Saturday, December 10, 2016


We had a friend who ran a little food storage business out of his house. One of his items was a delicious spice mixture we lovingly called "Chuck's Sauce." It wasn't a sauce at all, but we put it on everything. It was the ketchup of it's day, transforming mere hamburgers and pieces of chicken into food kids would actually look forward to. 
Chuck introduced us to it, and kept us supplied for many years, until he became ill and passed away. 
I've tried for 15 years to replicate that delicious mix of spices, but everything was either too sweet or too spicy or too salty. I felt like hard-to-please Goldilocks. Well, not anymore.
Today I think I got it. 
Just in case you're planning on broiling or bbq-ing something over the holiday, here it is. I'm roasting some ribs, and with this culinary victory, my expectations are high, and my food-joy is complete. 
Here's the recipe for "Chuck's Sauce": Merry Christmas!

1/2 cup brown sugar,
1/2 cup paprika,
1 tablespoon black pepper,
4 teaspoons salt,
1 tablespoon chili powder,
1 tablespoon garlic powder,
4 teaspoons onion powder,
1/2 teaspoon cumin,
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper.

Mix together and rub over meat of your choice. Store in a tightly sealed container in the freezer.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Blog Tour and Rafflecopter Giveaway for "The Dragons of Alsace Farm!"

I've teamed up with "Loving the Launch" to introduce more readers to "The

 Dragons of Alsace Farm," and they're hosting a blog tour from 

December 1 to the 7th.

Visit these blogs to read excerpts and reviews about the book, 
and to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway.

Catch up with the blog tour!

Many thanks to "Loving the Book Launch" for coordinating the blog tour for "The Dragons of Alsace Farm," from December 1-7. Post one of these ads on your social media page, report back here, and I'll send you a link for a free copy!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Book Nook Review of "SWIM SEASON," by Marianne Sciucco


Marianne Sciucco’s captivating YA novel, SWIM SEASON, is the “All The Right Moves,” of swimming, illustrating the high-stakes pressure placed on premier athletes whose collegiate hopes and dreams are pinned to success in the pool. As the mother of a competitive swimmer, Sciucco draws from first-hand experience, giving readers a real glimpse into the mindset of these elite swimmers, whose bonds of friendship are tested on the starting blocks, while they also deal with all the other demands of youth.

Swim Season is more than a story about swimming. It is a story of friendship, family loyalty, hard work, and dedication. A whopper of a book, it weighs in at just under six hundred pages. Don’t panic. Sciucco breaks the book down into eighty-eight short, satisfying chapters that allow readers to nibble at the book for days. I found the characters and situations so compelling that I grabbed my tablet every time I had a moment. Yes, it’s that good.

The book opens with tough and guarded transfer student, Aerin Keane, walking into tryouts for Division Champions Two Rivers High School Girls Varsity Swim and Dive Team. Divorce, and other troubles we are dying to understand, cause Two Rivers to be the senior’s third high school. More troubling is that she’s not living with either parents. By the time Aerin shoots off the block for her inaugural swim at Two Rivers, we are hooked and hungry for answers.

Marianne Sciucco doles out breadcrumbs at a delicious pace, while always keeping us at the edge of the darkness, compelling us to follow willingly. Kudos for Sciucco’s characters, who are distinct and complex, as are their individual voices. Aside from Jordan, the team bully, the author makes it difficult to separate good girls and mean girls. All are flawed. All are compelling. All have moments of redemption. We empathize with Aerin and all these young athletes who bear adult responsibilities and pressures while having little to no control over their environments and family lives. 

The book is a resounding testament to the complexities of this stressful, sometimes fickle, almost always sleep-deprived, season of life, where friendships are fragile, families are complicated, and big money and entire futures are on the line. I highly recommend Swim Season. All athletes will see themselves in the sacrifice and dedication displayed here, and people who love a young competitor will better understand the mindset of those who do not merely play a sport, but who identify as “athletes.”

SWIM SEASON is available at Amazon

Friday, November 18, 2016

Book Giveaway for US Military Personnel

Romance author and friend, Donna Hatch, is a military mom with a son serving in the Air Force and deployed to the Middle East. She understands how hard the holidays can be for the brave men and women who are deployed during the holidays.

Donna also knows that a good read, and just being thought of, can lessen the loneliness of soldiers far from home. To that end, she set up a book giveaway for our men and women in uniform who can't be home for the holidays this year, and asked some friends, myself included, to donate books.

Do you know a member of the military who will be deployed this Christmas? What types of books does he/she enjoy? The list of titles and genres of the donated books is available here. Choose one and enter a service members name in the rafflecopter giveaway starting November 18.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

WE ARE ALZAUTHORS: The Inspiration Behind "Dragons."

I was honored when Marianne Sciucco, (author of the newly released "Swim Season,") invited me to guest post on the "We Are Alzauthors" blog. Marianne, and several other authors impacted by dementia/Alzheimers, began this blog "to provide resources for those living with dementia, and their caregivers." Collectively, this group offers decades of experience in living joyfully in spite of this disease. Here's the article, but please visit the site and check out my friends' books. Their stories will remind you that you are not alone.
Like our family, my proposed WWII mystery, “The Dragons of Alsace Farm,” was also changed by our mother’s diagnosis of dementia.
After my father’s passing, Mom threw herself into her farm and animals, finding purpose in the care of her “babies” and the maintenance of her land. Progress on the book slowed when our previously happy, healthy mother began exhibiting signs of what we assumed was depression, needing more of our time and care. Her mood swings were erratic and her reality seemed very skewed. She was often sick, and we suspected that her hygiene and cooking skills were slipping, causing recurring stomach distress.
Over and over, we took her to her internist, pulling the physician aside to express our concerns that something was amiss. Each time, Mom charmed her, redirecting all questions about her health and routine to another topic with the skill of a railroad switch operator. We were always assured that she was great, and dismissed without getting any solid help. But the changes increased, and a neurologist finally concluded that Mom had dementia. Fear became her new reality. Fear, frustration, and guilt became ours. 
After interviews with caregivers, loved ones, and health care providers, we realized we weren’t alone. Although most people are impacted by dementia in some way, I was aware of only a few books tackling the topic. I decided to ramp up the tension in my book by placing my WWII survivor, Agnes, on the dementia spectrum, allowing me to offer readers a glimpse into the impact of the disease on individuals and entire families.
Soon after Mom’s diagnosis, we found a young couple with mild disabilities who wanted more independence. They moved into Mom’s home for a time, offering farm help and companionship in exchange for rent. Mom believed she was helping them, and they felt they were helping her. As a result, the three of them rose above their limitations to lift and serve one another. 
Inspired by these observations, I spoke with counselors at the local Department of Aging to see if we could pair people who have a home but need help, with people who could help but need a home.
Legal barriers killed the idea, but I decided to introduce this dynamic into the book. I turned to two friends/family therapists to help me accurately create Noah and Tayte—characters with alternative challenges who would similarly impact Agnes. My mystery had now morphed into a family drama about internal dragons—the fears and secrets we all battle.
It’s been very gratifying to see how people are reacting to the book. Many say it hits close to home. Readers love the characters, especially Agnes, who reminds them of some loved one who has been similarly affected by dementia. They also mention the hopeful, redemptive message in “The Dragons of Alsace Farm.”

On a personal note, writing “Dragons” was cathartic and healing. Writing Agnes’s scenes helped me step away from my concerns and see things from Mom’s perspective. Like Tayte, I finally stopped trying to “restore” her, and learned to appreciate her for whom, and where, she is. Like Noah, I recognize that she still remembers what matters most—love. 

Available on Amazon

Monday, October 31, 2016

"DRAGONS" is Being Blitzed!!!

Loving the Book Launch has arranged for eighteen book blogs to post about "The Dragons of Alsace Farm" today.
And as a result, we have a few fun offers.

1. Visit these blogs listed below and read an excerpt.
3. Sign up for my newsletter and get another of my books for free.

Friday, October 21, 2016

BOOK NOOK REVIEW of "Torn Canvas" by Donna K. Weaver

Donna K. Weaver’s “Torn Canvas”

Great, complex characters, and tension-driving story elements, make author Donna K. Weaver’s “Torn Canvas” a sweeping novel readers can get lost in. 

Olivia Howard, a media celebrity, overcame a challenging past to get where she is, and she now wants to use her platform to present stories with substance. But what have her producers assigned her? A fluff piece about up and coming models—frivolous lightweights. Especially the blonde, Finnish-born Juri Virtanen, a Viking-handsome adonis with a reputation for using his cover model looks to lure women. Lots of women.

But after studying Juri’s headshot, Olivia senses a vulnerability in his eyes, a theory that is strengthened when she gets a tip that Juri risked his own life to pull a mother and child from a car in the path of an oncoming train. Juri becomes the story she most wants to tell.

Juri’s self-loathing has its roots in his dark past, leaving him a calloused rogue unable to build relationships. His conscience gets stirred when a group of cruise ship friends, real people, adopt him into their loving circle. When the group goes off on an excursion, pirates take over their catamaran, kidnapping some, and killing others. In the ensuing battle to overpower one of the captors, Juri’s face, the source of his career and infamy, is badly damaged.  

The catastrophic experience tears lives apart, cements friendships, and places an interview with Juri at the top of Olivia Howard’s must-do list. The support his new friends offer him rips a crack in Juri’s cold heart, allowing personal healing and growth to occur at time when his professional life is in tatters.

“Torn Canvas” explores what matters. It’s a great story of the power of friendship, and how kindness and love can give a person the courage to rebuild a life from the tatters of the past.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Author Spotlight: Marlene Bateman, and her new release, "FOR SALE BY OWNER"

Marlene Bateman is a busy, talented author of both fiction and inspirational non-fiction. She always delivers something special, and I think readers are going to find that her track record of successes continues with "For Sale By Owner."

AND . . .  Marlene's publisher is allowing us to give a copy away to one of our guests today. So, leave a comment below about the book, and you'll be entered in a drawing to win either an ecopy, or a paperback if you live in the U.S. The winning name will be drawn after midnight tonight! Now, on to the book.

Here's the back cover blurb:

Stressed by a year of intense, ongoing problems, McKenzie Forsberg decides to quit her high-powered job and move back to her hometown. Determined to rebuild her life, Kenzie desperately needs the peace and security she is sure will come from buying the home she grew up in. But when she arrives in town, Kenzie discovers that a handsome widower, Jared Rawlins, has already put an offer on the house.  However, he can only close the deal if he sells his own house by Christmas Eve.  

When Kenzie unexpectedly runs into a couple who are considering buying Jared’s house, she unthinkingly gives them information that changes their mind. Jared, who had been more than a little interested in Kenzie, has second thoughts when he begins to believe Kenzie may have deliberately tried to sabotage the sale of his home. Feeling bad, Kenzie apologizes but the damage may be too much for their relationship to overcome.

Despite his misgivings, and Kenzie’s own concerns, sparks of attraction between Jared and Kenzie grow into something more. Then, Kenzie makes a stunning discovery about her past. In that moment, everything changes. Will the power of love be enough to bring Jared and Kenzie together and allow them to find their happily ever after?


“What made you decide to move to Lake Forest?” Kenzie asked.
“I’ve always loved it here,” Jared said. “It’s a beautiful area, and there’s a special atmosphere here. People are so friendly. I guess part of the reason I came is because I needed to go someplace new and kind of start over, you know?”
            Kenzie did know. That was exactly what she was doing now. She’d gotten over Larry, but she needed to go someplace new and reinvent herself and her life.
“Now let me ask you,” Jared said. “What made you decide to come back?”
            “A lot of reasons. I need a fresh start too. I’m tired of the hectic pace in Chicago.” Impulsively she added, “Also, I had to get away from my job at Midwest. A guy was causing some real problems for me—” She stopped. Their eyes met and lingered. Jared’s compassion was evident and the expression on his face kind. She felt so comfortable talking with him—as if they were kindred spirits. Something in her heart softened into a spreading pool, and she smiled at him.
Tearing open his packet of Oreo cookies., Jared took one and dunked it in his hot chocolate.
Kenzie frowned. “Figures. You’re a dunker.”
“And I bet you’re a twister.”
Snatching up a cookie, Kenzie twisted it open and took a bite of the creamy middle. “Ummm.”
Jared shuddered. “That’s wrong in so many ways.”
Picking up her mug and warming her fingers, Kenzie sipped her hot chocolate. “This is wonderful!”
“It’s a secret recipe—been in my family for generations.”
            “No, but it sounds good, doesn’t it?”

You can get "For Sale By Owner" here:

For Sale by Owner is available at Deseret Book and Seagull Book and can also be purchased online at:
Seagull Book


Marlene Bateman Sullivan was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and grew up in Sandy, Utah.  She graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor's degree in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and they live in North Salt Lake, Utah with their two dogs and four cats. Marlene has been published extensively in magazines and newspapers and wrote the best-selling romance/suspense novel, Light on Fire Island. She has written three other mysteries; Motive for MurderA Death in the Family, and Crooked House.

Marlene has also written a number of LDS, non-fiction books:  Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines, And There Were Angels Among Them, Visit’s from Beyond the Veil, By the Ministering of AngelsBrigham’s Boys, Heroes of FaithGaze into Heaven; Near-death Experiences in Early Church History, and The Magnificent World of Spirits; Eyewitness Accounts of Where We Go When We Die.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Guest Blog Post with RRBC Spotlight Author, A. M. Manay, Author of the "November Snow" series.

I'm pleased to host one of RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB's Author Spotlights. My guest is paranormal author A.M. Manay, whose most recent release is She Lights Up the Dark, book two in her well-received November Snow  series. 

A.M. prepared today's post, so without further adieu, I'll pass the pen to A.M. Manay!


"Long Live the King"
by A.M. Manay

Below is an online news interview with Luka Lazarri, vampire king and the primary villain in my November Snow Series.  The piece is set at the beginning of She Lights Up the Dark (November Snow Book 2)Spoiler alert!  At the start of the second book in the series, he has just taken over the fairy and vampire kingdom once ruled by his father, Ilyn.  Be advised that Luka plays fast and loose with the facts here as he attempts to spin events to his own advantage.


Maria Carson for the Kingdom News Service: Your grace, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us during this busy transition.

Luka: Of course, Maria.  A king must always make time to speak to his people, especially during difficult moments.  I know many of us are in deep mourning after the slaughter so recently perpetuated by my father, Ilyn.  Our dead and injured in Las Vegas and in Arizona cry out for justice.  I want to assure you that I stand with you, and that every measure is being taken to address the threat posed by the former king and his supporters.  We are working simultaneously to bring stability and order to the Kingdom after so many decades of Ilyn's, shall we say . . . haphazard rule.

MC: I understand that state leaders have now all pledged fealty.  Is that correct?

Luka: Indeed, Maria, I have the full support of local vampire and fairy leadership, thought there are still small pockets of unrest in isolated areas.  They will soon be quelled.

MC: Is it true, your grace, that Lady Savita and her son Gregory, former Lord of California William Knox, and former Premier Hazel participated in the wanton murder of their fellow fairies and vampires in Arizona, as ordered by Ilyn?

Luka: Sadly, it is true, though the guilt must be borne primarily by Ilyn and William.  They, alas, took advantage of the loyalty and trust of their subordinates.  If Savita, Gregory, and Hazel wish to pledge loyalty to the new regime and to repudiate my father and brother, I am prepared to offer them pardons in light of their many years of service to my mother, Marisha, the last legitimate ruler of the Kingdom.  I urge all our citizens to keep vigilant and to report any sightings of these former leaders who have so betrayed their duty.  Ilyn and William have shown that they pose a grave danger to all of our citizens.  Anyone assisting them will share their fate.

MC: Your grace, there have been many rumors about the so-called "Oracle," November Snow.  What can you tell us about her?  Are her precognitive gifts confirmed?  Is she also a fugitive from justice?

Luka: Ah, dear November.  She is yet another innocent victim of my father's dangerous temper and lust for power.  I am pleased to say that she is now a vampire, and I have rescued her from Ilyn's grasp.  Her gifts are indeed remarkable, and she will soon be joining my court as an advisor.  I am keeping her temporarily out of the public eye in order to give her time to adjust to her new life as a vampire.  As you know, those early days can be . . . challenging, and I wish to spare her the additional burden of public scrutiny as she finds her way.  Rest assured, she is now one of us, and my most trusted allies are taking very good care of her.

MC: Is there anything else you'd like to share with our viewers, your grace?

Luka: I would encourage our dear citizens to focus on rebuilding and preparing for the next phase of our Kingdom's history.  It is our destiny to take the reins of power from the human government, and our moment of triumph is nearly at hand.  We have already achieved a revolution.  Revelation and rule will soon follow.


So, what do you think of Luka's attempt at spinning the events at the end of She Dies at the End and at the beginning of She Lights Up the Dark?  And who should play him in the movie once I get discovered? ;-)

Brief description of She Lights Up the Dark

A frightening vision stalks November, even in her grave . . . and things go severely sideways just as soon as she claws her way out of it. 

Continuing the story begun in the well-received paranormal romp "She Dies at the End," "She Lights Up the Dark" finds November Snow struggling to adjust to her new life as a vampire with none of the support she'd expected. Her nemesis Luka has plotted to isolate November and scatter her allies as he executes his plan to bring human society under his control. Her loneliness leads her to become emotionally entangled with a charming but likely untrustworthy fellow vampire. 

When danger flares, November discovers that her psychic gift has expanded in a powerful and perilous fashion. Coerced into close company with her enemy, she fights to master her power and to uncover the secrets that may help her to save both her friends and the human world from being crushed under Luka’s boot. November is determined to stop Luka as his plan builds toward an unknown and deadly climax, but she may find that lighting up the dark comes with a high price to pay. 

This books contains violence, some sexual content, and occasional profanity.

Author Links for A.M. Manay
Twitter: @ammanay

Fan email list  November's News:

Monday, October 10, 2016



I have a fun surprise to share with you. 

To celebrate the beginning of fall, 
Ive teamed up with more than 40 fantastic  inspirational/contemporary romance authors 

PLUS a Kindle Fire to one lucky winner!

You can win my novel, 
The Dragons of Alsace Farm, 
plus books from authors like 
Rebecca Talley and Julie Carobini. 

Enter the giveaway by clicking here:

The contest runs from October 10 to the 17th!

Good luck, and enjoy!

Laurie (L.C.) Lewis



Thursday, September 15, 2016

Review of "On The Corner of Heartache and Love" by Lisa Swinton

LAUNCH DAY!!! On the Corner of Heartache & Love is here!

Maren's stuck at the intersection of heartache and love, but happily ever after might be just around the corner.  

Author Lisa Swinton delivers another sassy, sweet romance that keep readers turning pages. On the Corner of Heartache and Love is a light, fun read with spunky characters and a plotline beset with wonder and woes. 

After three years of dating, Maren Summers is about to have her dream wedding to the man of her dreams, Kevin Bryant. In fact, all her dreams are about to come true in every facet of her life. That is until Kevin dumps her at the altar, runs off with someone Maren is very close to, ruins that relationship for her, and becomes her new boss. And she’s relinquished her apartment. What???

Now homeless, Maren moves in with best-friend and pastry protégé, Cassidy, whose apartment overlooks a park where a real homeless man loves. Or is he? 

Clean, handsome, and well-supplied, Zane Whitfield is on a mission to keep a promise to his lost love, even if it means spending a year outside on the spot where they met and where he hopes she’ll return.

Maren sees his tale of devotion as a great human interest story, and her ticket out of her newspaper’s now agonizing “Weddings” beat, away from her former fiancé’s control, and on to the job she’s really aiming for—“Features.” 

But along the way, Maren breaks the cardinal rule of journalism—don’t get involved with the story. The key to the story is helping the handsome Zane find his lost love, but Zane also appears to be the balm for her own broken heart. Career, or another chance at love? She can only have one.

To Maren’s ongoing dismay, her wedding beat takes her to some of the most “creative” weddings of the season, and Swinton places the reader right in these fun scenes, using descriptions and details that add depth and dazzle to the story. Her characters develop and grow and keep you cheering for their happiness. But there is tension around every corner.

Readers ache as Maren is repeatedly forced to witness Kevin’s bubbling joy with his new wife. But Swinton balances Maren’s agony and Zane’s pain with the solace they each feel in finding someone who understands. This compassion balances nicely against the zany wedding scenes.

On the Corner of Heartache and Love makes for a sweet afternoon dessert I highly recommend! This RONE award finalist may have another award-winner on her hands. 

Where can you get it?  Amazon 

SALE! All of Lisa Swinton’s previous books are on sale for $0.99! Such a deal! Amazon

About the Author:
Lisa Swinton caught the romance bug early by way of fairy tales and hasn’t been able to cure it since. Instead, she feeds her addiction with romance novels and films. In between being a doctor’s wife and mother of two, she occasionally puts her B.A. in Musical Theater to good use via community theater and church choir. In her elusive spare time, she enjoys researching her family tree and baking (especially with chocolate). She loves traveling, Jane Austen, and all things Italian. In her next life, she plans to be a professional organizer.
You can visit her at:

The Giveaway! a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Special People Participating in the Media Tour! Go check out these amazing authors and readers!

Anna Del C. Dye     Blog
Danyelle Ferguson     Website
Kim Karras     Blog
Laurie Lewis     Website & Blog
Lindzee Armstrong     Facebook
Lisa Rector     Blog
Mindy Holt     Blog
Misty Pulsipher     Facebook

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Please Don't Hate the Anthem. Learn the Whole Story.

NFL players, and now youth are kneeling during the playing of The National Anthem. That's their right, and while I don't agree with it, I support their right to do it.

But now, there is hate speech about the anthem itself, with people saying that Francis Scott Key was racist, as is the anthem, and therefore "The Star-Spangled Banner" is not worthy of representing America. I think the real issue is that most of us don't know the whole story. I posted this response to an article I read supporting the claim of the anthem's racism. Here is a brief attempt to explain Key's words.

I am an author who spent eight years researching the Chesapeake conflict of the War of 1812, and I must respectfully disagree with this thread. You have to judge the song by the times in which it was written. It in many ways this song is what preserved the nation. 

The Chesapeake region had been under relentless attack. First it was economic blockades that crippled the economy, then the kidnapping of over 4000 Americans from boats and ships, impressing them into British naval service under threat of being hanged for treason if they resisted. 

Maryland cities like Havre De Grace and Leonardtown were bombed to oblivion. Key was on the battlefield when the British mowed through the troops at Bladensburg on the way to Washington City,  and then, the unthinkable happened. 

The Capital had been torched, the President's House, Capitol building, Library of Congress and most of the federal buildings burned. People weren't sure if the Constitution had survived. Even the President and other federal leaders had fled the city. Baltimore was next, and If she fell, the British would have cut us off north and south. Their next goal was to take the Mississippi which would have cut us off east and west. The nation would have been dissected.

Admiral Cockburn hated Baltimore because of her famed Clipper ships, and her strategic importance to the nation. She was the third largest port, and the largest port not occupied at the time, and he wanted that prize.

At that moment, if Baltimore fell, the nation would likely never be the same. Key knew that. He  also had family in the city, and while being held by the British, he heard Admiral Cockburn boast about the horror they would unleash upon Baltimore's citizens,  as they had done in Hampton. Virginia, where the British unleashed French prisoners upon the populace. Citizens were murdered and women were raped. These were the terrors that filled him that night of the bombardment.

When he saw the flag the next morning. he felt every possible emotion. Relief, gratitude, anger, patriotism. The icons of America had been burned in Washington, but a new symbol of America remained-- the Star-Spangled flag that gave proof that the city had held, and the the British had failed. Key's poem had been written under the most extreme duress, on the back on a piece of paper, as a conversation ensued during the agonizing hours of waiting passed. His poem was printed and circulated amongst the troops, rallying them,  raising a broken people from their knees, and giving them hope. That is why the anthem deserves to be honored. Because it gave a nation hope.

I have never heard that Key was racist. He struggled to choose the law over the clergy. he was the writer of hymns and a man who longed for a better world. But if you have proof of this claim, my only rebuttal is that we will find few men worthy of our admiration if we judge those of another era by today's understanding. We must measure men within the context of their own time, their own struggles, their own sensibilities, while celebrating the courageous visionaries who dared fight for something better.

So please don't hate the anthem. Learn the whole story. It is a beautiful story. it is every American's story.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Announcing "EVERYTHING TO LOSE," the Latest Volume in "The Destination Billionaires Romance Series"

Everything to Lose 

A fast-paced, sweet romance by bestselling authors Jennifer Youngblood and Sandra Poole. 

When her father dies suddenly, Samantha Fairchild gets engaged to an uptight, controlling billionaire in order to save the family from financial ruin. Samantha accompanies her fiancé to Hawaii while he’s conducting a business deal. A chance encounter with a free-spirited surfer with dreamy eyes and a quick smile throws her into a tailspin. 
Caught between forbidden love and loyalty, Samantha has everything to lose. Will she choose money and security, or will her heart win out in the end? 

Everything to Lose is available for purchase now on Amazon at

My volume in the series debuts in March of 2017 under the pen name Addison Tayte, but I had a blast writing the introduction to this volume. Click the cover to read reviews and glimpse inside. 

The authors are hosting a rafflecopter giveaway for a 50$ Amazon gift card! 

To enter this giveaway, and receive exclusive preview chapters on upcoming books, 
offers on free books, and other fun reader perks, sign up for my newsletter here

Then use this link to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway here

Monday, August 29, 2016

Beautiful Books, $.99 or Free for a Limited Time

Discover New Stories, Different places, True Loves 

Lucinda Whitney is launching her new book, "One Small Chance, A Love Story From Portugal," which is personally exciting for a few reasons.

First, a large part of my ancestry is Portuguese! My mother's family arrived from the Azores through Hawaii, so finding out that Lucinda is Portuguese and that her novels are stories form that region was a great treat. We did some quick genealogical traces and so far, we can't connect our ancestors, but I'm still working on that!

Secondly, she put together a great eleven-author promo of romantic clean-reads, and I'm proud to have "The Dragons of Alsace Farm" involved. Two Portuguese women authors in one promo! Pretty cool!

So, follow this link to find eleven beautiful, romantic, clean reads you can enjoy and feel safe passing along to family and friends. These are books that will inspire you, take you new places, and introduce you to wonderful authors.

Please share with your friends!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Book Nook Review: "THE ZION TRAIL" by Marsha Ward

The Zion Trail, by award-winning author Marsha Ward, is a masterful story of early Mormon settlers' conversion and trek west. Her knowledge of the complex and painful early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (Mormons) is evident. Historic characters and events are seamlessly incorporated with those she has created, giving readers accurate glimpses into the trials and triumphs of these western pioneers.

Ward writes with a golden quill, seemingly dipped in the very sweat, joys, and tears, of these settlers. The Zion Trail reads like a personal journal of her main character, Elijah (Lije) Marshall, whose life is forever changes when he takes a pair of tired Mormon missionaries home to dine with his family. Though his Christian parents readily accept the missionaries message and the Book of Mormon they are given, they are completely unprepared for the backlash they face when neighbors find out about their baptism and new faith.

As the persecution mounts, so does the cost to the Marshall family. Ward allows Lije’s spiritual growth to develop as gently and naturally as his social and physical maturity, and we feel his suffering over past mistakes, and his self-doubt as he is called on, again and again, to become a man in his youth.
The story Ward weaves of the trek west had me fully invested, but her introduction of a young widow and the wagon master’s edict, charging her care and that of her infant son to Lije, added additional tension and expectation to the book.

Ward’s experience in this genre shines through. She holds to the period and voice of her hero perfectly until you seriously forget that this is a work of fiction.

The Zion Trail is not just for Mormons, though they will love it. I highly recommend it to any reader who relishes a gritty pioneer story, or western saga. It’s a great read, with wonderful history and endearing characters, and a heartwarming romance that satisfies.

The Zion Trail is available here:

Monday, August 22, 2016

BOOK NOOK SPOTLIGHT: A Character Interview With Serena, heroine of "DRAGON'S CURE" by Kandi J. Wyatt

When the blog tour for "The Dragon's of Alsace Farm" was running, the most intriguing stop was a character interview author Kandi J. Wyatt arranged with Noah. It provided an intimate glimpse into my book's hero, and his relationships with the other characters in the book. 

I enjoyed that interview so much that I offered to return the favor, and Kandi arranged for her heroine, Serena, to answer a few questions in return. 

Kandi and I realized we each dealt with similar themes in our books, but for different audiences. "Dragon's Cure," is book 4 of the DRAGON COURAGE series of middle-grade fantasies. So unlike the interpersonal dragons in "The Dragons of Alsace Farm," there are real dragons in this book.

First, here's the blurb from "Dragon's Cure."

When Serena heads out on her own, escaping an abusive relationship, the last thing she expected was to hear voices...from a dragon.

Serena’s been hurt before, but not like this. He had gone too far this time, and she knew it. When she sets out on her own, she’s unsettled by the ominous noises that seem to follow her. Scratches and huffs that couldn’t have been made by any animal she had ever heard of. With wonder, she discovers that the noises are not the stuff of nightmares, but a baby dragon. And along with it, an intriguing dragon rider named Carryn. 

While Serena begins training as a dragon rider, she struggles to trust her trainer and her new friends, including her dragon. When her future is put in jeopardy by dark forces, Serena must fight her greatest enemy: herself. Can she fight through the past to form a true friendship and avoid being enslaved again, or will her distrust cause her to lose the security she so desperately longs for? Will bitterness be set aside and broken hearts be healed?

Follow the tale of friendship, courage, and hardships of Serena and Carryn in this powerful middle grade novel by Kandi J Wyatt.

Anyone’s world can seem alien at times, but your world really is. Please describe it for us, and tell us how life is there for a young woman.

            My world is no more alien than what yours would seem to me. I purchase my food at a street market. I usually go to the same vendors. Carvall is great because he’s so kind and gentle. He has great produce as well. His fruits and vegetables are so bright and juicy. I cook over a wood stove and have a hand pump for water. Cooking and cleaning up meals takes extra time because everything is made from scratch and I have to heat the water for washing dishes. The biggest difference between my world and yours are the animals. You see, I always was told as a child that dragons existed. I saw dragon riders in the marketplace, but I never thought of the creatures themselves until I met one. She changed my life.

My character, Tayte, sounds a lot like you, Serena. She tries to cope with the abusive neglect she faced in her childhood by controlling everything she can in her world. What elements of your world do you try to control, and how has having control helped you deal with your past?

            I can relate to Tayte. Controlling things is common among adult survivors of childhood abuse. I vowed to never be hurt again. The way I could do that was by taking control of my circumstances. I knew if I could make my own decisions of where to live and who to trust, I’d be just fine. It worked to begin with. I was able to gain confidence and forget about my father, but in the long run I failed miserably.

Someone you trusted lured you away from a safe situation into a trap. I can only imagine how betrayed you must have felt. How did you survive that betrayal, and what did you learn about yourself and your instincts from that situation?

            Fff, wow, you ask some hard questions. I fed my bitterness on thoughts of revenge. I figured if I could get even, then I would be able to survive anything. I’m not proud of myself. I would have killed Tyrell if I would have had the chance. I learned how tenacious I am. I harbored bitterness for at least four months. I lost track of time when I was enslaved by my mistress. Even then, when I had no memory of who I was, I still clung to Tyrell’s name and revenge. The other thing I learned was that I had friends I didn’t deserve. Carryn, Duskya, and Kyn stuck with me even when I was unbearable to be around. The thought of revenge consumed me to the point where I pushed all my friends aside.

Serena, what was the catalyst for change that turned your bitterness into peace?

            It really was a slow change. If I have to choose one thing that made me change, I couldn’t, but I could choose two. First off, my friend Carryn said something that began to chip away at my soul. She said she didn’t want bitterness to bind and control her. As I heard her words echo through my mind, I also heard my friend and healer Kyn tell me that my unforgiving heart bound me and enslaved me just as much as my mistress had. I realized that if I gave in to revenge, it controlled me. If I tried to block everyone away from me so I wouldn’t be hurt, then I hurt myself anyway. I couldn’t win. When I gave in to those thoughts, I finally came to peace.

What is the greatest form of bondage, Serena, and why? Enslavement of the body? The mind? The spirit?

            Oh, wow! You know how to get to the heart of the matter. I’ve been enslaved in all three of those ways. I was sold off as a slave to the highest bidder. I couldn’t do as I wanted but was forced to do the will of my mistress. If I rebelled, I was given a shock treatment that burned through my body to my mind. My memories were locked away in a cage where my heart fed the power to the lock, and my own lust for revenge enslaved my spirit. I don’t know which is worse. Hm, no I do. A friend that I made on the trail to the mines where we were sold to our different masters had her body enslaved but her mind and spirit were free. She focused on helping her son. Those slave runners could have killed her body, but her spirit was free. Even though I had been freed from my mistress, I was enslaved in my spirit. That was worse than having my body enslaved.

How did bitterness affect you?

            Bitterness consumed me. I was bitter toward all men for the abuse, physical and verbal, my father hurled at me and my mother every day of our lives. I chose to not trust anyone. Then when someone I eventually trusted betrayed me, bitterness consumed me.

Who did you hold more accountable for the hurt you suffered? The friend who betrayed you? The mistress who bought you? You, for leaving your safe place?

            Well, put that way, I should have blamed myself, but I was too stuck up to do that. I considered myself blameless. The mistress also was just that, my mistress. I didn’t know her personally. I hadn’t entrusted to her all of my secrets. No, I held my friend responsible. I blamed him for all my hurts. It sounds unreasonable, but sometimes we don’t think rationally when we’ve been hurt so deeply.

 My character Noah’s mistakes led him to believe he was unworthy of being loved. How did your mistakes change you? What have you learned about yourself through this trial?

            I used to think I wasn’t worthy of love. We learn these things from those who are close to us as children and how they treat us. We then begin to form habits at an early age to protect ourselves. I guess, I learned through this that I couldn’t stay in control. I didn’t want to be hurt and had thought by being in control I could keep from being hurt. However, I had done a horrible job of keeping myself from pain. I couldn’t keep on pushing people away. Their love began to work its way under my reserve. My dragon was the best one. She came after me even if no one else would have come. My trainer, Duskya, was kind no matter what I did. And then there’s Kyn, my healer and friend. He spoke to me openly about how my attitude changed once I received my memories back. He didn’t let my cold shoulder affect how he dealt with me. He stayed as a true friend. These things broke through the wall I had built from the time I was little. Once the wall broke, I became the person I was meant to be.

Author Kandi J Wyatt is a wife, mother of five, teacher, artist, and author. In her free time, she enjoys writing fantasy stories, and drawing with graphite and colored pencils. Portraits are her specialty. Kandi also enjoys photography, thanks to her photographer husband who has let her join his journey as both his model and apprentice, and she occasionally serves as his assistant when he needs a “light stand with feet.” To learn more, visit

Currently books 1-3 are on sale for 99 cents on Kindle and Dragon's Cure is available for $1.99. All four books will soon return to $2.99 next Sunda

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Dragon's Future:
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Dragon's Heir:
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Dragon's Revenge:
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Dragon’s Cure:
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The One Who Sees Me:
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