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Book Tour+Review: Dark Days of Promise by Shaunna Gonzales

 Dark Days of Promise by Shaunna Gonzales
Publication Date: July 29, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Thirty-four year old Vicki Laramie must learn to trust before she can love, but she might die trying.

 

While Vicki’s children grapple with the death of their father — a man whom she’s successfully fabricated as loving, a lie her rebellious teenager recognizes — she must find a way to support her family and find a role model for her boys. She never intends to fall for Staff Sergeant Chase, her best friend’s son, who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She’d much rather choose a safer man to love, but her children have a voice in the decision she makes. With two deaths to deal with, a suitor after her money, a rebellious son, and Sergeant Chase’s repeated attacks, she can only hope to survive the danger she faces. If she doesn’t, her children will be left without either parent.

 

 

 

Shaunna Gonzales currently resides with her family in the greater Seattle area. Married over thirty years, her role as wife and mother of four continue to be her priorities.

 

A storyteller in her youth, she endevored to extend her love of stories to the written word and in 2005 began to write her first novel. Though that manuscript will remain buried, she has continued to learn. Once told by her doctors that she would never leave her wheelchair — due to her Multiple sclerosis. It has been tucked in a closet while she continues on. (In other words muddles on.)

 

Shaunna has worked as a professional reviewer for InD’Tales eMagazine for three years. In 2012 she also served as the vice president of Moonwriters, the on-line chapter of American Night Writers Association (ANWA She prefers to write romantic fiction and has ventured into the romantic suspense, and time-travel genres. Her debut novel, Dark Day s of Promise was released by Desert Breeze Publishing in 2012 re-released 2015.

 

Although she prefers to spend her days writing, she is willing to share what she has learned from the school of life and is often found “giving back.”

Connect with the Author here: 
Time lost its meaning as my soul cried out to God. I didn’t think God would care for a single mother of three, but I pleaded anyway. My feelings vacillated between a peace I couldn’t convince myself existed, and frustrated loneliness. Maybe God had left me alone… in more ways than I thought possible. Heck, I didn’t care. Anger laced my emotions, growing dominant. I was mad at life and mad at God for making it so hard. It wasn’t fair! Janine’s words echoed in my mind. “He didn’t promise it would be fair, or easy. He promised it would be worth it.” I wasn’t sure, but Janine proved right about so many things. Maybe I would start paying attention to what she said. Maybe. Of one thing I became sure during those dark hours. It was time for me to stand on my own two feet. Marshall would never return. Hope springs eternal, as a flower poised to bloom in spring, trembling in its reach for the sun. Would I bloom or whither at the first sign of frost?
War is never easy to talk about it, much less explain to loved ones what happened over there to make you act the way that you do. War destroys lives, war changes lives, and war stays with you even when you have come away with your battle scars. Soldiers who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, simply cannot turn off their trigger zones, nor do they expect those around them to understand the affects from the experiences that they’ve lived through. But still there is hope. Gonzales asserts an impossible situation upon a family of four, to show her readers that these things really do happen. Death and loss happen on an everyday basis, to those who do not deserve it and to those who are already gravely suffering from other burdens in life. This author encompasses a sensitive subject and combines it with a second chance at happiness.
Vicki Laramie has three children, and receives the horrendous news that her ex-husband and the father of her children, has died in combat. She looks to her best friend and neighbor, Janine Chase, for her wisdom and guidance on how to break the news to her children and live with the sudden loss of a parent, income, and companionship. When Janine’s son Kelly comes home from his tour, he promises his mother that he would never go back. He has a lot of problems, which make themselves known after he begins feeling an emotional and intimate connection to his friend’s wife, the friend who gave his life during the war, his only request to protect his family after he is gone. Vicki learns that the war has done something to Kelly, making it hard to trust him and it is not his fault, nor can she fault him for not being able to control it. Touching him sometimes triggers a war zone survival mentality, making him potentially dangerous to not only her, but her children as well. Can Vicki learn to trust Kelly enough to make a relationship work for her children’s sake? They need a father, but what are the lengths that she is willing to go to protect them when her happiness may be on the line as well?

Gonzales has a superb story-line and exceptional character development. All of her characters have such depth that will intrigue the reader and allow them to feel emotions like sympathy, hope, and determination. The pace is absolutely terrific; it is fast-paced, inspirational and the content is credible. The oldest child acting out, another child concerned for his mother’s safety, and Vicki’s reliance on religious faith are all credible factors after suffering from the loss of a parent. There are little to no errors in the context, which make it that much more enjoyable for the reader. If you are a reader of contemporary romance, this story will not disappoint.

 

A copy of this book was provided to Turning Another Page by Loving the Book, but this in no way affects our honest opinion of the book or the review that has been written. We provide a five-star rating for Dark Days of Promise by Shaunna Gonzales.

Was he telling me the truth about Carter calling? I wasn’t sure. The reality of whether or not I’d survive the night and claim I’d made the right choice to accept a ride from such a dangerous man was, as of yet, to be determined. A fierce battle raged within me. Although grateful for the ride, and the warmth of his Jeep, a cold shudder of terror slithered up my spine every time he glanced my direction. The locked door added to my apprehension. Cold overwhelmed me again.

He exercised a considerable amount of care in adjusting the army blanket higher across my chest with one hand. His warm hand brushed against my skin. I flinched, wanting to scream, but managed to keep it in check, in all honesty because I couldn’t … The phantom pressure of his hands lingered at my throat.

 

It seemed incomprehensible. I’d once thought him in need of my comfort, only to have him turn on me, becoming a killer. Never, if I lived forever, would I forget the coldness in his eyes at the moment I knew I’d die. The memory of his eyes, the cold purposeful reflection of them, caused me to shudder. I couldn’t bring myself to look at him. Would his seeming gentleness be absent, replaced instead by the killer I knew existed behind the veil of concern for my well-being? Though good-looking, he’d proved beyond dangerous — he’d proven deadly. He’d held my life in his hands. The option of my continued breathing his choice and his alone. I wasn’t at all sure by what fate I continued to breathe and feared it had been a calculated move on his part to heighten my terror. He’d measured me well if such were his intentions.

 

It required a firm determination on my part to remain calm. In the subconscious recesses of my mind, I considered myself his prisoner. Distrust replaced my calm acceptance of his explanation of finding me with emphatic surety. I tried in vain to calm my instincts to run should the opportunity present itself.

 

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Cover Reveal: Soul Mirrors by Wiley A Haydon III

 

My love of storytelling traces back to my step-mother, who spun wonderful fantasy stories when I was child. I finished my first novel at sixteen. That first attempt was terrible, but taught me quite a bit about story construction. Though I would start numerous other projects in the following years, I wouldn’t actually complete another book for another 21 years. 

I wasn’t idle in that time, though. I earned a degree in engineering, married the love of my life, worked as a semi- truck driver crisscrossing the country, moved from Texas to North Dakota and then came back home. 
It’s been a fun and interesting journey. I really enjoy engineering, but writing was my first passion, and I’m excited to share it with you.
I currently live in West Texas with my wife and our two adorable (but weird) cats.
Connect with the Author here: 
 ~ Website

“No one knows how human genetics evolved to create Mirrors. No one knows how the evidence of a criminal’s last horrendous act can be confirmed in a single gaze of a child’s silvered eyes. But just because science can’t explain something doesn’t mean it can’t be used, and this gift is simply too valuable to ignore. 

Twins Thomas and Ashley Ross have grown up knowing they would be used as Mirrors for the “good” of humanity. When their powers mature at age twelve, they are taken weekly to fulfill their role. By reliving the most heinous crimes from a perpetrators’ perspective, they alone can assure that no innocent people will be executed, and that the worst offenders are not set free due to lack of evidence.

Justice is not without cost, however. Taking on the memories of others is a destructive process, one that quickly consumes the children involved until most take their own lives. As despair threatens to drown Thomas and Ashley, a distant hope keeps them from succumbing: If they can make it to their eighteenth birthday, their contract with the government will be fulfilled. Changing views on the morality of their role threatens to tear
them apart, but the twins struggle to cling to each other and try to construct a fragile life above the weekly flood of horrors. 

As their work takes it toll, however, a new question emerges: does survival even matter when you’re already broken beyond repair?”

 
And now for the Cover
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Book Tour: Evidence is Lacking. Yet I Still Hope by Joan Enders

Joshua Henry Bates, a young teacher of a country school, wonders if there will be more to his life. Yes, there are summers away from the farm, attending the University of Utah, dancing at Saltair, watching pictures shows, and eating ice cream on bone dry days. In his journal he questions his future. He finds a young woman to love, but she is an ever-mutating mystery. His job seems to be a dead-end. His parents need his help more all the time. Josh tries to change his life: cooling the relationship with his girlfriend, teaching in a new school, and registering for service in the American Expeditionary Forces. Still, Joshua is filled with self-doubt. Will Josh marry the girl? Will he find a dazzling life mission? Will he be victorious in war? Each chapter contains one to thirty primary sources from the life of this young man drafted as a doughboy in the Meuse-Argonne Campaign.
 Praise for the book:

If you have ever searched for your own history, or a way to bring history to life, this book is a masterpiece.”

Kelly Milner Halls, author of Saving the Baghdad Zoo

 

 

 

Joan Enders lives in Washington State with her husband Jerry, and loves the Pacific Northwest! For 28 years she taught literature and research skills in school libraries to middle and high school students, and advocated for full-time school librarians in every school. She was a recipient of the American Library Association’s Frances Henne Award for library leadership. 
 
She loved her jobs, often to distraction. Once Joan stayed so late at the school library that the custodians waxed the floors, unaware that she was still upstairs. She crept out the least sticky exit. Joan now teaches librarians on webinars. When not teaching she administers the local Family History Center for FamilySearch International. She enjoys peeling back the research onion for students and adults. That was the motivation for her first book, which replicates her most popular inquiry lesson for U.S. History
students and teachers. Joan speaks in her community, for professional organizations and at genealogy conferences.

 

Connect with the Author here: 

 

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Monster Mash Countdown Blitz Hosted by Loving the Book (Day 12)

Jessica Parker’s adventures in the written world, have occurred as long as she can remember. Reading stories of dragons, magic, romance and the power of one person, inspired Jessica to write stories of her own. Jessica is currently working on a fairy tale series and the sequel to The Bride Trials
Aside from reading and writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, camping, driving four wheelers, swimming, scuba diving, movies and cooking.
Connect with the Author here: 
What if the greatest deception comes from our own heart?
Despite knowing little in expressions of love, Anessa, Queen of the seven covens would set the world on fire if it meant gaining the attentions of Rothe. Despite his past and state of exile, she is determined to remain loyal to the only man to ever claim her love… even if it means stealing the magic mirror of Eventyr. 
But when the shocking truth of Rothe’s intention rises to the surface, Anessa realizes that his dark obsessions are far more than she is prepared to forgive. Caught between the pains of betrayal and the need to gather her courage to face the man she once thought she loved, Anessa steels herself to do whatever it takes to see him fail.
Even if it means making the princess Snow White sleep forever. 
Can Anessa protect the royal family? Or will her own broken heart prove, once and for all, that it really is as evil as the stories say?
 

 

 

Q&A With The Author:
1. When did you start writing, and was there a specific event or person who influenced you to become an author? I started seriously pusuing writing and publishing about a year ago. But a friend about six years ago posted that she was teaching a class. I will always be grateful for the path she showed got me started on.
2.   Are you currently working on a project, and if so, can you tell us anything about it? I am currently working on a fairytale retelling of Snow White & Rose Red as well as the sequel to my book The Bride Trials. Magic, mayhem, happily ever afters? We’ll see.
3.   What is your favorite writing snack? Jolly ranchers.
4.    If you could have dinner with any of your characters, which ones would you choose? Why? What food would you serve? I’d love to have dinner with Theron from Snow White’s Witch. It would be a lot of fun to hear his stories as Knight Captain.
5.  Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? I always learn more about writing as I do it. This story helped me to really see how perceptions are dangerous. One of my Mom’s favorite sayings is, “There are two sides to every story.” I’m glad I was able to explore the Witch’s point of view in Snow White’s Witch.
6.  How do you relax, or what do you enjoy doing when you are not writing? Scuba Diving or reading a book. I love escaping into a different world.
7.  What is your largest unfulfilled dream, and what are you doing to reach it? Making a living on telling stories. I hope one day to leave my day job behind so I can spend more time with my family and travel with them. I’m working on writing as many stories as I can.
8.   What do you fear most? Losing my family. I don’t ever want to be in a position where they aren’t part of my life.
9.   What advice would you give someone who wants to write a book some day? Start, don’t wait for some day. Make that day today even if it is only for a few minutes.
To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 

 

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Book Tour: Storm Child by Melanie Mason

 

16-year-old Eridale Storm must leave the only home she’s ever known and brave the dangers of the unknown wilds to escape capture by Imperial soldiers.
The only safe place is with her mother, who abandoned her to lead the freedom movement when Eridale was just a child. On her journey, Eridale learns that she holds a key role in the confilct between the Empire and the Freedom Fighters. Her choices could lead the people back to freedom or shackle them under the imperial throne forever.
Can Eridale face the heritage that will define the rest of her life?

 

 

Melanie is an author, designer, photographer, and flight attendant all rolled into one. She has told stories all her life and finds her passion in sharing the plots that spin through her head. She now lives in Portland, Oregon, with her two dachshund-chihuahua dogs. She loves the beauty of the Pacific Northwest that feeds her imagination.

When no one is listening, Melanie loves to belt Broadway songs in her living room and car. Someday she hopes to be on a flight where someone is reading her book.

 

Connect with the Author here: 

Scot tugs at my elbow, urging me toward another natural passageway that widens into an open space twice the size of the previous cavern. I stare up at the rounded ceiling above my head. The formation appears natural though the six hollowed openings all around the edges do not. Each of the six openings has a man-made desk situated in it, and each opening looks like it serves a specific purpose. Some have computer screens attached to the wall, others have devices that look like strange ear muffs.

Before I can find out more, Scot leads me down the dimly lit hall to the left. With each step my body tenses. If these people aren’t who they say they are, I’m in big trouble. I scan the area, mentally mapping my surroundings and searching for the best possible escape routes. My fingers tighten on my bow. I take a breath to calm the rising paranoia, telling myself that if they were the enemy, they wouldn’t take a chance leaving me armed.

We turn a corner and enter another cavern. This one is more than triple the size of the first. The whole stinking mountain must be hollow. Several levels of openings, each with their own group of busy people, rise above me to the ceiling nearly forty feet overhead.

My mouth drops open, and my eyes dart around the room, trying to take in everything all at once. On one side of the cave, six computers surround a screen similar to the one Melami used to show Leahli and me the information about Mericon. The people at the computers watch the screen intently, accompanied by a low murmur of voices. Opposite the computers I notice a short passage to another room where, at a glance, I make out all sorts of gadgets and equipment.

On the second level people move around dressed in white coats, and I wonder if they are medicine men and women, or doctors as Tolaree’s textbooks termed them. I turn in a circle, craning my neck to see what is on the third and fourth levels, but my limited height hides them from view.

As I turn, the murmur of voices slows and eventually stops. The eerie silence captures my attention. My gaze comes full circle to meet a slightly older but otherwise mirror-image version of myself. Everything from the petite frame right down to the flaming red hair and violet eyes is the same. My mother, Guinolen Storm.

Now that I regard her in person, I notice the subtle differences between us. Her milky white skin is much paler than mine, and her hair is much tamer and more controlled, with a lot less curl. She’s a fraction of an inch shorter than me, and her mouth is heart-shaped while mine is more oval.

The silence around us makes my stomach twist, and I shift my feet.

Guinolen smiles. “Eridale.”

Her smooth voice holds a lilting hint of an accent. As it sounds across my ears, a thousand brief memories assault me. I remember that voice singing softly in the darkness. I remember it crying as well as fighting. I remember it pledging love to Tanier McClough and later telling me I have a sister. Tears spring to my eyes as these memories flood in, momentarily pushing the harsher feelings back. That lasts for about five seconds before all the longing, sorrow, frustration, and anger return with a vengeance. I swallow hard, working to rein in my tumultuous emotions.

My voice is flat and emotionless when I respond. “Mom.”

 

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Monster Mash Countdown Blitz Hosted by Loving the Book (Day 11)

USAT Bestselling author, Nichole Giles, is the author of The DESCENDANT series and The WATER SO DEEP series. Her dreams include owning a garden full of fairies, riding a unicorn, and taming her pet dragons. She loves traveling to tropical and exotic destinations, driving with the convertible top down, and playing music at full volume while she sings along.

Connect with the Author here: 

 

Recently forced into the underwater city of Atlantis, Emma Harris has managed to avoid marrying the merman who brought her, but her grandfather—the Sea King—insists that joining with the abusive Merrick is inevitable. When Emma discovers a poison that might
restore her human lungs, she goes in search of the rare creature that carries it, prepared to try the poison no matter the cost, so she can return home to her family—and to James.
Since his girlfriend went missing, James’ depression has destroyed his chance at a basketball scholarship and incurred the wrath of his uncle, who was once his strongest supporter. When the police inform him that he’s a suspect in Emma’s mysterious disappearance, James sells his beloved motorcycle to buy a boat so he can find Emma and prove his innocence before going on trial for a murder he didn’t commit.
With destiny against them, it’s only a matter of time before both are imprisoned forever.

 

 

Q&A With The Author:
1.  When did you start writing, and was there a specific event or person who influenced you to become an author? I started writing about the time my youngest child started preschool. Looking back, I think I was searching for something of my own, since I’d finally gotten past the baby/toddler/diaper phase of motherhood. I’d always been a huge reader, and exceptional with my English skills, so when I came across an online writing class, I took it, just for fun. And then I found my first writing conference, and it kind of snowballed from there.
2.  Are you currently working on a project, and if so, can you tell us anything about it? This week I’m working on a deadline! I’m doing a short story for a charity anthology, the proceeds of which will go toward hurricane victims from this year. I have a personal connection to the one that hit Texas, since one of the first towns hit is where I lived a few years ago, so even though I have a long to-do list this fall, I couldn’t say no. So… though it hasn’t been announced yet, I’m now working on a novelette from the Water So Deep world. The series is still complete, as far as I have planned. This is just an extra addition. For charity! Also because this world is the one I’ve worked in most recently, so it’s the freshest in my mind, which helps with the necessary quick turnaround.
3.  What is your favorite writing snack? It really depends on my mood. I have a hard time typing and eating at the same time, especially because I do all my writing on a laptop. But I do get snacky here and there, so usually it’s something easy to grab, and okay to have sit for a while if I strike a good vein on my WIP. Fruit, cheese, crackers, nuts—stuff like that. And occasionally gummy candies, because-obviously!
4.  If you could have dinner with any of your characters, which ones would you choose? Why? What food would you serve? Elise from Sea So Blue. I think I’d serve her snow crab (obvs) because it’s her favorite, and mine too. And I’d tell her that grief is temporary, and encourage her to be happy while she can. (Is that vague enough without being spoilery?)
5.  Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? Oh man. This one actually required a LOT of research. I learned to scuba dive (and did it in the ocean a few times), studied whales and went whale watching, learned about the most dangerous creatures in the sea, and the most poisonous. I had to check facts about criminal procedures with a missing persons’ (thought to be a murder investigation) and what would happen if police suspect foul play but don’t have a body, and also I had to use my knowledge of driving a boat, and learn about a different type than mine. There’s probably more, but that’s a long enough list, I think.
6.  How do you relax, or what do you enjoy doing when you are not writing? If it’s summer, I’m usually out on the lake on our boat. Or near a beach somewhere. Wherever there is water, that’s where I want to be. In the winter, we have snow where I live, so that’s a lot harder. Usually I’m either home reading and enjoying my family, or shopping, because that’s where I go to get out of the house when it’s cold (and I can’t take cold very well).
7.  What is your largest unfulfilled dream, and what are you doing to reach it? I used to say it was to become a bestselling author, but this year, Sea So Blue hit the USA Today bestseller list. My new goal is to make a steady paycheck from my books, and maybe someday sell my movie rights. Oh, also, someday I want to own a beach house—so it wouldn’t hurt to get rich! wink wink
8.  What do you fear most? My husband and/or children being seriously hurt or dying.
9.  What advice would you give someone who wants to write a book some day? No matter how you choose to pursue publishing, study the craft of writing well over and over again. Practice, and never stop practicing, studying, and learning. And never give up just because you get rejected or have a bad review. OH, also, don’t read the reviews!
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Monster Mash Countdown Blitz Hosted by Loving the Book (Day 10)

Lord Belmont’s life ended in Clovis, in the impenetrable darkness beneath the ground where forbidden rites were once held. Lady Gwendolyn was his love, body and soul, and the Demon in Blue Light killed her.

Every year, on the anniversary of Gwen’s death, he returned to Clovis to stand in the cold desolation, hearing the wind moan through the lonely passes, feeling her loss all over again.

On this anniversary, he wasn’t alone in Clovis. He heard the noises rustling in the brush. He smelled the raw river of Shadow tech. Then he saw it:

The claws …
The flicking tail …
The maniacal, glittering eyes fixed on him …
“I’ve been waiting for you,” it said in a grating voice as it attacked.
* * * * *

Far away, across the cosmos in a city of wondrous crystal towers, two people watch in horror as the desperate scene at Clovis unfolds. They had worked so hard, sacrificed so much, even argued for it before the gods. They convinced the gods they were right, that they knew best, and everything would go well.

But, things weren’t going well at Clovis.

If this situation went poorly, then ages worth of work would be lost, and, just possibly, the universe might come to an end.

   

 ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK

 

 

Ren Garcia is a Science Fiction/Fantasy author and Texas native who grew up in western Ohio. He has been writing since before he could write, often scribbling alien lingo on any available wall or floor with assorted crayons. He attended The Ohio State University and majored in English Literature. Ren has been an avid lover of anything surreal since childhood, he also has a passion for caving, urban archeology and architecture. His highly imaginative “League of Elder” book series is published by Loconeal Publishing
  



Connect with the Author here: 
Facebook ~ Website ~ Amazon ~

 

Q&A With The Author:
Tell us about your writing – What genre do you prefer to write? What books, stories, other publications that you’ve written are your personal favorites? Anything new coming up? I write science fiction/fantasy books. Very low on the science, very high on the fantasy. I have a giant-sized imagination that’s extruded from my brain like a slushie at the gas station, and such a genre is well-suited for
me. I don’t think I have a personal favorite, I’m happy with them all. Essentially, I write stories that I like to read. I’m fairly minimalist when it comes to floral descriptions, I’ve been taught plot is king, and I’m a really good plotter. The next book in the series is Book 10: The House of Bloodstein: Perlamum, followed by The House of Bloodstein: Mentralysis. I’m very excited for this series. It should be a lot of fun.
What gets your creative juices going? Do you write to a music, and do you want to share your playlist? I love writing at night–that usually gets my juices flowing. When I listen to music, I usually listen to darker, more depressing sort of tunes. One of my usual soundtracks is “Bella Lugosi’s Dead” by Bauhaus and the soundtrack to the Fear Effect.
What about you as a person? What do you do to relax? Favorite movies or tv shows? Hobbies? I have all sorts of interests. I love caving, I love crawling in the deep unseen places. I also love wandering through huge, craggy buildings like hospitals and old hotels. I really can’t say what my favorite film would be–I have many that I love, and the list changes all the time. My current favorite TV show is “Vikings” on the History Channel though I also like “Longmire” on Netflicks as well.
What color would you wear if you had only one choice? Red and Gray (I’m a Buckeye fan)
What writers inspired you to become an author? Michael Moorcock and Fritz Leiber were my biggest influences. Michael Moorcock taught me to be bold and uninhibited in my writing, while Fritz Leiber taught me how to use my imagination to world build, filling it with all sorts of crazy things.
What organizations do you recommend for those wanting to become writers? Any advice you’d like to share about writing? Writing is a very personal thing. What works for me likely won’t work for another. The best advice I can offer is to have a vision and stick to it. If you believe in your vision, then do not allow negative feedback to sway you from your path. If you have access to a writing group that you trust, then join and hear what they have to say–but, avoid constantly changing your work to suit the needs of others, otherwise your vision will be lost.  
Any special appearances or events coming up that you want to mention? I visit a number of different shows and conventions across the Midwest
If you could have dinner with any of your characters, which ones would you choose? What food would you serve? The Goddess Atha. We will eat manna.
If you could travel anywhere, on earth or off, where would you go? Saturn
“All writers must have cats, especially if they write fantasy or speculative fiction.” Do you have a stand on this one? Any cute pictures of your kitty or other pet? I’m allergic to cat fur, so I have no cats. I have three Dachshunds. They won’t sit still long enough to create a cute picture.
To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 

 

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Monster Mash Countdown Blitz Hosted by Loving the Book (Day 9)

During swim season you can find Marianne Sciucco, a dedicated Swim Mom for ten years, at one of many Skyline Conference swim meets cheering for her daughter and her team, the Mount Saint Mary College Knights.
Marianne is not a nurse who writes but a writer who happens to be a nurse. A lover of words and books, she dreamed of becoming an author when she grew up but became a nurse to avoid poverty. She later brought her two passions together and writes about the intricate lives of people struggling with health and family issues.
Her debut novel “Blue Hydrangeas,” an Alzheimer’s love story, is a Kindle bestseller, IndieReader Approved, a BookWorks featured book, and a Library Journal Self-e Selection. She also has two short stories available on Kindle, “Ino’s Love” and “Collection.”
A native Bostonian, Marianne lives in New York’s Hudson Valley, and when not writing works as a campus nurse at a community college.

 

Connect with the Author here: 

 

Sometimes winning is everything. Champion swimmer Aerin Keane is ready to give up her dreams of college swimming and a shot at the Olympics. As she starts senior year in her third high school, Aerin’s determined to leave her family troubles behind and be like all the other girls at Two Rivers. She’s got a new image and a new attitude. She doesn’t want to win anymore. She’s swimming for fun, no longer the freak who wins every race, every title, only to find herself alone. But when her desire to be just one of the girls collides with her desire to be the best Two Rivers has ever seen, will Aerin sacrifice her new friendships to break a longstanding school record that comes with a $50,000 scholarship?

 

 

 

 

Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ 
Top Ten List:
10 Fun Facts About Me
1.     In 8th grade I cut off my waist-length hair so I could have the Dorothy Hamill bob. I thought I could always grow it back. I never did. In my dreams, I have long hair.
2.     There were 1300 kids in my high school graduating class!
3.     I once had a cat that had no tail.
4.     The cat I have today was a rescue.
5.     The first car I ever bought for myself was a 1974 Mustang. We called it the baby blue buggy.
6.     My next car was a 1970 Plymouth Valiant that I bought for $750. It was green, and ugly, and like a tank.
7.     I once worked for a high-end coat manufacturer, and because I was a size 10 was often called to the president’s office to model the latest designs.
8.     In 6th grade my friends and I learned all the words to the top  hits, including The Lion Sleeps Tonight, I Think I Love You, and Little Willie.
9.     I met the members of U2 backstage at a concert in Rhode Island in 1983.
10. My favorite author let me interview her for my honors thesis (as long as I didn’t publish it, thus she remains unnamed, but she’s a multi-time New York Times bestselling author.)
To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 

 

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Monster Mash Countdown Blitz Hosted by Loving the Book (Day 8)

 

Ann lives in Texas with her husband and rescue pets. She taught reading and other subjects for a number of years before leaving to devote more time to her first love—writing. Reading with children was always her favorite part of teaching.

Cool Well Press published her ghostly series for the young at heart, Stevie-girl and the Phantom Pilot, Stevie-girl and The Phantom Student, and Stevie-girl and The Phantom of Crybaby Bridge.

Her adult novels—All For Love, women’s fiction, and the suspense trilogy Stutter Creek, Lilac Lane, and Copper Lake, are all published by 5 Prince Publishing.

Takers, Ann’s foray into speculative fiction, was released earlier this year.

She has won several awards for fiction since her college days and has had short stories and essays published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, The Binnacle, Timeless, an anthology, Seasonal Sweet, and Suspenseful, an anthology, Jitter Press, Fictionterrifica, The Rusty Nail, The Sandstorm, Reflections, an anthology, and Blue Mountain Review.

 

 

Connect with the Author here: 
When a small plane crashes behind Jason Lee’s rural home, the spirit of the pilot decides to stick around. What would you do if a phantom took up residence in your closet? Jase decides to ask Stevie-girl for help. She’s the only kid he’s ever seen entering the old haunted Taylor mansion–alone.

 

 

 

Q&A With the Author:
1.     When did you start writing, and was there a specific event or person who influenced you to become an author? I’ve been writing since dinosaurs roamed the Earth. My mom,
dad, and Aunt Alma bought books for me on every birthday and Christmas. They fostered my love of reading, which in turn fostered my interest in writing. I wanted to be like my author-icons.
2.     Are you currently working on a project, and if so, can you tell us anything about it? My current project is Stevie-girl BOOK FOUR. I love the title of this Stevie-girl book so much that I am afraid of jinxing it (by revealing it too soon), but it is almost finished. However, my next—upcoming—release is titled THE REMAINS IN THE POND. It is my newest Romantic Suspense novel and will be published by 5 Prince Books on November 13th.
3.     What is your favorite writing snack?   When I’m writing, I have to have my Diet Vanilla Coke and something crunchy – trail mix or any kind of nuts. If the nuts have a chocolate
coating, so much the better!
4.     If you could have dinner with any of your characters, which ones would you choose? Why? What food would you serve? I would love to have dinner with Stevie & Jase. I would serve Stevie’s Inside Out Chocolate Cake and ask them to tell me their best ghost stories!
5.     Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? When I first wrote about Jase and Stevie, I thought it would be limited to a short story (which is how it began), but it won a couple of awards and an editor asked if could expand it, so I did. And it’s still going…I love this pair!
6.     How do you relax, or what do you enjoy doing when you are not writing? Reading, movies, playing with grandkids, going to the beach (which is a million miles from here) and
walking on my favorite trail while listening to one of my many playlists or audio books.
7.     What is your largest unfulfilled dream, and what are you doing to reach it? My unfulfilled dream is to write the story of my parents’ lives. I’m working on it bit by bit.
8.     What do you fear most? My greatest fear is for some harm to befall one of my loved ones.
9.     What advice would you give someone who wants to write a book some day?  Just start writing. Write the most important parts first. Don’t worry about making it pretty, just
get it down while it’s fresh. You can always revise later.
 
To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 

 

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Monster Mash Countdown Blitz Hosted by Loving the Book (Day 7)

 

Marni Graff writes two award-winning mystery series: The Nora Tierney English Mysteries and The Trudy Genova Manhattan Mysteries. She teaches writing workshops and mentors the Writers Read program, and is Managing Editor of Bridle Path Press. 
 
Graff also writes the crime review blog Auntie M Writes, www.auntiemwrites.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Connect with the Author here: 
 
American writer Nora Tierney is house hunting in Oxford to solidify her little family that includes her almost-year old son, Sean, and her partner, Det. Insp. Declan Barnes. But why does she feel like she’s being followed? 
When tracking devices confirm Nora has a stalker, it sets off a chain of events that connect to Declan’s murder investigation of a young Oxford art restorer, and will bring bioterrorism and a psychopath into their lives, while Sean’s hangs in the balance. The fourth Nora Tierney English mystery is the most tension-filled yet, a meditation on what is family and home, combined with art theft and an international conspiracy.

This is the fourth book in the series and while it can be read as a standalone it is so much more enjoyable if you read the series in order! So find the entire series below.

 

 

 

Find the links to the entire series here:
Q&A With the Author:
1.   When did you start writing, and was there a specific event or person who influenced you to become an author? I’ve written since grade school, with two teachers in high school, Mrs. Smith and Mr. Royston, telling me I had a gift for writing and should pursue it.  I would have loved to show them my books but they are both gone. Agatha Christie, PD James and Colin Dexter were big influences in terms of writing mysteries, and Daphne Du Maurier has always been a favorite for creating suspense.
2.  Are you currently working on a project, and if so, can you tell us anything about it?  I’m currently writing the second Trudy Genova Manhattan Mystery. Trudy is a nurse who works for a NY movie studio as a medical consultant. It’s titled Death of an Heiress, which is the name of the TV movie she’s sent to. Her role is as the on set nurse, but in reality she’s been sent there by the producers to watch over the star of the movie, who is hiding a pregnancy after several miscarriages–and suddenly disappears and a cast member is murdered soon after. The movie is being shot at The Dakota, a famed NY building that houses stars and millionaires–it was home of John Lennon before he died. In reality, The Dakota will not allow filming of any kind to protect it’s residents’ privacy, but in Trudy’s world they do!
 3.  What is your favorite writing snack? I usually have a large jug of iced green tea on my desk, and I’ll snack on bits of fruit and the occasional Dutch pretzel!
     
4.   If you could have dinner with any of your characters, which ones would you choose? Why? What food would you serve? Boy, that’s a tough one! When I was writing THE GOLDEN HOUR, I had a great time creating and writing the villain, so I’d say Viktor Garanin. He’s a wealthy Russian psychopath who has a devious plan to destroy the British, whom he hates beyond reasons. His mother was British, but his Russian father raised him to a certain ugly standard, while giving him polish, manners, and epicurean tastes. He wears bespoke suits and shoes and if you don’t see the dead light in his eyes, comes across at first as charming and attractive, a large man with huge tastes for food, wine, women and murder. I’d probably have to serve him chilled vodka, goulash, and blinis with caviar!
 
 5. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? I always learn something about human nature when I write, and then through my research, I learn things specific to that novel. For instance, I learned what’s in bloom in Russian gardens in early fall, and found that information by calling my NC Botanical Gardens. The head botanist would have looked up the answer to my question but instead put me in touch with one of their volunteers, who had lived outside Moscow for years! These little tidbits keep the fictional aspects of the book balanced to me, rooted in reality as they are. If I’d made up what was in bloom then, that same person reading my book would immediately know I’d gotten it wrong. So to allow for the height of reality, it’s important to me that the majority of the fictional things happen within the storyline, not the setting.
 
  6. How do you relax, or what do you enjoy doing when you are not writing? It’s so cliched to say I love reading, but I do! I read three books a week on average to keep up the reviews for my crime review blog, and it’s always been my solace and greatest pleasure. Before Kindles, my luggage on vacations was half books! I still prefer to read a hard copy, but use the Kindle for trips and it’s much easier. We also have a 10 mos old Australian Labradoodle names Seamus, and I enjoy playing outside with him. He loves to run after a flying Frisbee!
 7. What is your largest unfulfilled dream, and what are you doing to reach it? That’s a tough one to answer. I’ve met and become friends with my writing hero, PD James, for 15 yrs before her death. I’ve studied at Oxford and attended St Hilda’s Mystery and Crime Conference, and hope to return next summer for the third time. These were all things on my bucket list after “becoming a published author.” It would be nice to have a wider presence in England where the series is set. There’s a pivotal scene in THE GOLDEN HOUR where my gal Nora is doing a reading of her children’s book at Bath bookshop, a real store I visited a few years ago and obtained permission from the owner to use in the book. He’s selling THE GOLDEN HOUR right now, so one bookshop at time! 
8. What do you fear most? I lost a good friend from nursing school to drowning as she tried  to save her son who was caught in a riptide. The boy survived but my friend didn’t. I’m not a strong swimmer and do go into our river, which is very shallow, but deep water tends to panic me to this day, 40 years later . . .
  9. What advice would you give someone who wants to write a book some day? First, read. It’s the way you will learn best what makes a good story and draws other readers in. You’ll learn from good writing and poor, so read everything and constantly. Second, learn yourself and your writing style. You can study conventions of a certain genre, grammar, plotting, etc, but to pull it all together, you need to find yourself as a writer and your voice. Some people write better in the morning but others in the afternoons (me) or evenings. Find your own place for comfort and carve out your own routine. Let your voice flow. Third, become part of a writing community. Writing alone facing that sea of white pages is daunting and lonely. It’s good to be a part of a writing group, whether in person in your area or online, that allows you to share pages, get good critical feedback, and commiserate!
 
To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page