Book Spotlight: The Best of No Small Thing

Welcome to the book tour for The Best of No Small Thing with its accompanying gratitude workbook, Practice Gratitude. This unique collection of blog posts is by author, Deborah Hawkins!

Read on for details and a chance to win a set of books!

paperbackbookstanding.TBONST copyThe Best of No Small Thing

Publication Date: December 2019

Genre: Collection of Blog Posts/ Non-Fiction

No Small Thing – Mindful Meditations (NoSmallThing.net) was launched in 2010 with the intention of reflecting on experiences that generated feelings of gratitude in order to create a positive mood and orientation to life. As of fall of 2019, over 500 reflections (mindful meditations) have been published along with over 100 tips that can be employed in a gratitude practice.

This mindfulness process is detailed in a companion book, Practice Gratitude: Transform Your Life. It emphasizes the creation of personal gratitude themes, one’s Grateful Dozen, which can help a person see things that spark grateful feelings in new situations. This is a collection of favorite blog posts that came out of this process.

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paperbackstanding2-practice graitude copyPractice Gratitude: Transform Your Life

Publication Date: December 2019

Genre: Practice Guide/ Gratitude Journal

For several decades, studies have supported the idea that gratitude has many positive benefits. It boosts optimism, a sense of personal control, and even enhances relationships. Keeping a simple gratitude journal, where daily entries are made identifying things that spark gratitude, has become a very popular. Deborah Hawkins, originator of NoSmallThing.net, goes beyond listing little boons to generate good feelings. In this book, she teaches techniques for mindfulness, self-inquiry, and writing to build memories that activate strong positive emotions. This guide and workbook helps readers understand what kinds of personal experiences prompt uplifting feelings of gratitude in them, develop broad themes that apply to these experiences, and then use these themes to see and experience gratitude in new situations. This approach can empower anyone to begin each new day with confidence that things they love and value are already present. A companion book, Best of No Small Thing – Mindful Meditations provides examples of posts that were written using this process.

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Excerpt from The Best of No Small Thing

Since I started writing down my mindful meditations, I have tried to pay extra attention to things that affect me, things that change my mood or outlook, or simply things that I’m grateful for. Keeping an eye out for these kinds of things has brought up memories of my father and some paradoxical advice he tried to impart.

My father died when he was sixty-two. I was in my midtwenties and going through a divorce. He was not around often when I was growing up as he worked very long hours, but his presence was oh so constant. We didn’t go to many ballgames together or to the park. He didn’t teach me how to drive or mentor me in some important life skills, but I knew he loved me very much.

Starting when I was about thirteen, he used to pull me under his arm and repeat an odd phrase. “Don’t worry about the little
things. It’s the big things that are important.” Then he’d add, as if confiding something more profound to me, “Don’t worry about the big things. It’s the little things that are important.”

Available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.

You can also purchase Practice Gratitude on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.

About the Author

Deb10-19 copy

Returning to her hometown in 2008, after nearly one year spent, unsuccessfully, trying to create a new career in a new town, Deborah Hawkins found herself fighting depression and struggling to maintain solvency. In her early fifties, looking for financial help from her family was especially hard. A car accident, caused by an uninsured driver, kept her off her feet for months. She felt cursed.

She began blogging on gratitude in 2010 as a way to focus on positives and elevate her mood. Inspired by Eckhart Tolle’s words, “Acknowledging the good that is already in your life is the foundation for all abundance,” she developed a mindfulness orientation for her own gratitude practice. This practice led her to post weekly over the last decade; around 500 posts.

Beyond traditional gratitude journals and lists, Deborah’s approach focuses on understanding things that sparked gratitude in past experiences and using this understanding to identify similar qualities in new situations. She attributes her gratitude practice with bringing a sense of empowerment and contentment to her life.

She plans to make her process available as a tele-seminar in the near future. Deborah has a BA from Knox College and lives in Chicago.

No Small Thing Blog | Facebook | Instagram

Giveaway: The author is giving away two sets of these books. Click the link below to enter!

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TheBest-Practice

Blog Tour Schedule

November 16th

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

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

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

November 17th

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

The Cozy Pages (Spotlight) http://thecozypages.wordpress.com/

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

November 18th

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

Sophil Reads (Review) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

Stine Writing (Review) https://christinebialczak.com/

November 19th

@BrendaJeanCombs (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/brendajeancombs/

@bookandwinelovers (Review) https://www.instagram.com/bookandwinelovers/

@thecrookedhouse (Review) https://www.instagram.com/thecrookedhouse/

November 20th

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

@burlingtonbibliophagist (Review) https://www.instagram.com/burlingtonbibliophagist/

Meli’s Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://melisbokreviews.wordpress.com/

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours


NEW BOOK OUT – ACORNS & ROOTS

An indestructible object full of strong magic, tempting the darkest of souls. Rare rainbow roots that are sold for a high price in the city, offering a young man a way to pay rent as he faces eviction. The secret to taking down a corrupt king and avoiding disenchantment, if a young Pixie succeeds in reaching her destination.

It is believed that all of these things can be found in the Valley, accessed through an Enchanted Forest that is struggling to survive against a dark magic- harnessing monarchy. A rebellion is stirring, and when Forest Pixie Fillii falls from a tree, landing directly on top of unemployed Amer (who doesn’t believe in things like Enchanted Forests), their journeys and worlds literally collide.

With vastly different yet strangely similar backgrounds and experiences, Fillii and Amer must both decide whether they can afford to trust each other, and what is worth fighting for.

Joined by magical creatures such as Elves and a Caribou army, Fillii and Amer find themselves in the midst of an epic battle of survival, old magic, and secrets carved in stone.

About the Author

Megs Calleja is a Canadian writer and actor, whose professional screenwriting has aired with TELUS and The CW. A member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada, Megs is inspired by magical wardrobes, shooting stars, marmalade on toast, and dancing in the rain. This is her first novel.

Buy the book here: https://www.amazon.ca/Acorns-Roots-Megs-Calleja/dp/1525561170/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=acorns+%26+roots&qid=1605223167&sr=8-1



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

I did the Anti TBR Tag that was created by Nicole & Her Books! It was weird to talk about books I didn’t want to read but also fun at the same time! Let me know what books you have no interest in reading in the comments below. Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Buried In My Past

5 STAR thriller, Buried in My Past by author Eva Mackenzie, is on sale for ONLY $0.99 from now until October 30th on Amazon, AND as a special treat to our hosts and their readers, the author is giving away a brand new 32GB Kindle Paperwhite (Value $159.00)!!!

buried-in-my-past 

Buried in My Past

Genre: Domestic Thriller/ Romantic Suspense

Publication Date: February 6th, 2020

Publisher: Craven Ink Press

She’s desperate to stop the panic attacks. But the truth won’t set her free…

Jamie Kendal sees life through the bottom of a bottle. After surviving assault and betrayal, she is forced back to her hometown to care for her mother. Not long after her return, she’s plagued by terrifying slivers of memories from the night her twin brother disappeared forever…

Unearthing new evidence, she’s shocked to learn she’d been found wandering in the woods that same night—covered in blood. More than one person from her past hid the haunting truth that’s bubbling to the surface. The deeper she digs into the horrors from her past, the more she fears almost anyone could be a killer, including Jamie herself.

Can Jamie expose what happened that night, or will she join her missing brother?

*Trigger Warnings: Implied Sexual Assault but none depicted

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Excerpt

Every night her mother fell asleep atop a deep, dark secret. A box containing a mystery wrapped in the blood of her twins.

She wasn’t a killer. That’s what she told Drew; that’s what she told herself. But now, sitting on the floor of her mothers’ room, she cradled evidence that suggested otherwise. And she had no memory for an alibi.

Available on Amazon!

About the Author

eva-fav-alley.jpg

Eva Mackenzie is an author who enjoys twisty, emotionally engrossing tales. Her debut novel has been a work in progress for over a decade. Under the urging of a loved one, it’s finally finished.

She is a wife and mother living on the east coast. When she isn’t writing, she is spending time with her family, training for her next marathon or reading stacks of suspense novels. Some of her favorite authors are Minka Kent, Dean Koontz, Tami Hoag, and Lisa Jackson.

Eva Mackenzie | Facebook | Instagram GoodreadsNewsletter

WIN A BRAND NEW 32GB Kindle Paperwhite (Value $159.00)!!! ENTER BELOW!!!

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Book Blitz Organized By:

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An author and friend of mine recently released another book that you should check out. It is called The Little Breadwinner: War and Survival in the Salvadoran Heartland by Lucia Mann.

The Little Breadwinner - Front 3D Cover

Synopsis: FROM 1980 TO 1992, A TURBULENT CIVIL WAR ravaged the Central American state of El Salvador, claiming the lives of approximately 75,000 Salvadorans. The Little Breadwinner is a story of tyrannized, frightened families—mostly poor peasants, indigenous peoples, and child farm workers—whose lives signified nothing to the military death squads.

Lucia Mann, who was in El Salvador at the time, recalls this vivid historical portrait of human rights violations during and after the “dirty” war between the military-led government and left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front. This brutal conflict was backed politically, economically, and militarily by the United States with CIA involvement.

Throughout these pages, you will experience intense trials of courageous survival with unforgettable characters who yearn for peace, justice, and normalcy. One of the brave women you will meet is Estella Godwin Lozano (a Waorani tribe descendant of the Amazon rain forest), who suffered terribly before her brutal demise in Laredo, Texas in 2019. She was a “little person” who became traumatically affected by the abuse perpetrated by National Guard soldiers outside her pueblo home. She heroically joined the Sandinistas (Cuban-backed guerillas) to seek revenge upon the villains of her country.

Buy the book on Amazon!



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

I saw this challenge on Elliot Brooks’ channel and knew that I had to do it! It’s called the Blindfold Book Cover Challenge! And it was featuring my parents since they were visiting over the weekend. Hope you enjoy it! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Eucalyptus Street – Green Curse

To celebrate the release of the next exciting book in the Botanic Hill Detectives mystery series, Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse is going on tour!

We have an excerpt for you to read and a chance to win a signed, personalized paperback copy of the book, and some matching book swag!

Ebook_EucalyptusStreet_GreenCurse_02(1)Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse 

Publication Date: October 20, 2020 (Today

Genre: MG Mystery/ Middle Grade

(For fans of Nancy Drew type mysteries)

In 1945, Isabela de Cordoba’s great-grandfather, the famous silent movie actor Lorenzo de Cordoba, mysteriously hid a legendary, multimillion-dollar emerald somewhere on the family’s sprawling Eucalyptus Street estate. Seventy years later, the gem remains concealed. Nicknamed the “Green Curse,” the emerald is blamed for the Southern California familia’s numerous, untimely deaths.

On her twenty-first birthday, Isabela receives a secret letter with a cryptic poem. These documents from the long-deceased Lorenzo invite her to hunt for the gemstone. But first, she must decipher the poem’s eight stanzas for clues.

To assist, Isabela hires her thirteen-year-old neighbors, the four Botanic Hill Detectives—twins Lanny and Lexi Wyatt, and their best friends, Moki Kalani and Rani Kumar. Eerie footsteps inside the mansion, unexplained occurrences in the adjacent cemetery, and the mysterious tenant in the backyard casita challenge them. But they ingeniously make progress on the poem’s meaning with startling discoveries. Sliding wall panels, a secret room, and hidden passages reveal much. The detectives aren’t the only ones looking for the emerald. The perilous race for the de Cordoba treasure is on!

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

Lanny is awakened at four a.m. by the sound of footsteps coming from the room overhead. He and Moki head to the third floor to explore:

Their eyes had adjusted to the darkness. Lanny pointed to the door of the suspected room and flashed Moki an A-OK sign. They turned off their flashlights, noticing the room’s door was slightly ajar, and listened for any sounds. Nothing but the mournful “who-who” sound of the resident barn owl in the old magnolia tree outside. They waited two more minutes, shivering and wishing they hadn’t forgotten their bathrobes and slippers. Still no sounds came from the room. Even the owl became silent. Moki felt the hair on the back of his neck stand up.

Finally, Lanny pushed the door open slightly and slipped into the room. Moki followed.

Available in paperback and for Kindle!

About the Author

photo01

Sherrill Joseph will be forever inspired by her beautiful students in the San Diego public schools where she taught for thirty-five years before retiring and becoming a published author.

She has peopled and themed the Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries with children and adult characters of various abilities, races, cultures, and interests. Sherrill strongly believes that children need to find not only themselves in books but others from different races and social situations if all are to become tolerant, anti-racist world citizens.

In addition, the author created her detectives—patterned after her own fifth-grade students and twelve-year-old twin cousins—to be mature, smart, polite role models that will appeal to parents, teachers, but especially to kids who seek to realize their greatest potential with courage and self-respect.

Sherrill is a lexical-gustatory synesthete and native San Diegan where she lives in a 1928 Spanish-style house in a historic neighborhood with her poodle-bichon mix, Jimmy Lambchop. Other loves include her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. She can’t leave out dark chocolate, popcorn, old movies, purple, and daisies. Having never lived in a two-story house, she is naturally fascinated by staircases. Sherrill is a member of SCBWI and the Authors Guild and promises many more adventures with the squad to come.

Sherrill Joseph | Newsletter | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Giveaway:

2 lucky winners will receive a signed, personalized paperback copy of the book, and some matching book swag (US only this time)! Giveaway will be open until October 31st!

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EucalyptusStreetBT

Blog Tour Schedule

October 26th

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

@the.b00kreader (Review) https://www.instagram.com/the.b00kreader

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

Jennifer Mitchell, Bibliolater (Spotlight) https://www.jennifermitchellbooks.com

October 27th

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

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

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

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

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

October 28th

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

Stine Writing (Review) https://christinebialczak.com/

Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Spotlight) www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com

October 29th

The Consulting Writer (Spotlight) https://theconsultingwriter.wordpress.com

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

Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

October 30th

Lunarian Press (Interview) https://www.lunarianpress.com/

Meli’s Book Reviews (Review) https://melisbokreviews.wordpress.com/

Rosie Writes (Spotlight) http://rosemariecawkwell.wordpress.com

Blog Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours


An author and friend of mine recently released another book that you should check out. It is called The Little Breadwinner: War and Survival in the Salvadoran Heartland by Lucia Mann.

The Little Breadwinner - Front 3D Cover

Synopsis: FROM 1980 TO 1992, A TURBULENT CIVIL WAR ravaged the Central American state of El Salvador, claiming the lives of approximately 75,000 Salvadorans. The Little Breadwinner is a story of tyrannized, frightened families—mostly poor peasants, indigenous peoples, and child farm workers—whose lives signified nothing to the military death squads.

Lucia Mann, who was in El Salvador at the time, recalls this vivid historical portrait of human rights violations during and after the “dirty” war between the military-led government and left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front. This brutal conflict was backed politically, economically, and militarily by the United States with CIA involvement.

Throughout these pages, you will experience intense trials of courageous survival with unforgettable characters who yearn for peace, justice, and normalcy. One of the brave women you will meet is Estella Godwin Lozano (a Waorani tribe descendant of the Amazon rain forest), who suffered terribly before her brutal demise in Laredo, Texas in 2019. She was a “little person” who became traumatically affected by the abuse perpetrated by National Guard soldiers outside her pueblo home. She heroically joined the Sandinistas (Cuban-backed guerillas) to seek revenge upon the villains of her country.

Buy the book on Amazon!



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

I saw this challenge on Elliot Brooks’ channel and knew that I had to do it! It’s called the Blindfold Book Cover Challenge! And it was featuring my parents since they were visiting over the weekend. Hope you enjoy it! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Emergence

Welcome to the tour for exciting medical thriller, Emergence by Shira Shiloah MD! Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!

EMERGENCE 2D CoverEmergence

Publication Date: September 15th, 2020

Genre: Medical Thriller

A SCALPEL WIELDING VILLAIN.

A HEALTHCARE SYSTEM THAT FAILS.

A WHISTLEBLOWER THAT PROTECTS HER PATIENTS – NO MATTER THE COSTS.

Trusted anesthesiologist, Dr. Roxanne Roth, is healing from the loss of her fiancé by consuming her time with work. It doesn’t hurt that her new love interest, Dr. Justin Kirkland, spends almost as much time at the hospital as she does.

Entranced in the throes and complications of new love, Roxanne looks forward to work every day. Her time at the hospital would almost be cathartic if not for Dr. D.K. Webb, a neurosurgeon, who is quickly amassing a pile of complaints – and bodies.

Despite trying to avoid Webb, Roxanne finds herself working alongside the doctor during a routine, low-risk surgery. Fueled by cocaine and ego, Webb intentionally sabotages the case, leading to the patient dying on the operating table.

Roxanne’s tenuous grip on recovery is shattered with her patient’s death, quickly replaced by anger and a drive for justice. Now Roxanne will do anything to protect her patients from the killer on the other side of the sterile surgical field—before he can silence her as well.

In this gripping, sinister medical thriller, Dr. Shira Shiloah will leave readers wondering about the potential evil lurking behind every surgical mask.

“Authentic characters and a vivid hospital setting enhance a tense medical tale.”
– Kirkus Review

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Excerpt

D.K. wasn’t concerned that Mrs. Welty, his grossly obese patient, was unable to swallow. His surgery had cured herdisc and he’d functionally given her a gastric bypass for free. She would lose all that weight, so she and her husband should be thanking him. The med exec board had already flagged the lumbar fusion from last month that woke paraplegic. Now they’d flagged Welty as well and he’d been “invited” to a review next week.

He sauntered into the sushi restaurant and found Crystal, as instructed, waiting for him at the bar. Her outfit was to his specifications as well. A white see-through leotard with the thong clearly visible on her perfect booty; her red skin-tight pants hung low. She wore a white choker further accentuating her perfect deep ebony complexion. Her nails and eyelashes were as long as they were fake. Costume jewelry bracelets decorated her wrists.

He caressed her pierced left nipple and kissed her neck. She smiled and kissed his cheek.

Purchase Here!

About the Author

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Dr. Shira Shiloah is an anesthesiologist and author of the debut thriller, Emergence, that details Dr. D.K. Webb, a neurosurgeon who intentionally maims and kills his patients in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Shiloah bring both a personal and professional perspective for what may happen when a sociopath holds a scalpel.

Shira Shiloah MD | Twitter Instagram 

Giveaway: For a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card, please click the link below!

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Emergance

Blog Tour Schedule

October 12th

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

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

@the.b00kreader (Review) https://www.instagram.com/the.b00kreader

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

October 13th

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

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

PoptheButterfly (Spotlight) https://popthebutterfly.wordpress.com

October 14th

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

@burlingtonbibliophagist (Review) https://www.instagram.com/p/CC6Qy6yABBJ/?igshid=1gadff8igjmwv

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

The Consulting Writer (Spotlight) https://theconsultingwriter.wordpress.com

October 15th

@ace.blackmore (Review) https://www.instagram.com/ace_blackmore/

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

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

October 16th

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

Stine Writing (Review) https://christinebialczak.com/

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

Blog Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours


An author and friend of mine recently released another book that you should check out. It is called The Little Breadwinner: War and Survival in the Salvadoran Heartland by Lucia Mann.

The Little Breadwinner - Front 3D Cover

Synopsis: FROM 1980 TO 1992, A TURBULENT CIVIL WAR ravaged the Central American state of El Salvador, claiming the lives of approximately 75,000 Salvadorans. The Little Breadwinner is a story of tyrannized, frightened families—mostly poor peasants, indigenous peoples, and child farm workers—whose lives signified nothing to the military death squads.

Lucia Mann, who was in El Salvador at the time, recalls this vivid historical portrait of human rights violations during and after the “dirty” war between the military-led government and left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front. This brutal conflict was backed politically, economically, and militarily by the United States with CIA involvement.

Throughout these pages, you will experience intense trials of courageous survival with unforgettable characters who yearn for peace, justice, and normalcy. One of the brave women you will meet is Estella Godwin Lozano (a Waorani tribe descendant of the Amazon rain forest), who suffered terribly before her brutal demise in Laredo, Texas in 2019. She was a “little person” who became traumatically affected by the abuse perpetrated by National Guard soldiers outside her pueblo home. She heroically joined the Sandinistas (Cuban-backed guerillas) to seek revenge upon the villains of her country.

Buy the book on Amazon!



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

I created an original book tag and am super excited about it! I present to you the Barking Bout Books Tag!! My dog Max recently passed away and I decided to make this book tag in remembrance of him. I would love to see your renditions of this tag! Let me know in the comments below what you think of the tag. Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Minute Zero

Happy publication day, and congratulations to author Chris Jayne on the release of Minute Zero (Stronghold #1)

Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card!

Minute Zero_big

Minute Zero (Stronghold #1)

Publication Date: September 11th, 2020 (Today 🎉)

Publisher: Inferis Press

When the world ends in a heartbeat, suddenly old secrets don’t matter anymore.  But new ones still do, and protecting the ones you love is the only thing that still remains.

Two sisters, one a trendy caterer on the run from a vicious killer, the other a country midwife.

Because of a simple mistake, Lori Dovner must flee from the vicious mafioso Raoul Saldata, and her life goes from routine day to terrifying journey in a single moment. On the road with her two children, her only goal is to get to her sister’s Montana farm alive.  But both Lori and Louise have been hiding a devastating secret for years.

Two brothers, one a Navy Seal on leave, the other a good man who wants to do right by his family.

Captain Deacon Hale is taking two weeks to help his brother Roger and his wife Louise on their remote Montana farm.  He loved Lori once, but has finally put her behind him.  Roger Hale just wants to give his pregnant wife and two young children a good life.  He has no idea about the betrayals that have been hidden from him.

Dangerous identity.

Angela Jones is an FBI agent with a terrible debt that she knows she will someday have to pay.  And when Raoul Saldata calls in that marker she has no choice but to comply.

Evil incarnate.

Raoul Saldata as a child in Albania, would pretend he was a dhampir, the offspring resulting from the mating between a human female and a vampire.  A myth of course, but the evil Saldata practices is anything but.  And when he finds Lori Dovner, he intends to do a lot more than just kill her.

“Minute Zero” Stronghold: Book One is an apocalyptic EMP thriller (with a touch of romance) about an ordinary family struggling to stay safe and find each other in the face of insurmountable odds, an abysmal loss of life and the dawn of a new, post-apocalyptic dark age.

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

“Roger, I’m in trouble.”

His voice came back, quick and sure. “What’s going on? Where are you?”

“I’m at a rest area about an hour outside of Billings.”

“West or east?”

“West. We’re maybe twenty miles from where we go off the highway and come north to Lewiston. I can’t remember the road number.”

“191,” he supplied. She heard Roger speaking to someone else in the room, his voice distant, as if he was holding the phone away from his mouth. “Top drawer of the desk. Yeah, there. There’s a road atlas in there.” His voice came back into the phone. “I’m think I know where you are, but I’m getting a map. What’s going on?”

“The man who is after me is here. His name is Raoul Saldata and…”

“There? Now? With you?” Roger’s voice, while remaining calm, still carried a note of real urgency.

“No. I saw him just by chance. He didn’t see me. He got into a car and left.”

“You’re sure he didn’t see you?”

“Yes. If he’d seen me, there’s no way he would have driven off.” She quickly shared with her brother-in-law her guess that if it were not for Grace’s illness, they would already be at their destination and because of that, Saldata was no longer looking for them on the road. “Roger,” Lori voice cracked, “he wants to kill me. And he’s not alone. He’s got two people with him, a man and a woman.”

Lori heard what sounded like a door slam and then another voice muffled in the background, the words unintelligible, but it was definitely a male voice, and not her sister.

“How long ago was this?”

“Just a couple of minutes. I saw him, watched him leave, walked back to my car, and then called you.” She did the quick math. “No more than five minutes.”

“So, two hours from here,” Roger stated flatly. Lori got the feeling he was talking to someone else as well as to her. “Is he armed?”

Lori swallowed, her throat dry as dust, thinking about what she’d seem at Saldata’s house. “I’m sure he is. But,” Lori had a sudden thought, “can you bring guns on the plane?”

“He flew?”

“He was in a rental car. I assume he flew. That means he would have had to bring the guns on the plane, right? Can you do that?”

“You have to declare them if you fly commercial. But, if this guy has enough money or influence, he may have come on a private jet. Then he could bring anything he wanted.” Roger paused. “Tell me about who he’s with.”

“I don’t know who they are. I don’t know this man, really, at all. I just did a party for him. But, the first one is some sort of helper. A bodyguard maybe. I saw him at Saldata’s house. The other one is a woman. Young, maybe thirty. Very professional.” Lori envisioned what she’d seen in the restroom and suddenly Lori realized exactly what she looked like. “Like a lawyer or a detective maybe. She saw me in the bathroom.”

“She saw you?” Roger couldn’t hide the shock from his voice.

“Yes,” Lori explained, “but she didn’t recognize me. I cut my hair really short and dyed it black. I look very different. And the kids weren’t with me, thank God.”

There was a long pause as Roger was obviously considering the next steps. “Did you notice the model of the car?”

“No, Roger, I’m sorry, I don’t really know car models. It was a small SUV.” She thought about car models that she knew, ones that she and some of her friends owned. “It wasn’t as big as my Range Rover. Maybe something like a Toyota 4Runner. That size. It was gray. And it definitely had Montana plates.”

“How did he know you were coming here?”

“I don’t know, but…” Quickly, Lori shared with Roger her fear that Saldata had somehow found her employees, Salvadore and Michelle.

As she waited for Roger to respond, she watched her two children with Simone. Brandon had run over to Simone, and, his face turned up, he said something to her. He smiled, so sweet and trusting. My God, she had to protect them, all of them. The silence on Roger’s side of the call grew. “What should I do? Where should I go? I’m so sorry.” She heard her voice rising to shrill, but she couldn’t stop it.

Roger interrupted curtly. “What’s done is done, Lori. You need to hold it together. And the only thing that matters now is keeping everyone safe.”

“I don’t know what to do. Even if I turn around and I didn’t come to you, he’s still on his way there.”

“I want you to stay there.”

“Here? At the rest stop?”

“Yes, I’m going to send someone to get you. Do you remember my brother Deacon? He’s on leave and visiting us for a few weeks.”

For the second time in ten minutes, Lori felt like she’d been punched in the stomach and for a very long moment, she could not breathe. On a day when things could not possibly have gotten worse, they just did. “I met him at your wedding,” she managed to choke out. That flat statement masked a wealth of information. Did Roger notice how strangled her voice was?

Lori remembered Deacon Hale very well, but now was not the time to dwell on it, though why in the name of all that was holy had her sister not mentioned that Deacon was there visiting them? For a brief hysterical second, she wondered if she’d be better off taking her chances with Saldata. And in the next moment, she knew a hard truth, one she had never allowed herself to acknowledge. The main reason she had avoided being around Lou and Roger for the last five years was that Roger reminded her way, way too much of Deacon. She could barely gasp out her next, strangled question. “So, you’re not coming?”

“No.” Roger’s voice was flat and hard. “If what you say is true, I have three people on their way here who are perfectly capable of putting a bullet into the brains of anyone in my family.”

“You think I should just wait here? At the rest stop? What if he comes back?”

“You’re sure the woman didn’t recognize you?”

“Yeah, I’m sure. She just walked right out of the bathroom. I look really different, Roger.”

“Then, they won’t come back,” Roger responded, his voice full of confidence. “Why would they? And even if they’d turn around for some reason, they’d be on the other side of the interstate.” Lori saw the logic in that. “Just sit tight. Deke’ll be there in two hours, give or take.”

In less than three hours she’d see him. See Deke. Could she do it? There was no way. No. Fucking. Way.

The phone went dead in her hand.

And in one instant the world changed forever.

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 About the Author

chris-jayne-author-headshot_orig

Chris Jayne is author of the apocalyptic EMP series “Stronghold.”

Jayne is also the penname of a USA Today bestselling romance and thriller author who is has started asking “what if?”  What if the lights go off?  What if the food supply chain just… stops?   The world could become an unfriendly place in a hurry.

Three years ago, Chris began exploring the “prepper” lifestyle, and hopes that if TEOTWAWKI would actually happen, she would be in a position to protect her family and loved ones.

She now spends her days  splitting her time between her romance writing and her apocalyptic and dystopian fiction novels. Because what’s more fun than imagining the end of the world from the comfort of your couch?  And if the end of the world has a few sexy Navy Seals in it?  All the better!

She loves writing stories exploring how ordinary people cope with extraordinary circumstances, especially situations where the normal comforts, conveniences, and rules are stripped away.

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I once again make an attempt at doing a weekly reading vlog! I clearly need more practice with these but hopefully, you enjoy this video of me being chaotic. Let me know how you do you reading vlogs in the comments down below! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Younger & Wiser

I’m happy to share this unique collection of poetry with you all today. Read on for more info, and a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!

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Younger & Wiser: Peaceful Words for a Troubled World

Publication Date: September 1st 2020

Genre: Poetry Collection

A unique literary masterpiece, richly seasoned with wisdom, humor and inspiration.

In Younger and Wiser, Gene S. Jones travels beyond traditional formats to explore the full spectrum of human emotions and experiences. Utilizing pithy vignettes anchored by clever backstories, Younger and Wiser relates the eclectic saga of the author’s fascinating personal odyssey. The result is a mind-expanding reading adventure that expresses heartfelt emotions and life lessons while demonstrating a deep appreciation for humanity’s ability to improve itself. Featuring intimate storytelling and witty humor interspersed with profound wisdom, Younger and Wiser delivers bite-sized nuggets of invaluable insights for readers of all ages.

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Giveaway: A $25 Amazon gift card, open to everyone. The giveaway will run from today until September 12th. Click the here to enter!

About the Author

GENE JONES BOOK PHOTO

Nationally acclaimed game show host Gene Jones has spent his life inspiring others to achieve creative excellence. From teaching seminars on innovation, serving as Associate Editor of the Guinness Book of World Records, and thirty years of professional speech writing to entertaining audiences and producing major events nationwide, Jones has enjoyed a colorful career. His many achievements include success as a writer, entertainer, producer, director and business executive. His brilliant use of backstories in Younger and Wiser bridges the gap between literary memoir and eclectic verse to become the missing link between mainstream non-fiction and the poetry genre.

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We tried out the Whisper Challenge using sentences from books off of our bookshelves! It was a lot of fun and we had some ridiculous results. Watch us attempt our way through this! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Telephone Road

Looking for the perfect twisty thriller, try Telephone Road by Ann Swann! 

TelephoneRoadEbookCoverUse

Telephone Road

Publication Date: August 4th

Genre: Thriller

Publisher5 Prince Publishing

Marlena caught the eye of one of the richest, hottest guys on campus, Preston. But when her attention shifts, and she falls in love with a hometown boy, Jimmy, she finds out that Preston is also deeply disturbed.

What follows is a life-changing evening out on Telephone Road, and Marlena knows she will never be the same when she takes matters into her own hands.

Justice has a new meaning. It’s called revenge.

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Excerpt

The remains of the sunset reflecting across the rippling water drew me to lean down and dip my fingers into the cold, bubbling flow. The sounds lent a storybook feel to the scene. The air was cool and still, fragrant with the loamy, nose-tickling scent of damp earth and fresh water. Multicolored leaves and drifts of pine needles carpeted the ground, softening our steps and turning the whole area into a painter’s fall palette.

I sat cross-legged on the plaid blanket he’d spread. “This is kind of amazing,” I admitted around a mouthful of pizza. “How’d you find it?”

              Preston looked into the distance. “I spend a lot of time in the woods,” he said. “It’s my refuge. I just needed you to share it with me.”

              He looked at me and I knew, suddenly and without a shred of doubt, that I had made a huge mistake. His light blue eyes had gone as cold as the water in the creek.

              I tried not to panic, tried to keep my suspicions in check, but alarm bells clanged inside my head. “It’s really beautiful,” I said. “Thank you for sharing it with me.” I put one hand down to push myself to my feet. “Now I’ve really got to get back—”

              He grabbed my shoulder, forcing me to remain seated on the blanket. For a moment, I had a ridiculous hope that he was playing, roughhousing the way Jim and I had done. But when he held me there, when his other hand clamped down on my opposite shoulder, when he smashed me backward onto the remains of the pizza, I knew this was no game.

              “Stop!” I cried. “What are you—?”

              His face came closer and closer, his lips questing.

              I jerked my head from side to side. “Preston, stop! What’re you doing?”

              His weight pinned me to the blanket, his hard chin dug into the side of my neck. He tried to hold my face still without using his hands.

              “I love you.” His voice had gone as hard and cold as his eyes. “I know you love me, too. I don’t know why you won’t show it.”

              His lips found mine and he let go of my right shoulder long enough to tangle his fingers into my hair.

              My head was trapped. Anger crashed through my body. I jerked my head aside to get his mouth off mine. Strands of my hair were ripped out of my scalp, but suddenly my hands were fighting, clawing, raking at his face, his clothing, his skin. Anything to get him off me.

              He tightened his grip on my hair but his other hand came up holding the campfire lighter. Just as he depressed the trigger to ignite it, my right hand found the wine bottle lying on its side. I wrapped my fingers around the neck of the bottle and swung it through the air, smashing it into the side of his head with as much force as I could muster.

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About the Author

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Ann has been a writer since junior high, but to pay the bills she has waited tables, delivered newspapers, cleaned other people’s houses, taught school, and had a stint as a secretary in a rock-n-roll radio station.

She also worked as a 911 operator and a police dispatcher.

Her fiction began to win awards during her college days. Since then she’s published several short stories, novels, and novellas. She’s always reading and always writing, but even if she never sold another story, Ann would not stop writing. For her it’s a necessity, like breathing. Most of the time, it even keeps her sane.

Ann Swann | Facebook | Goodreads

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TelephoneRoad copy

Blog Tour Schedule

August 31st

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

Eclectic Review (Review) https://eclecticreview.com/

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

September 1st

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

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

PoptheButterfly (Spotlight) https://popthebutterfly.wordpress.com

September 2nd

@the.b00kreader (Review) https://www.instagram.com/the.b00kreader

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

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

September 3rd

Blood Rose Writings (Review) http://www.bloodrosewritings.blogspot.com

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

Meli’s Book Reviews (Review) https://melisbokreviews.wordpress.com/

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

September 4th

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

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

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

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Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

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Check out all the books that I am attempting to read for the month of September and let me know which ones sound interesting to you! This TBR is quite ambitious so we will see how I do. Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Dead After Midnight

Welcome to the blog tour for Dead After Midnight, A Kelsey Woods Thriller!

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Dead After Midnight (A Kelsey Woods Thriller Book 1)

Publication Date: May 16th, 2020

Genre: Thriller

Suzie Q is a prostitute and determined to get out of her current line of work and excited for a fresh start with best friend Lucy by her side. Her dreams come to an abrupt halt, when, during a night of turning tricks, she stumbles upon Lucy’s brutally murdered body. Fearing for her life, Suzie runs to her neighbor, Luke’s, to regroup, where she discovers he’s not just a creepy client, but an undercover FBI agent. He blindsides her when he reveals that she’s mixed up in an FBI investigation, and that she’s been unknowingly working for Johnny Stone, New York’s notorious crime boss. Suzie flees from New York, hiding in a quaint seaside town in Maine. She changes her identity and her life. Now she has to survive, to keep the life she has come to love.

This is the first novel in the Kelsey Woods thriller series.

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Excerpt

I unlocked the door and climbed the stairs to the top floor, which opened up right by my room. I quietly unlocked my door and went right over to the large picture window and looked out. Nothing. No boogeyman hiding in the bushes and casing the joint. I shut the curtains and turned to switch on the light, stopping mid stride.

“Don’t be foolish and scream, Suzie. The cops would be called and I am pretty sure you don’t want to involve them.”

There he was, larger than life and stretched out on my bed as if he owned the place. I wasn’t surprised to see him. I couldn’t see his face, but of course I recognized the voice; I had heard it many times in my old life—a very deep, distinctive voice.

“How did you find me, Luke?”

“Just have to ask the right people the right questions over and over again. It’s good to see you. I’ve been in town a few days now, watching you. I have to say, you’ve impressed me with all the positive changes in your life. New line of work, new home, and even a new name—it suits you. I mean that. I’m very happy that you’ve left the old life behind you. Lucy would be very proud.”

“Are you here to take me back? Am I being arrested?”

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Cindy-HeadShot-4

CP’s reading tastes are an eclectic mix of thriller, crime, romance, and the occasional fantasy novel. But, when she puts pen to paper, she can’t resist the intrigue of a thriller.

CP has written two novels in The Kelsey Woods series, Dead After Midnight (debut novel, released in May 2020) and Dead Before Sunrise – which is scheduled for release in the fall of 2020.

A true east coaster from beautiful Nova Scotia, Canada, CP is happily married to her high school sweetheart. She’s been blessed with a wonderful family, including six adorable grandchildren.

CP loves hearing from readers, connect with her via email or Twitter.

C.P. Daly

Giveaway: Win one of three print copied of Dead After Midnight!

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DeadAfterMidnight

Blog Tour Schedule

August 24th

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

PoptheButterfly Reads (Spotlight) https://popthebutterfly.wordpress.com

Eclectic Review (Review) https://eclecticreview.com/

Purple Shelf Club (Review) https://www.purpleshelfclub.com/

August 25th

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

Horror Tree (Guest Post) https://www.horrortree.com

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

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

Inked and Blonde (Review) https://inkedandblonde.blogspot.com/

August 26th

Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

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

Stine Writing (Review) https://christinebialczak.com/

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

August 27th

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

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

Meli’s Book Reviews (Review) https://melisbokreviews.wordpress.com/

Rajiv’s Reviews (Review) https://www.rajivsreviews.com/

August 28th

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

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

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

Reviews by Satabdi (Review) http://satabdimukherjee.wordpress.com

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I made it to 2k subscribers thanks to all of you amazing people and so I decided to do a video where I react to your assumptions about me! Find out the real truth about me and get to know me as a person a little better! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: Rainbow

Welcome to my stop on the Rainbow blog tour. Read on for book details, an excerpt AND a chance to win a signed copy of the book!

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Rainbow

Publication Date: December 2019

Genre: LGBTQ/ Black Fiction/ Novella

Taylor has room for exactly two things in her life: improving her performance as a college basketball player and maintaining the grades she needs to stay on the team and someday play in the WNBA. But when she meets the beautiful and confident Melony, Taylor’s whole way of life is called into question. RAINBOW is a coming-of-age queer love story with a Love Jones kind of vibe. It’s the first of many queer black novellas by the author Verde Arzu.

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Excerpt 3

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Giveaway: You have a chance to win a print copy of Rainbow, signed by the author! Just click the link below to enter!

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About the Author

Author Pic

Verde Arzu is a passionate, middle school special education teacher. She graduated from Fisk University, a historically black college and university (HBCU) located in Nashville, TN. There she earned a B.A in History.

Her love for teaching pushed her to go on to graduate school where she earned a Master of Science in Special Education from National University. Verde is not only a teacher but an advocate working to ensure equity for students of color, especially those with learning disabilities.

Verde is excitedly working toward completing a post-baccalaureate certificate in writing from UC Berkeley Extension. Upon completion of the program, she plans to continue to publish novellas, short love stories, centered on realistic lesbian and queer relationships.

Verde recalls writing her first piece of fiction as a kid on the front stoop of her two-flat home on the south side of Chicago. She traces her passion for writing stories about African American queer characters from her desire to see more characters’ voices she can relate to.

A native Chicagoan, she currently resides in Northern California with her beautiful wife and two furry, four-legged children, Bob and Marley. She enjoys reading books written by African Americans—with her favorite genre being romance. She is a die heart Chicago sports fan. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, basketball, biking, binge-watching her favorite TV shows, and of course, cuddling up with a good book!

Verde Arzu | Twitter | Instagram

Rainbow copy

Blog Tour Schedule

August 17th

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

Phoebe’s Randoms (Review) https://phoebesrandoms.wordpress.com/

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

Purple Shelf Club (Review) https://www.purpleshelfclub.com/

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

August 18th

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

Lecari Live (Review) http://www.lecari.co.uk

Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

Bookish Lifetime (Spotlight) http://www.bookishlifetime.wordpress.com

August 19th

Cup of Toast (Interview) https://cupoftoast.co.uk

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

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

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

August 20th

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

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

The Book Dragon (Review) https://thebookdragondotblog.wordpress.com/

August 21st

Bookish Ends (Review) https://www.bookishends.com/

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

Rajiv’s Book Reviews (Review)  https://www.rajivsreviews.com/

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

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I was blessed by the lovely creators of Bookishly and received another Bookishly Book Box to do an unboxing video on my channel and show you what I received! Let me know if any of you have tried this box before and what you thought! Check out the video below:

Book Spotlight: RSVP

Welcome to the tour for R.S.V.P. by Ruchira Khana. Read on for details and a short excerpt from the book! I also have two $5 Amazon gift cards up for grabs!

Ruchpun front NEW (1)RSVP: A Novel

Publication Date: August 2018

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Jay Sethi, an Indian-born American, has lived with the consequences of a torn family since a teenager. After facing the effects of unrequited love and unpaid credit card bills, he settles in a small town in California from where he embarks on a cruise with his canine best friend, Yogi. Jay is shipwrecked and washed ashore on an island. It is there he realizes the importance of love and the salvation in letting go.
Will Jay be able to make up for the time he has lost?
Will the broken bridges and the seemingly permanent goodbyes remain that way?
RSVP: A novel explores the lines between reality and illusion and the significance of family.

Excerpt

Splash!

There is a strange tranquility as I realize I am surrounded by endless blue fluid. I try to talk, but no voice comes out. I frantically try looking around but except for the infinite azure, I cannot see anything.

With clenched fists, eyes wide open, and mouth shut tightly, I’m trying hard to understand where I am. I faintly remember having wished to be unborn, floating aimlessly in Ma’s womb. Has that wish come true?

That’s when I briefly catch a glimpse of Yogi. Oh no! We’re drowning. I begin flapping my hands to stay afloat. I rise, only to be sucked inside again. My hands are now paining. I cannot do it anymore.

Gasp!

**********

Jay woke up with a jerk, breathing hard, sweaty with his hands flayed up mid-air. The nightmare felt real, and he thought he was going to die. His hands went to his throat inadvertently remembering that choking feeling. Recollecting his psychologist, Susan’s suggestion, he tried taking deep breaths. His sudden action made Yogi also rise with a woof, making him quickly jump from his sofa dog bed and get cozy next to his master.

Jay was quick to hug him, all the while taking deep breaths to return to normalcy. His eyes were twitching with droplets of sweat forming around his forehead. Licking his dry lips, he gulped imaginary spittle to moisten his parched throat, the image of him drowning simply refusing to leave his mind. “Susan mentioned this would go away. Alas! When? Why does this same nightmare haunt me? And whose voice is this?” Jay mumbled.

He paused for a breather, wiping the sweat off his forehead with the back of his arm while continuously patting his pet in a futile attempt to console himself. “Why? Why?” he moaned, trying to blink his moist, heavy eyes while attempting to reason out but no luck. The night-light was flashing various colors. He kept glancing at it for a sign, but no clarification came to him. His bedroom wore a scanty look equipped with just a queen-size bed and a table on each side that stood empty with no pictures.

He glanced at the clock that was beaming three in the morning on his side table. “Gosh! Another two hours of sleep, and slumber now refuses to take over,” he moaned. As if on the cue, Yogi began to lick his cheeks trying to relax his master.

Jay lay with the dog over him, allowing Yogi to soothe his fraying nerves, and soon he drifted off to la-la land. A couple of hours later, the alarm woke Yogi and him up with a startle. They stared at each other. Jay was embarrassed at first to see Yogi by his side as he remembered his nightmare. Sitting up on the bed with a jolt, he kept pressing the temples of his forehead while walking toward the bathroom, leaving Yogi puzzled since he hadn’t received any cuddles from his master yet.

“Atta boy!” he ordered, stepping out of the room dressed and wearing his running shoes. Jay leashed his pup, and the duo was out to catch some fresh air. Once back home, he was deep in thought while working monotonously. In a state of daze after crushing the coffee beans, he plugged in the coffee maker. Yogi was quick to break his chain of thoughts with a woof.

Jay acknowledged Yogi’s woof with a nod and smile, but that did not deter him. Finally, he bent down to stroke his fur which brought satisfaction to this small, compact, and hardy beagle as his hazel eyes and soft pleading expression made Jay melt with guilt over his earlier actions. A chuckle by Jay broke the silence, and Yogi’s tactics went berserk. “How can I ever be thankful enough to you?” he admitted while stroking both his ears playfully. “You are gentle, sweet, and so friendly that it has brought me out of the funk I was in!”

He poured Yogi’s dry food in his bowl and went for a quick shower. Yogi could not be disturbed. He was busy gobbling up his first meal of the day. While dressing, Jay remembered his three o’clock dream and paused while pressing his fingers on the teeth of his comb. He stared into the mirror with his gullible, deep-set eyes that were the window to all the memories he has made for the last twenty-seven years which provided those deep, visible lines on his forehead.

The mirror was rewinding the dream.

Sleepless nights, headaches, muscle cramps, and low back pain were a norm until he met Susan, his therapist. Thankfully, the pain was gone, but the occasional sleepless nights tormented him every time he delved into his past. It would bring back those memories he still could not triumph over, and he was adamant to keep the past in the past. Anyone who would try to bring those memories to the forefront would be chastised.

Woof.

Woof.

That sound made him come out of his reverie.

“Yes… yes… I’m coming.”

Jay was appreciative of Yogi since his pet could always feel his emotions whenever he was lost, upset, or low. He quickly combed his hair before bending down to stroke Yogi’s smooth white and tan fur. “Atta boy!” Walking toward the kitchen, he opened the door to the backyard so that his pet could relieve himself while he grabbed his freshly brewed cup of coffee.

As he sat on a chair, he noticed the empty bowl and eyed his puppy. Bladder empty, the pet was quick to place his two front paws on his leg and began his ritual of licking his face.

“No! Not the face, Yogi,” Jay objected as he pulled his face away, then paused to contemplate and gushed with embarrassment. “I am an opportunist, right?” Yogi paused and twisted his head sideways as if trying to decipher that word. For him, Jay was his dad, his caretaker, and he was obliged to take care of him whenever any opportunity arose. The word opportunist was a vague unit of language for him.

“Come on, buddy. Let’s go earn some money, so we can fulfill that bucket list of ours,” said Jay, opening the door for his pet.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

canva-photo-editor (2)

A Biochemist turned writer who gathers inspiration from the society where she writes about issues that stalk the mind of the man via tales of fiction. She projects the mental growth of her characters thus, making her readers tag her work as, “Books that make you ponder!”She blogs at Abracabadra which has been featured as “Top Blog” for three years. Many of her write-ups have been published on LifeHack, HubPages to name a few.

Giveaway: For a chance to win one of two $5 Amazon gift cards, click the link below to enter.

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Mini Tour Schedule

August 10th

The Purple Shelf (Review) https://www.purpleshelfclub.com/

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

August 11th

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

August 12th

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

August 13th

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

August 14th

The Journey (Review) https://joshwhitworth.com/

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I was blessed by the lovely creators of Bookishly and received another Bookishly Book Box to do an unboxing video on my channel and show you what I received! Let me know if any of you have tried this box before and what you thought! Check out the video below: