He would have done anything for her.

“You want Chunky Monkey. Admit it.” He pulled her closer, until she could feel every hard ridge of his body and then closer still.

“Wait. Are we still talking about ice cream?”

“No.” He kissed her. Not a tender kiss at all, but rough and claiming.

Her hands fisted his shirt, and then with both hands she untucked it at his waist, letting her palms glide up his hard chest, touching the soft short hairs between her fingers. How she’d missed this, missed him. No matter what, they’d always had this part right. Touching, feeling.

Riley squeezed her ass, his other hand sliding under her sweater to tug her bra cup aside. But then just as suddenly as he’d kissed her, he stopped.

“Stay with me.” She pulled on his arm, directing him toward the bedroom.

“Slow down, baby.”

“It’s this way to the bedroom.” Sophia tugged on his hand again, a little like trying to move a mountain. “Just like your floor plan but reversed.”

“Wait.” He bit his lower lip and didn’t move.

“I don’t want to wait. I’ve waited long enough.”

“You can wait a little bit longer, can’t you?” He grimaced.

“Why should I?”

He chuckled and framed her face with both hands. “Because I need you to be sure.”

“Oh, that. I’m sure, Riley. I want this. I want you.”

“No,” he said and his hands dropped down. “I want you to be sure about us.”


“You and me. Us. Forever. Can you tell me you’re sure about that?” He studied her.

“Listen, you and I …”

“Yeah.” He moved away from her, picking his jacket up on the way to the door. “I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”

“But—” Was he seriously leaving her? Now? After all that talk about Chunky Monkey? Bastard!

“Eat your soup,” he called out and shut her front door.

When early onset stage fright dashed dreams of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame status, Heatherly tackled her first book in 2010, and now the people and voices that occupy her head refuse to leave. She no longer sings unless you count randomly bursting into song to annoy her children (and the dogs).

If she were not an author, Heatherly maintains she would be a detective and a criminal's worst nightmare. She watches Dateline every Friday night and takes notes.

She lives in northern California with her family, including two beagles, one who can say 'hello' and the other who can feel a pea through several pillows.