The Odd and The Strange by Harvey Havel #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 Odd and the Strange: A Collection of Very Short Fiction by Harvey Havel ~ Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Surrealist, Fabulist

A Collection of Very Short Fiction from a variety of genres, including but not limited to horror, science fiction, politics, and the surreal. These celebrated very short stories have been collected over a number of years and have been published in a variety of online e-zines and posted on various websites.

THE ODD AND THE STRANGE by Harvey Havel is a collection of urban tales that toe the line of reality.

The subtitle of Harvey Havel’s THE ODD AND THE STRANGE is A Collection of Very Short Fiction. A better one would be A Very Long Book of Normal-Sized Short Fiction. There are 89 stories in all, most 5-10 pages long (though a few stretch to nearly twenty), with unassuming titles like “Visitation,” “Girlfriend,” and “Daughter.” Though set in the real world, the stories tease reality with nameless characters–the candidate, the doctor, the Big Man–and fantastical occurrences, similar to the parables of Jorge Luis Borges (Argentine short-story writer, essayist, poet and translator, and a key figure in Spanish language literature).

Being a librarian, I was eager to read the story “The Librarian.” A young male librarian–unnamed, naturally–looks into a mirror in his office and sees not his reflection but a woman with “walnut hair luxuriously long and her skin as supple as a young girl’s.” He has seen her many times, and though the two cannot touch, they can talk. What do they talk about? The books he steals from the library and passes into the mirror for her to read. Eventually, his boss confronts the librarian over the missing books only to be told that the latter he gave them to his mirror-world girlfriend. To prove this claim, the librarian tries to summon the woman, and when she doesn’t appear, the librarian smashes the mirror. You can imagine the rest.

Some stories are less Borges and more Stephen Crane (author of The Red Badge of Courage): bleak, violent. Like “Lightning Love,” narrated by a wife whose husband changes into . . . something (the twist at the end is brilliant). Others are political fables, like “Santa Claus and Madam Secretary,” which makes Havel’s proclivities as clear as the image on a 98-inch TV. His style can be clunky–one woman’s breasts are described as “shaped like a queen’s”–and some endings are telegraphed. A few stories, like “Sex Toy,” are more like story fragments. Yet THE ODD AND THE STRANGE is quite an accomplishment: unusual, provocative, and honest.

Mixing the fabulism of Jorge Luis Borges with the bleakness of Stephen Crane, the tales contained in Harvey Havel’s THE ODD AND THE STRANGE draw the reader into a world they won’t soon forget.

~Anthony Aycock for IndieReader

**Get this book at 50% off at Smashwords and check out Harvey’s other books – a lot of them are FREE or on sale at Smashwords too!**

Add to Goodreads * Amazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Kobo * Smashwords

Would you like a chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card or an ebook of your choice from the author (1 winner each)? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Harvey Havel is a short-story writer and novelist.

His first novel, Noble McCloud, A Novel, was published in November of 1999. His second novel, The Imam, A Novel, was published in 2000.

Over the years of being a professional writer, Havel published his third novel, Freedom of Association. He worked on several other books and published his eighth novel, Charlie Zero’s Last-Ditch Attempt, and his ninth, The Orphan of Mecca, Book One, which was released several years ago. A full trilogy of this work had been completed a few years after Mr. Big is about a Black-American football player who deals with injury and institutionalized racism. This book was published in 2017. It’s his fifteenth book.

The Wild Gypsy of Arbor Hill is his sixteenth book, and his seventeenth is a non-fiction political essay about America’s current political crisis, written in 2019. He has just now published his eighteenth book, The Odd and The Strange: A Collection of Very Short Fiction.
Havel is formerly a writing instructor at Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey. He also taught writing and literature at the College of St. Rose in Albany as well as SUNY Albany.

Facebook * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

An interview with Author Harvey Havel:

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?

I went to a tiny college in Hartford, Connecticut.  In my sophomore year, I joined a fraternity.  In my senior year, there was a fraternity brother of mine named Jason Morfoot who told me this story about a group of guys who wrote poetry and literature all the time, smoked a lot of pot, dropped a lot of acid, and drove around in a psychedelic-painted bus with the Grateful Dead.

Once I heard this story, I asked Jason to tell it to me over and over again, probably to his chagrin.  I was so charmed by what the Beats did way back when that I said to myself, ‘Gee, maybe this writing thing is for me.’  Of course, it never turned out the way it turned out for them, but I never would have gone into writing had Jason not told me about the Beat Generation.  At the time, it sounded like they lived a fairy-tale life.  Perhaps they did.

Where were you born/grew up at?

I was born in Lahore, Pakistan in 1971.  I immigrated to the United States when I was just a newborn.  My family first moved to Buffalo, New York, and over the years, we found ourselves in New York City by the mid-1970s.  Back then, New York City was in dire straits – high crime, intense poverty, drugs, etc.  I still can’t believe how my mother got through it all, living in the toughest neighborhood in the city at the time, which was then known as Alphabet City, or what is currently known as the Lower East Side.  God must have been with her the entire time.  I am really amazed at how she persevered. She was incredible woman, even though our relationship was not.

What inspired you to write this book?

Interestingly enough, these stories were somehow stored on my computer for several years before I accidently found them in a hidden file on my hard drive.  I discovered nearly ninety short stories that I forgotten I had ever written.  It turns out that nearly seven or eight years ago, the poet, John Allen of Albany, New York, had asked me to submit stories for his website, The New Surrealist Institute, which is now defunct.  This site had really been thriving, and a core group of authors had submitted avidly to it.  It was also quite popular with many readers.  When the website went offline, I had simply forgotten about the stories.  When I found them, I just knew I had to compile them into a book.

I wouldn’t say that anything in particular inspired me to write these stories, though.  The ideas came to me out of nowhere, which is why it took a lot of effort to construct them.  Some of the political stories were inspired by the 2016 elections, for instance.  There’s a science fiction story that is more a personal response to my past relationships with friends who have now grown up to do amazing things with their lives.  A couple stories are tributes to old friends of mine who had passed on: a painter friend of mine who had committed suicide in the 1990s and also a Black-American bluegrass musician who had recently passed away a couple of years ago.  But I can’t say exactly how I got the ideas for them, which is strange.  They are very diverse and, I hope, fun to read.

What can we expect from you in the future?

Right now, I am working on a book about September 11, 2001, when the Word Trade Center in New York was hit by a terrorist attack.  I haven’t been working on the project consistently as of late, though, but I hope to have it done in a couple of years.  Sometimes, life gets in the way of writing every day, which is something I made sure to do.  But I really do want the September 11th book to be my finest publication, so it is always on my mind, and when I am working on it, I am working really hard.

Who designed your book covers?

I have to do everything on the cheap, as I have self-published for a long time.  I usually find ready-made covers on the web, purchase them, and use them for my book covers.  I use a site called www.selfpubbookcovers.com.  There’s a guy named Rob there who runs the show, and he has always been very responsive and helpful.  He has hundreds of covers to choose from.  Hiring designers for the job is just way too expensive for me.  Ready-made covers from great designers are a great way to package my books.

Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Never give up!  Never give up!  Never give up!

How long have you been writing?

I have been a professional writer for nearly 30 years without much success.  While I have published 18 books, it seems that it is hard to attract the public to read them.  I am definitely not able to make a living off of any of these books.  Instead, I have a fixed income every month from a variety of sources, including Social Security Disability, that has sustained me for all of these years.  While I am very happy to see all of my peers succeed and do very well in life, it has been equally as difficult to remain within the same income bracket for so long.  But then again, if you are concerned about the money, writing is definitely not the right career path to choose, or so is my experience.

Lately, I have been taking it easier.  I hope to continue writing for the rest of my years, but I do admit that I am a bit tired of always being broke and pinching pennies all the time.  That is the hard part.  But somehow, I have made it through, and my books are all out there, should anyone find them.

What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?

I invest a lot in the research process.  After a general story idea comes to mind, I refine that idea into a plot outline.  Once that is done, I target those parts of the plot that I know nothing of. 

For instance, I wrote a book about football.  While I had known about football from playing it in my youth, I needed to investigate how professional players practice, not generally, but specifically.  So, with that example in mind, I had to go to the library, or surf the internet, to find books that detailed the drills that professional coaches used in their practices.  I took this information and then put them on notecards.  Then, I added this information to the plot outline and created a chapter-by-chapter outline with the research included in every respective chapter.  That’s how it has worked for me thus far.

Also, I find it extremely important to include a bibliography at the back of the book, should I use research.  That way, the writing is based not only on my imagination, but also cold, hard facts.  One should always cite one’s sources anyway.  Plus, I have found it really fun doing the research.  It’s incredible how much I have learned about a variety of subjects over the years.  When writing historical fiction especially, research is always key.

What do you think about the current publishing market?

Not much.  But then again, I haven’t read much of what is out there.

Pen or type writer or computer?

I usually hand-write a manuscript, revise it on paper, and then I type it into the computer, constantly revising it. I then print out the manuscript and revise it again.  But I usually do this chapter-by-chapter, not the entire manuscript at once.  I find it easier to break it down into manageable parts.

I used to hand-write it and then use a typewriter, but luckily for everyone, the personal computer came along.

Advice they would give new authors?

Definitely do not put all of your eggs in the one basket of writing.  If you are going to write or edit for a job, or work as a journalist for a decent salary, that’s fine.  But please do not make the same mistake I had made by banking it all on writing fiction novels at an early age.  Even though I have developed as a writer through hardship, I don’t think it was really all that worth it. 

If I had to do it all over again, I would have chosen a career with a good salary, so that I could have afforded a good car, attracted a nice girlfriend, afforded a simple house, and did what most of my peers have done, or at least developed how most people are portrayed in the media of today.  I wouldn’t have had such a cavalier ‘all or none’ attitude about a becoming a writer. 

Betting it all on the one hand and winning at it is the stuff of dreams and fantasy and not reality.  I am definitely not saying that it won’t happen, though, because a new author definitely could hit the big time with a book or a number of books.  But if you find yourself broke and on the street in the freezing cold, as I have witnessed in every city I have lived in, you should really stop and reassess where you are heading.  In my opinion, it is not possible to write under conditions of abject poverty for too long.  Better to get a roof over your head before writing that next line.

I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about The Odd and The Strange by Harvey Havel.

Captive of a Dark Prince by Lasasha Flame #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.

Captive of a Dark Prince (Dark Immortal Flames Book 2) by LaSasha Flame ~ Genre: Paranormal Romance

Discover A Scorching New World Of Immortals In Lasasha Flame’s Tale Captive Of A Dark Prince! A Short Story In The Dark Immortal Flames Series.

Tiffany’s Life Is Turned Upside Down When She Is Abducted By A Dark Fae, Who Plans To Hand Her Over To A Sadistic King, Set On Making Her His New Queen. Rationally, She Knows She Should Hate Her Captor, But Her Heart And Body Long For His Touch.

Keanu Thought His Life Was Torture Being Enslaved To King Nimru, A Sadistic Fae King. After Meeting Tiffany, His Fated Mate, He Soon Realizes What He Has Endured Is Nothing Compared To Being Forced To Give Up His Mate To A Hellish Existence Or Sacrifice His People To Keep Her. Rationally, She Is Just One Life For Millions Of Innocents To Live, But Every Second In Her Presence Forces Him To Realize He Can’t Live Without Her.

Keanu Makes A High Stakes Gamble To Risk It All For Love And His People, But Will Odds Land In His Favor Or Will Everyone He Loves Pay The Ultimate Price For His Selfish Desires?

If You Enjoy Paranormal And Fantasy Romances With Dark Fae, Dangerous Males, Strong Female Characters, Explicit Language, Hot Sex Scenes, And Enemies To Lovers This Is The Book For You! Can Be Read As A Standalone But Be On The Look Out For The Main Series.

Goodreads * Amazon

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

My Name Is LaSasha Flame. I Am A Young Author From Chicago, Hoping To Bring Some New Heat And Sizzle To The Romance Genre.

My Favorite Genres Are Paranormal And Dark Romance. I Love Reading A Good Book But I’m So Busy In Life That I Only Gets To Enjoy Audiobooks. It’s The Only Way I Can Get Lost In A Good Book Nowadays. And You Know What? I Half Prefer An Audiobook Over Print Any Day! I Have A Long Standing Membership At Audible And I Plan To Publish Audio Books For Busy Bookworms Like Myself! Yay!

My Love Of Writing Started When A Friend Of Mine Encouraged Me To Write A Short Story And Just See What Happens. Turns Out I Had A Knack For Writing Because Everyone Loved My Short Stories. From Then On I’ve Worked On Improving My Craft. Growing From Flash Fiction To Novels.

I Would Like To Introduce The Series I Have Been Working On. I Am Basically Writing Thirteen Books At Once. Claimed Is The First Installment Of My Dark Immortal Flames Series!

And Not Only Do I Have The Main Series In The Works But I Will Be Releasing Mini A Series And Several Short Stories That Take Place Within The Same Multiverse Of The Main Dark Immortal Flames Series.

I Am Really Looking Forward To Sharing Some Of The Twisty Goodness I Have Planned!

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

I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about Captive of a Dark Prince by Lasasha Flame.

Anzel Spectrus by Rachel A. Olson #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.

Anzel Spectrus: Discovering Yesteryear (A Children of Chaos Novel) by Rachel A. Olson ~ Genre: YA Fantasy

Anzel Spectrus has been alone as long as he can remember. So long so that he has convinced himself he prefers it that way. At least until he discovers what it’s like to have others in his life.

Mongo the minotaur usually spends his time trying to bully Anzel, until one day he asks for Anzel’s help out of desperation. Mongo’s request leads to Anzel meeting Brucie, who tells him that his aura is the color of a powerful being that seemingly no longer exists outside of a children’s bedtime story that Anzel has never heard. The three set out together in search of answers in an attempt to either prove or debunk the details of that bedtime story, and to hopefully find an answer to who Anzel really is.

The question remains, who – or what – is Anzel Spectrus?

​Will he get the answers he seeks?

Goodreads * Amazon

Rachel A Olson resides in rural Northwestern Nebraska, along with her husband, three children, two cats, and a yellow lab. She is a bit of a workaholic with a full-time day job, working as a freelance graphic designer and formatter in her spare time, as well as squeezing in her writing. Rachel is also passionate about her faith and stays involved in her church as much as she can. She enjoys the quiet outdoors, loves to travel, and often craves spicy foods. She considers herself to be a helper by nature and wants nothing more than to see other artists succeed in the areas they are most passionate about.

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

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

I’m excited to be one of many authors sharing information about Anzel Spectrus by Rachel A. Olson.

Rowan by Holly Bargo #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.

Holly Bargo never outgrew a love of fairy tales, legends, and myths. Or horses. However, one foot must remain firmly planted in the real world where Holly makes her living as a freelance writer and editor. She and her husband have two grown children and live on a southwest Ohio hobby farm with a menagerie indoor and outdoor animals.

Holly enjoys hearing from readers and other authors and may be contacted via the Hen House Publishing website: http://www.henhousepublishing.com.

When she’s not working on other people’s documents or reading, Holly finds time to transfer the voices in her head to paper … er … computer. If she doesn’t, there’s a definite possibility her mind will explode.

And for those who might wonder from where the pseudonym of Holly Bargo came, it’s quite simple really. Horses. Namely an elegant and temperamental Appaloosa mare who has long since crossed the Rainbow Bridge and is fondly remembered for guarding toddler children and crushing a brand-new pager.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Rowan (Branch 1 of the Tree of Life) by Holly Bargo ~ Genre: Paranormal Romance

Nearly a century ago, Rowan Nemed died by lightning strike. The divine bolt ignited something magic and she was transformed into something rare, powerful, and fey: Sidhe.

Sidhe survival depends much upon one’s ability to remain hidden from other supernatural creatures and magic users who would exploit them. Rowan has lived for several years in the pressure cooker of Hollywood as a set designer, carefully staying away from the camera. However, a spontaneous act of recognition for her work brings Rowan to the notice of Los Angeles’ supernatural community and her freedom is threatened.

Lion shifter Adrian and vampire Simon are best friends and business partners. When they discover Rowan, each wants her for his own. Rowan does her best to dissuade them, for a supernatural matebond means the end of her freedom.

Then demons begin hunting sidhe and Rowan is a prime target. She agrees to exchange her freedom for survival. But which male will Rowan accept? And can she survive when one of them dies in a battle to keep her?

This is the first of three books in The Tree of Life trilogy. The book can be read as a stand-alone novel.

Mature content not suitable for readers under 18. Content has been proofread, edited, and updated.

Goodreads * Amazon 

Would you like a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card, an eBook of Rowan, an eBook of Cassia, or an eBook of Willow? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

What’s in a Name?

By Holly Bargo

I put a lot of thought into my characters’ names. Sometimes, a character’s name pops into my mind without much cogitation at all; other times, I’ll go through several iterations of a character’s name until I settle on one that just feels right.

Sometimes names have personal connotations. For instance, I’ve known a few people with the first name of Kim (or Kimberly). I’ve loathed all but one of them and won’t use that name for one of my heroines. I’ll probably use it for a villain, though.

When writing Rowan, I wanted to use a name that wasn’t too common, yet had significance. In many stories, the rowan tree is associated with witchcraft and magic. That made it perfect for my heroine. Her fellow sidhe, Cassia and Willow, followed the theme of plant-based names. Cassia is one species of tree from which cinnamon is harvested. Graceful willow seemed to fit the name of the third heroine in the trilogy.

Sometimes I get alliterative in my naming conventions. I have no idea why. In the Twin Moons Saga, another trilogy, the heroines’ names all begin with C: Catriona, Calista, and Corinne. I prefer choosing names that don’t fall into 100-most-popular lists, as names lend originality and distinction to their characters. On the other hand, I don’t usually favor weird spellings of common names.

Strange or “creative” spelling of a common name annoys me more than not. It reminds me of a passage in Alan King’s satire Help! I’m a Prisoner in a Chinese Bakery. In this sarcastic commentary on creative naming, King speaks of a fictional young man who’s name is pronounced “William,” but that’s not the way it’s spelled. Near the end of that chapter when the young man goes for a job interview, the hiring manager asks him, “What’s your name, son?” The young man’s response: “I’m not sure, sir.” King condemns the trend with a single line showing the effect of creative spelling, something along the lines of “Some bright future this kid’s got.”

I also think it’s important to choose names that fit the culture and period, especially when writing historical fiction. For instance, I know that William Shakespeare invented the name Pamela. Therefore, any appearance of that name in, say, a medieval romance loses credibility with me. Little anachronisms like that annoy me to no end and affect my enjoyment of the book.

It’s also important in other genres to create names that the reader has a hope of pronouncing. Douglas Addams’ series beginning with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy takes creative naming conventions to their absurd extreme, including one minor character whose name is composed entirely of punctuation. Prince Rogers Nelson wasn’t the first to adopt that silliness when he changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol.

Names affect the reader’s perception of a character. Choose them with care.

I’m happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about Rowan by Holly Bargo.

The Reluctant Wizard by A.A. Warne

The Reluctant Wizard by A.A. Warne ~ Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

By day, wizards rule the world. At night, warlocks seek to destroy it. Now, one boy will challenge them both. 

Eli never wanted to be a rebel. All he wants is an end to the famine and war threatening his community. To save his mother and baby brother from marauding warlocks, Eli is forced to make a heartbreaking decision. He must travel to Terra Magicae, the mysterious land of the wizards, to study magic. In exchange, the wizards will protect his family, but this protection comes at a price: once Eli enters the Grand Wizardry Academy, he may never come home. 

Full of lush landscapes and magical marvels, Terra Magicae is more wondrous than Eli ever imagined… and more dangerous. At first, Eli’s struggles to fit in at the Academy seem ordinary. But the more he questions the wizards, the more he suspects a sinister purpose behind their bizarre rules and tests. For a dark secret lies at the heart of this mystical land, one so terrible it threatens not only the students at the Academy but the lives of everyone Eli loves. 

To save them all, Eli must step into the midst of the battle between the wizards and warlocks and defy both sides. He must become the rebel he was always meant to be.

Add to Goodreads * Amazon * B&N * Smashwords


Would you like a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!


A. A. Warne writes elaborate, strange, dark and twisted stories. In other words, speculative fiction.
Located at the bottom of the Blue Mountains in Sydney, Australia; Amanda was born an artist and grew up a painter before deciding to study pottery.
But it wasn’t until she found the art of the written word that her universe expanded.
A graduate of Western Sydney University in arts, Amanda now spends her time wrestling three kids and writing full time.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Goodreads * Amazon

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?

            I was never really interested in books as a child. I had a few stories read to be here and there but nothing grabbed my attention. I loved art and I always believed I was going to grow up and become an artist. I studied painting and pottery after high school and I love creating sculptures.
            But as I became a mother, these messy arts were not practical. My baby hated to sleep. She rather stay awake all day and play with me. So I put aside my art while she was young.

            For a creative being, this was not a good idea. A creative person MUST create. My friend noticed that I was struggling and she threw a book at me. Twilight. I laughed. I didn’t read! But she made me read all of it. And I did. Then I went out and brought book two, then three and by the time I finished reading book four, I starting brainstorming ideas for my own book.

            The best part about writing is there are never ending possibilities.

            It started as a way to be creative but it wasn’t until I spoke to a friend about the story I was creating and she encouraged me to keep going. Since then, I haven’t stopped.

            I now write everyday and clock forty hours a week, writing, brainstorming, researching and now publishing.

What is something unique/quirky about you?

            Even though I have a great life, wonderful family and seriously interesting kids, I often live inside my head. If I’m not researching something strange or wacky, I’m creating it mentally. Stories have been a huge part of my life, especially as a kid. I always had a movie playing in the background while I was painting or creating some time of art. Little did I know, that as I listened, I was developing skills that helped me discover the structure and the composition of a story. Now it has become something natural that ticks over in the back of my mind while I focus on characters, worlds and what’s happening for them.

Tell us something really interesting that’s happened to you!

I met a wonderful author who is just as wild and crazy as I am, Michelle Crow. She lives on the opposite side of the planet and as soon as we met, it was like we had always known each other. In fact, we’ve gone onto writing a book together, she has been my bridesmaid, and we plan on visiting one another so many times in the next couple of years. She is the one who gave me the Madame of Darkness title. Even though we live in two different countries, that hasn’t stopped us from talking everyday, knowing what’s going on in each other’s lives, and supporting one another in writing.

What are some of your pet peeves?

            Contradictions! I can see them a mile away. But don’t get me wrong, I do them myself. There’s nothing like saying I’m going to eat clean and healthy but then I buy chocolate… okay, I know that’s a contradiction, but I have weaknesses too!

Where were you born/grew up at?

            I live at the bottom of the Blue Mountains, in Western Sydney, Australia. I am third generation in this town and we don’t have plans on moving anytime soon.
            Western Sydney is a large place, with the majority of Australia’s population here. I can see the mountains from my home, and yes, they are blue.

Who is your hero and why?

            I do love superheroes and anyone super-human. But in real life, it’s the everyday person. Each and everyone does amazing things. Look after sick parents, survive a horrific car accident, go on adventures and to me that is amazing. We live our lives and we’re not amazed by our own steps we take across the planet. So for me, a hero is someone who sets a goal and walks the path until it’s achieved. If we get knocked down, fail, detoured, or sidetrack but get back up and keep going, that’s even more amazing and that’s what I define as a hero – someone who achieves their inner purpose in their life.

What kind of world ruler would you be?

Oh rulers! I actually hate that word. It means to stand over a group of people and dictate their lives. Instead of that position, I prefer leader. Leaders mean so much more. A leader can also be part of the team. If a leader is part of the same team, and not above them, then they can ensure that freedom remains possible so that we can chose how to live our own lives. Leaders can be pushed aside and replaced, questioned and scrutinized – anyone who has that position should always be questioned at the very least. A ruler doesn’t have that same scrutinization which is sad because it trickles traits into a society that will easily diminish the importance of a group. Together humans are strong and we’re even stronger when we work together harmoniously.

I am excited to be one of many tour hosts sharing information on The Reluctant Wizard by A.A. Warne.

Beyond the Gardens by Sandra C. Lopez

Beyond the Gardens by Sandra C. Lopez ~ Genre: Teen Fiction

At the age of 18, Esperanza Ignacio begins her college years at an upscale Los Angeles art school, where she studies to fulfill her long-term dream in Animation. But she soon learns the truth to the old folktale: “you can take the girl out of the barrio, but you can’t take the barrio out of the girl.” Even though she’s getting financial aid, Esperanza works a part-time job during her break from classes just to make ends meet. Her roommate, Anna, is what she calls a “chicana from Beverly Hills” because of the rich daddy and the new car she got for her quinceañera.

Things get a little confusing for Esperanza when an old friend comes looking for her, hoping to start a meaningful relationship. But is Carlos the right guy for her? She never even considered him to be anything more than a friend since high school. Then comes Jake, a gorgeous mechanic, who shares her passion for books and loves her for who she is. What’s a girl to do?

Strength and determination help pave the way for the future. And, as she approaches her graduation, she is faced with a difficult decision: should she leave Los Angeles and leave behind her family, her home, and everything she’s known? Ever since she was born in the California barrio of Hawaiian Gardens, she’s always had to look over the fence, wondering what she’s been missing. Now she’s taking a flying leap over to see what’s beyond the little barrio. What’s beyond her family, her friends, and her past? What’s beyond the little nothing town, where dreams don’t exist? What’s beyond The Gardens? Is it life, love, a future? The story of Esperanza is finally concluded in this wildly entertaining and heart-warming sequel.

**Only .99 cents!!**

Goodreads * Amazon

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


Sandra C. López is one of today’s influential Latina authors in Young Adult literature. Her first novel, Esperanza: A Latina Story, was published in March 2008 WHILE she was still in college. Since then she has published several other books, including the Single Chicas series. She was named as one of “2011 Top Ten New Latino Authors to Watch” by Latino Stories, and her book, Beyond the Gardens, was a Silver Medal winner of the 2016 Global Ebook Awards in Multicultural Fiction and won first place in the Int’l Latino Book Awards. She also works as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer. Art, literature, and travel are her passions, and she aims to keep doing them as long as she can. For inquiries regarding events and projects, please contact her directly.

Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Amazon * Goodreads


Q: First, tell us how you came to be a published author and how you came up with the idea to provide reviews to authors.

A: I wrote my first novel, Esperanza: A Latina Story, WHILE I was still in college. The book follows the story of a 14-year old Mexican-American girl trying to get out of the barrio and make something of her life. Full of humor and refreshing dialogue, this book was voted as an inspirational favorite by teen readers. Shortly after that, I wrote the sequel entitled Beyond the Gardens, published in October 2009.

In the second book, the lead heroine gains new confidence and strength as she learns the hard way that “you can take the girl out of the barrio, but you can’t take the barrio out of the girl.”

I write stories with strong and independent female characters that I, myself, would like to read about. When I’m not writing, I get my fill on reading for the enjoyment as well as to improve my craft. Like every published author, I was emailing book bloggers, asking them to please review my book. But, like querying to a publisher, most of them were unresponsive and some weren’t interested. And, of course, I used paid services that would list my book in their newsletters, reaching potential readers that may or may not review my book. That worked out okay. But let’s face it: getting reviews is tough. It’s hard when your book isn’t well publicized and no one is willing to give it chance. That’s what started my book blog. Initially, it started as just a blog for my own personal reviews on books that I read. At that point, I started taking requests from authors and publishers. My own personal review would be free, but, of course, like every other blogger, I only chose the ones that I wanted and rejected those that I didn’t. Yes, my readings tastes are pretty open in a wide variety of genres, but there are some that just don’t really interest me (i.e. westerns, politics sports, etc.) So how do I help those rejected authors get reviews? After all, I couldn’t possibly review them all. That’s when I came up with the idea of starting a book club of readers and a review program to supply authors with more reviews besides the one that I give them. Readers can sign up to get free books from authors, and authors can get reviews for their books. It’s a simple, easy, and convenient program. And it’s working!

Q: How can this review program benefit writers?

A: The review program allows authors to list their books and reach a wide range of readers. It’s been a hit so far! About 85% of participating authors get at least 1 – 2 reviews on Amazon, and we receive over 50 reviews a month from readers. And the best part about it is that we offer free ways for authors to list their book in our program. As an author, I totally understand that budgets can be tight, which makes it harder (maybe even impossible) to promote your books. Most authors shy away to any promo service when there’s a price. What better price is there than FREE?

Q: What do you think is the most important aspect of a book to make it sell?

A: The story itself along with a fabulous cover is definitely important. But probably the most important would have to be reviews. Let’s face it: reviews are the life blood of any book. More reviews equal a greater online exposure and a higher sales ranking, which, could result in sales. My book, Single Chicas, has over 70 reviews, and that has given me more royalties on Kindle sales. The reviews made the difference because before I got no royalties, and now I’m surprised to actually see one come through knowing that I didn’t do any promotion. Book reviews are definitely the key thing here.

Q: How is your author review program unique?

A: My review program is unique because I offer a free option for authors, and I do that because I want authors of all kinds to get a fair chance at getting reviews for their books. Every book deserves a review. These are HONEST and LEGIT reviews. There is no buying reviews here. Readers are free to choose any book and reserve the right in whether or not a review gets posted. It’s all strictly voluntary and 100% honest.

Q: Are you working on any projects at the moment?

A: I am currently working on Book 2 of the Single Chicas series, which is a series of short stories focusing on funny, zany, and wildly entertaining chicas.

Q: How can authors and readers sign up to your review program?

For authors interested in submitting their book to get reviews, please go to: https://sandrasbookclub.blogspot.com/2015/02/submission-guidelines.html

For readers interested in signing up to read free books, please go to: https://sandrasbookclub.blogspot.com/2019/09/read-review-program.html


I’m excited to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about Beyond the Gardens by Sandra C. Lopez.

The Dead Girl Under The Bleachers by Donna M. Zadunajsky

The Dead Girl Under the Bleachers

A Craven Falls Mystery Book 1

by Donna M. Zadunajsky

Genre: YA Mystery

Three girls…

Three dead bodies…

The quiet town of Craven Falls is depleting in population. One by one…

Scarlet Fitzgerald thought it would be fun to play a game on Laura Stevenson, a nobody at Craven Falls High. But what happens when the game unleashes buried secrets Scarlet doesn’t want anyone to know? Secrets that could get someone killed, including herself.

Three can play a game, but one of them ends up dead…

Goodreads* Amazon


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


Donna M. Zadunajsky started out writing children’s books before she wrote and published her first novel, Broken Promises, in June 2012. She since has written several more novels and her first novella, HELP ME! Book 1 in the series, which is about teen suicide and bullying.

Website* Facebook* Twitter* Bookbub* Amazon* Goodreads


What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?

Fly Away by Kristen Hannah, Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks, Misery by Stephen King, These Hidden Things, Before She was Found, and One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf, A Husband’s Secret and Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

What book do you think everyone should read?

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

How long have you been writing?

Fifteen years

Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?

As I write.

What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?

I do lots of research, though it depends of the plot of the story. In Family Secrets ‘Secrets and Second Chances’ Book 1 was about breast cancer and the main character worked for NASA, so a lot of research was done to know her education and what she was about to go through with the cancer. Every book is different.

Do you see writing as a career?

 I do and hope that one day I can make a living just writing. It’s like having coffee in the morning. I can’t function unless I write something each day.

What do you think about the current publishing market?

I wish there were more literary agents that could and would give us self-publishers a chance. Just because we self-publish our books doesn’t mean they are poorly written. I spend a great deal of money having all my books edited very well before I publish them. The book cover is very important to me as it is the first thing you see before picking up the book and reading the summary. I am one who based a book on its cover.

Do you read yourself and if so, what is your favorite genre?

I love to read books. I read every day. Mystery book and YA romance stories. Oh, and books based on real life events.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?

Write in silence because I get lost inside my head and I can’t think with interruptions.

Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?

One, usually, but if an idea comes to me, I will write it down.

If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?

Misery

Pen or typewriter or computer?

Computer

What made you want to become an author, and do you feel it was the right decision?

I love to write stories. Yes, I do believe it’s the right decision because only I can write the stories I’ve written.

A day in the life of the author?

I get up at 5 a.m., write until 7 a.m. get ready for work, leave the house at 7:20 a.m. Come home at 5 p.m. Shower, cook, watch some TV, read and go to bed around 9:30 p.m.

Advice you would give new authors?

Read and write as often as possible

What makes a good story?

The plot and characters

What are you currently reading?

The Upside of Falling by Alex Light

What is your writing process? For instance, do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?

 I have a plot that comes to me and then start writing and let the rest come to me.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Not having enough time to write in a day.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I’m an original writer

If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be?

Start writing in high school. Take more creative writing classes

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

If the words are coming out of me, 6 months

I am excited to be one of many tour hosts sharing information on The Dead Girl Under the Bleachers by Donna M. Zadunajsky.

Dreya Love Series by Dana Lyons

“Unlike some writers, I was not born knowing I would be a writer. But hindsight shows me every moment of my life was all in preparation for this job. In 2002 I suddenly had the time and the means to begin the process of learning the craft. Amidst all the conventions and seminars and on-line classes, a level of ability was born. At the same time, the characters began popping up in my head along with their stories.

“I continue writing because readers say my stories give them something to think about. THAT is all the encouragement I need.

“Follow my lead, and I will take you to worlds ancient and contemporary for adventures of the heart, mind, and spirit.”

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


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


Transformation (Dreya Love Book 1) by Dana Lyons ~ Genre: Reverse Harem Paranormal Romance, Crime Thriller

Surviving attempted murder by genetic modification left FBI Special Agent Dreya Love with a new life. Now she just has to stay alive.

Agent Dreya Love prefers to work alone. But when her friend, a senator’s daughter, is killed, she’s forced to partner with Detective Rhys Morgan, or get assigned to ‘the backside of hell.’  More deaths with bodies matching their first victim brings Interpol Agent Quinn Kingston to the team. 
As their investigation uncovers a secret genetic research program, a government cover-up, and a warning to ‘walk away,’ the case turns deadly. 
The hunt for a killer, a boutique drug, and an unearthly ingredient unite these three in ways they couldn’t imagine.  Soon, they discover the truth leads to a hell they never knew existed.

Goodreads* Amazon


Blood and Fire (Dreya Love Book 2) by Dana Lyons

On a black-ops space station, a blood thirsty dragon shifter goes on a killing spree–until Dreya and her team get in the way.
Welcome to the backside of hell—Draco Station.
On Draco Station, an ultra-secret installation over the planet Draco Prime, mining Vulkillium is a mega billion-dollar business. But to work the surface you need a special kind of human—a Draco Demon.
When bodies start turning up on the space station, Dreya Love and her team set out to investigate, and come face to face with Dr. Anthony Lazar. Dr. Lazar is brilliant. Unfortunately for humanity, he’s also insane. He has a vision of humanity’s future and the tools to implement his twisted ideals. After all, he is smarter than God.
A madman, a dragon with dreams of blood and fire, and a sheriff with a grudge—all complicate the search for answers. If Dreya’s not careful, she and her team could end up dead … or worse.
Follow Special Agent Dreya Love and her men, Rhys Morgan, and Quinn Kingston as their lives change and entwine … forever … in ways they could never imagine.
Dana Lyons combines crime mystery, reverse harem, and shape shifters for an exciting out-of-this-world paranormal romance … with a double dash of the unexpected!

Goodreads* Amazon


Secrets (Dreya Love Book 3) by Dana Lyons

A serial killer is murdering for love, and he has Dreya Love in his sights.
There’s no going back.
Martin Nash was once seven years old and longed for words of love from his mother. At thirty-five, he knows he’s never going to hear them from her. But he’s willing to kill for as long as it takes … until someone tells him the words.

As Dreya, Rhys, Quinn, and Simon discover the dangerous position they’re in by being Noble, they search for a way to fit exceptional into their everyday life. While old habits provide a never-ending challenge going forward, no one would go back. 

Nobility transformed them and their lives.
Nobility, a genetic modification created by Dr. Anthony Lazar, uses latent animal DNA to cage the human ego and bring mankind a higher moral code free of envy, greed, and jealousy. Noble means possessing an exceptional character in the face of adversity. Dreya, Rhys, Quinn, and Simon discover being Noble and exceptional in a human world isn’t easy.

In the midst of this uncertainty, Dreya puts herself in the line of fire with a serial killer who has a fetish for eyeballs. What she doesn’t know is … 
Nothing is safe and nowhere is private. 
It’s not a good time to have secrets.

Goodreads* Amazon


Sole Survivor (Dreya Love Book 4) by Dana Lyons

A haunted forest, a broken man, a pack fighting for survival.
Can Dreya and the boys heal Quinn’s pain, or is staying a wolf the only answer for him?
Sasha Ivanov, sold as a young boy into slavery, becomes a monster in the relentless drive to never be a victim again. Deemed the worst of the worst by Dr. Anthony Lazar, the geneticist who wants to remake the human race, Sasha discovers he will never be the same.
Quinn Kingston knows what Dr. Lazar can do from personal experience. But as a Nobilized and highly evolved human, is he able to forgive Ivanov of the most heinous acts?

Goodreads* Amazon


Nobility (Dreya Love Book 5) by Dana Lyons

They can save each other, but can they save the world?

Simon and the team pursue a betrayal from his past and stumble upon a diabolical plot for global genocide. As they endeavor to stop this, clues lead them to a prominent list of participants … all above the law.

In this thrilling final book in the series, the team comes to understand what it means to be a pack … and to be Nobilized.

Find your heroes in this reverse harem, shifter, crime thriller series. A strong intelligent woman, three alpha males, an inseparable pack. If you want deep romance slow burning until it catches fire, with enough twists to keep you on your toes, you’ll love Dreya Love!

Goodreads* Amazon


I’m excited to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about the Dreya Love Series by Dana Lyons.

ABRACADABRA ~ giveaway

ABRACADABRA by K. Stevens
Genre: Paranormal Urban Fantasy

Magic and mayhem are his middle names. Figuratively. Not literally. He’s not sure he even has a middle name, let alone two.

Rod’s a trickster by trade, magician by hobby, and thief by night. But when an old friend hunts him down and asks a favor, he can’t refuse. Mostly because she’ll likely try to kill him before asking again. But also because it presents a very interesting puzzle: to hunt down what a half-elf, magic weapons, and a killer-led cult of shapeshifters have to do with each other.

Lucky for him, Rod has the ability to be in three places at once. The problem? Even he can’t always tell which him is the real him.

Add to Goodreads | B&N | Kobo | Books2Read


From an early age, K. Stevens devoured all things magical and mystical. To this day, she hesitantly struggles to keep one foot in reality while the rest of her remains firmly rooted in the fantastic and insane. In 2015, she finally worked up enough courage to share her stories with more than just her family, and was encouraged by the fact that she wasn’t eaten alive for it. She may be the crazy lady that talks to bugs and stares incessantly into the sky, but don’t mind her. She’s just thinking.

Website* Facebook* Twitter* Instagram* Tumblr* Pinterest* Goodreads


Would you like a chance to win some ABRACADABRA SWAG? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

At the time of writing this, I have no idea what’s happening. I don’t know if we’ve flattened the curve, or if things have increased. I don’t know the nation is on lockdown or if we’re coming out of the fog. I just don’t know. Hopefully, things have come right and this post is recently outdated. A late call, if you will. I’m known for those, lol.

But a call for hope is never outdated, in my book. Hope, peace, and balance. While we can always see the things that are missing, the things that can rob us of the positive, it gets harder and harder to see the things that remain to give us stability; a roof that doesn’t leak, enough food for the day, and the thing that’s started to prevail the most right now: options.

At the time I write this, several businesses are down. Closed their doors. Several people are on lockdown, either self or forced isolation and practicing social distancing. What this has done, however, has provided the luxury of options; businesses that can’t close are finding ways to keep going through options; you can still have things delivered, can still do online transactions, can still find entertainment digitally. A local restaurant started selling bread, meat, and cheese alongside their sandwich delivery. Parents are giving kids options on how to continue learning with quarantine schedules, creative tasks, and at-home projects. And despite distancing, meet-up groups are flocking to digital platforms to keep in touch and are more intentional about following up with each other.

I suppose my encouragement, coming to you from the latter-half of March is this: there’s hope in options, and there are always options. Options on how to see something, options on how to respond, options on how to act. You can’t control the world, but you can control your world.

Seek out the options. Find the hope.

~K Stevens


You’d be surprised how many pirate ships can fit into a magical underground harbor. It was laughable how much Miles’ ship looked like a toy boat compared to the mechanical wonders surrounding it. The huge slats of wood on either side and bottom of his ship didn’t help the notion. It was considered “old-fashioned” to still have a wooden hull — not to mention dangerous if there wasn’t an ample amount of protection behind it. Apparently Miles happened to be an old-fashioned type of guy.

The wood was old, but had a bright sheen to it as if Miles had gone over it was some sort of gloss. One could only hope it was for protection and not decoration. It had a pointed nose and a narrow rudder, the sides bulging and creaking as it teetered in place. Large metallic fins stuck out from either side with a single larger fin protruding from the deck, and all three were  pulled tight against the ship, resulting in the ship looking even smaller.

To be honest, it looked kind of like a giant fish.

As if its size and shape weren’t enough to make it stand out, two cannon noses poked out near the front like a pair of empty eyes while something akin to a huge sniper barrel rested on the deck.

Miles motioned to an old rope ladder clanking along the side. He flashed a mischievous smile to Olyvia, who was clearly uncomfortable with the whole affair and rethinking her deal.

“Ladies first,” he said.


I am excited to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about ABRACADABRA by K. Stevens.

The Straton Trilogy ~ giveaway

The Final Act (The Straton Trilogy Book 1) by F.R. Merrill
Genre: Suspense

Bright lights. Curtain calls. A cruel and unsuspected murder

What is the price of success, and are you willing to pay that price? These are questions F.R. Merrill poses in her debut novel, The Final Act, a thrilling work of suspense set in Broadway.

F.R. Merrill takes us into the life of an assistant producer, Faith Straton who is just one step from bringing her Native American production to Broadway. As she inches closer to her dream, however, things start falling apart. A friend is lost forever, and Faith Straton discovers she is a target for murder.

A professional storyteller and short story writer of more than 15 years, F.R. Merrill’s first novel promises to be a gripping page-turner that’ll not only entertain and thrill readers, but also enthrall them with fascinating insights into Native American culture. The author’s mastery and understanding of human nature and motivations arms the book with all the necessary elements to be a memorable and touching read with valuable life lessons that we can apply to our own lives.
The Final Act will have you confronting many of the most difficult questions that plague our times – from the value of financial success and popularity to the importance of other people in our lives. It’s certain to earn a spot as one of the most meaningful and most enriching books to be published this year.

Goodreads * Amazon


Crossroads (The Straton Trilogy Book 2) by F.R. Merrill
Genre: Suspense

Mountain ranges, Ocean Breezes, And Revenge

Seven women come together to journey across Spain. Unsuspected, one member arrives with hatred in her heart and revenge is her only mission.

Lives are threatened, emotions peaked, and miracles abound on this physically demanding hike over 550 miles of Spain’s most beautiful countryside.

This story will appeal to ages 16 to 70 who enjoy stories of determination, travel, history, and suspense.

Note: Characters from a previous book mature in this book. The title of that book is THE FINAL ACT, From Woodstock to Broadway. It too is a short read.

Goodreads * Amazon


Murder in Mosaic (The Straton Trilogy Book 3) by F.R. Merrill
Genre: Suspense

ROMANCE, THE ART OF MOSAICS, AND BETRAYAL

As an unpublished manuscript, MURDER IN MOSAIC won in the Amsterdam Book Festival. The third in the Straton trilogy, before Amanda Straton entrenches into a new life in Florida, she takes time to visit her parents and a friend in Washington, D.C. Then it’s off to Italy to study mosaics. Unprepared she faces the dark force that pursued her in her youth. Evil returns with a vengeance. At the end, the ultimate question that remains, who will pay evil’s demands?

Goodreads * Amazon


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

F. R. Merrill, author of the Straton Trilogy) The Final Act, Crossroads, and Murder in Mosaic, and storyteller since 1993 bases her stories on adventures from cycling across the U.S. in several directions, cycling the Almafi Coast, cycling from Vienna to Budapest, cycling the Himalayas in Bhutan, and more. She hiked the Camino Del Norte in Spain in 2006, and since childhood has always painted and sculpted. She’s devoted to studies relating to her Native American heritage, and spiritual understanding.

Merrill is married, lives in Melbourne, Fl., assists The Special Spotlight Theater, (helping the challenged build pride through dance), and is a member of the Florida Historical Society, Brevard Cultural Alliance, and Zonta International (fighting against human trafficking).

Website * Twitter * Amazon * Goodreads


I’m excited to be one of many hosts sharing information on The Straton Trilogy by F. R. Merrill. Check it out on Amazon HERE!