Book Spotlight: The Wrongful Death

How exciting! We’re now on book #3 of The Great Devil War multi-book tour — The Wrongful Death by Kenneth B. Andersen. Let’s see what epic adventure Philip embarks on in this exciting instalment!

The Wrongful Death Cover - Book 3

The Wrongful Death (The Great Devil War #3)

Publication Date: April 19th, 2019

Genre: YA Fantasy

An unfortunate chain of events makes Philip responsible for the untimely death of the school bully Sam—the Devil’s original choice for an heir. Philip must return to Hell to find Sam and bring him back to life, so that fate can be restored. But trouble is stirring in Lucifer’s kingdom and not even Philip can imagine the strange and dark journey that awaits him. A journey that will take him through ancient underworlds and all the way to Paradise.

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Excerpt

The Garden of Eden

The darkness of night turned into the light of morning, and although Philip did what Lucifer recommended and pulled his hood over his eyes, he was momentarily dazzled by the light. Slowly his eyes grew accustomed to the change, and out of the blinding whiteness, the Garden of Eden emerged in all its splendor.

Philip felt something pulling at his soul, even though all he saw was an ordinary forest. That’s because it wasn’t just an ordinary forest.

Not at all.

First of all there were the colors. The green moss that lay like a thick carpet on the floor. The blooming flowers. The luscious tree canopy overhead and fruits hanging in bunches. The sky that was more blue than Philip had ever seen. The sunlight that fell between the leaves in warm streams of gold.

Secondly there were the smells. So many, and so clear, that Philip became dizzy and had to hold onto Satina so he didn’t stumble.

Then there were the sounds. A storm of bird songs, monkey cries, and distant, thundering waterfalls, and yet… quiet, so quiet.

Then, to top it off, the atmosphere—the feeling of the place… It carried him off his feet. The forest, the air, it inspired a feeling of pure joy that Philip had never known before. It made the hair on his arms rise with delight and made his heart, yes, his very soul, feel like laughing. It felt like… Well, like he was in Heaven.

“Horrible place, right?” Lucifer said, closing the door to the rock wall. “Too cold and much too bright in my opinion. Come on, it’s this way.”

Philip and Satina followed the Devil, who with long, decisive steps led them through the summer forest.

“We’re in Heaven,” Philip whispered as he heard the mild breeze softly stirring the leaves in the canopies overhead. “I can’t believe it. We’re in Heaven!”

“Not quite,” Lucifer corrected. “It’s merely the earthly Paradise that lies between Earth and Heaven. This is where the saved souls go after they die. They help tend the garden.”

Between Earth and Heaven?” Philip said, confused. “I thought you went to Heaven when you died. If you’re good, that is.”

“No. You get this far and no farther. I realize a lot of people think that, Philip. There are even more who think Paradise is about lying in a hammock all day and letting God’s angels attend to your every need. But it’s never been like that. It would quickly lead to many of the seven deadly sins—laziness, gluttony, and greed, just to name a few—and that doesn’t exactly harmonize well with this place. No, living in Paradise means hard work. Of course, it’s nothing compared to working conditions down where we are.”

“What is Heaven, then?”

“Heaven is home to Jehovah and the angels. The angels come to Paradise, but they don’t live there. They live in Empyrean, the city of light. It’s even worse than this place. It makes my eyes itch and my nose starts running like a faucet. I’m definitely more comfortable here.” Lucifer plucked a flame-red rose, and it immediately lost its color and shriveled up. He smelled it and tossed it aside, the now metallic-gray flower disintegrating to ash as it hit the ground. “I have some good memories from this place.”

There was a subtle snap on their right as something in the forest stepped on a branch.

Philip turned his head and froze in his tracks.

It was a tiger. It ran toward them, its giant paws soundlessly bounding through the forest, and its amber eyes locked on Satina, who hadn’t noticed the wild animal.

Watch out!” Philip shouted and pulled her toward him as the animal came bursting out of the brush, a cascade of yellow and black and teeth and claws.

“Philip, take it easy!” Beyond the rush of blood roaring in his ears, he heard Lucifer laughing. “It wouldn’t harm a fly.”

Fear turned into confusion and then amazement when he saw the tiger had stopped and just stood there, curiously watching them. Curious and…friendly?

“It won’t?” he muttered and let go of Satina. “Sorry, but I thought… Are you okay?”

She nodded.

“That’s what I’m saying, Philip. Paradise is a gruesome place. So sad and boring. Just look at this guy.” Lucifer walked over to the tiger and patted him on the back. “Tame as a lamb. Wild animals aren’t even wild here. In the afterlife they peacefully coexist.” The Devil sadly shook his head. “I get nauseous just thinking about it.”

Available on Amazon!

About the Author

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I WAS BORN IN DENMARK ON A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT IN NOVEMBER 1976 …

… and I began writing when I was a teenager. My first book was a really awful horror novel titled Nidhug’s Slaves. It didn’t get published. Luckily.

During the next 7 years, I wrote nearly 20 novels–all of which were rejected–while working as a school teacher. The rest of the time I spent writing.

In 2000 I published my debut fantasy book, The Battle of Caïssa, and that’s when things really took off. Since then I’ve published more than thirty-five books for children and young adults in genres ranging from fantasy to horror and science fiction.

My books have been translated into more than 15 languages and my series about the superhero Antboy has been adapted for film, which is available on Netflix. An animated tv series is currently in development.

A musical of The Devil’s Apprentice opened in the fall 2018 and the movie rights for the series have also been optioned.

I live in Copenhagen with my wife, two boys, a dog named Milo and spiders in the basement.

About THE GREAT DEVIL WAR: The Great Devil War was published in Denmark from 2005-2016, beginning with The Devil’s Apprentice.

Even though the story (mostly) takes place in Hell and deals with themes like evil, death and free will, it is also a humoristic tale about good and evil seen from a different perspective. A tale that hopefully will make the reader – young or old, boy or girl – laugh and think.

Welcome to the other side!

Kenneth B. Andersen | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Giveaway: Digital copy of The Wrongful Death! Enter below!

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Blog Tour Schedule

February 24th

Reads & Reels (Review) http://readsandreels.com

I Love Books & Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

Turning the Pages (Review) https://turningthepagesonline.wordpress.com

February 25th

Didi Oviatt (Review) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Crossroad Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.crossroadreviews.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Review) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

February 26th

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com

Phantom of the Library (Review) https://phantomofthelibrary.com/

February 27th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

I Smell Sheep (Spotlight) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Life’s a Novelty (Review) https://lifesanovelty.blogspot.com/

February 28th

I’m into Books (Spotlight) https://imintobooks.com

Entertainingly Nerdy (Review) https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com

Misty’s Book Space (Review) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com


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I was tagged to do the Books and Bakes Tag !! It was so much fun and be prepared for all the randomness that is me 😜

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Book Spotlight: Steel Reign

Hey Sci-Fi fans!

I have a new release you’re going to want to check out! Read on for an excerpt from new release, Steel Reign: Flight of the Starship Concord by Braxton A. Cosby!

Steel Reign CoverSteel Reign: Flight of the Starship Concord

Publication Date: February 2nd, 2020

Genre: Science Fiction

A Thief turned Spy, turned Bounty Hunter, turned Hero!

After surviving an all-out implosion of catastrophic proportions following the failed fusion of twin stars Mira A and B in a class B Supernova, the people of galaxy Proxima Centauri have pressed forward with dreams and hopes of finally living in peace. But for Bounty Hunter Steel Reign, the clock of destiny is speeding ahead at a steadfast pace as he desires to hunt down a group of rogue super-soldiers before they can plot against King William Derry and his kingdom on planet Fabricius.

Consistent work as a Hunter in Proxima Centauri has always been a feast or famine occupation, and when the flow of credits slow to a snail’s pace, Reign must find a secondary means of funding to finance his seek and destroy assignment by way of scalping a precious artifact on the open Black Market. That is, until his supplier comes up short, forcing him to pump the brakes and fall back to Plan B: finding his long lost sister Olia who was captured by the space pirate Forge, and forced to compete in a deadly game of chance aboard the Eclipse. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the stakes have just been raised when he discovers that she is the only source of an antibody that can offer a cure for the deadly, venomous DX virus lurking in his blood, just waiting to consume him.

To survive, Reign will have to test not only his skills as a legendary assassin, but also his patience, as he takes on a rogue band of misfits to steal and crew the prototype starship Concord to thwart Forge’s plans once and for all.

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Excerpt

Escaping that day was the easiest part of the gig, as I accessed the ventilation shaft and weaved my way to the docking bay before anyone could lock down the vessel. I buried the memory deep within my psyche and promised to never unearth it again.

That is until I met Serias. I don’t remember how long it took for her to work it outta me, but somehow, she did. It was the last time I can recall shedding tears for anyone, and Serias told me that I never would again. That she would carry the pain in her heart for me. She vowed that no soul would ever be able to hurt me like that and if they did, she’d send them to the gods faster than light speed.

It’s those memories that burn more now than ever before. The betrayal she must feel for me when I left her all alone back on Delvis Chong, never to return. But I did it all for her…at least that’s what I told myself. What I convinced myself of. ‘The worst lie you could ever believe is the 1 you tell yourself,’ I recall Tannan telling me on the first day of Spy Guild training. And it rings true to this day.

Seeing Serias here, now, makes everything more complicated than ever before. I could give it all up, possibly tell her the truth and pray she’d take me back. But what would I ransom in return? Olia’s life for my happiness? As I mull this decision over while I stand in line for interview registration, I catch a glimpse of Serias strolling by in my periphery. She’s still as stunning as the day I laid eyes on her. I watch and wait, hopeful that she’ll turn and give me a look. Some flicker that I still haunt her memories as much as she does mine.

“You, step up,” a voice grumbles before me. I shake from my daydream and approach the table, holding out my ID card. A man reaches forward and takes the card from me, scans it 1 time and then hands it back. He points to a row of chairs to my right and flicks his wrist, ushering me over. Only 1 other person is seated. “Have a seat over there and wait quietly. You’re next. The proctor will call you when ready.”

I nod and take the ID card back. And as I step out of line, I look back, hopeful of finding Serias, but she is nowhere to be found.

Now Available on Amazon!

About the Author

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Multi-Award Winning and #1 Amazon Bestselling author Braxton A. Cosby is a dreamer who transitioned his ideas on pen and paper to pixels and keyboards. He has penned over 16 novels and written several screenplays; many based on his own works. He tells stories that evoke emotions and stimulate thought. THE STARCROSSED SAGA and THE CAPE are currently Young Adult and Superhero series he created, with spins offs for INFINITY 7: GODS AMONG MEN and his latest Bounty Hunter, scifi release, STEEL REIGN: FLIGHT OF THE STARSHIP CONCORD. THE STARCROSSED SAGA has won multiple science fiction and young adult awards, while THE CAPE has also earned recognition for it’s prowess as a literary fiction series. Braxton is the CEO of Cosby Media Productions and lives in Georgia with his amazing wife and a highly energetic Morkie named StarKozy.

Cosby Media Productions | Braxton Cosby | The Red Gemini Chronicles



Blitz Participants

February 24th

Reads & Reels – http://readsandreels.com

Lunarian Press – https://www.lunarianpress.com/

February 25th

Breakeven Books – https://breakevenbooks.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds – http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

February 26th

The Faerie Review – http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Books Teacup n’ Reviews – https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/

February 27th

Didi Oviatt – https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Jessica Belmont – https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

My Bookish Bliss – http://www.mybookishbliss.com

Tsarina Press – https://www.tsarinapress.com

February 28th

Port Jerricho – http://www.aislynndmerricksson.com

Cocktails & Fairy Tales – https://www.facebook.com/CocktailsFairytales

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I was tagged to do the Books and Bakes Tag !! It was so much fun and be prepared for all the randomness that is me 😜

Book Blitz: X-Rated

Happy publication day to author Bridget Beasley! Today marks the release of her hilarious book, X-Rated! I have the first chapter for you to read AND the most amazing giveaway– A chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card and a digital copy of the book!

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X-Rated: A virgin. A porn star. A comedy.

Publication Date: February 21st, 2020 (Today 🎉)

Genre: Romcom/ Comedy

Bailey Finch is twenty-four, living in LA, and working for a trendy Sex & Relationships magazine as their entry-level Calendar Editor.

She’s also painfully body-conscious, clinically anxious, and still a virgin.

When Bailey lands the chance to interview Elijah Mattox – coined the Ryan Reynolds of Porn Stars – she seizes the opportunity to befriend the man behind over three-thousand BDSM films, with popular titles such as The Domination of Elia Rose, Dungeon Sluts and Whores of Riverdale County.

As she delves deeper into Eli’s world, and their relationship takes an unexpected romantic turn, she realizes that this piece couldn’t possibly be just an interview. There was something much bigger yet to come. No pun intended.

X-Rated: A virgin. A porn star. A comedy.

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Excerpt

Chapter One – The Dick Cake Guy

Cue: Darude – Sandstorm.

Wait. 99 Luftballons. That’s a much better intro song.

No. That’s not how I want to start this shit show. Or is this supposed to be a romantic comedy? You know, happy ending, lots of tissues, laugh-out-loud dialogue. Brilliant and sweet, with well fleshed-out, dynamic characters. Because that’s usually a thing, isn’t it?

And I’m already rambling.

How the hell do I start this? I’m twenty-four. Name’s Bailey Finch. Yeah, that’s a good name – it’s not just my actual name, but it also looks damn good in print. A good, solid protagonist name.

And the guy? There’s always a guy. I know you’re waiting for the guy.

Well, what to say: Tall? Check. Muscles? Sorta-check. Tattoos? Check. Wry grin and one of those devious smiles akin to Ian Somerhalder? Check and check. One-thousand checks.

His name is Elijah Mattox. He’s twenty-eight years old. Favorite things that I’ve scrounged up so far include Asian-fusion cuisine, Single Malt Scotch, and perfecting his purposely tousled hairstyle. He’s an actor, trying to break into main-stream, silver screen, accolades and Oscars.

As for now, well – he’s only the most renowned Porn Star in the country. Over three-thousand films. Yeah, no kidding.

And here I am, sitting at my desk, pen in hand, trying to conjure up some questions to ask him that don’t consist of how many tits he’s seen and what his thoughts are on the real-to-saline ratio. How many times could he climax in one session? Was his relationship with sex boring now? What is sex like once you’ve made a career out of using your cock?

Was he worried that working in porn might affect his career as a mainstream actor? This isn’t some one-time Kardashian sex tape. Even though I’m sure he’s got one of those floating around somewhere. The guy has history.

Then again, I’ve never actually seen his stuff. Never been much into porn. Even the soft-core variety. I mean, I’ve done a few Google searches in my time. I technically know what a penis looks like. One time in fourth grade, me and my old best friend, Ginny Weirkowitz, looked up Two Girls One Cup, and refused to eat for the rest of the day. Whatever you do, don’t do it. Don’t Google it. My eyes went to hell.

But IRL, I’ve never seen the real thing. I’m a virgin. And I don’t say that to sound interesting, either: I’ve wanted to get laid more times than I could count. I have a vibrator, thank you very much. Have you ever used a Hitachi Magic Wand? Let me tell you…

I’ve just, you know, never had a real dick. I’ve never made love, had intercourse, fucked. Real hands, rough, desperate, passionate. Body-crushing. Mouth-on-mouth action. My only real kiss was Sophomore year of high school, on a dare, and that same guy ended up pouring an open container of spaghetti into my backpack after I reminded our Geometry teacher that he had forgotten to collect our homework.

I tapped my pen against the edge of my desk, glancing around the office: large windows, exposed brick walls, and blown-up copies of magazine covers from over the years, largely featuring notable men and women of the celebrity variety.

This was Come’s first porn-star. Clever magazine name, I know. Come as in, welcome, enter. Come as in…orgasm.

We were known for our sex tips and relationship advice. That said, it’s been agreed upon that fucking in the shower just doesn’t really work. I’ve never even fucked a guy before, and even I can tell you that I know for a fact, unless maybe you’ve got one of those shower-bath combos or a seat in your shower, it’s freaking impossible. I’d like to put out a request: if you’re a woman who has had mind-blowing shower-sex while standing up, please write to me.

I grinned unabashedly, outwardly, probably looking ridiculous. I hadn’t accomplished a lick of work in the past two hours. I couldn’t concentrate. I was hungry: one of those gripping, all-consuming, carb-salt-sugar craving hungers. I wanted a pretzel, doughnut, and Diet Coke, stat.

What do you ask a porn, star, though? What are the questions?

I don’t know, Bailey. Maybe treat him like a normal human male. Like a person. Like you.

I flushed at the thought. Like me, a virgin. A big-mouthed mope of a virgin, with brown hair that was frizzy on good days and unhinged on bad days. Shoulder-length. I wore loafers and slacks to work, button-downs with quirky designs. Today was yellow ducks. But Bailey Finch, as a whole, was painfully unquirky. I was a poser. Inauthentic. Maybe a little too self-deprecating. I was most authentic at home, in bed with my laptop, wearing a hooded sweatshirt, leggings, and cabin socks. The fluffier the socks, the better.

I wondered briefly what Elijah would think of me in comparison to the girls he’d been with on-screen. Did that even matter? No, of course not.

Still, I wondered. Maybe I should flat-iron my hair, or wear shoes with wedges. Lip-gloss vs. lip balm.

Procrastination: I typed out on the keyboard. Failure to concentrate. Here are some random facts: Scotland has 421 words for ‘snow’. Elephants are the only mammals that can’t jump. The first oranges weren’t actually orange. The most common name is Mohammed. Cats can hear ultrasound. Children grow faster in the springtime. Karaoke means ’empty orchestra’ in Japanese.

Delete. Roll eyes. Sigh heavily.

As I sat there, staring at a blank Word document, my boss Deborah – a tall, all-limbs woman, popped her head into my cubicle.

“How are the interview questions going?”

Her expression was vaguely fatigued despite remaining without a single crease or line; her face was elongated, elegant. She had the most delicate bird-face. Long, a pointed nose, elven cheek-bones. Her eyes, two silver buttons, were wide, perpetually surprised. Her foundation was light enough that I could still see the subtle, natural gloss of oil on her forehead. She was, all said, pretty in a pained sort of way. Her ash-blond hair was always styled as if she were ready to step out onto a runway. She wore Louis Vuitton stilettos and a tailored houndstooth-print suit.

“Excellent,” I lied. “I’m wrapping them up now, actually. I’ll email them to you in a minute.”

I’ll email them to you in a minute. Panic. My heart jumped. Why did I always do this? I was a people-pleaser to my core, and it always, always ended up biting me in the ass. I lived in constant pause-or-panic.

“Awesome,” she was indeed pleased. Her smile showed a bit of rose-pink lipstick on her front tooth. “Don’t feel the need to get too detailed with them. Let him lead the interview, if you can. He seems talkative enough in past interviews. He did a very informative interview with Cosmopolitan last fall – we want to go deeper than that. Deeper than male skincare, workout regimens and how to maintain an erection, at least.”

“Do you want me to confirm how many inches he is, exactly?” I inquired.

Deborah laughed.

“These are the imperative questions,” she said. “Yeah. If you can get his favorite lay, too, there’s a good one. Best orgasm story.”

“I doubt his best orgasm has been on-film,” I quipped. “I mean, porn is technically work.”

“Then in a relationship! I don’t really care. I just want the details and we can Jane Doe or John Smith the rest.”

“Gotcha,” I nodded. “I’ll keep it professional. I’ll keep it sexy.”

While still focusing on the fact that he was now looking to step away from the Adult Industry. Maybe he wouldn’t want to talk about anything sexual. He possibly wouldn’t. Maybe he’d find it offensive – like a strain on his shirt that he was hoping nobody would notice, or an unruly cowlick.

Deborah scurried off in the direction of her next to-do, and I shook my head, a common mind-reset practice of mine. Like one of those Etch-A-Sketches.

Elijah Mattox, who are you, sir?

My fingers lingered on the keyboard, hesitant. I pressed my lips together, gave another heavy sigh, and then began typing. Twenty-minutes later, I had produced something palatable. Questions sure to please Deborah, keeping it sexy, keeping it professional, keeping it to the point: Elijah, the whole person. Not just the lead in I Didn’t Know She Was Your Mom: Anal Edition.

I sent the email off. As soon as I hit send, my pocket vibrated. It was also a known fact about myself that I wore pants loose enough to permit for large pockets. I hated purses. I had one, of course, but it contained mostly my wallet, a few old receipts, loose change and three Chap Sticks. I hated fishing for my phone, or taking the time to search for anything, really. Pockets simplify. It’s a beautiful thing.

The text was from Charlie, my roommate.

Charlie: Important. Come to the shop immediately. Consider this urgent.

The shop, as it were, was the bakery Charlie worked at. It was infamous for its cupcakes and house-brew. It also offered a wide array of customized-confectionary.

I clicked my tongue, typing out a response.

Me: At work. Will stop by after.

Charlie’s reply was instant.

Charlie: THERE’S A DICK CAKE HERE. YOU NEED TO SEE THIS.

Charlie: BAILEY.

Charlie: I KNOW YOU AREN’T WORKING. YOU HAVE THE WORST WORK ETHIC OF ANYONE I KNOW. HOW DID YOU EVEN GET THAT JOB?

Calendar Editor, and through an excellent referral at university. It was more of an administrative role, entry-level, truth be told. I worked on the weekly calendar of events for the publisher. This was, officially, my first stint doing an actual interview. My first written-piece, scored through the fact that I just so happened to be replacing the original auteur, who was on Maternity Leave. Everyone else was swamped. This was my one chance, and it had to be good.

My phone vibrated again.

Charlie: THAT WAS MEAN. I LOVE YOU.

I tossed the phone into my purse with a soft thud, forgetting my pocket sentiments. Somewhere out there – that somewhere actually being a bakery in East LA – a Dick Cake existed, which apparently was a must-see. Akin to the Seven Wonders of the World. The Pyramids, or Stonehenge. A Dick Cake. Enough said.

The bakery smelled like burnt blueberry scones and buttercream. Baristas were pouring coffee from French Presses, their hair in updos – even the guys. Long hair was a thing here. They served pastries on small ceramic plates depicting clever quotes and tiny paintings of animals or flora, and espresso, tea, coffee from plain paper cups. No lids. Names were scribbled on the side hastily in black ink. One time I was Bali. Another time I was Bobby. I’ve been Bailie, Baley, and SO CLOSE – Baile.

Charlie was at the counter, grinning ear-to-ear.

“You best not be wasting my time,” I told him. “I’ve got an interview to prep for.”

“Oh, since when do you prepare for anything?” his tone was joking. He was an asshole, but a loving one. “I’ve got a date I should be grooming for, but I’m here, slaving away for the corporate giants.”

“This place is a family-owned. There is literally no other Pastries & Coffee in Los Angeles, or anywhere for that matter. Also, great business name. To the point.”

“Whatever. My pubes look like my dick has a bad perm.”

I shot a quick look over my shoulder to make sure he wasn’t blabbering to listening-ears. Etiquette Police. The shop was quiet, with only a few sitting by the windows, lightly chatting, drinking their drinks and eating their croissants or danishes or tiny, adorable tea cakes.

“Who is it this time?” I asked. “Also, where is this aforementioned Dick Cake that you insisted I come here and see?”

He motioned for me to follow him behind the counter, into a small back-room. The counter was covered in frosting (I might have tasted it – vanilla marscapone) and cake scraps. A squat fridge sat in the corner, holding the awaiting custom orders.

I stole a cake scrap and popped it into my mouth. Ginger-lemon. Score.

Charlie carefully pulled the cake from the fridge, resting it on the counter. We both took a step back, just looking at it. Taking it all in.

There it was. Indeed a cake, shaped like a giant dick. Pubes and all.

“Well, shit, you weren’t kidding,” I muttered, candidly in awe. “Who is this for?”

Charlie shrugged. “Don’t know. But the inside is almond and there’s a chocolate-ganache filling. I wouldn’t mind a slice of that D.”

“You are the worst,” I said. He slid the cake back into the fridge, and we walked back out to the storefront. “I’ll take a coffee, black, and a Bear Claw. And tell me about this date.”

“Their name is Sacha. Pronoun: they. Likes watercolor, wearing combat boots, and The Aquabats. Most importantly, DTF.”

“DTF,” I said. “What, are we still in high-school?”

“They literally said it,” Charlie said defensively, whipping out his phone. There it was, a text from Sacha, reading: whatever you want to do. I’m DTF. “Besides, I’m not expecting anything. Just hopeful. Really hopeful. If not, we’ll enjoy the extended version of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King celibately, and I’ll enjoy my blue balls.”

“Follow your bliss,” I told him, taking my coffee and pastry. “Just be safe about it.”

“And you watch out for tall men in sunglasses,” he replied. “Behind you, Bailey. Oh God.”

I turned, completely oblivious, and knocked straight into said Tall Man in Sunglasses.

The sharp sunlight cast shards through the window, and in the brightness I couldn’t really make out his face, but I knew he was grinning. Grinning and soaked in hot coffee. Hot coffee that I had spilled, all over him, because of course I did.

“Ohmygod,” one word. I chocked. “I’m so sorry! Do you want a napkin? No, a towel. I could get you a towel.”

Charlie tossed a rag over the counter, and Tall Man grabbed it with an acknowledging nod.

“It’s fine,” he said, blotting the fabric. “Trust me. It’s a shirt. I have others. Besides, this isn’t the first time I’ve dealt with a spill.”

“Oh.”

Great reply, Bailey.

“Me either,” I stuttered. “I spill stuff all the time. I’m pretty much a walking mess.”

He laughed. I tried to find his eyes behind the sunglasses, but I couldn’t.

“You’re a little weird, aren’t you?” he said, placing the rag on the counter. “Like one of those girls who wasn’t very popular in high-school because they preferred wearing a Harry Potter house robe instead of normal clothes, and hung out in the teacher’s lounge, and watched BBC at home with your cat.”

“What the fuck kind of person says that to a complete stranger?” I snapped. “You don’t know me, dude.”

Tall man laughed.

“You’re right, dude,” he said. “So tell me, what house are you?”

“Hufflepuff.”

“Of course you are,” he said, and then: “I’m a Slytherin.”

“Bullshit.”

“I have a Sorting Hat on my keychain. Here, look:” he pulled his keys out of his pocket, and there it was. It glinted in the sunlight. “See? Guys can watch BBC at home with their pets, too.”

I studied him. Dark hair, obviously fit. Even though it was a wretchedly hot day outside, he wore a black T-shirt and gray hooded sweatshirt, so I couldn’t quite see his body. I tried to fill in the spotty imagery in with my imagination: sinewy, strong, not an ounce of fat. He didn’t look like a guy that ate carbs. No bagels. No muffins. No Bear Claws, obviously. What a miserable life.

His smile was coy. His lips pulled at the corners teasingly. From over the counter, Charlie was on his phone, unphased. The shop had emptied; the afternoon lunch drizzle having dried up.

“Enjoy your afternoon,” he said. There was a distinct conclusion to his tone. The conversation was over. A sense of tension hung in the air; I was intrigued at how someone, with a simple three words, could be so commanding and yet apparently had a nerdy streak.

How nerdy? I wondered briefly. Like, cosplay nerdy?

“You too,” was all I could say. I didn’t bother asking for another coffee. I could feel the paper bag wrinkle in my fist, still holding my pastry. My stomach grumbled. “See you around.”

I wouldn’t, of course. He was just a passerby. I decided it was best to leave.

From behind me, as my hand touched the door, I could hear his brief banter with Charlie: light, nonchalant. And then, as if by some stroke off magic, he said:

“Just here to pick up an order. I’m the Dick Cake Guy.”

I smiled inwardly, pure satisfaction: like the first pop of a pretzel bite into your mouth. Buttery, delicious, so unhealthy but oh-so good.

See you never, Dick Cake Guy.

Available on Amazon!

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Just another smut-peddler.

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I was tagged to do the Books and Bakes Tag !! It was so much fun and be prepared for all the randomness that is me 😜

Book Blitz – Kickback

Hey Action/ Adventure fans! This week we’re celebrating the release of Steven Jacob’s exciting novella, Kickback! Here’s a sneak peek and a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card!

Kickback

Kickback (Chris Hunter #1)

Publication Date: January 27th, 2020

Genre: Adventure/ Novella

When Chris Hunter is called to search for a missing executive in Vietnam, he uncovers a conspiracy that goes all the way to the top of the organization.

Chris Hunter is an off-the-books fixer for Greater Dragon Asia, an international investment fund. He speaks four languages and is skilled in weapons use and hand-to-hand combat. He served in the U.S. Army for nearly a decade and understands how to operate under the radar. Now he uses his skills to take care of the jobs that no one wants but that need doing in an organization with billions of dollars under management.

Kickback is the first Chris Hunter adventure.

Excerpt

The apartment was shrouded in darkness, he could see vague shapes, outlines that could be anything from a sofa to a table to a refrigerator and all the other sundry that populate an urban apartment. There was something else, too, that struck him immediately. There was a sickly-sweet smell, as of something rotting, like someone left a slab of steak on the counter for a week.

Chris felt along the wall until he found a switch and flipped on the lights. He closed his eyes against the sudden onslaught of light and only opened them a few seconds later, slowly blinking to adjust to the illumination. What he saw when he opened them fully knocked him back a step.

There was a dead body sitting in a chair in the middle of the kitchen.

Now Available!

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About the Author

76646864_2638992879529069_7146687918252228608_o

Steven Jacob is an international attorney who has lived and worked in Southeast Asia for over ten years. He speaks Vietnamese and is familiar with the history, norms, and cultures of the region. He grew up in the United States and lived in several places in the West. He went to school in Utah and California. He has been writing since the second grade when he discovered epic fantasy and science fiction, though he doesn’t write in those genres now. He has published several books independently.

Steven Jacob | Twitter | Facebook

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I have been tagged in a lot of book tags and it is about time I am finally getting around to doing them! Here is my Two Books One Stone tag video!

Book Spotlight: Headliners

Lucy Parker fans rejoice! Her latest novel is here, and we’re thrilled to share Headliners, book #5 in the London Celebrities series! Read on for an exclusive excerpt, purchase details, and a chance to win a print copy!

Book Cover

Headliners (London Celebrities #5)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publication Date: January 20th, 2020

Publisher: Carina Press

He might be the sexiest man in London, according to his fan site (which he definitely writes himself), but he’s also the most arrogant man she’s ever met.

She might have the longest legs he’s ever seen, but she also has the sharpest tongue.

For years, rival TV presenters Sabrina Carlton and Nick Davenport have traded barbs on their respective shows. The public can’t get enough of their feud, but after Nick airs Sabrina’s family scandals to all of Britain, the gloves are off. They can barely be in the same room together—but these longtime enemies are about to become the unlikeliest of cohosts.

With their reputations on the rocks, Sabrina and Nick have one last chance to save their careers. If they can resurrect a sinking morning show, they’ll still have a future in television. But with ratings at an all-time low and a Christmas Eve deadline to win back the nation’s favor, the clock is ticking—and someone on their staff doesn’t want them to succeed.

Small mishaps on set start adding up, and Sabrina and Nick find themselves—quelle horreur—working together to hunt down the saboteur…and discovering they might have more in common than they thought. When a fiery encounter is caught on camera, the public is convinced that the reluctant co-hosts are secretly lusting after one another.

The public might not be wrong.

Their chemistry has always been explosive, but with hate turning to love, the stakes are rising and everything is on the line. Neither is sure if they can trust these new feelings…or if they’ll still have a job in the New Year.

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Excerpt

Their boss started turning her pen in circles again. “You are correct in that you’ve both knocked yourselves out of contention for the evening show. That position will be offered elsewhere.”

Sabrina released a long breath, and Nick closed his eyes momentarily.

“So that’s it?” she said, with a slight feeling of unreality. Despite the setbacks since the summer, apparently she hadn’t really expected this to happen. “We’re both out?”

“Of the evening programming, yes. Your nights are going to be considerably more open.” Hania looked past Sabrina again, as the office door opened. “But if you agree to my suggestion, you’re also going to have to start getting up a lot earlier.”

Nick turned his head first, and his entire body went still.

She swung around and was greeted with her own smiling face on a full-length poster board. Her printed image had been placed back-to-back with Nick’s, and someone had done some excessive editing, because she’d never leaned on him in her life.

Her gaze travelled from their glossy heads to the sarcastic advertising copy scrawled across the cardboard: ’tis the season for peace and goodwill. And miracles. Wake Me Up London with Sabrina Carlton and Nick Davenport, weekdays at seven throughout December.

They broke the silence with an unusually united sentiment.

“Oh, I don’t think so.” Sabrina physically retreated from the horrifying prospect.

“I hope that’s a bad joke.” Palpable outrage from Nick. His fingertips were digging hard enough into the arm of his chair that she could see his knuckles flexing. “I don’t mind the odd piece of human-interest filler—nobody wants doom and gloom 24/7 and there are people who deserve recognition—but the morning show has been egregious rubbish for years. If you seriously think I’m going to sit there and smile inanely while people with too much time on their hands argue about—what was one of their scintillating topics, the ethics of putting tutus on puppies?—you can think again. And why am I second billing on the poster?”

“Alphabetical and moral seniority,” Sabrina said breezily. He was so annoyed that she’d recovered a bit of composure in response. She inclined her head towards their chummy-looking cardboard selves. “And it pains me to state the obvious, but you’re literally the poster boy for inane smiles, Troy McClure. Bit late to change your brand now.”

Nick’s jaw had stopped twitching, but his eye picked up the slack.

From her seat close to the offending poster, a member of the social media team cleared her throat. “Er…is the plan to boost WMUL’s embarrassingly shit ratings by turning the set into a Hamlet-style bloodbath? Because it’ll be job well done in any scenario that puts them on the same couch.”

“I’ve worked for the network since I was twenty-one,” Nick said, slipping back into his shield of drawling amiability. It tended to net more wins. One may smile, and smile, and be a villain. “I’ve headlined alone for almost four years, and I’ve made a damn good job of it.”

“Yes, you have,” Hania agreed. “You’re excellent at your job. Witty, tenacious, attractive—the public accolades are spot-on.” Before Nick’s head could expand too far, she continued, “You also humiliated your boss in a public forum. If you wanted to keep your name on the evening billing, you should have exercised some discretion. You’re on such thin ice here that one false step is going to drop you right in it. I hope I’m making myself clear.”

She walked around her desk to sweep a glance up and down the poster board, before she leaned a companionable elbow on it. “Happily for us all, the public is fascinated with your obvious feud. You surmise correctly that Wake Me Up London is in a losing battle where the ratings are concerned. I have a feeling that the two of you could salvage that situation.”

Nick opened his mouth again, and Hania finished, “And you’ve got from the beginning of December until Christmas Eve to prove me right.”

Now Available!

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About the Author

Lucy Parker - Author Photo

Lucy Parker lives in the gorgeous Central Otago region of New Zealand, where she feels lucky every day to look out at mountains, lakes and vineyards. She has a degree in Art History, loves museums and galleries, and doodles unrecognisable flowers when she has writer’s block.

Her interest in romantic fiction began with a pre-teen viewing of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (Firth-style), which prompted her to read the book as well, and the rest was history.

Lucy Parker | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

One lucky fan can win a print copy of Headliners! Click the link below to enter (US Only)!

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Blog Tour Schedule

January 20th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Just 4 My Books (Spotlight) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Viviana MacKade (Spotlight) https://viviana-mackade.blog/

January 21st

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

January 22nd

The Genre Minx Book Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.thegenreminx.com/

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

January 23rd

Wordy & Whimsical (Review) https://wordyandwhimsical.wordpress.com/

January 24th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

I’m into Books (Spotlight) https://imintobooks.com

Cup of Books (Review) https://cupofbooksblog.wordpress.com/

***No Weekends***

January 27th

I’m All About Books (Spotlight) https://imallaboutbooks.com/

My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

January 28th

Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

Tales of a Natural Spoonie (Review) https://talesofanaturalspoonie.com/

January 29th

Where Dragons Reside (Review) https://kernerangelina.live/

Phantom of the Library (Review) https://phantomofthelibrary.com/

January 30th

Magical Reads (Review) https://magicalreads7.wordpress.com/

January 31st

Jessica Belmont (Spotlight) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

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It’s that time of year again where we tell each other about our reading goals and what we plan to accomplish for the upcoming year. Here is mine! (plus a Christmas haul)

Book Spotlight: A Kind Of Family

Welcome to the blog tour for A Kind of Family by Bonnie Meekums. We’ll have loads of exclusive content and a guest post from the author herself, so be sure to follow along!

KofFamily digital cover.jpgA Kind of Family

Publication Date: January 7th, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Publisher: Willow River Press

Forty-something Northern UK psychotherapist and university lecturer Rachel longs for a close family when, a year after their parents die her brother decides to cut off all contact. Out of the blue she meets Fran, a petite, attractive and outgoing community artist who disturbs and excites her. Shortly after this Aggie appears, looking like a relic from the 1960s and with a strong working-class London accent. She takes a strong interest in Rachel’s relationship with Fran. But who is she, and why is Rachel the only one that can see and hear her?

When Fran’s mother dies, the two women discover a family secret that impacts on their decision to try for a baby. But there is more shock and heartache to come, a visit to New Zealand for Fran and a tough decision for Rachel to make before she finally finds her own kind of family. This is a story that challenges traditional ideas about what constitutes family. It is also about overcoming grief, and healing the past; about love, loss, and ultimately hope. You won’t want to put it down.

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Excerpt

A cough. Annie cocked her ears in alert preparedness. Rachel was not ‘hearing things’. She looked in the direction of the shadow she had seen earlier, her own pulse assaulting her ears. The cough had seemed to come from the kitchen. Had an intruder got in despite the locked door, or had she somehow forgotten to turn the key? She looked around for something with which she could defend herself if push came to shove. Nothing. She tried to remember the women’s self-defence she had learned in her undergraduate days after a particularly nasty rape on campus. Her brain turned to mush.

Then an older woman appeared on the other side of the door from Rachel’s study into the kitchen, and Rachel’s fear turned to confusion mixed with a fair dose of irritation. It was as if she had come out of nowhere. Rachel could only see the top half of her through the half-glazed door. The old woman’s face looked as if someone had scored deep marks on a dark canvas. Her eyes were like two dark pools that seemed to draw Rachel in despite her wariness. The visitor smiled and raised her eyebrows as if asking to be let in. Sighing, Rachel got up and opened the door as it occurred to her that this must be one of the people who had recently moved into number twenty.

‘Fanks, love. I’m sorry. I must’ve give you such a fright. I don’t mean to. Can I come in?’

Rachel looked beyond the woman to the outer door, which was closed.

She was already in.

Available on Amazon!



About the Author

bonnie meekums_possible marketing pic - CHOSEN.JPG

Born and brought up in working-class London, Bonnie crossed classes when she went to university in the 1970s, eventually gaining a PhD in arts therapies in the 1990s. In the 1980s she crossed the invisible borders from South to North in England, first living in West Yorkshire and settling eventually in an old mill town near Manchester. A mother, step-mother and grandmother, she also travels annually to New Zealand to be with part of her far-flung family.

Bonnie is well known across the globe within the small professional world of Dance Movement Therapy (DMT). She is sole author of two books on arts therapies, one of which (Dance Movement Therapy, London: Sage, 2002) is on many training course essential reading lists and has sold more than 2,000 copies. She has also published numerous research articles and has been invited to teach in New Zealand, the USA, India, China and many European countries.

Whilst still being active in DMT practice, teaching and supervision, these days Bonnie’s writing focusses on novels and short stories. She also writes a blog about becoming an older woman who rambles (a play on words), to be found at https://mamabonnie.wordpress.com/. Her short creative nonfiction The Story Hunter about how her father influenced her love of stories was featured by the online writing collective Dear Damsels on February 10th 2019. Her debut novel A Kind of Family is published by Between the Lines Publishing in January 2020.

Bonnie Meekums

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Blog Tour Schedule

January 20th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Guest Post) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Phantom of the Library (Review) https://phantomofthelibrary.com/

January 21st

Tales of a Natural Spoonie (Review) https://talesofanaturalspoonie.com/

My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

January 22nd

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Just 4 My Books (Spotlight) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com

January 23rd

Where Dragons Reside (Spotlight) https://kernerangelina.live/

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

The Genre Minx Book Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.thegenreminx.com/

January 24th

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

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It’s that time of year again where we tell each other about our reading goals and what we plan to accomplish for the upcoming year. Here is mine! (plus a Christmas haul)

Book Spotlight: The Weighing of the Heart

Welcome to the blog tour for The Weighing of the Heart by Paul Tudor Owen. Read on for more details from this exceptional debut, and enter for your chance to win one of three signed copies of the book!

WOTHCoverfrontThe Weighing of the Heart

Publication Date: March 22, 2019 (Obliterati Press)

Genre: Literary Fiction

Following a sudden break-up, Englishman in New York Nick Braeburn takes a room with the elderly Peacock sisters in their lavish Upper East Side apartment, and finds himself increasingly drawn to the priceless piece of Egyptian art on their study wall – and to Lydia, the beautiful Portuguese artist who lives across the roof garden.

But as Nick draws Lydia into a crime he hopes will bring them together, they both begin to unravel, and each find that the other is not quite who they seem.

Paul Tudor Owen’s intriguing debut novel brilliantly evokes the New York of Paul Auster and Joseph O’Neill.

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Excerpt

Sooner or later, everybody comes to New York, and I was no exception. For me it was art school that brought me over, and I left behind the brash primary colours of late-90s London gladly and without remorse. Here I could reinvent myself, as others had before me, among the shining slabs of a city that seemed to have scale where others only had size, where history was measured in the minutes rather than the centuries, and where each of its ten million inhabitants began their lives anew each morning when they awoke and pulled up the blinds. After college I did everything I could to remain, winning a job and the work permit that came with it at the Bougainville Gallery in Chelsea, and spending the next few years living in a tiny apartment in Greenpoint with my girlfriend Hannah, working together at the gallery each day and growing gradually further and further apart.

In early spring in 2011, things finally came to a head, and I moved out, for reasons I don’t really want to go into here. I left, and went to stay on the couch of a former colleague in whom I’d increasingly been confiding. His name was not Jeff, but I have to give him a name and Jeff will do as well as any other. Hannah’s name wasn’t really Hannah either.

Jeff had two aunts who lived uptown in one of those huge late-nineteenth-century apartment blocks where wealthy families often take up a whole floor. Their apartment was enormous, sprawling, Jeff said, with an elegant roof garden looking out in a wide panorama over Central Park. But it was also ragged and unloved, and slowly rotting away; his aunts only lived there two days a week, spending the rest of their time at their other home on Long Island. To make sure the place didn’t collapse completely they usually took in a lodger, and as luck would have it, Jeff told me, they needed one right now. Since I was desperate to find somewhere to live, he would take me round to meet them and we could see whether we hit it off.

Far from being desperate to find somewhere to live, I was in fact quite enjoying my evenings in his apartment in Clinton Hill watching reality TV with his witty and outspoken girlfriend Severin, whose parents had named her after the character in the Velvet Underground song Venus in Furs. But I am a very suggestible person, and I must admit that as Jeff and I talked about it more I found myself drifting off into an agreeable fantasy about life in that cavernous apartment a stone’s throw from Central Park – the white whorl of the Guggenheim visible from the living room window, MoMA, the Met – and I began to feel really quite excited about the whole idea. For the five days each week when the Peacock sisters would be away I would have the whole palatial penthouse to myself, and it was pleasant to feel even in a vague and materialistic sense that I would be making some progress in my life after my break-up with Hannah, which I felt had set me back a step as the rest of my friends busied themselves getting married, getting pregnant, getting comfortably settled in for the next stage of life.

So I went up there with Jeff and Severin after work the next Wednesday, Severin boasting during the subway ride that the sisters viewed her as “the daughter they never had”, and they introduced me to Marie and Rose Peacock. We all had a glass of California red, and Marie and Rose took me on a quick whirl around the apartment – including the small bedroom beside the roof garden that would be mine. Then it was time for the Peacocks to leave for the theatre and we all took the lift down to the street. As Jeff flagged them down a cab, Marie Peacock asked me a few questions about my job, tugged thoughtfully at her coat cuffs, peered into my eyes, and abruptly proposed rent of a hundred dollars a week, a sum so minuscule for the Upper East Side she might as well have made it one peppercorn. I couldn’t shake her hand fast enough.

“We’ve been looking for a lodger for a while now,” she told me, as we sheltered from the spring breeze under the building’s awning.

“A year or two, off and on, since the last one,” put in Rose.

“We like to have someone we know…” continued Marie.

“Someone we know, or a friend of a friend…”

“Or a friend of a nephew!” said Marie, waving a gloved hand in Jeff’s direction. “So it often takes us a while to find the right person.”

“The last young man painted the bedroom walls green,” Rose recalled mournfully.

“I think we’ll say no painting the walls this time,” decided Marie. “Is that all right, young man?”

“Of course,” I said.

“You can move in tomorrow if you like,” added Rose, as Jeff held open the cab door.

So I did.

Obliterati | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the Author

IMG_6827.jpg

Paul Tudor Owen was born in Manchester in 1978, and was educated at the University of Sheffield, the University of Pittsburgh, and the London School of Economics.

He began his career as a local newspaper reporter in north-west London, and currently works at the Guardian, where he spent three years as deputy head of US news at the paper’s New York office.

His debut novel, The Weighing of the Heart, was shortlisted for the People’s Book Prize 2019 and longlisted for Not the Booker Prize 2019.

Paul Tudor Owen | Twitter | Instagram

Giveaway: For your chance to win a signed copy of Paul’s book, click the link below!

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North American Blog Tour Schedule

January 13th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Vick’s Bookish Writing (Review) https://vicksblogcom.home.blog/

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

January 14th

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Guest Post) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

Kristin’s Novel Café (Spotlight) https://knovelcafe.wordpress.com/

January 15th

Viviana MacKade (Guest Post) https://viviana-mackade.blog/

Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com

The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

Entertainingly Nerdy (Spotlight) https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com

January 16th

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

My Bookish Review (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

Life’s a Novelty (Review) https://lifesanovelty.blogspot.com/

The Bibliophagist (Spotlight) http://thebibliophagist.blog/

January 17th

Port Jerricho (Spotlight – Review to Follow) http://www.aislynndmerricksson.com

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) https://sophrilreads.com/

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It’s a new year and a new me! This is the year I will crush my TBR jar….hopefully. Check out what I am reading this month and let me know what you are reading 😋

Book Spotlight: Men Of The Year

Welcome to the blog tour for Men of the Year by Colleen McMillan! Read on for an exclusive excerpt from Colleen’s debut novel!

MofY digital cover.jpgMen of the Year

Publication Date: October 8, 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction/ Romantic Comedy

Publisher: Willow River Press

Cassie doesn’t want your pity. She doesn’t want your sympathy. And she certainly doesn’t want to date you.

When perpetually single Cassie McTiernan agrees to her friends’ online dating scheme, she thinks she’ll go on maybe two dates then bail before things get uncomfortable. She’s turning 30; might as well give it a shot, right? Little does she know that they’ve devised a contract, binding her to date one man per month for one year. Sure, if she finds Mr. Right she doesn’t have to complete their challenge. How hard could dating be?

Jumping through an increasingly long list of hoops, Cassie realizes that she might have to endure the entire torturous year with twelve strange men beside her. What could go wrong? Why does her first date need two cellphones? And is the man who broke her heart years before lurking behind that shadowy bush?

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Excerpt

“We have a proposition for you,” says Alicia, suddenly in let’s-make-a-deal mode. Her tone fits a power suit more than her jeans and sequined top.

“More of a bet, you guys said it was a bet,” says Keeley in a much more anxious voice than Alicia. There better not be a male stripper waiting at my apartment building when I get home. Hopefully they didn’t shave my cat like last Fourth of July.

“You’re such an ass Keel,” says Lindsey, in no way helpful. “She won’t win anything if she does it.”

“Oh, she’ll do it. She’s curious already.” Alicia’s grinning now too, but I feel my smile fading. It’s like I’m in front of a court-marshal hearing.

“What did you do?”

“It’s really awesome! I think it’s a really good idea! Lindsey and Alicia thought of it.”

“Great, so what is it?” The bar music changes to the Dropkick Murphys’ thudding beats, and I notice how many people are in the bar. A public place. Somewhere I can’t lose it and scream at them. “What is it?”

They all talk at once, cutting each other off.

“Don’t be mad—”

“Who cares if she’s mad, she’s doing it—”

“It was a good idea, right?”

“Enough you guys!” I pound the table with my mug, sloshing beer. It spills on my hand and I reach for some napkins. “Did you get me something stupid like a pony?”

“You wish,” says Alicia.

“It’s better than a fucking pony.”

“It’s a boyfriend!” Keeley’s exclamation startles me. She covers her lips with her fingers. “Sort of…”

“Not very easy to wrap,” I say and cross my arms over my chest. Please not a blow-up doll, please not a blow-up doll, not in front of all these people.

“It’s not the sort of thing Macy’s gift-wraps for you with a sprig of mint or whatever,” says Alicia as she waves her cocktail straw back and forth in a motion that suggests scolding one of her children. “We got you something thoughtful this year. Something you actually need.”

“I need a new loofa,” I mumble. And maybe some nice bath soaps. Is it too much to ask for nice bath soaps? Maybe honeysuckle-scented?

“Stop bitching and listen,” says Lindsey. “Alicia, Keeley, and I got together and really thought this through. Step one: you need to stop moping about dating and just get on with it, or ‘get it on with it’ if you will, you’re not getting any younger or thinner.”

“Thanks a lot.”

She ignores me and goes on, “Step two: stop whining about your job and get a better one.”

“She means start writing again,” whispers Keeley, trying to sound supportive.

“So basically, what you got me is an inspirational rant from a divorcee whose sole purpose in life is to sleep with as many men as she can before her vagina falls off.”

“Ha ha. Listen. We signed you up for an online dating service.”

“You did what?”

Available on Amazon

About the Author

colleen

Colleen may be a writer, but she’s also a dater. Many of the events in this novel happened to her or someone she knows, both male and female. Who hasn’t felt the harsh slap of an unanswered email on Match.Harmony.Fishing.com? Who hasn’t narrowly avoided an oncoming mouth with its tongue sticking out and drool tendrils forming in the corners? She wrote this novel because her fellow online daters needed a voice, or at least a fun read to get them through the day after their online crush quit the website because he “found someone else.” She has been published in Iconoclast literary magazine as well as in her college literary journal, Prologue. She lives in Minnesota with her faithful cat, Duncan.

REASON FOR WRITING THIS PARTICULAR NOVEL

My love life is disastrous, mainly because it’s nonexistent. What dates I did go on in my twenties went well enough, or so I thought. After a long string of first dates with men who weren’t too keen on my opinions once we actually met in person, I wondered if my other friends were having the same issues. Hint: they were. This was before rampant “dick pics” emerged, and most online dating sites were pay only. I signed up for Plenty of Fish, a free matchmaker site my friend recommended, which was an even bigger school of sharks masquerading as tropical fish. I had a terrible relationship stemming from that site, which prompted me to finish the little novel I’d been working on for years.

-Colleen McMillan

Between the Lines Publishing


MenoftheYear

Blog Tour Schedule

January 6th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Viviana MacKade (Spotlight) https://viviana-mackade.blog/

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

January 7th

LoopyLouLaura (Review) https://www.loopyloulaura.com/

Al-Alhambra Book Reviews (Review) https://alalhambrabookreviews.home.blog

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

January 8th

B is for Book Review (Interview) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

The Middle Years Journey (Review) https://themiddleyearsjourney.com/

I’m Into Books (Review) https://imintobooks.com

January 9th

My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

Crossroad Reviews (Spotlight)http://www.crossroadreviews.com/

January 10th

On the Shelf Reviews (Review) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours


It’s a new year and a new me! This is the year I will crush my TBR jar….hopefully. Check out what I am reading this month and let me know what you are reading 😋

Book Spotlight: Death In Smoke

Congratulations to author, Barbara Elle, on the release of her exciting thriller, Death in Smoke! For more details, be sure to read on!

Death in Smoke Cover

Death in Smoke (The Cape Mysteries #2)

*Each book in The Cape Mysteries can be read as a standalone novel

Publication Date: Dec. 5th, 2019

Genre: Psychological Thriller

A bloodied body buried in a snow bank on a remote island off Cape Cod.

A cold case in Kansas.

What’s the connection between two unrelated murders over a thousand miles away and decades apart?

In Death In Smoke, the thrilling sequel to Death In Vermilion, artist Leila Goodfriend unravels the truth about two brutal killings.

From Cuttyhunk Island to a Native American casino in Kansas, Leila tracks a trail of blood and revenge, littered with smoke screens and stone relics of a faded past.

Once again, Leila has to trust her instincts, which puts her at odds with Detective John Grace—a relationship of attraction that, in the end, reveals a tragic secret from her own past.

Despite the detective’s warnings, Leila puts her life at risk, obsessed with proving her friend’s innocence, at least of murder.

Death In Smoke, the new psychological thriller from acclaimed author Barbara Elle, takes readers on an inner and physical journey across clashing cultures and time, challenging assumptions about what is truth—what remains a mystery.

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About the Author

barbaraelle

In her stunning debut thriller, Death In Vermilion (The Cape Mysteries Book 1), acclaimed author Barbara Elle paints a clever and twisted picture of women and sisters, whose lives are entwined by a brutal murder in a Cape Cod town. Who can you trust?

Now, Death In Smoke (The Cape Mysteries Book 2) asks what’s the connection between a bloodied body buried in a snow bank on a remote island off the Cape and a cold case in Kansas? Can artist and amateur sleuth Leila Goodfriend solve this new mystery?

Barbara Elle fell in love with books and writing at a young age, honing her writing chops as a copywriter at major publishers and as a freelance journalist.

Growing up in Boston, but she became a New Yorker as an adult. Her writing draws on people and places she remembers, setting The Cape Mysteries on Cape Cod, a place of memories.

Barbara Elle continues collecting characters and plots, often traveling the world with her touring musician husband, the musical director for rock and roll icon Cyndi Lauper. In her travels, Barbara has explored Buddhist temples in Beijing, crypts in Vienna and Kabuki Theater in Tokyo.

Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

DeathinSmoke

Blog Tour Schedule

January 6th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

January 7th

Jessica Belmont (Spotlight) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

January 8th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Shalini’s Books & Reviews (Spotlight) https://bookreviewsbyshalini.com/

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

January 9th

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

On the Shelf Reviews (Spotlight) https://ontheshelfreviews.wordpress.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Tranquil Dreams (Review) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

January 10th

Ally’s Reading Corner (Spotlight) http://allysreadingcorner.wordpress.com

The Genre Minx Book Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.thegenreminx.com/

Crossroad Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.crossroadreviews.com

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours


2019 was a year full of reading and I compiled a list of the top 10 books of the year that I read. Watch the video and let me know if you agree with any of them!

Book Spotlight: Last To Love

Today we’re celebrating the upcoming release of Last to Love by Alexa Whitewolf! Read on for an exclusive sneak peek, and a chance to win a signed copy of the book!

Book Cover.jpg

Last to Love (Moonlight Rogues #4)

Expected Publication Date: December 31st, 2019

Genre: Paranormal/ Shapeshifter Romance

He’s the last one standing… So they sent the best one to break him.

Lucas

Love is for fools. I left all that wuss shit behind, and no fairy-like, smiling godmother will change my mind. I’ve got enough on my mind with a beta pushing my buttons and a town to keep safe. Never mind these urges inside me surfacing again, when I thought I’d buried them for good.

My wolves are falling in amore like bowling pins, and no amount of reasoning will make them stop. Now the third one’s gone over the moon, and they all expect me to be the last to love.

Only, they’ve got another thing coming. ‘Cause the only way I’m falling in love? Is over my dead body.

Monica

One more job, they said. One tiny thing I have to do, to bring the prodigal son back home in the warm arms of his beloved family. They said it would be easy. They gave me all the tools. But the minute I’m facing Lucas, I know all those plans have just failed. Burned, thrown out the window, type of failed. And I fully expect he’ll throw me out on my ass. So why is it he’s suddenly more interested in getting me in bed, rather than exiled? And what happens when I fall for it, but it’s too late to stop the events I’ve set into motion?

*Book IV in a paranormal shifter series filled with werewolves of all kinds, feisty females who stand up to them, and enough suspense to make it interesting. Can be read as a standalone for the romance, but for a better experience it’s suggested you read the full series first.*

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Excerpt

Monica

Damn it, but they could have warned me what to expect!

Luciano Conti is nothing like I pictured. He’s gorgeous, and fine as hell, sure. But he’s also cold, and unsettling. And in control. I didn’t miss the way his wolf responded, that flash of interest quickly squashed as soon as he realized who I am – nor did I miss the pack outside of here. Clearly, I’ve walked in the middle of a warzone.

The question is, how much more chaos can I cause before Luciano – or Lucas, as he calls himself now – throws me out of here? I bite my lower lip, noticing his gaze drop to it. My instructions were clear. Ruin the life he built here, and force him to come back home. If I do, I’d be free, and Alessandro Conti would ensure it.

Only problem is, as I’m standing opposite Luciano, it takes all my will to ignore the hum of electricity between us. I’ve always been the one in control – always. And yet his dark gaze does something to my insides that makes me feel almost…shy.

Basta! Don’t be a fool.

In an effort to distract myself, I look around. “You’ve done well for yourself, Luciano. Your parents will be proud.”

A noise escapes him, and I meet his unnerving gaze just in time to catch a glimpse of amusement. Then he schools his expression once more. I’ve known men who are good at that, but he makes it into an art. He is a piece of art.

Focus…

“What was so funny?” He clearly doesn’t like my question. But it’s his words that unsettle me more.

“What’s funny, cara, is you keep mentioning parents as if I have two of them. My mother died years ago. Matter of fact, she committed suicide after my brother died in a failed deal – all thanks to my father. But surely Alessandro Conti told you all this, before sending you into the wolf’s den?”

His grin is nothing short of predatory. And that dangerous glint in his onyx eyes causes a low tremor to start in me.

Merda! I’ve been had, that’s for sure. Only question is, how the heck do I get out of this now?

Will be available on Amazon December 31st!

The Moonlight Rogue Series

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*Note for bloggers/ and or book reviewers: The entire series is available for review. Contact the author for details!

About the Author

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Alexa Whitewolf is a fiction writer, newspaper columnist of daily issues and author of the critically acclaimed Moonlight Rogues shifter series.

Alexa has been a lifelong writer and first began creating other worlds and characters at the ripe age of 12. Growing up in the Transylvania region surrounded by epic mountains and a never ending stream of legends and stories was bound to create an overactive imagination. This shines through Ms. Whitewolf’s writing by creating worlds filled with unique folklore, life wisdom and plenty of furry creatures.

An avid traveler, Alexa writes under a penname and spends her days between an office job and writing, in Canada’s capital when she’s not flying somewhere with lush landscapes and plenty of hiking trails.

Her series focus on strong heroines, kind yet sexy men, fights of good and evil and the never-ending learning curve of humanity’s strong – and weak – points. Romanian folklore is intertwined with her writing, more notably in her shifter romance series, the Moonlight Rogues. Her other series draw on world mythology, such as the Avalon myth and Arthurian legend (the Avalon Chronicles) and Ancient Egypt (The Sage’s Legacy).

You can follow her blog at http://www.alexawhitewolf.com/blog or on social media. Her column in Observatorul also tackles various issues, including health, technology, and a writer’s life.

If you want up to date releases, make sure you sign up for her newsletter www.alexawhitewolf.com/contact

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Amazon | Goodreads

For a chance to win a signed copy of Last to Love, click the link below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Blitz Schedule

December 16th

Reads & Reels – http://readsandreels.com

Breakeven Books – https://breakevenbooks.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds – http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Crossroad Reviews – http://www.crossroadreviews.com

December 17th

I Smell Sheep – http://www.ismellsheep.com/

Turning the Pages – https://turningthepagesonline.wordpress.com

The Genre Minx Book Reviews – http://www.thegenreminx.com/

December 18th

Banshee Irish Horror Blog – www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com

I Love Books and Stuff – https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

Bibliophile Ramblings – http://lego–ergo–sum.blogspot.com/

Books, Teacup & Reviews – https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/

December 19th

Book Dragon Girl – https://bookdragongirl.com

Literary Dust – https://literarydust.wordpress.com/

Rambling Mads – http://ramblingmads.com

Book Blitz Organized By:

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December is here and the year is almost over. Check out all the books I got as a last haul of 2019!


One of my authors that I follow regularly, Lucia Mann (, has put out another book called Endless Incarceration Sorrows. It will be releasing in January 2020 so keep an eye out for it!

EIS - Book Cover (Small)