Gateway to Dark Stars by Kate Haley #giveaway

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

Gateway to Dark Stars by Kate Haley

Genre: Horror, Action, Adventure

Slaying monsters. It ain’t much, but it’s honest work.

In the age of jazz and bootleg liquor, black magic is making a big comeback. Luckily, the scourge of demons and cultists are keeping Doctor Vincent Temple in business. Even the Mafia are having trouble with monsters, and they’ve hired Temple to sort it out. Cash is cash, and the old Doctor has never been one to turn his nose up at a job, no matter who’s paying. This time luck is smiling on him. The gangsters are tangling with a cult Doctor Temple has been stalking over a personal matter, but when reconnaissance turns into rescue can he save the world before things become too personal?

The Witcher meets Cthulhu in this gruesome, high-octane adventure. Snatch up your copy now and get ready to slay some demons!

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Kate Haley is a speculative fiction author who works predominantly in fantasy and horror.

While currently content to fill her days with writing and table-top RPGs, her grander plans involve world domination. Something akin to the tyranny of the greatest city atop the Disc would be an acceptable standard. She believes a super-villainous overlord would be an upgrade, given that our current villains lack style and imagination.

After all, super-villainy requires Presentation.

If you like her references, consider reading her books. Peruse the website for short fictions and merchandise, and join the mailing list for early access and exclusive cool stuff.

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Would you like a chance to win a personalized signed copy of the book and an art print of the lead character by the illustrator, or a $10 Amazon gift card?  Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!


Ninety-Five by Lisa Towles #giveaway

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

Ninety-Five by Lisa Towles ~ Genre: Thriller

Troubled University of Chicago student, Zak Skinner, accidentally uncovers evidence of an on-campus, organized crime scam involving drugging students, getting them to commit crimes on camera, and blackmailing them to continue under the threat of expulsion. Digging deeper, Zak discovers that the university scam is just the tip of the iceberg, as it’s connected to a broader ring of crimes linked to a darkweb underworld. Following clues, Zak is led to a compound within Chicago’s abandoned Steelworker Park, only to discover that he’s being hunted. While trying to find his way out alive, Zak discovers there’s something much more personal he’s been running from – his past. And now there’s nowhere to hide.

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Lisa Towles has 6 mystery/thrillers in print. Her 2019 thriller, The Unseen, was a Finalist in the Thriller category of the Best Book Awards by American Book Fest and her 2017 thriller Choke won a 2017 IPPY and a 2018 NYC Big Book Award for Thriller. Lisa’s published books include The Unseen, Choke, and the following titles published under her previous name, Lisa Polisar: The Ghost of Mary Prairie, Escape, Blackwater Tango, and Knee Deep. She is an active member and frequent Panelist/Speaker of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She has an MBA in IT Management and works full-time in the tech industry in the San Francisco Bay Area.

​Lisa is also a passionate graphic designer and video creator.

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Would you like a chance to win a hardcover or paperback copy of Ninety-Five with a swag pack, or a $25 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!


Without A World by Kristen Illarmo #giveaway

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

Without a World (Kirasu Rising Book 1) by Kristen Illarmo

Genre: YA Science Fiction

A dying planet. A mythical new world.

Miranda struggles through each day in the Trash Lands, scraping for food and water, wishing she could blend into the sea of ash. The best part of her day is working a meaningless job in a place where people pretend she doesn’t exist.

Dismayed to learn her mother was right, Earth will get sucked into a black hole, Miranda must trust in skills she never knew she had to get to a place she refused to believe existed.

But when they learn the black hole is no natural phenomenon, Miranda can’t turn her back on the suffering of Earth, and saving it could cost more than she ever knew.

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Kristen Illarmo is a young adult, science fiction author driven to write stories with strong female characters in the backdrop of crumbling societies. She proudly calls New Orleans home, a fact that may only change if the perfect beach town reveals itself.

When she’s not toiling to improve efficiency in local government in her day job, she’s writing about dark possible futures and thinking about the importance of the choices we make. The prequel to Without A World, Behind the Red Door, is available now at kristenillarmo.com.

Join her monthly newsletter to grab the prequel to Without A World for free, get author updates, and access other free books from emerging authors at kristenillarmo.com.

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Would you like a chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

How to find time to write as a parent?

I started writing Without A World in 2017 when my son was four, and my daughter was seven. I finished it in the summer of 2021, there were breaks and even other books written, but it certainly wasn’t fast.

It has gotten easier as they have gotten older, but it’s still hard since I also have a full-time job. I knew there was no way I could follow Stephen King’s advice and complete a first draft in three months, so I gave myself permission to work at a much slower pace. However, the other side of that coin is that I produce better work when I write consistently. That means I have to push myself to find snatches of time throughout the week to write.

I can’t write every day, and I make a point not to beat myself up about that, but I need to write at least 4 days a week to complete a competent draft. I have ambitions to be one of those people who wakes up at 5 am and writes for an hour or more before work. But waking up early makes me so cranky that I have never made it past the ambition. Instead, I aim to put the kids to bed by 8:30 and start writing right away.

Rather than watching the clock, I stick to the goal of writing a 1,500-word scene. I might not be able to bang out that many words before my brain turns to mush and my eyes start closing on their own, but I can usually get close, and even a start of a scene is better than nothing. Writing with kids and a full-time job is no picnic, but the small starts are what will keep you going.

Have 15 minutes? Start the scene. I also always leave a few lines about what should come next, so I don’t have to start with a blank page when I next pick it up. 


Seeker’s Core by K.M. Jenkins #giveaway

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

The Seeker’s Core (Half Blood Academy Book 1) A Children of Chaos Novel ~ by K.M. Jenkins

Genre: YA Academy Fantasy

In a universe governed by gods, darkness awakens and demigods are called.

Two journeys.

Two planets.

Lennox walks a path that separates her from her family. But allies along the way bring her to her destined fate.

Becca seeks to advance knowledge in the medical field. Fate has other plans in store when she stumbles upon long forgotten ruins.

Two demigods walk different paths on separate planets. Will they find each other before it’s too late or will fate change their lives forever? The journey of a universe forever changed begins right here.

Goodreads * Amazon

K.M. Jenkins is a published best selling speculative fiction author who writes epic battles, forbidden romance, and tales of fantasy and adventure. She has a big love for the fantasy genre and loves dragons above all creatures. When she is not writing, you will find her running her business as a cover artist at ​KJ Magical Designs, LLC and chasing her twin boys around the house. Between the three she has epic battles throughout the day and nothing ever gets boring.

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Would you like a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!


Born of Shadows and Magic #giveaway

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

Born of Shadows and Magic

An Urban Fantasy & Paranormal Boxset

As myths, legends, and ancient tales rise from the shadows, these heroes and heroines are left to face the darkest challenges of them all.

Life’s hard enough as a paranormal. Shifters, vampire, elementals, witches, fae… we all have our weakness, our curses, our wars to wage and battles to fight.
But being a hybrid or a halfling, things just get worse. We don’t fit in anywhere, our powers are thwarted or out of control, and everyone wants us dead.
Can we overcome these trials…or are the odds stacked too high against us? We’ll risk it all—even our lives—to find out. And hope we don’t die trying.
This paranormal and urban fantasy romance anthology includes 19 brand new, never before published novels from today’s bestselling authors and exciting up-and-coming talent!

Including all new stories by….
Kira Nyte
Fiona McArthur
Renee Hewett & Mandy Rosko
Cassidy K. O’Connor & Sheri Lyn
Krista Ames
Stephanie Hansen
Mia Ellas
Fatima Fayez
Ryan Southwick
C.A. King
Charlie Nottingham
Emma B. Layne
Mireille Chester
Ruby St. George
K. Rea
N.L. Hoffmann
Cherron Riser
Marissa Nofer
Shana Vernon

Here’s a peek of what’s inside!

Nora would do anything to protect her sister and avoid the Pit—even take a deal from the one archangel she despises.

The Archangel’s Deal by K. Rea

All she wanted was to find the guy terrorizing Midtown; instead, she found a magical underground war going on right under our noses.

A Fire Awakens by Mireille Chester

A college freshman turned rumored chosen one must save her university when an ancient demon returns and possesses one of their own.

Faust University by Emma B. Layne

All of a sudden, she has a twin, magic, and apparently doesn’t even belong in this realm. Let’s hope they don’t expect her to save the world, too.

Magic in the Shadows by Cassidy K. O’Connor & Sheri Lyn

A vigilante hell-bent on revenge, a reincarnated angel in a fragile human body, and a mission to right the wrongs of the past. What could go wrong? Turn out, everything.

-The Angel’s Fury by Mandy Rosko and Renee Hewett

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Moon Lighting by C.A. Gray

Adrenaline is the cure for her body, mind, and soul.

If she ignores the call of her ancestors, death is sure to follow. If she puts aside the desires of her heart, it’s guaranteed to break.

A mild-mannered teacher by day.

A rogue vigilante by night.

A cop with an agenda.

Two hearts intertwined by fate.

This magic-wielding hybrid isn’t holding back when it comes to justice or love, but can she have both?

I was diagnosed with clinical depression after the loss of my mother, father and husband within three years of each other; all to cancer. 24/7 in-home care, coupled with the loss I felt, left its mark on my psyche.

Depression takes up a lot of my life. Reading and writing are the only things I have found that help (in connection with regular medication), even if only for a short time. To escape to a different world can make a big difference in my mood in real time.

To put things in perspective, when I was at my lowest point, I couldn’t open mail, talk on the phone, or even drive to the store. Walls of sadness surrounded me. As they closed in, tears would fall. There didn’t need to be a reason or trigger.

People ask me why I started writing. My answer is simple: I wanted to create a world into which other people with similar problems could escape. I wanted to share the one place that had helped me for many years.

I have always said that as long as one person finds a little bit of happiness out of my books, I am, in my opinion, an accomplished author. The same is true for every writer out there. Please don’t ever let anyone tell you different.

I read books as well as write them and have visited the worlds many different authors have created. Those worlds not only make me feel better, but give me the strength to face real life again. I want to thank everyone who writes—I want them to know they are making a difference.

Fast forward to today…

C.A. King, USA Today Bestselling Author has over 60 books available across multiple fantasy sub-genres.

Awards include:

Hamilton Spectator Readers’ Choice Award in the Best Local Author category 2017 & 2018 & 2019

Brant News Readers’ Choice Award: Best Local Author 2017 

Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards: Best Novella/Short Story 2017 Silver medal

2017 SIBA Awards – Best Novella

2017 SIBA Awards – Best New Adult

2018 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards: Gold Medal in the Fiction – Supernatural genre

2018 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards: Bronze Medal in the Fiction – New Adult genre

2019 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner in the Fiction – Supernatural genre

2019 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner in the Young Adult – Fantasy – Urban genre

City of Brantford Featured Artist February 2020

Burlington Post Readers’ Choice Award in the Best Local Author Category 2020

Toronto Star Readers’ Choice Award in the Best Local Author Category 2020

Cambridge Times Readers’ Choice Award in the Best Local Author Category 2020

Burlington Post Readers’ Choice Award in the Best Local Author Category 2021

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Would you like a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!


Goddess of Limbo by Lea Falls #giveaway

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

Goddess of Limbo (The Forgotten Splinters Chronicles Book 1) by Lea Falls

Genre: Dark Epic Fantasy

Free will is a relic of the past. Souls have a prewritten path to heaven. If they miss it, they are doomed to roam the lost realm of limbo as splinters of their former selves or worse—as demons.

Their only hope is the reaper Alames, whose own soul shattered when her celestial lover, Balthos, usurped their creators to make them gods. In her absence, he builds a pantheon of monsters and tricks the mortals, whom he blames for his grief, into worshiping him. But when a new generation defies Balthos’s law, Alames’s splinters appear among them.

Brilliant physicist Ally longs for progress and innovation, but the Council controlling her nation strips the “Mad Princess” of power. Pregnant and uncertain, the unrivaled Captain Se’azana abandons her career for the false promises of love. The starving serf Richard makes a deal with a Fae demon to save his son. And teenage rebel Vana trades her guitar for a blade when faced with ruthless nobility.

When worlds tear and hearts break, will they defy the gods’ narrative to create a brighter future or will they obey the lies preached and doom their soul forever?

For fans of THE STORMLIGHT ARCHIVE and THE PRIORY OF THE ORANGE TREE comes an epic rollercoaster ride of demons, rebellion, and dark magic.

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Lea Falls is a writer, actor, and passionate lover of stories. Equally drawn to page and stage, she’s written plays, screenplays, poetry, short stories, and two novels, and has acted in numerous short films, plays, and improv shows. She earned her BFA in Acting at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and attended the Yale Writers Workshop. After a brief call and response with Londontown, she now lives in NYC with her wife, two cats, and a slither of skyline that never fails to inspire her. There, she spends her days murmuring lines over a keyboard or a script.

GODDESS OF LIMBO is her debut novel. Her short story EMILY’S HEIRS will appear in Hansen House’s ELIXIR: STORIES OF HOPE AND HEALING (AN LGBTQ+ SFF ANTHOLOGY), set to release in January 2022.

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Would you like a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about Goddess of Limbo by Lea Falls.

Sugar Plum Kisses #giveaway

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

Sugar Plum Kisses (A Sweet Christmas Romance Collection)

Do you hear the sleigh bells ringing?

Join over a dozen bestselling authors as they bring you an exclusive collection of Christmas-themed holiday romances. From small town coffee shops to cozy cottages, this set has everything you need to curl up in front of the fire with some hot chocolate or a pumpkin spice latte.

If you’re looking to be swept up in the magic and romance of the holiday season, look no further. We are here to make this and every Christmas merry and bright.

So sit back, relax, and one-click this cozy Christmas collection, because baby, it’s cold outside.

Featuring works from the following authors:
Samantha Calcott (aka USA Today bestselling author Lily Luchesi)
Monique Brasher
Katherine Moore
USA Today bestselling author H.M. Shander
Gill Fernley
USA Today bestselling author C.A. King
USA Today bestselling author Laura Ashwood
Melodie March
Donna Wright
Kristin MacQueen
Laurie Treacy
Amy Stephens
Alys Fraser
Jean Horak
Natalie Burton

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To Dunk Or Not To Dunk

by C.A. King

He’s a photographer, hell bent on showing reality through his work.

She’s an award-winning baker, continuing on the family business with the desire to leave her own mark on the world.

Both have childhood memories they want to forget.

Both have sacred family traditions which silence the past.

When their paths cross, will they be able to put aside their differences and answer the age old question… To Dunk Or Not To Dunk?

It might just take an old-fashioned Christmas bake-off to help them decide!

I was diagnosed with clinical depression after the loss of my mother, father and husband within three years of each other; all to cancer. 24/7 in-home care, coupled with the loss I felt, left its mark on my psyche.

Depression takes up a lot of my life. Reading and writing are the only things I have found that help (in connection with regular medication), even if only for a short time. To escape to a different world can make a big difference in my mood in real time.

To put things in perspective, when I was at my lowest point, I couldn’t open mail, talk on the phone, or even drive to the store. Walls of sadness surrounded me. As they closed in, tears would fall. There didn’t need to be a reason or trigger.

People ask me why I started writing. My answer is simple: I wanted to create a world into which other people with similar problems could escape. I wanted to share the one place that had helped me for many years.

I have always said that as long as one person finds a little bit of happiness out of my books, I am, in my opinion, an accomplished author. The same is true for every writer out there. Please don’t ever let anyone tell you different.

I read books as well as write them and have visited the worlds many different authors have created. Those worlds not only make me feel better, but give me the strength to face real life again. I want to thank everyone who writes—I want them to know they are making a difference.

Fast forward to today…

C.A. King, USA Today Bestselling Author has over 60 books available across multiple fantasy sub-genres.

Awards include:

Hamilton Spectator Readers’ Choice Award in the Best Local Author category 2017 & 2018 & 2019

Brant News Readers’ Choice Award: Best Local Author 2017 

Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards: Best Novella/Short Story 2017 Silver medal

2017 SIBA Awards – Best Novella

2017 SIBA Awards – Best New Adult

2018 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards: Gold Medal in the Fiction – Supernatural genre

2018 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards: Bronze Medal in the Fiction – New Adult genre

2019 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner in the Fiction – Supernatural genre

2019 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal Winner in the Young Adult – Fantasy – Urban genre

City of Brantford Featured Artist February 2020

Burlington Post Readers’ Choice Award in the Best Local Author Category 2020

Toronto Star Readers’ Choice Award in the Best Local Author Category 2020

Cambridge Times Readers’ Choice Award in the Best Local Author Category 2020

Burlington Post Readers’ Choice Award in the Best Local Author Category 2021

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Would you like a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about Sugar Plum Kisses.

Dark Ride Deception by Mark S. Bacon #giveaway

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

Dark Ride Deception (Nostalgia City Mysteries Book 4) by Mark S. Bacon

Genre: Mystery

Is Tom Wyrick Dead? The computer genius is missing. So are his priceless tech secrets. Time for Lyle to go undercover again.

Tom Wryick’s mind-bending technology will rocket Nostalgia City theme park decades ahead of the competition. But the computer genius is missing. So are his secrets. Is he dead? On the run? His billion-dollar, breathtaking discovery is the Perception Deception Effect.

An FBI agent theorizes the People’s Republic of China is responsible for the disappearance.The Nostalgia City CEO, however, is convinced a rival theme park is behind the theft. He drafts ex-cop turned theme park cab driver Lyle Deming to fly to Florida to find the missing computer scientist and recover his secrets.

Does this have anything to do with the severed human finger Lyle finds in his cab?

Back in Nostalgia City, park executive, 6’ 2” Kate Sorensen, a former college basketball star, is persuaded to investigate the death of an actor starring in a Vietnam-era crime movie being filmed at the Arizona park. Nostalgia City is a meticulous re-creation of a 1970s small town.

Shrugging off jet lag, anxiety, and oppressive Florida humidity, Lyle goes undercover using a parade of false identities to snoop behind the scenes at another theme park’s engineering and computer offices. He’s forced to jump from one covert scheme to another as his identity is exposed, his safety jeopardized.

In the meantime, Kate confronts a mentally unstable actor—fresh out of rehab. But she may be forced to give up the murder case—Lyle needs help.

Kate and Lyle have little time to explore their nascent romantic relationship as both their investigations turn deadly, threatening them and the future of Nostalgia City.

* * *
“Mark S. Bacon’s well-told mystery is clever, smooth, and intriguing, with a reluctant detective who has just the right touch of self-deprecating humor. The author’s wry wit and engaging voice will keep you turning the pages of Dark Ride Deception until the very last satisfying twist.”

–Mary Adler, author of the Oliver Wright WWII mystery series

Recommended: Death in Nostalgia City, the first book in this series, was recommended for book clubs by the American Library Association.

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Mark S. Bacon began his career as a Southern California newspaper police reporter, one of his crime stories becoming key evidence in a murder case that spanned decades.

After working for two newspapers, he moved to advertising and marketing and became a copywriter for Knott’s Berry Farm, the large theme park down the freeway from Disneyland. Experience working at Knott’s formed part of the inspiration for his creation of Nostalgia City theme park.

Before turning to fiction, Bacon wrote business books including “Do-It-Yourself Direct Marketing,” printed in four languages and three editions, named best business book of the year by the Library Journal, and selected by the Book of the Month Club and two other book clubs. His freelance feature articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Cleveland Plain Dealer, San Antonio Express News, Orange County (Calif.) Register, Denver Post and many other publications. Most recently he was a correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle.

“Dark Ride Deception” is the fourth book in the Nostalgia City mystery series that began with”Death in Nostalgia City”. The first book introduced ex-cop turned cab driver Lyle Deming and PR executive Kate Sorensen, a former college basketball star. “Death in Nostalgia City” was recommended for book clubs by the American Library Association.

Bacon is the author of flash fiction mystery books including, “Cops, Crooks and Other Stories in 100 Words – Revised Edition”.

He taught journalism as a member of the adjunct faculty at Cal Poly University – Pomona, the University of Nevada – Reno, and the University of Redlands. He earned an MA in mass media from UNLV and a BA in journalism from Fresno State.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Would you like a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card. Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about Dark Ride Deception by Mark S. Bacon.

A Letter To Our Daughters by Jodi Leffingwell #giveaway

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

A Letter To Our Daughters

by Jodi L. Leffingwell Ed D

Genre: Inspirational, Motivational

In a Letter to Our Daughters, the author took a letter to her daughters from the dedication of another of her books as a message of empowerment, belief, and hope. Every daughter, mother, and woman needs to be reminded that they are a gift to the world with incredible talent and unlimited potential.

Goodreads * Amazon

Jodi Leffingwell Ed. D holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Walden University, an MBA from Pfeiffer University, and a BA from Providence College. She is a field leader for a global organization, and her focus is on leadership development.

In addition to her current publication, A Letter to Our Daughters, Jodi is publishing a book centered on overcoming the obstacles women face moving from mid-level to senior and executive roles. The book is entitled: Life After Coffee: An Every Women’s Guide to Finding a Seat at the Table in Leadership.

She is an award-winning leader recognized throughout her industry as a thought leader, strategic planner, and developer of talent. Jodi’s passions are to challenge people to think, coach, and lead differently through developing their emotional intelligence and sphere of influence. Nothing gives her more satisfaction than seeing someone reach their potential or grow in their career while loving the job that they do.

 Jodi resides by the water in Rhode Island, and her favorite role is being a mom to Abigale and Aubrey and wife to husband, Eric.

Website * Instagram * Amazon * Goodreads

Would you like a chance to win an Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about A Letter to Our Daughters by Jodi Leffingwell.

Where do you get your ideas? by Mark S. Bacon

Mark S. Bacon began his career as a Southern California newspaper police reporter, one of his crime stories becoming key evidence in a murder case that spanned decades.

After working for two newspapers, he moved to advertising and marketing and became a copywriter for Knott’s Berry Farm, the large theme park down the freeway from Disneyland. Experience working at Knott’s formed part of the inspiration for his creation of Nostalgia City theme park.

Before turning to fiction, Bacon wrote business books including “Do-It-Yourself Direct Marketing,” printed in four languages and three editions, named best business book of the year by the Library Journal, and selected by the Book of the Month Club and two other book clubs. His freelance feature articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Cleveland Plain Dealer, San Antonio Express News, Orange County (Calif.) Register, Denver Post and many other publications. Most recently he was a correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle.

“Dark Ride Deception” is the fourth book in the Nostalgia City mystery series that began with”Death in Nostalgia City”. The first book introduced ex-cop turned cab driver Lyle Deming and PR executive Kate Sorensen, a former college basketball star. “Death in Nostalgia City” was recommended for book clubs by the American Library Association.

Bacon is the author of flash fiction mystery books including, “Cops, Crooks and Other Stories in 100 Words – Revised Edition”.

He taught journalism as a member of the adjunct faculty at Cal Poly University – Pomona, the University of Nevada – Reno, and the University of Redlands. He earned an MA in mass media from UNLV and a BA in journalism from Fresno State.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Where do you get your ideas?

by Mark S. Bacon

Do ideas for mystery novels float down from the ether? Do writers lean back in their chairs, arms resting on their heads, waiting for inspiration to strike? Sometimes. More often though, writers rely on their own experiences, their own history as the foundation for stories.

If you look at the background of many mystery/crime writers, sources of their inspiration become clear.

For example, as a young lawyer John Grisham toiled for many hours at a small, struggling Mississippi law firm. And the main character in his early books is typically a young lawyer toiling for many hours at a small, struggling Mississippi law firm.

Tony Hillerman,wrote about the southwest. In his most famous books, Navajo tribal police solve the mysteries. Before writing novels, he was a newspaper reporter in Texas. He patterned one of his main police characters after a local Texas sheriff he knew. Later he lived and taught in New Mexico for more than 20 years becoming familiar with the land and the people.

One of British writer Gerald Kersh’s most well known books isNight and the City. Al Pacino starred in the movie version. It focuses on the seamy side of the wrestling game in London. And while Kersh was learning to write he held a variety of odd jobs. For a time, he was a wrestler.

Dashiell Hammett, before he became a novelist and wrote The Maltese Falcon, worked for the famous Pinkerton Detective Agency. He used that experience as the basis for the Falcon and also for a long series of short stories and two novels that featured a private eye working for a big detective agency.

The setting for my mysteries is a theme park, Nostalgia City. Early in my career I wrote advertising at Knott’s Berry Farm, the large theme park just up the freeway from Disneyland.

Although I spent most of my time writing ads and commercials, I occasionally worked on special events in the park. I got to know some of the costumed employees who entertained visitors and had a behind-the-scenes look at what it took to keep a sprawling entertainment enterprise rolling smoothly. At times it seemed like controlled chaos.

Since my experience at Knott’s I’ve always thought a theme park would make a great setting for a murder mystery. A park can be crammed with tourists to the point of inducing claustrophobia. Or it can be dark and empty at night when the gates are closed, the rides sit motionless and the only sound is the wind whistling through the rollercoaster framework. Theme parks present many possibilities for intrigue.

In my new book, Dark Ride Deception, high-tech secrets for mind-bending new rides are stolen from Nostalgia City. My protagonists, Lyle Deming, an ex-cop now theme park cab driver, and Kate Sorensen, a former college basketball star, are sent on an undercover mission to search offices and workshops at other theme parks. They’re looking for the Perception Deception Effect, a remarkable artificial intelligence-controlled program that will alter theme park rides forever.

Lyle and Kate’s exploration of other theme parks is not unlike my first weeks working at Knott’s, as I tried to find my way around the grounds and learn the secrets of opening doors closed to the public.

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