Monday, November 30, 2015



(Poppy Peters Mysteries Book 1)
After an injury derails Poppy Peters' ballet career, she gathers the courage to follow in her grandmother's footsteps and attend Calle Pastry Academy in a small-town in Georgia. Poppy has her work cut out for her not only fitting in with her charming (and not-so-charming ) Southern classmates but also proving her worth to her teachers after her first publicly humiliating attempt a making the school's famous peach pie. But Poppy's pastry problems go from bad to worse when she's suddenly accused of stealing expensive black truffles, and her attempt to clear her name goes awry...resulting in her finding a dead body instead! If Poppy's going to survive this culinary experience, she'll need to find the missing truffles and track down a killer, all while honing her baking skills to compete in the school's dessert competition for a coveted pastry internship in Paris. Can Poppy prove she's one tough cookie? Or is her life about to crumble?

**Recipes Included**

ChocolateMacaronsandaDeadGroom (1)

(Poppy Peters Mysteries Book 2)

When Poppy Peters takes an internship in Paris working for a top pastry chef, she realizes that bakery life isn't all cupcakes and frosting. The sous pastry chef dislikes foreigners, her mentor only speaks French, and to top that all off she finds the groom of the wedding she's catering dead in his own backyard. But Lord Dovington wasn't just a handsome royal waiting to sweep his bride-to-be off of her feet. He was also a well-known playboy with a long line of vengeful exes.

Now, as one of the prime suspects, Poppy must prove she's innocent . . . and that her recipe for chocolate macaroons isn't to blame. But the clock is ticking, and with a missing diamond, a break-in, and a hot batch of reporters on her tail, Poppy has a lot of sifting to do. Will she find the killer before she too gets baked?

**Recipes Included**


(Poppy Peters Mysteries Book 3)

Reluctant sleuth Poppy Peters is back in Georgia, and her last semester of pastry school is no icing on the cake when a body is discovered at the local farmer's market, and the murder weapon has Poppy's name on it. Not to mention, the victim belonged to a deadly southern crime family. Now, Poppy is being tailed by the mafia, and it doesn't help that the school's new pastry instructor has her working with her worst rival. But after a heart-stopping car chase, a frightening discovery at an old jam factory, and a spontaneous trip to New Orleans, Poppy discovers a secret that makes her past feats look like a piece of peach pie. Poppy's chances of making it to graduation day are about to go up in flames just like her Bananas Foster.

**Recipes included!**

Praise for the Book

"A sweet and satisfying mystery that will leave you hungry for more! A. Gardner's Poppy Peters Mysteries have earned a place on my keeper shelf!"
~ Gemma Halliday, New York Times bestselling mystery author

"Charming cozy mystery featuring likable characters."
~Debbie Wiley, Fresh Fiction

"A. Gardner cooks up one fabulous mystery with this Southern suspense."
~Pauline Michael, Night Owl Reviews

My first encounter with a southern guy isn't going so well. So far I've admitted I have never tried sweet tea, and my big toe is a little too long for the shoes I am wearing. Nice one, Poppy. Now he is going to think I am a weird westerner with a foot fetish. I try hard not to look down at my black, high-heeled boots. Why am I the only one on campus wearing any black?

"My name is Cole," the man says with a grin on his face. I reach out to shake his hand. My palms are sweating just like every other place on my body. I haven't even turned thirty yet, and I'm already having hot flashes. It is going to take me some time to get used to this heat.

"Poppy Peters," I reply. I wipe my forehead and underneath my eyes. I bite my lip when I see a bit of smeared mascara on the side of my finger. It is so humid my makeup is melting off. "Is it always this hot here?"

"Welcome to Georgia." Cole chuckles and shrugs as we walk towards the student bakery. Cole is one of the first students I bumped into at the registration office. His lemon-colored T-shirt shines bright compared to his dark skin, and his impressive physique makes me look at him twice. His eyes are intriguing—an even mix of blue and green.

As we walk, I can't help but admire how lush the vegetation is on campus. Every tree outstretches towards the sidewalks, providing a much needed break from the glaring sun. The patches of grass remind me of ocean waves, if the ocean sparkled like emeralds. Even the flowerbeds near the Administration building had bundles of purple and orange wildflowers that couldn't be contained.

"What's that smell?" I ask. "And don't say it smells like fresh meat. I heard a teacher in the Registrar's Office use that joke about a hundred times."

"I'll show you."

I follow Cole across campus until the heavenly smell of baked bread and sugary doughnuts grows stronger. I long for that smell sometimes. It takes me back to my schoolgirl days when I spent my weekends in the kitchen with Grandma Liz. My Grandma Liz came to Calle Pastry Academy when she was in her early twenties. I imagine her tiny frame and long, dancer legs. It's a miracle that she came to this school and still stayed so thin.

A Gardner

Author A. Gardner

A. Gardner is a native westerner exploring the sweet bites of the south. After years of working in the healthcare industry, she moved across the country with her husband and adventurous baby boy. She is a mystery and romance writer with a serious cupcake obsession and a love of storytelling that began at an early age. When she is not writing, she is either chasing after her son, out for a swim, trying out a new recipe, or painting her nails bright blue.

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$50 Blast Giveaway

Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 12/20/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Friday, November 27, 2015


Wasted time mya


Do you believe that some souls are destined to be together, even through hardship and deceit?

After 9-11, Declan’s heart is torn between wanting to stay with Morgan and needing to fight for his beloved country. Knowing that the future may be uncertain, he kisses his fiancée goodbye and focuses on his mission until that dark day from which he will never fully recover. Injured in Afghanistan, Declan has lost more than part of his leg; he’s lost part of himself, now plagued in grief and guilt. How could he possibly ask Morgan to take care of him for the rest of his life, being nothing but a burden to her? Which would be more heartbreaking, feigning his own death or bringing her unhappiness every day? If only he could eradicate her from his mind and be at peace with his decision.

Morgan prays day and night for Declan’s safe return, but when his letters stop coming, Morgan knows in her heart that she has lost him forever. Morgan has a hard time believing in fate and destiny after her fiancé is taken from her. With Declan gone, Morgan’s hope for true love is destroyed, but eventually she finds comfort in the arms of another, even though Morgan’s new love knows that her heart belongs to Declan.

Will Morgan eventually be able to move on, or will Declan haunt her dreams forever?


Her face was the only thing that had kept him sane during his deployment. At this moment, however, thoughts of Morgan had been pushed to the side for reasons of pure survival. Declan wiped the mud from his eye with a swift movement of his hand, just quick enough so that he could see again. Booming thunder went off near and far.

Swearing under his breath, Declan closed one eye and squinted the other shut as he spied his target. Breathe. One, two, three… he could do this. The first time he’d had to shoot another man he had faltered, hesitated only the briefest of seconds, during which time the man escaped his line of sight and shot a fellow soldier in the leg, causing serious injury.

This time, Declan concentrated, aimed his M4 rifle, and fired. The distinct thud of a man dropping to the ground confirmed the target had been hit. Swiping at the sweat in his eyes from the sweltering mid-day heat, Declan gulped and struggled to his knees. Lining up his rifle again, his neck and shoulders ached with fatigue. He bit down and gritted his teeth, tasting dirt while fighting off the pain.

It seemed as if hours had gone by, when in fact, it had probably only been minutes when finally the haunting sound of gunfire ceased. Not one to trust silence in any setting, Declan mentally counted upward until he reached near fifty.

“All clear,” his buddy, Sean, called out. “All clear.”

Declan, always cautious, still maintained his position until he heard his fellow soldiers from his platoon begin to speak. Peeking up from his ravine, Declan rose slowly to his feet as the rifle was pressed to his side.

Surveying the damage, it appeared that several of their enemies were lying still on the ground. The man he had shot lay still, appearing lifeless. Another man lay several feet away. It seemed the enemies had taken off, deserting the boundaries of the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan. His platoon mates fell silent, all business as they quickly gathered their belongings to head back to base.

Declan clutched his rifle, drawing closer to his victim. Curiosity had gotten the best of him. Fully aware of his previous actions, Declan stepped even closer. He had never killed a man before — injured, yes, but never killed. This man did not appear to be alive.

His heart sped up as sweat caused his fatigues to cling to his body. For God’s sake, the man looked to have been only in his early twenties at best. What have I done? What are we doing here? Waves of nausea rose and Declan swallowed hard.

“Hey! Step back!” Sean called out. “Move out! I repeat, move out!”

Hearing his friend call out to him, Declan turned toward the sound of his voice, realizing his mistake seconds too late. He should have known better; he should have. But no amount of training can prepare you for taking another man’s life.

Glancing swiftly at Sean through tear-stained eyes, he saw the movement in his peripheral vision. Sean raced to the open dirt road. They were sitting ducks, in plain sight. The man that Declan had presumed dead, the one he had shot, raised his own rifle and fired at Sean, who dropped instantly to ground.

“No! No!” Declan spun his head back to the imminent threat, a moment too late. The force of the explosion knocked him to the ground in an instant. Morgan’s face was the last thing that registered in his mind as another shot fired, leaving his world black.


Clouds scattered overhead, cries of gulls bringing back another time, a different memory, sitting here with Declan by her side. Morgan squeezed her jaw, fighting back the pain.

Months later, there was still no word from Declan. On the Internet, she had searched out his name relentlessly but there was no mention of Declan, no death certificates and his name couldn’t be found on any list of casualties of the war. It was as if he had simply disappeared, but that wasn’t possible and she feared the worst. He was gone and there was no closure for Morgan, as his only living relatives were his mom and some family living on the west coast, whom Declan hadn’t seen in years. Even she and Declan’s old friend, Stephen seemed to be losing touch.

She could sit on this beach and watch the water forever; it was a place Declan had cherished, a place she felt close to him. Never again would her life be the same without Declan Blake. How was she going to make it without him?

The world was quiet and without joy for Morgan. Even Morgan’s mother nagged her to speak with a therapist. She didn’t see the purpose of smiling or laughing when it was all forced. Constant thoughts of Declan plagued her day and night.

Morgan nearly jumped when her cell rang. First instincts were to let the call go to voicemail, but she knew the person calling would only persist. That’s how it had been lately; she would ignore phone calls only to find tons of messages waiting.

It was Elle, calling for the second time that day. “Hi, Elle.”

“Where have you been? I’ve been trying to call you for hours,” Elle exclaimed.

“I don’t know, I’m just hanging out.”

“Down by the river again?” Elle inquired.

“Yup,” Morgan responded as she moved her foot around in the sand.

“Figured as much.”

Elle’s voice sounded odd, almost as if she were hearing her close by. Morgan turned to see her friend walking toward her on the grassy path leading to the small beach.

Rising to her feet, Morgan felt tears escape. Elle was by her side, arms wrapped around her within moments. Morgan released Elle and took a small step back.

“Oh, Elle, what am I going to do?” she sobbed.

“You’re going to live, dammit. Declan would want you to be happy.”

“How? How can I forget about him, just move on?” It wasn’t possible, she had tried, and it just wasn’t working. Even when she was at work, she was just going through the motions; she did her job, but her heart wasn’t the same.

“I think it’s time for you to see someone to talk about all of this. You’ve waited long enough.”

She was right and so was her mother, believe it or not. “I will, Elle. I will because I don’t know what else to do.”

“Morgan, you’re the strongest person I know. You have so much happiness and love to share. I have full confidence in you. You’re going to make it and come out stronger in the end.” Elle spoke through her own tears.

“Thanks, Elle. I love you.” Morgan felt better knowing there was someone on her side rooting for her.

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Mya Omalley
Author Mya O'Malley

Mya O'Malley was born and raised in the suburbs of New York City, where she currently lives with her husband, daughter and three step-daughters. The family also consists of a boxer, Destiny and a ragdoll cat named Colby. Mya earned an undergraduate degree in special education and a graduate degree in reading and literacy. She works as a special education teacher and enjoys making a difference in the lives of her students.

Mya's passion is writing; she has been creating stories and poetry since she was a child. Mya spends her free time reading just about anything she can get her hands on. She is a romantic at heart and loves to create stories with unforgettable characters. Mya likes to travel; she has visited several Caribbean Islands, Mexico and Costa Rica. Mya is currently working on her eighth novel.


$50 Blast Giveaway

Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 12/16/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Pine Pitch, Boar’s Hair, and Romance
By Paty Jager

My love of the west and the area where I grew up, led me to write the Christmas Novella in the Silver Belles and Stetson Western Christmas Anthology. Christmas Redemption came about from my reading a story about a man from Joseph, OR who robbed a bank as a young man and twenty-seven years later became the vice president of the same bank. 

 Van Donovan, the hero in Christmas Redemption, doesn’t become the bank president, but I used that premise as the catalyst for the story. At the age of fifteen he thinks being a lookout for a bank robbery would be exciting and knows it will infuriate his father. Van’s lark was soon over when an innocent man is killed and Van ends up in prison without one word from his family.

Van redeems himself by learning a trade while in prison and having the courage to come back home and prove to the town and his family he is a changed man. 

Van’s occupation isn’t one seen very often in westerns. He’s a boot maker. I spent several hours in the shop of bootmaker DW Frommer II, who specializes in teaching the art of boot making in the 1800s. I learned about pine pitch that is boiled down and rubbed like wax into the threads that sew the boots together. This is done to make the boots waterproof. Usually the heavier boots worn in winter or by people who work outdoors had the pine pitch thread. 

Hair from the back of a boar’s neck was split and the thread stuck in the split. The boar’s hair was used like a needle, sewing the pieces together through the holes made with an awl. The hole patterns the bootmaker makes with an awl can distinguish his work.  While I came home with several pages of notes and information, I ended up using very little of this information.

That is the way of most research, several pages of information are carefully written down and that is boiled down into a sentence or a paragraph in the book. Hopefully, learning about the different types of leather, the different threads and what is pitched and what isn’t, helps the authenticity show through in what I do have about boot making in the story.

Blurb for Christmas Redemption

Van Donovan returns to Pleasant Valley, Oregon where twelve years earlier as a boy of fifteen he left in handcuffs after standing guard for a bank robbery. He's learned a trade and excelled at it and is ready to prove to his father and the town he can amount to something.

Upon his return he learns the fate of the daughter of an innocent man who died in the robbery crossfire. To make amends he takes her out of the saloon and gives her a job, not realizing she'd been squatting in the very building he'd purchased for his business.

Can two battered hearts find solace or will the past continue to haunt their lives?

Silver Belles and Stetsons: A Western Christmas Anthology
Available as a $.99 boxed set for a limited time

Ten Western Romance Christmas Novellas
Available as a boxed set for a limited time 

Bestselling and Award-Winning Authors bring you ten western romance novellas featuring alpha-cowboys from the past. This boxed set will take you back in time when
men were rugged and handsome and the women who loved them, courageous and

The Greatest Gift: A Montana Cowboy Christmas by Kathleen Ball. Amazon Bestselling
and Award- Winning Author. Looking for the man who ran out on her, Ginger finds a
cowboy worthy of love but he doesn't want or need love.

Catherine’s Cowboy by Cait Braxton, Amazon Bestselling and Award-Winning Author.  During a supernatural dust storm, Fate steps in when rugged army tracker, Elam, helps Catherine deliver her child.

Stone Mountain Christmas by Caroline Clemmons, Amazon Bestselling and Award-Winning Author. Can Celia restore the town's Christmas spirit? "A beautifully written story about love and hope and all the emotions Christmas brings out in people." Karren Lucas

Angel and the Texan from County Cork by Carra Copelin.  Amazon Bestselling and Award-Winning Author. Does Angel trust marriage to the man she suspects of killing her husband or the stranger who promises to pay off her debt and set her free if she decides their marriage of convenience won’t work?

The Drifter’s Proposal by Kristin Holt, Amazon Bestselling Author. The baker's man is home for Christmas... "Compelling. Heartwarming. Tender." ~Diane Darcy, USA Today Bestselling Author

The Perfect Gift by Lyn Horner. Friendship has blossomed into young love, but it seems destined to die on the vine...until an unexpected Christmas gift promises happiness.

 Marshal Mistletoe by Susan Horsnell. She married the wrong man. Will fate intervene?

Christmas Redemption by Paty Jager, Amazon Bestselling and Award-Winning Author. Can two battered hearts find solace or will the past continue to haunt their lives? "A story of forgiveness that has a wonderful hero who has worked hard to redeem himself."

A Hard Candy Christmas by Hebby Roman, Amazon Bestselling Author. Two damaged souls. Can their budding love and the healing power of Christmas bring them together?

Cowboy Christmas by Margaret Tanner. Will a miracle Christmas baby unite two tortured souls, or will it forever keep them apart?

BUY LINK:     Amazon

Paty Jager, Author, with equine friend

Award-winning author Paty Jager and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon. On her road to publication she wrote freelance articles for two local newspapers and enjoyed her job with the County Extension service as a 4-H Program Assistant. Raising hay and cattle, riding horses, and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.

All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Her penchant for research takes her on side trips that eventually turn into yet another story.

You can learn more about Paty at:
her website; 
Newsletter: Paty’s Prattle:
twitter  @patyjag.

Monday, November 23, 2015


The Face Transplant

by R. Arundel

• One randomly chosen winner via Rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card.

GENRE: Medical Suspense Thriller


An epic journey of suspense, murder, and sacrifice

Dr. Matthew MacAulay is a facial transplant surgeon at a prestigious New York hospital. When his friend and mentor, Tom Grabowski, dies under mysterious circumstances, Matthew uncovers his friend’s secret: a new technique that allows perfect facial transplants. No incisions, no scars. Tom was able to accomplish this monumental feat with the help of Alice, a supercomputer robot with almost human abilities. While trying to find the people responsible for murdering Tom, Matthew realizes he is the prime suspect. He must flee for his life with the help of Dr. Sarah Larsson, a colleague and reluctant helper, who has a secret of her own, and Alice, who helps them make sense of a baffling series of seemingly unrelated events. The clues carry Matthew and Sarah around the world. They stumble onto a sinister plot of monumental proportions that leads Matthew all the way to the White House.

The Face Transplant is a powerful medical suspense thriller of the first order. The novel was written by a surgeon who weaves politics, medicine, and espionage into a tightly paced, intelligent thriller.


Guaarrr. It sounds like water draining from a very large bathtub, through a very large hole. I just killed myself. I just killed the patient. Dr. Matthew MacAulay looks down on the operating room table at the gaunt, graying man. Matthew quickly scans the operating theater. Out of the corner of his eye, he can see the short wide man in the observation area.

I just killed myself, Sarah, and Amanda.

They have been hijacked into performing a face transplant. The patient is unknown. Mr. Glock, the short wide man, hovers in the far end of the operating room. He made it clear that if the patient did not survive, the three of them would be following him in short order. The 9 mm Glock with a silencer on the end gave credence to his profanity-laced words of warning.

Matthew looks across the operating room table at Amanda Soto, forty-two, an American of Spanish ancestry. She has been his scrub nurse, assisting him in the operating room for the last three years. Divorced, one child.

It will take a few more seconds for the monitors to tell everybody what Matthew already knows. Amanda already knows. She is right across the table. She saw him use the robotic arm to dissect the vessel and mistakenly cut the large artery in the neck. An operating room nurse of Amanda’s experience has seen it all. When Matthew looks into her eyes, they flash ever so quickly an acknowledgement that it is all over. Instead of any words, she quietly unclamps the suction. Now a dull hiss fills the air. To the casual observer, or the short wide man holding a 9 mm Glock pistol in his fat stubby hands, nothing really has changed. Amanda, anesthetist Dr. Sarah Larsson, and Dr. Matthew MacAulay act as if all is going well.

Matthew cannot help but glance over to the man with the 9 mm Glock. In his mind he names him Mr. Glock. Adrenaline surges through Matthew’s body and time slows. The short wide man, Mr. Glock, has gray eyes. Pale, gray eyes. Very pale, almost tired. Matthew remembers reading somewhere that people with gray eyes have the best visual acuity. They make the best marksmen, the best assassins. He wonders if this was true.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

R. Arundel is a practising surgeon. This experience brings realism to the story. The novel asks what would happen if a surgeon were to develop the perfect face transplant.  This would allow people to have a new face, in essence create a new identity. You can create the perfect double, the perfect Doppelganger.



What was the scariest moment of your life?

On our honeymoon to a remote island the regular plane could not take us to the island. A man in a small bush plane flew us over. The walls of the plane seemed to be made or a thin strip of vinyl and the plane vibrated like crazy. Looking over the deep blue water way down below was terrifying.

Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?

Never. I like it absolutely quiet when writing. I usually write in the early morning or late at night.

What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year?

Publish my second book.

How long did it take you to write this book?

Three years.


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Friday, November 20, 2015


Roman's holiday cover

Roman's Holiday by Susan Aylworth

Four years after Roman Kincaid was catapulted into stardom as a country-western singer and A-list movie star, he is burned out: exhausted by a grueling schedule, drained by the ceaseless demands of producers and managers, weary of meeting the needs of others at the expense of his own. Leaving a sold-out show in Phoenix, he rents a car and drives north and east, landing in the Painted Desert town of Rainbow Rock.

Nearly three years after leaving her old life behind, Lottie Beale is feeding people and baking pies, managing the Kachina Café and tending secrets of her own. When circumstances conspire to give two attractive people some time alone together amid the world-class vistas of the Four Corners, they discover more than either had bargained for.


“Ro-man! Ro-man!” A capacity crowd in the Ak-Chin Pavilion chanted his name under the starry desert sky, but Roman Kincaid barely heard it. He stood in the stage wings, gearing up for an encore and wondering when his dream had become a nightmare.

“Okay, guys,” he said to his back-up band via their ear buds. “One encore only. Let’s do ‘Gamble.’
Start with the chorus.” He took two steps toward the stage entrance, swinging his guitar into playing position.

Sam, his manager, caught his elbow. “Are you sure about this? That crowd adores you. You could probably play three encores, sell more CDs—”

“No.” Roman left no room for argument. “One and done. And no backstage stuff, either. I’m outta here.” He took a deep breath, pasted on the same fake, crowd-pleasing smile he’d used in the last half-dozen shows, and jogged back onto the stage to the roar of twenty thousand excited voices. He strummed the intro and launched into the chorus of his first number-one hit:

“Love is such a gamble.
You break a new deck every time.
Sometimes you’re dealt the aces;
Others you draw to nines.
But when I met you, I knew it was true.
A winning hand you seemed.
Now I have the rush of a royal flush.
You are the gamble of my dreams.”

The crowd cheered wildly as he played his way through the music he now sang in his sleep. In fact, he realized as he watched fans taking up the beat and clapping along, that was pretty much what he was doing now. He struggled to suppress a yawn during the guitar interlude as he turned to acknowledge his band.

I spent my early life dreaming of a crowd like this. When did performing start to feel like a chore? He put the thought away. Lately he’d been thinking of times when he’d heard of some celebrity being hospitalized for exhaustion and assumed it was a euphemism for drug rehab. Now he wondered.
When was the last time I felt truly rested? The question was an imponderable. Months, at least.
He hit the last chord and took a deep bow, then shouted, “Thank you, Phoenix!” and dashed off-stage.

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Susan A
Author Susan Aylworth

Susan Aylworth started her first book when she was nine. "It was called Buff, The Proud Stallion. I wrote eight whole pages." For her fifth grade career day, she stated her ambition to become "a rich and famous author." Decades later, she is pleased to have achieved the 'author' part of that goal. A former university professor, she enjoys researching backgrounds and careers for her novels. "It's one way to live many lives at once." She lives in northern California with her husband of 45 years and two spoiled cats.


Book Blast Giveaway - $50 Amazon Gift Card or $50 in Paypal Cash

Ends 12/11/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Add a Matchmaker to the Stars, a temperamental Italian chef and the usual menagerie of people and pets...
Publication Date: October 22, 2015
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Mina's Adventures #6

Mina Calvi, Italian transplant to Southern California, thinks her love life might finally come together, just as her professional life has. Her Furry Friends Foundation, a no-kill shelter for rescued cats and dogs, is a success, and Mina hopes she may find a loving forever home for herself, in the arms of Diego Moran, her elusive, frustratingly mysterious, on again-off again, lover.

When a seemingly innocent night out with friends lands Mina in a hospital bed and Diego undercover, and not the covers Mina wants him to be under, Mina has to draw on all her new-found maturity, and all her supportive friends for strength.

Meanwhile, a Best in Show cat takes up residence at the Ritzy Cats B and B, Mina’s other venture, setting Mina on the trail of a suspicious character who might not have the cat's best interests at heart.

Add a Matchmaker to the Stars, a temperamental Italian chef and the usual menagerie of people and pets, stir it all up and you have an entertaining, hard to put down romantic tale of suspense.

National Bestselling author Maria Grazia Swan was born in Italy, but this rolling stone has definitely gathered no moss. She lived in Belgium, France, Germany, in beautiful Orange County, California where she raised her family, and is currently at home in Phoenix, Arizona--but stay tuned for weekly updates of Where in the World is Maria Grazia Swan?

Maria loves travel, opera, good books, hiking, and intelligent movies (if she can find one, that is). When asked about her idea of a perfect evening, she favors stimulating conversation, Northern Italian food and perfectly chilled Prosecco--but then, who doesn't?

Website  |  Facebook  | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

Monday, November 16, 2015


Pioneering in the West with the Women of Paragon Springs series by Irene Bennett Brown, from Five Star.

Do you enjoy books that include adventure, romance, and history? This review for a four book series is set in Kansas, but it could be anywhere in the Midwest or Western United States. The series includes LONG ROAD TURNING, BLUE HORIZONS, NO OTHER PLACE and REAP THE SOUTH WIND.

As the oral historian for my family, I’ve interviewed more elderly family members than I can count. The struggles depicted in the Women of Paragon Springs series brought to mind stories passed down through my own family--and will probably do the same for each reader whose family were pioneers. Although each book includes all the women, each book is particularly about one woman’s story. The first two center around Meg Brennan’s struggles. Aurelia Thorne takes center stage in the third, and it’s my least favorite of the four books. The final book with Lucy Ann’s story takes us into the twentieth century.

Let me share the blurb for the first book, LONG ROAD TURNING.

Meg Brennon’s wagon has just been hijacked by three bedraggled strangers on their way to Dodge City. On the run from an abusive husband, Meg agrees to share her wagon with Grandma Spicy, Lucy Ann, and Laddie as they search for their uncle. When they arrive in Dodge City, they learn that the uncle has died, leaving only a small tract of land to Laddie. Meg trades for another parcel and they build themselves a home, soon to be joined by other women and children in need of a safe place. Harassed by a cattle rancher who wants her land, and in constant fear of the bounty hunter her husband has hired to find her, Meg struggles to maintain her farm. The group starts a road ranch for travelers and sets up a newspaper and post office. Through heartbreak and joy the homestead thrives, leaving Meg to realize that she must find a way to free herself from the past.

Women of Paragon Spring is about a group of women who each have faced tragedy. Each is literally at the end of her resources. Banding together, these intelligent women rebuild their lives using their wits, hard work, and planning. They have plans, big plans for Paragon Springs. Although I’ve read many books of this type, in this series I learned a lot about being a pioneer.

For instance, I’m certain that if the necessity arose (Please, God, no!), I could build a soddy. I learned the specifics for quarrying rock. I also learned that being a pioneer took good health and stamina. Fortunately, the Women of Paragon Springs were physically healthy, and each did her share.  They were not Amazons, just downtrodden women determined to make a home for themselves. Fortunately, the principal women characters met their soul mates.

Early on, Paragon Springs was like a commune, but the women soon expanded to homestead the land nearby and it became a community. Later, they decided a town nearby would help everyone so they set about drawing honest, hardworking citizens to people their town. Don’t think for a minute their job was easy! Every step forward was a battle. In spite of the fact the territory was open to settlers, cattlemen who’d been using the government grass for free fought against farmers and the town. Some men wanted nothing to do with women telling them what was needed in the town or county. Crooked con men tried to take over the town, which until then had lived up to its name. Fires, drought, plagues of grasshoppers--just your usual problems for homesteaders.

I loved these books. Any reader who loves pioneer history would enjoy them. Readers who don’t care about history but just want a good, strong story will also find the Women of Paragon Springs a joy. The first book, LONG ROAD TURNING, was my favorite, but all four are well worth the investment of reading time.