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

Where to find me:
Other websites:

Buy links:
Dragon's Future:
Short link:
Barnes & Noble:

Dragon's Heir:
Short link:
Barnes & Noble:

Dragon's Revenge:
Short link:
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Dragon’s Cure:
Short link:
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The One Who Sees Me:
Short link:
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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

CROWING: Jennie Hansen's Review of "The Dragons of Alsace Farm" for Meridian Magazine

Forgive me for crowing. But this review made my week! Thank you, Jennie Hansen! 

Two adults with horrendous childhoods that have left deep scars are drawn together at Alsace Farm, a farm owned by an elderly woman suffering from Alzheimer’s. Noah Carter was physically and emotionally abused by his father, then at eighteen eloped with a young Quaker girl who had second thoughts before morning. Upset, Noah crashes his vehicle and winds up in jail where he is beaten and molested by the other inmates. No one, not even the uncle he’d hero-worshipped all of his life comes to his rescue. For ten years he disappears into a world of substance abuse and bare existence living until the uncle, who is dying of cancer finally locates him. He returns to his uncle’s home where they make a shaky start to re-establishing their old relationship and the uncle encourages him to start a business of his own as a craftsman woodworker. He also pushes him into working for and repairing a nearby farm for an elderly widow who survived World War II as a child in France.
Tayte Donnelly is the child of two hippie artists who drifted around the country, mostly ignoring her, and caring more about drugs than for her. The happiest time of her childhood occurred when she was eight and her mother left her for two months with her grandmother. This idyllic time ended when her parents came for her and abruptly took her away, then informed her her grandmother was dead. Her own talent as an artist is beginning to garner recognition when she is notified, her parents have been killed in an accident, and her grandmother is alive, but has dementia and that as the woman’s only relative she has to see to some legal matters. Though the old woman doesn’t know who she is, Tayte decides to stay on the farm and care for her grandmother.
Agnes Devereaux Keller hides a secret in her attic. She has spent her life hiding from dragons, not living fire-breathing dragons, but powerful secrets, secrets concerning the Nazis, a daughter who ran away years ago, a man who betrayed her, her father, an old love, a spiteful, calculating woman, and so much more. If only she could remember which day it is and whether or not she fed the goats. She adores the young man who comes to help her, but wants nothing to do with the bossy young woman who cleans her house and throws away her anchors to reality.
This is a story of two injured people, picking up the fragments of their lives, and struggling to make sense of their pasts and build a much better future. It highlights the damage caused by poor, selfish parenting, and the difficulty of rising above past hurt, guilt, failures, misunderstanding, and oppression. It’s also a story of hope and determination.
Lewis has created outstanding characters who realistically portray the characteristics of the particular dragons each is fighting whether it is physical or emotional. Agnes’s dementia is very real as is the uncle’s cancer. So too, are the emotional flaws the two main characters carry from their years of physical or emotional abuse. The two young people learn a great deal about themselves and about love through the things they learn from Agnes. Love draws Agnes back from the terrible black abyss of dementia and love is the gift the uncle struggles to leave Noah, his wife, and his sons.
As four people struggle with the “dragons” in their lives, this multi-pronged story melds the plot line of each character’s story into an overall one of overcoming adversity, recognizing the worth of all individuals, and never giving up on the hope for love and belonging.
Laurie Lewis was born and raised in Maryland. She and her husband still live there where she enjoys the rich history of that region. They are the parents of four children. She has authored seven other novels, most dealing with patriotic or historical themes.
* * *
THE DRAGONS OF ALSACE FARM by Laurie Lewis, published by Willowsport Press, 356 pages, soft cover $13.53. Also available for e-Readers.

Thursday, August 11, 2016




by Peggy M. McAloon

Have you ever had to sacrifice something to bring back something or someone you love? Peggy McAloon is here today to talk about the second book in her Lessons from Fiori series, Missing. Elle's brother has been kidnapped. Will she be able to save him?

About the Book

Kidnapping. Monsters. Magic.

Elle's desperate to find her kidnapped brother. She teams up with the winged warriors from the dimension of Fiori to save him, but JJ isn't the only one in danger. What will Elle sacrifice to bring her brother home? Can she fulfill the ancient prophecy and restore the magic of the Bronze Pendant?
You will love this Coming of Age, action-packed fantasy for middle-grade readers. Elle Burton's goal is to rescue her brother. What she discovers is pure evil. The author provides a female role model who strives to overcome her flaws and inspire kids everywhere.
"Missing" blends the magic of a fairytale with the contemporary realities of the world today's youth inhabit. You will discover a new world order through the journey of a young girl who exhibits both compassion and jaw-dropping courage in her quest to fulfill an ancient prophecy. Find yourself caught in the ultimate struggle between good and evil. "Missing" is the second book in the "Lessons from Fiori" series.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

DESTINATION BILLIONAIRES ROMANCE, Volume 5, "CARIBBEAN RESCUE" by best-selling sweet tomance author Cami Checketts

Just in time for the Summer Olympics, bestselling sweet romance author Cami Checketts brings you a new Destination Billionaire Romance.
Zack Tyndale was destined to win gold in the 2012 Olympics, but he tripped and shattered his dreams. Running from his controlling father and the pity in everyone’s eyes, he buys an island in the Caribbean where he can live blissfully alone.

Madeline Panetto’s graduation present is a trip sailing around the Caribbean on her father’s yacht. Unfortunately, her father is a pirate, and when there is an uprising on his ship, she escapes and crash-lands on Zack’s island.
Can these two find refuge from the pirates and with each other?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Book Nook Spotlight: "THE MAGIC WAKES," by Charity Bradford

Book 1 in the Magic Wakes Series

Blurb: Since childhood, scientist Talia Zaryn has been haunted by recurring dreams, visions of an alien attack on her planet Sendek. Each time it ends abruptly with Talia's death in the capital city Joharadin, a city that she has spent her life desperately avoiding. Talia keeps these dreams a secret, hoping they are nothing more than childish nightmares. But when she is unexpectedly transferred to Joharadin she is convinced that the conflict, and her own death, is at hand. As Talia's nightmares occur with increasing frequency, they reveal the imminent invasion of a half-dragon, half-human race called Dragumon, bent on annihilation of her world.
In Sendek, magic is dead and science rules, forcing Talia to keep another secret, one that could cost her everything if it were known. Now, in order to save her planet, Talia must awaken the powers within her and rely at last on the magic that is her true inheritance.


A third vehicle carrying Space Exploration Foundation equipment had been attacked. The sleek bullet-shaped tram lay crumpled beside the track and spread across half a mile of protected lands like an accordion. Its silver exterior marred by scorches and patches of thick orange foam used to put out the flames. The last car in line had been ripped open. Its contents carried away while those guarding it had been left in a bloody heap in the corner. The terrorists had left forty people dead. All for the acquisition of military grade communications technology.

“There’s another reason to stop traveling for the SEF.” Talia rubbed the stone necklace resting at her throat. 

She didn’t want to look at the bodies any longer. Instead, she focused on the surrounding wilderness. Trees, grass, everything near the tracks had been burned. The reporter rambled on about the environmental disaster as if no one had lost their lives. Talia was relieved when the news feed was interrupted by the house computer, “Incoming call, SEF President Cahal.”

Talia stood and smoothed her hair back. “Accept call.”

The disturbing images were replaced by a gray-haired man in his sixties, sitting at a desk overflowing with books and papers. His normally kind face looked ashen.

“Miss Zaryn, are you watching the news nets?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Good. The program has taken a hit that puts us months, maybe a year behind schedule.”

“I can begin work on another satellite as soon as the parts are delivered.”

“Not this time. The board has decided it would be safer to bring you here. The parts are waiting for you, and this time you’ll have a skilled team to help. I’ve purchased a ticket from Gneledar to Joharadin for nine rising tomorrow. Your apartment will be ready by the time you arrive.”

Her knees weakened. She stepped behind the couch and leaned on the back for support. Her vision blurred, and then she remembered to breathe. “I can’t move to Joharadin.”

“Sure you can. You’ve traveled to other locations for us, and it’s about time you stayed here for a while. Who knows, maybe we’ll finally convince you to make this your permanent home.” 

It would be permanent all right. Death always was. She squeezed the couch tighter to keep her hands from trembling. There was no way out of it and no way to explain. At least not in a way a man of science could understand or accept, but Cahal had given in to her before. She had to try one more time. 

"Sir, I've always worked remotely. There's no need for me to move to Joharadin."

"Miss Zaryn, getting you here is about more than a few attacks and setbacks. The Royalists are making a big deal out of this. They’ve started an investigation into the SEF because they think we’re leaking critical information to some unnamed terrorist group.”

“You know I’m not the leak. I don’t have access to transport details.”

“It doesn’t matter what I think. The Royalists insist every member of the team be present in a face-to-face presentation." Cahal clasped his hands in front of him and leaned toward her from his desk. "That includes you. Either you move here for the next year of your own free will, or the Royalists will arrest you and drag you here anyway.” 

“Yes, Sir.” Her shoulders drooped. “Cahal, can I ship a personal project as well?” 

“You can send anything you like, as long as you’re on that tram tomorrow. Unless I can convince you to take an aeroflyer?" His eyebrows lifted in hope.

Talia sighed, "I'll be on the tram. You know I prefer to stay close to the ground."

“You're going to have to get over that. The environmentalists have been trying to phase out the tram lines for years, and these attacks have added fuel to their cause. The aeroflyers will soon be the only way to travel."

"I'll cross that bridge when I have to."

"Very well. I'm meeting you myself, so there's no backing out. I’ll come all the way to Gneledar before I let the Royalists bring you in." He winked at her and let the ghost of a smile twitch the corners of his lips. With a wave of his hand the SEF's emblem replaced his image. 

Talia collapsed on the couch and stared at the phoenix rising into a star filled sky. After a moment, the screen shut off and she rested her head in her hands. Joharadin, capital of Algodova. She had good reason to stay as far away from the city as possible but no way to explain them to Cahal. Sometimes he exuded a grandfatherly attitude toward her, but he was still a man of science. Talk of prophetic dreams would not go over well, especially as an excuse.

A small furry creature shot from under the table and bounced onto her lap. He nuzzled his way under her arms. Talia stroked his back and fluffy tail. With each movement he fanned his tail wider and purred in contentment. 

"You always know how to make me smile. Don't worry, you're coming with me." She stared into his bulging black eyes that swiveled back and forth. "Maybe I should set you free instead?"

Keeta trilled, spun in a circle, and lay down in her lap. With a laugh, she set him on the couch. She could never leave him behind.

"Raise blinds." She spoke the command and the house computer obeyed.

She rose from the couch and walked to the window. The trees blocked the view of the city, but she knew it was there. Her hometown. 

Generally, she welcomed traveling to other cities for the SEF. The weeks and months in the company of co-workers offered a semblance of a social life not available at home. But not Joharadin. Just the thought of the city from her nightmares caused her skin to crawl and her heart to race. A dull ache formed behind her eyes and she rubbed at her temple.

The light from Sendek's double suns filtered through the trees and into her living room. Flecks of gold danced with the shimmery green across the floor. The movement imitated her nerves. It was already starting.

I'll dream tonight. Talia sent her thoughts out to the trees and waited for their answer. Keeta's head popped up as if he listened as well.

We will be here when you do. The trees sang back.

About the Author:

Charity Bradford has been a voracious reader ever since her 5th grade teacher introduced her to the world of books with Where the Red Fern Grows and Summer of the Monkeys. She’s the mother of four kids that keep her on her toes, constantly reminding her that imagination still makes the world go round. Her preferred writing genre consists of a mix of science fiction, fantasy, adventure and romance. She also enjoys reading detective novels, YA in all styles, paranormal, and whatever a friend recommends. Social and Buy Links: Website Facebook Twitter Amazon Author Page Goodreads Pinterest